• U.S.

INFLATION: Report from the Front

2 minute read

Congress and the Administration were still locked in mortal combat on the inflation front.

The House rammed the anti-subsidy bill down the Administration’s throat (27840-117). Then the House railroaded the $2,140,000.000 Ways & Means Committee tax bill through without changing a comma. (The Treasury had asked for $10,500,000,000 in new taxes.) The Senate was set to pass both measures with equal speed and scorn.

Outflanked and defeated, Henry Morgenthau nevertheless took his dress sword in hand and attacked head on. Without even a microscopic chance of success, he recited before the Senate’s Finance Committee this week, his plea for a whopping tax measure. Said Treasury Counsel Randolph Paul: “It seems utterly unreasonable to erect a mountain of complexity for such a molehill of revenue.”

The House added a few insults. It pried out of the Banking and Currency Committee a bill to take away OPA’s authority to fix oil prices, and hand it over to Petroleum Administrator Harold Ickes. Further, amendments have already been drawn up to remove OPA’s power over coal and food prices. If the bill and amendments pass, OPA will be doornail-dead.

The railroad strike vote was completed. The results, although not officially announced, were overwhelmingly in favor of a strike. This week the Senate was ready to give 1,100,000 railroad workers the 8¢ -an-hour raise which Economic Stabilizer Fred Vinson turned down last June.

No truce was in sight. Best hope for a compromise came on the subsidy issue. Oklahoma’s able, shock-haired Mike Monroney proposed an amendment (which showed surprising strength in a House vote) to continue subsidies until Oct. 1, 1944, and to make them revocable at any earlier time at the first sign of a general wage increase. Mike Monroney’s solution may yet be adopted. It had virtues: 1) it would tie farm prices and wages together; 2) it would put the subsidy issue squarely into the 1944 campaign, where both Congress and the Administration seem to think it belongs.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com