• U.S.

Time Clock, Apr. 11, 1955

3 minute read

NEW-CAR SALES in March hit the highest peak in history with 710,000 cars sold, topping the previous record of 683,995 set in August 1950.

BIGGEST ATOMIC POWER plant will be built near Chicago by General Electric for operation in a few years. Chicago’s Commonwealth Edison Co. will finance and run the plant, is now working out details with the Atomic Energy Commission, G.E. and local utility companies.

ARGENTINE oil lands will soon be opened up to U.S. companies. To solve his nation’s chronic fuel problem (60% imported), President Juan Perón is ready to sign a deal for Standard Oil of California to develop a 23,000-sq.-mi. tract in Santa Cruz Territory south of the 48th Parallel; Standard of California will sell its oil on the domestic market first, be able to export any surplus. Similar agreements totaling $200 million will also be signed this month with Shell Oil and Standard Oil (NJ.) to develop another huge tract in the Neuquen area near the Chilean border.

NONSCHEDULED AIRLINES will be chopped nearly 50%, if Civil Aeronautics Board examiners have their way. They recommended to the board that 27 of the surviving 60 big nonscheduled carriers (among them: All American Airways, Monarch Air Service, U.S. Aircoach) be put out of business, on grounds that they overlap scheduled lines. For the 33 other nonscheduled lines, including most of the biggest names, the examiners want a revised classification as “supplemental carriers,” which will allow them unlimited charter service plus three independent passenger flights between any two points each month.

BURLINGTON INDUSTRIES, already the biggest U.S. textile firm, is flexing its muscles again. Having spent $33 million last year buying up competing Pacific Mills and Goodall-Sanford (TIME, July 26), Burlington has now wrapped up a deal to take over North Carolina’s $12 million Mooresville Mills, makers of cotton and rayon towels, draperies and sports clothes.

RAILROAD-GOUGING complaint by the Government, charging that 700 U.S. roads overcharged the U.S. as much as $3 billion for military shipments during World War II, has been thrown out by a unanimous ruling of the eleven-man Interstate Commerce Commission. The ICC ruled that all rate agreements were legally made before authorized agencies and, further, that charges were actually considerably lower than comparable civilian rates at the time.

GAS BOOM will push the industry’s expenditure for new plants and pipe lines to a record $1.4 billion in 1955, the fifth straight year that expansion has topped the $1 billion mark. Nearly a quarter will go for two new pipelines linking Southern and Southwestern gas fields with Midwest and Northwest consumers.

DIXON-YATES contract has run into another roadblock, this time from the Government’s General Accounting Office. GAO’s new boss, Comptroller General Joseph Campbell, who voted for the contract as a member of the AEC, has advised the commission to hold it up. He wants ironclad assurances from Ebasco Services Inc., slated to build the big steam plant at West Memphis, Ark., that construction will not cost more than the $104 million estimate. What worries Campbell is a previous Ebasco contract for a steam plant at Joppa, Ill. to supply the AEC. There costs turned put to be $51 million more than estimated.

HUGE WAGE DEMAND, one of the biggest in history, has been handed to General Motors and Ford by the United Auto Workers. Cost of the entire package is conservatively estimated at 40¢ an hour. It includes a guaranteed-annual-wage provision, plus an overall 10¢-an-hour pay boost, bigger pensions, health benefits and longer vacations.

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