The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on April 23, 1953 · Page 9
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 9

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, April 23, 1953
Page 9
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fflOTSDAT, APRTT, ZS, BT.YTHEVTLLE t ARTC.V COUKIEH NEWS How Automobile Industry Faces Peace ln '"" """ Experts Watch Detroit for Answers To What Defense Cuts May Mean EDITOR'S NOTE: Uncertain factor in America's current economic boom is the word peace. But an almost certain barometer o! what the word could mean is the nation's auto capital. Here's an on-the-spot roundup by an NEA staff writer on how Detroit faces peace. By WADE JONES NEA Staff Correspondent DETROIT — (NEA) — What happens to the nation's economy if peace comes? Will production fall off? Will there be unemployment? How severe ft recession, if any, can be expectd? Or dos the boom continue? Economists are looking at this world auto capital for some of the answers. Here's why. The industry plans to sell about 6-7 million cars and trucks this year. At an average price of $2500 each, that would be nearly $15 billion worth. But down along Livernois the fabulous street where new and used car Lots stretch for some five miles, you hear a ( slightly different fitory. Used cars aren't moving well, and in some cases new cars are selling About 1 million people will manufacture these automobiles and their parts. Another 1 \* million people will sell and service them. This mighty business machine lias resulted in three out of every four American families owning a air. With such a giant industry so closely geared to consumer whims and needs, economists figure , it must reflect pretty accurately in advance what may be expected for the national economy as a whole. II hitches develop in the automotive field, they can logically be expected to develop eslewhere in the economy. * * * An.1 how's business in Detroit these days? It depends on whom you talk to. With the top brass in the Big Three — General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler — everytning's •rosy. ' "All our thinking is directed toward increased production to meet a steadily increasing demand for our products," says a Ford spokesman, And to back up the statement he points to the fact Ford has spent S900 million for expansion since 1945, and that another $500 million worth is in the works. It's the same with General Motors. "I can foresee a sales volume (for GM) of approximately $9 billion for 1953, of which about 20 per cent will represent defense products," says General Motors President Harlovv H. Curtice. "This compares With approximately $7-2 billion of sales in 1952." Chrysler says : "Our production and sales are steadily increasing. We are building about 6000 passenger cars daily now, and we want to increase that." No cuts in production and no layoffs of workers are foreseen, and the general belief IE that even a complete , switch from military to civilian production can be accomplished smoothly. •'Should our defense activities be largely terminated, it is likely that civilian production requirements will pff.set reductions in employment rolls in defense plants," says Ford. all too slowly. The motor malady as regards used cars is pi'etty much nationwide, according to reports. A spokesman for the National Used Car Dealers Association here estimates used car prices are down, about 14 per cent, on the average, since mid December. The economists are watching the used car situation closely. For if used cars aren't selling, the same situation may soon apply to new cars. And the latter can mean cult, in production ;u.d even a beginning of unemployment. For another thing, more and more care are being bought on installment credit, which is now operating at record volume. Whereas only 21 per cent of cars were bougnt on credit right after World War II, today about 75 per cent of total sales are installment. This situation, existing also in home loan and other fields, makes some economists think there Is entirely too much business now being done on credit, "The lines on the chart are beginning lo run too close to the ones of 1929," says one economist. But GM's Curtice says people have more money to spend than ever before. They still ''have an ap- petitie for new products," he says. "Disposable income per person employed—after price and tax adjustments—is 20 per cent greater currently than in 1940. Aggressive salesmanship has stimulated their appetite in the past. It can continue to do so." The automobile industry and the United Automobile Workers union are not usually to be found in sweet accord on the problems of the day. But, if GM President Harlow H. Curtice can be considered a spokesman for the industry, they seem to agree on one point he makes: In a recent speech Curtice said: OUTLOOK FOR 1953 — Auto capital's outlook for 1953 is shown on this newschart, which indicates number of new cars and trucks ($15 billion worth) planned and the manpower involved in the operation. "Basic and most fundamental of all for the long pull is the factor of consumer spending—in other words, the ability and wilingness of the public to buy the products which industry produces." UAW officials say their president, Walter Reuther, couldn't have put it better himself. He said recently that a depression is wholly unnecessary and that it can be avoided by proper planning now. He added: "There are enough unmet needs within the United States and among the free peoples of the world to provide full production and full employment at steadily rising standards of living for at least the next quarter of a century." Then he cited the gap between production and consumption as "the most compelling challenge that our free economy faces." In other words, how much of what we produce can we afford to buy? UAW officials here point to a recent article in Fortune Magazine which said unemployment might "reasonably" be expected to hit 5 million in 1955, and could even go to 8 or 9 million. It stands now at about 1.8 million. Peter Edson, NEA Washington columnist, reported recently that; the Federal government has on tap a plan for public works which could | be put into effect to offset the effects of an unemployment problem. But the UAW would go further than public works. Already '1 is preparing to introduce at the next contract negotiations with the auto industry a guaranteed annual wage plan. * * • Union officials say they nave no "firm stand" yet on the proposal, admit its ultimate effect would be to up wage payments, and claim it would give management "a bigger stake in seeing to it that th° nation's economy is held at full-employment levels." The UAW also believes consumer buying power would be strengthened if lower taxes, resulting from decreased military spending, are spread over low income groups. The union theory here is that the low-income taxpayers will spend more of what they save in taxes than wiU people and corporations in the upper brackets. A further etiffener for the economy, UAW officials say, would be to increase "inadequate social security benefits and unemployment compensation payments." * * * Only if these and similar measures—such as government support of farm prices and cutting- prices to stimulate sales—fail, would the Our Biggest Sale Of the Season! TOP VALUE MEN'S SLACKS Special pure ha s . 4.97 Sizei 28 to 42 85% rayon, 15% nylon gabardine—similar to our regular 5.95 quality. Hollywood style, deep front pleais plus neat-looking welt side seam. Rubberized inner waistband keeps shirt tucked in, Solid colon. SAVE NOW ON MEM'S SLACKS 02.44 ®3.48 ® Regular 2.49. Faded denim with elastic waistband all-around. Zip-fly, patch pockets. All siz.i. OD. Regular 3.98. Hollywood ilyle f°y°" flabardin* •lacks in solid colon. Zip-fly, deep pleais. All siz.i. Arkansas Plans Observance of 'Flight Week' LITTLE ROCK (If) — Arkansas will commemorate the 50th nnnl- versary of the Wright brothers' lirst airplane flight and Qov. Cherry Iws named 12 aviation enthusiasts lo draw up t,he program. Cherry designated May 4-10 as "Golden Anniversary of Powered Flight Commemoration Week." The Arkansas celebration would bo about seven months in advance oi the actual flight anniversary but It coincides with the National Sky- lady Derby. May 6-7. which starts and ends at Ft. Smith. Named to the planning committee were William Berry. Stuttgart: Jimmy Carter. Rogers; Robert Chrisp. Ft. Smith: Ray Ellis. Fay- cttevllle; Harry Fischer, FL Smith; Mrs. A. L. Gosnell, Ft. Smith; Mrs. L. G. Hinkson. Little Rock; LI Col. Claude Holbcrt, Little Rock; Rutherford J. Ross, Ft. Smith; J. V. Satterfield, Little Rock: Miss Sara Shonk, Litile Rock and Kenneth Starnes, Little Rock. Churchill Defends Anglo-U.S. Policy LONDON M'l — Prime Minister Churchill yesterday heatedly slap- I lied down Lahorile critics who nc- j c-used him of lelthiB the United | .Slates call all the turns in dealing j with Soviet wooine of the West. I The 18-year-old premier In- dii.'immly refuted Soeialisl opposition insinuations in the Mouse of Commons that he was taking a back seat In the East-West rte- vrlopemenls and declared: "I do not think, looking back over a long period in peace and war, 1 have ever, so far as 1 hud [ anvllmifr to say in matters, been i willing to accept complete Intia| tive from the United States." j Churchill emphasized, however, ••I am most anxious to work with them and it Is vital to the .survival of the Free World that we should, but al the same time we should certainly make our opinion felt and Detroit Negro Minister Testifies At Segregation Hearing in Little Rock LITTLE ROCK </Ti — A Detroit , Negro minister told u federal court jury yesterday that his arrest for vioLatinG Arkansas' segregation laws caused him shock, humiliation, and had made him lose his voice. The Rev. Fletcher Walker is suing Capitol Transportation Co., operators of Little Rock's bus transportation system, for $45,000 In our weight count as far as we i can and I don't think the course [ I have adopted has in any way j diminished the influence we have j had." Churchill has already voiced his "resolute and wholehearted" support of the peace plan put forward by President Eisenhower. First power-driven sawmill in America, built in 1631. was at Salmon Falls River, Maine. damages — $10.000 for humiliation, $10,000 for medical costs and »25,QOO tor losses from a business deal Incurred because of his arrest. Walker was arrested Aug. 2fl for sitting down in a front seat of th» bus ii; violation of an Arkansas law rctimriiK Negroes fill busses from real- to front. He was fined SIS after his conviction in Pulaski County court. Payment of the fine is being delayed until the damage suit is settled. Walker, iu Little. Rock preparing church study material for the bishop of his church, took the seat to wait until the bus stopped and let him off. He earlier had been unable to leave the bus by the rear door because the back door was closed. Bus company official Phillip Askey told the jury that the firm's .seating regulations are based on state law. Had to Beat It When a passage that especially pleased him had been written by William Makepeace Thackeray, he clapped on his hat and rushed out to find n friend to whom he might read it. UAW go for the government public works program. How much of such a program the Big Three, for instance, would buy is questionable. But Henry Ford II, president of the Ford Motor Co., says this; "For year.s we have talked glibly of the superiority of the American way, and the ability of business, given a fair chance, to straighten out some of the world's present, difficulties and correct many of its ancient evils. "I believe we now have a chance to put that talk into action—a challenge above and beyond the call of business-as-usual. And I, for one, will be deeply chagrined if we fail to meet that challenge and give it all we've got." SYLVANSA Radio-TV Sales & Service CBS-COIUMBSA Electronic Lob no w. Walnut Ph. 2.MI — Nile 6076 Ex Ira Age—Extra Rich— ( Just ask for Charter Oak. Now every golden drop is aged for six long years. 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