SMITH:... We have two proposals which I guess most people in this room are interested in. These were put forth by a group of seven stockholders calling themselves the Project on Corporate Responsibility. This group purchased 12 shares of GM common stock in January of 1970. The group has implied that the efforts by General Motors have not been adequate in fulfilling its responsibility to the community as a whole.
These proposals would create a committee to represent special interest groups and increase the size of the board of directors to include three representatives-not on the basis of their interest in General Motors-but rather on the basis of their sympathy with members of the Project.
The members of the committee will be chosen by majority vote of a group composed of one representative of the Project, one representative chosen by the United Auto Workers, and one representative of the Board of Directors.
Now General Motors believes that the purpose of this proposed committee is to harass the corporation and its management and to promote the particular economic and social views of the Project.
We really believe this committee will restrict management's ability to meet its responsibility to the stockholders and to the public.
We believe that if General Motors is to fulfill its responsibilities in the future that it must continue to prosper and grow.
Indeed, the corporation can only discharge its obligations to society if it continues to be a profitable investment to its stockholders along with meeting its public responsibilities.
We believe that General Motors could not have achieved this record of success and leadership in our growth and progress unless it well served the interest of the public and its stockholders.
We are proud of our record. We believe we have done an excellent job of meeting our responsibilities. That is why along with our proxy statement this year we will mail a booklet. This booklet is a compilation of GM's record of progress.
It outlines the corporation's accomplishments in the areas of automotive safety, air pollution control, mass transit, plant safety and social welfare. The problem of vehicle emission pollution from manufacturing plants, and the safety of persons using our product.
These are many of the areas which affect the general public welfare and areas in which we think we've got a good record to demonstrate.
These are not new problems to General Motors. We have been responding to them because they're part of our job.
As far as criticism of General Motors, the project has implied that General Motors is against automotive safety, that we are against effective low cost mass transit, and that we are against effective emission control, and that we are against social welfare. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth. General Motors is working diligently in all of these areas. And, more, we believe that we have an excellent record.
How well General Motors has fulfilled its responsibilities to the customers, the dealers, our employees, our stockholders and our public, we believe, should not be measured against an arbitrary criterion supplied by the Project, but rather against our own achievements which we can document.
One of the major areas that probably has not been as well documented publicly because it is more recent is the area of exhaust emission control. I would like now to ask Dr. Bowditch to take over and do some explaining about this very important area.