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Major Berry's invitation to business men to prepare for the meeting of the Industrial Council in December leaves no doubt as to the future course of the New Deal. Difficult as it is to analyze the meaning of a Presidential election, Mr. Roosevelt does not seem to be far wrong in interpreting it as a commission to go ahead with industrial reorganization of the country.
There are encouraging signs that the new program will differ from the N.R.A. in being less arbitrary and more in line with traditional principles of careful consideration and democratic administration. The proposals already made by members of Major Berry's Council provide for an administrative tribunal, similar to the existing Federal Trade Commission, in place of the haphazard and ill-considered promulgation of codes under the reign of General Johnson. Most of the objections to the N.R.A. came not because of the provisions for minimum wages and maximum hours but because of the intolerable state of affairs brought on by a "government by ukase". If under a new law consideration is taken of all questions involved before regulations are made, the end may be accomplished without shaking the entire economic structure of the country.
The large question mark is the problem of the Supreme Court. Even if a less stringent system than the N.R.A. can swing the liberal group on the bench, there is little hope that the "due process brigade" will follow suit. It would be an unforgiveable mistake on the part of President Roosevelt to meet this in any but an orderly way. Packing the court would establish a precedent that would permanently destroy the usefulness of the tribunal. Two alternatives are left; wait for the more conservative members to die, or amend the Constitution. If the President is willing to wait several years, the former method would be a smooth modus operandi. The more democratic and efficient method, however, is that of admendment. The overwhelming support given Mr. Roosevelt on Election Day augurs well for a speedy and cooperative ratification of any reasonable change proposed.
The President has never completely abandoned the broad social principles behind N.R.R., for there is no reason why he should. A program of industrial regulation soberly planned and constitutionally effected would be welcomed by the American people as an antidote to the excesses and failures of past years.
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