WHCF Subject File - BE: Business - Economics

According to the White House Central Files manual, this category was for "material pertaining to domestic commerce, industries, and national economy such as business trends, costs and standards of living, inflation, economic controls, national income, effect of automation, recessions, depressions, and prosperity. Include also matters pertaining to patents and inventions, copyrights, trademarks, and regulations and control pertaining to them."

Specific exceptions are: International Trade and Tariff (seeTA) and Transportation (Commerce) (see TN).


BE: Business - Economics
Executive 825 pp. / General 150 pp.
Materials, including correspondence, memoranda, schedule proposals, reports, meeting agenda (especially Economic and Energy meetings and meetings of senior economic advisers), and briefing papers for the President, on current economic conditions and future economic policies. Topics include, but are not limited to: U.S. - European economic relations; trade negotiations; inflation; tax cuts and revision; employment/unemployment, oil decontrol; grain sales; and energy legislation.

BE 1: Cooperatives
Executive 3 pp. / General 2 pp.
Miscellaneous items on business cooperatives.

BE 2: Domestic Trade
Executive 1100 pp. / General 465 pp.
Material on domestic commerce; reform of federal regulations pertaining to financial institutions, trucking and rail transportation, airlines, etc.; Fair Trade Laws, especially proposed amendment or repeal of the Robinson-Patman Act; consumer protection; and energy policy.

BE 2-1: Deceptive Practices (consumer)
Executive 850 pp. / General 200 pp.
Materials on regulatory reform and consumer protection, especially S. 200 and H. R. 7575, bills proposed to establish an independent agency for consumer protection; and the Ford Administration's alternative proposal, reform of existing agencies to make them more responsive to consumer needs and problems. Included are reports submitted to the White House by federal agencies concerning new policies of regulatory reform and consumer representation. Materials are very similar to those in BE 2 Domestic Trade; few items concern actual deceptive practices or consumer complaints.

BE 2-2: Monopoly - Antimonopoly
Executive 350 pp. / General 125 pp.
Materials on antitrust matters and legislation, especially H. R. 8532, Antitrust Enforcement Improvement Act of 1976; common situs picketing; price- fixing; mergers; and inflation.

BE 3: Economic Controls
Executive 225 pp. / General 1125 pp.
Materials on inflation; gas rationing; price rollbacks, and wage and price controls, especially food, rent, and fuel. The bulk of the material consists of consumer complaints and suggestions to aid the economy, most of which were answered by form letter.

BE 4: Industry
Executive 175 pp. / General 425 pp.
Materials on the free enterprise system and regulatory reform. A few items concern minority business enterprises and questionable corporate payments abroad.

BE 4-1: Aerospace
Executive 3 pp. / General 17 pp.
Miscellaneous materials on the aerospace industry.

BE 4-2: Construction
Executive 225 pp. / General 425 pp.
Materials on the construction industry, especially the housing industry, and its problems. Topics include inflation, common situs picketing, and the Davis- Bacon Act.

BE 4-3: Firefighters
Executive 1 pp. / General none
A single item pertaining to energy conservation.

BE 4-4: Hospital
Executive none / General 3 pp.
Three items on the health care industry.

BE 4-5: Hotel-Restaurant
Executive none / General 3 pp.
Three items on the hotel and restaurant industries.

BE 4-6: Housing
Executive 300 pp. / General 300 pp.
Materials on problems in the housing industry (including the mobile home industry), especially high interest rates and lack of available mortgage money.

BE 4-7: Office-Store
There are no materials filed in this category.

BE 4-8: Police
There are no materials filed in this category.

BE 4-9: Sanitation
There are no materials filed in this category.

BE 4-10: Teachers
There are no materials filed in this category.

BE 4-11: Utilities
Executive 100 pp. / General 125 pp.
Materials on problems in the utility industry, particularly electrical utilities. A primary topic is the effect of rising costs and Environmental Protection Agency policies on utility rates..

BE 4-12: Motion Picture - Theatre
Executive 6 pp. / General 1 p.
Miscellaneous materials on the motion picture industry.

BE 4-13: Broadcasting
Executive 75 pp. / General 25 pp.
Miscellaneous materials on the television and radio broadcasting industries.

BE 4-14: Mining
Executive 300 pp. / General 10 pp.
Materials on mining, primarily the Ford Administration's position on S. 425, Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1974.

BE 4-19: Ordnance and Accessories
There are no materials filed in this category.

BE 4-20: Food and kindred products
Executive 125 pp. / General 75 pp.
Materials on problems in the food and agricultural industries, as well as the Administration's relationship with various food-processing groups.

BE 4-20-1: Alcoholic and other beverages
Executive 1 pp. / General 10 pp.
Four items on antitrust exemptions, wage and price control, and problems in the beverage industry.

BE 4-20-2: Dairy products
Executive 200 pp. / General 125 pp.
Materials on problems facing dairy farmers, primarily rising costs of fuel, fertilizer, machinery and equipment, and labor; and possible federal assistance through increase of price support levels.

BE 4-20-3: Fruits and vegetables
Executive 100 pp. / General 25 pp.
Materials on problems facing fruit and vegetable growers and processors. Major topics include possible use of dehydrated surplus potatoes in the Food for Peace program, Small Business Administration loans for those in the mushroom industry, and labor needs of fruit growers.

BE 4-20-4: Grain-mill products
Executive 29 pp. / General 7 pp.
Materials on problems facing wheat farmers, the soybean industry, the sugar industry, and other miscellaneous grain-mill product industries. Also included is a status report on FTC and antitrust cases pending against companies in the baking industry.

BE 4-20-5: Livestock; animals
Executive 475 pp. / General 225 pp.
Primarily materials on the "cost-price squeeze" in the livestock, dairy, and poultry industries. A few items concern the impact of predator control regulations on the sheep industry and other animal-related topics.

BE 4-20-6: Meat - Seafood - Poultry
Executive 150 pp. / General 220 pp.
Materials on problems facing meat and poultry producers and processors, and the fishing industry, especially the shrimp industry. Also included are documents concerning fisheries and H.R. 200, the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (200 mile fishing limit).

BE 4-21: Industry - Tobacco manufacturers
Executive 3 pp. / General 16 pp.
Miscellaneous materials on the tobacco industry and the effects of smoking.

BE 4-22: Industry - Textile mill products
Executive 25 pp. / General 36 pp.
Miscellaneous materials on the textile industry.

BE 4-23: Apparel and related products
Executive 40 pp. / General 10 pp.
Materials on problems, including recession, inflation, and low-cost imports, plaguing the apparel industry..

BE 4-24: Lumber and wood products
Executive 20 pp. / General 35 pp.
Materials on the lumber industry, resource management of private and public timber lands, and U.S. Forest Service policies re timber sales.

BE 4-25: Furniture and fixtures
Executive 1 pp. / General 13 pp.
Miscellaneous items on flammability standards for upholstered furniture, antiquated regulations governing transportation of furniture, and the Census Bureau's Current Industrial Reports program.

BE 4-26: Paper and allied products
Executive 50 pp. / General 1 p.
Materials on the paper industry, primarily the economic impact of pollution costs.

BE 4-27: Printing and publishing
Executive 6 pp. / General 2 pp.
Miscellaneous items on the print industry, especially desired improvement in productivity.

BE 4-28: Chemicals and allied products
Executive 35 pp. / General 10 pp.
Materials on the effects of Environmental Protection Agency standards on the chemical industry; problems and the need for increased production in the fertilizer industry; and the impact of tax and tariff proposals on the domestic petrochemical industry (plastics, fibers, and rubber).

BE 4-29: Petroleum and coal products
Executive 375 pp. / General 250 pp.
Materials on the petroleum and coal products industries. Topics include oil and coal prices and profits, the oil depletion allowance, decontrol of old oil, and the windfall profits tax.

BE 4-30: Rubber and plastic products
Executive 20 pp. / General none
Miscellaneous items on the rubber industry, primarily tires and athletic shoes.

BE 4-31: Leather and leather products
Executive 25 pp. / General 15 pp.
Materials on problems in the leather industry (Shoes and gloves), primarily those due to increased foreign import competition.

BE 4-32: Stone, clay and glass products
Executive 9 pp. / General 3 pp.
Miscellaneous items on problems in the clay and glass industries (ceramic dinnerware, sheet glass, and mirrors)..

BE 4-33: Primary metal industries
Executive 75 pp. / General 25 pp.
Materials on the metal industry. Primary topics include problems in the aluminum industry and the closing of U.S. Steel open hearth furnaces due to provisions of the Clean Air Act.

BE 4-34: Fabricated metal products
Executive 12 pp. / General 45 pp.
Materials on problems in the fabricated metal industry, including inflation, availability of imports, and the cost impact of environmental statutes and regulations.

BE 4-35: Machinery, except electrical
Executive 35 pp. / General 18 pp.
Materials on the machinery industry. A major topic is the impact of Environmental Protection Agency guidelines on the metal finishing industry.

BE 4-36: Electrical machinery
Executive 85 pp. / General 150 pp.
Miscellaneous materials on electrical utilities and appliances. The bulk of the material relates to a 5/13/76 White House meeting during which President Ford greeted members of the Amana International Distributor Group. BE 4-37 : Transportation
Executive 450 pp. / General 425 pp.
Materials on problems, especially over-regulation and inflation, in the transportation industry (automobiles, trucks, airlines, tankers, ships, railroads, etc.). Safety, environmental, and energy issues are also represented by materials dealing with truck brake regulations, bumper standards, fuel efficiency, and auto emission standards.

BE 4-38: Instruments and related products
Executive 10 pp. / General 30 pp.
Materials on the hearing aid industry, regulation of intraocular lenses, and problems of the Virgin Islands watch industry.

BE 4-39: Miscellaneous industries
Executive 50 pp. / General 5 pp.
Miscellaneous materials on industries such as the funeral industry; the professional services industry; and the stainless steel flatware industry.

BE 5: National Economy
Executive 2075 pp. / General 7100 pp.
Materials, including complaints, comments, expressions of support, and suggestions for improvement, pertaining to the national economy, especially the problems of inflation and unemployment. Correspondents range from school children to prominent economists.

BE 5-1: Business Trends
Executive 70 pp. / General 50 pp.
Memoranda for the President from the Council of Economic Advisers concerning retail sales (advance estimates and past reports); business sales; manufacturers' orders, shipments, and inventories; and industrial production. Also included in the General File are miscellaneous items of correspondence pertaining to inflation.

BE 5-2: Cost of Living
Executive 570 pp. / General 1500 pp.
Memoranda for the President concerning the wholesale and consumer price indexes and correspondence (complaints and suggestions) re the rising cost of living, especially food and fuel.

BE 5-3: Inflation - Money Scarcity
Executive 3800 pp. / General 51,500 pp.
Primarily correspondence pertaining to the WIN (Whip Inflation Now) program. Following President Ford's 9/28/74 Address at the Conference on Inflation, thousands of people, particularly children, responded to the President's request by preparing and forwarding to the White House lists of ten ways to save energy and fight inflation. There were complaints about rising costs, comments on personal finances, and request for WIN buttons.

Also included are a few items of high-level correspondence with political figures and prominent businessmen and citizens concerning support for the Administration's efforts to halt inflation; and scattered memoranda and miscellaneous materials re the Conference on Inflation, creation of the Citizens' Action Committee, and the progress, accomplishments, and demise of the WIN program.

BE 5-4: National Income - Product Data
Executive 150 pp. / General 200 pp.
Memoranda for the President from the Council of Economic Advisers concerning personal income, the Gross National Product, and economic conditions. Also included are correspondence and miscellaneous materials re profit; economic problems, and national productivity, especially legislation proposed to improve productivity, work equality, and quality of working life.

BE 5-5: Recessions - Depressions
Executive 325 pp. / General 175 pp.
Miscellaneous materials on recession, depression, and unemployment. Correspondence from Congressmen, Governors, and local officials seeking Federal assistance details the problems of areas suffering from high unemployment and economic crisis.

BE 5-5/ST: Recessions - Depressions (Appalachia)
Executive 3 pp. / General 8 pp.
Three items pertaining to the President's signing of H.R. 4073, which extended the Appalachian Regional Commission for four years and the Title V commissions for one year.

BE 5-6: Post War Planning
Executive 2 pp. / General 1 p.
Three items on aid to post-war Vietnam or resumption of diplomatic relations with the Indochinese states.

BE 6: Patents - Inventions - Copyrights - Trademarks
Executive 250 pp. / General 200 pp.
Memoranda, correspondence, and miscellaneous material on legislation and international agreements and treaties concerning copyrights, trademarks, and patent law. Additional correspondence shows difficulties encountered by inventors in testing, patenting, marketing, and protecting their inventions.

BE 7: Small Business
Executive 525 pp. / General 425 pp.
Memoranda, correspondence, schedule proposals, briefing papers, and other miscellaneous materials on the role of small business in the U.S. economy and its problems: inflation; tight money; tax burdens; over-regulation; onerous paperwork; and material shortages. Much of the material discusses government response, or lack thereof, to those problems and government initiatives in developing minority businesses.

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