The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976 Page: 254
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
belatedly acknowledged the arrival of the "New Era" in which wasteful
competition was supposedly abandoned and replaced by a quest for order
and efficiency through the exchange of information among various pro-
ducers. Thus small businessmen could enjoy the benefits of rational planning
and organization formerly restricted to big operators. This was exactly
the rationale that had long been used by trade association leaders to
justify their organizations' activities. It was essentially the message preached
by Arthur Jerome Eddy, the period's best-known advocate of "open-
competition," in his I912 publication The New Competition, and it had
been most glamorously advanced during the early 1920os by the activist
secretary of commerce, Herbert Clarke Hoover. With Hoover's election
to the presidency in 1928 the victory seemed complete.2
Therefore, in the fall of I929, when the southern pine industry started
down the long road toward depression, the reins of government were in
the hands of a president whom the S.P.A. and other trade associations
regarded as peculiarly their own, a man they liked and who sympathe-
tically understood their problems. Early in 1929, before the Great Crash,
a committee of leading lumbermen gloried in the knowledge that "imprac-
tical theorists" were no longer able to arouse the ire of the public and that
the solution of lumbering's problems would not in the future be impeded
by "political demagoguery."3
The I920s were years of mixed economic fortunes for the lumber
industry. Profits lagged behind those in other industries, and productive
facilities frequently stood inactive, despite the fact that the industry's
persistent economic problem was overproduction. The problems were not
confined to a single section. The president of the West Coast Lumberman's
Association later recalled the background of the depression in lumbering
as stemming from overproduction, competition from other consumer prod-
ucts, and a "tremendous increase" in substitute materials. There was
also a tendency to cut timber without regard to market demand because
of property tax burdens on timbered lands.'
2Louis Galambos, Competition & Cooperation: The Emergence of a National Trade
Association (Baltimore, 1966), 99-Ioo. For a discussion of these cases and the attitudes
of federal officials and the courts toward trade associations during the I92os, see M.
Browning Carrott, "The Supreme Court and American Trade Associations, 1921-1925,"
Business History Review, XLIV (Autumn, 1970), 320-338.
3Richard G. Lillard, The Great Forest (New York, 1947), 253.
4Ellis Lucia, Head Rig: Story of the West Coast Lumber Industry (Portland, I965),
169 (quotation); A. C. Dixon et al., "History of the Code of Fair Competition for the
Lumber and Timber Products Industries, Code No. 9, Approved August 19, 1933," 322-
323, Box 7573, Division of Review, National Recovery Administration Records, Record
Group 9 (National Archives); Peter A. Stone et al., NRA Work Materials 79 (Economic
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976, periodical, 1975/1976; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101203/m1/299/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.