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Conversation: 073-002

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Start Date: Saturday, September 11, 1971 1:29 PM

End Date: Saturday, September 11, 1971 4:53 PM

Participants:

Nixon, Richard M. (President)Cost of Living CouncilConnally, John B.McCracken, Paul W.Hardin, Clifford M.Hodgson, James D.Romney, George W.Stans, Maurice H.Shultz, George P.Lincoln, George A. (Gen.)Knauer, Virginia H.Weber, Arnold R.Stein, HerbertBurns, Arthur F.White House photographer

Recording Device: Cabinet Room

073a.mp3

073b.mp3

073c.mp3

NARA Description:

On September 11, 1971, President Richard M. Nixon and the Cost of Living Council, including John B. Connally, Paul W. McCracken, Clifford M. Hardin, James D. Hodgson, George W. Romney, Maurice H. Stans, George P. Shultz, Gen. George A. Lincoln, Virginia H. Knauer, Arnold R. Weber, Herbert Stein, Arthur Burns, and the White House photographer, met in the Cabinet Room of the White House at an unknown time between 9:29 am and 12:53 pm. The Cabinet Room taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 073-002 of the White House Tapes.

Nixon Library Finding Aid:

Conversation No. 73-2

Date: September 11, 1971
Time: Unknown between 9:29 am and 12:53 pm
Location: Cabinet Room

John B. Connally, Paul W. McCracken, Clifford M. Hardin, James D. Hodgson, George W.
Romney, Maurice H. Stans, George P. Shultz, General George A. Lincoln, Virginia H. Knauer,
Arnold R. Weber, Herbert Stein, and Arthur F. Burns met

     [General conversation/Unintelligible]

The President entered at 10:51 am; the White House photographer was present at the beginning
of the meeting

     Arrangements for group photograph
                                         2

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                 Tape Subject Log
                                   (rev. 10/08)




Cost of Living Council’s work
     -The President’s conversation with Connally

[Unintelligible -- Camera noise obscures conversation]

Previous meeting on economic action
     -Telephone call to George Meany

Meeting agenda
     -McCracken, Weber, Lincoln

The economy
     -Recently imposed 90-day wage-price freeze
          -Impact on newly-negotiated contracts
          -Wage increases
          -Pricing system
          -US economic system
          -Report on effect of August 15, 1971 freeze
                -Work with Lincoln regarding staffing
                      -Internal Revenue Service [IRS] and Department of Agriculture
                            details of personnel
          -Compliance
                -Effectiveness of freeze
          -Problems
                -Consistency of treatment of landlords, wage-earners, and businessmen
                -Handling of teachers
                      -Summer recess
     -Organization of enforcement effort
          -Cooperation of federal agencies in detailing staff
          -Support from all parts of society
                -Unionized labor
                -Report
                      -IRS
                -Exemption requests
                      -Denial percentage
                -Cooperation of business
                -State and local governments
                      -Governors
                            -Unnamed governor’s negative reaction
                      -Mayors
                      -Policy making
                                      3

                NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                             Tape Subject Log
                               (rev. 10/08)



                       -Council staff reports
                           -Questions for regional offices
-Phase II
     -Stein
     -Review of options
           -Office of Price Administration [OPA]
                 -Voluntary cooperation
     -Planning for Phase II
           -Options
           -Outcome
           -Background
           -Support
           -Paper
                 -Main ingredients
                 -Government goals
                 -Reconciliation of the interests of the different parties
                       -Agreement on goal
                       -Inflation
     -Acceptance by US public
           -Display of leadership in action taken
           -Unbridled inflation
                 -Interest
                 -Options
                 -Profits
                 -Wages, salaries, executive salaries
                 -Strike by longshoremen
                 -Restraints
                 -Inflationary expansion
     -Need for sustainable policies
     -The President’s leadership
     -Public opinion
     -Guidelines
     -Confidentiality
     -Decision making
     -Timetable
           -October 10, 1971
                 -Final decision
           -Announcement
           -Recommendations from Council
           -Implementation of policy
                 -Wage-price freezes
                 -Psychological impact of action
                                4

          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                       Tape Subject Log
                         (rev. 10/08)



            -Business decisions
            -Wage-price control system
                  -Public attitudes in support of controls
                  -Union members
                        -Support of initial action
                        -Union leaders oppositions
            -Business price increases
                  -Christmas sales profit
                  -Restraint on leaders of businesses, unions, professions
            -Change
     -Consumer, business and labor groups
     -Psychological factors
     -Labor union
     -Business
     -Labor
     -Professionals
-Cost of living policies
-Public relations effects for assurance on nature of economic action
-Announcement of program, October 7, l971
     -Deadlines
            -Objectives
                  -Incomes policy
            -Recommendations
     -Labor-management response
     -Public announcement 30 days prior to end of 90-day freeze
     -Partisans view
-Views of labor leaders
     -Frank E. Fitzsimmons
     -Cooperation
            -Permanent restraint
     -Attitude
     -Attitude toward criticism of issues involving labor
     -Prices and profits
            -Walter P. Reuther’s previous actions
     -Leonard Woodcock’s philosophy
     -Meany’s philosophy
            -Free enterprise
-Decisions on Phase II implementation
     -Timing
     -End of freeze
            -Extension beyond 90 days
     -Business view on economic issue
                                     5

                NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                            Tape Subject Log
                              (rev. 10/08)



                  -Labor’s role
                  -Price controls
                  -Utilities
                  -Interest rates
                  -Voluntary tripartite board
                  -Objectives in cost of living increase
                        -Price restraint
                        -Meany’s view
                              -Voluntary control
                                    -John H. (“Jack”) Lyons’ view
                  -Government sanctions
                  -Congress
                  -Freeze extension
                        -Phase II parts
                              -Preparation for rest of program
            -Public perception of business leaders, union leaders, and politicians
-Knauer’s September 10, 1971 memorandum for Shultz and Connally
-Leaders
      -Labor
      -Business
      -Congressional
      -Consumers
-Rents
      -Housing
      -Wages and prices
      -Rent control
-Governors and mayors
-Vice President Spiro T. Agnew
-Council meeting
-State and local government costs
-Executive council of governors
      -Richard G. Lugar
-Counties
-Representatives
      -State, local, and county groups
-Focus of special interest group meetings
      -Stans
            -Ability to characterize business attitude
      -Shultz
            -Ability to characterize labor attitude
      -Sense of cooperation
      -Congressional support for Phase II
                                                6

                             NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                         Tape Subject Log
                                           (rev. 10/08)



                        -Tax bill
                        -Use of legislation
                        -Tax diversion

     Cabinet
          -Forthcoming September 13, 1971 meeting of Cabinet members and their wives

The President left at 12:06 pm; unknown members of the Cost of Living Council remained

     [Unintelligible]

     Cost of Living Council’s work
          -Investment bankers
                -[Lincoln?]
                -Gordon [?], head of Kidder, Peabody
                -[Unintelligible]
                -Pressure
                      -Contrast to John F. Kennedy administration action
                            -Stock market perceptions
          -Possible telephone call to Bill [?] [Surname unknown]
          -Schedule
                -Paul’s [McCracken?] office
          -Unknown business
                -Bankruptcy

     [Unintelligible]

The unknown council members left at a unknown time before 12:53 pm