Statement on Signing House Joint Resolution 147.
I nave today signed House Joint Resolution No. 147, which continues the Commodity Credit Corporation.
The bill includes an amendment to the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942 which prohibits the use of grade labeling to inform consumers and which restricts the use of standards in maximum price regulations.
The language in the bill relating to standards is so ambiguous that misconceptions have already arisen as to its effect. The matters involved are of the utmost public concern. The legislation was adopted after only fragmentary debate. In view of the uncertainty created, I feel it necessary to state my own understanding of the amendment, as drawn from the expressed intent of its sponsors.
The language of the bill appropriating funds for the Office of Price Administration was construed as prohibiting the Administrator from making use of standards in any case regardless of how essential they were to price control unless such standards had been previously established by industry acceptance or by Government action. Such a construction would cripple price control because trade standards are frequently lacking or, as in the case of the grades of meats, incompletely established.
I am satisfied this bill has no such meaning. It was presented to the Senate and House to avoid the consequences that would have followed the adoption of the language in the appropriation bill. Senator Taft, who sponsored the language in the appropriation bill and the modification in this bill, stated expressly that the modification preserved power in the Administrator to "standardize" a commodity in any case in which this was "absolutely essential to an effective system of fixing prices." These assurances are in accord with the purpose and the terms of the compromise amendment and must be taken as controlling. It is with this understanding that I have signed the bill.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Statement on Signing House Joint Resolution 147. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/210279