Franklin D. Roosevelt

Statement on Signing S. 340.

March 10, 1945

I have given my approval to S. 340, the insurance bill, which passed the Congress last week. This bill grants the insurance business a moratorium from the application of the anti-trust laws and certain related statutes, except for agreements to boycott, coercion, or intimidation, or acts of boycott, coercion, or intimidation, until January 1, 1948. The purpose of this moratorium period is to permit the States to make necessary readjustments in their laws with respect to insurance in order to bring them into conformity with the decision of the Supreme Court in the Southeastern Underwriters Association case. After the moratorium period, the anti-trust laws and certain related statutes will be applicable in full force and effect to the business of insurance except to the extent that the States have assumed the responsibility, and are effectively performing that responsibility, for the regulation of whatever aspect of the insurance business may be involved. It is clear from the legislative history and the language of this Act, that the Congress intended no grant of immunity for monopoly or for boycott, coercion, or intimidation. Congress did not intend to permit private rate fixing, which the Anti-trust Act forbids, but was willing to permit actual regulation of rates by affirmative action of the States.

The bill is eminently fair to the States. It provides an opportunity for the orderly correct. ion of abuses which have existed in the insurance business and preserves the right of the States to regulate in a manner consonant with the Supreme Court's interpretation of the anti-trust laws.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Statement on Signing S. 340. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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