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Statement by the President Upon Approving Resolution Continuing Regulation of Consumer Credit.

August 08, 1947

I HAVE today approved the joint resolution of Congress (S.J. Res. 148) authorizing continuation of regulation of consumer installment credit until November 1, 1947. I regret that the Congress did not see fit to follow the recommendation of the Federal Reserve Board and of the Council of Economic Advisers, in which I fully concurred, by enacting legislation to provide for continuing as long as necessary regulation of consumer credit as a means of helping to promote economic stability. It is unfortunate that the Congress did not provide for restraints on overexpansion of installment credit in order to diminish inflationary pressures arising from this source.

Continuation for the next 3 months of present controls, as now provided under Regulation W of the Federal Reserve Board, has, however, been permitted and implied by the Congress and this is preferable to immediate abandonment of these restraints. For that reason I have signed the joint resolution.

Not only during the next 3 months while the controls remain in full force and effect but for an indefinite period thereafter, it will be in the public interest for every merchant and financial agency extending installment credit to avoid undue relaxation of terms. It will be far better to reduce prices rather than to relax terms in seeking new customers. Self-restraint on the part of those who use credit as well as upon the part of those who extend it will reduce the danger of an overexpansion of installment credit which would inevitably be followed by severe contraction, thereby contributing to unemployment and to reduced production.

Note: As enacted, S.J. Res. 148 is Public Law 386, 80th Congress (61 Stat. 921). For Regulation W see 12 CFR, 1947 Supp., Part 222.

Harry S Truman, Statement by the President Upon Approving Resolution Continuing Regulation of Consumer Credit. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232197

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