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Form F. R. 131
BOARD DF GOVERNORS
OF THE

|

FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

Correspondence

Date »ove»ber i5,_ 1957^
Subject: Miscellaneous letters received

From

(>y4rnmn Socles

toy

the Chairman on housing.

For your information and an appropriate acknowledgment*




Sears,Roebuck and Co.

c

Executive Offices
Chicago

R.E.Wood
President

Nov. 1 1 , 1 9 3 7 .

Hon. M. S. Eccles, Chairman,
Board of Governors,
Federal Reserve System,
Washington, D, C.
My dear Mr. Eccles:
I was extremely sorry to have to rush for the
train yesterday and not have a chance to return to your
office.
The plan you have worked out is thoughtful and
well-considered and should bring results. You and
Mr. Daiger are to be congratulated on what has been accomplished. If there is any help I can give, I shall be
only too glad to be of assistance. Housing, utilities
and railroads offer our best opportunities for immediate
capital goods expenditures.
At the proper time - and only at the proper time
and then contingent on all the other measures being taken,
I would take some monetary action, particularly with reference to the desterilization of gold.




With best regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,

TURNER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

c

GRAYBAR BUILDING

FOUNDED

42O LEXINGTON AVENUE

19O2

N

E

BOSTON
PH.LADELPH.A

W Y Q R K

November 12th, 1927.

Honorable Marriner S. liccles,
Governor, Federal Reserve System,
Washington, D. C.
Dear Governor:
I regretted to leave Washington without having
the opportunity of saying goodbye to you, but I was very
anxious to catch the five O ' C I O C K train and asked Mr. Colt
to express my regrets that I did not have a chance to say
goodbye to you in person.

O

A great deal of publicity has come out of our conference and report. Personally, I regret the comment upon
the wage situation which has already brought a negative reaction from Green.
There were two things assigned to me, as I understand
it:
•

First, to endeavor to reach a formula on the subject
of the wages to be paid to workmen to be engaged in the
building of lowr-cost houses; and
Second, to canvass some of the larger building companies
for the purpose of enlarging their interest in such enterprises
as low-cost houses and apartments, reporting back to you on
both of these problems at an early date.
If you have any other matters which you would like
me to study or to investigate, please let me know.
With kind personal regards
Yours

H. Or. Turner
President.
HCT.M



N EW YORK
16 WALL STREET
FIFTH AVENU E AT 44™ STREET
57'." STREET AT MADISON AVENUE

BANKERS TRUST
COMPANY
LON D O N
2 6 , O L D B R O A D STREET, E C . 2.
LONDON-BANTRUSCO*

C O LT
PRESIDE

16 'WALL STREET,

NEWYORK

November 1 2 , 1937.

Dear Marriner:
I was sorry not to see you to say good-bye.
There are two points which we discussed particularly in our
interview with the President which seem to me to have
importance.
If it is contemplated that the insurance rate
be reduced on loans on units of |6,QQO. and less, I would be
interested to see the basis on which these insurance rates
were originally fixed.
I raised this point, as you remember,
in our discussions with you and I gathered that Mr.Daiger would
supply the figures showing the basis on which these rates were
arrived at.
I have been looking into the laws more fully
since I returned and I am wondering if the R.F.C.Mortgage
Company would not provide the medium through which funds for
the National Association might be derived.
Perhaps the R.F.C.
Mortgage Company could be turned into a national association.
I understand there are definite commitments already outstanding
on the part of the R.F.C. to the Mortgage Company for additional
funds.
It does seem most desirable and important that no
request be made on the Treasury for any new money in connection
with any plan which is suggested.
I enjoyed being with you in Washington and hope
that real progress can be made looking toward the solution of
this particular phase of the problem.
With best wishes, I am
Sincerely yours,

Honorable M. S. Eccles, Chairman,
Federal Reserve System,
Washington, D.C.




FHA Fcscgl No. 9

DELIVER TO
ECCLES

MR.

ROOM
REMARKS

Stewart McDonald

FROM
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/
QFO
(Name, not initials)
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

ie—3022

November 13, 1937
Mr. McDonald

The only reliable data on the cost of building materials is
an index of wholesale prices of building materials published by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics,
On the basis of 1926 as 100, this index, in September, 1937,
M l 97.2, or 3.31 below the level in 1926.
The indexes for the various sub-groups of this general index
in September, 1937 (1926=100) are as follows:
Brick and tile
Cement
Lumber
Paint and paint materials
Plumbing and heating
Structural steel
Other building materials

95
95•5
99
8-4.6
30.6
114.9
100.3

The general index of ell building materials is not the average
of these sub-groups, but is a weighted averaga.
Retail prices m&j not be in the same relationship to retail
prices in 1926, but there is no dependable index th&t covers retail
prices of building materials.
There are three general indexes of the total cost of construction
of all types of structures. These indicate the following relationship of
the cost of construction of all types of structures to the cost of the
same in 1926.
American Appraisal Company index (1926-103), July, 1937
-90.7
Associated General Contractors1 index (1926-100), July, 1937-97
Engineering Hews Record (1926-100), July, 1937
116.
Because of the wide variation in these indexes, obviously
somebody is wrong.




Ernest M. Fisher

Hoveisber 13, 1937
Mr, McDonald

Mo satisfactory indexes are available of labor costs in
building. The best obtainable, however, indicate as follows:
Engineering News Record index indicates that in July,
1937, average hourly wages of common labor in general construction
were 122$ of the average hourly wages in 1926*
For skilled labor, average hourly wages in July, 1937, are
reported as 107$ of those in 1926.
The data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics go
back only to 1934.. In June, 1937, the average hourly earnings in
building construction were 116% of the aver&ge for trie year 1934-1
and the average weekly earnings in June, 1937, were 1B1% of the
average weekly earnings for 1934^




Ernest M. Fisher