Secret White House Tapes

Meeting with Paul G. Hoffman—March 5, 1955

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  • Paul G. Hoffman
March 5, 1955
Recording begins with briefremarks concerning Hoffinan's family matters. There
follows a lengthy discussion on government defense contracts . Helen Reid is mentioned
several times and a planned lawsuit. involving General Motors.
Hoffinan complains that the smaller automakers "are used. to doing things in a smaller
way than Ford. We could have saved the taxpayers $100 million. . .we don't need big
contracts ." DDI~'_ replies that Hoffman "made one mistake. After all, CharlieWilson is
the one who coines up and gets the orders. . . .Now, I've constantly urged the point, a need
for spreading;, spreading contracts company by company, and by factory and by this
person and b;y geographically and so on. And I've also said that I never would be suing
General Motors for an antitrust act and then have it shown that, by golly, the government
itself under ray direction is responsible for it . . . Now, nevertheless, he [Charlie Wilson] is a
man who by the nature of things believes General Motors is the greatest company of all,
but secondly, he also believes this. He believes in bigness . . ."
DDE continues "Remember this, when Standard Oil was broken up. It wasn't that
Standard Oil wasn't bringing coal oil and gasoline at that time to the people of the United
States cheaper than they could get any other way, but, by golly, the thing was that the
only way you could get any coal oil or gasoline was from Standard Oil and it was broken
up. It was all over the country. Now the thing is if we keep going on to get the General
Motors position. you're talking about they're going to be broken up too. . ."
The conversation turned to whether Hoffman would leave Studebaker. DDE said that "I
would certainly be unwilling to see you leave up there. " He further stated that Hoffrnan
was someone who understood the government's position and who knew "the philosophy
ofthe whole sy 3tem." There was a brief discussion ofadvertising in which DDE states.
that "I won't listen to radio and television, but goddamn. First of all, I think the programs
are lousy, ors top ofthat they . . .talk a lot . . . then they repeat." Again Hoffinan led the
conversation, bE& to government contracts . DDE mentions Navy shipbuilding and
procurement .
Secret White House Tapes |

Meeting with Paul G. Hoffman—March 5, 1955

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