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The family's main corporate base was in the DuPont Corporation, which had grown very large during World War I through munitions orders from the government. It was the tenth-largest American corporation in 1933, when it earned $26 million despite the depression; by 1936, its profits were over $90 million (Zilg 1974, p. 345). Although no big fan of employee representation plans, it was a member of the Special Conference Committee. In addition, the family owned about 25% of the stock in General Motors, the third-largest corporation in 1933, and about 20% of the stock in United States Rubber, both of which were also in the Special Conference Committee. It also owned the National Bank of Detroit and the Wilmington Trust Company and had at least partial ownership in Continental American Life Insurance, North American Aviation, and Remington Arms Company.
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Hicks went on to explain that it would not be fair to allow union leaders to "have a free hand to secure members on a voluntary basis" while at the same time saying that "such men as Mr. Teagle, Mr. Swope, and Mr. Kirstein should be forbidden to encourage and cultivate cooperative relations with their own employees..." Wagner replied with a cordial thank-you letter two weeks later, but a prohibition against employee representation plans sponsored by a company nonetheless appeared in the first draft of the legislation in early February. At that point the corporate representatives on the National Labor Board began planning a dinner meeting with Wagner for February 13, during which they hoped to convince him to adopt their plan for organizing the board for its current work, with Hicks playing an administrative role. But no changes were made on the basis of the dinner meeting.