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PORTER v. WHEAT-LAND BAKERS

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


October 3, 1946

PORTER, Price Administrator,
v.
WHEATLAND BAKERS, Inc.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: BARD

This action was brought by the Price Administrator pursuant to section 205(a)(e) of the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942 *fn1" for an injunction and for treble damages amounting to $ 6972.54. The complaint alleged that the defendant bakery had violated, and was violating, a regulation duly promulgated under the Act and designated as Maximum Price Regulation 319. Although the hearing was originally for the consideration only of plaintiff's application for a preliminary injunction, both parties agreed that the entire case should be disposed of on the basis of the evidence presented. Accordingly, I make the following special.

Findings of Fact.

 1. The plaintiff is Paul A. Porter, Price Administrator of the Office of Price Administration, who was substituted for Chester Bowles, the original plaintiff.

 2. The defendant is a Pennsylvania corporation engaged in the production and manufacture of bakery products.

 3. The sweet yeast raised goods produced by defendant involved in the current cause were, and are, controlled as to price by Maximum Price Regulation 319, its revisions and amendments.

 4. On August 10, 1944, and continuously since then, the defendant made a number of different buns, rolls and cakes, generically designated as sweet yeast raised goods.

 5. In establishing the prices it fixed for the above items, defendant computed its cost on the basis of units of a hundred-weight of sweet yeast raised goods rather than on the basis of units of each of the individual cakes, rolls and buns included in that classification.

 6. In establishing the prices it fixed for the above items defendant included in its costs of ingredients inventory loss due to fermentation, careless handling, and other invisible losses.

 Discussion.

 The principal question in this proceeding is the interpretation of M.P.R. 319 as amended. After the adoption of the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, supra, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix, ยง 901 et seq., bakery products were placed under price control pursuant to the General Maximum Price Regulation, freezing prices at the March 1942 level. This general regulation was superseded in February of 1943 by a specific regulation relating to bakery products, designated as M.P.R. 319, which permitted a seller of bakery goods to recalculate and increase its maximum price to compensate for any increase in ingredient and packaging costs. Section 13(b) of this regulation as amended on October 28, 1944, provided:

 'Recalculation of Maximum Prices: During the months of April and October of each year, commencing with the month of April 1944, every producer subject to this regulation shall recalculate his maximum prices for the sale of all commodities sold by him, listed in Appendix A, on the basis of his then existing costs of ingredients and packaging materials, but using the previously reported direct labor costs and markup, except that if a producer of pies had reported his maximum prices on sales of such pies pursuant to sub-paragraph 2 of Section 13(a), he may recalculate his maximum prices by using the weighted average of his then existing costs of ingredients and packaging materials with respect to all pies of a particular size, and his previously reported weighted average of direct labor costs and markup for this size of pie.' Appendix A of Revised M.P.R. 319 provided as follows: 'Bakery Products covered by this Regulation and the appropriate Base Periods for calculating Maximum Prices. Bakery Products Base Period Fruit Cake Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 1942 All other cakes except cookies March, 1942 Pastries March, 1942 Doughnuts March, 1942 Sweet Yeast Raised Goods March, 1942 Pies Sept. 14 to Oct. 11, 1941"

19461003

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