It will be of interest for you to know that this year the United States League has received many more insertions of its publicity releases in the nation’s newspapers than in any previous year. Of special significance in this connection is the fact that such news material about our business is appearing more and more in the financial rather than the real estate pages of publications. Our efforts to build up the thrift side of our business are beginning to bear fruit. At long last, we are being recognized as primarily savings and not merely as lending institutions. A great help in our better public relations is the some 4,000 circulation of our recently inaugurated Quarterly Letter among newspaper and magazine writers as well as professors of finance and economics. Today as never before, there is a far better knowledge of our savings associations among the by line writers due, in part, to the prominent part our business and our League played in its forthright and courageous fight against the delusion, the mockery, and the snare commonly entitled the federal political housing bill.
Time does not permit of a complete enumeration of the manifold activities of your League the past 12 months. Your numerous committees under their able chairmen and vice chairmen have been active throughout the year and each has ministered to the requirements of our business. As formerly, all our committees have and will be meeting during this convention. Nine of our top-drawer groups have held interim meetings during the year. The Federal Section Committee under its able chairman, Roy W. Larsen, has had an especially active year with the revision of the regulations for the Federal Savings and Loan System and the preparation of the new Charter N for federal associations.
IN THE SAVINGS ASSOCIATION and co-operative bank business the year 1949 was a period of great progress and, at the same time, of setback for the principle of debt-free home ownership accomplished through individual thrift.
Evidence of the progress is seen in the fact that the growth shown in the Statistical Report for 1948 (p. 109) was exceeded in 1949 to bring total assets to the unprecedented level of $14^4 billion for an increase during the year ended December 31, 1949, of $1,430,000,000. It is further apparent that the volume of loans to Americans for the acquisition of homes continued close to the 1948 level of $3,600,000,000.
It is heartening to note from the tone of the addresses and committee reports reproduced in this volume covering the proceedings of the 57th Annual Convention of the United States Savings and Loan League that the leaders of the business are equally concerned with the affairs of the nation as well as with the progress of their own business. The passage of the Housing Act which took this nation and particularly the savings association business a long step down the road toward a totalitarian state was one such concern. In spite of this blow, there is evident, a determination on the part of the leadership of the savings association business to continue fostering the virtues of thrift and home ownership among the people of this nation as one of the most effective means of halting the drift toward socialism as well as the growth and development of the savings association business and its contribution to the general welfare of a democratic nation.
This 20th volume in the current series of The Annals will look the same as its predecessors when you add it to your savings association bookshelf, but its format has been modernized in accordance with recent typographical progress and the tenets of good book-making. These changes, it is hoped, will encourage your perusal and use of its thought provoking and forward-looking materials.
M. K. M. Murphy