Business Advisory Council, Extract from Who Rules America

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Whatever the importance of the CED as an educational and research organization, the Business Advisory Council is 'the' organization of the internationally minded wing of the American business aristocracy. According to Smoot, 41 of 120 past and present BAC members are also members of the Council on Foreign Relations. From its formation in 1933 by financier Sidney Weinberg until its withdrawal in 1961, the BAG functioned in a semi-official advisory capacity to the Department of Commerce. The phrase 'semi-official' must be used because very little is known about its status or its functions. There is available no administrative order or ruling formally establishing it or delineating its functions. In 1955-1956, a House committee was denied access to its files. No minutes are taken at its meetings and reporters are barred. The group holds six meetings a year, four one-day meetings in Washington and two longer meetings at such resorts as White Sulphur Springs, Virginia, and Sea Island, Georgia. After a tiff with the Kennedy Administration, which Kennedy later did everything possible to patch up, the BAG changed its name to Business Council (BC) and offered its consultative services to any governmental agency that wished them. (See Hobart Rowen's The Free Enterprisers for the story of Kennedy's relationship to the BC. Rowen is perhaps the country's most knowledgeable reporter on the BC. He feels that the following was significant evidence for the BC's importance: 'The BC has indeed become the very symbol of the larger business establishment in the United States. And in those sad first moments after President Kennedy's death, when President Johnson needed to establish contact with the business world, he called not the head of the Chamber of Commerce, nor the President of the National Association of Manufacturers, but Frederick R. Kappel, Chairman of the BC in 1963.' [1]
Its influence was at its height during the Eisenhower Administration when several of its members were tapped for government service. According to Rowen, the BC may have triggered the squelch of McCarthy that had been smoldering in many upper-class minds. The incident which triggered McCarthy's censure, according to this version, was his high-handed treatment of yet another member of the power elite, corporate leader Robert T. Stevens of Andover, Yale, J. P. Stevens & Company, General Electric, and Morgan Guaranty Trust. He was serving as Secretary of the Army when embarrassed by McCarthy on nationwide television.
During the May 1954 meeting at Homestead, Stevens flew down from Washington for a weekend reprieve from his televised torture. A special delegation of BAC officials made it a point to journey from the hotel to the mountaintop airport to greet Stevens. He was escorted into the lobby like a conquering hero. Then, publicly, one member of the BAC after another roasted the Eisenhower Administration for its McCarthy-appeasement policy. The BAC's attitude gave the Administration some courage and shortly thereafter former Senator Ralph Flanders (a Republican and BAG member) introduced a Senate resolution calling for censure.[2]