Winter 2003, Vol. 35, No. 4
The International Civil Aeronautics Conference of 1928
More Than They Bargained For
In one of the conference's few sour notes, the Convention Reporting Company was accused of padding the transcripts with unrelated aviation history and selling them for twenty-five cents a page, with a complete set costing about $480. Some of the delegates also accused it of misleading practices when gathering subscriptions for its publication. Its representatives handed out cards, which some delegates filled out without realizing that they were placing orders for transcripts. Later, the publishing company billed them for $480 and threatened them with a lawsuit if they did not pay. In a letter of January 28, 1929, Clarence Young of the Department of Commerce wrote, "The actions of this reporting company have caused us no end of annoyance. Mr. MacCracken is going to New York tomorrow on other business and will endeavor to get the difficulty adjusted in a suitable manner." The company may have carried through with its threat of litigation, since their lawyers wrote to the State Department requesting a certified copy of the proceedings of the conference for use in their legal proceedings.