U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Richard L. Lester today denounced as an "absolutely incredible . . . call for socialgovernment incredible . . . call for socialism" an AFL-CIO suggestion that the government consider nationalizing the oil industry if it fials to act in the "public interest."
An AFL-CIO Executive Council adopted a proposal Monday endorsing the "thrust" of President Carter's energy program, and concluding, "If the oil monopoly fails to adequately serve the public interest, consideration should be given to nationalization of the industry."
In a statement issued in Washington, Lesher noted the absence of AFL-C10 President George Meany from te meeting her, and said, "I sure hope it's not a sign of the future when the new guard takes on the task for George Meany. I find it absolutely incredible that the first thing that they would do in Meany's absence is to call for socialism. Meany was always a staunch defender of private enterprise, and I think that if these people would wise up, they would find it's the best thing for all of them."
AFL-CIO spolesman Albert J. Zack said Lesher's statement was read to the council this afternoon, and added, "After the hoots of laughter subsided, the Executive Council decided this must have been written by Mr. Lesher himself, because not public relations man worth his salt would have written anything so incredibly stupid."