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"The benefit to be realized from this act as has been explained by Senator Smalley is to make it easier for farmers to organize such unions without Federal 'red tape,' and as stated by Senator Douglass to allow credit unions to be organized among the workers in industries where they would be of great benefit. If the farmers prefer regulations such as advanced in this act to Federal regulation, I see no reason why they should not be allowed to try it out. I, therefore, will, for the reasons above stated, reverse my stand with the committee, and will vote 'yes' on this question."6
Shortly thereafter, the bill was sent back to the House with a few amendments, and the House approved the Senate version on April 7.7 Governor William H. Wills signed it the following day, and AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND REGULATION OF CREDIT UNIONS. TO PRESCRIBE THEIR POWERS AND DUTIES AND TO MAKE AN APPROPRIATION THEREFOR went into effect on June 1, 1941.
its effect was soon tempered by the onset of
the Second World War. The scale of that conflict dwarfed
anything previously seen in human history, and it required
a great level of involvement and sacrifice on the part
of the civilian population. Millions of men and women
were mobilized into the armed forces, and civilian consumption
of "non-essential goods" was restricted through
rationing and strict regulation of credit. Given that
the "bread and butter" of credit unions
at that time was the provision of small consumer loans,
such wartime restrictions were severely trying for the
American movement. Many institutions were able to partially
offset the loss of patronage by selling war bonds, but,
nonetheless, the number of credit unions in the United
States declined from 9,891 in 1941 to 8,680 in 1945.8
1 Statement of the Burlington Rendering Co. to the Champlain Transportation Co., Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
2 Communication with NCUA.
3 Vermont VA Federal Credit Union, Dollars and Sense (Winter 2009): 1.
4 Journal of the House of the State of Vermont, 1941, 186.
5 Ibid., 232.
6 Journal of the Senate of the State of Vermont, 1941, 287-8.
7 Journal of the House of the State of Vermont, 1941, 516-7.
8 Ian MacPherson, Hands Around the Globe: A History of the International Credit Union Movement and the Role and Development of the World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (Victoria, Canada: Horsdal & Schubart, 1999), 37.
Association of Vermont Credit Unions
1000 Shelburne Road, So. Burlington, VT 05403-6960
Tel: 802-863-7848 Fax: 802-864-4391