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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 24. 26th September 1973

Making money from death

Making money from death

Remember George C. Prill, the top man from Lockhead International who was here at the Pacific Basin Economic Council (PBEC) Conference last year? He was very emphatic that Lockhead was rapidly moving out of the nasty armaments business and into the field of nice things like pollution control.

"Salient" has just received the listings from the United States of the top 100 defence contractors to the Pentagon for last year. At the top of the list, pouring out military supplies to the tune of $1704 million, is good old Lockhead. This prime spot has now been reached after a long haul up from the number five place in 1968, not too bad for a firm with a policy of "withdrawal".

The next in the list are McDonnell Douglas with $1693 million, General Dynamics with $1275 million, General Electric $1258 million, and Boeing $1170 million. These five companies make up over 20% of the Pentagon defence contracts and thus comprise a considerable political lobby in Washington. 'Scoop' Jackson, a contender for the Democrat nomination in 1972, is known as "The Gentleman from Boeing".

The top five are not the only interesting listings. Raytheon holds number 12 place with $500 million. A man from Raytheon was at PBEC. Fridge makers Westinghouse fill the number 16 slot and the Honeywell Corporation which makes air conditioning and anti-personel weaponry are in number 18 place.

Cartoon of a military man and minitature humans

Twentieth placed is IBM, currently having a financial problem with fines of nearly $400 million imposed on them for violating the anti-trust laws. The uniquitious International Telephone and Telegraph corporation involved in a pre-Watergate Nixon scandal and attempts to overthrow Allende in Chile, are next on the list in 21st place. Standard Oil of New Jersey (now renamed Exxon (sic) to rhyme with Nixon) are in 25th position.

Number 30 is Standard Oil of California which has direct Pentagon contracts of $9,000. The general manager of Standard Oil's listed subsidiary, Caltex New Zealand Ltd, is bridge builder of the Rugby Union, Jack Sullivan.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology sells $127,275,000 worth of knowledge to the military while John Hopkins University sells a mere $71,717,000.

Perhaps Nixon's recent pleas to the Senate not to cut next year's military expenditure were not so much to protect the shores of San elemente from alien hordes but to keep the wheels of commerce turning andlo foster the "unfettered pursuit of knowledge".