On June 4, 1946, the Federal Communications Commission approved the request of Western Union for an increase in rates. In the same breath the commission declared:
That such increased rates provide no assurance chat the Western Union Telegraph Company will now be able to furnish a rapid, efficient, nation-wide communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges, and that serious questions are presented as to the company's ability to continue in operation as a solvent enterprise, providing satisfactory service on a comprehensive nationwide basis, in the absence of some further relief.
A plant that is largely obsolescent, a rate structure requiring thorough overhauling, deteriorated quality of service, high unit labor costs, failure to withstand severe competitive pressures–these are some of the ills that currently beset Western Union. And many of these ills, as I shall indicate, have their origin in the development of the industry over many decades.