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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Charles Erwin Wilson (1890–1961)
QUOTATION: For years I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors, and vice versa. The difference did not exist.
ATTRIBUTION: CHARLES E. WILSON, confirmation hearing, January 15, 1953.—Nominations, hearings before the Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate, 83d Congress, 1st session, p. 26 (1953).

Wilson, who had recently resigned as president of General Motors, was about to become secretary of defense. He was asked if he could make a decision in the interests of the United States government which would be adverse to the interests of General Motors or other companies whose stock he held.

This remark is often misquoted as: “What’s good for General Motors is good for the country.”