Towards a Shortage Economy

In time of peace most U. S. industrial capacity is made of India rubber. But last week, in a number of basic industries, capacity could no longer be stretched.

Fortnight ago, OPM's Priorities Division acknowledged the strain on aluminum and machine tools, put their customers on rations (TIME, March 10). Last week three more industries went under full priorities. Two—nickel and magnesium—were competitors of aluminum (nickel is an ingredient of stainless steel). The third was neoprene, the high-cost Du Pont synthetic which too many defense manufacturers prefer to rubber (for gaskets, hose, etc.).

But priorities were not likely to end there....

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