FOREIGN TRADE: Babassu, Have You Any Soap?

Most Americans have not heard of the babassu nut since September 1936, when Alf Landon attacked this "jungle product" as an example of the riffraff being let into the country by Cordell Hull's reciprocal trade treaties. It grows in Brazil and its oil, used in margarine, competed with U.S. butter. Alf's "babassu speech" was a major milestone on his route to Kansas. But last week the babassu nut came into its own.

The U.S. depended on the Far East for some 1,600,000,000 Ib. of vegetable fats and oils—to make soap, linoleum, paint, varnish, oleomargarine, shortenings, for many a food and...

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