From now on, every new building in the U.S. must have a federal license. Even if a building is already well under way, even if a builder has every last bolt and nail on hand, it will take a WPB license to complete it. Stocks on hand for nonwar building may be requisitioned for more essential purposes. On Don Nelson's desk, ready for signing some time this week, is a new order that says so.

This move may sound drastic to the layman, but to the construction industry it sounds almost redundant. As...

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