The Navy and the Merchant Marine must have rope made out of manila hemp; no other kind withstands salt and fresh water so hardily. Manila hemp comes from abaca, a plant much like the one bananas grow on. The U.S. got 98% of its pre-Pearl Harbor hemp from the Philippines. After Pearl Harbor, the U.S. grew enough hemp seed to enable it to plant 300-350,000 acres of ordinary hemp in 1943. These crops will satisfy all but marine hemp needs.

Last week came good news: United Fruit Co. announced that its first harvest of abaca on its Panama plantation showed...

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