Capacity Fight

After a normal holiday lull, the steel industry was at capacity again last week, and new orders were piling up faster than ever. Automakers competed in the market. Pennsylvania Railroad announced a car-building program ($17,500,000 worth) that would require some 80,000 tons of steel; Union Pacific announced one almost as large. Steel's backlog grew bigger than ever, pushed delivery dates on new orders well into 1941's second quarter. Hence one of the hottest questions in Washington—should steel expand its capacity?—grew hotter than ever.

The New Dealers wanted more capacity, and wanted it...

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