The Senate investigation of the Eastern Seaboard oil shortage (TIME, Sept. 15) ended last week. Instead of proving once & for all whether there really was a shortage or whether Harold Ickes was just seeing ghosts, it left Washington as dazed as a bumpkin watching three walnut shells and a pea.

Senator Francis T. Maloney's committee, picking up the shells one at a time, seemed to reveal no pea at all. After listening to eleven days of testimony, it reported flatly that there was no shortage: the railroads could provide 20,000 now idle tank cars to transport 200,000 bbl....

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