SURPLUS PROPERTY: Wanted: a Policy

A realistic policy for the disposal of some $16 billion in Government-owned war plants was laid before Congress last week by Attorney General Francis Biddle.

Its gist: fix the selling price of the plants on the basis of their actual postwar "use" value, rather than on their sky-high original cost.

As a simple rule of thumb to find the use value, Mr. Biddle would lease plants to business for three to five years. After that, they would be sold — with the selling price based on the profits actually made by the plants in peacetime business. To make sure that the...