Business & Finance: Crepe Hung in Louisiana

At 11:30 one morning last week one of the telephones on Andrew Jackson Higgins' desk jangled. It was a Maritime Commission regional director, and what he said took the wind out of gusty A. J.'s lungs: his contract for 200 Liberty ships was canceled, on orders from Washington. Reason: the steel it would take to complete his yard and to build his ships next year is needed for this year's ships and cannon. A. J.'s New Orleans yard, a long-term job still in the pile-driving stage, was too big for the world's biggest steel capacity.

A. J. was sick. Cried he, in...

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