THE ADMINISTRATION: Rout & Reaction

In the wake of meat decontrol, steak suddenly appeared on butchers' counters — at $1-&-up a pound. Lard and other meat by-products edged up toward 70¢ a pound. Dazed by the sight of so many rare items, the people went on a two-day buying spree—a mood reflected by a six-point jump in the Dow-Jones industrial index.* Then they hesitated.

Controls kept coming off—margarine, mayonnaise, shortening and coffee. OPA Administrator Paul Porter said that he was preparing a big cut in his staff of 35,000, and that the whole decontrol program had been moved up two months, to Nov. 1. After the...