STATE OF BUSINESS: Ready, Get Set, Scramble

For months the tightening steel shortage has posed an increasingly tough problem for the U.S. Government. Should it allocate steel or let industry scramble for supplies under the normal peacetime rules of a free economy? Last week the Administration made its decision. In Washington Defense Mobilizer Arthur S. Flemming flatly refused to set up a priority system to ease steel shortages in the booming U.S. shipbuilding industry on the ground that it would amount to Government interference in a civilian-market shortage. That meant that shipbuilders, who are getting only 40% of the...

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