One of the first civilian products to disappear after Korea was the white-wall tire, that symbol of what economists*call "conspicuous consumption." Last week NPA told rubbermen they could make whitewalls again, a sign that conspicuous civilian production was almost back.

Automakers were told that they will have materials enough in the third quarter to make 1,050,000 units—5% more than in the second quarter—and will be allowed to make at least 1,150,000 cars if they can stretch their metals that far. Actually, the problem for most civilian industries was not how much they...

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