RUBBER: A Letter from Zamboanga

The first shipment of crude rubber from the Philippines since Pearl Harbor is presumably on the way to the U.S. this week. The amount is small—66,500 Ibs. But the story of how it was prepared, by Mateo Ruiz, 40-year-old chief clerk at Goodyear Rubber Plantations Co.'s 2,500-acre Pathfinder plantation at Kabasalan, on Zamboanga, was one to make businessmen beam.

In 1943, Colonel Wendell W. Fertig, U.S. guerrilla leader in the Philippines, sent for Ruiz. His instructions, direct from General MacArthur: start production of rubber at Pathfinder.

Mateo Ruiz had never been more than a paper-shuffler at Pathfinder, knew almost nothing about...

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