The Golden Apples

After a quick look at the citrus fruit market, OPA decided that this year's bumper crop was more than enough to meet demand. So last week it removed citrus ceilings until Jan. 13. The effect was like jabbing a grapefruit: instantly citrus prices squirted skyhigh all over the U.S. Example: in Seattle, lemons went up within two hours from the ceiling of $5.76 a crate to $9.50. Grapefruit went up $1.25 a crate. Oranges jumped from $4.63 to $7.50 a crate.

Quickly the trouble spread. In Chicago, irate restaurateurs and hotelmen acidly asked...