GOVERNMENT: End of a Monopoly

The U.S., which got into the synthetic-rubber business during World War II because of the natural-rubber shortages, started to get out last week. Of the 27 Government-owned synthetic rubber plants (cost: $500 million; book value: $160 million), the six biggest, heart of the Government's monopoly, were sold; contracts were ready for signing for 20 other plants. (Only one small copolymer plant, at Institute, W. Va., was not bid on.) The first buyers:

¶ Goodrich-Gulf Chemicals, Inc. and Texas-U. S. Chemical Co., which jointly bought the big (197,000 tons yearly) plant at Port Neches, Texas. Each company also bought...

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