Business & Finance: Nothing To Brag About

Some time next week the first synthetic-rubber plant in Rubber Czar William Jeffers' 1,000,000-ton program will actually start turning out butadiene—the strategic chemical that forms the basis of Buna-S tire rubber. The plant: Union Carbide & Carbon's 80,000-ton unit at Institute, W. Va., which will make rubber from grain alcohol.

But in announcing this good news last week Mr. Jeffers also made clear that it was nothing to brag about. The synthetic-rubber program, he admitted, is about 30 days behind schedule because both aviation gasoline and naval escort vessel production have stood ahead of...

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