All week long, Price Stabilizer Michael DiSalle bustled around Washington with a satchelful of dummy regulations, pronouncements and memoranda. "When you bob a cat's tail," he explained, "you cut it off close to the body, not an inch at a time. Otherwise, you always have a sore tail—and a mad cat." Mike DiSalle's bosses in the mobilization high command agreed. All that remained was to determine just how close to the body to slice, and when.

The whole U.S. knew the controls were coming. What held them up was one last wrangle over wages. Congress had decreed in the Defense...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!