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The U.S. will come out of World War II with the biggest merchant marine in the world. Its merchant fleet will comprise more than half the total tonnage afloat in the world today—40,000,000 tons of dry cargo vessels (the equivalent of 4,000 Liberty ships), to say nothing of tankers and passenger ships. What will the U.S. do with it all? U.S. citizens over 30 can well remember the pictures of U.S. ships rusting in clusters after World War I.

Last week shrewd, balding Lewis W. Douglas, who as Deputy Administrator of War Shipping helped to operate the U.S. merchant fleet during...

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