Business: Rubber

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The market for crude rubber has continued to rise, under the influence of light U. S. and British stocks, steady demand for the automobile trade and curtailed British production in the British plantations.

The Rubber Association of America, Inc., composed of the large U. S. rubber manufacturers, has adopted a definite program to hold rubber prices in check. Temporarily, retrenchment is called for in the output of tires and other rubber goods. Permanent relief from the semimonopoly enjoyed by British growers is planned, by the investment of U. S. capital in rubber production in the Dutch East Indian possessions. Also, the use of "reclaimed" or old rubber is advocated; and it is said that processes to this end have been recently improved greatly.

Rubber brokers, however, are skeptical of the benefits to be derived from acquiring rubber plantations in the Dutch possessions. They point out that, whereas the U. S. will consume over 300,000 tons of crude rubber this year, the Dutch output is not over 120,000 tons. Moreover, this Dutch rubber would have to be imported via Singapore, the same route over which British plantation rubber comes to this country. Therefore, say the brokers, even if the negotiations between the Netherlands Government and the Rubber Association of America result in the adoption of the latter's proposals, there will still exist the likelihood of a rubber shortage here.