in 1944

Report of the Chairman of the

War Production Board

June 1945


Washington, D.C., June 14, 1945.

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have the honor to submit herewith the report of the War Production Board for the calendar year 1944.



      The White House.


Table of Contents

I. Introduction 1
  Joint Action for Production 1
  The Shifting Production Task 2
  Victories on the Production Front 3
  Democracy and War Production 4
II. The Production Record in 1944 7
  Munitions Production Levels 9
  The Changing Munitions Objective 11
  Critical Munitions Programs 14
        Critical Programs 1940-43, p. 14.
Identifying Critical Programs and Their Causes, p. 15.
Attacking the Causes of Critical Programs, p. 19.
  Foreign Trade 21
  United Nations vs. Axis War Production 22
  How the Consumer Fared 22
III. Supplying the Key Resources: Facilities and Materials 25
  Facilities and Construction 27
    Facilities Expansions, p. 27.
Facilities for Critical Programs, p. 29.
Construction Controls, p. 30.
  Materials 30
    Aluminum and Magnesium, p. 31.
Copper and Brass, p. 33.
Steel, p. 34.
Lead and Zinc, p. 36.
Premium Price Plan, p. 37.
Miscellaneous Minerals, p. 37. Rubber, p. 38.
Chemicals, p. 40.
Textiles and Leather, p. 42.
Aviation Gasoline, p. 46.
Lumber, p. 47.
Wood Pulp, p. 48.
  Power, Fuel, and Water 49
    Electric Power, p. 49.
Gas, p. 50.
Coal, p. 50.
Petroleum and Petroleum Products, p. 51.
Water, p. 52.
IV. Supplying the Key Resources: Components and Manpower 53
  Components 53
    Engines, p. 54.
Electric Motors, p. 56.
Ship and Aircraft Components, p. 59.
Electric Batteries, p. 59.
Anti-Friction Bearings, p. 60.
Valves and Fittings, p. 61.
Radio and Radar Components, p. 61.
Industrial Equipment, p. 63.
  Manpower 63
    Longer Workweek, p. 65.
Absenteeism and Labor Turnover, p. 66.
Labor for Critical Programs, p. 68.
V. Controlling the Flow of Resources into Production 71
  Priority, Allocation, and Requisitioning Authority 72
    Second War Powers Act, p. 72.
Priorities, Allocations, and Other Government Agencies, p. 73.
Requisitioning Power, p. 73.
  The Controlled Materials Plan in 1944 74
    The Pattern of Distribution, p. 76.
First Quarter Allotments, p. 77.
Second Quarter Allotments, p. 78.
Third Quarter Allotments, p. 78.
Fourth Quarter Allotments, p. 85.
Administrative Simplification and Decentralization, p. 85.
  Additional Controls over Materials and Products 86
    The Allotment, p. 86.
Lumber Control, p. 87.
Pulp Allocation, p. 88.
Allocation of Textiles, p. 89.
Allocation of Other Commodities, p. 89.
  International Requirements 90
    Combined Raw Materials Board, p. 90.
Combined Production and Resources Board, p. 90.
  Scheduling of Component Deliveries 91
    How Scheduling Operates, p. 91.
1944 Scheduling Experience, p. 92.
Engine Spare Parts, p. 92.
Castings and Forgings, p. 92.
Aircraft Scheduling, p. 93.
Special Directives, p. 93.
Projection of Production Schedules, p. 94.
  Manpower Distribution Problems 94
    Production Urgency Committee, p. 95.
Employment Ceilings, p. 96.
  Orders and regulations 97
    Appeals, p. 98.
Simplification of Controls, p. 98.
Enforcement, p. 99.
  Distribution Control Problems at Year's End 99
VI. Civilian Requirements and Reconversion Planning 101
  Satisfaction of Civilian Requirements 102
    Levels of Need, p. 102.
Civilian Hard Goods, p. 102.
Civilian Soft Goods, p. 103.
Controlling the Flow of Consumer Goods, p. 105.
  The Problem of Cut-backs 105
    Exploratory Steps, p. 106.
Machinery for Cut-backs, p. 107.
Manpower Requirements for Civilian Production, p. 107.
"Spot" Authorization, p. 108.
  Tightening of Controls to Meet War Needs 110
    Restrictions on Nonmilitary Production, p. 111.
Effects on Spot Authorization, p. 112.
The Cut-back Record, p. 112.
  Helping Small Business 113
  Preparations for V-E Day 114
    Studies of V-E Day Impact, p. 114.
Modifications of Controls, p. 114.
Selecting V-E Day Cut-backs, p. 116.
  Conclusion 117
VII. Organization of Management 119
  Organization Adjustments 119
  Personnel Changes 121
  Industry and Labor Advisory Committees 124
  Staff and Administrative Activities 125
  Chronology of the War Production Board in 1944 131
  Statistical Data for Charts 134


List of Charts

Chart No. Page
1. Total U.S. Output of Goods and Services (Gross National Product) 8
2. Munitions Production and War Construction 9
3. Munitions Production (by Categories) 12
4. 1944 Munitions Programs and Production 13
5. 1944 Critical Programs: Airplane Production 15
6. 1944 Critical Programs: Combat Loaders and Landing Craft 16
7. 1944 Critical Programs: Production of Guns and Ammunition 17
8. 1944 Critical Programs: Equipment Production--Selected Items 18
9. Foreign Trade of the United States 20
10. Production of Combat Munitions: United Nations and Axis 23
11. Consumer Expenditures for Goods and Services 24
12. Facilities Expansions 28
13. Production of Aluminum, Steel, and Copper 32
14. Production of Synthetic Rubber 39
15. Shipments of Fractional and Integral Horsepower Motors 58
16. Industrial Composition of the Labor Force 64
17. Monthly Separation Rates in Manufacturing Industries 67
18. Estimated Distribution of Controlled Materials, 1944 75
19. Shipments of Carbon Steel: Quarterly, 1944 79
20. Shipments of Alloy Steel: Quarterly, 1944 80
21. Shipments of Brass Mill Copper and Copper Base Alloy Products: Quarterly, 1944 81
22. Shipments of Wire Mill Copper Products: Quarterly, 1944 82
23. Shipments of Foundry Copper and Copper Base Alloy Products: Quarterly, 1944 83
24. Shipments of Aluminum: Quarterly, 1944 84
25. War Production Board Employment Trends, 1943-44 123
26. War Production Board Expenditures, 1943-44 126



IN 1944 THE ENEMY on all fronts felt the overpowering might of the munitions produced by the American economy. Like all America, the War Production Board takes pride in the skill with which the Armies, Navies, and Air Forces of the United Nations have used the weapons that have been produced for them by this Nation and its allies.

As the year began, the Cairo and Teheran conferences were only recently concluded, and general Eisenhower was at the beginning of his distinguished command of the Allied invasion armies. In January our Russian ally entered Poland; on the Italian front the Fifth Army landed at Anzio, the beachhead to which the troops were to cling so precariously for so many months; in the Pacific, Americans landed in the Marshall Islands, a first westerly step in the many dramatically successful thrusts to drive the Japanese back to Tokyo.

By the end of the first half of the year we had seen such impressive accomplishments with the arms produced by this country as the occupation of Rome, the long-planned invasion of the French coast, the landing on Saipan in the Marianas, and the first attack on Japan by B-29 Superfortresses operating from Chinese bases. Before the last quarter of the year had started, General Eisenhower's forces had broken through in Normandy, force a general German retreat that led in less than a month to the liberation of Paris, and we had mounted and landed an expeditionary force in Southern France. While our troops were invading Germany from the west, Russia in the east had compelled the surrender of Rumania, and on the other side of the world the Palau Islands, just west of the Philippines,, had been invaded.

It was in the final quarter of the year that we were forced to put our arms to heavy defensive use. Although in the Pacific we invaded Leyte in the Philippines, and won a major naval victory, on the Western Front in Europe the "Battle of the Bulge" caused us to concentrate our energies on containing a German counteroffensive.

Joint Action for Production

The production front has kept pace with the battlefront. Ever since the summer of 1943 the United States has each month produced over 5 billion dollars worth of munitions. Under its Presidential mandate to "exercise


genera] direction over the war procurement and production program," the War Production Board naturally takes pride in this record. From the time of its creation shortly after Pearl Harbor, however, the Board has fully recognized that the task of war production demands the collaboration of management, labor, agriculture, and Government, and that within the Government itself the job is so tremendous that no one agency can possibly do it alone. The War Department, Navy Department, United States Maritime Commission, and Treasury Department perform the actual procurement of military supplies. The Foreign Economic Administration has the immediate responsibility for assuring the delivery of goods needed by our allies and for economic warfare. Such war agencies as the Office of Defense Transportation, the Petroleum Administration for War, the Solid Fuels Administration for War, the War Food Administration, and others contribute many of the sinews of production.

The War Production Board, therefore, in 1944 as earlier, has relied upon other agencies for the performance of a number of actual operating tasks. At the same time, by that very process of delegating operating tasks, the Board has left itself free to perform more effectively its necessarily centralized responsibilities. Chief among these responsibilities are (a) programming the use of the Nation's materials, components, and facilities by settling the competing claims of the operating agencies participating in the war supply program; (b) controlling the distribution of these resources as they flow through the American industrial system from mines, forests, farms, and rivers to finished products; (c) directly supervising the production of materials and components that go into a multiplicity of end products; (d) seeing to the maintenance and repair of the Nation's industrial equipment; and (e) programming directly the meeting of essential civilian requirements.

The activities of a number of coordinate agencies impinge on the work of the War Production Board. Especially important in this regard have been the Office of Price Administration, the War Manpower Commission, and the War Labor Board. Fortunately, coordination of the work of these agencies and that of the War Production Board is effectively provided through the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion and the Office of Economic Stabilization.

The Shifting Production Task

To those who have watched defense and war production from its modest beginnings in 1939 and 1940 to the present, one feature of 1944 is outstanding: In that year it appeared for the first time that in large part we had licked the two great problems of materials and facilities, and might actually be embarrassed during the year by surpluses of some of these basic production resources. Even components, which had plagued us during at least half of 1943, now appeared to be well under control. At the same time that we faced this maximum supply position, a number of military programs appeared to be stabilized or actually declining, and as a result of cut-backs military contracts seemed likely to make less substantial demands upon our facilities and materials than in the past.


A third factor entered, particularly after the invasion of France, namely in combination of actual military victories with authoritative prophecies of rally victory in Europe. The only really tight resource appeared to be manpower, and even here the problem seemed not to be a shortage of total manpower for production, since the record showed that the production level was being reasonably well maintained; the problem was really a multitude of individual shortages in particular skills, particular plants, particular industries, particular localities. These shortages were never stable enough to permit long-range planning, for they were tied very closely to the sharply fluctuating military requirements. The tasks, therefore, were to see to it that the total labor force did not decline to dangerously low levels, and to effect from month to month and week to week such distribution of the laboring force as would best meet the fluctuating needs of war production.

It is difficult now to recall the atmosphere of the early fall of 1944. During preceding months, steps had been taken to assure that if munitions programs were gradually cut back even before victory in Europe was achieved, we should be ready to absorb the released labor, facilities, and materials in production of civilian goods. But by September of 1944, the concern was that we must be ready with plans for absorbing an extremely heavy cut in the munitions production programs of the Armed Services. Accordingly, plans were readied.

The whole atmosphere changed sharply with the discovery that our penetration of Germany itself would be a harder, more costly job, in both men and materiel, than anyone had expected. There was a sharp step-up in numerous military programs---all calling for the earliest possible delivery. The year ended, therefore, with an abrupt curtailment of all measures to resume or expand civilian production and with a continued and Intensified dedication of all efforts to the production of the goods needed to bring the war to a successful conclusion. Meanwhile, however, cut-backs and threats of cut-backs had resulted in loss of labor that could not be speedily reassembled for the challenging new production tasks.

Overhanging the last few months of 1944 was not only the awareness that the Armed Services' demands for delivery in 1944 of large quantities of particular weapons would tax our ingenuity to the utmost, but further the knowledge the knowledge that, contrary to previous advices, the 1945 program for munitions would equal or exceed that of 1944, and in particular categories would call for steep increases. Meanwhile, the actual success of Allied arms freed whole areas previously occupied by the enemy and brought about a new set of pressing claims for relief and rehabilitation, in connection with which new calls must be made upon American industry.

Victories on the Production Front

Looking back, 1914 was a year of brilliant achievement on the production front for the United States. The War Production Board is proud of its contribution to that achievement. The Board met and overcame a multitude of individual production problems so numerous and so varied m character that the over-all output of war and war-supporting goods limit must be the principal monument to their conquest. The Board provided


adequate plant capacity for munitions and essential civilian production-- dramatically signalized by the steady decline in plant construction throughout the year. The Board supplied ample quantities of the very materials that in earlier years set the limits to the Nation's ability to equip its forces for front-line combat.. The components that go to make up the thousands of end-products needed for waging war and maintaining a sound war-supporting economy were produced, under the War Production Board's direction, in vast quantities. Through allocations, priorities, components scheduling, channeling of procurement, and other measures, the Board got production, and the materials and components needed for production, in the right plants at the right times and in the right quantities. The War Production Board collaborated fully with the War Manpower Commission, the War Labor Board, the Selective Service Administration, and the Armed Services to meet the perplexing problems caused by the drainage of productive manpower to the Services, the inadequate supply of manpower for the heavy production loads being borne by some local areas, the acute wage and working condition difficulties in some of the currently most important industries, and the need for full utilization of manpower on the job. The Board succeeded in maintaining a healthy civilian economy capable of sustaining the heavy burdens of war production, despite specific shortages of some civilian items. Through the "spot authorization" plan the Board established a sound basis for shifting to civilian production those plants whose military contracts were cut back, and for keeping the plants, with their labor forces, in stand-by condition, ready to switch back rapidly to meet new demands of the Military. At the same time, through this device, the Board was in a position to prevent development of ghost towns and distressed areas, and eventually to ease the reconversion of the Nation to production of civilian goods. The Board also readied plans for the double problem, after victory in Europe, of maintaining war production needed to wage war against Japan and reconverting much of the Nation's productive resources to the production of civilian goods. Finally, despite the taxing production problems with which it was confronted throughout 1944, the War Production Board reduced its staff and expenditures, curtailed less important functions, abolished and consolidated divisions that had outlived their usefulness, and in general constantly re-appraised itself in terms of standards of sound administration.

Democracy and War Production

Important as these accomplishments are, and indeed vital to victory for democratic forces on all fronts, it is perhaps as important that the War Production Board, as the Nation, has gone about its job in a democratic way. While fighting for democracy abroad, we have not forgotten to preserve it at home. Vested with vast powers over the production and distribution processes of the American economy, the War Production Board has used those powers as sparingly as was consistent with the job of getting war goods produced. And when it was forced by war needs to use those powers, the Board turned to industry and labor advisory committees for advice on how our objectives could best be achieved.


Within the Board itself, scrupulous care has assured that proposed policies and orders are thoroughly reviewed, before issuance, for consistency with the public interest and with general Board policy. Because broad industry-regulating orders may work unjustifiable hardship on some individuals, provision is made for individual appeals for partial or total exemption from specific Board orders. Because the Board has no interest in regulation for mere regulation's sake, it has gone far in eliminating unnecessary red tape, revoking and relaxing orders as conditions permit, and exempting small orders and small enterprises from many of the detailed controls that are essential in the case of large producers using relatively large portions of the Nation's resources. Through an accelerated decentralization program in 1944, the Board has sought to have more decisions made by regional and district officials familiar with local conditions. Through the War Production Drive, the Board has stimulated cooperation of management and labor in solving war production problems within individual plants. And through its enforcement policies and its provision of hearings before compliance commissioners, the Board has undertaken to assure that justice is done in the imposition of penalties for violation of Board orders. That all of these bulwarks of democracy could be preserved in the face of the desperate urgency of war production is a tribute to the spirit animating the Government--but more, a tribute to the people of the country, whose unity in appreciating the urgency of our task has itself made democratic cooperation a satisfactory alternative to dictatorial regimentation.


The Production Record in 1944

The prodigious productive machine of the United States roared on in I'M I, keeping its 1943 momentum, and its vibrations shook the foundations of the Axis. A country that, despite manpower shortages, material pinches, the tremendous production engineering problems presented by skyrocketing military requirements, and other difficulties could produce in 1944 $199 billion in goods and services, was an invincible opponent (.hart 1).

The terrific power that the United States unleashed against the Axis Nations is measured more accurately by the volume of munitions that we tinned out in 1944. In dollar value this reached the staggering total of $61.3 billion (chart 2), of which over two-thirds--$43.5 billion--was actual combat munitions. This was more than one and one-half times the combat munitions that the Axis was able to produce in the same year. When the munitions output of the other United Nations is added, It U obvious that the Axis could not possibly withstand the arms arrayed against it.

The job of the War Production Board has been to establish production goals in terms of both the needs of our military forces and the needs of 11" war-supporting economy, and then to provide the necessary materials, components, know-how, and organization for their realization. On the effectiveness of the Board's performance, the production record speaks fin itself, The Nation has supplied the best equipment in the world to the largest navy, the largest air force, and one of the largest armies in the world; and our civilian economy, though short of some of the things to which it was accustomed, has been maintained in a sound and healthy condition

In the production of items for military use, the War Production Board has shared the direct supervisory responsibility with the Armed Services in varying degrees, depending on the number of users of the item, ownership of the productive facilities, and other considerations. On the one hand are the items of almost exclusive concern to the Services, such as tanks, guns, and ammunition, the latter two manufactured to a considerable extent in Service-operated facilities. For these programs, although the War Production Board offers every assistance in the way of priorities,


allocations of materials and components, and provision of tools and other facilities, production responsibility must be exercised primarily by the Services themselves. On the other hand, such items as trucks, rubber, and textiles not only face competing demands from the several Services but also have essential civilian uses. In these areas, the War Production Board must assume more direct responsibility, through its industry divisions and field offices, for supervising production.

Chart 1


Munitions Production Levels

In 1944 a flood of munitions poured from our forges and foundries, mills, factories, and ordnance plants to a height and at a speed that could hardly fail to inundate those who lay in its path. The stream had been growing rapidly in power from year to year, coming close to flood level in 1943 and rising still higher in 1944. The 1944 munitions record in terms of number of weapons is even more spectacular than the $61.3 billion value of the year's output: 96,359 planes, including 16,048 heavy

Chart 2


bombers; 30,889 ships; 17,565 tanks; 595,330 Army Service Forces trucks; 3,284 heavy field guns and howitzers, and 7,454 light ones; 152,000 Army aircraft rocket launchers and 215,177 of the 2.36-inch Bazookas; 1,416,774 short tons of ground artillery ammunition; and much more besides.

In May 1940 the President's request for facilities to produce 50,000 planes--little more than half the 1944 output--was considered fantastic. Yet we were then thinking chiefly in terms of the lighter pursuit and fighter planes that place relatively moderate demands on materials and facilities. All the planes we produced in the 18-month period from July 1940 to December 1941 totaled only 95 million pounds in airframe weight; in two-thirds as much time, we produced during the year 1944, 4 times as many planes, 10 times as great in airframe weight.

Aircraft production in 1944 not only surpassed the record of any previous year, but also ran closer to schedule than ever before. The industry overcame difficulties that had retarded the aircraft program since 1940. Most of the planes that are now bearing the brunt of combat operations came out of 1944 production. Despite design changes and other production problems, the number of B-29 Superfortresses was 12 times the 1943 output, and production of B-24 Liberators, Mustangs, Wildcats, Hellcats, Corsairs, Commandos, and Sky masters more than doubled and in many cases more than tripled the 1943 record.

The story of soaring production to meet the needs of war is repeated in other types of munitions. Combatant ships delivered in 1944 were eight times the number and almost eight times the displacement tonnage of those delivered from July 1940 through December 1941, though less than 1943 deliveries. In individual types of ships, such as landing vessels, for which the demand was magnified tremendously after Pearl Harbor, the rise was much more meteoric. Almost 16.5 million tons of Maritime Commission vessels were delivered in 1944, raising the total output during the past three wartime years to almost 44 million tons--the equivalent of a fleet four times the size of that controlled by the United States when it entered the war. With this wartime tonnage the American merchant marine now constitutes well over half of the world's shipping afloat. The enemy could not destroy or even seriously damage the gigantic bridge of ships over which our men and weapons rushed into battle in unending lines.

Government-financed war construction did not conform to the upward trend. It receded steadily from the 1942 peak as most of the large military construction and war facilities projects inaugurated in the early years of the war were completed; the need for a large volume of construction no longer existed in 1944. Two of the major munitions categories--guns and fire control, and combat and motor vehicles--also declined from the 1943 level. In both cases the drop was caused partly by falling needs for certain types and partly by production difficulties incident to climbing demands for other types.

The experience of American forces in the North African, Sicilian, and Italian campaigns brought demands for vehicles equipped to carry heavy loads over rugged terrain. Consequently, 1944 trucks included a much larger proportion of the more costly and more difficult heavy-heavy and


light-heavy trucks than in previous years. These taxed facilities and ingenuity all along the line, from foundry and component plants to the actual truck assembly. Many of the wartime heavy-heavy trucks require four- six-wheel drives using two and three heavy-duty axles, as against the typical single driving axle in trucks built during peacetime for commercial use.

The Changing Munitions Objective

The content of the munitions program in 1944 differed considerably from that of previous years, reflecting the change in our military position. We had gone from the defensive to the offensive--from a period of preparation punctuated holding actions and sorties to one of large-scale offensive operations. In 1944 our war production had to meet front-line needs, constantly changing with the shifting locales of warfare, the weaknesses and strengths demonstrated in combat, and our inventiveness as well as the enemy's. Less emphasis was placed on increasing quantities of everything required to equip an army, a navy, and an air force, and more on those specific items needed to replace battle losses and to equip particular forces for particular operations.

When large-scale amphibious operations in the Pacific were in preparation, production of combat loaded cargo and transport vessels had to be rushed, even at the expense of other ship programs. When field commanders learned that a 105-mm. howitzer or gun had insufficient firepower to destroy German fortifications, they requisitioned 155's and 240's. When the Army, in moving millions of tons of supplies over rough ground, discovered that its actuaries had misjudged the need for tires, tire requirements were suddenly increased. When many lives were lost at Tarawa because landing craft ran aground on coral reefs far from the beach, the schedule for production of LVT's, tracked landing craft that could surmount such underwater barriers, was doubled. And when scientists developed new and improved types of radar, or jet planes, or high altitude bombing instruments, these developments had to be translated promptly into effective weapons of warfare. A rapid rearrangement of production lines was necessary to produce these new weapons. Furthermore, after the lines had been rearranged, it was imperative to increase production greatly so that the new weapons could be used extensively and at once to save lives by speeding the end of the war.

Although preparations were made quickly to meet the unexpected demands placed on production, requirements were unlimited. The equipment of an army or a navy is never completed. The operations of military forces require almost constant upgrading of equipment: heavy-heavy trucks must he supplied instead of lighter ones; combat loaders must be built instead of ordinary cargo and transport ships; Superfortresses and Invaders made instead of Fortresses and Bostons. In war, the supply of weapons is seldom adequate until the enemy is defeated.

As needs changed throughout 1944, both the total size of the munitions production objective and the prominence given to particular types of armaments shifted (chart 4). As of January 1, 1944, it was contemplated that $68.6 billion of munitions would be produced in 1944. By July 1


the objective had fallen to $65.7 billion, and by December 1 to $62.1 billion. However, any attempt to compare the actual 1944 production figure--$61.3 billion--with successive objectives to measure the satisfaction of military needs must be made with a cautious view to the limitations of the comparison. Program reductions express lowered needs and the squeezing of "incentive scheduling" and safety allowances out of military programs; but on occasion they also give recognition to the impossibility of expanding production as rapidly as desired.

Chart 3


The complex causation of program changes is illustrated by the aircraft program. Each quarterly aircraft schedule represented a cut under its predecessor. In part this reflected lower than anticipated combat losses. There was also some lessening of the unavoidable duplication contained in earlier programs, when schedules for standard models were maintained as a safeguard at the same time that programs for new models were laid out. Deliberate inflation of schedules, as practiced in 1942 and 1943 to give builders an incentive and assure sufficient materials, was abandoned in 1914 except for a few high-preference models. Occasionally, however,

Chart 4


a reduction was made to bring the schedule into line with production feasibility in view of design changes, difficulties in getting new models into production, or shortages of manpower, materials, and components.

The broad program categories shown on chart 4 are composites of rising and falling subgroups. These smaller groups more accurately mirror the changing face of the war and therefore show much more marked fluctuations. For instance, the demand for four-engine long-range heavy bombers, transport vessels and heavy artillery ammunition rose dramatically during the year, while the need for training planes, patrol vessels, mine craft, and radio equipment fell off in varying degrees.

Critical Munitions Programs

The demand for some individual items climbed so suddenly and steeply that the country could not adjust itself instantly to production on the new scale. Thereby were born the critical programs of the year. Sometimes the problem was intensified by a previous sharp decline in military procurement schedules for the same item, which had made it difficult or impossible to keep the producing plants and their labor forces in stand-by condition. The simplest definition of a critical program is one in which production is inadequate to satisfy current or immediate-future requirements and in which shortages directly affect military operations. Critical programs have been recurrent phenomena from the beginning of defense mobilization in 1940. Although munitions production climbed almost uninterruptedly from only $500 million monthly in 1940 to more than $5 billion monthly in 1944, this upsweep in monthly production was dogged at almost every step by crises.

Critical Programs, 1940-43.--Immediately after the fall of France, the critical programs were the construction of facilities and the production and distribution of machine tools. Progress on these programs was accompanied by the development of a succession of new critical production areas. The expansion of facilities caused bottlenecks elsewhere. As machine tools were installed, the capacity to consume metals outran the capacity for producing them. The capacity for producing metals, therefore, had to be expanded. Once materials began to flow into munitions plants, bottlenecks developed in the production of components. When solved at one level of the production process, they appeared at another. The production kaleidoscope at one time might show bottlenecks in bearings, or valves, or fractional horsepower motors; at another time it might show Diesel engines or crankshafts as factors delaying the delivery of end-products. The history of war production is the history of the breaking of bottlenecks.

The production problem changed radically after the United States entered the war in December 1941. The limited production of equipment for defensive use in the preceding 18 months and the all-out production of weapons for offensive action on a global scale thereafter involved problems different in kind as well as in magnitude. In 1942, the "Arsenal of Democracy" had too little of almost everything, and the level of production of all items had to be raised. Although the entire war production program was rapidly accelerated during 1942 and early 1943, production


did not approximate requirements until the fourth quarter of 1943. In fact, during the first 20 months of American participation in the war, more items missed schedule than were on schedule.

Identifying Critical Programs and Their Causes.--It was unavoidable that there should be slippages in 1944 also, but they were specific, not general. The critical programs were heavy transport planes, superbombers, patrol bombers, and jet-propelled aircraft; landing craft and combat loaders; heavy-duty trucks and tires; tanks; certain types of Army-Navy ammunition and guns; Army tents; and communications and electronic

Chart 5


equipment, including airborne radar, dry cell batteries, and field and assault wire. But unlike shortages of earlier years, which affected plans for equipping armed forces not yet in battle, these shortages resulted from the abrupt upsurging of military programs based on battle experience or strategic plans. Conversely, failure to deliver these tanks or trucks or high capacity ammunition would affect soldiers and sailors in combat as well as the plans of the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

In quite a different way the interdependence of military plans and the productive economy presented us with a dilemma in 1944. Almost our

Chart 6


entire productive mechanism was feeling the constriction of a tightening manpower situation. The strong, energetic, skilled young men of the country had been drained into the Armed Services to such an extent that it was increasingly difficult to man the farms and mines, the foundries and factories, for the production of supplies and munitions that the Armed Services themselves required. In a few instances the situation was serious enough to necessitate the reversal of the trend--the release of skilled workers from the Services to meet the urgent manpower needs of critical

Chart 7


plants or industries. The Armed Forces had to have fighting men, but they also had to have weapons.

In solving these and other problems of the critical programs, the War Production Board cooperated with all the other production and war agencies of the Government. A series of the joint meetings of the Board, the Army, the Navy, and the War Manpower Commission were held to discuss, identify, and solve the problems in the critical programs. Definite plans of attack on the problem areas grew out of the meetings. These

Chart 8


plans included the special directive treatment of critical programs, the scheduling and allocation of additional components and end-products, the provision of urgency ratings for labor, and the organization of special task committees.. Each critical program offered its own challenge and presented its own set of problems, the remedy for which had to be individually prescribed.

The joint meetings identified five principal causes of criticality: (1) Facilities were inadequate to produce the desired quantities; (2) there were not enough workers with the proper skills; (3) materials or components were not flowing fast enough; (4) program requirements had been stepped up so sharply that production could not be adjusted rapidly enough to meet the greater needs; or (5) the introduction of new designs was delaying production. Obviously, more than one of these causes might be present in any given program, and the proportion of the blame assignable to one or another varied from month to month and from program In program during 1944.

For example: Because requirements were suddenly increased to meet the urgent needs of offensive warfare, landing craft were critical between January and May and combat loaders between July and December. For the name reason and because components were inadequate, heavy-heavy trucks were critical after June. Cotton duck and tires were critical because of labor shortages and an upsweep in requirements. Tactical field and assault wire was critical because facilities were not sufficient, Navy rockets and heavy artillery ammunition for the Army Service Forces because of labor shortages of difficulty in procuring machine tools to meet soaring demand. Short notice of greatly increased military needs sometimes magnified the difficulties faced by the War Production Board in expanding production. Airborne radar, tanks, and planes--including the revolutionary new jet-propelled planes--were on the critical list primarily because of design changes. A single design change means new blueprints, changes in orders for materials and subcontracted parts, manufacture of new parts or subassemblies, training of labor, and changeover to the new design; and plants are frequently called upon to absorb a rapid series of design changes.

Attacking the Causes of Critical Programs.--The War Production Board used the resources and powers at its disposal to the fullest extent to meet the needs of the critical programs, the method of attack varying with the problem. Where machine tools and other facilities were the limiting factor, for example, the Board expedited the necessary expansions in every way possible. In the case of heavy artillery ammunition, the Board scheduled the manufacture and delivery of machine tools and took special joint action with Army Ordnance to increase the flow of components to the machine tool builders. When the need for both component and fabricating facilities became apparent in the tactical field and assault wire program, the War Production Board hastened the erection of new facilities for carbon-steel wire and for stranding, twining, and insulating. Since shortage of rubber for wire insulation was also a problem, the Board scheduled alternate specifications of synthetic substitutes. By these and other measures taken in cooperation with the procurement agencies,


monthly production of the three critical types of wire, though still short of the tremendous battlefield requirements, was increased to 188,500 miles in December.

For cotton duck and tire plants, where manpower was the major shortage, incentive wage schemes were devised. The plants were placed on the Production Urgency List for labor referrals, and some skilled workers were furloughed by the Services. In the tire industry a seven-day week was instituted. Since a complicating factor in the cotton duck program was the drop in military demand for this fabric early in 1944, which had

Chart 9


resulted in the shifting of duck looms to other fabrics, the War Production Board issued orders for the conversion of suitable looms to duck production.

In the 1944 landing craft program, the time between the planning and the expected delivery dates was extremely short. To attack the difficultly that developed in marine Diesel engines and other landing craft components, especially bearings, the War Production Board set up a special organization. Representatives of this organization worked with the Navy's marine specialists at shipyards on priorities, schedules, and expediting production. By the end of June the entire landing craft program was on schedule. In the second half of the year, when the Navy's first need combat loaders, the War Production Board extended special directive treatment to assist material and component deliveries to that program.

The truck program was also supervised by a special organization, the Automotive Production Committee representing the War Production Board, the Armed Services, and the Office of Defense Transportation, under War Production Board chairmanship. Representatives of the committee gave on-the-spot assistance to critical plants in meeting their production schedules. Components scheduling by the Board was also a major factor in meeting the higher component demands of the heavier truck models. Since the production of castings for such critical components as axles, transmissions, and engines was a serious bottleneck, the foundries and component plants as well as the truck assemblers were placed on the National Production Urgency List.

Though progress on the critical programs was not all that was desired during 1944, substantial gains were made (charts 5-8).

Foreign Trade

From the towering piles of goods yielded by our fields and mines and factories in 1944, we were able to spare a greater quantity for the needs of friendly foreign countries than in the earlier years of the war. Of the $14 billion worth of commodities that we sent them, however, close to half was munitions for our Allies--planes and guns and ammunition that the British, the Russians, the Chinese, and our other companions-at-arms would throw into the fight against our common enemy.

Cash purchases of our goods were a little higher than in 1943, but the vast bulk of the exports continued to be on a lend-lease basis (chart 9). Yet the portion of our total production that went out of the country under lend-lease was for the most part quite small--20 percent of our petroleum products, but only 6 percent of the metals, 7 percent of the foodstuffs, and 11 percent of the munitions that we produced. All but a negligible percentage of our lend-lease transfers were to the British Empire and the U.S.S.R., the British predominating in the ratio of two to one. An the Allied Armies pushed further into France and the Low Countries, the needs of the liberated areas became increasingly important, particularly for machinery and raw materials to enlist the production of the liberated areas in the death-struggle against the Axis. But shipping space was crammed with supplies for our fighting forces and other immediate war purposes, and we were able to send the liberated areas only small amounts of goods in 1944.


We imported more in 1944 than in 1943. The $3.9 billion of goods that came to us from other countries was equal to less than 5 percent of our total war expenditures, but it was tremendously important for our war production. Of 136 raw materials listed as strategic and critical at the beginning of the war, 48 were almost unprocurable within the United States. We had to import tantalite for vacuum tubes; balsa wood for Mosquito bombers; kapok for life preservers; loofa sponges for filters in marine engines; mahogany for aircraft and PT boats; tin ore; chrome, manganese, and nickel to toughen our steel; natural rubber; burlap and rope fibers; and many other vital war needs. Even though imports of some of these materials were less in 1944 than in 1943, our productive machine would have been seriously hampered without them. However, the increase in total value of 1944 imports can be traced mainly to vegetable food products and beverages such as coffee, cane sugar, wheat, and oats.

United Nations vs. Axis War Production

The gigantic outpouring of munitions from the United States and its decisive weight in the winning of the war are thrown into sharpest focus in comparisons with world production. Out of about $110 billion in combat munitions produced by the Axis and the United Nations together in 1944, the United States alone was responsible for almost 45 percent. In 1941 its share of the much smaller world production was only 12 percent. In that year the United Nations as a group were little better than on a level with the Axis in output of combat munitions; by 1944 they were out-producing it in the ratio of 3 to 1. For this vastly improved status the immense acceleration of United States production must receive principal credit (chart 10).

The United States devoted almost one-fourth of its national product to the manufacture of combat armaments in 1944--nearly as large a proportion as Great Britain, the U.S. S. R., or Germany used for the same purpose, though probably a somewhat smaller share than Japan. This does not mean that our sacrifices were as heavy as theirs, however. They were not as heavy, even if we ignore the destruction of existing assets through enemy action and forget all sacrifices that are not economic in nature. Because output per capita in the United States is the highest in the world, American civilians would still be left much better provided with goods and services than those of any other belligerent even if this country used a substantially larger proportion of its economic resources for war purposes than it does.

How the Consumer Fared

The American consumer spent almost $7 billion more for goods and services in 1944 than he had in 1943. When he took account of the increased prices of his 1944 purchases, however, he discovered that he had not actually bought so much more than in 1943 (chart 11). As a matter of fact, there were fewer new clothes in his wardrobe than the year before, and he had added less in the way of equipment and other hard goods to his home. He had used a little more food than in the


previous year, but the rise in his food bills was somewhat more than proportionate. His dinner table was still set more generously than civilian tables in any other country, but his wife had to make a few changes in her marketing and cooking habits and to exercise some flexibility and ingenuity in her menu-planning.

But the important fact about the civilian economy in 1944 is not that the American consumer experienced temporary inconveniences, a few shortages, and some forced departures from his old habits. The important and astounding fact is that in 1944, the year in which the crescendo of

Chart 10


war mounted to a thunderous climax, the American consumer and his family remained by far the best-fed, best-housed, and best-clothed civilians in the world. While all battlefronts were ablaze, while the United States productive system was feeding shipload after shipload of munitions and supplies into a funeral pyre for the enemy, the American consumer was furnished with more goods and services than in any year since 1941.

That the United States could provide such generous sustenance for both the insatiable war machine and the war-supporting civilian economy is the best index of 1944 production and of the success with which the War Production Board discharged its responsibilities to the Nation.

Chart 11


Supplying the Key Resources:
Facilities and Materials

War is indeed a story of arms and men; of supplies as well as soldiers. An army cannot fight a modern war with naked fists; front lines are unavoidably inhered to supply lines. And these supply lines reach all the way hark along "red ball" truck lines, rails, and the bridge of ships to the ordnance plants, shipyards and plane assembly plants; to factories making bearings, gears, radio tubes, and thousands of other components; to petroleum wells and refineries producing the power for bombers and fighters, trucks and jeeps; to copper, iron, lead, zinc, and coal mines; to farms and forests. The story of the battle of supply is the story of the production of all the raw materials and components, of all the assembly processes, and of all the management skill and labor that go into the making of a modern war machine.

In 1944 at the overseas ends of our supply lines were military victories to be told on the beads of history: Anzio and Normandy, St. Lo and the Saar, Paris and Rome, in Europe; and in that ocean misnamed Pacific, Kwajalein and Eniwetok, Guam and Saipan, Palau, and Leyte. The impulses of theses victories traveled back along the supply lines to the arsenal of democracy, which supplied the basic resources for munitions production--plant facilities, materials, components, and manpower--in a volume sufficient to sustain the continued massive output of arms for the forces of the United Nations.

The supply story closely parallels the military situation. Over the whole year, military requirements were erratic, fluctuating with the ebb and flow of the strategic pattern. On the whole, the supply position of most metals and minerals and components, for the first half of the year, was good. In late 1943 and early 1944, the large-scale plant expansion projects that had been planned and contracted for one to two years before began to come into operation. These new facilities, cut-backs in certain military programs (particularly aircraft), larger imports, improved methods of estimating requirements, and effective allocation controls and conservation measures, combined to ease the supply problem. In fact, in the first few months of 1944, for the first time during the war the supply-demand equation revealed comfortable surpluses in many once-critical raw materials.


As a consequence of the comfortable raw material supply, it appeared advisable to divert some of the surplus materials and facilities to civilian production. The civilian side of the economy was beginning to get a little lean and shabby after the long years of war; much equipment was over-age and had been in constant operation for long periods, and the wear-out and break-down rate was higher than in average peacetime years. Furthermore, there was danger that factories whose war contracts were cut back might close down and allow their labor forces to dissipate unless such factories were kept in stand-by operating condition as insurance against later increases in military requirements. "Chinking-in" with some civilian production was the most practical form of insurance.

With the invasion of France in early June requirements for many materials and components jumped, but they fell back again as victorious Allied armies swept toward the Rhine and the end of the war seemed in sight. In the wave of optimism which swept the Nation in the summer, manufacturers began using up inventories to avoid being caught by a sudden cessation of hostilities with large stocks on hand and no orders. Producers of raw materials and primary fabrications found their business dwindling, and marginal workers began to drift from the labor market.

Then came the German stand at the Siegfried Line, and the counter-offensive of December. In the last 2 months of the year requirements for key military items, such as ships, aircraft, mortars and ammunition, truck tires, and motor fuel, increased enormously. Production was stepped up all along the line, but essential labor had been temporarily lost and facilities released.

With few exceptions, the military programs were filled, but there were certain civilian essentials that became increasingly tight toward the end of the year. The manpower pinch made full-scale output difficult if not impossible. The recruitment of workers was particularly difficult in certain low-wage industries, such as textiles, lumber and lumber products, and castings and forgings. In many areas, such as coal mining and lumbering, labor productivity per man was increased by mechanization. But this and other measures to increase productivity of workers in war industries and industries important to the war-supporting economy were not sufficient to counterbalance the effect of the loss of almost a million workers from the civilian labor force during the year. To a high degree, this loss was the result of inductions of skilled labor into the Armed Forces, inductions sometimes caused by a not-too-cautious weighing of the need for a worker on the production front against the need for that man on the fighting front, and in certain cases it was found necessary to furlough men in uniform back to the production front. To some extent the disappearance of workers from the civilian labor force due to cut-backs or prospective cut-backs figured in the decline of industrial employment.

On the whole, the supply of all key resources in 1944 exceeded the output of any previous year, although in terms of the tremendous requirements of a global war approaching on one front at least its climactic stage, production was less than enough. The main difficulties in meeting requirements occurred when several urgent programs, all requiring common components or tapping common supply sources, were increased sharply


and simultaneously. Such sudden military needs were filled out of stockpiles; by redistribution of excess supplies from manufacturer to manufacturer, where materials or components were the bottlenecks in increased production; or by arranging transfer of labor from plant to plant, where shortage of skilled labor threatened production. Nevertheless, the chief lesson learned in 1944 was that no material surplus can be considered comfortable so long as the military situation remains problematic, or military requirements fluid, and 1944 therefore ended with hopes of early reconversion to civilian production rudely dispelled.

Facilities and Construction

The year 1944 marked the virtual completion of the tremendous capital expansion that had been necessary to shift the economy of the United States from peace to war. By 1944, the value of facilities expansions put in place during the year, and amounting to approximately $9.3 billion, had dropped back almost to the 1940 level, from a peak of $21.8 billion in 1942, and $15 billion in 1943. Although increased military requirements for certain commodities necessitated some new expansion programs in the months of the year, these were more or less "mopping up" operations. The main part of the struggle was over. The huge expansion projects, construction of which had been initiated as much as 2 years earlier, were coming into operation.. As a result of the freeing of men and resources that had been so long tied up in construction activity, it was possible to increase raw materials and munitions output, and as a result of the consequently brighter materials outlook, it was also possible to ease somewhat the rigid restrictions on building that had been necessary earlier in the war.

Facility Expansions.--The composition of the facilities expansions put in place during 1944, measured by dollar value, was likewise different that of earlier years. Where the value of construction projects had been almost double that of machinery and equipment expansions in 1941 and in 1942, machinery and equipment made up almost half the total value of facilities expansion projects put in place in 1944. Part of the explanation for this shift lies in the fact that the expansions of the earlier years, and particularly of 1942, had been for the construction of costly metal-producing and processing plants, such as those for steel and aluminum. By 1944 most of these projects had been completed, and the new plant expansions needed to meet military requirements were, on the whole, relatively less costly, for ordnance, synthetic rubber, aviation gasoline, and chemical plants. The largest expenditure for construction during 1944 was in the nonindustrial service facilities: Roads, sanitary utilities, housing, schools and colleges, hospitals, quasi-public facilities, and commercial and business services. Again, this was a reflection of a new emphasis. Just it! the extremely heavy military plant construction expenditures of 1942 had Indicated an intense preoccupation with the need for a huge output munitions and military equipment, so the shift in plant construction emphasis from strictly military to nonindustrial service facilities projects in 1944 pointed to wider appreciation of the need for adequately maintaining the war-supporting economy and to full discernment of the vital importance of community facilities to the meeting of manpower problems.


Chart 12


The 1944 total facility expansion figures indicated still another shift from the earlier years. The proportion of the total facilities expansion financed by the agencies of the Federal Government declined, amounting to a little over one-third in 1944 as compared with approximately two-thirds in each of the two preceding years (chart 12). Again this relatively more rapid decline of Government-financed construction reflected the near-completion of the strictly military program.

The decline of the major portion of the strictly military expansion program was further reflected in the War Production Board policy on the granting of certificates of necessity. Issuance of certificates of necessity (which, for tax purposes, permit the owner of new facilities required for the prosecution of the war to write off over a period of 5 years the cost of constructing or acquiring the facilities) was begun very early in the defense period in order to expedite the expansion of facilities that would be required for strictly military purposes and would have little or no peacetime value. The function of issuing such certificates of necessity had, on December 17, 1943, been transferred by the President from the War and Navy Departments to the War Production Board. Between December 17, 1943, and December 31, 1944, the War Production Board approved 1,758 and approved in part 2,948 out of a total of 9,000 applications received for certificates of necessity; and issued certificates to the total values of $406 million out of requests to certify facilities valued at $878 million. In cases where the facility in question had a clear postwar value, necessity certificates were restricted to 35 percent of the facility's cost, in contrast to the 100 percent usually granted for facilities with a strictly war value.

Facilities for Critical Programs.--Additional expansion of plants and capital equipment beyond that originally planned was made necessary by the emergence of various critical programs late in the year. In authorizing such new expansion, the War Production Board adhered to its policies of utilizing idle plants and machinery before authorizing new construction, and of making the greatest possible use consistent with efficient production of of the facilities of small business concerns.

Ai a result of combat experience gained after the invasion of Western Europe, requirements for heavy-duty truck tires were greatly increased. This necessitated increases in production all down the line. It meant authorizing facilities sufficient to raise output from 4 million to 7 million tires per quarter; it meant authorizing new facilities for the production of synthetic rubber, and for such rubber and tire components as carbon black and tire cord. An example of the Board's effort to use existing plants in preference to authorizing new construction was the conversion of an eastern aircraft plant to tire manufacturing.

Other facilities expansions authorized in 1944 were for railroad transportation, for electron tubes and other radio and radar components, for feed recovery in connection with the grain alcohol program, for dry-cell batteries, and for ammunition explosives.

In cases whens cut-backs were made, as in aluminum and magnesium, it was War Production Board policy to place the cuts in Government-


owned plants until such time as private plants could resume civilian production.

Construction Controls.--There were two main developments in the construction controls area during 1944: A relaxation in controls incident to the easing materials situation, and a streamlining of organization and procedures for handling facility applications with the War Production Board.

During 1944, the cost limit on processing machinery and equipment installations permitted without special approval was raised to $5,000 for installation cost alone and $25,000 for total cost of equipment and installation. Similarly, the value of the minor plant additions and extensions that might be made by public utilities without prior approval of the Office of War Utilities was raised to $10,000. A wider use of materials such as steel plate, aluminum, and metal lathe, and components such as hardwood and plumbing and heating items was also permitted.

Late in the year, the responsibilities of the War Production Board for developing construction programs necessary to carry out war and essential civilian production, and for providing materials and equipment needed to realize these construction programs, were centralized in a Construction Bureau. This Bureau serves as the point of contact between the construction industry and the Board, and through a Construction Requirements Committee coordinates the requests for facilities received from the industry divisions and from outside agencies in terms of available resources and the relative essentiality of the services to be performed. The centralization of responsibility for facilities and construction made possible many procedural changes designed to speed up the process of passing upon applications, such as the simplification of forms; the reduction to about 2 days of the time required for processing after recommendation by an industry division, with a consequent reduction in the time lapse between application and approval to just over 2 weeks; and the raising to $100,000 of the value of projects that may be approved in the field without clearance through Washington.


During 1944, the over-all supply-demand scale for materials swung all the way from surplus at the beginning of the year to shortage at the end. Within the over-all pattern, of course, the supply situation for individual materials varied by kind and by degree. Generally, however, those raw materials that had once been most critical--aluminum, copper, and steel-- were in plentiful supply during the first half of the year, although supplies again grew tight under the year-end increased military requirements. The greatest supply problems during 1944 were encountered in the materials that had been considered, early in the war, as not particularly troublesome : Textiles, lumber and lumber products, leather, certain ferro-alloys, and various rarer minerals.

The causes of this 1944 reversal of the 1942 material supply situation were twofold. First, the materials most critical early in the war had been placed under the most stringent production and distribution controls, while the less critical materials had been only lightly controlled. For the critical


facilities had been greatly expanded, imports increased, requirements minutely screened, conservation practices adopted, and strict allocation imposed. Second, conservation of the critical materials had necessitated widespread substitution of the less critical materials, and when to these new wartime industrial uses were added the factors of both increased military demands and a serious manpower shortage in the industries producing these less critical materials, demand far outweighed supply. The serious manpower shortage was in turn at least partially caused by the lower wage scale of the textile, lumbering, and mining industries compared with wartime manufacturing industries, a wage differential that resulted in loss of labor to the more lucrative fields. Another factor in the manpower problems of the textile, lumber, and mining industries, as of others, was the loss of workers through Selective Service. Though the labor force of these industries had to be drawn upon to fill draft quotas, later urgent needs for the products of the industries compelled the Army to furlough workers back to them. Other workers had left voluntarily for industries regarded as more directly contributory to the war program.

Aluminum and Magnesium.--First of the major metals to achieve a substantial initial surplus was the one that had caused the greatest worry early in the war program, and the one upon which the development of Allied air supremacy had hinged--aluminum. By the end of 1943, United States production of aluminum was approximately six times greater than it had been in 1939 (chart 13) and by October 1944, the monthly production rate of aluminum was almost three times what it had been in the month after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. That our efforts to produce sufficient aluminum for a gigantic air force were successful is implicit in the fact that we actually developed a large surplus of aluminum late in 1943 and through most of 1944. Aircraft production had reached such heights by the lader part of 1943 that the Armed Services found it possible to cut back production schedules, and with this decline in their aluminum requirements large Government stocks accumulated.

In view of this mounting surplus, about half of the ingot aluminum capacity of the country was closed during 1944, although most of it was kept in stand-by condition. Even with these cut-backs, however, production in 1944 was only 300 million pounds under the 1.8 billion pound all-time peak of 1943. Because of the inevitable time interval between orders and deliveries, shipments of fabricated aluminum products did not reach their peak until March 1944, but thereafter declined by 25 percent. The easy supply position of the metal was reflected by a relaxation of control orders to permit wider use of aluminum, and a revocation of restrictions on the use of scrap.

Although supplies of ingot aluminum were more than adequate throughout the year, a serious shortage of sheet appeared late in 1944. In the summer, in anticipation of an early end of the European war and a consequent decline in military orders, the aircraft companies had sharply curtailed their orders for aluminum sheet and other aluminum products and had begun to use up their inventories. The result, for the sheet mills, was


a drop in orders which forced them to curtail production and release labor. When the Germans rallied and began to drive back from the Siegfried Line in December, aircraft requirements were suddenly increased, and sheet aluminum requirements jumped upward. As a consequence of the earlier curtailment of production and release of labor in the sheet mills, however, it was difficult to reassemble a labor force in time to meet the enlarged military requirements made known in December.

Primary production of magnesium in 1944 was approximately 340 million pounds, or more than 10 times the output of 1941 and nearly 50

Chart 13


times that of 1939. In the week after Pearl Harbor, in 1941, the War Production Board's predecessor agency, the Supply Priorities and Allocations Board, faced with war demands for incendiary bombs and the consequent need for immediate expansion of magnesium production facilities to avert a great shortage by the summer of 1942, planned an expansion of magnesium-producing capacity to provide for a monthly production rate of some 49 million pounds to be achieved by 1943. Like most of the metal expansions planned at the time, this was fantastically high. But by 1944 it had been achieved. In 1944 requirements for incendiary bombs, though higher than in 1943, started a steady decline, and the demand for magnesium fell off sharply. Production was cut from the monthly peak of 42 million pounds in January 1944 to about 7.5 million pounds scheduled for 1945. Government stocks at the end of the year were almost double the stockpile objective of 65 million pounds, and were adequate to maintain consumption at the current level for almost a year. The demand for fabricated magnesium also dropped, but proportionately not as much as aluminum.

Copper and Brass.--Steel has been called the lifeblood of modern war. Copper is as literally the nervous system of a warring nation. Copper is not only the basis for ammunition; it is the sine qua non of communications, and not a ship sails, not a plane flies, and not a shot is fired but copper has somewhere entered its production. The copper supply-demand pattern closely follows the changing tactics of warfare.

Successive decreases in small arms ammunition requirements beginning in late 1943 tended to improve the over-all supply-demand ratio for copper during most of 1944, although the temporary increase in large caliber ammunition after D-day and the large increase in all ammunition programs in December were disturbing. Total copper supply for 1944 was approximately 1.8 million tons, only slightly under the 1943 level. This maintenance of the high over-all supply figure was accomplished, however, only through a 12 percent increase of imports of refined copper; domestic production fell from the 1942-43 peak (chart 13). Changing needs for copper to meet military programs, declining employment, and some shift in the ratio of stripping to production in the mines contributed this decrease.

While the over-all supply situation remained at least statistically in balance during most of the year, there were serious difficulties encountered in specific types of copper products in the second half of the year. These, for the most part, were repercussions of the military situation. Navy requirements for cuprous oxide for boat bottom paint created some difficulty, but were met. Shipments of salvaged battle scrap were erratic. Ammunition requirements fell gradually during the early part of the year, but rose sharply in November and December.

Copper and copper base alloy scrap account for a large percentage of the copper available to the United States, the scrap accounting for about 45 percent of the total copper supply in 1944. A certain proportion of this scrap is battle salvage--fired cartridge and artillery cases. Recovery of such battle scrap is, of course, contingent upon battlefield conditions, time, and availability of manpower and transportation facilities. At the


start of the year brass mills were urged to utilize such scrap cartridge and artillery cases. Shipments of this battle salvage more than doubled during the year. However, as the brass mills became educated in the use of this type of scrap, demand increased faster than supply. Furthermore, during the latter part of the year the swiftly advancing armies were more concerned with getting supplies to the' front lines than with getting battle scrap back to the mills. During most of the year it was difficult to find enough scrap of high copper content to meet the demands of ingot makers. As a result of the shortage of such grades of scrap, it was necessary to allocate to ingot makers increasing quantities of refined copper. In 1944 the requirements of ingot makers for new copper were 8% percent of their production as compared to 24 percent in 1943.

As was the case in aluminum, the military cutbacks in small arms ammunition in the first few months of the year forced curtailment of operations back through two or three levels of suppliers, with consequent dispersal of labor and facilities. When, after D-day in Europe, requirements for large calibre ammunition increased, it was discovered that there was not only a shortage of certain grades of alloy ingot for foundries producing castings for rotating bands, but shortages of facilities for producing rod and tube in the quantities required. By the fall of the year, most of these ingot and facilities problems had been solved, but the great new ammunition requirements of the two final months of the year created new shortages in all brass mill products--alloy strip, alloy rod, alloy tube, and unalloyed copper products. To meet the new requirements, labor, management, and Government cooperated to increase the overtime hours worked on specific bottleneck jobs in the brass mills. It was also necessary to obtain some additional labor, to arrange for production of ammunition in Canada, and to reduce nonmilitary consumption to a minimum.

The supply of copper wire mill products was generally sufficient to meet requirements until the very end of the year. Production of military communication wire increased from 90,000 miles in January 1944 to a peak of 189,000 miles in December--a supply of wire sufficient to girdle the globe at the equator almost eight times. Nevertheless the ever-increasing distances to be spanned by communication wire forced requirements even higher, and with wire drawing and fabricating facilities inadequate to meet the demand, the new needs had not been filled at the year's end.

Steel.--As in the case of the other major metals, the over-all steel supply in 1944 was better than it had been in 1943, the 1944 total ingot steel production being 800,000 net tons above the 1943 production of 88.2 million tons. 1944 ingot steel production was slightly more than 33 percent above 1940 production. Nevertheless, despite the adequacy of the over-all steel supply, certain individual steel products were critical at one time or another during the year.

Both carbon and alloy steel supplies were adequate throughout 1944, although production of both in 1944 was under the 1943 total. It was possible, during the year, to divert some surplus of alloy steel to war-supporting and essential civilian claimants. However, shell steel billets; steel rails; steel sheets for construction of military barracks, hospital buildings,


and Quonset huts; steel pipe and tubing for invasion pipe, rockets, aerial bombs, and oil and gas-well drilling; steel wire for rope, communications, and tires; and iron and steel castings for engines and trucks, were all critical at various times in 1944.

Alter D-day in June, the Army shell steel program was greatly expanded, and requirements for shell steel billets jumped upward in consequence. Production of the billets was therefore increased to meet the demand, which in turn imposed additional strain on the rolling mill facilities also employed in producing plates, sheet and strip steel, and structural shapes, rails, and tube rounds. In the early fourth quarter of the year, Navy and Maritime Commission steel plate requirements were reduced substantially, permitting some rediversion of continuous strip mill capacity to sheet production. This factor, coupled with cutbacks in the landing mat program, was expected to afford some relief to the critical sheet supply. The unexpected military reversal in Germany in December made this relief temporary Indeed. Practically all military programs requiring steel were suddenly increased, the several programs coming into direct conflict with one another. In the case of steel wire, requirements for wire rope, communications wire, and tire wire all went up sharply and almost simultaneously, and it became a question of whether the tire program should be met at the expense of the communications wire and wire rope programs, and vice versa.

In the steel industry as in others, manpower difficulties resulted from the sharp fluctuations in requirements. In this case two problems were particularly troublesome: (1) The low wages and unpleasant nature of forge and foundry work, and (2) the difficulty of specifically identifying, for deferment purposes, steel mill labor with urgent end-product programs, such as aircraft. Joint attacks on the manpower problem by the War Production Board, the War Labor Board, the War Manpower Commission. and the Office of Economic Stabilization made considerable headway during the year. The War Production Board made every effort to improve the manpower situation at the foundries, including cooperation with the War Labor Board when wage rates were involved, cooperation with the Office of Price Administration with respect to prices, use of foreign manpower and prisoners of war, and release of personnel from the Armed Services. Nevertheless, the two major manpower problems still remained at the year's end.

Several new facilities had been completed at the beginning of 1944, but it was decided not to bring them into production. Instead, in the early mouths of the year, the War Production Board attempted to utilize every ton of into that could be produced in existing facilities, even to the point of shipping ingots from one producer to another in order to achieve the best use of finishing facilities for urgently needed products. Then, with the dropping of Lend-Lease requirements for semifinished steel almost to the vanishing point, the situation eased a little. In the early days of the war, when overseas transportation was critical, the most efficient utilization of resources had dictated that lend-lease shipments should be in a form most economical of shipping space. In steel, this meant the shipping of semifinished or finished steel products. In 1944 shipping space


was relatively more adequate, and steel was shipped in forms that required the fewest man-hours to produce, that is, as steel ingots, slabs, and billets, instead of as semifinished or finished forms.

Automotive-type gray iron and malleable iron castings, used principally in engine and truck production, were in short supply throughout the year. These products were not under the Controlled Materials Plan, with the consequence that backlogs and unfilled orders piled up just as they had done in the case of rolled steel products prior to Controlled Materials Plan.

In general, the supply of the raw materials necessary to the production of iron and steel--iron ore, iron and steel scrap, limestone, and coke--was adequate during 1944. The 1944 supply of iron ore was some 7 million gross tons below consumption, but requirements were met by drawing from stocks. The 1944 supply of coke was adequate for pig iron production requirements, but domestic production, because of manpower problems both in the coal mines and in the byproduct coke plants, was below requirements. Here, too, it was necessary to draw from stocks, until at the year's end inventories of metallurgical coal at steel mills were at a dangerously low level.

From an over-all point of view the scrap supply was never very plentiful during the year, although it varied by areas. In the early months of 1944, for instance, a heavy surplus of scrap developed on the Pacific Coast as a result of fabrication at Maritime shipyards. This surplus was later utilized to avert a shut-down, threatened because of scrap shortage, in Midwestern steel furnaces. When the hope of an early V-E day ran high in the summer, those in charge of steel mills and foundries, eyeing what appeared to be a great surplus of scrap, and fearful that a sudden end of the war would find them with an excess on their hands, began to reduce their scrap inventories. Despite War Production Board warnings as to the danger of such policy, and repeated exhortations that adequate inventories should be maintained throughout the winter, December 1944 found the scrap situation critical and the Board was faced with the possibility of having to allocate scrap to certain mills.

Because of the general adequacy of raw materials, the supply of pig iron, which had been one of the first products to be put under allocation control in the summer of 1941, was good throughout the year, and pig iron allocations were discontinued in February 1944. Certain price and distribution safeguards were retained, however.

Lead and Zinc.--The spectacular shift of aluminum from a scarce to an abundant material in 1944 was countered by the rapid deterioration of the lead situation. During the early years of the defense and war program lead was one of the easiest of metals, and was widely used as a substitute for tin, zinc, aluminum, and other more critical materials. The stockpile reached a peak of 265,000 tons on April 1, 1943, and the never very rigorous controls were further relaxed. By January 1, 1944, however, Government stocks had been reduced to 180,000 tons, and the year ended with only 90,000 tons, equivalent to about 1 month's supply, in the stockpile.


Domestic production of primary lead declined steadily through the year, while requirements moved steadily upward. Major items in the rising demand were storage batteries, largely for military use, tetraethyl lead for aviation gasoline, and small arms ammunition. Drastic curtailment of civilian use of the metal was clearly indicated, but anticipation of a general V-E day relaxation delayed action until the military situation in Europe took a sudden turn for the worse late in the year. The lead controls were then tightened. As a first step, lead had been restricted for most civilian uses to 60 percent of 1944 consumption.

Zinc, often mined with lead, was perhaps the most typical of the metals In 1944. The first 8 months of the year saw a gradual rise in stocks, which amounted to more than 800,000 tons or about 11 months' supply by September 1. Allocation controls were subsequently removed and restrictions on use for less essential purposes were considerably relaxed. During the last quarter of the year manpower shortages began to be felt, and the monthly rate of production declined by 15 to 20 percent at the same time that military programs were revised upward. Cadmium, which is closely associated with zinc in both occurrence and use, followed a similar pattern.

Premium Price Plan.--The metal supply and manpower situations also prompted reconsideration during 1944 of the Premium Price Plan for copper, lead, and zinc. Under this plan, adopted in 1942, copper, lead, and zinc mines are assigned basic metal quotas for which they receive only ceiling prices. For above-quota production, the Metals Reserve Company pays premium prices, graduated for successive ranges of production--the A, B, or C premiums. Consideration was given in November to the elimination of the high-quota premiums on zinc as supply was sufficient to meet military requirements. Any thought of canceling the C premium for zinc production was abandoned, however, when the 1945 lead requirements became known, since such cancellation would mean the loss of some 12,000 tons of lead. The cancellation of the special quotas for copper was also considered late in the year, but all plans in this direction were dropped when the new requirements for copper arose in December.

The original initial objective of the Premium Price Plan was to obtain additional production of copper, lead, and zinc by the mining of marginal ores. In 1944 the problem was one of maintaining rather than of increasing, output. During the year costs increased, so that many quota revisions were necessary to hold the existing level of production. By the end of 1944, 3,412 mines had received quotas of which 195 had special copper quotas, 248 had C quotas for zinc, 307 had only B quotas for zinc, and 350 had quotas for lead. During the year 521 new initial quotas were assigned to mines not previously listed, 680 revisions were made, and 271 requests for revisions were denied. Premium payments on overquota production of the 3 metals in 1944 amounted to nearly $82 million, compared with $64 million in 1943.

Miscellaneous Minerals.--For most of the large group of miscellaneous metals and minerals entering in one form or another into the war program, relatively easy supply positions were achieved or maintained. Foreign purchases of such materials as quartz crystals, mica, Indian kyanite, corundum, and Ceylon graphite has been continued. The war-born


diamond die industry of the United States reached maturity during the year, with domestic production exceeding requirements.

Rubber.--The end of 1944 saw the United States a long way from the dark days of early 1942 when the loss to Japan of 90 percent of our prewar source of natural rubber threatened to leave the wheels of American motor vehicles running on steel rims. The war years had seen the development of a new industry, synthetic rubber, and they had seen synthetic rubber production increase almost a hundredfold from its 1941 output. It was hard to realize, seeing the 753,000 long ton production of 1944, that in 1941 the United States had been able to produce only 8,000 tons of synthetic rubber. It was hard to realize, too, that in 1944 the United States turned out 6]/2 million more truck and bus, large airplane and rear tractor-implement tires, using 85 percent synthetic rubber, than it had in an average prewar year, using natural rubber. Moreover, the 1944 truck tires averaged about twice the prewar size.

The engineering and chemical controversies over the various processes for producing synthetic rubber; the discovery of the American rubber plant, guayule; the struggle to increase imports of Latin and South American natural rubber; the hasty gathering together of metals and machinery and manpower to construct new synthetic rubber plants; the cautious adjustment of requirements of conflicting strategic programs so as to provide the chemical raw material components of synthetic rubber without destroying other critical programs, such as aviation gasoline--all, by 1944, were history.

Even in 1944, though, the United States had no comfortable safety margin of rubber supply. Requirements for rubber during the entire war period have known only one direction--upward--and actual requirements have constantly exceeded anticipated needs. Since the early days of the war, the number of tires and tubes for the civilian economy has had to be held to the essential minimum.

During 1943, an expansion program for the tire and tube industry, designed to offset the production losses which experience at that time indicated would result from the use of synthetic rubber, was initiated, to be completed by the end of 1944. To a considerable extent in meeting this program, alcohol was substituted for petroleum in synthetic rubber production, since the petroleum planned for use in the synthetic rubber industry was needed to increase the production of aviation gasoline and other motor fuels.

In the spring of 1944 changing methods of warfare, involving greater military need for large tires, made necessary a further expansion program for rubber tires and tubes. Military requirements for the fourth quarter of the year under the new program substantially exceeded the estimates projected for the period. When the military requirements for 1945 were transmitted to the War Production Board late in 1944, the Board called the industry to a conference where, upon discovery that the industry facilities would be inadequate to meet the new requirements, a new expansion program was developed.

By the year's end, component materials for tires were in critical supply. Due to the fact that we cannot make large tires without the use of natural


Chart 14


rubber, the increased emphasis on large tires has necessitated deep inroads on the stockpiles of natural rubber. By the beginning of 1944 the stockpile had fallen from its 1942 peak of 633,000 long tons to 140,000 long tons, and by the end of 1944 it had declined still further to 96,000 long tons. The early 1944 high tenacity rayon tire cord and cotton tire cord programs had not contemplated the increased tire production schedules programmed in late 1944, and with the textile industry in the throes of a manpower shortage, filling of requirements appeared improbable. Carbon black requirements for use in tire production were higher than anything envisioned earlier; beadwire requirements for tires were in direct conflict with requirements for steel for the equally critical communications wire and wire rope programs that had also been substantially increased at the end of the year.

Once more, as in the early days of the war, there was the problem not only of seeing to it that the metals, machines, and men necessary for plant expansion were available, but also that the raw materials of synthetic rubber and component materials for tire and tube production would be in adequate supply. Once more there was the task of so evaluating military requirements and so allocating materials among competing programs that one critical program would not be met at the expense of another equally important program. This time, however, the War Production Board had only part of the job to do. Although the Board retains general responsibility for the production of synthetic rubber as a part of the total war production program, the immediate supervision of the synthetic rubber industry was transferred from the Board to the Rubber Reserve Company on September 1, 1944.

Chemicals.--To the layman, the chemicals industry has always been more or less of a mystery, not only because of the multiplicity of chemical names and uses, but because of the compounding and interchangeability of such names and uses. To the layman, too, the wartime chemicals picture is one of startling new compounds and uses undreamed of in peacetime. There is penicillin, the miracle drug, and atabrine, which saved the lives of thousands of malaria-stricken soldiers in the South Pacific; there is the new wartime-developed larvicide and insecticide, DDT; there are the vinyl resins, used in desalination bags to remove salt from sea water, and now standard equipment on life boats and life rafts, and used also for powder bags and for rifle coverings in climates where corrosion is a problem; there are the cellulose plastics, and particularly ethyl cellulose, developed in 1944 for use as a hot melt dip coat applied to engines and parts to prevent corrosion; there are the phenolic resins, for which a new use as laminated plastic rocket tubes was developed in 1943; and there are the blood plasma byproducts, such as fibrin foam, which when dried forms sponges that may be inserted into wounds so as to stop bleeding, and fill up the void properly without having to be removed later by surgery. And of course there are the thousand-and-one not so new wartime uses of chemicals, such as ethyl alcohol and carbon black in synthetic rubber production; and toluene and benzene for explosives and aviation gasoline.

Rarely, however, does the layman consider the wartime problems of maintaining a supply of chemicals sufficient to meet essential, but standard,


military needs while at the same time providing for the new and unexpected demands and discoveries.

Because of the virtual impossibility of determining end use of most chemicals, chemical controls imposed by the War Production Board during the war have for the most part been "M" orders, or restrictions on the use of raw materials. Few "L" orders, fixing limits on end products, have been issued in the chemicals area. These raw material controls, together with production expansions in all of the critical chemicals; increased imports, and public purchase and stockpiling programs to cushion the shock of new or increased needs for chemicals resulted in bringing supply and demand into balance during the first half of 1944. There was, as a consequence, a tendency toward relaxation of controls where definable surpluses had appeared. The vigorous prosecution of the war on both fronts in the fall of the year, which resulted in a generally rising demand, embraced a number of chemicals and checked the tendency toward relaxation or revocation of chemical control orders.

It was lack of materials, rather than lack of manpower, that was the chief limiting factor in chemicals during 1944. The manpower situation of the chemicals industry was in general more favorable than in most other industries, principally because the chemicals industry was less susceptible to draft disruptions. It had a good percentage of skilled operators and foremen above the draft ages, and the nationally and locally recognized Importance of the chemical industry to the war program lessened the drain of manpower in the younger age group. There were some labor problems in the industry, due to the reluctance of workers to accept employment because of low wages or difficult working conditions, a factor which sometimes barred the employment of women. At the year end, labor shortage was preventing capacity operation of plants producing sodium, chromium chemicals, hydrofluoric acid, sulfuric acid, silica gel, naphthalene, carbon black, copper sulfate, vulcanized and fiber tubing, cotton linters, chlorinated paraffin, and carbon bisulfide.

The greatest chemicals problems of 1944 resulted from the sharp increases In military requirements in the autumn of the year. The increase in the tire program, followed by an increase in the synthetic rubber program, resulted in a corresponding increase in requirements for carbon black, which is essential to the compounding of rubber. It has no substitute, and the sole source of supply is in the United States. In order to meet the new requirements, an expansion program involving construction of 26 new plants was planned and put into operation by the War Production Board. A limiting factor to the production of carbon black was the difficulty of obtaining labor in the Texas Panhandle.

Naphthalene is the raw material from which phthalic anhydride is made. From phthalic anhydride, in turn, are produced various plasticizers, such as dibutyl phthalate, used for smokeless powder; dimethyl phthalate, used primarily as an insect repellant; and dioctyl pthalate, used as a plasticizer in cable and wire insulation. Increased military requirements for all of these products in 1944 necessitated, first, a careful screening of end-use requirements, second, an expansion program, involving construction of 6 new projects for production of phthalic anhydride; and third, an


expansion program involving construction of 10 new plants for the production of naphthalene.

Increases in the explosives programs also made it necessary to set aside 80 percent of the total United States cotton linter production for chemical use, to arrange for increased imports of Brazilian chemical quality raw cotton linters, and to increase bleaching capacity by some 4,500 tons per month.

The substitution of grain alcohol for petroleum in synthetic rubber production greatly increased requirements for ethyl alcohol, so that total requirements for ethyl alcohol were some 10.5 million gallons above the 1944 total supply of 604 million gallons. All military and essential civilian needs of 1944 were met by drawing from the stock pile,s which at the beginning of 1944 had amounted to 86.6 million gallons. The raw materials situation for grain alcohol improved as the year progressed, with the exception of malt. To meet this deficiency, grain sorghums were made available, and high moisture corn was released to the distillers.

Perhaps the most amazing production stories of the war are those of penicillin, the miracle mold, and of DDT, the wartime-discovered larvicide and insecticide. Penicillin, discovered during the war, and subject to constant changes in process as production methods were improved, reached a production total in 1944 almost 80 times that of 1943, and plant expansions planned in 1944 promise to boost this from an average rate of less than 150 billion units per month in 1944 to about 400 billion units per month in 1945. The quality of penicillin was improved during 1944, clinical usage was increased, and civilian distribution was made possible on May 1, 1944.

The production record of DDT closely resembles that of penicillin. Output increased from 1,000 pounds per month in April 1943 to 200,000 pounds at the beginning of 1944, and to 2 million pounds per month at the end of the year. Because of high military requirements for DDT as a larvicide and louse powder in the control of malaria, typhus, and other insect-borne diseases, the greatly increased output of DDT was largely reserved for military use. The rise in DDT production was accompanied by a price decline of almost 60 percent.

Production of sulfa drugs declined by approximately 50 percent during 1944 as requirements fell off and the stock pile increased to a comfortable level. Production of atabrine was cut back in the last quarter of the year as 1944 military and lend-lease contracts approached completion; and in one instance an atabrine producer resumed production of dyestuffs.

Textiles and Leather.--The textile problem can be best understood in the light of the fact that there are approximately 3,500 textile materials or manufactured products under War Production Board control, ranging from the natural fibers, such as wool, cotton, manila, sisal, and jute, and including the field of synthetic textile fibers, of which the most important are rayon and nylon, through the finished products such as articles of apparel, shoes, house furnishings, and such military items as luggage, feather-stuffed sleeping bags, and components of fragmentation bombs and mines. There are under War Production Board jurisdiction about 100,000 textile establishments with an annual output valued at $15 billion and a labor


force of about 2.5 million workers or about one-fourth of all the employees engaged in manufacturing industries in the United States. The problem of manning the textile industry in a wartime situation is complicated by the fact that its wage scale compares unfavorably with those of shipyards and other war plants in the same or nearby areas.

Supply and distribution of most of the textile raw materials were light under Board control early in the war; production was expanded, Imports were increased, requirements were carefully screened, and the materials channeled to the most essential users. Largely as a result of the foreknowledge of requirements and forward production planning made possible by strict control, supplies of most of the textile raw materials were plentiful during the greater part of 1944, although increased military requirements in the latter half of the year brought raw material supply again to the critical stage.

Even before Pearl Harbor, stockpiling programs had been initiated for certain textile raw materials for which the major source of supply was outside the United States. With war, and the possibility that Japanese aggression in the Pacific might close the ports or cut the shipping lanes of these supply sources, stockpiling was accelerated. For some of the stockpiled materials, 1944 revealed that the anticipated contingencies had not materialized, that original sources of supply had been reopened, or that supplies of substitute commodities were in excess of earlier predictions. It was therefore decided to reduce, liquidate, or terminate a number of the stockpile programs. By December 1944, Government responsibility for a little more than half of these stockpile programs, and particularly for flax, istle, jute, and raffia fibers, had been withdrawn.

However, while the supply of most textile raw materials was fairly good throughout the year, supplies of hides and skins, cordage fibers, certain chemicals, and many of the textile manufactured products, became more stringent as the year progressed. This was due, in part, to changes in military specifications, such as the shift to combat boots which use about 25 percent more leather than standard military footwear; in part to sharp increases in military needs, such as the rise in cotton duck and rayon tire cord requirements; and in part to the interchangeability of facilities and the fact that several fabrics may draw upon the same supply source.

In general, compared with peacetime standards, production of practically all textiles textile products was amazingly high. Weekly production of sales yarn cotton, rayon, and wool, usually made in nonintegrated spinning mills for use by knitters, weavers, and others--for the year 1944 averaged 33,300 pounds, as compared with an average production in 1939 of 20,900 pounds, and in 1941 of 29,800 pounds. It was under the 1942 weekly average production of 35,200 and the 1943 weekly average production of 15,000 pounds, however. Part of the explanation for the decline lies in the fact that falling employment beginning in late 1943 cut into the cotton yarn industry's output. Another part of the cause for the decline lies in the fact that the cotton tire cord mills, which were furnishing about 2 million pounds per week of sales yarn to cotton duck weavers in late 1942, resumed tire cord production about the middle of 1943 as the supply of synthetic rubber came in. Some of this production was


again made available for cotton duck by War Production Board direction in the last half of 1944 when the supply of rayon tire cord was expanded and tire cord inventories were accumulating.

United States production of rayon filament yarn and staple fiber increased from a weekly average of 8,800 pounds in 1939 to an average of approximately 13,700 pounds for 1944, which was well above the 12,700-pound weekly average production of 1943. However, the total 50 million-pound rise in 1944 over 1943 total production was chiefly due to an increase in the output of high-tenacity, tire-type rayon yarn, and technical advances tending to increase unit facility output of other types of rayon yarn were more than offset by conversion of equipment to tire cord production. The principal loser was the civilian economy, and at the end of the year rayon production was inadequate in the face of rising requirements.

Although by the end of 1944 the United States was producing cotton duck and duck substitutes at a rate more than four times that of duck production for an average peacetime year, the two outstanding and continuing textile production problems of the War Production Board in 1944 were cotton duck and cotton tire cord, both reflecting unpredictably sharp rises in military requirements. The fact that both products tap the same supply source and use partly interchangeable facilities greatly complicated the situation.

In 1943, military procurement programs for tentage fabrics were cut back sharply, creating a relatively easy supply situation for cotton duck. Shortly thereafter, in the early fall of 1943, when the expansion program for tires and tubes was embarked upon, requirements for cotton (as well as rayon) tire cord went up. Accordingly, the War Production Board acted to shift cotton sales yarn, and to convert many cotton duck looms to the manufacture of cotton tire cord and certain items of civilian apparel which were in short supply. As a result, the military tire expansion program was met, and the work clothes situation eased a bit.

Despite the 1943 drastic cut-back in tentage requirements, it was discovered, as United States forces moved across the hot and humid Pacific islands, that mildew and rot were destroying cotton fabrics much more rapidly than had been anticipated, and military requirements for tentage fabrics rose sharply in the early part of 1944. This rise was followed by further sharp increases as the year progressed. In order to meet the military requirements, production was stepped up as fast as possible with available manpower, and a supply of substitute fabrics developed. This latter action, however, created serious problems in the work clothing field, and threatened a substantial reduction in the 1945 supply of overalls.

With the exception of cotton duck, all military programs of 1944 were met. Nevertheless, because of a decline of employment--a decline that continued all during 19445 despite some rise in the relatively low wage scale in the industry--it was possible to meet the military programs only by drastic restrictions on civilian items. Large portions of available facilities were especially allocated to military production; for example, 100 percent of the worsted industry facilities were frozen to fill military orders which rose steeply after D-day in Europe. Where the supply was inadequate


to meet both military and civilian demands, the civilian was the loser.

Knit underwear production in 1944 was 8 percent below 1943, reflecting a reduced supply of yarn, as well as a shortage of manpower. The same was true of hosiery, for which 1944 production was about 4 percent under the 1943 total. The over-all output of suits and coats declined 10 percent from 1943. There were fewer shoes available to civilians in 1944. Here,however,, it was a shortage of raw materials, and loss of workers to higher-paying war industries, rather than lack of facilities that was responsible for the inadequate supply.

A total of 20.9 million domestic cattle hides became available in 1944, an increase of nearly 3 million over 1943, but imports declined from 4.6 to 3 million, making the net increase in supply something less than a million hides. Against this comparatively small gain, both Army and Navy needs were increased. The Army shoe requirements for the year were raised from an early estimate of 23.7 million pairs to 26.5 million pairs, while the adoption of the combat boot, using one-quarter more leather than the standard shoe, further increased the raw material outlay. The Navy's shoe requirements rose from 15.3 million to 19.8 million pairs.

In 1944, tanners were working with reduced quantities of tanning materials and a short labor supply to process into leather the cattle hides and skins allocated to them. The shoe industry in 1944 manufactured all the shoes for which leather could be obtained, as well as millions of pairs made with composition or other non-leather soles and uppers of non-leather materials popularly known as "non-rationed" shoes. Nevertheless, the shoe and leather supplies were far from plentiful, although the civilian was comparatively well shod in 1944.

The War Production Board's efforts to alleviate the worsening textiles and leather situation of 1944 followed three lines: (1) In the case of short supply, materials were allocated to the most essential users; (2) attempts were made, in cooperation with other Government agencies, and with the Industry, to ease the decline in manpower by increasing the work week; and (3) programs were initiated to foster increased production of low-priced essential civilian items such as children's wear, work clothes, and underwear and knit goods.

More leather was set aside for shoe repairing in 1944 than in 1943; special treatment to increase the wearing quality of shoe soles was encouraged; to correct a serious deficiency in the supply of misses', children's and infants' shoes, operations were permitted at 125 percent of the base period for these sizes, and additional leather was supplied; and adult shoe rations were tightened in order to increase the supply of shoes for children, who grow out of and wear out their shoes more rapidly.

In May 1944, the War Manpower Commission, at the request of the War Production Board, instituted a mandatory 48-hour work week throughout the cotton textile industry, and encouraged three-shift operation. Cotton textiles were added to the critical list, and cotton tire cord and cotton duck were placed on the production urgency list.

In order to counteract the influences that tended to the production of high-priced, rather than low-priced garments, the War Production Board


issued a series of allocation programs, designed to alleviate the shortage of garments in the low-cost categories. The programs issued in 1944 included knit underwear, children's apparel, maternity undergarments, women's house dresses and slips, and men's shirts and shorts.

Aviation Gasoline.--Without high-octane gasoline, the huge bombers--the B-29's, the Liberators, and the Flying Fortresses--and the fast fighter planes--the Mustangs, the Hellcats, and the Black Widows--might have been built, but they could not have been flown. It is the high-octane gasoline that makes possible the quick take-off speed, the long range, the high altitude, and the heavy loads of modern planes.

The knock factor in internal-combustion engines--the tendency of the best prewar engines, powered with the best fuels, to knock after a certain compression ratio was reached--was long a limiting factor in engine building. In the mid-1920's, chemists discovered that this knock, an annoyance to the average motorist, but a disaster to the aviator handling a high-speed engine, could be eliminated by the use of a new, perfectly burning, pure hydro-carbon fuel, popularly called iso-octane. Iso-octane therefore became the standard in fuel measurement, and commercial gasolines were given octane numbers representing their approach to its performance. However, although 1944 aviation gasoline performance has topped the prewar 100-octane scale, a few years before the war 87-octane gasoline was the best obtainable.

About 2 years before the Germans marched into Poland, one large superbomber, the B-15, had been built for the United States Army, a bomber that set records for range and load-carrying capacities, but lacked the speed and altitude performance required for such a military plane, principally because more powerful engines were not available to equal the increase in the plane's size. And the principal reason for the nonavailability of engines suited to the size of the plane was the fact that the aviation gasoline then in use was not of sufficiently high octane content to fuel such an engine, had it been built. We have come a long way from 100-octane gasoline needed, but not available, for the B-15, to the 100-plus octane gasoline that powers the B-29.

High-octane gasoline is not a single product; it is rather a blend of a base stock, usually a naphtha derived from natural crude oils of high antiknock properties, with high quality synthetic hydrocarbons and tetra-ethyl lead. Hydrocarbons are the key to high power and antiknock performance, but petroleum contains few of the hydrocarbons best suited to perfect fuel combustion. It was therefore necessary to produce the high-octane gasoline synthetically, by a series of processes, known as cracking, polymerization and alkylation, isomerization, and hydrogenation, through heat, pressure, and the action of catalysts, those chemical agents that mysteriously midwife chemical reactions.

A few days before Pearl Harbor, responsibility for production and distribution of aviation gasoline and other fuels was transferred from the War Production Board's predecessor agency to the then newly created Office of Petroleum Administration for War, and since that time that office has had full responsibility for production and distribution of aviation gasoline. The War Production Board, however, has had the responsibility


for seeing that the component materials, and the facilities for producing aviation gasoline were available in the right quantities, and at the right times, to meet the established schedules.

That job was not an easy one, since production of high-octane aviation gasoline more than doubled each year since 1941, the 1944 total being 80.6 million barrels more than 1943's total production. At the beginning of the defense program, the Army and Navy were consuming less than 4,000 4,000 barrels of 100-octane fuel per day, and exports were running in the neighborhood of 10,000 barrels per day. By December 1944, requirements had increased almost 50 times from the early figure, and were expected to go even higher in 1945.

It was the War Production Board's task to see that the basic materials, such as copper and steel, and the machinery needed for the construction of the huge new cracking and alkylation plants needed for the production of high-octane gasoline to meet these requirements, were available. This meant weighing the needs for these materials and machinery against the demands for the same materials and similar machinery, cutting down the less essential needs, and allocating machines and materials on a basis of strategic and time urgency.

Although toluene is a valuable component of high-octane gasoline, since it enlivens the gasoline's performance, it is also the basic ingredient of trinitro-toluene, the familiar TNT. Aviation gasoline requirements for toluene therefore came into direct conflict with requirements for munitions, and when the explosives program was sharply increased in the last quarter of 1944, the amount of toluene available for aviation gasoline was decreased. Fortunately, cumene, a derivative of benzene, had been developed as a substitute component that both improved the performance of aviation gasoline and increased gasoline production. But again two vitally important military programs came into conflict, for another use of benzene is in the production of styrene, a synthetic rubber ingredient, and the synthetic rubber program had also been increased. The War Production Board, by attempting to increase imports, carefully screening end-use requirements to decrease use of benzene for relatively less important uses, and drawing from the stock pile, tried to provide sufficient materials to meet the military demand.

However, coupled with the problem of components, toward the end of 1944, came an increase in requirements for aviation gasoline itself, as the round-the-clock bombings of Europe, and the mounting activity of the B-29 heavy bombers in the Pacific, plus all the added air transport activity necessary to transport men and materials to and from widespread fighting fronts, sent aviation gasoline requirements into stratospheric figures. Production was unable to rise as steeply as the soaring requirements, with the result that demands for aviation gasoline at the end of 1944 were in excess of supplies.

Lumber.--Lumber, like textiles, was an industry in which supplies became tight in late 1943 and continued critical during 1944. The serious lumber situation was due both to increasing demand and declining production. Early in the war, lumber was called upon to substitute, in case


after case, where metal supplies fell below requirements, and demand continued to skyrocket in 1944.

However, the climbing demand of 1944 was coupled with falling output, especially in November and December. The lumbering industry suffered heavy losses of workers throughout the war, not only to the better-paying and more directly war-supporting shipyards, aircraft factories, and naval and military construction projects, but also to the Selective Service System. Since the law accorded special consideration to agricultural workers in connection with the draft, rural draft boards were compelled in many instances to draw their quotas from loggers and woodcutters and other nonfarm industries. A decline in agricultural workers was also reflected in the lumber supply, since a considerable amount of lumber felled in the United States is cut by farmers in off-season periods. Employment in lumbering in 1944 was 27 percent below the 1936-40 average, with recruitment difficulties magnified by the industry's relatively low wage scale and with the skill of available workers steadily declining.

Equipment was a problem during 1944. The rate of breakdown increased because of the advanced age of much of the equipment. Since a very high percentage of lumber moves on trucks at some point, the tire shortage of the last quarter of 1944 proved a serious handicap to the industry. Although truck equipment replacements were about the same as in previous years, heavy tractor allocations (heavy tractors being used almost exclusively in the southern woods to haul logs to the roads or mills) were far below normal.

Finally, to the other factors contributing to lowered lumber production was added bad weather. 1944 was characterized in the Northern woods by extremely cold weather and in the last two months of the year by unusually heavy snows; in the South there were extremely heavy spring rains.

The War Production Board attempted to improve the manpower situation of the lumber industry. It enlisted War Labor Board cooperation to raise disproportionately low wages in nondispute cases and War Food Administration cooperation to increase the participation of farmers in wood production during the slack farming season. Greater mechanization of logging operations, draft deferment of loggers, and some use of prisoners of war in felling logs also helped the manpower picture. These measures, as well as limitation of lumber use and allocation to the most essential consumers, enabled the War Production Board to meet all major requirements. 1944 lumber supply was, nevertheless, insufficient to fill all needs of the civilian economy.

Wood Pulp.--Out of every seven trees felled, five are headed for lumber and two for pulpwood. The pulp wood logs, macerated and reduced with chemicals, become woodpulp, the intermediate material from which paper is made. Like lumber, paper and paper products have been put to hundreds of new uses during the war as substitutes for other critical products, leaving less for requirements of paper and paper products for the more

familiar uses, which have all risen sharply.

The cause of the tight supply begins in the woods, where the modern methods of pulpwood logging are slow to be adopted and where there is shortage of loggers to fell the pulpwood. Transportation difficulties, both


for pulpwood logs and woodpulp, have played a part, as have decreased imports. The reason for the increased demand, on the other hand, is directly traceable to increased military needs: Increases of ordnance pulp, used as a substitute for cotton linters in explosives, of waterproof papers for the Army, of photographic papers, of containers, of V-boxes for over-seas shipment. Practically every piece of equipment produced in the United States today is packaged in some manner in a paper or paper product. It is necessary only to consider the tremendous increase in output of all types of equipment during the war years to understand the burden that has been placed upon the woodpulp and paper and paperboard industries, as well as upon the War Production Board, in its task of seeing that production meets requirements, and that supply is distributed to fill all essential needs.

Strenuous efforts were made by the War Production Board during 1944 to augment the woodpulp supply, by increasing the efficiency of pulpwood logging, enlisting War Labor Board cooperation to permit needed wage adjustments, stimulating increased cutting of pulpwood by farm labor, arranging to increase imports from Canada, and limiting end use to those items directly connected with the war effort. A wastepaper salvage campaign was vigorously promoted during 1944, since wastepaper can be substituted for woodpulp to a certain extent in paper and paperboard production, and conservation measures have been urged, and instituted throughout the Nation.

While, therefore, the year's domestic output of slightly more than 10 million tons of woodpulp was below that of the early years of the war, it did represent a gain of some 400,000 tons over 1943, and the conservation and control measures instituted during 1944 were expected to bring about a more equitable supply-demand balance in 1945.


Power, fuel, and water are vital to war production. It takes 20,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity to produce 1 ton of aluminum; the manufacture of a medium tank uses 5 million cubic feet of gas; the transportation system of the country runs on coal and oil; and neither domestic nor industrial life can proceed without water. The output of power and fuel increased all along the line in 1944 and water supplies were adequate, but conservation continued to be essential to keep the war machine in operation and to maintain essential civilian services.

Electric Power.--The generation of electric power, including hydroelectric projects and coal and oil burning plants, amounted to 231 billion kilowatt-hours in 1944, or slightly more than 100 billion above the 1939 total. Nineteen-forty-four production, however, was only a 10 billion kilowatt-hour increase over 1943, reflecting the substantial completion of the power facilities expansion program in the earlier year. A further expansion was authorized in 1944, however, to come into operation in 1945 and 1946. The primary purpose of this new expansion is not to increase over-all capacity but to permit the rehabilitation of equipment overloaded in recent years. During the war, the usual summertime valley in the power-load cycle disappeared, with the result that maintenance work


was neglected and must be made up, in part at least, during the next 2 years.

Despite pressure for removal of the major power conservation measure of the war--"war time"--the War Production Board insisted on its continuance, since if standard time were restored probably a million kilowatts of new generating capacity would have to be installed and a million more tons of coal a year would be consumed. Fortunately, the large cutbacks in primary aluminum production released substantial quantities of electric power for other essential uses.

The rural electrification program was continued, with approximately 125,000 farms being connected in 1944 as against about 100,000 in 1943. The progressive liberation of Nazi and Japanese conquered areas by the Allies, in 1944, necessitated greater food production in the United States. At the same time, farm labor supply was inadequate, and the rural electrification program was designed to give first preference to dairy and other farms whose electrification would directly contribute to increasing food production.

The year saw no important shortage of electric energy, but shortages of certain types of equipment made it necessary to allocate new electric services to some extent. Both electric watt-hour meters and small distribution transformers were in short supply, and the supply of poles diminished as the year advanced. Copper wire was also in a tight position, as military demand for communication wire increased.

Gas.--The gas utility output of natural and manufactured gas reached a 1944 total of 2,676 billion cubic feet, as compared with 2,452 billion in 1943 and 1,681 billion in 1939. The year was featured by the completion of several important gas pipe lines, including the largest natural gas line in the world, a 26-inch pipe extending 1,200 miles from Texas to West Virginia, capable of delivering 200 million cubic feet a day. Other important pipe lines completed in 1944 are serving Ohio and Michigan, New York State, and the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas in California. Improvement in the supplies of petroleum products to manufactured gas utilities, as well as construction of facilities, made it possible to lift certain restrictions on systems with adequate gas generating capacity. By the end of the year, manufactured gas utilities serving approximately 6 million customers were free to connect new space-heating loads and loads converted from other fuels.

However, because of the extreme variations in use of gas caused by changes in temperature, and the necessity for protecting war production and essential civilian uses in periods of peak demand, allocation of gas service continued to be essential. On the whole, peak requirements were met. On only a few days in January, February, March, and December was it necessary to curtail deliveries to important war production plants, and then only in the Appalachian area.

Coal.--In 1944 the War Production Board continued its cooperation with the Solid Fuels Administration for War in an effort to meet requirements for coal. Domestic production of both bituminous coal, which is used principally for industrial purposes, and of anthracite coal, whose major use is in home heating, exceeded that of any previous year, reaching


a combined bituminous-anthracite production total of 684 million tons, as against 647 million tons for 1943. Total bituminous, or soft coal, production was almost 7 percent higher, and anthracite, or hard, coal production almost 14 percent higher than in 1943. However, coal requirements rise and fall in inverse ratio to the thermometer, and the coal situation was serious in the early cold months of 1944, and again late in the year when requirements rose and production fell off sharply in the face of an unusually cold winter season.

Although total production for the year was higher than in previous years, there was a production decline from quarter to quarter, so that fourth quarter bituminous production was some 12.6 million tons less than first quarter production, and fourth quarter anthracite production was some 1.9 million tons less than first quarter production. Labor shortages and transportation difficulties were responsible for the loss in output, although productivity per man-day was increased by greater mechanization of the mines and by longer working hours.

The tight supply situation during the early months of 1944 was tided over by controlling shipments to industrial consumers and by controlling domestic use at the dealer level. Despite considerable pressure, the War Production Board in March decided against any form of coupon rationing compared with an average of 4.5 million barrels per day during 1943. [Missing text] exclusively responsible for allocation. The voluntary fuel conservation program sponsored jointly by the War Production Board and the Solid Fuels Administration for War in the summer of 1943 was continued through the spring of 1944 until it began to fail because of a lack of understanding of its necessity and because of defaults by competitive consumers. The campaign was again begun with renewed vigor in the fall of 1944, but in the absence of an appropriation to the Solid Fuels Administration for War for this purpose, the conservation program dwindled.

The sharp drop in December coal output precipitated a serious shortage both for industrial production and for household heating, and the production of manufactured gas and of electric power was directly threatened by the shortage.

Petroleum and Petroleum Products.--The petroleum supply available to the United States in 1944 was considerably above that available in 1943. Measured in terms of barrels per day, there was available to the United States by December 1944, approximately 5.2 million barrels per day, as compared with an average of 4.5 million barrels per day during 1943.

Crude oil production had reached a rate of 4.7 million barrels per day by December 1944, as compared with an average production rate of 4.1 million barrels per day in 1943; and domestic output of natural gas had reached an output of 330,000 barrels per day by December 1944, as compared with a daily average of 248,000 barrels per day in 1943.

The production of refinery products increased in proportion, with December 1944 output of gasoline, including aviation fuel, being almost 2.1 million barrels per day. Average daily output of gasoline during 1943 had been approximately 1.7 million barrels. However, demand had climbed with production, so that at the end of 1944 there was only a very slight margin of output over demand.


The requirements of the Armed Services for motor fuel of all grades increased sharply in June, so that gasoline requirements for the third quarter of the year were running at an average rate of 70,000 barrels per day above the daily production during the same period. As a consequence, while production was increased to fill the military demand, supplies for domestic transportation continued to be short. Early in the year the supply of fuel oil in California was inadequate to meet military and other essential needs, and it was necessary to reduce use of this fuel by utilities to a minimum, by making maximum use of hydroelectric energy and natural gas for steam-electric generation. Fuel oil for domestic heating continued to be in short supply.

Water.--Water supplies, both for domestic and industrial use, were adequate for all essential needs during 1944, although in a number of localities conservation of some water uses was necessary. An accumulated rainfall deficiency, constituting a serious potential threat to the Nation's water supplies at the beginning of 1944, was relieved by widespread and heavy rainfall in February and March. On the whole, water utilities were in a sound position to satisfy all demands, largely because of steps taken earlier in the war to meet the industrial, military, and housing needs for water service for the expanding war program.

After 3 years of war, 1944 found some water facilities growing obsolete; others, because maintenance and repair had declined as much as 50 percent from normal peacetime standards, were wearing out rapidly. During 1944, therefore, WPB approved applications involving water works construction in the United States and foreign countries, with a total cost of almost $120 million. These construction projects fell into three classes: (1) Emergency actions taken to avert deficiencies, such as the substitution of municipal water for ground water for industrial plants in Louisville, Ky., so as to build up ground water reserves which were being depleted by increased pumping rates in the plants producing alcohol for synthetic rubber; (2) actions taken in anticipation of definitely predictable deficiencies, as in the case of obsolescent equipment; and (3) actions taken as justifiable precautions against possible future deficiencies, such as increases in water facilities for such metropolitan areas, as New York and Baltimore.

The easing of the metals situation and the loosening of wartime controls had their effect on water supplies. When, in November 1944, copper again became available for tubing for underground water and gas service connections, installation of utility services was simplified and both cost and manpower requirements were reduced. With the availability of flat rolled steel in the latter part of the year, elevated steel storage tanks for water could again be constructed instead of the concrete ones substituted earlier in the war.


Supply the Key Resources:
Components and Manpower


Components the middlemen of manufacture, are the items perhaps the least familiar and the most difficult to control in the whole war economy. Yet, like the horseshoe nail for lack of which a battle was lost, they are vitally important, whether the component be the bolt that joins together two sections of an airplane fuselage, or the giant 50,000-horsepower turbine that powers a battleship. The components going into the finished products necessary for modern war range all the way from minute jewel bearings for delicate instruments to huge steel castings and forgings, from tiny fractional horsepower electric motors to mammoth marine turbines, and many of these components, such as engines and pumps, winches, motor controls, and axles, have subcomponents of their own, each of which must be produced and delivered in proper quantity and on schedule or some vital end product will he delayed.

For example, each major invasion requires the use of thousands of those amphibious vehicles technically known as LVT's--Landing Vehicles, Tracked. Each LVT has 2,600 parts, including pistons, connecting rods, bearings, gears, shafts, all meshing together to make the LVT swim or ride.

A further idea of the infinite complexity and variety of components entering the production of a modern war vehicle may be gained from the B-29 Superfortress, which was perhaps 1944's most outstanding war machine development. Every piece of equipment that moves on the B-29, with the sole exception of the hydraulic braking system, is activated either by an electric motor or cable, which means that hundreds of small fractional horsepower motors are needed for every B-29 produced. The huge bomber is powered with four 2,000 horsepower engines, each of which is in turn composed of hundreds of small parts--parts of extremely fine tolerances that had to be produced by precision machines, which in turn, produced by other, more general, machines. Since the Superfortress is a high altitude plane, it had to be equipped with turbo-superchargers to permit the engines to breathe sea level air at high altitudes. These superchargers are, in turn, dependent upon ball bearings, as


are the engines, propellers, bombsights, and instruments. Intercoolers were necessary to cool all parts of the engines, but air cooling systems are again built around another machine, in this case, the compressor. The instrument board is a marvel of complexity, with its delicate, precision made instruments, including manometers, to register pressure on air ducts and over the wings; potentiometers to record temperatures at various points in the power plants; and flowmeters to indicate the flow of fuel. From its electronic radio equipment to the propeller shaft that frees a blockbuster's firing pin, the Superfortress is not only a machine; it is a masterful assembly of thousands of machines. The B-29 represents not only the machines which compose it, but the machinery that made and assembled those machine-parts: The jigs and dies and lathes that made the wing and fuselage sections; the hydraulic jacks and the cranes and the assembly belts that helped its putting-together process; the torsion wrenches that bolted together the various sections; and even the rivets and screws and bolts that hod it together.

This is but a partial listing of the components and machinery entering the production of a B-29. Yet the same such listing, on a larger or smaller scale, can be made for every piece of war equipment, from a bombsight to a battleship.

Because the ultimate use of component in a final assembly is so often difficult to identify, the War Production Board found that maintaining the supply of components was in most cases more difficult in 1944 than assuring an adequate flow of raw materials. However, the production and flow of critical components was materially aided during 1944 by the operation of General Scheduling Order M-293, and with the exception of a few critical items, programs as a whole were met.

Engines--One of the most complex and critical of all components is the group of power producers--internal-combustion engines, steam engines, steam and electric turbines, and electric motors. In a war in which mobility and mechanization are all-important, the internal-combustion engine industry has been called upon to power an unprecedented amount of combat equipment, from tanks and planes and landing craft to bulldozers and fire control devices. In addition, there are multiple applications incident to combat, such as refrigeration and water purification units for the maintenance of advance bases. And always, in providing engines for equipment to be used in combat, provision must also be made for spares--new engines and parts for the landing craft damaged on a Pacific beach, for the truck stalled along a European road, for the airplane that limps back to its base with a bullet-riddled motor. The engine production load has been made still heavier by a trend toward more complete mechanization in such fields as agriculture and mining, to offset manpower losses.

In 1944, a total of approximately 2.6 million automotive-type, internal-combustion engines, not counting aircraft engines or marine Diesels, were produced,d about 22 percent more than in 1943. Liquid-cooled gasoline engines accounted for the largest proportion of the total, with an output of 1,790,000, a 38 percent increase over 1943. Production of Diesel engines, other than marine, increased 24 percent to a total of 151,000; while


the 675,000 air-cooled gasoline engines produced in 1944 represented a 5 percent decline from the previous year, attributable directly to decreased demand. Since the production of internal-combustion engines is largely an assembly process, it is controlled by the flow of the "tightest" component. In the early months of 1944, the principal bottleneck was crankshafts, but cylinder block and head castings, bearings, oil and water pumps, flywheel ring gears, fuel-injection equipment, cylinder liners, and flywheel-type magnetos have each been the most critical item at one time or another. As the year ended, oil and water pumps and cylinder block and head castings were the major problems.

The difficulty in crankshafts was a lack of machining facilities, rather than forging capacity. The difficulty was somewhat relieved when the aircraft program was cut back, releasing some machining facilities to the automotive industry, and this factor, combined with a controlled distribution of the supply of finished crankshafts solved the problem to a great extent. Cylinder block and head castings were critical throughout the year for two reasons: inadequate facilities and shortage of skilled labor at the foundries. Friction bearings were critical through most of the year because facilities were inadequate and there was insufficient manpower to utilize existing facilities to the extent required to meet demands. There were not enough flywheel ring gears to go around because the largest single supplier was greatly overburdened with orders. A lack of facilities held cylinder liner production under demand, but an expansion program approved in 1944 is expected to relive the situation. Oil and water pumps were critical because one manufacturer produces most of these pumps and cannot expand to meet the total industry requirements.

The production of aircraft engines continued to increase, with a 1944 total of more than 259,000, an increase of almost 15 percent over 1943, and an increase of almost 400 percent over 1941. The emphasis shifted in the direction of larger horsepower and new models; the first deliveries of jet engines were included in the 1944 total.

The production of main propulsion units for ships, comprising turbines and gears, marine Diesels, and reciprocating steam engines, set a new record in 1944. The 36 million aggregate horsepower added to naval and merchant fleets during the year amounted to over 12 times the output of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Turbine production reached an all-time high of 1,636 units, ranging from 3,000 to 53,000 horsepower. Aggregate horsepower exceeded 1943 by 9 percent, and totaled 18 million, or enough to supply 5 cities the size of New York. To achieve this production record for turbines, special attention had to be given to the supply of forgings, steel castings, stainless steel for blading, steel plate for casings, oil pumps, and parts for turbine-control systems.

Almost equal to the turbines in aggregate horsepower were the 73,000 marine Diesel engines produced in 1944, and increase of 48 percent in engines and 34 percent in horsepower over 1943. Fifty-three thousand of the Diesels, representing over 10 million horsepower, were for landing craft. Ten thousand of these were delivered ahead of the actual requirements of the landings vessels. Again problems of supplying components, such as blocks, heads, cylinder liners, crankshafts, camshafts, fuel-injector


systems, and bearings, had to be solved to make this engine production possible.

The substantial increase in production of internal combustion engines in 1944 was accomplished in spite of recurrent shortages of engine components, but at the expense of spares. The component shortages made it necessary for the Armed Forces in many instances to waive their concurrent spare parts shipments during the greater part of the year. By the year-end, the situation was extremely critical, with unfilled orders for spare parts for marine Diesel engines alone totalling $187 million for 15 major companies representing 95 percent of the total marine parts orders, and amounting to about three and one-half times the number of critical fast-wearing parts that would be needed for new engine production in 1945. To cope with this situation, the War Production Board brought all internal combustion engine parts under scheduling control in November.

Deliveries of reciprocating steam engines declined more than 50 percent in 1944, due to the rapid decline in the Liberty ship program. By the close of the year all but 39 of the 2,755 engines ordered for Liberty ships since 1941 had been delivered.

Electric Motors.--Fractional horsepower electric motors are familiar to the civilian as the mechanisms that run his windshield wiper, washing machine, sewing machine, refrigerator, and vacuum cleaner. The businessman knows the small electric motors as the activating power of his officer machinery: mimeographs, addressographs, calculators. Fractional horsepower motors are also components of a variety of vital military equipment, including bombers, battleships, water purification machinery, and the like.

At the beginning of 1944 most types of fractional horsepower motors were either critically short or were just meeting requirements. Monthly output of all fractionals increased from slightly more the 937 thousand in January 1944 to more than 1.25 million by November, but supply was still below demand at the year end and there was a considerable backlog of unfilled orders on manufacturers' books. The increase in demand was attributable to a number of causes, but principally to a great increase in military requirements resulting from increasing electrification of Ordnance devices, and preparation for the invasion of Europe. Great numbers of the small motors were needed for the establishment of transient Army camps and emergency rehabilitation following the invasion and during the advance into enemy territory. A second cause was in crease in civilian needs. Many civilian appliances were by 1944, well above the normal age and life expectancy, and were beginning to break down at an increasingly rapid rate. Requirements for electric motors for farm water systems increased 50 percent during 1944, and for commercial refrigerators increased 90 percent. Food processing requirements were higher than in previous years. Too, in the general optimism of the summer, manufacturers, anticipating an early return to civilian production, began to order ahead on the motors and motor components, and because of the difficulty in identifying end uses of components, it was hard to know whether the orders represented real, or anticipated needs. The War Production Board therefore found it necessary to issue Order L-341, which required all users to


file applications showing past usage and future needs before allotments were made.

Production of small aircraft fractional horsepower electric motors increased from 174,000 per month in January to close to 300,000 by the end of the year, a gain of 65 percent, with the result that although small aircraft motors were extremely tight in January, requirements were being filled to a fair degree at the year end. The critical situation of the early months of the year was due in large part to the shortage of ball bearings, a shortage alleviated to a great extent by the operation of General Scheduling Order M-293.

Design changes in large inverters, made during the summer of 1944, held back production for a few months, so that average monthly production showed a decline from the 9,500 monthly total of January to a little more than 8,900 for November. It was expected that the redesigned products would be in full production shortly after the year end and would so correct the inverter problems.

LST's require great numbers of shipbuilding type DC motors, to power the elevators that lower trucks and tanks into the huge, garagelike hold; to operate the blowers that draw off exhaust gases from the vehicles warming up in the hold, ready to roll down the ramp as soon as the landing craft hits the beach; to open the huge doors in the bow of the ship, and for a variety of other needs. The landing craft program placed very heavy demands on the industry for shipbuilding type DC motors late in 1943 and early in 1944. By issuing directives to manufacturers, and adjusting and freezing schedules, the War Production Board was able to increase production of this type of motor, of 1 to 500 horsepower, from 11,852 units in November 1943 to 17,297 units by April 1944--the heaviest demand for motors of any single program.

Production of direct-current motors for both Navy and Maritime Commission shipbuilding programs averaged 20 percent above 1943, and as motors and generators for shipbuilding programs are scheduled under Order M-293, not a great deal of difficulty is experienced in filling requirements when sufficient lead time is given.

Motors for other critical military programs, such as heavy ammunition and heavy artillery, certain types of aircraft and engines, and rockets, included under Order M-293, and are not scheduled. A large percentage of the motors for these programs are special in many respects, such as being explosion proof and possessing mounted brakes and variable speed, and their production time is generally longer than required delivery. Therefore, the War Production Board has been forced to take special directive action in order to meet short delivery requests.

The two chief problems encountered by the Board in scheduling motor production during 1944 were, first, the fact that almost 90 percent of all motor orders carried an AA-1 rating, which left the manufacturer no choice but to fill orders according to date received, and which resulted in some less essential orders being filled before extremely urgent programs, except as individual orders were scheduled by War Production Board directive; and second, the fact that orders from subcontractors on important military programs were not properly identified. This sometimes


times resulted in certain essential components not being produced in proper coordination with the prime end product. However, wartime experience has revealed that it is practically impossible to regulate perfectly, components beyond the third level of subcontracting.

Fractional horsepower motors to the value of more than $447 million were shipped in 1944, as compared with $374 million in 1943. The value of integral electric motors, however, declined from $546 million in 1943 to approximately $492 million in 1944 (chart 15).

Chart 15


Ship and Aircraft Components.--Ship components other than engines met all requirements in 1944, although sometimes with little margin of safety. Because of the enormous demand created by the landing craft program, more gear units were shipped in 1944 than would have been delivered in 5 peacetime years. The peak, reached in May, was nearly 9,000 units a month. The 4,200 marine boilers produced in 1944 met all requirements, as did propellers and shafting. In these latter categories the number of units was well in excess of 1943, but because the bulk of the output was in smaller sizes for landing craft the over-all tonnage declined. What appeared to be a critical shortage of stud link anchor chain in midyear was overcome by closely checking requirements, but the industry was unable to supply all needs for on-board spares and maintenance stock.

The supply position of aircraft components and material items improved considerably throughout the year, with the result that there was a corresponding decline in the number of items under allocation. In January 1944 there were 23 aircraft items under allocation by the War Production Board. By the end of the year, however, the number of these items had declined to 10. Important among the components whose positions eased during the year were piston and sealing rings, intercoolers, engine mounts, distributor heads, electric primers, water-injection regulators, actuating cylinders, flexible shafts, retractor motors, hydraulic valves, and oleo struts. Certain types of carburetors remained under allocation throughout the year because of the constantly changing aircraft engine program, while magnetos, removed from allocation in August, had again become critical at the close of the year. The supply of aluminum and magnesium fabrications was generally satisfactory during the year. However, aluminum sheet inventories reached dangerously low levels toward the end of 1944, so that this material, along with steel tubing, was becoming critical.

Electric Batteries.--Electric batteries, both storage and dry cell, presented more or less serious problems during the year. Greatly increased demand for military storage batteries late in 1944, in keeping with the general upswing in military requirements, made necessary various plant conversions, adjustments, and expansions. At the same time the production of civilian automotive replacement batteries, approximating 19 million, was the largest since the beginning of the war. Battery inventories, however, have been reduced to a minimum level because of the heavy demand created by present-day driving conditions: deterioration through lack of use, poorer fuel, and the fact that no new cars have been produced since 1942.

Where the requirements for storage batteries increased more or less steadily, the demand for dry cell batteries doubled in a single spurt a short time before the invasion of France. There are more than 300 million uses for dry cell batteries, including walkie-talkies, bazookas, land mine detectors, and a variety of communication devices. Since the product is perishable, large inventories cannot be built up, and the need is greatest when military activity is at its height. When requirements were raised, just before the invasion of France, there was only one manufacturer of


the required production machinery, and his schedule indicated that it would be late in the year before additional equipment could be supplied to the battery manufacturers. Nevertheless, the job was done in a matter of weeks; and the walkie-talkies and bazookas were in the hands of the soldiers who went ashore in Normandy on D-day. Total production for military claimants in 1944 more than doubled over 1943: where 1943 output had been just over 600 million cells, 1944's production was close to a billion and a half cells.

Antifriction Bearings.--If it is possible to say that any one part of such a complex mechanism as a war machine is more important than another, then antifriction bearings are that part. Antifriction bearings enter virtually all mechanical devices, from domestic household appliances to aircraft, precision instruments, and electronic equipment. There are some 30,000 different types, sizes, and modifications of antifriction bearings, 5,000 of which are in fairly common demand.

Antifriction bearings have been a problem all during the war, and were most troublesome during the last half of 1943 and the first half of 1944. Prewar demands for antifriction bearings had been very largely for medium-size bearings. War demands required small sizes and special types, which in turn meant the creation of new manufacturing facilities. When these facilities came into operation, alloy steel was in such short supply that enough could not be spared to operate the plants at capacity, and the industry was therefore unable to build up a comfortable inventory cushion. When the steel situation improved, an uneven order load and manpower shortages at key plants made it impossible to operate at capacity.

From the War Production Board's standpoint the problem was further complicated by the fact that the great variety of sizes, the many products requiring bearings, and the numerous levels, prime and subcontracting, at which bearings are purchased, made it impossible to get sufficiently detailed information to use as a basis for accurate scheduling.

In 1944, the Board succeeded by various methods in bringing supply and demand into balance. In late 1943 a centralized expediting section had been established, which continued in operation until September 1944. Large deliveries of bearings to contractors and subcontractors were thoroughly screened under General Scheduling Order M-293.

The Armed Services had been ordering spare subassemblies containing bearings and asking that both the original and spare subassemblies be delivered simultaneously. By mutual agreement with the Armed Services, the War Production Board initiated a spares moratorium in the latter part of 1943, and continued it through the early months of 1944. This resulted in easing the situation, directly, by the cancellation of many orders for spares, and indirectly, by the establishing of depots by the Armed Services for salvaging bearings, and in a resurvey and recalculation on a downward trend of future requirements. It was possible to discontinue the moratorium after the invasion of Europe when battle conditions made it difficult to send battle-damaged equipment far to the rear of the fighting lines for repair to individual parts. Where repairs had to be made under pressure in forward zones, it was found most feasible to repair


a damaged pary by replacing the entire subassembly of which it was an integral component.

In a number of cases, bottleneck operations were subcontracted and production of sizes normally made in small quantities was concentrated in a limited number of plants to take advantage of longer production runs and to avoid unnecessary set-ups.

By assembling and making available to users information concerning excess stocks in the hands of the Services, users of bearings, and the bearing companies themselves, the War Production Board had been able to solve certain critical shortages as well as to prevent the placing of orders for future deliveries which could be met from excess stocks. Actual disposal of the surplus bearings is, however, handled by the Surplus War Property Administration.

By the middle of 1944, the value of monthly shipments of antifriction bearings had reached a point more than 4 times that of mid-1939. Unfilled orders declined from 10 times monthly shipments in mid-1943 to 5 times monthly shipments in September 1944.

Valves and Fittings.--Like antifriction bearings, high-pressure valves and pipe fittings have been components of almost every major program. They are indispensable to the production of synthetic rubber and high-octane gasoline, and find innumerable uses in shipbuilding; in ordnance, power, and industrial plants; in transportation; and in a variety of essential civilian activities. Peak production for the industry was reached in March 1944, with an output of 9,300 tons of steel valves and 4,768 tons of bronze valves. With the completion of a 39-million-dollar expansion program undertaken in 1941, steel valve capacity reached a level of 100,000 tons a year in 1944, or approximately five times the pre-Pearl Harbor rate. More than 50 percent of the high-pressure-valve output goes into naval and merchant vessels. The Surplus Brass Valve Redistribution Program initiated late in 1943 was in full operation at the start of 1944. Over 250,000 of the half million idle valves were put to work. This activity contributed largely toward meeting the emergency demand for landing craft and other essential requirements.

Radio and Radar Components.--In this war, for the first time in history, the fighting forces possess adequate short- and long-range communication equipment. Radio makes possible instantaneous communication between troops on land, ships at sea, and planes in the air. How important a part radio and radar have played in the winning of the hundreds of land, sea, and air battles of this war it is yet too early to estimate, but it may be safely said that both radio and radar have played leading and dramatic parts in the widening theaters of war.

The radio and radar end-equipment program for 1944 exceeded actual production of 1943 by 25 percent, and actual output in 1944 came within 1 percent of meeting the program for the year.

Nowhere, perhaps, is the fluidity of war requirements and the speedy obsolescence of equipment as a result of battle experience more vividly portrayed than in radio and radar. Military demand, in 1944, displayed a general shift from radio to radar. This shift in demand emphasis resulted in an uneven distribution of plant load, and necessitated consequent


shifts in manpower, arrangement of the labor load, and changes in types of employees required.

Because of radar's highly complex nature, radar orders must be placed with companies having extensive research and engineering facilities and staffed with highly specialized personnel. Only a small percentage of the hundreds of prime contractors are so qualified, and the result was a disproportionate share of orders on a few companies. Many of the medium size and smaller companies were forced to depend upon subcontracting and the decreased volume of radio contracts. However, no great amount of subcontracting of radar equipment has been possible, since most types have been in a continuous state of engineering change throughout the life of a contract.

In an attempt to relieve the disproportionate plant load thus created, the War Production Board, in cooperation with other Government agencies, management, and labor, arranged for loans and transfers of labor from company to company, and from plant to plant, with the result that output has been greatly increased without a proportionately large increase in manpower. Wages were a problem during 1944, principally because the industry is in peacetime highly competitive, employing a large proportion of female labor, and in consequence, has a lower wage scale than certain other industries. The inroads made by Selective Service was another problem. Since radio and radar is a comparatively new industry, many of its highly skilled employees are younger men, and despite some sympathy on the part of the Selective Service officials, key employees were drafted during 1944.

Another problem was that of "crash" requirements of Allied counter-measures to offset developments in enemy equipment, which many times upset carefully arranged schedules covering flow of components and full utilization of facilities. Take the case of electron tubes, for example. All classes of electron tubes produced during 1944 had a value of $406 million, 34 percent above 1943 and 8 times the dollar output of 1941, the last year of civilian production. The type of production had shifted because of the tactical requirements of war. In 1941, about 77 percent of tube production was in receiving tubes for home radios. Since 1942, because of military demand for tubes for communication transmitters and radar sets, the larger portion of tube output has been in the transmitting category. A very considerable change in the equipment program during 1944, resulting again from tactical applications, necessitated increased production of microwave tubes. In the final quarter of the year, microwave tubes made up 30 percent of the total program, as compared with only 16 percent in the corresponding period of 1943.

The 1944 program was accomplished through engineering effort, major outlays of tools and special test equipment, and several important capital plant expansions. At the same time there was a cut-back in planned depot stock levels for conventional transmitting tubes, which cut-back curtailed operations in many other plants. The reduction in depot stock levels, designed to reduce "surplus" stocks and commendable in principle, had unexpected repercussions at the year end. The industry had been advised of the requirements for the first half of 1945, and had set up production


schedules accordingly. These demands placed particular emphasis on air-borne radar, with decreasing demands for ground radio. The plans were disturbed by the German break-through in Belgium, which caused sudden demands for large quantities of ground and portable types of radio without compensating decrease in other prototypes and radar. As a result, while the raw material situation for radio and radar, except for some difficulty in tin, cadmium, and crude rubber, was not serious, and while a favorable supply situation had been achieved in other important components of radio and electronics equipment, such as capacitators, condensers, instruments, and transformers, some difficulty was anticipated at the year end in filling military requirements for depot stocks to cover battle losses and operations in the theaters of war.

One War Production Board operation which helped to ease the 1944 radio and radar situation was the component recovery program. In the interval between the time when canceled or terminated Army or Navy contracts piled up idle or excess supplies in critical components, and the time when these supplies were declared surplus by the Army or Navy and so came under the jurisdiction of the Surplus War Property Administration for disposal, the War Production Board attempted to return the critical items in contractors' inventories to productive use for prime military purposes. During 11 months of operation, the Board returned an average of approximately $5 million monthly of critical and idle radio and radar component parts to the production stream.

Industrial Equipment.--Most of the major components falling under the general heading of industrial equipment achieved relatively easy supply positions during 1944, showing either significant production gains or falling requirements. War Production Board procedure for acquiring many of these items was simplified, with the bulk of the applications being handled in the field. In this category came high pressure blowers, fans, and exhausters. Power transmission chains were critical throughout the year, but the requirements for all urgent programs and of the most essential civilian users were met by careful scheduling. Facilities were expanded and every effort was made to overcome hoarding and to limit inventories. Gears and speed changers showed steady improvement, with production remaining at a high level and requirements decreasing. Despite heavy demands for equipping new facilities for the urgent heavy artillery, heavy ammunition, rocket, and heavy tire programs, the output of conveyors and conveyor systems kept abreast of requirements. Adequate deliveries of industrial pumps were obtained by freezing schedules and uprating needed items under the priorities system. No serious supply problem was experienced with heat exchangers or pressure vessels.


Though the Nation's total labor force grew from year to year during the war, the Armed Services' withdrawals from this force grew even more rapidly (chart 16). The average strength of the Armed Forces in 1944 was 11.38 million, greater by 2.5 million than the 1943 average. The civilian labor force, however, did not decline by the same amount, but by less than a million workers. The loss of actual or potential workers to the


Chart 16


Armed Forces was offset in part by the increased employment of women, young people, older men, and the handicapped. Employment of women in nonagricultural industries reached an all-time high of 16.4 million in 1944, and the number of nonworkers sank to a new low level nationally.

In almost every phase of manufacturing, mining, and construction, the number of workers fell. Though 1944 was the year in which munitions production reached such an awe-inspiring peak, employment in munitions plants declined by a million workers in the course of the year. A number of factors contributed to this drop in munitions employment: The increased efficiency of management and labor, a longer workweek, nonreplacement of drafted workers, and shifts arising from lay-offs and quits traceable to cut-backs and an end-of-the-war psychology.

1944 was a year of ups and downs in munitions scheduling, of drastic cuts and sharp increases, and it was inevitable that difficult problems of ltd justing labor supply to demand should arise. The schedule reductions mid the schedule rises were not always in the same areas, and workers released from one program were not always of the type, sex, skill, or physical strength required for other war jobs. When some programs rose again after curlier cuts, the reassembly of a working force proved to be more difficult than the initial recruitment, because some women workers had returned to their household duties when their jobs ran out and other marginal workers had also left the labor market. Sometimes munitions schedules climbed so suddenly and steeply that the rapid recruitment and training nf m sufficiently large labor force would have been a formidable task at any time, and was particularly so in a wartime period of great industrial activity.

The War Production Board cooperated with the War Manpower Commission and other Government agencies concerned with labor in the attempt to provide sufficient labor for essential production programs. That their efforts were generally successful is evidenced by the fact that most war programs of 1944 were met on time. It has already been noted that the staffing of critical war programs was difficult in some civilian-type industries such as textiles, radio, rubber tires, foundries, lumbering, and mining because of relatively low wage rates and, in some cases, undesirable working conditions. In several of the programs young, husky males were needed for heavy and hazardous work, a need difficult to fill in view of the demands of Selective Service. The solution adopted in some instances was the furloughing of soldiers back of these programs. Other steps taken In meet the manpower needs of the accelerated programs included increases in the number of hours worked per week, recruitment of women, interregional recruitment, improved utilization of workers, inter- and intra-plant transfers of workers, and importation of workers from the West Indies through special programs initiated by the War Manpower Commission.

Longer Workweek.--Increasing the weekly hours of work proved effective in meeting critical war demands, even where employment declined. In the rubber tire industry, for example, an agreement made late in 1944 between labor and management, lengthening the workweek from 6 days to 7, led to an all-time record output of heavy tires. Similarly, in anthracite


coal mining a decline of 3,500 in the number of workers was more than offset by a rise in the average hours per week, from 38.8 in January 1944 to 41.5 in December, and production was 7 percent greater than in 1943. Employment in metal mining fell 22 percent during 1944, but average weekly hours increased from 43.9 to 44.8. Ingot steel output exceeded that of 1943 by almost a million tons, although monthly employment in the steel industry in 1944 declined 10 percent below that of 1943; monthly manhours, however, had declined less than 2 percent during the same period.

Absenteeism and Labor Turn-Over.--The War Production Board, often in cooperation with the War Manpower Commission, attempted during 1944 to discover and eliminate the causes of absenteeism and labor turnover, to overcome specific bottlenecks as they arose, and to improve the morale and output of the existing labor force.

Data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in selected industries, including the major war industries, showed the rate of absenteeism to be higher during 10 months of 1944 than for the corresponding months of 1943. Increase in absenteeism was an inevitable outgrowth of the longer workweek, which made it difficult for the worker to carry on normal activities essential to his--or, more often, her--health and domestic responsibilities. Commercial establishments did not always adjust their hours to the longer workweek, and with more members of the family working some absenteeism was bound to occur.

Studies made during the year indicated that absence rates are higher in critical labor market areas, in larger plants, in plants with scheduled workweeks in excess of 48 hours, and among female employees. While the rate of absenteeism for the year showed an increase, only a portion of it could be attributed to willful absence.

In an endeavor to relieve some of the strain of wartime working and living conditions, and to combat fatigue caused by long hours of work with insufficient or unsuitable food, the War Production Board emphasized to management the need of providing adequate in-plant feeding facilities for workers, and cooperated with the War Food Administration to obtain sound standards of service, quality of food, and reasonableness of prices in particular plants. Notable results of the in-plant feeding programs in many industries were increased production and decreased absenteeism and accidents.

As a result of a canvass made in plants experimenting with the 10-hour day, it was discovered that the longer workday led to diminishing returns in production, increased absenteeism, illness, and accidents as a result of cumulative fatigue. It was therefore concluded that the 8-hour day and 48-hour week was the best schedule for sustained efficiency in most industrial operations.

During 1944 the rate of separations in munitions and nonmunitions manufacturing exceeded accessions as employment declined from the 1943 peak. However, monthly separation rates in 1944, on the average, were below those of 1943 (chart 17). For 8 months of 1944 quits in manufacturing were at a lower rate than for the corresponding months in 1943. Both military separations and lay-offs were lower in 1944 than in 1943.

It should be borne in mind that the turn-over is not necessarily bad but


Chart 17


is a voluntary way of getting workers to places where they are urgently needed and of correcting normal personnel maladjustments. Most of the turn-over in 1944 was a movement from one war job to another; workers did not flee from their war jobs in any large numbers. Attempts were made during the year, by means of manpower ceilings and ratings, to channel turn-over from less critical jobs into the more critical war plants that were short of workers.

At least part of the progress made in the munitions and manufacturing industries was due to the war production drive and the establishment of Labor-Management Production Committees to eliminate plant hazards and reduce absenteeism and labor turn-over. During 1944 more than 1,200 new Labor-Management Production Committees, representing well over a million workers, were organized, bringing the total of such committees to approximately 5,000 and the full number of workers represented to 7,350,000. In addition, hundreds of thousands of worker suggestions have improved production methods and reduced manpower, equipment, and material requirements.

Another way in which the War Production Board actively aided in raising labor output in 1944 was by devising wage incentive plans in cooperation with the War Labor Board and individual plant managements. Reports to the War Labor Board on the operation of these schemes of proportioning wage increases to output increases indicate that on the average a rise in production per man hour of about 40 percent was achieved in the first 90 days of operation. Wages increased 15 to 20 percent and costs decreased by 10 to 15 percent. About 1 million workers were affected by new incentive plans during the year.

Labor for Critical Programs.--In specific areas of critical shortage the War Production Board worked directly with labor and management, in cooperation with the War Manpower Commission and other interested Government agencies, in an effort to overcome manpower deficiencies in the shortest possible time, by whatever means the situation indicated.

The forge and foundry Industry affords a case study both of the complexity of the manpower problems in critical areas and of the methods of attack. To improve the manpower situation in the critical foundries and forge ships, an interagency National Forge and Foundry Committee was Informally created, and was given formal status in September. The basic obstacles to increasing employment in forge and foundry work were low wages and unpleasant conditions. The work is dirty, hot, and undesirable, and the forge and foundry industries inevitably came off second best in the competition for workers with more attractive and higher-paying industries in the same labor areas, such as aircraft and shipbuilding. In an effort to improve the situation, the War Labor Board granted more than 1,000 wage increases during 1944 in individual cases, and with the cooperation of the War Production Board incentive-pay systems were installed wherever possible. Average weekly earnings in the foundry industry were increased from 10 to 25 percent in the period from the beginning of 1943 to the end of 1944. This increase was partly attributable to longer hours. The comparatively low starting wage of about 65 cents an hour for unskilled workers was still a restricting factor at the end of the year.


The flow of foundry and forge workers into the Armed Services also cut into the labor supply. The War Production Board attempted to solve this problem by getting a restatement of the essentiality of foundry and forge workers, and as an emergency measure some 1,100 found workers were furloughed from the Army at the end of the year. Several thousand workers from the West Indies were also made available to the industry, although housing problems and prejudices against foreign workers in certain communities prevented their extensive use. Critical foundries and forge shops were listed for the purpose of giving them preference in labor referrals. The problems of the industry were also taken up in the field on a plant-by-plant basis, with excellent results in labor relations and employee morale. By these means manpower losses from the industry were arrested, and the output of castings was increased by 20 percent, due primarily to increased labor productivity.

In general, the recruiting and maintaining of employment in critical programs was hindered by the lack of adequate community facilities such as housing, transportation, and recreation. Reported food scarcities and the high cost of living put an additional strain on the individual, a situation which was complicated in some communities by an unfriendly attitude toward in-migrants. All areas, but especially the West Coast, had examples of these conditions as large influxes of war workers put unprecedented demands on community facilities and services.

Labor needs in the "must" programs classified as behind schedule, or about to be behind schedule, because of lack of workers, fluctuated between 150,000 and 250,000 monthly depending upon the industries included. These needs grew out of the changes taking place in a $60 billion-a-year war program, and out of the unattractiveness of wage scales and working conditions in some plants and industries. To some extent the labor needs of certain industries continued unsatisfied from month to month. In large measure, though, the fluctuating character of military programs meant that each month, while hundreds of plants obtained their labor needs, a group of plants with new or increased schedules presented the labor market with new manpower requirements.

In those industries in which cut-backs occurred in the course of 1944, the policy of the War Production Board was to bring new work--preferably war work, but, if necessary, civilian production--to the plants whose war contracts were being cut back. Experience has shown that migration of workers results in net losses to the labor force, since some workers--notably women--simply leave the labor market if their current jobs run out. It was felt that the only way to prevent such losses was to keep the workers employed where they were. If war work was for the time being not available, the labor force was at least held together for possible resumption of military production at some future date rather than dispersed beyond recall when need arose.


Controlling the Flow of Resources Into Production

Assuring an adequate total supply of key resources is not enough. In the immensely complex and delicate organism that is American industry, it is essential that facilities, materials, components, and manpower be made available at the right times, to the right plants, and in the right quantities so that their flow is effectively channeled into the great stream of war production. This is not merely a matter of withholding scarce resources from less essential civilian uses. The resources needed for maximum output of urgent war items must also be withheld from the production of excessive quantities of less important weapons, or the production of more parts than are necessary for the desired number of finished weapons: and they must be positively directed to the most pressing needs. Otherwise critical resources cannot be put to use on the battlefront and the home front as rapidly as the Nation requires.

All this means that at the programming level the War Production Board must exercise the most careful judgment in allocating to the major uses the proper portions of the facilities, materials, and components that are expected to be available. At the industrial level, the War Production Board must see that facilities are promptly built, and that sufficient quantities of materials and components actually do flow at the proper times to the plants best able to implement the program determinations of the Board. At this industrial level, too, the War Production Board must see to it that its actions are thoroughly consistent with those taken by the War Manpower Commission in directing the distribution of manpower resources. At neither the programming nor the industrial level is there sufficient stability to permit relaxation of effort by the War Production Board. Every day the War Production Board is confronted with sudden changes in Army and Navy requirements, sudden emergencies in supply of essential civilian goods, sudden losses and gains in the supply of the thousands of materials and components needed for the war program, sudden drainage of key industrial workers into the Armed Services, sudden emergence of newly critical labor areas. The Board's planning, therefore, must be a continuous process; and this planning must speedily be translated into decisive action. Perplexing as these tasks are, they have not halted the steady output of over 5 billion dollars worth of munitions month after month--inexorably


sealing the doom of the Axis nations. Management, labor, agriculture, and Government have gone on absorbing all the shifts in program, changes of design, and temporary bottlenecks of production without an important hitch in the relentless prosecution of the war of production.

Priority, Allocation, and Requisitioning Authority

Second War Powers Act.--The authority of the War Production Board to distribute resources, other than manpower, at the programming and industrial level stems from the Second War Powers Act, vesting powers in the President, which he in turn has delegated to the Board. The priority portion of this act provides that "deliveries of material under all * * * naval contracts or orders and deliveries of material under all Army contracts or orders shall, in the discretion of the President, take priority over all deliveries for private account or for export * * *." This priority authority extends also to "contracts or orders for the government of any country whose defense the President deems vital to the defense of the United States" under the Lend-Lease Act; to "contracts or orders which the President shall deem necessary or appropriate to promote the defense of the United States;" and to "subcontracts or suborders which the President shall deem necessary or appropriate to the fulfillment of any contract or order" already covered by the priority authority. The act further requires that "deliveries under any contract or order specified in this subsection (a) may be assigned priority over deliveries under any other contract or order; and the President may require acceptance of and performance under such contracts or orders in preference to other contracts or orders for the purpose of assuring such priority."

In addition to the grant of priority authority, the Second War Powers Act conferred upon the President allocation authority, which he in turn delegated to the War Production Board. This important provision reads: "Whenever the President is satisfied that the fulfillment of requirements for the defense of the United States will result in a shortage in the supply of any material or of any facilities for defense or for private account or for export, the President may allocate such material or facilities in such manner, upon such conditions and to such extent as he shall deem necessary or appropriate in the public interest and to promote the national defense."

These are vast powers, as indeed they had to be for total war mobilization. The War Production Board has sought to use them wisely, fairly, and without discrimination--in short, in a manner thoroughly compatible with the democracy for whose protection this war is being fought. Given this democratic approach, it is inevitable that at the programming level there should be disputes among the claimants competing for the allocation of scarce materials and components. The notable fact is that the claimants so readily recognize that the War Production Board cannot completely satisfy any one claimant as long as the Board is distributing shortages instead of surpluses, and that the claimants cooperate as fully as they do in the faithful implementing of the program determinations of the Board. At the industrial level, also, there has been a patriotic acceptance of the need for the exercise of the War Production Board's priority and allocation


functions, even though at this level many industrial plants get smaller quantities of materials and components than they would like to have.

Priorities, Allocations, and Other Government Agencies.--The War Production Board has always recognized that in large-scale industrial mobilization it is essential to centralize the final responsibility for mobilization in the Board or a similar agency, but that it is equally essential to decentralize much of the day-to-day discharging of that responsibility. Accordingly, while insisting upon maintaining integration of the exercise of the priority and allocation authority, the War Production Board has delegated portions of its authority for specified purposes to the procurement agencies, especially the War and Navy Departments and the Maritime Commission; has delegated authority for rationing goods at the consumer level to the Office of Price Administration; and has developed procedures for close integration and mutual clearances with the Petroleum Administration for War, the Solid Fuels Administration for War, and the War Food Administration, which hold certain delegations of authority from the President with respect to materials under their jurisdiction.

Requisitioning Power.--In addition to the priority and allocation power exercised by delegation from the President, the War Production Board shares in the power granted to the President in 1940 and 1941 to requisition critical defense materials and equipment, provided the need is immediate and other means of obtaining the property on fair terms have been exhausted. This power has been used to put idle equipment into use, and to move to war purposes accumulations of idle and scrap material. The President has delegated to eight Federal agencies in addition to the War Production Board the right to requisition, subject, however, to the authority of the Chairman of the War Production Board to prescribe uniform procedures, and also subject to the requirement that all requisitioning proposals, other than those involving food, must be submitted to the War Production Board for review of their conformity with the general supply and allocation policy of the Board. The requisitioning power has complemented the priority and allocation powers and together these powers have provided solutions for the varying problems of war supply.

Because requisitioning is a drastic measure, the War Production Board has used it sparingly. During 1944, other agencies, acting with Board approval, made 46 seizures under the requisitioning authority. The War Production Board itself made only 7 seizures of materials and property in 1944. In the case of a number of materials and products needed for war production--for example, rubber thread and elastic fabric, kapok, and crawler tractors--careful negotiation by the Board resulted in voluntary sales by the owners, who were thus spared invocation of the Board's requisitioning authority. In still other instances, the Board has rejected proposals of requisitioning on the ground that in those cases requisitioning would be an unduly drastic means of moving idle or poorly used resources into the channels of war production.


The Controlled Materials Plan in 1944

The Controlled Materials Plan of the War Production Board provides the basic system for authorizing production of munitions and other "hard goods." Although the plan was announced in November 1942, it did not go into effect until the spring of 1943. Hence, 1944 was the first full calendar year of Controlled Materials Plan operation. The plan worked so smoothly in 1944 that it is difficult to keep in mind the hectic days of its genesis, the difficult problems encountered in refining its operation, and even its significance as the core of the War Production Board's direction of industrial mobilization.

To attempt to control all production is an undertaking of such complexity that operation in terms of common denominators became necessary. The common denominators chosen were the three most important critical metals, steel, copper, and aluminum. Under the Controlled Materials Plan the Requirements Committee of the Board estimates the supplies of these three metals (including alloys) that will be available for use during the succeeding quarter-year, and divides these materials among the 13 officially designated "claimant agencies." Four <»1 these agencies-- the War Department, the Navy Department, the Maritime Commission, and the Aircraft Resources Control Office---obtain materials for direct military use. Two agencies, the Foreign Economic Administration and the Canadian Division of the War Production Board, obtain materials for export use. Six agencies--the War Food Administration, the Office of Defense Transportation, the Petroleum Administration for War, the National Housing Agency, the Office of Civilian Requirements of the War Production Board, and the Office of War Utilities of the War Production Board--are concerned with materials for indirect military and civilian uses. The Office of the Operations Vice Chairman of the War Production Board acts as a claimant agency for the industry divisions of the Board, which have jurisdiction over many of the components and end-products that are required for direct and indirect military and essential civilian use.

Acting under delegation of authority from the War Production Board most of these claimant agencies authorize production schedules and allot material to their prime contractors; that is, the producers of the end-products, and these prime contractors in turn authorize production schedules and allot appropriate amounts of materials to their- subcontractors and other suppliers of parts and components for incorporation in the end-products.

A few claimant agencies, instead of authorizing production and allotting materials directly to producers, authorize the War Production Board's industry divisions to make the direct contacts with the manufacturers. This is the typical procedure for the Office of Civilian Requirements, the Office of Defense Transportation, and the War Food Administration.

Through this chain of production authorizations and allotments--Requirements Committee, claimant agency, prime contractor, and subcontractor or supplier--orders for materials reach the steel, aluminum, and copper mills and warehouses, and so the circle from estimated supply to


requirements and back to supply is completed. Supply and approved requirements are kept in balance because the orders reaching the metal mills for delivery during each quarter cannot be in excess of the total allotments made at the programming level by the Requirements Committee. The Requirements Committee in turn keeps its total allotments in reasonable approximation to the anticipated supply of metals.

To enable claimants and producers to lay out their production schedules on a relatively firm basis over several quarters, advance allotments of controlled materials arc made. End-product programs that will obviously

Chart 18


keep going at approximately the same rate, or at a rising rate, for some time to come may receive advance quarterly allotments of as great a quantity of materials as their current quarterly allotments. Programs that are less stabilized or that are likely to decline are granted advance allotments that may be only half or three-quarters as great as their current allotments; willingness of the War Production Board to authorize even such partial use of materials in the more distant future enables the claimant agencies to make firm commitments on the most urgent portions of their production programs.

The Pattern of Distribution.--Direct military and foreign requirements together received the lion's share of the materials pie in 1944 (chart 18). The military agencies alone--War Department, Navy Department, Aircraft Resources Control Office, and Maritime Commission were allotted either directly or through the agency of the War Production Board's industry divisions, approximately 55 percent of the carbon steel; 75 percent of the alloy steel; 83 percent, 58 percent, and 69 percent respectively of the brass mill, wire mill, and foundry copper and copper base alloy products; and 78 percent of the aluminum. When to this arc added the allotments for the Foreign Economic Administration and the Canadian Division, the total direct military and export allotments together accounted for approximately 65 percent of the carbon steel; HI percent of the alloy steel; 90 percent, 69 percent, and 71 percent respectively of brass mill, wire mill, and foundry copper and copper base alloy products; and 92 percent of the aluminum.

These figures cover for each of the military and export agencies two types of materials allotments. The first are the allotments made directly by the Requirements Committee to the military or export agency. The second are those parts of the allotments made to the Operations Vice Chairman and the "Reserves" that eventually come into the possession of the military or export agency. In fact, about three-fifths of the copper and copper base alloy products, about half of the carbon and alloy steel, and three-fifths of the aluminum allotted to the Operations Vice Chairman and Reserves in 1944 fell into direct and indirect military and export categories.

The process by which the Operations Vice Chairman, though officially a claimant in his own right, acts primarily as a routing agent for other claimants is a simple one. He uses his materials to produce for other claimants, through the Board's industry divisions, such equipment and components as bolts, nuts, and rivets; automotive accessories and replacement parts; drums, barrels, and other containers; welding rods and electrodes; electric motors and generators; pipe fittings; internal combustion engines; heat exchangers; electric motor controls and equipment; and electric connectors. Similarly, the Reserves constitute a pool of allotments to support the construction and facilities program, the maintenance, repair, and operation of the American industrial plant, and miscellaneous other programs not directly connected with any single claimant. For all these purposes, the Operations Vice Chairman and Reserves were allotted in 1944, 30 percent of the carbon steel; 30 percent of the alloy steel; 19 percent, 42 percent, and 56 percent respectively of the brass mill, wire mill,


and foundry copper and copper base alloy products; and 18 percent of the aluminum.

The figures in chart 18, dramatic though they are, still underrate the extent to which the controlled materials have gone to war and stayed at war. The figures rule out from the direct military and export portions of total allotments the materials allotted to the Petroleum Administration for War, War Food Administration, Office of War Utilities, Office of Defense Transportation, National Housing Agency, and Office of Civilian Requirements all of which in varying degrees use their materials directly or indirectly to produce goods needed by the Armed Services and our Allies.

A very small portion of the Nation's controlled materials was allotted to the Office of Civilian Requirements during 1944. For example, less than 1 J/2 percent of the carbon steel allotted during the year was earmarked for that office; by quarters, the amounts were only 185,355 tons for the first quarter, 211,500 tons for the second, 241,510 tons for the third, and 228,275 tons for the fourth.

Actual quarterly shipments of controlled materials by the metal mills and warehouses for claimants are shown in charts 19 to 24. Two cautions are necessary. In the first place, quarter-to-quarter comparisons cannot be made on any exact basis because the jurisdictions of the claimant agencies altered from time to time during the year. In the second place, actual shipments do not reflect with precision the Requirements Committee's allotments, though there is, of course, a reasonable correspondence between the two. The principal reason for the differences between allotments and shipments lies in the slippage or "attrition" of allotments after they are made.

Slippage occurs in the passing on of allotments by claimant agencies to prime contractors, by prime contractors to their subcontractors and suppliers, and by these in turn to the metal mills. Sometimes a claimant finds that the plants to which it had planned to give allotments are jammed up because of a shortage of equipment, or workers, or some other production resource, and consequently could not possibly use all the materials the claimant has available for such distribution. Sometimes the claimant's program is changed so that it no longer wants the amount of certain end-products for which it received allotments from the War Production Board or so that it cannot rapidly enough shift its allotted materials to other parts of its program. At the industrial level, the prime contractor may fail to use all the allotments he receives from the claimant agency and may fail to pass on all of the excess to his subcontractors and suppliers. To meet these points of possible slippage or "attrition," the Requirements Committee deliberately overallots materials to claimants.

First Quarter Allotments.--The year 1944 began with the Controlled Materials Plan operating smoothly, as it had done during much of the latter half of 1943. Supply of controlled materials was at a high level, but requirements were even higher. The supply of carbon steel, 6 percent lower than in the preceding quarter, was the principal limiting factor on the size of programs; distribution of the other controlled materials then became a relatively simple matter of balancing to the program changes


necessitated by the carbon steel allotments. However, an extremely tight situation in flat-rolled carbon steel products led to a special quota system controlling distribution of steel plate to the War Department, Navy Department, and Maritime Commission.

In determining the aggregate allotments for each controlled material, the major problem was the proper allowance to be made for attrition. The claimant agencies felt, in general, that they had improved their internal allotment procedures to such an extent that there would be less administrative attrition within each agency than in the past.

This was the fourth successive quarter of operation under the Controlled Materials Plan. At its end it was clear that all important problems of administration and operation of the plan had been resolved; only routine technical questions remained to be settled. For this favorable situation American industry and the claimant agencies had to be credited as well as the War Production Board. Industry had developed internal procedures consistent with the basic method of the Controlled Materials Plan, and the claimants and the Board had stabilized administrative procedures.

Second Quarter Allotments.--Allocation of controlled materials for the second quarter of 1944 presented the easiest problem in the life of the plan to that pointy and in fact, the easiest in 1941 as a whole. Cutbacks in many important military and export programs helped to bring stated requirements within reach of supply. Moreover, with a broader background of experience in the operation of the plan and with fuller records of allotments and shipments, the claimants were able to translate their programs more accurately into materials and the Board could more easily determine allotments.

All military and essential export requirements were met in full, and substantially all domestic nonmilitary requirements as well. In every case the final allotment was acceptable to the agency concerned. The steel plate situation had eased to such an extent that the first quarter quota system was not repeated. The rail mills' load had eased sufficiently to permit approval, for the first time under the Controlled Materials Plan, of the full request of the Office of Defense Transportation lor rail and for track accessories. It could be said in general by the second quarter of 1944 that the level of war production was no longer limited by the availability of steel, copper, and aluminum, but rather by manpower and certain common components.

Third Quarter Allotments.--During the third quarter, however, the materials outlook was not quite as bright. Although requirements were lower than in the preceding quarter, anticipated supply fell in even greater proportion because of the withdrawal of manpower from controlled material production by the Armed Services. The determination of allocations presented difficulties in view of the tightness of certain forms and shapes of controlled materials--including flat-rolled steel products, shell steel billets, copper-base alloy tubing and rod, and copper wire mill products--as a result of facilities bottlenecks and, to some extent, of manpower shortages.

In this quarter for the first time a distinction was made between the "regular" programs of the military and nonmilitary claimants, and "supplemental" nonmilitary programs involving additional production or uses


Chart 19


Chart 20


Chart 21


Chart 22


Chart 23


Chart 24


of controlled materials beyond that authorized in previous quarters. Sufficient materials were allotted to meet the regular programs in full, but most of the supplemental programs had to be denied. Measures were adopted to provide more materials for industrial maintenance, repair and operations; for farmers; and for repair shops. Steps also were taken to relieve slightly the tight restrictions on the use of excess and idle inventories resulting from contract cut-backs and changes in specifications.

The belief that the amount of controlled materials available for expanded civilian programs would be small was borne out early in the quarter, when military programs climbed steeply, particularly for heavy ammunition and artillery. However, the supplemental programs were viewed as a shelf to be drawn upon as production resources became available.

Fourth Quarter Allotments.--By mid-August, when fourth quarter allocations were made, steel was becoming increasingly tight, as were certain copper shapes. The aluminum picture was more favorable; restrictions on the use of this metal had been relaxed in July, but suggestions that it be withdrawn from the Controlled Materials Plan were not adopted because of the possibility of changing military requirements. The distinction between regular programs and supplemental nonmilitary programs was continued, and in addition a reserve was created for civilian production authorized under the "spot authorization" plan (Priorities Regulation 25). The establishment of this reserve was made possible when the Military Services returned more than 300,000 tons of their fourth-quarter steel allotments in September.

However, only a very small fraction of this steel reserve was actually authorized to be used. During the course of the fourth quarter, heavy additions to military programs were made as a result of battle experience, and there were prospects of still greater demands. The impact of the new needs was particularly severe upon flat-rolled steel products, stainless steel, brass mill and copper wire mill products, and aluminum sheet, rivets, and forgings. In the closing weeks of 1944, therefore, the War Production Board had to take drastic steps to curtail the use of controlled materials for nonmilitary purposes. This policy was embodied in the Board order of December 7 that nonmilitary production, with few exceptions, should not exceed fourth-quarter 1944 authorization.

The sudden change in the military situation increased the importance of the Controlled Materials Plan as a production control, and justified the Board's earlier decision that modifications of controls should be accomplished within the plan, in a manner that could be promptly reversed if necessary.

Administrative Simplification and Decentralization.--In 1944 the operations of the Controlled Materials Plan were simplified and decentralized. During the last quarter of 1943, 15 percent of the applications for steel allotments had accounted for 90 percent of the steel requested. Eighty-five percent of the paper work in operating the Controlled Materials Plan for steel was required to pass out but 10 percent of the steel. The changes adopted in 1944 resulted in reducing the number of applications under the plan from 210,000 annually to 120,000, of which over 60,000 were handled in the field offices.


Additional Controls Over Materials and Products

Other controls that resemble in varying measure either the programming or the allocation aspects of the Controlled Materials Plan have been found necessary for some of the areas not covered by the plan.

The Controlled Materials Plan is the vehicle for regulating the volume of munitions and "hard goods" production and for making available sufficient materials to realize the approved programs. The War Production Board also has a general mechanism by which it can facilitate the acquisition of materials to produce "soft goods" and other products outside the scope of Controlled Materials Plan and in so doing can control the level of production. Priorities Regulation 11B permits the manufacturer of such a product to request priorities assistance in obtaining his production materials. The priority rating granted him in response to this request includes an authorized production schedule that sets a maximum limit on his production of the item for the quarter.

The allocation technique has been extended to oilier materials than steel, copper, and aluminum. A number of materials that came to be in short supply during 1944 were placed under allocation, in order that they might be integrated with the major control system. From month to month during 1944 one commodity after another received I his treatment, with some more tightly regulated than others. In the ease of items such as tires, lumber, pulp and paper, and textiles, the Controlled Materials Plan alone did not provide an adequate mechanism for directing distribution to military and essential civilian uses. Having found a solution to the problem of guiding the flow of the basic metals, the Board could give more attention to improving the controls over the distribution of these other materials and products and to correlating them with the basic program controls provided by the Controlled Materials Plan.

Allocation of materials other than the three basic metals is usually made in the first instance by the particular divisional requirements committee of the War Production Board industry division concerned with the product involved. If the agency requesting the allocation wishes to appeal from the decision of the division requirements committee, the case is brought before the Program Adjustment Committee. From there, if necessary, an appeal may be taken to the top Requirements Committee. The operation of this system has resulted in a series of decisions that direct the flow of materials and products in a manner consistent with the over-all controls established under the Controlled Materials Plan.

Control mechanisms that aided in the distribution and allocation of scarce materials during 1944 included a tire allotment plan, a lumber control plan, a pulp allocation plan, and a system for the control of textiles.

Tire Allotment.--Early in 1944, it became apparent that something more than the preference rating system was necessary in order to achieve equitable distribution of truck and bus, tractor, and industrial tires. Military needs for tire replacements had become so great as to absorb the industry's entire capacity for many size groups, while requirements for tires to initially equip both military and nonmilitary vehicles and to provide


replacements for the domestic transportation system were large and equally urgent. The priorities system, since it assigns preference among orders of the same rating to those placed furthest in advance, would not have given equal satisfaction to equally pressing needs. For example, the Army can estimate its future replacement needs by actuarial tables and order its replacement tires very early; an individual truck manufacturer, on the other hand, cannot anticipate the size of his Army contracts so far in advance, and as a result his order for tires to equip new Army trucks, though just as urgent to the Army, may have lower "seniority rights" on the tire maker's order books.

To improve the distribution, the War Production Board, in cooperation with the chief claimant agencies, devised an allotment plan for truck and bus, tractor, and industrial tires. The system first became fully effective in the third quarter of 1944. Under this plan, the appropriate divisional requirements committee and, on appeal, the central Requirements Committee of the War Production Board allotted quarterly to each individual claimant agency a definite quantity of tires in each size group for original equipment and replacement. Aggregate allotments of each size category were kept within the estimated capacity of the industry. Tire manufacturers, in turn, were required to adjust their production to conform to the pattern of allotments, setting aside fixed percentages of their capacity in each size group for original equipment and military replacement, with the residual for nonmilitary replacement. To the extent that orders received by the tire manufacturers did not absorb the reserved percentages, the War Production Board directed to them additional unplaced orders within the allotments of the procuring agencies and vehicle manufacturers. The tire manufacturers' order books were then frozen on this basis for the quarter, subject to adjustment only by the War Production Board.

To assure the integration of the tire allotment plan with other production and distribution controls, all claimant agencies' allotments of tires for original equipment are distributed to vehicle manufacturers by the War Production Board's industry division in accordance with authorized vehicle production schedules; and replacement tires for all nonmilitary domestic vehicles, including tractors and farm equipment, are distributed by the Office of Price Administration under a rationing system.

Late in 1944, the tire allotment plan was further refined, primarily by the narrowing of the individual size groups. This change was designed to assure the closer coincidence of the allotments to tire users with the productive capacity of the tire industry for each size and type of tire.

Lumber Control.--Continuing reduction in lumber inventories and a falling rate of lumber production made it necessary for the War Production Board to institute controls over the distribution of lumber, in order to assure its flow to direct war and other essential programs. The lumber control plan, placed in operation in the third quarter of 1944, provided for the systematic programming of lumber requirements as well as for the orderly distribution of the available supply of lumber. It also eliminated the artificial inflation of demand arising from multiple placement of orders


as consumers sought by that expedient to make certain of receiving what they needed.

The major categories of consumers under the plan were: (1) The large industrial consumers, who used more than 50,000 board feet per quarter; (2) the Services, the export claimants, the National Housing Agency, and the War Food Administration; (3) certain types of small users permitted to certify their own orders; and (4) the residual "uncertified-unrated" users. The stated requirements of the first two groups were carefully screened, and quarterly allocations were made by the central Requirements Committee of the War Production Board; the committee also established aggregate reserves for the latter two categories. The objective of the quarterly allocations was to meet the direct requirements of the Services and to fulfill programs or projects authorized through various War Production Board mechanisms.

The control system was flexible. Lumber purchases might be restricted to authorized users when the supply was short, or the filling of uncertified and unrated orders after authorized orders had been met might be permitted when supply was easier. If particular species, grades, or sizes of lumber were in critical supply, authorizations could be made in such terms; otherwise they were made only in terms of total board footage. During the summer and early fall of 1944, tin supply-requirements balance permitted some relaxation of the control system to allow sales to unauthorized purchasers by certain small mills that could not find authorized purchasers, and the sale of certain species and grades on unauthorized orders. By late in the fourth quarter, however, a drop in lumber production resulting from manpower difficulties, truck and heavy-duty tire shortages, and adverse weather, together with an increase in requirements for war purposes, compelled virtual elimination of the (low of lumber to unauthorized uses. The tighter supply situation also made it necessary to limit the use of western pine and the higher grades of hardwood to consumers who obtained specific authorization from (he War Production Board.

In general, the lumber control system enabled the Board to eliminate nonessential uses of lumber, reduce essential uses to minimum levels, and effect an over-all balancing of supply and authorized demand that would assure the satisfaction of direct military and other essential requirements.

Pulp Allocation.--Closely associated with the lumber shortage was the need for controlling the production and distribution of pulp and paper. In 1943 the War Production Board devised and put into operation a Pulp Allocation Plan, which continued in effect in 1944. The plan provided for allocation of the available woodpulp supply to the individual paper mills for the production of minimum quantities of each grade of paper and paperboard. The task of allocation is complicated in this industry by the necessity for prescribing the pulp use of both the integrated paper mills, which produce their own woodpulp, and the nonintegrated or semi-integrated mills, which must obtain pulp from other sources in order to remain in operation.

The allocation of woodpulp and the provision of necessary quantities of paper and paperboard presented special difficulties in 1944. In the fall


of the year, as a result of the steadily tightening woods labor situation, there was a growing shortage of pulpwood--the raw material for wood-pulp--although some relief was received in the third and fourth quarters from Canadian shipments in excess of anticipated levels. The proportion of the pulp supply available for the manufacture of paper and paperboard declined in 1944, chiefly because of the tremendous increase in War Department use of pulp for the manufacture of explosives, and an increase in export requirements. But while the supply of paper grades of pulp was falling, demand continued high for paper and paperboard for urgent military and war-supporting purposes, including V-boxes for overseas shipment, waterproofed papers for the Army, photographic papers, and wet strength map paper. Pulp remained a serious problem for the War Production Board at the year's end.

Allocation of Textiles.--The supply-requirements picture for cotton broad-woven fabrics became steadily worse during 1944, largely because of exceedingly heavy military needs for cotton duck and continued heavy demands for other cotton broad-woven goods. In the third quarter of 1944, therefore, the War Production Board undertook the programming and distribution control of these fabrics, and the control system was retained in the fourth quarter.

Specific yardages of cotton fabrics in 32 categories were allotted to each procuring claimant agency, including the export agencies. The claimants, in turn, except for those whose procurement was very small, were required to establish budgetary accounting controls both for fabrics procured as such and for the estimated fabric content of end-items they procured. The records of actual procurement built up under this control system also enabled the claimants to forecast their requirements with increasing accuracy.

Additional controls were necessary in order to provide civilians with cotton fabrics. To meet military requirements, all possible looms were converted to production of cotton duck and duck substitutes, and woolens and worsteds were frozen for the Services. Since some production was necessarily diverted from the civilian economy to war products, shortages resulted in such items as work clothes, the fabrics for which are normally made on looms adaptable to duck production. A textile control plan was instituted in the summer of 1944 which, by means of quarterly allocations, channeled cotton woven fabrics not required for military use into medium-and low-priced wearing apparel and other essential civilian items.

Serious difficulties were encountered in connection with fourth quarter 1944 and first quarter 1945 allocations of textiles. These involved the balancing of duck demands against increasingly urgent requirements for cotton tire cord, which uses the same type of yarn. At the close of 1944 it was apparent that allocation of textiles would continue to give concern in 1945.

Allocation of Other Commodities.--The allocation of various other commodities created problems for the War Production Board in 1944. For example, the production and distribution of photographic film came before the Requirements Committee for a full-dress review for the first time in 1944. Steadily increasing military demands, coupled with the


impossibility of any substantial over-all increase in production, made the general allocation of film a difficult problem. Other areas of continued or increased material shortages requiring control through allocation procedures included cordage fibers, certain chemicals, and leather.

International Requirements

As a result of the general improvement of the domestic supply situation during the first three quarters of 1944, together with increased experience in the use of allocation procedures, foreign requirements for materials outside of the Controlled Materials Plan were met more easily than in previous years. The principal raw materials to give difficulty were certain chemicals, including copper sulphate for Latin America and liberated areas, various solvents and sodium cyanide for the Soviet Union, and ethyl alcohol. Later in the year, lumber and wood pulp for all countries also presented difficulties. The programming of end-products for export, however, was troublesome throughout 1944. This was particularly true of textiles, truck and bus tires, trucks, tractors, and oilier construction machinery, oil well drilling machinery, farm machinery, machine tools, electric motors, and locomotives.

Combined Raw Materials Board.--The international allocation of raw materials in short supply is made by the British-American Combined Raw Materials Board, the American member of which is the Vice Chairman for International Supply of the War Production Board. Allocation programs have been set up, ordinarily on a quarterly, semiannual, or annual basis, apportioning the available supplies to the United Kingdom and the United States, and also, in most cases, to the other United Nations. The Combined Raw Materials Board approves allocations to neutral countries within the provisions of trade agreements between them and the United States or the United Kingdom. In some cases international allocation has consisted of assigning specific source of supply to individual countries; in other cases allocation has specifically limited the quantities to go to particular countries; and in still other cases allocation has divided world supplies of scarce raw materials among consuming countries on a proportionate basis. A major problem facing the Combined Raw Materials Board as 1944 drew to a close was the allocation of scarce raw materials to liberated areas.

Combined Production and Resources Board.--The international allocation of critical products other than raw materials has been the responsibility of the British-Canadian-American Combined Production and Resources Board, the American member of which is the Chairman of the War Production Board. This Board seeks to integrate the productive activities of the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States, as well as to direct the international distribution of scarce products. In 1944 the joint planning of allocations from the production of the three member countries to meet the requirements of the liberated areas dominated the considerations of the Combined Production and Resources Board.

The Governments concerned agreed in 1944 that the Combined Raw Materials Board and the Combined Production and Resources Board should be continued until the end of the war with both Germany and


Japan. As in the past, the Boards' activities will be concerned only with short supply situations in which combined action is necessary to meet military needs and essential civilian requirements. It is the Boards' policy, as well as the general policy of the United States, to terminate international allocations and similar controls as soon as the war situation makes it feasible.

Scheduling of Component Deliveries

The direction exercised by the War Production Board through the Controlled Materials Plan, Priorities Regulation 11B, and other production and allocation controls is often not sufficient to insure that certain common components are shipped in the right quantities to the right destinations at the required times. Again and again, shortages of components (such as engines, motors, and bearings) for which all production programs compete have proved to be the limiting factor in the supply of essential finished products, when otherwise the necessary facilities, materials, and labor were available for adequate production.

How Scheduling Operates.--Under the War Production Board scheduling system, the total proposed production is obtained each month from all manufacturers of a critical component. The figure is compared to the total requirements of all claimants for the component in question. If the requirements greatly exceed the available supply, the claimants are informed of the situation and asked to attempt cooperatively to adjust their individual requirements to fit the supply. This over-all review of requirements is carried out far enough in advance so that if readjustments have to be made they can be accomplished without disrupting the normal schedules of the manufacturers involved. The policy assures that components, and the critical materials that have gone into components, will not sit idly about for months, immobilized for war use, and that urgent needs will be given the required priority so as not to delay major production programs.

In addition to furnishing over-all production figures, manufacturers of the scarcest components are required to file monthly reports of requested shipping dates and scheduled shipping dates for orders for the following months, and dates of orders shipped during the past month. In certain of the critical components the War Production Board requires approval of individual orders before they may be accepted. The Board carefully reviews these shipping schedules and in cooperation with claimant agency representatives, attempts to readjust inflated requirements and to cut back orders calling for delivery too far in advance. Where desirable, it shifts orders among plants within an industry in order to assure maximum use of all facilities. This shifting of orders among competitors has not only made possible maximum production, but has also enabled each manufacturer to specialize in quantity production of the particular component that he is best equipped to manufacture. In other words, orders have been assigned where idle capacity existed, and the difficult orders have been assigned to plants with demonstrated ability to fill them, freeing these plants in turn of the easier-type orders that less well-equipped factories might fill satisfactorily.


Critical problems in the supply of industrial equipment and containers have been met by the same scheduling techniques.

1944 Scheduling Experience.--Since the introduction of the scheduling technique in February 1943, no major program in the military, foreign, or civilian fields has been unduly delayed because of a lack of materials or components. Production scheduling provided the industry divisions of the War Production Board, the claimant agencies, and industry itself with a flexible but uniform procedure for achieving the most advantageous distribution of critical products needed for the more important programs. It was a particularly valuable weapon in the latter part of 1944 for strengthening weak spots and supplying new demands created by the changing military situation.

However, detailed scheduling has been used sparingly, because of its complicated nature. During 1944 the products subject to scheduling control were continually reviewed to find out if they could be removed from such control, or else redefined so as to confine the scheduling to the most critical types and sizes. The list of scheduled products has therefore been considerably shortened. A program for the systematic reduction of scheduling after victory in Europe was devised which would lessen the burden on industry but at the same time retain necessary control of products remaining critical. In addition, of course, scheduling continues to be used on a "spot" basis to remedy emergency shortages.

Engine Spare Parts.--In the fall of 1944, as a result of war-theater shortages of engine spare parts for landing craft and military vehicles, the War Production Board placed field scheduling officers in the seven most critical internal combustion engine plants. The Board representative assisted the manufacturer in every way possible to increase his procurement and production of the particularly urgent spare parts. Special Army and Navy representatives also assigned to the plants worked under the guidance of the War Production Board men in picking out the most urgent parts orders, which the manufacturer was directed to fill at once.

The War Production Board also sent field representatives into 20 or more plants supplying the engine manufacturers with the scarcest components to identify the main hindrances to production, such as shortage of facilities, machinery, materials, subcomponents, and manpower. With last minute reports on current obstacles to production, the War Production Board then put its full resources behind the manufacturers in aiding them to overcome their production difficulties.

Castings and Forgings.--The whole castings and forgings problem became more acute during 1944 because there was no system for the correct identification of orders with end-products and the proper distribution of castings and forgings for use in critical programs in accordance with relative urgencies. Conflicts, confusion, and competition for castings and forgings resulted. In November 1944 centralized responsibility for the production and distribution of all ferrous castings and forgings was established within the War Production Board, and a definite procedure for the identification of the most urgent programs at the foundry level was set up. The War Production Board worked out an arrangement whereby the procuring agencies, particularly the Office of the Chief of Army Ordnance


at Detroit and the Bureau of Ships' Engine Parts Coordinating Office, also at Detroit, would assist in implementing this plan.

The Ordnance Department agreed to identify its contracts for critical programs, to instruct contractors to put end-product identification on their orders to subcontractors and, through the prime contractor, to instruct subcontractors to pass the identification along in their orders to the foundries. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Ships agreed to go into subcontractors' plants--chiefly engine parts plants--to trace the orders placed on the foundries and forge shops down to critical parts orders. The War Production Board was then to be notified as to what orders had been placed and the sequences in which they should be delivered. By this procedure the distribution of castings and forgings could be scheduled in such a way as to prevent bottlenecks from developing in the critical programs. At the end of the year, the forging industry as a whole was not holding up critical programs.

Aircraft Scheduling.--While the greatest emphasis in aircraft scheduling is placed on the end-product, aircraft, careful planning of component and material production is necessary to insure the orderly flow of the thousands of such items to the airplane assembly plants. This undertaking is particularly complex because aircraft schedules are subject to repeated revisions by reason by changing military requirements and frequent modifications in design specifications. In 1944, for example, there were in addition to the regular quarterly revisions of aircraft schedules, over 200 interim individual model changes, all of which required collateral adjustment of component schedule and material requirements.

To assure the greatest possible production of the most urgently needed types of aircraft, the War Production Board in 1944 adopted a scheduling policy which might very well be termed "selective incentive scheduling." Basically, this calls for an incentive factor to operate concurrently with the urgency of certain types. Thus, less urgently needed planes are scheduled on the basis of the most exact and realistic estimates of outputs available. Those of greater urgency are slightly overscheduled, assuring full production but at the same time avoiding the danger of allocating too much material to such programs. In the case of the most urgent types, schedules contain an even greater incentive factor, to assure the maximum possible output.

Special Directives.--In certain cases where the requirements for a program cut across a large number of industries, and where occasional unforeseen emergencies arise, special directives of AAA priority ratings may be employed to divert the shipment of components from less urgent uses to more urgent uses. These worked so effectively in the landing craft program that the same technique was used frequently in removing obstructions to other programs of top urgency. In addition to landing craft, the following programs had benefited from special directive treatment by the end of 1944: destroyer escorts, combat loaders, trucks, fuel injectors, heavy artillery, self-propelled guns, motors, tank tracks, Navy rockets, and two secret Navy projects. Engineering changes resulting in production delays account for the greater part of this use of special directives.


The operation of the special directive procedure involves close liaison between the War Production Board, the agencies sponsoring the various war programs, and industry. Although a special division of the Board controls directive assistance, some conflict between programs is unavoidable in the use of special directives. Another problem is that special directives and AAA's are not effective in the case of a frozen schedule. Accordingly, at the close of 1944 the War Production Board had under consideration additional restrictions on the use of the special directive procedure, with the purpose of placing greater reliance on regularly established procedures, such as scheduling or expediting particular programs as they became urgent.

Projection of Production Schedules.--In addition to continual oversight of currently needed war programs, the War Production Board has encouraged the various war procurement agencies to develop their future programs as promptly as possible in order to prevent gaps in production schedules that would result in idle facilities and idle or dissipated manpower. Railroad locomotives were a case in point near the end of 1944. Locomotive builders faced a serious situation at that time, with no more steam locomotives scheduled after mid-1945 on the basis of existing contracts. The War Production Board urged claimant agencies, particularly those with probable requirements for European rehabilitation, to develop locomotive programs promptly to replace those scheduled for completion by mid-1945. The necessary productive capacity could thus be utilized and an adequate labor force maintained to satisfy the requirements, both military and domestic, likely to arise in the future.

Manpower Distribution Problems

In the shaping of necessary controls over the American economy, manpower considerations loomed large in 1944. Besides retaining the fundamental mechanisms for governing the flow of production and the distribution of end-products, the War Production Board found that it had to amplify the procedures for dealing with manpower problems. It became increasingly apparent during the year that a major limiting factor in the production of war and essential civilian goods was and would continue to be maldistribution and shortages of manpower. At the same time it was recognized that a solution of manpower problems in war production was not the sole responsibility of any one agency. Hence the War Production Board sought to develop policies and procedures that could be most effectively integrated with the policies and procedures of the War Manpower Commission and other agencies having primary responsibility for dealing with the manpower problem.

In September 1943, at the time of an acute manpower shortage problem on the West Coast, the policy of the War Production Board was that all war procurement departments and agencies should avoid contracting for production in areas where labor shortages were known to exist, except when it was impractical to secure the needed production elsewhere. On December 30, 1943, the Chairman of the Board stated the same policy and added to it that the allocation powers of the Board over materials and facilities were to be used in such a way as to minimize additional


labor requirements in labor shortage areas. The areas were to be those so designated by the War Manpower Commission. This policy continued as the pattern for Board action in the manpower field during 1944. Recognizing that manpower availability was as deserving of consideration in Board orders as was materials availability, early in 1944 the Board incorporated "labor clauses" in amendments to orders; these clauses applied the policy stated by the Chairman.

In dealing with manpower shortage problems in particular areas, the War Production Board proceeded on the assumption that production should be moved to the workers as often as possible rather than expecting labor regularly to migrate wherever production was placed. In its distribution of materials and facilities the War Production Board has recognized three objectives related to the manpower problem: (1) That manpower needed for war production must be protected from dissipation into other activities; (2) that labor not needed for war production nor required for service in the Armed Forces should be utilized in essential civilian production; and (3) that Board policies should give positive encouragement to the maintenance of full employment after the reduction of military demands.

Production Urgency Committees.--At the basis of the wartime manpower problem, and of particular significance in 1944, is the fact that munitions programs are unavoidably subject to change. This makes temporary local labor surpluses inevitable as a result of cut-backs, and also gives rise to acute local demands for labor as a result of stepped-up programs. No over-all approach to the problem can provide a solution unless it includes the means for dealing with individual situations as they arise locally. Consequently, the instruments through which Board manpower policies were made effective were groups located in the areas with actual or potential labor shortage--the Production Urgency Committees.

These committees, organized under the chairmanship of a representative of the War Production Board, include in their membership representatives of both military and civilian war agencies concerned with the production facilities of the area. Their primary tasks are to approve or reject plans for placing new production in the area served by the committee, and to appraise, in accordance with national policies, the relative urgency of the production already in the area. Commencing with 5 committees created in September 1943 at the direction of the Office of War Mobilization to meet the acute labor situation on the West Coast, by the beginning of 1944 there were 10 Area Production Urgency Committees. A year later the number had been increased to 123. In August 1944 a second directive from the Office of War Mobilization authorized the establishment of committees in all group 3 and group 4 labor areas (those with less urgent manpower problems), and gave to the committees the authority to make recommendations on the resumption or expansion of production.

The significance of the Production Urgency Committees is seen in the volume as well as the nature of their work. In 1944 the committees established urgency ratings for 27,500 plants. Applications for facilities expansions having a total value of over one billion dollars were reviewed by the committees, with approval recommended for all but one-seventh


of this amount. Supply contracts amounting to over $7.7 billion were reviewed, and approval was recommended for all but $29 million.

An important aspect of the work of the Production Urgency Committees in 1944 was the review of proposals for expanding local civilian production to take up the slack left by cut-backs in military contracts. This phase of the committees' activities is reviewed in section VI of this report.

All agencies of the Government concerned with war production during 1944 accepted the Area Production Urgency Committees as an effective means by which divergent interests could find out what local manpower problems were and resolve conflicting production demands. The Production Urgency Committees of the Board worked with and were complementary to the Manpower Priorities Committees of the War Manpower Commission, which have the responsibility for devising means of channeling workers into war production, according to the relative urgency of the respective products as determined by the Production Urgency Committees.

The problem of labor shortage, while primarily local in its effects, also involves the question of recruitment of workers from area to area. To deal with interregional recruitment, a National Manpower Priorities Committee was created in June 1944 with representatives from the War Manpower Commission, the War Production Board, the Selective Service system, and the major war procurement agencies. The national committee recommended which orders for workers should be authorized for interregional recruitment and the priority which should be accorded to such orders. Parallel and supplementary to the National Manpower Priorities Committee was the Coordinating Area Production Urgency Committee of the War Production Board, which coordinated the work of the local Production Urgency Committees.

Employment Ceilings.--In controlling the use of manpower, the War Manpower Commission found that one of its most effective mechanisms was the imposition of employment ceilings on individual plants, limiting the number of workers who could be employed there. These ceilings, however, were applied only to war plants and other essential activities in direct contact with the Manpower Priorities Committees of the Commission. Though indispensable in adjusting the distribution of labor available for war production, such ceilings did little to increase the total labor supply. In December 1944 the Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion decided that ceilings should be extended to industry in general. However, the War Manpower Commission lacked statutory authority to enforce employment ceilings.

In the absence of this authority, the Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion turned to the priority and allocation powers of the War Production Board. On December 23 the Director publicly announced that he had requested the War Manpower Commission to intensify its drive to establish employment ceilings in critical labor areas in order to speed the recruiting of workers for critical war plants, and that the War Production Board would issue a new regulation authorizing the withdrawal of priority ratings and allocation rights from those less essential establishments and services that might be unwilling to comply with the War Manpower Commission's employment ceilings and hiring regulations.


The Director announced that he was unwilling to ask for the voluntary acceptance of ceilings by the many without being prepared to use enforcement measures against the very few who might be unwilling to comply.

This statement by the Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion was paralleled by a War Production Board priorities regulation issued the same day. It provided that priorities and allocations granted by the Board could be withdrawn or modified when the Board found that failure to comply with War Manpower Commission regulations resulted in ineffective use of materials and facilities for the prosecution of the war. The regulation contained a procedure for its enforcement, which included certification by the War Manpower Commission of a refusal to comply with its regulations, followed by a hearing before a War Production Board Compliance Commissioner to determine whether a waste of scarce materials had resulted from this failure of the alleged violator to comply.

Orders and Regulations

The scope of War Production Board activities inevitably involves a prodigious number and variety of orders controlling the production and distribution of commodities of all kinds. In 1944 the Board issued about 2,700 orders, regulations, and amendments to orders and regulations. Before issuance those proposed actions that impinged on more than one production activity were circulated among Board subdivisions and interested Government agencies outside of the Board, in order to resolve possible conflicts and to assure the conformity of the orders with over-all Board policies.

In wartime there is not a sufficient supply of materials, facilities, and manpower both to sustain the rapacious war machine and to continue with normal output of nonwar goods. In addition to such positive controls as orders granting priorities and allocating materials to facilitate essential production, therefore, the War Production Board has found it necessary-- on the negative side--to withhold scarce resources from nonessential production so that the war effort would not suffer for their lack. This negative form of production control has been exercised through two principal mediums, L orders and M orders. The L (limitation) orders stop or restrict nonessential construction or the production and distribution of various consumers durable goods and other products not vitally needed; if manufacture of the product is not prohibited outright, it may be limited to a proportion of that of some base period. For example, the first L order curtailed the production of automobiles, not only to save critical materials required for the war effort, but also to make use of the facilities of the automobile industry in war production. The L orders played an important part early in the war in promoting the conversion of plants to war production. The M (materials) orders are primarily allocation orders, but they sometimes control the use of a material as well as its distribution. For example, an M order dealing with iron and steel prohibits the delivery of those metals for use in any one of an appended list of products, principally common civilian items.

In the preparation of its orders affecting industry the War Production Board has not proceeded in a vacuum, but rather has sought the advice


of industry and labor. Through the close cooperation of industry advisory committees and labor advisory committees with the Board, both management and labor have contributed to the formulation of Board policies that are subsequently expressed in orders and regulations.

Appeals.--The burdens imposed by War Production Board orders cannot fall with equal weight upon all who are affected by them. To obtain the maximum fairness possible in the administration of the work of the Board, a formal appeals mechanism permits those who feel that a Board order imposes undue or excessive hardship upon them to request relief. This appeals procedure is applicable to all the general regulations and orders of the Board. Appeals are filed either with War Production Board field offices, or with the industry divisions of the Board. If not settled at these levels an appeal may be made to the Appeals Board. In 1944 the industry divisions of the War Production Board received 142,068 appeals. Of these, 12,418 were disposed of informally and 60,621 were denied; relief was granted or recommended in 69,239 cases. One Board order, involving the rationing of telephones to consumers and hence unlike the other Board orders, accounted for 64,655 of the total number of appeals to industry divisions. In the course of the year the Appeals Board conducted 512 public hearings. In general, changing circumstances during the greater part of 1944 permitted a more liberal policy in granting appeals than had been possible at the start of the year.

The need for conserving manpower was an important factor in determining Appeals Board policy in 1944. In January the Appeals Board adopted the policy of granting limited relief to appellants to enable them to maintain their labor force during the intervals between war contracts. Such relief was granted only with the approval of the War Production Board officer administering the order appealed from, and provided that the necessary materials to keep the labor force employed would be available. In such cases it is to the advantage of the war effort to permit scarce labor to be used on civilian items while the producer is retooling for a new contract, awaiting the arrival of material, or repairing his machinery.

Simplification of Controls.--During 1944 the War Production Board sought to simplify the machinery by which it controls industry in the interest of war production. In the first half of the year a committee was created for the purpose of reducing the number of applications and forms submitted by industry to the Board. By June 15, 73,630 monthly applications or reports were eliminated out of a total of 186,875 required under orders in effect at the beginning of the year.

Many orders were revised after examination of the means of material control employed in them. In various cases the changes provided for self-assigned quotas of materials used in maintenance, repair, and operation, thus eliminating the necessity for regular applications. In about 70 instances, including the aluminum and magnesium orders issued on July 15, the changes permitted material uses that had previously been banned. In still other cases material controls were integrated with the Controlled Materials Plan. A total of 410 materials limitation and conservation orders were revoked or relaxed during the first 6 months of 1944.


Enforcement.--There are three types of compliance action that may be taken against persons who violate orders or regulations of the War Production Board. First, all willful and significant cases of violation are referred to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution under the penal provisions of the Second War Powers Act. Second, where a continuance of the violation appears likely, court proceedings arc instituted to seek an injunction against further violations. And in the third place, wherever appropriate, administrative proceedings arc initiated with a view to withdrawing or withholding priorities or allocation assistance.

This third type of proceeding is an exercise of the allocation power, a form of allocation away from a person who is found to have used more than his share of a scarce material under established rules, or who is found, from his previous use, to be untrustworthy for further use of such materials. The deprivation takes the form of a suspension order and usually runs for a limited period of time. However, such deprivation is not made without the opportunity for a hearing. After investigation has disclosed an apparent violation, the alleged violator is notified of the charge against him and of the administrative action that may be taken. If he desires a hearing, it is held by a compliance commissioner appointed by the Chairman of the Board and responsible solely to him. The commissioner finds the facts and makes recommendations as to the action to be taken; the action recommended may be the issuance of a suspension order. An appeal from the decision of the compliance commissioner may be made to a chief compliance commissioner also appointed by and responsible solely to the Chairman.

The care taken to preserve the rights of alleged violators of Board orders has been an important factor in the maintenance of good relations between the Board and the general public. Furthermore, the Board takes compliance action only in cases where the violation appears to have been substantial in amount or willful in nature.

The validity of the suspension order method of enforcing compliance with Board orders was established by a Supreme Court decision of May 1944 with regard to the very similar procedure of the Office of Price Administration. When Congress extended the Second War Powers Act in December 1944, a provision was added giving Federal District Courts exclusive jurisdiction to enjoin or set aside a suspension order, or the denial of a stay of suspension, if such action is sought by the alleged violator within 5 days of the service of the order. The amended act also provides that a suspension order should not take effect within 5 days after it has been served. The right of court review to determine whether any administrative action is arbitrary or capricious already existed. Thus it is not clear that the amendment gives any right of court review that was not present before.

Distribution Control Problems at Year's End

The major production and distribution control problems facing the War Production Board at the close of 1944 were: (1) The implementation of the policy established on December 7 that nonmilitary production in 1945 on a quarterly basis should not exceed the authorizations for the last


quarter of 1944; (2) the increasing difficulty in the allocation of controlled materials and other materials that were, or were becoming, scarce; (3) the maintenance and adjustment of the machinery for spot authorization in the face of a rapidly dwindling supply of the materials available for that purpose, in order to have available a mechanism for meeting the problems of reconverting industry when the military situation should make that possible; (4) intensification of distribution problems because of increasing production difficulties, especially in regard to castings, forgings, tires, lumber, woodpulp, textiles, repair parts, and certain other materials and components not under the Controlled Materials Plan; and (5) meeting from generally declining supplies the greatly increased demands upon our productive economy resulting from enlarged military requirements, the growing needs of liberated areas in Europe and the Far East, and the steadily mounting and increasingly urgent needs for the replacement of civilian industrial and commercial equipment rapidly wearing out due to the passage of time.


Civilian Requirements and Reconversion Planning

Two concerns of the War Production Board in 1944 were fundamental to continuance of war production on the massive scale attained in late 1943. These were maintenance of the war-supporting civilian economy, and development of plans for the reconversion of war plants to civilian production. Superficially these might appear to be in direct competition with the Board's obligation to get the needed amounts of war goods produced. Actually, however, without adequate equipment and maintenance of our factories, mines, and farms, and our power, communication, transportation, and water supply systems, war production would rapidly decline. Of no less importance are adequate food, clothing, and shelter for the Nation's war workers. And only of slightly less urgency are the provision of laundry facilities, housework-saving equipment that frees women for employment in war plants, and paper for the publishing of newspapers, magazines, and books that enable the people to participate intelligently in the democratic process. Supplying and distributing these and other essentials of a healthy war-supporting economy are among the basic responsibilities of the War Production Board.

Planning for reconversion also supports, rather than competes with, war production. Unless management and workers have confidence that advance planning for reconversion is proceeding along lines that will assure equity in the transition period, "reconversion jitters" develop, with the result that both management and workers "jump the gun" in an effort to beat potential competitors to markets and jobs with a peacetime future. Unemployment has a contagious demoralizing effect on workers in a period of continuing war production. Too, without planning for reconversion, VE-Day would catch the Government poorly prepared to protect war production for the Far Eastern front against a natural industrial tendency to switch entirely to civilian production. Finally, if the War Production Board abdicated responsibility for an orderly unwinding of its wartime controls of production and distribution, the ensuing confusion might seriously impede the Nation's return to a sound peacetime economy.


Satisfaction of Civilian Requirements

In 1944 the problem of meeting essential requirements of the war-supporting civilian economy was complicated by four interrelated factors: The erratic increasing and decreasing of military requirements, with immediate repercussions in individual war plants; the nation's running of the whole gamut from optimism to pessimism as to an early end of the European war; the varying tightness of manpower during the year, both nationally and in individual areas; and the especially great loss of labor to the Armed Services and to munitions plants by such industries as textiles, lumber, and pulp and paper, which are fundamental to the civilian economy. Despite these complicating factors, which prevented the production of many badly needed items, on the whole considerable success was attained in keeping the war-supporting civilian economy adequately supplied.

Levels of Need.--As the war progressed, inventories of more and more civilian items were depleted. With production even of essential items limited by increasing military requirements, it became necessary for the War Production Board to establish degrees of essentiality in order to put the most pressing needs first in establishing programs of production.

In June the Board selected some 200 civilian hard goods items as the products of most concern, but related absolute essentiality to three quantitative levels: (1) Level I, corresponding to the rationing level of production; (2) level II, corresponding to the "squeeze" level, where rationing controls as such are not required but where some distribution control is of necessity continued; and (3) level III, corresponding to the level of minimum essential requirements without rationing or distribution controls. Some of the 200 items were listed only at level III or levels II and III. Increased military requirements late in the year resulted in the establishment of a "must" list of 20 end-products, which has been accepted regionally as of second urgency to the military "must" programs for manpower referrals, facilities, components, and materials.

In order to identify the shortages that were causing greatest hardship to consumers, civilian needs were checked by 3 national surveys. One survey, in cooperation with the War Food Administration, covered 43 articles customarily used in farm work; another survey covered 99 textile and miscellaneous household goods; the third survey obtained information about 63 household goods, durable goods, and appliances. The results of these surveys were extensively used in the preparation of programs of nonmilitary production for the fourth quarter of 1944 and the first and second quarters of 1945.

Civilian Hard Goods.--In the hard goods field, the War Production Board has been particularly concerned about the necessity for the resumption of some production of refrigerators, washing machines, electric irons, typewriters, and telephones--items whose production for civilian purposes has been prohibited during the war and inventories of which are nearing exhaustion. The feasibility of producing these and several other badly needed items was investigated during the early fall, but the prolongation of the European war and the increase in military requirements


prevented the authorization of production in most instances. Small quantities of electric irons, typewriters, alarm clocks, electric ranges, and telephones were manufactured, and fourth-quarter programs for expanded production of the following additional civilian items were authorized: Domestic oil storage tanks, hydropneumatic tanks, bed springs, coal and wood ranges, gas ranges, oil ranges, warm air furnaces, warm air distribution equipment, domestic oil burners, coal stokers, hot water heaters, hot water storage tanks, commercial laundry equipment, domestic watt-hour meters, railroad passenger cars, and light trucks. At the end of the year, however, actual reconversion of the heavy electrical appliance industry still lay in the future.

Resumption of production of aluminum cooking utensils and other household and kitchen articles, prohibited since late in 1941, was permitted in the latter part of 1944. Although production of almost five million aluminum cooking utensils and almost eight million other aluminum household utensils was authorized for 1944, actual output was far below these amounts for two reasons: (1) Since delivery of materials for the manufacture of aluminum ware could not be allowed to interfere with deliveries for war orders, most manufacturers had to wait several months for material; and (2) as a result of increases in military requirements late in the year, large new war orders were placed with aluminum ware manufacturers.

During 1944 it was found possible to permit production of all types of cast-iron, enameled, and galvanized ware. While production of these items was considerably greater than in 1943, materials and labor shortages in some instances prevented production from reaching the maximum rates authorized.

Restrictions on the manufacture of furniture were partially lifted during the year, and the use of steel springs, prohibited for more than a year, was permitted at the rate of 50 percent of the quantity used in 1941. However, the increasing scarcity of lumber, textiles for upholstering purposes, and spring steel greatly limited production. The supply of lumber for furniture production appeared unlikely to improve until the end of the war in the Pacific.

With a decreased supply of farm labor, labor-saving equipment on farms was urgently needed if the Nation's heavy wartime food requirements were to be met. At the same time, farm machinery programs competed with Army trucks, artillery, and other munitions for facilities, critical materials and components, and manpower. Although this competition presented a number of problems that had to be solved in 1944, farm machinery production reached an all-time high of 150 percent of the 1940 level.

Civilian Soft Goods.--A record output of food was achieved in 1944. Increased military requirements for foodstuffs were approximately offset by lower lend-lease shipments, and in consequence United States civilians benefited from the higher rates of output. Total civilian consumption of foodstuffs during 1944 was two to three percent greater than in 1943. There were declines in some items, notably poultry, fats and oils, potatoes,


and canned foods, but these were more than offset by rises in such items as fresh milk, meats, sugar, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Civilian supplies of textiles and apparel, on the other hand, were short throughout the year, despite the persistent efforts of the War Production Board to bring them up. A slightly greater volume of men's and boys' clothing was available for civilians in 1944 than in 1943, but women's clothing was off 5 to 10 percent. The Board placed special emphasis on the production of work clothing, work gloves, ladies' house dresses, men's and boys' underwear, and infants' and children's clothing. Through the entire cotton textile picture has run the necessity for overcoming the disappearance and quality deterioration of low-priced merchandise. In order to recapture this important element in the economy, the War Production Board has worked closely with the Office of Price Administration and the Office of Economic Stabilization on the establishment of low and medium price lines and quality standards.

The production of footwear and other essential civilian leather products during 1944 was below minimum needs principally because of increased military and lend-lease requirements. Total shoe production was maintained at about the 1943 level. Civilian production was lower by 5 percent, and there was a marked shift from leather to fabric or part-fabric shoes. However, it was possible to meet essential civilian needs through a reduction of retailers' inventories. Programs for the production of infants' and children's shoes were increased, even at the expense of adult shoes where necessary.

Although the pulpwood and waste paper salvage drives augmented the supply of raw materials for paper and paperboard production to some extent, growing military demands both for woodpulp and for paper and paperboard--already noted in this report--limited the manufacture for civilian use of such essential items as containers, bags and wrapping paper, sanitary papers, and cultural papers. In certain localities shortages of bags and wrapping paper were serious during the second and third quarters.

While paper, the basic material used in printing and publishing, has gradually become one of the most critical raw materials, total dollar value of newspapers, books, and magazines, as well as the over-all value of advertising, have reached the highest level recorded in the history of the industry. This volume has been retained despite a reduction of about 25 percent in the total tonnage of printed matter produced.

Drugs and health supplies, chemicals, insecticides, and cosmetics were, with few exceptions, adequate for essential needs in 1944. However, the extent of the shortage in many chemical materials was growing, and at year's end it appeared that additional materials might be added to the shortage list in 1945.

The service trades, so dependent upon adequate manpower, found it especially difficult to meet the increased demands placed upon them. The War Production Board worked with the War Manpower Commission to obtain the designation "locally needed" for labor referrals to laundries, hotels, and banks in tight labor areas where service slumps or failures threatened. Shortage and obsolescence of equipment were also difficult


problems, and wherever possible the War Production Board authorized an expansion of repair parts production in order to maintain equipment in usable condition.

Controlling the Flow of Consumer Goods.--Although during 1944 the War Production Board remained responsible for determining the need for rationing scarce items produced under the direction of the Board, emphasis was placed upon avoidance of comprehensive retail-level controls over distribution. It was the policy of the War Production Board to ease distribution problems by providing supplies of consumer goods up to 80 percent of the demand. The bulk of the hard goods in short supply were then distributed to wholesalers on the basis of specific applications to the War Production Board. Through inventory limitations the Board prevented large wholesale and retail establishments from overstocking, thus making more goods available to small merchants, and held the inventories of direct-buying merchants to the levels necessary for specified time periods. Through the preference rating system distributors were enabled to meet emergency local shortages and to remedy maladjustments in distribution. Ratings were applicable to scarce manufactured products, such as textile products, but during the year ratings were removed from a number of items that had become available in adequate supply.

The War Production Board has fostered equitable distribution of goods by wholesalers to retailers, and at the retail level has encouraged voluntary dealer rationing to assure fair distribution of goods to consumers. To prevent stimulation of sales of scarce consumer items, the Board has issued declarations of policy regarding retail sales promotion, with very satisfactory cooperation from business groups in making these policies effective. The retailers' voluntary program restricting promotion of textile products and furniture continued in effect in 1944 with slight amendment, and in June the Board issued a declaration of policy on retailers' conservation of wrapping paper and paper bags.

The Problem of Cut-Backs

The production of nonmilitary goods in 1944 had another aspect besides the extent to which it satisfied minimum civilian requirements. As 1943 drew to a close, the War Production Board for the first time during the war faced the prospect of materials surpluses. In the early war years there had almost never been a sufficiency of materials to meet the needs of a constantly expanding military program, but the enormous increase in productive capacity had now made possible production of some materials in greater quantities than needed for direct war purposes. Almost simultaneously, the procurement agencies began to let contracts run out without replacement, to cut back some of the military programs, and to halt the expansion of others. The consequences of such a coincidence of factors, if no expansion of civilian production were allowed, would be local unemployment in certain industries in various parts of the country, with demoralizing effects on workers generally, and a possible loss to the labor market of thousands of workers who might drift from the labor force as a result of cut-back unemployment. While many workers could be transferred to war work in other areas, others were not


transferable for various reasons or were of types not needed in war industries.

If a way could be found to allow some expansion of nonmilitary production without interference with war production, local unemployment could be prevented, the total labor force would be maintained readily available should war requirements increase, badly needed civilian goods could be produced in limited quantities, and many small businesses could be spared hardship and possible bankruptcy. These effects would not only be felt immediately but would smooth the ultimate transition to a peacetime economy. Another consideration also compelled the War Production Board to meet the situation created by declining military needs: The limitations and prohibitions of nonmilitary production had been instituted for the specific purpose of assuring the fulfillment of war requirements. Should these restrictions become unnecessary for direct and indirect military purposes, it would be legally incumbent upon the War Production Board to relax the controls.

Exploratory Steps.--By D-day, in June 1944, many basic problems incident to a reconversion to civilian production had been explored, machinery and procedures were being prepared for each of the several approaches to reconversion, and a few policies had been decided upon. However, throughout the first half of the year positive action had been generally deferred pending the establishment of a firm beachhead in Western Europe.

Throughout 1944 the War Production Board, with the approval of the Attorney General, discussed reconversion problems with industry and labor advisory committees representing virtually all of the industries faced with those problems. Most important, of course, were the discussions with the consumers' durable goods industries such as the refrigerator, automotive, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, and electrical appliance industries, which will have serious problems and whose rapid reconversion is important to the postwar economy.

A thorough review of limitation and conservation orders was also initiated, with a view to "cleaning up" and cataloguing the orders so that they could be used effectively in the reconversion process, and to developing criteria for determining which orders should be continued and which revoked during the reconversion period. Implicit in this study were two assumptions: First, that control orders should be lifted as soon as they were no longer necessary to the fulfillment of the war programs; and second, that the mechanics needed for the period after VE-day should be anticipated by preparatory action.

Action toward moving the mounting quantity of surplus property into the hands of manufacturers able to use it for civilian production, or toward any formal relaxation of the restrictive policies on facilities construction, was deferred until after the establishment of a front in Western Europe. Any substantial expansion of nonmilitary production was also postponed, although the following steps were taken before D-day: A "guinea pig" program for resuming production of two million domestic electric flat irons was approved late in December 1943; the farm machinery program


for 1944 was increased more than twofold over the 1943 program; and a sizable increase in civilian truck production for 1944 was authorized.

Machinery for Cut-backs.--At its meeting of November 30, 1943, the War Production Board had adopted the policy that, "As manpower, facilities, and materials become available in any given area, it shall be the policy of the War Production Board to authorize the production within that area of additional civilian goods, provided such production does not limit production for programs of higher urgency." With a view to using resources to be released by military cut-backs, considerable progress was made in the early months of 1944 in the development of a procedure for the programmed resumption of essential civilian production. Included in this approach were the selection of end-products, allocation of materials for their production, and assignment of quotas to particular firms. The claimant agencies were invited to submit programs for resumption of production of prohibited items, expansion of production of limited items, and relaxation of orders.

In March the War Production Board made public a group of policies that would govern the distribution of military cut-backs and the resumption of civilian production. It was announced that the Armed Services and the War Production Board would collaborate in the placing of cutbacks, which would be made first in tight labor areas if possible. The policy of expanding essential civilian production as it became possible to do so without interference with the over-all war program--already stated on November 30--was reaffirmed, with the further proviso that individual firms might be permitted to resume nonmilitary production in such circumstances even ahead of their competitors. Equitable allocations would be given to established firms first as long as materials and components were under control, but new firms would not be excluded from production.

After careful study and pursuant to instructions of the Director of War Mobilization, the organizational machinery by which the Board and the Armed Services could effect the announced collaboration in regard to cutbacks was established late in May in the form of a Production Executive Committee Staff (later Production Readjustment Committee). This staff was composed of representatives of the War Production Board, the Armed Services, the Smaller War Plants Corporation, and the War Manpower Commission, with the function of correlating cut-backs with reconversion. The need for such machinery had been emphasized by the growing volume of cut-backs, and particularly the impact of the cut-back in May at the Brewster aircraft plant in Long Island City.

Orderly procedures were developed for the clearance of cut-backs proposed by the Services and criteria were established, in order that the cut-backs might be so placed as to serve the over-all interests of war production and the civilian economy, and in order that coordinated action might be taken for the utilization of the released workers and facilities in war production or essential civilian production. Procedures were also established for the notification of contractors, their workers, and Government field offices, and for the control of publicity.

Manpower Requirements for Civilian Production.--The steps taken before D-day, outlined above, reveal a keen awareness of the problems


faced by manufacturers whose war orders were cut back and who were unable to get into other war production, but there was little actual authorization of expanded production for civilian use. The governing consideration, of course, was the manpower situation, and the necessity for avoiding any draining of manpower from war production.

In March 1944 the War Manpower Commission had adopted the policy that the production of essential civilian items should be resumed or expanded only in group 3 and group 4 labor areas, insofar as facilities were available in those areas; group 2 areas should be used only upon certification by the Commission that no interference with war production would result; and group 1 areas should be used for such production only after war production had been transferred out of the area, thus releasing the needed manpower. The War Production Board supported the policy of the War Manpower Commission by ruling that in most cases producers of civilian-use items in group 1 labor areas would not be authorized to produce at a greater rate than that of the first quarter of the year. Restrictions were also imposed by the Board on production for civilian use in groups 2, 3, and 4 labor areas.

However, as military prospects grew brighter, the general condition of the war economy and the manpower outlook changed. After the start of the European invasion, cut-backs threatened to produce pools of unemployment and actually dissipated a part of the labor force. When the question of resuming civilian production was considered in July, the War Production Board found that the national manpower situation at that time did not justify opposition to substituting essential civilian production where military production was curtailed. Manpower shortages were largely local and specific and ought not to bar completely the authorization of essential civilian production in areas or plants that could carry on such production without impairing war production schedules. The conclusion was reached that a systematic dovetailing between military production cuts and the authorization of essential nonmilitary production was necessary to avoid detrimental effects on war production and a general lowering of worker morale, which large-scale releases of war workers would generate.

One reason for the Board's conclusion was the availability of the local Area Production Urgency Committees which, in cooperation with the Manpower Priorities Committees of the War Manpower Commission, could assure that civilian production did not interfere with meeting the manpower requirements of military production. On August 4 the Office of War Mobilization issued a directive giving to the Production Urgency Committees of the War Production Board the responsibility for authorizing increased civilian production in individual plants. This was to be done only upon certification by the War Manpower Commission that labor was available and that its use for civilian production would not interfere with local or interregional recruiting efforts for war production.

"Spot" Authorization.--Priorities Regulation 25--the "spot" authorization order--was issued on August 15. It established a procedure by which manufacturers might receive authorization to make articles whose production was otherwise restricted--but only when they had labor and


facilities available that were not needed for more urgent uses. The plan was hedged about with every precaution to prevent interference with essential production. The regulation specifically stated that no authorization would be granted that would interfere in any way with either war production or the production of essential civilian goods, or if the applicant's proposed use of labor would impede local and interregional recruitment of labor. The fact that applications for permission to produce under the plan were subject to the final approval of the local Production Urgency Committees gave assurance on the manpower score. Allotments of controlled materials to applicants under the plan were issued on a deferred basis, so that they would not compete with the materials needs of more urgent programs. However, authorized "spot" producers could also obtain materials from excess, idle, or frozen stocks.

Between the issuance of Priorities Regulation 25 and February 2, 1945, 6,593 applications to produce more than a billion dollars of goods were processed under the plan. Approval was given to 4,989, involving a scheduled production of almost $710 million. Approvals for third-quarter 1944 production were valued at only $2 million, but production authorized for the fourth quarter totaled more than $121 million. Actual fourth-quarter production under the plan was only a fraction of the authorization, however, principally because of the upswing in war production; with the placing of new contracts and cancellation of cut-backs, facilities and labor were no longer free for civilian production. Problems of procuring materials and components were of secondary significance in explaining the low levels of spot production in relation to authorized schedules.

Under schedules authorized for the first quarter of 1945, 10 products represented almost three-fifths of the total value of authorized production schedules: Bed springs and mattresses, metal office furniture, household aluminum ware, kitchen and household utensils, portable incandescent lamps, vacuum cleaners, refrigerated air-conditioning equipment, dual sleeping equipment, domestic cooking and heating appliances, and lawn mowers. The first 5 alone represented 42 percent of the total approvals, partly because they contained no mechanical or electrical components and could be made with a high proportion of unskilled female labor; and partly because the facilities required for fabrication of these products generally were not convertible to the manufacture of other military products.

The largest number of applications--72 percent--were received from establishments employing less than 50 workers, and the highest rate of approval was also in this size-group. It is noteworthy that almost one-fourth of the applications in this group came from plants employing not more than 5 workers.

Investigations of the operation of the spot plan up to February 2 revealed that it had been an effective device for authorizing unprogrammed civilian production under conditions of noninterference with war production. In fact, instead of detracting from war production, many uses of the plan were war-supporting in character; i. e., a substantial number of establishments used spot authorized production primarily to hold their labor forces together between military contracts, or during down-time or


stand-by time when interruption of military production was unavoidable because of changes in the schedules or specifications, machinery breakdowns, or delay in material deliveries. Other sizable categories of spot production were above-quota output of the applicant's regular civilian product, and production of a civilian product with improved specifications.

Apprehensions about the plan on the score of diversion of labor from war production were revealed to be unfounded. The production under spot authorization was completed with labor from the following sources, in descending order of importance: Part-time workers; idle down-time of war workers; in-plant transfers of workers already engaged in civilian production; and new employment of surplus unskilled female labor.

In summary, it seems fair to conclude that through the medium of spot authorizations (1) many small businesses have been spared real financial stress, (2) a few articles badly needed by the economy have been authorized for production, (3) local unemployment has been avoided in some instances, and (4) -many firms have been able to retain employees while war contracts were being negotiated--all consistently with an undiminished war effort.

Tightening of Controls to Meet War Needs

When the machinery for coordinating cut-backs and authorizing the expansion of civilian production was set up, there was general hope that the European phase of the war would be concluded before the end of the year. If this had been the case, sizable reductions in the munitions program would have released substantial quantities of materials, facilities, and labor for civilian production. While the prospect of such an eventuality was strong in the early summer and again in the early fall, optimism was considerably sobered by the fierce resistance of the enemy, first in Normandy and then at the gates to Germany. Coincident with the prospects of a longer war, procurement schedules for many war items were stepped up tremendously. As a result, cut-backs were neither as numerous nor as large as had been anticipated, and there were not many opportunities to replace war production with nonmilitary production. Serious shortages also developed in several war programs. Loss of workers from war jobs, even though not in substantially greater volume than in the preceding year, became a major consideration in the face of the expanding war demands.

The production problems in the critical war programs were neither unusual nor new, and the War Production Board was convinced that they could be solved by coordinating cut-back actions of the Services, the War Manpower Commission, and the War Production Board so as to utilize released facilities and labor on the critical items; by tackling each of the critical programs immediately on an individual basis; and by promptly placing labor ceilings on less essential production so as to make labor available for the critical items. The Services agreed that all of these steps should be taken but urged that in addition expansion of nonessential production should be immediately stopped. The vital need for greater war production had to be made clear to the public and a sense of urgency created if critical war requirements were to be met.


Restrictions on Nonmilitary Production.--The War Production Board had already taken action to plug manpower leaks from war production. Early in November, it was decided that a deficit during any quarter in the production of a nonmilitary item not vital to the civilian economy might be made up only in the first month of the following quarter. In this way, labor would not be drained from more essential production by letting authorizations granted in an earlier and different manpower situation continue to be valid indefinitely. Early in December an order was issued providing that approved programs of nonmilitary items could not exceed the quantities necessary to fulfill military and essential civilian requirements. In the absence of positive proof to the contrary, essential requirements were presumed not to exceed material allotments for the fourth quarter of 1944. Where an item was being produced for both military and nonmilitary claimants, a decrease in the military requirements could be countered by increasing the nonmilitary portion only if denial of such an increase would make no appreciable number of workers available for more urgent programs, either locally or for interregional recruitment. All production of the nonmilitary end-product in excess of the approved program level was to be governed by Priorities Regulation 25, the spot authorization order, with rigid screening as to the availability of labor.

The Army, the Navy, the War Manpower Commission, and the War Production Board also issued a joint statement on December 1 clarifying current production policies and reemphasizing the urgency of war production. They declared that: (1) The first obligation was the maintenance of war production at a maximum and its increase where needed; there must be no interference from less urgent production. (2) In any locality where war production was lagging because of the lack of certain types of labor or where labor of a needed type was available and transferable, every effort must be made to make such labor available for war production through reduction of employment ceilings and the application of War Production Board material and priority controls upon the recommendation of local committees. Reconversion or expansion of civilian production requiring labor of the type currently needed in war production must not be authorized. (3) Continuous efforts must be made to increase the output of plants working on urgent products even though these plants might already be on schedule. (4) Only in localities where war production was on schedule or where the failure to meet schedules was due to causes other than manpower shortage and where labor qualified for war production was neither needed in that locality nor available for interregional recruitment, would any production under Priorities Regulation 25 be authorized. (5) Each application under Priorities Regulation 25 would be weighed on its merits after careful and full consideration of the policy set forth in this statement; in tight labor areas, for a period of 90 days no spot authorizations would be granted except in unusual cases and with the approval of the officials cognizant of the local manpower situation. (6) No blanket exception for smaller plants was possible, but applications from such plants would receive particularly prompt consideration.


Effects on Spot Authorization.--The rigid criteria that the December 1 statement established for spot authorizations were reflected in disapprovals of applications. Until that date the general policy was to encourage the submission of applications and to assist qualified applicants in solving their procurement problems. Up to December 2, rejections were only about 16 percent of the total number of applications. In the period from the issuance of the joint statement to February 2, 1945, the denial rate rose to 38 percent.

From the inauguration of the spot authorization plan, the availability of labor was the most important factor in determining the eligibility of individual applications. In general, the more critical the labor area, the more difficult it was for applicants to obtain approval. After the December 1 statement this policy was applied even more strictly.

The jump in disapprovals in tight labor areas after December 1 is shown by the following comparison of the percentage of applications denied:

  Up to Dec. 2
Dec. 4-Feb. 2
Area 1 24.7 57.6
Area 2 18.7 41.9
Area 3 9.8 32.6
Area 4 6.7 10.9
Unclassified 10.4 27. 0

The first four areas are listed in descending order of tightness.

The Cut-back Record.--The actual volume of cut-backs in 1944 was considerably below what had been anticipated at the time that the War Production Board and the Services established coordinating machinery to deal with them. Between the middle of June 1944, when the procurement agencies began reporting cut-backs, and the end of the year, a total of 236 major cut-backs were submitted for approval. Of this number, 219 were acted upon and the remainder were withdrawn before being made effective. In a substantial proportion of the cases considered, no alternative to the procurement agency's proposal could be suggested, either because a single source of supply was involved or because of special circumstances, such as the production records of the plants concerned or their relative distances from source of materials or point of overseas shipment.

Where choice remained, the following criteria were generally applied: (1) Cut-backs were made as far as possible in tight labor areas. (2) Every effort was made to prevent putting small plants completely out of business. (3) Where general manufacturing plants could convert to essential civilian production, cut-backs were placed in such plants, and production was concentrated in special war plants; in other cases where it was necessary to maintain stand-by facilities for possible later expansion of the item to be cutback, production was retained in privately owned converted manufacturing plants and the Government-owned plants were maintained as stand-by plants. (4) Some attempt was made to concentrate cut-backs in areas that would be subject to substantial reconversion after the war, and to retain production in areas of little opportunity


for reconversion. (5) In those industries with overloaded plants, cut-backs were made first in plants with the greatest amount of overload. Experience in dealing with cut-backs indicated three major continuing problems: First, the difficulty presented by contract run-outs, which were not reported by the Services but which had an even greater impact on facilities and manpower than actual cut-backs; second, the lack of information on subcontracts, which made it difficult to anticipate and mitigate the effect of cut-backs upon them; and third, the wastage of facilities and manpower that occurred when cut-backs immobilized war production facilities and resulted in large lay-offs of workers, many of whom disappeared from war production. As the year ended, procedures were being developed to deal with all releases of facilities and workers for any reason, including run-outs, and to secure the placement of new contracts in such facilities. The principle being followed was that a going concern with sufficient labor force was of substantial value to the war production program and should be retained in production.

Helping Small Business

The impact of cut-backs in military contracts fell with exaggerated severity upon small businesses. They were often the first to feel the effects of contract reductions as prime contractors tended to pull in work from their subcontractors, and they lacked the financial reserves necessary to tide them over any prolonged period of adjustment. Cut-backs, therefore, usually meant closing down quickly unless contraction in military orders could be offset by resumption of civilian production.

Investigations made by the Smaller War Plants Corporation in 1944 indicated that the death rate among small businesses was likely to be accelerated unless the Government intervened. The Corporation, therefore, sought to develop plans and procedures for protecting the interests of small business in the resumption of nonmilitary production, contract termination, and the disposal of surplus property. During the year the War Production Board liberalized the provisions of limitation orders restricting nonmilitary production to a percentage of prewar production, so as to ease their impact on small plants. The spot authorization plan, as has been noted, was also designed to be and actually proved to be a source of substantial aid to small businesses. Under the Reconversion Act, the Smaller War Plants Corporation was, in effect, given the status of a claimant agency representing small business in making certain that a fair percentage of the materials allocated for nonwar production by an executive agency was set aside for small plants. The Corporation's responsibilities were also increased by the Contract Settlement Act and the Surplus Property Act, which authorized it to assist small businesses by loans and otherwise in obtaining fair termination settlements and in acquiring surplus property.

Probably the major unsolved problem of the Corporation during 1944 was its attempt to secure fuller utilization by the Armed Services of small plant capacity available in noncritical labor areas. However, prime contracts awarded with the assistance or concurrence of the Corporation soared during the year, totaling $2.1 billion for 1944 as compared with


$1.2 billion in the previous 16 months. The establishment of closer working relationships with the procurement agencies and the expansion of the lending and equipment leasing activities of the Corporation contributed to this trend.

In 1944 the Corporation granted a total of $197 million in loans and leases as compared with $58 million in the preceding 16 months. Most of the loans were in the form of working capital for plants employing less than 250 persons. Although all of these loans had previously been turned down by local banks, the Corporation's loss ratio was only 1 percent.

Preparations for VE-Day

In addition to its efforts to break critical war production bottlenecks, to meet essential civilian requirements, and to ease the impact of military cut-backs during 1944, the War Production Board gave attention to the need for intelligent planning for the period following VE-day. It recognized that the speed and selectivity of its demobilization of industrial controls would play a major part in the effectiveness with which the Nation moved toward its peacetime goal of full employment.

Studies of VE-Day Impact.--In September it was estimated that the Services' requirements for supplies would be reduced approximately 40 percent within one year after the conclusion of large-scale hostilities in Europe. Although that figure was necessarily abandoned later in the year on the basis of higher consumption rates and revised estimates of needs for operations in the Pacific, a thorough analysis of the impact of a reduction of such magnitude was made. The regional impact upon both facilities and labor was estimated, so that plans for their utilization could be well matured in advance of VE-day. At the same time, the War Production Board assembled data on the industries whose rapid reconversion was vital to the maintenance of full employment and the production of essential civilian items.

As a result of these investigations, the Board concluded that facilities, materials, and manpower would be available in quantities sufficient to produce nonmilitary goods at the 1939 level of production. Such a conclusion seemed to warrant a maximum removal of the controls over the economy. Accordingly, the War Production Board announced early in September that after VE-day all controls except the minimum necessary to maintain war production would be removed, although adequate controls and personnel would be held in reserve to be used if needed. Civilian production would not be given priority ratings except where the breaking of bottlenecks was required, and production of all nonmilitary items would be permitted.

Modifications of Controls.--The War Production Board also undertook the detailed work necessary to expand the basic VE-day policy into a workable controls system. Activities directed to this end included the following : (1) The preparation of a list of L, M, P, E, and U orders that might be abandoned at VE-day, and conversely, a list of orders that must be retained after VE-day, either as written or in a modified form; (2) the outlining of a procedure for the elimination of the Controlled Materials


Plan; (3) the development of a new priorities system to operate after VE-day; (4) the review of plans for the modification of import and export controls, data reports, and other elements of the post-VE-day control structure; and (5) the preparation of a new overriding regulation to give effect to virtually all decisions reached. Two orders of special importance as preparations for the eventual expansion of nonmilitary production were issued in July. These were Priorities Regulation 23, dealing with experimental models, and Priorities Regulation 24, regarding the placement of unrated orders for machine tools and capital equipment.

The War Production Board had long recognized the importance of advance experimentation to rapid reconversion. Provision had already been made for the use for experimental purposes of materials no longer scarce. However, it was realized that the limitation and conservation orders resulted in many inconsistencies with regard to experimental models. For example, on civilian items whose civilian production had been stopped completely, no experimental models for peacetime production could be built; yet experimentation could continue on other civilian items that were kept in limited production during the war. If the product was one in which steel use was prohibited, experimental models using steel could not be made. In ironing out these contradictions, by mid-July the War Production Board had freed aluminum, copper, magnesium, and zinc for research and experimental use in building working models, and on July 22 Priorities Regulation 23 was issued. The order permitted the manufacture of experimental models of any article and the use of any materials in making them, provided such production (1) did not divert any personnel or facilities from work connected with the war effort, (2) was not greater than the minimum number and the minimum size required to determine suitability for commercial production and use, (3) did not use material specifically allotted for another purpose, and (4) was not distributed or exhibited to the trade or public to promote sales or create consumer demand. Any one plant proposing to expend over $5,000 on experimental models in any month was required to obtain the specific approval of the War Production Board.

The importance of advance tooling to a speedy reconversion has also been repeatedly emphasized by industry. The War Production Board wished to provide for the placing of orders for machine tools preparatory to nonmilitary production not only for that reason, but also in order to maintain the machine tool industry at maximum effectiveness. A sizable reduction in the military services' requirements for machine tools had already resulted in a decline in production and consequent reduction in employment in the industry. Then when the military demand for machine tools for certain critical programs--such as rockets and heavy artillery ammunition--increased sharply, the industry was faced with a serious labor shortage. The machine tools order therefore had the dual purpose of aiding in preparations for reconversion and of maintaining the machine tools industry in a stand-by capacity.

Priorities Regulation 24 as issued on July 29 permitted the placing of unrated purchase orders, after approval by the Board's field offices, for 15 specific types of capital equipment including machine tools, manufacturing


machinery, and similar equipment needed for civilian production. The field offices were required to screen the orders for new machinery to determine whether such equipment was already available in idle or excess stock. Application for a preference rating might be made by persons desiring to place orders for equipment (whether or not covered by the order) that was to be used to make a product prohibited under War Production Board restrictions.

Later amendments to the regulation permitted producers to begin production on unrated orders, but required monthly reports if the dollar value of the producer's monthly unrated shipments exceeded 10 percent of his total shipments. The necessity for authorization to place unrated purchase orders for certain types of machinery and equipment was eliminated, but the policy on assignment of preference ratings to purchase orders was made more restrictive.

Selecting VE-Day Cut-backs.--Equally important to the smooth and rapid reconversion of industry as the removal of restrictions upon production will be the actual release of facilities, materials, and labor from war production. If bottlenecks at various stages of the productive process are to be avoided, advance plans for the careful placing of VE-day cut-backs must be fully developed.

The criteria adopted by the War Production Board in December for the selection of VE-day cut-backs were in accord with principles set forth by the Office of War Mobilization. The two objectives in the placement of VE-day cut-backs, in the order of their relative importance, were declared to be full protection of remaining military requirements, and maximum employment. The criteria listed below were intended to serve as a guide in meeting those objectives, although their use would have to be tempered with great discretion and judgment and with consideration of the facts of the individual case:

The procuring agency would retain until final victory those contractors and facilities it felt were capable of producing the required items at the desired rates and of adequate quality. The following considerations were applicable to this policy: (1) Plants responsible for the development of specialized military products might be retained in production at the rate necessary to promote development; (2) plants would be retained in areas in which the local labor supply could satisfy all remaining military requirements; (3) plants that could be used in other scheduled war production would be freed; and (4) stand-by facilities necessary for future potential requirements would be retained.

To achieve the objective of maximum employment, cut-backs would usually be made first in areas where the labor market was expected to remain relatively tight after VE-day. In selecting the plants to receive cut-backs, first preference would be given to plants that could reconvert quickly to civilian production, and second to plants that would release labor to meet other needs of a community. Plants essential to the reconversion of an entire industry would also be given preference. Usually, privately owned plants would be released ahead of publicly owned plants because of the greater importance of the former to reconversion. Due consideration would be given to the welfare of small business, security factors, transportation, relative unit costs, type of contract, and the effect of cut-backs on subcontractors.

It should be noted, however, that the VE-day plans developed at the end of 1944 were radically modified thereafter. The War Production


Board's reconversion policies were necessarily dependent upon the procurement plans of the Services, and the extent to which controls might be removed was conditioned by the size of VE-day cut-backs. In the absence of detailed information on the VE-day programs of the Services, it was difficult for the Board to make advance plans of a type useful to management and labor in planning future adjustments.

So long as production for current military procurement remains the first aim of the War Production Board, and so long as military procurement itself cannot be effectively planned very far in advance, War Production Board policy must necessarily be kept extremely flexible. The objective of its VE-day policy has insistently been to assure the fulfillment of all military requirements, at the same time allowing as much nonmilitary production as is compatible with that objective.


Although the prolongation of the European war, accompanied by critical shortages of manpower and many war items, dictated a suspension of reconversion activity, the War Production Board's efforts in this direction during the year had considerable affirmative value. The following achievements seem worthy of note: (1) The major policy questions in the reconversion to civilian production were satisfactorily solved; (2) machinery was established for the advance reporting of military cut-backs; (3) procedures were devised for the gradual expansion of civilian production as facilities, materials, and labor were no longer needed in war production; (4) these expansion procedures served also to hold plants and labor forces in stand-by condition when war production was temporarily interrupted; (5) industry was enabled to take certain preparatory steps to reconversion, thereby reducing the probable extent of post-VE-day unemployment; (6) considerable progress was made on the formation of a system of controls for the post-VE-day period; and (7) civilian requirements during the year were adequately met, assuring a healthy economy for all-out war production.


Organization and Management

The War Production Board in 1944 was a mature agency from the standpoint of organization, personnel, and management. Most of the problems of recruiting qualified personnel, creating a sound organization, and developing efficient operating procedures had been solved by the end of 1943. However, there were problems of a different character from those in an expanding agency that had to be faced as a result of changing battlefront and home front conditions. Further management improvements were still possible on the basis of experience, and the shorter supply of Government manpower demanded every possible economy in the use of personnel. On the other hand, it was necessary to maintain the personnel strength of the Board at a level sufficient to meet its continuing responsibilities.

Several major developments in the war production program had important effects upon the organization and management of the agency. The easier supply of controlled materials during the first nine months of the year made it possible to simplify some of the detailed controls and paper work, reduce conservation and salvage activities, and decentralize more work to the field offices. At the same time, shortages of components and manpower called for further production scheduling, and for new arrangements to break bottlenecks both in Washington and the field. The interagency problem of manpower, and the additional attention being given to postwar policies, brought more active participation in war production problems by the Office of War Mobilization and its successor Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion. Losses of agency personnel increased in the late summer, as the popular notion took hold that the war was almost over. During the fall months^ as the military outlook changed and military programs were increased, the War Production Board tightened its belt for the war production job still before it.

Organization Adjustments

One of the most important changes in War Production Board organization during 1944 was the creation of a stronger field organization and the wider use of Production Urgency Committees to handle production problems on a local basis. Preliminary steps in this direction had begun in late 1943 with a substantial increase in the field offices' authority to issue


priority certificates; the creation of an Operations Council of regional directors and top Washington officials; and the formation of ten Production Urgency Committees in West coast and other critical labor areas.

The field program achieved full stature in July 1944, when it secured its own Vice Chairman for Field Operations. This was the culmination of a series of developments, including the designation of a Deputy Vice Chairman for Field Operations in January; the transfer of responsibility for Production Urgency Committees from the Executive Vice Chairman to the Vice Chairman in February; and further decentralization of functions to the field offices, including the authority to form Production Urgency Committees. By the end of 1944, there were 123 of these local committees of Federal agency representatives meeting under War Production Board chairmen. In late September, deputy vice chairmen for field distribution and field production operations were appointed to assist with the central direction of the field program. The Operations Council, with its monthly meetings of regional directors and Washington officials, provided a vehicle for the exchange of views so necessary to good field-central office relations.

A significant change in War Production Board organization relating to reconversion occurred with the establishment of the Production Executive Committee Staff on May 25. This group was created after the Director of War Mobilization instructed the Production Executive Committee of the War Production Board to take action on cut-backs. The Production Executive Committee, which included the Executive Vice Chairman as chairman and commanding officers of the supply branches of the Armed Services-and Maritime Commission, had been responsible since late 1942 for war production scheduling. The new Production Executive Committee Staff was authorized to study and make recommendations concerning both the scheduling and the resumption, expansion, and curtailment of production. On November 29, this group was replaced by a Production Readjustment Committee having similar functions.

In the early fall months, the Committee on Demobilization of Controls After Victory in Europe and its subcommittees not only developed plans for the future relaxation of controls, but also provided a basis for simplifications that had immediate value in streamlining War Production Board organization and procedure. Creation of an Aircraft Division on November 18 was designed to prepare the way for civilian aircraft production and handle current operations more effectively. On December 9, the Director of the Office of Contract Settlements was made a member of the War Production Board.

Several organizational changes during 1944 reflected the changed materials situation. In the early part of the year, upwards of two dozen decentralized metal and other material recovery programs were abolished as the need for these activities ceased. The increased emphasis on scheduling and high urgency programs brought more changes operationally than organizationally. Division requirements committee procedures and program controls were improved, and the Production Executive Committee took a more active part in decisions on critical programs.


The most notable organizational changes relating to materials occurred in the fall months, when there was a vigorous campaign to eliminate or curtail functions not contributing directly to war production and to integrate even more effectively the functions that needed to be continued. The Office of the Rubber Director was terminated with Presidential approval, and replaced on September 1 by a Rubber Bureau reporting to the Operations Vice Chairman. Soon afterward, the Conservation Division, Redistribution Division, and Mineral Resources Coordinating Division were abolished; the Salvage Division was sharply curtailed; the Tin and Lead Division and the Zinc Division were combined; and the Mica-Graphite Division was consolidated with the Miscellaneous Minerals Division. In all these changes, substantial economies were effected in budget and personnel, and, at the same time, provision was made either for the orderly liquidation of the functions or for the continuation of essential activities on a streamlined basis. It is noteworthy that the Office of the Rubber Director and Conservation Division were both abolished on the recommendation of their ranking officials.

There were other changes during the year in the direction of a more effective organization. Industry divisions were regrouped in January, resulting in the formation of a Consumer Hard Goods Bureau, a Radio and Transport Bureau, a Chemicals Bureau, and a Textile, Clothing and Leather Bureau. Later in the year, in November, the Construction Bureau was formed, bringing together the Facilities Bureau and various industry divisions dealing with building and construction. In 17 industry divisions, labor assistants, selected from men having practical experience in plants and familiarity with union problems, assisted in the solution of labor problems involved in urgent war production and reconversion planning. A realignment in the divisions under the Program Vice Chairman occurred in late 1944. Since basic Controlled Materials Plan procedures had been established and were operating smoothly, it was possible to abolish the Controlled Materials Plan Division and to consolidate the Program and Production Controls Bureaus into a single office, the Program Controls Bureau. The Bureau of Research and Statistics, which always participated closely in programming activities, was reorganized in relation to these changes, absorbing the staff functions of the former Program Bureau, and changing its name to become the Bureau of Programs and Statistics.

Personnel Changes

The personnel of the War Production Board was reduced during 1944 from 17,904 to 12,963, a fall of about 28 percent (chart 25). Total employment at the end of 1944 was not much more than half the high watermark in War Production Board employment of 22,847, reached in February 1943. The reduction in both 1943 and 1944 was the result of a continuing campaign to get the job done with the smallest possible working force. Work was simplified to reduce personnel requirements, and personnel not currently employed to full capacity were transferred to positions and divisions where their services would contribute more effectively to the winning of the war. The rate of reduction was relatively


constant during the first 8 months of 1944, but was stepped up sharply in September and October, in the expectation that early victory in Europe would reduce the need for detailed controls of war production. A more gradual rate of decline returned in November and December, following the Chairman's plea to "hold the line" in meeting the increased war production schedules.

Departmental personnel, mostly in Washington, dropped 33 percent in 19443 as compared with a 19 percent decrease for field personnel, reflecting the increased emphasis on decentralization of Board operations. The number of dollar-a-year and without-compensation executives on loan from their companies declined 36 percent from 796 to 533, or at a higher rate than War Production Board personnel in general. While recruitment of men with specialized industry knowledge and experience was still necessary, executive vacancies were filled more than formerly by promotions from within the agency. The proportion of younger executives and of salaried officials in executive posts increased to some extent. The sharpest reduction for a major organizational area occurred in the Office of the Vice Chairman for Metals and Minerals, which declined 50 percent, from 1,413 to 714, as a result of the easier situation in the supply of many materials. The Office of War Utilities decreased at slightly lower rate, while the Offices of the Operations Vice Chairman and Vice Chairman for Civilian Requirements each declined by about one-third. The decline of personnel in the programming, staff, and administrative areas was somewhat less rapid, since these overhead functions do not rise or fall in exact proportion to total personnel.

Changes in the top personnel of the War Production Board during 1944 were of more than usual interest and importance. The most notable change occurred in August, when Chairman Donald M. Nelson undertook a special mission to China for the President, Charles E. Wilson resigned as Executive Vice Chairman, and J. A. Krug was appointed Acting Chairman. On September 30, Mr. Nelson's resignation was accepted by the President, and Mr. Krug was appointed Chairman. Certain other adjustments in key personnel were associated with these shifts in top leadership. The position of Executive Vice Chairman, occupied by Charles E. Wilson until August, was abolished in September. A Chief of Staff, Arthur H. Bunker; Chief of Operations, Hiland G. Batcheller; and Executive Officer, John D. Small, were appointed at that time. In December, Mr. Bunker resigned, and no replacement in the position of Chief of Staff was announced.

Changes in leadership occurred more frequently for the key posts of Program and Operations Vice Chairman than for other vice chairmanships. J. A. Krug was Program Vice Chairman until April 1944, when he resigned to accept a commission in the Navy. The functions of Program Vice Chairman were assumed temporarily by the Executive Vice Chairman until the appointment in May of Samuel W. Anderson, who continued in this position through the remainder of the year. Simultaneously with his resignation as Program Vice Chairman Mr. Krug resigned as Director of the Office of War Utilities and was succeeded in that post by Edward Falck. Lemuel R. Boulware served as Operations Vice Chairman until


Chart 25


September, when he was succeeded by Hiland G. Batcheller, and the latter in turn by Harold Boeschenstein in December.

Four Vice Chairmen remained at their posts throughout the year: The Vice Chairman (International Supply), William L. Batt; the Vice Chairman for Labor Production, Joseph D. Keenan; the Vice Chairman for Manpower Requirements, Clinton S. Golden; and the Vice Chairman for Smaller War Plants, Maury Maverick, who was appointed in January 1944. The two vice chairmanships in which a single change in leadership occurred were Metals and Minerals, where Arthur H. Bunker was succeeded by P. D. Wilson in June when Mr. Bunker became Deputy Executive Vice Chairman; and Civilian Requirements, where A. D. Whiteside resigned in February to be succeeded in May by W. Y. Elliott. A general vice chairmanship under Donald D. Davis was abolished in July and replaced by one specifically for Field Operations. The fatter post was held by Mr. Davis through September when he was succeeded by James A. Folger. Another general vice chairmanship, established in June and filled by Sidney Weinberg, was also abolished upon Mr. Weinberg's resignation in September. Three personnel departures of note occurred with the resignation during the year of Col. Bradley Dewey, second and last of the Rubber Directors; of Stacy May, Director of Research and Statistics since mid-1940; and of John Lord O'Brian, General Counsel since early 1941.

Industry and Labor Advisory Committees

Industry and labor advisory committees continued to be an invaluable source of cooperation and guidance in the conduct of War Production Board programs and in the solution of specialized war production problems. These committees, consistent with policies of the Attorney General, have not determined policy, but have been of an advisory character. They have been convened by the War Production Board to advise on such problems as the issuance and revision of War Production Board industry orders, and serious changes or failures to meet war production schedules.

Industry advisory committees have provided a regularized channel for the exchange of information between the Government and particular industries. During 1944, there were 1,009 industry advisory committees, of which 773 were active at the end of the year. A total of 139 new committees were established, slightly exceeding the number of old committees that were dissolved. In all, 1,328 formal meetings were held during the year, besides 39 meetings of special industry task groups and 44 informal industry conferences. Where situations were urgent in nature, industry committees met frequently and at some length, but where industries did not face important problems, they usually met only once. Meetings have been held early in the development of a problem, seeking to provide frank and democratic discussion under the chairmanship of the Government presiding officer. Small, medium-sized, and large companies are fairly represented. Summaries of most meetings were circulated, so that the industry as a whole would be advised of the discussion.

Labor advisory committees received a new impetus from the military cut-backs, adjustments, and reconversion discussions of mid-1944. In June, the duties and responsibilities of these committees were clarified by general


administrative order, and an Office of Labor Advisory Committees was established as a joint responsibility of the Vice Chairmen for Labor Production and Manpower Requirements. By the close of the year, 26 committees had been established for major industry groups, and an equal number were in process of formation. In addition to contributing to the solution of reconversion problems, labor advisory committees played an important role in suggesting ways to meet the production problems of critical war industries.

Staff and Administrative Activities

Staff and administrative offices performed a variety of services during 1944. The Office of the General Counsel assisted in drafting 2,682 orders, regulations, and amendments, representing an increase of 693 over 1943, in addition to a variety of other counseling services to divisions and officers of the Board. The Office of the Executive Secretary provided executive secretaries and related types of assistance to 17 major policy committees within the War Production Board, which held a total of 900 meetings. This Office also made a substantial beginning toward the collection of a central file of important policy documents of the War Production Board and the preparation of a final report on the agency's wartime experience.

The Information Division, through trade papers, trade groups, and the general press4 continued to keep business and industry informed of all War Production Board actions which affect them. It issued 2,925 releases, 400 general articles, and acted as the point of contact for thousands of inquiries from the general and trade press, thus keeping the general public fully informed of war production in war-supporting activities.

The Bureau of Program and Statistics provided assistance at all levels of the Board in the development of sound statistics and reporting, and in the analysis of programs and trends. Controls for such materials as lumber, textiles, paper, and tires, and for critical programs, were problems given special attention. The economic effects of cut-backs, particularly after victory in Europe, were also studied. Data requests to industry, including one-time reports, were reduced from 1,161 for 1943 to 765 at the close of 1944.

Management surveys provided a basis for many changes in organization or procedure and reductions in personnel. Emphasis shifted from recruiting personnel to securing their proper utilization. Arrangements were made for the transfer of more than 800 excess employees to other agencies, when internal transfers were not possible. The uncertain draft deferment policy created difficulties in early 1944, but was satisfactorily resolved by the middle of the year. A concerted effort to reduce absenteeism was made in late 1944, and by the end of the year plans were completed for certain changes in pay-roll administration designed to improve and simplify pay-roll accounting.

The number of buildings occupied by the War Production Board in Washington was reduced from 14 to 9 during the course of the year. Substantial savings were effected in travel, communications, printing and binding, and other expenditures through a stricter enforcement of budget controls.


Chart 26


Total War Production Board expenditures in the 1944 calendar year were held to 18 percent less than in 1943, or $70,562,494 as compared with $86,401,648 (chart 26). For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1944, a saving of $10,180,364 below the appropriation was effected, and an additional $8,181,982 for costs of overtime pay was absorbed in the regular budget without recourse to Congress for supplemental appropriations. During the last 6 months of 1944, a reserve of $2,352,000 was accumulated from the budgeted program for this period, with which to meet contingencies in the first half of 1945.




Chronology of the War Production Board in 1944

Jan. 4 Russian Army enters Poland. Jan. 8 Byrnes authorizes uniform termination article for fixed-price war contracts. Jan. 9 Maury Maverick named Vice Chairman for Smaller War Plants.
22 Allied Fifth Army lands at Anzio south of Rome. 9 Forrestal announces program of 65,000 landing craft. 12 WPB reaffirms policy of restricting nonmilitary construction.
29 American landings in the Marshall Islands. 10 Annual message of President to Congress calls for realistic tax law, continued renegotiation, economic stabilization, and National Service Act. 17 Nelson states there can be no general resumption of civilian production while major offensives are still ahead.
Feb. 3 Allies in Italy halted at Cassino. Feb. 15 Baruch-Hancock report to Congress on War Feb. 12 Nelson declares small business must be given first opportunity to reconvert.
16 U.S. attack on Truk costs Japanese 40 ships and 200 planes, leading to Tojo's assuming command of Japanese Army and Navy.and Post-War Adjustment Policy. 19 Surplus War Property Administration established. 23 Procedure established for forming modified Area Product ion Urgency Committees.
    25 New revenue bill passed over Presidential veto; revises and continues law on renegotiation, and provides for War Contracts Price Adjustment Board.    
Mar. 4 Americans begin daylight bombing of Berlin. Mar. 3 Third annual report of Truman Committee urges further preparation for resumption of civilian production. Mar. 7 Nelson outlines WPB policies on cut-backs and resumption of civilian production in published letter to Senator Maloney.
19 Russians enter Bessarabia. 14 Selective Service order cancels deferments of men 18 to 26, except certified "key men" in essential occupations. 21 WPB accepts Solid Fuels Administration decision not to ration coal in 1944.
28 Congress approves U.S. participation in United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Program.     30 WPB advises field offices of specific war programs in which deferments of men 22 to 26 can be approved.
Apr. Intensified day and night bombing of German aircraft plants, communications, and invasion coast. Apr. 20 Secretaries of War and Navy urge National Service Act, or legislation to draft workers for war industry. Apr. 17 J. A. Krug resigns as Program Vice Chairman and Director of Office of War Utilities to enter Navy.
Reconversion of automobile industry discussed at meeting of revived Automobile Industry Committee.
10 Russian Army captures Black Sea port of Odessa. 29 Surplus War Property Administrator announces basic policies for disposition of property under contract terminations.    
May 11 Allies open strong offensive in Italy, breaching Gustav line. May 10 James V. Forrestal named Secretary of Navy, succeeding Frank Knox. May 7 W. Y. Elliott succeeds Whiteside as Vice Chairman for Civilian Requirements.
20 General Eisenhower broadcasts first direct orders to French underground. 13 Lend-Lease Act extended through June 1945. 9 Resumption or expansion of civilian production prohibited in group I and II labor areas, subject to exceptions for group II areas.
    22 Navy confirms report of cancellation of Brewster fighter plane contract, effective July 1. 17 WPB holds emergency conferences on critical manpower shortages in foundries.


        May 25 Production Executive Committee Staff formed to study and recommend action on cut-backs and reconversion.
        27 S. W. Anderson named Program Vice Chairman.
June 4 Rome occupied by Allied Armies. June 17 Recently curtailed tank program and military heavy truck program increased. June 6 Preferential treatment for smaller war plants authorized in any relaxation of quotas on civilian production.
6 Invasion of France on Normandy coast. 22 "GI Bill of Rights" approved by President, providing educational and financial benefits to veterans. 15 Sidney J. Weinberg appointed Vice Chairman.
14 U.S. troops land on Saipan in Marianas, 1,500 miles from Tokio.     18 Nelson announces plan to issue four reconversion orders.
15 London reports first German robot bombing.
B-29 Superfortresses bomb Japan in first attack from Chinese bases.
    19 Arthur H. Bunker appointed Deputy Executive Vice Chairman, and P. D. Wilson, Vice Chairman for Metals and Minerals.
23 Russia opens offensive on central front.        
July 11 President announces de facto recognition of Provisional Government of French Republic. July 1 Contract Settlement Act approved, providing for Office of Contract Settlement. Robert Hinckley named director. July 11 Wilson sets release dates on reconversion orders, as Byrnes asks for agreement between WPB and Armed Services.
18 General Tojo and Japanese Cabinet resign. 26 General Somervell orders 54-hour week for civilian workers of Army Service Forces. 12 Position of Vice Chairman for Field Operations established.
18 Leghorn falls to Allied Armies in northern Italy.     15 Aluminum order relaxed.
27 American break-through in Normandy leads to German retreat in France.     22 Limited production of postwar experimental models authorized.
        29 Unrated orders permitted on machine tools for civilian production.
Aug. 15 Allied landings in southern France encounter relatively light resistance. Aug. 1 Byrnes announces new manpower controls on unessential industries in tight labor areas. Aug. 3 Wilson asks for increased output of heavy truck and bus tires.
21 World Security Conference of United States, Great Britain, Russia, and China opens at Dumbarton Oaks. 4 James M. Mead succeeds Truman as Chairman of Senate Special Committee to Investigate National Defense Program. 11 Cut-back in aircraft production and shift to larger planes announced, releasing workers in tight labor areas.
23 Rumania signs an armistice with Russia. 19 Navy takes over 5 strike-bound West coast war plants. 15 Priorities Regulation 25, Spot Authorization Plan, authorizes resumption of civilian production where labor, materials, and facilities are available.
25 Liberation of Paris.     24 Nelson leaves on presidential mission to China; C. E. Wilson resigns as Executive Vice Chairman; J. A. Krug named Acting Chairman.
        25 WPB requires Area Production Urgency Committee approval for increase or resumption of production except by small companies.


Sept. 11 The President and Prime Minister Churchill meet at Quebec. Sept. 6 Army releases its demobilization plan. Sept. 2 Office of Rubber Director replaced by Rubber Bureau under James F. Clark.
12 Allied invasion of Germany begin. 18 President asks Bureau of the Budget to plan for revision of Government organization and reduction in personnel after end of war in Europe. 6 WPB announces policy of virtually unrestricted civilian production after victory over Germany.
14 Invasion of Palau Islands west of Philippines.     8 A. H. Bunker named Chief of Staff, and Hiland G. Batcheller returns to WPB as Chief of Operations; position of Executive Vice Chairman abolished.
        30 J. A. Krug named Chairman of War Production Board; James Folger succeeds Donald D. Davis as Vice Chairman for field operations.
Oct. 7 World Security Conference at Dumbarton Oaks closes. Oct. 3 President approves industrial reconversion and surplus property bills, and establishes Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion. Oct. 15 Construction Bureau formed, including Facilities Bureau and related industry divisions.
9 Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Stalin meet in Moscow. 11 National War Labor Board refuses to recommend modification of "Little Steel" wage formula. 25 Bureau of Program and Statistics and Program Controls Bureau established, replacing Program Bureau, Production Controls Bureau, and Bureau of Planning and Statistics.
14 Russians and Yugoslavs enter Belgrade, as British and Greeks occupy Athens.        
20 Americans invade Leyte in Philippines.        
23-25 Major victory over Japanese fleet in naval battle of the Philippines.        
Nov. 3 Antwerp, Europe's largest port, opened to shipments of Allied arms. Nov. 16 Byrnes warns agency heads that manpower shortages may cause suspension of new civilian production. Nov. 29 Production Readjustment Committee established handle changes in war program; supplants Production Executive Committee Staff.
20 Chinese cabinet shake-up. 27 President accepts resignation of Cordell Hull as Secretary of State, and appoints Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., to succeed him.    
24 B-29's raid Tokyo in first Superfortress raid on Japan from Marianas.        
Dec. 3 Civil conflict begins in Athens as EAM and ELAS stage demonstration. Dec. 11 Selective Service orders local boards to review registrants under 38 to insure their participation in civilian war effort or Armed Forces. Dec. 1 WPB, Army, Navy, and WMC issue joint appeal for full war production, and restate policy on manpower and reconversion.
16 Germans launch counteroffensive through the Ardennes. 14 Government resumes antitrust suits suspended in late 1942. 5 John Lord O'Brian, General Counsel, resigns.
28 Allies halt German break-through. 23 Government bans horse racing; tightens food rationing. 8 Harold Boeschenstein becomes Operations Vice Chairman.
        9 Robert H. Hinckley, Director of the Office of Contract Settlements, becomes member of War Production Board.
        16 WPB decides to hold civilian production at 1944 fourth quarter level.
        23 Priorities Regulation 26 authorizes use of priority and allocation powers to enforce WMC manpower ceilings.


Statistical Data for Charts1

Chart 1.--Total U.S. output of goods and services (gross national product)

  Billions of current dollars Billions of 1939 dollars
Total War Nonwar Total War Nonwar
1941 120 13 107 111 10 101
1942 152 50 102 121 36 85
1943 188 83 105 122 53 79
1944 (year) 199 86 113 135 54 81
1944 (quarters, at annual rate):            
      1st 197 87 110 133 53 80
      2d 198 87 111 134 53 81
      3d 198 84 114 135 52 83
      4th 202 86 116 138 54 84

Chart 2.--Munitions production and war construction (valued at August 1943 unit costs
[Billions of dollars]

  Total Munitions War
1941 13.38 8.46 4.92
1942 44.30 31.57 12.73
1943 64.84 56.38 8.46
1944 (year) 64.27 61.31 2.96
1944 (quarters, at annual rate):      
      1st 66.96 63.58 3.38
      2d 64.24 61.23 3.01
      3d 63.47 60.58 2.89
      4th 62.44 59.87 2.57/td>

Chart 3.--Munitions production by categories (valued at August 1943 unit costs)
[Billions of dollars]

  Aircraft Ships Combat
and motor
Ammunition Communications
and electronic
Guns and
1941 1.8 1.9 1.3 0.5 0.2 0.4
1942 6.3 7.3 4.9 3.0 1.5 2.1
1943 13.0 13.1 6.5 5.8 3.5 3.9
1944 (year) 16.7 13.8 5.4 6.7 4.2 3.4
1944 (quarters, at annual rate):            
      1st 18.1 14.6 5.7 6.1 4.4 3.8
      2d 18.0 14.3 4.9 6.5 4.2 3.4
      3d 16.4 13.4 5.1 7.0 4.0 4.1
      4th 14.4 12.9 5.8 7.3 4.1 3.1

1 All data are as of Jan. 1,1945, unless otherwise indicated.


Chart 4.--1944 munitions programs and production

Total munitions Programs Actual
Jan. 1, 1944 July 1, 1944 Dec. 1, 1944
100 percent
100 percent
100 percent
100 percent
  Percent Percent Percent Percent
Aircraft 31.3 28.2 27.0 27.2
Ships 22.4 22.2 22.2 22.5
Guns and fire control 5.2 5.3 5.5 5.6
Ammunition 10.5 11.1 10.9 10.9
Combat and motor vehicles 8.7 8.5 9.0 8.8
Communications and electronic equipment 6.5 7.4 6.9 6.9
Other equipment and supplies 15.4 17.3 18.5 18.1

Chart 5.--1944 critical programs: Airplane production (number of planes)

1941 0 0 0 1 1 10
1942 3 0 26 46 532 122
1943 92 9 72 353 4,428 360
1944 (year) 1,161 711 356 1,321 7,065 410
1944 (quarters, at annual rate):            
      1st 684 84 148 556 7,728 392
      2d 884 332 288 948 7,296 400
      3d 1,164 744 472 1,636 7,176 272
      4th 1,912 1,684 516 2,144 6,060 576

Chart 6.--1944 critical programs: Construction and conversion of combat loaders (AKA and APA), July-December 1944
[Number of ships]

1944 Maritime
July 6 4
August 14 10
September 27 24
October 41 41
November 50 46
December 44 49

Construction of landing craft, 1941-44
[Thousand displacement tons]

1941                   8
1942   230
1943   793
1944 (year)   1,512
1944 (quarters, at annual rate):    
      1st   1,056
      2d   1,856
      3d   1,664
      4th   1,472


Chart 7.--1944 critical programs: Production of guns and ammunition

field guns
(short tons)
8-inch field
for 105-mm.
M2, M2A1, M3
(1,000 rounds)
cannons for
heavy field
Heavy field
(1,000 rounds)
1941 62 0 0 353 0 575
1942 439 330 132 10,516 0 6,187
1943 598 8,682 142 14,929 323 5,555
1944 (year) 526 64,039 554 37,629 3,609 9,508
1944 (quarters, at annual rate)            
      1st 92 21,928 220 26,636 3,236 3,904
      2d 356 32,064 472 43,800 3,072 8,448
      3d 796 72,460 776 39,749 3,688 10,452
      4th 860 128,704 748 40,324 4,440 15,228

Chart 8.--1944 critical programs: Equipment production--Selected items

(0ver 2½ tons)
Field and
assault wire
(1,000 miles)
Cotton duck
linear yards)
1941 9,449 226 320,000
1942 23,869 905 657,416
1943 37,180 968 545,683
1944 (year) 50,447 1,608 456,116
1944 (quarters, at annual rate):      
      1st 35,048 1,226 394,312
      2d 44,416 1,403 383,380
      3d 53,184 1,647 435,048
      4th 69,140 2,154 611,724

Chart 9.--Foreign trade of the United States
[Billions of dollars]

  Exports Imports
Total Lend-Lease Cash
1941 5.1 0.7 4.4   3.2
1942 8.0 4.9 3.1   2.8
1943 12.7 10.1 3.0   3.8
1944 (year) 14.1 11.1 3.0   3.8
1944 (quarters, at annual rate):        
      1st 13.3 10.7 2.6   3.9
      2d 15.5 12.5 2.99 4.2
      3d 14.4 11.4 3.04 3.5
      4th 13.1 10.9 3.2   3.8


Chart 10.--Production of combat munitions, United Nations and Axis
valued at U.S. standard munitions prices of August 1943)

[Billions of dollars]

19411 4.75 16.5 15.5  
1942 20.5   24.0 25.25
1943 39.5   30.0 29.0  
1944 43.5   31.0 27.0  
1Assuming stock at beginning of 1941 equal to stock at beginning of 1938,
and production during 1938, 1939, and 1940.

Chart 11.--Consumer expenditures for goods and services, current and 1939 dollars

  1941 1942 1943 1944
(quarterly, at annual rate)
1st 2d 3d 4th
  Billions of current dollars
Total 74.6 81.9 90.9 97.6 95.9 96.9 98.4 99.4
Food 16.6 20.0 21.9 24.0 23.5 23.7 24.2 24.5
Clothing 8.5 10.4 12.7 13.4 13.1 13.2 13.7 14.0
Durable goods 7.0 4.4 3.2 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 2.9
Other commodities 17.1 19.4 23.9 26.0 25.6 25.9 26.2 26.5
Services 25.4 27.6 29.3 31.2 30.7 31.1 31.3 31.5
  Billions of 1939 dollars
Total 69.7 67.0 66.6 68.3 67.4 68.1 68.6 69.3
Food 15.6 15.5 15.0 15.5 15.3 15.4 15.6 15.8
Clothing 7.7 7.5 8.0 7.8 7.7 7.7 7.9 8.0
Durable goods 6.0 3.4 2.4 2.3 2.4 2.4 2.3 2.3
Other commodities 15.8 15.4 15.7 16.7 16.5 16.6 16.8 17.0
Services 25.0 25.3 25.5 25.9 25.5 25.8 26.0 26.2

Chart 12.--Facilities expansions
[Billions of dollars]

  Total Federal
1941 16.7 5.1 11.6
1942 21.8 14.0 7.7
1943 15.0 9.6 5.3
1944 (year) 9.3 3.5 5.8
1944 (quarterly, at annual rate):      
      1st 9.3 3.9 5.4
      2d 9.3 3.5 5.8
      3d 9.4 3.4 6.0
      4th 9.2 3.2 6.0


Chart 13.--Production of aluminum, steel, and copper

net tons)
short tons)
1941 807 83 1,296
1942 1,413 86 1,402
1943 2,361 89 1,402
1944 (year) 2,179 90 1,313
1944 (quarters, at annual rate):      
      1st 2,537 91 1,348
      2d 2,472 90 1,372
      3d 2,039 89 1,312
      4th 1,669 89 1,220

Chart 14.--Production of synthetic rubber
[Long tons]

1941   8,383
1942   22,434
1943   231,722
1944 (year)   753,111
1944 (quarters, at annual rate):    
      1st   638,412
      2d   795,620
      3d   774,412
      4th   804,000

Chart 15.--Shipments of fractional and integral horsepower motors
[Millions of dollars]

1943 (quarters):    
      1st 79 133
      2d 94 139
      3d 102 134
      4th 99 141
1944 (quarters):    
      1st 102 138
      2d 111 124
      3d 117 117
      4th 118 112

Chart 16.--Industrial composition of the labor force
[Millions of persons]

  1941 1942 1943 1944
Total1 55.70 58.44 62.45 64.00
Unemployed 5.01 2.38 1.04 .84
Armed Forces 1.63 3.69 8.98 11.38
Agricultural 8.65 8.65 8.28 8.22
Miscellaneous nonagricutural 20.80 21.84 20.99 21.71
Transportation, communication, and public utilities 3.25 3.43 3.62 3.76
Manufacturing, mining, and construction 16.36 18.45 19.52 18.08
1Individual items may not add exactly to totals because of rounding.


Chart 17.--Monthly separation rates in manufacturing industries
[Per 100 employees]

  1941 1942 1943 1944
Total1 3.9 6.5 7.3 6.8
Discharges .3 .4 .6 .6
Quits 2.0 3.8 5.2 5.1
Layoffs 1.3 1.1 .6 .6
Military .3 1.0 .8 .4
Miscellaneous .1 .3 .1 .1
1Individual items may not add exactly to totals because of rounding.

Chart 18.--Estimated distribution of controlled materials, 19441

  Total Military2 Export Other
Copper and copper base alloy products:        
      Brass mill 100 83 7 10
      Wire mill 100 58 11 31
      Foundry 100 69 2 29
      Carbon 100 55 10 35
      Alloy 100 75 6 19
Aluminum 100 78 14 8
1Operations vice chairman and reserves allotments have been attributed to the ultimate users of the end-products
and components produced with such allotments.

2Army, Navy, Aircraft Resources Control Office, and Maritime Commission.

Chart 19.--Shipments of carbon steel: Quarterly, 1944
[Thousands of tons]

  1st quarter 2d quarter 3d quarter 4th quarter
Total 15,260 14,805 14,682 14,418
War Department 7,785 2,679 2,997 2,802
Navy Department 1,765 1,702 1,608 1,379
Aircraft Resources Control Office 142 114 86 68
Maritime Commission 2,453 1,933 1,708 1,747
Foreign Economic Administration 1,134 1,122 866 982
Canadian Division 215 228 267 251
War Food Administration 884 996 973 890
Petroleum Administration for War 383 385 389 412
Office of War Utilities 202 236 216 142
Office of Defense Transportation 1,162 1,283 1,281 1,138
National Housing 17 16 14 13
Operations Vice Chairman 2,897 2,863 2,829 2,953
Other 1,221 1,248 1,428 1,641


Chart 20.--Shipments of alloy steel: Quarterly, 1944

  1st quarter 2d quarter 3d quarter 4th quarter
Total 1,926,064 1,831,071 1,784,497 1,715,931
War Department 535,231 479,792 557,737 588,100
Navy Department 453,603 433,352 379,408 295,458
Aircraft Resources Control Office 245,760 240,674 203,133 168,933
Maritime Commission 19,201 15,084 9,069 6,922
Foreign Economic Administration 67,998 59,332 62,947 79,352
Canadian Division 18,280 14,928 15,459 14,496
War Food Administration 22,396 20,145 16,306 15,200
Petroleum Administration for War 75,844 80,804 65,1441 78,901
Office of War Utilities 22,897 21,699 17,167 16,709
Office of Defense Transportation 9,930 13,573 12,463 11,307
National Housing 16 12 34 20
Operations Vice Chairman 388,876 388,035 388,603 377,524
Other 66,032 63,641 62,030 68,009

Chart 21.--Shipments of brass mill copper and copper base alloy products: Quarterly, 1944
[1,000 pounds]

  1st quarter 2d quarter 3d quarter 4th quarter
Total 1,329,251 1,345,947 1,146,925 1,155,097
War Department 710,745 709,736 599,248 571,346
Navy Department 258,026 269,501 241,882 248,193
Aircraft Resources Control Office 32,320 30,705 28,119 26,218
Maritime Commission 8,399 6,467 3,878 4,429
Foreign Economic Administration 108,915 83,734 58,898 70,201
Canadian Division 1,232 1,650 3,006 1,766
War Food Administration 1,980 2,593 2,402 2,522
Petroleum Administration for War 871 1,297 1,148 1,191
Office of War Utilities 18,365 17,154 12,215 11,215
Office of Defense Transportation 1,606 1,543 1,886 2,174
National Housing 0 6 8 23
Operations Vice Chairman 174,278 205,599 176,059 191,900
Other 12,514 15,962 18,176 23,919

Chart 22.--Shipments of wire mill copper products: Quarterly 1944
[1,000 pounds]

  1st quarter 2d quarter 3d quarter 4th quarter
Total 205,946 223,091 224,793 255,274
War Department 35,466 35,389 36,780 49,261
Navy Department 29,902 35,003 29,664 27,307
Aircraft Resources Control Office 8,374 7,857 6,829 6,360
Maritime Commission 5,676 5,213 4,315 2,770
Foreign Economic Administration 11,875 16,680 19,777 25,789
Canadian Division 176 194 233 334
War Food Administration 1,906 1,889 330 316
Petroleum Administration for War 711 575 484 436
Office of War Utilities 22,958 26,670 15,145 17,264
Office of Defense Transportation 2,348 2,171 1,948 2,076
National Housing 894 799 250 204
Operations Vice Chairman 61,478 63,519 58,210 61,300
Other 24,002 27,132 50,828 61,857


Chart 23.--Shipments of foundry copper and copper base alloy products: Quarterly, 1944
[1,000 pounds]

  1st quarter 2d quarter 3d quarter 4th quarter
Total 423,707 404,506 310,928 298,554
War Department 21,182 20,714 21,139 24,815
Navy Department 76,773 71,858 61,523 44,958
Aircraft Resources Control Office 16,548 13,714 12,651 9,474
Maritime Commission 30,831 27,649 22,074 20,972
Foreign Economic Administration 291 177 166 208
Canadian Division 587 350 261 405
War Food Administration 1,900 2,000 1,969 2,075
Petroleum Administration for War 647 886 916 897
Office of War Utilities 3,633 4,027 3,552 4,343
Office of Defense Transportation 56,978 60,258 5,0002 5,218
National Housing 0 2 3 1
Operations Vice Chairman 195,557 186,193 159,469 161,912
Other 18,780 16,678 22,203 23,186

Chart 24.--Shipments of aluminum: Quarterly, 1944
[1,000 pounds]

  1st quarter 2d quarter 3d quarter 4th quarter
Total 654,378 627,620 634,635 572,872
War Department 41,710 49,000 66,558 73,453
Navy Department 45,211 45,945 64,926 68,071
Aircraft Resources Control Office 416,623 360,580 315,511 269,729
Maritime Commission 166 1,846 1,289 239
Foreign Economic Administration 85,760 96,978 107,874 74,434
Canadian Division 1,033 724 1,025 222
War Food Administration 130 287 1,403 1,813
Petroleum Administration for War 227 273 236 158
Office of War Utilities 4,947 6,555 4,355 5,212
Office of Defense Transportation 504 1,026 1,242 2,655
National Housing 2 1 5 3
Operations Vice Chairman 54,881 57,456 64,459 79,034
Other 3,184 6,949 5,742 7,849


Chart 25.--War Production Board employment trends, 1943-44
[Number of employees]

  Total Salaried Dollar-a-year
and without
      January 22,309 14,975 6,400 934
      February 22,404 15,051 6,419 934
      March 22,226 14,724 6,557 945
      April 20,714 13,842 5,910 932
      May 19,658 12,991 5,753 914
      June 18,935 12,303 5,767 865
      July 18,386 11,678 5,857 851
      August 18,103 11,371 5,863 869
      September 17,737 11,018 5,862 857
      October 17,739 10,918 5,980 841
      November 17,743 10,843 6,084 816
      December 17,641 10,760 6,085 796
      January 17,374 10,568 6,040 766
      February 17,151 10,359 6,022 770
      March 16,818 10,160 5,899 759
      April 16,471 9,953 5,776 742
      May 16,168 9,716 5,701 751
      June 15,908 9,556 5,631 721
      July 15,632 9,331 5,615 686
      August 15,336 9,054 5,603 679
      September 14,853 8,771 5,459 623
      October 13,960 8,247 5,116 507
      November 13,157 7,656 4.947 554
      December 12,776 7,329 4,914 533

Chart 26.--War Production Board expenditures, 1943-441
[Millions of dollars]

  Total Personal
1943 86.4 62.3 24.1
1944 70.6 53.2 17.4


Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation