American Industry in the War: A Report of the War Industries by Bernard Baruch

By Bernard Baruch

American within the conflict. A document of the conflict industries board

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These statements were received by the Requirements Division where they were discussed from the point of view of their general relations to other requirements and then handed on to the appropriate commodity sections where detailed studies were made and reports sent back to the source of the statements concerning the possibility and means for meeting such requirements. The division held a meeting every morning at 9 o'clock, at which the various requirements were discussed at length, modification of schedules being debated between the conflicting bureaus of the Gov- The scope involved made this procedure very difficult of was sound.

Louis, St. Paul, Milwaukee, Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver. VX INDUSTllY IX TIIK W MX. 41 The Resources and Conversion Section had in its membership repreArmy, >s'avY, Marine Corps, Emergency Fleet, and the Department of Commerce. Two lines of work, each supplementsentatives of the ing and assisting the other, were undertaken in the several districts. the industrial inventory was carried The general work of perfecting forward by having each region attempt to collect and send to AVashington the following list of information (1) Existing facilities for producing direct and indirect war needs, both raw materials and finished products; (2) the extent to which and the extent which they could take on additional orders; (3) if a plant were overloaded, the feasibility and extent of expansion necessary for rethese facilities were occupied wuth unfilled orders to lief ; or, in the alternative, a suggestion for transferring a part of the load to other plants; (4) existing facilities not employed on war work but capable of undertaking it; (5) facilities whose production was about to be curtailed because of war conditions and the extent to Mhich they were susceptible of conversion for the production of war needs: and (6) the existence of available hibor, of new sources of supply of raw materials, of unused power facilities, of available transportation facilities, etc.

But it was important that the Allies should not be hindered by our entrance into the Avar. allied supply programs. Our problem then was to provide for our OAvn needs Avithout interference Avith the allied program and with the least dislocation of industry. This would haA'e to be done in man}' instances by the creation of new facilities, but in most instances by the conA^ersion of existing facilities to new work. Factories making fine Avatch springs could manufacture time fuses plants making steel rails could forge shells; carpet looms could make ArniA^ duck; automobile factories could make airplanes.

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