That a strategic reserve of war machine tools selected from government surplus should be set up seems to be the majority opinion among machine tool dealers.
Last month we sent out a questionnaire to a representative group of dealers in both new and used machine tools and found approximately 70 per cent definitely in favor of the proposed program to ear-mark tools for the future. The other 30 per cent gave good reasons for not saving all of this machinery but were unanimously in accord with the over-all plan.
The complete results of our investigation are published on pages 20 and 21 and they reveal some interesting comments from men who are qualified to speak on this subject.
We have chosen from the many sound answers a statement which we believe clinches the justification for such a measure even though it will necessitate a special appropriation from an economy-minded Congress.
Here it is:
“When war was declared in 1941, the United States of America was woefully unprepared to arm for the colossal struggle ahead. Perhaps one of the greatest weaknesses was the lack of machine tools necessary for ordnance production. This lack of proper machine tools was occasioned by our short-sightedness in exporting boatloads of such machinery to Japan and Russia after the last war. In order to make guns and bullets we had to have high production machinery. We had to stand by until these machines were manufactured before we could get into full production. I feel confident that had the industrial plants of the United States been properly equipped, the war would have been shortened, many lives would have been saved, and many billions would not have been expended in order to win the war.”