FORECASTS of an amendment to the price regulation governing used machine tools are in the air. While the present schedule is not entirely objectionable, there are some loop-holes through which a few unscrupulous individuals have managed to squeeze.
When Price Regulation No. 1 was written, the dealers in used machinery were just recovering from the effects of nation-wide adverse press criticism, prompted by the profiteering of a small minority. These men, like all Americans, had been educated under the system of barter and exchange, and saw no real harm in making the best of a situation. After all, our country was not at war.
In spite of the “bad” press, the used machinery industry—even prior to Pearl Harbor—was performing an outstanding job. Dealers were buying, and in some cases gambling on critical tools from non-essential and non-convertible plants in order to transfer those tools at once to potential war contractors.
No one will ever be able to calculate the amount of pressure which the used machinery dealers released from an already overtaxed machine tool building industry. It is a fact that thousands of usable tools were reallocated through the dealers’ efforts. Many tools were reconditioned and rebuilt before going back into war production lines, and many trying conversion jobs were completed in a fraction of the time necessary to build similar new tools.
Today, with manpower and metal becoming more acute, the industry is again stepping into the breech. The amount of metal and number of production hours consumed in rebuilding existing equipment is minute as compared to the requirements of new machine tools. When the score is tallied, the used machinery industry will rank high in conservation of men and materials in the war effort.