The latest report is to the effect we still have plenty of government surplus goods. In fact, about 22 billions of dollars’ worth of consumer’s and capital goods. Obviously this will entail a continuous selling job on the part of the War Assets Administration for some time to come.
Many months ago we published the statement that the billions in surplus machine tools would never be properly disposed of without the aid of experienced machine tool men, and that some provision should be made to attract dealer cooperation. The first step in this direction was made in December 1945 when the “approved dealer plan” was adopted by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Since that time—less than one year—this method of selling has resulted in sales of over one hundred million dollars’ worth of machine tools, at a net return to government of nearly 50%. When we read the statement of a Detroit WAA official that, “80% of the surplus machine tools sales in that area were made by dealers,” it carried more than the usual amount of significance to us.
Last month our Detroit correspondent gave us the results of an investigation of the methods used in that area by the War Assets Administration. We had been receiving reports about the unusual cooperation between Detroit WAA officials and the approved dealers. The experience of the Detroit area group (S.R.II-46) is an excellent example of what can be accomplished throughout the thirty-three regional offices, and should be used as a guide for stimulating more interest on the part of approved dealers everywhere.
The fact that the approved dealer plan, in spite of considerable opposition on the part of some WAA regional office personnel, has proved to be successful, offers a yardstick for similar programs being set up to aid in the disposal of surplus electrical equipment, industrial power equipment and all types of technical machinery remaining unsold.
It is our solid contention that this job cannot be efficiently handled without proper inducement to obtain the help of experienced people in other technical fields, similar to those now working on the machine tool program.