ANYONE who makes the trip to Washington and contacts any of the various departments working on National Defense will more readily appreciate the seriousness of this Defense situation. There is certainly no alarmist attitude in the National Capitol but rather a serious realization that there is a job to be done and done quickly. Meetings called by the Advisory Commission to the Council of National Defense have emphasized the importance of speed and cooperation from each and every industry.
When you consider the number of individuals who gave up important positions in the business world to devote their time and energies to this work it makes you wonder that it would be necessary to reprimand some other people for trying to take advantage of present demands to make a killing. This is just what has been necessary in several cases. Until recently the situation in the used machine tool field was not exactly under control, and it seemed as if the Defense Commission was about to call a halt.
It is quite obvious that the condition in the used machine tool industry should not be laid in the lap of any particular group of dealers, users or foreign buyers. The business of buying and selling surplus machinery has never been controlled by manufacturing costs but rather by market value.
It appears to us that the only real means of exercising control rests with the dealers themselves. Right minded dealers believe in fair trade, which means fair prices and fair profits, for continued healthy business life. Individuals who are attempting to “profiteer” because of the condition created by Defense work are in effect guilty of what might readily be termed “sabotage.” This Defense job is big and it is a must job if there ever was one. It concerns each one of us and we must all pull together. It’s just good American horse sense that we can do the job in our own way and that way is simply—“Be American.”