THE recent radio message to the American people by the President of the United States urging greater speed in our national defense program through closer cooperation and more careful planning was indeed clear and emphatic. These are “crucial” days, and they may be long remembered. Such “closer cooperation” can be secured from the men and organizations known as the Surplus Industry. The “careful planning” must come from the blueprints and brains of the countless organizations engaged in manufacturing throughout the country.
During the past year we have tried to do our bit by emphasizing the gravity of the situation. We have pounded away at it until we feared our “stuff” would become monotonous. We have stated time and again how important this Industry is in our defense program, both in its actual merchandise and in men. In the past year our confidence in the ability of the men who make up our industry has increased tremendously as new reports of great accomplishments come to our ears. Not once, or twice, but almost continuously we hear of manufacturers whose problems have been solved by the “used” dealer, who by suggesting a slightly different unit, or a simpler machine set-up has put idle men and machines back into production.
The extent of the cooperation of the Surplus Industry in our national defense program is clearly indicated by the fact that locating wanted or needed machinery for defense jobs consumes approximately 90% of the average dealer’s working hours. Such profits as may be made are but slight compensation for such strenuous work, but we have yet to hear a single complaint all along the line.