THE haste with which the President issued an executive order following the Baruch committee recommendations on industrial reconversion and surplus property disposition was not unexpected. Probably the speed of the appointment of the Work Director and the Surplus Property Administrator was prompted by the report’s approval by businessmen who were relieved to know that sound reasoning and thought had been put into the plan. Bernard Baruch’s reputation as a clear thinker was borne out.
While the plan follows closely along the lines which business and congressional groups have been recommending, it is somewhat gratifying to know that the door is left open for further study and that the disposal agencies are to make effective use of industry advisory committees. The recommendations for the Surplus Administrator to follow are logical and a few of the highlights should be of interest to businessmen.
They are: sell as much as possible and as soon as possible without disrupting normal trade; no sales or rentals to speculators or promoters; obtain fair market prices with proceeds of all sales going to reduce the national debt; records to be open to public inspections; as far as possible use the same regular channels of trade that private business would in disposing of the particular properties; no government operation of surplus war plants in competition with private industry; scrap what must be scrapped, but no deliberate destruction of useful property.
It would be wise for industry to keep a vigilant eye on the developments.