THE most straight-forward statement about the surplus war goods situation that we have seen by a government official was made in Philadelphia recently by Victor J. Rader, deputy New York regional director of the Treasury’s Surplus Property Office. Mr. Rader’s address to a group of business men was quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
He warned that the situation is serious now “but come V-E Day and the flood will descend—goods will have to be stored in the open fields and fire traps unless we all work together toward quick and channeled disposal.” He said that normal trade channels were not fully cognizant of the surplus problem and have taken few steps to assist in the disposal action we must have. And also stated they are not much interested in used products built to Army and Navy specifications. Mr. Rader then pointed out that the Treasury’s Surplus Property Office is handicapped by lack of adequate personnel.
How well we can attest to Mr. Rader’s statement about trade groups not recognizing the seriousness of the situation . . . but there is at least one group that is alert. For over a year we have been working with people experienced in surplus property disposal who have been fully cognizant of the conditions which Mr. Rader now points out. While there has been an inclination on the part of some government officials to consider some of the recommendations made by this group, it appears they have been rather reluctant to accept them. After all, experience is the greatest asset any organization can possess. If the government does not see fit to profit by the years the dealers and auctioneers have spent in marketing and merchandising dormant properties, we are certain the war surplus disposal plans will be severely handicapped.