THE COMPLETE text of the OPA Supplementary Order No. 20, covering the licensing of dealers in second-hand machine tools, is reproduced on page 12 of this issue. This is another step in the regulation of an industry which is daily growing in importance in the war material production plans.
We know that the firms in the Used Machinery and Equipment Industry, who are doing business in the true American spirit, will not be even slightly inconvenienced by this new order. We know, too, that some of the “chiselers” are apt to find themselves listed among the missing when the smoke clears away. Our fond hope is that the OPA will use the authority vested in it by this new order to drive out of our industry those few “patriots,” whose only interest in our war effort is to get the last nickel of profit out of it. Generally speaking, this industry has done a grand job of adapting itself to a difficult wartime situation.
“Make the most of what you have” was the keynote of the recent Army-Navy “E” award ceremonial for the first machinery rebuilder to receive this recognition, and that is exactly what the Used Machinery Industry has been practicing and preaching since its origin. As America becomes more deeply engrossed in the requirements of war, the utilization of every available piece of existing industrial equipment becomes a “must.” The combined efforts of dealers and rebuilders, who have made possible the conversion of thousands of existing machines that would ordinarily find a place only in the scrap yards of the nation, deserve more than passing mention. “Make the most of what you have” might apply to this industry as a whole.
It seems in order, at this time, for us to urge manufacturers everywhere to delegate someone to earmark idle or slacker machines and assist in putting them to work in other war contractors’ plants. And once again we must stress the time-tried value of the regular trade channels in this important job of re-allocation. This is really vital work, and while not as widely advertised or published in the public prints, it is every bit as urgent as any “scrap” drive. Do not lose sight of the fact that while your plant may be in high gear, knocking out shells or guns or whatnots, the fellow across the street may be holding up a shipment of tanks or bombs or plane parts because he needs some critical machine to complete his production line-up. Think it over!