CURRENT utilization of existing machinery and equipment has been given added impetus by a recent talk delivered before Chicago Association of Commerce members by Colonel C. R. Baxter, director of the redistribution division of the War Production Board (see page 13). The importance of conserving manhours and materiel is obvious during wartime, and the WPB is merely acting as a clearing-house to expedite the flow of critical machines. The wisdom of such a conservation program should have a definite effect during our postwar adjustment period.
Speaking of conservation, October 1 marks the start of a drive for a “Victory Scrap Bank.” For industry during the second half of 1943, the quota of iron and steel scrap is 9,800,000 tons. The fact that the steel mills and suppliers have an inventory which will last only two months prompted WPB to launch another all-out nation-wide scrap salvage campaign. The public is urged to regard these “Victory Scrap Banks” as “Metallurgical Blood Plasma,” guaranteeing a continuing flow of vitality in war armaments to our military forces abroad. The delivery of this scrap into the laps of the Nazis and Japs should stimulate real cooperation in the drive.
Recent newspaper publicity about the sale of surplus small tools from a government warehouse at a fraction of their original cost suggests the necessity of expert handling and advice from people with knowledge of marketing surplus equipment. There is no single group of individuals better qualified for this task than those identified with the used machinery and equipment field. Recently, a government representative said that the cooperation of dealers in this industry was exceptional. Let us hope that the services of the industry will be more freely sought.