The Strategy of Raw Materials: A Study of America in Peace and War

By Brooks Emeny | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
GENERAL SITUATION OF THE UNITED STATES IN ESSENTIAL FOODSTUFFS AND INDUSTRIAL RAW MATERIALS

BEFORE attempting a detailed analysis of the specific strategic commodities which would give rise to a more or less serious problem of procurement in time of war, a brief survey should be made of the general situation of the United States as to production, exports, and the geographic origin of imports of all the essential foodstuffs and industrial raw materials. The items to be considered have been selected from the lists of strategic commodities prepared both by Sub-Commission B of the Preparatory Commission on Disarmament of the League of Nations1 and by the United States War Department,2 and for purposes of greater clarity will be presented in the form of bar charts. Although the combined group is by no means exhaustive, it may be said to represent all of the important raw materials of war so far as this country is concerned.

In the preparation of the bar charts, illustrating our domestic production, exports, and the geographic origin of imports, expressed as percentages of domestic consumption, the statistical evidence has been based in most cases upon the averages for 1925-29 inclusive.3 This period represents for the most part, not only the highest point, historically, in our consumption of the products indicated, but has the additional advantage of being the same time unit used by the War Department in arriving at its own estimates. It reflects, further

____________________
1
League of Nations, Disarmament (Section IX, 1926, 15), opus cit., pp. 30-35.
2
Commodity Files; also see list of "Essential Raw Materials and Foodstuffs," compiled by Culbertson, William S., The Annals, Vol. CXII, March 1924, American Academy of Political and Social Science, Philadelphia, p. 9, et seq.
3
For tables of statistics illustrating the situation of the United States as to production, imports and exports of the commodities concerned, see Appendix II.

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