The Army and Economic Mobilization

By R. Elberton Smith | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVI
Other Measures for Control and Conservation of Materials

Miscellaneous Controls

The Controlled Materials Plan rapidly achieved its basic purposes and remained throughout the war as the instrument for channeling the supplies of steel, copper, and aluminum into their most important uses. No other materials were brought directly under CMP although a number of them become so critical that the priorities system proved inadequate for their effective distribution. Special allocation systems were therefore devised for tires, lumber, cotton textiles, woolen and knit goods, pulp and paper, and chemicals. These systems drew heavily from the experience of CMP but were tailored to suit the nature of the material and the organization of the industry concerned. Their common feature was the budgeting of available supplies in accordance with the urgency of need as indicated by careful estimates of requirements. As in the case of priorities and CMP, the administration of these controls on behalf of the War Department was supervised by the Production Division, ASF, with the details of operation falling upon the various technical services. Each of these systems presented its own problems and peculiarities, but as in the case of controlled materials the improved methods of distribution combined with expanded production and curtailment of procurement objectives gradually eased the shortages.1


Component Scheduling

An important sector of production for World War II was represented by complex intermediate parts essential to the completion of end items of procurement. These intermediate units--commonly referred to as components--represented a wide array of items including motors, generators, compressors, heat exchangers, electrical measuring instruments, engine accessories, anti- friction bearings, and others. By the end of 1942, serious shortages in these categories were interfering with facility expansion programs and the production of major items of munitions. Among the procurement programs affected were AAF aircraft, Navy destroyer escorts, and ship construction by the Maritime Commission and by the Army Transportation Corps. Facility completion programs jeopardized by component shortages included those for synthetic rubber and aviation gasoline as well as in varying degree the six hundred scheduled construction proj -

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1
(1) ICAF R60, Priorities and Allocations, pp. 97-98. (2) CPA, Wartime Production Achievements and the Reconversion Outlook, pp. 73-98, passim. (3) CPA, Industrial Mobilization for War, pp. 826-34; Novick, Anshen, and Truppner, Wartime Production Controls, Chs. X-XIX.

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