A LL THROUGH THE WAR, BUSINESSMEN HAD FEARED THE possible disruption, not only of the market but also of the new co-operation, which might accompany the peace. Not surprisingly, in the light of their wartime experiences, the steelmakers wanted to have governmental supervision, especially price fixing, continued after the hostilities ceased. To their regret, power within the Wilson Administration quickly shifted out of the hands of the war agencies, and toward officials who had never really sympathized with the war arrangements, or who were too busy attempting to make the peace to care.
The industry's concern with the problems of postwar re-adjustment dated back to long before the United States had entered the conflict. In late 1915, Iron Age had sent out a questionnaire to leading steelmakers requesting their views on the problems that would face the American iron and steel industry when the European war ended. In particular, the editors had wanted to know if the business men foresaw a continuation of prosperity, and further growth in the export trade, and what legislation, if any, they believed should be enacted to meet postwar needs. Although one or two men had predicted a temporary recession,