October 13, 1943

Will Be Lower Quality As Well
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Office of War Information (OWI) yesterday released the results of a survey indicating the quickly increasing demand for gasoline by the rapid build-up of the armed forces. The OWI predicted this will necessitate additional drastic cuts in civilian use through restrictions on driving. The OWI further predicted what gasoline will be available for civilian use will be of a lower quality than current gasoline stock. The OWI survey was released on the heels of news the Petroleum Administration for War (PAW) has been reorganized in the area of foreign oil sources. This reorganization is intended to make better and greater use of foreign oil sources to alleviate the strain on domestic sources.

October 6, 1943

Will Reduce Strain on U.S.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—President Roosevelt yesterday stated that Allied forces will be receiving more oil and gasoline from Iran. Plans are underway to increase the flow of these vital resources directly to the United Nations forces on the fighting fronts. This will help reduce the strain placed on American oil producers to supply oil and gasoline to the war effort. Mr. Roosevelt indicated the limiting factor is currently the availability of shipping. The British have long desired to increase oil and gasoline shipments from their colonial holdings, but have been hampered by lack of available shipping.

September 29, 1943

OPA Releases New Point Values
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Office of Price Administration (OPA) has released a series of orders affecting point values for various foodstuffs. The orders will go into effect over the next two weeks. The order covering poultry, which goes into effect October 12, lowers the price ceiling on “quick frozen eviscerated” poultry by three and one half cents per pound. This is the type of chicken sold by dealers offering frozen foods. Dressed poultry, however, increases by one cent per pound. Other meats have relatively unchanged point values under the new orders. Butter is increased dramatically to decrease consumption, from twelve to sixteen points. This is a result of a ten per cent reduction in butter output in September.

September 22, 1943

States Not Meeting Drive Goals
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Department of the Treasury reported yesterday that the quota for the Third War Loan, or war bond drive, is not being met at the state or national level. Only one state is meeting its quota: Maryland is at one hundred seven per cent of quota. Rhode Island is near quota at ninety-eight per cent. Six other states are in the range of seventy to ninety per cent of quota. Arkansas is the lowest in sales at only thirty-one per cent of quota with Idaho and New Mexico in similarly low standing at thirty-six per cent of quota. Daily bond sales dropped yesterday to $425,000,000, which was the thirteenth day of the drive. The drive remains $3, 830,000,000 short of the $15,000,000,000 goal. The Department of the Treasury is calling for those who would buy a small value of bonds to increase their participation in the drive to help meet the goal.

September 15, 1943

Unlikely to Join Fight Soon
ALLIED HEADQUARTERS, North Africa—It was revealed here yesterday that eighty Italian warships have fled the Axis control and are in the hands of the Allies in Malta and Gibraltar. Additionally, numerous Italian merchant vessels are steaming toward Allied ports. The list of warships in Allied hands included five battleships, one seaplane carrier, eight cruisers, nineteen submarines, twenty-seven destroyers, twelve torpedo boats, six corvettes, one auxiliary ship, and one hospital ship. The Italian vessels are unlikely to join the fight along the Allies anytime soon. The Allies do not have the caliber and type of ammunition to supply the Italian vessels, so industry will either have to retool or the ships will need to wait until their munitions facilities in Turin and Genoa are wrested from the Nazi grip.

September 8, 1943

Plan Expected this Week
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The War Food Administration (WFA) is expected to announce this week a plan to control the sales of fluid milk. The milk controls are expected to apply in areas that are considered in short supply of milk. Last week, the WFA announced the supply of milk-based products, such as cheese and butter, is being threatened by a reduced supply of fluid milk due to increased consumption. Under the WFA plan, target consumption of fluid milk will be set at the current level. Priority for the supply of fluid milk will be given to home use over use by commercial eateries. The plan is waiting for approval from WFA head Marvin Jones.

September 1, 1943

New System under Consideration
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman of the eastern congressional gasoline conference, Representative Fred A. Hartley, stated yesterday that an overhaul of the current system of gasoline rationing is being considered by the Office of Price Administration (OPA). Hartley, a Republican from New Jersey, did not claim to have official information, but said he was “…given to understand the Office of Price Administration is now considering it.” Under the “entirely new system,” coupons would be numbered and issued by specialized ration boards called banks. The goal of this system would be to curtail black-market sales of ration coupons. Numbered coupons could be tracked from issuance through use.

August 25, 1943

Essential Workers Have Most
WASHINGTON, D.C.—William M. Jeffers, rubber director for the War Production Board (WPB) stated today that more tires will reach the hands of civilians next year. Jeffers said many of the tired produced in 1943 have already reached essential workers, such as war workers, and others who hold B and C gasoline ration coupons. Jeffers also caution that the bulk of the current rubber stockpile consists of tires already in use, urging “…every recappable tire should be recapped as many times as possible before a new tire is issued by the ration board.” He went on to describe a large expansion program by the rubber industry to increase production.

August 18, 1943

Prediction Made by OPA
WASHINGTON, D.C,—The cost of living will decrease to the level of last year, predicts Chester Bowles. Bowles, general manager of the Office of Price Administration (OPA), yesterday said that “…before many weeks have passed…” the hold-the-line level of September 15, 1942 set by the Roosevelt administration is where the current cost of living will be. President Roosevelt issued the hold-the-line decree last April. Bowles stated that since the decree, the OPA has been winning the fight against the “…menace of higher living costs.” The sentiment was echoed last night by James F. Byrnes, director of the Office of War Mobilization (OWM), when he said the government has definite plans to reduce the cost of living, but he provided no details. 

August 11, 1943

Move Considered for Rationing
CHICAGO, Ill.—The Office of Price Administration (OPA) is considering the use of glass or plastic tokens in place of printed stamps for small-denomination ration stamps. Speaking Monday at the National Association of Retail Meat Dealers meeting, the head of the OPA meat rationing division ,Walter H. Balsom, said stamps require too much printing and clerical work. “Tokens will maximize the use of war ration books…since they will only contain stamps of larger denominations,” he stated. He went on to acknowledge a disadvantage of the proposed plan, which is the tokens would not expire. This could lead to hoarding or the sharing of tokens with others. The OPA is not committed to the plan, however, Balsom stressed.

August 4, 1943

6.5M Could Be Reclassified Eligible
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Paul V. McNutt, head of the War Manpower Commission (WMC), on Monday issued authorization to local draft boards to begin reclassifying fathers of children born before September 15, 1942, as eligible for selective service. This move will affect 6,599,000 men currently classified as III-A. These men will be available for the draft beginning October 1 of this year. It is estimated around 300,000 men will be needed from this pool to fulfill the military’s needs in October, November, and December of this year. There is opposition in Congress to the reclassification. Two bills are currently under review that would address the issue, but Congress is not in session and would only have sixteen days after the recess to act before the drafting commences.

July 23, 1943

Corn-on-Cob Season Periled!
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Office of Price Administration (OPA) yesterday announced the ration-point value of butter will increase from eight to ten effective August 1. The news comes as the nation enters prime corn-on-the-cob season. The OPA stated demand for butter has been approximately five per cent higher than the allotment for civilian use. The increase in points is necessary to curb demand before supply reaches an “…uncomfortably low…” level. At the same time, the OPA is reducing the point value for shortening, lard, and oils by one point each to increase demand for those items. The point value for margarine remains unchanged. The current supply of lard and oils exceeds the allotment by the War Food Administration (WFA).

July 21, 1943

Admiral’s Statement Shocks the Nation
WASHINGTON, D.C—The Navy is planning for the Pacific war to last into 1949, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Vice Admiral Frederic Horne said today, informing that the Navy has plans to wage war until then. His statement shocked the country. Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox reinforced the vice chief by warning against "...an almost criminally careless belief that the war has already been won...", but stressed "...we can win before that time." When asked about the admiral’s statement, Director of War Mobilization James F. Byrnes did not contradict the admiral, but said, "If anyone else is planning on that basis, I do not know that they are."

July 14, 1943

Black Market in Eggs a Problem
WASHINGTON, D.C—The War Food Administration (WFA) announced today the allocations for civilian use of canned foodstuff. Of the supply of canned vegetables and soups, seventy per cent will be designated for civilians. Of the supply of canned fruits and juices, fifty-three per cent will be for civilians. These allocations, which will be for the next twelve months, are slightly less than current. Meanwhile, The Producers’ Price Current publication from the New York Mercantile Exchange is reporting egg purchases “…continue to fall off steadily…more rapidly than production is dropping.” It went on to say the logical conclusion is the development of a black market for eggs. This comes only three days after the Office of Price Administration (OPA) set the price ceiling for eggs on the Eastern Seaboard.

June 30, 1943

Name Change to WAC Part of Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The White House yesterday received a bill from the Senate to place all members of the WAACs into the regular army for the duration of the war plus six months. The move would place its members under standard army regulations and make them eligible for pensions and other benefits entitled to regular army members. Included in the bill is a name change from Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) to Women’s Army Corps (WAC). Also included is a raise in the maximum age from 45 to 50. Prior to the Senate passing the bill, it had been stalled due to a difference with the House bill related to benefits and the total number of members. The House bill had set a limit of 150,000 on the strength. However, at the insistence of the Senate, the final bill has no ceiling and the Secretary of War has the discretion to determine the strength needed.