Chapter XIV: 
The ASF and the WPB: The Control of Raw Materials
It is impossible to examine here all of the working relationships of the Army Service Forces and the War Production Board. They were many and varied. But all ASF thinking and actions were based upon the clear recognition that the military procurement program of World War II could not be accomplished without the work of the WPB.
As already indicated, relationships between the civilian industrial mobilization agency and the military procurement services changed with changing circumstances. Thus the Office of Production Management reviewed all war contracts for more than $500,000 during 1941; in 1942 the figure was raised to $5,000,000, but contract clearance became a mere formality and soon practically disappeared. In 1942 a Plant Site Board was very active in OPM giving final approval to the selection of locations for large-scale new plant construction. By the end of 1942 this work had virtually ceased to have any importance. There was some controversy about whether the Army was trying to build more plants than could be operated with the prospective supply of raw materials. This issue simmered throughout 1942 and was more or less settled by the final determination of 1943 military production requirements. 1
If output of munitions was the Army's number one supply problem in 1942, the control of the distribution of raw materials was the number one problem of production management. It has already been pointed out that a priorities system had been introduced as early as the autumn of 1940 and had been considerably extended in February 1941. The early priorities system was relatively simple. When letting a contract for ammunition, tanks, guns, radios, or any other military supply item, the procurement district offices of the technical services assigned a "preference" rating to the contract. This rating was then used by the contractor in ordering raw materials and component parts for the end-item he had agreed to make. Suppliers were supposed to be guided by these preference ratings in distributing materials to various industrial users. In addition to the military preference ratings, there were also ratings for essential civilian production. These were granted directly by the OPM and later the WPB, usually on an individual basis.
The local Army procurement offices assigned preference ratings in accordance with a general pattern of priorities approved before March 1942 by the Office of the Under Secretary of War, which also

endeavored to get agreement from the Navy to follow the same or similar scheme of preferences. The Army would then not assign higher or lower ratings to tents, or clothing, or medical equipment than the Navy, or vice versa. The organizational device for negotiating these agreements was the ANMB. This board was composed of two persons, the Under Secretary of War and the Under Secretary of the Navy. In December 1941 Mr. Patterson and Mr. James V Forrestal persuaded Mr. Ferdinand Eberstadt, a New York financier, to join them as chairman of the board. 2
A priorities system for guiding the distribution of raw materials and component parts worked satisfactorily as long as the supply exceeded demand. When demand began to catch up with and outstrip supply, the establishment of priorities alone was inadequate. As early as February 1941, OPM began to experiment with a new process of allocating aluminum deliveries. This was the first, and for a long time the only, metal whose military and other essential demand outran supply. Gradually however, in 1941, civilian demands for raw materials and industrial supplies expanded as the entire economy operated at increased levels of output. As long as priorities insured adequate deliveries to military contractors, the War Department was not directly concerned about this situation. It recognized that the problem of insuring essential civilian production belonged to the OPM, not to the War or Navy Departments.
Shortly after Pearl Harbor, however, it became evident that the priorities system was collapsing. As large new sums of money were appropriated for military supplies, Army and Navy procurement officers raced one another in letting new contracts. On each they assigned the prevailing preference rating for the item or items involved. In a short time, contractors found that preference ratings were simply licenses to hunt raw materials; they were no guarantee of delivery. The whole system was being used for a purpose it had never been designed to serve and it broke down badly.
Because manufacturers failed to get materials with the preference ratings that had been assigned to them, procurement officers began to upgrade ratings. As a result, the differentiation in ratings upon which the Army and Navy had agreed and which the OPM had approved in 1941 gradually became meaningless. Within the preference rating A-1 there were subdivisions ranking from A-1-a to A-1 j. Supposedly, in the name of the ANMB, the officers supervising procurement operations in the Army and Navy Departments had agreed upon types of equipment for each rating and even upon quantitative limitations. But these agreements meant nothing in the face of existing supply demands and in the absence of any means for enforcement. A procurement officer under pressure to get delivery of machine guns, for example, increased the preference rating to help the manufacturer. By early 1942, more than 55 percent of the war production program was rated A-1-a by procurement officers. 3 There was another serious defect in the system. With military preference ratings clogging the industrial system, few if any supplies of raw materials were available for essential civilian production such as transportation, and other public utilities,

and industrial maintenance requirements. The first reaction of OPM was to set up an allocation system for crucial materials like steel, aluminum, and copper. Processors and fabricators of these materials were required monthly or quarterly to submit a record of their orders on hand, with preference ratings, to the appropriate industry division of WPB (steel, aluminum, and copper). In consultation with Army and Navy officers, the WPB industry division then undertook to tell the processors and fabricators what were the most urgent orders they should fill in the next month or quarter. This was called allocation. But this process was not satisfactory to either the WPB or the armed services since it was not easy to trace orders for raw materials up to end-items of war output. In addition, there was no way of knowing when the contractor with a high priority proposed to use the ordered material in production.
It will be recalled that in his letter of 15 May to Mr. Nelson, General Somervell had spoken of "inadequate control over the supply of critical materials," and the report he had transmitted had mentioned various weaknesses in the existing practices. 4 But Somervell had not proposed a specific means of improving materials controls. These were already being discussed by the representatives of the two agencies. Two issues were involved. One had to do with a revision in the preference rating, or priorities, system. The other had to do with the introduction of a whole new system for controlling the distribution of materials.
Revision of the Priorities System
As early as 21 February 1942 the Army and Navy Munitions Board, which theoretically at least was charged with assigning military priorities, requested the Joint Chiefs of Staff to issue a revised priorities directive. 5 Other agencies also pressed for a change. In the meantime the military procurement officers continued to meet the problem by reshuffling priorities. For example, on 11 March 1942, General Somervell asked for assignment of priorities within the ASF, seeking first priority for about half the Army Supply Programs. 6 Meanwhile various committees of the joint Chiefs of Staff  7 studied the relative urgency of military procurement programs; their suggested amendments were presented to the JCS early in April 1942. 8 The Joint Chiefs accepted these recommendations and submitted them to President Roosevelt. 9
The President concurred, particularly approving the emphasis given to three classes of equipment: aircraft and related items, shipping, and equipment for a decisive land and air offensive. The President directed the JCS to ask the ANMB to establish priorities within the services, 10 and wrote Donald Nelson a letter in which he enclosed his memorandum to the military chiefs. The President expressed his assurance that the WPB would assist the ANMB in this revision and would approve

the necessary changes without delay. 11 On 6 May the Joint Chiefs forwarded their approved proposal to the ANMB and requested the board to prepare new priorities which would insure production of the most urgent Army and Navy needs during the balance of 1942. 12
Mr. Eberstadt, chairman of the ANMB, had been pressing for this kind of action since January 1942. In addition, he wished to reform the priorities system by adopting new, simplified designations, and by limiting the quantities of end-items for which these ratings would be used to obtain raw materials. The Army and Navy Munitions Board submitted a proposed priorities directive to Mr. Nelson on 20 May. It recommended five new preference ratings. 
These were AA-1 to AA-4, with an emergency classification of AAA. Second, it proposed that the quantities of end-items of military equipment to be assigned these priority ratings should be definitely limited. For example, the AA-1 preference ratings were to be issued for 60,000 war planes, the Presidential objective, together with critical and essential items of the Army Supply Program necessary to equip these planes. For the Army, the AA-1 rating was to be used for 50 percent of the major items in the revised Presidential objective for the Ground Forces in 1942. This meant 50 percent, for example, of some 25,000 tanks, 10,000 pieces of heavy artillery, 25,000 antitank weapons, and 9,000 armored cars. Also the top rating was to be used for 50 percent of the Maritime Commission's ship construction program of nine million dead-weight tons, and for naval vessels which could be commissioned by 1 March 1943. The AA-2 rating was to be assigned to the remaining items of the 1942 procurement program as approved by the President and to naval vessels which could be commissioned between 1 April and 31 December 1943. The AA-3 category was to be used for aircraft equipment needed in 1942. to meet the 1943 objectives and to the Army Supply Program on the same basis. 13 The ANMB memorandum made no estimate of the raw material requirements needed to fulfill the program. It did recommend that no priorities be granted for civilian supplies which would compete with the military program, unless the ANMB concurred.
The War Production Board received the proposal with considerable hostility. As with other suggestions of a similar nature, some WPB officials interpreted this as a move by the military to take over control of the economy. On more technical grounds, they also feared that the new priority system would interfere with the Production Requirements Plan which was based on the spread of the old priorities ratings. Because of these factors the WPB delayed approval. 14 On 30 May 1942 Mr. Eberstadt reported to the Under Secretaries of War and the Navy about a meeting which had been held that day in Mr. Nelson's office. The Statistical Division of WPB had made some preliminary calculations about dollar amounts of production required by the proposal and also about raw material requirements. In general, the raw material requirements for the program were within available supplies except possibly for aluminum. Mr.

Eberstadt agreed that some effort should be made to set up preference ratings for essential civilian supplies and certain foreign raw material commitments which were not included within the proposal. 15
Mr. Nelson was inclined to accept the new priorities system over the objections of his staff. After all, the proposed procedure had the tremendous advantage of setting quantitative limits by time periods in the assignment of preference ratings to essential needs. Some of the unbalanced production of the past might thereby be avoided. The new system also provided for a workable relationship between the War Production Board and the Army Service Forces. The WPB would approve the over-all arrangement, and military procurement offices would assign specific ratings to individual contractors within the limits of this approval. The WPB would then police the assignment of ratings. Mr. Nelson discussed the proposed directive with the President and secured his approval of the recommendation that essential civilian needs should get higher priorities.16 Then on 9 June, Nelson accepted the new priorities directive with certain modifications which added additional merchant shipping and some 1942 production for 1943 end-items. The Joint Chiefs of Staff accepted the modifications on 12 June. 17
Although the directive was approved, the controversy over the magnitude of civilian production continued unabated. The provision that the War Production Board had to obtain the concurrence of the ANMB for preference ratings for civilian programs was obnoxious to the WPB. Mr. Nelson told his assistants that the maintenance of the civilian economy was their responsibility. They were to consult the ANMB, but if they failed to get concurrence they were to assign the rating regardless. The ANMB could then take its appeals to him. 18
Early in July the Under Secretaries of the War and Navy Departments, and Chairman Eberstadt protested that the production goals set forth in the directive would be hampered by failing to allocate raw materials to programs in the stated order of preference. Accordingly, they urged that no additional ratings within the primary categories should be issued without the concurrence of the Army and Navy Munitions Board. The memorandum recognized that "maintenance of a sound economic basis for continuance of the war effort necessitated provision for certain essential services and materials within the framework of the priorities directive." It argued that such essential requirements, however, should not be provided at the expense of the munitions requirements included in the AA-1 and AA-2 categories. The ANMB members asked assurance that no items other than end-items of munitions would be included in end-items or put ahead of the AA-3 and AA-4 items without Army and Navy approval "excepting only such as may be specifically directed by you."  19 The ANMB also appealed to the JCS, claiming that Mr. Nelson's action would prejudice the "principle and intent" of the

President's directive. 20 At the same time, the Under Secretaries also tried to impress their point of view directly upon members of the War Production Board. In September 1942 the ANMB informed the JCS that the conflict over concurrences had been adjusted. Thereupon the JCS dropped the issue from its agenda, and the WPB added a new preference ratingAA-2X for urgent domestic and foreign nonmilitary items. 21 Eventually, still higher priorities were given to various nonmilitary needs, including use of the AA-1 rating. General Somervell and leading members of his staff often challenged the magnitude of essential civilian requirements as recommended by WPB committees, but there is no indication that they ever took the position that civilian requirements finally determined to be essential should not have a high rating.
The revised priorities directive covered only vital war production for the last six months of 1942. Subsequently, the same type of arrangement was continued for 1943 and 1944 production. The WPB charged that the ASF and other military procurement agencies failed to observe strictly the quantitative limits in assigning preference ratings. 
The difficulty seemed to grow out of a desire for flexibility in setting anticipated military production requirements, as well as from the complexity of calculating needs in precise detail. Mr. Nelson, dissatisfied with the way the services were handling their priorities function and perhaps goaded by charges within his own agency of "surrender" to the military, informed the Under Secretaries of War and the Navy on 22 August 1942 that the WPB would "immediately undertake supervision over functions now exercised by contracting and procurement officers of the Armed Services with relation to the issuance of priority orders and certificates."  22 He asserted that a control System "which must often restrict parts of the program for the benefit of the whole," could not be supervised effectively through field officers "whose primary function is expediting the particular parts of the program entrusted to them." Therefore, he requested the co-operation of the Army and Navy in assigning military personnel to the WPB district offices "to advise" on the issuance of preference ratings. The district offices (under the regional offices) would receive proposed priority orders and certificates prepared and forwarded by military procurement officers. The WPB would actually issue rating and certificate. Nelson promised this would be done within twenty-four hours. He ended by saying that he had issued orders to put the new arrangement into effect on 7 September.
The announcement of this basic change without prior consultation, coupled with the fear in military circles that the WPB desired to take over Army procurement, threatened to produce a direct clash. Fortunately, this was avoided in part by the action of Mr. Eberstadt, who immediately began negotiations with WPB officials. Then on 27 August 1942 the armed services assured Nelson of their desire to cooperate "in every way" in realizing his objective, but countered with a suggested modification. 23 Their representatives commented that they were certain Mr. Nelson

realized the importance of effecting a major change in priority procedure with a minimum of disturbance to production. The limited time available to prepare for "so radical a change" worried them. Accordingly, the services proposed that the WPB should assign its own personnel to Army and Navy procurement offices to approve their issuance of preference ratings. Nelson accepted the counterproposal. The Army and Navy were satisfied with this because it preserved, untouched, their direct relationship with contractors, and the new method of supervising military issuance of preference ratings became effective 10 September 1942. It remained in effect throughout most of the war. The arrangement not only solved the priority issue but worked well, and even provided a mutual protection to the Army and Navy against the other's failing to carry out priorities agreements.
Allocating Raw Materials
The problem of directing the distribution of raw materials was still unresolved. Although the relative importance of military items was now indicated, this alone was not sufficient to insure that raw materials would go primarily to essential production. One group within the Office of Production Management had developed a scheme whereby certain industries might voluntarily submit estimates of their raw materials demands for desired production programs. At first this Production Requirements Plan was used almost exclusively by industries producing nonmilitary items. From the point of view of the industry, the arrangement was advantageous because it presented requirements for a number of different metals needed to meet production schedules. OPM liked the arrangement because it not only related raw material needs to production plans but also revealed inventories on hand.
As dissatisfaction with existing methods of allocating raw materials grew, both within the War Production Board and the armed services, WPB began to consider the possibility of applying the PRP to all American industry. On 4 March 1942 the director of industry operations in WPB formally proposed to Mr. Nelson that PRP become a mandatory system, covering an estimated 18,000 of the largest consumers of raw materials who accounted for over 90 percent of the basic materials fabricated in the country. 24 The plan would become general on 1 July 1942.
The story of PRP has been adequately told elsewhere  25 but the reaction of the armed services to it is pertinent here. On 13 May Mr. Nelson informed Under Secretaries -Patterson and Forrestal and Chairman Eberstadt that the WPB had decided to apply the Production Requirements Plan to all American manufacturers, including those who produced end-items of munitions. The members of the ANMB replied on 20 May that they were concerned about the possible consequence of such "precipitate adoption" of PRP and expressed the hope that "no such action will be taken without further and more thorough consideration of this matter." They pointed out that there was still no agreement on a plan for the most effective distribution of available raw materials. Patterson, Forrestal, and Eberstadt recommended that a committee be appointed whose members would be relieved of all duties save that of attempting to find

 a satisfactory solution to the materials distribution problem. 26,
Mr. Nelson had already created a WPB committee to consider raw materials controls. There was no direct military representation on this committee and Nelson was not disposed to change its composition. In the meantime Army and Navy personnel continued their exploration of the mechanics of the proposed plan. On 28 May Mr. Eberstadt submitted to Patterson and Forrestal a memorandum setting forth his views about PRP, views, he said, which were shared by the principal Army and Navy representatives working with him. He admitted that PRP would produce substantial additional information about production requirements for raw materials as well as much needed data on inventory positions, but he held that it would provide only general information about the ultimate destination of raw materials. While recognizing that there would be some advantages from the system, Mr. Eberstadt expressed the strong opinion that the administration of PRP would be an impossible task. Also he insisted that the contemplated allocations process would still not insure distribution of raw materials to the desired military end-items of production. In conclusion he suggested that the effective date of the plan be postponed and that further efforts be made to find an acceptable modification or substitute. Under Secretaries Patterson and Forrestal forwarded Eberstadt's memorandum to Nelson with the laconic notation: "We concur."  27
In spite of these protests the WPB announced on 30 May that PRP would be introduced on a compulsory basis. On 8 June 1942 Mr. Eberstadt assured Mr. J. S. Knowlson, WPB director of industry operations, that under the circumstances the Army and Navy would do their best to see that "no harm resulted" from the introduction of PRP. 28 During the next month Army and Navy officers worked closely with WPB officials in an attempt to make the plan effective. But PRP failed. Though it was clearly evident that the Army and Navy were opposed to the arrangement, no charge was made within the WPB that the hostility of the Army and the Navy was a major factor in bringing about its collapse. There may indeed have been some justice in Mr. Knowlson's view that PRP "apparently failed" more because the problem of total military procurement requirements had not been solved than because of inherent defects. The PRP might have been more successful also if there had been more time to put it into operation, and if there had been more thorough administrative preparation. Whatever the actual reason for the failure, military authorities had forecast these difficulties rightly enough.
Army and Navy representatives continued to urge a different procedure. On 1 June 1942 Mr. Eberstadt created an Allocations Steering Committee with personnel drawn out of the ASF, the Navy, the AAF, and the Maritime Commission. Members of this committee were directed to work with WPB personnel in exploring further the problems of materials control. As early as 8 May 1942 Mr. Eberstadt, with a representative from the ASF and one from the Navy Office of Procurement and Material, had explained a so-called warrant plan to a WPB committee. This

plan was further elaborated in other papers which were presented to the War Production Board. For the moment there was no immediate disposition within the WPB to accept the War Department proposal. The failure of PRP, amid general industrial criticism, brought the warrant plan once more to the fore. Large automobile corporations like General Motors, as well as the steel industry, favored an arrangement similar to that urged by the Army and the Navy. Mr. Ernest Kanzler, who became WPB Director General of Operations early in September 1942, was further inclined toward the warrant system. Mr. Eberstadt and Mr. Kanzler together made substantial progress in preparing a new system for controlling materials. Then on 20 September 1942 Nelson announced the appointment of Mr. Eberstadt as a vice-chairman of the WPB in charge of program determination. At the same time, Nelson gave Eberstadt unofficial assurance that he would be ,free to introduce a new system of materials control.
With Mr. Eberstadt's appointment, an extensive internal reorganization of the WPB was begun, and detailed planning was started on a new system for controlling materials. On 2 November the WPB publicly announced the adoption of a Controlled Materials Plan (CMP), to become fully effective on 1 July 1943 and applying primarily to the allocation of steel, copper, and aluminum. 29 There was a basic difference between the Production Requirements Plan and the Controlled Materials Plan which it is essential to observe. The two systems were sometimes contrasted as "horizontal" as against "vertical" allocation of raw materials. These terms in themselves do not convey a full understanding of Army dissatisfaction with the first and preference for the second. Under a system of horizontal allocation, as in PRP, every important manufacturing concern in the United States was expected individually to indicate its production schedules by quarter, its corresponding needs for major shapes and forms of basic metals, and its raw material inventories. The War Production Board would then receive all of these estimates, consolidate them, compare raw material needs with supplies, and inform each individual company of the quantities of materials which it might obtain in a succeeding quarter. Under the vertical allocation scheme, as in CMP, raw material requirements were presented to the WPB, not by individual industries, but by so-called major claimants. 
These were the ASF, the Navy, the AAF, the Maritime Commission, and the civilian economy. The WPB was responsible through its industry divisions for determining essential civilian production requirements. The War Production Board then adjusted demands to supply, and informed claimant agencies of the total quantity of various metals which each might consume in a given quarter of a year. The claimant agencies in turn apportioned their allocations to various industries which placed their orders accordingly with raw material suppliers . 30
Interestingly enough, in one respect the horizontal and vertical systems of allocations had a common meeting ground. There were certain kinds of industrial

products which might be used as component parts or subassemblies of many different items. These products were sometimes called off-the-shelf items, or general industrial supplies. Under the PRP horizontal allocation system, the manufacturers would obtain raw material rights directly for such products. Under the CMP vertical allocation, the manufacturer of general industrial supplies would have to depend upon an eventual "trickling down" of many separate allotments of raw materials from every end-product manufacturer who needed his parts. The Controlled Materials Plan recognized this absurdity in vertical allocation and set up a special category of Class B products. These included such items as bearings, batteries, nuts and screws, steam condensers, containers, electric generators, electric motors, mining machinery, plumbing supplies, pumps, spark plugs, valves, and transformers. Under CMP, manufacturers of Class B products received direct allotments of raw materials from the War Production Board.
The essential difference between horizontal allocation and vertical allocation was this. Under horizontal allocation, the WPB received individual applications for raw materials from 18,000 or more separate industrial establishments. This imposed a terrific operating burden upon a central agency. The WPB could sarcely have acted as a top control agency concerned with broad issues of production balance. It would have been submerged under literally thousands of operating details. Vertical allocation, on the other hand, worked differently. The WPB received its estimates of need from relatively few agencies, and each of these in turn proceeded through successive organizational levels to divide up the job of determining raw material requirements and controlling the distribution of raw materials. Vertical allocation also preserved intact an intimate association between a military procurement office and its prime contractor. No third party with any authority to give separate instructions intervened in this relationship. Horizontal allocation meant that the military procurement office might let a contract and agree with the contractor upon delivery schedules, but the contractor then had to go to another government agency in order to obtain the raw materials needed to fulfill his contract. Under it, the possibility that the contractor would receive conflicting instructions was real. No one in the Army Service Forces ever maintained that the Army should have an unlimited amount of raw materials. What the ASF did say was: "Tell us how much steel, and copper, and aluminum we may have, and we will then divide it in balanced proportions among our supply, programs and inform our contractors what they can have and what they should plan to produce." The ASF was satisfied when a method for controlling the distribution of raw materials had been devised which preserved this fundamental relationship between procurement office and contractor.
On 8 July 1942 Mr. Nelson announced a "realignment" of internal WPB organization which, among other things, was to clear "the decks to make controlling and expediting the flow of materials the board's central effort."  31 All industry divisions were brought under single direction within the WPB. But the ASF request for formal recognition of a working relationship with these industry divisions was rejected. On 10 November 1942, after Mr. Eberstadt

had become a WPB vice-chairman, Mr. Nelson approved organizational changes which did two principal things. 
The Director General for Operations in charge of industry divisions was put under the Program Vice-Chairman (Mr. Eberstadt), and each industry division was directed to form a division requirements committee on which there was to be an Army and a Navy representative along with representatives of other agencies such as the Maritime Commission and the Board of Economic Warfare. 32 This officially recognized an existing situation, for Army and Navy personnel, in the name of the ANMB, had been physically located in WPB offices for a long time. The job of these Army officers, who were a part of the Production Division in ASF headquarters, was to keep in touch with the production situation in various industries and to inform the industry divisions of ASF military requirements. The Army representatives helped the WPB in fixing production policies, and the WPB in turn helped the ASF greatly in improving its requirements data and in following industrial conditions. At this working level, ASF-WPB relations were cordial and co-operative throughout the war.
The November WPB reorganization realized two major ends which General Somervell had in mind when he gave his "black book" to Mr. Nelson for consideration on 15 May. The internal organization of WPB was now fully oriented to make the distribution of raw materials its major task, and ASF participation had been officially recognized at various working levels within WPB.
By the end of 1942 there was every indication that economic mobilization for vital military needs would go forward unimpeded. But such was not to be the case.
The Army-WPB controversy flared up anew with a bitterness more intense than ever when on 16 February 1943 Mr. Eberstadt was summarily dismissed from the WPB by Mr. Nelson. This, in the words of columnist David Lawrence, was a "solar plexus blow to the Army and Navy."  33 The story is told in Mr. Nelson's memoirs and in the official WPB history. 34 Nelson says that he learned suddenly one night that the Army was determined to have him fired the next day. He does not identify his personal antagonist or antagonists in the War Department. He notes that Secretary Stimson recommended this action to the President, but acknowledges that the Secretary of War had to take responsibility for such recommendation, regardless of who may have instigated it. The WPB history more carefully reports that an internal WPB jurisdictional conflict between Eberstadt and Mr. Charles E. Wilson had reached the point where James F Byrnes, then director of the Office of Economic Stabilization, joined by the Secretaries of War and the Navy, recommended Mr. Nelson's removal to President Roosevelt. Mr. Baruch was to be appointed in Nelson's place. 35
General Somervell was at the Casablanca Conference in January 1943 and had no direct part in this effort to replace Nelson with Baruch. But months earlier in the midst of another dispute, when he had charged Nelson with trying to take away Army and Navy control over war material, Somervell had suggested to President Roosevelt's chief of staff, Admiral William D. Leahy, that Nelson

should be replaced by Bernard Baruch.  36
In any event, Nelson dismissed Mr. Eberstadt and so preserved his position for the time being. Mr. Wilson then emerged as the active head of WPB. He immediately informed General Clay, Somervell's procurement deputy, and later General Somervell, that he contemplated no change in the Controlled Materials Plan or, in existing ASF-WPB relationships. This was adequate reassurance, and there was no reason for Somervell to concern himself further with the matter. ASF officials found Mr. Wilson increasingly satisfactory to work with; relationships were cordial and effective.
During 1942 there were vigorous discussions between Army and WPB officials about desirable procedure for the control of raw materials. Once the Controlled Materials Plan had been devised and accepted, previous disagreements subsided. CMP continued to give the WPB effective control over the supply and distribution of raw materials. This was as the ASF wished. General Somervell had never quarreled with WPB authority but constantly urged effective action. Throughout 1943, 1944, and 1945, there were no more serious disagreements about raw material procedures. A satisfactory working arrangement had finally been found.

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