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The size of the fur seal berd on the Pribilof Islands has been so increased through careful conservation measures under direct Government management that it is now larger than it has been in 75 years, Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes announced September 21. (See Fishery Market News, May 1940, pp. 3-4, "Fur Seals.")

The annual census of the seals, completed in August, showed that the herd consisted of 2,945,663 animals. The capital value of this famous herd is estimated at well over $100,000,000, Secretary Ickes declared.

The fur seal herd numbered possibly 4,000,000 animals at the time the United States purchased Alaska, a purchase which included the Pribilof Islands, from Russia in 1867. In the following two years, various independent and uncontrolled groups killed approximately 329,000 seals.

For a period of 40 years, from 1870 to 1910, the right to take fur seal skins on the Islands was leased by the U. S. Government to private corporations. Under the first 20-year lease, the annual take was frequently in excess of 100,000 skins, a total of 1,977,377 skins during the life of the lease. Under the second 20-year lease, the total take was 342,651 skins.

The extreme exploitation of the herd during the period of leases to private companies, plus extensive pelagic killing of the seals by our own and other nationals, finally reduced the size of the herd to only 123,138--the lowest point in history--by 1911.

In 1911, the Government itself took over the management of the herd and in that same year a convention was concluded among the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and Russia, which effectively barred pelagic sealing north of the 30th parallel of north latitude except for limited operations by primitive methods carried on by Indians and other aborigines. At present, the herd is protected under a provisional agreement between the United States and Canada under which Canada receives 20 percent of the skins taken on the Islands.

This year only 47,652 skins were taken from the Islands due to the fact that a sufficient supply of skins was already available in the United States from operations in previous years. At present, it is possible to process only about 45,000 skins a year because of the lack of skilled workers.

The Islands are now managed by the Interior Department's Fish and Wildlife Service. The sealing operations have, despite careful conservation, resulted in more than $10,000,000 being turned into the U. S. Treasury.

With the herd still growing rapidly, it is probable that after the war, the number of skins which can be made available for sale will substantially increase. The skins are dyed by a secret process and can be had in the familiar black and two rich brown shades. Improvement in processing methods have made the skins much more pliable in recent years, and, therefore more suitable for smart tailoring.

PRINCIPLES GOVERNING SALE OF GOVERNMENT-OWNED FOOD OUTLINED BY WFA

Sale of Government-owned food stocks into civilian trade channels is a step in preparing for peace, M. L. Brenner, Chief, Procurement and Price Support Branch of WFA's Office of Distribution, told a meeting of the National Industrial Stores Association, held at Cincinnati, Ohio, according to Food Trade Letter No. 47, dated August 26. "It doesn't mean," he said, "that the war is over or that we can let down in production, but it does mean that we are trying to avoid some things that happened after World War I." Mr. Brenner pointed out that the French needed food in 1918 and 1919. The food was delivered to them by one branch of our Government. When the war ended, the Army had food that it didn't want to ship back to the United States. This was given to the French Republic. The French Republic turned it over to French trade, France needed money so the food was re-exported to the United States where it helped to break the market. In addition, foods stored in this country for war purposes were "dumped" in large quantities on a market that could not absorb them at reasonable prices. "We don't want that to happen again," Mr. Brenner said. Commodities overseas, as well as reserves here at home, will be allocated for relief feeding. Government stocks in this country are being constantly reviewed and pared closely to known requirements. Reserves must be maintained. But it is dangerous to hold commodities too long and then have to dump them on a market that is trying to adjust to peacetime conditions. Such action would be a loss to the Government and disaster to the trade. To avoid this, Government-owned foods that can be sold now are being offered to the trade. In doing so, the War Food Administration's Office of Distribution is following the policy of:

1. Avoiding disruption of normal trade channels,
2. Obtaining the maximum price for the commodities sold.

"Almost every sale," Mr. Brenner said, "presents some new angle or problem, and procedure must of necessity be kept flexible enough to adjust to each condition. Selling food from Government stocks now on a short market is one thing and selling from Government stocks after the war on a long market might be quite another. But if the procedure is kept flexible it can be adjusted to new situations. By selling foods that are not needed now to meet war requirements and by turning our stocks, we are preparing for the bigger job after the war when more foods may be in surplus and the market may not be 80 good. With our experience now and with the help of the food industry we are sure we can shift to high gear when the load gets heavier and do a good post-war job."

WFA REVISES FOOD PRIORITY ORDER EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 15

The War Food Administration on September ll clarified major provisions in its food priority order and reissued this order (formerly Food Distribution Regulation 1) as War Food Order 71. This revision makes no basic changes in methods by which priorities are issued by the War Food Administration, used in the purchase of food, and enforced.

Under this revised order, suppliers of foodstuffs still are required to accept priority rated purchase orders before they accept any other orders or contracts and to deliver on priority rated orders in preference to any other delivery, use or transfer of the food ordered by priority. Suppliers also are required to make arrangements to deliver on priority rated orders, even though there is no formal contract. Under War Food Order 71, a priority rated order is binding on a supplier as soon as it is served by regular mail, registered mail, telegram, or personal service,

The priority order (WFO-71) was issued originally in March 1943 to facilitate the procurement of food by government agencies as well as to place WFA in a position to authorize the use of priorities so that food can be obtained in emergency situations for essential civilian purposes.

The revised order, effective September 15, 1944, makes the following specific changes, primarily for purposes of clarification:

1. The Director of Distribution is authorized to assign priority ratings to any disposition of food--the transfer of title by sale, gift or any other means, and to the use of food in any process of production.

2. Under the original regulation, Government agencies were authorized to use an automatic FR-10 rating on all orders or contracts, except rationed foods or those set aside pursuant to provisions of War food orders issued by WA, Under the revised order, this automatic rating will be used only in those situations where the supplier enters into a contract placed by the Government agencies named in WF0-71,

3. Agents or persons in possession of food which they do not own, and against which a priority order is placed, are required to reveal to the purchaser the name of the owner and to hold the food until the priority is withdrawn or the delivery is completed,

while efforts have been made to use priorities sparingly, WFA has found it necessary to grant them at times in order to obtain food for the armed services and for our allies and friendly nations. They will be used for U. S. civilians only in emergencies, and only after all other means of procuring food have been exhausted.

ACTIVE WFA ORDERS LISTED ON SEPTEMBER 30

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The War Food Administration's September 30 issue of Summary of Active Food Orders Covering Specific Commodities Administored by the office of Distribution listed the following orders which are of interest to the fishing industry:

Phone Room in Order No. Commodity

Extension So. Agric, Bldg. 37

Sperm
Oil

3441 5135-S
42 Fats & Oils in Edible Products
42a Fats & Oils in Protective Coatings, Coated Fabrics, and

Floor Coverings
42b Fats & Oils in Soap
44 Canned Fish & Shellfish

3200 4132-S 72 Salted Fish

2773 4136-s 111 Food Storage Facilities

5757 6333-5

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WPB DEFINES PROGRAM FOR OPERATIONS FOLLOWING GERMANY'S DEFEAT

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Acting Chairman J. A. Krug, of the War Production Board, announced on September 5, following a meeting of the full Board, that the Army, Navy, and major war agencies have unanimously agreed on a program designed to provide the utmost stimulus to reconversion when Germany is defeated, while at the same time, protecting production necessary for the Japanese war,

Acting upon findings that there will be a reduction of about 40 percent of war production within three months after the defeat of Germany which will free over 4,000,000 workers, the Board decided to:

1. Remove almost all controls over materials immediately upon the defeat of Germany except those

that are absolutely necessary to assure the reduced measure of war production necessary to beat Japan, This means that all manufacturers can use any plant and any materials that are

not needed for military production for any civilian production. 2. The War Production Board and other Government agencies will do everything within their powers

to assist and encourage industry in resuming civilian production and maintaining employment

through the "know-how" of its industry divisions and industry and labor advisory Committees. 3. The Board will maintain its organization and powers so as not to relinquish authority until

it is certain that the war production program is adequate for victory over Japan.

The purpose of the decision, arrived at the Board meeting after a sweeping re-survey of the military and production situation, is two-fold. First, to assure full military production until final victory over Japan. Second, to free civilian enterprise to the utmost.

Industry is to be allowed in its own way, according to the availability of markets, men, materials and plants, to do the swiftest and most effective job possible of restoring production, making whatever people want and affording maximum employment, just as quickly as possible. The plan is simple in outline. Detailed procedures for putting it into effect will be developed promptly. The plan provides as follows:

There will be only one preference rating, in addition to the present emergency AAA rating, and this rating will be reserved exclusively for military programs during the war against Japan. All other production will be unrated, Manufacturers will be permitted to accept unrated oigters but they will be obliged to fill rated military orders ahead of all other business,

After Germany's collapse no programming of civilian production will be necessary. The information which the War Production Board has on the available supplies of materials, components, facilities, and manpower indicates that maximum civilian output can be achieved without detailed priorities regulation from Washington. The War Production Board will retain its Industry Divisions and its Industry Division Requirements Committees whose job will be to make certain that no one is permitted to procure an unreasonable amount of any material or product, that needed materials and components are made available to top essential civilian activities such as transportation, utilities, and fuel, and that small business is given an equal opportunity to secure materials and supplies.

A very few allocation orders will be continued for materials that remain tight, such as lumber, textiles, and certain chemicals. For example, it will be necessary to continue strict controls of the use of lumber, particularly for major construction projects.

The Controlled Materials Plan for allocating steel and copper will be continued only for the quarter in which hostilities in Europe cease.

Paul V. McNutt, Chairman, War Manpower Commission, who was present at the meeting, endorsed the program outlined and indicated that the WMC will shortly announce a program for manpower after Germany's collapse, designed to dovetail with the WPB procedure.

Mr. Krug said in deciding upon immediate and drastic elimination of production controls that War Production Board is planning on keeping its steering gear and brakes in good condition. During the past three years, the WPB industry divisions have developed methods that have been notably successful in dealing quickly and effectively with industrial problems. This "know-how" will be kept available for immediate use as needed. Also available will be the Industry Advisory Committees, the authority to allocate materials and to schedule production of components when supply becomes critical. If troubles should occur in military production or civilian output, WPB will be able to handle them on a spot basis. With the removal of controls on production, industrial, civic, and labor leaders in every community will be called upon to use their ingenuity and resourcefulness to overcome the home front difficulties on the way back,

NO RELAXATION OF RESTRICTIONS ON BURLAP OR ROPE ANTICIPATED BY WPB

Officials of the Cordage Branch of the War Production Board's Textile, Clothing and Leather Bureau said September 7 that they cannot foresee the possibility of any revocation or relaxation of present orders controlling the production or use of cordage or burlap, which might be expected upon the collapse of Germany.

This statement was made to clarify any misunderstanding or misapprehension that may exist in the minds of cordage manufacturers or users as a result of WPB's recently announced policy of cutbacks on "X" day--the end of the European phase of the war.

Present short supplies of burlap and cordage-making fibers are caused by the war with Japan and until some of the territories now occupied by the Japanese can be freed, no easing of restrictions on burlap or cordage can be forecast, it was explained.

Fourth-quarter 1944 military requirements for burlap and rope are so great that it is impossible to foresee any relaxation of restrictions on burlap or rope for civilian needs, the officials said.

WPB ASKS COOPERATION IN USE OF TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES

An intensive drive to secure the full cooperation of the Nation's shippers and receivers in getting more use out of existing transportation facilities during the coming peak load months was announced September 3 by the Transportation and Storage Division of the War Production Board.

1. The Director of Distribution is authorized to assign priority ratings to any disposition of food-- the transfer of title by sale, gift or any other means, and to the use of food in any process of production,

2. Under the original regulation, Government agencies were authorized to use an automatic FR-10 rating on all orders or contracts, except rationed foods or those set aside pursuant to provisions of War food orders issued by WFA, Under the revised order, this automatic rating will be used only in those situations where the supplier enters into a contract placed by the Government agencies named in WĖ0-71.

3. Agents or persons in possession of food which they do not own, and against which a priority order is placed, are required to reveal to the purchaser the name of the owner and to hold the food until the priority is withdrawn or the delivery is completed,

While efforts have been made to use priorities sparingly, WFA has found it necessary to grant them at times in order to obtain food for the armed services and for our allies and friendly nations. They will be used for U. S. civilians only in emergencies, and only after all other means of procuring food have been exhausted.

ACTIVE WIA ORDERS LISTED ON SEPTEMBER 30

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The War Food Administration's September 30 issue of Summary of Active Food Orders Covering Specific Commodities Administored by the office of Distribution listed the following orders which are of interest to the fishing industry:

Phone Room in Order No. Commodity

Extension So. Agric, Bldg. 37 Sperm Oil ...

3441 5155-5
42 Fats & Oils in Edible Products
42a Fats & Oils in Protective Coatings, Coated Fabrics, and

Floor Coverings
426
Fats & Oils in Soap

N
44 Canned Fish & Shellfish

3200 4132-S 72 Salted Fish

2773 4136-5 111 Food Storage Facilities

5757 6333-5

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WPB DEFINES PROGRAM FOR OPERATIONS FOLLOWING GERMANY'S DEFEAT

Acting Chairman J. A. Krug, of the War Production Board, announced on September 5, following a meeting of the full Board, that the Army, Navy, and major war agencies have unanimously agreed on a program designed to provide the utmost stimulus to reconversion when Germany is defeated, while at the same time, protecting production necessary for the Japanese war.

Acting upon findings that there will be a reduction of about 40 percont of war production within three months after the defeat of Germany which will free over 4,000,000 workers, the Board decided to:

1. Remove almost all controls over materials immediately upon the defeat of Germany except those

that are absolutely necessary to assure the reduced measure of war production necessary to beat Japan, This means that all manufacturers can use any plant and any materials that are

not needed for military production for any civilian production, 2. The War Production Board and other Government agencies will do everything within their powers

to assist and encourage industry in resuming civilian production and maintaining employment

through the "know-how" of its industry divisions and industry and labor advisory Committees. 3. The Board will maintain its organization and powers so as not to relinquish authority until

it is certain that the war production program is adequate for victory over Japan,

The purpose of the decision, arrived at the Board meeting after a sweeping re-survey of the military and production situation, is two-fold. First, to assure full military production until final victory over Japan. Second, to free civilian enterprise to the utmost.

Industry is to be allowed in its own way, according to the availability of markets, men, materials and plants, to do the swiftest and most effective job possible of restoring produc

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