Future of Light Metals

January 4, 1946

Report Outline
Plant Disposal Policies and Light Metals
Development of Light Metals Industry
Monopoly or Competition in Light Metals
Special Focus

Plant Disposal Policies and Light Metals

Disposal of the federal government's billion-dollar investment in aluminum and magnesium plants will provide the first major test of the mechanisms established in the Surplus Property Act of 1944 to deal with the government's huge holdings in war production facilities. A program for liquidating government aluminum plants was submitted to Congress, Sept. 21, 1945, by the Surplus Property Board. A program for disposing of government magnesium plants was submitted by the Surplus Property Administrator on Dec. 7. Congress interposed no objection to the aluminum plan within the time allowed by law. It will have until the end of January to consider the magnesium plan.

Aluminum production in the United States increased sixfold, and magnesium production ninefold, between 1939 and 1943. During the war about 150,000 workers were employed in reduction and semi-fabrication of aluminum and magnesium, while the total number engaged in all stages of light metals production and fabrication came to around 2 million. After extensive investigation of the industry in the first half of 1945, the Senate Small Business Committee reported that the outlook for “new and expanded peacetime uses of light metals is unquestionably one of the most brilliant in the history of American industry.”

The unique qualities of light weight, combined with strength, easy workability, high electrical conductivity, resistance to corrosion, insulation against heat and cold, and ability to combine light metals with heavier metals, wood, paper, and plastics, should increase the net usefuleness and marketability not only of light metals, but of others.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
World War II Demobilization
Nov. 18, 1950  Conservation of War Materials
Jan. 04, 1946  Future of Light Metals
Jul. 21, 1945  Aid to Displaced War Workers
Dec. 06, 1944  War Veterans and Employment
Nov. 11, 1944  Reconversion of Agriculture
Jul. 28, 1944  Priorities in Demobilization
May 16, 1944  Termination of War Contracts
Jan. 17, 1944  Lend-Lease Settlements
Nov. 30, 1943  Disposal of Surplus War Materials
Nov. 11, 1943  Military Government of Occupied Territory
Oct. 22, 1943  Government War Plants
Sep. 27, 1943  Termination of War Controls
Aug. 21, 1943  Demobilization
Manufacturing and Industrial Production
Privatization of Government Functions