Control of Manpower

October 10, 1942

Report Outline
Control of Manpower
Manpower Demands and Manpower Supply
Activities of War Manpower Commission
Compulsory Labor Control Measures

Control of Manpower

Appearing before the House Agriculture Committee, September 28, to testify on farm labor shortages, Paul V. McNutt, chairman of the War Manpower Commission, indicated that the administration would make recommendations “in the very near future” for a “National Service Act,” empowering the government to allocate labor to war jobs in industry and agriculture. McNutt had declared at a hearing of the Tolan committee of the House, a fortnight earlier, that imposition of some system of compulsory labor controls was inevitable.

In the meantime, bills have been independently introduced in Senate and House to amend the Selective Training and Service Act to give the President broad powers to mobilize men for service on the production front, as he can already mobilize them for military service. Senator Reynolds (D., N. C.), chairman of the Senate Military Affairs Committee, has stated that combined hearings on the Senate manpower bills and on proposals to lower the military draft age to 18 years will be opened soon after the middle of October. The question of manpower control is expected to absorb the major attention of Congress after disposal of the now pending tax bill.

Manpower Shortages; Need of Compulsory Controls

Manpower shortages have shown up most conspicuously to date in agriculture, the inadequate supply of farm labor having been an underlying factor in the recent fight of farm organizations for inclusion of labor costs in computation of price parities. Agriculture has been losing labor to the Army, on the one hand, and to war industries on the other hand. War industries, in turn, though able to draw men off the farms by offers of higher wages, are running into shortages of various types of skilled labor and, like agriculture, are constantly giving up men to the armed services. The Army alone, among the three principal competitors for manpower, has no difficulty in meeting its requirements for men, since the services of all those needed can be conscripted under the Selective Service System.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
United States During World War II
Mar. 13, 1945  The Nation's Health
Aug. 14, 1943  Quality Labeling
Aug. 06, 1943  Voting in 1944
Jul. 27, 1943  Civilian Production in a War Economy
Mar. 08, 1943  Labor Turnover and Absenteeism
Nov. 06, 1942  War Contracts and Profit Limitation
Oct. 10, 1942  Control of Manpower
Aug. 14, 1942  Soldiers and Politics
Jul. 16, 1942  Reduction of Non-War Government Spending
Jul. 08, 1942  Education for War Needs
Jun. 20, 1942  Roll Calls in 1942 Campaign
Jun. 12, 1942  War Shipping and Shipbuilding
Apr. 30, 1942  Forced Evacuations
Apr. 21, 1942  Politics in Wartime
Apr. 14, 1942  Agricultural Import Shortages
Feb. 10, 1942  Disease in Wartime
Jan. 12, 1942  Wartime Rationing
Jun. 19, 1941  Sabotage
Dec. 13, 1940  Shipping and the War
Oct. 24, 1940  Price Control in Wartime
Jul. 20, 1940  Labor in Wartime
Oct. 05, 1937  Alien Political Agitation in the United States
General Employment and Labor
Military Draft
U.S. at War: World War II