Stacy May – U.S. could beat Nazis with hike in arms output (10-17-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 17, 1941)

Stacy May says –
U.S. could beat Nazis with hike in arms output

Production rate now is 15%, but 50% goal is urged

Washington, Oct. 17 (UP) –
OPM’s research and statistics chief, Stacy May, said today that Hitler could be beaten iof the United States shifted 50% of its productive capacity to armaments.

He said:

We ought to make our goal $50 billion a year and drive our national defense production like hell for it.

That goal is double the peak rate now expected to be reached in the fall of 1942. We are now consuming about 15% of the national income for defense, Mr. May said, and by late next summer or early fall it will reach its peak of 25% – at most 27% – the most present production schedules call for.

National income is expected to reach $90 billion this year and be close to $100 million in 1942.

Could beat Hitler

With American arms production at the rate of 50% of the national income, together with what Britain is producing, Mr. May said he was convinced Hitler could be defeated even with all of Europe’s resources at his command.

He said the United States does not measure up to British arms output either in dollar value or in the percentage of productive resources devoted to defense.

The British, he said, are at their productive peak, devoting 50% of their industrial resources for war purposes.

Survey is urged

He was asked:

What steps must be taken to bring about utilization of 50% of the nation’s productive resources for defense?

He replied:

It seems to me that a first step would be to make a careful inventory of all the producing machinery in the country; then to convert to defense production wherever possible and to farm out contracts to even the smallest producers.

There have been reports, he continued, that Germany is using about 50% of its industrial resources for war. Other OPM production experts believe the German productive effort may be as high as 70%.