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Atlanta, Georgia, April 30,1942

o f th e

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Since 1940 the armament program has expanded tre­
mendously the market for farm products. This demand is two­
fold in nature. In the first place, many products of southern
farms are used as raw materials in armament industries and,
secondly, increased incomes have made possible larger pur­
chases of food and textile products by the consuming public.
As a result, agriculture in the Sixth District has achieved
a degree of prosperity unknown since World War I. The
impact of formal American participation in the war has in­
tensified in 1942 the situation that developed in 1941. More
specifically, the demands of the armament industry in 1942
for agricultural raw materials are greatly in excess of the
same demands in 1941. Furthermore, to the increased demand
for food and textile products by the American population has
been added the greatly increased demands for food under leaselend aid to Great Britain and to some extent to Soviet Russia.
► 1941 the six states that lie either wholly or partly within
In
the Sixth Federal Reserve District had a total harvested
acreage for the principal crops of 37.24 million acres. In
terms of acreage harvested, corn is by far the most important
crop of this region, 15.27 million acres being devoted to it
last year. Cotton was harvested from 7.75 million acres in the
Six States last year, while the third crop in importance was
hay, with 5.91 million acres harvested. Interestingly enough,
as measured by the number of acres harvested, peanuts and
soy beans were the fourth and fifth most important crops in
the Six States in 1941, with 2.05 million acres and 1.26
million acres devoted to them, respectively. Other crops of
some importance in this area in 1941 were, in descending
order as measured by crop acres harvested, oats, wheat, rice,
sweet potatoes, sugar cane, white potatoes, tobacco, and
sorghum.
►
The impact of war, industrial demands, and the loss of fareastern areas to Japan are reflected in farm production plans
for 1942. The most striking change in the Six States from
1941 to 1942 will be in the production of peanuts. The De­
partment of Agriculture’s Crop Reporting Board estimates
that the acreage devoted to peanuts in this region will be 65
per cent greater in 1942 than in 1941. This increased acreage
reflects recognition of the fact that crushed peanuts will serve
as a partial substitute for many vegetable oils that were form­
erly obtainable from areas in the Southwest Pacific now
under Japanese control.
Fifteen per cent more acreage will be devoted to rice in
Louisiana this year than last. This in­
crease, too, is a result of the loss of fareastern supplies.
Soy beans have many uses in war in­
dustry, and 14 per cent greater acre


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in the Six States in 1942 than in 1941. The soy bean not only
has important uses in industry, but may develop into an im­
portant source of home-grown food in the South. It has been
widely used as human food in the Orient for centuries and
according to one authority, it is “. . . richer in protein and
fat than many of the meats; rich also in calcium, phos­
phorus, iron, and vitamin B.” Sorghum, which has in­
dustrial uses as well as being a food substitute for sugar
cane, will be grown on 9 per cent more acres in die region
in 1942 than last year.
Acreage devoted to oats will be increased 23 per cent this
year; tame hay will be up 11 per cent; and tobacco, 7 per
cent. Acreage devoted to corn, on the other hand, will be 3
per cent less this year than last. Hegari, a new grain crop, of
which the per acre yield sometimes triples former corn yields,
is being grown on an increasing scale this year as a feed
for livestock.
►
New industrial uses for agricultural crops have widened
opportunities for farmers in the District. Sorgo (cane or
sweet sorghum) is becoming an important source of industrial
alcohol. About 110 gallons can be made from an acre of
sorgo. The United States Citrus Laboratory at Winter Haven,
Florida, has developed a method for manufacturing industrial
alcohol from the discarded juices that form a by-product in
the manufacture of cattle feed from citrus pulp. The Laurel
Starch Factory at Laurel, Mississippi, has placed the extrac­
tion of starch from sweet potatoes on a commercial basis'.
Camphor is an important component of various plastics
and is used in the manufacture of photographic film. This
country’s supply came largely from the Japanese island of
Formosa, but a camphor that is chemically identical with the
original product is now being produced in quantity from
southern turpentine.
Under the stimulus of war demand and the interruption of
the Chinese shipments, the production of strategic tung oil
from the tung nut grown in Louisiana is increasing. Corn
starches from waxy corn are being used in the sizing of textiles.
► a result of increased output and higher prices, cash farm
As
income in the Sixth Federal Reserve District is now running
about 46 per cent higher than a year ago. Taking the prices
received by farmers in the five-year period, August 1909 to
July 1914, as 100, grain prices stood at 121 in February 1942
as compared with 81 in February 1941, cotton and cotton
seed at 150 as compared with 80, fruits at 98 as compared
with 80, truck crops at 161 as com­
pared with 156. The prices of meat
animals were at 175 in February 1942
as compared with 130 a year earlier,
dairy products at 147 compared with

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operators. The Georgia State Planning Board has considered
proposals under which city boys and girls would work on
the farms over the weekends or during the summer vacation,
but no action has been taken as yet. Shortages of farm labor
are reported in Tennessee as well.
There has been as much as a 40 per cent decrease in labor
supply in some areas despite increases of as much as 60 per
cent in farm wage rates in southern states. In Georgia, for
instance, a survey of 90 counties by the State Farm Labor
and Tenure Sub-Committee indicates a shortage of 95,000
farm workers this year. Rather severe labor shortages are
anticipated in the peach and tobacco sections between June
15 and August 1.

compared with 90 in February 1941.
For all groups of farm products, the index of prices re­
ceived by farmers was 145 in February 1942 as compared
with 103 in February 1941. During the year ending in Feb­
ruary 1942 the ratio of prices received by farmers to prices
paid by farmers rose from 84 to 99 despite the fact that in­
dustrial prices rose steadily throughout the period.
possible threat to the prosperity of agriculture in the
District exists in the serious shortage of farm labor that is
now developing. The manager of the Birmingham office of
the United States Employment Service has announced forma­
tion of a farm placement unit in the Employment Service as
a result of a large number of requests for help from farm

R u r a l

P o p u la tio n

in

The Sixth District maintains its predominantly rural char­
acter despite the fact that a smaller proportion of the popula­
tion was living in rural areas in 1940 than in 1930. Accord­
ing to the data recently released by the Bureau of the Census,
but adjusted to apply only to the District, 62.6 out of every
hundred persons in the District lived on the farm or in places
of less than 2500 in 1940, while the comparable figure for
1930 was 65.4. Almost half of the 448 counties or parishes in
the District by the 1940 Census were entirely rural. The de­
crease in the proportion of rural population in the District
owing to the rapid rate of growth of the urban population is
in contrast to the trend in the United States as a whole, where
the proportion of rural population was approximately the
same in 1940 as in 1930.
^Population growth in the District was also in marked con­
trast to the rest of the United States. The total population in
the District, both urban and rural, increased from 1930 to
1940 by 12.7 per cent. This rate of growth was greater than
that of both the United States and the South outside the Dis­
trict, where the rate of population growth was 7.2 and 8.9
per cent, respectively. The greater rate of population growth
in the District was due not only to the fact that the rural
population increased more rapidly than in other areas but
also to the 21 per cent increase in the urban population of
the District, almost three times as great a rate as that for
the nation as a whole.
There are, of course, variations from state to state within
the District. A greater proportion of Florida’s population is
urban than rural while only 30 per cent of the population of
T A B L E I— B U B A L AND URBAN P O P U LA T IO N
Sixth Fe d e ra l Reserve District
P er C ent
U rban
1930
1940
30.2
28.1
A labam a.....................
51.7
F lo rid a ....................... 55.1
30.8
G e o rg ia ..................... 34.4
47.8
Lo u isia n a *................. 48.3
24.4
M ississip p i*............. , 27.3
31.6
T en n essee*............... 32.2
34.6
D IS T R IC T * ........ 37.4
34.1
Th e So u th **............. .36.7
Rest of So uth.......... 36.4
33.9
U N ITED S T A T E S. 56.5
56.2

Per C ent
Increase
Urban
1930-1940
15.0
37.6
19.9
16.6
26.7
15.2
21.6
18.5
17.2
7.9

Per C ent
Rural
1940
1930
71.9
69.8
44.9
48.3
69.2
65.6
51.7
52.2
72.7
75.6
68.4
67.8
65.4
62.6
65.9
63.3
66.1
63.6
43.5
43.8

Per C ent
In crease in
Population
1930-1940
Rural Total
3.9
7.1
20.2
29.2
1.8
7.4
22.3
15.1
9.0
13.3
12.2
13.1
8.6
12.6
5.7
10.1
4.8
8.9
6.4
7.2

•A djusted in order to exclude counties and parishes not in the District.
**South Atlantic, East South C entral, and W est South Central states.
S o u rc e : U nited States Bureau of the C e n su s.




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Mississippi is urban, with the other states distributed between
the two extremes. In all states except Louisiana, however, the
increase in the urban population was greater than that in
the rural areas.
The changes in urban-rural relationships are summarized
in Table I.
Totals conceal many significant changes within the District
and the states making up the District. Despite the over-all
increase in each state, 105 out of the 448 counties or parishes
decreased in population from 1930 to 1940. The relative
rates of change may be understood best by an examination
of the accompanying chart.
Important shifts from rural to urban areas took place, even
though the total rural population did not decline. Decreases
in population were heavier in those counties where the popula­
tion was predominantly rural. In Alabama, for example,
where 19 out of 67 counties decreased in population, the de­
creases were, for the most part, in counties that were entirely
or predominantly rural. In Georgia, while urban population
declined in only four counties, rural population declined in
78 counties, and total population decreased in 60 counties.
Throughout the District, 145 of the counties had fewer rural
inhabitants in 1940 than in 1930.
^Migration from rural to urban areas has been a normal
occurrence throughout the history of the United States. Until
the decade 1930 to 1940, the rate of increase of urban
population has always considerably exceeded the rate of
growth of rural population, except for the decade 1810 to
1820. While the birth rate in cities is such that the popula­
tion of urban places does not replace itself, the excess of
births over deaths in rural areas is more than sufficient to
replace existing population. Cities have grown because of
migration from the rural areas, and such a cityward migration
has been normal. However, variations in the rate of mi­
gration and increases in migration so great as to cause actual
declines in rural population are probably due to changes
in economic conditions in either the city or the country.
During the 1920’s cities grew at a relatively rapid rate as
the result of migration from rural to urban areas. Urban
population as a whole increased 27.3 per cent throughout
the United States from 1920 to 1930 in contrast to the 4.4
increase in rural population. With the advent of the de­
pression, migration from the country to the city declined
sharply. Urban population in the United States for the decade

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POPULATION CHANGES
in the Sixth Federal Reserve District
by counties, 1930-1940

Per Cent of Increase
0.0—3.5
3.6—7.1
7.2—10.7
10.8—14.3
14.4 and over

Per Cent of Decrease
| 1 7.2 and over
m
3.6—7.1
■ I 0.0—3.5

U. S. Bureau of the Census

1930-1940 increased 7.9 per cent, only slightly exceeding the
ru ral population increase of 6.4 per cent. The rate of ru ral
population increase, however, was the greatest since the
decade 1900-1910. Evidently throughout the United States as
a whole, m ore people rem ained in the ru ral areas. In the
South and p articularly in the Sixth D istrict, however, cities
continued to grow at a relatively high rate. The rate of city
growth from 1930 to 1940 was lower than from 1920 to 1930,
but it was still three times that of the growth of rural
population.
A pparently two sets of forces continued to draw men and
women from the farm and ru ral communities of the South.
The changed characteristics in the structure of the agricultural
economy in the D istrict m ay have pushed them toward the
cities by depriving certain elements of the ru ral population
of their economic livelihood. On the other hand, increasing
industrialization in the South may have draw n population to
the urban centers by providing economic opportunities not
available in the ru ral areas.
It is difficult to judge whether the changed agricultural
population structure is the result of the m igration of ru ral

23

population or its cause. It is evident, however, from the data
shown in T able II that there has been a change from 1930
to 1940.
►Farm acreage throughout the D istrict increased, despite
the fact that the num ber of farm operators decreased. Coinci­
dent with the decline in the num ber of farm s, was an increase
in the average size of farm s in the D istrict from 78.7 acres
in 1930 to 93.1 acres in 1940. The relatively large increase
in farm acreage in Florida may account for the increase in
the num ber of farm operators in that state. In Tennessee, the
average farm size increased but slightly, while there was an
increase in the num ber of farm operators. In all states of the
District, however, there were increases in the size of farms.
A great part of the decrease in the num ber of farm oper­
ators was die result of a decline in the num ber of nonwhite
operators. The proportion of nonwhite operators decreased
from 45.1 per cent for the D istrict in 1930 to 32.4 per cent
in 1940. At the same time there was a reduction in the pro­
portion of farm s operated by tenants and croppers. While
62.2 per cent of the farm s in the D istrict were operated by
tenants in 1930, the proportion had declined in 1940 to 55.3
per cent. The per cent of farm s operated by croppers de­
creased from 31.4 per cent in 1930 to 26.1 per cent in 1940.
Mechanization, large scale farm ing, the relatively depressed
state of southern agriculture during the early thirties, and
other factors have operated together to bring about these
changes. The altered structure of the agricultural economy
has doubtless stim ulated m igration from ru ral to urban areas.
If previous experience can be taken as a guide, the present
war production program will further stim ulate such m i­
gration. The reported and predicted labor shortages in agri­
culture are probably due to the operation of the long-run
factors as well as to the expansion of wartime industry.
The “Food for Victory” program , with its expansion of cer­
tain agricultural crops, discussed elsewhere in this issue of
the M onthly Review, will create an increased demand for
farm labor. In some areas of the District, unless conditions
have changed since 1940, the program must be met with a
sm aller population than during the depression years of the
thirties.
^ D espite the increase in urban population, the economic
w elfare of the m ajority of the population in the D istrict is
dependent upon the prosperity of agriculture. Changes in
national agricultural policies, the loss of markets, the dis­
covery of new uses and markets for agricultural products,
and a host of other factors that affect the prosperity of the
agricultural community have an im portance in the District
out of proportion to that in other districts more urban in
character. The transform ation of the D istrict as a whole into
an urban economy will not take place in the immediate future,
though there are definite tendencies in that direction.

TABLE H
—RURAL CHANGES IN THE SIXTH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT, 1930-1940
Farm Acreag e

Per Cent
Change
1930-1940
A la b a m a .............................. ......... 9.0
F lo r id a ................................ ......... 65.8
G e o r g ia .............................. ......... 14.6
L o u is ia n a * .......................... ......... 6.8
M is s is s ip p i* ..................... ......... 2.3
T e n n e s s e e * ....................... ......... 2.7
SIX STATE T O T A L * ............ 9.7

Average Size of
Farms (Acres)
1940
1930
68.2
82.6
85.2
133.9
86.4
109.6
66.6
57.9
55.4
63.1
74.7
73.3
78.7
93.1

*Not adjusted ior counties and parishes outside the District.




Farm Operators

Per Cent
C hange
1930-1940
— 10.0
+ 5.6
— 15.5
— 7.1
— 6.8
+ 7.9
— 7.2

Per Cent NonWhite Operators
1940
1930
31.7
36.4
15.7
18.7
27.4
34.0
39.7
21.7
58.4
54.8
11.3
14.3
32.4
45.1

Per Cent
Tenants
1940
1930
58.8
64.7
25.2
28.4
60.1
68.2
59.4
66.6
66.2
72.2
40.3
46.2
62.2
55.3

Per Cent
Croppers
1940
1930
17.9
25.3
5.5
8.2
28.2
39.5
26.4
30.6
43.1
43.3
16.8
20.5
26.1
31.4

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N e w

Because of the predom inant im portance of agriculture in the
economy of the Sixth Federal Reserve District, any possibility
of a new commercial crop or of a new method of crop utiliza­
tion is of much significance. O f m ore than usual significance
are recent experiments th at have been made in the possible
use of sweet potatoes as a livestock feed crop.* If the p rin ­
ciples developed in the experiments should prove successful
in actual practice, it is possible that a revolution is in store
for southern agriculture.
The revolution would take place because, with the use of
sweet potatoes fo r stock feed, the southern farm er, for the
first time, would have cheap and abundant supplies of carbo­
hydrate stock feed. W ith com as the present principal carbo­
hydrate feed, advocates of a livestock program fo r the South
have frequently overlooked the fact that its low yield per
acre placed the southern livestock producer a t a dis­
advantage com pared with the livestock producer of the m iddle
western corn states. H igh-protein feeds such as soybean hay,
cottonseed m eal, and peanut hay are already abundantly and
cheaply available in the South, but the great lack has been a
crop that w ould give nearly the equivalent feeding value per
acre of midwestern corn. The sweet potato may be the answer.
►Before the sweet potato m ight be successfully used as a
livestock feed, a num ber of problem s had to be solved. There
was the backbreaking and time-consuming problem of “slip”
planting, for sweet potato seed m ight not be dropped into the
ground as is corn by a corn-planting machine. There was the
problem of developing a practicable m achine digger so that
the crop m ight be harvested on a large scale without relying
upon hand labor. There was the problem of determ ining the
most suitable varieties of the sweet potato for livestock p u r­
poses and com paring their food values with those of corn.
Above all other considerations was the problem of a cheap
and practicable method of processing the sweet potato for
livestock purposes.
►The problem of mechanizing the production of sweet po­
tatoes on a volume basis has largely been solved. The white
potato digger and loader has already been successfully
adapted to the harvesting of sweet potatoes and, at the same
time, progress has been m ade with the development of a
machine fo r setting sweet potato slips. Chief interest hitherto
in the production of sweet potatoes has been in producing a
crop suitable fo r hum an consumption. Em phasis has there­
fore been placed upon the production of a medium-sized po­
tato m ore or less uniform in size and having early m aturities.
This concentration upon a particular type of potato led to
lower yields p er acre than might have been realized other­
wise and to care in planting, harvesting, and grading that
• Many specialists and investigators have participated in the development
of the sweet potato as a potential livestock feed. Among those who have been
in the forefront in the necessary research are L. M. W are and F. A. Kummer
of the A gricultural E xperim ent Station of the A labam a Polytechnic Institute,
who aire originators of the sun-drying and machine shredding processes. U. R.
Richee of the Laurel Starch Factory, Laurel, Mississippi, H. S. Paine, F. H.
Thurber, and R. P . Balch of the Carbohydrate Research Division, Bureau of
Chemistry and Soils, have fo r some tim e experim ented with feed tests of
sweet potato pulp and w ith processing the sweet potato for livestock use.
Other champions of the sweet potato as a livestock feed are J . F. Jackson,
General A gricultural A gent, Central of Georgia Railway C om pany; Julian
C. M iller, Departm ent of H orticultural Research, Louisiana State U n iv ersity ;
Roscoe A ran t, Regional Business Consultant, United States D epartm ent of
Com m erce; A lexander N unn, Associate E ditor of The Progressive Farmer ; and
Ray Crow of the F arm Products Division of the Tennessee Coal, Iron, and
Railroad Company.




A n s w e r to

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P ro b le m

m aterially increased the cost of production. On the other
hand, in producing the sweet potato for livestock feed p u r­
poses, the emphasis would be upon total production, re­
gardless of m aturity, size, uniform ity, and care in handling.
This shift in emphasis and the use of m achinery would
m aterially lower production costs.
Even without the use of m echanical planters and harvesters,
the production of the sweet potato in the South does not re­
quire much more labor and expense than the production of
corn. Seed for the production of the necessary slips for sweet
potato planting may be produced at approxim ately the same
cost as seed corn. Fertilizer costs are likewise about the same.
W hile the cost of planting the sweet potato is greater than
that of planting corn, the increase in cost is m ore or less off­
set by lower cultivation costs. The cost of harvesting the sweet
potato corresponds to that of harvesting corn.
The conclusion is that even if sweet potatoes continued to
be produced on a sm all-plot basis rather than on a large-plot,
mechanized basis, the southern farm er could still produce
sweet potatoes m ore advantageously than he could produce
corn. M erely the possibility that the sweet potato, produced
on plots of from four to five acres, m ight be fed to livestock
in the place of com offers exciting prospects for the future
development of southern agriculture.
►As in the case of developing m echanical equipm ent for the
production of sweet potatoes, the problem of selecting proper
varieties for livestock uses and of dem onstrating the relative
feed values of sweet potatoes and of corn has largely been
solved. A num ber of varieties of sweet potato have been de­
veloped with the necessary high starch content fo r livestock
feeding purposes. At the M ississippi A gricultural Experiment
Station, varieties have been produced with a starch content
of as high as 28 p er cent and with yields as high as 308
bushels per acre. Varieties such as the M ississippi Blue Stem
T rium ph and the M ississippi Green Stem T rium ph have been
especially prom ising. At the A labam a Experim ent Station at
its Fairhope plot, a three-year average of 432 bushels per
acre was produced, and a t its Belle M ina plot, a five-year
average of 314 bushels per acre was produced. Y ields of
from 500 to 600 bushels on individual plots have been
obtained.
Chemical analyses based upon starch and protein content
values indicate that one bushel of corn is worth approxim ately
three bushels of sweet potatoes. Even so, the southern
producer of sweet potatoes has a differential advantage over
the southern producer of corn. Keeping in m ind that the
average yields per acre of sweet potatoes on a hum an con­
sumption basis necessarily involve higher production costs,
the data as given in T able 1 show some differential ad­
vantage to the sweet potato in each of the states of the Sixth
Federal Reserve District. In fact, with emphasis upon the
production of feed potatoes, it is confidently estimated that
the southern farm er can produce two to three times as much
feed value from an acre of sweet potatoes as he can from
an acre of com .
Actual feeding tests have dem onstrated the value of the
sweet potato as a livestock feed. Tests made in the M ississippi
A gricultural Experim ent Station showed th at pulp from sweet
potato starch m anufacturing was 95 per cent as valuable for

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m ilk and fat production as crushed ear com and sugar beet
pulp. In a 126-day feeding test at the A labam a A gricultural
Experiment Station, conducted during the winter of 19401941, sweet potato meal was shown to be 91 per cent and
sweet potato pulp 98 per cent as efficient as corn meal. In a
140-day feeding test at the A labam a Station, made during the
winter of 1941-1942, dried sweet potatoes showed superior
feed values to ground corn. When the dried sweet potatoes
were combined with sweet potato vine silage— a feed rich in
protein, fat, and fiber— the superiority over ground corn and
corn silage was even greater.
T A B LE 1. C O M P A R A T IV E F E E D V A L U E S P E R A C R E O F C O R N AND S W E E T
PO TATO ES
Sw eet Potatoes
C o rn
Ratio of Value

Yield per Acre
State in Bushels, 1941
Alabam a........ 75
F lorida........... 68
G eorg ia.......... 69
L ouisiana....... 66
M ississippi.. • .95
T en n essee.. . . 88

Equiv. Feed Value
in Terms of Corn*
25.0
22.7
23.0
22.0
31.7
29.3

Yield per Acre of Sweet Pota­
toes to Corn
in Bushels, 1941
15.5
1.61
9.0
2.52
10.5
2.19
1.47
15.0
1.87
17.0
25.5
1.15

‘ Three b u shels of potatoes are com puted as having the sam e feed value as
one of corn.
Source: Annual Crop Summary, 1941 (United States Departm ent of Agri­
culture, A gricultural Marketing Service).

►Both the method of producing the sweet potato and the
value of the sweet potato as a food have long been fam iliar
to the southern farm er. The real stum bling block has been
the m atter of developing a cheap and practicable method of
processing the sweet potato fo r livestock consumption. The
prim e difficulty has been the perishability of the sweet po­
tato, making it necessary to reduce the water content to about
12 per cent if the feed was to be long preserved. Various
methods were tried, such as grinding and treating the re­
sulting pulp with certain chemical reagents to permeate the
cell walls, thus perm itting the water to be pressed out by
mechanical means. Evaporation was tried by the use of arti­
ficial heating, leading to the necessity of special drying plants
that would have to be established in the growing area. But
these methods of extracting the water were relatively expensive.
The problem has apparently been solved, however, with
the recent development of natural drying processes by the

D is tric t

S u m m a ry




Alabam a A gricultural Experim ent Station. The sim ple ex­
pedient was developed of shredding potatoes and exposing
them to the air on a drying surface. The sun-drying method
offered great possibilities since the labor could be provided
on the farm and the cost of the necessary equipm ent would
be very modest.
Studies were made on various drying surfaces such as com­
position and metal roofing, tar and craft paper, and prim ing
oil and asphalt surfaces. The use of ordinary building or tar
paper appeared the most immediately practicable, with dry­
ing costs of 25 cents per ton, o r even lower, attainable. A
study of clim atic factors was then in order, for, naturally, the
potato shreds do not dry in the rain. Bright sunshine and high
winds greatly facilitate drying, but it was found that even on
cloudy days evaporation took place. Shreds exposed to the
air did not lose their palatability or feeding value to any
great extent, even when rained upon several times during the
drying process. Success of this drying technique was such
as to indicate that the drying problem had been essentially
solved.
Before sweet potatoes may be exposed to the sun-drying
process, they must first be shredded. The A labam a Experim ent
Station has produced a cheap type of potato shredder, one
that can be produced for from $50 to $75. The machine
shreds the potatoes into what is known as cossettes or strings.
This m aterial is dried until it makes a crackling sound when
poured on paper. If dried to between 12 and 15 per cent
moisture content, it will keep well and be suitable fo r sack­
ing, storing, or transportation in bulk.
►It may be concluded that, while much work yet rem ains to
be done, there is a distinct possibility that the southern farm er
may presently be growing the sweet potato on a mass pro­
duction, mechanized basis. He may have at his disposal a
carbohydrate feed crop of the equivalent value of midwestem
corn. W ith the sweet potato having a differential advantage
of two or three times that of southern corn, he may have a
crop that will give him an opportunity to produce livestock
on a scale hitherto impossible of attainment. W ith these
potentialities in store, the advocates of the sweet potato as a
livestock feed hope that they will be fully justified in their
enthusiasm.

o f B u s in e s s

The stimulus given to business by various phases of the war
program continues to be the dom inant factor in the over-all
business picture in the Sixth Federal Reserve District. The
lack of the necessary m anufacturing facilities continues to
handicap the D istrict in the distribution of war contracts for
the production of tanks, planes, guns, and automotive equip­
ment. So fa r as the heavy arm am ent industry is concerned,
therefore, the D istrict lies largely on the fringe of the w ar­
time boom. Nevertheless, the arm am ent program either di­
rectly or indirectly contributes to the increased tempo of busi­
ness activity in the area.
►Industrial production in the D istrict has been notably af­
fected by the war program . Indexes of employment and pay­
rolls as shown in the accompanying tabulation of Sixth Dis­
trict business indicators show substantial gains for M arch of
this year over the preceding month and over the same month
a year ago. The textile industry in the District, now largely
operating on war contracts, was readily convertible to pro­

25

C o n d itio n s

duction for wartime needs. In March, cotton textile m ills in
Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee consumed an average of
12,531 bales of cotton for each of the 26 business days, rep­
resenting a new high record for textile activity in these states.
The index of cotton consumption for M arch showed a 13 per
cent increase over M arch of last year, and in the eight months
of the current season, August through M arch, the rate of
consumption was 19 per cent greater than for the same period
of last year.
Activity in the coal and iron regions of the D istrict reached
new levels during the month of March. Steel m ills in the
Birmingham-Gadsden area operated at 99 per cent of capacity,
according to The Iron Age. D uring March of last year the
m ills operated at 97.1 per cent of capacity, and in A pril of
last year at 95.0 per cent. Pig iron production in Alabama
increased by 10 per cent in March, but because of the longer
month, the daily average rate of output was slightly below
that of February, although 2 per cent above the rate fo r March

26

M o n t h ly

R e v ie w

o f th e F ederal R e se rv e B a n k o f A tla n ta fo r A p r il 1942

per cent increase for M arch of this year
of last year. For the United States as a
R e c o n n a is s a n c e
com pared with last year, as reported in
whole, the production of pig iron for
PER CEN T D EC R EA SE ^
P E R C E N T IN C R E A S E
the 37 states fo r which F. W. Dodge
the m onth of M arch was at a rate of 3
figures are available.
per cent higher than in February and 9
Retail
The w ar program continues to have
per cent higher than in M arch of last
year. Production of coal in A labama
its effect upon agriculture in the DisW h o le s a illii
Contracts
i i l l l i P S I c a s h income received by
and Tennessee increased slightly, on a
daily average basis, during the month
farm ers in the six states of the D istrict
Cotton Co:
n
declined 17 per cent in February, as
of M arch, even though there is norm ally
Pig Iron Ij|||oduction
com pared with January of this year, the
a sm all decline in production fo r this
February cash income was 44 per cent
month. The seasonally adjusted index
Coal Pr<jj||||iction
greater than in February 1941. The
of production advanced 6 per cent from
Emplo
February total, like that for January,
February and 3 per cent above that for
Pa
HJargest on record for the month.
M arch of last year.
February receipts from m arketing of
►
According to the A m erican Petro­
B ankf
crops, livestock, and livestock products,
leum Institute, oil production in Louis­
Bank Loans and
§*°
am ounting to $67,667,000 were 53 per
iana amounted to 337,000 barrels daily
Demand Dep<j||
cent greater than a year ago. Since gov­
for the week ending A pril 11, 1942.
This production represented an increase
ernm ent benefit paym ents were up only
20
20
10
10
30
30
2 per cent, this increase was prim arily
of 6.0 per cent over the previous week
Sixth District statistics lor M arch 1942 com pared
the result of higher agricultural prices.
and of 8.1 per cent over the correspond­
w ith M arch 1941.
►Sales at departm ent stores in the Dis­
ing week in 1941. The Louisiana D i­
trict reflect the m ore favorable industrial and agricultural
vision of M inerals reported 22 new perm its to d rill wells
in the week ending A pril 4, and 17 new perm its in the week
situation. D epartm ent store sales usually increase from
February to M arch, but this year the increase was greater
ending A pril 11. Completion of seven new wells for the week
ending A pril 4 and of nine new wells for the week ending
than the seasonal factor alone would lead one to expect.
The dollar volume of sales in M arch reported by 80 de­
A pril 11 was also announced.
In M ississippi, the 99,050 barrel average daily production
partm ent stores in the D istrict was 31 per cent greater
in the week ending A pril 11 was 0.6 per cent higher than
than in February. Based on a group of more than half
that of the preceding week and over three times, or 362.9
of these stores, the daily average sales index was 25 per
per cent, higher than the corresponding week in 1941. New
cent above February of this year, and 22 per cent above
developments are reported in several areas.
March of last year. In fact, the level thus attained was
► the A tlanta area, the most significant development during
In
higher than for M arch of any other year in the series. There
the month of A pril was the beginning made on the construc­ is usually a rise in the index in the m onth of M arch because
of ordinary spring buying. The fact that Easter was a week
tion of a bom ber plant. This p lant is to be constructed at a
cost of $15 m illion, and when full, production is reached
earlier this year than last is no doubt partly responsible for
the extent of the M arch increase. D epartm ental sales reports
is expected to em ploy several thousand workers. Contracts
during the month of A pril were let fo r the construction of
from a selected list of firms indicate that substantial gains,
as compared with a year ago, were made in the sales of men’s
two new six-way shipyards which, on completion, will add
and boys’ clothing, women’s and children’s shoes, infants’
considerably to the extensive shipbuilding activities already
and girls’ wear, and piece goods. O n the other hand, declines
under way in the District.
were reported for M arch of this year, com pared with M arch
Index figures for contracts awarded fo r the D istrict as a
of last year, in sales of furs and furniture.
whole and for individual states show an over-all increase.
The indexes for both Florida and Tennessee, however, show ►In M arch, inventories continued their upw ard rise, despite
continued high sales at retail. It must be borne in mind,
substantial decreases fo r M arch of 1942, as compared with
however, that the rise in both inventory and sales figures is
March of 1941. On the other hand, the indexes for Alabama,
somewhat exaggerated for the reason that prices have been
Georgia, and Louisiana show especially large increases.
rising at a very rapid rate over the past year. For this reason,
►Heavy government buying of southern pine has m aintained
the volume of goods stocked and sold by departm ent stores
the level of lum ber sales. According to the Southern Pine
has not increased as much as the d o llar sales and inventory
Association’s weekly trade barom eter, lum ber production for
figures would seem to indicate at first glance.
the week ending A pril 11, 1942, was 4.8 per cent below the
three-year average, but orders were 6.1 per cent above the ►W holesale trade in the Sixth D istrict likewise continued at
high levels. In dollar volume, the M arch wholesale trade was
three-year average. Production and shipments were 13.5 per
7 per cent greater than for the previous month, and 28 per
cent above the three-year average. Shipm ents during the week
cent greater than in M arch of last year. As in the case of
exceeded production fo r that week by 19.2 p er cent.
departm ent store sales, much of this increase, especially over
Residential construction, subject to certain lim itations, is
M arch of last year, should probably be attributed to the
still perm itted in defense areas, and with expanded needs for
higher level of prices. The wholesale price index of the
defense housing, operators anticipate a continued heavy de­ United States Bureau of Labor Statistics averaged 19.6 per
mand for lum ber. Residential contract aw ards in the D istrict
cent higher in M arch this year, as com pared with M arch last
for March were 27 per cent greater than fo r February, and
year. March sales of electrical goods and of paper and paper
12 per cent greater than for M arch of a year ago. This in ­ products were less than in February, but increases were shown
crease in residential construction may be com pared with the
for other reported lines of wholesale trade, with the exception
31 per cent increase for M arch over February, and the 27
of automotive supplies.



M o n t h ly

R e v ie w

o f th e F ederal R eserve B a n k o f A tla n ta fo r A p r il 1942

CONDITION OF FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ATLANTA
(In Thousands ol Dollars)
p er Cent c h a n g e
Apr. 15, 1942, from
Apr. 15 Mar. 18 Apr. 16 Mar. 18 Apr. 16
1942
1942
1941
1942
1941
Bills disco u n ted..............................
95
125
57
— 24
+ 67
495
461
241
+ 7
+105
Industrial ad v an ces........................
U. S. secu rities................................ 98,897
95,664
94,885
+ 3
+ 4
Total bills and secu rities........... 99,487
96,249
95,183
+ 3
+ 5
F. R. note circulation..................... 316,179 300,166
205,230
+ 5
+ 54
Member bank reserve d ep o sits. . . 347,682 343,629
288,709
+ 1
+ 20
U. S. G ov't d ep o sits....................... 14,582
518
26,924
x
— 46
Foreign bank d ep o sits................... 25,278
25,622
27,829
— 1
— 9
Other d ep o sits................................
3,896
2,974
5,729
+ 31
— 32
Total d ep o sits.............................. 391,438 372,743
349,191
+ 5
+ 12
Total reserv es.................................. 605,666 586,265
461,781
+ 3
+ 31
Industrial advance commitments.
1,560
1,594
....
— 2
CONDITION OF 20 MEMBER BANKS IN SELECTED CITIES
(In Thousands ol Dollars)
p er Cent ch a n g e
Apr. 15, 1942, from
Apr. 15 Mar. 18 Apr. 16 Mar. 18 Apr. 16
1942
1942
1941
1942
1941
Loans an d Investments—T o ta l... 864,902 833,327
702,987
+ 4
+ 23
Loans—Total.................................... 400,009 404,279
375,650
— 1
+ 6
Commercial, industrial, and
agricultural lo an s..................... 227,001
226,803
198,472
+ 0
+ 14
Open market p a p e r.....................
7,636
7,796
4,971
— 2
+ 54
Loans to brokers an d dealers
in securities..............................
5,076
4,771
7,045
+ 6
— 28
Other loans lor purchasing
8,296
8,601
11,183
— 4
— 26
an d carrying secu rities.........
Real estate lo an s......................... 31,103
31,867
35,810
— 2
— 13
Loans to b an k s............................
1,276
1,314
1,189
— 3
+ 7
Other lo an s.........................119,621
123,127
116,980
— 3
+ 2
Investm ents—Total......................... 464,893 429,048
327,337
+ 8
+ 42
U. S. direct o bligations............. 295,177 256,991
158,242
+ 15
+ 87
Obligations gu aran teed by
U. S ............................................. 59,761
60,637
53,163
— 1
+ 12
Other securities........................... 109,955
111,420
115,932
— 1
— 5
Reserve with F. R. Bank............... 207,045 215,741
172,410
— 4
+ 20
Cash in v au lt.................................... 17,882
18,283
14,772
— 2
+ 21
Balances with domestic b a n k s ... 255,706 256,289
268,246
— 0
— 5
Demand deposits-adjusted........... 576,278 583,154
483,900
— 1
+ 19
189,455
192,987
+ 0
— 2
Time d ep o sits.................................. 189,711
U. S. G ov't dep o sits....................... 60,145
64,168
34,324
— 6
+ 75
Deposits of domestic b an k s......... 447,347 434,234
386,440
+ 3
+ 16
Borrow ings.....................................................
50
DEBITS TO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS
(In Thousands oi Dollars) p er Cent c h a n g e
Mar.
Feb.
Mar.Mar. 1942 from
ALABAMA
1942
1942
1941Feb. 1942 Mar. 1941
Birmingham.....................
158,147
143,121
119,841
+ 10
+ 32
D othan............................
6,757
5,756
3,963
+ 17
+ 71
M obile..............................
89,972
75,932
54,569
+ 18
+ 65
M ontgom ery...................
32,637
31,427
27,197
+ 4
+ 20
FLORIDA
Jacksonville.....................
118,746
111,509
122,035
+ 6
— 3
79,478
81,809
84,313
— 3
— 6
Miami................................
Pensacola.........................
16,125
14,710
12,013
+10
+34
Tam pa..............................
51,839
44,795
40,522
+ 16
+ 30
GEORGIA
Albany............................
8,618
7,722
6,568
+ 12
+ 31
321,232
290,371
286,648
+ 10
+ 12
A tlanta............................
A ugusta..........................
41,227
37,164
25,469
+ 11
+ 62
Brunsw ick.......................
3,631
3,231
3,174
+ 12
+ 14
Colum bus.......................
28,519
24,782
24,417
+ 15
+ 17
E lberton..........................
1,618
1,387
1,345
+ 17
+ 20
M acon..............................
31,718
27,101
26,530
+ 17
+ 20
N ew nan..........................
3,806
3,269
2,601
+ 16
+ 46
Savannah........................
44,256
36,158
35,832
+ 22
+ 24
V aldosta..........................
6,032
6,087
4,312
— 1
+ 40
LOUISIANA
New O rleans...................
308,187
277*998
270,115
+ 11
+ 14
MISSISSIPPI
H attiesburg.....................
11,234
10,289
11,209
+ 9
+ 0
Jackson............................
50,363
39,226
31,923
+ 28
+ 58
M eridian..........................
17,067
16,448
15,385
+ 4
+ 11
V icksburg.......................
11,159
11,936
7,877
— 7
+ 42
TENNESSEE
C hattanooga...................
70,897
64,548
56,267
+ 10
+ 26
Knoxville.........................
45,105
37,702
37,483
+ 20
+ 20
Nashville.........................
121,581
108,088
104,371
+ 12
+ 16
SIX TH D IS T R IC T

26 C ities..........................
1,679,951
UNITED STATES
274 C ities......................... 49,175,000

1,512,606

1,415,979

+ 11

+ 19

41,550,000

44,558,000

+ 18

+ 10

R E T A IL TR A D E — M A R CH 1942
(C itie s for w hich no indexes are com piled)

Sales for March com pared w ith :
Feb. 1942 Mar. 1941
Feb. 1942 Mar. 1941
Baton R ouge___ + 4 6
+29
M acon................. + 4 7
+26
C hattanooga___ + 4 6
+23
Miami................. + 9
— 6
Jackson............... + 3 7
+21
M ontgomery. . . . + 3 2
+18
Jacksonville........ + 3 4
+18
Tam pa................. + 2 4
+19
Knoxville........... + 4 3
+34




SIXTH DISTRICT BUSINESS INDICATORS
Indexes
(1923-1925 Average = 100, except as noted)
Adjusted*
Mar. Feb. Mar.
19421942 1941
RETAIL SALES** (1935-1939 Av. = 100)
141
125
DISTRICT (46 F irm s)............................ 152
A tlanta.....................................................
Birmingham........................................... i
N ashville.................................................
New O rleans..........................................
RETAIL STOCKS
DISTRICT (21 F irm s)............................ 121
115
83
A tlanta.....................................................230
213
162
98
76
Birmingham........................................... 100
N ashville................................................. 109
96
60
New O rleans.......................................... 110
105
71
WHOLESALE SALES
TOTAL.....................................................
G roceries...............................................
Dry G oods.............................................
H ardw are...............................................
D rugs.......................................................
CONTRACTS AWARDED
DISTRICT.................................................
R esidential.............................................
O thers.....................................................
A labam a...................................................
F lorida.....................................................
G eorgia...................................................
Louisiana.................................................
M ississip d.............................................
T ennessee...............................................
BUILDING PERMITS
20 CITIES...............................................
A tlanta.....................................................
Birmingham...........................................
Jacksonville...........................................
Nashville.................................................
New O rleans.........................................
PIG IRON PRODUCTION**
A labam a...................................................
COAL PRODUCTION** (1935-1939 Av. = 100)
TWO STATES........................................ 150
142
146
A labam a...................................................
T ennessee...............................................
COTTON CONSUMPTION**
THREE STATES......................................
A labam a...................................................
G eorgia...................................................
T ennessee...............................................
EMPLOYMENT (1932 Av. = 100)
SIX STATES...........................................
A labam a...................................................
Florida.....................................................
G eorgia...................................................
Louisiana.................................................
M ississippi.............................................
T ennessee...............................................
PAYROLLS (1932 Av. = 100)
SIX STATES...........................................
A labam a...................................................
F lorida.....................................................
G eorgia...................................................
L ouisiana.................................................
M ississippi.............................................
T en n essee...............................................
ELECTRIC POWER PRODUCTION** (1935-1939 Av. = 100)
TOTAL.....................................................
By W ater Pow er....................................
204
By F u el.....................................................
177

27

U nadjusted
Mar. Feb. Mar.
1942 1942 1941
152
149
167
149
136

122
120
131
114
116

125
130
134
122
109

125
235
102
111
114

113
204
94
91
105

86
165
78
61
74

90
75
67
156
163

84
71
66
137
147

72
64
54
132
125

117
94
132
249
43
188
176
104
52

80
74
83
172
59
84
79
110
59

78
84
74
69
62
54
122
90
109

28
16
21
62
25
30

39
24
29
54
5
23

54
28
30
90
14
26

138

139

136

167
174
152

165
171
152

160
163
152

264
328
240
235

263
330
237
236

235
279
221
188

166
195
126
175
167
132
153

163
190
126
173
158
132
152

147
158
124
162
130
116
140

314
510
158
302
288
231
299

301
488
149
297
259
228
293

221
312
123
247
167
160
220

192
170r
227r

195
164
177

169

Statistics
(000 Omitted)
Mar.
Feb.
Mar.
Year to Date
COMMERCIAL FflTT.TTBF.fi
1942
1942
1941
1942 1941
Number(Actual, not thousands)
45
36
44
130 124
Liabilities......................................... $ 469$ 544 $ 439 $ 1,631 $ 1,073
Feb.
Jan.
Feb.
Year to Date
FARM INCOME***
1942
1942
1941
1942 1941
SIX STATES................. ............... $78,028$94,377 $54,257 $172,405 $118,957
A labam a........................................... 7,107
8,801
5,402
15,908 11,320
F lorida............................................. 19,632
22,912
12,314
42,544 26,310
G eorgia............................................. 9,445
10,025
9,543
19,470 18,133
Louisiana......................................... 11,605
12,766
6,533
24,371 15,734
M ississippi........................................ 14,202
16,445
9,430
30,647 18,828
T ennessee......... .............................. 16,037
23,428
11,035
39,465 28,632
*Adjusted for seasonal variation
**Indexes of retail sales, electric pow er, coal, and pig iron production, and
of cotton consum ption are on a daily average basis
“• ‘ Includes Governm ent benefit paym ents
r <= Revised
xThe percentage increase here is meaningless

28

M o n t h ly

R e v ie w

o f th e F ederal R eserve B a n k o f A tla n ta fo r A p r il 1942

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

N a tio n a l

S u m m a ry

o f

B u s in e s s

(P repared b y the Board oi G o vern ors oi the F e d e ra l B e se rv e System )

Industrial activity continued at a high rate in March and the first half of April. Dis­
tribution of commodities to consumers was maintained in large volume and commodity
prices advanced further.
P r o d u c t i o n .*

F e d e ra l B e serve monthly in d ex ol p h ysical volum e ol pro­
duction, adjusted ior seasonal variation, 1935-39 average
«= 100. Latest figure show n is ior M arch 1942.
DEPARTMENT STORE SALES AND STOCKS

Fe d e ra l B eserve monthly in dexes ol value oi sale s and
stocks, adjusted ior seasonal variation, 1923-25 average
«= 100. Latest figures show n are ior M arch 1942.
MEMBER BANKS IN 101 LEADING CITIES

Volume of industrial production increased seasonally in March and
the Board’s adjusted index remained at 172 per cent of the 1935-39 average. Output
of durable manufactured products, now mostly war materials, continued to advance,
reflecting mainly increased activity in the iron and steel, machinery, aviation, and ship­
building industries. Production of lumber and cement, which had been maintained at
unusually high levels during the winter months, increased less than seasonally in March.
In most industrial manufacturing nondurable goods activity was sustained at earlier
high levels. In some, however, notably wool textiles and petroleum refining, there were
declines owing to restrictions on production for civilian use and, in the case of petroleum
products, to transportation difficulties. Mineral production declined in March and the
first half of April, reflecting sharp curtailment in output of crude petroleum. Coal pro­
duction, which usually declines at this season, was maintained in large volume. The
Great Lakes shipping season opened in the latter part of March and the first boatload
of iron ore reached lower Lake ports 12 days earlier than the record set last year.
Shipments during the coming season are expected to exceed considerably the total of
80 million gross tons brought down the lakes last year.
Value of construction contract awards continued to increase in March, according to
figures of the F. W. Dodge Corporation, and the level of the first quarter of 1942 was
the highest in recent years, being some 30 per cent above that of the corresponding
period last year. Awards for public work amounted to close to 80 per cent of the total
and in the residential field accounted for 52 per cent of the value of all projects.
Publicly-financed contracts for factory construction showed a sharp increase, partly offset
in the total by a decline in private factory construction.
On April 9 the War Production Board issued an order which required explicit per­
mission of the government for initiation of all new private construction involving expen­
ditures in excess of specified small amounts and not covered by specific priority ratings.
D is tr ib u tio n :
Value of retail trade in March continued at the high level of other
recent months, making allowance for customary seasonal changes. Sales at department
and variety stores increased by somewhat less than the usual seasonal amount while
sales by mail-order houses rose more than seasonally.
On the railroads total loadings of revenue freight were maintained in large volume
in March and the first half of April. Shipments of coal and coke declined less than
seasonally and ore loadings increased sharply, while grain shipments declined further
from the peak reached in January. Loadings of miscellaneous merchandise, which had
been unusually large in the preceding three months, increased less than seasonally.
C o m m o d ity p r ic e s :
The general level of wholesale commodity prices advanced
1y2 per cent further from tl\e middle of March to the middle of April. Among manu­

W ed nesd ay figures. Com m ercial loans, w h ich include
industrial and agricultural loan s, represent prior to M ay
19, 1937, so-called “ O ther lo a n s" as then reported. Latest
figures show n are ior A p ril 8, 1942.
MEMBER BANK RESERVES
IUMM

tot.1. M
W

H.U0M 0* MUIW

factured products, finished consumers’ goods, such as foods, clothing, and shoes, con­
tinued to show the largest price increases. Prices of most raw materials were unchanged
or showed increases, which in a number of cases reflected the raising of Federal maxi­
mum price levels. There were declines in prices of wheat and of a few other commodities,
including gasoline at Gulf ports and turpentine.
In retail markets maximum prices were fixed in this period for a number of electrical
products, most of which will no longer be produced for civilian use after May 31.
Prices of many other commodities and services advanced further.
B a n k c r e d i t : During the four weeks ending April 15 holdings of Government
securities at banks in the leading cities increased by nearly $700 million, while com­
mercial loans declined somewhat, following a rise in previous weeks. Changes in member
bank reserves and deposits reflected principally the temporary effects of treasury opera­
tions in connection with income tax collection and the sale of certificates of indebtedness.
Money in circulation continued to increase.

Following an advance from
the mid-February low, prices of U. S. Government bonds remained relatively steady
in the first half of April.

U n ite d S ta te s G o v e r n m e n t s e c u r ity p r ic e s :
Wednesday figures. Bequired and excess reserves, but
not the total, are partly estimated. Latest figures shown
are ior April 8 1942.
,