Provision for national security requires planning in many fields—military, technological, political, and economic. Planning in the economic field is of special importance. The sustained striking power of our armed forces would depend to a large extent on our economic preparedness and on the speed and effectiveness with which the economy could be converted to war production.
Economic mobilization involves the marshaling and coördination of the nation's resources as an integral part of a total war effort. It means the conversion of thousands of factories from the production of civilian goods to the production of essential war items. Machine tools and other industrial equipment must be reconditioned and new machinery made and installed for the production of airplanes, ships, tanks, and guns. Facilities for the production of essential war-supporting products and services must be expanded, and the output of non-essential products must be curtailed. Allocations, priorities, rationing, and conservation measures must be imposed to assure the effective utilization of manpower, materials, production facilities, fuels, power, and communication and transportation services. These and other wartime measures must be accomplished with a minimum disruption of the civilian economy, lest they destroy the sources upon which the effectiveness of economic mobilization in a democratic nation depends.