cover of book

Billions for Defense: Government Finance by the Defense Plant Corporation During World War II
by Gerald T. White
University of Alabama Press, 1980
Cloth: 978-0-8173-0018-0 | Paper: 978-0-8173-5177-9
Library of Congress Classification HG3729.U5W5
Dewey Decimal Classification 353.00825

A full-dress study of the Defense Plant Corporation

The Defense Plant Corporation was a significant innovative agency of the emergency government during World War II. DPC was a subsidiary of the depression-created Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which, in turn, had its origins in the War Finance Corporation of World War I. Despite its importance, DPC’s role until the present has been little studied. It invested nearly $7 billion, mainly in commercial-type, government titled industrial facilities to speed the flow of war goods. During the defense period, it was the subject of much controversy both within and outside government, but after Pearl Harbor its value was fully recognized. The bulk of its investment was in the aircraft and closely related indus­tries. Large investments were also made in the steel and chemical indus­tries and in pipeline transportation. A new industry, synthetic rubber, was brought from infancy to maturity. DPC brought government capital and private initiative into fruitful union, eliminating risk to the contractor with respect to the cost of the facilities and providing the contractor with the necessary production capacity to fulfill its supply contracts.

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