Thursday, August 03, 2006

As the fascist powers in Europe were drawing the world into their stupid war, the arms dealers were licking their lips like hookers on a Saturday night, and America started taking stock of its vital defence products. The US Navy expressed concern over its hemp supplies (which came under threat a year later from internal forces). An example of their attitude towards hemp is reflected in the following extract of a letter from the Acting Secretaty of the Navy to the Secretary of Agriculture, dated 27 May, 1936:
The Navy Department is much concerned over the current and
apparently increasing scarcity of American hemp as compared with its
availability prior to 1931. As American hemp is the only long fiber produced
within the continental limits of the United States which is suitable for naval
cordage and for caulking of wood decks, it is required in increasing amounts.
The situation outlined above is a serious one for the Navy
Department at the present time and woud be even more serious in the event of a
national emergency. American hemp is considered equal or superior to any of the
fibers which have been offered as substitutes. In addition to other reasons, the
Navy Department desires to comply with the spirit of the "Buy American Law" and
is interested in the stimulation of the production of American hemp in order
that the Navy Department's needs may be supplied from domestic sources.

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