Austerity plan

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 December, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 December, 2000, 12:00am

Hongkong (December 30): Yesterday the two American President Lines vessels President Buchanan and President Harrison commenced unloading cargo as fast as it could be cleared by the combined efforts of the Department of Commerce and Industry, the United States Consul for Economic Affairs in Hongkong, Mr Ralph H. Hunt and the shipping company's management.

Crowds of happy businessmen, both Chinese and European, besieged all three offices with their hands full of documents as they eagerly sought to get the goods they at one stage feared might be carried on to other ports.

Mr Hunt will very shortly issue a statement covering fully the new United States embargo policy. This detailed announcement will cover cargoes for Hongkong use, cargoes for transshipment to points other than Communist China and also the storing of both these kinds of cargo.

Hongkong (December 29): Yesterday a high official of one of the big oil companies here said that the service stations operated by his organisation have been instructed to allow no more than two gallons of petrol to private cars and four gallons to trucks belonging to 'floating' customers.

The reason is to prevent people from going from pump to pump, getting a full tankload at each and then emptying this tank into private storage for black market operations. So much of this kind of thing had been going on that some service stations found themselves completely emptied of gasoline when, according to normal requirements, they should still have had plenty, he said.

Washington (December 31): The Council of Economic Advisers yesterday laid down a programme of wartime austerity for America, including higher taxes, steady industrial mobilisation to expand production and blanket wage and price controls. The report, which said 'our peril is great and the time short', had the blanket endorsement of Mr Charles Wilson,the Director of the Office of Defence Mobilisation.