Sunday, August 4, 2013

Postblogging 1939: July, 1939, I: Two Speeds

Per Wikipedia

My Dearest Reggie:

I am heartily glad to hear by wire that this letter will find you home and healthy in Vancouver. This gives me an opportunity to share what I have learned this month, which is a great deal. I have learned this month that there are speeds for the old and speeds for the young, speeds for one political economy, and, more specifically, low-altitude speeds for an aeroengine supercharger or a wing flap-slat, and, with another gear or setting, a high-altitude speed as well. I rather poke fun below, and I am told that, had I been paying attention, I would know about the Rolls-Royce "two speed superchargers" by now. The point, however, your son says, is brought out by an indiscreet cartoon published in the first week of the month by The Aeroplane. Even if the technology originates with Farman in France, the implications of the metallurgy of the new Farman-Rolls-Royce supercharger and of the Youngman Flap, also indiscreetly revealed by that paper, is of a combustion-turbine airliner, perhaps while we are still  young enough to fly. As for political economies,  one is ever more pressed to ask whether or not this is a direct consequence of just how large a national defence loan the government is willing to take out. (Yes, I did see Maynard socially this month, but, rest assured that he did not lecture us. On the contrary, a copy of The Economist in hand, I drew him out for the enlightenment of my young Cambridge art historian friend.)

Speaking of speeds for the old --I shall leave you hanging for a bit about what I mean by that, and well you deserve it, you scoundrel-- as much as we share those happy boyhood memories of summers by the Arrow Lake, we can also share memories of being summoned away to Grandfather's side in our first war. Another war is very clearly on the horizon. we can hope, and we can work towards the end of seeing it reverse the verdict of the first. It must have been frustrating to be rusticated in its earliest stages. It would be even more frustrating for me if you derail our family's efforts with your signature rashness

As you may have been informed, Grandfather called Cousin Easton down from San Francisco to Chi'a Ta-wan to upbrade him for his overly familiar relations with "Miss J.C." The rather obvious point was made that until such time as we can schedule earthquakes to our needs, we must beware that side of our family that will profit if secrets come to light. In his customarily indirect (or, to be literary, "insidious") fashion, Grandfather has scotched the romance by ordering Cousin Easton to Hongkong to take over operations as from the end of manoeuvres in Europe. 

On another note, upon receipt of happy news that Mr. Grey's editorial tenure is coming to an end, we began talking The Aeroplane again this month.

The Economist, 1 July 1939

Leaders: “Defence or Encirclement;” the paper ventures the opinion that Dr. Goebbels is awful.

Second Leader, from which I cite at great length for its intrinsic interest:

Laggard Recovery in America,

 ‘The course of American business activity never did run smooth. Nor has it ever run on orthodox lines. . . No completely satisfying explanation has ever been given, for instance, of the very sudden reversal of recovery in the autumn of 1937, long before it appeared to have reached its maturity. [Until recently, the received explanation was of a temporary interruption]. This theory appeared to be confirmed by the resumption of recovery twelve months ago. But since the beginning of 1939, this new recovery –or “re-recovery,” as the Americans call it—has faltered and given ground, long before it had attained the peak levels of 1937, let alone those of 1929. It is true that in the last few weeks there have been signs of a new improvement –a re-re-recovery, as it were— but it is too early to say whether they are prophetic or deceptive. And in any case there is no assurance that 1939’s improvement will go much further than 1938’s. There is prima facie evidence for the belief that each new peak is lower than the last.” 

One is left, the paper infers, to fall back  in despair on the doctrine that it is for Government to repair the deficiency in private investment in capital….[But] the justification for a permanent programme of public works can only be a permanent lack of private capital investment….The tell-tale usage of "despair" tips the hands of Our New York Correspondent as author in part, it seems to me. 

Arguing with someone, I certainly cannot say whom, Our New York Correspondent very briefly summarises the case for 'permanent lack of private capital investment' according to the ‘mature economy’ theory. This is the first that I have heard of this theory. Its content is to be inferred, in the way of Our New York Correspondent. 

“[But] If America is a “mature economy” because the growth of population is slowing down, how much more “mature” is Great Britain, where the growth of population has almost stopped?”  That would be a good question, were it not for everything else I shall write about in this letter. Continuing with Our New York Correspondent's chain of thought, it is allowed that it would be much easier to accept the defeatist doctrine of a permanent insufficiency of private investment if any convincing attempt had been made to investigate and remove the barriers to profitability. Business complaints do not encourage this inquiry. Taxes are too high, “anti-business” attitude of the Administration, “lack of confidence.” These, it is to be conceded, are rubbish explanations. That the deficit has not occasioned high interest rates for bonds indicates that there is no crowding out. 

To the outside observer, an interesting characterisation of Our New York Correspondent, the problem is the cost of investments. Specifically, wages are too high. As a consequence, payrolls are falling, for unemployment trumps increases. “The only remedy that has not been tried is a sustained attempt to lower the costs and encourage the expansion of the capital goods industry whose coma is, by common consent, the root cause of the laggardliness of the recovery.” Less money in the hands of buyers means more machine tools being produced to equip factories to supply buyers with the things they want. Of course. How silly of us not to see this. It rather strikes me, as I have coyly suggested, that the rest of the world, and Europe in particular, has very precisely fastened on an efficient means of encouraging the expansion of the capital goods industry, and it has not been by cutting wages.

Social Services and the Family;” we started to offer family support services, back in 1928. We had no idea what would happen. so far, though, it does not appear to have promoted family breakdown, laziness, means test evasion and such. “Capitalism is not yet in any real danger of losing its efficiency because of its humanitarianism.”

Notes of the Week: Negotiations continue in Moscow; trouble continues in Danzig. The German harvest is to be brought in earlier than usual. M. Daladier posits that“We stand at the beginning of a troubled and tormented summer.” The Motor Tax is retained. There is a limit to the Chancellor’s complaisance, and the horsepower-based tax will continue. A sign of backbone against interested lobbying is welcome, but this will surely lead to a generation of small British automobile engines, even though a brand-new Ford V-8 is just the thing for racing from the country house in Kent to the townhouse in Kensington. Talks continue about what the Armaments Profits Tax will look like.  

British-Japanese Talks; the Japanese have relented on the Tientsin blockade and opened talks in Tokyo. Grandfather suggests that Tokyo is looking for a Munich style negotiated victory to go with one anticipated on the Manchurian battlefield, and that Tokyo is counting at least one victory too many. Yet he also points to the Moscow talks and suggests that when people talk so long, it is because they have nothing to say.

 The Anglo-French Conference at Singapore. Of course, what Grandfather guesses, so can others. There is no way of avoiding the reality that the enemies of Japan will take serious losses in the Western Pacific in the first months of a war in the Pacific, as it will never occur otherwise than in the context of a war in Europe. The point is to contain their gains and then drive them back later. Singapore, as the Anglo-French citadel, will play a role of capital importance. 

Other notes cover Civil Defence, The TUC on Workers’ Comp, French-Turkish Treaty, A New Balkan Agreement

The World Overseas

Indian Railway Finance is in need of “drastic reform.” See below for an engineer's perspective.

“Preparedness and Public Opinion in France;” the tax increases and working hour increases have been well-borne. 

There is “Increased Confidence in Canada," due mostly to the prospect of a good harvest. So bucolic!

In general, business seems to be slackening in London, and there are warning signs here and there (New Zealand's debt troubles, Sheffield iron market), but then we move into the Building Society Supplement, which gives a synoptic treatment of “a decade of growth.” The synoptic review suggests “more houses for fewer people,” and asks is we have moved into a new era of housing. That is, there are cheap houses to buy, and cheap houses to let, because more builders are interested in rentals than sales to owners.

Aeroplane 5 July 1939

Editorial: Air mission to New Zealand; the paper heralds an expansion of British aviation material exports: last year’s total, 5.4 million, first five months of this year, 2.73 million. The paper describes the new airport at Grangemouth in Scotland.

News: official new Spitfire top speed with the new Rotol airscrew is 367mph at 18,400ft.

Article, C. G. Grey, “Visit to Italy.” Fascism, Grey believes, is a very good political system, and good for matters aeronautical. More to come on the Guidonia show. 

P. E. Moreton, “An American View of Us.” This is an interesting authorial credit, as the gist would appear to be a long letter to The Aeroplane, into which Mr. Grey has interpolated responses, and then published the result as an article. Mr. Moreton is a young blood working at the Sperry plant in Long Island, which is to build a licensed model of the Dowty long-line carburettor, "the carburettor that thinks for itself." However, Mr. Moreton by no means confines himself to this subject, but, rather, ranges widely across the field of British aviation.

I gather that Mr. Moreton is unimpressed with the Cavalier accident (the Empire Boat forced down off Bermuda by carburetor icing), the Ensign, and the Albatross structural failure. He is also unimpressed with the Dowty carburetor that Sperry is producing under license. Apparently they had to redesign it to make it work. Considering that it works quite well in British and Italian production models, seems to say more about Sperry than about Dowty. This thought might have provoked Mr. Moreton into writing in the first place, for he seems to be a young and passionate, a combination that leads to rash behaviour, as you, Reggie, might have considered late last month. As I reviewed the number for this letter, I found myself despising Mr. Grey for his use of the letter in this way, but perhaps this is because I so entirely despised him on many other grounds by the end of July. 

I have purchased a newstand copy and forwarded the drawing of the “The VickersWellington” to your son in Santa Clara.

Flight 6 July 1939

Leaders: The Dictators are awful, but, as the Air Minister says, we’re spending two million pounds a week on aircraft, and that must send some kind of message; The DC-4 inspires “strange excitement” in the United States. 42 passengers and four engines? Poor old Heracles was managing that back in 1931! And the Ensigns will be back in service soon, and the Fairey FC-1 should be in service before the projected 1941 date for the DC-4. “So let  us enjoy a momentary feeling of equality with, if not of superiority to, our American cousins –while praising all their technical achievements in the world of civil aircraft[;]” The tone is odd. Our new four-engined airliners disappoint. So do theirs, but we will have the Fairey, soon, and then all will be well. Perhaps it is precisely this view forward into the devices of the future that make our current aircraft, which, whatever their faults, mostly work? It is, after all, an excess of ambition over finance that has led to their pallid performance. Ah, well. At least finance will not be lacking in the next generation. The paper welcomes the return of the Woman's Auxiliary Air Force.

Article: F. de Vere Robertson , “Fleet Air Arm Visited: Lee-on-the-Solent, H.Q. Naval Air Station.” 

Rear Admiral R. Bell Davies, RNAS hero of flying exploits at Dunkirk and in Turkey, and his Chief Staff Officer, Captain L. D. Mackintosh, are very busy being name-dropped. The training carrier is Furious. Air Observers, formerly RN men who went to train under the RAF at the School of Naval Cooperation are now being trained by the FAA at Lee-on-Solent. Of course, given that Lee-on-Solent was a short time ago part of the School of Naval Cooperation, this is not quite as staggering a change as might be suggested. The observer course lasts 22 weeks and includes thorough training in dead reckoning navigation, which the RAF and the FAA, unlike apparently anyone else, appears to realise is a difficult but practicable enterprise.

Articles: “Geodetics on the Grand Scale:” the Vickers Wellington is impressive; Since Aeroplane visited Grangemouth airport, the paper visits “The New Birmingham Airport” instead.

Here and There:” the first Consolidated Catalina, which the RAF may(?) buy to further increase its coastal aviation capability, is in Britain for evaluation; The Do 215 is reported. Trans-Canada Airways has added a service to Moncton; Pan-American is starting regular Atlantic commercial service. (How many times will I report this news? As many times as it is reported!) The three strengthened C-boats to be used in the Imperial Atlantic service are flying with the airline; Imperial and SANA have started new services in Africa.

Industry: If you are contemplating building a new factory, perhaps you wish to completely contract the matter to Commercial Structures Ltd of London. That such a business can exist is perhaps the best illustration of the mood of the moment that one can imagine.

The Economist, 8 July 1939

Leaders: “Marshalling Man Power:” On Sunday, the King and Queen reviewed a march past of twenty thousand representatives of the two million men and women who have volunteered for service in the nation’s home defences. On Monday, the Ministry of Labour's estimate had a record 12,810,000 million people working in employment and agriculture in Great Britain. And yet still we need more manpower!
Table 1: The Armed Forces

Air Force
Reserves and Auxiliaries
*Excluding, as we like to do, “the army in India and Burma," another 45,000 or so.

So the army has by this count 204,000 regulars, 139,000 Regular Reserves, 35,000 Supplementary Reserves, and 410,000 Territorials, soon to be supplemented by 220,000 National Militia, to be called up in batches of 20,000 for six month’s training over the next twelve months. 170,000 Territorials have been recruited in the last two-and-a-half months.

The Progress of Public Health this number is right for discussing the new book on the subject by Sir George Newman. Things are getting better. Nutrition and physical training are key.

Two Years of War in China –Japan’s basic aim is to spread disorder in China and prevent the development of a modern and powerful Chinese state. No further comment is required.

Notes of the Week

“A Cabinet of Confidence?” The odd thing is that, since March, the Cabinet has reversed course on all of its most cherished policies. Now it must take the further step of including Churchill and Eden, directs the paper, which may  have confused itself with the King, as it does. 

 Food and Shipping; fear of German commerce raiders is real. Shipping must be preserved by protection and by a food policy. The Tientsin position continues to unwind. South Tyrol agreement between Germany and Italy. It turns out that Hitler is perfectly willing to sacrifice German living space so as to have his war. Never mind the unpleasantness of "Memel to the Meuse." No-one registered upset last month that Deutschland still stretched "Von der Etsch bis an den Belt" save Signor Mussolini. Whose opinions of such matters, I propose, are to be taken with some small grain of salt. Incomplete Plans for Transport:  the paper wants more roads now! Germany’s Struggle is a titanic one to maintain the current level of armaments production. With agriculture looking to be down, there is no reason to think that it will succeed. Achievement is balanced by great strain. Speaking of….The Cost of Defence (in Britain)

Defence Expenditures, Including Loans Acts

First Quarter



Our present spending rate is nearly double that of a year ago, and yet in spite of the increase in the volume of Treasury Bills, there is probably room to cover the bulk of defence spending in the second quarter. The possibility and present state of the current offering will determine the extent of the next. There is some consolation of the problems of deficit finance from the fact that the Customs revenue has risen in the quarter from £53.718 million to £61.523 million, well above that projected.

“Financing the United States Debt:” one of the most common explanations of the 1937 slow down was the abrupt reduction in Federal spending. Our New York correspondent discovers this to be incorrect, and supposes other reasons, deep in the entrails of finance.

The New French Imperialism As the Empire develops, France will stand taller and stronger. Because Muslim Algerians will shortly be able to elect members to the National Assembly on equal terms with metropolitan Frenchmen. And I am Marie of Romania. 

Reichs Finance and the Reichsbank Germany is in trouble. There are signs of inflation.

The Business World:

“United States Monetary Sabotage:” The Senate has been doing what it does best, which is attempt to destroy the American financial system in order to discredit the President. Remember that the United States went off the gold standard and devalued in 1933. Remember that by the Silver Act, the United States undertook to hold one third of its bullion reserve in silver, and that it set a reserve price well above the going rate to guarantee the rate received by mining interests in the silver states. Remember that by the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the President gained extraordinary powers to fix and vary the weight of the silver as well as gold dollar. Remember that the “Somers Bill,” extending the Administrations’ extraordinary money powers going back to 1933, had a severe reception in the Senate. This sets the background for the recent attempt by Republicans and conservative Democrats to strip the President of his “dictactorial” powers over the money. Silver state senators meanwhile wanted  an even higher domestic price for silver, inasmuch as destabilising Far Eastern finance is seen as  key to good relations with China. Through Senate inaction, for five days, the President lacked statutory power over the price of the gold dollar. Therefore, the world’s finances collapsed. Or did not, as various arguments were presented to extend the President's powers, and the world waited in weary resignation until good sense triumphed in the Senate, not unassisted by more pragmatic persuasions. Meanwhile, there were assorted operations on the silver market by the Treasury, and others capable of reading the Senate calendar and embarrassed by excesses of silver extracted from the more dangerous places of the world. 

Speaking of which, I am told to reinforce the message that the funds now made available to you are to be spent only on the lands Grandfather identifies. We do not wish to be burdened with further ghost towns, however picturesque their setting, however much orcharding or zinc may or may not be the coming thing.

Home Rail Earnings Revenues are up nicely, up £5 million over last year and almost at the 1937 level.
There is a black market in New Zealand pounds due to the capital controls adopted in that country. Chinese Loan problems were received philosophically on the market. 

Aeroplane, 12 July 1939

Editorial: the RAF Paris Bastille Day flypast is in the news, leading Grey to comment that “A little imagination can visualize the participation a hundred years hence of Russian, or even German aircraft in a London fly-over to celebrate the sacking of Buckingham Palace –or maybe it might only be Wandsworth or Pentonville Gaol after all. But we assassinated our King Charles I and have raised monuments to his assassin, Oliver Cromwell. So our hands are none too clean, and we may as well be realists.” 

I believe that this is what is technically referred to as "sedition."

Articles: Brussels Air Show, “A Visit to Italy –II.” To explain. There have been two recent notable events on the aviation show circuit. One is the Brussels Air Show, of which more anon. The other, which superficially might seem less important, was the Italian air force exhibit at Guidonia. Do not be fooled, however, for Grey was a member of the very small and exclusive comitatus that attended upon Il Duce in a flight on board his private Savoia. Perhaps even our editorial writer suspects that this might not be the most compelling argument for the relevance of this year's Guidonia show, because he follows with: C. G. Grey, “From Fairey Giant to Jumping Giro.” While this is but an impressionistic review of “places I went,” he drops what I informed by your son is a very substantial piece of news. A Youngman Flap is currently flying on a Battle. The Battle is, of course, a Fairey plane, and Fairey builds mainly for the Navy. The Youngman flap's advantages in increasing aircraft speed range has obvious implications for both carrier aviation and the forthcoming FC-1.

Flight 13 July 1939

Editorial: The major display by the British industry at the Brussels Exhibition is “tangible propaganda." It has been a banner year for British commercial aviation. The extension through to Australia of all-up air mail was just under way this time last year. Now we have firm plans to extend it to New Zealand and Vancouver! Notwithstanding the paper's notorious proclivity for putting the best face forward, this is a strong point.

Exhibit Coverage: The Brussels Show: The “speed” Spitfire is shown, and the Vickers Wellington I. Belgium shows the Renard R-37. That is, an R-36 with a Gnome-Rhone 14N housed in a “daring” long-chord cowlings. The airframe has been tested with a Merlin and a Hispano-Suiza, but the cowling suggests that there might be  a future for the fighter radial outside the Far East. The Hurricane is shown, with its current, fluctuating legend speed performance of 320mph; France shows the Bloch 151 C.1, and Fairey the P.4/34. 

Just to remind you, this aircraft previously appeared as a light bomber and dive bomber, and then as a Danish naval cooperation export. Now it reappears in its Fall styles as a two-seat fighter, complete with one of the new Merlin M2Ms. I gather that I missed a chance to learn about these when I completely ignored the last Paris Air Salon, or whatever they are calling it now. In any event, it has a two-speed blower, giving two distinct peaks of performance in the air. It also sports a Rotol airscrew. Add all of this to the now-standard geared shaft, and I am quite completely out of my depth in explaining this engine. 

"Well, you see, gearing the shaft is like the gears on your automobile. Now I shall explain variable speed airscrews; they are like the gears in the transmission of your automobile. As for the gears in the supercharger, or, as the cognoscenti call it, the 'blower,' these are like the gears in the transmission of your automobile. I hope everything is now clear." 

It has also the most efficient ducted radiator set-ups ever attached to a Rolls Royce engine. The French show the Hanriot N.C.600 two-seat fighter. A Ju87 is exhibited, as is the Do17. This is a disappointing turn from the mighty Lutwaffe! Britain cannot be too smug, given that a Blenheim is shown, and a Bombay only in model form. On the other hand, a model Beaufort model is also shown. The inference is that if the Do-215 is not available even in model form, it is not much of an improvement on the '17.

Articles: “Improving the Tail Wheel.” British Landing Gears, Ltd is improving tail wheels, which need improvement; “Preparing the FC1;” the Fairey FC-1 hasn’t even flown yet, but is already better than anything else, ever. Pardon me, Reggie. I am just practicing for my future career turning company news releases into "articles" for Flight. Speaking of which,“The New Cygnet," and the 1939 Stinson are both wonderful. 

The Engineer, 14 July 1939

An unsigned article, speaking with the voice of the paper, explores the "Pacific" locomotive issue. Rather than being the kind of engine that used to pull us from San Francisco to Castlegar every June, this was the large 4-6-2 locomotive that was standardised in India some years ago because its large firebox could burn inferior grades of coal and gain economy. But the larger and heavier locomotive was implicated in a disastrous 1937 crash and more generally in higher permanent way costs. An inquiry into the issue has underlined the evident very great diversity of permanent way design in India that has given rise to trouble in some systems but not on others; diversity greater than in Europe or North America. The paper suggests that this is what should have been standardised before the locomotive!

Further on the subject of railroading, an article on 20 350hp oil-electric shunting locomotives built at Derby. Your nephew points out their similarity to the ones built in the United States under Navy Department subsidy as potential submarine power plants and speculates aloud on the possibility of a like class in the Royal Navy before adding that mechanical drive remains more reliable. He then sketches a diagramme of jagged and looping lines to show how one might go about preventing damage to condensors.

And on the subject of submarines, the paper praises the Americans for saving more of the crew of Squalus than the Navy raised from Thetis, but points out that the salvage of the latter is going more smoothly, and that the difference at each stage has more to do with weather than national capacity.

The Economist, 15 July 1939

Leaders: The State of Preparedness, only twelve months ago, it was the very fashion to declare Britain ready for defence or attack. Then came Munich, and now our potential allies want more than reassurances. Well, “something like a revolution” has come to pass here. Look at the Supplementary Estimates! Look at our loan guarantees! The British paychest is open, waiting only a new Frederick the Great, perhaps in Bolshevik guise. The paper believes that remains one desiderata: a National Government.

Defending Neutrality The Dutch and Belgians need more guns, especially the Dutch, and vice butter. That said, a guarantee from Russia to a country where the government is a confessional coalition must raise a shudder, almost as much so as the first, tentative suggestions that the Hague is preparing to actually open the sluices to inundate the fortified approaches to the province of Holland. This would be an unspeakably expensive necessity of war. One wonders if the Dutch will to resist will survive it.

Profits and the Boom Through June, profit returns have been a measure of the depth of the 1939 recession rather than of the extent of the boom, but profits there have been. However, there is a noticeable fall in profits so far reported by “second quarter companies.”This is because they have been dominated by oil, rubber and shipping companies, exposed to bad world conditions. Home industrial profits are comparatively more healthy. And we expect a “multiplier effect” as money initially spent by heavy industry moves through the lighter industries that supply them. In spite of calls for a healthy corporate reserve, CEOs are loosing the purse strings. We should expect for various reasons gains in the consumer industries in the summer.

Progress in Sweden The country is rising out of Nordic poverty, and its policy of balancing the budget only over long periods, underbalancing it in years of depression and overbalancing during good years, is attracting worldwide attention. The problem of heavy taxation to pay for social services, which cuts into private savings, has not been addressed, however. (I asked Maynard's clarification of the Leader on the 'American re-re-recovery" which I quoted above, not this article, but his response has given me to think about this story as well.)

Notes of the Week

Danzig, credits for Romania and Greece; The Cost of Defence, the Supplementary Estimates allow for £148,250,000 for Army, Air Force, Civil Defence and Ministry of Supply. A separate Supplementary Estimate for the Navy is known to be forthcoming, even by people who do not know an engineer who was tasked to add an economiser to the machinery of a four-turret King George V. The Army is to get 79,106,000 the RAF to get 39,5, of which 14,1 is for aircraft and about 15 for buildings and land; Supply to get 29,644, as I read it mostly for ROFs. Civil Defence gets another 11,930, bringing it up to 15 million over an originally anticipated 5, with the earlier supplementary of 3.35 to cover ships and agricultural machinery allowed. Almost 7.9 is going to agriculture.

Overseas Airways the bill passes the house, not without controversy. It is noteworthy that we are to spend 3.5 millions on new commercial aircraft. The newspaper hopes that it is spent on the right aircraft in a timely way.

Civil Defence; Helping Poland; Russia and Poland; The Anglo-Russian Serial (the paper is getting as tired of this as everyone else); Tientisn, Tokyo and Outer Mongolia (two Japanese armies are doing their best to involve Japan in a simultaneous war with two great powers as a way to celebrate the second anniversary of Japan’s war in China); American Neutrality; Stocks for War; Supply Powers (Ministry of Supply regulations); Germany and the Balkans; France and Syria; Re-armament in Australia; Nutrition and Milk…

The World Overseas

“The Shape of Things to Come in American Finance:” Our New York Correspondent is impressedwith the New York Fair, but the World of Tomorrow has no prognostications on the future of American finance. Our New York Correspondent does manage to allow that deficits and nationalization of capital are in some way in the air.

“Gains and Forebodings in France;” The good news is that the current accounts are balanced and so is the budget. We certainly would not wish to see France go down the slippery path of borrowing money against some barely-foreseeable future emergency such as the emergence of a hostile power to its east! However, Our Paris Correspondent cannot forebear to note how rising expenses are reducing the nation’s purchasing power in spite of increasing hours worked. This is why wages had to be raised earlier in the year. The vicious cycle of rising prices and rising wages is not actually apparent, as it was in the days of the Popular Front, but Our Paris Correspondent detects it, nevertheless. Perhaps someone carelessly left it on the back of the sofar, and it has slipped? Never mind. One is sure that it will turn up in the fall, and then the  tone of French politics may change for the worse. Our Paris Correspondent then carelessly notes the contrast between the activity of the military sector and the stagnation of consumer industries. It is not impossible to venture an explanation for this which does not involve the spectre of hidden inflation, I suggest.

“Earnings and Social Income in the United States:” thanks to the Social Security Act, America is obtaining for the first time in its history a detailed and scientific information about the material life of its people. The average insured industrial wage has been revealed to be £205 for men, £105 for women. This leaves out agricultural and domestic wages, not covered, and wages of over £600, not covered by employer. Yet it is striking just how low the average wage covered is. As many as a quarter received less than £60/year, one third between 60 and 200, and a fifth between 300 and 600. “It is a permissible surmise that, if a comparison could be made, British workpeople as a whole would be found to be no worse off than their opposite numbers in the States, and perhaps better off in the lowest wage group.” I find that my underscoring has ruined the page beneath, as perforce the family commits ever more heavily to North American real estate in these troubled times. Men cannot pay in rent what they do not have. 

The Business World

“Refrigeration:” this industry is rapidly expanding, and the full use of it has scarcely been explored. The ingenuity of engineers has created a cold corridor extending from places as remote as New  Zealand and California to Britain; the next step must be its extension into the home.
Aggregate net profits continue to show a disappointing trend, and, intriguingly, both the refrigeration companies reporting this month give disappointing results. On the other hand, there is a revival in shipbuilding, with 402,000 tons ordered in the second quarter compared with only 72,000 in the first. Steel production is up; the cotton agreement has broken down; the Government is intervening in the wool trade with an eye to uniforms; American cotton acreage is the lowest in 40 years; the wholesale price index is unchanged.

And now one final and more intimate note. Grandfather's attempt to quench Easton's passion seems to have misfired dramatically. His schedule gave Easton the time to travel via London, and he took it. Last night, he appeared at my townhouse, pouring out his heart and demanding my intercession with "Miss J.C.'s" father. He takes it as a hopeful sign that her father has intervened most drastically to prevent her from seeing him.  Surprisingly naively for Grandfather's closest aide-de-camp, he imagines that I have but to call in a favour to secure her release. To see him plead his case, looking so like your son, ten years ago, fairly melted my heart. Unfortunately, I could do nothing for him, even had I wished.

I would leave this there but for two matters that arise from it. First, we have confirmation that "Miss J.C" was encouraged to direct her natural attentions at your son. Be on your guard! The enemy is moving. even as you suspected! 

That, however, in no way excuses the fact that Easton appeared in company with certain followers who were intended to protect your household in Vancouver. We are not living in the world of some American adventure serial or pulp novel. If "Miss J.C." is being held against her will, it is somewhere in a metropolis of ten million people. Three young men, of whom only one of whom is even fluent in English, are not going to find her. Are you, too, operating at a new speed? 

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