|Source: "Television's Early History"|
Mr. R. C.,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Before you blanch at the thickness of this week's missive, do take a look down at the bottom. Only a month into the subscription, and already Ziff-Davis has let me down with a July number of Radio News packed in the October sleeve. So it could be worse, is what I am saying. I thought about talking about it (there's a very interesting piece on attempts to establish UHF radio service in Britain, and another on radar, so my last chance to write "Radar is (Secret/Not Secret) This Week," but it isn't topical, and that is the theme of this correspondence, such as there is one.
Now that you're not blanching, may I broach a proposal? You will see below that the General has involved himself in the question of German industry. If I read the story right, the British have thrown in with the idea of reviving the German steel industry, and the General is advocating for it at Eisenhower's headquarters. Now, I do not know the General well enough to know whether he's in Krupp's pocket, but the left press certainly thinks that he is. My question: we, or, rather, the Earl, obviously needs a lot of steel to hit the shipbuilding targets he has set. Could we steer a contract to the Germans via General Draper, in return for getting him to roll over the Harriman papers? I do not think that Averell will care. Admittedly, I am having trouble understanding why I care. The "junior university" can go hang, for all that I care, and the Engineer simply isn't capable of gratitude, in my judgement.
On the other hand, the Engineer, as we know, arrived at his "uncle's" school under his birth name. It wasn't until Leland, Jr. died, that little "George MacKay" was sent off to be "buried" on the Colville Reservation, and a little Engineer "arrived" to take his place. Now I have word from Fat Chow that he found a scrap of the Agent's letter register: "George MacKay" received an annual statement (or so I conceive it to be) from the Oregon and California Railroad in 1887. (Don't you hate it when a correspondent fails to update his information by letting you know that he has died?) If there are more, they are not in the Agent's fonds in the State archives. But they may be in the papers Great Uncle asked his son to leave to the university, to keep them out of Bancroft's hands. Access to that, and we may yet find proof that the Engineer is the actual beneficiary of some of the university's endowment. Not enough to cover the Earl's friends' losses, so many years ago, but enough for revenge. . . Obviously the Engineer will not go for this, but he is far from the only man to make decisions on campus.
So with that in mind, and with your permission, I shall bring "Miss V.C." before me and entrust her with a more confidential mission to the General than we had previously imagined. But I need the Earl's permission. Money does not grow on trees, and a sweetener to the General adds to the cost of the ships. (See, I am not a complete ninny about business!)
On travel plans, though, perhaps. . . Now we have news that, due to the strike, the Engineer's son is at loose ends. He is talking about shooting something in Canada, and has gallantly offered to conduct the Santa Clara collegiate 4H to a Christmastime show in Montreal. Our young housekeeper (barely that, as she can only work half a week) is over the Moon about it, understandably, and now there are all sorts of plans afoot to reunite the whole gang --her, "Miss V.C.," your son, Lieutenant A-- in Montreal in December. It seems like an awful lot of travel and trouble, and I am sure that you are going to claim to detect feminine wiles, no matter how many times I tell you that "Miss V.C." is too obedient to her parents' wishes to give in to your son's blandishments. . . No matter how "sweet" she says he is.
|"When praises mean raises!"|
Time, 15 October 1945
John McGuigan, of Minneapolis, nominates General MacArthur for Man of the Year. I hope it doesn’t go to the general's head! Chaplain Robert F. Haskin thinks that there isn’t much to choose from between the major denominations in the army chaplaincy, in spite of the paper championing Roman Catholics. Bill Loeb of Yale University scolds Private Dawn van Hoorn’s letter for not being ladylike. Lieutenant A. C. Rockwell, of the Army Medical Corps, thinks that the paper is exaggerating the success of penicillin in treating intimate diseases. The paper points out that it is just printing Army information.
The president recently flew back to Missouri on his personal Skymaster, “The Sacred Cow.” He had pie a la mode at the Methodist Church, chicken dinner at the First Baptist, strolled down to the train station, attended the Legion Country Fair, and generally acted like a hick. But the paper likes that. It makes him seem genuine.
“Liquor and Lipstick” The “bathetic” story of a couple in Iowa leads off a story about the nation-wide rash of divorces the paper thinks were caused by the strain of the war. Strain, I am sure, but it also incidentally mentions wartime prosperity. If fighting over money is a major cause of divorce, I have to think we’re discovering that having the money to separate is also a cause. The story is illustrated by a heart-breaking picture of the nursery at the Chicago Family Court building.
“The Man on the Spot” With strikes raging across the nation, this week’s cover story is on Labour Secretary Lewis Baxter Schwellenbach, “New Dealing ex-U.S. Senator” from Wisconsin.
“Yo-Ho-Ho and a Radar Set” Lost pirate treasure in Boston Harbour! It counts as a "modern" story because the discoverer is going to buy a radar set and go looking for lost ships off the New England coast with more treasure.
“To Secure Peace” General Marshall’s final report emphasises that the outcome of the World War was a near-run thing, and came down to some key mistakes by the enemy, such as Japan’s failure to occupy Hawaii when it had the chance. It also contains various Very Large Numbers, such as that 93 million men and women served in the armed forces of the Allied and Axis nations, including 22 million Russians, 14 million Americans, 12 million British Empire men and 6 million Chinese. In future wars, if there are any, rockets will be “drawn by their own fuzes,” which will sense heat, light and magnetism and “streak unerringly to the heart of big factories, attracted by the heat of furnaces.” Cities such as New York, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago or San Francisco “may be subject to annihilation from other continents in a matter of hours.” That does not, however, mean that we do not need a gigantic army.
|A more optimistic version of 1970|
“Patton Legend No More” It is now revealed that General Patton sent off an armoured raiding force on a quixotic mission to free his son-in-law from a German prison camp, an adventure that ended with the raiding force joining the prisoners.
“Lone Voice” John Foster Dulles, Republican prophet of internationalism, is the one voice calling for calm after the failure of the Council of Ministers. American moral leadership, he thinks, can still save civilisation.
“Heads Up” Various people and papers have opinions about the atomic age. Russia’s New Times is critical of American “atom democracy.” Canadian General Andrew McNaughton thinks that defences against atomic weapons are already in sight. The President wants a national policy, limited private enterprise cooperation in atomic power, admits that foreign research will come abreast of American atomic secrecy in time. A group calling itself the Atomic Scientists of Chicago thinks that foreign powers will develop their own atomic bombs in two to five years. British atomic scientists want a say in affairs, and Dr. Niels Bohr says that current world production of Uranium 235 is 6.6lbs/day. Walter Lippmann wants UNO surveillance over atomic and heavy-weapon production.
“State of War” “Shocked and frightened, the world bristled at its bristling statesmen” Can we have a war with Russia, yet?
“Morgenthau’s Principles” Former Secretary Morgenthau defends his Morgenthau Plan.
“Delicate Operation” “Arthur Koestler’s biting description of 20th-Century labor leaders –‘men with iron wills and wooden heads’—seems inaccurate this week, as international labour leaders meet in Paris to talk about having federations and conferences and leagues and such.
“Sliver Lining” In the absence of publicity, the working committee of the new United Nations Organisation has thrashed out most of its working principles. I wonder if absence of publicity and rapid progress are related?
“Autumn Story” The first autumn of the atomic age sees frost settle on the exhumed, worm-eaten corpose of a Gestapo-killed man on whom someone had pinned the label of Homo sapiens. (Image, the paper’s, summary, mine.)
Continuing in Time-speak: There are still German guerillas in Norway. In Denmark, the only food surplus in Europe is halted by lack of transport. Butter, eggs, meat moved, thinly, into England, Norway, and to the US Army. Millions of refugees continue to move west. Hundreds of looted bells are returned to those churches that still exist. In Bavaria, anonymous placards denounce fraternising girls. In the Netherlands, underfuelled pumps suck at flooded farmlands “which for years to come would be sterile as salt.” A vast woodcutting campaign in the Vienna woods will heat that town this winter. Free and secret elections are promised in some countries, while in France a man’s suit costs $500, and American soldiers find the French ungrateful. Europe’s peasants, in fact, the whole country, seems selfish and egotistical as winter moves down from Norway towards the continent. In Berlin, tuberculosis is epidemic among children, and many will die this winter. Countless millions of Europeans who gave up so much for American-style liberation are upset at American behaviour.
“The Bills” The paper gives a rundown of the Labour bills before the Commons. The most serious criticism is over the housing shortage, although the Young Tory reformers are on the rise and may come up with something new.
“Towards Unity” China is moving towards unity by such nation-building measures as the armed coup d’etat against General Lung Yun in Yunnan, and a sudden Koumintang offensive against the Communists in the north. Chungking says that it is not really an offensive, just sort of an armed disagreement with the Communists over who will control Communist troops. Also, both sides are using Japanese troops as mercenaries, says the other side.
“Partnership, No” In Batavia, rioting broke out when the new Allied representative, General Sir Philip Christison, arrived. Nationalists responded to Christison’s attempt to mollify them by reiterating the 1942 Dutch promise of an “eventual partnership” with the Netherlands with more rioting and attacks on British Marines. Nationalists in Surabaya took over a Japanese internment camp, “holding European women as hostages.” The Dutch, who have landed 1000 troops, hope eventually to have 35,000 troops on the islands, at which point they can stop relying on the British and Americans to enforce their imperial rule. The French, who can at least do their own repressing, arrived in force in Hanoi this week.
|How not to get 1.5 million tons of stockpiled sugar out of Indonesia.|
“Revolution by Decree” Premier Naruhiko Higashi-Kuni’s cabinet resigned this week in response to MacArthur’s liberating decree on civil liberties, the release of political prisoners, and the dismissal of the Minister of Home Affairs, calling for freedom of speech, and freedom of thought. Baron Kijuro Shidehara is the new Premier.
“Unholy Crisis” A division of British troops is patrolling Palestine to prevent intercommunal violence between Jews and Arabs, with two more on the way.
“Auld Lang Syne” General Patton has been summarily relieved of his post as Military Governor of Bavaria for not really grasping the bit about “Nazis being bad.”
In war crime trial news, the Nuremberg hearings are getting under way, while in France Laval has been sentenced, and also “brutal” Joseph Darnand.
Italians are excitable, Austrians are going to freeze, the Kremlin is being repainted and renovated, the Pilsen Brewery is producing.
Things would not be complete without a bizarre story from Latin America, where the career of Father de Ferrari, a Salesian Father who made a career of contacting hidden tribes of tree people and savages in the Venezuelan jungle is remembered on the event of his death. Or without a boring, sad and squalid story from Canada. The first is covered by the Prime Minister’s recent foreign itinerary, the second by a horriblestory about how the Dominion is persisting in attempting to deport some 10,000 Japanese, even though the war is over. “Government policy is to treat Japs already in Canada as human beings but to ban all further immigration. Not all Canadians subscribe to this policy.; In the House of Commons, Chester McLure, Conservative from Prince Edward Island, stood up and intemperately ranted: ‘Away with those human rats. God forbid that our nation should ever allow one of them to set food on Canada’s soil.’”
Business and Finance
Bank of America is now America’s biggest bank, taking over from Manhattan’s Chase National. It’s all down to Great-Uncle's little friend, Peter Giannini, “Hollywood’s banker,” which is not good news for Bank of America, because he is fading fast, sadly.
“The Course is Charted” Schuyler Bland’s House Committee on the Merchant Marine has come up with a plan to dispose of the Merchant Navy. It is not good news for the Maritime Commission, but pretty much inevitable given the uneconomical nature of much the American fleet, much of which will rust away in estuaries, unable to compete with postwar construction.
“The Cupboard is Bare” American and British fears of the Japanese again flooding world markets are premature. Right now, the Japanese face a desperately difficult task meeting their own needs. “Right now, Japan is an industrial dust bowl.” In peacetime, it needed 5 million tons of shipping; only 420,000 tons are left. It has no oil reserves, only 5000t of cotton, 40,000 bales of wool, 180,000t of steel. Where will it get these raw materials? It is already talking about trading 46,000 bales of silk for food. This is why the resumption of Japanese production is 98% in the talk stage. What is not in the talk stage is the dismantling of the zaibatsu, or great conglomerates.
“Threadbare” Discharged GIs in Chicago are hiaving trouble getting suits or overcoats to fit. The OPA is hoping for more clothes at lower prices, but right now, production of worsteds is crippled by lack of labour.
“Swan Sung” J. A. Krugg’s swan song is yet another repetition of the incredible American doubling of industrial production over five years. He is optimistic for the future, but only if the strike situation is solved.
In shorter news, Grumman is making canoes, because they are made of aluminum, like planes, the National Civic Bank of New York thinks that failure to reconvert is a “mental trouble,” and Harold Ickes supposes that America is facing a crippling shortage eof raw materials such as iron ore, copper and sulphur in the next ten years. Total Government surplus property value might be $90 billion; 1.5 million tons of sugar have been discovered in Javanese ports, enough to alleviate the global shortage –marmalade this year, after all! The national cost of living slipped 0.3 in August, the first recession from a 24 year high reached in June and July.
Lord Keynes is in Washington, setting the tone. Alois Hitler, Adolf’s half-brother, has put in for a name change. Some think that his half-brother is still alive. Maurice Dekobra, who anticipates the destruction of almost everything except Tahiti by atomic weapons, made out his will, and sat down to await the end in Hollywood. (Why not Tahiti?) He left everything to the Martians, by the way, apparently because Tahitians don’t need typewriters, manuscripts, books, and his Pomeranian.
Or a plot!
Margaret Truman has begun her senior year at George Washington University. Eleanor Dall Boettiger has entered Reed College in Portland, Oregon. General Chennault is being talked up as the next Governor of Louisiana. Chester blew through San Francisco on his way to Texas.
Science, Education, Medicine
The paper is on about a new system of radio transmission called “Pulse Time Modulation,” recently developed by ITT. It involves using discrete pulses of different programmes using the same frequency, then reassembling them as separate broadcasts, so rather like multiplexing. It might pack very large numbers of broadcasts into the same beam, especially in the new vhf radio links. One can even imagine a house in which the radio in each room is tuned to pick up a different programme from the same broadcast.
“All Purpose Wing” Consolidated Vultee is the latest firm to get publicity for reinventing the Pou en Ciel. I can’t even remember rif it is the same one to do it a few months ago. George Spratt? Is that the name? Also reinvented, this time by one Captain James Brodie of the Air Force, is the trapeze style airplane perch/capture system, a “portable airport,” as he puts it.
|This image, lifted from my buddy, Brett Holman's website, Airminded, gives a good sense of the idea, as tried on the airships Akron and Macon. Far more words have been written about it than actual planes caught or released.|
“Pandas are Peculiar” Madame Chiang presented two frisky, furry young pandas to the New York Zoo in 1941. Two months ago, one of them, Pan-Dee, died, and a post-mortem has now confirmed that it wasn’t pregnant. Because Pan-Dah’s sex wasn’t clear to the zookeepers? I’m not sure what the story means.
“Detour” Professor I. I. Rabi, Chairman of Columbia University’s Physics Department, denounces the idea that the “forced draft of war” accelerates the progress of science as a “vulgar error” in the current Atlantic Monthly. Apparently this is because all of the scientific progress of the late war wasn’t real iscinece, which is all about free-ranging, academic inquiry. I broached with this with the Provost, who snorted, “Yes. You know, the kind that tenured professors due late in their careers. It looks a lot like sleeping at their desks.”
“Fisherman’s Radar” Bendix has developed a kind of sound-radar that allows fishermen to find schools of fish under water. And by “developed,” even the paper admits that "it is not new." The story appears to be that it is easier to use than earlier versions?
“Hormones for Plants” Various chemicals, such as acetylene, accelerate the ripening of various plants, such as Hawaiian pineapples. It was not enough for the Hawaiian industry, and they are working on new and better plant hormones.
“Godless Gotterdammerung” I looked it up. “Gotterdamerung” is German for the coming of Maitreya Buddha. A Gallup Poll shows that 85% of Americans approved of the use of the atomic bombs, but only 49% would have approved of the use of poison gas. Clergymen, on the other hand, are often critical. John Foster Dulles manages to have it both ways.
Kent School and St. John’s College are in the news for various reasons. The school is celebrating an anniversary, while St. John’s is resisting attempts by the Naval Academy to expand onto its grounds.
“Chaucer the Agitator” There are anti-Semitic passages in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, which is a problem, since it is taught in schools. The New York local of the Teacher’s Union wants it banned.
Britons have bad teeth, which is in the news because the Nuffield Foundation gave $360,000 to British universities to look into a cure. Streptomycin, the stronger cousin of penicillin, is in the news again as a treatment of fresh tuberculosis in guinea pigs. It is reported that 12% of Americans who presented for conscription were deemed mentally unfit, either crazy outright or too neurotic, stupid, inept or illiterate for the service.
Press, Art, Literature
The Army Air Transport Command is flying a planeload of journalists around the world in a Skymaster dubbed “the Globester.” They are not impressed, mainly because there isn’t time for them to get off and see the sights. The Hearts papers gave it major coverage for a while, before giving up, because it was so boring, “nothing like Nellie Bly.” The Chicago papers, with no war to cover, have gone for a crime wave. Well, crime is not the word they use, but. . . In Los Angeles, they have a crime and a heat wave. The paper cannot resist covering a rambling talk given by Colonel McCormick over WGN, in which he recommended that Girl Guides carry flashlights and compasses, complained that President McKinley was the last good American diplomat and asserted that all American victories happened under American command, defeats under foreign command. Joseph Alsop is to have another column, and Mrs. Roosevelt’s Press Conference Association has voted to dissolve itself. The paper seems to like Mrs. Truman, better, anyway, as she is more gracious and ladylike.
The paper celebrates the primitive moderns of Boris Mirski and Carlos Merida, although I borrow the title from the next story, which is about house design. Russell Lynes, of Harper’s thinks that the modernists are actually too conservative. Functionalism is all right for factories and in work-saving kitchens, but, after hours, want cozy retreats. Open spaces are overdone, glass walls are a little embarrassing, chairs are too all-embracing, attics and cellars are useful, although admittedl inefficient, because they can be used to store junk, or for puttering.
Jerome Hamilton Buckley has a life of William Ernest Henley out. Henley seems to have written books about writing books, or something, and even said a famous thing once. Also, he was a bit of a bully, so that’s enough right there for a big biography. Robert Graves, the odd WWI veteran, has a novel, I think, out about some Greek legendary hero called Hercules.
At least he is very cute with his daughter.
Josiah Greene has a novel out set in the dairy industry, Not in Our Stars. Learn about cheesemaking while being thrilled. Josephine Pinckney’s three O’clock Dinner is even more thrilling, and has already had its movie rights optioned.
|This actually exists: it's a wool substitute.|
Flight, 18 October 1945
“Hurn for London” Hurn is not a good airfield, and Heathrow is taking too long. The RAF should hand Northolt over for civil aviation use.
“A Survery and a Programme” Field-Marshal Montgomery likes aeroplanes, too!
“The Air O.P.” He really does!
“The Speed Record” Some Gloster Meteors are going to attempt to set a 600mph speed record. Which reminds the paper to be pedantic about the metric system.
“Civil Auster” A very nice plane, but is it What the Private Owner Wants? The paper thinks so.
Here and There
“Home by Lancaster” Avro Lancasters have flown 46,000 civilian personnel home from Italy, and 5000 home from Germany. In other actual news, the U.S. Navy Department just released the information that while training 60,000 pilots and 40,000 aircrew from 7 December 1941 until the end of the war, it lost 1,855 students, instructors and aircrewmen in accidents. Flying hours per fatal accident rose from 26,549 in 19441 to 48,300 in 1944. The French are building a “skycycle” with a 40hp engine, while Fairchild is reported to be building a plane especially to transport horses. Hawaii Mars has been salvaged, and Mr. J.P. Herriot is joining Rolls-Royce from the Air Inspectorate Division. Lt. Gen. W. G. Lindsell has been placed in charge of disposing of Government-owned factory space.
In not-news, the Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators is having a to-do in Nocember, as is the Scottish Engineering Students, while the International Aviation Federation is having one in London next year. There is to be a British Empire Lecture given by the Royal Aeronautical Society. It will be by a Qantas fellow (Hudson Fysh), and be about kangaroos and boomerangs. Or perhaps “Australia and Empire Air Transport.” The A.T.C. will encourage sports, as setting the right tone for air training, which also involves maths.
A picture of the Westland Welkin, now acknowledged to exist, appears, along with the Spitfire XXII, D.H. Sea Mosquito, Hornet, Blackburn Firebrand, Monitor II, Avro Lincoln, Tudor and D.H. Dove.
“Indicator Discusses “Salute the Amateur: The Work of the Club-trained Pilot During the War: Subsidisation Value Returned in Good Measure: The Halt and the Maimed Show Their Worth” It all sounds plausible enough, but “Indicator” ends by suggesting that it would be worth some MP’s while to collect statistical information on the subject, since it would prove the case. . .
“The World’s Speed Record” Something that could happen is big news! Mr. W. G. Carter designed the Meteor, and is therefore excited, and Mr. Eric Greenwood, Gloster’s chief test pilot, will fly the plane, and is also excited.
“The Bristol Buckmaster: First High-Powered Twin-engined Advanced Trainer in the World: Five Thousand H.P., 33,700lb Gross Weight” Apparently, the transition from low-powered advanced trainers to service aircraft was difficult. “In the case of the Beaufighter, for example, the instructor has had to stand behind the pupil, a position which gave him little opportunity to correct mistakes in an emergency.” With “Beaufighter replacements” on the way, the need for a trainer designed as such was urgent. The Buckmaster’s two Centaurus engines give it a top speed of 352mph at 12,000ft, a ceiling of 30,000ft, and a weak-mixture maximum cruise speed of 325mph at 18,000ft. Engine-cooling is fan-assisted, and all controls are dual, so that the instructor can take control of everything up to and including airscrew feathering.
“Indicator,” “Twin Trainers: The Second of a Series of Impressions of the Handling Characteristics of Well-known Types” I suppose that the fact that this is the second article in the series means that the paper has been working up to the revelation of the Buckmaster, making it the big news of October. I guess that the end of the war takes some of the drama out of the Secret List, att least until the Moon rocket is revealed. “Indicator” talks about the Anson, which wasn’t really a trainer, but was used as one, and the Airspeed Oxford, which was ordered as the RAF’s standard twin-engined advanced trainer. He quite likes the Anson, and describes how he had been aboard, “at least once,” “in the 1940-days” an Anson carrying as many as thirteen other guinea pigs, in parachutes, and survived, even if the landing was ground-looped. The Oxford, on the other hand, seems to have been a challenge for students, but was well-liked by regular users. That doesn’t sound like a good trainer, but what do I know?
Major F. A. de V. Robertson, V.D., “Tracing Missing Airmen: Missing Research and Enquiry Service: Following Slender Clues” Some 30,000 RAF airmen and officers are missing in Europe. It can be very hard to find them, although as the example he begins with features an investigator who went looking in a village without first hiring a translator, it seems as though some of the difficulties come of hiring Major Robertson’s friends.
Frank W. Davis, “Spring Tabs: Some Lessons Learned by Consolidated Vultee Since Their First Application of Boost Tabs Early in 1942” Am I confused that my first thought on seeing the name is that now I know how David R. Davis got his “Davis wing” through at Consolidated? There are lots of “Davises,” after all. Davis points out that increases in rudder size cause a geometric increase in the force required to move them at greater angles and higher speeds. In “one of the earlier dive-bombers,” securing satisfactory stability and control characteristics using simple, aerodynamic balances and geared tabs required 98 hours of flight testing involving 119 modifications. Any aircraft requiring 95% balance will have a wide variety of handling charactersitics because of production tolerances. In one production dive bomber, for example, design elevator control force was 12lb per “g,” but on the prototype was 15, and on some production models ran as high as 25. So if you were wondering why dive-bombers disappeared mid-war . . .
Spring boost tabs replaced geared boost tabs. They are defined such that deflection on the control-surface tab is primarily a function of the hinge movement occurring at the control surface. This is ordinarily achieved by having a horn actuated by the control rudder which deflects the torsion spring, translating into a proportionate angular movement of the tab, giving rudder balance proportionate to movement. It will often lead to flutter, however, if the aerodynamics are wrong. Mathematically solving for the stability conditions of the wing will allow the design of a spring tab which does not cause wing flutter. The example of the same dive bomber, in which flutter was encountered at changing speeds as the spring tab was redesigned, shows how coupling of aerodynamic forces with spring tab tension an lead to resonance effects. (Fortunately “non-destructive.”) A spring tab outfit weighing 42lb for the rudder, elevator and ailerons sufficed with this dive bomber, and led Consolidated to develop an outfit for a modern attack bomber of about 20,000lb, with a fighter-level of performance. This sounds like the Firebrand, Barracuda IV and Spearfish, so this gives an idea of the kind of problems solved by British designers working for the FAA –I suppose of the work of American designers, too, but we hear so much less about the new American naval strike aircraft, even though they do exist. (Uncle Henry is quite upset that Fleetwing’s effort has been cut to a 10 aircraft contract.) I get the impression that spring tabs might not be the most successful solution.
In shorter news, the P.o.W airlift is continuing through the Southeast Asian monsoon, Rudolf Hess has been returned to Germany, and the Duke of Gloucest has been greeting returned P.o.Ws in Australia.
“Air Transport: A Resume of the Presidential Address by Sir Frederick Handley Page to the Institute of Transport” Planes are good. There should be more planes, but there might not be, at least soon, because of problems. Jets are good. Rockets are bad. Uranium fission might be good, as well as bad. America. AMERICA! Petroleum is expensive. Planes will be faster, but not as much faster as some think. At the end, Sidney Camm stood up to point out that the speech was 20% longer than one given by the director of Avro, but only had 90% as many facts. Sir Frederick responded by catching fire and nosing into the ground.
“Pre-Service Testing: BOAC’s Development Flight: Preparing Civil Equipment and Prototypes for Service” BOAC tests its aircraft now, which is good to know. An example is the effort expended to find out why the Lancastrians were suffering lead attack under cruise-controlled flying conditions. It turned out to be a problem of too-high induction temperature.
“Last of the Ensigns” After an embarrassing seven years of service with BOAC, the last Ensign was retired.
|You have to admit that it looks good. . .|
BOAC is now flying a regular service Poole-Rangoon with Sunderlands, and on October 14, Tudors took over the BOAC north Atlantic service, putting the Boeing 314s West Africa-Brazil route, while a Lancastrian took off on a South American survey flight.
“Changes in RAF Higher Appointments” Air Marshal Sir Arthur Barratt is to be Inspector General, Ludlow-Hewitt will retire; Ralph Sorley is to be head of Technical Training Command; Alec Coryton is to be Controller of Research and Development at MAP. Barratt, it is noted, was already an Air Marshal at the beginning of the war, when he was appointed AOC of British Air Forces in France. He really took the blame for that one!
“Journey Together” is a movie about the RAF. The paper went to see it, and loved it. The paper regrets that Flt Lt. John Seth-Smith, 28, died while test flying a Fairey Firefly on 13 September.
“Villager” reports seeing a Gloster Meteor smoke. R. M. Sellens points out that the recent picture of a Mosquito flying over Mount Everest has an unreported Westland connection, since the company designed the relief valve in its pressure cabin (presumably for the no-longer secret Welkin.) John A. Cameron, the press officer for Allied Airways, is pleased to report that Civil R/T has been restored in Britain. “Another of the Many” agrees that the ATC is getting a raw deal over something. F. Huntley is bored with the refuelling-in-flight articles, as assisted takeoff will make it obsolete. So either future airliners will take off with rockets firing away under their wings, or will tank up from flying gas tanks while orbiting the airfield. Chas. A. Hornsby is interested in knowing how the Nicolson refuelling scheme compares with Alan Cobham’s, but it turns out that Cobham has bought Nicolson’s patents. “Jeremiah” thinks that some of the neurotic difficulties experienced by released RAF personnel is due to their release being premature, as they still want to fly. “Another Misfit” is upset about the Aircrew Europe Star not being given to some people. L. Shelford Bidwell writes to explain that “Deflex Reaction Propulsion is impossible, and R. Umpleby, the author of the piece, replies, confirming that he really is a crank.
Time, 22 October 1945
Robert Wilson has high minded opinions about atom bombs. Henry Dunn asks whether a man of 42 is really middle aged. John R. Reese of Los Angeles denounces Mrs. Kathleen Spooner for denouncing the end of Lend-Lease and for boycotting American orange juice. Corporal John Gillespie says that Nunning isn't nearly as nice as the paper paints it as being, and the paper, after some time to reflect, agrees. No Coca-Cola, no American girls, and only Chinese food. Charles R. Henzel, a “British subject” in Bahia, is upset about the way that the paper seems to claim American credit for radar, a bit of a sore point what with Lend Lease. Gidge Gandy is upset about time changes. Howard L. McVitty writes to express his sorrow at the passing of his old teacher, Gale Hun, of Princeton.
“Push and Pull” The President has . . . done things. For example, swapped smiles and small talk with Kay Kyser and wife, attended the Rugged Path, received a medal, and pushed Congress to pay its $550 million delinquent bill to the UNRRA.
“Threats” Strikes, strikes, more strikes.
“Where is Peace” Henry Wallace gave a speech calling for labour to get the 30% wage increases it demands, ‘theorising,’ in the paper’s words, that it would only raise cost of living 3 or 4%. He is more worried about deflation than inflation, anyway, he said. Is this tossing up an idea for consideration, or breaking with the Administration? Meanwhile, the public wants to see those 60 million jobs, reconversion, and all of those promises of peace. Soldiers are particularly upset at the longshoremen’s strike, which is holding up their return.
“The Way Things Are Going” Besides the longshoremen’s strike, the other one getting attention is the now seven month-old movies strike, which is getting more serious. On the one hand, Eric Johnston has promised a solution, on the other, the AFL is moving in on the old unions.
“No Place Called Home” A veteran turned city fireman who has to share his bathroom with seven other families in Portland, Oregon, is the lead anecdote of the desperate national housing shortage, which is set to get worse, with continuing demobilisation and unemployment crowding people into industrial centres.
“Mrs. Roosevelt Speaks Out” The First Lady is opposed to atomic secrecy.
“Help from the DAR” Hazel Scott’s recent race-banning from the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Constitution Hall is construed by the paper as a boost to her career. The Administration has declined to intervene, since private organisations are free to segregate if they wish.
“In the Breeze” It’s almost 1948, so it is time to survey American voters, who favour John W. Bricker, give Arthur Vandenberg the greatest increase in popularity. Registering the greatest decline is John Dewey. Also appearing on the survey are Harold Stassen, Leverett Saltonstall and Earl Warren. Seriously? Bricker? He's for the people who think Taft is too exciting!
“Heroes” As I mentioned, Chester blew through last week. He found time for a ticker-tape parade on his way to Texas. Meanwhile, the rest of Third Fleet is expected soon, although not my beloved, who is off to England, “fluttering about like one more Engineering Branch butterfly,” as he says, the jet turbine industry. Exactly when and how they are going to be allowed to put one in a boat is yet to be determined, but it is never too early to worry about it, and it is not as though he’s going to be given a real job that might edge him back into contention for a flag appointment. On the one hand, I am sad for my husband. On the other, I want him back in California, now.
“Tax Bill’s Progress” The $5.3 billion tax reduction bill is not entirely to Republican legislator’s tastes. They want a cut in “wasteful and unnecessary spending” and foreign relief before they will approve it. That being said, Harold Knutson wanted an appeal of the excess profits tax on corporations, rather than its reduction from 85.5% to 605, as proposed, while Illinois Democrat Adolph Sabath opposed any decrease at all.
“End of an Army” The Administration is BUNGLING demobilisation. (by doing it too quickly.) General Marshall wants conscription to replace it; Chester doesn’t. 40,000 English war brides demand immediate transport to the United States. In Paris, American servicemen report being bored(!!!)
“Intelligent Weapons” The paper covers Orville Wright’s return to Wright Field at Dayton. I’m vaguely amazed that he’s still with us, but he is only 74, so I suppose that it is more amazing that Wilbur died long ago, albeit in a plane accident. At the Army Air Forces Fair, he saw jet engines, the Azon, an “ordinary bomb,” but fitted with radio-controlled rudders that allow it to be steered onto a target, and the still further improved Roc and GB-4 bombs, which have built-in television transmitters and radio control which allow it to be directed from a television image. These “intelligent bombs” are limited in scope by their lack of built in power for propulsion, but that is probably coming. “The self-propelled bomb for the push-button was not yet ready for revealing. There was nothing at Dayton as futuristic, even, as last year’s German V-2.”
|"Azon - the worlds first smart bomb" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Azon_-_the_worlds_first_smart_bomb.jpg#/media/File:Azon_-_the_worlds_first_smart_bomb.jpg|
“Historic Table” 48 ships of the US 3rd Pacific Fleet sailed through the Panama Canal this week bound for New York with 57,000 veterans and the historic table on which the Japanese surrender was signed. I would bet that New York is a great deal more excited and anxious about the 57,000 than the one. . .
“In Unity, Strength” General MacArthur called for the unification of the armed services this week.
“Victors’ Law” The Nuremberg Trials continue.
“Better than Dynamite?” An Arkansas farmer writes the non-existent “Atom Bomb Corp” of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, asking for one of those atomic bombs to get the stumps out of his field. On a more serious note, General de Gaulle thinks that France shouldn’t worry about the current Anglo-American monopoly on the atomic secret, as France has plenty of time to work it out. The President produces a bill, H.R. 4280, to set up an Atomic Regulatory Committee, and General Electric’s Irving Langmuir predicts that Russia is 10 to 20 years away from being able to push a button and thereby destroy “not only our cities, but even man, woman and child in the United States.” Not the children, I think. They’re worse than cats for getting into every nook and cranny when you’re not looking, and it would take a powerful lot of U-235 to blast them all out. As horrible a thought as I find that, approximately 98% of the time. . . (Imagine me frazzled, hair standing on end, comforting poor Fanny, while Judith gives us both a “Can’t you control that little brat” look as you read this.)
One witness at the House Naval Affairs Committee did promise that electronic detonation of approaching bombs offered to provide an effective defence, but the paper comes down on the side of there being no effective defence except diplomacy.
“Sins of the Fathers” Four million displaced Germans are being accommodated in the western zones, but it is said that another 5 million are on the way.
“Trouble in Germany” General Eisenhower is upset at criticisms of his command’s lack of progress in de-Nazification and heavy industry. However, in a report to the Allied Control Commission, Professor Calvin Hoover (I hope his middle name is Gamaliel) says that for Germany to maintain a European standard of living, as guaranteed in the Potsdam Declaration, it must have heavy industry to maintain employment. For example, a 10 million ton steel production seems required, which is well up from 5.6 million in 1932. The Russians, for their part, point out that Professor Hoover’s report is co-signed by various German industrialists and the very familiar name of General Draper, who apparently can’t get away from capitalism even while in Army khaki. Reading this gave me the idea I proposed to you, above.
In Japan, the Russians are proposing an Allied control commission. General MacArthur said no, but the possibility of Russian, British and even Chinese troops joining Americans in Japan to “share the burdens, the discomforts, and the geisha girls.” General MacArthur’s announcement of the complete demobilisation of Japanese forces this week is either self-promoting, or solid work well done. Or both. It can be both!
“The Leather Shoes of Liu Yun” The paper interviews Sergeant Liu Yun of the Third Army, who marched into Shanghai last week and was rewarded with leather shoes, which he liked very much.
“One Goal” The occupation of Shanghai occurred on Double Tenth, and the 34th anniversary of the Republic. Shanghai went all out to welcome the yokels –I mean, troops—and gave them each some cash in a red envelope. In celebration, Generalissimo and General Secretary released statements of broad agreement with agreement to differ on various sticking points. such as who would end up ruling China. That's to be determined later! To celebrate unity and comity, American planes flew Ninety-Second and Ninety-Fifth Republican armies into Peiping to liberate the capital from demobilised Japanese and approaching Communists. American naval forces are thought to be ready to act against the Communist Eighth Route Army, ensconced at Chefoo on the coast.
In Europe, the Norwegian and French municipal elections have tended left, and also in Hungary. British troops launched a massive operation against the black market in the Tiergarten, Laval is in prison, and I blame the Post Office for not being able to quite make out what is happening in Czechoslovakia, whose Eduard Benes gets this week’s endless cover story.
Yugoslavs are excitable. Stalin took a vacation this week, signalling that all of Russia could relax. In Italy, the officer who ordered fifteen US commandos shot as spies, Anton Dostler, was sentenced to death this week.
“Trouble in the Indies” Hardly any of Java is, as the paper charmingly puts it, “under white control.” Soekarno refuses to apologise for collaborating with the Japanese, and points to his previous anti-Japanese statements as proof of his good faith. He also called for holy war against “Dutch infidels.” His faction, the Indonesian Republic, declared war on the Dutch and on the Amboinese Islanders, while the Dutch were holding true to their pledge to instate eventual self-government by imposing “white control” now. British troops, who are doing the actual controlling, seem strangely reluctant.
Argentinians are especially excitable this week. Other Latins are just excitable.
Business and Finance
The paper thinks that the Bank of England nationalisation wasn’t very radical. New radios will be available for Christmas, but the OPA is holding prices to a maximum 15% price increase over 1942, with the biggest boost to the cheapest (under $11) sets to boost production. Retailers are hoping for unprecedented sales to make up profits on volume.
In the Philippines, the arrival of US goods has sent black market prices tumbling 50%, and the first large shipment of hemp (2 million lbs) is on its way to the US. Still, the Islands need to rebuild transportation, and have no money for the urgent task of building homes and industry. Elizalde Industries hopes to have two modern steamers on the inter-island trade next month, and San Miguel Industries is bottling beer and Coca-Cola, though only for the US Army as yet. New coconut and palm oil for soap and lard production will not be available until next spring, and the Philippines Chamber of Commerce estimates the need for $500 million for war reconstruction.
“Thar She Blows” Two Norwegian whalers called in New York this week, reminding the paper of yet another industry getting under way again. The two ships hope to be the first in Antarctic waters this year for the first full-blown whaling season in five years. Americans don’t whale any more, as romance is no match for the work of turning rotting carcases into oleomargarine, and the low pay, of course. The industry is reviving itself as quickly as possible, to feed a starving Europe, but Americans will take no part. The end of whaling may be in sight, anyway. While the industry hopes to take 16,000 whales next year, zoologists estimate that at that rate, the commercial whale population will be depleted in five years.
|Whalemeat platter: Source|
“Reconversion to Normalcy” Yet another story about how there must be more jobs to employ more people to make more stuff to soak up money to prevent inflation so that there can be prosperity so people can buy more stuff so that there can be more jobs. Also something about a Government initiative? Unless it’s the story where Government gets in the way. I get the two confused.
“Surplus and Shortage” Faced with a desperate shortage, the Federal Public Housing Authority is buying 35,000 of the new trailer homes as economical housing units. It intends to sell them, to keep the Government from extending its role in housing, which is good, but 35,000 homes are not going to make much of a dent, especially since the EPHA is also demolishing its wartime clapboard estates, “lest they become slums.”
“Plastic Music” RCA Victor announced last week that it would be offering the first non-breakable phonograph records, on a ruby-red, translucent plastic, costing twice as much as a regular record. RCA Victor says that it is the biggest breakthrough in 45 years. Decca is going to wait until it sees how the first of these (Franz Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks) does before it enters the market with its own unbreakable plastic. Other new products include Vogue’s aluminum core records, promoted by Tom Safady; but even unbreakable plastic may seem dated soon due to the rapid development of magnetised wire recording. Utah Radio Products has a recorder with 11,200ft of wire, enough to record and play 60 minutes of continuous music. It also comes with a timer, so that the owner can set it to switch on and record a specific radio show while he is out of the house. Kind of like the timer dial on my oven. I hope the buyer has more luck remembering how to set it when he remembers to use it!
“Facts and Figures” The National Association of Hosiery Manufacturers tells us that within two weeks, “reasonable” quantities of nylon stockings will be delivered to the nation’s stores. This year’s output will be 348 million pairs. In other short news, Gimbel Brothers will soon allow Philadelphia-area shoppers to shop by television. There will be televised shows in each department in the store’s auditorium (which seats 500) and in 22 special “telesites” scattered throughout the store. Shoppers will watch at their leisure, then go buy the item when the show ends. Demand for air travel tickets was up “25% to 50%” from August, prices down below the Pullman rate for rail travel.
The Association of American Universities met at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill to help celebrate its 150th anniversary, and its President, Frank Graham, who has enhanced its reputation. Not enhancing its reputation is the letters column of the New York Times, which is in hot water over printing a letter by one Mrs. T. Scholz, who thinks that the teen-agers these days would be better behaved if they got the strap more often. One “Indignant Teen-ager” writes that every time his mother sees something in the press in favour of spanking, she hauls him off and spanks him with a length of rubber hose. Which does not sound healthy. Others are less pathetic, but equally upset.
The newly elected tenth president of the University of Illinois, a sociologist named George Dinsmore Stoddard, also sparked controversy by printing research showing that environment affects I.Q. scores, often thought to be determined by birth. Unfortunately, he overstepped by putting divine worship in the category of negative influences, and now the nation’s clergy are lined up against him. (Because it gives them something to do, says the Provost, although he mainly means Protestants by that, he having the fixed notion that they all have healthy incomes, comfortable pews, and no parishoners to distract them from writing letters to the press.) The Reverend Ward Ayer, who seems particularly free of his hands, writes that he has just discovered that the U.S. has twice as many barmaids as co-eds.
“Careful with DDT” The Department of Agriculture warns. DDT works best as a residual poison on surfaces, and a strong dose is necessary. Because DDT is definitely, although not severely, poisonous, it should not be breathed or kept near the skin. Little is known about the effects of DDT spraying, and they are known to have caused unexpected, and bad effects on birds, fish and desirable insects. People planning to dose entire islands and townships need to wait until scientists do more experiments.
“Arctops” The US intends to expand its Arctic weather station network by leasing sites from Denmark and Canada. I am utterly amazed to read in the paper that there is apparently a weather station “gap,” with Russia having many more than America.
In sordid gossip, John Ringling North and Aussey North have been divorced; Faustin E. Wirkus, the voodoo king of La Gondove, has died of natural causes at 49 in his native Brooklyn; Felix Salten, the Vienna novelist best known for Bambi, also died this week; and Milton Snavely Hershey, founder of Hershey Chocolate.
|Not actually a native of Brooklyn|
Press, Art, Radio
Clement Atlee has taken on a press secretary, shattering precedent. It is Francis Williams, and the paper prints a David Low cartoon in honour. Dr. Loretta Bender asks whether comics are fascist, and concludes that Superman isn’t really a fascist figure. Walter J. Ong, professor of English at Regent’s College, disagrees, saying something that not only is Superman a superman, but Plastic Man (whoever that is) is worse. But even Superman is a “super state sort of figure, with a definite interest in herdist politics.” Ong is even more upset at Wonder Woman, who is a pagan, dresses immodestly, and represents illicit sexuality.
|Notice that Ong seems to have done all of five seconds of actual research on "sex in Wonder Woman." It's like he didn't even have internet.|
This week’s art column takes on the Philadelphia Exhibition, and its least favourite people, “conservative jurors,” who awarded top honours to Philip Guston, for his Sentimental Moment. 33-year old Guston, who has been a factory worker and a truck driver until he seized on a WPA opportunity, sounds like he could use the money more than most descendants of senators. The paper seems to prefer Philip Evergood’s the Citadel.
Quizdown, A new radio show, made by and for grammar-school aged children, just debuted in Chicago. The veteran Quiz Kids already features lots of kids. CBS has just made its first, experimental, colour television broadcast. The first, experimental, colour televisions will from GE next fall. Tommy Handley’s It’s That Man, Again, is a very funny radio show that airs on the BBC that American’s don’t understand. American occupation authorities are trying to cut into Germany’s Berlin-Tegel radio station, the most powerful in Europe at 100kW, on the grounds that while its transmitter is in the American sector, the broadcaster is in Russian-controlled Berlin, and it therefore beams Communists under people’s beds.
The New Pictures
The paper found Shirley Temple’s new vehicle, Kiss and Tell, to be a worthy relaunch of her career. It also thinks Darryl Hickman is a fine teenaged comic. It did not like Weekend at the Waldorf, and finds Mildred Pierce an acceptable melodrama not really true to the source material, “the fox-trot brass” of James M. Cain. I have no idea what that even means!
Arthur Schlesinger’s book about President Jackson (seventh President, 1829—1837. I looked it up!) is so good that it deserves another Luce book review. Apparently, all the people who thought about Jackson’s Presidency, which is a great many of very good people, were thinking about it wrong. Also, Schlesinger is quite the presentable young man, for someone who favours the slicked-down, spectacled, bow-tied look.
Jules Romain’s The Wind is Rising is the latest of his Men of Good Will novel series. “It is an event,” and a sad one, since it is almost the last volume (because they are being translated from the French, the last two already exist, and are coming in 1947), and reminds them that they are getting old. I won’t go further into the review, in case I spoil it for you, in case you suddenly decide to read a 14 volume super-novel translated out of French.
Speaking of, President Juan Antonio Rios of Chile was in Washington to see the President. Henry Wallace actually combed his hair for the occasion. Gracie Fields announced that she was not going to do cartwheels on stage any more. Ida Cantor was in a car accident. Generals Marshall and Arnold went pheasant-shooting in North Dakota together. Lieutenant General Barney M. Giles is reported as saying that he hopes American troops will remain in Japan for a hundred years. General Patton denied rumours that he would run for Congress. General Stilwell said something stupid. Max Beerbohm resumed his BBC broadcasting career three years after retiring at 70. Winston Churchill III looked natty and chipper on his first day in nursery school.
Flight, 25 October 1945
“Alternating Ascendancy” The paper hopes that Britain will get ascendancy in civil aviation one day, because the Airspeed Ambassador is very nice.
“Lords of the Air” The House of Lords is to debate civil aviation.
“Meteoric” The Gloster Meteor is still about to set a new world speed record. It will be powered by the Derwent V. The paper isn’t allowed to tell us (hardly) anything about the Derwent V, but can assure us that it is absolutely whiz-bang.
“What it Means: Record Run Seen from the ‘Inside’” Everyone is talking about the speed record run, and all sorts of confusion persists. If you are confused, you should read this article!
“Airspeed Ambassador (AS-57): Encouraging Example of ‘Next Generation’ of British Transports: Wide Range of Cruising Speeds for Low Power Output: Original Features” A high wing aeroplane with tricycle undercarriage, moderate wing loading, and two Bristol Centaurus 57 engines, and a wide range of cruising speeds at less than 50% of available power. Cabin temperature is “independent” of the outside, pressurisation will be available in later models, the form is low drag, Alclad has been used in the structure. Fuel tanks are isolated from the structure, so they won’t rupture in heavy landings. Auxiliaries are electric and electro-hydraulic. The latest Smith-Farnborough automatic pilot has been installed, and so has a VHF blind landing approach indicator. The throttle controls are fully interlinked, so that there does not have to be a c.s. airscrew control, and the brake pedal is a pedal, American-style, for which the paper seems to think it needs to apologise. We are told that, in spite of the high cruising speed, all of this engine control business leads to low operating costs, and promising fare structures. It is also quite safe in one-engine flying. I’m actually quite struck by the engine power range, since running such low power means a very lean mixture, and high engine temperature. You won’t catch a military engine running so low, and it’s amazing that Bristol already has a civil version of the Centaurus that is so civil.
“The Gloster Meteor: The Mark IV ‘Record’ Type Described: Aerodynamically Conventional Design” Well, there you go, it is a very conventional design. Jet engines are such a novelty that you can get world record performance out of a new engine shoved into any old airframe. The Meteor, we are reminded, was ready for service before the end of the late war. Take that, America!
“Rolls-Royce Derwent: Turbine Jet Engines in the Gloster Meteor: Rapid Development of Original Whittle Design: Joint Enterprise by Private Companies and Air Ministry” The Derwent was originally developed by Whittle, produced by Rolls-Royce, then mass produced at a factory built by Rover, while combustion system, fuel supply and control components were developed in collaboration with Joseph Lucas, Ltd, of Birmingham. The Derwent’s rotors, which spin at 16,600rpm, giving 1500ft/sec tip speed, are made of Mond Nickel alloy, and while scaled up, are exact replicas of Air Commodore Whittle’s original design. Only three main shaft bearings, lubrication is relatively easy. An oil cooler is installed, but may become redundant in later models if the bearing arrangement is further simplified.
“From Air to Battle” An official history of the British airborne forces is out.
In an advertisement, Lodge is pleased with another record Atlantic crossing, 7hours east to west by a de Havilland Mosquito with Lodge spark plugs.
Indicator Discusses “Economics or Extravagance: What is Being Done with the Surplus Aircraft and Accressories?: Must We Destroy Real Wealth?: Taking the Easy Road” We hear about catches of fish being left to rot, and coffee beans being used to fire locomotives in Brazil. This waste is intolerable. “Indicator”has recently been employed flying obsolete bombers to the wreckers, and is upset that their instruments aren’t being salved, when one of those gyros would cost him a hundred pounds new. This is better than radios being thrown in a pond, or Sunderlands scuttled in the North Sea, but he still thinks they should all be stripped out and sold at nominal prices so that he can have a cheap gyro. Perhaps he can keep it in a kitchen drawer, along with that giant ball of string he’s been saving, because you never know when you’re going to need a piece of string.
“Pytram Under Test: Pytram, the material used to make drop tanks, might be used for other kinds of containers.
Civil Aviation News
The latest Martin Mariner is in flight tests. Martin is working on a Type 228 short-range 26-passenger civil aircraft. More than a hundred Lockheed Constellations are now on order. Air France is starting new services, the US Airworthiness requirements are being revised, and Pan-American and Export Airlines are re-establishing their North Atlantic air services using Skymasters.
Here and There
A Miles Aerovan flew to Switzerland carrying 5000 fountain pens, on a demonstration flight. The last Wellington and last Halifaxes made in this country have recently been delivered, feted, and then towed off for scrap or as war memorials or such. The College of Aeronautics has been given a preliminary £4 million budget. Air Marshal Sir Richard Peck has retired, after having been Assistant Chief of the Air Staff since 1940. Lord Portal is also retiring. Australian personnel serving in the P.o.W airlift out of Singapore have withdrawn their requests for discharge, because the humanitarian need is so great. The U.S. Navy is developing a radio-controlled pilotless fighting plane. Spitfire XIVs have rockets, now.
“Boscombe Down Entertains” Machine guns, cannons, rockets and bombs are shown off to the vast amusement of many allegedly grown-up men. There are also some planes.
John Bennett has complaints about campaign medals. T. H. Feuerheerd wants a safe, low-powered single seater for the private owner. V.N.M. thinks that A. V. Cleaver is too optimistic about rockets, due to overlooking waste heat. “Firefly” offers an extended poem on the theme of “Revs and Boosts,” suggesting that it is all too complicated.
Newsweek, 29 October 1945
Someone thinks that posting a Marine sentry detachment to guard President Roosevelt’s grave is too much. Well, obviously the details of his attack on Pearl Harbour were buried with him, and that calls for some security. Philip E. Wilcox, of the War Manpower Commission writes to scold the paper for claiming that Dr. Harold F. Jacobson was not suspended, nor asked to resign, from the Manhattan District on 20 August 1945. It is just a coincidence that he found new, important work with the WMC after claiming that “secondary radiation” would persist at the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bomb sites for generations to come. Mrs. C. E. Chany thinks that the young men today have bad manners. Name Withheld wants a glamour picture of the wife of the “artist Segy,” who thinks that “most women are neurotic.” The paper, noticing that far too many women read it, complies. In the paper’s letter to us, reporter/editor/publisher Carleton Harkrader gets some attention for keeping the Continental European edition going.
President Truman is considering General Marshall as a replacement for W. Averell Harriman as Ambassador to Moscow, and notes that this kind of position normally assumes a private source of income over and above the salary and allowances. So, what, is the President going to give the General an estate in Missouri so that he can cut a figure amongst the Communists? Other members of Truman’s cabinet are upset with Secretary Byrne’s failure at the Council of Ministers. There is debate over Edward Stettinius’s future at the UNO, not because he is incompetent or inappropriate (say what you will about the Roosevelt administration, but that is a bit of a theme in the old man’s choice of ambassadors. Who can forget Joseph Kennedy to the Court of St. James?), but because he is in poor health. It has been discovered that the Tax Institute is running a deficit. Airmen are concerned that the government is BUNGLING demobilisation of the Air Transport Command. A cut in the excise task on whiskey is mooted, which will likely devastate the newspaper business, as half the staff will find they no longer have to work for a “living.” Volkswagens, the long promised German “People’s Car,” are at long last actually in production in Germany. We are punishing Argentina for being Nazi again. Someone wants to remind us that the Spanish allowed German saboteurs to operate against Gibraltar in 1942. Turkey refuses to take its border issues with the Soviet Union to the UNO. Some Philipinos want alleged collaborator General Roxas arrested, and put on trial before a jury of guerillas. The U.S. Justice Department will be sending back 5,300 Japanese as soon as General MacArthur is ready to accept them. Canberra reports the discover of good deposits of uranium and thorium in South Australia. Corporate food chains are planning major postwar expansions, focussing on new, streamlined warehouses, remodelling of existing stores and new combination markets. The objective will be dollar-volume increase, which will reduce operating costs and allow further cuts on markup margins. The new target is a minimum annual $250,000 income per store.
Jack and Heintz is pinning its reconversion hopes on lightweight motors, beginning with a 2 cylinder, 50lb, 28 horsepower engine of cast aluminum, to go into an ultra-low-weight car to be assembled by a French manufacturer on Long Island. “Incidentally, the Jack and Heintz effort to get part of the Continental Motors contract for Kaiser and Frazer cars fell through.” When you’re too fanciful for Uncle Henry. . .
A sharp decline in whole milk prices in 1946 will hopefully be made up by rising butter prices. The world no longer wants American powdered and canned milk, it seems. Whether butter prices can hold up against margarine is another question. Marlene Dietrich’s face is appearing in Berlin shopwindows, advertising face powders instead of stockings. So I guess the Germans haven’t forgiven her, after all. Constance Bennett is to give up acting to concentrate on radio. Studio insiders say that radio comedy shows will have to improve now that they do not have service audiences to fall back on. Maisie, starring Anne Sothern, may be dropped by its sponsors because of protracted script difficulties. The abrupt cancellation of a number of war movies has left a hole in studio schedules, to be filled by extended runs of last year’s movies.
The Periscope looks at The GHQ of Victory
The housing shortage is now estimated at 12.5 million homes. Projected building is nowhere close to enough. (Four hundred thousand next year, 600,000 the year after; 800,000 by July 1948.) Worse, if demand drives the price of homes up, it will choke off building by deterring buyers. In Washington, a bill forbidding the sale of a home at a higher price than its last purchase price has been proposed in the House, while the banks fight a rear guard action for a free market. However, fears of a general inflation have been relieved by a recent survey, conducted by the Department of Agriculture for the Federal Reserve Board, which shows that War Bonds are concentrated in relatively few hands and tightly held. Most savers have no intention of cutting coupons to pay for consumer goods. They plan on holding on to them, or, at worst, using them to replace worn-out durables like cars and refrigerators. These savings are thus not the inflationary threat they were once considered. In spite of which, business is very conscious of the threat of inflation, and a questionnaire put out by the Price Administration shows that 66% of businessmen favour no lifting of price controls, or only gradual lifting. There are more strikes, difficulties staffing the occupation administration in Germany, and yet more trouble with Russia.
“Easy Money, High Prices Bring U.S. Closer to Inflation Dangers” The Bureau of Labour Statistics said that the cost of living is up 33.6% since 1940, “but nobody believed it.” The AFL says 47%, and an “average San Francisco housewife” says 100%. (The paper doesn’t quote anyone who would be willing to admit to being an average San Francisco housewife.) In case you’re interested, to the paper, “easy money” means giving in to wage increase demands. As opposed to lower interest rates, which I think is what The Economist means, W. W. Cumberland, a New York broker, is quoted as saying that “easy money” can produce a boom, but leads to more “government control,” and is “more likely to cause a depression.” He’s the “it will all end in tears” guy. Reconversion Director John Snyder wants us to make more things with more jobs so that people can spend all their “easy money.” Why didn’t anyone else think of that?
For the record, I have taken the trouble to find out that “easy money” actually refers to the Bank of England giving a low interest rate to depositors. English high finance men, who love to make things seem more complicated, so that they can sound smart as doctors and professors when they explain, call this the “discount rate,” because it is set lower than anyone else’s rate. This is because the Bank is backed by the Government, and so by taxes, while everyone else is backed by the rate of return on their investments. This sets a floor on the return on investment, because to make more money than you can make by depositing it in the Bank, you must invest it somewhere. The lower the “discount rate,” the lower the return the investment must make. So a factory or a housing estate or a trading venture that wouldn’t be worth your while if the discount rate were higher, becomes attractive. So you invest in it, even though it is dubious. Money is “easy.”
If I understand it (feel free to correct me!) it is mush-mouthedly explained and hilariously indirect, but the great minds deem it the only appropriate way for the government to involve itself in business matters. Other than through taxes, building some battleships, or looting China under the pretext of a war over “free trade.”
“Courtesy of John L.” John L. Lewis ended the 37 day coal miners’ strike this week. This might be because the strike was unpopular over miners (it was over foremen’s right to union membership), or because he is waiting until the contract expires on March 31.
“Flatfoot Floogies” Some shoes have very high heels, and some are flat. What can it mean? Trust some man to tell us. New York podiatrist, Dr. Joseph Interland, says that “if girls and women don’t stop wearing loafer shoes, a generation of flat-footed, duck-waddling women is in prospect.”
“Lincoln Wrote Here” The Yonkers mayoral race is in doubt after it was revealed that the Democratic candidate, James A. Sullivan, had quoted Lincoln in a public letter without citing him. This story is longer than the one about the end of the coal strike!
“Can’t Keep It With You” In committee, Senator William Fullbright of Arkansas caused a stir by getting Dr. J. Robert Openheimer, recently director of the atomic-bomb laboratories at Los Alamos, N. M., to admit that a single night of atomic raiding could wipe out 40 million Americans. As Oppenheimer points out, even aerial raiding wouldn’t be necessary. The bomb could be smuggled in and planted on land. Dr. Leo Szilard and Dr. H. J. Curtis also had warnings about the atomic bomb. No defence is possible, and scientists weren’t pleased with governments secrecy, says Dr. Harold C. Urey.
“The Reasonable Doubt” Imogene Stevens is off the hook for murder.
“The Second Jazz Age” Crime is up 9.4% in the first six months of 1945. Director Hoover is particularly concerned about teen-aged juvenile delinquency, which might lead to the biggest crime wave in American history, bigger than even the Prohibition era. Apparently, during the war years, a far higher proportion of crimes were committed by boys below the draft age than during the peace years(!). How could that be, the Director asks, if there were not something wrong with teenaged homelife, such as salacious literature, burlesque shows, indulgent juvenile courts, ill-prepared detention homes, and poorly trained government officials. Also, some parents are neglectful and do not discipline their children, creating emotional personality hazards. The Director recommends appropriate religious training, training for parents, adequate sex supervision in institutions, supervised recreation in schools after hours, closer liaison between teachers and parents. A great deal of liaison and supervision to prevent inappropriate behaviour. I wonder if the Director should see a therapist, perhaps after the podiatrist talks with him about high heels?
Just so that you should know, sir, there has never in this house been a burlesque show to corrupt the minds of your grandchildren. As for salacious literature, I have to plead an excess of magazines with covers feauring rocket ships and girls in what I suspect will be, someday fashionable and delightfully and impractically feminine space suits. (What a show that will make in Paris in 2300AD) . ..
“Dear Ibn” The White House denied this week that there was any record there of the Arab heads of state’s recent protest against the possible creation of a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine. It turned out to be an innocent mistake, however. The paper had slipped down behind the credenza. Meanwhile, Zionists demand pressure on the British to increase the immigration limits into Palestine, hoping to use the British loan as leverage.
“Lost and Found” The paper has the sad and mysterious story of Mrs. Elizabeth Arnold Heggie who died in San Francisco while climbing Beacon Hill to watch “her son’s fleet” pass the Golden Gate. Her will left her money to a friend in Kentucky, but her son, lost on Indianopolis, had asked the navy to inform his aunt, Mrs. Grace Arnold Cresap, of Berkeley, of important events. The mystery is that Heggie and Cresap had no idea the other existed. It is a mystery that only 24 year-old Heggie could ever explain.
“New Question” The President gave a press conference in which he was very evasive about the Russians, the atom bomb, inflation and the UNRRA.
From the Capital
“Money for Spies” The Budget Bureau is trying to put together a pattern for the postwar US intelligence service. Colonel Alfred McCormack, a Wall Streeter, has been put in charge, because there is realllyi no one else. A partner in Cravath, Swaine and Moore, McCormick is at least likely to be competent, unlike most of the no-hopers left in Army and Navy Intelligence in the rush to command positions, and not somer kind of swashbuckling “slinky spy” or “dagger man” of the kind who flourished in OSS.
Ernest K. Lindley’s column this week is on“Atomic Controls.” He discusses the need to talk about talking about atomics.
“Runaway Inflation Turns Clock of Europe Back to Bartar Age: Cigarette Becomes Medium of Exchange in Large Cities: Hungary Hardest Hit At All” This actually turns out to be a proposal by British economist, Dr. Paul Einzig. Evidence, such as it is, is from bulletin boards in Berlin that are more likely to quote prices in “chocolate, coffee and sugar” then in marks. Prices in Paris are in dollars, but high: shoes, $80, for example. I am pretty sure that that’s not actually inflation. The dollar still fetches its “normal” value in America, so you sell a pair of shoes in Paris, and wire the money to America, where you buy three pairs of shoes, and send them in a parcel to Paris. So what this actually tells you is how much it costs to send a parcel from America to Paris right now. On this basis, one gets the sense that the real issue is that the Occupation troops are making bank, and that there are not enough of them in Berlin. Or, more likely, that American dollars are draining out of Berlin somewhere. (Russia. Russia is that “somewhere.”)
So why aren’t we in this? Or, rather, why did we shoot our wad while the war was still on? In Germany, the final bill is likely to be 762,000 tons of food aid this winter at $70 million, with a daily official ration of 1,354 calories, before the displaced persons, still flooding in from the east, “moving zombies,” harried and haggard.
“Adios Francisco” The Duke of Alba defected from Franco’s government this week, and went to London to look for a real King to save Spain.
Germany continues to be divided, the partition of I. G. Farben continues, as does the Nuremberg trials and the Red Army’s disorderly retreat through eastern Europe to home. The Russians have already executed several thousand Red Army troops for desertion and marauding in Poland. Some of the marauders are former German soldiers recruited in Russia and Ukraine. A Polish underground army continues to fight the government, and anti-Semitic outrages continue through Poland. The constituent assembly election in France is seen as going to the Gaullist Left. Communists did well, the old Radical Socialists poorly, while the pro-Gaullist Sociaists and Catholic Movement Republican Populaire share the majority. The women’s vote was probably decisive, with Pope Pius urging all French women to vote.
In Japanese news, a protesting crowd in Tokyo demanded that the entire cabinet commit suicide to atone, and, because far too many women still read the paper, it covers the recruitment of 5000 new “geisha girls” to serve American Occupation troops. Russia is still declining to join a powerless Allied Control Commission for Japan, and trouble continues in China, especially in the North, where US Marines will “withdraw soon,” and in Shanghai, where there is tension between troops and inhabitants, worsened by “patrolling gangs of Chungking toughs.”
“Empire in Jeopardy” The Dutch deny that there is any serious unrest in the Netherlands East Indies, which is honest, for sure, cross-my-heart-and-swear-to-die not any “Indonesian Republic.” Vigorously dissenting Indonesians wander the streets attacking Eurasians and looting and destroying their houses. With only three brigades with which to restrain the not-at-all-an-insurrection, the British under Lieutenant General Sir Alexander F. P. Christison, have enlisted Japanese troops in their aid. The Indonesians are primitive Muslims who use charms against bullets; and are also taking over Japanese tanks. Dr. Sukarno is showing that the movement is isolated and weak by touring the provinces, reining in his supporters and meeting with reporters. The Dutch plan to send Dr. Hubertus van Mook to reassert Dutch power in the not-the-Republic-of-Indonesia as soon as he can bum a ride.
“Brass Says Yes, Braid Says No in Fight Over Merging Services” That is, the army is fine with it, but the Navy has its issues. We think, as the admirals keep fumbling aimlessly with their glasses and reminiscing about the girl they knew in Abilene, years ago, before the war, and where is the commode again? War Secretary Robert Pattinson will kindly let the Navy keep its air arm and Marines, and also its sails and cannons, if it wants them, but thinks that in the higher matters, administrative efficiency must prevail. General Marshall thinks that, whatever happens, the Joint Chiefs must be done away with, as it was far cumbersome in the late war.
“Separation for GI Jane is Practically Painless” The Government is BUNGLING female demobilisation by making it too easy, leaving the girls too much time to talk about feminine fripperies like hats and coats. Well, in our defence, it is October. Or, as I write this, the first week of November –but I’ve been busy, buying hats and coats!
“Manna, C and K” Hungry people will actually eat C and K rations, Also, they aren’t as bad as people make them out to be, the Army Quartermaster’s Corps, says.
Admiral Pratt’s column this week is “Geography and World Security” England has boats. America has boats. Germany and Russia have tanks. Because of water. Now there are planes, which might or might not make water and tanks obsolete. Well, that’ll hold them, and I’m in time for martinis at the club!
Latins are excitable, especially Venezualans this month, and Argentinians every month.
|The fact that the American press covers it in ridiculous ways doesn't make Latin American political instability any less hideous and tragic.|
Business, New Products
“Spurt in Production Foreshadows Hottest Sales Rivalry in History” Many companies are entering consumer goods markets, and they will need salesmen, and possibly also training courses for salesmen. (Uncle Henry, of course, has plans. It’s oven ranges this week.)
|Not very carefully thought through.|
In other news, Diaper services executives, meeting in New York City for their eighth annual convention, diffidently suggested that returning veterans consider starting a service in their hometown. YES! International Harvester showed off a new, smaller motor hay mow for farms of less than 40 acres with hydraulic touch control, a big machine to dig, top and load sugar beets, an improved two-row corn harvester, and a $4,740 cotton picker that will pick a 500lb bale of cotton in 90 minutes, replacing 40 to 50 field hands.
“Battle of the Docks” Joseph P. Ryan continues to fight Harry Bridges for the affections of longshoremen.
New products this week include a new, portable washer, 20 inches high, with a capacity of 25 gallons and costing about $55, from the Nineteen Hundred Corporation of St. Joseph, Michigan, which can handle 22 diapers at once; the first of the promised transparent acrylic plastic glass products, Celanese’s Plexiglass; an automatic money changer for installation beside vending machine banks from Vendo Corporation; an innovative, aluminum, electric tea kettle from Dr. Peter Schonnbohm of New York (it looks like an “inflated pancake,” says the paper”)
|They can't all be winners.|
; a one-watt fluorescent light which will burn all year, to illuminate things like low steps, from Westinghouse; “Mann-Ann-Troll,” from Bullard, Co’, of Connecticut, a robot control device for machine tools, “kept secret during the war;” and yet another small, private plane, All American’s Ensign.
Ralph Robey’s “Business Tides” column this week is entitled, “Pots, Pans and Ideologies” The government does not want to sell the War Administration aluminum plants to Alcoa, which has been running them because Alcoa is a monopoly. So the War Surplus Administration is asking Congress whether it will vote a subsidy to Reynolds to take them on and run them against Alcoa. Mr. Robey thinks that this is ridiculous, because Alcoa is a good, honest, American company. See, this is the kind of story that makes people snort when they read about people writing about the high-minded purposes of “business journalism.” Mr. Robey might be right, or he might be wrong, or he might have got a nice cheque from Alcoa. . .
That’s what the paper calls gossip. Shirley Temple and her husband are separate, but not necessarily separating. Bill Mauldin has returned from (writing about) the war, and asked for a divorce. Ezra Stone has been discharged, and will return to his role as “Henry” on Nov. 2. Artie Shaw and Ava Gardner have married. Nelson Rockefeller was decorated and hugged by the President of Chile for improving relations between America and Chile. Mary Mansfield and Christopher Marstom, the famed blind correspondence match, have left Colorado on a honeymoon. N. C. Wyeth, 62, has died in an automobile accident, along with his 4 year-old grandson. What a horrifying way to die. Best known for illustrating Hornblower stories, he apparently did paintings, too.
“Man Who Forgets He’s President Has Capital Newsmen in a Dither” The paper thinks that the press thinks that he is too informal, and are not impressed by his entourage. General MacArthur has been told that he cannot be so mean to reporters, and General Stratemeyer in Shanghai has refused Army accommodation to newsmen. In the capital, “throne-room favourite” John O’Donnell had to apologise for anti-Semitic remarks attributing General Patton’s relief to Jewish political leaders, notably Henry Morgenthau and Felix Frankfurter. Is it “anti-Chinese” to attribute backroom hijinks in the “Capital” to the Soongs? Because, if so, I need to apologise.
This just in: things change less than you'd think.
The paper thinks that Malcolm Bingay, of the Detroit Free Press, is swell.
“X-Rays Dig Deeper” Only a few years ago, X-rays produced by 100,000 volt tubes were a big deal. Then, in September of 1944, Machlett Laboratories were revealed to have a 2 million volt machine, powerful enough to reveal flaws in “thick sections of metal.” This week, GE reveals its best, a new tube which produces X-rays of 100 million volts, and which bombards and splits atoms “in a stream of electrons of tremendous intensity.” The machine, called a betatron (“beta rays are the electron rays of radium”) took two years to build, cost $300,000, and began operating in the summer of 1943. Atomic secrecy prevented earlier description. It consists of a doughnut-shaped vacuum tube with a diameter of 74”, into which a cathode tube introduces electrons, which are then accelerated around the loop by a magnetic field, whirling them up to almost the speed of light before they collide with a tungsten target, “chipping off X-rays which emerge from the glass tube in a narrow beam.” It can penetrate 11” of steel, or perform deep-seated radiotherapy for cancer, and will be useful for all sorts of research into radioactivity and nuclear structure.
“Penicillin’s Husky Cousin” Is bacitracin.
“It Burns” The world shortage of ergot, coyly described by the paper as an “essential medicine,” was caused by the isolation of continental Europe, where it was produced in rye cultures. Of course, it is almost more famous for its prevalence as a crop disease, producing “St. Vitus’ Dance” in humans, as recently as a 1928 epidemic in Manchester, England. Coy or not, dangerous or not, America has gone from nursing along Portugal’s minimal supply to procuring it in large quantities from India.
“Navy Beat the Tropics” With DDT, DEET and quinine substitutes.
Then the paper has a two-page column on advances in gynecology, featuring a painting in which a midwife stares at us from the middle of a teaching operating theatre. I take one lesson from her grimly disapproving stare, SCIENCE another. Although I am looking forward to my surgery, so I’ll grant SCIENCE a dispensation.
“A Drug for the Unclean” Promin, distantly related to the sulfa drugs, has had a remarkable effect on leprosy. “It is the best experimental treatment ever tested at the National Leprosaurium.”
The revamped Dies Committee, now the House Committee on Un-American Affairs, has requested scripts from a number of left-leaning New York radio commentators. This would seem to have been a step too far, as Congress, and even some members of the Committee, have volunteered that it is all Rep. John Rankin’s fault. Honest, Mom! It was like that when I got here!
The soft-spoken, languid reading of “Trees-y” poetry by Ted Malone on “Beyond the Bookends,” amused a certain set of listeners for fifteen years on the Blue Netork before Malone volunteered to go overseas as a war correspondent in 1944, on the grounds that all the men were over there, and he wanted to follow. (Take that as you will.) Now he’s back, with stories.
Dola de Jong, a Dutch journalist, has And the Field is the World, a book about refugee children. Carl Van Donen has a new biography of Benjamin Franklin out –the only man with two aircraft carriers named after him. Also subject of a memoir is the Russian general, Konstantine Simonov. Why him in particular, I would not know without reading two full columns of review. Egon Hostovsky has an “allegorical novel,” set in Prague out, Seven Times the Leading Man. Is this some kind of genre now, or am I completely confused in associating this with that book about the fellow who turns into a cockroach?
Art celebrates Ralph Earl and Stuart Davis this week. Both are dead painters, so they must be good. Earl has been dead since, well, 1751 plus however many years he lived. The story doesn’t say. The point is, I didn’t even know America had art back then.
Raymond Moley’s “Perspective” column this week is entitled “More Democracy Through More Machinery,” and is about how power machinery is getting rid of Southern sectionalism by getting rid of plantations, and also freeing up farm labourers to be good citizens. Some people are complaining that cotton picking machines will get rid of happy cotton pickers. Mr. Moley thinks that this is incorrect, that cotton pickers are not happy, and that “Wise people will lift their eyes from current unrests and see these larger facts.” Cf. Representative Rankin, Senator Bilbo.