Friday, September 8, 2017

Postblogging Technology, August 1947, I: "Atmosphere of Slackness"

R_. C_.,
__ Roxborough Crescent,
Vancouver, Canada

Dear Dad:

I posted you from Waikiki as soon as I got in, so it's a race between the package and the US Mail. We'll see whether the Hawaiian side of things is as fast as Newhitty! Sounds more exciting than squadron work. While some of my fellow flyboys get to do nothing but see how much power our new ship has, I've been stuck trying to get results out of this wackadoodle magnet-thingie that's supposed to detect submarines! Maybe I'll even break super top-secret when we get the electronics working, but as of right now we haven't even got the trace recorder working in the air! I'd ask them to bring you over, but that'd just get me the old eye roll from the Old Man, so I've requested Tommy, instead. We may not be able to pry him loose of Alaska Command for good, but he should have this thing sitting up and begging for treats in a week or two. 

I don't know if you'd had anything from Newhitty lately? About how Mr. Brookstein is doing, say, or whether V. went back to Chicago with her folks? I hear that A. went down to Vancouver with W.B, who is supposed to be spending time with the future father-in-law. Now that I can't picture, a man's man like him putting up with W.B.'s act for very long! But I hear Mrs. likes him, which is good. I especially need to get in touch with A. Or, anyway, Tommy does, as we have an angle that might help him out in the Service, if you know what I mean. Not Mr. Brookstein (I wouldn't want to put the RCMP) on him, but an angle based on some stories he told me about his LA days. Did  you know he did some work with the SAG? I'm thinking I can call in my favour, get A. a "source." Can't hurt if he's got something he can work with HUAC.

Well, that's it from me for now, Dad. My electronics are ready ---I can smell the smoke at the other end of the ship!

Yr Loving Son,

The Economist, 2 August 1947
It's funny because socialism is bad.
“The Planner’s Last Chance” Remember that evening, last January, in the upstairs parlour of Arcadia, listening to the Earl lay out the numbers, and tell us that this would happen? (Even if he was a full month too early?) I sure do. It made me feel like a grownup, even if I did have to sit at the back with The Economist starts out by pointing out that the cause of the balance of payments deficit that is eating up the American loan is that England is consuming more than it produces. This seems to confuse things right away to my mind, since it is consuming more imports than it is producing exports, but once you’re done the article, that mistake looks a lot less unintentional.) This is not because it is producing less, “even though the atmosphere of slackness is pervasive,” because by all measures England is producing from 10 to 20% more than it did in 1938. The problem is that the English are consuming more food, education, health, etc. So the way back to sanity is simple: the English have to give up “cherished dreams.” There are no specifics, maybe because, you would think, The Economist got into so much hot water the last time it led with “Yay, starvation is back!” It does explain that all of this could be achieved by the free market through rising prices, to discourage consumption; higher interest rates, to reduce investment to the necessary minimum; and lower taxes and government expenditures to bring public expenditures back into balance.  Sure, the poor would suffer more than the rich under this scheme, but that’s the sad way that the world works. Alternatively, all those planners could come up with a Plan. This is their last chance, by the way. And they’ll fail.
“Battle for Western Germany” Britain, France and America are agreed that the present stagnation in coal production, etc., foretells a winter collapse, so that by the time the wolves cross the frozen Elbe, all the Germans will have already eaten each other. The British find this very exasperating, since they spent £118 million on the Occupation last year and £100 million on the Army of Occupation; and will spend £100 million in total this year. They cannot spend more, yet Germany probably needs imported coal and steel, as well as more grain; even as all are agreed that the miners need more incentives before they will produce more, which will take the form of imported consumer goods such as tobacco, paid for out of coal exports in lieu of meeting other commitments, such as reducing the costs of the occupation. A good part of the food import and investment costs of the occupation are in dollars, although it is not clear how much. Now English people are talking about just withdrawing from the occupation, while, in a helpfulness competition, some Americans are blaming it all on administrative muddle. The Economist says there should be a unified civilian administration of the western German zones, and that this would probably go a long way to fixing the problems that were just sprayed in so much ink that I’m not sure what they are, besides not enough coal, steel, food and rebuilding. Way down at the bottom of Notes, this might or might not be clarified by a description of the confusion caused by the fact that there are Christian Democrats and Social Democrats in the new “bizonal German authority.” They are fighting like socialists and conservatives, which naturally means that the Germans can’t govern themselves. (Can’t we just jump ahead through the marches, attacks on temples and mosques riots and communal slaughters directly to the partition of Germany into “The Super-Socialist Republic of  Germany,” and “Bismarckistan”?)

“The Ownership of the Press” There is a Royal Commission on press ownership having hearings in England right now. The Economist doesn’t think that it is as necessary as all that, since many of the problems it has been set up to resolve are just bad journalists doing bad journalism. I wouldn’t lead with that, except that I had to read three paragraphs before I got to that point, and would really, really, like to make a joke about it. The reason that I wouldn’t lead with it is that, after explaining what the problem is, The Economist goes on to explain what people think the problem is (too many rich proprietors buying all the papers and imposing a usually conservative and anti-Labour editorial viewpoint on them), and why those people are stupid and wrong. This is where I would put the observation about bad journalism, if I were writing the article, and I, like I said, I’m dying to make a joke about it, but no-one would understand it until I was done explaining, and that wouldn’t be a very good joke. Unlike this article. (Drum clash.)
In conclusion, conservative media magnates monopolising newspapers is a good thing, because they're, well, not right, but rightish. In conclusion, vote Liberal because, I don't know, it's what we've always said you should do. Oh, wait, I know! Free trade. That's what we can cling to --precious, precious free trade. Within the sterling bloc.
The Indian Princes” India (and Pakistan) are going to be independent soon, and will have to deal with the Indian princely states, which are, I gather pseudo-independent countries that were surrounded by British India. The Brits never really sorted out how they were going to deal with the princes, and now it is up to India and Pakistan. The thought is that they will probably deal with the princes by getting rid of them, which sounds like a good idea to me. But if you spray enough words at it, you can make anything seem like a bad idea –even getting rid of a bunch of feudal tyrants misruling some suffering peasants.
British: “This is an intractable problem that will stand in the way of Indian independence forever, because there is no possible solution.” New Indian government: “The princely states are abolished.” Princes: “Okay, just give us a sec to grab the bug-out bag.”

Notes of the Week
 “Coalition Rumours” People are talking about a Conservative-Labour coalition government to fix the current crisis. The Economist thinks that’s a terrible idea. Not so much terrible as ridiculous was the House of Lords sending the Transport Bill back to the House of Commons.
Coal to Swansea” Europe received 25 million tons of American coal last year, the equivalent of seven weeks of British production. “In other words, one extra hour in a five-day week would make American imports  unnecessary and save Europe over $560 million a year.” (Some coal was even landed at Swansea.) In other, other words, The Economist just will not give up on the idea that the problem in the coal mines is that the coal miners are lazy.
(From the pdf linked above. Interesting stuff. Note the importance of Polish (Silesian) coal)

“Breakdown in Moscow” The breakdown of the Anglo-Russia trade talks has disappointed many people. “The idea of getting wheat from Russia without paying dollars was getting quite a grip on the British newspaper reader,” but it turns out that the Russians want dollars, too, mainly because the English couldn’t send enough capital equipment to nearly cover the 6 million tons of wheat wanted [pdf], and, in dollars, the price was higher than Canada was offering.
“Testing the Sellers Market” The Russian explanation for the breakdown is that while the Russians were willing to enter into definite delivery guarantees, the British weren’t. The Economist concedes that that was probably true, and blames the free market, before going on to admit that the Russian needs in steel and engineering goods exceeded probably English production, anyway. So the English promised as much as could be delivered now, and convertible sterling to buy more later, to which the Russians said that, for what they were going to be paid in money, they would need American dollars, thanks very much. The Economist reads that as arm-twisting, and says that the real conclusion is that the English can still sell as much as they make. In other words, that it is still a seller’s market, and that the dollar demand is the Russian way of getting leverage.
Housing at Eatanswill” Eatanswill is a reference to Dickens? I’m told? Applying all the interpretive diligence I learned writing Five-Legged essays, I’m going to guess that the point is that English housing policy is political. Astonishing! Also, in keeping with the house style, in the last paragraph I arrive at the news building trades have agreed to new rules on incentives bonusses that will make housing costs higher but hopefully lead to higher productivity and release some labour. In defence of the ludicrous “put the news in the last paragraph” writing decision, it’s good news, and who wants to hear that? Not good news is the Amalgamated Engineering Union refusing to allow Poles in engineering employment, the latest in a series of “great difficulties about the absorption of Poles in civil employment.” (The AEU, however, says that engineering is not like, say, coal mining. It is not short of labour, and Polish entry would put British workers out.) While I’m tacking my discussion of other Notes onto the bottom of this one, I will also point out that Eatanswill is not a real place, like Stevenage (New Town).
“Tinplate and Patronage” “Mr. D. Grenfell, M.P.” thinks that the decision to put the tinplate and sheet steel plant in Swansea was political patronage, and The Economist agrees and thinks that this is a terrible way of going about things, compared with free enterprise freely competing to put everything in London.

From the Beeb.

Not patronage is the recent difficulty the Nuffield Foundation has had with its charitable efforts to care for old people, which the Rowntree Committee thought was incompatible with the new British social security. This will now be fixed by the formation of a Corporation for the Care of Old People, which will make sure that all old people get the same benefits of Nuffield private charity.
Mr. Rank and the Dollar” Mr. Rank thinks that England spends too much importing Hollywood movies when it could just watch movies that he makes, and that there should be a tax like the one the Government proposes. The Economist is torn, because, on the one hand, the idea saves dollars and ruins fun, which it supports; while, on the other, it increases taxes, which it hates. It all depends on Mr. Rank.

“France Between East and West” France blah socialism blah communism blah unions blah M. Bidault blah.
“Scorched Earth in Indonesia” The Dutch are attacking, the Republicans are carrying out a “scorched earth” defeat. The Dutch may profit in the short run by quickly getting exports going and improving their situation in world markets, but people are already getting upset, Australia, India and Pakistan are going to bring it up in the United Nations, and the “’inherent rights of Asiatics[1:30] will be very loudly and forcibly proclaimed as never before in a world forum.”
“Shadowplay in Italy” See “France between, etc.,” only substitute “Italian Peace Treaty” for “M. Bidault.” Although the Russians are obligated to withdraw some troops from Europe when the treaty is ratified, so that’s nice. Except they may not, if the “Anglo-Saxon garrisons” in Italy aren’t also drawn down.
“Gall from Paris” The whole awful thing with the Exodus, which The Economist insists on calling the President Warfield, is the fault of the French for letting the refugees embark in the first place.

“A Fresh Start in Malaya” The Economist applauds the Colonial Office’s decision not to go ahead with its Malayan Union scheme, because Malays don’t like it. Yes, it admits, that does mean that Indian and Chinese won’t get citizenship, but, after all, they naturally prefer “good order and economic well-being” and rule by the sultans to the horrors of citizenship. Any new union agreement will “safeguard the special position” of Malays (especially Malays who happen to be sultans), the Colonial Office promises. Is this like Auntie Grace’s idea that civic rights in South Africa means the right to smash coloured people in the face?  
Shorter notes covers the Minister of Food’s decision to stop restricting entry into the grocery business, so that Cooperatives could see if they really can bring prices down; the continuing debate over restricting newsprint imports, which The Economist thinks should be exempt from austerity; and a statistical report that in the first six months of the year, applications for foreign currency for holidays abroad have come to £11.5 million from 250,000 people.
Derek E. Hill-Smith, of British European Airways, points out that what higher American prices versus constant British exports means is that the terms of trade have become adverse to Britain. The Americans have found a way to get more British goods for less; and that the old solution to that would have been to devalue the pound. Bretton Woods is supposed to prevent that, because it led to trouble in the Thirties, but maybe this would be a good time to make an exception. Clara Falcone, of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, writes to complain that she was prevented from travelling to Tripoli by British authorities, and where is your vaunted “British liberty” now. N. Devon sends in a table of statistics that shows that Palestine’s balance of trade balanced out at 67 million pounds last year, which he thinks will interest readers. Geoffrey Brackett thinks that since the Government isn’t allowed to direct manpower to industry, it should at least be allowed to direct the young men who fail the conscription physical for a year.
The Economist really liked VictorKravchenko’s Soviet Freedom, because it is about how terrible the Reds are. It didn’t like Joseph Dorfman’s The Economic Mind in American Civilisation, because it thought that it was long and dumb. J. M. Mogey’s Rural Life in Northern Ireland is a “disturbing picture of economic backwardness and social decay.” However, The Economist points out, it only deals with smallholders and labourers, not “the rural middle class­,” and the rule that “the poor are survey material while the rich are entitled to their privacy” gets in the way of proper sociological surveys once again. Sounds like excuses to me! R. E. Dickinson’s City,Region and Regionalism sounds like fascinating reading for any college senior interested in the Middlesborough Survey and the West Midland Group reports and the Ministry of Town and Country Planning.)
Confusing the Ministry with the magazine will never get old!

From The Economist of 1847
The Economist of 1847 and Sir Robert Peel, sitting in a tree/ First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes SirRobert Peel in a baby carriage!
American Survey
“The State of the Economy” The American economy is doing very well, the President said in his recent address to the nation. Statistically, this is true, which is sad news for everyone who likes bad news.

But good news for those who like bad news! First, the continuing inflation is hitting those who don’t get compensatory wage increase. This, it seems, is behind the recent decline in savings rates (or not, people may be saving less because the war is over and there is more to buy), the recent drawdown in savings, and the dramatic fall in life insurance purchases. Also, exports can’t possibly continue at current rates, because there is just not that much to import, and the Marshall Plan can’t possibly make up the rapid depletion of means to pay. Also, inventories can’t keep on building up the way they are doing. Besides, construction continues to be disappointing due to high costs. Also some more, productivity might be improving, but is still too low. In short, the recession is still just around the corner, and the longer it holds off, the worse it will be.
“Holiday Patterns” Last summer, America “devoted itself to sprawling in the sun and letting the bread and soda pop bought by ‘separation pay’ drop into its collective mouth.” This summer, 60 million are working, including all the teenagers who couldn’t, during the school year. One crisis after another is roiling the country, and the only people who are really enjoying the summer are in “the entertainment industry,” which is seeing booming spending on baseball bats, bathing suits, tennis racquets, bicycles, fees for dance hall and bowling alleys, money spent on pet dogs, cinema tickets, and vacation travel. Seven billion dollars! Speaking of vacation travel, how about those highways? And what about all those tourist traps along the way? Some hotels are nice! Some motels (which are an American thing that needs explaining) aren’t! And how about those auto courts? Very Californian! Even presidential candidates are on the road, being photographer by people who are also photographing grizzly bears and geysers. All of this sounds vaguely healthy, which would be good news; so there is bad news, which is good news, etc.; in 1941, compared with 1931, more money was spent on spectator sports, gambling and other unhealthy indoor pursuits, and maybe things have gotten worse since! What with the five-day week, the two-day weekend, the five weeks annual vacation, pretty soon the only thing Americans will do is “unhealthy indoor entertainments!” Such as betting on the track, which is sort of indoors.

What kind of summer fun picture would The Economist run? I idly wondered as I thumbed through the 11 August Time.

American Notes
Mustn't make contemporary political comment, mustn't
--Sorry, couldn't hold it in any longer.
“Both Sides of the Record” The Eightieth Congress didn’t accomplish very much. Even The Economist agrees that that is because the GOP came to Washington with no plan except the vague idea that the budget was too big and needed cutting, and then the money could be given away in tax cuts; and when it couldn’t make head or tails of where all the unnecessary bigness was, gave up, authorised a $35 billion budget, and went home for the summer without a tax cut.

“Presidential Programme” But! The title might seem to suggest that it wasn’t just the GOP doing rude things to a dog, as Chief would say. Sort of. If you’re wondering, the other side was Congress didn’t support many of Senator Taft’s ideas on the one side, and the President’s on the other. However, the President did get a lot done, so he and his Cabinet “emerged from the session in decidedly better place than seemed possible a year ago.” The Economist concludes that the President is going to be able to see off the challenge from Wallace, to which I say, boo!
“Black Weeks for Reds” Congress hates communists, and people who might be communists, and people who might be like communists. 800 Federal employees have been discharged for excessive pinkness, a number that will probably rise to 3000, which seems like a lot, until the 2 million-strong payroll is taken into account. Plus, there are all the people HUAC has clapped in irons.

“Steel is the Key” The steel industry is producing at 90% of rated capacity, and a steel shortage is still holding construction back. Is Senator Murray right in thinking that capacity needs to be expanded to 100 or even 120 million tons, or is the steel industry right that once the backlogs are cleared, demand will fall below capacity, which was too high for years before the war? The Economist thinks that the industry isn’t taking exports into consideration, and looks forward to a special survey by the Council of Economic Advisors that will sort it all out.
Under shorter notes, it is pointed out that the farm bloc is worried about talk in Geneva of cracking down on export subsidies, and that “Mr. Wallace’s appeal to labour and small farmers to wipe out the ‘reactionary feudal leadership of the Democratic part in the South” . . . . suggests that he is “seeing political flying saucers.” The Democrats rely on the solid south, aiming to get enough votes outside to swing the election, and that means that “Mr. Wallace is seeing the red corpuscles in his own weary eyes.” Get it? Red!
Imagine the Democrats losing the Solid South!

The World Overseas
“A Question of Confidence” France is running out of dollars, and once imports stop coming in, its inflation will accelerate. The problem is the budget. Expenditures can’t be cut, or the unions will come out. That leaves taxes, which are high, and tax returns, which are not. That is because the French are evading taxes on the black market. “The position might have been different had the government on the morrow of liberation introduced a drastic currency purge but it is useless to cry over this lost opportunity now.” What is needed is some unspecified political action to restore faith in the stability of the country and currency, unleashing French hard work and thrift.
I think there might be a case for putting benzedrine
on prescription.
“Germany’s Growing Proletariat” Germany is in terrible shape because no-one has anything. All the intellectuals are being “corrupted” by the need to work for a living, and all the students who thronged to the universities with the coming of peace will graduate and have no jobs and join the “growing intellectual proletariat.” I think that’s code for “turn communist.”

There follows a page-and-a-half article about “Trade Policy for Scandinavia” and then one about “Another Purge in Romania” Scandinavians are nice, polite and cooperative; Romanians are terrible and communistic.
The Business World
“Portents for Investors” The stock and bond markets have gone up for quite a while now, for perfectly good reasons that investors might expect to continue. Recently, however they have been down. Since there’s a crisis on, it might be related to that, but by skillful use of such powerful tools of analysis as colourful turns of phrases, wild speculation, and metaphors piled on metaphors, it can be shown that this might or might not be true; and that in the future some stocks will go up, but others might not. Yes, I hate The Economist. Why do you ask?
Don't think I'm exaggerating here, either. This paper is terrible right now, and the extracts from 1847 are even worse. 
“Is Copper Too Dear” Copper is necessary for the engineering industry, for auto radiators, and in construction. It has to be imported. Its price is going up. The Ministry of Supply recently reduced the price. The Minister, Mr. Wilmott, also said that the Ministry would like to get rid of its role as bulk buyer of ferrous metals, but can’t, because the world supply is too short. The Economist is very pleased to hear that, as it is a step backwards from planning and socialism and all of that.
Good thing no-one's reading it for the writing.
Supply fell in the last years of the war, largely due to various labour and coal supply issues in Chile, Northern Rhodesia and America. This was balanced by a declining demand from munitions, but in the postwar era demand grew rapidly, despite the threat of aluminum and of a possible replacement for the copper radiator. The industry is naturally worried about oversupply, but as long as demand keeps going up, is perfectly happy with arrangements that subsidise high cost producers like the older American mines. In the long term, demand for copper will be maintained by electrical engineering, and as long as that industry looks robust, investment will continue, especially in low cost production areas in Africa. One way or another, production looks to be up to 2.16 million tons next year, but might be held back by the slow industrial recovery in Europe and lack of dollars. Copper might be the first metal to reach postwar “equilibrium,” in which case the price can be expected to fall. I’m not sure I follow that, especially since it seems predicated on the European industrial recovery being “slow,” which is what everyone is trying to fix!

Business Notes
“Business” this week starts off with a the business of bonds, IMF securities and the ban on gold dealing. It then moves on to the Companies and Transport Bill, the Argentine Rail Scheme, and the recent decline in small savings before getting on to what I would call “business” for the purposes of this newsletter. First, Anglo-Iranian has entered into an agreement with the Distillers Company to make chemicals from oil at the existing Manchester Oil Refineries plant. (It used to use molasses, but the supply is dwindling.) Shell is also building a plant to expand oil refining in the United Kingdom. There is also a new scheme to encourage cotton exports, and the Board of Trade is in trouble for being sticky with raw material allocations to a company part-owned by a Mr. Kendall, MP, called Grantham Productions.
Flight, 7 August 1947
“Rumour-Mongering” Rumours are bad.
“Curing the Evil” One way to fix rumours is to be full and frank about whatever it is people are talking about. For example, De Havilland has just issued a bulletin about the problems the Dove and its Gipsy Queen 70 engine have had.
Designed by the same team that did the Comet, and using the same construction methods. Hmm. By Julian Herzog, CC BY 4.0,

“The Right Perspective” Everything is fine in British aviation. Except that the current system is too complicated.
“The Saro A1” Flight thinks that the Saro flying boat jet fighter is the best! Or, if they aren’t, they should be! “A figure for weight may not at present be quoted.” Flight does admit that there’s no way that this clunker could, you  know, fight enemy fighters, but there’s lots of other things it could do, “obviously.” Spot whales?
It may not be a flying pig, but the article does say that it has a "beam of 6.83 feet." I'm pretty sure  that other fighters don't have "beams."

“Advanced Trainer: Boulton Paul P. 108 completes initial tests with Mercury engine. The way that the cockpit is faired into the forward radial engine makes me think of the old Skua and Roc. I’m honestly not sure what else to say about it.
Higher performance than the Skua, too. (At least, the later, Merlin version.)

Here and There
Transocean’s first flight carrying those 7000 British emigrants to Canada, has left. Hordern-Richmond, makers of hydulignum, are under new management. Edmund Hordern and the Duke of Richmond are out, and new management is keen to use hydulignum [pdf] to make airscrews, helicopter rotors, and “various tools and fixtures for the aircraft industry.” “Experiments are now being made at Laguardia” in the highly scientific field of announcing aircraft trivia over the loudspeakers for the amusement of passengers who want to year about “tyres, capacities, speeds and other relevant facts.” Vickers Armstrong announced that the Viceroy will now be called the Viscount. It will have an air range of 1700 miles, like the Viking, and cruise at 325mph, and be in service in 1950. Helicopters have been spraying Gerasol powder, a DDT preparation, over fruit orchards in Sweden for three days, recently. The “Reynolds Bombshell” will take off on the next leg of its round-the-world flight very soon now. Unlike all the other American light plane makers, Piper is doing well, and its export sales are up.
  He's selling ballpoint pens, which are a big (new) thing right now.
L. G. Fairhurst, “Airscrews for Gas Turbines: A Review of Some of the Problems Associated with the New Types of Power Unit” The largest piston engine power output is likely to be 3500hp, but turboprops might be more powerful. This means that the airscrew will be taking a lot of torque, or going very, very fast, or both.

What kind of airscrews might they be attached to what kind of turbine? Today’s installment is mainly devoted to provisions for extremely fine pitch, needed when the airscrew is directly driven from the main compressor, and for windmilling (to brake a diving aircraft, as, for example, the Wyvern, while dive bombing), and reverse pitch, for short deck landings. Because control system failures might lead to the airscrew entering fine pitch at the wrong time and either overspeeding or overloading the engine, there have to be all sorts of “safety stops” in the system.

617’s Atlantic Crossing” This was, we’re told, the first east-to-west Atlantic crossing by a bomber squadron. So then this wet-behind the ears flyboy happens to say same to Chief, and gets a lecture about “Balbos,” and a cross-examination about what he’s done to those precious engines, anyway, as if I were the one beating Waikiki at twenty pounds boost. . . . The Lincolns flew a 2000 nautical mile course at 165 knots IAS at 8000 to 10,000ft. The squadron hoped for a mid-course navigational fix from the weather ship on station, but it wasn’t on station due to appendicitis. Fortunately, while a 400 to 500-mile navigational gap was expected mid-flight, it proved to be only 250 miles due to good LORAN coverage, which, in fact, two aircraft did not lose for the entire flight. The radio wave, she are a tricksome beast. Two aircraft had problems with their radios, and were navigated across by sextant from the astrodome, and made landfall within four miles of the flight plan. It doesn’t look as though I’m going to get a chance to meet up with “the Dambusters,” but now I am mad keen on it!

“Aircrew Selection: Sorting Wheat from Chaff in Candidate Aptitude Tests” Between you, me and the wall, I am the wheat, I work with the wheat, and if that’s wheat, I’m never eating bread again.  Anyway, this is about how science has come to the rescue with aptitude tests, including one with a science-box for testing hand/eye coordination.
Cocooning” An American method for protecting equipment by spraying it with plastic resin to seal it up, airtight.
“Prelude to Glory” Flight is exclusively publishing the first instalment of Group Captain Maurice Newnham’s new book, Prelude to Glory, which is about the formation and training of British airborne forces.
Short Sealand Amphibian” The first prototype of Short’s new, small, twin-engined amphibian is almost ready for test flying. In relatedly nautical news, a Percival Proctor is being tried out on floats.
“Elstree Display and Air Show” Flight gets out and about to another air show, this one sponsored by the United Services Institution Flying Club.
Weather Observer: First British ‘Met’ Ship” Thirteen weather ships are planned, and the first British ship, O.W.S. Weather Observer, a converted Flower-class corvette, is ready to go. The article very briefly describes the meteorological instruments being carried, and the arrangements for inflating and launching radiosondes. I can’t get much of a sense of what’s so interesting about the instruments, except for a reference to a “handheld anemometer.” The Flowers are notorious rollers, and now I’m imagining trying to take weather measurements in the middle of an Atlantic storm, and why a handheld instrument is better for that. Air New Zealand carried 200,000 passengers last year.
I suppose there's a perfectly good reason they didn't use a "Castle," but this seems a bit cruel. 

Civil Aviation News
BSAA’s first Tudor IV, which left London on 27 July, returned on the 29th after flying to the West Indies and back, 11,714 miles in 37 ½ hours, although it was unable to make a direct flight home from Bermuda, and had to refuel in the Azores. BSAA hopes to operate three Tudor IVs, beginning in September.
So, fifty percent total hull losses? By RuthAS - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

British European Airways has acquired, under a 28-year lease, the ground floor and basement of Stafford Court in Kensington to serve as its new arrival and departure point for all passengers and freight flying in and out of London, replacing the Airways Terminal. The special bus service from London to Northolt will continue to be operated by the London Passenger Transport Board.  Details about new pilots’ license exams, the helicopter license issued by CAB for passenger service, to Los Angeles Airways are shared.

“In the opinion of the New York banking world,” American airlines are not being run very efficiently, and government subsidies would just make that worse. Three paragraphs explain Swedish airline policy. Pan American Airways Clippers carried 4478 passengers from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Hawaii in June. Pilots are politely requested to stop jamming each other with weather requests, and just listen to the regular weather reports for the London area that are being specifically broadcast for them.
R. J. Woodhams, of Air Service Training, says that foreigners are so coming to England to take the Ministry of Civil Aviation examinations because they’re so good. J. A. McD writes to point out that distance reading indicators are also useful in automatic approaches. T. Neville Stack writes to point out that if you want better control officers, you should hire ex-pilots, like him, and pay them well. D. Follows, of BALPA, writes to clarify BALPA’s position on flight refuelling. Flight still thinks that they’re being wet hens.

The Economist,  9 August 1947
“The Lash of Adversity” The new austerity measures introduced by the Government fall well short of what was expected. The petrol ration is cut by one-third, not eliminated. Travel allowances are only cut, as are film remittances; and instead of cutting the meat and bacon ration in half, some items will be “up-pointed.” What happened? Well, the Government is frightened by the prospect before the country, and wants to frighten the population, but can’t bring itself to do anything too drastic, so it settles for minor cuts and a new plan to increase agricultural production by 20%, mainly by increasing pay and other incentives. The Economist thinks that what is needed is a “disinflationary process” and “modest unemployment in the next few months” to “restore flexibility to industry.” This sounds “unprogressive,” and “reactionary” and “socially irresponsible,” but the alternative would be mass unemployment due to the complete collapse of imports.
“Back to Partition” The British are fed up with Palestine in the wake of the latest terrorist outrages. Should they just set a deadline and go, as in India? No, because, unlike in India, there is no hope of avoiding war. Instead, Mandate Palestine should be partitioned before the English withdraw, with part becoming the new Jewish homeland, and the rest folded into Syria or Transjordan, probably with some exchange of population. Arab opinion might not like the idea, but Britain could guarantee the frontiers of the expanded states, and, after all, they would gain new territory, including possible on the Mediterranean coast. It’s not the best solution for Jews, Palestinian Arabs, or the world, but it is the best solution for the British taxpayer.

“Articles Seven to Ten” Most of this is what the Earl said, eight months ago, and The Economist, too. But The Economist is also upset about the non-discrimination clauses, which, in its mind, restrict the British from extending sterling zone deals. Since there is no way that exports to America can rise far enough to balance demand for American exports, third-party international trade must increase; and preferential sterling credits are one way to do that. So long as convertibility and non-discrimination means that, for example, Brazil can take those credits, convert them into dollars, and buy American instead, such arrangements are impossible, and the British economy will collapse, taking world trade with it, and that would be bad. So the point of all of this is that it is not enough for upcoming negotiations to relax convertibility; the non-discrimination articles must go, too.

“A Question of Freedom” ­Communism is bad because freedom. I know you think that I am a young man in a hurry and that I will see the flaws in socialism as I get older, and that I am far too harsh on the old fogeys, and all of that. But that is literally all this three page article is! Socialism is like communism, and communism is what they have in Russia, which isn’t free, which is a troubling thing about socialism. Gah! You would think that the article would at least find space for the increasing economic coordination in eastern Europe under Soviet rule on the one hand, and falling agricultural exports, on the other. But, no, those are left for a Note.
Notes of the Week
Paris Begins Planning” The sixteen nation (Europeans and Americans) economics summit in Paris is next month. Marshall will tell them what his Plan is, and they will tell him what his Plan should be, and hopefully everything will be sorted out. The Dutch and Belgians (and Luxembourg) have a “Benelux” plan to make the European currencies stable and interconvertible with each other and the dollar, although this would require the French and Italians to deflate, which they think is impractical until after American aid begins to flow. There is also talk of developing hydroelectric power and a common European grid, for increasing vegetable oil production in the colonies, for making the most of steel capacity, for increasing tractor production and for the joint use of oil refineries. 
“Party Politics and German Needs” The House of Commons debated Germany last week. The Conservatives’ official position is that it is in bad shape because of too much control and Planning and whatnot, which is so obviously silly that Mr. Bevin had no problem “bowling down all of the Aunt Sallies.” The problem is that the Yalta and Potsdam agreements partitioned Germany and cut its steel production below the point where it could pay for its imports, dooming it to either starvation or American aid, in lieu of further British dollar expenditures that are not forthcoming.
“Shaef, Civilian or Military” If a new Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force, is going to run the unified western zones of Germany, it should probably have a civilian head, and Mr. Bevin’s proposal that General Eisenhower should be brought over, and “gradually transition to civilian,” is just muddle-headed. In a somewhat related bit, the British recently assured Berliners that they were there to stay, even though Berlin is not going to be the German capital again.  This was a bit of a mystery to me until I looked at a map and discovered that Berlin is surrounded by the Russian occupation zone on all sides. So it is a bit strange that the British, and also French and American garrisons are going to stay, but obviously reassuring to Berliners!
The Economist then moves on to some politics. Parliament is adjourning for the summer without having a “State of the Nation” address, which is delayed until October. Adjournment was only delayed as long as it was because the Government introduced the Supplies and Services (National Powers) Bill, which The Economist thinks was a wet firecracker, and who cares. International politics has Egypt bringing up Sudan in the General Assembly, and the Australians and Indians bringing up Indonesia. In the first case, The Economist harrumphs that Egypt has no case, and that’s that. Indonesia is trickier, since the Dutch do not have a veto, and can’t stop the General Assembly from putting its nose in and demanding peace and “rights for Asiatics.” All very well, the Economist says, before implying that if you let the General Assembly get away with imposing peace on people trying to oppress Asiatics, next thing you know the Assembly will flex its new powers to force Australia to admit Asiatic immigrants, and that’ll teach the Diggers! Fortunately, the Dutch have occupied all of the bits of Java and Sumatra they want, so they compromised and allowed American mediation.
Mark of the Beast” The Economist is horrified by the anti-Jewish demonstrations and attacks on synagogues that followed the killing of the British sergeants in Palestine. It is cautiously hopeful that the crimes will turn out to have been committed by agents provocateurs.
The Severn Bridge” The recently approved Severn Bridge will be the largest suspension bridge in Europe and the third largest in the world. The Economist admits that it is vital to the development of South Wales, but thinks that it is too expensive and that this is the wrong time for it, just as this is the wrong time for It’s not that the paper is anti-development and progress, mind you. It’s just that it will probably be built instead of other Ministry of Transport projects that would be a good idea. (Until they are actually announced, at which point I’m sure that they will turn out to be premature, just like the forty-hour week and increasing the school-leaving age and national health and Indian independence and expanding the universities and on and on and on.
Building the Severn Bridge, 1947. Look at the cute excavator! By Brian Gerald Gwyn Hobbs, CC BY-SA 2.0,

“Facts About Childbearing”  The birth rate shows a decline from 22.8 in the March quarter to 22 in April-June. “Does this mark the end of that extraordinary boom in births which, ever since 1939, has confounded the prophets?” Is it because of demobilisation? I know that this is a burning question for James and Auntie Grace. I’ve seen their charts and graphs and the fancy slide rule work they use on their “algorithms.” I also know that, stripping away the maths, their theory is that the birth boom was due to “pent up demand” for babies as a result of the Depression, and I know that Britain is a problem for their theory, since the timing of the slump was so different. The Economist is convinced that it is all down to soldiers marrying their sweethearts before they go off to war, so it also puts the causes back in the past, although to a later period. Anyway, it thinks that if the “impetus” provided by all those marriages is “exhausted” during the forthcoming period of “economic difficulties,” there might be a “precipitate” fall in the population of workers at the very time when the number of pensioners reaches heights never before known, and that something should be done about this by making childbearing more attractive.
Because of this, it is interested to see that the first issue of Population Studies, the quarterly journal of the Population Investigation Committee, has an article about this. The article concludes that it is the cost of raising children that is depressing the birth rate, which is, of course, the “pent up demand” theory, again. It also points out that the costs bear especially heavily on the poor. That’s interesting, because the point that keeps being made to me is that the poor are always having babies, heedless of costs, and that is why the world is getting ever more “dysgenic.” (Because the poor are poor because they are genetically inferior.) This is interesting, and The Economist (and Population Studies) gets this close to James and Grace’s conclusions before getting sidetracked into talking about how hard pregnancy is for poor women, who must work and keep house while pregnant, and who don’t have access to good medical care and pain relief. So more aspirin means more babies? What?
 “The Farmer’s Share” Is an interesting investigation into the change in farm incomes during the war.

Reginald Lannard writes that all the public outrage about damming Ennerdale to provide water for the new Courtaulds factory can be put at ease. There is not enough labour in the area for the Courtauld’s plant and for the proposed atomic energy factory at Drigg, so the Courtauld plant has been cancelled, and the dam won’t go ahead. Norman Brentwood writes to correct Mr. G. E. Corra. In no way whatsoever do the people of Somaliland and Eritrea want the Italians back, and the idea of an Italian mandate for the areas is outrageous, although union with Ethiopia is not out of the question.
From The Economist of 1847
Mr. Macaulay's” defeat in the general election is good riddance to bad rubbish.
The Economist thought that Jean Fournastie’s Equisse d’une Theorie General de l’Evolution Economique Contemporaine was simply brilliant, and that all economists should read it, especially since it is only 31 pages and they can show off that they’ve read a French book. Christopher Hollis’ Rise and Fall of the Ex-Socialist Government is about socialism being terrible. Hargreaves Parkinson’s The Hatch System is about an imaginary American stockpicker who has flourished mightily, and how his “Hatch system” can work for you. I can hear Uncle George laughing now. I just don’t understand how a book like this gets to be reviewed in The Economist. There is a short review of Ludwig von Mises’ PlannedChaos that uses the phrase “invincible ignorance” before getting really cruel. (Glad to know that there’s at least a vestige of liberal leftism at The Economist.)
American Survey
“United States and the United Nations”  The General Assembly’s intervention was welcome, only problem is that now the Uno has increased its budget request for next year by half, since it has accomplished something.
American Notes
“Taft on Foreign Policy” The Republican Party is still “a long way from having a Presidential nominee in 1948” (Dewey), and one of the steps along the way is for Taft, who is going to lose to Dewey, to be able to say that he has a foreign policy. Last week, he gave a speech in Columbus about how New Dealers are sharpers, and Washington wastes too much money and is always looking to start wars, and how foreigners are all deadbeats, and that it is only the 80th Congress that has kept everything in line.
Assorted Tafts having fun, so it is possible.

“Spotlight Session” Taft might think that the 80th Congress did a great job, but not even other Republicans would go that far. They all agree that unless the next session tackles the minimum wage, social security benefits, low-cost housing and education, the only thing anyone will follow is all the probes. And as far as that goes, Senator Brewster’s sizzling story about how Howard Hughes got some starlets to “sell” Kaiser-Hughes airplanes has led to some hot times in Washington, as Julius Krug puts in a denial, and it is suggested that Brewster is just pushing his feud with TWA. Funny. I’m used to it being Uncle Henry who ropes people into funny business. I would never have thought that it would be Hughes leading him astray. (I admit that it could have worked the other way, but it’s Hughes who has the black book with the starlets’ numbers, unless there’s something about Uncle Henry that I would never have guessed in a million years.)
Definitely not Henry Kaiser country.

“Steel Prices Up” British buyers trying to get American steel need to take a second look as prices of this “basic commodity” go up in response to wage increases, which may themselves go up due to “reopening” clauses in many contracts.
“Mission to China” Chiang wants his financial assistance renewed early. Marshall would probably prefer that that not happen at all, but “at no time has there been any suggestion that the United States would abandon the Nationalists in favour of Communist control.”  However, the State Department doesn’t hate the communists nearly enough for the Republicans, and with the GOP takeover of 1946, it is no surprise that General Wedemayer has been made the new emissary to the Koumintang. The thought that the Nationalists might get $2.5 billion when all is said and done has had the effect of bracing their anti-communism to a fever pitch, and Wedemayer will only encourage that.
The World Overseas
“Brazil in Transition” Again some more! (Inflation, high import costs, lack of transportation, declining food production, lack of dollars; all of these are problems to be transitioned away from.)
Singapore Prepares to Vote” You will have heard all about this at length from Uncle H. I know that I have. 
The Legislative Council, 1948. 

The Business World
“The Cost of Convertibility” The statistics are not good enough to show exactly how quickly the dollar drain is happening, because of the way that convertible sterling balances are held, and that makes it even more frightening. (So maybe the Earl was right to predict that the crisis would come on the morning of the 16th. It did, and we just don’t know it yet!)

“Lancashire Looks Up” I have to warn you that the average reader of The Economist will probably need a resuscitating machine at the end of this article, which reads as though it wandered out of Fortune.

The cotton industry has met and exceeded the labour recruitment targets of the Cotton Working Party. The loss of 4000 juvenile entrants to the school leaving age increase is to be met by “European Volunteers” (not “displaced persons!”), mostly from Austria and the Baltic countries. Mills have been improved beyond recognition, and are buying and improving housing for their new workers. The Cotton Industry Research Association thinks that per person productivity can be increased by 50%(!) by “redeploying” it more scientifically, which makes up for the fact that it is going to take forever and a day to replace all the machines with bright and shiny new ones. The Economist also expects brilliant results from incentive pay. It is also astonished at the way that the industry is producing improved cotton clothes, some with “the appearance and dignity of pure silk,” including the new ventile fabrics and partially waterproof impregnated materials. “So many obituaries have been written about Lancashire cotton that it is encouraging to have this reminder that the industry can still play a part in pioneer industrial development.”
Ventile cycling suit. From segrasgra.

Business Notes
“Market Reactions” explains why the stock market has recovered slightly, even though The Economist says it oughtn’t. “The Government’s Manpower Plans” describes how the Control ofEngagement Order puts some of the arrangements of the wartime Essential Work Order back into effect. Overtime rules may undo the effects of the 40-hour week in coal and cotton by the fall. There will also be differential rations for the undermanned industries if rations are further reduced.
“New Targets for Coal and Steel” The government’s new target is an average weekly rate of 4 million tons, giving 210 million tons a year of coal, a comfortable margin over the 200 million in the Economic Survey of February. The Economist is skeptical that the production levels necessary to guarantee that rate through the winter are going to be achieved. The miners’ concession of an 8 ½ day is not going to do it.

Less relevant (I think) notes cover the IMF’s dollar holdings, which are an untapped source of, yes, dollars; the new cotton purchasing policy, which has built up a surplus that the Government now intends to use up over the next six months, with likely “interesting” results on world prices; the increased railway charges, which now seem set to give the new Transport Commission a surplus; and the latest word on the common European exchange plan. Which seems to be the same story as earlier; the idea is a good one, but the “Benelux countries” think that France and Italy must devalue, and they don’t want to do that. Car exports are at record levels, although a comparison with monthly averages from 1938 show just how severe the effects of steel and coal shortages have been. The wool industry is recovering more slowly than cotton, and labour is still well short of the 200,000 target set by the Wool Working Party, with too much production going to the domestic market, although this cannot continue, and the home consumer should take note now, before it is too late to buy winter blankets. The IMF’s request for a ban on gold “operations” at higher-than-market prices has not affected South African revenues. Cement production is up, and so are prices, but this is good, because cement is fundamental to everything, being used to build the factories that make the exports that pay for the imports, and that is why it, and it alone, should be guaranteed its full allocation of coal.   
Spreading the wealth of Fortune's Italy pictorial around.

Flight, 14 August 1947
“The Human Factor” Flight is publishing extracts of studies on the “human factor” in the design and layout of cockpit controls done at the American Aero Medical Laboratory at Wright Field, and just wants to remind everyone that “Vertigo” was on about it before the American report arrived.

“Probing the Problem” The first International Air Congress since the war is being held in Egypt this September. Flight imagines that many interesting papers will be heard, and, in the mean time, recommends that we read part II of Fairhurst’s paper and imagine that we are at the International Air Congress, soaking up lectures about “all the major problems which confront the aircraft technician at the present time.”
“Round the World Again” Captain Odom has flown a solo round-the-world flight in the Reynolds Bombshell. It took 73 hours, 5 minutes. Compared to Wiley Post’s 187-hour flight, Odom had a better autopilot, and his engines didn’t work as much, so the only thing Odom proved is that he’s not necessarily the man that Wiley Post was.
“Short-Distance Aids to Navigation” The Radiophysics Division of the Australian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has completed three of an ultimate four VHF beacon-and-distance-measuring systems that together provide polar coordinates with respect to Melbourne, Sydney and Yass, with up to sixty tracks leading into each airport that pilots can fly without jamming radios with range and bearing requests. The system also has automatic lock-on, which sounds very nice.

Here and There
In an article published in Fairchild Corporation’s house newsletter, General Vandenberg revealed to the world that the Americans are working on missiles, nuclear weapons, atomic power and supersonic aircraft. Now that’s news! In London, the American airattaché held a garden party to commemorate the 40th anniversary of theestablishment of the American Aeronautical Division. The Minister of Supply says that the Brits exported £7,250,000 in aviation-related stuff in the last three months, and that the estimate for the full year is £20,000,000. That includes the Derwent and Nene licenses.  The Brits are turning HMS Venerable over to the Dutch in return for the Karel Doorman, which has been on loan to them since 1945. The Russians had their first postwar air day last week, showing off six different jet fighters, including a Yakovlev design, and a propeller type with jet boost assist. Trans-Australian Airlines will soon allow passengers to send telegrams in flight. HMS Albatross, part of the invasion flotilla, has been turned over to the South-Western Steam Navigation Company as a floating hotel.
The only surviving Yak-15. By Alan Wilson - Yakolev Yak-15 '37 yellow', CC BY-SA 2.0,

Seabee in the Air: An Opinion of its Performance off Land and Water” Flight’s correspondent got to fly a Seabee. The man from Flight starts out by saying that he doesn’t think that the Seabee was at all suitable for operations at anywhere near its full load except on very wide open spaces, and that the idea of a businessman with a hundred flying hours loading family and luggage into a Seabee and flying off to the lake is just ridiculous. “Occasionally one gets a distinctly Walrus-like feel from the Seabee.” That’s not a compliment to either the Walrus or the Seabee. He doesn’t like the controls, finds the landing to be hard work, with constant pumping of undercarriages and trimming of flaps as one nurses the throttle into an acceptable rate of descent. The hold-off is too brief, recovery from overtrimming requires a “great deal” of engine power, the controls were too woolly for our correspondent to even consider stall testing in the air, and there was a distinct lack of fore-and-aft stability. But aside from that, it was fine in the air, and landing on water was much nicer than on land, as was takeoff, although mighty wet, as the windshield fogged up, and about a pint of water per occupant was shipped through the open side windows. The engine was fine, although another 20hp are needed.

“617’s American Tour” The Dambusters were in Washington for Air Force Day, flew over New York, Baltimore and Boston among other cities, beat the beaches of Atlantic City, and generally had a grand time.
L. G. Fairhurst, “Airscrews for Gas Turbines: Part II: Some Outstanding Features of Specialised Design: Ancillary Equipment: The Self-contained Airscrew” In the cockpit, all controls must be gated, covered and protected so that they cannot be brushed or kicked, because accidentally changing the pitch of an airscrew driven by 3500hp will make the blade, engine or plane explode, just about. With all the power going into the blades, designers are looking at new, high speed aerofoil sections, sweepback to retard compressibility effects on the airscrew blade, and thinner sections, which is easier with turboprops because they do not vibrate as much. An improvement in efficiency to 75% at altitude is possible, and weight may go down to 0.16lb to 0.2lbs per bhp. It has always been hard to arrange air intakes in the spinners, and this is getting harder with higher speeds leading to greater icing. High power also makes it difficult for a reduction gearing that gives a sufficiently low tip speed at high powers to also give any power at all at low rpms, and so, at last, designers have been brought to the complication of a two-speed reduction gearing. Hollow steel blades are preferred because they can be electrically de-iced from the inside. “Self contained” airscrews, with all of the necessary gear for constant speed, reversing pump, synchroniser alternator and feathering pump, may be the wave of the future, although there is not a lot of room in there for hydraulic fluid reserves in case of leaks, and prototypes will have to be evaluated before it is clear whether or not the complications are warranted. Fairhurst ends by arguing with himself over whether it would be better for a plant comprising of two turboprops to have each engine driving one of a pair of counter-rotating airscrews via coaxial shafts, or driving the pair together by gearing both to a common driveshaft. The former case is not efficient, the latter requires quick-release clutches, as  otherwise the failure of one engine would immediately stall the other.

And there we stop, as we started, more or less in the middle of everything. I wonder if this article had to be chopped up after a late decision to publish Prelude to Glory by installment? (It continues this week.)
“Dove Maintenance: Few Faults Discovered During One Year of Operation: Remedies Already Effected or Suggested” This is Flight’s summary of the de Havilland bulletin. I can’t help but think that a fault like “grease nipples on pin attaching main undercarriage jack ram shaft to leg are too close to wing rib when retracted” doesn’t belong in a bulletin so much as in an apology. It’s not as though the mechanics will have failed to notice this, or be able to do anything about it now that de Havilland has told them! Or that there is very much to say about the fact that the silver nitrocellulose coating on the windshield crazes in sunlight. “Oh, sorry about not being able to see out through the sunscreen! Our goof!” A short bit following relates that Captain Odom’s worst moment during his round the world flight came over the Bay of Bengal, where monsoon weather led to turbulence so bad that his desk chair went flying into the autopilot, disconnecting it.
Sunburn? Because of the crazing?

Design and Psychology: Relationship of Cockpit and Instrument Representationto Human Error and Safety” this is fascinating: Wright let some psychologists loose on cockpit arrangements, and a Flight staffer then read it. Some very interesting results concerning what kind of instrument was most easily read, how accurately pilots reach for controls without looking (they tend to reach short), and one researcher discovers that pressures are much more accurately estimated at high loads than small. (So a 2lbs pressure is missed by 20%, a 20Lb pressure by 5%.)
Civil Aviation
Southend Airport has officially opened, and the Institute of Transport now has a club house at Portland Place. R. Abraham is to succeed G. S. Dunnett as Under-Secretary (Air). BEA has no pilot vacancies, and any future vacancies will be announced in the press, so pilots are asked to stop applying. Aer Lingus is expanding, although perhaps not hiring pilots. A picture of the new Ilyushin 12 transport decorates the page.

 The Australian Civil Aviation Department is considering replacing Dubbo Airport with Narromine, because “Narromine” is a sillier name than “Dubbo.” Also, something about fog. The Tudor VII (the experimental Tudor I with Hercules engines) visited London. It was hoped that the Hercules would cure the Tudor VII’s problems with swing by virtue of its symmetrical thrust line (a fancy way of saying that the engine is round). This did not happen, and as far as A. V. Roe is concerned, the Tudor doesn’t have any more swing than any other tail wheel aircraft, British Airways be hanged. The Hercules Tudor costs a little more and has 700lb less payload, as the Hercules installation weighs 200lb more, but it might have fuel economy at height, has better takeoff performance, and is quieter. In BSAA’s Tudor IV trials, fuel consumption was 0.985 nautical miles per gallon at 41% METO power while flying at a full load of 80,000lbs (32 passengers and lots of fuel). The takeoff run was 1150 yards and the landing 1000 yards. The Azores landing isn’t explained.

E. Morrison has opinions about the way that the ATC is being BUNGLED. Air Commodore Whittle writes to point out that it was the English, and not the Americans, who invented coolant injection for thrust boosting jets. Ammonia had a particularly sensational result, at least in low humidity, but injecting unburnt fuel into the exhaust jets (where it burns) is thought to be a better way of boosting thrust. “One Time A.2” thinks that the specification for the new elementary trainer is being BUNGLED. (It is to be tandem rather than dual.)

Aero Digest, August 1947
It’s the “Airports Issue!” So unless we’ve discovered a way of investing in airports, a lot of this is going to be pretty quick to breeze through. I mean, I know I shouldn’t say that, because I do remember Uncle Henry spending a few minutes on a scheme to make money off airports at the end of the war, and maybe there’s something there, especially with all the sheep ranches we’re trying to flog off. On the other hand, I don’t think so.
Now we know what Frank Tichenor looked like. Not at all the magnificent Colonel Blimp I imagined from his Roosevelt-hatin' editorials. In fact, he looks, and sounds, a bit depressed.

“May be the Answer” Frank Tichenor reads a letter from a reader, whose wife is going to make him stop flying, because it isn’t safe. He thinks that planes should be safer. So does Frank. How will we get that safety plane? I don’t know, says Frank. Maybe the government should do something. “At Last:” Frank has been fighting for a Department of Defence ever since the sainted Billy Mitchell told him it was a good idea.  Now, if only it becomes an “airworthy” reality, because everything is better when it is airworthy.
“The Airport Programme Muddle” A billion dollars is to be appropriated to build airports, but because of BUNGLING, it hasn’t all ben appropriated, or allocated, or is being spent wrong, or something. To be honest, I kind of tuned out. There’s charts, later, though!
Guest Editorial
Lieutenant General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, “Every Airport Counts” General Vandenberg seems to owe Frank a favour in the form of words. They’re about how, if a war happens somewhere, somehow, an airport around there would be very helpful. So if “airborne, air transported or underseas forces” get a foothold in one place, it sure would be nice to have an airport near it. In the last war, the air forces used airports a lot. There were 200 in Normandy. They were used to drop 3682 tons of bombs! There were 2000 B-29 sorties against Japanese airports in Kyushu. Air commerce requires 2550 new airports in America! Then the last half of the page is filled with the General’s service biography, because, frankly, the favour wasn’t that big.
The fact that Hoyt has a similar guest editorial in the Fairchild company monthly makes me think that the fix might be in. Or that I'm extra-cynical today, thanks to learning that the reason that he has the same name as the Senator is that he's the Senator's nephew. Meritocracy, everybody!

Herman B. Byer, Assistant Chief, Employment and Occupation Branch, Bureau of Labour statistics, U. S. Dept. of Labour “Jobs and the Airport Programme” The airport programme is small enough that it will only use 10,000 construction workers, leaving the rest free for important things, like making sure that ex-Pvt Jones can move his wife and his two kids out of his Mother’s attic before everybody goes crazy.

In aviation events, the first ever Air Force Day was last month, Ilinois is building the most new airports, air passenger traffic is up, and various organisations are renamed or have moved addresses.
Wasington Information with Richard E. Saunders
Saunders went to the same Eisenhower testimony that Newsweek covered, but is getting into print a month later. He does have some new news from the testimony, though, such as a tussle between the Air Force and Congress over whether cutting its gas budget will cut into training. The Army also had to intervene to make sure that it wasn’t given too much money at the expense of the Navy and Air Force, and word is that while the legislation only guarantees the Marines’ right to exist, the Cavalry and the Coast Artillery are looking for the same protection. Because why have five services (two of which do the same thing), when you can have seven? I’ll back this as long as they make the Cavalry ride real horses. I still can’t believe that a self-respecting horse would let a ninny like Patton ride it, but I guess I’m overestimating horses, because I’m sure not underestimating George!
Then there’s a bunch of stuff about the law and airports, advertising and airports, a “case study” of the Tulsa, Oklahoma municipal airport, the planning of airline hangars, and the design of asphalt surfaces(!)

Actually vaguely interesting with the Interstates coming up.

Lawrence LeKashman, Radio Editor, “Electronic Avigation to date” In the two years since the war, it has become clear that military radars offer little to solve the problem of navigation, contrary to the promises that the public and Congress were sold on by “overly enthusiastic publicity.” LORAN, Gee, and the new American VHF omni-directional radio ranges and associated Distance Measuring Equipment are the wave of the future. GCA and ILS will complement each other at American airports, and the new Bendix Airport Surveillance System will fully incorporate GCA. Most of the rest of the page is straight out of a Bendix brochure, but way down at the bottom, LeKashman remembers that Bendix isn’t paying for advertising, and starts talking about collision avoidance radars, including the APS-10 General Electric, APS-45 being installed in Navy R5Ds, and the “Hughes-TWA instrument,” which doesn’t have a service designation yet, bAero Digest, I hope LeKashman becomes an editor at The Economist. His say-nothing word clouds are a joy to read compared to that monster.
ut is available commercially. IFFs would be good, and private pilots should have radio licenses. In conclusion, “It can be said that 1947 is a year of persistent and systematic approach to recognised problems, leading continuously to a well-integrated and scientifically-advanced system of air communication and navigation which will be uniform all over the world.”

Helicopter Engineering with Alexander Klemin
Alex asked some friends, “What about helicopters and airports? What do you think about that?” Here’s what they said! First, a “helicopter airport” shouldn’t be called an “airport,” because then the Government will get involved, with all its rules about airports. H. M. Henion, of Airways Engineering Consultants, thinks that it should be called an “airdock.” Robert Playfair, of Skyways, calls it a “roofport.” Others like “helidrome,” “copterport,” “heliport.” Did you know that I haven’t had a single engineering course on smashing two words together? It’s true! All of Alex’s friends think that there should be a helicopter-watchamacallit near airports. Ben Stern, of the CAA, is the killjoy who says, “Not too close.” Although Henion thinks that helicopters shouldn’t be allowed within the traffic pattern, since they don’t know exactly where they’re going yet. Most of his friends agree that helicopters can land on roofs, and should, as long as there are rules about things like gas tanks on the roof, as otherwise the helicopter pilots will be torn limb from limb by roaming bands of insurance agents. Two of them like water landings and floating rafts. One of those thinks that helicopters should follow the river to get through the city during fogs.
J. P. Chawla, “The Helicopter in Air Transport” Chawla admits that existing helicopters are pretty useless for this, and describes what a helicopter that would be useful for transport would look like; bigger and hopefully faster and longer ranged, and especially, fast enough to still be going forward into the wind, which is not something you can take for granted, just yet.
“All Weather Approach Lighting” Westinghouse’s system is described, probably by Westinghouse, there's no author. For investing purposes, I should probably say that it involves lots of very bright lights.
Hangar Hints includes hints like “Fast Fueling Increases Business,” but also describes a neat trick by TWA’s Kansas City base that accommodated a CAA change order for the Constellation’s rudder tab control by attaching a “right angled gearbox” to change the crank’s operation to horizontal, thereby saving days of work on the original, time consuming replacement installation order and getting the Connies back in the air and earning their $5000/day. Now that’s engineering!

M. V. Engelbach, Hangar Field Engineering, the Ruberoid Company, “The Ruberoid Hangar Plans” Despite the name, Ruberoid makes asbestos cement board, with which you can line lumber walls and make convenient, fire resistant hangars at a fraction of the cost of the big name steel structures.

C. A. Petry, Superintentedant of Telecommunications, UAL, and Sigurd A. Solly, Executive Sales Enmgineer, Dictaphone Corporation, “UAL Records ‘Verbal’ Orders” Dictaphone has put Dictaphones into United’s dispatch offices.  It’s a good and useful idea. It’s just a bit goofy seeing it presented as this huge breakthrough, complete with a map of United’s national network of offices-that-have-telephones-and-dictaphones.
“Evolving a New Speed Record” Poor Aero Digest is last to the party with its coverage of the P-80 speed record, too. It’s got a nice bit about the automatic cameras used to document the speed record.
What’s Going Up?
The B-50 prototype; the Cosmic Wind; the Allison “400” high thrust jet engine; the Flottorp “Strato-prop;” Solar Aircraft’s sheet metal rockets; the new Fairchild navy trainer; the Seabee, which has entered the Forest Service; the Swift, which Texas Engineering has bought from Globe Aircraft, so that it can resume production; The Air France sleeper Atlantic Constellation; the Fokker Promotor; Goodyear’s crosswind landing gear, being tried out on its GA-2 three place amphibian.
Takeoffs and Turns
There's a lot more at the linked blog post.

New Books
No wonder the publisher's depressed.

Fortune, August 1947
“How Many Sheep in Ohio?” (1,423,000, if you can’t wait for an answer) Fortune doesn’t like tariffs in general, and the one on wool is particularly stupid. American woolgrowers earned $126 million in sales in 1946, which is $10 million less than the revenue from the wool tariff. The American wool industry is “pipsqueak,” and can’t possibly compete with Australia and New Zealand, yet the tariff persists, and will be joined by ones on “sugars, fats and oils, and cotton textiles” if Congress gives way. Fortune scolds Republicans for supporting tariffs, and the wool tariff in particular, and notes that Senator Taft supports the tariff, on general principle, he implies, even though Ohio was the country’s eighth largest wool producer.
“Dollar Diplomacy” Communists and critics of America’s interventions in Latin America say “dollar diplomacy” like it’s a bad thing, which it sometimes is, but not in Europe! America needs to give dollars to Europe, and even if Marshall is leaving it to the Paris Conference to decide how much, at first pass it is obviously enough to make up the current trade deficit. However, giving that money might allow some good “dollar diplomacy.” Besides money, besides food, Europe needs coal, and that is because the Ruhr is producing at one third of capacity. Why is that? Because the mines are not being efficiently run, because they are being run by the government, and that is bad. Nationalisation is bad. Socialism is bad. Planning is bad. Only the free market is good! So, obviously, an American businessman should be put in charge of the Ruhr coal administration to teach those silly Europeans good management practices, and the mines should all be sold off to private interests as soon as possible. But Europeans, even anti-communist Europeans, are suspiciously pink, with their Monnet Plans and their planning. Whereas what they should be doing is dropping tariff barriers (has Fortune mentioned yet that tariffs are bad? Because they are!) and forming a European Commonwealth of Nations of freedom and free trade. That would scare the Russians, because in spite of all their talk of internationalism, they are actually the most nationalist of all.
Telling foreigners to privatise is always good advice!
“All That Glitters” Talk that the price of gold will soon be up to $40/oz, and that producers are stockpiling gold against a price increase; and the IMF’s blast against black-market gold transactions has led to two ideas gaining ground. The first is that “the American dollar has gone to pot.” The second is that America should open up a free gold market to find out “what the dollar is really worth.” This is silly, because the American treasury establishes a floor on gold at $35/oz. The premium in Switzerland works out to $4, and is being paid because many parts of the world are being ravaged by inflation. If there were a free market in gold, the Treasury would have to stop buying (or buy and sell at $35, which wouldn’t really be a free market at all), and the price of gold would collapse, which is precisely what those buying gold don’t want. Instead, Fortune thinks that the U.S. should start coining gold again. The gold standard is not coming back, because there is not enough gold in the world to back its money, and no-one wants massive deflation. (Do they?) But being able to convert money into gold coins might scratch some itches.
“Horse Sense About D.P.s” At the recent national convention of Catholic war veterans, a North Dakota delegate, reading the Stratton Bill calling for admitting 400,000 European DPs in four years, said that North Dakota was willing and happy to take 100,000 of them. Other states are in the same situation. Fortune tells a story about a Canadian who migrated to Maine to illustrate the important point that not all immigrants are fiends from Hell, and DPs from eastern Europe are particularly attractive, because they are fleeing communism. America should let them all in, Fortune thinks.
“The Industry Capitalism Forgot” So far in 1947, in spite of unprecedented demand, homebuilding is showing no appreciable gain over 1946, except in house prices. From January to May, 300,000 new permanent homes were finished, and 280,000 begun. In the same months during 1946, 276,000 were started, but the improvement is strictly a revision of the numbers released by the Government –a statistical correction. This means that building is halfway between the Depression low and the peak of the Twenties, when industrial output was half what it is now. Housing needs to be at double this level to have any chance of meeting national demand.
That demand is defined here, by the way, as for a home suitable to the modal American family income of $2750/year, or $230/month, which can afford a $7000 home, or to rent at $60/month. This “cals for a solid, decent, and, inevitably, somewhat standardised shelter. With that market this article deals.”


This pattern of rising prices and stagnant production also appeared after WWI, and lasted until about 1923, when housing construction began to boom through 1929.
What’s the problem? Homebuilding is “feudal,” not “capitalistic,” and those feudal people can’t do anything! Literally: construction workers are organised like old time guilds in the Middle Ages, and some Belgian professor named Pirenne says that medieval guilds were very inefficient. So, obviously, the thing to do is to get rid of all the things that are like guilds in construction, as then free enterprise can take over.

At this point, if you remember the last article on this subject, you can probably write this one. The fellows who are “getting rid of the guilds” are the same hero as last time, that Levitt guy on Long Island,. and also the Byrne organisation in Baltimore, which I don’t think popped up last time. The Byrnes have been building in Central America and the Caribbean for thirty years, and were involved in the Seabees during the war, but building homes in America is a new departure. Their big thing seems to be the construction base of operations, which they have refined into a mobile camp of giant Quonset Huts. They would like to be at the lead of a similar revolution in building homes, but modular homes are not ready for that, yet.
The Byrnes' twelve hundred house development at Harundale in 1947. While I'll take  my "194Q" gloats when they're due, I'm going to make an exception for this bit: "Undertaken by the Burne Organisation, a construction giant whose leadership sought national dominance in the housing field by creating a 988 square foot residence for $6,750, the enterprise ended in financial disaster owing to escalating costs of transporting the steel-framed, prefabricated dwellings to the site --precisely the reason the Levitts had rejected this method."

General Aniline and Film” The largest Axis-owned firm seized by the Alien Property Custodian –for the second time in forty years!--, from I. G. Farben, is now up for sale. Though as the article explains, it was controversial that it was German-owned back in 1941, when it was seized, because of the complicated way that ownership was arranged through a Swiss subsidiary. Fortune goes on to describe the company’s history during the war years, but also raises some eyebrows. The Presidency of General Aniline’s subsidiary, General Dyestuff, was held by Louis Johnson, at $50,000/year, Johnson was a director at Consolidated Vultee, and Consolidated Vultee’s owner, financier Victor Emanuel, was on the board of General Aniline appointed by the Custodian. Convenient! (Although I hear, not from Fortune, that Emanuel, a Roosevelt supporter, cross some Taft buddies, which is why this might all be coming out now.)

The dirty stuff aside, General Aniline isn’t doing as well as its competition, and Fortune, and I guess Wall Street, thinks that that is because it is in a false position due to being up for sale back to private enterprise soon. Management can’t get that figured out.
“This is Italy” The Italian peace treaty means that it is time for Fortune to go to Italy, take gorgeous pictures, and blame everything on communists and Mussolini.

Also, “Italy: East or West: Dollars and Trade are Pitted Against the Biggest, Smartest Communist Party Outside Russia” Poverty and backwardness are bad. Socialism is bad. Labour is bad. (Fortune just thought that it’d throw that in there, because England is in Europe, too.) Italy might go Communist. Send dollars. No-actually knows what is going on in the Italian economy, since its government isn’t very effective.

For example, the lira is overvalued, for some wacky reason. (Italians are wacky!) But send dollars anyway!

Charlie Taft’s Big Chance” Charlie Taft is Robert Taft’s brother, but can’t be half so bad, because he has a very saintly job currently as President of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America. There are many Tafts. You should think in your head about the fact that one of them who is not Charlie (and so not the subject of this article in any way) is running for the Republican nomination.

American Export LinesFortune profiles the big American shipping company that managed to make money last year. Just like every other shipping company! I mean, how could you not? As Uncle George says, no American shipping line has made money without cabotage since the Nineteenth Century in normal conditions, and there’s no reason to expect American Export to be the one that breaks the curse.

“The New Highway: Once a Rural Monopoly, It Finally is to go Where Traffic Goes –Downtown: Connecticut’s Engineers Show the Way” America is going to build $3 billion in highways through 1949, and intends to run many of them through congested cities, a mostly novel step. The Ansonia-Derby-Shelton expressway is a “vertical bypass.” Previous proposals would have tried to alleviate the unbearable agony of 20,000 vehicles per hour (at rush hour) trying to pass over the two-lane bridge at the north end of the  conglomerate community by diverting them around town. This is the old “rural monopoly.” You build expressways on country land, where it is cheap. However, using study methods developed in the railway business, Connecticut’s highway department planners showed that this would not solve the problem for most trips, which originate or end within the congested area. The most cost efficient solution (in time saved per motorist) was an expressway right through town. 

This idea probably isn’t as breathtakingly original as it sounds, because some of the criticisms sound like they’ve been made before. For example, as more cars are sold, the town might “wither away,” making the expressway useless. And there might be “induced” traffic, as more road persuades more people to drive. These kinds of criticisms are especially common from rural legislators, who would like to keep their expressway monopoly, and the development and building that comes with it. Connecticut’s engineers do not think that either is likely in this case, and that the expressway will still be doing its job in 2047! They are also sure that building it in the city will benefit far more people than a rural expressway, and that this more than justifies the expense.
The question is whether town expressways are coming to the congested parts of the town that you live in. How about an expressway right up Oak Street, to shorten the trip from the border? I suppose a few mansions would have to be bulldozed, but that’s the price we pay for progress.
“Stalin’s Eldorado” Between the IMF warning and all of us noticing that communism is bad, it’s time for Fortune to visit the Kolyma region, where Stalin’s prisoners work his gold fields. 

Moscow shipped $34 million in gold last year, second only to Canada and Australia, and that’s a lot of machinery for the five year plan! Kolyma is a horribly remote place. Practically unpopulated, at 7500 people in a 200,000 square mile region of tall mountains, rushing rivers, and lots of tundra, it has been the destination of a fleet of steamers capable of bringing perhaps 400,000 to 500,000 into the region a year. Magadan, the capital city of the region, now has a population of 70,000, and the population of the region is 500,000 at the summer peak of the  mining season; and would be more if the death rate among prisoners were not so appallingly high. It gets worse, too. I was actually sick to my stomach at the end of the article.

“Paducah on the Ohio: One Newspaper Town” Paducah is a regular Kentucky town with only newspaper, and that warrants an article in Fortune for some reason.

Fortune doesn' t usually do padding, but this reads like padding. 

“How to Have Your Own Foundation” Thanks to new tax rules, Foundations have gone from things that only families who have hundreds of millions of dollars can have, to things that families that have tens of millions of dollars can have. Democracy!
“Sunburn, Poison Ivy and Seasickness” It is summer, and everyone is getting sunburn, etc. There is a science angle, in that the Army and Navy researched cures for all three in the war. Sunburn cost the nation 7 and a half million workdays last year, and more science shows that it is not pigment (tanning) that stops the ultraviolet rays that cause sunburn damage, but thickening of the outer layer of skin incidental to tanning, so fair-skinned people are only at risk because they are also thin-skinned. Hmm. Poison ivy and poison oak afflict nature lovers who go out bare skinned and don’t look out for three-leaved plants. They secrete an oily, non-volatile substance called urushiol in their sap, and a single particle of urushiol, which is in every part of the plant save for its pollen, is enough to cause violent dermatitis hours later in those allergic, which most are. The article also discusses preventatives and palliative treatments, none of which are guaranteed to work. Then it goes on to seasickness, which, maybe, has been cured, sort of.
The mistaken sun burn science is pretty interesting given America's relationship with melanin, just saying. By D. Gordon E. Robertson - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Gravol has come up around here before.

Shorts and Faces
This week’s shorts start with Du Pont, which has had a good year despite wage increases and holding the line on prices. Then it is time for ramie, a plant textile imported from Haiti and Cuba that has been the next big thing for a while now. Newport Industries, of Florida, is the latest to import it and experiment with cotton/linen/ramie blends. Eugene Sisto Cervi is a Colorado businessman, I think? And a Colorado booster! He’s trying to buy into steel, or maybe newspapers, or temporary homes. Gene Schulmerich, President of SculmerichElectronics, Inc, is behind those new electric bells, which “strike” the chime with nothing but electrons. He doesn’t like the idea of “electronic music,” so he calls them “Carillonic,” and has even sold one of his carillonic bells to Father Flanagan’s Boy’s Town. Paris is also worth a short, and so is detergent maker Budge-Wood, recently bought out by part owner Sidney Wood and new investor Morgan Wing. Finally, there is a short devoted to the stock certificate logos of various companies, which are “certificated art.”  


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