Sunday, March 4, 2018

Postblogging Technology, January 1948, I: Third Party Challenge


Dear Sir:

I promised you a full report on my travels, and I wish I could supply it, but,somehow, in spite of it all, I managed to fall asleep on the plane, and was still asleep, it seems, when I made my train connection; and, somehow, did not wake up when I changed trains in Cleveland. So wafted on the sweet arms of Morpheus (it's a Classics reference), I was carried across the continent to San Francisco, at least awake enough to pick up the Lincoln, which, blessed fortune, carried me to Santa Clara, as promised, before (late) supper on New Year's Eve. 

And so the news, such as it is, is that I had a wild fight with Reggie about Henry Wallace that continued in the privacy of your grandfather's old sitting room in the north wing until he put his hand to me, and . . . well. WELL. Needless to say, as intimate as this correspondence has become . . . Besides, you will have heard the details from Grace, who is far too nosy for our own good. 

I do not know yet if I have finally thrown away my freedom here in California; but right now I cannot say that I regret it, as I sign myself,


Flight, 1 January 1948
“£2 Million” That’s how much British European Airways lost last year. Several things were not the airline’s fault. The Viking grounding, lack of ground facilities leading to service cancellations last winter, and the “unfair system of priorities” that leads to seat cancellations, for example.
“The Operational Side” BEA scheduled 10,191 services, of which 8,417 were completed, 208 were not completed, and 1,566 were cancelled due to weather. Dakotas had the best service flying hours but fell well short of the 3000 hours per year that some people are talking about when estimating operating costs. Flight thinks that this is pretty good, even though it is hard to compare, since airlines used to calculate operational success by comparing flights attempted versus flights completed and cheated by using good weather days for their comparisons.

“Mixed” Britain exported loads of planes but had to buy airliners in America.
“Foundations for ‘48” The Hawker M.7/46, Nene-powered Meteor, Balliol, Avro Athena, Percival Prentice, Westland Wyvern, Blackburn S.28/43, Heston A. 2/45, Scottish Aviation A. 4/45, Supermarine Attacker, Saro jet fighter flying boat (ha!), Prestwick Pioneer, Airspeed Ambassador, Handley Page Hermes IV, Tudor IV, Viscount, Apollo, Percival Prince, Mergansar, Sealand, Merchantman, Marathon, Solent, Eon, Avis, Gyrodyne, AW52 and Vampire are the 1947 foundations of 1948 (cross my heart and hope to die) greatness, The Brabazon and the super-giant Saro flying boat might fly this year. Nenes went into the air on everything, including planes actually powered by Nenes. The Dart, Naiad, and a Metrovick engine to be named later were tested. Goblins, Derwents and other Nenes gave good service. So did Merlin 620s, with a civil Griffon yet to come, and civil Hercules and Centaurus engines competing for attention.

Here and There
The new president of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association says that air travel is just great for shipping, because planes won’t take passengers from ships, because “traffic promotes traffic,” and, mean time, you can fly spare parts out to Bahrain or Singapore, and that’s nice. Sir Frederick Handley Page has been appointed to the General Board of the National Physical Laboratory to look out for the R. Ae. S. and not, as Uncle George snorts, “Number One.” What did Freddie ever do to George, anyway? I know, I know. Aircraft Disposal Corporation, some dodgy piston rings, and a nasty telegram about it all being the line’s fault for storing the crates upside down. Mr. Charles Short has started an engineers’ society in Singapore. Some 2000 workers will be employed making long-range rockets in Australia and will live in a new township near Adelaide. Control Products, of New Jersey, has a new aircraft fire detector that detects a fire in less than five seconds, indicates “fire out” very rapidly, weighs only approximately one ounce, is open circuit, requires no relays, and is hermetically sealed. The Vickers work at Weybridge has two new wind tunnels, including an experimental supersonic one, almost ready to go. Miles Aircraft reminds everyone that even though it is in receivership, its Repair and Service department is still open for business to sell you spare parts.
21,000 acres in Norfolk are now under airfields, of which 9,300 are farmed. America now has an equivalent to the ATC, although Grace will be disappointed that there is no word about their hats. The Falkland Islands Dependencies relief ship John Biscoe is carrying a crated Hornet Moth with it to those faraway islands. Mr. P. A. Toynsbee intends to use it to make meteorological flights, while the John Biscoe relieves 25 men at seven stations, and then returns to Britain with chats, maps and information representing twelve months of scientific work in the Antarctic. A marine Merlin based on the Meteor is available, giving 450hp. Colonel S. A. Gilkie, Commander of Muroc Air Field, told the press that Aviation Week is just making it up when it says that Bell XS-1s have been radar-measured at supersonic speeds at 70,000ft, which would be two records. BOAC reminds everyone that it has a nice package of educational materials related to airmindedness for teachers. Daily Express reports that “A woman passenger knitted three inches of a sock while a plane circled London Airport last night . . . “
American Newsletter, by “Kibitzer” “Details of New U.S. Air Force Programme: Orders Sufficient to Keep Manufacturers in Production”
The USAF has made an official statement about how many planes it is going to buy. The total will be about 3200 per year, giving a force of 6,869 frontline aircraft and a reserve of 8,100. Right now the Force has 40 active groups, which will be increased to 70 groups, including 20 very heavy bomber groups, by unpickling the planes packed up after V-J Day. From there, the bomber force will be renovated with B-50s to go with the B-29s, a new order of 100 B-36s, and with B-35s, B-49s and B-52s, if they are ever ordered into production. A reconnaissance aircraft is needed, but there is no word on whether it will be the Republic XF-12 or Hughes XF-11, neither of which have been ordered, although there may be news after the New Year. 

XP-87 and XP-89s will be ordered, as wll as the P-80, P-84 and the new P-86. After these conventional types will come the sonic, and, hopefully, supersonic fighters, such as the XP-85, XP-88, XP-90, XP-91 and XP-92, the last three of which have mixed rocket-jet power, just like the XS-1. “Kibitzer” then admits that readers will be thoroughly tired by now of his constantly talking about how cargo flying is very important now and will be very important in the future, but he’s still not sorry that he is going to say it again. The reason he says it again is that he needs to remind everyone again that a specialised cargo plane like the ones that already exist (which are boring) would be super neat-o, and that Curtiss-Wright and Northrop should run out and build the CW-32 and Pioneer right away, because if they build it, buyers will appear out of nowhere, like, I don’t know, the black stuff in the tiles in the bathroom on my floor, which is apparently mushrooms of some kind? So, mushrooms for Pioneers. You heard it here first.
In somewhat related news, the XB-47, the first large, high-speed military aircraft with sweptback wing and tail surfaces, flew on 17 December. With a designed gross weight of 125,000lbs, it is powered by six GE turbojets and has enough wing furniture for two regular airplanes, or half a Barracuda.

No author byline, which I assume is just an editorial boo-boo, as happened in the good old days. 

“Arctic Empires: Frank Illingworth Describes a New World Opened up by Air Transport[?]” “Aviation has transformed the industrial development of the polar regions from a painfully slow process to a startling realisation, if as yet only an immature realisation.” Russia’s new towns, places such as Igarka
Igarka today, in case you didn't check out the link. 

and Kirovsk, are thriving towns of 23,000 and 40,000 inhabitants respectively, lit against the Arctic night by arclights, with “greenhouses” and a wealth of vanadium, copper, nickel and iron mines, served by the Arctic convoys. Collective farms are “growing a species of wheat specially developed for planting in the Far North,” and a chain of metereological stations facilitate air communications all the way from Petrovosk on the Kamchatka Peninsula to Novaya Zemlaya, embedded in the Ice Barrier, across the Polar Ocean from Barentsburg in Spitzbergen. There might be thirteen of them, as large as any in Alaska, but not Goose Bay. People are wondering, reasonably enough, why the Soviets are fortifying these remote and desolate archipelagos, and the answer is that Spitzbergen (where the Russians want another base) is only eight hours flying time from Canada’s uranium mines.
I’m no Napoleon, but as I read this, I can’t help but wonder if the mines that dig up the uranium that is processed so that it can be put into a reactor to make it into plutonium so that it can be made into an atom bomb so that you can fly it to Moscow are the targets you would be sending your bombers to attack in a war that started with the atomic bombing of Moscow. 

Because "Trollfjord," and someone's trolling.
So, obviously, the Soviets are planning to build bomber bases on Spitzbergen, and not a weather station, as they claim. And why does Mr. Illingworth care? Because he recently went on a tour of Spitzbergen, which sounds very romantic, in a far-northern, frigid way. The Russians have a coal mine at Barentsburg under their joint occupancy agreement with Norway, and the Norwegians say that they are “fortifying” it, because the 500,000 tons of coal mined there annually before the war were very important to the operations of the ports of Murmansk and Archangel, and Russians were most inconvenienced when the Germans occupied it in the world war, and they would rather not have it happen again. But with the Alaskan Highway a “dagger pointed at the backdoor of Moscow,” and “constant American manoeuvres in Alaska,” and new airfields along the Bering Strait, and aircraft practicing landings on young ice, and the development of Fort Churchill as a military post, and the growth of Yellowknife, and the new American-Canadian meteorological network in the Arctic . . . Well, obviously the Russians have got to get into Spitzbergen, that waystation on the “Moscow-New York” route of the future.
Eagle-eyed stare into distance, future

“’Ack-Ack’ At War: General Piles’ Despatch: Defence Against V-Weapons” General Piles’ despatch is quite long; this article is quite short, and has very few details, apart from an exhaustive paragraph on how many temporary huts and hard stands for guns were built, and roughly where. The AA “stop line” across southern England was very expensive to build!
"Scientific instruments that out-think the human brain, make their calculations"
Shorter news reports that the USAAF has ordered thirty-seven FairchildC-119 Packets, developed from the C-82, but with two 28-cylinder Pratt and Whitney Wasp Majors, Reggie’s beloved (not jealous!!!!) “flamethrowers,” allowing them to takeoff at an all up weight of 74,000lbs. Some P-80s have gone to Fairbanks to find out how they like the cold, and Percival Aircraft reminds everyone that they have designed fifty makes of planes since 1932.
“General Aircraft Research Gliders: Principal Features of ‘Medium V,’ ‘Medium U’ and ‘Maximum V’ Types” General Aircraft has built three tailless gliders with sweptback wings in various configurations to test, you know, that, for the Ministry of Supply. Not only do they have crew, the “Medium U” type requires two of them!
“Oxygen for Passengers: Details of the New Developments for Oxygen Supply in Civil Aircraft” PICAO says that all pressurised aircraft need an emergency supply of oxygen for aircrew, but no-one has said anything about the passengers, and Oxygenaire, of London, best known in the medical world, is eager to  help out with its “Oxyair” facemask and “Oxycot” for babies in carriers. They are to be sold to passengers in Small, Medium and Large sizes to accommodate all face sizes.
This doesn't seem all that practical
“Safety First: How ‘Hot-Stuffing’ Can Ruin the Smooth Running of an Airline” Passengers complaining about unexplained delays make delays longer because everyone yells at the maintenance crew, who are just doing the best they can. Complaining is “hot-stuffing.”
Civil Aviation News
Short Solent cabin
“The BEAC Balance Sheet” A longer article about the BEAC financial statement, which doesn’t add very much to the leading article, except to vaguely explain the decision to cancel the Ambassador order as being due to the unexpectedly slow development of civil aviation on the Continent. Flight asks what might be happening with the Marathon order, given Miles’ bankruptcy, and the replacement of the Rapide, if any. Pilots are hoping for the Merchantman, and not the Dove, as might have been expected, Flight reports. Rediffusion,Ltd, has announced a medium-wave transmitter meeting Ministry of Civil Aviation requirements. It has 100W output on 250—500 kHz frequencies on two bands. Pan American will have a Vice-President, Oreint, with headquarters in Tokyo, William L. Bond. Vickers Armstrong has a new passenger chair, the Type 4. The Royal Aeronautical Society will have a daylong session on safety this year. Bennett will preside, with Hall and Dr. K. G. Bergin, Medical Officer, BOAC, giving talks. Pakistan is going to have an airline, and airports. The Ryan-Navion is still news. The Short Solent’s return to Britain after cancelling a flight to Port Bell, Uganda, was not due to engine problems, but a faulty oil temperature gauge.

Three authors write to point out that, in fact, ATA records show that women pilots were as efficient as male pilots. David Brice replies to Captain Courtney on the subject of flying boat safety, reminding everyone that while flying boats are safer than landplanes if they have to ditch in the water, they are less safe if they have to make an emergency landing over land, and neither is very comforting for anyone; as for the BOAC pilot who says that there is now a perfectly good flying boat base for Rome since the Italians have turned over an artificial lake, Brice replies i) No; and ii): it was a bad letter for other reasons. “The Court of the Guild” writes to ask for suggestions about what it should do with the Cumberbatch Trophy. Giving it out for silliest name isn’t an option, I guess. W. Van Leer, writes a very long letter to the effect that if the airlines want to make money, they need to be nicer to their passengers. Hallelujah! “Resurgam” disagrees with “Campanologist” about the usefulness of the SBA, the RAF’s current standard system. My eyes swim a bit, but I get this telling bit at the end, where “Resurgam” points out that GCA costs approximately £200 for every twenty-four hours of continuous watch. So that’s why everyone’s dragging their feet and pointing to alternatives.
The Economist, 3 January 1848
“Strategy for Greece” The new strategy for Greece is to –spend Marshall Plan money on making things nice, so the Greeks will stop squabbling? Maybe? It took two pages to get to the last paragraph, and there must have been something said in the first umpteen paragraphs, but only the writer and the “editor” could tell you.
Don't worry, unemployment will be back eventually,
and then everything will be peaches and cream!
“Wages Impolicy” The TUC wants higher wages for its members, even though The Economist has already proven that they are getting too much, and that salaried workers and “owners of capital” are suffering.

“Prices, Politics and Dollars” Canada ended price controls last year and has since seen a significant rise in the cost of living, although not as high as in the United States. Many Canadians want to see price controls restored, although the Conservative opposition is –opposed. Meanwhile, Canada’s very large adverse balance of trade with the United States has led the government to introduce import restrictions to keep dollars in Canada. The Conservatives offer reduced export restriction instead, but this will probably not earn enough dollars to cover the adverse balance of trade and will interfere with trade with the sterling bloc. Many also believe that it was raising the dollar exchange rate to parity from its prewar official exchange rate of 90 cents US to the Canadian dollar that led to the rapid reversal from a strongly positive balance of trade in 1945 to the adverse balance of 1946. However, much of the positive balance may have been due to American capital exploiting an overly low exchange rate, just as the new one is too high, so devaluation might not bring a renewed flow of US dollars, and so will not end the adverse balance of trade and make USD available in Canada to buy capital goods, consumer goods, and for export to the sterling bloc.
Old Moore and the New Diplomacy” The date for the British departure from Palestine has been set for 15 May, which is important news that can’t be stretched out for a page and a half, but that’s how much space important stories get, so The Economist tries to be funny about astrology, instead. Better than “strategy” for Greece!
Notes of the Week
“Forty-Eight” Exciting things happened in 1848, and probably won’t in 1948. Did I mention that the leader about the new edition of Old Moore complained about the newsprint shortage?
“Will Frenchman Foot the Bill” France is having inflation. The solution for France is to mop up purchasing power with a special levy on incomes and profits exceeding 450,00 francs per year, which will cover the budget deficit and bring inflation under control at the same time, but the “great non-taxpaying, anti-social classes, both in town and country . . . will hoard and the workers starve. . . . [so that] if this latest battle for the franc is lost, it is the battle of France itself that will begin.”
“Sins of a Good German” The Russians, after tolerating the CDU in Berlin for many months, have had enough in the wake of their leader, Dr. Jakob Kaiser, denouncing the new eastern frontiers, and have demanded that the CDU dismiss him, and his deputy, Ernst Lemmer. (Part of Russia’s “strategy for Greece” was, apparently, getting rid of the two because it might stop the Marshall Plan, but that was in the Leaders, and this is in the Notes, where the Russians have shown forbearance in the past, but must now realise that they can either run a communist tyranny in Germany, or give way on the frontiers question, and the former will be a hard sell in “Trizonia.”) The next story is about how the Russians are saying that Americans and British are working hand-in-glove in Germany, but it’s not true, and The Economist wishes it were true, because the Americans are talking about cutting all aid to Russia, while the Russians have just offered to start their promised deliveries of food and raw materials to the western zones, which the British want, making it a question of Marshall Plan or eastern German coal and rye for the west, and this could easily be relieved if the Americans just listened to the British and did what they said.
Mr. Isaacs Spreads His Net” The Employment Order is supposed to get the spivs and drones back to work, but The Economist thinks that it will punish the innocent and succour the guilty, as usual.

(I know it's The Spectator, but check out the link, anyway. Also the "Rediffusion" one, if you haven't.)
“Newsprint and Newsprint Prices” The price of newsprint is going up, due to the trade agreement with Scandinavia, but competition will keep the price of the daily papers down as long as they are restricted to four pages, especially considering how fierce the competition is for advertising space.
BEA’s First Year” Yes, there was a loss, but a loss of ten million between the three corporations was expected and budgeted, so there is no reason to do anything drastic, even if having the airlines as the “chosen monopoly instrument of the British government” is always going to be bad business from a strictly economic point of view.
Any planespotters recognise the make? By RuthAS - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

“Ex-King Michael” In the much-abused “Strategy for Greece” leader, King Michael became an ex-King as part of . . . Russia’s strategy for Greece. Here, it is just a formality.
“Question for the Commonwealth” The Economist is disappointed that India has appealed Pakistan’s involvement in Kashmir to the Uno, rather than the Commonwealth, and hopes that something will be done to make the Commonwealth look good to Indians.
“Mr. Bevan Speaks to Soon” Mr. Bevan’s Christmas Eve speech to the National Federation of Building Operatives claimed that the rate of permanent home completion is increasing. Ha! It is decreasing!

“Good Offices in Batavia” Negotiations between the Dutch and the Republicans, mediated by Belgian, Dutch and American intermediaries, continue, because time is on the Dutch side, because they are winning, and Europe is turning to the Right and Centre. Except that it isn’t, really, because of the “rising tide of Asian nationalism.”
“China’s Parliament” The Koumintang has a new parliament, blah blah no communists blah. Also, not enough of the officially scheduled minority parties, which means that the election returns are “not yet complete,” and the parliament can’t actually meet.
Per the article about newsprint, advertisers in The Economist have won a very fierce
competition for column space. Go Canada! Literally.
“The Toll on Emigration” The announcement that 550 young men and women, all single, are emigrating to New Zealand is the latest “reminder of the drain in manpower which this country is suffering for the benefit of the Commonwealth.” Even with transport difficulties, 166,000 people emigrated in 1946, and 88,000 in the first nine months of 1947. Nineteen thousand went to South Africa; 14,000 to Canada and the same to the United States; 8000 to Australia; and 4500 to New Zealand. South Africa is so overwhelmingly popular that 95,000 are waiting to emigrate there, compared with 50,000 to Canada and 25,000 to Australia and New Zealand together. The Economist doesn’t understand, especially given the colour problem.

Not mentioned under their own headings are stories about the Local Government Bill going to committee for work, the health minister fighting with doctors, about fees, I imagine, and the Lords deciding that non-consummation due to contraception isn’t grounds for dissolving a marriage.
Jeno Varga
R. G. Hawtrey thinks that the “Money’s Revenge” Leader was complete tripe. There is nothing un-Marxist about a communist country, if it has money, acting to bring an excess supply of money under control. What was ill-advised about the Russian action is that confiscating money shakes confidence in the currency. The Belgian, Dutch and Norwegian actions were forced loans, in which people received compensation for their money, which is a much better idea. In Britain, the “solution” of reducing wage incomes is ridiculous, since the only way of reducing wages is with mass unemployment. A forced loan would be a much better idea, at least as long as the policy of a fixed rate of exchange imports American inflation. E. Varga, a Member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, writes to say that there is no reason that Germany could not afford to pay reparations to the Soviet Union. He reminds everyone that German leaders have waged three aggressive wars in the last seventy years. After the first, in 1870, they imposed heavy reparations payments on France, which France met by exporting far more than it imported and buying gold to pay the reparations out of its positive balance of trade. In 1919, the “crisis of overproduction” meant that no-one wanted Germany to do the same, so its reparations were financed out of loans until they were repudiated in 1931. Looking at German spending on arms during the war, and its heavy capital investments, it seems reasonable that Germany could afford reparations of between £500 million and a billion, which the Soviet Union would gladly take in manufactured goods. The Economist says that it disagrees, and that it would take more than a nice letter from Moscow to change its mind. “An Exporter” writes to point out that while the Black Market is terrible, he was recently in a position in which he had goods, a steamer, and a sales contract for export all lined up, but couldn’t export his goods without packing cases, which he could only get on the black market, and what is a good Briton to do in that case?

From The Economist of 1848
There has been a panic over military spending due to the sudden realisation that the French can just march 50,000 men onto steamers “in the most applepie order,” and “waft” them over to the sceptered isle without the least concern for tides and winds, as distracted old time invasions, and, if the Royal Navy were but distracted by yon shiny object, the whole of them would be in London in the twinkling of a Gallic eye, leaving the household troops in abject retreat, the capital in the hands of French spoilers, and so on, as they say. I think it’s silly, and so does The Economist of 1848. But! And hee! “Applepie order.”
The Napoleon steam battleship (90) will be very applepie, indeed.

Lots of sexism going on in this column. 
Salvador de Madariaga has written a book about the Fall of the Spanish American Empire. This is the sequel of Rise of the Spanish American Empire, and a preliminary to his life of Bolivar, still to come. The Economist doesn’t like it so well as the first, but doesn’t seem to disagree with the notion that the Empire had been “rotted from within” by the “great befuddlement miscalled the Enlightenment. “Religion makes men and principles make a nation.” In short, Latin Americans are lazy and indolent, and that’s why they fell. I had no idea Daddy wrote for The Economist! (I’m also as eager as ever to hear the exact explanation as to why the exceptions in my family tree are exceptions, but don’t hold your breath!) E. Moberley Bell, who is one of those lady authors who take a first initial, has written a life of Flora Shaw, who was the long-time colonial correspondent of the Times of London, and travelled the world in that capacity, having the most remarkable life of which I would be more jealous if she had married before 50. I mean, I’m not completely naïve, but even a woman of those inclinations might want to have children, which little dears so get in the way of fifty years of wanderlust! Ivo Brown introduces, and, I assume, edits, British Thought, Volume 1, which is an American attempt to explain same. “It is part, in fact, of a new approach to the World Brain –not the basic apparatus of card-index, calculating machine, and primary research, but the World Brain in a conversational, urbane, as it were, house-party aspect.” The Economist likes Elizabeth Wiskemann’s Italy, especially the part about how the Italian post-1943 “spirit of resistance” was upset and disillusioned by the postwar world. Penguin has published Quintin Hogg’s The Case for Conservatism and John Parker’s Labour Marches On are opposite books that you can read so that you can be on both sides. I would make a reference to Roman mythology, but some of my relations have spent so much time getting ready to write some exams that can’t even be sat these days that they don’t know their Classical references. It’s Janus, by the way.

American Survey
“A More Perfect Union” The US Editorial Staff didn’t have time to read the “Outline of a European Recovery Programme,” released on Friday, which lays out what the Administration wants to do about Marshall aid, so instead it emits a page and a half of words so that we’ll know that it’s important. As you’d expect, they think that there should be enough money in it, and that the way that it will be administered is very important.
American Notes
“Third Party” So, yes, everyone on God’s green Earth knows far more about Henry Wallace’s decision to launch a third-party campaign for the Presidency in 1948 under the Progressive Citizens of America banner than is their business. Or something. 
“CEA’s Hopes and Fears” CEA doesn’t have a mother butting into its life, so it is free to have hopes and fears about the economy, instead. It doesn’t fear a depression, but it does fear that inflation won’t subside. The Economist The Economist! —thinks that the report is rambling and platitudinous. Then it launches into a second note about the report, which, as far as I can tell from its rambling and platitudinous prose (walked right into that, The Economist!), thinks that as output declines, so will inflation, but also there will be a depression, which will be good for fighting inflation.
“Panama’s Revenge” Panama’s assembly got an opportunity to express its opinion of the American presence in the country last week and proceeded to vote that the Americans should get out, right now. This is deemed to be a failure of “American policy,” and, in particular, of the delightful American policy of exporting segregation to Panama. If the Americans can’t be nice to Panamians, it is suggested that they either re-engineer the canal at sea level, so that they don’t have to occupy the locks of the Canal Zone or build an alternative canal through Colombia or Nicaragua. I’m not sure how this helps?
In shorter notes, there is an update on Anderson’s investigation into “inside speculation” on the commodity exchanges (I am shocked, shocked!), the recent reversal of the declining export trend, with imports also up, the Department of Commerce’s report that economic output is again at the post-war peak level, and the supplementary sums voted by Congress to bring the western dams and irrigations funding up to the level originally requested by the Administration, wiping out the Republican cuts that “seriously imperil Republican electoral chances in the West,” in Governor Warren’s words.

The World Overseas
“Turkey under the $ Sign” More dollars make Turks happier, although they cannot decide whether to spend them on more factories or more guns.
“Split in the French Unions” The CGT is dividing between Communist and reformist unions. The Economist takes a strong anti-communist line; but you will remember me prattling on about the role of communism on the French left before, so you will know that I am wincing and thinking, “But it is more complicated than that!” Although given that most of the French intellectuals who still embrace the Communists are awful, not that much more complicated.
“New Start in Indo-China” The Economist hopes that M. Bollaert’s new powers to negotiate for the re-establishment of peace will break the “deadlock” in the Hundred Kingdoms of the South, aka Viet-Nam. “The only restriction on M. Bollaert’s mandate is that such negotiations not include Ho Chi-minh’s government.” The French are instead negotiating with the former emperor, Bao Dai, and are said to be offering “dominion” status, although it is not clear that this will apply to a “united Viet-Nam,” since the French are not convinced that this means the same thing as the old Empire of Annam, or . . . Well, I feel even more glib than usual explaining all of this to you! Suffice it to say that The Economist is, for a change, optimistic about the future here, so applying the usual “The Economist is always wrong” rule, it’s about to go to Hell.
Only 28 years to go!
“Trotskyism in Ceylon?” What? What? I feel like Abbott trying to make sense of Costello, but as far as I can tell, the point is that there are three communist parties in Ceylon, and they can’t agree with each other, with the result that several Ceylonese leaders with very long names that look like five minutes of reading to transcribe (except one is named “Da Silva,” hurrah!) are on the outs with the British and with each other.
The Business World
“British Transport Stock” How much will the Treasury redeem your rail or road haulage equities for? It isn’t an interesting question, although it is important. The answer is that it will be traded for a 3% stock, repayable optionally in 1978, and finally in 1988. People are upset that the scheme isn’t more complicated, unwieldy and flawed, I think because if one couldn’t report on their opinions, this would be a very short article, and short articles about important subjects aren’t on.
“The Coal Board’s Task” Depending on how you measure the year, the 1947 coal output total is either a little short of the 200 million ton “indispensable minimum,” or, at 196.8 million tons for the preceding 52-week period, a bit more than of a shortfall. It is still up 8 million tons, and people might think that this means that the National Coal Board has solved the problem, but not a bit of it. All sorts of dark clouds are hanging about. The Economist has suggestions about how to address all those dark clouds, and points out that one aspect of the solution, a proposed increase in the mining labour pool to 750,000 is “impossibly high.” The average age of miner is still rising, although the recent acceptance of Poles and Displaced Persons will improve things, and so will better housing in the coal fields, which will encourage the movement of miners from dying fields to new ones. Also, prices are up, but not productivity, and various thoughts about achieving full technical efficiency through better underground haulage, coal cutters, and the like, are offered.
Business Notes
“Anglo-Soviet Agreement” The Economist thinks that the negotiators were rolled by those wily Russians. The agreement allows for the Russians to sell as much as 750,000 tons, as little as 550,000 tons, at prices below, but not much below, American prices, perhaps £15 million, carriage divided evenly between British and Russian ships, delivery between 1 February and 30 September. Since Britain’s consumption of feed grain in the summer of 1947 was 105,000 tons of corn (maize) and 100,000 tons of oats, and Russian supplies will consist of 450,000 tons of barley, 200,000 tons of maize, and 100,000 tons of oats, Russian grain will cover next summer’s needs and lay in a useful stock for the winter, allowing British farmers to make a start on increasing their herds. Russia is trying to buy 25,000 tons of light rails, of which 10,000 tons will be new production, the rest from Government stocks, as well as a range of British-made machinery and equipment for timber cutting and processing, including locomotives, flat cars, excavators, caterpillar cranes and similar equipment. The British will also facilitate Soviet purchase of rubber, aluminum, cocoa and coffee. The Economist is afraid that this will mean that the British government will allow the Soviets to go to the front of the queue on these products and works itself up into high dudgeon in anticipation of being appalled and disgusted.
Convict labour loads lumber on the Lena-Tayshet railroad, 1950s. 

“Recovery Corner” Production is up widely in the last three months of 1947 but one, and was still rising in December, with steel output the highest ever recorded. Straining to be pessimistic, we note that stocks are being run down, that costs are up due to overtime working, and that building is still sluggish, while no correction has been applied for the higher working population. At this point, it is noticed that The Economist is being a bit churlish, and it relents. Yes, there are “signs of expansion,” and it would be “captious to ignore or belittle them.”

“Unrequited Exports” Unrequited exports are like unrequited love. In this case, Britain’s love affair with American wheat is –unrequited love by American farmers? That can’t be right! The point is, Britain’s dollar deficit can’t go below £250 million/year. It is being compensated by British exports to the sterling zone (said unrequited exports), but this doesn’t make any sense, because a positive trade balance with the soft currency zone is irrelevant to the hard currency trade deficit. In a separate note, The Economist floats the idea of “directional control,” which would be, essentially, to deny India access to its sterling reserves so that it couldn’t buy British stuff, which would be brutal and unwise. The other thing to do is to use Marshall aid to finance “unrequited exports” and wait for world trade to come back to normal.  The bit about India leads to a third note, about the expiration of the short-term agreements with Egypt and India about the sterling balances. Negotiations with Argentina continue. The British would like to kick Egypt out of the sterling zone, which would reduce the rate at which Egypt could draw down its money in London, but are having more trouble with Argentina, as its sterling balance looks to exceed the £150 million­ it will have to pay to get its railways back.  
Utility fashion!
Over in the subcontinent, India and Pakistan are fighting over jute, while the French are talking about devaluing the franc, hopefully using a “funny” trick to make it acceptable to the Uno, as the Italians have done, but with the difference that the Italians are in poor shape, and the fund is happy to let them get away with being funny. On the high seas, the Ministry of Transport reports that freight rates are up “sharply,” and “surprisingly,” but they reflect the rising costs to shipowners. About that I do not need to say more. It’s nice when the family’s interest aligns with The Economist’s “All is for the best”-isms. Cotton workers’ wages are going up, which will mean price rises to maintain profit margins (which are up impressively), which “enhance the impact” of the removal of the subsidy on Utility clothes. The Economist hopes that it is payed for with full technical efficiency. Also, at home, the latest budget projections show a substantial budget surplus this year, but it is all sleight of hand, and the ruinous horsemen of the financial apocalypse still ride the land. 

Southern Rhodesia is planning an “impressive expansion” of its tobacco production, which will greatly relieve the dollar deficit by increasing the supply of sterling zone tobacco imports from 55 to 70 million tons, although given that imports from America are still 300 million tons, there is still a long way to go. Rhodesia blames British traders for refusing to buy all the tobacco produced for the British consumer that was available, for complicated reasons that seem to go back to the inclusion of American tobacco in lend-lease[. . .]. The Rhodesians would like to increase production to meet the full 300-million-ton American import, but this would require something called a “native resettlement programme,” as even the current crop requires 200,000 native labourers, who are in short supply.

Flight, 8 January 1948
“A Tribute” Juan de la Cierva, who did not invent the helicopter, did invent the autogiro, which is like a helicopter, and he’s dead, so Flight can tribute him, and run an article about autogiros while mentioning that Cierva Autogiro Company is working on the Air Horse, order yours today.
“Going All-American” Flight is upset that Aer Lingus is selling its Vikings, supposedly because they are uneconomical, but Flight thinks, because it got a good price, whereas it is stuck with its DC-3s and five Constellations, hence going “All-American.”

“An Anomalous Situation” The BOAC financial statement is out, and it lost even more money than BEA, so it is time to complain about the British airlines’ association with Aer Lingus, which involves them in any Irish losses, and is “anomalous.”
“In Memory of a Pioneer: Cierva’s Work on Rotating-wing Aircraft” More about Cierva.
Flight sure knows how to pick 'em.

Here and There
Someone said that a P-80 went 780mph recently. Trans-Canada Airlines is building a ticket office in Prestwick, so that passengers will have someone to scream at, besides mechanics. Thomas Cooks is organising air tours now.

The Koumintang is buying planes in North America, including Canadian Mosquitoes, which really seems like a bad idea all around. De Havilland is building a gigantic fatigue testing rig for airscrews. The Bristol Freighter that flew in New Guinea flew in New Guinea.
“Latest Bristol Piston Engines: Some Details of the Civil Hercules and Centaurus Series: High Take-off Power and Low Consumption” This goes to Uncle George’s lectures about how The Sleeve Valve Is Just Not On. On the other hand, the Brits are bound and determined to sell Vikings and Ambassadors. So, if you want to buy a new Viking or Ambassador, you can have a 760 series Hercules in the former, and a 630 series Centaurus in the latter, and they will be quite nice, except for the part where you have to machine the sleeve valve in special-purpose plant every few hundred hours.
Two more lost causes. 

“High-Speed Research: The Design and Work of the Large Tunnel at Farnborough” Farnborough’s new large wind tunnel, opened in 1942, is specially designed to investigate compressibility effects at transonic speeds. It has quite a nice supporting mount for models, which measures roll, yaw and side forces with a parallel linkage, or, as the Admiral says, “Nineteenth Century voodoo science.” It was running from 90 to 100 hours a month until recently, when a reduced staff made it necessary to cut back to 30 hours. Much of the recent work has focussed on the effects of sweepback. Sweeping the wings back increases the minimum speed for compressibility onset but has all sorts of effects on the performance of the wing that should be known about before pilots go up in planes with wings shaped like the daydreams of science fiction magazine illustrators. Several workers are going flat out to see what happens when the wings are really swept back, what happens when elevons and tails are rotated at high speeds, and what happens with sweptback tailfins.
Very scientific control room. 
In shorter news, the eyewitness to the “bunting” airliner described by “Kibitzer” is Herbert C. Ryland, a London accountant, who was injured seriously enough to have to be hospitalised, and the second pilot, who righted the plane, was Mr. Mel Logan. Flight is informed that the RAF has not, in fact, been invited to the Cleveland Air Races. US airlines found that while their operating revenues rose 19% last year, their expenses rose 31.4%, due to difficulties in achieving economical operating costs as route miles and aircraft flown have increased. Since the end of the war, the fleet has increased by 350 four-engined and 120 twin-engined types to more than 900, while route mileage has increased from 46,000 before the war to 115,000 now. One potential source of economy is the use of “Union Station” airports like the ones at Cincinnati and Willow Run.
Chase YC-122 Avitruc

“Slingsby Sailplanes: Details of Current Range: The Ultra-Efficient Gull IV” Even a silly girl knows that falling slowly is more fun than falling fast.
“Air Work: The Organisation Behind the Many Activities of a Large Private Enterprise” Airworks maintains, repairs, and operates a wide variety of aircraft from airports all over the world, ranging from the ones that a company might need to look for oil in Ecuador, to the ones that Airworks needs to maintain air operations all over a continent. They have many mechanics, and all sorts of gantries and machines.

“Upturned Leonides: Early Power Plant Tests” The Alvis Leonides has been chosen for the Gyrodyne, and Alvis hopes to sell it to other helicopters, so it makes sense that they have designed a Leonides that can be turned on its side, so that its drive shaft points up. That is, this part is easy. The hart part is making it run without the engine oil draining out the side, or whatever. In shorter news, Flight’s book reviews scold Brassey’s Naval Annual for doing a bad job on plane statistics, but is pleased that it publishes articles about planes and ships by Admiral Thursfield, Captain Altham, and Francis McMurtrie. And while it is not actually a book review, the next bit is about thrilling “lectures on scientific and technical subjects” for the “junior set” organised by Rolls-Royce and the like. Take your junior this Christmas (well, not actually Christmas, because Christmas is over, but maybe you forgot to buy him a present, and a thrilling lecture on jets beats some silly old genuine Roy Rogers lariat any day. I’m sorry, I am being sarcastic again, and will escort myself to the door.)  
“Servo-Control: Helicopter Stability Achieved in New Hiller 360: ‘Finger-tip’ Loads on Stick” The idea is that with the right set of counterweights and pivots, the “control force” a pilot exerts on a control such as a helicopter’s stick, is translated into enough force to wiggle the rudder. The demonstration of this in the Hiller 350 by Frank Peterson is very impressive, as well it should be, considering that it was copied directly from the Bell machine, plus patented “gyroscopic action.”

Civil Aviation News
“Provisional Air Traffic Control” The provisional scheme for air traffic control over southern Britain is out. It does not introduce any actual “Control Areas,” which will be announced by Notices to Airmen as they become effective, but it does lay out the Rules of the Air as will apply to Control Areas and Zones as they are established. The first will be the Metropolitan (London) Control Zone, and it will be established quite soon, at which point there will be considerable controls on private flying around London, so get your slow falling out of your system now!
“Irish Airlines Policy” Aer Lingus will soon fly two Constellation services a week from Dublin to Boston and New York, and one direct to New York. It will suspend services from Shannon to Paris and from Belfast to Liverpool, and the experimental Dublin-London Constellation service will be extended next spring, with six return trips daily carrying 58 passengers on each aircraft. Smaller services have until now been carried out by a mixed fleet of Dakotas and Vikings, but the release of additional Dakotas has allowed Aer Lingus to replace its Viking fleet, so that it can economise by operating a single type. Flight is still upset. The first Ambassador is undergoing routine modifications, Australia is changing its airlines policy. Flight covers the expansion of US operations again: one-and-a-half million passengers overseas, sixteen million domestically, millions and billions of new airports, planes, route miles, routes, with fares lower than before the war. The South Africa-Palestine service previously  mentioned is going to be operated by a Jewish National Airways, partly owned by the South Africans and partly by the Jewish agency in Palestine.  Mr. Douglas says that transferring fuel between tanks in flight was dangerous and should not be required in any conditions of normal flight. More exciting news about Hunting Aerosurveys aerosurveying Canada, which you can ask me about in our telephone call next Thursday. The DC-6 may remain grounded until mid-March. Various air services had record years, notwithstanding losses.
Geoffrey Dorman is still arguing for flying boats. Robert Russell, “a flying boat captain in the war,” takes up the rest of the letter page, two columns less two paragraphs, to explain why flying boats are the cat’s meow. It’s embarrassing, especially when he shares the picture he has in his head of a gigantic flying boat steaming right up to the terminal in a specially-designed flying boat base.
Please just let it go. 

The Economist, 10 January 1948
“Freedom and Order” Mr. Atlee’s radio talk this Sunday impressed The Economist much more than it usually does, because he had tedious and sententious things to say about religion and modernism at Yale University Liberty, Communism, Order and Other Things That Need To Be Capitalised. I’m sorry. Once you’ve had this lecture once, you’re done with it forever, if you ask me. And you did! So, take it from me, this is all cant. (Not Kant. He had a head on his shoulder, that guy.)

“Local Currency Funds” I know I left my revolver somewhere around. Just kidding! I’ve still got that little Belgian automatic you gave me! Anyway, it is about establishing reserves in local currencies to tide the sixteen governments over until Marshal Plan aid arrives, in great detail. If the world falls apart next month, we can rendezvous at the lodge in Campbell River, and use our new leisure as post-apocalyptic feudal barons go back to this issue and read the article and find out why it happened! (I hope the long-liners are all right with this scheme, because I don’t think I could land a king coho.)
“Canada’s Economic Future” One doesn’t normally get a chance to write a column about how Canada is doomed and needs full technical efficiency, in The Economist, so Our Canadian Correspondent lets rip. Canada can either end its long-term, but low price export contracts with Britain in favour of exporting to the United States at much higher prices, or not. The reason that it might not turn to American markets is that American markets are unstable, and prone to sudden turns to tariffs. The long-term British contracts are stable, but less remunerative.
“Towards a Bill of Human Rights” the Uno is considering whether it should have a convention or declaration or some such, of universal human rights. If so, what should be in it? The Russians are keen to have more economic rights, and less civil rights. You can have a job, but also a free trip to Siberia if you think that Comrade Stalin is a fink, sort of thing. Whereas I suppose the American alternative is that you can have unlimited freedom of speech, but perhaps not the strength to talk, because you are starving to death.

Notes of the Week
“Danger Signal for Europe” Congress is talking about Marshall Plan aid, and this week’s talking sounds like less money, so, danger signal, but in a good way, since it reminds Europe that the Plan will have to be re-authorised each year, which will presumably discipline European use of the money. I am going to go ahead and fold in another note about the “Change of Mood,” here, which is about how the British are getting too complacent, and should think about cutting imports drastically right now, to save the last remnants of the dollar loan, in case something goes wrong with the Marshall Plan aid. I have no idea why it thinks that, since its argument is a metaphor about drowning people and lifeboats, and metaphors aren't actually arguments. Is that what they teach in economics classes? Because I had the impression there was more math involved. I’m also going to mention that there is a note about the anti-communist offensive in the Labour Party, the unions and the civil service, because maybe you've been hit on the head and forgotten the last hundred years or so, and don't know about anti-communism.
“Half-Measures for Half-Germany?” Half measures take half of Germany half of the way to having an effective government and financial order.
“A Near Miss” Time to talk some more about  not quite making the coal target. Perhaps the current “press” will subside and production will fall! Perhaps the lower calorific content of the coal will matter. However, at some point one has to acknowledge that output has been rising steadily for over a year, and so has output per shift. The union might want more miners, but it is possible that with less voluntary absenteeism and a touch more mechanisation, the current labour force of 718,000 will hit the 6-million-ton export programme.
“The Third Force: Victory or Defeat” I am . . . well, I hardly dare say what I think about arguments about “third forces” in politics. I could stand having a few more of them if they end with as much force as the last one I had . . . But girls don't talk about that! So enough about my torrid private life! The point is that everything is going to Hell in a handbag in France, even if there is now a “third force” in the unions, and General de Gaulle is just waiting for his opportunity to be another Macmahon Boulanger Louis Napoleon Bonaparte! Because of the communists. It’s the communists’ fault. (It is funny to see the French Communists taking up the Italian line of defending profits!) I also shouldn’t be making fun of my friends’ worries about de Gaulle, even if I can’t take them seriously. His is a deeply silly man, and I am sure that the French understand that.

“The Kashmir War” Indian troops in Kashmir are being driven out of parts of the state by raiders from Pakistan, due to the winter snows closing the passes and preventing reinforcements from reaching them.

Gilgit, infamously oft-beleagured mountain town.

India’s appeal to the United Nations has arrived in Lake Success, but there is no certainty that this will stop the fighting, and if Indian frustrations boil over, they may go to war down on the plains, where they can get at the Pakistanis. It is hoped that a Uno Commission can seal the borders to prevent the raiders from entering Kashmir, and then negotiate a peace with the local Kashmiri rebels.  Elsewhere on the subcontinent, Burma celebrated independence on 4 January, and your grandfather can smile down from Heaven. Another note mentions that this means that the Secretary of State for Burma ceases to exist, and that Lord Listowel moves to be Minister of State for Colonial Affairs, giving welcome support to Mr. Creech Jones, who, although he will be slightly relieved by the withdrawal from Palestine, is overwhelmed with work as he organises Africa for production. Speaking of which, a commission is off to Northern Rhodesia, where it is suggested that the laziness and inefficiency of African labour is caused by the fact that they are not being compensated fairly or given opportunities to advance. Meanwhile, the European Mineworkers Union will have nothing to do with the commission on the grounds that it stands for “equal pay for equal work,” and that, in practice, means that the African will never be paid enough to encourage “equal work.” The Economist comes around to thinking that the attitude of the European workers is the main obstacle to progress, but has no suggestions for fixing the problem, which extends throughout southern Africa. (Being against workers trumps being for Europeans.)
“BOAC’s Challenge” In these pages, the main problem is the horrid airliners BOAC is stuck with, or, in the Tudor’s case, not stuck with. The Speedbird division is far and away the most efficient one, operating its planes for the equivalent of 8 hours a day each day over the Atlantic.
“New Anglo-Egyptian Talks?” Various signs point to the possibility of new talks, in which Palestine and perhaps Sudan will be on the table to address the sterling balance issue. In Greece, meanwhile, the successful defence of Konitza is no reason for optimism. The Americans have sent some marines to the Mediterranean Fleet, so that’s good, but their newspapers think that they shouldn’t send good money after bad, in which case Greek aid won’t be reappropriated in June, and everyone will be doomed.
“Choice or Planning?” The January sales, in which women’s fashions were dumped on the tables while men’s utilities could not be found, are evidence that central planning doesn’t work. A related story calls for a revision of the Rents Act, going into details about differences between rent controls for furnished and unfurnished flats.
Included because it's a nice picture. 
Henry Smith, who lives in the Vice-Principal’s Lodgings of Ruskin College, Oxford, agrees with Mr. Hawtry that the “Money’s Revenge” leader was fatuous, and gently explains why inflation is not going to be checked by action against wages, direct or indirect through letting prices “rip.” Lord Ailwyn writes to defend the treaty right of access to Hankow on the Yangtsze on the grounds that the freighters that sailed up the river in the high-water season were not engaged in cabotage, but rather in China’s foreign trade. Brian Augarde writes that The Economist has some nerve, making fun of astrological predictions of the future, given its track record, especially in the Twenties, “so derisively recalled in Prof. Pigou’s Aspects of British Economic History.” “Timber Merchant” replies to “Exporter” with the happy news that there is now ample packing material available. Michael Thornton, who should rethink the money he wastes newspapers if he lives on “The Heath, Weybridge,” thinks that Palestine immigration ought to be limited by the water supply, which is not up to providing for natural increase.

From The Economist of 1848
This week features a letter to the paper, from one D.E.C., about an article about the gold mines of Russia. While it is true that Europe is dependent on Russia for its specie, and that this is bad, it is much worse that it is dependent on Russia for grain, along with America. For while if America and Russia compete to supply Europe, it can play the two colossi against each other. Just as soon as Russia and America combine, “it will require a united Europe to match the fleets of the Republic, supported by the legions of the Autocrat.” Cheery!
American Survey
“The Wallace Announcement” Oh, dear Father. I feel like a Victorian novelist, dancing around the substance of the New Year’s matter. And, yes, as always, Grace, I know you read this, and you know what I will say. Anyway. We shan’t talk about any argument here, for, what, the third time that I have danced around it in this letter? There are many details here about the logistics of Mr. Wallace’s challenge, which you can hear about in some detail from your son, who has thrown some of his considerable passion into the campaign. As to the question of whether Wallace will drain off enough Electoral College votes to elect Governor Warren, or, here in the real world, Tom Dewey, by taking California, Illinois and New York, well, let that alone. Or not, as The Economist ends by suggesting that Wallace’s candidacy serves the aims of the Communists by making a “reactionary” victory in the United States more likely, leading to the failure of the Marshall Plan, domestic depression, and the achievement of “major Soviet objectives.” The more the American right wins, the more the left wins? How does that even make sense?
American Notes
Congress gave President Truman the cold shoulder because his radio Message on the State of the Union was so well received. His support for a higher minimum wage, and labour discontent over Taft-Hartley is buoying his public support, and the GOP is on the back foot.
“Retreat from Cheap Money” The Federal Reserve has been gradually and “timidly” retreating from low interest rates since March of 1946, allowing it to fight inflation without checking ever-increasing amounts of credit.
“Typographers on Trial” Taft-Hartley bans closed shops, and the international Typographical Union is dead set on them, so it has refused to sign a contract under Taft-Hartley. Now, this is being challenged by newspaper employers, and the result is a strike, followed by a Labour Board Referral to the courts, which will test many provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act, and much more important ones than blither about political contributions and Communist affiliation. The Economist interprets the closed-shop preference in terms of fears of technological unemployment –I don’t know if that is how the typographers would express it, so that’s why I use “weasel words”—and points out that the Chicago dailies are using photo-engraving to get around the typographers, so that the strike is promoting the technological change that the union opposes. Ironic!

“Eggless Thursday” Thursday is eggless and poultryless no longer, even though the campaign against the distillers continues. For though livestock uses 80% of the country’s grain, and distilling, 3%, the distillers are easier targets. Also getting their way are the railroads, with rates going up again, and possibly the synthetic rubber industry, which may get new subsidies to maintain stand-by capacity. This would reduce room for “fresh concessions to the rubber planters.” In shorter notes, Ewan Clague is the latest person to see no evidence of a depression, soon. GE is the latest company to combat the wage-price spiral by cutting prices, especially on radios and televisions. And the Musicians’ Union ban on making records has gone into effect, putting all the musicians who were working overtime to put up stocks of master-recordings on vacation. Now we’ll see who outlasts whom.

The World Overseas
“European Coal Organisation” Would be a good idea.
Is Australia Moving Right?” The bank nationalisation scheme seems to be threatening the Labour Party[s dream of running Australia into the 1960s, with a landslide defeat in the recent Victoria elections, called because of the nationalisation bill. It’s more complicated than that, but an Australian could probably explain better. In unrelated but thematically aligned news, the Communists have suffered a setback in Czech politics involving ministers going hither and thither, with dismissals and arrests. If I’m dismissive, it’s because I doubt that it will go anywhere.
The Business World
“Cheap Money Epilogue” Interest rates on equities are going up in Britain; The Economist jumps on table, takes swig from open bottle of tequila, does the cockroach dance while the City tries to keep up on a cheap piano.
“Steel in 1948” 1948 production is likely to hit 14.4 million tons, annualised, in December, for a total possibly in excess of 12.7 million tons, against a target of 13.5 million tons, subsequently revised down to 12.5 million due to coal shortages. The 1948 target is likely to be 14 million tons, and, provided enough pig iron and scrap can be found, will probably be met.  Since export production will be limited by steel, The Economist calls for offering higher prices for scrap, which is not a call for “dearer steel,” it tells us.
Wait a minute. When did they start adding soda ash to the smelt?

Business Notes
We ;ead off with notes covering the latest negotiations over the Soviet, Canadian and Danish contracts, with some looking forward to Egyptian, Australian and New Zealand talks. The Canadians want higher prices, the Danes want coal, and The Economist wants more information, in case the Ministry of Supply is selling British interests down the river for more bacon. Carriage of the Soviet trade will be “equitable,” not split evenly, and the British government will give all possible aid to acquiring the goods the Russians need, extended to wool but not, as the Russians requested, tin, as this is to be subject to an international allocation scheme. In addition to what has already been agreed, Russia may supply wheat, pulses, pitprops, cellulose and canned goods, while Britain may supply oilwell tubes and tinplate. The Egyptian agreement seems “surprisingly generous,” in giving Egypt a whopping £6 million a year in hard currency equivalent out of its sterling balance, in excess of trade earnings. No wonder the net gold and dollar drain for December was £40 million.
In other business news, there is a boom in life insurance sales in Britain, just like here in America during the war. The Economist, with an eye to the declining rate of increase in National Savings, divines paradoxical and ignorant behaviour on the part of the public. I, as my philosophy professor would say, would be more inclined to “check priors.” (“Objects in this self-reflection may be closer than they appear!”) But what do I know? I’ve only had two lectures so far! But he is a very cute, bear of a man, so unlike my literature profs. Hmm. Not my only teddy bear, of course, but. . . There’s also a to-do about the Brits rearranging the administration of electricity, which is just up The Economist’s alley, and even more so some recent statistics, helpfully provided by a contractor, showing that there has been a drastic fall in the productivity of the building trades. So that is where the decline in full technical efficiency has been leaking!
All clear?

“Copper Refining without Dollars” Some copper will be shipped from Northern Rhodesia to the United States to be refined to electrolytic copper standards, and paid for by percentage of finished product rather than with dollars, hence without dollars; but because British copper supplies are only being met with difficulty from Canada and Chile, where the price is going up thanks to a new tax on exports, it is also an expensive experiment.
“Silver Hoarding” There is a shortage of silver coins in Britain, which the Mint is meeting by an increased emission (that seems to be a direct translation. Someone at the old Qing Board was being very saucy!) of cupro-nickel coins. The Economist has no idea why there is a shortage, but that doesn’t stop it from theorising about people hoarding silver coins against some drastic action to cut the British money supply –as opposed to, say, massive smuggling last spring. Check your priors! (I’m almost turned over to a new opinion of beards. Almost.) Surely not unrelated is the end of dollar-area silver supplies for industrial purposes as of December, which is especially dire news given the need for 88 million ounces to repay silver obtained under Lend Lease.
“Wages in 1947” The current Ministry of Labour Gazette just proves, once and for all, the existence of inflationary pressures in the British economy, so all you scoffers, scoff no more! In more technical news about finance, it is speculated that the “money velocity” is falling, which seems to have something to do with bank deposits, but nothing to do with the ridiculous lineups before you can get your money out. Also, the price of cocoa and chocolate is going up, and so is tin, although this is an “enigma,” requiring “further explanation.”

Flight, 15 January 1948
“Another £8 Million Gone” Guess how much BOAC lost last year? The worst single contributing factor was the failure of the Tudor.
“The Dilemma” BOAC is currently operating 60 large airliners of nine types, which might be adding to its operating loss due to the maintenance difficulties in reaching high operating hours with so many types. The problem is that, by reducing the number of types by buying American, BOAC will draw down precious dollars, while threatening the survival of the British industry, an issue for national security, not BOAC. Flight suggests, once again, buying DC-4Ms, which are available in Canadian dollars, and sterling in the case of the engines. It also hopes that the Tudor II will still be bought.
“BOAC Report: Activities of the Corporation and Review of Operating Conditions with a Statement of Accounts for the Year 1946/1947” Flight is interested in planes, BOAC with the causes of its operating losses, which probably have more to do with the many routes which it must operate, the nearly 25,000 employees and almost 500 ground installations. Now, with that out of the way, it has some harsh words about the York and the Halton in particular, but also the Sunderland/Hythe. It turns out that converting military to commercial aircraft is hard, and, bearing Uncle George’s grudge out, the Halton was particularly awful. In shorter news, R. A. Bruce, 78, formerly of Westland, and Rex Pierson, 57, of Vickers have died. Bruce’s death is “sudden,” Pierson’s not. Also dead, although for some reason not mentioned here, is G. R. Challenger.

I didn't have much luck googling Challenger or Bruce, but the latter search did lead me to the Westland Limousine (1920) for some reason. Enjoy! (The art is from Flight.

Here and There
Airwork has fitted out a Viking for GCA training. Two Miles executives have resigned. S/Ldr W. T. S. Williams, producer of Target for Tonight and RAF documentary films, died after an operation on Christmas Day. Most of the rest of the short news is appointments and elections (Jack Northrop is to be president of the IAS in 1948!), but there is a picture of a Chinook engine.

Civil Aviation News
Equal time for Smiths.
Speaking of memberships and appointments, the MCA has appointed some divisional controllers, and the BACA has widened its memberships with a new auxiliary class, who probably do not get to wear special hats, Grace; and Sir MilesThomas is to succeed Harold Howitt as vice-chairman of BOAC.  A Notice to Airmen reminds everyone that they need to have very large fuel reserves in winter, in case they can’t land anywhere, and have to fly forever. In airport traffic news, for the first time in December, more passengers passed through London Airport than Northolt, although it isn’t entirely clear, as about half the passengers thought they were landing in Heathrow. KLM Constellations will soon be using Tengah, as it is the only airport on Singapore that can handle Constellations. The problem is that the RAF has restricted civilian use of the airport, and Qantas also wants to use it, so the Ministry had to sort it out. There is to be a Welsh Advisory Committee to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, because there is no reason there shouldn’t be. Hunting Aerosurveys is aerosurveying Iran with a Bristol Freighter, which Flight can now tell us has been fitted out for aerosurveying. (In fairness, there are some details about the outfitting: camera types, heating arrangement, navigational equipment so that the plane will know where it is, but none of it is new or interesting. Unless the fact that Hunting is still using the Sperry A.3 autopilot is new and interesting news. I guess that I’d say, and I’m sure that you would agree, that Hunting has a gift for getting free publicity from Flight.) The Isle of Wight Air Transport Association Anson crash seems to have been caused by the aircraft running out of fuel while trying to find the ground. BOAC is trying to make flying boat services more attractive by calling the ferries it is running to the moorings “floating docks.” The Ministry of Civil Aviation is giving up on Fairwood Common as an airport and returning it to the RAF.

“SR/45: Preliminary Survey of the Big Saunders-Roe Flying Boat Now Being Constructed at Cowes” To quote Grace, and, believe it or not, we had the nicest lunch, “The giant flying boat that no-one wants is still being built, to keep Saunders-Roe in work, in case some day it actually manages to get a plane accepted into the RAF.”
Sorry about the picture quality. Not sorry for making fun of Saunders-Roe.

“On the Wing: AW52 Air Tests Commence: Control Systems” Flight has pictures of the AW52 in the air and wants to point out that just the fact that you can formate with the AW52 and take aerial pictures of it, shows how much Armstrong Whitworth has done about achieving stability and control in a tailless machine. Because the control surfaces are flaps at the back of the wing, they lack the moment to turn the aircraft and correct pitching at low speeds. Corrector surfaces geared to the controls correct this by applying a very powerful force, but the necessary trimming device might have impaired the lightness of the flying controls. (This is like that story about the giant prewar Junkers airliner thatonly one, gigantic pilot had the shoulders to fly.) Stick-free stability is even harder to achieve. The flying trials are testing the extent to which the correctors should be automatic. They are also working on the low fore-and-aft stability due to the close limits on centre of gravity movements. They are also working on the tendency of the tips of swept wings to stall before the roots but using slats to remove the boundary layer by suction. The slots should, ideally, have flaps controlled from the stick, so that they open further as the plane banks, climbs, or throttle is reduced. This requires some kind of gearing so that the flaps “know” how to respond to various degrees of throttle and rudder movement. They are also fiddling with the de-icing mechanism, but that’s true of every plane, these days.
Oh, hey, Jack Northrop. Want to see a flying wing that doesn't crash?

Arthur H. A. Bastable, “Aircraft Pneumatics: Some Current Applications” People think that pneumatics are being driven out of aircraft by electrics and hydraulics, but they are WRONG. Good high pressure pumps and multi-purpose valves that will do things like seal aircraft doors better than the alternatives, are just around the corner.
“Search and Rescue: Extended Duties of New S. R. Organisation” The former Air-Sea Rescue Organisation is now for rescuing even if you don’t crash in the water. The “Notes to Airmen” manages to say this in only three paragraphs.

G. Reid-Walker writes to tell Flight that it cost him £205 to operate his Piper Cub 13C for a year, and he hopes his itemised list of expenses is better than random speculation. F. S. Symondson writes to say that all the men who defend women fliers in the ATA have been coerced, that women can never be as good at being ATA pilots as RAF pilots, and all the ATA jobs should have been left to male RAF pilots who didn’t want to be RAF pilots any more. L. Heather writes to say the same. The Editor says: “This correspondence must now cease.” C. S. writes to say that given the choice of which Constellation to fly on, he chooses Air France, because it has the best food.

Fortune, January 1948
“Who’s Utopian Now?” “American democratic capitalism is in fact the great forward experiment of our time, that while promising no cheap utopia it is itself utopian.” Way back in 1848, Marx and Engels said that the previous hundred years had seen the bourgeoise achieve “more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together.” So, steamships railways telegraphs opening new continents canalising rivers “whole populations conjured out of the ground.” Fortune points out that was the era that ended with the Mexican War. The next century was even better! Marxist reforms are irrelevant, because we have achieved atomic power! All those predictions about wages under capitalism falling to subsistence levels came true for Communist Russia, while America is rich due to private enterprise. It even has a budget surplus! Demand runs ahead of supply! Above all, the American consumer is king, as shown by Uncle Henry “cracking the automobile fraternity.”

In fact, the worst problem the world faces right now is that America’s foreign export surplus has risen from $1 billion in 1938 to $8 billion in 1947, leading to inflation as foreign markets pay with gold; and since the main exports are food, which is scarce at home, this is a problem, too. How do we solve these big problems? First, government must continue to play its part in providing the “indispensable framework” of private initiative by public services such as the TVA and Grand Coulee and social services. Second, there must be sound fiscal policy, so in other words, doing something about inflation. Finally, America must be willing to serve as the “shield of democracy.”
Books and Ideas
Fortune’s back matter is back! In the front, but close enough! Now I don’t have to be embarrassed amongst the blue stockings by taking it instead of The Atlantic (although my status amongst the serious set is derived from having a fiancé, and now that my secret is out, perhaps I can give up spectacles and prim skirts and magazines with long review sections!). Never mind, false alarm. Ideas here consists of a review of Benjamin Selekman’s Labour Relations and Human Relations, a book about fly fishing, and a New York club that collects dime novels. Page over, and things get a bit better, with a review of Roy Harrod’sbrief Are These Hardships Necessary? Harrod points out rationing has been made necessary by capital investments in housing, electricity, coal mines, steel works and so on. Fuller technical efficiency, he thinks cold contribute more to British productivity than new works, for excessive investment just leads to inefficiency. Less capital investment is better; and would be better, says the Harriman commission, in Europe, and even in America. Finally, there is a kind review of Stassen’s Where I Stand, and a less kind one of the Committee for Economic Development’s Taxes and the Budget: A Program for Prosperity in a Free Economy, which is strange, since I don’t really see much difference. They’re both calling for “deficit in depressions, budget surplus in booms,” which is what everyone calls for.

Fortune’s Wheel says that the painters who did this month’s cover, refused to explain its symbolism, so Fortune does so, instead. It then covers Gilbert Burck, Eileen Durning and Fenno Jacobs’ travels in Africa as they visited Unilever’s far-flung empire. It sounds enormous, exotic, and very tiring. In an erratum section, Fortune apologises for crediting General Cable with inventing the “wafer” method for analysing cable structure, which was, in fact, originated and developed by Kenneth S. Wyatt and associates at Detroit Edison.

“Unilever’s Africa: Lever Brothers’ United Africa Co. Is the World’s Largest Trading Company: Thousands of Natives Profit From It: But Thousands More Dislike and Fear It”

Unilever is best known in Europe and America as a soapmaker, but is a combination of soap and Its business starts with West African palm oil, which, considering the African traditional economy, is paid for with goods that Unilever has to bring in. (Workers are paid in coin; but there has to be something to buy!) Unilever has had its difficulties in Africa, particularly with British colonial authorities, who are reluctant to let it buy land to form plantations like the ones that started Unilever, in the Solomon Islands, or the ones in the Belgian Congo. But it has got there, in the end, and so far the plantations in British West Africa have worked out fine. You just can’t tell the natives that, because for some reason they think that it is unfair that they are paid far less for a given job than a European, even though it is completely fair, for reasons that I’m not sure I grasped upon reading. The company is also promoting the groundnuts scheme, which will produce even more edible oil for soap and margarine, and be the economic salvation of Africa, not that angry young Africans will understand.

“$25,000 a year: AD 1948” Uncle George tells me that business magazines like to run articles about how people are feeling “pinched” in spite of making ridiculously large amounts of money, in this case, $25,000/year. As he points out (I think he meant this personally!) people of means, for example, the daughters of wealthy commodities brokers, have little appreciation of the value of money, and spend beyond their means without realising it. So when they complain, they are ridiculous, and everyone can point their fingers and laugh, which makes for a good article. For example, Jim X, of San Francisco, makes $25,580/year as the employee of one corporation and director of two others. The “extra” $580 is from investments. By splitting his income with his wife, which is allowed under Californian law, he reduces his reported income to two halves of $12,500, and pays $5700 in federal income tax, instead of the $7000 to $8000 he would otherwise pay. Counting state, social security, property taxes and licenses on two automobiles, his total tax payment is $6600. This is more detail than Daddy has ever shared, and, actually, for this sheltered girl, an eye opener. I assumed that the tax payment would be more like $25,579! The rest of the article details his expenses at great length to arrive at the Xs being forced to stretch to make ends meet, for the pointing and the laughing.
I had no idea that the "Obscenely well-paid person thinks that he's middle class because he can't budget" genre was so old. Or that Fortune had them pegged in 1948.

“The Executive Forecast” This is the new name for the Fortune Survey, perhaps? The drift of it is that executives don’t expect a depression this year.
“Shall We Have Airplanes” Fortune investigates just how awful Aero Digest has become, and concludes that the aircraft industry, which in 1934 was smaller than the chewing gum business, and in 1944 was $3 billion larger than its next competitor, shipbuilding, has seen its working capital shrink by $100 million in 1947, to 15% of the total at the end of 1947. One might wonder why an industry which made so much money in the war couldn’t just live on its fat for a decade or so, but between high taxes and the ever-increasing cost of developing new aircraft for defending democracy by blowing up Moscow, it cannot. Now, there is a risk of several major bankruptcies. Fortune tells the story of the private plane bubble, the massive losses taken by the airlines, and leads us as far as the President’s Commission, and to the verge of the purchase programme laid out in Flight that will save the day, if Congress will fund it. Meanwhile, the curtailment of 1945—6 transport orders (which would have put more capacity in the air than all the Pullman cars in America, if carried through) means that aircraft are being sold at prices that are well below break even for the time being. That is, as I understand it, the Martin 2-0-2 is priced to make a profit at a production run of 200 aircraft, but only 28 have been ordered. Martin has to take the contract, or it will never make money on the 2-02, but as long as it is only producing 28, it is not. Hmm. See, if this is the way the industry works, I can quite see why it can’t make any money without the government!

“Austerity to the North: Even the Prosperous Canadians have Met up With the Dollar Crunch: Result: A Brutal Slash in Imports: An Important Decision on the Future” The fact that this “radiantly healthy economy” is in trouble, demonstrates the imbalance in world trade.  The only solution, which, to an extent, Canada planned upon, is a world trading depression to cut Canadian consumption, employment and incomes; or else the Marshall Plan. For if it brings the non-dollar economies back, Canadian trade with them can secure dollars for American imports. If not, Canada must sell more to either the United States, or else to Caribbean countries like Cuba, which have a reliable source of American dollars. The problem is that Canada is already doing its best to sell to America, and with limited exceptions like pulpwood, where it can do more processing at home and realise increased added value, there are few obvious ways of increasing this trade. It has few goods with international reputations like French wine, British woollens and American typewriters, and its sole advantages are a lower wage structure, which the unions don’t like, and cheap water power, which itself is compensation for lack of cheap coal.

Ralston-Purina: Chow and Cows” Ralston-Purina is a very large maker of animal feeds. It does research! It also puts the secretarial pool into a chorus line to entertain plant visitors? I’m not sure I approve.
It seems that the women's movement has taken some very rapid backward steps since 1944. . . But, heck, why not put the secretarial pool in short skirts and have them do can can dances for visiting sales reps, because what could possibly go wrong?
The fundamental basis of its business, in case you were having trouble coming to some kind of a conception of it –I sure was!—is “feed mills,” which grind those “coarse grains” into all of that poultry feed that is being wasted on chicken for Tuesdays and eggs for Thursdays. However, they also do research, for example, into hormones, which have been used to tenderise tough old rooster. (You feed them female sex hormones, although as far as practicalities go, that’s on a level with finding a diet that makes chickens lay green-yolked eggs.)

Webb’s City: $12,000,000 Drugstore” St. Petersburg, Florida, has a gigantic drugstore that does big business. Thanks to James Earl Webb, a “dapper individual” and a “medicine man.”

“What Power Shortage?”
The average American family uses nearly 300 kw hours more per year than in 1939. Over two million more families appeared last year, 75% of them rural.  The overall industrial use of power has increased 84% since 1939, and the newest industries use the most. The capacity is simply not there, even if power generating reached 280 billion kw hours in 1944, up 160 billion from 1939. But, at war’s end, industry needed new equipment to maintain, never mind increase, generation while it faced a massive accumulated repair bill. Through 1952, it is expected that generating capacity will increase by 15 million kw, or 57% of all generating capacity built over the last 65 years. The new capacity will cost $6 billion, and if demand increases at the current rate, will be inadequate in 1951. There will be power shortages this year, although they will probably be restricted to industry. Even private utilities now think that the Federal government isn’t investing enough in power generation.

Without New Deal hydroelectric projects, we now realise that WWII would have taken a very different course, as that power provided all of our aluminum, magnesium and enriched uranium.

“Home Workshops”
Many men of means are tinkerers –just don’t sit in one of Daddy’s chairs!
In fact, Mr. Noettke's chairs are perfectly solid. He just can't get the joins smooth, in large part because his work table is warped, which he won't learn until 1951. He also enjoys it when his daughter is around to tease him about them. 
The best part of the tinkering is the power tools that you can now put in your basement shop. Anyway, that’s what Daddy says. He loves his Delta tablesaw, and, sure enough, Delta of Milwaukee shows up in this article, although not for a long way down. Sears and Montgomery-Ward also distribute Boice-Crane,of Toledo, Logan Engines and Duro Metal Products, of Chicago, and the St. Louis Lathe Works. Getting back to the drift of the article, Half of the GE engineers surveyed have workshops at home. Other home hobbyists include doctors and dentists and Vannevar Bush.

There’s legends about men of business like Henry Ford, who used their home workshops to invent all of their new inventions, but many of the pleasures of home workshops are simpler. Like having pipes that don’t leak in the middle of a building boom.

Shorts and Faces
“Ivory Hunting on the Charles” There’s a college on the Charles River, near Boston, isn’t there? One that has something to do with “ivory,” or “iv-“ something, anyway. The idea here is that even though the supply of Harvard Business School graduates is at an all time high of 1200 per year, still there are three jobs for each one. Not merely due to their training, but also all the intangibles that come with a “B.S.” man (Fortune’s joke! Fortune! So don’t look at me!). For example, they dress well and have nice wives. See, this is what Daddy warned me about when I plumped for Stanford. “All right for San Francisco, but you need an Ivy League husband if you want to make it in New York or Washington.” At the time I just thought that it was his outsider’s chip-on-the-shoulder. Little did I know! Then, of course, Mom took a hand . . . B. S men, we’re told, expect $300/month. This takes the commercial banks, which will not go over $260/month, out of the running to start with. However, they hope for a “change in the market,” one day soon.
“Outside the Groove” Wendell Willkie’s brother, Hermann Frederick, is Vice-President in charge of production at Seagram’s. He used to be a chemist and came out of that with a belief that men should not be allowed to “get into a groove.” As a result, and the point of this article, he  has evolved a process of training management at Seagram’s by continuously rotating them into new jobs, some of them fairly menial ones covered by the union contract. Some men quit, but others thrive.
“Battleships as Advertised” A short piece covers Julius Lipsett, the “Battle of Newark,” and the breaking up of the New Mexico.
“Drilling by Failing” George Failing builds, operates, and rents drilling rigs in Oklahoma, which is funny, because his name is “Failing.” Also worth a brief article, but not another paragraph, is Justin Schiess’s F. A. Ringler Co., which specialises in pressing the hides of “prosaic” animals like cows and sheep into fake alligator and lizard skins. This business makes up only 45% of his company, since the rest is the largest embossing-plate manufacturer in the United States, and, temporarily because of the absence of German competition, the world.

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