So, the truth finally came out about Don Bennett in Britain, last week; and I, as a seasoned Atlantic crossing veteran of two round trips, could not be more pleased! It's bad news for the British aviation industry, but perhaps we'll forgive it when we're enjoying the two promenades, complete bar, and roller-skating rink they're putting into the Brabazon.
Speaking for myself, you may still hear about me roller skating around a drive-in this summer. My interview with Magnum's was a DISASTER!! They told me I'd get a call later this week, but that was just pity. I don't know what went wrong? I waltzed in there like I was going to own the place and. . .
Wait, never mind, I know what went wrong! It was Ronnie being Ronnie.
Also, and to be hundred percent fair to myself (because someone has to), I was agitated by some unexpected difficulties regarding interviews for my Senior Thesis. Someone very important to the history of it all has gone missing, and no-one knows or cares where he is? Hmmph.
Uncle George (and Grace) used to do a thing where, if an article was particularly important, they did a separate letter. This month's Fortune has a huge article about weather control (you know, cloud seeding and the like). It gets a little bit non-technologically technical, with a discussion of the insurance implications, which are obviously huge. If this works (and it looks like it does), it's only a matter of time before some of our neighbours try using it to protect their orange crops, and we need to know where we stand, soonest. Also, I thought it would be fun to march right into the law library and find out what's what! I hope that you like my little paper!
Aviation Week, 16 February 1948
Aviation Week is the old Aviation reorganised as a weekly. There is more emphasis on the news, which you can tell from the way that this issue leads off with a story about the ACC Report. Robert Hotz reports that aircraft procurement has been cut almost fifty percent in 1948, from a budget request of a billion, a Presidential budget of $644 million to a Congressionally-approved $448 billion. The ACC, as we’ve heard again and again, wants more, and thinks that the industry, as well as the Air Force and Navy, are in trouble if they don’t get it.
“New Crews Trained in NAL Pilot Strike” National Airlines is responding to the third postwar pilots’ strike by training new air crews. You can imagine how that is going over, especially when NAL has four DC-6s grounded.
The Navy is increasing its order for Sikorsky helicopters by 20 machines, the Smithsonian is taking ownership of twenty historic planes stored at the Douglas works for the National Air Museum, although not B-29s, B-32s, or the B-19, as the new museum won’t be large enough for these planes, which some people find disappointing. The Army Chemical Centre will test the controversial heat-chemical “No-Fog’ system at the Lockheed Air Terminal in Burbank, presumably in April, when southern California sometimes actually has fog.
Orville Wright’s nephews will decide whether their uncles’ original plane should be returned from London to America to be displayed in the Smithsonian’s new National Air Museum. Dividends are falling, P-80s have gone to the Canal Zone, Qantas is operating an all-cargo service Britain-Australia, Portugal and the United States have signed a new landing facilities agreement for Lagens Airfield. The Air Force’s C-54 radar and electronic flight research airplane is getting large fibreglass wing panel sections for testing. The McDonnell XP-88’s wind tunnel testing has shown that its wingtip fuel tanks have adverse stability effects. Lockheed is working on a honeycomb sandwich wing for the P-80, and the Navy has “virtually abandoned” the twin-rotor McDonnell XHJH-1 helicopter because of vibration. The Air Force is testing a sandwich monocoque tail boom assembly for the Northrop P-61. It is currently made of laminated glass plastic.
Glenn L. Martin has revealed that the honeycomb sandwich flooring on the 2-0-2 is more expensive than conventional aluminum alloy used in other transports. Frank Davis, of Convair, says that propeller-driven aircraft have exceeded the speed of sound in dives for brief intervals. Curtiss has delivered the last SC-2 Seahawk left in its wartime contract. Svensk Aeroplan will fly its SAAB 29 swept wing fighter next summer. Landgraf Helicopters has won another Air Force contract. The War Assets Administration still has one Goodyear F2G-1 fighter for sale, in case anyone needs a racer. Final testing is underway for the Lockheed Constitution. The chairman of United Aircraft has revealed that Pratt and Whitney will have to spend more than $30 million on gas turbine research facilities in the near future to remain competitive in the field. Goodrich Rubber has announced a new aviation rubber, a polyacrylic ester that closely approximates natural rubber. Chicago Tool and Engineering is so impressed by its new Palmgren No, 82 indexing and cross slide milling table that it buys an
Lieutenant Cummins, USN, writes to point out that the Pacusan Dreamboat’s endurance record wasn’t a real record, because blimps fly even longer. John Gaty, of Beechcraft,reminds everyone that Beechcraft had a pneumatically-retracted undercarriage onits first biplanes, back in 1914. R. G. Mitchell writes to correct Elveron Hoyt, who seems to think that automatic stall warning devices aren’t necessary, because of Airspeed Indicators. Stall speed rises in banked turns, he reminds everyone, and he is upset that Hoyt is making a living as a flight instructor. Lee H. Smith, of Beechcraft, points out that their aircraft now have automatic stall indicators, and that they have had no complaints. Silas King, of Western Skyways, agrees separately, but insurance man T. L. Osborn, doesn’t, as does John W. Thorp, for no stated reason.
Engineering and Production
“Surplus Planes and US Aircraft Bulk Large in Canada’s 1947 Sales” Canadair continues to make planes, notably DC-4Ms, as does De Havilland Canada, working on both the Chipmunk and Beaver, but Fairchild Canada has closed up shop. Avro Canada is working on its engine, and a jet fighter to go with it. There’sa helicopter project in Montreal that I will spend more words on if it goes anywhere. Sikorski’s new 5000t hydraulic press at Bliss, Indiana, is working. Boeing has increased Seattle employment to 1700 to produce B-29 spares, B-50s and Stratocruisers. Beech is down to 2500 workers, producing the Model 18. Garrett, the parent company of AiResearch, has an employment of 1700 and a backlog of $7.5 million. Schweizer Aircraft has a subcontract from Chase to manufacture all control surfaces for the Air Force’s CG-18A gliders. Curtiss-Wright is assignee of a patent awarded to Sam Payne and Camille H. Lemonier for a “kneeling” aircraft undercarriage. Lockheed announces a new, high accuracy, automatic temperature probe. (It’s electronic, so Uncle George, etc.)
Jerome Landerer, Allied Insurance Underwriters, “Operational Safety Increase Seen as Major Aviation Need” A long article discusses the origins and relevance of this public perception. Landerer discusses many ways of measuring accident statistics and ends the article with a particularly alarming “cut” of the numbers: 1 in every 85 aircraft sold is involved in a fatal accident. Removing stall spins would admittedly reduce this to 1-in-150, but that is still awful. Another polling article further below discusses airline polls of New York-area passengers that establishes that fliers are well off, three-quarters male, mostly between 26 and 56, mostly professional men, want better parking, car rental and hotel services near airports, and check their baggage. At peak hours, more than 3000 passengers an hour flow through some New York airports.
“Newer English Jet-Type Fighters Delayed Until 1960” From the American point of view, the most important things going on in Britain are trials of the turboprop trainers, the A.W. 52, since some of the new types will be all-wing; further marks of the Vampire; the apparent success of the Supermarine Attacker, especially the use of spoilers rather than throttle control to cut speed in deck approaches, which allows full revs to be maintained; and the loss of the DH high speed type, which is seen as curtailing manned high speed research. Aviation Week thinks that another DH,with necessary modifications, may fly soon.
Aviation Sales and Service reports that “Industry Challenges VA Threat to GI Flight Training Future,” which I think is the aviation training industry responding to the VA’s attempt to restrict the amount of GI student tuition loan money going to flight training schools. All very well, but what about Arthur Murray Dance Studios?
There’s similar news of lobbying, new air services, the Congressional probes into possible collusion in setting cargo rates, the CAB penalty on 39 irregular airlines operating regularly, and the like. Of these, I’ll find the time for a “Skytel” to open at Spokane Valley Sky Ranch, at Greenacres airport, with six and then twelve ranch-style units, an eight-place hangar, a restaurant, and a car hire service. What the neighbours are up to! For some reason, this section also describes a “mid-air operation” carried out by Dr. W. R. S. Groves, aboard a Republic Seabee amphibian, in which he attempted to save the victim of a logging accident. George Martin, who was injured in logging operation 200 miles north of Vancouver, rallied on the plane, but died later in hospital.
Aviation World News reports that “Deficit and Equipment Problems Harass BOAC as 1948 Begins: Nineteen Idle Tudors Await BOAC Decision: Carrier Considers Move to Buy 40 DC-4Ms from Canadair for Probable Use on Empire Routes” Nineteen! Nineteen! I had somehow failed to take in the full magnitude of the Tudor fiasco, and the scale of the replacement order from Canadair is equally amazing. Aviation Week points out that by the numbers, BOAC is losing £63 per passenger with its existing fleet, and has to hope that the Brabazon, Saunders-Roe flying boat (ha!) and De Havilland Comet, which his what the 106 is called in America, stem the bleeding. A separate article notes that BOAC is pushing Canadair towards the DC-4M2.
Air Transport reports that it will cost between three and four million dollars to implement recommended changes on the 145 plane DC-6 fleet. They will be back in service by mid-April. It also reports that Northwestern is considering rebates for delayed flights.
“You can Be on Time: Or, The Boss Is Aboard” Aviation Week is very impressed with Northwestern’s 5% rebate on flights delayed more than half an hour. Passengers “herded like animals outside by a limousine, in a bitter winter blast, to claim baggage on a cart that should have been left under a shelter,” or freezing in a delayed plane with a door left open or delayed by a ramp stair that doesn’t attach properly, will be grateful that Croil Hunter “is aboard” with them. In shorter news, Aviation Week points out that the Pentagon is getting unnecessarily uptight about the lack of sweepback on the XS-1, and answers back against “critics” of the editorial page who think that it is too critical of the industry. I am not 100% sure that that is Aviation Week's problem.
Flight, 19 February 1948
“Piloted Projectile” The British policy of using unmanned rockets to break the sound barrier is wrong; the American policy of using test pilots is right. Air Commodore Banks said so.
“BSAA Drops the Pilot” People are upset at BSAA sacking Don Bennett. They’re forgetting that he is an asshole. Pardon my French. It’s fine to be an asshole if you’re running a private company, so the real villain is nationalisation. Says Flight.
“All-Through, All-Weather: New Pilot-training Scheme in Operation at RAF Station Feltwell” All RAF pilots now must receive all-weather flight training, and go right through to the end of the course. No more single-engined versus multi-engined pilots!
“S-51 to the Rescue: Pilot’s Account of How Crew of Wolf Rock Lighthouse Were Supplied by Helicopter” Wolf Rock’s crew were running out of supplies, so an S-51 was used for the first “serious,” as opposed to “demonstration” resupply. Alan Bristow sends in his account, but doesn’t get author’s credit, for some reason. They had to lower sacks with an estimated 250—300lbs of food into the lighthouse from above. It was windy, there were antennae and flag poles in the way. It was hard. They had wire cutters, if they needed them, but they didn’t. In shorter news, correspondence page regular, T. Neville-Stack, has a delightful little book out about his adventures with 742 Squadron Royal Naval Air Transport Squadron in southern India in 1944—46, and everyone should write away to the Airco publishing house for their copy.
Civil Aviation News
KLM’s 27th annual financial report shows that 1946 was the first year the airline has made money. From 14 February, Croydon Airport will be limited to aircraft not exceeding 25,000lbs all up weight. Dakotas will be the largest aircraft allowed to operate from it. A Constellation flying a New York-Washington service shed an airscrew at 22,000ft on 7 February. It penetrated the fuselage and cut some controls and the rudder and elevator trim tab cables, but the engine could only be cut out by the ignition switch, and so ran out of control as the plane descended. Captain Johnson was able to make a no-flaps landing (flap control had also been lost) in 1450ft. A steward was killed by the flying blade in the galley. There will be a regular inquiry into the Star Tiger loss. Air India will receive its first Constellation on 23 February. The Sandringham accident at Bahrein on 23 August 1947 that killed ten people has been determined to have been caused by pilot error, as the captain landed at too high a speed for conditions (85—90 knots IAS), causing the collapse of the starboard planning hull.
It is now possible to get immediate bookings on some BOAC services. ANA is suing the Australian government over its expropriation of ANA’s real estate at Essendon Airport as part of its expansion scheme. A fourteen-day, all-expense paid tour of Czechoslovakia is now available from White Star Continental Tours and Horton Airways. BOAC is reducing air cargo rates.
Roland Gillet, “Last Out: A Flight to the Continent Before the Final Ban Was Imposed” Just before the 1 October ban on foreign travel (with British currency), Mr. Gillet, an RAF veteran, flew a Proctor over to France, spent the money he was able to withdraw in London, and had some fun. The weather was middling. The Frenchmen he met expected war in the Spring. They saw de Gaulle’s personal bodyguard and his son, hanging around the airport bar. It was very exciting, and definitely worth two pages of Flight that might be otherwise spent on boring stuff.
“New Bristol 170” The Bristol Freighter has come out in a new mark with “free-exit cowls” and new D.H. airscrews, along with a better and slightly larger wing, stiffened by an auxiliary spar boom, relieved by nine anti-strain channels. Enough room was found to increase wing tank fuel tankage by 50%. The increased wing area gives it a new all up weight of 40,000lbs, about a 9% improvement, while the new engine arrangements increase range to varying degrees depending on whether it is in freighter, passenger or mixed configuration. Bristol would be happy to upgrade existing 170s to the new standard.
“Airscrew Vibration Testing: D.H. Vibration Department Tackles Problems Arising from the Airscrews of the Bristol New Type 170” Like all airscrews, the new, four-bladed one for the Bristol 170 can have damaging vibrations. The article explains how a strain gauge works, which is interesting, since I didn’t know. (Hold onto your hat, Uncle George, if youdidn’t know, because it is an electrical device!) It goes on to explain that, with strain gauges and other tests, such as a “violin bow,” which I think is an actual bow, used to “play” the blade, they found the resonating frequencies. Then they put in dampers, which consist of small steel balls rolling in channels in the base of the airscrew. The size of the channels is such that the free-rolling balls create a counter-vibration. In shorter news, the RAF is circulating an anti-accident educational film narrated by Stewart Macpherson.
Here and There
Air France is replacing its Ju 52s with new Languedoc four-engined airliners, which also replace the Dakotas on the London, Manchester and Glasgow—Paris runs. Charter flights to Johannesburg are now available at £167 on Skymasters, flight taking 34 hours. Seats are also available on Vikings and Dakotas with some freight space, at a slightly higher rate. It is reported that the abandoned RAAF station of Batchelor Field, fiftymiles south of Darwin, has recently been used by heavy mystery aircraft forboth landings and takeoffs. King Aircraft Corporation is going into liquidation.
There is to be a Radio Components Exhibition that will no doubt have its own multi-part series in The Engineer, can’t wait, the Russians are offering air tours, on one of which John Steinbeck flew around the country. The Americans are now “parachuting doctors, dog-teams and sleds to rescue survivors from crashed aircraft in snow-covered wastes . . . The dogs appear to enjoy the drop.”
American Newsletter by “Kibitzer” “Overdoing the Demand for Light Controls: Severe Conditions Met in Thunderclouds”
Kibitzer went to the American Institute of Aeronautical Sciences conference in New York, and only has notes from two sessions. At one, the question of whether the pursuit of “light” controls led to less “feel” and overcorrection was vigorously discussed. Pilots think that some modern transports have controls that are too heavy to be operated by one hand, that controls are not responsive enough and in some cases inadequate, that trim changes are much too frequent and too great, and that cockpits are badly laid out. A paper on storm-flying experiences revealed that this is dangerous, and that not only better controls, but stronger aircraft, are needed.
“For Continental Routes” The French SO Bellatrix is a fine plane. The only problem is that it turns into a pumpkin upon crossing the Channel shore.
“Rotating-wing Problems: The RAeS Discussion of Mr. W.Stewart’s Lecture on Flight-testing Helicopters” Mr. Rowe thinks that there should be more wind tunnel, less live testing, as the results are more quantitative. Test pilots and experimentalists think that helicopter-flying is easier than some people think, and that a tailplane would help with stability. Although a great deal of random observation of less importance came up, the big issue is clearly stability.
“The Brancker Memorial Lecture: Buildings and Runway Capacity: No Airport Big Enough Yet: Precis of a Lecture by J. W. S. Brancker, Manager of the Eastern Division of BOAC” It turns out that Seth Brancker was the Director of Civil Aviation until he went up in a balloon and didn’t come back. I assume that J. W. S. is his son, besides being yet another confirmation of Reggie’s cynical beliefs about nepotism in modern society. On the question of whether we should be making airplanes safe for the world, or the world safe for airplanes, Brancker comes down on the side of planes. This is not about runway length, although he does think that airports need to be laid out with expansion in mind, and that might include longer runways, as well as more runways. What he is worried about is terminal buildings. If these aren’t big enough to accommodate future passenger and cargo movements, high block to block speed is useless.
In shorter news, Robert Kronfeld, the outstanding glider pilot and test pilot, died test piloting the swept-back wing GAL 56/61. That’s the one with the test pilot, and I must eat my words, because after the glider inverted and while it was diving at 220mph, the co-pilot opened his hood and dropped out, and was able to land safely in spite of parachuting from only 1000ft. Kronfeld did not follow and died in the crash.
|By The Flight magazine archive from Flightglobal, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18167555|
“New Czech Sailplane: Pleasing Lines and High Performance of Zlin 25” Now you can die in a machine you can’t pronounce! What will this modern age think of, next.
E. W. Newdick writes to point out that the Short Brothers “25 Years Plus” Dinner was organised by former employees, not Short Brothers. “BOAC Type” writes to correct both G. C. Winterbotham and “Ex Fit. IIE on BOAC Staff,” both of whom seem confused about fitting at BOAC. Winterbotham doesn’t seem to understand that between aircraft delivery and first service, fitters must train on the new type, and that is why there is a fitter-related delay in new types entering service, while “Ex-Fit” has no idea what he is talking about. D. G. Thorpe thinks that grounding the Tudor IV fleet in response to the Star Tiger disappearance is just faint-heartedness and ministerial “red tape.”
“Radio Research Engineer” points out that the reason that Star Tudor might have made no further radio reports is that they might not have been picked up. He recalls one time when he could hear a plane (Pacusan Dreamboat) trying to reach Northolt, which could not pick it up, even though both he and an American Army plane were relaying. That is why he patented a device (on the ground) that automatically tracks radio reports from aircraft in flight, so that when the track on the device stops, you know that the plane has crashed. I’m not sure how that works, and I also think that using an accident like this to promote your invention is crass, but I’m not the editor of Flight. W. L. Gordon writes to say that his club uses parachutes. Robert Russell writes a nasty (pro-) flying boat letter, complaining that his critics are nitpicking. “4/4” is surprised that people aren’t rushing to join the RAFVR, after all the complaining letters from ex-service pilots. I think his tongue might be in cheek a little. The letter from F. R. Banks about the case for piloted supersonic flight tests appears next-to-last, which seems like a waste of paper when it’s already been summarised in the Leaders.
Aviation Week, 21 February 1948
Headline news includes movement on the NAS pilot strike, the CAB’s extension of the DC-3s license through 1953, and news that the Wright biplane will be returned to the United States, although the Smithsonian is horrible for still not explicitly promising to put it up in the main lobby of their main building (whatever that might be), with the President (unless they have a Director) standing in front of it, reciting an apology for supporting Dr. Langley over the Wrights, on a loop, twenty-four hours a day, forever. (Some people may still bebitter.) In additional news, Glenn Martin has sold 15 2-0-2s to Northwestern, the House has passed a new postal route, CAB’s promised rule requiring airliners to carry terrain indicators has been extended, as they still don’t work well enough, the Skyrocket has flown, and Boeing is showing off a mockup of its B-47 cockpit.
Robert B. Hotz, “air Power and National Security” Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but America needs more planes. It will be conceded that it has enough to protect itself against –I don’t know, Mexico? Soviet B-29skis on one-way suicide trips to drop bombs on Chicago? But it can’t bomb faraway foreign places enough, which was okay before the war, but not acceptable now. While it has been pointed out that it is hard to buy enormous fleets of aircraft when no-one can agree whether they should have jets in their tail or compound-turbines in their nose, or in the wings, or both, more money needs to be spent. For security!
“New Concept of Naval Air Power” Aviation Week lays out the new organisation of the Navy’s air arm, and its near-term goals of developing the carrier-borne atomic strike capability and long-range ASW force, which allows mention of the Martin P-4M Mercator, which Reggie expects to be flying when he graduates. A similar, but less extensive article on the USAF follows, although the table of organisation chart that extends the naval article was appended to the Hotz article, instead.
“New Spy Camera” The new flash equipment onthe K-19B camera is very fast, allowing A-26s to take night photographs as lowas 2000ft, and allows the old technique of dropping a flash bomb, formerly only useful at high altitudes.
“Ability to Produce at Low Point: While Plant Capacity is Ample, Labour Force, Materials and Parts, Subcontracting System and Working Capital all are Weak” The industry has moved away from volume engineering to job-shop methods in plants with ample floor space to return to volume-engineering if contract sizes warrants. Shorter news announces a precision barometer for airports from American Paulin System, 1847, and that America still has practically no jet engines, but a whole page of piston engines.
“Engine Output in Transition Period: Although Suffering from Lack of Business: Industry Must Grapple with Problem of Conversion from Reciprocating to Jet” and “Lag in Preparedness Causes Industry Crisis” covers the same story all over again. In order not to bore, I am going to clip yet another table that you can either look at, or not.
Albert E. Smsyer, “Helicopter’s Air Power Implications” Helicopters are a potential future factor in air power. Right now, due to all the necessary testing, construction engineering costs are $300 per hour, which is apparently a bit much.
Robert McLarren, “Largest Aero Research Program” $300 million this year. The article has a huge chart of the NACA organisation, and many administrative details.
|This is a lot of money. Like, a lot.|
“Aviation in the National Economy” The largest aviation expenditure in the national economy is Federal, at $120/taxpayer per year, calculated from an annual total aviation expenditure of $6 billion, 15% of Federal expenditures. It includes the Air Force, part of the Navy, NACA, the CAA, and the CA, but also grants for airports and postal rates subsidies. Nonetheless, the large numbers reflects historically high tax revenues. Right now, people seem to support high defence expenditure. The question is whether opinion would change if the spending had to come from national debt, instead of taxes.
“Private Flying Feeds Air Power” That’s what Aviation Week tells its readers, anyway; and, to be fair, the Finletter Commission did talk about flying schools and flying clubs and ready reserves of pilots. No mention of the hats that theAuxiliary Volunteer Auxiliary Really Reserve will wear, though.
“Airports as Base of Air Power” Aviation Week sells the federal airport subsidy as a guarantee of “air power.” Is it because the Air Force might have to fly out of Spokane Municipal Airport if Canada invades? Maybe. I’d have to read three columns of 100% boosterism to find out. And I won't! Because I'm lazy! Aviation Week does think that not enough is being done, and not fast enough. It points out that the Federal-Aid Highway Act budgets $1.5 billion, and automobiles account for $3 billion in business and 7 million jobs, about 12% of total employment, so aviation should get the same proportional share for airports, whatever that works out to be.
A story a recent survey showing that air safety is lagging, followed by one on the need for more training in commercial aviation. CAA has studied private plane use and concluded that instruction is the main use, and the distribution of plane ownership and found that it is concentrated in only 10 states, of which California has the most planes.
Frederick R. Brewster, “British Air Power Stands at Low Ebb” Aviation Week covers the British Air Estimates as though it has British subscribers. That is, in a panic and with misleading information. (The Air Ministry’s budget of £22 million is given, but not the Ministry of Supply’s, for example.) It is pointed out that the British are currently focussed on research and development, with most major new types 7 to 10 years out. This is why they are not ordering interim types like the Attacker, even though it is far superior to anything the RAF or Navy have at the moment, and why they are not building a rival to the B-47. The British feel that the Americans are going ahead with airframe development far faster than engine development warrants.
It is true that the RAF has relatively few operational fighter squadrons, but it also suffers from a shortage of mechanics to support them, and high turnover amongst the staff it has. Government spending on aircraft is falling from £156 million last year to only £70 million this year, and, of course, Cunliffe-Owen and Miles are out of the picture, showing that financial exigencies are hitting the builders, too.
“Nazi Labs Spur Russian Research: Soviet Speeds Up Production” The Russians are five years ahead of where they ought to be because of all that Nazi super-science and may have broken the sound barrier six months ago. Russia can produce between 75,000 and 100,000 aircraft a year, and has a serviceable air force of 10,000 to 16,000 combat aircraft. The Tupolev 70, a Russian Stratocruiser, is getting press. It is reported that the Russians envision a twelve-fold increase in air passenger traffic, five-fold increase in freight traffic, and a doubling of runways from 93,000 miles to 180,000. Uncle George ridicules these numbers on “common sense grounds.” I reminded him that they did win the war, but he started talking about plywood.
Michael J. Marsh reports that “French Air Power [is] Weak and Outmoded, with output down to 1445 planes in 1947, and employment down to 60,000. G. Howard Smith reports that “Swedish Air Power [is] Dependent on West.”
“Air Transport’s Role in Air Power” America has the largest civil aviation sector in the world, it will continue to grow, and it was useful in WWII, so it will be even more useful in WWIII
“Airline Traffic Trends Show Growth Depends on Safety” Many Americans still fear flying, and traffic declines after every accident. Instead of educating the public on the perfect safety of flying (Oops, there goes another one, well, serves the passengers right for getting on a new plane), the industry might want to focus on making flying safer, especially in winter. Another article reports that air exports and imports continue to grow, while yet another lists all airfields with GCA. Which still includes only 3 operated by the CAA, the rest of the (long) list being Air Force bases and Naval Air Stations. Additional articles show that traffic trends are mixed, postal carriage is up, airlines are protesting their heavy tax burden, and freight is booming. The Director of the IATA sees steady progress continuing.
Editorial and Letters have gone missing as Aviation Week finds room for deadening article after article about every aspect of aviation being up, bigger, more money, important in national security. There! I just summarised an entire issue, no need to read it, just look at the graphs I cut out. (Okay, read some numbers, too.)
The Economist, 21 February 1948
“American Horizon” Yes, while European dollar reserves are running out, the Americans have promised interim aid, and the Senate has passed the full amount requested by the President. So, no worries, right? Not a bit of it! Some Representatives think that America is spending too much on one thing and another, and that a bit of tax cuts would be nice, so why not cut the Interim Aid budget? Also, the sudden slump in grain prices in Chicago, from the highest level ever ($3/bushel) down to the levels of last June might seem to suggest that the Interim Aid package will purchase more, at less cost, than the European Recovery Programme envisioned. But what if the slump heralds the onslaught of depression? It happened in 1921! And, yes, it also happened in 1946 and then in 1947, with no serious consequences, and there is no reason to think it will happen again, but what about business confidence? What if it goes down? What then? It is true that Senator Vandenberg, assisted by Dewey, Stassen and John Foster Dulles, have fought off Taft and Hoover’s attempts to cut the budget and kept the package nonpartisan, so that it could pass between a Republican Congress and a Democratic Administration, but Americans want to see the United States of Europe very soon, so it is very nice that Mr. Bevin said bad things about Communism in Parliament the other day, because that will lead to the United States of Europe.
Or if you don’t have time to read all that, here’s my executive summary: Geoff Crowther is back.
|In fairness to Geoff, he does make The Economist a great hate read.|
“Exorcising the Symptoms” Sir Stafford Cripps said something in Parliament that could be construed as agreeing that secret inflation was everywhere, and he told the TUC and the FBI to do something about wages and prices. Since that won’t work, and neither will voluntary restraints, the government should “purge” inflation by cutting the budget and raising interest rates to cut the supply of money. The solution to not enough goods being produced remains, as always, more unemployment.
“Marxist Centenary” Compared with first-year lectures, this is quite a nice summary of the argument in The Communist Manifesto. (We are reading The German Ideology this semester, which brings my mind back to my freshman lectures.) Just to be safe, it has a bit at the end bout how Marxism is wrong.
|My handout said that this was the part you|
didn't say out loud.
“The Middle Class, IV: Third Party or No Party” The Liberal Party is a very nice Party, and The Economist supports it, as do all proper middle-class Britons, of whom The Economist is the self-appointed spokesmagazine. However, the Liberal Party has no hope of wining an election, so effectively there are only two parties that middle class Britons can vote for, and Labour is the one that they shouldn’t vote for, so draw your own conclusions.
Notes of the Week
“The Doctor’s Vote” The doctors’ plebiscite shows that doctors disapprove of the National Health Service. The BMA should feel gratified. And then it should surrender, because the public doesn’t give a fat fig what doctors think.
“Electoral Reform Bill” The Economist approves of Electoral Reform in general, but thinks that the City of London and University seats should be kept, because Mr. Churchill is making a stink about the first one (though otherwise it thinks that the “plural business vote” should go); and because people with BAs deserve to have an extra vote.
“Mr. Churchill’s Valentine” Mr. Churchill said some silly things about the current economic situation, some bracing things about there not being a coalition government, and some wise things, about not boycotting the Western Union meeting in the Hague. This leads into two long notes about the London Conference on Western Germany and the relative importance of the German settlement vis-à-vis the Benelux Union. Also, M. Bidault gave a speech in which he said that Western Union was a Good Thing, and that Germany should be part of it, because that was the only way to keep Germany peaceful.
“Sending a Cruiser” Argentina and Chile have both tried to establish claims to British Antarctic territories, which are apparently territories that Britain has. Therefore, he is sending a cruiser, for the first time since the Anglo-Iranian oil crisis in July of 1946. HMS Nigeria will take a contingent of marines to some place called the Falkland Islands, and then proceed to another place called Sandwich Island, where the President of Chile, himself, has established himself, and where this Videla fellow is flagrantly proceeding to be Chilean on British territory. HMS Nigeria will tell him to stop, and then gesture significantly at its 6” guns. And as for those who say that this is a bad time to be doing such things, as the Home Fleet is, on paper, smaller than the Argentinian Navy, well, what about the Rio Treaty? The Rio Treaty says that America might have to go to war with Britain over the Sandwich Islands, and Secretary Marshall says that this is silly, so it won’t happen, so the Chileans and Argentinians should simmer down and await the ruling of the International Court of Justice.
“Holiday Trains” In the latest bit of outrageous Government extravagance stemming from the extra eight million tons of coal in the national budget, the summer holiday train schedule is being restored this year. The Economist concludes that this is obviously an insidious attempt to prove that railway nationalisation is a success.
“Self Denial in Advertising” The Federation of British Industries has completed its plan to discourage luxury good advertisements. The Economist approves.
“The Real Aggressor in India” Is Pakistan. However, in a related bit, The Economist hopes that Mr. Jinnah is successful in persuading the Khanate of Kalat, which is down in the southwest of Pakisttan, to agree to be part of Pakistan, because sometimes Pakistan should be aggressive.
“The Party Melodic Line” Shostakovich is the latest victim of the ongoing Moscow cultural sort-of-purge, leading The Economist to make fun of Communism for being awful.
“University Grants” The British universities are receiving £9 million in grants this year, up from 2.5 millions before the war, and £20 million by the end of the year, although they asked for 40. This is all fine, but it’s not, but it is, but it isn’t maybe. Perhaps that is too little detail, so let us follow Geoff up and down through the story. Research is important, trends are worrying, spending is reasonable, Oxford might be getting too much, it’s hard to tell.
“Who Will Intervene in Palestine?” Trygve Lie has pleaded with the General Assembly for someone to intervene, but no-one will.
Rita Henden says that if Britain really can’t afford to govern its African colonies in their interest, and not Britain’s, perhaps Britain should pull out, as it has from India, after all. J. C. Howison writes to say that the Conservative Party really does have the interests of the middle class at heart.
By the way, just in case Grace is condescending to read these, the 12 February issue had an interesting review of Eva M. Hubback’s The Population of Britain, which was prepared for the Royal Commission on Population. It discusses the causes of declining population, such as the modern woman’s preference for small families, the difficulties of child-bearing in our modern society, and even investigates the number of unwanted conceptions, “an astonishingly high proportion of the whole.” She explains the various causes of decline, says that there will be a changeover from the small to medium family in the next generation, before “decline has gotten out of hand,” and explains how this will come about through better education, hygiene, and so forth. There must be more social responsibility, and financial aid and social services for mothers and children, and housing and town-planning for larger families.
“The Shadow of 1929” The falling price of grain, and of all the foods made by feeding animals with grain, might be a relief to the average American, but it is bad news for the farm belt, for Canada and for Latin America. It might be the end of the world; conversely, it might be because winter rains suggest that the American, French and Argentinian grain crops will be good this year. Also, will this first taste of deflation lead to a depression? Possibly!
“The Public Domain” From A Correspondent in Colorado
ACC begins by explaining how 200 million acres in the Western states, including 145 million under the Bureau of Land Management and 55 million under the Forest Service, have come to be subject to grazing licenses under public domain, which is probably interesting to those who haven’t had the details explained to them many times before. ACC goes on to explain the recent movement amongst stockmen to have this public domain land sold to the existing license holders on generous terms, and why the states are in cautious support of this. (Because they could then tax it.) Finally, ACC explains why the general public thinks that it is a terrible idea, why it is not going to happen, and why this has led to a bit of a public controversy in the western states.
“Trial Run for the Plan” Now that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved its own draft of the European Recovery Programme, the details are beginning to be ironed out. For example, Congress wants recipient countries to make every effort to identify the assets owned by their own nationals in America, so that they can pay for it. (This is not just fair, it also helps with inflation.) Also, they should charter 300 American merchant ships to move all the aid, since the original plan of having them buy 500 was so strenuously resisted by the unions.
“Early Diagnoses” Another story about the possibilitythat declining grain prices mean that a recession is on the way.
“Southern Democrats and Civil Rights” At the conference of Southern State Governors, there were further repercussions from President Truman’s hint that he might issue an executive order on Jim Crow on the railways. There is the usual talk of “bolting the party.” More seriously, fundraising hauls might be withheld from the party, and there might be a lack of cooperation in Congress.
“Regional Colleges for the South” Since one of the main issues in civil rights of late has been the failure of “separate but equal” in higher education, the idea of large, well-funded, regional Negro colleges is being floated, based on the model of Meharry Negro Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. White regional colleges would also be set up under any scheme, so as to be fair to all. On the subject of fairness, John Lewis may or may not be threatening a strike over the issue of pensions for miners.
“A Draft for Vandenberg” Time discusses the Draft Vandenberg movement.
The World Overseas
“Neighbours of Afghanistan” The trouble over Kalat leads The Economist to take a tour along the frontier between Afghanistan and Pakistan, with emphasis on the southwest.
“Report from Havana” Havana is where the International Trade Organisation is being negotiated. It is being negotiated very slowly, and right now Latin American protection and the question of eastern Europe are in forefront. Further bulletins, Grace would say, as events warrant.
“Prospects for the Pipe Lines” The trouble in Haifa that recently stopped the Iraq Petroleum Company pipeline is now over, but prospects for operations after the British withdrawal are black. Some people think that the Syrian pipeline will also be shut down, but there is no reason to think that it will be, and there is actually an investment opportunity here, since more capacity will be needed through Syria. Following this, a note congratulates the Foreign Office for doing up a report on the last session of the General Assembly, showing that everything was the Soviets’ fault.
The Business World
“The Argentine Agreement” Do we do business in Argentina? I know we have interests in Peru, but Argentina? Until I hear otherwise. . . I mean, some British exports include rayon and autos, and that’s technology, of a sort, but most of this article is spent on untangling the currency arrangements to get the most Argentine trade with the least dollar expenditure, and that stuff is just bafflingly complicated. “A” accounts and “B” accounts and gold guarantees. . . .
“Economics in Fleet Street” The price of newsprint is going up, and so will newspaper prices or advertising rates, or by expanding from the current four pages, so that they can carry more advertising. One or another of these things (well, not the last, because of the dollar shortage) will have to happen eventually, no-one is quite sure when, because the newspapers aren’t forward this kind of information, except the Daily Express, which publishes some information, so The Economist looks at it, and concludes that if more newsprint did become available at the Canadian price, which is £2 less per ton than British, the papers could meet their current costs by expanding to six pages. Then The Economist looks at the production side and concludes that the great savings in publicity and editorial made during the war have now played out, and that further increases in costs must be met by price increases.
The lead notes cover the stock market and the Argentine rail agreement, which is an aspect of the larger Argentine trade agreement.
“Mr. Strauss and the Motor Industry” Mr. Strauss pointed out in a recent speech in Birmingham that the Big Six, who make 90% of British autos, also do the major share of exporting, and that they could do more if they had more steel, and perhaps steel quotas should be withdrawn from smaller firms that do not export 75% of their output. The Economist is worried that, while some of the companies thereby driven out of the industry, would not be missed, others are technologically progressive, and would be.
“Mine Production and Manpower” Signs of progress, such as higher production, increasing recruitment of youthful labour, and increasing numbers of European workers should not obscure the fact that the five day work week will bring disaster eventually when production lags for one reason or another. Another bit, which seems oddly well buried, notices the formation of a new central bank for Germany, a “new coping stone on the federal reorganisation of German banking.” Of Germany, period, I would say! Notes returns to German banks much later below, discussing the blocked balances that British firms have built up in German banks, which they would like to bring back to Britain, but cannot under the property control laws.
There is a bunch of stock news relating to the Electricity and Railway nationalisation, and I am going to attach here the recent seeming decision by the Cooperative Wholesale Society to “recoil from its postwar phase of aggressive expansion.”
There are also higher prices for Ceylon tea, fewer women in industry than ever, although they are being partly replaced by European workers, and Empire wool stocks are falling, improving the “buoyancy” of the market. Researchers are still looking for an “inexhaustible supply” of raw material to meet the insatiable demands of the rayon industry. Coal, oil, and plants have all been considered, and now straw, methane, African groundnut husks, and even “sewage” are being considered, as right now, it is discarded, and chemists deem this a “shocking waste,” especially of the phosphates contained. Straw, practically, is the biggest unexploited resource, mainly because paper made from straw had such a bad reputation during the war, but cellulose is as good from one plant as another, and with the right processing, perhaps straw will serve before we have to crawl down into the sewers and draw off the methane to make our stockings.
“People’s Car” A plan for Bizonian auto production envisions annual output of 22,000 of the famous Volkswagen people’s car, 8000 Opel Olympias, 4000 Opel Captains, 4500Mercedes 150 Vs, 1500 Mercedes 170 Vs, and 1000 Ford Taunus. Eleven thousand Volkswagen will be exported, and there are high hopes for them, as they are the most modern small car being made, with the selling price at 5000 marks. The works can produce up to 5000 cars per month with two-shift working, the current production of 1000/month being limited by materials.
“Duty on Light Oils” The Economist thinks that while the duty raises £5.1 million per year, it is illogical and damaging.
Flight, 26 February 1948
“Double Double, Toil and Trouble” The House of Commons heard allegations on 18 February that, last year, a Tudor IV landed in Bermuda “without enough fuel to taxi off the runway.” The Parliamentary Under-Secretary explained that there were head winds, and that, anyway, the dipstick was read wrong, and actually the plane had 100 gallons left. Mr.Lindgren added that this had had a bearing on the Board of BSAA’s decision to can Bennett. Lindgren added that Lord Nathan had not grounded the Tudor IV fleet off the top of his head, but on the recommendation of the Air Registration Board. The causes of the accident might be the plane; but they might also be due to BSAA, which “comes off badly” for safety compared to BOAC and BEA. “The inference has been made, with some justification, I think, that the training and maintenance standards were not as high as they should have been.” Since BOAC and BEA have both lost a lot of money, Flight flings itself on the obvious conclusion: It’s the government’s fault, because of nationalisation. You can tell, because Air Vice-Marshal Collier, the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s Controller of Technical and Operational Services, has resigned, apparently because he “finds himself in strong disagreement with the way things are going.”
“Small Aircraft Engines” There are not enough small aircraft engines in Britain, so lord Kemsley has bought a batch of JAP engines and is offering them to members of the Ultralight Aircraft Association who might otherwise have to crash into the ground unpowered. They have also explained what kind of engines other people should make for them to the Air Registration Board. Even Flight thinks this is dumb. Not as dumb as the crisis over the shortage of balsa wood that threatens “aeromodellers,” though!
|Bringing back the duh kid to point out how some of this starts looking like suicidal ideation.|
“RNVR Air Squadron” The Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve has an air squadron, which has very nice hats. But because Grace isn’t talking to me right now, I won’t describe them. Ha! Very nice hats.
“Strategic Bomber Offensive: Sir Norman Bottomley Discusses Features of European Campaign Before RUSI” Air Marshal Bottomley, which is a real name, remembers how it was, three years ago. Norman takes a moment to remind the Navy that, for all of its complaining, the Air Force dropped a lot of mines, which was by far the most valuable thing it could have done, winning-the-war-at-sea-wise.
Civil Aviation News
“In Parliament” More details on the “dipstick story.” George Ward asked in Parliament whether the Under-Secretary was aware that a Tudor IV of BSAA recently landed at Bermuda without enough fuel to taxi off the runway. Mr. Lindgren replied that the Governor of Bermuda had telegraphed on 14 November that Tudor IV GXHNK had landed with insufficient fuel to safely complete a circuit of the airfield due to abnormally strong headwinds, for which the captain had not received adequate warning. BSAA reported that the dipstick had given an inaccurate result due to the plane being tail-down, that at least 100 gallons of fuel remained. On two other occasions, Air Search and Rescue had been alerted, once by a plane reporting low on fuel, once due to engine failure. Further questions elicited the accident statistics, which show that BOAC has flown 432 million passenger miles in the 18 months up to 31 January; BEA 127 million, and BSAA 66 million, which is a lot, if you ask me. In that time, fatal accidents per million miles flown are 0.025, nil, and 0.88, respectively, which led to the remarkable comment about BSAA operating “near to the bone.” Continuing on the embarrass-the-Undersecretary line, Air Commodore Harvey asked why BEA didn’t vote against Aer Lingus’ decision to sell its Vickers Vikings, to which Mr. Lindgren pointed out that BEA only has a 10% share in Aer Lingus, and 90 is bigger than 10. That was so much fun that Air Commodore Harvey then asked which countries were welshing on their contributions to the Atlantic weather ship fleet, to which Mr. Lindgren said it was the United States, but with an explanation. (The undertook to supply 7 of 13, with eight other countries sharing in the other five.)
|Bringing back JLo to point out just how criminally reckless the BSAA board was, and how few consequences anyone faced. Admittedly, there's so much of this going on in aviation in 1948 that, you know, what's one (two) more crash(es). But still. . .|
In tedious news involving peoples’ lives, the BEA redundancies target is out, and it looks as though 71 pilots and 17 radio operators will lose their jobs; while Air France has lost a Latecoere 631 off Normandy with fourteen people aboard at the time, seven crew and seven observers from the Navy. Icing might have been the cause. So far, two bodies have been recovered.
|No civilians, though. For that, we're going to have to wait 'till August. Source.|
Five of seven RAF Lancasters from the Empire Navigation School recently completed a polar navigation exercise that “took in Gibraltar and Bear Island” with a stop in Reykjavik. It took 10.5 hours, covered 2200 miles, and forms the “passing-out test” for EANS navigators. Various things are happening involving services or actually existing at Luxembourg Airlines, First Air Trading Company and KLM. The Chief Inspector of Accident’s report on the Sywell crash concludes that it was caused by the pilot being an idiot. The Limpsfield Airspeed Consul crash on 29 April 1947 was caused by the pilot and the radio operator being idiots. BOAC will receive its first Stratoliners in October or November. Up to 15 January, Australian National Airways had completed 71 through flights in its Sydney-Vancouver service, in which 4,175 passengers were carried. Seventy were completed on schedule. The Australian Division of Aircraft Production will not produce Tudors after all, after a single Tudor II is finished. It will continue to produce Lincolns.
H. F. King, “Transports Today and Tomorrow: Part Two, Large Flying Boats” Look, I’m a busy girl. I may be on the outs with Grace right now, but I accept her opinions on most things, and she is pretty firm that flying boats have no future. If it turns out that they do have a future, well, in ten years or whenever, when gigantic, twin-hull flying boats with buried axial turbine engines and rocket-assisted liftoff are flying from great, artificial pans of water, heated in winter to prevent icing and 100% driftwood free, fast enough to actually cross the Atlantic against a 60mph headwind (it turns out that you can burn all your fuel without crossing the Atlantic if you’re not moving due to your hull being as big as a boat’s! Who would have thought?) I will apologise to all readers of this letter for not epitomising this article at length.
Casual Commentary with Robert Carling “Where Do We Go from Here: Irrational Aircraft Layouts: Accidental Progress: A Few Suggestions for Experimental” I am going to guess that Mr. Carling had something to say about Star Tiger, and that the editor thought better of it, and sent Mr. Carling back to his desk, where he spent fifteen minutes on a typewriter banging this out. There should be an experimental, tail-forward, “canard” type plane, just to see what happens.
“Contour Sketch Fixing: Important Development in Reconnaissance Survey Work” The Decca Navigator people have written in about some work they did for the Danish government. The point seems to be that you can make a good sketch contour map of a place with radio fixes. In shorter news, a Handley Page Hastings is going to do an Imperial tour to remind everyone that Handley Page would like to sell them planes with names that start with “H,” and Hawker Siddeley is putting out a works magazine, which is quite nice and has a column by T. O. M. Sopwith in the first issue.
Captain David Brice, “By Lincoln to Argentina: An Account of a Familiarisation Flight” Captain Brice had never flown a Lincoln before, and was expecting a plane with an auw of as much as 73,000lbs to be quite heavy on the controls. In fact, it was quite light. He was very impressed by the four Merlin 621s, more or less the same as installed in the Tudor, “for this reason it was of some interest” that he got to fiddle with them. He was impressed that their power range extended from 2850rpm at +9 lb/sq in boost down to 1800rpm at the same boost. Captain Brice could hardly believe that the latter speed, with its gigantic BMEP, was actually possible, but the designers recommend it for efficient cruising speed, although the aircraft was heavily loaded to 2850 gallons (the Lincoln can carry 4000 with auxiliary tanks), and he chose 2400rpm, +7 for most of the flight, +18 for takeoff from Casablanca; 2300rpm at +6 coming into Dakar, at which speed and climate conditions fuel consumption was about 230 gallons/hour, ASI 165 knots, or 182 knots at 6000ft, flying below headwinds. The Dakar-Natal leg was ag 6000ft again, due to headwinds, slightly surprising since the South Atlantic usually has good weather. At that elevation, flying at 2300rpm, +6 boost, with 26650 gallons of fuel, enough for 11 ½ hours flying, and on a bad night for astrogation due to cumulo-nimbus overhead, it was good that the dead-reckoning chart was accurate, and that the loop picked up the radio range at Fernando de Noronha; and that Natal has two long, concrete runways at good angles, allowing an approach at 105 knots and a good, long landing run, more than enough to get the tail down. The flight to Rio was delayed by excitable Latin meteorologists, but was otherwise fine, if through heavy rain.
|I thought an account of an Atlantic crossing by a Lancaster variant was timely here, and so did Flight. Clearly, there's a problem with the Tudor, and it comes down to its limited range, just like BOAC said.|
Here and There
Tasman Empire Airways has grounded itsSandringham fleet. It is still news that Australia has flying doctors. Air Marshal Conrad has resigned more, Sir Richard Fairey has received the Medal of Freedom, King Aicraft is not going into liquidation, after all, and will continue to operate the No. 2 Factory. Dunlop Tyres are sixty years old. Mr. John Colquhoun, formerly chief resident engineer of London Airport, has resigned his position and is going to Kenya, because there are now so many restrictions on civil engineering in “England,” and he is upset that he couldn’t finish London Airport, or even call it “Heathrow.” (It is probably the Government’s fault.) One of the DH89s being sold by BEA has a war service plaque recounting a stirring story of emergency repairs on Jersey just before the Germans arrived.
“Technical Training at Farnborough: Opening of the RAE Technical College by Sir Stafford Cripps” I’ve lost track of all the technical colleges, but I think this is a new one. It is to give the fitters and riggers trained there an extra four years, in which they qualify as Mechanical and Production Engineers. RAE Scientific Assistants will also be trained there. There will be current affairs, industrial history and “general cultural subjects” lectures as well as mathematics and drafting.
“Statement Regarding Defence” The second Statement Regarding Defence since the establishment of the Ministry of Defence says that the strength of the RAF was 261,000 as of 1 April, and will be 226,000 as from 31 March 1949. Voluntary recruiting will continue, and the annual intake of National Servicemen will have to be delayed, I think because there are not enough RAF personnel to train them, but the RAF will have to take them, eventually. Vast amounts will be spent on research and development, and much thought is being given to weapons of mass destruction, which may make surprise attacks more decisive. The Ministry believes that all three services must be strong enough to perform all the tasks that they must be strong enough to perform. (They didn’t put it that way, but I know a circular argument when I see it!)
J. W. Martin, W/C, No. 1 Recruiting Training Wing wants veterans to send in all their examples of nice hats and so on for an RAF Nice Hats and So On Museum. TKS (Aircraft De-Icing), Ltd.,, responds to the misleading letter from E. L. Bass and Maxwell Smith about non-proprietary de-icing fluids being fine in TKS de-icing equipment. They are not, and problems with Viking de-icing may reflect the use of non-proprietary de-icing fluid, which may lack adequate creep. I didn’t even know that fluids “crept!” G. D. Hart, of Montreal, thinks that BOAC has poor customer service. Stewardesses must be prettier, there must be more free hot chocolate, and the Government should stop getting in the way of new aircraft types that would be more exciting than the American aircraft that American constructors can just build on a whim because in America they don’t have Ministries and Control.
Personally, I think that G. D. Hart should be prettier, and think about possibly getting a shorter skirt.
The Economist, 28 February 1948
“The Price of Ignorance” Steelworkers don’tunderstand that Britain is in a terrible predicament. They’re more interestedin their football pool than the dollar balance and hidden inflation. The “illusion of prosperity” is distracting them from the extreme austerity and vast increase in overtime working (without wage increases) that will soon be necessary.
“The Fall of Prague” The Communist coup d’etat in Prague could not have come at a worse time for The Economist, just as the last issue went to bed, leaving it a full week behind on events. So, as momentous as it was, I’m not going to say anything more about this article, simply because even the Vancouver Sun will have long since scooped it.
“Western Conference” With the Czech crisis in the background, the upcoming Lancaster House conference on Germany is even more important. Presuming that Four Power control is given up, inasmuch as the Soviets cannot be trusted, the alternative is –what? Trizonia within the Western Union? If so, and it is probably the only way forward, as the three western zones lack an agricultural hinterland, Trizonia must have a federal German government, which, in a full Western union, including London, Paris and Brussels (presumably as head of a Benelux union) would not be able to dominate Europe. But it must be done, for no-one should imagine that “Western Europe can crawl into union painlessly, without anyone really noticing what is going on.” Politicians must stop talking in banalities and generalities, and get ready for the day when rationing in London must be agreed upon in Frankfurt.
“Arithmetic of the Subsidies” Obviously, The Economist says, as it says every week, subsidies must be reduced soon, and the price of food to the consumer allowed to increase. Calculations are advanced to show that if some prices are allowed to advance to the cost paid for imports, the increase in the cost of living would not be unbearable.
Notes of the Week
“Warning from Prague” The French are alarmed by news from Prague. A separate piece covers the purge of the Social Democrats in Hungary.
“Another Meeting of the Sixteen” Now that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved the ERP, The Economist deems it time for the Sixteen foreign ministers to meet, and tells them what to do. (Form a body to administer the Marshall Plan aid.)
“Demands of Defence” The White Paper on defence says that Britain should spend £692,600,000 on defence in 1948/9. The Economist points out that some people will think that this is too much, and that some people will think that it is too little, but that does not mean that it is just right, because a more searching inquiry might find that infantry and surface warships and anti-aircraft batteries will never be needed again, and that therefore the extravagant manpower demands of the Army (534,000 men), RAF (261,000) and Navy (145,000) are too high, and that the Army’s cut to 345,000 men by 1949 ought to be imitated by the other two branches, and not covered by reductions in commitments that show that no serious belt-tightening is going on.
“Cuts and Priorities” In this section, The Economist notices that “in every service, there have been drastic cuts in expenditure and manpower,” and questions whether they have not been excessive. Only twelve destroyers and seven “A” class submarines have joined the Fleet in the last twelve months, although three cruisers and 2 large and ten light aircraft carriers are building. The War Office only says that it is spending less on modifying existing weapons, and more on “equipment that is a definite stride ahead in development.”
The Air Ministry is “pinning its hopes to more jet-propelled fighters and a striking force of fast bombers.” The Ministry of Defence also points out that defence is a large industrial sector with a flourishing industry, but the threat of surprise attack is serious in this modern day. The Economist points out that America and Switzerland are talking about civil defence.
“The TUC and Wages” The TUC is digesting the Prime Minister’s call for a wage increase freeze. In related news, a bit about the Price Control Orders, follows.
“Northern Union” The Scandinavians are getting ahead of western Europe with their plans for northerly union. In other Scandinavian news, a Danish trade agreement has finally been met. The British have increased coal deliveries from 600,000 to 870,000 tons, and steel from 40,000 to 55,000 tons. In return, the Danes will send 70% of their export quota of butter, or 40,000 tons, to Britain, as well as bacon and cheese as already discussed. Prices will be towards the world level, but in return the Danes will not be expecting the British to provide them with any dollars.
“Can Palestine be Shared?” The United Nations partition plan is sinking in the Assembly, and The Economist’s interpretation of the bombing in Jerusalem is thatif the Irgun Zvai Leumi didn’t do it, and the Arabs didn’t do it, and the British didn’t do it, then it might have been done by the non-Arab “European exiles” and British volunteers who have been flocking to Palestine to fight on the Arab side in the upcoming war, and if that is the case, the facts should bepublished as soon as possible.
“A Left Labour Government?” The Communist Party annual conference had an outbreak of enthusiasm for a reformed Left Labour government that might succeed the Atlee ministry. The Economist says that it is pure fantasy, and dangerous when the left is disappointed by wage freezes. Communist irresponsibility may lead to industrial disruption.
“Local Government Bill” and “Dancing on the Rates?” Cover local government news with just a spot of frivolity. The local rates might be going up in part to cover the costs of dancing at cultural centres, and some people are upset because other people are entertaining themselves in a time of austerity, if not crisis. Perhaps if 75% of dancing were exported?
“Oil Negotiations on Austria” Four power talks continue on the share of Austria’s oil industry Russia will receive as war reparations, and other extra-territorial rights that may eventually lead to a communist takeover in Vienna.
“Japan’s New Premier” The Japanese Assembly general election in April returned the Social Democrats as the largest party, but without a majority. The Liberals and Democrats, both right wing parties, had most of the remaining seats. The Democrats entered into coalition with the Social Democrats, but, pushed to their limit by coal nationalisation, broke with the coalition. Now the Liberals under Premier Ashida have formed a coalition with the Social Democrats, marking a rightward move in Japanese politics, but not as far right as the alternative Liberal-Democrat coalition.
A light hearted bit at the end reveals that coypus(or nutrias) have been seen loose in the British countryside.
|Invasive coypu, in France, not Britain. There's probably a francophobic joke in there.|
Decima Curtis is an old Kashmir hand, and explains what’s what, concluding that things will probably end up with Kashmir partitioned between India and Pakistan along the lines already held, although Pathan and Indian heads should be knocked together, as they are very disagreeable people.
Leopold v. Troschke writes from Germany on Germany’s problems and the obvious solution, without explaining what that obvious solution is, except to imply, if I read him right, that Germany needs a strong, anti-communist leader. John G. Howard writes to point out that the Conservative party is very solicitous of the middle class. Nigel Seymer thinks that the Liberals should continue to run candidates in British elections, with the objective of eventually forming a coalition with the Conservatives that will advance middle class concerns. Oliver Smedley, which is a real name, thinks that everyone who is voting and running for the Liberals should keep on doing it, because people will come to their senses, eventually.
From The Economist of 1848
The Economist went to press on the 26th, just as news was reaching London of Guizot’s resignation and the fall of Louis Philippe. (If you don’t know who those are, and don’t want to hear some wisp of a French literature major explain the tedious details out of those crabbed footnotes at the bottom pages of her novels, well, rejoice, because I’m not going to!) The Economist takes a moment to explain that it never liked Guizotand Louis Philippe, anyway, and that all the other papers that thought that thearmy and the National Guard (please don’t ask) would successfully repress theParisian mob, were wrong and silly.
“Bronx Cheer” In the Bronx special election,Leo Isaacson, a Zionist supported by Henry Wallace, ran away with a normally safe Democratic seat in the same week that Senator McGrath urged Wallace to withdraw from the Presidential race for the good of the nation, since his current run only serves Moscow’s interest. Wallace doesn’t care, and meanwhile the AFL and, to a lesser extent, the CIO continue to organise to increase the Democratic share of the vote, believing that the Republicans only won the Congress in 1946 because voter turnout was so low, and that if voters are energised by the Taft-Hartley Act, they might turn out in larger numbers in 1948 and defeat the Republicans, and elect a Congress that will reverse Taft-Hartley. The problem with that is that sentiment in favour of repealing the bill is diminishing, and because it is an omnibus bill with some good features, and some features that will be hard to reverse. For example, the National Labour Relations Board’s new power to issue injunctions has been used to force the International Typographical Union into collective bargaining, and to enforce restrictions on political spending by unions, and people tend to support that. It remains to be seen whether, after losses of minority voters to Wallace, the Democrats will command enough votes to get their candidates in and repeal Taft-Hartley.
|Minimising the role of racism in Southern politics in favour|
of "legitimate conservative concerns"
never goes out of style!
“Waving the Ragged Shirt” The Economist starts by explaining the bloody shirt, and then explains that President Truman has a “ragged shirt,” instead, which he waved at the annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner. It is histen-year policy of welfare and economic expansion, which is just like the Westward Advance (if you remember your Turner), because ten years in the future is the frontier, just like California. “Even businessmen, he considered, might want more government ‘hostility,’ which has transformed the deficits of 1933 into the record profits of 1947.” Various Southern Democrats were at the dinner; but South Carolina was not, officially because they might be seated with Negroes, unofficially because the Presidenthasn’t personally wrestled Henry Wallace into submission, or something. The upshot is that the Arkansas Democratic Party is having a debate on whether or not to contribute their fund-raising share to the national party, in case it moves left to counter Wallace.
“Inflationary Steel” The $5/ton increase in the price of steel is bad news for the cost of living. Three paragraphs follow that seem to boil down to finding reasons for why this might presage a depression. (This month’s theme.)
“The Future of Farm Prices” You can tell Geoff is back from the way this article uses opposite-words. By which I mean that the fall in farm prices obviously means reduced pressure on European relief and the cost of living, but since Geoff Crowther hates good news, his main point is that this surely doesn’t mean that there won’t be a need to return to agricultural planning on wartime lines, because the news can’t be that good, by which he means, “bad,” because for him, good news is bad news.What? You ask? Me, too! Senator Taft, we’re told, is off to the farm belt to share the bleak news that this somehow means a cut in price supports, as otherwise there will be an agricultural depression. The possibility that the harvest will be larger than anticipated for the fourth year in a row –Well, that’s just not possible. For some reason.
“Tight-Rope Walking Over Palestine” First, we rehearse what’s going on in Palestine. (No partition, fighting, terrorism.) Then, we point out that, in America, Jews vote, so American politicians have to walk a tight-rope over Palestine. (Yay, the title is explained!) Then, we point out that American Jews vote for left-leaning parties. Then, we point out that Henry Wallace is challenging the President on the left. Then, we point out that the New York Negro and Jewish vote may swing New York to the Republicans, and cost the Democrats the election. Finally, we conclude that there will be no American troops enforcing the partition in Palestine, lest they inflame the “running sore of racial hatred,” at which point our article has discovered that terrible things are happening and that nothing can be done, which would make it a perfect The Economist article, except that it is in the American section, which means that it also has to explain why Wallace is terrible, and –No, wait, that’s been done, and the article is over! Yay, some more!
“Planning for Security” General Eisenhower’s final report as Chief of Staff of the United States Army points out that security in the atomic age requires this and that, but most especially, Universal Military Training, which means that Senator Taft is wrong. In further sections, the Final Report concludes that water is wet, and that old dogs can’t learn new tricks. Also, something about industry being good, unless it is atom-bombed, in which case it won’t be of much use to anyone.
The World Overseas
“Before the Surrender” We are caught up with events in Prague, and it only takes two pages.
“Eire Without De Valera” The Irish election failed to produce a majority in the Irish Parliament, which has a Gaelic word for which I do not find a character, and the resulting “Inter-Party Government” has no place for De Valera, because he is so very, very old. (This takes two entries, because Ireland may not be large or important, but it is close to Britain.)
“Chilean Crosscurrents” Chile’s politics are very, very complicated. We’ve already heard who their president is, but this article explains how he came to be President, and why it means that Chile’s communists, who really should have been in the title for maximum alliteration, are awful. Half the article is how the President became the President, and the other half is about awfulness.
“Interregnum in Trieste” Speaking of, Trieste isn’t a country, but it can’t not be a country, so right now it gets its own article, which explains how communists there are awful, and about its trade and employment problems, which are considerable, but mostly due to the fact that it is an occupied special zone, and can’t conduct its shipping and financial business.
The Business World
“The Budget Prospect” It was hoped that this estimate would come in at £2500 millions, but due to defence demands, it has come out at £3,011; which isn’t as clear to me as it is to The Economist, considering that defence only cost £693, the rest going to civil departments (1,758) and debt service (560.) However, this year’s budget shows an unanticipated surplus over expenditures of £308 million so far due to higher than expected receipts in all revenue sources except Excise, and may end up showing a surplus on expenditures of £3421 millions of 500 millions or more. The Economist then spends a page hinting for bad news, in way of whittling the surplus down, before finally deciding that in circumstances like this, a large budgetary surplus is not “scope for budgetary relief, but [evidence] of the need for more effective anti-inflationary restraints.”
|That guy who wrote the article in Flight about how flying to France in November was like the last person escaping across the Iron Curtain, because he had to wait in line for some travellers' cheques, and because he hit weather on the way.|
“Newspaper Revenue and Earnings” One of the reasons that newspapers have been able to carry increased newsprint and other costs is that advertisers are so eager to get what space they can. Moreover, circulation is up significantly, reducing the savings from the shrunken paper size and increasing the reach of newspaper advertising, and thus its value. This is due to people having more money in their pay packets to buy papers, and the reason that newspapers are returning 6% on their investments.
“Programme for Coal Exports” Coal production remains above target, allowing a further increase in export bunkerage, and vindicating the overtime agreement, even if absenteeism is starting to creep up again.
There has been a sterling balance agreement with India, and with Pakistan, and Palestine’s sterling balances have been blocked, in case they leave the sterling area after independence, in order to take advantage of American loans. There follows technical discussions of issues that have come up in attempting to control the steel industry (the definition of scrap) and the film industry (the definition of production time).
“Synthetic Rubber and the Shafer Bill” The Shafer Bill may finally sort out the American artificial rubber situation, maintaining production capacity for 600,000 tons per annum, including 75,000 tons of special purpose chemical rubber and 45,000 tons of rubber “suitable for making pneumatic inner tubes.” One plant capable of making butadiene from alcohol will be maintained, and American rubber consumers will have to use a proportion of artificial rubber. It is a national security bill and while it will allow for an increase in American consumption of natural rubber, should Congress decide that that should not happen, it will be by definition for security reasons, and will not violate trade treaties. Other raw material news includes the rise in the price of cotton and possible troubles in the India and Pakistan cotton trade; which for some reason is linked to the Cotton Spinning (Re-equipment Subsidy) bill, which is providing for the reequipping of perhaps more than 500,000 spindles to make Lancashire cotton spinners more competitive.
There then follows a discussion of South Africa’s place in the sterling block, and of Britain’s trade balance. £19.4 million, and a record number of cars and motorcycles went overseas, counterbalancing declines in ships and planes.In related news, British exports are up again. Machinery set a new record at
The final page of Business Notes has more on the Argentine agreement, on the last railway dividends, and the Imperial Tobacco dividends and leaf stocks, which are down, which is discouraging, given how much Marshall Plan aid will be spent on buying Virginia tobacco.
“Management by Acclaim” Back during the war, everyone had an opinion about this and that. That was because we had a planned economy, and everyone wanted to do planning. Well, the moment peace came, America dumped all of that, because Americans believe in free enterprise; and yet the same impulses keep creeping back. For example, the steel industry seems to be doing well. It produced 86 million tons of steel last year, which is 93% of capacity, compared with 98% achieved in 1943, and the highest peacetime production, about double the average for the interwar years. And yet people say that steel production capacity should be increased, just because steel is short and the shortage is crippling the economy. There we go, “managing by acclaim” again. Senator O’Mahoney says that there is something wrong with the steel industry intentionally not investing in new capacity so as to keep production down and prices up, that this is some kind of cartel. Silly Senator O’Mahoney! The real cartel is the industry getting together to enforce price controls! Back in 1939, economists were convinced that the steel industry was hopelessly overbuilt, and that the constant launching of new continuous-strip mills was a prime example of technological unemployment. When war came, the government invested in still further increasing capacity, and at the end of the war, people wonder if the industry would use this new capacity to retire 4 million tons of production worth of old plant. Instead, economists (oh, those silly economists) decided that full employment would require between 98 and 122 million tons of capacity. The industry should add capacity. Uncle Henry and Henry Wallace are both in favour of increasing steel capacity, which just about proves that it is the wrong thing to do! Another economist proved that steel is hopelessly over-capacity! Some steelmakers are expanding! Depressions are caused by gluts, not supply shortages! Building more capacity just takes steel away from finished goods and pumps investment into the economy, which means too much money chasing too few goods, which means that more capacity means more inflation! Scrap is a limiting factor! Anyway, the industry can innovate, by introducing oxygen into existing plant and perhaps increasing capacity by as much as 30% without any new steel mills at all! Profits are too low, and so are steel prices, which just encourages its frivolous use in nonessential ways, while controlled prices mean that while the market price for steel nails is $4 per hundred pounds, the gray market price is as high as $22. Fortune thinks that instead of price controls, “credit and fiscal measures” should be used to stabilise the general price level. When steel prices are decontrolled, the magic of the market will determine the ideal scale of the American steel industry.
Incidentally, Uncle Henry has paid for a full page ad in this issue, all text, talking about how wonderful he is. I hope he doesn’t frame this one. It’s already uncomfortable enough being shown around his den after dinner, and I don’t have your gift for taking the wind out of him.
The Fortune Survey
Did you know that there is going to be a presidential election in America in eight months? It’s true!
Fortune celebrated this discovery by polling people on who they like for President. The answer, of course, is Eisenhower. If Eisenhower doesn’t run, it’ll be Truman. As for whom they will put in second place by the most votes, that will be Dewey, followed by MacArthur (I think this might be the first time that a Luce organ has acknowledged that MacArthur-for-President exists this year), followed by Stassen, followed by Warren, followed by Taft. In spite of this, and the fact that most people have a low opinion of the Republican Congress, most people think that a Republican will win in 1948. (They have a similarly low opinion of the Administration.) As for election issues, the cost of living is top of the mind, while strengthening the armed forces, fighting communism, labour peace, the United Nations, and housing cluster close together. Rounding out the issues are minority rights, European aid, and farm income, which a few people care about. People also tend to think that taxes are too high, that we should send food to Europe, that Taft-Hartley isn’t too bad, that unions have too much power, that the Communists are a threat, that there will probably be a big war eventually, and that the UN is a good thing.
Fortune’s Wheel is mainly devoted to reader’s letters, and specifically reactions to the article on Switzerland, although it takes time out to explain the article on Foreign Cars that I shall be mostly ignoring,
since it focusses on your standard style-over-substance rather than getting under the hood and revealing all the advances that no-one notices.
Books and Ideas
William C. Richards’ The Last Billionaire is about Henry Ford. Ford was a “baffling” man, because he was shy about the people who crowded around him, and over fifty years old before anyone asked his opinion of anything other than mechanics. Once people did start paying attention, he couldn’t resist “spoofing.” The quote that gives the title is from Reverend Samuel S. Marquis, one-time welfare director at Ford’s, who said that “If only Henry Ford was properly assembled. He has in him the makings of a great man, but the parts are lying about in more or less disorder.” Taking it all together, Fortune says that Ford shows a “net profit.” In his prime, he produced 10,000 useful automobiles a day, and earned more money than any other American ever did, and most likely ever will. And, also, he didn’t truck with having boards to run his companies, which might be a good thing.
Next up is a review of . . . The Congressional Record? Weird. The reason, such as there is, is that it lists registered lobbyists, and this column is a good place to explain that there are many paid lobbyists who lobby for all sorts of things, some of which, and methods, too, sound vaguely hypocritical or dishonest. (For example, they “plant” magazine articles! Ronnie recoils in shock!)
Follows is the latest in the Rivers of America series, which I’m obligated to look down on as middlebrow; this being easier in that they’re not the kind of book I like, although Reggie devours them. The one in question is Donald Davidson’s The Tennessee: The New River, Civil War to TVA. This one he will not admire, since it is very Southern Agrarian. Sensibly, the reviewer (signed, for a change, by the Canadian economist and journalist, John Kenneth Galbraith) pairs it with a hagiography of the TVA.
The next bit covers the British tax in advertising. Well! Call me a lazy reader, but somehow the debate over this tax slipped right by me in those articles in The Economist! Fortune points out that there is an element of “social engineering” to proposed British tax, since people can’t agree on whether advertising is the free market at work, or “a means of fortifying monopolistic market positions.” Dalton’s tax plan bypassed the issue, but in the form in which Sir Stafford Cripps has revived it, it is a pretty direct threat. Unless advertisers voluntarily retrench to relieve inflationary pressure, the tax will be brought in. But even if they do, some ideologue may still bring it back, on the social engineering ground.
In Brief covers Henry Simmon’s Economic Policy for a Free Society, and business handbooks on management and the new labour relations scene, as well as an article on how criticism of Congress is overdone, by Jay Topkin, in Political Science Quarterly, which is the kind of magazine that faculty sign out to their office and never return. A book by A. J. Baster lambasts British unions for their attempts to “combat overproduction,” which nearly crippled Britain’s industrial power, by Robert Luther Thompson on the electrification of America, and the first volume of the official history of industrial mobilisation for war.
“State of Florida” Florida is nice.
As far as our concerns go, this article is irrelevant and bad news, since, obviously, if an American wants to buy land in a state with a good climate, they should look at California, and not Florida, which his a horrible place of heat, humidity, and alligators sneaking up on you. That said, there is a bit about agriculture, and there’s something to be said for the Application of Modern American Agronomy to Tropical Agriculture, or, you know, the way they talk in educational films.
“Unilever in Conversion” Just one more article on the company that owns (West) Africa and New Guinea and uses them to make soap and margarine, and we’ll be done. Is it a cartel? A monopoly? It could be!
|Fortune's house style makes for an interesting organisational chart.|
“Edison Brothers Shoes” Fortune is very solicitous of my time this month. There is, in fact, no new technology in shoe shopping, and I shan’t detain you by trying to convince you that it is, in fact, fun, as you silly men have no time for such things. (Explaining your awful shoes: Not yours, though! Why am I preaching this sermon to you? I forget. . .Oh, right, I’m trying to make the point that I am sacrificing my own happiness by not spending any more time on this article.)
“Armstrong of Radio: The Great and Controversial Inventor Who Made Modern Radio: And His Own Fortune: Now He is the Centre of the Storm Over FM”
|These "inventors" were such complete bullshit. Wait! I mean, "innovation" is the key to economic growth!|
Edwin Armstrong is a professor of electrical engineering at Columbia, and a very rich inventor, whose discoveries, the regenerative circuit, superheterodyne, superegenerator, and FM modulation, have made him the richest and most important of all radio inventors. FM is the most controversial of these, since the FM industry is divided between the group, led by Zenith, GE, Westinghouse, and Stromberg-Carlson, which have licensed his patents; and the group, led by RCA, Philco, Crosley and Emerson, which have not, and claim to be producing FM radio equipment to their own systems. Armstrong is currently preparing to go to court to decide who pays large amounts of money to whom. And since he is news, this “real life Tom Swift” is worth a profile.
We get an extended discussion of how Armstrong invented everything, although so did Lee Forest, and also a fellow named John Bolitho, who made the mistake of being British, and who therefore had to sell his interests to Armstrong. Eventually, Armstrong hit on the scientific idea of marrying David Sarnoff’s secretary. After that, it turns into a tennis match of contesting patents ping-ponging across the net that only a radio engineer could make sense of, before finally backing off to give some kind of overview of the FM radio business, which is only starting to bloom after fifteen years of development, with the patents only having three years life to them. The conclusion is that the FCC and RCA bungled the introduction of FM by not pushing more aggressively into AM/FM receivers.
This is a “sentimental salute to the Old World craftsmen who remind us that an automobile can be a work of art.” Boiled down, Fortune send Wilder Hobson to the Paris Car Show, and he took many, many pretty pictures of cars. Add something from his collection and you get a very pretty article that doesn’t say very much.
“Alma Mater Asks for $2 Billion” So Fortune got one of those letters from the alumni association that Reggie jokes about. A year in Berkeley, and they send him letters at MIT! Unlike Reggie, though, Fortune evidently has money to burn, so it takes the letters seriously, and sets out to investigate just how much money the alma maters of America are trying to raise from their graduates this year.
The total is $2 billion, and most of the colleges asking for money are quite rich already, which I imagine some tender soul could see as a bit of a scandal, except that some of the money will be spent on new laboratories, and that’s all right,
“The Tyrannous Decade: How Ten Years of American-Chinese History Became More Powerful Than the Men Who Made It” It’s Henry Luce’s interpretation of What Went Wrong in China!
Since the family’s opinion is very strongly that What Went Wrong was that America threw in with the Soongs and their American backers, men like Henry Luce, this is another article to pass over lightly.
Shorts and Faces
“Beware Footnotes” Fortune has some company reports before it, and drily notes footnotes buried in all the good news indicating that companies like F. L. Jacobs and Eastern States Corporation are in hock up to their eyebrows by means of the kinds of manoeuvres that must be disclosed, but can be buried in footnotes. Glenn L. Martin’s situation is clouded by the fact that it is about to begin manufacturing two aircraft that have not secured CAA approval, or, for that matter, sales. US Steel and Union Carbide are carrying assets that have depreciation costs that they do not yet have to deduct from apparently fine earnings. Greater New York Industries owns a number of companies, and shifts control of one to another in such a way as to defer large income tax payments. On the bright side, Clary Multiplier is actually understating its profits, lest it be accused of making too much on sales. “Two with the Knack” is the story of Robert G. Drake and Frederick W. Richmond, two of a number of veterans who went into the exporting business after the war; with the difference that they haven’t lost their shirts navigating the world of licenses, credit problems and dollar shortages yet. Richmond is the salesman, travelling abroad frequently. He is a bachelor, has spacious quarters on the East Side, entertains relentlessly, and enjoys a good dinner party. (That’s code!) Drake is married, has two children, lives in the suburbs, and never travels. Together, they are middlemen! “Ventile Venture” is American news of the new Ventile rainproof fabric that “British textile men almost fear to talk about lest they fracture the national reputation for understatement.” It is “for its weight [4.25oz per square yard], probably the most windproof, waterproof, and yet ‘breathing’ fabric which has yet been seen on the market.” Developed by the Shirley Institute of Manchester in response to the Fleet Air Arm’s request for a better immersion suit for airmen on the Murmansk run,sixty-seven firms in the Manchester area organised a trade association specifically to maintain ventile quality, the Ventile Fabrics Association of Great Britain.
|Duuton Cotton rebrands Ventile wear as a more lifestyle, less military fabric. It also chose not to make this image downloadable, for some reason. Website, in case you want to buy some of this fashion.|
Ventile fabric is, as yet, scarce, but perfect for “the man who wants to play golf in the driving rain.” “Fun with Margarine” covers Cudahy Packing’s E-Z Color Pack, which is a capsule of yellow dye that can be added to margarine to make it butter-yellow. Invented by Leo Peters, it is fun for the whole family. “Puerto Rico tax haven” Puerto Rico is offering tax breaks to encourage industry to open up there. “How to Salt a Gold Mine” explains how to start a business on the Vancouver Stock Exchange. Kidding!