Monday, May 7, 2018

Postblogging Technology, March 1948, I: The City and the Stars



R. C.,
Vancouver,
Canada

Dear Father:

You were right to tell me not to worry about Magnin's, and for the good of my ego I will not question the way you put it. "I shall give them another call if I have to," means that some of my natural charm was not lost on them, after all!

The disadvantage of sealing the deal is that I my little course on how to be a shop assistant required me to drive up to San Francisco through fog and rain, and then down again, at which point the old Lincoln was so ungallant as to be a regular John Lewis, although it turns out that it was striking for a new distributor, and not portal-to-portal pay. And so much for fetching bacon and eggs for a week on the morning shift. Speaking of which, I need to get this done, as Andy Chu must be getting tired of sitting out in his car for me to bring it down to him. Can you imagine the scandal if I invited him up to wait in the living room with the beaus? I have no idea how I will summon up a smile if Mr. Straight is there again tomorrow, and I must, because so much for a week's pay!
Yes, it's anachronistic. That's why I softened you up at the head! This post isn't late because I had to drive somewhere, but it is late for work reasons. 

So, yes, I was having second thoughts about giving up the life of a spoiled heiress --until Reggie called to see why I'd missed my call, which is because I was stranded by the roadside outside Redwood City. As for Andy cooling his heels outside now, and at the Benevolent Association all yesterday, part of that is down to me being on the phone too long --but as you pay Reggie's bills, you will know that anyway.

Perhaps I'll back Andy's stake the next time he has to spend a day playing penny-stakes mah jongg while he waits for me to finish. No. . . I should probably have to claim it on my income tax.


Yours Sincerely,
Ronnie.

Sacred Spring, indeed.



Flight, 4 March 1948
Leaders
“That Mobile Striking Force” The RAF is spending too much money on not enough nice, new planes. The RAF should spend less money on more things.
“Service Difficulties” The RAF does not have enough men, because there are not enough men. Since the RAF cannot make more men (Is this actually true? I’m a Stanford girl, not Berkeley, but I’ve heard differently!), so it should do . . . something.
“Civil Aviation” More civil planes should be bought, but differently from the way they are now.

“Provoked Attacker: Vickers-Supermarine Jet Fighter Averages 564.881mph over 100-Km Closed Circuit” This is a record for the closed-circuit course, which, Uncle George says in that tone where you know he’s trying to make a joke even when it’s not funny, is not a record Flight cares about, except when a British plane wins it.
Here and There
The Tasman Empire Airways flying boats withdrawn from service last week for engine modifications have American engines, by Pratt and Whitney. That’s P-R-A-T-T . . . There is nothing wrong with flying boats except that they sometimes come attached to American junk. Everyone carry on landing on water. 
An Ansett Airlines Short Sandringham docked in Sydney in 1970. This version had Bristol engines, which did better in the Tasman Sea environment. 


The Dutch have ordered a “substantial number” of Griffon-powered Fireflies for their aircraft carrier. The official report on the fall of Singapore says that it happened because the British didn’t have enough planes, which they needed because they didn’t have enough ships, which they needed because they didn’t have enough soldiers. Vokes and Napier made money last year. The Miles bankruptcy hearings continue.

Roy Pearl, “On Airborne Refuelling” Refuelling attempts on the North Atlantic route have not gone well. It has been tried four times, and the fourth was unsuccessful, which served to “expose the complications and difficulties associated with the scheme, without prejudice to the theory that it is a practical proposition and possibly a future necessity.” Pearl, who flew as a passenger on the Liberator involved, thinks that the trials “were not conclusive.” The fourth trial was made on 14 February. The Liberator in question was to leave London Airport at 0.500 hours, refuel from a Flight Refuelling, Ltd. Lancastrian tanker based at Shannon, 500 miles west of Ireland; then, again, off the coast of Newfoundland, from a Flight Refuelling Lancastrian based at either Gander or Goose Bay, depending on weather, and then proceed by the Great Circle route to Montreal.
 However, on the morning of the 14th, the weather situation was “complicated,” and Captain E. H. Jones decided that the Liberator lacked the range margin to make Montreal, even with two refuellings. He decided instead to fly a “pressure pattern” route that would take the plane north and close to Iceland; but since London Airport does not do weather reports for that far north, a new weather map, prepared at Shannon and Prestwick, was necessary. Since BOAC had never done a night refuelling, it was decided to fly to Iceland, land, refuel, then proceed to Montreal, refuelling once of Newfoundland. Accordingly, the plane took off from London Airport shortly after 6, landed at Keflavik, refuelled, proceeded on a direct track over Goose Bay, rendezvoused off Newfoundland with a tanker which had taken off from Gander “under very poor weather conditions” and climbed through ice to 12,000ft. This left the tanker 25 to 30 miles behind the Liberator and unable to catch up in a reasonable time, even if the Liberator throttled back. Captain Jones therefore decided to proceed directly to Montreal without refuelling in the air, while the tanker landed, “in the face of difficult weather,” at Seven Islands, about 250 miles from the base. All of that makes it sound as though in-flight refuelling isn’t very practical, but that might not turn out to be true for very good reasons that weren’t at all clear to me.


“Bombers of the Powers: British, American and Russian Types: The Lincoln Our Latest: Brabazon-size Bombers in Production” The Air Estimates say that the RAF’s bomber force is currently working on improving its “training, mobility and re-deployment,” and that “re-equipment has no place in the programme.” The Lincoln is quite old, but there is so much to be worked out before a new bomber is possible, that it must soldier on, even though it is slower and smaller and less heavily armed than the B-50, which is the cat’s meow, and even the Russians’ B-29ski. Meanwhile, the B-36 is gigantically enormous, and so is the B-35, of which the Air Force will receive only 13, and the B-49, although there is no word that the USAF is getting any of those. Flight is also jealous of the B-45, the B-46, the B-47, the P4M, the P2V, and the XBY-Forty-Eleven-And-A-Half. The French have some Halifaxes, and the Russians have all those German scientists, who will surely swing a surprise soon, perhaps a working Ju-287, or the rumoured TU-2 light bomber with German engines.
“Research for Speed: Survey of Variable-DensityHigh Speed Tunnel at Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough” The variable density tunnel was proposed in 1937, designed in 1938, started in 1939, and finished in 1942. It is a large, heavily insulated tunnel with a gigantic fan, good cooling, and a series of compressors to achieve variable density, from 4 atmospheres down to 1/16th. It uses coolants by the ton and electricity by the thousands of kW-hours. Aircraft models are mounted in a balance that is a “beautifully constructed mechanism of RAE design” that measures eight separate forces. Selsyns are used in the servoes. Barometers are attached to the balance. The tunnel employs 70 research workers. The tunnel is only good to Mach 0.8, but supersonic tunnels are under development. (Several already exist, but have very small cross-sections, which makes them less useful.) It has been found that tunnels are much less useful between about Mach 0.8 and 1.2, due to interference effects. Which we already knew, but you can’t tell people often enough, for some reason. I’m not sure why. Surely people won’t have forgotten about “transonic” speeds and the “sound barrier” in seventy years, and all the trouble we went through to design fast aircraft, will they?
Yes. Yes, they will. .By JuergenKlueser - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7517883

Civil Aviation News
Argentine is buying Doves (still), SAS is introducing a far eastern route to Tokyo via Alaska. IATA’s international airline rate structure was refined at the Cairo conference. Separately, freight charges are down. Swedish Airlines are on strike, there has been an agreement on the use of West Indian airfields, Graviner I, II, and VI fire extinguishers need their sockets tested. London Airport handled 28,305 passengers in December, up slightly since June and a lot since last December. BEA’s traffic returns to Europe are also up. AOA’s summer schedule takes effect on 1 May, and will feature twelve eastbound Constellation flights weekly, nine to London, three to continental Europe; and four DC-4 eastbound trips to Scandinavia via Iceland. The Lockheed Constitution has a four-wheel bogie. As from 1 March, meal service on BEA will be complementary. Stanstead Airport now has its MF beacon and SBA operational. Sir John Buchanan has resigned from the board of Short and Harland and been replaced by Rear Admiral M. S. Slattery
Admiral Slattery has an interesting bio, and has come up in these pages before, but his portrait is unprepossessing, so here is the Short SC. 1, which he championed while at Short-Harland, instead. By RuthAS - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6082730
Australian National will continue its Sydney-Vancouver service after British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines begins its service, but under contract to TWA. Trans-Canada will operate a 14-hour DC-4M service between Montreal and Vancouver as from 1 July, and will step up Montreal-London DC-4M service to two flights a day from 1 June. Civil Hercules time-between-overhauls has been increased from 500 to 600 hours “under certain conditions.”

“Commons Debate” The Commons had a debate on how civil aircraft are ordered in Britain. The Opposition thinks that it is being done wrong. All the aircraft that have been ordered, shouldn’t have been, and all the aircraft that weren’t ordered, should have been.
“Aircraft Design Procedure: Neither Works of Art nor Works of Engineering Can be Produced by Committees” Precis of a Lecture to the RAeS by Professor R. Lickley of the College of Aeronautics, Cranfield” I know that I am an awfully bitchy young rich girl with a contrary streak a mile long, all due to the fact that I am rebelling against my parents for all the wrong reasons. Whoosh! It feels good to get that off my chest! Anyway, the point of the admission is that I know that I will be wrong when, the next time some eager engineering student tells me that a “camel is a horse designed by a committee,” I kick him smartly in the shins. Professor Lickley used to be with Hawker, and tells us that designing planes is hard, takes a long time, and requires many compromises. He explains how a preliminary specification leads to thousands of hours of work before a design is even presented. Even at this stage, many decisions can be made about shape, wing loading, and high-lift devices that might end up seriously compromising the design. Then there are problems beyond the designers’ control (it is clear that there are many designers, working together, but evidently, they are not a “committee,” because “committees” are bad), such as the choice of engine. Engine people have been guilty of over-optimism about” airscrew turbine” engines, which has Ruined Everything. Then comes weight estimation, which can also go wrong. At this point, you submit your tender, which is considered by the tender-approval committee, which might or might not be bad, I don’t know, because the article is to be continued next week.
Professor Lickley's final project, the Fairey Delta 2. another RuthAS picture. 

“The Air Estimates: Aim: An Efficient Striking Force Ready at Short Notice” As usual, the numbers are mixed up, so that an actual 194 million spent on the air becomes 173 million, because 21 millions come from other ministry budgets. By comparison, it was 239 million (214 million) last year. Thirty-nine million of this is to be spent on aircraft, compared with 43 million last year. The number of stations continue to be reduced, and works maintenance is being put off. Also, there are not enough men, as the Leader already said.

Correspondence
Donald S. McKay points out that the RAFVR would do a better job of recruiting if it just had nicer posters, forgetting to mention hats, at all.
Arthur Cook points out that Keith-Jopp and Mr. Mason were very mean to each other in their recent letters about getting lost, and that, really, everyone gets lost. Marcus Langley writes to explain the position of the Informal Light Aircraft Committee on the subjects that people were complaining about. It turns out that the complainers were just complaining! T. Braun asks whether high-powered piston fighters might be equipped with an auxiliary ramjet under the fuselage. Isn’t that what the Mustang’s radiator scoop is?
The Economist, 6 March 1948
Leaders
“Action After Prague” The Economist admits that the Communist coup in Prague was brutal, clumsy and ruthless, and raises real fears for France and Italy (and, more immediately, Finland), but it was also defensive, prompted by rising fears in the Eastern Bloc that the Marshall Plan will bring better times in the West. Moreover, it has made the Marshall Plan more likely, with Senator Vandenberg “masterfully” using the crisis to push the ERP through in an atmosphere where Wallace seems like a traitor and where the isolationist ought to be able to make up ground. Unlike the Nazis, who were always on the offensive, Stalin has shown a willingness to retreat when challenged. If pushed ahead, the Marshall Plan will make everything all right, not that there aren’t threats to the West, especially from Communists within trade unions and governments who might act the way they did in Czechoslovakia.
“How Strong is the Eastern Bloc?” Uncle George points out that the whole east of Europe used to be summed up by jokes about “Ruritania” until we recently decided that we needed to be afraid of them, because of Russia. This seems a bit much, as they have a combined population of 110 million with excellent military potential, Russian-trained officers, numerous reliable political cadres, and access to the heavy industry of the Soviet Union and their own countries. This mighty advantage in manpower and raw materials has as its main weakness the traditional social and national divisions that make the “Balkans,” the Balkans. But isn’t this kind of thing exactly what Communism means to put in the past? We shall see if trained political operatives, attentive to the privations of the working and peasant classes, can make the difference. More threatening (from the Cominterm perspective) is the pro-western attitude of the professional classes. How far can reconstruction go without technicians?
“Operation Canute” Canute is the king who tried to stop the tides from coming in, and, according to Oliver Lyttleton, the President of the Board of Trade is a new Canute with his further (voluntary) price controls nonsense. The Economist thinks that price controls are not futile attempts to order the tide not to come in, but rather the force behind the tides, because anti-inflationary measures like this promote inflation by distorting the working of the economy. It explains why in some details, but The Economist thinks that the real solution is either “far-reaching totalitarian dragooning of the whole economy,” which probably won’t work, anyway, or “merely to turn down the pressure of inflation.” The Economist doesn’t spell out how that might be done, so I can’t really say that it is still for lower budgets and higher unemployment.

“Flying Blind” BOAC, as “chosen instrument,” loses money in several unavoidable ways. First, by buying British, which is a good idea, but expensive, and come a disastrous cropper with the Tudor, for which everyone is partly to blame, but mainly the Government. Getting the Ministry of Civil Aviation into the process raises costs by perhaps 2 or 3%, and does little for the industry, which is currently operating at only 3% of capacity and losing £70 million/year. Second, by maintaining “uneconomic routes,” which I wouldn’t have taken the trouble to write out if it didn’t name names: The Australian route is uneconomic, but necessary, on because of the Empire.  Taking current planes into account, the Constellation, despite being the backbone of BOAC’s transatlantic service, lacks range. The Tudor is a failure. A proposed Constellation with Bristol engines has not gone ahead. The Skymaster may still, since having a British engine on a Canadian-made plane saves dollars and eliminates the dollar burden on engine maintenance, the most expensive part of aircraft maintenance. The costs for improving airfields is not under the BOAC, and so is an additional source of government subsidy for civil aviation, and The Economist is sore about that, and the fact that the state airlines have to pay the same landing fees as private ones. I don’t know. Complaining about airport costs sounds a lot like The Economist of 1848 when it was working itself up to complaining about the cost of “drains.” (Sewers, in Twentieth Century Talk.)

Notes of the Week
“Plenty of Conferences” Many, many, or two, I don’t know, I’m not reading, conferences are going to be conferenced soon to get the European Relief Programme (which is sometimes the Marshall Plan) underway some more.
“Cooler Heads Needed” Sensing weakness in the frustrated reader who just cannot hear one more bit about Sixteen Nations Conferences and Four Power Conferences and ERP conferences, The Economist devotes another note to the need for more conferences with cooler people. “The French delegation must have wondered whether their journey was really necessary when they found that the first week was spent in stating cases which, in their main features, have been known for months.” Exactly!
“Defence Debate” While Flight spent its coverage on Conservative MPs saying silly things, The Economist takes the tone of a drama critic, thinking that the debates were a poor show all around due to everyone being on edge over l’affaire Czech. Members who are used to thinking of defence in terms of what would be available in ten years, when the next war is already booked, are now asking what is ready right now. Mr. Alexander seems like an old battleship, solid, slow, old-fashioned, reliable, but “with too much weight above the waterline for the Bikini age.” The problem is, The Economist points out, he’s right. There’s far too much on the boil for the scientific workers to just launch into rearmament right now! The real question is civil defence, which isn’t under his ministry at all. (I guess that is what the MPs were on about with their bombers-built-in-Winnipeg talk.) The real target for completed rearmament is 1960, and The Economist thinks that Mr. Alexander should continue his steady course of economy, retrenchment, reform, as a healthy economy is the true first line of defence, etc. The Western European allies, the Americans and the Dominions need to do more.
“Labour and the Marshall Plan” Uncle George ended up summarising this kind of article by writing “Labour is awful,” and Grace followed the tradition. You’ll notice that I try not to do that, because it is disrespectful, but it is so hard, sometimes. (Labour isn't grateful enough for the Plan.)
“Which Method for Italy” Another week, another creeping-communism-is-on-the-rise-in-Italy article. The Economist admits that the Communists do not have the votes to win in the upcoming election, and that strike action will probably just feed the support of anti-communists in the Italian trade unions, as happened in France in November. That leaves civil war, as in Greece. The Communists might not win, but they might “reproduce the wasting sickness of Greece,” and their chances are the brighter for the Christian Democrats’ deflationary policies.
“Spring Prospects in France” The Chamber of Deputies applauded Bidault’s unity speech rapturously, and de Gaulle has quieted down, but perhaps the Communists will rally the working class in the fields and factories this spring, even though production in heavy industry and electricity is above record levels achieved in October of 1947, and 4 million acres more are in grain than last year, with prospects of big yields.
“Trade Unions in the Czech Coup” The Czech trade union association played an important role in the coup, which should be a lesson elsewhere.

“The Best of Both Worlds?” The supply debate was fun for all, but not very informative, because it was dominated by the Anglo-Russian Agreement, which, on the one hand, communists, on the other, complete opacity on price. The minister says that it is a good deal on price, but Mr.Lyttleton say it isn’t, and since it is all about where else Britain could have shipped its locomotives, who knows, really? Meanwhile, bilateral agreements in which the government steps in to guarantee deliveries from the private economy to pay for goods in kind is no basis for a trading system. The Economist hopes that the Marshall Plan will make a new system of multilateral trade possible.
“Parliament and Public Boards” “One of the troubles of the new public boards is that they are too attractive game to leave unhunted.” Yes! This is why I can’t pay attention to politics! In unrelated but also pissy news, The Economist thinks that the settlement of the London Transport Board busmen’s strike was too generous and is “difficult to reconcile” with the White Paper. Also, the doctors and the Government have stopped fighting while the BMA thinks about what to do next about the National Health Service.
“Sermon for the Stern Gang,” and “A Communist Jewish State” cover developments in Palestine. The government made a “statement” to the Jewish Agency that is actually a “sermon” that will have no effect on “the kind of European who emerged from Hitler’s Europe.” The Stern Gang showed what it thought by bombing that British troop train, and no doubt all the young Palestinian Jews are heartily in favour of it. The Stern Gang are loyal to Russia, which is why they kidnapped and murdered two Poles recently, and not because they, like some Polish exiles, were training Arab militias. The second note develops the idea that the new Jewish national state will go communist at length, and compares young socialists there to supporters of Henry Wallace, before acknowledging that maybe, just perhaps, some of this communist fashion is meant to encourage the Americans to support the Zionists before the Russians do.
“Brick Houses” The newest threat to housing starts is the curtailment of timber imports, which may force the reduction in traditional brick house orders below 3000 per month, which, even with an increase in non-traditional (factory-built) house orders, means a substantial reduction in the million strong construction industry, including 600,000 in houses. The Economist thinks that this would be good, since the hands are needed in industry, but will require “painful adjustments.” In completely unrelated news that doesn’t seem to require its own note, although it gets one, Lord Braintree and G. L. F. Bolton have been named to the Court of Directors of the Bank of England.

“Hongkong and China” The Economist is pleased that business is doing well in Hong Kong and disappointed that the British press in Hong Kong took offence to its comments on the situation in Kowloon, over which the Chinese are upset and not likely to stop being upset, no matter what British Hong Kongers would prefer. In further news of quarters of the world where locals decline to be oppressed and treated as an inferior class, talks are on about the future of the Sudan again, and India’s constitution has been settled. Also, it is funny that the debate over dollar remittances has extended to Hollywood and the West End. Mickey Rooney, Danny Kaye, Mae West, Johnny Weissmuller, Joe Louis, and so on, are sending more money to America than British performers in Hollywood are sending to Britain, to perhaps the tune of £174,000 a year, but that’s not very much money in the grand scheme of things, and it is funny but pointless to talk about banning American culture for the sake of the pound.
As cliched as this clip is, it was The Economist that brought up Hellzapoppin'
Letters
R. Gresham Cooke, of the Society of Motor Manufacturersand Traders, Ltd. questions whether the motor industry absorbs more labour now than before the war, and that this is a serious issue, when the figures are an increase from 150,000 to 158,000 making far more, bigger vehicles on a five-day week. Peter Goldman, of London, writes to point out that if the Liberals somehow managed to hold the balance of power in Parliament, that would hardly be fair to the vast majority of voters who voted for Labour or the Tories. Arnold Price thinks that it is no defence that the salaries of public board members are comparable to business salaries, when business salaries are also too high. Henry Strauss is very upset at what passes for English these days. Why is “disinflation” preferred to “deflation,” or “in short supply” to “scarce”? He could go on. And does.

From The Economist of 1848 It says that Lord Russell’s government is doing income tax wrong.
Books
John Morris’ The Phoenix Cup is a travelogue of postwar Japan, describing America’s policy of “occupation without humiliation.” Leo Amery’s The Awakening has us awakening from a hundred year dream of One World and “promiscuous” free trade. The Economist would prefer to sleep in. Well, mark this down as a red letter day when I agree with Mr. Crowther, as I have to be up at the crack tomorrow to go up to the city to hear about what Magnin’s thinks makes a proper shopping assistant. Walter Zindell’s Is This the Way? A Call to the Jews has serious reservations about Zionism, and in particular the way that it ignores the Arab problem.
American Survey
“Whirlwind Harvest” Wallace winning one district in the Bronx shows that American support for Zionism was sowing a harvest of whirlwinds that are now whirling windily, one possible tornado being the shortage of oil during the great freeze, which shows that if the Arabs are upset enough to restrict exports of oil, the United States, which will import oil for the first time in 1948, will feel the pinch. Also, maybe the United Nations will blow up if its votes aren’t respected.
American Notes
“Is the Marshall Plan Enough?” Although the State Department’s apologists say that it wrote Czechoslovakia off months ago, everyone else is alarmed. Senator Vandenberg is facing a new fight in trying to persuade the Senate to add military aid to recovery aid. A group of revisionist Senators are calling for measures that might extend to an increased Air Force budget and universal training, after all. Hoover is trying out a new isolationist position in which the Europeans form an anti-communist military alliance that is secure enough to allow America to continue outside entangling foreign alliances. That is, indeed, the alternative: an extension of the Truman Doctrine to a military guarantee of the European powers.  Meanwhile, Wallace, in speaking against the Marshall Plan, is now talking about American and Russian spheres of influence in Europe!
"Herbert Hoover is always wrong" is such a reliable rule of thumb that I'm left thinking that there really was some kind of family influence behind his early career. 

“Out of the Democrats’ Bag” As though Wallace weren’t enough, there is now talk amongst the Southern Governors of a “half-bolt” out of the Democratic Party. Southern Democratic state governments are flaunting the Confederate flag at state capitols and talking about a weird scheme involving electors not voting and Congress electing the President, who will then magically not be Truman or a Republican.
“Oil for the Lamps of China” Congress has voted some money for China relief, but it is not deemed to be enough. Republicans seem all-in for money for the Koumintang. Uncle George says –You know what Uncle George says! You agree with him! I just don’t want the world to be that mean. . . says Ronnie. I guess I should just learn to harden my heart and be the mean girl for real. Since we’re on about right and left and partisanship, I’ll mention the NLRB move for a temporary injunction against the typographers, which strengthens Taft-Hartley, and the resignation of Lee Pressman, which closes the gap between the CIO and the AFL.
Shorter notes include the fact that Senator Vandenberg’s name is being added to the Republican primary in Nebraska despite Vandenberg still not explicitly entering the race, and the index of industrial production remaining steady in January in spite of weather and retreating commodity prices, with the thought that even if there has been a “decisive turn” in business, it will not be felt before May.
The World Overseas
Next Stage in Finland” Finland is like Czechoslovakia in that the Communists have strong representation in parliament that they probably will not retain in the next election. If Stalin acted in Prague at the turning of the tide, why not in Finland? It is clear that the Finns will join an anti-Western alliance with the Soviets and reject Marshall Plan aid. The question is whether there will be “further political changes in the coming months.”

“Switzerland and the Western Union” Switzerland wants to trade with Europe, get its hands on sweet Marshall Plan aid, and remain neutral, which last part isn’t selfish because (Insert history lesson here.) And that’s why we read The Economist. To squint at potted two-page histories of Switzerland printed on bad paper and flown across the Atlantic!
British Honduras” Honduras is a country near Mexico. There is a British Honduras, which was carved out of Guatemala and not Honduras. Honduras doesn’t like that, but obviously Guatemala likes it even less. If Britain has to give Antarctica back to Chile and Argentina, it will probably have to give British Honduras back to Guatemala. As if!
“Revival of Hong Kong” Hong Kong’s economic statistics show an import of $1 billion or so in goods, including an increasing amount from Japan, paid for by an export of $1.2 billion. The main items were oil and fats ($274 million), “sundries” ($245 million), piece-goods and textiles ($194 million). The largest share of exports went to British Malaya, followed by South China, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Uncle George tries so hard to always be cheerful around me, but he was noticeably sad that shipbuilding didn’t even register in the totals. I think he’s guilty that the work he stole away to Whampoa isn’t coming back to Hong Kong, in spite of the troubles in Canton.
The Business World
“Shipbuilding Problems Now” The statistics The Economist is using are the same ones that The Engineer uses, so there are still the same oddities, like the exclusion of Russian, German and Japanese contributions from the total of a little more than 2 million GRT of new shipping last year, of which Britain was responsible for almost 37%, a more dominant position than before the war. There is no question, as there might be in aircraft, that this is an over-developed industry (I’m sorry, but “3% of capacity”?). The world still needs to make up the losses of the war; there is a general shortage of tankers despite the tonnage being up 50% over prewar; European powers need to rebuild their fleet to earn dollars (and war-built American ships are still being chartered at a ridiculously unnecessary cost in dollars); old ships need replacing; and the replacements will be far better than the old.  The industry believes that it can build more ships but says that it needs steel to do it. Is there enough steel? Are the allocations (which are not published) really unfair and inadequate? We just don’t know.


The next big story is about the effects of the New Companies Act, which I read with some care, as in the future, who knows. However, I think it is irrelevant to this newsletter, so I’m skipping it.
Business Notes
“The Last of the Credit” Last Monday, the British government drew the last $500 million of the $3.75 billion US line of credit. The Economist thinks that this was due to rising commodity prices in the United States, the slowing of the export drive after early 1946, and “the excessive generosity of releases from accumulated sterling balances of sterling area countries and allocations of dollars from the sterling area pool to those countries.” Plus, the over-hasty restoration of convertibility. Now, Britain has only gold, the dollars on hand, and a few more that can be bought from the IMF. The Economist wishes to see further dollar economies, higher exports to dollar markets, and Marshall aid. Somewhat related news includes ongoing negotiations over the movie import tariff, with Eric Johnson and the American ambassador getting involved; and the blocking of assets of European nationals in the United States. The astonishing numbers of $700 million in blocked and $4.3 billion in unblocked assets are thrown around, with a huge hole where “companies registered in Luxembourg and Switzerland” is concerned. The US Treasury is going to make them disclose their beneficial owners. Also, France, having spent all its gold and dollars, is rapidly drawing down its sterling balance, which has upset the British enough that they are talking about adding France to the list of countries the British tourists won’t be allowed to visit this summer. The next million Business Notes are about finances, of which the closest to “technological news” is the latest update from the selling-Uruguayan-rails-to-Uruguayans talks. Maybe the “Expanding Trade under Bilateralism,” too? After all, it’s about trading locomotives for grain, sometimes. The bilateral agreement with the Netherlands also includes steel, cotton yarn, chemicals and motor cars going over for condensed and powdered milk, eggs, bacon, fresh fruits and vegetables including potatoes and onions, and canned meat and pulses. Bacon and eggs also figure in the bilateral agreement with Poland.
This could end up being a British stereotype if someone doesn't watch out. 

“Restrictions on Oil Bunkering?” The oil shortage is driving prices up and costing Britain heavily on oil imports, so there might be restrictions on the amount of oil freighters can bunker in British ports soon.
“Timber Supplies” The same old story. Imports are up, but demand is up even more, and this is restricting housing construction. Softwood exports are in especially short supply due to lack of felling and transport, and because wood is being used for fuel in lieu of short coal. The European industry is recovering slowly despite the rapid rise in prices. Britain has agreed to take 40% of British Columbia’s softwood export; 
Port McNeill in 1941. Very relevant to several thousands of people. The photographer is standing on the site of my future high school. 
but Canada, like the United States, of course, but also Germany, Finland and Sweden is now a hard currency area, actually or in effect, leaving only Finland and Russia out of traditional suppliers who do not need to be paid in dollars, coming or going. The United Kingdom has right now 1.2 million standards of timber stockpiled, compared with 214,000 at the end of 1946, and 698,000 at the end of 1940. The present stock is 7 ½ months supply on the basis of last year’s consumption, and it would be “imprudent” to exceed that level. The figures are similar for hardwoods, but we don’t care about that, because your interests don’t harvest hardwood. 


There follow more financial pieces, and then one very, very strange bit—
“Report on China Clay” So guess what Britain’s most valuable raw material commodity export is? China clay says the Working Party Report on China Clay. The Economist is a bit skeptical, given that the 1947 trade figures list it below coal, raw wool and rabbit skins, but there is no question that China clay is an important export, and that not only is Britain the largest producer now, it was before the war, when, in 19378, 830,000 tons were produced, and two-thirds exported, with the United States as the largest customer. Production recovered from wartime lows to 624,000 tons in 19478, but exports were only 248,000 tons, which seems as though it is letting the side down, but reflects demand from paper-making and the  housing programme. The Chinaclay pits in Austell and south-west Dartmoor have plenty of capacity, and there could be many more were there only “free entry” into the business, which the Working Party would like to see, but not enough to do anything about it. See also “cartels.” Just to take it one step further, the Working Party would like to see a state research facility into china clays, reduplicating the ones that the industry already operates.
 Flight, 11 March 1948
Leaders
“The House on Bombers” Flight tells us that G/C Max Aitken, MP, thinks that the RAF only has 100 bombers, while Mr. Quintin Hogg, MP, thinks that it is only 25. Flight pointed out last week that the Lincoln is old and not as good as the B-50, which makes it very disappointing that Bomber Command will only finish re-equipping with Lincolns this summer. Meanwhile, the Americans have all those short ranged jet bombers and their B-36. Air Commodore Harvey, MP, has heard about an “interim type,” which he hopes will be very exciting, and Mr. Ward, MP, hopes that it will be able to go “beyond the iron curtain,” at which point the ladies adjourned to the sitting room, while the gentlemen lit their pipes.

“Foolish Virgins” And you just thought that was being indiscreet of tongue because I miss Reggie! Anyway, everything is terrible, is the best summary I can think of.
“Helicopter Progress” It has taken so long to get the Bristol 171 helicopter in the air because Bristol spent a long time testing it, which, Flight thinks, was a good idea. For example, it will have much longer time between overhauls than existing helicopters.
Maurice A. Smith, “Tudor in the Air: An Hour at the Controls of Star Leopard” It has been four years since Smith flew a large plane, a Lancaster, although he has spent short periods at the controls of the Constellation, Hermes and Lancastrian since. He found the Tudor IV very docile and straightforward. He also appreciated the neat and sensible controls, since in BSAA planes, the flight engineer’s duties are done by the second pilot, and all flight engineer controls are remounted onto the ceiling above the second pilot’s station, freeing an extra 150 cubic feet for cargo or baggage. Takeoff, at 70,000 lbs auw, was at +12 lbs boost, flaps set for maximum lift at 62.5% travel, then reduced to 25%, rudder, aileron and elevator all at neutral. As brakes were released, a slight swing to port was corrected with rudder and throttles; as speed built up to 60 knots and tail lifted, another swing to port developed, and was corrected by rudder alone. Finally, throttles were opened fully, and the plane took off with 200 yards to spare at 105 knots, speed building up to 120 knots, with a swing to port again detected and corrected. There was no need to change trim as wheels and flaps came up, a slight correction to the elevator led to a steady climb of 650ft/min, with over-corrections at the rudder to compensate for a slight shimmy that could have been dealt with more easily by an experienced pilot, although Smith notes that he observed the same shimmy in rough air while flying in a Tudor as a passenger the year before. Ailerons were light, rudder somewhat heavy, stall with flaps up 113 knots at 80,000lbs down to 98 knots at 60,000lbs. Landing was at 2650rpms with an approach speed of 130knots, with speed coming down to 120kn as flaps came down, with forward trim needed to keep the nose up and engine opened to maintain rate of descent. Finally, Smith quotes from the pilot’s guide for maximum range: M.S. gear, 2650rpm, +9lb/sq in boost. When boost has fallen to +6, engage FS gear and increase boost again to +9; cruise at 140kn or up to 10% higher if the speed can be achieved “at the lowest possible rpm,”; In M.S. gear, hold boost at a maximum of +9 and hold recommended air speed until rpms are down to 1800.  
I’ve quoted what seems most relevant, bearing in mind the “dipstick problem” of the Tudor IV supposedly landing in Bermuda without enough fuel to taxi off the runway, and BOAC’s refusal of the type due to the yaw to the left. Smith tends to be a kind reviewer, but his criticisms are often there, only veiled. Since he constantly qualifies his observations of the swing to port, I doubt that he truly has reservations about the yaw that led BOAC to reject the Tudor I. The range issue is entirely another matter; but since he only flew Star Leopard for a jaunt around Woodbury, he doesn’t have any personal experience with which to evaluate the pilot’s instructions.
“Defence Debate: Research, Secrecy: Our Jets Win Praise” Introducing the Air Estimates, the Minister of Defence said that British jets were grand, but that the RAF, because it had suspended regular recruitment during the war, was faced with the mass expiration of all of its technicians’ terms, and so far more manpower was being spent on training than on active service. Efficiency remained high: For example, the RAF Transport Command has flown 11 million passenger miles with only one serious incident. Right now, the RAF’s main preoccupation was redeployment out of India, Pakistan and Palestine. Replying to Alexander, Eden said that the RAF didn’t have many bombers, and that was appalling. Brigadier Medlicott pointed out that the Statement said that the Navy had no fleet carriers in service, only light carriers, and what would the Russian High Command think of that? Mr. Bellenger pointed out that maybe the bomber didn’t always get through in the past, but he needed reassurance that it wouldn’t get through right now. Sir. R. Glyn wants some kind of “technical militia,” a kind of trained group of potential RAF members who might be organised on a territorial sort of arrangement, sort of. He didn’t mention that they might be even more motivated to serve their country in this way if they were given nice hats, perhaps with badges, but I am sure he was thinking it. Mr. Gallagher recalled going to see a film at the Soviet embassy about the recent manoeuvres in Kiev, which was very interesting, especially the part where Lana Turner kissed Clark Gable, and then there was this darling child, he thinks it was a girl, but perhaps it was a boy, and then there was a murder, or maybe someone pretended to be murdered, and then he got quite confused, but it turned out that Sidney Greenstreet was a rotter all along. The Prime Minister replied that there was just enough secrecy about our bombers to be useful, and that you shouldn’t give away the ending of movies in the House of Commons.
The Red Army Choir sings a "Song about Frunze," 1948. That's all Youtube has.
In shorter news, Lockheed wants everyone to know that it has put a hydraulic damper in its undercarriage wheels to prevent excess upwards movement, and that it works splendidly, and is being put in all its Constellations. In short news that I missed last week, there was a recent demonstration of a tiny little British jet turbine of 250lbs thrust recently.

Civil Aviation News
The Irish government has postponed the Atlantic service that the Irish National Airline was going to start on 19 March, because it was expensive, and the Constellations it bought for it are already fully employed on the Dublin-London service, although they might be sold if they were found to be too expensive. £20,000 in tickets have already been sold, and will be refunded. ICAO is getting very sticky with engine-failure requirements, so Airspeed is very happy to report that recent asymmetric stalling tests of the Ambassador have gone very well. A Sabena Dakota crashedat London Airport on 2 March, killing 19, who burned to death in the wreckage
By RuthAS - Own work, CC BY 3.0,
The plane arrived at 2114h GMT, with visibility of 200 yards, and was talked down by GCA, but crashed on the runway Flight thinks because it could not gain visual detection of the ground. The Ministry takes this occasion to point out that GCA is not a full blind landing aid, and has issued instructions to not try to land unless you are confident that you will be able to see the ground in time to not fly into it. New Civil Airworthiness Requirements for gliders have been published by the Air Registration Board. Chrislea Aircraft Factory reminds everyone that it is busy making Chrislea Super Aces, which will soon be available in the even better Series II Super Ace type. The Lancashire Aircraft Company has a nice contract to fly 200 tons of cotton cloth to Belgium.  The Ministry of Civil Aviation continues to develop its LRE requirement for Imperial routes, since the Tudor might never be available to fill it. BOAC will introduce a Japan service on 19 March, by flying boat from Hong Kong to Iwakuni, near Kure, Japan. The journey from Britain will take 7 days on a Plymouth flying boat, will carry 21 passengers, and will cost £285 one way, £385 return. Night stops will be at Augusta, Cairo, Karachi, Calcutta, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Northwest Airlines has ordered another 13 Martin 2-0-2s. As from 1 June, Pan American will fly two New York London services daily, 11 to Prague, 10 to Brussels and Frankfurt, and 7 to Vienna. The single Vickers Viscount prototype will not be powered by Mambas. (Remember that originally there were to be three prototypes, one each with Mambas, Naiads and Darts.) Delays of up to 30 minutes on landings at London Airport may occur in the next little while as high-intensity contact lights are installed on runway 100.280. KLM is also increasing its Atlantic services. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has taken over the marshalling of aircraft at London Airport from the individual airlines. Air France is replacing its Dakotas with SE 161 Languedocs more quickly than expected. The CAB has raised the minimum altitude for daylight visual flying from 500 to 1000ft. Sir John Cockcroft, director of the government atomic energy research station at Harwell, says that it will take about ten years for atomic power to contribute to our fuel supplies, and that the possibilities for applying atomic power to transportation were limited by the shielding required, which meant that ships were a more likely application than aircraft. BEA is opening a restaurant with seating for 180 at Northolt. A survey of outbound passengers on AOA flights from London showed that nearly half, or 42%, did not intend to return to Britain. Although not officially classed as emigrants, 11% were women headed to America to be married, with a proportion also going to Canada, Australia and New Zealand. AOA will take marks in payment for flights on its new, regular Frankfurt-Berlin service. Advanced bookings show that “many” Americans intend to fly to Britain this summer, with £62,000 in advanced bookings sold.
“Polar Lancasters” A nice pictorial article about the Empire Air Navigation School’s recent field trip to the North Pole to see Santa via Gibraltar and Reykjavik. Five of seven aircraft completed the full round trip back to Shawbury, with two withdrawing either at Reykjavik or after taking off from there, one with electrical and radio defects, the other with an oil leak.
Bomber Command has at most 100 Lincolns, but the Empire Air Navigation School can field 7 for its graduating exercise. 

“Army Crow’s Nest” A nice pictorial article about the Heston A.2/45 Artillery Observation Post. It is the kind of article that the manufacturer does up when the Service declines to take up the contract, not the kind where the Service tells everybody how wonderful it is which tells you that if there any A/2/45s ever go into service, it will be for Argentina or such like countries. Uncle George says that a sale is unlikely, since most armies the world about don’t have occasion to fire artillery at things, being more in the business of staffing roadblocks and rifling through passersby’s intimates until someone slips them a pourboire.
“Royal Auxiliaries” A nice article about the new Auxiliary Air Force squadrons has pictures of Spitfires, when we really want to know about hats!
“More About Tudors: The Atmosphere at Chadderton: Modifications: BOAC Mk IVB: Other Marks” Flight thinks that Tudors are wonderful, and all the to-do has been a fuss about nothing, and all the Avro staff have been marvelously forbearing for not driving down to London and heaving a half-brick (British throw half-bricks, because they are very small and weedy due to rationing) through the windows of their critics. It has been decided that only Mark IVs are to be employed, so Chadderton has begun preliminary work to fix up all the Tudor Is to be Tudor IVs, but not more expensive work, as the MCA is not expected to rule on airworthiness until the first Tudor I gets back from Africa, where it has been doing proving flights into Nairobi (which is important because Nairobi is hot and high.) Also, they are waiting on the Star Tiger inquiry, and another investigation into two other Tudor IVs at Boscombe Down. Everyone thinks that the ground inspections are pointless, and that what is now needed is more proving flights to provide the “stage of experience that AVM Bennett is alleged to have by-passed.” Minor aerodynamic and safety modifications have made the Tudor I (which will soon be the Tudor IV) even more wonderful, and the IVB, which is now being prepared, is even more wonderful, with new stringers, formers and skinning to extend the existing flooring and controls so that a flight engineer can be carried as well as a second pilot. (which is to say, by way of sideways admission, that the Tudor IV didn’t used to carry a full cabin crew.) “Improved dipsticks” are to be carried, amongst other control modifications. Cost will rise from the originally cited £140,000 by perhaps £20,000. No sign of the Tudor VIII is yet seen.
So the design drops the flight engineer, and replaces him with a set of controls mounted on the roof above the second pilot. Is this normal? Should I be worried?
Flight carries obituaries for Griffith Brewer, the “first Englishman to Fly in a Heavier-than-air Craft,” and Air Vice-Marshal Sir Oliver Swann, a pioneer of aviation who served in the RNAS in WWI, in the RAF until he retired in 1929, and then returned to the service in 1939—45.
“Aircraft Design Procedure” Psychological Effect of Delay in Starting: Mock-up Conference: Maintaining Enthusiasm: Pitfalls That May Be Encountered” (continued from last week) Everything before the “pitfalls” seems straightforward. “Pitfalls” being more specific, the speaker suggests that a high wing, twin turboprop, sandwich construction design has been chosen. This means that the pitfalls include problems with stability due to flap design, something that cannot be entirely caught on paper, and will need wind tunnel testing; with the engines, there is a blast at the ICAO requirements, which are hard to understand, and may trip the plane up for no reason that the designing firm can grasp. The sandwich material is likely to be novel and present the designers with unexpected problems. It offers greater strength and better aerodynamic form, but is a novel material, which is always a problem. There follows a discussion page that has suffered an unfortunate postal mishap of the kind I’m more used to seeing in The Economist, which is clearly handled by postal workers (or someone), who really, truly, deeply loathe it.
If this is an oblique reference to the Ambassador, I find the talk of problems with engine-off stability interesting. 

“Air Estimates Debated” The Minister says that demobilisation continues and is difficult and expensive. So does research and development, which is working on unmanned missiles and the planes that will be replaced by them at some point in the future, and that is a hard balance to strike. Expenditures on production equipment must be “limited” for now. The RAF needs to be organised for mobility. All the various auxiliary corps are well on their way to getting hats. Anti-aircraft development is tending towards the use of guided missiles to stop guided missiles, which is terrifically hard, because it is like shooting down a golf ball with a golf ball, and that is hard, too. For now, guided missiles cannot replace bombers, and the RAF needs a force of fast, high flying bombers, supported by a “small but highly efficient fighter component.” In strategic terms, atomic bombs “or weapons like them” will be in the hands of enemies in substantial numbers by perhaps 1952 or 1955, at which time it would be impractical to build aircraft in Britain (due to Britain being atomically blown up or threatened with it if it were so bold as to make aircraft in Manchester), so it should think about making them in Winnipeg, instead, because Winnipeg is a funny name. Say it yourself to see. In reply, GC Wilcock pointed out that the weather in Britain is bad, and that if we don’t keep our bombers here, in hangars, we should send them abroad, where it is always sunny, as it is in California. Supposedly. (Ronnie glares fiercely out the window, thinking about tomorrow's trip to San Francisco and her Lincoln's recent habit of leaking at the leakproof no-draft windows.) Max Aitken is afraid that the RAF striking force has been frittered away, or else we would have bombed the conference between President Videla and Peron, just to let two of Britain’s main customers know that we weren’t going to tolerate symbolic gestures in the direction of claiming icy Antarctic wastes that are British Antarctic icy wastes. Apples and trees, my fine young Wing Commander. . . Mr. Ward also thinks that we should build bombers in the Dominions, and is appalled that the bombers we have cannot get through the Iron Curtain. Perhaps Bomber Command needs a cake with a file baked in? A. Cdre Harvey has the idea that perhaps the RAF should order a high-flying, long range jet bomber. Just a thought for the Air Ministry’s consideration. Quintin Hogg supposes that the RAF only has 25 operational bombers or so, and that this is too few for the money being spent. Another MP reminds everyone that they make aeroplanes in Canada, now.
Here and There
The Armstrong Siddeley Mamba is the first British turboprop to pass type testing. The Cirrus Minor V is splendid. Ernest Hives is going to South America. President Truman’s Air Coordinating Committee has recommended that Japan and Germany not be allowed to have airlines, less the crews get nice hats, and turn militaristic. Too much with the hats? Never! How else am I to suggest that all this about auxiliary air forces is a bit silly without descending into the depths of Uncle Georgian cynicism? Various air shows are cancelled due to petrol restrictions or announced due to wanting to sell planes. Milton Reynolds is to go on an exploration flight to look for the source of the Yellow River, which I had no idea was misplaced. Well, he does make very nice, expensive pens, so if anyone knows about things that get misplaced, it would be him! Two Californian brothers have set a new record for gliding, at twelve hours plus.
Correspondence
*
Robin Grant asks what is the point of flying at 250mph when your flight is delayed eight hours to start with. F. W. Winterbotham, of BOAC, writes to correct G. D. Hart’s misconception that “speed comes before safety,” is why BOAC is so intolerably slow. Winterbotham points out that this is just not true. Mr. Hart asks for “attractive and attractively dressed” stewardesses, “Not attired in vaguely military ensemble with austerity cotton legwear.” Winterbotham points out that BOAC stewardesses are selected to careful requirements and cannot be mannequins, and are, in fact, issued nylon stockings.  “Reservist” has a very long article about how the RAFVR is being mishandled that must be very important, as the Correspondence gets an extra page to deal with it, and comments from “Ex-E.F.S. Instructor” about why the “Two-stage Amber” arrangement is better for blind flying training than the usual hood, correcting instructors who mistakenly believe the contrary.
RAAF Spitfires
Mr. Hart seems confused about onboard meals, which are complementary. Snacks, cigarettes and drinks are charged. Mr. Hart’s complaint about pilots coming back to visit the passengers seems strange, and he is hallucinating his “BOAC European flights.” A. Sansom corrects Gurney Smeed (which is still a real name) on the subject of “supersonic noise.” “Jimmy” is upset at the way that the RAFVR is being handled and wants it to have nicer planes. So is “Flatfeet,” a traffic policeman replying to regular correspondent, “474.” And, yes, there is talk of hats. No, really! “474” is quite upset about ex-RAF types who wear Peeler helmets, and others in the ordinary cloth caps of civil life.

The Economist, 13 March 1948
“Sink or Swim?” The Economic Survey for 1948 is out. The Economist reminds everyone that when the 1947 one came out, the country was in the middle of the coal crisis and The Economist wasn’t publishing, and everything was awful. Mistaking the current situation for not-the-apocalypse, people might think that this year’s Economic Survey would be better, and The Economist rounds on that with relish and a half-brick in a stocking. For without further American aid (and obviously you cannot plan on the charity of others), the country would have to shut down as a “modern industrial nation” and “social democracy,” as City finance men would have to be fed the raw flesh of coalminers and engineering operatives to keep the economy going. Or some such. My resolution to not be a mean girl seems to fly right out the window the moment I read an The Economist leader! The Survey says that imports from America will be further cut, leading to a lower standard of life than last year, although not dangerously so, and so will exports, both of sterling and capital goods, to no-account sterling balance countries. Labour force targets show a planned increase from 718,000 coal miners to 750,000; 55,000 more men are to go to agriculture; textiles employment will rise, men and women, from 652,000 to 760,000. The Economist doubts that this will happen and implies that the government lacks the will to do what needs to be done, without saying what that might be. To contain inflation, the Survey hopes for voluntary saving; if that fails, a cut in the Government budget will be necessary. The Economist does get around to admitting that production is up over the last two years, but with the increase in the working population and capital equipment, that is just something to be taken for granted.

“The Choice at Paris” France is jealous of the crisis in Britain, so it is having its own crisis, which involves Communists and de Gaulle. True, everyone says that economic production is up so steadily over so many countries that the problem will solve itself in the form of general contentment by 1951, but that underestimates the Communists, who can completely reorder society with their sinister methods. What if Britain is soon faced with another tyrant in control of the Channel Ports? What then? That point about how things are getting better turns out to not be what this note is about, because right at the middle we finally get to something called “The Paris Report,” which a group of Americans came over to disagree with on the grounds that the price level will go up and ruin everything unless there is a Western Union to take drastic measures, which brings us in the end to the point, which is that Mr. Bevin should say something about the United States of Europe in his upcoming speech in Paris. A hint to writers: the thesis statement goes at the beginning. Or near it. And the “end” is not the same as “the beginning.” Unless it’s in German? That’s it? The Economist’s writers aren’t overrated know-it-alls, they’re foreign language majors!
“How Rich is the Eastern Bloc?” Since Russia has taken over the Bloc and is paying for the Red Army out of occupation costs, it is important to know how rich they are and how much richer then can get by modernising farming and developing industry.  The answer is, not much, not without imports from the West, which they cannot pay for without the Marshall Plan. The only alternative is Russian generosity. Does this even count as news? I’ll lump in the next note without a paragraph break so it can be news-by-association. The next one is where The Economist is very disappointed with the Digest of Statistics that accompanies The Economic Survey, because it doesn’t have enough facts. For example, it doesn’t show final steel production by type, and industry allocations.
Notes of the Week

Actually, the leading note is about Masaryk's death, but Ronnie doesn't mention it because
The Economist thinks that it was a suicide, which seems strangely naive.
“Full Speed Ahead in Prague” Things proceed in Czechoslovakia, with judges striking down old decisions, university faculty being sacked, and communist politicians returning to ministries from which they’d been removed by the National Front.
“Unbalanced Forces” Field-Marshal Montgomery made a nice speech about the Secretary of War where he said something about balanced forces, but he is wrong and wrong. At £305 million, it is not possible to plan for “adequate defence for 1950 as well as for 1960.” You cannot build up a striking force of 200,000 ready to go overseas by 1951 and still develop all the needed new weapons. Conscription is simply for too short a time to build up the necessary Territorial Army reserve, except it be for 1960. Britain, The Economist thinks, should either cut back the army and focus on economic recovery, or get the Americans to pay for an army capable of defending Western Europe and the Middle East now. At least there’s one fact to go with the editorialising! Although then the next note leaves you regretting what you wished for, as it dives into the details of the international trade union conference on the Marshall Plan. (They’re for it.)
International Wheat Agreement” Britain has been fighting an international wheat agreement since 1933, afraid that it would set the price too high. Well, the price  has bloody well risen on its own above a “fantastic” $3/bushel in the last twelve months, so an agreement that sets it at $2.70, going down to $2, is one that Britain can live with, and for which all the other importing countries should be grateful to Britain for as they get together in Brussels to talk about a defence union that might extend the Marshall Plan to an American security guarantee. A follow up bit advances, ever so tentatively, the possibility that Marshall’s superb conduct of foreign policy might, just might, have achieved a “strategic situation in Europe at this moment [in essentials] . . . very much what it was two years ago.” I think that means that it isn’t a crisis now? Good news!

“On the Way to Moscow” Finns have been given a chance to express their opinion of the new defensive treaty, and they don’t like it. The Finns are said to be negotiating for the minimum conditions. The Russians want a stronger hold on the strategic roads and railways of Lapland, which they can have, if the Finns get something back in Karelia, for example. On the other hand, the substance of this rumour is that the Red Army is getting closer to Norway and Sweden, so maybe that’s why it is being rumoured. The response in Stockholm and Oslo is gratifying, anyway.
“New Targets for Cotton” That is, the cotton industry. Specifically, the increase in the labour force by 70,000 to 325,000. The Economist notes the addition of nurseries at many mills before getting on to what really excites it, a massive rationalisation of the wage structure in the industry, which gets rid of various anachronisms and ties pay to production. I don’t know. As a na├»ve girl, I was always inclined to tune Grace out when she goes on her Lady Bountiful routine about what piecework rates actually mean to garment workers in Chinatown, but since I started working, I have become wise in the ways of the proletariat and think that she just might have a point about how much of my tips go to the kitchen staff. In unrelated news, The Economist is upset that five board members have resigned from the divisional production directorates of the Coal Board in the last fifteen months, as good mining engineers don’t grow on trees, and the system is too top-heavy, or bottom-heavy, or possibly middle-heavy.
“Communists on the Gold Coast?” Mr.Rees-Williams was “deplorable” when he so quickly blamed the riots in Accra starting on 28 February that killed 22 and wounded 200, on Communist agitation. That is, indeed, what the Governor thinks, but the facts suggest mishandling of policing and a variety of local discontents.
“A Minor Mein Kampf” Senator Harmssen of Bremen has released a substantial volume, commissioned by the Minister President of Bizonia, and intended to form the basis for a negotiated peace settlement. The Economist doesn’t like it.
There follow short bits about the ongoing organisation of the National Health Service, a subsistence allowance adjustment of the National Insurance Bill to take inflation into account, and coverage of the Labour Party’s discussion of the next stage of nationalisation.
Source
 Short bits note that the Digest of Statistics shows that the index of production has risen from 107 at the end of 1946 to 117 in December, applauds the work of the International Children’s Emergency Fund of the Uno, and deplores the depopulation and remaining “unbalanced” population of the Highland islands. They clearly need help, as long as that help doesn’t take the form of government subsidies or British European Airways, which is messing up air service to the islands because it is an unaccountable government monopoly. Perhaps the government could do something about tweed (which crofters weave, I did not know that!), if it doesn’t lead to cartels?

Letters
David Woolf and Francis Head pile in on the “third party” question, although I haven’t the heart to read their opinions, except to glance at the end and see that they have low opinions of the Liberal Party. Arthur Whittaker dances around the idea of price competition through deflation as a remedy to the rising standard of living.
From The Economist of 1848
The Economist looks forward to the “outbreak in France” spreading to Germany, bringing with it “progress in political conditions” and (implicitly) the advanced moral conditions of modern Britain. It also flatters King Leopold of Belgium shamelessly.
Books
Hans Bernard GiseviusThe Bitter End is about the German resistance to the Nazis, and rather outrageously (to my mind) suggests that if Roosevelt and Churchill had not insisted on unconditional surrender, all of these good Germans would have done away with the Nazis on their own and installed a “soldierly, Christian” government in “the best Prussian tradition.” C. M. Joad has Decadence out, and if you are wondering what BBC’s answer man thinks might be “decadence,” it turns out to be. It lies in abandoning “values,” “objectivity,” and in “over-specialisation.” He is especially upset at economists, and The Economist is mildly upset at him. John Newsom’s The Education of Girls is about how we’re over-educating girls these days, it seems. It’s a bit hard to tell, because the review spends so much time congratulating Newsom on being so hard on those dastardly feminists.

American Survey
“Price Jitters” There has been a break in the price of grain from 4 February, and an 11% increase in the price of steel coordinated by many, but not all, integrated producers. Congress and the public are upset, because naturally inflation or deflation will follow, leading America to abandon the Marshall Plan and a global return to the Stone Age.
American Notes
“Presidential Prospects” Dewey and Stassen drew New Hampshire, with the next test in Nebraska. President Truman of course took all six delegates up in New Hampshire, but the mere fact that he had to announce his candidacy shows how far the revolt against him in the Democratic Party has advanced since it became clear that his civil rights legislation would pass this Congress. James Farley made a statement to the effect that Wallace might pull 5 million votes, of which 75% would come from the Democratic Party.
“The Marshall Plan in Two Worlds” A full-on press in Congress to get the Plan approved by 10 April, before the Italian election, has led to talk of the Chinese and Greek packages being put off, which has upset some Senators at the same time that the defence guarantee comes forward.
“Russian Trade and American Security” Stassen is pushing for a cessation of all American aid to Russia because the goods are needed elsewhere, and because of communism. Others point out that until Eastern Europe is trading with Western, there is no hope of “getting Europe off America’s neck.” (Hoover, of course.) Still others think that European trade deals with Russia are equivalent to American aid to Russia, and that perhaps Marshall Plan aid to Britain could be curtailed to stop the Anglo-Russian agreement.
In notes that can be covered briefly, the American side of the wheat agreement is covered. (American farmers are cautious about $2 wheat, in case their standard of living goes down.) The CIO is on the fence about pushing into the “third round” of wage increase negotiations given the fall in commodity prices, and the Republicans are having increasing trouble fighting the International Trade Agreement Act.
The World Overseas
“Key to China’s Backdoor” By a Special Correspondent
A short primer on Sinkiang, the Chinese province between Tibet, India, Mongolia and Russia. Large but lightly populated by 5 million people, of whom 10% are Chinese, while more than 80% are Moslem Turks, who are closely connected with the Soviet Asiatic Republics. Sinkiang has “vast mineral resources,” air bases close to Soviet inner Asia and an invasion route to China. Russia’s economic connections are closest of any power. After years of warlordism, the Koumintang secured power in Sinkiang in 1944, but soon there was an anti-Chinese, pro-Soviet revolt amongst the Kazaks. Another one followed in the Illi valley in 1948. So far, no part of Sinkiang has broken off and joined the Soviets. So far.

Oil War in Rumania” The Rumanians want Royal Dutch Shell and American companies out, and do not want to pay heavy charges for nationalisation. So they have, at least according to The Economist’s correspondent, adopted sabotage tactics that are undermining production and pushing towards the point where the Rumanians can legally seize the concessions without compensation. The next piece is completely unrelated, but it belabours the fact that Holland, too, has a dollar shortage due to too much imported grain, not enough exported goods, which hardly seems worth saying in this year of the Marshall Plan, but is.
“The Riots in Accra” The facts are that on 28 February, there was a procession of ex-servicemen demanding aid to re-settle in civil life, mostly as clerks, for which they were trained in the army, and for which there are no jobs for African veterans. At the entrance to Accra, they were set upon by the police. On the same day, a boycott of shops of the Association of West African Merchants was lifted, and large numbers of shoppers had gathered in the market, expecting lower prices. When they discovered that only a few prices had been reduced, they became restive, and when the ex-soldiers arrived, a frenzy of looting broke out. When news that Mr. Rees-Williams had blamed it on “communist agitators” got back to Accra, crowds began to threaten Europeans. In short, Communists were blamed when it was the Government's fault.
The Business World
“Economic Survey for 1948” After so much editorialising, it is nice to have the facts laid out in nice charts that I can clip out and forward separately without comment, because I haven’t really read them that closely, because I am lazy that way.

Business Notes
“Tough” Budget? The national budget (what every Briton can spend) is £9250 million, down a whopping £250 million from last year. £2050 is on transfer payments such as security payments, war pensions and national debt. The amount needed for capital formation, such as housing and reequipment of the armed forces and utilities, is £1100 million, leaving £7675 million for personal consumption. How much savings are required out of this to prevent inflation? Given a government surplus on direct expenditures of £275 million, the number is £575 million. Will this happen? Probably not, because national expenditure on capital improvements is likely to be much higher, just taking maintenance into account.If you’re wondering about the place of devaluation in all of this, The Economist follows up with a robust “Devaluation No Solution.”“The Film Agreement” explains the final decision, which gets rid of the tax on American films and, in return, schedules the portion of American film distribution profits from Britain that are to be paid in inconvertible sterling. “Steel Prospects” discusses the likelihood of actually getting the 100,000 tons of German commercial scrap agreed upon, given the ongoing confusion in Frankfurt, and the impact this might have on steel production targets. (Bleak). Also bleak, wool prices are down, cotton up. Canada’s gold reserves are being depleted by a cash deficiency on trade, leading to pressure for Canada to increase its gold holdings, presumably good news for gold mining plays. A Belgian bilateral agreement is proving hard to come by due to currency black sorcery, and Belgium is not alone, inter-European trade is sensibly declining for lack of, sigh, currency. Currency is at issue in China, too, although in a different way, as inflation flows from the issue of notes to fund military spending.

“Electric Power Peaks” “For too long, the idea has been cherished that the country could afford to go on building enough generators to keep capacity permanently ahead of demand; it is now exploded.” Demand for electricity almost doubled during the war years, and if the trend continues, not even the completion in 1950 of a 5.5 million kW/h programme will be enough to prevent shedding at peak periods. Meanwhile, expensive equipment will be idle out of peak periods. The Economist thinks that the solution lies in the combination of more accurate metering to encourage the spreading out of peak loads, and some kind of electricity storage scheme, as in Switzerland, where water is pumped up to the top of reservoirs during off peak-load times.

Leaders (Because Fortune is experimenting with leading articles again.)
“Trade Without Traders” Fortune comes out against the Marshall Plan, on the grounds that it is planning and stuff, and not free enterprise, and, incidentally, freezing foreign national assets is immoral and stuff. Do you like my minuscule? I’ve been working on the calligraphy for ages so I could mimic the typographical trick with using a smaller font to “whisper” something. This is a really flabbergasting column. Fortune has been all in for the Marshall Plan for a long time, and mocked the Republicans who were against it, because they are Taft and Hoover. But now it suddenly comes out against the Plan, and, oh, so incidentally, the asset freeze that is such a small part of it –until you consider that $4 billion that is being swept up in it.
“Management by Acclaim –Oil” It was only ten years ago that it seemed that America was awash in cheap oil, but then the war drove demand to new heights, demand that did not, as was expected, fall with peace. The industry has invested heavily, and American production has risen from 1.4 billion barrels in 1941 to 1.9 billion barrels last year, and has invested billions of dollars around the Earth, including in Arabia. It has certainly not been holding back on production! Secretary Krug now says that the industry is neglecting shale oil and wants a $9 billion investment. But, in reality, what is needed is higher prices, to encourage still more investment in all aspects of the industry and encourage conservation.
“Austerity in Canada” When Fortune covered the Canadian austerity programme earlier in the year, it said that austerity was axiomatically associated with a customs union. Fortune dropped a “not.” Fortune apologises for annexing Canada and promises not to do it again.
“In the Name of the Economy” Fortune prints a hilarious bit about how one executive thinks we could get over this terrible winter if we didn’t get heartburn from hearing unions demanding higher wages and industry dropping prices for the good of the economy, when the real motive is the understandable one of wanting more money.
Books and Ideas
Besides being the most stylish waitress who ever served a breakfast Bloody Mary to a hand-sy and foul old man who is going to regret crossing Wong Lee, your humble correspondent knows something about the back pages of glossy magazines. She knows her Book pages! Even if Fortune puts them in the front, instead. One thing she knows is that when a “Books and Ideas” column is divided into paragraphs with large-font, all-capitalised, bold sub-headers, every one of them must be about a book or an idea. So the first one, despite being entitled “A Soviet Economist Falls from Grace,” has to be either about Eugen Varga’s latest book, Changes in the Economics of Capitalism as a Result of the Second World War, or the ideas in it, and not the fact that the Soviets are purging people because Communism is awful and irrational. In other words, it is three paragraphs about how Varga doesn’t expect a capitalist depression until 1956. Even though it looks like boilerplate anti-communism.

The next “book and idea” is Eugene V. Rostow’s A National Policy for the Oil Industry, who thinks that oil production is being held back, under claim of conservation, to keep prices up, and that there needs to be more anti-trust action against the big oil companies. And because that was a short paragraph for a long section, (there was lots of editorialising about the virtues of the free market, but my hand is cramping on the brush, so take it as read!), I will throw in a review of a biography of W. H. Donald, Donald of China, which you can probably write for yourself. I have no idea if the book regurgitates Luce’s view of the man, but the review is pretty good on that score. Speaking of, Dwight MacDonald’s HenryWallace: The Man and the Myth, is all about the myth. (The Wallace myth, if you believe Fortune, is that he is not the worst man in history.) William B. Hesseltine, The Rise and Fall of Third Parties, which is lumped in with MacDonald, ought to get its own section, because it is a clear discussion of the problem of third parties that  sits like a lump on my tongue when I talk about this with Reggie. (Which is why I don’t, insert your own Bloody-Mary-at-10am joke here. See? I can have a kind thought to spare even for someone who makes cracks about my chest and tips a nickel! I truly am a new Ronnie, fit to be a Magnin’s girl.) Where was I. . . Hmm. I think I was more upset than I realised. Anyway, Hesseltine thinks that third parties are only good for politics when they have clear platforms that the big parties can raid.
. . . I don’t even know what to say about giving Where to Eat: Dartnell’s Vest-Pocket Guide to America’s Favourite Restaurants, so I will give it a paragraph, and let you imagine my eyes rolling at Fortune’s editorial decisions.
George Gamow’s One, Two, Three . . . Infinity is a very popular book right now. Gamow is a physics professor at George Washington, and a fine populariser. I know this book, since Reggie loved it, and I could probably say more about it than Fortune, which is fascinated by Gamow’s account of Weizsaecker’s “nebular hypothesis,” which is that the planets of the early Solar System were formed from the same nebula that precipitated the Sun, rather than being torn from it by a close-passing star. The former theory meant that planetary systems would be very rare in the galaxies, since such collisions are rare; the nebular hypothesis, on the other hand, means that they will be ubiquitous. Quite a change in our understanding of the universe, in that alien civilisations go from being scarce and perhaps unknown, to being everywhere, perhaps including flying saucers overhead right now. Brief bits cover the recent hardback publication of three “Economic Reports of the President,” a Merrill Lynch primer on commodity speculation that “crushes” allegations of “gambling on food prices,” George Seide’s claim that 1000 Americans run the country and the free press, George Gray’s history of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (Frontiers of Flight), a  pamphlet publishing Justice Douglas’s speech on the centenary of the birth of Governor Altgeld, and the report of the Mineral Survey.
Fortune’s Wheel The big story this month is that Fortune is predicting a business recession, so it is not surprising that the staffmember profiled this week is Fortune’s “house economist,” Dick Gettell, who did not write the article, because he has been on the road giving talks on the state of the American economy. Last month, Fortune’s Survey of Public Opinion predicted that Eisenhower would win the election. Obviously, he can’t win if he decides not to run, but the Survey can’t predict that. It has predicted the winner of the last four elections, though, so if we go back all the way to last month and look at the number two, the President gets back in, and it is safe to come out for Wallace!

(Letters)
Fortune’s Wheel ends with about as many letters from readers as get into a Flight correspondence page, so I’m calling this a “letters” feature, even if Fortune doesn’t.
First up is F.W. Reichelderfer, of the Weather Bureau, who, while he admits that last month’s article on weather control might eventually be seen as the turn of the age by future historians, for the moment, the claim that we are at the dawn of an age of weather control is unproven. The Weather Bureau is not being a “conservative and reactionary villain” in “opposing” this brave new science. It’s just not sure it works! Isador Lubin, a friend and former landlady of Thorstein Veblen, was very pleased with Fortune’s profile. On the other hand, Donald C. Williams, who is Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Harvard, thinks that Veblen’s philosophy was “bad,” because an “alien and ununderstanding critique of the enterprise system and free market, which, after all, have created and maintained almost the only oasis of dignity and decency on this earth.” Joseph Hamilton, M. D., of the Radiation Laboratory of the University of California, calls our attention to the Tracerlabs story, while Charles B. Corvell, of MIT, reminds us that things atomic lead to atom bombs. ElbertD. Thomas, of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, criticises the “New Strategy in Foreign Policy” for letting General Marshall off too easily on China.and not making more of the International Labour Organisation.

“Is the Market Right?” This is the big review article on the economy that I mentioned. Obviously this is a bit story for us now; no-one wants a depression! On the other hand, we’ll know by spring, and, if I know my correspondents, some of you won’t even have got to this letter by then! As I’m sure that you’re all on the edge of your chairs, I will deal briefly with the story, mainly with an eye to “technology.” The main conceit of the article is that Wall Street is down. Does this mean that the economy will follow? After all, the story was the other way around in 1929!

Against the possibility that the economy will follow the market is that so much of the loss has been in speculative fads and outright frauds. (Follansbee Steel, Globe Aircraft, arguably Tucker Motors and Vanderbilt Cosmetics). The fads include feeder airlines, recording companies, “ostensible plastics manufacturers,” and as Uncle George has been lamenting, electronics. For it is the fact that stocks might be getting out of line with earnings. It is hard to say what the ideal “price to earning ratio” might be, but Wall Street is trying to look beneath the surface of the three-fold increase in purchasing power and rocketing prices, and is finding that while department store gross sales are up, the volume of goods is down, in particular woman’s dresses and radios; inventories are rising, export demand is falling off, and excess wartime savings and incomes are are abating. So while there is still a lot of money circulating ($28 billion in cash, $86 billion in demand deposits), it is no longer going to the market. That said, it is not also going to stocks, either, and that might mean that the fundamentals of the economy are doing better than the stock market, but Fortune doesn’t think so. Then it is off to the investors’ newsletters, where the bears say that important psychological barriers have been broken on the downside, while the bulls say that there is so much money around that there cannot be a recession, and so stocks will have to recover soon; and that the Federal Reserve’s various deflationary effort cannot hold back the inflationary tide. To some extent this section confuses the question of stock prices and the general economic trends, but that just reinforces the strength of the prediction of a recession sometime after the spring, since even the bulls don’t rule it out.

“The Pennsylvania Predicament” Penn Railway’s business is all in a predicament! Any of my correspondents who might have decided to go into American rail stocks are welcome to get their own copy of Fortune. I am just going to invite you to look at pretty pictures of Penn operations and contemplate the money to be made on locomotives (and construction equipment.)

“The Wildest Blue Yonder Yet” Fortune summarises the conclusions of the Finletter Report. Since we’ve already heard, and heard about it, the main points will be familiar. The industry was doing $17 billion on warplanes in 1944, and in spite of fine hopes for private planes, airlines and diversification, has not found a replacement for the American taxpayer. Either the industry will be nationalised and turned into an arsenal-type operation, or the taxpayer will have to find a reason for buying a very large number of warplanes. Recall that back in 1947, after everyone had had their wack at finding economies, the Army and Navy were to spend $921 million to procure a little over 900 planes, not a lot for fifteen manufacturers to share, unless aircraft suddenly became as expensive as battleships. But, even then, the Army chose to spend $500 million of that on North American and Republic jet fighters and B-29 bombers, three companies out of sixteen, and leaving Douglas with nothing but a Navy attack plane, and Lockheed the last dregs of the P-80 contract. The remaining companies stoutly declined to go into voluntary liquidation, and since bankruptcy was hardly an option given that planes take a long time to produce, leaving it to the Air Force to find a way to take some planes, leaving us with “defence in 1950” and “defence in 1960,” as The Economist puts it, if the taxpayer can only come through. General Spatatz has 20,000 aircraft, in service and in reserve, and thinks that to maintain this force, there must be 3200 aircraft produced a year, to retire one-sixth of the force in order to keep the reserve modern. This might cost as much as $4.8 billion in 1953 and then drop off. (Fortune is confident that “it will do no such thing.”) A handy chart suggests that the total national defence appropriation will be reaching towards $20 billion by that time. ($18 billion, but with an upward trend. When six propellers for a single B-36 cost $168,600, I should think so!) To further support the industry, the Report suggests that all first class mail should go by air as soon as the industry is reliable enough. Finally, a good few paragaphs are spent on ‘planes and national security, relation of.
“39,668,993,983: A Report on the U.S. Budget and the Chances for Reducing It”  The Government is too big. You heard it here first. One of the odd things about the budget, now that it depends so heavily on the income tax, is that it is so hard to budget. Last year’s budget was based on revenues of $38.9 billion, but thanks to rising incomes and low unemployment, came in at more than $45 billion. This has been going on since 1944, but can be expected to reverse itself if there is a recession next year, as incomes will fall. Hoover’s 1932 budget forecast revenues of $4 billion, but they came in at half of that. This led to Hoover’s disastrous budget deficit, but, taken together, you can make the case that this is actually good, because a tax system that takes a big bite when times are good, and a small one when times are bad is a good “stabiliser” for the economy. (And “causes men to worry about the solvency of the state when the fitures show a deficit, and to think of tax reduction when they show a surplus.”)

On the expenditure side, the Army, Navy and Air Force have asked for $11 billion, up from $10.7 billion, with $400 million allocated to Universal Military Training, which Congress has yet to approve. $7 billion is added by foreign aid, which has replaced veterans’ benefits as the second largest item on the budget, although they are still high, and take it to $24 billion. All forms of social security take the budget to $33 billion, with the remaining $7 billion going to a “vast panorama of public functions,” including $2.5 billion on public works. The Atomic Energy Commission, Post Office, and federal aid to education, if approved, will take $1 billion together. The Department of Agriculture will take $600 million, the Federal government retirement fund another billion, and the remaining two-and-a-half goes to all remaining business of government from borders to Indians to parks to food and drug safety, and “roughly a million other identifiable services rendered by a more or less paternalistic government to a more or less grateful people.” Is the budget too big? Well, it is up $2 bilion from last year, but it grows every year, and always has, and there is inflation. Truman’s budgets are actually the smallest he can put together, which leaves Congress cutting things people want if it wants to find room for tax cuts. Identifying “waste” might be a perennial Congressional hobby, but there is just not much money to be found in cutting small programmes, however “wasteful.” Real savings are only to be found in real programmes, which begins with the armed services, and that has already backfired, even if Congress has an eye on excessive numbers of senior officers, bases, and duplication of effort.

Next come features on the Lazari department store chain and the liquid natural gas business. I had no idea that bottled gas had as many uses as it does. Some homes still heat and cook with it, and farms use it to run motors, generators, and even heaters in the field to protect crops from unseasonable frost. Still, as long as it has to be distributed in pressurised cans and freighters, it is hard to see it competing with electricity! So it is a bit irrelevant to us, although not as much as the next article, which is about poker, which is apparently America’s game.
Totally irrelevant, but well worth sharing --Wait, I mean that guy in the right is the Cominterm, and the green guy in the leftis the British investor!

Shorts and Faces
“Lost Bread” This is fascinating! I had no idea that the bread I see in grocery stores gets there by “consignment selling,” in which bakeries “consign” bread to grocery stores, and take it away again if it stales before sale. The bakery then resells the bread as day-olds if it can, or to food processors and livestock farmers if it cannot. The resulting loss of perhaps as much as 33% of all bread baked was banned during the war with indifferent results, has returned in the postwar, and is a bit of a disgrace when Europe is starving. Unfortunately, with the (Teamster) drivers taking a profit on the volume they can push into the stores, and groceries unwilling to absorb the losses tht the bakeries are taking, it is not likely to change.
“Angel with a System” Jack Seidman[?] is a public accountant with a  hobby providing capital to theatrical ventures. Of the shows he has been involved in, the one that everyone is sure to recognise is Brigadoon

For a business paper, Fortune is pretty theatrical, and finds this fascinating. So do I! So does Uncle George! Everyone else, I do not think so. . . The next story, about Commercial Decal, Inc., of Mount Vernon, New York, is also somewhat artistic, since the company specialises in lithographic printmaking on “ceramic decomanias,” which are the patterns that U.S. potteries and china decorators use to create their patterns. Formerly imported from Europe, Commercial Decal is one of those companies that entered into a comfortable relationship with a German company that paid off comfortably in wartime. The company has 250 customers, which typically order 10,000 decal sheets at a time at an average cost of $5 cents a sheet, although it can run up to $8 a sheet for the ones printed in coin gold, including 1700 pieces with the Presidential seal for the Roosevelt Administration’s fine dining needs. Up to 80% of all ceramics sold these days are decorated, and potteries prefer decals because they are cheap and easy to put on . A crew of six girls can put on as many as 10,000 a day. Cheap applications may wear off in a year, but expensive underglaze decal jobs, baked on at 2100 degrees, will last as long as the pot itself. Decals can be quite complicated. The company once did a 22 colour job for Onondaga Pottery Company that used 100 different pigments. Even an eight-colour pattern uses eighteen separate stone plates, including finally eight 400 press stones. Which are prepared in 32 “feedings.” Commercial Decalhopes to not only displace German companies in America, but to take some of their foreign markets, too.
“Still Behind” A brief note points out that while car production is up 65% over last year, it is still 6% under 1941 and 9% under the 1937 peak, or 22% under the 1929 all-time high. Part of the reason for this is that cars are bigger, with Ford’s four door sedan up 120lbs since 1941, and part of it due to more spare parts being produced, the equivalent of 750,000 new cars, which is something of a paradox, since so many spare parts are being produced because so many people are nursing their temperamental old Lincolns (mad glare at the parking lot below, makes a change on wordlessly demanding that this rain stop!), because they cannot get new cars.
“Magnetometers” Magnetometers, or magnetic airborne detectors, are magnetic devices that “map” the magnetic field of the Earth below, mainly in hopes of finding a submarine or, now, oil. Aero Survey, which has recently done a survey and map of the 85,000 square miles of “the Bahamas area,” is now working on 150,000 square miles of Venezuela and Colombia for Gulf Oil.   The contract is worth a cool million. Any oil found –who knows? Fairchild is also in the business.

So,  it turns out that MADs weren't invented in WWII, and this isn't the first airborne magnetic search for oil. Who would have thought?

Argus:Cameras for the Millions” Argus is a medium-priced 35mm camera maker in Michigan with an eye to compete with Eastman and Ansco. The company grinds its own lenses, and is doing $10 million per year in sales, with  a flying start from an Army order to stock overseas PXs. It hopes that two new camera lines and new products such as sound projectors will further strengthen the bottom line.



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