Saturday, October 3, 2020

Postblogging Technology, June 1950, II: Fall of the Air Horse

R_. C_.,
Vancouver, Canada

Dear Father:

Scene Does Not Appear in Novel

I could get to love Hong Kong eventually! If it ever cools down. Best of all, my father threw an absolute fit over my refusing to book a ticket east the day after the war started. ("It's not safe," and "It's that boy!") Well, yes, Dad. It is the boy. You know, my fiance. Who has interests that need looking after whilst he is busy flying in the war. If "snooper" missions over the Straits of Formosa count as war, which I think they do! In fact, I'd like to be in Formosa, but apparently it's no place for an American girl. Of course, you don't want to know what the kind of people who say that, think of Hong Kong. Well, a big raspberry to them. Where else can you go out to a dim sum lunch with movie stars? And admittedly also pay for it, because Hong Kong movie stars can't afford dim sum. 

Yes, these reports will continue to be written out of Time and Aviation Week for the foresseable future, as the sad days of normality from B.D, "Before Diphtheria," seem like they will never return. 

Yours Sincerely,

PS: If you like your science with extra science-fiction check out the Air Force's call for bids for the interceptor-escort fighter, which requires a provision for "automatic control via radio link with the automatic pilot" by the time it becomes practical in 1955. 

Time, 19 June 1950


The Indo-China article gets to John B. Thomas of Chicago, Illinois, who has a very low opinion of the French occupation and Emperor Bao Dai. Time points out in its defence that it doesn't like Bao Dai, either. Several people have queries and corrections. Did you know that the Treaty of Portsmouth was signed in Kittery, Maine? How do you act "coonily?" I hope I spelt that out right. Mark Hanna of Fresno writes to point out that America might be prosperous, but some people are working too hard to enjoy it. Like registered nurses, for example. Leon Spinks is a bit too anti-communist in thinking that the Soviets didn't invent the cyclodrome, Time points out. Walter S. Bunker points out that a composer stole a story from a writer, Our publisher is very excited about this week's story about the crisis in California private colleges(!) and next week's Picasso cover story, which will soon officially be the latest Incredibly Irrelevant Time From the Week Before the War Started. So sad for the art team that worked so hard to get Picasso into print. 

National Affairs

"Waging Peace" Various top men reassured America and the world that America isn't trying to start a war with Russia, and will win one if it happens. How can America possibly defeat Russia's "massed millions" of "heavily mechanised ground forces"? With "smaller numbers of highly scientific ground troops armed with revolutionary new weapons." Revolution forever! No, not that kind. The other kind. Some examples of revolutionary new weapons include bazookas and other shaped charges, guided missiles and rockets, target-seeking equipment and "the possibilities of tactical use of atomic weapons . . . It may well be that tank warfare as we have known it will soon be obsolete." And it's not just overselling.Time concludes that "the hum of scientific progress in weaponeering was real, and the best news in months." 

"Twelve Hours, 8 Minutes" That's how long Senator Harry Cain's filibuster against the new rent control bill went. Senator Cain is the man who says that there was no housing shortage in 1947. The Senate has also finally sent the DP bill to the White House after McCarren held it up for a full year. So we're going to get 341,000 DPs instead of 205,000; and McCarren gets his 250 Basque shepherds. There's also ten grand to investigate "homosexuals on the government payroll," and a move out of the Georgia delegation to bring back segregation in the armed forces. 

"The Warren Touch" In whatever's the opposite of a surprise upset, Governor Warren beat Jimmy Roosevelt in the California governorship primary by an approximate margin of every vote. Helen Gahagan Douglas beat Manchester Boddy, which is a real name, but is going to have her work cut for her against the pond slime culture the Republicans are running. Chase has lost in South Dakota, Hickenlooper has won in Iowa,probably thanks to his campaign against David Lilienthal. And that's your typical Iowan for you. New Mexico's Democratic primaries were a fiasco for the Chavez brothers and therefore New Mexican Latinos, with the thought that an Anglo (Texan) Democratic slate will turn the state back over to the Republicans, who held it before New Mexicans became "WPA Democrats." That's Time for you. And Time is also giddy at the thought that the Republican and Democratic ticket in Vito Marcantonio's district have been united. Because he's a red, see? Oh. And Joe McCarthy is popular in Wisconsin. November's not looking good, I  have to say. Also, William Remington has been indicted for perjury by one grand jury, while another has taken it on itself to investigate the Amerasia case. At least unemployment's down.


The week's in depth story this week is the American farmer. I don't know if I'm spoiling this for you, but Time is against price supports. On the other hand, the big story in Las Vegas is a gambler who made 28 straight passes at the craps table at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, but picked up his winnings with every throw, so that he won $750 instead of $289 million. (Although it sounds as though side bets cost the Inn a pretty penny.)

"Unscheduled Death" Time's version of the Westair Transport C-46 crash likes the image of a steward explaining life jackets and rafts to "panicking passengers." (Because they're Latinos, you see. Probably on the way to New York for their WPA jobs!) Somehow, however, their hot latin blood didn't prevent 34 passengers and 3 members of the plane's crew surviving the night in eight tethered rafts and one single, out of 62 passengers and five crew in a crowded plane. The CAA has been trying to get the CAB to ground Westair for a year now, but what the heck, they're just sugar beet pickers.

You can hardly tell they're excitable from this angle


Manners and Morals reports that Fillmore, New York, which changed its name from Mouth of the Creek to honour the new President in 1850, held its centenary this week. Slogan? "A Century of Rigor Mortis."[!

The second big story is the crisis at US private colleges, which are apparently on the knife's edge due to rising costs in spite of huge endowment growth over the last few years. Schools including Yale, Columbia and Johns Hopkins are running deficits and facing declining enrollment as the GI bubble fizzles, the small 1932 cohort arrives, and average investment returns fall from 5.27% in 1930 to 3.74% today. Some colleges think that federal aid is the way to go; others that it will lead to a federal takeover.  Research money is already a major contributor, however, so that may be closing the door, horse, etc. Cuts in everything from private tutors (Harvard) to table linen on weekdays (Swarthmore) are contemplated.


Poland is officially keeping Silesia, the East Germans will owe Russia reparations for another fifteen years, and no more prisoners of war are forthcoming. Time gleefully anticipates East Germany following Yugoslavia ---if it can get away with it. Trygve Lie's ten point plan to end the Russian boycott of the Security Council looks dead on arrival. The European congress of socialist parties can't agree on whether it should be anti-American, more Catholic clergy are fighting with the Communists in Hungary, or vice versa. Rumanian communists are awful, and Rumanian women communists are ugly, Time would like you to know. (This seems to be a new thing with Time: Ugly woman communists. Delightful!) Also, in this week's Italian Communist story, he doesn't repent, and is a very bad person because he fights with the Catholic Church, which is very colourful.   And in Britain, a jury found for the Daily Mail humourist Lane Northcott, in a libel suit brought by Moo Cow Milk Bars of London and its director, Frederick Abdela.

Northcott's humour depended heavily on the idea that all of "Mother Moo-Cow Milk Bar's" menu consisted of disgusting soya products, and the judge told the jury that if the writing is too heavy to be funny, it's also too heavy to be libel. 

"The Hero of Haarlem" The Dutch say that the boy who stuck his finger in the dyke wasn't real, because it couldn't happen that way, but American tourists say that he was, and we know who has the American dollars. (American tourists do.) So the Dutch put up a bronze statue of the imaginary boy at the Spaarndam Lock, and the royal family turned out to break a bottle of champagne over it, as royal families do, although Princess Marijke was cold, and threw a tantrum. Also MacArthur's lads have cracked down on the Japanese  Communist Party, which has upset regular Japanese, because they don't like Communists or anti-Communism. Time goes on to explain that Japan's leading Communists have treacherously gone into hiding. And the Philippines have an American deserter in custody. He went to fight for the Huks for a few months but didn't like it. It seems that the Huks have taken a few setbacks of late, which is good news for the pilots trying to land at Clark under fire. [This is fun.]

Architect's Dream" The partition of Punjab put Lahore on the Pakistan side, so the government of the Indian state is building a capital in the Valley of Chandigarh.

It has picked Manhattan's Albert Mayer to design it, and he has BIG plans. Local mango farmers are not impressed. 

"The Reluctant Leader" The Generalissimo has figuratively bulleted T. V. Soong in New York to tell him to return to Formosa and get on with running the country, and literally bulletted Wu Shih, Chen Pao-chong, Nyi Shih and Tsu Kan-tse, who had made the mistake of being in Formosa, running the place. Apparently they were plotting to let the Reds in via a secret radio transmitter in the Defence Ministry. Also, the Reds are being all Communist in Shanghai and ruining everything with totalitarian rule and also anarchy. I asked Uncle George, who tells me that they actually were Red spies. Poo. Just after I had worked myself up to thinking even worse of the Gitmo. 

Over in this hemisphere, a colourful gang leader has been arrested in Rio de Janeiro, a boa constrictor caused a blackout in the Canal Zone, and, oh, yes, General Vargas might run for President of Brazil this year. 


"The New Inflation" So, yes, inflation is up again. Scrap steel is running away again, to $46/ton, and Sumner Schlichter is calling for restrictions on consumer credit, now at a record $18.6 billion. On the other hand, GM says that the current round of wage increases isn't inflationary, because it assumes that productivity will rise by 2.5%/year. There's more to it than this, but basically he thinks that the economy can absorb the costs of pensions, insurance and wages by committing to raising productivity. Also, the stock market deviated into "bear territory" this week and the fact that the Statler chain is expanding for the first time since the Depression, proves something. Meanwhile, Texas is very upset ab out the tidelands decision, even though it follows the California precedent. 

"Grounds for Discipline" Senator Gillette's investigating subcommittee has concluded that there was never an actual coffee shortage this year, and that it was all due to big Brazilian growers collaborating with big dealers on the New York Coffee and Sugar Exchange, notably George F. Robbin, the buyer for General Foods' Maxwell House division. The committee has proposed a solution --the dreaded word, "regulation."

"Foreign Exchange" South Africa's latest attempt to get around the official gold price by emitting gold "artistic pieces" has collapsed, because of either or both of the flood of gold from China since the Communist victory or the improvement in European economies since devaluation. 

"Shoes for Baby" Western Union is in trouble after a local office in New Jersey was raided as a horse-betting establishment. Exactly how many Western Union operators were sidelining as bookies isn't clear, nor is it clear just how high in the organisation the business runs. William Molasky, the man who runs the Pioneer News Service racing news syndicate, owns 14,000 Western Union shares, but Western Union says it has no control over that. True enough, says the Senate committee, but its investigation shows other gamblers buying into Western Union. 

Science, Medicine

"Light and Life" Dr. Bernard Strehler of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory has put out a bounty for 100,000 fireflies. He wants them to extract the luciferin in their bottoms that makes them glow so that he can study its chemistry, with an eye to better understanding the interaction of light and life; and especially that of radiation with the body chemicals it so subtly destroys. 

"Pigeons and People" I know Reggie swore off birds just last week, but this is actually about the notorious Harvard psychologist, B. F. Skinner, who has branched off from experimenting on his children to try out pigeons instead. He thinks pigeons are a better bet than rats, because they live a lot longer and so you don't have to train them as often. Also, he has a bunch of results to report, including training pigeons to play tennis, work for crummy wages, play music, and join organised religion. I don't know about the science, but he sure is a showman! 

"Uranium Optimism" After a few years of prospecting, Robert J. Wright of the AEC is confident that America will be able to achieve self-sufficiency in uranium, although it may have to process oil shale and phosphate rock for their low concentration of uranium to do  it. 

"Mind and Milk" It turns out that new mothers who want to nurse their babies are much more successful at it than ones who aren't. It's a University of Pennsylvania study, so it must be true. Also, the new patent medicine, Hadacol, is a big hit around the South. It's a dietary supplement that's got what you need, and an ounce of ethyl alcohol in every bottle. 

Press, Radio and Television, Art, People

In Italy, the press, (and Britain's Catholic World) are in trouble for identifying a priest as a child murderer, the government of East Pakistan is in trouble for mistaking the "75 Years Ago Today" feature in the New Delhi-Calcutta Statesman as current news, the New York Times is concerned that there aren't enough American news correspondents behind the Iron Curtain (it is the communists' fault), and various other countries have banished various papers, including King Farouk kicking Life out of the country for reporting on his affairs. Fingers are also pointed at Belgium, France and Britain (and Louisiana), while Venezuela seems to censor the press more than Argentina. (Oops!) Newsweek is so impressed by the success of Quick that it is launching its own version, People Today

Edgar Bergen is moving into television. 

Francis Chapin is an old-fashioned Chicago artist who is having a show, and so is Harvard's Fogg Art Museum, which is showing off some old Persian miniatures. Pierrre Tal-Coat is an old-fashioned Parisian artist  who is having a show. (But he's much younger than Chapin and is shown in a very nice suit.) America's Town Meeting is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary with lots and lots of shows and documentaries. It is also going to go on TV "at the Milton Berle" hour and pick up all the people who don't like Uncle Milt. 

In assorted TV news, experts can't agree on whether TV is making us morons, drawing us together as families, or both. A new movie theatre development in Union, New Jersey has been scrapped in favour of a supermarket, because in the TV age we go to the movies less but . . go to the supermarket more? 

The Los Angeles-San Francisco Short Line bus service is introducing televisions on their "de luxe" busses, the New York Fire Department thinks that rooftop tv antennae are a hazard, NBC and RadioCorp will be fronting the production costs of an upcoming Broadway musical, Call Me Madam, so as to get the record and broadcast rights sewn up. 

Audie Murphy has given away his medals, Ann Sheridan thinks women don't wear enough clothes nowadays, Alben Barkley has admitted to putting ginger ale in his bourbon, everyone thinks that the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement Barber Shop Quartet Singing is silly for banning Sweet Adeline because it promotes drinking, Mrs. Anthony Eden isn't impressed that her husband has divorced her for desertion, Dylan Thomas enjoyed his visit to America, Jim Thorpe, Babe Didrikson, Chester Bowles and Louis Denfield are on the page for no reason. King Haakon of Norway, Yukio Ozaka and Liaquat Ali Khan have reasons but it would take too long to explain. Tennessee Williams has finished his next novel Quadruple amputee and WWII veteran James Wilson has married his Dorothy Darlene. Joan Blundell and Anthony Eden are divorced. Admiral Harwood, Joseph Burke, Hazel Vandenberg, Charles S. Howard, Meig O. Frost and Thomas Whittemore, the archaeologist who uncovered the mosaics of the Hagia Sophia have all died. 

The New Pictures

The Asphalt Jungle is a John Huston film about a jewel theft that falls short of Treasure of the Sierra Madre (go see it if you can. It's great!), but is still "well worth seeing." Not only a taut and exciting thriller, but a picture of a bunch of criminals slowly falling apart, leading to a "perverse sympathy" for them, if not their crimes. Says Time. Winchester '73 is an anthology story that follows the title rifle through the hands of Jimmy Stewart, Dan Duryea and others. But not Shelley Winters, who has nothing to do but stand next to a gun.

The Big Hangover is about how Van Johnson is such an easy drunk, due to a war accident, that he gets drunk accidentally in humorous situations, which is funny. Also, it has Elizabeth Taylor and a "strange subplot" about the law firm's effort to keep a Chinese tenant out of a building with a restricted rental covenant. That doesn't sound funny, to me. The Capture is a Western with "psychiatric overtones" that "don't quite work out." It is "fuzzy." And Caged is about a girl who goes to prison. Time calls it a "sob and slap" story, but I call it --well, I don't call it anything, because I am a proper girl. 


Too Little Love is a very long novel of 562pp by Robert Henriques that is very boring. Louis Budenz has Men Without Faces, while Victor Kravchenko is offering us I Chose Justice, with Ralph de Toledano and Victor Lasky's Seeds of Treason offering us something more analytical in the new genre of disillusioned Communists being disillusioned. Cathering Dinker Bowen's John Adams and the American Revolution is the kind of book about the Adams that Time likes. Our readers aren't famed for their grasp of the minutiae of the early Republic, but the Adams were a noteworthy Boston dynasty of the period. (We usually have to mention an author who made it almost to this century, but the big names are a father and son who were both Presidents much earlier.) In Times' mind, the founder of the dynasty, John Adams, was a worthy but dull New England farmer, who treated governing the United States as though he were farming cabbages. This is not, to put it kindly, the opinion of many other scholars, to the point where I'm wondering what mad notions Time (and Bowen) are entertaining this time.  Finally, Zane Grey's latest has horses and guns and gunmen on horses. 

Aviation Week, 19 June 1950

News Digest reports that the Northrop X-4 is about to begin transsonic test flights, and explains (more than Time manages) that the big Puerto Rico-Michigan airlift began after the governor of Puerto Rico banned nonskeds from the route, and gave it to Pan-Am and Eastern. On the other  hand, Jerome Lederer, of the Flight Safety Foundation, congratulates Sigmund Janas of Colonial for his outstanding contribution of not crashing a single plane this year. GE is going to find out the service life of the J-47 by flying it in a B-45 to be powered by four J-47s. Okay . . . the Air Horse crashed, just like Reggie was always saying it would. Tragically, The Ministry of Supply's chief test pilot was flying it, although at least Alan Marsh was on board and not leaving it to someone else to die for his mad scheme. 

Industry Observer reports that Air Material Command is still testing planes-towing-helicopters in spite of being told by the rest of the USAAF that it's a dumb idea. NACA reminds us that it now has quite the fleet of hot ships. Pratt and Whitney and Rolls Royce have broken their development agreement. Curtiss-Wright will deliver the rocket motor for the XF-91 any minute now. Bell is also waiting for the motor to roll out its X-2. De Havilland Canada is expected to launch a major sales drive for the Dove in the executive, not feeder market, as soon as it gets its US airworthiness certificate, which is expected imminently. 

Alexander McSurely, "Props to Drive Planes Faster Than Sound" After a bit of reading, I find that Aeroproducts has done some wind tunnel tests that prove that you can get a plane up past the speed of sound with the right prop blades. Douglas has already hinted that the A2D will be the first supersonic prop plane. Previously, aerodynamicists had pegged the top speed of a prop plane at 500mph based on the expected maximum tip speed at which propellers blow up or something of the sort. But just as aerodynamic research has revealed aircraft shapes that will fly in the transonic realm instead of hitting the air like a barn door, so it is possible to design a prop blade that will go fast enough to push air back fast enough to propel a plane fast enough. In fact, some existing props already have supersonic tip speeds, among them the B-36. The main trick is making the blades thinner, although profile matters. Reggie is a skeptic, with this exception: George Rosen is talking about faster blades bringing reduction gearing ratios down, which is something that would really help with the high power turboprop engines the Americans want to build. 

"Anti-Sub Copter" Bell has won the contract to build an antisubmarine helicopter for the Navy. It will be 13,000lbs all up, and require a Pratt and Whitney R-2800 for power, and be Bell's first tandem rotor job. 

Aviation Week blames Louis Johnson in advance for killing the '51 National Air Races by banning service participation. Piper is upset at the observation plane contract going to CEssna, and the House has passed NACA's wind tunnel programme. In our weekly Worthy Canadian Initiative installment, RCAF weather researchers have been experimenting with cold weather, which happens up there. (They have a "flying ice wagon" to drag behind the test plane.) Curtiss-Wright has entered into a five year engineering service and royalty agreement with Doman, strengthening its bid to get into helicopters. 

Aeronautical Engineering has "Meltbonding Saves Time, Money on B-36" Convair wants us to know that Meltbond is "believed to be the only adhesive used in the United States to join metal parts over large areas of a production airplane." Meltbond actually consists of two adhesives for different uses. It is currently used on aluminum-aluminum and alclad joins, but is expected to be useful on magnesium and ferrous metals, when testing is complete. Its main advantage over previous adhesives is that it can be applied under less-than-atmospheric conditions, which means that you can put it on, put a layer of rubber over it, and then suck the air out,  creating a smooth application pressure on the surface, where earlier methods used metal clamps. There's a fairly extensive section making it clear that Meltbon has passed strength and fatigue tests, and some discussion of where you might want to use it. 

If that isn't enough advertising/editorial content for you, there's an article on Sol-venite Laboratories Solvenite process, which triples toole life by treating the tool surface with Sol-ven-ite, which gives you that hardness you were looking for with no drawbacks whatsoever. 

"Data from British Ignition Forum" Lodge Plugs held a giant forum on ignition problems in London. This is old news for aircraft in the jet age, but I hear they also use spark plugs in cars now, so the data might have some wider application. Lodge is working on "expendable plugs," which could be pulled out and replaced after 400 hours or so (obviously a bit low for cars!), which turns on designing them so that the platinum in the middle can be extracted cheaply. Others think that the whole idea is wrong-headed, and focus on proper cleaning. Airline operators like the "expendable" concept because they can match spark plug life to engine overhaul and get consistent performance. There was a lot of talk of fine details before everyone rounded on lead fouling, which is a huge problem, especially because you can't guarantee just how much lead will reach each spark plug. The industry would like the oil companies to do something about this, please. After that, KLM's experiments on high and low tension spark plugs gets a feature. So far, low tension is winning in a landslide. Harness condensation is a big problem. 

"Tunnel Uses Steam" The Pratt Institute in Brooklyn has built a wind tunnel that taps the campus' cogeneration steam lines to use 115psi steam instead of air. The steam is reduced to 5 psi at the nozzle, and it drops to 1.2 to give a temperature of 108F and a speed of Mach 1.564, "it is claimed." "No fogging is claimed." Uncle George thinks that's funny. 

Equipment's big story is, if I've got this right, a mounting bracket. From Westinghouse, but there is 

time for a "Surface Flushness Gauge," which is basically a planometero from Hi-Shear Rivet Tool and A. V. Roe's patent gadget for "heating hydrogen peroxide tanks." No thanks! The idea is hotter jets with hydrogen peroxide fuel. Double no thanks! Save that stuff for the beauty parlor, where it belongs! Varo Mfg of Garland, Texas, has a . . tuning fork? It is apparently useful for stabilising test frequency outputs to test your electrical equipment in turn.  And Lord and Towne has an electric hoist. 

Air Transport has "CAA Pushes Approach Light Plan" For some reason this is editorial/advertising. Anyway, CAA has a plan, ALPA has a slightly different plan, and they're fighting. ALPA's alternate system is laid out at some length. I don't think anyone who hasn't had to land an airliner when they can't see the ground is qualified to judge, but some of those who have, have a low opinion of ALPA. Much of the article defends its system, particularly the condensor discharge lights. 

"BEA's Choice" Aviation Week cheks in with Peter Masefield of BEA. Does he still think that the Viscounts he bought last month are the right choice? Why, yes he does! He does still think that the turboprop's day has come. With another Latecoere 631 missing over the Atlantic, I can also tell you that the flying boat's day is done. 

Letters has John Chamberlain of the CAB writing in about reversible thrust cost, explaining how the CAB came to its very high estimates. Hugh Hanson defends the "barnacle navy" by cordially doubting that the fly navy is down to just the Corsair on board ship. Yes, but it's not a question of a few planes in exercises, Mr. Hanson. It's what they're flying in the war! 

New Books likes E. R. C. Miles Supersonic Aerodynamics but admits that it is hard to review books like these. Hyman Katz's Technical Sketching and Visualisaion for Engineers seems serviceable. 

Editorial announces an Aviation Week Fellowship in aeronautical engineering. Seems worthy. 

Time, 26 June 1950


Sophie Denham of Meringouin, Louisiana wants Trygve Lie to give it to us straight.  Time's story on the bull market brings out the bears. Cynthia Crawford speaks out for euthanising the unfit. "Philosopher Quinton," who has a last name, it turns out (AnthonyWho's Who s a gift that keeps on giving!) argued with a Catholic priest about the existence of God in a recent Religion section. Time correspondents are very upset with him.

All the other houses of all the other universities write in to explain that they are even better at cheating their pay telephones than that Harvard school. Our future is in good hands!

National Affairs

"The Gypsies" "If the sticky, glass-headed men of Mars were watching Earth with their big, blue, magnifying eyes last week" I throw that in because you might not have known what a Martian looks like, and now you do! The actual story is about how many Americans are travelling abroad this summer. A lot! Sixty million Americans are going on vacation this summer! Four hundred thousand to Europe, a third of them by air. "25 million" to Canada. All I can say is that I hope someone has missed a decimal point.  And "thousands" more are going to Mexico. I think Mexico needs better advertising. the "main body" is "seeing America first," "hitting the highways in the cool of the morning and getting into the best cabin courts by mid-afternoon." For "only" $763, an Alaskan bush pilot will fly you into your own personal river to cast for trout "big as baseball bats." And they'll all get home in time, because Americans (people?) are funny that way.  The President did his part by cruising down to Quantico on the presidential yacht and taking in a Marine exercise including a simulated helicopter assault. Makes a change from trying to persuade people to join his Administration. He still hasn't filled the AEC chairmanship! 

In crime news, big time gambler Frank Erickson confessed right up in testimony before the Kefauver Committee so that he wouldn't have to rat out his friends, while the FBI has now followed up on the whole Klaus Fuchs investigation by adding charges against Alfred Dean Slack and David Greenglass to the ones against Harry Gold.  Charges against Sidney Weinbaum, arrested in Pasadena, are not related to the Fuchs-Gold network. He just lied to a grand jury about having been a member of the Communist Party, which didn't save him from losing his job as a research fellow at Cal Tech when the Army withdrew his security clearance in '49. 

After the obligatory Uncle George review, it was noted that while Greenglass and Gold were related, Philadelphia-area research chemists, Slack was a supervisor at the Kingsport, Tennessee Ordnance Works, and gave Gold some RDX samples. It might be wondered why the Russians wanted RDX samples, when they were getting it for free from the British under Lend-Lease as a demolition explosive, for which purpose it was originally put into production at Woolwich and issued in large quantities before inventive people started putting in more aggressively bomb-like affair. All of this is evidently unknown at Time, which explains that RDX was considered too expensive for military use until "the U.S. found a way, used it in naval torpedoes and bazooka anti-tank rockets." From this Uncle George infers that the Tennessee plant was probably producing RDX with a new process that the Russians wanted to replicate by studying trace elements in the product. Uncle George also bet me five bucks that Slack will plead guilty and get a light sentence, because he isn't Jewish. I took him up on it, because that's too cynical, even for me! 

"End Run" Amerasia has Congress in knots. Homer Capehart is leading 20 Republican Senators who want to reopen the investigation. Millard Tydings says that that is meddling in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's affairs, since it has already investigated same. The "runaway" grand jury that took it on itself to investigate the government's investigation concluded that the investigation was "exemplary." Amerasia might have had 1700 classified documents in its office, but the circumstances of the investigation (that's code for "the break in!") prevented the Government from pressing charges. Maybe Senator Capehart should get back to making televisions! While out at Lustron Creek, reporters going through the files of the Lustron Corporation found a $10,000 cancelled cheque made out to Senator McCarthy in payment for a "a 10,000 word article on housing legislation written during Republican McCarthy's term as vice-chairman of the 80th Congress' joint Housing Committee." It's not illegal, but Time clearly hopes that it will finally be enough to get rid of McCarthy.

On the other hand, anything that keeps Congress talking instead of finishing up the bills on hand so that it can adjourn is not going to go down easily with anyone. 

"But Not Goodbye" Tom Dewey is retiring from politics again, and the Connecticut Republican convention was so awful that the winner dropped dead of a heart attack four days later. (On the bright side, John Lodge ran for the nomination, so not without star power!) Harry Bridges is not an American again, still not an Australian. Georgia's politics are still awful. 

"Never Again" Ingwer Hansen, which is a real name, has an idea for putting Hartley, Iowa on the map. He is staging a Communist-takeover pageant! It's like one of those things were everyone dresses up in colonial clothes and pretends the Redcoats are coming, except instead it is a Communist takeover. The Legion turned out twelve veterans to be Communist guerillas, but the town folk weren't impressed, recalling how during Mosinee, Wisconsin's Communist Day, the mayor had a heart attack.[!!!!]

Many Hartleyites seemed concerned that the guerillas would get carried away and end up throwing a real revolution.  A more welcome invasion in Michigan, where 6000 "Mexican Americans from Texas" were not enough to weed the $14 million Michigan sugar beet crop, and 5,050 Puerto Ricans had to be flown in, "nine times daily, four-engine transports" picked up full loads in Puerto Rico and deposited them in the Saginaw Valley ten hours later. It's the largest non-military airlift in history, and it looks as though twin-engine liners are not invited. And the FBI are in trouble after following a just-released convict who promptly drove to an abandoned house, picked up a cached machine gun, took it to a bank, and stole $6000, at which point the eight man FBI team trailing him, arrested him. Oh, but what about the pickup truck the criminal was driving? Well, it turns out that Walter Long acquired a pistol, stopped the truck and killed the driver while under FBI surveillance. Oops! That's not going in The Story of the FBI. 


The Schuman plan is going ahead at great speed in Paris, so what about London? A convoluted story breaking through two stories has the Atlee Government cautiously supporting the Schuman Plan as an extension of its pro-European integration platform. So it turned the little matter of formulating a position and putting it forward as an official Labour pamphlet over to the National Executive Committee headed by Hugh Dalton, which produced --and published-- a fifteen page denunciation of the Plan and of integration under the European liberal parties in general. Only a socialist integration was acceptable. Oh, for God's sake. Even Uncle George, Dalton's last defender, has had it. Labour is bound for an election, and the Tories are having the same trouble over the United States of Europe as Labour is. It's not a winning issue electorally, and now Churchill can safely campaign as the man who is against Labour being against integration. Dalton was  hoping to follow Bevin as Foreign Secretary, which is not going to happen. (Kurt Schumacher, however, seems to agree, arguing for a socialist united Europe with a united Germany at its core. Although he would say "Social Democratic," because that's the actual name of his party, Time. 

A later story about the regional elections in the Ruhr, which returned near equal votes for the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats while rejecting right wing and communist parties, gets the name right. Because there it's not scary!) And John McCloy had a bit of a day while addressing a convention of politicians and businessmen in the Ruhr, blowing up over German complaints about taxes, industrial reorganisation and refugees, and ending up reminding them that they lost the war. 

Time is not impressed with UNESCO, or the East German National Police, which are clearly an army in disguise. 

"Tragic Coincidence" The two Air France DC-4 losses at Basra are deemed, or hoped to be, a tragic coincidence. Rumours that the altimeters on the Saigon-Paris airliners were faulty have been rejected. The second plane's altimeter was checked and cleared. Paris newspapers have decided that something more sinister is going on, involving smuggling or secret talks with the Viet Minh. Or both! It could be both! 

"Refugee" The latest British author to be upset about high taxes is Nevil Shute, who is going to fly off to Australia with his two daughters so that they can finish their education in a "prosperous but somewhat uncultured country, or return this bleak but cultured and traditional land." Also, if the Conservatives cut taxes, he'll be able to keep more than the £3000 he made after tax on his latest book. 

In Spain, Franco is fighting with the monarchists, while the Swiss government wants all Swiss larders to have 20lbs of sugar, flour, rice and fats, just in case. (OF WWIIII BUT DON'T PANIC.) Time's Dana Adams Schmidt has fled Czechoslovakia just ahead of the secret police who were presumably just about to arrest him for being too free; while freedom marches onward in France, where the Communists lost their majority on a board that administers the French social security funds in a recent election. Adams fills out a good page or so explaining why the Czechoslovakian communists are so awful. Norwegians being silly instead of awful, are considering a law forbidding drivers from drinking three hours before or after driving. Fighting for their place in the world silliness sweepstakes, a quarrel between two old Greek men, over a well ends with the one poisoning the other's milk before it can be sold; while in Russia a movie claiming that a Russian invented the radio, as Russian movies like to do, got bad reviews. Too bad, says Time. What it really needed was more Loretta Young. And Mao Tse Tung gave an address to the Communist Party conference that was annoyingly moderate. Time reminds us that Mao clearly has how own timetable for radical, total revolution, and the West can't give him the time to carry it out. 

In this hemisphere, Latins are very upset about allegations of coffee-price fixing. A delegation of ambassadors (American ambassadors to coffee countries as well as Latin ambassadors to America) trooped into Dean Acheson's office to suggest that there is a Communist plot to drive coffee prices down(!) Everyone agreed that as long as the price held at 77 cents a pound, no-one would worry any more about price fixing. 

Peru had a tiny bit of a revolution, but nothing much, and a small-town Ontario congregation is riled by its Baptist minister. who tells the congregation (by which he means the three members who belong to a Masonic lodge over there in Hagersville) that Masons can't be Christians. The witch burnings are being held over until the 25 million American tourists show up.

And British Columbia's plan to reimburse the Japanese Canadian community with $1,222,8890 for the forced sale of their property "wind[s] up an affair of which no Canadian can be proud." Here, by the way, is the Chinese idiom I found to translate "sweeping under the rug." This passage doesn't make sense, and I don't think this means everything is wound up by a long shot. And Bolivia had a soapbox derby, showing that someone, somewhere, managed to have a wholesome week. 


"How Bad is Big" Charlie Wilson gave a talk in Atlantic City denouncing trustbusting, which is clearly causing the downfall of America right now. Time goes on to explain why he is right, and the trustbusters are wrong. Meanwhile, the bear market continues to not be. State of Business reports that the economy is going gangbusters as everyone wants to buy stuff and everyone has money to spend. Since everyone is piling on with wasting paper, up comes the Committee or Conference or some such "C" word for/on/of/on top of and jumping up and down Economic Development to report that American productivity has tripled in the last fifty years and everyone has to be socially responsible in ensuring that everyone benefits from this and so on argle bargle government has to cut taxes to keep it going. (This time, because there will be more retirements in the future so there has to be more increase in productivity, and unlike the last fifty years it will only be possible in the future if the government cuts taxes. I swear, they'd say that cutting taxes cured cancer if they could!) 

There's a nice bit about the runup in Egyptian cotton prices after Farghaly Pasha and Ali Yehia Pasha colluded to corner the market. See, Mr. Wilson. This is why you need antitrtust! Business also checks in at Lustron Creek, where the RFC is hauling out the machinery (and the confidential files) and selling them for what they can get, in their spare time fighting off Congress and Lustron's creditors.  Also, good Heavens, basing point schemes again. 

Medicine, Education

"Good Report" Charles Pfizer updates us on terramycin, which seems to be effective and safe, although clinical trials are expected to continue for two more  years. Gynecologist William S. Kroger of Chicago and endocrinologist S. Charles Freed of San Francisco are dirty old men. The FTC and the drug companies have called a truce over anti-cold drug ads. The industry has agreed to stop implying that they cure colds, and the FTC has agreed not to nail their hides to the wall. 

Time does a brief roundup of some notable commencement addresses because some trees just deserve to die. DIE, TREES, DIE! Freshmen students can spell "Appalachian." Santa Barbara School is almost like a New England prep school, except it is in California. Audrey L. Ashby, the alumni NBC executive who "sanitised" Olivet College, has left after two years, deeming it well and truly purged of Communist-Socialist-Leftist-Liberal influences.  

Radio-Television, Art, Press, People

WNEW's latest publicity bid involves putting some children on to read from scripts and pretend to be newscasters, while Lonesome Gal is the latest and strangest radio hit. She wants to remind all the other gals out there that she's not trying to steal their guy, just keep him in a romantic mood. Cameo Theatre's (NBC) dramatisation of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery was something else. 

Pablo Picasso is this week's cover story, which takes up all the space that Time might have spent telling you about the latest artists. And that we might have spent telling you about the latest artist's remarkable houses! Or Corbusier, to split the difference. 

The Scripps-Howard papers in New York are on strike, which is big news if you live in New York and work in journalism. Actually, tongue out of cheek, I'm impressed that Time kept it to a single page! That might be because it had a chance to take a shot at The Daily Worker, which once again committed the horrible blunder of apologising for some stories that cast Coloureds in a stereotypical light. What's wrong with that, Time asks?

Walter Winchell has once again turned some fugitive murder suspects over to the police. Liberty magazine has been sold to Lawrence Holmes, who publishes the girlie books Taboo and Night and Day. Reuters correspondent John Peet has defected to East Germany. 


Admiral Nimitz and Ralph Bunche turned out for a game of horseshoes while in Berkeley to give a commencement address. Gracie Fields thinks that modern comedians are too reliant on their scripts.  Shirley Yamaguchi is in Hollywood giving interviews. Shirley May Francis is going to try to swim the English Channel again. Westbrook Pegler has eventually deigned to turn up to give a deposition in the libel suit Quentin Reynolds brought against him. Sidney Blackmer is Father of the Year, according the National Father's Day Committee. Groucho Marx's son, Arthur, has published a novel,

while Harpo Marx couldn't attend his son's grammar school graduation because he was too busy fishing in BC, but sent a nice telegram. Marylyn Hauoli Thorpe has married; also James Branch Cabell, who isn't as old as I assumed from the way that old people are always on about him. (71.) Harold Mitchell, the Connecticut GOP gubernatorial candidate for four days, has died, as Time reported and I alluded. So have Dr. William Freeman Snow and the Reverend Brother Paul Scanlan.

Cinema has an interesting story about Hollywood's  Italian-movie making rush.

The New Pictures has Bright Leaf, "the story of the rise of the cigarette," which is "neither firm nor fully packed." Love That Brute is an attempt to repeat the success of Tall, Dark and Handsome, but tastes have changed (Grown, Time implies. Wow!) and no-one likes gangster comedies any more.  Time really doesn't like Peter Price. Or The Rocking Horse Winner, come to that. 


Robert Penn Warren's World Enough and Time steals its title from a poem that I could talk about for awhile. So unlike a Robert Penn Warren novel, that's for sure! I mean, he did for Huey Long, and that's all to the good, but what's he done for us lately? Unbelievably, he even returns to the same subject matter, which is okay in a murder mystery writer, but here it looks like cashing in. Or maybe I'm just grumpy about Understanding Poetry. Or the weather here. So send the New Agrarians back to the hollow they came from and crack me another green coconut!

 Osbert Lancaster's There'll Always be a Drayneflete is a book about a silly, made-up town by one of Britain's premier cartoonists. It has lots of pictures and is supposed to be a parody of a local guide. Time liked it, especially the part that made fun of fellow travellers.

Henri Beyle's Lucien Leuwen (Book One: The Green Huntsman) is the first volume in  translation of Beyle's classic, made available a mere fifty-six years after French publication. (He's Stendhal, if  you were wondering about this famous French author you never heard of, which you probably weren't. Don't start it if you're not up for the fact that Stendahl didn't live to write the happy ending.) Lin Yutang's On the Wisdom of America is some kind of parody of the  "Wisdom of the East" genre, but I'm not sure that Lin meant it as a parody, and Time is too stiff to take it as one. 

Aviation Week, 26 June 1950

News Digest reports that the first F-94 has been delivered to the Air Force's 319th All-Weather Squadron, and that the first North American RB-45C has also been delivered for evaluation tests. 

Industry Observer reports that A.V. Roe wants Canada to buy more A. V. Roe stuff so that the industry can be self-sustaining, while Scandia is looking for production capacity in Italy to make a go of its Scandia 90 DC-3 replacement, which is silly unless it thinks that Italian labour is really, really cheap. Sperry Zero Readers will make the F-95A much easier to fly, since it is a one-man plane with a radar and just ask Reggie about how that's likely to work out. The SBAC Challenge cup in Leeds in July will feature the latest Meteor, Venom, Attacker I and a new Hawker jet fighter in a 100-km closed circuit race. British flight safety researchers are experimenting with an explosive device for rapidly opening aircraft fuselages.

"Pod Plane: Solution to Cargo Problems?" If you haven't heard about those experimental external cargo packs that KLM has been playing around with on its Constellations, it is because Reggie and I have forgotten to tell you about them. Fairchild wants to take it to the next step and put detachable pods into their XC-120, a C-119 follow-on. This is old news, too, so I have a feeling that Fairchild is getting some resistance from the Air Force and is looking for some publicity. 

"Escort Fighter Evaluation Begins" The Air Force would like to escort its bombers, as in WWII, and is evaluating the F-88, F-90 and F-93 for the role, with a 200 plane order in the offing. This is actually an "intercept-escort" requirement, reaching 50,000ft in 5 minutes, with a supersonic dash capability, missile armament, and the capability for automatic control by radio linkage to the automatic pilot, which should be possible by 1955. The contractors are directed to give some thought to newer, lighter metals. The article goes on to bery briefly describe the planes. 

Oops. Aviation Week has to correct a little boo-boo and tell us that the Meltbond article was written by N. H. Simpson and D. A. Tooley of Convair.

Production has a blurb on the  renovations at Lockheed, mentioning its neat new heavy machine tools from Hufford, Hydrotel and Ceco.

And for some reason Grumman winning the Navy's carrier-based antisub aircraft contract goes here. It will be the XAF-3, at least until it loses the "X."

"Edo's Electronic Efforts Pay Off" Edo has gone from building aircraft floats to "shipborne sonar equipment for airborne application." That's code for sonar buoys. Quick, go tell a Communist spy! 

New Products Digest has a tractor for moving power units from Industrial Electronics and Transformer, which makes ground power units, while the Herbrand division of Bingham-Herbrand of Fremont, Ohio has a magnetic probe for retrieving nuts, bolts and the like, Rolyn a new and improved fuel tank cap, and Barber-Colman a rheostat for cabin heat control with auromatic heat, bypass valves and manual override. 

Aeronautical Engineering has David A. Anderson, "Challenge for Transport Plane Designers," whihchis a precis of a talk by Sir Frederick Handley-Page. Faster and more fuel efficient aircraft means smoother design, smoother design implies longer runways, that's not practical, so bring on the boundary layer control (to make flaps more effective) nad rocket engines. Oh, and surely we can get rid of these annoying landing gears by some simple expedient like paving ten thousand foot runways with thick layers of rubber! 

"Plating Scheme: New Phosphorus Alloys Ease Deposit Problems, Have Many Applications" This reads like advertorial, but it is from the National Bureau of Standards. It has been having success with plating schemes, and finds a bath of phosphoric acid the best rinse for the job. 

"Rotor Tell-Tale Aids Blind Flight" Aircraft instruments on helicopters are still a bit . . . scattered would be the kind way of putting it. It's a problem almost of figuring out what it is useful to tell the pilot. Bell thinks it has an answer. Pilots want to know rotor angle more than fuselage angle when they're flying less than 40mph and have misplaced the ground. Reading off rotor angle remotely is a bit tricky, but they've found a way, using a Selsyn transmitter. Have I mentioned A. V. Roe Canada (Avro Canada) lately? I have not! So I will now mention that they have a polishing tool for turbine blades. It is like maple syrup on beaver tail. Or an automatic version of a sanding belt. (Actually, it's not like that at all, but I decline to parrot their incomprehensible description.) Either way, it is very nice and very Canadian! The CAA's Engineering Forum is looking in to the way that flashing lights affect flight safety. The general idea is that flashing gets more attention and is better, but there might be all sorts of problems, such as tracking the object and the electrics of the flash, which might cause radio frequency interference if they involve great swings of voltage.

reports "New Approach Radar Designed" CAA is paying Bendix $2.5 million for the new airport survelleance and let-down equipment, which has electronic mapping and is sensitive enough to pick up a Piper Cub at 30 miles.  Shorter range and more discriminate PAR systems guide planes in talking down and final approach. 

Pratt and Whitney takes out an ad to explain that everything is fine now that it has broken up with Rolls-Royce because the J-48 is a great engine, and who cares about any silly old Avon, anyway?

Letters is overwhelmed by all the reader's letters about how great the article about Fairchild's Lark production programme was. They are absolutely not by the author's mother. 

Editorial is very upset at the Pullman ad that implied that flying was . . . UNSAFE! And spends a full page on not just Pullman, but its ad company. How dare they say that flying is unsafe? Why don't they say that drugs are unsafe? That would be false advertising? Where's the government regulation?

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