I hope I didn't give the wrong impression last week. I am not some daring aviatrix flying over the entire South Seas. I have just taken a few weekend jaunts to some islands here and there to meet with old friends of the family. It is so sedate that I have met Uncle George along the way! Of course I am trying to shore up the family's business, but my real motive is that it is so boring in Formosa with Reggie up flying around looking for Russian radio waves. (Not much sign of that, by the way.) As my boredom will solve itself soon, no-one needs to worry that I am about to crash the next generation into the vruel sea.
And with that protestation, I seem to have exhausted the space and time I have for this little note. I hope I don't sound too exasperated at my well-wishing relatives. I even hope to see some out Formosa way this winter!
Your Loving Daughter,
Time, 21 August 1950
"I'll Tell You Why" America seems oddly peaceful compared with Korea. You can hardly even see mobilisation, but Americans have "cocked an anxious ear to the sounds of the battle along the Naktong." Also, Sir Gladwyn Jebb is Time's new hero, because he cuts Ambassador Malik down to size. (Unlike Time, which gives him a three page story just ahead of Foreign News, mainly because Time is so pleased with all the anti-communism going on at the UN right now.)
Also, the Progressive Party has kicked Henry Wallace out and replaced him with Lee Pressman. Because pinkos are awful, that's why. Not that the President seems to understand that, with his weak-as-water response to the Mundt-Ferguson Bill, which will teach Communists to oppose America's freedom by, among other things, making it a crime for them to even apply for a passport.
Louis Falstein's Face of a Hero is another attempt to write the Great WWII Novel, and Time is as grumpy about it as it just was at the movies. M. M. Musselman's Get a Horse! is about Musselman writing the history of the pioneering American automobilist. It was supposed to be about just the pioneering American etc., but Musselman kept getting in Musselman's way. Giovanni Guareschi's The Little World of Don Camillo is --Oh, God, it is Time's only Italian news story, but in the form of a novel. There's a godless mayor and a militant priest in a small Italian village, and they fight and fight and fight. Literally, since Don Camillo punches people. Now that's-a novel! David Loughlin's A Private Stair is a sail through Joseph Conrad's waters, and Time thinks the comparison is legitimate. We'll see, but off hand that seems more Dickensian, burden of great expectations --Look, I can't help it if the Sisters neglected your literary education! Alice Woodward's Merchant of the Ruby is a historical adventure.
The Bell X-1 will be on show at the Boston meeting of the Air Force Association, and Eastern is experimenting with reversible props on a Constellation, and is planning to operate them on its Martin 4-0-4s.
Time spends a page wringing its hands about the fact that Korea is a very small war and that there hasn't been much mobilisation because there doesn't need to be, but also on the other hand maybe it will turn into a very big war and then we will have needed all of that mobilisation and what then, hunh? I haven't read this much journalistic going-around-in-circles since I lost my subscription to The Economist to the epidemic.
Although to be fair to Time, even it has had enough when Kenneth Wherry tries to shout down Millard Tydings' report that the United States gave South Korea almost $800 million in military aid before the war. It lays out Wherry's votes against the military assistance programme, foreign economic aid, the Atlantic pact, the Greek-Turkish aid package, and selective service in a footnote. In spite of which occasional injections of the actual historical record, it sounds as though the Senate race in Illinois is getting hot.
Tearing its eyes away from Congress, Time notices that another atom spy has been arrested; that the Administration has had enough of being needled in the UN about "the Negro problem" and so is sending Edith Sampson to join the US Delegation; that General Walter Bedell Smith is replacing Rear Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter as head of the CIA; and that unemployment is so low in New York that the state fired 500 workers in the unemployment office because there was nothing for them to do. Speaking of an "overheating" economy, Time stops by the "housewife" department and gets an earful about rising prices. To its credit, I think this is why Mr. Luce's organ is so enthusiastic about Presidential price (and maybe wage) control powers. Without them, inflation is bound to keep on going as long as we try to mobilise while still maintaining a peacetime economy. And as Senator Taft points out (Gah! I'm agreeing with Bob Taft!) Korea is far too small a war (9000 US casualties so far) to justify a total war mobilisation. The only argument for mobilisation is that either we expect the Russians to attack us any minute now, which would be suicide, or we expect to be attacking someone. Specifically, of course, Red China. And by "we," I mean Henry Luce. Henry Luce expects to be attacking Red China soon.
Under Communist, not Americana, word that artist Rockwell Kent has been denied a passport to go sit on an art jury in Prague because Communism is bad because it deprives people of freedoms like foreign travel.
Henry Luce's organ goes on: "[T]here is no doubt that if Stalin threw caution to the winds and ordered Mao to march south with everything he had, the French would be swept into the sea." The local Reds are talking about a "general offensive" in the fall, but "there is no doubt" that they are too weak to expell the French. Time is polite to Ho, but posits that he is a figurehead of the Viet Minh Politburo, led by "rising young extremists" like Vo Nguyen Giap. Who is "ruthless" and "bloodthirsty" and massacres whole villages while burying French prisoners alive.
War in Asia reports on "The Turning Point?" US and South Korean troops are still holding a perimeter around Pusan, and Northern attacks are being punished by heavy artillery and air attack. Time correspondent James Bell checks in from "No Name Ridge," assaulted last week by the Marines after a heavy artillery bombardment and a quarter-hour attack by Marine Corsairs armed with bombs, rockets and machine guns, followed by another bombardment and then another air attack. The Marines then attacked, bravely and heedless of casualties until they were almost at the top, and then broke and recoiled. Then there was yet another bombardment, and then there was a second wave assault, and the Marines took the hilltop. Everyone was brave, the South Koreans were good stretcher bearers, and lots of brave boys died bravely. Not a word on the North Koreans who stood up to all that air attack, and, as Uncle George points out, were probably out of ammunition when the second wave went in.
"Bigger Prop for Bigger Jobs" Wright Aeronautical is showing off an eight-blade dual prop with blades that look at least 7ft long. Exactly what engine would produce enough power for this prop isn't clear, as the biggest plant anyone is working on is the Northrop Turbodyne, and even though GE has bought the Turbodyne from Northrop I'm not sure it is going anywhere. I guess the idea is it might go on the XB-52 if it is built as a turboprop.