Saturday, March 20, 2021

Postblogging Technology, December 1950, I: Crisis!

Vancouver, Canada

Dear Father:

This comes to you probably just a few hours before I leave for Macao for Christmas, probably followed closely by the end of December number, which I have practically finished already, so no deep, prophetic pronouncements about the future, ephedrine-stimulated or otherwise. I do my best to bring you the fevered spirit of "crisis" that was out and about in early December, before X Corps made it back to the south and the UN defence line firmed up. We will never know what America might have done if the whole of 1st Marine Division had gone into Chinese prisoner of war cages, and probably for the best. 

We will probably know quite soon how America responds to an extended stalemate in Korea. I don't know. How seriously are we taking this? On short wave the only thing I get out of America is Phil Harris, and it doesn't seem that serious. Or maybe there's a sinister subtext?

Your Loving Daughter,

Time, 4 December 1950


Merle Fischlowitz of Grinnell, Iowa predicts that Taft will be Man of the Year (as recommended by John Erhard of Scranton), but prefers Dean Acheson for his "fatal diplomacy." C. B. Robinson of New Hampshire likes General MacArthur, while Judah Dick of NY wants Trygve Lie. Melanie Bernstein and Corporal Balme of Camp Breckenridge have concerns about Selective Service and the Army Reserves, which seem to be interacting in a way that is unfair to many people. Some people really liked George Bernard Shaw, and some people didn't. Some people liked the obit in Time, others didn't. That's what, sixteen possible letters? But there's only room for six! William Barlow explains the financing of his new Vision magazine, while Brian Acworth of Oxford writes to tell Time that the rest of Oxford is very embarrassed for Robert Robinson, just like the rest of the world. Mike Murphy didn't like Across the River and Through the Trees, but now that Waugh and Faulkner have written in to say that you shouldn't criticise unless you can do better, Murphy doesn't know what to say. Except that he still thinks it stinks. Our Publisher writes to explain why Time has a Russian Desk. It's because someone has to see through Soviet propaganda, and who better than a lifelong journalist and two Russian emigres

National Affairs

"Between Friends" As far as I can summarise without having an apoplectic fit, General MacArthur's seven-division drive to the Yalu is about to be crowned with glorious success, so when our allies argue for a Korean buffer state along the Yalu to save Communist face, they are just worrying over nothing at the risk of appeasing global communism. I would say that Time deserved to have the entire Marine Corps taken prisoner, except that when it looked like that was going to happen, it just waved the bloody shirt. (Speaking of which, US casualties as of this week, 4,993 dead, 20,568 wounded, 4,435 missing.) 

"What About Japan?" The United States wants out of Japan, hopefully leaving it as a "strong ally to the West in the fight against Communism." I'm sure glad we fought WWII to defeat Japan and the Axis Powers! I guess sarcasm aside, there's not much to be done as long as Stalin won't stop pushing, so the issue is to get from here to there, and to that end the Americans want a "vetoless peace conference of the 13 Allies" who fought in the Pacific War that will allow those who want to make peace to make peace. It has been suggested that the US will seek a UN trrusteeship over the Ryukyus, or, in other words, Okinawa, that the Russians will give up the Kurile Islands to the UN General Assembly, while Formosa's fate will also be left to the "veto-free" General Assembly. This "Russia and Peking give up everything they have in hand so that Japan is free to join the ranks of the anti-communist powers" is apparently the plan of John Foster Dulles, certified diplomatic genius. Also, we're sending another 416 million to Tito to fight the famine in Yugoslavia. Sigh. I miss being able to summarise The Economist and write "Jugoslavia" instead. Also, the lame-duck 81st Congress is straggling back to Washington less about half of its members due to cold season. 

The President has sent along a note demanding statehood for Alaska and Hawaii, $14 billion to top up defence to $42 billion(!!!!!) this year, a $4 billion tax bill with a 75% excess profits tax, $250 million more for the H-bomb(10 to the 10th power exclamation marks!), an extension of rent controls, which will expire at the end of December otherwise, and $75 more millions for Tito. On the executive side, Truman can't fill half the positions he needs for price stabilisation boards, so he is bringing back dollar-a-year men in spite of being their number one enemy back when he was running the Truman Committee. As a sop to the Truman of '43, Truman '50 says he is reinforcing rules against dollar-a-year men steering business towards their businesses. He is also on the hock for $85 million for excess eggs under price support. Time takes a moment to remind us that price supports for farms are "the mad terms of a foolish law," and hopefully shares rumours that Brannan will be out the door tomorrow. Also, Erle Cocke is the new head of the American Legion, which fact he decided to celebrate with a two mile parade in his hometown of Dawson, Georgia, attended by George Marshall and John Snyder, because the national commander of the American Legion can do that kind of thing and it is fine. (I wonder how many eggs you can buy for a two-mile parade in Dawson, Georgia, costs?) Abe Brothman and Miriam Moskowitz are guilty of spying for Russia. 

"Trouble From the Sky" I hear the weather Stateside has been quite something this December! Flooding out west, snow in the Midwest, a cold snap in the South, tidal surges, blizzards and wind back East. Looks like that sneaky Canadian cold front has invaded again.

"The New Neighbour" Oak Park, Illinois, is the "middle class capital of the world," because it is a 63,000 person bedroom community of Chicago, fifteen of which less non-bedrooms belong to the 15 room, $34,000 house recently bought by Percy Levon Julian, AM, PhD, head of soya bean research for Gidden Company. Which he hasn't been able to move into because the water commissioner won't turn on the water and some arsonists tried to set it on fire. But he's moving in on New Year's Day and anyone else throwing kerosene bombs through windows will be shotgunned by the round-the-clock guard who will be patrolling the propery from now on.  

Manners and Morals reports that Ernest Kolesiak of South Bend, Indiana, is fine after the home television antenna he was adjusting cross a 27,000 volt power line, as are his home, wife and neighbours in spite of all the fireballs and molten metal sprayed around, although the family dog ran away and won't come home. US citizens spent over 178 billion dollars last year, a third of it on food. They spent twenty times more on clothes and jewelry than on religion and welfare, as much on drink as on medical care, and three times as much on tobacco as on private education and research. A 90-year-old New Mexican claiming to be Billy the Kid has put in for a pardon from the governor and won't meet with officials to prove his identity until he has received it. "The Bite Before Christmas" isn't a Manners and Morals story, but should be. NYPD policeman aren't allowed to receive Christmas "presents" this year. 

"Death Rides the Long Island" This time around, it's not Time's train that crashed, but the one next over. The Long Island Line is pretty rickety, but failing to start on a block signal to proceed is worse than rickety. It was probably due to the air brakes jamming in a forty-year-old-car, and led to the 6:13 ramming the 6:09 after it ignored a stop sign on the assumption that the line would be cleared in time, as usually(!) happens. This also goes to show that smoking is definitely bad for you, because the front and rear cars respectively were smoking cars. I am so whimsical. Anyway, 77 dead, the worst since the '43 Pennsylvania Central crash that killed 79 people. The New York press, not to mention everyone else, thinks that it is high time to look at the profits that the Pennsylvania is taking out of the Long Island.

War in Asia

"The UN At War" Time is upset that the UN allowed Wu Hsiu-chuan's delegation to be seated as . . . something, and talk about peace and stuff like that, including whether the UN should talk about just Formosa and Korea, or Formosa and Korea together. The US won that point, but Time still chooses to see this as being as big a defeat as the "20-mile hole in the UN lines in Korea." This leads on to the battlefront story, "Massive Envelopment," which as of this writing, was still the envelopment MacArthur was promising from the airfield at Sinanju, where MacArthur met Walker and I Corps' Frank Milburn. Time then goes on to admit that  MacArthur's advance had been halted in its tracks by a Chinese counterattack in the west, while the marines were still advancing northwards without much resistance, although an attempt to attack westward to relieve the presusre on X Corps made no ground. "Rats in a Corncrib" reports that the estimated 40,000 Communist guerillas operating behind UN lines are doing quite well for themselves, and tells us about the dramatic scene of Major Charles Hoge, the KMAG advisor to the ROK National Police at Chungchon, liming into Seoul on "sore legs and blistered feet," survivor of an ambush. Also, the United Nations Commission on the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea is in Seoul to face down Syngman Rhee's government about who is in charge north of the 38th. (The UN, if you were wondering. The South Koreans disagree, as you would think they would.) 

"Typhoon Expected" Time's man at Moncay, the last French-held point along the China-Indo-China border, puts his head up over the parapets to taste the air and pronounce it "Calm, too calm." In the Cercle Sportif, a French officer refuses to join a "Vietnamese-French society," because it is not a "French-Vietnamese society," and this is just too much for him, as a Viet Minh mortar bombardment develops, preparatory to the possible fall of the outpost of Tammai just west of Moncay. 
Pirate Bay!


"Union: But Just Not Now" I wonder if there are going to be as many stories about this before it happens as there were about the international civil aviation treaties? The latest installment of "Talking About Talking About the United States of Europe" features all the usual hits. Britain's planned economy is too planned, but on the other hand the Schuman Plan is too much plan. Germany now gets to raise its own regiments, and everyone agrees that the Schuman Plan should go ahead because it is good for the defence of Europe to have an integrated coal and steel market. 

"Insurgent Revival" When King Farouk called for the cancellation of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty, there were consequences he could not have foreseen! Specifically, a Labour MP called for the cancellation fo the next delivery of British arms, including 16 brand-new Centurion tanks, on the grounds that if Egypt was going to go cancelling mutual aid treaties, it probably wasn't a reliable ally. I think Egypt's position is more-or-less that it is an oppressed semi-colony, which is not what you want in a stalwart ally, if you ask me (and who did?!?), so that's probably true. On the other hand, Egypt has lots of sterling, and Centurion tanks are a thing that Britain can sell them, so Bevin ignored him, but then Woodrow Wyatt (said MP) arranged a midnight debate on the subject and made noises about bringing the Government down, so the 80 Labour MPS who then got their way on tanks, moved on to target Bevin's anti-communist foreign policy on other fronts. Not that anyone is expecting it to go anywhere, since it is not like the Tories are going to vote to press for a ceasefire in Korea or peace talks with Russia. 
Egypt's not going to get any Centurions

In other "always be an England" matters, the form that British farmers have to fill out to get government funds for livestock feed are very complicated, which is funny; the Reds have decided to turn over the RAF pilot and Army driver they were holding against Alexandre Bystrov, because the thing had no legs, and Sir Frank Whittle is pushing a move to persuade 20 million Britons(!) to emigrate to the Dominions before Britain is atom-bombed into oblivion or blockaded into starvation. His argument is that it would be good for Britain, but then he launches into the picture of you know what leaving sinking ships, the point being that they won't be rats because the ship won't sink if the British depopulate their little island before the Communists have a chance. Time says Whittle is veering towards "utopianism," whereas I say that it's clear that he hasn't come back from his crackup. 

In a bit of a swerve for Time, the usual story about an eccentric French criminal and the eccentric French criminal justice system that can't keep them off the street is footnoted with a story in a similar spirit from New Zealand. I didn't even know that New Zealand had crime! 

"Thirteen Million Slaves" The gigantic new Soviet hydroelectric dams on the Volga, Dniepr and Amu Darya were all designed by a group led by S. Y. Zhuk, notorious for the White Sea Canal, which was awful. This time around, he will have said thirteen million slaves to draw on. Meanwhile, Communism is terrible because Communists disseminate anti-American propaganda about how there is race prejudice against Coloureds in America.

Communism is also bad because Bulgaria is kicking out 250,000 Bulgarians of Turkish descent, a Dutch town has a Communist municipal government, which is quite clearly ridiculous, which is why the Dutch government dissolved it this week. Madrid is suffering from drought and brownouts, but that isn't because of Communism, and certainly not Fascism. Communists also want Eritrea, the former Italian colony along the Red Sea coast that walls off Ethiopia from the sea, to be an independent country, whereas America wants it to be "given home rule within a great Ethiopia."

"Haven't We Met?" The world's press is still stuck in the India-Tibet border town of Kalimpong, looking for stories to justify their existence while they wait for the probably mythical treasure caravan of the Dalai Lama to make its way across the border in flight from the Reds. These include the "Buddhist Wizard" who blows tunes for the dying on a flute made of a human thigh; a British officer turned Buddhist convert who proselytises for the Hinayana at his self-founded Young Men's Buddhist Association house, much to the outrage of Mahayana practitioners; Joseph Rock, still at work on a Tibetan-English transliteration, Protestant missionary Rene Nebesky; Danish royal anthropologist, Prince Peter, "the MacDonalds, a jovial Scottish-Tibetan family" that runs the Himalayan Hotel, and the absolutely crackpot English Buddhist converts who claim to recognise each other from previous lives. Those Buddhists are just the most preciously exotic things. 

Speaking of far and exotic places, Canada is in the midst of a craze for talking about talking about civil defence, while Chile is building a steel plant at Huachipato with a $48 million Export-Import Bank loan, while Peron remains awful and the Venezuelan junta is hardly any better. Chile is going to buy two US war surplus cruisers at 10% of costs plus reconditioning, while Brazil is to receive two  heavy cruisers and some DEs, Argentina will also get two heavy cruisers, Peru will get three DEs, and Venezuela and Colombia have signed up for some light craft.

It seems like a lot more money stands to be made if the Latins can be persuaded to sink each other. Something to look into?


"Ahead of the Dream" Way back in January, the President predicted that our national production of goods and services might rise from its then-253.8 billion to as much as $300 billion in five years, but this now seems pretty pessimistic, as the Commerce Department reports that the total is set to hit an annual rate of $284.3 billion in the third quarter. 

"Star Witness" Colin Stamm's testimony on the potential effect of an excess profits tax has given the Democratic majority on the Ways and Means Committee pause, and they are thinking about cutting the excess profits tax rate considerably and pairing it with a modest increase in the corporate income tax rate. In other dubious news, the American-Canadian Uranium Company appears to be a Canadian stock exchange-style Lost Dutchman fraud. Not at all dubious is North American Aviation taking over the Navy's reserve aircraft plant at Columbus, Ohio, previously operated by Curtiss-Wright, which is getting out of the airplane business. What, exactly, he might be building there is unknown, but North American has the biggest backlog in the industry and it was affecting their book value. Dutch Kindelberger has said some things that suggest that it might actually be a guided missile contract, being as how the day of the manned aircraft is almost done. 

"Disgraceful" Senator Herbert O'Connor has discovered that the export controls and restrictions that were supposed to prevent the flow of strategic materials behind the Iron Curtain and to China have failed "disgracefully," largely, it looks, as though we forgot to define what a strategic material was. For example, one shipper supplied China with silicon steel, which is essential for electrical instruments, on the flimsy excuse that it wasn't shipping US-made silicon steel, and that the manufacturing country didn't have export controls on the product. A similar scheme allowed the export of Japanese copper to China. Because copper is strategic, too. 

The Dow-Jones is up again. This week's explanation is that the Korean War might be over soon and maybe Congress is about to give up on an excess profits tax. More importantly, maybe, dividend payments are absolutely raining down. On the other hand, auto dealers are finding their inventory building up, showing that the Federal Reserve's efforts to cut down on consumer lending are working, and the Federal Reserve has also won on the Treasury rates front, pushing the rate on the new five-year notes up to 1.25%. This will make federal debt more expensive, but push back against inflation. 

Science, Medicine, Education

 "Everyman's Atomics" The Brookhaven National Laboratory has published a design for a "continuous cloud chamber" that could be built and operated by a high school science teacher. Regular cloud chambers are airtight chambers with movable diaphragms or pistons to rarefy the enclosed air, which supersaturates them with water vapour with droplets that scintillate when struck by cosmic ray particles. The continuous cloud chamber seems to rely on the temperature difference between a tray of water on top and a bed of dry ice on the bottom, but I say "seems" because I can't be bothered to parse out the Popular Science-style discussion. Don't blame me, I have something for dinner in the steamer and it is taking my attention!

"Flames in the Sky" Time explains what an afterburner is, mainly because everyone around Muroc, California, has seen them in the sky, and are wondering what those strange yellow flames streaking through the night might be. Time explains that their real performance statistics are a secret and that they are probably very inefficient. It doesn't go on at great length, like Flight, to explain why a given afterburner might not actually work very well. 

"Water Boiler" If anyone should want to build a "low power nuclear reactor," the AEC is ready to tell them how, according to a new Declassification Guide, issued in coordination with Britain and Canada. Large scale reactors are still a secret, but the Guide covers everything up to the new "HYPO" ("High Power") so-called "Water Boiler," which commenced operation at Los Alamos in 1944. It consisted of a stainless steel tank about a foot in diameter containing a water solution of uranyl nitrate with 1.9lbs of U-235. Water running through pipes coiled around the tank kept it cool, and the reactor is self-stabilising, since as the solution heats up, it expands and this reduces the reaction rate. Clear? As mud! I can imagine how it might work, but I have to guess that the steel tank in the middle isn't full. On the other hand, I skipped the part where there is a tube in the middle giving communication to the tank, so the solution might expand up the tube? 

"Safer Motherhood" The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that motherhood is getting safer due to the spread of antiseptic methods to reduce childbed fever, which as reduced maternal death rates to 1 per thousand live births in 1949, down from 1.2 in 1948 and 6.2 per thousand in 1933. 

"Doctor's Dilemma" A doctor in Brownsville, Texas, has had his visiting privileges at the town's only hospital, Mercy, revoked for tying off the fallopian tubes of one of his patients after a Caesarean section, which has set off a bit of a scandal in town as everyone except the nuns who run the hospital are in favour of voluntary sterilisation in similar cases. (It was the mother's fifth pregnancy, her third high-risk delivery, and she had already lost two children in infancy.) A different scandal of resistance at a hospital is unfolding at Kingston-on-Thames, where the Health Ministry is trying to fold the old Victoria Hospital into the larger Kingston General as a specialised maternity ward, leading to everyone getting very excited and hot under the collar.  

"TV for Teacher" The Joint Committee on Educational Television has hired General Telford Taylor, formerly US prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, to press their case for an educational channel in every market, including 20% of all UHF channels, if and when they are opened up. Also, the  Welfare Council of New York sent some Coloured social workers to infiltrate the Coloured youth gangs and lead them back onto the straight and narrow with their gentle influence. It was somewhat successful. 

Art, Radio and Television, Press, People

Everyone likes 25-year-old British art student, Theo Hancock, who is doing paintings instead of going to class at Brown to learn whatever it is that people go to Brown to learn. Athos Menaboni does very, very good paintings of birds, which is why Menaboni's Birds is the art book of the season. Time thinks his wife is quite the bird, too.

"At the End of the Rainbow" Time catches up with Peter Goldmark and Frank Stratton at CBS, giving them, and by extension the CBS colour television system the cover story this week. By now the technical and legal story is old news. You should know what the CBS colour system is (an electromechanical system that alters the colour on the screen according to signals from CBS. The advantage is that televisions can be modified to produce CBS colour, and the colours are said to be more vibrant, but on the other hand existing black and white televisions can't really receive CBS broadcasts in black and white), and the opposing systems, including the one backed by RCA, which are purely electrical but therefore require special screens with coloured "pixels" that can be lit up by the electron gun, which means that existing black and white televisions cannot be modified into colour televisions) and also what the legal state of affairs is. The FCC decision in favour of the CBS system has been stayed by a judge's order. What are we left with? Well, for one thing, Time is frantic not to dwell on the Korean situation, suspecting that the American public  is all too willing to sell out the Koumintang to settle the war, and that means cover stories about anything but Korea. Beyond that, television is already big business and colour television will be much bigger business, and how soon we can have colour television depends on whether we bite on the CBS system or wait until the tri-colour tubes are actually being made in factories, and not just handbuilt in laboratories. Clear on the stakes? Now here are short biographies of Stratton and Goldmark.

Time visits the Long Island Newsday to get the scoop on its extra edition on the Long Island crash. Papers don't do extra editions much any more, but this was too big a story to pass up. Newsday also put the knife in by condemning itself in the extra editorial for not doing enough to bring the dangerious state of affairs at the Long Island Rail Road to the city's attention. Also, James Forrestal's diaries have been sold to the Herald Tribune Syndicate, which will be bringing them out as soon as they've whittled 2800 pages of entries into two hundred pages of scandal. Everyone who reads the Dallas News likes culture editor John Rosenfield, The Times of London saves its fourth leader for whimsical stories and now has an edition of them out, which Time tells us about because it is very literate and knows about Fourth Leaders, and we don't. Time seems awfully smug in reporting that the Amsterdam News has hired a white man as publisher after its circulation slipped.

Elisabeth Bergner is bankrupt, with the Manhattan sheriff realising $230 for her effects. Katherine Hepburn had to pay a speeding ticket in Oklahoma, Orson Welles is in trouble for suggesting that Germans were all closet Nazis. Jean Simmons, Great Garbo, King Farouk, Sir Arthur Sullivan, Oscard Wilde, David Rubinoff, Thomas F, Murphy, Joe Louis, Pablo Picasso, Paul Robeson, Henry Schricker,  Dutch royalty, Bernard Baruch, Herbert Hoover, Nehru, Andre Gide, Ignazio Silone, Arnold Toynbee, Winston Churchill and Hoagy Carmichael all make the paper. (The dead guys are in it because their copyrights lapse this week. Go ahead and sing some Gilbert and Sullivan in the bath, knowing that you don't owe license fees to anyone!) 
The captain of the '49 West Point team, 2nd Lieutenant John C. Trent, has been killed in action in Korea. William Jennings Miller, Alva Johnston, Johannes Vilhelm Jensen, and Sir Archibald Dennis Flower have also died. 
The New Pictures

Never a Dull Moment was supposed to be another Egg and I, and isn't. Fred MacMurray and Irene Dunne are not enough to make the slapstick funny. The West Point Story establishes the Time standard for what is too much flag waving and too much musical.  (Although, to be fair, Pentagon whispers about 8th Army being over-extended in Korea has driven a wedge between the generals and Time-Life.) It's a "little monster of flag-waving" and "hip-wagging." It does get a nice long review, even if it doesn't hurt to put a strange little glamour shot of Cagney and Virginia Mayo in the middle. Not satisfied to just stick the dagger into James Cagney as impresario turned West Point plebe and Mayo as, I guess, "Moll Wrapped In Tinfoil," Time turns its hungry eyes on Copper Canyon and carves out a "milestone of mediocrity" from its quivering, celluloid flesh.

Look, now I'm doing it! So, the point is, Copper Canyon is near the head of what looks like quite the rush of "Civil War Westerns" coming at us in the next few years. Time doesn't just find it dreary. It's also a bit lukewarm on ex-Confederate heroes.


Carl Sandburg is a very important poet, so an edition of his Complete Poems needs a good long review, even though because he is an Important Poet all you can really do is publish great long extracts of his poems. (William Carlos Williams cheats, because he is an Important Poet who is also a New England GP, and his latest book, Make Light of It is in the "Country GP tells stories" vein, and not important poems. But it isn't as though you can say anything bad about it, Important Poet and all.) 

Norman Denny edits The Yellow Book: A Selection, which needs plenty of explanation. Back in the 1890s, various young writers tried to scandalise "Victorians" by writing things. which they put in a quarterly, which was quite the scandal between 1894 and 1897, and nothing much today. That's your review.  Winston Churchill's latest volume is Hinge of Fate, covering December of 1941 to January of 1943. Time calls it the "richest cud" a historian could chew, and says that it is the "best foundation now in sight for the last word when it is written." The last word on World War II? When will that be? Will people even be able to read Churchill's English by that time? Will they be able to forgive the fact that Churchill doesn't shrink from reporting the catastrophes of Tobruk and Singapore, and says kind things about Rommel, but nothing about Yamashita? 

Aviation Week, 4 December 1950

News Digest reports that F-86A deliveries have caught up to schedule and that the F-86D all-weather fighter and F-86E with controllable horizontal tail surfaces are on track. Republic has revived its wartime programme offering aeronautical engineering work and credentials to men with other engineering specialisations if they'll just come work for Republic. Three F-94s have completed accelerated testing at Muroc, British aviation exports for October totalled just over $7 million and included 55 complete planes, 132 engines, 1746 tyres and nearly $3.5 million in accessories. The Comet is being tested with axial-flow engines replacing its Ghosts to reach "very long world stages."

Industry Observer reports that the minimum cost of a radar net for North America is now upwards of $5 billion, and expands on the control system for the F-86E's tail surface, which will give "finer longitudinal control at high subsonic speeds." It is through an independent power source instead of through power boosting, as currently, and is "irreversible," in that it doesn't neutralise as "air loads  press down upon the surfaces in flight." The British are now testing the third version of that Saro jet fighter flying boat because the USN asked for it? The Air Force has ordered 40,000 units of high intensity runway lights to fill USAF needs at a cost of $735,000. Equipment makers are struggling to meet the request, and existing equipment isn't good enough because it obstructs jets. The French are resuming testing of the SO-4000 jet bomber after the first prototype experienced undercarriage collapse in testing. (Undercarriage collapse? Have they done a pregnancy test? Just asking! I hope "traditional medicine" remedies for that are okay with the peanut gallery!) Ryan is discontinuing Navion production with 150 units sold, but is going ahead with a new model anyway. 

"Foreign Jet Plane Deliveries Speeded" But shh, it's a secret! Seriously. Aviation Week said that. So. Britain is going to get 500 F-86s. France will manufacture it. 300 F-84 Thunderjets will go to European nations soon. There's some more details about Army purchases of liaison planes and amounts of money in various military assistance programmes, but the big deliveries of F-86s and F-84s are the first big story. The F-86 is going to be "standardised in Europe," and Canada is testing an Orenda-powered version. The second big story is that until the Europeans get their industry's feet under them, they will be focussing on tactical air support and air transport. The first is presumably why they want the F-84, and the second leads into a story about British and Canadian representatives wanting to produce the C-119 overseas. Even though Fairchild has turned down the foreigners' desperate appeals, "military sources" say that France, Italy and Britain are all scheduled for C-119 deliveries. 

After some financial news, we hear that "ASME Hears Cargo Solutions" Which I think means that an ASME session heard Boeing and Douglas proposals to remedy America's shortage of cargo airlift by buying big fleets of Stratofreighters and C-124As, respectively. The ASME is in a more compromising mood, and suggests buying a bit of everything, including some DC-6s, too. 

Washington Roundup reports that the State Department has suggested that "$40--$55 billion" might be too much for defence. "Defence economy" is back! Aviation Week headed down to Foggy Bottom to see what these monsters are talking about. On their back foot at this revelation of their insidious machinations, the State Department suggested that maybe the Air Force could make sure that it has no deadwood in its non-flying ranks, that the current 69 group air force might be a good stepping stone on the way to 80 groups, that maybe the Strategic Air Command could get by with just six heavy bomber groups instead of the current 2, allowing for 67 continental air defence squadrons and one tactical air group per army division. Speaking of which, Senator Vinson may not hold those promised tactical air support hearings, after all. Airport operators, frustrated in their horizontal expansion plans, are talking about vertical expansion, with multiple tiers of "flight operations." If I'm reading this right, three underground floors of runways

Irving Stone, "New High-Thrust Turbojet Seen for GE: Company's GAs Turbine Engineers Confident of Leading British Soon" Considering how much the American taxpayer is putting up for this, I should hope so! In case you were wondering if this was the announcement of a new GE engine, it isn't. The article is mainly about factories, although it covers the latest version of the J47, the J47-GE-17, which has an afterburner, high altitude starting system, anti-icing and an electronic control system. But it is still a 5200lb thrust engine compared with the recently announced 7200lb Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire.  GE says that there's nothing to worry about, because it has better engines coming very soon. The rest of the article goes into the improvements in the J47 at great length, then talks about the new lab at one of its new factories, which is very nice with all the modern conveniences. 

"Air Bearing Gyro for Missile Guidance: Pickle Barrel Accuracy Envisioned Through Air-Film Lubrication That Reduces Friction to Nearly Zero"  In case  you're wondering why I am back to writing out the full subtitle, it is because it is a lot more interesting than the article, which explains how gyros work (finally! I was wondering! Kidding!) and tells us that air-film lubrication is so good it is practically like perpetual motion. Also, Fort Worth is getting a $360,000 contract for "environmental testing" of the B-36. I am not sure I want to be in any environment including the B-36. The PV-2 is loud enough for me! Australia has built a pilotless jet to test jets, carbide makes good bearings, fuel-filled floatplane floats are news again, jet noise is being studied. 

Sam H. Reiniger, "Ground Test for Omni Equipment" Omidirectional beacons work just fine to solve all air navigation problems right now also here is new kinds of tests that solve problems with earlier tests. This reads like an old Radio Digest article in that it is largely for an "omni tester" at the bench, and describes wonderful new equipment with crystal control for this and extra channels for that, all in aid of figuring out whether the omnidirectional beacon is pointing in the right direction without going up in a plane to chase radio waves. 

George L. Christian, "CAL: Progressive Midwest Carrier" Continental Air Lines has a nice workshop in Denver with some keen spark plug testers and this and that for testing its brand new Convair Liners. 

"British Report on Airborne Radar" BOAC is installing radar made by E. K. Cole in its Handley Page Hermes, because if it can't get off the ground anyway, you don't have to worry about the weight of your radars, and can built them accurately enough to give more than a "fuzzy impression" of clouds and such. Since the British build their cockpits big enough for a co-pilot, he can keep his eye on the radar and guide the pilot with helpful comments like "Eek, There's Mount Doom!" On a related subject, BOAC has invited the press inside to see the Comet's radio shack. 

New Aviation Products Barry Corporation makes air-damped shock mountings for aircraft things, while the Shakes Jet Gages by Safe Flight Instrument Corporation shakes things because sometimes aircraft are running so smoothly that there is not enough shaking to overcome the static friction in gauges. Really! That's what it says here! So for that you need this neat little 24v electric motor with which to shake up the instruments so that they will give you a reading.  to see how they stand up to vibration. The "Unicorn Portable VHF Control Tower" is a small two-way VHF radio set for airfields that can't afford anything more elaborate.

Airline news reports that Northwest has put its 2-02s back in operation because there is nothing wrong with it.  KLM has ordered more Super-Connies, while Eastern is taking three more DC-6s.

What's New has a new Spanish-English technical dictionary and new addresses for Adel Division, General Metals.

Editorial says that airlines are about as safe as rail roads, no matter what anyone says to the contrary, takes a look into the new Office of Guided Missiles, and, warmed up, launches into a half page and a bit on the CAB's horrible, inexcusable decision to raise coach fares.   

Time, 11 December 1950


Robert Frost, George Bernard Shaw, Taft, General MacArthur and Governor Warren get nominations as Man of the Year. George Haven writes that he was one of the 20 soldiers evacuated by helicopter as described in that Time story and he is grateful for Time reporting. Chet Schwarzkopf of Eureka says that the Democratic sentiment is that the November elections were a good lesson for the future. Readers disagree about The Lady's Not for Burning and about the review.  The Pollock showing at the Venice Biennal draws comment, mostly to the effect of "My two year old . . . " Correspondents agree that anti-vivisectionists should be dissected alive for the advancement of science. Our Publisher congratulates Time readers on the flood of charitable donations to Pastor Ye of Seoul and appoints Dr. George Fitch of the International YMCA as the treasurer for the "Help Pastor Ye Feed the Children and Build a Church" fund, noting that Dr. Fitch was in charge of the last fundraising effort for Pastor Ye, back in 1948. The rest of the letter is about how much everyone liked the Robert Frost article and what Time should do with the painting of Robert Frost they did up for their cover. (Give it to an Ivy League school, is the answer. But which one? Hint: Not Brown.)

National Affairs

"Defeat"  As I write the last American ships are leaving Hungnam and I should be leaving for the airfield, where they are holding my flight to Macao. (Have I mentioned how much I don't like flying in a Goose?) So the Marines are saved and the worst has been averted. But as of 11 December, Chinese Communists were pouring across the Manchurian border in "vast formations" and smashing the "UN Army," because it is the UNs army when it is losing. Well, Time can't stop this from being "the worst defeat the U.S. had ever suffered," but it does think that it will take "luck, skill and power to slow the Communist advance and withdraw in good order from the devastated peninsula . . ." From the Olympian heights of two weeks' distance, I say to thee, "Hold on there, partner!" 

But then a sentence later it becomes clear why Time is as ready to admit defeat as it was to proclaim victory last week. This was "a defeat that could not be redressed in Korea." Time notices that Clement Atlee is in Washington, no doubt to sell Truman on some kind of appeasing deal with China, but Time knows what is really called for, and moves on to "Atomic Horrors." That is, Time only wants a sea and air blockade against Red China, for as many years as it takes, but should Russia come in, there will be atomic horrors, and it will all be Russia's fault. Also, way down below, Time has to admit that Atlee came over for nothing of the sort. He came to remind Truman that Britain has a veto on the use of the atom bomb, so Truman can't be talking about how "its use is under active consideration" in a press conference without talking to London, first. I mean, sure, the US could say, "That was then, this is now," and go ahead and drop the Bomb on Manchurian airfields or downtown Moscow, but presumably America wants to keep its British allies, and their air bases. 

US casualties so far, that is, before the December offensive, were 5,307 dead, 21,114 wounded, 4607 missing, or the equivalent of Boise, Idaho, says Time, although I am not sure that there are 21,000 walking wounded in Boise. 

"The Face of Mars" The nation "received the fearful news from Korea with a strange-seeming calmness." Perhaps because while "140,000 US troops" might face "annihilation," they haven't yet. Most Americans are wondering why we are in Korea, and "Three Cabots, a Coolidge and a Lowell" joined in a group telegram to Truman and Acheson asking for arbitration and concessions to the Communists." Other people are ready for the usual "blood, sweat and tears," and Time was able to round up some hardy souls who want to drop the Bomb on Russia already. Congress is talking about another $18 billion for defence, and wage and price controls to rein in inflation. (Four billion has already been added.) Lawton Collins is off to Tokyo to see if General MacArthur is ready for the old folks home; the army is calling up 50,000 in February; and the Administration is invoking the McCarran act to screen "diplomatic staffs and UN delegations entering the US" so that any diplomatic aides entering the country can be questioned and barred "if there is evidence of activity endangering national security;" and the Navy and Air Force are reducing the intelligence requirements to get more men. Also, all "war potential goods" being shipped from America to the Communists, or through American ports, will be "controlled." President Conant of Harvard now wants two year conscription for all young American men. Far be it from me to pass up a chance to be That Girl Who Knows All About the French, so I will point out that France had two-year conscription (or more) for all of nine years from 1905 to 1913 and from 1935 to 1940. This stuff is politically difficult and very expensive! Also, Time is indignant that Earl Browder surrendered  himself to Congress when he was charged, like he was seeking some kind of political martyrdom. On the other hand, Time was very impressed by the way that the Yugoslav Embassy didn't serve much food or alcohol at its sixth anniversary party because Yugoslavia is having a famine and it serves all those Washington party-goers right. 

"The Atom: The Displaced" The AEC's Savannah River Plant will displace 8000 people in South Carolina from a 375 square mile area of the river valley, including the entire towns of Dunbarton, Snelling and Jackson. On the other hand, the surrounding towns of Aiken and Augusta, Georgia, will benefit from the upwards of 25,000 jobs at the new plant. 

"Like Father . . . " Arthur Bergdoll, son of the most famous American draft dodger of WWI, is following in his Dad's footsteps by refusing his call up before the Draft Board. He lives in a "dingy flat," so I guess the Bergdoll money has gone by the way, which makes me wonder whether he can afford the ten grand fine. Time also catches us up with the Boston Navy Yard man who was selling examination answers, assignments and even promotions in return for bribes of up to $100, and the sentencing on charges of "misbehaviour before the enemy" of Lieutenant Leon Gilbert of the all-Coloured 24th Infantry. He is going up for hard labour for 20 years instead of a firing squad.

Americana reports that Santa is catching up with the times by dressing as a cowboy in Texas and getting into a snowball fight with teenagers in Pekin, Illinois; that Dr. Kenneth C. M. Sillis of Beaudoin College thinks that US culture is "in daner of becoming completely feminine;" that a defendant in a gambling case in Massachusetts was arguing that gambling was anti-communist.

Also, the one and only General William Draper has a new job as trustee to the bankrupt Long Island Railroad. 


"The Alternatives" Time has a "news story" outlining America's alternatives in the face of the Korean disaster, which is what you would expect. Let the atom bombs fly; surrender to communism; or US retreat from Korea and "fight a declared or undeclared war with China." Time likes this one, especially the part about rearming Japan and supporting the Koumintang. 

"An Airplane Named Cathay" Clement Atlee flew to Washington in a BOAC Stratocruiser to brace Truman and tell him that the atom bomb was off the table. Hugely upset at the suggestion that Washington was getting a bit "hysterical," Time literally says, "No, you're the hysterical ones!" Time is also a bit dyspeptic at the way the General Assembly keeps trying to do diplomacy over the Korean War. In the latest outrage, Trygve Lie has invited General Wu to a working dinner with the UN delegates from Britain, Sweden, India and Pakistan. Also, talking about talking about the United States of Europe (European Army division) continue. The Germans want "equality" if they're going to raise an army. 

War in Asia 

That was a short International!

"Old Ways of War"  "Last week the conservative military textbooks, the old ways of war, caught up with the US, and with a daring champion of the new ways of war, Douglas MacArthur." This is clearly the lead in sentence to where Time apologises for calling the Pentagon a bunch of cowards for the last month. Clearly. Oops, no. Time actually makes the pretty good point that the Inchon landing and Pusan breakout showed the power of armour, sea and air power to counter enemy numerical superiority on the ground. That's why he thought that he could "envelop" the numerically superior Chinese armies in his last offensive. (Sometimes, those armies are in Korea to be enveloped. Sometimes they are hiding in Manchuria, the question being what roads your argument lead down on the way to the Koumintang.) Anyway, they were evidently numerous enough and good enough to beat MacArthur, and now "it seemed doubtful that the UN forces could get out of Korea without a very severe mauling." But that doesn't mean abandoning the bold new ways of war!

"'Where Hath It Slept?'" That seems a bit weak. Is there a better way of getting Time off the hook? Why, yes, there is. Blame MacArthur! Or his intelligence, for underestimating how many Chinese there were. Shakespeare has King John ask where his intelligence was sleeping,  you see. Continuing on this theme, Time notes that it is not the only newspaper raising doubts about General MacArthur. Then it goes on to cover his defensive news conference at length. 

"After the Breakthrough" As of early last week, the fight in Korea seemed to be just a setback, with 1st Cavalry, supported by the British and the Turks, moving to plug the hole in the Tokchon sector where the ROK's II Corps was destroyed. Instead, the force was pushed back 30 miles to Sinchang, then kicked out of that position. This week, the "Chinese hordes" flanked 24th, 25th and 2nd Divisions, which fell back to the Chongchun and then retreated across the river to Sinanju, before giving up the airfield there, and Anju and Kunu upriver. The upshot is that the corps mostly escaped, in what "Tokyo called . . . 'a masterpiece."' X Corps, fighting in the valley of the Changjin Reservoir, closer to the east coast of Korea, has now been cut off from both the rest of 8th Army and its line of supplies, and probably, on an even larger scale, from the rest of Korea, if and when Wonsan falls. First Marine Division, a very large unit  of three regiments plus supporting elements, all Marines, and 7th Infantry are in the eastern sector, being resupplied from the air. The likely scale of casualties is suggested by the 1200 wounded flown out in the first two days. 

"Doomed City" The UN has already given up on holding a line across the peninsula north of Pyongyang. That makes the former capital of North Korea a "doomed city." The remaining 300,000 inhabitants, less about the same number that retreated with the Communists, now have to provide for themselves, which many are doing by fleeing south, while Allied commanders blow up ammunition dumps with no signs of "panic or looting." The US is willing to evacuate a princely 1500  officials, Christian clergy, and other collaborators. Time ran into Lee Kuan Te, the "wispy" chief of administration, who was busy putting on his mink coat and getting ready to drive south to Seoul with his wife and seven children. Where were his subordinates, Time asked? "What part of "sauve qui peut" don't you understand?" Lee thought back.

Time takes a moment to fawn over the Turkish Brigade, then moves on to someone closer to its wallet, if not heart: Syngman Rhee. His army has been taking the brunt of the offensive, and in turn received such accolades as, "The enemy has made hard guuys out of his Koreans. We've made softies out of ours." They are apparently "over-armed, over-equipped and over-coddled that now they wouldn't think of going into battle without fur-linked parkas, prophylactic kits and the latest edition of supercomics." Exactly! There's nothing like giving a mechanic proper tools to make sure he can't do his job!

"The Road to Paris" After several weeks of entertainment covers, this week gives Chairman Mao Tse-Tung the cover, and a biography. Remember how the State Department called him an "agrarian reformer," and Owen Lattimore said he was a "town-hall democrat?" Well, he's not! He's a blood-soaked Communist tyrant, and don't you forget it! He's China's most successful warlord since Kublai Khan! (Because you can hardly expect an American reader to recognise the name of the Hongwu Emperor or Aisin Gioro.) That reminds Time of General Wu's speech at the UN, because warlords are like Hitler, and Hitler gave speeches, which means that Wu's speech was practically a Hitlerian diatribe. Footnote time: Even though some American academics have said bad things about the Open Door Policy, it was actually the best thing ever, don't you forget. What does this footnote have to do with the article? Well, General Wu said something bad about the Open Door Policy. Moving on, have we mentioned that General Wu screams and knocks his knees in tension, "like many Orientals?" Now, we have! At this point Time gives up and decides that it is going to have to quote General Wu for a few paragraphs or be accused of being partial. But only a few paragraphs, because let's not go overboard  here. Instead, it is off to Trygve Lie and T. F. Tsiang for reactions. Lie seems "deeply uncomfortable," while Tsiang is smug, because, just as he predicted, Wu isn't repudiating Peking's Russian ally and throwing himself on American mercy, like a real diplomat would do. Indeed, instead of taking the only reasonable course of action, it seems that Mao is going to depend on his army to get what he wants on the battlefield.

They have a lot of royal pretenders in Paris
"Chosen Instrument" Speaking of Communists on the attack, the French ordered noncombatants to evacuate Hanoi and  put their finger firmly on the vital supplies needed to defend Indochina against Communist Viet Minh aggressors trying  to conquer Annam for the invading Viet people of Annam: The Yankee Dollar. Excuse me: What I meant to say is that the High Command in Saigon identified the strategic "centre of gravity" of the Indochina campaign: Korea. Indochina is Korea, so how about some of that $18 billion down here? To show how urgent the crisis is, Bao Dai even dropped into Hanoi for a visit the other day. Eric Gibbs of Time reports that "Bao Dai has great intelligence and charm and the pneumatic resilience of a heavy duty tyre." The important point is that people say he could be an effective ruler and save the day if he looked less like a playboy and more like, I don't know, some kind of titan out of myth, but that isn't the case, and you can see how smart Bao Dai is from the fact that he doesn't believe it for a moment and the way that his main goal is to salt away a retirement fund while he can, because the Communists can have Indochina any time they want it. 

In Canada, most people are against "dropping the bomb now" and of the general opinion that they hope that Clem can calm Washington down. Mike Pearson, over at Foreign Affairs, politely reminded Washington that as long as it gets its uranium from Canada, it has to consult with Ottawa before throwing the Bomb around. In Latin America, the prospect of WWIII is upsetting the markets, as many Latin Americans seem to doubt Washington's wisdom and good will, too. How ever could that be??!? Did you know that there are wild tribes of Indians deep in the Brazilian jungles? There are! Why, it's practically the most interesting thing about the country!!! Unless there's a coup on, which there probably is, but it is happening so slowly that SNORE.


"Little and Late" American rearmament is very sluggish. Many major producers have no orders at all. For example, in spite of $400 million for electronics, Admiral and Zenith have no contracts at all. New England and GM are bitter that they haven't got enough contracts. The aviation industry has probably got too many, just on the basis of their backlogs and won't hit their 6000 plane target, although they complain that it is because the Defence Department keeps putting in change orders. Is the problem a shortage of raw materials? If it is, the National Production Authority is there to help by slashing and chopping civilian allocations of this and that, most recently cobalt, which is being taken from TV producers who can't get copper wire, condensers or "other parts," anyway. Televisions will be between 10% and 25% more expensive in the spring due to shortages. 

"Pig in a Poke" The Ways and Means Committee has trimmed the President's excess profits tax and sent it to the floor, but Republicans still hate it. 

"Enter Dynel" Dynel is a new fabric from Union Carbide that "is to wool what nylon is to silk." 'Made from natural gas, salt and air, it can be dyed, woven with other fabrics, or  used alone." It is washable, moth-proof, shrink-proof, and cheaper than wool, too. Seven million lbs have already been ordered, which makes a good segue to Leon Keyserling's new prediction of a half-trillion gross national product by 1955. I'm a bit giddy. In Britain, too, the sky is the limit, but only because Rolls Royce is making this and that, such as the 635hp engine for the brand new Centurion tank, the same that Egypt won't get, but 29th Commonwealth Brigade in Korea will. This introduces us to Ernest Hives of Rolls-Royce, in Glasgow this week to open an enormous plant devoted to building the Avon for the Canberra and perhaps the USAF. 
"Way Out" Auto dealers have found a new angle, as veterans can buy cars for business purposes with a GI loan instead of consumer credit. Harold Medina, fresh off the Smith Act trial, is sitting in judgement of the Government's antitrust action against 17 of the country's biggest investment houses and banks. The Government intends to show that the companies have been conspiring to monopolise securities underwriting since 1947. Justice Medina doesn't seem friendly to the government case. Uncle Henry is knocking on the RFC's door again for a loan to tide him over until he has sold his Kaiser-Frazer inventory. 

 Science, Medicine, Education

"War Hero" Eugene Gardner, a Berkeley physicist working on the Manhattan Project, was assigned to drill a hole in "an electrode made of beryllium oxide," breathing in beryllium oxide dust as he did. By 1945 he was showing irreversible fibrosis in the lungs of unknown cause. In 1948, he share the distinction of co-discovery of the man-made meson with Guilio Lattes, and, finally, in 1948 was diagnosed with berylliosis after catching tuberculosis, dying in an oxygen tent in hospital this week. 

"Waves from Space" Astronomers can "see" so-called radio stars in the radio spectrum. Only found two years ago, they do not seem to be visible stars. This week in Nature, British astronomers R. Hanbury Brown and C. Hazard reported seeing radio stars in the Andromeda galaxy with the biggest, most sensitive and most narrowly focussed radio telescopes yet. They still don't know what radio stars are, but they did establish that the Milky Way and Andromeda have about the same number of them --that is, that their "radio star" emissions are "twins," as are the two galaxies. 

"Stars over Ireland" Time catches us up with the story of Armagh, where King Daire of Airgialla gave St. Patrick the land for an abbey in 450AD, which subsequently became a "Protestant and Roman Catholic cathedral," in Time's misleading phrasing. All Irishman can agree that the fact that the northern and southern Irish governments are both backing a planetarium in Armagh is a good thing, and both the Catholic and Church of Ireland archbishops have blessed it. 

"No Secret Weapon" The New England Journal of Medicine reports that aureomycin does not cure the common cold. Pooh!

"Say, Doc . . . "New York Medicine reminds doctors that they shouldn't be too impatient with their patients. People like a good listener. 

"Office Delivery" Rural doctors often find that their patients are so poor that if they send them to a hospital to give birth, they can't pay for their office call, even though they may be too risky for an unsanitary kitchen delivery. The solution, says Dr. David G. Miller and his wife, Registered Nurse Blanche Miller, from their 1930s practice days in Morgantown, Ky., is to deliver the baby in the office, where they fitted up two rooms as a maternity clinic. They've done fifty deliveries with no deaths, which proves that it is a good idea. And from Britain, confident predictions from the British Medical Journal: The NHS is headed for bankruptcy right around the corner. Well, "policy bankruptcy," but isn't that practically the same thing? If you are wondering what that might be a metaphor for, it is a metaphor for a metaphor about the union of doctors and governments being an "uneasy marriage," headed for divorce. Because doctors aren't being paid enough for this and that. Its suggested remedy are nominal charges for hospital stays, X-rays and glasses. 

"Not Uninhibited" New York's Feinberg Law barring Communist teachers got through the New York Court of Appeals and is now on its way up to the Supreme Court. And a recent study shows that "social science homework," at least, has no benefit other than taking up time. Time, idle hands, Devil, etc.! Time also takes a look into educating the deaf, some of whom actually have perfect hearing but prefer not to communicate. Helmer Myklebust's Your Deaf Child may help parents dealing with the multiple problems of withdrawn children, aphasiac children, and physically deaf children. 

Radio and Television, Press, Art, People

Time likes Jimmy Durante's new show, and is disappointed to report that soap operas are invading television. Soap operas are for girls! Fireside Theatre is doing well in the ratings, which has the television world in a stir because it is made live in Hollywood, not New York, and if live theatre follows film to California, who will wait on tables in New York, then? Also, it's good tv.

The International edition of Reader's Digest is twelve years old and the Daily Worker has been banned from New York newstands on the grounds that it has Communist germs. "The Worker was quick to scream 'freedom of the press,'" but Time sees right through their thin disguise. Unfortunately, the Scripps Howard chain and New York Daily News, plus a New York judge were more easily fooled, and back on the newstands it went. Flair magazine is folding because it is too expensive and paper is hard to get and because not enough people were interested in fox hunting and the way the Duchess of Windsor decorates her house. Billy Rose is quitting his column because it is too much like work. Giles of the Daily Express has a book out. (Time reminds us, because it has its ear to the ground and reads the Beaverbrook press, too.)

Manhattan galleries are showing very expensive things in case you want to drop five figures on a Christmas present for someone who has everything except an Eighteenth Century automaton, but the Met has more important things to do, like prove that it doesn't ignore American artists, which is why it had a big prize contest for American paintings recently. Time is not impressed, finding the winners as "safe as warm milk:" Karl Knaths, Rico Lebrun, Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Joseph Hirsch. Although Time almost found itself liking Hirsch's Nine Men before remembering that it is a Communist painting. Because the abstract expressionists boycotted the contest, the jury, Time tells us, bent over backwards to "the Academy of the Left." Time goes on to hand out bad pocket reviews to eight more painters, several of whom didn't even enter the show. (But are too much like the ones who did.) On the other hand, Charles Burchfield, Ben Norris and Henry Koerner had good entries

 Speaking of Communist art, they're making Dresden china behind the Iron Curtain now, and some of it has Communist themes. 

Admiral Joel Thompson Boone, General Clarence R. Huebner, Major General Orvil Anderson, Perle Mesta, Alben Barkley, Dean Acheson, David Ben-Gurion, Ralph J. Bunche, Edward Streichen, Leo Durocher, Greta Garbo, Myron C. Taylor, Robert Frost, Julian Huxley, Agnes Smedley, Robert A. Taft, Eugene D. Milliken, Andre Gide, Earle Warren('s two daughters), Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontaine, Carl Channing, Cole Porter, Lily Pons, Jennie Tourel and Somerset Maugham are in the news. Of note, Anderson, he of the "pre-emptive nuclear war," has requested retirement, Vice-President Barkley has been persuaded to take a Secret Service bodyguard detail after the spectacle of Air Force fighters circling the ballpark when the President took in an Orioles game the other day, and it is Governor Warren and not his daughters who gets the bolded name in a bit about them. Agnes Smedley's will asks that her ashes be interred in "Communist China" (not the other kind!) and assigns the royalties for her published works to General Chu Teh (of the Red!!! Army). To be fair to the worrywarts bugging Barkley, there was an assassination attempt against the President three weeks ago. Walter Beech of Beechcraft has died of a heart attack at 59(!), John McGregor of Pan Am managed to go to 74, and Louis Leon Ludlow to 77., while the Reverend Charles Reynolds Brown made 88 (very auspicious), and Robert Latou Dickinson has died at 89. Moral: Look after your ticker! Dickinson was the head of Americans Murdering Americans, so it's certainly not virtue that gets you to 89. 

The New Pictures

Kim is an MGM technicolour version of the beloved Rudyard Kipling Boy's Own. Time liked it. Rio Grande "continues John Ford's descent into his latter-day role as scourge of the redskin and glorifier of the U.S. Cavalry." Time is sad to see such a technically proficient director with such an eye for epic western scenery choose such shoddy material to highlight it. The Milkman's Lady seems to be doing for milkmen what Ford is doing for the Cavalry? As long as it's got Jimmy Durante, I'm good with it! Breakthrough is a war movie featuring a platoon of 1st Infantry in the Normandy campaign, but is ruined by the acting. Three Husbands is based on a novel by Vera Caspary following on her previous A Letter to Three Wives. A good book turned into a good movie is followed by a who-cares book turned into a bad movie. 


The Blue and the Gray, ed. Henry Steele Commager, which is a real name, is about the Civil War, as you might guess. Time likes it because it is putting to rest the myth that the Civil War didn't matter. It did! It really did! Americans care about politics, and even let politics divide them, as Commager shows in a thousand pages of letters over two volumes. (If that's not enough letters for you, volumes III and IV of FDR's correspondence is out this week, too.) Frances Parkinson's Joy Street is a novel. A romance novel. Time didn't  like it, but as long as there are ladies in America, they are "as primary and unalterable as the soda-fountain whipped cream gun." Glenn Clark's What Would Jesus Do? is a collection of sermons? They still have those? The answer is apparently, "Yes."


Aviation Week, 11 December 1950

News Digest reports that more builders are suspending private plane production, that Bendix has bought Curtiss-Wright's Victor Animatograph subsidiary, that Claire Chennault has won a summary judgement covering the $1.5 million in Central Air and Chennault Civil Air Transport assets the Chinese Communists seized in Hong Kong, after Hong Kong courts upheld the Chinese claims. Hiller continues to work on its own "unusual and greatly simplified" jet powerplant for rotary wing aircraft. New Zealand is selling the state-owned National Air Services.

Washington Roundup reports a roundup of mobilisation and production news, including General Lawton Collins' commitment to fight a proposal for the Army to build its own tactical air force, while the Navy is reported to be going ahead with a 56,000t flush deck carrier.

Industry Observer reports that Lockheed's proposed L-193 64-passenger, 4-jet engined transcontinental airliner is on ice because of increased military commitments. The USAF is looking at twin-engine pilot trainers again, Piasecki is working on an "omniphibious" landing gear for helicopters. It is reported that British aircraft companies have proportionately more manpower assigned to research and development than American companies, according to an exhaustive Air Ministry investigation of production problems in the British industry. The USAF wants Republic to estimate performance statistics for the F-84 using the "export" version of the Armstrong-Siddeley Sapphire, which might be used until Curtiss-Wright can tool up to produce it in America. No-one is sure when the first American turboprop or turbojet transport will appear, but it will probably be a Boeing.  

"Industry Poised for All-Out Mobilisation" Just as soon as the President gives it even more money, that is. The industry promises to train enough new workers to stay ahead of labour shortages and the draft, and will produce 4400 planes this year. Moving on, Aviation Week explains how to get a defence loan. Convair is going to keep on producing the piston-engined Convair Liner, although the one experimental model to be equipped with the 2750hp Allison 501 turboprops will continue development. 

"Report from Korea on the MIG" Aviation Week's Alphens W. Jessup swung by Korea to talk to pilots about the MiG-15. Navy Panther pilots report that the MiG should be easily good for Mach 1, might have an internal JATO bottle or afterburning, that the wing form was almost a delta; that, properly flown, it ought to be more than a match for the F9F and F-80 and that it might be lightly built. However, the main reason that it is not being flown more aggressively is probably that Russian pilots are under orders not to get shot down over Korea. 

"Britain Mobilises Production" The British are putting several "near-idle production teams" to work on the English Electric Canberra. These include Avro, Short Brothers and Handley Page, none of which have large numbers of other designs on the stocks right now. Avro has a Shackleton contract, but Short will have to recall workers who have been idle since Solent orders dried up two years ago. Handley Page has completed its 25 plane order to BOAC and  Hastings for Transport Command, and certainly isn't getting any more. Since everyone and their dog wants Canberras, it is a good fit. 

In production news, Luscombe needs workers to build B-36 parts, Thompson products has an electronics division that is ready for some orders, and Aerojet continues to grow. 

Aeronautical Engineering reports that "Optical Tooling Eases Airframe Building" Republic Aviaiton wants you to know that by using British Taylor Hobson optical instruments and "knock-down" German jig-assembly castings, it can build jigs with an accuracy of 0.0015 inches on a 50ft span. The British optical equipment proved slow and exacting, and required too much skill to use, but Republic improved it with an optical positioner and is using it for F-84s, B-47s and F-86 wing panels. The rest of the report has quite a few interesting details about both the Taylor-Hobson equipment and the "knock-down" jigs. 

Max Dagget, Jr., "Utility-Command Craft for Army" Max is an Air Force reservist, and describes his idea utility-command aircraft at great length. Aviation Week must have had an article spiked, because not only does it print the article in full, it has a boxed "Criticism and Reply" section. It seems as though starting out to design a "utility command" aircraft now, with probable entry into service in 1956 or so, is a bad idea considering what helicopters might be able to do by then. 

McGraw-Hill revives the linewide editorial with "America's Road to Victory: Let's Increase Production" I guess the question is whether thousands of planes now are a good investment if there's no war now. That said, McGraw-Hill drills down into the how. How can America produce $40 billion in new defence production? Through "cuts" and "controls"? No! Through a mere $6 billion additional capital investment on top of a current $22 billion a year. This will add some additional capacity, such as the 105 increase in steel production the industry has proposed in the next two years, but mainly through higher productivity that raises industry's efficiency, raising productivity by 5% a year. Is this possible? McGraw-Hill says it can. Machine tools designed since WWII, for example, are 40% more productive, but 95% of industry machinery is at least ten years old. Replacing it all would increase the efficiency of the metalworking industries by at least 10%. The editorial then goes on to look at all the other industries covered by their own McGraw-Hill trade journals, with the odd result that America's mass mobilisation prospects in coal mining, textile production and food processing get a look. 

Now for a critic's reading. The linewide editorials used to carry James McGraw, Jr.'s byline, but it was pretty clear that a ghost writer was responsible for either the war editorials or the postwar, and more likely the wartime ones. This editorial reads like the old wartime ones. It is a bit in the way of advertising the McGraw-Hill stable, but it is a good look into the company's insight into American industry. It is good to see Ghost Writer back. I hope he sticks around!

Equipment has George L. Christian, "PAA Radio-Telephone Girdles the Globe" Pan Am finished a round-the-world radio telephone link this week, bringing it closer to the day when it abolishes radiotelegraphy. That means Pan Am stations in exotic Nandi, Fiji Islands and Accra, Gold Coast, among other places. Skeptics who thought it couldn't be done, are wrong! A bit of history and a small amount of technical detail follows. 

New Aviation Products has a "vibrating 'ultrasonic' soldering iron" from Mullard Electronics Products of London that makes cleaner welds. Hewlett Packard --Well, Bill and Dave finally have a commercial product! It seems like it has been forever since we put our money in, instead of six years. It is a radar tester that produces a 1 milliwat output signal at 50 ohm coaxial load at zero decibels from 3800 to 7600 mHz. Collins Radio Corporation is offering a glide slope receiver, with orders now from TWA. 

Letters has a long position statement from Wayne Weisham of the Aeronautical Training Society on the new proposed pilot training initiative under S.4164. I have no idea what their position is, except that if there's money to train lots of pilot cadets, they'd like some of it.  Moulton Taylor, President of Aerocar of Longview, Washington, writes to report that the Aerocar isn't dead and gone at all. On the contrary, the CAA is 100% behind their plan to maybe offer ten or so of them if the right leasing order comes along. Transocean Airlines writes to congratulate itself on its role in the Pacific airlift, and Sabena's American representative is writing for three copies of the article on the Plug and Ignition Conference.

Air Transport has F. Lee Moore, "The Way Out of Approach Light Gloom" that  explains how the new centreline row might break through the "fog that has surrounded approach light development for the last three years." The centreline system is standard in Britain and favoured by the Air Line Pilots Association, but the CAA has been pushing for the "left hand row," after starting with the "slopeline system," which pilots rejected because optical illusions made it easy to misinterpret. Now, the IATA has backed the centreline system, and the CAA will probably concede. Eyes wander away from the left-hand row, and tend to follow only one line of a centre-line system when tired.

Editorial has "Crisis," signed by Robert H. Woods, and "sizing Up the A-bomb," unsigned.  Woods promises "voluntary" and "involuntary" changes at Aviation Week, "soon," as it responds to "one of the most serious military defeats in [US] history." The unsigned editorial lets McGraw-Hill readers know about the fine new article on "How to Size Up the Atom Bomb" in Power Magazine, available wherever narrow-interest McGraw-Hill technical trade journals are sold. The three-part article is now available as a separately-bound pamphlet, available as a public service.



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