(Dean Martin imitating Bing Crosby)
As predicted, the Communist advances in Annam and Korea turned on a dime just as soon as flying weather improved, which just goes to show that this is the Air Age. I will explain in person next week when I arrive via Canadian Pacific from Hong Kong, if Hong Kong is still there when I leave and we avoid any inconvenient mountains on the way. (It's ocean, it shouldn't be hard, but you never know.)
Your Loving Daughter,
Time, 15 January 1951
"The Answer" Senator Bridges wants the navy to support a Koumintang invasion of the mainland while American bombers bomb China. The Administration's answer is that it isn't going to to that, that no governments were interested in anything so crazy, and that the most that America and its allies might go for was an embargo. Time is not impressed. Taft gave his 1952 stump speech in the Senate last week, which basically consisted of arguing that America should have a big air force and navy and atom bomb Russia out of existence in a war; but not a big army, because that was impractical and expensive. At which the Democratic internationalist senators jumped down his throat for being willing to give up western Europe to the socialist Russian hordes. Then President Truman gave a speech in which he called for no appeasement and predicted that the US national output would be a trillion dollars in 2000, and average family income $12,450, so in the long run Communist aggression has no chance. America
"Auguries" The Democratic members of the Connecticut state assembly boycotted the swearing in of the new governor, who went ahead without them which goes to show that the 1952 election will be something, as does the first Republican governor of New Mexico being sworn in fifteen minutes after midnight so that the outgoing governor wouldn't be able to make any last minute appointments, and Tom Dewey demanded "dictator power" in the event of an atomic attack. Also, Sherman Adams made a joke about inflation, which was funny because Vermont Republicans are crusty and folksy.
he T-43, is a "dreadnought" of top secret qualities. Also, the existing Patton is more than a match for the T-34, which encourages everyone. True, the Russians have a new tank, but we havent' fought it yet, so it isn't a problem.
I am pretty sure that's not how it works.
Manners and Morals reports that Joseph Davies, the former ambassador to Belgium and Russia, who was a wealthy lawyer even before he married into the Post Toasties fortune, is rumoured to have bought an extravagant fleet of seven Cadillacs. Time investigated, and discovered that it might have been as many as seven cars, and some of them were Cadillacs, but others were small and more economical, but Davies isn't entirely sure of the details, as he has a bookkeeper and a large staff. The situation in New York, where Tom Dewey is said to have bribed Joe Hanley to drop out of the governor's race, is getting distinctly murky as the State senate pokes into Hanley's financial affairs.
This week's special investigation consists of a long anti-Hoover editorial. I agree with the sentiments, but I don['t take Time because it agrees with my opinion of a distant relation! I can cast aspersions on them all by my lonesome, thank you very much! Although to be fair it is also anti-Truman, because he is not fighting the cold war hard enough.
"Again, Ike" The formation of a NATO army in Europe with American troops and commanded by Eisenhower is such big news that we're damn well going to have a lead story about it even if nothing new has actually happened. The French saying that we should at least listen to any Russian concessions before going ahead with German rearmament is bad.
War in Asia
"To Pusan --And Beyond?" The Communists have pushed the UN out of Seoul, so now it is time to retreat to Pusan, evacuate the peninsula, and start WWIII. Just as soon as the Communists win those pesky holding actions at Chonan, Chongju and Taejon, what's keeping them? The coverage is a little less overtly treasonous than I represent it as, but it is still pretty nuts.
"Counterattack" The French are counterattacking in Annam, but Time is not optimistic.
"Big Brothers" The prime ministers of the Commonwealth (except Pakistan, which is having a snit over Kashmir) have met in London where it is all camaraderie and brotherhood and big brotherliness. Time quotes Time and Tide before its own editorial content: "The British Commonwealth, which [purplish mountainy majesty rotherhood of all races] is a force that can, in alliance with America, face the Russian Leviathan undaunted." Time continues, "Whether it would gladly follow the US if the US took firm and specific action against the Leviathan and the Leviathan's warmaking Chinese offspring, was another question." British Rail has its own little embarrassment, as a runaway commuter train barrels through Palace Gates before station before being boarded by an athletic conductor on an upgrade, who brings it to a halt in the next station. Also, the East German Communist Party is having a purge, and Germany and Britain are having a bit of a tiff over an island called Helgoland, which is just off the German coast in the direction of Britain, which the British have occupied since the war, evacuating the residents and using it as a bombing target because it is much too strategic to be left to the Germans, except now the Germans are getting all patriotic and demanding it back, with student occupiers and people singing patriotic songs and waving the European union flag and the new German republic flag.
In this continent, President Peron is still terrible but is disarming his critics, and an n American flyer is making money running a DC-3 airline in Honduras,
Bull market, up. Prices, up. Government control of prices, coming. Maybe. Aramco has signed a deal with Saudi Arabia, granting it much higher royalties than Anglo-Iranian is paying the Iranians. Oops! The crackdown on slot machines continues, with the Army (WHY?) staging a photo-op by dropping 300 one-armed bandits into San Francisco Bay. Their crime? Apprehended in a brazen attempt to cross state lines from California (where they are made) to Nevada, where they are played.
The tobacco business is booming, the Feds are continuing their anti-trust action against the studio/cinema combinations, and National Steel is the latest steel company to break ranks with the "We have enough steel production" crowd by building anew plant in Camden, New Jersey, thirty-five miles downriver from the new US Steel plant, which will probably also use steel from the new Labrador fields.
"Out of Mothballs" Two of the biggest US-owned aircraft plants, the Marietta, Georgia plant and the Tulsa, Oklahoma ones, are coming out of mothballs. Lockheed will be modifying B-29s in Marietta, while we've already heard that Douglas will be making B-4ys at the Tulsa plant. Have I hit you over the head with a baseball bat while yelling "Convair Turboliner Allison" recently? Well, come here, because I have a new bat!
Science, Medicine, Education
"Spotters Needed" US air defence still needs air observers because of the radar blind spots created by the curvature of the Earth and terrain. They are especially necessary to spot low flying bombers, and will be an effective deterrent, since low flying attackers are easy prey for fighters.
"The Mature Machine" Mathematicians have set their sights on creating a chess-playing machine that can be "programmed" to match a good human player. Dr. Claude Shannon of Bell Labs thinks that this is possible, but points out that in a typical, 40 move game, there are more than 10 followed by 119 zeroes different calculations, which would take the fastest electronic computer some 10 followed by 50 zeroes years. It would be easier, he thinks, to program a computer to see three moves ahead and avoid any obviously bad moves. Such a computer would play rapidly and avoid laziness and nervousness, but would lack the imagination and learning from experience possible for a human player. So, could it win? Probably not. However, in a recent article in Nature, Dr. J. Bronowski of the Central Research Establishment of the National Coal Board, points out that a computer can learn from experience, given an unlimited memory, since it could remember every move it has made, classify them by effectiveness, and learn not to do them again.
"Secret of Growth" Zoology professor Carrol Milton Williams of Harvard has won the annual thousand dollar prize of the AAS for unravelling the secrets of the hormone system that causes silkworm growth. It turns out that when caterpillars metamorphose into moths, "small groups of cells (imaginal discs)" scattered through the "mushy green body" of the caterpillar basically grow a new insect in the larva's body fluid. Which I quote because of how horrifying it sounds, although he got his prize not for scaring the heebie-jeebies out of me, but for using radioactive tracers and chemical tests to trace the enzymes that control the growth, and, in particular, the "cytochromes." Meanwhile, another Harvard man, Dr. Marcus Singer, has discovered experimentally just how much nerve cell must be pared away or, on the other hand, transplanted, onto the stumps of newt limbs in order to induce them to regrow. I'm glad I;m not a nymph!
"Too Much to Bear" A poor family in Atlanta has been told that their four-year old daughter, Caroline, has retino-blastoma and must lose both eyes to surgery to live. It's more than her mother can bear.
"Eye Madness" Indian doctor Mathra Dass Pahwa does mass charity cataract surgery in India and is a blessing to the nations.
"From A to Zygote" Time visits the Encyclopedia Britannica, one of the most prosperous of all businesses owned by the University of Chicago, with more than two million dollars in royalty revenues since 1943 and celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in American ownership, leading Time to visit its managing editor, Walter Yust.
"Ivy and Jets" Princeton has been getting ever more scientific, and is now taking over the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research and opening up the James Forrestal Research Centre.
Radio and Television, Press, Art, People
"Ladies' Night" Women have television shows now! Women like Faye Emerson, Lili Palmer, Maggi McNellis and Eva Gabor! And others! Like Eloise mcElhone, Arlene Francis and Maggi McNeill. Too many to count, really. But what a gosh darned thing it is! (Regrettably, some show their décolletage.)
Yugoslavia has an official newspaper, the Washington Times-Herald is in trouble for printing an expose of the "horrors" of the Hungnam evacuation by an anonymous soldier, originally mailed to Senator George W. Malone, which is probably enough to tell you what is really going on here.
"Who is Fooling Whom?" On the other hand, the supposed expose does bring the question of censorship at the front is coming to a boil. Whether or not you believe anonymous denunciations mailed to isolationist senators and published by their intimate friends without factchecking, it remains the case, The Washington Post points out, that, due to censorship in SAC, no-one really knows what is going on in Korea. It is even more embarrassing because the London papers are piling on SAC, which seems to be dressing up the war in purple prose and producing "Alice-in-Wonderland-"level distortions of the news. Daily Mirror war correspondent, Davis Walker, points out Air Force communiques that claim "314 enemy killed," while the Sunday Express' Ephraim Hardcastle points to a report from MacArthur's intelligence chief claiming that there are "444,406 Communist troops in Korea." Time explains that this is just the Air Force's fault for not rounding off reports to make them more believable, while the Air Force defends itself on the grounds that its estimates of enemy casualties are lower than the army's, so there.
Paul Tchelitchew has a new show at the MoMA. It is very weird. Jim Morris, that painter who lives and exhibits in Santa Fe, is exhibiting again. Unless there's more than one? I think there's more than one. It's something some American artists do. Mostly recent ones, which means that they also paint odd things, but not as odd as Tchelitchew.
Jennifer Jones, David O. Selznick, James Jeffries, Walter Wanger, Frances Browning, Carrie Nation, "Pee Wee" Russell, Tallulah Bankhead, Alben Barkley, Jimmy Durante, Ethel Merman, S. J. Perelman, Bernard Shor, Thai royalty, Gabrielle Chanel, Johnathan Wainwright, Lewis Douglas, Jack Dempsey, John Wayne, Gene Autry and Barbara Ward are in the news mostly because they are already famous, with the exception of Russell, who is dying of liver disease in a charity hospital, and Ward, who congratulated her new homeland of Australia for being too backward for television.
Max Aitken is married, Richard Hart, Kenneth Burt Griffin, Richard Julius Herman Krebs, Walter Rautenstrauch, Albert Summers Howell, Francis Carter Wood, Samuel Riddle, and Bushman, "one of the most ferocious-looking gorillas ever seen in a zoo," have died. Bushman was actually quite good-natured, Kenneth Burt Griffin was only 43, and Krebs ended his life the president of the Chestertown PTA. (Also, he probably signed his name to a purported memoir actually written by three professional anti-communists, but Time doesn't mention that.)
The New Pictures
Branded is a new Alan Ladd oater that gives the hero a better-than-usual reason to take his shirt off. Also, he shoots an entire army of Mexican bandits. So, really, this movie has something for everyone. Halls of Montezuma is a "good movie gone wrong," with "sharp combat reporting" and "low-grade romanticism." Well, it is about the Marines! The Flying Missile is a current and choice movie starring a guided missile and costarring Glenn Ford and Vivica Lindfors, something about another flying missile. Pagan Love Song features more of that kind of flying missile as Esther Williams visits Tahiti ooh-la-la.
P. H. Newby's Young May Moon is part of a "trickle of good fiction" from Britain that is sustaining America's aesthetes. Philip Wylie's The Disappearance shows what happens when American aesthetes are deprived of their highbrow novels.They write their own, which are very strange and have very disturbing ideas about women. Although also men, fair's fair. Margaret Buber, Under Two Dictators is about how being in Soviet and then Nazi camps taught the author that dictators are pretty terrible.
Aviation Week, 15 January 1951
News Digest reports that Seibel Helicopter has a contract for tactical evaluation of its S-4 helicopter, TWA expects to speed up its Model 749 Constellations with new jet exhaust kits from Lockheed, giving possibly 11mph and an additional 1000lb payload at the same range. Aircraft shipments for October came to 3.5 million lb airframe weight, 91% to the military. The production lines for the Fairchild C-119 have been interrupted by a strike.
Industry Observer reports that Electronics and aircraft manufacturers have been handed "package requirements" for a fully automatic supersonic interceptor with a pilot monitor and an air-to-air missile that can knock down an enemy bomber at 60,000ft. Hughes has won the competition for the electronics guidance, but the airplane competition is not decided. Navy orders for the A2D are expected to absorb all Allison T-40 and Pratt and Whitney T-34 production for the next few years. The French air force is going to replace its de Havilland Vampires with the swept-wing Ouragan Mystere 452 as soon as it is ready. Avro Canada is doing deicing tests on its Jetliner and is expecting the first production CF-100 to fly soon. Goodyear will start flight tests of its GA-22 four seat amphibian soon. Douglas has designed tiedowns that will hold 50,000lbs for its C-124A Globemaster.
Washington Roundup reports that the CAB may have to "fight for its life" in the next Congress. Air cargo is apparently the USAF's "stepchild" due to the Air Force not wanting to order a new plane for the MATS. If the country does hit a 50,000 plane/year capacity, this will be same industrial capacity as produced 96,000 aircraft in 1944, since aircraft are now four times bigger. Approximately, since it would be 650 million lbs of structure weight now versus 964 million then, but the aircraft are also more complicated. The latest thing the Air Force has run out of is lawyers for negotiating contracts.
Orders Roll: AF Issues $4.5 Billion Worth" Orders for the B-47B and C, B-50D, C-97, C-124, C-118B, and, oh, wait, page over that's way too many to list. With avionics Aviation Week can't even pretend to list the systems, and just mentions the contractors (Honeywell, Lear, Bendix, Sperry, Philco, Western Electric, General Electric, Emerson Electric, General Mills(!?), Collins Radio, Raytheon and Radioplane. Mostly what you'd expect. I have no idea what General Mills makes for the Air Force.
"Long Range F-84F Strikes With Guns, Bombs, Rockets" Same picture as Time, only a few more details, so I am leaving this coverage to the paper that doesn't write like it is making gumbo.
60,000t flush deck carrier will be slightly smaller than the cancelled United States and will be named for Secretary Forrestal, will be a high speed vessel, and will carry heavier and larger aircraft than current carriers can support.
"Russian Planes" A Russian propaganda reel, captured in Korea, has images of a Lavochkin swept-wing jet fighter similar to the MiG-15, a long-suspected design since Lavochkin is the premier Russian fighter design bureau. It also has images of the Ilyushin Il-12, the standard Russian long distance transport, the original Russian jet, the Yak-15, and the Tu-4 B-29ski.
Production has "How Lear Handles Gyro Output" It builds them. In a facility within their Grand Rapids plant that is air conditioned and kept very, very clean, and has electrical plugs at every work station.
Aeronautical Engineering has "Viking Flights Prove Research Worth" Like the previous article, this one has no byline, and so is advertorial in nature. The Viking Six is Glenn L. Martin's research rocket, The article spends a lot of time explaining that it is a rocket like any other rocket, and based on the V-2, at that. The Air Force has fired off the initial batch, and Martin is working on four more that will probably be expended in attempts on the altitude record and in horizontal flight.
"New Acoustical Plan Kills Tunnel Noise" NACA has been working on all sorts of sound dampening gadgets for the wind tunnels at the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory before the landlord kicks them out andthey have to move down to the bebop district. Sure, it's closer to the clubs, but Langley is nicer!
Sweden still has two aircraft companies for some reason, and even the Swedes realise that that is crazy, and so the companies are pooling their jet know-how. Westinghouse has discovered a new method for hardening stainless steel by 100%, which sounds like a big deal. It is "Zerolling," and involves altering their magnetic permeability with severe plastic deformation at low temperatures. The latest theory explaining how this works, suggests that other physical characteristics might be improved by low temperature working.
Air Materiel Command is working on special cooling clothes for rocket workers. And I mean really cooling, like with pumped-in water that evaporates off an internal lining.
Equipment catches us up with the airlines, which are buying more of this and that. DC-3s! Delta is buying DC-3s.
"Versatility Feature of New Camera" Flight Research Engineering wants us to know about its new 35mm camera, ideal of remote operating for flight testing. As far as the company knows, it is the only synchronous camera on the market. Details follow.
New Aviation Products has an improved Simplex aerial spray pump from Columbia Exporters of Portland, Oregon; and a line of radio compass dials from Aviation Accessories and the Di-Acro Vari-O-Speed Powershear, from O'Neil Irwin. I think it's a saw? South Bend Lathe Works has a quick change gear for its 14 1/2 inch and 16 inch swing lathes.
"ICAO Study Lists Civil Jet Problems" They are: runways are too short. Also, UAL DC-6s are to get low tension ignition from Bendix. No-one knows what caused the DC-3 crash in the "Blue Okanagan" valley.
Letters leads off with a very long missive from Fred Minden of Washington, Iowa, who asks, "What Is Skill," really? The longer version is that he doesn't know why he can't get a job at an aircraft factory, and doesn't think that his being "unskilled" can be an answer since he is a regular aerial adventurer. A letter from Westinghouse expands on their ski experiments, the public relations man at KLM is very tired of people complaining about how the airlines neglect air freight, because they don't.
Aviation Week, 22 January 1951
News Digest reports that six B-36s have become the first of the type to land on foreign soil when they arrived in Britain. Since it has been a good month since the last NWA 2-0-2 crash, another has crashed near Reardon, Washington, killing all three crew members and 7 passengers, and while it is wrong to speak ill of the dead, anyone flying in a 2-0-2 at this point needs to have their life insurance cancelled. Grumman Panthers have achieved a 96% availability rating in Korea, McDonnell F2H Banshees have operated up to 46,500ft in weather penetration flights before breaking through overcast, Bell H-3 helicopters are in service in Korea, and one advantage of the T-28 trainer is its endurance thanks to big fuel load.
Sidelights reports that if war comes there will be no gasoline at all for civilian use, that Eddie Rickenbacker's plan to move EAL headquarters to Florida has baffled company executives, that the special House subcommittee on government expenditure will not look at the CAA and CAB after all, that Martin still has ample space at its plant to take on new contracts, although it might have to kick out the Signals Corps, currently subleasing. The aviation industry is going to give up and start hiring women again, soon. Good!
Industry Observer reports that the second Douglas A2D turboprop attack fighter has arrived at Edwards Air Force Base to resume the flight trials interrupted by the crash of the first. The next version of the Douglas AD type will be the turbojet-powered A3D. The first Armagnac SE 2010 80-passenger transport has flown. Glenn L. Martin will produce subcontracted parts for the C-119s build at Willow run as well as the ones built at Fairchild. Jet helicopter developments are "moving fast," and the Wright-licensed Sapphire engine may have just got another leg up, as it doesn't used scarce cobalt or cadmium, unlike rival engines, which is one reason that J-47 users are thinking of switching to it. A "final decision" on the Bristol Brabazon will supposedly be made after the turboprop one has been tested, although considering that only two are going to be built because jets have made them obsolete, the decision has already been made. An experiment in landing a glider while still attached to its C-47 tow in Alaska didn't kill anyone, so that means it might be practical. Or not.
Washington Roundup reports that the DoD budget will hit $62 billion in 1952, including $20 billion for the Air Force and $5 billion for naval aviation. Blah blah mobilisation for a while, then we revisit the flush deck carrier, talk about subsidising international services and loans for airlines, and money for pilot training outside the DoD budget.
"Naval Aviation Orders Reach $1.4 Billion" Lots of carrier planes, a few flying boats, some transports, helicopters, and a swathe of lonely Lockheed orders for the patrol force.
C-124" Yeah, sure they are. It will have four of the experimental Pratt and Whitney YT-34 5500hp engines that have never actually flown, which will be perfect for the C-124, because no-one believes it flies, either. Douglas throws in the caveat that it will only go ahead if the turboprop, swept-wing version of the B-36 wins out over the B-52, guaranteeing development of the YT-34. If it is built, a wing of a mere 80 of them will be able to carry an entire airborne division anywhere in the world. Or a 32,000lb bulldozer, or any existing tank. And it will clear a 50ft obstacle after a mere 3250ft run!
"CAA Spending Will Decline" Because it has broken the back of the national airways scheme, and above all the airport construction.
General O'Donnell is leaving his job commanding FEAF to head Fifteenth Air Force as part of a routine change of command authorities, and not at all because he called for atom bombing China in a press conference.
"Employment is Up, Supply Down" Spot shortages of labour in many markets are very briefly mentioned. Meanwhile the "logjam" in contract placements is breaking, and one example of this is a big order for Zero Readers. Among many others in $31 million in signed contract orders this week.
The USAF is introducing helicopter pilot instrument training courses, with 10 hours of instruction to blind flight. Interestingly, the rest of the article lays out the pilot trainees' frustrations with the courses so far.
"Inside the Navy Viking Test Rocket" a pictorial of details of the Martin Viking rocket.
Equipment has "TWA Orders Collins Radio Units" Collins' new radios replace WWII-era equipment. Lighter, more channels, better controls, more automatic operation.
New Aviation Products has an emergency canopy actuator air motor from Lear: Blast it with 1500lb/sq inch from a reservoir bottle, no more canopy! United States Rubber has a new and more rugged plastic, Royalite. Good for dashboards, it is electrically nonconductive and doesn't burn. Easily. Electrical Engineering and Manufacturing has a "bomber actuator," which seems to be an electrical actuator suitable for bombers, while Titan's stud driver, drives studs safely.
Avro Canada reminds everyone that it has a Jetliner and that it could easily replace any existing American airliner on any route because it is very fast and usually won't fall out of the sky from fuel shortage.
There must be a labour shortage because "Engineer" correspondence schools are back. Flight Refuelling has an entire book about Refuelling in Flight!
Editorial is upset about the firing of Russell Adams, is very pleased with Thomas Finletter's handling of the Kaiser-Fairchild-Air Force situation, is shocked at the suggestion that Korea might "blow over," and is concerned about galloping censorship. (In a previous page article that reads suspiciously editorial-ish, Aviation Week tears into what it regards as a well-meant but ill-considered Air Force edict on cockpit instruments standardisation coming out of the Pacific air lift. I'm not really qualified to comment, but it sure looks like a better use of Aviation Week opinion-having than blowing smoke up Secretary Findletter's, er . . . (I like that I can translate that directly! More Hong Kong newspapers, please!)
Time, 22 January 1951
America's dreamiest senator, Paul Douglas, is our cover story!
Some writers agree with Hoover's isolationism, and some disagree. Most writers agree with the choice of the American fighting man as the Man of the Year, but comments about General MacArthur "blundering" struck Walter T. Goldsworthy of Chicago as unfair, while self-described MacArthur critic Earl French thinks that the blunder in Korea was actually political, and not of MacArthur's making. Ned Williams of Down Beat points out that it is not always easy to figure out which popular singer is most popular in a given year. Monsignor Thomas J. McCarthy of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, points out that Protestants can aim for "clericalism," just as much as Catholics, while Paul Smith of the Society of Jesus suggests that inviting the wives would put an end to the excesses of the office party jig-time! Our publisher wants us to know that the boys in Korea really appreciated the story, and that they jumped into the debate on using the atom bomb in Korea or against China with gusto.National Affairs
"Eyes on Y" X is when the Russians will be ready to atom bomb America; Y is when Europe will be able to defend itself against the Red Army. It's anyone's guess when X will happen but we want to make sure that Y happens first. That's not very alphabetical! However, because it will happen in the future, the Pentagon thinks that full mobilisation now is not a good idea, because it will lead to us being less well prepared in that future. Meanwhile, US losses for the Korean War, with the consequences of the big Communist offensive now factored in, are 42,713, including 6,247 dead, 29,306 wounded and 7,160 missing.
"The Cost of Security" The 1952 budget has $74 billion for defence and $20 billion for everything else. The President wants higher taxes, but Congress disagrees. The President also gave a speech on the economic health of the nation. Steel production is up, the size of the armed forces is up, and labour in defence is up, although not nearly as high as it needs to go, which is estimated at 4 million. The economy is in roaring good health, although there is some shortage of consumer goods, as there should be.
means that he took the stage in the Senate "debate" over "Isolationism:" What is it Good For?" Senator Douglas thinks America should ally with the Titos, Francos and Chiangs of the world, fight for the Asian mainland, mobilise a 6 million man armed forces, spend $100 billion on defence, increase the work week from 40 to 48 hours, and strike directly at Russia the next time it gets uppity. Then it is on the Universal Service debate, which doesn't seem like much of a debate when everyone is getting cold feet. The Army's plan is UMT for a few months followed by release, which is basically the version that puts the least pressure on the Pentagon, since once set up the whole scheme will basically run itself as far as the Pentagon is concerned, with draft boards taking the heat. On the other hand the Administration wants the draftees to go into the army, or some alternative service if their health isn't up to it, where it will be the services' jobs to train them into something useful. That's a lot of work for the services, and they don't like that. Meanwhile, Congress is having second thoughts about the political work of calling up millions of young men, administering health and educational deferments, and so on. That's a lot of angry mothers writing in! Finally, the Army gets some heat from General Marshall, called from retirement to present the Pentagon case for UMT but also, apparently, to scapegoat the Army. It is fusing too many men in the "tail" for so few combat divisions compared with the Russians.
"Shoestrings and Saddlebags" The President has proposed that Congress should do something about the gerrymandering of Congressional districts, getting rid of districts that look like the said shoestrings and saddlebags.
Americana reports that "bebop" is the latest thing in American men's fashion; that Carnation Milk has crowned a new Daisy; that Arizona is weathering the longest drought in the state's history at 114 days; that the NAACP is boycotting a Marion Anderson concert because the central aisles have been reserved for Coloureds; that the pastor of Memphis' First Methodist Church is reserving a dimly lit "Dater's balcony" for Sunday services. Manners and Morals reports that a six-year-old named Dickie Bonham has died of a ruptured spleen and other injuries after trying to fly like Mighty Mouse, and your sordid crime story of the week.
Frankie Housley in the cabin of the burning National Airlines DC-4 that went off the runway in Philadelphia last week. Housley is the stewardess who went back into the plane to try to rescue a baby. The VA gets the last two cheques it sent out to a disabled veteran in Kansas City returned anonymously because what with the war and all, he feels guilty receiving them when he doesn't need them.
War in Asia
Major General Clark Ruffner. Laurence Keiser and Robert McClure had previously been relieved in their turn. An anecdote describes how McClure decided that the men of the 2nd should grow beards, with some sections chin whiskers, other Lincoln-style beards, and headquarters staff full beards. A staff officer recalls: "I think it was giving the men something to talk about.")
"Profound Change" Now that the monsoon is over and the air force can fly again, the French offensive in Annam is coincidentally having a great success, probably because General de Lattre de Tassigny is a genius. (De Lattre is a fan of clean-shaven soldiers.
"Traders' Jitters" Time gleefully reports that Hong Kong seems to be about to get what is coming for it due to trading with the communists and all. (File this under, "The UN getting kicked out of Korea would be good because then we can atom bomb the Chinese.")
Inishmurray is a very romantic Irish island.
"Nothing But Politics" Now that Communist Pierre Joliot-Curie has been fired as head of the French Atomic Energy Commission, his replacement is socialist Francis Perrin, which Time deems a step in the right direction, at least until the French government can bring itself to appoint an outright anti-Communist to the job. Or, more explicitly, Time demands that Jean Thibaud be given the job, which is good enough for me, at least until Marshal Petain comes back from the dead and learns atomic physics. Also, local Italian politics continues to be very colourful, and, at least in Time's telling, the Communists continue to be terrible, just like Ilse Koch, the She-Wolf of Buchenwald. India has told the Nepalese how it is going to be from now on, ending the snit between king and prime minister in favour of the new, reformist prime minister. Also, the Chinese ambassador to Indonesia is a very offensive person, and visitors are no longer allowed to photograph barechested Balinese girls as it would help "liberate" Balinese women.
In this hemisphere, Argentina has bought two light cruisers from the United States, the widow of the Blair House guard killed in the recent assassination attempt has been feted in San Juan and given a gift of $4,816.59 raised by Puerto Rican schoolchildren, and given a nice speech about how she doesn't hate the country of Puerto Rico. Crime and corruption are terrible in Havana, the Peron government is in some kind of dust up with some athletes it sent to America on a diplomatic mission, and Albert Guay, the man who killed his wife with a bomb that brought down a Quebec Airways plane, has swung for his crime.
"Too Heavy?" The number of trucks on US highways has risen from 4.59 million to 8.2 million in the last decade, and they've been getting heavier, allowing freight carried by rail to increase from 51 billion ton miles to 115. The question is whether this is damaging the highways, which the Governor of Ohio has pushed the governors of the midwest and eastern states (which is an organisation) to test by running lots of trucks over a section of modern, two-lane highway in Maryland. The answer, the governors say, is that it is. The American Truckers Association replies that the tests don't prove anything because the soil under the highway section was poor. But Governor Lausche wants to introduce a special tax on heavy loads to cover the costs of highway repair. Also in heavy auto news, Chicago is experimenting with propane-powered city busses to cut operating expenses. Time visits Macmillan Publishing, which is casting off the British apron strings and making a stock offer in its own right, leading to an SEC filing that gives us the inside scoop on the publishing house's business. Its gross profit last year was $13.2 million up from $6.8 million in 1940, much more than its British parent. General Foods is moving to a 48 acre rural campus to give its workers a break on housing costs.
Retail has seen no sign of the usual after-Christmas lull so far.
Science, Medicine, Education
"Plows and Sacred Cows" Dr. Henry Garland Bennett of the Oklahoma A and M demonstrates how Point Four can help the world's less fortunate people: an acquaintance, former country agent Horace Holmes, went to India as an advisor ten years ago and taught the people in a 100 square mile region near Mahwa how to grow a new strain of wheat and roate them with legumes and potatoes, use threshers, and then DDT. Finally, he even treated the sacred cows for rinderpest and introduced an immunisation scheme.
"The Best They Could" The Mayo Clinic has examined four year-old Carolyn Joan Purcell and found that she does not, in fact, have retino-blastoma, leaving her mother very upset with local doctors who were only too willing to have the kid's eyes out in spite of being, it turns out, completely incapable of diagnosing retino-blastoma. Time defends them on the grounds that they did the best they could, which her father echoes. Considering that the doctors were still angling to take out an eye even after Mrs. Purcell had managed to find someone to pay for a trip to Rochester, I'm with Mrs. Purcell.
"The Mixture as Before" You may recall State Senator Dudley Leblanc as the man behind Hadacol patent medicine. Well, now he is behind the "doctor's pledge" campaign to persuade doctors to endorse Hadacol ahead of its Hollywood campaign, featuring Groucho Marx and Judy Garland. The AMA has sternly told members that they are not to endorse Hadacol.
"The Inevitable" Colleges are starting to empty as students volunteer for the armed forces before they can be drafted, and commencement at the University of Glasgow, or whatever they call it over there, was particularly spirited because Glaswegians are like that, while of the 244 honorary doctorates given out in the four years since WWII, there has been a distinct boom in degrees given to generals and admirals, with clergymen slipping back terribly, from 45% of honorary degrees a century ago to only 5% today.
"Fellow Citizens" Connecticut has done a nice set of local studies of conditions in education in various towns. More than half need new buildings, several have found that their teachers are underpaid and have to take part-time jobs, Hartford has found that only 69% of students finish high school, and the state has found that it needs a network of community colleges and an educational tv station, and that it needs to revisit the idea of homework. Pinocchio was recently translated into its 53rd language.
Radio and Television, Art, Press, People
Radio was surprisingly profitable this year while TV stations are still losing a lot of money, although almost as many TV sets came off the assembly lines as radio, which surprised me.
Billy Rose is joining NBC as a consultant, because he has "ideas."
His fellow artists don't like Marcel Vertes because his art is too "sunny" and also commercial. Well, his latest Manhattan show is great, so they're all wrong. And Le Corbisier's "Radiant City," the 300-family apartment house "on stilts" is controversial because the quarters are too cramped and leave no room for wine cellars, says Time, although I think that might be just Time being Time.
"The Editor Regrets" When the publisher of the Manhattan, Kansas Mercury-Chronicle was away in Topeka, the editor saw the chance to publish an anti-Republican editorial, which led to the publisher rushing home and administering a firm spanking, since this is Kansas, after all.
"Throwing the Rule Book" No-one knows the latest from Korea about censorship because it is all being censored. I am being a bit facetious, but basically, SAC is in a tizzy over new censorship rules that seem to have blindsided the headquarters as much as the press. The problem is that MacArthur won't surrender his own freedom to speak to the press,. Censoring out the name of the commander of the Commonwealth Brigade doesn't make a lot of sense when another correspondent can authoritatively report that MacArthur recommended that the UN withdraw from Korea last week. And the latest fight between Senator McCarthy and Drew Pearson features Pearson quoting, verbatim, four confidential reports from General Willoughby citing Chinese troop strengths in Korea far below those cited by MacArthur. McCarthy's line is that by publishing these reports, Pearson is compromising American codes, since the Reds can compare them to the original, coded text. Pearson's line is that there is no break in "cryptographic" security, and he published them fair and square from a source with "the knife out for MacArthur." The Army is investigating.
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur is 71.
The New Pictures
Dallas is a high-budget Western in which Gary Cooper is a heroic Southerner getting revenge on the carpet-baggers, while Vendetta is the troubled Howard Hughes production that has run through three versions and four directors since 1946. It seems like we've already seen a bad review. Well, here's another. On the other hand, it isn't a terrible review for Faith Domergue. The Sound of Fury is a movie that sets out to prove that lynching is bad, and manages to fail.
Desmond Young has Rommel, the Desert Fox which is the latest biography of Britain's favourite German general. Jessamyn West's The Witch Diggers is a novel about how an average family of Indianans who run a poorhouse does one terrible (but sexy) thing after another while "two crazy inmates," the witch diggers of the title, dig holes all over the family farm looking for the cause of it all. Gary MacEoin has a biography of Cervantes, author of Don Quixote and quite the adventurer himself, and Phyllis Bentley's Quorum is a novel set in darkest Yorkshire, using a municipal council meeting to frame the story and bring it to a "pro-virtue" but "bounceless" ending.
Time, 29 January 1951
It is a quiet week, and it takes several pages of letters to get past old men crabbing about politics, a surprising number pro-Acheson. Eventually, Edwin P. Hoyt, the military writer, I think, writes to correct Time about which Pope banned the crossbow as an un-Christian weapon. (Innocent II, not III.) Captain George Rogerson, ex of the 34th, writes to identify the unknown soldier photographed for Time by Carl Mydans as Sergeant First Class Jerry Christensen, missing in action since late July of 1950. Correspondents are alternatively supportive or very upset that a Catholic priest would accuse some Protestant organisations of clericalism, and the article that provoked it in the first place. The Publisher's Letter tries to deal with the torrent of responses to "Giant in a Snare." Funny, because my reaction was quite positive: "Yay, I don't have to read that!"
TRUMAN VERY BAD PERSON STOP. SAY BAD THINGS ABOUT GOOD PEOPLE. STOP. GOOD THINGS ABOUT BAD PEOPLE STOP.
Oh for God's sake mobilisation. Eric Johnston is involved now, and Alec Valentine has already fled Washington to wander the country having parties. I mean, talks. Radio Free Europe has a new president, Charles Douglas Jackson, the publisher of Fortune. Robert Taft says that the country is in a constitutional crisis because the President won't fire Dean Acheson even though Communist troops are here, there and somewhere else. The Air Force is calling up more of its reserves to hit its target manpower of 971,000, needed to keep the air force flying. A special boxed article consisting of various famous people saying that Communism is bad is appropriate here.
Page over from the red-boxed distinction given to the President of Ford Canada, Charles F. Wilson and General de Lattre de Tassigny agreeing that Communist aggression is on the rise and must be met by any means necessary. We move on to actual news: The $2 billion shipbuilding bill authorising two 57,000t flush-deck carriers amongst 173 new ships, needed to increase the fleet to 1071 ships, has passed. The Army has announced that it will have 24 divisions equivalent by July, while the defence Department has asked Congress to authorise combat pay bonusses for men in Korea and has agreed to soften its deferment policy for college students. Time rounds up recent army promotions. Ned Almond gets his third star somehow. Molly Van Renesselaer Thayer has been promoting the Air Force so hard in her society column that she has been made a reserve colonel, and was so tickled pink that she threw a party to celebrate. So would I!
"Liberty versus License" Time checks in with the Supreme Court, which refutes the "professional calamity howlers" who warn that "civil liberties are in danger in the US" by issuing some decisions protecting freedom of speech in ways that don't involved Communists, although they do protect someone who sounds like a Nazi.
Time checks in with Jimmy Byrnes, now happily Governor of South Carolina and Senator James Henderson Duff, late to join the Congress because he had to finish his term as Governor of Pennsylvania first. Tom Dewey is leaning towards endorsing Ike in '52, Indiana is the 25th state to endorse the 22nd Amendment, John L. Lewis has led the UWM to a new contract, and your crime of the week is an appalling story about a New York woman who was killed, in company of a private detective, trying to enter the house where her husband was having an affair so that she could prove it for the divorce proceedings.
Ike's in Europe! (And so is Rod Herod of GE, who is supposed to inspect factories and determine which NATO country will produce what defence goods.) Time continues to be upset at the UN for not being anti-communist enough, and Rene Pleven is visiting Washington while Nehru is touring Europe. Time is not impressed. With Nehru.
War in Asia
Since we're apparently not going to lose the war in Korea this week, it is off to "Hill 101," a full page feature on the Battle for Indochina. Hill 101 is the Viet Minh stronghold overlooking the besieged post of Vinhyen. The French are winning for now, but warn of another offensive timed to coincide with the lunar New Year.
"Atlee Pays off to the Left" Atlee has promoted Aneurin Bevan and Hugh Dalton. John Strachey remains War Secretary in spite of the final report on the Groundnuts Scheme (remember that???) coming in concluding that all the money spent has been thrown away. Ernie Bevin remains as foreign secretary in spite of being too sick to do the work, and Communist NUM leader Arthur Horner has told the coal miners that if they don't hit the three million ton target, the Tories get in, and no-one wants that. Time grudgingly admits that he is a Communist who is not that bad. Berlin's municipal election sees Ernst Reuter reelected in a close vote as General Taylor gives his farewell address. East German communists are bad, avalanches in the Alps have killed hundreds of people, Dr. Seagrave has been convicted of giving material aid to the enemies of Burma and has been sentenced to six years at hard labour, and some in the Arab League want to denounce neutrality and ally with the West.
In this hemisphere, Canada thinks Communism is bad, and General Vargas is back, which means so is his ally, publisher Franciscode Assis Chateaubriand Bandeira de Mello. Female bullfighter Angelina Medina almost got into trouble in Bogota, but then didn't when the bull scrambled up the side of the arena right beside her, headed in the same direction (escape), rather than goring her.
Science, Medicine, Education
"Frozen Milk" The Department of Agriculture thinks it might have licked the problem of preserving milk's taste and nutritional qualities in freezing.
The other story in Science is a sordid crime story that we don't need to hear about.
"Two Killers" A smallpox outbreak is following hard on the heels of a terrible flu season in Britain. (1599 killed in six weeks.) Fifteen families have been quarantined in a town in Wales, and 80,000 residents of Brighton are being urged to be vaccinated, a shocking thing for Americans, as many states require vaccination by law, whereas Britain does not. "The British are a pig-headed people, and as soon as you mention compulsion they start fussing about liberty."
"Key of Life" US doctors gathered at the first International Symposium on Steroid Hormones agreed that they can't agree on how steroids work in all respects. Some doctors think they help with male sterility, others don't. Some doctors are prescribing a steroid called "pregnenolone" to get relief from arthritis in pregnancy with fewer side effects than with cortisone and ACTH, but other doctors report no results, and the same is true when it is prescribed in other conditions where other steroids might help, such as lupus, fibrositis and bursitis.
Also, plague is back in Arizona again.
General Marshall has clarified that drafted college men who wait until after the end of the academic year to report, won't lose their right to choose their branch of service. The New York Board of Education will issue "dog tags" to all its students. Graduate engineers, very recently a glut on the market (why didn't anyone tell me?) are suddenly a hot commodity again. Time visits the president of Boston College, Daniel Marsh, who is retiring after turning the old place around some years past, as well as the principal of a distinguished private school and one of those teachers who says funny things about other teachers. Yale is making a new physics building its top fundraising priority.
Art, Radio and Television, Press, People
Renzo Vespignani, who is a Communist, and is having a show in Manhattan. Time actually kind of liked it. The Royal Academy is having a School of Paris show, which is very shocking indeed.
The latest parliamentary report on British broadcasting concludes that the BBC should stay the course, novelist Faith Baldwin is getting her own TV show (Faith Baldwin Theatre of Romance), and Norman Corwin urges writers who want to be successful to dare to be mediocre.
Newspapers can expect about a fifteen percent cut in newsprint under mobilisation, Time is very impressed with the new magazine of ideas, Commentary, as it would, on account of it basically being an intellectual anti-communist "libertarian" magazine for Jews.
Look magazine is feuding with General MacArthur, as you'd expect considering that it has repeatedly called for his relief. The Daily Worker's circulation has fallen dramatically since the outbreak of the Korean War, and has now been banned from New York newstands by the newstand association.
Brenda Frazier Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, Princess Margaret, Raoul Duffy, the Reverend Francis P. Sayre, King Simeon of Bulgaria, Knute Rockne, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sinclair Lewis and Woodrow Wilson hit the column for mostly the same reason, although I'm appalled by Brenda Kelly, who is grooming her pretty little five-year-old daughter for the kind of fame she used to "enjoy."
Betty Hutton is getting divorced. Maxence van der Meersch, Dwight Deere Wiman, Benjamin Stolberg, Jack Charles, Charles Benedict Driscoll, William Henry McReynolds, Natalie Satin Rachmaninoff, and Alys Pearsall Smith Russell have died.
The Federal Reserve has raised the margin requirement for stock buying from 50 to 75% to curb the bull market, Macy's of all companies, is launching a public relations campaign urging people to buy less, the Department of Commerce says that American output of stuff has risen 75% since 1929, and Lester Lum Colbert, the new president of Chrysler, is this week's cover story, bringing new suspension, automatic transmission, torque convertor and new style to Chrysler in '51, at least until the company is all tanks by next year. Which is unlikely, since it is building new factories and has kindly taken on the Ordnance's orphaned Continental factory to build tank engines, one of many, many Army combat vehicle contracts now let.
"Holding More Bonds" To encourage people to hold Treasury bonds and so contain inflation, John Snyder has come up with a plan to allow people to continue to collect interest past maturity, up to 2.9% if they are willing to hold E bonds for ten more years. Also, the Alcoa case is finally over, with Judge Knox definitely refusing to order Alcoa's breakup and definitely ordering Alcoa and Alcan stockholders to sell their holdings in each other's company.
The New Pictures
Molly is a movie based on the long running The Goldbergs, and fine. Operation Pacific is a John Wayne war movie in which Wayne is a submarine commander with a troubled marriage and is not fine at all! And with war movies suddenly big box office, there is now talk of a big batch of Korea movies, which is a story that doesn't really belong here, but comes square between panning a John Wayne war movie and a review of At War with the Army, which, we're told, "could have been worse." Not what you want your review to say! Feeble as the plot is, it is still enough to cramp the style of the headlining duo of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Grounds for Marriage is a comedy that isn't funny. The worst kind!
Arthur Mizener's new biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Far Side of Paradise is an important book just considering the outsized Fitzgerald legend, which you can tell from the long summary of the life/book that passes for a review. Rumer Godden's A Breath of Air borrows the plot of one of Shakespeare's wilder plays and turns it into a novel that Time likes. Neil Paterson has a short story collection.
Aviation Week, 29 January 1951
News Digest reports that North American is giving its employees a cost of living boost. A Convair RB-36D recently made a 51 hour flight with refuelling on an "undisclosed route." A Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter recently made the first nonstop flight between Hickam Field, Hawaii and Kelly AFB, carrying 61 patients from Japan, in 12h 16 minutes. The Avro Jetliner recently made a 900 mile nonstop flight to Jacksonville, Florida from Toronto in 2h 56 minutes and will remain in Florida for warm weather tests. Sidelights reports that navigators are now the most needed flight crew specialists in the AF. The Air Force may return to kerosene for jet fuel if the fuel supply situation continues to worsen.
XB-51, "which has a much higher performance than the Canberra." And that is why the Canberra will become the principal USAAF light bomber. Because the XB-51 is so superior that it just wouldn't be fair to Communists. The Post Office isn't interested in the elaborate "flying post offce" conversions of the XC-99 and Fairchild C-119 because they're dumb. Convair is going to unload another 2 240s on Arabian-American Oil. The Gloster Meteor will be the first British jet fighter in Korea, flying with the Australians. Designers are finding themselves challenged by the problem of folding swept wing arrangements for aircraft carriers. A new Swedish turbojet design giving 10,000lb thrust is the latest of a class that also includes designs from all four American houses.
Washington Roundup reports that some people consider Stuart Symington to be the new Harry Hopkins. Such as Stuart Symington, I guess. The latest super giant number for the defence programme is $87 billion through June 30, 1952. Washington wants all manufacturers to identify at least two sources for materials and parts to cut down on losses through labour trouble, sabotage or bombing. The Navy says that the Forrestal will be an improvement on the United States in spite of being smaller. Congress is bestirring itself to look into Uncle Henry's relationship with the RFC again.
"AF Studies Douglas Design for B-36 Role" If you thought it was coming down to the B-52 versus the B-36F, well, here's a dark horse design, a four-engine, swept-wing turboprop bomber from Douglas, currently designated the 1211-J. It would have a gross takeoff weight of 322,000lb in order to achieve 11,000 miles at 55,000ft, speed over 450 knots.
"NACA Says" NACA submitted a report to Congress on transonic research. We haven't yet solved certain critical problems that we need to solve before we can have planes that are really, really fast. No, even faster than that. The problems mostly involve extremely expensive experiments in very expensive wind tunnels that NACA is ready to do if we just give them lots of money.
"Navy Orders New Jet Fighter from NAA" The Navy wants its own version of the F-86. United and Braniff will order an improved version of the Convair Liner; but not, to be clear, the Turboliner.
Next, Aviation Week hosts a debate on props versus jets in ground support. It boils down to "Jets go fast!" "But, on the contrary, jets go fast!" I'm sure it will all be sorted out in no time.
Aeronautical Engineering has "What Properties Should Jet Fuel Have?" The Air Force prefers wide-cut JP4, since 50% of a barrel of crude can be turned into JP4 and on the basis of WWII experience, jet fuel consumption in a major war might rise to half the crude oil produced in the United States. The British like kerosene, because it doesn't boil off at high altitude. Of various other properties that one might care about, flash temperature is probably the most important. None of the cited operational properties have anything like the importance of knock rating in petrol fuels, although high Reid vapour pressure type fuels might be worth the bother of putting up with their more finicky properties. JP3 might be a good compromise between availability and vapour pressure, but kerosene is also available and has a very high flash temperature, for safety.
"New Fire Aids Developed by CAA" The CAA has developed a "flammability reference scale" and a self-sealing fuel line coupling.
George L. Christian, "Volume Overhaul of Aircraft Components" George Christian visits PanAm''s Miami overhaul base to see how they do it. With a shiny plate shop, mostly. In other words, the visit didn't get past the shop where Pan Am plates parts with chromium to extend their lifespans.
spark advance control valve from General Metals Corporation, which is supposed to improve fuel economy and supercharger efficiency by fiddling with the ignition retardation, which I think is basically black magic. And that is it for New Aviation Products, because Aviation Week is very full right now, and if suppliers want free advertising, they can buy an article like everyone else.
Idaho's legislature has a "flying legislators club," says the Director of the Idaho Department of Aeronautics, Chet Moulton. Secor Brown and Albert C. Mueller love Aviation Week. Bob Long of Alaska Airlines points out that they've been putting skis on planes since long before Transocean put skis on a DC-3, while the chairman of same makes the more relevant point that they were first to operate a ski-equipped DC-3, too. Another correspondent chimes in that he can't get the aviation industry job he wants because he is said to be "unskilled," even though he isn't. What's New tells us where we can get ahold of Industrial Dust Control Through Exhaust Systems, the Pangborn Corporation's catalogue, the Minneapolis Honeywell 1951 calendar (a bit late?), and a slide chart of the workability of stainless steels. Now I'll have something to read on my flight home!
Grover Loening's recent Wright Day speech, and gives us a blow-by-blow. He thinks landing speeds are too high these days, and that the plane of 1970 will cruise at 1200mph, land vertically, be built of titanium, have an auxiliary engine for taxiing and "controls effected by air flow," with variable sweep back wings, gust alleviation structure and seat springs. It will be more automated. The year 1970 will be an airminded utopia.