Saturday, May 22, 2021

Postblogging Technology, February 1951, II: Flying Saucers and Monstrous Regiments

R_. C_.,
Vancouver, Canada.

Dear Father:

I have yours of last week and am puzzling through it. So far I am struggling to make sense of our place in things. There is solid demand for gold in Hong Kong, but I am not sure enough to support a fullscale branch of the family operation, especially when we have enemies on the docks there who are going to be alert to any bullion movements. 

On the other hand, have you considered the potential for gold mining stocks? I know they do quite well on the Vancouver Stock Exchange, and there is some connection between the VSE and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, isn't there? I almost think that you might look to Hong Kong for financial support for underwriting issues rather than for customers for the stocks themselves. Because, not to be more callous than I need, gold mining is full of swindlers, and business partnerships are built on being partners to the swindle, not being the swindled!

Your Loving Daughter,

Time, 19 February 19551


Many correspondents are upset that Mary van Rensselaer Thayer has received a reserve lieutenant colonel's commission in the Air Force, because she is a woman. Some, to be fair, are upset b because she is rich and famous, but, mainly, it is because she is a woman. T. S. Medford of Norfolk, Virginia gets the "Misogynist of the Week" honours by suggesting that  that Gypsy Rose Lee deserves the promotion more because she is a stripper.  In a spirit of "equal opportunity," Time also prints a large number of letters denouncing Nehru on the grounds that he is an Indian. More Time readers are upset at women than Indians. Racial justice progress! Selden Smith, arguing on the grounds that he has lost a son in Korea, believes that negotiating peace is wrong and that we should just go on, I don't know, blowing everybody up forever because negotiations are bad. P. S. Porohovshikov is upset that the President said that all dictators are bad, because some Roman guy named Cincinnatus was way better than Lenin. Our Publisher wants us to know that Time is opening a bureau in Hong Kong under Robert Neville, has various correspondents on assignment in Asia, is happy about all the fan mail Senator Paul Douglas has received, and clarifies that Andrew C. Ivey's "push-pull" respiratory machine has never actually been used on a patient, but one life guard in Miami was inspired to try it on a five-year-old and writes that it works. Except that he was just "push pulling" instead of giving mouth-to-mouth, whatever that is, and not  using a machine that doesn't really exist yet. 

National Affairs

"Fateful Error" Time says that practically all the economists in the world agree with some University of Chicago Economists that the Administration's cheap money policy is leading to high inflation that will destroy the world economy in no time. Also, assorted Congressional budgeteers have ideas about cutting down the $71 billion dollar Federal budget by finding the some really terrible spending that doesn't involve national defence or Congressional pork. The President is not impressed with them in general, or Senator Fulbright in particular, and sounds very riled up over the railroads, where he has asked the Army (theoretically running the rails since the summer) to do something, which they did. Time, tickled to learn that the President doesn't like Senator Fulbright, digs in a bid and finds out that he is their kind of guy. He also called Hoover and asked him to support the famine relief bill for India. Meanwhile, Senators McCarthy and Taft turned out for the Lincoln Day rally in Washington. McCarthy promised to fight socialism and Communism, to wild cheers. "Taft got the respect. McCarthy got the cheers." 

"The Trestle at Woodbridge" The latest rail disaster is particularly awful because it took place on a temporary spur around construction of the New Jersey turnpike that had just been opened, killing 84, mainly factory workers headed home, injuring another 400, the largest casualty total since the 1918 Nashville crash. The Pennsylvania is blaming the engineer for not slowing at the approach to the trestle, but has admitted that there were no caution lights as "It was not the Pennsylvania's practice." Except that according to the Pennsylvania's own rules, it is their practice, says the County Prosecutor. Time is very upset, because it rides the rails to work. 

In other crime news, Bill Remington is going to jail for lying about being a Communist, and his former mother-in-law, Mrs. Elizabeth Moos, is in trouble along with "William E. DuBois, 82, Negro writer, who ran for the Senate on the New York American Labor Party ticket last fall," for being sponsors of the Peace Information Centre without registering as foreign agents. (Secretly, "William DuBois" is actually the one and only W. E. B. Du Bois. I'm not positive that Time was trying to pull a fast one here, but it sure seems like it.)

"Heroism Can Be Easy" Reporters have discovered that General Stratemeyer has issued Silver Stars to "seven of his back-in-Japan staff officers," while General MacArthur has given them to his surgeon-general, chief of intelligence, several vice-admirals, "three Marine officers --and two South Korean naval officers who happened to be passing by." (At Inchon.) He then gave the Distinguished Cross to Stratemeyer, who responded by giving MacArthur the DFC for flying to Korea. On the other hand, various soldiers who actually did something heroic in battle aren't getting medals. 

The fact that this story was published at all, and in Time, is very, very bad news for MacArthur.  It is also bad news for some parish politician from Louisiana who had to go up to Washington to appear before the Kefauver committee, and for New Yorkers, who have enough water this year, but, on the other hand, are getting an estimated soot fall of 384,000 tons a year in the area 40 miles around New York City, which is more than Pittsburgh at peak. Besides the "185,000 particles of dirt" in every breath, New Yorkers are also breathing arsenic, carbon monoxide and chlorine from "the city's spewing factory chimneys."

"The Man at the Wheel" Charlie Wilson is the new head of the Office of Defence Mobilisation, so he gets to be the cover story this week. 


"Spotlight on Africa" "The US was moving swiftly last week to set up an air screen in a neglected sector: North Africa." I am not sure that Africa needs an "air screen," and I am not actually sure that that is what is happening here. What is happening is that the US is putting $30 million and 20,000 men into French Morocco to upgrade six air bases there, along with more minor investments in the RAF bases at Benghazi and Castel Benito in Libya, on top of Wheeler Field near Tripoli, already a US base. A handy accompanying map shows how the new screen defends Africa against Communist air aggression, provided that the Communists are trying to attack Morocco. Some of the screening and defending seems pretty active, too, since an American contribution in Cyprus puts American bombers within 1500 miles of Moscow, perfect for defending Africa with a few atom bombs square on the Kremlin. 

"His Majesty Protests" Time is all a-giggle over the closing of the British consulate in Tihwa, because Britain recognised Red China and now the Red Chinese are kicking their consulate out of Sinkiang, and the British are protesting, showing that Communism is bad and that ineffectual British Europeans are ineffectual. 

Time is appalled that the non-Western countries in the UN aren't lining up behind America on various resolutions relating to bombing Manchuria and invading Formosa. Meanwhile, now that Turkey is part of the Western alliance, it is practically a utopia of anti-communist democracy.  

Foreign Affairs

"Legal Cads Are Out" Time checks in with the British Parliament, which has just abolished the Sunday Observance Act of 1780, under which private citizens could bring suit against Sunday openings and pocket the fines, which must have seemed ripe for abuse in 1780, and it is ridiculous that someone named "Anthony Houghton le Touzel" (actually Anthony William Green) was still showing a profit on the business this year. 

"Plenty of Sleeping Pills" Everyone agrees that Britain is muddling right now, and not in a "muddling through" kind of way due to the electricity and gas cuts, newsprint and meat shortage, dockers strikes, the 8000 people dead of the flu, the King asking for  £40,000 to tide him through till payday, the reserves call-up for summer manoeuvres not being long enough, the defence bill not being big enough, and some Labour MPs being a bit wet on pacifism. One British doctor says that all of this strain is making British people take sleeping pills like vegetables, and, after all, they're free under NHS!

"Plain Talk" Dorothy Frank Cowen, the wife of the US ambassador to the Philippines, gave the Association of Filipino Ladies Who Lunch (official name not given) a public dressing down on the occasion of being asked over to give a talk. Her theme was that they were too ostentatious and out of touch. Everyone agrees that that is not shockingly undiplomatic and impolite, but rather exactly how an Ambassador's wife should act in countries like the Philippines and sure to build good will. 

"Firm Foundations" John Foster Dulles left Tokyo for Manila last week after telling journalists at the airport that he had laid "firm foundations" for peace and Japanese rearmament in talks with Premier Yoshida Shigeru. In Manila he will explain to the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand how Japan's rearmament is a good thing and nothing to worry about, as the Japanese are anti-communist now. Time goes on to explain how the Japanese Communist Party is melting away thanks to economic good times and relentless political persecution. (Which is good, because they are Communists.) Also, King Farouk is marrying a pretty girl. The Egyptian press approves! (It better!) 

"Election --and Jubilee" Democracy has come to the Gold Coast, as Black voters will be allowed to elect 38 members of the next Gold Coast parliament. But just to be safe, the other 46 will be appointed by "chief's councils and business groups," and the executive council and governor will still be appointed by Britain. Which is lucky, because once they started voting, it became clear that actual, ordinary Black inhabitants of the Gold Coast don't like the British very much, and sent an anti-colonialist firebrand named Kwame Nkrumah to be leader of the biggest popular party in the parliament. The British, being fair about it, even obliged by letting him out of jail, where he was serving a two year sentence on suspicion of being a Communist. 

War in Asia

"Red Strike" and "Up to the Han" See-saw fighting continues in Korea, with the UN armoured advance pushing towards Seoul while a Chinese counterattack checked a Korean-led advance to the east. 

"Rabbit Stew" The Viet Minh have been promising for months that they would march into Hanoi on the first day of the Lunar New Year. Instead, the French put on a military parade, including towing some war surplus US Grumman F8F Bearcats and Sherman tanks through the streets, while US B-26 bombers attacked Viet Minh forces wherever they showed themselves. Time also checks into the northwestern hill country, where the French have mobilised the tribes against the Viet Minh.

"The Frankness of Friends" The ambassador's wife not being available, lecturing President Peron will be Edward Miller's job during his upcoming visit to Latin America. Colombia, which has already got the message, is sending a frigate and an infantry battalion to Korea. It is willing to increase this to an entire division if the United States springs for the equipment. Cuba, meanwhile, has offered to sell America more stuff, while in Venezuela, one intellectual is upset about all of this oil-boom bought prosperity, which will all end in tears any day now. In Canada, Defence Minister Brooke Claxton has promised to spend $5 billion on defence over the next three years, 10% of GNP. The army will be increased from its current strength of 65,000 to 115,000, with a brigade group going to Europe and complete re-equipment with American-style equipment,. The Air Force will be increased from 8 regular and 11 reserve squadrons to 40, with 11 squadrons and 6000 men slated for Western Europe. The Navy, currently at 10,000 men and 40 ships, will increase to 20,000 and 100 ships for antisubmarine and escort duty.


Retail inventories are still high. The Illinois Central gets a nice, long piece in honour of the stock paying its first common dividend since 1931. Merrill Lynch reports that its net income is up fivefold due to all the small investors (85,000!) coming into the brokerage to take advantage of the recent bull market.

Goods and Services reports that Nash will be showing off a  two-seater sport roadster, the first made by an American manufacturer in 20 years. The Pittsburgh Consolidated Coal Company, tired of old-fashioned schemes for miles-long conveyor belts, is going to try moving coal by pipeline next.  Manhattan's Telegift is teaming up with Western Union with a scheme to wire gifts anywhere in America, or at least to the 18 stores that have signed up. Weirton Steel has discovered a way of varying the tin coating on steel for tin cans so that a thin layer can go on the outside, and a thick one on the inside, which will save up to 25% on tin.  

"Opening the Door" For months, Monsanto has been trying to sell the AEC on an atomic power plant. The company thinks that it is the one to do it, after having run several projects for the Manhattan Project in WWII, and also its president developed tetraethyl lead, so he knows science. Sumner Pike of the AEC is not convinced that atomic power plants will ever be competitive, but Monsanto wants the chance to prove differently. In the bargain, it wants to develop some phosphate beds in a remote area of southeastern Idaho, which will need plenty of electrical power not currently in the offing, so the two would go together pretty naturally. 

"Comeback for Mack" The Truck builder, Mack, has been feeling poorly of late, with sales well off 1947 peacetime peak and the company running at a loss, so Mack did the only logical thing, which was to hire a very expensive president, Edwin Dagobert Bransome (which is a real name) at $100,000/year to turn the company around. And, what do you know, in a year when everyone is making money, so is Mack!  HIs secret?  "When you find something that is wrong, fix it!" Meanwhile, the Maritime Administration hs just ordered 25 "Mariner" freighters that will be even bigger than Victories and "fast enough to outrun submerged submarines," (15knots, it you were wondering) and "will carry sub-spotting submarines." The promised cost of the class is $200 million, and the Kefauver Commission is looking into a weird case in which big time gamblers were trading steel stocks with each other and getting Cyrus Eaton involved, which is, frankly, all the evidence I need that something is fishy in the world of steel, even before I come across the Maritime Commission planning to spend it all on freighters that are too fast to run a profit and too slow to outrun a modern submarine. 

"Noble Experiment" The Price Stabilisation Board is going to pre-emptively control meat slaughtering, holding it to just 450 major and 15000 local and state-licensed butchers, to prevent the meat from disappearing onto the black market, like in WWII. The meat packers are not impressed. 

Science, Medicine

"Case of the Barren Mink" So the Department of Agriculture was advising chicken farmers to dose their broilers with the synthetic hormone, stilbestrol, to promote rapid growth. So as not to get any of it in humans, it was recommended that it be administered as pellets, injected under the skin of the pullet's neck. Once the chicken was beheaded, the pellet would be gone, and no human would be exposed. Unfortunately, mink farmers buy the heads as feed, and their minks were getting the same accelerated growth, resulting in their going into pelt before they had a chance to litter. This week, a bill was introduced into Congres to pay 30 affected ranchers up to $55,000 each. Talk is that if it comes to testimony before the House, rancher Henry Krueger will bring up the effects of stilbestrol on men. (It's not good!) Agriculture says that there is no evidence that stilbestrol is reaching human consumers; the Canadian government, less impressed, as banned its use. 

"Rain of Iron" After studying the meteor crater near Canyon Diablo, Arizona, Dr. H. N. Nininger has concluded that it was hit by not one, but two meteorites landing close together, and that they were a central body of nickel iron, orbited by one of "slightly different composition" and accompanied by a loose swarm of smaller meteors. The result was a slightly complicated crash that did not, importantly, leave any worthwhile mass of iron in the crater, as it was all vapourised in the collision. 

"Crystal X-Ray" GE has developed an "artificially grown crystal of cadmium sulphate" that acts as an amplifier tube when excited by X-ray radiation, "producing 100,000 times the energy" it received from the initiating ray. The short article goes on to explain how the X-rays work to detect bubbles and flaws in an assortment of industrial products such as rubber heels, blasting fuses and cans of baby food. 

"Myxomatosis" Australia's latest weapon in its ongoing war against its rabbit infestation is an imported disease that is "harmless to humans and other animals," and which will hopefully kill off all the rabbits.  

"Deep-Frozen Woman" Dorothy Mae Stevens, a 23-year-old denizen of Chicago's South Side, found in an alley at 7:45am by a patrolman with a body temperature of only 64 degrees, may well recover. The doctors say that, if she does, it will be because of the alcohol content in her blood, acting as an antifreeze. She's lucky to be alive, but she needs a better class of friends! Speaking of women who need better doctors, Mrs. Gertrude Levandowski of Burnips, Michigan (which is a real place), was diagnosed with an "improbably large" ovarian cyst that made her appear fat, a few years ago. Doctors wouldn't operate, because she had a weak heart. About eighteen months ago, with her abdomen hanging around her knees, a new doctor decided that the cyst wasn't doing her heart any good, and he might as well operate. Mrs. Levandowski didn't expect it to help, but she was tired of living wrapped up in six yards of cloth, anyway, so at a body weight of perhaps 620lbs, the heaviest woman on record, she was put up at the Allegan Health Centre, helpfully yelling "Timber," when the nurses rolled her over during the night before the operation, when she was drained and relieved of 150lbs of cyst wall. 

President George Cross of the University of Oklahoma ended his fundraising pitch to the state legislature by telling it that he wanted a university that the football team could be proud of. Meanwhile, Umber Lee of Southern Methodist University got a big grant from Joe L. Perkins and is using it to spruce up the place, so by all means lets give him, and SMU, a long piece before coming to the melancholy story of Margaret Slauch, who had been teaching English at NYU for 26 years. A long-time, self-admitted Marxist, she has decided to take a job at the University of Warsaw because America is no place for a Marxist, even if she keeps it to herself.  (Time omits to mention one detail from the AP/New York Times story: She had been subpoenaed by HUAC.) 

Art, Press, Radio and Television, People

Charles Sterling, a curator at the Louvre and an advisor to the Met, has concluded that one of the most popular paintings at the met, Mlle Charlotte du Val d'Ognes, is not actually by Jacques Louis David, but rather by one of his "obscure followers," Constance Marie Charpentier, which means that it is no longer worth $200,000 because it is now an awful painting by some obscure woman. At least she never got an Air Force reserve commission! A French town called Bessans, with an immemorial tradition of carved wood sculptures of the Devil is in danger of having its ancient artistic industry die out for reasons that are just too quaint and picturesque for me to capture them in writing. Francesco Torri is an Italian painter who used to keep a low profile because he was an industrialist in his spare time and he thought it would hurt his artistic career. But now he is famous and doesn't care. Hugh Stix is the kind of industrialist (grocer, actually) who sticks to what rich people should do in the arts: building galleries. 

In press news, Communism and foreigners are terrible because the draft UN treaty on freedom of the press has all sorts of exceptions. Hot Rod is a very successful magazine, and a colourful Texas panhandle newspaper editor changes the titles of syndicated columns that come down to him and then comments on them if he doesn't like them, which Time thinks is a swell bit of Americana, just like the latest bit in the Harvard Crimson making fun of Radcliffe. (Radcliffe girls are bluestockings. One of their patent "Radcliffe mother" letters in which she asked for the Harvard undergraduate body to be drafted because they are not manly enough for her daughter. Which then turned into national news because the rest of the country thinks that Harvard boys are effeminate, instead of that Radcliffe girls are, well, you know.Quite a story! And if that isn't enough, the "Mental Hygiene Society" of Westchester County, N.Y., is doing a study of advice columns for teenagers, to see if they read them, and if they're any good. It turns out they're not, so probably just as well if they don't listen. 

Robert Hutchins says that television is so terrible that Americans will eventually forget how to read and write. Other Americans say that television is so terrible that nobody is watching it, mainly because stations outside of the Hollywood and New York area have practically no good local talent they can screen. However, some local stations have developed very good shows based on what they do have, for example, Johns Hopkins puts on Science Review in the Baltimore area and the Museum of Science produces Living Wonders for WBZ-TV. So probably the stations just have to look around harder and they will find good programming. 

The BBC has cut its staff of newscasters from 19 to 8 to get more "consistency of voice." It auditioned 100 announcers to find its 8 newscasters, auditioning only men because "people do not like momentous or serious events . . . read by female voices."

Jan Masaryk, Dr. William Ralph Inge, John Wanamaker, Louis Bamberger, Marshall Field, David May, Samuel Halle, Greta Garbo, Abraham Lincoln, Arnold Galiffa, Joseph Jacob Foss, Clarence Streit, Dorothy Kirsten, Louis Bromfield, Edna Ferber, Fannie Hurst, Kohn P. Marquand, P. G. Wodehouse, Edgar Rice Boroughs, Louise May Alcott, James Hilton, Dale Carnegie and the Prince Hans of Liechtenstein are in the page. People is actually pretty short of People this week. It is hugely extended by two lists, one of Gay Nineties department store magnates (in honour of Samuel Halle getting a museum exhibit in Cincinnati) and one of bourgeois authors banned or at least scolded in Czechoslovakia. That leaves a fairly short list of famous people being famous, along with two war heroes, and Prince Hans, who, unlike the more common run of European minor royalty, is actually a story, as he is caught returning to Liechtenstein with 1250 Swiss watches hidden in his luggage. He swears they were planted on him. Leopold III has had his fifth child by his second wife. Terry Moore and Glenn Davis are married, as is Grania Guinness, heiress of the (guess!) fortune, and the Shah of Iran. Eddy Duchin, Mother Marie Yvonne Aimee de Jesus, Robert Crooks Stanley, Fritz Thyssen and Mrs. Hetty Sylvia Ann Howland Green Wilks (which is a real name) have died.  

The New Pictures

The Second Woman is  a derivative movie that beats the  usual quick imitation by being a copy of three different movies, including The Third Man, Rebecca, and Spellbound. Time thinks it is dumb. The Company We Keep has Lizbeth Scott being done wrong by Jane Greer and Dennis O'Keefe. Time thinks it is dumb, too. Vengeance Valley is a western, and pretty and Time likes Burt Lancaster, so that's okay. Frenchie? Dumb, and Shelley Winters can't save it. The Great Missouri Raid? Goes full tilt and has a great cast, but depraved because of the way it treats "glorified hoodlums" as heroes. 


Lowell Thomas went Out of This World, specifically to Tibet. and so did Schuyler Cammann. Actually, he went to The Land of the Camel, which is technically Inner Mongolia. They had fun. Warren Beck's Into Thin Air is a novel about a sad old Midwestern businessman by a sad old Midwestern college English teacher. Jocelyn Brooke's The Image of a Drawn Sword is a story of how a guy who just needs a vacation gets involved with a mysterious Army captain and goes nuts or something. Whereas Geoffrey Cotterell's Strait and Narrow is a regular old slice-of-life novel. 

Aviation Week,
18 February 1951

News Digest reports that Columbia Air Coach System, which sells tickets on "large, irregular airlines," has been charged with fraudulent advertising and petty larceny. Oh. OH. The other shoe drops from all those stories of ticket mix-ups last year. Germany is going to be allowed to do research work on industrial gas turbine engines but not anything related to airplanes, in case WWII happens again and it turns out that new airplanes are more important than letting Germany have an army again. 

Sidelights reports that the USAF is "shifting to heavier weapons" by replacing the six .50 machine guns on the F-89 with six 20mm cannons, that AC Spark Plug is getting a $4 million order related to the new Wasp Majors, that the Air Force's civilian work force is up to 186,000, that the Army is prodding th eAir Force to build planes that can fly tanks, that the USAF is opening its sixth air base in Britain, bringing its personnel there to 21,000, that the Air Force is calling up 80,000 volunteer reservists and that Air Force losses in Korea over the first six months totaled 223 planes. Fairchild's work on the NEPA atomic aircraft power plant is going ahead full steam. 

Washington Roundup reports that the army expects "atom-headed short-ranged guided missiles" to be here for tactical support of front line troops in not too many years. They have the edge over tactical planes in that they can be used against nearby enemy formations and can attack in poor visibility with "considerable accuracy." We are talking about atom bombs with yields of thousands of kilotons of TNT going off over the front lines, right? I'm not just confused? On the road from here to t here, the AEC's "atomic artillery" experiments. USAF spending is up to over $6 billion a year, and PAA is going to launch an "all out campaign" to "eliminate" TWA from international airline flying. The Senate and the CAA are arguing about the cargo and feeder type testing programme. CAA is bound and determined that the Super DC-3 and B-45 will win the big Federal money to develop a new generation of same same, and the Senate thinks that they're nuts, because if that's the best you can do, why not buy British?

Using her amazing psychic powers, Ronnie channels the spirits of the Awakened Masters to tell you, they are not going to buy British. We close our feature by fearlessly predicting shortages of just about everything in the coming months. 

Industry Observer reports that  Boeing's Wichita plant is going to need even more than its WWII peak of 30,000 workers to produce all those B-47s, that all three services are interested in ramjet-powered helicopters because "rotary flamethrowers" can lift a lot of stuff into the air and the increased weight of the tips, what with the engines being out there and all, makes them safer. Yes, yes. Safer. People are looking at Boeing's mini gas turbine engine and asking lots of questions like, "What exactly is it good for?" I am sorry, I have turned into a very snide person suddenly. But when I hear they are looking at a battery of them to power a blimp, I just have to wonder. Rolls Royce's new Avon manufacturing plant in Glasgow is still going to produce Avons in Glasgow, just like last time it was reported. The USAF has set a 15 March deadline to receive entries for its "1954 interceptor" project. BEA is terminating its experimental helicopter passenger service between Cardiff and Liverpool after ten months after determining that it was losing $84/trip because the whole idea is blazingly dumb. De Havilland Canada is said to be working on a bigger version of its Beaver, because there are no grown men in all of aviation. 

Alexander McSurely, "Auto Makers Get More Engine Business" Time covers this in Business, and while Aviation Week has more details, I am not sure how important they are, except possibly to business boosters in places like Tonawanda (near Buffalo), which are getting the factories. 

"Flying Saucers" Once again, Time has hit the story, the official Air Force admission that all those UFO sightings it claimed couldn't be explained, were actually cosmic ray balloons that were top secret for some reason.  (to be fair, Aviation Week notices taht they carried instruments for "other studies.") 

"Low Korea Air Losses" Low air losses in Korea (only 10 Air Force planes shot down in combat) show that the Communists aren't fighting very hard in the air, says the Air Force and Navy. 

Alpheus W. Jessup, "Russians Can Make Good Planes" Reporting from Tokyo to the McGraw-Hill World News, Jessup reports that the Air Force is saying that the MiG-15 is a pretty good plane, even though American jet fighters have shot down 20 for a loss of only five. It's because American pilots are better than the Communist pilots, who are thought to be Russians, and because the F-86 has an electronic computing gunsight, and the Russian plane doesn't. The MiG's acceleration and climb rate are better than the F-86s, and it is faster than any other American fighter. We aren't exactly sure what  makes it so much better, but there's no doubt about why its armament of one 37mm cannon and two 23mm are better. They hit harder!

"61 Convair-Liner 340s Ordered Since Jan 1" You have to congratulate Convair on its stick-to-itness, anyway.  The "340" was earlier reported as the "240." A Canberra is expected at Wright Field shortly, transferred in by an RAF pilot. Boeing and Bristol have signed an "assistance pact" invovling ramjets and "other defence products." The Office of Guided Missiles is reporting that it is spending gobs of money on guided missiles. 

Irving Stone, "Mobilisation Stirs Up Wasp's Nest" Irving stops by the US Government plant in Souothington, Connecticut to find out about Pratt and Whitney's efforts to get it back up and running as an engine overhaul base and parts manufacturing plant. Tings are going very fast. 

Aeronautical Engineering  has an advertorial about the new Hiller ramjet helicopter prototype, the two-place Dragon. There's not much detail, and I'm not sure I believe in "rotary flamethrowers." 

"More Briefs from IAS Sessions" visits Structure,s Flight Safety, Air Transport, and Electronics, which hears about standardisation, packing, antennae and frequency allocation. 

"Titanium Structural Efficiency Studied" NACA is looking into this new "titanium" stuff that everyone is talking about. It is pretty good, especially at higher temperatures where other light alloys start to fail. Boeing is going to use the University of Washington's wind tunnel while it modernises its own. It has also progressed to static tests of the B-47.

Equipment has George L. Christian reporting on "EAL Curing Engine, Injection Ills," which is more from EAL's Miami operating base. At the bottom of the article, Aviation Week skips in an advertorial for Eclipse Machine's new electric fuel pump. Eclipse is a division of Bendix, if you were wondering how this one escaped New Products. 

From the World Service comes "'Ink-Trace Navigator Used in Brabazon" That's one of those printing flight log gizmos with the rolling strip map, based on DECCA signals. Aviation Week rather petulantly points out that similar systems are under development "in this country."

New Aviation Products has a safety wheel cock from Pyrene, a telemetered motor from Servo-Tek that uses a "ring type Alnico V" field magnet of the metal saved in the new Philco televisions. Conax Sales of Buffalo has a thermocouple gland that is better than a bare thermocouple, while Morrill and Morrill have a high-precision "torque-checker," which is a hand instrument that measures torque, as opposed to a torquemeter which I have no idea what the hell those do and why they get inserted in the middle of jet turbine drive trains. Sorry, free associating there.

Delta has ordered some Super DC-3s, and Northwest wants us to know that its Stratocruisers are operating normally now with no unusual maintenance or utilisation problems of the kind it never had before. Well, maybe it  used to have. But not now, and that's the point! 

Aviation Week talked to an airline pilot who went to a very enlightening film on approach lighting the other day. It seems like there is something to all of this approach lighting talk.  


"Saucers, Secrecy and Security" Aviation Week congratulates Look magazine, which is apparently where the flying saucer scoop appeared. And who is to blame for all of this? Why, President Truman, of course. If only Washington's chronic love of secrecy hadn't intervened, we would have got to the bottom of the whole flying saucer thing ages ago. But, instead, we had a giant, government-fostered hoax foisted upon us, because the government couldn't allow itself to put two and two together even after the Skyhook secrete was revealed in 1949. Bad Government! Good question!

Time, 26 February 1951


Time gets a whole bunch of letters about how great its article about Iran and oil was, and how the State Department should do something to help Iran against communism right away. Faith Baldwin fans don't like Time reviews of Faith Baldwin books, but Faith Baldwin thinks that any publicity is good publicity. Franlin J. Weyrick of Bremeton, Washington, is happy as a clam that our Ambassador to the UN makes fun of the UN for not being anti-Communist enough. Chicago newspaper writers think that Claudia Cassidy is a witch. How dare that woman write reviews? Many women write to point out that women  have already flown jets. It isn't a new thing, as Time seems to think. But of course it is a man who gets the lead letter pointing out the mistake, even though he can't name the WASP pilot (Ann Baumgartner Carl). Everyone in Colorado agrees that Governor Thornton looks like an idiot in his Stetson. Our Publisher catches us up with the Time News Quiz, back this issue, complete with trick questions like, "Who is William DuBois?"

National Affairs

"Confidence and Strength" It turns out that all of that mobilisation-related activity actually worked. The United States will have 24 divisions ready to fight by the summer, has already doubled the strength of the Navy to 1052 ships, is making rapid progress on an atomic submarine, has mobilised the entire Air Force Reserve, is letting defence contracts at a rate of $5 billion a year, up from $3 billion, has passed the draft bill, and is "fighting effectively" in Korea (casualties: 8,154 dead, 30,569 wounded, 9,312 missing and prisoners). On the other hand, the labour members of the Wage Stabilisation Board resigned en masse last week, as part of a strategy of targeting the Board and getting a 12% wage increase ceiling instead of the 10% offered. Meanwhile, Time traces the expansion of the bureaucracy, and notes New York Police Commissioner Tom Murphy's refusal to take on the price control position at the Price Stabilisation Board because he is still upset that he didn't get a Federal judgeship for prosecuting the Hiss case. 

"Time for a Rest" Everyone thinks that the President is tired and  needs a rest. Time, The Economist, everyone, really. Why, when Herbert Hoover told the President that he was going to make another radio address, criticising the President's foreign policy, the President snapped back  that it would be good for the nation to know where Hoover's crowd stood. So very rude! It sounds as though the President is going to take a rest, on his train trip out to California to see defence plants, he will do a long weekend in Arizona. 

"A Question of Strategy" General Marshall briefed the press on our plans for the defence of Europe this week. The US, which already has two division in Germany plus additional support troops to the number of 100,000 men, will increase that by four more combat divisions with supporting troops to bring it up to 200,000, about the number Robert Taft is calling for. General Marshall deems this to be enough for perhaps a decade of tension to come, as long as the Congress doesn't restrict or ability to reinforce them. Our European allies will double their strength under arms from 2 million to 4 million.

"Belated Explanation" Three and a half years after the beginning of the UFO craze, Dr. Urner Liddel, chief nuclear physicist of the Office of Naval Research, offered an explanation, which is taht many of them were giant plastic balloons called "Skyhooks," sent aloft since 1947 to record cosmic rays. Being 100ft in diameter, and operating at 19 miles height, while scudding along under the jet stream, they have been pretty visible on occasion, but secrecy prevented the Air Force from discussing them. Much. Since this explanation was offered back in 1949, and the only really new thing is pictures of what the Skyhooks looked like. 

Under Armed Forrces, New Tools reports that the Aberdeen Testing Ground is seeing proving tests of a new rifle, the .30cal T-25, good for 750 rounds a minute, 2 1/2 pounds lighter than the Garand, convertible to single shot, a good replacement for submachine guns, and, maybe, when it gets a stronger barrel option, the Browning. Aberdeen is also testing, it says here, a .60 caliber air-cooled machine gun with the "highest muzzle velocity of any gun of its type," which can be electrically fired by remote control and easily upgraded to 20mm. The new T41, "the world's best light tank," is named after General Walker, can make 40mph, and has, as usual from the Ordnance, an air-cooled engine, with an automatic torque converter transmission so that it can steered with  a stick. The 76mm gun has a gyroscopic sight, and at only 25.8 tons it can be transported by air. The Navy, meanwhile, is doing the Army one better by achieving the immemorial dream of a true submarine, atomic that is, capable of your basic twenty thousand leagues under the sea by virtue of never coming up for air. Meanwhile, Army reservists and National Guardsmen are reported to be having trouble finding work due to employers not wanting to hire someone who might be mobilised off to fight with no warning.

The Kefauver Committee is looking into connections between underground kingpin Frank Costello and former New York  mayor O'Dwyer, with plenty of other underworld figures flitting around the big show.  Not at all related but not worth another header, the Labour movement is in trouble with two contempt of court fines being approved against the UMW and Railroad Brotherhoods, while rampant featherbedding at a Postal annex in Boston is a current scandal.   

"Cutting the Fog" The Loyalty Review Board is having trouble finding all the Communists, and has asked the President to change the current standard of proof from "reasonable grounds if disloyalty" to "reasonable doubt that he was above suspicion," which would allow them to "cut through the fog" and fire more Communists. The President promised to refer it to his new Commission on Internal Security and Individual Rights, which is expected to approve the change immediately. 

"High and Light" Time checks in with the teen drug problem, which is at one and the same time quite serious suddenly, and not that serious, in that teens usually use drugs for kicks, and not because of the psychological problems that afflict adult users, and are therefore easier to wean from their addictions, although there is a shortage of treatment programmes. 

"Under and Out" Convict Joseph Holmes is on the loose in Baltimore, ten years into his 20 year sentence for burglary,  after tunnelling 70ft from his cell under the penitentiary walls.

"The US Gets a Policy"  Time summarises America's official, unstated world anticommunism policy at great length. I guess that since it is "unstated," we won't hear about it anywhere except Time, but that's okay because  it's one of those "eyes glance off" bits of writing that doesn't seem to go anywhere. I think we're going to stand up to the Communists and peacefully coexist as long as they peacefully coexist and wait until they go away. 

War in Asia

"Another Peninsular Campaign" The war in Korea is just like Wellington's campaign in Spain. Somehow. Because in both wars the plan was to capture Seoul and then wait for the Chinese to give up? I knew I should have wrangled my way into Stanford ROTC! Time does its best to make the fighting seem dramatic, but what it boils down to is that the latest Chinese formation to the theatre, the Third Army, launched an attack down the mountainous centre of the peninsula, couldn't break through past UN strongpoints, and then was  mopped up by armoured columns and air strikes, although commanders on the ground are getting tired of the lack of artillery support. By which is apparently meant that there isn't even more artillery, since there is a lot of artillery in Korea.  


"More Words" Joseph Stalin gave an interview to Pravda in which he denied that Russia is mobilising for war, supported China's position in Korea, said that Russia wasn't going to start WWIII, and objected to Clement Attlee saying that Britain was rearming because Russia wasn't demobilising. What was he trying to say? Time probes beneath the surface to find the sinister Communist line, then checks in with the Foreign Office rebuttal.  Also, Tito is warning that the Russians are about to invade him again. While he does this every year, it's for sure this time because Russia has been arming his neighbours and Stalin just has to be tempted by a "Balkan Korea," what with his thousands and thousands of tanks. It is also Mao's birthday. Since he hasn't been seen in public in Peking this week, Time helpfully speculates that he has either had a heart attack or is off to Moscow for secret meetings. Gerhard Eisler having to apologise for being a "conciliationist" shows that Communism is awful. 

"Search for a Jujube" Yet another confidence motion fails in Britain, by the largest margin yet, as the Tories try to portray the Attlee government as rearming inefficiently. Churchill is roasted on the floor so badly that he starts squirming, later joking that he was searching his pockets for candy, which makes it all better. Also, this is the first, or "vesting" day of the new British Iron and Steel Corporation, with Steven Hardie at the head. The industry thinks that he is a class traitor and no-one wants to talk to him. 

"Mount Ida to Jail" Time likes this story, which features "mustachioed" Constantine Kephaloyannis kidnapping Tassoula Petracogeorgi, spiriting her away to Mount Ida in Crete, and "marrying her in a lonely monastery." A court has found him guilty of rape, Tassoula says that she will return to him with her baby, and her father is pleased at the court sentence. I think I've left the romance out of it here, because I'm not super sure that there was romance. I think Greeks should be a bit embarrassed that the story is getting international play, since it is very stereotypical, but then what do you make of the next one, about a Paris contest to select the next generation of great French chefs? White hats, baguettes, Michelin stars. (Someone named Rene Laget won, so if he is famous in twenty years, my scorn was in vain!)

"Hitler's Advocate" Walter Huppenkothen, the SS agent who tortured the 1944 Hitler bomb plot conspirators, has been sentence to 3 1/2 years in prison for torture, because the court found him not guilty of murder, the convictions under which victims like Admiral Canaris were executed, being legal under the laws of Hitlerite Germany. In Israel, Ben-Gurion has orchestrated a lost vote of confidence so that he can go to the polls in the spring, and hopefully build a new coalition with an up-and-coming moderate Zionist party instead of parties representing Orthodox Jewish believers, with whom he has had to partner in the past

"22 Divisions" Did you know that the Spanish army is the "biggest non-Communist fighting force in Europe today"? It says right here! It is a 422,000 man army of 22 divisions, with 23,000 men in a 40 ship navy and a 40,000 man air force. It is supposed that the Spanish can turn out 2 million men with a maximum effort, all poor peasants who will fight to the death for pork twice a day. Well, that certainly sounds promising in the age of atomic warfare! Time goes on to point out that the state arsenals can turn out "about a dozen 60mm and 105mm guns a  month," and the less said about the navy the better. All of this for only 30% of the national budget. Time ends by pointing out that Spain is protected from the north by fortified mountains, which is great, but won't exactly do very much to defeat Communists sweeping across the Rhine! Time suggests give the not-at-all Fascists lots of guns so that they can fight, although it sounds like they need airfields and rail investment more. 

"Put Up or Shut Up" The St. Lawrence Seaway is back on the table. Now that the Labrador iron ore fields have brought the Midwestern steel companies on side, the Administration thinks it can finally overcome resistance in Congress. The major construction effort involved would be replacing the 120 mile stretch of locks and canals between Montreal and Ogdensburg, New York, with a 27ft ship channel, and five dams to funnel the International Rapids through 36 turbines at Barnhart Island. It would cost just under a billion dollars, with Canada chipping in $412 million, the United States, $523. Construction would take six years, provide 15,000 jobs, use 150,000t of steel and 7 million barrels of cement. It is all quite feasible, but the anti-Seaway lobby has been bottling it up in Congress for fifty years. Canada has made it clear that it will go ahead with an all-Canadian route if the Americans don't participate. It will be more technically difficult, but only add $40 million to the total cost. I'm not sure I believe that, but if the Canadians have put forward a financing scheme that will cover the announced cost, I have a feeling that they'll be able to find the additional money it will inevitably cost.

Latin America eagerly awaits the selection of the American team for the Latin American Olympics, which will be held in not-Communist or Capitalist but possibly Fascist Buenos Aires this year.


 "How to Grow Faster" Cleveland's Glidden Corporation announced a "new product to make animals grow faster" this week, consisting of a secret formulation of fish waste products and antibiotics, called "ABC and X." Glidden is currently a paint, not feed, company, but it knows from top secret chemical formulations from previous experiments in diversification such as stay-fresh coconut shreds and sex hormones. The only difference between the old, core business and "ABC and X" is that, instead of coming up with a new shade of aubergine, it has a miracle wonder animal growth food that absolutely won't end up with gigantic supermen and monstrous animals destroying civilisation before the atom bomb has a proper chance.

Goods and Services has Buick's new "experimental 'dream car,'" the XP-300, a two-seater convertible with an aluminum body only 39 inches high at the cowl, blue leather seats, safety belts, padded crash board, hydraulic engine hood and  jacks. The engine is a 500lbs, 300hp V-8 that runs on a "special mix of gas and alcohol" from dual fuel tanks.  Dow Chemical has the first continuous-rolling mill for magnesium sheets for planes and machinery, etc, in Madison. General Motor's Frigidaire division has a "Wonder Oven" electric range with a two compartment oven that can be merged into one, allowing it to cook either a single giant roast, or two separate items at two temperatures. It seems to me that the second compartment would be more useful as for warming, but I'm just a Stanford girl, and look who else has a Stanford degree!

"Cotton Chaos" Cotton is the latest commodity to go into shortage due to the price freeze, which has the cotton senator bloc on the war path for Mike DiSalle. Time thinks that DiSalle needs to hold the line. Although cotton was uncontrolled in the war and the price only rose 3 cents, there was a cotton surplus back then, and there's a shortage now, and the futures market is going crazy. If the price of cotton isn't held, there's no hope for other basic commodities and the retail price line. 

"Up From the Mailbags" Time reviews 25 years of air mail on the occasion of the CAB deciding that it wasn't  time yet to eliminate the air mail subsidy because "air transportation has not been brought within reach of people of limited means."

The Kefauver Committee is looking into the affairs of Al Capone confidante, Willi Morrelli, 

"Flight From the Dollar" Time is on the case of that attempt to smuggle $150,000 in gold out of the Unitd States under the fenders of a car loaded on the Queen Elizabeth, the $245,000 bust at Kai Tak last week, and the $5600 bust in London three weeks ago. 


Speaking of wild stunts, it is now rumoured that smugglers have resorted to parachuting gold into India. Too bad that Indian doesn't have a wide open frontier to the west Tibetan gold fields or anything like that. American investors, denied the chance to get into bullion, are buying up gold mining stocks instead. (Not that you'd know anything about that!)  As late as June, Time lugubriously reports, the battle for monetary stability had been won, and the price of gold was falling to close to its official rate as hoarders converted their holdings to hard currencies. But, war in Asia and US inflation  has put a stop to that, and the price of gold is up to $59 in Bombay. Some 85% of this year's gold production  has vanished, either into private hands or commercial use, although even the "commercial" gold is mostly in hoarders' hands, as the IMF allows South Africa to seel part of its production as "semi-fabricated" pieces. France is estimated to have $4.2 billion in hiding, while Fort Knox's reserves are down by $2 billion. While this movement is good for French and British trade, too much of the gold is being hoarded, and too little is being used to support the franc and the pound. 

Industry reports that GM's Buick division got an order to produce the J-65 Sapphire, in the biggest single defence contract ever won by Buick, while GM's Chevrolet division got an unspecified order for jet engines, Packard is making diesels for the Navy, and GE will build a $15 million plant near Utica to produce radar equipment and other electronic goods for the navy.  

Science, Medicine, Education

"Bombers" Time checks in with the Aviation Week beat to report on America's three new upcoming "super-bombers," each with a combat radius of 5000 miles, bombload of 10,000lbs, and 500mph at 55,000ft, depending on ceiling and speed, rather than armament, for self-defence. The XB-52, B-36F, and Douglas 1211J are reported as meeting the "super-bomber" specification. Of course, we Aviation Week readers know that the real news is the revelation of the Douglas submission to the requirement, a point that Time makes. "None of the heavies will be in production for a long time."

"Diamond Rival" Time is quite excited about "Titania," a Titanium dioxide crystal that is supposedly as beautiful as diamonds that will challenge South Africa's diamond monopoly. No, I do not think so. 

"Radio Eye" The Navy has built a radio-telescope to operate from the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, operating on the 30cm band, which is the lowest wavelength yet. The Navy seems to be using it to look for solar flares, which are useful for predicting future weather and radio conditions, but who knows what else it might learn.

Why is the Navy scanning the night skies for radio emissions? 

"Shortage of Doctors" Medical schools aren't graduating enough doctors to keep up with demand, says Dr. Howard Rusk, an adviser to the National Security Resources Board who thinks that medical schools should immediately increase enrolment by 15% and speed up medical education by cutting vacations. The AMA, on the other hand, thinks that America is on its way to a dangerous surplus of doctors by the mid 1960s. On the other hand, some people take the middle of the road, and think that medical education should not be compromised, and, anyway, it is really expensive and the government should pay for it. (More.)

"Cold Impasse" Dr. Christopher Howard Andrewes, the director of the "Common Cold Research Unit at Salisbury, England," has the latest British research on the common cold: Women are more susceptible than men; chilling, alone, doesn't cause colds; cures, including vaccines and antihistamines, don't work; with plenty of fluids and bed rest, you'll get over it in a week. Hurray for the Common Cold Research Unit!
"The CCU was sometimes confused with the Microbiological Research Establishment at nearby Porton Down, a military unit with which it occasionally collaborated but was not officially connected."

"Truth Won't Out"  It turns out that truth serum doesn't work! I'm not sure this is news to anyone outside of Time-land, but let's at least credit Frederick Redlich of the Yale Medical School for a pretty clever study in which they told an examiner about an embarrassing event from their lives, and then concocted a cover story. The subjects were then given sodium amytal and examined, and found that "well-balanced individuals" could stick with their cover stories, while the crazy ones couldn't, but tended to be equally unreliable the other way around, by making up stories. Which goes to show, like I said, that truth serum doesn't work.  When asked about how they extract confessions over there in totalitarian countries, Redlich suggested that they just use torture and pressure. 

"The Georgia Approach" They have education in Georgia? No, in fact, they don't. The state legislature just voted to cut off state funding to any white school that admits a Coloured, just in cast anyone has any funny ideas about following the lead of Texas, Oklahoma and Kentucky, which are admitting coloured students to satisfy "separate but equal" requirements.  Time then proceeds to get very upset about the Reds taking over Yenching University, just because it was a missionary school in China and because American aid money had been cut off by US Treasury sanctions. 

Yalemen sound a bit cracked.  Some Coloured students at NYU complained about Morison and Commager's The Growth of the American Republic on the grounds of a passage reading "As for Sambo, whose wrongs moved the abolitionists . . . he suffered less than any other class in the South from its 'peculiar institution.'" The university has decided that they have a point, and have replaced the offending textbook with Hicks' The Federal Union. Morison and Commager think that the offending passage is just fine and have no plans on changing it. It's not as though Morison has ever been wrong before. 

Press, Art, Radio and Television, People 

 "Freedom Fight" It's "Let's Pick on Georgia" day! This time it is because Governor Talmadge has introduced three bills on press freedom into the Georgia legislature to check those "lying newspapers." I won't go into the details, but some of them are pretty bad (I don't know what I think about the one that gives the state the power to break up newspaper monopolies, though) and the Georgia papers are having a fit over it. Meanwhile from way out West, the Denver papers get "long, 500-to 700-word Government prepaid digests" direct from the office of Senator Malone of Nevada every time he the distinguished senator opens his mouth, and they're tired of the waste of paper and Government money, while way out east The Daily Worker had a turgid self-criticism session. And if that weren't enough awful Communism, it is off to Britain, where the New Statesman and Nation is always publishing tripe about how it is the US, and not Russia, pushing the world towards atomic war,. This is the kind of thing you can expect from a "pinko" like Kingsley Martin, who is now picking a fight with the Alsops, just like some kind of "excitable, left-wing parody of Colonel McCormick." So there! (Now that's what I call shop talk!)

Oh, and our dear old cousin is back in the news, interpreting a nice Hollywood dinner in honour of Photoplay as a good opportunity to denounce the "irresponsible press" of Hollywood. Since there were a lot of Hollywood press out at an occasion celebrating the Hollywood press, some vigorous questions were had for the president of the Screen Actors Guild. While dear Ronald ain't wrong, the thought is that he ought to have a better idea of what side his bread is buttered on. 

Which makes me wonder. Since the his legitimate children have been such a disappointment to the College Man, could our cousin be laying the foundations of a campaign to make the Old Man proud? The one thing that could scuttle him is if the press gets to the bottom of his parentage, because if the adultery doesn't get him, the race mixing will. Assuming that Neil doesn't talk, which he probably won't, because it's his mother, too, that means finding something incriminating in Chicago. If the Hollywood press can't find it, you can bet the national press won't, and obviously our cousin doesn't expect anything to come up. The Chicago of 1911 was not a place where tycoons who took on extra staff for their rail cars had to worry about the rumour mill.  Or so my Dad says. "Not that I would ever . . ."  

Although, come to think of it, I don't think I've ever talked to him about this specific case. He's on about the McCormicks all the time, but it would be something to hear what he knows about the College Man!

Giorgio de Chirico is in trouble with an LA court for maliciously denying his authorship of a 1911 canvas in a dispute with the collector who bought it. The Denver Art Museum's "Myths and Magic" show is something because it features all sorts of primitive art that was used for magic. Unfortunately, the illustrative picture is a ceremonial mask from the Cayuga Indians that looks like someone sat on it. Jose Lazaro Goldiano was a wealthy art collector, but now he is dead. I think the editor may have got the point of this story? 

Britain seems to be divided between the Best People, who think that the BBC should continue to have a radio monopoly, and the People, who can't wait for bebop and giveaway shows. 

"From the Old Country" Time checks in with the Hansen family over at Mama, an immigrant Norwegian family who have dramas on the television. It is based on Kathryn Forbes' Mama's Bank Account, the stage show, the movie based on it, and everyone nostalgic for the immigrant Norwegian experience in 1900s San Francisco. Which is, what, seven people? But, of course, they are very blond people, so that makes them a safe bunch of Gilded age immigrants to talk about. (Out in the real world, Poles are pretty blond, too, but let's pretend we don't know that.) 

"War Model" Philco has a Korea-age model of television that will be out in the summer that uses less strategic metal, and especially no "Alnico No. 5," which it is especially vital to conserve for reasons I don't even have to explain. It will probably cost about the same as existing models, and be otherwise identical except for catching fire and burning the house down after six viewings, but what the hey, you'll probably need a new house soon, anyway. 

The People page has the cover story this week! The President of France, Broderick Crawford, Lord Tedder, Princess Elizabeth and her children, Billy Graham get in the paper before we launch into a story about Margaret Truman. Oh, boy. I thought the British papers accusing Princess Elizabeth of neglecting her children was about enough of a bad taste for one month this week, and now an entire story about Margaret? I don't think so! Linda Darnell is divorced. Walter White, of the Scopes monkey trial, has died, as has Lloyd Douglas and Andre Gide.  

The New Pictures 

Payment on Demand is the notorious RKO movie about "a marriage and a divorce" where the producers couldn't agree on an ending, and went ahead with a version with four alternative endings almost up to the premiere. Time thinks they chose the wrong ending (Bette Davis and Barry Sullivan get back together), but it is the one that the preview audience demanded. Cause for Alarm! is the "year's first thriller" and another Barry Sullivan vehicle. Time seems to like it. The 13th Letter, not so much, as the director gets less suspense out of thirteen letters than Cause for Alarm! gets out of one. Cry Danger is about a "group of unattractive double-and triple-crossers," says Time. And I'm the Queen of Romania. Okay, no, Time isn't pretending that Hollywood will put homely people on film. They're unattractive morally. Which, again, Hollywood . . . I had better stop myself, because frankly you're not reading this for the reviews.


Oxford just selected a new professor of poetry, which is a contest, or an election, and Oh, My, God.  Just please stop what you are doing, Time. James Jones' From Here to Eternity is a "venomously hostile" report on the Regular Army pre-Pearl Harbour. It is "repetitive, sloppily constructed, and strewn with obscenities," but an interesting picture of the actual army. Time compares it to Mailer's The Naked and the Dead, but whereas Mailer is a "certified left-wing intellectual," Jones is (high praise for Time!) "no intellectual," but rather a "natural man," so his criticisms are okay. 

Cecil Woodham-Smith has his revenge on the parents who named him by writing a book about a woman. Well, Florence Nightingale. Arthur Koestler has The Age of Longing, which is yet another book about being either a Communist or an ex-Communist. It is set in the distant future of mid-1950s Paris, when everyone carries pocket Geiger counters and radiation umbrellas, and a divided and paralyzed West faces the might of Communism. Which is bad. The characters then proceed to explain what is bad (Europe, American materialism, Communism) and why it is bad, and then they explain some more, and then they have sex. Probably I guess. That's the way I'd do it if I were coasting forever on Darkness at Noon. 

Aviation Week, 26 February 1951

Aviation Week has an opinion: "Industry is Our Strongest Weapon" Because this is the Industry issue, which is great, because everything is a secret and so it is Blah blah production blah blah guided missiles blah blah research with no specifics and you can read it in a jiffy.  Although at least one breath of sanity, as it is acknowledged that "Russia is not prepared for offensive air war. That is the only logical conclusion that can be drawn from the evidence." 

Ben S. Lee, "With Money No Problem, Strength Grows" It does!

"USAF Spurs Expanded Production" For mobilisation and extended war purposes, the biggest goal right now is to have at least two suppliers for every major aircraft. I am not sure how that it supposed to work with the B-36, although it is reported here that Convair has completed an alternative B-36 plant in New Orleans. We get a review of production plans elsewhere, including big fighter orders for the sweptwing F-84F and confirmation that the Douglas C-124 is in "accelerated" production, with Chase C-123 deliveries expected soon and many helicopters on order. 

"Navy Air Strength Shows Increase" Reggie's career is officially saved (although check out what they want to pay experienced electronic engineers in industry!) as the Navy orders more P2V-5 and P2V-6s, as well as the radar warning version. The flying boat programmes are also going ahead, although I think the Consolidated-Vultee plane is in trouble due to engine delays. The one problem on the horizon is that the Navy is drawing down its stored plane reserves pretty quickly, and at some point is going to have to seriously wrestle with what it is going to do once the Corsairs run out. 

"The Army's Role in Air Power" The Army wants more bombers and fighters to blow up Communists on the ground and more helicopters and liaison planes but mainly more transports. The Army wants more input into designs, which is fine until it gets its way and starts asking for convertaplanes and the like. 

Manufacturing has "Big Year Behind and Bigger Year Ahead" America is going to build lots of planes next year. You heard it here long, long after you heard it somewhere else. 

Research has "Money, Manpower and Machinery" This would be an interesting article if were allowed to report anything but the fact that the US has 40 supersonic wind tunnels and five high speed research aircraft. But since everything else is classified, it has to spend five pages saying things like "Congress, in large measure, is behind the increase in research and development funds." Congress sets the budget. You heard it here . . . Isn't that in the Constitution?

Guided Missiles has David C. Anderton, "Guided Missiles Streak to Future Role" Future missiles will be surface-to-air, air-to-air, and intercontinental. Plus probably others. Did we miss surface to surface" Air to surface? Surface-to-the-Moon? Apparently the only thing the article is allowed to talk about is old German missiles. "Another five years should see missiles firmly established within the organisation of air power." 

Avionics has William Kroger reporting on "'Growing Pains Torment Avionics" The Air Force and Navy want lots of avionics to do things people only dreamed of five years ago, and they should operate under 50 gees of stress, for at  least 1000 hours and  at 70,000ft, at -600 and +700 degrees, and be really, really small.  They will all fit into "systems" consisting of more than one instrument doing more than one thing, and will be designed for the specific airplane, so that in the future airplanes will be designed to the avionics rather than the other way around. Wright Field has appointed itself in charge of making sure that everything works together, but no-one is in charge of making sure that the electronics engineers are staying where they're put, which is probably why one Air Force general is talking about paying experienced electronics engineers $25,000/year. Although you won't have to pay many engineers that much, because there hardly are any experienced electronics engineers. 

"Helicopter Value Recognised by Military" That's it. Now I'm sure there was a contest to write the stupidest headline in this issue. Currently the Army is talking about one helicopter transport company for every 5 divisions, or a total of 400 transport machines for an army of 18 to 20 divisions. The Navy wants antisubmarine helicopters, and at that point everything gets hazy. The big Hillier might be able to carry 40 troops, which seems to open new vistas, and then the door almost audibly clicks shut and we're talking about helicopter passenger services again, because you can  never stop telling people about helicopters landing on rooftops.  

It wouldn't be fair not to mention F. Lee Moore's entry in the "thunderingly obvious headlines" sweepstakes even if I don't normally cover Air Transport, so here it is: "Airlines Largest Factor in Airlift Potential" Actually, this is an interesting summary. The airlines have 514 4-engine transports, while the Allies have 225 in their airlines. US lines have 1536 twin-engined airliners, the military has 370 in MATS, the Pacific Airlift has 252 (deducted from the totals above.) There's a fairly long and involved discussion of how MATS could handle the full wartime air lift requirement and still leave enough capability for civil use. I sure hope it won't come to that!

Foreign Air Power has Frederick R. Brewster, "Europe's Main Arsenal Slowly Mobilises" That's Britain, if you were wondering. Britain spent £250 million on arms in 1950, and will increase the total to £800 million in 1951, £1000 million in 1952. It spent £55 million on aircraft in 1950, expects to spend £200 million in 1951, £400 million in 1952. Orders for the Canberra are already public knowledge. Four-engine jet bombers are expected from Avro and Handley-Page, and Brewster speculates that Attlee's statement that a new bomber is being ordered off the drawing board might mean that both companies will produce the same type. Fighter production is still versions of the Meteor, but Avon production is increasing, and that means planes that use the Avon. The Navy is receiving Hawker and Supermarine "interim" jet fighters of the kind that the RAF declined, the Attacker and Sea Hawk, and has also ordered the de Havilland private venture Vampire replacement as the Venom, as well as two turboprop types, the still-unnamed Fairey plane, and the Westland Wyvern. On the ship side, a second big new carrier, Ark Royal, has joined Eagle in the fitting-out docks and the Admiralty says that six new aircraft carriers will join the fleet between now and 1954. Experiments with flexible decks continue, Viscount and Comet etc, British jets equip two-thirds of the world's air forces. Then it is on to France, where things are just getting underway. I assume that once the French are fully invested in aircraft production, it will look as bright and shiny as America and Britain, but right now things are just under way. The French particularly want a new fighter, once their SNECMA axial jet turbine is ready for service. The Leduc ramjet is a bright spot for the future. 

Over in Canada, as you have no doubt heard, the RCAF will get a big slice of money and new, Canadian-made fighters, including the Canadian-designed CF-100, and Canadair's version of the F-86, which will also go to the RAF. Australia wants a better fighter than the Vampire and a better bomber than the Lincoln, although both were built in Australia, so no fingers pointed, please. It is building the Canberra, too, but the RAAF won't get any before 1952. Australia would like the F-86, too, and is i interested in the Neptune. Sweden wants an all-weather fighter, and Spain is building airfields for the USAF to  use, as that's a pretty cheap way to maybe get some more American aid. The Dutch plan a "10-fold" increase in air power, although that just means 21 fighter squadrons instead of (Ronnie holds out her fingers, squints), 2? Brazil, Mexico, and Norway get features before we check in with Italy, which actually has quite a substantial aviation industry and several companies lined up to produce jet engines under license.  Russia will probably start building bombers eventually, what with it being about to start WWIII tomorrow and all. They're not all that impressive, but just you wait, they stole all the German science so they'll probably turn out something impressive any minute now, though frankly their main focus seems to be on stopping atom bombers. 

Lighter than Air has Alexander McSurely reporting on "Better Blimps Ready for Anti-Sub Role" It sure seems like those Russian super-subs are going to get a warm welcome when they show up! 

News of the Week reports that there is a "drive for a larger USAF on." Who knew? And "2-0-2 Report Due" You see, a number of specialised working groups are looking into modifications of the Martin 2-0-2 to address the fact that five out of the total of 40 built have crashed and been total hull losses in the first three years of operation by a single airline. That is, how do you say it, "somewhat disappointing?" A "mixed showing?" "A series of unfortunate events?" But, do not worry, the reports so far show that no radical changes are needed! 

News Digest, buried way back at the end, has personnel moves and a surprisingly large number of new factories opening up. 

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