Sunday, November 21, 2021

Postblogging Technology, August 1951, I: Transistors: The Coming Thing?

R_. C_.,
Santa Clara,

Dear Father:

A brief note as I frantically organise myself for my Pacific cruise back to the junior college of my dreams. Hopefully I will write the next one on the trip and mail it on arrival. That means no chance of seeing me talk about Fortune, but I haven't heard back from anyone's circulation department, so I doubt that my magazines are waiting for me in Palo Alto, anyway.

Your Loving Daughter,

The Economist, 4 August 1951


"Cold Class War" The government's attempt to reduce consumption with limits on dividends is class war because it is being levied on the rich people while the trade unions are only being asked for voluntary restraint.

"Middle Eastern Quandry" People hate the British over there and assassinate pro-British leaders. Obviously it is because Middle Eastern people are a bunch of malcontents who don't like the American and British presence for no reason, and we should stay there forever no matter how much they hate us because otherwise we would just be giving up.

"China and Japan" Now that there is a Japanese peace treaty and the Japanese have a foreign policy again, China will probably use its influence to stifle the Japanese economy by preventing it from trading with other Asian countries somehow. 

"Haute Couture in London" The Economist hears that there are no rich people in Britain any more because of death duties and all those stately homes of Old England going on sale or at least available for tours. So it is surprising that there is all of this high fashion in London. Paradoxical, even. Will we explore the paradox? Of course not!  We'll just talk about the factors going into the recent success of British high fashion firms, including the current restraint on French houses due to lack of spending over there, and the growth of the ready-made trade into something approaching fashion. It probably won't last, though, and there's a dig at restraint of credit, which is holding back the smaller firms. 

Notes of the Week

The stage has been set for the Labour conference in Scarborough in September, in the sense that that is when it is happening, so it is only a few weeks ago. Honestly, I think The Economist is just reminding us of it at this point. The Economist is very upset that even though the Chancellor has acknowledged that inflation is up and the balance of payments is in deficit at a rate of  £300 million a year and unemployment is down to 0.9% which means that the government has to "close" a £450 million inflationary gap somehow, preferably by calling an election that it is sure to lose. Also, two Tory backbenchers were raising laughs on their benches by mispronouncing some "foreign names" as was "thought to be great jokes," but that's not so bad because the Foreign Secretary called the Tories "warmongers" just because they want to start a tiny little war with Persia, really, hardly  a war at all. Obviously saying that is divisive and demagogic and perhaps class warfare, too.  On the other hand, Herbert Morison is a bit of all right when he argues with Pravda, and he should do it more.

"An Un-American Bill" It really looks as though the US Senate is going to pass a bill that, as read, would punish Britain for trading light rails for Russian coarse grains; Norway for trading aluminum for Polish coal; or West Germans for trading engineering goods for East German food.  Is this really on?  

"New Talks in Teheran" The Economist is hopeful about Mr. Harriman's mediation, while the Abadan refinery is on care and maintenance. The Economist is "comforted" by the fact that the Royal Navy now has  a cruiser, four destroyers, two frigates and two tank landing craft in the northern Persian Gulf, an "unobtrusive" accumulation of enough force to "ensure the safety of British life and limb." Meanwhile, Russia is awful because it is inciting (pro-oil nationalisation) revolution in Persia. The Economist obliquely warns Persia that it has, in the past, "maintained its independence" by knowing when to give in. Also, something about a Labour member alleging that his parliamentary privilege was violated by the police when it obviously wasn't, and the unions being selfish for not volunteering to take a pay cut for rearmament. Labour backbenchers are a "lunatic fringe" who don't understand about profits. 

"Drawing the Line in Korea" The Kaesong talks are deadlocked over the 38th parallel dividing line. UN forces occupy 2000 square miles north of the parallel, and they aren't giving it up for all the tea in China. The Chinese are threatening to withdraw from the talks, which is obviously just some kind of bluff. 

"How Many Divisions for NATO?" American military men are saying that NATO may be big enough to stop a Red Army advance by next year. The Economist is more pessimistic. No, really! It's true! The Economist explains why India's plan for a plebiscite in Kashmir is likely to lead to war and checks in with the debate over abolishing of the identity card. If a permanent national register is needed, the government should create one, not rely on the identity card administration. It does like the new Forestry Act, especially the part where the Commissioners say that they should have the power to "acquire" "unproductive woodland." Hugh Dalton is back in the news, which reminds The Economist how much it hates him, even when he is dealing with something as arcane as "tied cottages." Speaking of arcane, there is a long note about revisions of the Inheritance Act of 1938 pertaining to intestate deaths and another about the report of the Home Secretary's commission on "Discipline and Punishment" at prisons and borstals; and another about the deplorably slow rate at which His Majesty's Stationery Office distributes United Nations reports.   

"German Generals Name Their Price" Some former German paratroops had a rally in Brunswick last week and carried General Ramcke around on their shoulders, before he demanded that all "so-called" German war criminals be released as the price for a new German army. Obviously he is not going to get that, because the Russians won't let them go, but the British are holding Kesselring, and Ramcke made a specific point of singling him out. Probably all the German generals currently in circulation will be making the same demands, and obviously if thirty Nazi generals are demanding it, we are powerless to stand in their way.  We also check in with collectivisation in Hungary and Moscow's opinion of Aneurin Bevan, who has upset the shadowy, iron-curtained East by visiting Marshal Tito.

From The Economist of 1851 comes a few paragraphs on one of its favourite subjects, "Oppression Abroad," in the tyrannical and backward land of the Papal States. No tedious details are supplied, as there is only enough room for adjectives and maybe some adverbs. 


Austen Aleu tries to explain how the dividend restriction policy effectively only applies to large, public corporations which do not really need to issue stocks to raise capital. The Editor has no time for pettifogging! W. Thornhill of the University of Sheffield, and H. Thornton (really!) of Bradford have thoughts about what the census implies for local government in various places. Hugh Klare of the Howard League for Penal Reform has concerns about discipline and punishment. H. A. Barr of Glasgow points to the example of BBC Eire and asks why Scotland can't have a local service, too. 


The latest volume of Winston Churchill's history of the war-slash-memoir, The Hinge of Fate, gets a massive review in two full columns. The Economist manages to make him look like something of an asshole, but in a generous way, and has quibbles about this and that, but otherwise considers a good book about a heroic time. George Katon's Psychological Analysis of Economic Behaviour is a "reasonable. though necessarily solid, and stimulating book" which casts light on the limits and possibilities of economic analysis as a means of undestanding real life situations, with conclusions bearing on policy. I paraphrase because it is all just so grandiose. And the review's main criticism is that it isn't grandiose enough! Where's the complete psychology of booms and busts, of job change and wage negotiations? John Follows has a history of Antecedents of the International Labour Organisation that sounds like a very worthy book, while the latest edition of Ivor Jenning's Cabinet Government is guilty of underestimating the amount of change with the rise of the welfare state.
Tse Ching Chang's Cyclical Movements in the Balance of Payments is an attempt to tease out "cyclical factors" in changes in the balance of payment of various "types" of countries by studying Britain, the United States, Sweden, Australia and Chile. The Economist thinks that it was a huge waste of time because the data isn't there and the math is bad. because of the limits of the data and questionable statistical methods. S. D. Punekar's Social Insurance for Industrial Workers in India is "a clear picture both of what is needed and how such needs can be met." Yay! Statistical Digest of the War is the latest page turner from His Majesty's Stationery Office, which really does exist. M. W. Turner-Samuels and D. .J. Turner-Samuels heard that there some really boring books were going to be in the column this week, and decided that a good family project would be to do them one better with Industrial Negotiation and Arbitration. It has tables! Many a bedroom argument over those tables! Alas, all in vain the week that the United Nations releases Budgetary Structure and Classification of Government Accounts. (It's out by HMSO, so I guess this is the one that the magazine was whining about.)

American Survey

"Approach to Foreign Aid" Did you hear me say that The Economist is throwing a fit over the Battle Bill? Here's the part where it throws itself on the floor and thrashes and turns blue. The "extreme right" has never been more upset with the State Department, and believes that the bill will cut $3 billion from the foreign aid budget, but that is not going to happen, because senators returning from Eisenhower's headquarters are agitating for more ECA aid. As a compromise, Congress is going to completely reorganise foreign aid administration. Somehow. Maybe.

"Television Round the Clock" Americans think that seven hours of television a night, as in Britain, is ridiculous, and would prefer to have something on TV at all hours, or at least from dawn to midnight. Thanks to plenty of venture capital and plenty of televisions in the shop, we have that, and it just remains to fill the hours. Here, the magazine is pleased to report that Americans are seeing lots of old Hollywood and British movies, which is good for the balance of payments, but only because television is still fighting with Hollywood, and that can't go on, even though the cinemas prefer it that way.  The Economist checks in with Phonevision, which might be a way of getting newer movies onto the screen. After that, The Economist dodders along after all the ancient television news (educational programming! Hopalong Cassidy! Variety shows!), with an aside about how too much censorship just keeps on piling up "new taboos" until in the near future American television will be all taboos, no shows. 

American Notes

"Controls Roll Forward" Congress and Senate have got together and thrashed out a price control bill that combines the worst features of both go-it-alone measures (particularly in removing slaughtering restrictions and price ceilings. These guarantee more inflation (and a black market for meat) if the Administration's forecast of more inflationary pressures, is correct. 

"Air Force Supremacy"

Did you know that Admiral Sherman was the Navy's own little Dutch boy, holding back the rising tide of air force supremacy with one finger in the dyke? He did this by "rebuilding the confidence of the navy" after the disastrous B-36 hearings, where it turned out that all the admirals who thought that the B-36 was a bad idea also thought that Hitler had a point. (Too bad they couldn't find a way of hauling out the Air Force generals from the same club before they find a way to drop the Bomb on Moscow.) Anyway, Sherman built a truce around "balanced forces," or in other words the Air Force can have its giant bombers as long as the Navy gets some giant aircraft carriers to do . . . stuff with. (And the Army gets V-1s with atomic warheads to . . . do stuff with.) Under General Marshall, the Air Force version of balanced forces is 87 groups, rising, if aircraft production meets targets, to 95 groups by next June. After that, a new target of 138 groups is proposed, or even 150 groups in Senator Lodge's proposal, with the Air Force to get $40 billion of a proposed $70 billion for defence in 1953. This would be more than double the proposed 19.8 billion for 1952, and actually implies a cut in Army and Navy spending, at least from the proposed 1952 budgets.  Congress is now hearing that the six divisions for Europe is more likely to mean 350,000 men in Europe than 200,000. The Air Force cannot be called the "cheap" option, but it is a substitute for conscription.  

Meanwhile, Congress is "misfiring" on budget cutting and also a particularly stupid bill that would have cut Secretary Acheson's salary, personally. Secretary Symington is celebrating his victory over the tin cartel, the first, in an inevitable march to triumph over the forces ofcartelism. Somehow involves a high price for Bolivian tin, and even though it has nothing to do with Bolivia's communism problem says the Secretary, everybody else should hurry and get their own communists, especially when tin substitutes are going to ruin the tin business any minute now.. 

Shorter Notes

The St. Lawrence Seaway seems to have gone on the rocks for the fourth time in Congress, losing in the House Public Works Committee by three votes, although it is probably not the end, this time, because Canada has made it clear that it will build the Seaway on its side if the Americans don't come in. The Commodity Credit Corporation has spent more than a billion dollars keeping farm prices high in the last six years, and it would have been a lot more if cotton hadn't proved a winner lately. Nearly half the total has been spent on potato price supports, a programme which has just ended. The department store price war is over, and Congress has decided not to investigate whether it destroyed small business forever. 

The World Overseas

"Australia's Future as a Primary Producer"  Our Melbourne Correspondent has been asked to address us today about wool. And other stuff. Australia makes other stuff, doesn't it? I heard someone mention wheat? So the word out of Australia is that they're having a butter shortage, which is ridiculous because, well, it's Australia, which is made of butter. Or possibly poisonous spiders. Or both? Both it is! The reason for this is that Australia's "primary producers" haven't been keeping up with Australia's growing population. The population is growing faster than anywhere else (3.5% per year), while farm productivity has been growing more slowly than the United States and Canada, which is leading to falling Australian food exports, which is bad news for Britain, as the Australians still have to take British funny money.  It turns out that Australia doesn't have as much room to expand its farms as you would think, on account of all that desert, but on the other hand the farms that it does have could stand to produce a lot more, so everyone should get cracking on that and possibly also manufacturing less. 

Then it is off to Italy, where The Economist tries to impres us by knowing the names of all the members of De Gaspari's new cabinet without quite pulling it off due to to being a bit obvious about just reading from a letter from Count Sforza. 

"The Hungarian Deportations" It is reported that the Hungarians are deporting hundreds of people to . . .somewhere. The first batch went to the Soviet Union, but now they are being billeted on peasants in Transylvania. The Hungarian government has admitted to having deported 924 families, all rich people and aristocrats, whereas The Economist's information is that it is some fifteen thousand people of the "whole [former] ruling class .. . rank and file as well as leaders." 

Follows two nice long pieces about what's up with the United States of Europe. 

The Business World

"The Dividend Monstrosity" and "Resort to Price Control" The Economist hates dividends restrictions and price controls. Rearmament should be paid for by unspecified other measures, hopefully including an increase in the unemployment rate because of inflation. 

Business Notes

"How Large a Deficit?" The Economist begins with the important stuff. It is simply appalled at the Chancellor's nonchalant attitude towards the external balance of payments deficit, which will be very large in the third quarter due to US dollar-valued imports running a hundred millions higher than expected but also "losses of gold and dollars to the European Payments Union." There is also a soft-currency balance of payments deficit because of Government stockpiling, reduced invisible earnings, at least compared with the original estimate. The total deficit will probably be about  £350 million in 1951. The Chancellor also refuses to get on with raising interest rates as high as the magazine would like, although he is still calling for the banks to lend less. On the other hand, the index of industrial production continues to rise at the 4% level predicted by the Economics Survey. If you strain, though, you can see dark skies, as this rate of increase depends on increased steel production, and that has slowed down in the last year and will probably come to a halt or even fall next year. We can look forward to an argument over the "waivers" in the Canadian and US loans next year, while Britain is extending the repayment arrangements for a Canadian interest-free $700 million loan of 1942 through the end of 1953. The amount of German steel scrap that Britain is to get in 1951 is up in the air again, and The Economist gleefully predicts electric power cuts this winter, "the most frequent and severe yet." On the other hand it is appalled by the injustice done to various members of the boards of nationalised steel companies who have been asked to resign, and the railway unions' request for a 10% wage increase. "Locomotive manpower is short," it goes on to say. Wheat exporters and importers are arguing, the auto industry is not getting the increased steel supply it has asked for, notably due to large defence orders, the latest being three-ton "combat vehicles" based on a Commers Car rough country model and a "one ton" vehicle from Rootes.

Apart from taking steel that could be used for a new assembly hall at an Austins plant, the magazine is fretting over "vehicle standardisation," which the Americans have decided is the coming thing in Korean, but which the War Office is "neglecting." The result is declining exports, especially to Britain's principle victims, I mean markets, Australia and Canada. American cotton exports are still rising, and the British steel industry is working with the Holuder Shipping Group to create Ore Carriers, Ltd, a specialised line of iron ore carriers to serve Port Talbot in particular. Also, ongoing talk of Barcelona Traction and the European Payments Union, and The Economist firmly spanks the wrist of London traders speculating in the Australian pound. 

Base metal prices are up, tungsten imports are regulated and, gasp, some technological news, as the Hawker 1067 is announced in the House, the "fastest fighter in the world," to be powered by the Avon. The Swift is a bit behind, with no engine announced. Deliveries of the new fighters will start late next year. 

Aviation Week, 6 August 1951

News Digest reports that UAL and its pilots have reached an agreement to get the DC-6Bs in the air. Canadian Wright of Montreal and Standard Aero Engine Ltd have received RCAF engine repair contracts for Rolls Royce merlins and parts, respectively. The Avro 707A, a modified version of the previous A(?) has flown with air intakes for its Derwent at the wing roots, instead of in the fuselage behind the pilot.

Sidelights reports that an air power build up of some kind is inevitable next year. No way! It also suggests that the 150 wing air force is a crazy idea. Capital Airlines has a new mechanical ticket vendor.  M. W. Kellogg has a hydroformer for converting 55-octane virgin gasoline into 98/175 octane, running at 2000 barrels a day. 

Industry Observer reports that the first dual compressor American turbojet off the production lines will be the Pratt and Whitney J-57. British jet engine manufacturers will handle maintenance for the first jetliners to make everything simpler. Someone at Martin says that now that they're test flying the Canberra, the XB-51 is definitely around 100mph faster. "Someone at Martin" just doesn't know when to give up. Experimental flight research with "new British jet transports" shows excessive gust loads at higher speed that call for either speed reductions or beefed-up fuselages. The first XB-52 will be delivered in about three months. The Air Force has given up on the idea of a turboprop fighter, and thinks that the fuel consumption gap between turboprops and turbojets is closing. The USAF is renewing its interest in the Douglas DF-88 as a fighter bomber, while Pratt and Whitney explains that it is not accepting any more orders for the R-2800 because it has better things to do with its time. This is bad news for the new American production slated to operate the R-2800! 

Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup reports that all this peace talk is making it harder to make the case to continue stepping up the Air Force target strength from 95 to 125 to 150 or 175 wings, and also the navy to 18 to 20 carrier groups. Nonsked airlines and railways have an alliance of convenience in the lobbying wars in Washington aimed at airmail subsidies, while the Senate's Small Business Committee is looking into alleged aluminum hoarding. The Army reports that it is going "all-out to make itself airborne" by reducing the weight of its bazooka, helmets, spades, combat boots and mess kits. Next up, lighter rifles, pistols and machine guns. I know! They could also adopt the standard WWII paratrooper rifle as their new standard. Or something like it! 

Silence. The Administration is also not getting ordnance factories. It if wants guns and ammunition, it can buy them from private enterprise. 

William Kroger leads a special section reporting on the shakeup at the ALPA.

"Boyer acts to Break Engine Bottleneck" Harold Boyer is the new "big boss of all aircraft production" at the Defence Production Administration, and is off on a swing around the engine plants to see what can be done about production shortfalls. The basic problem is a shortage of machine ntools for jet engine production. New tools are needed, because the USAF's machine tool pool predates jet engines and the demands of jet engines. Automobile production methods aren't really an option, in case anyone was wondering. Meanwhile, the Alcoa strike has ended and aircraft forgings are flowing again. Admiral William Morrow Fechteler will finish Admiral Sherman's term as Chief of Naval Operations. Lynde McCormick will succeed Fechteler at Atlantic Fleet. The AEC last week disclosed that atomic steamplant powered submarines and airplanes are advancing ever farther and forward. Charles Wilson has asked for a four-fold increase in machine tool production. 

Aeronautical Engineering has "Bug-Hunting on the Avro Orenda Jet: Perfecting a 'Simple' Modern Turbine Engine Has Its Headaches: Precis of a Talk To the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Conference in Toronto by D. W. Knowles" The Orenda is an axial flow unit with 10 compressor stages, 6 combustion cans and a single turbine wheel, giving 6000lbs or perhaps now as much as 7000. It is 42 inches in diameter, is 10ft long, weighs about 2500lbs, and has a  specific fuel consumption of about 1 lb/hr/lb. (That would be lb thrust in the last unit.) The first page of the article is dedicated to a detailed description of the engine before we get on to the developmental "bugs" duly hunted down. They included excessive oil consumption, traced to the turbine bearings, stator blade cracks due to fatigue combined with resonance, turbine blade cracks due to the thin leading edge of the blade, rubbing on the seals due to overpressures, thrust ring movement, bearing seal troubles due to bad surface finish, sporadic turbine blade failures caused by resonance, although many other things were checked first,  and engine output instability due to mismatching between turbine and compressor. So those are the kinds of investigations you have to do when you're debugging a jet engine design.  

"Windshields Studied to Analyse Failures" The Armour Institute of the Illinois Institute of Technology has been doing this. 

The Navy's Edo lab wants us to know that it has been working on some kind of float for beaching flying boats. 

"More Skyrocket Details Revealed" The Navy's press release on the recent Skyrocket flight reveals that it is quite the hot machine. It most certainly does not provide any evidence of its alleged world record speed. 

NACA Reports has a contribution to aerodynamics, "A Method for Calculating Downwash Field Due to Lifting Surfaces at Subsonic and Supersonic Speeds," an iterative method for solving certain differential problems in aerodynamics by M. E. Shvets, and a theoretical examination of trapezoidal wings in supersonic flight with various wing-flap combinations by Robert O. Piland.

 Production has "Trolley Speeds Comet Production," which is a lengthy article about the jig trolleys that carry subassemblies for the de Havilland Comet in production. 

"Teleflex Control Gets in Jet Act" The lads down at Teleflex want us to know that their flexible control cable can go around corners in jets, too. Also, Lockheed heard about those guys that had invented a square container that you could put cargo into, so that it wouldn't roll around while it was being transported, and has invented a lift to lift cargoes. Square D's  new "Pushbutton switch" can't possibly be what it says . . . Yes, it turns out that it is. TWA has start welding the lips of the exhaust sockets for its engine valves. They last longer, and the inventor, TWA master mechanic Jay Losey, gets a prize. 

New Aviation Products (what were we just reading?) has a "Sensivolt" from Sola Electric Corporation, which is a voltage regulator, but a nice new one that stands up to low and high temperatures. 

CCA is pleased as punch with its near-new NWA Martin 2-0-2s, which it has renamed Martin Mainliners so as not to scare the suckers. BOAC has increased its Comet order to 20 with a contract for 6 Avon-powered ones for the Atlantic. 

What's New really enjoyed Robert Scanland and Robert Rosenbaum's Introduction to the Study of Aircraft Vibration and Flutter. The McGraw-Hill Directory of Chemicals and Producers and the 1951 edition of The Aeroplane Directory are out.

Robert Wood's Editorial is a bunch of short points about the magazine's philosophy, published in honour of Aviation Week's fourth anniversary.  Do you care about Aviation Week's philosophy? (Or part of its philosophy. Nothing here about "We let our advertisers write their own articles," for example.)

The Economist, 11 August 1951


"Is It Peace?" All those Eastern Bloc peace initiatives are just a propaganda trap and the West should absolutely not take advantage of them by cutting back on rearmament because communism is bad. On the other hand, it wouldn't hurt to talk. (That's the last bit, and there's that old advice about ignoring everything before the "but," so interesting.) Follows a very worthy Leader about changes in the British administration of collective bargaining. Later, very worthy Notes outline the new rules for arbitration for doctors, the resumption in the rise in crime rates this year after a break in 1949, and the ongoing effort to reform courts martial. 

"The Borderline of Treason"  The Economist is very upset at Monica Felton, with reason, I say. (And Hewlett Johnson, but big deal, it's always upset with the Red Dean.)

Notes of the Week 

For some reason a "review of the (last parliamentary) session counts as a Note. The Economist restrains itself before launching into a subject for which it has a bit more enthusiasm, the Conservative election platform, or what The Economist thinks it should be: Woolly. You see, the "party of economic common sense" has to come to power promising houses and lower prices for all, and then impose gruelling punishment upon the people for insolently buying things with the money they earn. Money that could go to dividends! Although it might be better if they didn't earn money at all. What was our position on the American Civil War again? Against? Seems right! Even more fun, we check in with French politics, where Rene Pleven is busy not bringing the Republic down, unless the Americans keep insisting on French air bases; and the ongoing Rise of the Fourth Reich. (This week, it's Communists acting like Nazis, and not former Nazis acting like Nazis.) 

Commie Nazis!

"Invention and Development" The Duke of Edinburgh gave this year's presidential address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science this year and deserves the congratulations of all for pronouncing all the words right, unlike some other young naval officers might do. On the other hand, he suggested that industry was undercutting the triumphs of British science by "the buying-up and suppression of patents and discoveries to protect equipment from becoming obsolete." And up with that sort of calumny against British business, The Economist will not put! It is, in fact, all those British cartels that are getting in the way of progress, and also "a society which starves capital (and particularly venture capital). The future Royal Consort set right, The Economist is off to its club to talk about raising unemployment and the outrageous demands from the foreign parts of the world for the money they are owed, over brandy. 

"Arms or Legs?" The "ministerial level" meeting in Washington over small arms weapons did not last long. Mr. Shinwell said he had to be back in County Durham by Bank Holiday to judge a beauty contest, and The Economist thinks that with that kind of silliness, no wonder "neither side persuaded the other." Well, no, Uncle George says, taking up the question of small arms from Reggie, because the argument is exactly a beauty contest, and the winner will be decided by the county it is held in, so why waste time in Washington. Uncle George went on at length about how the M-1 Carbine was a fine weapon that the US Army loved and was basically the same weapon that the British army wants now, as would have been the Garand had Ordnance not stuck its oar in the water at the last minute, so whatever the Branch's objections to the new British rifle is now, it is not based on anything technical. 

Speaking of Durham, we have "Durham's Future" The new development plan before county council this week says that within the next fifteen years, it is likely that 28,000 miners and 15,000 heavy industrial workers will become redundant in Durham, while the natural increase of population will add 40,000 to the male labour force by 1962. Present development policy creates 1000 new jobs a year. That doesn't look good! The Council wants to provide more service centres in the coal fields to replace industrial jobs with social amenities. The Economist is not so sure. Perhaps social development could be concentrated in the larger centres? The fact that one of these is outside the county, Newcastle-on-Tyne, points out the limits of local planning. Also, the Americans want to talk about how NATO fits into the UN. NATO also now has a Finance and Economic Board which is going to have a long look at war production. 

"General Peng Hopes for 'Greater Victories'" The anniversary celebrations of the Chinese Communist Party and the People's Liberation Army saw political leaders calling for more, bigger guns for the army but also more political control over the army and society, in general. 

Police pay is up, along with crime, with The Economist hoping that a fully staffed police force will bend the crime rates back, as the proposed reintroduction of flogging will not. 

"Purge of Polish Officers"  The trial of five general officers is probably a prelude to the removal of all 6000 "western officers" invited back from the West in 1945--46. The Economist is very upset and launches into a length "If it Happened Here" story to show just how bad it is.

"Return of Papagos" A Greek general-politician who used to be prominent and notorious has returned to politics and will soon be prominent and notorious again. It's probably bad news for Greece. Everything is always bad news around this place, but maybe it's right about Greece. Meanwhile, in breaking news from Australia, Australians are upset about inflation but don't want to do anything about it if it involves wage restraint or price controls.  

From The Economist of 1851 is the same story as this week, the "Tables showing the number of criminal offenders in the year 1850 in England and Wales," where the old magazine actually sounds sensible, opposing capital punishment, or at least some capital punishment, and clearly linking the crime rate to the "comparative abundance and lower prices" of wheat. 


Dudley Seers of Brill, Bucks, writes a long letter to the effect that if we make things nicer for people in the tropics, they are less likely to go Communist on us. Less rearmament and more development is the way to go. William Shepherd, writing from the House of Commons, thinks that MPs and  ministers deserve to be paid more. B. S. Townroe of Yateley, Surrey, thinks that prisoner's friends are a load of rot these days, not like in his times when he was doing it, especially in foreign parts.  The interests of prisoners can be safely laid in the hands of magistrates, a saintly lot. C. M. Gell, of Transvaal, writes to defend the South African officials who help administer Bechuanaland against the charge of racism. Yes, many South Africans are racist. Yes, their government and official opposition are both officially racist. However, there are non-racist South Africans, and the British just have to hire those ones to run the native territories, so really it is their fault.


  Michael Robert's The Estate of Man is a fine book because it shows that all this hope of a better and richer world is hogwash  and in reality we are on the verge of a "Malthusian" crisis, made worse by the fact that we are selectively breeding humans for "unintelligence," which will shortly ruin invention and administration. Joseph Czapski's The Inhuman Land is about how communism is awful. Clarence Stein's Towards New Towns for America sounds like a very worthy book about urban planning. Richard Schlatter's Private Property: The History of an Idea sounds interesting. Albert G. Hart's Defence without Inflation is about how America can rearm without inflation or an end to the rising standard of living, if the public is just willing to make some sacrifices in the early going. Kathleen Stahl's British and Soviet Colonial Systems is a compari2on of same. Which is hardly possible when we don't have any publications about the Soviet system, but the author isn't about to let that stop her! She concludes that since the systems have completely different goals, they can't really be compared. Two textbooks on statistics, a new edition of Redmayne and Week's Market Research, and what looks like the bibliography of a  recent publications nof the Royal Statistical Society round out the column.

American Survey

"McCarran Follows McCarthy" The American office checks in with Senator McCarren's attempt to investigate the "conspiracy" that lost China over at the Senate Judiciary Sub-Committee on Internal Security. The Economist thinks it is pretty awful. Honestly. It's Pat McCarran, and look at the sub-committee the man is chairing. That tells you what Senate Democrats think about him. The question is whether McCarran's tactics will actually stick to Joseph Barnes and Lattimore and  whether Alexander Barmine will burn in Hell.

"Republicans Look West" The GOP is holding its convention in San Francisco this year because there are lots of votes in California and Governor Warren gets a lot of votes. They are going to look for the secret of his success that isn't "Isn't much of a Republican," because it that's the real secret of his success, the Republicans are in more trouble than they think. Thjen we check in with the Defence Production Act which is leading to fighting with everyone everywhere over price and wage restraint. 

"Arithmetic of Foreign Aid" General Marshall's recent calculation that the United States will have 400,000 troops in Europe by next year has been hastily amended by General Collins to the correct figure of 344,000, which is still a lot. The Senate was hoping that six divisions could be held at 200,000 men, but got the arithmetic wrong and forgot the air force. Because the Senate is in a bad mood, it has been rough on the ECA, which is in trouble for "chasing problems in South East Asia" instead of finding ways of relieving the American taxpayer. The Economist is worried that Europe is going to lose aid money and upset that a big chunk is going to the Koumintang. It has been suggested that the Mutual Security Programme will cost $25 billion(!!!!) before it begins to taper off in 1955. The Economist is appalled by the cheating scandal at West Point, but I'm sure you've heard about it, although maybe not as much as if you followed college football. That being said, it clearly goes far beyond football. Reggie says that cheating at West Point trains men to be army generals. Then it is over to the new defence procurement agency that will be in charge of buying all those base metals 

"Dividing the Waters" The Economist reports on the completion of the Central Valley Project, the massive scheme to spread the Central Valley's water around and improve the irrigation conditions in the south, the net result being to provide more water for 500,000 acres and irrigate another 500,000 acres. Amazingly, farmers are still complaining. 

"An Investment in Education" The Economist is late to the story already covered by Newsweek, which is the end of the old GI Bill pending a new one for Korean veterans, at the expenditure of fourteen billion dollars, a flood of money that has been good for colleges, good for racketeers, good for students and even good for the country. The colleges look forward to a GI Bill for Selective Service draftees with great enthusiasm! 

The World Overseas

"American Aid for Europe's Workers" Various American experts and union officials have been visiting Europe and telling Europeans how to become more productive and efficient the American way, and waving ECA money in front of them for encouragement. 

"The South Atlantic" Isn't this a world overseas? Britain has three island colonies in the South Atlantic (plus assorted Antarctic islands which are vaguely romantic but uninhabited by anyone but penguins and Argentinian and Chilean squatters). St. Helena has 4800 inhabitants of "mixed European and African descent," Tristan da Cunha has 250 European descendants, and the Falklands have 2300, also all Europeans. The first two are tiny, while the Falklands are almost 5000 square miles of peat and bog. St. Helena exports flax and lily bulbs, the Falklands wool, and Tristan da Cunha has no economy at all, only lately adopting money and living on potatoes and fish. The islands have tiny budgets, and St. Helena runs a deficit made up by London.  Money from wool and bulbs goes to social welfare, education, and some effort to eye to improve the domestic economy by perhaps reviving sealing or such. The young people all emigrate and teachers and doctors can't get around the Falklands, although the government there has bought two planes, so that might help. In conclusion, why are we even talking about this?

"Switzerland's Redoubt" The Economist checks in with the Swiss army, which is the biggest on the Continent after the Red Army, it says here, 20 divisions. That requires lots of equipment, of course, and the Swiss are on a buying spree for the "latest armour, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, as well as with British jet fighters." There's a lot to like about this Swiss army! They haven't been able to get their hands on tanks, and there is talk of producing them under license, like some of the jet fighters. The title refers to the country's "national redoubt" in the mountains, which the Swiss will hold to contest passage across the country, realistically the only reason anyone would invade. Huge quantities of food and munitions, we are told, are hidden in caverns "cut into the very heart of the mountains," with pill-boxes "some at the height of 10,000ft." They are also building up their civil defence, conscripting everyone in sight, and atom bomb-proofing their mountain redoubt. 

"Election Issues in New Zealand" The other archipelago of remote, sheep-raising islands in the Southern hemisphere are having an election, only two years after the last one. Our Wellington Correspondent lets us know what's at stake. The prime minister thinks he has a winning issue, in this case the waterfront strike.

"Who Will Stop Dr. Malan?" The Economist's Johannesburg correspondent goes through the opposition United Party benches and determines that no-one is going to stop Malan, and calling him a fascist, just because he is one, isn't helping. At least Dr. Malan is a real man, a bull elephant of vigour and resolve, says our correspondent. Who said "fascists"?

The Business World

"Trade Quandry" Commodity booms are good for the sterling area's dollar balance, but impact Britain's terms of trade. The solution is a massive export drive. Again. 

The only way that can happen is with a 20% increase in engineering and metal industry exports, or by cutting imports. On the industrial side of import consumption, the tale of the back end of the year will be told by just how much of the recent run-up in British imports has gone to stockpiles that can now be drawn down.  However, too much of it has been consumed by those awful consumers, and something has to be done about it, as soon as there is an election so that some majority government or other has the means to do so. Said The Economist, innocently.

 "Self Control for Machines" After the silly review of Cybernetics, a much more serious visit to the international conference on automatic control held at the College of Aeronautics last month. It got no publicity at the time because it was very arcane, and because the engineers didn't want their work "caricatured by too enthusiastic publicity." Blah blah error control blah tell us about the robots taking over! Our correspondent was able to keep himself awake through a lengthy explanation of error, or datum control, and now he is going to tell us about it. It is the usual story: steam governors lead to voltage controllers lead to thermostats and the like, which lead to the navy's searchlight motors and the automatic pilot, which lead to "process" or "position control" (leaving out here the specific mechanisms in the navy's searchlight motors, "oilgears," which grounded so much of this research). We are told about amplification, and feedback, process control at chemical plants, temperature control in steel furnaces, We revisit the "automatic factory" and that plant for automatically producing valves that the ministry of Supply is now trying to revive. For now, automation requires fewer, but more highly trained operatives. Only in the distant future when computers become the controlling organs of automatic factories will we have technological unemployment. In conclusion, someone really has to find a way of explaining all of this to businessmen. 

Business Notes

Dividends! Dividends! DIVIDENDS! Now that I have that out of the way, the National Film Corporation has renewed the current arrangement with the Americans for another two years and is funnelling another two millions into the domestic industry. However, given how much the Americans have been spending on British film rights, these subsidies are at least coming back as dollar earnings. What a crazy way to run an economy! The British are spending more; but also saving more, because they have more money. The government is relaxing its restraints on "company migrations," which is when a British company moves overseas if it has a reason that will convince the Treasury. The International Bank of  Reconstruction and Development turns in its annual report, which shows that it has reached its fifth birthday without any of the mischief "some people had foretold." Shell has found a way to extract sulphur from refinery sludge, extracting at a rate of 17,000 tons of sulphur per year, mainly from high sulphur Middle Eastern crude. Raw material stockpiles are up, but so is British consumption of raw materials. A plan is in place to deal with the shutdown of the Persian oil fields. Or, a "framework for effective action."  

The Economist is upset about the wage settlement in the Lancashire textile industry, which was much too generous, it thinks. Of course it does! 

"New State in Aircraft Design?" "In the development of jet aircraft, no really large machines have yet appeared." The Economist explains that there has been just too much aerodynamic research to be done, that Avro has led the way in that, and just look at the Avro 707. Okay, I looked. There's a second 707 flying with its air intakes in a different place. Other than that, I am not sure what I'm being told. I mean, it is not hard to guess that the Avro medium bomber will look like the 707, and it seems like a waste of paper to say so. Maybe Avro is floating a flying wing jet airliner? 

The Americans are talking about wool allocation again, and Britain is supporting them on the grounds that, if it is that important to them, friends should help. Rayon producers have "confounded" the "textile prophets" by producing more rayon in June. The reason that this is surprising is that the industry depends heavily on sulphuric acid, and sulphuric acid imports were short. But the industry found a way around the shortage and may continue to do so until its own plants start producing sulphuric acid from "other raw materials" in 1952 and 1953. British radio exports have risen sharply in the last six months, and there are signs that television exports will follow. British manufacturers can undersell American, which is probably the reason. However, the industry needs to find a way to curtail unemployment when it shifts to defence production, where quantity of product is sacrificed to quality. The Economist really likes a pamphlet from the Anglo-American Council on Productivity that explains how Americans achieve all that productivity. It turns out that they're smarter. I mean, they work more efficiently and with "a minimum of lost time," which means they're smarter, right? Also everyone is allowed to do all kinds of work, so they're more open-minded. They also have various advantages of material handling and so on, but this is with specific reference to a comparison of the national valves (vacuum tubes in American) industry, and the American industry is three times as big as the British, which obviously gives it advantages of scale, but  let's face it, say s the Council, they're just better than us. You. They're better than you. Shorter Notes notes that steel production is down from an annual rate of 16 million tons to 14,400,000 in July due to the raw material shortage but also holidays. The Federation thinks that with the success of its scrap drive, it will make the 1951 target of 16 million tons, and will then be able to move on to rebuilding stocks of scrap and ore. 

Aviation Week, 13 August 1951

News Digest reports that TWA is back at 90% of scheduled mileage a month after the big Midwest floods. The latest Martin Viking rocket test flight reached 114 mile altitude. The Australian Navy has ordered the DH Venom from Britain.

Sidelights  Former Senator Millard Tydings is now a partner at Davies, Richberg, Beebe, Landa and Richardson and "has been assigned the Colonial Airlines legal account." 

Industry Observer reports that Air Material Command is disappointed with a proposed safety technique in which planes equipped with wing tanks would be able to drop them in advance of emergency landings, since effectively they would just be bombing the runway they were about to land on. The Martin Mars is setting ton-mile cargo records and "causing second looks at the future of the long-range flying boat." Oh, for HEAVEN'S SAKE! A bit about the "tipoff" to the much higher horsepower turboprop engines coming out seems to be literally about tips coming off. "Anxiety is being shown by powerplant and propeller engineers" over the thingies that attach the screw to the shaft, which, it is thought, might bend. Or snap clean off and go flying into the fuselage, which is already a big problem with the big gas engines. Time to glance up at the skies for the second time this paragraph. Graviner recently demonstrated the safety of its explosion suppression system by shooting a machine gun at an F-84, proving that the British system is the best, so kneel before us, Kidde. Ryan Aeronautical has scads of orders from lots of respectable customers for its ceramic coatings for high temperature parts for jet and piston engines. Get in while the getting is good!

Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup reports that an Army-Navy fight might be forthcoming. Ooh, I feel faint. The main point of the very long bit is that the Navy is egging the Army on in demanding that the Air Force give it tactical air. On the other hand, as Senator Joseph O'Mahoney says, we have to have an adequate defence; that takes air power, and unless the defence budget is going to head for the skies, we need to cut traditional army and navy expenditure and roles to cover a growing Air Force. Katherine takes the trouble of looking up Admiral Fechteler's service record. He came up a battleship admiral, commanded amphibious operations during the war, and steered clear of the B-36 investigation. Air and submarine admirals come up behind him. The Army, meanwhile, is making its own case to be the "first line of defence," which is related to air power in many ways, but notably in that it needs plenty of helicopters and is responsible for seizing advanced airheads. 

Ben S. Lee reports for Aviation Week that "House Gets $15-billion Air Power Budget" The largest ever peacetime defence budget represents a slight reduction of the President's request, but the air force isn't losing any money. Vinson is now floating a 163 wing air force including 25 troop carrier wings. This would likely require a more than $33 billion peacetime Air Force budget, so don't expect it to pass if the Korean War ends any time soon. The actual air force that really exists is still on track to be a 95 wing force in a year's time. There will also be $130 million from the Air Forcre budget for guided missiles.  

"Super Connie Ads climb to 149" Lockheed has 40 domestic orders, 22 foreign, 81 from the armed forces, and a total backlog of 143. The National Mobilisation Board has asked for an end to the Western Air Lines strike. McDonnell's F3H has made its first test flight, CAB is looking into a bid by Purdue University to buy Mid-West Airlines for $64,000. Five government agencies have asked for "government aid" for helicopter development. Which is mostly Aviation Week rounding up all the government agencies which are fiddling with helicopters, up to and including the Post Office. (Helicopters can land on post offices now!) Some military jets will participate in the saner National Air Race events. "Convair Flying Boat May Have Big Role," is what it says here. Evidently the Convair turboprop has proven big new flying boat strategic bombers by successfully not crashing into the sea in flames in literally tens of test and proving flights. There's probably a contract in the wind, and with any luck for us it will go to Martin, not Convair.

Production Engineering has "Tool Flexibility Raises Jet Engine Output" Pratt and Whitney doesn't want to use a high-horsepower heavy duty lathe for machining smaller parts, where a more sensitive car-wheel lathe with tool-room precision is more suited. So it ordered one from Lodge and Shipeley that has a special right-angle chuck and bed so that it can do special jobs such as finishing roughed out work from a vertical boring mill, in what would otherwise be idle time at medium production rates. The article by an unnamed author (take a bow, Lodge and Shipley!) goes on describing the tool for four and a half pages, which is definitely one way of keeping the ads from being too close together. 

"Contract Awarded for Navy Missiles" Hycon Manufacturing and Oedekerk and Ludwig of Pasadena have a multi-million dollar contract for an air-to-air "rocket type missile." Both firms made rocket ordnance in WWII. 

"Ingenuity Marks French Patents" SNCASO wants potential American licensees to know about eleven keen new things it has invented and patented in the United States for things like boundary layer control ejectors and directional control for ramjet helicopters. Solar Aircraft wants us to know that it isn't just Ryan that is making ceramic liners for jet engine components exposed to high  temperatures. 

NACA Reports looks into an analysis of temperature distribution across liquid-cooled turbine blades, an experimental investigation of localised regions of laminar boundary layer separation, and a plan-form parameter for correlating some aerodynamic features of swept wings. The last is interesting. Wing designers have previously used aspect ratio as a "parameter" for designing wings, but it isn't obvious how aspect ratio is significant on swept wings, so the author (Franklin Diederich) tried planforms instead. Swept wings are hard!

Avionics has "Miniature Relays Hermetically Sealed" Allied Control has relays that are hermetically sealed to keep out that low-dielectric upper atmosphere up to 70,000ft! Neomatics are just as cute and tiny and also just as good! International Rectifier's hermetically sealed rectifiers are also sealed! Computer Research Corporation of Torrance, California, has a low-power tube replacement, the "CRC Ferro Resonant Flip-Flop," which is basically a magnetic amplifier. 

Nathaniel McKittrick must have made McGraw-Hill World News Service really, really mad, because it made him go cover the European Ignition Conference in London, which was dedicated to studying ways of keeping spark plugs from fouling. The big news was that the Air Force ordered E. L. Bass of Shell's Thornton Aero Engine Lab not to give a paper on a new additive. It's a secret that the Commies can't know about! (It's a lead scavenger called tricesylphosphate, but it's a secret, except for the part where it gets into the article subtitle.) The conference also heard about ignition analysers and new plug designs plus an exciting variety of maintenance problems from the airlines. Rotax and Bendix were there to plug their low-tension systems and make fun of British equipment, a running theme in the article. 

"Electroluminescence" Sylvania Electric Products has been invited to write this new article about its keen new invention, Panelite, which is a "piece of window so treated" that it glows a bit when you put a tiny little electric current through it. It is light and cool and low power. Also, B. F. Goodrich has a magnesium wheel for the B-47. 

New Aviation Products jas a mounting clamp for aircraft instruments from Marman Products and a remote-reading three position system indicator from the Keystone Watch Case Division of Riverside Metal. Pickett and Eckel have an air photo slide rule suitable for rapidly calculating distances from commercial aerial photographs. Met-L Flex has a small, all-metal mount for aircraft avionic equipment. 

The article on the revolution at ALPA continues into a separate story by William S. Kroger under Air Transport. It is blessedly long for a redactor in a hurry. 

Letters has an anguished plea for one side or another in the Grace versus PAA controversy from John Creedy, the News Bureau Manager at Pan Am, and a sharp letter on the subject of libel in regards to the ownership of Guest Airlines from the senior partner at the law firm of Dean, Magill, Huber and Horrigan of New York. Aviation Week lays the blame where it belongs, on its Mexican correspondent, who will get what's coming for him, that's for sure!

Captain R. C. Robson's Cockpit Viewpoint continues on the theme of placing blame where it belongs (everyone else but me) by pointing out that research from Sperry and the RAE prove that ground weather reports are too inaccurate to control flying operations. Weather delays and cancellations are their fault, and not the pilot's, who can do the best job what with all the electronics and runway lighting they have nowadays.

Editorial's Robert Wood thinks that everything to be going just fine. General Marshall's angry tongue-lashing of the American people over its "let-down" reaction to "Ambassador Malik's honeyed words" was inappropriate. All Americans are behind spending lots and lots of money on planes. Editorial  wishes the best of luck to the National Air Races, with no dead people. "Turboprop leadership of this country over Great Britain is still not generally realised by the press and public here." Wood hopes that the industry puts out a press release about that before Farnborough features actual British turboprops flying. "Another look at flying boats will bring a few blinks from the skeptics." Yes, it will! 

No-one can agree on whether the Air Force should have a 150-wing or a 150 group target. Wood explains to the Air Force that their press relations experts are leading them down the wrong road, because the public prefers "wing." Groups are combat formations of 30--48 planes depending on size, while wings include all the support people on the ground. Somehow all of this leads directly to the realisation that it is very misleading to talk about how the B-36 is the Air Force's main striking arm when there's only 87 in service and another 60 being modernised. 

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