In the mean time, at least rubber balls full of gasoline are not plunging to the ground around us, which is always good news. (I tried to think of a joke that I could make about the scheme, but how do you make it more ridiculous?)
Your Loving Daughter,
The Economist, 1 September 1951
doesn't impress The Economist much. Instead of answering Bevan with argument, the party needs to answer him by adopting a domestic policy that The Economist approves of, even though it is guaranteed to lose the election. It needs to have a policy in place as an opposition party that Geoff Crowther happens to like, because all the disaffected Labour party voters who are supporting Bevan are doing so because the Labour Party has got The Economist upset, and Labour needs to bring them back onside whilst in opposition in case the entire Conservative Party perishes in a freak House of Commons cafeteria accident and they have to form a government, or anyway everyone will be so upset that the party won't be able to wage an effective campaign for, oh, say, ten years or so. Now, you might say that I am being unfair to the magazine, because what it actually calls for is a policy that "half the electorate supports," but after some hemming and hawing, launches right in. Everyone is discouraged about nationalisation these days, so right now is the chance to tie the party's hands five or ten years from now. Nationalising is bad, so what could possibly need nationalisting in 1961? Now Labour just has to get behind the wage freeze, which will only hurt the trade unions, that is, nobody important, and abandon high income taxes, capital levies and excess profits taxes, which, on the other hand, will only hurt important people. Since there aren't many important people, those taxes probably wouldn't have amounted to much, anyway. (I can't help noticing that when there aren't many important people, they have trouble winning elections.)
"Egypt Next" If we let those Persian brown people have what they want, which will cause them to go Communist, which is bad, then giving the Egyptians what they want will cause them to go Communist, and will be bad. And America won't even help us bully the Egyptians into submission!
"Agenda for the Age of Inflation --III (By a Correspondent)" I can't believe we missed the first two! A Correspondent thinks that inflation is here to stay, has "sixteen proposals for consequential actions," and, in this installment, explains "the effect of inflation on the distribution of income." The Economist disagrees with some of this, and will explain in an upcoming issue. So, if this week, we are exploring inflation and income, what is the story? "In general, the effect of inflation has been to redistribute towards equality with an effectiveness that state action cannot imitate, and it is hard to condemn the recent past." Also, capital has been redistributed from rich to poor. Also, inflation has its injustices. "All compulsory private pension insurance schemes, which take good money today and return bad money tomorrow, are unjust. It is a national disgrace that no charity can keep the purchasing power of its investment income intact." Since inflation will continue regardless, something has to be done. On to Part IV!
Notes of the Week
"After Kaesong" Now that the Kaesong talks have broken down because Communism is awful, we have to watch out for the Communists trying to "detach . . . the Japanese from among the free peoples of the world." In Europe, whatever is keeping the United States of Europe, General Eisenhower is a match for it, and it will follow round right after the common European army that we will have in five years, at most.
"Signs of 'Severe Strain'" Skipping an incomprehensible short note about how the Labour election manifesto hits all the right notes but is still somehow bad and wrong, we get to the Economic Commission for Europe singling out the UK as suffering from the severe strain of virulent inflation, due to rising costs, and, by the end of the year, demand inflation driven by the heaviest rearmament programme in Europe. The Economist explains that this means that the trade unions have been asking for too many wage increases when there is "still an excess, not a shortage, of purchasing power."
"Conjuror of Wealth" Fair's fair, The Economist doesn't like the Conservative election manifesto, either.
"Woolgrowers Choose Freedom" Australian woolgrowers don't like the proposed Commonwealth wool scheme.
"Atomic Energy Controller" The Economist was upset when Lord Portal left the post, and is happy that Sir Frederick Morgan has taken it on. If you can't remember Freddie Morgan, he was the original D-Day planner. There is excitement in the Lancashire coal mines, where some people say that some pits will have to close if more workers can't be recruited, and other people saying that they shouldn't close, and disagreement about whether this was a "salutary jolt" or a "deliberate threat." In a completely unrelated Note, The Economist takes a swing at another Labour election pamphlet, "Monopoly," concluding that if there is still a trend towards monopoly in British industry, it must be Labour's fault because it has been in power for six years, and anyway it is fighting monopoly wrong for the wrong reasons. Unrelated notes establish that Communism is bad and that Labour is doing a bad job of stabilising the price of eggs. Very bad, indeed!
"Mission to Central Africa" The Rhodesias and Nyasaland don't look like "central" Africa to me, but that is what Mr. Griffiths' visit is concerned with. Specifically, some people still want a Central African Federation (so that's where the name comes from!), and others, namely, actual (Black) Africans don't. That would seem to be that, but advocates have found a new argument, which is that only a might federation can resist "Afrikaner nationalism and racial policy." He also has to check in with Tanganyika, where he will have "another opportunity" to hear "racial fears and prejudices," this time from Europeans. You see, white settlers in Tanganyika won't have equal representation on the new Governor's Council to the African and Asian members combined, but merely equality with the other groups. I see how this is completely comparable to African concerns that the proposed Federation will be run like Southern Rhodesia, which is to say, with no Black African input at all. (That is a hypothetical; the fact that the Kenyan Council, where White settlers do have a majority, is holding up constitutional reform is not.)
The Economist of 1848 has "Public and Private Good" Government should keep its regulatory hands off the railroads, except for the regulations it has already made, which are good, because regulations are bad. Also, the railroads will serve the public interest because the miracle of self-interest (pray for us sinners, Saint Adam Smith) ensures that the shareholders will always act in the public interest.
J. W. A. Newhouse stands up for inherited wealth because what if it was earned with the intentionof providing for dependents and survivors? H. Powys Greenwood has no time for that kind of socialist piffle. It's about time the Tories stopped "threatening the great families of England." On the other hand, a little bit of taxing wealth has Liberal supporter D. Allhusen of London promising to vote Tory. L. Dudley Stamp explains that there is not a choice between food and homes. Britain needs to produce more food at home, and the increase in British domestic production from 35--40% of national requirements before war, to 50--55% now, has been achieved with reasonable loss of land to development because of planning and restrictions, and, anyway, good farmland is not good land for houses. He spends a paragraph or so on the subject of Victory Gardens, so I guess that's part of the controversy in the Old Country. Kirk Henry points out that the Communist peace offensive is just like Hitler's prewar peace offensive, and just as insincere. I. Greaves, writing from the Barbados, thinks that the "colonial territories" are being cosseted and could do with as much hardship as the United Kingdom is enjoying. Robert Brent Clarke has concerns about the new law on intestate succession.
The second volume of the collected edition of David Ricardo's works and letters has a really, really long title that I am not writing out, although I guess in fairness I have to mention that it's edited by Piero Staffa. It is really, really good, even if it is about "the wrong ideas of dead men." Just to show how literate it is, The Economist follows with a review of Gerhard Ritter's Hitler's Tischgespraeche, which establishes that The Economist doesn't have an estett in its typebox, unlike me, who has one but doesn't use it because I am lazy. Okay, okay, I have an established character translation that I don't use because I am lazy. The title is an interesting one because Martin Luther has a Table Talk, too. (No, I am not going to explain; it's the fault of the men in my life if their educations in engineering and the Chinese classics left them no time for religious history.) Hitler and Luther haven't much in common apart from both being horribly anti-Semitic, but the point of this book is that that was just a special case of Hitler's general horribleness. Wallace E. Pratt and Dorothy Good's World Geography of Petroleum is a very worthy book, as is Herbert Butterfield's latest on History and Human Relations, except when he makes fun of official historians. Thirded for Erik Lundberg''s Income and Wealth, Series I, which is not some enormous, unread vanity project, as the header might suggest, but rather a very important contribution to discussions of just what exactly is national income, by and for economists and statisticians concerned with national income studies, and who isn't? Fourth in a by now daunting list of Very Worthy books is George Schuster's Christianity and Human Relations in Industry. F. E. Simon's The Neglect of Science should be familiar to those who read his articles in The Financial Times, which are about how Britain needs more science. A. J. Whyte's The Evolution of Modern Italy, 1715--1920, is subtitled "History of a Lost Cause," which could be the subtitle of most of the things that The Economist writes about Italy, of which most can't possibly be right on account of Italy being still there, and not an Italy-sized hole in the world in the middle of the Mediterranean. But if you are interested in Italy's sad historical evolution to the end (which happened in 1920), here it is!
"Political Warfare at Home and Abroad" The fight over the Voice of America is explained at great length. A network of pro-America, anti-Communist propaganda is one thing. Letting the State Department run it is quite another. Paul Douglas "normally counted as one of the Administration's friends," is on the case, so you know it is genuine and legitimate concerns which have led to the State Department getting only a small part of what it was asking for.
"New Trails for Indians?" Indians pop up occasionally as political actors in the United States, but most Americans hardly think of them, except when prompted by "pressure from pro-Indian groups," leading to figures like Tonto, who put Indians in a positive light, but certainly not as "the sickly inhabitants of outdoor slums" that they are. Now there is a "three-cornered argument" going on between federal agencies, western politicians let by Senator McCarran who mainly seem to want to legitimise ongoing White squatting on Indian lands, and the governors of the sixteen western states, who have formed the Interstate Indian Council, which, like the federal agencies, wants the best for the Indians, but has a completely different idea of how to go about it from the agencies, at least since John Collier ended the allotment policy. Because that's what they want back, in the near future, when all Indian problems have been solved according to a clear "time table." They are led by Governor Luther Youngdahl of Minnesota, which goes to show that there is no racism involved, since Youngdahl has been improving inter-racial relations, left, right and centre! With reserves near cities tending to turn into suburbs with a restricted clientele, and more remote reservations being abandoned by young people who go off to work and leave the fields "fallow or leased," something must be done. Which turns out to be letting them hire lawyers to press land claims without asking Congress for permission, first.
"Red Metal Strike" The copper mining strike is being led by the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union, which is Communist-led, and therefore probably a Moscow-inspired attack on rearmament, because copper is so short, partly thanks to the strikes in Chile. Also, the cost of living index has reached new highs. The President is trying to tie it to the GOP ahead of the mid-term elections by pushing for more price control powers.
"Houses for Defence" The scandal over lack of housing around military bases has turned into a bill allowing the federal government to spend $50 million on public housing in "defence areas," which is areas where housing costs have gone up due to bases, but also defence plants. The original slum-clearance plan called for 135,000 housing units a year for six years starting in 1949, but has never been fully funded. Nor was Congress willing to leave the real estate industry out in the cold, so the new Bill relaxes the restrictions on housing credit imposed last fall, particularly in "defence areas." The Administration predicts an inflationary effect, but The Economist is not convinced, because the real estate market might have gone soft on its own. Also, there are Bills before both Houses that would make professional sport leagues exempt from anti-trust acts in case baseball's 1922 exemption falls to certain judges who think that it seems a bit too much like slavery.
In Shorter Notes, the Army has finally conceded that Coloured troops serve more effectively in integrated units, and is disbanding the all-Coloured 24th Infantry Regiment, currently fighting in Korea. The 14 acre limestone cave in Kentucky that was fitted out with a million-dollar refrigeration unit to store surplus food, has finally cleared out its supply of dried eggs by selling a last batch to Britain, and is vacant. The Department of Agriculture is looking for a tenant.
The World Overseas
"Oil Beneath Troubled Waters" The American proclamation that it had mineral rights to all deposits lying offshore in less than 600ft of water has led to the Persian Gulf states enthusiastically claiming their extended territorial waters, and somehow the consequence is that it is all terrible for Britain, because while Anglo-Iranian has oil concessions with all the sheikhs, those concessions don't extend to offshore waters, where the sheikhs are granting concessions to the Americans, which is terrible for obvious reasons which don't need to be explained, although there is a dispute over land borders that might lead to something bad. Also, Australia is in trouble due to soft wool prices, which show that Australia is too dependent on wool prices and it will all end in tears.
"Export Problems and Lavish Projects" You will not believe what Argentina's trade woes will end in. No, I will tell you! Tears, that's what! And that's in spite of two years of trade deficits turning into a surplus last year. The obvious problem is that there just isn't enough grain to export, and the government is spending too much money on public works. Then The Economist checks in with the New Zealand elections, where the government is buying votes with tax cuts, reduced duties, and increased food subsidies, due to an excellent financial year thanks to high wool prices. Good economic news? That won't do! So we end with dire warnings that it will all end in . . . Wait, I did that one already!
"Plan for North Norway" North Norway is an isolated and backward area dependent on fishing, with high unemployment and a low standard of living. Meanwhile, south Norway has full employment. The Germans tried to solve this problem by mass forced deportation during the war, which has discredited internal migration, not even taking account of the shortage of housing in the south. The old Norwegian plan for developing the region involved using hydroelectric power to lure in heavy industry, while the new one focusses on "a series of smaller undertakings which will add variety and stability to the economy of North Norway." The Economist wishes it well, but is not optimistic. Really!!!
The Business World
"Mr. Gaitskell's Agenda" The Chancellor of the Exchequer is off to Washington and then Ottawa to discuss international trade, which, he thinks, has reverted to the global dollar-deficit imbalance after a good year. There is going to be argument over the first interest payments on the British lines of credit with Canada and America, due later this year, over gold, the details of which cause my eyes to glaze over except for the part where Australia and Canada are likely to demand and receive the same preferential treatment as South Africa in selling their gold at closer to the world market price than to the official price, which reminds me of how much South Africa benefits from having all that gold due to the way we treat gold in international trade. Also, the IMF, which is hosting the Washington talks, is in trouble for stuffing the pension fund of its directors with $100,000 of the money that the world's governments give it to stabilise world trade.
cracking" petroleum feedstocks. The main ones are ethylene, propylene and butylene, to be further processed into ethyl and isopropyl alcohol. Making these in bulk instead of the laboratory bench requires "a rare degree of engineering and technical skill," and the plants have required extensive running-ins. The Distillers Company, partner in the Grangemouth Plant's ownership group, British Petroleum Chemicals, already makes 110,000 tons of ethyl alcohol a year from molasses. The Grangemouth plant will add 35,000 tons, "sufficient for all present needs," mainly making toluene, polythene, and ethylene glycol. Acetone will be used to make Perspex. The Economist ends by pointing out that these kinds of plants require heavy capital investment, and only the strongest companies can undertake them. There is also a tendency to mark time, for fear that when the plant comes into operation, there will be overproduction, and it will not make its payments. Surprise! I don't think that this is The Economist being its usual self. It's The Economist helping me understand why it is its usual self. The bias in favour of doing nothing is just the usual state of private business investment! You might almost think that the Socialists have a point!
"Prices and Paradoxes" Labour won't crush living standards to make room for rearmament, and is instead threatening "large unearned income," or in other words promising "further vindictive measures" against the poor old rich people. This will appeal to the TUC, but won't bring prices down. It is possible, The Economist concedes, that high prices will bring prices down by virtue of no-one paying the high prices, but since Labour doesn't believe in reducing the standard of living, it can't take credit for it. Following note explains how taxes, and in particular certain taxes, are getting in the way of the shipping industry by reducing profits on reselling used ships, which discourages shippers from investing in new ships.
"Improvement in the Air" The British airlines are "flying out of the red." Not only are there deficits declining, but over the last four months, BOAC has been showing an operating surplus. This is admittedly the busy part of the year for airlines, but the gap between break-even and actual load factors is shrinking steadily. Two years ago, BOAC couldn't have made money even with all of its planes filled to capacity. Now, with average load still below 60% of capacity, although steadily increasing, it is, as I say, making money. In the case of BEAC, the break even load was 63% last year, compared with 72.7% the year before. BEAC can now make a profit in all seasons except winter. Admittedly, this is progress from what the magazine calls an "unnecessarily chaotic" start in the postwar years, and has required several rounds of economising and many redundancies, but it is a good start, and will get better, especially if the new planes, including BOAC's Bristol 175s and Comets, and BEAC's Ambassadors and Viscounts, are successful. Now The Economist just helpfully encourages mass bloodletting on uneconomical local services, and maybe an increase in the GPO airmail rate to the international average. Also, this is assuming that the trend towards increasing air traffic isn't just some short term aberration, with "dangerous squalls ahead." And this is why, if The Economist were in charge, nothing would ever happen.
Except, as the next Business Note explains, changes in the rate of bank borrowings, deposits, withdrawals, or who knows what else. Also, two British insurance companies have been banned from operating in Argentina, because they are partners with the Argentine insurance company, Sun, which is in trouble with the Argentine government for what sound like here to be political and protectionist reasons. Scrap prices have been raised, which will hopefully bring more scrap iron and steel on the market and help with shortages and the need to import German scrap. Wool prices have slid again, which will hopefully encourage the Australians and New Zealanders to join in Britain's proposed wool not-a-cartel-a-cartel-would-be-bad. Which, I think, is why stories about the wool market in the Antipodes have been such scolds.
"Warning from Rochdale" A major British wool trader has taken a loss from the fall in raw wool prices, which is a warning against the terrors of "overfull employment." The company has even had to cancel its bonus dividend (basic dividend, 12.5%; last year's bonus dividend, 5%)! The company could have saved more money by reducing production more, but then its employees would have left, rather than work part time. The dangers are apparently "much more real in Rochdale than in Yorkshire," a "cryptic comment" because the director, J. N. Walsh[?], could not say that it was due to competition for labour from rearmament production as well as the cotton mills, because we are not going to admit that Bevan is right about rearmament until after the election. ""[T]he implication that the British economy is now in such a state that compannies find it worth while to risk heavy short-term losses in order to hold on to their labour supply is frightening. If the era of full demand continues, this spells stagnation and under-production; if ever demand turned really sharply downwards, it could spell a financial hurricane."
In conclusion, high demand is bad and also low demand is bad.
Follows bits about World Bank borrowing that I skip only to spare you a fatal excitement, the cautious world commodity markets that are going up then down and then sideways because the war in Korea might not be over but also might be.
"The Radio Show" The latest radio show proves that radio set production is now down to cost competition, while tv makers are racing to improve their product, with the standard screen size rising from 9 to 12 inches and, soon, 21 inches. That's a big television! The industry originally hoped to produce 900,000 "television receivers" this year, but shortages of materials cut that to 600,000.
The Economist checks in with the possibilities of electricity from atomic energy, and concludes that there is a good chance of it coming to pass as a byproduct of producing plutonium for military use.
"Handling the Freight" The latest Anglo-American productivity council report, on freight handling, finds that there is much more mechanised equipment in American ports than British, but this reflects American managerial enthusiasm and the high cost of labour, and not mechanical efficiency. In the case of the "palletisation" of cargo, which so impressed British observers before D-Day, the Americans are hardly more advanced than the British because of the difficulty in standardising pallets and, more importantly, returning them. On the other hand, just because British ports have comparable efficiency but use less mechanised equipment now, doesn't mean that they shouldn't go all in on mechanised equipment in case it turns out to be useful later, and by all means let us remember that even though those dockers who struck against certain cases of mechanisation last year were perhaps right then, they will be wrong when they do the same thing in the future. There is a world shortage of cocoa and The Economist is worried about swollen-shoot disease.
"Shortage of electrical motors" The electrical motor industry was overexpanded during the war and by the beginning of 1950 there was a glut on the market, but then production began to fall and now there is not. This isn't The Economist being its usual obtuse self, because the problem is the shortage of copper, and not undercapacity. The French government has paid the second installment on their wartime debt to the British government, arrangements for allocating nylon thread to the hosiery industry have been finalised, and The Economist gives just about the most unhelpful summary of wage increases I can imagine. In July, raises amounting £460,000 were given to 1.6 million workers (I am sure this is a per week figure, although it doesn't say). In the first six months of the year, the wages of nearly 8 million workers were increased by £3,288,100 per week, compared with £478,500 per week for the same period the previous year. It then goes on to identify the "chief beneficiaries" by industry and total wage award without giving the size of that industry's labour force.
Aviation Week, 3 September 1951
Oakland UAL DC-6B crash, which killed all 50 onboard, because "the FBI is assisting in the investigation." A Convair B-36 has been in an oopsie at Travis AFB after its brakes failed and it ploughed into a sister ship. 81st Fighter Wing, with 75 F-86s and 1800 men, becomes the first American air unit in Britain since WWII. The Handley Page HP88 research jet has exploded and crashed during a flight test.
Glory found it. The North American B-45 bomber may be making a comeback in a new model with a thinner or perhaps swept wing, because it is doing a good job in photoreconnaissance in Korea. The new model of Douglas C-124 will have a cargo door at the back as well as the swing nose at the front. The Australian National Airlines Commission has cancelled orders for six Vickers Viscounts, because the Australian government has refused permission to import duty-free kerosene. It has no idea what planes it will order instead. The McDonnell F2H-2 Banshee is the first service fighter with an initial climb rate of 9000ft/minute. The most likely explanation for the emergency landing of an Eastern Constellation in a field south of Richmond is that the hydraulic access door at the upper leading edge of the wing was shaken open. An Allison J-35 has reached the 1000 hours between overhauls mark. Honeywell's new, highly sensitive rate-gyro is going to be used in some guided missiles. Based on theoretical work at MIT, and turned down by several other manufacturers, Honeywell is doing a bit of gloating, even though one of two is still being rejected off the production line. Airlines "may well watch auto pilot and approach coupler development by Honeywell first." The Navy has placed the equipment on the classified list after it was first mentioned in Aviation Week. Convair's XC-99 is expected to get Post Office approval for a transcontinental mail run. Continental Can is buying a B-47 subcontractor because it is tired of just making cans.
Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup reports that the services are gleefully fighting over tactical atomic weapons. The Army wants "radioactive dust for frontal attacks" and atomic-tipped missiles for advanced thrusts. "Wiping out mass armies" with atomic weapons is much less immoral than blowing up cities, you see. The Defence Department has ruled out expanding the air force beyond 95 groups and the Navy beyond 15 carrier groups this year because industry is straining to meet those targets. But don't worry, after next July there will be enough industrial capacity for a 150 group air force and more carriers. Senator Lodge wants to put the money for the 150 groups in the budget this year to "shove the USAF build-up down the Pentagon's throat," while Taft and his "lieutenants" are trying to slash Army funds and shift money to the USAF. Vinson wants 163 groups, while the Navy wants to hold at 150 so that it can have more planes. Congress is also talking about comparative evaluation of Navy, Marine and USAF tactical air techniques and possibly the transfer of the whole tactical air arm to the Army.
"Global Jet Service" The octopus-like grip of perfidious Albion is being stretched out to Australia via a proposed 20 hour Honolulu-Sydney service by British Commonwealth, while BOAC is going to extend its London-Cairo service to Cairo-Sydney, while Canadian Pacific will run a San Francisco-Honolulu service.
"Dispersal; A Guide for Tomorrow" We review plans for dispersing air plants around the world.
The Bell X-1D has been lost in a "mid-air mishap" after it caught fire while being launched from a B-50. The pilot was able to get back aboard the B-50. Lockheed is building a cargo version of the Constellation. The Army and Air Force will go in together on an order for 185 de Havilland Canada Beavers.
Ben S. Lee, "Manoeuvre Widens AF, Army Gulf" EXERCISE SOUTHERN PINES featured the Army and Air Force cooperating to deliver air support to an army manoeuvre, followed by one of those family fights everyone enjoys so much. One bright spot is that 4000 paratroop drops led to only 80 casualties, only one of them fatal. Fairchild C-119 lifted 80 jeeps, 14 105mm cannon, 8 trucks, 25 pallets with 3 tons of supplies, seven 40mm guns and 616,800lbs of "lesser battle equipment." However, press and other observers say that the Air Force was "threadbare," depending on mostly obsolete and obsolescent equipment like C-46s and C-82s.
Aeronautical Engineering has "Refinements Aid Metal Fatigue Studies," which article was farmed out to my special favourite copywriters and workers over at the National Bureau of Standards. Exciting refinements include a device that "stops the testing machine when a small crack starts in the epecimen," an "apparatus for uniform polishing," and a machine for "testing thin-sheet in bending." The article takes three pages to elaborate. Republic shows that private enterprise can be just as boring, and briefer, with a story about their new fuel-testing laboratory, which brings a public-sector riposte from NACA with the latest exciting developments at their Langley wind tunnels, which have a new motor that pushes up the range of test pressures.
"Avro 707A" Describes the new model of the 707 delta-wing research plane from Avro, which differs from the first in having its engine inlets in the wing roots rather than the fuselage. They have rams to increase the inlet pressure and perhaps hold up recovery from recovery from angle of attack by a few more degrees.
NACA Reports has Marcus Heidemann and Jack C. Humphrey reporting on their tests of "fluctuations in a spray formed by two impinging jets," which is the sort of thing that happens in rocket motors when they are getting contrary. "Effect of Aspect Ratio on the Low-Speed Lateral Control Characteristics of Unswept, Untapered, Low-Aspect Ratio Wings" sounds pretty interesting! Or maybe it is the wings, which sound very badly behaved. On the other hand, I'll bet "Effect of Tail Surfaces on the Base Drag of a Body of Revolution at Mach Numbers of 1.5 and 2.0" is deadly dull. "On the Second-Order Tunnel-Wall Construction Correction in Two-Dimensional Compressible Flow" is the latest attempt to chastise wind tunnel data and force it to behave with math.
Avionics has "Jet Trainer Parts Go Miniature," which is about how they are making the B-47 flight simulator much smaller and oh so much cuter with engineering to reduce the size of the servo, summing, and audio amplifiers, as well as the linear phase detector, and oscillator.
Speaking of miniature, the Carson-Dice Electronic Micrometer from J. W. dice Company can measure 2 hundred-thousandths of an inch with a pressureless head that eliminates feel as a source of error!
Production checks in with Ryan, where "Tailored Tools Speed Ryan Work." Although Ryan has some nice new machine tools, including a turret lathe with the highest boring mill ever installed on the West Coast, and a built-in duplicator, it pales in comparison with the giant, mammoth, 8000t forging press being installed at Lockheed. Did we mention that it was very big? And expensive! ($750,000!) Even the foundation, which will require 270 cubic yards of concrete and 18 tons of reinforcing steel, is enormous!
New Production Tools has a jet blade miller from Ex-Cell-O that mills the "complete airfoil form," which isn't enough words, so it explains what those parts are. Accuracy is ensured by control cams from "glass layouts." It isn't quite an automatic milling job, as the piece has to be unclamped and checked after every pass, but it beats milling it on a "Style 85 Form Two Wheel Form Grinder." Cleveland Tapper has developed a "rocket tapper" that taps 3.5"-type rocket bodies at the rate of 100 bodies an hour, fully automatically. Norton Company has a grinding machine designed to work on aircraft components, particularly struts and other irregular shaped pieces. Verston Allsteed has a "Sheet Floater" that "practically 'serve[s] up' the sheet on a "Magnetic Sheet Floater."
"Electronic 'Brain' Controls Fuel Flow" How many times can you write this story going back to the "carburetor that thinks for itself?" Anyway, the one in Pratt and Whitney's new J-57 is pretty good., if Pratt and Whitney (and subcontractor Hamilton Standard) doesn't say so itself.
Airline news includes word that safety might require shoulder-strap seatbelts, more coach services from TWA, and more services for Alaska and the Northwest. All American Airways reminds everyone that the recent C-46 accident involved the other All-American Airways.
Captain R. C. Robson's Cockpit Viewpoint has "Transition from Instrument to Visual Flight" Captain Robson continues to campaign for a change from a "weather minimum" to a "critical altitude" standard for judging final approaches, and wants visual as well as automatic equipment installed as a system, an not piecemeal.
Letters has the First Vice President of ALPA, Jerome E. Wood, on what went wrong during David Behncke's presidency, fan letter for Captain Robson from Hy Sheridan and Irving Stone from Martin, a complaint from "R.W.M." that he has not been able to get pilot insurance at an advertised $2.50/thousand rate, which Aviation Week is looking into, and a letter from T. R. Pierpont of Piasecki about how nice the pilot of his recent American Airlines flight was.
The Economist, 8 September 1951
"Mr. Gromyko in San Francisco" Mr. Gromyko is in San Francisco to be the party pooper at the Japanese peace treaty signature, which is a pretty down-at-mouth party to start with because so many Asian countries disapprove, but The Economist thinks that all will be well in the end. Hmm. Could we bottle this spirit and inject it into all the other articles this issue?
"The Age of Inflation" Our Correspondent thinks that we will see inflation for the foreseeable future and that the solution to the suffering of people on fixed incomes is to have some kind of escalator that increases them with the cost of living, which wouldn't increase the excess of "claims to wealth" over "wealth" that causes inflation, since their share of the "wealth" would not increase. The Economist thinks that that is nice and all, but it's "cheating" in the inflation game, and inflation is so terribly bad that we should instead do nothing for them except try to get deflation going again like in the good old days of the Great Depression, which is more likely if all the pensioners suffer so much that they find they prefer living in the Great Depression.
"Germany and the West" The problem with rearming Germany and bringing it into the United States of Europe is that the Germans are irresponsible and socialistic and also Nazi, blindly arrogant, and all around awful. Dr. Adenauer says he has solutions to all these problems, but what does he know, he's just the Chancellor, so it will probably all go wrong.
The Economist of 1851 has "The Essential Liberty," which is a denunciation of the "shameless and tremendous despotism" of the new "Christian Socialist" scheme, which appears to be trade unions, although I'm not 100% sure there's just not room enough in a half-column paragraph for facts and all the colourful language about Satan's worst seven devils summoning Tyranny.
Notes of the Week
"The West Confers" The Economist rounds up all the talking about talking to be done over the next week. It's a lot! (And not enouugh, because there still has to be a separate Note for the latest round of United States of Europe talking in Paris.) We are still waiting for the Prime Minister of Iran to deliver his ultimatum about Abidjan. The Economist favours withdrawing the last 300 British engineers there, letting the Iranians control it and find that they can't operate it and can't sell their oil to the alternative of force or procrastination. Follows a note about Gaitskell's address to the annual meeting of the Trade Unions Congress at Blackpool, which, although mostly editorial about what the Chancellor of the Exchequer should be doing, doesn't sound very negative at all. Of course, because the advice is to alienate the trade unions during the upcoming election, I am not sure there isn't deliberately bad advice! Then it is off to the Cabinet's latest meeting, which may or may not lead to an election, now that there definitely won't be peace in Korea to kick off a proper election campaign.
"Egypt Arraigned" The UN Security Council has voted to condemn the Egyptian blockage of the Suez Canal against Israeli-flagged ships, with Russia declining to use its veto and Turkey voting with the majority. The Economist admits that there's nothing that can be done about it practically, in spite of calls for naval escorts through the Canal, but looks forward with pleasure to stonewalling the Egyptians over renegotiating the Canal concession on the grounds that they are a bunch of pirates. How sweet! A later note about terrible foreigners reveals that Poland might be short of sausage meat.
"Investment: Home or Overseas" "In the current District Bank Review, Professor W. A. Lewis" . . . shows with official statistics . . . "that the present world shortage of primary products, so far from being a mere reflection of exceptional rearmament demand, results from a secular and continuing decline in primary production relative to world population. . . . Unless progress in primary production can be accelerated, shortages, mounting prices, and the consequent worsening of Britain's terms of trade will continue." Therefore, instead of channeling investment into home industry, producing yet more goods to sell at yet worse relative prices, we should be investing in world primary production. In its own interests, Britain should "take the lead in organising the flow of skill and of capital in the world overseas." The Economist doesn't see this being done by private industry due to the poor balance of trade, although "were the luxuriance of home investment scaled down much could be done without net loss."
Exciting news from South Africa, Argentina, and America. The governing Nationalist Party has merged with the opposition Afrikaner party so that all the Afrikaner Nazis can have a party in the next election, this providing Malan with a face-saving excuse for not taking rights away from English speakers, the big Peronista rally called for Buenos Aires has fizzled out, showing that Peron is in trouble, and the Americans are promoting Alexander Kerensky as the new head of of the emigre Russian anti-Communist front.
"Australia Asks for More" Just to show that it is not partial against dusky foreigners only, The Economist takes Australia to task for daring to ask for a higher price for its butter. "Australia could contribute more to international welfare by exporting more dairy produce and more meat than by exporting its own inflation."
Indian immigrants buy too much of the land.
"Presidential Preoccupations" It turns out that there is going to be a presidential election in only thirteen months! I know! I'm going to have to hurry to book my appointment if I want a new 'do for the occasion! The happy-go-lucky bunch down at the American branch have decided to pretend that Eisenhower isn't going to run as a Republican, and we are also pretending that he won't win, which leaves a chance to fill up some column space talking about how Truman is allowed to run for another term, but might not, and that Senator Taft might ride his success in the mid terms into the Presidency. His supporters even say that he is not afraid of General Eisenhower! Everyone else says that they hope that Taft wins somehow, because it's practically the only hope of the Democrats winning. And then there are Warren, Dewey(!?), Harold Strassen, "Senator Duff of Pennsylvania," and rumblings that powerful Southern Democratic Senators are trying to scotch Truman's nomination.
Port Authority of New York came to be so authoritative. It has been given all the jobs no-one else wants to do!
"Clouds Over the Rising Sun" Everyone is upset that the Russians agreed to attend the signing of the Japanese peace treaty and that the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand didn't, which reduces the propaganda value of hte occasion. On the other hand, while the Russians make the best of the publicity, Republicans can't criticise a treaty negotiated by a Dulles brother on recommendations from General MacArthur, and maybe there will be a MacArthur-inspired world war soon thanks to the UN bombing Communist airfields along the frontier in retaliation for the Kaesong talks breaking down.
cut the National Science Foundation budget from $14 million to $300,000, and refused to fund the Displaced Persons Commission while cutting the civil defence budget by 85%, but the Senate is much crueller, because it cut the mutual security programme from $8.5 billion to $7.3 billion, which is even more than the House. Also, the Jensen-Ferguson amendment extending last year's emergency funding act, is governing spending in federal agencies in the absence of an agreement on a final budget between House and Senate, and it is forcing ongoing cuts too, but they are at the discretion of the agencies, so who really knows what is going on with the budget.
"Letting Sleeping Taft-Hartleys Lie" No-one is using the anti-union provisions of the bill very much because a labour shortage is better than strikes, and an NLRB appointed by a labour-friendly president is better than either. Except for the copper strike, which has been settled by an injunction issued under the Act. Rail rates are going up again, and the International Typographical Union is signalling defeat in its battlel against teletypesetting by promoting tabloid newspapers that can't use centrally-produced copy because the pages are different sizes.
The World Overseas
"The Outlook in Japan" Japan is technically backward, out of touch with current management and marketing practice, and suffering from assorted strains and too much bureaucracy, while it is cut off from its best, Chinese market, and perhaps from Southeast Asia. They cannot possibly compete on world markets, but, in spite of that, people are basically optimistic and looking forward to post-Treaty trade with America, and Our Correspondent Lately in Japan grudgingly concedes they might have a bit of a point. Greece is also "uncertain," and Holland's bid to "tackle inflation" is worth a multi-part series, of which the first explains the government's "attack on the inflationary situation by indirect methods," which may even succeed! Or wage demands will lead to an inflationary spiral. Too soon to tell, really.
"Protecting the Colonial Worker" What a great idea. They should try ---Wait, no, the article seems to be a completely serious discussion of how British colonial authorities are protecting the workers of the West Indies. They might even be allowed to organise and run their own unions soon!
From Czechoslovakia comes the urgent news that Communism is terrible.
The Business World
"Payments Agreement with Japan" A sterling payments agreement has been made with Japan, which, since it is pretty important to you, I am sure you already know all about. Buried in this story is some information that might have made the lead Business Leader a bit more useful. Japan's business index, at one fifth the 1937 volume in 1946, has risen to nearly two-thirds in 1950, and this year to the prewar level. Japanese exports have risen to an annual rate of $1200 million; and while prices are rising under the impact of the war in Korea, wages have been "held well back." Good news for everyone that matters!
"Chemicals from Oil, II: Gauging the Market" Yes, the leading oil and chemical companies of the country have invested large amounts of capital in cracking and gas separation plants. On the other hand, the large tonnages of hydrocarbon gasses that form the basis of the new petroleum gas industry might be available in excess of what the market requires, causing it all to end in tears. The industry is to be congratulated for going ahead when there was a slump in the American chemical market, and The Economist is just doing its job in suggesting that the investors underestimated some markets and overestimated others. It runs through markets and demand for styrenes, acetone, ethylene, and other products, shakes its head, and tentatively suggests that all of this investment in chemical engineering should go on, because there will probably be another shortage in a few years time. Stopping to read what it has written and realising that it has strayed into the forbidden territory of optimism, it suggests that maybe not all the companies invest at once. Down with the British cartel!
We lead off with various people explaining that dividends on British stocks aren't excessive at all, and any call for diverting that money into wages is just the crassest class warfare. Besides, the government isn't trying to crack down on bonus issues, so it is hypocritical! (another Business Note hunts down "More Dividend Freeze Anomalies,", which is at least more interesting than the latest on Belgium and the EPU, which will surely be impossible to resolve the way that the German surplus just was. So even though it was just resolved, the strings will surely come off soon.)
"Rank Organisation Out of the Red" Is it time for The Economist to repent of its ongoing pessimism about the future of the British film industry? Of course it isn't. Other companies are still doing badly. A related Note shows that the Exchequer has been making bank on the Entertainment Duties, and British theatres want relief.
"Bumper Profits from Rhodesian Copper" Let's see, commodity prices, including copper are up, and everyone is making money. Including Roan Antelope and Mufulira! Wool prices are down again, however, so that's probably good news or possibly bad news, I forget. Here we're going with bad news for a new reason, which is that it shows that clothing manufacturers are worried about retail sales.
"Manpower for Rearmament" More accurately, there is not enough manpower for rearmament, and delivery schedules are starting to slip. However, almost half of Ministry of Supply and Admiralty contracts have been placed. One particular shortage is emerging in canvas goods, including battledress and almost all War Office cotton clothing. The new ".280 calibre semi-automatic rifle," is to cost roughly £34, compared with £17 10s for the old .303 rifle. Arrangements for retooling have been put in train for the ammunition, but not the rifle.
Incidentally, according to such obscure sources as British Pathe, the .280 is not a "semi-automatic" at all, but rather a selective-fire weapon. That means, as I am sure you already know, that it can fire as a full automatic. But who expects The Economist to check its sources after being critical of the new rifle for months? Because if it did check its sources and continued to write things like the above, it might seem a bit dishonest!
Shorter Notes notes that the industrial production index for June is up six points over May, when it was affected by the Whitsun holidays, and trends are holding to the Economic Survey's projected 4% increase in industrial production. On 1 July, there were only 15 ships with a gross tonnage of 49,000 tons laid up in UK ports, apart from those awaiting or undergoing repair, the lowest quantity of idle cargo space recorded since the war. "There is practically no reserve of British shipping to meet any further calls [of the nature of the Korean War.]
Aviation Week, 10 September 1951
News Digest has not too much other than an award for the first atomic aircraft airframe.
Industry Observer has Douglas "well along with its first C-124B turboprop heavy transports" and angling for more contracts. The reconnaissance variant of the B-47 has been delayed so that production can focus on building it out of the more powerful and more immediately available B-47B. Since the original version of the RB-47 was to have been a B-47C variant, this requires considerable modification of the original modification. General Tire is experimenting with a new "free-fall aerial delivery technique" that consists of bouncing 5 gallon rubber balls of gasoline, which doesn't sound like a good idea to me. The President's C-54, the "Sacred Cow," is getting a reconditioning. Fairchild has modified the tail of its XC-120 Pack Plane so that it doesn't fall out of the sky as much. Saunders-Roe has taken over the Cierva Autogiro Air Horse development contract. It appears that the first XB-52 will get its engines in time for its October rollout, but the Convair XB-60 won't get its engines until next year. Convair's experimental flying boat jet fighter will get 60 degree delta wings in its latest version.
"Not Enough Steel, Say AF and Industry" The NPA disagrees, but there is no doubt that building plans are being delayed around the country, including the new Boeing wind tunnel in Seattle.
"Details of Douglas Skyrocket's New Record Flight" Remember the Navy's "The Skyrocket set a record but shh it's secret!" act? Now it's a whole story. It was an altitude record, can't tell you by how much, but we can tell you all the other details of the flight!
Qantas has ordered two Plymouths, which is the Sunderland's latest name.
"See Supersonic Jet Delta Flying Boat" A classic, old-time Aviation Week headline for a precis of Ernest Stout's paper given to the Royal Aeronautical Society on jet fighter flying boats.
Production has Alexander McSurely, "Willow Run Getting Ready to Roll" With the Air Force fighting with the press and the army over the slow delivery of its new generation of assault transports, it is beginning to feel like 1943 all over again over at Uncle Henry's. So let's check in with Willow Run to see how the latest production miracle straight out of Model T days is going. It turns out that "Kaiser-Frazer" is going to finish its first C-119 this fall, and will hit a 3-a-day C-123 peak rate after the Packet is phased out to meet the 380 plane order. This compares with the 10 B-24s Willow Run eventually turned out daily back in the war. We'll skip over the fact that they were being delivered straight to the Aircraft Modification Centres for complete retouching!
Lockheed wants us to know about "Impact-Extrusion for Thin-Wall Parts." The process is widely used for soft metals, but Lockheed wants to use it on tough alloys in a 1000 ton impact extrusion punch press.
Equipment has a full page article by Scott Reiniger on Shell's new VPI rustproofing shellac with patent application system which has been on the market for five full years already so is practically brand new, plus an article on the brand-new, craze-resistant polyester plastic, Sierracin, perfect for aircraft instrument panels.
New Aviation Products has a tapered steel tube that could form the backbone of a helicopter rotor, from Tube Reducing Corporation, a 4000psi air valve for pneumatic systems from Bobrick Manufaturing, and a compact dc electrical control system for the B-47, being developed by Jack and Heintz, which I can't believe are still in business after the Truman Committee got done with them. However, this seems to be just the system for the B-47's radio shack.
Air Transport has F. Lee Moore's New Push Given All-Weather Plans," a report on the joint industrty-government drive to improve all-weather flying safety after a string of 12 major airline accidents "in weather requiring instrument flying" since the 12 December 1949 Capital DC-3 crash in Washington and ending --so far-- with the Oakland crash two weeks ago. The scheme isn't really about new technology, although it lays down wants and needs around automatic approach equipment, "symbolic" instrument displays and navigation aids, so much as it is about a push to accelerate roll out of the equipment we have, particulary VOR omnirange. The CAB is going to push the airlines to accept military-style terrain clearance indicators.
What's New gets a promotion to a full page feature but still just covers company pamphlets, charts and reference booklets.
Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup moves to the ack pages to discuss rumours of a new Secretary of Defence after George Marshall's expected retirement, word from Eisenhower's headquarters that he wants more air power in Europe, a new mobilisation timetable. continuing arguments in Congress over airmail payments and airline subsidies, with Massachusetts's freshman Congressman, John Kennedy, son of the ambassador/tycoon, taking up the Postal Service's fight against the universal postal union's standard international air mail rates. The Senate's Small Business Committee is set to push back against the CAB's "death edict" against the nonskeds. The airlines are continuing to argue for a subsidy to get them over the hump to jet service, similar to the one that the American merchant marine has long enjoyed, perhaps in the form of a "reserve" for the services.