Sunday, March 20, 2022

Postblogging Technology, December 1951, I: Christmas Truce


R_. C_.,
Santa Clara,

Dear Father:

In the end, Reggie did decide to go to the memorial, so your phone call did some good, after all.  I hardly knew the 124283 crew, so I was sentimental for a completely different reason. Wong Lee came down to drive us to the club, and not only did we catch up, I got to watch him practice his "evasionary driving!" I have no idea what ONI makes of the crash at this point, but I have to note that they  haven't released a flight number, so it was probably best to make sure we didn't lead the Examiner to the ceremony!  I don't think it would be good for anyone's career to have a Hearstling crash the memorial! the memorial!  Reggie was pretty blue until the band struck up "Ghost Riders in the Sky," which really broke the ice! In the morning, well, no, in the afternoon, by which time he'd finally begun to shake his hangover, he went down to see Bill and Dave. (I think they're cooking up something in the electric guitar way.) 

So I think we are over the hump as long as the Hungarians are nice and release their Dakota. (And, no, I have absolutely nothing on the grapevine about that. There's talk it might have been dropping spies for Tito? Which would be a bit of a hot tamale, let me tell you!)

Looking forward to seeing you on Christmas Eve, and also to handing this to you in person, which is why I am being a dreadful security risk and writing it in English.

Your Loving Daughter,


The Economist, 1 December 1951


"Partners in Freedom" The Prime Minister should give some speeches soon to Europeans and Americans and here is what he must say: Europe must get on with the United States of Europe while not expecting Britain to lower itself from its status as citizen of the world to actually join. Europe should just be grateful that Britain offers free advice from the buffet line. (If you are wondering why the  university function serves California wine and cubes of plastic cheese, it's because of Britain.) 

"The Overlord" Labour says that Cherwell, Woolton and Leathers have been made "overlords" of far too much in the new cabinet, and they are too powerful, and it's bad. The Economist has no time for such silliness and then wanders around the long history of British cabinets showing this and that in the interest of not admitting that the Prime Minister is gaga. 

Also, Marshal Tito's Yugoslavia is bound for tears, and his Western allies should tell him so and not just settle for congratulating themselves that there is a Communist who is not a Stalinist.

"The Human Breed" 

"Veneration of fertility and fear of famine are among the most deeply rooted of human attributes." You see, human fertility used to be in a race against sterility and death, but now it is the "ally of famine," because we are  having too many babies and there is not enough food, which you might think is just the tired old song that the Reverend Malthus used to sing two hundred years ago, and doesn't he look dumb in the rear view mirror. But, no! Malthus had a more sophisticated point, which is that he was right, only a century and a  half too early. And what did he fail to take into account? "Advanced" nations are one thing. Here we have progress and stable or declining populations, which you might think would put us right back to "venerating fertility and fearing famine," but thanks to Robert C. Cook's recent Human Fertility, we know better! The "advanced" nations cannot insulate themselves from the "Swarming population" of what The Economist's Correspondent has just barely avoided calling "primitive races." (But he did, so credit for that!) You see, we need the "swarmers'" products and feel too much sympathy for them. 

So they're going to swarm. So much for that. Now to move on to the "second point," which is the "supreme importance of detecting, using and preserving innate human ability, and the sinister antagonism between its detection and use and its preservation." You see, we only really need the "innately able," but they have been breeding at a lesser rate than the less able, which is to say, less intelligent. So far, this has been fine, because we can't distinguish between those who are actually dumb and those who can't get into a good school, because of class. But soon, if not now, that problem will be solved, we will be recruiting all the "Alphas" we have, and then the predictions of the eugenicists will come true! There will be "gene erosion," and it will turn out that the advanced countries have been "robber farming," and we had better do something about it, because there is no room for benign neglect in "racial development."

"In conclusion, we Dirty Old Men should rule the world!" (Funny fact: Robert C. Cook's father was named Orator Fuller Cook.) 

Notes of the Week

Everyone is out Christmas shopping, so the first page of Notes consists of the Nato talks in Rome where some people are suggesting that maybe the German contribution for the Nato land army won't come through, and what then; tepid reaction to Vishinsky's tepid disarmament proposal; and The Economist and press edging a little closer to admitting that there is an effective winter ceasefire along the front line that is probably going to be the armistice border, and the main obstacle to peace might well be the same thing that led to the war in the first place, which is China's resentment at being excluded from the UN. Wait, I mean "Peking," because obviously there is a question as to which is the real China, the whole of actual China, or alternatively the island of Formosa.  

"Labour Divides" Sot his is roughly a story about how Labour's division over Bevan has been "expressed" in a vote in the Commons. That is, thirty-five Labour members voted against the Japanese peace treaty, and "nearly a hundred" abstained. If you can remember that far back, was signed by the Labour government, but Bevan doesn't like it because of America and militarism or I don't know. However, The Economist goes on to point out that the members against are all from "cotton or pottery constituencies," and that what they're really afraid of is Japanese competition, and they are wrong and dumb because free trade. The MPs from "pottery constituencies" are just crackpots! But as we go on to point out, the real argument is about rearmament. Official Labour wants to hold on with the defence programme providing the Americans come through for Churchill, and the Bevanites don't. 

Now, the interesting thing for me is that if we can wait for two weeks (and the 15 December issue), we're going to hear Mr. Churchill say that Bevan was right! That is, that Britain couldn't manage to spend £1340 million (£1.3 billion in real numbers) on defence if it wanted to in 1950/1, which is what the numbers now show. The Economist is spitting mad about this because Bevan left the government because he wanted to switch some unspent money over from defence to the NHS, which is more spending, which The Economist always hates, specifically here because of inflation. However, it consoles itself, it was all  a clever manoeuvre by Mr. Churchill to divide Labour and the problem is just lags in the defence programme.  After all, even though defence spending is to rise to £1.6 billion next year or perhaps even £1.8 billion to compensate for inflation, it is only 15% of "net national income," compared to 51% in the war, which is very reasonable, and leaves the economy "three-quarters peace," allowing plenty of productive resources for exports as long as inflationary pressures are balanced by making poor people pay more for food and live int ents. Then, once we are "badly overarmed" in two years time, we can have peace with Communism and a bright new age. 

Unless the Germans won't raise an army because Germany has too many neo-Nazis who want to have an army, and all is disaster. Just to be safe, America should give us a bunch of money. "Unless Russian policy changes." Which adds still another layer of irony to all of this, because declared Russian policy is for peace in the valley, so Bevan's real sin is believing them and not reading the tealeaves to determine that Russia's real policy is rampant aggression. 

"Private Building Revived" More building but less subsidised public building is deflationary, says Harold MacMillan, and he should know about deflation! (Get it? He's plump!) The Economist manages to be on the side of more houses, suddenly. On the other hand, the approved increase in farm prices is inflationary. The Economist helpfully points out that the current food shortages are due to "full employment and subsidies." Once the poor people can't afford food, the shortages will go away! Does this magazine ever just listen to itself?

In "England is awful to the world news," Tshekedi Khama is back in London to protest his continuing banishment from Basutoland. The Economist thinks that the Conservatives should follow through with their words while in opposition and let Khama go home, as "[T]oday Africans are anxiously watching the Conservative government for signs of what line its colonial policy will take. A large crop of 'administrative convenience' will be reaped in Africa if it does not live up to Mr. Lennox-Boyd's fine words." 

The emphasis is mine because the phrase appears a bit earlier and is The Economist being sarcastic. It is worried about something a bit more serious than "administrative convenience." Also, the 1948 agreement between Anglo-Persian and the government of Persia has been released. It would seem to suggest that Persia was shorted on the agreement to the tune of £80 million in 1950, but The Economist explains why this is an unfair misconstrual of the agreement, which in fact was perfectly fair and immaculately carried out and the whole thing is just a misunderstanding on the part of the ignorant and parochial Persian "man on the street." Regrettably, the Iranian economy is coming along just fine, so that there will not be bread riots and the overthrow of the government any time soon. Unlike Egypt, where there are riots and "excesses," and it is all the Egyptian government's fault. (Or factions within it.) The Economist is at least reasonable enough to suggest that Britain should get ready to leave Suez when the 1936 treaty lapses in 1956, because "if the treaty is good now, it will be good then." Also, the Chinese budget is focussed on munitions and defence, which, even if it might have been inspired by Korea, still means that they are about to try to take over the world. 

"Bases on the Flanks" The Economist is reluctantly pleased by the commissioning and trials of HMS Eagle, because it is a splendid new aircraft carrier of 36,000 tons which can carry up to 100 of the most modern and recent aircraft and will be a "very valuable unit [that] will undoubtedly be added to the defences of the West." It is just that The Economist can't really see how it adds to the "defence of the West" when Russia has no navy and the American and Royal Navies are so huge. Should we really have spent £15 million on yet another carrier? Yes, it is reluctantly conceded, because the "sea flanks" of the Atlantic alliance are not secure, and will not be secure until land aircraft of superior performance are securely based around the perimeter of Europe in Scandinavia, Italy, Greece and Turkey.

A Note  gives us the first intimation of a big story, at least in The Economist of the next two weeks, the show trial of Rudolf Slansky in Czechoslovakia, which, as often as I defend Communists against absurd overreaching criticisms around here, shows why it is straight-facedly true that Communism is terrible.

"Errand of Mercy" British military engineers are participating in flood relief in the Po valley and the Adige, and those Italian Communists better be grateful considering how the East bloc didn't stir a finger.  

("An area as large as the whole of Middlesex."

The Economist of 1851 is on about how state subsidies for scientific research are terrible, just look at those foreigners who do it. They're decadent, and so is their science and literature. (State subsidies for literature are also terrible.) By mid-month the magazine is going to broaden its attack to include proposals to pay for primary education with a property tax, on the grounds that formal education for children is a waste of time when they can be working, instead. At least it's not arguing for starving the poor people to bring down the cost of food subsidies. We'll let a hundred years of progress work that transformation.

"Trustees and Tribes at Uno" The Economist has mixed views of the Trusteeship Committee of the UN, which is currently facing walkouts by South Africa, which is upset that the Committee is sticking its noses in Southwest Africa, and France, over an Iraqi motion that it should stick its nose into Morocco. This is bad enough, but the British motion to have the Committee lobby to have Italy admitted to the UN because it is now the trustee for Somaliland is a bit  much because it is really taking the remit of the Committee too far. Also at the UN, the General Assembly has decided to wind up the special g committee that was set up four years ago to watch what was going on in the Balkans with a disapproving eye. The Russians are upset, because they still think a disapproving eye is needed in the Balkans, just for other reasons, leading the General Assembly and the Russians to argue over Yugoslavia and also Korea, since the South Koreans think that having UN observers there might have prevented the war. 

"The Funfair Crosses the Floor" So there is something called the Festival Gardens, and David Eccles has made his first motion in the Commons a move for a second reading of a bill to extend their life to 1956 on the grounds that they are popular and will probably make some money, so the Conservative criticisms of them from last year have been proven wrong, and in retrospect it is all a bit silly. Did you know that the main Conservative parliamentary critic of the Gardens was a man named Smithers? I thought that was a made up name! Also, George Bernard Shaw was a great playwright but a very silly man and even The Economist is happy that this is the first time it has had to print his name in months. 


Shena Simon points out that as long as children can go to private school at six and then compete with public school students (yes, I know the British use opposite-land language to talk about schools and I don't care!) for high school seats, it is just fair to have the public schools enroll six year-olds, and The Economist can take its economy and shove it somewhere indecent. A. C. Hazel explains why charging more for electricity at peak load hours is a good idea, while H. S. Petch explains why it is technically infeasible for now.  John Reiss writes to explain that delays at the Port of London are due to labour disputes, and specifically that the only reason why his works didn't export more last quarter is that it took too long to load the ships and certainly not because there is more money in selling his products domestically. 


F. H. Hinsley's Hitler's Struggle is an extended argument with the author about his thesis that Hitler decided to attack Russia on one date, when the reviewer knows that it was actually another one. I think The Economist might have given this book to someone else to review. C. C. Lingard and R. G. Trotter (which is a real name) have a very, very worthy book, Canada in World Affairs, September 1951-May 1944, and I have ordered two copies, so that I can read it with both hands whilst soaking in the tub. If I ever have time to soak in the tub again. Menachem Begin has a book, The Revolt, in which a revolting man explains why he revolted, and why the Revolt required revolting acts. The Economist, concerned that there is not enough revulsion going on in this review already, explains that he was a member of the (implied; small) band of extremists "largely responsible for the abandonment of the Palestine Mandate." No, I think that the cause of the abandonment  is very close to this sentence, but not quite its argument. Sir Ernest Barker, who is Chair of Political Science at Cambridge, has Principles of Social and Political Theory, which The Economist thinks is a "future classic."  Leslie Paul's

Angry Young Man is a look back at when the author was an angry young man and an explanation for why he isn't, any more. Evan Esar and Nicholas Bentley's The Treasury of Humorous Quotations will have a sequel if successful, The Treasury of Unintentionally Humorous Quotations, which will have an entire chapter from this magazine. In the meantime, this volume will be great for cribbing speeches. Theodore Saloutos' Agricultural Discontent in the Middle-West is a very worthy book. Very worthy indeed. Farmers are very contrary, and now they are rich, they express that by backing Senator McCarthy instead of Senator LaFollete. It says here! Herman Muench's Boehmische Tragoedie is a book about the collapse of Austro-Hungary in German, which The Economist is going to review to show that it  is fluently multilingual, not like the reader, who should be ashamed. William McFee's Law of the Sea is a good introduction for us landlubbers. Economic Effects of an Investment Program in Southern Italy is brought to us by "Svimez," which appears to be the publishing house and not an author who hasn't earned a first name of his own yet. 

American Survey

"Eternal Insecurity" The Economist regards the antics of McCarthy and his lot and wrings its hands in all directions. There are not nearly enough Communist spies to justify all the theatrical persecution, but on the other hand far too many, which considering the Depression  is understandable but is completely unacceptable given the atomic age although the investigation has got the specific persons investigated all wrong. That aside, it can hardly be born that the eyewitness testimony of Joseph Alsop is somehow turned into hearsay, the testimony on the same events of Louis Budenz, who was on another continent at the time, becoming "evidence." It will be the McCaran committee's turn at the bat next, and who knows what extremes it will go to, especially if it is proven that the Communists beat the Koumintang because the Communists had a higher morale? Also, it is delicately suggested that anti-Chinese racism might be playing a role in America's inability to grasp the internal affairs of China. Well, sure, but what about money? I'm pretty sure that money plays a role, too! 

Speaking of which, we get a bit on the current income tax increases, along with an acid comment about how the current record levels of output and capital expansion "give the lie to those who claim that the present tax structure has a paralysing effect on incentives." Then The Economist goes on to explain how the particular tax it doesn't like (on business spending) has a disincentive effect! It does not like the way the system currently favours capital gains over income, and points out that the most efficient way of using taxes to address inflation remains one of simply increasing the income tax rate. 

American Notes

"Red Devil and Congressional Sea" Congress is entertaining a ridiculous motion to have East bloc military units that desert to the West enrolled as national units in the "military forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation," which has the Russians seeing red. (I can do it, too!) Also, it sure seems like Congress is authorising the government to subsidise underground movements in Communist countries, which, it is supposed, will then lead to Congressional hearings about how the money is spent, which should be quite a circus. On the housing front, there are far more housing starts than the Administration bargained for, which is bad for inflation, and far fewer than the country needs, especially in "defence areas." Part of this has to do with easing the limits on mortgages, while on the other hand shortages of materials will surely keep housing starts down next year. Also, New York City is becoming a harder place to move through, while its taxing power, limited by the state, isn't up to transportation improvements.

"Metal Lifeboats" Britain is going to solve America's aluminum shortage by lending the US 22 million pounds of its Canadian allotment, in return for which it is getting 71,000 tons of US steel and and an unspecified amount of German scrap that was going to go to the US. Tin might follow, which would relieve Stuart Symington of his current impossible position between the US strategic tin stockpile and the domestic tin shortage. He cannot release the tin without breaking his promise to miners and metal traders that wartime emergency buying would not be used to depress prices, but on the other hand he was driving inflation. British tin would fix this. The one thing that is not short, by the way, is manpower, even though it sure looks that way. There is "substantial unemployment" in 22 of 174 labour areas, and industry and agencies are not following through on the President's promise that plants would come to workers, and not the other way round. Oh, and it turns out that the money in college sports might be ruining higher learning, who would have thought!? "Some reduction in emphasis on sport might be under way," although, if so, it might be because television is cutting into college football revenues. 

The World Overseas

"Economic Pitfalls for United Germany" I'm sorry, is Germany united? Is any such thing likely? No? Well, if it did happen, the prosperous western half would have to spend a lot of money on bringing the standard of living in the eastern half up, and this would mean that the Federal Republic would be "in even more need of American aid."  and if that isn't enough building castles in the sky, the next bit is about the "Strasbourg debate," which is a fancy dress party for politicians where some American Congressional types have come over to Strasbourg and have talks and debates about the United States of Europe and such, perhaps involving the Wise Men of NATO and Winston Churchill. The delegation includes the 84-year-old senior senator from Rhode Island, so  you can see how serious it is! 

"Drought in the Volga Region" Russia may have a famine instead of a bumper crop, but also possibly not, and anyway with the Volga-Don Canal to finish in 1952 and completion of the "forest belt" conservation scheme, the day of cyclical spring wheat harvest failures in the Volga region may be coming to an end, along with, it says here, the Kashmir crisis, maybe, thanks to a fine UN report. Oh, and New Zealand is having a postwar boom, which will soon end in tears due to such dangerous trends as "over-employment," a positive balance of trade, and a welfare state. And what will bring this terrible doom? Inflation, of course, probably followed by wage and price controls and a long overdue collapse in wool prices. 

"New Session at Accra" The Gold Coast Legislative Assembly has met. Our Correspondent thought all the traditional clothing was pretty but was very unimpressed with the new prime minister, the leader of the opposition, and the Local Government Act, which is further limiting the power of traditional chiefs. 

The Business World

"Tackling the Food Subsidies" The Economist would like to tackle subsidies like an old time Harvard fullback clotheslining the boorish neck of a Yalie. The Tories, bless them, are at least sane enough not to. The subsidy on rationed food isn't a big part of national food consumption, but that doesn't mean people will be happy about cutting them. And the thing is that the ration is a much bigger deal for people who don't have school and work canteens to fill them up. Housewives vote, too!

"Austin and Nuffield"

The Economist gives us its opinion of the announced merger of two firms, which will, together, represent 45% of domestic auto production. It's fine, because British auto production isn't concentrated enough, and Nuffield needs better management. It is "in the national interest."

Business Notes

The banks and the Tories are having a fight? Over the increase in the discount rate? I have no idea, because The Economist laps back into LSE talk like Hugh Dalton was still at Treasury. Also, the Unilever stock ("debenture") issue was one of the biggest flops in recent years, even though the stock market is up overall. Which shows something, but see above. 

"Steel in 1952" The lat time the Minister of Supply gave an estimate of steel output, he was Labour, and the British Iron and Steel Federation threw a fit, even though he turned out to be right. This time, it came from Duncan Sandys, and apparently it doesn't matter how louche you are if you're a Tory and somehow "narrow the gap" between output and demand from 1.5 million to 1 million tons. Credit is being given to the aluminum loan. The annual financials from Anglo-Iranian have already been covered. The English are right, the Iranians are wrong, and so on. Also, the NATO talks in Rome have a financial aspect, mainly having to do with the advisability of making the first repayment on the 1946 United States loan rather than exercising the waiver, with an eye to US elections which, it turns out, are coming up next year.  (The latest crisis is a shortage of coke.)

The Economist checks in with housing, where incentive schemes are easing the wage freeze problems that were preventing contractors from hiring labour away from less important sectors such as home repair, but which will be less important to getting building up than fixing problems with material supply. The IMF is changing its tariff scheme, and the furniture and clothing industries are pressing for no early end to the utility scheme in which scheduled "Utility designs" were spared high excise taxes on exports. That is, I think, products sold into the domestic market which could have been exported? Only the furniture industry doesn't actually export very much? But it is worried about a general sales tax? Or competition by shoddy imports not subject to "Utility" regulations? Something like that. Of equal importance to all is the ongoing discussion of whether piece rate pay schemes are contributing to the delays on the docks more than congestion, a lack of lighters, and the refusal by some lightermen to work overtime, which has led to their suspensions. Mandatory voluntary overtime!

"The New Fighters" Business Notes seems to be the place for aviation journalism around this place. The Economist's focus is on the fact that the de Havilland and Gloster prototypes to the Ministry of Supply "all-weather fighters" have to carry radar equipment and other navigation aids to accomplish their mission of intercepting atom bombers, envisioned as planes flying by themselves, relying on high altitude and speed to evade interception. This means larger, pressurised cabins and a two-man crew, which means a larger and more expensive plane. On top of that, the interception requires great climbing power, and both prototypes have twin engines. The de Havilland has two Avons, the Gloster, two Sapphires. This adds further to the cost of the planes. Of the two, the Gloster, which has wings swept back into a "delta," looks more modern than the de Havilland, which takes the Venom design and sweeps the wings back further but retains the twin-boom, which is starting to look a bit old hat. "It is most unlikely that either will be ready to go into service during the period of the present rearmament programme."

Hopes for good dollar earnings from re-exporting finished products made from the current bumper crop of jute have been disappointed by a decline in the American market, and the NCB has offered a wage increase to coal miners which will result in higher coal prices, but not as much as the impending increase in rail freight charges. 

Aviation Week, 3 December 1951

News Digest reports that Northwestern has withdrawn its suit against Boeing alleging late deliveries of the Stratocruiser, and that Boeing has withdrawn its countersuit. Pan Am is sending a technical team to London to evaluate the Comet. 

Industry Observer reports that Bristol is expanding its overhaul line for Wright R-3350s to include superchargers and carburetors, which are operated in the RAF's Boeing Washington bombers and has sent seven technicians to the USAF Overhaul Depot at Tinker Field, Oklahoma City to learn the tricks of the trade. Piasecki isn't dead yet, because its H-21 would be an excellent transport helicopter if the CAA decides that passenger helicopters need two engines. The USAF has clamped down on security for the XB-52, which will roll out soon. BOAC is modifying eight Constellations to carry 68 passengers each on the Atlantic coach, even though TWA is carrying 82 on its coaches. Ford's Aircraft Engine Division is still not making production R-4360s due to late deliveries of machine tools. The Australians will buy the Fairey Gannet. Bell is making reinforcements for the rotors of the H-13D, Allison is making jet engine test stands, Gyrodyne has a development contract with the Navy for its GCA-2, and the Navy has ferried another squadron of North American AJ-1s across the Atlantic for their first carrier experience in the Mediterranean.

Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup reports: 143 wing Air Force, what's keeping it?  Canada has a $5 billion, 3 year defence programme focussing heavily on air power for the navy, air force (well, obviously), and even the army, with orders let for $400 million in equipment, with the aim to build a substantially larger industry than current needs require, for defence mobilisation. It would really, really help if it could get some American contracts. Service research and development investment includes a $22 million expansion at Edwards, and  a $4.5 million Navy expansion of at Patuxent for aircraft. For guided missiles, the USAF is investing $8 million at Holloman AFB, the Navy $9.3 million at Point Mugu, and the army is putting in $7 million at White Sands and $1.5 million at Cal Tech. For atomic weapon testing, the air force will double its $8 million investment at Kirtland, and for air defence, $12 million for a research laboratory at Lexington, Massachusetts. The Navy is also putting in $2.6 million for rocket testing at the Lake Denmark Station. Word on the street is that the Army, Marines and Air Force are going to continue to fight over the best way to deliver air support to ground forces. I'm shocked! This is my shocked handwriting! (If you couldn't tell.)

Alexander McSurely reports that "New Attack Opens on Production Logjams" A subtitle says that there is "no real cure-all." This is just about the new Aircraft Production Board push on machine tools. Remember back when that idiot, Janeway, complained that modern American machine tools had so many dials and buttons that we couldn't sell our surplus off to Latin America, where they no comprende dials and buttons, senor? Anyway, what we're arguing about is how strict the armaments priority should be. In news that is related in the sense that it also goes back to Senator Johnson's criticisms, the Senate is going to probe "irregularities" at Air Materiel Command, Wright Patterson. 

"F-89D Scorpion Carries Wingtip Stings"  After giving up on the nose turret (to track high speed, high altitude bombers in brief interceptions), the F-89D has been redesigned with a spread of rockets in pods at the tip of each wing. 

"New Facts on Jet Combat Worries Allies" Or, as Newsweek says, Red air superiority over Korea is increasing, with a flight of F-80s "abandoning the battlefield" because they were outnumbered by Red MiG-15s 8-1. Which is probably why Alpheus W. Jessup needs to file from Tokyo to the effect that the P-80 is our best choice for interdiction and close support and has "aerodynamics superior to the F-84." However, as General Vandenberg "found" in his recent visit, the UN is limited by its lack of long-range jet bombers, and whenever Russian jet bombers do show up, our cramped air fields will be a disaster. Nat McKitterick, writing from London, says that there is consternation in British air circles over the performance the Russians have been able to extract from their Nenes. The Manchester Guardian asks how the Russians have been able to build an aircraft that can fly at the speed of sound with centrifugal engines. Since the Russians also bought the Derwent IV when they bought the Nene, there is speculation about what they might be doing about it. Ben S. Lee reports from Washington on Vandenberg's trip-end press conference, where he said that the MiG-15 was just the superior plane, and that's that. He also wants the Army to stop asking for airplanes to play artillery, and get on with using their howitzers, and that problems with air support for 10th Corps, which  have the Marines hopping mad, are down to General Almond being an idiot and MacArthur being too "distant" to supervise the battlefield.

"Truce Won't Alter U.S, Air Planning"  The winter truce in Korea is not going to lead to a reduction in air strength planning because we don't count losses against air totals.

The ARB will soon certify the Comet, various people are arguing for the nonskeds, Sabena has completed a first year of successful air mail helicopter flying, so maybe they're the airline that finds a use for it, ATA is ignoring the CAB ruling. 

Production Engineering has Irving Stone, "Giant Machines for Highspeed Designs," which is actually a report from the floor at Lockheed. High speed designs call for strong, thin structures and new production techniques calling for a special battery of "heavy machine tools" in their own production hall. Concretely, they have a Gidding and Lewis skin mill, which they argue is better for the job than an extrusion press, and then some support milling and forming machines big enough to work on the pieces the skin mill produces, and the one extrusion press they did buy back in '48, a 7000 ton number, plus a 200 ton stretch wrapper , which is a fancy word for the thingie that pulls a sheet through a drop hammer. Fridges and warming furnaces finish up the equipment at the "Hall of Giants," and unless you actually read the article you don't even notice that it's an apology for not buying a big extrusion press back in 1947--8. 

"Cornell, GE Set Up Electronics Centre" They do! It is a combination research/educational laboratory, which brings me to the next story, "Post-Grad Engineer Shortage is Cited." Grover Loening promises that a good undergraduate aeronautical engineer will be "sitting pretty" in an enormous aviation industry in twenty years, because, he promises, civil aviation will expand to take up the slack when air rearmament finishes. 

John Mattill, the Secretary, Engineering College Research Council, says that we have reached the "Research Limit," as the colleges reach saturation, with faculty shortages (there are a total of 652 aeronautical engineering faculty in the United States, doing almost 8% of all college engineering research) ruling out expansion. The rest of the report looks at workload, number of programmes, and equipment. 

"Wingtip Heaters for Globemasters" The giant Douglas C-124 Globemaster is getting wingtip combustion heaters for anti-icing. Like other wingtip auxiliaries, it also reduces wing bending moment. Hiller wants us to know that their H-23B has 54 major engineering improvements thanks to Korean experience, raising gross weight 100lbs to 2400lbs. 

NACA Reports brings us the moody Red, Y. B. Zeldovich, on the "Theory of Flame Propagation" through initially unmixed gasses, which is even spicier in the original Russian. Clever, perhaps too clever, if you know what I mean, is W. Goldstein on axisymmetric supersonic flow in rotating impellers. John T. Sinnette and George R. Costello are a happy lab where people work on possible applications of blade boundary-layer control to improve design and "off-design" axial turbine work. Sumner Alpert has mailed in a report from the Berkshires, where he is spending the festive season with his colleague, Rose M. Lintra, on the "Construction and Use of Charts in Design Studies of Gas Turbines."

"Hear on CV De-Ices the Corsair" Chance Vought wants us to know that they rushed a aircraft fit to the waters off Korea to de-ice frozen Corsairs in only 2 and a half months. It gets cold in Korea! It is a surprisingly long article (four pages), but it has to be to mention everyone who helped at Navy, Chance Vought and Goodrich.

Avionics reports that "Down Goes Size of Airborne Radar" No author, because this is from Ryan's publicity department, which doesn't want us to forget that they are working hard on "subminiature" components. That's smaller than miniature! Bristol Engineering isn't crass enough to buy an article about it, but then, they have an actual product to sell, an "Avionic Checker" for, well, checking avionic components.  We get the usual about channels, frequencies, voltages, voltmeters. UAL and Eclipse want us to know that they are doing 83 Eclipse-Pioneer flight path control systems on the airline's fleets of DC-6s. It feeds ILS signal direct to the automatic pilot. Martin's 4-0-4s for Eastern and TWA are getting electric, linear-type actuators for the horizontal stabiliser, replacing the mechanical screw used in the old 2-0-2. 

George L. Christian has been sent off to Denver to do "Continental Sets Sights on Future" Mainly about the rigs in the airline's shop for testing and adjusting spark plugs, ignition harnesses and ancillary electrics like batteries, but also shop talk about the trucks they use on the airfield.

New Aviation Products has pressure switches for jets and rockets to Air Force specifications from Maxwell and Moore. Who else even needs rocket pressure switches?   Westinghouse has medium-intensity strip lighting for runways, base or column mounted. Hobart 666's "Power-Pull Tractor" can tow DC-6s. Shelden Electrics' MT-1530 is a high current thyratron tube. Allen Aircraft has a fuel pressure valve. 

We're told that the "trouble rate" of American civil aviation is going down, which is good news, because it used to be low and now it is lower and anyway lots of people die in trainwrecks, so why are you looking at us like that?

A letter to Aviation Week from Name Withheld points out that Aviation Week is ignoring a Pan-Am DC-6B crash near Mexico City, so a team went down to take a picture and file that the cause is officially a mystery, although it was probably understandable pilot error, as the lake bed the plane landed on was supposed to be dry, but was, in fact, under two feet of water as a flood mitigation measure.

Qantas is buying the Superconnie,  New Zealand is going to continue to operate its national airline because no-one wants to buy it, and the CAA is planning 32 voice radio ranges to supplement the standard wireless (Morse) system. 


Ryan and Kaiser really liked the articles about Ryan and Kaiser-Frazier. William Strohmeier of Dudley Parsons Public Relations points out that Grumman's problem with "stick shaker" stall warnings is that they worked too well. P. J. Jeryan of the Kuljian corporation thinks that the American engineer shortage could be addressed by letting foreign engineers emigrate, if it is not done to excess, which would be bad, while meanwhile the USAF exchange instructor at the RAF College writes to say that the college should take Aviation Week. 

What's New really liked Baughman's Aviation Dictionary except that it is awful.


The Economist, 8 December 1951

"Pause for Policy" Parliament is adjourned already. It seems like that would be bad, but in fact it is good! All those excellent Tory ministers (especially the dreamy Anthony Eden) will have plenty of time to prepare their briefs for all the important talking that will have to be done soon, while parliamentary Labour will continue to stand tall against the extreme leftists of the Bevan camp.

"Rhineland Chancellor" Speaking of dreamy politicians, how about that Konrad Adenauer?


(Uncorrrected version)


"Arms and Inflation"  The Economist puzzles over inflation. Rearmament clearly drives it to some extent because it couldn't do otherwise. But the amount of inflation is out of all proportion to actual rearmament spending. Something else is going on. It uses some graphs (unfortunately completely fouled up) to show that it isn't a wage and price increase spiral, either. So it  must be due to "pent up inflationary pressure," but that doesn't tell us much, either. It is observed that all European currencies have been losing value against the dollar since 1948, and this is driving up the cost of imports, and so the cost of living. Wages have kept pace, but this raises all sorts of dark shadows over the failure of European productivity to keep pace with the United States. OOEC countries are also experiencing an unfavourable balance of trade. In conclusion, it is all because European countries have weak and indulgent governments. I feel like, since this is the conclusion that The Economist was bound on reaching anyway, it could have saved us some time.  And the fact that its analysis was, in fact, almost completely wrong, doesn't change the conclusion! 

"Whitehall and Townhalls" Who wants to know more about the relationship between local government and the national government in the United Kingdom (or, actually, just England)? I know I do, so I'm about to give this Leader the attention it deserves! Wait, you don't want to hear about it? Just this once, I will indulge you. But no scandy before dinner! (It's mostly about finances.)

The Economist of 1851 has an opinion about the "Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon," the coup that brought Napoleon III to power. It's in favour, of course, because the one thing you can consistently say about this magazine, at least under James Wilson, is that you are always going to find it on the stupid side of the issue.  (I've evidently given up on moving the "hundred years ago" box story down to the bottom of Notes, where it used to be.) 

Notes of the Week

"Mr. Lyttleton and Malaya's Chinese" The Malayan insurgency will only end when Malaya's Chinese aren't treated as second class citizens any more, but we don't like them and we really, really want to treat them like second class citizens, so as an alternative we'll find some way of managing Malaya through to independence without resolving the situation, and then it won't be Britain's problem any more. 

 "Security in the Canal Zone" It is impossible to have "security" in the Canal Zone as long as there are Egyptians there, which there have to be in the cities. So we could consider militarising the entire zone, which will ensure security, but something something mumble mumble. I think, reading between the lines, that we don't want to ask British conscripts to fire into crowds of Egyptian citizens too often, and also it would be expensive. 

"Houses to Let" Silly Labour thinks that reducing public housing construction in favour of private will reduce the supply of rental housing and reduce housing standards, whereas in fact the market will ensure enough rental housing and local governments will regulate to ensure housing quality.  

Maurice Webb, the Labour food critic and former Minister, did a terrible thing by indiscreetly referring to confidential advice from officials within the Ministry which he misconstrued, and he is terrible and Major Lloyd George (the new Minister of Food) is above reproach, so there. (It is interesting that most of the debate around rationing and food proceeds from the fact that most working people are well fed in their canteens, so that the impact of rationing is mainly felt by housewives, who, and this is the point of the story, are in danger of being eaten out of house and home over the Christmas break because everyone who works, isn't, and is eating the household's rationed food.) Oh, and there's talk of manpower control, again. "The only effective policy is to halt inflation and make non-essential producers unable to employ so many workers." In other words, starve the poor. Paying more for guns so that the factories can pay higher wages is, of course, completely out of the question. For its part, the Ministry of Agriculture has announced that there needs to be a new policy for agriculture, and while it works it out, here's ten millions to cover fertiliser for everyone. The Economist helpfully suggests taking it out of food subsidies. 

"Searchlight on Aid" France's dollar crisis has been solved by $600 million in US aid, including $170 million from the $1 billion (yes, The Economist says "billion") for European economic aid, $130 million for American defence orders placed in French factories, and $300 million from the American defence budget in payment and supplies for American troops in France and in various American "permanent military infrastructure" in France and its colonies. (Ireland is having a trade crisis, too. Everyone is  having a trade crisis!) 

"Pensions and Retirement" The national insurance scheme is doomed because eventually everyone will get old and draw a pension, and they're inconsiderately going to do it all at once. The only solution to this is to make them all not retire. That will certainly solve the retirement problem! On the other hand, there's The Young Wage Earner, by the Nuffield Foundation, which is short on conclusions but long on data that seems to show that a full employment economy is good for young people. 

The UN is arguing about allowing fourteen new members into the General Assembly while the Council of Europe in Strasbourg is arguing about, wel, something. Or lots of somethings! How the United States of Europe is to be run, or something like that.

The Sheikh of Kuwait will be the richest man on Earth under the new oil concession, and British doctors have taken this occasion to remind the NHS that they would like to be richer, and also work less. 

"New Faces in Norway" The old Norwegian Prime Minister has resigned and has been replaced by the new Norwegian prime minister, which raises troubling questions for Norway's allies for what reason I am not sure. Next week, Norway gets a little bit more attention as The Economist peers at the growing Norwegian merchant fleet that by itself gives the country a favourable trade balance and keeps it prosperous, somehow coming to the conclusion that it is all threatened by a government that wants to take too much from the industry in some  unspecified way, but I guess probably taxes?

"Paying for Medical Research"  The latest report of the Medical Research Council shows that government funding for medical research leads to medical research. I think the point of the article is that £1.7 million was spent on it in the last year. 

"The Shavian Climax" The Economist and I agree about GBS, but, and I can't believe I'm saying this, it's possible to be too arch about the man! It's not even about the man! His estranged wife died in 1943, but her will has just been upheld by Chancery because it is "not too fanciful." That's because most of the money (£94,000) has been left in a "charitable" trust intended to teach the Irish to be more polite. Even though it is a tasteless Irish joke and a jab at her ex-husband, it is a real trust, so it gets the money. I have no idea what will be done with it, though, because I doubt anyone would actually want to occupy a readership at an Irish university devoted to teaching the Irish manners.


"Artifex" thinks that not only are "overlords" a good idea, but that there should be a Minister of Economic Affairs to oversee Treasury and so the other departmental ministries of finance. He explains why at two-column length without getting much of anywhere as far as I can tell. P. R. R. calls for more education about the causes and consequences of the wage and price spiral so that the educated worker can distinguish between wage increments due to increased productivity, which are good, and others, which are inflationary.  William F. Loomis, in a letter for some reason entitled "An Asian Looks at China," argues at some length that bombing China's railroads would quickly bring the Korean War to an end because the Chinese are just so primitive that they can't move tanks and howitzers any other way. P. M. Williams explains that, while in debate the protectionists had the running in the Labour opposition to the Japanese peace treaty, the actual members who voted against were the same old malcontents. So crackpots but not from the "pottery dependent constituencies." Elsie Vince thinks that the magazine was much too dismissive about the legitimate concerns of the fire service, where firemen are working up to 80 hours a week because new potential recruits are being drawn off to the police by higher wages. 


 D. W. Brogan's Price of Revolution is an attempt to survey the costs and benefits of all revolutions since the English Civil war to the American, with special emphasis on the consequences of the American Revolution, 1914 to present! It sounds a bit scattered, but the magazine liked it. A. Farnsworth's Addington, Author of the Modern Income Tax is a very worthy book. Harold Lasswell has National Security and Individual Freedom; while Herman Miles Somers has Presidential Agency. Together they add up to a comparative review under the heading of "American Strains and Stresses," together showing that American is not very well governed without really agreeing on just why. (Somers is particularly worried about generals, which is all very well, but it seems like it is mainly unaccountable politicians, and specifically Senators, who are ruining the country, and not accountable generals.) Hans Brem has Product Equilibrium under Monopolistic Competition is not very worthy, because it is extremely boring, although it seems like it does a good job of showing that competition is less perfect than anyone but the everyone who has been demanding trust-busting for sixty years, supposed. With math! Francis Cowper's A Prospect of Gray's Inn is "a charming panorama" of the Inn over the years. it is all very rustic and bucolic, you would think, except that the Inn is a law school in the middle of London, just as you would think from the  name, and it hasn't been rustic since the thirteenth century. So it isn't the history of an inn in the middle of a field at all, but if we said what it was actually about, that would be a very boring review! 

 American Survey

"Qualms about Defence" This must be a very important story for it to be in the paper every week, week in and week out. America is either right up to its rearmament schedules, or it isn't, and it either needs the complete programme, or it doesn't. It is sort of a new story in that the Johnson Committee has just launched a new blast of criticism, but is still the old story in that aircraft deliveries are being held up. This in spite of the fact that America is somehow managing to spend something like five times the European powers combined without showing any evident lack of "butter" whatsoever. 

Something's not right, here!

"Legacies of the Civil War" In a week where the Capitol Police have started to stop cars adorned with Confederate flags onto the grounds and a week before it is revealed that federal plants in the South, including the just-founded AEC, are refusing to hire Coloureds, forcing the Administration to revive dormant wartime fair employment regulations for lack of filibustered legislation to the same effect, The Economist is off on an expedition to explore the American South. Led by a Scot, because only a Scot can explain the South. You see, "the great majority of white Misissippians claim Scots-Irish ancestry." Blood will tell! Of course, half of Mississippians are Coloured, and not Scottish at all, but they don't count. Fortunately, white Mississippians have a "great affection for Coloureds," it says here, so that's not the issue. The planters just like white supremacy more! Anyway, all that racism is going away on its own because the young generation has tasted progress and twenty thousand Coloureds voted in the last election, which is probably a sign of a tidal wave of change.

American Notes

"The Truth About Korea" The Army's self-inflicted disaster over the fate of American missing (when Colonel Hanley said that almost all of them were killed in atrocities, and General Ridgeway was caught saying more or less the same) is in the news this week in connection to relations between Eighth Army and the press. Next week, it is going to look even more awful when the Reds finally publish the list of 3,198 POWs out of the 11,500 MIAs reported by Eighth Army. (Plus 1,219 other UNC POWs, mostly British and Turkish.)

"Punishing Public Enemies" The Economist's coverage of the income tax scandal continues. Say, have you heard there's a presidential election on next year? Speaking of punishing public enemies, Eric Johnston has escaped to Hollywood and has been replaced by a Putnam, Roger, of Massachusetts, who will be fed to the lions as the new price stabiliser. Although it is Mike DiSalle who seems to be the more likely candidate for lion food as he wades in and cuts prices as the market value of oil and tallow unexpectedly fall, and his critics find they have something new to complain about. 

The Senate is going to look at the Ohio Senate election, where Senator Taft's Democratic opponent was swamped by outside Republican money, not that he had much of a chance to begin with. Is it legal, moral or honest to run an election on the basis of flooding the state with money, especially when the law is specifically meant to prevent this by capping the expenses of a Senatorial campaign at $25,000? Senator Gillette wants to know. (Taft actually only spent $1800, and  no wonder when friends and admirers stepped in with $600,000 in uncontrolled spending.)

"Bigger and Better Airlines?" The CAB is in trouble for ordering ATA out of business. The not-a-scheduled-airline-running-scheduled-flights-to-Alaska is clearly illegal, but is it the kind of "illegal" that's actually illegal? CAB says yes, that Congress regulates the airline industry to ensure local service and air safety, and the solution is bigger, better-run airlines. Meanwhile, coaching and now "interchanges" are on the rise. 

"Freedom on the Campus" In spite of the University of California "loyalty oath" disaster, Ohio State University has adopted a modified version of the same, in which "no speaker on campus" will be allowed unless they pass a screening for "loyalty and background," due to Dr. Harold Rugg being allowed to give a talk. Now Dr. Cecil Hinshaw has been invited to campus, and he is being challenged. Some say it is a threat to academic freedom, others think all would be well if screening were just restricted to speakers invited by student groups, and still others think that intimidating college (and school) teachers with fear of being found guilty of "subversion" is just a bad idea. Shorter Notes reports that George Kennan is being offered the post of Ambassador to the Soviet Union in succession to Admiral Kirk, that American arms orders in Canada might finally pick up soon, and that New York City is being forced to prove in court that its rainmaking experiments were unsuccessful, as otherwise it will be held liable for $2 million in storm damage claims in the Catskills.  Newsweek, of all papers, covers this a bit more, and with bracing skepticism about the whole idea of rainmaking.

The World Overseas

Did you want to hear more about the odious show trial of a horrible man over in Czechoslovakia? Here's two more pages on Rudolf Slansky! Which, The Economist reminds us, is taking place during very difficult economic times in Czechoslovakia, where, for example, coal miners have just had their Saturday half-shifts taken away.  

"Deficits and Defence" As heard elsewhere, all of western Europe's balance of payments have swung into deficit in the first half of 1951, with a total deficit of $4 billion, compared to a rough balance the year before as Europe ran a $1 billion deficit balanced by a $1 billion surplus on invisible exports. (Hurray for the European summer vacation!) The reason is cost of imports rising faster than price of exports. Taking defence into account, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation in Europe believes that, if European economies increase by 5% next year, there will be enough production to meet export needs, defence, and still provide an increase in living standards (goods available for consumption) to draw off wage increases. If the economies grow more slowly, there will be "too much money chasing too few goods," and inflation will follow. 

We catch up with the results of the Atlantic Council Meeting in Rome. Surprise, there were no results! Everyone was really impressed by General Eisenhower, but charisma will only go so far when no-one really wants to do a European army or another "economic Eisenhower" to get European defence spending up to the mark. 

"French Hopes and Fears of Germany, I: The End of an Attitude" Our Paris Correspondent reports that General de Gaulle and the Gaullists think that a Franco-German entente could be the basis of a new European order as long as the Germans don't get above themselves, but considering that the Gaullists have been excluded from every postwar French government, who cares? On to Part II: What People Who Actually Matter Think! (To be fair, there is a brief mention that the Communists don't like German nationalists and the French centrists support their premier.)

"Persia's Economic Position" Is fine! Which is terrible! But hopefully it will turn to terrible soon, which will be fine! Because then the masses will arise and overthrow the government, which would be terrible, which would be fine, because then something or other will happen and Anglo-Iranian will get Abidjan back. Except that those darn Germans are trading with them. (But Russia isn't.) 

The Economist catches us up with the the flooding disaster in the Po valley, which has cost 110 lives and 10,000 houses, breached the floodgates on the Po, flooding some 500 square miles in the Rovigo as flood waters pushed up the ship canal into the Adige and forcing the 45,000 inhabitants of the capital to flee to higher ground. At the peak of the flood, similar disasters were expected in much larger cities along the Po, but it is hard to capture the moment in a weekly. Some say that it will take years for the Polesine to drain, while others point out how quickly the Pontine marshes were drained after  the war. The one important lesson is just how badly the water controls have been skimped since Mussolini's Abyssinian adventure diverted funds. (Communists are in trouble for doing too much during the floods. Their youth brigades were "suspiciously prompt." Because there's no better way to use a clandestine secret army than to get some publicity fighting floods!) 

The Business World

"The Funding and the Banks?" If ignoring a long (three pages!) story about changes in bank liquidity makes some reader twenty years from now, say to themselves that I have missed the most important story of early December, 1951, then God strike me down! (Unless by that time my son is dating a bobby-soxer and Heaven doesn't need to help.)

"Facts About Pension Schemes" Let's just say that God is going to be busy come the year of our Lord 1971. This isn't even one of those stories that brings to light unknown and unwholesome facts. It's an explainer article about British and Irish pension funds, because the recent special insurance issue missed them.

Business Notes

 And then on top of that the first Note is "The Banks and the Markets," and the second is "Strain on the EPU." (Belgium is  a very bad little boy, although its new export tax on its most egregiously successful exports may help, and the London stock exchange is still falling.)

"Output as in 1950?" The last quarter was bad for economic output and the expected annual increase may very well disappear for November and December as it has for October, in which case the annual increase will be only 4%. 

By the middle of the week, the NCB has only managed to charter two ships to carry American coal to Britain for the winter imports, partly because the Coal Board is trying to coordinate with the OEEC this year instead of joining in a mad scramble for American coal at the last minute, as in 1949. The Canadian dollar is up, suggesting that freeing it from its gold valuation was a good decision. The Economist is not so sure. It still may end in tears!

Freight rates are up and the wool industry is on short time in Yorkshire due to that world "buyers' strike." It's odd that it's happening along with continuing buoyant wool prices, but that may have something to do with American stockpiling. Strange things are also going on in retail, where low price competition is doing big business in "job lots" of older merchandise consigned to them for sale, in part because price controls are making it difficult to "even out" the cost of new and old merchandise. 

In commodities news, there are worries about the dollars fetched by rubber again, a long term plan for sharing international tungsten is in view,   and Standard Vacuum Oil is going to build oil refineries in India. The International Air Transport Association has come to an agreement over air tourist ("coach") fares, leaving the smaller operators like Air Canada and KLM scrambling to find Atlantic liners. The annual Olympia show highlights the rapid increase in agricultural machinery production, from 84 millions last year to 110 this year. 

The Economist apologises for characterising the Pressed Steel Company of Cowley, Oxford as "American-controlled." It has, in fact, nothing to do with America.


Aviation Week, 10 December 1951

News Digest reports that the Super Connie has been certified for passenger operations by the CAA; that the Lockheed F-94 will be officially named the Starfire, that a UAL DC-3 has crashed in the Rockies on a training flight, killing a pilot captain and two trainees while another DC-3 (Eastern) has been in a mid-air collision with a Piper. A more serious C-54 crash in Mexico has killed at least 13 and injured 7. The USAF has officially opened its airbase at Sidi Slimane, the first of five planned for Africa.  

Industry Observer reports that the RCAF has ordered two Comets, that growing interest in the J-57 may lead to the Chrysler programme to build the J-48 at a new plant in Mt. Clemens, Michigan being reshuffled to make J-57s instead. Student engineers at some Ohio college might build their own agricultural spray plane, considering all the free publicity Aviation Week will give them. Canada's 410 Squadron is the first of a planned 11 RCAF F-86E fighter squadrons to be stationed in Britain. Glenn L. Martin definitely won't be producing any of its B-51 design, but certain unspecified features of the B-51 will find its way into the Martin version of the Canberra. Glenn L. Martin reminds us that the excellently innovative features of the B-51 are amazing. RAAF  air crews are going to ferry their own Neptunes all across the very big ocean to Australia, because they are big boys, now! French-made Rolls Royce Nenes will power early Canadair T-33 trainers until a Rolls-Royce Nene-making plant opens in Montreal. Douglas is working on experimental fabrication of the C-124B turboprop transport that it will definitely start delivering in 1953. The USAF has given Cornell $1.5 million to modernise its wind tunnel. That's an awful lot of money for one wind tunnel, supersonic or not.

Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup reports that maybe there will be a "procurement czar" soon, although probably not, because the Navy hates the idea. Meanwhile, Congress is fighting with Defence Mobilisation Director Charles Wilson over all the things everyone is already fighting over. (Machine tools.) There isn't going to be a National Transport Policy, because it would involve taking sides between aviation and the railroads, and have you heard there's an election next year? This is no time to be making waves! Private flight schools are fighting for survival, as you might expect considering that there are 1716 of them in the country, although still down from 3,287 in mid-1948. Aviation Week cares a lot about this for obvious reasons. I'm not sure why anyone else does. 

 "Army Sets New Plans to Operate Aircraft" The army wants a bunch of liaison aircraft and helicopters. (Box story: The off-season Atlantic tourist roundtrip fare has been set at $417.

Ben S. Lee reports, "Financial Crisis Hits Martin"  Due to making nothing but junk for years, Glenn L. Martin needs lots of money and some sweet contracts or it is going to fold with a $400 million production backlog, and may go into receivership. Airlines have been invited to pay more for their 4-0-4s.

"British Launch New Delta-Wing Fighter" The Gloser GA5 is the first twin-engine, delta-wing fighter, flying on two Sapphires, making a pretty unusual combination of a Hawker-Siddeley airframe with a Hawker-Siddeley engine. Why don't they do that more often? 

Newsflash: CAB and the airlines are fighting over coaching and nonskeds. And nonskeds coaching! In even more important news, the Air Force has disclosed details of the Beech T-36 advanced  trainer transport. Also, public hearings on "favouritism, kickbacks and possible fraud" at Wright-Patterson will be held in Washington by the Johnson Committee 19--21 December. Which is kind of like putting out the annual sales report on a Friday afternoon, right?

The organising committee of the American Distribution and Manufacturers Association annual convention in New York City write in with a full report on the convention, to prove that it wasn't all just showgirls and night clubs. As a wife myself, I'm flattered by the effort, but not much,because it boils down to a single talk, Bevo Howard explaining how his flight school makes enough money to support 33 Link and other trainers by teaching 475 air cadets in various countries, and how the Air Force is making it harder for him to make money. I'm not left feeling any better about husbands off the leash, and a lot worse about my tax dollars!

Aero Sonic wants us to know that flight demonstrations of its muffler for the R-2800s on the C-46 are about to go off without a hitch as soon as those killjoys in New York City let the company buzz LaGuardia with thingies in front of the exhaust because the Port Authority is afraid of airliners falling out of the sky. 

Aeronautical Engineering has "Britain's Turboprop Flying Boat Revealed," from the McGraw-Hill World News. So, two things. First, some suitably awesome pictures of the gargantuan Saro Princess, and, second, the usual stuff and nonsense about how turning out a turboprop is just a matter of fitting same in place of the old piston installation, with the added bonus in this case that the original Princess engine installation was already Buck Rogers stuff. Aviation Week has a good sense of how ridiculous the construction and sales process has been, and at least implies the same of the proposed engine, the Bristol Proteus, which has had 8000 test hours but still isn't ready for manufacture. 

"Aero Grads Low on Salary Scale" It says here, based on a New York University survey. The current highest rate is for civils, followed by industrial, mechanical, chemical and electrical. To get a sense of the range, civil engineers expect a starting wage of $313/month, while aeronauticals expect $287. There's something a bit odd here, in that electrical engineers report a starting wage of $288/month, not what I would expect from the demand for them.  A bit further below we hear that the Engineering Manpower Commission of the Engineers Joint Council has launched a "New Attack" on the "Engineering Shortage" by appointing a bunch of local representatives to "impress on people the seriousness of the shortage." Anything but raise their pay!

Battelle Memorial Institute wants us to know that its new camera is super, super fast, shooting 100,000 frames a second, ideal for all the testing your company does that needs a super fast camera. In other "roll your eyes, not this again" news, the CAA has given approval to John Geisse's latest crosswind landing gear. It weighs 8lbs per wheel and consists of a "barn door  hinge" on the wheel. Geisse still has friends at the CAB, and one turned out to explain why crosswind landing gear is still a good idea for preventing ground loops. This paragraph also seems like an excellent place to mention that Paul L. Geiringer of American Hydrotherm has come up with a fool-proof way of getting rid of airfield fog that absolutely does work with no problem. It involves shooting the fog with steam. This is not the only story here that, and I cannot emphasise this enough, did not make up!!!!

"Douglas Streamlines Rolling Mill Setup"Douglas is super proud that it has moved all the machines in the rolling mill section closer together so that they don't have to tote red-hot rolled sections around the factory as much any more. In completely unrelated but thematically linked news, Wright Patterson wants us to know that they are up to six wind tunnels, and they are available to industry on a "You scratch my back, I scratch your back" basis, and Handley Page has a VIP version of their Hermes. The plane you didn't want, but now more comfy!

"AF Medicos Bring Space Down to Earth" I am so glad I to be writing this in English. "Medicoes?" What is this, a pulp novel? Spoke too soon, because it is a summary of a talk by "Hubertus Strughold of the Air Force School of Aviation Medicin," so it is definitely a pulp novel. Dr. Hubertus wants us to know about how the School is finding "conditions" of "zero gravity." But first he has to make it as tedious as possible to learn about their experiments with outer space conditions like vacuum and radiation by painfully labouring over the idea that they happen high up in the atmosphere, but not too high. Meanwhile, you can get zero gravity anywhere. (By diving your plane. See, Dr. Hubertus? That's how you explain stuff!) So, in conclusion, space travel is no big deal if you're a Nazi mad scientist.


Production has Irving Stone reporting that "NAA Reveals Improved Test Methods" I have a question. Who pays Aviation Week stringers' expense accounts. I know I joke about the guy in London, but Irving was in Colorado last week.  This week, Los Angeles. Does he take his own pictures? Sorry, what was I talking about? NAA takes the pictures. It isn't a long article, although it is broken up by a five page advertising insert, and talks mostly about the new, centralised testing system for wiring faults and the rig for checking canopies for faults and fuel cells for  leaks.

"Do Planes Really Cost More Today?"  Lockheed has a report out showing that 600mph jet fighters are only 5% more expensive than "its WWII counterpart" when production rates and other factors are considered. I use quotation marks because, of course, Lockheed is using the P-38 as a point of comparison, and the P-38 was ridiculously expensive for a WWII interceptor. On the other hand, the prototype P-38 cost $600,000, compared with $5 million for the prototype F-94. The F-94's radar, alone, was more expensive than the P-38 airframe. How is that a relevant comparison? Lockheed doesn't make the radar! Compare it to the P-38's radio or engine! 

Texas Engineering and Manufacturing wants us to know that its "Pressure Oiler Cuts Router Manhours." Australia is to make the Avon engine. Lockheed has a million dollar contract to recondition B-29s. 

"The Mating of K-F's First C-119 Packet" If anyone wanted to know why women don't go into engineering . . . So Uncle Henry's boys are still making a thousand cars a day at Willow Run, but in another wing they are almost done the first C-119 fuselage, although the article is mostly about all the other aviation work that Kaiser-Frasier has landed. 

Equipment has George L. Christian reporting that "Revamped NVA Maintenance Gains" Interestingly, NWA now says that it is sticking with its 2-0-2 through its Transocean Air Lines lease arrangement and that a study of the crashes has cleared the airline.   Northwestern pilots originallly refused to fly the plane after the fifth crash in a row, but now Northwestern expects them to reverse their stand. Also, they are getting Hytrol landing gear and train their pilots in tail-down landings, so, really, NWA is super safe, and has pretty much figured out turbosupercharger problems on the Stratocruiser and icing problems for NACA. Meanwhile, TWA 4-0-4s are being delivered with a movable forward bulkhead that will allow it to carry three more rows of seats or additional cargo, depending. 

New Aviation Products has a "compact electronic kit for weighing all but the heaviest aircraft," from Cox and Stevens aircraft Corporation. You roll the plane over three load cells. Plastic Rope Company's polythene plastic rope is the best plastic rope, yet. Skarnes Engineering and Supply has an air cargo dolly, a breakthrough for the ages, while Acushnet Process Company's "X 1692" is a new rubber compound for bushings and seals that is the best yet, while Kulka Electric Manufacturing has radio toggle switches that are the best yet. 

In conclusion,  Transocean Martin 2-0-2 are going to be completely safe, because if there was an issue, the fearless reporters of Aviation Week would have already got to the bottom of it. 

Air Transport has a lengthy and pretty informative article (even if it shills for the ConvairLiner) about the two-engine versus four-engine comparison, showing that twins are gaining ground in the long range trips that are used to justify (overland) four-engine services. 


Capital Airlines and Lockheed really like Aviation Week. Olaf Passburg is upset that Cockpit Viewpoint" hasn't shown up in his magazine for several issues and is concerned that it  has been cancelled. Monsanto is still on the warpath about hydraulic fluids. Everyone likes Flying Tiger Airlines and Flying Tiger Airlines likes Aviation Week. What's New turns into "Telling the Market," an entire column about the latest industry brochures, which prevents it from reviewing B. J. Hurrent's Fellowship of the Air, so hurray for brochures, I say. 

Robert Wood's Editorial returns to report that Aviation Week is starting a "60-day experiment in voluntary, limited censorship in cooperation with the United States Air Force." Which is to say that it is not going to print anything about the XB-52 for two whole months while Boeing and the USAF try to keep the rolled-out plane a secret in spite of it sitting out on an airfield, big as Seattle. It is also not going to print any technical details from the foreign press or leaked technical data. 

Which is all a very elaborate way of saying that if the Air Force wants to keep even its most important secrets (and the XB-52 global bomber is its second most important secret after the atomic aircraft), then it has to do something for itself and not just rely on the Administration's "woeful chaos on security and censorship."


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