Monday, April 25, 2022

Postblogging Technology, January 1952, I: We'll Be a Petrostate Some Day Again, Just You Wait

R_. C_.,
Vancouver, Canada

Dear Father:

It is January and cold here in the Bay and I am back to school and Second Year isn't quite as easy as they promised. At least the trip back from Santa Clara wasn't in a C-46 trying to slip through the Appalachians at treetop height, although there was some black ice that had my heart in my mouth for a moment. 

And why do I say that school is harder than expected? Because I am on the Law Review and am looking for even the slightest excuse to slip a mention into my casual conversation. Look forward to my article about licensing secret patents! You will like it or you will get SUCH a glare from me!!!

Your Loving Daughter,
The Economist, 5 January 1952


"The Outlook for Inflation" The office boys are writing the Leaders again, which you can tell from the way that we back into the subject of the leading leader, which is the annual New Year's Message, which there has either been this year, or should have been, it's impossible to tell, because the office boys haven't got as far as "the five 'Ws' in journalism class." If there were a New Years Address this year (and there might have been), it wouldn't have been about unemployment, as actual New Year's Address used to be about in the old days. It, if it had not been given, ought to have been inflation, or alternatively, if it were given, it should have been about inflation. You see, the New Year's Address (when given) is about a pressing problem is getting better. And inflation is the pressing problem of the day. You see? It all makes sense, and it doesn't matter if the New Year's Address was given, because we can all agree that politicians don't take inflation seriously enough yet, which bears, of course, on the Address, whether it was given or not. But enough of that! Last year's budget underestimated inflationary pressures, and so overestimated the "inflation checking" effects of price increases running ahead of wages due to higher commodity prices.

Did you wonder why "inflation checking" and not "disinflation"? Because, although it is going to wait to the back half of the month to announce it The Economist has given up on disinflation, abruptly turning to advocate for higher coal prices as a way of defeating inflation. Here and now in the first week of January, The Economist points out that defence spending is going to drive the budget up from last year's £1.1 billion to £1.8 billion, and calls for cuts in other government spending to reduce inflation. "A crisis is a terrible thing to waste," The Economist as much as says, before confidently announcing a bright future in which Labour is the party of inflation and the Conservatives will be the party of inflation-fighting. While I have no idea what caused the pivot to "increasing the price of coal is the one thing we need to do" at the office, but I can guess.

"The Six Power Army" What is keeping the United States of Europe, federal army sub topic, part three million and five; Three pages on the question of just how terrible Germany might be, these days.

"Egypt's Defence Policy" The point, at length, is that the Egyptians shouldn't want to kick the British out and break ties with Britain, because the British will help defend them against the intruders that the Egyptians can't see and won't believe are lurking just outside their door.

"London's Future" London County Council is supposed to have a plan to make sure that the further growth of the Home Counties population will take place in planned communities outside the larger city as defined by the borders of the County, which is an awkward way of putting it forced on me by the fac that "City of London" has an accepted meaning going back to the days of knights in shining armour and maidens fair. Anyway, the crucial point is that, because this is The Economist and because it is an office boy's special, the LCC is doing it badly.

"Last Act of the Marshall Plan" The Plan is coming to an end and everyone thinks it is a success. Why do they think that when balance of payments are still a problem and the productivity problem hasn't been solved? Because Pretty much all the agricultural and industrial targets have been met, that's why. total industrial production rose 13% in 1949 compared with 1948, 25% in 1950, 35% in 1951. The trade deficit is down, the payments union is working, more or less, exports are up 75%, including rising from $1.3 billion to the United States and Canada in 1948 to $2.4 billion in 1951. The working population rose about 1% per year, and so must have productivity.  Except coal, where production in all European countries, not just Britain, is still below 1938. And it only cost about half what was originally estimated. So let's all celebrate and wait for the morning to lash on the lazy and socialistic workers of Europe again and call for disinflation, until mid-month.

From The Economist of 1852 comes "Better or Worse?" It's about how Europe is getting worse due to all that repression following in the wake of the revolutions of 1848. The Economist still doesn't like the old Republican constitution in France, but is now willing to admit that Louis Napoleon might be a bad replacement.  "The people, tired apparently of seeking what is called political improvement, ask protection against it, and supplicate the military power to secure property, prevent labour from being interrupted, and preserve public tranquility." But everything will probably get better soon, because now there is the electric telegraph.

Notes of the Week

 Americans (and Britons) shouldn't expect too much of Churchill's visit to America, we're cautioned, and The Economist is happy to see that someone named "Mr. Crookshank" is getting more prominence in the Cabinet for reasons having to do with my eyes glazing over in boredom. Also, British Rail and the National Coal Board have raised prices, the rails understandably enough, but the Coal Board by not enough. Those darned Persians still haven't overthrown Mossadegh, and The Economist apperceives alarming intimations of future troubles betwixt America and Japan, while Maxim Litvinov gets a short obituary before we dive into the question of "Freedom for the Schools," which is apparently threatened by the government's decision to restrict sitting the GSCE to sixteen-year-olds, but not to the rule requiring them to open with an "act of worship." Also the committee on punishment in "approved schools" has a report in, which apparently was written by the dirty old men of the board for the dirty young boys of The Economist, because it dwells on the "peculiar disciplinary problems of schools for older girls, who often combine a low intelligence with sexual precocity and a tendency to  hysterical outbursts." There might be required a "further classification of schools for special types of children." 

A much more boring note follows (although it starts promisingly for the dirty old men out there by mentioning a report that is not for sale, and which must be applied for), because it turns out that the only thing anyone has to say about the new associations for "after-care" of borstal inmates after their release into society is organisational, because they don't actually exist yet. Worried that that isn't boring enough, The Economist then launches into an inquiry about federal German taxes and their sufficiency for paying for those twelve German army divisions. 

The Czech government is watching out for a peasant uprising, the Jugoslav dinar has been devalued six-fold to address the country's balance of trade and bring in tourists, and one "Mr. Houthakker" gave the Royal Statistical Society a "fascinating foretaste" of the research into family budgets being done by the Department of Applied Economics at Cambridge. The fascinating part is that no-one can agree on how to measure the size of families in the statistical samples. That is now how the dictionary defines "fascinating."
"Freedom for Parrots" it is finally legal to import parrots and other tropical birds into Britain after twenty-five years of official oppression of parrot fanciers. It's The Economist's joke, not mine, which it goes on to develop at length, the theme being that public health measures are just petty restrictions on people's freedom for no reason. 


Historian E. H. Carr has branched out into an optimistic view of the future of human society, in the New Society, which turns out to be a book based on six lectures he gave over the radio last summer, when no-one is listening but it is considered impolite to just broadcast static. The Economist explains why he is silly and wrong, although sensible about working out his silly ideas. G. D. H. Cole and A.W. Wilson have British Working Class Movements: Select Documents, 1789--1875, which sounds very worthy. R. J. T. Hills' Phantom Was There is a memoir/unit history of the "Phantom" army/air force radio liaison unit that operated in Africa and Northwestern Europe during the war. The Scandinavian States and Finland: A Political and Economic Survey would ordinarily win the worthiest work of the week award, but Cole and Wilson have pipped out the Royal Institute of Foreign Affairs. 


Jean Met den Anckx thinks that Belgium should have some plum committee memberships in NATO. R. F. Kahn is not tired of his argument with "Mr. Vaizey" about "deflation," actors and aircraft workers, which I think might be about whether disinflation would lead to actors building planes? M. Malayery writes from the Iranian embassy that Anglo-Iranian's problems in Iran might have something to do with the way that it has been treating Iranians for these many years. Several people are unimpressed with The Economist's stingy notions about scholarships, while the article lamenting that children were going to school at 6 in Britain (which is too young, whereas taking the GSCE exams at sixteen is too old), said that in Ontario children don't go to school until 8, which is ridiculous on its face and easily contradicted by the facts, which  Eugene Forsey writes from Ottawa to correct. The Editor, unbelievably, decides to argue with Senator Forsey (as he is), on the basis of its original source, a UNESCO report. 

American Survey

"Bankers' Overdraft" Interest rates are going up in America because of all that private borrowing, or possibly because the Federal Reserve has been tinkering with the rules.

American Notes

"Sitting on the Budget" The White House is sitting on the budget instead of releasing it after the State of the Union address, probably because it is "waiting for the services to abandon their hopes of $60 billion in the year beginning next July," which sounds awfully passive. The argument, I think, is that the Administration could just say that the budget will be $45 billion, down from $57 billion last year, and be supported by the Secretary of Defence, who thinks that a lot of that money was being wasted, but if the Administration can get the services to agree, it won't look like giving up on rearmament. It's not as though it will change anything about actual defence spending, considering how much of the money budgeted last year, hasn't been spent yet. 

Next year's budget Federal budget is expected to be $80 billion, the most spent except in the two peak war years, with revenues of $70 billion, leading to a deficit of $10 billion, although the latest revision of the current year deficit, to $6 billion, shows how unreliable these figures can be. Congress is unlikely to meet the deficit with tax increases in an election year, so the Administration is aiming for savings on foreign aid, cutting  a billion from the original $9 billion proposal, with the support of the summer's senatorial delegation, which found waste and scandal in its visit to Europe, notably Allen Ellender, who, if you remember, caused a scandal that lasted whole minutes when he pressed the Chancellor of Austria into supporting his allegations. American Notes is very upset with the ongoing detention of those American servicemen in Hungary, and was worried that unseasonably warm weather was keeping Christmas shopping down until the blizzards before New Years turned things around, both weather-, and saleswise. That doesn't mean that it isn't worried about various signs that business might be showing signs of this, that or the other.

 Speaking of this, that, or the other, Harold Stassen is running for the Republican nomination.

"Steel --Too Much and Too Soon?" Apart from the steelworkers saying that they wouldn't strike this week, there's a lot of steel news. The industry has produced at an average of over 100% of nominal capacity through 1951, has produced more than 100 million tons for the first time this year, has been saddled with a government "goal" of production capacity of 120 million tons a year by 1954, is going to be allocated next year in spite of  automakers being told last year it wouldn't, and, overall, we can all agree that it is the Administration's fault for wanting more steel to make things when just now in the Thirties there was too much steel capacity and everyone suffered, which goes to show. (Same story, different product, as the Department of Agriculture raises sugar domestic and import quotas, with American consumption expected to hit 8 million tons next year and prices rising.) 

Shorter Notes makes room for the bombings of Coloured, Jewish, and Catholic areas around Florida and the murder of Harry Moore, which "may arouse the state government." Then moves on to that joke about how the "average man" is, on average, impossible, 1952 version. This year, the "average man" is 30, married, has two children, is buying a mortgaged home, has a semi-skilled job, is making $3000/year, has an automobile, refrigerator, radio and telephone, but no tv. A car, a mortgage and a fridge, on three grand a year with two children and a wife? I don't think so!

The World Overseas

"The Arab Refugees, 1952" The Arab refugees of 1948 are still living in camps in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and the Gaza area of Egypt. Something more substantial than relief money is needed, but no-one can agree on what, and the tone of The Economist seems to be that they should all just go away by the US election, after which the US will probably stop putting up the lion's share of the money. 

Belgium is either the best hope of the United States of Europe or its biggest challenge. I forget, and I certainly ain't going to study unification no more when it involves learning about the payments union.

"The Cost of Indo-China" Remember how France is spending almost 10% of its record 1952 budget of 3.37 trillion francs on Indo-China (by a National Assembly vote of 510 to 109, only Communists voting against?), and still has a mighty army there, after five years of war? How last year's Viet Minh offensive was carried out by a force of 90 battalions, and how the Viet Minh has grown stronger since? Well, in spite of all  of that, General de Lattre de Tassigny has promised substantial progress in the next twelve to fifteen months, as all of French Indo-China is united in anti-communism, and a Korean armistice would probably lead to favourable terms for negotiations. However, in France, people are skeptical, and think that if this alliance means anything, it is that the Atlantic powers should send troops to support the French in Indo-China, hopefully before a giant Chinese expeditionary force arrives.

"Mr. Lyttleton in Hong Kong" Oliver Lyttleton has swung by Hong Kong to find out what the locals think. The locals think everything is swell, especially the part where they don't have a democratic say. Except the American embargo and Japanese competition is about to ruin everything. So they read The Economist, in other words. Also, too, North Borneo and Ceylon, Malaya having been covered previously.

"Canada Abolishes Exchange Control" So it did, and it is good news, too. It is a bit more nuanced, though, because Canada still runs quite a substantial balance of trade deficit. It is just that it is more than balanced by "capital inflows." Even The Economist isn't so deliberately obscure, so the reason it is using vague language like that for investments is to make it clear that it is investment and not "hot money." As the finance minister puts it, the whole world recognises Canada as a place that can be expected to grow, and so is eager to have a piece of the Canadian pie. (My phrase, not the minister's.)

The Business World

"The Sterling Talks" Let me tell you a story about the time when some bankers were sitting around complaining that there weren't enough boring but worthy stories in The Economist. "I know," said one, "Let's get everyone in the sterling area together to complain about all the things wrong with the sterling area! They can use lots of jargon, and get nothing done!" And then all the other bankers drowned him in the duck pond, and there never was this sentence.

That was fun! Let's do it again, for world tin supplies, down below in Notes!

"The Way to Simplify"   The Economist explains the car industry to carmakers. There are too many dynamo designs these days! Cut them from 48 to 3! Why should one attach with a bracket, and another with a flange? What is up with having some rotate clockwise and some anti-clockwise?  Americans probably do this better, and obviously there's no difference between the two country except that we produce for our market and the American market, too, so be more like the Americans! Silly automakers. The Economist has to think of everything. 

Business Notes

"La ronde" The Economist helpfully explains that an increase in the price of coal increases the price of everything made with coal, which is everything. Thank you, The Economist! In the next piece, it explains that it also affects the price of coal. Even coal is made with coal! (Sort of.) At some point, it will also lead to a new domestic price schedule, but no hurry. 

Exhausted with all of this industry stuff, The Economist goes on to explain about stocks and bonds and foreign exchange and the European Payments Union and Belgium for awhile before it looks into proposals to change the duty on foreign movies.

"Coal According to Plan" Yes, it does seem like we've gone coal crazy suddenly, but the whole foreign exchange disaster could be fixed if Britain could just raise (and export) another 11 million tons of coal, so it is that important. We have to admit that the total for this year, at 211 million tons, is seven million more than last year, and that in spite of opencast mining coming in a million tons below 1950 due to wet weather and the fact that opencast isn't the cure-all it was touted as. This was achieved by increasing output per manshift from 1.19 to 1.21 tons, and by increasing shifts from 4.74 to 4.83, plus an increase in manpower of 9000 more men in the industry, 1500 more at the coal face.  The main reason for the crisis, then, is increased domestic consumption by another 9 million tons. US imports, the first arriving in the Mersey in a Liberty ship on Wednesday, will hopefully mean fewer thin-blooded British whiners shivering in their cold-water flats in Wolverhampton. (Far down below is a summary of the National Coal Board's productivity investigation team which went to America nine months ago. The Economist has to agree that the difference between American and British coal fields accounts for difference in productivity, and not all those new American machines. Fortunately, there's a bit in the report about how British mine managers can learn from their more businesslike American counterparts, so The Economist at least has something with which to lash away at the British industry. If only it could have better labour handling practices, like the Americans!)

"Car Exports Rise Again" Car exports in November hit the highest total ever, 37,837. For most of the year they had been running below 1950 levels for lack of shipping space, leading to a comparatively high rate of domestic deliveries, causing fewer lead-footed British whiners to shiver with anticipation in their terrace homes in Luton. Thus exports for the first nine months were 340,000 versus 398,000 for the same period last year, and the final total for 1951 may be 375,000 or so. Car prices are up, too, it says here.

Taken together, a madman might even imagine that there wasn't anything really wrong with Britain's economy, but, current account deficit, there you go. 

"Power Today and Tomorrow" The announcement that the Idaho pile, designed for submarines and aircraft, is producing commercial electrical power is very exciting. The Economist cautions that very little is known of the mechanics of this kind of reactor, in which a "liquid --and highly radioactive-- metal" is used to exchange heat from the pile with water to raise steam. The piles that produce plutonium for bombs run at much lower temperatures than would produce useful heat, and accurate knowledge of the behaviour of the kind of materials involved in these experiments might be three to four arduous years of experiment away. British scientists are using their pile at Harwell to heat water for radiators and taps, in a kid of "central power district" arrangement like the one in which coal-fired electric plants heat the areas around with their cooling water, it seems. The AEC says that cost is not an object in the Idaho experiments, so this is not proof that atomic electricity is economical. The Harwell heating district saves "at least 1000 tons of coal a year, which, on the total budget, would be a saving of just under three thousand pounds a year, but fortunately the British don't care about central heating, unlike thermostat loving Americans, so who knows what it all means.  

Besides that, after this interlude of interest, there is going to have to be yet another article about banking stuff, this time the prospect of higher building society rates. 

Then it is off around the world to check in with tin price cuts, rayon price cuts, the devaluation of the dinar, and the possible return of gasoline brands to Britain. (That is English talk for octane ratings.)

Aviation Week, 7 January, 1952

News Digest reports that machine tool makers have been given a new priority level, Z-2, which is the same as priorities A through E. Field offices of the Department of Commerce have been told that they have to explain what it means. Lt. General Quesada has been elected vice-president of Olin Industries, where he will "be connected with the company's expanding cellulose and mineral programmes." The air defence of the DC area has been transferred to the Lockheed F-94s of 121st Fighter Squadron from the F-84s previously assigned. The RAF is ferrying some Vampires to Malaya, the longest RAF ferry operation involving jet fighters yet, while Claire Chennault has been told by the Hong Kong Supreme Court that he doesn't own the forty Nationalist transport planes which have been impounded there since 1949.

Industry Observer reports that  Bell might be establishing a Japanese subsidiary to make helicopters, that the Navy has received two Lockheed Super Connies with Pratt and Whitney T-34 turboprops so that the Navy can play with them and maybe decide to buy it instead of the Allison T-40, which will be bad news for Allison. Some people say that the Navy Super Connies will need new wings for the higher speeds, but those people are dumb and have forgotten that the Super Connie's wing is based on the P-38's wing, and the P-38 could dive at speeds well over 500mph. Canada will spend $50 million on its share of the North American radar screen, the Vought F7U-3 has been redesigned with more than 100 access doors and panels and will have Westinghouse J-46 engines with afterburners when it has them and not the current, interim Allison J-35s. The Aeroplane says that the British will accept the new Convair Skate-style blended hull for water-based aircraft soon, because it is the coming thing. Ford is going to make late-model R-4360s when its R-4360 assembly line in Chicago starts to really roll. North American is going to buy one of those really big automatic profiling mill machines from Cincinnati Milling Machine, because Air Materiel Command bought one and North American's wife says that they have to have one, too. 

Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup reports that there aren't enough workers in America, especially workers who know what they're doing, and that's bad for making stuff, but especially planes, because making planes is important right now and it's the big thing Aviation Week is always talking about. Congress is going to let industry hire foreign engineers from here and there, but mainly Germany and Britain. There is a shortage of air traffic controllers, too, but not of airline pilots and mechanics. Congress wishes that the Air Transport Association would agree amongst itself about taking a government subsidy to develop a jet transport. 

Alexander McSurely reports for Aviation Week that "Single Agency to Handle Plane Needs," The Aircraft Production Resources Agency already exists, but will get more responsibility for this and that, although that doesn't mean that the CAA, ODMB, or DPA are going away. Also, some arrangements have been made for airlines to get spare parts, and a report from the Senate Small Business Committee has cleared the industry of hoarding aluminum: "No Hoarding," says the headline. And Piper is showing off its new PA-18-A crop duster. 

Nat McKitterick reports "How We Looked to SBAC Tourists" The twelve-person delegation was impressed with all the planes being made, all the new machine tools, the efficient plant layout,  excellent management-labour relations, widespread use of 75S aluminum. However, they thought that the big, special-purpose machine tools wouldn't pay for themselves in the British industry because of limited volume of production but also because all of that milling is wasteful. Visitors agree that high skill labour was shorter in America than in Britain, and lower-skill labour was shorter in Britain than in America. They were also impressed by all the production and research going on at Wright Field.  They were less impressed by the effort Americans were making to produce obsolescent aircraft instead of the aircraft of the future. 

"Rift in Secrecy Veil Bares F-94C" Aviation Week is upset that Lockheed wouldn't let it publish a photo of the F-94C, but then Jane's All the World's Aircraft went ahead and published it, and that's just cruel. It looks as though there is an argument about just what makes an F-94 an F-94C, and that's why no-one can agree on what's secret. 

"Second C-46 Crash Spurs CAB Study," "White House Action Averts Boeing Strike," and "Nonsked Airline Suspended by CAB" covers some government action. The C-46 crashes were one by Continental Charters at Little Valley, NY on 29 December, killing 26, which is why no-one heard of it compared with the Miami Airlines Elizabeth crash. Twenty-six? Call me when it's news! The nonsked being suspended is New England Air Express, which is in trouble for dumping passengers halfway to their destination because they couldn't afford to get their plane serviced. That seems bad. 

Irving Stone reports for Aeronautical Engineering that "Details of Doman's New Copter Revealed," because Doman can't even afford to write its own advertorials. The US Army is going to buy the new LZ-5 and give its hingeless, four-blade, oil-lubricated rotor system a try. 

NACA Reports has a breathless aira on the Ruth N. Weltman label, composed and conducted by et al, featuring the soaring "Application of X-Ray Absorption to Measurement of Small Air-Density Gradients," with Arthur Vogeley on "Axial Momentum Theory for Propellers in Compressible Flow."

Dr. Luigi Crocco of Princeton dropped by the New York section meeting of the Institute of the Aeronautical Science the other day to give a talk on the interaction of boundary layer and external flows. His theory is that there is mixing, or, rather, his theory is that his thermodynamic analysis and a neat mathematical trick called the Stewartson Transformation is useful for establishing the parameters of mixing. Sprague Electric's new "shirt-stud" capacitor is very useful for coupling UHF circuits. 

McGraw-Hill World News is off to the land down under to see "Australia's First Jet Plane," which is actually a pilotless target drone, powered by an Armstrong-Siddeley Adder, built at the Government Aircraft Factory to a British Ministry of Supply specification. 

Bill Chana, of Consolidated Vultee, is so tired of anonymous advertorials that he signs his name to "Tiny Pick-Up Aids Convair Study," which is about a "subminiature pressure transducer" for high speed hydrodynamic research. So it's a little thingie you put on a boat hull to see pressure along it as it speeds through the water.  It would be useful in a lot of testing situations, and you can buy yours from Statham Laboratories of Los Angeles. As long as he's working!

Production shows these losers how to do an advertorial right with "Plastic Tooling Cuts Costs at Lockheed" Lockheed has 88 men working in a $175,000 shop producing plastic dies up to a ton-and-half weight, sixty square feet area, for jobs where harder die materials isn't needed, such as the landing door gear of the Privateer. Now that my husband isn't flying the Privateer, I'm fine with that! The article goes on for a bit dwelling on how cheap and convenient plastic is, and checks in with some other companies that use it, like AiResearch, which actually makes impeller blades for it, which I guess means that the turbines for air conditioning units aren't as high test as the ones in jet engines, no surprise there. 

90% of Aircraft Workers in Unions," it says here. Then it is over to George L. Christian, who reports for Equipment from Western Air Lines, "America's oldest air line," which disagrees with all the other airlines about progressive maintenance, and is sticking with timed overhauls. 
The rest of the article starts out as a heroic slog through its maintenance schedule, proving that Western is saving money by sticking with th eold ways, but that gets a bit old, so the last half of the article discusses some tricks the air line maintenance guys have come up with for fixing that annoying Convair 240 augmentor tube, empennage failure and propeller pitch governor problems.

Kansas City Airport now has high intensity lights, and UAL wants us all to know that its overhaul base in San Francisco has a new power line. It's important! Because it gives better quality current! Pan-Am has ordered 29 DC-6B coaches, Qantas is showing a half-million profit, US dollars. CAB has established that the Southwest Airlines DC-3 crash at Santa Barbara was due to the plane flying into the ground, so thanks for that. The CAA says that the air safety record "held steady" in 1951, in remarks where "improved" was scratched out on New Years Day. CAB is going to continue to fight the Nonskeds. After two horrible nonsked crashes in a week! 
New Aviation Products has an aircraft latch from Hartwell Aviation Supply in the lead ,a power pump package from Racker, Co,m that goes right into aircraft testing equipment, a locking dowel pin, the one and only "Sel-Lock Spring Pin," from Self-Lock Fastener Corporation, and the best flexible heating duct tubes yet from Flexible Tubing Company. 

What's New parlezs-vous le French, with a review of Publication No. 2 of the Organisation Scientifique et Technique Internationale du Vol a Voile. But it cannot all be the language of love, so it is off to the water closet, a copy of 1950 Supplement to Screw-Thread Standard for Federal Services, fresh from the National Bureau of Standards. They're international, signed off by Canada and the United Kingdom! (In What's New we don't say "England.")

Robert Wood's Editorial has decided not to talk about safety this week. That's okay, because he can take a moment to dance on the National Air Council's grave to the tune of "What If They Gave a Lobby And Nobody Came?," before going on to that one time that someone gave Aviation Week a picture and then someone else said they couldn't print it because it was a secret, and then someone else printed it, part the million, finishing by suggesting that The Aeroplane is a bit rude. You don't say! 

The Economist, 12 December 1952


"Action This Day" The current current accounts deficit is the worst ever because it is the worst since 1949, and that one was the worst ever. Therefore something should be done, hopefully involving government budget cuts in all the squishy domestic areas soonest, and Mr. Churchill better get on it jig-time once he gets back from America.

"More Work or More Miners" Instead of exporting all this tedious bric-a-brac of industrial civilisation, if Britain could only get back to exporting coal, like in the good old days, the whole world would be a happier place. Labour obviously failed to fix the problem, in the sense that even though Britain is raising 30 million more tons of coal in 1951 than in 1946, shivering British whiners and bric-a-brac makers conspired to consume 22 million more tons of that coal, and consequentially the coal export had risen from only 9 million in 1946 to a scarcely-better 12 million in 1951, and far too much of the gain is coming from miners working overtime, which can't be asked forever. Mechanisation is limited by the fact that improvements have to be made from one end of the mine to the other, from haulage to the coal face, and the only remaining way of increasing productivity is by getting the men to work harder, but that, too, is unrealistic. And here is the part where The Economist launches its campaign for  higher coal prices. Higher profits for the Coal Board and higher wages for the men are the only way this problem is going to be solved. 

Did you know that there's going to be an election in America this year, and that General Eisenhower is going to be a candidate? It's true! We're even going to have to pretend that he's not a sure thing for eleven months. It'll be hard, but we Americans are good at that. Not as good as that long-forgotten Fortune writer who had to pretend that Eric Johnston could be President, but we can all aspire. To get in shape, The Economist runs an absolutely absurd opinion up the flag pole and does a few laps: Being without a Republican president for twenty years has frustrated the Republicans, who, after all, deserve to be President much more often than that. This frustration leads to them taking it out on the rest of us by doing things like not tying Joe McCarthy in a potato bag and dropping him in the well. So McCarthy is really the Democrats' fault for winning all those elections! And since Democrats aren't strong enough to stop him, their only choice to save American democracy is to lose an election or two. And Eisenhower is the safest Republican candidate to lose an election to, what with Robert Taft being mad as a hatter under a thin veneer of responsibility.

Having given some useful advice to America, The Economist moves on to Norway, which should keep on standing up to the Russians.

Notes of the Week

  The Prime Minister is in Washington talking about stuff, and here is a list of the kinds of things he might be talking about: Whiskey, women, and .. Oh, wait, no, it's the defence communities and security concerns of the world. At least it is okay for Churchill to talk about these things, unlike Ambassador Vishinsky, who is talking about the Korean armistice in the Security Council, as though being a member of the Council and having troops in Korea gives him some kind of say. The nerve! It is probably some kid of ploy, and we should stick with collective security. 

"Mr. Gaitskell's Apologia" Skipping right over stirrings on the Labour side as the party tries to gather itself together for the election that Churchill proposes to hold in three years, we come to Hugh Gaitskell's columns in the recent issues of The Weekly Citizen, where he explains that the pickle Britain is in right now has nothing to do with Labour incompetence. Instead, it is about higher import prices, the loss of Persian oil revenue, and the "reduction in other 'invisible earnings'."  But the current inflationary surge is not the fault of the Tories, as he implies, and higher import prices are somehow disinflationary, and the import surplus really was Labour's fault. 

The British civil service's pay is up, and the French government has fallen. Will it lead to a crisis, a revision of the constitution, and de Gaulle being summoned to power to save France from instability? Probably not. Follows The Economist's latest chance to talk about the possibility of a giant Communist Chinese volunteer army falling upon the French in Indo-China, which the French, desperate to get out as they are, are hoping to avoid by talking with the Chinese. This is a problem, because talking with Peking is so deeply and terribly wrong right now, unless it is about the Korean armistice.  

That dratted Mossadegh hasn't fallen. Again. The Economist is irritated to have to explain, AGAIN, that public education in Britain is a fine thing but far too expensive the way that they do it, what with one authority and another with their utopian ideas of sending children to school for their entire childhood, and even feeding them. Then The Economist checks in with the Central African Federation, and slowly and carefully explains why Africans aren't enthusiastic about being ruled by white supremacists.

"The Race for Germany" An odd title to follow on the latest from central Africa, where white settlers keep doing outrageous things to one group of Africans and then complaining that another group of Africans won't negotiate with them. It seems as though some of the left-wing parties in Germany might want to negotiate some kid of neutral status in return for reunification and the withdrawal of Soviet and Western forces. 

"Israel and Germany" The Israeli Parliament (Knesset), has held a difficult vote to authorise the government to "take such measures as it sees fit to secure reparations from Germany." This was very controversial, passing 61 votes to 50, with 5 abstentions in Ben Gurion's own party, and violent demonstrations outside the Knesset spurred on by Menachem Beigin's Heruth (Right) Party.  The Economist explains that he is some kind of Fascist and wrong, and that Ben Gurion's move for direct negotiations is right. Good to have that cleared up! Also, we get the very latest on British consumers not buying as much as they ought, probably because prices are too high. 

The London Electricity Board is fighting with its meter readers about sending inspectors out with them to see if they are walking their routes properly, South Africa's decision to declare the Reverend Michael Scott a "prohibited immigrant" has more to do with his advocacy over Southwest Africa than immigration rules, and The Economist does not approve, and The Economist of 1852 is also in full disapproval mood, this time over the "combination of engineers," who are trying to turn their association into a a union, and have a strike, from which no good has ever come, nor ever will come, as all history shows. 


J. O. N. Perkins writes from St. Catharine's, Cambridge that Australia and New Zealand can hardly inctake an increased share in rearmament without it having some impact on the cheap food Britain is getting, and on Australia's capital investment policy, upon which its immigration programme depends, and the future growth of Australia. J. T. Pratt of London wants to convict General MacArthur of mutiny and aggression for sending his forces across the 38th Parallel without Security Council approval. The Economist disagrees. "Persian" gives a precis of an argument that Iranian opinion is actually more radical than Mr.Malayery suggests. That is, Iranians are very, very clear that they don't like foreign intervention or Anglo-Persian exploitation and think they can run their own country. Lucjan Blit explains that while the inmates in Soviet forced labour camps might have got a trial if they were criminals, no-one bothered with trials for "political prisoners." F. W. Johnson has something to say about taxes, and G. D. N. Worswick sticks up for scholarships. I specially like his implied argument that students shouldn't have to work in the summer, because it is a great time to travel, read, or just think. I could have used some thinking time! Besides Wednesday mornings, when the only table I could count on was Uncle George. 


W. Manning Dacey's The British Banking Mechanism is a very worthy book. No, seriously. It sounds like you could learn a lot by reading it and understanding it; and that most of the people who think they understand the subject could do with reading it. Unfortunately, that may include the author. Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918--19445, has reached Series D, Volume IV in the HMSO series. We are not allowed to draw conclusions yet, because the British series hasn't been published, and because Hitler never talked to the Foreign Office, anyway. Roger Fulford's Queen Victoria is only 35,000 words long, so how much can you do? But it's a good read, so that's great! G. Stuvel's The Exchange Stability Problem is another worthy book. "In many apparently realistic cases, exchange stability depends more on the marginal propensity to spend of home consumers, an don their reactions to changes in the cost of living, than on the elasticities of international demand and supply on which English economists particularly have laid so much stress." Stephen L. Caiger's British Honduras: Past and Present, is about a colony that no-one cares about or thinks about. It's not  nearly as good as that other history that was published recently, but it is very stirring! Kenneth Smith's The Malthusian Controversy is timely because of the "population problem," The Economist says. I would say that Malthus is timely because he got his loathing for (foreign, especially) poor people all wrapped up in his anxieties about how many of them there were, and proceeded to pop out a theory about why poor people somehow have more babies, infant mortality be damned. (Along with infants.) Is that with Kenneth Smith says? Let's see! Yes, yes it is. We're reminded that neither Malthus nor his critics were laden with such burdens as adequate population statistics, to include the net reproduction rate, and that they proceeded to draw dogmatic conclusions notwithstanding because Malthus was a "tortuous individual." Malthus was not only unscientific, he was "crashingly wrong as a prophet." So why do we care? Because facts be darned, Malthus was right, says The Economist, so stuff that in your pipe and smoke it, Dr. Smith!

P. and G. Ford, which I think is Professor Ford and the wife, "G.," have A Breviate of Parliamentary Papers, 1917--1939, which sure sounds like a selection of Parliamentary emissions suitable for decorating the living room, but seems to be a list of reports and so on that bear on public policy. S. E. Morison has teamed up with H. S. Commager to publish the fourth edition, in two volumes, 1800 pages, of The Growth of the American Republic. Given that the review covers from the New Deal through HUAC, I wonder just how many of those pages got read. 

American Survey

"President and Prime Minister" Did you know that there is going to be an American presidential election this year, and President Truman is going to be a candidate? It's true! And you will know by the time you finish the next Leader, which is about the L:ouisiana Democratic primary. Three pages! Because a Long is running, and the Longs are some kind of indication of the health of the American democracy, I think. 

American Notes

Did you know that there is going to be a Presidential election in America this year, and General Eisenhower is going to be a candidate? It's true! What's worse, the Eighty-Second Congress is going to have to convene and sit around for four months pretending to do stuff before it can politely dissolve and head off to campaign. What's ahead? Certainly not Fair Deal legislation or civil rights for Coloureds. Investigations. They'll do investigations. 

"Detroit on the Dole" Detroit can't build cars because it can't get the materials, so employment is in collapse in spite of the auto industry  having $6 billion in war goods contracts. The problem is that they're all being satisfied elsewhere, leaving 120,000 on the dole in Detroit. The mobilisers are scrambling to find the industry some copper so it can keep production up, although The Economist wonders how many cars can be sold, considering that 17 million were turned out in the past three years and, even at limited production totals, 1951 was the second best year on record.

"Truman's Hoover;" and "Profit and Loss at the RFC"  Many of the Hoover Commission's more controversial recommendations have been gathering dust, but the suggestions for the Internal Revenue are getting a second life due to the IRS scandal. And also in Truman scandals and personnel news, Symington's departure from the RFC is quite the blow to the Administration, because he is a great guy and really cleaned it up as long a he was there. On the other hand, the RFC is for some reason the sole American tin importer, so when we say that Americans were trying to hold the world price of tin low for their own reasons, it was largely Symington who was doing that. With Britain having an exchange crisis and Bolivia on the verge of bringing charges of "economic aggression" at the United Nations, it was probably time to make a change. 

Shorter Notes covers the Steelworkers' 45 day delay in strike action, the hearings before CAB on American trans-Atlantic air routes, with Pan-Am now for managed competition, and its only remaining competitor, TWA, now in favour of "area competition," where they would fly the same routes as far as London, but then have separate routes beyond. The US Merchant Marine has recovered in size to 2000 ships, and Operation Vagabond, the new fleet of floating Voice of America radio stations, is under way with its first unit, Courier, ready to be the relay point for American broadcasts to eastern Europe. 

The World Overseas

"Aid from Canada?" Canada isn't going to be sending any money to Europe where a sanctimonious lecture about food subsidies and raising more coal will do. Canada is certainly no sending more guns, any more than it is sending aluminum or wheat, and it is not going to take sterling for cheese, canned salmon or apples. It will continue with its $228 million arms transfer and with spending $150 million or so on fields and barracks for its own troops in Europe, and will reconsider the total in the Lisbon meeting next  month. It's because of balance of trade, you see. What's that about abolishing exchange controls? Can't hear you through the maple syrup in my ear! Canada needs to invest in itself first to make the whole alliance stronger, or something like that. 

France is having a budget crisis, which The Economist lays out in detail, and Siam is an "enigma" because of its inscrutable foreign policy with regards to the troubles beyond its frontiers in Burma and Indo-China. And the enigma is . . . nothing? The coup plotters are settling in, times are good, and Siam doesn't want any trouble. 

"German Exports Soar," It says here. They're double the OOEC plan estimates, and are going all over the place, although the volume of exports to America is especially remarkable. Also, Egypt is toying with an anti-British boycott to get them out of the Canal Zone, and also they want to be able to spend their sterling holdings on whatever they like. Because they shouldn't want these things, their policy remains obviously stupid and wrong. In the Soviet Union, there is not going to be an All-Union Congress this year, even though it is required under the constitution, and no-one knows why, although it may be because of "pressures" due to the Korean War, or nationalism in the non-Russian republics, or some kind of unfolding crisis in agriculture.  

The Business World

"The Gold Drain" Britain is losing gold, so that's bad. Why is it happening? American and Canadian demand has slackened, Americans have stopped buying tin and rubber, something's up with the EPU, I don't know? What's to be done about it? Not a clue, although as usual The Economist is slavering for cuts and stringencies, but will reluctantly accept controls and restrictions.

"Steel and Green Paper" Steel means the steel allocations to solve the shortage which has emerged in 1952, while "Green Paper" is the paperwork that administers the allocations. Details are explained at length. (A Note about "Policy for Engineering Exports" goes into it further by discussing the problems of allocations of metal for successful export drives in various engineering businesses, versus the need for metal-using goods domestically. This might be why there have been no gains in production over the last year, contrary to hopes.)

Business Notes

Bank profits! Guilt-edges! Reserves! And in matters normal humans can understand, there might be a settlement on tin, as per the removal of Mr. Symington would indicate, and textile wholesalers are still down-at-mouth. 

"The Coal Record" The Economist returns to its theme that coal mining is actually going pretty well, considering, and notes that mild weather has eased the situation. Then it is off to the battle over Barcelona Traction, which, if I recall correctly has nothing to do with Barcelona or traction, and everything to do with a big sum of investment money that was put together back when Barcelona and traction were involved, and which rival claimants would dearly like to have hold of. Or is that the plot of Bleak House? I forget. Even The Economist is confused. 

"Factory Power" Some businesses would really like to generate their own power in the factory and sell surplus to the National Grid. The British Electric Authority hasn't been keen on the idea in the past, but the Ministry of Fuel and Power might give way under the new dispensation, although The Economist is not persuaded that it would be a good idea. Steam plant might be competitive with power plants, but only with expensive investments in boilers. It is very hard to believe that a factory diesel set would be. 

Then there is more on premium petrol brands, and sugar prices, Commonwealth edition.

"Electric Shock for Whales" What? This year's Antarctic whaling fleet is setting out with an experimental set of electric harpoons, which are deemed a more humane way of killing whales than the current explosive harpoons. They might also help take enough whales in the shorter whaling season now imposed because the whaling fleets are up to their prewar size and catches have to be restricted. a later start may also mean fatter, juicier whales, so if we're going to go out on Antarctic seas and slaughter whales to make fertiliser and margarine, better to do it faster and more scientifically in a shorter, later season where we hunt fatter whales. 

Radio exports are up, which is nice because so much of the material is glass, which isn't imported. The price of cocoa might be going up, due to a smaller crop, the British Export Trade Research Organisation is shutting down, because it wasn't getting enough work, Port Talbot is shutting down its hearths for lack of scrap, which has the rest of the industry upset because it figures that the newest British steel plant was getting favourable treatment as it was. The latest subject of the Anglo-American Council on Productivity is an investigation into American superiority in the field of fuel conservation, which has The Economist finally dig in its feet at the AACP. Americans? "Fuel conservation?"

"A mile long and it's so low. And just look at that grill!"

Aviation Week, 14 January 1952

News Digest reports that Chance-Vought has delivered its first production Corsair  AU-1, that AiResearch has a major backlog of gas turbines and alternators. British Commonwealth Pacific has received approval to buy 3 Comets from all governments concerned, probably the Avon-engined, 44 seat version that will be delivered in 1954--5. 

Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup reports that Congress is going to lower the boom on air power in the next session. Taft would cut the Air Force budget even further than Truman. Suddenly we're talking about the 70 group air force again, and pretty much everyone is agreed that all-atom-bombs-everywhere might be an alternative to the 143 group air force, with the Navy renewing its giant aircraft carrier pitch with the same old argument about carriers being able to go anywhere there's water, although I think the Volga still isn't navigable to 60,000t ships. There might also be less tax on defence plants, more subsidy for airmail, less subsidy for civil air, some subsidy for jet transports. 

Industry Observer reports that the new sideslip stability augmentor device on the Northrop F-89 Scorpion will give it more dynamic lateral stability than ever! And hopefully as much as is needed. Convair's YB-60 eight-engine swept wing version of the B-46 uses the same amount of magnesium as the B-36, specifically, 9000lb, just thought you all should know. The USAF is still working on ideas to give its strategic bombers a "parasite" fighter escort. The Air Force is very pleased to have taken all those giant German forging presses at the end of the war, even if they are not using them, because otherwise the Russians would have them, and they would be using them. The USAF is working on "logistics carriers" that would be able to fly anything the USAF needed, anywhere it was needed, which translates into a 400,000 all up weight aircraft. Convair is obligingly working on a swept-wing version of the XC-99. CAB and the aircraft industry are fighting. The Coast Guard has received four of the eight big Sikorsky helicopters it has ordered. Curtiss Wright has taken over the LZ-4 helicopter that Doman was developing for it, and moved if from Danbury, Connecticut to Caldwell, New Jersey, where it will absolutely, for sure, keep working on it.

F. Lee Moore reports that "More Money Slated for Transport Safety"  Due to all that pesky accident publicity, all concerned parties are going to have to spring for some safety spending in the new year.  This will include improvements in ground control, pilot training refreshers, stall warning indicators, flight recorders, better radio altimeters, better cockpit viewpoints, more maintenance inspection. 

"AF Takes Wraps Off Boeing XB-52"

Literally, Aviation Week means. The Air Force has removed the camouflage which has obscured the XB-42 since its 29 November rollout so that it could do engine testing. The USAF wants us to know that the B-52 weighs over 300,000lbs, that the prototype cost $250/lb, and that it uses 200kW, enough electrical power for 300 average American homes. (Newsweek is blunter about the same picture. The Air Force is telling us absolutely the least they can.)

"Navy's New Turboprop XA2J-1 Tested" This is the successor to the North American AJ-1 Savage, which you might remember, had a composite power plant with two Pratt and Whitney R-2800s in the wings and an Allison J33 in the rear fuselage. Also, the Air Force has established a new armament procurement policy, because it has taken the job over from Army Ordnance and also because it wants to have Oerlikon America all to its own, because it is very important and not at all because General Wolfe is its new president, even though Olin Industries has suggested that it, too, has innovative and valuable plans that have nothing to do with its hiring General Quesada. Older companies like GE and Bendix remind everyone that they have been scratching backs for years, and what do they get out of it?

"Goals for 1952" is a typically Aviation Week headline for a story that turns out to be about the prospects for air mobilisation, which turn out to be an extension of the "air production peak," but not a "higher level." The Air Force will get more money and 28 new wings, and aircraft production "levels" will rise 115%, so this is what "extension" and not "higher level" means. Could have fooled me!

Alexander McSurely reports that "Management Key to Martin Money" Martin is going to get RFC money and an adjustment to the delivery price of 4-0-4s, financed by the Air Force, with private finance making up the balance of a rescue effort, but Martin will have to take on new management, and Glenn L. Martin will have to "step back" from the board.  

"Fiat Discloses Details of Turbojet G 80" The first Italian turbojet is flying with the de Havilland Goblin 35, although subsequent models will take te Nene and Ghost. It is a very neat little modern aircraft, although straight-winged, and even has ejection seats. 

BEA has released specifications for a 45-passenger helicopter to meet it short-haul problems, implying that an invitation to tender might be out and about. It would have to carry 30 passengers at least 115mph at more than 150mph, at first, and have the capacity to take 45 for 250 miles. It will need to have good one-engine-out performance, bad weather capability, good anti-icing and de-icing, and be able to l and on a 400ft diameter field with a surrounding slope of 1 in two.
Also, nylon bearings are showing long lives and Wright Field's new laminating resin, Vibrin X-1047, takes as much as 500 degrees, says the developer, US Rubber. The serial number starts with "X," so it must be good! Wright Field says that next year will be very busy for its 10,000 employees as it tests the Convair B-60 airframe, the nuclear engine, the supersonic propeller, and the latest guided missile that is even more advanced than the Martin Matador. Also on the table is "virtually every new electronic device," and in-flight refuelling. 

Texas Engineering is very excited by its new circle cutter, which fits on a bandsaw, and reduces the effort needed to cut wooden discs by up to 90%.   US Naval Ordnance has ordered the largest 35mm camera yet built, the 1500lb Beckman and Whitley Target-Angle Recorder, which will be used to study aircraft flight and dive patterns, particularly dive bombing runs. The University of Tennessee has a "water table," which is a pool of water used to study the sound barrier as it is encountered by missiles and jets by pushing models through it at the speed of sound in water. (Which is much lower.  At the bottom of the paragraph it is explained that this is a study, not research aid.) 

McGraw-Hill World News takes a page to tell us that Jacques Lecarme of SNCASE has coe up with a reclining chair with armrest controls for the SE 410 Grognard fighter prototype. GE says that military contracts will cover about half of all of its Electronics Division business in 1952. 

"Stratojet Delays Worry Air Force" The Air Force can't train pilots because it is not receiving enough B-47s for them to fly. The main production delays are electronics, as the plane requires 25 miles of wiring, the bomb bay opening mechanism, engines, and "component parts deliveries." There is also a shortage of skilled and unskilled workers in Wichita, where Boeing employs 111,000 out of a total population of 240,000, and needs another 4--500. 

David Anderton reports on "Red Rockets," news that the Russians have reopened Peenemunde testing station and are working on various old Nazi rockets. He reviews the history of the German programme, which included a prototype anti-aircraft missile as well as the V-2s, describes the facilities and defences, and takes us on a scenic tour of the vicinity. Foreigners are also said to be interested in stall indicators, and an unsigned Thrust and Drag column explains that Captain R. C. Robson is wrong to think that diluting gasoline with oil will increase its flammability, since while it lowers flashe point, it raises ignition temperature. The column goes on to describe various initiatives in engineering education, Bristol Engine's continuing work on the Hercules, showing that piston engines aren't quite dead over there, points out that humans can take 1100 "gees" of deceleration, never mind 450, as long as it isn't for very long, according to Edwards Air Force Base, and describes Renesselaer's new wind tunnel.

Production visits Convair, where Irving Stone reports that the company is getting set to turn out the YB-60 on the B-36 line. "Adaptation of this production line to the B-60 should be made with little complication." I honestly can't think of a single thing to add.

Elastic Stop Nut is merging with American Gas Accumulator, while Martin and Schwartz of Salisbury, Maryland, is merging with Wayne Pump Company of Wayne, Indiana.   Lockheed's production backlog has hit $1.8 billion. 

Equipment sends George  L. Christian to Los Angeles for "LAA Use Many New Operational Methods" As far as I can tell, LAA, the prospective helicopter airline intended to operate out of Los Angeles Airport, doesn't "operate," at all. It does deliver mail and freight with three S-51 copters. The story is about some fiddling they've done with their helicopters to make it more useful at delivering letters. I guess that, considering that they've lost two of their five copters to mechanical failures, it's important that they tell us about how well-organised their maintenance shop is. What I don't understand is that, considering that they don't really have a business except maybe an air mail contract (445,000lbs of air cargo in the record year of October 1951, which sounds like a lot, but is a record), how do they get the money to sweeten an Aviation Week article?

New Aviation Products ha a coaxial RF switch to replace two SPDT switches, from Transco Products, a new lightplane VHF set from Lear (12 channels), a capacitor element, 1000 microfarads at 500v dc, from Sprague Electric that can be buried in the head of a screw, a tight mechanical shaft seal from Cartiseal Company, and all-metal unit vibration isolators taking 30g, from Shock Mount Corporation. 

Captain A. C. Robson's Cockpit Viewpoint has "Clean, Fresh and Hot," is about . . . coffee! Apparently, airport coffee is bad, it says here. People would like better, fresher, hotter coffee, it says here. See? No worries about falling behind the progress of science and technology in these parts!

Robert Wood's Editorial can't talk about air safety yet (in fact, he prints a letter from aircraft mechanic T. R. Sanders of Thompsonville, Connecticut, to the effect that mechanics should be more air safety conscious). He did secrecy last week, so what's left? Aircraft production hasn't nearly hit the President's five-fold increase target for the year, so it is time to take on the important matter of blaming other people. "Industry Isn't Holding the Bag!" Production has only doubled, to 5000 per year, but it is all because they couldn't get the materials, machine tools, or labour.  Finally, he thinks that air travellers will be very pleased with the convenience offered by the new ATA travel credit account card. The railroads, he can't help pointing out, haven't been able to make a travel credit card work, but the airlines have!

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