Saturday, February 14, 2015

Postblogging Technology, January 1945, I: A New Lunar Age


Group Captain R_. C_., RCAFVR, DFC (Bar), D.S.O.,
L_. House,
Isle of Axholme,
Lincs., U.K.

Dear Sir:

Congratulations on your much deserved award and promotion! You will be gratified to know that it has been noticed in the Vancouver papers, leaving your neighbours to  eat their hearts out over their racehorses and sons with fancy Chicago postgraduate degrees. I shan't ask if this means that you have found the German atomic bomb, as I do not really want to know.

Your teasing is well taken. I do not know whether I was looking at the 1944 calendar by mistake, or thinking that it was 1944, but, somehow in the pressure and distraction of late December, I came to the notion, in despite of all the activity around me, that the Lunar New Year was not for another month. You will well imagine that when we started crating oranges outside the back window that I was awakened to my mistake, with only two weeks to prepare for a private and intimate dinner with Uncle Henry and Aunt Bessie. (And the Provost, promoted from "Uncle George's friend" to "family friend." We have to do something to acknowledge the gift of laboratory space!)  

As to why I was so distracted, I am very glad to hear from you that Fat Chow is in Europe chasing black market francs, as opposed to than killling people for the Earl. I amalso pleased that the Earl is investigating Mr. Teichman's death. My money is on the Soongs, even if I cannot guess the motives. I think it's a safe bet, just because you never bet against the Soongs, at least when money is involved. As for Fat Chow, his beloved has written poured out her heart to him, I gather from the thickness of the packet upon which our poor courier is once again burdened. She did, however, say that she appended a list of persons he might be able to approach, including some "particularly blockheaded Foreign Ministry colleagues,  "too stupid for the cavalry," who might be flattered to be approached by an "agent of the real Fu Manchu in some romantic Swiss chateau." What can I say? If their breeding has left them too faint-headed to tell reality from pulp fiction, it is our duty to relieve them of their money before they hurt themselves with it.

As for the home front, your son is back in classes, and in advanced flight training; Miss V.C. is back from Chicago, rather distracted by her mother, but more on that below; your wife has returned to Vancouver. You will have heard from her. Miss v. Q. had a rather dismal Christmas. She braved the Wong household, flying "wing" to Queenie in her role as daughter-in-law without husband. (Tommy has been released from further attendance on the doings of the great at Ulithi without prejudice --that is cypher for having made a permanent enemy of a Fleet Admiral with more enemies than friends, Congressman Vinson and the Hearst press aside-- but is trooping back to San Francisco on a Liberty, and so expected to make landfall Stateside 10 past never.) 

I'm sorry. The parenthenses got away from me, as they do. What I meant to say is that you can imagine the atmosphere around the Wong household, be Mrs.Wong, in theory, as approving of her daugher-in-law as could be. Or perhaps you cannot imagine it, not being a woman. Fortunately for Ms. v. Q's state of mind, her landlord swooped in during the holiday week with an invitation to his retreat in Napa. I gather that the local wines are not quite as preposterous as you would think, and that her landlord's children, especially his poetry-and-science-fiction(!) loving daughter, are amusingly precocious. 

You will recall that I cast a shadow over my picture of a Christmas idyll. It comes from the most unlikely place --Miss V.C.'s mother is actually, seriously, jealous of the Armour's ascension. Seeing her main chance, an admiral's grandson, slip away from her, she has pressed her daughter to give Lieutenant A_. another chance. Ordinarily, this would be moot, but Chester has made it clear that the young man is no longer to be employed at Pearl. So who should swoop in but the Engineer's cousin! (I joke ...I think. Does Uncle George know something, or does he just like to nod and wink a little too much?) The FBI has apparently been up to something ever so cloak-and-dagger in San Francisco, and wants a Navy liaison. From all the ham-handed hinting, they are obviously spying on the Allied consulates. Brits aside,  the French can hardly know anything worth ferreting out, leaving the Russians, who really ought to know better than to give the FII anything worth ferretting out. But as the staff of the San Francisco consulate is . .. Well, knowing Russians, you can probably imagine.  Whether Lieutenant A_ is being called on to deploy his charms, his radio skills, or his grandfather is left open. Each and any way, Miss V. C. has agreed to meet the young man  at chaperoned school functions. 

Your youngest son manfully fails to disguise his hidden heartbreak with much focussed attention on stories with rocket ships and other things mechanical, which, unlike the heart, do as they are bid. (My husband gently laughs as I read this aloud, but will not explain the joke.)


 Flight, 4 January 1945


“Amphibious Aircaft” Amphibious planes have no legs. Though they do have floats and wheels, which is the problem. They're too heavy, and do not handle very well. So until someone figures out something new, they are a blind alley. Though if someone did, it would be great. This is actually the summary of an "Indicator" column. The paper carefully avoids noticing that "Indicator" lumped flying boats in with true amphibians. 

And if you are wondering what brought this on, Republic is offering a new amphibian sports plane.

“Preparedness” The one thing we need more of is talking about talking about civil aviation. Also, there are some new American aircraft, but there aren’t new British aircraft. Someone should fix that.

“Air to the Rescue” The weather has cleared so that aircraft could be involved in routing the Rundstedt offensive.

War in the Air

Aircraft were involved, Typhoons have rockets now. You know what name we haven’t printed in a week? Sir Arthur Tedder. Tedder. It just feels nice to have it on your tongue, doesn’t it? Say it with me now. "Tedder." And it is only fair to mention the “lamented” Leigh-Mallory, though I get the distinct impression that the only person who laments Air Marshal Leigh-Mallory is Lady Leigh-Mallory, and she went down with him. General Spaatz attacks oil targets. Budapest is now surrounded by Russians. History lesson: there used to be an Austro-Hungarian Empire, which involved Austrians, and Hungarians. Which reminds the paper. Someone should conquer Vienna, next. We think that aircraft were involved in surrounding Budapest. Perhaps from the air?

 Tokyo was again attacked by B-29s on December 27th. The Pacific fleet has attacked Iwo Jima again. The British Pacific Fleet attacked the land of Srivijaya again, but all the karma-bearing pilgrims had passed by that way, many years since. Admiral Fraser, who recently called upon Admiral Nimitz in Pearl Harbour, thinks that modern navies should have many aircraft carriers. The paper agrees! The Japanese, on the other hand, might be running out of aircraft carriers. They are not built in a day, and the “Japanese yards are not the most efficient in the world.” That is not what Representative Vinson used to say, but never mind. Since when has underestimating a rival ever lead anyone astray?

Here and There

Brazilian airmen are arriving in Italy, to be the "United Nations" for us. The first American jet engine has been developed for the Navy, and its engine will have more thrust than any engine brought to America from abroad. Fairchild has announced that its C-82 “Packet” might be used for civilian purposes after the war. If  someone wanted to buy one for such things, Fairchild might be inclined to sell! 

Now that Hunting and Sons has bought Percival Aircraft, Captain P. D. Acland is severing his connection with the company.  Illife and Sons is so desperate for a junior illustrator that it inserts a help-wanted advertisement in the body of the column. Miss Jacqueline Cochran, “Queen Wasp” of the USAAF WASPs, says that the corps is being stood down because there are enough male pilots to do the work. 

Argentinian Vice-President Colonel Juan Domingo Peron attends the opening of an aircraft factory, which will make aircraft, because that is a reasonable thing to do in Argentina. The French aircraft industry did not, it turns out, just disappear in August, but is now tooling up to make 99 44/100ths pure French aircraft. A blind shorthand-typist at Miles Aircraft has undertaken to produce a regular Braille edition of the company newsletter for other blind employees. Mosquitoes have rockets now. Spitfires have bombs now. Another plane saved by topping up its hydraulics reservoir, this time a Wellington, with tea. The Australians have a “bantam” crew of men under 5’5” in a Coastal Command squadron, which is amusing, because small men are amusing. Like Napoleon! A new American fragmentation bomb was used in the recent fighting along the Rhine. Lancaster “M2” is being retired after 139 ops. Northwest Air Command of the RCAF is forming a group of parachute rescuers for work in the north country. Some statistics of the Canadian war effort, recently published, are saved from boredom by the information that Canadian coal output has increased by nearly 2 million tons since the war began. so what' is wrong with British industry?

“De Havilland Mosquito XVI” This high altitude version has a pressure cabin good for 36,000ft and room for a 4000lb bomb. The numbers in the margin are my attempt to calculate just how far away aircraft flying at 36,000ft could get useful directional information from Great Yarmouth. I get Essen, not Berlin, but radio is tricky, and you don't have to correct me by return, as I am sure that James will find my mistake.

“Boeing Stratocruiser” You know what no-one’s written about this week? The Boeing 377. Here is what Aviation said, complete with Aviation’s pictures, redrawn.

C. B. Bailey-Watson, “The P.F.F.: Pathfinding, the Highest Standard of Operational Flying in the World,” And to think that there are some Americans so chauvinistic as to be upset at this title. The rest of Bomber Command is happy to admit that they sleep in wet sheets because they cannot find the lavatory after lights out.

This is the New Years Honour number, and so there is a long list of RAF, RCAF, industry and other honours, and no room for the promotions, so that I cannot clip it for you, Group Captain.

“Chicago Summary” You know what the world needs now? Summaries of talks about talking about talking about civil aviation! The wandering former banker, Chang Kai-Ngau, appears representing the Soongs, although by typographical error, “China” is read.  At least so long as he is in Chicago, I do not have to be civil to him in the Spring Gardens when I lunch in Palo Alto. 

“Civil Aviation News”

The Pacific Clipper is back in service, Airspeed is to have a new feeder airliner soon, a daily 60 hour England-Australia air mail service will be run by BOAC to Karachi, and Quantas eastwards, shortly. The planes will be bought in America because Brits are stuck-up Pom bastards, and also because they have no airplanes worth buying. Canadian Pacific Airways is growing at a nice clip, as are such companies as do this airplane thing in New Zealand. They do have companies in New Zealand, I think? It seems awfully small for such things. Windsor and Detroit might have a joint airport after the war. Switzerland is to knock down a mountain or something and build an airport. Or at least so I assume from the fact that this counts as news.

Indicator discusses “About Amphibians: Pros and Cons of a Once Much Discussed Type: Can the Idea be Practical as Well as Pretty? A Word about Sea-going Aircraft in General” The word is that they're dead.
Seriously. It's not even the only one!


E. Parbury continues to beat Horace’s joke to death. E. A. Fitton auditions for The Economist with an eight paragraph letter on “Organising for Efficiency," though it's made more relevant by being about aircraft cockpits. O. M. Etoe writes on Mr. Pollitt’s article about civil power plants. E. Burgess of the Combined British Aeronautical Societies has a long letter proving that a second rocket stage on top of the V2 would suffice to get a flashbomb to the Moon, and that a larger rocket of the same general design might carry a man there, since withstanding 15 “gs” of acceleration for 15 seconds is nothing.

The Economist, 6 January 1945


“Deadlock in Europe” It is cold and dank and dismal in London, and the paper is indulging itself in a blue mood about the fighting, Poland and Athens. Then it says that “There is no damaging war weariness, certainly not in bombed-out and scarred Britain.” Then it points out how the Germann press is pleased that it has overcome the crisis that followed the breakthrough at Avranches and restored a stable front, and even launched a counterattack. Then it points out how the Germans are given hope by signs of Allied disunity. Then it admits that T armchair strategists aren't very much use. Then it suggests that the problem is, probably, that too many American resources are going to the Pacific, and recommends that British negotiators reopen this question, and the“senseless policy of division agreed on in Moscow and Paris.” The bright side of all this is that at least the paper can recycle its editorials from last July.

“Local Government Reform” And now the readers know what ruined the paper’s mood in the first place. It had to read the latest Reconstruction White Paper, “Local Government in England and Wales during the Period of Reconstruction.” “[T]here is reason to doubt whether the system as it now stands is capable of carrying the burdens that are being put on it.” Well. It really is hard to read with one’s head in the oven like this. The light is terrible, and  I can’t strike a match without drastically lowering property values. Speaking of, the main problems of British local government are that property taxes fund too much of local government, that the valuation system has broken down (oh, ho, someone has received his assessment!), that there are too many local government authorities. (Forty is too many. Would, say, 30 be just right?) Also, they shall be involved in all the new medical services. Doom!

“Patent Medicines” The British Medical Association believes that too many quack patent medicine cures are being meretriciously promoted. Also, some efficacious patented medicines could be replaced by non-patented formulations with the same effect, at great saving to whoever pays for them. (And this is an issue that is at issue!) But, some doctors and pharmacists have their interests aligned against this. Something should be done, hopefully combining a judicious scolding in the press (that always works with the vegetarian-anti-vaccination alternate medicine crowd!) with legislation and administrative reform.

Notes of the Week

“Three Power Talks Ahead” Why should civil aviationists have all the fun? Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin should get together and talk about talking. They could resolve matters in Poland! The paper continues to scold the Government and General Scobie from the left, for what it is worth.

“Lord Lloyd George” The paper is …displeased?  I think?. . . that Mr. Lloyd George has finally received his earldom in the New Years Honours. (Congratulations again, by the way.) Because of democracy and progress. Not because the paper loathes David Lloyd George or anything like that.

“ATS For Foreign Service” Since the Army needs another 250,000 men, and will be hard put to find them otherwise, eligibility for the ATS has been raised to 35, and they are now to be used in overseas service. The paper thises-and-thats over the merits of equality of the sexes versus the need for unmarried daughters to stay home and keep house for their parents.

“Emergency Teachers” 250,000 places are needed to replace school space destroyed by enemy action, or 1800 new schools, while the school leaving age has been raised to 14. About 50,000 new teachers will be needed, all found, and given that even before the war about 20% of English primary teachers were uncertified, the deficit of qualified teachers is staggering. Hence the need for emergency teachers, who will have to furnish some minimal proof of competence and then take a quick course. At which point they will be thrown to the six-year-old ravenous wolves in short pants.

“France Looks for Unity” Under the bed, I suppose, as that is where the Communists tend to be. While the paper looks forward with the greatest of, uhm, gloom, to the near-future complete disintegration of France, the Rundstedt offensive has encouraged unity, and the paper is struck by the decision to call the Class of 1943. One  might even imagine that there was a war on. Actually, one might take the reappearance of the entire French army, unscathed by five years of war, as a very bad sign for Germany. But then one would not be the paper.

“Industrial Reconversion” Legislation might come this session dealing with some of the ROFs in particular.

“Nine Months Revenue and Expenditure” The revenues for the first nine months of the year are nearly at the level projected for the full year. This is not a cause for celebration, however, so put down those party favours! It probably means that inflation is upon us, even if this is not immediately obvious on the expenditure side. (They’re up, but it is because of a relaxation of Lend Lease.)

“Whiter Bread” The rate of wheat extraction for bread making is to be reduced to 80%. People will be happy, but the Medical Research Council points out that the old 85% level was set with an eye to the Vitamin B1 content, and this might otherwise be deficient in the wartime diet. On the other hand, the postwar diet should have more fortifying foods, allowing the return of white bread, except that this would be bad for the working class, and so should not be allowed by the Government. For if there is anything that the British working man expects and wants in life, it is the solicitous care of the Government in making sure that he is not in danger  of enjoying life too much.

Source: So, yes, there is such a thing as a carrot museum. 

“Hitler in Retirement” Hitler has not been seen in weeks, leading to the obvious conclusion that he has retreated to a picturesque cottage by the sea to pour over his old photo albums, read and write letters, and pine for days gone by. He is, though, still alive, as demonstrated by his New Year’s Day address to the German people. A speech which showed that he is completely out of touch with the conduct of affairs, so that in a sense, he really has “retired.”

American Survey

“The Deep South in Wartime” By Our Correspondent in Georgia. The Deep South used to be quite poor, for some reason beyond the ken of man. The war has made it quite rich, what with all the airplanes and the ships and the training. People are worried that after the war, they will again be poor, instead of rich. Some things are being done. Will they be enough? Probably not.

American Notes

“Motes and Beams” Americans are always saying rude things about British policy,, so last week the paper said rude things about American policy. The result has been quite a storm of criticism, publicity, and sales. The paper just wants to remind American readers about that again. And deny that the fact that a former editor is the British Minister of Information makes it practically the official voice of Britain. There is, in fact, an impervious barrier preventing him from having any influence on the paper’s editorial policy, rather like the great wall thatprotects China from barbarians from Manchuria, I would write, if I were in charge of not-as-reassuring-as-they-at-first-seem analogies at the paper.

“Greek Gift” Senator Wheeler is now in favour of the United Nations, but only under impossible conditions, such as perfect democracy and freedom of the press in all member states, thus maintaining his isolationism under the guise of internationalism. Actual American voters from Montana, especially Democratic voters, tend not to consider these conditions as "necessary," as opposed to "impossible," but the paper thinks it knows Wheeler’s heart, and probably does.

“Post-Mortem on Doctor Gallup” Why did the Gallup polling organisation knock three points off the President’s polling numbers in the months leading up to the election, making Dewey appear much closer than he actually was, asks an unfriendly House Committee? Because of migrants and the Political Action Committee, answers Dr. Gallup, and certainly not because close races sell newspapers.

“Return of the Nisei” The paper casts an eager eye on the West Coast in hopes of being appalled by subsequent events.

“Back to Montgomery Ward” Sewell Avery still will not permit his factory and warehouse workers unionise, votes notwithstanding, and the War Labour Board is still unimpressed, and so now that the election is over, the army is back in control of some Montgomery Ward subsidiaries, and likely to take over others. People are comparing this unfavourably to the settlement with the Musicians Union. Would it really hurt the average American if Montgomery Ward workers could form unions and strike for higher pay? Well, perhaps, as it would make catalogue shopping more expensive.

The World Overseas

The paper does not understand why the Germans did not act to demolish such Antwerp works as were still in their hands in the wake of 11th Armoured Division’s rapid advance, but this is irrelevant, because they didn’t. The docks are now back at work, as enough dockworkers could be found, a labour settlement arranged, and sundries found to mobilise them, such as bicycle tyres, since so many dockers live at a distance from the port. 500 2000t barges were taken in the port, and are now being used to support the Armies, manned by Belgians and controlled by the army staff. Belgians, who do not take the paper, are overjoyed to see the great port in operation again.

Germany at War

“Siege Politics” “Politics play no part in the ordinary daily round of the German masses. Man, woman and child, they have been turned into unpolitical “experts.” They have become soldiers, technicians, skilled, semi-skilled, and administrators. Most of them have lost their family connections. Nor can they be called Bavarians, Austrians, Pomeranians or Westphalians. They are known chilefly by the number of their organisation or unit in the Wehrmacht or by their place in a factory; social workers are marked by ther post in the evacuation scheme, by their position in a public kitchen or in a kindergarten, healt centre or hospital. This strange impersonal and barbaric structure of the German people explains why it was possible to direct men, women and children to dig trenches in East Prussia, in the west and in front of Vienna.” Etc etc.


Has the share of national income made up by wages risen from 38.2% in 1938 to 41.1% in 1943, or fallen from 37.5% to 35.6% over the same period? G. D. H. Cole writes. Both! It depends on how you handle Armed Forces pay in the statistics. Either way, it is an improvement on the prewar situation, as I recall.

The Business World
“The Scottish Coalfield” Coal production in Scotland has fallen significantly over the war years, in spite of a high level of mechanisation prewar, which has progressed further since. In fact, in spite of mechanisation, productivity per man has fallen. The paper thinks that the report that it is summarising is unrealistic in expecting the work force not to fall any further. On the contrary, postwar, employment will fall, and productivity and cost per ton must fall. To do this, the failing Lanarkshire collieries must be progressively abandoned, and new colleries opened in other regions. This will mean much migration of labour and social change, and must not be allowed to lead to abandoned villages, somehow. Also, we must achieve full technical efficiency.

Business Notes
Equities are up, but not to their August peaks. “Animal spirits!” The British gas and electricity supply is under great stress, and electrical distribution might collapse completely any day now.  Supply restriction are to be put into effect if the load exceeds 8.4 million kilowatts, as has already happened twice this winter. Gas consumption in London is at 181 million cubic feet per day, but if full pressure could be restored in the system, could rise to 195 million. In both industries, strain on equipment and labour has taken the place of coal supply as the limiting factor. The Gas, Light and Coke Company, for example, has lost 10,000 of its 25,000 prewar labour force to the Armed Forces. This is the first really cold winter since 1941—2, and priority must be to prevent hardship to vulnerable populations, such as mothers with young children. The steel merger adoption meeting of shareholders of Baldwin and Richard Thomas was difficult, with Mr. Firth challenging Mr. Lever in the chair to present the meeting with full details of the merger. Mr. Lever rejected the challenge, as the details of the merger are too complicated for mere shareholders to understand. The paper is outraged. It is much less upset with the arrangements now being made to get closed cotton mills reopened. It is less happy about inadequate steps being taken to have them re-equipped with machinery to achieve full technical efficiency, something that depends on getting adequate labour into the foundries. A new import-export treaty between Egypt and Britain will be good for Egypt. “As before, Egypt’s dollar income will be sold to the British government.” Oh, happy Egyptians! GEC’s attempt to issue 2 million £1 “C” shares has run afoul of the New Issues Sub-Committee’s attempt to rein in the “grey market” in new securities. 

Flight, 11 January 1945

“Lord Swinton’s Chance” The new minister talks to Parliament about talking about talking about civil aviation. The paper points out that he now has an excellent chance to talk about talking about civil aviation to the public.

“Showing the Flag” A Halifax III has flown 12,.000 miles around Africa, reminding South Africa that British aircraft exist, in case they had forgotten. Happy spectators got to take the bits that fell off home as souvenirs. 

“Pulling a Fast One” Field-Marshal Montgomery apologises for getting some airplanes blown up on the ground in the recent German surprise attack. It was probably no big deal, the paper thinks.
War in the Air

We are not going to tell the Germans just how many planes they destroyed on the ground in the New Years Day attack. We shot down a great many, and we apologise for overcrowding the runways with so many planes. Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay has died in an air crash. Mosquitoes fly low-level raids with 4000lb bombs as well as high level. The Dortmund-Ems Canal has been drained again. Attacks on coastal shipping have turned into a “Battle of the Skaggerak.” Winter campaigning is hard, because of the weather. Typhoons have rockets now. The new American anti-gravity suit is . . I am not sure I can explain, so I cut out the picture for you. Or Uncle George.

 Aircraft were involved in the end of the fighting in Athens somehow. The Combined Bombing Offensive dropped 1.3 million tons of bombs in 1944. The paper reminds us that Bomber Command dropped a great part of them.

Here and There

Air Commodore C.B. Cooke is promoted Air Vice-Marshal and takes over the Technical Branch. The British Aviation Insurance Company celebrated its 21st birthday this week. Lord Brabazon reminds us that “models are not toys” on the occasion of the National Exhibition of Model Aircraft. Actual airplanes, on the other hand. . . 6000 workers at 5 American factories are being released from aircraft machine gun production. The last exclusive RAF training centre in Canada will close in February. John Hall, a fifty-year employee of Dunlops, who retired as works manager of the Coventry factory in 1939, then returned to work in 1941, has retired again. The new Ark Royal is presented with a sliver ship’s bell subscribed by the officers and men of the last. The Ministry of Aircraft Production has placed orders for the Miles M. 60, a four-enginedfourteen-seater designed as a feeder airliner for worldwide service.

Roger Tennant, “Asymmetry Again: Suggested Fighter for a Global Air Force” There is not enough room in the Correspondence section for all the cranks. I wonder if this means that a pending article on the operational jet fighter is being scrubbed? 

No, really.

“Mosquito School: RAF Technical Training Command Manufacturer’s Course” The  manufacturer trains ground crew, because no-one else can. I recall this coming up in the summer of 1939, when we were suborning some upstairs staff with promises of getting their son into Halton. But only as riggers, the formidable, Cockney "Mum" told us. She was not sending her son to be a carpenter.

“Helicopters: A Survy of the Stage of Development Reached by the United States: Possibilities of the Class” A nice little survey, but not one that adds any new information not already to be found in Aviation and Aero Digest.

“Civil Glider Trains: Wartime Success –Doubtful Future”

“Indicator” Discusses “Control Considerations: The Need for New Ideas in Aileron Conception: ‘Unfeeling’ Servo Assistance: Are Speed Ranges Becoming Too Great for Conventional Layouts: The Possibilities of ‘Spoilers’ and the Effect of Automatic Control on Design” The idea here is not weird aircraft like Tennant’s “asymmetric fighter,” above, but rather the use of new control surfaces, since servo-boost in ailerons gives no “feel,” and they are becoming too hard to work “straight.”


Brian MacCartney-Filgate thinks that there is no fortune to be made in air cargo transport. Colin C. Richardson has opinions about “Indicator” on “Organising for efficiency.” R. W. Gatland of thte Combined British Astronautical Societies and the British Interplanetary Society Nuclear Committee thinks that the V2 with second stage could easily get to the orbital velocity of 5 miles/second without exceeding 5g, for the stressing problems mean that is the machine, and not the man, who is limited.

The Economist, 13 January 1945


“Governments for Europe” Greeks, Poles and Jugoslavs are excitable.

“Peacetime Mutual Aid” If America can see its way clear to giving us dollars, we’ll buy American exports with them! Also, something about Britain and Belgium, to show that Britannia is not on the dole.

“Wages Councils” A simple arrangement for achieving a brand new era of wage negotiations only takes a page and a half of close-set type to explain. Anything so long and confusing just has to recommend itself to being explained during a strike vote!

“Divided China” China has two governments! This might lead to a “potential Greece of the Far East, on a vaster and more damaging scale." What should America and Britain do? Well, obviously, America will back the Koumintang because the church ladies like the Soongs, but the paper evidently does not want to offend the church ladies of England by spelling this out.

Notes of the Week

President Roosevelt is upset about power politics; General de Gaulle is upset about not being invited to meet with the Big Three. The Swiss are upset about the Allies being upset by their trade with Germany. Guess which party the paper is sympathetic with? The International Labour Organisation is talking about talking about administrative reforms, the best kind of talking about talking; A “United States of Africa” might be a good idea.And so might be Moon colonies! I predict that the second will happen first.
Chesley Bonestell. Source.
Belgium is to have a capital levy.

“The COS and National Insurance” The Charity Organisation Society has expressed its opinion on the Beveridge Report. It supports national insurance, but wants it separated from vocational training.  The paper guesses that the COS, and the working class it "is in close contact with" has exactly zero trust in, or patience with, Ministry training centres. The main thing the paper points out, the main thing is maintaining employment, in which case training will be less important, while training in the absence of employment is not likely to be effective.

“Requisitioned Land” It is time to talk about talking about the administrative arrangements that will be put in place to how give them back.

“Persian Oil” The Russians protest that they did not ask for oil concessions in northern Persia, which they renounced as their sphere of interest in an internationalist gesture back in 1921. Instead, British and American companies began to seek concessions, leading to Russian demands for the right to concessions in all parts of Persia. The paper thinks that the Russians have a point, or might have a point, and that everyone should play fair and share and share alike in Persia.  Or, alternatively, respect “spheres of influence.” Perhaps the moment to agree with the Russians was 1921? Of course not. "A Mexico every decade"!

“Sites for Houses” Lord Woolton says that there is no housing problem in this country, only a labour shortage. The paper points out that, for example, the shortage of pasteboard, shows thatt his is not true. It adds, and that of steel for the Portal home scheme, which raises a more important point about shortage, and that is the lack of suitable sites for building temporary housing. They are so wasteful of space that the temporary housing may not be able to solve the problem. Who could ever have guessed that real estate would be key to the real estate problem?

“Spring Offensive in Housing” It is hoped that 60% if second stage repairs (making damaged homes “tolerably comfortable”) in Greater London can be completed by April, but this will be  hard. The first deliveries of temporary housing will be welcome  when they appear, as they will relieve pressure on “substandard alternatives.” This appears to be a reference to the Army-type 3 room Nissen huts, of which London has only erected “only a few” of its 7,578 unit allocation. It might also forestall the import of American war-workers’ bungalows, also sub-standard, and which might not be available anyway due to various American shortages, restrictions and etc.

“Help for the Home” The Ministry of Labour, having complacently allowed female conscription, is now in charge of rationing domestic help, which it is doing according to the usual claims of hardship –sick mothers, etc. They are certainly not providing maids, nursemaids or chars to families which can afford the luxury, because that would be wrong. Profitable, but wrong. The paper fears a future when “high wages” might prevent families which really need domestic help from affording it. Say what you will about the paper, it knows its readership.

“Tradition and Industrial Design” Good, thorough design is a British characteristic that might not be all that suitable to a new age of mass production. Full technical efficiency!

“A Rural Survey” The Agricultural Economics Research Institute of Oxford has visited a ruralslum withlittle water and sewer service, no functional parish councils, and, where theydo function, a reluctance to raise local rates to fund services. The paper seems to think that the Government should do something.

“Shorter Notes” A new Crystal Palace is to be built; teachers will be needed to teach the teachers in the new emergency teachers’ colleges; Egypt’s governing party won the election, as Egyptian governing parties always do; Argentina is increasingly isolated.


F. N. Vavasour disputes the paper’s plan for achieving full technical efficiency in agriculture, but seems to misunderstand it as a nationalisation of farm land, which seems like an unlikely position for the paper. R. A. Dyott writes that the main obstacle to achieving full technical efficiency isn’t strange resistance on the part of farmers, or lack of capital, but lack of tractors and labour. Lady Listowel writes to tell the paper that, contrary to its beliefs, Hungarians are not excitable.

American Survey

“Trade and Timber” From Our Correspondent in Oregon. About one third of American lumber is produced in Washington and Oregon, because they have the nicest trees. What will happen when they are gone, OCO asks, presumably not rhetorically, since although current cut is 9.7 billion feet against a supply estimated at 800 billion feet, all the nice trees will be gone much sooner.

Having motored through the Great Northwest, I come around to your thinking that there is a certain failure to understand just what billions of cubic feet of timber looks like. I just despair of communicating it to someone who hasn't.

Even as I revisit familiar ground, I think that it is worth emphasising here that the problem is not lack of wilderness. In some parts of the world, it's actually advancing. The question is, "why?"

 and you cannot possibly make good plywood out of bad trees. Selective logging, perpetual yields, and manual replanting of cut blocks are spoken of. In fact, three million acres are already in tree farms, and also more efficient use of lumber, for example for alcohol or plastic production is also possible. All in all, the future is bright, if it is not bleak. Please send money. Your investments are safe with us. 

American Notes

“The Cost of Victory” The fourth war budget foresees 41.255 billion in revenues, 83.103 in expenditures, total appropriates 86.767 billion, down from 128 billion last year, and might go lower, depending on when the war ends, as low as 60 billion. The increase in national debt is figured at a hair over 40 billion, and about 16% of the budget is allocated for Lend-Lease. Universal Service is again recommended, perhas to call up 300,000 men for war work, but certainly to get 200,000 of 280,000 available nurses and to make sure that the 4  million 4Fs are used in war work. The President has also floated the idea of a “second Bill of Rights,” pertaining to economic rights, to employment, to sustenance, etc. The paper thinks this will be a step down the road to serfdom, or possibly a Great Transition (See below.).

“Nine Lives” The obnoxious Dies Committee is reborn as one of the House’s permanent standing committes, with an “Aye” vote of 137 Republicans and 70 southern Democrats, "Conservatives" who are upset about the PAC and the CIO and want to do them turn and turn-about.

The World Overseas

Saskatchewanites are excitable. Switzerland’s relationship with Germany puts it in a cruel dilemma, the paper handwrings. It notices that Swiss imports considerably exceed exports. How can Switzerland make up the difference when so much of its skilled labour is sucked away from export-producing industries into other areas. Such as, one asks oneself? Why, international banking, it turns out! I wonder if anyone at the paper has thought about how the Swiss banks’ foreign customers might suffer if the Swiss suffered first?

The Business World

“Monopoly in Embryo” The newly formed Hardware Trade Alliance is definitely worth two pages of coverage. It'll be a cartel in no time.

Business Notes

“French Financial Programme” The first new war loan issue has been a success. Some fear that the hoarded money of war profiteers  will ruin everything, but the paper thinks that hidden money will stay hidden, as long as the French government is enthusiastic about confiscating it if it is found. Musing about what might happen to the iestimated 150,000 million francs hoarded, in France and in Germany, the paper does a suspiciously well-informed calculation to show that if you wanted to get a franc into a pound, say, though a Swiss intermediary, it would cost 2480 francs to the pound. Just in way of noticing how much  money could be made by some unscrupulous person, as see above.

“Opencast Coalmining” British machines have an average capacity of ¾ cubic yard, compared with the American capacity of 8, and one third of them are in desperate need of repair, the general shortage of machinery also helping account for lack of capacity. American explosives are less expensive than British, and, in general, Americans have better organisation. The question of whether the nature of the work (that is, whether sites chosen for opencast mining are as suitable in Britain as in America) go conspicuously unasked. Opencast coal is, after all, cheaper because of the dirt and stone content. Full technical efficiency!

“Thomas-Baldwins Issue” The paper lugubriously predicts failure. It also expects that the issue will not be given permission to go ahead, if the GEC issue could not be cleared of the “grey market” imputation. Follows a short note to the effect that no-one ever did anything untoward in any way concerning the GEC issue. If it were reported that something untoward happened, neither the reporting nor the thing reported were untoward. Thus, the Treasury’s actions need to be explained, but only to those concerned, as it was untoward.

“Labour for the Cotton Industry” Will be short after the war, as with coalmining.

“War Damage Accounts”  £48.6 million already paid, about another 16 outstanding, plus about 30  millions under the Public Chattels scheme. This does not include the vengeance campaign. In all, for construction, perhaps £120 million of public moneys to be disbursed?

“War Borrowings Compared” The Federal Reserve has issued a report. America has financed its war effort with $156,746 million in borrowing against $86,942 in taxation; For Britain, the number has been £11,423 million in borrowing against  £9769 in taxation; fCanada, a nice scientific comparison with America,  $7,142 million in borrowing against $7,336 million in taxes. The exceptionally low rate of interest is shown by the fact that the cost of servicing the debt has risen in the United States from only 1.4% to 1.7%; in Britain from 4.5% to 4.8%; and in Canada it has fallen from 3.1 to 2.8% of national income! The computed average rate of interest on American war debt is 1.924%, of Britain, 2.441%, of Canada, 2.751%.

Debt Ownership:
United States
Per cent
Commercial Banks
Federal Reserve
Government Agencies
Other Investors
United Kingdom

Commercial Banks
Bank of England
Government Agencies
Other Investors

Commercial Banks
Bank of Canada
Other Investors

“Ministry of Food, 1944” Much patting oneself on the back in the wake of an extraordinarily eventful 1944 in which, nonetheless, the ordinary consumer was again able to buy oranges and lemons, imported apples, ample sardines, and uncontrolled onions. The ban on ice cream was lifted, the preserves and sugar ration was increased, the bacon ration was increased in the summer, and there were extra rations all around at Christmas. 

And now the monthlies.

Aviation, January 1945

Line Editorial

“What Does America Want?” A car in every pot. And it's doing pretty well, too. America, with only 6% of the world’s population but 25% of its income has assorted very large numbers of the world’s share of such things as telephones (50%), merchant shipping (25%) and oil (70%), also 15% of wheat production, and 10% of wool. Our policy of economic security means high levels of employment, so high levels of manufacture. This means high levels of business activity in the rest of the world, active and expanding markets, an end to hostility to imports, cartels and war. Simple!


“Sustaining of Our Air Power is USEFUL Work” Our future peace depends directly upon our success in never letting our air power lapse again. If you want peace, prepare for war, to coin a phrase.

Jennings Randolph, Congressman, “Building Main Streets for America’s Aviation” Airports. Also, he is one of the main proponents of the “airmail pickup system.”

Eugene E. Wilson, Vice Chairman, United Aircraft Corporation, President, Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce “Air Power –The Key to Peace and Prosperity,” Part  1. This is just embarrassing for all concerned. Even the ghost writer should hang his head in shame.

K. R. Jackman, Chief Test Engineer, Consolidated Vultee, “Industrial Research is a Postwar Indispensable” This is going to be a “series of articles,” too. Did you know that the Royal Society of London was founded in 1662, and that Leonardo da Vinci existed? That the canal building craze in America was overtaken by a rail-building craze. This is how industrial research works! 
Here. Have a coherent explanation.

Oh, and American laboratory research workers increased from 49,467 to 70,033 between 1938 and 1940. . .

Correlli Barnett, etc.

Also “Foreign Trade Offers Key to Postwar Solvency,” and “Plane Wise –And Part Foolish”

With some relief, I turn to a “Design Analysis of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress,” From the pen of, or under the name of Wellwood C. Beall. This is what we read Aviation for, not cod scholarship. It would be more interesting were it not an 11-year-old plane, although one of the revelations of the article is the extent to which the B-17 is not the same plane as appeared 11 years ago.

James F. Carland, Industrial Control Specialist, General Electric St. Louis, and P. R. Waton, Curtiss-Wright St. Louis, “Accurate Heat Treatment Speeded by Push-Button Control” From the ridiculous to the ---A new oven for heat treating aluminum parts has push button automatic temperature controls from GE and an automatic spray-quench from Curtiss-Wright. It is a bit awe-inspiring that so much aluimunum is being heat treated now that complete furnace/quenching  units are being sold, complete with a transformer which can deliver anything from 6 to 300 kW from factory main supply.

Thomas Gladwin, Engineer, Lockheed, “Optical Methods Ferret Transparent-Plastic Distortions” Optical plastic pieces have advanced tremendously in just a few years, from tiny panes to the giant bubble canopies of the P-51. This has been accompanied by new methods of detecting distortions.

Again: the technology to produce the product was developed, followed by the product, followed by the testing rig, all in the six years of the war to date.

G. L. Shue, Ph.D., Developmental Engineer, Consolidated Vultee, “Simplified Numerical Integration for Design Engineers” Remember those 21,000 new laboratory research workers hired in just two years? Doctor Shue knows that they’re afraid of calculus. If they can even do it. So. Diagrams and charts.

Richard G. Smith, Experimental Flight Engineer, Pratt & Whitney, “From Mach Number to True Airspeed” One of the things that engineers who can’t do math do, is tell  us the speed of aircraft read off the ASI, which is how we get 600mph fighters and 500mph bombers. Here are charts, so that they will stop embarrassing themselves, and designing airplanes that actually fly. Eventually.

“Large Nitriding Plant at Engine Factory” This isn’t Wright catching up with Hispano-Suiza 15 years too l ate. It’s just a new plant that reduces ammonia consumption.

“Valve Servicing Demands Special Technique” As opposed to putting them in your knapsack and  bicycling into the airport to get some expert help… 

When we went to pick him up after lunch....
But the Lincoln is running in time for school, so I suppose there is merit in both methods. I may have another “pre-subdivision” buyer for the west orchard land, by the way. Uncle George's kind of people. Old Californian, “Black Irish” stock.

Philip Colman, Chief Aerodybnamic Engineer, Lockheed, “High Versus Low Air Transport” This follows an article on the new Saturn, which I omit because it is brief and we have heard enough about yet another feeder. But it is interesting context. The Saturn isn’t pressurised, but the argument is that while the economics seem to be in favour of high flying, the engineering isn’t settled yet. Hence, for now, the Saturn.

“Efficient Engine-Drive Affords Instant Pressure For Republic P-47 Water Injection System” This might be the first that the Earl has heard of water-injection. It’s certainly the first that I recall writing about it. Injecting water into cylinders cools them, and reduces knock at high compression. It is good for getting more power out of engines, especially air-cooled ones.


Hilariously, two efficiency engineers report that they can get a base from 10 engine overhauls to 90; except that it only has ten overhauls a month! Also, snoring husbands might not snore on airplanes, so they should all fly all night instead of keeping their wives up? People who try to read small-print blueprints get eyesrain, in particular some workers at the Avro plant in Toronto which had tomake Lancasters from British blueprints. So they wrote a poem.

E. F. Lindsey provides a guide to buying used aircraft. After the humour section, but not noticeably funny, despite the raw material. Used aircraft salesmen? Now, the biggest sellers right now are the Army and Navy. Would you buy a used aircraft from an Air Marshal? Leigh-Mallory or Hap Arnold, no. Tedder and Claire Chennault, though….

Aviation News

The paper leads off by talking about talking about civil aviation. Also, airports and light planes.

America at War

B-29s are bombing Japan from the Marianas, now! They continue to operate from China, perhaps later from Russia. So the aircraft will be supplied overland via the Trans-Siberian Railway? Good luck with that! The Army Air Forces have flown 1.5 million sorties since the war began, and dropped a very large number of bombs, mostly on Europe.

Aviation Manufacturing

November production was down to 6,747. Total output over the last three years is 223,500, compared with Britain producing 102,000 in 5. $100 million has been allocated for rocket ammunition, and there are calls to double B-29 production. I suppose this officially means that the B-32 is a failure. General Knudsen (he’s a general, now?) says that it is due to high absenteeism and “unnecessary resignations.” Oddly, he’s also against strikes. I say “odd” because if there is one reason for “absenteeism and ‘unnecessary resignation’”, I am told, it is bad management, and, I am further told, there’s only one way to get through to bad management. . .

The month’s low production, by the way, is due to unnecessary design changes and Thanksgiving, and that is why it had the lowest production since April 1943, the last time Thanksgiving was celebrated in this country. Wait a minute…Also, cutbacks in unnecessary types and increasing structure weight…
The sadly low British production is due to snobbishness, effeminacy, tea breaks, and old-fashioned equipment. Also, the blackout and the fact that they were being constantlyl bombed and suffered 700,000 civilian and military casualties.

“Nazis Hurl V-2, ‘Plan’ V-3 Against U.S.” The paper doesn’t really understand what a V-2 is. At least, this feature doesn’t. It does provide an estimate that a V-3 would have to weigh 2500 tons to carry 1 ton of explosives 3000  miles, and this would cost “millions of dollars.” There is no suggestion of how these numbers were arrived at. At a 100lb payload for a second-stage V-2, you would have to launch 22 “V-3s” to get a ton of explosives to New York, though. The numbers in Flight omit the fuel needed to brake from orbit, so I suppose that at least San Francisco is safe.

KLM is resuming day service between Britain and Lisbon, before they’ve even returned to the Netherlands or the East Indies! The Germans have put an ejection device in the FW 190s being modified to ram bombers in mid-air. The Me 262 looks a lot like the Bell P-59. Except that it’s an actual fighter jet. Japan has new fighters: the “Ginga” is a match for the Hellcat, tne “Susei” for the Helldiver, the “Irving” for a P-38. (This last would be bad news for the B-29s if true, but I find it hard to believe that the Japanese have licked the turbocharger installation problem. We barely have!) We have an airline agreement with 100% Fascist-free Spain. Airlines and aircraft manufacturers have raised an impressive amount of capital on the markets for future expansion, notwithstanding not much sign of increase in their admittedly high earnings. Better than letting your money sit in bank accounts earning less than the increase in the cost of living!

Fortune, January 1945

The Job Before Us
“The V-2 At the Peace Table” The paper knows what a V-2 looks like. I guess that's what you get for paying top rates. “Yet in fact the V-2 is the most diabolical weapon ever to appear in the hands of evil men.” I take it back. 

Anyway, while others said war rockets were impractical, but Germany solved the problem of fuel (oxygen and hydrogen peroxide). Now they just need to scale up and increase the salvo rate. With a 10 ton warhead, two or three hundred rockets a day would render a port like Antwerp uninhabitable. I should say so! The rocket has redrawn political boundaries and become a factor in peace negotiations, and will bring an end to war. For real, this time.

“Leadership and King Cotton” Americans dump cotton on the world market at the expense of low-cost producers such as Brazil, East Africa, Egypt and India. We really should stop. Bad Southerners! Grow kudzu, instead!

“What Price Superseniority?” That is, the Section 8 of the Selective Service-based policy of allowing returning veterans to “bump” people at their old workplaces. This covers about 2 millionreturning servicemen, and carries a sting in its tail, because they will come in at the expense of the existing seniority system, and will have no seniority protection against future layoffs. One Brooklyn company allowed that to accommodate supersenority, it might just fire everybody and then start over again. And that would include WWI  veterans. So there. That certainly sounds like a plausible thing that a factory might do.. The paper isn’t interested in the plausibility of the threat. It is interested in revisiting superseniority.

“Surveys and Democracy” The Fortune survey did a fine job of predicting the outcome of the election. Unfortunately, someone opened a window on the day that it was discussed in editorial, and let all the traffic noise in. 

Charles J. V. Murphy, “The War of the Bombers”
Americans arrived in Europe with a faith in daylight precision bombing by self-defending formations of bombers. Everyone told them that they were wrong, that it would be  a massacre. Air Chief Marshal Harris tried to convert them to his ghastly ways of aerial massacre –ie, area bombing by night. Eaker argued at Casablanca for a daylight offensive, arguing that the Germans had too many troops in western Europe for an invasion to succeed without first destroying the German war economy. This led on to the “almost suicidal” summer 1943 attacks. But, by the winter of 1943—44, reinforced by long-range fighters and ever more bombers, they triumphed.

 and were able to settle down to the main business of preparing the way for the invasion. 

Attacks on ball-bearing plants really worked.

 but won’t any more, due to the belated German retreat underground.

“Freeing Paris”

Emlen Etting’s beautiful water-colours-on-newspaper street scenes of Paris.

“Two Pipelines for Sale?” The Big Inch and the Little Big Inch have turned out to be very useful. So perhaps the Government should sell them to private operators? Controversy ensues! The Big Inch even makes a profit of 22 cents per barrel of oil delivered at New York, while the Little Big Inch takes 65 cents.

“The Big Dirt Diggers” The general discussion of the coming of the “bulldozer” and its colleagues especially emphasises the Caterpillar Company, LaPlante-Choate, which claims to have invented it; and the California interlopers of Letourneau, which has gotten away from tracks to go back to tyres. The LeTourneau challenge has led Caterpillar to vertically organise to sell a full range of equipment from tractors to big dozers, as well. The postwar era, with its ambitious agenda of road and airport building, should be highly profitable to these companies.

Eugene V. Rostow, “The Great Transition” Reconstructing world trade will involve tariff repeal, foreign loans, and even gold exports. The Sterling area will need to be dismantled, and exchange controls dropped –the question is how, when Britain is in such sorry shape. A full-employment policy which would keep consumption, hence imports, hence prices, high at home, would make British exports uncompetitive. “Statist” British policies, such as seem to be favoured by The Economist, in a great turn away from its Manchester tradition, would be a disaster for Britain, and for the world, Rostow says. Italy, which has been entirely wrecked by the war, is an even more challenging case, and Rostow argues for UNRRA loans.

“America and the Future” “Maybe, as some people say, we shall be at war with Soviet Russia within a generation, but…” Here is a picture of an American pilot handing off a P-39 to a Russian in Alaska. Alaska is close to Russia, and we gave the Russians lots of planes we didn’t particularly want! They should be grateful, and also close! We can practically drop in and shoot the breeze with them, if we live in Alaska, and they live in Siberia, and also if those two places are closer than they look on very large-scale maps. Besides, isolationists and leftists are weirdly united behind giving the Russians what they want. (Poland, plus trimmings.) The Daily News even offered Manchuria and Outer Mongolia, but that strikes me as a step too far for the church ladies, and for Mr. Luce, their best friend.

John Hersey, “Dialogue on Gorky Street” and “What Business with Russia? Her Consumer Demands: Immense but Ineffective: Her Producer’s Needs: Huge and Sovereign, but Credit and Caviar will Determine Their Dollar Volume” Magnitigorsk is huge. Lots of people are moving to the Siberian industrial towns. Russia made many tanks, etc. But they need much investment, beginning with railways before they can have indoor plumbing, which they would quite like.

“The Russians Can Manage: Red Tycoons, Operating on a Planned Basis, Earn God Livings as They Boost the Still Modest Level of State Industrial Production” Eric Johnston was in Russia. Eric Johnston! He found much to like in Mikhail Kulagin and Anastas Mikoyan.

The Farm Column

Ladd Haystead tells us that 1945 will be the transition year! Remember the famine that was on in 1943 and off in 1944? It was on again, but no-one told us, and now it is off again! The postwar American diet will be “more adequate” than it has been in the past! In fact, over-production is a possibility. But justyhou wait for a grasshopper or cinch-bug scourge combined with a drought. Or a hurricane, such as the current Florida citrus disaster. I don’t know if you’d call it a disaster when the price of oranges is up so nicely, but what do I know? In short, this is the time for investment to prevent future over-production? Or under-production?

“Faulknerising Soil” Turns out not to be ploughing Pulitzer Prize-winning novels into the soil to improve their rich lushness of prose, but rather using a rotary tiller to get the same improvement as multiple ploughings. It was invented recently in Oregon, by Gustave O. Matter, and in Wisconsin, by Seaman Motors, and by the Swiss and English (Gyro-Tiller), a generation ago, for use in truck-intensive areas such as California, the Great Lakes, and, I guess, Switzerland. But they might be used in the South, as well, in which case they might make for less picturesque poor people for Mr. Faulkner to write about, in which case Faulknerisation could lead to de-Faulknerisation.

“Where Corn Doesn’t Take” It wouldn’t be a Haystead column without a story about alternate fodder crops. In this case, sorghum and related grasses! Arizona Hegari and Kaffir Grass are new to me. In “Short Cuts,” he tells us about, among other things, a celery-planting machine and a spinach harvester, both in use up the Valley.

Source: Kelly

Alexander Meiklejohn, “A Reply to John Dewey” In the August issue of Fortune, John Dewey was a cranky old man about the current state of American educational theory. John Dewey thinks that we should study modernity, for example, science, not old stuff, like the classics. But St. John’s College bases its entire education on classics, and its students are turning out fine. John Dewey is wrong. Our students should study the classics, and then science. Or both at the same time.

Books and Ideas

Last month we made heavy weather of F. A. Hayek on the Road to Serfdom, this month, the paper reads Karl Polanyi on the Great Transformation. It turns out that whatever road we have been travelling, it goes in another direction. So while Fred and Karl point at the map and argue, this might be a good time to powder our noses?

Business Abroad

The International Business Conference was an enormous success. Gold exports are more important than ever, because gold, unlike paper money, can’t appreciate and can’t be printed in unlimited quantieies. An American mission to Liberia discussed a navy base, iron ore mining, rubber production. Oil needs to be talked about.

Business at War

I am beginning to think that Uncle’s beloved Mr. Janeway has left the paper, which is too bad. On the one hand, this column is now useful. On the other, it is useful. It is much harder to make fun of the  Argus Corporation, of Ann Arbor, Michigan than some half-written claim that the problems of American industry are shown by the fact that we put too many knobs on our lathes. Argus used to make midget AC/DC radios and cameras, for which they made lenses. Then war came, and everybody made money. In Argus’s case, it was on binoculars and radios. Postwar, they want to get back to cameras. If you're asking yourself, "so what?" Argus used to be badly managed, and it took an intervention of Chicago investment banker Jay H. Leason to put its bookwork on a sound footing. So the poit of the article is that good management is good.Or that Jay Leason is a jolly good fellow.

Fortune Survey

People’s approval of Congress, Social Security rises. 48.9% of people expect a depression in the next ten years, 40.9% don’t., which is better than last year, when 50.6% expected one, and just 35.9% didn’t. Dewey voters are much more pessimistic than Roosevelt voters. 63.8% of those surveyed thought  that American business would continue to grow after the war. The President is much better trusted than congress with the settlement of the war. The richer people are, the better they expect postwar relations with Russia to be – a bit of a surprise, given the clich├ęs about the rich being anti-communist. Most people expect the war to be over in the next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment