Saturday, March 19, 2016

Postblogging Technology, March 1946, I: Baking Alaska

By Kimberly Vardeman from Lubbock, TX, USA - Baked AlaskaUploaded by Willscrlt, CC BY 2.0,
Mr. R_. C_.,
Chateau Laurier,
Ottawa, Canada.

Dear Father: 

I do not think that anyone imagined that, when you were called to Ottawa, you would be away so long! Well, now Mr. Gouzenko is in the news --although not, alas, due to my self-imposed limits, in this letter, and the fat is well in the fire. Or, the hot syrup is in the cold ice cream if you are cooking like Westinghouse. Hopefully, you will no longer be of use, and you can go  home and guard your gardens from teenagers looking for places to drink.

As you will know from the newspapers, the Russians have said that they received "offers of useless technical information." This might be taken as an admission that they know about the Americans' little "walk-in." Though I do not know if the FBI is conceding defeat yet. Not that anyone besides the Director is surprised! I suppose that now if the Americans want to know about the Presidents' aides who were allegedly involved, they will have to break the Russian one-time-pads, after all. I do not know if the Americans really want to do that, but, if they do, it's just as well that Wong Lee held on to a few of them. 

An innocent mistake, of course. He was distraught about domestic events, and became confused. We shall say. It will be very amusing. Some people are, of course, aware that the Soongs sent people to murder Great Uncle (and me, and my children) that night.

Your youngest is to report to Bikini for the summer; we have word that James' presence there is also expecteds. It will be very interesting, though it means he is not to get his full half-pay period. Your boy is down at mouth, somewhat, as I think he was hoping to spend his summer in a nice staff appointment in San Francisco or Honolulu. I had not the heart to disabuse him of the notion that he would get anything as nice in life as falls in Lieutenant A_'s lap. At least he is not exiled to Alaska, like Ensign Wong! 

As for Lieutenant A_ , he will be in Washington, "Miss V.C." tells us, and points contiguous, searching for hopefully imaginary (as leaving more time for jitterbugging) communists.  


The Economist, 2 February 1946


“Assumption D” The White Paper on the Beveridge Plan lays out the enormous cost of the future social security state. (Notably retirement pensions, which will eat up two-thirds of all benefits ((total £758 million)) by 1978.) The paper says that the country can only have it if it is willing to sacrifice and save to bring the country’s productive capacity to full technical efficiency, which is “assumption D.”

Because the problem with British industry in this period was that it just wasn't innovative enough. By MigMigXII - Animated from CAD drawing, CC BY-SA 3.0,

“Divided Germany” The four occupying powers have very different visions for Germany, and are pursuing them in their zones. Britain’s is the best, because it is economically rational, with steel production and heavy industry, Russia’s the worst, because it has communism. Americans have no consistent policy, because they are feckless. The French have a bad policy, because they are foreigners. There should be a unified Germany, and it should follow the British policy.

“Civil Aviation Progress” Time to talk about talking about etc. More airports needed, more planes. “The evidences now available that British civil aviation, after so much talk, is really on the point of getting in the air, making the best of what resources it can scrape together, may prove to be the best solvents of the atmosphere of transatlantic asperity that has crept into recent discussion of the subject.”

“National Insurance Bill –A Summary” If the Earl is interested, he will know all of this by now.

Notes of the Week

“Unproductive Coal Debate” The paper found the debate very tedious, whereas it should have been historic. The paper wishes there had been more discussion of the proposal to block the Government stock issued to the coal companies to prevent “unnecessary disturbance and improper manipulation” in the gilt-edged market. But what itreally wanted to hear was a full plan for spending the £150 million in newcapital to be invested in the mines under nationalisation. The paper is an expert on coal mining, and would be able to tell from the proposals whether the national will actually get full technical efficiency.

I'm sure The Economist would run photos like this, if it ran photos.

This is a machine that automates brain work. Perhaps it requires pointing out that when I  make fun of The Economist's "full technical efficiency" dodge on wages, I am getting close to having to add a "Public Engagement" tag to this post. If eveyone would just stop writing think pieces about how automation took all the good jobs? Think of the blog!

“The Trade Disputes Bill” The paper is not too upset about the repeal of the Trade Disputes Act of 1927, as for now the TUC doesn’t seem eager to have a general Strike, which is what the bill was intended to prevent.

“Uno and Azerbaijan” The Security Council had a lively debate over Azerbaijan. There are to be direct negotiations, and the Russians have turned the Persian state railways over to Iran.

“Uno’s First Secretary General” Is a Norwegian named, per the News, Trygve Lie.” I can’t in a million years imagine someone being able to back translate those characters into the original Romanisation.

“Uno in Committee” The very important question of secret balloting is discussed.

Mutiny in the RAF” The “strikes” at twelve RAF stations in the Far East show that the Government is BUNGLING demobilisation. 

The Prime Minister, however, made it clear that events in Indonesia were not delaying demobilisation. In other words, we are not going to be holding a war in Indonesia if it actually takes men to do it. The armed forces will stabilise at 1.5 million men, which will require a future national service period of 4 years, meaning some men now in uniform will stay there for four more years. It is also likely that this will prove to be too optimistic, as volunteering is likely to fall off in peacetime, and full employment and a falling birthrate will also have their effects, “Improved conditions of science will not offset all these influences.”(?)

“Local Government Staff Scheme” Talking about talking about local government is probably more important than the next note, deliriously titled “Transfer of Functions Bill.”

The French are excitable. The paper takes this opportunity to present an abject apology for doubting that General de Gaulle would actually resign, knocking its forehead to the ground three times before the readership. One of these things I said is not actually true. Egyptians are also excitable.

“British Relations with Poland” General Anders’ army is is described as having as its mission the carrying of “anti-Bolshevist jehad” into Poland, and “while it waits for its D-Day, and the third world war which it hopes is imminent, it finds some diversion in terrorising Italian Communists, Socialists and even moderate centre groupings.” Yet, as of now, it not only enjoys British protection, but is allowed to continue recruiting. Now, a bill has been presented to Warsaw to wind up the affairs of the London Government, amounting to a third of the prewar Polish state budget. Meanwhile yet more, the British government has demanded the end of the “police state” in Poland, even as word comes that 900 Polish communists and socialists have been murdered there in the last six months. In short, British relations with Poland are bad, and it is the Government’s fault for being so rightist(!)

“Diplomatic Appointments” Sir Archibald Clark Kerr is to go to Indonesia, as we have heard. Malcolm MacDonald will go to Singapore as the first Governor-General of the Malayan Union, and some Labour hacks are going to the Dominions.

“World Labour” There is to be another of those world meetings of socialist-type labour-union-type people. It might be occasional, or permanent. Who can tell without actually reading?

“Inside Information?” An actuarial report suggests that the total unemployment rate under “full employment” may be higher than some people expect.

“LCC Education Awards” There will be more scholarships for poor children. Also, “Grants to Stay in School”

“House Conversion” Large blocks of older housing could be very economically converted into housing for more people under modern conditions, but all sorts of difficulties can be imagined that seem to require legislation, which the Government probably won’t get to, because it is busy repealing the Trade Dispute Act.

The Kuriles” The Kurile Islands are now occupied by Russia, and Russia wants to keep them. The paper thinks that this is absurd.

Home, sweet home in the Kurile Islands.

“General Morgan and Unrra” The paper congratulates the Unrra for having the sense to keep General Morgan on. Zionists are horrible, and have undue influence on Congress.

In shorter notes, the paper is “not unpleased” by Mr. Atlee’s response to the appeal of the “Save Europe Now Committee.” The Ministry of labour is looking at staggered holidays. Supplies of dried eggs are to cease effective immediately. Building worth more than £10 will continue to require a license for another six months.


Anthony Brooks, the Rajah Muda of Sarawak, writes to point out that Sarawak is an independent country, and not a colony. E. R. B. Roberts wants the country to produce “50,000 self-discharging50 or 60-ton American type of [coal] wagons,” because the small ones used inBritain lack full technical efficiency. Michael Polanyi, writing from the Oakley Arms in a place in Wales never mentioned in the San Francisco Chinese press and which I am not going to try to transliterate, says that the paper should not “take it for granted that a high and stable level of employment can only be achieved by promoting a balanced and expensive investment programme.” He thinks that “a policy of compensating budget deficits incurred in governing normal public expenditures” will suffice. G. W. Quick Smith, General Secretary of the National Road Transport Federation, puts the Road hauliers’ case against nationalisation.

I like to think of this as a cautionary tale about capital mobility.

The World Overseas

“The French Crisis” From Our Paris Correspondent
The crisis has reached a new stage, as interesting as the last.

“Dominion and Provincial Taxation”  Needless to say, the dispute threatens Canadian reconversion and will no doubt doom the dominion.

Japanese Agriculture” General MacArthur has decided to abolish feudalism. Japan evidently needs something, as it has only 14.9 million acres of cultivated land, 7.4 million acres of pasture and waste and 52.4 million acres of forest. 3,427 landowners had estates of more than 125 acres, 46,000 had estates of between 26 and 124 acres, and the rest were smaller, with tenant farmers on small plots doing the actual work, absentee landlords, landless and land-hungry peasants, and most farming done by hand. The average rice crop in the 1930s was 12.1 million metric tons, falling to only 8.9 million in 1945. In peacetime, this was 82% of Japanese consumption, with the balance coming from Korea and Formosa. Japan had the highest yield per acre of any rice producing country save Italy, roughly three times that achieved in French Indo-China, Siam or Burma. Rice was two-thirds of total value of production, followed by silk at 16%, and wheat, barley and other cereals at 9%. Manchurian soya bean and fish made up the balance of the diet, with “meat almost unknown in the average diet,” and only a small livestock sector of 2 million cows, including only 123,000 dairy cattle, about the same as Belgium. The paper supposes that, given the climate and geography the main room for progress is in livestock. 
Kobe beef. Source.

American Survey

“Political Scientists” From Our Washington Correspondent

Scientists are talking about politics a great deal in America right now. A Federation of American Scientists has been formed, and atomic scientists have descended on Washington to explain that Galileo was right, and so are they. (About world government as the only solution to the atomic bomb.)

American Notes

“The Loan in Congress” The British loan was an opportunity for some first class grandstanding in Congress. Southern Democrats are presently filibustering the Employment Practdices Committee in the Senate, so the loan can only be considered if the act to establish the committee is shelved. If not, the gentlemen of the south will continue to read the Bible, backwards and forwards, and make anti-Semitic and anti-Negro speeches until the cows come home. Senator Bilbo continues to threaten to 30-day speeches.

“Strategic Islands” The revelation that President Roosevelt promised the Russians the Kuriles in Yalta was the occasion for Americans as well as Britons to have opinions, and not maps or memories.

“Mr. Stassen Emerges” The paper notices that Time is all in for Stassen, and supposes that it must mean something for 1948. Of course it does! That Governor Warren will be the nominee!

In shorter notes, John L. Lewis has led the United Mineworkers back into the AFL. General Eisenhower’s recommendations to slow down demobilisation were rejected by the Senate. Federal anti-trust action against Alcoa has been dropped in return for the granting of all the company’s patents to the government. The veterans of the 36th Division have demanded a Congressional investigation into the decision toassault the Rapido, with the suggestion, again, that Mr. Churchill, since he is in Florida, could drop by Washington and tell everyone that he personally ordered Field-Marshal Alexander to order General Clark to carry out the attack.

You know what's hard? Finding a source on the Internet that will talk about Richard McCreery bracing Clark at Salerno.

The Business World

“Policy for British Shipping” In 1939, America had 8.9 million grt of shipping 13.6% of world tonnage; the United Kingdom had 18 million 27.3%. In 195, the United Kingdom, having built 7 million but lost 10.7, was down to 12.2 million grt of dry cargo, 3.7 million of tankers. (The balance is “chartered vessels,” which are not counted int the 1939 totals, I assume.) America, meanwhile, had achieved 26 million dry, 8 million tanker. Britain needs more shipping, America needs to have less. However, the Americans cannot dump their war shipping on the global market at a price low enough to attract buyers for their not-terribly suitable ships, which is what a private bill before Congress would do. There needs to be talking about talking, of course.

“The Commodity Markets”

Sir Stafford Cripps recently said in Liverpool that the Liverpool Cotton Exchange would not be reopened, raising the spectre of a future of rationalised, government bulk buys of global commodities, presumably to even out price fluctuations and achieve economies, etc. The paper is pleased to quote “Miss Gerda Blau” to the effect that this would be impractical, and that futures markets are essential to the smooth working of global trade. The futures markets also earn Britain considerable foreign exchange, and so should be kept if at all possible.

Business Notes

 The trend to lower interest rates has abated. Some unpleasant allegations about the current handling of import licenses suggests that they might be better abolished. The new Investment Control Act is raising doubts in the City. There is something called an Issuing Houses Association. Several firms have issued bills to raise capital. Some people think that the Government is BUNGLING exports. Britain’s new plan for aid for Greece is a brave new start. A £10 million credit and a waiving of 46 million in outstanding debts will surely save the day. Caution is called for in regards to Imperial Tobacco’s returns. It has been noted that there is “currency chaos” in Italy. The European Coal Commission will from now on issue monthly reports. The Rubber Development Corporation, a branch of the American Reconstruction Finance Corporation, is buying 300,000 tons of natural rubber in Southeast Asia at 20.5 cents a pound. This large purchase confirms earlier reports that the stockpile is substantial, and the price is good. The paper, however, sees disaster in the future as the price of synthetic rubber continues to go down. 
I gather that accident scene investigation was pretty traumatic in 1946

A new five pound note is going into circulation to, among other things, reduce counterfeiting, black marketing, and tax evasion. The Nationalists are bungling the re-opening of Chinese foreign exchange markets. A report on the state of the Japanese and German textile industries is expected soon, but will require political discussions before anything happens.

Time, 4 February 1946


Last 7 January, the paper ran an article about “The Two Governors.” North Carolina’s governor reduced the death sentence of a 14-year-old Coloured boy sentenced to death for burglary and rape, while Florida’s Governor declined to call the lynching death of a Coloured boy accused of raping a 5-year-old, a lynching, on the grounds that the boy had it coming. This has provoked considerable correspondence on the subject, ranging from North Carolinians defending North Carolina to Floridians defending Florida. The paper, however, admits that the circumstances of JesseJames Payne’s death were completely misdescribed, as were the Governor’s statements on it. It was a horrible mistake and crime, but one for which no-one should ever be punished in any way. 

Daniel Ashler reports that surplus war equipment on Saipan is being destroyed. Arthur Upham Pope, director of the Iranian Institute in New York City, writes to say that the recent article in the paper about Iran was awful in various ways. The paper agrees. Ivan Kirkhouse, of Toronto, is upset about the cover story about the Prime Minister of Canada, because he is boring and unpopular. Although, as the paper points out, he was also just re-elected. A Serviceman, Name Withheld, writes to suggest that Headquarters, Antilles Command, is a bit bonkers.

National Affairs

Leading off with the President, the paper points out that Truman’s belief that compromise and conciliation between various interests and parties could be the rule of the day in Washington, was hilariously naïve. Various GOP senators are skeptical that the President’s legislative agenda is feasible, on account of the fact that they will stop it, perhaps.

Later, it turned out that the President was playing eleventy-dimension chess.

Several pages of strike news coverage follow. Settlements, new disputes, old settlements coming unglued, etc. The Civil Liberties Union is particularly upset about “secondary picketing,” in which strike lines are thrown up around allied businesses. Nicholas Murray Butler, the 83-year-old president emeritus of Columbia, helpfully suggests “prevent[ing] strikes and lockouts by law –absolutely.” On the other hand, a number of “cinemactresses” and actors are supporting the strikers. The paper disapproves, but not enough to not print a picture of Olivia de Havilland in  décolletage. 
Not this picture, but the same style. Source.

One David Silberman, President of Cap-Tin Development Corporation, which makes zippers, calls for strikers to stop striking, and for management to pay workers what they are worth, on account of their customers as well as employees, so that there will be enough supplies and labour so that he can get on with making zippers to meet all the demand. The AFL Air Line Pilot’s Association, on the other hand, which is demanding a raise of $6,500/year, gets the prize for being the most excessive union.

Political Notes

Chep Morrison has been elected as Independent Democratic mayor of New Orleans, in a huge upset, although he is still no progressive, resisting calls for a Sunday blue law, for example. 

Harold Stassen is wonderful, and Frank Carlson may be the next Governor of Kansas. Almost like a state is the Philippines, where the paper is keen on Manuel Roxas.

Army and Navy

There is to be a central intelligence office, directed by a National Intelligence Authority, created in new legislation. Admiral William Souers, a reservist best known for running the Piggly-Wiggly chain, will be its first head.

“The Unknown Ally” Filippinos are treating Nisei interpreters attached to the Manila War Crimes trials horribly. Also in the news is Ike, in trouble over BUNGLING demobilisation, and the closing of the “Black Hole of Le Mans,” the Loire Detention Centre, or “Continental Stockade,” which wasawful. A poll of G.I.s in Germany shows that up to 30% agreed with various inflammatory positions. Carl Spaatz says that he has no intention of entering national politics. There was talking at the UNO. But that is International, not Army and Navy --for now, as the paper would say.

World shipping news covers the same facts as The Economist, but with a chart.

Foreign News

Britons, Poles and French are excitable. Per the paper, it is anti-communists being murdered in Poland, not communists and socialists. However, the paper does note that General Anders does seem to be sending in agents. Generalissimo Franco says that Spain will have democracy once the people are ready. The droughts have broken in South Africa. The paper manages to suggest that White prayers worked better than Coloured prayers (because they broke on the Reformed Church’s declared Day of Prayer), without, of course, giving any countenance to such absurd superstition. But still. . .

“The Most Tragic” Correspondent Robert Sherrod says that he has seen no-one more humiliated and exhausted during the Pacific War then the Dutch internees now rolling into Batavia under Indonesian National Army guard. A quarter-million Dutch and Eurasians used to lord it over Java, but the Japanese routed them with ease, and the Javan nationalists have no respect. The British won’t let the marines land, and the Australian dockers won’t load ships bound for Java, so the Dutch must suffer.

You know, it is funny the way people write as though once the Japanese landed in Java, it was just inevitable that a massively garrisoned, 128,000 square kilometer island of 50 million people would inevitably and quickly fall to the invader. 

“Ghost versus Buttercup The “Ghost” is the late Subhas Chandra Bose, who inspires Hindu nationalists of the Congress (Bengal), and the “Buttercups” are the British Calcutta police, who wear blue-and-yellow uniforms.

“A Day to Remember” The paper is very pleased with General Marshall’s peace, and prints a picture of Madame Chiang, in case anyone is in danger of forgetting what a Soong looks like. Siam and the Nationalists signed a Treaty of Amity this week.

In Japan, General MacArthur frees the brothel girls of the Yoshiwara District, the paper titters, while the Emperor publishes a gnomic poem that may be a signal to the forces of underground Japanese Fascism. Or not.

Latins remain excitable, Canadians remain boring. Though one way in which they are boring that is worth noting is that they are not having many strikes. This may be because of the WartimeLabour Regulations Act. We shall see.


Henry Ford II is the cover this week, so this is where the endless story is. He would surely be the headman at Ford even if he weren’t the old man’s grandson, because he is just so talented, nice and insightful. Various regulators are raining on Uncle Henry’s stock sale schemes. Cotton prices are up, though it can’t last. A rail accident in Gore Canyon west of Denver shows that the new control system intended to prevent accidents on the notorious Rockies route is not perfect.

CC BY-SA 3.0,

Science, Medicine, Education

Diana” Using a modified SCR-271 radar set, Lieutenant Colonel John H. DeWitt of the Signal Corps this eek bounced a radio beam off the Moon. (“Diana” is the name of the Greek goddess of the Moon.) It is thought that, in the future, the method might provide a proof of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity by measuring the location of Venus accurately enough to show that the speed of light really is invariant. ITT responded by proposing Paris-New York communications via the Moon, using high-frequency signals bouncing off the Moon’s surface.
It's all just amazingly casual. DeWitt was bored, set up a radar, shot the Moon. Then he left the army, became a television executive, retired from that in 1968, died in 1999, leaving two children by two wives. You'd expect something a bit more . . momentous.

“Sub-Atom-Smashing” Scientists atGeneral Electric announced this week that they had used their million-voltbetatron to create a meson, or mesatron. This is interesting because the betatron uses X-rays. The prevailing theory is already that cosmic rays are high-energy photons, and that they create “natural” mesons by striking atomic nuclei, which then produce mesons indirectly. The paper isn’t very clear on just how.
Cecil Powell. Maybe I'm in danger of dwelling on this too much, but this is experimental physics. They have the particles, but not the theory. What do they mean? What do they imply? People don't know.

“Sofar” Bombs bursting in water to produce signals to be detected by sonar, so the Navy can learn about the oceans.

“Bomb’s Aftereffects” The University of California’s Colonel Hymer Friedell published his report on the effects ofatomic bombing on people not immediately killed. Radiation accounted for not more than 5% of Hiroshima’s victims, and about the same at Nagasaki. Bleeding, caused by suppression of white blood cells, was the main cause of death. All damage was instantaneous. No rays “persisted” in the soil, as Japanese doctors insisted. Some Japanese were sterilised, but not necessarily permanently, an effect already known from hospital treatments. Temporary baldness was another effect.

“Flat Foot” Bobby Soxers who wear flat-heeled moccasins are reported to be having podiatric problems. The Mayo Clinic warns that flat soles will lead to flat feet, just as heels will lead to back problems. So don't where flats or heels. Got it. Doctors sure are smart!

A report from the Draft Board shows that while 43 of every 100 call-ups from city backgrounds were rejected, the ratio rose to 53 of 100 for farm districts. The conclusion is that farm country needs more doctors, and, possibly, more public health. A Navy psychiatrist says that Okinawans are the least neurotic people on Earth. He concludes this because they are not basket cases after the horrifying battle. Seems reasonable to me! 

Rollins College and the University of Northern Carolina are competing for the William Ackland bequest. Charles Cole is the new President of Amherst. The story about Mexicans being either required by law to learn to read, or to teach others to read, gets another airing. Maurice Bradford, the college graduate who killed a woman 28 years ago and went on to be the prison librarian for many years, is being considered for early release on the grounds that he has paid his debt to society by mastering the Dewey Decimal system.


Madeleine Carroll received the Legion of Honour this week for being in war work for three years. Mrs. George Lucas, of Lafayette, Indiana, was crowned most typical housewife in America. At 28, she has never left Indiana. Dr. Lise Meitner, the 67 year-old German lady physicist, arrived in New York City this week. She will be staying in America, and her first public event was the unveiling of the man-made meson. Lady Astor is making outrageous comment to the press in Virginia now, and Mrs. Laski hopes that her husband will leave politics. But not so completely that Beaverbrook can say that he ran him out. David O. Selznick’s publicity campaign for Duel in the Sun is a wonder. Chili Wiliams and Jane Russell are competing for the title of Miss March of Dimes, for charity. James Ramsay Ullman, author of The White Tower, married Elaine Heineberg Baron Luria this week. Also married, Brian Aherne and General Brereton. But not to each other. I'm not going to do that joke again, but I had to do it once.

Art, Radio, Press

Albert Pinkham Ryder, an artist who was ignored in his lifetime, did quite well in an auction of his work this week, now that he is safely 27 years dead. George Frederic Watts, also a dead artist, is also undergoing a revival. He was awful. The paper can’t decide whether he was awful, not-awful, or “not-awful.” the answer is, awful.
Siegfried and the Rhine Maidens is at the National Gallery of Art. We don't need to see 

Zenith Broadcasting is in the news for requiring its announcers to speak well. Newsreader Ed Kelley of Chicagosays silly things on air sometimes.

“Thirty Seconds over Truman” In an interesting divergence last week, one Hearst New York paper said something nice about the President, while Robert Considine, more characteristically, called him Communistic. The Hearst papers then dithered on whether to take a soft-on-Truman or hard-on-Truman stance until late in the day, when San Clemente intervened to make it clear that Considine’s line was official. In the paper’s telling, anyway.


Elizabeth Metger Howard’s Before the Sun Goes Down is a melodrama of exotic Pennsylvania (I think that’s a joke), packed with miscegenation and incest. I, personally, have trouble outing the two in the same boat, but I am not an eccentric novelist. Perhaps I should be! If that awful Englishman can make up entertaining lies about Great Uncle, why can’t I? A fable aboutbarnyard animals is the affair of the moment in London, because it is actually a parable about how bad communism is. Interestingly, it is by a leftist writer, one George Orwell. The paper really, really, really likes it. 

Because it is anti-communist, you see. It does not like Anya Seton’s The Turquoise.

The New Pictures

A mystery called The Spiral Staircase gets top billing. The paper liked it. I had it on my schedule for a second -but, well, see next week! Time is always a problem, I’m afraid. Tars and Spars, which I think started as a Navy touring show, has become a musical. It is the debut of a musical comedian named Sid Caesar, the paper says. It likes him. Another musical, Because of Him, is underwhelming.

Flight, 7 February 1946


“Shooting a Star Across America” The paper is very impressed by the four-hour flight of a Lockheed P-80 across America. It had to carry four hours worth of fuel at full throttle, never mind the tail wind assistance. It was also good throttle management by Colonel Councill. The paper hopes for a rousing speed record competition between Britain and America.

“Essential Priorities” Civil aviation needs more things.

“Certification of Foreign Aircraft” The recent British purchase of Ju-52s is to be an exception. (I should hope so!) Foreign planes will not be certified in Britain. Because they are swarthy, and smell of garlic.

“’River’-Class Evolution”

All of the Rolls-Royce engines so far have ‘river’ names. That makes them a class! Let’s look at how they have evolved. First, combustion chamber design has become more efficient. Second, compressors have got larger. Third, the bearings are cooled better, with the Derwent even getting an auxiliary fan to cool its rear bearing. Diffusers reduce stress on turbine blade tips. Fuel supply in the Derwent V is servo-controlled via a barometrically-controlled switch, has a governor, and the burner is controlled from the cockpit. (James is chuffed.)  The new Nene, even more powerful, also shows a “gratifying” (Flight speak!) reduction in the horsepower to frontal area ratio.

Here and There

The Americans are to attempt the world speed record with a P-80 at Lake Muroc. Seven seats of the British European Division of BOAC’s RAF services to Paris are released to non-VIP regular passengers, as there are not enough VIPs to fill all fifteen. Something about chiefs and Indians? 

The Home Secretary gets a laugh in Parliament by saying that he would not disclose the air police measures being taken to prevent air smugglers, since he didn’t want to tell the criminal classes about how the police are planning to catch them, very soon, with their Swiss watches and dried egg powder. The paper points out that the Home Secretary needs to talk to every single mystery book publisher, radio programme writer, and comic book illustrator about this. The RAF is shutting down its station in Dorval soon. England gives France a used Lysander as a present. Jim Mollison reached Rio alive, promptly embarrassed England again in some way. Since stories about Imperial airliners running into ant hills and being resupplied by porters with gasoline tanks on their heads were so popular in the Thirties, the paper tries one out about a York running into a swarm of locusts in Nairobi. 

John Yoxall, “Disarming and Policing: Work of the Royal Air Force on the Continent: End of the Luftwaffe: Famous Squadron Now in Berlin” The RAF is in charge of blowing up German ammunition dumps, demobilising the Luftwaffe, and conducting routine training exercises in which Bomber Command “raids” from England are intercepted by Germany-based RAF fighters, including night fighters, with the cooperation of the remains of the German Flak organisation. Also, Germany is “coming back to life” in a slow recovery. The factories outside of towns are commencing operations. Russian Air Force maintenance operations are very rudimentary. Yoxall got very drunk in the 33 Squadron mess.

John R. Taylor, “Superfortress: The Genealogy of a Notable Long-range Heavy Bomber” Beginning with the B-17, Boeing scaled it up to make the XB-15, followed by the Model 322, 333A, 333B, 334, 334A, 341, and 345 before building the B-29. Most of these were strictly drawing-board-and-wind-tunnel-models, though, and there were also yet more experimental engines that never went anywhere, in this case the Pratt andWhitney “flat” 1800s. The real key to success was better aerofoil sections.
The paper reminds us that Illife Company technical publications can be found at better London magazine and booksellers.

Civil Aviation

“Empire and Atlantic: Details of Future BOAC Services: The Three New Main Lines: Increased Frequency and Speed” In the future, BOAC will have express rocket service to the Moon. Oh, no, the means in the near future. In the near future, actual British civil planes will civilly fly the Atlantic. Also, Australia, New Zealand, India, those sorts of places. It will be 17 hours London-Gander-New York, with 14 services per week, and four per week, taking 52 hours, London-Hong Kong via Germany, India, Hanoi, and on to Tokyo.

Percival Aircraft is working on a new twin-engined feeder type. Grumman is replacing the Goose with the Mallardamphibian. There is air service to Alderney again, and to Transjordan on Arab Airways. The paper decides to print the story about Argentina buying Sunderlands again. It’s just so exciting that someone actually bought five flying boats!
By Eugene Butler -, GFDL 1.2,

“The European Set-Up: Northolt as Terminal: Practical Direction: Priority Necessities”
Heathrow is open, but not as an airport. (I can see that being a bit confusing.) So RAF Northolt has finally been turned over for civil operations. Now it is only necessary to sort out all those practical difficulties that The Economist loves so much. I’m sure that it will turn out to be impractical to actually land airliners at Northolt without legislation, with perhaps an inquiry first, with a full airing of the issues. Speaking of Heathrow, it is not to get a Fido installation, after all. Also, some things need to be done at Heathrow in the way of finishing touches, such as completely reorienting the runways, rerouting the Bath road, and appropriating the villages to its north as far as the Scottish border.

“Civil Aviation Licensing [Snore]”

“Exhibition of German Aeronautical Developments” Let’s all come and gawk at the things that German engineers were allowed to draw, model or in some cases even build while Berlin was preoccupied with losing the war.

American Newsletter

“Kibitzer” tells us that American manufacturing companies are entertaining all sorts of novel schemes to make it impossible to actually tell how much their products cost. They include versions of leasing and even a plan by Allison to “rent” engines to companies while taking care of all expenses, possibly including fuel and oil. “Kibitzer” thinks that British companies can learn from this. He is also upset that his flight was cancelled at the last minute the other day. Various ways of making air travel more popular have been floated, including attractive flight stewardesses. 
Original annotation by some guy, many years ago.

“Kibitzer” thinks that reducing fares is the way to go. He tells an amusing story about a free seat promotion in which “wives fly too,” which ended after questionnaires were sent to the wives asking how they enjoyed the experience. . . with predictable results.

“High Speed Flight: The Second of Dr. Hooker’s Cantor Lectures” Dr. Hooker gave a talk to the Royal Society of Arts about how planes go very fast, and should go faster, vroom vroom.

The RAF reminds everyone that they can apply for permanent commissions, and a joint air-sea anti-submarine school has been formed.

Major F. A. de V. Robertson, V.D., “Coastal Command’s Own War: Part II: The Anti-Shipping Campaign” Beaufighters have rockets now. Eventually. As usual with Robertson, most of the first column is spent just getting us up to 1940, and the second gets us to 1941, leaving the second page of the article (and a shorter page it is) for the last three years of the war, when Coastal Command actually had an anti-shipping campaign, strictly speaking.


John Lawson Corkdale writes to point out that the old Wellington I had a better range performance than the Lancaster. That’s the one without bulletproof tanks, though. J.B. explains why Heathrow needs to be reoriented so that it will be easier for large, heavily laden planes to land. G. Morris, of Rolls-Royce, uses various numbers to prove that late model Merlins are even more superb than the 3000hp Sabre.

Time, 11 February


Robert Moses, the New York Parks Board Commissioner, writes to complain about a recent story. He tells us that he is not, in fact, a rude tyrant. The paper apologises, and makes up to itself by publishing a mistaken letter about a mistake by H. E. Harley, of “Oskaloosa, Iowa,” and making fun of the bumpkin. 

The Robert Moses book on Ben Urich's bookshelf doesn't actually show up in this clip, but it does, earlier.

Several writers are underwhelmed by the recent profile of WAVE Director Captain Mildred Helen McAfee, who is also a rude and domineering tyrant. Ivor Griffith, of the American Pharmacist’s Association, writes to say that his industry is not “disappearing,” after all. Rounding out the mistakes-correcting are several persons writing about the actual status of the toboggan run at St. Moritz(!) and the actual size of the Bank of America. (Including Lord Brabazon.)

National Affairs

The President got Cinemoppet Margaret O’Brien’s autograph this week.

The paper covers American newspapermen being indignant at British, British newspapermen being superior to Americans, the fuss over the suggested UNO enclave on the New York Connecticut border, and a liner carrying 451 British war brides and many children arrived in New York after a stormy passage, carrying four-year-old Claire Fiedler, who told the press that the first thing she was going to do in Chicago with her father was “kill tigers.”

“Part Payment of Victory” A new report says that America spent a lot on Lend-Lease, received a pretty large amount of Reverse Lend-lease by any measure except the out-of-scale numbers of war.
“Blast and Backlash” The American Legion is said by critics to be bloated and inefficient.

“Defence in Depth” Women like shopping at Gimbels. Women sure are funny!
Thanks to science, now even the ladies can put a record on the turntable!

“Good and Faithful Servant” Harry Hopkins has followed his master into the grave. Also tragic, United Flight 14,Denver-bound from Boise, crashed this week with the loss of all 21 on board, and the fact that Lieutenant Ben Toland died at Iwo Jima, since, unlike many who died there, he was handsome, well-born, and got good grades at Yale. Also, he left his money to charity, the AFL, the CIO, and the National Association of Manufacturers, split equally in the interest of labour peace.

Army and Navy

“Back of the Barn” The first of a series of atomic bomb tests to be conducted at Bikini Atoll in the South Seas is almost ready to go.

There are a disturbing niumber of Youtube videos of very young girls dancing to this song.

“Distaff, Dismissed!” The women’s branches of the services are all almost demobilised, because the Marines (. . . of course) and Coast Guard don’t want them at all, and the Army and Navy are still working on post-war legislation.

“It May Work” The Great thing about the UNO, (Uno in England), is that it can be a place where people can talk about talking about everything. As witness this page and a half of pure, international grade boredom. It might be about the continuing story of where they’re going to talk, or possibly about the next war we are going to have. I can’t tell without reading it.

“Eggs and Loans” The paper gives another version of the powdered egg debacle. It’s about the British not really understanding what a pickle they are in, and if they don’t shut up soon, they will endanger the French loan, as all this ingratitude will make the Senate surly.

“Progress Report” The President is briefed on the McMahon Act. Various news stories about the Russian effort to build their own atomic bomb come out –some from Russian sources. Father Siemes, a German Jesuit who was working in a mission hospital in Hiroshima, writes a report on the atomic bombing. It was awful, he says. And I actually mean awful.

“Memories” Not entirely unrelated, various survivors testify about German concentration camps at various trials.

“The General is Vindicated” It is fine to write and say anti-Semitic things if Jews are actually awful. Says the paper, and not, for example, "He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it."

“The Other Soviet Front” Russians keep telling everyone that anyone who thinks that Russia has the resources or energy to try to take over the world right now is deluding themselves. The country needs food and shelter before it can hope to move on to fripperies like new samovars. After there are tractors, and sleighs, and doorknobs, then, maybe, some day, tanks.

“The Peasant and the Tommy Gun” The President of Poland is the cover story this week, because, samovar shortage notwithstanding, Poland may be going communist under Russian supervision.

“This Barren Land” The title of a Welsh hymn signifies that life is pretty hard in the Welsh coalfields right now. Which is why nationalisation is going through.

“Independent Isles” The islands of Turn and Turbot, off Galway County in Ireland, continue to maintain that they are an “untaxable republic,” and avoid taxes.

French and Germans are excitable, and the Communists have shut down the Alamanach de Gotha this week.

“Happy New Year” The paper covers the Lunar New Year in China, and even has a puff piece about Chairman Mao and his wife. Though the paper still can’t bear not to make fun of Kalgan.

Latins are excitable, Canadians are boring –especially in their lack of strike action, which is again explained by their labour legislation.


Stocks are up. There is an actual aviation settlement! Britain gets regulated fares, Americans get unrestricted flights, and anyone can pick up passengers in third countries.

“Factory-Built Solution” Now there are steel houses in America, too, thanks to Gunnison, Precision-Built, American Homes, Anchorage Homes, Johnson Quality Homes, and something called “Dymaxion Dwelling Machines,” offered through Fuller Houses, Incorporated, formed by an inventor named R. Buckminster Fuller.

“Shirt off Your Back” Now underwear is in short supply.

“After the Baked Alaska” Westinghouse had an event at the Astoria to show off its electric ranges. Not only fridges, freezers and stoves which can make Baked Alaskas, etc, but a “laundromat,” which is an automatic washing macine that fills itself, washes the clothes, spins them, drys them, empties them, and then cleans itself. The firm is on strike, though, so don’t expect them on sale in Canada tomorrow.

Science, Medicine

“Bombs on Ice” Captain Eddie Rickenbacker this week proposed using atomic bombs to crack the Antarctic iceshelf and expose the wealth of minerals that might be under the 1800ft thickcover. It’s quite an elaborate plan, too. Bomber squadrons in Argentina, paratroopers to set up advanced bases, dog sled teams becacuse let’s be practdicala here for amaomment. British geophysicists apparently want to do both polar ice caps at the same time. However, Australian scientist Dr.Edgeworth David points out that melting bout ice caps would raise sea levels about 50 feet, which seems like it would rule out Captain Rickenbacker’s plan. What a spoilsport! Now we'll never actually bake Alaska!

Be sure to tune in to Captain Eddie's latest radio show, The World’s Most Honoured Flights, Mutual, Sunday, 3 PM.

“How to Liquidate Heredity” Dr. T.D. Lysenko, a Russian, has a book out which argues that heredity is not inherited, after all.

“Stargazers” By careful observation, Dr. Nicholas E. Wagman, of the Univedrsity of Pittsburgh, has determined that the giant star, Alpha Ophiuchi, is orbited by a tiny dwarf star. (The Duke is orbited by his nephew.) Dr. Zdenek Kopal of Harvard has determined that Zeta Aurigae experiences wild changes of brilliance. Dr. Luis Enrique Erro, of the Mexican Astropphysical Laboratory, casts doubt on Einstein’s theory of curved space, and revives the theories of Dr. Birkhofff of Harvard. “Closer” to home, sunspot activity cuts off radio communication across the Atlantic.

The Wikipedia article doesn't even mention his hostility to Einsteinian special relativity. 

General Eisenhower has an honourary degree, and Fulton College in Missouri has quite the get –it is to host a talk by Winston Churchill on March 5th. Beloit College, in Wisconsin, is apparently quite the place for parties, in spite of being the “Yale of the west.” Incoming male freshman at the University of Iowa are being told to be less repulsive if they want to meet coeds. Good advice!

A three-year-old Detroit native named Sandra Dildine was sent home this week to die of Wilms tumour, and a would-be prosthetic-hand inventor named Boon Stiles was released from San Quentin, having served two years for writing a bad cheque. Vitamin B might be a cure for Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and there is new hope for babies suffering from retrolental fibroplasia.


Forever Amber star Peggie Cummins is taking the plunge –on necklines! 

Though as Ann Corio says, Hollywood might not follow suit, because “90% of the girls in Hollywood have nothing to expose in the first place.” 

Also outrageous: Lady Astor. She really is a gift to the press. Major Arthur Wermuth, the former “One Man Army of Bataan,” announced that he is running for the Senate in Michigan, and knows nothing, nothing about an alleged Mrs. Wermuth, back in Manila. Field-Marshal Montgomery (for some reason called “General”) is announced as the new CIGS, and Viscount Alamein. “Glitterateur” Michael Arlen has remarried. Richard Allen Knight has showed up, living common law in Mexico. Jay Gould III has had a child who will never have to work a day in his life. Helen Taft Manning, grand-daughter of the President, has married Holland Hunter. Mervyn LeRoy is married, and Frances Heenan is divorced. Carlton Cole McGee(!) and Edward Philips Oppenheimer have died.

Radio, Press, Art, Books

People think Alex Burrows is funny. Peter C. Goldmark, “Hungarian-born inventor,” put on a display of colour television in the CBS studios this week. “In  a year, if demand is great enough, colour television can be in American homes.

Toscannini has sued, successfully, against press harassment. The paper dubs this “Freedom from the Press.”

“F.P.A Surfaces Again” Everyone cares that Franklin Pierce Adams has a newspaper column again, right?

“Young Man with a Mission” Kent Cooper, of the Associated Press, held a summit in Miami this week with Christopher Chancellor, general manager of Reuters. The attached picture is honestly like the meeting of two Latin potentates.; They’re meeting to divide the Matto Grosso, or some such.
Needs moar unearned privilege!

“Question Before the House” Churchill has kept a slew of private papers that might “belong to the state.” Parliament is in a dudgeon. It’s almost as though the man wrote an entire, controversial book, based on his papers from the last war.

“Now it Can Be Told” Fletcher Pratt, military expert, has a piece in last week’s Harpers about how WWII was the “worst reported war in history.”
If you've ever wondered what the author of The Incomplete Enchanter, Not This August and The Blue Star looked like.

“Amoral Victory” The Supreme Court this week ruled that the Post Office cannot seize Esquire magazines being passed through the mails because of it finds the Vargas girls objectionable.

“South Sea Spooks” Mysterious, giant, sculpted heads are everywhere on the South Sea’s Easter Island. We don’t know anything about them, but one is on display at the Met this week, along with less mysterious South Seas art.

Yes, they brought an entire moai to New York and showed it off. This much technically impressive piece was also in the exhibit, but it's "Melanesian," so who cares?

Frances Parkinson Keyes and Robert Wilder have Very Serious Novels out. (The River Road; Written on the Wind.) They’re whining leftist claptrap, the paper says, at length. Gilbert Cant has a history of the Pacific War out. That was quick! And there is a book about Mark Twain as a business man.

The New Pictures

Clark Gable’s Adventure gets the lead off, with Greer Garson as his leading lady. It’s his first since getting back from the war. Is it good? Who cares? It has Gable. (Although apparently it is good. Sigh. I want to see this with Fanny, because no-one else will understand. Neither will she, but I can translate.) Life with Baby is a documentary shot with a new kind of camera, recording the first four weeks of a baby’s life. Sounds . . Well, I’m going to keep an open mind. It has babies, and new science, even though I do not quite see the point. Other than babies.

The Economist, 9 February 1946


“The Operation was Successful” In the sense of the old line about the operation being successful, but ht patient dying. Mr. Bevin and Mr. Vyshinsky had a fight on the floor of the General Assembly about Azerbaijan and Greece and Indonesia. Mr. Bevin won, but now the Russians are upset.

“The Cost of Housing” The Housing (Financial and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill has been tabled. It is too expensive, and is not enough money, etc. Due to the cost of housing, it is impossible to house unskilled workers. So, what? Is Britain not to have them? That doesn’t sound very practical! Perhaps they could be paid more?

“University Prospect” The labour shortage is most acute amongst administrators, business managers, scientists, teachers, architects and doctors. Pardon me for reading this as, “readers of the paper are the most important of all.” Anyway, this means that there must be more university for more deserving people, and up, up and away goes the paper on the matter of funding universities and colleges. Britain had not nearly enough college and university students (or instructors) before the war –one twentieth of that in the United States! The paper goes on to admit that American and British colleges and universities are so unlike that this is a meaningless comparison, before proceeding on the assumption that, if it is, Britons need to spend a lot more on universities and colleges. Unfortunately, there are not enough potential students, so this will also mean more spending on secondary schools. The paper is much happier to spend money on this than on retirement pensions and housing, so it goes on to explore the vastly expanded college scene of 1975, and the many, many new teachers required to staff it. There will also be many more women students, it is supposed. In 15 years, the student body will double to 100,000, and in 30, increase to 200,000. Only at this point will “black-coated unemployment” be a real possibility.

For vague relevance

“Ambassadors Extraordinary” Future British diplomats should be urbane and pleasant figures of the utmost gentility, only recruited from every social class via some miracle of testingand education which the paper can only vaguely envision. They should not be boring old trade unionists, who, obviously, have no idea how to conduct a negotiation.

Notes of the Week

“Lower Rations Again” The country wants lower rations, to save Europe, and hates lower rations, because of privation. Also, the country is very upset at the end of the dried egg ration.

“Wheat, Rice and India” There is nowa global deficit of 5 million tons of wheat. Exporting countries have 12million available, while importing countries require 17. The drought in India and trouble in Australia, North Africa and Argentina is the cause. A world shortage of wheat is a novel thing, for while there were wartime shortages due to a lack of shipping space, this time the shortage is an absolute lack of wheat. A famine worse than 1943 is threatening in India. The one thing we can all agree on is that the politicians of Congress and the Muslim League are horrible.

“Ministers’ Speeches;” “The Veto” The paper thinks that the Labour benches let Sir Ben Smith down in the Commons, and that Mr. Vyshinsky’s threat to veto something is an extension of the veto power.

“Agreement in China” The paper thinks that General Marshall’s agreement is promising. Father disagrees. He also makes it clear that he is going to remain in Singapore for the interim, as it is impossible to get his mail in Jolo, and Hong Kong is too close to the action for him. I am trying to persuade him not to send for Fat Chow. If only Easton could enter British territory! Perhaps someone could talk to his wife's family?

“The Spanish Opposition” The Spanish Pretender has arrived in Madrid to find out if the Spanish might be interested in having a king again. Most people seem to think that Spain should “evolve” away from Franco. That is, if the dinosaurs lasted a hundred million years, General Franco, at less than a hundred, is a bargain.

“Battle for Production” The present industrial situation is just like Dunkirk, in the sense that we have stabbed the French and Belgians in the back, and are now crowding our way into small boats, says the paper. Oh, no, on closer reading, it turns out that he means people should work harder, and for longer hours, just like in the war. And full technical efficiency has to be achieved, over the dead body of the TUC if necessary (or, preferably, depending on taste.)

“The National Insurance Bill” We need it, and it is too expensive.

“Labour Party Discipline” It has too much.

“Question Time” Question time is taking too long, and needs reform.

“The Levant Turns to Uno” The Syrians and Lebanese are complaining to the Uno about being occupied by the French and British. Apparently, they are on the soil of Greece, Indonesia, Persia, Syria, the Lebanon, Egypt and other places “by request,” but are wearing out their welcome.

Italians and Chileans are excitable.

“Bottlenecks in Land” Shortages of developable land are holding back redevelopment and housing. Speaking of, the paper thinks that the redevelopment of the East End and Epping is grand.

“Influenza and Manpower” The influenza epidemic has begun. Inevitable comparisons are made to the epidemic of 1919, although there is no sign of anything so devastating, either in England or on the Continent, so far. But even a mild epidemic wreaks havoc on manpower. The paper points out its own near-record number of misprints, the result of sickness amongst its printers’ staff. With doctors at one in 4000 in some parts of Britain, this is not the time for an epidemic, so perhaps the armed forces could give up some of theirs?

  “Prospects in Indo-China” The withdrawal of British troops has left two divisions of French south of the 16th Parallel, where all is relatively calm, while north of that the Viet Minh are in control, French civilians are being harassed, and the Chinese occupying troops are refusing to intervene. The paper, charmingly, assumes that Koumintang troops care about Chinese emigres living in the Viet Nam. 

“Discrimination in Southern Rhodesia” The Government is BUNGLING the supervision of the government of Southern Rhodesia, which is passing legislation which discriminates severelyagainst natives. At the very least, the paper hopes that Southern Rhodesia’sapplication to merge with Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland is rejected.
Kariba Dam, Zambezi River.

American Survey

“Dramatic Nostalgia” From Our New York Correspondent (Actually, ONYC is only “a’ New York Correspondent, and so not on retainer. It’s an important distinction, since I imagine him as an old, old, and settled man, with a tendency to apoplectic responses to New Dealish things, and a monumental self-indulgence. This week’s subject is Broadway’s offerings, which he finds very weak. Everything he wants to see, and can see, is a revival. By which he means that he wants to throw a tantrum about not being able to get a ticket to  State of the Union, but realises that that's more of an Eliot Janeway-level column, and you can't pull that sort of stuff off at this paper. Why this nostalgia? Americans did well out of the war, but, he says, they are also very tired from all that war work, and would like to retire into private life and forget about atom bombs and Uno, strikes and whining draftees. The returning soldier, if over 25, has not recovered from the trauma of the Depression, and wants only security, which he has the money in his pocket to pay for, if it is only on offer. Etc, etc. America is tried and crabby, and the President is terrible (whoops, one did not mean to say that!).

American Notes

“Strike Scene” Strikes are everywhere!

“Paying the Price” Henry Kaiser has settled with the Fontana unions, and asks whether anyone would “hesitate to save the country for 3 ½ cents.” Life calls on the country to pay the price and get on with the job. Inflationary trends may develop.

“Queue for Loans” It is thought that the total loan for foreign aid will be massive, with some suggesting $16 billion, if Russia gets the $6 billion that it says “it can use.” Senator Taft takes the occasion to suggest that the President’s budget is a sham, because it is hiding these and other costs.

“Connecticut Irredenta” Someone -ONYC, I think—makes an extended joke about the suggestion that the Uno should build its headquarters on a rural tract between New York and Connecticut, a suggestion which has provoked local unrest. American “D.P.s” might flee the ravages of the Uno across the Connecticut border. Hilarious!

The World Overseas

Czechslovaks and Portuguese are excitable. Our Dublin Correspondent is on about the Irish dairy industry.

 “Trading Resumes in Shanghai”, as commercial imports begin to filter in. The tariff schedule has been revised, but extra-territoriality privileges are gone, of course. Nevertheless, the price level in Shanghai  is a bit high for it to be a proper portal to China.

The Business World

“Unfetttered Investment” The paper discusses the Investment (Control and Guarantees) Act at length. This is rather like local government –something that the Earl surely knows far better than I.

“Wages Reviewed” There should really be a national policy, at least until the happy day when, under a system of free enterprise, we can just tell all the labour where to work, and for what.

Business Notes

It is really hard to detect trends in stock prices amidst all of the noise, but some metaphors might help, because the paper doesn’t have the space to write mysterious, paragraph-long bits about every capital issue in the last week –just some. With everyone else, is advancing tides and floating boats. The Government is BUNGLING coal nationalisation. Essential Work Orders have been cancelled. From now on, people will be free to leave the engineering industry –if, given the wages, they want to do so. Bretton Woods is excitable. Nationalisation! Railway traffic statistics are now being published again. Nothing can be detected from a single month’s figures, however. The Government is BUNGLING industrial research. The paper likes the Loveday Committee Report on Agricultural Education. The world groundnut harvest is healthy (only west African totals are down on the 1938—9 average), and must continue high for the foreseeable future, as otherwise there might not be enough to eat.

Flight, 14 February 1946


“Fighter Efficiency” The latest Air Ministry releases say that the Rolls Royce Meteor IV (Derwent V) achieves 30,000ft in five minutes, with 585mph at sea level. This is achieved with brute power, the Derwent giving 7000lb, roughly equivalent to 10,920 hp from an airscrew. Meanwhile, the Sea Fury, of very similar dimensions and weight to the Meteor, gets 460mph, and climbs to 30,000ft in 8 minutes. So, in conclusion, hurry up and put the Derwent into a Sea Fury.

Or something.

“The American Records” The paper points out that the B-29 record was achieved in spite of misbehaving engines, and that good headwinds or not, the P-80 must have been carrying a great deal of fuel.

“Export” Sweden is buying the Vampire. The paper is pleased.

“World’s Fastest Fighter” The Meteor IV! It is loses only 21mph carrying a full military load, which is impressive. The Turbine mountings in the wing are also worthy of note, as they are (somewhat) floating.

An Armstrong-Siddeley ad touts its new 850hp 9-cylinder Cougar, in an ad that the paper misfiled from the 14 February 1936 issue.

Major F. A. de V. Robertson, V.D., “Mapping the United Kingdom: Civil Use of P.R. Organisation” Britain will be mapped from the air! Some more.

Here and There

The RAAF is sending some planes to occupy Japan. Chrysler’s IV-220 exists more. The RCAF is selling a thousand surplus aircraft more. Arthur Harris is receiving the Freedom of High Wycombe –I swear, again, more. Sir Philip Joubert gives a talk to the Geographical Society about the weather in Iceland being horrible for flying. Jack Banner, an experimental officer with the Admiralty, tells a story about how he proved his experimental rescue beacon which could only be detected by our side, by bailing out at 5000ft in bad visibility so that the rescue aircraft could look for him. “Fortunately,” said Banner in a recent interview, “the device worked.” The RAF is sending its used bicycles to Holland. Lord Portal is to be in charge of “an organisation within the Ministry of Supply for the production of material for the Atomic Research and Experimental Establishment, of which Professor J. B. Cockcroft has been appointed director. Lord Portal may be the first person put in charge of this kind of project who won't be in trouble if it catches fire and explodes!

“Miles Gemini: A New Light Twin for Private Owner or Taxi Service: Retractable Undercarriage: Crusiing at 130mph on 200hp.” Like other Miles planes, it has very large flaps for better takeoff performance. Whether that will lead to any sales is another question.

“A Six-Engined Saro: Ambitious Flying Boat Project of More than 100 Tons” “So far, no orders have been placed for the new flying boat . . . “
I'm going to cheat here and show Blackburn's white elephant instead of Saro's.

In shorter news, Tedder is to be a baron, and the four Skymasters bought by Australian National Airlines have just arrived in Australia. I know that it is unspeakably boring, because Skymasters are actual planes that actually exist for flying actual services for actual passengers, but some people might think this is news in some way.

“U.N.O. Sees Our Best” members of the UNO/Uno/U.N.O. came out to see Spitefuls and Meteors and such fly around.

Fairey Spearfish: Naval Two-seater for Combined Dive-bombing, Torpedo-Carrying and Reconnaissance Duties: Bristol Centaurus C.E. 58 Engine” the largest airplane yet produced for the Royal Navy was once scheduled for the experimental Rolls Royce Exe. Now it has a Centaurus.  Like the Barracuda, it has large, high-lift flaps  with hydraulic assist. It has a remotely-controlled Nash and Thompson twin .60 calibre machine gun turret in the rear, and an enclosed bomb bay that can hold an 18” torpedo. Wings, undercarriage, and even the cockpit hood are retracted by powered gadgets. Hydraulic servo ailerons will follow in due time. Fastenings to the boom extrusion are by cavities into which expanding rivets are inserted instead of by holes drilled right through, which would weaken them.
No thanks, I’m not going aloft in that.

“’Hump’ Finale” It turns out that the Hump air route is closing down this week, and not any of the other times it has been announced, because the RAF was still flying it. Now, it is not.

American Newsletter

“Kibitizer” attended the American Institute of Aeronautical Sciences Honours Night Victory Dinner at the Waldorf the other night. All the leading lights were there in their best, with Lieutenant General Doolittle as guest of honour. Two after dinner speeches were given: “I’m too Bored to Pay Attention to This,” and “I’m Too Drunk to Remember This.”

He goes on to say that the success of the Douglas Mixmaster (before it crashed with a burning engine, I suppose) has inspired much excitement over pusher-type aircraft with shafts. The transcontinental P-80 flight happened more. The P-80 speed record attempt at Lake Muroc will happen more.

In actual news from America, the maximum all up weight of the Constellation has been raised to 90,000lb, while “rumours cloud the fate of Consolidated-Vultee’s six-engined C-99.” Does this count as a rumoured Consolidated pusher job? Uncle Henry is talked up for talking up a San Francisco-New York air freight service, while a number of firms are buying actual aircraft to launch actual services, but they’re boring because they’re actual. Speaking of actual, a Pan American Constellation just made the first scheduled crossing of the Atlantic, 12 hr, 9 minutes, New York to Gander to Shannon to Herne, with 29 passengers and about a ton of freight, flying at 17000 ft to make full use of its pressurised cabin.

Civil Aviation News

Somehow, many inquiries about employment at BOAC are leading to a shortage of actual flying personnel. The impression I get is that this is because those who can actually meet the licensing requirements of 800 hours solo flying for Second Officer, don’t want to do it. There is talking about talking about civil aviation at PICAO.

Now that there is actual civil flying in the Pacific, everyone has agreed on how to do it. BOAC has started Sunderland service to Singapore. Perhaps later there will be Sandringham service to Surat, and Shetland service to Seringapatam. If you back translate that, you will see I am trying to be funny! A “luxury York,” modified as a sleeper, will fly the Capetown Springbok service. The Government, answering questions in the house, said that there were few Atlantic berths for anyone other than Service and official passengers, which is why the decision was made to buy 5 Constellations. They will be in service by July. Internal services are now 271 per week, and will rise to a “full” schedule in the summer. This is why the total is so much lower than the 875 quoted for August 1939, which was a summer schedule, when there were 140 services per week Portsmouth-Ride, and 182 Weston-Super-Mare-Cardiff. Only 50% of seats for European destinations will be released to BOAC for civilian booking.


“Californian” points out that the P-80 record was set with the help of a “remarkable” tail-wind. I asked my husband if he has been writing to the paper. He was coy, but I think I know who “Californian” is. “A Belgian Reader” writes to say that nationalisation is doomed due to lack of competitive spirit. P.Y.F.O. thinks that Heathrow has been BUNGLED and needs immediate doubling of all runways and their extension, until such time as the aircraft manufacturers of the world invent airplanes that are airliners and helicopters, on account of helicopters being so much safer, being able to float to the ground like gentle buds. In conclusion, the younger generation’s three mile runways are ridiculous. Leonard F. Brock, W/O, Flight Engineer Association, thinks that an overloaded Lincoln could easily set a long distance record. D. E. Potter thinks that all the American records were set by some kind of underhanded play. P. R. Monkhouse, of the Monaco Motor and Engineering Company, thinks that British advertising is not up to snuff, consequently automobile engines are too weak, for some reason? And no-one will fly? And if they do, they will fly American? And the poor advertising leads to lack of ambition in aircraft design? Or it is the other way round? I suppose I should be grateful. Mr. Monkhouse only takes three very closely typed columns to make his points (I am guessing he has points, I skimmed it pretty quickly). According to the “For the Bookshelf” column below, Mr. Paul Lichfield spends an entire book asking Why?  America has no airships. Because Mr. Lichfield thinks it should! The paper (actually, F.A. de V. R. signs himself) replies that it should have giant flying boats, instead. Never mind becoming a novelist, perhaps I can find a role for myself advocating for some absurdly impractical form of travel! I just need to decide what it will be. Have rowing-galleys been taken?

Aviation, February 1946

Down the Years in AVIATION’s Log

Twenty-five years ago, General Mitchell said that aircraft had made capital warships obsolete. If you say it often enough, eventually it’ll be true! Los Angeles “innovates its municipal airport for public use.” Alabama and Minnesota formed aeronautical societies. American aviation-related exports reached 36 million. “Agricultural press” advocates seeding by air. Fifteen years ago, General Balbo flew his squadron across the Atlantic, and one million lbs of airmail flew though Newark airport in the previous year. Navy “signs contract for $15,500,000 aircraft carrier, first specifically designed flat-top.” I think that they just wrote it that way for James’ sake, and I have to resist the childish temptation to go and read it to him! Ten years ago, Douglas showed off its DST and DC-3 at the Los Angeles air sow, and received orders for 15 from AA, as well as for 90 B-18s, while the Navy ordered 114 Douglas torpedo planes. Boeing announced that it had 1500 employees, while Consolidated had 1450 and Douglas, 1500.

Line Editorial

“The Failure of ‘Fact-Finding’” James H. McGraw, Jr. feels that “fact-finding” is the wrong way for the Administration to intervene in labour disputes.

Aviation Editorial

“Our Personal Planes Must Not be as Lethal as Autos” Leslie E. Neville comes down in favour of safe civil aircraft. Which seems reasonable until he reveals that he is reacting to a recent article, entitled, “The Coming Massacre in Our Skies,” which ends for calling for regulation. Regulation! Well, Leslie Neville never! If one perhaps needs safe planes (achieved through the awesome power of airport gossip about unsafe ones) in order to fend off regulation, then Leslie will have it! Seriously. Neville thinks that airport gossip about unsafe practices is a substitute for federal aviation regulations.

“Our Industry’s Records and Ranges” Did you know that America made lots of planes in the late war! Well, it did! “Major contributor, as mankind triumphed in its greatest war, was American aviation –which can now anticipate a new vital civil role as mankind attempts to shape its most needed peace.” The paper summarises and looks ahead. Before the war, America built relatively few planes. During the war, it built many. From these trend lines, it can be concluded that America will either build many, some, or few planes after the war, or somewhere in between. 

Various other statistics increased in similar ways, and may continue to change in various ways. For brevity’s sake, I confine myself to a nice chart of Federal expenditure on air research and development, so that Mr. Fedden can put it in his pipe and smoke it.

Raymond L. Hoadley, “Financial Yardsticks for ‘46” Aviation companies did very well during the war, but now must face rigorous competition, leading to slim profits. What does that mean for stock prices? Ray has no idea, but the next two or three months will be crucial.

James Montagnes, “Canada’s Air Industry is [snore]”

“Australian Aircraft Builders Primed for Salient Roles” Kangaroos! With boomerangs! Right now, the Australian industry is mainly poised to complete production on some older British military types and launch into building Lincolns. The thought is that it might build Tudors, and then fly them, and this would employ up to 10,000 Australians. This would be the Fisherman's Bend plant we've heard about, and heard about, and heard about. Well, now we can hear about it again!

R. L. Templeton, Aviation Insurance Consultant, “It’ll Pay You to Promote Lightplane Insurance” Because fatalities are falling.

Charles A. Parker, Major, AAFATC, Retired, “Field Operations: First Step is Choosing the Right Business Set-Up” Should you open up a private business, or incorporate as a public firm? It depends.

Aviation’s 1946 Yearbook

A compendium of American and foreign manufacturers, planes and, for the first time, guided missiles. Bulking up entries for aircraft that actually exist, will exist, or may exist, are aircraft that will never exist, which makes for a great deal of paper, sacrificed to the noble cause of wasting my time. Though, to be fair, your youngest would have devoured this for weeks on end were he still at home to read it!

I miss those days.

There is, finally, mention in text of the Convair XB-36, the military version of the enormous Model 37 transport that the Luce press loves so well. Not only that, but it turns out that Northrop is working on a flying-wing rival, the XB-35.
Oh, yeah. Northrop's well along with a flying wing strategic bomber. Why didn't we mention this before? We had articles about wharfs and cartoons illustrating small company finances to print! You want in ormation like that, you should probably  pick up a magazine about the aviation industry.

A number of odd Germans are included, because they are odd, and the Japanese also get one in –the Mitsubishi J7W1 Shinden. 

The guided missiles include the Culver LBE-1 Glomb, Northrop flying wing, McDonnell LBD-1 Garoyle, Gorgon, Gorgon 1, and “Navy Bat Bomb.” I looked into Culver, since the advantage of guided missiles is that they are one-use, which is good for sales, and the firm sounded small and so easy to buy into, but the whole thing turns out to be a bit dodgy.

Ernest G. Stout, Staff Engineer in Charge of Hydrodynamics, Development Design Staff, Consolidated Vultee Aircraft, “Radio-Controlled Dynamic Model Augments Hydrodynamic Research” By “dynamic model,” Mr. Stout means a scale model of a flying boat that his staff plays with, since apparently they have nothing to do at work except play with toys and research articles for the paper. That would be because flying boats are just about obsolete. You know, if I suspect that my job was about to go away, I would be getting an article into every number of Aviation, too.

Aviation News

The Navy has given up fighting unification in favour of advocating for a National Security Council and National Security Resources Board. The paper thinks that it will put some Navy people on it to insulate them from the new Defence Department and then carry on carrying on. The Navy has also ordered that three members of the CNO staff will from now on be air men. John Tower is finally getting Fifth Fleet from Ray. Marc Mitscher gets 8th Fleet, just to let us know that Tower was never promoted past him, and Dewitt gets the Atlantic, where I hear the Navy keeps a few boats, but no men, because they would have to wear blue uniforms like the British, and the Hearst and McCormick papers would be upset. The ATA is being “revised,” and, allegedly, Emory Lands has been offered the directorship. It’ll be kinder to have him in a room without a window when the Liberty fleet is sewn up in a bag with a brick and thrown in the well. The Air Force now aims for a strength of 400,000 officers, and the Naval Research Laboratory is working on atomic engines for submarines,* while the Air Services Technical Command is doing all sorts of stuff, research-wise. It is admitted that work is going on into radar-controlled aircraft turrets, and that SHORAN existed. Most Russian aircraft factories have now reconverted to produce desperately needed household goods and the like. (It’s hard to summarise a list that includes “toys,” laundry tubs, tractor parts, and the Moscow-Saratov gas pipeline.) The Martin XBTM-1 Mauler and Douglas BT2D-1 exist more. A specially modified B-29 has achieved a new stratospheric record of 3 hours, 38 minutes above 40,000ft. The new National Research Council will own any patents it pays for. The British will give up on their “50-50” formula for Atlantic transport aviation scheduled flights soon now in favour of American “freedom of the air.” Or so the paper says, anyway. Why? Why? You can’t land in England unless the English let you, and the English can land in Montreal!

Oddly enough, no sign of Stubblefield’s column, or the equally awful Worlddata. In comparison to the ample back page matter of previous numbers, this one just . .  . ends. Though now that I mention it, Stubblefield was absent from the last number, too.  Though now that I mention it, Stubblefield was absent from the last number, too. 

*Look who didn't invent the nuclear submarine, after all!


  1. Hi. Thanks for attributing the Baked Alaska photo at the top to me (Willscrlt). However, all I did was find it on Flickr and upload it to Wikimedia Commons. Please update the attribution to Kimberly Vardeman at Flickr . Great article, too!

  2. In case the link is removed for you (it is for me) by Blogspot, just follow the attribution link you used above to find the link to the original author (Kimberly).

  3. Thanks! Due to a combined attack of procrastination and overtime I don't anticipate doing this before Sunday, but Kimberly Vardeman will get her credit.