Saturday, April 17, 2021

Postblogging Technology, January 1951, I: Loyalty Oaths

R. _C._,
Vancouver, Canada

Dear Father:

Here we are, back in beleaguered (they say?) Formosa, resuming our so-vitally important mission of annoying the People's Liberation Air Force and Koumintang hostessesboth at the same time. I am pleased to report that at least the base librarian has taken a shine to me, and we get regular packages of loans from Hong Kong back and forth, so I am not completely in the dark as to what is happening in the outside world, whether it be the exciting new age of titanium or Aviation Week tearing Uncle Henry a new foraminis rectus (see below for feeble non-joke; and don't bug me about the Latin, which is the fruit of five seconds in a dictionary). We have almost finished preparing the nursery,  unless I suddenly change my mind on a whim, which I'm told is my prerogative as a woman, which is good because it feels like our prerogatives have been rolled back a bit since the war. Is anyone ever going to start hiring women for aircraft production work? Probably not, because we still can't quite agree to actually build all the planes we're mobilising to build. I see the point: The B-47 needs 16 JATOs to get aloft; there is no way that a B-36 can get away from a MiG-15, and who even asked for more F-84s or an improved Vampire that's actually a Vampire? (Only with a wing fence, yay!)

Yes, I am grumpy, because I had a difficult night, and well, you try sleeping comfortably carrying around this ahem, blessed bundle. 

I remain,

Your Loving Daughter,

Time, 1 January 1951


Any number of writers take the invitation to compare Red China or Chairman Mao with a locust and run with it. Thomas Reiner of Scranton points out that it is perhaps a bit offensive to compare "China and her many people" to "a swarm of locusts," and gets taken out behind the woodshed by the editor on the grounds that it is Reds who are the insects, so not all Chinese. Mustafa Tugrul Uke, of Santa Monica, is very pleased with coverage of the Turkish brigade in Korea. Doctor Stewart Wolf, of New York, corrects the article on the side effects of ACTH treatment, which are not quite as bad as Time says. Our Publisher writes to explain why the American soldier is the Man of the Year this year. 

National Affairs

"Out of the Grave" Tired of watching Time chase Communists? Let's watch it hunt isolationists, instead! Specifically, the College Man's radio speech the other day is just obviously the lead story. He might have been a disastrous, one-term President, but he is also our only living ex-President, and so we need to take his views very, very seriously indeed. And his views, of course, are that Communists are bad, foreigners are bad, not so sure about a lot of Americans, so they're all out of the will! Except for Formosa and the Philippines, which are full of the right sort of the lesser sort, if you know what I mean. But even Time only pretends to listen to Hoover, because the real point is to tie him to Bob Taft's tail heading into 1952. Meanwhile, over at the White House, the President gave everyone a dressing down on the "fire Dean Acheson" front, pointing out that it's just a bunch of Republicans looking for a scalp. The Senate then held a fulmination, and everyone in the Chamber of Sober Second Thought headed back to their offices to address constituents' concerns. SNORE!

"The Price" The casualty report for the 19 days of the Communist offensive has come in at "only" 11,964 killed, wounded and missing, not including 22,000 noncombatant casualties. 2nd Infantry Division was worst hit, suffering 4,131 casualties, followed by 1st Marine, at 2,891, 7th Infantry, 1606, 1st Cavalry, 443, 24th Infantry, 146, 3rd Infantry, 650. This brings total casualties for the war to 36,421, including 6180 dead, 24,930 wounded, 4,546 missing. MacArthur says it is okay because the casualties were lower than the Battle of the Bulge. (Quick! How many American divisions fought in the Battle of the Bulge? Reggie says, "At least 25.")

"The First Call" Charles Wilson has been confirmed as Director of Defence Mobilisation, and has allowed to the Senate as how he is going to definitely mobilise this and that just as soon as he can. General Clay and Sidney Weinberg are his deputies. (The Air Force will hit 917,000 men soon, doubling its strength and is re-opening 13 bases and calling up 5 National Guard groups. The Navy has told its 838,000 inactive reservists that they need to tell the Navy before they leave the country for more than 30 days, and the Defence Department will hire another 218,000 civilians, mostly to work in shipyards, arsenals and "other production jobs." Stanford's Richard Balch says that the boys are suffering from "draft neurosis," because they have no idea when they are going to be called in. Because they don't! No-one has any idea, and the only advice anyone has is that they should study all the time to get good grades because the good students won't be drafted, maybe, and anyway if they study now they won't have to study as much after they get out of the army. (I find this . . . unlikely!) 

"Hold the Line, Please" Alan Valentine has spent his first weeks on the economics stabilisation front asking everyone to stabilise their prices and wages, except for the autoworkers. Them, he told to stabilise. Except for those notorious "escalator clauses," on the grounds that he doesn't exactly know what all they might be. 

"The Anvil of Office" The President went to Missouri, had a dental checkup, was called the "worst-dressed US President" by Tailor and Cutter, and commuted the sentence of his pal, Edward F. Prichard for a ballot box-stuffing scheme in Kentucky during the '48 election. Also The Chicago Tribune thinks that we should impeach the President for the high crime and misdemeanor of sending troops to Europe, or if not that, Congress should relieve him for being mentally incompetent, which it thinks is probably something that the Congress can do.

"Last Quacks" The 81st Congress is a lame duck session, and ducks quack! A Nevada Senator blocked a law prohibiting the interstate transport of slot machines, a Dakota senator blocked Anna Rosenberg's nomination as Assistant Secretary of Defence, but was overridden by the full Senate, Congress ducked an attempt to make it do something about railway labour. The 77% excess profits tax went through, as did the relief bill for Yugoslavia, a new life insurance scheme for veterans, up to $2.2 billion (matching state funding) for bomb shelters, and a bill allowing FBI agents to make arrests without a warrant for "any federal offence committed in their presence," as this is  how Judith Conlon got off. In other Congressional news, it looks like Drew Pearson's story about Congressman Walter Brehm forcing his staff to pay him kickbacks on their salaries has legs, because he has just been indicted by a grand jury. Then Time rounds up New Years' Parties around the country, which apparently are a bit strained because bad things might happen soon. 

And The Thing slipped to number 8. I can't even listen to it on shortwave, but I'm sure it is the cat's meow on regular radio. 

"Out of the Eye" Ambassador Kirk is in trouble for visiting the President during his Christmas vacation and telling him that "he could 'detect absolutely no evidence' that Russia is about to start a war." Time implies that he has no idea what he is talking about because he doesn't get around much any more.

War in Asia

"Again?" The Communists are building up for a drive across the 38th Parallel. Time checks in with the Hungnam evacuation, which is still a great success, because, just like last week, it got off all the Americans, almost all the Korean troops, and some of the refugees.

General Walker is dead. Ridgway will replace him. Time tells the story of the time he was caught reading Proust. 

"First Blood for the Sabres" North American F-86 Sabres, the first swept-wing Western fighter to go into action, went into action (darn it, gave the surprise away!) last week. The F-86 has been clocked at 670mph, and that is probably faster than the MiG-15, but only barely. The Sabres are needed for top cover for the P-51s supporting the army, and so far are shooting down MiGs left, right and centre with no losses of their own. (Reggie rolls his eyes and mutters about fighter jocks.) There's also a short bit about a thousand Korean war orphans being evacuated from Inchon to an island where they will hopefully receive better care.

"Destiny's Draftee" "the man of 1950" is "the American fighting-man." Hard fighting, initiative, not enough discipline, doesn't know how to retreat, lots of amenities. A British officer is found to give us the money quotes, and when that's done Time points out that in spite of America's fabulous wealth, the troops didn't have enough stuff at first, and whose fault was that? (Hint: It was those damn Democrats, that's who.)


"Yet Another Forum?" Two "United States of Europe What's Keeping It?" stories, the first livened up with some pull quotes from Europeans reacting to Hoover's idiotic radio speech, the second quoting someone's opinion that France could, without adverse effects on the economy, put a million men, 2500 fighter planes a year, and forty divisions in the field if it only turned its "reservoirs of moral and material strength" to the problem of European defence. 

General Wu and his delegation left New York on a Stratocruiser this week, headed home via Russia, because Communism is bad (No, really, that's how Time plays it). But before he left, he gave a speech; also, his delegation bought lots of stuff while they were in America, including new suits, and orchids in their lapels.  "Miss Chou Yen, probably No. 8 in the group" wore a single orchid in a fur coat she brought from Peking, and had to field questions from the press about who gave them the flowers. (On the bright side, at least Time has given up on "Peiping.") Izvestia is also bad for suggesting that Americans will have to scrimp on Christmas due to the national war mobilisation emergency. 

In this hemisphere, Dean Acheson rounded up a joint statement against communism by 21 Latin American governments, while Peron allowed as how Peronism might be slightly like Communism. Ha! Just as we suspected all along! Even when it was Fascism, we knew it was Communism! Time also checks in with the Venezuelan SC-3 crash, which was newsworthy because there was a class of schoolboys including two nephews of the President. Brazil is getting $800,000 for a Point Four programme involving some hydroelectric projects.

Science, Medicine, Education

"DDT Proof" Patrick Pielou[this is all I've got], of the Dominion Parasite Laboratory in Belleville, Ontario, is breeding DDT-resistant bugs that attack the Oriental fruit moth so that eventually they can be released into orchards that have been dusted with DDT and kill the DDT-resistant Oriental fruit moths. I cannot see how this could possibly go wrong. 

"The Deadly Dust" New York's Civil Defence boss, Lawrence Wilkinson, directed the state to put together a plan to deal with radioactive contamination in case the Reds set off their bombs at ground level, creating radioactive debris. He wants to have ten "radiological contamination teams," which will be dressed in protective clothing, including dust-excluding respirators. They will survey the limits of contamination zones and mark buildings with chalk. ("A" for "All-American," "U" for "Unclean," etc. I'm sorry, this is a terrible thing to be facetious about, but "dust-excluding respirators" or not, I just can't see this working.)

"Watchful Unorthodoxy" The Soviet scientific community is pushing back against Lysenkoism. Time concludes that it won't work because Communism is bad. 

"Telling the Bees" Cornell Professor Karl v. Frisch has a book out about bees. Bees are fascinating! This is actually the English translation of a 1927 book so his theory about how bees "dance" to show the route to good flowers is old news by the time it is new news in English.

"Rush: Handle with Care" Time checks in with the Military Air Transportation Service's fast whole blood service to Korea, which is moving 8000 pints a month.

"Without Fear" Gynecologist James Ramsdell Bloss, writing in the current Journal of the American Medical Association, reminds his colleagues that giving birth is frightening and that they should be kind and sensitive to their patients and not just dismiss their concerns with SCIENCE. 

Robert Hutchins is out at the University of Chicago, in at the Ford Foundation. At Columbia, with Eisenhower out, someone named Grayson Kirk is in as acting president.  

"Out and Out and Out" Margaret Shannon of The Atlanta Journal has a story out about Southern rural schools and stop the presses and kick that stupid Korean War off the front page, because it turns out they're bad! 

"Putting the Pieces Together" MIT is opening a School of Industrial Management to train engineers to be executives, and the other way around. 


Everyone's in a fog about mobilisation, which is going at a snail's pace. The first layoffs due to shortages and prospective war production are finally rippling through the economy, as Nash Kelvinator cuts back 18% of its 4500 employees, and "other cutbacks" in the auto industry push Michigan's unemployment up to 65,000, with an expectation of 150,000 by summer. Fear of mass layoffs has inspired Washington to finally place contracts for trucks with GMC, medium tanks with Chrysler, Douglas-built B-47s at the Tulsa plant, a proposed GM contract to build F-84s, and, of course, Uncle Henry's little prize. I could go on in some detail about all the tentative stories about production cuts and supply controls that might come into effect or have an effect very soon now. I think 18,000 people laid off counts as an effect, but apparently it is a good one because it frees up labour to make all those planes and tanks. 

"Woosh" Time checks with Ted Karman's Aerojets down in LA. The company has been in a bit of a slump since the war, since noone fires off a JATO bottle unless they have to, but the war has been a bit of a hit, what with the B-47 needing 18 JATOs just to take off. Now Aerojet is building a new plant for all its top secret work such as "rocket units for underwater propulsion," "rocket-propelled missiles," and "rocket-powered oil drills." That's what it says here! Then Time checks in with the excess profits tax and the Paducah atomic plant that will make U-235 on a 5000 acre site and require as many as 10,000 construction workers, to be managed by F. H. McGraw and Company. Site manager will be a man named "Cliff Strike," to which I can only say that that is a real name. Sheet and Tube is expanding its Youngtown works to the tune of 75 new coke ovens and a 1400 ton blast furnace, and it is a scandal that Britain took a 150,000t a year contract from Alcan that the US turned down, possibly because American producers have already promised to meet all American needs, notwithstanding the NPA's 25% cut in civilian aluminum supplies effective by March.

Art, Radio and Television, People

I don't get it

T. S. Elliot does the "television is bad" thing in the pages of the Times, CBS and RCA are still fighting it out in the courts over colour television, NBC might put Margaret Truman on TV, Coca Cola's Christmas Day special was An Hour in Wonderland, and combined Disney cartoons (including a "preview" of upcoming Alice in Wonderland), and live action. Time's verdict: More cartoons, less live actors in the future, please. CBS promises that, now that the country is mobilising, that it will have security guardsd in all broadcasting studios and make all new employees sign loyalty oaths while continuing spot checks on existing employees. One NBC employee noted that he had been investigated for loyalty five times in eight years. 

"The Lid Goes On" SEAC is trying to clamp down on press leaks in case someone tells someone that the General is gaga. 

"The Senator's Round" The latest in the McCarthy-Pearson fight is that Adam Hats is not going to renew Pearson's $5000/week contract when it expires in February. $5000 a week? At that kind of money, Joe Stalin would be an anti-communist! Also, Time pops into The Washington Post, which is becoming quite the newspaper. 

A French painter doesn't like modern art. Graham Sutherland has a very nice art book out. Ambroise Villard has died. In 1939, but Time couldn't find space for an obit in earlier issues what with the war and all. I seriously have no idea why there is an article about Ambroise Vollard in this number. 

Walt Whitman, Cecil B. DeMille, Eric Williams, Francis Cardinal Spellman, Alben Barkley, the Shah of Iran, Ty Cobb, Joe Stalin, the Crown Prince of Japan, Shirley Temple , Marlene Dietrich, King George and Christopher Fry all made the paper basically for already being famous, except for Eric Williams, whose crackling book about an escape from a German prisoner of war camp is quite the thing right now. 

Deanna Durbin and Jean Simmons are married. Hattie Wyatt Caraway, has died, as has Ida Ringling North, Sallie Lindsay White and Walter Johannes Damrosch. A bad week for the distaff! I was going to make a crack about Mrs. Caraway's name, but she is the first woman ever to be elected to the Senate!

The New Pictures

The Mudlark is a historical movie about a "cockney ragamuffin" who got loose in Buckingham Palace and met Queen Victoria and it is all quite sweet and a very nice movie and a good time was had by all. On the other hand, Mr. Music might have Uncle George's own Bing Crosby in it, but "others might do well to season their popcorn with benezedrine." I've never tried that! Maybe next year. Harvey is quite a good movie made from quite a good play that they somehow made out of a man who is accompanied everywhere by an invisible giant rabbit that no-one else believes in. It's got Jimmy Stewart but I'm a bit confused by the review. Does the movie go the Santa Claus route (he was real all along!) or not? 


Ogden Nash is famous for being a serious silly writer, and now he has a new serious silly book out, Family Reunion. Henry Green's Caught and Concluding are two novels by a write that Time likes, so it scrunches in reviews of both even though one has been out for a few years and wasn't that good. Everyone should have a friend in Time! Fred Bason's Diary is finally out, after Nicolas Bentley moved heaven and earth to edit it into publication shape so that we could finally have Fred Bason's diary. Charles Mergendahl's It's Only Temporary is a good portrait of "middle suburbia" but not much of a novel. 

Aviation Week, 1 January 1951

News Digest reports that Lear has another Air Force contact for F-5 autopilots, bringing its contract backlog up over $25 million. Link will be building trainers for the B-47, Ryan also has a $25 million backlog, TWA has made a fleet order for Collins Radios, South African Airways has sold four of its eight Vikings to BEA after its new Constellations made them surplus. Switzerland has ordered another de Havilland Vampires.

Industry Observer reports that  North American's first turbojet will be a heavier version of the AJ attack plane with two Allison T-40s replacing the R-2800s and getting rid of the auxiliary turbojet in the tail.  Six de Havilland Vampires were recently delivered to Singapore after a 9000 mile ferry flight from Britain, cruising at 350mph and arriving within a minute of each other. Convair San Diego isn't hoarding labour, it is "stockpiling" it in anticipation of orders for the Convair XP5Y-1 turboprop flying boat. AirResearch's contract backlog has grown from $25 million to $32 million. AMC experts think that "many" aluminum applications will be  switched over to titanium within five years. Boring, say other experts, identity unknown. It'll be two years, tops. The first of 100 Republic F-48F with British Sapphire engines will fly soon, to be followed by license-built Curtiss-Wright versions soon after. This perhaps helps explain how the F-84 won such heav MDAP orders for European air forces. Two of Britain's fastest fighters, the Venom and the Hawker P. 1081, come with "boundary layer fences," which improve performance at very high subsonic or very low supersonic (transonic, in other words) speeds by restricting airflow over sweptback wing surfaces. Reggie says that sweptback wings are tippy, and the airflow tries to fall off, but the fences keep it where it belongs, as otherwise the planes would be constantly falling a bit until they catch more air, which the pilots will experience as being constantly thrown off six foot fences and landing on their rectums. (See below for clever joke!) Hispano-Suiza is going to build the Rolls-Royce Tay, which I'm pretty sure isn't actually news.

Katherine Johnson, "Senators Ask Why Stall Full Mobilisation" The Senate Appropriations Committee doesn't like the USAF's "base building" approach to full mobilisation, because many of the "bases" won't be built, notably labour. They are willing to see haste, even at the expense of waste. Suddenly Congress is hounding the Air Force for a new building programme, about which you will also hear at Time. Tripling existing aircraft production sounds good, but will only bring the total to 15,000 a year, far below WWII; the Navy  insists that its new flush-deck carriers are the only way to utilise new, high-powered jets, but is going so slow on ordering the prototype that the first won't be available until 1954; the Marine Corps wants 24 squadrons to fight Communism, but so far has only got to 18, 7 at war strength. Everyone is upset about tactical air support, which the USAF swears it is doing as best it can; and scads of new planes will be needed for NATO.

"B-36 Firing" An unsigned advertorial article about the B-36, evidently straight from the desk of Curtiss Le May, illustrating the highly successful ground gun firing trials of the B-36's 20mm turrets. 

What's Ahead reports that the Defence Department is working to bring in more electronics manufacturers, the Army is planning to spend $54 million on light planes, and is developing its new LOKI anti-aircraft rocket as part of an effort to improve short-range capabilities; a new labour control bill is in the works, along with government recentralisation and war risks insurance. 

"Airline Safety Mark Trails That of 1949" 1.4 deaths per 100 million passenger miles, up from 1.0 last year, although the domestic record is slightly better. 

Alexander McSurely, "Allision Gets Heavy T-40 Orders" I don't know if 300 orders for the A2D and the R3Y flying boat plus the Turboliner prototype really counts as heavy, but the press push for this engine sure counts! (the A2D had twenty "successful test flights!" And then one unsuccessful one, and no more A2D prototype!) The article then goes on to explain the T-40 double power plant a bit, but not nearly in the same kind of exhaustive detail as Flight, which is probably a good thing, since you end those articles thinking, "This contraption can never work!" Allison may, however, be hearing that, because there is an extended section of the article in which someone at Allison explains that they will lick the unspecified problems that won't happen with their extensive WWII reduction gear experience. Hey, Allison. Everyone built reduction gears in WWII! The liaison plane order is near, the CAA wants flight plans filed in defence zones, and the plane procurement bill will get early passage, Congress promises. 

"Evaluation: Bombs Over Korea" The Air Force is super-pleased at the way it blew up such industry as North Korea has. 

"New Use for Stratofreighter: Aerial Tanker" Is it really new? I have to ask! "Subcontracting Swells as USAF Expands," and "Cessna Halts I40 Production" We're mobilising. We really are!

J. von Lonkhuyzen, "Problems Faced in Designing Famed X-1: Boldness, Enthusiasm, Unprejudicial Imagination Were Needed, Says Bell Aircraft Engineer" A very vague article. The X-1 had to have a very strong structure and more power control than any previous aircraft, and that's about it. 

"Camera Frames Low-Level Flight Data"  Douglas is filming low-flying aircraft with lots of cameras with very big lenses to learn "the Space-Time Story." That wasn't much of an article, so Aviation Week pops in to hear a lecture by Fritz Zwicky, who sounds like he was hopped up on bennies. Avro Canada contributes a very short advertorial about its new self-aligning bearing.

Avionics has "Problems of Submerged Antennas," from McGraw-Hill World News, which, as usual, means a summary of British developments. The idea of burying antennas in the aircraft structure is exciting, but does it just trade drag for structural weakness? No, says the Marconi team that has been burying VHF aerials in the Comet's wing, tails and so on. The antenna material has the same strength as the structural material it replaces. The antenna may take the form of dipoles or cavity resonator slots. Either way, the dielectric covers them and takes residual surface stress at the same time. The Comet has an HF aerial in the main fin, dielectric tips on the fin and tail conceal rod aerials for VHF, ORB and ILS localiser, a grid aerial in the doors gives MF coverage, and loop aerials for ADF are mounted on the top of the fuselage and covered with flush panels, while the glide path aerial for ILS is mounted behind the windscreen, and the remaining ILS aerials, DME and radio altimeter aerials are behind panels in the wing-root fillet. 

"High Tower for Avionics Research" The new Air Force lab at Forest Park, Utica, NY, will have a 1200ft tower for developing LORAN.

Equipment has a long, improved advertorial by George L. Christian for Kidde's new pneumatics aircraft installations, which Kidde engineers confidently predict will soon make a roaring comeback in aviation. Well,  maybe, but don't they have condensation problems at high altitude and high temperatures? No, Kidde's "moisture separator controller" is foolproof!

New Aviation Products reports on Lord Manufacturing's new shock mount, Hoover electric's Wing flap actuator, Electroweave's heating net for heating things --airport structures, I think?-- better than eelctric heating pads,  and Hycon's new miniature oscilloscope for field-testing radars. 

I don't usually report from Financial, but it is interesting that Swissair is going to the Swiss government for financial aid. What happened to Switzerland, home of free enterprise? (Answer: That was just The Economist turning its membership in the hard currency area into some kind of moral virtue instead of the fruit of banking secrecy laws.)


Aviation Week points out that the aviation industry is taking a black eye from the fact that everyone is talking mobilisation and beginning to suffer from cutbacks in civilian production and layoffs, while the industry that we're supposed to be supporting is still on single-shift production and not that much of that. The reason is that it is hard to get production out of earlyl mobilisation, and once again Aviation Week has to remind everyone that getting the auto industry involved is not the panacea, and a five-fold increase in engine production in a year is simply not on the cards. Dismounting that soapbox, Wood mounts the next one, and takes General Stratemeyer to task for criticising The New York Times for "revealing" that a group of F-86 Sabres was in action with MiG-15s in Korea the other week. Who exactly are the censors keeping this secret from, Wood asks? In WWII, you were allowed to report on a new plane once it was in action against the enemy. The Times followed that rule, and General Stratemeyer should just shut up. 

Time, 8 January 1951  


Donald Butler of Pittsburgh has a long letter about how right Time was to go about freedom and security and the copper shortage. Time's happy. So am I, because all I have to do to summarise it is to make rude noise. Pogo fans write. Ralph Edwards defends John Ford's recent oaters. Outlying, un-American correspondents don't think we should unleash the Koumintang on mainland China, and should even perhaps negotiate instead. Meanwhile, the best of the best are intrigued by this whole "preventive war with Russia" option. Our Publisher thanks Time readers for rallying behind Sault Ste. Marie in its battle against ringworm with lots of dubious advice, and gives us a bit more of the Isabel Bigley story for those who can't get enough Isabel Bigley. 

National Affairs

"St. Louis Woman" Time ties Hoover to the isolationists some more. Various St. Louis mothers and Texan ward heelers have a favourable opinion of the ex-President because whatever he's for, he is against whatever the President's for. The moral of the story being that if you don't want Taft to be your President come November of '52, you'd better get ahead of it now! Which is what John Foster Dulles did, giving a strong speech in Washington on the value of "deterrence." Also, you can tell that mobilisation is working because now copper and rubber are short. 

"Mission to Madrid" The President still doesn't like Franco, but has sent Stanton Griffiths over there to do . . . something. Did you know that Franco has 22 divisions? They're useless divisions, but that's an awful lot of useless divisions!

"A Woman's Memories" The latest chapter in the story of "William Remington, Commerce Department economist" and Secret Communist is that he is on trial for perjury (for saying that he is not a Communist), and now the state has a witness besides Elizabeth Bentley. His ex-wife! They were a very attractive pair of alleged Communists (Trotskyites, technically.)

"Make Believe Ballroom" The Communist Party of the USA had a New Year's party because Communism is bad, and the first American quadruple amputee of the Korean War has arrived in the States, having lost four limbs to frostbite and gangrene. 

"The Fatal Flaw?" Dean Acheson gets the cover, and this is the story, followed by some ghastly true crime from California. 

War in Asia

"Police Action or War?" Translation: Let's invade China! (Because we have freed up the best Chinese troops by refusing to unleash the Koumintang on the mainland, there will be no Chinese troops to resist our bold outflanking manoeuvre against their supply lines because they are all attacking in Korea. Also, unleash the Koumintang!) Also some more, General MacArthur is still a military genius, as witness his decision to stand on the 38th Parallel, which Time has renamed "The MacArthur Line" in his honour.  

"Dogfights" Another "fur-ball" south of the Yalu, this time featuring 40 aircraft on a side and leading to one American kill claim and another probable. Also, under "Massive Assault," breaking news: There was no massive assault on Christmas Day, or any day since. 

"Poor Showing" The Chinese didn't beat us hard enough because they're not very good at this whole war thing. Admittedly the Chinese were all but paralysed by enormous UN airpower, but in Time's expert judgment, their performance still fell far below what some other Asian socialist infantry expeditionary volunteer army would have been able to accomplish in the Korean mountains in December with no air support. 

"Present and Accounted For" The UN now has 100,000 ROK troops, 140,000 Americans, 1000 Australians with two destroyers and a "75 plane Mustang fighter squadron"; 750 Belgium-Luxembourg troops (en route); 1000 Canadians plus three destroyers and an air transport squadron; one Colombian frigate, en route; 1000 French and a frigate; 6000 British, two patrol squadrons of Sunderland flying boats, two aircraft carriers, five destroyers, three frigates and an auxiliary vessel; 8oo to 1000 Greek troops and six transport planes; 1100 New Zealanders, en route, and two corvettes; 650 Netherlanders and a destroyer; 1000 Filippinos; 1200 South Africans with two corvettes; 5200 Turks.

"Official Tour" Time really hopes that the Dalai Lama will flee to India or at least a border town, and reports his latest official tour as such. From Singapore, a report on the Malayan Emergency, with editorialising. "All the Britons I met in Malaya regard the recognition of Mao as a great mistake." 

"Battle of Indo-China: Arms and the Bishops" There are two Roman Catholic bishoprics in Annam, in heavily armed and fortified enclaves deep in the Red River, ruling small de factor principalities in the midst of a Buddhist nation. Time visited them and discovered that it is happy with theocratic dictatorships with clerical armies with their own arsenals imposing Christian rule on a Buddhist majority just so long as they're not (gasp!) Communists. Which they could be! But that would be bad! Perhaps we should give them more money than we already do.


"Comrades or Competitors" The New York Times reports that the Chinese and Soviets have "split," and are vying for influence in Korea. Time is ambivalent. Maybe it is happening, maybe it isn't. What Time would really like to see is a fight over Manchuria. 

"Impasse over Irian" The Dutch-Indonesian negotiations over the future of western New Guinea (West Irian) are at a standstill and may lead to a breakdown of the current Dutch-Indonesian "union." 

Loads fancier than that dumb old Scone Stone
"Stone of Destiny" There's something called the Stone of Scone, which is very important to Scottish people, and which is at Westminster Abbey for simply fascinating historical reasons. (SNORE!) Recently, some Scottish people stole it out of Westminster Abbey and took it back to Scotland, for patriotic reasons. It was all very exciting. There was a manhunt! The border was closed! The Manchester Guardian suggests swapping the Stone of Scone for the King's Stone, which is what the Saxon kings used to be crowned on, and which has been shoved into a broom closet in Kingston-upon-Thames for the last thousand years or so. In completely unrelated silly British news, the official list of unparliamentary language has been updated. You cannot now call the Honourable Member Sitting Opposite a "cheat," or a "bastard." About time! Alerted that the ancient enemy was being silly, the Spanish decided to counter with scandal, and had a princess marry an unsuitable person. It looks like one of those where you have to check People for at least the next year to find out whether it was romantic or pathetic.[???

"Cloca Mora Man" That's how they talk in Ireland. It's like it is another language, even! Which an Irish poet named James Stephen used to use. And now he's dead at 68 so it is a story in Time.

"Troubled Oil"   Time reviews the state of negotiations between Anglo-Iranian and the Iranian government over royalty payments. When Stafford Cripps introduced controls on British stock dividends, Anglo-Iranian, because royalty payments were tied to dividends, went to Teheran with a new offer that would have allowed it to increase dividend payments a the expense of higher royalty payments, which led the Iranian parliament to the conclusion that the royalty payments were too low, and the negotiations have been going on ever since, with a freeze on royalty payments in the mean time. In Time's account, America has intervened because Iran is "defenceless" against Russia without its royalty payments, and because an obscure American group, Overseas Consultants, Inc., has designed an economic development plan, to be backed by royalties, which is just the thing that Iran needs right now. 


"Business in 1950" Time catches us up with the Boom of '50, which started the year making refrigerators and televisions, and ended it making guns, and either way has been very good for stockholders and labour alike. With a potential 66 million workers, compared with WWII's 65 million peak, there is no reason to think that America can't make lots and lots more guns employing all the "flexibility gained from quick switching from civilian to war production and back again." That's not how I remember 1946, but apparently remembering stuff is bad, or I would be reminding Fortune and The Economist of the Looming Housing Disaster of 1947/8. The arms spree is going to be paid for with a $260 billion public debt, but everyone is super sanguine about America's ability to carry the debt what with the rapid expansion of the economy and all, with GNP currently expected to hit $310 billion next year. Time thinks there should be a tax increase (just not the one we're getting!), because in a perfect world it would be pay-as-you-go. On the other hand there is the cutback in civilian production and fears of inflation, up 8 points this year, which the government is doing its best to contain with controls on consumer credit.  Economists guess that it might be held to as low as 10%(!!!) a year. 

I know that it is super-mean to say that Time has decided that it is willing to put up with 10% inflation a year if it means getting Koumintang armies back on the mainland, but that's sure what it looks like. 

Science, Medicine, Education

"Early Hunter" You may recall that back in 1926, archaeologists found a peculiar form of stone spearpoint in Folsom, New Mexico, which was subsequently identified all over the country as far east as Virginia. It seemed a cinch that the ancient ancestors of the Indians carried them all over the country directly after arriving via Bering Land Bridge, but that didn't settle the argument between those who thought that that meant 5000 years ago versus 20,000, in which case "they were made by nomadic hunters far more primitive than modern Indians," which seems like it buries half-a-dozen questionable judgment calls in one phrase. Anyway, many Folsom points were used to kill an extinct giant buffalo called Bison taylori, which meant that the dating question hung on just when Taylor's Bison went extinct. Last week, it was announced by Dr. Willard F. Libby of the University of Chicago that he had dated them atomically by means of the radioactivity of the carbon contained in them. It turns out that there is a certain natural and constant proportion of radioactive Carbon-14 in the atmosphere, but once you die and stop breathing, the gradual decay of Carbon-13 into inert Carbon-12 tracks the passing time. Dr. Libby concluded that the bison were cooked 10,000 years ago. So "primitive," it is!

"Feed-back to Idiocy" Dr. Grant Fairbanks is trying to turn all that "cybernetics" stuff into a neat scientific demonstration, and thinks he has the ticket in the form of a "fiendish apparatus" that interferes with the "feed-back" that controls human speech. The idea is that we listen to what we just said, and then make adjustments. (I do that! If by "adjustments" you mean, "Turn red and run away and hide.") So if you get a tape recorder that delays the sound playback by just a bit, or by varying bits, you can "prove" that this feedback thing is actually the way that people talk, mainly by making it impossible for them to talk. Time likes it because it involves torturing people in the name of science, which I thought was for Medicine, not Science. 

"Greetings, Doctor" The latest developments in the conscripting-doctors-trained-by-the-armed-forces-in-WWII controversy. All such doctors with less than 90 days of WWII experience and 1-A status will be called up within the next six months, and otherwise all doctors and dentists under 50 are now required to sign up for the draft. 

"Strepto-Settlement" You may remember that Selman Abraham Waksman (which is a real name) had a fight with his former laboratory assistant, Albert Schatz, over who invented streptomycin and how much. They  have now settled on terms where Waksman's original 20% share is to be divided between Waksman, Schatz and fourteen other participating scientists, with Schatz getting a straight $125,000 for foreign sales and special bonusses for twelve other lab assistants. The lion's share of the profits, some $500,000, still goes to Rutgers.

"No More Bedpan?" An article in the current Journal of the AMA uses the oxygen consumption of bedridden patients to measure the toll taken by using bedpans versus "the commode," and finds that  bedpans are bad for you. 

"The Weakness" The AMA has put out a nice volume of studies to commemorate Dr. Leo Loeb, who is a really old but famous doctor who taught lots of students. Time just wanted us to know because it has a file picture of Loeb and a funny pull quote about how "concentrated mental effort is pathological," but Dr. Loeb has a "weakness" for it. I'm not sure it is "funny" so much as "self-aggrandising," but what do I know?

"Push-Pull" Is artificial ventilation better achieved by pushing on the chest or lifting the hips? A combination of both, says Chicago physiolotist A. C. Ivey in the current issue of, you guessed it, the Journal. So if you're ever stuck for a couple of pages of content for

Time, just open the current AMA and start scribbling!

"O.k. Now" The National Council of Phi Epsilon Pi has reversed its earlier decision and will now allow Negroes to be members, as long as the local chapter inducts them. Racism solved!

'Failure of a Mission" Harold Stoke is out at Louisiana State because, seriously, it is a university in Louisiana. Also, he picked a fight with the football coach. Also, Walt Whitman blah blah.

Atlanta's new public library is quite the thing. Time credits the new head of the Atlanta Public Library. I would be interested to see what is going on in the rest of the country. A lot of kids have been born since '44, and kids love the library. 

Art, Press, Radio and Television, People

Peter Paul Reubens is still dead. (I checked.) Alexander Calder's sculptures are very strange, but he does them at MIT, which is next to Connecticut, where he lives in a very nice place. Can't be all bad, Time is saying. Peter Blume used to make outrageous modern art, but now he is an old fuddy-duddy, just the way Time likes them, because tastes change. 

"Red's Reward" The Kefauver committee is in Tampa for hearings on organised crime, which the Tampa Tribune couldn't be more pleased about, which is what Time finds out when it stops by to have a coffee with V. M. "Red" Brown, the managing editor, a veritable prince of a guy.

"Up from Wall Street" Speaking of newspapermen that Time plays cards with, how about Bernard Kilgore of the Wall Street Journal? Let's give Bernard a big hand, folks! (Also, he just bought the Chicago Journal of Commerce.) 

"Free-for-All" When we left off last week, Joe McCarthy had called for an advertisers' boycott of Drew Pearson because Pearson was asking the IRS and Wisconsin to have a look at McCarthy's taxes, and Adam Hats had taken advantage of the call to unload Pearson's $5000/week contract that couldn't possibly be worth the money. Wesbrook Pegler has now jumped in on McCarthy's side, no big surprise, everyone else lined up with Pearson. Now Adam Hats has a new version, which is that it dropped Pearson the week before Senator McCarthy called for the boycott because the had switched their advertising strategy away from paying a quarter-million a year on radio ads, even if on a nationally-syndicated show. How  many hats do people even buy??? This makes a good enough segue for Time to pass on to an assortment of press censorship efforts in the usual places such as Argentina, Ireland, Venezuela, the State Department.  If you're wondering, Iron Age was asked to suspend free subscriptions to a number of eastern European embassies on the grounds that Communism is bad.

"Phonevision" This is the latest effort on the part of Zenith Radio's Eugene McDonald, who has been trying to get his idea of ordering movies by phone off the ground. The movie comes in on a television broadcast, scrambled, and once you've paid for the movie, a contraption attached to the phone "unscrambles" it. Reggie explained how it worked, also how easily it could be "foxed," most easily with the same trick the perfect pitch crowd makes  free phone calls, but in plenty of other ways, too; and sketched a way of doing it that actually made sense. (Although it would require a coaxial cable connection, which means that it would only be practical for places like New York.)

"The Loyal Opposition" For a quarter-century, everyone has been complaining about the low tone on radio, and Cooper Union and the NAEB has been programming very highbrow stuff just in way of saying that it doesn't have to be that way. This is your regular reminder that you can still catch scintillating progamming like "Education versus Thought Control" on the radio

Dwight Eisenhower, Albert Schweitzer, Frank Lloyd Wright, Jane Russell, Denise Darcel, Tallulah Bankhead, Ann Jeffries, Henry Ford II, Robert Montgomery, Henry J. Kaiser, Gloria Swanson, Faye Emerson, Sloan Simpson O'Dwyer, Dinah Shore, Joe Stalin, Winnie the Pooh Churchill, Yogi Berra, Peyton C. March, Francis E. Townsend, Adolph Sabbath, William Dudley Pelley, Frank Costello, Glenn McCarthy, Errol Flynn, Walter S. Gifford, Ann Miller, Rebecca West, Scott Fitzgerald, Balzac and Alger Hiss are in the paper for the usual reasons. With the exception of, first, Russell, Darcel and Bankhead, who are here because a "physical culturalist" in New York has told them all that their rear ends are too big. It turns out that you aren't a horrible cad for saying it as long as you say it cleverly, and by that I mean use the word "rectal" a lot, because it is Latin. Also,  Sabbath isn't famous by a long shot, which might even have helped him set a new longevity record for the House of Representatives, specified as more than 43 years, 9  months, 24 days, which was the previous  House record. But not Senate, where there are even longer tenures. (We are a democracy!)

Dick Powell and June Allyson have had a son. Henry Fonda, Ethel du Pont Roosevelt (Sigh! We're a democracy!) and John Steinbeck are married. Max Beckmann, Frederick Ridgley Torrence, Warren Wright and Karl Renner have died.  

The New Pictures

The Magnificent Yankee is, of course, an "affectionate salute" to Oliver Wendell Holmes. Holmes was a great Justice, and this is . . .not a great movie, based more on Life with Father than the actual justice. Stars in My Crown is a nostalgic movie about life in a small Southern town at the turn of the century, with Joel McCrea as a parson and anti-typhoid campaigner, Alan Hale as the "local skeptic," and Juano Hernandez as a "Negro parishioner" who gets on the wrong side of the Klan. Time calls it corny but "pleasantly mellow," and likes the Hernandez and teen actor, Dean Stockwell. Tito --New Ally? is the latest March of Time newsreel, which gets a review here because Time owes the mother company a favour and because, well, Communism. Did you know that Tito's thirty divisions make the Yugoslavs the second largest army in Europe? I can just hear Uncle George reminiscing about how they were saying that in March of '41. A bad influence! He's a bad influence, I say!


William Manchester, Disturber of the Peace is about H. L. Mencken. H. E. Bates' The Scarlet Sword is a romantic novel set in the "wide, wild sweep of Kashmir" during the partition of 1947 that just makes Time sad, because it thought that Bates could have done better when he started out as a short story writer in the Thirties. James Ramsey Ullman's River of the Sun is also an adventure novel, featuring a jaded American joining an expedition upriver on the Amazon looking for oil and the beautiful widow (in that she-doesn't-know-it-yet-ain't-love-grand way) looking for her lost scientist husband. That is pretty much all there is to say for the novel (although Time does stop in at the end for a plot summary), so it is on to a quick biography of the very exciting life of the author. Taylor Caldwell's The Balance Wheel is the follow-on to twelve Caldwell bestsellers written as fast as she can type. Will it be the thirteenth? Well, our authoress is getting bored with soap opera(!?) and has smuggled in a political-economic allegory, in Time's phrase, but the fans might not care. Enid Bagnold has a very worthy novel! It is about a saintly 52 year-old English matron surrounded by people going crackers. 

Aviation Week, 8 January 1951

News Digest reports that Convair San Diego has just delivered the first B-36Bs modernised to B-36D standards to Strategic Air Command. That means adding four GE J-47s and "other new equipment." 228 two-to 10-place personal and executive planes were delivered in November, up from 213 in October. Boeing is offering up to $500 bounty to employees recruiting new labour for B-47 production.

Industry Observer reports that Air Material Command has issued a letter of intent to buy the Glenn L. Martin Matador missile, that McDonnell is giving the USAF a demonstration of their "Little Henry" ramjet helicopter, that de Havilland Canada is delivering its first Beavers in New Zealand shortly, that Airspeed will have the prototype Ambassador flying soon, and Aeroproducts is doubling the size of its propeller plant.  

Washington Roundup reports that  we're still waiting for the Emergency Programme, that General Marshall is defending "partial" mobilisation in the press, versus Senator O'Mahoney of the Appropriations Committee who is still pushing a "gop fast" approach. The air force is suddenly talking about a 200 group air force(!!!!), that next year will see more missiles, especially the short-range ones everyone is talking about. The USAF won't buy new training planes, as it already has scads, but it does want a new medium troop transport, while the Navy is going "all out" for helicopters. 

Alexander McSurely, "Production Step-Up Faces Rocky Road" Industry thinks that a five-fold increase is right out, although a three-fold one is doable. Employment will hit half a million by the middle of 1951, but labour costs will be up throughout the industry, especially if the services return to the 48 hour week. In related news, Congress has added $5 billion to air appropriations for 1951. 

Thomas M. Self, "First US Turboprop Transport Flies" I can't remember. Have I hit you over the head with a baseball bat while screaming "Convair Allison Turboliner Aargh!" in the last five minutes? No, well come here, because I have a new bat! "As yet, the company has no orders for military or commercial conversions." The Turboliner is described in some detail, which is weird because it is just a 240 with turboprop engines, not even much in the way of a new prop installation. 

"Industry Studies New EPT Law" Everyone has been studying it. Talk to your tax lawyers, not me!

Ben S. Lee, "USAF Calls in More Auto Firms" Studebaker is to make J47s, while GM will build F-84s (and put license Sapphires in them). Also, GE and Lockheed have new contracts, but they're not auto companies so I fail to see what they're doing in this article.

Aeronautical Engineering has "Heron Suggested as Best Short-Haul Bet" The De Havilland Heron seems like the best bet for a short haul feeder liner in the 1955 time frame, as it follows the old Rapide formula with the right range of 14--17 passengers and has a four-engine configuration suitable for overwater flight. It is a "logical, immediate replacement for the obsolete DC-3" Oh. For a moment there I was optimistic about its chances, but it is doomed. Doomed!

"Cameras Aid in Flight Testing" Seems like we just heard about this from Douglas, and now CAA talks about the same work. 

"Tail Wags Plane: But NACA Studies Show Designers How to Avoid Flight Instability" Aviation Week visits NACA and checks out its testing regime for preventing tail oscillations, with all the snaking and wiggling that results. This was the only problem that BOAC ever found with the Tudor, if I'm remembering right. That's not to say that the mysterious disappearances were caused by tail instability, but that's all we have to go on, and the Arbroath problem was certainly due to problems with the tail, albeit tail-heavy overloading is only going to be a contributing factor to any problems caused by tail wag. 

"New 'Muscle for British Jets" McGraw-Hill World News Service brings us the Rotax cartridge starter, originally developed for the de Haviland Ghost, now availalbe as a production accessory. 

"Drop Data" A new way of getting pilot's reactions to high-altitude ejection bailout is the subtitle, which for a change I don't add to the title because I want to quote it in full and dwell on what it doesn't say, which is that it is hard to get a pilot reaction other than "It's really cold," and "I can't breathe," and "My separated shoulder hurts!" So instead of talking to those whiners, Bendix has built a "ruggedised" telemetering system, the AN/AKT-3, which goes right on reporting after as many as 14 jumps from as high as 43,000 feet.

"Concrete Throat" The students at the Northrop Aeronautical Institute designed a neat little concrete that for its wind tunnel that looks kind of like a mushroom in the picture.  It is a simple and cheap solution to a complicated design problem. 

"Pionair: BEA's New Version of the DC-3" BEA and Scottish Aviation aim to add five years to the life of the DC-3, no dollars spent, with a makeover at Prestwick. It will get heavier, and the radio operator's cabin will be removed, allowing(?) the plane to revert to two-crew operation, while the heavy C-47 flooring, added during the war, will be replaced by a more passenger-suitable light floor. 

Equipment has "Porous Panel Anti-Icing System," which is an advertorial all the way from Britain, where TKS has Ministry of Supply approval for panel de-icing, field tested on a Vickers Viking. It pastes over stabilisers and economises on de-icing fluid. 

New Aviation Products has Met-L-X Dry Powder, from Ansul Chemical Company of Marinette, Wisconsin, which is a dry fire extinguisher for metal fires in magnesium sodium, potassium, zinc, powdered aluminum and other materials, and works by smothering them with a new, proprietary agent that is non-toxic and non-abrasive. I find the thought of fighting fires in magnesium metal structures a bit scary. Can't we just all run away until the factory stops burning? No-one is going to miss Marinette, Wisconsin, anyway! United Lacquer Mfg Corporation has VB-24, a plastic finish that eliminates glare from stainless steel surfaces on guided missiles. Airlarm of Houston has a "lightweight, compact and low cost" air pressure warning system for use wherever compressed air might leak out of the machinery. 

Production checks in with light plane builders, who have no idea what to do, and Boeing, with its "sound labour plan."

Letters has the latest on  how everyone sneers at air cargo and shouldn't, from the desk of Frank B. Lynott of Slick Airways (put a lion on your liner!), a thanks on the latest article on the Super DC-3 from Douglas public relations, and "A Woman's View," which is that air racing is pointless and dangerous and we shouldn't do it, says Mrs. Elinor Schumacher, the assistant airport manager at Southtown Airport, in Oaktown, Illinois. Three correspondents sent in nice letters, get published. (Aviation Week is just swell for praising TWA's smart advertising, fighting unnecessary censorship while calling for better security screening, and something about air safety.)

Air Transport has F. Lee Moore, "100-Ft Minimums Now in Sight" Once again an article edited in defiance of all good journalistic practice signals that we're going to be talking about low visibility approaches. First line" "In Kalberer's system, the colour of the CAA slopeline portion is white. . . " Who? What? (Admittedly the first line of the article seems to have been chopped off and used as a caption, so it isn't gone beyond the ken of man, but even so.) 
The article is about how automatic approach equipment and approach lights will make landings possible with 100ft visibility limits in the next two years, which isn't actually news, and that the Kalberer approach might be a compromise betweren the airline pilots and the Air Force that will allow the CAA to get ahead with installing approach lights. 

"Comfort for Flying Wounded" Aviation Week takes a peek into the C-54Ms flying the wounded home from Korea. It doesn't look comfortable to me! More like "A Charity Hospital And a Freight Car Had a Baby!" Now with oxygen outlets for all patients and hot meal service and insulation!

"BOAC Report Indicates Busy 1951" BOAC is making a profit as from September, is bringing the Comet and the "105-seat Princesses" into service. Bringing it close to home, a Canadian Pacific DC-3 crash-landed on the top of 5500ft Mount Okanagan, fifteen passengers and one of three crew surviving. 

Editorial asks "What Kind of War Will It Be?" I think everyone is hoping, "Not a war at all," which is why all the orders for all-out aircraft production aren't forthcoming. That being said, the nature of the war determines the kind of planes we'' build, right? Cart before horse and all of that? Then we end with a long blow-by-blow of a difficult phone conversation that Aviation Week had with Uncle Henry that doesn't sound pleasant at all. Uncle Henry never being one to let truth get in the way of a good story, it's all a fog between the negotiations to get the Packet contract for Willow Run (apparently he started out trying to get the B-47), what Aviation Week said, and why it might have been said, and so on. Aviation Week gallantly says that Kaiser-Frasier has  a good war record with Brewster and Fleetwings, which seems pretty generous to me, and then lights into the disasters that were the Spruce Goose and the Hiller helicopter to make a point that should be familiar in these parts, which is that Uncle Henry is a clown who shouldn't be trusted with your money in anything more complicated than pouring concrete. But, Aviation Week concludes, all the best to Kaiser-Frasier, "for the sake of the country."


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