I hope you're enjoying the funeral! It sounds like so much more fun than the Bay in February. Well, I mean, it's a funeral, but it isn't like any of us knew George VI. Well, you might have known him. Although his brother seems like more your speed. Who knows? Maybe Uncle George knew him? Probably not. We'd have heard about it. I feel badly for the new queen, especially since I haven't been able to warm to her husband. At least over in Europe you can't hear the screams of anguish from the aviation industry, and possibly you can even pick up a newspaper that isn't front-to-back stories about whether Governor Stevenson will run. Good for gloomy old Britain!
Your Loving Daughter,
The Economist, 2 February 1952
"Still Beginning" The Economist prods the Government to get on with its austerity budget and explains that it has to "cajole. . . or induce. . " the engineering industry to deliver more goods overseas and less domestically, where Her Majesty's subjects can do without buildings, machine tools and other such luxuries. Also maybe we can cut do something to reduce demand, like cut defence spending and raise taxes. Hmm. Cut defence spending, you say?
darkness in Egypt is, on the one hand, the Cairo riots and the fall of the Wafd government. On the other, it is the twilight obscurity into which old Economist Leaders are receding. Did you know that Egyptians have a good point about the British ignoring their obligations under the Canal treaty? That General Erskine's berserk attack on the auxiliary police headquarters was actually a legitimate thing for Egyptians to get upset about? Have you ever thought that perhaps the Canal Zone game isn't worth the ticket, and we should talk to the Egyptians about "sharing the burden" of defending the Canal Zone? The Economist thinks so, now that there have been riots, and also now that there is a Tory government in power.
"The Price of Labour" The only solution to all economic difficulties is higher unemployment, part one million. And we've thought of a new way of getting there that doesn't involve reducing exports: a payroll tax! It's like raising wages, only none of those awful proles get the money.
"India's Choice" Now that India has elections, there is a whole other country full of English speakers that The Economist gets to tell how to vote. Who ever said Indian independence was a bad idea? (PS: Congress, but only because Nehru is leaning on the right wing of the party.)
Notes of the Week
"Churchill on China" So what's the Queen's First Dotard have to say? He didn't mean to talk like Joe McCarthy in Washington last week, and if you read his comments, it is possible to argue that he didn't. And, anyway, that's not what he meant, or, anyway, that's not what he means he meant then, now. The important point is that we're for drowning the Korean War in the bathtub and getting on to trading with China and only blowing up Communism with atom bombs if Communism is very, very naughty. Also, everyone wants peace in Korea and the only question is the prisoner exchange, and it wouldn't be a problem if Beijing didn't insist on not giving the UN everything it wants, as one does in negotiations.
Notification of Vacancies Order is silly and won't work.) Also, making a general or a member of the House of Lords, or the seventh member of the Lords to be in Churchill's cabinet, the Defence Minister is a terrible idea. Unless it is Lord Alexander, in which case it is fine. Just don't do it again!
Also in major Notes, something seems to be keeping the United States of Europe, European Army division, parts one and two; and the future of Eastern Europe, while dire, has nothing to do with what might or might not happen in western Europe.
"Still No Five Year Plan" Russians don't speak English, and aren't capitalists, but don't think that they won't come for stern words from the magazine if they can't get their Five Year Plan together, as they have not for an entire year now, even though they are, says Moscow, exceeding the targets of the Five Year Plan that would be in effect now if it existed. Which means that it does exist, but is secret? Or maybe that it doesn't exist, but the targets do? "Mr. Beria" says that industrial output has doubled since 1940, that the work force has increased by 2 million since last year, and that 27 million square meters of floor space have been built in the year. However, agriculture was a disappointment, with grain production down 4 1/2 million tons on last year and 5 million tons behind last year's target.
"Money No Object" We are very disappointed in Harold MacMillan for saying that "money is no object" to get all of that housing built. Dalton used to deny the relationship between "expenditure at home and the overseas deficit," but we know differently, and it is very bad for MacMillan to be like Dalton. Very bad, indeed. Also, the Tories are adding wigs, surgical belts and boots to the items subject to health charges.
If all goes well with the Marquis of Reading's mission to the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East, The Economist is thinking about launching a "What's Keeping the United States of Asia?" series.
Harold Lever's bill to amend the Defamation Act.
"Nigeria's New Government" Exciting word from Nigeria that the new government is fostering the growth of party politics. With any luck, there will be an objectively reactionary slate that the magazine can reluctantly endorse within the year! Or, at least, a left-winger to oppose.
The Economist of 1852 has the only rational reaction to what seems to be an old-time invasion scare, which is to buy guns, make sure that the army's "accoutrements" are "judicious," and the men properly trained, money no object, as it nothing like some noxious expenditure on educating children or sewer drains for country districts.
F. H. Champion of the Building Societies Association writes to let us know that the Association has plans in hand to make sure that houses don't fall down because they are surveyed by surveyors with a "financial interest." John Wiseman of the University of London doesn't want to start a fight with the Anglo-American Council on Productivity, but thinks their whole "British factories make too many models" argument is just silly. T. C. Owtram thinks that the solution to excessive government revenues, and therefore expenditures, due to retrenchment and taxes is to stop spending the money from the Estate Duty specifically, because it is immoral to be taxing estates to start with. Can't argue with that logic! L. Patrick of Haywards Heath thinks that one solution to the problem of not having enough coal to export due to a lack of coal miners is to take away the 7 tons of effectively free coal every miner gets, while E. T. Walker of Thornton Heath would throw in free tickets for railway workers. Roland Smith thinks that forcing Lancashire mills to keep on exporting "grey cloth" to "markets of low consuming power" is probably not a good idea when it doesn't pay and Indian and Japanese mills are bound to take the markets, anyway. J. Hajnal[*] writes from Princeton, New Jersey, that consumer research is so a good idea.
Elizabeth Brunner have Capital Development in Steel, which is a very worthwhile book. I mean, I would talk about the review if it actually reported what the authors concluded about United Steel, as opposed to going on endlessly about how they did it. But it doesn't, so I don't really have anything to say. Viscount Maugham's UNO and War Crimes defines "war crimes" as not including making people guess how to pronounce "Maugham." Although I am guessing that it rhymes with "Having your cake and eating it, too," as English is a funny language, and so is the argument that the 1928 Treaty of Paris does make waging aggressive war a war crime, but, nevertheless, you shouldn't prosecute it because it might not be. "The Fifth Earl of Rosebery" has Mr. Gladstone's Last Cabinet, which was printed in History Today, which is advertising heavily in the magazine this month. Maybe it should have saved its ads until it had something more interesting bump than a cabinet history? But apparently it is "valuable and amusing," mainly because it has lots of snide comments about the politics of the day. Is there anyone who finds that sort of thing funny?
For those who don't have a reference library on their desks for just such an occasion, the Fifth Earl of etc was a British Liberal Imperialist who "drifted to the right of the party" and died in 1929. Elie Halevy's Imperialism and the Rise of Labour is a brilliant and insightful book that is wrong about everything, and I treasure the observation because it finds the magazine actually defending the labour movement against someone who is not an outright Fascist. Wila Donahue and Clark Tibbets have edited the proceedings of the third "Annual Conference on Ageing" into Growing in the Older Years. I am told that if you grow in your older years, you won't have very many of them, and that you should focus on shrinking, instead! Oh. "Growing" means that the number of old people is growing, which is a problem because they expect to be able to retire, as opposed to working seventy hours a week until they die. A modest proposal to fix the problem by getting rid of worker's insurance is floated.
"Far Eastern Course" As Mr. Churchill said then, Britain is all in with the United States on bombing China into peace, backing the Koumintang, and talking with the Persians. Therefore the question lies in establishing, as mentioned earlier, what he means now by what he said then, which is pretty much that he is continuing all of Labour's policies except for not talking with the Persians, only in a more friendly and pro-American way. Americans are to be directed to understand that they are being befriended, and stop making such asses of themselves. To which I can only say good luck, because the election is still months away. Maybe, and this is as much as I will promise, there will be some relief on the assedness front (look, if I can compose the word in characters, it must be a real word) after the primaries. Meanwhile we can all agree that at least we're being more reasonable about the Japanese than the Australians. Though the fact that John Foster Dulles is fine with alleged militaristic war criminals might be bad news about John Foster Dulles, as opposed to good news about the new Japan!
"Growing Pains in the Air" The Economist has commissioned a Special Correspondent to look into how the United States spent more money than anyone thought there was in the world to produce an air fleet of pottering B-36s and unimpressive F-84s, with just a sprinkling of F-86s and the first signs of B-47s on top, and no plan at all for actually getting atom bombs to Moscow against a defensive screen of MiG-15s. On the bright side, the "600 mile-an-hour-class B-52" will be along in three years or so. The answer is machine tools. No-one thought to make sure that the machine tool industry could re-equip the industry to produce all these planes. Silly no-one! (Truly a motto for an election year!) The good news is that, while the Navy is making jet fighters too, it doesn't really have a way of using them, since its aircraft carriers are too feeble to support or catapult them. The other good news is that the American public doesn't seem to be taking it all very seriously.
"Missing Heir at the White House" Stop me if you've heard this one, but this is a Presidential election year! What's more, Estes Kefauver is going to run for the Democratic nomination, which requires an explanation of who Kefauver is. He's that television crime guy. You're welcome! Also, Adlai Stevenson is doing the "I might run or I might not" dance, so we have to report that. Then, to make it seem like it is only a possibility, and not practically an official announcement, we have to mention that every and all other Democratic politician of note might run, because I'm sure Senator Kerr of Oklahoma is a shoe-in against some poor nobody like General Eisenhower. Speaking of Truman possibly not running, the magazine notices the scandal at the Commodity Credit Corporation, where all those farmers who were paid so much money to store all that surplus grain might turn out to have sold it. Also, the Senate Finance Committee is taking a run at the independence of the Federal Reserve, which is a very big thing for the magazine, and Congress "is being urged to approve the practical details of the programme for universal military training." Which I think translates into Real World Talk as "Congress is going to be able to delay UMT to death as long as we have peace in Korea soon."
"Atoms Unlimited" The US Government has already spent $2.5 billion on atomic installations, is committed to bringing that up to $5 billion, and the Administration now wants to increase that to $10 billion. That only covers making fissionable material and not "running the new plants and putting their output to practical use." The full $5 billion programme would be 3% of national expenditure and put "an excessive strain" on supplies of structural steel and lead! The "practical use" probably covers commercial use, and The Economist hopes that America will start exchanging information with Britain soon, so we can get that under way. Also, the American woollens industry is threatening to move south where labour is cheaper and meanwhile is fighting a last-ditch war with synthetic substitutes like dynel and dacron. New England would probably be more upset if the industry wasn't dying anyway.
The World Overseas
"Nigerians Become Politicians" Further on the exciting prospect of lecturing a whole new country on who to elect. Discouragingly, The Economist doesn't know enough about the Nigerian economy to be gloomy about its prospects, and tries unconvincingly to be down-at-mouth about its constitution, instead. It's just not the same!
You know what's keeping the United States of Europe? The new German army might be like the old one! But it probably won't be, so that's fine.
"Asia According to Mao" Mao is going to take over Asia, and then the world, just as soon as he can, because he's just like Hitler that way. Meanwhile, the Leaders of the Free World (North Atlantic division) have answer the 'Wise Men of Nato" with a hearty round of "flock off!" To mince words. Something about defence expenditure and inflation, with a dressing of Indo-China.
The Business World
"Task for the Budget" Less investment, (extending to a separate Leader), less steel, higher interest rates, higher taxes (maybe). More exports. A third Leader denounces "Clippers without the Axe." Hire purchase rates, especially for cars, are to go up. The British tourist allowance is to go down! Tobacco prices will go up as imports are cut. American producers can expect to be leaned on when the current film import agreement expires.
"Economic Aid" We are talking about US aid, specifically mostly military, again. It is all pretty arcane and has to do with American concerns that aid money won't go to defence unless it is made to.
"Ironfounders and the Steel Federation" The ironfounders are upset at the steelmakers' claim that too many iron castings is why steel production didn't hit the 16 million ton target last year. Steel's case is that steel is more efficient in its use of raw ore than iron, so that iron foundry output should be limited to its 1950 level until steel output is restored to the 1950 level of 16 1/2 million tons. The ironfounders' reply is that while this is all hooey, the current licenses will impose the 1950 limits on iron castings, anyway, so steel should shut up and take its victory.
South Africa and Britain are fighting about how much gold should have to go to England in return for how much South African spending which has to be in pounds sterling and how much on "the cheapest source of supply," which is to say, American goods. There is a suggestion of a breakthrough, which implies a South African gold sale to Britain is in the offing, which would be good, I think? Also, there might be a revision of the Anglo-Japanese payments agreement, which was about something, I forget, in return for a big buy of Japanese steel, and also possibly a Japanese purchase of Russian coal, which could be made in sterling, because Russia is part of the sterling transferable account area, which would be a good thing, except that Washington will get upset.
The Economist is upset that the wage settlement in the building sector is going to lead to higher building costs, pleased with a minor breakthrough in American tin purchases, not optimistic about a similar one on rubber.
British victories at the Monte Carlo rallies show that British car builders are doing something right, although according to The Economist, as little as possible, since elite racing and luxury cars are not for the consumer market. I'm not sure anyone ever thought they were? They're for a "very limited market." And that's bad. We only like markets where colonials are forced to buy our stuff for pounds sterling, like it or not!
"Specialised Ships for Ore" Ore Carriers, Ltd, formed last year by Houlder Brothers and British United Steel, has finalised plans for the six big ore carriers they are having designed by William Gray and built in West Hartlepool. They are being designed for Port Talbot, with a cargo of 9000t in mind, but there is some thought that other plants might be able to take a larger carrier with a capacity of 15,000t.
Stavros Niarchos of North American Shipping and Trading (London). The firm already has several of 32,000 deadweight tonnage under construction, while the largest in service, belonging to British Tanker Company, are of 26,000t. The 44,000t vessels will be powered by geared steam turbines developing 20,000shp to give 17 knots. This will be the highest power ever applied to a single shaft; and since they will draw 36ft, will be reserved to serving a route from Kuwait to Rotterdam and the Thames.
"Steel and Industrialisation" Steel consumption per head in Britain is half as high as in the United States, but twice as high as France, according to a recent booklet from the British Iron and Steel Federation, but "takes no account of indirect exports." It is noteworthy that Germany had the highest level in 1938, and is no doubt regaining ground now.
Aviation Week, 4 February 1952
News Digest reports that there is a plan to reduce the weight of the C-46, that five senior employees of Aerodex, the Miami aircraft overhaul and maintenance firm, were killed in a Lockheed Lodestar crash at Miami International on 22 January. Two men have pled guilty in the ongoing Wright Field kickback and corruption investigation, Lawrence A. Razete and Luther M. Kratz.
Voodoo XF-88A, which will be designated the F-101 in service and be the longest ranged US jet fighter yet developed. The North American Sabre 45 (for its 45 degree swept wings) will become the F-100, and will use the J57, "rapidly becoming the hottest American jet engine." The new computing gunsight developed at GE is the best computing gunsight ever, but the stupid Air Force won't order it. Army aviation procurement is going well for now, but the stupid Defence Department only gave it $36 million in 1953 even thoug the army is now receiving the first of its 96 Sikorski H-19 helicopters which goes to show that it needs almost ten times as much money. It is reported that the British will order the De Havilland 110 for its all-weather interceptor, with some orders for the more radical Gloster GA-5 delta-wing following later. North American has rolled out the first aircraft built at the Columbus plant it bought from Curtiss-Wright, a modified reconnaissance variant of the Navy AJ-2P Savage. In spite of the general shortage of aircraft engines, the Air Force has an embarrassment of spare engines for the Piasecki XH-16 because it will take the Pratt and Whitney R-2180, which was supposed to replace the Twin Wasp on the C-54/DC-4, but which no-one wants, because who wants a new generation of piston engine these days? Seriously, what were they thinking in Hartford?
Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup reports that "defence is getting political," and, to prove it, fills up most of the column with a grab-bag of quotes about defence from politicians and generals, mainly to the effect that there shouldn't be defence cuts. The Navy reminds us that the Air Force is having trouble with its overseas bases programme and that ships don't need airfields in Morocco, and the Navy isn't getting nearly as many planes as the Air Force, to which the Air Force replies that the Navy's air buildup is, in practice, bigger than the Air Force's "paper" expansion. Donald Nyrop says that from now on, a CAB member has to go to every crash site.
"Crashes Spurs Attack on Aircraft Problems" Four crashes in six weeks mean that something has to be done, and with people up in arms, now might be a good time to look at noise, too. Newark, which is very upset ("in a highly emotional state") after two crashes within city limits in two months, including the latest, in which a Convair Liner hit a six-story building. The CAA, which is feeling the heat to close Newark Airport (which takes about a third of landings in the New York area), points out that only 15 people have been killed on the ground by air crashes since WWII, which is safe as houses compared with autos. (Though I think you're supposed to make the comparison with busses, not all auto fatalities.) Newark's new runway will be instrument-landing only, and airlines are talking about avoiding cities in their approaches, reducing flights during sleeping hours, developing crosswinds landing gear (again?) and other safety devices previously deemed too expensive, while municipalities are being urged to zone airport approach areas to reduce build-up in them. No-one living there means no-one to complain about noise!
"Ford-Chicago Plant to Produce J-57s", it is reported here,phasing out the Wasp Major earlier than expected. The Air Force is going to order a version of the Navy's A3D bomber as the B-66,to carry atomic bombs and as a reconnaissance type. A Capital Airlines DC-4 recently went into an uncontrolled 2200ft dive at 6000ft before a ripped strip of fabric cover on the elevator tore off.
Canada is buying 368 US aircraft, 29 British surplus C-47s, and some 1000 US-designed aircraft to be made in Canada at a total $14 million bill not including some helicopters being ordered for experimental purposes and some Beech Expediters for navigational training.
Aeronautical Engineering has David A. Anderton reporting that "Diesel Power Proving Out in Aircraft Use," which in practice means that an inventor in Philadelphia is putting a diesel engine in a Taylorcraft and trying to persuade Aviation Week readers that it is a good idea. The rest of the article explains how a fuel-injected diesel engine works. Thanks for that, Aviation Week!
"Servo Drive Puts Camera in Step" Origins, Incorporated, of Saybrook Connecticut, can't even get a correspondent out, but it still gets a full page advertorial for its Maurer Servo-Sync Camera Drive System. It's a little electrical motor that lifts and shuts the camera shutter on a Bell and Howell. Also, General Radio has a sound analyser and Wright wants us to know that the choice to put the R-3350 Turbo-Compound on the DC-7 makes it the best thing since, well, you know. Also, it is bug-free (finally).
"Sweden's Saab 210 Draken Jet Delta Takes Off" It does!
NACA Reports Christopher Kraft and Arthur Assadourian collaborate on a threnody of hope set against the background of the late capitalist anomie of an angle of attack vane, helplessly mounted ahead of the nose of an airplane to be ruthlessly exploited by investment capital as a sensing device for an acceleration alleviator, promising a smoother ride for capitalist exploiters of the market, even when flying coach. Elmet a. Horton mobilises a nameless force of anonymous proletarians to investigate the nefarious activities of two NACA 64 airfoil sections with boundary-layer control to avert worker control of production, and conducts a non-Marxist-Leninist analysis of of their possible application. W. E. Moeckel, a true Stakhanovite of aerodynamic labour, works alone to establish how class division leads to flow separation ahead of blunt (bourgeois, I am sure) bodies at supersonic speeds. Benjamin Milwitzky and Dean C. Lindquist nationalise and socialise their atelier to produce an evaluation of the reduced-mass (because it has been expropriated by the proletariat!) method of representing wing-lift effects in free-fall drop tests of revolutionary movements in landing gears, which, it is unfortunately concluded, tend to give right deviationist results.
Avionics has Philip Klass reporting on a "Faster Reacting Autopilot for Speedy B-47" It's an autopilot that gets the bomber out of the way of flak during bombing runs, instead of being forced to do straight runs. The main point is that Boeing and the contractors (Honeywell and Sperry) had to do a lot of math to figure out what inputs the autopilot would receive from the controls during evasive manoeuvring, and how it should react to keep the bomb on target. The autopilot used in the test was a Honewell E-6, which was used in the B-47A, although Boeing has switched to a Sperry autopilot for the B-47B, perhaps because of a "system integration problem." It is a modified version of the A-12, developed for airlines. The modified A-12 will have acceleration signals in all three axes and a rate-of-change altitude signal on the barometric altitude control to reduce the aircraft's tendency to porpoise. These modifications will not be included in later makes of the airline A-12 because that would be dumb. Airliners don't have to evade flak! Also, Boeing thinks that at least one cause of vacuum tube failures on airplanes is, and you heard it here first, vibrations! (The actual point of the article might be that makers are delivering lots of faulty tubes that fail quickly.)
Eicor wants us to know that it has a 400Hz inverter with an electronic regulator that will maintain a more constant frequency than ever, using thyratron control tubes.
Production has "Mill Will Speed Tapered Sheets," a paper by A. H. Langenheim, who is an Industrial Specialist at Air Materiel Command, Dayton. Also, North American is expanding its modification facility at Fresno.
Equipment has George L. Christian reporting on "Tiger's Fleet Doubled in Year," which is about how Flying Tigers has ordered some DC-6As., and is having a banner year, and also does some of that maintenance stuff that everyone is talking about these days. TWA wants us to know that it really likes its IBM card-machine ticket readers. Plessey has a new, faster starter for the Rolls Royce Nene.
New Aviation Products leads off with a folding plane seat from Burns Aero Seat and follows up with a mobile power supply unit for B-47s on the tarmac, the new "Con-Torq" lock nut from E. A. Besson, a rust preventative paint from United Laboratories, a dye penetrant for detecting cracks from Turco Products, and polyester resin plane parts from American Cyanimid. I guess when all the good stuff gets its own advertorial, it's only the bad stuff left.
Air Transport has F. Lee Moore reporting on "ANDB to Test Airborne Radar Beacon," which is the Air Navigation Development Board working on an airborne radar transponder that will allow airliners to show up even better than ever.
A special pictorial feature explains how to tell a Martin 4-0-4 apart from a Convair 340. (It's easy. The 4-0-4 bankrupted Martin, and the Convair 340 is going to bankrupt Convair!)
Cockpit Viewpoint by Captain R. C. Robson has "Action on Accidents Needed" You don't say? He actually has a pretty long list of what are probably some very reasonable concerns, and well-founded doubts that the CAB/CAA are going to do anything about them.
Anne J. Mathes' Manual of Aviation Laws, and lets us know about Eutetic Welding Alloys' new 16 page directory of low-temperature welding alloys; and the Tube Reducing Corporation's Machine Hot-Forms Tubing into Complex Parts, and Bulletin CEC 1503 from Consolidated Engineering, which is about vibration and acceleration studies, and how to choose the right one for you.
Robert Wood's Editorial thinks that the industry should do more about safety and talk less. He also wishes that more subscribers wrote in, and is pleased that all the helicopter makers are being civil to each other.
The Economist, 9 February 1952
King George VI is dead. God save the poor Queen.
"Incentives for Farmers" It turns out that higher rents on agricultural land don't actually work to produce more food, just as they have never worked, although as collectors of rent, we here at the offices of The Economist say that that is no reason to stop trying. And clearly paying more for crops is right out. Maybe some kind of weird incentive scheme? Just as long as it doesn't involve us paying working farmers more, or for people to pay more for food.
Notes of the Week
"Her Majesty's Government" The death of the King is very inconvenient for Parliament, which will have to spend the next two weeks digging up the court mourning dress and getting it altered, which leaves hardly any time for the budget, so if the Opposition could kindly withdraw its "Resolved: It is th Sense of This House That the PM is Gaga" motion, that would be great!
"Defence Costs" The Prime Minister wasn't going to speak to the subject of his mental competency until Wednesday, anyway, but in the mean time he had a nice little fight with Aneurin Bevan over Bevan being right all along, and what was he going to do about it, which continues to be, wait until the appropriate interval has elapsed, and then steal Bevan's ideas while denouncing him as a communist. And then it is off to talk about National Health Service charges again.
"Wider Horizons for Egypt" The Economist is very happy with Egypt's new Prime Minister, who is quickly fixing everything. The Economist's tone has changed so much that I can only think that there has been some direction that Britain does not want to occupy Egypt, and isn't going to. At home, something about public service pensions, and the cuts in secondary school building, which is going to lead to more overcrowding than expected.
"Japan and China" Japan and China are getting along famously even though Japan has "come to terms with" the Koumintang, because the Japanese have done so without recognising the Republic of China as the rightful government of China. The fear was that Peking would retaliate against Japanese trade, leading the Japanese to export to Southeast Asia and compete with the British there. Nothing like that has happened.
"World Bank and Persian Oil" The World Bank has sent a delegation to Teheran to volunteer to take over the Persian oil industry for Persia, and appoint a "neutral top executive group" to run it, until such time that those silly old Iranians are grown up enough to run a big oil refinery all by themselves. The Persians seem to think that this is condescending.
"Ireland and the Crisis" The Irish are also unreasonable, and did not send anyone to the Commonwealth finance committee last month because they have this crazy idea that not being allowed to convert their sterling balance into dollars to cover their trade deficit with America using their trade surplus with Britain is somehow Britain exploiting them. As, I hear, has happened before in history.
"Federation Timetable" "It is to be hoped that before April the whole affair [of the Central African Federation] will be debated in Parliament and the Government asked to make its attitude clearer." Also, some fussing in the Church of England is somehow worthy news.
"Peron's Promises and Problems" Argentina doesn't have enough meat or grain to export, so it is raising food prices, which is bad news for Peron, given all the promises he has made over the years.
The Economist of 1852 reviews the Reverend H. Formby's The Young Singer's Book of Songs, including an adaptation of Goldsmith's "Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog," which sounds perfect for children.
W. H. Lowe has some profound opinions about payroll taxes and labour that are hard to make out due to some water damage. H. Houston of Sutton Coldfield wonders what R. G. Hawtrey thinks of the rise in the bank rate, considering that one in 1920 ended the postwar boom back then. He explains how a rise in the bank rate might actually lead to deflation, as people stop lines of business which can't make money in the anticipated downturn. It seems like a more elaborate argument than it needs to be. Won't you take money out of a business with a 2% return and put it into bonds at 3%? I guess I must be missing something! S. A. Pakeman writes from Ceylon that there is no concern that the Ceylonese might get upset at the British, because everyone in Ceylon loves the British. It's just that everyone out here is just naturally segregationist. T. B. V. Hurst explains that enamelled steel could replace enamelled cast iron and save about 112,500 and 2/3rds tons of steel and 75,000 tons of coal.
Sir Joseph Davies has The Prime Minister's Secretariat, 1916--1920, which is about Lloyd George's little "garden suburb" of advisors. It is a different look at a group that everyone else hated, and which is blamed for bringing down the government in 1922. Also, Sir John is one of three men that the magazine can think of who wrote books past the age of 85. Michael Greenberg's British Trade and the Opening of China is a good book about, well, you know, using the records that a British trading company threw open to the historian to shed a bit more light on the coming of the Opium War. Sounds interesting although hardly the end of the story. D. T. Lakdawala has International Aspects of Indian Economic Development, which seems to be about how much foreign capital will be needed for India to develop at the very high rate needed to keep ahead of population growth, and what sorts of difficulties might arise in raising all that capital. J. Tinberg's Econometrics
"Saving Spree" Inflation is not raising prices as quickly as expected in America, which is making it hard for the President to sell his stabilisation plan, especially in an election year, and the reason might be that Americans are as happy to save as they are to spend, producing ever greater amounts of liquid asset reserves. It does seem to be argument against cost of living adjustments in contracts not being an inflation driver.
"Eyes on Illinois" It seems as though Governor Stevenson will run for President, and he seems like a perfectly good candidate. Better than the rock-ribbed Kansas Republican who keeps pretending that he isn't anything of the sort, and what a fine time for Chester Wilmot's book to come out.
"New Hampshire's All-Star Cast" I don't know if you know it, but this is a Presidential election year in the United States, and there are going to be Presidential primaries in the state of New Hampshire, for both parties, and they will be the first! Therefore, they will be very exciting and vastly important. Here, let me give them as much space here as they deserve . . . No, you're right, it would take too much rubber to erase the last two lines. Also, Democratic Administration scandals are being investigated by scandalous Democratic members of the Administration.
"Senator Capehart's Silver Lining" Mike DiSalle is headed out the door, but is hoping to stop a steel strike on his way. The Capehart amendement to the Price Stabilisation Bill gave companies considerable room to raise prices to cover increases in costs in previous periods, which at the time, everyone felt was terrible. However, not many companies took up the opportunity, and the steel companies didn't. Now, they can use it to raise prices to cover wage increases for the unions, thereby averting the strike. Senator Capehart is very upset to see his amendment being used for good instead of evil, but what can he do? And DiSalle thinks that inflation is just around the corner, so balancing the wage increases with price increases seems like a good idea.
The World Overseas
"The War of the Wavelengths" The BBC is under pressure to cut spending because of austerity and all of that, which calls for a quick round-the-world tour of all the international shortwave radio broadcasters who are fighting for their place on the dial (do shortwave radios have dials?) with ever more powerful stations. The flying saucers aren't coming to talk with us, they're coming to tell us do turn it down, because some planets are trying to sleep.
"Black Sea Colonies for Russians" Which is to say that the Russians are leaning heavily on Bulgaria and Rumania to develop their maritime provinces, and this counts as "colonial imperialism," showing that the Reds do it, too. In concrete terms, they are completing the Black Sea-Danube canal, and draining and improving in the Bulgarian province south of the river mouth. People have been deported, especially ethnic minorities, the port of Varna has been renamed for Stalin, no-one is allowed in the construction areas, a new port at Midia in the delta marshes is in the wrong location because of Communist planning, and colonies of Russian settlers, new and old, are settled here and there. Also, profits are up hugely this year, but assorted soreheads and social malcontents shouldn't m ake anything of it, because it is fine, and actually probably a bad sign for industry, with continuing "euthanasia of the rentier," although The Economist prefers "euthanasia of the risk taker."
The Business World
We start off with a long Leader investigating who might buy Iron and Steel Corporation shares, which are the arcane instruments by which the British nationalised the industry. The conclusion is that no-one will, and it is all bunk. Also bunk (in advance) is any complaint by the usual crowd of "social malcontents" at the unexpectedly high profit rates reported by firms this month.
"Dismissals in Coventry" We check in with the Humber and Morris works in Coventry, which have finally dismissed some of their underemployed workers, leaving still far from enough to make up the lack at machine tool and aero engine factories. It is all sad, but what are you going to do when there is no steel?
"Tussle for Meat" Argentina and Britain are in for tough negotiations for the next meat contact.
"Waiting for the Spring" Textile industries are down in Britain and the United States. That might be because seasonality is returning to the market, in which case there will be large orders in the early spring, but in the meantime there is continued short-timing and underemployment in the mills. Output is up, by 4 or 5% over the year, depending on type of cloth, but the widespread closure of the mills over Christmas kept it lower than it could have been. The explanation for the slump is not that there has been a "buyer's strike," that is, that prices are too high. British, American, and Japanese manufacturers have all tried to re-enter the market at lower prices, without success. It seems that inventory is just too overstocked, which also means that a general fall in prices will mean a heavy loss. There is also some thought that confusion about utility textiles is making buyers reluctant at home, although since there is no evidence for that, I don't know why I am copying this down. Speaking of Japan, the British delegation is finding it harder than expected to keep a Japanese steel contract within the sterling zone are faltering before Japanese demands for access to iron ore within the sterling area, which are "incomprehensible," since they probably mean Australia, which is not "under British control."
"Reports from the Tax Collectors" Excise tax returns in Britain are up a very small amount in 1951, of which the tobacco tax collected £604 million, with little changed. Consumers still prefer cigarettes, and 40% of British tobacco consumption now comes from within the Commonwealth, compared with 25% in the early postwar years, which seems like a huge change and not "little changed!" The excise on beer continues to decline from last year's £262 million. Smugglers have turned away from tobacco and spirits to nylon and watches, which are subject to "organised 'commercial' conspiracies." The Inland Revenue collected £2049 million, down from £2108 last year. Only 60 people in Britain made more than £6000/year after tax last year. Tax evasion is suggested by 1 million fewer returns from women than are believed to be working, while tax overpayment is implied by claims for 500,000 fewer children than the Registrar General thinks, exist.
British Railways Second Gas Turbine" The Metrovick gas turbine locomotive that entered service at Paddington last week has attracted less attention than the first gas turbine locomotive, a Brown-Boveri that entered service two years ago, but mith be more important because it will allow more testing. So far it seems as though the gas turbine's superior acceleration will be useful on "special routes," but the balance between lower maintenance and oil costs versus higher fuel costs has yet to be taken. The Metrovick locomotive is more powerful than the Brown-Boveri, giving 3000hp, to rise to 3500, on 129.5 tons. This bigger than required in Britain, but there are hopes of exports to tropical countries, where turbines will do better in the heat. The Brown-Boveri uses a heat exchanger to increase efficiency, while Metrovick has tried to get the same efficiency improvements by improving the compressor. The Brown-Boveri works cool enough to burn heavy fuel oil, which the British engine burns more expensive diesel. Brown-Boveri engineers think that their engine runs at the highest temperature compatible with reliable long-term working. Metrovick engineers disagree, and are also trying to burn bunker fuel in their locomotive, with an eye to export markets where bunker fuel is much cheaper than diesel.
Indonesia has simplified its exchange rate controls, Britain is sending another 15,000t of its Canadian aluminum allotment to the United States, which means that the supply in Britain will be tight until the St. Lawrence opens for shipping in April. Copper companies are talking about a "change of domicile" to Northern Rhodesia to save money on taxes, or, actually, for very weighty and important reasons of political and administrative considerations that will incidentally allow them to save a great deal of money on taxes.
Zinc and other base metal prices are down, as is wool. William Jessop and Sons, "makers of special steel," have developed "a method of economising in the pouring of high-speed steels that affords 10 to 20% more sound steel from a given ingot." It involves putting a tile into the feeder head to reduce the avoid piping, and might save 4s per ton and relieve a bottleneck in machine tool production.
I've skipped some purely financial news, as you would expect.
Aviation Week, 11 February 1952
News Digest reports that Spencer Crane, who worked with the Wright Brothers on some of their first aircraft, has died at 86. Convair made a bit less than $8 million on $322 million in sales in 1951. Canada is spending $1.5 billion, not $14 million on its 3000 new military aircraft. I thought Canada was getting a bargain!
Industry Observer reports that the Sikorsky S-55 is going to be built in France under license, that the C-46 may get an auxiliary gas turbine under the fuselage to deal with its power problems, that the chance of a US purchase of the Vickers Valiant have receded after the prototype crash after reports that the lack of a fire detector installation allowed the fire to get a start. De Havilland has firm orders for 38 Comets, while B-47 production at Wichita is so troubled by its engineering complexity and frequent change orders that Boeing has been running a virtual second assembly line there to finish the work, which the Air Force is very upset at, ordering Boeing to end its "sick bay" and turn the aircraft over to Douglas-Tulsa or Grand Central at Tucson for Air Force-supervised modifications. The USAF may reverse course on its preference for the Boeing-style refuelling boom, since the multiple refueling system developed by Flight Refuelling can take several fighters at once. The Westinghouse E-9 autopilot going into the F-94C may also be tried out in the Constellation, which has a similar power-boost control system which has led to stability issues with other autopilots. The Marines are asking for a detailed engineering study of the Chase XC-123, Uncle Henry's project at Willow Run, which would be good news for him, considering that Air Force procurement has been cut back. Marine orders would raise the production run by a third.
Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup reports that Washington is coming round to the defence cuts, beginning with taking the pressure off the automotive industry, since the Administration's originally proposed retrenchment would have had an enormous impact throughout the economy, and continuing through a sudden conversion to "finance as the fourth line of defence" in Congress. The Senate is likely to see another round of the "Hoover sea-air power" Republicans inquiring into the reason for just why we have troops in Europe when there isn't enough money for all the planes.
Alexander McSurely reports that "Slash in Funds Threatens US Air Power" The Chevrolet plant at Tonawanda may close, there are troubling signs at Ford-Chicago, where R-4360 production is definitely going to be wound down, but J57licensing is uncertain, Martin is going to top off Canberra production at 20/month instead of 45, and, in general it is all going to be a bloodbath. The Air Force is basically doomed! Just in time for everyone to worry about air safety. Over at Martin, two Pullman executives have been brought in to guide the company back to profitability.
A. W. Jessop reports for McGraw-Hill World News that "Marine Jets"Duplicitous Red negotiators have stolen the objects from all sentences! Either way, I hope you understand. What's worse, the article is only barely about "Marine jets." The Marines will get jets eventually, and have some Grumman Panthers, but right now they mostly fly prop planes and are in the market for transports. The Navy doesn't really have anything that can compete with the MiG-15, and so neither do the Marines.
Production Engineering hasn't had an advertorial from Northrop in forever, so here's "Forging Advances Point Way to Savings" More better forgings can save a lot of money on machining. Also, government budgeteers have been firmly told that they can't make their savings off NACA, because its money is precious. How else would I turn NACA Reports into literary parodies? To prove his point, NACA summarises some recent work for Congress.
"Order Cancels Fisher Lathe Production" Who knows what is going on in US machine tool production, as Fisher gets a sudden cancellation of its order for Bullard Multimathic Lathes. Which is news because Fisher complained to Senator Blair Moody, and he is making a federal case out of it.
"More Briefs from IAS Sessions" We are not yet done with aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, gliding, and structures.
Cessna sends in an advertorial about their work with slotted flaps on a Cessna 170, which cuts landing speed 10% and permits steeper and slower approaches.
Equipment has, if my eyes aren't fooling me, a critical article about a new piece of equipment, Scott H. Reisiger's "Noise Muffler Fails to Impress," which might explain the boxed article in the corner, "NACA Gloomy on Cutting Air Noise." Mufflers have a bad enough reputation for cutting the performance of automobiles with back pressure and excess weight. On airliners, especially modern ones like the Constellation and Convairliner, with jet exhaust stacks, the installation would just be prohibitively heavy. The muffler they have already developed for the C-46 does work, though, and that warrants further research.
George L. Christian reports that "Cal Central Likes Its 2-0-2 Fleet" The airplane that Northwest couldn't get rid of fast enough is working out on California Central Airlines, which likes it for high-density coach routes. They've added a lounge at the front of the plane, and are thinking about an air-to-ground telephone.
In the industry, there is a new standard fare structure for the West Coast, Northwest is taking someone over, an East African line is buying some Italian planes, and we're still short of aircraft mechanics.
Cockpit Viewpoint by Captain R. C. Robson has "Radar Not Guilty," which brings the happy news from the LaGuardia accident on 14 January, when a Northeast Convair landed in the water short of the runway on an instrument approach. An irresponsible newspaper article said that radar was responsible, and Captain Robson will now explain why that is impossible. Mainly, the plane was not being monitored by a radar that can measure altitude, so pilots should not have been refusing to use radar-provided altitude information for several days after the crash. Also, because that didn't take too much space, Captain Robson wonders why the Air Force is always developing the answer to an enemy aircraft like the Zero or the MiG-15, and not a question.
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