Sunday, September 11, 2022

Postblogging Technology, June 1952, I: Javelins for Taft

R_. C_.,

Dear Father:

I must say that Washington is everything I was promised it would be. I did not even know that my hair could frizz! And, yes, I am staying in  some hither suburb closer to Baltimore, but in later years  shall want every bit of credibility when I tell the tales of my salad days.

I shall be  a wizened survivor of the Potomac swamps. Assignations in limousines! Shaking off hostile tails! Leaks taken, bribes given. Like some wily CIA agent (of which there are by my acquaintance exactly none), I am obscuring my tracks now, and even more so then. 

Yes, there might be a bit of daydreaming in it, but at least I do not have to overthrow Mexico for Pat McCarran or whoever is running the CIA now. It's a Dulles brother, yes, I know. I might still be a bit tipsy from drinking my way through a cordial meeting with B. and his new wife. Hah! 

Reggie has promised to take me up in "the stupidest plane ever made until the next Martin plane," on the weekend, which is not is usual approach to test flying, but we are going to land mid-Chesapeake and have a picnic lunch and some plans .

Well. Definitely still tipsy. I think I will close and salute now. 

Your Loving Daughter,


The Economist, 7 June 1952


"Taft and Tact" Senator Taft's very stupid Europe speech has cost him The Economist's vote. I think he can live with that, but there must be some American conservatives who prefer The Economist to Taft. Just to make sure that it doesn't lose them, The Economist wags its finger at Europeans who criticise America badly, which seems to mean, "Not like us!" Because Herbert Morison has been very  naughty. 

"Reason in Rents" The Economist is upset with the way that rents are regulated in Britain. Very upset. Upset for pages. 

"Roundabout and Roundabout" It's bad for everybody when new governments reverse important changes made by previous governments unless we're talking about the Transport Act and the Steel Act, in which case, go right ahead! (If the Tories can come up with a plan for doing it. If they do it without a plan, that would be bad.) On the other hand it should probably get on with it because the industry doesn't know what to do with its shares. 

From The Economist of 1852 comes a celebration of the new "submarine telegraphic communication" between "England and Ireland." What a wondrous age we live in! While the piece is well written by the standards of the old paper, it turns out to be completely wrong. The cable laid in June failed in two days. The first successful cable was laid a year later, confirming that The Economist of 1852 never knows what it is talking about. 

Commonwealth Development, II: Two Basic Conditions" This might be too cynical a reading, but it really seems like this Leader is an elaborate excuse for not investing in Commonwealth countries. But I did learn that the White dominions are industrialising. There's a graph and everything. I'm telling you that because I am not going to go to the trouble of clipping it and adding it to the packet, just in case you think I do that to all the charts and graphs The Economist runs. 

Notes of the Week

"Bevan versus Attlee" Guess who's fighting in Parliament these days? Guess! On the other hand, The Economist is just jolly about the TUC coming out in favour of rearmament. 

"On the German Frontier" The 400-mile frontier between East and West Germany is being turned into a sealed no-man's land similar to the cordon the Soviets have clamped around West Germany. While the border threatens the illegal trade that is essential to the East German economy, it is necessary so that the East Germans can take over running the "Iron Curtain." 

"Police and Partisans" The French are the latest government, after the Italians and Japanese, to face street fighting between the police and Communist partisans, and The Economist can't wait for the effeminate countries to imitate de Gasperi's flying squads of Celeri who repress street rioting with methods of "resisting violence which would be effective but not brutal." Perhaps science can help? There is nothing democratic about hand-to-hand fighting, we're told. 

"Syngman Rhee and the Korean War" The Korean constitution says that President Rhee's term is almost up, he can't run again, and no-one wants him to. The Economist thinks it would be best for all if we see the back of him. 

At home, there is talk of changes in the Town Planning Act, the National Insurance Bill will pass the House "without rancour," and something about funding services under the National Health Service. I'm sure they'll have it sorted out soon! Speaking of which, the British Medical Association is still fighting with County Durham. And Shinwell floated the question of whether Britain ought to continue with two-year national service when only the United States, Belgium Turkey and Greece have an equal period of service, and many don't have it at all. But it turns out that he was just twisting Bevan's tail ahead of the party conference, and the former Secretary of State for War understands that Europe doesn't have enough trained reservists already. Somehow. Seven years after a world war. 

Ana Pauker is in trouble in Rumania and the Western powers are working on their own counter=disarmament proposal. The way Newsweek sees it, Rumania may be the first Eastern Bloc country added to the Soviet Union. 

"Violence in Bechuanaland" It turns out that the Bechuanese are somehow insulted by the idea that they can't have the chief they want because he married a White woman and this goes against White supremacy. Amazing! Fortunately, police reinforcements came over from Southern Rhodesia and restored order with lots of democracy, or possibly just shooting. The Economist is worried that this might be more than a passing fancy and suggests that some thought might be given to a solution that isn't a standing insult to Africans. 

"New Start in India" The Economist is worried about the rise of Communism in India and thinks that "the Japanese may come to have a profound influence on southern Asia's determination not to submit to Communism." So there you go. We are looking for anti-Communist leadership from a member of the Anti-Cominterm Axis. I thought Britain already had a parody newspaper?

"The Egypt-Sudan Talks" The British would be out of Sudan yesterday as long as it didn't mean the Egyptians' getting what they want.


 H. R. Cole and H. F. Lydall write to point out that The Economist is wrong. The budget is, in fact, "generally regressive." The Editor replies that poor people have been hurt by the budget, but not enough for it to be bad because their numbers don't take higher pensions into account. 

 E. J. Hobsbawm, writing from King's College, Cambridge has a long letter about the POW controversy in Korea, arguing that the UN should stop trying to sort their captives into "loyal" and "heroic anti-Communist conscript" groups, and not repatriating the second group, especially since it is holding up an armistice. James Read, the Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, thinks that F. W. Rothschild is overstating the impact of the winding up of the International Refugee Organisation. 


Arnold Toynbee has found some time away from writing all his other books to edit and contribute to The World in March, 1939. "The result is somewhat unsatisfactory." John Simon's Retrospect: Memoirs of the Right Honourable Viscount Simon is the  memoir of a nobody, is how I read the review. Joan Robinson is that woman who does economics and from a pinkish point of view on top of that. One has to concede that she is clear, smart and funny, but she's probably too theoretical in her The Rate of Interest, which is actually three different papers, of which "Notes on the Economics of Technical Progress" is "scrappy," and  "Generalisation of the General Theory" isn't long enough. Hans Morgenthau's American Foreign Policy is a "sermon on Realpolitik." It's about how American foreign policy is too moralistic and should try to be more realistic and take American interests into account more. I hear it is jumping off the shelves in Colombia and Cuba! James Cleugh and Patricia van der Esch have books about the history of modern Spain and the latest in a multivolume history of the Spanish Civil War, respectively, which gives the reviewer a chance to talk about where we stand on the Twentieth Century history of Spain right now. Cleugh thinks that that's just how Catholics are. Esch reads the archives and comes up with something a bit more substantial along the lines of (gasp!) "It was the Fascists in the drawing room with a bludgeon." Henry Smith's Introduction to Economic Organisation is a textbook. The reviewer did not  like it at all. Jean Gottman's A Geography of Europe is also a textbook, for Americans, who don't know anything. Neither does "Mr. Gottman."

American Survey

"Eyes of the Needle" Americans are getting protectionist again. The American office has its eyes on Harley-Davidson trying to get  tariff protection from British "light motorcycles" now that it has come out with a competing model. It is just one example of many initiatives in Congress from dehydrated garlic farmers and hand knitwear associates and jewelers and the Pocketbook Workers of America.

 "Reclamation's Jubilee" Irrigation in the western United States is based on the Reclamation Act, passed in June of 1952, so this year is its golden jubilee. At a celebration of the Columbia  Basin project last month, they even built a "farm in a day" by using big machines to rip out the sagebrush in a now-to-be-irrigated section, putting up a modular home, and handing it over to Donald Dunn, the winner of a contest and a refugee from the Kansas floods. A  heavy sugar beet output is expected from Columbia Basin farms. The Reclamation Bureau has irrigated 5.5 million acres of desert and prairie. Its power plants generate 4.5 million kilowatts, and supplied 234 billion kilowatt hours last year and the land produced $464 million in crops. New farms on the reclaimed land are subsidised by about 50% and pay back the cost of improvements over forty to sixty year terms. Private irrigation schemes add another 20 million acres in the West, compared with a total of only 1.5 million irrigated acres in the East. The original postwar scheme called for another 2 million irrigated acres, improvements to another 3.6 million now "insufficiently irrigated," and another 4 million kilowatts of electricity, but that spending was curtailed by the Korean War, and at the rate the money is being spent, the Bureau will be out of a job by 1956. 

American Notes

"Separation of Powers" The Supreme Court decision against the Administration's seizure of the steel industry is a defence of Congress' lawmaking power. The Economist thinks that Americans are a bit crazy with their "the Constitution this," and "the Constitution that," and points out that Congress hasn't actually done much lawmaking in the last session, so what exactly is the Administration supposed to do in emergencies? 

With an election coming up in November, if you hadn't heard, everyone is courting the farmers. Also, under the new excess profits tax, loss-making companies. Also, an election is coming up in November, Eisenhower is running, and there will probably be tax cuts next year. 

"Congress True to Form" The House of Representatives has no time for the Senate not passing legislation when it can do its favourite thing and cut foreign aid a bunch. Those foreign freeloaders aren't getting any American dough! That's for jewelers, so they can beat off Swiss competition!

The Administration has given up on an exciting public drive to clean up government. The Air Force converting speedometers from statute miles to knots is a declaration of independence from the Army. California's Alien Land Law has been declared unconstitutional. Next up, the ban on Asian naturalisation. 

The World Overseas

"Communist Violence in France"  A more detailed look at the outburst of Communist street violence in France from Our Paris Correspondent. It's important to notice right off that Jacques Duclos  was arrested near the rioting with his wife, a chauffeur, a pistol, a radio and "two warm grey pigeons," showing that the Communist politician was organising the riots for the Kremlin. With that out of the way, we can talk about the actual riots, which consisted of "large gangs of militants" attacking police with "iron bars and spiked stakes" in demonstrations against General Ridgeway, the new supreme commander of NATO. And then after all that wild-eyed panic, it turns out that the demonstrations were "flops," and hardly anyone came out.

Persia is not likely to get any relief from the World Court, and Persians are increasingly upset that they can't sell their oil, which they are insanely blaming on British machinations just because British machinations are to blame. Those silly Easterners! Then it is off to the Rumanian countryside, where it turns out that Communism is bad. 

"The Indian Slump"   India is feeling the impact of the fall in world commodity prices and is consequentially "importing inflation," which is running up against the government's longstanding "skillful disinflationary policy." On the bright side, the falling price of jute and cotton has been a boon for the Indian textile industry, which still has unslaked domestic demand to make, the annual purchase of fabric having fallen from 16 to 13 yards per head since the beginning of the war.

"Sweden's Economic Prospects" "Worse than it was, but not as bad as it is made out to be." Sweden is being hit by the fall in world commodity prices, but its basic situation is strong, as long as it does not go all socialistic. 

The Business World

Britain continues to have a trade deficit with Europe, exporting gold to cover the shortfall in May. Total bank credit fell, but that's a good thing. Royal Dutch Shell made up for its losses with Abadan by producing more oil in Kuwait, and the future looks golden, with world oil consumption up 10% in 1951, and 11% in 1950. .Germany's latest offer to settle its external debt has been rejected.

"Film Policy from the Rank Group" That's right, the big British studio group does film policy, and has spokesmen, in this case John Davis, the managing director, who give lectures (to the British film policy) on the importance and future of this very important industry. In this case, he defends the idea of extending the exhibitor's levy, which some smaller cinema owners do not like more than the large owners don't like it. He defends this on the grounds that the industry's future is bright. Already, the top "six or eight" British films of the year do as much money as the top six or eight American productions. Exports are profitable, South Africans spend a lot on British films, and at some point in the distant future the industry as a whole will be profitable without financial aid. British yarn mills closed again over the Whitsun holiday, and rayon production has started to follow the traditional textiles downwards. (The Raw Cotton Commission is showing profits falling from £10 million last year to £177,000 this year due to the bursting Korea bubble, but on the bright side, Dundee is enjoying cheap jute, although the recent 10% cut in carpet prices, the third within twelve months, is not exactly a sign of a recovery around the corner. Metals are "see-sawing." Except the United States "seems to be on the point of winning its year-old struggle with Bolivia over tin prices." That doesn't sound like a fair fight! Insurance is buoyant, the fall in profits last year being due to "adverse experience in accident insurance." Accident insurance had an accident! Mostly because so many people around the world are crashing their cars. 

The Cooperative Federation is in trouble and will probably not be able to meet the expected level of dividend repayments. The Economist explains why it is all Dalton's fault for unleashing all that cheap money six years ago. Former steel owners like Vickers and Guest Keen's are ambivalent about any plans to buy back their former assets whenever steel is denationalised because of questions about what to do with Vickers' British Iron and Steel shares, which will have to be "nationalised" at some price when steel is sold. Guest Keen already sold its stocks at a paper £380,000 loss, handed some of the proceeds out to shareholders, and held back enough that it now has £20 million in investments and cash that it could spend buying back its steel operations, but might not want to buy them all back. It is all up in the air because Parliament suddenly put off dealing with steel in favour of Transportation, and business is not impressed with the way that the Tories do business. 

"Uranium in the Commonwealth" It turns out there is uranium in Nigeria. The Commonwealth might be the major world producer one day. It depends a great deal on the cost of extracting uranium from the new ore bodies, which is apparently linked to the rise of the jet engine, and thus of high temperature steels. The Nigerian ore has 120 grams of uranium per ton, but also 2600 grams of niobium. At a 75% extraction rate, processing a million tons a year might produce 200 tons of uranium and 2000 tons of niobium, which doesn't sound encouraging, except that these metals are very valuable, so it  is, and I, and The Economist, just wasted a lot of words! In fact, uranium is so valuable that it might be worth working the north Wales (although not Cornwall) deposits. 

The ban on importing cement from Belgium due to Britain's mounting EPU deficit has led to a fall in the price of cement by 3s per ton because of the 4s/ton  levy imposed on domestic cement to promote imports has been lifted. I'm sure this all makes sense to someone. 


"The Cold War of Independence" and "Perpetuity" The new Government's welcome civil aviation policy will continue to operate the state-owned flag carriers because right now private operators would just require type subsidies that would pretty much make them candidates for nationalisation, anyway. Private lines can focus on air freight and charters, and there is room for them to grow  into serious competitors with the state-owned lines, at which time this policy will be revisited. In the meantime, the shortage of long distance cargo is such that it might be a good thing for the variously hatted RAF reserves to involve themselves in. 

"US Reactions to the Comet" The Americans are so jealous! They don't mostly say it, but you can see it in their eyes! Ha ha. Ha ha ha. Although no time to waste, Douglas and Lockheed are probably working on theirs right now, and will roll them out in '54 if America actually has an engine to put in them. 

In shorter news bits, Flight caught up with Frederick Handley Page and Roy Dobson, both in London to give talks. Freddie thinks that it would be disastrous to concede the long range bomber and transport field to the Americans, and Roy Dobson made it as clear as he could that an Avro flying wing jet bomber is coming. 

From All Quarters reports that it listened to the BBC roundtable on civil aviation so that the reader wouldn't have to, and it gives us the highlights. The industry is at risk of not being able to meet demand for all its new types, and the thought from the industry is that it must expand geographically in order to have the labour to meet demand. From Paris we hear that the new Avro jet bomber will be powered by 4 12,000lb Bristol Olympus engines and weigh 190,000lbs all up. Flight reports that the RAF is thinking about aircrew entry exams at sixteen, and repeats the Prime Minister's comments in the house about the Red buildup in Korea that everyone else has covered, too. Philip Garrett gets some recognition, parliamentary questions about air matters focus on the details of the confidential 1944 Evershed report on alleged deficiencies in the air arm, and the rising number of fatal air accidents in the service, which represent a decline in the rate of accidents due to more flying. Consulting engineer Christopher Dykes is back from studying America and will share its secrets in the right circumstances, he wants Flight readers to know. 

Here and There reports that Rolls Royce Glasgow has delivered its first Avon, Supermarine Attackers have made their first carrier landings, the Proteus 705, extensively detailed later in this issue, is rated at 3320lbs plus 1200lbs. No-one has told the United Nations air forces about Communist air superiority as they deliver heavy raids against a "big supply and factory centre southwest of Pyongyang." Turbomeca has modified its mini-turbines to produce them as industrial plants, and Pest Control, Ltd., has re-equipped with Hiller helicopters. 

BOAC and KLM are favourably mentioned in a recent book on leaders in modern industrial design. The new Slingsby sailplanes will have Pye walkie talkies so that you can hear the pilots scream as they fall to their deaths. Venner, Bonderiser, and Federated Paints have exciting news about their exciting new products. And a new cosmic-ray study involving planes flying up to 80,000ft is about to begin out of Marseilles. 

"Annie is a Lady" Flight visits Avro on the occasion of the handing over of the last Avro Anson to the RAF. It's a trainer! A nice history of the plane with plenty of pictures, follows. 

"Blades by Upsetting" Flight visits Omes, Ltd., of Barnes, London, with its novel contribution to the turbine blade shortage, an "upsetting method" in which turbine blades are forged more quickly by being heated continuously by a high voltage current through the piece in a cradle within reach of the forging press, so that it can be hand transferred from one to the other between forging blows, obviating the need to repeatedly remove the piece and reheat it in a furnace. (Although as the company concedes in a  letter to Here and There, there is some crystal growth.)

"Proteus 705" A very long and thorough technical writeup of the newly cleared Bristol turboprop by the inimitable (I should know, I've tried!) Constance Bailey-Watson. The old Proteus 2 had 10,000 hours on the bench and 800 in the air, but the 705 is a substantially cleaned up and improved model with an aim to reducing the earlier model's excessive weight. The Proteus is still a reverse flow engine with a "floating" annulus gear on the reduction gear at the front. The engine is very carefully sealed so that dust entrained in the inlet air cannot get at the moving parts. The "free wheel" arrangement that scuttled the single Mamba and the Apollo does not rear its ugly head. Apart from that, I defer to Bailey-Watson's prose and settle for cutting out a sheaf of technical diagrams and including them.  

"IATA Radio Symposium" Bullet points from the three-day IATA radio symposium in Copenhagen are that there are no plans to phase out HF in favour of exclusively VHF and UHF. VHF and UHF radio (voice) communications still cannot supply all aviation communication needs mainly because cockpits are too noisy. We're working on that on various lines. In fact, with the need for communication with multiple points along long trips, as many as 200 HF channels might be needed in a large airliner. Advances in Double Sideband and Single Sideband systems are likely to be felt in antenna design, reducing drag and electrostatic buildup interference problems as well as giving better intelligibility and more resistance to jamming by interference sources. VHF systems work well with the British "Climax" system derived from the Home Office's police dispatch system of multiple stations operating on a nominally continuous channel in fact separated from 10kHz, and visitors to America are confident that they'll see reason soon. A seven-fold increase in VHF channel requirements is anticipated in the next five years as air operations move to the allocated frequencies. VHF is set to give planes a "private line" to the tower, although storing information transmitted over it is a challenge and might require a "brilliant" phototube in the cockpit storing information pictorially. IATA has strong opinions about keeping the dials of instruments simple, with the fewest markings necessary and readings separated by at least 5 degrees. It does, however, like "coupler," or "combining" instruments like the Zero Reader, which greatly ease the pilot's burden. Suppressed antennae seem to be working out in service, reducing the need to have them on the surface of the plane. Aircraft electrics design is going increasingly AC, and there is talk of adding more information to that already broadcast by radar IFF transponders, such as height indications, as long as this doesn't delay the general entry of civil IFF transponders into service, since they are a proven safety aid. 

Civil Aviation reports on the Government's new civil air policy statement at greater length. Qantas is introducing a Johannesburg service, Panam is buying DC-6As, Comet service frequencies on the Johannesburg route have been increased. Douglas has now sold 354 DC-6s. 

Elmdon had a nice air show, and women can now join the Oxford University Air Squadron. HMS Ocean just set a new record of 123 sorties in one day against Korean ground  targets. 


Lewis Cooper is very disappointed in the equipment available to the RAFVR and hopes the RAF can spare some of its "hundreds" of Harvards. Francis Kaffer remembers the old days, before the war. (Specifically, Lieutenant Colonel Harry Delacombe and the old training field at Beaulieu.) E. L. Smith-Masters recalls the old days, before the war. (Specifically, flying literally piggyback with M. Jullerot in a single-seat biplane from Salisbury in 1913.) 

The Economist, 14 June 1952


Germany as an Ally" It is, now. The Economist is not very happy about it. Germans are shiftless and untrustworthy. But! This is the last chance to bring German rearmament within the collective security framework, so we have to do it, at least as long as America stays in the Atlantic alliance as a counterweight. 

"More Jobs Than Dollars" It might seem like unemployment is up, but if you leave out textiles, it actually fell! (Or rose, depending on whether you use last month's numbers as a comparison, or last year's. The important point is that, if it rose, it didn't rise by much, just a mere 100,000. Or by 8000 if you compare it with the year before. ) Rab Butler's "moderate credit restrictions" might not have "yet forced many firms to contract, and so free labour for more important uses," but it is restraining firm expansion, raw material stockpile buildup, and consumer spending. "These are the results that monetary policy was designed to produce." It is fair for Labour to criticise them, but for "the Tories to get into a panic because their policies are working" is another matter. Soon, these fine deflationary policies will produce all the good things we really want, like bigger trust funds and, er, armaments or maybe exports that aren't textiles. Ooh! And bigger trust funds!

"Commonwealth Development, III: Long-Term Markets" Now, it could be argued that if we invest in Commonwealth countries like Nigeria, they will grow into long-term markets, and they could replace American sugar, tobacco, zinc, aluminum, and so on. But once the currency exchange problem is fixed we'll probably go back to buying American goods, so why bother? Commonwealth countries should focus on selling their exports to other countries. The mother country can't be asked to do everything! It's enough that we pay for the Rhodesian police to go democratise them! It might help if we could persuade all the other countries to hold stockpiles of commodities to even out the boom and bust cycle.

Follows a big piece about paying doctors under the National Health Service. They seem to be getting paid per patient, and doing well? I can't say I'm surprised!

Notes of the Week

"Suspense in Korea" The Prime Minister's warning about a new Communist offensive in Korea comes just ahead of Lord Alexander and Selwyn Lloyd arriving in Tokyo to talk with General Clark about how Britain still has a say in these things. General Clark says that the Reds have built up their ground strength from a half million to a million, doubled their air power with a thousand jets, received Soviet equipment and training "without stint," and might soon launch a "trial of strength." United Nations air power, he says, should strike back at Chinese air bases in Manchuria and against Chinese ports from Shantung southwards. Hopefully the Reds will try something (Newsweek says that the UN is on the alert for an amphibious invasion, and that we have lost air superiority over the Yalu). On the  one hand, the Reds can have peace right now if they just stop demanding the return of all of their prisoners. On the other, MacArthur will be giving the keynote speech at the Republican convention and will probably call for all-out war on the Reds and then we'll smash them, says General Clark. And Lloyd and Alexander, being Tories, will have to say, "We completely support you but . . " Which is how the  how the British get their reputation for being great big girls. 

"Trade or Aid" Anthony Eden is the new chairman of the Organisation for European Economic Development, and their new slogan is to the effect that if the Americans would just take more European imports, all this foreign aid wouldn't be necessary.

The new king of Jordan is the best man for the job except for the part where he is violently insane. Peace and development is on the cards for the Middle East if he can keep the axe murdering down to a minimum, at least until his brother Hussein graduates from high school so that he can get his driver's license and be king. 
Labour's new foreign policy statement is sort of okay as far as it goes. Needs more about making tough choices for austerity due to the ongoing balance of payments crisis, though. State-sponsored television is fine for Britain because British viewers have much better taste than Americans, which means a higher tolerance for boredom. (See the Soviet press campaign against dullness, below.) Lord Swinton has been made Churchill's nurse, wait, minder, wait, "public relations advisor." Britain has done a census of its retail shops. The Economist thinks it is fascinating. There's a lot in it that I find fascinating, too. (Too few hairdressers, at 7.4%? Are they not counting them all? Only 10.5% are women's and children's wear compared with 27% grocers?) But there's not much more to say here. English churches are falling down and need about £4 million in repairs but the Church of England can't afford it probably. 

"Development and Misdevelopment" It has occurred to The Economist that it might need to explain why it is running a multi-part series on why Britain shouldn't be investing in the Commonwealth, especially with a book out on the subject by Herbert Frankel from Princeton (so you can tell that he is smart). It seems as though it boils down to it all being too much trouble as well as too much money? 

It says here that the Germans are "embarrassed by their prosperity," that the free market and official rates for the Deutschmark are almost the same, and that the Germans could adopt full convertibility of the D-mark into the EPU in spite of their small reserves if the United States would just increase its contributions. The United Nations Technical Assistance Board says that under-developed areas need more technical assistance. The Economist runs down attempts to fix this, a list long in organisations with impressive names creating "machinery" to remedy the problem, but less about boring things like money. Fortunately, the magazine has the solution --its favourite solution! ("Thorough-going rationalisation of all technical aid programmes.") 

The Czechoslovak premier is still very disappointed in his comrades the coal miners, and the British diphtheria immunisation campaign is going well, but not well enough. 

"Defence by Night" The Air Ministry has "for the time being silenced its critics" by ordering the Gloster night fighter prototype, still known as the G. A. 5. Yes, Britain is ahead of its NATO allies, but this just shows how weak Europe's air defences are. The night fighters we have are old, and will soon be out of production, and the Russians probably do have their own night fighters, even if they haven't used them in Korea. Yes, it is the first delta wing aircraft in production anywhere in the world, and only had its first flight six months ago, but it is very big and complex and won't be in service for another four years and that is just TOO SLOW!

"Too Many Dockers" The decasualisation of dock work in Britain has led to a surplus of dockers, and The Economist wants to fire the lot. On the one hand, I can believe that the number of dockers would be up now that they just have to show up to be paid, and might well be sent home. On the other, this was the answer to the poverty, misery and pilferage of casual labour in the first place!

"Bolivia Uses the Tin Opener" Bolivia has broken the traded impasse by exporting a load of tin at the price that the US has already extorted from Malaya, but seems to have gained American acquiescence to pushing through its mine nationalisation programme, subject to the entire Bolivian cabinet agreeing on it. 

The Economist of 1852 has "Bigotry at Oxtord." William Gladstone, who was prime minister all the time back in those days, used to sit for a special parliamentary constituency voted for by the graduates of Oxford, because that was how democracy was done in the days before boxing gloves. As the summer of 1852 rolls in, organisers were planning to run "Dr. Marshal, Warden of Merton College" against Gladstone because he was too hep to the modern world and its ways, whereas Dr. Merton was most famous for "jocularly describing millions of his then famishing fellow-citizens as men who 'rejoiced in potatoes.'"   Anyway, the magazine tells Oxford graduates that they'd better vote for Gladstone or everyone will be disgusted with them, and probably the public will reform Oxford before Oxford can do it for itself, which might be the actual story buried in all the purple prose. 


Herbert Agar's Declaration of Faith is a very worthy book indeed. From the title you might think that it was gassing about religion, but it is actually gassing about the Atlantic Community, although it reads like they're the same thing give or take some foreign policy. Drew Middleton's The Defence of Europe sounds like the same book, but with different words, but somehow The Economist doesn't like it so well. J. Harvey's Consultation and Co-operation in the Commonwealth is also a very worthy book. Also W. Friedmann's Law and Social Change in Contemporary Britain. Henrik v. Ringsted's From a Garden in London is a "sunny, perceptive, but unsentimental book." The reviewer sounds like he's never read one of those "funny foreigners has observations about our country" books. Eleanor Bishop's The New Turks explains how Turks these days are nothing like the old Turks. Joseph Schumpeter's Ten Great Economists is good. John Saville's Ernest Jones: Chartist, is a selection of Jones' speeches and writings, perfect for everyone who remembers and cares about "the last Chartist." 


H. B. Barwise misses Professor Hobsbawm's point about POWs being under pressure to renounce Communism.  Christopher Brunel points out that the issue isn't protecting the domestic British film industry, but rather throwing the whole weight of it on cinema owners and then turning around to give them quota exemptions that undermine the industry! Charles Murdoch, the Chairman of the Scottish Board for Industry, explains that the end of the Scottish Productivity Panel as an independent body was actually part of his farsighted plan to replace it with something even better., and The Economist should know that. 

American Survey

Oh, hey, did you hear that there's an American Presidential election in the fall? And Eisenhower is running? He gave a speech from Kansas, where he is running in the primary (the suspence is killing me!) It was dull and flat, but it's Eisenhower, and he's running against Bobby Taft, so it doesn't matter. (Except for the part where this titanic battle destroys the GOP.) For some reason. 

American Notes

The steel dispute continues, which I will leave to the North American dailies to chart. Eisenhower is out of the primaries and concentrating on winning some of the party delegates who give Taft the edge. Kefauver, an even bigger winner in the primary process than Eisenhower, is also unlikely to win the nomination, it says here, because winning the primaries isn't really winning the American people due to the small and self-selected turnout. 

"Mischief in Copper" So, the American price for copper is 80% of the free market price. Chile won't export to the United States at that price. American mills that have access to domestic supplies under strategic allocation are doing fine and profiting from the low price. Other mills can't operate at all. The GOP is doing its best to turn "Detroit unemployment is because of controls" into an election issue. The US solution is to get rid of price ceilings, which effectively abolishes international copper control, which puts American sulphur exports at risk, which puts American nickel and cobalt imports at risk.  Automakers, who are raiding their stockpiles to take advantage of a brisk market, will benefit. No-one else will. The Administration is thinking about a subsidy. Maybe it can cover it with foreign aid cuts? (Which have been made up part way.) US foreign aid includes $60 million for Arab refugees, $70 million for Jewish, $9 million to help Europe's surplus people to emigrate, some for the United Nations Children's Fund, and $25 million for Franco just because he's such a swell guy, courtesy of Senator McCarran. Senator Kem's bill banning trade with Soviet satellites was bottle up, and so was Senator Dworshak's ban on "propaganda" promoting foreign aid in the United States and an amendment that would have hamstrung technical aid to India and Pakistan. 

Krilium Comes to Market" The exciting new soil conditioner that is hundreds of times more effective than humus is now on the market! It is even better than Cyanimid's Aerotil, or maybe it is the same thing, specifically Acrylonitrile. 

The price of Canadian newsprint is up, and American newspaper publishers are irate. Newspapers are closing, and there is lots of talk of making newsprint out of just about anything but wood pulp. The Treasury's 2.75% bond issue has failed. Standard Oil of New Jersey is America's largest corporation, followed by GM and US Steel.

The World Overseas

"One Voice From 8000 Journals" It  says here that the Soviet press is censored. And boring. Which is why they've launched an anti-dullness campaign that may or may not lead to some dull journalists being sent to Siberia. ONE. CAN. ONLY. HOPE. 

"Aspects and Prospects of the Italian Centre" In summary: Maybe.

"Mr. Lyttleton in Nigeria" Straight to Siberia! I honestly have no idea why this two page article exists. Except maybe to remind Nigerians that, whatever the Colonial Secretary might indiscreetly say, they're on their own. 

"Libya Deserta: The Economic Picture" Now, Libya, on the other hand, is worth some "foreign economic and technical aid." Because of the air bases, that's why. Besides taking money from troops and foreign aid, Libyans should probably farm and maybe promote all their picturesque Classical ruins to tourists who are tired of waiting in lineups to see picturesque Classical ruins in Greece. 

"China 'Liberates Tibet" China has been in control of Tibet under the 23 May Agreement for a year now, but doesn't want to actually run the country, especially with some kind of colonial administration. So they're trying to run it through the Panchen Lama and his followers from Chamdo, cutting out the Dalai Lama and the Lhasa  monasteries. Also, they have liberated Tibet by kicking out the companies of Indian troops who have been garrisoning two Tibetan border market towns since the Younghusband Expedition, although, embarrassingly, they have had to ask India for permission to transport supplies for their 15,000 man garrison via Calcutta. 

The Business World

"What Freedom for Metals" As long as the international metal market is controlled, Britain has to balance costs against the dollar balance in respect to securing lead, copper and zinc from Commonwealth sources. If it goes to a free market in metals, the London Metal Exchange has to advance enough dollars to cover arbitrage with London, which will probably be too much for the balance of trade. What to do, what to do? Probably some kind of boring half-way compromise. 

"The Price of Electricity, I: The New Standard Tariffs" A very long article explaining the new British electricity tariffs in excruciating detail, which I actually read, on account of electricity being the coming thing, and so you don't have to. Do you want to know about the difference between electricity and gas, and just electricity, consumers? About the balance of "high cost units" and "low cost"? About the different tariff rates based on house sizes? I thought not! 

Just to be even more boring we hear about UK overseas trade, still not improved enough, and the new European Payment Union that might prevent all the gold and silver in the world piling up in Belgium. The British allocation of coal for export has been increased by 1.5 million tons to a total of 10. This might help undercut high-price Belgian coal, which is already piling up at the pithead. Hurray!  It turns out that there are more complications to the Excess Profits Tax. The Economist visited the Material Handling Equipment Exhibition at Olympia, and it was swell.  The textile trade might be recovering, and so might be shoes. ("Have Shoes Touched Bottom?") and wool. The cut in the allocation of dollars for tobacco is bad news for Virginia and Canada but not for British smokers because of the Rhodesian harvest and farmers in Nyasaland and India. Government scientists are upset that they haven't had a pay raise in some time, and the government factories that employ the disabled could do better. It is not clear how much the world's rising demand for fuel oil reflects the coal shortage, and so it is not clear whether the United States faces a shortage any time soon. Government initiatives encourage saving fuel and scarce metals. 

"Steel Output and Imports" British steel production is now well above the annual rate of 15.86 million tons achieved in May of 1951. So far, the industry is on target for 16 million, which still means imports from America of a million tons of steel, scrap and pig through the end of the year according to the original programme. Between the US steel strike and defence-related export restrictions, the programme might not be met. 

Aviation Week, 16 June 1952

News Digest reports that TWA is exercising the option to buy the 2-0-2s it is leasing from Martin, a nice bit of news for Baltimore. The Northrop F-89C is coming off the lines with the new Allison J35-A-33, which improves takeoff performance. Lieutenant General Wang Shu-Ming is in America to visit Air Force installations. Beech is building a new plant in Wichita. A  multi-million dollar contract to build flight simulators for the F-89 has been granted to Union Switch and Signal, a division of Westinghouse Air Brake Company. A London newspaper report of a light weight alloy shield for atomic reactors is discounted by official British sources, according to cable to Aviation Week. Tight security covers the subject, but such a breakthrough is unlikely. West Germany has resumed aviation research now that it is allowed. It is still not allowed to make weapons, though.

Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup reports that on balance, out of Truman, Taft and Eisenhower, Eisenhower is probably the most pro-air power. Aviation Week takes some shots at politicians who talk big about air power but don't do anything about it. Senator Albert Gore, who started one of the many investigations into corruption in the air force is given short odds to win the Tennessee Senate nomination from Kenneth McKellar, even though McKellar's nurse does his talking for him these days. Is there a woman's wing in Siberia?

Industry Observer reports that the Douglas RB-66 may get a version of the two-gun remote turret on the B-47. The Army is testing the Aero Commander. Temco Aircraft Company is going to make the McDonnell F3H Demon instead of Goodyear because it has better airport facilities. Someone is still talking up the Douglas D-558 Skyrocket's completely unofficial and hearsay "world records" to Aviation Week. Canada is buying six Piasecki H-21s for year-round rescue operations, while Douglas calculates that its DC-6A freighters are super duper cheap because the costs have been spread over the 200-plane DC-6 order. Delays in producing the ramjet powerplants for McDonnell's Little Henry civil ramjet helicopters has led the company to cut back its production schedule to just twelve in the last half of 1952. The USAF has removed the security blanket on the North American XF-100, McDonnell-Douglas XF-101, Convair XF-102 and Douglas RB-66. 

George L. Christian gets to go to Japan for Aviation Week News and visits Far East Materiel Command to learn about "Big AF Depot Key to Korean Air Strength" And earns himself a ticket to Siberia, as far as I'm concerned. GM's new factory is for making stuff, and the CAA wants us to know all about how it organises the Office of Aviation Safety, which is getting a new Technical Chief. It also says that civil aviation can stick with statute miles instead of switching to knots. 

"B-36 Crash Course" Eye-witnesses agree that the 28 March crash at Carswell that killed all 17 crew was due to the right landing gear failing, while the Air Force reveals that the plane was making a GCA approach with one engine out at the time, and the plane was not in flames in the air no matter what anyone says. 

"Super-Priority Lightning Strikes" Aviation Week is willing to buy the idea that the GA 5 was approved pretty quickly.  It's the third Hawker Siddeley type to get the urgency rating. In news that is on the same page, CAB has approved subsidies for jet carriers (Douglas sees jet transports as being five years off, but expects turbojets before turboprops), and Gil Trimmer has found some funding to build his three-place molded plywood Trimmer amphibian. While on the next page we learn that Jacobs Engineering is building a helicopter for the civil market and that the IATA has set newer, lower tourist fares for the 1953 season, a German team is in America to observe civil aviation, and Hughes Tools has bought 204,000 TWA shares.  

"Australia Looks at American Production" The Australians aren't happy with the British and are still looking at the same American planes they've been looking at for a while now. Italian companies are bidding for a number of NATO aircraft and parts contracts. 

Production Engineering has "Canadair: Ambitious Aviation Youngster," which is basically the same article as from Flight last month. "We visited Canadair and can't actually tell you anything yo don't already know." Except it wants to build a DC-3 replacement, the CL-21. Really? I mean, it's going to be subsidised by the government, so it relies on Ottawa being dumb as a rock, not Canadair. Maybe that's a good bet? And they're talking about a 300 plane run? Even Aviation Week can't pretend to believe it. 

"Variable Scale Eases Engineering Woes" It says here. Gerber Engineering has a gadget! Aviation Week really appreciates its demonstration model. 

"Germans Producing Metal Glider" Thanks, when I want news about people killing themselves by exciting new applications of falling, I go to Flight.

Someone is actually doing this. For single engine safety, it says here. At least it makes Lockheed's experiments in gluing wings seem even more reasonable when they follow right after.

Zero Manufacturing is expanding, Kaiser-Frasier is hiring,  Northrop Aero has built a "baby turbojet" as a class project. Bendix's government owned Eclipse-Pioneer factory is increasing its magnesium casting output. 

Thrust and Drag thinks that aerodynamicists could be put to use quieting air conditioning, and quotes a scientist suggesting that one way of reducing the "scorched earth" noise zone around airports is for liners to make steeper climbs from takeoff, although provision would have to be made against noise in the event of low-altitude stalls(!). Canadian tests have found the effective thrust generated by the F-86E is about 500lb less than in testbeds due to boundary layer effects reducing the effective area of the jet inlet by about 2%. 

Philip Klass reports for Avionics that "Link Simulator Boosts B-47 Potential" That is, Link simulators replace B-47s that would otherwise have had to be used for training, and increase the force's bombing potential. Simulators are cheaper, go 24 hours a day, reliably "simulate" emergencies, and allow closer supervision and instruction. Remarkably (I say that because the author genuinely seems to think that this is a point worth making), the simulator flies like a B-47 and not, say, a B-29. Future simulators might be mounted on some kind of mechanical rig to produce appropriate motions, but before going to the trouble, Link needs to figure out what kind of motions are actually appropriate. Link reminds everyone that although the simulator has 700 vacuum tubes, it is not an "electronic brain," just an assemblage of analog computers. We get a bit of an explanation of how electric circuits can simulate the complex, non-linear equations that describe the movements of aircraft in the air and a very brief discussion of the components in the circuits such as a 60ac voltage potentiometer and 400Hz synchros.  The one sticking point is the reliability of a gadget with 700 tubes. Because the Link is operating in an office environment, and because the design sticks with the well-proven 6V6 tube, there have only been a "couple" of tube failures in the first thousand hours of operation of the first simulator. Link may use transistors and magnetic amplifiers in future models, but so far tubes are doing just fine.

International Rectifier's pin-sized rectifiers are  ideal for hot and cold, while GE's high reliability vacuum tubes are more reliable than ever, down to 1/12th the failure rate of standard tubes. D and R, a subsidiary of G. M. Gianni, has high "Q" toroidal coils, perfect for magnetic amplifiers or complete networks, including wave filters, equalisers, oscillators and frequency discriminators.

What's New really enjoyed From the Ground, now in its seventh edition as a "how-to" book for student pilots. It doesn't have as many product diagrams or catalogue numbers as What's New's usual  reading, but it is full of information all the same. Speaking of, Aerobook's catalogue of rare aviation books is available by mail, and so is Mission Electric Mfg's catalogue of small, precision electric motors. How to Ship by Air in Corrugated Boxes has all the latest hot gossip about boxes. Bendix has an eighteen-page booklet about its standard telemetering receiving station, Westinghouse has a colourful brochure about all of its activities, Selection Guide GE-5781 details all of GE's wide range of electric and electronic controls, the Bellow Corporation's Catalogue 10-A covers sheet metal fabrication, while the Steel Founders' Society's Recommended Practice for Welding of Steel Casting is the perfect Christmas gift if you don't get them a guide to the Dynamic Polariscope from General Radio.

Equipment is worried that  Aubrey et Simoin, Societe Electron, and Ford SAF do not get enough advertising around these parts, and runs "U.S. Buys French Portable Starter." It's a portable ground power unit and is more-or-less proof of the USAF's new European procurement effort. It's a generator on a truck, although it has arrangements to have more stable output at low voltages than some other generators. 

New Aviation Products has time delay relays from M. H. Rhodes at five paragraph length for some reason, a new jet plane tire from Wright Development Centre and B. F. Goodrich, and sensitive diaphragms from Bristol Corporation. 

F. Lee Moore reports for Air Transport that "New DC-7 Details Revealed" Douglas predicts a 364mph speed for domestic flights, 353mph on the Atlantic run, but no turboprop  model later.  Aft nacelles will be 88% titanium, using 64lbs of the metal on each nacelle and saving t4lbs on each, and the landing gear will be able to work as air brakes to speed landings from cruise altitude. Required runway length is 3400ft, maximum takeoff weight is 122,000lbs, four engine climb rate is 1810ft/minute. 

Letters has Max Karrant, the Assistant General Manager of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Washington, D.C., objecting to the statute miles-knots changeover, now a dead letter. Lt. B. D. Staser of US Naval Air Station Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, points out that military instrument approaches are much closer than Captain Robson believes. Prewitt Aircraft really liked the article about Prewitt propellers.

Robert Wood's Editorial  isn't endorsing anyone, but it sure doesn't like Truman. No-one but the airlines are surprised that everyone wanted to fly the Atlantic coach, some 2000 a week through this season. (4800 total passengers a week, 2800 of them first class.) He is not impressed with the latest rationale for raising air fares, the billion dollars or so in investment the industry requires for new flight equipment, including for turbine aircraft. 


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