I hope this finds you well and in the hands of Fat Chow in Trail, and not still taking the waters. I am couriering this from Paris so I can report on our banquet with the captains and Our Man on "Poverty Row" in Le Havre last Saturday. The captains seemed content with their gratuities, so hopefully there will be no leaks like the ones that some of our competition have suffered. (It helps that none of our boats sprang a leak off Ireland.) On the downside, there's going to be some bad movies. As our man says, there will be no more trucks of silver nitrate arriving at the studio, and "Every time a truckload of film pulls up, the neighbours just say that we're getting ready to do another stinker."
Before our meeting with Fat Chow, we at least got to do some sightseeing and general tourist things in Normandy, and EAT! I haven't had FOOD since we left Formosa, and how I've missed it! California has a lot of things, but it could really do with some good restaurants. The rest of my impressions of France, including a decent chance to see parts of Paris that aren't mainly for intrigue and smuggling, are going to be delayed until I actually do them, so, starting tomorrow, and coming to you by the surface mail.
Your Loving Daughter,
The Economist, 16 August, 1952
After a snappy new title page, the Leaders
"Moderates Rally" Finally the moment that The Economist has been waiting for (and everyone else damn well better have, too, if they would just listen to Geoffrey telling them what it is all about). Labour moderates have turned on nasty old Anuerin Bevan. Whatever Bevan is for, it turns out that "Labour Moderates" are against. And that proves you shouldn't vote for either kind of Labour, in case there is a snap election soon.
"Champions of European Unity" Schuman, Adenauer and de Gaspari all support European unity and hate nationalism and are pro-Catholic and have to win their next elections or it will be bad for European unity. These are interesting things that The Economist wants to write about together.
"The Limits of Free Bargaining" Unions, right?
"Choosing the President: A Guide to the Election" American elections strain the poor, honest European's brains due to complicated, arcane American notions like "the one who gets the most votes, wins." Okay, honestly, the Electoral College is confusing, and there are undemocratic elements in the most lightly populated states, but it's honestly not that hard to grasp, unlike the process of nominating the party candidates. The article is also pretty silly in that it is built around the notion that Stevenson can win enough states to make it a horse race, when Eisenhower is sure to turn the farm states that made the difference in 1948. You heard it here first! Maybe Kefauver could have brought out any Progressive voters there are who might be left, but Wallace didn't have much luck with them in '48.
Notes of the Week
"Duumvir or Dictator?" General Naguib can't run Egypt as a "duumvir" because everyone disagrees about everything. (And in particular he shouldn't listen to the army radicals who want land reform, which will ruin everything.) So he should be a dictator, instead. The Economist borrows a Notes title from me with "The Schuman Plan Exists," but doesn't copy the body of my text with a pithy "It does!" and instead explains how the European coal pool works again. Then it goes on to explain how the civil servants who administer the pool, and such other institutions as will follow, had better be the best sort of "Servants of Europe."
"Ridgway Stakes His Claim" General Ridgway has spoken out on defence, suggesting that the Lisbon targets can be reached and that Europe needs a very "energised" reserve to back up the regular forces within a few days of the fighting that, as The Economist points out, there is no sign the Russians want to do. On the other hand, that is no reason for neglecting or delaying Western defence when Western troops might be needed elsewhere in the world to deal with this or that.
"Test of Belgian Loyalty" If you weren't paying attention, Belgian army conscripts struck against their long term of service this week, and everyone agreed that there should be some kind of reasonable compromise and went back to sleep because it is just Belgium.
Harold MacMillan is building housing all over the place, even though Hugh Gaitskell says that the Tories are building houses instead of factories. Which seems like quite the criticism, so The Economist rushes to the gunwales to ward off boarders from port with the limp observation that housing uses less steel than industrial building so really it was a big break for industry on account of the steel shortage. Also, Britain will send Malta a cheque for being bombed for Britain in WWII, which even The Economist thinks is the right thing to do.
"Soldiers of Peking" and "Mr. Rhee and the Ballot Box" On the one hand, the Soviets are being more conciliatory than normal towards the Americans, while the Chinese rhetoric is getting more violent. On the other, the big story out of the Korean election isn't that three-quarters of Koreans voted for Syngman Rhee, but that a quarter voted against him, in spite of the fact that the police will now hit them over the head. (At least.) Also, the average wage of office clerks is going up, Marshal Tito is a very wise dictator who is moderating his requests for international funding of Yugoslav enterprises, British doctors are something or other about the way they are paid, and M. A. N Duckham is back from studying American farming, concluding that American farming is very efficient except when it isn't, which is really just like Britain, when you think about it. Also, too, farming in Europe!
The Economist of 1852 is on about "The State of Politics," which is actually about how some silly foreigner is very confused about British politics and why it is so superior to foreign politics even when it doesn't look like it is. So glad to know that one newspaper was arguing with another newspaper a century ago!
Someone paid Harold Nicolson good money to commit a biography of George VI. Ahem. Ronnie's right here! C. P. Fitzgerald has Revolution in China. "C. P." doesn't stand for "Communist Party," but should. Looking for a book about the revolution by K. P. Fitzgerald! H. D. Laswell and A. Kaplan have Power and Society, which sounds like a theoretical political science tract that the reveiwer read because it likes that sort of thing, and wasn't already bored by J. K. Furze, Welfare Economics in English Utopias. The magazine hasn't much to say about it other than that there are too many typos, so instead it launches into an attack on those modern reformers who think that we could have utopias tomorrow if we just tried. Hamish Hamilton has published Majority, 1931--1952, which is an anthology of all the good stuff that the house has published in its first twenty-one years. Luigi Albertini's Origins of The War of 1914--1918, Volume One, attempts to establish how much and how far it was "the Third Balkan War." Raymond de Belot's The Struggle for the Mediterranean, 1939--45 is a French admiral's history of WWII in the Mediterranean, and is kinder to the Italians than previous authors.
P. G. Powesland, of Makerere College, Uganda, has thoughts about "Commonwealth emigration" to the effect that the "actuarial value" of an immigrant caclulated, and the emigrated country appropriately compensated, and then everything will be balanced. Tongue might be in cheek, but I choose to spend more time writing this then reading the very long letter closely. Remember when emigration from Britain was being encouraged because it overcrowding and rationing and bombs and rockets? R. M. Wynne-Edwards has persuaded himself that power plants don't need to be in buildings, and so we could save ourselves a bundle on bricks and mortar, which is also an issue of a sudden. The Independent Labour Party writes to say that it is having a jubilee, and anyone who has old papers and pamphlets lying around might want to send them in for the edification of the masses.
"Stevenson's Strategy" i) Be bald (works for Eisenhower!) ii) Say something smart (lost the anti-egghead voters already); iii) Be "moderate," and assume that everyone understands that that means that you're not an [n-word] lover, so that you don't lose the South; iv) Give a good concession speech. Did I guess right? Maybe. Probably not. Not going to read a two pages about the latest lost cause to find out.
"Washington's Best Foot Foremost" Remember President Truman? He's still there! And fighting the drought! And doing a tiny little bit about his Administration's tiny little corruption problem. Another Note looks at the Senate races. The key question is whether Eisenhower's coat-tails will be long enough to give the GOP a majority in House, Senate, or both. It's not impossible. It happened in 1946; but if it doesn't, it is hard to see Eisenhower governing the country. Speaking of which, The Economist points out that the proportion of "senior citizens" in the country is rising, and any hypothetical Eisenhower Administration might have difficulties paying all the New Deal old age security benefits while reducing the deficit.
In Shorter Notes, the fourteen California Communists who took over the affairs of the Party when the leaders were put in jail under the Smith Act have now been jailed and fined under the Smith Act in their turn. This year's cotton crop is down a bit from last year, even before taking the drought into account, so all in all there will more likely be a shortage of cotton than a surplus this year.
"''Defiance' in South Africa" South African authorities have recently supplemented the old "custom" of segregation with laws enforcing "apartheid," and Africans and Indians are challenging those laws with passive disobedience, hotheads on the Afrikaner side urging and sometimes carrying out, beatings for all. I'm not sure who is defying who, but it all sounds pretty pig-headed on someone's part!
"Sober Thought on Egypt's Finances" Egypt is doomed! And it will be even more doomed if it doesn't appreciate that it is only going to get investment capital for internal improvements if it starts "cooperating" with the rest of the world more.
Australia's 'Incentives' Budget" The Australians are implementing a modest public works programme to make up for current weakness in mainly wool but also wheat exports due to low prices and the recent drought. Opinions differ as to whether this will merely cause some more inflation as the lesser evil; or, alternatively, whether Australia is doomed.
The main story in Business World is the proposed settlement of German prewar debts. Since we don't hold any, I'm not going to get into it.
"Near to Balance" There's going to be a lot over the next three weeks of coverage about just how far Britain and the sterling bloc have moved towards recovery from the winter balance of exchange crisis. I guess from the technology point of view it is interesting to see British exports recover, led by the engineering and metals-using industries, which now provide about two-fifths of all British exports (not that that fits into this discussion), but the reason that the current accounts balance is always tipping remains as much a mystery as ever, and that is well illustrated in the Note by its floundering over "invisible earnings" in freight and insurance, which clearly had less freight to earn from due to the winter import restrictions, but don't seem to entirely reflect that, which is even more mysterious given the fall in freight rates.
"Spare Parts and Services" Several stories and one letter over the next three weeks about the difficulty of getting spare parts and services for British motor vehicles. This one is about fleets of trucks immobilised in the oilfields by lack of services, but we'll hear about the car of COLONIAL CIVIL SERVANT in Sierra Leone, and about engineering exports in general by an old British sales broker in London. The issue is that British manufacturers are not producing the spare parts needed to keep these vehicles in service, aren't exporting them, and don't appear to care about customer service after the sale. There's not a whole lot of effort spent on explaining what is going on, although COLONIAL thinks his problem is that certain parts weren't greased in the factory, while the broker points out that British exporters aren't developing distributor networks to take care of their exports, and could stand to learn from the Americans. The Economist suggests that this might be a global problem with running the factories too hard in pursuit of exports, which, as a root cause, appeals to me more than various anecdotes. Completely unrelated, although I think you could work it into the story, smaller theatres in Britain are refusing to pay the film levy because none of the movies they show are British, because British films bore their viewers.
"Patent Trouble in Nylon" A successful anti-trust suit against ICI and du Pont over the way that their Nylon patent pool is restricting trade in the United States, has spilled over in Britain, where British Nylon Spinners is suing ICI.
International Harvester Expands" Difficulties in exporting American-made farm equipment in the sterling bloc has led International Harvester to build a factory in Britain, which threatens British makers both because customers might prefer American equipment, and because International Harvester has a better international distribution network to sell the British-made equipment. The Economist offers some helpful advice about making sure that British designs can hook up to International Harvester tractors.
Aviation Week, 18 August 1952
News Digest reports that Airport Industries has taken an option for 14 acres at MacArthur Airport, Long Island, New York, for an air cargo terminal. The Petroleum Administration for Defence has told refineries to boost jet fuel production by 500,000 barrels above this month's quota. The Globe KDG-2 target drone, believed to be the fastest in the world, is undergoing flight testing at Kingman. Linea Aeropostal Venezuela has ordered two DH Comets for the Caracas-New York route, bringing De Havilland's orders to 49. Japan Air Lines has ordered two Avon-Comets for delivery in 1955, the German rocket experiment group at Bremen has not been having much luck, while the Gloster GA5 has been named the "Javelin."
Industry Observer reports that the prototype F7U-3 Corsaid has been damaged in a runway accident. Kaman is working on a "rotor chute" like the WWII-era GE Electric Rotachute and Focke-Agelis FA 330. Jet aircraft might be going back to integral fuel tanks and away from fuel cells to save space for more fuel. The B-47's wings deflect 16" down on the ground and 45" up in flight thanks to their high aero-elasticity. Delays in development of the Westinghouse J40 and J46 have seriously impeded the Navy's fighter development programme. US industry has been invited to submit its recommendations in regard to the new JP5 fuel specification proposed for Navy aircraft carriers. Seattle observers report that the engine pods of the B-52 are raked further forward than it appears in photographs to reduce the risk of engine fires spreading to the wing, or possibly to accommodate an extended afterburner.
Aviation Week has been keeping mum about the B-52 until it had permission to talk about it from the Defence Department, and now not only does it have permission, McSurely went to Seattle and took a ride. I'm not sure what actual details have been cleared other than that the wing section is new and the brakes are a new design that doesn't need rivets. It will probably operate at 50,000ft, and its fuel capacity is Top Secret.
Just in case the Navy is jealous, we're told that the first atomic carriers are "slated" for 1957 and that they will carry the Douglas A3D, McDonnell F3H, Grumman F10F, and Vought Cutlass.
Secretary Lovett predicted that the services will reject W. L. Campbell's suggested economies. He's the head of the Aircraft Production Board who told the Air Force and Navy to give up on some of their no-hopers, if you remember.
Saunders-Roe Skeeter, the Fairey Gannet and all the new fighters. There will be four versions of the Canberra, one Olympus powered, and the Valiant will make a return visit, although a different plane, since the first one crashed. De Havilland will display the wing tankage for the long range DH Comet 1A in a static display, and there will be some missiles in it and the Sprite motor to be installed in the Series I Comet.
General Walter Bain is the new chief of the procurement division at Air Materiel Command, while aviation pioneer Ephraim Cleveland has been killed in a crash along with his wife and secretary. Kaiser has let a contract for its aluminum forging plant in Newark, Ohio to Darin and Armstrong of Detroit. It will have two 8000lb extrusion presses, and a 35,000 and 25,000t forging press.
Production is on about how the Air Force helps small business bid for contracts.
Aeronautical Engineering has an unsigned article, "Turbines Look Good for Copter Power" about the modified Kaman K-225, which is the first helicopter to take turbine power. Kaman explains at some length why turbines make good helicopter engines. even if they do burn more gas.
Avionics has an advetorial on the Glenn L. Martin tail gunner trainer.
Equipment has "Navy Buys Angle-of-Attack Unit." It is an angle-of-attack indicator that might have commercial value improving cruse control says the unsigned article about the Airstream Direction Indicator from Specialties, Incorporated, of Sysosset, New York. A metal probe sticks out in the air stream, and two slots pick up the wind stream, the difference between the two being used to measure angle, driving a paddle in the indicator, which drives a potentiometer, which energises various cockpit indicators as might be installed, unless you want the one that comes with it originally, which is a servo-driven pointer. Specialties takes a moment at the bottom of the surprisingly long advertorial to tell us about its other Air Force contracts and even the history of the firm.
Off the Line reports that the boys really like their jet fighters, especially their excellent gliding characteristics, which makes them easy to fly home after they run out of gas.
Short product notes without a heading report new fire engines for Idlewild, air fresheners for the All-American Airways fleet, and a non-tying life jacket for airline passengers.
New Aviation Products reports that the Civil Air Patrol is interested in a 7lb two-way radio set from Deltronic that might be just the thing. E-Z Lube has an adapter that will fit any grease gun, which is ideal for lubricating shielded bearings. Lafayette Engineering has a solenoid that fits in long narrow spaces to actuate aircraft fuel level control mechanisms,, while Elastic Stop Nut has a two-piece floating anchor for aircraft fastener installations.
American Airlines has disconnected its Sperry A-12 autopilots after a failure caused a DC-6 to go in a 20 degree dive near Nashville on 17 July, injuring two passengers. The automatic cut-off did not work quickly enough to stop the dive, but did prevent the autopilot from overstressing the plane. UAL has ordered four flight simulators from Curtiss-Wright Electronics at a total cost of $3 million.
Robert Woods' Editorial is upset that we're not bombing North Korea into peace, thinks that the CAA is too high and mighty, that the services emphasise security too much in public relations, and that towns have to do more about airmarking themselves for passing planes.
The Economist, 23 August 1952
"Limelight on the Kremlin" The Soviets are about to release the new Five Year Plan and introduce some administrative reforms, and zestfully youthful Georgi Malenkov is front and centre in all of it, which might mean something! Now it is time for some speculation about whether there will be more guns or butter in the next Five Year Plan, and whether a Communist totalitarian regime can instantly pivot to guns instead of butter anyway in the event that it decides to have a go at world conquest after all.
"Living Space or Living Standards?" To cut through two pages of the magazine at its best, it has decided that now that Hugh Dalton is out of the picture, that it loves the People's House after all. Not surprising considering that it is a smaller house with lower ceilings and only two bedrooms, instead of the indecently roomy and imported-softwood-consuming three bedroom house of old. It is, however, only a small step in the right direction, rather like the recent continuing investment in private builders versus council housing. What is actually needed is higher rents and a relaxation of rent controls, which will soon put an end to this artificial demand for more housing. More people being kicked out because they can't afford rent will also help with labour mobility! It truly is a panacea, and the only people who will be hurt are those parasitic leeches who enjoy excessively low rents due to having stayed in one place for too long. And that is where The Economist stands!
"Allies Out of Line" Hmm. Well, we're going to have to pivot to "Bevan was right," now that Churchill is, without ever doing anything as indecent as saying so. Also, we're going to have to agree with Ridgway's demand for a standard European two-year conscription period without actually agreeing with it, since British industry is upset enough already at losing its apprentices. (We get a little more into detail about whether taking 19-year-old apprentices out of British factories for two years is bad in the long run in a later Note. There's at least the bare implication that they might come back able to read and write, which will give them airs and lead to demands for higher wages.) And we're going to have to argue for the strongest possible line of defence in central Europe while still havering about how the Fourth Reich is upon us and also extricating as many British troops as possible for assorted worldwide adventures against Communism, resource nationalisers, canal-seizers, and uppity African nationalists who probably can't fix an Austin's seized door handles, anyway.
Notes of the Week
The TCU is still fighting excessive wage demands, which is good. Farmers want higher farm prices, which is bad. Chou En Lai is in Moscow to talk about how the Russians are tired of funding the Korean War just as the Chinese are turning into bitter-enders, much to North Korea's disquiet. Kurt Schumacher is dead, and good riddance, oh, wait, no, we can't say that, he fought the Nazis. I know! We'll waffle around it! The Labour Party has a statement out about how nationalisation is still a good thing, and that's bad. Workers in depressed industries shouldn't want wage increases, and something about savings rates.
"Increasing Europe's Coal Production" Europeans aren't raising enough coal, although demand isn't as strong as it was expected to be, considering rearmament. Britain is the only country showing increasing coal production due to more miners, although this does mean that productivity per head is down. However this may be partly due to the Germans digging new adits (I think that's the word; it's not used here) but not cutting coal in them, because the Germans expect the price to go up soon. Bad Germans! But even The Economist can't make the way that the British are trying to lean on the Danes over butter and bacon prices anything but a story about bad British.
Off in foreign parts, the Indians are upset about the way that the British recruit Gurkhas for the British Army, and in particular for service in Malaya, maybe, and how it might be leading to Communism. Communist ex-Gurkhas, I think? Speaking of which, Communist agitation is coming to Sarawak, perhaps sponsored from within Indonesia, although it is likely to fetch up against a stone wall of Sea Dayaks.
"The Cost of Votes" The Economist looks into party expenditure per constituency in the recent election, revealing that the parties did a pretty good job of targeting the spending to vulnerable constituencies.
A. R. Hall's Ballistics in the Seventeenth Century, which shows that the rising interest in the ballistics of gunnery showed by the scientific minds of the time had nothing to do with everyday artillery practice. Lawrence and Elizabeth Hanson have collaborated in a biography of George Elliot, Marian Evans and George Elliot, which title is chosen because "George Elliott" is Marian Evans' pen-name. I have my own opinions about this "Victorian tragedy," which remain my own. Vincent Harlow's The Founding of the Second British Empire, 1763--1793: Volume I, Discovery and Revolution is a revision of our contemporary understanding of the way that the "second British Empire," including, of course, your own British Columbia, was founded, pushing the dates back to the period when the "first" Empire was moving towards the American Revolution, and whatever this magazine is willing to admit was happening in Ireland. Sounds interesting, as does, amazingly enough, D. R. Marsh, Corporate Trustees, because it drags in the role of the "trustee" in Victorian fiction, although it is mostly about how trustees work in modern law and business.
"Middle East Dust Storms" Some people think that Egypt and Iran could be election issues just like China. My own sense is that some people are wrong. And follows the question of "Where Stands the South?" The Democrats will lose some votes to Eisenhower, and a border state or two, and then will be swept in the north because they caved in to the Dixiecrats, and the fact that Sparkman is "liberal" as far as White people go, is not going to help in New York. You're welcome.
American Notes reviews the President's decision not to increase the current 38% tariff on Swiss watches any further, and sees it as a good sign that protection is not going to advance any further than it already has in the United States, mainly because it is well past the point where it actually saves any American jobs. More on the election (the briefing controversy, and the latest batch of polls that make the election sound like it is up for grabs by pretending that "independent" voters are seriously considering voting for Stevenson, and about how recovery from the steel strike may lead to a wage and price spiral, or not.
The World Overseas
"Kicks and Ha'pence for Austria" Both the Russians and the Americans have both kicked Austria and given it a ha'pence for its troubles lately. I can't say I'm happy to see The Economist hemming and hawing about Austria pardoning Nazis and dragging its feet over compensating Jews, though. There's a lengthy bit about how West Africans are articulate but uppity, and a detailed explanation of why, even though rice production has plateaued in recent years, higher prices for rice aren't a solution. (Farmers won't grow more because they are lazy, consumers won't buy more because it costs too much.) Poland is preparing for elections to its rubber-stamp parliament, the Uno's Economics and Social Council is looking back at two years of scientific and technical advisory missions to see if they have solved the world's problems yet, which they haven't, in spite of spending $20 million on pilot missions in Bolivia (solution: more colonialism!) and Indonesia (solution: more colonialism!) They've got $19 million to spend next year, so that should take care of it!
The big story in Business World is about how "Steel [is] in Suspense." Apart from the usual complaints about how we don't know exactly how steel is going to be denationalised yet, The Economist manages to drag in perspectives that aren't London bankers looking at their own bellybuttons by all-too briefly exploring the question of capitalising further major expansions of steel production in Britain under the new regime of private enterprise.
Business Notes gets into the blackballing of Japan and the sudden stop in commodity arbitrage licenses in a bit more detail, which I have already covered. As often with The Economist, we then edge sideways into a major story, the flooding of Lynmouth when the East and West Lynn rivers flooded all the way from the Exmoor to the sea, carrying a catastrophic amount of the Devon moors with them in the form of boulders and rocks that smashed through Lynnmouth, killing, it seems by month's end, more than thirty people. The insurance industry is shocked, because while it is protected from paying out due to flood damage to houses, it seems like there's a loophole where it has to pay out for cars swept into the sea. Also, the government is abolishing most food rationing and price contols, Austin is laying off 4% of its workforce in spite of producing more cars than ever, showing that it was hoarding labour under full employment, so that higher unemployment would be good, and not at all that its production was curtailed by steel shortages, and the question of import limits into New Zealand is hashed out at length. Rising textile exports are causing trouble for the Lancashire mills, which don't have enough workers and might have to import "gray cloth," zinc controls are gone, and Canada might have trouble getting a good price for this year's bumper wheat crop.
Britannia Airborne" The first Britannia test flight has both Bristol Aircraft and BOAC heaving a sigh of relief. Bristol suffered badly from the cancellation of the Brabazon, and BOAC has made a major technological gamble in ordering 26 Britannias straight off the drawing board. The Britannia can carry 50 first class or 104 tourist class passengers, and has a still air range of 4000 miles, 2500 miles on an economical flight. That gives it a direct London-New York range in most weathers, in direct competition with the big American piston-engined liners, but at a considerably higher speed, of 360mph, so with higher availability and consequentially an operating cost of 8.5d per passenger mile, far lower than the American liners. The Economist cautions that turboprop engines like the Britannia's Proteus are much more complicated to build than straight through jet turbines, and the Proteus still has to prove itself. The Comet, being much faster, has an even higher availability, and might outcompete the Britannia even on the Atlantic route soon enough, while a turboprop version of the Super Constellation might appear as soon as 1956. With production capacity at Filton limited to 16 aircraft a year, it is hoped that licensed production in Canada will meet demand from American operators.
Also, steel prices are falling, there may be a commodity scheme for rubber soon, and the shipping world is seeing retrenchment as freight rates fall.
Aviation Week, 25 August 1952
News Digest reports that the Army has bought a Helio YL-24 four placer to test it as a liaison plane. Kaman's HTK-1 has been granted a CAA Type Certificate. Herbert Hoover, the forty-year-old test pilot who was the first civilian to fly the X-1 at supersonic speeds, has been killed in a B-45 instrument test flight. The Allis-Chambers strike has been settled. The Miles Sparrowjet is the first British "light jet aircraft" to be "nearing completion." BOAC has inaugurated DH Comet service to Pakistan, India and Ceylon. Fiat will manufacture spare engine parts for the J35A29 engines on the F-84Gs of USAF-Europe and the NATO air forces.
Industry Observer reports that a new round of "Skyhook" balloon tests at Camp Ripley near Minneapolis are sure to trigger a rash of flying saucer reports. Douglas engineers are pressing the military to authorise the GE J73 as a replacement for the planned Westinghouse J40, which looks like it will never appear. The Air Force wants to bring in Lockheed to help Convair produce the F-102. Allison T-40A6 production has been delayed because of reduction gear problems. CAB and CAA are continuing their investigation of the 29 April Stratocruiser crash in the Brazilian jungle, with a base camp being set up near the crash site with 30,000lbs of equipment this week. The Air Force has ordered drogue parachutes for more than thirty types of aircraft. Convair has resumed flight testing of the XP5Y-1 after design modifications of the T40. The USAF is calling for deliveries of 150 Pratt and Whitney J57s, mostly for the B-52, but also the Navy A3D.
Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup spends most of her column on the biography of Vice Admiral Matthias Bennett Gadrner, the new Navy Deputy Chief for Air, and excerpting some kind of interview or submitted set of questions. (Admiral Gardner says that the Navy will have several squadrons of MiG-busting jet fighters by the end of the year, and a predominantly jet air force by 1955. The Navy will reduce its current 27 types of aircraft to 21 by 1955 will have one or two missiles in service with the fleet by 1954, will not freeze designs, hopes that it will have helicopter bombers soon, will spend more resources on light than air and attack seaplanes. Some naval air bases may have to be abandoned because they are too small. In what's left of the column we hear about the House Appropriations Committee investigating the relationship between the Navy's former undersecretary, John McCone, and Stephen Bechtel and Uncle Henry. I am shocked to hear that there is interest peddling going on in this establishment.
Ben S. Lee reports for Aviation Week that "JCS Ponders Quick Shift in Missile Plan" This is now the second crisis over the services ordering too many guided missiles that don't work and with no plans to get them into service, as opposed to "service," but who is counting? The public is counting, it says here! So now we have a missile expediter to get all the missiles that are "working" and "in service" to the point where they are working and in service. And maybe, if it is possible, to get the three services to work together and pool their research.
"New Stretchout for Air Power" Costs are skyrocketing, so target dates for military aircraft deliveries are being pushed back six months. And the Navy might join the airlines and private pilots in fighting this new phonetic alphabet that has too many syllables in some words, while Temco is going to help build the McDonnell Demon and the Port of New York is awarding airport improvement contracts. We still don't know who is going to replace General Vandenberg, who will leave the Chief of Staff job at the Air Force at the end of June. British Commonwealth Pacific will operate its new DC-6s with Hamilton Standard paddle-shaped propellers, allowing gross takeoff weight to go up from 93,200 to 95,200lbs. CAA is in trouble again, this time over its regional employee pay policy.
Finmeccia has a bunch of avionics contracts from USAF-Europe thanks to Carlos Calosi, who has recently returned to Italy after six years in the United States. And SNCAO (I can't help sounding that out as "Snack-O" in English) is testing its SO 6025 jet/rocket fighter.
John Brodie, previously published in the de Havilland Gazette and The Aeroplane, and summarised here. The Ghost's combustion system was redesigned with fewer cans and a new flame tube using new surface treatment methods and materials to improve its high temperature resistance and reliability. Air from the compressors was tapped for a deicing flow across the aircraft surfaces, the exhaust was lengthened, air intakes extended to give more air flow for the required 5200lb thrust, and turbine blading changed and a new heat treatment developed to deal with crazing during work hardening. Thermal distribution around the blades was improved by reworking the whole assembly. Bearings were given an oil bath installation for cooling.
The French are testing a jet trainer from FOUGA.
Irving Stone has "New Ceramic Fibre Goes Into Jets" in Production. Carborundum Corporation's Fiberfax is a synthetic ceramic fibre for heat resistance. It is finer than human hair, weighs about 2lb per cubic feet, melts at 3000 degrees, and has low thermal conductivity. And it is very fluffy. A related material, Niafrax, is also pretty good, and would be used in linings.
"B-47 Production Time Cut Sharply" Have you been wondering why the B-47 is taking too long to produce. Probably not, because it is only implied very gently around here. Well, don't wonder even though you should have been wondering, any more! Boeing Wichita has just about solved all the problems involving the 15,000 close-tolerance bolt holes in the wing, the skin thickness gauge that is even thinner than the B-29s, the 27 miles of wiring, compared with 10 in the B-29, and amortised (accounting word, and, yes, I have a new bilingual dictionary of the professions!) the 3.46 million engineering hours that went into the B-47, some twice the hours involved in the B-29, and ten times that of the B-17 at 326,000 hours.
Filter Centre, which is like New Products only for avionics, notes that Canadian Aviation Electronics is building a 12,000 sq foot building in Vancouver, to be staffed by 300 electronics engineers and technicians, that REsedel's radiated noise tester is just the ting, that the F3H is to get a GE autopilot, an improved versiono of the G-3, and that the USAF's new sub-miniaturised glide-slope receiver is the tiniest glide slope receiver ever, from Collins.
tricresyl phosphate, developed by Shell Oil to reduce lead fouling, allowing the use of leaner mixtures. It would also help helicopters sustain their high power requirements. Airlines, however, don't find much benefit at the higher mixtures they fly at. At least, American, the one airline to test it, hasn't. Shell hopes that other airlines are a bit more reckless, and will show more benefit. Meanwhile, those other airlines are afraid that they're going to be told to use TCP and more lead, and the result will be more harm than good. Government would mandate this nefarious practice because high octane gas is scarce due to the shutdown at Albidjan, and so is alkylate additive.
New Aviation Products reports that Hydro-Aire's new motor-operated gate valve for universal use on aircraft piping systems is the lightest and smallest and cutest yet. No pictures of models holding it, though! Kelon-T also does not have models holding its new O-ring backstop, and just as well knowing the average Aviation Week reader. Hetherington wants us to know that its new toggle switch is the lightest, etc.
Captain R. C. Robson's Cockpit Viewpoint is on the war path over "Approach Light Muddle Menaces Safety," because the US is still muddling through with a slopeline light system standard when the rest of the world has gone with centreline systems. Pilots complain that they constantly confuse the slopeline with the runway lights, and the main objections, from the Air Force and Navy, seem to have more application to the battlefield and fast jets overshooting their landings.
Robert Seller of Missapequa, Long Island, thinks that airplanes are too complicated these days. W. L. Kirchoff of the Walkirt Corporation writes to explain how Walkkirt's encapsulated plug-in package could greatly simplify avionics. Seaboard and Western liked George Christian's article about Seaboard and Western Airlines soo much that it got two members of the board and their salesman at GM who has their account to write in and say so.
Representative O'Konski? Have you ever read an issue of Aviation Week? Because it really seems like, if an advertiser wants it in, Aviation Week will type it in.
First we are on about the Labour Party annual conference. Once again, The Economist has to withhold its unqualified approval. Then it's to the Saar, where the whole wearisome story must be told again. But then we have an actual new story, "Rootless and Homeless," The United Nations' International Refugee Organisation, set up after the war with a fixed fund, came to the end of its resources last year after resettling 5 million refugees. There are 400,000 refugees left, not counting the ethnic Volksdeutsch from the Eastern Bloc countries now resettled in Germany. The winding up of the IRO leaves the sixteen-member Intergovernmental Committee for the Migration of Emigrants from Europe, originally set up to deal with Europe's "surplus population" problem in general, and not just refugees. It originally targeted 115,000 people, and has moved 40,000 of them. The problem now is money. Britain isn't participating at all, citing balance of payment issues. This seems silly. While in the abstract, the need is great, the IRO having spent $350 million to move 1.5 million refugees, in practice, airliners of refugees to the four corners of the world is not what is needed now. Much smaller amounts of money are getting the Volksdeutsch out of camps and into German social life, and there is no reason the same can't be done to clear out all the camps. Get on with it!
Another major leader explains how Britain's Citizens' Advice Bureaux are doing good work in helping ordinary Britons cope with the welfare state bureaucracy and also this and that problem in their lives, and people who pay good money for lawyers and financial advisors shouldn't quibble over funding the bureaus for people who can't afford paid advisors. And also some kind of social commentary about needing them at all. The problem with this is that this is really is news to me. I had no idea that "Citizens' Advice Bureaux" existed, and they're not really explained very well.
The Economist of 1852 explains that everyone is shocked and appalled by all the railway disasters lately, which can be explained by the promoters not spending any money on maintenance, keeping up schedules, or hiring enough servants. More money must be spent! Unless it comes out of capital and leads to smaller dividends for investors, which would be just unspeakably horrible. (If you missed last week's extract, it was a meditation on the public French celebration of Napoleon Bonaparte's birthday, or coronation, or, I don't know, his first kiss. Anyway, it used to be a big celebration in the Second Empire, and some people in Britain made fun, but The Economist of 1852 won't, because people need a bit of spectacle in their lives, and the British can't complain what with all their "national illuminations."
Notes of the Week
liberation, not containment" as their position in Eastern Europe. The Economist falls down on the job a bit in not spelling out just how reckless that is. We look at Britain sending an advisory committee to hang around the Schuman Pool, advising but not participating, and complain about how the Chinese seizing two British-owned dockyards in Shanghai represents a "closing of the door" against British business in China. The Economist endorses a Canadian note expressing dissatisfaction, unease, vague discomfort, intermittent itchy sensations and burning eyes over the Churchill government's lack of position on trade and stuff like that. The idea is that it is a warning in case someone in the old man's entourage is thinking about more import restrictions.
Speaking of restrictions, The Economist urges the Tories to be more forthright in freezing old age pensions, which are far too generous and likely to be just too expensive in the near future. Not much progress is being made in a vaccine for foot and mouth disease, and recent Japanese moves to improve relations with Formosa are seen as an overture to overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia who might be the medium by which Japanese exports reach those markets now that overseas Japanese have been expelled. Greece is in "search of a policy," it says here.
Unusually, we end with some crime and women-are-silly human interest stories. The Economist doesn't understand how John Thomas Straffen could have killed again, notes that the 2000 odd tramps who are known to use British "reception centres" are mostly repeat users, which goes to show that they are lazy, and not romantic. And a pamphlet from the Central Office of Information about the lives of British women for distribution abroad is far too sensitive to all those concerns that women go vapouring on about like not having any money.
J. A. R. Pimlott, Public Relations and American Democracy, J. B. Condliffe, The Commerce of Nations, and J. A. Griffith and H. Street, Principles of Administrative Law all say what they're about in the title. I only need to add that Condliffe takes a historical approach, so there's a great deal about what old time theorists thought international commerce was about, and it actually sounds interesting from that point of view; and that Griffith and Street are actually making a controversial point with their title. The established idea in Britain is that the British common law has no "administrative law," and Griffith and Street have to explain that it does, and what it consists of.
Edith Tilton Penrose, The Economics of the International Patent System is a full-blown attack on the distortions that international patent law inflicts on the world's economy, arguing that countries should be exempt from foreign patents as the only way of remedying the problem. The Economist does not agree.
American Notes has a look at the FTC report on the possibly monopolistic prices being charged by American oil companies on exported Middle East oil, the latest on how the economy is absorbing the steel strike, yet more campaign news and . .
"Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel" The Armed Forces, especially the army, depend on Selective Service, which needs to find 40,000 men a month. This, it is finding harder and harder to do, just like in Europe. Coming rapidly to the end of the surplus of undrafted men, the draft boards are looking at deferrals, where there is probably not much room to make inroads on educational, defence work, or medical deferrals, and then at the most likely pool of new draftees, young fathers. It seems like it would be a lot politically wiser to just end the Korean War!
Shorter Notes reports on the case of Karl Latvas, the long term Finnish migrant with an American wife and family, who reported paying dues to the Communist Party once eighteen years ago in his recent application for American citizenship, and who must now be deported to Finland under the McCarran Act, which travesty has the State Department promising to find a way to make him an exception. Also, the Department of the Interior has allocated $1 million to private research into making brackish water sweet, while a California company has "ice that doesn't melt," which is actually a mix of water, sawdust and gelatin that does warm up, but doesn't turn liquid because of all the additives, and so can be refrozen. Like an icepack, except a lot messier if it breaks.
The World Overseas
We get a preliminary look at the new Five Year Plan and check in with Egypt, where I think I have already covered all the relevant details. If you're wondering how rising cotton prices might favourably affect land reform in Egypt, don't bother. Land reform is apparently a bad idea, and no "facts" are going to change that. The BBC's World Service is a good idea, and will continue to be funded, and India is currently worked up over the threat of Communism, mainly because Congress is afraid of losing seats to Communist candidates.
The Business World
The lead story is bond prices, big yawn, not so "Taking Stock in Engineering" I've already mentioned the key fact, the rise of engineering and metal-using industry exports to two-fifths of all exports. Industry productivity has risen 20% in the last two years, export prices may be too low, and while Germany is coming on as a competitor, it is showing signs of the same problems with rapid delivery and after-sales service that the British industry is.
"Shell and Anglo-Iranian Under Fire" The FTC suit implicates the Abidjan partners with five American oil companies in an international cartel to overcharge on Middle Eastern oil delivered to Europe under the ECA.
On the occasion of the EPU's second anniversary, a report that says that it is working well and should be extended. The Economist is concerned that excessive security is making it hard to know how rearmament is going, and how wisely the money is being spent, singling out major expenditures on the Fighting Vehicles Research and Development Establishment at Chobham, which has two years notice to vacate its lease, as an example. The one thing that the Select Committee report that brought this up is not concerned about is the alleged problem of recruiting scientific brainpower. Sure, the scientists all say that they can make more money working for industry, but let's see them prove it! A detailed report reveals how imports were cut, and textile exports cease to fall, some good news which has already coloured my summaries of earlier stories about the textiles and clothing sector this month.
"Radio Makes Its Case" The Earls Court joint BBC/Industry exhibition by the radio industry is a good occasion for stock taking. First of all, the industry is showing declining sales and profits, with Cossor and Pye recently turning in disappointing earnings. This reflects falling sales of their staple, radio and television receivers, and, in turn, austerity affecting consumer sales. Defence sales are still a huge share of the industry, £40 of a turnover last year of £110 million, but a relatively small slice of industry employment, as complicated defence equipment absorbs raw materials and engineers and not assembly workers. Exports were worth £2.8 million in the first seven months of the year, but now Australia has banned further imports and the numbers will fall. There is some interest in better equipment, with 12" televisions all but replacing 9", and interest in combined radio/stereos and even "radiograms." Projection televisions are interesting. But all of this is introduced under the heading of "TV and Circuses" that begins with all the "sideshows" on display at Earl's Court, such as television cameras, underwater televisions, radio-control apparatus, radar-guided missiles, and mobile transmitters. This is just a "circus," with nothing to do with the health of the industry!
Money in circulation has fallen, Australia is taking a World Bank loan to tide it over until the wool export resumes, something seems off about coal, where the supply going into winter is so generous that a new 2 million ton coal export has been authorised. Depending on who you listen to, Britain is going to need to raise, or be able to raise, between 227 million and 265 million tons of coal by 1961. The Economist goes for the higher number, accepts that it will be beyond the capacity of British mining, and believes that Britain will be, in the future, at least intermittently, a coal importer. On the other hand, maybe this is too high?
Copper is booming, the Copper Belt is booming, there is some recovery in jute (and sisal) prices, and wholesale prices are "steadier." The price of marine oil has fallen for the first time in six months.
Business Roundup says that with defence spending nearing its peak, expect a bit of a dip in '53. Prices are trending up in spite of far better crops than we expected at the height of the drought, and oil is still a good business to be in, refining division. Advertising is also booming, especially on television.
Republicans damn well do something about the cost of living; Silly Marxists who say that the Convention was about pro-Eisenhower eastern financial capitalists against pro-Taft Midwestern heavy industry are silly and wrong; between tax breaks and depreciations, owning an oil tanker is a swell deal for a well-connected operator; Fortune is impressed by Pinay's financial policies; organised labour is tired of organised crime muscling into the factories. And then it is off to Canada, with its booming population (up 21% to 14 million since the war) and gigantic mines and other very large holes in the ground. A feature article looks at the Celanese pulp mill in Prince Rupert, which should interest you if it actually has anything new to say. We look at doing business in Canada, at Canadian super-minister, C. D. Howe, and, on a less Canadian note, at how to make a sale (butter up the customer!) and the "Crisis in Raw Materials," which is basically that we'll use up all the metals really soon unless we start using alternative materials created by science, in which case we won't.
And that's it, off to the lake! The beautiful, unspoiled lake. I sure hope no-one's reversed it to use the water to make aluminum foil.