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With Sudsy Morning Edition. THEODORE wT nOYES, Editor. WASHINGTON, D. C. FRIDAY......January 23,1942 The Evening Star Newspaper Company. Main Office: 11th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. New Ycrk Office: 110 East 42nd 8t. Chicago Office: 435 North Michigan Ava. Delivered by Carrier—City and Suburban. Rrrnlsr Edition. Evening and Sunday. 75c per mo. or 18c per week The Evening Star_45c per mo. or 10c per week The Sunday Star 10c per copy Night Final Edition. Night Final and Sunday Star 85c per month Night Final Star 60c per month Bnral Tube Delivery. The Evening and Sunday Star 85e per month The Evening Star_65c per month Ehe Sunday Star 10c per copy Collections made at the end of each month or each week. Orders may be tent'by mall or tele phone National 6000. Rate by Mall—Payable in Advance. eily and Sunday_1 yr.. $12.00: 1 mo.. $100 Uy only -1 yr.. $8.00; 1 mo.. 75c Sunday only_1 yr. $5.00; 1 mo.. 50c, Entered as second-class matter post offlea. Washington. D. C. Member of tbe Associated Press. The Associated Press Is exclusively entitled to the use for republication of all news dispatches credited to It or not otherwise credited In this paper and also the local news published herein. All lights of publication of special dispatches herein also are reserved. »==■— 111 j. . 1 - ■ j. - -» Wartime Growing Pains It Is with a note of genuine regret, but with a philosophical sense of resignation to the seemingly inev itable, that residents of Washington watch the drastic and rapid trans formation of their “city beautiful’’ into a thriving, bewildering center of accelerating wartime activity. Parks and recreation fields so carefully nourished and so jealously guarded in time of peace are being converted daily into parking lots or sites for a multiplicity of temporary structures designed to accommodate the thou sands upon thousands of additional workers expected to congregate here in the coming months. But this is war—war of the grimmest sort—and if it can be won on the playing fields of the National Capital, the citizens of Washington are glad to make the sacrifice. Latest of the series of encroach ments on park areas is to be found on the Mall and in Potomac Park. The famed Polo Field between the Po tomac River and the Tidal Basin al ready has been paved with asphalt and marked out as an automobile parking lot for 1,300 Navy Depart ment cars. Four temporary office buildings for the Navy are to be erected south of the Lincoln Me morial Reflecting Pool, in an area heretofore reserved for baseball and hockey enthusiasts. Other "tempo raries,” in the form of annexes to the Navy Department, already have been constructed on the other side of the pool, and a penthouse is be ing built atop one of the completed annexes. In other parts of the city similar changes are being made. The permanent new building for the Gen eral Accounting Office in the block bounded by Fourth, Fifth, G and H streets N.W. will be deferred so as to make way for two temporary buildings. On a site at the foot of East Capitol street, near the new Armory, will be placed two more temporary structures. A service and maintenance building, to contain a cafeteria for 4,800 persons, is to rise at Seventh street and Independence avenue S.W. Washingtonians would view this changing panorama with fewer mis givings if they could erase from their minds the picture of a post-World War I Washington, afflicted with a "temporary” hangover that threat ened to become altogether too per manent. It was many years before most of the unsightly .temporary buildings of that war period disap peared from the Mall, from Union Station Plaza and from other prom inent areas. One or two of these frame flretraps persisted through two decades. Some of the so-called "tem porary” buildings were of such per manent construction that no serious effort ever was made to demolish them. The Navy and Munitions Buildings on Constitution Avenue are prime examples. All that Washington asks in all earnestness amid today’s “growing pains” is that the temporary build ings which of necessity are being scattered throughout the city, with out regard to long-view plans for the Capital, be temporary in construc tion as well as in name, so that when a better day comes, this presently scarred and dislocated city may be restored readily to at least some eemblance of its original, carefully planned appearance. Rail Rates Advance As was to be expected, the Inter State Commerce Commission has granted the passenger fare increase sought by the railroads to help meet the cost of the wage raise obtained by the brotherhoods. In consequence, the public shortly will be called upon to pay 10 per cent more for travel, or at the rate of $45,000,000 annually. Still pending is the application of the carriers for a $312,000,000 boost in freight tariffs, and while the in dustry might not get all that it seeks, it virtually is a foregone conclusion that some concessions will be made. The higher wage scale calls for an annual expenditure of $331,700,000, and the commission tacitly admitted in its annual report that mounting operating costs would make it neces sary for the railroads to get more for their services. The rail wage increase, obtained under threat of a Nation-wide strike, is water over the dam, but that does not make it any more palatable to those who must foot the bill. It was granted in part against the better Judgment of the Emergency Fact Finding Board appointed by the President to compose the differences between management and labor which threatened to paralyze traffic. That it was not Justified in view of the condition of the industry is dem onstrated by the fact that the car riers were forced to raise rates de spite the levels to which revenues have been elevated by war condi tions. Aqd it is to be doubted seri ously that the higher rates can be maintained once the country gets back on a peacet basis and competi tion has full pla*y in transportation. New Guinea Under Fire The huge island of New Guinea is beginning to feel the fury of the Jap anese onset. Almost continental in size, it extends just south of the Equator for nearly 1,300 miles and is a natural bulwark to Australia, from whose northern extremity it is separated by only 100 miles of island and reef-studded water—the cele brated Torres Strait. Indeed, this protecting shield is continued by a chain of islands extending south eastward another 1,500 miles. Those islands are all part of the British Empire except New Caledonia, near the end of the chain, which is Free French. The eastern half of New Guinea itself is British, the western half being part of the Netherlands Indies. Intensely tropical, undeveloped ex cept at a few coastal points, and in habited by savage tribes, New Guinea is scantily defended and is thus a tempting prey for Japanese aggres sion. Already both ends of the island are under attack. For the past week the chief Dutch base on the island of Amboina has been steadily bombed by Japanese air squadrons, while the last few days have witnessed mass air attacks on the few towns and airfields on the British end, includ ing the capital, Rabaul. Great is Australia’s alarm. Prime Minister John Curtin has announced that the Japanese threat to the com monwealth is “nearer, clearer, and deadlier” than ever before, adding: “Anybody in Australia who fails to perceive the immediate menace this attack constitutes for Australia must be lost to all reality.” So grave is the situation that the sending of Australian reinforcements to other parts of the Empire reportedly has stopped, while the recall of crack Australian air squadrons and pilots from Britain, North Africa and the Near East is contemplated. The people of Australia did not need General Tojo’s recent threat to crush them without mercy to make them realize that they were in deadly peril. Australia long has been a coveted prize for Japanese imperialists, who have made no secret of their desire to conquer that vast continent and fill it with their migrating millions. Should New Guinea and its island dependencies, east and west, fall into Japanese hands, the position of Aus tralia would be most serious. Its normal sea communications with both Britain and the United States would be severed, and its almost uninhabited northern coast would lie open to attack. Australia’s hold upon this vast region centers in the naval and air base at Port Darwin. The only land route runs through more than 1,000 miles of semi-desert country between the tropical north ern coast and the settled portions of Australia on the opposite sides of the continent. If the main sea route through Torres Strait should be cut, it would be almost impossible to send sufficient troops and supplies overland to cope with a Japanese in vasion aimed at Port Darwin. And once that habitable strip was in Japanese hands to the northern edge of the central desert, no army of any size could move across those water less wastes to drive the invaders out again. The reconquest of Northern Australia would have to be made by sea, which could not be done until New Guinea and the Netherlands Indies were freed from Japanese control. Such considerations will show the importance of the latest phase of Japan’s general offensive, which has now spread until it covers, actually or potentially, the whole South Pa cific area. This is indeed a bid for empire which must, at all costs, be met before it becomes a dread reality. Fail of Mozhaisk In retaking the key stronghold of Mozhaisk after eighteen days of bitter fighting, the Russians have demonstrated beyond any possibility of successful contradiction that their counterattack is not a mere follow ing up of a planned German with drawal, but a full-fledged winter offensive which the Germans have been unable to stop. With the fall of Mozhaisk, the center of the German line has been smashed, yet it is obvious that Hitler had intended and had hoped to hold this position at all costs. Mozhaisk had been converted by the Germans Into a veritable fortress. An esti mated 100,000 men had been thrown into its defense, behind a ring of land mines and formidable en trenchments. It had been stocked with provisions and equipment for a siege, and the tenacity of the de fense is indicated by the fact that the streets were piled high with both German and Russian dead before the last of the Nazis had been driven out. The remnants of this force—the German Ninth Army and part of the Fourteenth—are now fleeing toward Vyazma, fighting desperately to escape entrapment by the Russian columns that by-passed Mozhaisk to the south and which are now trying to bottle up the routed Nazis. How significant this Nazi disaster will prove to be depends, of course, on the extent to which the Russians can exploit the victory. But one thing is clear. Hitler intended to hold Mozhaisk. He has failed, and the failure is the result, not of plan, or strategy or weather, but of the ability of the Russians to concentrate superior forces against him. At the moment It seems doubtful that a stand can be made by the Germans at Vyazma. The probability is that they will fall back on Smolensk, and that would mean the substantial nullification of all the Nazi successes gained during the past seven months at such fearful cost in human lives and military equipment. Smolensk is 230 miles from Mos cow, while the Germans, as long as they held Mozhaisk, were but sixty miles from the Soviet capital. At the least, this means that Hitler, as suming him to be capable of muster ing the men and equipment for a spring offensive, must come back the hard way, fighting a third time fpr a battleground that he - won but could not hold. Facts and Figures The first report to the Nation by the Office of Facts and Figures, headed by Archibald MacLeish, is a well-rounded presentation of the progress this country has made toward preparing itself for total war, while strengthening the hand of its Allies. By and large, the report deals with what has been and will be ac complished, not with what we have failed to accomplish. In the main, however, the picture it sketches is one filled with encouragement. Mr. MacLeish begins with the as sumption that in modern warfare it is “not stocks in reserve but pro duction capacity in prospect which makes a nation powerful.” Con sidered in this aspect, he declared, the country can take much satis faction in the facts recorded in the report. The brightest aspect of the docu ment is the confident assertion that the United States, with British aid, can and will outbuild the Axis In planes and tanks, which are de scribed as the two most important weapons in this war. Further, Mr. MacLeish stated, we now have “four types of combat planes better than anything yet produced abroad, so far as is known.” It was indicated, though not specifically stated, that this reference was to bombers, but at no point in the report was there any criticism of American pursuits. This is interesting and possibly sig nificant in view of the Truman com mittee’s recent adverse comment on the quality of our pursuit ships. The report states without hesita tion that our hope of victory lies in the future, yet there is no suggestion of anything but complete confidence on that score. The foundations for a total war effort, Mr. MacLeish states, have been laid, and, while they are good and strong, they are foundations only. “The President,” he added, “has told us that we ‘must face the fact of a hard war, a long war, a bloody war, a costly war.’ How hard a war, how long, how bloody, at how great a cost, depends on how quickly we can erect the necessary structure upon these vast founda tions. The answer will be given by 132.000,000 Americans who, never having failed in any crisis, now face the gravest crisis in their history.” Archbishop Retires When on March 31 the Most Reverend Cosmo Gordon Lang sur renders his office as Archbishop of Canterbury, the Church of England for a second time in a decade and a half will experience a change of leadership brought about by the voluntary decision of its head. His predecessor, Archbishop Davidson, resigned at the age of eighty in 1928. “Responsibilities of leadership,” Dr. Lang said, prompted his relinquish ment of his high office. “The times” he explained, “demand * * • ardor, vigor and decisiveness of mind and spirit.” At seventy-seven, though he was not conscious of any lessening of his physical or mental powers, he believed that he should step down in favor of a younger man. The war, to which he referred as “the greatest crisis which the country has had to meet in all its long history,” un questionably affected his action. “Great tasks of reconstruction must await the church as well as the state” in the period to follow the restoration of peace, and the Archbishop elected to retire in advance of that event so that he who will take up the burden may prepare, beginning immediately, for the era of rebuilding. Dr. Lang, of course, cannot name his successor. That' privilege is the King’s, and, if his majesty should nominate a man as old. as the re tiring incumbent, the church would not protest. In other words, the number of years that a man has spent in the world is not imperatively a matter of consequence in relation to appointment as primate of all England. The Archbishop, himself proceeding In line with the example of Dr. Davidson, merely suggests to his sovereign a policy predicated upon relative youth. That his desire will be resnected is‘assure^. But in things ecclesiastical as in things altogether secular and mun dane, there are exceptions to every rule and a man is not necessarily “too old” at seventy-seven. Much depends upon circumstances having nothing to do with mathematics. The Anglican branch of universal Chris tianity is accustomed to maturity in its leadership, and the London Times, commenting upon Dr. Lang’s decision, expresses a sentiment which may be widely felt when it remarks: “He is a greater man and a more successful Archbishop than he was a dozen years ago,” at only sixty-five. In this connection it is distinctly worthy of mention that the next archbishop may have the advantage of the counsel of Dr. Lang at least in the early portion of his term. The present crisis furbishes the church with an opportunity which both men will appreciate to the fulL Closed Shop Issue Again to the Fore Writer Says Unions Demand Further Concession Despite Congressional Opposition By R. M. B»eckel. The closed-shop Issue, responsible for three major strikes at captive mines of the steel corporations in 1941, has been raised again in current negotiations for new labor contracts with independent steel producers. The Steel Workers’ Organizing Committee- has demanded company acceptance of union shop clauses in the new agreements. A union shop in the captive mines of the steel companies was won by the United Mine Workers, with little public notice, on December 7, 1941—the day of the surprise Japanese bombing attack on Pearl Harbor. The captive mines were brought under the union-shop provision of the standard Appalachian agreement by the award of a three-man board of arbitration appointed by the President when John L. Lewis terminated a six-day strike on November 22. Ninety-five per cent of the 53,000 workers in the captive mines already held membership in the U. M. W. The award of the arbitrators was not unanimous. Benjamin 7. Fairless, presi dent of the United States Steel Corp., who served on the board with Lewis and John R. Steelman, protested the award on the ground that It violated the dec laration of the President, November 17, when he said: “I tell you frankly that the Government of the United States will not order nor will Congress pass legislation ordering a closed shop... . The Govern ment will never compel this 5 per cent to join the union by a Government de cree: that would be too much like the Hitler methods toward labor.” The union's closed-shop demand had previ ously been rejected by a 9-to-2 decision of the National Defense Mediation Board. Mr. Fairless said the award would force a complete reversal of the opposition of the steel companies to, any form of* closed shop. It would reopen the closed shop controversy In all sections of Amer ican Industry and would cause “unneces sary labor unrest and agitation, with consequent curtailment of production of materials vitally needed for defense.” When the President’s industry-labor conference met at Washington after the American declarations of war, the closed shop issue again anxe to obstruct full agreement. Finally the President ac cepted and put into effect on December 23 the three points upon which agree ment had been reached—no strikes or lockouts during the war, settlement of all disputes by peaceful means, creation of a new war labor board. He disregarded a reservation by the employer group that the new board should have no Jurisdic tion over closed-shop controversies. The employers recommended that open-closed shop conditions be frozen for the dura tion of the war. The fact that mention of the closed shop was eliminated from the agreement raised some question whether the new War Labor Board, set up on January 12, would deal with closed shop cases, but the consensus was that it would take jurisdiction if the contro versy in question threatened to impede war production. Just prior to the outbreak of war in the Pacific the House of Representatives had passed the drastic Smith anti-strike bill, December 3. which included a provision that there should be no change In open or closed shop relationships for two years, or until the end of the war emergency. On the same day the Senate Committee on Education and Labor had reported the Ball bill which, among other things, would make any new agreement for the closed shop during the emergency Illegal. And the Senate Judiciary Committee two days earlier, December 1, had reported the Connally bill to freeze conditions of employment In defense industries and set up Government boards to determine fair wages. None of these measures has yet been called up for action In the Senate, but there Is strong support In both Houses for maintaining the open closed shop status quo, as was done during the First World War, until peace Is restored. Discusses Need for Support Of Hospital Services. To the Editor of The Star: Residents of Greenbelt, Md., recently voted against an annual tax of $1 per family to help maintain Greenbelt Hos pital. That, of course, is their privilege. But, being a nurse, I often wonder if people in general should not be more “hospital conscious.” Only those who work in hospitals realize the tremendous cost of their upkeep. The wear and tear on linen and equip ment is severe, due to daily hard usage, sterilization and laundering. Likewise, the enormous cost of central heating, hot water, gas and electricity, is something which many people would gasp at. ' Then, the personnel must be paid their hard-earned salaries. And there are other expenses too numerous to mention necessary for the proper functioning of a hospital. It is true that most patients pay for treatment in a hospital. This is merely another reason why all people should be Interested in their local hos pital Institutions. With the co-operation of all citizens, hospitals could become objects of civic pride. They should be outstanding examples of the strictest hygiene and sanitation. New hospitals could be erected when needed, to take the places of old, un sanitary buildings. Through the proper interest of all people, hospital standards woufd be so raised that even the short age of personnel would be overcome, as more young persons would be attracted to the nursing profession. Hospitals could become places where not only the body Is brought back to health, but also where the heart and soul receive a moral boost to carry on the strenuous duties of these troubled times. MARY ROGERS GERSTER, R. N. Thanks Mr. Willkie For Warning Against Complacency. To the Editor of The Star: Wendell Willkie was absolutely right when, at the Conference of Mayors Jan uary 13, he said: “Complacency is as deadly an enemy as Hitler himself. It is by no means sure that we will win this war, and the price of victory at best will be high." I thank him for saying it. WILLIAM D. LILLY, Baltimore. Md. THIS AND THAT By Charles E. Tracewett. It was a bright afternoon, set off un forgettably by a strange cry coming from a locust tree. It was a harsh, brassy cry, difficult to put into a written word. It has been tried, many times, by bird lovers, and as near to it as they have come is "chad, chad," which isn’t it at all. If you like birds, you have guessed it. It was the tree call of the famous red bellied woodpecker, which in some sec tions of the country is called the chad, on account of it; in others, the zebra bird, zebra back, shamshack and the ramshack. * * * * This is such an unusual noise that it will be heard Instantly as something strange by all persons interested in birds. The suburban sections are the best for hearing it, but it will occur now and then in the city, too. The red-bellied woodpecker — whose stomach is not so very red, after Bil ls one of the best of his family. He is about 10 inches long. His back and his wings resemble a Plymouth Rock. The red extends from the back of his neck over the head down to where the bill begins. The female of the species has the red of the head restricted to the back of the head, or neck, and the red of the abdo men is very pale, if there is any at all. * * * * Many observers say they never see any red on the lower parts of the male, either, but It Is there, although sometimes quite pale, and at others almost non-existent. This is a nice bird, and a good one to have around, although farmers look askance at it, believing it eats much fruit. It is true It eats fruit, but there are* not many of these woodpeckers, after all. It is questionable whether as a group, they do very much damage. It is said that they eat oranges in the South (this might be a tip to local bird lovers). Yet investigators, examining the stomachs of these birds down there, failed to find any evidence of orange pulp. Maybe it is too quickly digested to leave any traces. * * * * Persons interested in bird life, who happen to have an orange to spare, some day, might try cutting it in half and putting it out for the birds, especially if there are woodpeckers in the neighbor hood. As we recall, no one of the many letters which have come to this column over the years has ever suggested trying this fruit for the birds. Perhaps the slightly acid character would prevent faiost of the songsters which winter here from trying it, and yet cherries, favorites of many birds, in cluding the robins in the springtime, are quite as acid in character. If any one wishes to try this experi ment, we would suggest some above freezing afternoon. The cut orange could be placed in the grass, not too close to a feeding station, but not too far away, either. Most of the insects eaten by the red bellied woodpecker are bad Insects, from the human viewpoint. This is a good score for the bird. Some persons insist on calling the red bellied bird a "sapsucker,” which is all wrong, since the bird does not indulge in that taste. Trees are safe from this woodpecker. Even the real sapsuckers do not do as great damage as is sometimes thought. Yet it is probably a good thing to chase the genuine yellow-bellied sap sucker away from trees which it attacks, especially from' the various maples, of which it is very fond. a a a a Dr. Frank Chapman has the following to say of the cries of the red-bellied woodpecker: "It ascends a tree in a curious, jerky fashion, accompanying each upward move by a hoarse chu-chu. It also utters k-r-r-r-ring roll and, when mating, a whicker call like that of the flicker.” Farmers’ Bulletin, No. 506, of the Bio logical Survey, says of the food habits of this bird: “The red-bellied woodpecker ranges over the Eastern United States as far West as Central Texas and Eastern Colorado, and as far North as New York, Southern Ontario, Michigan and South ern Minnesota. It breeds throughout this range and appears to be irregularly migratory. It appears to go North of its breeding range sometimes to spend the winter. “Four stomachs, collected in November and December, were received from Canada, and in eight years’ residence in Central Iowa the writer found the species abundant every winter, but never saw one in the breeding season. It is rather more of a forest bird than some of the other woodpeckers. “Ants are a fairly constant article of diet. The mo6t are taken during the warmer months. Evidently this bird does not dig all the ants which it eats from decaying wood, like the downy wood pecker, but, like the flickers, collects them from the ground and the bark of trees. “In Florida, the bird has been observed to eat oranges to an injurious extent. It attacks the overripe fruit and pecks holes in it and sometimes completely devours it. The fruit selected is that which is dead ripe or partly decayed, so that it is not often that the damage is serious. “The bird sometimes attacks the trunks of the orange trees as well as others and does some harm. The content of the stomachs, however, show that wild fruits are preferred, and probably onlv when these have been replaced by culti vated varieties 1s any mischief done.” The yellow-bellied sapsucker, previous ly mentioned, is larger than the downy woodpecker, but smaller than the red bellied. Both birds are barred in some what the same fashion, but the head of the sapsucker, in addition to having red on It, also has broad black-and-white stripes, extending down to the neck. Letters to the Editor Favors Allowing Mr. Henderson To Control Food Prices. To the Editor of The Star: The Star Is to be congratulated on Gould Lincoln’s analysis of the difficulty confronting conferees of the House and Senate in reaching a final decision over the highly controversial issue of an agri cultural “ceiling” in the price control bill. Shall plenary power to make final decisions in respect to food prices be vested in Price Control Administrator Leon Henderson or Secretary of Agri culture Claude R. Wickard? With ob jective clarity Mr. Lincoln indicates that under the smoke screen of equivocal de bate over the “parity-index” control mechanism, two powerful administrative agencies are slugging it out for the in vestiture of final, plenary authority to dictate and regulate food prices for every category of consumer, producer and distributor. While it was intimated in previous editorials of The Star that the delegation of such plenary authority to Mr. Henderson would be in consistent conformity with our President’s an nounced policy of single-man leadership and administrative control, nevertheless there has been a disposition on the part of certain determined legislators to sup plant Mr. Henderson’s impartial realism, with control by an agency traditionally responsive or sympathetic to political persuasions and expediency. Ordinarily a failure on the part of Congress to make its enactments con form with strategy conceived by the President would be but a proper exercise of its political independence and sov ereign prerogative, but with our Nation at total war against ruthless aggressors it would appear some reasonable con cession could be made to the compulsions of the master plan of our Commander in Chief. When you bear in mind that the Department of Agriculture Ui the past, consistently has protected the vested in terest of the farmer through such ad ministrative agencies as the A. A. A, soil conservation programs, crop control and processing taxes, you honestly doubt if it possesses that judicial, non-partisan attitude, prerequisite to such & radical change of character and purpose, in herent in the effective administration of food price control. On the other hand while Mr. Henderson’s tough-minded realism and economic prescience has been painful and disturbing, It has neverthe less had the merit of being dependable and reasonably accurate. One other argument could be ad vanced, persuasive of the wisdom of con ferring this plenary administrative au thority in the hands of Mr. Henderson. We are now engaged in total war in the political, economic, military and ideologi cal sense. Freedom from “want” is the third of the four freedoms the President has declared to be the goal and guar antee of democracy to all people, friend and enemy alike. That freedom from want is measured by the abiUty of the poorest continuously and dependably to obtain food, shelter, clothing and medical care. In the absence of a mechanism of complete socialization, this freedom from want can be implemented only by compelling the costs of vital necessities to keep within reach of all who through the contribution of their labor have earned valid title to Its assured and continuous provision. To Insure this Involves the creation of an administrative Letters to the Editor must bear the name and address of the writer, although the use of a pseudonym for publication is permissible. The Star reserves the right to edit all letters with a view to condensation. agency with no past of political manipu lation and subservience, no present characterized by evasion or inefficiency and no future dedicated to selfish minor ity interests in times of national peril. Delegating such plenary power to Mr. Henderson does not preclude either the necessity or possibility of Mr. Wickard acting in a friendly advisory capacity and surely there is nothing in the public record which would lead us to believe that Mr. Henderson would arbitrarily refuse to avail himself of Mr. Wickard's unquestioned ability and resource. THOMAS E. MATTINGLY, M. D. Proposes Use of Steam Whistles To Warn City of Danger To the Editor of The Star: Back home in Baldwinsville, Mass., when a fire or other disaster occurs, the local factories give warning by means of steam whistles. Certain numbers are chosen for the various signals, and the separate blasts that make up these sig nals easily are distinguished over a radius of 5 miles of hilly and timber covered country. A similar system could be set up here in Washington, using existing facilities. Each steam laundry, hotel and the many steam power plants throughout the city could be utilized. An immediate criticism of this system is that simultaneous use would be im possible. The remedy to this is a signal light system for each whistle station, controlled from general headquarters. After the call to stations was given, when the red light call was given, each time the red light flashed, the whistle cord could be pulled. One fault with the present system is that in a city where sirens are heard all day long it would be impossible for a person to be awakened in the middle of the night by the usual city sirens and be conscious that disaster was at hand. HENRY W. PEABODY. Reports a Surplus of Applications For Patent Office Jobs in Richmond. To the Editor of The Star: To avoid disappointment and loss of time for those interested in transferring to the Patent Office for removal to Rich mond. I submit the following: I was informed at the office of the chief clerk of the Patent Office that only stenographers are wanted and that there Is a surplus of applications for those positions: in fact, so eager are clerks to transfer that some have accepted reduc tion from grade 4 to grade 2. This latter statement apparently re ferred to relatives of present Patent Of fice employes. Anyway, there are no openings in the Patent Office for persons desiring trans fer to Richmond—rather the problem seems to be to dispose of the large num ber of clamoring applicants. So it seems there isn't a dearth of Government clerks desiring to leave Washington, or Just what is the ex planation? A WOULD-BE TRAN8PER. Haskin's Answers To Questions By Frederic J. Raskin. A reader can get the answer to any question of fact by writing The Eve ning Star Information Bureau, Fred eric J. Haskin, director, Washington, D. C. Please inclose stamp for reply. Q. How long will it take to complete the Trans-Isthmian highway which con nects the east and west coasts of Pan ama?—T. C. A. It is hoped that the highway will be completed and opened for traffic by March. Q. How did the secretary bird receive its name?—H. R. R. A. It was named at the time when clerks and secretaries used quill pens, from the fancied resemblance of the bird’s crest to the bunch of quills stuck behind a clerk's ear. Q. Please tell me the correct way to pronounce Corregidor.—O. 8. t A. The name is pronounced "Corray heedor” with the main accent on the last syllable and a slight accent on the second. Q. How much sugar do we receive from the Philippines ordinarily?—P. D. R. A. More than one million tons of sugar are normally received in a year. Q. Please explain to me exactly what is meant by “pure-dye silk.”—P. N. A. The Federal Trade Commission rules of November 4, 1938, define a pure dye silk as one made exclusively of silk fibers, containing no metallic weighting and no other foreign substances, except that necessary for dyeing and finishing which shall not exceed 15 per cent for black silks and 10 per cent for other colors and white. Uncle Sam’s Almanac, 1942—In dexed for quick reference, this up - to - the - minute publication should be in every home. It is full of facts the average person has need for every day in the year. Contains information on such popular subjects as radio, eports, Army, Navy, religion, motion pic tures, as well as charts, graphs and maps for wartime consumption. You will be surprised at the amount of worth-while material in this * 48-page publication. To secure your copy inclose 10 cents in coin, wrapped in this clipping, and mail to The Star Information Bureau. Name Address Q. Where was Gilbert Stuart bom? —C. B. A. The artist was bom at Middletown, near Newport, R. I., on December 3, 1755, and named Gilbert Charles in honor of Bonnie Prince Charlie, for his father was a Jacobite refugee. Later he changed the spelling of his name from Stewart to Stuart and dropped the Charles. Q. Have astronomers determined what the center of the sun is like?—B. L. O. A. The center of the sun is gaseous, even though the pressure there is something like 5,000,000 tons to the square inch. The atoms of the gas are very tightly packed together. Q. Who took the speaking part of the dragon in "The Reluctant Dragon?" —3. R. G. A. The voice of the dragon was that of Barnett Parker. Q. What was the name of the singer who possessed the incredibly high so prano voice?—T. M. A. Lucrezia Agujari, who lived near the end of the 18th century. She could sing the altissimo as far as F, the highest F on the piano. Mozart said these high notes were pure and of good quality. Q. In Longfellow’s poem. “Hiawatha," there is mention of a lake Gitche Gurnee. What is the name of this lake today? -A. S. A. Gitche Gurnee is the Indian name of Lake Superior. Q. For what reason was the Govern ment of Turkey once known as the Sublime Porte?—N. W. B. A. The term was derived from the high gate giving access to the building in Constantinople where the principal government offices were situated. The words are French and literally mean "high gate." Q. I should like the names of some of the war plays of this present World War.—D. J. A. Recent war plays include: "There Shall Be No Night.” by Robert Sher wood: "Watch on the Rhine,” by Lillian Heilman: "Key Largo,” by Maxwell An derson: "The Wookey,” by Frederick H. Brennan, and “Candle in the Wind,” by Maxwell Anderson. Q. How much does it cost to run our Government for one year? By this I mean the regular expense.-J. W. C. A. The total Federal appropriation for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1941, amounted to $26,574,507,401, of which $7,487,971,964 was for our civil functions. Q. Is it known what became of Am brose Bierce, the American writer?— P. T. 8. A. He went to Mexico in January, 1914, at the age of 71 "with a pretty definite purpose which, however, is not at pres ent disclosable,” and never returned. His death was reported in 1916. Enchanted Flowers The moonwort glows in the dark Fragile and pale as a dream, Luminous as a spark Of icy fire, or a beam From a legendary moon. What spirit smiled to see Its gleam at night’s high noon? What ancient alchemy Devised a spell that turned A flower as it grew, From coloring that burned, Into a stranger hue; A wan and pearly disc That glimmers its faint light, A ghostly asterisk Upon the page of night? MARY WILLIS SHELBURNE.