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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, February 10, 1942, Image 10

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With Bandar Mamina Edition.
TUESDAY-February It, 1941
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Signs and Symbols
The action of the House yesterday,
banning the use of Office of Civilian
Defense appropriations for “frills,”
was in a sense meaningless. For the
criticized frills, such as employment
of dancing teachers and movie actors,
have been financed out of other
funds, not included in the O. C. D.
appropriations voted by Congress.
But in another sense the action of
the House was full of meaning. It
reflected very accurately the wave
of popular indignation against the
use of public funds for many of the
fancy and wasteful furbelows, which
have cluttered up the Office of Civil
ian Defense since its creation and
which have overshadowed and con
fused Its really vital functions.
In relation to other things, the
employment of a lady dancer by O.
C. D. and the acquisition of yet an
other Hollywood movie actor—with
or without pay—to direct another
useless activity, undoubtedly have
been overemphasized by the press
and by the protesting Congressmen.
But the lady dancer and the movie
actor were merely the symbols of the
sort of misdirected effort with which
the American people, taking this war
far more seriously than some of their
leaders, are thoroughly sickened.
This war is a serious business.
The future of our homes and our
country is at stake. It is not a war
In which victory is guaranteed. It
is a war that is going to require
everything we have to win. And it is
time that the administration and Its
advisers realized that people will sac
rifice everything they have for a
eause in which they believe, provided
those at the top keep faith with
When those at the top lean on
Donald Duck to sugar-coat the pay
ment of income taxes or lady dancers
properly to instruct the children,
they are guilty of a breach of faith
with the people. And the people,
sensing the stark reality of what lies
ahead of them, properly resent this
eheap, artificial pampering and want
no more of it.
Significant Contrast
An Interesting contrast in indus
trial philosophies has come out of
the Detroit? meeting of the C. I. 0.
union representatives from ninety
plants of the General Motors Corpo
The meeting was called to launch
the drive of the United Automobile
Workers for a union shop at Gen
eral Motors and wage increases of a
dollar a day. The total cost of such
wage increases, it is estimated, would
be $90,000,000 a year, which, of
course, ultimately would be passed
on to the taxpaying public, and which
would tend to obstruct the Govern
ment’s efforts to prevent inflation.
It is not so much the character of
the union demands that* attracts
attention, however, as the atmos
pheric background for their presen
tation which was supplied by R. J.
Thomas, president of the auto work
ers’ union. Mr. Thomas had little to
say by way of justifying the union
demands. Instead, he fell back on a
sweeping denunciation of industrial
ists in general and William S. Knud
sen in particular, charging them with
disloyalty to the Government and
with being more concerned with ad
vancing their own selfish interests
than with winding the war. Just
what these alleged shortcomings of
industry representatives have to do
with the union shop and wage de
mands is not clear, unless Mr.
Thomas was acting on the theory
that any union proposal, however
unreasonable, can be cloaked with
validity by the simple expedient of
bombarding industrialists and “big
business” with invective.
This attitude of the union presi
dent stands in marked contrast to
that of C. E. Wilson, president of
General Motors, who also appeared
before the union delegates. Mr.
Wilson’s appearance marked the first
time in the history of the automobile
Industry that a top executive had
attended such a union meeting. For
tome two hours he discussed statis
tics on employment trends with the
union heads and urged full co-opera
tlon in speeding war production. On
leaving, Mr. Wilson said he was con
vinced the company and the union
had “more things in common than
they did in conflict.”
This is indicative of an approach to
the various problems of industrial
relations which is a hopeful augury
for the future. Certainly it is better
to seek some common meeting
ground than to employ tactics which
serve no better purpose than to stir
up distrust and ill will.
Mr. Thomas is guilty of more than
Inconsistency when he asserts that
industry, but not labor, Is selfish,
and then goes on to say that “I have
always been interested in wages,
hours and working conditions. Labor
will never give up the struggle for
these things.” Such statements are
short-sighted as well as Inconsistent,
for they reflect an attempt to keep
alive old animosities at a time when
the best interests of labor would be
served by meeting industry half-way
in an effort to subordinate old dif
ferences to the paramount Job of
winning the war. Mr. Wilson’s atti
, tude adds to the evidence that indus
try is willing. It is to be hoped that
Mr. Thomas and other labor leaders
will prove equally amenable.
Climax at Singapore
After ten days of feverish prepara
tion, the “all-out” Japanese assault
on Singapore has begun. Intense
artillery barrages from Japanese
batteries on the Malay Peninsula
and massed aerial bombings by Japa
nese planes heralded a large-scale
landing by troops on the beleaguered
island. The operation was carried
out early Monday morning in the
dark hours before the rising of a
waning moon. The scene of the
landing was the northwestern corner
of Singapore Island, a thinly settled
region of mangrove swamps and
rubber plantations. Here, the pro
tecting moat of Johore Strait is at
its narrowest, averaging only half a
mile wide. Simultaneously, the Jap
anese occupied Ubin Island at the
eastern entrance to Johore Strait,
though separated from Singapore
Island by a deep channel three miles
With the situation changing al
most from hour to hour and obscured
by conflicting British and Japanese
communiques, the best way to vis
ualize and interpret the desperate
conflict is to understand the basic
aspects of this strategic problem.
Singapore Island is nearly thirty
miles long and about fifteen broad.
That Is approximately five times the
size of the District of Colum
bia. And this large island is sep
arated from the mainland by the
winding Johore Strait, some thirty
miles in length and in several parts
no wider than the Potomac at Me
morial Bridge. The northern shore
of the island along the strait is gen
erally low and marshy. In the In
terior the land rises to low hills.
Here are located the reservoirs which
supply drinking water to Singapore
City, situated at the southern tip of
the Island. The city has nearly
700,000 inhabitants, mostly Asiatics,
and has been further crowded with
refugees from Malaya. At its maxi
mum, there may have been nearly
1.000. 000 people on the island, though
a large evacuation of women and
children to the nearby Dutch island
of Sumatra and elsewhere is under
stood to be taking place.
The strength of the imperial gar
rison defending this vital bastion of
empire is a military secret, though it
is supposed from British unofficial
estimates to number about 60,000,
while the Japanese put it as low as
20.000. Even 60,000 are none too
many for the task of repelling at
tacks by a foe several times as nu
merous and with almost complete
command of the air. But, whatever
the true figure, the troops are known
to be of high quality, including crack
Australians, famous British and
Scottish regiments, and good Indian
detachments. These men have been
hardened and seasoned by two
months of fierce fighting in the Ma
layan jungles. Japanese tactics
should have no surprises for them.
Their immediate problem is the
annihilation of the large Japanese
bridgehead established on the north
west corner of the island. Doubtless
other landing attempts will be made;
so reserves must be held back for
such emergencies. All in all, the
prospect is not bright. Singapore
Island is vastly more difficult to hold
than Bataan Peninsula, because the
terrain is more open, more extensive,
and assailable at many points. If
the Japanese are willing to pay the
price, Singapore probably can be
taken in the not-distant future. Yet,
like Bataan, it already has become
an episode in the vaster strategic
picture of a war theater extending
from India to Australia. Singapore’s
fall would be no more disastrous than
Japanese success in Burma or in
Java. Those, too, are key points on
which the larger outcome of the
Japanese grand offensive depends.
The Normandie
When she left Havre for her maiden
voyage to New York, May 28, 1935,
the S. S. Normandie was the largest
ship afloat. She had been built to
win the Atlantic blue ribbon, and she
achieved that mythical prize by
averaging 29.68 knots between South
ampton and Ambrose Light. A gala
welcome was accorded the captain,
crew and passengers. Thousands of
visitors agreed that no more beauti
ful vessel existed. It was declared
that she represented the opening of
a new chapter in the history of mer
chant navigation.
But even then in the hour of her
glory the Normandie was a problem
to her owners and operators. Her
size—approximately four city blocks
in length—made her hard to handle.
The United States Army had to
deepen the Hudson River channel
to permit her to enter the dock
especially prepared for her. A pier
intended for her accommodation
could not be finished in time. Strikes,
sabotage, alleged arson and many
other difficulties delayed the inau
gural trip. Vibration disturbed the
paying customers and those persons
who made the crossing as guests of
the French government were even
louder In their complaints. Amer
ican shipping authorities expressed
their skepticism In the suggestion
that the vessel was "too large for
earning power.” Only 550 persons
booked for the second voyage to
Meanwhile, a hint of war developed
and there was talk of converting the
Normandie into an aircraft carrier
or a troopship. New propellers were
attached. It was announced that
alterations would be ordered to elimi
nate the objectionable throbbing of
the frame. After six cruises the boat
was laid up for the winter.
When hostilities actually bega^,
September 1, 1939, the Normandie
was in her berth at the end of Forty
eighth street, Manhattan. There she
remained when the United States
seized her on December 12 last. Re
named the U. S. S. Lafayette, she
was to be converted into an auxiliary
of the American fleet. It was be
lieved that after necessary changes
had been completed, she would be
capable of carrying between 10,000
and 15.000 troops. Her furnishings
and decorations were removed to
storage. The work of preparing her
for defense use was being hurried
as rapidly as possible. What acci
dent was responsible for yesterday’s
fire is not yet determined officially.
Be the explanation as it may, the
story of the conflagration is sad
reading. Early this morning the
ship, her three upper decks burned
out, slowly capsized. The loss is a
serious one when judged in its rela
tion to the crisis in which the fate
of civilization is involved.
An Entering Wedge
The classification of the moving
picture industry as essential to the
national war effort and the accom
panying order for exemption from
military service of irreplaceable
workers In the industry has the ap
pearance of being an entering wedge
for the breaking down of the long
standing ban on deferment of indi
viduals by occupational groups.
Last spring a movement was un
der way to permit the deferment of
medical and dental students and in
ternes. Brigadier General Lewis B.
Hershey, then deputy director of the
selective service system, went before
a Senate committee to oppose this
proposal. First he called attention
to the following section of the Selec
tive Service Act: “No deferment
from such training and service
shall be made in the case of any
individual, except upon the basis of
the status of such individual, and
again no such deferment shall be
made of individuals by occupational
Then General Hershey went on to
say: “We believe that this principle
was wisely written into the law.
Previous experience of the World
War and twenty years of study of
that experience demonstrate that,
and we believe to vary from it will
open the door to a parade of indi
viduals, all of them perhaps worthy
—engineers, chemists, veterinarians,
teachers, pharmacists, geologists,
physicians, plumbers, firemen, po
licemen and so forth.”
If this was a sound argument
against occupational deferments last
spring, as General Hershey so em
phatically believed, it may well be
wondered by what process he now
arrives at the conclusion that it
should not be applied to the moving
picture industry. In this connection
it is possibly significant that General
Hershey’s ruling was made in re
sponse to a WTitten request from
Lowell Mellett, one of the President’s
aides, who certified that the movie
industry as a civilian activity is es
sential to the “national health, safety
and interest, through the mainte
nance of the national morale,”-and
that it is also essential as a war
From a reading of the correspond
ence in this matter it would seem
that General Hershey acted solely on
the basis of Mr. Mellett’s opinion, and
expressed none of his own. Appar
ently he preferred to disregard the
expressed views of William A. Brady,
veteran theatrical producer, who
said: “I don’t think either screen
people or theater people can be
termed essential. They weren’t in
the First World War, nor have they
been in England during the progress
of this war.”
Be that as it may, the fact re
mains that what amounts to an
occupational deferment has been
granted the movie industry. It would
be interesting to know precisely why
General Hershey to this extent has
departed from the views he enter
tained last spring.
Mental Blackout
Philadelphia, once Capital of the
United States, has long been known
as a cradle of liberty. There reposes
the famed Liberty Bell, symbol of
our hard-won freedom. There, if
anywhere, one may expect vigilance
against the enemies of liberty. Surely,
if somehow a pair of Nazi naval offi
cers should manage, and dare, to
appear openly in uniform, complete
with swastika, on its ancient streets,
they would be mobbed and lucky to
escape with their lives. So says
Fact, or near-fact, says differently.
Two reporters in the City of Broth
erly Love actually donned Nazi naval
regalia, swastikas and all, and sallied
forth to meet their fate. In heavy
German accents they asked police
men to direct them to the water
front, crowded with vital defense
shipping, and were accommodated.
There they prowled at will. In fact,
they did almost everything but heil
Hitler, and instead of winding up in
a Jail or a hospital, returned to their
paper under their own power. This
suggests that the most effective
blackout—in reverse—is not black
paper, but a mental fog shrouding
the powere of observation. - *
Of Stars, Men
And Atoms
Notebook of Science Progress
In Laboratory, Field
And Study
By Thomas R. Henry.
There are no "dumb animals.”
This is the belief of Dr. Ernest P.
Walker, assistant director of the Na
tional Zoological Park, after years of
observation of creatures of hundreds of
All, he contends, have some means of
communication between themselves.
For example, he says, "a tiny pocket
mouse that lived on my desk at home lor
several years appeared to be entirely
silent. But when I held him against my
ear I found he was carrying on a rapid
chattering and scolding. A little female
of the same species, a temperamental
spinster, had but to look at him, change
her expression ever so little, and he
would be almost cowed. I am satisfied
she talked to him most effectively.”
Kangaroo rats, Mr. Walker says, gen
erally are believed to be “dumb,” but
when two are brought together and do
not like each other they utter buzzing
growls. Also one will give the same
sort of a call when it is in the im
mediate presence of a grasshopper mouse,
its mortal enemy in the wild.
“I have heard my little kangaroo rat,”
he says, “utter chirps that could be
heard at a distance of 8 or 10 feet. If
one of these animals is held close to
one's ear a series of buzzing sounds can
be heard—dots and dashes in varying
frequency and tempo—that must mean
something to the creature who makes
“In their deep underground dens a
distinct tapping of feet or tails can be
heard from outside. These sounds evi
dently serve as a means of communica
tion between different nest chambers
within the elaborate dwelling.
“My pet grasshopper mouse calls, ap
parently to attract attention. The loud
est of his calls can be heard by the ordi
nary human ear at a distance of 40 to
50 feet. I have seen him go through
the motions of giving the call when the
sound was so faint or high pitched that
I could not hear it when I was not more
than 2 to 4 feet away from him.”
The classic "dumb" animal, Mr. Walker
points out, is the giraffe, but he'con
tends that there are authentic records
that these animals, under the stimulus
of extreme excitement, utter bleating
» * * *
Present-day man may yet be replaced
by a superior life form as the ruler of
the earth.
This concept is advanced by Dr. James
Ritchie, noted British biologist, in the
annual report of the Smithsonian Insti
It currently is assumed In discussions
of evolution, Dr. Ritchie points out, that
future advance will be in the Improve
ment of man himself. He may develop
a superior brain. He may attain a more
efficient social organization. But all
this, the British biologist says. Is based
on a somewhat unjustified belief that
the human being represents, generally
speaking, the highest attainment of Na
ture, and any further achievement must
be in the line of perfection of the high
est pattern.
“But,” he says, "step back some 180,
000.000 years to the period when the
great dinosaurs dominated the earth
and nothing higher than reptiles had
been evolved. To themselves and to the
creatures which shared the world with
them they must have seemed, if they hail
any self-consciousness, the crowning glory
of creation. Stage by stage the evolution
of the past had led to them. Nothing
higher could be Imagined and evolution
appeared to have reached its goal.
“That could be said by their contempo
raries of the highest creatures at every
stage in the course of the 1,200.000.000
years of evolution, Just as it Is said of
man today. A hundred million years
have rolled by since the time of dino
saurs, and they and all their immediate
kin have disappeared forever.
“Looking back over the 1.200,000,000
year vista of the steady climb of life
upon the path of evolution, it seems pre
sumptuous for us to suppose that man,
the latest comer, is the last work or the
final crowning glory, and that with his
coming the great steps in evolution have
come to an end.
“Looking forward to the future of life
oit earth it seems even more presump
tuous for us to suppose that for the next
1,000,000,000 years life, so surprisingly
inventive in the past, should be tied for
all time to come to trifling changes like
increase in brain power or better social
organization for mankind. To think
otherwise is to imagine that with the
coming of man, so insignificant in time,
the advance and inventiveness of evolu
tion, steadily carried on through an un
imaginable vista of years in which no
trace of slackening can be perceived, has
all but come to an end.”
Praise for the Flag
From Colombian Resident
To thf Editor of The Star:
Pieces of cloth of different colors
sewn together, hanging from a pole.
Such a simple thing, but men revere it!
It is called a flag. Why should this in
significant combination of cloth and pole
command such reverence?
There is something more than flag
about the flag. There is magic in this
something called the flag.
One of the first cares of the Nation’s
founders, its design has within it the
spirit of the country. From the flag
emanate all the grand qualities that
make a nation great. It is a storehouse
cf spiritual perfume that permeates the
air and fills the mind and soul with in
None commits a crime while looking
at the flag. There is no melancholy
among people gazing at the flag. Ob
serve a group of people following the
flag. Their gait is not a walk, but a
Dangers of war threaten. The Presi
dent makes a speech; the flag is un
furled; to its top climbs the spirit of
the Nation and. perching there, estab
lishes a magnetic link between flag and
people. Forward it goes; cowards per
form miracles of valor. There is no
turning back; whether the path leads
to victory, life and glory or to death
and destruction, soldiers follow the flag.
There Is something more than flag
about the flag. There is magic in this
something called the flag.
1 Cartagena, Colombia.
By Charles E. Tracetoett.
"Dear Sir:
"There is a small bird with a crest
which comes to our window every day.
"He is gray, and has a patch of orange
beneath his wings.
"Maybe you can tell me what this bird
is. I have tried looking him up in a
book, but I ^uess I am not very good at
that sort of thing.
“In school I always hated trying to
identify plants and animals. I found it
almost impossible. I guess my mind just
doesn’t run that way. I had a school
mate who could do anything along this
•line. He would take a bit of a leaf and
soon trace down the plant from which it
came, and he was right every time.
"I couldn’t tell one plant from another,
even if I had the flower.
"Today identification of hostile air
planes seems to be the thing, and it is
something most of us ought to start at
right away, because we are not familiar
with planes, even our own, and it must
be an intensely difficult thing to spot
the enemy’s, simply from having studied
"Even if I am not good at identifica
tion, I would like to know what the
small bird described above is. Will you
kindly help me out?
"Very truly yours, C. O. N."
m * m *
The bird Is the titmouse.
Right now, with spring only a few
weeks off, the various birds which winter
here are putting on their spring colora
The titmouse increases the amount of
orange, or rust, in the patches of color
beneath his wings. These are visible
while the bird is perching or flying, but
of course cannot be seen very far away.
These orange patches, combined with
the crest, and the smallness of the bird,
easily identify it.
The titmouse (which means little
mouse) is more slender than the chicka
dee. It is about 6 inches long, but the
crest makes it seem slightly longer.
• * * a
This is a nervous bird, not possessing
the calmness of the chickadee, its friend.
Another pal is the white-breasted nut
A window-sill feeder is the best place
to watch the titmouse and the chicka
dee. The nuthatch does not visit such
feeding stations often, although now and
then he will.
He prefers a tray attached to a tree. A
tree is home to a nuthatch, in a peculiar
way. He likes to wind around it, mostly
upside down, hence his bookish name of
* * * *
A characteristic of the titmouse is its
clear whistle, much as if a small boy were
calling his dog.
Bird Identification is not difficult, if
one will keep in mind the differences,
one bird from another.
This Is true of all sorts of Identifica
tions. Of planes, too, of which our cor
respondent speaks.
Consider first the birds, then the
planes. (Both are planes, of course).
The birds often confuse a newcomer,
until he stops to underscore firmly the
points, or features, which one bird has
and which, equally Important, other birds
do *not have.
Sometimes beginners confuse the
chickadee and the titmouse. This is
not only because they are about the
same size, and generally gray, but also
because they are so often seen together.
One minute a chickadee will be pres
ent, then It will fly away with 1U seed,
while almost at once its place will be
taken by a titmouse, which wiU grab
a seed and fly away. (Neither eats at the
But if the observer will note that one
bird has a crest, and the other has not,
he soon will see clearly which Is which.
He will clinch his Identification of the
titmouse if he notes the orange-red
patches Just beneath the wings.
It will be seen that’our correspondent
unerringly selected the two best identifi
cation marks of the titmouse, when he
picked its crest and Its orange patch,
but he did not know, evidently, that a
chickadee has no crest, but rather what
appears to be a neat black cap on Its
* * * *
The titmouse, curiously enough, makes
more of a "dee-dee-dee" sound than a
It Is a wonder that more persons do
not confuse the two birds on this ac
After the differences between the two
are firmly grasped, there Is no chance
thereafter of the observer becoming con
With airplanes, It is difffferent.
Most laymen, especially those in the
years usually called middle age, are not
aeronautic enthusiasts. They often have
a vague fear of airplanes. They have
asked nothing more than to be let alone
by planes. Now they are told to identify
utterly unknown planes of hostile forces,
the very first time they see them.
It Is quite a task, this which has been
handed our airplane spotters. The best
thing they can do is to study the dif
ferences in silhouettes. There are sev
eral inexpensive booklets which show
these differences in the best known types
of enemy planes.
The airplane spotter who knows his
bird silhouettes will have a head start
on him who does not.
For, as we have said, birds are, after
all, airplanes. They have wings, body,
tail, and so on, and the observer who
has noted these points, over the years,
will be able to put the same kind of
identifying skill at work on man-made
birds or planes.
Letters to the Editor
Urges Reference of Production
To "Know How" Leaders.
To the Editor of The SUr.
Will it take another Peart Harbor to
bring about a real reorganization o! our
war-production program? Must we wait
until the great armies of China and
Russia have been knocked out of the <
war for lack of sufficient equipment be
1 fore we admit that American Industry
cannot be fully mobilized by remote
control from Washington?
Our present predicament ought to be
all the proof we need that we have been
on the wrong track from the moment
of the appointment of the original in
dustrial committee—the War Resources
Board—in August, 1939. Since then we
have had, in succession, the rational
Defense Advisory Committee, the Office
of Production Management, and the
Supply Priorities and Allocations Board,
all with practlcaUy the same personnel
and the same policy. Now we have the
War Production Board, whose makeup
is as much the same as that of its
predecessors, but whose policy, remain!
to be seen.
Where do we stand now after this
barrage of boards?
Our output of guns and tanks and
planes Is but a fraction of what we and
our Allies need.
Most of the war contracts have been
awarded to a handful of our large firms.
No war orders at all have been intrusted
to most of our 184,000 manufacturing
Washington has become a megalosau
rian city, its body all out of proportion
to its brain. The staggering and un
wieldly size to which it has been swollen
by the Ill-considered effort to make It
the Industrial, as well as the political.
Capital of the Nation explains much of
the confusion and congestion that have
impeded war production.
The way out of our predicament Is to
get direction of the Industrial phase
of war entirely out of Washington and
into the1 hands of the men In manage
ment and labor who have the know-how
in the parts of the country where th#
mills are located. CYRUS EATON.
Cleveland, Ohio.

Proposes Staggered Hours
To Solve Traffic Problem.
To th« Editor of Tht Star.
Every one knows how to do away with
traffic congestion In Washington, or at
least they seem to think they do. One
proposal Is to build a subway or several
subways. %With all due respect to those
thinking along this line. It may be
suggested that the work of construction
would greatly increase the congestion
and by the time the Job was done the
emergency would be qver and the con
gestion relaxed but the subways would
remain as a colossal monument to Ineffi
cient thinking. Staggered-hour reme
dies are being played with. Let me
advance the following as something to
think about: Put a real staggered-hour
remedy Into effect. First, list the agen
cies In which people are employed, with
the approximate number of employes.
Second, divide these into two groups,
each having about the same number of
employes. Third, arrange for group No.
1 to report for work at 8 a.m., and group
No. 2 at 9:15 a m.
The above scheme, If put Into effect,
would do away with most of the conges
tion. The idea back of the hour-and-a
quarter interval Is that the transporta
tion system would be able to function
effectively. It would give time for one
group to be taken to work and the traffic
Letters to the Editor must
hear 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.
vehicles then be returned for the next
group. There will be the objection on
the part ol those who think only of
themselves that such an arrangement
would disturb home mealtime and social
arrangements; but please remember that
we are fighting a war Just now and
extraordinary measures must be taken.
Also please bear In mind that the extra
bit that might thus be contributed during
the period of the emergency by those
behind the men behind the guns would
be small when compared with the sacri
fices laid on the altar of freedom by
the boys at the front. The total of
people to be carried and the carrying
capacity and speed of traffic vehicles
taken together would determine whether
there should be two or three groups and
whether the time Intervals between re
porting periods should be an hour, an
hour-and-a-quarter or an hour-and-a
As a supplementary aid the experiment
now being tried to Increase the number
of persons carried by each automobile
should continue.
Reports Trials of Removing
From Washington to Richmond.
To the Editor of The Star:
I am taking time off from packing my
household effects to write of my experi
ences as a "decentralized" employe. Re
moval of the Patent Office from Wash
ington was announced for the first time
on December 17. Since that day in De
cember it has been necessary for each
employe either to look for a new job in
case he wished to remain in Washington
or, if he decided to move, to find living
quarters in Richmond, dispose of his
present home in the District of Columbia
and attend to the thousand and one de
tails which permanent departure in
It has been difficult properly to at
tend to official business with so many
personal problems Intruding themselves
on one's mind. The result has been that
the office has been “hitting on two cylin
ders." Early this week the division to
which I am assigned got orders to be
ready to move at once. We hastily
packed our records and files and got
everything ready. This task required
about one day. Since that time—all this
week in fact—we have had to sit around
twiddling our thumbs. Now we learn that
we will move this coming Monday or
Tuesday—one solid week of 100 per cent
enforced idleness. By the time our
equipment arrives in Richmond and we
get settled for business, the better part of
another week will have slipped away.
Mr. Editor, it’s a helluva way to win a
war I The Patent Office examiners are
largely college-trained engineers. Most
of them also have law degrees and are
members of the bar. They urgently want
to do their full share to win the fight we
are in. They are willing to make any
Sacrifice to that end. They certainly do
not relish being forced to sit around idle
while our soldiers are dying in distant
parts of the world.
Taken by itself, the loss occasioned
by the removal of this office to Richmond
may not be important. But multiplied
by the doaens of agencies whose trans
fer from Washington has been an
nounced or rumored, you have a loss that
Haskin's Answers
To Questions
By Frederic J. Haskin.
A reader can get the answer to any
question of fact by icriting The Eve
ning Star Information Bureau, Fred
eric J. Haskin, director, Washington,
D. C. Please inclose stamp for reply.
Q. Who Is the dean of the diplomatic
corps at the present time?—G. P. L.
A. Senor Don Manuel de Freyre y San
tander, Ambassador Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary, who was appointed in
1930 to represent Peru.
Q. What is the “tick village" I saw
mentioned in the newspapers?—H. U. R.
A. Por some years the United State*
Public Health Service has maintained a
“tick village” at the National Institute of
Health to study the habits and method*
of transmission of disease by these In
sects. Though these ticks have not been
fed for five years, they still are able to
communicate relapsing fever to man by
Q. How large is the largest set of sheep
horns on record?—L. L.
A. The largest set of mountain sheep
horns on record measure across the front
curve of the right hom 49 >4 inches, the
spread being 23 >4 inches. This animal
was killed by James Simpson of British
Columbia in 1920.
page compilation of the established
rules of order that govern the pro
ceedings of all deliberative bodies.
It is in simple form, briefed for
ready reference, and clarified so
that the avcrcge person will not get
lost in a maze cf technicalities. De
tails the correct way to form a tem
porary organization, by-laws and
sets of minutes, explains the duties
of officers and concludes with a
glossary of parliamentary terms. To
secure your copy of this authorita
tive work inclose 10 cents in this
clipping and mail to The Star In
formation Bureau.
Q. Which are the two States, each bor
dered by eight others’—L. V. M.
A. Missouri and Tennessee are the
two States.
Q. On what days of the year Is the Big
Dipper exactly north, south, east and
west of the Pole?—S. Z. L.
A. The Big Dipper is directly north
of the North Pole on May 9; directly
south on November 9; directly east on
February 9, and directly west on Au
gust 9.
Q. How is a polar bear able to move
over the ice without slipping?—C. L. L.
A. The polar bear has still hairs on
the soles of its feet, enabling it to walk
or run over the slippery ice,
Q. Are there two chapters in the Bible
that are exactly alike?—W. E. H.
A. The two chapters of the Bible which
are nearly alike are 2 Kings, -19. and
Isaiah 37. The former is divided into 37.
the latter into 38 verses, verse 15 of the
former constituting verses 15 and 16 of
the latter. There are 16 verses which
read precisely alike in both chapters.
Q. From what Is the word "adagio’*
derived?—D. D.
A. It is from the Latin “ad agio,"
meaning "at ease.” Its original use in
reference to slow movement In music has,
in modern times, been extended to a
slow ballet dance characterized by feats
of balance.
Q. Has the Metropolitan Opera Asso
ciation engaged a singer from Iceland?
—R. H.
A. Marla Markan is the daughter of
native Icelanders. She was born at
Q. Are tulips native to Holland?—R E.
A. Tulip® are native of Asia. They
were brought to Europe by way of Con
stantinople in the 16th century. In
1634 there began a tulip mania. The
bulbs were sold by weight, hundreds of
dollars often being paid for a single one.
Fortunes were made and lost.
Q. How did “buna." the German rubber
substitute, get its name?—C. McL.
A. "Bu" stands for butadiene and “na"
for natrium, the German chemical name
for sodium. Buna is made from buta
diene by a rapid process of polymeriza
tion which is hastened by employing so
dium. a
A. In what city is baseball's Hall of
Fame located?—F. L. O.
A. Baseball's Hall of Fame is in Coop
erstown, N. Y.
Q At what time in his life was Win
ston Churchill a war correspondent?—
M. M. L.
A. During the South African War,
1899-1900, Mr. Churchill was correspond
ent for the London Morning Post. He
was captured by the Boers but suc
ceeded in escaping.
Q. How is the wheel base of an auto
mobile measured?—C. D.
A. The wheel base is the distance in
inches between the front and rear
Q. How does the Archbishop of Can
terbury rank in relation to the other
peers of Great Britain?—C. T.
A. The Archbishop of Canterbury ranks
next to the royal family, taking prece
dence onr the other peers.
the country can ill afford. If the Gov
emnjent considers the Patent Office of
such slight importance in its war effort
that its operation practically can be
suspended for eight weeks and more, It
would be better to suspend its operation
entirely during the war and to transfer
Its engineers and clerical personnel to
such work as it considers vital.
Comments on Revolt
In Wartime.
To tha Editor of Tbo Star:
Albert Brown disapproves of the fsct
that the Irish rebelled to gain freedom
while England was fighting Germany.
It is Just common sense to strike when
you have the most chance to succeed. I
hope Poland and the other subjected
countries do not take Mr. Brown's atti
tude, and not strike at Germany because
she Is fighting th* Allies.

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