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Sea Divers Risk Lives to Recover
$10,000,000—Strike It Rich ✓ Brave Mine-Infected Waters Off New Zealand And Finally Succeed After Months of Work Br the Associated Press. AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Feb. 84.—A daring, year-long, hunt for sunken treasure, rivaling anything ever told in story books, has been completed with recovery of $10,000, 000 worth of gold bullion from the hulk of the sunken British liner Niagara in mine and shark-infested waters off Auckland. With the bars of precious metal stowed away safely in a bank vault the full story of the recovery be came known yesterday. The treasure hunt was organized shortly after the Niagara, bound from New Zealand to Canada, struck a mine and went down 80 miles off Auckland June 19, 1940. But It was not until February 2, 1941,'that the wreck was located. A Melbourne salvage company took over the operations under con tract to the Commonwealth Bank. Veteran divers were enlisted and guaranteed a percentage of all the gold they retrieved. Besides risking their lives, they staked their assets on the success of their task. Some mortgaged their homes. But today they’re in the money. In diving to the ocean floor they counted 150 mines. Chief Diver John Johnstone of Melbourne es tablished a world record with a 528 foot descent in an observation bell. This record was made in the search for the ship. The vessel was found later at a depth of approximately 400 feet. They found the Niagara lying on her side and it was necessary to blast a hole through her plates and cut away the decks to reach her strong room. A special explosive made of ‘gelignite with a core of gun cotton was used. Charges were lowered In a container slit on one side, which was placed against the part to be cut away. This work was directed by tele phone from a diver in an observa tion bell. In the slow and pains taking preliminaries it was necessary for the diver to return to the surface before each charge was set off. Altogether 4,000 pounds of ex plosives were used before the way was cleared to the strong room and its vast trove. The first of the yellow bars was brought to the surface last October 13, the last on December 7, the day Japan struck in the Pacific. A reporter for The Star and North American Newspaper Alliance who witnessed the Niagara salvage oper ations from aboard the salvage ship Claymore said that 84 per cent of the total treasure carried by the Niagara was recovered despite the great handicaps involved. Storms and gales slowed down operations to one working day in five, he reported. Among the more interesting events of the operations, he said, were the bravery of Chief | Diver Johnstone, who climbed on | top of and shackled a mine which was fouled to the Claymore’s an chor; the miraculous escape of the salvage ship from a second mine which bumped against her hull and the near destruction of the vessel in I a violent storm which blew her j within a few yards of the cliffs of a precipitous island. Danger Stimulates Morale, Sir Gerald Campbell Says By the Associated Press. SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 24.—Com plete realism is necessary to main tain the morale of adults in this war. Sir Gerald Campbell, director general of British Information Services in America, said in a mes sage to the Nation's education ex ecutives today. “Adults will see through false optimism and bogus reassurances,” he said. "The more exactly and realistically they envisage the future the better their morale will be when j danger and hardship actually reach them.” Actual danger, he added, is a good atimulant to morale. In Britain, Sir Gerald said, there have been “few pep talks, no flag waggling; patriotic slogans have generally been a failure. Largely the good' morale of Britain was already there. Lt. Comdr. Paul Smith, Navy press relations officer, addressing the American Association of School Ad ministrators, said schools could help greatly toward winning the war by emphasizing courses such as mathe matics, physics, chemistry and physical education. Last Burlesque House In New York Is Closed By the Associated Press. NEW YORK, Feb. 24—Burlesque j quietly bowed out of Manhattan last \ night with the closing of Broadway’s : Gaiety Theater. Paul Moss, commissioner of li censes, who forced the Republic and Elting* theaters to shut down Feb ruary 1 by refusing to renew their permits, used the same procedure in stopping the Gaiety shows. Mayor La Guardia said recently that he would “not permit the moral standard of our city to be lowered, either by dirty shows or salacious and filthy periodicals of commer cialized vice.” Morris Ernst, counsel for the Gaiety operators, charged Mr. Moss acted as a “one-man censor” and said he would ask a court writ com pelling the city to issue new licenses. If you goubht a horse, you would not insist that it be wrapped in fancy paper. Apply this principle to whatever you buy and save paper. Mergenthaler Hall Opens BALTIMORE, Feb. 24 ffl.-The new $400,000 Mergenthaler Hall to house the department of biology was formally opened yesterday at the Johns Hopkins University. The building was named in honor of Ottmar Mergenthaler, inventor of the linotype. 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