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WASHINGTON, D. C. Published by The Evening Star Newspaper Company. FRANK I. NOYES, Chairman of Hie Board. FLEMING NEW BOLD, President. Β. M. McKELWAY, Editor. MAIN OFFICE: 11th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. NEW YORK OFFICE: 110 Ea»t 42d St. CHICAGO OFFICE: 435 North Michigan Av·. Delivered by Carrier—Metropolitan Area. Dally and Sunday Dally Offly Sunday Only Monthly -.1.20* Monthly 90c 10c per copy Weekly ...30c Weekly 20c 10c per copy *10c additional when 5 Sundays are In a month. Also 10c additional for Night Final Edition In those sections where delivery is made. Ratat by Mail—Payable in Advance. Anywhere In United States. Evening and Sunday Evening Sunday 1 month 1.50 1 month __ 90c 1 month 60c A months— 7.30 6 months ._ 5.00 6 months 3.00 ' 1 year 15.00 1 year 10.00 1 year ..6.00 Telephone NAtlonal 5000. Entered β» th· Post Office, Washington, 0. C., α» second-da** mail matter. Member of the Associated Prose. The Asftociated Press It entitled exclusively to the use for republication of all the local news printed in this newspaper, as well as all A. P. news dispatches. A—10 WEDNESDAY, March 3, 1*4* To Correct a Hasty Mistake Congress has approved an excellent bill to provide the additional and modernized hospital facilities so greatly needed In Washington. But in passing this bill in 1946, the House, possibly through some misunder standing, eliminated one of its important parts. Major General Philip B. Fleming, public works administrator, has made a clear and convincing explanation of why the bill should now be amended to correct an obvious mistake. As reported last year from the House District Committee, which spent so much effort on perfecting It, the bill outlined two main objectives. One was to finance the construction of a great, new 1,500-bed hospital center, in which Emergency, Garfield and the Episcopal Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital will combine their facil ities. Construction on this hospital center will proceed when the Naval Observatory Is moved. The second—and equally important objective was to assist other private hos pitals in additions and remodeling which would provide 1,200 beds, overcoming the deficit in such facilities now existing. The House left intact the total author ization of $35,000,000 to accomplish all this work, but eliminated the provision enabling private hospitals not connected with the new hospital center to take advantage of the bill's terms for loans and grants. It surely should be restored. For this bill offers a sensible, practical method of pvercoming 'hospital shortages In Washington and restoring plants that are dilapidated and outgrown. The Fed eral Government's contribution of grants Is based on its realization of the unique conditions which prevail in its Capital, where so laree a Dart of the population works in Washington but lives and pays taxes in the adjoining States, and where another large part of the population is here temporarily, maintaining permanent residence elsewhere. Without the type of assistance offered in the bill, it is difficult to believe that any progress can be made In providing the large-scale additions and renovations of private hospitals that deterioration, on the one hand, and popu lation growth on the other, have made necessary. All of the financing will not come from the National Government. Local tax payers will contribute 30 per cent and the hospitals themselves will participate. An extraordinarily fine piece of legislation, offering such a splendid opportunity for enlightened solution of a complex prob lem, should not be marred by the omission which resulted from hasty House debate. General Fleming's request for proper amendment should find ready response in the House District Committee which favored, in the first place, the full aid in hospital construction. Italy and the Reds The free world has good reason to look forward with anxiety toward the elections to be held in Italy on April 18. At present, although they won about a third of the popular vote nineteen months ago, the Communists are not in the government. But if they attract heavy support in next month's balloting, it will be virtually im possible to exclude them. And in that case, just as in the case of their Kremlin serving comrades in Czechoslovakia, their — - · _ t_i i. first aim Will OC uu uiurc 11iw tawu»i-v |/w. tions giving them power to stage a coup. The possibility is by no means remote. Some observers are suggesting that the Italian Communists may win as much as 40 or 45 per cent of the vote. If they do, they will be able to claim a large voice in a new coalition government, and this could easily mean that they would succeed in working themselves into the most strategic places in the cabinet—places that would put the police under their control, deepen their grip on organized labor, and other wise equip them for an eventual seizure of total power that would bind Rome tightly to Moscow. It is not for nothing that Premier de Gasperi, leader of the Christian Socialists, has just warned his free coun trymen that "This is our supreme hour; we must win this time or we will never vote in Italy again." Wholly apart from Italy, moreover, the prospect raises serious questions for the United States. When our occupation troops were finally withdrawn last Decem ber» President Truman made a special point of declaring that our Government would take "appropriate" countermeasures against any future threat, direct or in direct, to Italian freedom and independence. But what if the Communists, through the democratic process they seek to destroy, make strong gains in the elections next month? What will we do then, or what will we be able to do, to prevent them from subverting the country and handing it over to Soviet dominance? And if nothing can be done, if Rome suffers a coup like Prague's, what about our strategic position in the Mediterranean? Will not the con sequences tend to cancel out the effort being made in Greece to check the spread of Red totalitarianism? These qowtions, which can be more •aeily asked than answered, an enough to make clear that the forthcoming elec tions Involve Issues of the greatest Im portance not merely for Italy but for the United States and the free world in gen eral. If the outcome Is against the Com munists, all will be well; but if it is for them, as some pessimists predict, the after effects almost certainly will be grave. The Italian voters—27,000,000 of them—have a fateful decision to make. Real, Grim and Urgent Senator Vandenberg has not strayed into a land of hobgoblin make-believe in ap pealing to Congress for swift adoption of the Marshall Plan to "help stop World War ΠΙ before it starts." The dark reali ties of the hour fully justify the note of alarm and urgency in his eloquence. A ruthless and vaultingly ambitious tyranny —the tyranny of Red totalitarianism is on the march. If it is allowed to keep marching, then the chances are that on some tomorrow, not many years from now, there will be a titanic death struggle be tween It and what is left of the earth's free nations, meaning chiefly otir own. This danger is as real as life. It is not part of some bad dream that jittery or emotionally unstable men are dreaming in the night. It exists just as surely as' the Soviet Union itself exists, and it threatens UU l· uni y (/lie wuuic U1 ixcc wcaucin auiupe, including Britain, but America as well. One by one, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Albania and Czecho slovakia have succumbed to it, and Finland now is in the process of going the same way. Unless the non-Communist lands unite against it, therefore, and make effective use of such imperative measures as the Marshall Plan, France and Italy may be the next to fall. Then, as Mr. Vandenberg warns, the iron curtain would be clamped down all the way to "the rims of the Atlantic," the British Isles would be almost hopelessly vulnerable, and our own country—with precious few allies left in a largely hostile, Red-dominated world would have to prepare for the eventuality of either abject capitulation or total war. If there are Americans—in Congress or out—who are inclined to scoff at warn ings of this sort, they owe it to themselves and their country to think twice about the matter, and to think soberly and long. They would be well advised, certainly, to read with the greatest care such searching and well-documented reports as the one just published by a subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Dealing with the strategy and tactics of world communism, it makes a thoroughly persuasive case for the thesis that the Soviet dictatorship—representing the most backward and oppressive system of the age—is working toward one goal only, and that that goal is universal dominance through universal revolution. To that end, operating through Communist fifth columns in all lands, the men of the Kremlin have been systematically seeking to promote chaos in the west in prépara tion for what they believe to be inevitable —namely, a final catastrophic war cul minating in the overthrow of capitalism and the triumph of Red totalitarianism on a global scale. In short, according to the report, they are dedicated to objectives of extreme violence and, unless firmly countered now, will pursue those objectives even to the point of setting off a, world wide explosion. That is why Mr. Vandenberg is com pletely right when he says that "aggres sive communism threatens all freedom and security in the Old World or the New when it puts free peoples anywhere in chains." That is why every wide-awake American must agree with his solemn warning that if there are risks in adopting the Marshall Plan, the risks of rejecting it, or whittling it down, would be far greater. Of itself, of course, it cannot be the answer to everything. But it is an indis pensable key part of all that the democ racies must do together now to cope with the immense danger before them. The situation is not an imaginary one. The Soviet Union has made it very real, very grim and very urgent. 'Civilization' The seaman who shot up a juke-box joint in New York City after listening for one hour to a recording quaintly called "Civil ization" will not be without sympathizers. A little "Civilization" may be all right, especially in juke joints, but a solid hour of "Bongo, bongo, bongo, I don't want to leave the Congo" is enough to make the average person understand why the Congo might be preferable to life in a big city. It is not only too much "Bongo" that fills some people with doubts about human progress. The popping of bubble gum, the constant repetition of the recorded classic dedicated to bubble-gum blowing, the in cessant shouting of the "real-gone" school of modern music—these are just a few of the reasons why distracted members of civilization often have a suppressed desire to be out of this world. The seaman in New York committed a crime, of course, and presumably he will have to pay the penalty. But the court should not forget that this man already suffered punishment such as few men could be expected to endure. It would not be surprising if he should prefer jail to the prospect of being exposed again to too much "Bongo, bongo, bongo." Aviation Stunt Publicity The Congressional Aviation Policy Board was justifiably critical of some of the past "bids for public acclaim" by the Air Force and the Navy. There have been a number of much-publicized distance and speed flights of a stunt nature since the war that seemed primarily designed to keep the respective services in the public eye. But the board apparently has overlooked the fact that such "undesirable practices" also are disapproved by Defense Secretary Forrestal, who has instituted a new system of co-ordinated public relations among the armed services. The board is correct in stating that "it gives a false sense of security to the public to learn that a military aircraft has flown the spectacular distance of 10,000 miles when it is not made clear that the distance was possible only because the air craft was 'stripped down' for the flight and could not fly half that distance under combat conditions." Reference appar ently was had to the competitive flights late in 1946 of the Navy's "Truculent Turtle" (Australia to Ohio) aftt the Air Force'· "Pacusan Dreamboat" (Honolulu • to Cairo). Those exploits significant! were carried out at a time when both serv ices were contending for recognition unde the pending merger legislation. One of Secretary Forrestal's first move when he took over leadership of th National Military Establishment last yea was to set up a close working arrangemen among the public relations divisions ο the three services. Representatives ο these divisions meet frequently to discus their mutual policies and problems. Thl system, on the whole, seems to be workini well. Mr. Forrestal's co-ordinating stal is said to be on guard particularly agains "stunt" publicity of the type deplored b; the congressional group. The board is in error, however, in lm plying in its report that either the Ai Fortfe or the Navy has made "the fia statement that a military aircraft ha flown faster than sound." There is η record of either service having release any statement to this effect. If the boari had in mind the recent publication of sue] a statement by an aviation magazine, ii all fairness the report should have pointei out that the article was unauthorized ani that efforts of reporters to obtain officia confirmation of the story for newspape nnhlipaf-inn were futile Ac? a meffa* λ fact, the Air Force was as upset over th magazine story as the reporters. The Pentagon Taxicab Racket Maybe the driver who wrote the curren Saturday Evening Post's entertainini article on the Washington taxicab racke was overdrawing the case. But there is one angle of this racke that would be difficult to overdraw in an: particular. That is the free-for-all high way robbery of taxicab passengers wh< ride to and from the Pentagon. During the war the fare was 90 cents which was higher than it should have been But it was the fixed fare and it seems tx have been enforced. Now every driver ii on his own. There is no standard fare The Pentagon is in No-Man's Land. Ai soon as the cab crosses the river it passe! from the jurisdiction of the Public Utili ties Commission. Or, if the trip begins ai the Pentagon, it begins in a territory wher< nobody seems to be the boss—except, ol course, the taxi driver. The driver charges anything the traffic or the sheep-like attitude of the passenger will bear. Some of the charges are out· rageous. A stranger paid $3 recently foi a trip that should have cost him, according to local rates, no more than 50 cents. Per haps the Public Utilities Commission though it lacks official jurisdiction, coult improve matters by asking that passenger: who are bilked report the incident to th< Military Police at the Pentagon, the Metro politan Police in Washington or to th< Utilities Commission itself. The identifj of the driver could then be sent to th< hack inspector for him to note in hli records. The Pentagon is not a long distanci away. But taxicab passengers are beinf taken for a fine ride when they mak< the trip. This and That By Charles E. Tracewell "Every once in a while the chipmunk show up in your column—and here he is again, i you can use him. "Some 12 years ago my work as a cadastra engineer took me to Northern Wisconsin where I used a small claim shack.in the wood for several weeks as an office. "There was a half-grown cat about the plact and one day I chanced to look and saw hin playing 'cat and mouse' with a chipmunk tha he had caught. "Of course, it was not play for the chipmunk He looked more than half dead, was wet an< draggled looking, and when crawling dragge< his hind legs as though his back was broken. "The cat would put him down, go away for r short distance and let him work his way pain fully toward a nearby brush pile. It was ι pitiful sight to see the little fellow slowly pul himself toward safety time and again, only t< be pounced upon by the cat and carried bacl just when it seemed he might escape. "I decided to go out and put the little créa ture out of Its misery, but waited for one mori round to see if the cat would do it for me. "This time the cat walked away a little fur ther than before and rolled over on fts back. "This he repeated several times, Jumping ui every few seconds to look at the chipmunk which was feebly working his way toward th brush again. "Although the little fellow's eyes looked dull he apparently could see very well and wa watching every move of the cat, for at last just as the cat was flat on its back with al four feet in the air, he came to life with almoe the suddenness of an exploding flre-cracker. "With a noisy chatter and surprising speed he dashed into the brush a good 2 feet aheai of the cat. "We must give the cat credit for giving thi chipmunk a sporting chance, and the munk fo: being a good actor and a good judge of speet and distance. "Very respectfully, R. W. L." ♦ * * · First, let us get this "cadastral" wort lined up. According to the big Webster book, "cadas tral" means of, pertaining to, or for the pur pose of making a cadastre." So we look below—not very far, of course and find that a cadastre is "an official state ment or register of the quantity, value ant ownership of real estate for apportionment ο taxes." Usually such maps are made a square incl to the acre. Cats are sometimes called cruel, for playinf with mice and the like, but the question re mams, wnat is cruelty? Can such "play" be called cruel, when th< mind behind It does not understand that It L being cruel? t For human beings, nominally civilized, t< kill 6,000,000 people, burning many of them ii ovens—that is cruelty, no less cruel because οι a big scale. We think there Is vast difference betweer such genocide, as it is now being called, ant the Cat playing with Its mouse, or, in this case Its chipmunk. Even this animal, as our corresponden points out, had a rudimentary sense of sports manship. Those other animals had none. * » · * "BERWYN, Md. "Dear Sir: "Last spring a robin built her nest in thi crotch of, an apple tree which is very close t< the house. Amid much activity by us, plus thi fact that our cat, who is trained to a harnee. and leash, has a 'run' on the clothesline abou 4 feet from the tree, she stayed on regardless "She had her family of two and raised then successfully to the age of flight. She was un usually tame—we could go up to the nest ant look at her and the little ones and it did no seem to disturb her at all. "We are hoping she will return again, an< what I want to know Is, should what is left ο the nest be permitted to remain intact o: should it be removed? Do you think she wll repair the old nest? "Very truly yours, P. G." It is best to remove the old nest, since it ma; harbor lice and the like. Birds need fresh ma terials for each rastlng, not only for hygienii reasons, but also^Jsecause the building of th< nest Is a very vital part of the whole proceet satisfying to the instincts of birds. Letters to The Star Dangers of Political Medicine To the Editor of The Star: True liberals will regret that Federal Secur ity Administrator Oscar W. Ewing sees fit to use Gallinger Municipal Hospital as a hustings court. Reference is made to a report the deans of our two white medical schools must make to Mr. Ewing's political satisfaction March 15. This report concerns certain highly controver sial demands relative to opening Gallinger Hos pital to Negro doctors. Internes and medical students. There is sensible approval and pub ; lie-spirited agreement that such participation is fair and desirable. The area of dispute is how best to make this needed innovation with the least mischief from racial friction and frus tration. Such honest purpose has not been helped by Mr. Ewing's proposal to have Negro ; doctors impartially treat both white and col ored indigent patients. He would assign in digent patients by rotation and the strict order of admission to the hospital. Compounding his psychological ineptitude, Mr. Ewing adds threats of political compulsion which this voteless community well under . stands. At" the onset of the conference he stated that his position on Gallinger "has the 1 full backing of the President of the United I States." Later, he hinted that "outstanding ' differences may have to be settled on a higher Γ level," If he is not satisfied with the deans' ; report March 15. Surely, It is a grave disservice to the urgent and legitimate needs of Negro doctors to In trude political coercion where only goodwill can provide a satisfying solution. This tactless ap ; proach to an explosive racial problem in this r quasi-soutnern community oniy provides \ deadly ammunition for demagogues. Mr. Ewlng implies that if it is right and Just for white doctors to treat colored indigents in ' a hospital under Federal control then turn about is fair play. Such sophistry applied to ancient prejudices and taboos is no credit to » any one's political sagacity. The intelligent realist must know that the deans of our white medical schools only may speak for the doctors on their respective facul ties. They have already agreed to do every thing in their power to help the Negro doctors solve their pressing problems. But if this still is a free country, our dean? have no authority or power to speak for or to bind prospective patients. This is true even if they are indigents in a Federally controlled hospital situated in an unfranchised community like. ours. For in stance, our deans may not promise Mr. Ewing that white patients will be treated by çol ored doctors. Perhaps some of the truly lib eral-minded may accept the proposal without racial prejudice. But those who are native to this community sincerely believe there will be more indignant rebellion than co-operation and approval. Furthermore, it is doubtful if the considerable prestige of the White House can alter the reality by executive flat. All doctors, white and colored, should thank Mr. Ewijig for this candid preview of com pulsory state medicine. When and if the elec torate is duped into approving compulsory na tional health insurance, advocates of bureau cratic paternalism like Mr. Ewing will be its dictatorial administrators. In his Ideological Ultimatum to the deans of our white medical schools we learn precisely what this adminis tration means by "free choice" of doctors, it means any expedient choice, no matter how re pugnant to the individual, that will win votes. If Mr. Ewing has proved anything in his pro posals to our deans, he has proved this: The in telligent Negro leaders better had think twice before they yield to the political plea to place their trust in the beneficent compulsion of the paternalistic state. Once you create the all encompassing state paternalism in matters of health the Gallinger episode will be the pat tern of personal freedom. The helpless pa tients will take what the beneficent state dic tates and like it. The Negro doctors are prom ised white patients; the white patients are told they must accept Negro doctors even if the idea is repugnant. Just leave the problem of providing medical care to.the compulsion of the state, and Mr. Ewing promises everybody will be happy. It is "free choice'1 but the politician makes it. THOMAS E. MATTINGLY, M. D. 'Security Officers' Criticized To the Editor ol Tile Star: This writer wanders how the Department of State can Justify the fact that the ex Annabelle Bucar successfully concealed her marriage for so long., Last summer the department had a training program for alleged security specialists and in August and September they were sent to various, perhaps all, diplomatic missions in Europe, etc. Their title was that of security officers. In the course of my work with the department I ran into them frequently. When asked to outline their duties, none was able to present a clear analysis of Just what he was supposed to do. ' Security officers as such are essential to the preservation of American "secrets" in our embassies and legations. I found, however, that these men concerned themselves prima rily with not important administrative mat ters, checking wastepaper baskets, seeing if doors were locked, and, in general, trying to earn their high salaries. In the Balkans I found them keeping very flimsy tabs on native employes in those mis sions. Meanwhile, known Soviet-planted workers continued to retain their jobs. The justification for this was that they could keep their eyes on the people that way. And so could the employes keep their eyes and ears alerted. Where was the security officer in Moscow? I don't believe they have one there. I have been in Moscow a creat many times in the past 15 months and never met him. The State Department should have very rlos* insneri.ion of their American Dersonnel in all posts In'the foreign service, Berlin not being the least vulnerable. Treatment of diplo matic mail can certainly stand a more serious and cautious treatment. Let the FBI with its well-trained agents replace the present in efficient and bewildered "security officers" of the State Department. There is more than one Annabelle Bucar in the foreign service! X. Y. Z. Douglass and Women's Rights To the Editor of The 8t»r: At the recent anniversary celebration of the first women's rights convention—held at Seneca Falls, Ν. Y., in July of 1848—Representative Stevenson of Wisconsin referred to "Frederick Douglass, a Scotsman." He was mistaken in his Identification. Here are the facts: For a long time the men and women who believed in woman suffrage had planned a meeting at Seneca Falls at which ways and means of securing suffrage for women might be devised. But when the meeting was called and Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton made the motion "That the women of this country secure to themselves the sacred rights of the elective franchise," not a single delegate had the courage to second it. Thoee who had been its stanchest advocates declared such a revolutionary measure would be "untimely and unwise." Even Lucretia Mott, who for years had courageously cham pioned woman suffrage, begged Mrs. Stanton to withdraw the motion. "Lizzie," said the little Quakeress, "thee will make us all ridicu lous if thee insist upon pressing this resolu tion through the meeting." But Mrs. Stanton stocA firm and refused to withdraw the^reso lullon.1 4 Yet not » man or ft woman among tbm del· Letters for publication must bear the signature and address of the writer, although it is permissible for a writer known to The Star to use a nom de plume. Please be brief. gates was willing to second it. However, there was at that meeting one man through whoee veins the blood of Africa flowed. He was the incomparable Frederick Douglass, a runaway slave, but a short time out of bondage with a price set on his head. And Frederick Douglass, in the majesty and dignity of a broad-minded, justice-loving manhood, had the courage to arise in that meeting and second Mrs. Stanton's resolution urging suffrage for women. And it was largely through Frederick Douglass's mas terful arguments and matchless eloquence that Mrs. Stanton's motion was carried in spite of the strong opposition of its powerful foes. The women of this country owe a debt of gratitude to Frederick Douglass which it would be hard to repay. At the risk of doing an ir reparable injury to himself personally and to the cause of abolition, he did everything in his power to secure the elective franchise for them, so that they would no longer be classed with infants and idiots and criminals. If Frederick Douglass had not seconded Mrs. Stanton's resolution and the delegates to that convention had gone home disheartened because nobody had had the courage to do so. it is anybody's miACfi V»nt*7 Ιλπ» fh» neuce r\f anffrooA frsv »Λΐ«βη would have been delayed. When the 60th anniversary of that first woman's rights convention was celebrated in 1908 in Seneca Palls a bronze tablet was placed on the Johnson Opera House, which now oc cupies the site on which stood the Methodist church in which the first woman's rights convention was held. This bronze tablet shows in relief the figure of a woman supporting a shield on which is inscribed: "On this spot stood the Wesleyan Chapel in which the first woman's rights convention,in the world's history was held, July 19, 20, 1848. Elizabeth Cady Stanton moved this resolution which was seconded by Frederick Douglass: That the women of this country secure to themselves the sacred right of the elective franchise." At this 60th anniversary celebration at Seneca Palls, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was represented by her daughter, Harriet Stanton Blatch; Mrs. Henry Villard, the daughter of William Lloyd Garrison, represented Lucretia Mott; Elizabeth Hooker Day, daughter of Isabella Beecher Hooker, sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe, represented her mother and the writer represented Frederick Douglass. MARY CHURCH TERRELL. Justice Required for Peace To the Editor oi The 8t»r: We hear much prattling about altruism, brotherly love, good fellowship. Comte's gospel of "vivre pour autrui" (to live for others) has enabled many to exploit others to their bene fit. Much of our Christian love has dwindled Into sentimentalism which is bare of the prin ciple of justice. But we cannot establish the Kingdom of Love until we have first erected the Kingdom of Justice. The nations have torn each other to shreds because they have discarded all sense of fair ness and propriety. Democracy has been de bauched because it has been stripped of the rule of Justice. People cannot love each other until they begin to treat each other justly. The wis \AKJkXL υι nuiaiidUi uuibwu α μ in y woo ca^jcoocu in his first inaugural address in *n endeavor to heal the breach between the Korth and the South : "We are not enemies but friends. Sup pose we go to war, you cannot fight forever; when yoù cease after greet loss on both sides and no gain on either, the same old questions of trade and intercourse are all again upon you." The Book of the Dead of the old Egyptians tells of their ethical standards. Some of its "protestations" contain the following gems: "I have not caused pain. I have made no one weep. I have not inflicted pain upon man kind." Many of our professionals, and in particular, our politicians, would do well to adopt this ancient code. WALTER L. CARTER. Senator Langer Explains Annuities To the Editor of The Star: This is in reply to the letter of A Widow re cently published in The Star. The lady states that she is the mother of three minor children and that, in the event of her death, they could not receive orphans' benefits as provided under the retirement bill, of which I am co-sponsor. I am pleased to state, however, that the children of all working, widowed mothers will receive annuities until they reach age 18. Fur ther provision is made that benefits will not be discontinued at age 18 in any case where a child is disabled. It may be of further in terest to point out that the children of this widowed mother will each receive one-half the annuity, up to a maximum of $480 or $1,200 to three or more children, 'hat would be payable to the mother upon her retire ment, with the same service and salary his tory. WILLIAM LANGER. Chairman, Post Office and Civil Service Committee, United States Senate. ERP a 'Gamble'? To the Editor of The Star: The Russians really favor the Marshall European Recovery Plan. They want us to send more financial aid out of this country than is good for us, all the time knowing that it won't be enough—because the Kremlin will cut In with sabotage, intrigue, etc. ERP has been called a gamble. But it is more than that. It is a dangerous gamble with a stacked deck and the Russians' guns on the table. They figure that when all the chips are in, then we will be very busy with a recovery pian ι or ourselves, leaving mem to taxe over the remaining 16 European nations one by one. The Russians won't show their hand too fast because they are afraid we might scare off and drop the whole mesa in their laps at one time. If that happened, they wouldn't know what to db with It. As for the United States, though badly mauled and maybe bankrupt, we still will be calling for "peace"; peace for a world that wants no peace Meanwhile, Stalin can say: "Funny fellows, those Americans. The Communists put up nothing for all; they put up all for nothing. They must like to gamble. Ah, me! Yes, I like those Americans with their short memories." ARTHUR R. COCHEL. Murder of Troops Resented To the Editor of The Star: It is high time for an expression of condem nation by the United Nations or by the United States of the senseless murders of British sol diers by the Palestine Jews. These men are there under orders, trying to maintain some semblance of law and toeing their lives the while. Particularly atrocious was the kidnaping some months ago of two young sergeants just out from England and their torture and murder. Hitler could have done no worse! Recently an R. Α. Γ. soldier was murdered as he lay wounded in a hospital bed. Now we read that 28 British soldiers were killed and 33 wounded in a train. The American people would not look with favor upon any move to send our troops to Palestine to suffer a li£j fate. VIRGINIA WALKER. Stars, Men and Atoms Echoless Room Created In Ordnance Laboratory ^ Navy Conducting Tests to Check Moat Sensitive of Mines By Thomas R. Henry There is a weird room, whose inner walla are like the coat of a porcupine, where it la possible to hear one's own true voice. Almost everywhere else you actually hear a hundred or a thousand voices when you apeak, or when anybody else speaks. You hear the original voice distorted by all the echoes from all the nearby surfaces and from all angles. It is virtually impossible ever to hear a pure sound anywhere—except in the strange echo less room which has been constructed at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory. It is a large room whose walls are covered with large fiber-glass wedges, each protruding about five feet, which are so arranged that no sound can "bounce" from them. The room has only one opening and all apparatus tested in it can be controlled from the outside. Not only Is the room echoless, but it Is a place of absolute silence until it is used to deter mine with extreme precision the effect of some pure, absolutely undistorted sound. Prom the naval standpoint, the experiments to be conducted here are of fundamental im portance. Among their applications is the devising of more sensitive acoustic mines which toward the end of the war were reaching un canny efficiency. In its simplest form the acoustic mine Is set off by the sound produced by a ship directly above it. It must be so delicately adjusted that it will not be exploded by the sound of the ship in any other position. Up to this point, however, it is a rather crude device. It easily could be outwitted by a mine sweeper. The more refined mines will "count" the ships passing over them and explode only after a certain number have registered. Ten ships might sail over such a mine in complete safety while the eleventh would be blown out of the water. But even this is only a starting point for the future developments which might come from the scientific study of "pure sounds," such as is made possible by the echoless room Tricks of Its Own. There are other rooms, in the country where echo is reduced to the vanishing point. This one incorporates all their "anti-bounce" tech niques and adds a trick of its own. When it is desired to test the effects of a certain tone on a detecting device the experimenters can be certain that the results are due to one sound only and not to a thousand sounds with all sorts of intensities and all sorts of minute time intervals between them. It is calculated that the specially constructed walls absorb 97 per cent of the pressure and 98 per cent of the energy of any sound wave which impinges on them. This is about as near complete absence of echo as can be attained on earth. Questions and Answers A reader can (et the answer to any question of fact by writing The Evening Star Information Bureau. 31β I street N.B.. Washington 2. D. C. Please Inclose three (3) cents for return postage. By THE HASKIN SERVICE. Q. Why is the Scroll of the Torah always wriuen Dy nana?—u. u. A. It may be produced only by hand copying, in accordance with the requirements of the Talmud, the accepted authority for orthodox Jews. The Scroll is held in great veneration. Q. In the firing of an automatic how far does the bullet travel before the recoil mecha nism starts its backward movement?—S. B. A. The National Rifle Association says that the initial recoil occurs the Instant the bullet starts down the barrel of the gun. The secondary recoil occurs when the bullet leaves the muzzle. Q. How many days of the year are oteerved as holidays somewhere in the world?—Ε. M. P. A. In normal times, of the 365 days in the year, 289 are bank or public holidays in one country or another. People engaged in inter national transactions And it necessary to keep track of them all. Q. When an aluminum saucepan has been badly burned, should it be filled with cold or hot water?—S. Ε. V. A. Cold water should never be poured into a hot, dry pan, for this is likely to make the metal buckle and make the bottom uneven. The saucepan should be allowed to cool grad ually. Q. Are there any plants or trees that have green leaves and do not make their own food?—P. E. S. A. All plants and trees having green leaves make their own food. Chlorophyll is the green coloring matter in plants. Plant cells take carbon dioxide from.the air, water from the soil and change them into simple sugars. The plant can 4o ihis only with the aid of chlorophyll and sunlight. Q. Who was the first President to die in office?—G. D. D. A. William Henry Harrison, who died from pneumonia contracted after exposure to cold during his inauguration, March 4. 1841. There were 26 pallbearers at his funeral and a pro cession over 2 miles long. Q. What is the average size of ranches in Argentina?—L. G. A. In Argentina there are a number of ranches of more than 500,000 acres in extent. The average ranch in Argentina contains about 1,300 acres and is much larger than the aver age ranch in the United States. Q. Where was Francis Bellamy born and for how many years was he associated with the magazine Youth's Companion?—R. J. A. Francis Bellamy was born in Mount Mor ris, New York, May 18, 1855. He graduated with a Β. A. degree from Rochester University, 1876. He was ordained in Little Falls, Ν. Y., December 18, 1879, and served as pastor of the same church from 1879 to 1885, and at the Bethany Church, Boston .Mass., from 1885 1891. He was associated with Youth's Com panion from 1891 to 1896. After 1923 he lived at 2926 Wailcraft avenue; Tampa, Fla., where he died August 28, 1931. Q. In what year were the most automobiles manufactured in the United States?—L. H. A. The largest number of passenger cars wa* produced In 1929. There were 4,587.400 cars manufactured, valued at $2,847,118,562. The intruder Breakers like kittens capered, frisked and tore Scampering up the sand on skittish paws Amid pale mists of dawning as ashore, Sleek ripples bending out from bearded jaws, Swam Proteus. Presently parting servile waves, Dashing bright drops from talt-scurfed flanks he stood, Savoring dew-fresh fields, damp woods. His slaves, Gay dolphins, wondering at his hardihood, Curvetted through the shallows, flashing fins Winnowing dove-gray water. Warily A bittern boomed beyond that restless screen Of sedge that whispers where the marsh begins . . . Unconsciously the Old One posed—the sea And all her myriads marked him, shaggy, lean, Grizzled, grotesque . . . Apart, eyes envy swollen, ' < White Vûnus raged to find her entrance ttftn ... f* HAROLD WILLARD OLEABON.