Newspaper Page Text
WASHINGTON, D. C.
f* | Published by The Evening Stor Newtpoper Company. Hi FRANK B. NOYES, President and Choirmon of the Beard, 1910-194S FLEMING NEWBOLP, President. B. M. MeKELWAY, Editor. .. MAIN OFFICE: 11th St. end Pennsylvania Av*. NEW YORK OFFICE: 110 East 42d St. CHICAGO OFFICE: 435 North Michigan Av*. »v. Delivered by Carrier—Metropolitan Area. " ' Doily and Sunday Daily Only Sunday Only . -Monthly 1.20- Monthly 90< 10c per copy Weekly 30c Weekly 20c 10c per copy ‘10, additional when S Sundays are in o month. Also 10c additional for Night Final Edition in those sections whoro dtlivfrry it madt. Rates by Mail—Payable in Advance. „ Anywhere in United States. . Evening and Sunday Evening Suiday*n. I month .. 1 JO 1 month -. *>c 1 mon*!’ 5 -4 months.. 7.S0 6 months .. 5.00 6 month* 3.00 Jyser _15.00 1 year ....10.00 1 year -6.00 Telephone Sterling 5000. Tip . «.- Entered *t the Post Office, Washington, D. C., as second-class mail matter. Member of the Associated Press. , The Associated Press is entitled exclusively to the use for republication of all the local newt printed in this Yiewspaper, os well as ell A P. newt dispatches. C_4 __JUNPAV;JMt*mb*rJ;J»4» \r Free GSt Bargaining it does not take much Inquiring to dis cover the reason for the extraordinary contrast between this year’s and last year’s contract settlements between Government ^Service, Incorporated, and its employes. Something was added this year that was Noticeably absent a year ago. The some thing was an atmosphere free of dissension and ill will, free of extraneous issues and tree of agitation by outsiders. The result was free bargaining that led to signing of an agreement for a 7y2-cent ■hourly wage increase and other benefits after only four days of negotiation. Last year, it wil^ be recalled, agreement was reached only after eighty-eight days of frustration, marked by bad feeling on both sides and climaxed by a strike that was jjostly to strikers. GSI and patrons alike. Finally, the impasse ended when the cafeteria union’s president resigned and the other officers signed anti-Communist affidavits—a requirement properly insisted t>n by GSI. A back-to-work agreement was reached, in lieu of a contract—but the union remained under domination of the left-wing United Public Workers of America. , The difference this year can be attrib uted chiefly to the Withdrawal of the United Cafeteria Workers, Local 471, from UPWA. That sensible action enabled offi cers of the cafeteria union to conduct negotiations with GSI independent of UPWA advice and influence. That the change was salutary is obvious. The results Suggest that GSI was justified in insisting on anti-communism pledges and the suc cess of the contract discussions belies past charges that GSI was out to break up the cafeteria workers’ union. Air Brakes for Planes If the initial demonstration of the Curtisa-Wrlght Corporation’s “air-brake” jsystem for planes is indicative of its possi bilities in commercial aviaton, a new mile stone in safety and efficiency for airliners is in sight. The demonstration proved the effectiveness of reversible propellers as '“brakes” for four-engine planes of the type used by the airlines. Reversible propellers have been used to slow up planes after landing, but a Curtiss Wright test pilot was the first flyer to reverse four propellers in flight. The effect of this sudden reversal of horsepower from a pull forward to a shove backward was similar to the deceleration caused by brakes on an automobile. The ability of a pilot to “brake” his plane is important in an emergency requiring a quick landing, as when fire breaks out. In addition, the speeding up of landing operations would relieve “stacking up” of planes over con gested airports. And the ability to come in at slower landing speeds would permit the use of shorter landing strips and ■would contribute both to economy and safety. ' Because of the tremendous strain in volved, specially designed propellers are necessary. The new propellers were tried put on a C-34 transport plane, with marked succest. The big ship descended from 15.000 to 1.000 feet in one minute and twenty-two seconds: It dropped to a safe landing from a point only four miles from the airport—an achievement im possible without “brakes.” The interest shown in the demonstration by military authorities may portend application of the principle to war planes. Certainly the preliminary tests justify predictions of widespread use of the “air brakes” by the airlines. It is unfortunate that the system will not be generally available for com mercial use for another year or so. ' To Strengthen the Hatch Act The amendment of the Hatch Act urged by Civil Service Commissioner James M. Mitchell before the District Federation of Federal Employes’ Unions is one that has been recommended to Congress repeatedly by the commission, without success. It is gratifying to know that the commission has not given up the effort to win con gressional approval of the reform. The modification, advocated by Mr. Mitchell and his commission colleagues is designed to strengthen the law restricting political activity by Government employes, not^ to weaken it. Experience has con vinced the commission that the law as now phrased is not so effective as it might be, because it provides for only one pen alty—dismissal from the service. The pen alty is inflexible, even though the viola tion be of the most trivial nature. The result has been that departmental officials have been reluctant to report minor vio lations to the commission. Once such a case is called to its attention, the com mission has no alternative but to order the discharge of the employe, even though a reprimand or a suspension would better serve the ends of justice. * The commission has commented on this fleflciency of the law in a number of its Innual reports. On its recommendation, bills have been introduced to give the com mission some discretion in fixing punish ment, but Invariably they have failed to pass. The commission’s proposal is a sound one. It should be included in any program of civil service improvement which may be adopted by the next Con gress. Italian Colonies Issue A proposal by the American delegation for a special session of the U. N. General Assembly to consider the final disposition of former Italian colonies focuses atten tion on one of the most contentious issues in the postwar settlement. When Mussolini made his wanton plunge into World War II, Italy possessed a con siderable colonial empire. That empire was lost, chiefly to British arms, and at first it seemed likely that it would be treated much like the forfeited German colonies after World War I. However, an tagonisms among the victors hindered an agreed disposition of the colonies through U. N. “trusteeships” similar to the “man dates” of the League of Nations.. Soviet Russia, especially, threw calculated apples of discord into the proceedings by demand ing, first a sole trusteeship over Libya and then a Joint trusteeship of the four Great Powers. Both proposals were unalterably opposed by the Western nations, since ei ther would have given Moscow a fodthold in the Mediterranean and on the African continent. In addition, Britain had given assurances to the native populations of Libya that they would on no account be returned to Italian rule, even under a U.N. trusteeship. And those assurances were reinforced by vital strategic consid erations, since Libya under British occu pation furnished air bases wmcn couia compensate for bases lost in Egypt and Palestine. It should be remembered that Libya is now wholly under British control by right of conquest. And a perpetuation of that control is favored by the United States for both strategic and political con siderations. Libya is, indeed, the crux of the Italian colonies issue. The distant and less valuable East African colonies, Eritrea and Somaliland, are relatively unimpor tant in the international picture. There is, however, another factor in this complex equation. This is Italy itself. De feated and humbled though she is, Italy has become an important political and Ideological battleground between the West ern democracies and the Soviet-Commu nist forces. 'Under the first numbing shock of defeat, Italian public opinion appeared relatively indifferent to the fate of the colonies, or at least resigned to the inevi tability of their loss. But since then, the colonies have become an increasingly live issue with Italians, under the combined spur of Communist propaganda and re viving national feeling. THe present mod erate government headed by Premier de Gasperi might be imperilled if Italian sen sibilities are disregarded in the disposition of the colonies. To avert a political crisis in Italy with dangerous possibilities to the democratic cause, the Western Powers are considering the granting of a U. N. trusteeship over at least Italian Somaliland to Italy, with the possibility of another trusteeship over Tri politania, the western portion of Libya, as well. The calculation is that this would be an adequate sop to Italian national feel ing. But it can be anticipated that Mos cow will oppose this compromise and that Communist propaganda will make the most of other losses, especially if Britain should get Its desired trusteeship over Cy renaica, the eastern part of Libya, which is most desirable for Britain’s scheme of im perial defense. The terms of the Italian peace treaty provide that if the Great. Powers are un able to agree on the Italian colonial issue, it shall be considered by the United Na tions. The General Assembly has been un able to consider the matter at its present session, owing to the pressure of other important items on its agenda. Hence, the American proposal that the matter be taken up at a special session early next year, so as to dispose of a matter which will continue to cause grave friction so long as it remains unsettled. Medical science seems to 'know little about selective amnesia, as suffered by Glen Taylor who now suddenly remembers being a Democrat. Da Vinci Vindicated It has taken a long time to prove the soundness of the flight theories of such aviation pioneers as Daedalus, Icarus, Leonardo da Vinci and others who have sought to soar the skies on flapping wings. The surprising thing about the proof is that there was any one in this era of jet and rocket flying interested in testing ancient and discarded techniques. It seems that a young Air Force engi neer, Adam J. Stolzenberger, has always believed that Daedalus and his son, Icarus, of Greek mythology, and Da Vinci, the great Italian artist and inventor, were on the right track in seeking to imitate the flight of birds. Daedalus, the story goes, invented birdlike wings with which he and has son escaped from their Cretan prison, Icarus’ wings fell off and dumped him to his death in the sea, but Daedalus made a good landing in Sicily. Da Vinci man aged to find time while painting the Mona Lisa and other famous works to design a batlike flying machine, with man powered flapping wings. Fortunately for art. Da Vinci did not try the contraption out. But a comparison of Da Vinci’s orni thopter, as aeronautical engineers refer to flapping-wing craft, with flying models constructed at Wright Feld by Mr. Stolzen berger shows a striking similarity. In fact, it is plausible to assume that the Da Vinci omithopter might have flown successfully if its inventor had been blessed with today’s advantages of mechaniyl power. The Stolzenberger “birds” are powered by rubber bands or by tiny electric or gasoline motors. They are reported to have made numerous flights. So impressed has Mr. Stolzenberger been with the possi bilities in this, field that he has patented a man-carrying model. He hopes to be , the first person to build an omithopter capable of carrying a passenger aloft. While Mr. Stolzenberger has pursued his experiments largely as a hobby, it would be wrong to assume that his studies are valueless in this age of fixed-wing flight. Not only has he added to Air Force knowledge of wing “flutter” and other phenomena affecting conventional planes, but he has given force to predictions by * » • some aeronautical engineers that man eventually will fall back on the time tested bird techniques of flying. They feel that if the birds can fly in their “un orthodox” way, and do it so efficiently and well, so can man. But birds weft born to fly and man to walk. The chances are that if Mr. Stolzenberger does succeed in flying like a bird, it will be a crude imita tion at best. It is hard for man to improve on nature, especially In such a, mysterious field as the flight of the hummingbird and the hawk. France Must Be Convinced In voting overwhelmingly against the recent Anglo-American decision to name German trustees to administer the indus tries of the Ruhr, the French National Assembly has made clear that Britain and the United' States have fallen far short of persuading France that their approach to this delicate and complex problem is either sound or necessary. The issue involved is charged with deep emotion in France. The people there, acutely conscious of the fact that the Ruhr has been the powerhouse behind three German invasions within the past seventy-five years, are united against any step that seems to them to revive the threat of a militaristic Germany. On the whole, though they have not yet restored him to national leadership, they are not inclined to scoff at General de' Gaulle’s warning that the Anglo-American decision paves the way for the rebirth of another aggres sive Reich capable of attacking them again in some new double-crossing deal with Russia. Though recklessly exaggerated, General de Gaulle’s fear—in varying degrees— dominates France’s thinking and is sub stantially shared by all political parties, with one exception. The exception is the French Communists. Ironically enough, in the National Assembly vote condemning Anglo-American Ruhr policy, they have been the sole dissenters, being faithful to the Soviet line, which favors returning the region to Germany for reasons quite dif ferent from the ones animating Britain and the United States. What the Kremlin would like to see, of course, would be a puppet Red Reich with all the Ruhr’s pro ductive power behind it. Thus, considering their bitter historical experience with Germany, and considering also that powerful politicians like General de Gaulle can argue plausibly about the dangers of some new Ribbentrop-Molotov deal in the future, it is not surprising that the French people—as they have just ex pressed themselves through the National Assembly—have serious misgivings about Britain’s and our own attitude toward the Ruhr. They need assurances, they must be convinced, that that attitude is not working at cross-purposes with their own vital security interests by unwittingly encourag ing the revival of German militarism. To be sure, it may be clear enough to Britons and Americans that the Ruhr decision represents a wise and needed move to accomplish two things: (1) To ease the' financial burden the United States must carry as long as the region operates on a deficit basis, and (2) to in crease its productivity and efficiency in order to speed up the recovery not merely of Germany but of all the Western Euro pean countries—including France—par ticipating in the Marshall Plan. Moreover, as Secretary of State Marshall has de clared, there are two additional points of prime significance: (1) The Ruhr’s final disposition, despite the current Ger man trusteeship plan, will not be deter mined until a definitive peace treaty i^ written, and (2> special guarantees in that treaty, together with such separate un dertakings as the projected Atlantic alliance, are likely to provide the French with ample security against the danger of a resurgent Reich in cahoots with Russia. In this, connection, in line with France’s latest note on the subject, it is not inconceivable that an agreement can be worked out to set up long-term Allied control of the Ruhr after the occupation ends. Nevertheless, though considerations of this sort make criticism of the De Gaullist type seem grossly distorted, the fact re mains—as demonstrated by the National Assembly—that the French have yet to be sold on Anglo-American policy toward Germany. Since their full support is essential to an effective security system in the free Western world, it need hardly be added that no effort should be spared to remove their fears and suspicions—a task which now ought to be vigorously pursued by the British government and our own. A Good Time Nod by All A special medal should be struck for whoever thought up the idea of staging Friday night’s father-and-daughter dinner at the National Press Club. Anybody who had the good fortune to be present—and woe to the absent daddy whose little girl hears"about it!—will be only too glad to testify that the event was one of the most refreshing and most heart-warming put on in these parts in a long, long time. Certainly, the daughters—ranging In age from four to the forties—have some thing very nice to remember and place among their souvenirs, including not merely the orchids flown to them all the way from Hawaii, or the favors handed to them at the door, Or the menu card and other mementoes, but also a finely etched mental picture of the wonderfully human and good-humored qualities of democracy sitting down with itself for an unpreten tious meal and an evening of simple fun. The professional entertainers were excel lent, but they were up against some mighty stiff and distinguished amateur competi tion, including no less a person than Sec retary of the Treasury Snyder who with Drucie, his talented daughter, carried on with fine aplomb in a skit making the public debt seem a pleasure. Above all, right up there on the stage before everybody’s eyes, the President of the United States sat down with his Margaret to play a pleasant piano duet, followed by an equally pleasant little talk. Only the - people who were there, of course, can remember the spirit and flavor of the evening. But the simple statement should be recorded somewhere that there were no stuffed shirts in evidence, that it was all warm-hearted and very Amer ican in the best sense, that it made one reflect on the peculiar blessings inherent in our way of life, and that most certainly the Press Club should try to stage the same sort of program every year from here on out. 1 Spires of the Spirit The .Guilt of the Good Negative Virtues Found Insufficient Where Positive Values Are Needed By the Rev. Frederick Brown Harris, D. D., Lift. D. The scarlet letter of crime with the stigma of the guilt of the bad is upon the huge popu lation of■ our penal institutions. But those who are thus caught in the law's meshes and incarcerated are but a small proportion of thp moral derelicts who, keeping out of jail by their wits, prey upon their fel low men. The world is being made vividly con scious of the heinous Individual and social crimes of the morally depraved by the re volting testimony at the trials of war criminals and by the swift carrying out of tne stem sentences dooming leaders of outlaw systems to meet death at the end of the ignominious rope. The guilt of the bad is paraded before a global audience. But a less spectacular, yet far more influential, factor of the present sad and sorry state in which the tangled affairs of our common humanity are found in this desperate day is the guilt of the good. The chief hindrance to progress of the race is not the violent bad, but the passive good. Against these no Just charges of venal culpability can. be made. They are not viciously bad, but neither are they aggressively good. They are silent when silence is not golden, but craven. They belong to the vast army of nonresisters at whom Maltbie Babcock aimed his dart: “Say not the days are evil—who’s to blame? And fold the hands and acquiesce—O shame I Stand up, speak out, and bravely, in God’s name." That floodlights the guilt of the good. * ft ft ft What, then, is the temptation even of the prodigiously pious? It is to be good—for nothing. In the classic depiction by the Master Teacher of the final Judgment of the good and bad, the sheep and the goats, the amazing conception is that against those who are pilloried as guilty there is no bill of indictment as to any crimes committed. Sins of commission do not figure in the condemna tion. But sins of omission do. The unrecog nized sins of the good are the decisive factor: “I was in prison. Ye visited me not. I was hungry. Ye fed me not. I was naked. Ye clothed me not.” It is the guilt of the good. One of the greatest stories ever told is known as the story of the Good Samaritan. But did you ever notice that in it the matchless Teacher-Narrator uttered no tirade against the lack of police protection along the robber infested Jericho road? He has no arraignment of the criminal who waylaid and wounded the traveler. Rather, He points to two good men on their way to church who, seeing dire need, callously pass by on the other side. The parable might well be called the Quilt of the Good. George Eliot is thinking about the guilt of the good in an unforgettable verbal portrait In Adam Bede. The novelist is talking about Hetty. She says, "Hetty is one of those nu merous people who have had godfathers and godmothers, learned their catechism, been con firmed, and gone to church every Sunday, and yet for any practical result of strength in life or trust in death have never appropriated a single idea of Christian feeling.” That etching suggests church members con tent with being just respectable. They are good. They have enough religion to be decent, but not enough to be dynamic. They have some faith—enough to make them discon tented with the grosser forms of sin, but not enough to make them spiritual crusaders. * * * * The classic list of the seven deadly sins al ways suggests the guilt of the bad. A keen writer has made up a list of seven deadly virtues which suggest the guilt of the good. Plato named four virtues as primary—courage, wisdom, temperance and justice. To make the seven, three so-called virtues are added—faith, hope and love. This is the realm in which virtues may go wrong. Even the patience of faith and hope, which is always supposed to be a characteristic of the good, can degenerate into a limp and inert acquiescence in things as they happen to be. Sometimes what is called patience is in reality cowardice or lazi ness, smiling at wrong from the complacency of an armchair. The subtle temptation is that the vigorous ardor of youth will give way to a temperate prudence, which is, alas, so often a part of -the guilt of the good. Of course, in this evil world each day some altar should be set up where the prayer may be lifted, "God make me good.” But added to that must always be, “God make me good for something. Deliver me from the guilt of the good, from cowardly, complacent silence and inaction.” So at the last, when our day is over and all the'days are done, we will be saved from having to make Margiret Wilkin son's lines, entitled "Guilty,” the tragic verdict on our own souls: "I never cut my neighbor’s throat, My neighbor’s gold L never stole; I never spoiled his house and land; But God have mercy on my soul! “FOr I am haunted night and day By all the deeds I have not done. O unattempted loveliness, - O costly valor never won!” T 1 ' ALnn \ Some Shadows of Coming Events LOOKing i\nCaQ Are Noted Here and Abroad (By the World Staff of the Associated Press.) Plans are not complete, but the tendency is away from any big show of modern military might in the Truman inaugural parade Jan uary 20. There will be crack units of air borne artillery and mechanized cavalry and the like, plus a spectacular aircover, but em phasis will be on civilian groups and displays. It is feared a huge military exhibition might be miscontruued abroad. Modern" weapons may be pirt on display for visitors in the Mall, the wide parkway between the Capitol and the Washington Monument. A design for a simple white stand with the presidential seal just below the center roof has been accepted for the Truman reviewing stand in front of the White House. (One suggestion passed over was for a replica of the south side of the White House with a balcony on which the President would stand to watch the parade.) Dr. Charles G. Abbot, famed Smithsonian In stitution scientist, says there’s a “pretty good chance” of fair weather on inauguration day. Dr. Abbot has a pretty good batting average on Washington weather. He predicted the likeli hood of fair weather for one Roosevelt inaugu ration—and hit it right on the nose. “Jan uary 20,” Dr. Abbot says, “is not on my list for probable precipitation.” One of the world’s outstanding authorities mi the sun. Dr. Abbot believes there are “cycles” of rainfall in Wash ington linked with the 27-day rotation of the sun. AMVET-A VC Merger7 A strong organization of exclusively World War II veterans may be in the not-too distant offing through merger of AMVETS (American Veterans of World War II) and AVC (American Veterans’ Committee). Both outfits are hard-pressed for finances and members. Combined membership would not exceed 200,000 as compared to 3,300,000 claimed by the American Legion, but the merger would present a "solid front of 1941-1945 veterans. AVC’s recent strong anti-Communist stand, insiders believe, has paved the way for closer co-operation. AMVETS’ policy has been mid dle-of-the-road. AMVETS, larger and more robust, probably would dominate any merger. I •Ulster» BELFAST.—It’s a good bet that Northern Ireland's official name will be changed soon to "Ulster.” Lots of people call it Ulster, anyway. Orangemen figure the change would be another way to show opposition to Eire’s persistent demands for a united Ireland. Unification Defense chiefs are preparing recommenda tions to Congress for tightening unification of the armed forces. One plan getting strong attention would set up two new posts; (1) An undersecretary to report directly to the Secre tai y and outrank the present three Secretaries, one for each branch, and (2) a single chief of staff for national defense to whom the Army, Air Force and Navy chiefs of staff would report. Strong pressure against this plan may be expected from the Navy. Look Out! Watch where you walk these early winter evenings. Heavy Christmas shopping traffic in the cities, combined wtyh early darkness, makes December the peak month for pedestrian deaths. The National Safety Council says the death rate last December was 58 per cent above the 1947 monthly average. Gambling LONDON.—A Government commission to in vestigate gambling may be set up next year. Tighter controls may result. Some government ministers are known to be concerned over the amount of money spent gambling. One argu ment is that if. this money were saved it would ease inflationary pressure. Last year $1,800, .000,000 was reported o^t on horse races alone. ERP Tangles PARIS.—Unless the 19 European countries re ceiving Marshall Plan aid can agree on. an integrated economic program for the next four years the United States may have to take the a v I unpopular umpire’s role. Differences between the British and French are one of the main stumbling blocks. Wampum Economy-minded legislators are concerned about the 4 per cent annual interest being paid by the Treasury on a $5,000,000 Judgment the Supreme Court awarded California Indians four years ago. They hope to get the Indian Bureau and Congress to agree on disposition of the fund in the next session. Fifty Years Ago Accidents at grade crossings were numerous fifty years ago, and The Star conducted an aggressive campaign for the elim Crossing ination of such junctions of rail Trogedy roads and ordinary wagon roads. The issue of the paper for Decem ber 1, 1898, contained a long and pitiful story about how Fannie Bell Harris, 9, and George Herbert Gray, 6, were killed in Ivy City while on their way to school. They were riding in a two-seated buckboard with Harry McDon ough, 17, when they were struck by a Baltimore & Ohio express. 'A passenger on the train told a reporter: “The safety gates were up and I did not see the gatekeeper. These unprotected grade crossings—when will the Congress of the United States stamp them out?” • * * * “The fiftieth anniversary of the accession of the Emperor Francis Joseph to the throne of Austria," announced The Francis Joseph's Star on December 2, 1898, Jubilee “was celebrated this morn ing at 10 o’clock by solemn high mass at St. Matthew’s Church. The Rev. Father Samuel F. Bart was the celebrant, with the Rev. Father Lee as deacon and the Rev. Father Stiring as subdeacon. The edifice has seldom held such a distinguished gathering as that which assembled. • * • President McKinley and Secretary of State Hay arrived together from the White House and occupied a front pew directly in front of the altar. In the ad joining front pew across the main aisle were Sir Julian Pauncefote, the British Ambassador, and Count Cassini, the Russian Minister. They were resplendent in full uniform.” Repre sentatives of Germany, France, Argentina, China, Japan, Korea, Portugal and Hawaii likewise were present, all in festival attire. The papal legate, Archbishop Martinelll, occupied a place in the sanctuary. * * * * A local story in The Star for December 3, 1888, indicated the liquidation of an ancient and famous trade—chimney sweep CHimney tng. “It is more than probable Sweeps that the* old municipal ordinance providing superintendents of chim ney sweeps and requiring the sweeping of a chimney when, in the judgment of the super intendent of sweeps, it is necessary, will be abolished by the District Commissioners,” the article explained. “Commissioner Wight has been in communication with the authorities of the principal cities of the country, with the view of ascertaining whether such a require ment is in force in those cities. He has found that Washington is about* the only city where a regulation of this character remains on the statute books.” * * * * In The Star of December 5, 18S8, all of the first and second pages and half of the third— • 17 Vi columns of type—were used Centennial to reproduce the complete text Message of President McKinley's annual message to Congress, outlining the history of the war with Spain and furnish ing a report on relations with Hawaii and Russia. Of special importance to Washington readers, however, was the closing portion of the document in which the Chief Executive Called for an appropriation for .the celebration of the centenary of:the Federal seat of gov ernment in the District of Columbia. This event, Mr. McKinley declared, “assumes all the more significance when we recall the circum stances attending the choosing of the site, the naming of the Capital in honor of the father of his country and the Interest taken by him > Public Housing Program To Affect Building Costs TEW Bill Seen Aiding Some Worker* * at Expense *ot Other* By Gerard D. Reilly In view of President Truman’s repeated Jibe* at the Eightieth Congress for its failure to authorize a public housing program, it has been taken for granted that the new Congress would speedily enact the Taft-Ellender-Wag ner bill. This is the measure which passed the Senate last year, but which the House leader ship refused to bring to the floor for a ’ vote until the public housing and slum clearance features were eliminated. The defeat of the title containing these pro visions was largely due to some effective behind the-scenes work by an alliance of interests representing the residential construction indus try, private home loan banks and real estate brokers. Now that the proponents of the legis lation have the .votes to put it across, however, sober-minded administration advisers are won dering whether this bill is a real solution to the problem of the housing shortage. The bill contemplates the construction with Federal funds of 1,250,000 rental units for fam ilies in the lowest income brackets. It is some what of a misnomer to call these units low-cost housing projects, however. V « ; * * * * What Is actualLy proposed is a scheme for subsidized low rentals. The Intention is to have these multiple dwelling units built by contractors at prevailing union rates. The cost of construction consequently would not be appreciably lower than would be the case If such construction were financed with private capital. The draftsmen of the bill recognized this by including a section authorizing sub sidies to insurance companies and other corp orations which are willing to build large-scale housing projects which will then be rented at rates far below a fair return on the investment. Advocates of public housing have long pointed out that the high cost of building ma terials, urban land and labor makes It impas sible for the lowest wage earners In factory or clerical occupations to obtain decent housing for their families without some form of public subsidy. Last'year they were able to convince Senator Taft and a majority of the Senate, therefore, that intervention by the Federal Government - was essential. So long u the high cost of housing persists it is inevitable that measures of this sort will command the support of enlightened legislators. Unfortu nately, however, such bills do hot go to the real heart of the difficulty. It is not only the poorest class but all the middle-income groups which are suffering today from Inflated hous ing prices. And there is a real danger that with the continuing scarcity of labor and ma terials, the huge Government appropriations which the bill authorizes will tend to drive the cost of private dwellings still higher. Some members of the Federal Reserve Board are gravely concerned by this prospect. As a result of the home mortgage guarantv functions of the FHA and the loans made by the Veterans’ Administration under the Serv icemen's Readjustment Act, Government credit in the private housing field is already being . strained. Optimistic appraisals by the agencies In charge have not only accelerated the Infla tionary trend in the prices of new houses but have Involved the Treasury in risks inconsistent with prudent banking policy. In a country with such an abundance of engineering skill as ours it is a paradox that the public has put up for so long with the archaic handicraft methods characteristic of the home building industry. If mass produc tion methods were applied in this field, there would be no reason for a modest duelling house selling for 10 times as much as! ah automobile or 100 times as much as a radio or washing machine. The reason why the professional champions of public housing have failed to grapple with the problem of modernizing the industry is apparently- largely political. Any effective step in this direction would involve tremendous use of prefabricated materials and, more impor tantly, the abolition of the old-fashioned craft system among the workers on the site. The closed shop practices which now exist among the crafts have produced an obsolete apprentice system and an artificial scarcity of workers. But since any such reforms as these would be bitterly resisted by the AFL building trades, most public housers fearing to be smeared as antilabor have shied away from any funda mental program. Look on This Picture From tbs Frovidence Bulletin: > Description of one of Marc Chagall’s paint ings in Tate Gallery, London: “Among the paintings on display is one of a bare-legged woman standing with one foot on a house and kicking a red horse with the other. On the back of the horse is a woman in tights standing on her head. The horse straddles a bride and bridegroom in wedding clothes. The front legs of the horse have hands instead of hoof* and one hand clutches a lighted candle in a candle stick.” This strikes us as a perfectly beautiful piece of work. (Stand back a little, folks; you’re too close to get the full effect.) Now then, you can see from here that 'this painting must not be looked at with the same eyes which would look at a painting by Turner or even a big fat horse by Rosa Bonheur. The mere fact that Chagall’s horse has hands instead of hoof* gives that away. Besides, the composition is different. (Please, gentlemen, turn around and bend over and look at Mr. Chagall’s painting through your legs.) Observe now how this changes everything— how the value.of the lady In tights is brought out and how everything, except her, seems to be upside down, but really isn't. You are now in an ideal position to under stand what Mr. Chagall was getting at, which is, of course, the only fair way to estimate an artist’s work Did he accomplish what he set out to? He did; for, as you can see, he. didn’t set out to get anywhere and got there perfectly. (Here the speaker tiptoes away leaving Mr. Chagall’s admirers upside down staring at the painting through their legs. IF* a crazy world, folks.)_ •? ■■/•s in the adoption of plans for its future develop* ment on a magnificent scale.” * * * * A large advertisement of the Palais Royal, published in The Star on December 6, W98, listed 265 different books for Christmas the Christmas trade—at 13 cents Books each. The titles included many popular classics, among the number being George Eliot's “Adam Bede." Kipling’s “Light That Failed,” Haggard’s "She.” Bulwer’s “Last Days of Pompeii,” Scott’s “Ivanhoe,” Blackmore’s "Lorna Doone,” Cooper’s “Last of the Mohicans,” Ebers’ “Uarda,” .Por ter’s “Scottish Chiefs,” Conan Doyle’s "White Company” and G. A. Henty’s “With Lee in Virginia." Perhaps people do not read such literature nowadays, but if they neglect it they really are missing something. * * * * The steamer Portland of the Boston and Portland Steamship Co. was “totally wrecked” , on Sunday morning, November Steamship 27, 1898, and news of the catas Disoster trophe was printed in 'The Star for Tuesday. November 29, A portion of the beach near Highland Light was the scene of the crash “and the entire crew; and passengers perished within a short distance of land ” The number of persons on board the ship was 99, and the bodies of 34 were recov ered by the life-saving detail at High Head Station, A gale which swept all New England was the cause of the disaster. \