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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, October 07, 1949, Image 10

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With Sunday Morning Edition.
Published by
Thg Evening Star Newspaper Company.
B. M. McKELWAY. Editor.
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A—10 _FRIDAY, October 7, 1949
The Sasscer Bill Is Broad
Surprising and regrettable was the
action of the Arlington County Civic Fed
eration in opposing the Sasscer bill to
effect a better co-ordination of govern
mental activities in the Washington
Metropolitan Area. It is surprising be
cause it had been expected that this im
portant group would add its support to
the Interfederation Council and other
civic groups which favor passage of the
Sasscer proposal for an interarea commis
sion of inquiry. It is regrettable because
the vote of the federation obviously was
based on a misunderstanding of the broad
objective of the measure.
The federation’s Committee on Legisla
tion and Legal Action apparently was
under the impression that the Sasscer bill
would apply chiefly to co-ordination of
systems within the District-Maryland
Virginia area. The committee, in advising
against approval of the bill, made the
curious statement that “there seems to be
no purpose in considering tax matters, in
the Metropolitan Area * * * except to im
pose a sales tax on Virginia.” It is absurd,
of course, to suggest that Congress or the
proposed three-jurisdiction commission
could “impose” a sales or any other kind
of tax on a particular State. If Virginia
adopts the sales tax, it will be because
Its citizens vote it into existence. (Inci
dentally, sixty-five out of the State’s one
hundred boards of county supervisors are
on record in favor of a sales tax.)
It is true that the Sasscer bill specifies
taxes as one of the problems to be studied
by the proposed commission of inquiry.
But the bill also directs the commission to
study “other matters of general planning
and regional operations” in the Metro
politan Area. The commission would be
created by compact among the jurisdic
tions Involved, which means that the State
Legislatures of Virginia and Maryland
would have to approve the plan. The two
States would have equal representation
With the District on the commission.
The Sasscer bill offers a splendid oppor
tunity to explore the areas of conflict and
confusion which now exist in various
governmental operations in this vicinity.
These areas include public utility regula
tion, fire and police protection in fringe
sections and sundry highway, parking,
soning and other planning problems com
mon to Washington and its suburbs.
From such a study might come valuable
recommendations for the better integration
of inter jurisdictional policies and activ
ities. Every civic organization in the
Metropolitan Area should get behind this
co-operative movement.
Pioneering in Civilian Jets
The Canadian aircraft industry has the
distinction of being the first in the West
ern Hemisphere to design, build and fly a
Jet plane for civilian transport purposes.
Like Britain—first in the world to produce
euch a plane—our neighbor to the north
thus is ahead of us in this field, for up
to now no company in the United States
has even started to construct a commercial
As demonstrated in an impressive test
flight over Toronto the other day, the
new plane—called the Avro Jetliner, a
product of A. V. Roe Canada Limited—is
a swift, smooth and highly maneuverable
four-engine craft capable of carrying 50
passengers at a cruising speed of about
430 miles an hour, or at least 100 miles
faster than our fastest propeller-driven
transports now in civilian domestic service.
Unlike its British counterpart—which
Is designed for non-stop trans-Atlantic
flights at a speed of upwards of 500 miles
an hour (lunch in New York and dine in
London)—the Avro is limited to a range
of about 1,000 miles, being meant specifi
cally for relatively short-haul service be
tween cities in Canada and the United
8tates. According to present plans, how
ever, it is to be equipped eventually with
much more powerful engines—a fact sug
gesting that it will be developed for over
the-ocean travel.
It is unfortunate that America has let
the British and Canadians take the lead in
this field. Our plane manufacturers, of
course, have not been idle in the design
and production of jet fighters and jet
bombers, but to date their output of
commercial craft has been limited to the
conventional propeller type. It has been
suggested that the economics of the
business—and perhaps public taste—do
not warrant a heavy investment in
civilian jetliners at this time, but in
Britain and Canada the experts appear to
think otherwise.
In any case, regardless of the economic
pros and cons, the fact remains that the
United States has been content to let the
British and Canadians do the trail-blaz
ing in’ developing jets for civilian trans
port. Manufacturers ip England and
Canada, however, have had an advantage
ever our own aviation industry, in that
government subsidies have encouraged
private firms to develop and produce jet
transports. Here no such Federal aid has
been available, although a bill Is pending
In Congress to subsidize development of
prototypes of new transport planes, in
cluding jets. The progress being made
abroad in the jet airliner field may bring
early legislative action. Without Federal
assistance the aviation industry is likely
to continue to lag behind that of other
French Cabinet Crisis
The proffered resignation of Premier
Henri Queullle presumably terminates a
cabinet that has lasted more than a year
—an unusual feat in postwar French
politics. Its life was always tenuous,
because it was a coalition of three parties
with divergent ideas, especially on eco
nomic matters. This trio were the Social
ists, the Popular Republicans, and the
Radicals—who, despite their name, are
really laissez-faire liberals. The bond
uniting them was a negative one—a com
mon determination to keep the Commu
nists and De Gaullists from splitting
France on extremist lines and precipitat
ing a politico-social crisis perhaps culmi
nating in civil war.
This middle-of-the-road coalition could
work together as long as the dominant
issues in French politics were political.
But in recent months the emphasis shifted
from politics to economics. Despite im
provement in business and finance,
France’s economy, like that of other
European nations, rested on insecure foun
dations. To begin with, there was the
chronic unbalance between France and
the dollar area, unredressed by Marshall
Plan aid. Domestically, there was an
unsound budgetary condition, revenue
being insufficient to cover expenditures.
Both of these factors were inflationary,
resulting in a steady rise in the cost of
living which bore hardest on the working
classes. That, in turn, resulted in labor
pressure to increase wages, which, if
granted, would quicken the inflationary
That was where the coalition govern
ment threatened to fly apart. The
Radicals wanted to freeze wages and
prices, and to make cuts in the budget,
in order to lessen the trend toward infla
tion and promote financial stability. But
the Socialists were for higher wage rates
and against budget cuts because they
were the champions of labor. Indeed, they
felt that unless they took that stand they
would lose out to the Communists, who
were promising labor the moon, regardless
of consequences to the French economy—
which they wanted to smash in order to
promote the chaos from which they might
hope to profit. And the Socialists, though
much reduced in parliamentary strength,
had Just enough seats in the Chamber to
prevent a middle-of-the-road cabinet
from existing without their support.
This wage-price split had long been
latent. It was precipitated by Britain’s
recent devaluation of the pound sterling,
which forced a similar devaluation of the
franc. But franc devaluation, while it
aided French exports, increased the price of
imports vitally needed to sustain France’s
economy. Since most of those imports
came from the dollar area, it meant a
further rise in living costs. And that, in
turn, intensified labor demands for higher
wages. When Premier Queuille and his
Radical colleagues refused to grant Social
ist proposals for wage increases, the
Socialists withdrew their support and the
political fat was in the fire.
French parliamentary politics are re
sourceful, and it is not impossible that
another middle-of-the-road cabinet may
be patched together by a reshuffling of
personalities and mutual compromises.
None of the three parties Involved wants
to open the door to the waiting extremists.
Yet it is hard to see how any fresh com
bination, however clever, can do more
than adjourn an eventual showdown on
economic attitudes and policies so incom
patible. Sooner or later, France’s eco
nomic problems must be resolutely faced.
It is to be hoped that this will be done
realistically rather than '’in terms of
partisan politics. To do that would be to
court disaster on the political as well as
the economic plane.
German Mark Imbroglio
The controversies surrounding devalua
tion of the Deutsche mark, the currency
of Western Germany, are regrettable. They
involve not only a clash between the new
government of the Federal Republic of
West Germany and the Western Allied
High Commission but also differences of
opinion among the Allies themselves as
to the extent of devaluation. This makes
for a rather scrambled situation whose
consequences may be unfortunate.
When Britain devalued the pound ster
ling by approximately 30 per cent, it be
came obvious that the Deutsche mark
must be revalued along with most of the
other continental European currencies.
The trouble was that nobody was in precise
agreement as to Just what cut in the
mark’s value should be made. The Ger
mans wanted a,deep slash from its pre
vious rate of 30 cents (U. S.) to 22.5 cents,
which would have been about commensu
rate with the pound’s devaluation. The
French, however, who were already pro
testing Britain’s action as giving it an
unfair advantage on the world’s trade
markets, did not want the mark cut below
24 cents, asserting that the proposed Ger
man rate would give West German exports
a similarly unfair advantage. They also
insisted on a special rate for Ruhr coal to
prevent what they termed “dumping.”
The Americans favored a mark cut very
near to or identical with that proposed by
the Germans, with the British seemingly
somewhere in between.
It was perhaps these inter-Allied dis
agreements that emboldened the German
chancellor, Dr. Adenauer, to come before
the Parliament and reject the Allied com
mission’s “proposal” that the rate be fixed
at 23.8 cents—that figure obviously repre
senting a compromise between the Ameri
can and French viewpoints. Dr. Adenauer
went on to challenge the commission’s
right to decide questions of monetary ex
change and foreign trade. And Parliament
uproariously approved his forthright stand,
all parties criticizing the Allied proposal
as caused by selfish motives at the expense
of the German people.
However, the very next day, Chancellor
Adenauer announced that the new rate
for the mark would be 23.8095—virtually
an acceptance of the Allied view. This
obvious backdown followed a conference
between the chancellor and the high com
mission, the tenor of which can be judged
by a communique issued immediately after
the conference by the commission, which
•aid that an exchange of views had taken
place “with complete frankness” and that
the Western Allies had given “the reason
for their decision.” That word “decision”
clearly meant that the high commission
had asserted its paramount authority in
the issue and that the chancellor had had
to bow to It.
The Deutsche mark is therefore devalued
as the Allies intended it should be. But
whatever the economics of the matter may
be, German public opinion is inflamed by
the “decision,” and the Communists are
doing their best to stimulate popular re
sentment by jeering at the “subservience”
of the Federal Republic to the Western
Allies and its lack of real authority.
The Public's Business
There is no merit in Mrs. James W.
Williams’ suggestion that meetings of the
Board of Education be closed to the press.
The board member made this surprising
proposal at Wednesday’s meeting, which
was marked by frequent disagreements
among members and between them and
school officials. She said she felt that
the airing of grievances was inadvisable.
“Rather than criticize in public the things
we don’t like,” Mrs. Williams told her
colleagues, “we should tell the superin
tendent and his stafT and let them correct
One of the subjects debated at the
meeting was the alarming deterioration
of the Cadet Corps. This is a subject of
wide public concern. To exclude the
public, including the press, from the dis
cussions over the cause and cure of cadet
ills or over other school problems would
be a most undemocratic way of conducting
the public’s business at the Franklin
School. There are a few personnel mat
ters which properly are handled by the
board in closed session, but to erect an
Iron Curtain around all of the board’s
meetings would be unwise in the extreme.
In the case of the Cadet Corps, there
have been allegations that apathy on the
part of the school administration has
contributed to the decline in popularity
of the cadets. If these allegations were
true, it would be no solution of the prob
lem to shut off the “airing of grievances”
and leave matters in the hands of the
criticized officials. The public has a right
to know what is wrong with our school
system, as well as what is right with it. j
The more publicity given its shortcomings, ’
the greater the likelihood of effective
remedial, action.
This and That
By Charles E. Tracewell
Dear Sir:
“This letter has been put off too long.
We, too, share your admiration for the lowly
starling. His Japanese beetle larvae eating
should compensate for his less desirable
“This spring we brought down from the
attic two partially feathered starlings. They
thrived greedily on water-soaked bread and
worms brought in by the neighborhood
“In due time several attempts were made
to encourage the birds’ flying to no avail.
Perhaps they are slower than other species,
or perhaps they were Just plain lazy* and
enjoyed being fed by hand and their nice,
safe box. The robins in my next-door
neighbor’s window had hatched later than
these and already flown.
* * * *
‘‘One morning my husband settled the
matter by tossing the starlings toward the
woods behind our house. Happy day, they
flew away; no more worm hunting, hand
feedings, nor paper changing. That is what
we thought! Thirty minutes later they
were at the screen begging to come in. We
finally convinced them that they were not
human beings and belonged out of doors.
However, the 30-minute feedings persisted.
Any time one of us stepped out in the yard,
a bird landed on our head or shoulders
squawking for food.
“We thought they would surely take to
the woods that first night. But no, at sun
down there they stood at the back door
begging to come in. On the door being
opened, they waddled in like two old ducks.
For nearly a week, when night time came, to
the back door they came, to be put to bed
in their basement box. Gradually the call
of the wild won over domesticity. We saw
them less and less. Now we cannot dis
tinguish them from any other starlings, but
we like to believe that they are among the
ones who feed in our yard.
“Our 8-year-old says no one will believe
this tale unless they see our color movies of
our baby starlings to prove it.
“Sincerely, W. F. H.”
* * * *
This is a nice tribute to a good bird.
Starlings, common sparrows and our own
blue jays are always interesting as under
There is an instinctive desire of many to
defend these of teq-abused creatures.
This column has carried a letter giving
a splendid account of a battle between a
wasp and a large spider. The writer said
that one cannot take sides in a thing like
this, and that is true, as a generality; but
certainly one often can and does rush to
the defense of the smaller creature. We
would advise any one who sees an unusual
combat to help give the smaller the oppor
tunity to get away. This interference is
slight, indeed, but it may save a life that
might as well be saved.
We recall something that happened at
least 30 years ago. Jack Sprat, the cat, had
a mouse treed in a small shrub by the front
steps. As Jack would spring one way, the
mouse, very slowly, would run around the
other way. Had this gone on for a time,
undoubtedly the cat would have caught the
mouse, but a well-dangled piece of string
distracted the cat enough to permit the
mouse, still very slowly, to walk clean away.
So, do not be afraid to interfere, in nature,
if you want to, especially if it only denies
some creature a meal, or maybe a place
in which to lay its eggs. They can find other
meals and other places.
Interference, with a tear gas bomb, would
have been far better than allowing the black
panther to tear off the arm of the giant
gorilla, as occurred recently. Both animals
could have been saved.
The starling has now passed the test of
It already had survived the test of thou
sands of discriminating persons who had
discovered that it is a bird as well as any,
1 and a remarkably intelligent and interesting
Just as the cats of Illinois were saved from
the fanatics of that State by the Governor,
so the starlings of the National Capital were
saved from the clutches of persona who were
willing to put in much work in killing them
but none in cleaning up after them. It is
true that these birds, in groups, constitute
a small problem, but the problem is very
slight, indeed, and one not deserving of the
solution by death. One would think that
recent world history would have given every
sensible person enough of such horrible so
lutions, but evidently not. Fair-minded per
sons of true sensibility must be forever on
guard against both Communists and Fascists
L in our own midst.
Letters to The Star
Former Cadet Wants Corps
To Stick to Traditional Policies
To the Editor of The Star:
In a recent letter to The Star, "I. M."
raised two points:
(1) The High School Cadet Corps was
“inspired by glamorous light opera soldiers
behind the footlights, who inspired men to
picture themselves as handsome stalwarts
stealing kisses from winsome misses, to the
lilting accompaniment of a Viennese waltz.”
<2) It is dangerous for us to teach boys
how to drill with rifles they are not allowed
to Are and to teach them the intricate move
ments of close-order drill while Russia
teaches her boys "in every phase of war
activity." ,
Here are my answers, as a former cadet:
(1) Although the Cadet Corps may have
been “inspired by glamorous light opera
soldiers, etc.” (and I doubt very seriously if
it was), it continued and, indeed, still func
tions after 67 years of existence. Those light
opera soldiers sure must have made a big
(2) Let me state here, first of all, that
every school In the D. C. has a rifle club
and a rifle team which every cadet is free
to join. “I. M.” wishes us to take away or
infringe upon the time in which the Cadet
Corps teaches the boys leadership, courtesy,
and drill. I should like to ask why we don’t
take away the time in which they study
Latin, history, or English. To what conclu
sion does this lead us? Namely, that it is
dangerous to take away any of this time.
Russia maintains her army by means of
a draft. If our Army feels the need of addi
tional trained men at any time it has but
to draft men and train them. If our Army
feels that it needs civilians trained before
they go into the Army let them reopen the
summer training camps they had before
the depression. The High School Cadets and
the Citizens Military Training Corps used
these camps at a great advantage to both
themselves and their country before they
were shut down as an economy measure.
Today’s Trends Compared With
Sophist “Might Is Right” Doctrine
To the Editor of The St»r:
It may be of little consequence to compare
the present with what happened many cen
turies ago, but when present-day events have
a striking resemblance to the remotest past
we are inclined to ask ourselves whether
Sophism has been resurrected. It was the
Sophists who adopted the phrase “It is
might that is right.” I am going to .quote
a passage from Draper’s well known work,
“The Intellectual Development Of Europe”,
in which the author presents us with a clear
and concise insight into the ancient Greek
philosophy known as Sophism.
Says Draper, “Right and wrong are hence
seen to be mere fictions created by society,
having no eternal or absolute existence in
nature. The will of a monarch, or of a
majority in a community, declares what the
law shall be; the law defines what is right
and what is wrong; and these, therefore,
instead of having an actual existence, are
mere illusions, owing their birth to the exer
cise of force. It is might that has determined
and defined what is right. And hence it
follows that it is needless for a man to trou
ble himself with monitions of conscience, or
to be troubled thereby . . .
“What shall we say of such a system and
of such a state of things? Simply this: that
•It has indicated a complete mental and
social demoralization, mental demoralization,
for the principles of knowledge were sapped,
man persuaded that his reason was no guide;
social demoralization, for he was taught that
right and wrong, virtue and vice, conscience,
and law, and God, are imaginary fictions,
that there is no harm in the commission of
sin, though there may be harm, as assuredly
as there is folly, in being detected therein;
that it is excellent for a man to sell his
country to the Persian king, provided the
sum of money he received is large enough,
and that the transaction is so darkly con
ducted that the public, and particularly his
enemies, can never find it out. Let him never
forget that patriotism is the first delusion of
a simpleton, and the last refuge of a knave.
Nor was it merely among speculative men
that these infidelities were cherished; the
leading politicians and statesman became
deeply infected with them. To what an
appalling condition society has arrived, when
it reaches the positive conclusion that there
is no truth, no religion, no justice, no virtue
in the world; that the only object of human
exertion is unrestrained physical enjoyment;
the only standard of a man’s position,
wealth; that, since there is no possibility of
truth, whose eternal principles might serve
for an uncontrovertible and common guide,
we should resort to deception and the arts
of persuasion, that we may dupe others for
our purpose”.
There is unmistakable documentary evi
dence withheld from the American people
that, if their contents were brought to the
light of day, might serve a better purpose
to the interest of our country than concealed
by those who have an-interest in withholding
the facts. LOUIS P. DILGER.
Financial Plight of Railroads
Blamed on “Squeeze” Tactics of Labor
Tb the Editor of The Star:
A. A. Liebman, in a recent letter to The
Star, gives some hitherto unsuspected rea
sons for the financial plight of the railroads.
A few easily confirmed facts may throw an
other light on the matter. As to speed, there
is plenty of track which is safe for 100
miles per hour, although the Pennsylvania
turnpike is hot. On the old Lake Shore rail
road between Buffalo and Cleveland, where I
worked as a youth, there was even then no
limit to speed except motive power and
inclination. The same between Toledo and
Elkhart, on the Central’s Hudson division
where the 999 made its record—in fact, all
over the country. Streamliners out of
Chicago to the West daily exceed 100 miles
per hour on half a dozen roads, and make
over-all schedules of between 65 and 70.
The trouble with the railroads is labor.
Starting with the old full-crew laws in the
Middle West, feather-bedding has permeated
all operations, so that now a passenger
engineer with good seniority will make
better than $5,000 per year, working only
about five hours every other day—a total
of less than 20 hours per week. His con
ductor the same. In freight service the
take-home pay is generally more, though
the hours are longer. There is today a
strike threat over the demand for a second
“fireman” on diesel locomotives, where even
the first fireman has little to do except sit
up front and call signals.
Trucks have a considerable advantage for
less-than-carload shipments in their door-to
door service without breaking bulk, and in
their easier requirements of crating. Other
wise they are little faster, less reliable, more
costly per ton-mile, and a definite traffic
hazard to all other users of the highway.
A single driver, with his buddy alseep on
a shelf behind him, is allowed to run his
huge' tractor-trailer according to his whim
—60 miles downhill, 10 miles up hill, any
speed around curves—in a way permitted to
no other means of common-carrier trans
portation. If he Jack-knifes and lives, he
takes it in stride and is back at work the
next day. , .
There is a place for each method, but
the decline of the railroad and the rapid
rise of the truck means only that the ICC
and the brotherhoods have squeezed the
railroads out of the field and the trucks
have moved in to fill the void. Inherently,
railroad ton-mile and passenger-mile costs
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.
are far below possible truck and bus com
petition, but labor’s demands have put the
railroads at a hopeless disadvantage. Road
way and track are the railroad’s smallest
worries; “maintenance of equipment” and
“conducting transportation" are the ICC
accounts In which the labor cost is wreck
ing them. HUGH FITZHUGH.
Calls for Concerted Effort
To Improve Quality of Radio Programs
To th« Editor of The Star:
I wish to express my thanks and appre
ciation to those who have written to The
Star in support of my effort to improve
the quality Of music heard on most radio
stations during the day. I am most thank
ful for the information regarding the good
music on Station WQQW, and have invested
in an PM radio so that I may hear the fine
programs at their best.
I agree with one writer who said that we
should join in a protest against the con
tinuous, monotonous round of cheap mod
ern ditties, and would suggest that every
one who is interested in better radio pro
grams write in to the different stations and
express their views. I believe that by a
concerted effort we may meet with success.

Federation Urged to Get All Facta
Before Judging Bellevue Evictions
To the Editor ol The Star:
According to The Star of October 1 the
president and a past president of the Fed
eration of Citizens’ Associations advised
Bellevue families to ignore eviction orders
and said they could “guarantee” that the
Federation would break up the “don’t move”
suggestion 100 per cent.
No one is in a position to guarantee that
all 140 delegates will vote as a unit on that
question or any other; all that can be guar
anteed is that, given the facts, delegates
will endeavor to act fairly and justly.
If, as I have heard, salaries of some
families now living in low-rent housing at
Bellevue amount to about $10,000, eviction
notices may be in order.
The Navy, which has ordered the evictions,
is rightly concerned about the inability of
its enlisted personnel to find adequate
housing, - within the range of an enlisted
man’s pay. More than that, it is no doubt
concerned about maintaining a high morale
among its men.
Navy men must perforce be separated
from their families for long periods, so every
effort should be made to keep their periods
of shore duty free from harassment. Pro
vision should be made for them to be with
their families, in decent surroundings.
Few of us know what it is to spend years
away from our loved ones, to have our
children changing schools year after year
and in the middle of terms, to make close
friends and leave them, to have our belong
ings damaged and lost during moves from
one station to another, etc.
While we all have sympathy with any one
forced to move from his home, there may
be two sides to the question, and any one
who will guarantee that the Federation will
side with one group or the other 100 per
cent is putting himself out on a limb.
Reader Defends Teachers’ Rights
To Petition Congress Directly
To the Editor of The Star:
Many teachers are puzzled by your edi
torial of September 29, in which you blame
employe unions for the deadlock on the
teacher sick leave bill. You seem to dis
approve of teachers directly petitioning Con
gress for a redress of grievances, without
going through the Board of Education and
the school administration as intermediaries.
If such a practice were started, school em
ployes would be deprived of the small
amount of participation in their Government
that is allowed to citizens of the District
of Columbia. The people of Washington,
being without the vote, are without direct
participation in their Government and are
thus an underprivileged group. The policy
you seem to advocate would make the
teachers a submerged class within an under
privileged group. They would.be relegated
from the status of second-class citizenship
occupied by other Washingtonians to that
of third-class citizenship.
It is only fair that you should be interested
in the cost of this bill. The American Fed
eration of Teachers has supported and will
continue to support two amendments to
this bill, neither of which would cost the
taxpayers of the District a dollar. We ad
vocate automatic reinstatement of teachers,
after not more than 60 consecutive days of
absence due to illness or emergency. We
also wish to retain the privilege of absence
with part pay for as many as 60 days a
year, by hiring a substitute at our own
expense, after using up our paid sick leave
under this bill. DON B. GOODLOE,
Legislative Representative of Local 27 of
the American Federation of Teachers.
Pay Raise far Congressmen
Seen As Justified
To the Editor ot The Star:
It seems to me that $25,000 a year is not
an unreasonable compensation for Senators
and Representatives. They must maintain
two homes, one here and one in the State
or district from which elected. Under present
conditions this is very expensive. And after
a Representative or Senator or other official
has served the country and his constituents
faithfully for years, he is entitled to retire
ment. When one leaves his business to serve
his country it is often at a very considerable
sacrifice. The fact that either a Senator or
a Congressman does not share one’s opinions
and views is no evidence that he is any less
patriotic and sincere. Where there is freedom
of speech and of conscience it is unreason
able to expect that persons will hold the
same opinions. Unity in diversity.
"After-Forty-Fun” Found
In Scouts and Bus Trips
To the Editor ot The Star:
This letter is addressed to two of your
recent correspondents. One of them desired
bus rides through the parks; the other
wanted “after-forty fun.”
National Capital Parks has scheduled a bus
trip through Shenandoah National Park,
Virginia, on October 16, when the leaves
will have turned to dazzling shades of amber,
russet and gold.
A student of human nature will enjoy the
day todc for,, under the able guidance of our
park naturalists, democracy at its best
Call Michigan 6363, extension 400 for
Membership in the Audubbn Society is\
open to all from seven to seventy who enjoy
the companioship of others. Together we go
on leisurely bird walks each week end, attend
lectures, seminars or movies and share in
the support of an educational and conserva
tions! program devoted to renewing and
preserving our natural resources.
Last of all, may I suggest that corre
spondent number two take training for Scout
leadership? Many boys and girls who want
to join troops are unable to because leaders
are lacking.' Here is an opportunity to help
young America and keep young yourself.
8. 8. BAKER.
South American Soil Study
Aids FightonTiniestGerms
New Source of Antibiotic* Sought
To Treat Microbe-Caused Disease
By Thomas R. Henry
NEW HAVEN, Oct. 7.—Thousands of soil
samples gathered all over South America
are being analyzed here for bacteria, mould*
ahd other micro-organisms which may se
crete substances valuable in the treatment
of microbe-caused diseases.
Already there have been isolated from
them materials which appear to have some
value against tuberculosis, amoebic dysen
tery and typhoid fever, against which tha
known antibiotics such as Chloromycetin
and aureomycetin have little value.
One organism has been found which
seems a rather prolific producer of Vita
min B-12, the material first isolated from
liver about three years ago, which is of
extreme value against pernicious anemia
and is probably the most powerful biologi
cal material in existence. Although admin
istered to patients in thousandths of grams
it still is so difficult to produce and scarce
that the supply is far below the demand. It
may be, says Dr. Paul Burkholder, of the
Yale faculty, that the microscopic soil or
ganism from South America may be the
answer to this.
Substance E Possible.
There also is a possibility that some of
the organisms will be found to produce the
extremely scarce Substance E which holds
out high hopes for arthritis sufferers.
The quest in this direction started four
years ago when Dr. Burkholder found in a
sample of soil from a ploughed field near
Caracas, Venezuela, a micro-organism which
produced a material which proved active
against the germs of typhus fever. This
was Chloromycetin.
This was one of the most notable medical
discoveries of the generation. Typhus and
a few other maladies are caused by micro
organisms known as rickettsia. They are
far smaller than the smallest bacteria. The
dividing line between them and the filterable
viruses—causers of the common cold, influ
enza, mumps, poliomyelitis, and the like is
very thin. For the first time medicine had
its hands on something which promised to
be effective against these ultra-minute living
things which get inside the cells of the body
where they are safe against the sulfa drugs,
penicillin, and the like.
Dr. Burkholder is driven in his search by
the possibility of finding new substances of
equal value. Every organism found is tested.
Any soil sample contains a rather wide va
riety. He is especially interested in the ob
scure class known as actinomycetes, which
appear to be a mixture of bacteria and
Chances should be particularly good in
South America soils, he believes. Man has
lived there a long time and has suffered
from the various microbe-caused diseases.
With the death of their victims these have
gone into the soil. There they themselves
may have become the prey of other micro
organisms which evolved special secretions
to kill them. These, Dr. Burkholder believes,
still survive.
Conditions for Survival.
The same, of course, might be true of
North America but the special South Ameri
can conditions of warmth and humidity give
the organisms a greater chance to survive.
The present mounting collection was the
result of a 20,000-mile airplane trip by one
of Dr. Burkholder’s assistants in which the
co-operation of hundreds of collectors scat
tered all over the continent was secured.
Specimens still are arriving almost daily.
The great hope is to find something effec
tive against the “small viruses, seen only
with the electron microscope, which are re
sponsible for such diseases as poliomyelitis
and the various forms of encephalitis, or
brain inflammations. Thus far nothing has
been found, so far as can be determined by
animal experiments, although a few at first
have shown some promise.
Dr. Burkholder also is working with a
large collection gathered last summer from
all parts of Canada, especially along the
southern edge from coast to coast. Of par
ticular interest are a cdllection from the
rich uranium district near Great Slav Lake
in the Far North. Such organisms have
evolved for countless centuries in soil rich
in radio-activity. There is a high probability
that this has caused some striking mutations
of species.
Questions and Answer?
~A reader can *et the answer to any question
of fact by writint The Evening Star Information
Bureau, 31fi Eye at. n.e., Washington 2, D. C.
Please Inclose three (3) cents for return postage.
Q. In professional baseball does a "10
year man” have any privileges over and
above those allowed other members of the
same teams?—E. M.
A. Major league players who have an
aggregate of 10 complete seasons in the
major leagues may not be sent down to a
minor league without the player’s written
consent. A championship season is figured
on the basis of 172 days with the ball club.
Q. How many colds may the average
person expect to have in a year?—J. E.
A. According to medical authorities, the
average person suffers from one to four
colds and similar infections annually in
the United States.
Q. Which is the "hoist” and which is
the “fly” of a flag?—B. H. A.
A. The vertical direction of a flag is
called the "hoist” and the horizontal
direction, or the length from the staff to
the free end, is called the "fly.”
Q. What is the official song of the 8tato
of Missouri?—F. R. B.
A. “The Missouri Waltz” is the official
State song, having been adopted by the
Legislature on June 14, 1949.
Q. Why is payment of money as a penalty
called a fine?—C. J. D.
A. The word comes from the Latin "flnem
facere,” meaning "to put an end to.” In
England the term "line” is traced back to
1275, when the courts began to allow con
victs to be released from prison when they
paid a sum of money.
Q. What are the locations of some of the
best known bells?—M. B. T.
A. Among the best known bells are the
Bourdon in the Rockefeller carillon, River
side Church, New York City; the huge Czar
Kolokol in Moscqw which, because of an
imperfection in casting, has never been
rung; Big Ben in London, and the Liberty
Bell, Philadelphia. At the Mission Inn,
Riverside, Calif., is the famous Bell of Mont
serrat. One of the oldest bells in Great
Britain is 6 inches high and 5 inches across.
It is the Bell,of St. Patrick’s Will, at Bel
fast. It dates from about 552.
House Plants
Soon the burnished marigolds,
The jewel-gay chrysanthemums,
Will shrivel as the sun withholds
Its warmth and bleak November comes.
Then little house plants take the place
Of gardens; out of bowls and pots
They point their leaves with timid grace,
Small replicas of garden spots.
Defying thermostatic jump,
Enduring drought or''too much care,
They prop the spirit, lest it slump
From loss-of-garden-bloom despair.

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