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WASHINGTON, 0. C. Published by The Evening Star Newspaper Company. SAMUIL H. KAUFFMANN. President. B. M. McKELWAY, Editor. MAIN OFFICE: 11th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. NEW YORK OFFICE: 110 East 42d St. CHICAGO OFFICE: 435 North Michigan Ave. Delivered by Carrier—Metropolitan Area. Daily and Sunday Daily Only 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 tot Night Findl Edition in those sections where delivery is made. Rates by Mail—Payable in Advance. Anywhere in United States. Evening and Sunday Evening Sunday 1 month .. 1.50 1 month ... 90c I month 60c 4 months.. 7.50 6 months .. 5.00 4 months 3.00 1 year_15.00 1 year _10.00 1 year . 6.00 Telephone Sterling 5000. Intered at the Post Office, Washington, D. C., as second-class mail matter. Member sf the Associated Press. The Associated Press is entitled exclusively to the use lor republlcation of all the local news printed in this newspaper asewetl as ail A. P. news dispatches. A— n FRIDAY* October 14, 1949 Crisis in Montgomery In calling for a halt in apartment construction in Montgomery County, the county’s Civic Federation has proposed a most drastic remedy for congested condi tions resulting from burgeoning housing developments. It is a remedy so extreme that it should be considered only as a last resort. But there can be no doubt that the critical traffic, school and utility loads Imposed on public facilities there and in other parts of the Washington Metro politan Area require drastic measures of tome kind—and soon. With housing still in short supply in the District and its environs, it would be a backward step to suspend apartment construction just when the building situa tion is beginning to improve. That said, however, there is no disputing the need for urgent action by State, county and municipal authorities to bring public services into step with the accelerated pace of private construction. The public pace has been distressingly slow, and today’s overcrowded schools, traffic bottle necks and other strains are the result. There was a time when the shortage of classrooms and the inadequacy of roads and other facilities coul<J be blamed large ly on material and labor scarcities after the war. But that excuse is beginning to wear thin. Now the emphasis is being put on shortage of funds for public works. This shortage is real enough and it can be met by realistic steps. The plain fact Is that more money will have to be spent for education and traffic relief and other Improvements before conditions get any better—and that means more tax revenues from some source or sources. There is merit in the Montgomery County Civic Federation’s suggestion that a study is needed of the distribution of the tax load In the county. A Federation committee sometime ago reported that some of the recent apartment projects are falling far short of paying their propor tionate share of taxes for schools and other services. These large housing enterprises have superimposed unplanned-for and un expected burdens on county facilities. If these housing developments are not carry ing a fair share of the tax load, a re assessment program might produce added revenues without a general raising of tax rates. The problems faced by the citizens of Montgomery County are akin to those in Prince Georges County and in the nearby Virginia areas. The traffic conditions in the Maryland communities are especially bad, with only a few road improvements under way or scheduled. These disjointed conditions cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely. At present they seem to be getting worse instead of better. Civic or ganizations are justified in becoming alarmed over the outlook. If public opin ion becomes sufficiently aroused, govern mental action to meet the crisis will follow —provided, of course, the citizens are willing to pay the tax bills. The Norse Elections The Norwegian parliamentary elections are interesting in themselves and against the political background of "free”. Europe In general and of Britain in particular. These are the first parliamentary elec tions to be held in Norway since November, 1945. That was less than six months after the end of World War II in Europe and four months after Britain’s postwar elec tions. In Norway, four years ago, as in Britain, the Socialist or Labor Party won, though not so decisively, since it had a bare majority of one vote in the Storting or Parliament. However, the opposition was divided among Conservatives, Liberals, Agrarians or Farmers’ Party, and Com munists who, incidentally, fared well with eleven seats. Soviet Russia then was popular in Norway for its share in liber ating the country from the Germans. Despite its slim majority, the Socialists undertook the government and put through a program closely similar to that of the British Labor Party. The idea was that of the “welfare state,” favoring the working classes at the expense of the middle and wealthy elements. As in Britain, there have been very heavy gov ernment expenditures coupled with drastic taxation, both inflationary in character. But the workers have been largely cush ioned against the effects by food subsidies, rationing, rent controls and full em ployment. Four years of this regime built up in creasing opposition from the conservative, liberal, farmer and business elements, who wanted a halt to welfare socialism and at least a partial return to private enterprise. And some observers had expected that Norway would follow the general electoral trend on the European continent during the past two years, which has been slightly to the right. However, the current elec tions are a vindication for the Labor gov ernment, its parliamentary majority being Increased from one to at least eleven, with a proportionate increase in its popular vote. However, the significant point is that these gains were made almost wholly from the Communists, who were virtually oblit erated, their parliamentary representation being reduced from eleven to one. The Conservative, Liberal and Agrarian Parties emerged almost unchanged in parlia mentary seating and popular votes. This indicates that, while the more radical section of the workers have been cured of their communism, they are solidified with their more moderate fellows on the idea of a welfare state favoring their class interests. And since the workers are the most; numerous economic group in Norway, they continue to dominate the political situation. The outcome of these elections will be especially heartening to the British Labor Party. Economic conditions in both coun tries are roughly similar, while the attitude of the workers is much the same. British labor strategists presumably will read in the Norwegian outcome an indication that enough persons who like the welfare state will vote in a majority for the party that gives it to them. Rebuke to the President In voting overwhelmingly—53 to 15— against the reappointment of Federal Power Commissioner Leland Olds, the Senate has been perhaps a bit more em phatic than it might have been had it not been goaded into administering a stinging rebuke to the President. As the chief goader, Mr. Truman has only himself to blame for this new blow to his prestige. To begin with, in a thor oughly ill-advised way, he sought to make ■it appear that the opposition to Mr. Olds stemmed only from private utility com panies selfishly intent upon ridding the Federal Power Commission of a member resolved to protect the interests of the public. Next, even after it had been pointed out to him that no company had either testified or asked to testify against Mr. Olds, and after the full Commerce Committee had voted 10 to 2 against the reappointment, he called upon the National Democratic Chairman to urge all the party leaders in all the States to pressure all the Democratic Senators into voting to confirm. In other words, by implication, Mr. Tru man suggested that one could question the good faith and sincerity of those op posing Mr. Olds because of his past radical writings or because of a feeling that he was biased. And as if this were not enough to make the Senate see red, the President then tried to pose the issue as one of party regularity and discipline. That is to say, he tried to whip the Demo cratic Senators into line with the strange and essentially ridiculous argument that they would be bad Democrats, deserving punishment, if they did not do as he said. The party’s platform, of course, never pledged anybody to support Mr. Olds, but Mr. Truman seems to have ignored that fact, along with the fact that it is the Senate’s constitutional right and duty either to reject or confirm—as it sees fit, in wisdom or conscience—all such presi dential appointments, regardless of parti san pressure. In the circumstances, It is not surprising that twenty-one Democrats out of the thirty-four voting joined with the Repub licans in denying Mr. Olds another term. The result might have been closer if there had been no clumsy and bullying inter vention by Mr. Truman. But that inter vention certainly had the effect of hard ening the opposition, and it may also have persuaded more than a few of the undecided to come out against confirma tion. Whether Mr. Olds deserved to be defeated, or whether exaggerated and un justified conclusions were drawn from his writings of twenty years ago, may be debatable. What is not debatable, how ever, Is that the President himself helped to insure the Senate’s thumbs-down action. If there is any moral to be found here, it is simply this: That members of the Senate, regardless of party, do not like to have their motives questioned even by implication, that they resent being bludgeoned or bulldozed, that they are jealous of their constitutional preroga tives, and that they do not take kindly to presidential dictation of the sort just tried by Mr. Truman. All of which is one reason why our form of Government, despite its imperfections, is still about the best in the world. The Seething Red Empire Although it displays a formidable facade, the world behind the Iron Curtain creaks and groans in a way that suggests it is having serious trouble holding itself together. The latest evidence along that line comes from Czechoslovakia. What is happening there, coupled with such events as Yugoslavia’s secession and the recent treason trials in Hungary, leaves little room for doubt that the Kremlin has real reason to worry about the stability and trustworthiness of its satellite empire. The Czech situation has all the ear marks of a frenzied effort to put down a rising tide of unrest. The Red tyranny at Prague—undoubtedly acting in accord with the wishes of its Soviet masters— has issued orders to all the country’s Communist-led county and village regimes to tighten up drastically on their control of churches and local political affairs. In addition, it has carried out a sweeping police action—described as its biggest to date—in which thousands of doctors, lawyers, small business men and other middle-class individuals have been ar rested and tossed into prisons and con centration camps. In explanation of all this, a Communist source has been quoted as saying that far reaching measures have been necessary in order to foil a plot by the biggest underground network uncovered since the Prague regime forced its way into power through the Soviet-inspired coup of Feb ruary, 1948. Whether or not there is any truth in the talk about plotting, there is every reason to believe that great numbers of Czechs are bitterly opposed to the tyranny now ruling them. How could it be otherwise? After all, here is a once independent land rich in the traditions of liberty and devoted to spiritual values, with more than 70 per cent of its popula tion Catholic. But it has had imposed upon it a puppet clique of traitors who have destroyed political freedom, struck at religion, betrayed national economic interests, and taken numerous other steps designed to enslave Czechoslovakia to the Kremlin. In such circumstances, whether it is well organized or not, the development of an underground by the Czech people may be regarded as one of the most natural things in the world. Moreover, In varying degrees, the same holds true for other peoples behind the Iron Curtain, notably the traditionally anti-Russian, anti-Com munist, overwhelmingly religious-minded Poles. Indeed, no matter how hidden they may be, discontent, unrest, rebellious ness, passive resistance, a tendency toward Titoism, smouldering hatred, and a burn ing desire to get rid of the puppets must mark the temper of scores of millions throughout the dark satellite domain of the Soviets. What else could come of the oppression, the ruthless control and the day-and-night terror that exist there? The Czech situation, in short, is merely another indication of how the world behind the Iron Curtain seethes with internal stresses and strains. Of course, with the techniques of modern despotism, with the secret police, with the terrifying purge, with all the pitiless and gruesome instruments of totalitarian control, the Kremlin and its henchmen may be fully equipped to keep that world well in hand. Still, one wonders. Given some great and sudden crisis, the whble black structure conceivably would go tumbling down with extraordinary swiftness. At any rate, being rooted in evil, it definitely seems to contain the seeds of its own destruction. blackouts in Arlington Arlington residents who have been an noyed by electric power interruptions will agree with the Arlington Public Utilities Commission that something ought to be done to correct the situation. An occa sional brief blackout might be excused in a rapidly growing community like Arling ton, but when, as has happened several times recently, the current remains off for long periods, there is reason to com plain. The modern age of refrigerators and home freezers requires a more reliable type of service than most of Arlington has been receiving. The Arlington PUC found during a five month period of last year that an “un common number’” of service interruptions were reported by customers of the Vir ginia Electric & Power Company, which serves most of the county. Inquiries pro duced “numerous and varied” reasons for the breakdowns. But, whatever the causes, the PUC said, the service was “subnormal for a metropolitan area.” There is no reason why electric service should be any less dependable in Arlington than in Wash ington or any other built-up community. Residents of the county have read with interest about the opening by the Potomac Electric Power Company of its fine new power plant near Alexandria. Pepco is planning to merge with the Braddock Light & Power Company, which serves Alex andria, the Pentagon and a small portion of Arlington County. Pepco customers in the couQty thus are assured of an ample source of power for some years to come. If Pepco can render adequate service to its customers, Vepco should be able to do the same. The Arlington PUC will have widespread support in its efforts to find out why Vepco has been able to give no better than “subnormal” service in some parts of Arlington County. This and That By Charles E. Tracewell Does the distinction between a pigeon and a dove ever bother you? , It did H. J. of Qreenbelt, and he writes as follows: “We are very Interested in pigeons and want to learn more about them. “Our reference book tells us that a pigeon is ‘any of a widely distributed family <Co lumbidae). One of the domesticated varieties of the dove.’ “The book also tells us that the word ‘dove’ is applied specifically to many of the smaller species of the pigeon. “We have been under the impression that the pigeon family includes the domesticated varieties we see in our parks and the wild varieties known as dove, turtle dove, etc. “We also thought that while the dove was a pigeon the name applied specifically to varieties other than the domesticated, and that ‘wild pigeon' applied to a specific variety of the dove to distinguish it from the turtle dove, mourning dove, etc. “Are we right and is that what our book is trying to tell us? “Would appreciate learning where we could obtain a pair of young pigeons. “Your column is must reading in our house.” The Encyclopaedia Brittanica defines pigeon as “a name of Norman introduction for certain birds of the family Columbae (see dove).” It says of dove, “A name applied to the smaller members of the order Columbae, but no sharp distinction can be drawn be tween pigeons and doves.” “Birds of America” quotes Prof. Alfred Newton as follows: “No sharp distinction can be drawn be tween pigeons and doves, and in general literature the two words are used almost indifferently while no one species can be pointed out to which the word dove, taken alone, seems Jo be absolutely proper.” A popular work which includes the ground dove says: “This little dove of the South ern States is the smallest of all the pigeon family found in North America.” * * * * They are all pigeons, then, and they are all doves, but no one calls one of the com mon old pigeons a dove, and surely nobody ever called the turtle dove a “turtle pigeon.” Custom seems to play its usual role here. It is customary to call certain birds doves and others pigeons. Usually the smaller ones are known as doves. The big ones as pigeons. That is about all there is to it, and it is not worth worrying over. If one wants real homing pigeons, pigeons for racing, it is best to get in touch with an expert. Some of these men are retired men who worked with the famous pigeons of the armed services. Around Washington the specimens most of us see most are the common pigeons of the parks and the Carolina or turtle dove ' of our yards, the latter especially if we put out food. Often enough a band of abandoned pet pigeons finds one’s bird feeding station and manages to make something of a nuisance of themselves by coming in small flocks from a dozen to 20 birds. They eat, one thinks, altogether too much food, and give no particular amusement or interest to the one who provides the bill of fare. The dove, on the other wing, is always welcomed, even when, as in a few cases, as many as 40 fly down. All in all the turtle or mourning dove, or Carolina dove, as the books call it, is a good feathered citizen. His face is not beautiful, but there is no need for it to be. The feathers are good, especially on- a cold morning, when the dif ferent grays, browns and blues are accen tuated with a flush of pink. A very nice bird, and it makes no particular difference whether he is a dove or a pigeon. Actually he is both or either, but.no one ever calls him anything but dove. Letters to The Star Corrupt Political Machine Judged Better Than District School System To the Editor of The Star: A news story in The Star of October 6 brought to light one of the most odious aspects of thinking by officials of the Wash ington school system. The news story con cerned Adelbert Lee's revelations of a re port on the High School Cadet Corps. The odious aspect of thinking, however, does not come from Mr. Lee. It comes from another Board of Education member, Mrs. James W. Williams. In her way of thinking as expressed in The Star (but in my ex perience not confined to her) the board should hold private meetings to discuss school affairs instead of airing them pub licly where the press might be present. It seems that while the schools teach that the “Freedom of the Press” is one of the cornerstones of democracy, thqy have not taught that simple fact to themselves. Public enlightenment of school affairs, it seems, is not necessary in running -the pub lic school system. £nd public opinion is definitely not wanted. Mr. Lee seenis to be one of the few school officials cognizant of the fact that the only way to get anything done in our school sys tem is to enlist the aid of public opinion. It has been my experience that while school officials are willing to have the concepts of democracy taught, they are unwilling to put them into practice. And one of the biggest hoaxes of the whole news story is the quote from Dr. Hobart Corning, superintendent, that the report criticized “everybody and everything but made no suggestion for a solution.” since, in my mind, it is not worthwhile to make suggestions to people who do not want to change, and probably will be satisfied with the status quo 50 years hence when their ideas will be even more antiquated than they are at the present time. It is amazing to me that Lieut. Col. William Barkman had the courage to make the criticism in the first place, much less than see Mr. Lee’s fortitude put to the test of making the whole affair public, since in our present school system subservience to the way of thinking of some higher-up has been the rule for years and years. For a system supposedly divorced from politics, it . is, in my opinion, run in a manner that would put the most corrupt political machine to shame. This will probably be another instance whereby Mr. Lee will be accused of head line-seeking, but it is my opinion that due to the current management of the Wash ington public schools, the general public should be happy and encouraged to have the services of a man like Mr. Lee who has the courage to bring things to light concern ing our schools that would otherwise be banged around in private circles and at pri vate meetings, until they died of their wounds. Whether we believe Mr. Lee to be right or wrong in his attitudes toward school affairs, we must, nevertheless, congratulate him for brmging them to view'. The public school management, it would seem, has an obligation to the public—to be public. JAMES A. LEMON. Potomac River and Tributaries Called Superb Recreational Asset. To the Editor of The Star: Having just returned from a week end of crusing along the headwaters of the Potomac by canoe, I found your editorial on the work of the Interstate Commission on the Poto mac River Basin timely indeed. There is both good and bad to report on the present recreational opportunities of this splendid river system. The Cacapon River last Saturday was clear as crystal and every pebble at the bottom of its deep pools was visible along with every bass in the river. The ripples and rapids between pools were a little too shallow for comfort because of the low stage of water, but even so we took two heavily loaded canoes from Sargent to the mouth with no major damage. This included dragging them for much of the two-mile stretch below the Great Cacapon Dam where most of the flow is diverted through a tun nel. Even the main Potomac from Great Ca capon to Hancock w'as clear. We came away with a strengthened belief that the upper - Potomac and its tributaries offer splendid opportunities for white-water canoeing, camping and swimming amid impressive scenes of wilderness beauty. As for the bad part, it is rapidly diminish ing, but is still present. For example, a rail road coaling station is discharging sulphur or other waste into the main Potomac. Every hamlet dumps its trash onto the river bank. The only convenient access to the river at Hancock is via the town sewer. When the last danger-spots have been re moved, the population of the Middle Atlantic States will wake up and realize that they have at their door a superb recreational asset of clean, swift-flowing water, rippling over ledges between islands of river grasses end plunging through roaring rapids to tide water. The Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin deserves the thanks of every sportsman in this area for the progress that has already been achieved. H. H. L. More Considerate Handling Of Juvenile Delinquents Urged To the Editor of The Star: Aside from “atypical” children, there are probably many boys and girls in this and other cities who would benefit from consulta tion on personal problems with profession ally trained personnel other than their parents. , These are not always “results of many school failures.” either. The notion that only the stupid child is the victim of cir cumstances or apt to be maladjusted results in demonstrations like Milton Babich’s and the Loeb-Leopold case. Until the commu nity solves some of its emotional and psy chological problems, the schools cannot correct everybody’s personality. The home, even a broken one, is nob al ways to blame for everything that goes wrong, either. Inadvertently, by relying on class distinctions alone to keep the sheep separate from the goats, many schools are actually increasing these problems, and the same goes for church and other youth-work groups. Just providing some one to talk to, with out judgment being pronounced on confes sions, etc., that turn up, would be a step forward. Most teachers are too busy, most administrators too formidable. As long as we are going to have parental neglect or even well-meant but ignorant meddling in problems of adolescence, some few are going to go dramatically wrong. In childhood, people are seldom as wrong-headed or- as responsible as adults often suppose. Intelligence No Index. Remember, Heirens, Lee Scott and prob ably Unhruh were well above the average in intellect. Sudden occasions arise demanding adult, mature judgment and control, and the child does not behave like a man. It is question able whether many adults would act their age in similar situations, judging by the number of people we are now supporting in insane asylums. Psychiatric treatment is not a method of disposal for annoying minor children who cannot protect themselves le gally; St. Elizabeths, for example, is not a Bastille. As for the indifference of top adminis trators in Washington, it is an advance that such a thing as the Strayer report has been prepared here. Many places do not even care whether problems exist or not. They , rely on elimination, ewilt and aure, of the 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. unworthy or unfit. The law-enforcement agencies could be instructed to rely more on law and less on social prejudices in dealing with children. People who handle such cases generally do not care whether they punish the real culprit or whether they han dle the case in scientifically approved manner or not. They are not well paid enough to act as nursemaids. They simply regard America as inexhaustible in resources of intelligence and personality, as they once regarded its forests and lands. MRS. H. Peanut Chompers Annoy Distracted Movie Fan To the Editor of The Star: I guess I'm just an oia fuddy-duddy but I do like to enjoy a movie in peace occasion ally. But in this ‘'modern” era this has become somewhat hard to do. The dialogue has been practically drowned out by the miscellaneous chewing, chomping, crackling, and crunching sounds. I used to think the cellophane wrappers on candy were bad—■ but they really weren’t. After the wrappers were off the candy, the 'latter could be consumed with reasonable quiet. Not so with popcorn and peanuts. These emit a continuous cacophony limited only by the capacity and ingenuity of the chewer. When people pass by me and brush my eyeglasses off it is bad enough—but bearable. I can even stand it up to a point when teen-age girls go into .a giggling and whispering jag in front of me. But when I’m trying to look at a romantic or action scene, nothing more quickly or thoroughly spoils it for me than the disgusting odor of peanuts at close quarters. What do people go to movies for, anyw'ay? To eat? It makes just as much sense for theater managers to serve turkey sand wiches and cold beer as to allow the sale of popcorn and peanuts. And it wouldn’t spoil the shows any more. I may be wrong but I’m told that in certain dark regions of New York City—perhaps Brooklyn—they even hawk ice cream up and down theater aisles. How utterly revolting! But seriously, it seems to me that the managers of the large dowmtown theaters, at least, would realize that many of us come for the movies—not the extraneous sound effects. People being what they are. they should not be encouraged in their rudeness to spoil other peoples’ fun. Do away with popcorn and peanuts in our theaters. One can always get a sandwich after the show if hunger sets in. DISGUSTED MOVIEGOER. A Forgotten “Boss” Pens Note to Gen. Vaughan To the Editor of The Star: It would seem that Gen. Vaughan has overlooked me In his statement that he is ; only responsible to Mr. Truman and Mrs. Vaughan. Of course I am only a taxpayer, but I am multiplied by several millions who must resent having to pay salaries to people who disclaim any responsibility to us for their actions. ESTHER P. POTTER. More Protection Asked Against Sex Offenders To the Editor of The St»r: Again we are informed by the press that an atrocious sex crime has been perpetrated on an innocent little boy, age eight. What a shocking and revolting thing this is. However, until adequate laws are passed, the police must go through the farce of picking up all known offenders, and gener ally the one responsible is a man with a record of previous violations, or at least is well known among his acquaintances as a sex pervert. How long are we going to stand for these perverts prowling the city searching for victims, and finally selecting little children? IRENE MOORE VAN ECKHARDT. Danger to National Defense Found In Tendency to Copy British To the Editor ol The 6t»r; May I comment upon an item in The Star of October 8 headed "British Recall Own Service Row in 1919 After R. A. F. Was Born.” In an Associated Press dispatch from London October 8 it is said that rep resentative leaders of the British services claimed they could remember no modern dispute among them equal to the Air Force Navy battle now raging in the United States. One claimed that they had trouble in 1919 but said, “that we have learned to get along together and probably they (meaning the Americans) will, too, in time.” It may not be a safe plan for the United States to follow British procedure at all times. Whatever they did about their armed services in 1919 must have been han dled all wrong, for they were caught totally unprepared for World War II as they had been unprepared for World War I. Why not admire and respect the British without emulating them and copying their blunders? I am not one of those who shouts about our having rushed to the aid of Britain in the last two wars. On the other hand, I believe that we have a habit of thinking of Britain as a bulwark between us and any possible danger to us from the continent. This feeling gives us a false sense of security and we were content to rest on our oars. She has proved in two wars that she is not able to be a bulwark. That is, she has proved it to every one but herself. This leaves us on our own. We should do our own thinking and our own planning. What is good for British armed service ar rangements may be very bad for our Ameri can forces. Our problems are different. One man's meat may be another man's poison. LAURA K. POLLOCK. Chaplains Called Government Agents; Ministers Agents of God To the Editor of The Star: J. M. Dawson makes out a pretty good case for tax exemption for church-owned non-profit property, in his answer to Dun can Burgoyne. But it’s a draw, for Mr. Bur goyne has him on the subject of Government paid chaplains. A minister is ordained to preach the gospel. When he accepts a chaplaincy he agrees to submerge those controversial issues which separate Baptists from Presbyterians, etc., because he is now being paid from the taxes paid into the Government Treasury by all the people. In so doing he surrenders the commission of his ordination, and becomes a Government agent. He was God’s man, with a commission to preach God’s message without fear or favor. Now he is pftid by the state. He has be come the state’s man. Anyway, it was an interesting discussion while it lasted. And you are to be congratu lated for a very fair presentation. DONALD F. HAYNES. Reader Praises Coverage Of Episcopal Church Convention To the Editor of The Star: May I congratulate and thank you for your careful and accurate news coverage of the recent General Convention of the Epis copal Church held in San Francisco. It was a tremendous service to the many thousands of church people in ttiis area who were inter ested in the convention to be able to read detailed accpunts of what went on day by day. You kept us fully informed in some of the best news writing I have ever read. REV. RAYMOND DAVIS. Bureau Physicists Study Hot Element Prometheum One of Original Metals of Universe Is 500 Times Hotter Than Radium By Th onuis R. Henry An element 500 times hotter than radium is being studied by Bureau of Standards physicists. It is prometheum. one of the rare earth metals which presumably was one of the original elements which went into the com position of the universe. All that ever was present on earth, however, must have dis appeared well over 2,000,000,000 years ago and ever since the atomic table was con structed it has been listed as one of the “lost elements” which theoretically should exist but of which no trace could be found. The sample now being investigated by Dr. William F. Meggers, head of the Bureau of Standards spectroscopy section, weighs about a sixth-thousandth of an ounce and is practically all that now' exists in the world. Half Life of Four Years. It has a half life of a little more than four years. This means that of any number of prometheum atoms originally present half will explode in this period. Each will shoot out an electron from its nucleus and thus be transmuted into the next lower element in the atomic table, another rare element known as neodyimum. Then in another four years half of what remains will likewise be transmuted until eventually the amount left on earth will be reduced to a point where it cannot be detected. Radium has a half life of practically 8.000 years. Thus the prometheum radiation is much more intense, being exceeded only by the new synthetic element curium wnieh is built up from uranium. Ail the prometheum now on earth is the result of the splitting in two of atoms of uranium 235, the source of the energy of the atom bomb. The split halves are un equal and each has a separate element. More than 40 such elements have been identified, most of them well known to physicists. Prometheum is a notable exception. Dr. Meggers’ job is to determine the spec trum of the element and the structure of its atom. This is accomplished by render ing it luminous and photographing a spec trum of the light it emits. The light of each of the 92 elements is unique, consisting of wave lengths that are not duplicated an the light from any other element. Hundreds of new' wave lengths hitherto unknow’n in nature, have been found an prometheum. In its physical properties, the Bureau of Standards physicists find, the "lost element” is closest to the rare element samarium. This is one of the so-called rare earths for which no use ever has been found. It can be reduced—as presumably could prome theum—into a soft, gray metal. * * * * A hurtling ball of rock about a mile in diameter, latest discovered of the hundreds of minor planets which circle the sun, is forcing astronomers to abandon some of their ideas of the origin of the solar system. It also may serve as a means of weighing with far greater accuracy the little planet Mercury, closest and hottest of the sun's family. Discovered about a month ago by Dr. Walter Baade of the Mount Wilson Observa tory, this little stone in the sky approaches closer to the earth than any other celestial body with the exception of the moon. It is about 4,000,000 miles away at its closest approach. Passes in Mercury’s Orbit. Alone of the “lice of the sky,” as the minor planets sometimes are called, this one actually passes inside the orbit of the planet Mercury and comes within a little more than 20.000,000 miles from the sun. At such a time its surface temperature must be about 10003 Fahrenheit. It is probably hot enough to be faintly luminous. Its great est distance from the sun is about 156,000,000 miles, when it recedes into the orbit of Mars. Until quite recently all the minor planets were believed to be confined to the space between Mars and Jupiter and to be the remains of some large planet which once filled that position and was broken up into small pieces. Now several have been found far inside Mars’ orbit, and theories of the evolution of the solar system based on their distribution must be discarded. Because of the close approach to Mercury some estimate of the mass of that planet may be made from the observed gravitational effect. There is a possibility, it is claimed, that the new minor planet is what is left of a comet from which the tail has been swept by its close approaches to the sun. Questions and Answers A reader can ?et the answer to any question of fact by writing The Evening Star Information Bureau. 316 Eve st. n.c.. Washington 2, D. C. Please inclose three (3* cents for return postage. By THE HASKIN SERVICE. Q. How many cells are there in the brain of a man —N. T. S. A. The number is variously estimated at from 10 to 15* billion. The human brain is said to be the most highly developed and complex structure known in the universe. Q. Is the peeling of an apple valuable in the diet?—B. G. G. A. The peeling is more than six times as rich in vitamin C as is the flesh near the core. The skin of the apple also furnishes desirable bulk in the diet. Q. What is a chalet?—W. J. D. A. This is a type of dwelling which orig inated in Switzerland and is found also in neighboring Alpine countries. Its unique feature is that a single roof covers not only the living quarters but attached stables and storehouses. - Q. What degrees in Masonry were taken by Franklin D. Roosevelt?—H. N. A. A. Franklin D. Roosevelt was a member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Fremasonry, receiving the degrees of the rite, from the fourth to the thirty-second, inclusive, in Albany, N. Y., in February, 1929. He was a member of Holland Lodge, No. 8, F. & A. M„ of New York City. Q. Which did Milton regard as the greater work, his “Paradise Lost” or "Paradise Re gained”?—D. C. A. Milton is said to have regarded “Para dise Regained” as the superior work. Q. What is the altitude of the city of Jeru salem?—M. M. A. Jerusalem lies at an elevation of nearly 3,800 feet above the level of the Dead Sea, and about 2,500 feet above the Mediterranean. Pandit Nehru There is no taint of prison on his soul Though half his life gave him. no other view Than cold stone walls each day he saw unroll A page unblemished as his faith, a new And hopeful chance to write upon the scroll Of history that India was free At last. No broken promise changed his goal ■ Or his belief that better things must bt. Now that new dead lie in his native land. Disease and famine stalking grimly near. With sects at war that never have learned how To see each other’s good, to understand, Indelible the marks of doubt and fear On lesser men—unmarked his tranquil brow. BARBARA PALMER.