Newspaper Page Text
With Sunday Morning Edition.
WASHINGTON, D. C. Published by The Evening Star Newspaper Company., SAMUEL H. KAUFFMANN, President. -*_ a B. M. McKELWAY, Editor. MAIN OFFICE: 11th St. end Pennsylvania Ave. NEW YORK OFFICE: 110 East 42d St. CHICAGO OFFICE: 435 North Michigan Ave. Delivered by Carrier—Metropolitan Area. 1 Dally and Sunday Doily Only Sunday Only Monthly ..1.20* Monthly ... 90c 10c per copy Weekly .. 30c Weekly 20c 10c per copy •10e additional when 5 Sundays are in a month. Also 10c additional for Night Final Edition in those sections where delivery is made. Rates by Mail—Payable in Advance. r Anywhere In United States.. Evening and Sunday Evening Sunday f 1 month_1.50 I month — ,90c 1 month 60c 6 months .. 7.50 6 months — 5.00 6 months 3.00 1 year _15.00 I year _10.00 1 year -. 6.00 Telephone Sterling 5000. Entered at 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 news printed In this newspaper, as well as all A. P. news dispatches. A—10 MONDAY, November 2>, 1949 The Board's 60th Anniversary The group of professional and business men who met in the old Ebbitt Hotel on the evening of November 27, 1889, organ ized the Board of Trade with the idea of meeting some of the same sort of criticism that is still expressed in Congress. The complaint was that busy members of Congress could turn to no single organ ization of citizens in order to learn the “necessities and wishes” of the Washing ton community as a whole. The Wash ington of that day was relatively unde veloped. Sectional rivalries between the different parts of the city—each of them seeking improvements of immediate ben efit—overshadowed the discussion of what would benefit the city as a whole. The organization of the Board of Trade did not bring any immediate end to the sectional rivalries. As the city grew, grad ually erasing the older boundary lines between smaller communities, these rival ries became less marked and less impor tant. And Washington is as much divided by conflicting sentiments and opinions as any normal American city. But in celebrating its sixtieth anniver sary this week, the Board of Trade can find considerable satisfaction in the prom inent role it has played as one spokesman for the city during a period which has seen its greatest development. Without pretending or attempting to speak for everybody in Washington, it has always spoken with a voice that commands re spect as the largest single organization of Washington citizens devoted exclusively to the interests of the Washington com munity. The respect thus attained has been due to the continuing efforts of men, working in numerous committees and through the board’s directors, to obtain the facts and to act in accordance with what they be lieved to be best for the city. The efforts of these committees have in large measure been responsible for many of the impor tant steps in development of the city during the past half century. The Board of Trade has interested itself principally with the city of Washington. The next sixty years undoubtedly will find the board thinking more in terms of the great Metropolitan Area of which Wash ington is the center, and working with its allies and neighbors in the surrounding counties for the sort of community in tegration of facilities and services that will serve the people of the Metropolitan Area as a whole. * _ Are Normal Relations Wanted? Are normal diplomatic relations possible with Communist states? This is the grave query evoked by what seems to be a pattern of misconduct inflicted by Communist gov ernments upon non-Communist officials and private citizens within their borders— a pattern which Red China has just illustrated once again by its brief seizure of Vice Consul Stokes after its release of Consul General Ward at Mukden. The question, in fact, has been recurrent ever since communism first came to power in Russia more than three decades ago. The Bolshevik regime headed by Lenin and Trotsky promptly proclaimed its ir reconcilable hostility toward the non Communist world and its intention to overthrow it in a world-wide proletarian revolution. Furthermore, it coupled this defiance with a series of actions wholly at variance with the accepted code of inter national conduct, such as mistreatment of foreign representatives, repudiation of gov ernment debts held abroad, and confis cation of foreign investments without compensation. All this led most govern ments of the day to consider Bolshevik Russia unfit for diplomatic recognition. That was emphatically the view of our State Department. Not until the Roosevelt administration came in in 1933 was this non-recognition policy reversed. And rec ognition was then opposed by much of American public opinion, the protest re cently cited by the American Legion being only one of many voiced at that time. Despite the general extension of recog nition to the Soviet Union, its diplomatic relations with most nations have not run smoothly. A considerable number have broken relations at one time or another because of Soviet actions contrary to inter national comity, mostly concerned with breaches of treaty obligations, espionage and incitement of seditious Communist propaganda. The recent mistreatment of non-Communist officials or private indi viduals, however, goes deeper, since it reveals a basic Communist attitude and behavior utterly at variance with tradi tional civilized codes and customs. It is becoming all too clear that, in Communist eyes, accredited representatives of sup posedly, friendly countries are regarded as public enemies; that the purpose of diplo matic establishments is espionage and in citements to sedition. That is the only logical interpretation that can be given the conduct of Communist governments everywhere, from Soviet Russia itself to Its remotest satellites in Europe and Asia. Furthermore, such a concept squares with the conduct of Communist diplomats everywhere in non-Communist countries. Obviously, this suggests a need for some new thinking concerning relations be A tween non-Communist countries and those in the Communist fold. If the normal standards of diplomacy and international comity no longer apply to Communist states, some alternative policies and pro cedures will have to be considered. Just what the alternative should be is a very moot question. Yet the problem exists and should be realistically faced. Tragi-Comedy at Panama The Caribbean basin is traditionally notorious for its al fresco politics, but the tiny Republic of Panama has probably set a record for mingled force and chicanery in its current mix-up, which produced three Presidents in five days—with perhaps more to come. If the implications were not so serious, its farcical aspects might make us shrug it off with a laugh as just another of those comic-opera revolutions which regaled our fathers at a time when we could afford to disregard what hap pened to the southward. Unfortunately, those free-and-easy days have been replaced by a sterner epoch wherein flouting of democratic ideals and processes anywhere in this Hemisphere is of concern to us. And we have a special interest in Panama, owing to our control of the vital inter-oceanic waterway that bisects the Republic’s territory. Political conditions so deplorable as those now re vealed there cannot be lightly considered. our suite Department puts tne maner aptly when it announces that the course of events In Panama comes as a “profound shock” which “cannot but be a most serious blow to the progress of democratic principles and to our inter-American system in general.” The imbroglio arose out of a sordid episode which had nothing to do with political principles or legitimate party politics. The legal President, Dr. Chanis, attempted to bring to book the Chief of Police, Colonel Remon, an^his lieutenants for their allegedly illegitimate transactions in bus and abbatoir franchises. The Colonel promptly mobilized his tough, well-equipped police, which is Panama’s sole armed force, and forced the President to resign at gun-point, installing in his stead Vice-President Chiari. But when this coup came up for consideration before Congress, Dr. Chanis made a dramatic appearance, disavowed his enforced resig nation, and declared himself still Presi dent, this claim being confirmed by the Supreme* Court. However, this did not bother Colonel Remon. Popular demonstrations for Chanis were smashed by gunfire, and when Chiari bowed to the Supreme Court’s verdict, a new Remon candidate was trotted out. He was none other than Dr. Arnulfo Arias, a demagogue who for years has been the stormy petrel of Panama politics. His claim was “legitimized” when the National Elec tion Jury was brought to declare that Dr. Arias had been defrauded in the election of 1948 and had therefore been the legiti mate President ever since. This maneuver has installed Arias in the Presidential chair, not only with the back ing of the police but also, apparently, with the enthusiastic approval of the populace, to whom th$ fiery doctor has always been somewhat of a hero. His title to popularity arises chiefly from his exaggerated na tionalism, which specializes in diatribes against the United States. During his brief presidency at the start of World War II he clashed repeatedly with our Canal Zone authorities, was accused of Nazi sym pathies, and acted in a generally dicta torial manner. Deposed in 1941, he fled to exile in Argentina, was arrested when he returned to Panama after the war. More recently, he has been charged with being an instigator of a revolutionary Invasion of Panama from neighboring Costa Rica. Such are the unsavory highlights in the record of the man whom an autocratic police chief has made President of Panama. It remains to be seen what will be the attitude of the United States and other nations of this Hemisphere toward a regime so inducted and headed. Perhaps the civic'consciousness of the Panamanian people will itself challenge this brazen defrauding of their liberties. That would certainly be the happiest solution. GIs in Grade School The general assumption that the GI bill’s educational benefits are being en joyed only by veterans who had not com pleted high school or college at the time of enlistment is challenged by an inter esting survey just made by the Veterans Administration. The sampling study re veals that more than a million of the six million-odd veterans taking GI bill training had not progressed beyond the eighth grade when they went into uni form. To this group more than to any other the GI bill has paved the way for new careers, opening wider opportunities for earning a living than if they had gone through life with less than a complete elementary education. The breakdown of the figures showed that 10.8 per cent of the GI students had not gone beyond the seventh grade. Many had attended only the lower grades and had quit school to farm or otherwise earn a living, when war came. The VA statistics do not take into account the fact that during World War n about 8 per cent of all men examined for military service were rejected because of educa tional deficiencies. Nevertheless, many young men were accepted whose schooling had been of the most limited sort. The Army was forced to organize special in struction classes for draftees in the near illiterate category. War wrought changes in the lives of some men that have been all to the good. Lifted out of old ruts, many of the poorly educated veterans have gladly seized the opportunity to better themselves by pre paring for new Jobs in new fields. 8chool authorities in all parts of the Nation are co-operating with the Federal Government in assisting the veterans to complete their schooling without embarrassment. Special adult classes have been arranged both in grade and high school subjects, with ar rangements for quick advancement of those showing unusual aptitude. Years have been compressed into months in the effort to aid veterans in obtaining as much education as possible under the four-year limitation of the GI bill. Some of these grade-school students win go on to high school and perhaps to college, even though they have no Federal aid for the more advanced courses. Others »\ A will take special vocational training in preparation for skilled Jobs in factories or on the farm. To these men the war has brought wider and brighter horizons, in contrast to the dislocations and tragedy which it brought to mankind in general. Bill Robinson BilJ. Robinson himself said that he came up from nothing. It was equally true that he came up the hard way. Success did not happen to him undeserved. He knew all about poverty and misery. Perhaps that was one reason why happiness mat tered so much to him. He loved living—in the best, the most inclusive meaning of the phrase. But Boj angles did not expect results without effort. His dancing looked easy. Actually, it was difficult, tiring, sometimes cruelly tedious work. Of course, he kept a smile on his face when he had an audi ence before him. That was part of his routine. In private his countenance so bered to the point of sadness. He was not indifferent to the troubles of the world. Backstage he dropped the smile, read good books, joined in serious conversation on many aspects of human existence. His opinions were conservative. He knew from experience that heaven cannot be achieved on a stepladder—and would not be worth the bother, if it could be so cheaply at tained. Mr. Robinson’s art was his own creation. He brought it to Washington from Rich mond as a boy, and there still are a few oldsters who can remember when he “made his feet talk’’ around the beer gar dens of the Southwest section of the city in the 90s. Later, he was featured in vaudeville and becanffe a star in musical comedy. The movies gave him his big opportunity. He celebrated his diamond jubilee as an entertainer in 1940. Up to Just a few weeks ago. he continued danc ing. One of his final appearances was on television, congratulating Wee Willie Smith, a seventeen-year-old hoofer. He told the lad: “Remember one thing: Manners and behavior can take you where money can’t, regardless of what color you are.” That was excellent advice for anybody to give or take. Bojangles could offer it because he was that kind of man, that kind of first-class American. If a money man like Secretary Snyder doesn’t think balancing a budget is of any vital importance, who are we to say that bookkeeping shouldn’t be abolished, as a superstition? No one in this year of bumper fruit yields quite knows what to do with all the apples —aside from leaving a bushel or so with the gardener who gave you all that Swiss chard. This and That By Charles E. Tracewell “CHEVERLY, Md. “Dear Sir: “Two years ago I wrote to you telling of our baby possum which was visiting our bird feeding shelf at nights. That winter he came several nights a week and became quite tame. He would rub his little nose on the window wherever I would place my finger. “Last winter he didn’t visit us at all and we were quite distressed about Ifc Imagining all the unhappy things which might have happened to him. “However, we are once more being favored by his presence this year. He showed up first one night several weeks ago when my husband and I were having a late snack in the kitchen. “My husband suddenly said, *Don’t move now, but I think our friend is back.’ "And, sure enough, we quietly watched and soon saw the pink nose and ‘fingers’ stretch . lng from the evergreen to the shelf. "There he was, all right, but about three times the size he was two years ago. * * * * "He definitely is the same Possie as he was, not a bit afraid of us. He rested be tween courses in the roof of the shelf as before. “Next day, I got in a goodly supply of his favorite suet, and he disposes of quantities of it each time he comes. - “He invariably comes in the rain, and 1 recall how he came in the deepest snow when he was so small. "What a nice little fellow he is, and we are so happy he has come back to his child hood home. “I wonder where he was last year, but of course will never know. "Sincerely. P. H. H.” * * * * Return of a favorite animal, whether pet or wild, is always a source of rejoicing. We will never forget, although it happened many years ago, the evening return of Jack Spratt, the cat. He came down Esstee alley in the twilight, to the eheers of gathered families. The word went along, and ready hands were there to pick up and bring in the wan derer of two weeks, his head bloody but unbowed. Such a thing is always a thrill. Certainly an opossum is one of our best animals. t Respect for it grows with acquaintance. An individualist, a true American, if there ever was, is Old Man Possum. He is a clean, capable and beautiful creature, although the latter may not be realized, at first, so different is this one, with his pointed white face, his deep-set eyes «ad his long naked tail. The little “hands” or front paws draw the admiration of all who see them closely. They are able to grasp as well as any monkey (or human), and serve to handle such diverse foods as corn on the cob and chunks of suet. Bread and suet make most acceptable gifts to this wanderer. * * * * There are two young possums that come every night to a family in Georgetown, in what may be called the very heart of the city. Their visits have been so regular that the folks there are building a possum house for them during the winter. ' , These people are cat lovers, and have a houseful, but their hearts and door are al ways open to the forest-wanderers. Persons who feed the birds, especially at their windows, should keep on the watch for opossums. Extensive building operations in nearby* Virginia and Maryland have disturbed the haunts of many of these animals, and have cut down on their food supplies. Animal common sense, of which they have plenty, pushes them into the city, where they find food to their liking at bird feeding sta tions. Those who put out slices of bread and suet toward dark are more likely to have pos sums. Most of them are so tame that they will take suet from the hand. Being true nocturnal animals, the possums come only at night, as a rule. Even a flashlight turned on them will not frighten them. Dogs are a bit wary of them, and as for house cats, those practical fellows simply ignore them. 1 Letters to The Star Boy Scout Movement Deserves Support Even Though It Is Not a Charity To the Editor of the Star: ... . , _. Several letters recently published in The Star have indicated a lack of understanding of the nature and purposes of the Scout movement. That such a misunderstanding should exist with respect to an organization whose two objectives are character-building and citizenship-training is especially unfor tunate. Scouting is not a charity program. Boys need to be taught self-respect. They are taught in scouting to pay as they go. They pay for their uniforms, they pay part of their camping expenses, and they pay for their own personal scouting equipment. They do NOT pay for the devoted leadership of the men who voluntarily serve as their scoutmas ters, nor do they pay for the general admin istration and supervision of the programs in their communities. They do not pay for the training their leaders receive nor for the camp facilities which the community pro vides for them. The success of scouting in building char acter and in training citizens is attested by outstanding educators, religious leaders, public officials, and others of experience. In the recent war numerous military leaders testified to the value of scouting experience to individuals under their command. The fact that scouting is not a charity program in no sense should lessen its support by the community. The importance of char ity and the relief of those in dire need by the community cannot be overemphasized. Yet it would be a shortsighted community which sought only to remedy its past mis takes. A forward looking community should see the wisdom for laying positive founda tions for a better future. The scouting movement exists as one of the principal media for accomplishing the better community. Scouting merits the sup port of the public in its purpose of making this worth-while program more effective and available to more boys. YULE FISHER, Chairman, Western District, National Capital Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. Calls for Poll of White People On Segregation Issue To the Editor of the St»r: Why does not someone take a poll to de termine the number of white people in the District who are opposed to segregation? I have sold real estate here for several years, and invariably I asked whether the house advertised is in a white neighborhood. Not once have I found a prospective purchaser who preferred anything else. If the whites are so wicked because they prefer their own communities, why in the name of common sense do the Negroes insist on pushing themselves in among them? Negroes have plenty to make them proud of their own race. The great majority of them are content with the present set-up. Those with any self-esteem at all should be too proud to force themselves into communities where they are not wanted. The few agita tors who are filling the columns of your paper with their yapping do not represent the rank and file. Let's have that poll. Z. I. P. Three Classes of Postal Service Blamed for Post Office Deficit To the Editor of The 8t*r: For the benefit of all Representatives and Senators who are perturbed over the gigan tic deficit of $5,000,000,000, I respectfully suggest that they take a real good look at the Post Office Department’s finances. This is supposed to be a business operated by the Government. According to the newspapers, 10 per cent or $500,000,000 of this gigantic deficit is attributable to the Post Office Department. Since 1942, Congress has granted the regular employes four increases in salary amounting to over $1,200 each annually besides increasing the hourly wage of the regular and temporary substitutes. These increases were justified as the salaries were in no way in line with the high cost of liv ing and too many good substitutes were resigning on being promoted to regular positions. In spite of advice and admonitions from the department officials who were practically raised in the service. Congress made little provision for the money for the salary in creases. Consequently it has to come out of t&xes. If the Post Office Department is supposed to be a regular business, why shouldn’t rates be revised when salaries are increased or expenses mount? The stubborn fact remains that there is a huge deficit and second, third and fourth class and air mail are responsible. The figures that the department submits are not in error—$500,000,000 is still a $500, 000,000 deficit. J- R Thanks “Hams” for Services Of Kindness to the Public To the Editor of the Star: A word of praise to the unsung heroes of the amateur radio stations. Because of a message picked up from Guam by one of these operators, our Thanks giving Day was a very happy one. We are very grateful to J. I. Barrett of Palls Church, Va., an amateur radio operator, who picked up a coded message from Guam telling us our loved ones were safe after the typhoon there. These young men daily are performing many deeds of kindness by delivering mes sages from distant points and frequently points with which there is no telephonic communication. These so called “hams” often are criticised for their radio interference, but we wish to express our appreciation of their humane services. God speed them in their good work. MRS. BERTHA L. HALES. Wants Congressional Relief For the Railroads of the Nation To the Editor of the Star: The recent raise in railroad rates has been editorially praised and denounced so much that it seems odd that no editorial writer or commentator has said anything about the real cause for requesting such rate raise. Practically all observers (casual and other wise) will agree that the present transporta tion policy of the United States Government agencies is “loaded” against railroads and in favor of truckers, airlines and barge lines. Static and out-of-date Interstate Commerce Commission rules and regulations continue to treat railroads as a transport monopoly. This can only result in placing a direct handicap on railroads in the competitive struggle for business in today’s complex transportation market. Railroads no longer have anything like the national transportation monopoly exist ing in 1888 when horse-drawn buggies and carts formed the only competition, thus bringing about creation of the ICC in that year. Instead in the national transportation picture of this dynamic age we see the air used by hundreds of passenger and cargo airliners daily, highways crowded with rub ber-tired box cars and buses, and inland rivers and canals replete with tugs and barges. > > Not only is transport in America congested and overcrowded, but the transportation policies of Federal agencies clearly react un fairly to benefit railroad competitors. For example, the total 1948 railroad taxes were over a billion dollars, bur no such burden some taxes were paid proportionately by truckers, airlines and barge lines. A large part of these taxes must represent tax pay ment on their privately-owned tracks and roadbed, whereas their three main com < A 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. petitors operate with profit by using facilir ties belonging to others—tsuch as federally maintained air navigation aids and munici pal airports, certain county, State or Federal highways, and the federally maintained rivers and canals—and paid for in part by the railroads’ tax dollars. Thus, the preservation of the American principle of fair competition in the open market of free enterprise depends very much upon instituting a Government policy of fair treatment to all segments of national trans port. Congress is directly charged with this responsibility. Prompt action by the coming session of Congress to equalize taxes on use of tracks, highways, air navigation aids and waterways is recommended. Also, 'an act to eliminate subsidies and an act abolishing the out-of-date and useless ICC would be well worth while. FRANKLIN T. MILES. Thinks Dr. Coining Has Changed His Views on Teachers’ Absence To the Editor of The Star: For a while it seemed that Congress had favored D. C. teachers with the passage of the “Sick Leave Bill.” However, I am not sure that the majority of teachers believe this to be such a favor, since the operation of the sick leave plan has been explained to them. When the Superintendent of Schools talked to the teachers about the proposed sick leave plan last spring, he stated that no strict Interpretation would be made of the word "emergency,” since emergencies are not the same with all persons. But when the emergency section of the bill, as passed by Congress, was explained, teachers were told that the officials would determine whether the reasons teachers give for emer gency absence are Justified. This position seems contrary to Dr. Coming’s stand on the matter last spring. It also was explained that teachers no longer have the choice of hiring substitutes. If a teacher desires to be absent for reasons not covered under the sick and emergency leave plan, she must pay a whole day’s pay. Further, if a teacher who has used all of her leave is not granted an extension by the superintendent, is absent from her post on Friday and does not return the following Monday, she may be required to pay a full day’s pay for Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Why the penalty? It seems that the officials have put teach ers in a questionable category so far as in tegrity is concerned. Yet they expect these same teachers to inculcate honesty in young Americans. I trust that the superintendent will see fit to change some of the undesirable features ef the present sick leave plan, through the wide discretionary authority Congress per mitted him in the bill. DISGUSTED TEACHER. Asks Why Four Packages Instead of One To the Editor of The Star. Some stupid inaction on the part of the Congress, or of Post Office Department offi cials, accounts for a regulation which four years after the ending of World War n for bids mailing a parcel to France weighing more than 6 pounds 9 ounces. Thus I re cently was prevented from shipping 23 pounds of gift books to a library in Paris. I was told the parcel had to be broken up into four or five packages. Why? Let’s have a factual answer. PHILIP E. SIGGERS. (Editor’s note: Parcel post restrictions on packages to France require that no parcel shall exceed 44 pounds in weight. Mr. Slggers may have wished to send his package of books as printed matter, in which case (under agreement with the Universal Postal Union) the limit of 6 pounds 9 ounces minimum prevented acceptance of the parcel by the Post Office Department. Neither the depart ment nor Congress has power to change the limitations set by foreign countries.) Three “Average American" Reader* Deplore Questions Asked Madame Pandit To the Editor of The Star: If the November 21 gathering at Consti tution Hall was representative of what the Nation’s Capital can offer a great personage such as Madame Pandit, Washington should bow its head. Madame Pandit’s talk on India was most informative. She made no earth shaking announcements but her talk was well pre pared and beautifully delivered. She should know her subject and she does! But . . . along came the 15-minute ques tion period when the audience was free to submit questions on India which she would try to answer; blanks for such wer6 provided. Following is a sample of Mr. Average Amer ican’s questions: “In what ways did the British suppress India?" Madame Pandit gracefully settled that one; and another question was asked: “Is Christianity making much progress in India?” Madame Pandit replied, “No, I don’t think it is”; and what does the audience do to that reply? It applauds zealously, and the clappers didn’t look like Hindus either. THREE AVERAGE AMERICANS. Letter Carrier Sharply Disagrees With Mr. Lawrence on Second-Class Rates To th* Editor of The Star: David Lawrence in his column of Novem ber 21 certainly showed his lack of knowl edge of the postal service. He would do well to stick to subjects with which he- is better acquainted. For example: He says that if all second-class mail were eliminated, the same number of clerks and carriers would be required. For Mr. Lawrence’s in formation no machine has yet been invented that can read names and addresses. Think of the number of postal employes that must handle these periodicals before the addressees receive them. It would be a good idea for him to visit the Washington City Post Of fice any morning before 7:30 (if he’s up that early), particularly Friday. Perhaps he then would realize the extra time required to handle this mail. A clerk or earlier must put in 8 hours a day. If he does not, he is given additional work to fill out the 8 hours. Can’t Mr. Lawrence see that with less mail to handle, fewer employes would be required? Does he not remember the depression years when a number of routes right here in Washing ton were discontinued because of the low volume of mail? Any carrier will tell him that residential carriers make many stops with only magazines or newspapers. Without these extra stops, they would finish sooner, and as a result more terri tory would be added to their routes, some routes being entirely absorbed, resulting in m».a layoffs. Magazine subscriptions are now at an all-time high and at double their prewar rate. Magazines contain more ad vertising than ever before, ateo at a higher rate. Why, then do the publishers expect them to be delivered at the same old postage rate? LETTER CARRIER. Praises Cartoon By Jim Berryman To tho Miter ef Th* Star: For effectiveness the cartoon of James Berryman of November 22, Jefferson and T.iwftnin Day Dinners, comes under the wire th* winner for 1949 in my judgment. GEO. CURTIS PECK. V New Spleen Hormone < Significant in Clotting Acts As Brake on Formation of Too Many Blood Particles. By Thomas R. Henry A new hormone from the spleen which may be of basic significance in blood clot ting and thrombosis, one of the major medi cal problems of the age, has just been reported to the Association of Military Sur geons here. It is thrombocytopen and, according to experiments presented in an exhibit by Drs. Sylvan E. Moolton and Leo Kroman of St. Peter’s Hospital, New Brunswick, N. J., acts as a brake against the formation of too many particles in the blood stream known as patelets. These act like grains of sand in a brook let. Under certain conditions, as yet not fully understood, they tend to stick to the walls of the blood vessels and eventually build up a clot which often is fatal when carried to the heart, lungs or brain. The patelets, Dr. Moolton explained, are produced from certain large cells in the bone marrow known as megakaryocytes. After attaining a certain degree of maturity one of these cells “explodes,” releasing hun dreds of the microscopic blood particles. These, in normal numbers, probably are es sential to life. They play an important part in the essential blood clotting necessary for healing a wound. The new hormone keeps their numbers in normal limits. There is a disease of the spleen known as idiopathic thrombocyto penic purpurea in which the output of thrombocytopen is about ten-fold normal, with the result that no patelets are formed. Victims often bleed to death from slight wounds. Lack of the hormone results not only in more but “stickier” patelets, Dr. Krooman said. The hormone actually was first isolated at Johns Hopkins University about 1935, but in such minute amounts that its func tion could not be determined and there was little possibility of experimental work. At St. Peter’s Hospital means have been developed for extracting it in considerable amounts from beef spleen, but there still are insufficient quantities for medical use. The body also probably has another hor mone secreted by fat, Dr. Krooman said,' which acts normally as an antagonist to thrombocytopen. This is known as throm bocyticin. Its output is increased with any injury to fatty tissues, as in surgical oper ations, and this is a major reason for fatal ities from blot clots after surgery. This material also is found in egg yolk. Thrombocytopen lack, with resulting ex cessive production of patelets, probably is not alone responsible for clotting, Dr. Kroo man explains. The particles must stick to the blood vessel walls which ordinarily are almost frictionless. This seems to be due to some secretion of the walls themselves. • t • • An automatically opening parachute has been developed by the Air Force. It is unnecessary for the parachutist to pull the rip cord. He will be safe—theo retically—even if he loses consciousness in leaving the plane or becomefc too confused to act. This has been reported to the Associa tion of Military Surgeons by Comdr. H. A. Smadel. At present, however, it represents more of an ideal than a practical device. It has worked well experimentally with custom-made parachutes, every detail of which has been supervised. With large-? scale production, such as would be neces sary for equipping paratroops, there has been a high degree of failure. The automatic opening, it was reported, is brought about by certain “barometric devices.” These have not yet been brought to a sufficiently high degree of reliability. A parachute can be made to open at a specified time by attachments within the plane, such as were used extensively during the war. But, Dr. Smadel said, for a variety of reasons the free fall is considered best— if it can be certain that the parachutist will be in a condition to pull his rip cord at the right time. Considerable experimental progress has been made, he reported, in reducing the shock when the parachute opens. In present designs this is taken up largely by the thighs, which can stand more than the rest of the body. The “blow,” however, is dis tributed over a small surface. Impact forces have been found to be better tolerated when applied over a larger area. New designs call for part of the shock to be taken by the shoulders. Another new parachute design, he said, insured a gentler opening and a 15 per cent slower descent. Questions and Answers A reader can get the aniver to any Question of (act by writing The Sreninf Star Information Bureau. 318 Eye st. n.e.. Washington 2. D. C. Please Inclose three (31 cents for return postage. By THE HASKIN SERVICE. Q. Does paint preserve wood?—L. S. A. Paint does not preserve wood from de terioration due to decay. Paint does prevent the weathering of wood but its main value is for decoration. Q. What is the outermost planet of the solar system?—B. W. T. A. The planet Pluto, which is 4 billion miles distant from the sun, is at the outer most ring of our solar system. Q. How much does the heart of an ele phant weigh?—V. M. B. A. When an elephant died recently in a zoo, the animal’s heart was placed on the scales and found to weigh 25.3 pounds. Q. What was the cost of the Revolutionary War to the American colonists in men and money?—N. P. K. A. The recorded fatalities of the War of the American Revolution, 1775 to 1783, num bered 4,044 killed, 2,124 missing and 6,004 wounded. The /total number was, undoubt edly, larger since records were Incomplete. The direct costs of the Revolutionary War were $74,555,642 and pensions were estimated at $70,000,000. Q. What were the dimensions of the big gest flag ever made?—N. E. V. A. The biggest flag ever made measured 90x270 feet and contained 2,800 yards of bunting. This flag was made in 1923 for a Detroit department store for the fifth anni versary of the Armistice. Ninety women stitched for a month to make it. The flag was a full city block long and when displayed covered six and a half stories of the building. Q. Can any bird fly as fast as 800 miles an hour?—W. O. A. No bird is known to fly at this speed, the fastest speed recorded being 180 miles an hour. Birds have two speeds—a normal rate which is used for everyday purpose# and also for migration, and a speed which is used for protection or pursuit, and which in some cases doubles the rate of normal flight. - ^ , Breakers In galloping battalions The thudding, foam-flecked stallions Race shoreward, rear, leap glistening in the sun Trample the sand And perish One by One. . _ MARGARET REIDLER. > K