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With Sunday Morning Edition.
WASH I HGTON, P. C. Published by The Ivening Star Newspaper Company. SAMUEL H. KAUFFMANN, President. B. M. McKELWAY, Editor. MAIN OFFICE: 11th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. NEW YORK OFFICE: 420 Lexington Ave. CHICAGO OFFICE: 435 North Michigan Ave. Delivered by Carrier. Ivening and Sunday Evening Sunday Monthly _1J0* Monthly .1.10* Monthly .45c Weekly _35c Weekly _25e Weekly _10c *!0c additional far Night Final Edition. Rates by Mail—Payable in Advance. . Anywhere in United States. Ivening and Sunday Evening Sunday 1 yaar _11.00 1 year _11.50 1 year -7.50 4 months _9.50 6 months _ 6.00 6 months -4.00 1 month _1.60 1 month _1.10 1 month -70c I Telephone STerllng 5000. Entered at the Post Office, Washington, D. C., as second-class mail matter. _ Member af the Associated Press. The Associated Press is entitled exclusively to the use for mpublication of all the local news printed in this newspaper as well at all A. P. news dispatches. A—i •* FRIDAY, September 1, 1950 Our, Expanding Capital The emergency Federal building program proposed by President Truman is in accord with the “master plan” for future development of Washington prepared by the National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Something new has been added, however. Whereas the com mission’s plan was based on such non-military factors as population trends, parking facilities and traffic congestion, the President has empha sized the security angle. The plan ought to stand on its own merits, without dragging in the threat of an atomic bomb. But there are legitl- . mate reasons to include security as one considera tion and if it helps to secure prompt action, so much the better. Unfortunately, Mr. Truman’s statement failed to mention that parallel legislation Js necessary if the suburban building program is to be carried out smoothly and effectively for all governmental jurisdictions concerned. Co-oper ation of Maryland and Virginia authorities is essential to the orderly development of the Metropolitan Area. This co-operation would be assured under a Senate-approved bill that is stalled in the House District Committee. The bill provides for enlargement of the National Capital Park and Planning Commission to include official representatives of the two adjacent States and to extend its planning powers within the area. It is only right that Maryland and Virginia should have a voice in the planning of a National Capital which is steadily expanding beyond the District’s borders. This principle was adhered to by Congress when it included in the airport bill a provision requiring Federal officials to consult with local authorities in the planning and construction of the new air terminal. The planning agency bill would insure nearby areas a voice in planning such additional suburban projects as the $139,800,000 building program for 35,000 or 40,000 Federal employes. The President’s program follows closely an outline of the decentralization features of the NCPPC postwar plan disclosed last November at a meeting here of the American Society of Civil Engineers. While the master plan itself is still in process of publication at the Government Printing Office, John Nolen, jr., NCPPC director of planning, told the engineers the plan con templates “freezing” of Federal offices and employment in the central area west of the Capitol at approximately their present levels, expansion of outlying centers of Federal activity to “reasonable limits” and establishment of new centers as needed “beyond the present or anticipated urban fringe.” Limited office expan sion within the District was approved, provided it be confined to the existing Federal areas west of the Capitol or along East Capitol street Another proviso was that as new space was added, Federal use of temporary and leased buildings be reduced to an equivalent degree. It is encouraging to note that the President included in his program elimination of “tempos” housing some 25,000 employes. This would be a good start, but Just a start, on a job that cannot be considered done until all temporary structures of two world wars, including the Navy buildings on Constitu tion avenue, are razed. Now that the long-range Capital expansion program has attained emergency status, it may get under way far sooner than the NCPPC planners expected and even before the master plan is published. TT^e necessity of action by the House District Committee on the collateral National Capital Planning Commission bill be comes urgent. If this measure should die in committee, the President’s building program is sure to be beset with jurisdictional difficulties which otherwise might have been resolved around the planning table. Secretary Johnson's Defense Defense Secretary Johnson’s letter to Repre sentative Tauriello is about as good a defense as could be made by a man who is in an indefensible position. In saying this, The Star does not mean to imply agreement with all of the criticism of Mr. Johnson. Some of those who are most critical now of his ‘‘false economies” were anything but critical at the time, and The Star believed then, and believes now, that the principle of getting the maximum benefit from each defense dollar is both sound and necessary if our economy is to survive the demands upon it. The real question is whether Mr. Johnson as an individual, or as the representative of the administration, went too far with his economies. It would be useless to deny that this country, at the time, was woefully unprepared to cope with the aggression In Korea. Had more money been available earlier, and there were plenty of advocates of more money in the defense estab lishment, our degree of preparedness certainly wopld have been greater. On the other hand, the cost of being fully prepared for any aggres sion anywhere would have been prohibitive. We are not and probably never will be that ready. So all of this debate, to the extent that it is not a purely political debate, comes down to the matter of whether there was an error of Judgment as to the minimum preparations required. The evidence indicates that such an error was made. But even if that is not correct, even if the judgment, in the light of all the circumstances, was sound, Mr. Johnson remains In an indefensible position. It is indefensible because public opinion, shocked by the humllitating defeats in the early phases of the Korean war, is not interested in explanations. Those people who are aroused are frying for some one upon whom to vent their i 1 wrath, and Mr. Johnson happens to be the most conspicuous and most convenient target. In reference to the purely political attacks, Mr. Johnson said that they are all part and parcel of the democratic process, and that he would not suggest that it should be otherwise. That same observation applies to the criticisms that are not politically inspired. They, too, are part of the democratic process, and if Mr. Johnson has not blundered he will survive them. Whether we were as prepared as we should have been for the outbreak of fighting in Korea is relatively unimportant. We have the military means to retrieve that situation. The question of overriding importance is the state of our readiness for a war with Russia. On this score Mr. Johnson speaks confidently of our strategic air arm and our vast military potential. There is no room in this area, however, for bad guesses. If that test comes, and we are not ready, there will be no opportunity' to make up the initial deficiencies. \ « China, Moscow and the U. N. Now that Soviet Delegate Jakob A. Malik has completed his month-long filibuster as president of the United Nations Security Council, reports from Moscow indicate that the Kremlin—with a full representation that may be headed by Foreign Minister Vishinsky—intends to play a major role in the General Assembly session beginning September 19. Coupled with the fact that Mr. Malik apparently is to continue taking part in the Council’s proceedings, what this suggests is that the Stalin dictatorship has definitely decided against resuming its boycott of the U. N. in the weeks immediately ahead. When it began last January 13, with Russia’s delegates walking out of virtually every agency of the United Nations, the boycott was described by the Kremlin as something that would never end until the Chinese Nationalists were expelled to make room for the representatives of Commu nist China. As a result of that policy, however, the Soviet Union had nobody on hand to veto the Security Council’s historic June decisions against the puppet Red aggressors in Kbrea—a miscalculation that almost certainly accounts for Mr. Malik’s sudden return to the Council despite the U. N.’s refusal to oust the Nationalists. Of course, if Foreign Minister Vishinsky or some other Soviet bigwig participates in the forthcoming meeting of the General Assembly, his role will be much the same as the one that has just been played by Mr. Malik in the Security Council. That is to say, it will be a role calling for long propaganda speeches, vilification of the United States, butchery of the truth and brazen delaying tactics. But the Assembly, unlike the Council, is not at the mercy of filibusterers and it will therefore be able to make recommendations and hand down moral judgments even though lacking power to enforce them. In the circum stances, apart from what the Russians may be able to achieve propagandistically, there is some reason to wonder just why they seem intent upon participating In the Assembly’s proceedings. The most interesting speculation in this connection is that the Soviet Union is planning to use the Assembly as a sounding board for a spectacular new demand insisting that the U. N. oust Nationalist China and seat the Chinese Reds —not because the Kremlin really wants the Reds admitted but because it wants them kept out. Those who hold to this view make the following points, among others: (1) If the Russians had not resorted to threats and political blackmail in calling last January for the admission of Communist Peiping, Peiping might now be a member of the United Nations; (2) as long as the threats and the blackmail continue, self- ■ respecting countries are going to be against Peiping, and (3) although posing as the great champion of the Mao Tse-tung government, the Soviets are thus following tactics calculated to spoil that government’s chances for membership in the U. N.—a subtle policy designed to isolate it from the West lest it develop a case of Titoist independence. All this may appear to be a bit far-fetched, but it is by no means inconceivable. In many ways, because of its size, its tremendous popu lation, its culture, its history, its deep-rooted bitterness toward foreign domination, China seems to be fertile soil for a form of Titoism that could make Yugoslavia’s look mild by comparison. That is a fact that lends substance to the theory that the men of the Kremlin do not really want Peiping in the U. N. Certainly, up to now, while calling for its admission, they have adhered to a line that has done much to keep it out, and they are not likely to shift to a new policy when the General Assembly convenes later this month. Odd Gyrations on UMT President Truman has given a new reason for urging Congress not to pass universal military training legislation at this session, but it is less impressive than his earlier one. There may have been some basis for Mr. Truman’s fears that a UMT debate might complicate passage of emergency legislation, although some of the Democratic leaders in Congress had no such fears. But the President omitted this explanation of his attitude in his letter to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees. Instead, he advanced the argument that postponement of action until January is advisable because training facilities are not immediately available. More logical by far was Defense Secretary Johnson’s request to Congress for action now on a standby UMT plan, so that it would be ready to begin functioning whenever instructors and camps became available. Strangely, Mr. Johnson’s letter received White House approval before it went to Congress, yet the President almost overnight dissociated himself from the request of his Defense Secretary for immediate legisla tion. Despite these confusing gyrations of the executive branch, Chairman Tidings of the Senate Armed Services Committee began hearings with a view to bringing a bill to the floor before the session ends. The House committee waited to see what the Senate might do. There were indications that, with any real encouragement from the White House, Congress might find time to enact a UMT law, on a -standby basis, at this session. The President’s request for delay, however, has killed all chance of UMT legislation at this session. This means deferment of the politically * touchy issue until after the November congres sional elections. Mr. Tydings and other Senators who have had the courage to face up to this issue, regardless of political considerations, deserve commendation. The disturbing prospect is that the longer the UMT bill gathers dust on a shelf, and the more the President- discounts its urgency, the harder it will be to resurrect and pass it. This will be especially true if there is any substantial improvement in the war situation between now and the convening of a new Congress. Suspense, in this new kind of baseball, is where a club is only 12 runs ahead in the 7th. Nazis Held Gl 'Hypermethodical' By Herman F. Schaden A MERICANS who long have consid ered the German mind “method ical” may be surprised to learn that, to the Germans, American soldiers are “hypermethodical.” At least that is one of the conclusions the German high command has drawn of the GI Joe of World War n. The significant estimates are being made public for the flrst time in the Army history, “The Lorraine Campaign,” published today. The volume covers the operations of Gen. George S. Patton’s 3d Army be tween the Moselle River and the Sieg fried Line, in which more than 250,000 American soldiers participated Circulated among German troops dur ing the war, the Nazi intelligence estimates of American troops covered fighting qualities, tactics, weapons and planning. The summation sharply criti cized some characteristics of the Ameri cans and thought some others worthy of emulation. Speaking of “hypermethodical” think ing, the analysis said Americans had a tendency to make success absolutely certain, especially in the practice of combining one armored division with two infantry divisions. Prom the German viewpoint, such plotting carried caution too far. The core of the German estimates was summed up as follows: The American soldier depends on tremendous materiel support to bring the battle to a successful conclusion; when he is denied heavy A typical GI of World War II. Was he “hypermethodical”? support by the combined arms the “drive” in the attack dwindles; he avoids close combat, dislikes night fighting and surrenders readily. On all these “peculi arities” the German soldief was alerted to capitalize. Americans were viewed as being care less with radio conversations. American security during hours of darkness also was careless, according to the Germans, particularly on rainy nights. The enemy depicted the American as tending to start their attacks late in the afternoon and to “call off the war” at midnight. The individual soldier was “more tenacious” on the defensive than in the attacks. American infantry and tanks tended to stiek to streets and roads; tanks avoided woods and heavy underbrush. On the credit side, the Germans found the GIs had effective teamwork between infantry and tanks and between tanks and planes. American artillery, too, was given more than honorable mention. The Germans praised its speedy system of communica tion, accurate fire, plentiful supply of ammunition, greater range than com parable German types, aerial reconnais sance and extensive use of white phos phorous. The American replacement system was found effective, as was the Yanks’ ability to learn quickly from their failures and from the enemy. Dr. Hugh M. Cole, author of “The Lorraine Campaign,” did not overlook the propaganda aims of the American troop appraisal. The reports "contain much that stems from the politico-military dogmas of the Nazi party or that obviously was intended to raise the morale of the individual German soldier, ” he wrote. Letters to The Star . . . A pseudonym is permissible only when letter carries correct name and address oj writer. Please be brief. Refuses to Be 'World Citizen' In your Sunday, August 27, issue you carry a letter by Bill Kruger, in which he poses a very important question relative to the American Army in Korea being labeled ‘‘U. N. troops,” which in deed gives a lot of food for thought. Could we as an humble citizen, bewildered and confused by this "dual allegiance,” pose another question to go along with his in order to set the record straight through the columns of your splendid paper? Did the Congress of the United States, whose sworn duty is to uphold the dig nity and sovereignty of this Republic, abdicate its powers and sovereign rights when it allowed a state of war to exist in Korea without its sanction, thereby making Americans "citizens of the world” without their consent? Have the American people no right to voice their protest against becoming citizen of the United Nations? I, for one, refuse to recognize the United Nations as anything but a para sitical political outlaw unit, operating without the consent and sanction of the American people. George Thompson. Men Too Old for Service at 38 Hamstrung by the rigidity of the pres ent Selective Service Act which limits the scope of induction to a narrow age group, the Armed Forces are in the process of repeating the blunders that were made in World War II. Despite the bitter lesson learned in the last war that oldsters could not en dure the hardships of modem warfare, the Armed Forces nonetheless are pro ceeding with the induction of reservists regardless of age, notwithstanding the fact that at the height of hostilities in 1943, men over 38 who had been inducted were given the option of discharge. Experience has proved that such men generally were liabilities in the military service and potentially more susceptible to disease and injury than the younger men. Consequently, the taxpayers now are burdened with providing lifetime disability pensions to men who never should have been impressed into mili tary service. Because of the shortsight edness of the Defense Department, we again are confronted with a similar specter. Edward Jones. 'Races' Pamphlet Inaccurate In his letter to The Star of August 27, E. B. Henderson condemns the chair man of a Congressional committee for locking * up 50,000 copies of a booklet called “The Races of Mankind.” This, I believe, is a little too much to swallow. On April 27, 1944, “The Races of Man kind” was denounced by the Military Affairs Subcommittee as containing statements that ranged “all the way from half truths through innuendos to downright inaccuracies” (The Star, same date). The Congressmen halted dis tribution of the pamphlet to members of the armed forces, and they answered the booklet’s “basic theme” that the races of mankind “are all brothers” by saying that “even brothers in the same family are not necessarily equal.” The most controversial of the inac curate statements in this booklet is the table which makes an intellectual com parison between Northern Negroes and Southern white people, giving the high est score to the Negroes. This misin formation was based on Army intelli gence tests made during the First World War. The authors fail to show how they arrived at these ridiculous figures, and do not even list the complete percentages and general conclusions that were made from these World War I tests. As a matter of fact, in testing 1,500,000 troops, the intelligence of the white soldiers proved to be greater, not less, than that of the Negroes. Ira Calvin (author of "The Lost White Race”) had ample reason to state that "if you are a decent person you will need a clothespin on your nose while you study it (The Races of Mankind).” E. T. Smith. 'Academic Approach' to War General MacArthur’s message to the Veterans of Foreign Wars squarely satisfies the eagerness of Americans for words which mean what they say. We are up against an enemy who plans boldly and ruthlessly, and moves swiftly. Americans generally are disgusted and humiliated by a leadership which de votes so much high-level talk to quar rels and discussions on rhetoric. After two abortive World Wars, we are mucfi less susceptible to the claim that we are fighting for peace. We actually are fighting for our survival, and for the survival of peoples like ourselves. The academic approach, and the nice observance of diplomatic protocol, which likes to employ such terms as "neutrali zation” and other words which conceal realities, is fast becoming anathema to self-respecting people. There seems much sound sense in the General’s frank appeal for ati impreg nable line of defense east of the Asiatic mainland, unbreached by diplomatic deals. It is a proposition likely to be understood and feared in Moscow; and, what is more important, it will be un derstood and will stimulate our men in Korea and our people here at home. R. B. H. Praises Mr. Wallace's Stand In Friday’s Star there was a letter from a “Citizen,” who disparages (a) what he considers too-uniform nation wide thought on current subjects and (b) certain liberals who lately have ad mitted errors of, or have refused to sup port, Leftism. Citizen does not venture to say just what he himself thinks about anything —the Korean war, for instance. Instead of praising Henry Wallace for giving up the leadership of his party when he backed the U. N. stand against Russian sponsored aggression, Citizen scoffs. Mr. Wallace has been wrong before, but he was right this time. He had the courage of his convictions and didn’t mind signing his name after those con victions, either. It’s certainly no reflection on the pub lic mind that the great majority, I be lieve, think that the best way to stop Communist aggression—or any other ag gression—is to stop it. If Citizen feels differently, let him plainly say so. William R. Etheridge. Guamanians Chose 'Guamanians' On August 23 you published a query from Carleton R. Ball who, logically enough, wished to know the reason for calling the people of Guam “Guam anians.” The native inhabitants of the Marianas Islands where Guam is located were originally known as Chamorros. How ever, after Guam came under the juris diction of the United States in 1898 and after the other Marianas Islands went to the Japanese under a League of Nations mandate at the end of World War I, the people of Guam assiduously culti vated American ways and philosophy. During World War II the Guamanians suffered hideously at the hands of the Japanese because of their loyalty to America and because of their many heroic deeds (not the least of which was the.driving of the Japanese from one end of the Island of Guam'. After World War II, the people of Guam determined to separate them selves as distinctly as possible from those Chamorros who had been under Japa nese jurisdiction between World War I and World War II. It was then that the Chamorros of Guam evolved the de sire to be called Guamanians. There was, during the postwar period, some debate as to the relative merits of the names: “Guamians,” “Guamanians" and “Guamericans.” Apparently it was felt that “Guamanians” was more pleasing to the ear than either of the other two choices. It is mainly due to that reason and due to their wish to be as American as possible that the Chamorros of Guam chose the name Guamanians. The prin ciple of self-determination may be called uppn even in the field of the nomencla ture, Ind we respect the decision of the people of Guam and are flattered by the reasons for their change of name. Martha L. Jay, Guam Echo. Russia's 'Right to Expect' Isn’t it a nice situation to have our left-wing Secretary of State directing our military policies during wartime! Of course, Gen. MacArthur should have realized that it would be considered lese majeste for any one to expose the fact that our pre-Korea Far Eastern policy played directly into the hands of the Red Fascists. Didn't he know that the public might remember that top-secret State Department directive ordering all our foreign representatives to play down the military importance of Formosa and in dicating clearly that we would defend neither Formosa nor South Korea? This directive was issued several months prior to the Red invasion—then some one “leaked” its contents. The State Depart ment policy exposed in this directive was, of course, the immediate cause of the present war. Russia had a right to expect that in view of this policy we would not defend the South Koreans; hence orders were given to invade. Then came our abrupt reversal of foreign policy, with President Truman ad libbing. But the latter still doesn’t want any one, much less Gen. MacArthur, to admit that Formafa may have military importance. After all, isn’t an election coming up? Observer. R. R. Strike Editorial Approved Just a note to record my 100 per cent approval of the editorial appearing in your issue of August 24 entitled, “Total Irresponsibility.” I believe the sentiments expressed therein will appeal to the vast majority of Americans. This is unionism at its worst. Maj. Gen. L. D. Gasser. This and That . . . By Charles E. Tracewell “CONNECTICUT AVE. “Dear Sin “We have had mockingbirds coming to our third-story apartment for raisins for a number of years. “This year a catbird discovered the handout. “This catbird is prone to perch on the stone belt and give his customary call, which we assume is a tipoff to us to come forth with the raisins. "Recently this catbird has shown up without tail feathers. “He has a bobbed appearance and looks rather pitiful but doesn’t seem to mind. My husband thinks he has lost these feathers due to moulting. Do you think this is true and that our little friend will acquire a new tail? * * “Before losing the tail it always seemed to skew to one side. “Does his tail work on a joint or could that have been a deformity with the result of ultimately losing his tail? “We thoroughly enjoy your articles, no matter what the subject, and wish we had made scrapbooks of them these past years we have been in Washington. “Sincerely, O. G. W.” * * “DECATUR STREET. “Dear Sir: “On my vacation this summer I saw a bird which I had not seen for a num ber of years. One morning I heard an unfamiliar voice coming from the Eng • i k lish walnut tree near our window. I took my field glasses and caught a glimpse of a deep yellow color. By patient waiting I finally saw the bird with its orange colored breast, yellow back and black wings. It had a jet black head and neck. "The dignity of its bearing, together with the loveliness of its coloring made it a bird worthy to be named for Lord Baltimore. That is what my bird book told me I had seen. "I had seen the State bird of my na tive State, Maryland. "Very sincerely, E. D. B.’’ * * Birds have no way of repairing their feathers. When the feathers become too worn, there is nothing to be done but get rid of them, and that is what nature does for a bird wheh it moults. Feathers arise from papillae of the epidermis, and are fed from the dermis, or underskin. Most moulting comes after the nesting season. Sometimes it takes a long while. Often it is very quick. Bird tails do not work on a joint of any kind. Probably our correspondent’s catbird lost his tail to a cat or other animal. About six weeks is required to grow a new one, in any event. * * Feathers have many uses. k They form a robe, or clothing, to keep in heat. They keep the skin from getting wet. They make flying possible. They often camouflage the creature in its natural perching positions. They come out, if seized, individually as a sort of tuft (say the tail) enabling the bird to get away by leaving the seized feathers behind. We recali a pigeon grabbed by a hawk in our yard. We frightened the hawk off, causing him to drop the pigeon, which was a bit heavy for him. It seemed as if the whole yard was covered with pigeon feathers, but the bird lived and Anally flew away. Bright feathers have sex appeal. They are used, sometimes, in nest making, actually making “feather beds” for the nestlings. Feathers help birds recognize their own kind, undoubtedly. "Time is space-” * This modern idea was known to the birds centuries ago, and their feathers did it. They could fly thousands of miles, and so reduced the time it took to cover vast distances, as man was to do with his airplanes centuries later. Maybe someday people will catch up with the birds in other things, notably going to sleep early and waking up early, and operating on honest sun time all the timt. A Phenomi t Affects Bureau Experiments Show Waves Are Attenuated By Thomas R. Henry A curious sunset phenomenon affect ing round-the-world radio signals has been found by United States Bureau of Standards observers. Radio waves for some reason are greatly attenuated when they pass through a sunset zone anywhere in their path, according to a report recently issued by the Bureau. They come back strongest when it is sunset at their starting point. About a tenth of a second is required for a radio signal to pass completely around the world and return to its point of origin, Bureau experiments show. The first such signals were detected by Jack N. Brown of the Bureau staff a few months ago, and since then there has been considerable experimentation. Signals are sent out from the Naval radio station at Annapolis and received at the Bureau’s radio propagation field station at Sterling, Va., about 50 miles away. Peak in Strength Noted. During the winter months these round the-world signals* can be observed throughout the entire day. A sharp peak, in the strength of the returning signal was noted at 4:30 p.m. when the sun was setting over the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. At any other time of the day, it was calculated, a sig nal must cross a sunset zone somewhere between the sending and receiving sta tions. It also has been observed that there is less delay in the return time when the radio passes through an “ionospheric’* storm on its way around the earth. The reason for this, it is explained, is that at such a time the ionosphere, the re flecting layer which bounces radio im pulses back to the earth, is closer to the planet's surface than at ordinary times. The earth’s upper atmosphere is suf fused with laughing gas. ' It is nitrous oxide, of the same com position as that used in a dentist’s of fice, which presumably is formed by the ultraviolet radiation of the sun falling on oxygen and nitrogen atoms at high altitudes. That there is a minute amount of laughing gas in the atmosphere has been known for some years, but that it is confined to extreme high altitudes has just been determined with the use of a 60-inch searchlight by Dr. William Benesch, Johns Hopkins University physicist. On the other hand Dr. Benesch found that methane, or “marsh gas,” which is the simplest of all the carbon-hydrogen combinations and probably forms a large part of the atmospheres of the larger planets, is uniformly distributed through the earth’s atmosphere from the ground to the greatest heights attainable. Practical Applications. The studies have been carried out in co-operation with the Office of Naval Research, and the Navy believes discov eries about the composition of the upper atmosphere eventually will have prac tical applications in improved methods of weather forecasting. In these researches the light from the sun strikes a spectrometer, an instru ment which sorts out the light and auto matically records the type of gasses through which it has traveled on its way to the earth. This revealed only the composition of the whole column of atmosphere. Dr. Benesch then used the 850,000,000 candle-power searchlight to determine in the same way the gasses in the lower atmosphere. The searchlight beams showed no trace of the laughing gas. Questions and Answers The Star’s readers can let the answer to any question of fact by either writing The Evening Star Information Bureau. 1200 I street N.W Washington 5, D. C . and inclosing 3 cents return postage, or by telephoning ST. 5000. Extension 358. By THE HASKIN SERVICE. Q. Do the majority of present-day automobiles require high-test gasoline to prevent knocking?—J. L. K. A. Auout three-quarters of the cars now in service will give adequate anti knock performance on regular-grade gasoline, according to the National Bu reau of Standards. Some of these cars may knock slightly at low speeds while hill-climbing or accelerating, but the knock is not severe enough to affect en gine power. Premium-grade gasoline will not improve the power and economy of any car which operates without objec tionable knock on regular-grade gaso line at the normal spark setting. Q. Can you name some persons who, after the advent of Christ, claimed to be Messiahs?—W. C. R. A. There have been several in Jewish history. Ir the second century Bar Co cheba was hailed as the Heaven-sent deliverer of Israel. During the Middle Ages th-.re were several others. The best known of the pseudo-Messiahs was Sab batai Zevi (1626-1676), who won a large following. Q. To describe a dwelling as a “Ve netianed house” is intended to convey a certain mental picture. Does the phrase succeed?—A. F. T. A. Perhaps in 1950, the expression “Venetianed house” does not suggest a definite mental picture. In the 1870s and 1880s, however, the phrase was cur rent and therefore, vivid. It meant a house furnished with Venetian blinds, or shutters. Q. Approximately how long ago was the custom of blessing animals on Holy Saturday taken to California?—P. A. H. A. The old Spanish custom was taken to California in very early days. Ani mals were annually driven to missions in order that they might be blessed. The custom is observed today. Pale Teacher Pale teacher, you were once a boy. Knew swimming holes and, cool swan dives, And fishing joy and pocket knives; When you and Pal skipped down the trail, He barked at chipmunk, crow or bee, You called the quail or climbed a tree. Or chattered at the fretting jay, Tried robin tunes or dreamed a whi\g In fragrant hay beside the stile; You dreamed yourself into a man And left that freckled tad in jeans, Who leaped and ran through early teens. When barefoot truants pass you now, Grimacing at your greying pate. You sigh and bow and question fate; Ah, yes, you hummed their vagrant song Mid, wild-rose bloom on distant hill— And go along in spirit still. CULLEN JONES. A t