Very much in the news for the next few weeks will be the comprehensive report of the congressional aviation policy board, released today. The report represents the findings of serious-minded men from the Senate, House of Representatives, civil aviation and the armed services. It concerns the dangers ahead and what, in the board's opinion, is necessary to protect our vital interests. I offer a condensation of the report to you, without comment--for with my limited view of the overall picture, I do not feel competent to approve or disapprove the findings of these men. It will be much cussed and discussed.
"The board warned that the security frontiers of all nations had disappeared with the atom-bombing of Hiroshima and that World War III, if it comes, will be sudden and indiscriminate.
"An aggressor could use not only atom bombs, but also radio-active dust, bacteriological contamination and guided missiles. In its consideration of these methods., the board recommended two levels of defense: plan A, which would provide instant retaliation upon a major enemy, and plan B, which would enable the United States to 'hold' an enemy until our industrial capacity would swing into action.
"Under Plan A, an estimated total of 35,041 aircraft would be available. 20,451 to the air force and 14,500 to the navy. The overall United States budget would begin in fiscal 1949 at $41,300,000,000 and would rise to a peak of $47,200,000,000 in fiscal 1954. These figures not only include the amounts necessary for the increased aerial protection, but other costs of government and foreign relief as well.
"If Plan B were adopted, complete modernization of the air services at the plan's specified strength would be reached about the end of fiscal 1954. the overall budget would begin at $40,960,000,000 in fiscal 1949; reach its peak at $45,420,000,000 in fiscal 1951 and level off at $41,470,000,000 in fiscal 1954.
"Sharp criticism of the joint chiefs of staff for failure to furnish a unified strategic plan leads to the conclusion that 'unyielding adherence to service loyalties at the expense of national security is a luxury the nation no longer can afford.'
"On the civil side, the board recommends additional weather services to provide safer flight operations; federal administration of control towers and exclusive jurisdiction over establishment of safety regulations but with greater enforcement powers given the states. Inauguration of domestic air parcel-post and early consideration of transferring all long haul mail-by air at the first-class rate.
"Intensive research by the NACA, which would make possible a low cost, useful small plane for private fliers, and would also serve as a liaison aircraft for the army ground forces, was urged.
"As a vital part of the defense pattern, top priority would be given to the airway and traffic control aids program of the Radio Technical Committee for Aeronautics. The new system would enable the air carriers to increase their on-time schedules from today's 46 percent to an estimated 95 percent and to increase their fleet to 5,000 aircraft.
"Solution of the financial problems of both aircraft and airline industries will come from the increase in military orders as well as the provision for all-weather flying.
"It is the judgment of the Congressional Aviation Policy Board that the capability of the United States most likely to discourage an aggressor against attack, most effective in thwarting it if launched and most able to deal out retaliation to paralyze further attack, is air power!"
The complete report will require hours of study. Perhaps one day in the future, without making any hasty opinions, I will be able to digest the report and recommendations for you and come to some definite conclusions about its merit. the only thing evident at first glance is that he total budget figures given are going to cause some slashing in other government expenses if the program is adopted and kept with the financial limits quoted by the report.
Obviously what they are trying to do here, is to co-ordinate all effort, both civil and military, in the aviation field, so that all parts of aviation would be planned, practical value in case of attack.
Though it may seem dry and uninteresting, highly technical and confused by a great deal of "gobble-degook" and baloney. I urge you to keep an eye on the progress of these recommendations. Your security and mine are at state! Each of you, as citizens, are part of government, you know. And that government won't be any better, or keep you any safer than your direct interest in it.
Miss Francine VanCuren, 25, daughter of Mrs. Rose Longnecker Johnson of Etna Green received her commercial pilot's flying license this week at Salt Lake City Utah, where she is a radio operator for a transcontinental flying service. Miss VanCuren served as a marine during the war. She has had a private flying license for some time, now is qualified to fly for hire.
Warsaw Daily Times Mon. Mar. 1, 1948