A SON of Sweden, Hugo Johanson (p. 641) picked up his English while he sailed the seven seas. In the Atlantic for August 1936 we published his first contribution, ‘ Bread Line.’ A subsequent letter enabled us to till out our picture of the writer himself: —
I went to sea as a small boy. I came to this country in 1923 to make my fortune, and I succeeded admirably. After three years of rear-ranking in the American Army in the Orient, I became an itinerant, laborer. During the next live years I tackled almost every known underpaid, disagreeable task. Of course, sometimes I soared to astonishing altitudes. Once I was a bellhop and a bootlegger, and I have had a short, wistful, not entirely unsuccessful, fling as a pictorial photographer. My life from 1931 on is told in ‘Bread Line.’ If I do write another short story (probably I ’ll have to unless I can find a job) I’ll submit it to you. If you turn it down, I dare say you’ll do it gracefully.
Mr. Johanson did write ‘another’ short story (which leads this issue), a story whose beauty is the more remarkable when one remembers that it is still difficult for the author to think and write in English.
Count Raoul de Roussy de Sales (p. 652), once — and always—a Parisian, signs himself ‘Jacques Fransalès’ in the articles he sends back to France as the New York Correspondent of Paris-soir and Paris-midi.
Knowledgeable, widely read, shrewd in his analyses of men and policies, George E. Sokolsky (p. 660) reminds us of the pressure which individuals and minorities can bring to bear upon the government of a democracy.
A war correspondent, Henry Wales (p. 668) after the Armistice continued to maintain his headquarters in Paris as the chief representative of the Chicago Tribune. On May 21, 1927, his duty led him to observe one of the most thrilling events in modern history — an event which must rank with King Edward’s abdication in its effect upon the world at large.
Henry Williamson (p. 681) pays his affectionate tribute to an author whose spirit and style set a model for the nature writers of the twentieth century. Richard Jefferies — a name which Englishmen were slow to honor — died on August 14, 1887.
May Lewis (p. 689), who makes her first ap peurauce in the Atlantic, is a New York poet with one book. Red Drumming in the Sun, to her credit. Here is what she tells us of her present poem: ‘ Many, many hours of hard work went into the making of “ Days at Sea,” but as a poem it began on land — sitting in a park before sailing and storing visual impressions of birds and trees — to “last.” during the voyage. Then, in mid-ocean, the poem swam up to the surface and I lifted it aboard ship.’
A junior at Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa, Edward Weismiller (p. 690) has already asserted himself in the field of poetry. His first volume of verse, The Deer dame Down, was published last October in the Yale Series of Younger Poets.
Walter Hard (pp. 691—692) is a Vermonter born and bred. For years he has been a familiar figure in the town of Manchester, superintending until recently the operation of the village drug store, and applying to local needs a wisdom and helpfulness which have now qualified him for a seat in the Slate Legislature. Several volumes of his poems have already appeared, among them Salt of Vermont and Vermont Vintage.
A German by birth, Carl Joachim Friedrich (p. 693) studied at the universities of Marburg, Frankfort, Vienna, and Heidelberg. He received his doctorate from Heidelberg in 1925, and the year following answered the call to Harvard. where he now holds a professorship in the Department of Government. His experience and his sympathies have made him increasingly wary of that menace which now threatens Education in so many lands.
’Just, who are the American Aristocracy?’ asks a housewife who shall be Anonymous (p. 702). The fact that she is the mother of an energetic young family and in steady need of help gives point to her argument.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota and a member of the diminishing tribe of essayists, Glanvitle Smith (p. 707) is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship which enables him to explore the islands of his imagination.
Caroline A. Henderson (p. 715) and her husband. Will, are still making a valiant fight to proserve their farm, which is situated in the centre of the Dust Bowl. In the Atlantic for May 1936, we printed a series of letters hy Mrs. Henderson describing the odds which she and her few neighbors had to contend with that summer of 1936. The light still goes on.
Chemist and economist, Dr. Otto Jellinek (p. 718) has participated in Germany’s endeavor to he self-sufficient. Since 1925 he has been the associate of Dr. Friedrich Bergius, Nobel Prize winner.
Walter Prichard Eaton (p. 723) is Professor of Playwrighling at Yale Universify and, so one gathers, an admirer of Itudyard Kipling.
Born and educated in Russia, Gregory Zilboorg (p. 728) is a graduate of both the Psychoneurological Institute of Petrograd and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. A practising psychiatrist in New York City, he is the author of The Medical Man and the Witch during the Renaissance and one of the editors of the Psychoanalytic Quarterly.
From her present residence in Switzerland, M. F. K. Fisher (p. 737) sends this thumbnail sketch of herself: —
I was born in Michigan in 1908 and most of my life I have enjoyed very much. I spent my childhood on a California orange ranch, and then went to two boarding schools, one too strict and the other too lax. The two years between graduation and my marriage to Alfred Young Fisher I spent in accomplishing a difficult but very amusing feat —I went to six universities. As soon as I was married, we came to France, where my husband took a doctorate and I studied at the University of Dijon and went to Beaux Arts. One day I discovered that no self-respecting restaurateur will pay much more than a tolerant and patronizing half-attention to a woman’s ideas for a good dinner. I knew that long suffering had made them so, but, like everyone else, I fell that I was different. I decided to try to be intelligent about the art of eating.
California supplies Jo Pagano (p. 743) with a special blend of Italian-American humor. John Steinbeck, another writer worth watching, finds the ingredients of his delightful fiction in this same sunlight and soil. There’s hope in the West.
Correspondent of the Manchester Guardian in Tokyo, Guenther Stein (p. 755) is an observer known for his fair-minded and long view.
Those who are concerned about the threat of Inflation will do well to read in the Financial Column the admirable exposition by H. B. Elliston, Financial Editor of the Christian Science Monitor.
Margaret Dana’s article, ‘ Fear the Facts and Fool the Women,’ in the April Atlantic, has been so widely discussed that we think it only fair to share with our readers the results of the ensuing controversy. Consumers near and far were prompt to applaud her downright appeal for fair and recognizable identification of fabrics — particularly of rayon. Requests for permission to reprint the article poured in; to date, upwards of 100,000 copies of the article, or extracts from it, have been distributed among trade executives and interested laymen by such organizations as the National better Business Bureau, Inc., the American Retail Federation, the Fairchild Publications, Inc., and so forth. In addition, the article has been warmly commended by the New York City Federation of Women’s Clubs, by various consumers’ groups, and has been debated at length by the directorates of several large corporations. The campaign is having positive results, as witness the fact that two large department stores in New York City have recently taken definite steps to acquaint the public and their employees with a more complete knowledge of the fibre content of goods offered for sale. From such evidence it appears likely that from now on consumers will know better whether they are buying silk — or its substitutes.
Never were two camps of opinion more clearly defined than those which vociferate to-day on the subject of Labor. The Atlantic attempted to present both points of view in the April issue, and in so doing aroused the cheers and the cross fire that were to be expected. By word of mouth and by letters, lawyers and business men have endorsed the ’fairness’ of George E. Sokolsky’s article, ‘The Law and Labor.’ A lawyer of national prominence in the Middle West pronounced his argument ‘irrefragable.’ ‘Among the helpful things in the Atlantic,’ writes J. Horace McFarland of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, ‘are the writings of George E. Sokolsky. The recent discussion on law and labor has been . . . completely informative. . .‘
Meanwhile from a skilled laborer, Gene Richard, author of ‘On the Assembly Line’ in the April issue, there comes this statement taking issue w itli Mr. Sokolsky’s premise: —
Dear Atlantic. —
Mr. Sokolsky summarizes the labor situation dealing with the facts he has come to know, and attempts to create the impression that he is coldly neutral. It would he unethical for me to say that I do not think that Sokolsky speaks from the standpoint of ‘what is good for society as a whole.’ His whole text is based on technicalities, to the extent that his outlook seems to me divorced from the field of human relations. As a member of society who gains his livelihood from labor, I form my conclusions quite withdrawn from the conditions which bear influence on such people as Sokolsky. I am an ‘underdog’ at the mercy of the industrial policies of the country. I sell my body and time to the task of doing a small operation on the rod which goes into the — motor. Honestly, my ideas will be influenced by this. There are a majority of people just like me.
If the labor situation is to be considered in relation to the law, then why not first establish a premise which will enable us to consider the law in a deeper light than its pare technicality? Laws are made alter a material situation dictates the need for them. If Mr. Sokolsky accepts this, then I will remind him that a new situation has arisen. Property laws have been violated on a wholesale scale, but not without reason. A country so rooted in a tradition of fairmindedness as is ours does not expect any part of it to turn to lawlessness without cause.
Sokolsky would infer that the new type of union is first contesting the old for ilsdual unionism and then setting up another dual union, It is interesting to note here that the new union does not have within itself the weakening structures of dual unionism. The new union proved to labor that it was equipped to put up the kind of fight that labor was crying for. Labor, us a mass, does not think clearly. Labor will follow a policy when it sees in that I policy a gain, whether or not it is thinking and able to justify that policy. We were becoming so confused by all this political and economic oratory that we were fertile ground for such a seed, and in our desperation we have welcomed the new method. I am not one to advocate lawlessness. As a functioning part of the ‘conveyor line,’my substance calls out for action. Like other units of the laboring masses, I will respect an honest effort to light my case. When the law endeavors to adjust itself, I am asking that I do not remain the ‘forgotten man.’
And, in lighter vein, ’The Housewife and the Assembly Line.‘
Dear Atlantic, —
As I awake, I am disturbed by the thought that the day is only beginning: there is no escape, I must carry on! I have a comfortable home, but hero I must ever work, consequently it has lost all beauty. As the conveyor bell brings dishes to wash, food to prepare, and other tasks, I am gripped by a terrifying sensation. A silence settles over me like an enveloping cloud, and I listen, gratefully, for the pssfft of the oil burner, unconsciously realizing the temperature has struck seventy. Gradually I grow accustomed to the stillness, and settle down to the regular routine. I am now doing two people’s work, but I have to be very careful not to be too efficient or they may think a maid unnecessary. As it is, I can play no golf, and how I long for the open spaces! I was raised in the West when it was younger, too, and mingled with trees that really did their stuff. Now my big adventure is to discover that the cutworm has felled my zinnias.
My friends complain of this same unbearable existence and I find that the routine breaks down all reserve. They laugh and talk, though sometimes telling things better left unsaid in their desire to escape monotony.
Lack of exercise causes us to gain weight. Some are just plain fat , others fat in bunches. A few think beer is responsible for their inability to see the ball when within hitting distance, but the majority are sure that glands, not overindulgence, are the cause. Though halitosis is not prevalent, I occasionally encounter it. I can’t say this is directly attributable to the assembly line; it might be a sluggish liver.
There are days when my mind simply will not behave. In imagination, I argue with politicians or light a tradesman who has bested me. Most of the time, though, I exist in a state of peace anti contentment, doing what I can for the happiness of those around me, a sure sign that I am going crazy.
Night comes. Oh, blessed darkness that brings my family back to eat and sleep and to disturb the stillness of the house and make it home!
MABEL LYNN FRY
Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
Albert Jay Nock’s portrait of Haiti in the May Atlantic brings forth this response from another admirer of ‘the bright Isle.’
Dear Atlantic, —
Albert Nock has caught with his usual skill the charm of Haiti, which I visited just after he did, and he does not exaggerate its marvelous beauty. I confess that I found myself wondering whether we ought to wish the island to change in any respect; whether better clothing, modern houses with plumbing, good mattresses, radios, movies, automobiles, and better roads would really make the Haitians any happier. They are safe in their natural state and they have what is necessary for the simplest kind of existence, and one of the loveliest countries on earth. They are free from all industrial problems— no sitdown strikes, no WPA, no Federal projects on the landscape, no C.I.O., but just the joy of living close to a bit of soil which is their own and cannot be taken away from them. I only regretted thatthey were utterly destitute of music. The Voodoo drum is their only instrument, and the Voodoo dances their only dissipation. Ought the island to be spoiled so that the people may wear soft shirts, buy canned goods and Irish potatoes, and read a sensational and misleading press? I lean much more toward Mr. Nock’s point of view than I thought possible before I went to the Bright Isle.
OSWALD GARRISON VILLARD
New Yark City
A lotus-eater who disagrees.
Many a time I’ve wondered why we who live in the tropics should writhe, inarticulate, while the casual tourist, like a hummingbird darting from (lower lo llovver, only rather less picturesque, takes a fleeting look at us and returns home, smugly and publicly congratulating himself that his life is lived in more civilized parts. No. We have had too many of Mr. Nock’s kind lately, pricking our not too delicate sensibilities with outlandish statements and misleading half-truths. The tropical worm must turn.
In the first place, and gently, may we suggest that Mr. Nock, by his own account, is unfitted for the rôle of chronicler? How else could he remain on the steamer’s sweltering deck when he might more profitably have been sweltering ashore, even in dusty. God-forsaken Guanta? Touring from the deck of a steamer has much to recommend it in the tropics, but it does not provide one with the ‘something to write home about ’ that most of us, even the non-journalists, are seeking. I am reminded of the twelve American tourists who were on board a freighter that came to this estate a fortnight ago to load sugar. Not one of them was interested enough, or curious enough, to set foot ashore, although a walk of three minutes, in the pleasantly cool late afternoon, would bring them to our compound of several hundred Javanese. Hindus, and blacks, where, to borrow Mr. Nock’s phrase, they could see ‘how the other half lives.’
Do not, I beg you, having read ’A Letter front the Tropics,’ in the April issue, picture us all as anæmic, irritable vegetarians. In my seven years just north of the equator I have never met a single one, though I’ll not deny that here, as elsewhere, we have both anæmia and irritability. In our establishment, meals of the same size and heartiness as one would eat in North America are consumed with good appetite, for by lunch time we have a full morning’s active work behind us, with the promise of more in the afternoon. Tea we follow with tennis, which may or may not be strenuous, depending on the available opponents, not on the temperature. Never, never have I fell ‘ too lazy to lift a hand.’ It is possible that change of climate, as well as idleness, is responsible for the falling-off of Mr. Nock’s appetite. Everyone has had a similar experience in the tropical summers that many parts of the United States enjoy. But for us who live here a splendid steak, roast young duckling, or mixed grill holds just as much pleasure as if we ate it in New York in January. Nor can you picture us as waddling about in overweight abandon, though our Dutch neighbors certainly do incline to avoirdupois, here as in Holland. Speaking personally, our twosome is under, rather than over, average. One of us is in magnificent physical condition; the other, your humble correspondent, in definitely better health than when living in the temperate zone.
Air. Nock (after how much experience of it?) grandly dismissed a vast region ‘ below Haiti’ as unfit for human habitation — on his part, at least. One wonders what he demands of a place to live in. Is it night clubs, a daily yellow journal, hordes of people, reeking traffic jams, streets hemmed in by skyscrapers or slums, huge factories belching smoke, a tempo of living that is increasing insanity at an alarming rate? Then assuredly the tropics would not appeal to him. On the other side of the picture, however, there is a growing number of Americans who desire to eschew such a life and who, discovering our amenities, have written so many articles that Ihe periodicals are salted with this ‘literature of escape.’ They do not exaggerate. If anything, they fail to enumerate many points of which, being newly arrived, they may not be aware.
I quite realize that philosophy is Mr. Nock’s theme and have no quarrel with him there; but as he is a seeker for truth, let him try to present the truth.
RUTH SHIELDS MAC NIVEN
Plantation Alliance, Dutch Guiana
We reprint with a chuckle a letter addressed to Mrs. Della T. Lutes, whose ‘Sunday Night Supper’ appeared in theAtlanticfor April.
My dear Mrs. Lutes:
Your report of the Sunday night supper is so vivid, carries me back fifty years so completely, that it was hard for me not to begin this letter with ‘Dear Delly.’
Eheu, fugaces! I can see that table, with the cider and cookies, the cake stand with the high post. Those beans, with a comforting chunk of pork on top, skin-side up, scored and browned. Devil’s Food, Angel’s Food, White Mountain cake. I can hear your father talking aboul people traipsin and gaddin’ around. And I’ll warrant he could harness and hitch up without a lantern — as I still can in a barn I know.
I lam smoked with hickory or — bel ter still, in my opinion —corncobs. Bulling tally! (Is it still done?) Singing around tin1 parlor organ: gospel hymns. ‘Upidee . . .‘Où sont les neiges d’antan?
There was a Delly in my neighborhood, too. She started down cellar with a pitcher one day to get some cider, slipped and fell most of the way. Her old mother ran to the head of the stairs and called down —
‘ Delly, did you break the pitcher?’
This, as I have written, was fiffty years ago, and women were not supposed to swear, but Delly said, ‘No, you — old fool, but I will!’ and thereupon smashed the pitcher on the hard earthen floor of the cellar.
Thank you for the supper.
S. MILES BOUTON
Ashville, New York
‘The item of depreciation.‘
Dear Atlantic, —
If Mr. Clifford B. Reeves had figured correctly in his article in the April Atlantic, he would have shown home ownership even more of a gamble than he did make it out to be.
Mr. Reeves neglected to take into consideration the item of depreciation, (Tsk, tsk, and him a banker tool) Oddly enough, an old house is not worth as much as a new one, and if you pay $ 16,000 for a building over a period of twenty years, you will not have a $ 16.000 domicile when you own all of it, but only an $8000 house. So. if you wish to do a proper job of accounting, you must add each year to the other expenses of home ownirig enough money to set up a sinking fund which will retire your original outlay over a period of forty years—that time is usually considered the life of a house.
Naturally, with this addition, Mr. Beeves’s estimate of an 11 per cent return to the landlord is entirely too optimistic, and landlords know It!
I am in the mortgage business, and during the last eighteen years I have assisted at the financing of several thousands of new structures, and have been asked to assist at the financing of several tens of thousands additional, In not one of these cases has anybody suggested erecting a one-family house for the purpose of leasing it to a tenant and sitting back to enjoy his return— 11 per cent or otherwise. There were plenty of other cockeyed schemes, but none as cuckoo as that!
No. Mr. Reeves is more than right in his contention that ownership of a home is uconoinirally not justifiable.
But, logic being logic. that is the best argument for owning a house. If nobody will build ’em to rent ’em, you must build ’em to own ’em, if you want ’em at all.
Of course, during the last ten years a lot of people could not afford to live in the houses they had built. They could not sell them, and so they rented them out, but as soon as the market improves they will get rid of them. The good ones, naturally, will go firest, and Mr. Reeves will have a hard time finding the sort of house that he would like to live in. Of course, he could move into an apartment and wait for the next depression.
If nobody would build a house, except on a strict dollars-and-cents basis, we should all live in apartments. A home is a very pleasant but rather expertsi v e luxury . It can be justified only on the grounds on which you would defend the purchase of a tailormade suit of clothes, as against buying a ready-made garment.
THEO. A. BUENGER
The ‘long road’ to Television — a radio official comments upon ‘The Errors of Television’ by Gilbert Seldes in the Atlantic for May.
... I believe that the firsl television sets will range from three hundred dollars to one thousand dollars. The market for them in any given community will be limited to those who can a fiord such an experimental expenditure. There will be almost a negligible audience, which cannot justify the interest of advertisors for year’s to come. The cost of production of programmes will be from twennty-five to fifty times as much as the cost of producing radio programmes. The cost of the television transmitter will be infinitely greater to cover a given area than a broadcasting station to cover the same area. Every production, with the exception of news events, will be comparable in cost to the production of movingpicture film.
Who is going to pay for this? And who is going to be satisfied or interested in the best that is now available? Far be it from me to suggest that we shall never have television, but I predict a long, painful, and costly road before we have it.
POWEL CROSLEY, JR.
(ancuuiat i, Ohio
Enter the lists, if you must: John Gielgud versus Maurice Evans.
Dear Atlantic, —
Each member of our family read with keen interest the article in your April issue written by Waller Prichard Eaton. knowing that he speaks with authority, it was our hope to the very end that he would pronounce John Gielgud s success in Hamlet greater than Maurice Evans’s in Richard. Such had been our decision. Mr. Eaton, however, implied the reverse.
To be sure, Mr. Evans has a voice of clarity—a little too precise, perhaps, not lacking in the eloquence which has been ascribed to it, but tinged with the schoolboy flavor and rather monotonous and mechanical. Mr. Gielgud’s ullerance seemed to us more varied, more finely dramatic and moving. We saw Hamlel twice, sitting almost on the stage, and narrowly escaped seeing it again, on the contrary, we fell nothing of the awful tragedy faced by Richard and have no inclination to attend another performance except out of curiosity as to what was the matter with us or with two of our favorite critics. Mr. (iiclgud, young but experienced in Shakespearean rôles, brings to his emotional interpretation rare personal charm and distinguished hearing. His princely clothes are flattering and he wears them with distinction. These assets crown a carefully built up and intelligent presentation which, from Mr. Gielgud’s own statement, is a compromise between the traditional and the modern point of view. What I mean briefly to say is that we wish Mr. Eaton, the distinguished critic who speaks his own mind, had bestowed more praise on Mr. Gielgud’s art.
LUCY E. SWETT
Montclair, New Jersey
French as she is spoke.
Will you have the obligeance to accept my best congratulations of your delicious ‘air-conditioned’ piece, ‘The Two Milords,’by Stephen Leacock, in May ? Although it is now a long time that I have not studied the French. and I make myself of had blood of it, yet was it scarcely difficult for me to comprehend that which would be the true gallicisms. In effect, I amused myself an evening where I was mrheunied by translating the piece into the French, with a little of success, and decided myself then to study again the French.
Ah, the French, the young, high jolly and above all spiritual French! I went to exercise myself at it, for example, at a French restaurant. when I had hunger: ‘ Boy! What is it that one has good to eat? I shall have of the legumes, of the viands, of the coffee to milk.’ And I left for him a fordrink.
One time. I have tried to get myself a communication on the telephone, hut the telephonist did not obtain the number which must he for me. Then, she branched me on another line and finished by catting me in the fine middle of my conversation.
Another time, I have made a rendezvous with the beaulician. who agreed herself to make a shampooing and an undulation, while that the manicure made my nails. After that, she refreshed the hairs by the back, and quite a little on the temples, which is all of the mode.
Eh, well, there is little which the French do that, after all, one cannot do here. But, who except a f renchman could light a cigarette with cold blood:?
Will you accept the expression of my sentiments the most distinguished?
EDITH M. MACHEN
When did you start reading theitlantic?
Dear Atlantic. —
You have found such a young new reader that I think you Would be pleased to know about him. To be sure, I myself cannot remember when the friendly orange-covered magazine was not on our library table, but truth compels me to say that I did not start read inn the Atlantic at the age of nine!
But—yesterday our nine-year-old Jimmie was discovered with the tip of his nose buried in the pages of my favorite magazine, completely fascinated by Elliott Humphrey’s splendid article on ‘ Dogs.’ And although I very much wanted the book myself, a mother’s thrill at finding her child so early launched upon a soul-satisfying hobby stayed my hand, and the nine-year-old finished his article in peace (which is, after all, the right and privilege of all Atlantic Monthly fans!).
I have read the Atlantic for nineteen years, and since I am fast approaching my thirt-third birthday you can see for yourself that I ‘got the habit’ firly young myself!
Long life and a merry one to you.
HELEN WILLIS KNIGHT
Cheers from a Washington correspondent.
Dear Atlantic, —
Three cheers from this Amen Corner! ’The Destiny of Europe,’ your leader in the May issue, is the greatest piece of constructive journalism we have had in this country for many years. Nothing can save Europe, but there is still a slender margin of economic sanity and moral stability in America — if the mobilization may begin within a year or two. This sort of raw meat certainly should bring our red blood to the top again.
Chevy Chase, Maryland
‘The sap sure did run.’
Dear Atlantic, —
In your January — I think — number, a correspondent from New Mexico tells the sad story of a man back in ‘York State’ who cleaned up his sugar bush, cutting away and burning all the underbrush, and as a result the sap refused to run ever after. But in my boyhood days in my home village up in northern New York State, folks used to tap the maple trees that stood along the streets of the village in front of their homes, and of course the ground beneath such trees was always free from any protecting underbrush. I well remember, on the way to district school in those late winter mornings, stopping from place lo place to drink sap from the pails that hung so conveniently and temptingly from the rows of maple trees along the road. These trees were tapped year after year and the sap sure did run. How so?
ARTHUR D. BERRY
For mathematicians who like to farm.
Dear Atlantic, —
I read, with interest, Mr. Chew’s article, ‘Save America First,’ in the February issue.
I have worked out a plan to save first my farm in Saskatchewan. the plan is feasible in much of the western part of the continent.
In one sentence the suggestion is for every farmer to spend one day per year per quarter section in planting shelter-belt material crosswise of the wind. One man can plant a half mile in one day, so that, if every farmer spent one day per year per quarter section in tree planting, the whole of the Louisiana Purchase could have shelter protection within four years. That allows for a hedge every forty rods. To cultivate a half mile requires fifteen minutes with the horses walking two miles per hour. Four cultivations would require one hour per year per hall mile of planting. Nine miles per section, if one owns 640 acres, would require about two days per year to cultivate.
We are plant ing Caragana, or Siberian pea tree, in single rows one foot apart in the row. As soon as we complete the present programme in 1938. which will give us a hedge every forty rods, we shall either split the distance and plant a hedge every twenty rods, or plant a quicker grower beside, each row of Caragana. Caragana will grow to heights of twelve to twenty feet, but grows only at the rate of about one foot per year.
Shelter belts will do almost everything that the enthusiasts claim, except increase the rainfall. They will reduce evaporation, which amounts to exactly the same thing as an increase in rainfall, provided there be any precipitation at all. Tests for reduced evaporation run as high as 65 per cent, which in theory has the effect of trebling the rainfall.
I made an evaporation test in my basement in Vancouver. I placed identical puns of water on the floor. On one I trained a breeze from a wind machine made out of a vacuum cleaner. The other pan was protected from air currents. The water under the wind machine evaporated in two hours and fortyfive minutes. The other pan required eighty-six hours to evaporate.
Shelters protect crops from mechanical damage — i.e. being blown out of the ground — for as much as fifty feet for each foot in height of shelter. Measurements taken after a high wind at the Experimental Station. Indian Head, Saskatchewan, showed undamaged crop for 750 feet Irom a fifteen-foot row of trees, whereas beyond that the crop was blown out 100 per cent.
Shortly after the government nursery was established at Sutherland, Saskatchewan, fifty acres of oats were planted, twenty-five acres on the open prairie, and twenty-five acres behind low hedges of Caragana. The twenty-five acres on the open prairie blew out completely. The other twenty-five acres yielded forty-five, bushels per acre.
My principal interest in shelter belts is to reduce evaporation, and the prevention of mechanical damage is secondary. Emergency measures can be taken to prevent mechanical damage, such as ridging, strip farming, and so forth. But shelter belts prevent both kinds of damage and do it permanently.
Our wheat yield in 1936 was about two bushels per acre — in other words, a failure. However, behind an aged shelter bell leading from the road to the buildings we had an excellent garden.
Had the former owner of my farm spent one day per year per quarter section in planting shelter belts in the proper places for a period ol four years, I should not now find il necessary to engage on the coast in feats of financial prestidigitation to avoid losing my farm, while my tenant gets advances from the government for seed, horse feed, and tractor fuel.
R. C. SINGLETON
Vancouver, British Columbia