Refugee Benefits

April 15 1939


Refugee Benefits

April 15 1939


Refugee Benefits

In Britain, Refugees Have Created Employment For Many British Workers

WHEN refugees from Germany began to arrive in Great Britain, it was feared at first, according to an article in the Spectator (London), that they would increase unemployment, and the Government was criticized on the ground that assistance should first be given to the British unemployed. It has been found, however, that in many cases the arrival of refugees has actually increased employment. The article tells us how this result has been brought about, as follows:

All over the country industries and businesses large and small are springing up which are employing British workjx*ople who were previously unemployed.

There have been some events of major importance. In some cases whole industries, or sections of industries, have been transferred completely to this country. The whole of the valuable fur trade of Leipzig, for instance, has been transferred to this country. The greater part of the present leather bag industry now established in England has since 1931 been built up by German Jews, the majority of whom of course took up residence here and increased their businesses after 19.33. In Lancashire there is one leather-bag business which employs over 750 British subjects. The factory of another one, established on the St. Helen’s Estate at Bishop Auckland, which was burned down some time ago, was employing at the time 250 British subjects, and the program which is to be carried out this year will employ up to 600 people. In all these cases work is being done hete by British workmen that was formerly done in Germany by Germans.

The Northeastern Special Area has benefited especially from the refugees’ enterprises. A German Jewish refugee and his family, for instance, are establishing a fine furnishing-materials factory employing 40 British subjects; an Italian Jew, along with the same Germans, is starting a mass-production furnishing-fabrics factory which, beginning with 175 British employees is expected ultimately to employ about 2,000. Other firms are manufacturing soul-«, delicatessen, furnishings, lampshades, electrical equipment, work boxes and furniture, and a cement hardening process is being started. Already a number of men have booked factories and propose coming to the Team Valley estate as soon as they are able to get out of Germany.

Similarly in the South Wales Special Area, refugees are bringing work to districts where the need for work is greater than anywhere else. Here are some instances. A silk printing factory now employs 40 and wall soon employ 70 British workpeople; a leather glove factory employs 50; a new factory for the manufacture of patent fasteners will employ 50; confectionery and cakes will employ 20; wrist-watch straps already employ 22; chrome leather 84; silk printing 44; bottle caps and gelatine products 26; surgical adhesives 40; leather belting 8; plain kid and fancy leather gloves 11.

One effect of the transfer of industries has been that firms in this country who previously bought goods abroad find that they can still purchase from the same firm, but that it has now been established in this country. This has been the case with one of the largest London departmental stores, which previously bought women’s dresses and costumes in Germany. The manufacturing firm now makes the same dresses in this country. It is estimated that the ladies’ clothing trade alone is responsible for the employment of about 1,000 additional British subjects. Two allied businesses introduce another important aspect of the whole subject of refugee industries. A successful wholesale millinery business which was established only nine months ago is already employing 40 girls. The interesting feature of the work in this case is that it is actually exported from England to continental countries. Exports have also been expanded by the introduction of an entirely new business to this country— the manufacture of novelty woollens through the instrumentality of a group of refugees who do not themselves actually manufacture but are dealers and prepare designs for novelty woollens for export abroad. The designs are manufactured for them by British firms, and the distributing side of this business alone employs 50 British subjects. The indirect employment thus afforded must obviously be very considerable.

A London firm brought into personal contact in the course of its business with some 3,000 refugees is able to calculate that at a low estimate each of these entrants has given employment to an average of not less than three British subjects. In addition to the direct and tangible results indicated here it is clear that the secondary effects, while they are not directly measurable, are equally important and even more widespread. The refugees, and the people they employ, have to be housed. Their demand for housing accommodation is a stimulus to investment. They have to be fed, clothed, amused and transported from place to place. In addition it must be remembered that the transfer of many of these businesses involves other imponderables. The refugee manufacturers bring with them the goodwill they built up on the Continent. That is why they so readily find, as many of them are now finding in Switzerland, Holland, Denmark and other countries, markets for the goods they manufacture in this country.

On humanitarian and other grounds there is a strong case to be made out for a generous policy of refugee immigration. When this case is further strengthened by the appeal to our own interests, it would be folly to resist it.

Silent Planes

Invisible and Noiseless Bombers May Be Much More Deadly Than Present Ones

BOMBING AIRPLANES may become even more deadly in the future than they are at present, according to an article in Popular Aviation by A. Whitehouse. Silent engines would greatly increase their offensive power, and progress in this direction has already been made by different countries. The author states: Let us presume that a completely silenced bomber, or a fleet of such bombers, is sent off to attack any of our key cities. If they are silenced they will first of all deny us any chance of detecting them and eventually intercepting them, for the first stage of defense against air attacks is based on sound, and if our anti-aircraft detectors cannot hear their approach, they cannot warn the defensive air squadrons.

Should these theoretical raiders decide to strike by day, so that they can be seen, the lack of noise will completely nullify all chances of predicting the range, for most range-finding instruments are operated on the basis of sound picked up by suitable microphones.

Night raiders, streaking across borders from unknown bases, will be able to evade our searchlights, because the sound detectors will never reveal their presence. Eliminate the value of the searchlight, and the defensive planes in the air are powerless to find their targets.

Should this situation arise, our only weapon will be a counter-bombing offensive against the enemy. In other words we should have to accept the fact that the enemy can. bomb our ports and key cities without danger, and our only form of reprisal would be to bomb his bases in turn.

But, naturally you will ask: “Is there such a thing as a silenced plane, or is such a plane feasible?”

For years now we have heard of silenced war planes. We heard the rumors of silenced planes along the Western Front in 1917 and 1918.

Since those days the story of the silenced plane continues to crop up.

On several occasions the French Government has reported that a silenced plane has been seen flying over certain sections of the Maginot Line. In another instance a Cin us-engined Leopard-Moth, equipped with a Vokes silencer, passed over a group of observers at the height of 500 feet. Toa man they agreed that had they not looked up they would have considered that the sound was nothing more than that of a motor car passing along a near-by road.

As far back as 1932 the Germans had succeeded in silencing high-power engines so well that they had eliminated seventy per cent of the noise.

If German engineers have succeeded in completely silencing the plane, they have learned something about propeller sound and propeller design we have been unable to fathom—or have we?

The U. S. air services have been experimenting with silenced planes for several years. Some time ago they produced a silencer for the Curtiss Conqueror engine mounted in a Douglas observation plane.

Flying at full speed at 8,000 feet, the plane could not be heard from the ground. Later they added a new style of camouflage and, according to witnesses, this added baffler made the plane practically invisible from the ground.

Great Britain has been experimenting with motor silencers for years. As a matter of fact, the Royal Air Force had a fairly efficient silencer as far back as 1918, but the weight of the device was prohibitive.

Whether Germany or Great Britain has solved the problem, we do not know. But whoever has a silenced plane is fully ten years ahead of any other air service, regardless of size, service, speed or armament. As the old fighter once said, “You can’t hit what you can’t see.”


In Any Business or Profession, It Counts Most In Achieving Success

PERSONALITY is what counts for most in achieving success, even in such a technical line as engineering, according to studies made under the auspices of the Carnegie Foundation, as reported by Harriet Babcock in the Personnel Journal. And the traits which constitute personality are listed in this manner:

(1) Impressiveness—“the combination of personal and physical qualities which influence favorably those with whom one comes in contact. This includes physique, energy, personal appearance, manner and presence.”

(2) Initiative—“a combination of originality, deteimination, perseverance and enthusiasm. It means having ideas and getting things done.”

(3) Thoroughness—“involving accuracy and dependability in performing any task; not taking things for granted; and reliability in the assumption of any duty.” (4) Observation—“involving both memory and perception. It is the ability to see and to remember details of a picture which is observed for a definite length of time.” (5) Concentration—"the ability to disregard other problems and to focus attention on the particular task in hand.”

(6) Constructive Imagination — “the I ability to apply present knowledge and ! experience toward the solution of new problems. It is the ability to see the relationship of what you already know to new situations and is the basis of originality.”

(7) Decision—“involving quickness of comprehension, the ability to think through a situation and to arrive at a conclusion, and the ability to put a problem aside and to go on to the next, once a line of action has been decided upon.”

(8) Adaptability—“the inherent ability to adapt oneself to new problems easily ; and quickly, which involves mental ! alertness, speed of thinking, and facility in changing mental set.”

(9) Leadership—“the ability to get i others to do willingly what you want them to do. to get results from men rather than from tools and machinery.”

(10; Organizing Ability—“the ability to see the elements of a problem and to keep them in their proper relationship; and to lx? resourceful in planning methods for j their solution.”

(11) Expression—“the ability to think I clearly and to convey one’s ideas to others — to know and to let others know you know.”

(12) Knowledge - “knowing facts and having ability to use them, that is, to recall them when wanted.”

Everyone has in varying degrees the abilities which go to make up personality. The degree to which some traits or combination of traits exceed others results in more or less clearly defined types of personality.

Original School

No Matter What You Wish To Learn, a School in Denver Will Teach You

ONE OF the most amazing schools in the world exists in Denver, Colorado. It is called the Opportunity School, and in it anyone may learn anything whatsoever that he wishes to learn. There are no attendance records, no examinations, no grades, no required subjects, no specified length of course. In the American Legion Magazine, Marc A. Rose describes it as follows:

Ten thousand men and women, boys and girls, study in Denver’s Opportunity School each year. The youngest on record so far was thirteen; the oldest, a Frenchman, a retired barber, got his high-school diploma at eighty-two.

There’s an inscription on the front of the shabby old building. It isn’t a fancy Latin motto. It reads simply, “For All Who Wish to Learn.”

It means just what it says. There’s a class for girls who are about to be married; I wasn’t allowed to visit that. But I did look in on the class in gold mining. There’s a class in beginners’ English. We glanced through the door at a group of greybeards, and grandmothers, and dark Mexican girls, and one bright, eager young man, a refugee from Vienna. In an algebra class, a little old lady explained that she had had to be practical all her life, and now she wanted to learn something useless.

Experience has taught the Opportunity School to be wary of volunteering vocational guidance. Its advice almost always is, “Do what you really want to do.” That is why nobody tried to dissuade the fat old negro washwoman who wanted to study in the millinery class. It was just as well, for now she is making an excellent living at it. She has a flair for designing bonnets that enrapture middle-aged women of her race. Then there was the deaf-mute girl who wanted to learn beauty-shop technique. How would she ever get a job, the teachers wondered. But she did. “Got any more like her?” the proprietor demanded the other day. “I wish none of ’em could talk !”

About 1,500 students a year get jobs through the school. What about the other 8,500? Why, they already had jobs, most of them. Now they have better jobs. A young scholar working for his Fh.D. followed up 178 employed men and women to discover what they got out of the school. Ten showed no change in wages. Almost half of the rest had more than doubled their income because they had learned new skills. The others got raises of ten to 100 per cent.

This is all free, you understand; Opportunity School is part of the Denver public school system. And Denver is immensely proud of it.

It is hard to say which of the school’s many functions is the most valuable, but I incline to the belief that the most important is its training of employed people for the next step ahead—or sometimes, merely to keep their jobs. A class of railroad men, for example, is studying a new airbrake that is just being introduced. Garage men are learning new techniques of welding. Scores of shopgirls are studying for advancement; often at the suggestion of their employers. There are two rooms, full of employed secretaries who come for drill in speed dictation.

Nearly everybody in the class in public speaking has a job. The only trouble is tliat this class is too popular and overcrowded. Here it is not unusual for the clerk to meet his boss. The clerk wants to conquer his timidity, acquire poise and confidence that will make him a better salesman. The boss is there because he wants to learn how to make a good pep talk to his own staff. Besides that, he has a few pet ideas he would like to put across in the Merchants’ Association.