A WEEK or two ago we described our emotional reaction and (this you may recall) our near demolition by a truck, while watching the breathtaking performance of the new Mosquito bomber. What we couldn’t tell you at the time is that our interest in that particular demonstration was exceptional. We knew that inside the plane, alongside pilot Geoffrey de Havilland, was one of our colleagues, Ronald A. Keith, getting the real feeling of the thing so that he could write the article which appears on page ten of this issue— “I RODE A MOSQUITO.”
Not only is it a thrilling narrative, but it is a knowing piece and an accurate one. Mr. Keith, long the holder of a flying license, is editor of Canadian Aviation, on leave for the duration and serving as a pilot at an R.C.A.F. observer training school in Ontario. And, for censorship reasons, between its writing and now, the article has made a fast trip to the British Air Ministry and back.
A fascinating aircraft, this engined contraption of plywood and glue; one of the fastest planes in the world. We doubt that anything could be redder than the face of the official in Ottawa who, when the idea of its construction was mooted, referred to the Mosquito as a “flying blueberry crate.”
^Somehow or other this number of Maclean’s turns out to be quite a roundup of newspaper talent.
John Bird, who, in “This Is Bracken” (page five), analyzes the new leader of the ProgressiveConservative Party, is managing editor of the Winnipeg Tribune.
Bruce West, whose most amusingstory, “Sylvester, D.F.C.” (Distinguished Flying Cat), brightens page eight, is on loan to the Wartime Information Board from Toronto’s Globe and Mail. Before becoming a reporter he was born in Huntsville, Ont., and took brief flings at being a bellhop, a theatre usher, a radio salesman, a surveyor’s helper, a plumber’s helper, a lumberjack (three weeks), a sawmill hand, a painter (houses, not pictures), a hotel clerk and a door-to-door violin salesman (with five free lessons). Aviation is one of his pet subjects. To write better flying news he took a course at the Toronto Flying Club.
Bill Frayne, who, on page thirteen, grapples with the grip alley bowling has got upon the nation—
these are the kind of strikes we don’t mind telling you about; and here again the girls are pinning that “weaker sex” canard-—is a Winnipegger recently come to report Toronto for the Globe and Mail.
Lotta Dempsey is newspaper trained too. Edmonton and points East and West. She is a born questioner. Lately she has been bustling around getting the answers to a question we set— SHOULD DOCTORS BE RATIONED? The fact is that because of absorption by Canada’s armed forces of so many of our doctors, there aren’t enough to go round in a manner equitable to both urban and rural districts. What can be done? There are a number of suggestions. The doctors themselves have some. They are recorded on page seven.
^Stephen Leacock has published a book on Montreal. In it there’s a grand description of the Mountain and what you see from its top, done in Leacock’s best whimsical style. We liked it so well that we made arrangements to reprint it, and it appears on page nineteen.
#The heading at the top of this page wouldn’t mean a thing if we didn’t confess that at times it is difficult to obtain the variety of short-story plots we’d like to have. But at least we can gloat a trifle over the fact that the fiction in this issue raised Old Harry with Nazi U-boats. ‘ ‘Sylvester, D.F.C.,” and W. A. Breyfogle’s “Judas Ship” (page sixteen), both send a sub to Davey Jones’ Locker, but in one case destruction comes from the sky and in the other case from the sea, and the yarns are altogether different in style.
^The 300-page book edition of the Beveridge Report is a best seller. In Britain 70,000 copies sold within three hours of its release. In the United States 50,000 copies distributed within three weeks of its arrival. In Canada 3,000 copies ordered before publication. On page fourteen Beverley Baxter tells of Britain’s reaction to the recommendations in the report, and throws some new human interest highlights on Sir William himself.
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