CLEARING THE AIR

People have shuddered in reading about the famous plagues of history,--the swarms of files which soured Egyptian tempers, the campaigns of the African ant-armies, the rats of Hamburg which the Pled Piper charmed with his pipe. But these pale before the contemporary radio plague. It has swept the country, closed the family phonograph, put dust on the family piano. No Pied Piper has come forward to charm it into the ocean so a radio council has gathered at Washington to control the tyranny.

It is recognized that the air has become too full of a number of things (mostly static). Therefore the members of the council have pledged themselves to a general house-cleaning. In this the government may present certain slices of its present monopoly of 600-1600 metre wave lengths to the big broadcasting stations. At the same time all stations will be licensed and classified so that the air will at last have a traffic system. Beside this, the song writers and publishers are demanding aerial royalties. As they refuse to be satisfied with less than four hundred thousand dollars annually, there will probably be fewer mix-ups of concerts and rag-time. Even France is having such troubles. In the midst of a government concert which was being sent from the Eiffel tower, a voice interrupted in English to say that classical music was no good, and then a pianist gave a spirited rendition of "Casey Jones".

Most hopeful of all the matters yet taken up is the stand which one member has bravely taken against children's stories. Here is indeed a step forward. What a multitude of sins would go with the extinction of Johnny Smith and his splendid promptness at school, or Bully the Bullfrog with his fearful war-cry, or the Fairy Prince who was so kind to Freddie While the radio is being controlled by these same measures Mr. J. H. Hammond has perfected inventions which may make it useful. Many of these he has turned over to the government, among them one for managing airplanes by radio. If this should ever be inherited by the people, what unlimited possibilities it would have. Instead of sending the faithful collie to bring home the morning mail between its teeth, one would send one's private airplane. Or housewives could send out their biplane trucks to do the marketing, thus saving incalculable time and temptation.