Slice of Life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 October, 2007, 12:00am

From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1958

The Government to-day advised farmers to take steps to protect their cattle and crops from radiation hazards in the event of a nuclear war.

Farmers were told of the effects of radiation on livestock and food and how to make their farms safer against it.

The advice was given in a pamphlet issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The ministry said: 'A farmer's ability to combat fall-out at short notice would depend to a very large extent on the plans he had made in advance.

'Careful thought in peacetime would increase both the scope and thoroughness of his precautions and would make a major contribution to the nation's food supplies in the event of war.'

The pamphlet suggested that farmers should prepare refuge rooms in their homes - preferably in a cellar - and supply them with food and water for two weeks.

As radiation might prevent a farmer from leaving his refuge for a few days a worker should be posted in the cowshed so the cows can be milked. Livestock buildings could be additionally protected against radiation by earth walls, according to the pamphlet. A person shielded by a foot of concrete or 15 inches of brick or 18 inches of earth would receive one-twentieth the dose he would receive if unprotected.

The pamphlet warned that there would be a very great risk in drinking milk from cows which had eaten food contaminated with fall-out. It would, however, be safe to use eggs from poultry that had been under cover. Fully grown potatoes and root crops that were ready for harvesting were also safe providing they were well washed and peeled.

'It is important the fall-out should be removed,' the pamphlet said. 'It is not destroyed by cooking or boiling.'

The ferry network of the Colony transported a grand total of 130,034,714 passengers and 1,407,800 vehicles during the year ended March 31, according to the report of the Director of Marine.

Four Communist MIG-17s attacked a Nationalist C-46 transport and injured the plane's navigator and radio operator, a Defence Ministry spokesman announced.

The transport, which was forced down, was on an airdrop mission over Quemoy, the spokesman said.

It was the first MIG attack on the 20-day-old airdrop to break the Communist blockade. Five days earlier, Communist shore batteries shot down a C-46, killing her crew of 13.

The spokesman said MIGs swooped down and attacked unescorted C-46s while the transports were airdropping medicines and foodstuff. The pilot of the hit transport made a forced landing on the island's runway.

The spokesman denied a Communist claim that MIGs shot down a Nationalist F-86 Sabrejet in aerial combat at the same time.

The United States' first space bomber, which will rocket along at 13,000-mile-an-hour, will have to glide to a landing at a friendly base after its bombing run, it was disclosed. The space bomber, know as 'Dyna-Soar', is being developed for the Air Force at an estimated cost of $130 million, according to Space Aeronautics magazine. It is expected to be ready for use in the early 1960s.

Disclosing the bomber's design for the first time, the magazine says that the 'Dyna-Soar' will not be able to return to its take-off base with present fuels. Thus, in an attack on Russia, for example, the bomber probably would be launched from the Eastern United States in a westerly direction. After its bombing run, it could glide to a landing at a base in Western Europe.

Space Aeronautics predicts the 'Dyna-Soar' will consist of a 50-foot specially-designed aircraft mounted on the 75-foot first stage of a Titan missile. The Titan booster will lift the bomber 50 to 100 miles before the booster burns out and drops off. The bomber, in turn, will continue in flight powered by its own 75,000 pound thrust engine.