Saturday December 15 1945 A Bird's Eye View by Argus 'Fire spreading. Pearl Buck suggests Removal of Empires.' Not necessary: just pour a little water on 'em. * * * There will be no cash sweep at the New Year race meeting, so you'll have to think up some other way of not being lucky. * * * The Persian Government is asking everybody's troops to leave the country. Seems to be a housing shortage everywhere. * * * Somebody has seriously mistaken a burst of fire-crackers for machine-gun fire. But that's nothing. Many a little squib has been mistaken for a big shot. * * * No new licences are to be granted for a time to money-changers, auctioneers, publicans, et al. Government seems determined to promote the laundry industry. * * * The young conscript was being interviewed. He had given his name, address and other details. 'Now then,' said the Corporal, 'What is your father?' 'He was in the army - killed in the last war,' was the reply. 'Oh, really!' said the Corporal. 'What regiment was he in?' 'I don't know,' said the recruit, 'Mother didn't notice his cap badge.' * * * CHINA RECOVERY WILL TAKE AT LEAST FIVE YEARS Huge Investments And Loans Essential Shanghai, Dec 13. Loans and investments running into tens of billions of United States dollars are regarded by Chinese quarters as absolutely necessary to get China started on the road to economic rehabilitation, an official survey showed recently. Informed Chinese and foreign quarters also state that China in addition will need thousands of skilled technicians and advisers and at least five years of concentrated effort. China ended the war virtually shorn of transport and communications and with almost no materials for the huge task of repair and expansion. In addition, the country faces a critical shortage of skilled industrial managers to take over the North China industrial empire built up by the Japanese. The Government must either retain large numbers of Japanese technicians or import replacements from other countries, until adequate Chinese technicians can be trained. Acute shortages exist in steel, coal and timber, all of which are essential to any reconstruction. China's ordinarily inadequate rail-roads are in a bad state of dilapidation and need 13,000,000 rail-road ties for repairs, of which 3,600,000 are needed immediately. The country has only 120,000 ties on hand. China must look abroad for most of such rail requirements, for her own steel production is falling and the Japanese mills of Manchuria mostly produced raw iron and ingots which were finished in Japan. Shortage of Shipping Water transport is even more demoralised, with best estimates placing at less than 50,000 tons the small craft shipping available on the Yangtze River. Coastal shipping is reduced almost to the vanishing point. It will be easier and quicker to restore marine transport, but it will require a huge outlay of funds to purchase shipping from the United States and Britain. Coal production is another bottle-neck, with less than half of the pre-war requirements being produced. Oil and gasoline are almost non-existent in China, and all petroleum products will have to be imported for many years until Chinese fields can be exploited. Chinese officials say simply that they 'don't know' when asked how the country plans to meet many of the problems of rehabilitation. - United Press. * * * REPATRIATE'S LETTER Hong Kong to Sydney In 471/2 Hours SOME TIPS ON AIR TRAVEL It sounds incredible but I have just done it and here are some tips for those who expect to come this way, writes a Shanghai internee to the North China Daily News. We were actually in the air only 301/2 hours! We assembled at the Hong Kong aerodrome before dawn, eleven of us. Servicemen are allowed 120lb of baggage, civilians 65. We were all passed and set off for our Dakota twin-engined plane, still in its service colours and still a troop transport. Two metal benches run along each side of the plane. Try for an end of one of the seats because then you can lean either against the sacks of the luggage at one end or the oilskin bundles containing automatic filling pneumatic rafts. Take with you your own rug and a dark-coloured cushion. And you should have your overcoat, however warm the weather. Take a small Thermos with cup cover. Remember to get your thermos filled at each stage and have sandwiches cut for you. Especially if you set off from Hong Kong without breakfast, as we did. The only food served in the plane is Dinner Units, small pkts. as dropped by parachute over our camps. Manila at Noon We eventually left Hong Kong at 8am, sighted the Philippine Island at 11, flew over Manila at noon, arriving at Leyte about 2.30pm. Jeeps were waiting for us and we were taken by RAF officers off through many US Army Camps planted among palm trees, to our quarters. For hours after I had gone to bed I heard the cry 'Man in the Area' followed by 'Caller for Miss -' or 'Telephone Call for Sister -'. I was supposed to be called at 3am, have breakfast down the 'road' at 3.30 and be fetched at 4. However, the orders hadn't been given correctly and I was awakened by the Sergeant standing by my bed: 'Jeep here, lady.' Again without breakfast, I was driven through the rain to the Air Field. Water was lying everywhere but the tornado had passed. We had to strap ourselves in at starting and landing. Our next stop was at 11am at Morotai at the top of the Dutch East Indies. An RAF Flight Lieut. met us and drove us out to a large hut in a clearing - half mess hall and half living quarters. We sat down at deal tables and had fried eggs and bacon (very nice), bread and jam and hot strong tea. Back we rushed to the plane and were off again by 11.45 on our long hop to Darwin. It was good to step out on to Australian soil at 6pm and hear cheery voices saying: 'Welcome to Australia.'