As sighs of relief thinly disguised as tributes poured in for the newly dead Russian tyrant Stalin, Hong Kong was preoccupied with matters of its own. The duties of governor Sir Alexander Grantham were as taxing as ever. This week a headline read: 'TODAY'S RUGGER: H. E. the Governor to watch Fijinas play Colony XV at Sookunpoo Ground.' Bylined 'Prop', the preview held little hope for the home side. 'As the visitors have already subdued, in no uncertain manner, the Army XV, it is not expected that the Colony side will beat them. But of course we can be sure that the local men will try their best,' wrote Prop bullishly. 'Communist China' was the focus of squabbles between the US and UK over imports of 'war materials' into the mainland. British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden promised the US today that 'she would tighten up shipping controls on the movement of strategic materials to Communist China,' the report read. The US featured again, this time in a bizarre pun-ridden piece about bird's nest soup. 'US Officials brooding over a report,' howled the headline. It got worse. 'Edible birds' nests are the subject of a report that the US is brooding over, unless they just pigeonholed it.' Trade in the delicacy was bombing in Hong Kong, where it was a rich man's delicacy, the report said. In Communist China, where the Hong Kong trade was destined, 'rich men would rather not be thought rich. It's not healthy. Nor is bird's nest soup, particularly,' mused the writer. The Star Ferry was in the news then, as now. Indeed, the stories are virtually interchangeable. In the speech of John Keswick, the chairman of the board of the Star Ferry Co to the AGM, he said construction of the new Star Ferry piers would start as soon as the Central Reclamation permitted. Marine matters were also uppermost in the New Territories, where a ballot was being held for 73 A-class beach huts for the coming bathing season. Applications were welcomed by the district commissioner of the NT with a strict warning of only one per family. Any family caught putting in more than one application would be disqualified. On the domestic front, Colman's was trying to warm people up with suggestions for 'A quick way to a wonderful NEW salad dressing.' This involved mixing two tablespoons of dry Colman's mustard powder into eight ounces (226 grams) of your favourite mayonnaise. They obviously had iron-clad taste buds then. 'Remember, for extra flavour always use Colman's mustard with hot or cold meals, sandwiches and salads,' the ad continued. Which pretty much covered everything. Cinema lovers had a treat this week. The King's Majestic boasted Gloria Swanson in 'natural colour' starring in 3 For Bedroom C, apparently her best picture since her turn in Sunset Boulevard. 'She's uproarious in colour that's glorious,' the report said. If you had a record player, there were snappy dance tunes out on 78rpm. There was Woody Herman's Keen or Les Brown crooning I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm, not to mention Up An Atom by Gene Krupa, all from Tsang Fook Piano Co in Marina House. When it came to flat-hunting, Kowloon was a more desirable address than now. One apartment at 4B, second floor, Granville Road, Kowloon, offered a sitting room, dining room, two bedrooms and a gas geyser for $700 per month. Rooms to let were common, typically 'For European bachelors only: one airy furnished room with private bathroom, services and laundry, Kowloon.' Lodging room prices were never mentioned. To keep the place clean, there was the latest mod con, the Hoover Electric Vacuum Cleaner. Hoovers seem to have been made of sterner stuff then. 'It BEATS (sic) as it sweeps as it cleans!' boasted the ad. No wonder it cost $425 - nearly a month's rent for a good-sized flat.