The Charlotte News
Thursday, January 15, 1953
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Washington, a runaway Pennsylvania Railroad express passenger train from Boston, blowing its horn as a warning, had crashed through a barrier into Union Station this date, injuring at least 49 persons, at least six seriously, while killing no one. The train demolished the station master's office and smashed through a newsstand in the center of the concourse, after which the locomotive and one car plunged through the reinforced concrete floor into a baggage room in the basement. There was no explanation yet as to why the brakes on the train had apparently failed as it approached the station. Passengers estimated the train's speed at between 30 and 50 mph during the approach. Only the blasting horn had saved many from the peril. Had the floor not collapsed beneath the locomotive and one car, the train would have continued into the passenger waiting room. As it was, the injured were confined to passengers aboard the train.
A resident of Charlotte, an architect, had witnessed the train wreck and said that if it had come 20 feet closer, he would have been riding the cowcatcher. He had been returning to the concourse to retrieve his luggage from a locker, standing right in front of the path of the train, at the time of the accident. He said that in the wake of the accident, his initial fear was that the vaulted ceiling in the concourse would collapse, as one of its support columns had been knocked down by the train.
Also in Washington, an explosion in a building had reportedly killed one person and injured at least 12 others while firemen were fighting a fire at the building, a battery and appliance store at 10th and H Streets, about 10 blocks from Union Station. The explosion occurred not quite four hours after the train wreck.
In New York, a Staten Island ferry with 1,900 passengers aboard crashed into a freighter near the Statue of Liberty this date, one of two collisions in fogged conditions. Eleven persons were injured and hundreds shaken up aboard the ferry, which ultimately reached its berth in Manhattan. In another accident, in lower New York Harbor, two freighters collided, one of which was badly damaged. None of the vessels had sunk. The Coast Guard also reported that a 10,000-ton Esso tanker had run aground in the fog in the lower harbor.
In Bonn, West Germany, the previous night, British police in the British occupation zone had arrested six former Nazis and accused them of plotting to regain power in West Germany. A British Foreign Office announcement from London indicated that the plotters had promoted anti-Western views and propaganda which threatened the West German federal government as well as Allied policies, and that the arrests had been ordered by the British High Commissioner of West Germany, Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick. Among those arrested were two men who had been named in Hitler's last will to succeed to high political posts in a continuing Third Reich, envisioned by the Fuehrer to follow his suicide. A British spokesman said that the men had not yet been charged, pending further investigation.
In Washington, two former U.S. Army men, brothers-in-law to one another and naturalized American citizens, were accused of spying for Russia in a plot linked to the Soviet Embassy in Washington. Attorney General James McGranery announced that the two men had been arrested in Vienna, Austria, the previous day after being named by a Federal grand jury in Washington on Tuesday. Simultaneously with that announcement, the State Department announced that it had demanded that Russia recall the second secretary of the Soviet Embassy because of his having engaged in activities "incompatible with his status as an accredited diplomatic official".
In Durham, N.C., Governor William B. Umstead was said by his doctors to be in good condition, following his mild heart attack of the previous Sunday. The hospital had issued a request that no more flowers be sent to the ailing Governor, as there was lack of space left in his room for them.
In Raleigh, legislation was proposed to revise the State Paroles Commission, consistent with a recommendation by Governor Umstead during his inaugural address, to replace the present single paroles commissioner with a three-member board of paroles.
John Daly of The News reports of members of Oasis Temple of the Mystic Shrine holding their annual business meeting in Charlotte, electing Dr. Claude Squires of the city as potentate and authorizing the trustees to construct a home in Charlotte for the Temple's membership, to cost not more than $200,000. "Happy Birthday" was sung to the oldest living past potentate of the Temple, A. G. Myers, 71, of Gastonia, elected potentate in December, 1923.
On the editorial page, "The Case of the Briar Pipe" tells of some European businessmen, who were aware of the affection among American pipe-smokers for Algerian briar pipes, taking advantage of the affinity to make the imported briar a test case of the U.S. tariff policy.
U.S. briar pipe-makers had decided that imported pipes were "harmful" to the domestic briar pipe industry, despite a 75 percent tariff on imported briar pipes. The American pipe-makers were able to convince the Tariff Commission to recommend a higher tariff, which would require President-elect Eisenhower to overrule it for it not to go into effect. The new President would have to decide, therefore, between Americans who smoked imported briar pipes and Americans who made briar pipes from imported burls, likely to lose some of the pipe vote either way.
It indicates that it was likely the new President would not increase the tariff, as an industry which could not meet foreign competition despite the extant high tariff ought consider conversion to some other product. Not imposing the higher tariff would allow foreign manufacturers to continue to market their briar pipes, which most Americans pipe-smokers preferred, at affordable prices, and with the dollars they would make, to buy American products. It suggests that perhaps the corncob pipe, a traditionally American product, could be traded in response.
It concludes that all of trade, of which the briar pipe was an example, needed more ingenuity and fewer artificial barriers, all in the interest of increasing foreign dollars and standards of living, the best way to defeat Communism.
"Insight" indicates that the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act was being attacked by "professional Jews shedding crocodile tears", according to Congressman Francis Walter of Pennsylvania, co-sponsor of the Act, in comments he had made before the House. He said that the only "concrete criticism" of the law had been that "some poor French sailors weren't able to spend Christmas in New York". He further described the French sailors as "throat slitters".
The piece indicates that such comments showed Congressman Walter's character, as revealed in the Act, "racist, exclusionist", the Act not only having been vetoed by the President, its passage nevertheless occurring over that veto, but also condemned by President-elect Eisenhower, Governor Stevenson, and many churchmen of several faiths, who, along with many others, had been shocked at how bigoted one of its sponsors was.
"Another Bottleneck Broken" indicates that the Mecklenburg Board of Elections had correctly diagnosed one of two main deficiencies to the voting system and had acted promptly to eliminate it, that the chief reason for delays in voting in the general election in November, causing many people to have to wait in line for hours, had been the fact that there was only one registration book for each precinct. The Board had thus created a card index system to enable the list of registered voters to be broken up alphabetically into as many as four groups. The chairman of the Board had indicated that the system was better than splitting the large precincts because people were in the habit of voting at certain places.
It indicates pride in the way county residents had voted recently, with the Get-Out-the-Vote campaign having worked well in the general election. Voting machines had been used experimentally for the first time during the subsequent bond election in December, and with the latest revision in the voting system to eliminate bottlenecks, efficiency in voting would be promised in the future.
"Blundering Boobery" indicates that it never ceased to be amazed by the security breaches of high government officials, the latest slip having come from the Senate Internal Security Committee, after obtaining detailed testimony on U.S. hospitals in Korea, including their locations and facilities. The report had initially been classified as secret and then declassified and handed out to the press, with certain sections indicated as being off-limits to public disclosure. U.S. reporters respected the directive and did not report on those sections, but copies of the entire unexpurgated report were provided to representatives of the Soviet news agency Tass. Thus, the information which had been unused by the U.S. press, fell into the hands of the Russians, after being withheld from the American public, leading the piece to conclude that it was a "crazy world".
A piece from the Richmond
News-Leader, titled "The Innocent Mr. Mack, and Our Fears",
indicates that a couple of reporters for the newspaper had heard a
rumor that Ted Mack, master of ceremonies of the "Amateur Hour"
The piece traced down the rumor and found it had been entirely based on hearsay, suggests that such rumors could affect anyone. "Will the truth, one wonders helplessly, ever catch up with the lie?"
Drew Pearson looks at Secretary of Defense-designate Charles E. Wilson, head of G.M., tells of his appointment having paid off an important political debt to the automotive industry, which had pressured RNC chairman and Postmaster General-designate Arthur Summerfield into switching from Senator Taft to General Eisenhower at the GOP convention. With the appointment, the President-elect had also secured the best production man in the industry. Under his leadership, with labor loyalty having turned to G.M. after its pioneering cost-of-living adjustment to wages had been incorporated into its contracts, profits had soared, a process started during the war, the company's net worth having doubled during the postwar years, a record in big business history.
It was said that American fighting men were always using G.M. equipment, placing the new Secretary in the uncomfortable position of differentiating between his new role and the interests of the company he had headed.
When Averell Harriman had become Secretary of Commerce in 1945, he had issued an order that any business involving his former company, Union Pacific Railroad, should not come before him but would be delegated to a subordinate. Mr. Wilson would be charged with ordering 40 billion dollars worth of military hardware per year, whereas Secretary Harriman had relatively small expenditures to direct. Mr. Wilson would also be in charge of setting materials allocations. Further complicating matters, his deputy, Roger Keyes, was also from G.M. Moreover, some of the decisions on general policies could not be delegated. In 1942, Mr. Wilson, for instance, had initially been opposed to ceasing automobile production during the war, but was overruled by order of the War Department.
Mr. Pearson sets forth Mr. Wilson's background prior to becoming head of G.M. His salary and bonuses in 1949 had been $586,000 and he owned 18,742 shares of G.M. stock, which he would probably not wish to sell during his time as Secretary of Defense.
Joseph & Stewart Alsop again regard the hydrogen bomb, stressing the complications to arise when the Russians inevitably would obtain the bomb, with the experts predicting about two more years for that eventuality to occur. They posit the question of who would then benefit most from the advent of the fusion bomb, with its terrible implications, its radioactive cloud potentially wiping out half of all life on a given continent and in the meantime having ill effects over time just from atmospheric testing, producing sterility and other untoward consequences.
They wonder whether the foreseeable future situation would be intolerable, and what diplomatic or other initiative could be attempted to avert it, whether world settlement, world disarmament, or world control of the new weapons would be the solution. They also wonder what would be needed if the U.S. chose the path which Prime Minister Winston Churchill had called the "peace of mutual terror", that is competing East-West hydrogen bombs, whether the society could exist under a perpetual condition of life-and-death alert. They find that no questions in human history had been harder to answer, and the answers available appeared ugly.
Marquis Childs tells of a friend in France stating that General Charles DeGaulle was destroying France, doing what the Communists sought to do, but succeeding. France had moved away from the concept of a unified Europe expressed in the Schuman Plan, the sharing of coal and steel resources, and the European army, with Robert Schuman now out of the new Cabinet formed by the new Premier, Rene Mayer.
The fact diminished the hope of a combined Western European defense structure, as without France and West Germany, it would have no strength. The ratification of the European army might not occur as a result of compromise in the formation of the new Cabinet, pushing to the foreground the Gaullists, with the traditional fears of an armed Germany.
The recent NATO foreign ministers council had also pared down the funding sought by NATO supreme commander, General Matthew Ridgway, the minimum he believed was necessary to provide for the European army, pushing military readiness for NATO out to 1956 or later, on the premise that containment had been so successful that the Russians would not risk starting a world war with aggression toward Western Europe. That strategy would be greeted with approval by the new Republican Congress, bent on cutting defense abnd foreign aid expenditures, but was contrary to the advice of outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett.
The appointed Ambassador to Britain in the Eisenhower Administration was Winthrop Aldrich, head of the Chase National Bank and a longtime political ally of Governor Dewey. The likely Ambassador to France would be Douglas Dillon, the latter being the personal choice of Secretary of State-designate John Foster Dulles, who had business associations with Mr. Dillon at Dillon, Read, a client of Sullivan and Cromwell, the law firm of which Mr. Dulles had been senior partner. But Mr. Dillon was without diplomatic experience, so necessary to urge France back to the fold on NATO unity. As a result, many associates of the President-elect were urging that former Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., be named instead to the post of Ambassador to France, rather than to the U.N. to which he had been appointed. General Eisenhower had told Mr. Childs a year earlier that Senator Lodge knew Europe and NATO better than anyone else in active political life. During the war in North Africa, he had been close to the French military leaders and spoke fluent French.
Mr. Childs agrees with the idea of appointing Senator Lodge to the position in France, believes that it would demonstrate flexibility on the part of the new Administration to meet a changing situation.
Robert C. Ruark, in Nairobi, Kenya, for his safari, finds, instead of anticipated relaxation, a state of war with the Mau Mau, resulting in curfews outside of town and mounting daily violence. He finds it an "unholy war, sponsored by a few evil men, to fire up a huge native population to kill and wreck and pillage, preying mostly on the weak, with the majority of bloody conflicts among the Kikuyus," natives most thickly settled around Nairobi. The Mau Mau atrocities were more directed at blacks than against the declared white enemy.
There was division among the white population, some wanting to meet violence with violence, while others, not believing that the Kikuyus would have anything to do with the Mau Mau, disfavored a violent reaction. There had been criticism among native Kenyans of the British Government for taking a lackadaisical attitude in quelling the violence, amid indecision on how to scotch it. The major complaint regarded violent retaliation against the Mau Mau, which included innocents being slashed to bits by screaming mobs wielding bush knives and short, sharp swords.
As a note on the current impeachment trial in the Senate, we suggest reading at page 5, Rule VI, from the record of the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, adopted by the Senate in the first impeachment trial of a President, regarding the subpoenaing of witnesses, presently a hot topic among some Republican Senators, who apparently do not want to afford the House Managers the ability to call witnesses in the trial to start next Tuesday.
The rule in question, as set down in the Congressional Globe Supplement, the Globe being forerunner of the Congressional Record, the Supplement being exclusively devoted to the Johnson impeachment trial which commenced at 12:30 p.m., March 30, 1868, provided for calling of witnesses. After opening statements by the House Managers and the President's representatives, there followed presentation of lengthy testimony, then final arguments, winding up in acquittal, famously by a single vote of the 54 Senators, that is 35 having favored conviction and removal from office.
The substance of the charges against President Johnson, which most historians regard as the product of Radical Republicanism at its nadir, had to do with abuse of power in dismissing certain Federal officeholders without legal cause, and are not of interest or pertinent in the present impeachment in 2020. But the procedures therein adopted are of compelling significance, not only because it was the first impeachment trial of a President, but also because the participants in the trial, including Chief Justice Salmon Chase and many of the Senators and House Managers and Representatives, had been born only a couple of decades or less after the Founding in 1787, when the Constitution was adopted and sent to the states for ratification, and, in some cases had personal contact with some of the Founders. Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, for instance, died famously on the same day, exactly 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1826, well within the lifetimes of some of the personages involved in the Johnson impeachment. President Johnson had been born in 1808. Radical Republican leader Charles Sumner, one of the chief advocates for impeachment of President Johnson, had been a student of Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story when the latter had taught at Harvard Law School while sitting on the Court. Justice Story, from 1812 through 1835, sat on the Supreme Court alongside Chief Justice John Marshall, who, though not a Founder, led the Supreme Court as Chief from 1801 through 1835, into its notable role of interpreting the laws vis-à-vis the Constitution and established the Court thereby as a co-equal branch of the Federal Government. In any event, the men who then comprised the Senate and House were much closer to the time of the Founding, obviously, than are we in 2020 or were the members of Congress in 1999 at the time of the impeachment trial of President Clinton. That earlier impeachment trial in 1868, therefore, insofar as its adopted procedures, should be regarded as the better precedent for governing impeachment trial of a President in accordance with the Constitution.
There was no discussion at the Johnson trial of whether witnesses could be called, apparently the Senators and Representatives then not having heard of such quaint notions as the "nuclear option" to abolish filibuster or other such subterfuges adopted wholesale to change the rules of the Senate as written to accomplish desired partisan ends. There was good reason for the right to call witnesses being understood as a right of both sides, that of the House Managers prosecuting the case and the President. It was analogous to the most basic right in any trial, criminal or civil, available to both sides, to summon witnesses in one's own behalf and have the right of confrontation and cross-examination of the witnesses presented by the other side.
Many Republicans these days are trying to change the Constitutionally prescribed procedures of impeachment, attempting to equate the House impeachment proceeding to a "trial", during which "the Democrats" had the opportunity to call witnesses and present whatever evidence they had for impeachment, leaving the Constitutionally-mandated trial of the impeachment articles in the Senate as little more than a formality, going through the motions to render an acquittal.
That, however, is a complete perversion of the process set forth by the Constitution. The House brings the charges underlying impeachment and then prosecutes the case in a trial before the Senate, where, according to the 1868 precedent, witnesses are called by both sides, the House Managers and the accused official.
At page 27, midway down the second column, of the above-cited record of the Johnson impeachment trial, lead House Manager, Representative Benjamin Butler, indicated, in response to a motion by the President to delay the trial by 90 days to provide adequate time for preparation, that the House Managers had summoned their witnesses and those witnesses were ready to come to the Senate forthwith to testify in the trial. Later, as recorded at page 29, when it was determined that the trial would begin March 30, Mr. Butler asked the president pro tem of the Senate for leave to give notice to the witnesses to be called by the House of the time and place of the start of the trial, which leave was granted. Neither of those references to summoned House witnesses prompted discussion by either the Chief Justice or the Senators as to the right of the Managers to summon witnesses, even though a technical reading of Rule VI might have suggested that the Senate had the right to subpoena witnesses. Obviously, it was regarded to mean, analogous to a court clerk issuing subpoenas which are then served by prosecutors or attorneys for the defendant, or, in civil cases, by attorneys for the plaintiff and defendant, that the Senate simply endorsed the subpoenas for issuance to witnesses chosen by either side, the President or the prosecutors, in the form of the House Managers. That practice, being consistent with Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence dating back to colonial British law, needed no argument for acceptance.
Now, it seems, however, that there has been a failure of recollection of this basic tenet of our long history of jurisprudence, substituted, for expedience, by rules with the overarching theme of ad hoc administration, made up to fit partisan ends, to the extent acceptable to the loudest constituents back home.
But that subjective test is obviously not a sound one, will not lead to anything but chaos, absent standardized rules by which everyone, Government officials and the people, can gauge their actions and responsibilities into the future. We all live by the Constitution, and if some Republicans intend to shred it for the sake of partisan ends, under the guise of majority rules adopted by the Senate, then we all might as well declare it open season on law generally, boycott all laws passed by the Senate of the United States as being practical nullities, not worth the paper on which they are printed, as they may be nullified any day by majority vote of the Senators, dependent on the vicissitudes of political winds determining which party controls the majority after a given biennial election.
We must follow basic precepts set forth in the Constitution. It is true that anent impeachment, the Constitution is silent on the rules per se to be followed in the trial in the Senate. But there was no need for setting forth those rules in any detail within the clause governing impeachments, as the basic rules for trials are embodied in the Bill of Rights, notably the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Amendments, for the benefit of all citizens, including an accused official in an impeachment trial for removal from office. The rights to call witnesses and confront and cross-examine witnesses against the accused are basic to due process rights of any accused, and apply reciprocally with equal force to the prosecution. This basic fact some Republicans appear to forget when not convenient to recall it in a difficult political context.
In the 1868 trial of President Johnson, there were several witnesses called by the House Managers and extensive examination took place, as set forth in the above-cited record, starting at page 54, with some witnesses authenticating documents and then proceeding to more substantive witnesses. The President's lawyers were permitted to cross-examine, as were individual Senators, in the latter case by way of submission of written questions propounded to the witnesses by the Chief Justice.
That is the only sensible way to conduct any trial of this type. For justice to be done for the American people, being represented by the House Managers in this instance, just as the "State" or the "People" or the "United States" are represented by prosecutors in criminal trials, the House Managers must be able to call witnesses of their choosing, so long as the testimony, as with any witness, is germane and relevant to the subject of the impeachment, or in the case of the accused official, germane and relevant to that person's defense to the charge. To be entirely fair, questions of relevance ought be left, as in any trial, to the presiding judicial officer, in this case Chief Justice John Roberts, rather than having a majority vote of Senators be determinative, in a partisan atmosphere, of such questions, hardly suggestive of fairness or impartiality. Would it ring of fairness to have the fans at a football game, by voice vote, make decisions on rules of the game, normally reserved to the referees on the field?
Also noteworthy in the Johnson trial was the thorough discussion by Congressman Butler, during his opening statement, of the meaning of the Constitution's phrase regarding the unspecified bases of impeachment, "other high crimes and misdemeanors", beginning at page 46, in which he argued persuasively on behalf of the House Managers that the language was not intended by the Founders to limit grounds for impeachment only to criminal conduct, but could also include maladministration in office, the subject of the Johnson impeachment.
It is, of course, to be argued in the 2020 impeachment trial that there was a Constitutionally stated crime as ground for the impeachment, solicitation of a bribe, an offer of something for something, a political "favor", not relevant to the discharge of the duties of the Presidency, for the sole purpose of investigation of a political rival and publicly announcing the commencement of same, and thus acting "corruptly" to benefit the officeholder in exchange for performance of an official duty, the corrupt intent to be ascertained objectively by all of the surrounding evidence attendant the solicitation, not just the subjective claim of innocent intent by the person accused.
These are the stakes, the ability to have free and fair elections in this country, free from the taint of corruption by officeholders intent on winning and holding office by any means, including the corrupt involvement of foreign governments in our electoral process, something of which the Founders were especially wary, hence the clause in the Constitution which prohibits gifts and emoluments from a foreign government to any official of the Federal Government.
All relevant evidence should be allowed in the impeachment trial on both sides, not just because it is a good idea, but because it is the very foundation of our system of justice, flawed as it inevitably is, a means of adversarial inquiry and cross-inquiry taking the trial out of the inquisitional mode, at least seeking to make it as fair as possible to both sides in any case, especially necessary in the case of impeachment of the highest executive official in the country, with every citizen having a stake in the proceeding.
Following an indictment or presentment of a prosecutor's information alleging a felony committed by a defendant, after which, a preliminary hearing is held at which the essential witnesses and other evidence are presented to make out the basic elements of the offense, the witnesses thoroughly examined and cross-examined, and the defendant then bound over for trial by the judge, if that defendant then entered the trial court and moved to exclude all further testimony of witnesses of the prosecution on the ground that the prosecution had already been afforded opportunity to present its case at the preliminary hearing or before the grand jury, that motion would not only be denied but the defendant might well be chastised, perhaps even sanctioned, by the court for wasting its time with a frivolous motion, contrary to due process and the established practices of the courts of the land for the entirety of the nation's history.
We thus hope that the Senators, especially the Republicans not keen on following the Constitution too closely, and Chief Justice John Roberts, who can certainly guide the Senate with regard to rules of procedure, as did Chief Justice Salmon Chase in 1868, will study President Johnson's impeachment trial in relevant part, those sections cited above, preliminary to the taking of testimony and receipt of documentary exhibits, and take therefrom the necessary guidance of history in proceeding through this rarely invoked process. The manner of procedure is not merely left to the whim and fancy of the majority of the Senate, without guidance from history and precedent, at the inevitable expense of the Constitutional rights of either the accused or the people of the United States, as represented by the House Managers, who also have a right to be heard and present all relevant evidence in support of their cause, just as any prosecutor or plaintiff does in any case. An impeachment trial is not Democrats versus Republicans, or the House versus the Senate, but rather the House majority versus the impeached official for alleged acts of misconduct in office rising to a level justifying removal from office, in effect, the people of the United States versus that official and his or her right to remain in office.
The precedents cited by Representative Butler were ample and scholarly, and sound in their reasoning, focusing on the procedures followed at the time of the impeachment trials of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase and Federal Judge John Pickering, both of which occurred not long after the Founding, Justice Chase having been tried on articles of impeachment in 1805, wherein witnesses were called by both sides, and Judge Pickering, in 1804. They knew more of the intent of the Founders than our petty powers of guess and interpretation might afford today, no matter how well schooled and grounded in experience in the law, especially when viewed, as the impeachment of any President will inevitably be, through a partisan lens, of which the opening statement of Congressman Butler was also instructive—including the absence of challenge by the House Managers to at least one Senator, Reverdy Johnson of Maryland, regarding his ability to sit as a fair and impartial juror in the trial for having expressed preliminary exception to the articles in a statement reprinted in the press, which Congressman Butler argued, at page 31, by way of rationale for not challenging Senator Johnson, was acceptable, as impeachment jurors, sitting also as representatives of constituents in the Senate, are not strictly analogous to members of a jury in an ordinary civil or criminal trial.
And, if Senators do not have time and energy to read and consider a few pages of an historical record of an impeachment trial of a President, instructive of procedures to be followed in a proceeding in which they are charged with impartiality to sit presently, then they ought resign the Senate and turn the seat over to someone with the time and energy to do so.
We suppose, too, that, not meaning at all to subtract from the solemnity of either the present proceeding or that of 1868, taking a clue from the reference by Congressman Butler re Senator Johnson's preliminary expression of support for President Johnson, we can also provide a small bit of latter-day leaven to the proceedings, afforded in song and dance
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