The Charlotte News
Wednesday, May 12, 1954
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Hanoi that squadrons of French-manned, U.S.-supplied B-26 bombers had hit the Vietminh troops this date inside the Red River Delta, which France had placed on the top-danger list in the continuing war in Indo-China, as being the keystone of the French-held bastion around Hanoi and the port of Haiphong. The rebels continued harassing action, blowing up two freight and passenger trains about eight miles east of Hanoi, the French, however, reporting that the railroad had soon been restored and was again operating. French officials claimed that 49 Vietminh had been killed and 26 captured this date in scattered mop-up actions around the Delta. A top French commander, General Pierre Louis Bodet, chief aide to General Henri Navarre, head of the French Union forces in Indo-China, had warned that his forces might need foreign aid should the Vietminh release all of their power against the Hanoi defense perimeter. He said that the situation in the Delta was serious but far from hopeless or desperate, that they might need aid from outside should the Vietminh attack the Delta with all of their forces which had been brought against fallen Dien Bien Phu. He did not specify a particular country from which aid might be forthcoming. It was the first time any French high command official had described the Delta situation as "serious". Since the fall of the fortress the prior Friday, the rebels throughout the rich rice lands had stepped up their attacks on the thinly manned French and Vietnamese defense outposts. The Vietminh had an estimated 70,000 regular, regional and guerrilla forces active in the Delta area, but the activity thus far was confined to scattered attacks on French communications and isolated outposts. There was not yet any sign of waves of attacks, as had characterized the attacks on Dien Bien Phu. General Bodet said he did not believe the Vietminh could mount such an offensive in the Delta region any sooner than 6 to 8 weeks hence. Enemy losses in the 57-day siege of Dien Bien Phu had been estimated at 35,000 killed and wounded. The General said that U.S. Air Force Globemasters were airlifting additional French reinforcements to reconstitute their forces and that the war was continuing.
At Geneva, the French-backed Government of Viet Nam declared this date that under no circumstances should any armistice settlement include the partition of Viet Nam territory. A French spokesman said that the terms had the backing of all of the non-Communist delegations participating in the peace talks. The plan put forward by the Vietnamese covered both military and political aspects of the armistice, calling for a political settlement based on free elections under U.N. supervision. The primary conditions for ending the fighting were that any agreement had to include sufficient guarantees to ensure a "real and durable peace and prevent any new aggression", could not lead to a direct or indirect, definitive or provisional, partition of national territory, and had to allow for international control of the execution of the cease-fire conditions. The Vietnamese had put forward their conditions, apart from the peace proposals set forth earlier by the French and the Communist-led Vietminh.
The President said this date at his press conference that the U.S. was not giving up on saving Indo-China and that the free world should not write it off. He said, however, that no nation could be saved to the free world unless it wanted to be saved and so any intervention by any alliance of Southeast Asian nations could only occur by request of Indo-China. He also said that any differences which might ostensibly be divined from statements made by himself or Secretary of State Dulles were in their utterances and not their opinions.
Representative John Vorys of Ohio, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, briefed the previous day by Secretary Dulles, said in an interview that he believed the Administration was working on plans for collective security for Southeast Asia, which did not call for immediate use of U.S. armed forces or large expenditures of money. The chairman of that Committee, Representative Robert Chiperfield of Illinois, and other members of the Committee, declined to be quoted publicly about the previous day's session with the Secretary. It was learned from sources, however, that no specific mention had been made by Secretary Dulles of use of U.S. forces of any type to support Southeast Asian nations and Western powers in formation of a defense coalition. Sources said that Secretary Dulles had suggested to the Committee that the Administration should be given flexibility to use elsewhere in Southeast Asia the 1.1 billion dollars in aid earmarked specifically for Indo-China, as contained in the foreign aid bill presently before that Committee. The sources indicated that he had stated as a reason for that position that the funds might be frozen in the event that Indo-China were to fall to the Communists, which he regarded as unlikely.
Senate Majority Leader William Knowland of California, in a plea for an end to "carping party criticism", told Senate colleagues the previous day that only the Communists could be properly called "the party of treason"—a reference to Republicans, especially Senator McCarthy, having termed the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations as "20 years of treason", as referenced by former President Truman the previous day in urging President Eisenhower to take action against forces in the Republican Party, whom the former President had said were "destroying our national unity and the nation's position before the world." Senator Knowland was conciliatory, saying that Republicans and Democrats should, and did, resent any reflection upon the patriotism and devotion of public service within both political parties. He also asserted, however, that President Eisenhower and his Administration had gone much further in keeping Congress advised on foreign policy than had its predecessor Administration at the start of the Korean War. He said that at the meeting where the decision had been made to commit U.S. forces to Korea, there had been no representative of either house of Congress present, which he said was in sharp contrast to the type of consultation which had constantly transpired during the entire Eisenhower Administration.
The President also said at his press conference that it was reprehensible for any Army intelligence officer to supply confidential FBI data without authorization, after being asked about Senator McCarthy's claim that he had been supplied a confidential FBI report to the Army regarding alleged sabotage and espionage activities at Fort Monmouth, but the President demurred on discussing the matter in particular, sticking to general principle, saying that he was only going to discuss the propriety of the intelligence officer's delivery of the documents to Senator McCarthy without authorization, that enlisted men and their superiors took an oath to obey the regulations and that it was ridiculous and cause for disbanding the armed services if enlisted men were compelled to adopt one kind of loyalty while an officer could have another kind. He recalled having said at his news conference the previous week that he was contemplating taking a vacation from making replies to questions regarding Senator McCarthy.
In the 15th day of hearings before the Senate Investigations subcommittee regarding the dispute between the Army and Senator McCarthy, Army counsel John G. Adams testified that usual chief counsel for the subcommittee, Roy Cohn, had exclaimed, "This is war!" when he had been barred from admission to the secret radar laboratory the prior October 20 at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey. Mr. Adams said that Mr. Cohn had become extremely upset and threatened that the subcommittee would "really investigate this place now". He had further quoted Mr. Cohn as having said that they let Communists into Fort Monmouth but they kept him out, despite his security clearance to go any place in the world. Special counsel to the subcommittee, Ray Jenkins, inquired of Mr. Adams whether Mr. Cohn had said at Fort Monmouth that he had access to FBI files, to which Mr. Adams replied that he had not said that to him but that he had said it to other persons. Mr. Adams had also testified that he had been under instructions from Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens to cooperate "completely and wholeheartedly" with the McCarthy subcommittee's investigation of alleged subversion at Fort Monmouth—contrary to the contention of Senator McCarthy and his aides that Secretary Stevens had instructed Mr. Adams to block the inquiry into Communists at Fort Monmouth. He also said that Senator McCarthy had once told him that G. David Schine was "not much use" during his time as an unpaid aide to the McCarthy subcommittee and that the Senator hoped he would be drafted—as he had been the previous October. Mr. Adams recalled that the conversation had taken place around October 14 during a subway ride in New York City, at which time Mrs. McCarthy was also present. (Again, as with the hearings of the previous two days, the transcript of this date's hearing, as with the following day's hearing, do not appear to be available at this time online, to be picked up again with Friday's hearing.)
Temporary chairman of the subcommittee during the hearings, Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota, announced that in closed session, the subcommittee members had determined that they would add 90 minutes to the regular daily hearings henceforth, to try to accelerate the matter, but had voted against night and Saturday sessions for the nonce, a matter to be reconsidered the following week. He asked that Senators refrain from making speeches at the opening of the sessions or during their questioning of witnesses, to accelerate the proceedings, and that all parties put their questions as precisely as possible and refrain from making statements during the questioning. He also urged witnesses to answer questions as directly as possible, with yes or no answers if they could, and not to use their answers as a means to make speeches. He also said that the regular Investigations subcommittee staff would be transferred to some other appropriate committee to work on investigations of alleged corruption in some government projects in Alaska, and Senator Everett Dirksen of the subcommittee told reporters subsequently that the Banking Committee would take over that investigation.
Senator John McClellan of the subcommittee had received a letter from a Cincinnati woman, asking when he thought he could stop the hearings, as her husband had given up his job and "just sets and watches those hearings all day", that being a Democrat, he had laughed so much he had become ill and she did not believe he would be able to go back to work even when it was over. He had said to her that it was the biggest mess he had ever seen in Washington. She said that the only time he stopped laughing was when Senator McCarthy started "to grunt and hold up his hand" to ask for a point of order, that he was not sure what the Senator wanted, and she wished an explanation from Senator McClellan. He could have replied, if he wished to be less than collegial regarding his colleague, with a one-word statement: "Bourbon".
In Omaha, a hotel clerk told police that a bandit who had robbed the hotel a month earlier popped out of a hiding place with a long knife in the early morning hours, saying, "Well, here I am again." On this occasion, he took $40 from the cash register.
In Brooklyn, N.Y., as pictured, a 15-year old boy received a haircut after transit police had found him living underground, where he had been for 12 days, because his father made him go to school against his wishes, using an old auto seat as his bed inside a cable-splicing room accessed via a manhole cover. Police promised that they would jail him if he tried it again. He was probably just seeking shelter from the coming storm of World War III.
In Sharpsburg, Md., the mayor and city council were considering an ordinance which would require women of the town to be clothed from "the shoulders to the knees" when appearing in public.
In Mexico City, actor Gary Cooper,
on location to film a movie, "Vera Cruz", had suffered
burns after a blank musket charge had exploded close to him the
previous day, during the filming of a scene
Dick Young of The News indicates that members of the City Council in Charlotte had directed Mayor Philip Van Every and City Manager Henry Yancey to confer with County tax authorities in an effort to determine why tax assessments had not been increased. An accountant for the City had determined that there was a decrease of four million dollars in upcoming valuations, compared with current valuations.
On page 4-C—particularly
appropriate numeration for the always subliminally augurous Betty
Boyer—, her weekly "Grocery News" column provides
information on fried frozen chicken "the Georgia Way"—obviously
foreseeing the coming to the national stage of Lester Maddox
On the editorial page, "Jack Blythe Is Clearly the Choice Among Contenders for State Senate" indicates that generally the newspaper steered clear of primary campaigns for local offices unless the qualifications of the candidates were so strikingly dissimilar that the nomination of one over the other would pose a "clear and present danger" to Mecklenburg County. It finds that in the three-way race for the Democratic nomination for State Senator in the county, Mr. Blythe was not only the most desirable but that there was a necessity that he be nominated.
The incumbent in the race, Fred McIntyre, had compiled a record in the 1953 Legislature which disqualified him, having sought to abolish the efficient Mecklenburg County Police Department and transfer its functions to the office of the Sheriff, only giving up the idea when he met solid opposition from rural residents, the House delegation, both Charlotte newspapers and the Mecklenburg Times, plus four of five members of the Board of County Commissioners.
It goes on to list other reasons why he had disqualified himself and why Mr. Blythe was the best candidate in the race—all of which you may read copiously for yourself, should you have a particular interest in that particular 1954 race.
"Chaperones Handled a Big Job Well" indicates that some 300 local sixth grade and a few fifth grade schoolchildren had participated in a four-day trip to Washington, and had returned full of observations they had made, excitedly imparting them to their parents. Some of the parents, listening to the prattle, wondered how they would have liked to have been in charge of the youngsters. It congratulates Sgt. George Livingston and his group of chaperones for a job well done in undertaking that responsibility.
It is a safe bet that none of them wore little hats bearing a slogan of the President or any other prominent politician, such as, "Give 'Em Some More Hell"—even if they deserved it.
"Comment" indicates that the previous month, 2,686 county and city residents had voted in a bond election regarding the County Home for unwed teenage mothers. A total of 3,716 city residents had registered to vote for the community college tax election set for May 18.
Meanwhile, thus far, over 5,000 persons had voted in News reporter Lucien Agniel's "Charlotte Close-Up" contest to determine the community's most courteous and efficient telephone operator.
Drew Pearson indicates that Democratic Senators were surprised to hear Senate Investigations subcommittee special counsel Ray Jenkins provide praise to Senator McCarthy's investigation of Fort Monmouth, describing it as a great public service. Secretary of the Army Stevens had reported that not a single case of espionage had been uncovered at Fort Monmouth, despite exhaustive surveys written by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the staunchly Republican New York Herald Tribune, each of which had called the Senator's Fort Monmouth probe a tempest in a teapot.
Senators had now discovered a significant statement by Mr. Jenkins, indicating that he had used religious prejudice as a political weapon in a local Tennessee election. A publication of B'nai B'rith's Anti-Defamation League had reported that in a race for the Knox County domestic relations court judgeship, Mr. Jenkins had helped to lead the opposition to a female candidate who was Jewish, on the ground that she and her supporters were conducting a "devil's crusade" against Christian principles. He had also said, in the same speech before the Young Republicans Club of Knox County, that it was a "campaign of fanatics" who would stop at nothing, had the nerve to call it a "crusade" while they "conducted the same crusade against Christ", carried on down through the present day and that "those who believe in the things Christ stood for will not tolerate it". The Senators of the subcommittee had not known of that statement at the time they approved of Mr. Jenkins as special counsel.
Mr. Pearson indicates that it was why Secretary Stevens believed the probe had gone too far and proposed reinstating many of the employees of the Army Department who had been suspended on grounds of suspected disloyalty. He understood that such a suspension could arise from a mere complaint from a jealous coworker and did not necessarily imply guilt. Yet, it had been that McCarthy probe which Mr. Jenkins had described as a great public service.
The first major error which had led to the diplomatic defeat of the U.S. at the Geneva peace conference had been in not preparing for trouble in Indo-China as soon as Soviet arms had been released by the Korean truce the previous July to be used there. Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford had most clearly appreciated the danger in Indo-China, lobbying, almost alone, to draw the allies into that war. But he had overplayed his hand such that the British feared that he wanted to go too far. The Admiral had induced the French to request U.S. direct intervention to save the fortress at Dien Bien Phu, which had finally fallen the previous Friday. The French had believed, because of the high-level suggestion by Admiral Radford, that the request for aid would be granted, leading to their bitterness when it was refused. The Admiral had told the French to request U.S. aircraft carriers so that bombers could attack the 40,000 Vietminh concentrated around the fortress. At the time, U.S. carriers were anchored in Tonkin Bay ready for action. That, plus the fact that the President, Secretary of State Dulles and Vice-President Nixon had been making tough statements regarding the need to prevent Indo-China from falling to the Communists, had led the French further into the belief that additional aid, in the form of Naval air support, would be forthcoming. But while the Navy was ready, the Congress and Britain were not; hence the refusal. The reason for the British refusal was that when Admiral Radford had discussed the matter with Prime Minister Churchill, he had talked about a Naval blockade of the Chinese mainland coast, causing Mr. Churchill concern, knowing that Admiral Radford had long advocated strong measures against Communist China, that a blockade might result in total war in Asia, thus embracing British interests in Hong Kong and Malaya, especially in Hong Kong, where the Chinese could turn off the water supply. The Prime Minister was therefore emphatic in telling the Admiral that England would not join any intervention.
When Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden returned to Geneva with that news on April 25, a series of diplomatic events began which doomed the conference, after Secretary Dulles had described it as the "hope of the world". First, the U.S. had rejected the French requests for the aircraft carriers, causing the French to become furious. Second, the French had begun dickering with Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov, to which the U.S. could hardly object after refusing the requested air support. Third, Secretary Dulles had begun to back down from his previous public bravado regarding Indo-China, prompting Mr. Molotov, sensing that change, to assume the leadership of the Geneva conference. Fourth, England and France began negotiating for themselves, without regard to allied unity. French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault sought to make a deal with the Communists to save part of Indo-China, while Foreign Secretary Eden sought to improve the British position at Hong Kong through the Chinese Communist delegation. Fifth and finally, the National Security Council in Washington decided to accept the inevitable and agreed to a line across Indo-China, dividing it between Communist and non-Communist areas, North and South. At the same time, Undersecretary of State Walter Bedell Smith cabled from Geneva that the Communists had become tough and would accept no such truce line, instead demanding unconditional surrender. At that point, the U.S. and Britain began pressing for an Asiatic pact among 10 free nations, pledged to halt Communist aggression from going beyond Indo-China.
Doris Fleeson indicates that the men and women responsible for executing Eisenhower Administration policies were on clear notice that they could "no longer step on green grass without wondering if there is a McCarthy bog underneath it." The Administration was indebted to the Senator for advertising that he had a "fifth column" within the executive branch, even extending into the intelligence arms of the armed services. In a climactic moment of the Army-McCarthy hearings, the Senator had offered what he had described as a "carbon copy" of a letter allegedly written by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover to the Army, supplied to the Senator by an Army G-2 intelligence officer. Upon further investigation by staff of the Senate Investigations subcommittee, however, it was determined that Mr. Hoover did not write the two and a half page letter but that it contained several verbatim paragraphs from a much longer 11-page secret memorandum prepared by the FBI, which had been unsigned, which had been provided to the Army. Senator McCarthy was forced to admit these facts under cross-examination by Army special counsel Joseph Welch. The Senator, however, refused to disclose the informant who had provided the letter.
Ms. Fleeson observes that therefore the administrators and Cabinet members of the Administration had no assurance that Senator McCarthy was not breathing over their shoulders, privy to their most secret judgments and human frailties contained in documents marked "top secret". As long as Senator McCarthy remained in public life, those secrets were at risk of disclosure. She indicates that close observers of the technique of the Senator and his staff had long warned that the disgruntled, the misfits and neurotics within the Government were leaking bits of truth which the Senator had been able to use to magnify and distort into his celebrated causes.
A red flag had arisen when the contents of Ambassador Charles Bohlen's security file had wound up with Senator McCarthy during his confirmation hearings in early 1953. Scott McLeod, State Department security officer and friend of the Senator, had always denied that he had been responsible for that leak, but it had fallen within the purview of his responsibility. It had motivated in part former President Truman's reflections stated the previous weekend, that the President was responsible for the administration of the entire executive branch and that unless that principle were observed, it would be impossible to have orderly government, that not only would the President cease to be master of his own house but that the whole house of government would become one with no master. The former President believed that President Eisenhower was not sufficiently resisting legislative encroachment on the powers of the Presidency, of which Senator McCarthy was a prime symbol.
Now, Ms. Fleeson concludes, the Senator had shown that he was much more than that, showing the public a "glimpse of his operations as a private strategist of terror."
James Marlow describes as "ugly" that which was expected to come from the Army-McCarthy hearings henceforth, as Secretary Stevens had made a cold decision to make the dispute a showdown fight with the Senator. The Senator had sought to minimize the importance of the hearings, calling them a burlesque and a circus, but now that the matter was slated to go on to full completion, it might mean that his political life was at stake. Secretary Stevens had been willing to place his public career on the block, refusing to agree to shorten the hearings by allowing them to take place in executive session after the testimony of Senator McCarthy, as had been proposed the previous day by Senator Everett Dirksen. If the Secretary had agreed, witnesses who had testified after Senator McCarthy would not have done so before the public, the press and television cameras, even if a dry transcript would, presumably, have been made available—even though the transcripts of the other executive sessions of the hearings were not made available until 2003, presumably on some ground of "national security".
Thus far, the cards had been in the Senator's hands, as Secretary Stevens had been forced to answer questions from the seven Senators comprising the subcommittee, plus special counsel Ray Jenkins and from Senator McCarthy and normal counsel for the subcommittee, Roy Cohn. Yet, increasingly, the Senator had been behaving as a man who thought he was surrounded by enemies, accusing two of the Democrats on the subcommittee, Senators Stuart Symington of Missouri and Henry Jackson of Washington, of seeking to obstruct his hunt for Communists. He had also turned on a fellow Republican on the subcommittee, who had temporarily replaced Senator McCarthy after he had stepped aside as chairman during the course of the hearings, Senator Henry Dworshak of Idaho, informing him at one point that he was sorry he had chosen him to replace him on the subcommittee, which had prompted Senator Dworshak to raise a point of order, correcting Senator McCarthy on the basic notion of having "chosen him", when in fact he had been nominated by Senator McCarthy but confirmed by the full subcommittee to sit temporarily, over Senator Dworshak's own objection.
Senator McCarthy had also repeatedly insinuated that Secretary Stevens had been lying and had belittled his intelligence. He accused the Army's apecial counsel Joseph Welch of breaking agreements, "welching" on them, which Mr. Welch contended had never existed. He had sought to humiliate Assistant Secretary of Defense H. Struve Hensel before he had even testified, by suggesting that Army officers sitting near him were lending him a dignity which he did not deserve, and should move away. His tactics had become rougher as the days passed. If those tactics were so bad while the cards were in his hands, Mr. Marlow wonders what it would be like once he and his assistants, Mr. Cohn and Francis Carr, began facing cross-examination by Army counsel and the subcommittee members.
Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson had said the previous day that Secretary Stevens had made the decision himself to go forward with the hearings, and it was not yet known whether the Secretary had the approval of the President or had even sought it.
Mr. Marlow concludes that one thing on which the Administration could rely was that as long as Senator McCarthy was tied down with the hearings, he would not have time to criticize the Administration as he had been doing for the 15 months prior to the start of the hearings.
A letter from "Helpers" indicates that they were among those who tried to bring Christian teaching to prisoners in the Mecklenburg County jail each Sunday, and had located an individual there whom they wished to describe for anyone who might be interested in providing him employment upon his release. It goes on to provide a biography of the cotton mill worker, 42 years old, who had regularly worked in the mills until he was 31, after which he had spent most of the prior 11 years in jail for many different offenses, though never harming anyone physically. Recently, he had confessed his sins and expressed his belief in Jesus Christ, in the presence of fellow inmates, expressing his desire to lead a new and Christian life, learning to accept things he could not change and to undertake to change those things which he could. Best of all, he had divorced himself from his pet hatreds. He now sought that upon his release from jail, someone with Christian fortitude would employ him so that he could earn an honorable living. He had been divorced from his wife, who had custody of his three young sons, and would have to begin life again alone. He was eager and able to do manual labor, wished to work in Charlotte so that he could have contact with certain associations which he needed. He was not asking for charity work, only that someone demonstrate Christian charity in giving him a chance at a job. Any potential employers could rest assured that arrangements would be provided to prevent unpleasantness or insistence on the man's part or that of his sponsors on his continued employment should he fall down on the job. It indicates that any interested employers should contact one of the editors at the newspaper who would introduce them to two of the "Helpers".
A letter writer wonders who would be so low as to steal from the dead. She had discovered that someone had been stealing flowers from a family grave site in Elmwood Cemetery, at which her family had been placing flowers on various holidays for the previous five years, each time finding them stolen within a few days. On Easter Sunday, they had put a beautiful white azalea on her mother's grave, and the following Sunday, it was missing. When they asked the man in charge of the cemetery about it on Mother's Day, he told them that nothing could be done about it, that people were free to come and go as long as the gates were open, that the only thing the cemetery could do would be to prosecute people for trespassing, if they were sure they were trespassing. He said that they used to have a watchman, who had caught a woman with eight potted plants in the back of her car after she had copped them from the graves, but could do nothing about it because the plots were privately owned and the families who owned them would not prosecute. She says that the cemetery was supposed to be a municipal cemetery and wonders why the City could not protect the graves, wants some steps taken to assure the security of the graves.
You need to hire a private detective who will stand watch some distance from the grave with binoculars, ready to grab those flower thieves and give them their just deserts. Or, you could devise some lock and key method, with a chain attached to a hook on the bottom of your flowerpot, hidden in the grass, such that when the thief tries to take it, the pot will disintegrate and deter such future conduct. Or, you could put out plastic ones, with a small hose attached to the plastic blossom, leading to a water reservoir, also hidden beneath the grass, such that when the would-be thief plucks up the pot, they will get a squirt in the face. Or, you could set up a loudspeaker system, with a trip-switch connected to the flower pot, so that when it is lifted, a loud, booming voice will abruptly instruct, "Put that back, now, or face the wrath of the dead."
Or, you could just realize that the historic reason for placing flowers at a graveside was to mask odors emanating from the decaying dead, before the age of embalming, and simply leave some other sentiment in honor of your lost loved one, who, in actuality, if you place your faith in something other than the material, corporeal world, is not really in that grave, anyway.
A letter writer indicates that Lucien Agniel's article about Central High School's Honors & Awards Day in the May 6 issue of the newspaper had failed to give credit where credit was actually due. Being a "Fair-Minded Senior" at the school, he or she believes that the director of their band should have been provided credit, as he had come up with the idea of the "dime scheme" to finance the ceremony.
What kind of a "scheme" was it? If it was one of those pyramid schemes, your whole student body could be in a lot of trouble.
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