The Charlotte News
Monday, May 2, 1955
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Saigon in South Vietnam that Premier Ngo Dinh Diem, having been reassured by the State Department of support, had struck anew this date at the shrinking private army of the Binh Xuyen rebels who had caused two days of violence in Saigon and the Chinese suburb of Cho Lon where they had their headquarters, as four battalions of National Army troops stormed over three bridges leading to the latter section where two battalions of the rebels held out in civil warfare, with the objective of the Army being to mop up the remaining rebels and permit five battalions which had deserted the rebels to switch to the Army's side. Following two days of relative quiet, a mortar barrage had begun the attack, with the Government troops quickly capturing the old headquarters of the commander of the rebels, General Le Van Vien, then moving southwestward to a bridge two miles away, where a bitter battle was joined. During the weekend, the Premier had put down the attempted coup by the rebels and had launched a fresh political offensive against Chief of State Bao Dai, who was residing in the French Riviera. The Premier's office announced that a national assembly would meet on Wednesday to depose the former Emperor, who had tried unsuccessfully to oust the Premier the previous week. The announcement had been issued after Diem had conferred with U.S. General J. Lawton Collins, the President's special envoy to South Vietnam, who had returned by plane from Washington this date. Shortly after his arrival in Saigon, the U.S. Charge d'Affaires, Randolph Kidder, had told newsmen at the airport that American backing for the Premier continued. The French were expected to oppose strongly any move to oust Bao Dai, whom they had installed as Chief of State in 1949, though he had rarely been a resident of the country since the end of World War II. The French News Agency, in a dispatch from Saigon, had reported this date that remnants of the rebel private army had re-opened fire with mortars on National Army posts near Cho Lon.
The White House announced this date through press secretary James Hagerty that Admiral Arthur Radford, Joint Chiefs chairman, would report to the President the following day on his trip to Formosa. Mr. Hagerty indicated that he did not know whether the Admiral would be joined at the conference by Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern affairs, Walter Robertson, who had accompanied him on the trip, where they had conferred with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and other Nationalist officials on a variety of subjects, prime among which had been the prospect of a cease-fire with the Communist Chinese in the area of Formosa. The two representatives had been gone for about ten days. The leisurely plans for their report to the President tended to eliminate an air of urgency about their findings. They had arrived back in the U.S. in time for a weekend report but had instead gone to Richmond, Va., for a stop at Mr. Robertson's home before coming to Washington the previous night. Mr. Robertson had returned to his office during the morning but rather than having an immediate conference with Secretary of State Dulles, had begun his day by reviewing accumulated paperwork. Peiping radio in Communist China had dropped mention early this date of the prospect of a cease-fire. Premier Chou En-lai had indicated at the end of the Asian-African conference in Indonesia a week earlier that the Communist Chinese would be willing to meet with the U.S. to discuss Formosa and the possibility of a peaceful solution. The issue was the extent to which the Nationalists would have to be involved in those talks, from the perspective of the U.S., before negotiations could begin. The President and the State Department, after Secretary Dulles had initially indicated that the Nationalists would have to be involved in any such discussions, had altered that view to indicate that the U.S. could directly negotiate with the Chinese Communists under the treaty with the Nationalists, without the latter necessarily being involved in cease-fire talks, though they would have to be consulted regarding anything affecting directly their interests.
In Monterey, Calif., all five crewmen of a raft, undertaking its second ill-fated attempt to drift to Hawaii, had been rescued this date by a Coast Guard cutter, abandoning the raft for the time being, with it to be placed in tow sometime later. A message monitored by a ham radio operator in Santa Cruz had quoted the skipper of the raft as saying he was "reluctant to be rescued." The skipper, from Petaluma, and his crew had made their first attempt to drift on the currents to Hawaii the previous year when they were picked up by a banana boat after drifting into a storm about 250 miles south of San Francisco, from which they had started. The previous night, the raft was reported breaking up in eight-foot seas about 20 miles off the coast of Santa Cruz, but in no immediate danger. The skipper of the raft said that he and his crew had begun the voyage the prior Friday from San Francisco after a series of miscues, the skipper and three of the crewmen having belatedly boarded the 40-foot raft after it had been towed outside the Golden Gate with only one crewman aboard. In recent weeks, the raft had been attached by the Coast Guard in lieu of fines assessed against the first raft for violation of navigation regulations, but in Oakland, a bondsman had cleared the second raft of that attachment and other financial liabilities. They had hoped to subsist only on rainwater, distilled seawater and whatever food they could obtain from the sea. Good luck, next year. The third time's the charm. Contact Mr. Heyerdahl for advice.
In Hopkinton, N.Y., State troopers had killed two of three desperate fugitives this date, as the pair hid in woods near the northern New York community, with one report stating that the fugitives, who had escaped along with two others from a jail in Canton the previous Wednesday, had gone for their guns but had no chance to fire. At State Police headquarters in Albany, however, the superintendent said that the fugitives had opened fire first. The third fugitive had been with the pair shortly before the shooting began and was still at large. The fourth fugitive had been captured the prior Friday, after the other three had fled from a farmhouse in a remote area, following a shootout with one of two troopers who had found and cornered them, wounding the officer. The four were being held on burglary and/or assault charges before their escape, accomplished by slugging a jailer and stealing a .38 caliber revolver and a .357 Magnum from the jail.
In Tulsa, Okla., a woman, who had confessed to the killings of four of her five husbands, would have a hearing before a jury this date to decide whether she was legally sane enough to stand trial for the murder of her fifth spouse. She was also charged with the fatal poisoning of four prior husbands in three other states, and had admitted all of those murders except that of her mother of Lexington, N.C., where her third husband had died in 1952. To find her sane, the jury would have to determine that she was aware of what she was doing at the time when she had allegedly spiked the coffee of her fifth husband with rat poison, and was aware of the consequences of her actions. If they found her not sane, she would be committed to a hospital and not tried for the murder until such time as she recovered her sanity. The Eastern Oklahoma Hospital, where the widow had spent 90 days under observation by court order, had reported that she was "mentally defective" and in need of treatment. The county attorney had reported, however, that three prosecution-retained psychiatrists who had examined her had concluded that she was sane, the prosecutor having disclosed earlier that State-retained psychiatrists who had observed her during her commitment had not all been in accord with the hospital report, with at least two dissenting.
Julian Scheer of The News reports from Pinehurst that support for the Mecklenburg County Medical Society's stand on admitting black physicians was beginning to show itself this date, as the North Carolina Medical Society's house of delegates prepared to discuss the issue, having summoned the Mecklenburg members before it to show cause why their society's members should not be expelled for having violated the organization's constitution and bylaws by their vote the previous May to admit black members. The previous night, the state society's executive committee had censured the Mecklenburg society on the issue, and that might be the only direct action which the state group would undertake, as all talk of expulsion of the members had ended. The house of delegates would take up the matter during the afternoon this date, but behind the scenes meetings had revealed a desire to keep the matter from boiling over onto the house floor. There had been good support for the action of the Mecklenburg society from other groups across the state, notably the Guilford society in Greensboro. At the previous year's meeting, when the race issue had first come to the floor, Guilford and Buncombe Counties' medical societies, the latter in Asheville, had joined with Charlotte as the primary sponsors of the move to admit black physicians to the state society's membership. The state society had appointed a committee the previous year to study the entire issue and that committee was scheduled to report during the afternoon or evening of this date. Membership in the AMA was contingent on membership in a state medical society, and the AMA admitted black physicians. Thus, the question had arisen as to what to do with the black members of the Mecklenburg society in relation to the state society.
Charles Kuralt, soon to join the
News staff as a reporter and feature writer, still a student
at UNC, where he had recently finished his year as editor of the
student newspaper, the Daily Tar Heel, reports that the
grammar school report card plan, adopted by Charlotte's central
committee of parents and teachers, had received the approval of two
UNC education experts, Dr. H. Arnold Perry, dean of the School of
Education, and Dr. Carl F. Brown, professor of elementary education,
both of whom had taken a look at the proposed compromise between
detailed "progress reports" and grade markings consisting
of "excellent", "good", "fair", and
"poor", in lieu of normal letter grades, and had found the
idea to be sound. Both appeared opposed to any further "back-sliding"
toward the old, yellow
Now, that's not very nice, to call special attention to the slower students, who might, as the tortoise competing with the hare
In Charlotte, leaders of the striking Communications Workers of America employees of Southern Bell reported this date that they were served with a court injunction intended to limit their picketing at establishments of the company, in consequence of which their picketing of the main exchange office in Charlotte had been modified somewhat to effect compliance, while picketing continued unaffected at the company's midtown business offices and at the Thomasboro suburban exchange. The injunction had been obtained about ten days earlier from the Superior Court in Asheville, limiting picketing in all North Carolina counties where the company operated, and it had specified that pickets had to be limited to ten in number and located not less than 200 feet from a telephone company establishment. The union representative said that the company's exchange building in Charlotte was located on the street and so they had posted their pickets across the street from the exchange.
Also in Charlotte, a 13-year old girl's bouffant skirt, with new-style crinoline petticoats, had led directly to an accident this date when the girl had slammed the door of a car on her skirt, after which she had been dragged about ten feet by the car, the driver of which, the next door neighbor of the girl, had just dropped her off at her junior high school, unaware that her skirt had been caught in the door or that she was being dragged, until a pedestrian had screamed for him to stop. She had received contusions to the right side of her head, right knee injuries and a laceration on her right hand, was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hospital. No further word is included regarding her condition. We hope that she gets well soon and adopts a new clothing style or is more careful in exiting vehicles.
On the editorial page, "Vote 'Yes' for Charlotte Progress" recommends voting affirmatively on the bonds on the ballot locally in the following day's municipal elections, listing those and explaining why they were necessary for the continued progress of the city.
"Minimum Wage: Adjustment Needed" indicates that neither the National Association of Manufacturers nor its spokesman in the state had distinguished themselves the previous week in testifying against an increase in the Federal minimum wage, that the spokesman, chairman of NAM's industrial relations committee, had drawn unwarranted conclusions regarding the effect of minimum wage legislation.
It indicates that it was particularly important in a state such as North Carolina, the Legislature of which had consistently refused to pass a state minimum wage law, for there to be a clear understanding of the effect of the Federal legislation.
The spokesman had told a Senate Labor subcommittee that he would repeal the Wage and Hour Act passed in 1938, and that it should at least be restricted rather than broadened. He advocated that new businesses and existing small businesses were likely to be hard-hit by "any legalistic and artificial general wage increase" which would follow any increased minimum.
It finds that there were many such industrialists in the South who foresaw doom from increasing the minimum wage, even though their predictions were continually being proven wrong, having feared the minimum wage of a quarter enacted initially in 1938, the increase to 30 cents the following year, the wartime 40 cents per hour and the 75-cent minimum passed in 1950.
An economist on the staff of the Legislative Reference Service of the Library of Congress had indicated that "the areas that were most sharply affected by the minimum wage increase enjoyed a greater growth in manufacturing employment than the rest of the country." Labor Department studies on the economic effects of the 75-cent minimum wage, published in the March issue of the Monthly Labor Review, had shown that the predictions had not materialized and that the wage increase had not decreased employment but rather had improved the position of the employees by increasing earnings in the affected industry, with the relative improvement substantially maintained. Additionally, the law had a beneficial effect on wages paid employees not directly covered by the law, but employed in areas including covered workers. According to the economist earlier referenced, in the absence of minimum wage pressure, relative earnings of the lower paid industries had tended to become worse.
It concludes therefore that the minimum wage principle was sound, that the formula needed adjustment at present for several reasons, that it had failed to keep pace with the general increase in wages, that it had lagged behind increases in costs of living and productivity. A higher minimum was also needed to maintain a decent, minimum standard of living for many Americans.
The President had been stressing an important point, that the law ought to cover more workers, with many millions excluded from Federal and state laws, their wages substantially below those in the covered industries. It finds that a reasonable increase in the minimum wage would not ruin North Carolina, but rather was the type of economic improvement residents of the state needed in an expanding economy.
"'What This Country Needs…'" indicates that Peter F. Drucker, writing in the May issue of Harper's, had said that the middle classes and working people, through pension funds and investment trusts, had replaced the millionaire capitalists as the major owners of American industry. In the same issue, John Fischer said that what the country needed was a good five-cent word to describe itself, maintaining that the nation's new society was neither the "capitalism of Adam Smith" nor "free enterprise", as Andrew Carnegie had described it.
It indicates that what it was called did not matter, that the point was that Americans were finally beginning to clear the air of a lot of ideological nonsense, in both politics and economics. It suggests that for too long, a lot of Americans had inherited their viewpoints from "political fundamentalists" who could reduce any political and economic problem to a clear conflict between free enterprise and socialism. Those on the right had said that the country needed complete free enterprise to avoid becoming completely totalitarian, while those on the left contended that there must be complete socialism to avoid being overwhelmed by plutocrats.
It concludes that labels were fine but that the job for Americans was to break through the -ologies and -isms and see their problems in their true dimensions, at which point labels would take care of themselves.
A piece from the Washington Post & Times-Herald, titled "'Friend after Friend Departs!'" tells of a pleasant little publication titled, Whatsoever Things, which was published regularly by Stetson University in Florida, containing an editorial in the present month's issue regarding the importance of bringing out the best in one's friends and associates, urging to think encouraging thoughts, speak encouraging words, and to adopt an air of "confident expectancy" toward those one was trying to help, while being genuinely interested, letting one's attitude be more eloquent than one's words, enabling the person to be "a best friend".
It indicates that it was so impressed by those sentiments that it was tempted to send them to entertainer Arthur Godfrey, who was having trouble of late with his friends, with some of the friendships irrevocably broken. It suggests that whether the main fault lay with Mr. Godfrey or with his friends was a matter of dispute, with one side suggesting that he had brought out too much in his friends, including the undesirable traits of vanity and ambition. Julius La Rosa, whom Mr. Godfrey had fired from his program while on the air in October, 1953, had been brought from obscurity to celebrity status by Mr. Godfrey's "encouraging thoughts, words and deeds", only to suffer a diminution of humility, according to Mr. Godfrey at the time of the firing.
Since that time, Mr. Godfrey had fired from his program six other singers and three script writers, because, according to Mr. Godfrey, "they sat around wondering how to get in the big dough. They tried to figure ways of getting attention for themselves. They got off the team."
It concludes that Mr. Godfrey had not received much of the promised happiness from helping his friends realize their capabilities, and the point was of concern to the editors because, like the editor of Whatsoever Things, they preferred to see everyone as happy as happy could be, including Mr. Godfrey, CBS, the advertising agencies and the manufacturers of cake-mixes and hair-wave lotions. It suggests, however, that with the competition from Walt Disney, they were now in need of an encouraging friend to help them realize their best capabilities.
Mr. Godfrey would find it eventually in iron-rich Geritol—which, backwards, spells Lotireg.
Drew Pearson tells of the Rhesus monkey of India being the unsung hero of the development of the Salk vaccine for polio. Harvard's Dr. John Enders had paved the way in 1951 for the development of the vaccine by discovering that the polio virus could be grown in a culture composed chiefly of chopped-up monkeys' kidneys, and later it was discovered that the Rhesus was the most suitable contributor of those kidneys. Dr. Enders had been lost in the publicity for Dr. Salk and no one had proposed an award to the monkeys for their important role in the research.
Because medical research was at the mercy of India for supply of the monkeys, a crisis had nearly developed in the previous month when American animal welfare groups had raised an outcry over the treatment of the Rhesus by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, at which point India halted shipments, but later resumed them after assuring itself that the Foundation was acting humanely. Meanwhile, the animal welfare groups were maintaining vigilance, even to the point of meeting each plane as it came in from India bearing its simian passengers.
To inoculate all Americans up to the age of 21 would require about 60,000 monkeys, costing about $30 each, or 1.8 million dollars.
Previously, the job of procuring the monkeys for vaccine production had been done by the Foundation, which ran a monkey motel at Bluffton, S.C., with accommodations for 6,000 monkeys. But now, commercial producers of the vaccine would develop their own monkey farms, hoping to speed the production.
While U.S. politicians and a large portion of the public had been worrying about Quemoy and Matsu off mainland China, a sizable portion of Southeast Asia, which the President had once described as vital, was about to pass over to the Communists, that being South Vietnam, the most important part of Indo-China left free after the Geneva conference concluded the prior July, surrendering the North to the Communists, pending national elections in Vietnam, to be held prior to mid-1956, or within two years from the conclusion of the signing of the armistice. Mr. Pearson offers that Vietnam was passing over to the Communists, not because of invasion, but because of bungling, neglect, religious rivalry and Franco-American bickering, with the Communists able to sit on the sidelines and applaud U.S. "bonehead plays".
Robert C. Ruark, in Madrid, thinks that everyone could be happy about Representative Adam Clayton Powell's rebuff to the slanted news conference at the Asian-African conference in Indonesia, "where the troublemakers came loaded, hoping that" Mr. Powell would "unload the usual Josephine Baker line about lynching" in the U.S. As Mr. Powell was severely critical of most of the Eisenhower Administration policies, he had been expected to make a damning report on the situation of American blacks, but instead had said: "Racism in the United States is on the way out. Second-class citizenship is on the way out. A peaceful revolution has occurred overnight. It is a mark of distinction to be a Negro in the United States. To be a Negro is no longer a stigma."
He applauds Mr. Powell for having been honest, indicating that he was 40 years old and could remember being raised by a former slave, could recall the recent race riots in Washington and the discrimination in the armed forces during World War II, when if one were black, that person generally wound up either a messboy in the Navy or a labor battalion boy in the Army. In short order, that had changed. Now, the Supreme Court had ruled on segregation, discrimination in the armed forces had been broken up, and segregation eliminated in Washington. He indicates that he also could recall a lynching in his hometown of Wilmington, N.C.
He recounts that some friends had been talking with him in Paris recently over a dinner which the friends had fixed for him, and it had never occurred to him to recall that he was white and that they were black, until the subject of Walter White, recently deceased executive secretary of the NAACP, and singer-actor Paul Robeson had arisen. He had been reared in an age, and in a state, in which no white man sat down at a table with a black person, and suddenly he was an honored guest in a black person's home, unconscious of the fact. One of the people present had been saying that it was so wonderful that Walter White, "a literal white man who was so long the guiding spirit" of the NAACP, was able to die with his goal in sight and his work well done, expressing also that it was a shame that Paul Robeson had fallen under the Marxist spell and "completely betrayed us Negroes." His friend had said that Mr. Robeson had a chance perhaps to become the first black President, had been an All-American football player, was a magnificent singer, had graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and could have been a heavyweight champion of the world if he had wanted to do so. The friend had said that he believed he was a lawyer but was not quite sure, but had let everyone down when he started following the Communists, having passed up the opportunity to surpass Dr. Ralph Bunche and George Washington Carver in accomplishment.
Mr. Ruark indicates that he had said, "amen, brother, and pass the spareribs, which were fine, and that is why I'm glad Mr. Powell spoke up the other day in Bandung. He put back a little of what Robeson took away, a little of what Walter White and Jackie [Robinson] and Joe [Louis] and Lena [Horne] and Hazel [Scott, wife of Mr. Powell] and Ralph Bunche have striven for."
The Congressional Quarterly tells of HEW, headed by Secretary Oveta Culp Hobby, leading all other Federal agencies in disbursing Federal grants-in-aid, paying out more than 1.85 billion dollars, 43 percent of the total in fiscal 1954. The Social Security Administration had handled 1.46 billion of HEW's total aid disbursements, with old age assistance payments being the largest single program, accounting for 960.6 million dollars of the Administration's total.
Four departments had paid out 78 percent of the 4.3 billion dollars in total grants, shared revenues, and loans distributed to state and local governments and to individuals in fiscal 1954. In addition to HEW, the departments were Agriculture, at 630.2 million, Commerce, at 578.4 million, and labor, at 282 million.
Seven other agencies accounted for the remaining 22 percent, which it lists. Among them, the Veterans Administration handled more aid than the Commerce or Labor Departments, at 611.4 million, but most of that was paid under short-term programs.
North Carolina received 38.7 million dollars in aid from HEW, 15.47 million of which was for old-age assistance. The Commerce Department disbursed something over 11 million dollars to North Carolina, of which 10.4 million was for highway grants. The state's allocation from the Agriculture Department was 16.45 million, including 4.3 million for conservation. Labor Department grants to the state totaled 6.5 million, of which regular unemployment compensation accounted for 3.8 million and unemployment compensation for veterans constituting the balance. From the seven other grant-in-aid agencies, the state received 26.6 million dollars in fiscal 1954.
Some programs overlapped more than one agency. When the Quarterly compared grants-in-aid since 1949 by programs, rather than by departments, it had found that the most noticeable trend was a decline in the proportion of grants for social welfare, health, and security. Grants in those areas had continued to rise gradually in absolute dollar amounts, but grants in other categories had risen faster. Social welfare, health and security grants accounted for 56.5 percent of the total in fiscal 1954, while receiving 61.6 percent of the total on average in the period between fiscal 1949 and fiscal 1952, the last four full years of the Truman Administration.
The budget estimate of grants to states and local governments for fiscal 1955 would provide 52 percent of the total to the welfare, health and security categories, and would go below 50 percent in fiscal 1956, if the present proposed budget held. Five categories were on the rise, with larger percentage shares of total grants in the fiscal 1956 estimates than they had averaged in fiscal 1949 through 1952, those five categories being housing and community facilities, education and general research, agriculture and agricultural resources, natural resources, and general government.
Memorize all of those amounts and percentages as there will be a pop quiz tomorrow.
A letter writer from Monroe comments on an editorial on religious prejudice, finding it to be a wonderful statement of American principles, agreeing that "appeals to prejudice on religious grounds … threaten us with something compounded of hate, fear, suspicion and meanness." But he wonders whether the newspaper would adhere to that statement in the future as it had not in the past, referring to the "hate, fear, suspicion and meanness" generated by its use of the "religious angle" in attacking Senator McCarthy in an editorial of July 13, 1953, which he finds had aroused religious prejudice against the Senator, based on an American Mercury article authored by J. B. Matthews, a staffer of the Senator who had contended, several months prior to starting his job for the Senator, that there were many Communists within the Protestant church. He believes the editorial had been based on a distorted interpretation of the article in the Mercury and had been "one of the most heinous and baseless attacks" he had ever seen. He had found, as had the eminent Baptist clergyman, Dr. Daniel Poling, in response to the article, that it actually paid compliment to the Protestant clergy, as not more than one percent of it were found by Mr. Matthews to be disloyal.
The editors note that by labeling "irresponsible" a charge that Protestant ministers constituted "the largest single group supporting the Communist apparatus in the United States today," they were hardly promoting religious prejudice, rather condemning it.
A letter from J. R. Cherry, Jr., also comments on the editorial deploring an organized attack on the religion of Rev. Edward Cahill, a Unitarian who had been an unsuccessful candidate for the City School Board, Mr. Cherry indicating that the only two views of the minister of which he was aware had come under fire had been those favoring integration of the schools and abolition of Bible study in the schools, which Mr. Cherry regards as two proper issues for debate. He desires enlightenment as to what was meant in the editorial by an "organized attack" on Rev. Cahill's religion. His "unequivocal opposition" to the reverend had been based on the issue of integration of the schools and he was glad to be one of the voters who had bypassed his name on the ballot, leading to his defeat. He believed that the defeat had narrowed the field of those who would locally try "to subvert a substantially sound and harmonious way of life, cherished by the overwhelming majority of some 42 million Americans,"—presumably referring to the South. He favored soundly defeating two other candidates still in the race for the School Board in the general election the following day. He goes on in that vein and concludes: "As 'bleeding heart' Murrow would say, Mr. Editor—'This We Believe'!"
The editors respond that the objection by the editorial to the use of religious prejudice in political campaigns had referred to a petition circulated before the primary which had declared, among other things, that the signers opposed "any man or woman for public office who denies the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ…", that a letter accompanying that petition had said, "We must pray for the Reverend Edward A. Cahill, the Unitarian minister, that he may repent of his unbelief, be converted and come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ." The editors conclude that appeals to prejudice on religious grounds were not a part of the great American heritage which "reader Cherry mentions."
Now, look here, this boy is going to be president soon. You had better watch your manners or he may sic Senator McCarthy on you once he gets into the White House.
A letter writer from Kings Mountain indicates that articles in the newspaper informing people of the beliefs and practices of various religious denominations were confusing, and he wonders whether Christ was the author of confusion, with one denomination claiming to be the mother of another denomination, and another the mother of another. He wonders what difference that would make to anyone and urges going to the Bible and seeing what Christ had said, using that as a guide. "He went to Heaven, let's all try."
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