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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, February 04, 1962, Image 30

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Reform in Government Is a Challenge to Romney
Associated Prew Staff Writer
DETROIT. Between 5 and 6
am. on summer days, George
Wilcken Romney frequently steps
onto a golf course that adjoins
his SIOO,OOO suburban home, tees
up three golf balls and whacks
them down the fairway.
Then, as rapidly as he can, he
follows them up-keeping all three
George Romney, boss of
American Moton, is widely ex
pected to seek the Republican
gubernatorial nomination in
Michigan. And some observers
think that Romney may have
an eye on the White House.
Politics offers no greater chal
lenge and Romney can’t re
sist challenges.
balls in play separately for six
- *‘A compact 18." the father of
American compact cars calls his
bobtailed, speed-up version of golf.
This winter, Mr. Romney at
tacks a diversified front of public
affairs with similar high-compres
sion energy.
He’s busy as usual as chairman
and president of American Mo
tors, whose Ramblers are pushing
for third place in auto industry
sales and whose Kelvinator divi
sion makes household appliances.
He works hard at his position
in the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints (Mormon)— a
post equivalent to that of a
He organized and heads the
non-partisan Citizens for Michi
gan aimed at reforms in the State
government, and he’s plumping
for a similar “citizens for
America” organization.
He is an elected delegate, one
of three vice presidents and a
leading figure in Michigan’s cur
rent constitutional convention.
Moy Run for Governor
And he’s seriously considering
a bid for the Republican nomina
tion for Governor of Michigan.
Even before definite word on that
from Mr. Romney, there was spec
ulation that the governorship
might serve as a springboard for
a try at the White House. The
gubernatorial term ends in 1964,
a presidential year, and he’s been
tabbed as a promising prospect
by such G. O. P. chiefs as Rich
ard M. Nixon and former Presi
dent Eisenhower.
Ask Mr. Romney about that,
and he replies, “Ah, pshaw, you
couldn’t mean me.” Nothing more
than perhaps the State Capitol at
Lansing, he says, has entered his
Whatever the grounds for this
position, lack of assurance isn’t
likely to be one of them.
“You’ve got to have confidence,
and enough of it,” Mr. Romney
once said, "to bet every last dollar
on yourself.”
Mr. Romney has that sort of
confidence. He also has faith—in
God, in himself, and whatever
cause he is promoting with the
fervor of an evangelist.
His wife, Lenore, says it took
six months of marriage for her to
Realize that it wasn’t anger, only
enthusiasm, that fueled his advo
cacy of various theories and
At 54, Mr. Romney is a hand
some man, 5 feet 11 ‘/a inches tall,
with dark hair graying at the
Continued From Page C-l
Force officers are encouraged to
speak publicly on the menace.
Strength in Unity
Assistant Secretary of Defense
Arthur Sylvester, who handles
Pentagon public relations, gave
the committee an interpretation
based on the idea that review
of the officers’ speeches elimi
nates the ‘‘weakness of contra
dictory voices” and leads to the
•‘strength of one.” Defending
censorship practices, Mr. Sylves
ter pointed to an often over
looked angle: While guidelines are
issued to define defense and na
tional policy, it is impossible to
cover every case that might
arise. There is no formula by
which a speech can be reviewed.
. . The review process must
depend upon the Judgment and
common sense of the men who
work with these problems every
The kind of common sense Mr.
Sylvester was talking about was
defined in the sharpest way to
the committee in a remark by
Gen. Shoup. He said he had no
objection to the present system
of requiring clearance of speeches
by generals, although, he added,
“they ought to have sense enough
to know what to say in public.”
New Remedies
President Kennedy proposed to
Congress last week, a new pro
gram on farm products controls,
the strictest yet devised.
• “We must learn to live with an
agricultural economy of abundance
rather than scarcity.”
With that summary of the ever
recurrent farm problem President
Kennedy sent his first message on
the subject to Congress last week.
It was a complex program for in
creased Government control over
an expanding number of agricul
tural products. It sought to do
three sometimes mutually exclu
sive things: To increase farm in
come. to reduce surpluses and to
relieve the taxpayer of ever
mounting Federal farm costs.
In brief the administration
1. Severe restrictions on wheat
and feed grain producers; any
farmer who refused to accept the
limitations would be cut off from
Federal price supports and other
2. Bringing dairy farmers under
Washington, D. C., February 4, 1962
. . . 'I- < ' ... ■
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George Romney in front of Church of Latter Day Saints in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.—AP Photo.
fringes. He weighs 175 poinds, has
gray eyes and grins broadly and
Mr. Romney has promised a de
cision by next Saturday on the
gubernatorial race, unless fellow
delegates at the constitutional
convention ask him to delay un
til they have redrafted Michigan’s
1908 basic law.
Attitudes Are Flexible
His political attitudes are flex
ible, and he believes in speaking
“Issues are more important
than candidates,” he says. “A sim
ple illustration: there is no leader
who can provide sound leadership
on the basis of unsound principles.
Principes are more important
than men.”
The National Scene
a tighter control plan, which would
cut back milk production.
3. Modification of present re
strictions on cotton planting to
allow more production by larger
Details of the proposed price
supports will be furnished congres
sional committees later by Secre
tary of Agriculture Freeman. The
Secretary has estimated that the
new program should cut the cost
of price supports by about $1 bil
lion. Farmers would have to
approve the controls before they
went into effect. As in the case of
all remedies advanced for farm ills,
there is bound to be considerable
opposition. However, the alterna
tive would be no price supports and
the supposition is that the farmers
will go along.
New Idea
Controls have been for so long a
part of our agricultural economy
that the only news of the Kennedy
proposals was the intensity of
their application. But there was
one new idea in the message. It
was a broad plan for a land retire
ment system to convert 50 million
acres or more of croplands into
grasslands, forests and recreation
areas. The Government would pay
farmers who turned their land into
forest, wild life and recreation
areas. A further “rural renewal”
plan would provide for establish
ment of public corporations to aid
in developing new uses for land
and water, create forest industry
parks, and assist small farmers in
farm consolidation.
The vastness of the new farm
ideas of the Kennedy administra
tion will undoubtedly give them a
certain momentum in Congress
where the mood of “let’s do some
thing for the farmer even if it’s
wrong” is often apparent in an
election year.
Tipped Hurdle
Astronaut John H. Glenn’s
orbital space ride suffered its
sixth postponement after seri
ous mechanical trouble was dis
covered in the Atlas booster
rocket which was supposed to
send him into space.
When Project Mercury was first
envisioned in the then new Na
tional Aeronautics and Space Ad
ministration, the agency's public
relations advisers were kept
busy dissuading Administrator T.
Keith Glennan from predicting a
manned orbital flight in 1960.
Last May he told a gathering
that while he disagreed with some
of the Democrats, “I’m certainly
not in sympathy with certain
(strongly conservative) elements
in the Republican Party on a
State-wide basis.”
And some time ago he told more
than 20,000 employes at a meet
ing in a Milwaukee baseball park,
“If I worked in a plant, I would
join a union and be active in it."
One of Mr. Romney’s favorite
topics is what he considers to
day’s undue concentration of em
ployer, union and governmental
power. “We need laws to prevent
the aggregation of excessive power
in any segment of our society,”
he says.
He suggests that union bargain
ing on an industry-wide basis be
Inevitably, the program slipped
into 1961, then all the way
through that year, and eventually
skidded uncertainly into 1962.
Eight days ago, when weather in
tervened, it slipped out of Jan
uary and into February.
Then, last Tuesday, Mercury
took another slide. Astronaut
John H. Glenn was released from
splendid isolation in Cape Cana
veral’s Hanger-S as Government
officials pondered the implications
of this latest tipped hurdle in
America’s running of the space
A launching scheduled for 7:30
a.m. last Thursday was postponed
40 hours before shot time with
only the broad non-descriptive
phrase “technical difficulties” in
explanation. A new attempt was
scheduled for "not earlier than”
February 13.
The thing that caused the latest
postponement was almost identical
to a difficulty that delayed
launching of the moon rocket
Ranger 3. The Atlas D missile
used in the Mercury and Ranger
program has a stainless steel
bulkhead inside, separating the
rocket’s liquid oxygen and kero
sene tanks. To prevent undue
heat-loss across this bulkhead, it
is covered with a layer of light,
foamy insulation. This, in turn, is
covered with a thin sheet of alum
On both Atlas 121-D, the moon
rocket, and Atlas 109-D the Mer
cury rocket, this aluminum sheet
somehow ruptured, and the in
sulation became contaminated
with kerosene. Emergency mea
sures saved the day for 121-D,
although there were indications
that the payload's failure to hit
the moon may have been asso
ciated indirectly with damage
done to the rocket’s electrical sys
tem by kerosene leaks.
This week end, engineers at
“The Cape” professed confidence
that the trouble in 109-D was
fixed. But nine days remained be
fore the February 13 shot time,
and many checks will be made in
that period.
Each check is quite likely to re
veal new flaws in the complex
Mercury system. As Mercury boss
Walter C. Williams remarked after
the last postponement, “These
birds, they get sick quick."
The Ranger shot mentioned
above was a failure in the sense
of not getting its payload to the
moon, but scientists in charge of
the Ranger program were heart
ened by the shot nevertheless. The
malfunction of Atlas 121-D was
easily diagnosed and can be cor
rected, they said, and the per
formance of the payload itself—as
barred. He would also require, in
effect, the break-up of any com
pany engaged in any one basic
industry (autos, for instance) and
doing more than 35 per cent of
the total business (as General
Motors and Ford).
Another problem that preoccu
pies him is "the leap-frogging over
local and State governments to
Washington and the resultant
swollen Federal power.
"Old Constitutions"
“Most States, 39 of them, are
living with antique constitutions
that make a mockery out of State
and city government and make
it virtually impossible for the peo
ple to rely on the governmental
processes closest to them. Result:
People reach toward Washington.”
Nearby Votes
Following are the votes of Mary
land, Virginia and West Virginia
members of Congress on a major
roll call last week:
Confirmation of the President’s
nomination of John A. McCone to
be Director of the Central Intelli
gence Agency. Agreed to, 71-12
(Democrats, 43-10; Republicans,
28-2), January 31, 1962. A "yea”
was a vote supporting the Presi
dent’s position.
FOR: Beall, Republican of Maryland;
Byrd, Democrat of Virginia; Robertson,
Democrat of Virginia, and Randolph,
Democrat of West Virginia.
AGAINST: Byrd, Democrat of West
NOT VOTING: Butler, Republican of
Continued From Page C-l
has not shared equitably in the
new prosperity. The people of the
populous South want action.
Mr. Fanfani, a man the Ken
nedy administration might want
to point to when discussing its
Alliance for Progress with Latin
American leaders, believes this is
the time to lift up the under
privileged in Italy and destroy the
false appeal of the Communists.
What happens now to the Ital
ian government? Mr. Fanfani
will be asked by his President to
form a new regime. He will put
together a coalition cabinet, with
the Social Democrats and Repub
licans. Nenni Socialists, who will
now feel a pull toward the center,
will not be included.
The working arrangement be
tween the Christian Democrats
(273 seats) and the Socialists (86
seats) will be informal. The two
will join on domestic issues, but
the Socialists may abstain on for
eign policy votes—at least for the
immediate future. This will assure
the Fanfani government a clear
working majority. There are a
total of 596 seats in Parliament,
far as it had a chance to work—
was encouraging.
Ranger 3 was the first in the
current moon rocket series to
get out of parking orbit and into
deep space. Six more Rangers
are on schedule for launching be
tween now and the end of 1963.
They will lead to a more advanced
program called Surveyor which is
intended to land complex instru
ments on the moon in working
order in preparation for achieve
ment of President Kennedy’s na
tional objective of men on the
moon by the end of 1969.
Mr. Romney’s work pace re
sembles his three-balls-at-a-time
golf. (In the winter, he substitutes
a quick outdoor run as morning
He drives the 18 miles to
American Motors headquarters
in an AMC compact. Generally,
within a few minutes of 9 a.m., he
is shirt-sleeved in his paneled of
A recent day was typical.
Mr. Romney showed up at 8:50
a.m., ahead of his secretary. To
get a meeting of his high-level
policy board started, he walked
down the hall, poking his head
into the doorways of vice presi
dents and asking, “You ready?”
The meeting over, he was off
to downtown Detroit-20 minutes’
drive away—to hammer out with
his labor experts and officials of
the United Auto Workers Union
a simple explanation of exactly
how AMC’s new profit-sharing
plan will work. This was intended
for employes and stockholders
The profit-sharing plan was the
first of its kind in the industry.
Praised by UAW chief Walter
Reuther, the contract was coldly
received by some of Mr. Romney’s
fellow industrialists.
*A Luncheon Meeting
At 12:30 p.m. he arrived at a
luncheon meeting of AMC’s zone
managers from across the coun
try. He ordered a bowl of soup,
then went up to the public ad
dress microphone and began his
sales pitch, after asking his audi
ence to go right on eating their
prime ribs.
He included a little anecdote
(he never tells the ribald kind
that often enliven sales meet
ings). Mr. Romney quoted Golfer
Bobby Jones as saying he always
figured he'd make seven mistakes
in 18 holes, so he never worried
about a blooper he’d just made
but concentrated on the next
"I’m not suggesting,” Mr. Rom
ney said, “that I only make seven
mistakes in a round of golf. As a
matter of fact, I play golf for two
reasons: exercise and humility.”
After the speech, he returned
to AMC headquarters, picking up
two visiting New York newspaper
men whom he gave an interview
en route. Back at AMC, Mr. Rom
ney gave his office a quick check,
then drove 70 miles from Detroit
to Lansing.
He arrived at the State capital
in time for a 4:30 meeting of a
constitutional convention commit
tee of which he is chairman. Two
hours later, he suggested that “we
go as a group and come right
back” from a cafeteria across the
street. He finished before the oth
ers and had tended to business
at his convention office by the
time the other committeemen
. were ready to resume their meet
ing. This lasted until 8 p.m., when
the constitutional convention con
An AMC aide and a Citizens
for Michigan representative got
in brief words with Mr. Romney
as he walked down the hall to and
from his committee sessions. The
general convention session lasted
until 10:45.
Sleeps on Way Home
At 11:10 Mr. Romney left Con
vention Hall for the trip home.
Africans Hand USSR Setbacks
Contributing Writer
Russians took two significant
shellackings in the United Na
tions last week. And they took
them in large part at the hands
of Africans.
This highly interesting fact ap
pears to point to an awakening
of major proportions on the Dark
Continent—an awakening to the
dangers both of communism and
of extremism.
Two swallows do not make a
spring, and two rebukes to the
Kremlin do not produce an anti-
Communist alliance. It obviously
is much too early to assess the
full significance of what has hap
There remain left-wingers and
extremists aplenty in Africa. Af
rican diplomats publicly con
firmed, for example, last week
what had been disclosed in this
space January 14: That there are
plans afoot to invade and “liber
ate” Angola by force if Portugal
does not set that colony free.
Nevertheless, the voice of mod
eration and anticommunism also
is being heard. And the funda
mental fact that Russia is out to
destroy Africa’s best interests is
being recognized.
The Two Coses
The two cases in point this
week were these:
• The Congo. A Russian effort
to use the U. N. to sabotage
peace negotiations between the
central government and Katanga
province was frustrated.
• Angola. A Soviet bid to pose in
the U. N. as a great crusader
for human freedom was laughed
out of court, and a parallel bid
to split NATO was thwarted.
Americans and others who have
claimed the U. N. was in the
palm of Russia's hand had a bad
What happened on the Congo
was particularly revealing.
Negotiations between Prime
Minister Cyrille Adoula and Ka
tanga President Moise Tshombe
for reunification of the country
were making progress. At long
last Mr. Tshombe had said he
was getting rid of the European
mercenaries who had contributed
so largely to turmoil and division.
U. N. people had their fingers
crossed; Mr. Tshombe had switch
ed signals before. Nevertheless,
the prospects for peace and recon
ciliation seemed bright.
At this point, the Soviet Union
stepped in to demand intensive
new military and diplomatic
pressure on Mr. Tshombe. Soviet
His driver had the right front
seat of the Rambler (an asset
Mr. Romney likes to advertise)
folded back into a bed. Before
they left the Lansing city limits,
Mr. Romney was in pajamas.
Minutes later he was fast asleep.
He can cat-nap any time, any
The AMC president figures his
outside activities have cut to
about half a week the time he
devotes to his company, so, he
adds, “I have reduced my com
pensation proportionately.”
His base salary is $150,000 a
year, plus stock options and bo
nuses in good years which have
boosted his earnings as high as
$250,000. He lives in a SIOO,OOO
home, for which he drew the
floor plans. He also helped with
the landscaping and likes to put
ter about in a sweater, loafers,
sports shirt and slacks.
His interest in Michigan poli
tics, and the Nixon-Eisenhower
praise, have focused considerable
attention on the AMC president.
Nearly every day since January 1
reporters and photographers have
followed his trail. He does his best
to accommodate them, even at
home on Sunday afternoons
which normally he devotes to his
family and romping with his
He’ll even makes room for them
at church, talking about politics
and other matters before and
after the various services. Mr.
Romney’s Sundays start as early
as his workdays, and sometimes
last as long.
He is president of the Detroit
Stake (diocese) of the Latter-Day
Saints and usually meets with his
counselors from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.
Sunday. At 9 he attends a meet
ing of the priesthood. At 10:30
there’s a Sunday school service
lasting an hour and a half, and
between 6:30 and 8 p.m a sacra
ment service.
But Mr. Romney sometimes at
tends more Sunday meetings than
Family Duties Too
Recently he and his counselors
continued their early morning
meeting in his car over 20 miles
of snow-covered roads so he could
preside at the elevation of a
branch (mission) to a ward
church. Then, with a reporter to
whom he explained en route the
precepts of a Mormon he hurried
back to his Pontiac ward to wit
ness the blessing of his youngest,
and fifth, grandchild.
Mr. Romney has two daughters,
both married to Mormor converts;
a 20-year-old son now a Mormon
missionary in England as was his
father before him, and a 14-year
old son, Mitt. He met his wife
the, former Lenore Lafount, at
high school. She was once a Metro-
Goldwyn - Mayer apprentice
The Mormon Church has no
paid clergy. Mr. Romney, like
others, gives his time and in ad
dition he is a tither—one who
donates 10 per cent of his income
to the church.
He doesn’t smoke, drink or
swear, and his physical pace is
such that a close associate com
ments, "I’ve had to mention it
on occasion when he had me worn
out. I might add, ‘l’m younger
than he is.’ ”
Until political activity began
delegate Valerian Zorin demanded
a meeting of the U. N. Security
Council to take "action.”
Effect on Tshombe
Nothing could have been better
designed to frighten Mr. Tshombe
into clinging to his mercenaries
than the threat of a U. N. military
attack. Nothing could have dis
rupted the Adoula-Tshombe nego
tiations so effectively as Council
consideration of such an attack.
The West, knowing Russia from
long experience, recognized this
fact immediately. What was much
more significant was that middle
of-the-road Africans also recog
nized it, and spoke out in in
Mr. Adoula was first. He cabled
the U. N. to "protest against this
maneuver” which, he said, could
“only create confusion, and dam
age the interests of the Congolese
No fewer than 20 African heads
of state thereupon echoed Mr.
Adoula’s protest. They wired the
U. N. from Lagos, Nigeria, where
they were meeting, that it would
be “unwise and prejudicial to the
interests of the Congo” for the
Security Council to rock the boat
with "any uncalled-for interven
tion” such as Russia had pro
This was by far the most out
spoken rebuke that Africans, as
a group, have ever dealt the Krem
lin. It was a crisp slap in the
With this as a background, the
United States was able to propose,
when the Council met, that it
adjourn almost immediately. Mr.
Zorin screamed that he was being
“gagged.” that the Africans had
not "properly understood” the
Communist Support
But he got nowhere. The coun
cil voted 7-2 to adjourn, the two
negative votes being cast by Com
On Angola, an issue raised in
the U. N. by Africans, Russia
tried to pose as Africa’s great
“friend.” Mr. Zorin arranged for
two Soviet satellites to propose
diplomatic, economic, and mili
tary sanctions against Portugal,
the colonial ruler of Angola.
The scheme was obvious. The
North Atlantic alliance was sup
posed to oppose the move; the
Africans would embrace it; and
the West would be discredited in
Or else the United States,
breaking away from NATO to save
its reputation in Africa, would
antagonize Portugal and lose.
biting into Mr. Romney’s time, he
took Saturdays off. He doesn't
any more. But the Romneys give
their one servant, a maid, oft from
Saturday noon until Monday.
Mrs. Romney then prepares the
family meals—for as many as a
dozen people.
Mr. Romney was born in
Chihuahua, Mexico, July 8. 1909.
Five years later Pancho Villas rev
olution forced his family and
other Mormon colonists back to
the United States. (The fact of
his Mexican birth raised some
speculation as to his eligibility
for the presidency, if and when.
The constitution limits the office
to "a natural-born citizen."
(Courts generally have held, how
ever, that children born at sea or
abroad of United States citizens
are "natural-born” for the pur
poses of passports and other privi
A Term in England
As a young man of 20 he went
to England for two years as a
Mormon missionary, paying his
way with money he had earned
lathing and flooring houses his
father—a contractor—built.
In England he learned that con
troversy gets attention. He was
unable to stir up much interest
in the "restoration of the Gospel”,
among the noon-day crowd of'
clerks and secretaries until a
colorful, red-bearded Socialist be
gan heckling him one day.
“We soon began to argue,”
Mr. Romney recalls. “We were
friendly but intense, and soon the
clerks were listening and taking
sides. It got so I’d go over some
days and heckle him up an audi
ence. I felt I should repay his
His mission completed, Mr.
Romney returned to the United
States and got a job in the the
Washington office of Senator
David I. Walsh, a Massachussets
Democrat. He was put to work
digesting tariff legislation and be
came familiar with the field.
Worked for Alcoa
He then moved to Aluminum
Co. of America, got a $5 a month
raise and got married. His final
job with Alcoa was Washington
representative. In 1939 he became
head of the Detroit office of the
Automobile Manufacturers As
sociation. After the war. he went
to work as assistant to the presi
dent of Nash-Kelvinator.
American Motors was formed in
1954 by the merger of Hudson
Motor Car Co. and Nash-Kelvina
tor, and Mr. Romney became pres
ident of the company in 1955, a
year when it lost nearly $7 million.
By 1958, thanks to his sales as
sault on what he called the
“gas-guzzling dinosaurs” of his
competitors, AMC was in the black
by $26 million.
Should he win the G. O. P.
gubernatorial nomination, he
would oppose young Gov. John
B. Swainson, who took over after
G. Mennen Williams’ 12-year ad
ministration. Mr. Williams is a
A long-time friend told Mr.
Romney recently he felt he was
"just looking for another fight”
in considering the race for Gover
nor. The friend added: "I hope to
God you don’t do it. You're too
good a man.”
among other things, important air
bases in the Portuguese Azores.
It did not work out that way.
The Africans refused to be taken
in. Some left-wingers and extrem
ists wanted to embrace sanctions
as their own proposal; but the
majority rejected this idea and
came up with a much more
moderate Angola resolution which
most of NATO could support.
Watering Down
Some of the Africans—enough
for a majority of the U. N. As
sembly-even went along when the
United States wanted to water
down the plan still further. The
net result was that the United
States could hope for Portugal’s
gratitude, instead of its antagon
ism, having successfully run in
terference for Lisbon.
The Africans, for their part,
were rewarded with a thumping
99-2 endorsement—including en
dorsement by most of NATO—
for their basic moral position
that Angola has a right to self
Despite intense bitterness against
Portugal, Russia's sanctions plan
got only 14 non-Communist votes
out of 92. (There are 12 com
munists, counting Cuba, in the
104-nation Assembly.) The Soviet
plan was in effect routed.
Two such Soviet defeats will
not win the cold war. or make
the U. N. safe from Communist
blandishments in the future. But
they will help to restore confi
dence in the essential good sense
of many neutralists. And they
point to a healthy sophistication
among an increasing number of
new African leaders.
The oldest voice in the world is
the wind. When it murmurs in
summer’s leaves, it seems an idle
trifler. When in the night it goes
wandering by, setting the old
house faintly to groaning, it
sounds like a pilgrim that has lost
the road. When you see it fitfully
turning the blades of a mill lazily
to draw water, you think of it as
an unreliable servant of man. But
in truth it is one of our masters,
obedient only to the lord sun and
the whirling of the great globe it
self.—Donald Culross Peattie in
A Cup of Sky.

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