Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois on August 25, 1972 · Page 5
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August 25, 1972

Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois · Page 5

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Alton, Illinois
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Friday, August 25, 1972
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Page 5
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McGovern, Shriver are two of a kind to George Meany Alton Evening Telegraph Friday, August 25, 1972 A-5 By Victor Rienel PARIS — There's an untold story rattling around the American Embassy here which reveals why the gay, debonair Sargent Shriver, to whom the world is one big tennis ball, and the moody George McGovern are two of a kind to the politically powerful grizzly bear of a labor leader, George Meany. Meany and some of his most powerful coleagues, each operating strong national political machinery, rate the Democratic pair as deuces. Thus, if anything could, the nomination of the former ambassador has created even greater bitterness in high AFL-CIO circles than existed previously against McGovern. It happened on a day in June 1969. The handsome Ambassador Shriver was so busy on the tennis courts that afternoon he simply ignored the social fact that he himself was giving an ambassadorial reception to some influential Americans. These Americans, led by AFL-CIO president Meany, made up the labor delegation on its way to Geneva for an unusual audience with Pope Paul. They were to join His Holiness in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the International Lab or Organization (ILO). At the appointed time in the ILO's pa 1 a t i a 1 headquarters in Switzerland, the labor men did meet the Pontiff and had a long conversation with him. But now back to Sargent Shriver's reception. Officially it 'was in honor of Meany, though he and Shriver had a mutual distaste for each other. Engraved invitations, specifically giving time and place (the Ambassador's residence) were clearly set forth. Meany and the other national union presidents traveling with him arrived on time. But the host, who if never painted by a Montmartre abstractionist would appear as a cubist tennis racket, was not there. The other guests, especially the protocol- conscious French, were startled. But everybody waited. And fidgeted. Time ran on. Some 45 minutes after the announced reception time, and certainly more than a full hour after the ebullient Left- Bank - minded Ambassador Shriver should have been standing as host at his own party in the gracious reception foyer, matching the graciousness of the old Parisian house, he arrived — quite casually and most casually dressed. He was, racket in hand, in tennis clothes. He walked in calmly and quite jauntily so everyone could see. Shriver bounded upstairs. He began dressing for his own mini-gala just as some of the irritated guests began to leave. George Meany smoked, but not visibly, not one of his cartoon-type cigars. Just Inwardly. He doesn't look it but he's quite sensitive especially at diplomatic .unctions. And he had not wanted the Shriver reception given him in the first place. He had agreed to come at Ambassador Shriver's special invitation so they could "build some bridges" between the U.S. and the critical French. Meany's reward for this gesture, which meant staying over in Paris, was a deliberate snub by America's "person" — meaning the charismatic Shriver — in all of France. This was interpreted as a deliberate public insult to the American labor movement as well as to Meany — especially demeaning in the presence of high French labor and political people of vital interest to American labor and American policy abroad. After the "ball" was over, one of the U.S. labor leaders was heard muttering imprecations against "that playboy of the Western world" and that it would be a long time before he (Shriver) gets any of their support back home for any endeavor political or social. Later, to Meany's chagrin, they learned that Shriver was quite "simpatico" with one of their sharpest critics, the wispy bearded Victor Reuther, brother of the late Walter. At that time, Victor Reuther was chief of the United Auto Workers International Affairs Dept. working closely with Socialist and Communist labor movements. He has been, he is and probably always will be, especialy in the book he's writing, the font policy. In mighty brutal language, too. For years AFL-CIO leaders believed that Victor and Walter Reuther's Auto Union was a paymaster for united front Socialist- Communist activity, overtly and covertly in several un- dergrounds. During the famous evening of the Shriver reception which really never fully was, Meany learned that, some time earlier, Victor Reuther had visited the American Embassy here for a chat with one of its Foreign Service officers. Word was immediately flashed to the Ambassador. In he dashed. Sargent Shriver wanted to make certain that Reuther, who has specialized in heaving razor-tipped verbal stilettos at Lyndon Johnson (who appointed Shriver) and at Richard Nixon as well as at Meany, would be comfortable and would not for a moment think that Victor would be overlooked by America's ambassador to France. And they had a long and friendly conference. But there is more than resentment over Shriver's snubbing Meany's group and their irritation with his wooing of their enemy OUR VOLVO WAGON HAS 3 WIPERS FOR THE SAME REASON IT HAS TWO SETS OF 3-WHEEL DISC BRAKES. The reason a Volvo MS has an electric windshield wiper and washer on the tailgate window is transparent. The reason it comes with four-wheel power disc brakesandtwoinde pendent brake circuits, each working on three wheels, is just as clear. So when shopping for a wagon, you have two obvious reasons for coming to us. CORDES MOTOR 2350 STATE 466-6651 SUPPLIES fcrBacMo-Schoolersi We have everything you need but the teacher. HONKE PHARMACIES Wood River and Kdwurdsville Rd. Wood River 254-3873 3rd and Henry Alton 465-4229 Open Daily 9 to 9—Sunday 9 to 2 PM HONKE'S N. ALTON 2526 State St. Alton PHONE 466-6383 Open DaiJy 9 to 9—Sunday JO to 2 PM Reuther. Meany and his own command long have proved Shriver's policies, which they consid< appeasement of ttie radica high disap left. Here in Paris where the AFL-CIO has a headquarters at 20 Rue de la Paix, Shriver was on friendly terms with the officially Communist controlled French General Confederation o f Labor (CGT). This powerful, propertied and cash-rich movement is one of America's truly vicious opponents Western Europe. Daily this CGT attempts to destroy the democratic, anti- Communist, pro-U.S. French labor organization known as t h e FO-Force Ouvriere, (Workers Force). 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