Truman backs out on Vatican envoy
PRESIDENT Truman announced on Stusday that his nomination of General Mark Clark to be American Ambassador to the Holy See will not be submitted to the Senate for confirmation, at the General's own request.
He added, however, that he plans to submit another nomination at a later time."
Because of the widespread criticism of such an appointment, it is believed that Mr. Truman may shelve the matter until after the Presidential election next November.
General Clark told reporters that he had many reasons for asking the President to withdraw his name. The chief reason was that an appointment to the Vatican is such a controversial issue during election year that he doubted whether any action would have been taken on it.
When Senator Connally. chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations.Committee, who opposes any ambassadorial appointment to the Vatican, heard the news, he said: " Good." But he refused to comment on the announcement that another nomination would be submitted later,
Protestant leaders throughout the United States have welcomed the President's announcement. and many of them expressed the hope that he would now drop the whole idea of establishing formal diplomatic relations with the Holy See.
The Protestant attitude was summed up by Bishop Knox Sherrill, head of the National Council of Churches of Christ, representing sonic 31,000,000 Protestant church members. He declared: " We are opposed to the appointment of an Ambassador on a sincere principle and will continue to be so whoever may be appointed."
Two members of the Senate from Pennsylvania, Senators Martin and Duff, stated last week-end that they have received more than 100,000 letters, postcards and telegrams protesting against the appointment of an Ambassador to the Vatican and that others are arriving at the rate of 2,000 a day.
They say that only a handful of messages favoured an appointment.