Last month Missouri's Senator Frank Briggs received a routine patronage notice from the postal department: the $4,500-a-year postmastership at Clinton, Mo. (pop. 6.041) was open.

Senator Briggs, a trained machine politician, dutifully asked the Henry County Democratic Committee for the name of a deserving Democrat for the job. The committee decided on 33-year-old Clyde Smith, a World War II veteran. In due time Smith got his notice of appointment signed by the first assistant postmaster general. He turned his oil business over to his wife, moved into the postoffice.

Last week, after 27 days in office, Postmaster Smith was fired. His appointment...

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