From Washington Daunt Farmbelt Democrat By JEAN ROBITSCHER Washington Correspondent The Texas Observer In a recent issue of Newsweek, Ambassador to Italy Clare Booth Luce was quoted calling the Democrats “troubadors of trouble and crooners of catastrophe”a phrase that smacks of many years’ association with Time advertising. Well. one Democrat decided that although he didn’t wish to be classified by Ambassador Luce or anyone else as a blues singer. he could not evade the duty of reporting to Congress some very alarming facts about our Nation’s “drouth catastrophe.” told his colleagues in the House of Representatives that “no one can deny the national scope of our drouth disaster.” At present, 944 counties in 18 States are recognized by the Department of Agriculture as drouth emergency areas. Farmers home disaster loans have been made available in 8 of these 18 statesKansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. “Although we have had the attention of our National Government.” Rep. Edmondson said, “I cannot avoid this conclusion regarding our Federal drouth program: Relief has not only been too little and too late, but all too often the relief has been given in the wrong place.” He pointed out there is mounting evidence that the small farmer and cattleman with limited resources and most urgent need for drouth assistance is not receiving 0Loan authority for the Farmers’ substantial help from the present Home administration, the chief program. source of disaster loans, has been “The Department of Agriculture reduced from $166 million in 1954 can show some handsome figures to $153 million in 1955, and $147 on feed assistance and FHA loans,” million in 1956. he said, “but those of us in hard-hit drouth areas can cite far too many instances of wholesale herd liquidations, farm sell-outs and food relief cases.” In Oklahoma, for example, 115,000 people are reported on direct food relief, and the total is expected to reach 125,000 by March 11. 1955. And the Soil Conservation Service has warned that five Southern Great Plains States–Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, and Colorado may experience dust storms this year worse than any since the thirties. President Eisenhower in his State of the Union message on January 6 said: “Because drouth also remains a serious agricultural problem, I shall recommend legislation to strengthen Federal disaster assistance programs.” However, Rep. Edmondson points out. the announced budget plans in the field of agriculture are cause for general alarm: A frontline fighting force in the battle against drouth damage is the Soil Conservation Service, which the presidential budget proposes to cut from $59,085,671 in fiscal year 1955 to $55,596,200 in fiscal 1956. nvaders of Costa Rica May Be Mercenaries Church, on Race The governing body of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas formally endorsed the Supreme Court’s decision declaring racial segregation in the schools unconstitutional. In a meeting Jan. 21 in Houston, the 106th annual council agreed that: “This council go on record placing itself behind the justice of the Supreme Court … and recognize that the practical implementation of this justice must be worked out within the framework of forgiveness and love.” There was no reference in the statement to the admission of Negroes to churches for whites. \(This concludes our survey of the positions of area church conferOThe agricultural conservation program, in charge of soilbuilding and water-conserving, has its new money cut orn a $226 million actual expent are in 1954 to a cut $175 million in 1956. Although ‘$15 million was appropriated for emergency wind damage control in 1954, absolutely nothing is recommended for this purpose in the new budget. And the budget shows a $15 million cut in funds for commodity procurement for the schoollunch program. * Senate Majority Whip Earle C. cratic support for action that would relieve t h e Nation’s education crisis. Attacking the Administration’s inadequate school program, Sen. Clements said that nine mil Interpretive Page 3 January 31, 1955 THE TEXAS OBSERVER By Countryside and Town WelcomeBut Scrape Your Feet It is an old saying that “honest confession is good for the soul.” By that measure the soul of the notas-handsome-as-he-was Governor of Texas must be some better since delivering the State of the State message to the Legislature and over the solon’s shoulders to the people of Texas. He stood up and confessed to the world that after 20 years of his leadership, in which from year to year he has pushed for more and again more power and had it given to him by the Legislature, the state of the State of Texas was a needy one indeed. And said, “This is but idle talk and empty gesture unless we maintain a dynamic and effective State Government that adequately deals with our own problems.” Well? Really, isn’t that what we were trying to tell the voters last summer? He sang a different tune then. Do I understand that the Shivercrats are now joining the Democrats in Texas to try to mend some of these distressing conditions the Governor outlined so clearly? Well, the Welcome doormat is out, but as good housekeepers we must ask that they scrape the mud off their shoes and don’t bring those sales taxes in the house with them. * * * Of all the ironic, sarcastic legislative proposals, I think that with which Hon. Tom Joseph \(McClenor’s confession of failure is tops: Namely that it be required that our license plates be stamped “Tremendous Texas.” Men have been shot for less biting impudence than that. MFC lion school children are without adequate classrooms today and all the Secretary of Health, Education wants to do about it is “study and study and studyfor many, many more months.” He added: “I sympathize with her desires to take care of our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren. At the pace she is setting, I suspect that relief will not come much earlier.” By BRUCE CUTLER ‘Written for The Texas Observer \(Second of two The exiled leader of the Nicaraguan Liberal party stated recently \(through Excelsior, a generally conservative and Catholic Mexfor political liberties as guaranteed under the Atlantic Charter exists unabated in Nicaragua, despite continued political repression by the Somoza government. A population of less than a million and a half in Nicaragua has to bear the burden of costs in maintaining an army, a navy, and the largest air force in Central America \(which , recently increased through the purchase of 25 surplus American fighter planes Nicaragua remains generally inaccessible and isolated because it lacks roads. Reliable reports indicate that among those invading Costa Rica from Nicaragua were mercenaries and members of the Caribbean Legion. The Caribbean Legion has been described as a myth by some correspondents, but the persistence of reports about its interference in the domestic politics of various Central American and Caribbean countries has aroused increased concern. At least one of the .planes used by the Picado-Calderon Guardia forces was reported to have borne Venezuelan markings. President Figueres has accused the oilrich and generally militarist government of Venezuela \(u n d e r the Communists of supplying the Picado Calderon Guardia forces with money and supplies. The New York Times recently carried an interview with a young American Negro flier who had participated in the bombing of the Figueres loyalists by the Calderon government after the latter government had been voted, out of office in 1948. The flier later turned up with Castillo Armas and handled a part of the bombing assignments on Guatemala City. Bruce Cutler spent four years, 1950-’54, in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Cbsta Riac in public health and educational work projects sponsored by the governments of Mexico and El Salvador. He taught in rural public schools, taught reading and writing Spanish in prisons, worked in a housing and agricultural self-help co-op in El Salvador, and assisted in rural sanitation \(“you plan where to dig Chicago originally, he lives in Austin now with his wife Tina. The Figueres government is an avowedly anti Communist, antiFascist government fighting a combination of rightand left-wing forces which have been based in Nicaragua. The invasion came as no surprise to leaders in Costa Rica, just as the Armas invasion from Honduras was also anticipated. The difference between the two invasions has been, first of all, that the Armas forces gathered local support and emerged clearly as a liberating, revolutionary movement. The Picado-Calderon Guardia invasion is not such a movement. Last summer, President Figueres of Costa Rica predicted just this sort of invasion from Nicaragua because of the fear generated in his country by his goVernment’s policies of social reforms and political liberties. Figueres, whose wife is a Swedish Quaker, had completely disbanded the Costa Rican army except for a small, police-like security force, calling armies in Central Ameriea “an anachronism.” He took pride in the fact that Costa Rica was the only Nation in Central America with more schoolteachers than policemen. If the Nicaraguans come, he argued, we’ll greet them with liberty. They’ll never want to return to Nicaragua, he said. The mercenaries confounded this strategy, which in part accounts for Costa Rica’s sudden efforts to secure arms, aircraft, and assistance abroad. It also accounts for the sudden action of the Organization of American States in intervening in the hostilities. Knowing Costa Rica to be unarmed and avowedly pacifist in its dealings with other Central American states, the U.S. and O.A.S. sent immediate help. Observers, patrol craft, and rescue teams from the U.S., Mexico, Ecuador, and Brazil, as well as El Salvador, have been active in trying to settle the dispute without having to throw any of the cot irifttraiT. -4.’, the regional organization or economic sanctions. But to this date, both Figueres and Somoza remain firm intheir personal and political enmity, and the forces of Picado and Calderon Guardia seem to be the pawns between them. Quick action by the O.A.S. and U.S. support for the Figueres regime seem to indiacte that the U.S., far from its policy in the twenties which saw U.S. marines in control of the territory of Nicaragua, is now ready to stand by the legitimately elected governments of Central America. But they in turn must also stick by the principles of the Atlantic Charter and represent the legitimate social and political ideals of their people. FRANKLY SPEAKING DisabledWorkmanW Who Works Anyway Would Be Penalized by HB By FRANKLIN JONES Written, for The Texas Observer Customarily, the ultimate desires of special pleaders before the Legislature remain obscured until it is too late for the people to prevent harmful legislation. All precedent was broken before the 53rd Legislature, when the insurance interests and Texas Manufacturers’ Association literally took a trip to the psychiatrist’s couch in exposing their innermost desires by sponsoring House Bill 261. The bill was introduced by Rep. Abington of Fort Worth, top-ranking representative in the T.M.A. sweepstakes, where he voted 40 times for the corporations, and 0 times for the people, to come in No. 1 \(see The State Observer, The Workmen’s Compensation Act was rewritten in the bill to deprive injured workmen of trial by jury. Other innovations found in the measure as drawn would have created a bureaucracy to end all bureaucracies, consisting not only of the Austin members of the Industrial Accident Board, but an unknown quantity of roving commissioners to be appointed by the Board in such number “as required.” There were many other little selfsharpening clauses in the proposed bill to encourage final disposition of all cases by the unnamed and unknown roving Commissioners, such as provisions that no review of the Commissioners’ findings of fact should be allowed unlesS written application for review thereof should be filed with the Board within 30 days. For all practical purposes, the award of the Industrial Accident Board was made final, in that on the so-called appeal to the District Court, a bound record of proceedings before the Board was to be forwarded and absent fraud or misconduct of the administrators of the law, no new or additional evidence could be taken, and the record was for all praCtical purposes to be binding upon the courts. \(Much more could be said of the singular soul-baring of the sponsors of this bill that was manifested by its proposals, but I rest the case with the bare outThe T.M.A. has baited the trap a little differently for the 54th Legislature. It has dropped down to No. 17 in its sweepstakes for the 53rd, and had the bill introduced by Rep. Bates of Houston, whose batting average was a mere 91.66 percent for the corporations in the T.M.A. appraisal of the 53rd Legislature \(The State Observer, Nov. 2, Greeks bearing gifts, pointed up a proposed raise of the maximum compensation payment from $25 to $30 per week. The current proposal, H. B. 4, seems to have been made on the assumption that if a dog’s tail is cut off a little at a time, the process will not be so painfulor at least, he may not notice until it is gone. Presently, the partially incapacitated laborer is entitled to compensation payments figured by taking the percentage of his average weekly wage and awarding the amount so arrived at to him, but not in excess of $25 per week. A workman making $100 a week with a 50 percent partial incapacity would receive compensation payments of $25 per week, never to exceed 300 weeks rather small recompense for half a body. H. B. 4 would require the partial disability payments be figured on the maximum of $30 per week rather than on the wage base, so that a man making $100 per week who is 50 percent partially incapacitated would draw $15.00 per week compensation insurance, just as a man making $45 as an average weekly wage would draw. It would be considered galloping socialism to force a man with a $50 fire insurance loss to accept the same payment therefor as given a man with a $22.50 fire loss. But not so, apparently, if the loss is in earning capacity instead of property. Perhaps the greatest hardship to be placed on the workingman by the new act, is the severe penalty fixed on those who have suffered previous injury or bodily infirmity. That class of workmen who, under the whip of necessity, work against pain to make a livelihood may not recover full compensation insur
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