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“lottoow ow. : Allik.galijefillOPPINIVI111010 41**1411,111 Page 5 .il 4, 1955 THE TEXAS OBSERVER .140 Res1 ire In Sight In Vet Land Scandals AUSTIN The Texas Supreme Court has agreed to review a “friendly” suit which was filed to establish validity of a $58,500,000 bond issue sought by the Texas Turnpike Authority. The statecreated authority wants to build a toll road between Dallas and Fort Worth. Attorney General John Ben Shepperd hesitates to approve issuance of the bonds because of a question of constitutionality. But if the Supreme Court does rule favorably on the bonds and the Dallas-Fort Worth toll road is built, there are some here who think the Turnpike Authority may be automatically out of business. E. H. Thornton Jr., Highway Commission chairman and a member of the authority, raised the question of the group’s future last week. The question came up at a meeting of the authority in which a feasibility study of a toll road from Houston to the Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange area was discussed and dismissed temporarily. Thornton recalled that the Toll Road Act passed two years ago in the Legislature specifically authorized the Highway Commission to advance money for studies of toll Negro Girl Seeks Entry To Texas Western College EL PASO A Negro girl who is a 1954 honor graduate of an El Paso high school has asked a federal court to make Texas Western College here admit her as a student. A suit was filed last week in behalf of Thelma White, the 1954 valedictorian of El Paso’s only Negro high school. She said she attempted to enter Texas Western but was turned down. o She immediately registered at New Mexico A&M College, a co-educational school at Las Cruces which is nonsegregated. The suit claims the girl is deprived of equal rights under the US Constitution by the policy of the State of Texas and the University of Texas Board of Regents which bars Negroes in the undergraduate levels if they can get their courses at a Negro school. The UT regents are involved because Texas Western is a branch of the University. Her petition claims that TWC is the only branch of the University of Texas within 925 miles of El Paso. She said tt no Texas college she could ‘r pres ent rules within 65t. Attorney Genera —,nerd is expectet e suit_ road projects and to get them started. Use of bond, money set aside for one project for studies of other projects was forbidden. Thornton called for attorneys to study the problem and recommend legislation to overcome the impaSse. Authority officials will be ready to set to work on the Dallas-Fort Worth project immediately should the high court pass on issuance of bonds. The “friendly” suit was filed to make sure no hitch in the plans arises after financing is arranged. Legal arguments in the suit will be heard here April 20. The suit was brought by the authority itself as a general test of the law creating it and providing finance by issuance of state bonds. Shepperd refused approval of the bonds on these grounds: 1.Powers granted the authority are so broad, unlimited and undefined that they are an unconstitutional delegation by the Legislature of its authority. 2.The proposed bonds are an unconstitutional pledge of the credit of the State. 3.The turnpike act does not grant the unlimited power to condemn property already devoted to public use. The authority also has preliminary plans for other super-toll roads such as the one linking Houston and the heavily populated Sabine area. But legislation to overcome provisions in the act barring other studies with current funds will probably be needed. Eugene Locke and Paul Horton, attorneys for the authority, were directed to make a quick study to see what could be done so that the authority can continue to survey other possible toll-road routes. Sale of bonds for the DallasFort Worth job will be ordered immediately after the court’s decision if it upholds validity of the bonds officials said. A New York financial advisory firm has told the authority it believes it could get the money within five weeks after sale of the bonds is authorized. Contracts for the Dallas Fort Worth road could then be let by June 1. Discussion of a possible toll road in the Houston-Sabine area was dropped when Thornton said thei Highway Commission is already completing an expensive, six-lane controlled access super highway between the two areas. It should be ready for use in 18 months, he said. J. C. Dingwall, engineer-manager for the authority, reasoned that a toll road could not compete with a free road in `hat area. Rep. Curtis Ford of Corpus Christi, called “Front-page Ford” now by House associates because of the publicity his move attracted, is expected to push for adoption of his resolution to invite Governor Allan Shivers, Attorney General. John Ben Shepperd, and Giles to appear before the House of Representatives as a committee of the whole. Ford says he wants to ask Shivers and Shepperd why they missed so many meetings of the Veterans’ Land Board. Insisting he meant “nothing personal,” Ford said: “I’m afraid this land program will be killed. People are losing confidence in the government.” Rep. Tom Cheatham of Cuero sees no reason for such action, since two legislative committees are investigating the matter already. Ruffin, one of the two Brady traders who have become key figures in the investigations, filed a cross-action last week asserting that the State was correct in alleging that Giles and Sheffield were engaged in a conspiracy to defraud the State in two land deals in Dimmit County but that he, Ruffin, should not be required to pay any of the money the State is trying to recover. He said the land sold the State in the deals in ques-. tion, while registered in his name, actually belonged to Giles and Sheffield. The State is suing allthree men for recovery of $171,000 on the deals. This newspaper reported Jan. 31 that sources in Austin and Brady felt Ruffin was the “goat” in the matter. In San Antonio, the 32 veterans involved in the W.&M. Cattle Cornpany deal, in connection with which Giles is charged with taking a $30,000 bribe, filed suit against Giles for $33,000, which they said was his profit in the deal. \(Shepperd alleges in a civil suit that the suit charges Giles entered into an agreement with Arthur McKenzie, C. V. Wynn, and the W. & M. Cattle Co. to buy the tract for resale to them “on condition he receive a huge personal profit.” The suit says he “willfully, purposely and corruptly with intent to cheat and defraud veterans” devised a scheme from which he realized the $33,000. At week’s end, the House Investigating Committee heard U. S. McCutcheon, former assistant executive secretary of the Land Board and long-time friend of Giles, tell how he went to Minnesota for a month in 1952 to look over a large tract of land which Giles later bought. McCutcheon said Jack Jackson of the Land Board staff also performed such functions for Giles in Minnesota. A secretary told the House committee that on Giles’s instructions she wrote minutes for meetings of the Veterans’ Land Board she had not attended although she had no way to know whether the land deals she recorded as approved had been presented to the Board. The minutes have been attacked by many officials in the Governor’s and Attorney General’s offices as false. The ever-widening scandals are now so serious that some legislators feel that any association with a group land deal in the public mind is tantamount to political extinction. It is understood that public reaction in Cuero is running strongly against Congressman John Right To Work Law Studied High Court Will Review ‘Union Shop’ Decision AUSTIN Lower court action in a test of the Texas “right-to-work” law and the Federal Railway Labor Act will be reviewed soon by the Texas Supreme Court. The high court agreed last week to review a ruling by the Court of Civil Appeals which concerns the Santa Fe Railway and 13 of its employees. The court granted a writ of error sought by Santa Fe and the workers. The Civil Appeals Court has twice upheld the right of 16 nonoperating unions to demand a union shop contract with the railroad. Santa Fe is contesting this. Error alleged in the lower court ruling included two points challenged by Supreme Court. The disputed rulings were that: 1.The union shop provision of the Railway Labor Act and the union attempts to get such a shop did not constitute sufficient action to raise qUestions about whether such action was legal under the U.S. Constitution. 2.That the union shop provision and any contract provided under that law would deprive employees of their right to work, their freedom of speech, their freedom of association and their propertyall held contrary to the first, fifth, and ninth amendments. The high court action was the latest step in a two-year-old fight pitting the 13 employees and three branches of the Santa Fe against the non-operating unions. The employees and railroads have based their arguments on the Texas “right to work” law and the claim that the union shop section of the Federal Railway Labor act is unconstitutional. The unions reply that the U.S. law supersedes state law and that the act is a permissive one and therefore denies no one his constitutional rights. The fight, recently carried to the Court of Civil Appeals, resulted in the court reversing a decision in favor of Santa Fe and the employees and dissolving an injunction. J. Bell, who testified he took more than $27,000 for what he described as legal services in block land deals. It is not known what effect, if any, Senator Gus Strauss’s testimony may be having among his constituents. He said he took $11,500 in legal fees in block deals. Calls are expected momentarily for a general disclosure by all members of the Legislature of any connection with group land deals in the past. Rep. Obie Jones of Austin has sponsored a resolution to this effect. source and other slate The All-City Party pledges itself to a continuance of present policies, particularly regarding water supply. The administration of Mayor P. C. Callaway has cooperated with the Nueces River Water District in plans to build a dam across Lake Corpus Christi at Mathis. The new dam, to be called the Wesley Seale dam, will create an extensive reservoir to fill the desperate water needs of expanding Corpus Christi. The Seale dam couldn’t be cornpleted before 1958, and as an interim water supply, Smith’s ticket advocates continued use of water wells. Garrett slogans his fight for water, ” ’58 will be too late.” His plans include dredging small reservoir areas around Corpus Christi and building small dams immediately, but including a large reservoir eventually. He does not believe water wells are adequate. Smith has attacked this plan as too costly and a revival of the “dastardly” legislation Garrett introduced in the Legislature two years ago to increase the local water supply. Garrett’s reply was that a dam would be under construction now if “local interests” had not hired Smith to defeat the bill A secondary issue in the campaign concerns reform in city government. The Citizens Economy League promises to submit to voters a proposition on changing the present city-manager form of go ernment to a mayor-council f It favors the latter, with a div of the city into wards and paid councilmen and mayor. The All-City Ticket prefers the status quo. It also would proceed with a charter amendment election, set for May 21. The amendments were proposed by a study commission set up by the present administration. The Economy League has its own charter amendments, whict it would submit to voters shortl after the April 5 election. On the ticket with Smith Minor Culli, camera store owner; W. J. Roberts, local oil company official; B. E. Bigler, building contractor, and M. P. Moldonado, local tortilla factory owner. Running with Garrett are C. C. Cosgrove, pipefitter and former city field inspector; M. M. Stevens, funeral home operator; G. C. Pickart, former tourist court manager; and D. C. Craig, a labor official. Present indications are for a possible turnout of 16,000 voters. Smith, 39, was attorney for the Better Government Party in the election two years ago. He is a graduate of the University of Texas in business administration and law, and has practiced law in Corpus Christi 15 years. Garrett, 69, long recognized as a liberal leader in Corpus Christi, is publisher of the weekly VoiceChronicle and served in the Legislature 4 years. He was an umuecessful candidate for Congressman from this district in the last primary election, running against Sen. William Shireman and the now Hon. John Bell. Compliments CROUCH and PRINGLE Fort Worth Court To Test Validity Of Turnpike Bond Issue AUSTIN No relief is in prospect for Texans weary of the continuous revelations in the veterans’ land scandal. Bascom Giles is scheduled to come to trial next Monday, April 11, on the Bexar County grand jury’s charge that he, took a $30,000 bribe in one block land deal. Legislative hearings this week are expected to develop more information about the former Land Commissioner’s private financial affairs, especially his land holdings in Minnesota. Before the book is closed on this festering episode in Texas history, more state officials will be drawn into the picture as influence peddlers or worse if information received from Cuero is correct. Giles has entered a general and specific denial to the State’s charged with conspiracy to commit cated in Dimmit, Zavala, and Kincharges in two civil suits alleging theft of state funds, accepting a ney counties. that he and B. R. Sheffield and L. bribe, and four felony thefts. He is V. Ruffin of Brady conspired to sell involved in four civil recovery land to the State under the vetersuits. District Attorney Les Procans’ land program improperly. The ter brought the felony theft charges suits seek recovery of $171,000 paid. against Giles, Sheffield, and Rufby the State. fin last weekaccusing them of Giles also refused for a second taking $688,000 illegally in four time to answer the State’s quesother block dealsafter Procter tions orally. Telling reporters “you became worried that unless he get tired of being kicked from so filed the charges at once, some of many sides,” he invoked his conthe promoters involved might restitutional immunity from self-inpay the State the money involved crimination. and get off with $1,000 fines under His San Antonio bribery trial a state law precluding criminal may be delayed at his request. prosecution after such restitution. The embattled Giles now stands The land is the new cases is lo Water Is Issue In Corpus Voting Corpus Christi Correspondent The Texas Observer CORPUS CHRISTI The “shrinking boards” of this Gulf Coast city are receiving full attention in a two-slate battle for control of the City Council. Four councilmen and a mayor will be elected this week. Despite other controversial planks, water, its its cost, are the issues to sink one and swim the into two-year control of city government. No independent candidates are running, and the election is entirely on a slate basis. Q Farrell Smith, an attorney, is the mayor candidate on the All-City Party ticket, composed of small businessmen. Opposing it is a liberal’ ticket. the Citizens Economy League, headed by Gabe Garrett,