Page 2


. ATTORNEY J. PAUL LITTLE, testifies on the first day of the trial … tells Judge Betts his memory in dim on the location of certain cancelled checks. Page 4 July 13, 1955 THE TEXAS OBSERVER ‘IN GOOD FAITH’ University Regents Vote To Desegregate By DAN STRAWN Keedy Correspondent The Texas Observer KENEDY This is a dissertation on rural life in my community. In fact, it would be hard to find anything in the whole county that wasn’t rural except perhaps the bridge games in the Goff Hotel. Somehow they seem out of place. First I must start on one of the essential subjects of a farming and ranching community, cows. Perhaps some of our city readers will not know what a cow is, but most likely our rural readers do2A highbrow version can be found in the encyclopedia. I will attempt to show the real cow. Some cows are cuddly things, others are strange and aloof and exotic, some are wild, some are intelligent, others are boorish, some are stubborn, some are just plain damn ornery. One could never fully describe the caprice of their natures. To the uninitiated I guess to put the point across I cannot avoid comparing them with women. Cows can’t play bridge; at least I have never seen them performing this vital social function. But they can chew their cud, a corollary of tea parties. They just lay down and chew and chew, belching every once in a while to get a fresh chew. Their conversation is somewhat more limited than that of the homo sapiens female. They just moo. They moo mostly when they want something to eat. At other times they moo when they are calling their calf up for dinner. They also moo when they’re in trouble, or think they are. They don’t moo much when a bull is around. Sometimes they just moo. All they really seem worried about is getting some grass, or hay, or corn, or cotton seed meal. They seem to turn up with a calf regularly about once a year. Some Are Like That I have very seldom heard a woman moo. They very seldom utilize such delicate tonal qualities. However, neither dd cows use artificial perfume. They attract bulls with their own natural fragrance. A cow, unlike a homo sapiens, very seldom loses her desirability. Bulls are a romantic lot. You’ll almost invariably find them around some cows. I have a bull which was very troublesome about that. Unfortunately, he was a philanderer. He ignored his own harem and coveted his neighbor’s wives. For a while I had difficulties with my neighbors until he settled down and became a homebody. He would espy a herd of beauteous yo ung heifers while on one of his peregrinations from the home fires and lock horns with the bull of the herd. He would usually thrash the other polygamist and take over his harem, usually dumping the frustrated lover through the nearest barbed wire fence and leaving him to graze discontentedly alongside the road. This bi..41, of mine seemed to have a penchant for blondes. He was a hereford, but could never pass up a jersey. He would hop four-wire fences, electric fences, or wide expansas of territory for the company of one of those petite little creatures. I eventualy changed his name from Domino something or another to Romeo. Bulls fight destructively, especially if they are close to fences before they get tired. If they are of any size they will demolish a fence in a hurry. I have seen them start in the evening and battle throughout the night, all over 20 or 30 lady fairs. This battling usually consists of bumping heads to see which one has the hardest noggin’. The one who gets pushed around usually gets a horn in his hind quarters and flees fast enough to turn around, if he hasn’t had enough, to continue the head knocking contest. The Bovine Version I have seen evidences of love at first sight among bulls and cows. I remember hauling a cow of mine over to an uncle’s on a short visit. He had an oldish bull which apparently had lost none of his ardor. Upon espying the young cow his heart evidently did a bovine version of pitty-pat. He jumped around and snorted, almost clicked his hooves, and was fairly beside himself with adoration. I decided to flee the scene before he tore up my pickup with his caresses. He chased the pickup some distance as I whisked his true love away. On the other hand, I had a bull that was just not interested in cows. The year swung around with no blessed events. A sympathetic listener suggested that maybe he just didn’t want them to think he was that kind of a bull. I don’t know. At any rate he finally got over his bashfulness before I went bankrupt. I’m glad of that. Not understanding it myself, I don’t know how I would have made out trying to explain it to my banker. AUSTIN Texas school officialsfrom tiny independent school districts to the mighty University of Texas Systemwere generally facing up to their desegregation chores last week. Total desegregation at ,the University of Texas was ordered by the fall of 1956. Immediate desegregation was ordered at Texas Western College in El Paso, where public schools there have already desegregated. The State Board of Education meeting in Austin ruled that such school districts as El Paso will continue to receive state funds. Governor Shivers had recently hinted that such schools, acting too hastily on the segregation problem, before the DeWitt jury. Bell testified. in Austin he had taken more than $27,000 from group land promoters under the land program. Strauss got $11,500 under the same circumstances. Both said the money was for legal fees. “To conveniently designate said sums as ‘Legal Fees’ does not in our opinion, satisfactorily explain them,” the. DeWitt grand jury said of money “for , various types of representation on matters directly af-‘ fecting state funds and a state program” received by “certain state senators.” The federal law, the DeWitt grand jury said, carries a fine of up to $10,000 and prison terms for Congressmen or government officials who practice before any government agency on any matter in which the Government might be “directly or indirectly interested.” There is no such law in Texas. First Intimation Jan. 31 The first public intimation that Bell might be involved in the land scandals appeared in The Texas Observer Jan. 31. This newspaper exchanged a series of wires with Bell about whether he had ever represented any applicants before the Veterans’ Land Board. At first he replied he had represented veteran applicants. A return wire asking him if he had represented group land promoters brought no response. A follow-up letter asking if he had represented any group land promoters, such as T. J. McLarty or C. 0. Hagan, “before the Veterans’ Land Board,” brought a wire stating: “The answers are no.” Bell explained to the Observer just before he entered a Texas might not qualify for their state funds. The board also said local boards must decide policy regarding integration. School officials throughout the State immediately began appointing “study groups” to map out plans for desegregation in Texas public schools. The University of Texas Board of Regents met early in the week to consider the problem, and by Friday it had voted unanimously to admit Negroes to the undergraduate school. They qualified their historic ruling by setting the date for total desegregation a full year away, pointing out that a year was needed for study of the problem and to plan for a program of “selective admissions.” Senate committee investigating room on this matterthat he had taken the phrase, “before the Veterans’ Land Board,” to mean, literally, before the whole Land Board. He had been over at the Board offices and before individual officials for group promoters quite often. After this first exchange, witnesses began mentioning Bell’s name in the public investigations. On Feb. 21, The Texas Observer printed photostats showing that “LCJ,” presumably Board exect.i. tive secretary Laurence C. Jackson, had made Bell a $90,000 offer in behalf of the State in a Robertson County transaction, and that he and Alvis Vandygriff, then a former executive secretary of the Board, were interested in the deal. Shortly thereafter, he was subpoenaed by grand juries and investigating committees in Texas. The Three Loans Under oath in Austin in March, Bell told how, when he was a state senator, he had been employed as a lawyer in ten block deals. He received a total of $27,247.01 for assisting with block deals in Guadalupe, Robertson, Wilson, Zavala, Edwards, Dimmitt, and Webb Counties. He had talked to Bascom Giles, Jackson, and other Land Board staff workers on deals in which he was interested. He told of three loans of $6,900 from T. J. McLarty. He did not take a note or security for any of these loans. He took cash of $4,000 as half-payment of one other fee without giving a receipt for it. The present Guadalupe County indictment deals with the McLarty ranch and subdivision deal. By 1956, said the Regents, a program of testing to limit undergraduate enrollment can be developed which will be fair to all, regardless of color. Plans for housing in integrated students can also be developed. The University is suffering from lack of operating funds and overcrowded housing and classroom facilities. The Regents made clear they would fight any attempts to desegregate the Main University earlier than 1956. Negro leaders questioned on the decision in Austin were generally satisfied. The three-point policy statement adopted by the board includes: 1.Admitting Negro undergraduate students to all classes at Texas Western College at El Paso in September of this year. 2.Admitting Negro undergraduate students to all other branches of the University system in September, 1956. 3.Admitting qualified Negroes to all branches of the University’s graduate and professional schbols. Previously, graduate school enrollment for Negroes was limited to courses they could not get in Negro schools. Meanwhile, the Texas Interscholastic League announced it will recognize Negro competition for the first time in history next fall. The League specifically said it would recognize competition by Negro students in the El Paso schools. League rules limit membership to “public white schools.” The League said in the future it would rule that this does not exclude any school which has previously limited its enrollment to white students but which has now modified its rules so as to admit Negro students. Other desegregation items: /_ The Weslaco School Board in the Rio Grande Valley voted to admit Negroes to Weslaco High School, this fall. Harlingen recently opened its white high school to Negro students. Negro elementary students will continue to attend their own school. Negro leaders in Amarillo criticized a desegregation proposal there as “gerrymandering.” Local school officials had proposed mass transfers of students from different districts. A federal judge in Tyler ruled that Negroes could not be excluded from Kilgore Junior College because of their race or color. Desegregation studies were being made in Corpus Christi, Gonzales, Caldwell, and El Campo during the week. A Rural Dissertation Congressman ‘Shocked’ FIRST OF LAND SCANDAL TRIALS BEGINS the state wasn’t mentioned. He said a woman in Ruffin’s office showed him where to sign. Procter brought a woman into the courtroom and identified her as Ruffin’s motherin-law. Regian said she was the woman who showed him where to sign. Ruffin faces 19 indictments in Travis County in the land scandal. The charges include theft, forgery, and uttering a forged instrument. Regian identified an application to buy 200 acres of Kinney County land as the paper he signed in Ruffin’s office. He said he hadn’t seen the land he had applied to purchase. Defense attorneys objected repeatedly, contending that anything said to have transpired when Giles was not present was not admissible. The testimony never revealed whether Regian got the $100 he had wanted to borrow from Ruffin. Diebel, the new executive secretary of the Land Board and formerly a member of the State Auditor’s office who ran audits from time to time on the board, was asked to produce 15 documents from the Land Board files. Introduction of the documentswhith included letters, contracts, and such concerning the Kinney County deal and Regian’s purchase were opposed by the defense. Betts let the State put them in the custody of the court without going into details at the time as to their contents. Procter, young Austin DA, has been the only prosecuting attorney so far. He is lined up against a formidable array of well-known legal brains for the defense, including Small, his son, Clint Small Jr., Polk Shelton, and Rogan Giles, the defendant’s son. Nearby sit the attorneys for SheffieldEverett Looney, former State Bar president; Senator Carlos Ashley of Llano, Rep. Cecil Storey of Longview, and Paul Holt of Austin. At one point, Shelton asked a prospective juror if the fact that Sheffield and Giles had a lot of prominent attorneys would influence him against Giles. The juror s,ai d no. Procter. a 34-year-old ex-footballer at the University of Texas and a Marine combat veteran in World War II and Korea, has two assistants working with him. There have been observers from the Attorney General’s Office present in the courtroom, but they have not participated. A bill which would have provided Procter with funds to hire special assistants for trials growing out of the land scandals died in the Legislature. On the opening day, the defense forced Procter to dismiss a third count in the indictment against Giles, charging a conspiracy to commit theft between Giles and Sheffield. Procter then forced one of Sheffield’s attorneys, Looney, to turn over to the court two canceled checks from J. Paul Little, Crystal City attorney, to Ruffin. The checks were for $3,539 and $2,346. Procter had both Little and Looney on the standeven before the trial had begunasking them under oath where the checks were. Looney finally turned them over to the court. Among witnesses summoned by the State are Laurence Jackson, former executive secretary of the Veterans Land Board; H. Lee Richey of Austin, former Land Board appraiser; Rep. Frank Carpenter of Sour Lake; Henry Rosenow, the original owner of the ranch which figured in the block deal; Dennis Wallace, chief clerk of the Land Office; Bill Harrison, assistant state auditor; Ruffin, Little and Sheffield.