WILCO’S SICK LEAVE PLAN Protects You On AND Off the Job! Available to small groups of employees from five to fifty To large groupsup to thousands And to individuals! WESTERN INDEMNITY LIFE INSURANCE CO. Affiliated with Home’ Office : 5011 Fannin, Houston, Texas AGENCIES THROUGHOUT TEXAS Auto Insurance Case Again AUSTIN More than $180,000 in overcharges resulting from misclassification of collision insurance on financed automobiles has been repaid to Texas car owners and thousands of other unsuspecting Texans may be entitled to receive refunds if they make claims. A spokesman for the State Insurance Commission said that under a ruling made by the insurance board in 1954, Texans are entitled to receive refunds whereever they show they made overpayments for car collision insurance. The statement on car insurance overpayments refunds came after release here of a pamphlet published by the National Better Business Bureau, Inc., which pointed out that disclosures in Texas had played a key role in exposing the nation-wide practice which had netted insurance firms millions of dollars. Declared the NBBB: MOST STATES, \(including -lision insurance are classified by the Insurance Departments so that those who enjoy a less hazardous status may buy their insurance cheaper than those who are poor risks …. consequently most states have established a class one rate for collision insurance where there are no drivers under the age of 25 years. Where there are drivers under the age 25, a class two rate applies. The premium I charge for the class two policy may be as much as 45 percent more than for a class one policy. The overcharge can be as much as $75.” The NBBB report continues: “The first clue that such costly misclassification might in fact exist on a widespread scale came during the summer of 1954 when the Texas Board of Insurance Commissioners received information that a number of automobile drivers insured by the Service Fire Insurance Company were so misclassified. Operating nationally, this . company usually insures more than 800,000 cars financed through the Universal C I T Credit Corporation with which it is affiliated. A preliminary investigation showed that approximately 85 percent of the drivers insured by this company in Texas had been placed in class two. Nationally, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, only 13 percent of all automobile policy holders in all insurance companies are in class two, whereas 80 percent are in the less-expensive class one, with seven percent in all other classes. “The suspicion that there was something wrong with the Service Fire classifications was clear. Following a conference with the Texas Board, the company sent a letter to policyholders which had been placed in class two, telling them that they might have been misclassified, in which case they would be given a cash refund, and requesting information for proof of such possible misclassification. Less than half of these policyholders responded to the questionnaire, but of those replying, 85 percent were determined to have been misclassified.” A CHECK of State Insurance Commission records showed that the following firms paid refunds to Texas car buyers for insurance overcharges: Service Fire Insurance Cornpany, $88,662; Marathon Insurance Company \(Pacific Finance Corance Company \(Commercial Fire Ins. Co. \(Commercial Credit Company $8,546; Consolidated Lloyd, $14,636; and Home Service Casualty Company, $1,096. A SPOKESMAN for the State Insurance Commission indicated he believes most of the misclassification trouble in Texas has been cleared up. “Our house is in order …. I think a pretty fair job has been done of getting the money back to those overcharged.” The NBBB warned: “There are many people entitled to refunds who are not getting them. In Some cases these individuals have failed to respond to questionnaires … for fear they would have to make additional payments. There is no need for concern. The policyholder … can only be depriving himself of money to which he may be properly entitled.” Old Man Yearns for the Country \(Continued from Page nursing and convalescent homes throughout the state. \(He had two field workers, a secretary, and a Observer: “According to my standards, home after home is deplorable … The situation is rough. But if you closed the sub-marginal homes, many patients would be turned out digging garbage out of garbage cans. “We have a terrific problem on homes that take $55 monthly patients, but until the great State of Texas does something about giving them more money, I don’t know what can be done,” Hornburg declared. The nursing home licensing official said that he and his fourmember staff press continually for better standards in the convalescent homes. But, he said, “we’ve got to be practical.” There are currently 484 homes licensed in the state. They have a total of 10,357 beds. In addition, hundreds of homes are operating without state licenses. Some claim to keep less than three patients and therefore don’t fall under the licensing law, but a number of larger homes have never obtained a license and haven’t been called on it. One nursing home operator, who has been in the business more than 20 years, charges that “there are at least 50 illegally oping in Houston.” She says that welfare workers in Harris County frequently help place old age pensioners in these unlicensed homes even though they don’t meet state minimum requirements. HORNBURG suggests that perhaps the state should provide some extra allowance for old folks who require nursing or convalescent home care. “A possible solution,” he said, “would be to allow an additional $20 or $30 per month for old folks requiring rest or nursing home care.” Homburg said he stands ready to force rest and nursing home operators to “raise their standards” as soon as more money is forthcoming. He believes that in most cases the rest and nursing home operators are doing “all that could be expected” for the $55 a month available per pensioner. Like many others, Homburg says that the problem “all goes back to money.” Shivers Backs Ban on Integration Barratry, Sweatt Stipend Figure in NAACP Hearing TYLER AND AUSTIN A double offensive aimed at crushing desegregation and resegregating integrated integrated districts h a s been launched. Attorney General John Ben Shepperd, in a suit for temporary injunction at Tyler, is seeking to ban the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from doing business in Texas. His suit is based on allegatidns the NAACP has operated in violation of state laws and is not duly chartered as a corporation. Gov. Allan Shivers’s Texas Advisory Council on Segregation in Public Schools adopted, 13-5, a 20-point legislative program frankly calculated to “legally circumvent” the U.S. Supreme Court desegregation order. It would deintegrate integrated schools pending plebescites and relieve local school boards of the authority and responsibility for integration through a proposal that “the local school board should not have the power to abolish the dual school system or abolish arrangements for transfer out of the district for the minority race in favor of a fully integrated system. “The board of trustees shall have no authority without a prior vote of the people to abolish a dual system, and they shall have no transfer authority that will result in an integrated school without a vote of the people,” the report recommends. IN A SUIT to block NAACP activities in T e x a s, Shepperd called witnesses who testified that U. Simpson Tate, Negro attorney for NAACP, had filed suit against Kilgore Junior College in behalf of five Negro students who actually had not authorized him to do so. The Attorney General also introduced a reproduction of a contract showing that the NAACP agreed to pay $11,000 to Heman Marion Sweatt, the mail carrier in Houston who filed suit in 1946 and forced his admittance as the first Negro to enter a “white” college in Texas. The injunction hearing, which is being conducted before District Judge Otis T. Dunagan, was described by NAACP chief counsel Thurgood Marshall of New York as the greatest crisis in the organization’s history. John. D. Minton, an assistant attorney general who investigated the NAACP records in Dallas, testified that under terms of the contract the NAACP agreed to pay Sweatt a “salary of $3,500 a year for three years and another $500 when the contract was signed.” Carter Wesley, publisher of the Houston Informer, stated in Houston that he was the one who had insisted that a formal contract be drawn in the Sweatt case. Wesley said he had been chairman of a Sweatt Victory Trust Fund organized by a group of citizens who heard the mailman-student was in financial difficulties. “Somewhere before we came into the picture it was estimated that Sweatt would need $11,000 to $11,500 to go through three years at the university,” he said. “Apparently the NAACP had verbally agreed to pay this money to him but wasn’t able to raise all the money.” In addition to the Sweatt case testimony, the state also introduced some 30 letters and documents from NAACP files to help support its contention that Tate and other NAACP officials and representatives encouraged Negro students to enroll in white schools. Two Texas Rangers and seven highway patrolmen were on hand to help Sheriff W. S. Ashcraft keep order during the crowded court sessions, but there was no demonstration. A secretary of the prp-segregation Citizens’ Council of Houston, Mrs. Lee Barnett, appeared carrying a confederate flag but left it in the clerk’s office at the suggestion of Ranger Jay Banks of Dallas. The NAACP attorneys raised objections that the state had no grounds , for procedure against t h e organization because t h e Texas branches were not incorporated, that state police officers had conducted an illegal investigation of NAACP records, and the Tyler court had no jurisdiction in the case. All were denied. THE LEGISLATIVE program adopted by the school segregation advisory council received approval of Shivers, who told newsmen: “In general, I agree with its aims.” Under the proposed legislation, the school districts that have already desegregated would be forced to go back under the dual system and submit the integration question to a public vote. In order to enforce such a law, the committee recommended the loss of state funds and accreditation for school districts whose boards didn’t fulfill requirements of the program. School board members who did not comply with the program would no longer be eligible to serve, and a special election would be called to fill their positions. Regarding elections to determine whether schools should be integrated, the board recommended that such be held only once every two years and then on petition signed by 20 percent of the voters. The state would bear the burden of costs on all legal action stemming from school segregation suits with the special assistant attorneys general designated to assist local boards. It was reported that a survey showed there are 44 counties in Texas which do not have any Negro scholastics, and five counties where white students are in the minority. There are ten counties with 40 to 50 percent Negro students, 19 counties with 30 to 40 percent Negroes, 24 counties with 20 to 30 percent Negroes, 10 counties with 15 to 20 percent Negroes, 20 counties with 10 to 15 percent Negroes and 32 counties with five to ten percent. To Name Trustees HOUSTON The Observer’s directors, meeting here last weekend, decided to expand a statewide group of trustees for the stimulation of interest in the Observer. While the trustees are not to be associated with the Observer corporation in a legal way, they will assist in the business promotion of the Observer in their areas. Persons interested in helping the Observer in this capacity are asked to contact the president of the board, Franklin Jones, attorney at law, Box 252, Marshall. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 4 October 3, 1956
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