We will serve Yit . group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as ws see it. O’rxa,9 \(9harrurr ,< An Independr 1-40,s, 0,,e ra -y Newspaper 44' -4" --\\7 ovvt 5 1 The one great rule of complositiott is to speak the truth. Thoreau Vol. 49 10c per copy No. 4 Timber Vs. Pol4ver at Magee Bend clearing has been started, a ma KURTH, OTHER TIMBER MEN LOSING FIGHT OVER DAM Ralph, Lyndon Split In Public Housing ote LUFKIN AND BEAUMONT Almost as far back as he can remember, the silent, towering pines of East Texas have dominated the life of Ernest L. Kurth, aging multimillionaire timber king. He massed his fortune from the prime forest, accumulating a vast 480,000-acre lumber empire, and for him a living tree became a symbol of life itself. When a move was made to clear off scrub oak from the courthouse grounds, Ernest Kurth objected. That was a minor skirmish in his unending battles to preserve 1 timber and timberlands. His main fight now is aimed at blocking the massive Magee Bend Dam, a U. S. Corps of Engineers multipurpose project which would furnish badly needed municipal and industrial water and electric power to the upper Gulf Coast but at the same time would inundate 129,000 acres of timberland. After more than 20 years of rough, cagy, no-holds-barred opposition in the courts, in politics, and in the newspapers, it appears that the man opponents refer to a s "a stubborn, hard-headed Dutchman" is losing to time and progress. Federal District courts have thrown out two lawsuits he and his colleagues counted on, and despite bids for public opinion support made through his newspaper, Lufkin Daily News, people are swinging over in favor of the project. Pressing for completion of Magee is the Lower Neches Valley Authority headed by W. F. Weed of Beaumont and backed by city officials and industry executives of the upper Gulf Coast area. Also plugging for it is a group organized as the Magee Bend Darn Development Association, which has run considerable East Texas area newspaper advertising, including $400 worth in Kurth's newspaper. Working to defeat the power phase of the project are members Bob Bray of the Neches River Conservation District Board, headed by Gus Whiteman of Alto. The group has filed two federal court lawsuits, one contending that the U. S. Army Engineers were acting without legal authority in taking land for the power phase of the project, the other attempting to enjoin the engineers from entering into contracts to release water over the darn in sufficient quantities to produce power for a period of 50 years. Both suits have been dismissed by the trial court. The latter is on appeal. to the Fifth Court of Appeals in New Orleans, and notice of appeal has been given in the other case. Work on the $47 million development on the Angelina near $5 million worth of initial construction contracts have been let or set for bidding. Still Kurth and other project opponents are continuing their fights, not to stop the program completely but to trim its size by $20 million and knock out its hydro-electric phase. Kurth's Argument W. R. Beaumier, publisher of Kurth's Lufkin Daily News and secretary-treasurer of the Neches Conservation District Board which is fighting the project, explains it: "We are trying to save the land." He said that if those opposing the project can succeed in knocking out the "power phase" it will cut the number of acres which will be inundated from 129,000 to 84,000 acres. Beaumier said reducing the size of the project' was logical because the Corps of Engineers had determined in 1954 that the power phase of the project would lose, not make, money. He gave a brief and candid history of Kurth's battles with the dam project and dams which preceeded it. He explained that in the mid30's plans were initiated for construction of Rockland Dam on the Neches River to help supply water to the Beaumont-Port Arthur area. The project would have inundated "50,000 acres of good timberland, so Mr. Kurth and. other timber owners fought it and stopped it for years," he said.. AUSTIN Senator Ralph Yarborough , has again joined with some liberal Democrats in the United States Senate against Senate majority leader Lyndon Johnson, other Democratic senators, and the Republicans. The issues this time were "tight money" and public housing starts. Both matters came up as amendments to the public housing bill of 1957. In his first important Senate vote, Yarborough opposed the confirmation of Scott McLeod as ambassador to Ireland, although his Texas colleague Johnson and some Democrats had joined the Republicans in backing the nomination. Congressional Records received here reflect that Yarborough first voted with 16 other senators in favor of an amendment by Sen. Albert Gore, D., Tenn., to prohibit the discounting of home loans insured by the government and to require the government to handle FHA loans at 5 percent and 'A loans at 4.5 percent, without' _Liscount. Johnson voted with 60 others against the. amendment. The bill provided for 35,000 n e w public housing dwelling units per year. Sen. Wayne Morse, D., Oregon, moved that this number be increased to 200,000. Yarborough voted aye; John son voted no. The amendment was defeated 54-20. Yarborough, being a freshman senator, did not take part in the debates. Johnson played a key role behind the scenes, the Observer understands, in obtaining bipartisan agreement on another amendment to the act which p -:o ...7:des down-payment liberalization for FHA home loans. Under the amendment, FHA downpayments can be three percent of the first $10,000, plus 10 percent of the next $6,000, plus 30 percent of the excess. On a $10,000 FHA-valued house the down payment can be $300 instead of the present $700: "TIGHT MONEY" was the issue, Gore said, "fir. the vote on his amendment to prohibit discounts. It would have increased the funds the government could have used to support the secondary mortgage market from $2.1 billion to $4.35 billion. Sen. Olin Johnston, D., S. Car., introduced f i g u r es indicating home building in Texas was down 12.2 percent for 1956. Gore said total FHA starts are down 34 percent and VA starts 45 percent in the first quarter of 1957. Sen. Homer Capehart, R., Mich., said the amendment would increase the budget $3 billion. Sen. Francis Williams, R., Del., said the figure would be $4 billion. Sen. Joseph Clark, D., Pa., said there are indications that moreJasper is underway. Preliminary Z MAIL F r. V USTER 1 21 AUSTIN People from all over the state responded passionately to the Senate filibuster against the segregation bills, and before the session ended letters had poured in on the central figure, Sen. Henry Gonzalez of San Antonio, from over the nation and the world. Gonzalez opened his files to the Observer, and one folder of his correspondence was studied. Of the 527 messages it contained, all but 40 were in favor of the filibuster. The ratio was thus 12-1 affirmative. Of the 40 critical messages, 15 were anonymous. The letters from Gonzalez's home town ran 150 to 12 in his favor. A total of 60 communications from religious sources were unanimous in supporting the filibuster and integration. So were 14 letters and wires from New York, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Maryland, Tennessee, California, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi. Many writers simply encouraged Gonzalez to go on with his fight or argued that the segregation bills, only two of which hurdled the blockade Gonzalez and Sen. Chick Kazen, Laredo, had erected, were unconstitutional, 1 un American, or un Christian. The criticisms were more varied and colorful. `Go to Mexico' "If you do not like our way of living, why don't you go to Mexico?" asked an anonymous San Antonio critic. "You are indeed very revolting." Another San Antonian challenged Gonzalez to a duel. "We of the decent 'white gringo' will fight unto death if necessary against your determination to force us into a life of racial renegadism .... So be on guard, you hypocritical Mexicain American renegade, choose your weapon, time and place!" The letter was signed. A Borger correspondent told Gonzalez "it would be wonderful if you would take lockjaw for a week. You must be a nit-wit 'pepper-belly.'" A San Antonian warned "government is swinging to the Communistic left," and another writer from Bexar said "carpetbaggers a n d scalawags' days are here again." A Pharr segregationist suggested Texas be divided into three states. "I would give a strip extending 200 miles north to the Rio Grande River back to the Mexicans. I would also have an intermediate strip where Mexicans, Negroes, and certain state senators could mix to their hearts' content." From Big Spring, an elderly correspondent let Gonzalez in on a secret. "I have it from good authority," he said, "that the daughter of Chief Justice Warren 'dates' a buck Negro. The Warren decision, then, was prompted as a cover-upto camouflage for his daughter." An excited Texan at Devine declared: "God was a segregationist .... God's chosen people were from the white race. The Pope \(your The people who supported the race referenda "do not want their children to associate with niggers, they do not want , their daughters raped by a black brute, if you have a daughter, I ... presume you want to see her in the arms of a black buck nigger, and later half nigger children ..." Two Latin-Americans also objected. "Do not sell us down the black river," asked a San Antonio .01,1111...11..111,011,111,01,110...J. Elks Stop Girl's Graduation Fete SEGUIN Saul Castellanos, Seguin Latin American, cancelled a high school graduation party he had planned for his daughter at the local Elks Hall after law enforcement officers warned him that some members of the club had barricaded themselves inside the hall and were armed. He had rented the hall frequently used for public parties without realizing there would be strong objection from some members until they began threatening him over the telephone. The Seguin chapter of the American GI Forum sent Gov. Daniel a wire protesting the threats. Latin. "Are you deliberately turning against your own people?" an incensed. Fort Worth Latin demanded. "How dare you put the Latin Americans in the same class as the Negroes? I am a Latin-American ... TRAITOR." A Ku Klux Klanner from San Antonio addressed his postcard, Another San Antonian told Gonzalez to support "the anti-nigger bill" or resign "as did your pal James E. Cox." A Jacksboro writer threatened to oppose the legislator pay raise in retaliation for the filibuster. A Houston man said Gonzalez was "doing the Mexican people a disservice." For an Elgin man, Gonzalez had to be "a communist or an uninformed person." From far-away. El Paso an irate lady wrote Gonzalez: "You take yourself much, much too seriously in anticipating the 'good Lord's illuminating intelligence' a 2x4 isn't easily illuminated, you know." She said Gonzalez was one of those "un-American liberals motivated by Kremlin dictates." "You, or anybody \(preacher, tonian told Gonzalez, "are lower down than a Negro, skunk, snake, rat .... Integration means intercourse with millions of mulatoes. I abhor Negroes." Kazen, Laurel Given Luggage LAREDO Laredo s c h o o l teachers, who bombarded the legislature with letters and telegrams urging their pay raise, presented Rep. Oscar M. Laurel and Sen. Abraham Kazen of Laredo sets of luggage when they returned from Austin. The school principals contributed $1 each and the teachers fifty cents. Supt. J. W. Nixon also got a gift. Sen. Kazen expressed his thanks and said he had worked for the teacher pay raise because of his convictions and not with any hop of reward. R. G.
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