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‘EL SAMARITANO’ Or S,o the Mexicans Have Named Him The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. Thoreau oi lr ohgrrurr 4ependent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. Vol. 49 TEXAS, FEBRUARY 28, 1958 10c per copy No. 48 HARLINGEN For all the help Valley people have given Frank Ferree, encomiums for his work have come hard for them. He is introduced, now and then, to church congregations he visits. Lt. Eric Johnson, an outlander stationed here, proposed him for a Freedom Foundation Award in 1955, and the foundation responded with a medal, $50, and a citation honoringhim “for his aid to Mexican indigents.” The most generous local acknowledgment of his work came from the Harlingen Kiwanis which, on Nov. 20, 1956, honored him at a lunch and gave him a scroll. The scroll remarks on the “critical” situation of many migrant families in the border area and “officially designates” Ferree as “the good Samaritan of South Texas.” Ferree, it says, “without personal funds, but with a big heart and a burning desire to help, has, for the past several years, worked tirelessly in providing a minimum of food, clothing, and medical care to these people.” The U. S. government has been officially friendly toward Ferree, authorizing his Volunteer Border Relief, Inc., to distribute surplus food from U. S. farms and, so far, sending him seven freightcarsfull. As long as he was working solely as an individual, his relationships with official Mexico were also cordial. During a 1952 outbreak of eye sickness along the border, the Mexican government shipped him 200 bottles of penicillin from Mexico City. On Sept. 23, 1952, Ignacio Vertti Suarez, a high-up official in the department of health and assistance in the capital, wrote him: “The government of Mexico in general, and the secretary of health and assistance in particular, thank you for the disinterested social labor unfolding on behalf of our ‘bracero’ countrymen …” The Mexican consul in Brownsville, Gonzalo Obregon, wrote him a letter of introduction to officials in Mexico City saying he had done “very meritorious acts of philantrophy, so that he has been widely identified as a grand friend of Mexico.” On Dec; 20, 1954, Mexican customs officials at Matamoras and Reynosa were instructed to let him enter freely with “medicines, edibles, clothes, and other effects” for the needy. He had an especially cordial connection with Horacio Teran, governor of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. In 1955 Teran and a large entourage came to Harlingen to present him a gold medal, the government of Tamaulipas’s “Honor Al. Merito Civico.” Teran wrote him a letter Feb. 6, 1956, in which he said, in part: “Your uplifting philanthropic labor on the altars of necessity reveals a highly commendable human attitude. … But not only were your sentiments manifested … also along the length of the WITH FERREE IN MEXICO Pupils Denied; Layoffs Grow SAN ANTONIO Stripped of supporting verbiage, the opinions of the major witnesses appearing before the second hearing of the Texas state tax study commission chaired by Sen. William Fly of Victoria \(the commission’s first meeting assumed these sk elet on shapes : Carey E. Thompson, associate professor of economics of the University of Texas \(speaking as “My own ranking preference is for, first, the personal income tax; second, the corporate income tax; and third, a general sales tax.” Herschel E. Nix, executive vicepresident of the South Texas Chamber of Commerce: “… our survey shows that the officers and directors of our organization \(115 businessmen in 93 South Texas cities or towns in 52 counpresent system of limiting the cost of state government to anticipated revenues, oppose new or increased taxation, and advocate more stringent economy and greater efficiency in state government. If, however, the acquisition of additional revenue is unavoidable, a general sales tax was favored … Other possible sources, in order of priority, are severance taxes on minerals now untaxed and a tax on chemicals … we are unalterably opposed to any increase in taxes on the oil, gas, and sulphur industries …” Fred H. Schmidt, secretaryThere had already been a few warning episodes. In 1953 Ferree took food to 600 needy -people at Valle Hermoso. General Gonzalez Cantu, commander , of the Matamoras garrison, was, according to press reports, removed from his post and char,ged with sending soldiers along with Ferree’s bus, contrary to orders. Again, a friend along with Ferree had photographed a Mexican accepting food. Mexican officials destroyed the film, and Ferree was barred from Mexico for a short time. The surplus food deliveries began in December, 1956. Ferree took over large quantities himself, but he turned forty tons of red beans over to the Red Cross for distribution: “They wouldn’t let us give it to ’em any more.” Early last year the president of the Reynosa Chamber of Corn \(which at the Dallas meeting recommended a tax on net corporate general sales tax or any further regressive taxes to the present tax picture outrages the sensibilities of anyone dedicated to fair and ,just taxation.” Walter S. Curlee of Fort Worth, chairman of the legislative committee of the Texas Assn. of \(mumitted 18 specific recommendations for tax legislation. Chief among these was “legislation abolishing the statewide ad valorem tax.” Richard M. Casillas, chairman of the legislative committee of the American GI Forum of Texas: “You name the misery, our lowincome people suffer it. To these An Inquiry HOUSTON, DALLAS, FORT WORTH. AUSTIN How many men are out of work where? Without an approach to answers to this, the pyramid-point fact that 181,-200 Texans were unemployed as of January 31 suggests little about the texture of the recession seeping into the lives of the citizens. Most of the impact has been felt, of course, in industrial areas, although plunging farm income has decimated, if less dramatically, many small town economies, and the multiplier is sending shock waves into all cities and towns, large and small. TEC’s state office in Austin said 77,784 persons were on unemployment compensation in Texas the week ending Feb. 20 compared with 75,746 the week ending Feb. 13 and 43,558 the week ending Feb. 21, 1957. As of Feb. 1 this year, TEC was paying out to Texans in unemployment cornpensation $1,100,000 a week; the figure for all of 1957 was $31 million. The Observer has sounded out various sensitive areas in the state’s two densest industrial matrixes in and around Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth. Unemployment in the Houston metropolitan area may be between 40,000 and 50,000 out of a work farce of 435,000. Ordinarily there would be, at this time of year, about 10,000 claims for unemployment compensation filed from the area, but the figure is 24,000 now. Where is the Houston unemployment? Labor union officials, contacted by Al Hieken, the Observer’s correspondent there, indicated that a substantial amount has developed in the building trades and in steel plants, chemical plants, oil tool companies, and railroad carshops. Lesser amounts also were reported in bakeries, furniture factories, meat packing plants, and a variety of other types of manufacturing establishments. To some extent it has affected almost every industry. Among the plants where largest numbers of layoffs were reported are Sheffield Steel, Hughes Tool, Rheem Manufacturing, Brown & Root, and Phillips Chemical. American Oil in Texas City has \(Continued on SEWELL MIGHT AUSTIN Dist. Judge Jim Sewell of Corsicana says he will decide whether to run for governor in about two weeks. He told the Houston Post by telephone, “There are certainly a lot of people encouraging me to run, and I am honored at the interest they are showing.” Asked if he might annoutice he will run on March 15, he said, “Well, that’s about the time the dogwood blooms, and I want to wait until the dogwood blooms.” Split at TEC AUSTIN Two weeks ago at a press conference of the Texas Employment Commission \(Obs. Stuart Long of Long News Service and Lyman Jones of The Texas Observerasked questions aimed at discovering TEC attitudes on pay-. ment of unemployment compensation to working college students who lose jobs in compensation law covered employment. The questions were not answered. But it was made plain that the three commissionersS. Perry Brown, chairman and public representative, Maurice Acers. employer representative, and Robert F. Newman, employee representativewere split on the eligibility of such workers for compensation, that Newman held one view and that Acers and Brown held another. The opposing views, and the reasons for them, were not made plain. Lyman Jones The Observer this week searched pertinent TEC records. The records showed that Newman repeatedly in recent months has charged Brown and Acers with misconstructions of unemployment compensation law and with reversals of legislative intent in cases involving student compensation claims. The three-man commission sits from time to time as a quasi= judicial “court of last resort,” reviewing, among other matters, decisions of lower TEC echelons of officials denying compensation eligibility. In many such cases heard by the commission in December last year and January this year, all involving aptleals by student claimants, Newman wrote severely-worded dissents to maj ority opinions by Brown and Acers finding against the students. Following, telescoped from TEC records, with claimants’ name deleted, are recent cases in which Newman dissented from the Brown-Acers majority findings \(Brown and Acers not citing reasons for their A student at East Texas State College, Commerce, for 14 or 15 months attended school full-time and worked full-time in a factory, on a shift beginning at 4:30 p.m. and ending at 1 a.m. He was laid off for lack of work for his shift. Because his course of study is offered only in the daytime, he could not transfer to another shift. He filed for compensation. Citing from the law which says a claimant must, in order to be eligible for compensation, be available for work, he was held ineligible. Tamaulipas frontier our humble people have received benefits of gifts of clothing, food supplies, and medicines. God grant and circumstances permit that you go on with your humanitarian labor….” The governor did not write without cause: Ferree was running Ronnie Dugger into resistance at the customshouses. Perhaps Mexico had learned, from Washington or the Valley, that the U. S. International Cooperation Administration was about to approve him as a distributor of surplus foods. To a nation proud as Mexico, the friendly gestures of a kindly old man are one thing, and accepting food from the rich and suspect Collossus of the North is quite another. Sales or Income Tax