Labor Sad But Not Necessarily Mad Says Holleman AUSTIN Texas labor chief Jerry Holleman declared the LandrumGriffin vote will be only a part of the basis for selecting Texas congressmen to be opposed next spring. At the same time, AFL-CIO state counsel Sam Houston Clinton, Jr., wrote the Texas delegation calling LandrumGriffin a “labor chloroform bill” which prohibits ordinary picketing. “This particular proposition, approved by the House of Representatives, with only four Texas Congressmen voting against it, is so shocking,” Clinton told the Texas delegation, “that one is caused to exclaim with Mark Antony in his oration on the dead body of Julius Caesar: ‘0 judgment; thou art fled to brutish beasts/ And men have lost their reason.’ ” The Observer asked Holleman to tell Texas AFL-CIO’s plans about the Texas delegation in light of the letter written to all who voted for Landrum-Griffin by James Carey, president of the International Union of Electrical Workers and a vice-president of AFL-CIO. Carey had written, “We wish to assure you that we shall do all in our power to prove to the working men and women in your district that you have cast your lot Holleman against them and they should therefore take appropriate action at the ballot box.” Rep. Walter Rogers, Pampa, had commented: “This is a free country and he has a right to write that kind of letter. I’ll defend his right to write it. But I should hope that the time will never come when one man can dictate the votes of a member of Congress through fear of reprisals by some self-appointed dictator.” Rep. Bob Casey, Houston, had not read the letter but said a Hoffa man threat ened him with extinction. Rep. Bruce Alger, Dallas, planned to send the letter to some of his constituents but said it was more moderate than some forms of pressure he had experienced on the bill. Not Necessarily Mad Holleman’s approach, which obviously is more pertinent to the political future of the 17 Texans who voted for L-G than is Carey’s, told the Observer: “Well, looking at the U.S. congressmen over the state, there are some of them who are shall we say vulnerable, who could possibly be defeated. There are others who are less likely to be defeated, in fact, are almost impossible to defeat. “The basis on which we will decide whom to oppose is not particularly their vote on Landrum-Griffin but will be based on records of long standing and their accumulated performance over the years, plus their political position at the momentthe politics of their district. “I doubt if the vote on Landrum-Griffin will cause us to oppose any congressman that we would not have opposed, anyway. Of course, any hot issue COPE vs. Beckworth AUSTIN One of the 17 Texans who voted for the Landrum-Griffin labor bill in Washington, Rep. Lindley Beckworth of Gladewater, was listed by AFLCIO’s Committee on Political Education in Washington as one of 16 congressmen in the U. S. who received labor support but voted for L-G. Beckworth denied receiving a contribution from any labor group in his 1958 campaign. In Austin, Jerry Holleman, president of Texas AFL-CIO, accounted for the confusion by saying: “Beckworth did decline to take a contribution directly, but we did indirectly spend mbney in his behalf.” The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. THOREA U , ,,, ,. ,,, T , 0. , , tiS .,,ILt A Observer We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as tvc see it. In lnde 1.7:dent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper Vol. 51 TEXAS, AUGUST 28, 1959 10c per copy No. 21 Alarms on the Radioactive Drums HOUSTON When and if the United States Atomic Energy Commission gives the four or five people who call themselves the Industrial Waste Disposal Corporation permission to dump radioactive wastes in the Gulf of Mexico, their chosen spokesman here admits, some of the drums are expected to burst, the cement encasements will split, and the wastes will “diffuse” into the Gulf. But here, says their lawyer, young John S. Kiibler, Jr., is the problem: what are you going to do with these wastes? There are only two things you can do: take the really dangerous atomic refuse and lock it behind walls and put it under guard, where it will stay, as at Oak Ridge, for thousands and thousands of years; or take the less dangerous wastes, dump them in the ocean, and let them “spread out.” Thus has come home to Texas and to Texans a personal meaning for the atomic age, an intimately personal issue: the purity of the coastal waters, the safeness of shrimp and fish we eat, and perhaps most of all the way we feel in our environment. If the wastes are not taken somewhere, they will stay where they accumulate. In the city of Houston alone 80 licenses have been granted for the use of radioactive materials in commercial and medical pursuits. “Why, trucks are traveling the streets of Houston day and night with two or three curies!which is far greater than we can have in any one package,” Kiibler said. So the question is not, Shall we dispose of radioactive wastes, but how? The three-year-old Industrial Waste Disposal Corp., attorney Kiibler said, proposes to receive the wastes in Houston on hired trucks, convey them in other hired trucks to the company’s steel haul vessel, take them to an area roughly 150 miles east of Port Isabel and 180 miles south of Galveston, and dump the stuff overboard into at least 1,000 fathoms of water. Split … It Diffuses’ Admitting the cement encasements and the drums can split, and often will, when they are dropped into a thousand fathoms of water, Kiibler told the Observer in an interview: “The fact is that it doesn’t make any difference. My Lord, it’ll split. That’s confusing the issue. It’s expected to split. It diffuses.” Sen. Ralph Yarborough has speculated that the currents in the Gulf could carry radioactivity to the coast. “The current itself is very helpful,” Kiibler responded. “If there were no current it would still diffuse. … Believe me, if some got to shore, it would have been washed free of radioactivity. It’s safe without a currentit’s so much safer with a current!that much safer, that is.” Conveying, by that verbal tangle, a desire to leave no implication that there could be any danger from the waste-dumping from which Industrial Waste Disposal Corp. proposes to make a profit over the years, Kiibler, asked if there would be any danger at all, replied: “This is a matter of proven fact: It is not dangerous if it is handled in the manner specified in the license. This company is fully equipped to handle it.” How many permanent employees does the company have? he was asked. “Probably from four to six,” he said, including the president, Dr. Donald Hood, an oceanographer; Miss Edna Wood, a biochemist; the ship captain, and the two or three people the captain hires for his crew. The company, Kiibler said, is “a small concern engaged in handling industrial wastes,” such as oil and chemical wastes from industries along the Houston ship channel. “Our business is finding ‘some way to deactivate the waste so it can be disposed of without contaminating the streams,” he said. Radioactive materials are used for such things as medical work and determining interior strength of metals, he said. I.W.D.C. would receive them from “anyone that we could economically.” He said he has heard that there are seven other U.S. companies doing the same kind of work. What area would the firm service? “It depends on the shipping rates,” he -said. “We would expect to get most of it from Texas … It seems a good source of income.” In outcry about the dumping have been heard the voices of Yarborough, Texas congressmen, the Texas legislature, the shrimp industry, and sports fishermen. The A.E.C. was required by the politics of the situation to hold up the issuance of the license to I.W.D.C., ask for a brief from the company by Sept. 15, and schedule arguments Oct. 13 in Washington. Atty. Gen. Will Wilson has asked the A.E.C. to be allowed to intervene against the dumping at the Oct. 13 hearing. Kiibler will be there too. Rep. Clark Thompson, Galveston, has introduced a bill to prohibit radioactive waste-dumping closer to shore than 200 miles and shallower than 1,000 fathoms. Containers would have to be leakproof. In a recent statement on the subject, Yarborough said Thompson’s bill “is a long step in the right directionnamely, deeper and farther away. A mistake here could be fatal … An overdose of radiation is most hazardous to children and can affect generations 100 and 200 years in the future.” ‘Will Come Out of Drum’ The young, alert La Porte lawyer said the waste would consist of such things as test tubes, beakers, contaminated paper, carcasses of dead animals used in experiments, and some materials exposed to radioactivity from radium, such as the containers in which it was stored. The wastes would be trucked to I.W.D.C. in drums which would have to comply with A.E.C. standards, so that if the basic container broke, liquids would be absorbed by an inner container. “Either you or I can carry one of these containers around all AUSTIN Governor Daniel’s veto of the $1.2 million appropriation for a new senile mental patients’ home has stirred almixed reaction among House Senate appropriations chairmen, repetitions of public statements that the current institution, the Confederate Home, is a fire trap, and conflicting statements by the Governor and hospital authorities as to the mental condition of the patients involved. The hospital building appropriation was the largest of three items in the $2.4 billion budget vetoed by the Governor. The others were a $200,000 appropriation for tourist advertising and a $1 million appropriation for legislative expenses during the interim. Daniel said he vetoed the senile home proposal because the money “was not requested in the budget submitted to this office; the hospital board does not have responsibility for seniles; and because the state policy should be to get these unfortunate people in private rest homes near their families rather than making them permanent patients of our hospital system.” In an interview pursuant to this newspaper’s study of the Austin Confederate Home \(Obs. Feb. 28, ‘591, Walter Young, the day,” he said. “The radioactivity is of such a low intensity, it does no harm. It could sit there indefinitely and you could live with it indefinitely.” Could you leave it in your bedroom? “You could have it in your bedroom, yes,” he replied. Each concentration of radioactivity “is well below the maximum permissible concentration.” Not opening the drums, would encase some of them in concrete strengthened with wire mesh; drums not filled up with wastes would be filled with concrete instead of encased in it. \(Presumably they would have to be opened if they had to be “The main function of the concrete is weight,” he said. “They don’t need it for protection.” After the drums were dumped, concrete encased or concrete-filled, into the Gulf within two, three, or four miles of latitude 26 degrees, 20 minutes north, longitude 94 degrees, 32 minutes west, what chance would there be, the Observer asked Kiibler, of the ocean pressure breaking them open? “Some of the drums will break,” he said. “The concrete will probably breaka shearing break, a sort of crack, that doesn’t shift the concrete. It does break. It’s expected to break. The wire mesh holds it togetherit doesn’t come off.” The probability of the drums opening under the pressure, he said, is not great. “The inner metal drum may crack. Then the water rushes in and equalizes the pressure. “Of course,” he said, “radioactive institution’s business manager, said that he and Director Dr. Louis Silverthorn agree that not more than five percent of the 770 people in the home are merely senile; the other 95 percent are psychotic. About 20 per cent of the patients are on tranquilizers, Dr. Silverthorn said. Hospital Board executive director Raymond Vowell said that though the appropriation was not requested in the original budget, it was specifically sought in a supplemental request following fires in an Austin institution and in mental hospitals out of state. “I would say it has always been a fire trap,” Vowell told the Associated Press. “It’s a dangerous place and we wanted to replace
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