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The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper A Window to the South Volume 53 TEXAS, NOVEMBER 3, 1961 15c per copy Number 31 AUSTIN The American government would regard the endangering of any one of three kinds of U. S. rights in West Berlin “as causes for war. And this has been made clear to the Soviet Union, and I’m sure they understand it,” said a high State Department spokesman at the regional foreign policy briefing conference in Dallas over the weekend. The same official also stated that a conventional war in Europe would probably become a nuclear war very quickly. “I think if you start a war with troops in Europe, you’re going to be very fast escalated into a nuclear war,” he said. Military experts do not believe Western troops in Europe would be able “to successfully wage a war in Europe.” Thus, he implied, nuclear weapons would be necessary to ‘avoid defeat. This official identified “peaceful coexistence” as communists’ language. When the Observer’s representative asked him, in the full seminar attended by roughly 600 newsmen and civic leaders from several states, what thought is being given in the State Department, in the light of the horrors of nuclear war, to “the reduction of tensions,” he replied: “We try to avoid the term, ‘reduction of tensions,’ because that’s a Russian term. We use other terms. . . . There are certain circumstances under which we would have to risk a nuclear war . . . We AUSTIN Students and faculty at the University of Texas are now engaged in a drawn conflict with the board of regents on racial policy. The administration is schizoid between its duty to carry out the policies of the regents and the personal sympathies of many of its leading figures with the student and faculty positions. This week the regents’ policies against permitting the school’s 200 or so Negro students integrated housing, social privileges in white dorms, or participation in intercollegiate athletics had so aroused the faculty and student body, the University faces a lawsuit from some of its own students within two weeks and there is no doubt that important segments of the academic community will cheer the plaintiffs on. The faculty Tuesday voted 30834 condemning regental policy on dorm rules discriminating against Negroes. About 200 students demonstrated in front of Negro and white girls’ dorms Halloween night, and Wednesday morning during a class break about 200 students stood in a group in front hope this condition Winston Churchill called ‘the mutual balance of terror’ will hold this uneasy peace until there is some break in the situation.” The next morning, during a seminar, a Dallas woman asked the diplomat what was the point of a foreign policy which regarded nuclear war as “thinkable” when a nuclear war would result in great loss of life and “political and economic suicide.” “Nuclear war is conceivable in the sense that you can imagine certain situations where the choice would be surrender or face the catastrophe,” he replied. “If we have to make that choice, then you can say that our American foreign policy has failed . . . “If you had a superior intelligence looking at the world, you would say we are acting like a lot of idiots. On the other hand, the The danger of war is not so much from miscalculation as it is from both sides putting themselves in a situation from which there is no exit point. Both sides are very aware of this danger.” The three rights the violation of which the U.S. would regard as “causes for war” are access to Berlin, the presence of U.S. troops there, or reduction of the freedom of the people of West Berlin. The U.S. would not regard the mere signing of a Russian-East German peace treaty as a cause for war, and the spokesman suggested, as a way out of the situation, that “we might. turn Berlin into an of the ‘University Tower, under the windows of the president and chancellor, and quietly read aloud together, over and over, the words carved across the face of the building, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” In the traditions of Texas politics, the nine regents’ seats are political plums doled out by the governor to his faithful supporters. The present .U.T. board members were appointed by former Gov. Allan Shivers and Gov. Price Daniel, both staunch segregationists. Now the pressures for integration within the University community, intensified by the direct action student movement that has spread to Texas from the Deep South states, have collided with the policies of these regents. In the background is changing public opinion in Texasthe fact that the latest Texas Poll shows that Texans now favor school integration about two to one. This fact has had little impact as yet on the segregationist politics of Texas public life. Campus opinion began to bear in on the regents last spring. In May the faculty approved a resolution urging the regents to inte AUSTIN Insurance adjusters who have weaved through the debris of Hurricane. Carla by the hundreds have conducted 90,000 property examinations in 30 days, according to industry sources. They are processing a total of about 150,000 claims. State Insurance board chairman Thomas Ferguson calls it the highest number of claims from a single disaster in the history of this part of the country. Ronnie Dugger ‘Uncountable numbers of Texas homeowners have realized with shock that the insurance they thought protected them against hurricanes will not pay the damages caused by the hurricane’s high waters. The question of whether damage was caused by wind or water is obviously, as Ferguson says, “a matter of opinion.” The standard Texas extended coverage policy says on its face that it insures against hurricanes. In the section on exclusions, however, it is clearly stated that water damage is not covered, whether the water was driven by high winds or not. \(The only exception is damage from water that enters through an opening caused by owners who lost their homes and furnitureeverything but the lot and the foundationhave been offered as little as a tenth of their losses by insurance adjusters. Sen. Yarborough estimates the total damages are more than $500 million. The Texas Insurance Advisory Assn., excluding from its estimate the extensive crop, auto, and boat losses, estimates the damages at $175 million, of which, the association says, only $80 million to $100 million was insured. As of mid-October, industry sources say, $25 million had been paid. Clearly this means that many losers have either refused offers made or have not yet received offers. “Flood, surface water, waves, tidal water or tidal waves, or overflow of streams has never been covered in the Texas standard policies,” an industry spokesman has stated publicly. A point made by homeowners that the high ‘waters obviously were caused by the hurricane and should be considered covered has been regarded by the companies as literal whistling into the wind. “The victims wait for settlement, but the collectors of the insurance premiums are barricaded behind the fine print in a long policy,” Yarborough has charged. Gov . Daniel said early he was grieved to hear from those who lost their homes that adjusters tried to reduce payment on the basis of the IN NEXT WEEK’S OBSERVER San Antonio: An analysis of the Gonzalez-Goode vote. Brownsville: A conversation with Judge Oscar Dancey, South Texas’ “Mr. Democrat.” McAllen: A community whis pers. San Antonio: National threat to public housing. Reynosa: Slaughter in the afternoon. water damage exclusion. Other governors have insisted, Daniel said, that companies recognize that “the major cause of loss was hurricane winds which also brought on the high water and wave action.” Assured by industry spokesmen the companies would “lean over backwards,” Daniel thanked them. His aide, George Christian, has been referring all complaints to the board of insurance. In one of these, a petition with names affixed to 50 sheets presented ‘by Rep. Maco Stewart of Galveston, it was reported that Galveston damages totaling $1 million had resulted in insurance offers totaling only $30,000. \(Of course offers One of the political leaders of the Negro people in Lufkin, heart of the piney woods region, is Inez Tims, 52, a cornmon laborer at the Lufkin Foundry and Machine plant. He is cheerful, outspoken, and, compared to other Negroes interviewed on this swing, politely aggressive in outlook. Bob Sherrill He said there has been no move in Lufkin toward integration in the schools, but “we’re getting stronger politically,” with between 500 and 600 Lufkin Negroes in the Voters League and a drive on to raise the membership to 800. “We usually go along with the state Voters League. On the local level, we have a screening committee for candidates. But I don’t know, those things backfire.” Do the Negroes of Lufkin really want integration? “Well, yes, they do. You see, we have some fine buildings here, fine school buildings. But there are so many inadequacies. We have no junior high. It’s a pretty sloppy set-up. We have some good buildings, but t’s like having a new chassis and no motor.” We asked him why several of the Negro school executives sounded so unenthusiastic about the idea of school integration. Inez chuckled. “For a Negro principal to tell a strange white man he wanted integration would just be like telling the school board, ‘I’m tired of this job.’ If you want to know how a Negro feels, send a Negro to talk to him. “And of course they are influenced by the fact they would lose their jobs. And they may be right, Christian is convinced, he told the Observer, that “most of the companies are doing the best they can.” He said many people did not realize their policies actually do exclude wind-driven water damage. “A lot of people found $15,000, $20,000 homes they’d slaved to get gone,” said Judge Ferguson of the insurance board, “and they felt like they wanted to strike out at somebody for their not being covered.” In response to petitions from four stricken areas and 125 or 150 ‘letters of complaint, Ferguson said, the board has contacted the companies and received “good response from nearly all of them.” “In the main,” Ferguson said, “the companies made fair adjustments and even generous adjustments.” \(Ferguson believes that high water damage clearly is not damage, Ferguson said, “there were some of ’em who felt the company didn’t offer enough.” As for the statement on the face of the board-approved policy that some of the Negro youngsters may be hurt at first in the integration of classes. You don’t get something for nothing. You can never make anything out of people but people. Of course kids fight, whether white or colored, but it wouldn’t last. We could get along. Rebellion Waiting? “Some of the white folks say Northern people are stirring up the trouble. That reminds me of a joke you may not have heard. Negroes around here tell it. Uncle Mose was an old Mississippi Negro who lived on a white man’s farm. Every once in a while the white man would call Uncle Mose in and tell him, ‘Mose, you know I love you. Now take this ham and feed your children.’ The ham was always sorta spoiled. “Then came this integration trouble, and the whites figured they ought to put some Negro on the radio to tell the Northerners how well they were being treated. So Senator Bilbo heard about what a ‘sweet nigger’ Uncle -dose was, and he called him in and coached him on what to say, and put him on the radio. Uncle Mose sat in front of the mike, saying nothing. Finally he turned to Bilbo and asked, ‘Who can hear me?’ Everybody, said ,Bilbo. Up North? Yep. In the West? Yep. Everywhere? ‘That’s right, Mose,’ said Bilbo, ‘now just tell ’em the truth.’ Uncle Mose threw, up his hands and leaned into the mike and yelled: ‘H-E-L-P? H-E-L-P!'” Do tht, Lufkin Negroes have a chapter of the NAACP? “We had a chapter from the early ’40s to the early ’50s,” Tims said, “but we had trouble getting an outspoken leader. Khrushchev sounds good BOWLES HITS ISOLATION Routes to War Cited in Dallas The Eye of Insurance Carla Hurricane Victims Angry at Arbitration ‘Water Damage’ Discount Faculty Takes Sides A Drawn Conflict At the University 35 Years on Union Broom Life in Lufkin: A Negro’s View