Page 7


SCHOOL OR WORK? Migrant Labor Hearings Volume 53 TEXAS, AUGUST 3, 1962 15c Per Copy Number 18 The Rally DUVAL COUNTY MOST ADVANCE STORIES on the Republican rally here last weekend were in the humorous vein. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times headlined a front page article : “Countdown For Duval’s R-Day Tense.” Travis County Republicans sent out mailers headed: “Who Will Go to Duval With Jack Cox ?” Archer Parr, Duval County judge, proclaimed July 28 “Republican Day in the Free State of Duval.” Chartered buses and auto caravans converged on the bleak little town of San Diego, bringing Republicans from Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Laredo, Jay Milner Austin, Kingsville, McAllen and other South Texas communities. People in the cars and buses were in festive moods. Some talked of making a night of it by driving on to Nuevo Laredo after the rally. Shortly after 7 p.m. the rally crowd began to form on a sandy vacant lot near Clarence Schroeder’s warehouse. The crowd formed quietly. Earlier there were jokes and much laughter about the dangers of penetrating George Parr country ; Box 13 country ; pistolero country. Circling the rally site was a car carrying a large sign which declared : “D UV AL COUNTY, 50 YEARS SOLID DEMOCRAT!” Local citizens, most of them Archer Parr SAN DIEGO THE PRESENT COUNTY JUDGE of Duval County, Archer Parr, was named for his grandfather who was killed in a gun battle over politics in San Diego in 1912. Judge Parr mentioned this gun battle in a rather ominous proclamation he issued two days before a Republican rally in San Diego last Saturday. After the first Archer Parr was killed, his son George Parr inherited the Duke of Duval title and the political power that goes with it. The 1912 shooting scrap developed during a controversy over the proposed incorporation of the town of San Diego. The move was opposed by some local property owners, referred to in Parr’s proclamation as “Republicans”, who appeared armed at the polls. George Parr, the present duke, is in his sixties. He lives in near seclusion now in a huge adobe fortress-mansion on the outskirts of San Diego with his teenage wife, Little Eva. He is officially bankrupt and has been involved lately in several federal suits in connection with income tax charges and mishandling of county funds. On May 5, he was elected county Democratic chairman. Box 13 , Then and Now IN 1948, a somewhat unusual occurrance in George Parr country was instrumental in sending Lyndon Johnson to the Senate for the first time. Four days after AUSTIN SOMEONE READING the prepared statements presented to the House Interim Committee on migrant labor over the weekend would conclude that farmers and champions of migrant farm workers are locked in an uncompromisable conflict. The statements from the farm groups opposed changes to prevent children froth working in the fields and guarantee the migrants certain standards of social and economic well being. The statements from the pro-migrant committees and organizations insisted on letting the children go to school instead of having to work and catalogued the many material and welfare advantages from which migrants are, as a matter of routine, excluded. If there was common ground, as suggested by the agreement of some of the farm spokesmen under questioning, for example, the need for the regulation of migrant workers’ crew leaders, and the indecision of the overtly humanitarian witnesses as between abolishing the bracero program and making life more livable for people caught up in “the migrant stream,” it will fall to the committee to find and present it to the legislature. It is a three-to-two committee, with the majority inclined toward the plight of the migrants, but not uncompromisingly so inclined. The chairman is the senator-elect from Fort Worth, Don Kennard; Reps. Bill Rapp of Raymondville and Rudy Esquivel of San Antonio join him on the side leaning toward the migrants’ welfare. Sitting beside them on the committee, not across from them, but nevertheless somewhat more re served about migrant-helping proposals, are Reps. Terry Townsend of Brady, and John Huebner of Bay City. Huebner lost his bid for re-election this year. None of the members’ positions seem dogmatic; from the confluence of their attitudes a report might be expected proposing some reforms, such as the regulation of the transportation of migrants \(an idea which received House sion for the education of migrant children. It is possible the committee might broach other proposed legislative means for the improvement of the lives of the migrants. Lilly’s Statement THE PRINCIPAL SPOKES-MAN for the farmers’ point of view before the committee was Bob Lilly, executive manager of the Valley Farm Bureau in Mercedes. The bureau ilas more than 3,000 farmer members engaged in producing fruits, vegetable’s, grain, cotton, and dairy and livestock products. Despite mollifying phraseology here and there, Lilly’s statement represented angry farmer resistance to proposed migrant reforms. First he objected to Kennard’s placing in the record, for other legislators to see, the CBS documentary film about migrants, “The Harvest of Shame.” Lilly re newed contentions that this film was not honest reporting and said that showing it to legislators, should they want to see it, “would be an injustice to our farmers.” Kennard responded he would be glad to put Lilly’s objections into the record for the members, too. The one migrant reform Lilly proposed was a law designed to make it harder for “out-of-state recruiters” to lure Texas workers into other states. He complained that under the present “out-ofstate recruiter law,” only 18 convictions were obtained in 1961 and so far only six in 1962. His proposed legislation would increase their bond, occupation tax, and fee per county, required fees of crew leaders recruiting for outof-state r e c r u i t i n g, “require an affidavit that laborers contacted thoroughly understand work conditions for the out-ofstate employment,” and set “severe penalties” for violations. Lilly’s main proposal therefore had to do with keeping Texas workers in Texas. Although he proposed stricter licensing and regulation of out-ofstate recruiters, Lilly opposed licensing crew leaders of the migrant workers, calling such a proposal “compulsory unionism” that “in effect requires a license to do agricultural work in Texas.” The migration of “family crews” is, he said, “the right of a free people.” He argued that “since many crew members cannot read or write, they could not fill out a report . . .”exhibiting a solicitude for illiterate crew leaders he did not extend to illiterate “out-of-state recruiters.” Minimum Wage LILLY OPPOSED a minimum wage for agriculture, “as agricultural work has traditionally been When the GOP Invaded Duval The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper A Window to the South It’s Politicking Time Down South AROUND THE SOUTH POLITICAL CALDRONS are boiling in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama these long hot summer days. First primaries were held in Arkansas and Tennessee this week. Arkansas voters Tuesday approved a fifth term for Governor Orval Faubus, of Little Rock school closing fame, without a runoff. The Tennessee primary was Thursday. Alabama elected a replacement for incumbent John Patterson, of bus and lunch counter fame, earlier in the summer. Mississippi braced for statewide campaigns which will begin officially next year, but most potentials are now making candidate noises in the bull pen. These four states have been the well-guarded camps of the Southern brand of political Democrat during most of the past 100 years. This year, however, there are signs of Republican infiltration, although not as much so as in Texas. In Jackson, Miss., a Republican workshop on politics began this weekend under the leadership of James Leonard, executive director of the Texas GOP. In Arkansas, Winthrop Rockefeller has been, in past months, making sounds like a potential very near future. The Memphis Commercial Appeal said recently that, although Shelby County had not sent a Republican to the state legislature since the Reconstruction Days, there was a chance it may do so this year. Taking the four states individually, we find: Arkansas: Governor Faubus, soft-pedaling the integration issue he used as a political bulldozer to win his third term, slide easily into an unprecedented \(his third term was unprecedented too; as was the cut a runoff. Faubus beat Rep. Dale Alford and former governor Sid McMath and three others with a 52.5 percent majority. His total was 152,332, with only a few precincts not reported. Alford got 57,450; McMath, 55,817. Rep. Alford, a militant segregationist, defeated Books Hays for the U.S. House shortly after Fau bus closed the Little Rock schools. Hays, a moderate on the race issue, had opposed Faubus’ actions and Alford made this the overriding issue of the campaign. McMath was the hope of Arkansas’ tight little band of liberals. Senator J. William Fulbright was easily nominated to a fourth term over Winston Chandler, Little Rock businessman. But with only two in the race, Senator Fulbright got almost a thousand less votes than Faubus, who had five opponents. Tennessee: First primary voting in Tennessee was on Thursday, Aug. 2. Former Governor Frank Clement, who embarrassed many sophisticated Democrats and some old pros with his “God and Mother” rhetorical exorcising in the time allotted for the keynote address at the national Democratic convention in 1956, was expected to be paired by voters in a runoff with Chattanooga Mayor P. R. Olgiati. The third man in the race was Memphis City Commissioner William Farris. ‘Clement is the beneficiary of a strong state-wide organization built during the past ten years by what candidate Farris has called “revolving government.” Mayor Olgiati is the chosen candidate of the Tennessee organization built by Senator Estes Kefauver, who has publicly given the mayor his personal blessings and pledged him his personal vote. The Kefauver organization, which sometimes includes Senator Gore, is probably the strongest liberally-inclined political faction in the South today, although Clement has been the periodic favorite of top level national Democratic leaders because of Kefauver’s presidential ambitions. During the campaigning, Clement’s backers exuded so much confidence that some Volunteer State political observers thought the former governor was being hurt by it. One state employee predicted a Memphis newsman last week that Clements would carry the state by a bigger mar gin this year than he did in 1954, when he was still a man-onhorseback type figure in the eyes of Tennessee voters. Reasoning behind the expressed confidence \(some called it overent campaign camp was that most people want to vote for the winner and Clement had been the odds-on favorite. A distinguished group of Tennessee’s famous country music stars have performed in behalf of Clement. Mayor Olgiati was clever enough to turn his almost unpronounceable name into a campaign gimmick, with signs and speeches constantly reminding folks to vote for the man whose name is pronounced, “O-jotty.” Billie Sol Estes was injected into the Tennessee campaign. Farris, in fact, managed somehow in his campaign speeches to link Clement and Olgiati to each other and to Estes. IN MEMPHIS, observers expressed surprise that the Shelby County Democratic Club failed to put up a single Negro candidate for the state legislature. Russell Sugarmon, Negro Democratic leader, was quoted as saying that the club had planned to run at