Page 3


HUGH M. RAUPE Commercial Standard etie FORT WORTH PE 8-2151 Protection Savings Retirement HEADAClik FOR USDA Acres from the press than any other person involved in the rice scandal. Irregularities in the rice allotment program were first learned of at the state ASCS office on June 7. At about that time, Mrs. Craft, Matagorda CoUnty ASCS office rice allotment clerk, reported a bribe attempt by a federal agriculture official, and the probe began, spreading quickly to all 23 of Texas’ rice-producing counties. On July 12 Mrs. Craft was suspended from her job, but was reinstated Aug. 9 by the three-man tago r da County ASCS committee. A statement by the committee at that time said, in part, that “even though acts of irregularity were committed by Mrs. Craft, the committee determined the circumstances under which she worked and the fear of her superiors fully justified her actions.” Two hours after her reinstatement, she resigned on grounds_ of in health occasioned by the strain of the investigation. When the probe first began, it was thought that only production in excess of acreage allotments was involved. Subsequent sleuthing has shown, however, that illegal transfer of allotments between farming partners also accounts for a number of frauds. Such manipulations are possible due to the unique way that rice allotments are handled, Lewis David, executive secretary of the state ASCS committee at College Station, told the Observer this week. Unlike other allotments, such as cotton, rice allotments are given to an individual farmer, and can be transferred to any available area of land in a ricegrowing county. Cotton allotments apply to a givenplot of land, and are not ordinarily transferable to another plot. The reason for this is the extremely short time in which rice can be grown on one plot of land. “If rice hasn’t been grown on it before,” David said, “the plot will successfully support rice for about two years. Otherwise, you can grow rice there only for a year at a time.” Then for the next five years, another crop must be grown on the plot. Further, David said, out of the 3,850 rice producers with allotments, about 60 percent of them don’t own the land they farm. Large portions of it are property of oil companies and other enterprises. Thus, rice producers are continually transferring their allotments from one area to another, and often to different counties. How It Worked The duplication \(or in one case Page 2 August 31, 1962 THE TEXAS OBSERVER ments in more than one county is reported to have taken place in the following manner: A rice producer contacted an ASCS official and told him he had allotMents to sellwhich is illegal. The official would act as a go-between for sale of the allotments to a. farmer in another county. Once the sale was made, the man “selling” the allotments continued to farm them, as well as the man who bought them, and the ASCS offi cial was bribed not to report that both men were farming the same allotment in different areas. Theoretically, the farmer buying the allotments could remain ignorant of the allotment duplication, and hence be an Innocent third party to the crime. Several farmers claim this istheir case. Already convicted of this type of scheme is Victor M. Dziewas of Victoria, an ASCS field man who accepted an $8,500 bribe for not reporting an illegal acreage transfer, and John William Killough Jr., of Beaumont, who sold his allotments and planted them himself on his own farm. At the request of a federal attorney, the sentencing of the two men convicted will be deferred so that both can testify as government witnesses in a future trial. Another ruse which later came to light was a transfer of allotments between two producer partners when the partnership was bogus. If a partnership is legal, allotments may be transferred after a period of five years, when the rartnership is dissolved and the allotments go to the partner who did not originally own them. But to be bona fide partnerships, the producer originally owning the allotments must maintain an interest in the acreage, furnishing either land, labor, water, or farming equipment. It was discovered that some producers who were supposed to be furnishing one of these items had actually been out of the rice business for years. The Innocents The immediate effect of the probe has placed an unexpected hardship on many innocent producers who were sharing a farm with men implicated in the scandal. The allotments of the innocent producers were challenged by the government, and marketing cards were withheld from them. Although they could market their rice, they were not eligible for price supports. This week, however, the USDA amended its regulations to make price support loans available to those who were not implicated. At present agriculture officials claim that the end of the investigations is not in sight, although ASCS internal audit division men may retire from the field soon. As for the phantom allotments, most of the rice will be ploughed back under, according to David. And some farmers will not be able to plant any next year. It has been estimated that $370,000 worth of rice will be turned under the soil in just the four Gulf counties where illegal allotment deals were most rampant. C.D. 2 Texans Vote Nay WASHINGTON Two Texas congressmen, Henry Gonzalez of San Antonio and Bob Poage of Waco, voted against the space satellite bill sent from the Senate to the House this week. The measure was approved, 372-10. Both Poage and Gonzalez also voted against the bill when it was originally taken up in the House. Sen. Ralph Yarborough of Texas part in the filibuster against the bill in the Senate. Poage commented that he saw little difference between the space satellite legislation allowing AT&T ownership of the world-wide communications system and the concept embodied centuries ago by the British in the East India Company and the Hudson Bay Company. No new corporation, he said, could participate. Gonzalez, arguing that the legislation would jeopardize our position in negotiating international agreements on satellite communications, said: “To say this is a private enterprise bill is a travesty on accuracy. The only thing private is that it permits a corporation to collect the profits.” * Time MOH For Padre WASHINGTON Time is running out on the Padre Island national seashore bill in this session of Congress. Supporters in the House this week removed the measure from the suspension calendar, on which a two-thirds vote would have been required, when it became, obvious that Republican opposition was brewing. Cong. H. R. Gross, a Republican from Iowa, warned he would demand a quorum call if the advocates insisted on bringing the bill to a vote. It was late at night after a long day and, since a quorum was impossible to get, the bill was removed from consideration. “Of course we’re disappointed,” Cong. John Young of Corpus Christi said. “Time is becoming an important item.” The bill must now go through normal channels. It goes to the House rules committee and if it is reported out will require only a simple majority. Commented Gross: “I’m against Padre Island as a national seashore. The contemplated $5 million purchase price to be laid out by the United States is only a vague start. The federal government has no reason to make the purchase.” The Senate earlier passed Sen. Ralph Yarborough’s Padre bill which would create boundaries onlyslightly different from the House version. If the House measure passes, the two bills will be sent to a joint Senate-House committee. Faulk’s Comeback NEW YORK John Henry Faulk of Austin, the entertainer who was awarded $3.5 million in a libel suit against Aware Inc. two months ago, will return to television next week on CBS, the network which fired him in 1957 after an Aware publication accused him of being communistic. Faulk is scheduled to appear as a guest panelist on the program “To Tell the Truth.” He said he and his agent are seeking other television commitments. ivir The governor’s race has been relatively quiet, but with the two state conventions less than three weeks away things can be expected to get a little warmer. The threat to John Con nally from the Democratic right has materialized in the not unex pected decision of Wright Morrow of Houston to join former Gov. Coke Stevenson Sr. in heading the state committee of conservative Democrats for Jack Cox. Byron Skelton, the Democratic committeeman from Temple, rebutted that neither Stevenson nor Morrow has been a Democrat “for the last ten to 15 years.” Political Intelligence 1000 Two Democratic conserva tives in Houston, Adrian Burk and E. A. Rose, have resigned from the Harris County executive committee to boost Cox. The Harris committee meets on Thursday night, after this issue goes to press, to discuss support of the entire Democratic ticket, and other of the more ardent conservatives may rebel against the attempt. A few of the liberal committeemen who do not care for Connally, Walter Mansell of the Chronicle predicts, “also may hold back, but less openly.” It appears that Bill. Kilgarlin, liberal chairman of the Harris Democrats, will actively campaign for Connally. One source close to the Observer who has been travelling extensively around Texas talking with Don Yarborough supporters estimates that out of every ten he has seen, three will vote for Cox, two will go fishing, and five will vote for Connally, although it is still too early to predict reliably . . . Don Yarborough continues to address the political banquet circuit to cut his campaign deficit . . . Cox continues to stress the LBJ theme, Connally party unity. Both have assured the Baptist Standard they are against legalized horse racing . . . Because of the historical ramifications on the one -party South, the general election is certain to get wide coverage in the national press, g o Or Jim McCrory of the San An tonio Express reports a strong movement is underway to vention along lines more favorable to Connally.” The Bexar convention, the most liberal in the state, endorsed Don Yarborough. Connally’s supporters in San Antonio hope to send a delegation to the September 18 state convention in El Paso armed with a resolution endorsing all Democratic nominees, which they feel has a better chance than one singling out Connally. A county convention agreement to let the ConnallyYarborough winner have 20 of the county’s 286 delegates has been carried out, and these Connally backers “hope the liberalism exhibited at the May 12 convention will be considerably toned down.” PASO’s state convention met in Austin, gave Connally a “conditional” endorsement, pending difinite stands to be taken by him at the state convention and later. The only straightforward endorsement went to Waggoner Carr. The Latin organization adopted a hands-off policy in other statewide races. Carr, Joe Pool, and Desmond Barry made personal appearances. Other candidates sent letters. I_ The John Birch Society took out sizeable ads in some Texas dailies detailing the life of John Birch and arguing that most , people had never heard of him before the society came into the limelight “because the communists in Washington planned it that way.” Orders for the $5 “special packet” were solicited. i v Sam Kinch of the Star -Tele gram believes House Speaker Jim Turman is interested in two $16,500-a-year jobs now open, di rector of the Legislative Council and head of the Commission on Higher Education. George Chris tian, Price Daniel’s administrative assistant, is also given a “good shot” at the council place. Either job would give Turman a chance to stay close to the political world since his defeat to Preston Smith. His recent letter seeking contri butions to cut his deficit indicated he might want to run for office again when the chances are good. g o d0 Budget hearings have just about been completed and the various agencies have requested about $3.2 billion for the next biennium, $603 million over the present two-year figure. Colleges want $67 million more, $20 million for the University of Houston. Under General Revenue, present spending is $394 million, and $547 million is being requested. New taxes next session? Conservatives