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Full text of "Migrant and seasonal farmworker powerlessness. Hearings, Ninety-first Congress, first and second sessions .."

AMHERST COLLEGE 



i»M^^ ASONAL FARMWORKER 

POWERLESSNESS 



HEARINGS 

BEFOBB THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON MIGEATOEY LABOE 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON 

LABOR AND PUBLIC WELFARE 

UNITED STATES SENATE 

NINETY-FIRST CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 
ON 

EFFORTS TO ORGANIZE 



JULY 16 AND 17, 1969 



PART 3-B 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare 




HD 

1525 
. U56 
1970 
pt. 3B 
AC/Main 



MIGRANT AND SEASONAL FARMWORKER 
POWERLESSNESS 



HEARINGS 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON MIGRATOKY LABOR 



OF THE 



COMMITTEE ON 

LABOR AND PUBLIC WELFARE 

UNITED STATES SENATE 

NINETY-FIRST CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 
ON 

EFFORTS TO ORGANIZE 



JULY 16 AND 17, 1969 



PART 3-B 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare 



2^ 



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
36-513 WASHINGTON : 1970 



COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND PUBLIC WELFARE 
RALPH YARBOROUGH, Texas, Chairman 
JENNINGS RANDOLPH, West Virginia JACOB K. JAVITS, New York 

HARRISON A. WILLIAMS, JR., New Jersey WINSTON L. PROUTY, Vermont 
CLAIBORNE PELL, Rhode Island PETER H. DOMINICK. Colorado 

EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts GEORGE MURPHY. California 

GAYLORD NELSON, Wisconsin RICHARD S. SCHWEIKER, Pennsylvania 

WALTER F. MONDALE, Minnesota WILLIAM B. SAXBE. Ohio 

THOMAS F. EAGLETON, Missouri HENRY BELLMON, Oklahoma 

ALAN CRANSTON, California 
HAROLD E. HUGHES, Iowa 

Robert O. Harris, Staff Director 

John S. Forsythe, General Counsel 

Roy H. Millenson, Minority Staff Director 

Eugene Mittelman, Minority Counsel 



Subcommittee on Migratory Labor 

WALTER F. MONDALE, Minnesota, Chairman 
HARRISON A. WILLIAMS. JR., New Jersey WILLIAM B. SAXBE, Ohio 
EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts GEORGE MURPHY, California 

ALAN CRANSTON, California RICHARD S. SCHWEIKER, Pennsylvania 

HAROLD E. HUGHES, Iowa HENRY BELLMON, Oklahoma 

Boren Chertkov, Counsel 

A. Sidney Johnson, Professional Staff Memher 

Eugene Mittelman, Minority Counsel 

(II) 



Format of Hearings on Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker 

powerlessness 

The Subcommittee on Migratory Labor conducted public hearings 
in Washington, D.C., during the 91st Congress on ''Migrant and 
Seasonal Farmworker Powerlessness." These hearings are contained 
in the following parts : 

Subject matter Hearing dates 

Part 1 : Who are the Migrants? June 9 and 10, 1969 

Part 2 : The Migrant Subculture July 28, 1969 

Part 3-A : Efforts to Organize July 15, 1969 

Part 3-B : Efforts to Organize July 16 and 17, 1969 

Part 4 : Farmworker Legal Problems Aug. 7 and 8, 1969 

Part 5 : Border Commuter Labor Problem May 21 and 22, 1969 

Part 6 : Pesticides and the Farmworker Aug. 1, Sept. 29 and 30, 1969 

Part 7 : Manpower and Economic Problems Apr. 14 and 15, 1970 

Additional hearings are tentatively scheduled by the subcommittee 
during the second session, 91st Congress. 



(HI) 



CONTENTS 



CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF WITNESSES 

Wednesday, July 16, 1969 

Page 
HoUings, Hon. Ernest F., a U.S. Senator from the State of South Carolina-. S71 
Goodwin, Rev. Willis, John's Island, S.C, accompanied by James E. Cly- 

burn, executive director. South Carolina Commission for Farmworkers — 873 
Davies, Marvin, Florida field director. National Association for the Ad- 
vancement of Colored People, St. Petersburgh, Fla 887 

Atencio. Tomas, consultant, Dixon, N. Mex : 900 

Kruegar, Rev. Edgar A., United Church of Christ, Rio Grande Valley, 
Tex 922 

Thursday, July 17, 1969 

Godwin, James L., executive director. Coastal Progress, Inc., New Bern, 

N.C - /1073 

Morris, Jason, Jason Morris Farms, Inc., Bridgeton, N.C 1094 

Keys, Mrs. Emma Jean, from Trenton, N.C, and Mrs. Lena Smith, cochair- 

men. Eastern Farm Workers Association, New Bern, N.C 1099 

Rice, Ken. law student, Duke University, reading statement of Thomas 

B. Wallace, deputy director of Coastal Progress, Inc 1109 

Parker, T. W., deputy sheriif. Craven County, New Bern, N.C 1141 

Gavin, James F., cochairman. Craven County Good Neighbor Council, ac- 
companied by Mrs. Ernestine Brown and Mrs. Delores Barley 1150 

STATEMENTS ' 

Atencio, Tomas, consultant, Dixon, N. Mex 900 

Prepared statement 912 

Brown, Mrs. Ernestine, Trenton, N.C. prepared statement 1157 

Davies, Marvin, Florida field director. National Association for the Ad- 
vancement of Colored People, St. Petersburg, Fla 887 

Prepared statement 897 

Gavin, James F., cochairman, Craven County Good Neighbor Council, ac- 
companied by Mrs. Ernestine Brown and Mrs. Delores Burley 1150 

Prepared statement of James F. Gavin 1155 

Godwin, James L., executive director, Coastal Progress, Inc., New Bern, 

N.C 1073 

Prepared statement 1084 

Goodwin, Rev. Willis, John's Island, S.C, accompanied by James E. Cly- 

iburn, executive director, South Carolina Commission for Farmworkers— 873 

Prepared statement 884 

Rollings, Hon. Ernest F., a U.S. Senator from the State of South Carolina— 871 
Keys. Mrs. Emma Jean, from Trenton, N.C, and Mrs. Lena Smith, cochair- 
man, Eastern Farm Workers Association, New Bern, N.C 1099 

Krueger. Rev. Edgar A., United Church of Christ, Rio Grande Valley, Tex — 922 

Prepared statement 934 

Morris. Jason. Jason Morris Farms, Inc., Bridgeton, N.C 1094 

Parker, T. W., deputy sheriff, Craven County, New Bern, N.C 1141 

Prepared statement 1146 

Ratliff, Ernest E., a North Carolina college student 1090 

Rice, Ken, law student, Duke University, reading statement of Thomas B. 

Wallace, deputy director of Coastal Progress, Inc 1109 

Smith. Mrs. Lena, cochairman. Eastern Farm Workers Association, New 

Bern, N.C 1109 

(IV) 



ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

Articles, publications, etc. : 

Selected articles from various newspapers concerning farmworker 
powerlessness 1111 

Staff report of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 945 

C(jmmunications to : 

Mondale, Hon. Walter F., a U.S. Senator from the State of Minne- 
sota, from T. W. Parker, deputy sheriff, Craven County, New Bern, 
N.C., July 17, 1969 1150 

Brief : 

State V. Thomas Bernard Wallace and State v. John Franklin Bryant 
III. charged with "Going About Armed" 1165 

Complaint for arrest of : 

Cartier. Francois 1160,1162 

Clark, Estelle 1161 

Hall, Lelander 1163 

Hickman. Carolyn ll.")9 

Styron, Carolyn 1164 

Wallace. Thomas Bernard 1158 

Sworn statement of Annie Mae Moore, with aflSdavit 1140 

Transcribed statements : 

Brown, Mrs. Ernestine, Trenton. N.C 11.38 

Burley. Mrs. Dolores, Bayboro, N.C, with attachments 1132 



31IGRANT AND SEASONAL FARMWORKER 
POWERLESSNESS 

(Efforts to Oi'2;anize) 



WEDNESDAY, JULY 16, 1969 

U.S. Senate, 
Subcommittee ox Migratory Labor or the 

Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, 

Washington, B.C. 
The subcommittee met at 9 :4r) a.m., pursuant to recess, in room 
42-32, New Senate Office Buildino-, Senator Walter F. Mondale (chair- 
man of the subcommittee) presidino-. 

Present: Senators Mondale (presiding) and Murphy. 
Committee staff members present: Boren Chert kov, majority coun- 
sel ; Eugene Mittelman, minority counsel. 

Senator Mondale. The ^Migratory Labor Subconnnittee will come 
to order. This mornino- we continue our hearings on efforts to orga- 
nize. We are very pleased to have with us the distinguished Senator 
from South Carolina, who will introduce our first witness. 

STATEMENT OF HON. EENEST F. HOLLINGS, A U.S. SENATOR FROM 
THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA 

Senator Hollings. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommit- 
tee, I appreciate the chance to come before you today and introduce 
two gentlemen from my hometown of Charleston, S.C. Both of these 
men are vitally interested in and associated with tlie problems of 
migrant and seasonal farmworkers in South Carolina. 

As you are well aware, rural residents and seasonal and mia'rant 
farmworkers must be of concern to us today. They are the problems 
that are causing the crisis in our cities. I only hesitate to em]:)hasize 
the fact that tlie cause for urban problems, the urban crisis, and every- 
thing else, is the fact of rural poverty. I don't know why it is that the 
Government always comes in at the end of the SDectrum of the poverty 
cycle, and alwavs comes in with the truancy officer, the juvenile court, 
technical training, remedial courses, rehabilitation, and every thing- 
else, but they won't feed the hungry. 

By the same token also millions go for urban renewal. Yet the fact 
is that no one ever leaves the steaming ghetto and goes back on the 
farm for one single fact, it is still better down in the ghetto than 
on the farm. 

Senator Mondale. You might be interested to know the other day 
John Cardner testified in favor of the extension of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act. In his testimony his chief emphasis was 

(871) 



872 

that in studying nrban problems one might jnst as ^A'e^ solve rural 
problems. 

Yon must emphasize the companion ]iroblem yon jnst mentioned. 

Senator Hollings. I appreciate that, Mr. Chairman. Yon and I both 
agree the concern is to treat the cause rather than the effect. 

Both Reverend Goodwin and Mr. Clybnrn have seen and worked 
with the hunger, lack of housing, and generally poor living conditions 
that are the way of life among today's seasonal and migrant farm- 
workers. 

Rev. Willis T. Goodwin was born in Charleston and attended high 
school there. He graduated from Clafflin College in Orangeburg and 
Gamon Theological Seminary and has attended several other colleges 
for graduate work. 

He is a Methodist minister who has pastored nine rural churches 
in South Carolina from Greenville and Easley in the Piedmont to 
Bamberg in the midlands and finally to Johns Island in the Charleston 
low country area. 

He has taught school in Pickens and Greenville Counties. He has 
been the Director of Information and Referral Services for OEO in 
the Charleston area. 

He was the New York State chaplain for migi'ant workers in Mo- 
hawk Valley in New York State. He spent 2 years as chaplain to 
migrants in Beaufort County and is presently a member of the mayor's 
commission in Charleston, the human relations committee in Charles- 
ton, and a member of the board of directors of the South Carolina 
Commission for Farmworkers. 

Reverend Goodwin has spent some 13 years of his life directly in- 
volved with the problems of seasonal and migrant farmworkers. He 
is obviously imminently qualified to speak with authority on the 
subject. 

Mr. James C. Clybnrn, who accompanies Reverend Goodwin, was 
born in Sumter, S.C., and after graduating from South Carolina State 
College in Orangeburg, has done graduate work in several schools 
including the Institute of Methods and Techniques for Serving for 
Disadvantaged Youth at the University of South Carolina. 

He taught school in Charleston County, was employed by the South 
Carolina State Employment Commission, has been director of work 
and training programs for the Charleston Economic Opportunities 
Commission, and is presently the executive director of the South 
Carolina Commission for Farmworkers. 

Mr. Clybnrn has been associated with the problems of seasonal and 
migrant farmworkers not only through his present work, but also 
through the Neighborhood Youth Corps and other programs with 
which he has been extremely active. 

The fact is it was back in 1967 that I first visited the Little Mexico 
area with Mr. Clybnrn bringing forcibly to my attention of problems 
of hunger in my own hometown. He was working at that time down 
in the ghetto so when he talks of seasonal farmworkers he is not just 
from that particular area working in rural problems alone with no 
regard for the urban. 

The fact is that he has been really on this more experienced in the 
urban field thereby and can understand the rural problems. 



873 

The knowledge that these two gentlemen have in regard to the actual 
problems which confront seasonal and migrant farmworkers today 
and the possible solutions to these obstacles, I am sure, will be of tre- 
mendous value to this committee. I request that the committee look 
more closely at these problems in South Carolina of seasonal and 
migrant farmworkers as seen through the eyes of these two gentlemen. 

You will have many experts on the national problem of migrant 
farmworkers but these two gentlemen I think are as attuned as anyone 
can be to the jiroblems of the seasonal worker. 

Senator Moxdale. Thank you, Senator Hollings, for appearing per- 
sonally this morning to introduce our two witnesses and for emphasiz- 
ing the importance of concentrating on the seasonal farmworker prob- 
lem which, as you know, is a very serious one in this country, one that 
I am interested in. 

As a member of the Nutrition Committee I think I share the view 
of the other members of the committee that it was your work there in 
South Carolina, maybe with some of the help here, that won the fight 
for us. 

Up until that point there was speculation as to whether there was 
hunger. It was your personal involvement in South Carolina, the dis- 
closure of the existence of hunger there, and your personal leadership 
that I think tipped the scales, and gave us reason to be optimistic that 
we might have a program adequate to meet the needs of the mal- 
nourished in this country. 

Senator Hollings. I am grateful to you, sir. If there was any con- 
tribution it started with these gentlemen right here. That is when we 
started working on this problem. 

I appreciate the courtesy of this committee and particularly you as 
chairman. 

Senator Moxdale. Thank you very much. 

Keverend Goodwin and Mr. Clyburn, we are delighted to have you 
here this morning. You may proceed as you wish. 

STATEMENT OF EEV. WILLIS GOODWIN, JOHN'S ISLAND, S.C, AC- 
COMPANIED BY JAMES E. CLYBURN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, 
SOUTH CAROLINA COMMISSION FOR FARMWORKERS 

Reverend Goodwin. Mr. Chairman, Senator Hollings indicated I 
am accompanied by James F. Clyburn, executive director of the 
South Carolina Commission for Farm Workers. Because of his daily 
involvement w-ith the issue I am raising I am requesting that he be 
allowed to assist me in answering any questions that you and the mem- 
bers of the committee may want to ask. 

Mr. Chairman, and members of the subcommittee: I have always 
been awed beyond expression upon entering- these classic halls ; how- 
ever, today I am grieved, not that the halls are no longer classic, but 
I grieve because the issue that brings me here should not be necessary 
in a country that has produced such classic and awesome surround- 
ings. 

I understand that the theme for these hearings is "powerlessness."' I 
understand further, that we are to focus upon and examine the depth 
and reasons for this "powerlessness" which exists in a substantial por- 



874 

tion of our work force, a work force commonly known as migrants 
and seasonal farmworkers. 

JNIr. Chairman and members, I beo; your indulgence as I attempt 
to relate some of my impressions which have been gathered over a 
period of 1?> years while working with migrants and seasonal farm- 
workers along the eastern stream, with particular emphasis in Charles- 
ton County, S.C. 

I am aware that there are some among you who because of our 
society's ability to respond only to the issues at hand, may think that 
Charleston's only problem is its medical college hospital. 

However, it does not take the research of the great historian Arnold 
Toynbee, to establish that the ridiculously inhmuan Avages being paid 
nonprofessionals at the Charleston Countv Hospital and the Medical 
College Hospital of South Carolina are directly related to the ])rob- 
lems of migrants and seasonal farmworkers in this same community. 

A quick check of the record will show that 50 percent of the non- 
professional work force at these two hospitals are composed of former 
migrants and seasonal farmworkers. Further if you were to research 
the records for one or two generations one would find that more than 
90 percent of the work force in these two hospitals are either former 
migrants and seasonal farmworkers themselves, or descendants of 
the same. 

Now one must assume that these people moved to this hospital em- 
ployment in order to better their conditions and improve their sur- 
roundings. 

If this assumption is correct, then it is obvious that the plight of 
the migrant and seasonal farmworker is overly burdensome; especially 
since the leaders in my State and the leaders in your States, all agree 
that the wages and working conditions of these workers are indecent, 
inhuman, and violently insulting. 

I have reasons to believe that the seasonal farmworkers who turn to 
hospital employment does so only because of the clamor of wliite 
dresses and stockings in contrast to the hot sun, dusty fields, stoop 
labor, crude housing conditions, uncertain employment, migratory 
existence, and insufficient wages. 

This to me, Mr. Chairman, indicates that something is wrong with 
the theory that migrants and seasonal farmworkers are a happy lot. 

My personal contact with this, which is extensive, has tauglit me that 
the migrant is a man without a country, and the seasonal farmworker 
is one witliout a community. These two realizations point up the basis 
for the powerlessness which is prevalent among this segment of our 
society. 

For the past 2 years, I have exerted all of my energies toward com- 
munity development and organization among these powerless people. 
I have done so as conference ]iresident of the Board of Missions of the 
United Methodist Church. South Caroliiia Annual Conference; as 
chairman of the Migrant Ministry of South Carolina; also as a board 
member of the South Carolina Commission for Farm Workers, Inc., 
and as a member of the ^Migrant Ministry Section of the National 
Council of Churches of Christ in the Ignited States of America. 

These efforts have failed to crystallize. Our efforts have failed to 
crystallize because contrary to the national focus, we in Charleston 
County do not consider our No. 1 priority to be education and training. 



875 

On the contrary, to the migrant and seasonal farmworkers, either 
passing through or living in Charleston County, housing is by far the 
No. 1 priority. 

Our efforts in this area have failed because it has proven all but 
impossible to acquire land in order to develop housing progi^ams for 
seasonal farnnvorkers or home based migrants. 

Senator Moxuale. This morning everybody was impressed with our 
Nation's accomplishments in space programs, as they should be. There 
was a story, however, that obtained very little attention yesterday 
about migrant farmworkers who live within about 3 miles of the place 
where this shot occurred. Cape Kennedy, who live in the kind of 
squalid housing conditions to which you make reference. 

We are all aware of the space program, but we are not aware of the 
problems our astronauts left behind this morning. 

Reverend Goodwix. That is right. Senator. 

Senator Mondale. Senator Murpliy, I am delighted to have you here 
this morning. These handsome boys and girls you see visiting at our 
hearing are from Minnesota. 

Senator MtiKpnY. I thought they were. 

Senator Mondale. They are a little sharper than those from the west 
coast. 

Reverend Goodwix. Land in Charleston County and throughout 
coastal South Carolina is tied up in heir's property, cloudy titles, and 
cost-prohibiting plantation holdings. Housing for incoming migrants 
is indecent, inhuman, and utterly revolting. 

In a community such as mine, the abjectness of poverty is out- 
standing. My county is affluent and it shows in the cars, boats, and 
housing or the lack of it. 

My most ca])ablc colleague and trusted adviser, James E. Clj^burn, 
who directs the efforts of the South Carolina Connnission for Farm 
Workers, Inc., has substantiated over and over, that the most 
wanted — and indeed lacking — basic need of rural Chariest onians is 
decent housing. 

This country made a verbal conmiitment to this necessity in 1937 
but has not yet created the Avill to fulltill that commitment. 

Fui-ther, Mr. Chairman, I have in my possession a copy of a letter 
received by Mr. Clyburn from the Farmers Home Administration 
stipulating that the South Carolina Connnission for Farm Workers, 
Inc., could not be approved for a land deveolpment grant because: 
No. o]ie, our membership did not reflect at least 10 connnunity 
leaders. 

T ask you, Mr. Chairman, to define a community and categorize our 
')0 board members and tell me what constitutes a leader. To me the 
mere fact that a person consents to serve, without compensation, in 
such a capacity qualifies him as a leader. 

The second reason given is that the Soutli Carolina Commission 
for Farm Workers, Inc., was not created for the specific purpose of 
"providing housing to be built for the mutual self-help method for 
low- and moderate-income families on the nonprofit basis."' 

Now, Mr. Chairman, I quote from a line of our charter which was 
submitted with Mr. Clyburn's request : 

To relieve the distressed conditions of the migrant and other seasonally 
employed, agricultural workers, and their families by seeking to obtain better 
housing conditions for such workers. 



876 

What more is necessary? 

Finally, Mr. Chairman, the local commnnity method utilized by 
Farmers Home Administration for the approval of loan applications 
is at its be.it, paternalism, and at its Avorst, a plantation system. 

I am sure that it is obvions to yon that the farm owners who sit 
on such cominittees will never look with favor upon his or his neigh- 
bors tenant farmers' application knowing full well that to grant 
a home loan will create a kind of dignity and independence which 
cannot be tolerated under a plantation system nor paternalism. 

Senator IMoxoalk. Is this housing self-help housing? 

E eve rend Goodwin. Yes. 

Senator .^Ioxdai.e. Low cost housing? 

Eeverend Gconwiivr. That is right. 

Senator Moxdale. The lo'-al Farmers Home Administration com- 
mittee turned down your ap])lication : is that right? 

Keverend GoonwiN. That is right. 

Senator IMondale. Was it the Washington office that turned it down. 

Mr. Clyp.urx. The Atlanta office. 

Senator ]\[oxdaee. On the grounds that yon cited here. 

My. Clybfrx. Eight. 

Senatoir Moxdale. The regional FHA office is in Atlanta ; ritrht ? 

Reverend Goodwtx. Through the South Carolina Commission for 
Farm Workers, Inc., we have made attempts to acquire the substandard 
houses presently owned by the county of Charleston in hopes of nego- 
tiating a grant or low income loan through one of the maze of Fedei-al 
programs. 

Howe^-er, our efforts to this point have proven futile because of the 
im]>ossibility of coordinating this type of venture. 

INIr. Chairman, it is hypocritical to condemn this housing l^ecause of 
their iaiability to meet Labor Department standards, then withdraw all 
Federal contact such as the coordination of the migratory labor by the 
Fmployment Securitv Commission, then close your eyes, knowing full 
well that the same human beings Avho have occupied these cam]>s over 
the years will return under the same indecent, inhuman, and revolting 
circumstances. 

Senator IMurpiiy. Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Mondale. Senator Murphy, do you have a question ? 

Senator MFRniY. Do voii have any pictures of these camps ? 

Reverend Goodwin. Yes, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Murpfty. I would think it Avould be a good thing to have 
pictures. I have fonnd it very helpful. We had a couple of bad camps 
in California. I obtained actual pictures of one of the camps that be- 
longed to the county, and not to the grower. It has been there for years. 

The camp was condemned after 1940, but it is still in use. By getting 
actual ]:>hotographs of it I was able to convince people quickly and 
we got it torn down. I think when you come back I know it woiild be 
helpful to me and T think it would be to the chairman to get some 
actual photographs. The pictures don't have to be fancy. 

Senator jNIondaek. Tlie point that is being made here about seeing 
things rather than hearing them is very important. We went down to 
Florida, for example, and went back to some of the migrant housing 
there. It was the worst housing I had ever seen in my life. 



877 

Unspeakable filth and unsanitary conditions exist. Reporters liter- 
ally fled one of the houses because it was so unbelievable. 

The point you liiake is so well taken. We talk about self-help housing, 
but one sees very little of it. There are some in and around Delano now 
where the union has obtained contracts and for the first time tlie men 
had job security, so they can now think about building a house. 

But down in southern Florida and where you are talking about in 
South Carolina, it is just impossible to get these programs going with- 
out some help. 

Senator Murphy. Actually in the Delano area some of them were 
built without Federal help. 1 had one contractor out there who told me 
he could operate better and faster and less expensively by not going 
to the Government. 

I think what we ought to do is utilize these men who have done the 
job and have had the experience. I have- never been able to see why if 
you can build housing in California you can't do it in South Carolina, 
Michigan, or any place else. 

It is the same know-how. 

Senator Moxdale. One of the big problems as pointed out in this 
testimony', was exemplified by the elected chairman of the Collier 
County Board, who told us that the county had no responsibilit}- for 
the migrants and farmworkers, even though the whole econoni}' was 
dependent on them. 

Pie went on saying they are gypsies, they don't like to work. The only 
reason they work is if you starve them they will finally go out in the 
field. If that is the attitude of the communty, and if you let that kind 
of person sit on the same board that approves and denies applications 
for housing, how on earth are you ever going to get adequate housing? 

They all say that if you give them good housing, they will destroy it. 
Someone took us to a 2-21E project outside of town. It was beautiful. It 
was private, not Federal. 

It had been there for a year and it was well taken care of then by the 
same people who had been living in the shacks. I asked the general 
manager, "How many broken windows have you had?'' and he said, 
"One. Come to think if it, the contractor broke it." 

These people are delighted to have their own housing. I don't know 
how any of them can have any self-respect, decent health, or any hope 
for the future in a shack and the stinking holes the}^ live in. 

Senator Murptiy. I have been at this a long time and I have seen 
this Avork in some places and places where this did not work. I think we 
are gettine: to the point now where it is workina:. 

We had one example in Palm Springs, Calif. But the most valuable 
land in Palm Springs belonged to the Indians, but the Indians could 
not enter a lease in excess of a year. 

Nobody would invest any money in a project on the property. Fin- 
ally we got that law changed and the Indian owners leased the prop- 
erty for 50 years and immediately a fellow came in and built a hotel. 
This is now the best area of Palm Springs and the land is owned by 
Indian minors, the grandchildren of the original tribe. 

Xow, they all have incomes for life from this land simply because 
we had the law changed. Before, the land was just lying there, the 
worst jungle you ever saw. 



878 

Excuse me, go ahead. 

Keverend Goodwin. Thank you, Senator. 

In fact, Mr. Chairman, I am convinced that the Employment Secu- 
rity Commission is not really interested in the farm laborer. It has 
been our experience that the employment security representatives who 
are assigned to the farm labor sections are admittedly concerned only 
with the big farmer's interests. 

In reference to land acquisition for the home-based migrant, I do not 
wish to advocate land reform. However, Mr. Chairman, what we need 
is nothing short of reformation. I do wish to suggest that tlie creation 
of a joint Federal, State, and in some instances, local ett'ort which 
would concentrate on clearing up cloudy titles and locating remaining 
heirs will go a long way toward the eradication of this problem. 

The rebuttal to this is obviously the neighborhood legal assistance 
2:>rogram. However, they are understaffed, oversubscribed, and in 
Charleston County, underpaid. 

A final housing problem that I feel most urgent can he found in iso- 
lated areas throughout my counnunity. This problem is that of land 
holdings in areas which are deemed too low for insured loans because 
of water level and insufficient drainage. 

Further, they are infested with rodents and various parasites and 
are, in fact the breeding place for such undesirables. One such instance 
is Petersfield, which is home for approximately 200 home-based and 
inmigrant families. 

The question is always asked, "Why do they live there?" My ques- 
tion is, "Where would they live otherwise?*' Tents are not feasible, 
unless we wished to be as asinine as some supposedly appropriate agen- 
cies have proven themselves. 

It is customary to treat health problems as a separate entity. How- 
ever, Mr. Chairman, I am sure that you would who grace these classic 
hals, and possess such great intelect, easily discern that the ramshackle, 
indecent, and dilapidated living conditions of farm laborers are the 
direct causes of their health problem. 

I am sure that the many active cases of TB that we have found year 
after year, and this year, an epidemic of some sort of fever prevalent 
among the Mexicans, are directly related to their living conditions. 

Further, the abundance of worm infested children and cases of acute 
diarrhea and venereal disease are directly related to their living 
conditions. 

The deplorable plight of expectant mothers and newly l)orn infants 
is hardly one to be proud of; yet our health and welfare departments 
continue to be overly concerned with correctly filled out applications, 
correct referral procedures, and residency requirements. 

Example, if a migrant has an active case of TB he cannot be treated 
by any of the local hospitals. This person has to use public transporta- 
tion to get back to his home State. 

It seems to me that for an agency that is concerned for the health 
and welfare of its people, this shows very little regard for others wlio 
may \^ perfectly healthy, but also are using public transportation. 

However, Mr. Chairman, this is just another example of the great 
dicliotomy which has infested this great society. There is no running 
water. These people get their water from wells and pumps which are 
half drained and as a result this has caused a a'reat deal of sickness. 



879 

The houses are built of plywood, have no floors, just dirt, no electric- 
ity, and no sewage. Some are built rioht on the water, consequently the 
tide comes into the house, creating- constant dampness. There is always 
sickness in this type of situation. 

The inmigrants are found living in camps, both public and private, 
paying rent at a rate of $11 per week for a 10 by 10 room which is 
assigned to families, which in many instances number eight or nine. 

Tliese camps have no cooking facilities and garbage is very seldom 
collected. The outdoor privies are very seldom clean and hot water is 
nonexistent. The garbage disposal system consists of a large pit which 
is left open for the duration of the migrants' stay. 

In the private camps tliese conditions are even worse. The old 
abandoned buses and tin framed shacks are surpassed only by the old 
buses which are also used as tenements. These camps are not equipped 
with running water, sewage, or toilets. Their relief is usually found 
in the nearest wooded area. 

As for education and training we feel that if housing and health 
problems were dealt with, we would create the atmosphere necessary 
m order to address ourselves to the more academic and attitudinal 
l>roblems which are prevalent. 

It is amazing to watch this country and listen to its leaders create 
and develop programs to combat the ills of urban society. It is obvious 
that programs such as model cities, and that of the National Alliance 
of Businessmen only serv^e to make the urban areas more attractive to 
the potential migrant. 

We must stem the tide of migration to large cities, if not reverse the 
trend. 

We must create a rural alternative. 

In summation, Mr. Chairman, I feel it should not be necessary to 
admonish you and your illustrious colleagues, but I do suggest that 
it might be appropriate for you to adopt the philosophy of the South 
Carolina Commission for Farm Workers, Inc., as one of your many 
guidelines : 

An innovative and imaginative program denuded of paternalism, 
creates motivation and enhances self-determination. 

Mr. Chairman, that may sound like the rural or country sermon. 
However, I am just a country preacher. 

Senator Moxdale. I was a son of a rural Methodist minister. I 
appreciate your statement. Senator Murphy, do you have any 
questions? 

Senator Murphy. In regard to the health situation I am very hope- 
ful that under Dr. Egeberg in HEW, Me are going to see a great 
improvement. 

He has very definite plans to set up a new system of medicine in 
many, many areas where you don't need the greatest specialist in the 
world, but where you just need the simple beginnings of medicine. 

I know from my conversations with Dr. Egeberg that he is most 
interested in providing medical care in areas where none exists. I have 
known of his activities at the University of Southern California. 

I think you are going to find Dr. Egeberg is a doer and not a talker. 
That is what we need. We have too manj^ studies, too many reports, 
too many committees that have not produced results. 

Senator Mondale. I was very impressed by Dr. Egeberg. 



880 

Senator Murphy. Dr. Egeberg- is a practical man, whicli is what we 
need. If a fellow is sick \\e will take care of him and if he is hungry, 
feed him. We can talk about that later. 

I know Secretary Finch. He and I have been friends for 30 years. 
I know he too is a practical pei*son. He did not come here just for a 
job. He came here because he was interested. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Mondale. Reverend Goodwin, your testimony underscores 
efforts to develop self-help housing that you undertook. You sought 
to build decent housing with self-help, but the application was turned 
down. So you are still there living in squalid housing, with unsani- 
tary conditions. You don't have the water that you need to maintain 
good health, xipparently many people are sick because they are con- 
suming contaminated water, and they are faced with all the other 
problems to which you make reference. "What do you think the key 
reason is to get this application approved and again make progress 
in this area ? 

Reverend Goodwin. I would like to yield this question to INIr. 
Clyburn. 

Mr. Clyburn. Mr. Chairman, as we hnve underscored many, many 
times in our correspondence with many Federal agencies and as Rev- 
erend Goodwin has underscored today, in fact if I recall, the Farmers 
Home Administration had something like $600,000 in this land fund 
for the entire year for the entire country. 

I thought this little bit of money was given for the entire country. 
However, when we checked into it say 4 or 5 months before the fiscal 
year v\'as up they had not spent any of the money. 

Everybody I talked to, who were trjdng to get money from this 
fund, had the same argument. That is, they had always spied one little 
word in your application or one little word in your charter or some- 
thing of that sort that to them was not clear and they turned down 
the application on that basis. 

We Avent on anyway. This application was made in April of this 
year. At that time tliey still had $600,000. We were turned down in the 
same nebulous manner. 

Senator Mondale. When they turned you down did they tell you, 
"Look, you have these technical problems. Our lawyer tells us that in 
your purpose clause you don't state that your function is housing 
clearly enough, so amend your articles and include this paragraph and 
then you are qualified." 

Do they do it tliat way, or do they just say no? 

Mr, Clyburn. The response I have here is just a one paragraph 
statement citing two reasons that we were turned down. They did say, 
however, that if we could set up another corporation, or set up the 
same corporation with a different kind of wording in the charter, we 
would then be eligible for their services, but then we would be ineligi- 
ble for other services that other agencies could possibly offer. 

The only way we could to it was to set up a new corporation over 
here just to deal with housing, another corporation for health and an- 
other corporation for education. 

Senator Mondale. Their position was that you had to have a non- 
profit corporation whose purpose was limited exclusively to housing ? 

Mr. Cly^buen. Exclusively to housing. 



881 

Senator Mondale. Xow suppose you had done that, would you then 
have received approval and the funds to go ahead with self-help hous- 
ing ; do you know ? 

Mr, Clybukx. ^Ye did not do it. I don't know what woidd have hap- 
pened if we had done it. But it has been my experience in past dealings 
with these kinds of agencies that we would have had to rewrite some- 
thing else in the charter. 

The fact is no one got any money out of the fund. So it was not just 
us. It was everybody in all 50 States. 

Senator Mondale. Do you know other efforts in your area in the 
south by migrant farmworkers to establish self-help housing, that 
have had similar reception ? 

Mr. CLYBUiiN. We have the only self-helf housing program in the 
State of South Carolina. In 3 years we have only been able to build 
20 houses or able to begin 20 houses. We have not finished those. We 
are going to break ground in Charleston Comity on the 16th of August 
on 20 houses. The problem as Reverend Goodwin says stems from the 
fact that on the coast of Carolina where we operate exclusively, trouble 
with heirs' property is just as strenuous as the Indians inability to get 
a lease agreement. Aside from that we have another problem, which 
we call cloudy titles. 

Then we have large plantation owaiings. You can acquire a whole 
plantation but you can't get 20 acres which makes the cost prohibitive. 

Senator Mondale. Do you have OEO legal services to help you 
down there ? 

]Mr. Cltburn. Yes ; we have a legal service program. 

As Eeverend Goodwin stated we have a legal services program 
operating in a county of 216,000 people. 

Senator Mondale. They just don't have the time and resources? 

Mr. Clyburn. And they can't keep the staff because they are under- 
paid. There is big turnover. 

Senator Mondale. In your opinion, is the title problem solvable? 
If you had legal help could you solve the problem, or do the title prob- 
lems go more deeply than that ? 

Mr, Clyburn. They are more detailed than that. I think what is ac- 
tually needed is some commission. State level. Federal level, and local 
level, that would deal exclusively with the problems of titles. You 
can't get attorneys to pass up big court fees to deal with clearing up 
land titles. 

If I were an attorney I would not do it. So the problem is that we 
need on agency that would deal with this. 

Senator Mondale, This subcommittee intends to further investigate 
the self-help housing problems such as this. I heard the same things 
in Pahokee, Fla. They said the same thing down there. They have 
been unable to get land cleared to build houses. 

Senator Murphy. Another important point that the witness made is 
that there is $600,000 in the Farmers Home Administration, none of 
which has been spent. 

Senator Mondale. W^e will check that, too. That is a good point. I 
don't see much evangelism over in the Department of Agriculture to 
get that program off the ground among farmers who are migrants. I 
think they ought to have some people on the ground to help these people 
get started. 

36-513 — 70 — pt. 3-B 2 



Senator Murphy. There are helpful sians in California and also m 
some areas of Florida. I visited a sugar plantation in Florida where 
the farmer knows now that if his peo|)le are better housed, better fed, 
better cared for, they work better. It is o:ood business for him to take 
care of them. 

I have some ])hotooraphs from this suo-ar plantation operated by 
one of the old Flying- Tigers. He has a fabulous place. On these large 
farms, they can do it. Some of the farms in California have done away 
with the migrants because the farmers have been able to rotate their 
croi^s and keep their workers the year around. 

The farmers have made great progress. There are so many areas that 
are still o):)erating by old methods and the old ways. Has any pre- 
fabricated housing been tried ? 

Mr. Clyburn. Not yet. This is what we are going to attempt on the 
16th. 

Senator Murphy. A building company in California belonging to 
the Lockheed Corp. spent 7 years developing prefab housing. The 
housing is used extensively in the Philippines and works fine. 

The company lays down a slab of concrete. They engineered it so 
that one wall has all the plumbing in it. It is an amazing thing. 

The company management expects this to be a fine house. As a mat- 
ter of fact, I am thinking of getting one as a place to go and hide 
when we get our vacation. 

I am thinking of getting one of these and placing it up in the moun- 
tains. They work just great. There is some objection, of course to the 
use of some modern housing technology on the part of some of the 
labor unions. I see encouraging signs. Only this year California 
enacted legislation allowing the suspension of building codes in certain 
"renewal areas." 

Senator JMondale. I was interested in your comment that many of 
the workers in Charleston involved in this current tragic dispute are 
former migrants. Would you dwell on that a minute ? 

Is this a matter of personal knowledge on your part ? 

Reverend Goodwin. Yes. I am pastor of four small rural churches. 
We have 18 members who are tied up in this hospital strike. John's 
Island is a rural conununity close to Charleston. These people com- 
mute to the city. 

Senator Mondai.e. They went into town because that is the only 
place they can find employment? 

Reverend Goodwin. Yes. When the season is over you have no em- 
ployment. Right now we are through the tomato crop and we have no 
employment on John's Island. They also go there because this is bet- 
ter to them, they think this is better than the stooping and bending 
over and indecent living conditions. As a result they go o\'er tliere 
to be exploited. 

Senator JNIondale. In this community where you are trying to 
build housing, did you meet the resistance of the local power struc- 
ture or were they helpful to you— the county board, city fathers, and 
so on? 

Were they helpful to you in trving to establish local housing or 
not? 

Mr. Cl-tburn. Mr. Chairman, I was interested in the statement 
of Senator Murphy tliat there are labor unions who op[)ose the pre- 



883 

fab method. Of course I did not know that. I wish I had known be- 
cause I would have found one area in which the local officials of my 
county could a<iree with the labor unions because our opposition has 
not been from the labor unions. 

We have had opposition from the administrators wlio approve 
loans. You see, they take the position there that a prefab house is not 
enouo-h self-help. The fact is that if you build by the self-lielp 
method you have 18 months of self-help, in some instances maybe 2 
months less and 2 months more in other instances. 

So you ha^-e the person who is actually working for 14 to 20 months 
buildino- his house right from the ground. So he gets enough equity in 
it to satisfy the real, if I might use the term, conservative element 
in the connnunity. So you are not giving the person anything. 

If you work on your own house for 18 months you really have not 
been given anything. If you use the prefab method you cut the time 
down to from 4 to 6 months. Then there is not enough sweat on the 
part of the person who is going to own the house. 

Senator Murphy. I am for getting tlie job done as quickly as 
possible, 

Mr. Clyburn. I am too, Senator. 

Senator Murphy. I want to get the tiling done as quickly and prac- 
tically as I can. 

Mr. Clyburn. I agree w^ith you. I hope some of the new administra- 
tors might be able to do it that way. 

Senator Murphy. Is it one or varied crops there ? 

Reverend Goodwin. Varied crops. It runs through. 

Senator Murphy. It runs through vegetables generally ? 

Reverend Goodwin. Yes, sir. 

Senator Mutiphy. Did you sense any discrimination. I think some 
of these crops are racially related. 

]\Ir. Clyburn. I must admit not overtly. I cannot really re-call any 
incident since I have been with the commission that I would actually 
call racial discrimination. Discrimination, yes. Racial, no. 

Senator Mondale. In dealing with self-help housing and FHA ap- 
plications, did you once deal with a high official who was black? Were 
there any Ijlack officials in the Government ? 

Mr. Clyburn. No. 

Senator Mondale. They were all white? 

Mr. Clyburn. All white. There is one on the State level of South 
Carolina. 

Senator Mondale. The Attorney General of the United States wrote 
to the Secretary of Agriculture here a couple of months ago and com- 
plained bitterly about discrimination in the Department of Agricul- 
ture and asked the Secretary to implement a program. 

We cannot get an answer as to what they are going to do. 

Senator Murphy, if you can get an answer, I will make you chair- 
man of this subcommittee. 

Mr. Clyburn. I will say this about discrimination. 

Reverend Goodwin is clear in his testimony that the local committee 
method that is used to approve loans is very discriminatory. I think 
he referred to it as a paternalism or some plantation type sj^stem. 
What he is saying here if I understand it is that when you get three 
biff farmers 



884 

Senator Mondale. Are there any farmworkers, or black members, 
of that committee ? 

Mr. Clyburn. All farmers, all white throughout the whole State of 
South Carolina. You see, these people are not on the payroll of the 
Farmers Home Administration so you can't blame the Farmers Home 
Administration. However, they are the ones who select the committee. 

So then it is their responsibility. The people are not going to look 
with a favor on the application of some of the people who are going 
to move off their land. 

The tenant farm system must not allow independence. 

Senator Mondale. If this housing was built, then the tenants of this 
housing would be leaving some of these rented shacks you are talking 
about '. 

Mr. Clyburn. Right. 

Senator Mondale. And moving into this better housing that they 
own themselves 'l 

Mr. Clyburn. Right. 

Senator Mondale. So it is your impression that the committee that 
acts on the application represents the people who might lose some of 
those rents, is that right ? 

Mr. Clyburn. That is right. 

Senator Mondale. You don't have a countervailing power in the 
community to get them to look at your side of the case '. 

Mr. Clyburn. That is right. 

Senator Mondale. I was flabbergasted to see the situation in Flor- 
ida. Some of those shacks were renting for $15 a week; $15 would 
buy most of them. 

Thank you very much for your very useful testimony. We will print 
your full statement in the record at this point. 

Reverend Goodwin. Thank you very much. 

(The statement referred to follows :) 

Pbepahed Statement of Rev. Willis T. Goodwin, John's Island, S.C. 

Mr. Chairman, members of the Subcommitte on Migratory Labor: I liave al- 
ways been awed beyond expression upon entering these classic halls ; however, 
today I am grieved, not that the halls are no longer classic, but I grieve because 
the issue that brings me here should not be necessary in a Country that has pro- 
duced such classic and awesome surroundings. 

I understand that the theme for these hearings is "powerlessness." I luider- 
stand further, that we are to focus upon and examine the depth and reasons for 
this "'powerlessness" which exists in a substantial portion of our work force, 
a work force commonly known as migrants and seasonal farm workers. 

Mr. Chairman and ^Members, I beg your indulgence as I attempt to relate some 
of my impressions which have been gathered over a period of thirteen (13) years 
while working with migrants and seasonal farm workers along the Eastern 
stream, with particular emphasis in Charleston County, South Carolina. 

I am aware that there are some among you who. because of our society's 
ability to respond only to the issues at hand, may think that Charleston's only 
problem is its Medical College Hospital. However, it does not take the research 
of the great historian. Arnold Tornbee, to establish that the ridiculously in- 
human wages being paid non-profe.ssionals at the Charleston County Hospital 
and the Medical College Hospital of South Carolina are directly related to the 
problems of migi-ants and seasonal farm woi-kers in this same community. 

A quick check of the record will show that .509( of the non-professional work 
force at these two hospitals are composed of former migrants and seasonal farm 
workers. Further, if you were to research the records for one or two generations, 
one would find that more than 90% of the work force in these two hospitals are 
eit'ier former migrants and seasonal farm workers themselves, or descendants 
of the same. 



885 

Now, one must assume that thei-e people moved to this hospital employment 
in order to better their conditions and improve their surroundings. If this as- 
sumption is correct, then it is obvious that the plight of the migrant and sea- 
sonal farm worker is overly burdensome; especially, since the leaders of my 
State, and the readers in your states, all agre that the wages and working con- 
ditions of these workers are indecent, inhuman, and violently insulting. 

I have reasons to believe that the seasonal farm worker who turns to hos- 
pital wnployment does so only because of the glamor of white dresses and stock- 
ings in contrast to the hot sun, dusty fields, stoop labor, crude housing conditions, 
uncertain employment, migratory existence, and insufficient wages. 

This to me. Mi*. Chairman, indicates that something is wrong with the theory 
that migrants and seasonal farm workers are a "happy lot". 

My personal contact, which is extensive, has taught me that the migrant is 
a man without a Country, and the seasonal farm worker, one without a com- 
munity. These two realizations point up the basis for the powerlessness which is 
prevalent among this segment of our sf)ciety. 

For the past two years, I have exerted all of my energies toward community 
development and organization among these powerless people. I have done so as 
Conference President of the Board of Missions of the Cnited Methodist Church, 
South Carolina Annual Conference ; as Chairman of the Migrant Ministry of 
South Carolina ; also, as a Board Member of the South Carolina Commission for 
Farm Workers, Inc., and as a Member of the Migrant Ministry Section of the 
National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. 

These efforts have failed to ci'ystallize. Our efforts have failed to crystallize 
because contrary to the national focus, we in Charleston County do not consider 
our #1 priority to be education and training. On the contrary, to the migrant 
and seasonal farm worker, either passing through or livin,g in Charleston 
County, housing is by far the #1 priority. Our efforts in this area have failed 
because it has proven all but impossible to acquire land in order to develop 
housing programs for seasonal farm workers or home-based migrants. Land in 
Charleston County and throughout Coastal South Carolina is tied up in heir's 
property, cloudy titles, and cost-prohibiting plantation holdings. Housing for 
in-coming migrants is indecent, inhuman, and utterly revolting. 

In a community such as mine, the abjectness of poverty is outstanding. My 
Count.v is affluent and it shows in the cars, boats, and housing. My County is 
also poor and this is most pronounced in housing or the lack of it. My most 
capable colleague and trusted advisor, James E. Cl.vburn, who directs the efforts 
of the South Carolina Commission for Farm Workers, Inc.. has substantiated 
over and over, that the most wanted — and indeed lacking — basic need of rural 
Charlestonians is decent housing. This Country made a verbal commitment to 
this necessity in 1937, but has not yet created the will to fulfill that commitment. 

Further, Mr. Chairman, I have in my possession a copy of a letter received 
b.v Mr. Clyburn from the Farmers Home Administration stipulating that the 
South Carolina Commission for Farm Workers, Inc. could not be approved for 
a land development grant because: number one, our membership did not reflect 
at least ten (10) community leaders. I ask you, Mr. Chairman, to define a 
community and categorize our thirty (30) Board Members and tell me what 
constitutes a leader. To me, the mere fact that a person consents to serve, without 
compensation, in such a capacity qualifies him as a leader. 

The second reason given is that the South Carolina Commission for Farm 
Workers, Inc. was not created for the specific purpose of "providing housing to 
be built for the mutual self-help method for low and moderate-income families 
on the nonprofit basis". 

No, ]\Ir. Chairman, I quote from a line of our Charter which was submitted 
with Mr. Clybuim's request, "To relieve the distressed conditions of the migrant 
and other seasonally employed, agricultural workers, and their families by 
seeking to obtain better housing conditions for such workers." What more is 
necessary? 

Finally, Mr. Chairman, the local community method utilized by Farmers Home 
Administration for the approval of loan applications is at its liesf, paternalism, 
and at its worst, a plantation system. I am sure that it is obvious to you that 
the farm owners who sit on such committees will never look with favor upon 
his or his neighbor's tenant farmers' application, knowing full well that to grant 
a home loan will create a kind of dignity and independence which cannot be 
tolerated under a plantation system nor paternalism. 

Through the South Carolina Commission for Farm Workers, Inc., we have 
made attempts to acquire the sub-standard houses presently owned by the 



886 

County of Charleston in hopes of negotiating a grant or low-income loan through 
one of the maze of Federal Programs. However, our efforts to this point have 
proven futile because of the impossibility to coordinate this type of venture. 

Mr. Chairman, it is hypocritical to condemn this housing because of their 
inability to meet Labor Department standai'ds, then withdraw all Federal contact 
such as the coordination of the Migratory Labor by the Employment Security 
Commission, then close your eyes, knowing full well that the same human- 
beings who have occupied these camps over the years will return under the same 
indecent, inhuman, and revolting circumstances. 

In fact, jNlr. Chairman, I am convinced that the Employment Security Commis- 
sion is not really interested in the farm laborer. It has been our experience 
that the Employment Security representatives who are assigned to the Farm 
Labor Sections are admittedly concerned only with the l)ig farmers' interest. 

In reference to land acquisition for the home-based migrant, I do not wish 
to advocate land reform. However, Mr. Chairman, what we need is nothing 
short of reformation. I do wish to suggest that the creation of a joint Federal, 
State, and in some instances, local effoi't which would concentrate on clearing 
up cloudy titles and locating remaining heirs will go a long way toward the 
eradication of this problem. The rebuttal to this is obviously the Neighborhood 
Legal Assistance Program. However, they are understaffed, over-subscribed, and 
in Charleston County, underpaid. 

A final housing problem that I feel most urgent can be found in isolated areas 
tliroiTghout my community. This problem is that of land holdings in areas 
which are deemed too low for insured loans becau.se of water level and insufficient 
drainage. Further, they are infested with rodents and various para.sites and are, 
in fact, the breeding place for such undesirables. One such instance is Peters- 
field, which is home for approximately 200 home-l)ased and in-migrant families. 

The question is always asked, "Why do they live there?" My question is, 
"Where would they live otherwise?" Tents are not feasible, unless we wished to 
be as asinine as some supposedly appropriate agencies have proven themselves. 

It is customary to treat health problems as a se))arate entity. However, Mr. 
Chairman. I am sure that you who grace these classic lialls and possess such 
f'T-ent iiitel'ect can easily discern that the ramshackled, indecent, and dila])idated 
living conditions of farm laborers are the direct causes of their health problem. I 
am sure that the many active cases of T.B. that we have found year after year, and 
this year, an epidemic of some sort of fever prevalent among the IMexicnns, are 
directly related to their living conditions. Further, the abundance of worm-infested 
children and cases of acute diarrhea and venereal disease are directly related 
to their living conditions. 

The deplorable plight of expectant mothers and newly born infants is hardly 
one to be proud of: yet, our health and welfare departments continue to be 
overly concei-ned with correctly filled out applications, correct referral pro- 
cedures, and residency requirements. p]xample : If a migrant has an active case 
of T.R., he cannot be treated by any of the local hospitals. This person has to 
use public transportation to get back to his home base. It seems to me that for 
an agency that is concerned for the health and welfare of its people, this shows 
very little regard for others who may be perfectly healthy, but also are using 
public transportation. However, Mr. Chairman, this is ju^t another example 
of the great dichotomy which has infested this great society. 

There is no running water. These people get their water from wells and immps 
which ai'e half-drained, and as a result, this has caused a great deal of sick- 
ness. The hou'-es are built of i)lywood. have no floors (just dirt), no electricity 
and no sewage. Some are built right on the water, consequently, the tide comes 
into the house, creating constant dampness. There is always sickness in this type 
of situation. 

The in-migrants are found living in camps, both public and private, paying 
rent at a rate of .$11 jier week for a ten x ten (10x10) room which is assigned 
to families, which in many instances, number 8 or 9. These camps have no 
cooking facilities and garbage is very seldom collected. The outdoor privies are 
very seldom cleaned and hot water is non-existent. The garbage disposal area 
consists of a large pit which is left ojien for the duration of the migrants' stay. 

In the }»rivate camps, these conditions are even worse. The old abandoned 
houses and tin-framed shacks are surpassed only l»y the old buses which are 
also used as tenements. The.se camps are not equipped with running water, 
sewage, or toilets. Their relief is usually found in the nearest wooded area. 

As for education and training, we feel that if housing and health problems 
were dealt with, we would create the atmosphere necessary in order to address 



887 

ourselves to the more academic and attitiulinal problems which are prevalent. 

It is amazing to watch this Country and listen to its leaders create and develop 
programs to combat the ills of urban society. It is obvious that programs such as 
Model Cities, and that of the National Alliance of Businessmen only serve to 
make the urban areas more attractive to the potential migrant. We must stem 
the tide of migration to large cities, if not, reverse the trend. 

We must create a rural alternative. 

In summation, Mr. Chairman, I feel it should not be nece.ssary to admonish 
you and your illustrious colleagues, but I do suggest that it might be appropriate 
for you to adopt the philosophy of the South Carolina Commission for Farm 
Workers, Inc., as one of your many guidelines : An innovative and imaginative 
program — denuded of paternalism — creates motivation and enhances self-determi- 
nation. 

Senator Mondale. Our next witness is Marvin Da vies; we are glad, 
Mr. Davies, to have you before tliis committee. You testified before us 
on a very hot day before the Select Connnittee on Xutrition and Hu- 
man Needs. I recall your excellent testimony. We are delighted to have 
you here this morning. 

STATEMENT OF MARVIN DAVIES, FLORIDA FIELD DIRECTOR, 
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED 
PEOPLE, ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. 

Mr. Davies. Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman and Senator 
Murphy, I lieard some remarks made earlier, I guess you were inter- 
ested in some of the conditions around Cape Kennedy. Before going 
into my testimony I would like to mention something about that. 

Senator Moxdale. We would b'^ interested. 

Mr. Davies. In the area of the Cape, within maybe 3 or 4 miles, 
there is abject poverty to the extent we have some 700 families that 
we know could use the Federal food commodities program, yet that 
county will not enact a Federal food program. 

Senator Mondale. Neither food stamps nor surplus commodities ? 

Mr. Davies. Neither one. We have people living in these kinds of 
conditions. 

Senator Moxdale. Are they f arDiworkers ^ 

Mr. Davies. They are related. They w'ork on the farm and do house- 
hold work. Their income is on the level where they could qualify for 
the programs. 

Senator jMurphy. What does a domestic get paid down there ? 

Mr. Davies. It runs from $8 to $10 a day. ]\Iost of us know the atti- 
tude of the fiien in the State of Florida about Federal programs, 
where we have the highe.st ratio of migrants they don't consider the 
people being citizens or residents of that community although there 
is some $-10 million coming into that community each season to take 
care of their well-being. 

They don't show any kind of responsibility at all to these people. 
These are the prevailing attitudes we find in and around Florida. I 
would like to comment on the housing situation in terms of the Farm- 
ers Home Administration. 

The Farmers Home Administration in terms of their system of ap- 
proving a loan, their approach will have to be changed or else you are 
going to have some real reaction to this kind of thing. 

They have a local committee made up of white persons who meet on 
loans and if you make application for loans for farm machinery, equip- 



ment loans, crop loans, we have found through surveys that less than 
one tenth of these loans go to black people who make application. 

The Department of Agriculture knows about this and they have not 
done anything about it. Not only that, as we said earlier, they give you 
all kinds of run around when you apply for a loan to get a home. 

One farm labor group triecl to file an application under the 515 
program. They found out later on that the 515 program that they 
were trving to get a loan under was not really a program for helping 
farmworkers. Yet that is what the Congress thought it was doing 
when it enacted the legislation. But the farmworkers trying to use 
that particular act found out it did not fit their needs. 

I think Congress has a real responsibility here to try to enact laws 
and look at them each year to find whether they meet the needs they 
are intended to meet. Here you talk about a 515 loan. 

You can only get up to $800,000. For a localitv that has a hifrh con- 
centration of migrants we can't use that type of loan program because 
when you talk about 50 tc' 75 units, you are talking about close to ii 
half million dollars, a half million dollars and over. 

You can't lump one or two loans together. They say everything 
must be se])arate and distinct. So that act itself should be repealed 
tomorrow or be amended so that it is workable. That is how simple ii 
is to me. 

I would like to get into my testimony. 

Mr. Chairman, gentlemen of the subcommittee : My name is Marvin 
Davies, and I am the Florida Field Director for the National Asso- 
ciation for the Advancement of Colored People, XAACP. whose 
national ofiice is located at 1790 Broadway in New York City and 
Florida State office at 1125, 2M Street, South, St. Petersburg," Fla., 
Pinellas County. 

The NAACP national office has requested that I present the views 
of the NAACP with reference to the general condition of migratory 
and agricultural farmworkers in the State of Florida. 

As a social worker — and I will say here that these conditions will 
probably be the same conditions that will be found anywhere farm 
lal)orers may be. Many of these workers move about, and these con- 
ditions follow. 

For 61 years the working and living conditions of agricultural 
workers in the United States, especially of Negro farmworkers, have 
been matters of great concern of the National Association for the 
Advancement of Colored People. 

Prior to my appointment as Florida field director for the associa- 
tion, I was closely associated with the plight, frustration, concern, and 
problems of the migratory agricultural workers in my native State 
of Florida. 

As a social worker with the State department of public welfare I 
have worked very closely M'ith the seasonal agricultural farmworkers. 
My caseload consisted of a ridiculously high 220 farm labor families. 
The welfare unit to which I was assigiied was responsible for serving 
the area commonly known as the "muck" in Palm Beach County. 

My travel and work covered the areas and camps of Belle Glade, 
Pahokee Bean City, Canal Point, Lake Harbor, Chosen, and South 
Bay. On special assignments I have had to work with clients in Moore- 
haven, Clewiston, and Labelle. 



889 

Also i^rior to 1966 I was employed in Fort Myers as a teacher in the 
public school system. Rather than to hear my outcry of the injustice 
to the Negroes of Lee County the school board fired me. I was subse- 
quently employed as a teacher in both Charlotte and Collier Counties. 
The mentioned areas have high concentrations of migratory farm- 
workers. 

In its 1967 report on niral poverty "The People Left Behind" the 
President's National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty said: 

The urban riots during 1967 had their roots in rural poverty. A high propor- 
tion of the people crowde<l into city slums today eanie there from rural slums. 
This fact alone makes clear how large a stake the people of this Nation have 
in an attack on rural poverty. 

Today we assembled here make history in that we gave up see- 
ing the ''moonshot'- to discuss the problems of the low-paid laborers 
who seasonally harvest our abundant vegetables and crops. 

We are also protecting our right to continue to be the best fed, most 
overweight nation in the world. 

In a few years America has clianged from an agricultural nation 
to an urban^ society of grave and serious problems. However in that 
process of change many of our citizens as reported were left behind 
to do mop-up activities in the fields and pick the crops vuitil mechani- 
zation completely eliminates the need for their labor. 

During the next 10 yeare agricultural laborers will be reduced by 
half and soon thereafter the fieldworkers as we know them today will 
be as obsolete as the mule and the handplow. 

"What will happen to those human beings during the interim yeai'S ? 
Really, what does the future hold for the farmworker who feed us 
well on slave rental wages as he is being replaced by a machine ? 

The answers are simple — guaranteed income, collective bargaining, 
massive education and training, nonagricultural employment, and 
faster housing production with greater subsidies. 

The larger question is does America want to solve tlie farm labor 
problem ? I firmly believe that America does not — not at the present 
time anyway. 

At present it is too preoccupied in trying to create and recapture its 
lost image of world leadership. Another reason is that America has 
not yet accepted persons born of ebony hue as full-fledged members of 
the human race and even less as members of this society. 

I see grave problems and consequences as a result of this prejudiced 
attitude. I see a powerful explosive force, which has nothing to lose 
except its chains and shackles that aAvaits only the right detonator to 
set it off. 

We here must accept our share of the blame for this atrocious and 
unfortunate situation in our midst. 

The conditions which I have Avitnessed in Florida among migrant 
workers would cause most of you many sleepless nights. I have found 
myself on the loading ramps in Belle Glade, Fla. at 4 :30 a.m. I have 
worked with clients with children who Avere housed in AA'hat is com- 
monly called matchboxes and shacks. 

I haA^e Iviiown babies to die of malnutrition. I liaA'e seen seriously 
injured workers denied medical care to doctor's offices and public sup- 
ported hospitals. I have seen 5- and 6-year-olds attempting to prepare 
a meal for smaller brothers and sisters. I have had clients with no 



890 

jobs and/or hopes of one, no food nor adequate clothino-. I have wit- 
nessed clients earning less than child care expense after a 12-hour 
work day. 

I have reached the conclusion, based upon my work and direct in- 
volvement, that the 100,000 seasonal agricultural workers in the State 
of Florida are the victims of the most extreme abuse and exploitation 
to be found anywhere in the United States. 

In fact it is my opinion that farm labor conditions in the State of 
Florida constitute a serious national disgrace, if not a deliberate 
conspiracy involving the U.S. Congress, U.S. Government, govern- 
mental agencies. State, county, and local business and public officials. 

Can the U.S. Congress adequately defend its position to deny the 
basic right of collective barganing to farmworkers? 

Can the IT.S. Department of Labor defend its decisions year after 
year to allow the importation of foreign workers in violation of Public 
Law 414, the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act? 

Can the TLS. Department of Agriculture justify its continuing 
priority to provide grants for research to farmiers for farm mechaniza- 
tion but fail to assist farm laborers in findino- alternati^'es to farm- 
work? 

Can the TLS. Con,o;ress and the States defend justly their refusal 
to set an adeonate minimum wa.qe for farmworkers? 

Can the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Agri- 
culture justify their continued contracts with farmers and farm co- 
operatives who refuse to pay minimum wao-es and deny equal 
emnlovment opportunities to minority farmworkers? 

Is the Florida Fnv't >^' Vegetable Association so powerful, is the 
Ignited States Sugar Producers Association so mighty, are the farmers 
who exploit farm laborers so sacred, that they can bend the Govern- 
ment of the United States to their will ? 

If this kind of political arrangement and inaction do not constitute 
a conspiracy to deny farm laboi'ers their most basic right — the right 
to live in decency with dignity — then the definition of a conspiracy 
is beyond my grasp. 

In my conversations with workers as they prepare to })roceed from 
Florida into other States along the Atlantic coast, I have found it to 
be very clear that these workers "go up on the season" or "follow the 
sun"' for only one basic reason and that is economics. 

If these Avorkers could seek and find employment in Floiida tliey 
would d'^ so. 

It is difficult t^ understand how the I^.S. Government whicli has a 
clear responsibility to j^rotect the welfare of its citizens can be so 
powerless in correcting conditions which adversely affects, in the 
sharpest possible manner, the economic and social welfare of the most 
de]>rived group of citizens in this Nation. 

Because of the U.S. Government's failure to accept its responsi- 
bilities to protect the welfare of its migratory farmworkers I have 
concluded that these workers are the illegal black bastards of Amer- 
ica's political and social order. My feeling now is that the American 
people must force their Government to extend the 13th amendment to 
the U.S. Constitution to these workers or confess tliat migratory 
workers are our slaves. 



891 

Xo man or country can ignore his child or slave once he accepts him 
as his own. The IT.S. Government must conti-ibute as much to correct 
the living and economic conditions of seasonal and mi<):i'atorv farm 
laborers as it contributes to its pseudopsychological hangup to conquer 
space, or its liberation program in Asia which makes little or no sense 
when we don't have the wisdom to maintain a safe and viable society at 
home. 

We can^no longer enjoy the luxury of having foi'eigners within our 
country. The frustration levels of these workers are becoming saturated 
daily. They have seen the farmworkers organize in California and 
Texas; they are now aware of their plight and their importance to this 
economy ; they have seen several cities receive attention after a period of 
disorder; they are aware of the political "wheeling and dealing'" which 
keep them in 1070 style slavery; they know who their enemies and 
friends are and many concerned persons are of the opinion that in 
time, if present conditions remain, tliese laborers will deal with each 
appropriately. 

The new crisis which this cou.ntry is a))parently lieaded for in 
farmworker-farm managment relationships can be avoided, and I 
hope that the cries and protests here today will set the stage for [)rom])t 
and immediate action by the U.S. Congress and the American people. 

I have testified before several other T'.S. congressional committees 
about the seasonal farmworkers' |)roblems and I would hope that the 
facts and tlie record are now clear and tliat your pleas and recom- 
mendations to the Congress will ))e heard and acted upon inunediately. 
In fact there is a strong feeling among those concerned that time for 
action is drawing to a close. 

Tliis committee must realize, that in addition to the continued op- 
position of fellovr colleagues who have a high concentration of migra- 
tory labor in their congressional district there is, in assuming the task 
of helping migratory lal)or become an integral part of the mainstream 
of America's life, a kinship likened to the task of our association in 
1919 when we took on the challenge to remove racial discrimination 
and segregation from America's life. Many said the task was misdi- 
rected or too great but we felt the cause was too just to adhei'e to the 
desire of the pessimist. The cause of migratory farmworkers today 
is equally a challenge and an opportunity. 

The major question should now be what are the ):»riorities and where 
shall we starts We offer the following recommeu-dations : 

1. That a commodity food program and/or a food stamp pro- 
gram vrith free stamps for a family of o earning less than $150 
monthly be established in every county in this country that does 
not now have one. These programs should be so located and opened 
during hours which will benefit the recipients, not the persons who 
are administering the program. Where ctmnties fail to establish 
such programs then acceptable nonpi'ofit groups be granted tlie 
authority and contracted with to administer the i)rogram. 

2. That a food and nutrition educational program be established 
in conjunction with the commodity or stamp })rogram utilizing 
persons of the target area to teach othei"s the best use and prepa- 
ration of such food items. These persons — would work on a part- 
time basis wnth salaries in excess of the present minimum wage. 



892 

They would also serve as reenriters and refeiTal persons for tlie 
commodity and/or the food stamp program. 

3. Tliat a free Inncli and breakfast program be launched at all 
schools in Avhich there is a need. In case the schools fail to initiate 
such programs a newly established or existing nonprofit aroup 
could be contracted and empowered to perform such service. These 
programs of need cannot be left solely to the hand of the local 
politicians or school officials. 

4. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Labor should place 
in top priority the elimination of the migrant stream. That is the 
real problem. T>et us get rid of it for good, forever. Training pvo- 
grams and related economic and supportive social services must be 
immediately instituted which will provide alternatives to seasonal 
agricultural employment. 

5. That in areas of high migratory workei-s concentration the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture and Housing and Urban Devel- 
opment should provide outright grants for land purchase, start 
up and development of complete communities, including indus- 
trial parks. The concepts of condominium and cooperative living 
should be explored, but individual ownership where possible 
should have top priority and be fostered. These developments 
must have adequate day care, health, recreational, training, and 
educational facilities. 

6. That the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Commerce 
offer incentives and opportunities for nonagricultural industry 
to move into agricultural areas. 

7. That legal services to agricultural workers and the poor be 
established as a permanent and continuing program. I have a 
comment I will make later on that. 

8. That medical service and health care be expanded to serve 
all persons in need and that these services be available at times 
convenient to the agricultural worker. 

9. That Federal funded programs dealing with migratory labor 
be funded at a level consistent with the challenge. Many ju'o- 
grams need to be reviewed annually to determine if they are 
meeting the need of the intended recipients. 

10. That the right of collective barganin.o; for farmworkers 
become a realitv during this session of Congress. 

11. That serious consideration be given to enacting legislation 
to guarantee an annual income for all American citizens. 

There are many other problems of which we are all aware but your 
patience has been overburdened and I am sure that the seasonal 
and migratory agriculture workers in America and especially in 
Florida are now gaining additional friends in the U.S. Congress. 

The NAACP and I look forward to helping to free the American 
conscience of this national disgrace — the migratory farm labor condi- 
tions in America. 

The comment that I have to make and T am going to make it now 
is that legal services to the poor or the rural person, particularly 
the farmworker, are iust as basic a necessity to the=e peonle to free 
them, to help them become citizens of this country, as it is to feed 
them. 



893 

Because I know what we are fighting. We are fighting some of the 
largest corporations in this country when we talk about organizing 
or assisting farmworkers. 

"We are fighting the largest corporations in the world when we 
talk about personal injury cases. These people do not liave the money 
to fight these corporations. We're talking about fighting these same 
corporations getting decent and sanitary housing for these people 
or just to feed them. 

AYe need these legal aids and services to continue. We are now 
fighting some of your colleagues who are right here, right now, fight- 
ing because they do not want a legal service program to help the 
people in their area or any area. 

I don't know what we are going to have to do but certain Congress- 
men are tied to the interest of the farmer without thinking about 
the farmworker. Many of these people get so much money out of 
these farmers that they don't see anything they can do for the farm- 
worker. 

I am asking you to publicly censure them and tell them unless they 
start doing something about the other constituents in their district 
then you are going to do something about it. 

We need to do this. P2very time we propose a program in Florida 
we have to fight some Congressmen. I think they should be helping 
us rather than our having to fight them. It is a disgrace that America 
has not yet decided to do something about these people. 

I will be glad to entertain your questions. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you very nuich for your excellent 
testimony. 

One of the things that constantly baffles me is the last point that 
you touched on, namely, the apparent political impotence of the 
migrant farmworkers. 

Wlien we were in Imm-okolee, Fla., talking about voting, it was 
as though it never occurred to them that this was a right farmworkers 
had. I wonder if there is not something about the psychology of not 
voting and the impression under which they live which go so far to 
create in their mind a feeling that they are not a citizen anywhere. 

In Collier County there are 22,000 farmworkers, and almost half 
of the county's population is migi'ant. 

In this case I think the farmworker population is al>out equally 
divided between Mexican Americans and black Americans. Yet it 
was manifestly clear that they had no food program at all. The 
county board was openly contemptuous of them publicly to the extent 
that they said "They are not our people, they are Federal people.'' 

One of them said, "They just like to winter here." 

AA^iat accounts for this political impotence? I have never fully 
understood it. 

Mr. Davies. First of all the migrant is treated not as a citizen 
in tliis country, not even by the laws of the land. So he has no right 
to believe he is a citizen. 

xlll the laws exclude him. You talk about minimum wage, social 
security, you talk about collective bargaining. He says everybody 
else can be protected by these, wh}^ can't he. 

He finds out he can't because the law states he can't. So the laws in 
this country are against him. He is really not a citizen here. As I stated 
here earlier, we first have to make this man a citizen. 



894 

Here is a problem we are having with these people. Most places he 
goes lias residence requirements. If you are going to vote or do anything 
else you have to be a resident. When I was a social worker working in 
Florida there must have been 12,000 or 15,000 ])eople who came to 
us for service that we just could not help because they could not prove 
they Avere residents of Florida. 

But they say "we are residents of Florida, this is our home." They 
told us tliis. I believed them. But they had to show proof that they 
had been there so long and they had these kinds of ties and those kinds 
of ties before tliey could get any kind of service. They would go down 
to the registry, they would tell them the same thing, "You have to 
prove to us you are a citizen of Florida." 

So these kinds of things negate any kind of political activity on 
their part. Now we have tried to organize the migrants in Florida and 
got slaughtered because we did not know who we were fighting. 

I know who we are fighting now. I did not know when wo started 
out. I was a novice in this whole area. We thought we could get orga- 
nized and get cards and get the unions to sign them up. The unions 
came in. Tlie union did not understand the magnitude of the problem' 
either. 

They put in $40,000, $.50,000, or maybe $100,000 and thought they 
were goiiig to organize the migrants with that kind of money. They 
came in. The same thing happened to the unions. They were slaugh- 
tered. The unions have in their constitution "We ai*e dedicated to 
organizing the unorganized."' However, they have neglected the farm- 
workers in Florida. 

We put a little pressure on the farmers. They sent some people 
down there, we found out whom we were fighting. We were fiohting 
tlie power structure in this country; people like Coca-Cola, Minute 
Maid, United States Sugar, and so forth. 

These people have all kinds of power, all kinds of money. Unless we 
can get in this country the type of support M'e need we are really go- 
ing to get wiped out before we get started. 

Senator JVIoxdale. Let us stop right there because tliat is a central 
issue here. 

Mr. Davies. That is right. 

Senator Mondale. We passed, for example, a Federal direct com- 
modity food program. Today it is still available for any county that 
wants it. free. 

They have to distribute it, but it is free to them. In Collier County 
they would not even have the program. In most counties that do have 
the program, it is a nominal operation. 

In other words, those that do have an overage program take care 
of 5 ])ercent of the hungry in the county. This is a case where the local 
government is not doing its job. 

The counties that need help the most are the very counties you are 
talking about, the counties of high concentration of farmworkers and 
migrant workers. That is usually where you see the worst conditions. 

Mr. Davies, This is where the opposition is. 

Senator Mondaee. ^Y[\y is it that farmworkers, for example, in 
Collier County cannot register and vote and get in a position where 
these countj^ officials either respond to farmworkers" needs, or realize 



895 

f;i nil workers are going to get some new officials. You mentioned that 
responsibility with respect to Congressmen, 

In other words, I have met a lot of dumb politicians in my life, but 
I never met one who could not count who got elected. The trouble is, 
farmworkers don't count in the minds of politicians. 

Am I correct l They liave found out down there that politically it 
is easier to ignore the farmworker and the migrant, and play the 
other side of the street. That is why you are in trouble with the 
migrant legal service program in Florida. 

This is one of tlie best programs in existence. 

Mr. Da VIES. That is right. 

Senator Mondale. One of the few times there has been some power 
in the liands of the farmworker was with the legal help of that pro- 
gram. Tliis was an institution responsive to the farmworker. 

The Governors in the States are opposing it. Others are opposing 
it. They want to put legal service programs into the hands of the 
local bar association, so that they will only apparently represent farm- 
workers, and tliey won't be in a position to bring the lawsuits that 
really make the difference. 

It is so bad down there that in one county every time a farmworker 
wants welfare, he has to take a lawyer with him. They go only to the 
county officials and they say, "Mr. Crab, we w^ant welfare.'' 

His name is (A'aft but the local people have changed the name a 
little bit. If a woman appears for help, he would make insulting re- 
marks about her moral standards. Altliough tliey were obviously im- 
poverished, he would want business records. What does an impov- 
erished migrant have for business records? 

They finally took a lawyer with them. They said, "Mr. Crab, we get 
welfare or you will be sued tomorrow morning. Which do you want?" 

Tliey got welfare. They got the welfare with dignity for the first 
time. Xow they want to take the legal services program away from 
tliem. 

Eunniiig all through the problems of the migrants in Florida is the 
fact that they are so impotent politically that there is no requirement, 
no need, to respond to their legitimate requests. 

I think there is much that we should be doing, there is no question 
about it. I agree with every point you have made in terms of these 
programs. 

It should have happened a long time ago. indeed, I said when thej^ 
came up with tlie administration's nutrition program w^hich is de- 
pendent on local consent, that program is no good. 

I don't care liow mucli money you appropriate, if you let the local 
county boards decide whether tliey will or will not feed the hungry, 
they won't feed them. 

You have to be able to follow them around, or they won't do the job, 
I liave come somewhat reluctantly to the conclusion that in order to put 
substance and reality into these federally enacted programs, there has 
to be ])olitical economic clout at home. 

Mr. Davies. I will agree witli that. 

Senator Moxdale. That makes the difference. This is why I am 
baffied by this frustrating impotence, politically and economically, 
of the seasonal and miarant farmworker. 



896 

Mr. Daviesi. May I say this? Migrants are discouraged from regis- 
tering to vote. 

Senator Moxdale. How is that done? 

Mr. Davies. If yon take the migrant stream in terms of Florida par- 
ticnhirly, the migrants come back after going nortli and east and they 
start coming back to Floricha around October or November. 

They leave around late March, they leave going up the road as they 
call it. Your highest concentration in terms of numbei'S in the State 
of Florida is probably December, January, and February. 

And early March. During this period most times this is the time 
when the books are opened in terms of registration. 

Senator Mondale. When do you register in Florida ? 

Mr. Davies. What date i There is no certain date. 

Senator Mondale. AVhat is the period of registration ? 

Mr. Davies. He must be a citizen in the county for 6 months and 
have residence in the State for 1 year. 

Senator Moxdale. When are the books closed so you can't register? 

Mr. Davies. They close them 30 days before the election, but most 
times they are open. What happens is this: You must have been in 
Florida 1 year and 6 months in the county, the last 6 months prior 
to registration. Most of the people can't prove they were in the county 
the last 6 months prior to registration. If they are on the road they are 
not eligible. 

Senator Murphy. The worker is only there as you say 4 months. Is 
he on the road the rest of the time I 

Mr. Davies. That is right. 

Senator Murphy. Would it help if the worker could establish that 
he had been there 4 months this year, 4 months last year? 

Mr. Davies. No, sir. It has to be continuous. 

Senator Murphy. I know, but would it help if the law could be 
changed ? 

Mr. Davies. Yes. 

Senator Murphy. In other words, what we are trying to find is a 
method of giving him a pennanent location ? 

Mr. Davis. I think his intent, whatever he says. 

Senator Murphy. In California, migrants and farmworkers are dif- 
ferent groups. 

One group that has no problems. There is another group in Cali- 
fornia that prefers to do this. They work and then go down to Mexico 
for the balance. That is one group. 

One of the problems is to establish permanency. I think this might 
be a way to do it. If a fellow could establish he returned 2 or 3 years 
in a row, that certainly would give some permanent rights. 

Mr. Davies. In the Federal election now^ as you laiow Congress says 
they can vote. But you are not going to get the State to allow these 
people to vote. 

Therefore, this local county politician controls the citizens in the 
county and keeps the food programs out as they are administered 
now. 

I mentioned he should be able to only indicat-e his intent, if he in- 
tends to live in Florida, that is wdiere his home should be. He does 
not have an address that he keeps year around, the mail cannot reach 



897 

liim, nobody can contact him the year around at any particular place. 

The problem is that they don't have homes. They can't afford 
to pay rent while they are on the road. It means in effect many of 
them would say to you if you ask the question "where is your home?" 
They say Florida. But Florida won't accept them as it being their 
home. So they are Federal people. 

Senator JNIoxdale. Actually if that rule were to be applied to Con- 
o-ressmen none of us could vote because we are here more than the 
migrant is out of Florida. 

Mr. DA^^ES. That is right. The whole attitude of the State 
government and county government is that '"they are Federal people," 
and vre are not going to allow them to mess up our political situa- 
tion here. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you very, very much for your useful 
testimony. We will include your full statement in the record at this 
point. 

Mr. Da^t:es. Thank you very much. 

(The prepared statement of Mr. Davies follows :) 

Pkepaeed Statement of Marvin Davies, Florida Field Director, National 
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) 

Mr. Chairman, gentlemen of the Subcommittee, my name is Marvin Davies and 
I am the Florida Field Director for the National Association for the Advance- 
ment of Colored People (NAACP) whose national office is located at 1790 Broad- 
way in New York City and Florida State Office at 1125 22ud Street South, St. 
Petersburg, Florida (Pinellas County). 

The NAACP National Office has requested that I present the views of the 
NAACP with reference to the general condition of migratory and agricultural 
farm workers in the State of Florida. 

For 61 years the working and living conditions of agricultural workers in the 
United States, especially of Negro farm workers, have been matters of great 
concern of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. 

Prior to my appointment as Florida Field Director for the Association, I was 
closely associated with the plight, frustration, concern and problems of the mi- 
gratory agricultural workers in my native State of Florida. 

As a Social Worker with the State Department of Public Welfare, I have 
worked very closely with the seasonal agricultural farm workers. My case load 
consisted of a ridiculous high of 220 farm labor families. The welfare unit to 
which I was assigned was responsible for serving the area commonly know as 
the "muck" in Palm Beach County. My travel and work covered the areas and 
camps of Belle Glade, Pahokee Bean City, Canal Point, Lake Harbor, Chosen and 
South Bay. On special assignments I have had to work with clients in Moore- 
haven. Clewiston, and Labelle. 

Also, prior to 1966 I was employed in Fort Myers as a teacher in the public 
school system. Rather than to hear my outcry of injustice to the Negroes of Lee 
County the School Board fired me. I was subsequently employed as a teacher in 
both Charlotte and Collier Counties. The mentioned areas have high concentra- 
tions of migratory farm workers. 

In its 1967 report on rural poverty "The People Left Behind", the President's 
National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty said, "The urban riots during 
1967 had their roots in rural poverty. A high proportion of the i>eople crowded 
into city slums today came there from rural slums. This fact alone makes clear 
how large a stake the people of this nation have in an attack on rui-al ix>verty." 
Today, we assembled here make history in that we gave up seeing the "moon 
shot" to discuss the problems of the low-paid laborers who seasonally harvest our 
abundant vegetables and crops. We are also protecting our right to continue to 
be the best fed, most overweight nation in the world. 

In a few years, America has changed from an agricultural nation to an urban 
socity of grave and serious problems. However, in that process of change many 
of our citizens as reported were "left behind" to do "mop-up" activities in the 

36-51.3— 70— pt. 3-B 3 



898 

fields and pick the crops until mechanization completely eliminates the need for 
their labor. During the next ten (10) years, agricultural laborers will be re- 
duced by half and soon thereafter the field worker as we know him today will 
be as obsolete as the mule and the hand plow. What will happen to those human 
beings during the interim years? Really, what does the future hold for the farm 
worker who feed us so well on slave rental wages as he is being replaced by a 
machine? The answers are simple — guaranteed income, collective bargaining, 
massive education and training, non-agricultural employment and faster housing 
production. 

The larger question is does America want to solve the farm labor problem? 
I firmly believe that America does not — not at the present time anyway. At pres- 
ent, it is to preoccupied in trying to create and recapture its lost image of 
world leadership. Another reason is that America has not yet accepted persons 
born of ebony hue as full fledged members of the human race and even as mem- 
bers of this society. I see grave problems and consequences as a result of this 
prejudice attitude. I see a powerful explosive force, which has nothing to lose 
except its "chains and shackles" that awaits only the right detonator to set 
it off. We here must accept our share of the blame for this atrocious and un- 
fortunate situation in our midst. 

The conditions which I have witnessed in Florida among migrant workers would 
cause most of you many sleepless nights. I have found myself on the loading 
ramps in Belle Glade, Florida at 4 :30 A.M. ; I have worked with clients with 
children who were housed in what is commonly called match-boxes and shacks : 
I have known babies to die of malnutrition ; I have seen seriously injured workers 
denied medical care at doctor ofiices and public supported hospitals ; I have seen 
five and six year olds attempting to prepare a meal for smaller brothers and 
sisters ; I have had clients with no job or hopes of one ; no food nor adequate 
clothing ; I have witnessed clients earning less than child care expense after a 
twelve (12) hour work day. 

I have reached the conclusion, based upon my work and direct involvement, 
that the 100,000 seasonal agricultural workers in the State of Florida are the 
victims of the most extreme abuse and exploitation to be found anywhere in 
the United States. In fact, it is my opinion that farm labor conditions in this 
Btate constitute a serious national disgrace, if not a deliberate conspiracy in- 
volving the U.S. Congress, U.S. Government agencies, state, county and local 
business and public officials. 

Can the U.S. Congress adequately defend its position to deny the basic right 
of collective bargaining to farm workers? 

Can the U.S. Department of Labor defend its decisions, year after year, to 
allow the importation of foreign workers in violation of Public Law 414, the 
Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act? 

Can the U.S. Department of Agriculture justify its continuing priority to pro- 
vide grants for research to farmers for farm mechaniztaion but fail to assist 
farm laborers in finding alternatives to farm work ? 

Can the U.S. Congress and the States defend justly their refusal to set in- 
adequate minimum wage for farm workers? 

Can the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Agriculture justify 
their continued contracts with farmers and farm cooperatives to pay minimum 
wages and deny equal employment opportunities to minority farm workers? 

Is the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association so powerful ; is the United 
States Sugar Producers' Association so mighty, is the farmers who exploit farm 
laborers so sacred, that they can bend the Government of the United States to 
their will? 

If this kind of political arrangement and inaction do not constitute a con- 
spiracy to deny farm laborers their most basic rig'ht — the right to live in decency 
with dignity — then the definition of a conspiracy is beyond my grasp. 

In my conversations with workers as they prepare to proceed from Florida into 
other states along the Atlantic coast, I have found it to be very clear that these 
workers "go up on the season" or "follow the sun" for only one basic reason 
and that is economics. If these workers could seek and find employment in Florida 
they would do so. 

It is difficult to understand how the United States Government which has a 
clear responsibility to protect the welfare of its citizens can be so powerless in 
correcting conditions which adversely affects in the sharpest possible manner 
the economic and social welfare of the most deprived group of citizens in this 
nation. 



899 

Because of the U.S. Government's failure to accept its responsibility to protect 
the welfare of its migratory farm workers I have concluded that these workers 
are the illegal black bastards of America's political and social order. My feeling 
now is that the American people must force their government to extend the 13th 
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to America must be convinced or forced 
to accept these workers as her children. No man or country can ignore his child 
once he accepts him as his own. The U.S. Government must contribute as much 
to correct the living and economic conditions of seasonal and migratory farm 
laborers as it contributes to its Pseudo psychological hang-up to conquer space, 
liberation in Asia which makes little or no sense when we don't have the wisdom 
to maintain a safe and viable society at home. 

We can no longer enjoy the luxury of having foreigners within our own coun- 
try. The frustration levels of these workers are becoming saturated daily. They 
have seen the farm workers organize in California and Texas ; they are now 
aware or their plight and their importance to this economy ; they have seen 
several cities receive attention after a period of disorder ; they are aware of 
the political "wheeling and dealing" which keep them in 1970 style slavery ; 
they know who their enemies and friends are and many concerned persons are 
of the opinion that in time, if present conditions remain these laborers will 
deal with each appropriately. 

The new crisis which this country is apparently headed for in farm worker- 
farm management relationship can be avoided — I hope that the crys and protests 
here today will set the stage for prompt and immediate action by the U.S. Con- 
gress and the American people. I have testified before several other U.S. Com- 
mittees about the seasonal farm worker problems and I would hope that the facts 
and record are now clear and that your plea and recommendations to Congress 
will be heard and acted upon immediately. In fact, there is a strong feeling among 
those concerned that time for action is drawing to a close. 

This committee must realize that in addition to the extreme opposition of 
fellow colleagues who have a high concentration of migratory labor in their 
congressional district there in assuming the task of helping migratory labor 
lieconie an integral part of the mainstream of America's life is likened to the 
task of our Association in 1919 when we took on the challenge to free America 
of racial discrimination and segregation. Many opposed this move and said the 
task was too great but the cause was too just to adhere to their desire. The 
cause of migratory farm workers today is equally a challenge and opportunity. 

The major question should now be what are the priorities and where shall 
we start. We offer the following recommendations : 

1. That a commodity food program and/or a food stamp program with free 
stamps for a family of three (3) earning less than $1.50.00 monthly be established 
in every county in this country that does not now have one. These programs 
should be so located and opened during hours which will benefit the recipients, 
not the person who are administering the program. Where counties fail to estab- 
lish such programs then acceptable non-profit groups be granted the authority 
and contracted with to administer the program. 

2. That a food and nutrition educational program be established in conjunc- 
tion with the commodity or stamp program utilizing persons of the target area 
to teach others the best use and preparation of food items. These persons could 
work on a part-time basis with salaries. 

3. That a free lunch and breakfast program be launcht^d at all schools in 
which there is a need. In case the schools fail to initiate such programs, a newly 
established or existing non-profit group could be contracted and empowered to 
perform such service, lliese programs of need cannot be left solely in the hand 
of local politicians or school officials. 

4. The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Labor should place in top priority 
the elimination of the migrant stream. Training programs and related economic 
and supportive social services must be instituted which will provide alternatives 
to seasonal agriculture employment. 

.5. That in areas of high migratory workers concentration the U.S. Department 
of Agriculture and Housing and Urban Developments should provide outright 
grants for land purchase start-up and development of complete communities in- 
cluding industrial parks. The concept of condominium and cooperative living 
should be explored, but individual ownership where possible should be fostered. 
Those developments must have adequate day care, health, recreational training 
and educational facilities. 



900 

6. That the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Commerce offer incentives 
and opportunities for industry to move into agricultural areas. 

7. Legal services to agi-icultural workers be established as a permanent and 
continuing program. 

8. That medical service and health care be expanded to serve all persons in 
need and that these sei'vices be available at times convenient to the agricultural 
worker. 

9. That federal funded programs dealing with migratoi-y labor be funded at a 
level consistent with the challenge. Many programs need to be reviewed annual 
to determine if they are meeting the need of the intended recipients. 

10. That the right of collective bargaining for farm workers become a reality 
during this session of congress. 

11. That serious consideration be given to enacting legislation to guarantee an 
annual income for all American citizens. 

There are many other problems of which we are all aware but your patience 
have been overburdened and I am sure that the seasonal and migratory agricul- 
ture workers in America and especially Florida are now gaining additional 
friends in the U.S. Congress. The NAACP and I look forward to helping to free 
the American conscience of this national disgrace — the migratory farm labor 
conditions in America. 

Senator Mondale. Our next witness this morning is Tomas Atencio 
of Dixon, N. Mex. Please come to the witness stand. Mr. Atencio, 
we are delighted to have you here this morning and that you would 
come so far to be with us. Do you have a prepared statement ? It is 
a long statement. Wliat we will do with your permission is include it 
in the record at the close of your testimony as though read, and then 
you can emphasize extemporaneously those points you think ought to 
be dealt with specifically here. 

STATEMENT OE TOMAS ATENCIO, CONSULTANT, DIXON, N. MEX. 

Mr. Atencio. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and Senator 
Murphy for this opportunity. I will briefly state a little bit about my 
background, where I come from. My home base is Dixon, in Rio 
Arriba County, N. Mex. I am associated with the farmworkers from 
Texas up through Ohio and Colorado and so forth. 

I am a social worker by training and I have worked with the 
health and social welfare field, in education, in community organiza- 
tion. My contact with farmworkers, of course, has been since I was a 
youngster inasmuch as the village where I come from ha.s supplied 
farmworkers for Colorado and various other States for a long time. 

My professional contact or my intensive contact came when I was 
director of the Colorado Migrant Council at Boulder. This is an OEO- 
f unded program. 

'\^^iile at Boulder and getting into the whole administrative and 
organizational process in more organized fashion I operated on one 
major premise. I was working with Mexican Americans mainly. The 
Mexican American migrant worker must acquire the political power 
to influence the allocation of resources. 

I think, to use the old cliche, that the wheel that squeaks the loudest 
gets the oil. I am really coming to the manifest seat of power asking 
ior power for the powerless. 

I was listening carefully to the questions asked of the witness that 
"preceded me. The problem of political impotency goes to the roots 
perhaps of tho history of the oppressed, the disenfranchised, and the 
attitudes that develop as a result. 



901 

This is a psychological and social manifestation, probably, but I 
think they are tied up with what has occurred. I have taken a very 
close look at the situation in south Texas historically, mainly trying 
to find out where do the farmworkers come from. 

We can see that since the advent of the land-clearing days in south 
Texas, and so forth, when the Indians and the Mexicans from Mexico 
began to clear the mesquite trees and so forth, and when the refugees 
from the Mexican revolution came across that there has been lack 
of participation in the mainstream, an alienated group in fact. 

'\^TIiile some have been able to work it out through education and 
so forth, many who remained as migrants in the farmworker situa- 
tion have not been able to do it. I call this a syndrome. 

I have attached some samples of what goes on in the migrant stream, 
some short stories, and some of the experiences we have had in Colo- 
rado that demonstrate the problems. I don't have to go into them. 
Everj'body talks about those things. 

Senator Murphy. May I ask a question? What crop is in Colorado? 
'Sir. Atencio. Beets, mostly. Sugar beets and tomatoes. 
Senator Murphy. Are there farms near Boulder ? 
Mr. Atexcio. Boulder was the headquarters of the Colorado Emi- 
grant Council. The farms, of course, are in the northern part of the 
State. 

Senator Murphy. Have you been there in the last 2 years? 
Mr. Atencio. Yes, I have been there in the last 2 years. 
Senator Murphy. It is amazing what has happened in Boulder now 
that the industry has moved in. The reason I am interested is my 
daughter lives there and attended the University of Colorado. At tliat 
time it was a quiet university town. Now industry has moved in and 
with industry will come the opportunity for permanent emj)loymeut for 
former migrants if they are properly trained. 

I would say that Boulder has expanded three times in size in tlie last 
5 years. 

Mr. Ateistcio. That is true. I think that industry has a multiplier 
effect and has provided opportunities for the people who heretofore had 
not had opportunities . But the basic issue for those who perceive the 
opportunities is learning survival skills, getting into IBM and perhaps 
learning a little more than that, learning how to work within the politi- 
cal system, learning how to relate to the issues, that affect their brothers 
back home in Texas, who are not able to do this. 

It seems to me that sometimes the training ]irograms, and I don't 
want to deemphasize them, I think they are important and very good 
but many times they are based on national stereotypes, and what is good 
for one industry is good for tlie Nation, and are not broad enough to 
consider the human element and the impact tliat the human being can 
have for potential economic development, but labor considers someone 
only as an individual who can come in and help. 

Senator Murphy. That wasn't my experience. As a matter of fact, 
one of my main jobs before I came "here was to institute a retirement 
p)-ogram'in a large corporation. It had been a cor])oration that had been 
run as almost a closed, locked-in system for many years. With new 
management, it was my job to open the doors. 

I always sav that a man works in three positions, he either leans 
forward,' straight up, or leans backward. In competition today you 



902 

had better have all your fellows going with you or you can't make it 
any more. 

I am glad to say that just by simple application of what I con- 
sider good conditions, creating a pride in the job, making all the in- 
dividuals part of the job community, we increased the production 
of that company double every year for the 4 years while I was there. 
Maybe I can have the same effect here on this job I am in. I intend to 
try. I have had an interest in labor matters for some 35 years, as you 
probably know. I am sure you know about my background. I have 
seen a lot of competence. I find in these hearings that there is still 
a lot that has not been done. We had more success in some areas than 
we have had in others. 

What is the going rate for a farmworker in south Texas ? 

Mr. Atencio. In south Texas most people are paid $1.25 an hour. 

Senator Murpht. $1.25 ? 

Mr. Atencio. Yes. Others, it is hard to document but we know in 
the piece rate it goes below that at times, sometimes with the com- 
puter who comes from across. We have looked into that extensively. 
But it is usually that. We think with $1.25 an hour for a family of 
eight children it is pretty tough to make it. 

Senator Murphy. That is right. 

Mr. Atencio. And that is not adequate. But even to follow your 
point, your statement, perhaps the models that you have used before 
in which you have found success are good and can be used again and 
should continue to be used. What I am saying is that as you create a 
community in which there is an interest in the job you find you will 
have success. 

Senator Murpht. One of the things I am talking about we have had 
with housing. We have found that where a man owns a house, there 
is pride and a strong family community. There is enough private 
ownership in community housing as I would like to see, although a 
good start has been made in California in several areas. This private 
ownership is particularly necessary with the Mexican American. This 
is one of the things that I have been interested in and I know Senator 
Dole has been interested in. 

For years I was a nomad in show business. You didn't live any 
place; you traveled. You never knew when you were going to work. 
In the old days you signed a contract, if you were luckj^, for 20 weeks, 
10 weeks, whatever you could get. You lived out of a suitcase. Finally, 
for the first time in history you rent a house or buy a house next to 
Hollywood and you become a permanent citizen for the first time. 
I have enjoyed it and I think if everybody else had the same work 
they would enjoy it too. 

Mv. Atencio. You have had pretty much the same experience that 
a migrant has had in terms of mobility. 

Senator Murphy. I have had more than that. I have been earning 
my oAvn living since I was 12 years old. 

Mr. Atencio. That is the same way that migrant workers do. That 
is pretty young to earn their own living. I think this also points to 
the need for recognizing ability. It is not a detrimental factor. 

I want to continue the analogy further. When you are a part, when 
you get a piece of the action, you have pride in it. I think what I 
am saying is when you have a piece of the action in the political 



903 

process you have pride in it too. When you have a piece of the action 
in social problems, what is going on in the community, and you are able 
to relate, this makes democracy work. I am just trying to draw the 
analogy. 

Senator Murphy. There are always terms that kind of befuddle 
me. I say that for the reason that many_ years ago, several of us in 
Hollywood realized the need for a hospital in the Watts area. The 
Watts area had not been as highly publicized as recently. We pur- 
chased a piece of ground. We got an organization going. In order 
that the community could have the proper pride in it I accepted an 
arrangement whereby a local group would raise 10 percent of the 
money from within the commmiity so it was theirs. I had arranged 
to provide the other 90 percent. With this we built the hospital. 

Because of an unfortunate weakness in human nature, we no sooner 
got to this point than the big argument was who was going to be 
on the board of the hospital. I said, "Let us get it built first." The 
next thing that happened was that I involved all the leaders of all 
the churches in the conmiunity. All of a sudden it became a matter 
of social consciousness rather than building a hospital. As a result, the 
whole project fell apart. 

I think the chairman will agree that one of my weaknesses may 
be a strength, to try to simplify it and say "Look, we need hous- 
ing." I have said for 5 years — first get these people jobs. Start with 
one, get that done, and then move on to the next one. 

Mr. Atencio. I think this is certainly a good goal. When we look 
at the situation of the farmworker and I am addressing myself to 
the migrant, you find that he does have a job but it is a job that is 
not bringing him an adequate livelihood. We are saying let us maxi- 
mize the alternatives for this individual to give him the skill and 
education but also through a process which begins to significantly in- 
volve them in the political process, so that they can have power. 

Senator Murphy. We used to have a Screen Actor's Guild. We used 
to have the worst time to get the members of the guild, and they are 
generally a fairly enlightened group, to come to the meetings. I used 
to say why won't you come to the meeting? They said everything is 
going along fine, you fellows are doing great, so why should we worry ? 
This is the one problem. We used to have to think up reasons. 

Mr. Atencio. I think this is a problem you find all the way across 
in meetings. People don't have time to attend meetings or are not 
committed enough, whatever the issue is. 

Senator Murphy. Some are not interested enough to vote. You find 
the average vote in the presidential election is — what, 55 to 60 per- 
cent? Not that high, usually. If you took these rights away from the 
people they would miss them sorely. But as long as they have them, 
sometimes they don't appreciate them. 

Mr. Atencio. That is true. Perhaps many people take for granted 
what they can get because it belonged to the majority, the majority 
system, where the recourses are pretty much available to the people 
and they are in harmony vnih the way the system delivers the services. 
I am tallring about a group of people who are not in harmony with 
the way the system delivers the services. The question of housing, the 
question of sanitation, and so forth, I think is very much tied up with 
the powerlessness that these people have. The middle-class commu- 



904 

nity does not have to worry too mucli or the Screen Actor's Guild by 
going to the union, you know. After all, they have individual power, 
the}^ have the way of relating to the system. 

Senator Murphy. No, they didn't, I am sorry. The reason we formed 
the Screen Actor's Guild is because the actors didn't have the individual 
power. There was great discrimination in many ways. By organizing 
together we were able to bring about a contract whicli has been a good 
contract. 

Mr. Atencio. I am sure this is the reason why people began orga- 
nizing in Delano and they are trying the same efforts elsewhere. You 
know how the union works, I go in the union shop, I don't have to be- 
long to the union, I will be getting the same wage. But Avhen you are 
starting an effort then it is important to organize because it creates a 
sense of unity, I think, this creates power more than anything else. I 
agree with you. 

Senator Murphy. I ne^'er could understand, really, why Delano was 
selected as the town to make this initial effort. Do you know why? 

Mr. Atencio. I could not speak to that point. 

Senator Murphy. In Delano, 90 percent of the people, particularly 
who work in the vineyards there, are not migrant. Ninety percent live 
there. It is a completely integrated town. I have been assured, and I 
have been there several times, that it is a good town. As a matter of 
fact, the mayor was in my office 2 weeks ago and explained to me the 
makeup of their board of education and supervisors. I never could 
quite understand why that particular town was selected. 

Mr. Atexcio. T could not speak to that town but I can see in many 
places where you have a so-called integrated community and you have 
what seems to be an adequate distribution of power that sometimes 
those communities are the hardest to crack because if you do happen 
to have a small minority group, agahi it is the same problem, thev can 
not relate. Maybe Delano is not interested in the problems of farm- 
workers, then you develop a powerless system like any kind of or- 
ganization which is trying to represent a particular interest group. 

Again I was just trying to continue the discussion around the need 
for organizing and perhaps the reason why some people in the general, 
what we call the middle-class society, are not too concerned with 
participating in this and that. There is no crisis. They do have a crisis 
but they never see it. But when you are hungry the mother of a migrant 
child is not concerned with whether she should prop the bottle or not, 
she is concerned with do I have the bottle. The issue is different. You 
work around this. 

Then the whole idea revolves in terms of growth and develoj-tment 
in this country and becomes relevant. It has to be relevant and the 
relevant issue for the farmworker has been gone through today and 
many times before: Housing, discrimination, wages, so forth. 

Getting back to the cause, some of the approaches to rectifying this 
problem. I use the rhetoric of deinocracv and I use that because that 
is the original thing I have. I would rather use that at this point then 
the rhetoric of revolution because both are irrelevant. The thing" you 
want to make relevant is that the people do participate and begin to 
get a piece of the action. 

In south Texas in the migrant stream the people have experienced 
the discrimination, the blood baths in south Texas some years ago, 



905 

being confronted with the Texas Rangers and so forth. You get 
scared. When I went back to Texas working with the Interstate Re- 
search Associates, because I had been with the migrant council I had 
an official of public safety follow me for 2 weeks. Fortunately, I know 
a little bit about how the guy operates, so there was somebody fol- 
lowing him. 

Senator ISIurphy. I had a fellow follow me one daj. He was around 
always. I said, "Look, this is ridiculous. If you want to hear what I am 
saying come with me." You know, he was around the corner, always 
listening. He was a representative of the IBU, I remember. At that 
time the IBU was kind of outside. He didn't know what we were doing. 
^Ve were trying to settle a strike at that time. I saiclj "Come along with 
us, come to the meetings, and listen to what is said so that you will 
know and be able to report back more clearly." 

Mr. Atencio. The guy was missing the point. I was not the orga- 
nizer. I was doing it much better because of my association with the or- 
ganizing effort previously, not union. How can we work to solve these 
problems ? He finally came to see me but very concerned. He was suffer- 
ing a little more from persecution complex than I was. 

I am just trying to point out this is the way things are in some 
places. Tliey don't want any people coming in and organizing, espe- 
cially if the goal happens to be squeaking a little louder. 

To get back to perhaps answering some of those questions that were 
asked of the previous witness 

Senator Murphy. Would you forgive me if I ask to be excused? 
I have enjoyed this testimony verv much indeed. T"^nfortunately, I 
have another appointment. I wish I could stay but I will read the bal- 
ance of your testimony very carefully in the record. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you, Senator Murphy, for being with us 
this morning. 

Mr. Atencio. What one seems to have preference in trying to or- 
ganize migrant workers, speaking again to the mobile inctividual, 
seems to be in the first place the need for the money immediately. They 
come to Colorado, they are working with people, expressing an inter- 
est in organizing and confronting issues such as housing. It becomes 
veiw difficult for them to really see this because the immediate goal is 
money. What they earn in the ^orth they take back to Texas. That is 
it. That is one of the problems. 

Another problem, and this is perhaps more of a speculative state- 
ment from what we know in psychology, that individuals who have 
this kind of experience in life do develop a sense of mistrust. They 
really have the same behavior tliat you find in free enterprise, 
individualism. They seem fatalistic about the prospects of organizing. 

This is all interconnected. Very often they experience an outburst 
of rage. People get pretty angry. The migrant stream sometimes be- 
comes a pretty difficult community to work with because the outrage 
is exin-essed witliin the people, a lot of fights, this kind of problem, 
which is really bad. The northern Colorado people say, "All we do is 
get Mexicans who come and fight with the local ]Mexicans." Many of 
these, of course, are related to what, they have had to face, the specifics 
that we were talking about before in previous testimony, voter reg- 
istration, problems like that. 



906 

Now, coming in and working with this is difficult because they de- 
velop a sense of loyalty to the crew leader or to the farmer which 
makes it very difficult to work with. Besides the fact that they need 
the money, they also don't want to cross that guy who brought them 
up in the first place, or the sugar company will give him $7 to drive 
them from Texas to Colorado. 

The people who know how to use this attitude of course exploit it. 
A farmer or crew boss can very easily place obstacles to organize by 
just withdrawing the money. Some of the States, I don't know if it 
prevails today, but in Ohio in the tomato crop last year they had a 
bonus system they would offer 17 cents a hamper in Texas. You drove 
off and it becomes 15 cents a hamper and 2 cents extra if you stay to 
the end of the contract. That is hardly a bonus. 

This is a real bad problem. We had an experience in Colorado 2 
years ago when farmworkers came supposedly under contract but they 
came in and it rained and rained. They could not leave to seek jobs in 
the Middle Western States because they were committed to the con- 
tract and they were committed because if they didn't finish they 
wouldn't get paid. So they have peoj)le pretty well controlled. 

I am not saying it is a conspiracy. You find a weakness and you 
use it. 

One of the problems I had in developing organizational programs 
in trying to let us, say, work with the syndrome, was a fear of OEO 
programs, migrant division programs, especially at that time with the 
whole idea of organization. Because we were committed to the idea of 
organization education, what we call community life education in 
which you are working with the total person in the total community 
not only getting a job for the person but getting him to engage in the 
community problems we were pushing organization. 

This is part of the thing. There was a fear. We had a program in 
the migrant stream which worked from Texas to Michigan. It was 
reluctantly funded after a lot of work and theoretical postulation that 
we would not have riots in the stream and so forth. It was funded. It 
worked pretty good. It worked slowly but the effort was to try to work 
around individual problems like housing, not that housing was going 
to solve the problem but that the only thing, the commonality that 
these people had in Michigan was bad housing, poor wages. So, solve 
that, and mobilize the people to solve another experience. 

If they chose to go the union route they had at least some knowledge 
oi what it meant to work with the union. If they chose the alterna- 
tive I sometimes posed a corporate route, I really wanted to sympa- 
thize with the farmer and give the guy an alternative. I would like 
to have a corporate group approach a big farmer, an industrialized 
group, and negotiate an alternative, give them the choice of the union 
or the business approach, just to get rid of the myth that organization 
is bad. 

The migrants themselves feel if they come to Michigan and then 
they cannot negotiate they have lost everj^hing and the money again 
was a problem. 

My suggestion was a guaranteed income of some kind, a stipend 
based on an effort to become a businessman. I feel this might clear 
some thinking as to what those who have been working with the 



907 

farmworker are after. We are after the bargaining power. If they 
want to use a union, great. But all of a sudden the farmer and the 
union become a bad thing. Since they are oriented to business maybe 
they would like to deal with a businessman who relates to a community 
corporation. 

The OEO was not too much in favor of that kind of approach. 
Again there was considerable fear. So it has been an uphill battle 
in this whole direction. 

There is another situation in south Texas in which organizing 
efforts were stifled through the Office of Economic Opportmiity 
again, Colonias del Valle. It was a grassroots organization. Because 
it was not using the rhetoric of minority capitalism and it was trying 
to use the basis of organization at that time, we could not go beyond 
that. The minority mobilization VISTA program, which is completing 
its first year, was strictly a community organization effort to lay the 
groundwork to move ahead. This creates a lot of reaction from the 
State. 

Senator Mondale. Did they cancel the VISTA program in south 
Texas? 

Mr. Atencio. It is up for negotiation now. The Governor can- 
celed the program out of Del Rio. 

Senator Mondale. One county ? 

Mr. Atencio. One county. Because the Governor presented oppo- 
sition, I presume, it has had an effect in Washington with VISTA. 
I don't know what the intricacies of negotiations are. But again these 
efforts at community organization which I feel are necessary if you 
are going to move in the direction of economic and political independ- 
ence, if you are going to come in with minority capitalism. We 
already have minority capitalism. We have it in New Mexico but we 
have a lot of poverty. 

Senator Mondale. Let me try out a little theory on you, since you 
are a sociologist. 

I am on several what you might call human problems subcommittees — 
Indian Education, Nutrition and Human Needs, and Labor. While the 
problems differ in details, it seems to me there is a constant principle 
that runs through all of the subcommittee's activities. That is that 
people in this country exist without economic or political or social 
power. You find people who are oppressed. You find certain counties 
with heavy migrant farmworker population, who won't even feed 
people who are starving. You find that almost 40 years after the right 
to organize and bargain collectively is generally accepted in American 
life, no such right exists for the migrants and farmworkers. You find 
a Nation which protects against dumping of forei2;n products because 
they adversely affect business, but the dumping of human beings from 
Mexico into the United States which affects the right to organize and 
depresses living and working conditions is accepted with only faint 
cries of objection. 

You have the deteriorating quality of education, community services 
and tlie whole syndrome of discrimination which we have seen. For 
exam])le, the activities of the Texas Rangers, and so on. Then you had 
the same thing with the American Indian and with the other groups 
that suffered discrimination. 



908 

I think discrimination, for example, is one of the reasons that we see 
so many la^YS passed federally — but they don't work at the local level, 
whether it is minimum wage coverage, social security laws, worker 
hazard protection laws, and so on. The poor hear about the laws, they 
hear them discussed, they know they are in existence, but they don't 
apply to them. You see an OEO program specifically established for 
the first time to declare war on poverty. Yet you see the VISTA pro- 
gram canceled in Del Rio. You see the migrant legal service program 
in serious jeopardy in Florida. 

You can't even get a legal service program in southern Texas, let 
alone have the privilege of getting it canceled. Running through all 
of these problems is a basic problem that must be solved if we are going 
to have a decent life. 

I think the average white middle-class appraisal of this situation 
is that we are a very decent people, that we make fine guardians, and 
we will deal nicely with our wards. 

That is probably a little harsh, but I think we find it hard to believe 
that we do what we do to these people. We would rather not hear about 
the problem, we would rather change the subject. Or if we are finally 
forced to face it, we find a scapegoat somewhere and blame them, not 
us. But the life of the poor people does not change. We have heard ream 
upon ream of specific examples. 

If this is true don't we have to develop techniques for shifting power, 
and give those techniques a high priority, rather than pursue a policy 
which hopes for the magnanimity and benevolence of the present power 
structure. 

The syndrome of the visiting liberal could be a book all by itself. 
Eleanor Roosevelt, God bless her, traveled the length and breadth 
of this country looking at migrants and farmworkers. She was con- 
cerned about the grapes of wrath. Many of the visits she made were 
helpful in that particular environment. They jnight build a migrant 
camp, they might do something else to take care of a specific objection, 
but there was no restructuring of the power structure of the 
establishment. 

Thus, for all practical purposes the migrant is just as bad off as he 
was 10 years ago, and perhaps worse oif, because we should be mani- 
festly more able to deal with the problem today than we were then. 
We are more aware of it, we are a much wealthier society, we know how 
to better educate people and develop industry. 

Now you are one who has dealt with this whole problem of com- 
munity organization. Why has that been so disap]3ointing? Why 
haven't we received more progress in the development of community 
organization or more progress in developing political clout than we 
have seen? 

Do you have suggestions as to how the pace of progress in this field 
might be quickened? 

^Ir. Atencio. I have several theories. I think you have been ad- 
dressing yourself to what we call paternalism. This is a continuation 
of the oppression which might start with the Texas Rangers and con- 
tinue to the welfare dejiartment. This is true; I agree this is what has 
happened. Somewhere in my statement I state that institutions, foun- 
dations, unions, and Government have to make a commitment to 



909 

community organization. Many times this organization, like tlie 
cliurches, did a lot for migrants but my experience before the OEO 
came, before it changed, and take the power away from the people 
again, to give milk to the babies, provide clothing for the poor, it was 
all the old social worker, the breadbasket. This has been the approach 
all the way through. 

Nothing else happened with the Office of Economic Opportunity^ 
title II, community action program, at least awakened us to the fact 
that the migrant had the right. 

Also it awakened us to the fact to let the consumer have the power- 
to speak on the resources. This is an effort on the social planning field 
to begin to involve the people at the local community. Yet it came in 
so fast that those who were in community organizations were using the 
old model which was the paternalistic model. The community organi- 
zation specialist was trained to work as executive director of the united 
fund or community council. They organized the people to give money. 
They set up a welfare planning council here where they talked to the 
executives that delivered the goodies. 

This is the whole approach ; this is the whole syndrome. This is the 
way it works. You have stated it very well. How do ^ye do that? I think 
we started with such efforts like Minority Mobilization. It seems to me 
that perhaps some of this effort was radical because they could not 
integrate it into the power structure of the community. 

Everything comes from the community, is coming through estab- 
lished government and that does not really mean that the people are 
participating. It means some guy like the mayor or city council. This is 
the way the model goes. So, the alternate model of working wath the 
people and offering them, as difficult as it is, with an organization- 
educational program which does not only train a guy, a man to work 
in Dallas for "LTV" and completely lose his identity and lose what- 
ever hope he has to become a powerful force, in the next generation his 
case might be in the middle class if we have one. But the training pro- 
grams W'e now have are committed to training people for nonjobs or 
based on stereotypes out of Detroit for the south Texas Valley. They 
have not taken a look at the whole organizational-educational XDrocess 
that goes to the human being. 

My approach has been very early from an ethical point of view more 
than anything else, that if you are going to render service to a person 
like a community council how^ do you know wdiat he needs. He will 
take whatever you give him. You will keep on engendering more de- 
pendency. So the community organization with the different strate- 
gies — and I outlined some in the paper— are certainly very important. 
This again relates to the eft'oi-ts that are goin^ on in Delano, in south 
Texas, the efforts in minority voter registration and whatever else is 
going on in the South and in the urban area. AVe have to continue this 
because we are asking for a piece of the action, for power. If we don't 
get it we are going to grab it or go after it, which creates reaction from 
the other side and you have nothing but conflict in the whole situation. 

Senator Mondale. Could you direct your attention for a moment at 
this political power problem in the home base ? You have been trying 
to work with migrant streams, and that is exceedingly difficult. If you 
take a town in Texas where there is a large community of migrant 



910 

farmworkers, Mexican-Americans, why is it that they don't have 
more political clout? I just can't miderstand how their basic problems 
are ignored the way they are. 

Why isn't the stream of commuters closed off in Mexico more than it 
is ? Why is there not more concern and regard shown for the problems 
of farmworkers? 

I Still don't understand. 

Mr. Atencio. I think it is possible to develop political clout. If you 
are going to use farmworker organizing technique, all you have to do 
is look at the border situation and that stops that. It is very easy to go 
pick up a farmworker at the bridge. You get organizations like Ed 
Krueger has at Colonias del Valle and try to get support. I don't know 
how long we have been trying to work there. There has been the most 
scattered reaction that one has had from Federal as well as private 
agencies. The budget is building up, the efforts are going on. There 
are many problems. I think the main problem is the whole history of 
oppression and persecution that exists in Texas. 

Senator Mondale. I agree with that. I am impressed with what you 
say, but I don't hear something that will change it. I accept community 
organization theory. I don't know of any other theory that makes 
sense. We talked to Leo J. Leo. He ran for County Commissioner in 
south Texas. He nearly made it. He lost by about a hundred votes, or 
something like that. He was a Mexican-American that was very sympa- 
thetic to the migrant farmworker in the community. The key precinct 
he was dependent on to win was transferred the day before election a 
mile and a half out of town to the farm of a violently antifarm worker 
farmer. There was a sign out front that people weren't welcome. He 
lost by an amount wliich might easily have elected him had the precinct 
stayed where it was. That is clearly a civil rights violation, there is no 
question about that. 

But when you are so close, hopefully, to that kind of sympathetic 
person why can't you move across that goal line and get a sympathetic 
local power structure? It is true, for example, in south Texas, that the 
local courts for some reason have a role in welfare, and they person- 
alize welfare so that the poor feel grateful to the individual doling 
out benefits in the sense that the price of survival to the poor is an 
agreement to keep the courts in power. 

Isn't it possible to do a better job of organizing, to concentrate more 
than has been done on the voter power situation, and see if you can 
get a more S3rnipathetic attitude ? I don't have much hope for conver- 
sion of the present power structure. I have some hope that someone 
will be just as responsive to the new power structure as they are to the 
present one. It is not a moral judgment on their part, it is just a politi- 
cally shrewd courthouse syndrome. Can you give me any encourage- 
ment at all? 

Mr. Atencio. I came out of Texas very depressed, too, but I want to 
go back because there is something going on there. TVlien you go back 
into history and say start counting, the first effort during the farm- 
workers' strike, the strikers got treated very badly and they got beaten 
uy) and thrown in jail. It was tough. I think the Texas Rangers are a 
little more fearful. We are not converting them or anj^liing like that, 
but I don't think they are going around pushing people with loaded 
shotguns any more. They might. 



911 

I remember during the march there were a lot of them with sa wed- 
off shotguns waiting for some move. Since those days I think many 
things have begun to happen. There is still a lot to be done, but in 
Colonias del Valle people are aware down there and people are begin- 
ning to move. I think the first step is to get rid of what the power 
structure calls apathy. They are frozen to the point where they can't 
move. If you begin to talk out you begin to get some action. This does 
not have too much to do with community organization tlieories, but 
just getting out and doing it. 

The only theory is you are goinfr to do it and sell them out to the 
power structure. Something that would help this a lot, I think, I would 
visualize, for example, if a guaranteed income were to come, with the 
concomitant community organization effort, you have people out there 
to give some voice and organization and political social involvement, 
and you have a gxiaranteed income, I think you would solve a lot of the 
problems you had in your disadvantaged area. Without that income, 
without that good, it is very hard to confront anything. 

Senator Mondale. I see the guaranteed income is a way of giving a 
kind of power to the deprived that they don't now have. If they have 
some money they can go around and bargain with it. 

Mr. Atexcio. That is right. 

Senator Mondale. An additional feature is if they can get out from 
underneath an oppressive local welfare structure which is designed in 
part to keep them under control politically, they will be free from that 
as well. 

I see a lot of power shifting with guaranteed income which would 
be very helpful. 

Mr. Atencio. I think that the guaranteed income is a good thing, 
but I don't think that it is just, you know, let them have it. The educa- 
tion, community organization, the whole idea, you know, would be 
very important. Some people who are against guaranteed income, I 
am not for it all the way, but they are against it because the}^ say this 
is another paternalistic effort. It is not because it will have an economic 
influence that will shift power. 

Senator Moxdale. You want it to be coupled with some help that 
would accelerate community development. 

Mr. Atencio. Community development, yes. 

Senator Mondale. Is there much that is encouraging in terms of the 
hope that Congress could do it ? We know it is not going to happen at 
the Texas State level or the Florida State level right now\ So the hope 
is for outside financial help, whether it is foundation aid, or private 
philanthrophy, or union sources, or something that comes from the 
Federal Government. Yet we have seen that the OEO efforts which 
direct themselves to the power structure rather than to the delivery 
of in-kind services such as education, are innnediately obstructed by 
the local power structure. 

We have seen abundant evidence of that and you have testified to 
it. We see it everywhere. Cesar Chavez, for example, told me he didn't 
want an OEO program in town. His lawyers are all paid for through 
f imds he obtains principally from other unions, or foundations, because 
he just doesn't think OEO is a program of integrity. He feels that the 
money comes with so many strings that he does not want to bother with 



912 

it. He thinks it degrades the kind of community effort he has in mind. 
Thus, do you liave much hope that the Federal Government is going 
to create a fund that will in fact come without strings that will be 
available to the poor to organize themselves in the community to 
change the power structure ? 

Mr. Atencio. No, I am not very optimistic. 

Senator Mondale. I had hoped that the Voting Rights Act miglit 
make a difference and it has in a few areas. There are a million more 
blacks registered in the South. There certainly has been no revolution 
down there. 

Mr. Atencio. When I first read the OP]0 bill, title II, I felt that 
this is reall}' good, now you are getting at it. At that time I was doing 
some thinking on the guaranteed income, I felt this was the beginning 
of a real viable nonpaternalistic program that they could develop 
with self-help where you could use guaranteed income for the shifting 
of power. 

Then we had a change in OEO and all kinds of reactions. I still see 
this as one of the real hopes to the whole approach. 

Senator Mondale. In other words, you would recommend a con- 
tinuing effort at the Federal level to try to expand, and make more 
honest, community action efforts ? 

Mr. Atencio. I would. 

Senator Mondale. That is very interesting. 

We will include your statement in its entirety in the record. We are 
most grateful to vou for your contribution. 

(Mr. Atencio's prepared statement follows :) 

Prepared Statement of Tomas C. Atencio, Consultant, Dixon, N. Mex. 

Thank you, Senator Mondale and Members of the Committee for the oppor- 
tunity to present these thouglits before you. 

My name is Tomas C. Atencio. I am from Dixon, Rio Arriba County, New 
Mexico. I am associated with Interstate Research Associates (I.R.A.). a con- 
sultant firm specializing in programs designed to meet the needs of Mexican 
Americans. Formerly I was Executive Director of the Colorado Council on Mi- 
grant and Seasonal Workers in Boulder, Colorado. 

I am a social worker by training and since 1963 have worked in the fields of 
health and social services as a community organization and development 
specialist. 

My association with farm work dates to my youth. At one time or another, 
members of my family, relatives and friends from my village have toiled in the 
agricultural fields of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and California. Since 
1962 I have worked in programs related to migrants of Northern New Mexico 
as a welfare caseworker and an organizer in the area of health. In 1967 I as- 
sumed the associate directorship of the Colorado Council and 8 months later be- 
came Executive Director of the organization. While in Colorado I directed the 
efforts of the Council towards organization of migrants based in Texas which 
included the planning, development and implementation of the Interstate Itiner- 
ant Tutorial Program now operating in migrant streams throughout the country. 
Since February 1969 I have been engaged in a Manpower Study in South Texas. 
The Study concentrates on employment problems of farmworkers. 

My experience in designing and administering program for migrant farm 
workers and in training organizers has been extensive, including the Valley 
South of Texas, Idaho in the Rocky Mountain Region, Michigan and Ohio in 
the Midwest and several States in-between. 

As an organizer and administrator I operate from one major premise : The 
Mexican American migrant farm worker must acquire the political power to 
influence the allocation of resources. 



913 

It is only through this power that they can prevent the continual relegation 
to a lower level in the socio-economic strata because of the distinctive cultural 
values, and the alienated society from which he stems. Recognizing the fact that 
the Mexican American has the potential to influence the services rendered by 
our society — education, health, welfare, legal, etc. ; it is hoped that he will then 
participate in the determination of his destiny, which heretofore has been 
denied. 

The farm worker, then, must be organized, educated, given the survival 
skills with which to live in a democratic, yet highly competitive and segmented 
society. 

An examination of the Mexican American migrant farm worker from Texas 
reveals the following characteristics ; 

1. Migrant and seasonal agricultural workers lack skills and education, 
resulting in underemployment and/or seasonal employment. Because of 
lack of education, they are unable to express themselves clearly and fall 
victims to faulty communication. 

2. Migrants are mobile, consequently they have no permanent residence. 
Incumbent to their lifestyle is inadequate housing, insufficient education for 
their families, denying them opportunity to participate in political processes. 

3. In Colorado, the migrant and seasonal agricultural workers are pri- 
marily Mexican American or American Indian. Oftentimes discriminatory 
conditions prevail against them. Furthermore, their problem is augmented 
by their inability to speak or understand English. 

4. Some migrant and seasonal farm worker crews consist of kin, related 
either through blood, marriage or a compadre system. This provides certain 
kinds of social relationships which are conducive to cooperation among 
the crew members. These kinds of kinship systems also exist in the barrios 
of Colorado. 

5. Migrants and seasonal agricultural workers live in a subsistence eco- 
nomy, which is an economy of scarcity. It is viable insofar as mutual aid 
prevail among the crew's members and all able family members contribute 
to the work force. 

G. Migrant and seasonal agricultural workers experience a lack of 
self-determination and isolation from the mainstream of American society, 
which manifests itself in a myriad of personal and social conflicts. Gen- 
erally these problems are the result of the rapidly changing society on 
which they depend for a livelihood and to which they must relate socially, 
legally, and economically. While the indigenous society is not damaging in 
itself, the confrontation of the dominant society with the barrio or the 
migrant society results in the impairment of the social functioning of the 
weaker one and even threatens its survival. 
Attached to this paper are a series of vignettes written by two itinerant 
tutors formerly with the Colorado Council. The theoretical cornerstone describ- 
ing the migrant as well as the small frames depicting migrant life portrays a 
pretty dismal picture. The organization that prevails in the migrant stream 
js either that which is forced upon him by the need for work and which pledges 
whole allegiance to the crew leader or boss, or the natural organization that 
forms around family or kin.ship systems. 

Accordingly, the task before the organizer is great and not too promising. 

One must proceed nevertheless by working within the reality of what prevails : 

1. The organizer must recognize that mobility in itself is not detrimental 

if conditions for moving are sound, i.e. wages, housing, etc. and all migrants 

experience similar problems in these areas. 

2. The organizer must recognize that being a Mexican American is not a 
stigma, even though Mexicans have a history of oppression and discrimi- 
nation. 

3. The organizer must recognize that natui-al kinship ties are common 
amongst Mexican American migrants. Having done this, one begins to 
strengthen the positive aspects of the group towards the goal of enhancing 
the self-image and strengthening the identity. This creates a more conducive 
climate to organize and educate. 
It must be stressed that organizing is much more than mobilizing people to 
act: it is bringing a .sense of community among the people that have a com- 
monality of interest and through this expand the range of alternatives for 



36-513 — ^70 — ^pt. 3-B- 



914 

action, and also provide tlie skills for survival within the superordinate system. 
Hence, education-organizing, or, community life education is what must occur. 
( Refer to Community Development : from Community of Interest to Community 
of Action). 

In the programs I've directed, the three factors of mobility, ethnicity and 
kinship systems, have been used as guide-posts. Therefore, while to some they 
may be liabilities to organizing, I viewed them as a reality and attempted to 
turn them into assets. The ensuing discussion contains an analysis of this kind 
of organization. 

MOBILITY 

At this point, farm workers are needed in almost all agricultural states, 
while at the same time there is a labor surplus in the States with a heavy 
concentration of Mexican Americans. To these members of the Labor Force, 
migracy is the only alternative. Thus, we have migrants. In 1967, 158,500 
workers from Texas migrated. Many colonias (settlements) in South Texas 
literally close up from early May to November or December. These colonias 
are not incorporated and therefore do not have any of the benefits of the urban 
or semi-urban towns. Because they consistently migrate, the people do not 
have an organized power base at home. In Eagle Pass, Texas migrants com- 
plained that important elections and referenda took place while they were away 
depriving them of any decisive power. Hence mobility is detrimental to home- 
base organizing for political or economic action. Moreover, while whole towns 
are inactive as a result of the trek to the North, not always do these people 
travel together, which hinders their natural propensity to work together. 

However, while these farm workers are away from home the fact that they 
are of common origin, all Mexican Americans, most of them from Texas ; having 
common problem — bad housing, sanitation, wages, etc. and of most significance 
that they are in unfamiliar surroundings, engenders a tendency to stick together, 
creating a positive climate for organizing the migrant into a distinct community. 

Therefore, the migrant's community is defined, not according to the geographic 
boundaries, but according to the problems they have in common, to the common 
denominator of ethniciity, and to the values that flow from the culture. Or- 
ganizational efforts must be emphasized in the mobile community. 

During my tenure as Director of the Colorado Council on Migrant and Sea- 
sonal Agricultural Workers the organization forged ahead and developed an 
interstate tutorial program that was reluctantly granted by the Migrant Divi- 
sion of O.E.O. This program aimed at two main goals: 1. facilitate the acquisi- 
tion of services — ^health, social, legal, educational — to the migrant while in the 
"migrant stream", i.e. advocate services ; 2. to assist migrants in mobilizing 
themselves to find solutions to the problems confronting them. The latter had 
multiple consequences in that involvement in group problem-solving gives a 
sense of success and control, it creates leaders, and it leads to greater organiza- 
tion — organization that may be union oriented, business oriented, even confiict 
oriented. 

It takes time to yield results that manifest themselves in a massive organi- 
zation, or even results that can be quantified for statistical reporting. But the 
program was working. 

These tutors were all farm workers, trained in community life education. 
All returned to their crews and travelled North. Many were members of the 
Colonias del Valle in South Texas, and had their inputs into their community 
when they returned. 

Yet I found that the Migrant Division Staff in the Ofiice of Special Field 
Programs in O.E.O. was reluctant to continue funding the program. This fear 
of organizing was again evident in the Migrant Division when they failed to 
fund Las Colonias del Valle. "Las Colonias is a poor people's migrant organiza- 
tion ; furthermore, O.E.O. is no longer funding community development organi- 
zation programs because the vogue approach today is economic development 
and minority capitalism." This was the reason. Economic as well as political 
power is based on community organization. Yet they fail to acknowledge this. 

While I was in South Texas early this spring a group of young Mexican 
Americans approached me to assist them in developing a program which would 
place some 60 high school and college age students in the stream to help in 
organization. They needed money so when the.v returned they could proceed 
with their studies. All members of MAYO, the Mexican American Youth Organi- 
zation, were from the migrant community. They had seen the need to organize 



915 

so that the problems they inherited would not go beyond another generation 
(a copy of part of the proposal IRA helped conceptualize is attached). The 
unfortunate, yet predictable outcome was that no funding was secured. 

HOME-BASE ORGANIZING 

In the border regions of South Texas, the problems of organizing farm workers 
are compounded. Alternatives for employment are severly limited. Wages for 
farm workers are usually lower than in the Northern States. The proximity 
to Mexico with its large, cheap labor surplus provided through the commuter 
and resident alien system create even less choices for the Mexican-American 
farm worker. When organizing efforts to ameliorate poor working conditions 
are launched, the employer only goes to the international bridge to select his 
labor. 

What are the major obstacles to organizing? 

1. As stated earlier and documented by the vignettes attached, the most 
salient problem is that migrants are victims of a syndrome that is common 
to all oppressed people. They seem fatalistic about the prospects if they orga- 
nize. These people are highly individualistic and distrustful. They lack a certain 
discipline for organization. They have deep discouragement, a need for immediate 
reward and money. They experience occasional outbrusts of rage often directed 
at others within the same community. This is what the U.S. System has done to 
them. 

2. Other obstacles emanate from the oppressed conditions. Because of the 
need for money, there is a certain servitude based on fear towards the employer, 
be he crew leader or farmer. Some do not dare organize for after all they (the 
employers) have been "nice"; the farmworker owes him loyalty which in fact 
manifests itself as subservience. 

3. The lack of support for organization from federal programs serving mi- 
grants. Also the lack of commitment from private organizations, i.e.. unions, 
foundations, churches to the solution of migrant problems. In some instances 
these organizations work to divide and subvert organizing attempts. 

4. Police harrassment in Texas aimed at individuals involved in organizing 
migrants. When I returned to Texas with I.R.A., I was followed for two weeks 
and finally interviewed by a Department of Public Safety Officer and a local 
Justice of the Peace concerning m.v organizing activities, which is not always 
the good fortune my contemporaries share in dealings with "Law" enforce- 
ment personnel. 

5. Fear of loss of pay. When the migrant leaves Texas or home base, he 
goes only for one purpose — to earn the money that will sustain him for the 
rest of the year. If he organizes, he may lose what he went for. Again, the 
farmers exploit this condition. The technique oftentimes referred to as "black- 
mail". 

6. In home base and even in the stream — the commuter from Mexico creates 
problems as he does not see the need to organize, and working in the U.S. 
is a great opportunity. 

7. Denial of access to camps where migrants reside while in the stream 
often confronts organizers. 

Rccomm endatiotis : 

1. A clear and strong commitment to the organization of migrant farm 
workers for all concerned with the workings of a democracy. This means 
financial support as well as legislation protecting those involved in organizing. 

2. A clearly delineated strategy to adequately implement any programs that 
may emerge if a commitment is made. 

3. Development of industrialized migrant crews that bargain with the farmer 
as a community corporation, give the farmer an alternative to union.sim. 

4. Support for farm workers union, particularly the grape boycott. 

5. A recognition by all concerned with the problems of farm workers that 
the attitudes and concommitant social and psychological problems of a people 
oppressed through history and exploited presently can be reversed only by 
organizing the victim for political and economic power. This carries with the 
corollary of self-determination. They must begin to control their own programs 
and be given maximum direction to assert themselves. Anything short of this 
is another paternalistic effort to help the others in terms of the helper, a con- 
descension that the migrant will react to, not respond. 



916 

6. Legislation tlmt will provide greater controls on the "green carder" com- 
muter when residents are trying to organize. 

7. An annual guaranteed income which provides the basic income maintainance 
that will free him to choose his own course of political action without fear of 
starvation. A concommitant program of community organization available simul- 
taneously to guaranteed annual income. 

8. Enactment and enforcement of constitutional guarantees for organizers 
against police harrassment. The right of organizers to enter migrant camps 
ought to be protected. Organizations such as the OflSce of Equal Opportunity. 
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and the like, should assume the responsibility 
of investigating firings, dismissals, and the blacklisting of migrant as punitive 
measures for organizing activities. 

(From the Colorado Migrant Council Annual Report — March 1967 to Feb- 
ruary 1968 : ) 

Introduction 

From the moment the fann worker packs has family and their most necessary 
belongings into their car or crew truck in early spring, until he returns home in 
late fall or early winter with the major portion of his income for the year, he 
defines, in the most simple and complete terms, the meaning of the word migrant. 

His greatest sin, of course, is that he has not attained succe.ss as defined, 
restricted and ordained by the majority of the American people. 

His greatest virtue is that, in his failure, he has retained the ba.sic human 
values necessary to the preservation of the human race and America. 

The following narrative excerpts, taken out of context and never intended 
for publication by their aiithors, are from several young men who have tried 
this past summer to help a pitifully few such migrants see the course that they 
must take to alter their destiny. 

"Both of Raul's brothers-in-law rode with me. It was a little difficult at first 
because one of them is deaf and cannot speak. I soon learned how to communicate 
with him a little. The first large town that we reached in Kansas, we ate our 
breakfast. The women stayed in the pick-up while all the men grouped together 
to have their breakfast in the restaurant. We quickly gohbled our food down. 
and then hit the road. We did not stop again until about seven hours later. This 
time it was for a dinner-lunch combination." 

"Severo Chavez and his family are from Brownsville, Texas. The Chavez 
family has been working in the Colorado area for the past six years. 

They have worked in the Fowler area for four years and in the Rocky Ford 
area for two years. The mother died a few years ago and there are now five mem- 
bers of the Chavez family. The youngest child is 10 years old. The other children 
are 16, 17. 19, and 2S years of age. 

The travel pattern of the Chavez family varies a great deal. During the past 
ten years they have travelled as far as Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Nebraska and 
Kansas. x\fter they finisih working for the sugar company here, they will return 
to Brownsville. They always try to enroll the youngest child in some nearby 
school. 

Severo Chavez was born in Mexico and he has been living in the United States 
for the past 22 years. He is now 23 years old. Severo is .still not a citizen, but he 
has been preparing himself for the citizenship test. He and his fatlier were 
arrested a few years ago as "Wetbacks", but he was later released. Severo is very 
anxious to obtain his citizenship papers. He wants to attend more school as 
soon as he becomes a citizen. He now has a fifth grade education. 

Severo's brother-in4aw will soon be working in the Rocky Ford area. He 
just recently left Bix)wnsville and is expected at any time. The Chavez's are being 
paid $1.40 an hour by the sugar company. They, like mo.st of the workers, have 
been hurt by the rain in the area." 

"The Maldonado's are from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. They are plan- 
ning to leave the Vineland area in a week. They have been in the area for the 
past two months. This is the first time that they have worked in Colorado. They 
normally remain in Texas to work during the Summer." 

"One of the employment officers had told me earlier about the Migrant Rest 
Center which is located about 120 miles away, near a small town called Liberty- 
ville. I thought it would be a good idea to take a drive out there to see exactly 
what the center was like. I was very impressed with the facilities and with the 
basic idea of the Center, but I was very disappointed with the philosophy of those- 



917 

in charge of the center. There were two hirge bnildings tliat were being iisecl as 
{lorms for the migrants. The only thing wrong was that they woukl split up the 
families. For instance, the men would sleep in one area and the women \\ould 
sleep in another, and still another was used for the children. In some cases the 
men had to sleep on the floor, while the women had beds. This perhaps is a 
plausible idea for the middle-class traveler, but not for the Spanish-American 
migrants. The men are the head of the household and should be treated as such. 
In other words, I think that the people in charge of the Center mean well in 
their actions, but they have not taken the time to really understand the Spanish- 
American migrants." 

"The migrants really do not need the Farm Bureau to tell them about work- 
ing conditions, wages, housing, etc. The migrants have their own communication 
system which far surpasses those of the establishment. Sure, there are occasions 
when they are misled by their own people, but for the most part it works." 

"The migrant camp which is located about hve miles east of Rocky Ford 
carries the name of the farm owner — John Gctod. Fjirmer Good does not neces- 
sarily follow the philosophy that his name might imply. In fact, Good's camp 
is one of the dirtiest and the most unkept camps that I have had the chance to 
see. 

"The camp is one long building constructed of cinder blocks. There are six 
rooms located on each side of the building. The center rooms on one side are 
used to store old worn-out mattresses, bed springs, and trash. John Good said 
that he would clean out the storage room if somebody wanted to live in that 
room. There is one water faucet located about 50 feet from the side of the build- 
ing. Near the far corners of the building the male and female rest areas are 
located." 

"After I left the Swink camp I headed toward Rocky Ford where I found a 
small yellow house in which 13 people were living. The only person that could 
speak English was a small eight year-old girl who was playing in back of the 
house. She helped her mother speak to me. There was no father present in the 
family. He has been gone for the past four years. They are from the Rio Grande 
Valley in Texas. The children of the family are 2, 3. 4. 5, 7, 8, 11. 15, IS, and 19 
years of age. One of the daughters is married and her husband is with her." 

"From a distance, the Center Ranch Camp looks like a typical middle-class 
housing tract, but as one gets closer the appearance rapidly begins to change. 
Each house was at one time, clothed in wliite paint, but time and weather have 
since turned the white to a dirty gray. The steps leading to each front porch 
have already begun to crumble and are now full of holes. The porches themselves 
are beginning to leave their foundations." 

"This camp appeared to be in good condition. Although the shacks were not 
too big, they were big enough for what the people needed. A shower and wash- 
room were housed in the building. The camp water had to be hauled in by the 
farmer because the local water supply was contaminated. Two privies served 
the occupants of the eight small shacks." 

The women were extremely thorough in their cleaning. They first swept the 
floors and then poured a mixture of pinesol, purex bleach, and water on the 
floor and then mopped the house throughout. The men, in the meantime, pulled all 
the weeds that were growing around the house. After that job was done, Rafael 
set fire to all the dead grass." 

"Rafael, Juan's father-in-law, is pretty sharp when it comes to bargaining over 
wages and conditions. He really scouts around before he decides to stay in any 
one place. He wants to know about housing, the size of the tomatoes, the price 
per hamper and if there is a bonus. If all of these things agree with him. he 
will then stay. To these people, the grass always seems greener on the other 
side of the fence. They are not content to stay in one place too long." 

■'I was amazed to see how quickly these people can move in and out of a place. 
It took us about 15 minutes to unload the pick-up and distribute the household 
goods, i>ersonal items and clothing. Here again, one of the first things that was 
done was to scrub each shack and to pull all the weeds. The living plan was for 
the young men and myself to stay in one shack while the two families took the 
two remaining dwellings." 

"Isabel was one of the first persons that I met in the Holly area. She is a 
rather young mother with six children from two to nine years of age. She was 
wearing a tattered green faded dress that looked .iust as depressing as she 
seemed to have felt. The look of depression was quickly replaced by a warm and 



918 

friendly smile when she saw me. Rose has been spending her time at home since 
she is carrying her seventh child and she could not work out in the fields with 
her husband and neighbors. 

Isabel and her husband are living with her sister's family in a 16 x 25 foot 
apartment. Isabel's sister has eight children ranging in age from two to thirteen. 

Isabel and her family are from Brownsville, Texas. They have been coming to 
the same area, living in the same house, working for the same farmer for the 
past eight years. During the so-called "off season" in Colorado, they sometimes 
venture to California to work in the fields, but for the most part they just return 
to Brownsville to "winter." 

For Isiabel's sister, Holly is a new place. She is originally from Lubbock, Texas. 
From what Isabel says, her sister and family will be leaving for Texas soon, but 
for Isabel, Holly will remain her home until the first of December, and then she 
will also return to Texas. 

Isabel's husband is the only one working out in the fields now. He begins work 
at 6:00 a.m. and quits at 5 :00 p.m. If the farmer runs out of work they then try 
to find work elsewhere, but then they must pay the farmer rent for their housing. 

There have been times when Isabel's husband has been unable to work because 
of sickness. He has gone to three different doctors, but none have been able to 
determine the cause of his illness. One doctor in Mexico, said that he must lose 
weight. He then went on a diet and has felt much better since. 

Isabel seems to be in good health, but she looks very tired. The children seem 
to be healthy, but they all need imimediate dental attention. When they have 
some medical problems, they just try to find a doctor. Isabel said that this is very 
difficult and some of the doctors will not even talk to them unless they can 
prove to him that they can pay the bill." 

"I met a young man of about 23 named Avila. I was very surprised when I saw 
this young man. He appeared to be suffering from malnutrition, but it did not 
seem possible at that age. He had a very long face with bulging eyes that I 
thought were going to fall out at any time. I noticed that his eyes were extremely 
thin and that he had a "pot belly." 

"Lucia mentioned that her mother was just recently shot in the leg and her 
fatlier had to take her to the hospital, but before they would admit her he had 
to give them $70.00. The first bill came to about $200.00. Lucia stated that they 
always have to prove to people that we can pay them before they will help us." 

"Mrs. Jimenez had her last baby while she was working in Oregon. She 
jokingly said, 'My first boy cost only 25<^.' She had the baby delivered by interns 
at the County Hospital and so there was no charge." 

"I knocked at epcli door in an attempt to talk to someone, but all my efforts 
were in vain. I then decided it would be best to come back in the evening. Before 
I left, I walked over to the men's rest room. Upon entering the rest room, I first 
noticed the cement floor which was covered in some areas with at least an inch 
of water. This was caused by a clogged floor drain located near the middle of 
the floor. As I ventured nearer to the toilet, I soon found myself surroimded 
by a mass of flies. After overcoming these 'winged monsters' I finally reached 
my long sought destination — the toilet. Here I noticed a large heap of toilet tissue 
which seemed to be alive with flies. I finished quickly what I had to do and then 
made my escape from the flies and the stench of decaying feces. During my 
quick departure, I notice one wash basin next to the shower. Above the basin, 
for all to see, but a few to read, were signs written in English. One sign read, 
'Wash Your Hands Before You Leave.' The other sign depicted how flies cause 
disease." 

"Diseases stemming from these conditions were staph, lice, kidney trouble. 
bed bugs — the usual load a migrant family will at fii'st try to combat, and then. 
through constant loss of battles, give up and accept. My thoughts range from 
how do they accept all of this, to how could I ever accept it, especially after a 
day of dirty backbreaking work, then coming home to your hovel and being 
told you must be trustworthy middle-class, and not steal anything and i^how 
respect for the farmer and his housing. Then you meet the great big bigots 
and hypocrites." 

"I talked to a local Spanish-American leader on Saturday and ho toli^ me tbnt 
he didn't want people like us coming to his area and do the things that would 
clean it up or tell the people that they were living like pigs, to which I agreed. 
After agreeing, he then said that if I didn't care about his people, he didn't care 
abo^^t me and he didn't want me around. I then decided to see an end to this 
game." 



919 

•'Mrs. Xavarro's husband works as a foreman for one of the local farmers. 
Every morning Mr. Navarro picks up the local workers to take them to the farm. 
During the winter months, Mr. Navarro does not wotk because there is no work 
around. Mrs. Navarro says, 'We just rest during the winter.' The Navarro family 
tries to make enough money during the summer time to carry them through the 
winter, but sometimes they do not make enough." 

"Things have been very Though for all the families in the area because of the 
rain. Consuelo mentioned the educational progi-ams in Texas in which the people 
are paid tliirty dollars per week for attending school. She said that she would like 
to get into a program like this. They both said that they would attend some of 
the adult education classes in Colorado if they were close by and if they did not 
last too long." 

"The families from Laredo went to California last year to pick citrus fruit, but 
they did not like the work so they left. They said that they would never go back 
there to work. The Trujillo's came to this area from Greeley. They could not 
(get enough work and so they decided to try their luck in this area. If he finds the 
work here to be unsuitable, he will try somewhere else." 

"Three of the families are being paid ,$1.2.5 per hour, but 2.50 goes to the crew 
boss. They have been pleased with the work so far because they have been able 
to work everyday. The other family, the Trujillo's, have only been at the camp for 
la day, so they have not had a chance to work. Mr. Trujillo said that he does not 
like to work under a crew boss. So, he is not sure whether he will stay in the 
area or not." 

"Actually, the working conditions here were very good. The price per hamper 
was higher than any of the other areas. The people were getting 15(? per hamper 
and a 20 bonus if they stayed for the complete harvest. In some ways, the bonus 
works for the farmer. The people are far more reluctant to leave when they know 
that they will lose their bonus. The crew boss told us that the tomatoes were not 
quite ready, but that they would be soon. We later found out that some of the 
families had just been sitting around for the past two weeks without any work. 
In fact, there were at least two families that had no food for the past three days. 
The crew boss was afraid to ask the farmer for any money to help his r^< ')le." 

"A few days ago, the farmer blamed Atanasio and his crew for filliv the 
bottom of the hampers with green tomatoes. He had them work a day without pay. 
They are afraid to quit because they will lose their bonus. In other words, the 
farmer has the people over a bari-el. The farmer had told them while they were 
in Texas that he would pay them 17<i5 a hamper, but when Atanasio and Ms crew 
arrived in the area they foimd out that the price had been lowered." 

"They al.so told me another interesting thing that I was not aware of before. 
According to the Farm Agent, the migrants are not permitted to leave the State 
to look for work, unless they have been cleared by the local recruiting oflBce. If they 
are caught, they can be put in jail." 

"This area is a belligerant one, not just with the Anglos, but with the migrants 
too. The area may be new in growing beets, but the prejudice and hate that follows 
tihe stream seems to be one step ahead in this area. It looks like there will be 
bigger crops with more farmers in the coming years and it would be a good 
thing to see .some fonn of pre-community acceptance in this area." 

"Some farmers from another area said : 

'There are no need for migrant workers, because we are not planting like we 
used to.' 

'In the past we have had too much diflBculty in getting workers so we had to 
quit planting beets and melons. Now most of the small farmers are planting 
corn.' 

'We do not use the migrants because they want too much money. Why should 
we have to pay for their schools?' " 

"Saturday, for most migrants, is a happy day. It is on this day that they 
receive their monetary rewards for their backl3reaking toil. They work like 
hell for six days to get one day of enjoyment. For some, Saturday means beer, 
shooting craps and maybe a strange piece of tail. For others, Saturday may mean 
a movie or just a quiet walk around town. For the woman, Saturday means doing 
the weekly wash and buying next week's supply of food. For the old people. 
Saturday is special too. For them it is mainly a day of rest — a day just to sit 
around and talk to their neighbors. Of course, most of the conversation is 
centered aro\ind their work. Rumors pass through the camp daily about the 
work conditions elsewhere — better pay, better tomatoes, better pickles, etc." 



920 

"I was lucky to liave to work only foi' half a day on Saturday. At noon, we 
rushed back to our cars and drove to the ci'ew leader's house to get our pay. 
All the wages were doled out in cash and there were no records given to the 
people to indicate how much money they made or if taxes and social security 
had been taken out. When I received my wages from the crew boss, he did 
say how much he had taken out for social security. This was impossible because 
I had never given him my social security number." 

"Families are used to living continually in a close unit (S to 10 in a 2-room 
shack is average) waging a constant battle against filth and unsanitary condi- 
tions. Too often, human adaption to poor conditions have prevailed and the 
migrants have to learn to live in these conditions. People don't yell anymore 
about having to carry their drinking and washing water in buckets from town. 
They don't have the survival tactics to alleviate having no "John" or outhouse. 
There can only be so much these people can do to get heat in their homes. It 
becomes evident that there is a .slight lack of socialization indoctrination, when 
a father does not know where to go if a member of his family needs care." 

"The people in the class grabbed at the idea, and soon the word spread among 
the crew that we had found something to save the families a lot of money. 
Being a young crew, they had a lot of mouths to feed, and being a large crew, 
they used a lot of gas. That was the primary effort, and it sparked a lot of 
enthusiasm. This was my opportunity to get everyone together for once and 
speak of a subject that benefited the entire group. Everything did not occur 
quite that simply though. Getting that initial meeting of all the people was 
getting to be impossible. Attendance at the meetings was a dismal half at 
the best, and there seemed to be no hope that things would change. 

"Then the crisis hit the families. The crisis was that the mother who was 
expecting was having a lot of trouble and it appeared that the costs were going 
to be high. I set the ultimatum to the families — either let the families handle 
this problem by themselves, or organize themselves and present the situation 
and a solution for their medical payments. We called a meeting for that night, 
and at least one member of each family was present. I explained to the group 
more closely how a cooperative works, how it saves them money, and how it 
can '^nd could help our family. 

"Since that time we have talked about such things as a migrant-wide insur- 
ance and health plan, self-help housing, and medical pharmacy co-ops not just with 
this crew, but a co-op that would reach every migrant crew in the United States. 
The crew has not forgotten their home base. In Seco Mines, there is no water, 
even though all the residents have put up $2.5.00 each. When we get back home, 
the co-op is going to use all their efforts to bring about a change in this situation." 

"Many of the migrants are very much aware of the things being wrong yet not 
that many of them have any concept of things to do or where to start. The His- 
pano. Corky, even Chavez are not close names to them, and to a few. these are 
unknown. I met two bright young guys who said '. . . it to Colorado, we are 
going to skip the next night.' They were going to California, about 19 and 20 
years old, they had never heard of Cesar Chavez. We talked for awhile about 
things in California and about things past in Chicago with a different oppressed 
people. They left for California that afternoon." 

"It is ap]^arent to me now why so many migrants stay away from other 
types of work even though they have the required .skills. The work application, in 
some areas, is enough to scare anyone away. Also, whenever they have filled out 
applications before, there has never been any results. Why bother now? I think 
that not only the skill of filling oiit the application needs to be taiight, but 
also the reasons why applications are important." 

"I have also observed that during the good times when the weather was good, 
plenty of work and some money coming in that the idea of education and dropping 
out of the stream seems very di.stant to them. Many of the large families can 
make between $300 and $400 a week if the work is good. It is then very difl!icult 
to talk in terms of education and dropping out of the stream. When the rains' 
com* ;ind tli? worl- is slow, the talk of the future has mo^-e me;^ning. For some, 
the ability to think in terms of the distant future is limited to a few weeks 
or months." 

"There are many practical problems to consider when one talks about the 
migrant dropping out of the stream while away from tliue home base. For instance, 
there is the matter of housing, rent, and money for utilities, to just mention 
a few. These are simple problems, but their solutions are sometimes very difficult 
to solve. Also, the need for community development work is far greater at the 
home base because it is here where they have the low wages and the closed 
opportunity system. This is why they enter the 'stream' in the first place." 



921 

M.A.Y.O.'s Del Campo 

We are the members of the Mexican-American Youth Organization. "We have 
inherited from our parents and grandparents the tradition of ti*aveling to the 
north every summer to "reap" a living. While we all agree this kind of nomadic 
life must cease, today we have no other alternative save the long, hot trek to 
the green fields of the north. Unless we abandon all hope of completing our 
education, we must leave each June to pay our own way through the next school 
year. This time, however, we have decided that we must contribute to that 
community which to this day has given us our daily sustenance — "The Migi-ant 
Stream" (to use the educated term applied to us). The method we have con- 
ceived is outlined below : 

Descriptively, Migrant MAYO is composed of 60 young men ranging in age 
from 17 to 22 who reside in the area between Browu.sville-Kingsville in the south 
and east, and Uvalde-Del Rio in the north and west, excluding Laredo. Ninety 
(90%) percent of them migrate annually, and all have had farm work experience. 
Nearly all are either in high schoal or college and plan to return there in Sep- 
tember. Consequently, the formal migrant pro.iect itself is only for the summer 
months, but the work will continue among the same people after our return. 
The actual project, therefore, will continue year round. 

The idea for this project has been developing since October — the time when 
our parents returned to the Valley, on.ly to confront two unsatisfatcory alter- 
natives : slave in the fields and packing sheds or simply remain idle. Tlie logic 
is clear: if we must spend half our lives in the vacuum of South Texas, then 
we must either double our summer earnings or receive the coverage of unem- 
ployment insurance afforded other workers. To assure this and other desii-able 
things common to those in the American mainstream, but denied to us in the 
migrant stream, we must first educate ourselves. Secondly, we must organize 
ourselves. Farm workers must know their rights, and recognize their respon- 
sibilities. Concurrently, they must have the power to defend those rights and 
the dignity to accept that responsibility. 

Accordingly, we propose to hold classes in the campesino communities during 
the summer month.?. We will begin working with other young people in the camps 
to make them aware of the problems we have committed ourselves to eradicate — 
the injustice of migration forced on us by a system which has slammed the doors 
of opportunity in our faces. We will do this through small group discussions after 
working hours. We will make our contacts as we ourselves work in the fields at 
the outset. Through these youths, we propose to reach the parents and demon- 
strate to them that by organization and discussion of issues, the problems they 
now encounter can be solved. 

The Mayo's Del Campo will migrate with their own families and crews, but 
their target population includes all others traveling in the same group. The 
destinations of Valley migrants are many : the western states, the Rocky Moim- 
tain region, the Midwest and the Great Lakes. They will be our destinations. We 
have established a basic design for communicating with each other while out in 
the field. Although we will be spread over the country at one point, there will 
be times, particnlarly in late summer, when we will converge. By that time, we 
will have established a basic organization for generating some responsible action. 

At the end of the summer period, we will all return to school either in the 
"\'alley or at various colleges. Those who remain in the Valley can continue to 
work there with the same people with whom they talked in the north. Thus, the 
program can be seen as existing %rd in the northern fields and %rds in the 
Valley barrios and colonias. 

Because we are students who intend to complete our education, we require 
financial assistance to maintain our project. We must have one week of initial 
training before going north. Occasionally, we will need field support. In addition, 
we must be funded for telephone communications and travel money, since we will 
pick up the stream after the school year is over and in September return prior 
to the main body of migrants. 

Because we as young Mexican-Ameiicans are determined to control our own 
programs and our own destinies, we need maximum freedom in selecting our 
own spon.sors, co-ordinators and program design. Therefore, we have contacted 
Interstate Research Associates, Inc., a Mexican-American consultant firm to 
serve as a conduit in securing financial assistance. We also have agreed that 
IRA can function as the fiscal agent for this program, since Mayo's Del Campo 
is not yet incorporated. We reserve the right to select the eo-ordinator who will 



922 

support us out of the South Texas region. We also demand to screen all training 
staff suggested by IRA and will, in addition, provide some of our own trainers. 

Senator Mondale. Our final witness is the Reverend Ed Krueger. 

STATEMENT OF KEV. EDGAR A. KRUEaER, RIO GRANDE VALLEY, 

TEX. 

Reverend Krueger. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is a pleasure to 
appear before your committee. 

Senator Mondale. Which would you prefer to do, Reverend Krue- 
ger? Would you prefer to put the statement in as though read, and 
then comment on the key points, or would you prefer to read it? 
Either way. 

Reverend Krueger. I would prefer to more or less go through the 
statement, just referring to key points, and have it included as though 
it were read. 

Senator Mondale. Very well. 

Reverend Krueger. One of the first topics with which the state- 
ment deals is in regard to the matter of the oversupply of labor. Time 
and again we run up against this kind of fiction which has appar- 
ently been deliberately created speaking of a shortage of workers. As 
recently as last week there was a petition on the part of some people 
in south Texas to bring in braceros in that area while at the same 
time we are quite well aware that approximately 37,500 farmworkers 
each year leave Hidalgo County alone looking for work in other 
are;^ •. 

I thinlv it is tragic when one considers that at the height of the 
bracero program 87,000 braceros were being used in the lower Rio 
Grande Valley alone at the same time that tens of thousands of farm- 
worker families left the area. I wish that the Texas Employment Com- 
mission were more helpful on this point. 

I think it is significant how their statistics do not accurately reflect 
the unemployment in the area. An example of this is that after Hur- 
ricane Beulah, farmworker employment dropped dramatically. For 
example, in December of 1966, 8,100 workers were employed in agri- 
culture in Cameron County. In December 1967, following the hur- 
ricane, 2,900 farmworkers were being emi:)loyed. At the same time, 
the figure for unemployment for Cameron County was 5.3, December 
1966, compared to 4.5, December 1967. 

My question is. What happened to the more than 5,000 workers 
who were not being employed in agriculture? At that same time, 
which was really a period of intense organization on the part of Co- 
lonias del Valle, we were constantly running up against families who 
really did not have any food at all in the home, or maybe only a few 
]:)Ounds of beans. It was during that particular period following Hur- 
ricane Beulah that the Colonia organization proceeded at a very rapid 
rate. Naturally the threat of starvation was one factor which helped 
in bringing about organizations in the Colonias. Time and again you 
find the inconsistency of people speaking about the wage situation, 
speaking about the shortage of workers, the very hard work, which 
it is, picking the fruit and yet at the same time very inconsistently 
desiring to pay low wages. 



923 

Wages have come up in recent years but they are still desperately 
low. When one considers the amount per hour that one receives work- 
ing on the piece rate, especially right now at the time of cotton harvest 
in south Texas, generally it is lower than the main wage. ' 

When you add to this the factor of irregularity at work you see the 
depth of the tragedy. I am thankful that the Senate subcommittee in 
its yearly report for 1969 confirms the tragic reality that the average 
farmworker works 85 days per year earning $922 per year. 

Senator Mondale. We heard a figure here today that migrants make 
$7,000 or $8,000 a year. Do you know of any that make that much? 

Reverend Krueger. No, sir. 

Pedro Guzman recently showed me his tally for work for the week, 
the number of hours worked, and the amount he was paid. He sought 
work every day, 6 days during that week. His pay was $12.41, hardly 
enough to cover the driving and certainly not enough to feed his eight 
children. Pedro Guzman is an energic, healthy, very intelligent per- 
son. Very eager to get ahead. Yet $12.41 will not allow for much 
progress. 

The oversupply of labor I think enhances, if you might call it that, 
the callousness or the sense of cruelty on the part of some of the em- 
ployers. Some things which would naturally be brought out in union 
negotiation are completely forgotten or not available to workers who 
are imable to protect themselves. 

Simple matters such as clean drinking water, and toilets, are of 
crucial importance to workers. One again hears of employers losing 
their tempers over trivial matters, sometime causing workers to fall 
ofi' trucks or refusing to pay workers on their own whim. I think this 
is emphasized perhaps due to the oversupply of workers. 

Senator Mondale. In the areas where you work, in the Rio Grande 
Valley, there is an inexhaustible supply of foreign lal )or ? 

Reverend Krueger. This is certainly true. It is particularly tragic 
that a small area near the Reynosa Bridge on the U.S. side of the 
border is the place where more farmworkers are employed daily than 
in any of the employment agencies in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. 
This is naturally more easily accessible to the green card commuters 
across the river. Some U.S. citizens have actually traveled 12 to 15 
miles to go to that area of recruitment. 

Senator Mondale. In terms of your work down there, do you see any 
difference now that the bracero program has ended in the availability 
of foreign labor? 

Reverend Krueger. Shortly after the bracero program ended we were 
very, very hopeful, we thought this was going to make a very signifi- 
cant difference. I still must say that I am thankful that the bracero 
program came to an end. There have been so many loopholes or so 
many people who have come into the United States under Public Law 
414 that the effect of cutting off the bracero program has been by- 
passed. More and more workers come as green card workers into the 
area. 

I wonder how so many of them have ever been certified. I also won- 
dered about the possibility of establishing some kind of program of 
recertification of the so-called resident aliens, who really are not 
residents in the United States at all, but are green card commuters. 



924 

Senator Mondale. We had some sympathy for this approach by 
the preA'ions Secretary of Labor and Secretaiy of Agriculture. 

Reverend Kruecjer. That is right. 

Senator Mondale. I regret to say I don't see any sympathy for 
this problem at all as a result of my trip to a border-crossing point in 
your area ; 45 percent of the persons that morning coming across the 
border produced birth certificates and baptismal certificates as their 
evidence of U.S. citizenship. Some of them were in their twenties, and 
they had a brand new certificate. It was a sort of miracle. Yet when 
we told the Immigration Service and asked them about it, we got 
utterly no relevant response. If you can produce something as easy to 
obtain as a baptismal certificate to cross the border then something is 
wrong. I had a Catholic priest tell me this is a serious problem. A fam- 
ily living on the Mexican side, desperately poor, has no legal right to 
cross the border. They are not green carders, they are not U.S. citizens, 
but they get themselves a baptismal certificate, and on they go. 

Another thing which I didn't realize at first is that the green card 
program pyramids. One person gets a green card, and all his relatives 
then automatically become eligible. When you talk about some of these 
Mexican families, you are talking about a large number of people that 
are all permitted to come across. For every green carder w^ho has ob- 
tained a certified labor clearance, tliere may be a hundred who will 
come across without any labor certification, because the Federal Gov- 
ernment admits they don't check relatives. So labor certifications are a 
nominal gesture, amounting to a nullity in fact. 

I wdll ask Mr. Chertkov to ask any questions for the record. 

Reverend Krlteger. Some mornings when I have been at the Rey- 
nosa Bridge watching the farmworkers cross, I have found that some 
of them hardly lose a ste]D, hardly wait for a half a second as they flash 
a birth certificate or green card or baptismal certificate to the officer 
there. They are very evidently farmworkers who simply cross the 
bridge, go through customs without really losing a step and immedi- 
ately cross the street to the shapeup area where hundreds of farm- 
workers get their job each morning. 

Adding to the sheer chaos of that kind of situation is the fact 
that many employers will recruit perhaps several times the number 
of workers in the morning that tliey actually need, will take them 
to the field, give them 1 or 2 hours of work and then return them 
to the bridge. This I think really accounts for the terribly low wages 
which one finds recorded in the 1960 census report. 

The median family incomes, for example, of $1,395 for the Hidalgo 
County area or $1,595 for Starr County or $1,973 for Willacy County 
in the lower Rio Grande Valley area. 

Mr. Chertkov. What is the effect on community organization of 
the people coming across the border, and the consequent lowering of 
wages and so on? ^^Hiy isn't this serious enough to cause people to 
come together in terms of meaningful and effective union or com- 
munity organization ? 

Reverend Kruioger. T am sure that one reason, one effect, is the lack 
of financial resources on the part of the families. They lack the 
mobility to get around to make their wishes and feelings and needs 
known. 



925 

Anotlier effect is that they are sometimes so desperately poor that 
they are willing to take jobs at almost any price. 

1 recall one instance when we were making a wage survej^ in 
Hidalgo County, I came to a farmworker family late in the evening, 
they had just returned from work. They were sitting out in front 
of their house. They didn't have the energy, realiy, to go in. I had 
asked them what they had received in wages the year before, 
what kind of wages they had been getting. The mother blurted out 
almost as if she had memorized, saying it over and over again, "We 
are earning a dollar an hour, we are earning a dollar an hour." 

Her 1^3-year-old son turned to her, glared at her and said, "Tell 
him the truth, tell him the truth." 

Finally, it came to light that they were actually earning 50 cents 
an hour. Perhaps she had been coached to say a dollar an hour. Per- 
haps it was too much of an insult to her own dignity to admit that 
they had to work for 50 cents an hour. 

The woman then turned apologetically to me and said, "What can 
we do if there isn't any other work, or there isn't any food for the 
children ?" She was very apologetic for having to say this, for actually 
working for less than the minimum wage. I think this is part of the 
reason why it is so hard to organize as far as union organizations are 
concerned, because the people do not have the resources to support 
themselves during time of struggle. There is so much threat of re- 
tahation on the part of the power structures, people who have been 
willing to stick out their necks or have been willing to speak the truth 
about the situation have suffered numerous kinds of reprisals. The 
threat of dismissal from jobs, from emploj^ment, even though it 
might be employment at a very low income, is a very ominous kind 
of threat for those who are bordering on starvation. Too mucli of a 
gamble for many of them. 

]Mr. MiTTELMAN. Revereucl Krueger, have you had an experience 
with actual malnutrition of children and mothers ? 

Eeverend Krueger. Yes, sir, again, and again, and again. Almost 
any time during the year you can go into almost any of the Colonias 
and they number about 200 in the lower Rio Grande Valley alone. 
They are generally tucked away in byroads, off' the highways, not 
easily visible, but they are there. When you go into these communities 
made up of a hundred percent Mexican-Americans, large nmnbers of 
farmworkers, you find extreme poverty and a high rate of malnu- 
trition. 

Mr. MiTTLEMAN. Is there any food stamp ])rogram ? 

Reverend Krueger. Not food stamps. We have commodities in the 
county but there are numerous difficulties which the people have with 
the commodity distribution program. 

If I might take a moment just to mention about tlie commodity 
distribution program, recently some of the ])eo})le from the Colonias 
have worked together to try to approach the county judge trying 
to point out how many of the decisions made by the county welfare 
director have been on his personal whim, his own personal cliscretion, 
or the people are very blandly told we can't help you or, OK, we w^ill 
hel]") you this month but don't come back again, or told they can be 
helped for only 2 months at a time, or in some cases it is just a general 



926 

rule that during April and May, and for several months thereafter, 
people are cut off from surplus commodities with the idea that an 
adequate amount of work is available when in reality it isn't available. 

People sometimes find they demand birth certificates or a letter 
from their doctor or are told that because they are not the heaid of the 
household they cannot get commodities. One woman had to produce 
a letter from her husband in Levelland, Tex., several miles away 
showing he was absent from the household. Again and again they 
are told, you can go to work, when in reality no work was available 
to the family. 

Mr. MriTLEMAN. Does the judge run the commodity distribution 
program ? 

Reverend Krueger. The county judge has charge along with the com- 
missioners court which has surveillance of the county welfare pro- 
gram. They appoint the county director. In Hidalgo County, a county 
made up of 75 percent of Mexicans and much higher percentage of the 
people who come to receive commodities are Mexican- Americans, the 
county welfare director is Anglo. 

Mr. MiTTELMAN. You mentioned demographically speaking the 
population is 75 percent Mexican- American. 

Reverend Krueger. Yes. 

Mr. MiTTELMAN". Wliat is the ratio of registered voters who are 
Mexican- Americans as compared to native-born Americans? 

Reverend Krueger. It would be a lower rate than 75 percent. I am 
not sure of the exact ratio. As far as actually voting in the election, it 
would be even lower than that. The impotence on the part of the 
Mexican-American community, as far as voting is concerned, is in- 
creased, the impotence or powerlessness is increased due to the fact 
that polling places, as was mentioned earlier, are sometimes changed 
to inaccessible spots, or workers, farmworkers are sometimes kept in 
the fields for long days and in large numbers on those days of county 
or national elections, and other techniques are used to assure that the 
people who are presently in power will continue with their power. 

Mr. MiTTELMAN. Is tiie language problem part of the difficulty ? 

Mr. Krueger. This is certainly part of it. You could add to it the 
lack of availability of the polls, the fact that many of the Mexican- 
Americans have to walk to the polls and they are not so easily acces- 
sible or do not have adequate information as to the issues in a cam- 
paign. For example, last November one of the major issues was the 
proposed amendment to our State constitution to raise the welfare 
ceiling from $60 to $75 million. That amendment failed miserably 
in Hidalffo County. I am sure one reason was due to the fact that 
the people frequently affected by that welfare ceiling were not given 
information as to the purpose and importance of that amendment. 

Mr. MiTTELMAN. With those organizing efforts that have been going 
on, your own efforts, you iust haven't been able to succeed in com- 
municating with the people on the basic political issues? Is there 
any political education campaiofii carried on in that area at all ? 

Reverend Krueger. I think that we can see some significant progress 
which has been made in the last couple of years. At the time that I first 
came into the valley to live, about 3 or 4 years ago, the one thing which 
typified the feeling in the Colonias was one of almost complete apathy 
as far as the political situation is concerned. 



927 

The percentage of those who registered is very low and the percent- 
age of voters even lower. But the situation is chang-iug and veiy, very 
rapidly. People are coming alive. They are beginning to see the impor- 
tance of elections. They are begimiing to understand the whole politi- 
cal process. They understand how the election of county conunissioner 
is related to the appointment of the county welfare director. They 
understand what that is, or they feel in themselves, in their emotions, 
the insensitivity, the callousness, the cruelty shown by that county 
director. His harsh manner of treating the people, of herding them 
around the office, of dealing with them. And the fact that on his own 
whim he can decide cases. People are coming alive. But it is a process 
w*hich is the long, hard uphill kind of road. One needs to remember 
the long history of the poll tax in Texas, the fact that some people even 
today are unaware that they have the right to vote and secondly, that 
they do not have to pay to vote. 

It is a long process, it takes a lot of time in overcoming this kind of 
historical system of oppression and helping them to miderstand what 
their rights at the polls really are. 

Some people are intimidated from going to the polls. There is one 
case where Mrs. Diaz, who obtained 50 signatures to become a poll 
watcher, was actually intimidated, and had it not been that she had 
built up a sense of her personal digiiity and her loiowledge of rights 
through the community organization process she probably would have 
simply left that place at the polls. 

Mr. Chertkov. What is the actual timing of any election ? 

Reverend Krltsger. ^lany of the most important elections occur on 
the hrst Saturday in June, which is the time when so many farmwork- 
ers are out of the area. When you consider 37,500 farmworkers leaving 
Hidalgo County, more than any other county in the United States, this 
is a significant margin which would have a significant impact on the 
election or decrease the effect of farmworkers on that particular elec- 
tion which is the time for the runoff election after the primary. 

]Mr. MiTTELMAN. Is there intimidation or poll switching ? 

Reverend Krueger. A number of complaints have been filed through 
the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. W^e have made numerous phone 
calls to people in W^ashington. Nothing has ever been done about it. We 
don't see any action. We don't see that Washington is really helping 
out in our situation. 

Mr. IViiTTELMAN. Ha vc you filed this in writing in any instances ? 

Reverend Krueger, In some cases we have through letters and the 
like. 

Mr. MiTTEL]vrA]sr. Could you furnish us copies of those letters ? 

Reverend Krueger. Just recently I filed a complaint in regard to 
strawberry picking in Michigan. I made a long-distance telephone call 
to the Departmentof Labor, Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Of- 
fice in Lansing, Mich. They refused to accept charges on the call, so I 
paid for the call. The import of that call was to let them know that for 
approximately 1 week while I was picking strawberries in Michia'an, 
near Keeler, Mich,, the average rate of pay coming out on a piece rate 
basis was 60 cents an hour, much below the minimum rate. I am sure 
that this particular grower would have come under the wage and hour 
law because sometimes we had as many as 50 or possibly even a hundred 
workers in the field at one time picking strawberries." Some days there 



928 

was not nearly enough work, some days we were able to work only 
2 or 3 hours and that was all. 

Could I add this? In reg-ard to the whole powerlessness as far as 
elections are concerned, in Texas we do liave annual voter registration 
which is an added handicap, especially for the less articulate and less 
mobile low-income families. 

Mr. Chertkov. Does that mean each year the voter has to be re- 
registered ? 

Reverend Krueger. Right. The time specified for registering is be- 
tween October 1 and January 81 for A^oting in the following year. 

Mr. MiTTELMAN. Just to cliauge the subject for one last question. I 
was with the subcommittee when we came down to south Texas several 
years ago. At that time you related some interesting experiences you 
had had with the Texas Rangers. I was wondering if tlie situation had 
changed since then. 

Reverend Krueger. In some respects the situation has changed. I 
feel that as far as the Texas Rangers themselves are concerned, we have 
not suffered any undue sense of oppression since the visit of the Senate 
committee. I think your visit had a very favorable impact in that re- 
spect. However, on the department of public safety as a whole we had 
felt some intimidation. We had some evidence that phones are being 
tapped, we had evidence of people being followed again and again. We 
had some evidence of people who are related to farmworkers who were 
desirous of bringing about a change have been stopped by the depart- 
ment of public safety and a few on occasion, a few of the local police. 
We are thankful for your visit to the valley. We hope you Mill come 
again. 

Mr. MiTTELMAN. I am glad we accomplished some good. It was a 
most interesting visit. 

Reverend Krueger. In my testimony there is some information in 
regard to correlating periods of success by the United Farm Workers 
Organizing Committee with some kind of retaliation on the part of the 
Texas Rangers. I gave four or five examples. 

Mr. Chertkov. You may continue with your statement. 

Reverend Krueger. One might also mention in regard to election that 
in some counties ballots are not assumed to be secret. A corner of the 
ballot which is detached from the rest of the ballot bears the same 
number which is on the ballot and the name of the person voting. In 
Starr County, for example, many people assume that the politicians 
clieck the ballots with the ballot corners to see how the people voted. 
This does not make for effective change. It is one method which is 
used for keeping the status quo. I think one might include in the 
record a few of the statements made by Mayor Leo J. Leo of La Joya. 
He states : 

The (establishment) were forcing ns to go to a place to vote where we didn't 
want to go in order to humiliate and intimidate us. 

They were forced to go to a ranch where the growers were ^-ery evi- 
dently antiworker and anti-Mexican American. He continues : 

.Tust at the time when we are making progress, they (the establishment) do 
something to force us to do something which we don't want to do just to humili- 
ate us. Why couldn't we, the people of this precinct, vote where we wanted 
to vote? "Why did someone from outside the precinct have to force us to vote 
where we didn't want to? Isn't it that they just want to show us that they 
are in control, that they can push us around, that they are the "papacitos"? 



929 

We have had some considerable difficulty in obtaining loans from 
the Farmers Home Administration, especially in Cameron County. 
The Cameron County staff for the Farmers Home Administration, as 
far as the administrative staff is concerned, I believe still lacks Mexi- 
can-Americans. 

So far as I know, they have not given any loans to low-income fam- 
ilies. Now there might be some loans which are made which have es- 
caped my observation. In the cases where we have helped people of 
low-income families make application, in some cases the applications 
have not even been processed. Some of those applications have been 
with the agency for almost a year now and the families in some 
cases have not even received so much as a letter reply. 

In another case, the case of Simon Rivera, a 68-year-old farm- 
worker, who had the house for him and his wife ruined by a hailstorm 
in that county, made application for a loan. We followed up on it, 
tried to get the loan, even supplied adequate information to the Farm- 
ers Home Administration showing that this man had been very good 
about repaying debts in many stores around in the Brownsville area. 
This man's loan was not accepted. They said he was not earning a large 
enough income to validate this loan. 

I believe the repayment on the loan would have been something less 
than $10 per month. 

Mr. Chertkov. We heard testimony earlier this morning about the 
difficulty in South Carolina in getting clear titles to land, so that 
applications could be handled by the Farmers Home Administration. 
Are there similar problems in Texas ? 

Reverend Krtjeger. Yes, there are many cases where the titles are 
not clear for one reason or another. Perhaps they are in the name of a 
deceased relative or some other handicaps that the family have in 
getting clear title to their property. This does slow up the process. 
This is another reason why we do need more legal counsel, aid in help- 
ing people clear up their titles. 

Mr. Chertkov. Is there no legal service program in south Texas? 

Reverend Krueger. There is one legal aid program in Cameron 
County but none in Hidalgo County. 

Mr. Chertkov. Have applications been made for a legal service 
program ? 

Reverend Krueger. Yes, the south Texas rural legal program was 
written up. I believe the application was sent to OEO more than a 
year ago. So far we have not received the program. 

Mr. Chertkov. Do you know why ? 

Reverend Krueger. I am not sure of the intricacies of the OEO office 
here but I would rather imagine that there are political pressures from 
Texas militating against such an OEO program of legal services. 

I am sure that the former Governor of the State — well, from 
what I have heard anyway — was not in favor of this legal services 
program for south Texas. I am sure that many in the local bar associa- 
tions would not desire this legal services program as well. 

Mr. Chertkov. Are members of the local bar association providing 
adequate legal services to the people in the valley. 

Reverend Krueger. No, they are not in spite of the fact that they did 
issue a statement that anyone who wanted legal services could get them 
free of charge if they were not able to pay for them. This simply is not 
true. This is not the case. 

36-513 O— 70^pt. 3-B 5 



930 

Mr. Chertkov. Do you have any personal experiences where an 
indigent person sought legal advice, needed legal advice, and could 
not obtain it? 

Reverend Krueger. I am sure we could furnish some cases like that. 
I am sure my wife has some cases on record where they have sought 
out legal aid and been refused. 

Mr. Chertkov. Otherwise, for traditional legal services, you de- 
pended upon voluntary help of other attorneys? 

Reverend Krueger. There are a few attorneys who will volunteer 
some time. We are very thankful for Bill Ellis' help sometimes with 
problems that relate to Colonias del Valle or individuals. 

But it is still a very, very serious problem, trying to get legal 
problems worked out. Sometimes they relate to welfare, family situ- 
ations, divorce cases, and other things where chaos now exists and with 
the help of an attorney we could bring more of a sense of order and 
make more certain it is available to more individuals. 

I might add just a very brief comment in regard to the health 
situation in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Hidalgo County is some- 
times the only place in the Nation where cases of polio are present. 
In 1967, a 13-county area in South Texas which includes Willacy, 
Cameron, and the "river" counties up to Val Verde County or del Rio, 
had a new TB case rate 3i/^ times that of the United States as a whole. 
Often poor people in that area turned away from hospitals due to 
the fact that they don't have $50 or more which is required as deposit 
for entering the hospital. 

Cases of malnutrition can be found quite regularly. This is a com- 
plicated factor which does cause death, if complicated by other disease. 
Tuberculosis, upper respiratory diseases, skin infections, and other 
diseases caused by overcrowding, lack of sanitation, have a very high 
rate of incidence in the south Texas area. 

Mr. Chertkov. Is there a migrant health program in South Texas ? 

Reverend Krueger. Yes; we appreciate the program but unfortu- 
nately we find their funds are very inadequate in really coping with 
the very serious problem. We are hoping that we can work out some- 
thing in conjunction with the public health service in that area to 
where the migrant people or the farmworkers themselves might par- 
ticiate in the decisionmaking on some of these programs in order to 
make the programs more accessible to the people who most desper- 
ately need the programs. 

I believe that Colonias del Valle and other local organizations can 
help in making the programs more effective. Related to health is the 
whole matter of pesticides and perhaps it is another illustration of the 
callousness with which some workers deal with their employees. In one 
case farmworkers were sent into a field the morning after a field had 
been sprayed with parathion. It was a very wet morning. The parathion 
of course penetrated through the skin and it is deadly poisonous to 
human beings. That same day 22 persons were admitted to the hospital 
in Harlingen, or treated at the hospital. I believe 13i of the 22 persons 
were kept overnight and some of them for several days. 

Later on someone came to these same persons who had been poisoned 
by parathion saying if they signed a certain paper they would not have 
to pay for their hospital JdIII, and they would be given a week's pay. 



931 

\ 

They signed the paper and found that they had really been signing t 
release with the insurance company. 

Mr. Chertkov. Do you hear of other pesticide complaints from farm- 
workers who have come in contact with pesticides ? 

Reverend Krueger. It is very difficult to gather information in regard 
to pesticides because the people are usually unaware of what it is that is 
causing their sickness. They have nausea or feel ill while working in 
the field or sometimes after they come back from the fields they have 
headaches or show symptoms which indicate that they have actually 
been poisoned. The people sometimes are unaware of the connection, 
are unaware of what it is that is causing their malaise. But we have 
numerous cases where people have skin irritations or skin infection or 
a general feeling of malaise or nausea which evidently are related to 
the pesticides that are being used in the fields. 

Mr. Chertkov. In view of your experiences in working with farm- 
workers in the valley is it your opinion that farmers are taking appro- 
priate safety precautions in the use of various agricultural chemicals ? 

Reverend Krueger. Certainly not. When one considers that a farmer 
may have a field sprayed in the evening and that the workers might 
be in that same field when it is wet the following morning, certainly it 
is an adequate illustration that they are not really trying to protect 
the safety of the employees. 

Mr. Chertkov. Have you seen workers pick and eat fruit and vege- 
tables that they are harvesting or cultivating in the field ? 

Reverend Krueger. Yes, quite often. As a matter of fact, I ate a few 
strawberries myself. 

Mr. Chertkov. It is a fairly common practice ? 

Reverend Krueger. Yes, Right. 

I might add that one thing which I don't believe was included in my 
statement is the fact that the cash bonds which were set for many of 
the people who were arrested for very trivial kinds of things or very 
trivial charges or fictitious charges, the cash bonds are very, very 
large. In some cases going up to $2,000. As far as the arrest of my 
wife and myself, the cash bond was $500 for tliis occasion when we 
were observing a demonstration or had gone to a place to observe 
a demonstration by the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. 
Actually the demonstration was not carried off while we were there. 
Twelve persons had been arrested prior to our arrival on the scene. 
But because we were there when the melon train happened to go 
through that evening we were arrested by the Texas Rangers and bond 
was set at $500 for each person arrested on that occasion. 

I might say perhaps in summarizing that the situation has changed 
in south Texas. It is becoming more and more explosive all the time. 
The youth in the area will not wait another generation. People, farm- 
workers and others in the area realize that they are low man on the 
totem pole. They realize how time and again both private and Govern- 
ment agencies have beaten back efforts for community organization 
and self-determination. They ask, when will such injustices end. In 
Hidalgo County, according to the last census, more than 50 percent 
of the people in that county fall below the poverty line. They realize 
that others have a much better situation. Where farmworkers and 
other low income families are struggling for justice and for self- 



932 

identity, tensions are high, time is short. A crisis is looming. In a 
sense this may be our last chance for working out reasonable non- 
violent solutions to some of these problems. 

Jesus Eamirez, 17 years old, is a very brave young man, who is vocal- 
izing or articulating some of the demands and the feelings of thou- 
sands of people in Hidalgo County, who were presenting to the county 
welfare director their demands in a situation that needed a remedy. I 
was very ill, very ill at ease. At the time of the arrest of that young 
man tensions were so high that any additional spark could have really 
touched off some serious violence. 

One never knows what might precipitate violence. We advocate non- 
violent action but if the situation is allowed to continue day after day, 
year after year, without reasonable solutions, violence will come. We 
know that people will not continue to take this kind of situation, this 
kind of injustice for generation after generation. A change must come. 

Mr. Chertkov. What indications do you have of growing restless- 
ness among the youth in the Rio Grande Valley ? 

Reverend Krueger. You have some indications of this in the devel- 
opment of youth organizations, in high schools and universities. Some 
of these are the Mayo or Mexican- American Youth Organization. In 
the whole south Texas area there are numerous organizations. I thmk 
this is one primary indication that there is a restlessness on the part of 
the young people, especially for change. We find individuals among 
the youth who are completely committed to bring about this change 
one way or another. If it cannot be brought about without violence, I 
am sure that many of them will resort to violence. You find a new 
tendency toward self -identity on the part of the Mexican- American 
illustrated by numerous papers which are part of the Chicago Press 
Association, rising in the whole south Texas area. Newspapers which 
cry out about the injustice and which call people to militant action 
to bring about change. 

I am sure that the distribution of these papers will quicken the tempo 
of change within the low-income Mexican-American groups in the 
south Texas area. 

Mr. Chertkov. The recent Kerner Commission report talked about 
the growing polarization particularly between blacks and whites in 
our major urban centers. There have been some reports of similar 
polarization between whites and Mexican-Americans in other parts of 
the country. Is there evidence in the valley of this ? 

Reverend Krueger. Yes. Anglo-Americans who are involved in the 
movement or sympathetic to the movement find it increasingly difficult 
to maintain a relationship, a viable, active relationship with the 
Mexican-American movement in south Texas. So far, since I am obvi- 
ously an Anglo, although my wife is Mexican and our four children 
are Mexican-Americans, it is very difficult for me at times to relate to 
certain individuals, especially some of the more militant ones, in the 
south Texa^s area. I think this is one additional indication that the time 
is short. We have an enormous task that needs to be done. We might as 
well face up to the problem and actively try to solve this problem while 
time really remains for its solution. Hopefully the solution will be 
brought about nonviolently. But the indications are that the time is 
really very, very short. 



933 

Mr. Chertkov. The purpose of this set of hearings is to study com- 
munity organization. Several weeks ago your wife, Mrs. Krueger, 
testified about her experiences in traveling in the stream. I understand 
she is now in Michigan engaged in community organization work. 

Reverend Krtjeger. That is right. 

Mr. Chertkov. Wliat impact do you think that organization in the 
stream will have on efforts at community organization in the Rio 
Grande Valley? 

Reverend Krueger. I am hopeful that this kind of instream activity 
in organization will perhaps reach some of the people who might not 
otherwise be reached m very inaccessible spots in the lower Rio Grande 
Valley. I think that to make it truly effective this kind of instream 
organization will have to be tied to organization in the home base. 
It seems to me it would be very logical for some of the instream work 
to be tied to organizations like Colonias del Valle or the local orga- 
nizations in the Rio Grande Valley. 

The community of seasonal farmworkers who are resident in the 
valley throughout the entire year are intermixed with the migrant 
farm worker who follow^s the migrant trail. It seems very logical that 
their problems must have some common solution. The more we can 
integrate programs both instream and at home base I believe the more 
effectively we will be able to deal with some of the serious problems. 

Mr. Chertkov. Do you see effective organization of Las Colonias 
del Valle as a means for ending the migrant stream ? 

Reverend Krueger. I would imagine that it would have some effect 
in helping to stabilize the population, helping them to find permanent 
jobs or to regularize the employment in agriculture in the lower Rio 
Grande Valley, stabilize it during the entire year. The Colonias have 
also been effective in finding some permanent employment for some 
of their residents. This, I think, will help to stabilize some of the farm- 
worker families and for those who perhaps will for several years to 
come follow the migrant stream; it will perhaps make them more 
aware of their rights and better their living conditions while they are 
in the stream. I think we can look forward to improved living con- 
ditions as they work at economic development in the lower Rio Grande 
Valley itself. 

Mr. Chertkov. Do you think that the present efforts of the OEO 
program in the Rio Grande Valley are effectively meeting the needs 
of the whole community there ? 

Reverend Krueger. We have recently had a change in the director- 
ship of the OEO program in Hidalgo County. The former director 
seemed to be very disinterested in cooperating with Colonias del Valle 
in programs which had been mutually beneficial. The acting director of 
the local community action agency in Hidalgo County by contrast has 
come to Colonias del Valle office and has initiated some talk and some 
planning and even a proposal in conjunction with Colonias del Valle. 

One example of this is an attempt which we are now making to 
locate a cannery in the lower Rio Grande Valley under the Colonias 
del Valle. Someone has donated a camierj' and with the help of the 
local community action agency we hope to provide employment and 
food items, foodstuffs for many of the people in the Colonias del 
Valle. However, in the past this kind of cooperation has been very 



934 

lacking. As a matter of fact, we have often encountered local oppo- 
sition to organization of Colonias del Vallee. As a matter of fact, me 
former director of the community action agency in Hidalgo county 
attacked the VISTA organization project in that county. Tliere are 
other instances which I think I could give later on illustrating the 
similar attitude of attacking Colonias del Valle, other indigenous 
groups of the poor in that area. 

I would like to enter into the record as if I had read it another 
part of the statement which was overlooked, if I might do so. 

Senator Mondale. So ordered. 

Do you have any final remarks? 

Reverend Krueger. I would like to invite the members of this com- 
mittee and the counsel to come into the south Texas area to visit in 
the Colonias to see the poverty, to feel perhaps the rising tension, 
the rising impetus toward change which is occurring in that area. 
There are so many things which one caimot explain adequately in 
words, but which you might begin to feel if you were actually on 
the scene. 

I feel that this is a time of opportunity, if we took adequate mas- 
sive measures for this very depressed area we could bring about some 
very wonderful results in terms of human beings, helping people in 
a sense to feel a new life or to come alive, to begin to participate in 
the larger community life, in the decisionmaking process. 

There are wonderful opportunities for development of human re- 
sources which are presently going to waste. We invite you to come 
into the area. We invite you to participate in this revolution which 
is taking place. I feel that your massive adequate participation in 
this revolution might help to keep it nonviolent. Neglect of the area 
only means that things will go from bad to worse. 

I thank you for this opportunity to appear before the committee. 

(The prepared statement of Reverend Krueger follows:) 

Prepared Statement of Rev. Edgar A. Krueger, Unitb2) Church of Christ 

Mr. Chairman, my name is Edgar A, Krueger. I am a minister with the United 
Church of Christ working primarily with the powerless farmworkers and other 
low income families in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. My major em- 
phasis has been on Community Organization. I commend the Subcommittee and 
the very fine statement of its work set forth in Senator Mondale's opening 
remarks. 

powerlessness and the economic situation 

A radical surplus of labor exists on the Texas side of the border in the Lower 
Rio Grande Valley. This surplus is disastrously increased by bringing in laborers 
from across the border. Employers deliberately try to continue this situation of 
surplus labor. Government agencies have been generally ineffective in bringing 
some order into this chaotic situation. During the height of the braceros pro- 
gram, 57,000 braceros were employed at one time in the Lower Rio Grande Val- 
ley. At the same time tens of thousands of agricultural migrant workers had to 
leave the Lower Rio Grande Valley to look for work. It is presently estimated 
that 37,500 persons in agricultural migrant families leave Hidalgo County each 
year to look for work elsewhere. This is more than for any other County in the 
U.S. Although the braceros program had ended, thousands of green card workers 
from Mexico cross the border daily to work in the United States, depressing the 
wage situation even further, and by such unfair competition, driving U.S. resi- 
dents who have to support their families on a U.S. economy virtually to despair. 
It is estimated that half of Laredo's labor force is from Mexico. 

I would like to include in the record documentation of the economic situation 
in tlhe Valley and in Texas that was recently prepared by the Civil Rights Com- 
mission for hearing in December 1968. ( See exhibit A. ) 



935 

As recently as last week, (July 9, 1969) a hearing was held in Edinburg, 
Texas, in regard to what Mr. Tanner of Edinburg Citrus Association, which en- 
compasses 15,0(X) to 16,000 acres of citrus groves, called a '"labor shortage". Few, 
if any, areas of the United States, have such a surplus of laborers as the Lower 
Rio Grande Valley. 

Mr. Tanner stated that there was a labor shortage during the entire season. 
This was in contradiction to testimony from the Texas Employment Commis- 
sion. The story from the farmworkers testifies constantly to the lack of jobs. 
Daily in the colonias, the rural imincorporated villages where many of the 
farmworkers of the Lower Rio Grande Valley live, we see a situation of vast 
unemployment and underemployment. The weekly wages, even during the time 
of vegetable harvest, are desparingly low. Recently, Pedro Guzman, a farm- 
worker, showed me the slip of paper tallying hours and pay for the week. For a 
six-day week he averaged about two hours work per day. The check he received 
for that week was $12.41, hardly enough to cover driving expenses, certainly not 
enough to feed his eight children. 

Mr. Tanner stated that "because of welfare, the workers are losing their am- 
bition". Apparently he is unaware that welfare checks are low and are given 
only for Old Age Assistance, Aid to the Blind, Aid to the Permanently and Totally 
Disabled, and Aid to Families with Dependent Children. There is no General 
Assistance category in Texas. 

Mr. Tanner stated, "Fruit picking is hard work. I could hardly carry the bag 
of fruit which someone gave me the other day." He realizes that it is a "man's 
operation" requiring very hard work from very strong men. It is not a family-type 
job. In spite of this, one still sees many families in the field. And yet, Mr. Tanner 
apparently fails to see the incongruency of paying ridiculously low wages for 
this hard labor. 

Farm wages in Texas in 1967 averaged 980 per hour while unskilled industrial 
workers in the State averaged $2.48 per hour. If you have ever picked cotton, 
you will know that farmwork often required considerable skill to do it well. 
Because of low wages, women and children must work to supplement the father's 
income and workers on the piece-rate may hurry and run all day long. Even when 
figures are quoted which show a high hourly wage rate, one must remember 
that these cannot be translated into yearly income figures due to irregularity 
of employment and chronic unemployment, and unpredictable work seasons. In 
this respect, the tragic realization of the Senate Subcommittee's yearly report 
for 1969 confirms the tragic reality that the average farmworker works 85 days 
per year, earning $922 per year. 

It appears that agricultural employers in particular operate on the basis of a 
surplus of laborers, deliberately taking steps to continue or to increase the over- 
supply of laborers. This depresses wages and working conditions even more. 

The over-supply of laborers tends to make employers less sensitive to the work- 
ers. Callousness and carelessness toward human beings becomes a mind-set or an 
attitude. Examples of this recklessness or carelessness about human life can be 
seen in many ways. A good supply of clean drinking water is usually lacking. 
Toilets in the fields are virtually non-existent in all South Texas. It is not un- 
common to see a woman walking a quarter of a mile over plowed ground to a 
wooded area. Growers sometimes losing their temfters, have backed trucks into 
groups of workers or have accelerated their trucks rapidly causing some workers 
to fall from the trucks. Some, when angered over something trivial, have refused 
to pay their workers. Constantly hanging over the heads of the workers like the 
sword of Damocles is the threat of dismissal. One employer ^vith a flat bed pick-up 
would turn corners sharply, dropping workers from the truck. This was especially 
true on Friday so that he wouldn't have to pay them until Monday. Some illegal 
entries or "wet-back" workers were paid with flour instead of money. 

Sheer chaos becomes ordinary as employers daily pick up many more workers 
than they actually need at the bridge near Reynosa. Mexico, working them for 
about two hours and then returning them to the bridge. Some growers ordering 
workers from the Texas Employment Commission in the morning, will complain 
if an ample supply of workers is not in the field by early afternoon. 

In some cases the trucker is, perhaps, contracting with the grower for $1.30 an 
hour, but the workers are receiving only 95c per hour. 

Each morning during the week at the border crossing in the area, hundreds 
of workers are available for work who find no work for the day or only one or 
two hours of work. 



906 

In some situations, truckers and farmers and agents smuggle workers to areas 
far north of the border and some are left to die in the backs of trucks. ( See the 
articles attached hereto as Exhibit B.) 

Green card workers often have the advantage for employment by being closer 
to the "shape-up" areas near the international bridges. Some farmworkers who 
are U.S. citizens travel fifteen miles to the bridge and "pretend" to be green card 
commuters from Mexico in order to compete for the jobs available. People have 
also been referred by the Texas Employment Commission ofiice in McAllen to the 
Reynosa bridge area to get work. Such lack of imagination on the part of the 
Texas Employment Commission fails to create a new "shape-up" area and per- 
petuates a system which encourages a labor surplus and depressed working 
conditions. 

Not only has the Texas EJmployment Commission failed to solve the tragic con- 
dition of unemployment and underemployment, but it has also failed to get out 
accurate figures on the deplorable situation. People generally are nnaware of the 
depth of the catastrophe. A press release made by Reynaldo De La Cruz of 
Weslaco, Texas, on February 3, 1969, illustrates how many of the workers feel 
about the Texas Employment Commission, as it is accused of "a dereliction of 
duty in fulfilling its responsibility to actively search for employment for our 
people." 

"At the expense of repeating ourselves, we will reiterate our objectives in 
demonstrating before this oflSice : 

1. We contend that T.E.C. has falsely reported the degree of unemployment in 
the state of Texas. T.E.C. has not gone out among the people to ascertain how 
many people are unemployed. The demeaning treatment which T.E.C. gives the 
applicants discourages the use of this agency by our poor people. 

2. We further contend that T.E.C. has made no effort to cooperate with other 
agencies in reducing or eliminating the influx of Green Carders who compete 
with local labor and deflate the wage structure in this area. 

3. We further charge that T.E.C. and related agencies have failed to educate 
the public of the projections into the near future when automation will replace 
the farm laborer. T.E.C. has never tried to educate or train migrant labor to 
prepare itself for the inevitable ; the day when technological progress will dry 
up the market for his labor, leaving him jobless and destitute. 

4. We further siubmit that T.E.C. is employer-oriented and guilty of gross 
neglect in servicing needs of the employee, who also pays taxes for the operation 
of T.E.C. offices." 

Minimum wage laws are not effectively enforced. Piece-rate scales generally 
fall far below the minimum wage level. The wage, hour, and public (Contracts 
office of the U.S. Department of Labor apparently lacks sufficient personnel to 
enforce the minimum wage laws in the area. Piece-rate scales often fall far 
below the minimum wage level. Workers picking cotton now in South Texas 
seldom earn the minimum wage. When workers complain, employers threaten 
greater use of machines or say "If you don't like it, you can quit." 

When paid on a piece-rate basis the tally of hours worked attached to pay- 
checks is often much less than the hours actually worked. Such lowering of the 
hours makes the tally "appear as if" the minimum wage is being paid. A high 
percentage of workers are still not paid by check. 

The disastrous effect of chronic underemployment, irregularity of work, and 
chaotic employment is increased by the lack of coverage by unemployment 
compensation. 

The median family income for family with Spanish surnames was $2,027 for 
Hidalgo County ; $2,206 for Cameron County ; $1,973 for Willacy County ; $1,595 
for Starr County and $1,395 for median family income in Zapata County, ac- 
cording to the 1960 census report figures. These figures compare to a median 
family income of $5,660 for total United States population for the same period. 
The three standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas with the lowest per capita 
income are in the South Texas area. The family size for this South Texas area 
is larger than for the total U.S. and yet the median family income is sometimes 
% or 1^ of the median for the total U.S.A. 

Gentlemen, when will we see an end to this system which in some respects 
resembles slavery but which, to many workers, even lacks the security which 
the slave enjoyed? 



937 

HISTORY OB' THE COLONIAS 

Organizing in Soutli Texas must take into account the history of the area, 
the history of the colonias, and the economics of the area. The "eolonias" are 
the rural, unincorporated villages which are to be found throughout south 
Texas and esx)ecially in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. In most of them the 
population is 100% Spanish surname. Approximately 80% of the families in the 
colonias are farmworker families. More than 90% of the families fall below the 
"poverty line." I would like to include in the Record Exhibit C, which details 
the prevailing economic situation in the Rio Grande Valley. 

Some of the colonias are older than most of the cities in the Lower Rio Grande 
Valley. One, Grangeno, was founded in 1767. Both color and tragedy typify 
the history of the older colonias. Mr. Hernandez of El Grangeno remembers how 
in 1906 Mexican money was more common than American money in the area. 
Most of the people living on the land and working the land and considered to be 
owners of the land were Mexican-Americans. 

Mr. Hernandez relates how some of the Anglo owners increased their land- 
holdings. He remembers how Mexican-Americans were sometimes "herded" to- 
gether, how land owners would extend their fences to include villages, how the 
Texas Rangers would carry off men who had done nothing wrong, how these men 
were not heard from again and how the bewildered and fearful people living 
on the land would flee from the area. When asked why the people from tJhe area 
did not go to the County Courthouse to find relief and protection from the 
Sheriff's Department and the Texas Rangers, he replied that they were tlie same 
group who were giving them trouble or were related to the people threatening 
and terrorizing the lives of the people in the colonias. See Exhibit D, attached 
hereto. 

Some of the colonias are of recent origin. Developers subdivide the land and 
sell empty lots or lots with houses. The prices for lots and houses are extraordi- 
narily high when one considers their very small size. 

Over 200 colonias are presently to be found in the four-county area of the Lower 
Rio Grande Valley. I shall submit for the record a list of about 200 colonias in 
the area. 

Problems which face the majority of the colonias include lack of water, poor 
roads, high rate of unemployment and underemployment, high rate of illiteracy, 
lack of out-reach services from agencies (people are served better in the cities in 
the area), non-existent sewage disposal, low wages, poor and crowded housing, 
health problems, lack of community organization and community leadership, 
and lack of participation in the decision-making processes of the area. 

The Lower Rio Grande Development Corporation gives the farmworker in the 
colonias very little reason to hope. Bob Chandler of that office said, "The best 
remedy for the colonias is to go in with a bulldozer and clear them off." Appar- 
ently he is either callous or completely unaware of the history of the colonias 
(dating back in one case to 1767) or of the strength of community and family life 
which, in this day, could serve as examples for many of us. 

POWEaiLESSNESS AND EDUCATION 

The median school years completed for persons with Spanish surnames 25 years 
of age and above in Hidalgo County is 3.3, according to the 1960 Census Report. 
At the same time the national median was 10.6, and the Texas median was 10.4 
school years completed. As agricultural families migrate, education is interrupted. 
Children may attend three or four schools in a single year. 

"In Texas an almost unbelievable 78.9 percent of Mexican-American children 
drop out of school before completing high school." This compares with a dropout 
rate of 33.1 percent of Anglos. (Edwin Stanfield, Southwest Intergroup Relations 
Council, Inc., Austin, Texas.) 

In some areas Anglos are in almost complete control of school boards. School 
board meetings are not announced. Filing deadlines for positions up for election 
come and go without any adequate announcement. Elections are not announced. 

In one area where some colonias are located, 85% of the population is Spanish 
surname do. Anglos have long been in control of the school board. Many of these 
Anglos had no children or sent their children to private schools. 



938 

"A high school history teacher testifying to the Commission on Civil Rights 
said that there is not available a textbook on Texas history which does justice 
to the contributions of Spanish-surnamed patriots or to the Hispanic heritage of 
Texas." (Bd Stanfield S.I.R.C, Austin, Texas.) 

A powerful threat against those seeking reform or changes is the threat of los- 
ing one's job. Teachers having the courage to speak out on certain social problems 
may expect to be dismissed promptly or may not have their contracts renewed 
for the following year. (Cases: Leo Montalvo, Pat O'Day, Ron Greathouse) it 
appears that one teacher was dismissed because he wanted students to under- 
stand both sides of the farm labor dispute in the Rio Grande city area. 

P0WEKLES8NESS AT THE POLLS 

Powerlessness at the polls perpetuates the plight of the farmworker. The effect 
of the long history of the poll tax in Texas can still be seen in the nonparticipa- 
tion of the majority of the people in the eolonias in political life. Many adults 
have never registered to vote. During our voter registration drives from October 
1 to January 31, the only period when residents may register to vote, we still find 
people who are not aware that they are eligible to vote. Many still think it is 
necessary to pay a poll tax. Annual voter registration increases the problems, 
especially for the poor. 

After they are registered, getting people to the polls is difl5cult. Apparently 
some growers deliberately keep as many workers as possible in the field on elec- 
tion day, working them as long as possible to keep them from going to the polls. 
The migrant farmworkers are particularly powerless in elections as they tend 
to be away at the time of the June "run-off" elections. Most of them will not vote 
in the very important election August 5, 1969. 

This can be a critical percent of the vote, especially for a county like Hidelgo 
County where approximately 37,500 persons in agricultural migrant families leave 
this county every year to look for work elsewhere. 

The absentee ballot is little consolation. It is rather complicated to attain and 
most people from the eolonias lack the money to have their ballots notarized. 

In some counties ballots are not assumed to be secret. A comer of the ballot 
which is detached from the rest of the ballot bears the same number which 
is on the ballot and the name of the person voting. In Starr County, for ex- 
ample, many people assume "that the politicians check the ballots and ballot 
numbers to see how people voted." 

Mrs. Pablo Diaz from the colonia of Santa Maria had obtained the 50 signa- 
tures of registered voters, the number required to be a poll-watcher, but when 
she took her place at the poll on election day, an attempt was made to ignore 
her or to intimidate her to prevent her from carrying out her function. On 
some occasions, we have reported cases to Washington. We have "gone through 
channels" and nothing has happened. Usually, Texas Precincts are under Party 
control. Texas is a one-party state. 

In Hidalgo County, the County Commissioner for the western section of the 
county suddenly changed the location of the polling place in an attempt to in- 
timidate voters' opposition in the La Joya precinct where about 95% of the 
voters are Mexican-American, many in opposition to the incumbent County 
Commissioner. 

Usually voters go to the centrally-located Ag Building of the La Joya Public 
Schools to cast their ballots. The County Commissioner changed it to a packing 
shed down a distant dirt road with "keep out" signs where the owners are 
known to curse and mistreat their Mexican-American employees. 

Leo J. Leo, the Mexican-American mayor of La Joya, says, "They (the es- 
tablishment) were forcing us to go to a place (to vote) where we didn't want 
to go to humiliate and intimidate us." The presence of many law enforcement 
oflicers, including Texas Rangers, increased the intimidation and humiliation. 
Leo J. Leo stated that the presiding judge for that election was an Anglo ; 
in their precinct about 70 or 80 persons are Anglo whereas about 1,900 are 
Mexican- American. 

He continues, "Just at the time when we are making progress, (the estab- 
lishment) to do something to force us to do something which we don't want to 
do just to humiliate us. Why couldn't we, the people of this precinct, vote where 
we wanted to vote? Why did someone from outside the precinct have to force 
us to vote where we didn't want to? Isn't it that they just want to show us that 



939 

they are in control, that they can push us around, that they are the "papacitos"? 

"What's to keep them from doing it again and again, as long as they are in 
power? Many of our voters don't have transportation. What's to keep them 
from changing the polling place from a centrally located, easily accessible spot 
to some place down in the boon docks? Do you have any solution, any cure?" 

Mr. Leo states that the establishment opposes him because of his identification 
with the poor and the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. 

GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS 

Government programs, conscientiously designed in agency offices, fail to reach 
the people at the grass roots, the people for whom they were inteiKied. 

Although many programs are supposed to meet the needs of the poor people 
at the "grass roots level," they have a tendency to help the middle-income group 
more. 

A recent article in the Texas Law Review discusses the housing problem in 
detail, and is attached hereto as exhibit E. 

For example, the Farmers Home Administration has loans for "low income 
families", but again and again, especially in Cameron County, Texas, the 
Farmers Home Administration disqualifies loans to poor families because they 
do not own enough property or because their income is not "high enough," even 
though the family may have a long and excellent history for repayment of loans 
for furniture or other items. 

Programs of the Office of Economic Opportunity in the Lower Rio Grande 
valley are centered in the cities and almost completely neglect the "colonias" 
in the rural areas where one finds the worst poverty problems. 

They, also, like other agencies, respond mostly to the more aggressive families, 
once again by-passing the poorest of the ix)or. 

Although the O.E.O. Community Action Agencies talk about self-determination 
and participation on the part of the poor, whenever someone really tries to put 
it into practice, he's very likely to be fired. 

As director of a Day Care Center in Edinburg, Texas, my wife, Tina, who 
is Mexican-American, was able to enroll children from very low income families. 
She also had the most active group of parents who gave much volunteer time 
and were encouraged to share in making decisions. In March of 1968 she was 
dismissed partly because of the increased participation of the poor, partly 
because I was actively involved in organizing the poor, and partly because in 
"off-hours" and in another city she showed sympathy for the United Farm 
Workers Organizing Committee. 

Government programs seem to be so unresponsive to the tragedy of the 
situation. The people who really need the help are not getting it The Farmers 
Home Administration of the Department of Agriculture, in Cameron County 
has failed to act on several applications for loans for low income families made 
about one year ago. 

The FHA turns some people away because they do not have enough income 
(although the people have an excllent history for repayment of debts) or be- 
cause they do not own enough property. Those who already "have" can "get." In 
one case a man whose roof was ruined by hail could not get a loan from the 
Cameron County FHA to repair the roof. 

The same Department of Agriculture, through the Agricultural Stabilization 
and Conservation Service made 466 payments totaling $7,730,000, in 1967, to 
keep land idle. However, idle workers, made idle by taking land out of produc- 
tion and by the general surplus of laborers could not receive any kind of a check. 
Porter and Wentz Farms received an A.S.C.S. payment of $143,000. In neighbor- 
ing Hidalgo County and A.S.C.S. payments totalled $8,720,980. Krenmueller 
Farms received $127,000. Shary Farms, Inc., received $125,000. 

In Willacy County, the population is rather sparse. The median family income 
for Spanish-sfumame families (1960 census) was $1,973. Last year the A.S.C.S. 
made 226 payments totalling $3,198,000. Sebastian Cotton and Grain in Willacy 
County received a A.S.O.S. payment of $149,000. 

In neighboring Starr County Charles Ro'os III received an A.S.C.S. payment 
of $101 ; Starr Produce received $68,000 ; and La Casita Farm received $54,000. 
The m^an family income for Spanish-surname families in Starr County was 
$1,595 according to the 1960 census report. 



940 

And yet another federal oflBce the O.E.O. has refused to fund Colonias del 
Valle which would have developed the talents of people in the colonias and 
would have meant money for poor families. 

Welfare in Texas 

Texas' public assistance grants are among the lowest in the nation. Part of the 
reason for the present welfare crisis, which has caused Aid to Families with 
Dependent Children checks to be cut twice in the past year, is that Texas is the 
only state where a constitutional amendment establishes a "welfare ceiling" 
on state funds available for public assistance payments. An amendment submitted 
in November. 1968 failed by ov^er 300,000 votes. A major reason for the failure 
seems to be the frontier "bootstrap" attitude which still persists. Poverty is 
believed to be caused solely by indolence and lack of moral fibre. In reality, more 
than 80% of the public assistance money goes to OAA, Old Age Assistance. The 
rest is divided among Aid to the Blind, Aid to the Permanently- and Totally- 
Disabled and Aid to Needy, dependent Children and their caretakers. 

On July 1 of this year, a federal court in Dallas ruled that cutting welfare 
checks violates a section (402A23) of the Social Security Act, which requires 
that welfare grants refleot changes in the cost of living. Before the cuts were 
made, Texas ranked 46th in the nation for A.F.D.C. payments. The State 
Department of Public Welfare has until September 1 to enact another welfare 
plan or lose federal welfare funds. (If the amendment to be presented to the 
voters August 5 passes, sufficient funds will be available). The court did not 
specifically declare the ceiling unconstitutional but implied that the present 
plan which includes the ceiling was not proper. 

Texas' eligibility requirements, especially with the present shortage of funds, 
are strict. To qualify for Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled, the 
applicant must be mentally ill, bedfast, or chairfast. 

As Texas has the largest number of poor of any state, the only solution to its 
welfare crisis, given voter opposition to welfare "handouts" and the shortage of 
funds, is probably that suggested by Governor Hearnes of Missouri — a uniform 
national system of welfare payments with uniform requirements and regula- 
tions, with funds distributed to the states according to the numbers of poor and 
the state's cost of living index. 

On this same subject, I would like to introduce into the record, an article 
from the most recent issue of the The New Republic. 

TB in the Rio Grande Valley 

In 1967 a 13-county area of South Texas (Willacy, Cameron, and the "river 
counties" up to Val Verde County) had a new TB case rate 3i/^ times that of the 
U.S. as a whole. (South Texas had 80 new cases per 100,000 population com- 
pared to 23 for the U.S.) The South Texas rate was over 2l^ times that of 
Texas as a whole. The death rate from TB was also higher in S. Texas than in 
the entire state or U.S. 

( Source : TB Program, National Communicable Disease Center, PHS ; Na- 
tional Center for Health Statistics, PHS) 

The last case of smallpox in Texas was in Hidalgo County {Texas Health 
Bulletin, August, 1968). Hidalgo County has sometimes been the only county 
in the nation with cases of polio. 

The poor are often turned away from hospitals for lack of a $50 (or more) 
deposit. 

HF.AT.TH AND MALNUTRITION 

Malnutrition is a chronic problem in the South Texas area. Many families 
simply lack the money required for adequate food for the family. The amount 
of money which would normally be budgeted for food for a family on AFDC in 
Texas is about 8 cents per person per meal. Long periods of unemployment and 
underemployment force farm workers to live on even less than that. Vast areas 
of the Lower Rio Grande Valley had almost no farm work for a i>eriod of 
almost six months following Hurricane Beluah. At that time many people 
literally faced starvation. It was at that time that the organization, Colonias 
del Valle, came into existence and effectively organized colonials to face the 
food emergency. 

Deaths in the area are frequently caused when malnutrition is a factor com- 
plicating another disease. Hidalgo County is sometimes the only place in the 
nation with cases of polio. There is constantly a high rate of tuberculosis, upper 
respiratory infections, skin infections, and other diseases caused by, or aggra- 
vated by, malnutrition, overcrowding and lack of sanitation. 



941 

PESTICIDES 

One indication of callousness or/and carelessness about human health and life 
in the South Texas situation can be seen in the use of i^esticides. On June 13, 1968, 
22 workers entered a field with a heavy dew. The field had been sprayed with 
parathion the evening before. The same twenty-two persons reported to a Har- 
lingen, Texas, hospital that same day because of parathion poisoning. Thirteen 
were hospitalized. Two "were in critical condition for awhile," according to the 
Texas Health Bulletin of August, 1968, (p. 5). According to a poverty program 
worker, the same thirteen persons, shortly after leaving the hospital, were asked 
to sign papers which would take care of their hospital bill and give them one 
week's pay. An agent for the insurance company thereby obtained a release from 
them. 

BIASED LAW ENFORCEMENT 

Law enforcement oflBcers have played a very biased, partisan role in the South 
Texas struggles of the United Farm Workers for dignity, a just wage, and an end 
to conditions of slavery and peonage. Much of this is documented in the Report 
prepared for the Civil Rights Commission which I have attached for the record as 
Exhibit F. 

One deputy in Starr County counseled me, "If you really want to help these 
people (the strikers of UFWOC), you'd tell them to go back to work." 

Ranger Captain A. Y. Allee warned me on another occasion that if the melon 
crop was not harvested it would have a disasterous effect on the entire economy 
and all the population would suffer. 

Again and again, during the strike dozens of arrests were made on trivial or 
false charges (sometimes thought up long after the arrest), in an attempt to in- 
timidate and demoralize the strikers and break up the union movement. Charges 
have ranged from unlawful assembly, to abusive language, to secondary boycott, 
to disturbing the peace. 

Partisan law enforcement is illustrated by the fact that whenever the United 
Farm Workers Organizing Committee scored a notable success the Texas Rang- 
ers would find a way to retaliate, attempting to intimidate the farm workers. 
Several items serve to illustrate this pattern. 

On May 10, 1967, the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee with the 
help of the C.T.M. {Confederacion de Trabajadores Mcxicanos, Confederation of 
Mexican Workers of Mexico), successfully closed the border to green-card com- 
muters at Roma, Texas. That same morning a farm worker was arrested for 
failing to have a driver's license and Texas Ranger Jack Van Cleve pushed sev- 
eral of the farm workers. 

On May 17, 1967, a large number of workers refused to enter the fields or 
walked out of the fields. On May 18, 1967, thirteen farm workers were arrested 
by the Texas Rangers. 

On May 25, and 26, 1967, the State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commis- 
sion on Civil Rights held hearings in Rio Grande City. The farm workers talked 
about the many abuses. The Texas Rangers refused to testify. The evening of 
May 26, only a few hours after the adjournment of the State Advisory Com- 
mittee, the Texas Rangers arrested 16 persons. 

On June 1, 1967, State Senator Joe Bernal investigated the strike situation in 
the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Some of the time was spent questioning Ranger 
Captain A. Y. Allee. That same day several farm workers were arrested. Two 
were severely beaten. One suffered multiple bruises and a cut on his head from 
Captain AUee's shotgun, a cut which required several stitches. 

PRTVATE AGENCIES SUCCUMB TO PRESSURES 

Private agencies and groups may likewise capitulate to pressures from groups 
which resist change. In January of this year, I received niy notice of dismissal 
from the Texas Council of Churches. See the articles in Exhibit G, attached 
hereto. Anglo, power structure churches in South Texas effectively applied, 
financial and other pressure on the T.C.C., protesting my involvement with organi- 
zations of the poor. Although my major job description was to work with farm 
workers and communities of the poor, the T.C.C. administration later wanted 
to work through "the county courthouse, the city hall, and other manifestations 
of the so-called establishment." My major emphasis ... to try to change the old 
paternalistic systems by getting poor people in the colonias to work together to 
help themselves. Some people in the Anglo churches who enjoyed illicit power 



942 

and privileges felt threatened as people in the colonias began to speak for them- 
selves, to solve their own problems, to defend the rights of their families, to par- 
ticipate in the decision-making processes of the larger community. 

Typical of the pressure and resistance to change is Scott Toothaker, McAllen 
Attorney, who in a letter to the "lay members of the Annual Conference of the 
Methodist Church in the McAllen District" calls the farmworkers "lawless ruf- 
fians" and "agitators" and criticizes the Texas Council of Churches for "minister- 
ing to" and "closely cooperating with" this group. 

Another reason was that my wife and I did not desire to sign a compromise 
agreement exonerating the Texas Rangers and discontinuing our lawsuit against 
them in regard to our illegal arrest in Mission, Texas, where we had gone to 
observe a demonstration by the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee on 
May 26, 1967. 

It appears that I was "too militant" in expressing a belief in self-determina- 
tion and self-help, a belief that all segments of society should participate in the 
democratic processes, a belief in unbiased law enforcement, a belief that the 
country should know the facts about South Texas. 

Senators, we need your help. The poor and the farmworkers of America will 
not wait forever. The youth are more and more impatient. For generations the 
farmworker has been "the low man on the totem pole." Today the unskilled in- 
dustrial worker in Texas is paid two and one half times more than the average 
farmworker. Time and time again both private and government agencies beat 
back efforts for community organization and self determination. When will 
such injustices be ended ? The poverty of South Texas is overwhelming ; more than 
50% of the families in Hidalgo County receive incomes below the poverty line. 
Time is running out. The situation is becoming more and more explosive. The 
youth will not wait another generation. See, for example, the attached articles 
that tell of the Edcouch-Elsa High School student activities. ( Exhibit H. ) . It is 
increasingly difficult for Anglo-Americans to have a part in the Mexican-Ameri- 
cans struggle for justice and self-identity. Tensions are high. Time is short. A 
crisis is looming. This may be our last chance. 

Equal protection under the law (Texas Rangers should not act like strike- 
breakers), protection of right to organize to help themselves, restrictions of un- 
fair competition with workers from across the border, more government pro- 
grams directly controlled by the poor and for their benefit ; all these are ways to 
change the attitudes and allow people to help themselves. 

In the midst of the South Texas situation of need, exploitation and suffering, 
there are signs of hope. One sign of hope is seen in the emergence of a valley 
wide incorporated group known as Colinias del Valle, Inc., which is made up of 
representatives of organized colonias in a four-county area of the Lower Rio 
Grande Valley (Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy Counties), and which 
embraces about 2,000 families in this area. At least 90% of the families in the 
colonies fall below the "poverty line." 

The staff of the Texas Council of Churches, emphasizing the ideals of self- 
determination and community development, made a few beginnings in the orga- 
nization of colonias in the spring of 1967, but the main work of colonia orga- 
nization began following Hurrincane Beulah in September, 1967. 

Following the hurricane the unemployment rate in many of the colonias 
(especially the unincorporated rural communities made up almost entirely of 
farm workers) was almost 100% for a period of four to six months. Because 
of this crisis a series of many dozens of oi)en, problem-solving community 
meetings were held in the Lower Rio Grande Valley area. Most of the meetings 
were held in the colonias where the needs have been most severe. 

Attendance varied from ten to 160 i)ersons. Some meetings were held in 
unoccupied houses, in open-ended garages, and in houses with dirt floors. Others 
were held out-of-doors under a variety of conditions — by lantern light, standing 
around a fire, amid swarms of mosquitoes, or plagued by rain, cold or mud. In 
spite of many handicaps, the people's interest and willingness to work and 
cooperate ran high. Usually as a result of several open meetings in each colonia 
a local colonia organization would be formed with its own independent executive 
committee. By January 15, 1968, twelve colonias had been organized, and 18 
organizations had been formed by February 18. 

The leaders from the colonias held three valley-wide open meetings with 
representatives from agencies to discuss their problems and to begin shaping 
plans. 



948 

In the process of calling people together within the colonia for the purpose of 
discussing eomanunity problems, resources were sought within the colonia and 
from organizations and agencies which might help. Colonia leaders gave gener- 
ously of their time in making door-to-door surveys, meeting weekly to plan a pro- 
gram deciding \^^hich families needed help with food or medicine, buying shoes for 
children who were not in school for lack of them, and aiding in the process of 
distribution of food, medicines, and shoes and clothing. 

All work done by colonia leaders was voluntary. No one in the colonias re- 
ceived pay for the hundreds of hours of work involved in their programs. Al- 
though thousands of miles of driving were necessary to make the program 
work, only on a few exceptional occasions did anyone receive money for gas. 

This self-help relief program was an answer to massive immediate need, 
served to build permanent organizations, protected the dignity of the people 
in the colonias, and called forth of the best qualities of people in the colonias. 

Colonia leaders proved their capability. They did such an effective job because 
they were poignantly aware of the tragic needs, had time to volunteer work, knew 
their neighbors very well, were willing to share sacrificially, and were willing 
to learn how to organize themselves. 

As the people in the individual colonias met together stronger community ties 
developed, and the people began to see that they could work together to solve 
many other problems. 

Some of the work done by Colonias del Vallee, Inc., and the individual colonias 
includes — 

getting better roads for certain colonias, 
acquiring a water system with good drinking water, 
establishing a mobile cooperative store, 
voter registration, 
influencing school boards, 
influencing welfare departments, 
helping individuals obtain Social Security, 
aiding programs in health and education, 
helping over 900 families with food during crisis periods, 
voter registration, 
education on civil rights, 
helping to enforce Wage and Hour laws, 

informing the state and the nation on the depth of the problems in South 
Texas, 

establishing emergency loan funds within the colonias, 
making referrals to agencies, 

making agencies more attentive to the needs of people in the colonias and 
barrios. 
On January 10, 1969, the following officers were elected : President, Raynaldo 
De La Cruz from Santa Cruz ; Vice-president, Pablo Diaz from Santa Maria ; Sec- 
retary, (Mrs.) Catarina Cano from Relampago ; Assistant-Secretary, Pedro Guz- 
man from Colonia Evans ; Treasurer. Lucas Ruiz from Madero ; Assistant-treas- 
urer, Hipolita Pequeno from Colonia Neuva ; Member-at-large, Davil Mercado 
from Colonia Hidalgo Park. 

Colonias del Valle, Inc., a valley-wide organization now includes 27 self- 
determining organizations embracing over 2,000 families. Its program has relied 
primarily on the work of hundreds of volunteers and developing leaders within 
the colonias. Its self -propagating spirit has led to the continuous development of 
new organizations in other colonias. 

Although the major emphasis has been on rural poverty, Colonias del Valle 
has also developed organizations in some of the urban areas. 

Throughout this whole process communities which have been largely powerless 
are "coming alive" with now- found strength and hope; democratic processes 
are being developed and leadership is being developed where it is most needed. 

The address of the organization is : Colonias del Valle, Inc., P. O. Box 907, San 
Juan, Texas 78589, Telephone : ST 7-9362. 

The Coalition of Indigenous Groups 

Another hopeful sign has been the development of a spirit of cooperation among 
several groups oonoemed with bringing constructive changes to this area. Some 
of these groups are : 

Colomas Del Valle, Inc. — a federation of 23 local organizations of needy rural 
areas embracing approximately 2,000 families in three counties. 



944 

P.A./S.O.— Political Association of Spanish Speaking Organizations. 

U.M.W.O. — The United Mothers' Welfare Organization. Mothers on welfare 
working together for mutual protection and for improving the life and condi- 
tions for their families. 

M.A.Y.O. — Mexican American Youth Organization with a number of chajyters in 
this area. 

H.P.D.C.A. — an indigenous group of parents who have incorporated their group 
with the intention of setting up self-help day care centers in Hidalgo County. 

U.F.W.O.C. — United Farm Workers Organizing Committee with membership 
in South Texas. 

Community groups organized by VISTAS and VIDA workers in Cameron 
County (VISTAS — Cameron and Hidalgo Counties) . 

Community groups organized by Starr County Improvement Committee. 

Community groups organized in Willacy and Hidalgo Counties by Mexican 
American Service Teams. 

F.L.O.C. — Farm Labor Organizing Committee — about 500 members with home 
base in South Texas. 

O.U. — members of Obreros Unidos (farm workers) with membership in South 
Texas residences. 

Volunteers from Brethren Volunteer Service. 

The humanity, the dignity and the value of farm workers must be aflSrmed by 
National legislation. There must be safeguards to protect the farm worker from 
callous, arrogant and powerful interests. 

The following are some suggestions in regard to legislation : 

1. Restrict, limit and control the chaotic situation with green-card commuters 
(supposedly "resident aliens") ; periodic re-certification of "resident alien" 
status ; and improved definition of the location of residence. 

2. Application of a minimum wage of $1.60 per hour to all farm workers. 

3. A cutting-off of Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service pay- 
ments to all growers who pay farm workers less than the minimum wage. 

4. Making A.S.C.S. payments only to those growers whose work force has less 
than 10% "resident aliens", and to growers who maintain minimum living and 
working conditions for farm workers. 

5. Extension of unemployment compensation to farm workers and the enact- 
ment of the guaranteed annual income. 

6. Requirement of giving a written receipt for Social Security deductions. 

7. The right to organize on both community and union level must be guaranteed 
and protected by laws that are enforced. 

8. Since growers are paid for making land idle, farm workers that are made 
idle by the A.S.C.S. program or made idle by an over-supply of labor should also 
be paid during those idle periods. 

9. Increased appropriations for rural legal aid programs. (A South Texas pro- 
gram must be immediately funded. ) 

10. More funds for health programs and emergency food programs in the Lower 
Rio Grande Valley with active participation of the poor in the decision-making 
processes. 

11. Encourage industry to locate in depressed areas. 

12. Increase the funds for rural housing programs for the poor. 



945 
Exhibit A 

U.S. C0>21ISSI0N ON CIVIL RIGHTS 
STAFF REPORT 



DEMOGRAPHIC, ECONOMIC Alrt) SOCIAL CH/JIACTERISTICS OF THE 
SPANISH- SURNAME POPULATION OF FIVE SOUTHWESTERN STATES 1/ 



According to the U.S. Census of Population, in I960 the Spanish- 
surname ll population in the five States of the Southv;est was 
nearly 3.5 million, or approximately 12 percent of the total 
inhabitants of the area. In the period 1950 to 1960, the Spanish^ 
surname population in the five States increased by more than 
50 percent. Part of this increase was attributable to a more 
adequate identification of persons of Spanish- surname but it 
was mostly the result of a high birth rate and continuing flow 
of immigrants from Mexico. ^/ In 1960 Texas and California 
each had approximately 1.4 million persons of Spanish- surname. 
The Spanish- surname population in 1960 accounted for nearly 
30 percent of Nev; Mexico's population, just under 15 percent of 
that of Texas and Arizona respectively, and 9 percent of California's 
and Colorado's total population respectively. 

Betv;een 1950 and 1960 the most important change in grov7th and 
distribution of the Spanish- surname population among the five 
Southv;estern States v/as the great increase in their nu.Tibers in 
California. 



\l Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. 

2/ The designation of Spanish- surname as used here is found in 
the Special Census Reports on Spanish- surnames in the 1950 
and 1960 censuses. Statistical data, on which this paper is 
based, V7ere obtained from these census reports. 

^/ U. S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Ser\'icc, 
Agri cultural Economic Report No. 112 , "Low Income Families 
in the Spanish- Surname Population of the Southwest," 
Washington, D. C. , April 1967, p. 3. 



36-513 O— <70— <pt. 3^B- 



046 



Distribution of Spanish- surname Population, among the Five 
SouthweGtern States, 1950 and 1960. 



1950 I960 



State 

California 

Texas 

New Mexico 

Arizona 

Colorado 



TOTAL 



Number 


Percent 


Number 


Percent 


780,000 


33.2 


1,427,000 


41.2 


1,034,000 


45.0 


1,418,000 


40.9 


249,000 


10.9 


269,000 


7.8 


128,000 


5.6 


194,000 


5.6 


118,000 


5.2 
99.9 


157,000 


4.5 
99.9 



Population shifts of Spanish- surname during the period between 

censuses were clearly from rural to urban communities and, within 

the rural population, generally from farm to nonfarm areas. In 

1950 about 66 percent of all Spanish- surnames lived in urban centers; 4/ 

by 1960 they accounted for 79 percent of the population living in 

urban areas. In California the change was from 76 percent in 1950 

to 85 percent in 1960. 

About 85 percent of the persons of Spanish- surname in the five 
Southwestern States were born in the United States; more than half 
were native born of native parents, i.e., at least second generation 
American citizens. The proportion of persons of Spanish surname 
who were native born ranged from a low of 80 percent in California 
to 97 percent in Colorado. _5/ 



4/ The 1960 Census defined an urban place as one that contained 
2,500 or more persons. 

_5/ "Low Income Families Among the Spanish- surname Population 
of the Southwest" loc cit. 



947 



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948 



The median age of the Spanish-surnarae population of the Southwest 
in 1960 was slightly over 19 years, compared v/ith more than 28 
years for the total white 6^/population in the five Sates. Median 
age varied greatly by State. In Texas the median age for the 
Spanish-surname population was a very low 18 years compared 
with 27 years for vjhites. In California it V7as 22 years contrasted 
with 30 years, ij 

Males outnumber females in the total Spanish-surname population of 
the Southwest', whereas in the United States as a whole v;omen now 
outnumber men. According to the 1960 Census of Population, there 
were approximately 103 males for every 100 females among the 
Spanish-surname group in the Southwest. The ratio was much higher 
among the farm population--about 138 males for every 100 females. 
Figures for 1960 also ahow that Spanish -surname v/omen living in 
rural areas who are nearing the end of their childbearing years 
have borne, on the average, two more children per woman than 
other rural white women. The fertility rate among Spanish 
surname rural people during the 1950s v/as sufficient to double 
that population in each generation. In contrast the fertility 
rate among rural Anglos produced a potential population grov;th 
of about 26 percent in a generation. 8/ 

Income 

The average income level of the Spanish-surname population in 
1959 was higher than that of nonwhites in the five Southwestern 
States. Particularly in New Mexico and Arizona, v/here there are 
large concentrations of Indians , ' median nonwhite incomes were 
considerably below those of persons of Spanish-surname. Neverthe- 
less, average incomes for Spanish-surname fell appreciably below 
that of the total white population and this pattern was general 
throughout J'^e Southv7est. 

More than one-half (52 percent) of the rural Spanish-surname 
families of the Southwest and not quite a third (31 percent) of 
those families living in urban areas had less than $3,000 incomes 
in 1959, the level of income generally associated with poverty 
conditions. Texas has the greatest incidence of low-income 
Spanish-surname families: 69 percent among the rural families and 47 
percent among the urban families. '.The smallest number ot families 
with incomes belov; the poverty level occurred in California where 
only 17 percent of the urban and 30 percent of the rural families 
were in this low-income category (Table 2). £/ 



_6/ Total white population includes persons of Spanish-surname as well 

as other whites . 
Tj Barrett Donald A. "Demographic Characteristics," in La Raza: 

Forg otten American s ed. by Julian Samora, University of Notre 

Dame Press, 1966. 
8/ "Low Income Families Among tlie Spanish-Surname Population in 

the Soutliwcst." op. cit. pp. 8-10. 
9/ Ibid pp. 10-11. 



949 



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950 



Educat j-onal Attain ment 

On the average the educational achievement of persons of Spanisli- 
surname lags behind other ethnic groups, despite overall improve- 
ments betv;een 1950 and 1960. In Texas the Spanish-surname 
population in 1950 had about 3.6 years of schooling compared to 
9.7 years for total vjhites; by 1960 the comparison was a little 
better for tlie Spanish-surname population but attainment was 
still dispreportionately low (6.1 years for persons of Spanish- 
surname contrasted with 10.8 years for total v;hite) . In Arizona 
personq of Spanish-surname had attained a median education of 
less than 8 years of schooling, whereas all whites had attained 
a median of almost 12 years. 10 / 

The early educational mortality of the Spanish-surname population 
in the Southwest is one of the highest of any group in the Nation. 
This is particularly true for the rural population. At all a^^es 
considered, dropout rates for parsons of Spanish -surname in the 
rural population were generally much highor for the Spanish- 
surname population than for the total United States population. 
In urban as V7ell as rural areas in Texas, the percentage of 
persons of Spanish- surnans in the 16-and 17-year old group 
not in school was almost tv7ice as high as for all persons in the 
comparable age group throughout the United States. 11 / 



10/ Barrett, o£. c^t . , p. 179-180. 

11/ "Low Income Families Among the Spanish -Surname Population 
of the Southv7est," £2. cit . p. 22. 



951 



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952 



UNITED STATES COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS 

STAFF REPORT 
TIIE MEXICAN AMERICAN POPULATION OF TEXAS 



953 



TIIE MEXICAN AMERICAN POPULATION OF TEXAS 



This pap .>r presents a description of the socio-economic status 
of Mexican Anericans in the State of Texas. 1/ Particular problem 
areas are highlighted, including the low level of educational 
attainment, low occupational status, high rate of unemployment and 
underemployment and lack of adequate housing. The data were compiled 
from Federal, State, and local government sources as well as universities 
and other private sources. _2/ 

Demographic Characteristics 

The 1960 Census reported 1,417,810 persons with Spanish surnames 
residing in the State of Texas, _3/ They accounted for 41 percent of 
the Spanish- surname population residing in the Southwestern United 
States and for one of every seven Texans (about 15 percent of the 
State's total population of 9,579,677). 



1/ The term "Mexican American" is used to describe the Spanish- surnamed 
population of the Southwestern United States. Members of the groups 
are also known as "Chicanes," "Mejicanos," Spanish Americans, Spanish- 
speaking, Hispanos, and Latin Americans. Mexican American is used here 
because it is roughly descriptive, since most Americans of Spanish- 
surname in the Southwest are of Mexican descent or birth and because 
it differentiates between them and other Spanish- surname populations 
such as Puerto Ricans or Cubans. 

2/ Unfortunately, there is a dearth of post-1960 census data about 
Mexican Americans specifically or Spanish suriiame populations in general, 
No up-to-date estimates of the number of persons with Spanish surnames 
were found in either Washington or Texas. This lack severely handicaps 
the interpretation of the more recent data, such as those in migratory- 
labor and employm.ent. 

_3/ According to an OEO estimate, this population had increased to at 
least 1,600,000 in 1966. 



954 



Nonwhites, nearly all of whom were Negroes, accounted for 
nearly 13 percent of the State's population. The remainder, 72 
percent, were Anglos. A^/ In the period from 1950 to 1960, the 
Mexican American population of Texas grow by 37 percent compared 
to a growth rate of 22 percent for both the Anglos and nonwhite 
sectors of the population. If the 1950-1960 growth rate for all 
three groups V7ere to remain unchanged until 1980, the Spanish- 
surname population would rise to approximately 18 percent of the 
State total. 

Although there were Mexican Americans in nearly all of the 254 
counties of Texas, 70 percent of them were concentrated in the 
Southern and western part of the State (See Figure 1). In 17 of 
the counties all located on or within a short distance of the 
Mexican border, Mexican Americans accounted for more than 50 percent 
of the population. 5/ 

The Mexican American population is primarily urban. In 1960, 
nearly 80 percent resided in urban areas, ^/ a higher urban concentra- 
tion than that of either Anglos or nonwhites (Table 1). About two- 
thirds of all Mexican Americans lived in towns of 10,000 or more, 
and 30 percent resided in three major urban areas, San Antonio, 
El Paso, and Houston. In spite of the high and growing rate of 
urbanization, many Mexican Americans continued to be oriented toward 
agriculture, particularly along the Mexican border. A substantial 
proportion were employed on farms though residing in towns. 



A/ In the Southwest, tlie word "Anglo" is used to designate white 
persons other than Spanish surnames whose main language may or may 
not be English. It is so used here. "Nonv.'hites" include American 
Indians, Negroes, and Orientals. 

_5/ Unless otherwise specified, figures used in this paper are taken 
from the U.S. Census of Population: 1960. 

_6/ The U.S. Census definition of urban area is used in this paper. 
According to that source, any area with a population of 2,500 or 
more persons is classified as urban. 



955 



TABLE 1. RESIDENCE IKXICAJI AMERICAN (SPANISH SURNAME), 
ANGLO Arm N0N\7HITE POPULATION, 1950 AIH) 1960 



Residence 1950 1960 

Mexican American (Spanish 

Surname) 

Urban 

Rural nonfarm 

Rural farm 

100.0 100.0 



Anglo 
Urban 

Rural nonfarm 
Rural farm 



Ko nwhitG 
Urban 

Rural nonfarra 
Rural farm 



Sources: 



68.1 


78.5 


18.8 


15.0 


13.1 


6.5 



61.8 


74.3 


21.2 


17.9 


17.0 


7.8 



100.0 100.0 



62.6 


75.1 


18.3 


19.8 


19.1 


5.0 



100.0 99.9 



U.S. Census of Population; 1950. Specia l Reports, Part 3, 
Chapter C, Persons of Spanish Surname . Table 2, Page 3C-15. 

U.S. Census of Popu lati on: 1950. Vol. II, Characteristics 
of the Population . Part 43, Texas. Table 1-5, Page 43-64. 

U.S. Cen n us of Population: 1960 . Subj ect Report s. Persons 
of Spanis h Surname. Final Report PC(2)-1B, Table 1, Page 2. 

U.S. Census of Population: 1960 . Vol. I, Characteristics 
of the Population. Part 45, Texas. Table 37, Page 45-325. 



956 



In age distribution, the three ethnic groups in Texas display 
striking differences. The Spanish surname population was considerably 
younger than either the Anglo or nonwhite groups (Table 2). Relative 
to their numbers, Mexican Americans had almost 50 percent more youthful 
persons among theia than Anglos and about 20 percent more than nonwhites. 
Another yardstick of the relative youth of the Mexican American popula- 
tion is its median age, 18 years in 1960, compared to 27 years for the 
Anglos and 24 for nonwhites. The primary reason is the higher birth 
rate of the Mexican American population (Tables 2 and 3). 

Both the nonv.'hite and the Mexican American population had smaller 
proportions of males in the working age groups, 15-64 years of age, 
than did the Anglos. 7/ In the age group over 65, there were nearly 
as many males as females among the Spanish- surname groups, 96.1 males 
for every 100 females, whereas among nonv;hites and Anglos, the rate of 
males to females v;as 91.2 and 80.3 percent respectively. There are 
several possible reasons why there were fewer females over 65 among 
persons of Spanish surnames than among Anglos and nonwhites. They 
include the follov.'ing: First, among older foreign-born Mexicr.n 
Americans, males account for a larger share of the population since 
males have traditionally predominated among immigrant groups. Secondly, 
many foreign-born women i-cturn to their families in Mexico upon deaths 
of their husbands in the United States. 

The Mexican American population is divided into three groups 
depending on where they or their parents were born. They are the natives 
born of native parents, natives born of foreign or mixed parents, and 
foreign born. In 1960 more than half were in the native born of native 
parents group; nearly a third were native born with foreign-born parents; 
and about a sixth were foreign-born (See Table 4). Between 1950 and 
1960, the proportion in the native born of native parents group increased 
substantially. The other two groups declined correspondingly. In 1960, 
for the first time, more than half of the Spanish- surname population was 
born in Texas of native parents. A further proportional increase in 
native born of native parents is to be expected because of the 1965 
amendment to the Immigration and Naturalization Act v/hich sets a ceiling 
on the number of iiwnigrants which may enter the United States from the 
Western hemisphere. 

ll This may, in part, have been because many of the male members of the two 
minority groups were not counted in the census either because they had no 
fixed address or for some other reason. 



957 



TABLE 2. AGE CHMlACTERISTICS OF ILUOR ETHNIC GROUPS, 1960 
Percent in /ip;e Grouos 



Ethnic Group 




0-1^!. 


' 15-64 


65 + 


TOTAL 


Mexican Amir 


tcan 


44.4 


51.7 


3.8 


99.9 


Anglo 




30.1 


61.2 


8.7 


100.0 


Konvhlte 




37.0 


55.7 


7.3 


100.0 



Sources; 



U.S. Census of Populat ion; 1960. Subject Reports , Persons 
of Spanish Surname . Final Report PC(2)-lB. Table 2, Page 10. 

U.S. Census o f Populat io n; 1960 . Vol. I, Characteristics of 
the P opulation. Part 45, Texas. Table 16, Pages 45-67 and 
45-68. 



958 



TABLE 3. RATIOS OF MALES TO FEMALES IN SELECTED AGE GROUPS OF 
MFJ(IC/vN AMERICANS, ANGLOS, AND NON^ffllTES IN TEXAS: 1960 



Ethnic Group 


0-14 ' 


15-44 
93.9 


45-64 
101.6 


65 


and over 
96.1 


TOTAL 


Mexican AracrtcGn' 


102.0 


98.4 


Anglo 


104. 1 


100.5 


96.1 




80.3 


98.7 


Nonwhlte 


100.3 


90.5 


93.1 




91.2 


94.5 



Sources: U.S. Census of Population: 1960 . Persons of Spanish Surname 
Table 2, Page 10. 



U.S. Census of Population: 1960 . Vol. I , ' Characterisiiics o f 
the Population . Part 45, Texas. Tabic 16, pages 45-65, 45-66, 
and 45-69. 



959 



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960 



In years pact, Texas was the preferred goal of Mexican immigrants* 
Lately, Texas is less frequently sought. The Immigration and Naturalization 
Service reports that in the period from 1910 to 1914, 77.8 percent of 
the Mexican inunigrants to the United States indicated they desired to 
move to Texas. By 1920-1924, the proportion had dropped to 67.1 percent. 
In the 1960 to 1964 period, only 25,1 percent reported Texas as their 
preferred destination. JB/ 

Education 



Of the three major ethnic groups in Texas, the Mexican American 
population has the lowest level of formal educational attainment. In 
1960, about 118,000 Texans of Mexican descent had received less than 
one year of formal schooling; about three- fourths of these lived in 
urban areas. Nearly 40 percent of the adult Mexican American population 
in Texas had received only four years of education or less and vere, 
therefore, regarded as functionally illiterate. 

A con-iparicon of the median number of years of school completed by 
various population groups 14 years and older shov/c a considerably lower 
level for Mexicrn Americans than for Anglos, both in 1950 and 1960. In 
1950, Mexican Americans completed less than half the years of Anglos: 
4.5 years as compared to 10.3 years (Table 5). 

By 1960, the difference was smaller, but still more than four years: 
6.2 years for Mexican Americans as compared with 10.7 years for Anglos. 
The school attainment of nonv/hites in the period from 1950 to 1960 re- 
mained betv;een that of Mexican Americans and Anglos. 

The number of Mexican Americans who completed high school increased 
by more than 80 percent in the 1950' s; the number completing college rose 
by 110 percent. These gains should not obscure the fact that nost adult 
Mexican An^ericans in the State had not even completed grade school (See 
Table 6). 



8/ These rates v;ere computed from the annual report of the Im^nigration and 
Naturalization Service and its predecessor agents and are reported in the 
Advance Report No. 2 of the Mexican American Study Project by Leo Grebler 
entitled "Mexican Immigration to the U.S.: The Record and Its Implications. 
Mexican A merican Study Project Advance Report No.- 2, 196 6, Table 4, Page 28. 



961 



TABLE 5. MEDIAN YEARS OF SCHOOL COMPLETED BY ANGLO, 
KONVniITE, AND MEXICAN AMERia\N 
POPUIATIONS^v OF TEyu'iS, 1950 AND 1960 



MEDIAN YEARS OF SCHOOL COMPLErED 

ETHNIC GROUP 1950 1960 

Mexican Arnaricaii . 4.5 6.2 

Nom/hite 7.6 8.7 

Anglo 10.3 10,7 

All Groups 9.5 10.4 

* Comprised of persons 14 years old and over. 

Sourceo: U. S. Census of Population: 1950 . Vol. IV, Special Reports . 
Part 3, Chapter C, Persons of Spanish Surname . Table 6, Pages 
30-39. 

U. S. Census of Population: 1950 . Vol. II, Characteristics 
of the P opulation . Part 43, Texas. Table 20, Pages 43-69; 
and Table 64', Pages 43-391. 

U. S. C ensus of Population: 1960 . Subject Reports . Persons 
of Spanish Surname . Final Report PC(2)-1B. Table 3, Page 13. 

U. S. Ce nsus of Population: 1960 . Vol. I, Characteristics of 
the Population . Part 45, Texas. Table 103, Pages 45-716. 



36-513 O - 70 - 7 (3B) 



962 



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963 



The educational accomplislinienCs of Mexican Americans varied 
according to nativity, residence and sex. Natives who v;ere the 
children of native born parents received the most schooling, 
follov.'ed closely by native-born of foreign-born parentage; the foreign- 
born had the least. With the decline of the proportion of foreign- 
born, the average level is rising and is likely to continue doing so 
(Table 7). 

Generally, urban dv;ellers are likely to have achieved higher 
educational levels than persons living in rural areas. In I960,, 
the educational attainment level among urban male residents born of 
native parer;ts was 7.6 years; it was 5.7 years among males in rural 
farm areas. ' The difference between the school attainment level of males 
and females is slight (Table 7). 

Mexican Americans had a lower percentage of the school-age 
population enrolled in school than Anglos and Negroes. Among children 
of clcmantary and junior high school age, five to fifteen years of 
age, the rate of enrollment in 1960 was 80.2 percent for Mexican 
Americans, slightly lov;er than that of Anglos and nonv;hite children, 
of whom 85.8 percent and 82.8 percent respectively were enrolled. The 
largest difference in school enrollment among the three etVuiic groups 
was at the senior high school level (16 to 19 years of age). Only 
46.2 percent of the Mexican Americans in this age group v/ere in school, 
compared with 57.6 percent of the nonv7hitc and 64.3 percent of the 
Anglo groups of the same age (Table 8). 

Tlie children of Mexican American migratory fram workers received 
the least education. There were in 1967-1968 upward of 65,000 school 
age children 16 and under v;ho migrated during the school months. Their 
parents were poorly educated. One- third of all Texas migrant workers 
had no education at all and only 5 percent had gone beyond the elementary 
level. The usual situation for these children is to have 3-6 years of 
schooling. 9^1 

The Governor's Coirsnittee 

A recent report of the Governor's Comjnittee on Public School 
Education _10/ sheds additional light on the disparities in education 
between Mexican Americans in Texas and the dominant Anglo grov.p. The 
Committee was charged with the development of a long-range plan for an 
adequate educational system. It reviewed the present system including 
its shortcomings. 



9/ Evaluation of Migrant Education in Texas. Final Report to Texas 
Education Agency by Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, June 24, 
1968. 

^10/ The Challe n ge and the Chance . Report of the Governor's Committee on 
Public Education, Austin, Tc::as, August 1968. 



964 



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965 



TAIiLE 0. SCHOOL EHROLUIENT, BY ETHNIC GROUPS, PERSONS 5 TO 19 YEARS OF AGE, 

TEXAS, 1960 



A p,e Gr oup 



Ethnic Group 5-15 16-19 

Mexican American 

Total population 424,308 99,902 

Total number enrolled 340,218 46,155 

Percent enrolled 80,2 46,2 

Anglo 

Total population 1,450,423 415,267 

Total number enrolled 1,243,789 267,003 

Percent enrolled 85.8 64.3 

Monv.'hite 

Total population 292,878 73,866 

Total number enrolled 242,622 42,568 

Percent enrolled 82,8 57,6 



Sources: 

U.S. Census of Population: 196 0. Vol, 1, Characteristics of the 
population. Part 45, Texas. Table 16, pages 45-6S, and Table 101, 
pages 45-692, 45-694, and .45-695. 

U.S. Census of Population; 1960. Subject Reports, Persons of 
Spanish Surnama, Final Report PC(2)-lB, Table 4, page 25. 



966 



The Committee found that the Texas educational system ranks 31st 
among the 50 states measured by median educational attainment, and 42nd 
when measvired by the percentage of its young people who graduate from 
high school. .Within this framev7ork of poor overall perfornmnce Mexican 
Americans and Negroes constitute a disproportionately high share of those 
v;ho do not complete high school. Of the State's total population 20 to 
49 years of age, 42 percent never completed the 12th grade. The proportion 
was 79 percent for Mexican Americans, more than tv7ice the Anglo rate of 
33 percent and higher than the 60 percent rate for Negroes. Half of the 
Mexican Americans v/ho did not finish high school had not even completed 
the elementary grades (Table 9). 

According to the Governor's Committee report, teacher shortages 
as expressed, by the number of "non-degree, emergency-permit teachers" 
affected schools with high Mexican American enrollment more than other 
districts. In some heavily Mexican American districts more than half 
of the teachers v;ere not fully qualified for their jobs. The salary 
Bchcduleo in these districts v/ere often low (See Table 10). 

The CoTiriiittee found dropout rates higher among Mexican Americans 
thnn among Anglos and Negroes and Mexican Aiiisricans drop out earlier 
then the other groups (Table 11). 

Even among those Texas young people who complete high school, 
there is a high proportion who do not have the educational equivalent 
of a high school education, according to the Governor's Comiaittee, 
Twenty percent of the Texas high school seniors had less than the 
equivalent of a ninth grade education. A higher proportion of Mexican 
Americans than Anglos were among those who finished high scliool but v/hose 
education had remained deficient. 

Occu p ations 

A. large proportion of the Mexican American population are in 
occupations of low economic status. Both in 1950 and 1960 Anglos 



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were more likely to be engaged in high prestige and better-paid 
occupations than were Mexican Americans and nonv;hite persons. 
Members of the two minority groups v;ere concentrated at the lov/er 
end of the occupational scale. For example, in 1960, 32 percent of 
the males in the Mexican Ameritan and nonwhite labor force v/cre 
laborers compared to 6 percent of male Anglos. On the other hand, 
24 percent of Mexican Americans and 13 percent of nonv/hite employed 
males were in professional, technical, managerial or craft occupations 
compared to 45 percent of the Anglos (Table 12). 

In 1960, about one-fourth of all Mexican American females 14 
and over were employed. A higher ratio of Mexican American vjomen 
than of men were in professional, managerial or clerical and sales 
occupations, but the proportion, about a third, was about half that 
among employed Anglo women of whom two-thirds were engaged in white- 
collar pursuits. More than 45 percent of the Anglo working women 
and 25 percent of the Mexican American vrorking v.-omen were employed 
in the clejical and sales field. In contrast, only 3.5 percent of 
nonv/hite women obtained this type of employment in Texas. Thus, it 
v/ould appear that employers are more likely to accept Mexican American 
vomen in clerical and sales positions than nonwhite women. 

The pattern of occupations changed significantly among Mexican 
American males during the decade of the 1950' s, as it did for all 
ethnic groups, av;ay from the farmer and farm labor categories into 
other occupations. The increase in the number of Mexican American 
males entering professional and technical occupations during the 
decade was 132 percent, higher than for male Anglos (56 percent) 
and nonwhites (20 percent). However, this movement still left the 
proportion of Mexi' in Americans employed in this category at 3.1 
percent, far below the 11.5 percent among Anglos (Table 12). 

Employment data for the spring of 1966 are available for nearly 
75,000 employees in five major industries located in six Texas 
metropolitan areas (Table 13). Each of the areas had a large Mexican 
American population, accounting for 37 percent of the total population 
in San Antonio and for 80 percent in Laredo. Only in Houston was the 
Mexican American proportion low (6 percent). In four of the five 
industry groups Anglos predominated. The exception was the apparel 
and other textile industry where Mexican Americans made up 81 percent 
of the work force. The oil and gas extraction industry was an almost 
exclusively Anglo domain; no less than 96 percent of the employees 
were Anglos. In banking, they constituted better than 80 percent 
(Table 13 and 14). 

Wherever Mexican Americans were employed, their job status was 
generally higher than that of Negroes, but decidedly lower than that of 
the Anglos. Most Mexican Americans held blue-collar jobs whereas 
Anglos V7ere, by and large, white-collar v;orkers. In the apparel industry 
where Mexican Americans constituted more than 80 percent of the work 



971 






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975 



force, they held only 42 percent of the white-collar jobs. Correspondingly, 
57 percent of the white-collar employees were Anglos who made up only 
15 percent of the entire \'ork force. 

In all five industries, a larger percentage of Mexican Americans 
were in white-collar and craftsmen jobs than were Negroes. Even in 
banking, the one industry in which there were overall more Negro employees 
than Mexican Americans, Negroes v/ere fev; In white-collar jobs, less than 
half the number of Mexican Americans. In retail and general merchandising 
too, the number of Negroes was small, less than 2 percent of all white- 
collcr employees in 1966, compared to 21 percent who were Mexican 
American. In this field, 3,4 percent of all craftsmen were Negroes 
compared to 30 percent who were of Spanish surname, 

Mexican nationals, residing in the United States as permanent 
legal residents, fare worse than the Mexican American citizens. Of 
the males in this group, two-fifths are in farm or other laboring jobs 
and another third are either craftsmen or operatives. About one-half 
of the females work either in private households or as operatives. 
Most of the remainder are in clerical or sales or service occupations. 

A sizeable portion of the Mexican American v;ork force are migrant 
farm workers. The Texas Council on Migrant Labor estimated the total 
of Texas' migrants--men, women and children--at 167,000 in 1965. Exact 
figures are not available but, according to the Council, 95 percent of 
all migrant farm v/orkers v;ere Mexican Americans. _' Nearly 80 percent 
of the Texas migratory vjorkcrs worked outside the State in 1964. They 
left their homes to work on thousands of farms extending from Texas 
to 36 states throughout the country. The three states employing the 
largest number of Texas migratory v;orkers were Michigan, Ohio, and 
Wisconsin. According to the Texas Council, only 25,000, about 20 
percent, of all migratory workers worked entirely within the State of 
Texas, mostly on fanns producing cotton or vegetables. 

Persons of Spanish surname residing outside the United States also 
contributed to the Texas v7ork force. Two groups commute daily to jobs 
in the United States. The Bureau of Employment Security in the Department 
of Labor reported for 1964 that 20,384 aliens commuted daily to jobs in 
Texas from their residence in Mexico. Ill Of this total, 3,981 v;erc 



11 / Texas Council on Migratory Labor. "Texas Migratory Labor: The 
1964 Migration" April 1965, 

12 / U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Employment Security, "The 
Commuter Problem and Low-wages and Unemployment in AjTierican Cities on 
the Mexican Border", April 1967, 



976 



employed in agriculture and moot of the remainder in industry. In 
the seme year, approximately 18,000 United States citizenc also commuted 
from Mexican residences to jobs in the United States. In general, both 
groups of comniuters have lo\; occupational status. Their tasks are 
Tnenial and their pay is poor. Constituting the bulk of the farm labor 
force in many border counties, their ranks include maids, kitchen helpers, 
end sev?ing machine operators.' 



Federal Emp l oyment 

In employment vjith the Federal Government, the Mexican American 
population is well represented in the aggregate. Hov;ever, a large 
percentage of this group is concentrated in low-paying jobs. _' In 
1967, 18 percent of all Federal employees in Texas were identified as 
Mexican American, a slightly higher proportion than in the State's 
total population. They held 18.2 percent of all classified jobs at 
grades GS-1~4, but only 7.6 percent in grades GS-9-11 and 2.3 percent 
of the positions in grades GS-12 to 18. They constituted 38 percent of 
the Federal blue-collar workers earning less than $4,500 annually but 
only 15.5 percent of those making $8,000 or more. In the postal field 
service, Mexican Americans held 11.3 percent of the low paying PFS-1 
through PFS-4 positions, but only 1.4 percent of the FFS-12-20 positions. 

Some improvement in the employment conditions of Mexican Americans 
is evident when figures for 1967 are compared with those for 1965. The 
proportion of Mexican Americans rose in all categories. 

A very large proportion of Mexican Americans were still found in 
wage board (blue-collar) employment. While 28.2 percent of all Federal 
employees in Texas m 1967 were in wage board classifications, 55.4 
percent of the Mexican Ainerican employees v/ere in this category. 
Conversely, Mexican Americans V7ere underrepresented in general schedule 
(white-collar civil service) emploj'ment. In 1967, 49.3 percent of all 
Texas Federal employment fell in this category, but only 32.0 percent 
of the Mexican Americans (Table 15). 



J._3/ Source: U.S. Civil Service Commission, 1967 Report «on Federal 
7linority Employment. U.S. Printing Office, pp. 164-169, Table No. 5-10. 



977 



TABLE 15 

MEXICAN AMERICANS IN FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT IN TEXAS 
NOVEMBER 1967 AND JUNE 1965 



PAY 


1967 


1965 


CATEGORY 


EMPLOYMENT 


MEXICAN 
AMERICAN 


EMPLOYMENT 


MEXICAN • 
AMERICAN . 




NUMBER 


% 


NUMBER 


% 


TOTAL ALL PAY PLANS 


143,650 


25,872 


18.0 


122,587 


19,132 


15.6 


TOTAL GENERAL 
SCHEDULE Oft SIMILAR 

GS-1 THRU 4 
GS-5 THRU 8 
GS-9 THRU 11 
GS-12 THRU 18 


70,808 

22, 198 
20,212 
17,695 
10,703 


8,279 

4,039 

2,660 

1,338 

242 


11.7 

18.2 

13.2 

7.6 

2.3 


59,767 

18,150 

17,500 

15,400 

8,717 


5,896 

2,795 

2,019 

950 

132 


9.9 

15.4 

11.5 

6.2 

1.5 


TOTAL WAGE BOARD.... 

UP THRU $4,499 
S4,500 THRU 6,499 
S6,500 THRU 7,999 
Se.OOO AND OVER 


40,517 

4,873 
19,640 
13,159 

2,845 


14,330 

1,862 

7,717 

4,310 

441 


35.4 

38.2 
39.3 
32.8 
15.5 


32,083 

6,583 

19,227 

6,153 

920 


10,966 

2,340 

7,322 

1,265 

39 


33.3 

35.5 

38.1 

20.6 

4.2 


TOTAL POSTAL FIELD 
SERVICE 


31,451 

25,688 

4,603 

871 

289 


3,209 

2,891 

296 

18 

4 


10.2 
11.3 

\:\ 

1.4 


28,104 

22,895 

4,283 

730 

196 


2,165 

1,999 

151 

15 


7.7 


PFS-l THRU 4 • 
PFS-5 THRU 8 
PFS-9 THRU 11 
PFS-12 THRU 20 


8.7 
3.5 
2.1 


TOTAL OTHER PAY 
PLANS. 


874 

292 

288 

36 

25& 


54 

31 
20 

3 


6.2 

10.6 
6.9 

1.2 


1,833 

1,314 

223 

78 

218 


105 

93 
•9 

3 


5.7 

7.1 
4.0 

1.4 


UP THRU $4,499 
$4,500 THRU 6,499 
$6,500 THRU 7,999 
$6,000 AND OVER 



*INCLUDES 4TH CLASS POSTMASTERS AND RURAL CARRIERS 

NOTE: 1965 INFORMATION IS FOR MEXICAN-A>fERICAN*EMPLOYMENT. 

SOURCE: Table mimbcr 5-10, page 164, U.S. Civil Service Commission, 1967 Report 
on Federal Minority Employment, U.S. Government Printing Office. 



36-513 O - 70 - 8 (3B) 



978 



Unemployment 



The Mexican American community of Texas has a relatively high 
unemployment rate caused in part by low levels of educational attain- 
ment or lack of verbal facility with the English language. According 
to the 1960 Census, 8.2 percent of the male Mexican American population 
14 years of age .and over V7as unemployed compared to only 3.3 percent 
of the Anglos. Unemployment among Mexican American females was also 
higher than for nonwhite or Anglo females. It is also generally higher 
in cities than in rural areas. For example, in 1966, in highly urbanized 
Bexar County (San Antonio), the unemployment rate was 6.4 percent 
among Mexican American heads of families in the labor force. On the 
other hand, in largely rural Atascosa County, there were only 2.2 
percent unemployed among the Spanish surname heads of families. 

A 1966 survey of the U.S. Department of Labor entitled Sub- 
employment in the Slums of San Antonio shov;ed an 8 percent unemplgy- 
ment rate in the slums of that city where 114,889 people lived. 1^' 
This compares unfavorably with the City of San Antonio's rate of 4.2 
percent. T\-7enty-five percent of the unemployed living in slums had 
been out of work for 6 months or more. More than 18 percent of the 
employed living in the slum area only worked part-time. Nearly half 
of these did so because they could not find full-time employment. 
The survey also revealed a large number of persons in the slum area 
who could have been working but were not working and were not looking 
for work and who thus were not counted as in either the work force 
or as being unemployed. The nonparticipation rate in the slums was 
9 percent among the men in the 20-64 year age group, with a 7 percent 
rate for this group for the country as a whole. About 15 percent 
of the adult males expected to be part of the olum area population 
was not found by the survey. This parallels the Census' "undercount" 
experience. The survey also found 25 percent of the teenagers 
unemployed. 



Income 



Low educational and occupational levels are accompanied by 
comparatively small income. According to the 1960 Census, the median 
personal income of Mexican Americans in Texas in 1959 was $1,536 or 
57 percent of the Anglo median. Nonwhite median income for the same 
year was even less, $1,150, 43 percent of the Anglo income. The 
median Incomes had increased substantially for all three groups for 



14 / "A Sharper Look at Unemployment in U.S. Cities and Slums." U.S. Department 
of Labor Publication 850 #1 and 850 #10. 



979 



the period 1949-1959, 40 percent for the Anglo group, 41 percent for 
nonwhites, and 57 percent for the Mexi.can Americans. 

In 1959, the urban population had considerably higher incomes 
than either the rural nonfarm^or the rural farm population. If the 
variable of nativity is introduced, the most striking finding is that 
the natives of native parents do not have the highest median incomej 
instead, the native of foreign born parentage held this position. 
The letter's is 12 percent above the former's. The difference is 
greatest in urban areas and least in rural areas. As was expected, 
the foreign born group had a much lower median income than either of 
the other two groups. 

Slightly more than half of the Spanish- surname families in Texas 
had annual iicomes below $3,000. The incidence of poverty among 
Mexican American families increases as one moves from urban to rural 
nonfarm and to rural-fami residence. Most of the counties having an 
extreme level of poverty among the Spanish-surname population are in 
the southern portions of the State. This area extends from Maverick 
County on the Rio Grande northeasterly to Medina County, then south 
from Medina to Cameron County where it again joins the Rio Grande. 
The region described consists of 19 counties v/hich in 1960 contained 
over one-third of the Mexican American families of Texas. 



Housing 



Mexican Amer^icans in Texas live in much V70rse housing than 
Anglos. Average income levels below those of Anglos as well as 
families of large size accentuate the problem. No less than one- 
fourth of the Mexican American households, compared to 4 percent 
of the Anglos and 15 percent of the nonwhite households, consisted 
of 7 or more persons. 

The 1960 Census does not provide data which would permit a 
statewide comparison of the housing conditions under which Mexican 
Americans live with those of Anglos. Examples from selected Standard 
Metropolitan Statistical Areas with large Mexican American populations 
are used here to highlight the plight of Mexican Americans. 

In the San Antoiiic Metropolitan Area in 1960 only about three- 
fifths of Mexican Americans lived in housing that the Census 
characterized as "sound." More Mexican Americans than Anglos were 
in deteriorating housing; every eighth Mexican American family 
compared to every twentieth of all families lived in housing which 
the Census called dilapidated (that is housing which cqjistitutes 
a danger to the health and safety of its occupants). Nearly one- 
half (45 percent) of the Mexican Air.erican families, compared v;ith 



980 



one-fiftli of all families, lived in overcrowded housing, housing 
where there are more persons than rooms. Though the majority of 
Me5:ican American families (59 percent) lived in houses they ov/ned, 
the value of the houses was less than tV70-thirds that of all ovmer- 
occupied houses ($6,000 vs $9,300), 

In the El Paso Metropolitan Area, where Mexican Americans made 
up 37 percent of all households, they occupied 85 percent of the 
dilapidated and 71 percent of the overcrowded houses. Dilapidated 
units were almost exclusively found in areas predominantly occupied 
by Mexican Americans. 

In the Brovmsville-Harlingen Area, Mexican Americans were 54 
percent of all households; they occupied 89 percent of the dilapidated 
and 85 percent of the overcrowded units . 

The pattern is repeated wherever Mexican Americans live in any 
numbers. For example, in Lubbock, Mexican Americans lived in deteri- 
orated housing four timer, as often as Anglos, iii dilapidated housing 
six times as often. In Crystal City, a small tovm near the Mexican 
border V7hich is primarily inhabited by Mexican Americans, 87 percent 
of all houoing v;as considered substandard. 



Health 



The only recent data concerning the health of Mexican Americans 
are limited to the San Antonio area. According to a 1967 publication 
of the San Antonio Health Department, __' infant mortality among 
Mexican Americans in that city has sho'.m a progressive decline in the 
past 20 years, but was still much higher than that of Anglos. In 
1950, the infant mortality rate of Mexican Americans in San Antonio 
was 60.2 per 1,000 live births. By 1960, it had dropped to 33.7 and 
continued to decline to a rate of 22.9 in 1965. The infant mortality 
rate for Anglos was lower, 23.2 in 1960 and 18.9 in 1965. Nonwhites 
had higher rates than both Anglos and Mexican Arr.ericans, 41.4 in 1960, 
and 45.4 percent in 1965. 

A smaller percentage of San Antonio's Mexican Americans than of 
the total population died from diseases associated v;ith advanced age. 



15/ "Vital Statistics Bexar County and City of San Antonio 1902-1966" 
published April 1967 by San Antonio Metropolitan Health District. 



981 



heart disease, vascular lesions, cancer and arteriosclerosis. On 
the other hand, Mexican Araericans had higher rates of death from 
pneumonia, cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes and accidents. Premature 
births and diseases of early infancy accounted for a greater percentage 
of deaths eimong Mexican /irnsricans than among the rest of the population. 
The tuberculosis rate aTTiong Mexican /jr.ericans \7as also higher. In 
1960, it \<c>s epproxim::,tely 10 per 10,000 population, about three times 
as high as the rote for the Anglo population in the city. A recent 
computation by the Mexican /jnorican Study project at UCLA Ehov;ed that 
upper respiratory disease was a major cause of death among Mexican 
American recid:;nto in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. This has been 
attributed to the poor housing conditions in the area, i^' 



14 / Mexican /vraerican Study Project Advanced Report Ko. 2, "Her. Ith 
Status and Practices of Mexican Americans." February 196S unpublished 
data. 



982 



UNITED STATES COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS 



STAFF REPORT 



FARM WORKERS 



983 



INTRODUCTION 



Each year, Texas is the origin of the largest of the three 
streams of migratory farm workers who travel northward to harvest 
the Nation's crops, mostly fruits, vegetables, sugar beets and cotton. 
(The other tv/o streams originate in Florida and Southern California.) 
The main stream flows north and west from Texas, covering most of the 
North Central, Mountain and Pacific Coast States before the end of the 
harvest season in December. _1/ 

Of the three million persons who did farm work at any time during 
1967, 466,000 or 15 percent migrated. Mexican Americans provide a 
proportionately large part of the farm labor force and an even larger 
part of the migrant force. In 1960 the 261,000 Spanish speaking persons 
v7ho did farm work represented TL of the farm labor force; the 103,000 
who did migratory farm work accounted for 25% of the migrant force. 
207o of Spanish speaking wage earners did some farm work that year as 
compared to 4.57, for the rest of the Nation. 407„ of the Spanish speaking 
labor force were migrants as opposed to 97, for other farm workers, ll 

The annual migration of over one million persons (including workers 
and their families) reflects the fact that farm work is one of the most 
poox'ly compensated occupations in this country. As the National Advisory 
Committee on Farm Labor declared in 1964, "... The American economy 
embraces many trades that are just as hot, just as dirty, just as 
backbreaking as farm labor... But no work is so ill-rewarded. _3/ 
The simple fact is that migratory workers travel because of extreme 
economic necessity; no other category of workers need move so often 
to obtain work. 4/ 

The particularly deplorable living and working conditions in 
South Texas account for that area's being the fountainhead of the 
migratory stream. A report by the Social Action Department of the 



\l 1968 Report of the Subcomm. on Migratory Labor, The Migratory Farn 
Labor Problem in the United States , S. Doc. No. 1006, 90th Cong., 2d 
9 npfift'i 



Farm 

, . , _ , Sess, 

2 (1968). 
ll Id^ at 4. 

3/ National Advisory Comm. on Farm Labor, Agribusiness and Its Workers 
4 (1964). 

4/ The mobility rate for male farm workers in 1966 was 30.2 as compared 
with 21.5 for v;hite collar workers, 20.8 for manual workers and 18.8 for 
service workers. See n. 1 at 5. 



984 



Texas Catholic Confei"ence presented to the Senate Subconn-nittec of 
Migratory Labor stated: 

Due to the lack of sufficient economic 
development and the declining state of 
American agriculture this condition of 
poverty is most acutely felt in the 
fields of the Rio Grande Valley, The 
overvjhelming majority of hired farm 
workers in this state are Mexican- 
American. Because of the lack of 
opportunities in their area, 88,700 
Texas farm workers (not including their 
families) arc forced to migrate from their 
homes every year in search of employment. 
Unfortunately, because of the vast supply 
of "green carders", that is, people who have 
been granted iminigrant status but who live 
in Mexico and work in the United States, the 
domestic workers are unable to compete with 
the depressed wages that result from the 
availability of cheap labor to the growers. 
This accounts for the fact that almost one- 
half of the Texas migrant workers come from 
the four counties of the Lower Rio Grande 
Valley. 5/ 

I'Thether migrants or non-migrants, farm workers rank lowest in annual 
income of all the Nation's occupational groups. _6/ In all sectors of 
the nonfarm economy and in every State the average hourly earnings of 
production vjorkers are above farm V7age rates, l_l In 1967 employees 
in contract construction made almost four times as much per v;eek as 
farm workers. _8/ The average hourly earnings in agriculture in 1967 
were $1.33; in laundries and dry cleaning $1.73; in all manufacturing, 



_5/ Hearings on ^58, 195, 197, 198 Before the. Subcomm. on Migratory Labor 
o f the Senate Comm. on Labor and Pub. Welfare , 90th Cong. 1st Sess. pt. 
1, at 61 (1967). 

6/ ^ee n. 1 at 27. 

7/ Id. 

8/ Id. 



985 



$2.83; in contract construction, $4.09. 9/ The 1967 average 

farm rates in Texas vere $1.12 per hour as compared with a high of 

$1.62 in California and a low of $.89 in South Carolina. lOl The 

average annual income of migrants employed exclusively at farm work 

was about $1000 in 1964. _ll/ And although many farm workers do 

receive such benefits as housing, meals and transportation, the value of 

these benefits does not compare with fringe benefits, such as paid 

vacations and medical insurance, commonly received by other occupational 

classes. As V7ill be discussed later, housing provided farm workers 

is coinmonly substandard _12/ and transportation comjnonly less than safe. 

Low wages are accompanied by steady unemployment and underemploy- 
ment „ The overall unemployment rate of agricultural workers was 6.5 
percent in 1956, compared with an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent for 
v7orkers in other industries. _13/ Farm workers have the shortest 
workyear of almost any occupation group. During 1965, only 31 percent 
of the -wage and salaried workers in agriculture worked a full year 
(50 to 52 weeks) compared to 62 percent of the wage and salaried 
workers in nonagricultural areas. \hl The same year, in California, 
the average farm worker worked 134 days, both in agricultural and 
non-agricultural employment. 15 / 

It is not surprising, therefore, that a substantial proportion 
of hired farm workers is employed outside of agriculture during part 
of the year. During 1965, about half the migrants did nonfarm work. 
Eventually many people abandon farm work altogether and migrate to 
cities which are ill prepared to provide adequate economic opportunities 
for this flovj of unskilled workers. As Secretary of Labor Uirtz has 
said: "The urban poor who are today overwhelming our cities are the 
rural poor of yesterday... And the rural poor of today... are the urban 
poor of tomorrow" . 16/ 



9/ W. 
20/ Id. 
n/ _Id. at 29. 

12/ Se£ p. 11 

13 / See n. 1 at 47. However, V7ith respect to seasonal workers, the unemploy- 
ment rate during the off-season often runs as high as 50%. Interview with 
Cruz Reynoso, Deputy Director, California Rural Legal Assistance, in San 
Antonio, Texas, Dec. 3, 1968. 

L4/ Ld. at 28. 

15/ Brunwasser, T he Rural Poor, in Rui:al Po verty: Presentation of Discussio n 
Material by the Issues Dev elopment Contm. of the Calif. Demo. Club (1965). 

16/ See n. 5 at 959. 



986 



The unemployment and underemployment of farm vjorkers are 
attributable in part to agriculture's irregular and seasonal 
labor requirements - during harvest season many hands are required 
for a short period of time. Furthermore the farm worker is often 
beset by competition from Mexican "commuters" VT_I and illegal 
entrants, as veil as the continuing decrease in job opportunities 
brought on by mechanization and the greater use of chemicals to 
control V7eed growth. 

The farm worker's low wages and erratic emplo])Tnent are compounded 
by his exclusion from normal worker' s benefits. Farm vjorkers are 
either excluded from or inadequately covered by federal minimum wage 
standards, unemployment insurance, social security benefits, federal 
child labor protection and the benefits of the National Labor Relations 
Act. State legislation for farm workers concerning minimum wages, 
workmen' s compensation, unemployment insurance and migrant housing 
standards ranges from adequate in some states (like California) to 
inadequate in others (like Texas). (See Table i) Even where there 
is legislation, it generally is ineffective. 

Exclusion of farm workers from meaningful social legislation 
is due to well organized oppositioii from farm employers. This 
opposition is based on the argument that "farming is different" - 
different from the majority of American businesses which are subject 
to lavjs protecting workers. The farm traditionally has been portrayed 
to Congress as a family- run affair, at the mercy of the elements, 
which could be burned out one day and frozen out the next and which 
would be destroyed if burdened by social legislation aimed at industrial 
employers. 

In fact, a great transformation has occurred in agriculture. 
Technological developments, labor saving machinery, refrigeration, 
improved fertilizers, crop specialization and other advances have 
turned farming into an industry, resulting in the displacement of 
some two million farm operators and their families and an 85% increase 
in production within a decade. _18/ A farm worker in 1910 produced 



17 / Commuters are Mexican immigrants who retain actual residence in Mexico 
and coiTunute to their employment on this side of the border. They offer un- 
fair competition to the American worker since they live in a lower cost 
economy and are lihus able to work for lovjer wages. 

18/ See n. 3 at 13. 



987 



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988 



enough food for 7 people. Today, despite an increase in per capita 
consuviiption, he produces enough for 24 people. 19 / 

In 1960, less than 9 percent of all farmers o^med nearly 40 
percent of al] farm land, accounted for nearly 50 percent of farm 
sales and paid more than two-thirds of tlie total farm wage bill. 20 / 
It is t'lese large, modern farms, run as profitmaking businesses, that 
employ the vast majority of farmvjorkers. "As of 1964, 89 percent 
of all hired farm workers were employed by the large commercial sized 
agri-business interests." _2l/ Tliis description of the typical modern 
farmer appeared in the Los Angeles Times; 

"Herb Lee, the personable young Vice President 
of Brock Ranches, can look out the big v/indow 
of his modern new office and, without moving, 
watch the asparagus that helps pay his salary 
go from ground to packing crate. Set in the 
midst of cropland a few miles southwest of El 
Centro, the seat of California's Imperial 
County, the quarter-million dollar packing 
shed of which Lee's office is a part exemplifies 
agribusine[> J at its best." 22 / 

One representative of modern agribusiness is the Kern County 
Land Company, vjhich owns 2,800 square miles of land, an area twice 
the si/^e of the State of Rhode Island. KCLC oiims land in 14 states. 



19 / Ido "Agriculture in California is big business, extending over a third 
of the state's land, requiring an investment of some 727,000,000 man hours, 
and producing a gross income of more than three billion dollars. Much of 
this agri-business is run by large corporations which operate like 
industrial factories, vjith elaborate machinery, mass production techniques, 
and large numbers of unskilled or semi-skilled employees. The farmworker 
is one of these employees, the man or woman or child who works for an 
■ hourly piece-wox'k wage on land which he himself does not o\<ti." Lorenz, Jr. 3 
Case Stud y of th e Ca lifor nia Farmworkers , 15 Kan, L. Rev. 409 (1967). 

20/ _Sec n. 3 at 10. 

_21/ Brief for Plaintiff at 4, Romero v. Uirtz, Civil No. 502134 (N.D. Cal., 
1968). 

22/ Los Angeles Times (1961). 



989 



At the very least, the coii^pany owns nearly 350,000 acres in the 
Central Valley of California , 23/ 



23 / Kerry Kajiuk, research director of the United Packinghouse, Food and 
Allied Workers, AI'Tj-CIO, gave the follo\jing testimony before the Senate 
Migration Labor Subconmiittee: 

"Agribusiness influence rests on public acceptance 
of a myth developed and propagated by pov.'erful 
interests in the fanning community. This myth is 
that somehow fan. ' ng and all agriculture is different 
from other forms of commerce. 

Yet, the facts do not support this conclusion. 
Farming of the 1930' s does not resemble farming 
of the 1960's. The public V7as duped into believing 
that fanning is a rough and troubled business staffed 
by independent yeomen fanners with the help of their 
"hired man." In truth, however, farming is a big 
business, grossing more than $3.8 billion in California 
alone, centre'' led by large industrial enterprises who's 
success depe. r, on their very si^ce. 

This is the real structure of agriculture. 

First, bet\.'ccn 1940 and 1960 tlie total number of 
farms fell from 6.4 to 3.5 million - a decline of 
more than 45 percent. VJhile the absolute number 
of farms were declining, the size of farms V7ere 
increat.ing. With a 5-percent rise in farmland, 
the average size of farms increased from 175 acres 
in 1940 to 303 acres in 1959 - an increase of more 
than 73 percent. Farms with more than 500 acres 
(9 percent of all fan.is) accounted for 61 percent 
of land in farms during 1959. This situation led 
one student of agriculture to remark that "it 
would be h.- rd to drive farmers out of farming 
faster than present economic conditions have 
been doing for years." 

Second, although the 19,979 large-scale farms 
which marketed $100,000 or more farni products repre- 
sented only four- fifths of 1 percent of the 2.4 
million coiirmercial farms, they accounted for one- 
sixth of all cominer-cial farm products sold during 
1959, and employed more than 20 percent of all 
hired fannworkcrs. Moreover, 32 percent of all 
farm products sold in tliat year v;ere marketed 



990 



(footnote 23/ continued 



by only 3 percent of all farms classified as 
class I commercial enterprises with sales 
of $40,000 or more. These farms employed 35 
percent of all hired farm labor. 

Third, and most important, roughly half the 
farms in the Nation employ no farmvjorkers, 
but rather rely on family labor. Another 30 
percent of the farms spend less than $500 
a year on hired labor.. Only 6 percent of all 
farms have a wage bill of over $2,500 a year. 
In other words, the real impact of collective 
bargaining would fall on the top 12.9 percent 
of American corporate farms which paid 80.7 
percent of the total farm wage bill in 1959. 

Fourth, according to one source; 

Concentration of laudownership has grown along 
\?ith its rising cost until today the Nation's 
100,000 biggest farms coiitrol about one- fourth 
of all farmland resources. For many years now, 
about one- third of all faptiland has been bought 
by purchasers who are not farmers. 

Gentlemen, we are talking about the cream of American 
agricultuj.-e. We are discussing eiiterprises that reap 
millions of dollars in profits from the land. We are 
examining business enterprises representing billions 
of dollars in invested capital, managed by some of 
the best equipped technicians in our society. We are 
not talking about the small family farm \'riLth its 
one or two hired hands. 

Wlien this is realized, the supposed distinctions 
between industry and agriculture diminish. Enter- 
prises in both sectors are characterized by their 
similarities, not their differences. Both are huge 
corporate organizations, both employ vast numbers of 
workers and both are immensely profitable. See n. 5 
at 213. 



991 



Most of the farmv.'orker' s problems arc indistinguishable from 
the problcivis affecting the poor generally. Some of these problems, 
however, are related to his particular emplopnent statvis and cultural 
background. He is likely to be unskilled and uneducated and therefore, 
inc.ioable of qualifying for higher paying jobs. Often he is a Mexican or 
Mc>. ' an-Airicrican, "separated from the dominant, Anglo-Saxon culture 
of /\i.ierica, the inheritor of a distinctive history, divergent values, 
and a profound sense both of his inferiority and of his ovni special 
worth''. ^/ lie lacks effective economic organization and political 
participation and the conditions of abject poverty, poor education, 
poor health, squalid working and living conditions permeate every 
facet of his existence. "Understandably . , .(he) is not easily 
persuaded that his wages, hours, and vjorking conditions can be 
readily improved. Redemption at the end of a lifetime may appear 
possible, but progress which is measured at an annual rate may be 
quite unthinkable to him". _25/ Some of the basic problems of the 
farj", orker will be discussed in the remainder of this paper, 

WAGES 

Despite recent increases, farm v;ages are still the lowest of all 
occupational groups. Moreover, they are becoming relatively worse. 
"(T)he gap between agricultural and nonagricultural earnings has 
continually V7idened since World VJar II. The relative worsening of 
the farm-nonfarm wage-rate situation exists when adjustments arc made 
for cost-of-living increases, and holds for all major sections of 
the country." _26/ The farm worker ' s. situation is compounded by the 
fact that his work year is shorter than that of almost any other 
occupational class and his family and dependents more numerous. 

The reason for the systematic depression of farm labor wage 
rates was summarized by Senator Yarborough of Texas during hearings 
of the Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor: 

2kl _S£e n. 15 at 42i7~ 
25/ W. at 422. 
26/ See n. 1 at 27. 



992 



The fanner has less income now, I think he 
has more gross income, but he has less n'et 
profit now than lie has had in tlic past. The 
costs are constantly goin^. up, so the owners 
of the farms have responded by fighting to 
hold down all the costs, he has less machinery 
because machinery has gone up fastest of all, 
because the workers vjho produce that machinery 
, . . are organized, so his machinery has gone 
up, his clieniical fertilizers have gone up, his 
insecticides and pesticides to protect the 
crops have gone up„ 

So the only thing he is strong enough to protect 

himself on is vjages, because the migrant worker 

is economically vjeak -- vjeaker than the farmer. 27 / 

In 1966 the Fair Labor Standards Act was amended to cover for the 
first time agricultural workers. By and large the coverage is ineffec- 
tivCo The Act applies only to workers employed by employers using 
more than 500 man-days of farm labor in any calendar quarter of the 
preceding calendar year. Its provisions thus apply to only 35,000 
farms (about 1 percent of the total farms) and 400,000 workers. The 
v;age is presently set at $1.15 per hour and v.'ill increase to an in- 
adequate $1.30 on February 1, 1969. Certain vrorkers who arc paid 
on the piece rate are exempted and all farm workers are excluded 
from the Act's overtime provisions. _28/ The Act has been less than 
enthusiastically enforccdc For example, in Hidalgo County , Texas, v.iiere 
about one fourth of the labor force "is employed in agriculture, the 



27/ See n. 5 at 113, 



28 / At present seven states, Hawaii, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, 
New Jersey, Nev; Mexico and Wisconsin, have minimum wage provisions 
affecting agricultural workers. California recently revised its farm 
V7agc order setting a $1.65 minimum for women and a $1.35 minimum for 
16 and 17 year olds. U.S. Dcpt. of Labor , Bureau of Labor Standards , 
Status of Agr ' cu ltural. \\'or]ce rs Unde r St a te and Federal Labor Laws , 
Addendum (Dec. 1955, 'rev' d Dec. 1, 1967). 

Sugar beet workers are treated under special legislation. Under 
the Sugar Act of 1948, 7 U.S.C. Is 1100-1161 (1964), wages for these 



993 



V7age and hour office spends only about, five percent of its time on 
agricultural enforcement. _29/ The officials realize that in- 
fractions are widespread , but point out that the intermittent 
v.'ork pattern of employees makes violations hard to pin do\'m. 
Furthermore the amount collected by a suit against any individual 
emplwy^r might be no more than $15 or $20. _30/ Fev? farni workers 
are av.'are of the provisions of minimum vjage legislation and of 
those that are av.^are many are afraid to complain. 

The Migratory Labor Subcommittee 19G8 Report urgently reconmiends 
expansion of minimum wage legislation — both in terras of rate set 



(footnote 28/ continued) 



laborers are determined by the Secretary of Agriculture on the basis 
of annual regional hearings. 7 U.S.C. s 1131 (c)(1) (1964); 7 C.F.R. 
I 802 (1966); 32 Fed. Reg. 5A58 (1967). (One cor,imentator has stated 
that these hearings are usually dominated by sugar processors and 
producers and lack adequate representation of the workers' interests. 
Chase, Tlie M igr ant Farm Worker in Colorado - The Life and the I.aw , 
40 Colorado L. Rev. 45, 64(1967)). 

As of 1967 producers of sugar beets are given the option of paying 
$1.40 per hour or paying on a piece-work basis. 32 Fed. Reg, 5458 (1967). 
(Compliance with these rates is ensured by requiring evidence thereof 
from the employer as a prerequisite to receiving annual sugar payments. 
7 U.S.C. §1131 (1964); 32 Fed. Reg. 5459 (1967).) "It should be noted, 
however, that at $1.40 per hour, working 50 weeks for eight hours a day 
which is extremely unlikely) a v/orker v?ould have an annual income of 
$2,800, hardly a living v/age" . See Chase, infra , at p. 65, n, 40. 

On October 26-28, 1967, the Inter-Agency Committee on Mexican American 
Affairs held cabinet hearings in El Paso, Texas, Testimony was heard 
and a discussion group was held concerning the problems of farm workers 
in sugar beets. The discussion group responded to the presentation 
by recoirjiicnding to Secretary Freeman that the minimimi hourly v;age for* 
workers in sugar beets be raised to $2.00 per hour. 

29 / Interviev; with Mr. Michael Ward, Wage and Hour Investigator, in McAllen, 
Texas, Sept. 1968. 

30/ Id, 



36-513 O - 70 - 9 (3B) 



994 



and number of workers included. More adequate coverage of fami 
workers would not, as farm interest groups have alleged, put any 
undue burden on the consumer. The Repor t demonstrated that v;age 
increases for farm labor would have little, if any, impact on 
the consumer in terms of his spending power in the supe7."inarket: 

It has been alleged that the wages needed to 
attract American workers to our fields would 
force the consumer to pay higher prices for 
his foods. The fact of the matter is that 
. the cost of field labor is only a minute 
part of the retail price paid by the consumer. 
On a head of lettuce which has a retail price 
of 21 cents the field labor cost is 1 to 1.3 
cents. On a pound of celery retailing at 15-2 
cents per pound, the cost of field labor is 
0.3 to 0.5 cent. On lemons retailing at 24 
cents per pound, the field laboi" costs are 
0.6 to 1 cent. On dates retailing at 49 
cents per pound, field labor comes to 1 
cent per pound. On oranges retailing at 
50 to 72 cents per dozen, the field labor 
costs are 1 to 2 cents. And on grapefruits 
having a retail price of 8 to 10 cents each, 
the field labor costs are 0.2 to 0.4 cents. 31/ 

HOUSING 

A vast number of federal programs to improve farm labor housing 
are administered by the Farmers Home Administration, the Department 
of Housing and Urban Development, the Economic Development Administra- 
tion, the Small Business Administration and the United States Department 
of Agriculture Rural Community Development Service. These programs 
provide financial assistance for the construction and improvement of 
farm labor housing. As a general matter they are too complex, involve 
undue delay, and often apply different standards and regulations. 32 / 
Most important, they lack centraliiiation and coordination. 



31/ See n. 1 at 30, 
32/ Id. at 19. 



995 



Otb.er lav.'s attempt to force, employers to mai^ntain decent 
housing conditions. Under U.S. Department of Labor regulations 33/ 
an interstate em'ployer of farm labor may not use state emplo>niient 
services for recruitment unless he furnishes housing that is hygenic 
and adequiite to the climate, reasonably calculated to accommodate 
the v.'orlccrs sought, and safe and sanitary. If state standards 
are more stringent than the federal requirements, compliance with 
them al;50 is mandatory. 

Similarly, thirty-two states have mandatory lav7s or regulations 
governing housing facilities provided for migratory workers. 34 / 
These states include all those with heavy migrant demand except 
for Texas. But all too often the standards established are too 
weak or inadequately enforced. "State inspection lavzs are necessary, 
follov;cd by meaningful enforcement action. One possible approach 
is prelicensing powers to forbid the occupancy of defective structures" .35/ 
Along these lines, a recent amendment to Massachusett' s housing regula- 
tions requires annual inspection and certification of all housing 
facilities. 

In spite of state and federal legislation decent housing remains 
an urgent need of the rural poor. "They live in dilapidated, drafty, 
ramshackle liouscs that are cold and wet in the winter, leaky and 
steaming in summer. Running v/ater, inside toilets, and screened 
windovjs are the exception rather than the rule". _36/ 

■ In making these observations, the 1967 Coireidssion on Rural 
Povert y Report took particular note. of tlie fact that the housing 
of Mexican Americans in the Southwest is far belov; the level of 
other housing in the area. The Report refers to a study in Nev; 
Mexico revealing that while 89 percent of the homes had electricity; 
only 33 percent had running water; 07ily 26 percent had flush toilets, 
only 13 percent had telephones. A similar study showed that only 
a third of the rural Mexican American families in Atascosa County, 
Texas, had indoor plumbing and only a fourth had hot running water. 



_33/ 20 C.F.R. 602.9(d) 
34/ _See n. 28 at 4. 
35/ See n. 1 at 19. 



36/ President's National Advisory Conuiiission on Rural Poverty, The 
People Left Behind 99 (1967). 



996 



Testimony recently given before tlie Texas Interim ConcTiittce 
Considering Wages, Employment and Economic Problems pointed out that 
in Starr County, an overv;helmingly Mexican American county, 35 percent 
of all housing was classified by the local Coiranunity Action Program 
agency as either "deteriorating" or "dilapidated". More than half 
of the houses had neither a bath nor shower, more than half had no 
flush toilets, more than a third had no running vjatcr, either inside 
or outside. 37/ 

Similarly, in California, one of the most progressive states 
in terms of farm worker legislation, a 1962 study made for the 
Governor's Advisory Committee on Housing made the follovjing findings 
based on a study of six representative coniinunities: 

Fewer than 20 percent of the farm v.'orker 
families covered in our study live in dwellings 
which could be considered adequate by present 
standards of health, safety and comfort. Sixty- 
three percent of the dv.'elling units occupied by 
general field workers were dilapidated or deteriorated. 
For 33 percent of the dwelling units occupied by general 
field \7orkers, the only toilet facilities were pit 
privies. Thirty percent of the dwellings had no 
bathing facilities, and 25 percent lacked even so 
basic a necessity as a kitchen sink with running 
v;ater. 38 / 

The housing problem is compounded in the case of migrants wlio 
take up temporary residence in a series of living quarters as they 



37/ Testimony presented by Rev. Edgar Krueger. 

38/ Mr. Thomas Pitts, quoted in Supplement B, Housing Needs of California 
Farm Workers (1962). This observation was elaborated upon by James 
Lorenz, Jr., who points out that "(s)eventccn percent (of the California 
farm workers) rent housing from landlords who are also their employers 
and v;ho thereby possess magnified power over their lives. In such cases, 
and in others, the workers may be wary about pressing for redress of their 
grievances". 15 Kan. L. Rev. 421 (1967). 



997 



travel, often living in hotels, furnished rooms or itrailers. The 
President's Coirj'.ission on Rural Poverty Report stated: 

Migratory farm v;orkers as a group are dis- 
criminated against. They are not welcome 
to take up permanent residence in the 
communities where they work for a brief 
period, or- season each year. They are 
tolerated because their labor is necessary 
to harvest crops. Established residents 
and service organizations have little con- 
tact with them and want less. 

Although Federal funds have been available 
for many years for the construction of housing 
for migratory workers, farmers and farm associa- 
tions have been reluctant to build housing 
for migratory workers with the aid of these 
funds. Many farmers are unwilling to make 
the capital investment required for the con- 
struction of housing for migratory workers 
in spite of the liberal terms of financial 
assistance by the Federal Govermment. More- 
over, they are reluctant to build housing 
and maintain it in good condition, since 
they fear it will be vacant for much of the 
year. 

While some improvements have been made in recent 
years, the general condition is still deplorable. 
Twenty-eight States have enacted legislation 
establishing minimum standards for living space, 
provisions for running water, bath and toilet 
facilities, cooking and dining space, sewage 
disposal, and requiring more frequent inspec- 
tions of labor camps to see that standards are 
met. In general, however, housing for migratory 
labor is still intolerable. 39/ 



39/ See n. 1 at 16. 



998 



HEALTH 

As an occupational class, the farm v/orker has one of the 
highest accident rates in the country. (\0l At the same time his 
living and v;orking conditions are among the most unsanitary. Labor 
in fields recently sprayed with toxins 40a/ and use of contaminated 
water supplies and unsanitary toilet facilities frequently lead to 
health problems. 

When migrants congregate to harvest a crop, disease and epidemics 
become a major threat; 

It is hard to imagine how anyone, even those 
with rugged health and some understanding of 
sanitary principles, could stay well in the 
housing furnished to many migrant families. 
Sanitary facilities may be primitive or so 
badly maintained as to be worse than useless. 
Wiere facilities do exist, they may contaminate 
nearby shallow wells. Water supplies are often 
nonexistent or water may have to be carried several 
hundred feet from a coiTimon tap or well. Families 
of 8 or 10 people may be crov.'dcd into a space adequate 
for 2 or 3. 41/ 

In 1967 the average per capita health care expenditure for the 
one million migrant workers and their families was $7.20 as compared 
v;ith $200 for the population as a v?hole and $170,15 for the Indian 
population. 4_2/ It is not surprising, therefore, that the health of 
the farm v;oi-ker is far below the national norm. To a great extent 



40/ Agriculture is tlie third most hazardous industry. Its fatality 
rate is exceeded only by that of mining and construction. National 
S afety Council, Accident Facts 23 (1967). 

40a / In June of this year a Rio Grande Valley newspaper reported the 
hospitalization of 14 Mexican- American farm hands "felled by deadly 
parathion sprayed on the cotton field in v/hich they V7ere vjorking" . 
"Three were nearly dead when they arrived at the hospital..." The 
examining doctor reported that the v;orkcrs "apparently absoi-bed 
through their skin the poison which (the morning dev?) contained". 
"He said symptoms of parathion poisoning are, progressively, tightness 
of the chest, nausea, vomiting, diaherea, fluid in the lungs; con- 
vulsions, and death". Valley Morning Star , June 15, 1968. 

41 / Hear ings Before the Nat ional Advisor y Commission on Rural Poverty, 
Rural Poverty 106 (Jan. 196"7) . 

42/ See n. 1 at 15. 



999 



this is due to financial inability to secui-c proper imedical and dental 
treatment . For example, at a meeting on migrant health problems 
receiitly held in Hidalgo County, Texas, it was pointed out by many 
persons that fami workers arc often refused service in the local 
hospitals because they are unable to pay the $50 or $75 required as dovm 
payment ,j43/ Constant mobility, lack of education on basic health 
and dental matters, and unav;arcness about available health services 
are also factors. 

The Migrant Health Act of 1962, 44/ extended in 1967, 45/ 
represe'its an important step in upgrading the health of the migrant 
family. The program pays part of the cost of (i) establishing and 
operating family health service clinics for domestic migrant v.^orkers 
and their families, including training persons to provide services 
in the estal^lishment and operation of these clinics, and (ii) special 
projects to improve existing health services. Through these services 
farm vjorkers receive medical diagnosis and treatment, immunization, 
family planning and prenatal care. Nursing services, sanitation 
services, health education and dental programs also are available 
under the Act. The year 1967 saw a total of 115 projects located 
i.n 35 states and Puerto Rico. 

Althougli the number of migrants having access to these projects 
has increased from less than 100,000 during the first year of the 
program's existence to an estimated 310,000 in 1967, 4^/ this represents 
only one third of all migrants and "even for this portion of the migrant 
population, the care is intermittent and accessible only if the migrant 
happens to live and work in a county where a project is in operation. "47/ 

43/ Interview v;ith Rev. Edgar Krueger in Pharr, Texas, Oct. 27, 1968, 
44/ Public Law 89-692. 
45/ Public Law 87-692. 

_46/ See n. 1 at 14. 
47/ Id. at 15. 



1000 



The ur[icnt: need foi' cx;'>an.'-jion find ivr.provemcnt of the pr'ograiii v;as under- 
scored by tlt-'i findings of the President's Co;iuTii.ssion on Rural Poverty 
that: 

)io\.''aor£ in the United States is tlie nocd for 
her' 1th service so acute, and nowhere is it so 
inadequate e.s vith the low- income citizens in 
rural /uacrica. VJe have failed miserably to 
protect the health of lo\.'- income people in 
rui"al areas. The health service they pet is 
not only inadequate in extent but seriously 
deficient in quality. It is badly organized, 
underfinanced, rar-ely related to the needs of 
the individual or the ffir.rily. Such health 
service as there is too often ic discriminatory 
in teiTa?? of race and income and heedless of the 
dignity of the individual! . ^18 / 



FA?uM CHILDREN 

A most deprcGsiijg aspect of tl-ic farm labor situation is the 
pliglit of faxT.i ch.ildren. The general poverty and erratic employment 
pattern of their p;irc-i:tE result in serious educational difficulties. 
VHien arked about the problem his family faced in educating hie children, 
one fariP. \7orkcr stated; 

My fatli?.r and mother live w:! th us and \,'e must 
suppoi't tlic.ri. We have to go North each year 
becaui.c v;:; don't make enough here, I don't 
want to keep the kids out of schoo] , bv.t I have 
to. \Jlicn \:e are picking tomatoes in Michigan 
its hard to return in time to put the kids in 
school because we lose a bonus if we do not 
stay until the end of the season. On tlie other 
hand the principal puts pressure on us to come 
back in time for school saying that the children 
will not pass if tliey do not return in time. 49 / 

In a report outlining the problems of migrant education, former 
Secretary of Health, Education and V.'elfarc, Anthony Celebrczze pointed 
out that migrant children "are the most educationally deprived group of 



48? Id. at 16. 

49/ Interview v/ith i;?;. Santos Gon-ales in Mission, Texas, Sept. 11, 19f 



1001 



children in our Nation. They enter school late, their attendance is 
poor, their progress is slov;, they drop out early; consequently their 
illiteracy is high. Studies indicate that most migrant children are 
far belov; grade level and that their school achievement is usually 
under fourth grade c" 50 / 

To meet the special needs of migrants the Office of Education 
and the Office of Economic Opportunity have instituted special programs 
provi.ding services such as day care, compensatory education, special 
drop-out programs, adult education and basic health, food and clothing 
svipportive programs. Texas migrant education programs include special 
bilingual training, conce-atrated six month instruction programs, and 
various supportive programs. 

State compulsory school attendance lav7S often are inadequately 
enforced and in many cases migrant children are not covered by them 
since they are often nonresidents of the states where their family 
is employed. 

Another critical factor in the life of farm labor children is 
the health problem resulting from their labor. Presently, agri- 
cultural labor of children outside of school hours is exempted from 
the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. ^/ 
Only 11 states provide a minimum age for the employment of farm 
children outside of school hours. _52/ Yet excessive muscular activity 
of children at an early age has serious harmful effects on children. 
Agricultural labor requiring constant bending, stooping and lifting 
expends the child's energy which is needed for normal growth, and 
chronic fatigue lowers a child's resistance to disease. 5^/ Further- 
more children are acutely affected by the rising accident rate 
accompanying the mechanization of farm labor. It has been estimated 
that there are about 800,000 fami laborers under 16, comprising one 
fourth of the total vrork force. "A recent Department of Labor study 
covering only seven states, and incomplete even in those seven, 
shov;ed nearly 4,000 injuries in 2 years to farm v7orkers 10 to 17 
years old" . 54 / 



5_0/ See n. 36 at 49. 

51/ On July 1, 1967, the Secretary of Labor issued regulations declaring 

"certain jobr to be hazardous for persons under age 16 with the effect of 

excluding these children from certain fai^m occupations. 29 C.F.R. 1500, 

Apr. 18, 1967. 

52/ See n. 1 at 34. 

53/ _Id. 

54/ Id. at 32. 



1002 



RESIDENCE REQUIllE>fEKrS 

Most states have residence requirements having the dual effect 
of disenfranchising the migrant farm v;orkcr and excluding him and 
his family from public assistance programs. For voting most states 
require establishment of residence and previous registration. "Only 
in a minority of states is it possible for absent residents both to 
register and vote by mail. Accordingly, migrancy is likely to dis- 
enfx'anchise the farm worker in his home State without conferring 
the right to vote elsev/nere". 55 / 

Federal programs - old age assistance, aid to the blind, aid 
to farailies with dependent children, aid to the permanently and 
totally disabled and medical assistance for the aged, are usually 
tied to state residence requirements of up to one year. General 
assistance payments and, to a lesser extent, emergency relief assistance 
are normally tied to residence requirements of up to six years. Since 
general relief programs ai'e usually administered by the county, appli- 
cants generally have the additional burden of demonstrating residence 
ivi the particular county v;hei*e application is made. 

Residence and length of residence is difficult to prove for farm 
laborers \-i\io move fx-om farm to farm without formally registering in 
each county. Assuming a county can be determined to be responsible 
for a %-.'ox"ker it must still be proven that he has lived in the state 
for the requisite number of years with the intent to make it his 
home. For farm laborers living in labor camps or fringe area "flop 
hoi'.ses" intent is not easily demonstrable and thus the ambiguity 
of a farm \7orker' s place of residence may result in the denial of 
general relief. 

These residence rcquii'ements for public assistance, currently 
under attack in the courts, 56/ are incorrect in their inference that 
migrant workern provide an undue burden on local v/elfare systems. First, 
they ignore the extent to which the state depends on this seasonal labor 
force to harvest its crops. Secondly, the assumption that the poor will 
flock to a state to receive benefits when the state has no residency 
requirements has been proven unfounded. The Moreland Commission on 



_55/ j[cU at 62. Mexican American farm workers suffer an additional 
disadvantage in states like California v;here English literacy is a 
prerequisite to voting. Cal. Const. Art. II, si, 

_55/ Lower federal courts have sustained attacks on many such requirements. 
Several of these cases are presently pending in the Supreme Court: Shapiro 
v. Thomson, prob. ju ris, note d, 389 U.S. 1032 (1968); Washington v. 
Legrant, prob. ju ris, not ed, 390 U.S. 940 (1968); Reynoldci v. Smith, 
Jli:£!l'.i„=1.H?-2:".'„ll?Iil^» 390 uTs. 940 (1968). 



1003 



Public V.'clf.rre iu Nev; York, after studying that state's welfare cystcin, 
vjhicli in uifJ.qunly dcvoxd of durational requirements, found that: 

To nsnurnc that people are influenced to move 
or not to move according to the availability 
of help on a relief basis is to misunderstand 
the dynamics of huj-nan behavior. 

...welfare aid is not a lure for people on the 
move, and. . .migration to States V7here living 
is attractive is high desp ite strict residence 
requireiiients. (Emphasis in the original) 57/ 

Residence requirements for voting arc traditionally based on 
the desire that voters be fam.iliar \d.th local issues and candidates. 
This does not justify discnfranchiscment in presidential and con- 
gresfiion.il elections. There is no rational connection between a 
person's length of residence in a given place and his ability to 
cast a meaningful vote for national officers. It is not surprising 
that this class of people, v;hich has been systemiticall}' excluded 
from all meaningful worker benefit legislation, both state and 
federal, ir; also a cla^s which is devoid of any political voice, 

UNEbff'LOy>n'OT IHSUEANCE AND WORICMEN'S COMPENSATION 

The purpose of unemplo>'ment insurance is to "alleviate the 
burden on the unemployed, to insure a diligent worker against the 
vicissitudes of enforced unemployment caused through no fault of the 
worker, and to bolster the national and local economics by provi-ding 
a minimal sustenance and spending power during periods of involuntary 
unemployment". _58/ Yet farm workers, a group which annually encounters 
unemplo^Tiient and severe economic hardship during the late axitujmi and 
winter months, are the only significant occupational class employed 
by private enterprise which is excluded from unemployment insurance 
benefits. 59/ 



57/ See n~l at 58. 
58/ See n. 21 at 3. 

59/ The federal statute providing for the collection of unemployment com- 
pensation exempts employers of agricultural workers from payment of the 
federal tajx. 26 U.S.C. §3306 (c) & (k) . Although states are free to 
provide coverage independently of the federal schc^ne, of all the fifty 
ototeo, o-nly Hawaii has opted to do co. 



1004 



Two traditional reasons are given for the exclusipn of farm 
workers. The first is that the transient pattern of agricultural 
employment \7ould make the aduiinistration of the program for farm 
vorkcrs too difficult. The second is that the financial burden of 
coverage v7ould be too great on the farmer. Both are based on the 
characterization of the average farm employer as the small family 
farmer. Thirty three years ago when the national plan of unemploy- 
ment insurance was enacted this characteri;:ation was correct. Today, 
as has been seen, agriculture is dominated by high financed, highly 
mechanized and coraputcrizcd commercial farms. 

To accurately reflect the realities of present day agri-business 
it has been suggested that unemployment compensation coverage be extended 
to farm employees working for employers who used more than 300 man days 
of labor in any of the four preceding quarters. This would cover abovit 
67,000 farms employing about 572,000 v/orkers. It would not affect sirall 
fcjiiily farm operators and the increase in cost to farms covered only 
v;ould be about. 2 percent of their total production expense. 

The limited extension of unemployment compensa- 
tion to farm v.'orkers eanployed on our Nation's 
largest farms v7ould obviously have little 
impact on food prices or labor costs. How- 
ever, the extension of unemployment com.pensa- 
tion coverage to farm v^orkers would be a 
great step for^rard in providing small amounts 
of income for the migrant and his family during 
the periods of the year vlien employmeiTt is un- 
available. 60 / 

The Department of Labor concurs in this position: 

The national objective should be to achieve 
for farm v/orkcrs the kind of protection which 
has come to be accepted for non-farm manpower. 
More specifically: 1. Unemployment insurance 
should be extended to farm wage workers, . .61/ 



60/ See n. 1 at 52. 

61/ U.S. Dcpt. of Labor, Manpower Report 145 (1966). 



1005 



The purpose of v;orkraen's corapcnsation is to assure that 
benefits be pnid promptly to employees injured on the job, with a 
ininivnuni of fonaality and without the need for protracted litigation. 62 / 
Although there, is almost total compulsorj' coverage of industrial workers 
under state l;;w, agricultural workers have been omitted from coverage 
on the grounds tliat the occupation is nonmechanized and therefore 
less hazsrdous. As has been seen, the introduction of mechanization 
and the vjidaspread use of toxins have made farm labor one of the most 
dangerous occupritions in the country. 63 / 

Neveri-hcilesE, only lA states cover farm workers to approximately 
the came extent as other workers. Eight others cover farm workers 
to a mora limited extent. In some states farm vjorkers are exempted 
from autcroatic coverage but m:;y ba included voluntarily by the 
farrier. In five states, including Texas, there is no coverage what- 
soever. 

To renedy this situation the follov?ing recommendation vras 
msde in. the 1968 Report of the Senate Sub cor.-Tiittee on Mig ratory Labor: 

Co'.ripulsory vorlcmen' s compensation lav;s should 
be extended so as to provide coverage for all 
agricultural workers. I'Hiile such lav7s tradi- 
tionally have been V7ithin the province of State 
government, the interstate recruitment and 
cmployT.ient of migratory fai"m V70i"kerc and the 
contimied lack of adequate coverage at the 
State level strongly suggest the desirability 
of Federal action in this area. 64 / 

lABOR ORGANIZATION AND I-JLR/. EXCLUSION 

One important route for alleviating the problems of the farm 
v^ox'ker would be effective organization. Several obstacles stand in 
the w'ay, hov/ever. In their daily field work fairm workers are dispersed. 
They often migrate for parts of the year. Both of these factors make 
farm vrarkers much harder to organize than industrial workers. The lack 
of c political voice results in action and inaction at both the state 
and federal level supporting or favoring farm o\mers rather than farm 



62 / To be distinguished fram worJcmen' s compensation benefitting workers 
injured on the job are. temporary dis^ibility insurance laws providing bene- 
fits for workers because of non-v;ork connected illness or accident. 
Few states have such 'legislation and only California's covers fana workers, 

63 / See discussion at P- 16. 

64/ See n. 1 at 52. 



1006 



workers and often intefcring vrith organizational efforts. "It was 
cpparent to me", stated Senator Edward Kennedy, referring to testimony 
he heard about organisational efforts in Delano, California, and 
Starr County, Texas, "that the problems faced by the farm v;orkers 
are overxv^helming, especially the violence that was perpetrated on the 
workers who were trying to organize and who were trying to better 
the fundamental conditions in which they work, in which they exist, 
in which they live, conditions v;hich affect sanitation, affect their 
health, and affect the kind of food that they V7ill eat". 65 / 

Most important, farm workers have been continually excluded 
from the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 which provides machinery 
facilitating the orderly and peaceful organization of workers. 66 / 
The exclusion of these v;orkers has tr.?.ditionally been justified on 
the familiar grounds that agriculture is different from industry, 
and tb.-.t fanners life particularly vulnerable to strikes at harvest 
time and would have to accede to even the most unreasonable de/aands. 
One response has been that strikes would be no more likely were farm 
v;oi*kers covered by the Act, that in fact the absence of coverage was 
partly respoiisible for the recent history of strikes and boycotts, 
alluded to by Senator Kennedy, above, and that had farm.ers been willing 
to negotiate contracts with the workers the strike would have been 
averted. 

The primary issue in the organizatioiial struggles in Delano and 
Stari' County \7as self determinatioii. They involved no single goal. 
"Wages and working conditions v/ere basic, of course, but the primary 
objective was to have the workers share in the decisions that affected 
their lives." j67/ In the 1960s unionization efforts of California farm 
workers took new life, ov7ing in part to vigor generated by the civil 
rights movement and the termination of the bracei'o program (Public Law 
78) which deprived growers of their cheap labor supply. By 1965 two 
m.?.jor California groups were active, the Agricultural Workers Organizing 
Cor.i-nittee, AFI.-CIO, striking to increase wages from $1.20 to $1.40 in 
the Coachella Valley and the National Farm Workers Association in Delano 
(headed by Cesar Chavez), opposing rent increases, for the deplorable 
shacks which constituted public housing near Delano. The NFi'JA had 



65/ See n. 5 at 53^ 

66/ 49 Stat. 449 (1935), as amended, 61 Stat. 137 (1947), 29 U.S.C. 151, 
et seq . (1964) . 

67/ National Advis or y Committee on Farm Labor, Farm Labor Organizing 
1905-1967 . A brief History 48 (1967). 



1007 



organised a credit union, a newspaper, a cooperative stbre, a health 
clinic, a theatre group and other activities to meet the needs of 
the f ann vorkers . 

When the AVJOC workers brought their demands for higher v^ages, 
better v;orking conditions, and a union contract to Delano ranches, 
they were joined by the KFWA. Only the largest ranches like Schenley 
and DiGiorgio \7cre struck: 

The growers responded in ti-aditional fashion 
by returning registered union letters unopened, 
hiring strikebreakers, denying the existence of 
a strike, and harrassing pickets. Trucks and 
tractors were driven near to choke the pickets 
with dust. Picket signs were riddled with bullets 
and the strikers sprayed v;ith insecticide. Injunc- 
tions to limit picketing wore secured and groups 
were arrested for unlawful assembly. Workers vjho 
had lived for years on grower property v;ere evicted. 68/ 

Aided by outside donations, a refusal of the International 
Longshoremen' s and VJarehousemen' s Union to load grapes across the 
AWOC-Ni^s^A picket lines, assistance from the Migrant Ministry of the 
California Council of Churches and national attention arising from 
a inarch on the State capital in 1966, the union arrived at an agree- 
ment VT.th Schenley recognising NRs'A as the sole bargaining agent for 
its workers. This resulted in a contract providing for a $1.75 an hour 
rninimuiTi, fringe benefits, and a union shop and hiring hall. 69 / 

Siibsequently a consuiucr boycott aimed at DiGiorgio products was 
stepped up. The ITF\1A and the AWOC merged into the United Farm Workers 
Organizing Comnittee, obtaining a charter from the AFL-CIO, and won a 
representational election in the DiGiorgio fields late in August 1966. 
In April 1967, results of arbitration V7ere announced, including sub- 
stantial wage hikes, the establishment of a fund including health and 
welfare, dental, pension and insurance benefits. DiGiorgio agreed 
to pay an initial $25,000 into the fund and contribute five cents an 
hour per employee. Other aspects of the contract covered vacations, 
holidays, unemployment insurance, hiring and leaves of absence. 70 / 

68/ id~at 49. 
69/ Id at 51. 
70/ Id. at 53. 



1008 



Union activity developed next in Starr County, Texas: 

Starr Counly. in the lov/er Rio Grande Valley on 
the 1-Icxican border, is the home base for thousands 
of migrants and one of the poorest counties in the 
United States. Average per capita income is $1,568. 
Farm v7orkers earn an estimated 50 to 85 cents 
an hour, and about 75 percent of the county popula- 
tion misrates in search of work. Since 90 percent 
of the people in the county are Mexican American, 
sympathy for the farm workers is almost universal. 71 / 

Ow^-ng to greater access of growers in this border area to Mexican 
strike breakers, organising difficulties caused by the mass migration 
of v.'orkers, and the apparent alliance between the state law enforce- 
inenf; authorities and the growers, the strike in Starr County vjas not 
GO cucccscfxil as in Delano. One of the strike leaders stated the 
problea this way: 

The strike doesn't put economic pressure on the 
company because ' grecncardcrs' are available.... 
A lav7 against mass pickets says that demonstrators 
must be separated by a distance of 50 feet. The 
farms are huge and a picket may not have much effect 
because it passes nearly unobserved....! never saw 
more Texas Rangers in one area in my life than there 
are in Roma. 17.1 

Allegations of harassment, physical violence and brutality, pro- 
gro%7cr conduct of state officials, arbitrary and illegal arrest, excessive 
bail and neglect in bringing to trial the more than 100 cases arising 
from the arrests of union oi'ganizcrs, clergymen, and sympathizers, have 
been made by union officials. Grov;ers have alleged violence by union 
members including the sabotage of farm machinery and other equipment. 
The Texas State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on 
Civil Rigr.ts, after closed meetings held in Starr County on May 25-26, 
1967, found various denials of the strikers' legal rights, including 
physical and verbal abuse by Texas Rangers and local law officials, 
arrest V7ithout full investigation and holding of union organizers 
for many hours before they v;ere released on bond, and the encouragement 
of farm v7orkcrs by the Rangers to cross picket lines. The Committee 
also noted the harassmtint and intimidation by Rangers of UR70C members, 
organinero and sjinpathizers "v7hich gave the appearance of being in 



7l7'Td7"at 53. 

_72/ Jesua Sales, quoted in Ap):>leton (VJiscon sin) Post-Crescen t, Jan. 8, 1961 
The terra "greencarder" as used liore is synonymous v/ith "conuiuter" . 



1009 



sj-KTipnt-hy \7ith the grov.-ers and packers rather than the impartiality 
usually expected of lav; enforcement officers". 73/ 

The CoiTuiiittec vent on to observe that: 

The majority of the farm v;orkers and members 
of tlie Farm Workers Organizing Connnittec are 
Mexican Americans. To many T'Icxicans, the Texas 
Rangers arc a symbol of oppression; their 
appearance in Starr County only served to 
aggravate an already tense situation. While 
the Committee supports fair and objective 
law enforcement and recognizes the possible 
need of Starr County law enforcement agencies 
to seek outside assistance in this situation, 
it questions whether the Texas Rangers are the 
appropriate source for such assistance. 

The Committee also collected information indicating 
tliat many Mexican Nationals v/ho possess alien-resident 
receipt cards (Creen Cards) but v/ho are living in 
Mexico, are being utilized as a source of labor on 
farms vjhich are being picketed. Several persons 
alleged that this practice constitutes a violation 
of the spirit, if not the letter, of Federal 
Immigration Law. 74 / 

Tlie struggle in Delano and Starr County, including strikes, boy- 
cotts and violence, is similar to the industry strife which obstructed 
interstc'te conunerce and led Congress to pass the National Labor Rela- 
tions Act. "It is an inescapable conclusion that various elements 
of the agriculture industry are on a collision course similar to the 
course of industry in general in 1935." _75/ The need by farm workers 
for an orderly collective bargaining procedure has resulted in wide- 
spread demands that these workers be brought within the perview of the 
NLRA, This theme was elaborated by the attorney for the UFl-JOC, AFL-CIO, 
in a letter to legislators advocating inclusion of farm workers under 
the Act, Enclosing a copy of a temporary restraining order issued 
against the United Farm Workers Organizing Connnittee, AFL-CIO, imposing 
ctrict regulations upon the picketing activities of UFWOC, the attorney 
otated: 

UF\TOC is currently engaged in a strike viith Giumarra 
Vineyards Corporation, Ciuiuarra Farms, Inc. and 
Giumarra Bros. Fruit Co. UIUOC has obtained the 

73/ Texas Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights , 
T he Admi nis tration of Justice in Starv; County, Texas 2 (1967). 

l±l J[d. at 3. 

I'jI Sec n. 1 at 42. 



36-513 O - 70 - 10 (SB) 



1010 



support of a majority of the Giumarra v;orkers. 
However, since we are not under the regulations 
of the National Labor Relations Act, v/e cannot 
demand an election and thereby follov/ an easy 
and orderly procedure to assert our legitimate 
right to represent these workers. Our only 
weapon Is the economic pressures v/e can exert 
on this employer. A crucial facet of this 
economic pressure is picketing 

Even if our picketing activities v/ere unrestricted, 
as you can see by the attached exhibit, they would 
have limited effect. The workers arc often out of 
earshot; they are scattered over 25 fields including 
some 10,000 acres of land, and there are over 100 
entrances to these fields. This injunction is only 
one of many similar injunctions which are issued 
as soon as UR'.'OC strikes an employer. It is 
essential that our union have more tools to rely 
upon than simply the exertion of economic pressure 
with simultaneous picketing. Unless v;e are covered 
under the NLRA as soon as possible, many farm workers 
who desire to organize are deprived of their right 
to organize. They cannot vote and, after an injunc- 
tion is issued, they cannot picket effectively to 
assert their rights. As attorney for URTOC, I have 
seen since the beginning of this strike ho^7 vital 
it is to obtain coverage for our union as soon as 
possible. 76/ 

As the Migx'atory Labor Subcommittee has pointed out, the express 
e::cluoion of farm vorkers from federal labor relations legislation is 



_76/ Letter from Jerome Cohen, Aug. 7, 1967. 



1011 



"a most pernicious form of discrimination" _77/ leading to unnecessary 
strife f>nd violence. "(T)he continued failure to remove the exclusion 
brings to the Fedcrel Government a concrete share of the responsibility 
for the continuation of the struggle". 78 / 



77/ See n.~~l at 40, The exclusion of the farm v;orkers from Federal 
beneTits occurs in the context of vast Federal aid to growers in the area. 
The unprotected farm worker in the Rio Grande Valley may read that during 
the past yerr $4,254,673 v/as paid to local growers for not planting 
crops. Valle y Mor nin^g Star, July 24, 1968. The Delano farm worker 
may be told that when the water table level started to fall drastically, 
locr.l c','^?^- grovjers were rescued by the Federal Bi'reau of rs.eclamation 
which provides a water supply worth $700 per acre to growers at a cost 
of only $123 per acre. The rest is bor-n by tax payers. "The 160 acres- 
per-o\.-ncr limitation on lend irrigated by Federal water projects (which 
ore supposed to benefit family owners, not giant corporations) has been 
CO loosely enforced that DiGiorgio's acreage is still 4,600 and Schenley's 
3,500." See n. 67 ct 26. 

78/ See n. 1 at 40. 



1012 



UNITED STATES COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGIiTS 

STAFF REPORT 
ON 

EMPLOYMENT 



1013 



Commission staff memb'&rs gathered information from a number of 
public and private employers to determine the employment status of 
Mexican Americans \l and black persons. In each case the staff had 
been told by numerous persons that minorities were either excluded 
or concentrated in the lov/er paying jobs. The survey found that in 
some areas of emplo>Tnent Mexican Americans and black persons were 
almost totally excluded. In most cases Mexican Americans and black 
persons were concentrated in the lower paying jobs. 

The Commission examined banks, restaurants and the Welfare 
Department in Bexar County, the U.S. Post Office in South Texas, 
and the Texas EmplojT.ient Commission. This staff paper summarizes 
the major findings regarding emplojanent in these areas. 

A. Banks 

Fifteen _2/ of the tv;enty-ninc banks in San Antonio, including 
the nine largest in terms of total deposits, vjere visited by Commis- 
sion staff. The banks visited had approximately 89 percent of the 
total deposits of all banks in San Antonio. _3/ 

The 1960 census shovjed that 37.4 percent of the population of San 
Antonio vjas Spanish-surname and 6.9 percent of the total population 
was black. Yet only 16.1 percent of the total number of bank employees 
were Mexican Americans and only 2.3 percent of the total were black. 
Three banks, the Frost National Bank, the Alamo National Bank and the 
Kelly Field Nat'^onal Bank, accounted for over 64 percent of the total 
number of Mexican Americans employed in the fifteen banks surveyed. 

The disparity in minority group utilization was greatest in bank 
management. These are the most critical positions for the Mexican 
American and black coira^iunities, since those in managerial positions 
must approve loans made by the bank to individuals and businesses. 



\l The terms Mexican American, Spanish American, Spanish surname and Latin 
American are used interchangably in this paper. 

ll Appendix A lists the fifteen banks surveyed and shows the total nuraber 
of employees and the number of Mexican Americans and black em.ployces 
at each bank. A similar breakdoum is also provided for managerial and 
official positions and clerical and office workers, the two major 
classifications of white collar employees in banks. 

_3/ Bank deposits in San Antonio, Texas as of October 30, 1968. San Antonio 
Express , p. 7-A, November 6, 1968. 



1014 



Yet seven banks reported that none of their managers or officials 
were Mexican American and five others reported that they had only 
one Mexican American official. One bank, the Frost National Bank, 
accounted for nearly half of the total number of Mexican American 
officials - ten out of a total of twenty-one. Only one bank, the 
Alamo National Bank, reported any black managers or officials. 4/ 

Of the office and clerical workers employed by the fifteen banks 
16.4 percent are Mexican American and 1.4 percent are black. Minority 
employment of office and clerical workers ranged from 100 percent in 
one bank to practically none in several other banks. West Side State 
reported that all of its clerical help was Mexican American, while 
two banks. Main Bank and Trust and Jefferson State, reported that 
under 1 percent of their clerical employees were Mexican American. 
Two major dovmtovni banks. Frost National and Groos National, reported 
over 20 percent of their clerical employees v/ere Mexican American, 
v;hile the other two major downto^m banks. National Bank of Commerce 
and Alamo National Bank, reported that 10 percent or less of their 
clerical employees were Mexican American. 

The Personnel Officer at Kelly Field National Bank, a bank 
employing a very high percentage of Mexican Americans, told Commis- 
sion staff that one explanation for the high percentage of Mexican 
American employees V7as the fact that the bank v/as located in a pre- 
dominantly Mexican American area. An officer of VJest Side State, 
the other bank with a high percentage of Mexican Americans, accouiited 
for the large percentage of Mexican American employees by the fact 
that 60 percent ^'"o 70 percent of their customers are Mexican American. 

The Treasury Department in 1966 ruled that banks that have federal 
deposits or sell and redeem U.S. Savings Bonds are covered by Executive 
Order 11246. 5/ This order prohibits discrimination and requires that 
as a condition for doing business with the U.S. Government, companies 
undertake affirmative policies to assure equal employment opportunity. 
All of the banks visited reported that they had federal deposits and/or 
sold U.S. Savings Bonds. Uith two exceptions, however, the banks 
reported they had received no communication regarding their obligations 
from the Treasury Department and had taken no steps as a result of the 
Executive Order to institute an affirmative program to recruit minorities 

The two exceptions were Jefferson State and Highland Park, which 
reported receiving a letter from the Treasury Department. Both re- 
ceived an April 5, 1968, letter sent by Robert Uallace, Assistant 
Secretary of the Treasury, to 700 banks across the country. The 
letters were sent to banks whose 1967 EEO-1 reports - reports filed 



4/ The Alamo National Bank included in its statistics, however, persons 
em.ployed in its garage and the maintenance crew for the office building 
o\med by the bank; thus, these officials are not necessarily bankers. 

5/ 31 C.F.R. 202.4. 



1015 



with the Federal Equal Emplo^nnent Oppox'tunity Comr.iission - shov.'cd a 
minority utilization of under 2 percent. Both banks reported a 
slight increase in minority group emplo^nnent from the date they 
received the letter till the date of' the Commission staff visit. 
(Jefferson State reported an increase of two minority group members 
and Highland Park reported- an increase of five minority group members). 
Highland undertook an affinr.ative program to recruit additional minority 
group persons. .They revievjed their hiring procedures, contacted minority 
group community leaders and ran advertisements for employees in local 
newspapers which stated that they v;ere an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

B. Restaurants 

Commission staff were told by numerous persons and observed on 
several occasions an apparent racial and ethnic employment pattern 
existing in some restaurants in certain areas of the Southv7est. 
Waitresses, cashiers and other employees having direct contact with 
customers appeared to be Anglo, while the bus boys and kitchen help 
appeared to consist only of members of minority groups. A sample 
survey conducted by the Coiinnission indicated that this pattern does 
exist. _6/ Nine restaurants with a total employment of approximately 
380 full-time regular employees were surveyed. Without exception, 
the restaurants visited reflected the reported pattern. 

In the restaurants surveyed 198 employees were listed as waiters, 
waitresses, hostesses, cashiers and managers. Only twenty-four, twenty 
Mexican Americans and four black persons, or less than 15 percent, of these 
positions were held by minority group persons. One restaurant accounted 



_6/ Several factors were used in determining vjhich restaurants to survey. 
It was determined not to visit restaurants specializing in food from a 
particular foreign country, vjhich might be expected to employ large numbers 
of persons fi'om that country. This should not be interpreted as an endorse- 
ment of such hiring policies. No position is taken as to either the 
legality or desirability of such a practice. It also was determined to 
survey only restaurants that employ 25 or more employees who are subject to 
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting discrimination in employment. 
Restaurants located within a motel or hotel were not included in the 
survey, initial visits to. such restaurants failed to reflect any 
particular pattern. 



1016 



for ten of the tv.vnty Mexican Americans employed in tlicse positions 

and three of the four black persons o In the positions of bus boys, 

cooks and kitchen help, on the other hand, 169 (93 Mexican Americans 

and 76 black persons) of the 182 positions, or 93 percent of the total, v;ere 

held by minority group members. Thus in all but one of the restaurants 

surveyed, no more than 20 percent of the employees with direct 

customer contact were minority, v;hile at least 80 percent of the 

employees v;ithout direct customer contact were minority. In two 

of the restaurants surveyed, all of the regular full-time employees 

with direct customer contact were Anglo, while all of the regular 

full-time employees without direct customer contact were minority 

group members. 

When asked v/hy they had so few minority group persons in customer 
contact jobs a variety of answers v/ere given. The most often cited 
reason was that the restaurant hired only persons with experience 
in siinilar type jobs. Several also said that they received few 
applications from minority group members. Three restaurants stated 
that they were a great distance from the minority group communities 
and thus transportation v.^as a problem for minority group employees ; 
although transportation did not, however, appear to be a problem for 
the kitchen help. 

C. Bexar County Department of Public VJelfare 

The Director of the Welfare Department in Bexar County told Cor.imis- 
sion staff investigators in August of 1968 that he estimated 75 percent 
of the welfare recipients in the county were Mexican American. With 
the exception of clerical workers, hovjever, the percentage of Mexican 
American employees in the Welfare Department does not equal the per- 
centage of the Mexican Americans in the total population of Bexar 
County _7/ Only tw;iMity of the ninety-one caseworkers, or less than 22 
percent, were Mexican American. It is the social workers who 
must elicit the information that detei-mines whether an applicant 
receives aid, and if he does, the amount of the aid. Mexican Americans 
do fare better, however, in the higher paying jobs. Six of the nine- 
teen supervisors and administrators are Mexican American. In the food 
stamp program of the fourteen employees twelve were Mexican American, 
one was a Negro and only the supervisor was Anglo. 

D. United States Post Office 

One of the larger Federal employers in South Texas is the United 
States Post Office. The emplo>aTient statistics of the Post Office were 
exam.ined in 18 counties. _8/ According to the 1960 Census all of the 

_7/ See Appendix B for a breakdo\-m by major job categories of the number of 
Negro, Mexican American and Anglo employees in the Bexar County Welfare 
Department. 

_8/ Appendix C lists the total number of Caucasian, Negro and rlcxican 
American persons employed by the Post Office in each of the 18 counties. 



1017 



counties examined, v;ith the exception of Bexar County, had a popula- 
tion over .50 percent Mexican Americano The figures for the majority 
of counties shovjed significant discrepancies in the employment of 
Mexican Americans as compared to their total of the population. 
This section of the Employment Staff Paper will examine these dis- 
crepancies. 

In eight of the counties (Webb, Zapata, Starr, Presidio, Maverick, 
Kennedy, Jim Hogg and Duval) the minority employment picture appears 
to be equitable. Mexican i\jiiericans hold over half of the total jobs 
in each of these counties, including many of the higher positions. 

In three counties _9/ (Bexar, Cameron and Hidalgo) although Mexican 
Americans hold 40 percent or more of the total Post Office jobs in the 
counties, significant discrepancies exist in the higher grade positions. 
In Bexar County, for example, Mexican Americans hold approximately 40 
percent of the total jobs, yet only six of the fortj'-four PFS Grades 
10 and above positions or 12 percent of the total are held by Mexican 
Am.ericans. In Cameron and Hidalgo Counties the picture is worse. Only 
one of the seventeen PFS Grades 10 and above positions is held by a 
Mexican American. 

In the remaining seven counties (LaSallc, Zavala, Willacy, Jeff 
Davis, Frio, Dimmit and Jim Wells) Mexican Americans hold less than 30 
percent of the jobs in each of the counties. Of the 209 jobs in the 
counties Mexican Americans hold only fifty-one or 24 percent of the 
total. None of the 14 positions in LaSalle and Jeff Davis are held by 
Mexican Americans, even though they make up over 50 percent of the 
population in each of the two counties according to the 1960 Census. 

E. Texas Emplo^nncnt Commission 

According to 1950 Census figures sixty-nine percent of rural 
Spanish- surname families living in Texas and 47 percent of those ur'ban 
families had incomes under $3,000. Thus the need for emplojTnent counseling 
and job information is especially accute for Mexican American job seekers. 
The public agency primarily responsible for providing such help in Texas 
is the Texas Employment Commission. Since for many of these families 
Spanish is the first and in some cases the only language, there un- 
doubtedly is a need for bilingual persons. Of the 2,946 full-time 
regular employees employed by the Texas Employment Commissioa, however, 

_9/ See Appendix D for a breakdo\'m of the nunabei" of Mexican Ajiicrican, Negro 
and Caucasian employees by grade. 



1018 



226 or less than 8 percent vjere Mexican American. 10 / 

In the higher grade- positions, the number of Mexican American 
employees v/as even less„ Of 527 managerial and supervisory positions 
only fourteen or less than 3 percent were held by Mexican Americans. 
Of 1606 professional and technical employees, only 118 or slightly 
over 7 percent were held by Mexican Americans. 

The Texas Emplo>nnent Commission does not have offices in many of 
the counties with populations over 50 percent Mexican American, They 
do have offices, however, in the follov/ing areas with a high proportion 
of Mexican Americansi Bexar, Cameron, Hidalgo, Webb and Willacj' 
Counties and the cities of Corpus Christi and El Paso. With the 
exception of El Paso and Webb County the figures show a disproportionately 
small number of Mexican American employees, particularly among the 
professional employees o _ll/ For example, in Bexar County only nine 
of seventy-three cmplojiiient interviewers were Mexican American and 
there were even fev.'cr T-Iexican American employment counsellors, tv7o 
out of forty-nine In Corpus Christi, only four of fifty- five pro- 
fessional and technical employees were Mexican American„ 



10/ See Appendix E for a breakdovm by major job categories of the number 
of "Negro, Mexican American and other employees in these areas. 

11 / See Appendix F for a breakdovm by major job categories of the number 
of Negro, Mexican American and other employees in these areas. 



1019 



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1020 



APPENDIX B 
BEXAil COUNTY V:EL?.'^r^E 



Jol) C ] ■'. s r. 1 r.i cci t log 
Clerical 
Case Worlccrs 
Supervisors 
Administrators 
Total 





Me: 


cican 




Anfilo 


American 


Nej^rr 


15 




61 


1 


68 




20 


3 


10 




5 


1 


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95 




87 


~5 



\ I The data V7as supplied by the Director of the Bexar County 
Welfare Departaient as . of August, 1968. 



1021 



APPENDIX C 
EMPLOYMENT BY U.S. POST OFFICE IN 18 TEXAS COUNTIES 1 / 

















Sp 


inish 








C 


aucasian 


N 


sgro 


Am 


ericau 




Total 




Rural 




Rural 




Rural 


County 


Emp 


loypes 


PFS 


Carriers 


PFS 


Carriers 


PFS 


Carri cr 


Bexar 


2 


197 


1,123 


■ 14 


182 





872 


6 


Cameron 




194 


80 


7 


2 





105 





Dimniit 




16 


13 











3 





Duval 




16 


6 











10 





Frio 




18 


15 


1 








1 


1 


Hidalgo 




229 


127 


14 


3 





83 


2 


Jeff Davis 




A 


4 

















Jim Hogg 




6 














6 





Jim Wells 




114 


58 


8 


15 





33 





Kennedy 




2 














2 





La Salle 




10 


10 

















Maverick 




28 


7 


1 








20 





Presidio 




11 


4 








c 


7 





Starr 




26 


2 











23 


1 


Webb 




117 


7 











109 


1 


Willacy 




28 


15 


5 








8 





Zapata 




7 


1 











6 





Eavala 




19 


14 











5 






3,042 1,486 



50 



1,293 



ijThe statistics were furnished by the U.S. Post Office. The data was compiled in 
November 1967 . 



1022 





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1023 



APPEIJDIX E 



El-IPLOYT-IENT BY TEXAS EMPLOYI-j'ENT CO'-C-IISSION 1 / 



Job Classification 



Spanish 
Total Negroes Americans 



Managerial and Supervisory 



527 



14 



Professional and Technical 



1606 



39 118 



Clerical and Office 



763 



37 



90 



Custodial and Service 



50 



30 



TOTAL 



2946 



113 226 



1 / Information obtained from Texas Employment Corrmission as of 
February 1, 1968 



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1025 

[From Farm La.bor Development, U.S. Department of Labor] 

La Huelga — In Starr County, Tex. 

(By Irving J. Cohen) 

One of the more determined efforts to organize field workers is underway in 
the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Now in its second year, the effort was 
an outgrowth of, and has been modeled after, the relatively successful Delano 
strike in California. This strike is popularly referred to by its Spanish name, 
"La Huelga." 

In 1966, during the Delano grape strike, the United Farm Workei-s Organizing 
Committee sent representatives throughout the country to organize boycotts 
against the products of the struck employers. One of these representatives, Eugene 
Nelson, went to Houston for this purpose. In Texas, he soon became familiar with 
the economic and social problems of farmworkers in the Lower Rio Grande 
Valley. Borrowing heavily upon his California experience, he worked with melon- 
harvest workers to help them form a union, the Independent Workers' Asso- 
ciation. By June, membership had reached 700. After some fruitless attempts to 
bargain with employers, a strike was called June 1, 1966. against three farms. La 
Casita, Los Puertos. and Sun-Tex. The main economic issue involved a minimum 
hourly wage of $1.25 — -some 45 cents per hour higher than the rates prevailing in 
the area. But, as at Delano, union recognizing was at the heart of the dispute. 

The first day. Nelson contended, all three farms and five packing sheds were 
closed down with about 600 to 700 workers not working. At the packing sheds, 50 
union packers refused to cross the picket lines. Almost immediately ir became 
evident that a key element in the strike was the employment of "green-card com- 
muters." ^ Trade-union supporters have long argued that aliens should be re- 
quired to actually live in the United States if they are to be regarded as 
immigrants. Early in the morning of the strike's first day the union attempted, 
without success, to halt buses transporting green-card commuters from the Mexi- 
can-border bridge at Roma to the struck farms. 

Later in the day, the union attempted, and failed, to halt railroad shipments 
of cantaloupes. Nelson was arrested when he refused to move from the railroad 
tracks. On June 2, 1966, four Starr County packing sheds sued the union for 
$4,000 per day damages and asked the court to restrain the workers from 
picketing. In response to their plea. State District Judge Woodrow Laughlin is- 
sued a preliminary order banning picketing in Starr County. Moreover, the Texas 
law regarding picketing does not permit the mass picketing that was a highlight 
of the Delano strike. 

Unable to picket effectively, and with the melon harvest tapering off, farm- 
workers begin to leave the area or return to work despite frequent rallies and 
marches organized to keep the strike live. The union became formally affiliated 
with the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, the farm labor union 
that grew out of the Delano strike. The Texas State AFL-CIO announced its 
full support. A march from Rio Grande City to Austin was organized to dramatize 
the plight of the workers and gain national publicity and support. This march 
also focused attention upon a bill before the Texas legislature that would have 
established a $1.25 per hour minimum wage for farmwork. The .3S0-mile march 
took .56 days from July 4 to September 5. 1966. It did keep the idea of the strike 
alive through the summer, but it did not have the success that a similar march 
in California had in kindling public support. 

Activity since the march has consisted largely of skirmishes. In October 1966, 
the union unsuccessfully attempted to prevent the entry of green-card commuters 
through a lay-iu at the Roma International Bridge. A special grand .iury, in 
November, returned several indictments against the strikers and called the strike 
unlawful and un-American. 

In February 1967, the arrest of 10 persons, five of them Roman Catholic priests, 
for "disturbing the peace," focused attention on the strike. The FBI investigated 



1 Mexicans admitted as immigrants to the United States are commonly i-eferred to as 
"green carders." They are so called because of the color of the Alien Registration Cards 
(Form 1-1.51 > issued 'to immigrant aliens of all nationalities. If a green carder actually re- 
sides in Mexico and commutes to work in the United States, he is called a "green-card com- 
muter." A good discussion of the green-card-commuter issue may be found in Study of Popu- 
lation and Immigration Problems, Special Series No. 11, Committee on the Judiciary, Sub- 
committee No. 1, House of Representatives, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, 
D.C, 1963. 

36-513— 70— pt. 3-B 11 



1026 

to determine whether or not there had been a civil rights violation in the arrest 
of the 10. At this time, the union called for a national boycott of the prodiicts of 
one of the struck farms. As a result, two large retail chains agreed not to handle 
these products, but the commodities were still being marketed through other 
channels. 

March 1967 was highlighted by increased church participation. The Texas 
Council of Churches had stated in the fall of 1966 that it was not partisan and its 
role in the strike was to help people in need. This attitude changed as the strike 
continued. In mid-March, the Texas Council of Churches recommended that 
church people contribute food and money for the striking workers. At the end 
of March, a statement issued with the unanimous approval of all bishops from 
the 10 Roman Catholic dioceses of Texas noted that workers had a "duty" to 
form and join unions or associations. 

As with all fledgling unions, fund raising is a major problem. In April, funds 
were obtained through a students' Easter "Caravan of Justice" and a fiesta 
sponsored by the Young Democrats of Dallas County. William L. Kirclier. AFL- 
CIO national director of organization, in an appearance on the Mutual Broad- 
casting System's Labor News Conference stated : "Labor is spending large sums 
of money to help organize farmworkers because it has a moral obligation that 
is much above any consideration of profits or losses." 

In April, the UFWOC participated in a representational election conducted by 
the National Labor Relations Board at the Starr Produce Company. Since the 
packing-shed workers involved in this strike are considered as non-agricultural 
workers, this labor dispute falls within the scope of the National Labor Rela- 
tions Act. The vote resulted in a 14-to-14 tie with three challenged ballots, and 
sequent National Labor Relations Board hearing on the challenged ballots, and 
the possibility of unfair labor practices, closed on August 28. 

In spite of the apparent lack of success against melon growers in Starr 
County, the union announced that it would send organizing crews into the citrus 
belt. In early May 1967, Gilbert Padilla, Vice President of the UFWOC. arrived 
in Rio Grande City to participate personally in this movement. But citrus grow- 
ers contended their workers had no need for a union, claiming that they were 
then guaranteeing minimum earnings of $1.00 per hour. They asserted that 
harvest workers, who are paid on a piece rate basis, could easily clear this mini- 
mum if they were experienced workers. 

Union efforts to prevent green-card commuters from crossing into the United 
States to work on the struck farms were given a temporary boost on May 11, 
when the powerful Confederation of Mexican Workers threw up a picket line 
on the Mexican side of the Roma International Bridge. This action effectively 
prevented the green carders from crossing the bridge. However, the following 
day Mexican Federal policemen forced the pickets to disperse, thus abruptly 
halting the Mexican union's effort to support the UWFOC. 

By June 1967, after striking for a full year, the farm union appeared to be mak- 
ing some headway in a roundabout manner. With the melon harvest at peak, the 
strikers continued their efforts to picket shipping points in efforts to halt ship- 
ments of the melons. The growers I'esponded by preferring charges against the 
woi'kers for violating the Texas law against mass picketing. Texas Rangers 
made numerous arrests, some accompanied by alleged incidents of police bru- 
tality. Rangers were assigned to guard the trains moving the melons out of 
the valley. On June 14, the union called an end to picketing in Starr County. A 
union leader, Gilbert Padilla, stated : "We cannot ask our people to go out on 
picket lines with the knowledge that they will be subject to arbitrary arrest 
and brutality on the part of the Texas Rangers and local law-enforcement 
officials." 

The actions of the Texas Rangers dramatically focused national attention 
upon the strike. The Texas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil 
Rights investigated the Valley situation. Its formal report, issued June 17, con- 
demned the Rangers' actions and called for a full investigation by the Justice 
Depa rtment. 

The union cause received another lift when the Senate Subcommittee on Mi- 
gratory Labor held hearings in Rio Grande City to investigate complaints that 
Latin-American farmworkers were being deprived of their civil rights. The 
Committee heard testimony that the Texas Rangers had made numerous arrests 
without legal cause, used excessive force when taking subjects into custody, 
and participated in strikebreaking activities. The Subcommitte Chairman, Har- 



1027 

rison Williams (D., N.J.), in comimenting on these allegations, stated: "The 
atmosphere and events of recent months in the Rio Grande Valley . . . comprise 
the most powerful testimony this Subcommittee has ever received as to the 
need to extend the established rules and procedures of the collective bargaining 
provisions of the National Labor Relations Act to the farm industry." 

The Subcommittee also asked for an investigation by the U.S. Attorney Gen- 
eral and the U.S. Secretaries of State and Labor of the policies which i>ermit 
green-card commuters to cross the border daily to work. 

This is not the most difficult problem but important. The illegal entry is also 
very difficult. 

Still another gain was scored by the union when the regulations of the Justice 
Department were revised, effective July 10. The new regulations provide : 

"When the Secretary of Labor determines and announces that a labor dispute 
involving a work stoppage or layoff of employees is in progress at a named place 
of employment. Form 1-151 shall be invalid when presented in lieu of an immi- 
grant visa or reentry permit by an alien who has departed for and seeks reentry 
from any foreign place and who, prior to his departure or during his temporary 
absence abroad has in any manner entered into an arrangement to return to the 
United States for the primary purpose, or seeks reentry with the intention, of 
accepting employment at the place where the Secretary of Labor has determined 
that a labor dispute exists, or of continuing employment which commenced at 
such a place subsequent to the date of the Secretary of Labor's determination." 

On July 10, 1967, Secretary of Labor Willard Wirtz announced that labor dis- 
putes existed at several establishments, including six Starr County farms. Af- 
fected were La Casita Farms, Sun-Tex Farms. Griffin and Brand (Ti"ophy 
Farms), A. B. Margo Farms, Starr Farms Co. (Lcis Puertos Plantation), and El- 
more and Stahl (Rancho Grande and Ringold Farms). Several employers ques- 
tioned the Secretary's decision and the matter was being reinvestigated by the 
Labor Department in early October. 

Late May and early June 1967 was the crucial period for both strikers and 
growers as a severe heat wave accompanied the beginning of the melon-harvest 
season and a shortage of pickers could have resulted in heavy losses to the grow- 
ers. However, it was reported that, with excellent yields, favorable weather con- 
ditions, a good market, and apparently no serious labor shortages, this had been 
one of the more successful seasons for cantaloupe growers. Thus, despite the 
gains resulting from the Justice Department's revised regulations, the agreement 
of one grower to discuss union recognition, and development of some public sym- 
pathy, the UFWOC did not have a great deal of success in its second season of 
organizing melon-harvest workers. 

Evaluating the effects of this labor dispute, developments may be summed up 
as folloW'S : Growers were able to obtain sufficient labor to harvest a bumper crop ; 
overall, the growers had one of their best .seasons : union efforts to close the 
border wei'e unsuccessful this .vear : the proposed .$1.2."» minimum-wage bill failed 
to get approval from the Texas legislature : picketing, demonstrations, and bridge 
lay-ins led to over 60 arrests and failed to deter workers, both local and green 
carders, from accepting employment at the struck farms. 

From the union standpoint, the most encouraging aspects of the strike have 
been: (1) the establishment, even though temporary, of the first "international 
picket line" formed by the Mexican Confederation of Workers on the Mexican 
side of the International Bridge at Roma ; and (2) the agreement of one grower 
to meet with the union and discuss a recognition agreement. Union opponents, 
however, dismissed the latter as essentially a local political maneuver. 

The regulation providing for invalidation of green cards in the specified labor- 
dispute situations was too late to affect the outcome of the strike in 1967, but 
it might have considerable impact in future labor disputes. The use of green- 
card commuters hired as strikebreakers will be curtailed once the Seci'etary of 
Labor has announced a labor dispute exists. This provision is not limited to the 
agricultural sector, and may well affect all labor-management disputes in border 
States. For this reason, this may be one of the most significant developments in 
the labor dispute, at least in terms of a change in public policy designed to meet 
a long standing problem encountered by labor organizers on the borders. It should 
be noted, however, that the impact of the new regulation is limited to restricting 
the entry of alien commuters, and the employment of alien residents as strike- 
breakers is not affected. 



1028 

At present, the nielon-hurvest season is long past and the union appears to bo 
approaching a crossroad. It must evaluate its )>ast actions and achievements, 
make an appraisal of future conditions, and determine a course of future action. 
The new Justice Department regulation may be a very important factor in any 
decision, as it offers the prospect of more favorable conditions for organizing. 
In any event, the union apix»ars to have three alternatives: (1) to continue the 
strike and to concentrate on the firms now being struck: (2) to continue the 
strike while expanding the scope of the strike to include other employers in other 
crops; or (3) to abandon the effort as many such efforts to organize farm- 
workers have been abandoned in the past. 

The growers also must take stock and formulate their plans. In the sense that 
they were able to successfully harvest their melon crop this year without recog- 
nition of the union, they won the 19H7 battle. But certainly never before in the 
Rio Grande Valley has farm-labor organizing received the national attention 
that this strike did — attention that has not always depicted the growers and 
law-enforcement officials in a favoi-able light. It is apparent in Texas, as in 
California, that the climate of public opinion is beginning to change. Legislative 
action to govern labor relations in agriculture is not now completely beyond the 
realm of possibility. Administrative actions, such as the changes in the Justice 
Department regulations, that weaken the growers' position have already taken 
place. 

Regardless of the result, this sti-ike has already had a profound impact on 
unionization of both agricultural and nonagricultural woi'kers in the border areas. 
The immediate future of agricultural labor relations in the United States may 
well depend on future actions of Starr County farmworkers and farm employers. 

Source note : This article was prepared by Irvinj? J. Cohen, Labor Economist. Office of 
Farm Labor Service, Bureau of Employment Security, using as source material newspaper 
accounts and information from government agencies. 



Exhibit B 
[From the Washington Post, Oct. 2, 1968] 

46 Job-Hunting Mexicans Left to Die in Locked Truck in San Antonio 

Sax Antonio, Oct. 1 (UPI). — For 46 Mexicans, the promise of jobs in Chicago 
was worth the asking price of $10 to .$12. The bargain turned into a nightmare. 

Locked in an unventilated truck van, the group was found abandoned yesterday 
in San Antonio. One man was dead of suffocation. Twelve others were hospitalized 
from heat exhaustion and lack of oxygen, with four in critical condition early 
today. A second man died during the day. 

The rest of the group were charged with illegal entry and jailed for questioning. 

San Antonio police said they would file murder charges against whoever was 
responsible for abandoning the two-ton truck in a San Antonio residential 
section, where residents called police after they heard screaming and jyounding 
from inside the vehicle. 

John Holland, San Antonio district director of the U.S. Immigration Service, 
said two more camper trucks were stopped near the border today. One carried 
15 Mexicans and the other 17, Holland said. He said some of the occupants told 
officers they had been promised jobs in Chicago. 

Drivers of the two trucks, both of Chicago, were charged with unlawfully 
transi)orting illegal immigrants. 

Survivors from the truck abandoned in San Antonio said they also had been 
promised jobs in Chicago. They paid 100 to 150 pesos, about $10 to $12 in U.S. 
currency, for the trip. 

The truck found yesterday apparently started at the border at dawn. The trip 
ended 13 hours later when the driver disappeared and left the Mexicans inside 
the oven-like van. 

"It was unbelievable," said patrolman Jack Adamson. "They were laying around 
like cord wood. Three of them couldn't even get out of the truck." 



1029 

[From the San Antonio Express News, August 17, 1968] 

100 Marchers Proi-est Commuter Workers Use 

(Special to the Express-News) 

Laredo. — Some 100 followers of the local Barrios Unidos (United Neighbor- 
hoods) and Raza Unida (United Race) marched to the International Bridge 
here Friday to demonstrate against commuter workers from Mexico. 

There were no incidents, although traffic was interrupted for a few minutes 
by the marchers as they paraded in the vicinity of the bridge. 

The marchers included several VISTA volunteers and other workers on the 
federal payroll of the local Community Action Program . 

A Texas' Department of Public Safety unit joined Laredo Police and firemen 
a block away from the bridge to keep the picketing marchers from continuing on to 
the bridge. OflScers said they heard reports that some of the more militant 
demonstrators would attempt to block traffic on the bridge. 

A fire department engine and emergency unit also were at the scene. 

The marchers carried signs calling for jobs for Laredo residents, higher wages 
and more industry. 

Two march leaders, Manuel Ramirez and Juan Guevara, the latter a CAP aide, 
carried a banner which read "Today we demonstrate, tomorrow we revolt." 
A VISTA volunteer carried a sign which read, "We declare war on commuters." 

Police Chief Billy Weeks and six patrolmen met the marchers at the inter- 
section of Grant Street and Convent Avenue, a block away from the bridge. 
Weeks told the group they would not be permitted to march on the bridge. 

People shopping in the stores lined the sidewalks to see the demonstrators. 
The marchers chanted, "Querenios tral)ajo para gente de Laredo. (We want jobs 
for Laredo people)." 

Some people on the sidewalks shouted, "Ponganse a trabajar. (Get to work)." 

I'rior to the march the demonstrators rallied at Jarvis Plaza to hear several 
speakers blast Laredo employers for using green card workers from Mexico. 

Border Crackdown on Migrants Urged 

Austin. — Just a little bit down and a little bit more each month would go 
a long ways toward stopping a wave of illegal migrant labor recruiting on 
Texas' border. 

That's the proposition made Texas legislators by Tommy V. Smith, conunis- 
sioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

"Right now, I'll bet we don't catch one out of .10 unlicensed labor recruiters 
operating in the (Lower Rio Grande) Valley," Smith told the Senate Finance 
Committee Monday. "Give me three more offices and we can do a lot better 
job." 

Smith's appeal to the Senate Finance study group came during one of the 
fast increasing number of committee sessions called as lawmakers take the first 
steps toward passing new Texas laws or changing old statutes. So far about 
150 legislative proposals have been introduced in both houses and are in various 
stages of consideration by committees before being brought out for actual debate. 

Both Houses planned brief meetings today before recessing for more com- 
mittee study. 

"Right now we have 14 field offices but only 2y2 on the border to license and 
inspect these migrant labor recruiters that come in from Florida and other 
states," Smith told the Senate group that will recommend how much money 
the Bureau of Labor Statistics gets in 1970-71. 

"We get a lot of calls here at Austin that some recruiter is loading up at 
McAUen or Laredo or somewhere, but by the time we can get a man down 
there, he has his load and is gone." 

Presently the bureau has a man in Edinburg and one in El Paso. An employe 
in San Antonio works part time in Laredo. 

Senators asked if the Highway Patrol could not help enforce the labor laws. 
He said patrolmen were helpful in setting up road blocks but were not trained 
or experienced in the technical! Mes of lal»or laws. 



1030 

In other committee action Monday, Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes told the newly created 
Senate Youth Affairs Committee that he wants them to work with private pro- 
fessional people on an "in-depth study of the Texas Youth Council, paying par- 
ticular attention to the rehabilitation program." 

"My impression is that the council is doing a good job, but there are things 
that need to be changed," Barnes said. 

He said he doubted if the Senate committee would be able to visit the Gates- 
ville School for Boys, center of a recent controversy over alleged beating of 
inmates, but Barnes asked the committee to turn over any information they 
might i-eceive to law officers for investigation. 

Bills 

Austin. — Rep. Joe Shannon Jr., Fort Worth, has a legislative proposal he 
thinks will thwart any student takeover of a public school or college building in 
Texas, if the occasion should ever arise. 

"Every student has the right of full access to our academic facilities and 
should not be deprived of this educational opportunity by the disruptive actions 
of a small minority who choose to resort to violence and anarchy to present their 
views." Shannon said in a statement. 

Shannon's bill offered for introduction in the House Monday would make it 
a fine up to $200 and up to six months in jail to "wilfully engage in disruptive 
activity on the campus or property of any public school or tax-supported insti- 
tution of higher education." The bill specifically outlaws the blocking of any 
passageways or seizing control of any school building. 

Shannon said his bill is particularly needed since a federal district court re- 
cently held Texas' "Disturbing the peace" law was too broad. The case involved 
several demonstrators arrested at dedication ceremonies of Central Texas College 
near Killeen, where former President Lyndon Johnson was the speaker. 

Exhibit C 
OEO CAP 5 FORM (1960 ESTIIVlATES)-South Texas Counties 



Total 



Cameron 
County 



Hidalgo 
County 



Starr 
County 



Willacy 
County 



Total population, 372,123 

Percent population In rural areas -_. 28.6 

Total number of families 75, 201 

Families, income less than $3,000 38,924 

Percent families, income less than $3,000 51. 7 

Families with income less than $1,000 11.225 

Families, income $1,000 to $1,999 15,273 

Families, income $2,000 to $2,999 12,396 

Males 14 and over in labor force 81,658 

Percent of such males unemployed - 7. 1 

Females 14 and over in labor force 36,363 

Percent of such females unemployed 7.7 

Persons under 21 years of age 178,658 

Percent under 21 w/AFDC payments 3. 4 

Persons aged 65 years and over 16. 566 

Percent persons 65 and over, old age assistance 41 

Percent persons In school (14 and 15) 87. 3 

Percent persons In school (16 and 17) 66. 1 

Number of persons 25 years and older 160, 006 

25 and over, less than 8th grade education 87,280 

Percent 25 and over, less than 8th grade education... 54. 7 

Persons 18 to 25 examined by selective service 2, 201 

Persons rejected bv selective service 1. 152 

Percent persons rejected by selective service 52. 3 

Births per year 10.442 

Deaths per year, infants under 12 months (200) 

All housing units.-..: 100,059 

Housing units substandard 45,667 

Percent of housing units substandard 45. 7 

Population vi/ith Spanish surname 254.766 

Percent population with Spanish surname 68. 4 



151,098 


180,904 


20, 037 


20, 084 


25.6 


28.8 


60 


17.9 


31,370 


36,431 


3,339 


4,061 


14,821 


19,623 


2,384 


2,096 


47.2 


53.8 


71.4 


51.6 


4,262 


5,444 


1,005 


514 


5,628 


7,785 


949 


911 


4,931 


6,394 


430 


671 


31,321 


42,627 


3,002 


4,708 


8.7 


5.8 


13.8 


3.5 


15,914 


18.290 


1.348 


1,811 


7.9 


7.3 


13.8 


.6 


76,709 


82,776 


8,532 


10,641 


2.4 


4.6 


.06 


4.0 


8,093 


6,477 


972 


1,024 


24 


60 


69 


31.7 


88.3 


86.8 


90.7 


80.8 


69.5 


64.1 


68.1 


57.6 


65,994 


77.971 


7,513 


8,528 


33, 223 


45, 160 


3,809 


5,088 


50.7 


57.9 


50.7 


59.6 


288 


1,527 


109 


277 


158 


751 


73 


170 


55 


49 


75 


61.1 


4,523 


4,824 


675 


420 


179 


(') 


.4 


4.2 


42, 083 


47,711 


4,489 


5,776 


17,224 


23, 488 


1,567 


3,388 


40.9 


49.2 


35 


58.4 


96,474 


129. 092 


15,196 


13,734 


64 


71.3 


76 


68.3 



> Not available. 



1031 



Cameron County 

Bayview 
*Blue To\Yn 

Carricitos 

Cavazos 

Combes 

El Calaboz 
*E1 Ranchito 

Feruaudo 
*La Feria 

Lantana 
*La Paloma 

Las Riisias 

Laureles 

Los Fresiios 

Los Japoneses 

Los Yellescas 

Lozano 

Monte Grande 

Ohnitos 
*Primera 

Rio Hondo 

Russelltown 

San Pedro 

* Santa Maria 

* Santa Rosa 
'■'Soiithmost 

Villa Nueva 

HiduJyo County 

Aeropuerto 
*Campo Alto 

Capisallo Park 

Carrizolos (nr. Los 
Ebanos) 
^Chihuahua 

Colonia Acosta 

Colonia del Cementerio 
*Coionia Evans 

Colonia Huisache 

Colonia MoAllen 
*Colonia Nueva 

Colonia Rodriguez 

Colonia Small 



COLONIAS 

Colonia Small #2 

Cuevitas 

El Capote 

El Gato 

El Granjeno 
*E1 Rineon 

El Tinaco 

Elsa 

Fayesville 

Habana 

Hargill 

La Blanca 

La Cuc'hilla 

La Hielera 

La Lomita 

La Mil la Diez 

La Mil la Quince 

La Milla Seis 
*La Milla Tres 
*La Tijera 

La Villa 

Las Milpas 

Las Pompas 

Lindsay Gardens (La 
Milla Cinco) 

Lopesville 

Los Elianos 
*^Iadero 

^Mission Acres 

Monte Alto 

]\Ionte Christo 

North Hidalgo 
*0.io de Ayua 
*Penitas 
*Perezville 

Progreso 

Puerto Rico 
*Rancho Alegria 
*Relampago 

San Carlos 

San Juan Settlement 

South East Mission 

Stockholm 

Sullivan City 
*Tabasco 

Thayer 



*Tollander Subdivision 

Union 

Villa Llano Grande 

AVeslaco Labor Camp 

West Mercedes 
*Zacatal 

Stan- County 

Arkansas City 

Cliapena 

Delmita 

El Centro 

El Sauz 

Escobares 

Fronton 

Garceno 

Garcias 

Garciasville 

La Casita 

La Gloria 

La GruUa 

La Reforma 
*Los Garcias 

Olmos (Arroya) 

Rineon 

Roma 

Rosita 

Salineno 

San Isidro 

Santa Catarina 
*Santa Cruz 

Santa Elena 

Viboras 

Willacii Conn I u 

Los Coyotes 
Lyford 
Paso Real 
Porfirio 
San Perlita 
Santa Monica 
Sebastian 
Willamar 



'^Orsanized colonias. 



1032 



PERSONS OF SPANISH SURNAME (SOUTH TEXAS COUNTIES) 



County 







Total 


Median i 


Median > 


number with 


family 


school years 


Spanish 


income 


completed 


surname 


1,395 


4.1 


3,285 


1,568 


4.3 


15, 196 


1,666 


2.3 


6,250 


1,721 


2.3 


6,760 


1,732 


2.3 


9,440 


1,956 


1.8 


2,686 


1,956 


2.1 


22,239 


1,973 


2.8 


13,734 


2,027 


3.3 


129, 092 


2,166 


3.3 


8,580 


2.206 


3.9 


96, 744 


2,351 


4.4 


18, 848 


2,974 


4.5 


84, 386 



Zapata (southeast of Laredo) 

Starr (Rio Grande City area) 

Frio (Pearsall area) 

Dimmit (Carrizo Springs area) 

Zavala (Crystal City area).. 

Live Oak (northwest of Corpus Christi)... _ 

San Patricio (north of Corpus Christi) 

Willacy (Raymondville area of "Valley") 

Hidalgo (McAllen area) 

Bee (northwest of Corpus Christi) 

Cameron (Brownsville-Harlingten area) _ . . 

Jim Wells (Alice area) 

Nueces (Corpus Christi area) 

Comparisons with total United States, Oklahoma, and Texas: - 
Total U.S. population 

Total Texas population 



5,560 



10.6 



10.4 



' The median is "the value which divides the distribution into 2 equal parts, \4 of the cases falling below this value 
and ^2 of the cases exceeding this value." This definition and all of the figures on counties in Texas are taken from the 
U.S. Census on Population, 1930, "Persons of Spanish Surname " pp. 189-191. All income figures are for 1959. All "Median 
school years completed" figures are tor persons 25 years old and over. 

2 The figures for the United States and Texas are taken from the Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1962 p. 333. 

BACKGROUND DATA FOR 4 LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY COUNTIES, TEXAS 



Item 



Cameron 



lidalgo 


Starr 


Willacy 


Texas 


United States 


191,000 
37, 500 


22, 000 
5,000 


15, 007 
4,000 


10,984,900 
158, 000 


199,220,900 
1,000,000 


34 


71 


52 




21.5 


49 


63 


51 






' 6.3 








10.6 


140.4 




8.4 


> 59.9 




140. 2 


' 17.1 




53.5 


1 2.1 




3.9 


126.9 




2.0 



Population 158, 000 

Migrant population 40,000 

Faimily income less than $3,000: 

Percent of families 47 

Percent of Spanish surname 

families 46 

School years completed: 

Median 

Less than 5 years (percent of 

persons over age 25) 

Health manpower: 

Physicians per 100,000 population_ 

Dentists per 100,000 population 

Hospital beds (per 1,000) 

Percent of births not in hospitals 



1 All 4 counties. 

Sources: Reports of Census Bureau; Na'ional Office of Vital Statistics; special report prepared under contract with 
Public Health Service; Sales Management, 1968. 

Note: In the 4 counties, from 49 to 65 percent of housing is unsound and lacking in plumbing facilities. From about 
H to % of the population is rural. Taking the 4 counties together, 53 percent of the housing is unsound and 30 percent of 
the population Is rural. 



HEALTH EXPENDITURES PER MIGRANT IN THE 4 LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY COUNTIES COMPARED WITH WHAT 
WOULD HAVE BEEN SPENT AT THE NATIONAL PER CAPITA AVERAGE RATE OF EXPENDITURE 













Total avail- 












Federal 






able includ- 












funds 






ing local 




Amount 






Number 


available. 


Grantee 


Amount 


contributions 


Amount 


required at 






of 


fiscal year 


contribu- 


per 


fiscal year 


per 


$250 per 




County 


migrants 


1969 


tions 


migrant 


1969 


migrant 


person ' 


Deficiency 


Cameron 


.. 40,000 


$272, 625 


$100, 109 


$6.80 


$372, 734 


$9.30 


$10,000,000 


$9, 627, 000 


Hidalgo 


.. 37,500 


185, 520 


139, 027 


4.90 


324, 547 


8.60 


9, 375, 000 


9, 050, 000 


Starr 


5,000 


91, 597 


15,146 


18.00 


106,743 


21.00 


1,250,000 


1,143,000 


Willacy 


4,000 


51, 105 


11,859 


13.00 


62, 964 


15.00 


1,000,000 


937, 000 


Total 


.. 86,500 


600, 847 


266, 141 


6.91 


866, 988 


9.96 


21,625,000 


20, 758, 000 



1 The amount spent per capita for personal health care in the United States in 1967 was approximately $250. The serious 
lack of health resources in the valley would limit what could realistically be spent even if funds were unlimited. However, 
the contrast between the average health expenditure in the valley of a little less than $10 per migrant (including funds from 
all sources) and the national per capita average of $250 shows a gross dehciency. It is obvious that with the present ex- 
tremely limited funds, the migrant health projects in the 4 lower Rio Grande Valley counties cannot begin to meet the need 

Source: Migrant health program data, Public Health Service 



1033 

FACTS OX HIDALGO COUNTY, TEX. 
COl'.XTY SEAT EDIXBURG 

Hidalgo County is a Lower Rio Grande Valley county, intensively cultivated 
with a large agricultural income. It has Texas' largest crop income ($50,566,610 
in 1960). About 100,000 acres of vegetables are harvested yearly. There are 
65,000 aci-es of citrus, 135,000 acres in cotton. The county had six population 
centers of over 10,000 in 1960. Reynosa, Mexico is the major border city nearby. 

Source : The Texas Almanac, 1064-65. 

Hidalgo County has the third largest .surname population in the .state (129,092 
in 1960). In 1950 it was second highest with 112,422. It has the ninth highest 
Spanish surname percent of the total population (71.4 percent in 1960). 

The total population of the county was 160,446 in 1950 and 180,904 in 1960. 

Educution 

The median school years completed (white persons, Spanish surnames) for 
persons twenty-five years of age and over was 3.3 in 1960, according to the 
U.S. Census Bureau. The median for the total U.S.A. for the same year was 
10.6 school years completed. 

Incoinc 

The median family income for the Spanish surname family in this county 
was $2,027 in 1960, compared to $5,660 for the total U.S.A. for the same period. 

Source : U.S. Census Bureau. 

Agricultural niiyrant labor 

There were over 25,000 home-based, resident agricultural workers in the 
county in 1964. This constitutes the highest number of resident agricultural 
workers in any county in Texas and is about one-fifth of the Spanish surname 
population. 

Most of the above material was taken from "A Study of the Inter-border Area 
of Texas," a pamphlet prepared by Rev. Leo D. Niete, 1400 Gaudalupe Street, 
Austin, Tex. 

FACTS ON STARR COUNTY, TEX.* 

Einitloyment — P. 15: One out of every four persons in Starr County was em- 
ployed either as a farm laborer or as a farm foreman. 

rncoiiic — P. 25: The median family income for a Starr County family was 
$1700. This should l)e compared to the median family income for Texas as a 
whole, which was $4884. 

P. 25 : Of the 3,680 families in Starr County, 1,005 had an income of less than 
$1,000. 2,054 families made less than $2,000. 2.484 families— about %— made less 
than $3,000. 

Education — P. 17: The median educational attainment of Starr County resi- 
dents more than 25 years old was 4.9 years. This should be compared to 10.9 
years for Texas as a whole. 

Housing — Pp. 26 and 27 : About 35% of all housing in Starr County was classi- 
fied as either "deteriorating" or "delapidated." More that Vo of the houses had 
neither bathtub nor shower bath, more than half had no flush toilet. More than 1/3 
had no piped water supply, either inside or outside the house. 

Communications — P. 62: There were no telephone facilities in the western 
%'s of Starr County. There was no radio station in Starr County and none within 
45 miles of Rio Grande City. 



*From 1960 Census, compiled in "Your Countj Program : Overall Economic Development 
Plan for Starr Counity, Texas,'" Starr County Program Building Committee, Efrain A. 
Duran. Chairman. 



1034 

MEDIAN 1 FAMILY INCOME AND MEDIAN i SCHOOL YEARS COMPLETED, WHITE PERSONS OF SPANISH SURNAME 

SELECTED COUNTIES IN TEXAS 



County In Texas 



Median I Median i Total number 

family school years with Spanish 
income completed surname 



Zapata (southeast ot Laredo) 

Starr (Rio Grande City area) 

LaSalle (Cotulla area) 

Karnes 

Frio (Pearsall area) 

Dimmit (Carrizo Springs area) 

Zavala (Crystal City area) 

DeWitt (northwest of Victoria) 

Gonzales (east of San Antonio) 

Caldwell (south of Austin) 

Jim Hogg(Hebronville area) 

Live Oak (northwest of Corpus Christi) 

San Patricio (north of Corpus Christi) 

Willacy (Raymondville area of "Valley") 

Hidalgo (McAllen area) 

Maverick (Eagle Pass area) 

Atascosa (south of San Antonio) 

Brooks (Falfurrias area) 

Duval (east of Laredo) 

Bee (northwest of Corpus Christi)._ _ 

Medina 

Williamson (north of Austin) 

Cameron (Brownsville-Harlingen area) 

Hays (San Marcos area) 

Wilson (Floresville area) 

Jim Wells (Alice area) 

Hale (Plainview area) 

Kleberg (Kingsville area) 

Webb (Laredo area) 

Dawson (Lamesa area) _. 

Val Verde (Del Rio area)... 

Presidio (southeast of El Paso) 

Victoria 

Uvalde 

Reeves (Pecos area). 

Nueces (Corpus Christi area) 

Lubbock 

Travis (Austin area) 

Bexar (San Antonio area) 

Wichita (Wichita Falls area) 

El Paso 

Galveston 

Harris (Houston area) ... 

Dallas 

Tarrant (Fort Worth area) 

Jefferson (Beaumont area) 

Comparison with total United States, Oklahoma, and Texas: 

Total U.S. population 

Total Texas population 

Total Oklahoma population... 



$1, 395 


4.1 


3,285 


1,568 


4.3 


15,196 


1,585 


1.4 


3,832 


1,620 


2.4 


5,595 


1,666 


2.3 


6,250 


1,721 


2.3 


6,760 


1,732 


2.3 


9,440 


1,758 


2.0 


3,928 


1,773 


1.0 


3,594 


1,833 


2.6 


4,905 


1,885 


4.5 


3,861 


1,956 


1.8 


2,686 


1,966 


2.1 


22, 239 


1,973 


2.8 


13,734 


2,027 


3.3 


129,092 


2,047 


3.9 


11,253 


2,089 


2.5 


8,545 


2,121 


4.8 


5,928 


2,152 


5.1 


9,788 


2,166 


3.3 


8,580 


2,185 


3.0 


6,998 


2,191 


2.1 


5,284 


2,205 


3.9 


96, 744 


2,207 


2.4 


7,208 


2,277 


3.1 


4,911 


2,351 


4.4 


18,848 


2,352 


2.7 


6,505 


2,415 


4.4 


12,514 


2,425 


5.4 


51,784 


2,430 


2.6 


4,569 


2,478 


3.7 


10,814 


2,567 


4.3 


2,700 


2,587 


3.3 


10,767 


2,616 


3.4 


8,002 


2,738 


2.8 


7,128 


2,974 


4.5 


84, 386 


3,084 


3.1 


17,003 


3,219 


4.4 


26, 072 


3,446 


5.7 


257, 090 


3,702 


6.2 


3.444 


3,857 


6.6 


136,993 


4,104 


6.9 


11,872 


4,339 


6.4 


75,013 


4,516 


6.5 


32,741 


4,723 


7.7 


19,373 


5,715 


8.6 


6,571 


5,660 


10.6 




4,884 


10.4 




4.620 


10.4 ... 





' The median is "the value which divides the distribution into 2 equal parts, J^ of the cases falling below this value 
and 3^ of the cases exceeding this value." Tnis definition and all of the figures on counties in Texas are taken from the 
U.S. Census on Population, 1960, Persons of Spanish Surname, pp. VII, 189-194. All income figures are for 1959. All 
"Median school years completed" figures are for persons 25 years old and over. 

-' The figures for the United States, Texas, and Oklahoma are taken from the Statistical Abstract of the United States, 
1962, p. 333. 



The Migrant in the Lower Rio Grande Valley Economy 

Demographically the impact area is a paradox. Three of the four counties 
classify as urban areas with from 50.5% (WiUacy) to 77.1% (Cameron) of the 
population living in towns with more than 2.500 population. Total population for 
the four-county area is 372,123. Economically the area is intensely a.aricultural. 
Hidalgo County, with the highest population of the four (180,004), has the largest 
crop income of any county in Texas. Basically despite the urban distribution of 
the population, the area is predominately rural, farm oriented with many of the 
farm lahorei's living in "barrios" in the small towns or cities and others living 
in "colonias." 

"Colonias" are rural, unincorporated villages, most of which lack essential 
services such as potable water, sewerage systems, retail systems, and telephones. 
Population in these varies widely with often much of it absent during those 
months when families follow the crops as mi,grant workers. 



1035 

Despite the enormous wealth generated by the farm economies of tlie four im- 
pact counties, a pattern of dependency and clironic imemployment and under- 
employment has developed. The "Magic Valley" has been called the "Tragic 
Valley" for the Mexican-American farmworkers who have .been I'endered a 
surplus and dependent population by modern agricultural techniques and by 
racial and economic discrimination. More than half (30,924) of the total number 
of families (75,201) in the area have incomes below the poverty level. This per- 
centage of 51.7% conti-asts sharply with the U.S. average for counties of 15.6%. 
Other poverty factors siach as housing, educational achievement, health care, and 
functional illiteracy, indicate that conditions are uniformly critical in the four 
county area. Unemi)loynient and underemployment are also critical. Unemploy- 
ment varied from S.4% in Cameron to as low as 4% in Willacy. However these 
figures do not reflect portions of the population who are in the migrant stream 
during more than half the year. They do however, serve to point up the fact that 
working families are living on starvation wages (51.7% earning under §3,000 
per year). 

The population this program will be concerned with is not, unlike other poverty 
areas, a homogeneous group. That target population includes a large pool of 
resident, unemployed laborers, many small farmers owning or renting a few acres 
of land, and finally the migrant laborers. Hidalgo County has more home-based 
and transient migrants than any county in the nation. Cameron r.nnks third in the 
nation. Migrants have special problems : they are not eligible for unemployment 
compensation ; federal welfare programs have little impact ))ecause of the resi- 
dency requirements ; they have no political voice or power ; patterns of racial 
discrimination coupled with language problems have further arrested any chance 
for economic or social progress. Finally, because of their mobility, education for 
migrant children has often been non-existent. 

However, patterns of economic stagnation, dependency, unemployment and dis- 
crimination are beginning to surface. Young Chicanos are not willing to partici- 
pate in a structure which gives them nothing. This tension can be expected to 
continue and increase. 

Finally many Mexican-Americans have and continue to migrate out of the 
Valley to both the large url)an industrial centers and the already overloaded 
rural agricultural areas. During the period from 1050 to 1960 Hidalgo County 
suffered a net loss of 23.0%, outmigration exceeding inmigration by some 36,900 
people. Cameron lost 21.1%. outmigrants exceeding inmigrants by 24,46<s. Starr 
County lost 10.1% with an outmigration of 1,402 persons. Willacy County suf- 
fered a net loss of 36.8%, outmigration exceeding inmigration by 7,703 persons. 
According to tlie Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, the 
following areas were the ten leading destinations for individuals and families 
migrating out of three of the four impact counties ( Cameron, Hidalgo, and 
Willacy) during this same period : (1) Fresno, California ; (2) San Antonio: (3) 
Houston; (4) Chicago; (5) Corpus Christi ; (6) Southwest Rio Grande Plain : 
(7) Los Angeles; (8) Upper San Joaquin Valley and Tulare Basin; (9) i:)a]bis 
and (10) Northeast Rio Grande Plain. 

Aggravating the pattern of migration to the urban areas is the very high nat- 
ural population growth rate in each of the counties. Despite the substantial out- 
migration, the natural growth rate, as high as 41.9% in Cameron, is actually Jv- 
creasing the population in each of the counties. What appears to be develonf'ue 
then, is a situation where conditions are severe enough to send thousands of im- 
skilled laborers to northern and western cities, without any decrease in t"- ■^ 
absolute numbers of unskilled workers in the area. The area most defin-*^- ■ 
(lualifles for special impact funding under the OEO I-Ti legislation. 



Source : An OEO Grant Application liv Coloiiias Del Valle. In :. 

Exhibit D 

Statement of CarlO'Ta Hernandez, Prepared for tpie Senate SuBC'OMiriTTvn 
ON Migratory Labor, Regarding the El Grangeno Colonia 

The Briggs Company fenced in all the brushland about two (2) miles wide and 
about fifteen (15) miles long. Later, the company sold this land to John Shary. 

In 1915, John Shary's administrator wanted to have this land surveyed. Manuel 
Estapa, a man who had lived on a ranch at Comas Altas for more than twelve 
(12) years, refused to have anyone survey the land where he lived. 



1036 

The Rangers then proceeded to bring all the people they found on their way 
(farmers, chicken raisers, cowboys and field workers) and had them line np on 
a street. They sent for Frank Dew so that he could recognize the people. Frank 
Dew declared that he knew all of the people and that they were good freinds 
of his. 

While this was going on, soldiers were sent to get Manuel Estapa. The soldiers 
told Estapa that they needed him as an interpreter for the group of people. 
Of course, there was not a word of truth in what the soldiers told Estapa, but 
he did not know otherwise. The soldiers turned Estapa over to the Rangers. 
Daniel Saenz, a friend of Estapa's, was picked ftp l)y the Rangers near Madero. 
Texas. Estapa and Saenz were never seen again. 

Frank Dew. who was a ranger then, was ordered by the county to burn down 

Comas Altas. Being a good man. he told the people that they could take out their 
belongings before he set fire to Comas Altas. No people were injured. 

Hoit and Conway bought the land from Rincon Road to Jardin de Flores from 
the priests. Later this company sold this same land to John Shai'y. 

Another injustice to the people occurred about 1915. People were forced to 
clean up the Military Road, yet they received no wages for their work. They 
were forced to leave the fields, their farms, or any other type of work they en- 
gaged in to go to work on the INIilitary Road. If they refused to do so, they were 
taken to pi-ison from fifteen (ir») days to thirty (30) days. 

One day. Captain McCoy saw several persons working on the Military Road, and 
he stopped to ask them if they were getting paid for their work. They replied 
that they received nothing in return. Captain McCoy then told the people to go 
home and work at their own jobs. He told them that the county should pay them 
for the work they put out. After that incident, people were paid for any work 
they did on the Military Road. 

The people living on these ranches and farms were Mexican-American. 



Exhibit E 

(From the Texas I.aw Review, Jul.v 1968] 

Housing of Migrant Agricultural Workers 
(By Richard R. Brann) 

t. INTRODUCTION 

The long-standing difficulties of migratory farm workers are rediscovered 
by the American i>ublic every few years. Intensive studies of the problem ac- 
company each i-ediscovery, and soon thereafter numerous recommendations are 
made. Affinnative action is seldom taken, however, and the unfortunate plight 
of migratory workers continues without significant improvement.^ 

Migratory agricultural workers are an especially disadvantaged group of peo- 
ple who each ,vear leave their usual home and travel the nation to satisfy the 
fluctuating seasonal demand for short-term farm labor." One of the most press- 
ing problems confronting these impoverished nomads is the lack of adequate 
housing. The housing problems of these rural workers are quite different from 
those of the cit.v slum dweller, but are nonetheless just as serious.' Historicall.v, 



1 Bennftt, Still the Harvest of fihame. SO Commonweal, Apr. 10. 1964, at S.S : The Vapn- 
Itnnd Kincjfi. 2S The Reporter, May 9, 196.^. at 13 ; see 1 The Texas Front in the Nation's 
War on Poverty. Oct. 1966, at 2. 

= The Good Neighbor Comm'n Texas. Texas Migrant Labor — the 1966 IMicrvtion 
'1967) (nnpaginated) : Blue-Sky Sweatshop. 71 Am. Fed., .Tune 1964. at S : Britton. Opcii- 
Skii Swentfihopx. 1 Hors. L. Rev. l.'il. \PA (196.S> : Mnirntorij Farm Labor. The Problem and 
Pronosnls for Improvement. ?A State Gov't 94 f 1958). 

The domestic migrant force, composed of American Indians. Nejrroes. and Mexican-Ameri- 
cans, is often exploited b.v both labor contractors and growers. See id. at 95 : Roots for the 
Rootless, SO Christian Cent. 6.']5 (May 1."). 196.'?). Intrastate migrants are found prin- 
cipally in California, Florida, and Texas. i!/(V/r«fr;c// Farm Labor, The Problem and Prnposala 
for Tmproi^ement, svpra at 95. Althouffh the migrant's labor is anxiously awaited by the 
harvesting farmer, as the barest ends the migrant's depnrture from the community is equally 
welcomed. President's Nat'l Advi.sory Comm'n on Ri'rae Poverty, The People Left 
Behind 9S C1967) ; Tvt^on.Mif/ratori/ I,abor — Some Leqal, Economic and Social Aspects. 
S Mercer L. Rev. 27S, 2S4 (1952) ; see Moore, Slaves for Rent. 215 Atlantic Mo. 109. 110 
(Mnv 1965'*, 

« P, Wald. Law and Poverty 1965. Report to the Nat'l Conference on Law and 
Poverty 1."? n. 36 1965). 



1037 

housing in rural areas has been inferior to urban housing; " and as a group tlie 
migrant workers rank among the poorest housed of our rural population. The 
remoteness of their rural setting, however, renders their substandard housing 
barely visible to the American public.^ 

The migrant's need for decent housing falls primarily in two basic areas — 
home-base housing and on-the-job housing. Each category presents its own 
unique problems, but most of these problems stem primarily from the migrant's 
transient nature and resultant lack of strong community ties. Since they are on 
the move much of the year, these laborers are the constituents of no one. Thus 
legislation to improve their accommodations depends largely on the noble inten- 
tions of "do-good" lobbies and liberal legislators." Although the efforts of these 
individuals have been persistent, they have seldom been sufficient to overcome 
the influence of tightly organized agricultural interests.' 

The housing difficulties of the migratory worker are particularly acute in 
Texas, the home state of by far the greatest number of farm workers in the 
country.* As both a principal supplier and employer of migrant labor, Texas must 
cope with the migrant's home-ba.se housing needs as well as with on-the-job 
lodging for those who migrate intrastate. In the past, efforts to improve housiiig 
in each of these categories have been woefully inadequate. 

II. HOME-BASE HOUSING 

Home-base housing describes the migratory worker's accommodations in the 
locality where he sfiends the greatest part of the year.** Characterized as among 
the woi-st in the nation," this "permanent" housing is often simply a shack in a 
run-down .section of an older community. Various parts of Califoi'nia, Arizona, 
and south Texas are dotted with these cabin slums of migrant workers attempt- 
ing to settle briefly during the off-season." In Texas the home bases of most 
migrants are located from San Antonio to the border and tlie gulf, with a large 
concenti'ation in the lyower Rio Grande Valley.'" Typically substandard," migrant 



* Malotky, Better Bousing in the Country, m A Place to Live, The Yeaubook of Agri- 

CULTTTRE 185 (lOOS). 

^ Id. at 188 ; Hearings on .S'. 9H1 Before a t^uhcomm. of the Senate Comm. on Banking and 
Currency, 88th Coug., 1st S<^ss. 57 (litr).",) (stattmeiit of William L. Blatt, Sr., Adiiiinl- 
strator. Area Development Administration) [hereinafter cited as Hearings on S. !)H1^. The 
deplorable conditions of some migrant labor camps, often located near large population 
centers, are nevertheless hidden from public view ; for the camps are usually constructed 
well within the limits of private prouert.v. Moore, supra note 2, at 112. 

*> The Vagabond Kings, supra note 1, at 1?. : see Keisker, Harvest of Shame. 74 Common- 
weal, May 19, 1961, at 202 : Kovarskv, Congress and Migrant Labor, 9 St. Louis U.L.J. 293, 
300 (1965). 

''E.g., Blue-Sky Sweatshop, supra note 2. at 8 ; Keisker. supra note 6. at 203 : Kovarsky, 
supra note 6, at 299. Large agricultural interests comprise what has been described as one 
of the "toughest" lobbies in Washington. See generally S. Allex, The Ground Is Oue 
Table 47 (1966). 

8 The Goot> Neighbor Comm'n of Texas, supra note 2; Moore, supra note 2 at 109; 
Interview with Joe Manahan, Director of Farm Placement, Texas Employment Comm'n, 
in Austin, Texas, March 4, 1968. 

9 President's Comm'n on Migratory Labor, Migratory Labor in American Agri- 
culture 137 (1951). See generally L. Shotwell, The Harvesters: The Story of the 
Migrant Peuple 20 (1961). 

1" President's Comm'n on Migratory Labor, supra note 9, at 144 ; Migratory Farm 
Labor, The Problem and Proposals for Improvement, supra note 2, at 95 ; see M. Harring- 
ton, The Other America 54 (1963). Some 80% of the farm workers in California live in 
dilapidated homes. Self Help Enterprises, Inc., New Housing by Poor Farm Workers 
(1968) (unpaginated). 

^1 Moore, supra note 2, at 112. Attempts to forsake the migrant stream and settle in 
distant parts of the country are difficult since the migrant lacks a stable income and is 
usually ineligible for welfare assistance because of state residence requirement.s. See Hear- 
ings on S. 981, supra note 5, at 49 (statement of Rev. James L. Vizzard) ; Senate Subcomm. 
on Migratory Labor, The Migratory Farm Proble.m in the United States, 196S Re- 
port, 90th Cong., 2d Sess. 56-61 (1968). The constitutionality of these residence require- 
ments Is presently in doubt. See generally Harvith, The Constitutionality of Residence 
Tests for General and Categorical Assistance Programs, 54 Calif. L. Rev. 567 (1966). 
Their abolition should greatly aid the migrant's efforts to leave the migrant stream. 

■■^2 The Good Neighbor Comm'n of Texas, supra note 2. This report lists Hidalgo 
County in south Texas as having the greatest number of resident migrants with approxi- 
matel.v 25,000 in the county. Nearly 90,000 of a total 134,700 Texas migrants reside in the 
counties of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. These figures are estimates based on farm 
laborers recorded b.v the Texas Employment Commission or recruited under the Bureau 
of Labor Statistics regulations. The figures include only workers and not necessarily their 
children. Id. Evidence also indicates that thousands of migrants have begun to svtth^ in 
an area near Lubbock. Texas. 1 The Texas Front in the Nation's War on Poverty, supra 
note 1, at 1. 

13 See Rural Poverty, Hearings Before the Nat'l Advisory Comm'n on Rural Poverty, 
Memphis, Tenn., Feb. 2 & 3, 1967, at 206, 257 (remarks and written statement of H. S. 



1038 

housing in tliese communities is predominately nonfarm and is often owned by 
the migrant family." 

Although home base may be nothing more than a dilapidated shack in the 
Mexican quarter of some southwestern town, this is where the migi-ant most 
likely has the greatest feeling of community belonging.^^ Despite this feeling, 
absence from the area much of the year prevents most migrants from becoming 
an integral part of their home community. The lack of significant community 
ties undermines the migrant's ability to persuade local authorities to initiate 
housing programs beneficial to him." Consequently, his housing at home base is 
likely to remain substandard. 

Except for the migrant's absence from the community for much of the year 
and re.sultant lack of strong community ties, the problems of improving the 
migrant's home-base housing are not unlike the problems of impix)ving any sub- 
standard housing in rural or urban fringe areas. Although little seems to have 
been done in the past, in recent years several steps have been taken by govern- 
mental authorities to aid the migrant and other rural poor in bettering their 
home-base housing." One of the most important programs in this area is self- 
help housing and home improvement,^** a plan by which the poor themselves 
supply the necessary labor in the construction and improvement of their homes. 
Having had significant impact on the areas in which it has been utilized success- 
fully," self-help housing is a particularly attractive program for migrants be- 
cause it not only enables them to improve their housing, but also provides them 
with useful vocational training in construction skills."" 

Technical assistance for migrant self-help housing is financed under the 
federal program of Assistance for INIigrant and Seasonal Farm Workers au- 
thorized by Title III-B of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.-'^ Loans are 
obtained from the Farmer's Home Administration of the United States Depart- 
ment of Agriculture.^" Usually coordinated by a nonprofit corporation, migrant 
families form a self-help group and guarantee each other a certain numl)er of 
hours of labor.^ Eligibility for OEO assistance and FHA mortgages is limited,'* 
but the families that qualify are able to receive valuable guidance in construc- 
tion skills from self-help construction supervisors.^ The construction itself offers 
a beneficial utilization of what would otherwise be a slack period in their 
agricultural employment. One of the most successful of these .self-help projects 
is now imderway in California. By the end of the 1967, approximately 13S homes 
had been built by self-help and another 133 were under construction.^ In Tulare 



Brown, President. Texas AFIv-CIO) [hereinafter cited as Rural Poverty Hearings: — 
Memphis] : Rural Poverty Ilearittf/s Before the Nat'l Advisory Comm'n on Rural Poverty, 
Tucson. Ariz.. .Tan. 26 & 27. 1967, at .398 (statement submitted by Walter Riehter, Director, 
Southwest Rearion OEO) [hereinafter cited as Rural Poverty Hearings — Tucson] : Presi- 
dent's Common on Migratory Labor, sxipra note 9, at 145. 

1* Senate Sdbcomm. on Migratory Labor,, supra note 11, at 18. 

15 See authorities cited note 9 supra. 

^^E.g.. Rural Povei'tii, Hearinqs Before the Nat'l Advisory Comm'n on Rural Poverty, 
Washington. D.C.. Feb. 15, 16 & 17, 1967, at 288 (statement submitted by Robert C. 
Weaver, Secretary of Dep't of Housing and Urban Development) [hereinafter cited as 
Rural Poverty Hearings — Washington] ; Migratory Farm Labor, The Problem and Pro- 
posals for Improvement, supra note 2, at 95. 

1" Secj e.g.. Vice President's Handbook for Local Officials, A Guide to Federal 
Assistance for Local Governments 190, 194-96 (1967) [hereinafter cited as Vice 
President's Handbook] ; Office of Economic Opportunity, Catalog of Federal 
Assistance Programs 162, 167, 183, 396, 552 (1967) ; Shriver, Rural Poverty — The 
Problem and the Challenge. 15 Kan L. Rev. 401. 402 (1967). For a breakdown of federal 
funds allocated to state and local governments for rural housing for domestic farm labor 
see Vice President's Handbook 261. 

^^ Rural Poverty Hearings — Washington 439 (statement submitted by Sargent Shriver, 
Director of the OEO) : Shriver. .supra note 17, at 403. 

1* Shriver. supra note 17, at 403. 

-"Id.; 1 The Texas Front in the Nation's War on Poverty, supra note 1, at 4. 

21 Economic 0|)portunity Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §2861 (Supp. I. 1965). For insight 
into the legislative baclcground of this section see S. Rep. No. 599. 1965 U.S. Cong. & 
Admin. News 3501. Rural Communit.v Action Programs under Title II-A of the Economic 
Opportunity Act of 1964 also serve as a basis for self-help housing. See 42 U.S.C. 
§2781 (1964). 

" Self Help Enterprises, Inc., supra note 10 ; Hearings on 8. 981, supra note 5. at 23. 

23 Self Help Enterprises, Inc., i^upra note 10 ; Hearings on S, 981, supra, note 5, at 67 
(letter from American Friends Service Comm., Inc.). 

^ To obtain OEO funds, applicants must have incomes within poverty standards, and 
to qualify for loans the applicant must demonstrate an ability to pay the monthly 
installments. Self Help Enterprises, Inc., supra note 10. 

^Id. 

^ See generally id. 



1039 

County, California, fifty homes had been built by February, 1967 the community's 
goal is to build 250 homes every year in the county.^ 

The Texas Office of Economic Opportunity began a similar self-help housing 
project in 1965 at Meadow Wood Acres, a Mexican-American community twelve 
miles west of San Antonio.^ A subsequent continuation of this project com- 
menced in January, 1967, and the project was completed on August 31, 1967. 
The project, funded with a Title III grant of 346,241 dollars '^ and under the 
direct supervision of the Texas OEO, was not terminated until all qualified 
migrant families who wanted to build homes had done so.^" 

Although an enthusiastic self-help housing program is beneficial to the migra- 
tory worker, its ultimate success is hampered by the same factors that hinder 
the migrant's development in other areas — absence from the community for 
much of the year. A certain degree of local leadership and stability in the com- 
munity is necessary if the migrant is to take full advantage of any self-help 
housing project. This needed stability is nearly impossible to achieve when the 
migrant family is gone from the community from April to October each year.^"^ 

In addition to self-help housing, there are several other federal programs 
available that might be employed to improve the migrant's home-base housing 
conditions.''^ Among the programs generally applicable to rural areas is the rela- 
tively new Rent Supplement Program, which provides a federal rent subsidy for 
the low income occupant of substandard housing and also encourages private con- 
struction of low income housing.^ Another federal private housing program of 
potential benefit to the migrant family is the below-the-market interest rate 
program authorized by section 221(d) (3) of the Housing and Urban Develop- 
ment Act of 1965.^ This mortgage insurance program, geared toward helping 
people with incomes too high for public housing and yet too low for private 
housing, is fully applicable to rural areas.^ 

An intermixtiire of several factors seems to have contributed to the apparent 
lack of real progress in the area of permanent migrant housing despite the 
availability of the above programs. First, many of the aplicable programs are of 
relatively recent origin,*' and the administrative machinery responsible for im- 
plementing positive measures has not yet had the opportunity to utilize them on 
a very wide scale. In Texas, for example, the ^Migrant Division of the Texas OEO 
was not created until 1966.^ Since that time, however, the Migrant Division has 
proceeded vigorously under able leadership to remedy many of the problems of 
Texas migrant laborers, including housing.^ Secondly, there is a positive need 
that the incentive for most of these programs come from the local level. If any 
home-improvement measure is to be truly successful, it must be sparked by local 



2" Bonnett, supra note 1. at S4 ; authorities cited note IS supra. For a discussion of 
a similar self-help liousing project conducted under a mijjrant opportunity program in 
Arizona see Rural Poverty Hearings — Tucson 30-32 (statement of Mrs. Leford Harry, 
woi'lier in the program) . 

2s The Texas Front — 1967, Annual Report of the Texas Office of Economic 
Opportunity Executive Department 45 ; The Texas Front — 1966, Annual Report 
OF THE Texas Office of Economic Opportunity Executive Department 38. 

-^ Of this .f;.S46.241 grant, only .$67,s!t2 was ■•ictually used to meet the costs of the 
housing project. The remaining .$278,349 was reallocated to the Adult Migrant Education 
Program. The Texas Front — 1967, supra note 28. 

^'^ Id. For an explanation of how the Meadow Wood Acres self-help housing project 
operated see 2 The Texas Front in the Nation's War on Poverty, July-Sept. 1967, at 3. 

^ For a map portraying the major travel patterns of Texas migrants see The Good 
Neighbor Comm'n of" Texas^ supra note 2. For a brief discussion of intrastate and 
interstate migrant travel patterns see L. Shotwell, supra note 9, at 19. 

^3 ^ee authorities cited note 17 supra. 

33 Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, 12 U,S.C. § 1701s (Supp. I, 1965); 
see Rural Poverty Hearings — Washington 290 (statement of Robert C. Weaver, Secretary 
of Dep't of Housing and Urban Development). For a complete analysis of the qualifica- 
tions necessary and the benefits available under the Rent Supplement Program see 
Office of Economic Opportunity, Catalog of Federal Assistance Programs 415 (1967) ; 
U.S. Dep't of Health, Education, and Welfare & U.S. Dep't of Housing and Urban 
Development, New Programs in Health, Education, Welfare, Housinf and Urban 
Development foe Persons and Families of Low and Moderate Income 33 (1966) 
[hereinafter cited as New Programs] ; U.S. Dep't of Housing and Urban Development, 
Programs of HUD 43 (Aug. 1967). 

3< Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, 12 U.S.C. §1715? (Supp. I. 1965); 
see New Programs 34. 

35 Rural Poverty Hearings — Washington 290. 

38 See authorities cited notes 3.3-34 supra. 

3" The Texas Front — 1966. supra note 28. at 10. 

3' For an outline of the assistance programs handled by the Migrant Division of the 
Texas OEO in 1967 see The Texas Front — 1967, supra note 28, at 44-45. 



1040 

interest in remedying tlie situation.^® Local interest is not lilvely to be very great 
since most migrants liave no truly significant ties with their home community. 
Consequently, a combination of local apathy, lack of community awareness, and 
lack of effective local leadership thus far seems to have impeded substantial 
progress toward improving the emigrant's home-base housing. 

III. 0N-THE-.T0B HOUSING 

The quality of on-the-job housing varies greatly. In a few areas the dwellings 
jjrovided are remarkably good. ITsually, however, the housing is unsatisfactory 
«nd often fails to meet even minimum standards of decency.*" The typical migi-ant 
camp consists of a series of small shacks, each housing families of six or more 
persons." The accommodations in one Arizona camp were described as unattrac- 
tive, ix>o'rly insulated, and inadequately heated.''^ Aside from the dwellings often 
being structurally substandard, many camps lack decent toilet facilities and a 
safe water supply.^^ During one investigation made by the Federal Bureau of 
Employment Sedurity, several camps in a southwestern state were discovered to 
have no hot water for bathing, bath water seeping into nearby wells, stagnant 
water around outside spigots, and numerous other deficiencies." A similar investi- 
gation of a midweistern camp revealed that the camp cons:isted of a group of old 
buses and a trailer located in the middle of a field. The camp had no available 
water supply, and water was hauled from a distance in large cans.^'^ In Virginia 
a recent survey disclosed that only fifteen pefcent of the housing available to 
migrants met the minimum guidelines of the President's Commission on Migra- 
tory Labor. Deficiencies in washroom and toilet facilities were among the primary 
rea.'^ons for noncompliance.^" 

To compoimd the problem, housing that was once provided for Mexican Bracero 
labor prior to 1965 " is wholly inadetiuaifce for hou.sing today's domestic migrants. 
The all-male braceros were usually housed in barrack-type buildings : this type of 
arrangement is plainly unsatisfactory for the domestic migrant who usually 
travels with his family. Consquently, states that once relied heavily on bracero 
farm labor are now finding it necessary to remodel existing accommodations or 
construct new housing to satisfy the needs of domestic migrants.*** 

A. State Legislation Aimed at Improving On-the-JoJ) Housing of Migrants 

Housing for domestic migratory workers while on the job usually consists of 
either accommodations provided by the grower on his own property or aocommo- 
dations furnished by a group of groiM^elrs under a cooperative plan."" Less fre- 



3» See Bennett, supra note 1. at S4-S5 : Shriver, supra note 17, at 407. 

^"President's Nat'l Advisory Comm'n on Rural Povertt, supra note 2, at 98; The 
Good Neighbor Comm'n of Texas, supra note 2. For a description of the utterly deplor- 
able housing conditions of migrant workers 30 years ago see H. H. Collins, America's 
Own Refugees 2,51-60 (1941). Mr. Collins refers to the farm labor camps constructed 
and operated by the federal government as superior to privately owned camps. These 
government camps were later turned over to private and public organizations, and a few 
still serve the needs of migrants today. Malotky, supra note 4, at 1S8. 

••1 A vivid description of the typical migrant camp is found in Moore, supra note 2. 
at 112-15 (conditions behind the "tar-paper curtain"). See also S. Allen, supra note 7, 
at 32 : M. Harrington, supra note 10, at .54 ; The Good Neighbor Comm'n of Texas, 
supra note 2. See Bitter Harvest, Time, Feb. 16, 1968, at 51-52 ; Gomes, Migrant Diary, 
4 Vista Volunteer, Feb. 1968, at 3. Mr. Gomes describes the Florida camp in which lie 
lived as follows : "The camp is an old packing house which has been divided into little 
compartments. It is structured of wood and tin, and the room dividers are of cardboard. 
There is no indoor plumbing. One light bulb is centered in each of the rooms. . . ." Id. 

^ Rural Poverty Hearings — Tucson 388 (statement of Jean Emrick describing Sahuarita 
cotton camp). 

*^ See S. Allen, supra note 7, at 32-33 ; P. Wald. supra note 3, at 13 n.36 ; Hearings 
on 8. 981, supra note 5, at 42 (statement of John F. Henning). 

** Hearings on S. 981, supra note 5, at 42 (statement of John F. Henning). 

« Ifl. 

^ Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Migrant Labor Housing Requirements for the 
Eastern Shore Counties of Virginia 1, 15 (1968). 

■•" Public Law 78 authorizing the importation of Mexican nations to perform seasonal 
farm labor was terminated December 31, 1964. The Good Neighbor Comm'n of Texas, 
supra note 2. See generally Britton, supra note 2, at 139. 

*« S. Allen, supra note 7, at 101: The Good Neighbor Comm'n of Texas, supra note 
2; Hearings on S. 981, supra note 5, at 4.5-46 (statement of Rev. James L. Vizzard). 

^^ Britton, supra note 2, at 145; see Virginia Polytechnic Institute, supra note 46, 
at 1. Onl.v an estimated 15% of the housing furnished met the minimum guidelines of 
the President's Commission on Migrator.v Labor. Id. In some areas migrants obtain 
commercial accommodations in nearby cities. These arrangements are usually expensive 
and overcrowded. Britton, supra note 2, at 146. While en route to employment the 
migrant finds few rest camps or hotels that welcome him. Consequentl.v. he must usually 
travel long distances from one employer to the next. Migrant Farm Labor — The Problem 
and Proposals for Improvement, supra note 2, at 95. 



1041 

qiiently, a labor camp is maintained by a farm labor contractor for the workers 
he i-ecruits.^ In an effort to guarantee minimum standards of decency in these 
migratory labor camps, twenty-eight states have established mandatory laws or 
regulations applicable to these facilities.^^ These statutes or regulations fix 
minimum standards for migrant housing and often provide for inspection of the 
labor camps to insure that the standards are met." The standards established in 
labor camp codes ^^ vai-y considerably from state to state. The codes of at least 
eight states require a license to oi^erate a labor camp." Ordinarily, a state agency 
is required to insi>ect the camp foi' code compliance prior to the issuance of a 
licenise.'""^ On the other hand. Arizona, Connecticut, and several other stntes have 
no i-egistration or licensing provisions in their codes.°^ The state codes themselves 
may establish minimum standards for nuatters ranging from location of the camp 
area" and size of the living quarters^** to the quality of the water supply'" and 
the method of sewage and refuse dispo'sal.'* Penalties for noncompliance with 
these regnlations range from a 1,000-dollar fine or six months imprisonment in 
Florida "^ to a 200-dollar fine or sixty days in .jail in Nevada."^ Noncompliance with 
the migTant housimg regulations in New Hampshii*e invokes a fine of only ten 
dollars.'^'' In addition to penalty provisions, the codes of several states, including 
California and New Jersey, make provision for the abatement as a public nuisance 
of camps not conf onning to the code and regtdations.** 

As a guideline for those states without statutes and those states revising 
their labor camp legislation, the President's Commission on Migratory Labor 
has prepared both a model bill authorizing regulation of agricultural camps and 
a model set of regulations dealing with the construction and operation of labor 
camps. "^ The standards announced in these recommended regulations are con- 
siderably more stringent than those of most states.** For example, the highly 
detailed regidations suggested by the President's Commission establish rigid 
minimum standards for such matters as beds and bedding, safety and fire pre- 
vention, washrooms, bathrooms, and laundry facilities.®' Moreover, the model 
statute recommended by the President's Commission contains not only a licensing 
provision and procedure for revocation, but also penalty provisions authorizing 
fines, imprisonment or both. The model statute further provides for the enjoining 
of any violation of the suggested regulations.®* 

Despite the presence of less comprehensive codes in several states, labor- 
camp housing has for the most part remainded substandard. Even with a de- 
tailed code, it is quite possible for a camp to be overcrowded and inconvenient 
and yet technically meet the requirements of the code."® Sometimes the estab- 
lished standards are so minimal or so vague that they are of insignificant bene- 

50 Note, Agricnltiirnl Labor Relations — The Other Farm Problem, 14 Stan. L. Rev. 
120 (1961). At least two states. New Jerse.v and Pennsylvania, apparently make the farm 
labor contractor jointly responsible with the farmer for providing sanitary and healthy 
farm labor camps. U.S. Dep't of IjAbor, Major Provisions of State and Federal Farm 
Labor Contractor Laws 4, 17, 19 (196.5). 

51 President's Nat'l Advisory Comm'n on Rural Poverty, supra note 2, at 98. For 
a complete analysis of existing state labor camp legislation and a comparison of state 
regulations see U.S. Dep't of Labor, Housing for Migrant Agricultural Workers, 
Labor (^amp Standards (1961) [hereinafter cited as Labor Camp StandardsI. Some com- 
mentators suggest that the regulation of agricultural camp housing is fundamentally a 
state responsibility. Bennett, supra note 1, at 85: see Rural Poverty Hearings — Wash- 
ington 481 (statement of Catherine C. Hiatt, Executive Director, Traveller's Aid Society). 

52 See generally Labor Camp Standards. 

53 The term "codes" as used in this Comment includes both laws and regulations. 

5* Those eight are Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, 
■Washington, and Wisconsin. Labor Camp Standards 4. 27-28, 30, 36. 38, 40-41 ; e.g., 
Fla. Stat. Ann. § 381.432 (1960) ; Wis. St.at. Ann. § 146.19 (Supp. 1967). 

55 iS'ee note 54 supra. See also L.^bor Camp Standards 4-7. 

56 Labor Camp Standards 5, 26^3 : see Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 36-661 to 675 (1956) ; 
Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 22-17a (1958). 

^' E.g., Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 36-663 to 664 (1956). See also Labor Camp Standards 
7-9. 

^E.g., Nev. Rev. Stat. § 444.140 (1963). See also Labor Camp Standards 9-10, 44-71. 

^ E.g., Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §36-665 (1956). See generally Labor Camp Standards 
13-14, 79-92. 

<^0E.g., Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §36-670 (1956): Nev. Rev. Stat. §444.170 (1963). 
See generally Labor Camp Standards 15-16, 72-92. 

81 Fla. Stat. Ann. § 381.411 (1960). 

"2 Nev. Rev. Stat. § 444.200 (1963). 

62 Labor Camp Standards 33. 

0' E.g., Cal. Labor Code § 2645 (West Supp. 1967) ; N..T. Stat. Ann. § 34 :9A-32 (1965). 

65 L. Shotwell. supra note 9. at 113. The complete text of both the recommended 
bill and regulations can be found in Labor Camp Standards 93, 102 (Appendix B). 

66 See Labor Camp Standards 26-101. 
6' See generally id at 93-101. 

68 /d. at 104. 

69 L. Shotwell, supra note 9, at 112. 

36-51.3— 70— pt. 3-B 12 



1042 

fit.™ At other times, the state agency administering the regulations may be so 
inadequately staffed that effective inspection is impossible.'" For example, one 
commentator notes that in 1961. Minnesota had 1,000 migrant labor camps and 
only one state official in charge of camp inspection.'" Without adequate inspection : 
enforcement of the regulations, no matter hoAv rigid, becomes a myth. More- 
over, the mild penalty provisions of some codes, like the ten-dollar fine in Nevp 
Hampshire, minimize the deterrence of noncompliance by these codes.''^ Varying 
combinations of the above factors contribute to the circumvention of state regu- 
lations in many instances. 

One technique developed to enhance compliance with state labor camp codes 
is the Secretary of Labor's regulations concerning the referral of migrant labor 
under the federal-state employment service system.'^* These regulations provide 
that before any employer may receive interstate agricultural worker recruitment 
assistance, his labor housing must be inspected by an appropriate agency for 
compliance with the more stringent of either state labor camp regulations or the 
suggested federal labor housing standards.'^ The burden is on the employer to 
certify that his housing meets the requisite standards before he can avail him- 
self of this valuable recruitment service.™ 

Although these regulations are an important step toward a total working 
partnership between federal and state agencies in the area of migrant housing, 
there are two significant loopholes in the plan. First, these regulations concern 
only farm labor recruited through the state employment security system." An 
employer still can hire a licen.sed recruiter to go into a neighborhing state and 
procure workers without having to certify that he has complied with local labor 
camp regulations.'^' Secondly, the Secretary of Labor's regulations do not cover 
housing provided farm workers recruited and employed in the same state where 
the housing is located.™ Because of this latter exemption the Secretary's regu- 
lations do not benefit the thousands of Texas farm laborers who migrant wholly 
within the state. 

To alleviate the above defects future state regulations should include two re- 
quirements. First, they should not only provide for the licensing of recruiters, 
but should also hold the recruiter jointly responsible with the camp owner for 
insuring full compliance with state labor-housing regulations.'" Perhaps a cer- 
tification of a camp's compliance with state housing standards could be required 
of the recruiter before he is allowed to legally recruit intrastate for an em- 
ployer using that camp. A similar certificate might be required by the federal 
government before the recruiter could legally solicit workers across state lines 
for a given employer. Secondly, certification of compliance with state housing 
regulations should be mandatory before any employer is allowed to use the intra- 
state services of a state employment agency. Simply stated, an employer's legal 
capacity to recruit needed farm labor should be conditioned on compliance 
with state labor housing regulations. To lessen the possibility that an em- 
ployer or labor contractor will regard the penalties as merely a cost of doing 
Inisiness, violation of the above requirements should invoke heavy fines or im- 
prisonment. 



'" Td. 

^ Britton. supra note 2, at 146; see Rural Poverty Hearings — Tucson .389 (statement 
of .Jean Emrick). 

^2 L. Shotwell. supra note 9, at 113. 

^ For a comparison of each state's penalty provisions see Labor Camp Standards 26—43. 

■^^ A detailed explanation of these regulations is found in the U.S. Dep't of Labor, 
Housing Regulations op the U.S. Dep't of Labor for Out-of-Statb Agricultural, 
Woods, and Related Industry Workers Recruited Through State Employment 
Service (1967) [hereinafter cited as Dep't of Labor, Housing Regulations]. 

'^ Id. at 2. See also Lorenz, The Application of Cost-Utility Analysis to the Practice 
of Law: A Special Case Study of the California Farmworkers, 15 K.iN. L. Rev. 420. 42.5 
(1967). In California a building may be both a hotel or apartment house on the one hand 
or a labor camp on the other. Consequently, the structure may become subject to both the 
State Housing Act and the Labor Camp Act, whichever is more stringent. 30 Cal. Op. 
Att'y Gen. 16 (1957). In that instance the employer would most likely have to comply 
with the most stringent of the three regulations in order to satisfy the Secretary of 
Labor's regulations. 

'"'' See Dep't of Labor, Housing Regul.\tions 2. 

" Id. 

"^ Interview with .Toe Manahan. Director of Farm Placement, Texas Fimployment 
Comm'n, in Austin, Texas, March 4, 1968. 

™ Dep't of Labor, Housing Regulations 2. This defect is particularly acute in Texas, 
a state in which is both a prime employer and a home base for many migrants. See The 
Good Neighbor Comm'n of Texas, supra note 2, 

8" See U.S. Dep't of Labor, supra note 50. 



1043 

Texas is presently one of the few states employing large numbers of migrant 
laborers that does not have a state agency with legal authority to require certain 
minimum standards of health and sanitation in migrant labor camps.*^ Efforts 
to enact needed migrant-camp legislation, however, have been made. Bills deal- 
ing with migrant housing were introduced in the 56th, 57th, 58th, and 60th 
Legislatures, but were not passed.^" The most recent proposal. House Bill 208, 
introduced during the 60th Legislature, was the first such bill to be passed by 
the house. Although the bill was reported favorably out of committee in the sen- 
ate, its penalty provision had been reduced significantly by the committee.^^ 
This bill, which enti'usted the State Board of Health with making reasonable 
regulations concerning the maintenance of migrant labor camps, subsequently 
died in the senate.** 

Texas does have the Good Neighbor Conunission, an agency charged with 
studying the problems of the state's migrant workers and with cordinating fed- 
eral, state, and local efforts designed to improve the migrant's li^-ing conditions.®" 
Since lack of effective coordination of migrant programs is a prime defect in 
many elforts at iniprovenient,^" the Good Neighbor Commission serves a very use- 
ful function. Unfortunately, however, the Conunission lacks funds and working 
tools to achieve the desired results.*" 

Adequate on-the-job housing is necessary to guarantee the effective allocation 
of a sufficiently large fai'm labor force.^ More strict enforcement of existing state 
codes and a strengthening of regulations covering migrant camps would aid in 
the improvement of labor camp conditions. But a comprehensive and strictly 
enforced code alone will not guarantee satisfactoi-y accommodations when camp 
owners are without adequate funds to improve their housing.** Even the most 
willing farmer may be financially unable to bring his labor housing up to the 
requisite state standards without financial aid. Therefore, coupled with the strict 
enforcement of comprehensive state codes must be programs designed to assist 
the camp owner financially in tlie construction and modernization of migrant 
housing.®" Financial programs of this nature are presently available from the 
federal government. 

/>'. Federal Legislation Aimed at Financing the Improvement of On-the-Joh 
Housing of Migrants 

In 1061 Title V of the Housing Act of 11M9 was amended to promote impi'oved 
on-the-job housing for migrants by authorizing the Farmer's Home Administra- 
tion to insure loans for the construction and modernization of housing and other 
facilities for domestic farm labor."^ The approved borrowers may include farmers, 
associations of farmers, state or political subdivisions, and public or private 
corporations.'''' The first loans insured under the 1961 amendment went to finance 
the building of forty-eight dwelling units for migrant workers who harvest fruit 
and vegetables grown in Gem County, Idaho."^ 

A second step toward the improvement of on-the-job housing for migrants was 
taken in 1964. In that year Congress authorized direct financial assistance to any 



81 Labor Camp Standards 3 : The Good Neighbor Comji'n op Texas, supra note 2 ; 
L. Shotwell, supra note 9, at 112. 

^" The Good Neighbor Comm"n of Texas, supra note 2. 

s^ Compare H.B. 208, 6th Texas Legislature, § 10 (Jan. 30, 1967), v^ith H.B. 208, 60th 
Texas Legislature, § 10(b) (May IS, 1967). 

s^ Letter from State Representative Bill Rapp to author, March 10, 1968. In the 
letter Jlr. Rapp indicated that the bill would probably not be reintroduced since he was 
not returning to the legislature, and noted "there aren't many who want to help our 
Migrants from my former District." 

S'Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat. An.\. art. 4101-2, §4(1) (1965). The Good Neighbor Commis- 
sion reijlaces the old Texas Council on Migrant Labor once authorized by Tex. Laws 
19.57, ch. 417, at 12.55. The federal government in 1954 set up a special President's Com- 
mittee on Migratory Labor to plan for and coordinate measures relating to farm labor. 
Bennett, supra note 1, at 83. 

«" See Rural Poverty Hearings 489 (statement submitted by Mitzie Turkfeld). 

8' ] The Texas Front in the Nation's War on Poverty. Oct. 1966, at 2. 

ss^ce 109 CONG. Rec. 3296 (1963) (remarks of Senator Williams). 

^^ See Hearings on S. 981, supra note 5, at 41 (statement of John F. Henning), 74 
(letter from Committee of Officials on Migratory Farm Labor of the Atlantic Seaboard 
States ) . 

»<>7rf. ; see 109 Cong. Rec. 3297 (1963) (remarks of Senator Williams). 

91 Housing Act of 1949, S 514, 42 U.S.C. § 1484 (1964) ; Vice President's Handbook 
106 ; Office of Economic Opportdniti% Catalog of Federal Assistance Programs 167 
(1967) : Malotky, supra note 4, at 188. 

82 Housing Act of 1949, § 514(a), 42 U.S.C. § 1484(a) (1964). 

^'^ Hearings on S. 981, supra note 5, at 25-26 (remarks of Howard Bertsch, Admin- 
istrator, Farmer's Home Administration). 



1044 

state or political subdivision or any public or private nonprofit corporation to pro- 
vide low-rent housing for domestic farm labor."* The applicant for assistance is 
required to contribute at least one-third of the development cost ; this one-third 
contribution may coine from a loan insured under the 1961 amendment mentioned 
above."^ In order to insure the adequacy of housing constructed with federal 
assistance funds, the applicant is required to guarantee that tlie housing will 
be kept in a safe and sanitary condition in accordance with standards prescribed 
by state and local codes. Moreover, absolute priority must be given to domestic 
farm labor in granting occupancy of the low-rent housing financed under this 
statute. ** 

In 1965 Congress took another major step in expanding the assistance programs 
available for the construction of migrant labor housing. Section 517 of the 
Housing Act established a rural housing insurance fund and authorized the 
making and insuring of loans for migrant housing.^' Although this iirovision and 
other comprehensive federal programs"* are clearly of great potential benefit to 
the farm worker, some observers suggest that the housing authorization of the 
Farmer's Home Administration is painfully inadequate."" For example, in 1965, 
1966. and 1967 only three million dollars a year was authorized for migrant labor 
housing under the Housing Act.^*" 

Moreover, despite the availability of technical and financial assistance pro- 
grams, many farmers have been reluctant to construct and modernize housing 
for their workers when they know the building will be unoccupied much of the 
year."^ Housing for the workers, whether used for six weeks or six months, is 
costly ; ^"^ and in the past many fai'mers have been luiwilling to luidergo the 
expense of building and maintaining good housing in spite of liberal government 
loans.^'"^ Tliis hesitance to take advantage of available labor-housing improvement 
programs, however, seems to have been declining in recent years. Since the 
termination of the bracero program, farmers have become increasingly aware of 
the migratory worker's importance to them.^°* Growers are slowly being forced 
to compete for the migrant's services. Agricultural workers usually appreciate 
good housing, and, consequently, the availability of attractive accommodations 
is becoming a significant factor in procuring and holding an adequate labor 
supply.^'^ A grower with access to a good labor camp has little trouble in finding 
workers ; those utilizing substandard camps often may find their workers leaving 
for better accommodations elsewhere.*'^ 

A progi-am recently implemented in Dimmit, Texas, is an excellent illustration 
of agricultural interests reacting to the need to attract a substantial farm labor 
force. Once-useful bracero housing located in that area w^as inadequate to sati.sfy 
the needs of domestic migrants."^"^ In order to lure farm workers into Castro 
County, the agricultural interests realized that adequate housing had to be made 
available. Several prominent citizens formed the Castro County Agricultural 
Housing A.ssociation ; and with pri\'iate funds, a federal loan, and a federal grant 



»* Housing: Act of 1949. §.516. 42 U.S.C. S 14R6 (1964). Pleasures aimed at assisting 
In the provision of decent housing for farm hibor have not been without both opposition 
and support from the farm communit.v. Hearings on »S'. 981, supra note 5, at 72 (letters 
from the Glasboro Service Assoc, and the National Farmer's Union respectively opposinjr 
and supporting: the measures). 

«5Housinfr Act of 1949. S516(a)(2). 42 U.S.C. §14S6(a)(2) (1964). 

^ Id. S .516(c) (2)-(.3:). 42 U.S.C. § 146R(c) (2)-(3) (1964). 

^■^ Id. § 517,42 U.S.C. § 1487 (Supp. I, 1965). 

»s See generalhi Vice President's Handbook 195-97. 

^^ Rtiral Focerty Hearings — Washington 423 (statement submitted b.v Barbara jNIoffet, 
American Friends Service Comm.). 

i«> Senate Subcomm. on Migratory Labor, supra note 11, at 18. 

101 presipext'.s Natl Advisory Comm'n on Rural Poverty, supra note 2. at 98; 
Hearings on S. 981, supra note 5, at 46 (statement of Rev. James L. Vizzard), 50 (state- 
ment of Sarah Newman). 

loa Williams. Proposed Legislation for Migratory Workers, 12 Lab. L..T. 630. 634 (1961) ; 
see L. Shotwell, supra note 9. at 223. But see S. Allen, supra note 7, at 102. For a 
detailed analysis of the costs of constructing and maintaining three different sized labor 
camps see Vikuinia Polytechnic Institute, supra note 46. at 24. 

1"'' Authority cited note 101 supra. 

10* See President's Nat'l Advisory Comm'n on Rural Poverty, supra note 2, at 98 : 
Hearings on 8. 981, supra note 5. at 45-47 (statement of Rev. .Tames L. Vizzard). See gen- 
erallg S. Allen, supra note 7, at 94-104. 

1™ S. Allen, supra note 7, at 78, 95 ; L. Shotwell, supra note 9, at 223-4 ; The Good 
Neighbor Comm'n of Texas, supra note 2; Rural Poverty Hearings — Tucson 106 (state- 
ment submitted b.v Elroy Chavez) : Tyson, supra note 2. at 289. 

1™ S. Allen, supra note 7. at 95 ; Hearings on S. 981, supra note 5, at 45 (quoted 
remarks of a California grower). 

1°^ See authorities cited note 48 supra and accompanying text. 



1045 

they began constniction of a com fort able and attractive agricultural housing com- 
plex. Recently completed near the outskirts of Dimmit, this housing project con- 
sists of 192 one- and two-bedroom units. In addition to the dwellings, the complex 
containis a barber shop, laundromat, health unit, and Texas Employment Com- 
mission office. ^"^ This million-dollar complex will do much to entice workers to the 
area and hopefully will set a precedent for other agricultural employers In Texas. 

Proposed legislation aimed at further encouraging construction and moderni- 
zation of farmer-owned migrant housing includes a bill first introduced in Con- 
gre.ss by Senator Harrison Williams in IDfiS that would give farmers a tax incen- 
tive to provide decent housing for migrants.^"'' Briefly stated, this proposal would 
allow a rapid tax amortization of the building costs of farm labor hou'^ing. Under 
the bill, construetion and improvement costs could be amortized for tax piu'poses 
over a period of five years instead of depreciated over the entire useful life of the 
housing facility, usually a minimum of twenty years."" In order to- qualify for 
this sj>ecial tax treaitment the owner of the housing would have to certify three 
things. First, he must guarantee that the facilities constructed would provide 
safe and sanitary hou.sing for migrant workers. Secondly, if the housing Is not 
to be furnished rent free, the owner nuist agree that rentals will be in line with 
the migrant's ability to pay. Finally, the applicant must certify tliat during the 
five-.vear amortization period, the liousing will be made primarily available to 
domestic farm workers and will be maintained and operated in accordance with 
applicable standards of sanitation and siafety.^^^ 

Although the above tax incentive would most likely increase the availability of 
ade(iuate on-the-job housing, some ardent spokesmen for migi-ant interests 
strongly oppo.se it and all other governmental support of employer-owned housing 
for migrants.'^ Opponents of employer-owned housing argue that this arrange- 
ment places severe restrictions on the employment opportunities of migrants.^" 
When the migratory worker is hou.sed In a camp wholly owned by his employer, he 
is confronted with the constant threat of termination of employment and conse- 
quent eviction if he engages in acti\'ities disfavored by his employer."^ Disap- 
pi'oved conduct may be nothing moi-e tluiui occasional off-duty chores for another 
employer in the area. The migrant's freedom to seek more favorable employment 
in the community or to organize for collective bargaining purposes is meaningless 
when his family's shelter depends on the owner-employer's approval of his 
conduct. ^° 

t)ne possible solution to this prol)lem seems to lie in a greater participation by 
loc-al and state governments in the consitruction and operation of migrant labor 
camps. ^'* AVhen the lot-al community or a nonprofit association Is responsible for 
the construction and operation of migrant housing facilities, the individual 
growers must relinquish much control over the lives of their workers.^'^^ Only wlien 
housing Is sufficiently divorced from the employment relationship will the migrant 



ins pqj. ^i^p f„j] story, complete with pictures, of this laudable agri-housing project 
see 9 The Commpnicator, Official Publication of the Texas Employment Commission 
FOR Its Employee-s. Feb. 1968. at 6. 

i"9S. 2260. S8th Cong.. 1st Sess. (1063) ; see 109 Cong. Rec. 20,165 (196.3) (remarks 
of Senator Williams upon introduction of the bill). This measure was again offered bv 
Senator Williams as an amendment to the Revenue Act of 1964. 110 Cong. Rec. 2368 
(1064). 

""Senate Subcomm. on Migratory Labor, supra note 11, at 19-20; 109 Cong. Rec. 
20,16.5 (1963). 

"1 Id. 

"2 ,svc Rural Povertij Hearings — Washington 7.5-76, 421-22 (statement submitted by 
Barbara Moffet, American Friends Service Comm.). 

"^Witness Moffet noted that in California it was reported that "people who live in 
grower-owned housing may reduce their potential annual emplo.vment by as much as 
Vz because the.v cannot readily work for other employers." Id. at 422. 

nt Tjjp following is characteristic of housing agreements between an employer and 
farmworker : "It is understood that the right given herein to occupy said premises is a 
license only. . . . Employer may cancel this license at any time ... by making oral or 
written demand . . . and on such demand the right of the licensee to occupy said 
premises shall cease. . . ." Lorenz, supra note 75. at 424 n.35. 

iiB por a thorough discussion of an employer's right to evict an employee from employer- 
owner housing after termination of employment see Annot., 39 A.L.R. 1145 (1925) : 
Annot.. 35 A.L.R. 576 (1925). See also Annot.. 48 A.L.R. 2d 995 (1956). When housing is 
wholly owned by the employer, the migrants living conditions are established by his 
employer on a take-it-or-Ieave-it basis. See Livingston, Migrant Workers and Trade Unions, 
67 Am. Fed.. Feb. 1960. at S. 

""See Tied Cottages, E.rploding a M/ith. 198 Economi.st 648 (1961). 

"^Virginia Polytechnic Institute, supra, note 41), at 31; Hearings on S'. 9SI, supra 
note 5. at 27 (remarks of Louis D. Malotky, Director of the Rural Housing Loan Division 
in the Farmer's Home Administration. 



1046 

be truly free to pursue the most attractive employment opportunities in the area. 
Local governmental participation in labor-camp management, however, is difficult 
to achieve when the dominant economic interests in the area are agricultural 
employers interested in attracting a "captive" labor force. To lessen the migrant's 
dependeiijce on employer-owned housing, present governmental support for these 
arrangements would have to be signific^antly altered. New and existing programs 
would have to focus on stimulating greater participation by local governmental 
units and nonprofit associations in the construction of on-the-job housing. A real- 
location of available resources toward reaching this end would help eliminate the 
disadvantages of housing wholly owned by a single employer."^ 

IV. CONCLUSIONS 

Current attempts to improve migrant housing, particularly on-the-job housing, 
might be further advanced by placing additional emphasis on the following areas. 

In order to achieve lasting improvement, existing assistance measures must 
be more effectively coordinated."" An array of improvement programs for migrant 
labor housing are presently available from numerous state and federal sources, 
perhaps from too many sources.^"" Several governmental agencies presently 
administer the various available programs. Needless overlapping and delay are 
bound to occur. ImJivklual efforts of local communities, nonprofit corporations, 
and private employers are indeed admirable, but these efforts can at best achieve 
only piecemeal solutions. A greater measure of cooi'dination, uniformity, and con- 
centration of efforts is needetl.^ The focus of these coordinated efforts should be 
on the local level to facilitate direct response to local needs.^^ Tlie solution lies in 
formulating a serviceable plan of action employing an appropriate combination of 
federal, state, local, and private resources.^"^ 

Greater attention also should be given to employing modern technology to de- 
velop inexpensive housing to satisfy the needs of migrants.^"* Current technologi- 
cal developments should make it possible to adapt various types of prefabricated 
and portable dwellings to the particular needs of migrants on the job. One Cali- 
fornia professor of environmental design has fashioned an inexpensive portable 
village^" composed of individual collapsible dwellings that can easily be tr.-ins- 
ported to an area of urgent need.^"" This type of temporary structure would be par- 
ticularly useful in areas where harve.st seasons are short and housing is needed 
for only a few weeks. Another recent technological development in the constriic- 
tion of low-cost housing involves the stacking of burlap bags filled with a dry con- 
crete mixture. The bags are then bonded together with steel rods and soaked with 
water.^-' Construction time is short, and the finished structure is both sturdy and 
inexpensive.^'' Greater use of these and similar technological developments would 
bring the migrant out of "shacktown" and into the 1960's. 

Finally, there exists an urgent need to give the migrant a greater political 
voice in developing programs beneficial to him. As noted earlier, there is presently 
very little "political mileage" in asserting the interests of migrants.^"" Senator 
Harrison Williams has suggested that otherwise-qualified migrants should be 
given the opportunity to vote in presidential and congressional elections despite 
their mobility and absence from the community much of the year.^^" His proposal 
would involve an amendment to federal voting rights legislation forbidding a 
state from denying the right to vote in national elections because of state resi- 
dence requirements if the voter is otherwise qualified and has resided in the state 



"^ For an excellent illustration of migrant housing owned and operated by a com- 
munity organization see text accompanying note 108 supra. 

"" .Vpp Sliriver. supra note 17, at 401-02. 

'20 Senate Subcomm. on Migratory Labor, supra note 11, at IS. 

'^ Hearings on S. 981, supra- note 5. at 41 (statement of John F. Henning). »S'ee generally 
Senate Subcomm. on Migratory Labor, supra, note 11. at 16-19. 

'^ This is the primary function of local Community Action Programs today. Shriver, 
supra note 17. at 401-02. But cf. id. at 407. 

1-3 See Vice President's H.iNDBOOK 22 : Lorexz, supra note 75. at 428. 

'^^ See Rural Povertj/ Hearings — Washington 228 (statement of Robert Weaver, Sec- 
retary of Dep't of Housing and Urban Development). 

1=5 Each dwelling costs only $240. S. Allen, supra note 7. at 102. 

i3fi Id. at 101-102. 

12" House and Home, Jan. 1968, at 80-81. 

''^ Production costs are estimated at only $5.50 a square foot. Id. 

128 Authorities cited note 6 supra and accompanying text. 

^^0 Rural Poverty Hearings — Memphis 210 (statement of H. S. Brown. President. Texas 
AFL-CIO). See also Senate Subcomm. on Migratory Labor, supra note 11, at 62-6.3. 



1047 

for thirty days/^^ This plan, if successful, would significantly augment the 
migrant's political influence on Congress. In addition to this measure, the power- 
ful voice of rux^al agricultural opponents to migrant legislation will be weakened 
by any redistricting in states on the basis of population.^'*- A withering of their 
political power can only increase the migrant's chances for improvement. 

Today, however, the migratory worker does not have the power to influence 
legislation. Until an informed and perhaps aroused American public acts to 
improve the living conditions of migrants, they will remain hopeless wanderers 
profe.ssing, "The road [is our] home; the ground is our table." ^^^ 



Exhibit F 
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 

STAFF report ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE 

". . . Right now, the man we are speaking of in Northern New Mexico does 
not see the legal process or court process ... as holding any promise to him 
whatsoever. As a consequence, he is probably quite reluctant to even think that 
the government might offer protection as well as punishment." ^ 

This characterization of the relationship of Mexican Americans to the ad- 
ministration of justice in northern New Mexico, made by a participant in a 
closed meeting last spring of the New Mexico Advisory Committee to the Com- 
mission on Civil Rights, appears to be applicable to many areas in the Southwest. 

The alienation felt by Mexican Americans from the legal system has con- 
sequences beyond the realm of individual feelings. In northern New Mexico, for 
example, the descendants of Spanish settlers feel that they have been unjustly 
deprived of their lands through a legal system which is foreign to their tradi- 
tion and which they do not understand. Many have indicated they .support the 
Alianza Federale de Mercedes, an organization which says it is dedicated to 
redress the grievances with re.spect to their lands by legal means if possible, 
but by extra legal means if necessary. There has been disorder, fear and re- 
pression in that area (.see infra). The witness before the Advisory Committee 
thought that all this could have been prevented : 

•'I think if we could begin to demonstrate in this Nation that justice is a 
possibility, and that the law and justice is for [Mexican Americans'] benefit, 
that an awful lot could be accomplished that would cost the government millions 
of dollars . . ." ^ 

The Commission has received many complaints that Mexican Americans in 
the Southwest do not receive equal justice under law. The Commission has 
undertaken a study of this subject. In connection with that study, which is not 
yet completed, and in preparation for the Commission's San Antonio hearing, 
the Commission staff has conducted investigations in five Southwestern states : 
Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. During the spring of 
1968. the New Mexico Advisory Committee to the Commission held two closed 
meetings to investigate problems in the administration of justice affecting 
Mexican Americans. The California Advisory Committee held a similar meeting 
in the summer of 1968. Under contract with the Commission, the California 
Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. examined the composition of grand juries in 22 
California counties to determine whether Mexican Americans were being dis- 
criminated against in the selection of grand jury members.^ The Commission 
also distributed a questionnaire concerning employment practices, training pro- 
grams, complaint review procedures and community relations problems to 800 
law enforcement agencies in the five states. To date, more than 200 law enforce- 
ment agencies have responded to the questionnaire and their answers are being 
analyzed. Commission staff members have interviewed several hundred persons 



131 Senate Subcomm. on Migratgesy LaboEj supra note 11, at 62. 

i-'2 See Kovarsky, supra note 6, at 328. 

^^^ A California farm worker, quoted in S. Allen^ supra note 7, at 66. 

1 Transcript of closed meeting held by the New Mexico Advisory Committee to the Com- 
mission on Civil Rights on May 4, 1968 (hereinafter New Mexico T., May 4, 1968) at 24.3. 

2 Id. at 243-44. 

3 The 22 counties surveyed included the 20 California counties with the highest Spanish- 
surname population and the 2 counties with the highest Indian population. 



1048 

knowledgeable about problems in this area, including leaders of Mexican Ameri- 
can communities, judges, jury commissioners, probation officers, law enforce- 
ment officers, lawyers, and individuals who have no dealings with the courts or 
law enforcement officers. 

During the course of these iuTestigations and meetings, the Commission 
staff has received many reports alleging discriminatory treatment against 
Mexican-Americans. Although the reports varied, certain types of complaints 
recurred. This staff reiK)rt is intended to summarize and illustrate the com- 
plaints and allegations received to date by the Commission. A full report of the 
Oommission's study will be completed and released in about six months. 

1. Police harrassmcnt. — The most common complaint was that of hai-assment 
by the police. Such alleged harassment includes discourtesy, frequent stopping 
and questioning of Mexican Americans on the street, illegal searches and 
seizures and outright brutality.* Accusations of this kind were made in most of 
the cities and towns visited by Commission staff. 

The most shocking stories of police brutality were told by residents of small 
towns where, according to many Mexican Americans, such occurrences are 
common. 

A lifelong resident of a California town whose population is about 20 per- 
cent Mexican Amei-ican told the California Advisory Committee of being beaten 
by the local police in 1963.° According to the complainant, he was in a bar 
when three police officers told him to come outside to talk to them. At that time, 
there were many migrant farm workers in town and he thought that he was 
mistaken for one of them. He told the policemen that "they were barking up 
the wrong tree." When he refused to leave the bar, the policemen, according to 
him, said he was "just another smart Mexican," threw him on the floor, 
kicked him and handcuffed him. The witness claimed that he made no move to 
resist the arrest. He reported that the officers threw him in a car and, when 
he could not get in because of the narrowness of the door, slugged him and 
kicked him inside. By this time, he told the Committee, a great crowd had 
gatliered because he was well-known in town, he had never been in jail, and 
people were amazed that he had been arrested. He gave this description of the 
incident to the Commission. 

"In the process of trying to get me in they kicked me and kicked me and 
kicked me and I would get up and I said why are you doing this to me . . . they 
would say, 'Get in there you damn Mexican'." * 

According to the complainant, the officers subsequently took him to jail and 
charged him with drunkenness. He was acquitted on this charge and, with 
great difficulty, found a lawyer who was willing to bring a civil action against 
the ix)lice officers. One of the police officers M^as found not liable and a re- 
covery was obtained against another. The judgment, however, did not end the 
practices complained of, the complainant stated, and he and his brothers re- 
portedly have been subject to constant harrassment at the hands of the police 
department because of his suit.^ According to the complaintant no disciplinary 
action was taken by the police department against the officer against whom the 
judgment was rendered and since that time he has been promoted to the posi- 
tion of lieutenant. 

Currently a Texas Highway Patrolman is (being prosecuted by the Department 
of Ju.stice on charges of assaulting a Mexican American man, in violation of 
IS IT.S.C. 242, a Federal criminal statute prohibiting the infliction under color 
of law of summary punishment on the basis of race, color or alienage. The in- 
formation filed by the U.S. Attorney in the U.S. District Court for the Western 
District of Texas, San Antonio Division, charges "that on or about .January 7, 
1068, ... in the Western District of Texas, [the] defendant . . . patrolman of 



* Unless otherwise indicated, all the complaint.s and allegations discussed in this report 
are based on staff interviews and on transcripts of closed meetings of State Advisory Com- 
mittees to the Commission. 

^Transcript of closed meetins: held bv California Advisory Committee to the Commission 
on Civil Rights on Ansriist 17. 1968. (hereinafter California T.) pp. 2R4-.S01. 

« California T. at 2fiS. 

"The September 106S issue of "Law in Action." a publication of the OEO Legal Services 
Program, discussed a recent suit filed against the city and county law enforcement agencies 
in the area where this incident occurred. The complaint alleged that a Mexican American 
resident was beaten by the police in retaliation for his successful challenge of a traffic 
charge. The plaintiff claims that he was beaten to the ground, squirted with chemicals in 
the face and then' arrested, booked and imprisoned, no charge, allegedly, was pressed against 
him. ("Law in Action," Vol. 3, No. 5. September 19(58). 



1049 

the Texas State Highway Patrol, acting under color of the laws of Texas, did 
willfully beat, strike, and assault . . . , an inhabitant of Texas, with the intent 
and iiuri>ose of inflicting summary punishment upon him. and thereby did will- 
fully deprive [him] ... of a right secured and protected by the Constitution and 
laws of the United States, to wit, the right not to be deprived of his liberty 
without due process of law." 

Similar incidents were reported in larger cities. A lawyer with the Legal 
Aid Society in a Colorado city charged that police officers in his coumiunity abuse 
Mexican Americans. As an example the lawyer cited the experience of an 
elderly Mexican American who sought police assistance one evening after the 
steering wheel of his automobile bec*ame inoperative. Reportedly the policemen 
pulled up alongside the Mexican American's vehicle and ordered him to leave his 
car and approach the police car. When he explained what had happened, the 
officers allegedly told him that there was nothing Avrong with his car and that 
he was just drunk. He denietl being drunk. During the discussion, according to 
the complainant, the officer lighted a cigarette and the man asked if he could 
have one. The officer, allegedly replied : "There are no cigarettes for you, Mexi- 
can." When he became offended and tried to walk away, he was arrested and 
jailed. At the police station, according to the lawyer, the man was verbally i i- 
sulted, put into the "drunk tank" and beaten by a Deputy Sheriff who brol:o 
his jaw. 

In a Texas city a middle age Mexican American man who has often been 
arrested for drunkenness and loitering told Connnission staff members that lie 
spent several months in a Veterans Hospital as a result of being beaten aid 
kicked by local police officers. This reported incident began when just after he 
had bought a bottle of liquor, a police officer approached him as he was walking 
down the street and demanded the bottle. When he refused to surrender the 
bottle, the arresting officer called for assistance and, reportedly five police carf-i 
appeared. The complainant said that he was knocked to the ground, kick((' 
and beaten and detained in jail for five days without medical assistance al 
though he repeatedly sought medical attention. When he was finally taken befo !• 
a judge, he alleged, the charges were dismissed and he was taken to a I'O « 
pital immediately. 

There have been several incidents reported to the Commission involving tl ( 
use of deadly force, force that resulted in the death of the individual, by poli( t 
officers against Mexican American suspects. These incidents, unlike the alleged 
incidents previousl.v described, have involved some resistance to arrest by tli ? 
victim. The u.se of deadly force in these circumstances, however, has bee i 
severely critici.sed by the Mexican Americans since they do not believe that 
such force would have been used against Anglos. 

One such incident reportedly occurred in a small town in Southern California. 
According to one of the leaders of the local Mexican American community, threi> 
young men were going home late one night when they were stopped, questionetl 
and searched by a police officer. The officer reportedly did not give them an;' 
reason for his actions but told them that he was going to take them to jail be 
cau.se they had no identification. At that point one of the young men. aged IS 
started to run. Another police car stopped and an officer jumped out and killeo 
the youth with his service revolver. The officer was prosecuted on a charge ol 
involuntary manslaughter, but the case was dismissed after the prosecution 
presented its case.® 

2. Harasumcnt of young people. — ^According to persons interviewed, two groups 
of Mexican Americans — juveniles and narcotic addicts — are particularly subject 
to harassmenthy the police. 

A Mexican American resident of a California city, who is active in the com- 
munity, de.scribed an incident involving the excessive use of force by Sheriffs 
officers against a 16-year-old boy. She told the California Advisory Committee 
to the Commission : 

"I heard of these ca.ses, but I had never actually seen one. This one, I was on 
the scene immediately after it took place. The l)lood wasn't even dry on the 
street in front of his "own home. Because of a very childi.sh disagreement with 
his sister, his si.ster had called the police, and the boy being very resentful of 
the fact that she had called him — called the police — resisted in that he demanded 
to know why they were going to take her word over his, and he was 16. He is a 



f California T. pp. 302-310. 



1050 

very, very, slim, tall youngster. He is not a belligerent — he is not a tough guy — 
he is very passive, but in this one instance he did resist and he was hostile. 

"Nevertheless, he was taken, he was handcuffed, and he was dragged by his 
feet from the driveway into the police car, and it was blood from his face that 
was left on the street. I went immediately to the emergency hospital which is 
very near the home and I saw the boy. I think any human being would have done 
exactly what I did. I demanded to know why they had to treat that boy in that 
fashion, and of cour.se, I was ignored at that particular moment, but I followed 
up on it. 

"Immediately afterwards, I went to the Sheriff's department and demanded 
to speak to the two arresting officers, and after an hour and a half I was allowed 
to see them. Their excuse was that the boy had resisted arrest, he had assaulted 
an officer, and I demanded to know in exactly what manner he had assaulted 
these two very large, very confident, very well trained young officers. One said 
that [the young man] had kicked him on the shoulder while he was driving."* 

It became apparent to her, she said, that in fact the officers had no charge to 
bring against the Itoy, who was released the next day. She stated that no charges 
were brought against him as a result of the arrest. 

A lawyer in a city in New Mexico told the New Mexico Advisory Committee 
that he saw from his office window a policeman and a man in civilian clothes 
chasing a young boy whom they caught in a parking lot. He said that the man 
in civilian clothes "dragged the kid down and the cop jumped on his l)ack and 
started riding piggy-back on him and started to push his head against the pave- 
ment.^" The lawyer was so aroused by what seemed to him to be the use of 
excessive force that he ran down to investigate. His complaint to the police 
department did not bring any results. The victim, a 16-year-old Mexican Ameri- 
can accused of shoplifting, had tried to run away from the officers. He later 
claimed that his liead was banged against the pavement seven times. His family 
did not want to pursue the matter and the police argued that the lawyer could 
not have seen what happened from his fifth floor office window. 

Mexican American juveniles complained repeatedly that law enforcement 
officials frequently .stop, question and frisk them, regardless of whether they 
have grounds to suspect them of having committed any offense.^^ Young people 
in one Texas city, for exami)le, claim that they are stopped and questioned 
frequently by police officers, particularly at night. According to one young man, 
unless a young Mexican American can prove that he has a job, he may be 
an-ested and charged with vagrancy or drunkenness. According to a resident 
of the city who has worked with young people in Mexican American neighbor- 
hoods, teenagers are stopped daily on their way home from school. 

A IMexican American resident of a city in New Mexico told a Commis.sion staff 
member that his 18-year-old son was stopped for no apparent reason by .some 
city police officers. According to the father's account, the officers ordered the 
young man out of the car and proceeded to search him and his companions, search 
the car and check their arms for needle marks. When the young man asked the 
officers why he was .stopped, they told him that there was a defective plastic 
cover on his license plate. He was released, however, without being cited for a 
traffic violation. According ito the young man's father, his .son does not have a 
juvenile record or any history of involvement with the police. 

Many allegations relating to discriminatory treatment of juveniles were made. 
One of the mosit common complaints was that Anglo juvenile offenders are re- 
leased to the custody of their parents and no charges are brought, while Mexican 
Aniierican youths are charged with offenses, held in custody and .sent to a 
reformatory. 

A counselor for the Sitate Employment Office in New ^lexico gave the follow- 
ing account of the .situation in her town : 



9 California T. p. 133-135. 

1" New Mexico T., May 4, 1968. at 41. 

11 In Terrii v. Ohio. .392 U.S. 1. 14 decided last term, the Supreme Court recofrnized that 
frequent stopping of citizens by law enforcement officers creates a serious problem in 
police-community relations. In a footnote, tlie court noted tliat "while the frequency with 
which frisking: forms a part of field interroisration practice varies tremendously ^^^th the 
locale, the objective of the interrogation, andi the particular officer — it cannot Iielp but be a 
severely exacerbating factor in police-community tensions. This is particuhirly true in 
situations where the stop and frisk of youths or nniority groups s motivated by the officers' 
perceived need to maintain the power image of the beat officer, an aim sometimes accom- 
plished by humiliating anyone who attempts to undermine police control of the streets." 



1051 

"I know that when we were brought up, there were young people in [town] 
who were fx-iends of ours and the boys would get into minor skirmishes, breaking 
up signs or something like this. They would be taken to the police department, 
pic-ked up, but they would be released to the custody of their parents. As far 
as we know, no charges were ever made against these people. 

"This is why, I think, I was very shocked when I became involved in working 
with these young [Mexican American] people, especially with my young friends, 
and found that charges were made against them, such as stealing cantaloupes on^- 
of a farmer's field, curfew violations, being truant from school and things like 
this. These would all be on record and they all have quite extensive juvenile 
records. 

"Among the Anglo people I work with, these just aren't done. I don't think the 
Anglo children are this much better. I think this just happens, and this is the 
way it is." ^ 

The former Chief of Police of a city in New Mexico told the New Mexico Ad- 
visory Committee that local officials had proposed to treat two trouble-making 
young gangs in his community — one Mexican American and one Anglo — in a 
widely divergent manner. 

The community had become concerned by acts of vandalism believed to be the 
work of the Alexican American youngsters. The police were asked to investigate 
and found that l)oth gangs were involved ; they competed to see which gang 
could be the most destructive. At first the Police Chief had difficulty persuading 
the community that there even was an Anglo gang in addition to the Mexican 
American gang. Then, according to the former Chief, local public officials called 
a meeting of the parents and the children and projwsed that since most of the 
Mexican American boys had arrest records, charges should be filed against them, 
while the Anglo boys would receive discipline in the schools by being forbidden 
to play basketball for three weeks or oither such measures. Since all the boys 
had committed the same offenses, the Chief of Police insisted that all or none 
should be charged. As a result, no charges were brought against any of the 
young men." 

3. Harassment of narcotic addicts in Mexican American communities. — Mem- 
bers of the Commission staff heard numerous charges of harassment by the 
police of narcotic addicts in Mexican American neighborhoods in several South- 
western cities." 

In April 1958, a Mexican American resident of a city in New Mexico who had 
a record of narcotics arrests, arrived late for an interview with a Commission 
staff member. He stated that he was stopped by a sheriff's officer who began 
to search his car. He asked the officer if he had a search warrant, whereupon the 
officer took his pistol from his holster, pointed it at the man's head and said : 
"This is all the warrant I need." 

A former narcotic addict in the same city, who reported being stopped fre- 
quently by the police for "investigation," told a Commission staff member that 
an officer who once stopped him asked for permission to search the back seat 
and trunk of his car. When he refused, the officer grabbed his car keys and 
proceeded to search the trunk of the car without permission. In some other 
Southwestern cities, individuals interviewed claimed that it was useless to 
protest a search without a warrant. Protests, Commission staff members were 
told, often result in arrests on minor charges. 

A Federal probation officer in New Mexico speaking before the State Advisory 
Committee drew a depressing picture of the inability of narcotic addicts to 
escape from a cycle of unemployment, criminality, and addiction. In his opin- 
ion, continuous harassment by the police contributed to perpetuation of the 
cycle : 

"This is an everyday occurrence to be stopped and booked. It occurs to me 
that it is a continued cycle which I will describe to you. The individual on my 
caseload is an addict, he is not employed, thus, perhaps we think he is stealing 
to provide his habit and we want information. To continue the cycle, the police 
will pull him over, ask him. . . . This would involve the calling of a wrecker 



'" Transcript of closed meeting of New Mexico Advisory Committee to the Commission 
on Civil Rifflits. on April 20. 1968 (hereinatfer New Mexico T.. Anril 20. 1P6S) at lOS. 

13 New Mexico T.. May 4, 1968 at 131-4. 

i» A Federal probation officer in a city in New Mexico said that most of the addicts under 
his supervision are Mexican-American. In a city in Colorado Commission staff found that 
70 percent of persons arrested in 1967 for drug offenses under State law were either Negroes 
or Mexican-Americans. 



1052 

for his car, and then it would always cost him $10.00, $15.00, or $20.00 
to redeem the car. They would book him for a matter of a day or two or three, 
and he would have to post a. bond. Meantime, he has to borrow money from 
another addict or a relative, borrow enough for the bond and the car, not being 
employed. That night he goes out and steals ... a couple of colored TV sets 
or something to sell so he can pay off the bondsman and the car. This happens, 
in a matter of a month, two or three times to this addict, and frequently they 
don't go to court, they forfeit bond instead of going to court. Of course, they 
don't feel they are getting a fair shake, and it occurs to me that it is a con- 
tinued cycle. They can't keep up so they continually steal and they are pres- 
sured to steal even more by the way they are treated by the police." " 

A Federal probation officer in a Texas city told a Commission staff member 
about similar problems in his city. He said that many of the people under his 
supervision (mostly Mexican Auiei-icans) are constantly harassed by the police 
using vagrancy charges as a means of investigation. Often, he said, this causes 
the individual arrested to lose his job, which may have been difficult to get in 
the first place. 

4. Police harassment interfering until attempts at community organization. — 
Some of the most serious allegations of police harassment originated from 
events surrounding attempts by Mexican Americans to organize themselves in 
order to assert their collective power. In northern New Mexico, a proposed 
meeting set for June 1967 by the Alianza Federale de Mercedes was proceeded 
by threats of prosecution for unlawful assembly by law enforcement officials." 

As the members of the Alianza continued with the plans for their meeting 
despite the warnings of law enforcement officials, some of them were arrested on 
a variety of minor charges. Subsequently, a group of Mexican Americans at- 
tempted a citizen's arrest of the district attorney for Rio Arriba County at 
the courthouse in Tierra Amarilla. The attempted arrest resulted in the out- 
break of violence. Two law enforcement officers were wounded and several peo- 
ple were reportedly held hostage. 

Following this incident, it is alleged, Mexican Americans were arrested without 
warrants, homes were broken into and searched without warrants, persons were 
held incommunicado and an atmosphere of fear prevailed. Soon after the shoot- 
ing in Tierra Amarilla, armed sheriff's deputies and national guardsmen sur- 
rounded the picnic grounds in Canjilon where the Alianza meeting was to be con- 
ducted and reportedly kept men. women and children in what was described offi- 
cially as "protective custody" for more than 24 hours, without adequate shelter 
or drinking water. According to reports, there was no indication that any of these 
people were involved in the shooting or even knew about it. 

Attempts by the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee (AFL-CIO, 
FFWOC) to organize farm workers in Starr County in Texas in 1966 and 1967, 
led to harassment of the union organizers by the Texas Rangers, according to a 
report of the Texas Advisory Committee to the Commission. The Committee re- 
ported that members of the UFWOC and other citizens active in the organizing 
campaign were subject to physical and verbal abuse by Texas Rangers and Starr 
County law enforcement officials." 



1° Xpw Mpxicoi T.. May 4, 19fiS at pp. 144-15. 

i« The background and events of the Alianza meeting of June 5, 1967, are the subject of a 
report of a subcommittee of the New Mexico Advisory Committee. ,Tuly 10. Iflfii and affi- 
davit's attached. See also The Nevy Mecnican Land War by Clark Knowlton. in THE NATION, 
June 17, 1968; and Tierra AinariUo Shootout by Ruben Dario Salaz, (19G7>. 

1" The Administration of Justice in Starr County. Te.ca», a report prepared by the Texas 
Adjvisory Committee to the Commission on Civil Rights, Junie 1967. The Committee found 
that : 

"On May 2.5 and 26. a Subcommittee of the Texas Advisory Committee held closed meet- 
ings in Rio Grande City. At these sessions, the Committee received information including 
sworn statements submitted by members of the United Farm Workers Organizing Com- 
mittee, AFI^CIO (UFWOC) and other citizens. On the basis of this information, the Com- 
mittee concluded that members of UFWOC and other citizens active in the organizinsr cam- 
paign have been denied their legal risrhts in Starr County. These denials included : 

1. Physical and verbal abuse by Texas Rangers and Starr County law enforcement 
officials. 

2. Failure to bring promptly to trial members and union organizers against whom crimi- 
nal charges have been alleged ; 

?>. Holding of union organizers for many hours before they were released on bond : 

4. Arrest of UFWOC members and organizers on the complaints of growers and packers 
without full investigation of the allegations in the complaints. In contrast, law enforcement 
officials made full investigations before acting on complaints filed by members and officers 
of UFWOC : 

5. Encouragement of farm workers by Rangers to cross picket lines : 

6. Intimidation by law enforcement officers of farm workers taking part in representation 
elections : 



1053 

The Texas Advisory Committee noted that the majority of the worlvers and 
members of the Farm Workers Organizing: Committee are Mexican Americans 
who view the Texas Rangers as a symbol of oppression. The presence of the 
Rangers in Starr County, according to the Committee, served to aggravate ten- 
sions and raised questions as to the impartiality of law enforcement efforts'^ 

.). romplaint review prooed \i res. —AXmo^t all of the law^ enforcement agency 
questionnaires returned to the Commission indicate that the only body to which 
complaints can be addressed is the law enforcement agency itself. Iii the over- 
whelming majority of cases, complainants are not informed' of the results of the 
investigation of their complaints. 

The fact that complaints have to be filed with the very organization of which 
the accused is a member was cited as a factor discouraging complaints by the 
Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Police Malpractice Center in a 
predominantly IMexican American area in a California city. He stated- "In the 
beginning, [when the Center was established] we tried filing at the local station : 
then we found it very unsatisfactory because we found that at the local station 
(they were) usually very hostile or defensive with the clients."'" Many persons 
interviewed stated that they saw no advantage in making complaints "of police 
luistreatment to the police. In Denver, Colorado the Mayor, after rejecting a 
proposal for a civilian review board, set up a "Mayor's Committee" to investigate 
complaints against the police. In the fall of 1JH>7. a mmiber of people, including 
some individuals associated with the Mayor's Committee, agreed that the Com- 
mittee had been weak and ineffectual. Commission staff members found that many 
of the iieople in the Mexican American community did not know about the Com- 
mittee and its function, and those that did know about it had little faith in its 
ability to bring about change. 

The New Mexico State Advisory Committee heard reports that civil rights 
complaints made to local FBI offices were investigated inadequately or in some 
cases were not investigated at all. In Texas, the FBI was accused of not 
properly investigating a case of alleged police brutality. A reinvestigation by 
Justice Department attorneys resulted in the filing of charges against the officeV 
under a Federal civil rights statute. 

G. Poliee retaliation of/ainst complainants. — Commission staff also heard 
charges of police retaliation against Mexican Americans who had complained 
about police haras.^ment. In a city in New Mexico, a narcotics addict who had 
made a complaint against an oflScer reportedly was beaten by the officer about 
a month later in the elevator of the Police Department building. The officer 
allegedly remarked "so you want to complain about me to the lieutenant?" and 
added "You should be glad I didn't blow your head off." According to the com- 
plainant, he was charged and convicted of drunkenness but his sentence was 
suspended when his lawyer gave the judge a medical report on the injuries 
inflicted in connection with the arrest. 

A resident of the Mexican American community in a California city alleged 
that the Sheriff's Department broke up an event at a neighborhood "Coffee 
House" which was organized to encourage young Mexican Americans to sign 
up for college. He said that a number of the participants were lined up and 
searched and several were given citations for selling coffee without a license. 



7. Harassment by Rangers of UFWOC members, organizers, and a representative of the 
Migrant Ministry of the Texas Council of Churches which gave the appeixrance of being 
in sympathy with the growers and packers rather than the impartiality usually expected 
of law enforcement officers." 

18 7d. p. 3. A young lawyer who worked in Starr County for the UFWOC described 
the relationship between the Rangers and Mexican Americans as follows : "The Rangers 
have little respect for the Chicano, and are intensely disliked by Mexican Americans 
throughout Southwest Texas ; the dislike — and fear — is due as much to the Rangers' 
contemporary actions as to their past history. The traditional fear is so great that the 
mere presence of Rangers at a political or labor rall.v is usually enough to chill open 
and verbal opposition to the status quo." He also commented that : "With few exceptions, 
all State law enforcement officers act and dress — boots, stetsons, "western" clothes, 
revolvers in tooled, western style holsters and belts — so as to be as intimidating as 
possible." Civil Liberties Problems of Mexican Americans in the Southwest by Doran 
Willians, a paper prepared for 196S American Civil Liberties Union Biennial Conference, 
p. 9. 

19 California T. at 70. A VISTA volunteer in a city in New Mexico, who had been 
stopped and searched by a policeman while he was driving through a "country club area" 
with a Negro child in his car reported a similar experience. He felt that the policeman 
had had no grounds to stop him and went to lodge a complaint to the police department. 
According to this young man, the desk sergeant who handled his complaint defended the 
action of the officer who stopped the volunteer's car and said that he really did not hare 
a valid complaint. The young man got the impression that his complaint would receive 
no further attention. 



1054 

The Department reportedly did this in retaliation for asisistance which the 
joiiths had given to a local organization which had picketed the Sheriff's station 
about an incident of allegedly brutality. In Texas, a victim of police brutality 
reportedly was re-arrested on an old charge after he complained to the FBI 
about the local deputy sheriff. 

7. Jiilij select ioti. — A common complaint made to Commission staff members 
^\'as the lack of representation of Mexican Americans on gi-and and petit juries. 
Only in a few localities were Mexican Americans considered to be well repre- 
sented and even then only on petit juries. In .«ome areas, it was alleged that 
the same Mexican Americans appear on the jury lists again and again. 

A systematic study of jury discrimination was only undertaken in California 
and there it was limited to grand jury representation,. As in California, grand 
jurors often exercise the dual function of indicting persons for crimes and 
investigating and evahiating the administration of local government. Exclusion 
of persons of a particular ethnic group or class from such grand juries thus 
bears important consequences even beyond impairing the fair and impartial 
administration of criminal justice.^" A study by California Rural Legal Assist- 
ance, Inc. of the 20 counties with the highest percentage of Spanish surname 
population showed underrepresentation of Spanish surname people on the grand 
juries of every county studied, and in 17 counties, the disparities were par- 
ticularly marked.^' 

On 206 of the 224 grand juries studied in the 20 counties over a 12-year time 
period, the Spanish surname percentage of grand jurors fell markedly below 
the Spanish surname percentage of the eligible populations." In Los Angeles 
County with almost 500,000 Spanish surname residents only four had served 
as grand jurors during the 12 years studied ; -^ while Orange County. Calif oraia's 
fifth largest, could claim in 12 years but one Spanish surname person on its 
grand jury lists.^ In the opinion of the report's authors constitutionally pro- 
hibited discrimination against a group can be presumed where only one-third 
(3:1) of tho.se eligible for grand jury service actually serve.^ The actual dis- 
parities in Colusa, Orange. Fresno, Kern, INIadera and San Joaquin Counties 
were 16.1 :1. 5.8 :1, 11.5 :1, 9.7 :1 and 6.8 :1 respectively."" 

In July 1967, the Texas Advisory Committee to the Commission was told of 
discrimination in the selection of jurors in two Texas counties : 

"There is jury discrimination in the petit jury, the grand jury, and the com- 
missioners in Nueces and Kleberg Counties. [In the Molina precinct] . . . they 
had over 1,000 [Latin American] poll tax holders and we don't know how many 
property owners, because they are both entitled to serve, but not one single one 
ever had been called." "' 

Several persons in Texas alleged that the procedure for selecting grand jurors 
discriminates against Mexican Americans. Jury lists are made up by Jury Com- 
missioners."' The Commissioners are selected by the District Court Judges. It is 

=»The California Penal Code §§919 (b) and (c), 925, 928, 933-5 (West's Ann. Pen. 
Code. 1967, Cum. Supp). 

-1 California Kural Legal Assistance Report, pp. 20^4 (hereinafter California Report). 

^ Id. at 39. Tlie California State Legislature Assembly Interim Committee on Gov- 
ernmental Efficiency and Economy held hearings on the California Grand Jury System 
in September 1967 in which many witnesses, including former grand jurors, complained 
that California grand juries do not represent a cross section of the population. 

23 Id at pp. 41-42. 

^ Id at 42. 

25 Id at 37-38. 

^ Id. Table VII, Ratio and Percentage of Exclusion Arranged in Order of Ratios. In 
these counties, 85 to 95 percent of the eligible Spanish surname population had been 
excluded from jury service. 

-' The Civil Rights Status of Spanish Speaking Americans in Kleberg, Nueces and San 
Patricio Counties, Texas, a report by the Texas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Com- 
mission on Civil Rights, July 1967, p. 2. 

28 The procedures for selecting grand juries in Texas are established by Articles 18.01 
through 19.08 X)f the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, 1965. Article 19.08 sets forth 
the qualifications for a grand juror. ". . . (1) He must be a citizen of the State, and 
of the county in which he is to serve and be qualified under the Constitution and laws to 
vote in said county, provided that his failure to pay a poll tax or register to vote in 
said county, provided that his failure to pay a poll tax or register to vote shall not be 
held to disqualify him in this instance ; (2) he must be a free-holder within the State 
or a householder within the county or the wife of such a householder; (3) he must be 
of sound mind and good moral character; (4) he must be able to read and write; (5) he 
must not have been convicted of any felony; (6) he must not be under indictment or 
other legal accusation for theft or of any other felony." In Hernandez v. Texas, 347 
U.S. 475 (1954) the Supreme Court held that this method of selecting grand jurors is fair 
on its face, but a prima facie presumption that it was not applied consistently with 
constitutional standards for jury selection was raised where the county population was 
14 percent Spanish surname and no Mexican American had served on a jury for 25 years. 
This presumption was not rebutted by the statement of Jury Commissioners that they 
did not discriminate in the selection of jurors. 



1055 

alleged that under this system most jury commissioners are Anglos and the jurors 
picked are mostly Anglo, with the same few Mexican Americans serving year 
after year. The Texas statute which establishes this procedure was recently 
challenged in Rodriguez v. Brown, C. A. 6S-2-6-SA, (W. D. Texas 1968), and 
U.S. V. Hunt, 265 F. Supp. 178 ( W. D. Texas 1967) .^^ 

It is apparent from these cases that one of the problems in the selection of 
grand jm-ors ai'ises from the fact that they are selected from among persons 
known to the jury commissioners pursuant to a •'keyman" system. Jury com- 
missioners are recpiired to acquaint themselves with all sections of the commun- 
ity.^" Although, according to the opinion in the Hunt ease,"^ the jury commission- 
ers in San Antonio have made conscientious and systematic efforts to acquaint 
themselves with the Mexican American community in order to obtain a large 
number of names of potential Mexican American grand jurors, allegations of 
discrimination persist. The keyman system has inherent deficiencies in reaching 
all sections of the population for jury duty. The Federal Jury Selection and 
Service Act of liMiS provides for a random selection of jurors chosen from voter 
lists to implement Congress' declared policy "that all citizens shall have the op- 
portunity to be considered for service on grand juries" and that every litigant 
have the "right to grand and petit juries selected at random from a fair cross 
section of the community." ^ 

8. Bull bonds. — There were numerous allegations that the system of bail bonds 
weigh unequally against Mexican Americans who constitute a disproportionate 
share of poor defendants. For example, in a city in Colorado, before the institu- 
tion of a system of release on personal recognizance, a person who had committed 
certain traffic offenses had to pay $25 to obtain a bond to get out of jail. Conse- 
quently, many Mexican Americans used to stay in jail until their trial date be- 
cause they lacked the cash money to retain a bail bondsman. 

Commission staff members learned that a ^Mexican American resident of a small 
town in New Mexico, for example, spent four days in jail after an automobile 
accident which did not involve personal injuries because he could not raise the 
$175 bail which was set for him. This man had hit a calf late at night with his 
car and was charged with drunken and reckless driving. Although he was a life- 
long resident of the town, the Justice of the Peace refused to release him on his 
own recognizance for four days. 

Some Mexican Americans alleged that bonds were set discriminatorily high for 
them in some cases. Recently, several Mexican Americans involved in a public 
school protest demonstration were arrested in California. They were arrested 
late Friday afternoon and charged with a conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor. 
Bail was set at approximately $12,500 each. These persons, who were school 
teachers and leaders of the Mexican American community, were unable to raise 
money for bond immediately and were forced to spend the weekend in jail, until 
they could receive a court hearing to seek i-eduction of their bond. On Monday, 
their bail was reduced and eventually they were released on a bond of approxi- 
mately $250 each.^' 

9. Language [jroMeius. — In 1963, the California Advisory Committee to the 
United States Commission on Civil Rights cited the problem of language differ- 
ences and the effect it had on Si)anish speaking people in their contacts with the 
police and the courts. The Committee said : 



^ In the Hunt ease, a criminal prosecution, one of the defendant's claims was that a 
.iiiry panel which was 11 percent Spanish surname grossly underrepresented Bexar 
County's 36 percent Spanish surname population. However, the court found that only 
14.5 to 17.5 percent of that population was eligible to serve as grand .iurors under the 
Texas statute (above). On the basis of Swain v. Alahama, 380 U.S. 202, the District 
Court held that the disparity shown in Hunt did not constitute such a disparity as to 
indicate discrimination. In the opinion of the court, the youth of the Spanish surname 
population (a large percent of which is under 21) and the small percentage of Spanish 
surname persons who completed six years of schooling (assumed to be evidence of ability 
to read and write English) account for the low percentage of Mexican Americans con- 
sidered eligible to serve. 

In Rodriguez, a civil suit by Mexican Americans against the judges and jury com- 
missioners in Bexar County, the plaintiffs asked that a three judge court be convened 
to consider their claim of unconstitutional discrimination in the selection of grand jurors. 
The court denied the plaintiffs' motions but gave them an opportunity to submit further 
evidence in support of their claim. In its denial of plaintiffs' motion, the court relied 
heavily on finding in Hunt that no more than 17.5 percent of the Spanish surname popu- 
lation was eligible to serve. The defendants in Rodriguez showed that 28 percent of 13 
grand jury commissions were Spanish surname persons and 16 percent of 13i grand juries 
were Spanish surname. 

so See, for example, Rabinowits v. U.S., 366 F. 2d 34 (5th Cir. 1966). 

31 265 F. Supp. 194-195. 

2= Jury Selection and Service Act of 1968, 62 Stat. 951, 28 U.S.C. 1861 et seq. 

S3 California T., pp. 247-250. 



1056 

"It appeared to the Committee, however, that while the Spanish speaking 
groups do not feel that their problems are exacerbated as the Negro's, their 
problems are complicated by the additional fact that many speak mainly Spanish. 
Often, apparently, Spanish speaking persons literally do not understand what is 
happening to them in contacts with the police, district attorneys, and some courts. 
******* 

"This language difficulty seems a real one to the Committee. It also appears 
that many law enforcement officials are not cognizant of it." ** 

Difficulties for Mexican Americans arising from lack of fluency in English 
were cited by many of the i^ersons interviewed by Commission staff, including 
judges, lawyers and probation officers, as barriers to equal justice. In most cases, 
Mexican Americans dealing with law enforcement officials know enough English 
to communicate, but it often is questionable whether they understand their legal 
rights, such as their right to remain silent, especially when these rights are 
explained to them in English rather than in Spanish. 

A Mexican American who has difficulty with p]nglisli may experience other 
pi'oblems in his contacts with law enforcement officers. If he does not under- 
stand the officer's questions or commands a routine contact can escalate into an 
unnecessary ari-est and detention. A 1967 report concerned with Mexican Ameri- 
can and law enforcement relations in Los Angeles, cited an incident between 
a Spanish speaking Nicaraguan and a police officer which illu.strates this prob- 
lem as well as suggests the racist attitudes held liy some law enforcement officers : 

"In April 1966, a Spanish si>eaking adult male and his friends were fixing a 
flat tire on the Hollywood freeway. A police officer stopped and asked what they 
were doing. The driver of the car fixing his tire with a cigarette in his mouth, 
looked at the police officer and did not answer as he could not speak English. 
The officer became very angry and demanded that lie remove the cigarette from 
his mouth, stand up and show him some resi^ect! The driver of the car smiled 
and continued to work on his tire. The officer became more angry, put him over 
the car and began beating him and calling him a 'dirty Mexican'." ''' 

In some cases, injustices occur and law enforcement suffers because of the 
language barrier. In one case, a Commission staff member was told, a youth who 
was trying to quell a riot was arrested because the police, who did not under- 
stand Spanish, thought that he was trying to incite one.^" 

A probation officer in Arizona reported an incident in his State illustrating that 
language disability not only can produce misunderstanding, confusion, and in- 
appropriate reactions by the police but injustice in the courts as well. He related 
that in 1966, an intoxicated Mexican American struck his daughter for being 
tardy in obeying an order. His wife called the police and told them that her 
husband had assaulted their daughter. Apparently believing that the wife had 
reiK)rted that her husband had sexually assaulted his daughter, the police ar- 
rived with drawn guns. The father was taken before a magistrate and charged 
with sexually molesting his daughter. Understanding little English and thinking 
he was being charged only with drunkenness, the husband made no objection to 
the charge. There was no interpreter present to explain the charge or help him 
to reply properly. He was then placed in the county jail for two months await- 
ing trial because he could not afford the high bond that had been set. Eventually, 
the probation officer, who had a heavy caseload, was able to interview the de- 
fendant and converse with him in Spanish. Upon learning the facts the probation 
officer explained the situation to the magistrate, who dismissed the case 

10. Attitudes toward the administration of justiee. — Many Mexican Americans 
are fearful and hostile towards the police and distrustful of the courts. People 
reportedly subject to harassment by the police in a city in New Mexico told a 
Commission staff member that they were afraid to leave their homes for fear of 
being arrested. Mexican American youths in a California city reportedly were 
afraid to hold a dance in a settlement house for fear of having the police break 
up the dance and arrest them. A number of people throughout the Southwest 
said that they were unwilling to complain about police abuse for fear of retalia- 



»* California Advisor.v Committpe to the U.S. Commission on Civil Riglits, Police-Minority 
Group Relations in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, p. .37 (August 1963). 

36 A. Morales, Historical and Attitudinal Factors Related to Current Mexican American — 
Law Enforcement Concerns in Los Angeles, p. 7 (April 22, 1967). 

» Out of 146 respondent law enforcement agencies, only 6 said that the.v provided 
Spanish courses for their Anglo officers. USCCR Questionnaire, answers to Question IV D. 
For the emplo.yment figures on Mexican American officers, who are presumably bilingual, 
see Infra. 



1057 

tion. Commission investigators also heard that many Mexican American de- 
fendants have a tendency to plead guilty or forfeit bond even though they believe 
that they are innocent. 

Among younger Mexican Americans particularly, there is evidence of outright 
hostility towards law enforcement officials as well as fear. Lately, there have 
been some sporadic attacks on policemen in the Southwest. Although several 
cities have established police-community relations units, these are believed by 
Mexican Americans to be public relations units only, designed to "sell" the police 
department and to obtain information for it rather than to promote understand- 
ing for the community in the department. 

In one California city, Mexican Americans accused the police-community re- 
lations unit of the police department of being an agency designed to infiltrate 
the Mexican American community. Several persons alleged that the information 
which led to the arrests of the leaders of a school prote.st demonstration was 
obtained by the police-community relations unit of that city.^' 

Police-community relations units are not yet very common in the Southwest. 
Out of 232 agencies responding to the Commission's questionnaire, 35 reported 
that they have such units. Another 32 reported plans to establish one. The units 
now established employ 151 men, of whom 25 are Mexican Americans.^ 

11. Employment of Mexican Atnericans in law enforcement agencies. — The 
Commission also inquired into the practices of police departments in employing 
Spanish surname persons. The Texas law enforcement agencies responding to the 
Commission questionnaire showed a rough correlation between a substantial 
Mexican American population (over 40 percent) and the employment of more 
than a token number of Mexican Americans in the local police force. According 
to a preliminary assessment of the answers to the que.stionuaire, where the Mex- 
ican American population is less than 40 percent, there are generally very few 
or no Mexican Americans employed by law enforcement agencies. Approximately 
7.4 percent of the total uniformed personnel in 232 agencies in the Southwest 
responding to the questionnaire thus far are Mexican Americans. In 1960, about 
12 to 14 percent of the Southwest's population was Mexican American. The 
Texas Rangers, an elite 135 year old statevi'ide law enforcement agency under 
the Texas Department of Public Safety, currently employs (J2 men. None of 
these 02 men is a Mexican American and few Mexican xlmericans have ever 
served on the Rangers. 

Employment of Mexican Americans in a law enforcement agency does not 
guarantee just treatment of citizens. Several complaints charging use of exces- 
sive force were made against Spanish surname law enforcement officers. Some 
persons interviewed stated that Mexican American policemen tend to be more 
brutal towards Mexican Americans to gain acceptance by their Anglo fellow 
officers and to be '"one of them." 

Few Mexican Americans are in policy-making positions in lavf enforcement 
agencies. Out of 171 agencies responding to employment questions on the Com- 
mission's questionnaire only 10 are headed by a Mexican American and 8 of 
these are in towns of less than 10,000 in population.'^'' 



Exhibit G 

[From the National Catholic Reporter, Feb. 19, 1969] 

Critic of Texas Ranger Loses Church Agency Job 

Pharr, Tex. — The Rev. Edgar Krueger has been fired by the Texas Council 
of Churches as an organizer among migrant w^orkers of the Rio Grande valley, 
with whom he has worked for 18 months. 

Harold Kilpatrick, executive director of the Texas Council of Churches, said 
of the firing: '"We felt we had to change our methods of operation in the valley 
ministrv . . . 



3^ The acting commander of a police-community relations unit told the California State 
Advisory Committee that he was required to keep the police chief fully informed of every 
meeting that he attended, including the names of persons who voiced complaints against the 
police, California T. p. 240. However, the police-community relations unit did not seem 
to be able to effectuate any changes in the policies of the department, even if they were 
having a clearly detrimental effect on community relations. Id., p. 240-251. 

38 USCCR Questionnaire, answers to Question VB. 

39 Id. Attachment A. 

36-51.3— 70— pt. 3-B-^13 



1058 

"We feel it is time to quit fighting city hall, the courthouse, the school board 
and organizing against 'the establishment.' It's time to develop communications 
with these people and work with them." 

Mr. Krueger, a United Ohureh of Christ minister, and his wife have concen- 
trated on organizing self-help projects in 23 rural communities. He has also 
worked with VISTA volunteers in setting up a dozen other groups in lour coun- 
ties. Some 16,000 persons are involved in the community organizations. 

The minister and his wife were in the news in May 1967 when they were ar- 
rested by Texas Bangers during a demonsti'ation. The Texas Council of Churches 
filed suit in their behalf, charging the Rangers with brutality and violation of 
civil rights. 

Now, however, the council has decided to drop the suit, following a compromise 
agreement with ofiicials who reportedly gave assurances that the Rangers will 
respect civil rights. 

An oflicial decision to withdraw the legal action can not be made until late 
February when directors of the council, currently a Protestant unit, will meet. 
On Feb. 24, the Texas council will officially join with the 10 Roman Catholic 
dioceses and an Orthodox church to form the Texas Conference of Churches. 

Texas Catholic bi.shops had pubUcly endorsed the suit saying that a full-scale 
trial was in the public interest. 

JNIr. Krueger declined to sign the agreement on the grounds that it exonerated 
the lawmen. However, Kilpatrick said in Austin that the Kreuger firing had 
nothing to do with his refusal to sign the agreement. (Mr. Krueger disagrees.) 

Kilpairick said the council's shift away from confrontation in no way lessens 
its commitment to the thousands of poor in the Rio Grande valley. 

Mr. Krueger attributed his ouster to a basic difference of opinion between 
him and the Texas Council of Churches on "the mission of the church and the 
nature of our ministry in the valley." 

The minister acknowledged that the work had triggered confrontations be- 
tween residents and local governments, but he maintained that this was not 
necessarily bad. "When you work with poor people and encourage them to speak 
for themselves, a confrontation is almost bound to occur," he said. "Hostilities 
have emerged because of the effectiveness of our work. People who enjoy illicit 
power see the powerless speaking for themselves, and they feel threatened." 

Mr. Krueger said of a I'eported file of letters from growers opposing his views : 
"It's not hard to understand why they dislike me, especially (when) I gave 
information they did not want to hear to state and congressional committees 
and to the U.S. Civil Rights commission." 

The clergyman said gTowers objected to his pointing out that the average 
hourly wage for farm workers in the state is 98 cents. "Nor do the growers 
want me to mention the farm workers' irregularity of employment, or their poor 
housing and health problems and other conditions which indicate that the farm 
worker is the low man on the totem pole." 

The firing of the clergyman has been widely protested by Mexican-American 
groups. The Southwest Council of La Raza (The Race) in Phoenix, Ariz., has 
asked Dr. R. H. Edwin Espy, general secretary of the National Council of 
Churches, to investigate the matter as an example of anti-Mexican-American 
activity. 

Mr. and Mrs. Krueger said they will stay in the valley. They said they may 

work in the fields to support themselves since they feel their work is not 

completed. 

[From the Washington Post, Feb. 15, 1969] 

O1.ERICS Squabble Over Role of Pook in Welfare Project 

(By George W. Cornell) 

New York, February 14. — The churches hired him to work with the poor. 
Soon he was taking their side in protests against the prevailing system. The 
churches fired him. Demonstrations flared. An inquiry began. He kept at his 
cause. 

It's a common pattern, in many areas, as the predominant religious institutions 
seek to rechannel their energies to seiTe the long-neglected, often alienated 
underdogs of society. 

This week, the conflict emerged in the Rio Grande Valley and involved the 
Texas Council of Churches, on the eve of its reconstitution as a more fully inclu- 
sive body of interdenominational cooperation. 



1069 

"It's a problem that is confronting the church everywhere and its role in social 
change." said Dr. Harold Kilpatrick, of Austin, Tex., executive secretary of the 
statewide organization. 

At issue basically, there as elsewhere, was the extent to which supporting 
organizations should control activities among the needy to improve their lor. 

The friction came to a liead in action to dismiss the Rev. Edgar A. Krueger, 
38. as director of the council's Valley Ministry among the Mexican-American poor 
along the Rio Gi'ande. 

Claiming he was insubordinate and refused to work through established 
churches and civic institutions in the Valley area. Dr. Kilpatrick said, "We need 
to enlist these groiips iu the effort rather than fight them." 

On the other hand Mr. Krueger maintained that it would compromise the 
program to subject it to dominant community structures. He blamed his ouster 
on his rejection of the "paternalistic patterns which tend to keep people in 
servitude. 

"We have tried to build leadership among the poor so they ean speak and act 
for themselves," he said in a telephone interview from his residence in Pharr, 
Tex. "Certainly their voice needs to be heard a lot more ithroughout the entire 
community and also the Nation." 

A national interdenominational group, the Council on Spanish-American Work, 
dispatched a fact-finding committee to Texas to check into the dismissal. Dem- 
onstrations and rallies protesting it erupted among several Mexican-American 
groups. 

Focus of the special ministry is a river delta region of four counties, Hidalgo, 
Starr. Cameron and Willacy, where "colonias"— shantytowns of families of farm 
and other day laborers — lay outside about 200 communities. 

The "colonias" lack sewage systems, running water and other ordinary 
facilities. Mr. Krueger estimates about 90,000 Mexican-Americans live in such 
impoverished environments in a region with a population close to 400,000. 

Mr. Krueger's dismissal was made effective Feb. 24, the date set for dissolving 
the Texas Council before its reconstituticm the next day as the Texas Conference 
of Churches, embracing 10 Roman Catholics dioceses, the Greek orthodox diocese, 
and 27 Protestant (.lenoniinari<'us. 

[From Tempo] 

Future of Texas Team Ministry Held in Balance 

special report by kay longcope 

A United Church of Christ minister who has spent nearly two years organizing 
Mexican-Americans in Texas' Rio Grande Valley has been dismissed from the 
staff of the Texas Council of Churches. 

The action was taken against the Rev. Edgar A. Krueger, director of the 
Council's Valley Team Ministry, because "he made a lot of trouble," explained 
Dr. Harold Kilpatrick, executive secretary of the statewide cooperative body. 

"Xo one accused Ed of not diligently doing his job with the disadvantaged," 
Dr. Kilpatrick said. "But he didn't relate to the staff or to the churches of the 
Valley. We saw after two years that we just couldn't get him to do it and that 
we'd have to change our methods, not our goal." 

The goal of the Valley Team Ministry, which began in March 1967, the 
Council executive said, is "to help the disadvantaged and work with them for 
improving their conditions — housing, education, jobs ; you name it, they need it." 

Krueger, 38, was hired at the inception of the Valley ministry to work with 
farmworkers, then conducting a prolonged strike against the growers. When 
the campaign of the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee lost its steam 
a year or so ago, he turned to organizing activities which have resulted in the 
formation of 23 indigenously-based community groups scattered throughout the 
Valley. 

In addition, he has helped ARISTA minority mobilization workers organize 
about 12 other groups in four counties of the lower Rio Grande Valley. Some 
16,000 persons are now involved in the 35 community organizations working to 
obtain better roads, running water, jobs, educational and political reforms in 
their communities. 

"I've been criticized for working so much with the poor and the powerless." 
said Mr. Krueger, who was reached for comment at his home in Pharr, Texas. 



1060 

"The pressures have built up because we rejected paternalistic patterns which 
tend to keep people in servitude. We have tried to build leadership among the 
poor so that they can speak and act for themselves. 

Dr. Kilpatrick, in a telephone interview, admitted that pressures had built up. 

"Ed and the VISTA volunteers just went too far out in planning things," he 
said. "They made a lot of trouble" in conducting protests at city council and 
scihool board meetings. 

"We're tired of fighting city hall, courthouses, school boards and things that 
look like the establishment," Dr. Kilpatrick said. "We want to make use of 
those people. Ed was unwilling to change his strategy so all we could do was 
let him go." 

The Rev. Ned Garcia, who worked alongside Krueger in the Valley Team 
Ministry, has asked to stay on. Dr. Kilpatrick said, adding : 

"We've told him to assure the colonias (rural communities) that the Coun- 
cil is ready to serve them and that we hope to do more, not less. There is a 
potential army (in Council-related Valley churches) ready to carry out a big 
campaign. If we are to get anywhere we have to enlist their help and that of the 
power structure." 

Krueger's dismissal became effective on February 24, the date set for dissolve- 
ment of the Texas Council of Churches when it merged the next day with the 
Texas Catholic Conference and the Eastern Orthodox diocese. 

At the same time the council announced Krueger's dismissal, it also made 
public its intent to drop a suit filed against the Texas Rangers. Council officials 
also said they were cancelling sponsorship of a controversial VISTA "minority 
mobilization" program in Hidalgo County because they hod no control over 
activities of VISTA workers. 

The suit against the Rangers was filed in the summer of 1967 on behalf of 
Krueger and his wife, who were arrested during union demonstrations. The 
Rangers were charged with false arrest and violating the civil rights of the 
Kruegers, who were not participating in the demonstrations. 

Council officials, including TCC president United Methodist Bishop Kenneth 
Pope of Dallas, reached a compromise agreement with the state's Department of 
Public Safety to settle the case out of court. Krueger was asked to sign the state- 
ment, but refused to do so, claiming that It "exonerates the Rangers from any 
blame" and "prejudges the filing of future suits against the Rangers." 

After the council announced its intent to cancel sponsorship of the VISTA 
program, officials of the OEO southwestern regional office met with Dr. Kil- 
patrick. An agreement was reached in which the council was given full authority 
over program, personnel and policy of the indigenous VISTA project. 

[From S. A. Light, Feb. 16, 1969] 

Reveeend Krueger's Firing Causes Schism 

(By United Press International) 

Two years ago in the melon fields of Starr County, one of the bitterest farm 
labor battles in the history of the Southwest erupted between Mexican-American 
union organizers and Anglo growers, backed by the famed Texas Rangers who 
made little secret of their feelings about demonstrators. 

In the middle of the melee stood a blue-eyed "gringo" with ordination from 
the United Church of Christ, an enthusiastic Mexican-American following, and 
a stubborn toughness that belied his soft voice and gentle manner. 

He was the Rev. Edgar Krueger, migrant minister for the Texas Council of 
Churches — an organization that made it clear it would back him in picket line 
or courtroom in the battle for Mexican-American civil rights and alleviation of 
poverty among the migrant farm workers he still calls "my people." 

Last week, the TCC fired Krueger. 

It also threatened to sever all ties with the Office of Economic Opportunity's 
"VISTA" program unless three militant Hidalgo County officers were removed, 
and announced it was withdrawing from the civil suit brought by Krueger against 
the Texas Rangers. 

Krueger's action alleged the Texas Rangers enforced "unconstitutional" state 
labor laws with brutality and "blatant discrimination," acting as little more than 
"strike-busters" for Starr County growers. 

When the suit was filed, it had the TCC's unqualified endorsement — but then, 
at that time, so did Krueger. 



1061 

One central question remained after last week's action — what happened to 
spin the TCC 180 degrees in its orientation, shifting its philosophy from one 
of militant liberalism to what the council itself described as a new policy of 
"conciliation rather than confrontation?" 

Krueger, whose discharge was under investigation by the National Council 
of Churches this week, blamed a shift in leadership, and inability of the new 
leaders to communicate with the Mexican-Americans they were pledged to help. 

A recent incident in Edinburg, involving a demonstration against Krueger's 
firing, has been seized gleefully by Krueger's followers as "proof" of that 
allegation. 

Shortly after Krueger's discharge was announced, Harold Kilpatrick, executive 
director of the TCC, came to Edinburg to explain the situation to local council 
members. 

CHANT OPPOSITION 

A small band of Krueger's supporters, led by a young activist named Reynaldo 
de la Cruz, turned out to wave picket signs and chant their opposition. 

De la Cruz, a vocal militant who frequently leads demonstrations against the 
Texas Employment Commission, had recently been elected president of "Colonias 
del Valle" — a confederation of the scattered villages in which most of the Valley's 
migrant poor live. He entered the church and engaged in a bit of mutually angry 
dialogue with Kilpatrick. 

Shortly thereafter, Kilpatrick, apparently not connecting the name with the 
face that confronted him in Edinburg, sent De la Cruz a warm letter of congratu- 
lation on his election to the presidency of the colonias. The letter cited the need 
for "responsible leadership," and expressed a desire to meet him. 

However honest the error, it quickly went into the militant Mexican-American 
word arsenal in support of the contention that the poor must "take over the 
establishment," because the establishment can never know them or understand 
their problems. 

Krueger also said he believed a forthcoming merger between the TCC and 
10 individual Catholic dioceses in Texas might have had something to do with the 
radical change of course. 

"The TCC will be out of existence on Feb. 24, when it becomes the Texas 
Conference of Churches," he said. "I believe some people feel with the marriage 
of the two groups coming up, there should not be controver.sy at this time. 
Personally, I feel some basic problems need discussion before this marriage 
occurs." 

REASON FOR FIRING 

Krueger charged he was fired because he refused to "rewrite history and say 
nothing bad happened," with regard to the compromise agreement ordered for 
the Rangers by the TCC. 

TCC officials denied the motive, but they were vague on the subject of exactly 
why Krueger was fired. 

Methodist Bishop Kenneth Pope, who took over the presidency of the TCC 
in March last year, said it was for "the benefit of the Mexican-American people 
in the Valley." 

Kilpatrick would say on that it was felt by the TCC that Krueger "wasn't 
the man for the job." 

The TCC's former president, the Rev. Canon Gerald McAllister of San Antonio, 
agreed with that statement in part, but he said it was two jobs — not just one — 
for which Krueger was "not the man." 

"We had hoped to go into the Valley with a twofold mission," McAllister said. 
"The first was Ed Krueger's, with the people. The second man was to be available 
to minister through the churches to the rest of the community. Unfortunately, 
we were unsuccessful in finding that person, so the ministry was only half of 
what was intended from the beginning." 

McAllister said Krueger's militant "viva la raza" approach to his ministry 
"polarized" viewpoints in the Valley, giving rise to "growing resentment" and 
pressure for a change. 

"We never were able to open up the kind of communication with the rest of the 
Valley community we had hoped for," he said. 

He said the council now will find itself "on trial" by Mexican-Americans, many 
of whom still vehemently support Krueger. 

"When someone you considered to be a close friend acts in a way to make you 
question the friendship, it's painful," he said. 



1062 

McAllister confirmed that at the height of the Starr County farm union trouble, 
■a concerted campaign was lauched in area Methodist churches to bring the 
■council to heel by withholding funds, but he described the campaign as "a 
dud." 

He added that whatever present policy of "conciliation" the TOG now will 
follow, he did not foresee that "confrontation" ever would be entirely dropped 
in the battle for civil rights. 

"Both are necessary," he said. 

"You need each of these tools." 

Krueger, who speaks fluent Spanish, and has a Mexican-American wife and 
four adopted Mexican-American children, still favors the tool of confrontation — 
whether it be confrontation with Texas Rangers or circumstances. 

He was preparing this week to move from his home in Pharr to a tiny house 
in one of the "colonias" — the shantytowns which thousands of migrant farm 
workers in the Valley call home. 

"We're used to such quarters," said his wife, Tina. "We lived in mud huts for 
three years as missionaries in Honduras. Our people will take care of us. Material 
goods don't matter." 

Krueger indicated that the job, at this point, doesn't matter much either. 

He could conceivably be reinstated, if the National Council of Churches de- 
cides he was unjustly fired. 

Asked if he would take the job back, he said, "I would want to think about it." 

"I would want a stronger base than has been indicated in the past," he said. 
"I would vA^ant a more single-minded approach to the problems." 

McAllister summed up the single-mindedness that has cast crusader Krueger 
in such stark blacks and whites in the Valley community. 

"Ed's temperament is such that he's a diflQcult guy to work with," he said, 
"He's not an organization man. He's strickly a people-to-people sort of guy." 

[From S. A. Express, Feb. 25, 1969] 

Council of Churches Dies Amid Protest 

(By Sylvia Springer) 

Austin — The often controversial Texas Council of Churches (TCC) died here 
Monday but voiced its hope for future church iinity. 

About 70 placard carrying protestors from the lower Rio Grande Valley 
surrounded the Commodore Perry Hotel just before noon where the TCC was 
preparing to end 16-years of existence with a "Hail and Farewell Luncheon". 

The group, members of the Colonias del Valle, staged a silent protest over 
three recent council sections : 

The firing of Rev. Edgar Krueger from his job as head of the council's Val- 
ley Service Center. 

The dropping by the council of its suit against the Texas Rangers. 

The cancellation of the council's VISTA sponsor.ship in the valley which has 
since been re-instated. 

While Bishop W. Kennedy Pope, council president, was inside the hotel tell- 
ing luncheon guests to "learn from each other in the light of our differences." 
the demonstrators, which included Mrs. Edgar Krueger, stood in a line against 
the wall. Rev. Krueger was not present and was reported to be in Pennsylvania 
attending a convention. 

More than 300 church leaders from all over the state have converged on 
Austin, to witness the death of the council and the birth, Tuesday, of the Texas 
Conference of Churches. 

The confernce will include for the first time the 10 Roman Catholic dioceses 
in Texas along with 14 other denominations. 

The 16-year old council brought its life to an end by demonstrating an amazing 
show of openness when they agreed to hear the demands of the protestors. 

Reynaldo De La Cruz, president of the Colonias and spokesman for the demon- 
strators, was invited by the council to be their luncheon guest and then to 
speak to the entire group at the council's final business session in the First 
Southern Presbyterian Church. 

Commenting at the luncheon. Bishop Pope said he welcomed the demonstra- 
tors and termed their protest a part of the American spirit of freedom of expres- 
sion. "They (Mexican-Americans) are the heart of all our movements. I think 



1063 

they will find in the future we will put them at the center of our work," Bishop 
Pope said. 

Later when De La Cruz addressed the council Bishop Pope urged that the 
council allow him to speak and when he was through the Bishop said, "You 
may not be educated, but you know how to communicate a cause . . . your 
voice has been heard." 

The demonstrators handed out two leaflets, one called "Lets Be Realistic" 
which spoke of the problems of Mexican-Americans and the other was a general 
statement of purpose. 

De La Cruz said the group planned to stay overnight in Austin Monday to 
demonstrate at the constituting session of the Texas Conference of Churches, 
Tuesday. 

The last day in the council's life was spent amid an air of happiness despite 
the presence of the pickets. 

Bishop Pope said the persons present were experiencing the "birth of another 
living body," in the conference and declared "We sing no dirge. We are expe- 
riencing here our death, but we may also experience our resurrection, he de- 
clared. We are approaching ecumenism at its crest." 

The Bishop then turned to the three subjects of the protests demonstration. 

In an obvious reference to Rev. Krueger, Bishop Pope said "Changes in the 
Valley staff leadership," had occurred because of a "breech of staff relation- 
ship with the administration." 

He said that were it "not for the breech, changes would not have been needed." 
He called for greater involvement by Valley people themselves in working to 
solve their poverty problems. 

He labeled the cancellation of the council's sponsorship of VISTA in the Val- 
ley "a misunderstanding now clear," and then turned to the council's cancella- 
tion of its suit against the Texas Rangers. 

Bishop Pope attributed the dropping of the suit to his personal conversations 
in the past year with per.sons involved with the suit (apparently Texas Rangers) 
and said he had "complete confidence that in the future we can trust each other 
in our relationships to the fullest." 

He said that other parties involved in the suit were "free to do as they wish," 
as to whether or not to continue in the suit. He praised those who had filed the 
suit as "sincere people". 

The Bishop said that the council "Is delighted to separate ourselves from this 
legal involvement". 

He added that the council was attempting to leave a "clean slate" for the new 
conference and called on the delegates to have a "sense of excitement" as they 
approached the new body. 

[From S. A. Express, Feb. 25, 1969] 

IVlARLiN Center — Pool Open to Mexican Americans 

(By James McCrory) 

Mexican-Americans can go .swimming this summer, and after, in the Falconer 
Community Center swimming pool in Marlin, under terms of an agreed judg- 
ment entered in Waco by U.S. District Judge Jack Roberts. 

The judgment decrees that the policy, practice, and-or custom of the officers 
and directors of Falconer Community Center and their agents in refusing to 
allow three ^Mexican-American youngsters "and their class" to enter the swim- 
ming pool denies them the full citizenship rights guaranteed by the U.S. Consti- 
tution. 

It also holds the policy, practice, and-or custom of denying admission of Mex- 
ican-Americans to the pool becaiise of ethnic origin or race is illegal. 

The community center officials are permanentl.v enjoined, under the order, 
from discriminating by reason of race, color, or ethnic origin in admittance to 
the center or the pool. 

The ^Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund brought the suit, representing the 
parents of three Mexican-American minors denied use of the pool despite the 
fact they were willing to pay all fees and charges, and abide by all rules and 
regulations applying vmiformly to all who would use the recreational facilities. 

The suit alleged the facilities are operated for the use of the general public, 
and are not operated as a private club for use of members only. 



1064 

"All persons, with the exception of Mexican-Americans or persons of Mexi- 
can descent and Negroes, are admitted and permitted to use the facilities on 
payment of a required charge," the suit reported. 

Plaintiffs also pointed out the center was financed by public subscription and 
that swimming lessons are given to the general public, excepting Mexican- 
Americans and Negroes. 

As a result of the barring, the plaintiffs asserted, plaintiffs have been forced 
to swim in a nearby river or drive 30 miles to a pool in Waco. 

Also included in the court order is the operation of the center concession, which 
serves food moved in interstate commerce and to interstate travelers. The suit 
asserted the center has been exempted from city, coimty, and state ad valorem 
taxes. 

Pete Tijerina, executive director of the Mexican-American Legal Defense 
Fund, reports the agreed judgment entered in the Marlin case represented the 
third for the fund. The other two were in the school and Selective Service 
areas. 

[From S. A. Express, Feb. 25, 1969] 

Aware of Crisis — Stronger Ministry in Valley Pledged 

Austin (AP) — ^The new Texas Conference of Churches, trying to regain the 
confidence of the Mexican-Americans, adopted a resolution Tuesday to strength- 
en the ministry in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. 

"The loss of confidence by Mexican-Americans has raised a question concern- 
ing our ministry in the Valley," the Rev. William McElvaney told members 
at the conference's first business meeting. "We are all aware of the fact that 
there is a crisis there." 

About 40 demonstrators had gathered outside the church Tuesday morning 
while the formal constituting assembly was held. 

Pickets, mostly Mexican-Americans, said they represented supporters of Vol- 
unteers in Service to America and the South Texas Association of Community 
Organizations. 

The demonstrators apparently protested the firing of the Rev. Edgar Krueger 
by the Texas Council of Churches. He was the representative of the Protestant 
Council in the Valley until his recent dismissal. 

The Rev. Mr. Krueger was arrested during a farm labor strike in 1967. He is 
one of the plaintiffs in a pending suit against the Texas Rangers, alleging that 
the officers manhandled the minister and his wife and violated their civil rights. 

At the constituting assembly for the historic merger of denominations of the 
Protest, Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox faiths, church leaders heard Dr. 
Arthur S. Flemming, president of the National Council of Churches. 

Flemming stressed that the ecumenical movement must come at the top of 
denominations' priorities if it is to succeed. 

"We do a pretty good job of studying and acting and speaking at the national 
level," he said, "But we do a pretty poor job of translating this study and action 
down to the local level where the real action can take place." 

Installed as officers of the new organization were Dallas Methodist Bishop W. 
Kenneth Pope, president and the Roman Catholic bishop of the Houston-Galves- 
ton Diocese, the Most Rev. John L. Morkovsky, president-designate. 

Roy J. Cates, a Fort Worth layman of the Christian Church, was named ex- 
ecutive director. 

Exhibit H 

[From the Monitor, Nov. 20, 1968] 

E-E Officials Answer Charges 

Edcouoh — Rebellious students at Edcouch-Elsa had their say^but school ad- 
ministrators got in the final word. 

The students, who began a boycott of the school last week after the school board 
failed to call a special meeting to hear a list of their demands, had their charges 
aired by their attorney Bob Sanchez of McAllen at Monday night's board meeting. 

Following Sanchez' presentation, school administrators, acting with precision, 
deftly rejected many of the allegations and admitted to some of the others, promis- 
ing to try and correct any shortcomings. 



1065 

In a nutshell here are the demands presented by the student committee and an- 
swers made by Supt. A. W. Bell, assistant superintendent Martin Pena, high 
school principal M. L. Pipkin and other school officials : 

— That more townspeople or senior students be hired as bus drivers. Pena 
pointed out that for the past three years five townspeople have been used to make 
special bus runs — at the same salary given teachers — and that as additional runs 
are added more will be hired. 

— That a general face-lifting and renovation of the school be ordered. A list 
of repairs and additions to facilities of district for 1967-68 and 1968-69 were read 
and more improvements were promised as funds are available. 

— -That special attention be given to migrant students, many of whom, the stu- 
dents charged, were not given tests before leaving school. Pena admitted a small 
number — around five per cent — did not receive advance tests last year as they 
were supposed to, but noted the special migrant program is in its second year and 
administrators are "only human and err." He said the program is in its second 
years and ''mistakes will still be made, but we will do the best we can." He said 
the program is a benefit to migrant secondary students as it enables them to 
finish high school in four years instead of the previous five. 

— That a strict system be set up for issuing passes. Administrators said such a 
system was initiated at the start of school this year because of the problem of 
unauthorized students being in the halls last year. 

— That blatant discrimination against Mexican-American students be stopped. 
Bell said the charge was "too broad" to be answered, but declared that if dis- 
crimination exists, he knows nothing of it and wants to be informed of specific 
cases. 

— That more effective counseling be provided. Pena admitted that the school 
need an additional counselor, "I would hire one right now if I could find a quali- 
fied i)erson," he said. Officials promised to remedy this situation as soon as 
possible. 

— That all college prep courses be signalled out for students by the time they 
enter high school. It was pointed out students are given counseling and that all 
college prep courses are so designated in the student handbook given out prior 
to the start of school each year. 

— That courses be introduced to show the part in the history of this region 
played by INIexicans and Mexican-Americans. Pena said the state selects text- 
books, and Edcouch-Elsa, like other public schools must take what the state has 
to offer. He added, ''A textbook such as you want has not been written. When 
one is and if the state offers it, we will use it." 

- — That Spanish be allowed on school premises without humilitating or unjust 
penalties. Bell said there has been no rule against speaking Spanish on campus 
for the past six years. "We encourage students to speak English. They are already 
fluent in Spanish, and can become fluent in English only through practice. There 
is no penalty for speaking Spanish on campus," Bell said. 

- — That cafeteria prices be lowered or better fond offered. Board President Billie 
Cellum answered this demand. "Try it yourself." he invited. ''I have two chil- 
dren ; one thinks its great and the other thinks it awful. I imagine it depends on 
individual taste." He noted prices are 30 and 35 cents. 

- — That in cast of tardy or absent students, they be allowed to re-enter class and 
no points taken off until his excuse is verified and that students not be kept out of 
class until parents call. This charge was rejected, and officials said no students 
are denied entry into class until excuses are checked. 

— That no teachers use profanity or abusive language in the presence of stu- 
dents or that no teacher or administrator lay a hand on a student. Bell promised 
to investigate any complaints in this area by students, but refused to bring up 
charges against specific school personnel until they could be proven. 

— That excessive and unfair penalties and punishments stop being given for 
minor infractions. The students cited cases of paddling for students not suit- 
ing up for gym because their suits had been stolen and suspension of two stu- 
dents for failing to stand at pep rally and for failure to keep appointment with 
teacher. Again school officials promised to investigate charges by students and take 
action if any are justified. It was noted by school officials that two students were 
suspended for failure to show up for an appointment with a teacher after they had 
been "disrespectful" during the playing of the National Anthem during a pep 
rally. 



1066 

— That no threats, intimidations or penalties be made for belonging to any 
organization outside of school. Bell said school policy does not prohibit sucb 
membership as long as it is not disruptive to carrying on classes. 

— That no disciplinary action be taken against boycotting students and that all 
be reinstated and that mention of such action be omitted from school records. 
Bell pointed out school board policy had been announced on walkouts previously 
and that all students and parents had been informed of the policy. At this point 
be said suspensions of students would remain in effect until individual meetings 
with the school board and parents and their attorneys were held. 

"It's a matter of whether the school board or the students are going to run the- 
school," Bell added. 

No one in the crowd challenged the answers to the student complaints. 

[From the Monitor, Nov. 20, 1968] 
E-E Trustees Work Overtime 

Edcouch — The Edcouch-Elsa school board was to resume interviews at 1 :30 
p.m. today with Mexican-American students Involved in a five-day-old class boy- 
cott, and their parents. 

About half of the 162 students now under suspension for the walkout have 
asked for a hearing before the board, seeking to return to classes. 

A non-stop session of trustees heard a stream of parents and students between 
1 :30 p.m. Tuesday and 4 a.m. today at the superintendent's oflSce. 

Supt. A. W. Bell said the board will announce its decision on expelling the 
students after meeting with all of those who ask for reinstatement. Each case is 
being considered on its own merits. 

He said each hearing was averaging about 20 minutes. The exact number al- 
ready appearing before the board was not available. Bell said interviews were 
scheduled today through about 9 p.m., and others possibly would be added. 

It was understood all students involved in the walkout were still out of school 
today, but that any not expelled probably would be permitted to return to classes 
Thursday. 

School officials declined to comment on when any of the students might be 
reinstated. 

Bell said the board originally had anticipated each hearing would take only 
about 10 minutes. 

There was no student demonstration at the high school campus today for the 
third day in a row. 

The board vowed to hear all comers, giving each as much time as necessary, 
and staying as late as any of the parents desired. Trustees stipulated that both 
students and their parents take part in the conferences. 

Sitting in on the hearings with trustees were the superintendent. High School 
Principal M. L. Pipkin and Assistant Principals Bill Thompson, Eliazar Villa- 
nueva and Juan Gorostiza. 

Board members are president Billie Cellum, Israel Montoya, Gilbert Gonzalez, 
Mrs. Eddie Thomas, H. D. (Bud) Skinner and Calvin Smith. All were present. 

The parents and students had been told they could bring along their attorneys. 
But none appeared Tuesday with lawyers. 

Bob Sanchez, McAllen lawyer who represented the striking students at a Monday 
night board meeting, said Tuesday morning two staff membres from the Mexican- 
American Legal defense and Educational Fund office in San Antonio would pro- 
vide legal aid at the hearings. 

He identified the two as Alan Exelrod and Michael Mendelson. They did not 
appear at the hearing site, however. 

It was reported Sanchez and the San Antonio lawyers were considering a peti- 
tion to the U.S. District Court at Brownsville in the next day or two in a toove 
to get the students readmitted to classes. 

Sanchez had argued before the board Tuesday night that all of the students 
suspended be permitted to reenter classes while the board hearings were being 
conducted. He estimated the hearings might take as long as three weeks, and 
charged the students should be "presumed innocent until proven guilty" of taking 
part in the campus demonstrations and walkout. 

The school board has a recently adopted policy calling for permanent expulsion; 
of students participating in demonstrations. 



1067 

At the board's Monday night meeting, action was taken to extend temporarily 
the original three-day suspensions until the board could hear each student's case 

individually. , ^ ^ ^ xi. 

Parents wanting their children reinstated were asked to contact the superin- 
tendent's oflSce for an appointment. 

Some of the student leaders of the revolt said the board hearings were nor. 
satisfactory to them. None of the leaders appeared as the hearings began Tues- 

^There^S^re no demonstrations on the high school campus Tuesday for the- 
second day in a row. 

The group involved in the walkout has drafted 15 demands and two recom- 
mendations for the board. They charge, in general "blatant discrimination as- 
the cause of the student revolt." ^ ^ • 4-1,^ c«i,««i 

Their demands include such things as better and cheaper food in the school- 
cafeteria textbooks giving emphasis to Mexican and Mexican-American contri- 
butions to the Southwest, permission to speak Spanish on the campus and more 
counseling. 

They also deruanded that no disciplinary action be taken against anyone in- 
volved in tlie now five-day-old walkout and that any mention of it be eliminated, 
from school records. 

[From the Valley Morning Star, Nov. 21. 1968] 

E-E Board Still Listening to Student Botcottees 

Edcouch. — The Edcouch-Elsa school board continued marathon hearings for 
the second night in a row Wednesday in an effort to interview Mexican-American 
students participating in a class boycott and their parents. 

Purpose of the interviews is to determine individually if the students will be 
permitted to return to school or be expelled for the semester. 

At 10 p.m.. the talks were continuing in the office of Supt. A. W. Bell. 

Tlie Wednesday session began at 1 :30 p.m. 

More interviews are scheduled today, also beginning at 1 :30 p.m. 

The students walked out of school a week ago, blaming their action on failure 
of trustees to call a special meeting to hear a list of 15 demands they drafted con- 
cerning policv and conditions in the district. 

About IGO junior and senior high boys and girls have been suspended tem- 
porarily awaiting action of the board on whether they are to be expelled per- 
manently. 

The board launched the series of hearings at 1 :30 p.m. Tuesday and continued 
the initial session until 4 a.m. 

Bell said the board's action in each case will not be disclosed until the hearings 
are concluded. 

The students involved and their parents have been invited to make interview 
appointments if they wish to be considered for a return to classes. No deadline for 
the interviews has been announced. 

There have been no campus demonstrations this week. 

The first two days of the walkout, last Thursday and Friday, were character- 
ized by noisy campus demonstrations. 

On Thursday, a bomb hoax resulted in classes being dismissed an hour early. 
Six demonstrators were arrested Friday on charges of loitering on the campus 
after being kicked out of school. 

[From the Valley Morning Star, Nov. 21, 1968] 

Weslaco P-TA Plans Public Meeting on Stxjdent Drug Abuse 

Weslaco. — The McAllen school board has set definite policies on drug abuse 
among students "and we are going to stick with them, even if we have to go to the 
Supreme Court." the high school principal told Weslaco P-TA members Wednes- 
day evening. 

Principal Harold Harrington outlined in detail the drug abuse situation, which 
erupted four weeks ago in McAllen, and listed measures being taken to bring it 
under control. 

At the conclusion of the program, which also featured remarks by Sheriff-Elect 
Claudio Castaneda of Mission. P-TA President Bill Cain appointed a committee 
to arrange a public meeting in Weslaco. 



1068 

Kenneth Sherrv, a former school board president, was named chairman. 

Serving with him will be Mrs. Ralph Panzer and Dr. Lenore Warden, members 
of the P-TA Executive Committee, high school Principal J. C. Wood and school 
trustee Bobby Lackey. 

Cain said he appointed what he termed a "select group" to do the planning and 
set a date. 

SPEND WHATEVER NEEDED 

Cain authorized the committee to obtain assistance from law enforcement 
agencies, the Hogg Foundation and "anyone else" in setting up the program. He 
also told the committee to spend whatever necessary. 

"We don't have any money, but we'll get it," he stated. 

Harrington warned the group: "We can have no better enforcement than we 
demand. We live under a hypocrisy. When someone gets charged too many are 
inclined to say 'God bless him, he made a mistake.' If a law is broken, they have 
to know a penalty is to be paid." 

The McAllen principal said he was a little hesitant to accept the invitation to 
talk to the Weslaco group, and emphasized he was "not there to take a position, 
but to tell you what we have and what we have done about it." 

In answer to a question, he said the McAllcu school board's policy calls for 
students indicted on drug charges to be expelled. 

A Weslaco student, indicted for selling marijuana, was returned to classes 
recently by school board action following a three-day suspension. 

Cain and other members of the P-TA executive committee attended a school 
board meeting last week at which the policy was adopted and spoke out for 
stronger measures. 

Attending the P-TA meeting Wednesday at the invitation of Cain were Board 
President Jim Cook, Supt. Buck Henson and principals in the Weslaco system. 

NEED TO TAKE ACTION 

"We may not have a serious problem in the Weslaco schools," Cain said at the 
outset. "We certainly hope we don't. But we need to take action to forestall it." 

Harrington recommended school officials contact federal and state narcotics 
agents and other law enforcement representatives to learn the truth about the 
drug problem. 

"They are hesitant to come to you," he reported, "but they will have valuable 
information for you if you want it." He said part of the reluctance is due to con- 
tinuing investigations. 

No. 1 in solving the situation, Harrington said, is "to say you've got a prob- 
lem, recognize it and pinpoint it, then make a plan of attack and then decide what 
you are going to do not to have it again." 

He said McAllen is not through with its problem, although it has gone down 
to "a creeping walk." He said dangerous drugs will be available in the area until 
arrests are made. 

AGENCIES WORKING 

"Believe me, law enforcement agencies are working," he said. It's all over 
the Valley . . . there is not a fence between us and you. Not any of our children 
are immune." 

Harrington also touched briefly on another problem, which he said was becom- 
ing serious throughout the Valley. 

"We're faced with tremendous student unrest," he said. 

The McAllen principal said since the McAllen situation was made public, he 
has been in contact with various other areas having the same problem. Twelve 
students were arrested at Kingsville High School Monday, he reported.. Austin 
and Corpus Christi were listed as other nearby cities with drug abuse rampant. 

"It's becoming a money-making thing for our youngsters," he advised. "They 
may be selling to some of yours." 

[From the Sun, Nov. 28, 1968] 
Officials Ordered To Readmit 99 Boycotting Students at Elsa 

Word that an injunction was granted by Dist. Judge Reynaldo Garza of 
Brownsville ordering Edcouch-Elsa school officials to readmit 99 high school 
pupils to classes, was received by San Antonio leaders who had been working to 
get the students back in school. 



1069 

The injunction was requested by the parents of five of the 99 pupils who were 
expelled after 150 students boycotted classes at the Lower Rio Grande Valley 
high school, charging they were being discriminated on by school olficials. 

Attorney Bob Sanchez represented the students and parents and state senator 
Jim Bates of Edinburg represented the school district. 

Judge Garza ruled that the school summarily suspended the 99 students from 
classes without giving them a hearing as required by law. Officials had claimed 
that students were expelled for violating the school policy against boycotts and 
demonstrations on the campus. 

Xavier Ramirez, one of the student leaders, presented school board members a 
list of 15 demands and recommendations and the board met Nov. 18 (four days 
after the suspension) but took no action on the demands. 

The 99 students returned to classes Tuesday. 

[From S. A. Express, Dec. 19, 1968] 
Ousted Students To Re-enter School 

Brownsville. — ^Edcouch-Elsa school officials Wednesday agreed to allow 
Mexican-American high school pupils who held a boycott and demonstrations to 
return to classes. 

The agreement came after several hours of testimony in a civil suit filed in 
U.S. Disti'ict Court by the parents of five pupils who were expelled from classes 
Nov. 14. 

The demonstrations and boycott came after students said the school board had 
failed to listen to a list of demands drawn up by them. 

School officials, represented by State Sen. Jim Bates of Edinburg, agreed to 
readmit the pupils when school resumes Jan. 6, agreed to wipe the reasons for 
their expulsions from their school records and agreed to pay "nominal damages." 

U.S. Dist. Judge Reynaldo Garza, who presided at the trial, said a school board 
ruling prohibiting demonstrations and boycotts was unconstitutional. A defense 
lawyer said the school board's restrictions were unconstitutional because they 
involved the legal principle of "prior restraint." 

Bates asked for a recess after Edcouch-Elsa High School Principal M. L. Pip- 
kin was questioned l)y Judge Garza. 

Garza asked Pii)kin what criteria the school used in the "selective enforce- 
ment" of the rule against demonstrations. Pipkin had testified that only 62 of 192 
pupils who took part in the demonstration were expelled for an entire semester. 

Pipkin said they rook into consideration the pupil's attitude toward the school 
and how the pupil felt he had Ijeen treated by the school. 

"In other words, if they kowtowed to you and said you were a nice principal, 
they got back in?" Judge Garza asked. 

Thei"e was a long period of silence from the witness stand. 

"As far as a written criteria — there was none," Pipkin answered. 

It was at this point that Bates asked for a 15-minutes recess. 

[From the Alamo Messenger, Dec. 6, 1968] 
Edcouch-Elsa Students Protest School Bias 

Elsa. — It was a cold Thursday, Nov. 14 morning as the north wind swept 
aci-oss the grounds at Edcouch-Elsa High School. 

Students huddled close to the brick building to keep warm. Some waited 
eagerly for the bells to ring, signalling the beginning of classes. At least, it would 
give them a chance to go inside and escape the chill. 

But others, namely militant Mexican-Americans, appeared tense. 

Since mid-October, a large group of Mexican-American students liad been 
holding informal meetings, protesting what they called discrimination at the 
Edcouch-Elsa junior and high schools. They sought and received organization 
assistance from the militant Mexican-American Youth Organization, affiliated 
with "La Raza Unida" — a group urging the unification of all Mexican-Americans 
for social and economic reform. 

Rumors of school boycotts and demonstrations had persisted. School district 
officials, in an effort to head off any protest movement, called a special meeting 
and issued a broad policy declaring students involved in campus demonstrations 
or walk-outs, or attempting to organize fellow students on campus to create 
uni-est at school would be expelled for the remainder of the fall semester. 



1070 

The rule had caused considerable reaentment among the activists whose num- 
bers had been steadily increasing since mid-October. Although they claimed more 
tlian 150 followers, they said their cause included many sympathizers among 
the 1,230 high school pupils — 85 percent of whom are Mexican-Americans. 

In the latest move in the simmering crisis, the militants had formed a student 
committee and had drawn up a list of 15 grievances which they termed "de- 
mands." They had planned to submit them at a regular school board meeting 
which had been scheduled the previous week. 

The student had called for an "immediate stop to blatant discrimination" 
against the Mexican- Americans at the school. They had also asked that they 
be permitted to speak Spanish on the campus "without being subjected to hu- 
miliating or unjust penalties." 

Other pleas concerned suggested improvements in the quality of education, 
both in the physical plant as well as the academic curriculum. 

"We want to be proud of our school," the students had said, but at the same 
time they added, "We demand justice." 

Attempting to pursue proper channels, the students had decided to make an 
-:appearance at the Nov. 11 school board meeting. But the board cancelled the 
session without giving a reason. Undaunted, the following day the committee 
had presented the demands to Supt. A. W. Bell of the Edcouch-Elsa Independent 
School District. But he had indicated only the school board could rule on such 
requests. 

To the militants' leadershii> — which included Xavier Ramirez and Eddie 
Gonzalez, both 17-year-o,ld seniors, and Mirtala Villarreal — it was a classical 
vexample of justice delayed, justice denied. Another protest meeting had been 
held the night of Nov. 13. Enthusiasm had run high and some students had called 
for direct action. 

The mood was unusualy strained that cold morning of Nov. 14 as the bells rang 
for what some Edcouch-Edna administrators, teachers and students thought 
would be just another school day. 

But it turned out to be anything but that. 

During the first period, aliout 8:30 a.m.. approximately 150 Mexican-Americans 
walked out of their classrooms, marched out of the building and gathered in 
front of the school. Protest placards appeared calling for an end to discrimina- 
tion in the school and for improvements in the quality of education. Some signs 
calling for "Boycott Classes" and "Brown Power" were more provocative. 

School officials were facing what they had hoped to avoid — a large-scale 
demonstration. 

High School Principal M. L. Pipkin addressed the group over a loudspeaker. 
"The only thing I can tell you right now is to go back to class. If you do not 
wish to go to class you may walk out." He also warned them about the school 
board policy aimed at severely disciplining demonstrators. 

Tlie students responded by cheering and waving their protest placards. At one 
point they sang the familiar "We Shall Overcome." 

Pipkin had seen and heard enough. At 10:30 a.m., he summarily suspended 
all 150 demonstrators for three days, pending action by the school board to 
determine if the explixsions would be made permanent for the remainder of the 
fall term. 

The incident — unprecedented in the Rio Grande Valley which has an over- 
whelming Mexican-American population — focused nationwide attention on the 
problems at the public high .school which serves Edcouch and Elsa, two small 
farming centers located in northern Hidalgo County. The towns lie less than 
10 miles apart and the junior and high schools are situated halfway between 
the communities. 

Since the walkout, the controversy has been marked by : 

The school board considering the students' grievances and generally dismissing 
most of the complaints, but promising to study them and work for improvements. 

EXPULSION 

The school board affirming the explusions, pending conferences between the 
school administrators and the pupils seeking re-instatement and their parents. 

The holding of several conferences, resulting in the re-admittance of many 
students and the permanent explusion of 31. 

Federal Judge Reynaldo Garza of Brownsville ordering the school officials to 
re-admit 99 students, who had not yet held conferences with the administrators. 



1071 

Judge Garza ruled the schoal had suspended the 99 from classes without giving 
them a hearing as required by law. The judge's order came after a hearing on 
a request for an injunction filed by the parents of five pupils. The students have 
returned to classes pending conferences to be conducted by the administrators. 

Judge Garza has indicated he will probably hold a full-scale hearing on the 
injunction in about three weeks in the federal court in Brownsville. The parents 
-are seeking to prevent the administrators from permanently exi>e,lling their 
children from school through methods which they charge deprive the youths of 
their constitutional rights. They have cited the antidemonstration policy and the 
suspensions without hearings. 

The suit was filed by attorneys of the Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund 
which has its offices in San Antonio. The students sought the support of MALDF 
following the mass expulsions on Nov. 14. 

The students involved in the protest are not school leaders. They aren't on 
the honor roll and they seldom participate in extra-curricular activities. 

In addition to Xavier Ramirez and Mirtala Villarreal, other heads of the 
movement are Antemio Salinas, Raul Arispe and Jose Chavez. Many followers 
include children of migrant farmers who have protested that the school has 
not implemented programs providing for their needs. 

Pipkin said the protestors are generally from the average and lower academic 
sections. "Some are trouble makers, some are not." However, he maintains that 
they have no clandestine following. The principal said students who did not 
participate in the walkout are "violently opposed" to demonstrations. 

Another teacher was more harsh in his criticism, describing the activists 
as "potential dropouts." 

But attorneys for the Legal Defense Fund pointed out that the students' 
academic and character records, although both good, are not primarily at stake 
here. 

The real issue is the alleged discrimination and Anglo superiority complex 
which the militants claim pervades all aspects of school life at Edcouch-Elsa. 

"We are tired of being pushed around," said a Mexican-American girl who 
has joined the crusade. She complained of teacher favoritism toward Anglos. 
Mexican-Americans who challenge the system, she said, are punished in various 
ways and made to feel inferior. 

At the heart of the controversy is the alleged rule prohibiting students from 
speaking Spanish on the school grounds. Although Supt. Bell claimed at a 
recent board meeting that the district dropped such a requirement six years 
ago, some Mexican-Americans claimed they are still punished for speaking their 
mother tongue. 

As mentioned previously, the students' demand to speak Spanish without being 
subjected to penalties, and the "immediate end to blatant discrimination"' on 
campus figured prominently in their list of demands. 

Other demands are aimed directly at the school board's anti-demonstration 
policy. 

The student committee requested : 

That no disciplinary action be taken against any student or teacher that has 
taken part in this movement, and that all suspended students and teachers be 
re-instated to their previous post or office and that any mention of such action 
be omitted from school records. Also all intimidation must be stopped. (No 
teachers have been involved on the side of the protest movement.) 

That no threats, intimidation or penalties be made against any student by 
teachei-s or administrators for membership in meetings of any club or organiza- 
tion outside the school. 

But not all the grievances are negative. The students have asked that the 
curriculum be improved to make the Mexican-American more aware of his 
cultrire ; to prepare him for college ; to care for the special needs of the migrant 
<?hildren. 

These pleas are as follows : 

That courses be introduced as a regular part of the curriculum to show the 
contributions of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans to this state and region. 
For instance, factual accounts of the history of the Southwest and Tt-xas, and 
<;our.ses in Mexican history and culture. Also, that qualified, certified teachers 
be hired to teach these courses. 

That all college preparatory courses be signalled out for students by the time 
they enter high school. 



1072 

That more effective counselling be given from understanding counselors that 
are able to relate to the students. Present student-counselor ratio is too great; 
we need more coimselors. Likewise, more assemblies on career opportunities, 
availability of scholarships, grants, loans, college entrance requirements, etc. 



Atty. Robert Sanchez of McAllen, who represented the expelled students at the 
Nov. 18 special board meeting called to consider the crisis, said of the 15 de- 
mands, "They are not only due, but over-due." 

He said the students desired to return to school and were hopeful that the griev- 
ances could be worked out in some form of compromise. "We were willing to 
meet you halfway," the lawyers told the board members. 

Sanchez said the class boycott resulted after the board declined to hold a 
hearing to consider the grievances. 

The six board members — including two Mexican-Americans — listened to San- 
chez' plea, then answered the students' demands one by one. The grievances were 
generally dismissed. They acknowledged that improvements can be made, and 
that the board is working toward that end. 

But Supt. Bell was less compromising than the school board. He implied the 
issue was law and order. 

"What it boils down to is simply this : Who shall control and operate the 
school system? Shall the board or shall the students?" 

Principal Pipkin had assumed a hard-line approach toward the militants im- 
mediately following tile walkout. "We will not yield." he declared, saying his 
faculty — including 22 Mexican-Americans out of 53 teachers — "is more unified 
than ever before. They will not permit me to yield." 

The battle has shifted to federal district court in Brownsville where the 
MALDF is seeking injunctive relief for the expelled students in an effort to pre- 
vent the school officials from expelling them without due process or by applying 
the anti-demonstration policy which the attorneys claim is an infringement on 
the students' civil rights. 

One of the factors which prompted the filing of the suit was the procedure the 
school officials adopted in considering the re-admittance of the students. If the 
pupils were repentant, they were re-instated ; if they did not regret their ac- 
tions, the expulsion became permanent. 

Supporters of the students blame the school board and administrators for the 
underlying reasons that have led to the crisis here. They charge the board and 
the school officials ai-e unaware of the specific educational needs of the Mexican- 
American students becau.se of their culture. It has been contended that the 
school officials believe that the iNIexican-Americans must adapt to the curriculum 
designed primarily for Anglo pvipils. 

However the feelings of many Mexican-Americans here can best be summed 
up by State Sen. Joe Bernal of San Antonio who addressed a rally supporting the 
students in Edcouch three days prior to the walkout. 

"These students are saying what we didn't say when we were young or stu- 
dents," Sen. Bernal told the crowd. "They are asking for dignity and respect." 

And Luis Chavez, a parent of one of the leaders of the student movement, said 
about the youths' demands : 

"I can tell you these students don't speak of anything wrong. We parents lack 
understanding and sometimes lack interest but we need to lend them moral 
support. We need unity between students and parents." 

Senator Mondale, Reverend Krueger, we thank you very much for 
presenting: a fine statement. We are most o;rateful. 

Our subcommittee will recess until 9 :30 tomorrow mornino;, at which 
point we will continue our hearings with the investigation of activi- 
ties in New Bern, N.C., where there has been a recent effort to organize 
bluel>e.rry pickers. 

We stand in recess. 

(Whereupon, at 1 :30 p.m. the conmiittee was recessed, to be recon- 
vened at 9 :30 a.m., Thursday, July 17, 1969.) 



MIGRANT AND SEASONAL FARMWORKER 
POWERLESSNESS 



THURSDAY, JULY 17, 1969 

U.S. Senate, 
Subcommittee on Migratory Labor 
OF THE Committee on Lx\bor and Public Welfare, 

W ash'mgton D.C. 

The subcommittee met at 9 :30 a.m., pursuant to recess, in room 4232, 
New Senate Office Building-, Senator Walter F. Mondale (chairman 
of the subcommittee) presiding. 

Present : Senator Mondale. 

Committee statt' members present: Boren Chert kov, majority coun- 
sel ; Eugene Mittelman, minority counsel. 

Senator Mondale. The Senate Subcommittee on jMigratory Labor 
will come to order. 

This morning the subcommittee continues its investigation of com- 
munity and union organization efforts by exploring the existence of a 
dispute in North Carolina atfecting blueberry pickers. The acti\ ities 
of a community action agency, the efforts of the workers to organize, 
the viewpoint of the grower affected, and the activities and view- 
point of the law enforcement officials involved will ail be sought. 
This is a part of the efforts of this subcommittee to better under- 
stand the true conditions of migratory and seasonal farmworkers in 
this country, and the union and community organization efforts of 
those workers. 

Our first witness is Mr. James L. Godwin, executive director of 
Coastal Progress, Inc., of New Bern, N.C. 

Mr. Godwin, 1 have your statement. You may proceed as you wish. 

STATEMENT OE JAMES I. GODWIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, 
COASTAL PROGRESS, INC., NEW BERN, N.C. 

Mr. Godwin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I am James L. Godwin, executive director of Coastal Progress, 
Inc., of New Bern, N.C. I am grateful for the opportunity presented 
this morning to direct your attention again to the plight and power- 
lessness of America's rural poor and, specifically, to the background 
causes of the continuing strike by the Eastern Farm Workers Asso- 
ciation against the Jason Morris Farms, Inc. 

The problems we will highlight here today are those of 14 million 
rural poor. The problems are immense and our solutions only begin- 
nings; but we must begin. I am accompanied today by members of 

(1073) 



36-513 — 70— ipt. 3- 



202 


89.6 


21 


10.4 


79 


35.4 


89 


39.9 


5 


2.2 



1074 

my staff, interested members of our community and, most important, 
by representatives of the Eastern Farm Workers Association. 

With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I will set the stage for the 
testimony to follow. 

Coastal Progress, Inc., is a local antipoverty program striving to 
meet the needs of the poor — black and white — in Jones, Craven, and 
Pamlico Counties. Currently funded with approximately $1.5 million 
annually of title I and II EOA funds. Coastal Progress began in 1964 
with funds provided by the INorth Carolina Fund. 

Today it is involved in a broad range of programs including : man- 
power, child care, health, housing, community organization, credit 
imion, and senior opportunities. 

Blessed with an outstanding staff of dedicated men and women. 
Coastal Progress, Inc. is making substantial progress. But, Mr. Chair- 
man, we have miles and miles to go before we can sleep with a clear 
social and moral conscience. 

Approximately 4,500 seasonal farm laborers in the three counties 
represent an estimated 2,100 households. A survey of 223 heads of 
households participating in the recent blueberry strike reveals that; 

Number Percent 

Head of household (female).. 

Head of household (male) 

On welfare 

Surplus food... - -- 

Social security... 

Number of occupants per household, 7. 

Only one out of 10 households had incomes in excess of $2,000 
per year. 

Two-thirds of the households had incomes under $1,500_ per year. 

Senator Moxd.\le. In other words, you took a cross section of 223 
families involved in the blueberry strike? 

Mr. Godwin. Eight, sir. 

Senator Mond.-^le. Was this a scientific cross section or a random 
selection. 

Mr. Godwin. The forms provided for us came from a professional 
organization that has had experience with this kind of thing. 

Senator Mondale. So this survey would reflect essentially the 
makeup and characteristics of the families involved? 

Mr. Godwin. Right, Senator. Eighty-nine percent for instance 
would be very good sampling. 

Senator Mondale. The average size of households is seven? 

Mr. Godwin. Right, sir. 

Senator Mondale. And only one out of 10 households had incomes 
in excess of $2,000 and two-thirds had incomes of less than $1,500 per 
year; is that correct? 

Mr. Godwin. Right, sir. 

Senator Mondale. Were they all black? 

Mr. Godwin. Yes. 

Of course, Mr. Chairman, these kind of statistics don't say enough 
to you. Would you listen then to some of the true conditions affecting 
the lives of those citizens over which they have no control. 



1075 

As a nation and as a three-county community, we do not face any 
crisis as dangerous to our survival as the crisis of conscience surround- 
ing race and poverty. In our study today, the powerlessness of the 
black rural poor of the South, the two problems, racism and poverty, 
are inseparably intertwined. Irrational, unreason hig, and all-con- 
suming racial hatred stifles the opportunities for and overlooks the 
economic benefits of economic opportunity. 

Senator Mondale. You speak of mireasoning social hatred. Would 
you say this is the fundamental, underlying problem and tension 
that you describe? What do you think could be done to reduce this 
tension ? 

Mr. Godwin. Yes: the lack of this hatred brings about lack of 
concern by local people about the lives of their fellow man. So, yes, sir; 
that is a major problem. 

Now realizing this, we receive some grant moneys to go to the 
auspices of our local human relations group. These moneys were used 
in part to conduct a highly significant series of Sensitivity Training 
Sessions. We brought in some professional human behaviorists, we 
have had two of these laboratories which we took cross section of 
black and white communities and also a cross-economic line, put them 
together, and found amazing results that once people come to really 
understand each other, under these conditions, they are then willing 
to really do substantial problem solving together. 

Senator Mondale. It is the separation that causes the problem ? 

Mr. Godwin. Oh, yes ; there is a terrible communication gap between 
the races. 

Senator Mondale. Did you get all kinds of groups in the commu- 
nities to participate in this experiment ? 

Mr. Godwin. Well, we had one very serious problem. We think 
the shortest fuse of ail burning in our community for real confron- 
tation exists between the black people and our police, city, and county. 

In each case we were not able to get the police to participate. In 
the last one particularly, every effort was made to have the city police 
in New Bern become involved in this last conference. They completely 
refused to make an appearance. 

This is very disturbing. Senator, in light of the fact that both sides 
are rather heavily armed today. There was a shootout recently 2 weeks 
ago at a county close by, between Klan and Negro people. 

Senator Mondale. Your group serves three counties? 

Mr. Godwin. Eight. 

Senator Mondale. What is the combined population of the three 
counties ? 

Mr. Godwin. 85,000 approximately. 

Senator Mondale. What is the economy, basically agricultural? 

Mr. Godwin. Yes, sir. 

Senator Mondale. W-iat is the size of the largest city? 

Mr. GoDW^iN. In its environs. New Bern, 18,000. 

Senator Mondale. What is the percentage of black to white in the 
three counties ? 

Mr. Godwin. Craven County has approximately 30 percent black, 
Jones County and Pamlico County, about 45. 



1076 

Senator Mondale.. How many black county commissioners are there? 

Mr. Godwin. There are no black county commissioners. Well, there 
is one little community in Pamlico county that has one black alder- 
man, Bayborough. 

Senator Mondale. How many black mayors are there? 

Mr. Godwin. No black mayors. 

Senator Mondale. How many black members of the school board? 

Mr. Godwin. The city of New Bern has two black members ap- 
pointed. There are no other black school board members. They are 
not elected, they are appointed. 

Senator Mondale. How many deputies are black in tlie county 
sheriffs offices ? 

Mr. Godwin. There are no black deputies. 

Senator Mondale. None at all ? 

Mr. Godwin. No, sir. The city of New Bern has two black police- 
men out of a force of approximately 28 persons. 

Senator Mondale. What is the percentage of blacks in New Bern? 

Mr. Godwin. About the same, about 30 percent, about the same as 
the county. 

Senator Mondale. Do you still have segregated school systems 
there ? 

Mr. Godwin. Yes, sir, we still have some. 

Senator Mondale. Are there any integrated school systems ? 

Mr. Godwin. Yes, we have token integration in some of the schools 
now, and fairly substantial integration in county schools in Craven 
County. 

Senator Mondale. You may proceed. 

Mr. Godwin. In facing the problems, Senator, that we are all famil- 
iar that small rural communities face all over America are struggling 
to build and, in most cases, just to sustain their economic base. Yet, 
Mr. Chairman, they are continuing to overlook a high-impact source 
of income in their own midst. 

Refusal to come to grips with the racial issue in our midst has a 
stagnating effect on our economy. 

The economists tell us that one new dollar introduced into an 
economic area has the effect of seven. If the 1,000 black blueberry 
pickers in Craven County were to receive the minimum wage — an 
increase of 55 cents per hour — for an 8-week season, the impact of 
that $35,000 would be $245,000. 

An awareness of the economic impact of racial inequality should 
make the racial-social issue one of high impact. I firmly believe that an 
enlightened economic self-interest will lead to equality and oppor- 
tunity in America. 

People may urge racial equality out of moral or religious concern, 
but America has passed beyond that token, public symbolic gesture. We 
must now attain true economic opportunity for all parts of our so- 
ciety. We must impress upon the business leaders of America — at all 
levels — that equality makes good, hard financial sense. 

The testimony that we will hear today Avill vividly highlight the fan- 
tastic and disheartening number of problems facing the rural poor. 
Other witnesses will describe better than I what the poor black man in 
rural North Carolina suffers through ; they can do that, Mr. Chairman,, 
because they are living that existence right now. 



1077 

It is our experience that the needs of the rural poor are those of 
the poor everywhere. There are ill and starving people in the midst of 
our great cities. "What makes the rural poor unique, Mr. Chairman, 
is the extreme isolation in which they suffer. 

Far from rich, they are poor ; far from professional care, their life is 
precarious; far from each other, they are alone, miable to help or be 
helped. 

The three counties we are involved in are typical of the problems of 
the rural South. The conditions of Jones, Pamlico, and Craven Coun- 
ties are no different than that of hundreds of other counties across 
America. 

The fall of the small farm with its independent owner has increased 
the powerlessness of the rural people. In Craven Comity of 43,056 
people living in the open country, only 7,187 live on farms. Eighty-six 
percent of the blacks are thus forced to look to some kind of labor to 
sustain themselves. 

Yet, Mr. Chairman, the median, the median family income of these 
poor black people was $856 in 1967. Yet when looking around them, 
they caimot find employment. In 1967, Pamlico County could not pro- 
vide employment for 55 percent of its household heads. (Forty-one 
percent had to commute outside the county to find work; another 
14 percent were unemployed.) 

Is it any wonder that one-half of all high school graduates have 
left that county within a year of their graduation ? 

This continued migration is placing the increasingly heavy burden 
of the very young and the very old, on an unusually restricted number 
of employable people. The burden of thse old is substantially increased 
because nowhere in the three counties is there a convalescent center 
or retirement home designed to care for the elderly. Many live alone 
in homes obsolete when they were born and, now, unfit for human 
existence in their old age. 

The young suffer, too, from poor housing. The infant death rate 
is high, the chance of life-inhibiting injury greater and of spirit 
draining, continuing illness and parasites later among the poor black 
rural young than any other group except the shamefully treated 
American Indian. 

Two-thirds of the elementary children in Jones County are judged 
in need of dental care. Two-thirds do not receive ample breakfasts 
before school. Yet in this same county, only 359 out of 1,420 eligible 
families are receiving allotments of surplus food. That 1,420 families 
represents 60 percent, Mr. Chairman, of the families in Jones County. 

These children are born into the worst possible sanitary condi- 
tions. For the past 3 years Coastal Progress has, in cooperation with 
the Craven County Board of Health, funded a program to provide 
that most basic of sanitary devices — the outdoor privy — to homesites 
that did not even have that. 

We have distributed more than 1,500 privies, Mr. Chairman, and 
there still remains better than 500 homesites where people are living 
where the only sanitation device is a pail and the bushes. This is in 
America in 1969. 

Dental care is nonexistent in two of our three counties. There 
is one doctor each in Jones and Pamlico Counties. 



1078 

I do not believe, however, that the blame can lie generally with 
the counties. By and large the men and women employed by the coun- 
ties are dedicated to doing the best they can. 

With no industry, a rising rate of absentee landownership. and an 
out-migration of employable men, the counties simply do not have 
the resources in men and money to conquer the problems with which 
they are faced. 

The counties need your help, gentlemen, if they are to adequately 
fulfill their function. 

Throughout the problems I have mentioned — I could go on naming 
all day — there runs a common theme, Mr. Chairman, that we want to 
bring to your attention today. Our experience in North Carolina has 
convinced us that one of the most crying needs of the rural poor today 
is transportation. Distance and the isolation it brings is perhaps the 
greatest obstacle faced by the rural poor. 

The rural poor share all the lacks of the urban poor — food, money,, 
education, et cetera — but in addition they are forced to contemplate 
their lot alone, forced to stand without even the power of unity in the 
face of their fate. They are truly powerless. 

Senator JNIgndale. I have heard about the problem of transporta- 
tion in rural America for the poor from various communities. I think 
it happens in urban America, too, in a different vv'ay, but transporta- 
tion is a very serious problem. 

I think we ought to explore this part of the problem in our hear- 
incfs to see if special grants can't be made available for this kind of 
effort. 

You liave had some experiments going on witli the use of GEO 
money to help some with the transportation p)'o!)lem ? 

Mr. GoDwix. We are considered to have the best rural program in 
the ("ountry by OEO. 

Senator Mondai.e. Do you have some transportation ? 

yir. Godwin. This is my point, Senator, that because of the 13 
vans in which we can move people about, Ave feel like vre liave had 
some success. 

Senator jSIondale. Do you have full-time drivers who are driving 
these vans, also? 

Mr. Godwin. The drivers are also the community center managers. 
These particular vehicles serve each center. 

Senator Mondale. What kind of vehicles are they ? 

Mr. Godwin. These are called nine-j)assenger vans. We purcliased 
five of them originally and leased eight others this year. 

Senator Mondale. Are they something like a Volkswagen bus? 

Mr. Godwin. That is the idea, yes. You put a million and a half dol- 
lars in the program and if you can't get folks into it, $1.5 million is not 
of much consequence. 

Senator Mondale. Do you lielp distribute foods in tliese vans? 

Mr. Godwin. Yes, sir. 

Senator Mondale. Do each of the counties have only one distribu- 
tion point ? 

Mr. Godwin. One single distribution point, right. Oftentimes, Sen- 
ator, they are inadequate. They are the tvpes of structures that county 
can't use for any other purpose and thev are terribly limited for space 
and the amount of food cannot substaiitiallv serve. 



1079 

If a young mother comes the latter part of the month, and the dried 
milk is gone she has to wait to the next month to get the milk. 

Public transportation is virtually nonexistent in the rural areas. 
There is no bus connection at all to Trenton, the seat of Jones County 
and site of the county's only doctor's office, the only lawyers, courts and 
the single commodity food warehouse. 

This is coupled with the prevailing practice among the poor of charg- 
ing almost usurious rates to transport neighbors and relatives. A lady 
in Jones County has been paying $10 each month to come 20 miles to 
pick up her commodity food, another $3 to go to church. 

Leaving aside the economic implications, the lack of transportation 
is drying up the rural institutions and their ability to cope with the 
local problems. People must be able to get together freely to mobilize 
their community to united action. 

In the city slums thousands can be mobilized in minutes by running 
door to door; in the country the doors are miles apart. Help and sus- 
tenance is just as far away as the nearest friend. 

Trace with me the shattering effects of the lack of transportation in 
the following vital concerns of community life : 

Health authorities contend tliat lack of transportation is one of their 
biggest obstacles. Jones County is immunizing about 75 percent of 
those eligible, yet two-thirds of those reached cannot provide their own 
transportation. Lack of transportation coupled with ignorance means 
a delay of days in seeing a doctor, many times more than 25 miles 
away, with the natural result of higher mortality and crippling rates. 

In each decision, to see the doctor must be weighed the high cost of 
getting there. Distance and the struggle to overcome it means a lack of 
preventative medicine and checkups. Health care and emergency facili- 
ties are not readily available ; the cost of getting there is high. 

The forced increase in emergency house calls is a highly inefficient 
use of a doctor's time when his practice is responsible for the health of 
11,500. But it is better than the situation in Vanceboro, Craven County, 
where 5,000 people are served by a doctor wlio refuses to make house 
calls. 

The lack of dentists within reasonable distance is the essential reason 
for the sordid condition of the rural poor's teeth. Four out of every five- 
poor children need extensive dental care. 

The effectiveness of the community food program is hampered by a 
lack of transportation. The people who need it most — those in abject 
poverty — are the most unlikely to be able to get to the county seat to 
get it. 

It is not a rare experience to find people traveling 25 miles to get 
their food, paying up to $10 for the ride ; it is not rare to find recipients 
who are left out because tliey cannot get to the warehouse on the proper 
day. In other words, Mr. Chairman, it is not rare to see people unable 
to take advantage of a program they know to be good. 

Education suffers. Educators are constantly striving for parental 
involvement, yet our schools cannot maintain adequate PTA organi- 
zations because the people have no way to attend. The o]:)portunities 
and new horizons of extracurricular activities are restricted to those 
able to sustain the burden of transportation. Tlie young people who' 
most need the opportunity are frozen out of it. 



1080 

Witlioiit adequate and dependable transportation the range of em- 
j)loyment is not available to the unemployed and underemployed. 

The uncertainty of poor transportation leads to increased absentee- 
ism. 

Senator Mondale. "Wliat does an older person do, who is feeble, liv- 
ing alone, living in a shack, to deal with food problems and health 
problems ? Other than your vans, they are in bad shape, aren't they ? 
They probably don't have telephones. 

Mr. Godwin. Many of the deaths in Jones County are attributable 
to malnutrition. 

Senator Mondale. Do they have workers to find these people, and 
see if they are hungry, and get food to them ? 

Mr. GoDw^iN. We have a small program in Jones County. Craven 
came under the emergency food program. We have been able to bring- 
some relief to the senior citizens in Jones County with old worn out 
vehicles which we operate for that purpose. 

A major area of concern is the added burden placed upon the rural 
poor in attempting to maintain a source of transportation. Every dol- 
lar spent on obtaining transportation further reduces the funds avail- 
able to meet the pressing needs of the family. Whetlier it is spent on 
buying transportation or on maintaining it, it is money that the rural 
poor alone must spend. 

A man must get to the polls before he can vote. The practice of 
repeated elections multiplies the cost of voting. The costs to volunteer 
organizations in terms of voters per mile driven makes the expense 
almost prohibitive. In the end our Nation is the loser. 

In the matriarchal society it is the women who are most hopelessly 
tied to their house. Where cars are available they seem to be used to 
get the men, first to work, and second out of the house. 

Mr. Chairman, the suftering and problems of America's rural poor 
are astounding; but it is trifling compared to the harvest of shame our 
great Nation will reap if we do not commit ourselves to answering 
these crying needs. 

We are a nation with dedication and perseverance. Our prayers today 
go with the three astronauts whose mission typifies the best in Ameri- 
can commitment. The same resources, the same fine minds and the 
same resolve must be used to answer the plight of our fellow man. 

As we stand with an eye on the moon and beyond, we cannot, we 
must not ignore those million poor Americans clutching at our knees, 
striving for the kind of humanity we sometimes think all Americans 
enjoy. They don't ]\Ir. Chairman. We must help them find the answers 
and help them fulfill their dreams. 

I do not have the answers but my experience on the firing line, 
wrestling with the problems of turning a nation's promise into reality 
without the potential available resources of a great country has con- 
vinced me of this — that these things ai^e needed : 

We must provide the effective, personal bargaining power that 
comes from having the pride and resources of an adequate cash in- 
come. A wealthy American oilman once said : "I don't have to be loved ; 
I'm rich." Nothing talks like money. 

To break out of the powerlessness of rural isolation, we must find 
a way of providing transportation, not only to work, but also, until 



1081 

they can afford otherwise, to the social and commnnity affairs that 
provides the strength of unity. Ont of unity comes common purpose 
and resolve. Meaningful social change is the result. 

We must provide the rural people, rich and poor alike, with the 
fruits of the best professional and creative minds in our midst. Only 
the best our Nation can muster can close the gap that is already widen- 
ing between the rural and urban sectors of our Xation. 

Forty years ago, Mr. Chairman, our Nation made a conscious and 
massive commitment to the principle that our rural people should share 
alike the bounty of the moclern age. The rural electrification program 
did much to open up and modernize America's heartland. Prior to 
that, rural free delivery of the mail, the Homestead and Land Grants 
Acts served notice that serfdom was not to be tolerated in America. 

In later years this same commitment expressed itself in the Tennessee 
Valley Authority, Government production of fertilizer, soil bank pro- 
vision, Federal land banks and mortgage protection, and commodity 
price protection. America has never forgotten her rural landowning 
farmers. 

But, Senator, there is another rural America : That of some of the 
most forgotten citizens in our land. My point is driven home graphi- 
cally by the June 26 issue of the Ealeigh, N.C., News and Observer — 
here in an article decrying that $5,000 was given to help sustain the 
lives of 1,000 black seasonal farm laborers. Ironicaly juxtaposed to 
it, in the next column is a routine story reporting that $500,000 in 
agricultural subsidies is to be allocated to North Carolina's farmers 
because of rain damage. 

In Jones County 359 of the 1,420 eligible families are receiving 
commodity food. 

In Craven County the average rural black income is barely Si, 000. 

In Pamlico County, 56 percent of all employed men must commute 
out of the comity to ftnd work. 

That $500,000, Mr. Chairman, would have been a great way to begin 
our offensive against the oppression of poverty. 

The greatest single force for social change, for acceptance, equality, 
and pride is an adequate income and the opportunity to spend it. Some- 
how we must find a way to accomplish economic adequacy for all. 
Greater and better trained minds than mine must wrestle with the 
mechanics of the order — perhaps an adaptation of an incentive com- 
pensation of change. 

But I do know that those of us in rural America can plainly see 
that something must be done and soon. 

Ending discrimination takes time, finding jobs takes time, employ- 
ment training takes time, education takes time, but time is running out. 
Our Nation accepts great challenges. Great leaders and great presi- 
dents have committed us to the eradication of poverty and its suffer- 
ing. We must not give up on that commitment. 

We must buy the time and buy the action necessary to bring the 
dawn of a new day. As new jobs, created by the new demands created 
by cash in the hands of 14 million Americans, jobs filled by trained 
and educated poor begin to provide a steady income and aid money 
can be withdrawn. 



1082 

Senator Mondale. The Vice President says we sliould go to Mars 
soon. 

Mr. Godwin. I hope he takes some of those who share the same opin- 
ion with him, Senator. [Laughter.] 

Just as we liave used the space program and then the Vietnam war 
to prime our economic pump, we must now turn to the plight of the 
poor, and, in hard economic terms, provide the investment to sustain 
our expanding economy, by channeling funds through the ghetto 
dwellers and rural poor of America. 

We hope the day will come when all those Americans living in the 
rural areas of our Nation will have the transportation resources they 
need to insure them a full life. But that day is not here. As with our 
financial concern, we must provide the stop-gap means necessary until 
our citizens can stand alone. 

I would like to point out this other area of rural America there have 
been programs pointed out for the poor in West Virginia and I believe 
that the Office of Economic Opportunity has done some other experi- 
mentation. 

I think as you mentioned earlier, I think HUD or someone else is 
doing some experiments. I don't think we need to prove the problem 
any longer. Senator. We get kind of weary down where we are, every 
time a prol)lem arises it is so convenient for those in power to say, "Let 
us study it.-' 

We iiave studied the poor and their problems to death. We know 
this thing exists. Who do we need to prove to any longer ? So the money 
we ^ pend for studies could well be put in the liands of the poor at this 
moment in our history. 

We need so badly, Mr. Chairman, to consider that another problem 
in rural America is lack of professional and technical skilled people 
it possesses. 

Since you are an attorney, Mr. Chairman, I do not need to point out 
the desperate need in rural America for adequate legal representation. 

Senator Mo^^)ALE. Do you have legal services program as part of 
your efforts ? 

Mr. Godwin. No, sir ; Senator. 

Senator Mondale. Are you applying for legal services ? 

Mr. Godwin. We have not done so to date. A few years ago Coastal 
Progress reached an agreement with the local bar association. They 
agreed to provide volunteer counsel for poor people. While this has 
not been entirely satisfactory, we have not moved to change this cur- 
rent situation. 

Senator Mondale. Is the North Carolina bar assisting or aiding your 
efforts? 

]Mr. Godwin. To my knowledge the State bar association has not 
ofl'ered any resistance. They are now cooperating with various pro- 
grams throughout the State to provide adequate legal advice for our 
State's poor. I think that this is an exciting beginning. 

Senator Mondale. OEO legal services programs for the rural poor 
have been very useful where it has been found, and where it is a pro- 
gram of integrity that is serving the poor. But it has been slow in 
getting going because of the kinds of resistance that you mention. 

I regret that some of it has come from local bar associations. The 
American Bar Association, I am pleased to report, unlike AMA, has 



1083 

been very active in trying to support OEO legal services and trying 
to encourage young lawyers to be active in the kinds of effort you are 
talking about, and standing behind them against the pressures from 
our own professionals to impose restrictions on the kind of lawsuits 
they can bring. 

Mr. Godwin. Again this is one of those things we seem to have 
institutionalized, Senator, in the sense that we so readily accept rich 
man justice, poor man justice, white man justice, black man justice 
without recognizing the terrible cost in the sense that 80 percent 
of all of the cases in our areas are just poor folks' cases and often- 
times without any representation whatsoever or certainly inadequate 
representation. 

Senator Mondale. You make the point in your testimony about the 
impact on a dollar introduced in the community. I think the U.S. 
Chamber of Commerce says that every new job in a community has 
directly produced an additional three-quarters of a job in a community 
in the services field. 

In other words, when you get new industry you need more clerks 
in stores, and other kinds of services, and the result is that for every 
job, there is an additional job also produced. The strategy in rural 
America for a long time has been one which I think is starting to con- 
tribute, or has contributed, to the thing you are talking about. 

Instead of fighting for a larger share of the Nation's economic pie, 
by way of including the price of decent pay for labor in the product, as 
has been done in industry and most other sectors of the economy all 
along, too often they have tried to get their profit margin by under- 
paying labor. 

The result has been that mayl)e their product is a little less expen- 
sive, but their community suffers, because instead of having as you do 
in Detroit, autoworkers making $3 or $4 an hour, you have people 
making less than $1,000 a year, or unemployed, and the community 
is therefore unable to sustain services. 

You can't have doctors because no one can pay them. You can't 
have the range of services that professional men insist upon because 
there is not enough money in the community to sustain that kind of 
effort. 

Mr. Godwin. The nonurban areas simply cannot pay the high price 
for first-rate minds and training — and they suffer a proportionate pen- 
alty in higher death rates, improperly set bones, rotten teeth, longer 
jail sentences, a higher conviction rate, and less spiritual inspiration to 
boot. 

While not commenting on the fine professional people we are lucky 
to have in our area, the truth is that, with rare exception the rural 
communities get the dregs and misfires of our professions. And the 
counties feel lucky to get that. 

Jones County is served by one doctor, no dentists, pharmacists, and 
only four attorneys and no optometrists. Pamlico County has one doc- 
tor and two lawyers and nothing else. Combined, the two counties have 
over 30,000 people. The far reaches of L-shaped Craven County are 
no better. 

Now that the end appears in sight in Southeast Asia and the first 
troops are on their way home it is time, Mr. Chairman to again 
examine our Nation's manpower resources. We have a great reserve of 



1084 

higlily trained and socially-conscious young men and women emerging 
from tlie professional schools of our Nation. 

I want to urge again that an alternative to direct military service 
be service to America's poor. By committing 2 years of their lives to 
the challenges of poverty, we will be applying our quickest and best 
talents to some of our hardest problems. 

Good lawyers can speed cases and reduce the man-years lost by 
rotting in prisons ; dentists reach the mouths of children never before 
seen by one ; young doctors trained in the latest methods can increase 
chances of life; imaginative engineering and innovative architecture 
can change the quality and spirit of life at little additional cost; 
teachers can open new horizons. 

Not only can the poor be helped but they and their children can be 
inspired. The other side of the coin is that the experience of living with 
and working on the problems of the poor will leave a byproduct of 
social conscience and concern for the brotherhood of man in the lives 
of the professional leaders of our Nation. 

Mr. Chairman, the resources are available, the challenges too great, 
and the chance and penalty of failure too ignominious and the idea too 
spendid to allow the Peace Corps, VISTA, and other programs to die 
as obsolete. 

Let us give them a new breath of life and new encouragement. One 
of our greatest resources — the skills of our professions, young and 
old — must be used to insure the quality of life for all Americans. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you, Mr. Godwin, not only for an excel- 
lent statement, but for your impressive commitment to this issue. 

Your prepared statement is superb, and since I interrupted your 
presentation with questions, I will order it printed in full at this 
point. 

(The prepared statement of Mr. Godwin follows:) 

iPEEPARED Statement of James L. Godwin, Executive Director, Coastal 
Progress, Inc., New Bern, N.C. 

I am James L. Godwin, Executive Director of Coastal Progress, Inc. of New 
Bern, North Carolina. I am grateful for the opportunity presented this morning 
to direct your attention again to the plight and powerlessness of America's 
rural poor and, specifically, to the background causes of the continuing strike 
by the Eastern Farm Workers Association against the Jason Morris Farms, Inc. 

The problems we will highlight here today are those of 14 million rural poor. 
The problems are immense and our solutions only beginnings ; but we must 
begin. I am accompanied today by members of my staff, interested members of 
our community and, most important, by representatives of the Eastern Farm 
Workers Association. 

With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I will set the stage for the testimony 
to follow. 

Coastal Progress, Inc. is a local Anti-Poverty program striving to meet the 
needs of the poor — black and white — in Jones, Craven and Pamlico Counties. 
Currently funded with approximately ^1.5 million dollars annually of Title I 
and II EOA funds. Coastal Progress began in 1964 with funds provided by the 
North Carolina Fund. Today it is involved in a broad range of programs in- 
cluding : Manpower, Child Care, Health, Housing, Community Organization, 
Credit Union and Senior Opportunities. 

Blessed with an outstanding staff of dedicated men and women. Coastal 
Progress, Inc. is making substantial progress. But, Mr. Chairman, we have 
miles and miles to go before we can sleep with a clear social and moral 
conscience. 

Approximately 4500 seasonal farm laborers in the three counties represent 
an estimated 2100 households. A survey of 223 heads of households participating 
in the recent blueberry strike reveals that : 



1085 

TABLE 1 
Head of household 



Female Male On welfare Surplus food Social security 



Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent 

202 89.6 21 10.4 79 35.4 89 39.9 5 2.2 

Note: Number of occupants per household, 7. Only 1 out of 10 households had incomes in excess of $2,000 per year. 
Two-thirds of the households had incomes under $1,500 per year. 

Gentlemen, if those statistics don't say enough, please listen to a true de- 
scription of some of the conditions effecting the lives of those citizens over 
which they have no control. 

As a nation and as a three-county community, we do not face any crisis as 
dangerous to oiir survival as the crisis of conscience surrouinding Race and 
Poverty. In our study today, the powerlessness of the black rural poor of the 
South, the two problems, racism and i>overty, are inseparatably intertwined. 
Irrational, unreasoning and all-consuming racial hatred stifles the opportunities 
for and overlooks the economic benefits of economic opportunity. 

Small, rural communities all over America are struggling to build and, in 
most cases, just to sustain their economic base. Yet, Mr. Chairman, they are 
continuing to overlook a high-impact source of income in their own midst, 
liefusal to face Social Change makes us blind to its economic impact. Refusal 
to come to grips with the racial issue in our midst has a stagnating effect on 
our economy. 

The economists tell us that one new dollar introduced into an economic area 
has the effect of seven. If the 1,000 black blueberry pickei's in Ci'aven County 
were to receive the minimum wage — an increase of 55 cents per hour — for an 
S-week season, the impact of that $35,000 would be $245,000. An awareness of 
the ecoriomic impact of racial inequality should make the racial-social is me 
one of high impact. I firmly believe that an enlightened economic self-itiitrcat 
will lead to equality and opportunity in America. 

People may urge racial equality out of moral or religious concern, but America 
has passed beyond that token, public symbolic gesture. We must now attain 
true economic opportunity for all parts of our society. We must impress upon 
the business leaders of America — at all levels — that equality makes good, hard 
financial sense. 

The testimony that we will hear today will vividly highlight the fantastic 
and disheartening number of problems facing the rural poor. Other witnesses 
will describe better than I what the poor black man in rural North Carolina 
suffers through ; they can do that, Mr. Chairman, because they are living that 
existence right now. 

It is our experience that the needs of the rural poor are those of the poor 
everywhere. There are ill and starving people in the midst of our great cities. 
What makes the rural poor unique, Mr. Chairman, is the extreme isolation in 
which they suffer. Far from rich, they are poor; far from professional care, 
their life is precarious ; far from each other, they are alone, unable to help or 
be helped. 

The three counties we are involved in are typical of the problems of the 
rural South. The conditions of Jones, Pamlico and Craven Counties are no 
different than that of hundreds of other counties across America. 

The fall of the small farm with its independent owner has increased the 
powerlessness of the rural people. In Craven County of 4,056 people living in 
the open country, only 7,187 live on farms. 86% of the blacks are thus forced 
to look to some' kind of labor to sustain themselves. Yet, Mr. Chairman, the 
median, the viedian family income of these poor black people was $856 in 1967. 
Yet when looking around them, they cannot find employment. In 1067, Pamlico 
County could not provide employment for 559f of its household heads. (41% 
had to' commute outside the county to find work ; another 14% were unemployed.) 
Is it any wonder that one-half of all high school graduates have left that county 
within a year of their graduation? 

This continued migration is placing the increasingly heavy burden of the 
very young and the very old on an unusually restricted number of employable 



1086 

people. The burden of the old is substantially increased because nowhere in; 
ithe three counties is there a convalescent center or retirement home designed to 
care for the elderly. Many live alone in homes obsolete when they were born 
and, now, unfit for human existence in their old age. 

The young suffer, too, from poor housing. The infant death rate is high, 
the chance of life-inhibiting injury greater and of spirit-draining, continuing 
illness and parasites later among the poor black rural young than any other 
group except the shamefully-treated American Indian. Two-thirds of the ele- 
,mentary children in .Jones County are judged in need of dental care. Two-thirds 
do not receive ample breakfasts before school. Yet in this same county, only 
359 out of 1,420 eligible families are receiving allotments of Surplus Food. That 
1,420 families represent 60%, Mr. Chairman, of the families in Jones County. 
These children are born into the worst possible sanitary conditions. For the- 
past three years Coastal Progress has, in cooperation with the Craven County 
Board of Health, funded a program to provide that most basic of sanitary de- 
vices — the outdoor privy — to home sites that did not even have that. We have 
distributed more than 1,500 privies, Mr. Chairman, and there still remains 
better than 500 home sites where people are living where the only sanitation 
device is a pail and the bushes. This is in America in 1969. 

Dental care is non-existent in two of our three counties. There is one doctor 
each in Jones and Pamlico Counties. 

I do not believe, however, that the blame can lie generally with the counties. 
By and large the men and women employed by the counties are dedicated to 
doing the best they can. With no industry, a rising rate of absentee land own- 
ership, and an out-migration of employable men, the counties simply do not 
have the resources in men and money to conquer the problems with which they 
are faced. The counties need your help, gentlemen, if they are to adequately ful- 
fill their function. 

Throughout the problems I have mentioned — I could go on naming all day — 
there runs a common theme, Mr. Chairman, that we want to bring to your atten- 
tion today. Our experience in North Carolina has convinced us that one of the 
most crying needs of the rural poor today is transportation. Distance and the 
isolation it hrings is perhaps the greatest obstacle faced by the rural poor. The 
rural poor share all the lacks of the urban poor — food, money, education, etc. — 
but in addition they are forced to contemplate their lot alone, forced to stand 
without even the power of unity in the face of their fate. They are truly powerless. 
Public transportation is virtually non-existent in the rural areas. There is 
no bus connection at all to Trenton, the seat of Jones County and site of the 
county's only doctor's office, the only lawyers, courts and the single commodity 
food warehouse. This is coupled with the prevailing practice among the poor of 
charging almost usurious rates to transport neighbors and relatives. A lady in 
Jones County has been paying $10 each month to come 20 miles to pick up her 
Commodity Food, another $3 to go to church. 

Leaving aside the economic implications, the lack of transportation is drying 
up the rural institutions and their ability to cope with the local problems. People 
must be able to get together freely to mobilize their community to united action. 
In the city slums thousands can be mobilized in minutes by running door-to-door ; 
in the country the doors are miles apart. Help and sustenance is just as far 
away as the nearest friend. 

Trace with me the shattering effects of the lack of transportation in the 
following vital concerns of community life : 

Health authorities contend that lack of transportation is one of their 
biggest obstacles. Jones County is immunizing about 75% of those eligible 
yet % of those reached cannot provide their own transportation. Lack of 
transportation coupled with ignorance means a delay of days in seeing a 
doctor, many times more than 25 miles away, with the natural result of 
higher mortality and crippling rates. In each decision, to see the doctor 
must be weighed the high cost of getting there. Distance and the struggle 
to overcome it means a lack of preventative medicine and check-ups. Health 
care and emergency facilities are not readily available ; the cost of getting 
there is high. The forced increase in emergency house calls is a highly, 
inefficient use of a doctor's time when his practice is responsible for the 
health of 11.500. But it is better than the situation in Vanceboro. Craven 
County, where 5000 people are served by a doctor who refuses to make house 
calls. 



1087 

The lack of dentists within reasonable distance is the essential reason 
for the sordid condition of the rural poor's teeth. Four out of every five poor 
children need extensive dental care. 

The effectiveness of the Commodity Food program is hampered by a 
lack of transportation. The people who need it most — those in abject pov- 
erty—are the most unlikely to be able to get to the county seat to get it. 
It is not a rare experience to find people travelling 25 miles to get their 
food, paying up to $10 for the ride ; it is not rare to find recipients who are 
left out because they cannot get to the warehouse on the proper day. In 
other words, Mr. Chairman, it is not rare to see people unable to take 
advantage of a program they know to be good. 

Education suffers. Educators are constantly striving for parental involve- 
ment, yet our schools cannot maintain adequate P.T.A. organizations be- 
cause the i>eople have no way to attend. The opportunities and new horizons 
of extracurricular activities are restricted to those able to sustain the burden 
of transportation. The young people who most need the opportunity are 
frozen out of it. 

Without adequate and dependable transportation the range of employ- 
ment is not available to the unemployed and under-employed. 
The uncertainty of poor transportation leads to increased absenteeism. 
An important area of concern is the added burden placed upon the rural poor 
in attempting to maintain a source of transportation. Every dollar spent on 
obtaining transportation further reduces the funds available to meet the pressing 
needs of the family. Whether it is spent on buying transportation or on main- 
taining it, it is money that the rural poor alone must spend. 

A man must get to the polls before he can vote. The practice of repeated 
elections multiples the cost of voting. The costs to volunteer organizations in 
terms of voters per mile driven makes the expense almost prohibitive. In the 
end our nation is the loser. 

In a matriarchal society it is the women who are most hopelessly tied to their 
house. Where cars are available they seem to be used to get the men, first, to 
work and, second, out of the house. 

Mr. Chairman, the suffering and problems of America's rural poor are as- 
tounding ; but it is trifling compared to the harvest of shame our great nation 
will reap if we do not commit ourselves to answering these crying neds. We 
are a nation with dedication and perserverance. Our prayers today go with the 
three astronauts whose mission typifies the best in American commitment. The 
same resources, the same fine minds and the same resolve must be used to 
answer the plight of our fellow man. As we stand with an eye on the moon and 
beyond we cannot, we must not ignore those million poor Americans clutching 
at our knees, striving for the kind of humanity we sometimes think all Americans 
enjoy. They don't, Mr. Chairman. We must help them find the answers and help 
them fulfill their dreams. 

I do not have the answers but my experiences on the firing line, wrestling 
with the problem of turning a nation's promise into reality without the potential 
available resources of a great country has convinced me of this — that these 
things are needed : 

We must provide the effective, personal bargaining power that comes from 
having the pride and resources of an adequate cash income. H. L. Hunt once 
said : "I don't have to be loved, I'm rich." Nothing talks like money. 

To break out of the powerlessness of rural isolation, we must find a way of 
providing transportation, not only to work, but also, antil they can afford 
otherwise, to the social and community affairs that provides the strength of 
unity. Out of unity comes common purpose and resolve. Meaningful social change 
is the result. 

We must provide the rural people, rich and poor alike, with the fruits of the 
best professional and creative minds in our midst. Only the best our nation can 
muster can close the gap that is already widening between the rural and urban 
sectors of our nation. 

Forty years ago, Mr. Chairman ; our nation made a conscious and massive 
commitment to the principles that our rural people should share alike the 
bounty of the modern age. The Rural Electrification program did much to open 
up and modernize America's heartland. Prior to that, Rural Free Delivery of 
the mail, the Homestead and Land Grants Acts served notice that serfdom was 
not to be tolerated in America. 



1088 

In later years this same commitment expressed itself in the Tennessee Valley 
Authority, government production of fertilizer, Soil Bank provision, Federal 
Land Banks and mortgage protection and Commodity Price Protection. America 
has never forgotten her rural, land-owning farmers. 

But, Senators, there is another rural America : that of some of the most 
forgotten citizens in our land. My point is driven home graphically by the June 
26th issue of the Raleigh, N.C. News and Observer: here is an article decrying 
that $5,000 was given to help sustain the lives of 1,000 black seasonal farm 
laborers. Ironically, juxtaposed to it, in the next column is a routine story re- 
porting that .$.j00,600 in argricultural subsidies is to be allocated to North Caro- 
lina's farmers because of rain damage. 

In Jones County only 359 of the 1420 eligible families are receiving commodity 
food. 

In Craven County the average rural black income is barely $1,000. 

In Pamlico County 56% of all employed men must commute out of the county 
to find work. 

That $500,000, Mr. Chairman, would have been a great way to begin our ofeen- 
sive against the oppression of poverty. 

The greatest single force for social change, for acceptance, equality and pride 
is an adequate income and the opportunity to spend it. Somehow we must find 
a way to accomplish economic adequacy for all. Greater and better trained minds 
than mine must wrestle with the mechanics of the order — perhaps an adapta- 
tion of an incentive compensation of change. But I do know that those of us 
in rural America can plainly see that something must be done and soon. Ending 
discrimination takes time, finding jobs takes time, employment training takes 
time, education takes time, l)ut time is running out. Our nation accepts great 
challenges. Great leaders and great presidents have committed us to the eradica- 
tion of poverty and its suffering. AVe must not give up that commitment. We 
must buy the time and buy the action necessary to bring the dawn of a new day. 
As new "jobs, created by the new demands created by C.A.S.H. in the hands of 
14 million Americans, jobs filled by trained and educated poor begin to provide 
a ste.idy income and aid money can be withdrawn. Just as we have used the 
Space Program and then the Vietnam War to prime our economic pump, we 
must now turn to the Plight of the Poor, and, in hard economic terms, provide 
the investment to sustain our expanding economy, by channelling funds through 
the ghetto-dwellers and rural poor of America. 

We hope the day will come when all those Americans living in the rural areas 
of our nation will have the transportation resources they need to insure them 
a full life. But that day is not here. As with our financial concern, we must pro- 
vide the stop-gap means necessary until our citizens can stand alone. 

Coastal Progress came to realize soon after its inception that transportation 
was the vital key to any mix of services and opportunities it wanted to under- 
take. It does no good to tell a man about a meeting if he cannot get to it ; it does 
no good to organize self-help classes if the women are unable to attend. To make 
the best use of the time and dollars available to us it is imperative that adequate 
and reliable transportation be made readily available to the rural poor. 

Coastal Progress is currently operating a fleet of vans that service our outlying 
community centers. The vans, operated by the center managers, are available to 
members of the community with a legitimate need for ti'ansportation. These vans 
have opened whole new worlds to the rural poor. With a way to get to meetings 
they come, with a way to travel they join self-help projects. They are becoming 
involved again in the lives of their neighbors. The unity and skills provided by 
exposure in the community center program is kindling a sense of power in people 
who never before believed that they could do something about their own 
problems. 

An exciting experiment being tried in several rural areas of the nation is the 
establishment of transportation cooiieratives. Groups of rural poor, tired of their 
isolation, are uniting to purchase and operate community transportation 
facilities. 

The rural poor are already paying for untimely and inadequate transportation. 
We regularly document eases of the poor and welfare recipients spending in the 
neighborhood of $15 monthly. By pooling this resource among enough people and 
by being supported government-supplemented financing, there can be cooperative 
transportation systems. 

We urge, Mr. Chairman, the funding of programs to make possible adequate 
transDortation oonortunities for Rural Americans. Until nublic, private and 



1089 

cooperative transportation is readily and cheaply available v^e submit that Com- 
munity Action Programs must be provided with the funds and encouraged to 
answer the poor's crying need for transportation. With transportation, unity, 
common resolve change and betterment will come. 

Another problem for rural America is the lack of professional and technical 
skills it possesses. The non-urban areas simply cannot pay the high price for first- 
rate minds and training — and they suffer a proportionate penalty in higher death 
rates, improperly set bones, rotten teeth, longer jail sentences, a higher conviction 
rate and less spiritual inspiration to boot. 

AVhile not commenting on the fine professional people we are lucky to have in 
our area, the truth is that, with rare exception, the rural communities get the 
dredges and misfits of our professions. And the counties feel lucky to get that. 

Jones County is served by one doctor, no dentists, pharmacists, and only four 
attorneys and no optometrists. Pamlico County has one doctor and two lawyers 
and nothing else. Combined, the two countries have over 30,000 people. The far 
reaches of L-shaped Craven County are not better. 

Now that the end appears in sight in Southeast Asia and the first troops are on 
their way home it is time, Mr. Chairman, to again examine our nation's Man- 
power resources. We have a great reserve of highly trained and socially-conscious 
men and women emerging from the professional schools of our nation. 

I want to urge again that an alternative to direct military service be service 
to America's poor. By committing two years of their lives to the challenges of pov- 
erty, we will be applying our quickest and best talents to some of our hardest 
problems. 

G-ood lawyers can speed cases and reduce the man-years lost rotting in 
prisons, dentists reach the mouths of children never before seen by one ; 
young doctors trained in the latest methods can increase chances of life ; imag- 
inative engineering and innovative architecture can change the quality and 
spirit of life a little additional cost, teachers can open new horizons. 

Not only can the poor be helped but they and their children can be inspired. 
The other side of the coin is that the experience of living with and working 
on the problems of the poor will leave a byproduct of social conscience and 
concern for the brotherhood of man in the lives of the professional leaders 
of our nation. 

Mr. Chairman, the resources are available, the challenges too great and the 
chance and penalty of failure too ignominious and the idea too splendid to 
allow the Peace Corps, VISTA and the other programs to die as obsolete. Let 
us give them a new breath of life and new encouragement. One of our greatest 
resources — the skills of our professions, young and old — must be used to insure 
the quality of life for all Americans. 

Senator Mondale. I think I read in one of the North Carolina 
papers — I was doing some reading last night on this bkieberry situa- 
tion — that you came out of the insurance industry ; is that right ? 

Mr. Godwin. That is right. 

Senator Mondale. Could you give us your further background? 

Mr. Godwin. My father was a Craven County resident. I grew up 
in one of the impetus comities in South Carolina, Jasper County, 
which has been in the national headlines. I went to school at the 
University of North Carolina. 

I went in the Marine Corps and went back and finished school, 
and had 10 highly productive years in the insurance industry. 

Senator Mondale. Were you in the sales force ? 

Mr. Godwin. Yes, I was sales vice president of one of our major 
companies. 

Senator Mondale. In North Carolina ? 

Mr. Godwin, Franklin Life, Springfield, 111. 

Senator Mondale. Then you decided you wanted to get back into 
some social work ? 

Mr. Godwin. Yes. Yes. I came to the conclusion that as far as my 
personal commitment was concerned, I was not serving in a very 

36-513 0^70 — pt. 3-B— 15 



1090 

useful career, and I became interested in the Coastal Progress effort. 
And of course, Mr. Chairman, it could well have led us into this 
involvement in the blueberry strike. My own personal commitment 
is to the poor, whom we are there to serve. 

Senator Mondale. Can you give us a little backgromid on the strike, 
what happened, what are the working conditions, what was the role 
of your organization, the role of the grower, the law enforcement 
officers, and so on ? 

Mr. Godwin. There is a background statement here and I will sum- 
marize it for you. 

Senator Mondale. You have a statement that you prepared? 

Mr. Godwin. Yes, sir. This was prepared by a young man, Ernest 
E. Ratliff. 

Senator Mondale. Let us inchide that in the record as though read. 

(The prepared statement of Mr. Ratliff follows:) 

Prepared Statement of Ernest E. Batliff, a North Carolina College Student 

Jason Morris operates a 100 acre blueberry farm near Bridgeton in Craven 
County. He has another blueberry farm in Jones County. 

During a harvesting season which spans most of June and July, Morris collects 
the crops for market in an operation utilizing three basic procedures and four 
disparate labor groups : 

I. Picking — the gathering of the berries is done by an all black labor force 
gathered from the surrounding towns and counties. Principally, they come from 
the rural areas of Jones, Craven, Lenoir and Pimlico counties, and from the city 
of New Bern. All labor is local. Pickers are brought to the farms in buses and 
various smaller vehicles. The buses are operated by "row bosses" (discussed 
below). The bus drivers charge their riders. Additionally, Morris is reported to 
pay them to bring workers to the farm. The smaller vehicles are operated by 
pickers who cooperate in getting to the farm. Pickers are of all ages and both 
sexes. There are many more females than males and the percentage of children 
is estimated as high as 50%. There are no age limits and any child who can do 
"acceptable" work is used, without regard to age. Thus children of elementary 
and even pre-school age may pick. (However, some of the children in the fields 
are simply accompanying their mothers who have no place to leave them. This 
class of children do not work on their own but may contribute to the mother's 
effort. ) 

Normally, workers arrive in time to start work at 6:00 a.m. Initially, each 
picker goes to a control point (combination grading area, .supply point and pay 
station) and pays a Morris representative $.25 for a "flat." A flat is a berry con- 
tainer rack having space for 12 pint containers. At this time, they also receive 3 
loose pint containers. The picker goes to the field and picks enough berries to fill 
the 12 pint flat. The three loose pints are filled and placed on top of the flat. From 
whatever point he is at the field when this process is completed, he walks to the 
pay station. There the flat is checked for fullness, ripeness and absence of leaves. 
If the standards are met (containers heaping full, no unripe berries, no leaves) 
the picker is given $1.00. He then pays the representative $.25 for another flat 
and goes back to picking. This cycle is repeated over and over until 5 :30 p.m. 
when picking is halted. 

This process takes the fastest picker one hour. Average pickers require one hour 
and fifteen minutes. Slow pickers take one and one half hours. If one happens to 
be at the far end of the field when his fiat is finished the trip to the pay station 
can take as long as 15 minutes. There may be a further wait in line at the station. 
Under this procedure the average worker nets only about $5.00 per day. One picker 
and her eight children (picking as a unit) managed only eight dollars on a typical 
diay. In order to increase time in the fields, no lunch period is given and such time 
as one does take necessarily cuts down on his production and income. Thus 
workers are expected to carry their lunches on their persons all day or until they 
are eaten. To walk to any place where they might be deposited within the 100 acres 
requires tco much time and is strictly discouraged. Leaving the fields to get lunch 
is out of the question. Many pickers also burden themselves with water as there 
is little available in the fields and considerable distance between pumps. 



1091 

Should a "row boss" decide that a picker is not stripping a row clean enough 
or otherwise not ijerforming satisfactorily, the worker is required to leave the 
fields. This means that he must get completely off the Morris property. This may 
involve walking across all of the 100 acres and waiting on the highway right of 
way. No stop on the Morris property is permitted. If the picker does not control 
a vehicle he waits by the side of the road until his ride leaves at the end of 
the day. This is also true for those who voluntarily stop picking during the day. 

The work is normally conducted under a broiling sun by up to 1,000 pickers. 
However, there are no medical or even first aid facilities available. No aid is 
given to those who fail in the hot sun. They are evicted and deposited by the side 
of the road to await their transportation. 

No sanitary or toilet facilities are available. Female workers must perform 
bodily functions in such privacy as blueberry bushes will provide. Because of the 
size of the fields and the presence of other workers, this is practically none. Male 
"row bosses" seem to be always near. 

The bulk of the picking force seems to be shifting rural labor. They will harvest 
tobacco after the blueberry season and move on to tobacco warehouses after 
that. A variety of pick up jobs sustain them during winter. Summer earnings are 
very important. 

No records seem to be kept on the payments made by Morris and no federal or 
state deductions are made. 

II. Grading and Sorting — this procedure, apparently, consist of only a visual 
inspection and the placement of berries in proi)er receptacles. No skills are re- 
quired. Only whites have these jobs. The pay rate is undetermined. At the begin- 
ning of this season, an experienced black worker asked for one of these jobs. 
She was directed to the fields. No one can remember a black in one of these jobs. 

III. Transport — this is the removal of berries from the grading .station to stor- 
age and collecting points. Trucks are u.sed for this. All drivers are white. Their 
pay is undetermined. The routes, apparently, go through the fields and drivers 
are said to engage in the sport of driving clo.se to workers so as to frighten them 
with the vehicles. The drivers are hired by Morris. 

The fourth group involved in harvesting are the "row bosses." These men have 
the job of speeding production and in.suring discipline. It is said that they are 
armed but no one has ever seen a weapon drawn or any force used. They operate 
by means of oral prodding, continuous presence and the threat of eviction. Many 
of them drive buses bringing pickers to work. Bus ownership was not determined 
but they are paid to serve workers as well as to push them. Both blacks and 
whites were used. The main complaint against them seems to be that they have 
nothing to allow for female privacy with regard to toilet needs. 

After harvesting, berries are sold to various buyers. A prime buyer was de- 
scribed to me as "American Food Service Corp." based in Baltimore. At least 
one pie company also buys. This buyer supplies his own containers and when a 
whole day's picking is denoted to him the pay is $1.00 per container. This seems 
to be no more than once or twice a season. 

At the out.set of this .season workers sought through negotiation a raise to $1.00 
per flat. After refusal they began a strike which is only partially effective. The 
estimate of those still working runs as high as 150. A mechanical picker is also 
operating. Support has come from the local anti-poverty group and .strikers have 
organized an Eastern Farm Workers' Association, which they plan to incorporate. 
Initially, local law enforcement agencies attempted to deter picketing but it is 
now apparent that word has come from higher up to tread softly. Picketing is 
now proceeding undisturbed but luider constant surveillance by sheriff's deputies 
and highway patrolmen. 

The strikers wish to persevere. 

Senator Mondale. All right, proceed. 

Mr. Godwin. The first contact that we at Coastal Progress Co- 
operative had with this affair was a group of 40 or 50 farmworkers — 
many of Avhom had been part of our various community organizations 
around the three-county area — got together out in the fields, and they 
came to New Bern to our center. 

They met with a group of our community organizers whom they 
were already friendly with or working closely together with. They said 
they had some complaints to make about the conditions in which they 
were working at Jason Morris Farms. 



1092 

Our workers listened to these complaints, and they listened to them 
say that 75 cents a fiat, I believe, had been paid for 6 or 7 years, which 
was not enough money for the picking of berries. 

Senator Mondale. It was the same rate they had had for 7 years? 

Mr. Godwin. We were told 7 years. 

Senator Mondale. What would be the average that a strong worker 
could make in a day at that rate ? 

Mr. Godwin. It was indicated to us by our efforts that they ran $6 
to $9 a day. A good picker made $9 a day. One of the ladies I person- 
ally interviewed was a strong young woman who had been picking 12 
years. She said it cost her $1.50 a day to get to the field. 

Senator Mondale. How many hours would that be ? 

Mr. Godwin. She went in at 6 in the morning and came out at 3 
in the afternoon. 

Another problem other than the amount of money that they earned 
during the course of a working day out there was their concern 
about sanitation conditions. Apparently there were maybe one or two 
outdoor privies out there. Most of them indicated that they used the 
bushes for sanitation. 

Senator Mondale. Did they have field toilets at all ? 

Mr. Godwin. Not to our knowledge, Senator. Some of the later 
testimony should present that. 

They h.^*^ a problem of getting lunches and they had a problem get- 
ting drinking water. 

Tiiey hact proo^ems with abusive language, according to what they 
told our workers. 

Our workers then suggested what alternatives they had. One of them 
was to organize themselves and threaten to strike, and negotiate. They 
were tdld that they could organize themselves, strike, and then negoti- 
ate, or they could do nothing at all. 

They voted, apparently, to have a meeting the next morning in a 
local ball park, and this meeting occurred. Our deputy director, Mr. 
Thomas Wallace, spoke at that meeting. 

According to Mr. Wallace, he spoke about their problems in relation- 
ship to the way Cesar Chavez spoke to problems out in California as to 
the grape strike. 

At that meeting the farmworkers elected a cochairman to represent 
them, and then they found themselves an attorney and negotiated with 
the farmowner. Our role in this, Mr. Chairman, was that we used 
organization principles and suggested alternatives to poor people. 

Then when they decided what they wanted to do, we wish to make 
the record abundantly clear, we supported their activities. This was 
my personal decision. It was not OEO, it was not the board of direc- 
tors of Coastal Progress, Inc. It was my personal decision that our staff 
should support these poor people in this effort. That is our involvement. 

Senator Mondale. Now, some stories seem to indicate that there 
were workers who did not show up in the fields and failed to do so, 
not because they were members of a union or sympathetic to the 
efforts of the farmworker leadership, but because they were intimi- 



1093 

dated by somebody, and were afraid to go into the fields. Would you 
comment on that? 

Mr. Godwin. If you read the stories there — I read the same stories 
that indicated that there was no strike and that there would not have 
been any disturbance except for antipoverty workers' activities that 
threatened persons. 

There has been an investigation made of these charges. I have not 
been informed as yet of any of our employees who were actually 
involved, because this is the first question I asked, because this was 
a completely unprofessional approach to what they were supposed to 
be doing, and we asked for evidence of any intimidation or threats 
made to persons by Coastal Progress employees. 

To this date I have not had that kind of evidence presented to me. 
I am aware of the allegations; yes, sir. 

Senator Mondale. What happened the first day of the strike ? How 
many workers stayed out? 

Mr. Godwin. I would have to rely on the headline which you have 
in front of you; 965 was the figure used by the local paper. 

Senator Mondale. Was that most of the workers in the field, then ? 

Mr. Godwin. That first day, I believe, that is correct. There were 
approximately a thousand total. That was the figure that we worked 
with as the approximate number out there. 

Senator Mondale. And what was the response of the local law 
enforcement officials, what happened then? 

Mr. Godwin. I did not actually see their presence, because I did 
not go out there. I was told that there were a large number of deputy 
vehicles and deputy personnel there. 

I know one day a lady came in my office hysterical and she said, 
"Mr. Godwin, someone is going to get killed out there because the 
sheriff has parked his cars to block our strike line that we want to 
walk on." 

My reaction to that was to immediately contact some responsible 
persons at State level and plead for some intervention by someone to 
get the cars moved so that the persons could walk, because it was 
the very kind of eyeball to eyeball confrontation. Senator, that is 
threatened today in New Bern and in Craven Comity and other 
counties. 

It was the kind of thing that I felt that someone could get killed 
over. Perhaps the entire story from this point can be better told by the 
people here this morning from New Bern. 

Senator Mondale. I understand that we have witnesses here repre- 
senting the workers, and the owner of the farm is here. It might bet 
better to hear this from them. 

Mr. Godwin. Very definitely so. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you very much again, Mr. Godwin, for 
your excellent contribution to this subcommittee's investigation, and 
for your dedication in serving the rural poor and helping them help 
themselves. 

Mr. Godwin. Thank you very much for the opportunity. 

Senator Mondale. Our next witness is Mr. Jason Morris of Jason 
Morris Farms, Inc. He is here as a witness. 



1094 

STATEMENT OF JASON MORRIS, JASON MORRIS FARMS, INC., 

BRIDGETON, N.C. 

Senator MoNa\LE. We are glad you are here, Mr. Morris, and we 
would be most appreciative, since I understand you do not have a pre- 
pared statement, if you w^ould describe the strike and the facts sur- 
rounding it to the committee. 

Mi\ Morris. Well, the strike started June 13, on Friday. Prior to 
Friday, we were operating at peak efficiency with no problem, and had 
never had any problem in the past. 

These people came in from the poverty office and asked people not 
to work. Later, I imderstand they made some physical threats. Actually, 
the people got scared, and 95 percent of them went home. 

Senator Mondale. How many employees did you have at that time ? 

Mr. Morris. Roughly a thousand. This was all local people within 
our four-county area. And it was all done by piecework. They have to 
work on piecework basis. We cannot aiford hourly basis. It is utterly 
impossible to have a crop by paying hourly wages. There is not any 
record for any such thing. 

To get back to the stoiy of what happened, Friday we had this prob- 
lem and everybody was threatening violence and what have you. 

Saturday was an ofFday. We very seldom pick Saturdays. Some 
Saturdays we do, but this particular time we did not. 

Monday we had rain and we did not pick at all. Tuesday ; 85 percent 
of the pickers or 90 percent returned to the field and everything looked 
like it was going according to form. 

But we saw some people riding down the road hauling in and out, 
and we knew we had a problem on Friday before, but nobody seemed 
to be bothering anybody. About 10 :30 when the boys came to the field, 
they said there were people going around through the field telling peo- 
ple if they did not leave the field by 12 o'clock, they would blow up the 
field. Of course, that scared everybody out. 

Of course, just before it scared everybody out, my brother found 
these people distributing this information. We asked them to leave the 
field. Then they were arrested by the sheriff's department. That was 
when Mr. Bryan and Mr. Wallace were arresited for carrying a gun. I 
don't know exactly what happened. I was in 100 yards, or so, of it, but 
not rig'ht at the scene. 

So that scared everybody off on Tuesday. Then Thursday and Fri- 
day the people started coming back. We got back about 350 people per 
day. 

Of course, they were running people out of the field. I resorted back 
to the mechanical picker, which I had not used at all this season until 
the strike hit. 

Mr. Godwin talked about the poverty people in the county. If he did 
as much for the people in that county as I have done, we would not 
have as much of a problem as we have. 

I have a mechanical harvester that had not been used until we had 
this problem. I cannot afford to pay any more than I have been paying. 

I paid the maximum. I lost 2 years in a row. I have gone in the red 
in the farming operation. I don't think that Mr. Godwin has gone in 
the red. He has not taken his salary and given to anybody. 



I 



1095 

Senator Mondale. Do you have several farms that produce blue- 
berries in your area ? 

Mr. Morris. We have two farms that produce blueberries, one m 
Jones County and one in Craven County. 

Senator Mondale. You have a hundred acres of blueberries? 

Mr. Morris. In Craven County, and about 60 acres in Jones County, 
that me and my brother manage together. 

Senator Mondale. How long does it take to harvest blueberries? 

Mr. Morris. It is about a 6-week season. We started June 2 this 
year and finished harvesting, I believe it was about the 10th or 11th 
of July. 

Senator Mondale. Do you have a rather constant number of em- 
ployees, or does it vary during the harvest season ? 

Mr. Morris. When we first started, we used a small crew and we have 
about a 14- or 20-day peak season when berries are really ripe and we 
harvest. 

Senator Mondale. You pay them on some kind of piece-rate basis? 

Mr. Morris. By the pint. 

Senator Mondale. How much a pint ? 

Mr. Morris. There is a 12-pint flat or crate. We give them 75 cents 
a crate. 

Senator Mondale. They pick the berries, put them in the flat, and 
they get 12 pints for a flat. "WTiat do they do with them? 

Mr. Morris. They bring them to the end of the rows where we have 
check stations. 

Senator Mondale. How far do they have to bring the flat ? 

Mr. Morris. They vary from, right close to it, 50 yards or so. If you 
are on the other side of the field, it might be 200 yards. 

Senator Mondale. Then they put it down at the end of the field, do 
they? 

Mr. Morris. We have a man there who checks them. Some of them 
mishandle them so bad you cannot ship them to California, or New 
York, or Colorado. 

Senator Mondale. In other words, 75 cents is paid for 12 pints of 
shipable berries ? 

Mr. Morris. Eight. 

Senator Mondale. Some of them will be rejected as not shipable? 

Mr. Morris. Yes. 

Senator Mondale. How long will it take the average worker to 
pick and bring to the point and have approved a flat of blueberries? 

Mr. Morris. That is 'a hard answer to give because we have people 
from 5 years old to 80 years old working in my field. I work anybody 
who comes and wants to pick blueberries. Everyone who w^ants to 
work, I am glad to have them. 

Senator Mondale. Five-year-old youngsters? 

Mr. Morris. Well, he will eat more than he picks, but I will still 
give him the opportunity to work. Not one man out of a thousand 
will do what I do. 

Senator Mondale. You don't have minimum age laws? 

Mr. Morris. No, we don't say they have got to be 16. 

Senator Mondale. How long does it take the average worker to 
pick? 



1096 

Mr. Morris. I will relate a couple of cases. We have a 10-year-old 
boy who for a season averages $7.50 per day, enough for about an 
8- or 9-hour workday. We have got one lady with four children who 
on her best day was making $45 a day. She was picking 60 crates of 
berries per day with four children less than 15 years old. 

So if some of them are old, deformed, and don't have but one hand, 
and want to pick berries, I don't tell them they can't pick and work. 

Senator Mondale. I appreciate there would be a difference but I 
am trying to get at the average. 

Mr. Morris. I would say anybody in a peak season can pick a crate 
of berries in 30 minutes. If he can't pick a crat« of berries in 30 
minutes — you yourself, who have never picked a blueberry, can go 
to my field and pick two crates an hour and not work hard. 

Senator Mondale. What is the temperature in the fields now ? 

Mr. Morris. Now we have 95° weather in North Carolina at the 
present time. 

Senator Mondale. Has that rate stayed the same for some years, 75 
cents a flat? 

Mr. Morris. We have been paying 75 cents for about 20 years. 

Senator Mondale. What about the price of berries that you sell, is 
it the game ? 

Mr. Morris. They have been going on a slight decline for 20 years. 
They are now as they were in 1932 during the Hoover depression. 

Senator Mondale. Wlien the workers went on strike, did they try 
to negotiate with you ? 

Mr. Morris. The first day we had a strike, we had nobody come to 
us for a pay increase, none whatsoever. They did not come to us until 
Sunday after the first trouble we had on strike. 

Senator Mondale. Then they came to you. Who came to you ? 

Mr. Morris. Reginald Frazier, an attorney in North Carolina, came 
to me and told me he wanted to negotiate a price increase. I told him 
it was impossible to give a price increase. I was losing money as it was. 
If I gave them any more money, I would lose that much more. You 
can't operate in the red so much. 

Senator Mondale. Are you losing money now ? 

Mr. Morris. I am losing money now, today. 

Senator Mondale. How many years have you lost money ? 

Mr. Morris. Two years in a row. 

Senator Mondale. He came to see you and you said there was 
nothing to talk about ? 

Mr. Morris. I sat down and talked with him as long as he wanted 
to stay there. I told him if I could give them the raise, I would give 
them a raise. That is the first year I have not been the top of the pay 
scale in blueberries in North Carolina. 

Senator Mondale. Someone mentioned that there were no field 
toilets. Did you have toilets in the field for the women ? 

Mr. Morris. We have a few. The field is surrounded by woods, and 
we cannot afford them. In fact, I can't afford one. I use whatever I 
can use. 

Senator Mondale. Would it be that expensive to build a couple of 
wooden field toilets ? 

Mr. Morris. I would be glad to build them. I will build some more. 
But as fast as you build them, they tore them down. 



1097 

I don't get no Federal assistance, no Federal guarantees. 

He was talking a while ago about guaranteed money on account of 
the rain. I don't have any guarantees at all. A lot of people who get 
guarantees on rain are the tobacco fanners. I am a blueberry farmer. 
A blueberry farmer has no guarantee at all. 

Senator Mondale. Have you ever explored whether your operation 
is subject to Federal minimum wa^e laws? Have you investigated to 
determine whether your operation is subject to the Federal minimum 
wage laws ? 

Mr. Morris. Yes, sir ; I have. 

Senator Mondale. Wliat did you determine? 

Mr. Morris. They told me that as long as we picked berries by 
piecework, we did not have to pay minimum wage on seasonal help. 
But regular wages, we do pay minimum wages. 

Senator Mondale. The committee staff says that piece rate is sup- 
posed to average out to the minimum wage. In other words, there is 
not an exception to the minimum wage which says that if you call it 
piece rate rather than hourly rate, you are not within it. It is the 
opinion of the staff here, at least, that your operation might be within 
the minimum wage law. 

Possibly you should explore it again. 

Mr. Morris. I am $1.50 an hour above the minimum wage scale. 

Senator Mondale. Is it your position that you are affected by the 
minimum wage or not ? 

Mr. Morris. How is that? 

Senator Mondale. The first question is, are you within the minimum 
wage law or not ? 

Mr. Morris. I am. I pay minimum wage on all regular help. 

Senator Mondale. You are not arguing that ? 

Mr. Morris. No. 

Senator Mondale. You have a picking labor force; that is, people 
who go into the field and pick the berries. That is one job. Does this 
consist of entirely black labor force? Do you have any white people? 

Mr. Morris. We have some white, a real small percentage. It is open 
to anybody who wants to pick. 

Senator Mondale. It is almost exclusively black in the picking 
force ? 

Mr. Morris. It has always been about 95 percent colored. 

Senator Mondale. Then you have people who drive buses and other 
vehicles, who work for you ? 

Mr. Morris. These people own their own transportation. These bus 
drivers are not owned by me. 

Senator Mondale. Do you have any vehicles that are operated on 
the farm which are owned and being driven by your employees ? 

Mr. Morris. Yes, sir ; I do have pickup trucks that we haul berries 
from the field with. 

Senator Mondale. Are there any black employees who are driving 
those trucks ? 

Mr. Morris. I have black as well as white, black and white. I don't 
discriminate with them one bit in the world. 

Senator Mondale. Wliat other kinds of employees do you have on 
your farm in addition to the pickers and the truckdrivers ? 



1098 

Mr. Morris. We have a packing crew, where they pack the berries 
in crates for market. 

Senator Mondale. Is that a mixed crew ? 

Mr. Morris. That is also mixed. We have very few that are colored 
because very few of them want to work. They make more money in the 
field. That is piecework also. 

Senator Mondale. Wliat is the pay rate there '? 

Mr. Morris. 10 cents a crate for packing. 

Senator Mondale. You must have foremen and field bosses or row 
bosses. How many of those do you have ? 

Mr. Morris. Five or six. 

Senator Mondale. Are they all black ? 

Mr. Morris. All black, all except one. 

There is no profanity allowed by my field bosses. I won't allow them 
to "cuss" and none of them drink. They are all good colored people, 
very good. I have never known one to "cuss" at anybody. If I caught 
one doing it, I would send him out of the field. 

You don't work a thousand people a day by slavedriving. They 
don't haul them in the field. The people come on their own. 

Senator Mondale. Would you tell me what your version of the strike 
is. 

Mr. Morris. I still contend if we had not had outside agitation we 
would not have had the strike. These people have put the people out 
of work. If they had let the people alone, they would have made some 
money this summer. 

Senator Mondale. You don't believe there is a genuine interest on 
the part of persons working in the field for improved wages, and so 
on? 

Mr. Morris. I still contend that 95 percent of the people picking 
berries for me, I won't say they were satisfied with what they were 
making, but they were willing to work for what they were making. I 
am trying to make a living. I am not sitting down drawing a big Fed- 
eral income and going around sticking my nose in other people's busi- 
ness like some people in this room are doing. 

Senator Mondale. What was your impression of the activities of 
the sheriff's office in this dispute? 

Mr. Morris. They were there to see that people who wanted to go, 
could go to work without physical harm. We had several that wanted 
to work and were scared to work because people told them if they went 
to work, they would whip them. We had a bomb scare in the field. 

Senator Mondale. When was that ? 

Mr. Morris. That happened on Tuesday after the Friday — first- 
day trouble. There was no bomb in the field, just people walking 
through the field saying they were going to bomb the field if they 
didn't leave the field. 

Senator Mondale. What people did that, was that employees in 
the field saying that ? 

Mr. Morris. I don't know who they were. People came to me and 
told me it was happening in my field. 

Senator Mondale. Employees came and told you that ? 

Mr. Morris. Yes, sir. And pickers, the people who were working 
for me. 



1099 

Senator Mondale. Thank you very mucli, Mr. Morris, for testi- 
fying. Did you have any other comments that you would like to 
make on the testimony ? 

Mr. MoKRis. If you think I will be needed any longer, I will stay ; 
but if you don't I have to go back to my work. I had to drive all 
night long to get here and I need to get back. If you need me, I 
will be glad to stay. If I am not needed, I want to leave. 

Senator Mondale. We are not planning to bring you back to testify. 
If you want to stay and testify later, you may. 

Mr. Morris. If I am needed, I will be glad to stay. But if I am not 
needed and just sitting around listening to testimony, I have too much 
work in the field that needs to be done today. 

Senator Mondale. You can decide what you would like to do. 

Our next witness is Mrs. Emma Jean Keys, who I understand was an 
employee in the field, and Mrs. I^na Smith, who is cochairman of the 
Eastern Farm Workers Association. 

STATEMENTS OF MRS. EMMA JEAN KEYS FROM TRENTON, N.C., 
AND MRS. LENA SMITH, COCHAIRMAN, EASTERN FARM 
WORKERS ASSOCIATION, NEW BERN, N.C. 

Senator Mondale, Will you tell us a little bit about yourself. 

Mrs. Keys. I am from Trenton, N.C. I have been in Trenton for 
the past 4 years. That is my husband's home. I have a son. 

Senator Mondale. One child ? 

Mrs. Keys. Yes. 

Senator Mondale. Would you tell us a little bit about yourself, 
Mrs. Smith. 

Mrs. Smith. I am from New Bern. I have a family of eight children, 
and myself makes nine. 

Senator Mondale. I understand you don't have prepared state- 
ments. Who would like to begin ? Just tell us your version of the strike 
and what happened and the reasons for it and any of the other facts 
that you think ought to be established here. 

Mrs. Smith. Do you want both of us to talk at one time ? 

Senator Mondale. Anything you want to do is fine with us, just 
so we get the facts as you see them. 

You may proceed, if you like. 

Mrs. Smith. I had been working on the Morris Fann since the 
second year after they started this farm over at Bridgeton. I never 
worked at Swansboro. But I am a second-year worker on that farm. 

Senator Mondale. How many years have you worked on the farm? 

Mrs. Smith. I don't know how many years he has had this farm 
in operation, but I believe it has been there about 20 years, and I 
started to Avork about 2 years after this farm began. He knows how 
many years I have been working there, but I began 2 years after- 
ward. When I first started working there, he wasn't there as the 
manager of the farm ; it was his father. 

I worked under his father until he got disabled, and could not take 
care of the farm. After he got disabled to take care of the farm, then 
he turned it over to his boys. At least, they took it over. I don't know 
who turned it over, but they took it over anyway, so I went to work 
under him. 



1100 

But at the time that I was working under the old man, myself and 
one of his fieldworkers had a little argument and I left. So the old 
man sent after me for the next day and I took my children and 
went back. So from then on I went on working for him until he got 
disabled to take care of his field. Then the boys came in and I went to 
work for them. 

Senator Mondale. Did your cliildren work in the field with you? 

Mrs. Smith. Yes. These were my own children that I am talking 
about now. The one that is mine. Then after some years after the 
Morris sons began on this farm, then my grandchildren got old enough 
to work, and I took them on the farm with me, and they worked up 
until this year. 

Morris was just talking about the strike of the community workers. 
He is wrong, entirely wrong. I came here to tell the truth and that is 
what I want to tell. 

We have been working at this strike some years because w^hen I first 
started I wasn't getting but 40 cents a flat. Just like we liave to do 
these later years, that is what we first- began having to do, put 15 
pints on one flat. That made us put about a crate and a half on one 
flat. 

At the time I began to work, I was working for 40 cents a flat. They 
went up to 50, from 50 to 60 and from 60 to 75, and they have been pay- 
ing 75 cents a flat, I don't know how long, but it has been for some 
years. 

I will say it has been about 6 years, to the best of my knowledge that 
they have been paying 75 cents. 

So it looked to me like he wasn't going to ever pay any more. So we 
got to talking it over in the field, and I went to homes and different 
places, and we asked — did we think that Morris was paying the right 
price? So we said, no. So we have been trying to get together ever 
since he has been paying this 75 cents. 

Senator Mondai>e. He testified that no one had asked him for im- 
proved pay. 

Mrs. Smith, He is wrong. I don't know about this one, because I 
never talked to this man about it, because he was never out in the field, 
or rarely. Once in a while he might leave the iDackinghouse and go down 
in the field and talk with his brother. 

But his brother, Ted, is the one that operated the field. So he is the 
one that we all asked for more money. 

Senator Mondai^e. You did ask him for improved pay ? 

Mrs. Smith. Yes; because he was the manager of the field. We 
didn't know anyone else to ask but him because the other one was tak- 
ing care of the packinghouse, and the little one, Ted, was taking care 
of the fieldworkers. So he is the one that we asked for higher wages. 

He says to us — when I say "us" that means more than one asked 
him in my presence — he said, "I am not able to pay any more. I am 
paying the second highest price of wages ; 75 cents is all I have ever 
paid, 75 cents is all I am going to pay." 

That was this year that we asked again. Of course, Ave had asked 
several times back during the years we were working. So this year 
past we went to him and asked again, so he said the same thing. 



1101 

We said, "We cannot make anything at this price, no more berries 
that we can pick in the run of a day." Everything is going up; our 
rent is going up, and we just cannot make the money to take care of 
our homes at this price. 

But this is all of the kind of work that we have to do. Naturally, we 
were going to try to stick there because that is all of the work that 
we had to do. So it looked like to me everybody began to get on the 
right side of this strike. 

So we got together and we talked it over. So I am the one who asked 
the question, "Let's have a meeting and see if we can't get together 
on this price and this strike." So the workers wanted to know what is 
there for us to do ? 

I said, "Let's go and ask different people," which we had already 
asked some and they didn't know what to tell us but to go to the em- 
ployment office. We went to the employment office and they said they 
didn't have anything to do with Morris prices. 

So then we got together and we decided we would have a meeting. So 
I said, "Before we have a meeting, suppose we consult with the com- 
munity workers." I knew a little something about them, if we wanted 
advice we could go to them and get advice. 

Senator Mondale. Up until this point, the conversations that you 
are talking about took place among the workers in the field, there were 
no outside poverty workers or agitators or anything like that ? 

Mrs. Smith. No; there were no agitators at all. So we went to 
them and we asked them for advice. They gave us the advice on what 
to do, and they didn't give us violence advice. 

After that, we went to Sheriff Berry and asked him about it. 

Senator Mondale. You w^ent to see the sheriff ? 

Mrs. Smith. Yes ; we went to see the sheriff. 

Senator Mondale. What did you tell him ? 

Mrs. Smith. We asked him about it and he said it was OK, and he 
told us how he wanted the picket line, he told us how not to violate the 
law and everything. 

He said, "What is wrong?" He called Mr. Morris and consulted him 
about the strike. He said that Morris told him that someone went to 
him and told him that somebody had been in the field and "gun- 
pointed" him and this man ran out in the field and went on home. I 
don't know where he went, but he didn't go right straight to the sheriff. 

But the next day he went to the sheriff there and told him someone 
had "gunpointed" him out in the field. Sheriff Berry said he didn't 
know anything about it, only what the man told hmi. He said the 
man was named Flowers, who said he was pointed out in the field. 

I asked Sheriff Berry how could five people, as Morris said "gun- 
point" 965 people out in the whole field ? One man could not get to 
all of those people, not even with an army gun, or with machineguns. 
How could he do that? 

Senator Mondale. Did you see anybody with a gun in the field? 

Mrs. Smith. No ; I did not see anyone in the field with a gun, but 
as many as there were in the field, I could not say whether they did 
or they did not. But I didn't hear any discrimination about anything. 

Senator Mondale. The owner said that there was a bomb threat, 
that people were afraid of a bomb. 



1102 

Mrs. Smith. I heard nobody say that. I heard nobody say that but 
Sheriff Berry, That is the only one I ever heard say anything about 
it, until I heard Morris say it this morning. 

Senator Mondale. You don't think that there were any violent 
threats that you know of that encouraged people who would rather 
be working not to work that day ? 

Mrs. Smith. No; I haven't heard anything about that. In fact, I 
don't even believe it, to tell you the truth about it. 

Senator Mondale. Why didn't the workers show up that day, then ? 
There were 9Q0-some people who did not show up; is that right? 
They walked off the job? 

Mrs. Smith. The ones who were in here with the strike, some of 
them went back because they thought, you know how it is, when you 
say let's do something, and then don't do it ; so some of them did not 
believe they were going to get on strike. So they went back in the field 
and when they saw that we meant business, they went out of the field. 

That is w^hy they came out. There weren't any guns or any threats. 
But when you go in and spread the news, naturally it is going to 
spread all over the field. 

Somebody went in there and saw what we were doing and when 
they came out to the field and found out, they said if that is what 
happens, not getting any money, we are coming out of this field. A 
few stayed in there. 

I am telling what I heard others say. His buses and his people were 
still continuing to work on that farm. But the others who were willing 
to cooperate with us did not work on the farm. That is why they went 
out of the field. 

He said in the paper, I read it in the paper, that he had 1,000 
"head" of workers that were satisfied at his price. But he is telling 
something wrong, gentlemen. There is nobody that is satisfied on that 
price except the Uncle Toms. They were satisfied, because they con- 
tinued to stay right on, and Morris did not have over 100 "head" then. 

Senator Mondale. You have been working for that farmer for 
some years ? 

Mrs. Smith. Yes ; I have. 

Senator Mondale. How much have you personally been able to 
make in a day ? 

Mrs. Smith. I made from $5 to $6 and some cents. 

Senator Mondale. Would that be fairly average, would you say? 

Mrs. Smith. No ; that would be when I was on the end next to the 
shed. He has a shed in the field, to take the berries up to it. That would 
be when I was on the end, and when the people wasn't crowded with 
their crates to go and cash them in. When people were crowding to 
cash their crates in, it took me some time to get pay for my flats, it 
took me some time to go back to the field, and I still didn't average $5 
to $6 on a day. 

When I made that much was when I got out there 6 o'clock in the 
morning and picked until it got hot. When it got hot out there, we 
couldn't make much time. Then later in the afternoon, we would go 
to work at 3 o'clock and knock off at 5 :30. 

In the middle of the day you can't do much on picking berries, 
because it is too hot. You have all of the high berries and you are tired 



1103 

and hot and sweaty, and you can't make much time. I don't care who 
says so, they cannot make all of that much money. 

Senator Mondale. A good day for you is between $5 and $6. 

Mrs. Smith. That is right. 

Senator Mondale. Would that be average, do you think, is that 
what the average person would make in the field ? 

Mrs. Smith. I don't know what all that many people would make, 
but I ain't heard anybody say they made $10 and $11 and $12. 

Senator Mondale. You don't believe anybody made that ? 

Mrs. Smith. I don't believe so. I don't believe with that many 
people in the field, as he said — I don't know how many he had in the 
field. I know he had babies and everything else in the field. He didn't 
make them go, but he let anybody pick who was big enough to know 
a ripe berry from a green one. 

We could have no leaves, no sticks and no things — that is the way 
we had to turn our berries in. These people up at the shed were top- 
ping the berries and knocking all of the berries we had on the top of 
the pints off and putting them in other pints to amount up to another 
flat, and putting that plastic over them. That is what they were doing. 

He had no colored workers up there. 

Senator Mondale. Where is this? 

Mrs. Smith. That is up to the packing house. 

Senator Mondale. Didn't Mr. Morris testify that his work force 
was integrated? Maybe we are talking about different places. There 
is a place where they pack them. There is also a grading and sorting 
shed ; is that right? 

Mrs. Keys It is called a packinghouse. I call it a packinghouse. 

Senator Mondale. Is there another house ? 

Mrs. Keys. He has two. He has a shed in the field, that is where 
we carry the berries to get the price for them. Then the truck takes 
them from there and carries them up to the highway where he has 
got a building that we call a packinghouse, where he loads them. 

Senator Mondale. At the packinghouse, are there any black 
workers there ? 

Mrs. Keys. No. 

Senator Mondale. Is that because you cannot make enough money 
there? 

Mrs. Keys. No; we have asked him for a job up there. Even me, 
myself. He says he is sorry, he couldn't hire me up there. "You can 
make more money out here in the field than you can make up here. 
They are working by piece like you are out there, and you can make 
more money in the field than what they are making up there." That 
is what he told me. 

I don't know but one colored woman he hired up there and that is 
a woman who works year around with them. Her name is Lilly Farm- 
ville. I have not seen her up there this year at the packinghouse. 

Senator Mondale. "Wliat about the people who drive the trucks, 
and so on ? 

Mrs. Smith. No, sir; every one of them is white, and they try to 
run over you when you are at the end of the row. They try to run 
over it and they throw the dirt in your faces with the truck. 

Senator Mondale. You heard the farmer testify this morning that 
they had many blacks driving the trucks. 



1104 

Mrs. Smith. He is not telling the truth. 

Senator Mondale. Wliat about the so-called bosses ; are there black 
row bosses ? 

Mrs, Smith. Yes, all Negroes. There are row bosses, the cars, the 
trucks is all colored, but as I say, as I was told, those two white buses 
belong to Morris. They bring trucks for the helper to go to his field 
and do his work. That is what I heard. I don't know whether that is 
true or not. 

In fact, one of the drivers said that was Morris' buses. And Morris 
did tell us one time, this little one told us, there were two of them 
colored fieldworkers was contracting his berries and if we wanted 
more money, go talk to them. That was Mr. Butler. There were two 
white bosses. One was named Mr. Butler. And Mr. Butler told us 
that the two buses were Mr. Morris'. 

So during the last week that we were out there on the picket line, 
this same little Morris fellow, Ted, took these tacks do you see these, 
every one of us out there on the picketline saw this happen. "VVliere 
these cars were parked on the highway, he took these tacks and went 
all under the people's cars, and he threw them under the people's 
tires. 

(Witness is referring to some large tacks.) 

He threw the tacks all under the people's cars, so when they drove 
out, they could puncture their tires. Two ladies got their tires full of 
these tacks. We made up money for her to get a tire to go on her car 
after we got to New Bern. 

But we did not say anything to him. He got in his red truck and rode 
down the highway and parked it, and came back with a bag like that 
and threw them all under the cars so they would puncture their tires. 

That is why we picked them up and we carried them in to New 
Bern and gave them — I don't know who we gave them to, but we left 
them at New Bern. We left some out there for evidence and we brought 
some to New Bern for evidence. 

Senator Mondale. Mrs. Smith, we will take these tacks and place 
them in the subcommittees pennanent files. 

Mrs. Smith. Morris didn't mention social security. 

Senator Mondale. No. 

Mrs. Smith. He did not take out any social security. He didn't tell 
us he had us insured when one of the boys hit him with a truck. We 
told him how" the boy was driving the truck and how many got hit, 
and how many had to jump in the ditch, and he did not say a word 
about it, only smiled. 

Senator Mondale. There is no social security deducted from your 
pay checks ? 

Mrs. Smith. No, he did not take out any. 

Senator Mondale. You are not covered by social security ? 

Mrs. Smith. I don't know but I know he did not take out any. 

Mrs. Keys. He said that as fast as he could build a toilet shed, they 
were being torn out. Well, he has not built any toilets at all. Tliere are 
no field toilets. There are no bathrooms and you can buikl a bathroom, 
because me and my husband have built one real cheap. 

Senator Mondale, You heard him testify that there were field 
toilets. 



1105 

Mrs. Keys. Yes. 

Senator Mondale. You say there are not ? 

Mrs. Keys. There are no field bathrooms. 

Senator Mondale. And you worked in his field ? 

Mrs. Keys. I worked in his field for 4 years, and the water out there 
is not fit to drink. It tastes like rotten egg. 

Senator Mondale. Where do you go for water ? 

Mrs. Keys. The water is just that we have a drum, and he has a 
spigot on the outside of the packinghouse and this water looks like 
it comes out of the ditch. If you run it off, it will get a clear color. If 
you just go there and turn the faucet on and drink it, it will be a 
reddish-looking color, an orange-looking, and it really makes you sick 
when you are hot and drink this water, because I have drunk it and 
been sick as a result. 

Senator Mondale. Do they have any first-aid help out there — 
nurses — to help people when they get sick in the hot weather ? 

Mrs. Keys. No. 

Senator Mondale. Could you give us your version of the strike, Mrs. 
Keys, how it got started ? 

Mrs. Keys. Tlie strike got started because he wasn't paying but 75 
cents and he had field workers, these foremen, which he said did not 
use profane language, and that is not true. His fieldworker would 
say, "Get off the crate, don't sit on the bush," and it would not be in a 
very nice tone. They would treat you like you were a dog. 

His older brother, Ted, has told me to get up off his crates and not 
in a very nice way, and I told him it was hot and I wanted to sit down. 
He said, "Sit on the ground, that is big enough to hold you." 

Senator Mondale. Were you in on some of the first meetings when 
the workers discussed the possibility of striking ? 

Mrs. Keys. No, I did not go to a meeting until he asked me out of 
the field. 

Senator Mondale. He asked you out of the field ? 

Mrs. Keys. Yes, and he did not give me any reason. He asked me 
out and I left the field. 

Senator Mondale. The owner asked you to quit? 

Mrs. Keys. He just told me to get out of his field. 

Senator Mondale. When was that ? 

Mrs. Keys. I believe Tuesday, the 17th of June. 

Senator Mondale. Did you ask him why ? 

Mrs. Keys. Yes, I did, but he gave me no reason. 

Senator Mondale. He just told you to leave ? 

Mrs. Keys. He said to leave his property. 

Senator Mondale. Why do you suppose he did that, do you have 
any notion ? 

Mrs. Keys. No, I don't, because I have been there for the past 4 
years and he never asked me to leave. 

Senator Mondale. How much could you make a day ? 

Mrs. Keys. It all depends. If I get there about 6 and pick until 12, 
I will average about $3 or $4. 

Senator Mondale. $3 or $4 ? Then you go back in the afternoon ? 

Mrs. Keys. Then if I go back in the afternoon and I am about two 
city blocks from the place where we sold the crates, if it is not too 

36-513 O— 70— pt. 3-B 16 



1106 

heavy, or if I have help to carry the crate because it is heavy, then you 
could average about $3 or $4 in the afternoon. 

Senator Mondale. So you might make $6 or $7 a day ? 

Mrs. Keys. Yes. 

Senator Mondale. What do you do for lunch ? Do you bring your 
own lunch? 

Mrs. Keys. You could bring your own lunch if you could put it in a 
paper bag, because they did not want you to have any containers in 
the field, and if you carried containers they wovild search you when 
you came out. 

Senator Mondale, Why is that ? 

Mrs. Keys. To make sure you did not carry any berries out of the 
field. 

Senator Mondale. And steal any berries ? 

Mrs. Keys. Yes, to make sure that you did not steal any berries. 

Senator Mondale. So you would have to bring your lunch in a paper 
sack ; is that right ? 

Mrs. Keys. Yes. 

Senator Mondale. Could you buy lunch from the farmer ? 

Mrs. Keys. Yes, you could buy a snack from his workers. But if 
you would buy it and didn't reach for it in a hurry, they would drop it 
on the ground and they would not say a word. I have put in a com- 
plaint about the girl dropping the sandwich on the ground and he 
would laugh and say, "There is nothing I can do about that." 

Senator Mondale. In other words, if you don't grab the sandwich 
fast, it goes on the ground." 

Mrs. Keys. Right. 

Senator Mondale. What about this issue of where there is discrim- 
ination in certain jobs on the farm ? Could you comment on that same 
point, whether there is evidence that certain kinds of jobs are for 
whites only ? 

Mrs. Keys. Yes, there are certain types of jobs for whites only, 
because I also asked to work in the shelter and he said, "It is not inte- 
grated, we don't have any colored people working there." 

Senator Mondale. What about the truckdriver jobs and so on ; are 
there blacks working there? 

Mrs. Keys. No, there were no black people driving his trucks. They 
were all white boys and, as Mrs. Smith said, they would come down 
the row like the earth had been judged by the Lord and they were 
trying to get away. And if you did not get out of the way, you would 
either be killed or you would eat a mouthful of dust. And his brother, 
Ted, has done this several times himself, and also the gentleman who 
testified, he has come through there just like the earth was on fire, and 
they don't slow down for anyone and they will not look. 

Senator Mondale. Are you aware of, or did you see any threats or 
intimidations which would explain the workers' leaving the field, or 
would you describe the reasons that the people, even though they were 
making so little, decided to leave the fields ? 

Mrs. Keys. There were no threats made that I seen, or that I heard 
of. What was the other part of your question ? 

Senator Mondale. In other words, would you agree with Mrs. 
Smith, that the people left the field because they had to make more 
money ? 



1107 

Mrs. Keys. Yes. 

Senator Mondale. And there were no threats that drove you out of 
the field — as a matter of fact, m your case, you were fired and the 
reason was not given ? 

Mrs. Smith. She was fired to start with before the strike ever came 
along. 

Senator Mondale. What about the firing policy ? Was that a rather 
unusual thing, to be fired like that, or did that hapj)en in other cases? 

Mrs. Keys. No, I never heard of him firing anyone the whole 4 years 
that I worked there. This was just something that he did to me. 

Mrs. Smith. Perhaps she might be like me, she can't think of every- 
thing because so many things happened out there. But he did run peo- 
ple otf of the field. He would put grown people out, he would put 
children out that was stranded. When you carry a lady on a job and she 
would get fired, she has no way to get home, and if he had sent them 
out of the field before the others completed their hours, you might say, 
they had to get off of his premises and get home the best way they 
could — children and grownups. 

When he sent one out of his field, he would not let them stop on 
his premises. They had to get somewhere else. A filling station wasn't 
going to let a crowd of people stand around there, 'i'ou couldn't stand 
out in the hot sun on tlie highway. 

Senator Mondale. When the strike was called, and people left the 
field, what steps, if any, did the farmers or others take to try to get 
you to come back to work ? In other words, the workers left the field, 
and then a week or so later most of them came back. Am I correct in 
that? 

Mrs. Smith. I will tell you why some of them come back. Some of 
them never went back because they said they did not like the way 
they were treated. But some of them went back because they needed 
that little bit of money. 

Senator Mondale. They could not last out a long period because 
they had to have the money. Were there any attempts made by the 
farmers or by law enforcement officials to in other ways encourage 
you to hurry back, that you know of ? 

Mrs. Smith. No. 

Senator Mondale. Is there anything else that you think the com- 
mittee ought to know about this matter ? 

Mrs. Keys. On the day that he asked us off the field, we asked 
the sheriff what was we charged with. He said he would think of 
something when he got us downtown. We stayed down there a couple 
of hours and the solicitor came in and talked to us. He told us to go 
back and pick Morris' berries. 

On the third day there was a warrant issued for my arrest as agi- 
tator, and a couple of more charges were added on. These charges 
were not true. 

Senator Mondale. In other words, when you were taken into the 
sheriff's office, they encouraged you to go back to work. You did not 
go back to work. The next thing you knew, you were charged with 
being an agitator, violating the law. 

Mrs. Smith, were you charged, too ? 

Mrs. Smith. No, I was not charged. 



1108 

Mrs. Keys. There is one more thing also. After the sheriff gave us 
something like permission to picket, to walk on the road and stay off 
of Morris' property, he had us facing the traffic, meeting the traffic 
at first, and as we were going to get in place, a log truck came by and 
it run right on the edge of the road, right off the highway, right on the 
edge, and I had to jump in the ditch to keep from being hit. 

They took us and moved us on the far side of the road, going with 
the traffic, and he told us we had to stand still. I will say there were 
about 30 or 50 people in the picket line, and here come the same log 
truck, and this log truck run right off along us people and we had 
to jump in the ditch and on Morris' property to keep from being 
killed. 

This log truck did not give a signal, it did not give us any warning 
at all, and the sheriff and his men stood on the other side and laughed. 
He was approached about this and he said that man can stop and get 
a soda whenever he wants and this is a busy highway over there. I 
believe it is YO. 

And he just comes and runs right into us. And he said, "I am the 
sheriff, I make the laws here and I enforce the laws." 

But he enforced the law for Jason Morris and not for the black peo- 
ple, because we were manhandled by the sheriff, we were pushed by 
the sheriff's men, we were cursed at by the deputy sheriff, I was, and 
he pushed me back from the highway. I told him he didn't have to 
push me and he didn't have to curse me because I was no dog. 

One of the gentlemen went across the road in front of us. There 
were two groups and that gentleman sitting right there, and the 
sheriff and also a man came out of the berry farm, whether he was a 
law officer I don't know, but as this gentleman was going across the 
road and across Morris' driveway, the sheriff grabs him. this other 
man comes out of Morris' berry farm and asked the sheriff, "Do you 
want to get him back across the road?" And when he said that, he 
pulled out a shiny object out of his pocket. 

We were standing on the far side of the road, so we could see what 
was happening, because that man who came out had his back to us, 
and I was standing at the head of the line. I said, "Ladies, are we 
going to stand here and see that man mobbed by the knife?" 

We went over there and that is when the deputy grabbed us. I said, 
"Don't you know I am not going to let you mob my husband?" When 
we got there, the sheriff and his men surrounded us so we could not 
get to this man. He told us, "Get back across the road." He said, "I 
mean get across there now," 

Then for the rest of that day he had his deputies patrolling the 
road all day long, and whenever we went out there, it was really the 
white man's law^ and the black people had to take it and swallow it, 
even if it was bitter. We had no protection at all. 

Mrs. Smith. That particular time Sheriff Berry said, "If it had not 
l^een for these damn clowns, the local community workers, none of this 
damn stuff would have been started." That is what Sheriff Berry said 
at that time. 

He was very nasty. He was a little bit nastier than the patrolmen 
were. The patrolmen came out there and really gave us the under- 
standing how to do the picketing. Sheriff Berry was trying to get us 
into trouble. But the patrolmen came out there and gave us the clear 
understanding how to run this picket line. 



1109 

If we had listened at Sheriff Berry, every one of us would have 
been in jail, because that is what he was trying to do, stick every one 
of us in jail. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you very much. I wish we had more time. 
The Senate is going into executive session at 12 o'clock, so we have to 
move along rapidly. 

Thank you very much for coming to Washington to give your testi- 
mony. We will print your statement, Mrs. Smith, in the record at this 
point. 

(The prepared statement of Mrs. Smith follows :) 

Prep ABED Statement of Mbs. Lena Smith, Cochaikman, Easteen Fakm Wobkeks 
Association, New Bern, N.C. 

I am Mrs. Lena Smith. My address is 837 Pavie Avenue, New Bern, North 
Carolina. I am Co-chairman of the Eastern Farm Workers Association, an asso- 
ciation created by the blueberry pickers of Craven, Jones and Pamlico Counties 
in order to work together to better their conditions. I have picked blueberries for 
Jason Morris ever since he began having blueberries, more than fifteen years 
ago. My children and grandchildren have all worked there since they were five 
(5) years old. 

I am currently drawing Aid for Families with Dependent Children, funds to 
support the eight (8) grandchildren now living with me in the black ghetto 
section of New Bern. 

Senator Mondale. The next witness is Mr. Ken Eice, law student 
from Duke University, who I understand has been most helpful in 
arranging these hearings and in working with all the elements of the 
New Bern community to develop all the important facts. We are deeply 
appreciative of your efforts Mr. Rice. I regret that because of the 
shortage of time we will not be able to hear your views about this 
important controversy. However, I understand that you do want to 
read a statement of the witness, Tom Wallace, who could not attend, 
and that you have some important materials for the hearing record. 

STATEMENT OF KEN EICE, LAW STUDENT, DUKE UNIVERSITY, 
HEADING STATEMENT' OF THOMAS B. WALLACE, DEPUTY 
DIRECTOR OF COASTAL PROGRESS, INC. 

Mr. Rice. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for providing this opportunity 
to the citizens of New Bern. 

I have read Mr. Parker's testimony, and he is going to comment on 
the same facts that Mr. Wallace, who could not come at the last mo- 
ment, covers in his statement. 

Mr. Wallace asked that, in his absence, that this be read into the 
record. 

I now read a prepared statement of Mr. Thomas B. Wallace, New 
Bern, N.C. 

Mr. Chairman, I am Thomas B. Wallace of New Bern, N.C. I am 
here today as deputy director of Coastal Progress, Inc. 

As a black man I am here to make the committee aware of the fact 
that there is still no justice for the poor of my race in rural eastern 
North Carolina. Despite great progress in other areas of the country 
and tokenism in the South, it is impossible and will be impossible to 
get justice until there are black sheriffs, judges, and prosecutors to 
make meaningful the token jury integration. 



1110 

To speak out and advocate social and political changes requires a 
confidence that one's person, property, and loved ones be protected 
from intimidation and fear. Our society is sick when in 1969, black 
women in Craven County, N.C., refuse to attest to affidavits docu- 
menting the despair of their life and that of their fellow blueberry 
workers. 

They do not believe that Craven County's all-white sheriff's depart- 
ment will protect them from night riders and the courts from economic 
reprisal. 

Historically the power of the law and the courts has been the salva- 
tion of those oppressed and powerless. Poor people must know that 
their day in court will vindicate them. This last source of power is 
denied the black people of rural North Carolina. Without recoui^e to 
justice and equal, honorable treatment by law-enforc«ment officers, 
the powerlessness of the rural poor is complete; their disillusionment 
with the establishment is complete. 

One month ago today, Mr. Chairman, I learned again how black 
people are treated by the sheriff of Craven County. 

In the normal course of my duties, I accompanied Mr. John Bryan, 
our director of community organization, to Vanceboro, N.C., to inspect 
a newly constructed community center there. Our return trip took us 
past the vicinity of the Jason Morris farm on the main highway, 
U.S. 17. / 

Completely unaware of the current situation at the farm, we noticed 
four black people walking along the shoulder, followed by two white 
men. Upon being flagged, Mr. Bryan stopped the car; the black people 
asked for a ride in our direction. 

The white men began waving and shouting. Immediately, five 
sheriff's cars surrounded us, ordered us out of the car with abusive and 
derogatory language. After a discussion, during which the sheriff 
personally slammed me against the car, I was then placed in the car. 

Thereupon the sheriff discovered Mr. Bryan's open, broken shotgim 
in plain view within the car. We were then arrested, told it was for 
carrying a concealed weapon and taken to the county jail. We arrived 
there at about 11 a.m. My repeated requests to be allowed to call a 
lawyer were denied, as w^ere requests by my friends to see me. 

Late in the afternoon a warrant was issued for us under the charge 
of "going about armed with the intent to terrorize." Black attorneys 
then arranged bail in the amount of $5,000. 

Two weeks later a white judge convicted me as charged. What 
this means, Mr. Chairman, is that while white men carry high-powered 
rifles in their trucks, black men must remain unarmed and intimidated, 
unable to claim their second amendment right to bear arms. 

What I related, Mr. Chairman, strikes the heart of our topic today. 
Without the confidence that justice can be had, the black man is with- 
out even that power which is guaranteed to each American citizen. 

A nation.dedicated to morality and goodness must protect the power- 
less. Without that hope, I see no reason why a poor black man should 
feel an allegiance to the present order. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you, Mr. Rice, for reading that statement. 

I note that you have submitted some other documents that I order 
printed in the record, in full, at this point. Again, I want to express 
my appreciation for your important effort. 

(The documents referred to follow :) 



nil 

[From the Sun-Journal, New Bern, N.C., June 13, 1969] 
965 Area Workers "Scared" Off Jobs 

Threats of physical violence reportedly kept approximately 965 blueberry 
workers from their job in Briclgeton today and Jason Morris, owner of Jason 
Morris Farms, Inc., has blamed Negro "government workers" for the threats. 

"Yesterday, I had 1,000 happy people working for me," Morris told a Sun- 
Journal newsman, "and today there are 35 pickers at work. And to think — it's all 
on account of this damned bunch of clowns trying to run somebody else's 
business." 

Morris said yesterday "four or five" Negroes drove up to his farms and threat- 
ened blueberry pickers with physical violence if they showed up for work today. 

He said one of the persons making the threats was a "large Negro woman" 
but said he did not know the woman's name. 

Craven County Sheriff Charlie Berry reported at least one instance in which 
one of the blueberry pickers was "chased out of the field with a pistol." 

"I don't know what it's all about," Berry commented, "but whoever is re- 
sponsible is not going to get away with pointing guns at people." 

iBerry said he was not called yesterday afternoon when the trouble broke out, 
but was first notified of the trouble when the Negro man came into his office to 
report being chased out of the field at gun point. 

According to Berry, the worker said four or five i)eople had been responsible 
for the trouble and had "scared all of the workers to death." 

"I just wish they had called me." Berry lamented. 

Morris, who employs local labor each year to harvest his crop, said the group 
that started the trouble had attempted to force his workers to strike for more 
pay, but dismissed the possibility the workers were dissatisfied with their wages. 

"I'm paying the second highest wages in the state right now," he said, "so it 
couldn't be a strike for pay." 

He added he had not been contacted by any of his workers with demands for 
increased wages and added, "I don't think I will be." 

"These people are just scared to work," he said. "Most of them want to work 
and need the work, but they're just scared," he added. 

Morris said he had automatic blueberry picking machines which he planned 
to put into the fields today. "I'm not slowing dowTi my operation one bit," Morris 
told newsmen. "I've always used local labor," he said, "but I have the machines 
and I can use them — I have to !" 

Morris said blueberry workers were paid approximately $25,000 per week on 
his farm. He added the crop is about two-thirds in. 

"I'm willing to pay anyone who is willing to work," Morris said, "but I'm going 
to get my crop in with or without the labor." 

Jim Godwin, executive director of Coastal Progress, Inc., the local anti-poverty 
agency, replied that he didn't have "any idea at all if Government workers 
were involved." 

"First of all," he said, "I don't know anything about it (the work stoppage). 
All I know is what you just told me," he told an interviewer. 

Morris had indicated he believed the troublemakers to be "poverty workers" 
from New Bern. 

Godwin stated, however, he would investigate the incident immediately to 
determine if anyone employed by any program under his jurisdiction was 
responsible. 

[From the News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C., June 14, 1969] 
965 Blueberry Pickers Strike Near New Bern 

New Bern. — Jason Morris said 965 of 1,000 blueberry pickers failed to show 
up for work on his 100 acre farm at Bridgeton Friday. 

Morris said "outside agitators" were urging the workers to strike for an in- 
crease in pay from 75 cents to $1.25 for 12 pints of berries picked. Morris said the 
"outside agitators" would not let his people work. 

"Nobody's been to see me about a raise." he said. "I pay as high as anybody 
in the state and that's the best I can do until the price of berries goes up. I can't 
afford to raise wages when prices, go down." 

While insisting it was not a strike, Morris admitted some of his workers pick- 
eted the farm. 



1112 

Morris blamed "federal government i>eople" for his difllculty. He said some 
people who worked for an antipoverty project were urging his pickers not to 
work. 

He said a car load of Negroes came to his place at 6 a.m. Friday. He said he 
heard later they had threatened anyone who went to work. 

John Bryan, director of the Community Organization Component, denied that 
any threats had been made. 

"That's what they always say when somebody tries to do something," he 
added. "Our job is to educate, not intimidate." 

Morris said his pickers are 90 i>ercent local Negroes, not migrant workers. 

Craven County Sheriff Charley Berry said one of the pickers claimed he was 
chased out of a field with a pistol. 

Craven County Deputy Sheriff B. G. Edwards said no charges were made in 
pistol incident. 

But Mrs. Lena Smith, 57, a Negro picker, denied any knowledge of intimida- 
tion. She said the workers had asked the federal Community Organization 
Component for assistance in pressing their demands. 



The workers are asking for $1.25 per crate picked, rather than 75 cents per 
crate they now receive, Mrs. Smith said. She listed the other demands as better 
toilet facilities and jobs for Negroes in the packing shed. 

Sheriff Berry said some workers told him "four or five persons were respon- 
sible and scared all the workers to death." 

Morris said he plans to use automatic pickers to offset the effects of work 
stoppage. 

[From the Sun-Journal, New Bern, N.C., June 14, 1969] 
Blueberry Pickers Deny Farm Owner's Charges 

A spokesman for a group of blueberry pickers in Bridgeiton has denied charges 
they were "scared" away from their jobs at a farm near here yesterday as a strike 
by 960 workers entered its second day. 

Mrs. Lena Smith, 57, who said she has worked for Jason Morris Farms, Inc., 
for "about 15 years," commented she and the other workers are on strike for 
higher wages and better jobs for Negro employes. 

Jason Morris, owner of the farm, had charged that "outsiders," who he claimed 
were government antipoverty workers, threatened Negro workers who did not 
want to strike with physical violence at his farm on Thursday afternoon. 

Mrs. Smith, however, says she saw no evidence of violence when the five per- 
sons charged by Morris with threatening workers were at the farm. 

She added the pickers want $1.25 per crate picked rather than the 75 cents 
they now earn and bathroom facilities. They also want more jobs for Negroes in 
the packing shed, she said. "That is why we're not working for him (Morris)," 
she added. 

Mrs. Smith called the charge that the five people had scared 960 workers off 
their jobs "ridicuolus". 

"Who's going to believe that five people can scare 960 people out of anywhere?" 
she asked reporters. 

Mrs. Smith said she and her seven children have worked for the Morris farm 
operation for some time and the eight of them manage to earn only about $35 
to $40 per week. 

"He even charges us 25 cents for the buckets we pick his berries in," she told 
newsmen. 

Mrs. Smith's denial of charges of threats of violence was supported by anti- 
poverty workers at Coastal Progress, Inc., yesterday. 

James Bryan, who heads the Community Organization Component, said his 
staff members had worked with the blueberry workers in an advisory capacity 
only. 

"Our job is to educate, not to intimidate." he commented. 

Bryan explained that the COC's involvement in the problem began when about 
100 of Morris" workers approached his staff members with requests for assistance 
in problems they were experiencing at work. 



1113 

"There is a tendency among oppressed people to become frustrated," Bryan 
said, adding : "this is when violence comes into play" if no other alternative is 
offered. 

He said the COC staff offered the suggestion of the strike as an alternative to 
violence and a sensible, "non-violent means to obtain their goals." 

Reports of the threats to workers were also received by Craven County Sheriff 
Charlie Berry. 

Berry said one worker, Ed Flowers of near Cove City, told him he was "chased 
from the field at gunpoint" by one of five people who were reported at the farm 
on Thursday afternoon. 

Flowers, however, is evidently unwilling to discuss the incident with newsmen. 



[From the Sun-Journal, New Bern, N.C., June 17, 1969] 
Bebey Declines Comment 

Craven County Sheriff Charlie Berry declined today to comment on statements 
attributed to him by Good Neighbor Council co-Chairman Jim Gavin on Monday 
to the effect that he "wasn't concerned" about the Negro community's problems 
because they didn't support him as Sheriff. 

Berry, describing Gavin as a "troublemaker" and a "meddler," said : "I ain't 
studying nothing he says. I know what the community wants and it doesn't 
make any difference what he says." 

Berry and Gavin reportedly engaged in a verbal exchange Monday when 
Gavin went to Jason Morris Farms, Inc., in Bridgeton to determine what the 
Good Neighbor Council could do to ease tensions between the growers and 
approximately 400 Negro strikers. 

Gavin, commenting on what he called a "confrontation" with the Sheriff, 
said Berry told him "in so many words that he thought I was a troublemaker." 

Gavin repeated the statement he made to newsmen yesterday in which he 
quoted Berry as saying he "wasn't concerned" about the problems of the Negro 
community. 

He said Berry also told him if "people like you would stay out of this (the 
strike) , things would straighten themselves out." 

He said Berry then suggested that he leave and that he did so. "Not because 
I was afraid," Gavin explained, "but because I realized that if I did stay 
tempers might really flare." 

[From the Sun-Journal, New Bern, N.C.. June 17, 1969] 
450-500 Workers Back In Blueberry Field Today 

Jason Morris, owner of Jason Morris Farms, Inc., of Bridgeton, said today 
about 450 to 500 blueberry pickers were back in his fields today and added: 
"operations are just about back to normal." 

The Morris farms, which normally employs about 1,000 pickers, was struck 
Friday and Saturday by blueberry workers demanding increased wages. 

A spokesman for "the strikers. Mrs. Lena Smith of New Bern, said she and 
the other strikers were asking $1.25 per flat of blueberries picked, rather than 
the 75 cents they now receive. 

She said strikers also wanted bathroom facilities in the work area and pro- 
tested the fact that Morris charged them 25 cents for buckets used by the pickers 
while working. 

Morris, however, says he cannot raise the workers' pay. "I'd like to," he said, 
"but I just can't." Earlier, Morris had told Sun-Journal reporters that he was 
already paying "the second highest wages" in the state for blueberry pickers. 

Meanwhile, Negro attorney Reginald Frazier, who says he has agreed to 
represent the strikers, says he expects to negotiate with Morris this afternoon 
for higher wages for the workers. 

He said he is attempting to get the workers' pay in line with the state's 
minimum of $1.25 per hour for their work. 

"It takes the average picker one hour to pick a flat of blueberries," Frazier 
said, "so, actually, they are working for 75 cents an hour." 

Frazier said iie had negotiated previously with Morris, but described the 
conference as "uneventful." 



1114 

He added Morris had told him of his willingness to raise pay if it were pos- 
sible, but that under the circumstances, he could not. 

Frazier said he had advised the striking workers of the rights to "demon- 
strate, and picket" if they choose and also of the right to collective bargaining 
for higher wages. 

He explained that he also told the workers they could express their griev- 
ances in any way they wanted as "long as it is lawful." 

He said he told them they did not have the right to block driveways "or in 
any other manner to interfere with Morris' operation. 

"I've done my best to keep this peaceful and to keep them out of jail," Frazier 
said. He added there had been several "hostile confrontations," however, includ- 
ing one reported yesterday between Craven County Sheriff Charlie Berry and 
Good Neighbor Council Co-Chairman James Gavin. 

Frazier said he was hopeful that his talks with Morris this afternoon would 
be fruitful, but added that he realizes Morris "doesn't have much room to 
negotiate . . . unless he is willing to take a loss." 



[From the News-Observer, Raleigh, N.C., June 18, 1969] 
New Bern OEO Workers Charged 

New Bern. — Seven persons, including two anti-poverty oflScials, were arrested 
at the Jason Morris blueberry farm at Bridgeton Tuesday as they attempted to 
converse with blueberry pickers. 

Nearly 1,000 workers went on strike at the farm last week demanding higher 
wages and better jobs for Negro employes. 

arrested 

Among those arrested were John Franklin Bryant III of New Bern, executive 
director of the Community Organization ConiiK)nent and Thomas Bernard Wal- 
lace of New Bern, assistant director of the .<ame agency. Both were charged 
with carrying a sawed-off .12 gauge shotgun in violation of the Dangerous Fire- 
arms Act. Magistrate H. Paul Stevens set bond for each at $5,000. 

Charged with inciting a breach of peace were Francois Cartier, Carolyn 
Hickman, Carolyn Styron and Estelle Clark, all of New Bern. Their bonds were 
set at $100 each. Miss Clark and Miss Styron are COG workers and Carolyn 
Hickman is a VISTA worker. 

Leland Hall of New Bern was charged by Deputy Sheriff Wilson Parker with 
resisting arrest and delaying an oflScer. His bond was set at $200. 

Jason Morris, the farm owner, said between 450 and 500 persons had reported 
for work Tuesday morning. He told oflBcers that antipoverty workers had 
frightened blueberry pickers off their jobs. 

Sheriff Charlie Berry of Craven County said he was told by Ed Flowers, one 
of the workers, that he was forced out of the field at pistol point. 

[From the Sun- Journal, New Bern, N.C., June 18, 1969] 

Six Are Charged 

Six of the 14 persons picked up by Craven County Sheriff's Deputies yesterday 
have been charged with crimes ranging from violations of the Dangerous Weap- 
ons Act to disorderly conduct. 

Five of those charged with crimes were Federal anti-poverty workers. 

According to Sheriff's Deputies, the six were arrested after they attempted 
to talk to blueberry workers at Jason Morris Farms, Inc., of Bridgeton, the 
scene of a four-day strike by pickers. 

The deputy said, however, that those arrested were not actually on farm 
property, but were picked up as they attempted to talk with workers from the 
shoulder of the highway. 

A search of the car of one of the workers, John Franklin Bryant, III, 26, 
of New Bern, resulted in discovery of a sawed-off shotgun. Officers said the 
shotgun was "broken down" and was found under the seat in Bryant's car. 

A passenger in the car, Thomas Wallace, 26, was charged with Bryant with 
"possession" of the weapon. 

Bryant heads the Community Organization Component of Coastal Progress, 
Inc., and Wallace is his assistant. 



1115 

Two other members of Bryant's staff were charged with "disorderly conduct." 
They were Estelle Clark, and Carolyn Styron. 

A fifth anti-poverty worker arrested yesterday was Carolyn Hickman, who is 
employed as VISTA volunteer by Shaw University in Raleigh. 

The other person charged was Francois Cartier, who told oflScers she was 
"unemployed." 

Bonds were set at $5,000 each for Bryant and Wallace and at $100 each for 
the others arrested. 

An attorney for the group charged the arrests were "retaliatory" against 
Coastal Progress, Inc., and termed the entire incident "over- reaction." 



[Prom the Jones County Times, June 19, 1969] 
Harvestebs Busy in Blueberry Fields on Morris Brothers Farm 

Blueberry season is here once again. How can you tell? Just go out and look 
on the Jason Morris Farms located near Maysville, in the Black Swamp area of 
Jones County. 

There one will find about 45 acres in blueberries. Another 25 acres are young 
trees and will not produce until about two years. 

"Labor has not been a problem" says Delma Morris on the farms. What we do 
is actually sell our workers a crate that will hold about 12 pints for 25 cents. 
They then take the crate and pick the blueberries and then return to us and we 
then give the worker $1.00. 

The short season on Blueberries is about four weeks. This year the crop is not 
a bumper, according to Morris, but a medium to poor crop. We also have about 
300 workers that pick the berries for us. Plus we invited other people to come 
out and pick their own for 15 cents per pound. 

Blueberries are not new to the Jones County area since they had their bet- 
ginning back in 1949' when a farmer by the name of Morris began to grow them 
on his farm. The idea didn't really develop until his sons Delma, James, Jason 
and Fenner became interested in the cultivation of the blueberry. 

Morris estimated that between 12-14 thousand crates of blueberries are shipped 
and packed at the farms per year. The blueberries are sold through the American 
Food Association. 

When setting out blueberries Morris said, "A good peedy, sandy loom soil is 
best We set the small bushed out with a tobacco transplanter. Cultivation is a 
necessity each year because each small and mature bush must be fertilized and 
sprayed. Another job the grower must do is to prune the individual bushes each 
year during the winter season. 

The crates of blueberries are loaded on a truck in the field and from there 
they are hauled to a central packing house. Here, the crates are unloaded and 
are made ready for grading and packing. 

Through the middle of the packing house is a long table. In the center of the 
table and above the table there are rollers fixed so the crates of blueberries can 
be pushed from one end to the other. 

The berries enter on the lower set of rollers and craites are stopped in front 
of each packer. The packer then lifts out the pint cartons from the crates, takes 
a piece of clear plastic covering and with a special square shaped device the 
packers push the plastic down over the pint container and slip a rubber band 
around the container. The containers are then placed into a cardboard crate 
that also holds 12 pints. 

During the spring months the blueberry bush is hurt by the frequent frost 
To combat this problem the fields have a built-in irrigation system. When cold 
weather and frost does come, according to Morris the system is turned on and 
the bush is sprayed with the warm irrigation water. It keeps it warm enough so 
the frost will not get it "Before," further commented Morris, "We had a choice 
between using smoke pots and the irrigation system, but we selected the irriga- 
tion system, due to the fact that we could use it during the cold months as well as 
the dry spell that occurs." 

The bushes are usually productive for a 10-year period according to Morris, 
so this means that the bu.shes do not have to be replanted each year. 

Anyone desiring to pick fresh blueberries, the Morris Brothers invite you out 
to their farms to pick your own. 



1116 

[From the News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C., June 19, 1969] 

Rep. Jones Asks Pbobe in North Carolina Blueberry Strike 

(By Roy Hardee, staff writer) 

BRIDGETON — A full-scale investigation has been requested on charges that 
government employes have attempted to incite violence and to intimidate blue- 
berry workers here. 

First District Rep. Walter B. Jones said Wednesday afternoon he asked fed- 
eral authorities for the investigation. 

Jones said the inve,sitigation was prompted by reports from Craven County 
which indicated that government workers employed by Coastal Progress, Inc., 
an antipoverty organization, and VISTA workers were attempting to incite 
violence and intimidate workers in the Bridgeton community. 

propriety 

"I do not question the right of employes to strike. However, I do question the 
propriety of government employes who are paid by taxpayers' dollars appearing 
I)ersonally on the scene, intimidating land-owners, making threats of violence 
against employes who are willing to work, and violating tresjyass laws," Jones 
said. 

He said he had requested that the investigation single out those responsible 
for the unwarranted and unauthorized acts and that appropriate disciplinary ac- 
tion be taken by the proper agency if the allegations are true. 

The farm of Jason Morris of Bridgeton has been plagued with labor problems 
since last Friday when first reports were circulated that workers were receiving 
threats aimed at making them stay away from work at the fields. 

More than 1,000 persons, all local labor, are employed during the normal four- 
week blueberry crop harvest on the 100-acre farm. During the peak weeks the 
farm has a normal payroll of around $25,000 weekly. The workers receive 75 
cents for each flat of berries picked. 

Wednesday around 150 workers were in the fields and production was reported 
at a normal pace. Morris said he was now using a mechanical picker which can 
replace at least 40O hand pickers. 

Tuesday seven i)ersons, six of them government employes, were arrested as 
they attempted to disrupt operations at the Morris farm. 

Jim Godwin, executive director of Coastal Progress, said his organization 
"would be most hapr>y to be a part of the investigation and I have instructed my 
staff to cooperate 100 per cent. Whatever determination is made will be guided 
by that in our disciplinary action against the accused employes," Godwin said. 



[From the Sun-Journal, New Bern, N.C., June 19, 1969] 
Godwin Willing To Await Court's Decision in Arrests of Six Workers 

Jim Godwin, executive director Coastal Progress, Inc., said today he is willing 
to await the decision of the courts before determining whether disciplinary action 
will be taken against six anti-poverty workers charged with intimidating blue- 
berry workers in Bridgeton. 

"My assessment of the situation does not indicate the need for any disciplinary 
action at present," Godwin told the Sun-Journal. He added the persons involved 
are "accused of committing crimes," but said they have not yet been given an 
opportunity to present their case. 

Godwin described two of the workers. John Franklin Bryant, III. 26, and 
Thomas Wallace, 26, as "valuable employes and important members of this 
organization." 

He said that unless directed by higher authority to take immediate action, 
"I am willing to await the decision of the courts." 

He said also that he had been informed an investigation team from the OflSce 
of Economic Opportunity would conduct their probe into the incident within a 
few days. 

Godwin's statements came on the heels of a call for an investigation by First 
District Congressman Walter B. Jones after reports of the arrests reached his 
office in Washington. 



1117 

"I do not question the right of employes to strike," Jones said, "but I do 
question the propriety of government employes, who are paid by taxpayers' dol- 
lars, appearing personally on the scene intimidating land owners and making 
threats of violence against employes who are willing to work." 

The reports of intimidation arose following a strike by blueberry pickers on 
the farm of Jason Morris last Friday. 

The sitrikers had asked that they be given $1.25 per flat of blueberries picked, 
rather than the 75 cents they now receive. 

As the strike appeared to be ending Monday, the six antipoverty workers were 
arrested near the farm as they attempted to talk with blueberry pickers. 

Two of the group. Wallace and Bryant, were charged with iX)Sse.«ision of a 
sawed-ofC shotgun which oflScers said they found under the seat of Bryant's car. 
They added the weapon was unloaded and broken down. The others arrested 
were charged with disorderly conduct. 

Today, Morris reported that approximately 200 workers had returned to the 
job. 

He added that with a picking machine he has in operation, he should be able 
to finish the blueberry picking operation on schedule with the labor now available. 

A hearing has been set for the anti-poverty workers in Craven County District 
Court on July 2. 

All of the workers are free under bond. 



[From the Klnston Dailj- Free Press, Kinston, N.C., June 20, 1969] 
Probe of Craven GEO Is Demanded 

"WASHINGTON. — The White House has been asked to investigate charges that 
government anti-poverty workers are attempting to incite violence and intimidate 
blueberry pickers in Bridgeton, N.C. 

North Carolina First District Rep. Walter B. Jones reque.sted the investiga- 
tion Wednesday, saying he was prompted by reports that employes of Coastal 
Progress, Inc., an anti-poverty organization, and VISTA workers were attempting 
to incite violence and intimidate the workers at Bridgeton. 

Jones said "I do not question the right of employes ito strike ; however, I do 
question the propriety of government employes who are paid by taxpayers dollars 
aiJi^earing personally on the scene intimidating landowners, making threats of 
violence against employes who are willing to work and violating trespassing 
laws." 

Reports first circulated last Friday that workers at the Jason Morris blueberry 
farm in Bridgeton had received threats aimed at making them stay away from 
work in the fields. 

Wednesday, seven persons, including six anti-poverty workers, were arrested 
as they attempted to talk to blueberry pickers at the farm. 



1118 



United Illans 

Of 

America, Inc. 

KNIGHTS OF THE 

Ku Klux Klan 

PRESENTS A PROGRAM 

SUN, OCT. 20lh - 3:00 pm 

VANCEBORO, N.C. 

Between Highway 17 and Highway 17A 
on Old Bdck Road 

J. ROBERT JONES an^piER SPEAKERS 

WHITE PUBLIC ONLY 



1119 

[From the North Carolina Anvil, June 21, 1969] 
In Klan Ck)UNTRY — Law and Media Oppress the Poor 

New Bern. — The young black man, sitting in a run-down storefront commu- 
nity action center, talks about what he has seen out in a blueberry field : "It's a 
form of slavery, and some people don't want it to end." He is talking about a 
strike by farm workers, black, oppressed and reared in poverty, and about the 
white people who seem determined to keep them there. They include the local 
news media and the sheriff of the county. 

There is strong evidence to suggest that Charlie Berry, the Sheriff of Craven 
County, has used his influence to prevent a settlement in a strike by black farm 
workers against the Morris Blueberry Farm in Bridgeton near New Bern. There 
is also a great amount of evidence that Sheriff Berry has used the police power 
of his office to harass local anti-poverty workers and many in fact have deprived 
them of a constitutional rights of free association and free speech. 

Thirty miles east of Raleigh on U.S. 70. on the outskirts of Smithfield, a 
htige sign with a hooded white fi.gure welcomes you to Ku Klux Klan Country 
("Fight Communism and Integration. Join the Klan"). And historic New Bern, 
80 miles deeper into Klan Country, is the scene right now of a Klansman's 
nightmare, where oppressed blacks are proving they are growing tired of being 
treated as simple happy "colored people." 

The problem surfaced just two weeks ago at the Jason Morris Blueberry Farm, 
three miles across the Neuse River on U.S. 17 near Bridgeton. It began with a 
group of workers coming to members of Coastal Progress, Inc., the local anti- 
poverty agency, with some problems. The workers said that conditions had been 
getting worse this season at the Morris farm, that they were being badly treated, 
talked to with pronounced disrespect, made to wait out on the highway for rides 
home when they finished work. One woman had recently quit at the farm when 
a field bo«s refused to look the other way while she relieved herself (toilet facili- 
ties are non-existent in the field). And of course there was the que.stion of making 
some more money. 

The Morris family owns several blueberry farms in Jones and Craven coun- 
ties. This particular farm, with 100 acres in blueberries, employs some 900 to 
1.000 black workers during the short picking .season. (The workers said, "They 
didn't know how short the season was, but they were going to find out this time.") 
The workers come mostly from Craven, Lenoir, Jones, and Pamlico counties 
and include many women, children and old men. Pickers are paid $.75 for each 
fiat that they pick, a flat containing 12 pints (at a current retail price of $.34 
per pint, or $4.08 per flat, in both Raleigh and New Bern grocery stores) requir- 
ing about an hour of labor by a fast and exi>erienced picker. 

Mrs. Estella Clark, personnel director of the anti-poverty agency, said when 
the workers came to her for advice, antipoverty workers met with the pickers 
at a New Bern ball park. "We simply advised them of their rights in dealing with 
the situation and the alternatives that were open to them. We did not advise them 
or encourage them in any way to strike. We left that decision entirely up to the 
workers themselves." This would be in keeping with basic tenets of community 
organization, where the organizer does not promote or instigate a course of 
action. The theory being the poor will support their own decisions more faith- 
fully than those of any third party. 

It was at this meeting on the night of June 12 that the workers decided not 
to go to work at the Morris farm Friday or Saturday, and with the exception of 
about 50 pickers, they stayed away from their jobs both days. 

On Monday, according to the anti-poverty workers, the sheriff began to play a 
role in the strike with an announcement that the strike was over and that every- 
one had returned to the Morris farm for business as usual. Mrs. Clark says that 
about 300 blacks who heard the announcement on the radio assumed that the 
strike had been settled and went out to the farm Tuesday or Wednesday, but 
that few went back to work after they found wages had not been increased and 
the strike was still going on. 

After this attempt to break the strike, the anti-poverty workers say, a series 
of seven arre'^ts took place: all of them by the sheriff's department and most 
aimed at the black strikers, black workers who had just walked off their jobs, and 
anti-poverty personnel. 

Charges were made that anti-poverty workers had attempted to intimidate 
non-striking workers and force them from the fields. The charges were made 
by Sheriff Berry and carried without rebuttal by most daily papers in the state. 



1120 

On Tuesday, Tom Wallace, deputy director of Coastal Progress, and Johnny 
Bryant, director of community organization for the agency, were on their way 
back from Vanceboro, where they had been checking on the coiistruction of a 
community center. The route they took was U.S. 17, which Bryant says is the 
fastest route between Vanceboro and New Bern. Bryant reports that when the 
two stopped about a half-mile from Morris' farm to pick up some berry pickers 
who had left work and were hitching a ride, they were stopped by four cars of 
sheriff's deputies and the sherifC himself. When the deputies saw a breeched 
shotgun, unloaded, lying on the seat of the car, they arrested and handcuffed 
Bryant and Wallace and searched the car for other weapons, finding only some 
shotgun shells loaded with birdshot. Bryant and Yv^allace admit that the barrel 
of the shotgun had been shortened somewhat, but stress that it had a 20-inch 
barrel and a 12-inch stock, longer than the IS-inches required by federal law and 
generally defined as "sawed-off." 

According to their attorney, Reginald Frazier of New Bern, the two were 
charged with the felony of "terrorizing with a weapon" and inciting people to 
disorder. Frazier characterized these as common law, rather than statute, 
charges : "faked and clearly unconstitutional under present law." 

The anti-poverty workers point to the commonplace of whites carrying rifles 
in their cars and trucks, in many cases prominently displayed in a gun rack on 
the rear window of a pickup. This practice, they say, is intended to intimidate the 
local blacks, as are the KKK signs in the area. Gun control apparently applies 
only to the blacks. 

Wallace and Bryant were released on $5,000 bond each. Five more arrests 
were made Tuesday, including that of Mrs. Clark. Most arrests were made about 
a quarter mile from the Morris farm. Mrs. Clark says that she also picked up 
some people walking away from the Morris farm when a deputy came up and 
ordered her to go to New Bern, but did not tell her she was under arrest or being 
charged with anything. Frazier said she was taken to the jail, charged with 
striking terror into people, moved from one "filthy" cell to another, and finally 
released on $100 bail. 

The only white man who has backed the arrested anti-poverty workers so far 
has been Jim Godwin, executive director of Coastal Progress. Godwin, Bryant 
says, "has backed its all the way, said that we were within our rights, and that 
any complaints should be handled through the judicial process." 

Godwin may emerge as a minority of one in New Bern. The blacks say they 
do not expect anything close to fair coverage from the New Bern Sun-Journal 
and radio stations in the area are launching scurrilous and overtly racist attacks 
in an effort to discredit the anti-poverty agency and fire-up local residents which 
could result in harm to the anti-poverty workers. "Communistic program" and 
•'satisfied colored people" were the key terms in one local radio station's editorial 
Wednesday evening. 

The role and attitude of Sheriff Berry throughout the strike was described 
more clearly by James Gavin, the black co-chairman of the New Bern Good 
Neighbor Council. Gavin says that he went out to the Morris farm Monday 
morning, June 16, to see if he could mediate the dispute or be of any assistance 
in preventing further trouble. He says that while near the farm. Sheriff Berry 
"came up to me and gave me a tongue-lashing, accusing Gavin and all the anti- 
poverty workers of being "meddlers and trouble-makers." 

"He went on and on and I finally told him, 'you wouldn't talk to me like this 
if I were white.' That made him madder and he ?aid that he didn't owe colored 
people anything because they didn't vote for him. Then he blamed me for last 
April's disorders and when I told him I stayed home that night, he said, 'you 
get other people to do your dirt.' " 

"The sad part about it is," Gavin said, "I know his feeling about race rela- 
tions : He's in another century. He called me a nigger to my face once. And he 
said the county would not hire a single Negro deputy as long as he's sheriff. 

"This man doesn't know anything about the needs of blacks in the county, and 
he doesn't know that you can't jiist keep pu.shing them around. The sheriff proved 
that he doesn't care anything about the black community when he arrested Tommy 
and Johnny on false charges." 

Gavin and the anti-poverty workers believe that a settlement could have been 
reached with the Morrises early in the strike, but that Sheriff Berry urged 
Morris not to give in to any pressure from blacks. Bryant, one of the arrested 
anti-poverty workers, says that there have been reports of 150 whites out trying 



1121 

to pick the berries before they spoil, but "that's not nearly enough people and 
besides you gotta have rhythm to pick blueberries." Attorney Frazicr said he also 
feels that the Morrises are willing to negotiate. With a reporter in his office, 
Frazier called Ted Morris, one of the brothers who run the farm, Wednesday 
night and had no problem in setting up a Thursday morning meeting to talk 
about improving working conditions and wages. And the strikers would very 
likely settle for a raise from $.75 to $.85 per flat, if accompanied by improved 
working conditions. 

In the meantime, there are the charges against the anti-poverty workers, 
charges which will be fought by Frazier and by John Harmon, another black 
attorney in New Bern, with help from Julius Chambers of Charlotte and Richard 
Powell of Greenville. 

But the damage is already done. The races have been further polarized, Morris 
stands to lose a large part of his crop, and Rep. Walter Jones has asked for an 
investigation of Coastal Opportunities Inc. The poor in Craven County saw higher 
wages as a way out of poverty, and the reaction from the local whites has been 
entirely negative. 

[From the Sun-Journal, New Bern, N.C., June 25, 1969] 
Edwards Denies Charges 

Craven County Deputy Sheriff Bruce Edwards denied charges that officers from 
the Sheriff's Department tried to stop pieketers from marching at the Jason 
Morris Blueberry Farm in Bridgeton yesterday by blocking them with ix)lice cars. 

Edwards stated that the cars were used to keep pieketers on one side of the 
highway to prevent them from crossing the road and endangering their own 
lives and stopping traffic. 

He said that a State Highway Patrolman talked with the heads of the group 
of about 50 persons and told them if they continued to cross the highway that 
they would be arrested. 

Edwards added that other than this and some "loud talking," the pieketers 
were otherwise peaceful. 

[From the News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C., June 25, 1969] 
Striking Migrants Get Aid 

Bridgeton. — James Godwin, executive director of Coastal Progress, Inc., at 
New Bern, said Tuesday that his agency has received a $5,000 check from 
Washington to be used for emergency food and medical services for seasonal 
workers as the outgrowth of the strike at the Jason Morris blueberry farm. 

Pickets appeared at the farm Tuesday, but members of the Craven County 
Sheriff's Department and State Highway Patrol said there was no trouble and 
no arrests. 

Godwin said the $5,000 check was received from the Migrant Service Center 
Project in Washington. Godwin said the check was endorsed over to the newly- 
formed Eastern Farm Workers Association and deposited in the bank. 

FOUR counties 

The association is comprised of farm workers in Pamlico, Jones, Craven and 
Lenoir counties. Godwin said Mrs. Delores Wright, one of his bookkeepers, has 
volunteered to keep records for the association, which will be responsible for 
disbursement of funds. He also said that Mrs. Janie Watts, a resources coordi- 
nator for Coasta,! Progress, is providing technical assistance to the association. 

First District Rep. Walter B. Jones last week requested a federal investigation 
resulting from the alleged involvement in the strike of government employes 
affiliated with a nti poverty agencies. 

The trial of seveji persons, all government employes, arrested by sheriff's 
officers at the farm in a series of charges last week, is scheduled July 2 in District 
Court in Ne^v Bern. Those arre.sted included employes of Coastal Progress, Inc., 
VISTA, and a member of the Neighborhood Youth Corps. 

The Morris farm, a 100-aere blueberry operation, at peak season employs be- 
tween 1,000 and 1,500 pickers, each paid based on individual production. 

36-513 O— 70'— pit. 3-B 17 



1122 

MECHANICAL PICKER 

During the past weeks while only a small number of pickers have reported for 
work, a mechanical picker has been used to offset the labor decline. It can harvest 
as much as 400 handpickers. 

Picket signs Tuesday called for an increase in wages from the $.75 per flat of 
berries picked. Around 300 persons were reported working in the fields Tuesday 
and the pickets apparently had very little effect on labor production. 



[From the Kinston Daily Free Press, Kinston, N.C., June 26, 1969] 
Blueberry Strike Gets Federal Aid 

Bridgeton. — A federal anti-poverty agency executive director in New Bern 
said Wednesday he bad transferred a $5,000 check from Washington to the newly- 
formed Eastern Farm Workers Association to help striking workers at a blue- 
berry farm here. 

James Godwin said he was "acting under a mandate to give assistance to poor 
people. As long as I sit where I sit, I will try to administer mandates as I see 
them." 

He heads Coastal Progress, Inc., whose employes have been criticized by First 
District Rep. Walter Jones for becoming involved with the strike. 

Godwin said that the request for the federal grant did not come from Coasta.l 
Progress. Inc., but apparently came out of activities of the farm workers associa- 
tion, headed by the Rev. Henry Lee Darden. 

Oo-chairman of the association, Mrs. Lena Smith, said the money will be used 
to help the striking pickers at the Jason Morris blueberry farm buy food and 
clothing and pay rents. 

The workers are asking for a 50-cent increase to $1.25 per flat for berries 
picked. Mrs. Smith said that it takes the fastest picker one hour to fill a flat. 

The strikers are also asking for Negroes to be given jobs driving trucks and 
working in the sheds. None of the Negroes employed at the farm hold these 
jobs now. 

Also, Mrs. Smith said, the pickers are protesting the lack of toilet facilities for 
female workers in the fields and the inadequate supply of drinking water. She 
said toward the end of day, workers have to drink irrigation water. 

About 200 to 300 workers remain in the fields of the lOO-acre blueberry farm 
which employs between 1,000 and 1,500 handpickers at peak season. 

However, the effect of the strike has been lessened by use of a mechanical 
picker which is capable of doing the work of 400 handpickers. 



[From the News and Observer, Raleigh, N.C., June 26, 1969] 
Antipoverty Director Defends Strikers' Aid 

Bridgeton. — A federal antipoverty agency executive director in New Bern 
said Wednesday that he was "acting under a mandate to give assistance to poor 
l>eople" when he transferred a $5,000 check from Washington to the newly- 
formed Eastern Farm Workers Association. 

The association is compi-ised of farm workers in Pamlico. Lenoir, Jones and 
Craven counties. The group is supporting handpickers who are striking the Jason 
Morris blueberry farm. 

James Godwin, executive director of Coastal Progress, Inc., said "As long as I 
sit here, I will try to administer mandates as I see them. We wiU continue to 
support poor people whatever their problems." 

Godwin said that the federal gift was not a Coastal Progress project. He said 
the request for money apparently came out of activities of the Farm Workers 
Association. 

First District Rej). Walter B. Jones last week requested a federal investigation 
of alleged involvement in the strike of government employes affiliated with anti- 
poverty agencies. 

The Rev. Henry Lee Darden is head of the association wiiich was formed 
June 11. 



1123 

Mrs. Lena Smith, coehairman of the association, said that the money wiJLl be 
used to help the workers buy food and clothing and pay rents. 

The workers are asking for a 50 cents per flat increase in wages. They are being 
paid 75 cents per flat of berries picked. Mrs. Smith said that the fastest picker 
can fill only one flat per hour. 

The strikers are also asking for Negroes to be given jobs driving trucks and 
working in the sheds. These jobs are now held by whites. The pickers are all 
Negroes. 

Mrs. Smith said there were no field toilet facilities for the female workers. 
Also, she said, the supply of drinking water in the field is inadequate and toward 
the end of the day, workers have to drink irrigation water. 

The strike is continuing with very .little apparent effect on production. A 
mechanical picker, capable of doing the work of 400 handpickers, has been in 
use .since the decline of workers in the fields. 

About 200 to 300 workers remain in the fields of the lOO-acre blueberry farm 
which employs between 1,000 and 1,500 handpickers at peak season. 



[From the News and Observer, Raleigh, N.C., July 3, 1969] 
Poverty Officials Convicted 

New Bern. — Two officials of Coastal Progress, Inc., a local antipoverty or- 
ganization, were convicted in district court here Wednesday on charges of having 
a sawed-off shotgun in their possession during a strike at a blueberry farm in 
Bridgeton last month. 

John F. Bryant III, director of the community action program of Coastal 
Progress, Inc., and Thomas B. Wallace, deputy director of Coastal Progress, were 
found guilty by Judge J. W. H. Roberts of Greenville. 

Roberts sentenced Bryant to 12 months in prison but continued prayer for 
judgment until July 14 in the case against Wallace. 

Bryant entered notice of appeal and was released under $2,000 appearance 
bond. Wallace posted bond of $500. 

Five other related ca.ses docketed for trial Wednesday involving employes of 
Coastal Progress and VISTA, both agencies of the Office of Economic Opportunity, 
were continued until July 29 at the request of defense attorneys. 

All arrests were made following a reported disturbance of blueberry workers 
at the Jason Morris farm at Bridgeton on June 17. 

Coastal Progress, Inc., operates in Craven, Jones and Pamlico counties. 

SHOTGUN FOUND 

Deputy Sheriffs Bruce Edwards and T. W. Parker said they found a sawed-off 
12 gauge shotgun in the front of the car between two bucket seats. The car is 
owned by Bryant. Officers said three unfired shells were found with the weapon. 

District Prosecutor Eli Bloom of Greenville called Jim Godwin, executive di- 
rector of Coastal Progress to the stand and asked if he had prior knowledge of 
his employes carrying weapons in their cars. 

Godwin testified that he "had observed the gun in (Bryant's car) on numerous 
occasions over a i>eriod of about a year. "It was always broken down, he said. 
"He has the right to bear arms." 

"I am .surprised that Mr. Godwin had not inquired as to why the weapon was 
being carried," Bloom told the court. 

Defense attorneys John Harmon and Reginald Frazier contended that the 
shotgun did not violate any laws. But, Bloom said that both men had been in 
the area of the blueberry farm on prior occasions and knew that the section was 
'"a troubled one." 

More than 900 blueberry pickers walked out of the fields or failed to show up 
for work June 13 at the Morris farms. A mechanical picker, capable of doing the 
work of 400 hand pickers, Avas placed in operation. Morris said production at 
the lOO-acre farm has not been hampered by the .strike. 

First District Rep. Walter B. Jones has called for an investigation to determine 
why government employes were apparently involved in the strike. The request 
made directly to the ^Sliite House, is underway but no report has been made 
public on the findings. 



1124 

[From the Sun-Journal, New Bern, N.C., July 3, 1969] 
2 Anti-Poverty Wokkers Convicted ! 

Two officials of Coastal Progress, Inc., here were convicted in Craven County, 
District Court on ctiarges of having a sawed-off shotgun in their possession dur- 
ing a strilie at the Jason Morris blueberry farm in Bridgeton last month. 

John F. Bryant, III, director of the Community Organization Component of 
Coastal Progress and Thomas B. Wallace, the deputy director, were found guilty 
of the charges by Judge J. W. H. Roberts of Greenville. 

Judge Roberts sentenced Bryant to one year in prison and continued prayer 
for judgment for Wallace until July 14. Five related cases, also docketed for 
trial Wednesday, were continued until July 29. 

The two men were believed to have been attempting to encourage workers on 
the Morris farm to strike when officers stopped their car, found the weapon and 
arre.sted them. 

Wallace however, testified that neither he nor Bryant knew of any "dis- 
turbance" at the farm on the day of the arrests. He added that he and Bryant 
were returning from a trip to Vanceboro when four Negro women "flagged down" 
their car near the blueberry farm shortly before the arrests were made. 

The Jason Morris farm, where normally nearly 1,000 workers are hired each 
year to pick blueberries, had been the scene of a strike by about half of the 
workers for almost a week when the incident occurred 

Early in the trial yesterday, defense attorney, Reginald Frazier was denied 
in a motion to quash charges against the men which he claimed "failed to par- 
ticularize criminal offenses under the common law statutes." 

He added that due to the "uncertainty and vagueness" of the charges, he and 
Attorney John H. Harmon, who represented Bryant, were unable to properly 
prepare a defense. 

Judge Roberts deuied the motion after hearing testimony from Magistrate 
J. Paul Stevens and the arresting officer, Craven County Deputy Sheriff Bruce 
Edwards. 

Three other witnesses testified — all of them for the defendant. 

Willie Riddick of Shaw University in Raleigh, testified as a character witness 
for the men and cited Wallace's "outstanding work" with various anti-poverty 
agencies in North Carolina. 

Another witness Ernestine Keyes of Trenton, one of the four women who 
Wallace said flagged down Bryant's car, testified that she did not know either 
of the two men and that, at the time, she was unaware of the strike at the farm. 

She also stated, however, that the reason she and the other women were walk- 
ing along the highway was that Fenner Morris, an employee at the farm, had 
chased them from the field. She added she did not know why. 

James Godwin, executive director of the anti-poverty agency, testified as to the 
character of both men and commented that they were "superior" in their jobs 
with the organization. 

He also testified that he had seen the shotgun in Bryant's car on "several 
occasions" over a period of about a year, but added he saw "nothing unusual 
about it." 

Bryant filed notice of appeal and bond for him was set at $2,000. Appearance 
bond for Wallace was set at $500. Both of the men are Negroes. 

[From the News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C., July 5, 1969] 

Incitement to Riot 

District Judge George Bason expressed his sympathy this week for a Clayton 
man whom he sentenced to prison on charges stemming from an incident here 
two months ago. Many citizens may share that sympathy. The defendant, Wood- 
row R. Beard, is 52, head of a family, very respected in his home community. 
His conviction and one-year prison term (from which he has appealed) mean 
hardships for more than one penson. 

In sharing that sympathy, however, the public should share as well Judge 
Bason's insistence that lawles.sness not be excused by color or community stature. 
Beard's good reputation was firmly established at his trial by numerous char- 
acter witnesses. And so was his bad conduct, by people who saw the events of 
May 8 on Fayetteville Street. 

The facts established in testimony were these : Negro demonstrators were 
peacefully maching along Fayetteville Street w'hen Beard rode by in his car. 



1125 

Beard pulled out a pistol and fired "over the heads of the demonstrators" (as 
a policeman testified). Then one of the Negroes climbed onto his car and 
Beard fired a blast at him. The fact that no riot occurred was quite properly 
attributed by the judge to a "miracle." 

Some will .'^ee a year in prison as a stiff sentence for a man whose actions 
injured nobody and damaged no property. But in convicting and sentencing this 
defendant, Judge Bason refused to pretend that a white citizen carrying and 
firing a pistol is no more an incentive to riot than a Negro lawfully and peaceably 
exercisirg his right's to demonstrate. Beard's conduct in tense times was "reckless, 
wanton, irresponsible," the judge reminded the community. He could have added 
that it a riot had folowed Beard's appearance, too many people would have 
remembered the demonstrators and forgotten all about the white man who 
pulled a pistol on them. 

[From the Klnston Daily Free Press, Kinston, N.C., July 3, 1969] 
Poverty Worker Sentenced 

New Bern. — John F. Bi-yant III, an official of Coastal Progress, Inc., an anti- 
poverty organization here, was sentenced to one year in prison Wednesday on 
charges of possessing a shotgun during a strike last month at a Bridget on blue- 
berry farm. 

A second official. Thomas B. Wallace, was convicted of identical charges and 
was to be sentenced later. 

They are arrested following a disturbance at the Jason Morris farm June 17. 
More than 900 blueberry pickers walked off their jobs and authorities said they 
found a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun in a poverty worker's car. 



[From the Sun-Journal, New Bern, N.C., July 11, 1969] 
"Berry" Hearing 

A Senate Subcommittee hearing on Migratory Labor pertaining to recent labor 
problems at a Craven County blueberry farm has been set for July 17 in Wash- 
ington, D.C., according to Senator Walter F. Mondale of Minnesota, chairman of 
the Subcommittee on Migratory Labor. 

The hearing will be held in order "to provide a forum for discussion by all 
persons involved in the New Bern situation," Mondale added. 

The Senator, in a letter to .Jim Godwin, executive director of Coastal Progress, 
Inc., New Bern, stated that "as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Mi- 
gratory Labor, it was with a great deal of personal interest that I read several 
newspaper accounts of recent events in New Bern and Craven County, N.C., 
concerning blueberry pickers. 

"The Subcommittee in presently in the prooes.s of investigating migrant and 
seasonal farmworker problem in the United States, and we have already had 
two sets of hearings. 

"I extend an invitation to you to appear on Thursday morning, July 17, in 
Room 4232 of the New Senate office building, Washington, D.C., so that you 
can testify on the facts as you personally see them as to the over all situation 
in Craven County." 

The letter to Godwin was dated July 7. 

Also invited to attend the hearing were Sheriff Charlie B. Berry of Craven 
County, James Gavin, co-chairman of the local Good Neighbor Council ; the 
Morris brothers at the Jason Morris Farms Inc., Bridgeton ; and some of the 
blueberry workers, as well as politicians, said Godwin. 

Godwin has accepted the invitation to attend the hearing. 

When the Morris brothers were contacted to see if they planned to attend, 
one commented they were "undecided at this time." 

Sheriff Berry was reportedly out of town and it was not known if he will 
attend the hearing. 

"Object of the Rearing as I under.stand it." said Godwin, "is to discuss the 
lack of power of the poor. This is in reference to migrant and seasonal workers," 
he added. 

He said the hearing was deal with the "effects and conditions" that surround 
the lives of these seasonal workers. 



1126 

[From the News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C., July 13, 1969] 

Berry Strike Leaves Seeds of Bitterness 

(By Jack Childs) 

New Bern. — Black versus white. Police versus poverty workers. Haves versus 
have-nots. Labor versus management. 

All of these elements, each supercharged with the potential for sudden violence 
and lasting bitterness, are wrapped in one package that has bedeviled and be- 
witched this history such, perficially placid corner of North Carolina this summer. 

It is not a neat package — nor a pretty one. 

Next Thursday, a subcommittee of the United States Senate will attempt to 
open the package and examine its contents. The main order of business that day 
for the Senate Subcommittee on Migratory and Seasonal Labor, chaired by 
Sen. Walter F. Mondale, D-Minnesota, is to look into the dispute between Jason 
Morris Blueberry Farms, Inc., and the hundreds of black seasonal workers who 
pick the Morrises' blueberries. 

The conflict between the picker.s and the Morris brothers who run the vast blue- 
berry farms at Bridgeton, just across the Neuse River from New Bern, is an echo 
of the celebrated California labor dispute between the grape growers and the 
Mexican-American grape workers. 

If only the Morris farm and the seasonal workers who struck it last month are 
considered, the battle of Bridgeton might be regarded as small pickings, certainly 
in comparison with the long-standing feud between Cesar Chavez and his foes, 
the grape growers, in California. 

But broadening the local labor dispute's implications is a set of issues and 
events that has raised serious questions about the roles performed by a three- 
county poverty organization and by law enforcement oflScials working in Craven 
County — particularly the sheriff's department. 

Sheriff C. B. Berry and his deputies have arrested seven persons, most of 
them officials or employes of Coastal Progress, Inc., a seasoned anti-poverty out- 
fit which serves Craven, Pamlico, and Jones counties, on charges stemming 
from the blueberry workers' strike. Two young black men, both Coastal Progress 
officials, were charged under an old English common law that pre-dates the 
Revolutionary War. 

The poverty i^eople and strike leaders contend that the arrests and other 
activities of the sheriff's department during those tense June days added up to 
flagrant violations of a host of basic civil rights. 

Sheriff Berry, on the other hand, believes there was no strike ; that the Coastal 
Progress workers threatened and intimidated blueberry pickers in leaving the 
fields. One of the farm co-operators, Fenner Morris, doesn't shrink from the word 
"strike," but he, too, levels all the blame at the poverty workers. 

Coastal Progress was one of the early rural projects of the federal OflSce of 
Economic Opportunity. It was one of 11 "community action programs of the 
North Carolina Fund," a statewide anti-poverty organization which was in opera- 
tion a year before the federal agency began to function. 

James L. (Jim) Godwin, 43, who.se father grew up in Craven County 
came to Coastal Progress as its executive director in 1966. A strapping white man. 
Godwin looks like an ex-Marine, World War II vintage or an ex-Carolina foot- 
ball player of the Charles Justice area. He is both. 

Godwin had a long and apparently thriving career in the life insurance field 
(he was vice president of the Franklin Life Insurance Co.), when he came to the 
conclusion that he was not pursuing "a very purposeful career." 

In Havelock, where he started his own insurance agency, he became involved 
in a Manpower Development program, "got fascinated in being involved in 
trying to solve some of our domestic problems," and ultimately took the Coastal 
Progress job. 

GOOD reputation 

Godwin and other oflScials of the agency speak pridefuUy of its reputation in 
OEO circles as one of the mo.st highly effective in the community action field. 
Until recently, it had avoided serious controversy. 

Godwin talked of the evolution of the blueberry workers' strike. 

"Through community organization, we attempt to give these poor people a 
sense of belonging and having some control over their lives that the middle class 



1127 

take foo" granted. Our role is to teach them how to try to make the system work 
for them as well as middle-class Americans. 

"The results have been the development of local leadership. Things happened 
in the various communities. 

"Through our activities with these 900 to 1,000 people (involved in the blue- 
berry farm strike) in a lot of different communities, because they had similar 
problems and complaints, they became a community themselves. 

Discuss OPTIONS 

"They came to our workers, with whom they already and clearly associated and 
identified with, for assistance. Our role was to talk about the options open to 
them. 

"The options : Do nothing ; organize themselves, elect leadership, threaten to 
strike and then negotiate ; or organize, elect, negotiate and then strike if the 
negotiations fail." 

Meetings followed in the early days of June, about two weeks into the blue- 
berry picking season. The Rev. Henry Darden of Trenton in Jones County was 
elected chairman of the workers group, soon to be organized as the Eastern Farm 
AVorkers Association. Mrs. Lean Smith of New Bern was named co-chairman. 

At the same meeting, Thomas B. Wallace, a 26-year-old black man who is 
deputy director of Coastal Progress, spoke to an estimated 250 to 300 persons 
assembled in a New Bern ballpark. He told them the plight of migrant and sea- 
sonal workers is becoming a major national issue. He cited the activities of 
Cesar Chavez. 

"AVe recommended to them (the workers) that they contact professional union 
l>eople or a local attorney," Godwin said. The decision was to obtain the services 
of Reginald L. Frazier, a local black lawyer. 

The workers set their goals : a raise in pay from 75 cents to .$1.25 per flat (a 
12-pint crate) of blueberries picked ; "more sanitary" toilet and drinking water 
facilities on the farm ; better treatment by white supervisory personnel. 

They also complained that "white workers got the shed jobs" while blacks were 
given only field jobs by the Morris brothers, Ja.«on and Fenner. (There are five 
brothers in all who are equal owners in the corporation) . 

Frazier and the workers' association leaders met with Jason Morris on a Sun- 
day night. He refused to agree to any pay increase. 

"I tried to negotiate with Mr. Morris," said Frazier in an interview, I lowered 
the pay increase demands. I urged him to give them something, a moral victory, 
and avoid this damn strike. He said the blueberry picking season was about over 
and he didn't have very much to lose." 

Fenner Morris said he talked with Frazier, too. "He (the lawyer) had no right 
to come over here, but I treated him like anybody else. It was like fighting a brick 
wall. He finally said he'd settle for any kind of raise, even a nickel raise. But we 
are operating on the closest margin now. Last year, we just averaged a nickel 
profit per 12-pint crate." 

The Rev. Mr. Darden, who has a Pentecostal Holiness pastorate — and eight 
children — moves from crop to crop like most of the area seasonal farm workers 
to supplement his family's income. 

"I decided we needed to do something one day while standing there at the 
shelter on the Morris farm," he told a reporter. "Two old ladies were sitting on a 
crate resting when one of the white men told them to get off and go to work or 
leave the farm. 

"I considered then talking with my people, coming together to try to take 
action to do something about it. I talked to attorney Frazier and went to see the 
Coastal Progress people. They told me any information I needed, they'd help me 
get it." 

CITES CONDITIONS 

Darden said there are no toilets among the 100-acre blueberry spread ; only a 
ditch. The workers, he said, have to drink the water "they spray the crop with. 
We have to drink from a pump ; they have no cups or nothing." 

Asked about the.«e complaints, Fenner Morris told a reporter, "Lena Smith kept 
throwing out anything she could think of. We have two wells in this field. They're 
tested every year by state officials. The water is not the same we used to irrigate 
with ; I drink it myself. 

"They wanted us to put in bathroom facilities. They can go fly a kite. If we had 
them, most would go in the woods anyway. 



1128 

"I heard of a fellow in Florida who spent $7,000 to put in running water and 
toilets. He had to spend another $7,000 the next year to repair the damage 
that had been done." 

DISCUSSES TREATMENT 

As for how the workers are treated, Fenner Morris said : "I treat one no worse 
that the other. You have to talk rough now and then. I bend over so far back- 
wards my back's touching the ground." 

So the strike began. At its peak, some 900 of the 1,000 workers left the fields. 
Finally, several women, most of them working with Coastal Progress, Inc., were 
arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly intimidating the 
workers into leaving the fields. 

As some of these women left the fields on June 17, Coastal Progress deputy 
director Wallace and John F. Bryant, III, 25, director of the community action 
program of the anti-poverty organization, drove up. The women hailed tliem, they 
pulled to a stop and four sheriff's cars appeared. 

Bryant and Wallace were driving to New Bern from Vanceboro, where they 
had been checking on the progress of a community center being constructed by 
poor people. The sheriff and the Morrises contend their arrival was by prearrange- 
ment ; that they knew the women were going to be arrested and they had come to 
haul them away. 

PAIR ARRESTED 

Between the front bucket seats of the car was a shotgun owned by Bryant. 
After seeing the gun, the oflScers placed the two men under arrest and lodged them 
in the county jail here. 

The poverty officials said they were placed in jail at approximately 11 :30 a.m. 
and were finally released under bond at 6:30 p.m. They were not permitted to 
make a telephone call, they said. 

The Coastal Progress leaders believe that they were held so long without being 
able to make contact with anyone because the sheriff's officers were unable to come 
up with a charge. Bryant's shotgun was not concealed, it was "broken open" as 
required by law, and — although described as "sawed off" by deputies — it was two 
inches longer than the 18-inch minimum permitted under federal gun control laws, 
Frazier said. 

HEARS OF JAILING 

Godwin said a reporter from the local newspaper heard around 4 p.m. that 
Bryant and Wallace had been jailed. "If he hadn't heard about it," .said the 
Coastal Progress director, "I wonder how long they would have stayed there." 

Finally, they were charged under the common law statute with "carrying a 
shotgun . . . for the unlwful purposes of terrorizing the people within the 
county." 

Sheriff Berry told a reporter : "They were put in jail about the middle of the 
day and the warrants were served that afternoon. They were out on bond that 
night. Nobody said anything to me about any phone calls. I tell my deputies all 
the time to let anybody make a phone call." 

The poverty oflBcials and attorney Frazier, constantly complain that while 
Bryant and Wallace were arrested for carrying a shotgun, white individuals 
they call "Klan types" ride around the country in full view all the time in pickup 
trucks with high-powered rifles on display on gun racks. 

"deer hunters" 

"Those people are deer hunters," said the sheriff, who has held the post for 
23 years, "these boys ain't no hunters ; they've probably never been hunting in 
their lives." 

The charge against Wallace and Bryant "was the most ridiculous I've ever 
read," said Frazier. "They used a law that goes back to King Edward III. It 
has been used only twice in this state since the Revolutionary War, once in 
1843 and again in 1958. 

Declared the sheriff : 

"An old law? Maybe that's true. It's still the law as much as the ones passed 
yesterday or the day before. We charged them with what the solicitor (Eli 
Blum of Greenville) told us to charge them with. He was here holding court 
that day and looked up the laws and told us what to charge them with." 



1129 

Wallace and Bryant were tried on July 2 before District Court Judge J. W. H. 
Roberts of Greenville. They were found guilty. Bryant was sentenced to 12 months 
in prison, but Roberts continued prayer for judgment in the Wallace case until 
next Monday. 

POST BOND 

Bryant entered notice of appeal and was released under $2,000 appearance 
bond. Wallace posted bond of $500. 

"They tried Coastal Progress, not these boys," said Frazier. "I'm not worried 
at all about winning the case. If I lose these cases, they might as well close all 
the lawbooks up. Then we will have a police state. 

"Blum did a brilliant job prosecuting the case, but the real issue — the right 
to bear arms — was twisted out of focus." 

Says Wallace : "We were convicted of carrying a gun. They made no attempt 
to prove the charges in the warrant." 

"too many rights" 

Lodged in the minds of Frazier, Godwin, Wallace and Bryant was Blum's 
twice-repeated remarks to the judge : "That's the trouble in our country today — 
people have too many rights." 

The solicitor said this on one occasion. Godwin related, "after he had asked 
me why didn't I do something ahout John Bryant having a shotgun in the car. 
My response was that to my knowledge, a person has the right to bear arms." 

Godwin told a reporter : "I had seen John's shotgun for several months. I 
didn't bother asking why he carried it for the same reason they don't ask Klan 
types in Eastern North Carolina why they carry guns on racks in the back of 
pickup trucks. I assumed he carried it for the purpose of self-defense." 

Asked by a reporter why he carried the weapon, Bryant replied : "The Consti- 
tution says I've got a right to carry it." 

The poverty workers are convinced that Sheriff Berry was out to "get" them, 
one way or another. While Frazier said he does not consider Berry a racist, 
"they (the officers) don't like the poverty program; they don't consider it a 
legitimate thing," he said. 

Berry's opinion of Coastal Progress : "It's the biggest disgrace of anything 
that ever happened. They created all the trouble at the Morris farm. There was 
no strike out there. They're just troublemakers drawing big salaries. 

"But I was not looking to arrest them, no sir. I don't run my office in such a 
way. Those boys wouldn't have been arrested if I hadn't seen the gun." 

Fenner Morris said his farm's troubles were instigated by Mrs. Estella Clark. 
He said she was the first of several Coastal Progress-associated women who came 
to the field and tried to intimidate the workers to leave, telling them "people" 
were going to harm them if they didn't and finally, that someone was going to 
explode a bomb in the fields. 

pickets' numbers 

The pickets, said INIorris, never numbered more than 50, and those picketing 
were the "worst pickers." 

The poverty workers said strike leaders say that Berry first made the pickets 
march on the opposite side of U.S. 17 from the Morris farm, then blocked their 
paths with his car and defied them to walk past it under threat of arrest. Berry 
contends the pickets were circling back and forth across the busy road, endanger- 
ing the'r Mves. 

In addition, the poverty people say, the highway patrol put up "no parking" 
signs on both sides of the highway, which they further regarded as harassment 
of the pickets and people who stopped to give them lifts. The whole picture in 
their mind was one of the law enforcement agencies working to assure the 
Morrises' "right" to have their crops harvested to the detriment of the strikers' 
rights to peaceably picket. 

MAJOR CONCERN 

Berry contends his major concern throughout was to see that the blueberry 
pickers who wanted to work were able to do so — even to providing their buses 
and trucks with escorts to and from the farm each day. 

Morris says the crop loss from the strike was a "small percentage," thanks 
largely to a $35,000 mechanical picker which, he says, does the work of 300 to 
400 persons. "I left it in the barn until they struck on me," he said. "I expect I'll 
be using it more in the future. I don't expect many of them (the workers) to come 
back next year." 



1130 

Finally, there was the incident of the nails. Darden and Godwin have collected 
some 200 nails with broad, flat bases which they say were placed under the tires 
of pickets' cars one morning. 

PANEL TO GET DETAILS 

Details as to who allegedly placed the nails there will be presented to Mon- 
dale's Senate subcommittee, it was learned. 

Meanwhile, Frazer said he is preparing a suit to be entered in federal court 
in an effort to establish that some of the blueberry pickers worked enough 
hours (500) in a single season to qualify for the minimum wage of $1.36 and 
recovery of triple damages under the federal wage laws. "I have the names of 
some 30 to 40 people who qualify," he said. 

This is "piece" work and not subject to the law, contends the Morrises. "Let 
'em bring the suit," said Fenner Morris. "If we have to give 'em the minimum 
wage, we'll have to close the doors." 



[From the News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C., July 13, 1969] 

PovBaiTY War Heats Up 

(By Jack Childs) 

At what point does an antipoverty worker become a meddler in affairs outside 
his province? Where does he draw the line in his responsibilities to the people 
he is assigned to assist? 

In case after case, incident after incident, these are becoming central questions 
which threaten the effectiveness and, perhaps, the very existence of poverty 
programs across North Carolina. 

Poverty workers have been accused of fomenting student unrest on college 
and high school campuses, of "leading" and masterminding labor disputes in- 
volving black workers at universities and within mimicipal governments. Now 
similar accusations are being leveled in the wake of the state's first modem- 
day strike of seasonal farm workers. 

Last week, a U.S. Senate committee chairman ordered an investigation into 
the use of Ford Foundation and antipoverty funds in allege<l Black Panther 
agitation leading to a riot last May on the campus of A&T University in 
Greensboro. 

Greensboro police officials, appearing before the Senate investigating commit- 
tee headed by Sen. John L. McClellan, D-Ark., pointed a finger at two field repre- 
sentatives of the Foundation for Community Development, a Durham-based 
anti-poverty group. 

FCD field representatives Reginald Vincent Durante and Franklin Durante 
AVilliams were linked to the A&T violence by Greenslwro Police Chief Paul Cal- 
hoim. For one thing he said, they were leaders in a student eruption at Dudley 
High School which preceded the explosion at the university. 

The FCD, which employs the ultra-controversial Howard Fuller as training 
director, as been a target frequently. Fuller and some of his coworkers have 
been accused of stirring up student unrest from Belmont Abbey to Duke ; a strike 
of black cafeteria workers at UNC in Chapel Hill ; a walkout of municipal 
employees in Fayetteville and numerous other incidents. 

The FCD is a spin-off of the North Carolina Fund, a now defunct statewide 
anti-poverty organization which preceded by a year the federal Office of Economic 
Opportunity program. 

Like FCD, Coastal Progress, Inc., which functions in Craven, Pamlico and 
Jones counties had its roots in the same seed organization. It was one of the first 
rural poverty efforts set up under the N.C. Fund. 

For most of its existence. Coastal Progress has avoided the spotlight-glaring 
controversy which has dogged the trail of the FCD. 

But now, like the FCD, the Eastern North Carolina organization finds Itself 
being accused by local people of stepping outside the boiuids of its responsibili- 
ties and promoting conflict — a strike of seasonal workers at a large blueberry 
farm. 

This coming week, the Craven situation will be aired before another unit of 
the U.S. Senate, the subcommittee ou migratory and seasonal labor chaired by 
Sen. Walter F. Mondale, D-Minnesota, 



1131 

WORKEES ARRESTEE) 

Several of the Coastal Progress workers have been arrested by Craven authori- 
ties. People like veteran Craven Sheriff Charles Berry are convinced that there 
was no strike; that the blueberry pickers were routed from the fields under 
threats and harassment from "that (anti-poverty) crowd in New Bern." 

Like Nathan Garrett, executive director of the FCD, James L. Godwin, execu- 
tive director of Coastal Progress, now finds himself defending his employes. 

Like Garrett. Godwin says the poverty fighters in his organization have been 
falsely accused, officially and unofficially. Their role, he said, merely was to 
"advise." 

ON THE SCENE 

In explaining how FCD employes seem to pop up at the scenes of campus strife 
or municipal labor disputes, Garrett said they are involved in "community 
action" programs with the poor people, teaching them how to make the "system" 
work for them. 

Uneducated, naive, these people find themselves wanting higher wages, or fairer 
treatment for their children in school, or a black studies program in the university. 
So, says Garrett, they naturally turn to the poverty workers for advice in how to 
go about seeking fulfillment of their goals. 

In each situation, he said, "we don't try to assume a position of leadership. 
It sometimes develop.^ that our people get spotted and are catapulted as the 
'leaders'." Never, he says, do FCD workers advocate a violent course of action. 

OPTION TO STRIKE 

Jim Godwin's explanation of the Coastal Progress workers' role in the blue- 
berry pickers .strike was much the same. ITie blueberry pickers came to the 
poverty workers seeking help. They were told the options available to them, in- 
cluding the option to strike for higher wages, better toilet and drinking water 
conditions, etc. 

Godwin says his investigation produced no evidence the accused Coastal Prog- 
ress employes violated any laws. 

"I certainly do not mind admitting the extent of our involvement had some 
questionable characterLstics, but given the .same set of circiunstances again, we 
would have no alternative but to respond to the.'^e poor people," said GrOdwin. 
"Large sums of money, time and energy would have been wasted if we turned 
our back on them when they called on us for guidance and assistance." 

Godwin, likewi.se, is convinced that no GEO rules have been violated by his 
people. But the entire que.stion of the workers' strike, he concedes, is a "gray 
area" lacking clearcut definition in the poverty agency's handbook. 

The actions of anti-poverty workers is one question : their right to be involved 
in any manner in such matters as labor disputes involving the previously unrep- 
resented ix)or is another. 

It is time, more and more people are beginning to say, that somebody washes 
away the "gray." 

jSfr. Rice. Mr. Chairman I also have some other documents that I 
would like to submit for the record. These include a transcribed state- 
ment with attachments taken earlier this month from Mrs. Burley, who 
will also testify later this morning, and a similarly transcribed state- 
ment from Mrs. Brown, also a witness this morning. Also, there is a 
statement from Annie Mae Moore of New Bern concerning the trans- 
portation problem. I also would like to submit for the record an 
affidavit concerning the tacks found near pickers' cars, and the fears 
that witnesses expressed about retaliation if the incidents were 
reported. 

Senator Mondale : The materials that you have presented will be 
printed in the record at this point. 

(The materials referred to follow :) 



1132 

Transcribed- Statement op Mrs. Delores Bxjrley, Bayboro, N.C. 

Name : Delores Burley. 

Address : Route 1, Box 17, Bayboro. 

Age: 38. 

Children: 6. 

Others in Family : 2. 

Education : 11th grade. 

How about your children? They all, ah, one graduated, one got high as the 12th, 
but didn't complete, one is in the 12th, a boy, girls in 9th, 8th, 7th. 

Why didn't your one daughter complete? She got married. 

How many years have you worked in the fields? Since I was 5 years old. 

How about your children? Yes. How young when you .started? . . . 4—5. 

What crops? Potatoes, tobacco and cotton. Irish . . . white potatoes, sweet 
potatoes, tobacco and cotton. 

Are you on welfare now? Yes I am. What kind of pay? Dependent children? 
Yes. Any other? No. How much do you get? $186 a month. 

Have you ever asked for more welfare money? Yes. What happened They said 
my ])udget was as high as they could go. Who sets that budget? I don't know, 
but I talked to my case worker and talked with welfare director here in Pamlico 
County and those were the answers that they give me. 

Have you ever been cut off from welfare? No. 

Have you ever been threatened with being cut off? Y''es. By my case worker. 
What was the reason? I had been trying to work to help strengthen my income. 
When was that? Last summer and the summer before that (static). I tried to 
work and they told me I either had to quit work or get cut off. 

And you found that you can't make enough money working to match the wel- 
fare amount? That's right. That's right. Has your payment ever been reduced? 
Yes. What was the reason for this? When, ah. Anne, my oldest daughter came to 
the age of 18. came of age at 18 and they told us something — and the first day 
of June my check was cut. How much? I was getting $186 at that time and they 
cut it, they cut it back down to, ah, $161. 

How did it get back to $186? They said they were giving me a raise before the 
year was out. Has your case worker ever told you that you can get extra wel- 
fare money for school expenses? For book fees and things like that? No. They 
said they pay a certain amount of the book fees, but the rest you have to pay 
when you goes to pay your book fees. Up until this past year, I've been having 
to pay the book fees. But this past year, they want to integrate the schools and 
I didn't have any to pay. 

Have you ever been told that you can have a fair period by your welfare 
dept? No. I heard it. But I was at a convention in Raleigh. Have you ever asked 
for a fair period? No. Cause I didn't know about it until after I heard it in this 
convention. 

Tell me about your experiences when you were charged with fraud. How did 
this come about? I, I actually don't know. Becau.se I had been to the Welfare 
Dept. I told them that I have doing volunteer work and, ah. that whole fall and 
summer I did. In fact. I've been doing volunteer work for the last past 2 years. 
And I told my case worker not to come to the house anymore to look for me, 
to come at the center because that's where I, would be at. And she claimed . . . 
that she had been here after that and couldn't ever find me home, so they 
started to investigate and which I found out later . . . that she had lied. She 
had got the information from other . . . some other source and they not knowing 
what I was doing because I had spoke the words to a lady and I know exactly 
where it came from. And she had given them the information that I was work- 
ing down town. But the day that she sent for me to come to the Welfare Dept., 
she did not ask me if I was getting a salary, which I could have told her I was 
not getting a salary. 

How were you paid? I was given, ah, $32 a week for volunteer service to pay 
for transiwrtation and for baby sitting which I did not have a child at the 
time and that was explained at the time I was taken on to the job that I didn't 
have children small enough for babysitting, but that was in the budget. 

So this money was not really a salary, but was just a matter of paying your 
expenses? That what it was, every dime of it, and. uh, when the sheriff came and 
served the warrant, I was just flabbergasted. 

How long a period was it between the time the welfare workers talked with 
you and the time the sheriff came? They talked with me in October and the 



1133 

sherriff came by in '69. February? No I went to court in Feb. — 21st. Well it was 
in — right after Christmas when, somewhere in Jan. when the Sheriff served the 
wai'rant. 

And what happened at the trial? Well the . . . lawyer Harmon, he tried to 
explain everything. Mr. Wallace, he got on the stand and he explained every- 
thing, that for this program they don't pay a salary, it was everything to be 
volunteer and said they couldn't pay a salary because I they didn't have the 
money in budget to pay a salary with. And, uh, Mr. Wallace he got up and 
ti'ied to explain it to them. The judge overruled everything. And when he, ah, 
got through, he asked me if I would go on the stand of which I was glad to 
because I knew I wasn't getting a salary. And I didn't have anything to hide, 
so I just went on up there and explained everything to them. They couldn't 
see — the judge, he couldn't see where $32 a week was paying anybody for gas. 
But if you get out here in Pamlico County, there's no highways in here, the 
ones that is here are straight or where the white folks live. When the poor 
black live where I was working at, they are all muddy dirt roads and it takes 
gas. I didn't try to get up there and lie . . . and when I got through, he said 
well he said, 3 years under probation . . . $512.49 . . . and then he went on and 
on so that where its at. 

How are you paying back that $512? $15 a month out of my welfare check 
which is $186. 

Who do you pay that to? Ah, Home Security in, ah, Tennessee. 

Ah, how long (static) , $1,520. 

And how much did the home cost you to start with? Over $4,000. I don't 
know the exact figures. 

What other bills do you have? How much does food cost you a month? From 
a hundred and fifty to a hundred and seventy dollars. 

Is this including commodity foods? No. 

You get tho.se in addition? Tho-^^e in addition. 

How about utilities? Well, I have to buy those . . . and sometimes I get those 
right along with my grf>ceries. 

How about lights? Lights is out. They're on a different. They run from $17 to 
$19 a month. And I don't have no running water, no bathroom utilities. I have 
a refrigerator and a television. 

How many rooms in house? 6 ... 3 bedrooms. I only have one wall socket in 
each. And there's three in each one, but only one of em works. I've been told by 
the company to have someone come in and check the lights — But due to a lack of 
finance, I haven't been able to. 

Tell me about your medical bills? I was in the Dr.'s office last Monday and it 
was $310 to the Dr. there in New Bern, not including the two doctors in Craven 
County Hospital. How much do you owe them ? Both of 'em together is $240. 

How about your operations? As far as I know, the welfare paid some but — 
and I own Dr. Bell, $120 for radiology treatment. I own Dr. Petrof, $125— $120, 
for putting me to sleep. But Dr. Barnwell he was my surgeon. He's a family Dr. 
and he says that he didn't charge for the oi>eration ... I still owe him $388. 

In the winter time when the kids are in school and not working, doe« your 
welfare check increase? No, it stays the same. That's why I went back lo th.nu 
last fall and asked them if they wasn't some possible way I could get a raise 
because having to buy wood and coal ... to keep the house warm . . . that's 
a headache and a ton of coal is $21 and a ton of coal in a house like this will not 
last you a month. 

Do you vote, Delores? Yes. 

Where do you have to go to vote? Out to the courthouse here in Bayboro. 

That's about what — six miles? 4%. 

Can you get to the polls easily ? Yes. 

How do you get to the polls? Walk or thumb. 

Do you think that black candidates can get elected here? . . . It's a fight. Have 
any ever been elected ? There's none. 

Does anyone try to tell you how to vote? Not me. But there have been some 
that have been told. By who? By the white folks . . . one lawyer here in 
Pamlico County, he's very good at that. 

Do you have a family doctor ? Yes. 

Where? In New Bern. 

Is there a Dr. here in Pamlico County ? Yes. 

How come you don't go to him? About 6 years ago my son was riding his 
bicycle, riding by talking with another friend . . . She knocks him off the 



1134 

bicycle ... I takes him rather when I got the word I was to bury my grand- 
father and got word the child was hit by the car, they had him out at Dr.'s 
office. I rushed out there, he's laid in there in the emergency room two hours. 
Dr. Hudson stopped and noticed the lady's finger who had cut her finger cutting 
a piece of meat. 

White lady? White lady. And when he finally did come back in to notice him, 
the child had swollen up which I got very angry. And he said he would not need 
to be admitted in the hospital. I went and brought him back home and before 
6 :00 that Saturday evening, he had swollen up so he couldn't even see. So my 
brother-in-law rushed him to Craven County Hospital and rushed him in emer- 
gency and the nurse went to find out who the Dr. that had tended him and I 
told her. She called back here in Pamlico Co. and Dr. Hudson said he did not 
need to be admitted. But they admitted him anyway — he staying in the hospital 
15 days. That was 6 years ago. And today he can't be on the teams, baseball 
teams, basketball teams or no kinds of activities because that leg will give. 

Can you get to a Dr. quickly if you need one? Not Dr. Hudson. 

But as far as transportation? Craven County to my family Dr. and have to pay 
somebody as much as $10 to get there. 

When you do go places, do you usually have to pay somebody to take you? 
Every time. 

How much does this usually cost? Well if I get somebody in my family, it 
usually $3-$5. If I get somebody in outside the family it's from $5 to $10 dollars. 

But can you usually find someone to take you at that price? I get my sister. 
She has a car and I might as well give it to her anything. She have a big family 
and that helps her. How many people depend on you for living during the year? 
My family. 6. So is my husband — he's handicapped and is dependent upon me too. 

Does he receive Social Security? Yes, he receives Social Security. It's not 
S.S., its disability. If he doesn't have any medication to get, it's available for the 
family. 



1135 



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1136 

Baybobo, N.C, April 16, 1969. 
Mrs. Kay Rinella, 
Dvke Legal Aid Clinic, 
Duke Laio School, 
Durham, N.C. 

Dear Mes. Rinella : In response to your request of Saturday, April 12, 1969, 
this is the reply : 

1. In March, May and September 1967, respectively, I was hospitalized with the 
following doctors in attendance : Drs. Bell, Barnwell and Petrov at the Craven 
Countv Hospital — March and May, and Memorial Hospital — Chapel Hill. North 
Carolina, September with a bill amounting to $605.00: Dr. Bell $120.00; Dr. 
Barnwell $365.00; Dr. Petrov $120.00. I asked of aid from the Pamlico County 
Welfare Department since I was a welfare recipient receiving a $186.00 monthly 
allowance for four children and myself, but was bluntly told that my son-in-law 
was a service man ; therefore, I needed no help from them — have him help me. 

2. After having recuperated, not fully, I went to work with Coastal Progress, 
Inc., first as a volunteer aid and afterwards as a salaried one. My gross wages 
received were $512.49, which I had planned to apply toward my medical bill. 

3. In October, 1968, I was called in by the Pamlico County Welfare Department 
and told (not informed) that since I was being paid by Coa.stal Progress as a 
salaried person and had to that point received $512.49 in wages that, that amount 
had to be repaid to the Pamlico County Welfare Department. 

4. I neither heard from nor saw anyone from the Department from October 

1968 to February 4. 1969 at which time the Pamlico County Deputy Sheriff came 
to my house with a warrant for my appearance in District Court on February 21, 

1969 for Fraud, charges being brought by the Pamlico County Welfare Depart- 
ment. 

5. I appeared in District Court on February 21, 1969 and these are the results : 
Sentenced to two years in the State Department of Correction (Women's Divi- 
sion) for fraud suspended on the following conditions : 

(a) Pay court costs 

( & ) Not change place of residency for said period 

(c) Make restitution to welfare department in the amount of $512.49 to be 
paid at and upon direction of my probation officer Mrs. Harriett S. Early. 
There are other instances that I could cite but I feel enclosures will explain 
what I mean. 

I shall appreciate your services and any consideration shown. 
Respectfully yours, 

(Mrs.) Alice D. Burley. 



1137 



SIATE OF NORTH CAROLINA IN THE__^SoPiet COURT 

COUNTY OF _ PoDllCO Dcck.t No. _69:rC3:-6Z 

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA 

"' PROBATION JUDGMENT 

1. THIS CAUSE coming on to be heard and bcin^ heard at the Fcbta;^!^ -21,- -19^9 

Term o( Court in the aforesaid County before the undersigned Judjie in the City oi -&Xyi>OrO 

North Carolina, and the above named defendant (was duly convicted o JaQCX^30fl)aC>DlXi>IXXXC<KJaiK^;»20G<3CX 

ZflMMl«8-3© the Cfime of _ -ErOUd 

2. NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED. ADJUDGED AND DECREED, That the said defendant be and she is hereby, 
prisoners provided by, and under the supervision of the Stale Department ot Correction of North Carolina) for a period 

o( _- two. C2-)- -years *._. 

to take effect at a time and as further ordered by the Court. 

IT APPEARING, HOWEVER, to satisfaction of the court that the character of said defendant and the circumstance^ of the 
case indicate th«t probation will probably result in (he reformation of the defendant and that she is eliKible for probation under 
the North Carolina Slaluiri. 

IT IS FURTMKR OROFRrD ADJUDGED. AND DECREED. That the Execution of the aforesaid sentence of 

- _ XV/O- ^ ^ X -yCUirJ be. and the same is hereby, suspended, and that the said defendant is hereby 

placed on probation for a period of _ ^ years under the supervision of the North Carolina Probation Commission .ind its 

officers, subreci (o the provision of the laws of this State and the rules and orders of said commission and its officers with 
leave that the execution mijcht be prayed at any time during the period of probation to take effect •( a time and as further 
ordered by the ("ourt. 

). Thai a<. ^ condition of probation the aforesaid defendant shall' 

(a) Avoid injurious or vicious habits: (b) Avoid persons or places o( disreputable or hannful character: 

(c) Report lo the Probation Officer as directed: (d) Permit the Probation Officer to visit at his home or elsewhere: 

(e) >Vork faithfully at suitable, gainful employment as far as possible and save his earnings above his reasonable neces- 
sary expenses: 

(D Remain within a specified Area: 

(S) Pay a fine in one or several sums as directed by the Court: (h) Make reparation or restitution to the aggrieved party 
for the damage or loss caused by his offense in an ajnount to be determined by the Court: 

(1) Support his dependents: (j) Waive extradition to the state of North Carolina from any jurisdiction in or outside the 
Lnited States. 

(k) Violate no penal law of any stale or the Federal Government and be of general good behavior: 

(I) Deposit with the Clerk of Court a bond for his appearance at such time or limes as the Court may direct. In the event 
the probationer is unable to provide the bond otherwise , the court may require the bond to be paid in cash from his 
eaminKs in such installments and at such Intervals as the Court may direct: 

(m) Deposit with the Clrrk of Court from his eamincs a savings account in such installments and at such intervals as the 
Court may direct; and the Clerk shall thereupon deposit such funds in the savings account in an institution whose 
accounts are insured by an agency of the Federal Government and the principal plus interest earned shall be paid to 
the probationer upon his discharge or earlier upon order of the Court: 

(n) With the defendant's consent and with a statement of the availability of jail accomodations, he may be required to 
report lo the sheriff of the county or lo the chiefof police of any municipality or other law enforcement officer and sub- 
mit himself to be incarcerated in the county or municipal jail or other designated place of confinement durine ueek- 
ends or at such other limes or intervals as the court may direct. The court may. with the consent of the defendant, re- 
quire Ihe surrender of his earnings less standard payroll deductions required by law. to the county board of public 
welfare or other responsible agency. After deducting from the earnings the amount deicrmincd to be the cost of the 
defendant's keep while incarcerated, the balance shall be applied as may be needed for the support and maintenance 
of the defendant's dependrnLs. and any sum remaining shall be released lo the defendant upon the expiration of his 
suspension or at other times as the court may direct, t^pon revocation of probation or suspension of sentence, (he " 
cuurt shall certify In the Judgment of revocation the lime or number of day.s the probationer was incarcerated and such 
(Lme shall bc deducted fn>m the term of the sentence suspended, and so stipulated in the commitment. Provided that 
in no event shall the number of days of incarceration prior to revocation exceed the length of the original suspended 

tXill^ conditions: 

1. Tliat tho defendant pay tho cost of couj-t. ?. That she not cha;ise 
hor place of residence v;ithout ti.a v.Tittcn consent of the probation 
officor. 3. That she riake restitution to tho Parr.lico Co'onty 
Derartr-cnt of '.."elfare the arount of v512.49 to be paid at the 
direction of the probation officer. 

ht Shtritf ot olhtt law enfotctmcnl ofliccf, «ho has the custody o/ the defendant, is hereby ordered to deliver the 
lam to the Ptobation OKicet. o( this disttict, ot if the defendant is undei bond, then such bond shall remain .n full 
Ifect until said defendant reports to the Ptobation Officer as directed. 

RTIIER ORDERED, That this Order be filed by the Clerk of this Court in his office and that he loilhwiih forward a 
same to the Probation Officer in this district. 

xhi._.___2ao._____dayof_Febr^nry_.___,,,_6_9.^^^ 

/ Judge Presiding. 

If you violate any of the conditions of your probation or orders of your probation officer you will be subject (o arrest upon 
order of the Court, or by the probation officer. At any time within the period of your probation, the Court may, if it see fit, 
■ impose the Judgement and sentence it might have imposed in the first instartce. 
You will be requited to follow the ptobation officer 
struct and advise you regarding your recreational and i 
YOU VILL REPORT AS FOLLOWS: Once each mor. 
completely and truthfully and mailed to your proba 
each month. You will report to your p*obat»on officer 

February , 

Houto i, iay.oro, N. C. ^ ?. C. Dcx 333, Aulaiulor, ». C. 



and advice. The Probation Law gives him author 


i.y to tn- 


>n blanks to be fu/nished you. Each blank i a to be 
the address stamped t>n the report form oo the fii 


' filled in 
• r day oi 




36-513 O - 70 - 18 (3B) 



1138 

This is proposed weekly shopping list given me by welfare department for four 
dependent children and myself : 

Large box of cornflakes $0.33 

Large can applesauce .35 

1 dozen eggs . 53 

1 pound bacon . 49 

10 pounds potatoes . 59 

2 chickens 1. 50 

5 cans string beans 1. 00 

6 pounds cabbage . 30 

2 bags carrots .25 

3 pounds hamburger 1. 59 

Tea bags . 65 

Coffee . 89 

2 pounds sugar . 29 

2 cans turnip greens . 27 

Spaghetti . 29 

1 large bread . 35 

Total 9. 67 

Tax . 29 

Total 9. 96 

THIS IS MENU 



Breakfast 



Lunch 



Supper 



Sunday. 



Dry cereal, milk 
Butter biscuit 
Applesauce 
Milk or coffee 



Monday Tomato juice 

Hot cereal 

Bread with cheese 

Milk 
Tuesday Scramble egg, grits 

Applesauce 

Biscuits 

Milk 

Wednesday.. Tomato juice 

Hot cereal, raisins 

Toasted biscuits with cheese 

Milk 

Thursday.. Fried egg, grits 

Biscuit, prunes 
Milk 

Friday. _.. Tomato juice 

Hot cereal, raisins 

Biscuits, butter 

Milk 
Saturday Pancakes, syrup 

Bacon 

Milk or coffee 



Meat loaf Cheese sandwich or peanut 

Mashed potatoes butter 

Peas Milk 

Plain cake with whipped top- 
ping 

Tea or coffee 

Boiled potatoes, cabbage 

Sliced luncheon meat 
Baked corn bread 
Rice pudding, tea 

_ Fried chicken, rice 

String beans 

Biscuit 

Custard bread pudding 

Tea 

Dried beans, canned cabbage 

Baked corn bread 
Oatmeal cookies 
Tea 

Pork with gravy 

Mashed potatoes 
Canned turnip greens 
Bread pudding 
Tea 

Spaghetti with meat 

Cabbage wedge 
Biscuit, oatmeal 
Tea 

Bean soup Luncheon meat and sandwich 

Baked corn bread Carrot sticks 

Quick coffee cake Milk, cookies 

Milk, tea 



Transcribed Statement of Mrs. Ernestine Brown, Trenton, N.C. 

Name: Earnestine Brown. 

Address : P.O. Box 14, Trenton, N.C. 

Age : 36. 

Children: 8. 

Any Others — No. 

Educational Level — Completed 10th grade. 

Why did you stop at that time? I just got tired of going. 

How many years have you worked in the fields? About 4 yrs. 



1139 

This is the blueberry field? Yes. 

Have you worked in any others? Nothing but tobacco and strawberries. 

How are you paid in blueberry picking? Per crate — 75c a crate. 

Have you ever asked for more money than that? Well — No. 

Why not? I don't know why we didn't. 

Think you would have gotten it if you had? No — I really don't. 

Why Not? Well, they indicated as much when others asked. 

You're not on welfare at this time are you? No have never been. 

Tell me what the fields are like in the blueberries? Well the fields are very 
large — ^and of course up until last year, they were very clean under foot. The past 
few years they haven't been quite as real — otherwise everything is just like any 
other crop. 

What time do you go to work in the morning? Well it dei)ended on whatever 
time our transportation picked us up. We didn't have any certain time. 

About what time do you usually get there? Usually we were there around 

7 :30 a.m. or 8. 

How long did it take to get there? Around half an hour. 

What time did you usually quit work everyday? About 4:30 or 5 in the after- 
noon. 

What did you do with your smaller children? Well I leave them with my 
mother — left them by my mothers. 

Did you take any of the children with you to the fields? Yes. 

How old were they? I had one that was 15, one was 14, and one 10 — eleven 
rather, one 10, and sometimes I took one that was 7. 

How young were the other children w^en they started working? Well the 
others they were about 8 or 9 because I didn't pick until about 4 years ago. 

Are the children paid separately in the field? No. they're paid the same. 

Did they pick on their own containers or did they help you? Most of them picked 
their own — their own containers — the larger ones and the little ones would help 
me. 

When were you paid? At the end of each crate — each time we filled a crate. 

What were the sanitary conditions like in the field. There wasn't any. There 
wasn't any on the whole farm. I saw no outdoor toilet. 

So what did you have to do then? Well any place you could find privacy maybe 
if you could go in another field there wasn't anybody working in. 

Did you ever have any problem getting privacy. Well, no — nobody, I didn't. 

Good. Is there water for you to drink in the field? No, there wasn't any water. 
I didn't ever — you couldn't ever find any water too much. I always carried my 
water. 

Did you ever buy soda pop? Sure, How much did that cost? 15c per can. 

Is that the small size can? Yes — just the regular 10 oz. or 12 oz. cans. Whatever 
it is. 

What you usually pay 10c for? Well — Most places it was that. 

What about the field bosses — Are they black or white? Black. 
Men or women ? Men — Black men ? Um-hum. 

Do you know of any of the pickers who've become field bosses ? Or supervisors 
in the field? No, I don't. 

How are the bosses paid — Do you .know? I really don't. 

How many of them are there? Let's see — 4 — about 8. I think there were about 

8 of them. 

Do you think you or .siome of your friends could become bosses? I don't think so. 

Why not? Because we were a different — the bosses were altogether a different 
type people than the people that I know. 

What kind of people were they ? Well — They're usually the type of person you'd 
call a yes man — You know what I mean? Somebody that'd just take it — in other 
words they don't have anything all for themselves. 

How did you go to the fields? A friend of mine that owned a truck that took 
us. 

How much did it cost? 50c per day. Per Person? Yes. 

Was that both ways? Yes, both ways. So if 4 of you went it'd cost $2.00? Yes. 

And you said your friend who owned the truck? Yes. 

Was there any other way that you could get there? At the farm that we went to 
I don't think that, no — that's coming through this area there wasn't. 

How far from home Is it to the field? About 23 or 24 miles. 

Are all the pickers black? I would think so. There was a few whites, but I 
think they picked more or less for themselves, you know ? 



1140 

How many were women? Yon mean in the field or. Yes, of the pickers? Oh the 
majority of them I would say. He estimated that he had a thousand pickers, oh, 
I would say 900 of these were women. 

How about men? That's it. There wasn't but a very few men — they're mostly 
women and children and they were from all ages — all ages. From two — he's four 
now (indicating child) from 4 on up they were all ages. 

"What do you do when the season's over? Well usually just like I'm doing right 
now — wait and put in some tobacco — if not I'm just home. 

Oo any of your kids stay out of school to work in the fields? No. 

Do you think things are getting better for you and your family than they were 
a few years ago ? Do you mean — when? . . . working? in . . . in . . . In working 
conditions and your living style? No, I don't think so. 

Why do you think this is so? Because I mean we haven't been able — erah — to 
elevate our — erah — means of living any. 

Do you think you can do anything about that to make it better? Well, I wish 
I knew what. I'll say that right now. 

How about you, Mr. ? Do you think that as neighbors, you can improve 

the conditions under which you work and live? Oh, you mean as neighbors? Yeah, 
working with — (lady) . Things of that sort? Yeah working together. 

Have you ever been injured by any of the chemical that the farmers put on 
the tobacco and berries and things? I really don't know. I had a rash in fact, I 
have a rash now that started last year when I was working at the tobacco factory. 
I mean the Dr. said he was not sure that's what it came from, but we all felt 
like that's what it was. But it may not be. 

Did other people get it too ? Well, I really don't know. 

What do you do when there are no crops? Just stay home. 

Do you vote? Some. Where do you vote? Here in Trenton. 

Have you ever had any problems with trying to register or trying to vote? No. 

How long have you been voting? Hummni — maybe 12 years. 

Do you think black candidates can get elected in this area? No. Why not? Oh, 
I think it's because there's no much unfairness in the whole deal. I really don't 
think they can. What kind of unfairness? Just the feeling of the people — of the 
whites in this area. 

Have all of your friends been able to vote and register pretty freely? — as far 
as I know I don't know of anybody that had any trouble. 

Can you get transportation to go to the polls if you need it? Sure, we had a 
lot of help on that line. 

Who gives you that help? Well — erah. I haven't needed any, but the elderly 
people in the neighborhood that have needed it. Various ones would go and pick 
them up. Sometimes the community workers would help. 

Does anyone try to tell you how to vote? People you work for or leaders in 
your community? — Not me. Nobody's tried to influence me. We've had a lot of 
advertisement due to mail. 

Do you have a specific doctor that you go to most of the time? Yes. Who is that? 
Dr. Thompson right here lately. But when I was having children I would go to 
Kinston to Dr. Cecil Woodleaf. 

Are you satisfied in Dr. Thompson's work? ... I, I can .say that he helped me 
with this rash, but only other than that I don't like anything about him. 

Why is that? Well, he doesn't seem to^have the interest of the patient in mind. 

Do you think that he treats black and white people the same? No. I really don't. 
Why? Because — erah — there (static) and, and regardless of when you make an 
appointment, you'll probably have to sit five hours and I've known him to go and 
lock the doors and just won't let you in. 



Sworn Statement of Annie Mae Moore 

New Bern, N.C. 
I and my sister Carrie we have been paying a cab $1.25, $1.50 to go to work 
on the Morris Farm and the same price to come back. This was the only trans- 
portation there was available for us. 

Annie Mae Moore. 
Witnessed by Ernest E. Ratliff, June 10, 1969. 
Witnessed by Kenneth B. Rice, July 10, 1969. 



1141 

State of North Carolina, 
County of Craven, -ss: 

Affidavit 

I, Ernest E. Ratliff and Kenneth B. Rice, being first duly sworn, depose and 
say: 

Pursuant to preparing testimony for the United States Senate Subcommittee 
on Migrant Labor I personally interviewed two black women employed by 
Jason Morris Farms, Inc., Bridgeton, North Carolina as blueberry pickers con- 
cerning intimidation by Fenner "Tack" Morris during the picker's strike. They 
freely and willingly admitted that they had personally observed Farmer Morris 
throw large tacks from a truck into the area around the picker's parked cars. 
Resulting from this one woman had three flat tires. 

They refused to be identified by name or to sign an affiadavit for presentation 
to the above committee because : 

(1) they say they are afraid of economic reprisal i.e. that the Morris 
brothers will refuse to hire them again. 

(2) they are afraid of Fenner Morris personally, saying that they know 
him to have a mean and ugly disposition ; 

(3) they live in isolated rural homes without protection from white 
night riders ; 

(4) they do not believe that there is police legal or judicial protection 
for black people in Craven County. 

Ernest E. Ratliff. 
Kenneth B. Rice. 
Sworn and subscribed before me this 9th day of July, 1969. 

Linda Fate Bryant, 

Notary PuMic. 
My Commission expires : July 15, 1970. 

Senator Mondale. The next witness is T. W. Parker, deputy sheriff. 
Craven County, New Bern, N.C. 

STATEMENT OF T. W. PARKER, DEPUTY SHERIFF, CRAVEN 
COUNTY, NEW BERN, N.C. 

Senator Mondale. Mr. Parker, you were the deputy sheriff of 
Craven County, New Bern, N.C. ? 

Mr. Parker. Yes, sir. 

Senator Mondale. Will you please proceed. I don't wish to move 
you along ahead of that time which you feel you must have to i^resent 
your case. But, that part of your statement which you tliink could go 
in the record as though read, could be made a part of the record as 
your statement, so you can spend the time on what points you think 
are most imj^ortant. 

I tliink you have been here all of this morning, and you have heard 
some of the testimony, which I regard to be serious criticism for your 
office, and I would assume you would want to respond to that. 

Mr. Parker. To save time, I will read this. 

Senator Mondale. Very well. 

Mr. Parker. I am T. W. Parker, deputy sheriff of New Bern, N.C. 
On Friday, June 13, I was in the sheriff's office at 10:30 a.m. Ed 
Flowers came running into the office and w^anted to see Sheriff Berry. 
Sheriff Berry and myself were in the office at that time. 

Ed Flowers stated that he had been run out of the Morris blueberry 
field at Bridgeton at gunpoint. Ed P'lowers said a man held a gun 
to his head and told him if he did not stop picking berries, he was 
going to kill him. He had in his hand at that time five .38 live bullets, 
four long ones and one short one. 



1142 

I asked him who ayrs the colored man that pointed the gun at him. 
He did not tell me his name, but stated if he ever saw him again, 
he was going to kill him. 

Sheriff Berry, Ernest Tubb, and myself, left the sheriff's office im- 
mediately and went to Morris brothers blueberry farm in Bridgeton, 
N.C. When we arrived on the scene we talked with Mr. Morris. Mr. 
Morris stated he had had some trouble and most of the pickers had 
left the field. Before this happened there was aiDproximately 900 to 
1,000 people picking berries. 

We did not have any more trouble that day but we got the word 
there were some people that were going back to the berry field Monday 
morning to cause more trouble and stop j)eople from picking berries. 

Sheriff Beriy and myself and several other deputies were at the 
berry field early, June 16, about 6 a.m. No one came to the berry 
field that we knew of to interfere with berrypickers. Between 300 
and 400 people came back to the Morris berry field Monday to pick 
berries. 

We identified several cars on Highway 17 near the berry field and 
they were recognized as employees of the Coastal Progress, Inc., an 
OEO-financed project. We did not have any trouble of a serious 
nature Monday. 

On June 17, 1969, 6 a.m., Sheriff Berry and m3'self and several 
other deputies were parked at the patrol station on Highway 17 with 
Coastal Progress workers there again. But most of them got out of 
their cars. 

Approximately 300 to 400 people had gone back to work this day. 
When the people all g-ot into the field to work, Sheriff Berry and 
myself and other deputies left to perform our regular duties. 

About 11:35 a.m., June 17, 1969, the sheriff's office received a call 
from Mr. Morris at the blueberry farm that they were having some 
more trouble and needed help. We got in our cars and immediately 
proceeded back to the Morris blueberry farm. 

Wlien we arrived at the Morris blueberry farm, we received infor- 
mation from several pickers that there were people moving about 
the field telling the pickers that if they did not leave and stop picking 
berries at 12 noon, that they would be blown up. As I approached 
the north gate on the farm, I saw a grey Oldsmobile parked on the 
left side of the road. 

The car was headed in the direction of New Bern and we were 
going in the other direction. I pulled my patrol car in front of the 
Oldsmobile and stopped. There were two people in the Oldsmobile. 
They were attempting to pick up poor Negro people wlio had just 
left the Morris blueberry farm. The part owner of the farm was 
coming out of the road from the blueberry farm and motioned for 
us to stop the car. 

I proceeded to the driver side of the Oldsmobile. I asked the 
driver of the car for driver license and to identify himself. He gave 
me his driver license and identified himself as John Franklin Bryant 
III, address, 926 West View, Bridgeton, N.C. 

After he identified himself, I asked him what he was doing in that 
section of the county. He said these poor people have flagged him 
down and he had stopped to give them a ride. The other passenger 
in the car was identified as Thomas Bernard Wallace, colored male, 
age 26, Route 3, Box 41A, New Bern, N.C. 



1143 

John Franklin Bryant got out of his car on driver side and stood 
by the side of the car. Thomas Bernard Wallace got out of the car 
on his side and came around back of the car on the side of the car 
where John Franklin Bryant and myself were. Sheriff Berry asked 
them what they were domg in that section of the county and they 
did not give an answer. They were told to get back in the car and 
leave and not to come over to that area while they were having trouble 
with the blueberry pickers. 

As they w^ere getting in the car, Deputy Sheriff Edwards and 
myself saw a sa wed-off shotgun lying on the front floor of the car. We 
stopped John Franklin Bryant and Thomas Bernard Wallace. Tlie 
sheriff took the gun out of the car and three live shells that were 
lying on the floor by the gun. We placed both subjects, Bryant and 
Wallace, under arrest and brought them to the county jail and booked 
them up and proceeded to draw warrants against them. 

We contacted Mr. Eli Broom, solicitor, advised him what had hap- 
pened and asked him if he would come and help us draw warrants, 
which he did. 

Both men were charged with the same, as follows : 

State of North Carolina, County of Craven, State of North Carolina versus 
Thomas Bernard Wallace, age 26, Negro male, Route 3, Box 41A, New Bern, 
N.C. Undersigned by G. Edwards, being duly sworn, says that in the county named 
above on the 17th day of June, the defendant named above did unlawfully arm 
himself with a dangerous weapon, to wit : shotgun, for unlawful purpose of terror- 
izing persons within the county while so armed with said weapon. 

The defendant went about public street and highway and other public places 
of the county in a manner to cause terror to the people of said county con- 
trary to the common law of the State of North Carolina and against the peace 
and dignity of the said State. 

Soon after we arrived back at the sheriff's office, we received another 
call from said Berry farm to hurry back, that a large crowd had 
gathered in front of the berry farm. Wlien we arrived at Morris 
berry farm, Francois Cartier, Carolyn Hickman, Carolyn Styron, 
and Estelle Clark, all Negroes and also salaried employees of the 
local poverty program, were arrested on a disorderly conduct charge 
and for resisting arrest. 

Gentlemen, these cases have been continued until July 29, 1969. 

Upon further investigation Emma Jean Keys, female, colored, 
23, Post Office Box 341, Trenton, N.C, and Ernestine Brown, female, 
colored, age 35, Post Office Box 14, Trenton, N.C, were arrested on 
disorderly conduct charge and their cases have been continued until 
July 29, 1969. 

Several days after the arrest was made, they started picketing 
with signs walking up and down the road. The leader of the pickets 
was Rev. Henly Darton, from Jones County. 

A statement of his replies on record is attached. On July 2, 1969, 
in the district court at New Bern, N.C, John Franklin Bryant, III 
and Thomas Bernard Wallace were charged and convicted and found 
guilty. 

Bryant was given 12 months road sentence. He gave notice of appeal 
in open court through his attorney and was place^l under $2,000 bond 
for his appearance in Craven County Superior Court, September 10, 
1969. Thomas Bernard Wallace's case was continued with prayerful 
judgment until July 14, 1969, at which time he was in court with 



1144 

his attorney and he was given a 6-months road sentence and he gave 
notice of appeal in open court, his bond was set for $500 for his 
appearance in Superior Court, Craven County, September 6, 1969. 
At their trial, Mr. James Godwin, director of Coastal Progress, Inc., 
testified for the defendant, John Franklin Bryant III and stated 
under oath in open court that he had seen a sawed-off shotgun on the 
floor of John Franklin Bryant's car several times in the last several 
months. 

When picketers came to their car, they would park them on C 
Street in Bridgeton, \vhich is one block from the Morris blueberry 
farm, and walk one block to U.S. Highway 17 and walk up and 
down the shoulders of the highway. The largest number at any given 
time was 53. To this date there have been no reports made to the 
Craven County sheriff's department in any form stating that there was 
nails placed on the side of the road where the picketers' cars were 
parked. 

The parking lot by the Morris blueberry shed house is not large 
enough for all pickers to park cars, so they made arrangements to 
park cars across Highway 17. 

Gentlemen, the chief money crop of our section of Craven County 
is tobacco. Farmers are paid from $15 to $20 a day for primers to pull 
tobacco and cannot get help to house the tobacco. A lot of this diffi- 
culty is coming with this trouble we have had in Bridgeton from 
Coastal Progress workers. 

Senator Mondale. Do I understand from your testimony that all of 
the law violations, or alleged law violations, were committed by the 
workers, and you know of no examples of any law violations, or any 
alleged law violations, by the growers? 

Mr. Parker. No, sir, not to my knowledge. 

Senator Mondale. In other words, all of the fault that the sheriff 
can find is completely on the workers' side? You haven't seen anything 
but the blameless behavior on the part of the owner of the farm? 

Mr. Parker. No, sir, I have not. 

Senator Mondale. Had you heard this charge about the tacks? 

Mr. Parker. Only what I saw in one of the papers in North 
Carolina. 

Senator Mondale. Wliat did you do about it ? 

Mr. Parker. In last Sunday's paper, Mr. James Godwin 

Senator Mondale. Did you investigate it? 

Mr. Parker. No, sir, I have not. 

Senator Mondale. You told a poverty worker that he was not to 
come over to that area again while they were having trouble with blue- 
berry pickers. "V\n[iat authority do you have to tell a person where he 
can be, or not be ? 

Mr. Parker. Mr. Chairman, things were getting in a critical situa- 
tion around there and we didn't want these people to go back OA^er 
there causing any more trouble. We were trying to get the pickers 
to go back in the field and pick berries. 

Senator Mondale. You were trying to do what ? 

Mr. Parker. To get the pickers who wanted to go back in the field 
to pick berries. Those people were depending on what he was making 
over there. One colored man told me he had four children and he 



1145 

was depending on the money those children made picking berries to 
buy clothes to go to school this winter. 

Senator Mondale, What was your authority for telling the poverty 
worker that he could not be in that area ? 

Mr. Parker. We didn't want anybody in that area that is trying 
to cause trouble. 

Senator Mondale. How do you decide who is causing trouble? For 
example, the workers claim they can't make enough to earn a living so 
they call a strike. Would you say that the farmer is causing some 
trouble by not raising wages, or is it just the outsiders who cause 
trouble ? How do you decide that? 

Mr. Parker. Tuesday morning is when this was happening, a little 
after 11 o'clock. 

Senator Mondale. Did you have a law that says people who are 
causing trouble can't be in certain parts of the county? 

Mr. Parker, We have a law here, w^iat John Bryant and Wallace 
was charged with, about going around in troubled areas with guns in 
their cars. 

Senator Mondale. This was before you saw them. You told them 
they were not to come over to that area. What legal authority do you 
have for that advice ? 

Could you refer to a statute or something? 

Mr. Parker. No, sir, I can't refer to a statute. I am not a lawyer 
and I don't know that. 

Senator Mondale. Are there any black deputies in your sheriff's 
office? 

Mr. Parker. No, sir. 

Senator Mondale. Wliat percentage of blacks are there in your 
county ? 

Mr. Parker. Our county is about 65,000 jjopulation. I would say, I 
am not sure, approximately 15,000 or 16,000 colored people. 

Senator Mondale. You have heard the testimony about charging 
the sheriff's department with driving so close to the ditch that people 
had to jump into it to avoid being hurt. Do you have any reaction to 
that? 

Mr. Parker. I was not there and I did not see that. 

Senator Mondale. Have you heard these charges before ? 

Mr. Parker. No, sir. 

Senator Mondale. One of the paj)ers I read indicated that the 
sheriff, Mr. Beriy, was quoted as saying that he is elected by white 
people and he is not concerned about the problems of black people. 
Could you respond to that charge? 

Mr. Parker. I would say that the sheriff did not say that. 

Senator Mondale. Do you think the sheriff's officers drove by those 
ditches the way it was described ? 

Mr. Parker. I didn't understand you, sir. 

Senator Mondale. Do you think the sheriff's officers drove by those 
ditches and made people jump into them? 

Mr. Parker. No, sir. 

Senator Mondale. In determining the cause of this labor problem, 
the sheriff's office makes one conclusion. That is that it is created by 
the Coastal Progress workers. Can you think of any other things that 



1146 

might be causing trouble in that county, or do you think it was just 
all outside agitators? 

Mr. Parker. We always have trouble like everybody else does. I 
think the majority of this has come out of Coastal Progress. 

Senator Mondale. We had testimony this morning that the work- 
ers met, and after repeatedly asking employers for increased pay and 
correction of other indignities, they finally decided that they had to 
strike to improve conditions, and that that decision was made before 
they ever talked to poverty workers. 

Mr. Parker. I can't answer that. 

Senator Mondale. Do you think you ought to 

Mr. Parker. I haven't been in any conference with any of them 
and I have not heard it talked. 

Senator Mondale. Even though you have no such knowledge, you 
still stand by your criticism of them ? 

Mr. Parker. I will stand by what I turn in here today. 

Senator Mondale. You are ignorant of the bases of the criticism, 
but you are standing by the opinion you have ? 

Mr. Parker. I am going to stand by my statement that I turn in 
to you today. 

Senator Mondale. No changes? 

Mr. Parker. No, sir. 

Senator Mondale. Even though you have no basis for your 
criticism ? 

Mr. Parker. The bases I feel were stated right in here. I have 
some pictures of the people that were walking on the highway, and 
so forth, if you would like to see them. 

Senator Mondale. We would like to see any evidence that you 
have for the record. I would be glad to look at those pictures, as will 
the other members of the committee. We will retain them in the 
permanent files of the subcommittee, and we will print your full 
statement for the record at this point. 

(The prepared statement of Mr. Parker follows :) 

Prepared Statement of Deputy Sheriff T. W. Parker, Craven County, 

New Bern, N.C. 

I, T. W. Parker, Deputy Sheriff of Craven County, New Bern, North Carolina, 
on Friday, June 13, 1969, was in the Sheriff's Office about 10 :30 a.m. Ed Flowers, 
a Negro citizen, came running into the office and wanted to see Sheriff Berry. 
Sheriff Berry and myself were in the office at that time. Ed Flowers stated that 
he had been run out of the Morris Blueberry Field in Bridgeton at gunpoint. Ed 
Flowers stated a Negro man held a gun to his head and told him if he did not 
stop picking berries he was going to kill him. He had in his hand at that time 
five .38 caliber live bullets — 4 long ones and 1 short one. I asked him who was 
the colored man that pointed the gun at him. He did not tell me his name, but 
stated if he ever saw him again he was going to kill him. Sheriff Berry, Ernest 
Huff and myself left the Sheriff's office immediately and went to the Morris 
Brothers' Blueberry Farm in Bridgeton, North Carolina. 

When we arrived on the scene, we talked with Mr. Morris. Mr. Morris stated 
that he had had some trouble and that most of the pickers had left the field. 
Before this hapi>ened there was approximately 900 to 1,000 people picking berries. 
We did not have any more trouble that day, but we got the word that there were 
some people that were going back^ to the berryfields Monday morning to cause 
more trouble and stop the people from picking berries. 

Sheriff Berry and my.self and .several other deputies were at the berry field 
early Monday, June 16th (about 6 o'clock a.m.), no one came to the berry field 
that we know of to interfere with the berry pickers. Between 300 to 400 people 
came back to the Morris berry field Monday to pick berries. 



1147 

We identified several cars parked on Highway 17 near the Morris berry field. 
We identified the cars and people, and they were recognized as employees of 
the Coastal Progress, Incorporated, an O.E.O. financed project. We did not have 
any trouble of a .serious nature Monday. On Tuesday, June 17, 1969, at 6 :00 a.m.. 
Sheriff Berry, myself and several other deputies were parlied there again, but 
most of them got out of their cars. Approximately 300 to 400 i^eople had gone 
back to work this day. When the people all got into the field to work, Sheriff 
Berry, myself and the other deputies left to perform our regular duties. 

About 11 :35 a.m., June 17, 1969, the Sheriff's otfice received a call from Mr. 
Morris at the Blueberry Farm that they were having some more trouble and 
needed help. We got in our cars immediately and proceeded back to the Morris 
blueberry farm. When we arrived at the Morris blueberry farm, we received 
information from several pickers that there were people moving about in the 
field telling the pickers if they did not leave and stop picking berries at 12 o'clock 
noon they would be blown up — that there were bombs planted in the fields. 

As I approached the North gate on the Morris Blueberry Farm, I saw a grey 
Oldsmobile car pull off the left side of the road. The car was headed in the 
direction of New Bern, and we were going in the other direction. I pulled my 
patrol car in front of the Oldsmobile and stopped. There were two people in the 
Oldsmobile, and they were attempting to pick up four Negro people that had just 
left the Morris blueberry farm. Mr. Fenner Morris, a part-owner of the Farm, 
was coming out of the road from the blueberry farm and motioned for us to stop 
the car. When I got out of my patrol car, I proceeded to the driver's side of the 
Oldsmobile and Sheriff Berry and Deputy Sheriff B. G. Edwards went to the 
other side of the car. I asked the driver of the car for his driver's license and to 
identify him.self. He gave me his driver's license and identified himself as John 
Franklin Bryant III, address: 926 West Street, New Bern, North Carolina. After 
he identified himself, I asked him what he was doing in that section of the 
county, and he said these four people had flagged him down and he had stopped 
to give them a ride. The other passenger in the car was identified as Thomas 
Bernard Wallace, colored male, age 26, Route 3, Box 41-A New Bern, North 
Carolina. 

John Franklin Bryant got out of the car on the driver's side and stood by the 
side of the oar. Thomas Bernard Wallace got out of the car on his side and came 
around back of the car on the side of the car where John Franklin Bryant and 
myself were. Sheriff Berry asked them what they were doing in that section of 
the county, and they did not give an answer. They were told to get back in the 
car and leave and not to come over to that area while they were having trouble 
with the blueberry pickers. As they were getting in the car. Deputy Sheriff 
Edwards and myself saw a sawed-off shotgun lying on the front floor of the car. 
We stopped John Franklin Bryant and Thomas Bernard Wallace, Deputy Sheriff 
Edwards took the gun out of the car and three live shells that were l.ving on tlie 
floor by the gun. We placed both subjects Bryant and Wallace under arrest and 
brought them to the County Jail and locked them up, and proceeded to draw 
warrants against them. We contacted our District Court Solicitor, Mr. Eli 
Bloome, advised him of what had happened and what we did, and asked him if 
he would come and help us to draw the warrants, which he did. Both men 
(Bryant and Wallace) were charged with same, as follows : 

"State of North Carolina, 
County of Craven, ss: 

The State of North Carolina vs. Thomas Bernard Wallace, age 26, Negro, Male 
Route 3, Box 41-A, New Bern, North Carolina 

The undersigned, B. G. Edwards, being duly sworn, complains and says that at 
and in the County named above on or about the llfh day of June, 1969, the 
defendant named above did unlawfully, wilfully arm himself with a dangerous 
weapon, to wit : A sawed-off 12-gauge .shotgun, for the unlawful puri^ose of ter- 
rorizing persons within the county while so armed with said weapon, the 
defendant went about on the public streets and highways and other public places 
of the County in a manner to cau.se terror to the people of said County, contrary 
to the common laws of the State of North Carolina and against the peace and 
dignity of the State." 

Soon after we arrived back at the Sheriff's oflSce. we received another call from 
the said berry farm to hurry back, that a large crowd had gathered on the road 
in front of the berry farm. When we arrived at the Morris berry farm, Carolyn 
Hickman, Frances Cartier, Carolyn Stein, and Estelle Clark — all Negroes and 



1148 

also all salaried employees of the local poverty program or by VISTA, were 
arrested on a disorderly conduct charge, and Leander Hall, Negro, was arrested 
on a disorderly charge and for resisting arrest. 

Gentlemen, these eases have been continued until July 29, 1969. 

Upon further investigation, Emma Jean Keys, female, colored, age 22, P. O. 
Box 341, Trenton, North Carolina, and Ernestine Brown, female, colored, age 35, 
P.O. Box 14, Trenton, North Carolina, was arrested on a disorderly conduct 
charge, and their cases have been continued until July 29, 1969. Several days 
after the arrests were made, they started picketing with signs — walking up and 
down the road. The leader of the picketers was Kev. Henry Lee Darden, from 
Jones County. (A statement of his prison record is attached. ) 

On July 2, 1969, in the District Court at New Bern, North Carolina, John 
Franklin Bryant III and Thomas Bernard Wallace were tried and convicted as 
charged and found guilty. John Franklin Bryant III was given a 12-months road 
sentence. He gave notice of appeal in open court through his attorney, John 
Harmon, and was placed under a $2,000 bond for his appearance in Craven 
County Superior Court, September term of 1969. 

Thomas Bernard Wallace's ease was continued with prayer for judgment until 
July 14, 1969, at which time he was in court with his attorney and he was given 
a six-months road sentence, and he gave notice of appeal in open court. His bond 
was set at $500 for his appearance in Superior Court in Craven County, Sep- 
tember, 1969. 

At their trial, Mr. James Godwin, Director of Coastal Progress, Inc. testified 
for the defendant, John Franklin Bryant III, and stated under oath in open 
court that he had seen a sawed-off shotgun on the floor of John Franklin Bryant's 
car several times in the past twelve months. 

When the picketers came with their cars, they would park them on C Street 
in Bridgeton, which is one block from the Morris blueberry field, and walk one 
block to U. S. Highway 17 and walk up and down the shoulders of the highway. 
The largest number at any given time was 53. 

To this date, there have been no reports made to the Craven County Sheriff's 
Department in any form stating that there was nails placed on the side of the 
road where the pickers' cars were i)arked. 

The parking lot by the xMorris blueberry shed house is not large enough for all 
of the pickers to park their cars, so they made arrangements to park their cars 
across Highway 17, directly in front of the said berry packing house on Mill 
Street. 

Gentlemen, the chief money crop of our section of Craven County is tobacco. 
Farmers are paying from $15 to $20 a day for primers to pull tobacco and cannot 
get help to house their tobacco. A lot of this diflBeulty is coming from this trouble 
we have had in Bridgeton from Coastal Progress workers. 



1149 



STATE HIGHWAY & PUBLIC WORKS COMMISSION .^'fj^^h^. 



CONSOLIDATED UECOKDS SECTIOK— PRISON DEPAUTMENT 
RALEIGH, N, C. 



MEMORANDUM TO 



Paroie Bojra Feb> 17, 1956] 

Ke: Hear;;* Leo Daraon \ ' O- SS 

The following: is a transcript of the record, including the most recently reported data, as shown in 'the" filW 

the Consolidated Records Section, under mumbcr ..§2-JJl F. B. L No. —JAzi2l:.9 FPC 2.7SZZ. j 

THIS RECORD IS FURNISHED FOR OFPICI>^t. USE ONLY j 



DI«ro*ITION 



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Henry Lee 
Darden '9030 

Henry Lee Darden 
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10-29-55 
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1150 

(Following recess of the hearing, the following letter was sent to 
Senator Mondale:) 

New Bern, N.C, July 11, 1969. 
Senator Walter F. Mondale, 
Chairman, Subcommittee on 3Iigratory Labor, 
New Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 

Dear Senator Mondale: On Thursday, July 17, 1969, I, T. W. Parker, rep- 
resenting the Craven County, North Carolina, Sheriff's Department, was invited 
to testify before your Committee relating to the recent blueberry strike which 
adversely affected the owners of the Morris Blueberry Farm in Bridgeton, 
North Carolina. During the course of my testimony, you asked me a question 
which I did not understand and, consequently, did not answer. Later, I was 
informed that your question involved facts concerning the enforcement of the 
law by my Department with different standards being applied to the white 
and Negro citizens. 

I would like to respond to that question at this time and would like for my 
response to be made a part of the printed record of that hearing. 

My tenure of duty with the Department covers a period of five years during 
which time I have been actively engaged in the enforcement of both civil and 
criminal law. Craven County, North Carolina, consists of 25% black citizens ; 
and at no time have I shown any partiality — neither am I aware of any mis- 
treatment by my Department or discrimination against any citizens regardless 
of race, color or creed. To the contrary, the personnel of my Department, dur- 
ing the recent confrontation with the salaried employees of the Coastal Progress, 
Inc. and other citizens, worked around the clock to provide adequate protection 
for those citizens who sincerely desired to work but who were threatened 
with bodily harm by black militant agitators in a disorganized movement which 
resulted in great economic loss to both the Morris operation and to the black 
citizens of Craven County. 
Sincerely, 

T. W. Parker. 

Senator Mondale. Our final witnesses this morning are Mr. James 
Gavin, Craven County, Mrs. Brown, and Mrs. Burley. 

STATEMENT OE JAMES F. GAVIN, OOCHAIRMAN, CRAVEN COUNTY 
GOOD NEIGHBOR COUNCIL, ACCOMPANIED BY MRS. ERNESTINE 
BROWN AND MRS. DELORES BURLEY 

Senator Mondale. I deeply regret, and I will say this for all of the 
witnesses, that our time restrictions are as they are this morning 
because of the executive session of the Senate. Do you have a pre- 
pared statement, Mr. Gavin ? 

Mr. Gavin. Mr. Chairman, I do have a prepared statement and 
before we enter anything in the .record, I would like to state that 
Mr. Parker, who is aspiring to become the sheriff of Craven County, 
should learn to pronounce the word Negro instead of "Nigger." 

I have prepared a statement as coming from the Good Neighbor 
Council. As one of the cochairmen, I am here on endorsement of my 
committee. 

There are a few excerpts that I would like to extract from my state- 
ment and discuss briefly, and to set the record straight, I would like 
to give you some background of the council. 

We are a biracial human relations committee that has been estab- 
lished throughout the State of North Carolina, realizing that we do 
have racial problems, and realizing that there are other social and 
economic problems that human relations committees should get 
involved in. 

Senator Mondale. Are you a staff member for the council ? 



1151 

Mr. Gavin. Our time is completely voluntary. 
Senator Mondale. You are a professional architect? 
Mr. Gavin. Yes, Mr. Chairman. 

The council has no enforcement power. We act through consulta- 
tion, persuasion, and moral influence to accomplish our objectives. 
We have several objectives, among them : to promote peaceful rela- 
tions between races ; to promote understanding, respect, and good will 
among all citizens ; to provide channels of communication ; to provide 
positive actions and programs; to provide equal opportunities for 
all citizens; to promote employment of qualified people without regard 
to race; to encourage youth becoming trained and qualified for em- 
ployment, and to enlist assistance through the cooperation of all city, 
town, county, and all other segments of our population. This is the 
purpose of the council. 

Tnese are our objectives and in reading this, I would like to point 
to one particular one: To provide a channel of communication. Now 
this is how I got involved with the seasonal farmworkers struggle in 
Craven County. 

I arrived at the field on Monday morning, as referred to in some 
of the other testimony, where I was confronted by the sheriff and 
his deputies. They waved me down and stopped me and asked me 
what was I doing in the area. This gets back to your original question 
to the deputy sheriff about what was I doing in the area, and whether 
I had business in the area. 

Senator Mondale. Did they give you any legal basis for objecting 
to your right to be in the area ? 

Mr. Gavin. No, he said I had no damn business to be over there, 
that it was no concern of mine. I tried to explain to him why I was 
there. I was there only to provide a channel of communication between 
the opposing factions in the dispute. 

He did not want to listen to me. He disregarded all of that. He 
discredited the council which I was representing. AVatching him go 
through his act was sort of comical, and so I began to prod him a bit, 
and he lost his temper and said some things, saying that he was not 
concerned with problems concerning the Negroes, because we had been 
working to remove him from office, and we didn't put him there, and 
he was not concerned about the Negroes problems. 

So this would lead me to think from other statements that he made 
on the local radio station Friday night which also prompted my 
action for being there, that with the sheriff's attitude being what it 
was, he would not be there to protect all interested parties. 

He would only be there to protect his white constituents, which 
was the farmer. I have no argument with the Morrises. Mr. Morris 
and his brother, I assume, are fine people. But I am concerned about 
all segments of our county. I give a lot of time to this human rela- 
tions work and it just disturbed me to see the law enforcement offi- 
cers, the people who are there to protect all of the citizens, take the 
attitude "that if anybody shows up at the Morris' farm, I am going 
to run them off." 

He did not say that he would be there to protect everybody. He 
was just going to run off anybody that showed up there other than 
people that the Morrises wanted. 

Senator Mondale. Mr. Godwin testified that he thought one of the 
key points of tension in that county is the hostility that exists between 



1152 

the sheriff's office, and the community. In your position with the 
human rights committee, are you in a position to comment on that? 

Mr. Gavin. I would like to go into some detail. There has always 
been some hostility between law enforcement officials and the black 
community. 

About 80 percent of the people that they arrest and try to put in 
jail are black. So it seems to me that maybe we should have some 
black law enforcement officers. I didn't realize it until the sheriff 
brought it to my attention that Monday morning, but it goes back to 
last April during Martin Luther King's assassination when the 
country was in an uproar, and a lot of people were disturbed, not only 
aroimd the country but right here in Washington. 

Through the offices of Good Neighbor Council, we were able to quiet 
down some things and do some things in New Bern that the local police 
department was not able to do on a normal Friday and Saturday night 
when people kick up their heels. 

Being able to do this, being the black people going in black areas 
controlling black people, we sort of put the police department to 
shame. Tlie sheriff's department has been after the Good Neighbor 
Council for that, and the sheriff made it known to me that I was the 
troublemaker in Craven County, and that I was responsible for every- 
thing that happened during the Martin Luther King's assassination, 
and the whole bit. 

This is the type of confrontation I had with him on Monday morn- 
ing. So any black person that tries to do something is in conflict with 
the sheriff. If he tries to bring about some social change, or create some 
wave in the water aroimd New Bern, he is in some conflict if he is not 
sanctioned by the sheriff. 

Senator Mondale. Maybe Mrs. Brown or Mrs. Burley would like to 
comment on the strike, or any of these other matters that we have been 
hearing about this morning. 

Mrs. Burley. I would, Mr. Chairman. I will go along with Mr. 
Gavin because last summer, I didn't have any kind of employment, 
welfare excepted. I ti-y to work but due to sickness, I could not work. 
I had the opportunity of working in our centers, and bringing in 
older people that didn't have any source of income or no kind of work 
they could do. 

So we are trying to do voluntary work, me and other mothers on 
welfare, and finally wound up that I was doing vohmtary work for 
citizenship education. 

And February 21 1 was arrested, of this year, cha.rg:ed with drawing 
a salary, which I was getting $32 a week for training, babysitting, 
getting people to and from their homes to the center, and trying to 
work with black people. And the judge ruled that I was getting a 
salary and charged me with $512.49, which I have all of the proof of. 
So any time you get out and try to work with the black people, in any 
kind of w^ork, law enforcement will not help you. 

In the fields, which I worked all of my life, you don't get enough 
from w^elfare to help support you. You get the same amount from 
the welfare, with five children, that a mother would get for two. And 
you just cannot make it. We are not allowed. 

Senator Mondale. How many children do you have ? 

Mrs. Burley. I have four now. I have six, but two are grown. 



1153 

Senator Mondale. How much do you get from welfare? 

Mrs. BuRLEY. $186 a month and trying to buy a home out of that. 
And in 1967 I was operated on three times, and I am paying my doctor 
bill out of that, and $15 out of that which I have to pay $512, and I 
have to take that out of that. So if I try to work, which you have to 
do to help meet your ends, you still can't make it, because they are 
going to take enough out of that check regardless of what you do or 
how much you make, they are going to take more out of your check 
than you have earned. 

And on the farm you aren't going to get a good salary because they 
aren't going to pay you any more wages. Thirty cents an hour for 
picking cotton. And if everybody is like me, they can't pick a hundred 
pounds so they only make $3 a day because I have never picked a hun- 
dred pounds. 

In the wintertime, when sweet potatoes are coming on, it is too cold 
to be out there. 

Senator Mondale. Mrs. Brown, would you like to comment ? 

Mrs. Brown. Mr. Chairman, I would like to add a few things to 
what Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Keys have said. When the Morrises asked 
us to leave the field, I was in that group. One of the other ladies with 
us had to go off to herself. He asked her to walk ahead. He told her 
to take it to the road. We asked him to go on so she could. Finally he 
decided that maybe he should. 

When we got out to the road, this is when the sheriff came up and 
arrested Wallace and Bryant. Of course, he put all of us in the car 
and said we were under arrest. We asked him what charge. He said 
he would think of something. 

However, he didn't think of anything until about 3 weeks later 
because that is when we were arrested when he came back and said 
we would have to put up bond or go to jail. As for the water, it is full 
of chemicals or something. I always took my water in a thermos. I 
always took my lunch but this year I was approached by some little 
boy that he had working, and my thermos was taken from my son. 

Senator Mondale. Were you working on this farm at the time of 
the strike ? 

Mrs. Brown. Yes, I was. 

Senator Mondale. Were you aware of threats of bombing and "gun- 
points" and so on ? 

Mrs. Brown. No, I haven't been aware of anything of that nature. 

Senator Mondale. Do you know of anybody that did feel they were 
being threatened and for that reason left the field? 

Mrs. Brown. No, I haven't heard of anyone. 

Senator Mondale. Do you think there were any threats ? 

Mrs. Brown. I really don't know, because it is a large field and it is 
a large group of people. Keally you have to spend more time going 
over the field to allow you to talk with them. You go out there to try 
to get what you can, and it really takes that time because I wasn't a 
first-rate picker. 

Senator Mondale. What could you make a day ? 

Mrs. Brown. About $4 or $5. 

Senator Mondale. Do you happen to know what the farmer gets 
per crate when he sells it ? 

36-513 O— 70— <pt. 3-B 19 



1154 

Mr. Gavin. I have done some research, I try to go into this thing 
objectively. I think the prices are $2.80 to $3.20. 

Senator Mondale. For which he pays 75 cents in labor. 

Mr. GA\^N. He pays $0.75 in labor for even pints. The point we are 
trying to make, Mr. Chairman, is that a flat holds 12 heaping pints 
if you want it to be accepted. 

Senator Mondale. In order to be accepted, you have to have a heap 
on it? 

Mr. Gavin. Yes, you have to have a little pyramid. When it gets 
to the packinghouse, they rake the heap off into an additional pint, 
so that means you could pick from 12 to 16 pints in your normal ac- 
cepted flat. You were paid 6.25 cents per pint which amounts to 75 
cents. 

I have done some other research where the blueberry growers in 
Burgaw were paying 8 cents a pint, which means they were paying 
96 cents a flat. I am not taking issue with the Morrises for or against 
the strikers. I am trying to present the facts. 

This is the information that came to me through my research. The 
neighbors to Morris started off paying 85 cents. At the end of the 
season they were paying $1 a flat after the strike went into progress. 
They went up to $1. These blueberry fields are across the ditch from 
each other, Morris has 100 acres here and the Nelsons have maybe 
50 acres. 

Senator Mondale. They went up to $1 a flat ? 

Mr. Gavin. They went up to $1 a flat, I was informed by a reliable 
source. The Nelsons did not tell me personally but I was informed by 
a reliable source that in the very beginning the Nelsons contacted 
the Morrises and said "we are going to have to pay more money for 
pickers this year per flat. I am willing to pay 85 cents. How about 
you?" 

The Morrises said flatly, according to my source, "I am not going to 
pay any more than 75 cents, that is all I can afford." The council's 
position on this has been if this was what the Morrises could afford, 
why was he not willing to sit down and discuss his cost, item by item, 
with the workers and show the leaders of the workers that he could 
not pay any more money. 

I think because the lines of communication were broken here, I 
think this is where the trouble comes from, not from poverty workers, 
or outside agitators, but because the sheriff got into the act and said, 
"I am going to take the farmers' side on this issue because he is my 
constituent, he put me in office, and to hell with the black people 
of the community." 

This is what I interpret from the sheriff's attitude. Either way, you 
get polarization. Even after the Morrises were willing to pay more 
money, with this type of support from law enforcement officers, I 
would back up a little bit and think about it. 

Well, the law is on my side, I don't have to give an inch. I think the 
sheriff could have solved the problem. He could have grabbed both 
the Morrises and said "come, let's talk about this thing. We don't have 
to do all of this thing." 

This is why the council is interested. This is why we have tried to 
get the sheriff's department into executive session. We tried to get 
the police department so they could see the other man's point of view. 



1155 

Senator Mondale. Have they agreed to a meeting ? 

Mr. Gavin. We have extremely conservative people in our area. 
Everything that is different is Communist. If you don't do the things 
that you have been doing, you are a Communist. The poverty program 
in our area has been named as a bunch of Communists and outside 
agitators because they are trying to bring about social change. 

Senator Mondale. Would you agree with the sheriff's conclusion 
that a lot of difficulty has emanated from Coastal Progress workers? 

Mr. Gavin. I do not agree with him. I think the sheriff and his 
deputy should go up and find out what social progress is about. They 
should understand what the community organization is about. Mr. 
Bryant, who was arrested, his job was to bring about social change, 
organize the community to overcome the very things that oppressed 
them to start with. In this case, they are poor because of economic 
reasons. This is a problem they are trying to solve. 

Senator Mondale. As a matter of fact, that is what the statute 
requires them to do when he takes the job, that is part of his job. 

Mr. Gavin. Yes, sir. But nobody from the power structure goes up 
to find out, they would rather listen to hearsay rather than trying to 
find out what the man is supposed to be doing. 

What has happened in Coastal Progress? What economic effects 
has Coastal Progress had ^ Coastal Progress brings $1.5 million to our 
three-county area annually, and this money is distributed and con- 
trolled by the poor. 

And you know, Mr. Chairman, as one economics professor once said, 
if you put the money in the hands of the poor people, the economy will 
flourish. I am considered middle class. I have a good civil service job 
in my area. I have the things that most people in the area wish they 
had. So if I make another dollar, I try to invest it, because I have 
these things. 

But a guy who doesn't have a decent home, he is trying to get him a 
trailer or something. And as somebody stated here earlier, for every 
new dollar you bring to the community, you are talking about a 75- 
percent increase in new services and new goods that somebody is going 
to want. It is the low income in our area that is going to be buying these 
services and goods from the very people who are trying to oppress 
them. 

Senator Mondale. We regret that we have to call an end to this 
hearing. We are having the Senate-executive session on ABM and I 
must attend. We thank you very much. We thank all of the witnesses 
for coming. 

Mr. Ga\t:n. Mrs. Burley has some information here she would like 
to enter into the record, Mr. Chairman. We thank you for your time 
and we thank the members of your staff for listening to our story. 

Senator Mondale. We will print your statements in full, Mr. Gavin 
and Mrs. Brown, at this point in the record. 
(The statement of Mr. Gavin follows :) 

Prepared Statement of Mr. James F. Gavin, Co-Chaikman, Craven County 

Good Neighbor Council 

Mr. Chairman, it gives me great pleasure to api)ear before this distinguished 
committee and bring with me the sitory of the Craven County Good Neighbor 
Council which I serve as Co-Chairman. The Good Neighbor Council is dedicated 



1156 

to the proposition that by keeping channels of communication open and offering 
a respected mediating voice of reason, misunderstanding and strife can be averted 
and men agree in a atmosphere of respect and trust. 

Good Neighbor Councils across the country and in New Bern in particular, 
proved their worth in April 1968 following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther 
King. Acting on the suggestion of the Council, the Mayor and City Council of New 
Bern decided upon a course of action that minimized the violence and destruction 
and polarization of racial hatred. By working together, all elements of our 
community escaped unscathed. 

The Good Neighbor Council has become aware of many of the problems that 
exist in the black communities and the feelings of the whites toward those 
communities. 

Too miny haves (or whites) think the black community are sources of cheap, 
unskilled and unorganized labor to be called upon when needed. 

To others, the black communities are homes of lazy, easy going i)eople who 
were meant to do the dirtiest of jobs or who are looking for a hand-out or want 
to be on welfare. But we know that this is untrue. These people want help. They 
will work and work hard for themselves and others if given a chance. 

In other words Mr. Chairman, the low-income (or black in our case) have no 
power and because of this, no voice in the decision-making that effects their 
lives. 

They are like an old chair. Too good to be thrown out. not good enough for the 
parlor, therefore, kept in the back room only to be called upon when extra guests 
arrive ( or cheap and unorganized labor is needed ) . 

Realizing these things, the Good Neighbor Council has established a Summer 
Youth Program. 

Our Council has found that to be most effective it must take the initiative to 
get involved rather than waiting for a request for assistance. By moving before 
a crisis develops we can avoid a polarization of attitudes and emotions. One 
example of this is the fine job done by our Employment Committee. The Neigh- 
borhood Youth Corps Federal program is limited to findings jobs for youth in 
non-profit and government organizations. Recognizing that employment respon- 
sibility is a local one and that many local citizens wanted to be involved, the 
Committee established a Youth Employment Program able to place the youth in 
private industry, seasonal jobs and opportunities in the private sector of the 
economy. This Program has placed 150 youngsters in paying jobs for this sum- 
mer. By doing this, the Good Neighbor Council is trying to give the "have-nots" 
of our community a way to improve their economic and social conditions. I believe 
that the Council is succeeding. Through this poistive activity the Councl became 
involved in the blueberry situation. 

The Council is also working to end discrimination in hiring. Rather than 
waiting for individual cases to arise, the Council is striving to get local industry 
and management to recognize the needs of the underprivileged. In order to 
improve the general climate of employment, we have utilized a .series of "sensi- 
tivity workshops" designed to education the "haves" of our .society to the 
peculiar problems of the "have-nots". 

The Good Neighbor Council is armed only with moral persuasive ix)wer. I am 
convinced that only the proper application of power can bring about lasting and 
meaningful social change. The power brokers of the establishment, whether 
black or white, only react when enough power is brought to bear upon them. 
People who have power understand power. 

The political significance of the present situation lies deep in the heritage of 
our area. Not only has local politics been dominated by a single party, but that 
party his been dominated by a few white "hnves" centered in the local spcret 
orders. The past few years have been a crumbling of their power, with the elec- 
tion of new blood to the Board of County Commissioners and the local school 
board. 

Two main evidences of this machine still remain. The voting districts are so 
drawn as to neutralize the candidatei"^ of the black and the iX)or. 

The County Sheriff is a member of the old order. In the confrontation with 
the black blueberry workers he told me that "since he wasn't elected by the 
blacks that he did not owe them anything." and therefore he was not concerned 
with their problems. The Sheriff's comments were that he was elected by the 



1157 

power structure and it seems his only response is to them. By North Carolina 
law, the Sheriff is not controlled by the County Commissioners. As a result, 
the old order remains. In 1966 when asked to hire black deputies, he replied 
that there were no funds available. In 1968, Mr. Chairman, funds were allocated 
to hire more deputies. When approached by the black community about hiring 
black deputies the Sheriff replied, "Never !". As a result the citizens of our 
county are faced with an all-white County law force, when over 80% of the 
eases involve black people. Add to this the fact that the county courts are also 
lily-white and I believe you will see why the black citizens do not believe they 
can get justice in Craven County. 

The rural poor are uniquely without power today. In a time when Americans 
are moving more freely and living closer together, the rural family is finding 
its life more fragmented and isolated. The demise of the small farm and with 
it the small town, economy and institutions have forced them to look to the 
cities for the basic necessities and supplemental income while robbing them of 
the identity and support of their community. They look to the city without the 
means of getting there or the skills to .sell in its market. 

This isolation has led to a dangerous breakdown in communication. The 
power of the poor lies in their ability to unite in a common cause. Essential to 
unity is the ability to (1) communicate ideas and (2) to meet together for 
effective action. 

America's rural poor, Mr. Chairman, do not have the re.sources or the physieaJ 
ability to help themselves. Without telephones and without transportation, it 
is impossible for them to break their slide into a hopeless cycle of desiJair. 
Without adequate transportation, community life is impossible. Urban commu- 
nities may be measured in terms of blocks ; rural communities sipan miles in 
each direction. PTA's, churches, 4-H Clubs, and civic organizations deiiend on 
transport-ation to continue their existence. As they fail the community falters. 

Experiments in our community show that when transportation can be made 
available to the poor, they are quick to organize and meet their needs. Twenty 
Community Centers have opened in our three-county area since a community 
action program made transportation available. Onc^ the hopelessness of rural 
isolation is broken the power of unity can return. Once power returns, Social 
change will come about. 

As miich as we would like to believe in the power of common decency and 
common morality, it is clear to me that without a means of power there cannot 
be effective change. 

Prepared Statement of Mrs. Ernestine Brown 

My name is Mrs. Ernestine Brown. I live at Trenton in Jones County, North 
Carolina. While my husband is employed my children and I work in the blueberry 
field.--. They are 24 miles away and we must pay a neighbor every day to ride 
in his truck. 

We worked in Mr. Morris' fields. There were about 1,000 workers there, about 
900 of which were women, 50 men and the rest children without their parents. 
The bosses will not let you go out of the field and there are not toilet facilities 
in the fields. The only thing to do is to try to find privacy. 

The only water in the field is irrigation water. Morris sells you soda instead. 
I carry water to the field. 

The farmer pays you one dollar per crate but you have to pay him back twenty- 
five cents to get another empty crate. This makes seventy-five cents per crate 
which is five or ten cents per crate less than the other growers. 

Senator Mondale. The record will remain open for a week for any 
additional evidence or information that the people wish to submit. 

Thank you very much. 

The following documents were submitted for the record, and were 
printed pursuant to the instructions of the chairman : 



1158 



' \ 



STATE OF NORTH (S 
County of Zl! — il 



FUe t 
Film t 



The SUte of NorlWCarolina V8. 
Thomas Bernarl Wallace 



26 



N. 



Defendant 

M. 



RT. 



Rae* Sax Oecap*tloa 

3 Box 41 A. New Bem.N.C. 



Ill* uadcnlfiied, 



Addnw 

B. 



In The General Court of Justice 
DUtrict Court Division 



COMPLAINT FOR ARREST 



G . Edwards 



cemplalM and saya that at and is tha County named abovp and on or about tha 

June 69 



tha defendant namtd aboTc did anlawfollr, wilfully, Jhff'ffloiflwilly* 

ara kimself with a dangerous weapon to wit: a saw of fed 12 gaage 



shotgun, for the unlawful purpose of terrolzing persons within the county 



while so araed with said weapon, the defendant^wsnt-atrouT on the public 
streets and Highways and other public places of the county in a mannor 



to cause terror to the people o€ said county, contrary to the comoo 
laws of the State of North Carolina ^and against ^the^ peace and Agnety 



of the state. 



n« eflanaa charsad here waa eamnittad acalaat th* peace and dicnltr of tbe State and in violation of law 



IW» la captioa and aaetien i 



:t*al ordinance and /or GeiMial Statutaa if kaswa.) 



SwocB to and mbaeilbad before dm thia 

17 th IVnJune ^9 

dar 




>te/^aaittant Dafaty Clerk of Saperior Court 




y0,v. 4^U{/a*^ ^ 



j^^j^- 



Bank mi Department 



WARRANT FOR ARREST 
T* aar officer witb power to execute an arrart warrant for the offraae deecribed abore: 

It apfaarlnc from Uie aceu a attcna loeited in the above complaint, which ii made a part of tUa warrant, that 
a erteiaal offenae luw ban compjittetL^ron an coiunv^ed forUiwlth toarreat the dafoadant Miaed above and brine 



«> ka dealt with aeeordlac to law. 

17th 

ThU tha dar of 




Clark of Saperior Court 





. 




J 1 




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1159 



STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA 

Craven 
County of 

The State of North Carolina Vs. 
Carolyn mckmah 



File t ^- 

Film t 



In The General Court of Justice 
District Court Division 



25 



Ace Rue 

924 Cedar 



Sex Occupation 

ST. New Bern,N.C. 



Address 

B. G. 
The undeniffned, ._ 

complains and saya that at and 

June 



Edarwds 



sr 



County named above and > 



COMPLAINT FOR ARREST 



., beinff duly 



day of 
rilfully. aiJ5^}t)^JW(<Xilf^ 



. 19 , the defendant named above dfd unlawfully, 

going about the community using such language and conduct as to incite 
a breech of the peace and so^as to create B~danger to the" coimnunTty and 



being a public nuisance. 



The'offanae charged here wai committed aoinat the peace and di(iiity of the State and in Tiolation of law 

IXXI. 



(Vin In eaptioB aad aaetlon number of municipal ordinance and/or GaMral Statutea if known.) 



Sworn to and lukacrtbad before me thii 

17th June 

davpf . 




4 '/ 4fJ 



Complainant 



Address or Rank «nd Department 



WARRANT FOR ARREST 
To any officer with power to execute an arreet warrant for the offense described above: 

It appearing from the accusations recited iiPthe above complaint, which it made a part of this warrant, that 
a eriminal offenaa hu it^ni f°'Y^\\S|Jt^^'^ ^Tlf 1S^?^^ ^Y^M*^ k'f'^'^^i^ ''j^^'^'^^ named above and bnnc 
him before . ..■_ ^ . -. 



to be dealt with according to law. 

Itth 

Thia the Amj 



June 





•| 'Is 



I '^ 



5 




s 














'^ 1 




1 »-| 








; r* 


as 


1 ''i 


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1 








to 





IF 



1160 



STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA 

Craven 
County of 

The SUte of North Carolina V.- 
Francios Cartier 



29 



Defendant 
F. 



File J - . 

Film J . ^- 

In The General Court of Justice 
Di.'ttriil C.iirt Division 

r'OMI'l MNT FOR AKUKST 



lUce Sen ihTuput.on 

818 Miller ST. City 

Aildr 



■luly 



1. C. F.dwards on imformation received 

The undereiffned. - _- -- - . 

17th 

complains and says that at and in the County nanu'd abow and on or about tlie - - 

„"^ . IH , the defendaii-. rai.i.d above did unliiwfully, wilfuHv, »ny^T>WflfsA(n'^ 

assault hdward U. Daugerty with her hand. By pushing hin . 



■ lay of 



The offense charged here was committed afTatnst the 

G. S. 14-33 (b) 



and dignity of the State and in violation uf la 



tPill in caption and siection numbtr of > 



Sworn t^i and subscribed b«»fon 

17th . ., Tune 




miplainant 



^'"-^ 



Rank and Department 



WARRANT FOR ARRKST 
To any officer with power to execute an arrest warrant fui the nff^nsr descriln^ above: 

It appearing from the accuHations recited in the abnvr romplaml. which is timde a part of ihis warrani. that 
a criminal offense has been committed, you are commands. t fyrthvviLli Lo Vk*'^W^*' 'UfpfldanL^iiimu.i jth^'f »nri hrinjf 

».. ^ District tourt TOW July ind.l&69 at 9;3Ty A. 1=^. 

to be dealt with accordinj? to law. 

17th June 69 

This the - - day of . — -. . ly 

MaKj.itf.ilc AAi.>ti 





S^ 



I I I 



I ™ 

I 1 



1161 



STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA 

Craven 
County of 

The State of North Carolina Vs. 
Estelle Clark 



41 N. 

Ace Ran 

924 Cedar 



d^t 



S«z Occupation 

ST. City 



File } : 

Film f 

In The General Court of Justice 
District Court Division 

COMPLAINT i-OR ARREST 



Address 

B. G. Edvirds 

- — — — , beinjr July sworn. 

17th 

1 the County nanied abov** and on or about the _ _ __ day of 

69 

, 19 . , the defendant named above did unlawfully, wilfully. a}l<^^(^UUUHI^ 

going about the community using such language and conduct as to incite 



'Hie andersifned, 



nplsins and asys that at and : 

June 



a bree^ of the peace and so as to create a danger to the community 
and being a public nuisance. ~ 



The offense chmrKed here was committed against the peace and dignity of the State and in Tiolation of law 



<F1U In caption and seetioB number of municipal ordinance and, or GeoeraJ Statutes if known. I 



Sworn to and aubaciibed before me thii 

17th _ June 



Ma^stratc/ Assistant Deputy Clerk of Superior Court 



S,^' ^X^;^^*^^^ 



Address or Rank and DepaKraent 



WARRANT FOR ARREST 
To any officer with power to execute an arrest warrant for the offense described above: 

It appearing from the accusations recited in the above complaint, which is made a part of this warrant, that 

a criminal "'f-nflf^'f^'f "^jj^^o" "Sfft^'M^^rttS'^ 1 f^l *6 ''"A* .""M'. ""^ *'"''• "^ '"^"* 

him bafore . _ 

to be dealt with according to law. 

17th June 

This the day of 




Maristrate/Asajltant Deputy Clerk of Superior Court 



■So-? 

° 5- 



rtiH 

« m 

'A 72 



=1 ^ 



i i 



o 


H 




SB 


» 


m 


•«^ 




»» 


H 




> 




H 




n 



1162 



STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA 
County of ._CL«Z?_" 

The State of North CBroIina Vs. 
Franciose Cattler 



29 



N. 



Defendant 

F. 



Ace Race . Sel Occupation 

818 Miller ST. City 

AddrvsB 

The undenigTiM. _ _ „ - - 



File t 

Film t 



In The General Court of Justice 
District Court Division 



COMPl-AINT FOR ARREST 



. heinfr duly iworn. 

17th 

day o( 



complains and says that at and in the County named ab'tve and on dt about the 

^"* . _ .18 , the defendant .umed above did unlawfully, wilfully, .nlf^WftMsif _ 

going about the community using such language and conduct as to incite 
a breech of the peace and so as to create a danger to the community and 
being a public nuisance . 



The offcnaa chargad here waa commlttad againat the peace and dignity of the Sute and in violation of law 



<mi in caption and aaciion number of mi 
Svorn to and subscribed before me this 

17th June 

day I 



:ip&l ordinance and/or ^«ncral Suituu o J knuwn.) 

69 





Macmrate/Aaiatant iMputy Cleric of Superior Court 



A^/" y^i: Uc/oJ^ &^ 



Complainant 



Addrcaa or Rank and Department 



WARRANT FOR ARREST 

To any officer with power to execute an arrest warrant far the offense described above: 

It appearing from the accusations recited in the abovt- compiaint. which is made a part of this warrant, that 
a criminal offense has been committed, you are commanded forthwith to arrest the defendant named above and brinfr 

him bafon District Court July Ind, 1969 at 9;30 A. M^ 

to be dealt with according to law. 

17th 

Thia the day 



/ 




Maihstrate/Assistant Deputy Clerk of Superior Court 



:xrp I 



^,^ \ ^ 



^^^^1 



§^. 



3 

s; o 






o 3 



0| .■; 

IB 



I "«' 



1163 



STATE OF NOgyg^C:^ROLINA 
County of - - - 



N. 


Dpftndant 

M. 




Ag« ~ iUce 

New Be 


"Six 

rn, '..C 


>ccupa 


tion 




Addfes 


"w. 


Parke 


The undersipned. 






complmins and says 

June 


that «t and 


in the 

69 


County 



File J . _ _ ^ _ . 

Film i - 

In The General Courl of Justice 
DUtrict Court Jiivision 

COMPLAIN'T FOK AKKKST 



17th 



X'^p and on or about the _ lay of 
,- . J- , • 1^ t , . • t^JB rff'f'-n'Kni named above did unlawfully. wilTully. a)lT^fi^(ffi9^ 

resist, delay , a public officer holding the office of d8ppty Sheriff 
^y^ striking ' at Deputy Sheriff T. W. Parker and refused to get into 
his car. At^ttie'Ttme "such officer was discharging a duty of his office, 
towItTftf resistihg~arfest. 



The offense chftriced here_waaxommi; 



e-waaxommiLtcz] UAifli 



at the p«ar«> and di|?nity of the Stat« and 



(FiU in caption and section numWr of i 



^-Jm of 



and oi ijtrneru S'iityie*' J i 



^c^/ 




MMiitratc/AaaisUnt Deputy Clerk of Supei 



oinplninant 
■—- Addre^or'Rank and MiArt 



Complainant 

fArtment 



WARRANT FOR ARRKST 

To any officer with power to execute an arrest warrant for the offense dascrihed above: 

It appearing from the accuaatiooB recited in the above complaint, which m iimile ■ part of this wurrant, that 

a criminal ''^^^^^^^f^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^l^}^''-''^:^ tf''-''jV^'A*^f*1Ef^""^ "■"*^'* "**"'"' ""** '"''"' 

him b«fOT« - _ _ _ ^ _ _ _ * _ ' _ _ , _ 

to be dealt with aqcudipK t<i law. 

This the day of 



June 



I I 




1164 



STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA 
Comity o/ Caavftn 



The SUt* of North Carolina Vs. 
Carolyn Styron 

Defendant 

27 N. _P^ 

Asc Rac* Sex Occupation 

92 3 Fowlers Lane City 

' Addreaa 

B. 



File { 
FUm t 



In The General Court of Justice 
District Court Division 



COMPLAINT FOR ARREST 



Th« undenirned. _ »_=_ Gj_ Jdwftjds 

I tha County named above and on or afaeot tha 



nplaina and aaya that at and 
Jun* ,g 



, bailie doly (wmd, 

I7$h_ dar of 



69 



i^-., tha defendant named above did unlawfuUf, wilfully, ""i /Vv^lllL 

going about the coaaunlty using such language and conduct as to incite 
a breech of pSace ^d so a» to cretate » danger to the coawunity a nd 
being a public nuisance. 



Tha affania chargad here waa conunitud asainat tha paaca and dicntty of tha Stata aad in vlolatiaa of law 



(FIB !■ aavtion and aaetlon nanbar of municipal ordinanca and/or Ganaaal Statuiaa if kaowo.) 



Swoth to and aubacrlbad bafora ma thii 

l^th ^^ ^f June ,g 69 

Macfttrata/|Uaiatant Oapoty Clartt of Suparlor CouA 



4'^^. 



Addraaa or Raak tai Dapartmaat 



WARRANT FOR ARREST 
To any officar with powar to axacuta an arraat warrant for tha offaaaa daacrlbad abova: 

It appaaiinc from tha accuaationa caeitad in the above complaint, which ia made a part of thla warrant, that 
a criminal offanae haa faaan committad, you arc eoramandtd forthwith to arraat tha dafandant named above and brinf 

bia bafoi* Diatrict Court July 2nd. 1969 at 9 ; 30 A. M. 

to ba dealt with acoordlnc to law. 

17 th ,.„., June .. 69 



Thla tha. 



. day of 




1165 

Recorded Testimony of State of North Carolina vs. Thomas Bernard 
Wallace and John Franklin Bryant III, Charged With "Going About 
Armed" 

NORTH CAROLINA In The General Court of Justice 

Craven County District Court Division 



STATE ]l.c/ v^x o.v/o 

^y^- ^ ^ TXT 11 I going' ABOUT ARMED 

Thomas Bernard Wallace J 



69 Cr 3703 



^T.^^^ 1 69 Cr 3696 



VS 
John Franklin Bryant, III 



GOING ABOUT ARMED 



Transcript of Evidence 



Present : Hon. J. W. H. Roberts, Judge Presiding ; Mr. John Harmon, Attorney 
for Defendant Bryant ; Mr. Reginald Frazier, Attorney for Defendant Wallace ; 
Hon. Eli Bloom, Prosecutor. 

Date of Trial : Wednesday, July 2, 1969. 

This cause coming on to be heard and being heard before the Honorable J. W. H. 
Roberts the following proceedings were had : 

Mr. Frazier. I would like to move to quash the warrant on the grounds that 
the charges fail to particularize a criminal offense. [Argument] If we get past 
the motion to quash, I would respectfully request to examine the aflSant in the 
warrant, who is Deputy Bruce Edwards, and submit the Magistrate to Voir 
Dire to test the probable cause for the issuance of these warrants. 

Mr. Harmon. This is not a crime under the statutes of North Carolina, but it 
is a charge of the crime for Common Law, and I would move for the Defendant 
John Franklin Bryant that the warrant itself does not charge a crime, even 
under Common Law\ It only charges the defendant armed himself with a dan- 
gerous weapon and went upon the highway, and it doesn't charge that he did 
anything. 

Mr. Bloom. [Argument.] 

The Court. Gentlemen, I am going to permit you to examine the Magistrate 
as to whether or not the warrant was sworn to. You may send for Mr. Stevens. 

Mr. H. Paul Stevens, Magistrate, being first duly sworn, was examined and 
testified as follows : 

voir dire examination by MB. FBAZIEB 

Mr. Bloom. Just for the record, would Your Honor have put in the record 
that these men were called for the defendants. The State has not tendered them 
nor offered them. 

The Court. Yes, sir. They were called for the defendants, upon defendant's 
request for Voir Dire Examination. Mr. Stevens and Mr. Edwards were called, 
and the Court rules that they may be examined on Voir Dire as to the issuance 
of the warrant only. I will not go into the general evidence of the case. 

Mr. Harmon. Do I understand the Court? We may question the suflSciency of 
evidence to issue the warrant? 

The Court. To a very slender point. The court rules on that. The question of 
probable cause is a question to be decided on by Magistrate issuing the warrant, 
based on the evidence, of course. But the amount of evidence, whether or not he 
had sufficient evidence will be a question for the Court to rule on. 

Q. (Mr. Frazier. ) Your name is H. Paul Stevens? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And you are a duly constituted magistrate in and for the County of Craven, 
are you not? 

A. I am. 

Q. Now, Mr. Stevens, on or about the 17th day of June, did you have the 
occasion to see Deputy Bruce Edwards? 

A. I did, sir. 

Q. Where did you see him, sir? 

A. In my office. 

Q. And in what connection did you see him? 



1166 

The Court. You may ask him direct questions. "If he saw him in connection 
with the issuance of tliis warrant." 

Q. Did you see him in connection witli the issuance of the warrant charging 
Thomas Bernard Wallace. Did you see him in connection with the issuance of 
this warrant, sir? (Hands paper writing to Mr. Stevens.) 

A. (Looks at paper writing.) I did. 

Q. Now, is that your signature there? 

A. It is. 

Q. And this is the warrant that you issued on the 17tli day of June? 

A. Excu.se me just a second. 

Q. The warrant says . . . 

A. . . . Yes, sir. That was just a typographical error. 

Q. The warrant says that Bruce Edwards did appear on the 17th day of 
July? 

A. Yes, sir. June is what it is. 

Q. But, in fact, it was the 17th day of June? 

A. Yes. It was in June, not in July. 

Q. Now, very briefly, Mr. Stevens, what did Officer Edwards do in your pres- 
ence or say in your presence — if anything at all? 

The Court. No, sir. You may not ask him that. 

Q. Did you ask him — Well, did he make an Affidavit before you relative to 
the charges in this warrant? 

Mr. Bloom. Objection. No Affidavit is necessary. 

The Court. You may ask him if he swore to the facts as set forth in that 
warrant. 

Q. Did he make any statements — tell you what kind of warrant he wanted? 

A. He swore to the facts — what he was going to give me in i.ssuing the war- 
rant and I issued a warrant and he signed it and I signed it and he swore to it 
again. 

Q. What did he tell you he wanted to charge Thomas Wallace with? 

A. Whatever that warrant says, that is it. 

Q. And did he state from his own personal knowledge to the truth of the 
allegations in this warrant? 

Mr. Bloom. Objection. 

The Court. Objection Sustained. 

Q. Did you examine the affiant, Bruce Edwards? 

The Court. As to the things alleged in the warrant? 

A. I did. 

Q. How did you examine him? 

Mr. Bloom. Objection. 

The Court. Sustained. 

Mr. Frazier. No further questions. 

The Court. Now, there seems to be a typographical error as June instead of 
July. 

Mr. Bloom. We move to amend. 

The CotJRT. The State moves to amend that to show June instead of July, 
and the motion is allowed. 

Mr. FRAZIH2R. We Object. 

The Court. Overruled. 

Mr. Frazier. Exception. 

Deputy Sheriff Bruce Edwards, being first duly sworn, was examined and testi- 
fied as follows : 

VOIR DIRE examination BY MR. FRAZIER 

Q. Mr. Edwards, you are a member of the Sheriff's — You are a Deputy Sheriff 
of Craven County, are you not? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And did you appear on June 17th to complain before Magistrate H. Paul 
Stevens as to the allegations in the warrant before the court? 

A. I did. 

Q. And what did you say, if anything at all, to Mr. Stevens? 

The Court. Objection Sustained. You may ask him what he said with refer- 
ence to getting this warrant issued. 

Q. What did you say or do with reference to getting this warrant issued? 

A. I told him I wanted the warrant issued and charged with Dangerous Fire- 
arms Statute, under the Dangerous Firearms. And I had the form that Mr. Eli 
Bloom had given me to draw the warrant with. 



1167 

Q. Now you say that Mr. Eli Bloom had given you a form ? 

A. He give me a form, and wrote it down under what charge he was supposed 
to be charged with, under the Dangerous Firearms Statute. 
Q. So it was not your Affidavit V 
A. No, sir. It was my Affidavit. 
Q. It was Mr. Bloom's? 
A. It was my Affidavit. 

Q. But you did get the form from Mr. Bloom? 
A. Mr. Bloom drew it ; yes, sir. 
Q. No further questions. 

VOIR DIRE EXAMINATION BY MR. HARMON 

Q. Now, you say you wanted to have it charged under the Fire Arms Act? 

A. Dangerous Fire Arms. 

Q. Under the National Fire Arms Act? 

A. The Dangerous Fire Arms, the way Mr. Bloom had drawn this. 

Q. What act is this? 

A. I didn't say "Act." I said under the Dangerous Fire Arms Statute. 

Q. Dangerous Fire Arms Statute? 

A. Like Mr. Eli Bloom drawed it out and I swore to the warrant the way he 
had it drawn out, as I told you. 

Q. No questions. 

The Court. Did you swear to that warrant? Before Mr. Stevens? 

A. Yes, sir. 

The Court. Did you swear that the facts therein were true to the best of your 
knowledge? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Bloom. Every fact that was alleged in that warrant was witnessed by you 
personally, was it not? 

A. That is right. Witnessed by me. 

Mr. Bloom. Did you so state that to Mr. Stevens? 

A. Y'^es, sir. 

Mr. Harmon. Mr. Bloom to the stand. 

The Court. No, sir. I will not permit that. 

Mr. Harmon. Exception. 

Deputy Sheriff T. W. Parker, being first duly sworn, was examined and testified 
as follows : 

direct EXMINATION by MR. ELI BLOOM 

Q. Now, of course, we all know. . . 

The Court. It is stipulated by counsel for both defendants that the cases may 
be tried together at the same time. 

Q. (Mr. Bloom.) For the record, state your name? 

A. T. W. Parker, Deputy Sheriff of Craven County. 

Q. Now, on or about the date of this warrant, or these warrants, I will ask 
you if you saw either or both of these defendants? 

A. Yes, sir. I did. 

Q. Where and under what circumstances? 

A. They were in an automobile north of Bridgeton on Highway 17. 

Q. Now, did you go in ordinary patrol, or were you called? 

A. I was called. 

Q. Now, if you will, in your own way, tell me what you saw either or both of 
them do ? 

A. I was driving my patrol area and I had a call over there to the huckleberry 
farm. And just as we were arriving at the huckleberry field Mr. Morris was run- 
ning out of his drive way to the huckleberry field onto Highway 17 pointing at 
the car. 

Mr. Frazier. Objection. 

The Court. Was that within the view of these defendants. Did they see Mr. 
Morris? 

A. They could have if they had been looking out the rear view mirror. 

The Court. Sustained. 

Q. As a result of what you saw Mr. Morris do what did you do? 

A. The car that Bryant was driving and Wallace was a passenger in pulled 
on the off side of the highwa.v on the shoulder and stopped to pick up some pas- 
sengers. And I pulled off in front of it and parked directly in front of it on the 



1168 

shoulder and I got out of my patrol car and walked up to the driver's side of 
the Oldsmobile which Bryant was driving and asked him for his driver's license 
and to identify himself. 

Q. Now, Sheriff, prior to that time, to seeing either of them, do you know 
of your own knowledge whether there had been any diflficulty at the blue berry 
farm? 

A. They had. 

Q. Now, you say you asked him for his driver's license and then what followed ? 

A. He taken his driver's license out and handed them to me and got out of his 
car. 

Q. Was there anybody else in the car at that time? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Who? 

A. Wallace was in the car, and there was four people that had just come out of 
the blue berry field who proceeded to get in the car. 

Q. And . . . 

A. . . . And when he got out of his car Wallace got out on the off side and 
proceeded aroimd the back of the ear to come up where we were and by that time 
Mr. Edwards and some of the other deputies were there and Sheriff Berry had 
told them . . . 

Mr. Fbazieb. Objection . . . 

Q. . . . Who? Told who? 

A. Told Wallace. 

Mr. Fkazieb. Objection. 

The Court. Overruled. 

A. Told Wallace and Bryant to get back in the car and leave and come on to 
New Bern, which they didn't want to do. Wallace wanted to argue and Bryant 
was telling him not to. 

Mr. Fraziek. Objection. 

The Court. Overruled. 

A, And Bryant started over toward where Wallace was at and I grabbed him 
on the shoulder of his coat and told him not to go over there and they proceeded 
to get back in the car and as they did we saw this 12 gauge shot gun laying in 
the floor of the car in the front. 

Q. Is this the shot gun that you found? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Now, would you look at that shot gun and state whether or not it is a sawed- 
off shot gun? 

A. It is a 12 gauge "Long Tom" with the barrel sawed off. 

Q. Have you measured the length of it? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What is it? 

A. Exactly 20 inches. And laying on the floor board by the car was three 12- 
gauge shells. 

Mr. Bloom. I would like to introduce the weapon as State's Exhibit Number 
One. 

The Court. The weapon was introduced and marked as State's Exhibit Num- 
ber One. 

Mr. Fbazier. Objection. 

The Court. Overruled. 

Q. What are these, sir? 

A. They are three 12-gauge shells. 

Q. Where did you find them? 

A. They were laying on the floor of the car, right by the gun. 

Mr. Bloom. I will introduce them as State's Exhibit Number Two. 

The Court. (Examines the shells after they were marked for identification.) 

Q. Now, you said that the shot gun was visible? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Now, after having found the shot gun, or seeing the shot gun, what else 
did you do? 

A. Deputy Sheriff Edwards reached in the car to get the shot gun out and Wal- 
lace grabbed hold of it and didn't want him to have it. 

Mr. Frazier. Objection. 

The Court. Sustained. 

Q. Did you .see that? Did Wallace grab hold of it? 

A. Yes, sir. And Bryant told him to let him have it and not argue with him. 

The Court. One thing, those are unexpended, they are live shells? 



1169 

A. Yes. 

Mr. Harmon. No questions. 

Mr. Frazier. No questions. But we reserve the right to recall him. 

Mr. Bloom. Come back on the stand for one other question, please. 

Q. (Mr. Bloom) Mr. Parker, who owns the automobile? 

A. Bryant. 

The Court. Was he driving? 

A. Bryant was driving the car ; yes, sir. 

The Court. Did he state it was his car or did he make any statement at all 
about it? 

A. He didn't to me ; no, sir. I didn't ask them any questions. And they were 
placed under arre-st and brought down to Craven County Jail. 

The Court. Where was the gun actually lying? 

A. It was lying in front of the .seat, front seat, on the floor — broken open. 

Mr. Harmon. No questions. 

Mr. Frazier. No questions. 

Deputy Sheriff Bruce Edwards, being first duly sworn, was examined and 
testified as follov;s : 

DIRECT examination BY MB. ELI BLOOM 

Q. Now, Sheriff Edwards, it is in evidence that you and Sheriff Parker, in re- 
sponse to a call proceeded to the vicinity of the berry farm? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Which is owned and operated by Mr. Morris? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Now, were you riding in the same car with the Sheriff? 

A. No, sir. I was riding in my car and I was ju.st behind Mr. Parker and the 
sheriff. 

Q. Are you the Mr. Edwards who went to the automobile and attempted to 
recover the gun ? 

A. Y'es, sir. 

Q. Now, did you attempt to recover the gun? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Now, tell me what happened then and refer to a man or both if necessary? 

A. Well, the gun was down in the floor board just under Thomas Wallace's feet. 
I reached in after the gun and he taken a hold of the gun and he put a little 
pressure on it and didn't want to turn it a loose. 

Mr. Frazier. Objection. 

The Court. Sustained. 

Q. Did he turn it a loose? 

A. Yes, sir. After Bryant advised him. 

Q. Prior to that? 

A. No, sir. He didn't turn it loo.se until John Franklin Bryant told him to turn 
it a loose. 

Mr. Harmon. No questions. 

Mr. Frazier. No questions. 

Mr. Fenner E. Morris, being first duly sworn, was examined and testified 
as follows : 

direct examination by MR. ELI BLOOM 

Q. Please state your full name? 

A. Fenner Edward Morris. 

Q. Now, Mr. Morris, what is your occupation, sir? 

A. Farmer. 

Q. And are you one of the owners or operators of the Morris Berry, you call 
it Morris Berry Farms? 

A. Jason Morris Farms, Inc. 

Q. Now, what items do you raise on your farm? 

A. Blue Berries. 

Mr. Frazier. Objection. 

The Court. Sustained. I will permit him to be a.sked what he rai.sed on that 
portion of the farm adjacent to or in connection to where this arrest was made. 

Q. Among portions of your farm do you raise blue berries? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Now, what part of that farm is that — the blue berry farm — with respect to 
the highway. How far is it adjacent to the highway? 
3,6-513 O— 70— pt. 3-B 20 



1170 

A. Yes, sir. 

The Court. Which highway? 

A. 17 North. 

Q. Now, Mr. Morris, on the day in question — Do you recall the day this hap- 
pened? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. On the day in question was there any disturbance of any kind, was there 
any disturbance on your farm? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Frazier. Objection. 

The Court. Overruled. 

Q. As a result of this disturbance did you contact the sheriff's department? 

A. Yes, sir. I asked for assistance. 

Q. Now, did you later see, are you the Mr. Morris that we are talking about 
that Mr. Parker said he saw coming out of the path? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you see Sheriff Parker at that time? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And did you see Sheriff Edwards ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And did you see that automobile? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you see the automobile driven by these young men? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And that was on the same day? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Now, you said there was a disturbance on your farm? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Now, did you see any people who caused the disturbance getting into a 
vehicle oi>erated by . . . 

Mr. Frazier. Objection and Move to Strike . . . 

Q. State whether you saw any of the people that were causing this disturbance? 

Mr. Frazier. Objection and Move to Strike. 

The Court. Well, not causing disturbance, but involved in. 

Q. Involved in any disturbance — getting into any automobile? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Now, do you know how many of them? 

A. Four. 

Q. And the four that you saw got into whose automobile, or attempted to 
get into whose automobile? 

A. Mr. Bryant, or which ever one owns the automobile. 

The Court. Let's see now. Was it one of these defendants? 

A. Yes, sir. 

The Court. Do you know which one? 

A. I am not sure which one owns . . . 

The Court. Well, were both of them in the car. 

A. Yes. 

Mr. Harmon. No questions. 

Mr. Frazier. No questions. Subject to recall. 

State rests. 

Mr. Harmon. The defendants move for judgment as of nonsuit. 

The Court. Motion denied. 

Mr. Harmon. I am not offering any evidence. 

Mr. Thomas Bernard Wallace, being first duly sworn, was examined and 
testified as follows : 

direct examination by MR. REGINALD FRAZIER 

Q. Now, your name is Thomas Bernald Wallace? 

A. That is right. 

Q. And you are the defendant in this cause? 

A. Right. 

Q. And Mr. Wallace, on or about the 17th day of June in the morning time, 
the A.M., what were you doing? 

A. Well, Mr. Bryant and myself had been to Vanceboro checking the construc- 
tion of the Community Center they are building there. 



1171 

Q. What is the nature of your employment? 

9. I am the Deputy Director of Coastal Progress, Inc. 

Q. Now, in your capacity as Deputy Director of Coastal Progress do you 
have occasion to visit a work site in or near the City of Vanceboro, North 
Carolina? 

A. Frequently. 

Q. Now, state whether or not on the 17th day of June you had been to A^ance- 
boro. 

A. Yes, sir. We had been to Vanceboro. 

Q. And state to the Court, if you will, what route did you take to go to Vance- 
boro and in leaving Vanceboro? 

A. Highway 17 North. 

Q. Now, does Highway 17 North run past the Jason Morris Berry Farm? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And did you pass it when you were going to Vanceboro? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And how long were you in Vancebore? 

A. About fifteen or twenty minutes. 

Q. Now, how long have you known the co-defendant, John Franklin Bryant, 
III? 

A. Four years. 

Q. And I believe that he works with you in the project at Vanceboro? 

A. Right. 

Q. Now upon leaving Vanceboro, at or near the site of the Jason Morris farms 
did you observe women traveling along the shoulder of the highway ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Go ahead and in your own words. Mr. Wallace, describe to this Court, just 
what you did on the morning of the 17th ? 

A. As we were returning from Vanceboro we were getting closer to New Bern 
and we saw these four ladies — I think it was four ladie-s — walking down the high- 
way and there two white guys following them. An so just as we were approach- 
ing them one of them turned around an flagged us down. 

Q. You say one of them ; do you mean one of the men or one of the women? 

A. One of the ladies walking down the road. And John pulled across the road 
to give them a lift and as they got into the car the sheriff and his deputies pulled 
up and started to take the people out of the car. 

Q. Did you know why the sheriff was doing that? 

A. No ; I didn't. 

Q. Did you know that these women had been charged with the crime, or were 
suspected of having committed a crime? 

A. No. I didn't know them at that time. 

Q. Did you have anything to do with Mr. Bryant stopping the car to pick 
these women up? 

A. No. 

Q. Now, was there a broken shot gun in the front of Mr. Bryant's automobile? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Describe to his Honor just how this weapon was broken down, if you will? 

A. Well, it is a car with bucket seats. 

Q. The car has bucket seats with a hump down the middle? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And would you describe just where this weapon was relative to the hump in 
the car and how it was broken down? 

A. (Indicating) The car. as if I am sitting here, and the hump of the car is 
here. It's broken down on the hump like this and the barrell is down like this. 

Q. Now, does that weapon have the safety on it, Mr. Wallace? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And was it down — Of your own knowledge was the safety on it? 

A. I don't know. I have never handled it. 

Q. Would you say it was visible to anyone that would look in the car? 

A. Yes. 

Q. And he wasn't trying to hid it? 

A. No. 

Q. Wasn't trying to use it ? 

A. No. 

Q. Now, state whether or not, Mr. Wallace, you had a weapon. 

A. No. 



1172 

Q. Do you own a shot gun? 

A. No. 

Q. And so to your knowledge that was the only shot gun in the car? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And was the ear in your possession, or was the car in the possession of the 
co-defendant, Mr. Bryant V 

A. Mr. Bryant. 

Q. And you were riding merely as a guest passenger? 

A. As we — Let me finish telling what happened. As we stopped and he took 
the people out of the car, and the sheriff started to tell John he didn't want 
to catch him over there any more in that area and he didn't have any business 
over there, and I got around to explain to the sheriff that we hadn't been in 
it, that we had been to Vauceboro and were enroute to New Bern when these 
people flagged us down, and the sheriff pushed me away and told me to get 
back in the ear. And he put me in the car and saw the gun on the hump of the 
car there. 

Q. Now, you said there were two men chasing these women. Do you recognize 
those men. Would you recognize them if you saw them? 

A. Just one of them. 

Q. Look around the courtroom, Mr. Wallace, and see if you recognize one of 
the men? 

A. This gentleman right here, on the front row. (Points) 

Q. And you are pointing to Fenner E. Morris? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Now, do you know of your own knowledge why he was chasing the women? 

A. No, I didn't. They were just walking behind them. 

Q. Walking behind them? 

A. Yes. 

Q. So they weren't really chasing . . . 

A. Yes. sir. 

Q. They were just walking to make sure that they moved away from the blue 
berry farm? 

Mr. Bloom. Objection. 

The Court. Overruled. 

Q. I ask you, Mr. Wallace, at any time on or about the 17th day of June of 
this year did you go about the County of Craven armed with a weapon with 
the intent to terrorize the citizens of this county ? 

A. No. 

Q. I ask you Mr. Wallace, have you ever been convicted of any criminal of- 
fense in this court or any other court in the State of North Carolina? 

A. No. 

Q. Have you ever been convicted of anv criminal offense at all? 

A. No. 

Q. Have you ever owned a weapon? 

A. No. 

Q. Do you know of anyone that would become frightened at your very 
presence? 

A. No. 

Q. -Do you know of your own knowledge that someone was frightened as a 
result of your presence? 

A. No. 

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ELI BLOOM 

Q. Now, Mr. Wallace, would you please again tell me the name of the organiza- 
tion for which you work? 

A. Coastal Progress, Inc. 

Q. Now, is that a governmental agency? 

A. It is a subsidiary of OEO, the OflBce of Economic Opportunity. 

Q. And is a subsistence paid — if you work for them — by the U.S. Government? 

Mr. Frazier. Objection. 

The Court. Overruled. 

Mr. Frazier. Move to Strike. 

The Court. Overruled. 

Q. W^hat are the scoi>e of your duties? 

A. Well, I supervise the staff and projects under Coastal Progress — its person- 
nel, programs, planning. 



1173 

Q. Now, what programs did you have in the neighborhood of the berry farm? 

A. Didn't have any there. 

Q. Now, I believe you did state that you could identify this man right here? 
(Indicates Fenner Morris) 

A. Yes. 

Q. And the reason you can identify him is it not is because you have seen him 
before? 

A. No. 

Q. Do you deny that you had been in the vicinity of the berry farm on two 
days previous? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Never had been there? 

A. No. 

Q. Did you know about the disturbance or strikes? 

A. What I read in the papers. 

Q. Well, it was more than that? 

A. What I read in the papers. 

Q. Let me ask you this question. Hadn't you contacted some of the people who 
are striking here? 

A. No. 

Q. Not even in the scope of your employment? 

A. No. 

Q. You went to Vanceboro that day? 

A. Yes. 

Q. And, of course, from the way you demonstrated this shot gun, it was visible? 

A. Yes. 

Q. And it was laying right at the foot of your feet, right? 

A. The barrel was. 

Q. Well, the shot gun was — That is part of the shot gun? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Now, when you saw that shot gun, what did you think? 

A. I had seen it before. 

Q. Why did you think it was in the automobile? 

A. I have seen it there before. 

Q. I didn't ask you that. I asked you why did you think it was in the auto- 
mobile? 

A. I can't answer that question. 

Q. It was his car, wasn't it? 

A. Yes. 

Q. And you were riding with him? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Didn't you say, "Why have you got that shot gun in the car?" 

A. No, because I have seen it in there before. 

Q. But, weren't you curious to know on thi.s particular day? 

Mr. Frazier. Objection. 

The Court. Overruled. 

Q. Now, you knew that the sa wed-off shot gun was in the car? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Now, it is an unusual weapon, isn't it — a sa wed-off shot gun? 

A. It depend.^ upon what you call an unusual weapon. 

Q. Don't you know that is sawed off? 

A. I have never looked at the gun. 

Q. Well, looking at it now, is it a sa wed-off shot gun? 

A. I see it is. 

Q. Now, what is your educational background? 

A. I have a B.A. Degree in Sociology. 

Q. So you have a B.A. Degree. Therefore, you know, do you not, that this is 
an unusual weapon? 

A. I have never bothered the gun. That is what I keep trying to tell you. 
Q. I merely am asking you if it . . . 

Mr. Frazier. Objection. 

The Court. He can ask him. and the man can answer yes, no, or that he doesn't 
know ; and he can pick any one he wants to. 
Q. Now, will you answer my que.stion? 

Court reporter read the question : "Therefore, you know, do you not, that this 
is an unusual weapon?" 
A. I do not know. 



1174 

Q. Now, also in this automobile at your foot were three shells, were there not? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Did you see the shells? 

A. Yes. They were in the ash tray and I took them out of the ash tray because 
I smoke. 

Q. Did you ask him anything about why he was carrying these? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Weren't even interested? 

A. I had seen it in the car before. 

Q. Now the shot gun — no question about it — was in this position? [Indicates 
position of gun.] 

A. No question about it. 

Q. Which would be easy to slip the things into? 

A. I wouldn't know that. I have never attempted to. 

Q. All right, sir. Now, when Sheriff Edwards got around to take possession 
of that gun, why did you hold on? 

A. Because I knew — I knew it was legal. And I said, "Hold on. Wait." 

Q. You knew it was legal? 

A. Yes. 

Q. You still say that is a legal weapon ? 

A. According to what I know. 

Q. Well, you see a moment ago you didn't know a thing in the world about 
a shot gun. You do know, too, don't you? 

A. Uh-Uh. 

Q. Just don't want to admit it? 

A. As far as I know it is legal. 

Q. And the reason you wouldn't turn it a loose was because the sheriff was 
in uniform, was he not? He had on a uniform, didn't he? (Asks the deputy sheriff 
to stand up. ) Did he look like he looks now? 

A. I don't even remember which one it was. 

Q. These two were there? (Indicates Sheriff Parker and Sheriff Edwards) 

A. I think Sheriff Berry was there and he was not in uniform. 

Q. You know Sheriff Berry? 

A. Not before that. 

Q. Did you see either of these men in uniform ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Was he in uniform — the man who reached in for the gun ? 

A. I think it was Mr. Edwards. 

Q. Why didn't you just tell me that instead of beating around the bush? Now, 
why did you hold onto that weapon when he said, "Give me the gun?" 

A. He didn't ask. He stuck his hand in the car and started to take it out. 

Q. Why did you hold it? 

A. Just a natural thing. He didn't ask anything and grabbed it, and I just 
grabbed it, like that, and . . . 

Q. . . . and until he told you to turn it . . . 

A. When he said turn it a loose I did it right away. 

Q. And he said, "Let him have it." And then you turned it a loose? 

A. Yeah. Right. 

Q. Now, I believe New Bern is your headquarters? 

A. That is correct. 

Q. You knew absolutely nothing about a disturbance that . . . 

Mr. Frazier. Objection. 

The Court. Overruled. 

Q. . . . a disturbance that they had at the berry farm? 

A. What I had read in the newspaper. 

Q. Had made no inquiry whatsoever? 

A. What I had heard as hearsay. 

Q. I ask you if you didn't meet with an organization and discuss it? 

A. No organization. I have met with a group of people who asked me to come 
and talk to them for twenty minutes. 

Q. So, you did know about it? 

A. I did not know what was going on. That was a week before. 

Q. Wasn't that discussion about the berry picking? 

A. No. We talked ahout Caesar Cheves and Grapes of California. 

Q. Well, now, the grapes in California ca.se is a parallel ca.se to this? 

A. I don't know. It could be. 

Q. Now, you talked about it. Didn't you hear what was said? Why are you try- 
ing to be so evasive to me ? 



1175 

Mr. Frazier. CMbjection. 

The Court. Just ask him the questions. 

Q. You met for the purpose of discussing the grape pickers, didn't you? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Isn't that the Caesar Chaves case? 

A. We talked about problems they are having. 

Q. And those problems vs^ere supposed to be the identical problems you had 
here? 

A. Could have been. 

Q. Sir? 

A. Could have been. Yes. 

Q. They were, weren't they? 

A. I am not, you know . . . 

Q. Then why did you tell me a moment ago that . . . 

A. I said I didn't know anything about it. There was no disturbance when I 
talked to those i)eople. That was a week before. 

Q. Where is your home originally, sir? 

A. Winston-Salem. 

O. At one time were you in the City of Durham? 

A. Yes, sir ; I was. 

Q. In w^hat capacity ? 

A. A college student. 

Q. And wliat other capacity? 

Mr. Frazier. Objection. 

The Court. Overruled. 

A. I was a trainee with the North Carolina Fund. 

Q. What kind of fund is that? 

A. It is a non-profit private organization that does training or did training for 
the State of North Carolina for community action work. 

Q. Did you resign ? 

Mr. Frazier. Objection. 

The Court. Sustained. 

Q. I will ask you if you were not asked to resign ? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Did you resign ? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Well, how did you get away from there? 

A. It terminated at the end of six months. 

Q. Don't you know, sir, that you were fired? 

A. It is a six months program. No, I have never been fired from a job. 

Q. But you were asked to resign? 

A. No, I have never been asked to resign from a job. 

REDIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. REGINALD FRAZIER 

Q. Do you know what model of Oldsmobile that Mr. Bryant owns? 

A. You mean year make ? 

Q. Yes. 

A. The year? I think it is a '65. 

Q. And you said it had bucket seats? 

A. Yes. 

Q. And it has an ash tray in it? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And when you say it was broken down over the hump, you mean the part 
where the transmission runs down the middle of the automobile? 

A. Right. 

Q. Now, I ask his Honor — And these bucket seats and the hump is right in 
the middle there and it was broken down on one side and the stock on the other 
side. Is that not correct? ( Illustrating position of shot gun. ) 

A. Right. 

Q. You did not know these women, did you? 

A. No, I didn't. 

Q. They didn't know you? 

A. No. 

Q. You had knowledge that they were having a strike at the blue berry farm? 

A. What I had read in the paper and what people had told me. 

Q. B'lt you didn't know anything about a disturbance? 

A. No, I didn't. Nothing about it. 



1176 

RE-CROSS EXAMINATION BY MR. ELI BLOOM 

Q. I ask you, sir, to look at this shot gun. (Hands gun to witness) And now, 
tell me what that says on the side of it? 

A. Long Tom. 

Q. Does that look like a Long Tom to you? Now? 

A. I don't understand. 

Q. Does this look like a Long Tom to you ? 

A. No. 

Q. Now, would you take this shot gun, please, sir, in your own hands and open 
it for me? 

A. ( Witness opens the shot gun. ) 

Q. You do know how to handle it? 

A. I know how to open it. 

Q. You said you had never seen it before. How do you know how to open it? 

A. I have seen guns before. 

Q. Look at it again. See if it is in locked position. Try it. (Takes gun from wit- 
ness. ) No, let me. Now, when I lay this on this hump, it does not come open, does 
it? 

A. It has to be opened. Right. 

Q. It has to be opened? 

A. Right. 

Mr. Jim Godwin, being first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows : 

DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. REGINALD FRAZIEE 

Q. Your name is Mr. Jim Godwin? 

A. Yes. 

Q. And Mr. Godwin, are you connected with the Craven Operation Progress? 

A. For correction purposes, I am Executive Director of Coastal Progress, Inc. 

Q. And I believe that Mr. Wallace works under your immediate supervision, is 
that not correct? 

A. Yes, sir. He is the Deputy Director of Coastal Progress, Inc. 

Q. Do you know Mr. John Bryant, III? 

A. Yes. He is the Director of our Community Organization component of 
Coastal Progress, Inc. 

Q. And how long have you known these gentlemen ? 

A. Approximately three years. 

Q. And do you know of your own knowledge that John Bryant owns a grey 
Oldsmobile, the year 1965 ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. And have you had the occasion to see him drive that automobile to and 
from his place of employment ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Now, in passing this automobile going to your office, Mr. Godwin, state 
whether or not you have observed the shot gun that is in evidence in this case 
broken down over the hump of this young man's car. or automobile? 

A. Y"es, I have seen the shot gun in the car on numerous occasions in the 
past and for approximately maybe a year or more. 

Q. You have never seen this defendant fire this weapon? 

A. I have never seen the defendant touch the weapon. 

Q. But you have always noticed to be broken down over the hump of this car? 

A. Yes. 

Q. And you have noticed it over the hump of that car for more than a year? 

A. I would say approximately a year. At that time — I am not that certain of 
the time. 

Q. And you never had to strain your eyes in order to see it? 

A. Not in any way. 

Q. Always clearly visible to you ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Now, you are, of course, familiar with the employment record of your 
employees, are you not? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Are you familiar with the record of Mr. Thomas Wallace? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Now, is there anything in the record to indicate to you that while Mr. 
Wallace was a trainee of the North Carolina Fund that he was anything other 
than an out.standing trainee? 

A. Absolutely not. 



1177 

CROSS EXAMINATION BY MB. ELI BLOOM 

Q. When did you look at his record? 

A. His record is on file. It is a matter of information and is there in our office 
for observance at any time. 

Q. I did not ask you that question, Mr. Godwin. You are intelligent enough 
to be head of this program. I asked you when did you look at it? 

Mr. Frazier. Objection. 

The Court. Objection Overruled. 

Q. You are an intelligent man, intelligent enough to head the program. I 
asked you a simple question. When did you see that record? 

A. I would say approximately a year ago when the last competency report 
was put in that record in which I graded it. And since that time we have hired 
a personnel manager that puts them in the records. 

Q. You are an employee of a U.S. Government Agency, are you not? 

A. No, sir. I am an employee of a private non-profit organization. 

Q. But your funds come from the U.S. Government? 

A. Partially so. 

Q. So you do receive funds from the U.S. Government? 

A. Yes, sir. That is right. 

Q. And your sympathies are with these people that were causing the disturb- 
ance? 

Mr. Frazier. Objection. 

The Court. He can answer yes or no. 

Q. Your sympathies are with these people . . . 

Mr. Frazier. Objection. 

The Court. Sustained. 

Q. Now, you testified that you saw that shot gun in that car? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And whose car was it in? 

A. Mr. Bryant's car. 

Q. Well, then you didn't see it with Mr. Wallace? 

A. You are saying that I would have to see Mr. Wallace and Mr. Bryant riding 
together ? 

Q. You told Mr. Frazier, or he asked you about Wallace and the shot gun. 
He hasn't mentioned Bryant. I am bringing up Bryant. 

A. Ask me the question again. 

Q. I ask you this question. In whose possession did you see the shot gun? 

A. Mr. Bryant's possession. 

Q. All right, sir. And for over a period of a year? 

A. Right. 

Q. Lying in the front seat, broken open? 

A. Laying across the transmission hump between the two bucket seats in the 
automobile. 

Q. And did you see any shots or pellets or whatever you call them? 

A. No. 

Q. So at this time you have never seen any shells? 

A. No. 

Q. Now, when you saw the shot gun, was it in the same shape it is in now? 

A. No. 

Q.Was it different ? 

A. The shot gun was broken. 

Q. Well, I mean — Let's break it then if you don't mind — Like this? 

A. Right, sir. 

Q. Exactly the same identical shape it is in now? 

A. Yes. 

Q. No difference ? 

A. Except it was in Mr. Bryant's car. 

Q. I mean the gun alone. 

A. Right. 

Q. Did you ever ask Mr. Bryant, "Why are you carrying that shot gun around 
for?" 

A. It didn't occur to me. 

Q. Why didn't it? 

A. He has every right to cary a gun. I .see them all of the time in the back 
windows of pick-ups. I have a right t(> have one myself in my car. 



1178 

Q. Now. you said the gun is in the same identical shape? 

A. Right. 

Q. I will ask you to look at it and see if that gun doesn't show signs of 
having been just sawed off? 

A. I am not qualified to make that determination. 

Q. Was the barrel the same? 

A. Yes. 

Q. And you saw your man riding around with a shot gun and you thought 
nothing about it? 

A. Absolutely not. It is his right. 

Q. That is the trouble with this country, its rights. 

Mr. Fraziek. Objection. 

The CotJBT. Sustained. 

Mr. Frazieb. We have in evidence a shot gun, a 20 inch by 20 inch barrel. 
Will his Honor take judicial knowledge that it is lawful to possess a shot gun 
with a 20 inch barrel or do I have to call a gun expert, somebody who is 
knowledgeable in the AVeapon's Act. You know it is not a violation unless the 
weapon is under 18 inches. 

The Court. The Court will be in the position of having to decide which one 
of you is right. 

Willie L. Riddick, being duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows: 

DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. REGINALD FRAZIEB 

Q. Now, will vou state your name, your full name for the benefit of the Court? 

A. Willie L. Riddick, II. 

Q. Now, Mr. Riddick, what is the nature of your employment? 

A. Presently I work for Shaw University ; Director of University Extension 
primarily involved with jwor communities in thirty-three different states. 

Q. You taught a course at one time at the University of North Carolina? 

A. Last year I served as a faculty member of the University of North Caro- 
lina at Chapel Hill. 

Q. Now, I believe that at one time you were the Deputy Director of the 
Coastal Progress, Inc.? 

A. That is true. 

Q. Now, while in that capacity state whether or not you met and got to know 
the defendant Thomas Bernard Wallace? 

A. Yes. At the time I was Deputy Director of Coastal Progress. Inc. Mr. 
Wallace at the beginning was Educational Coordinator and then Director of 
Community Organization. 

Q. And I ask you at that time were you acquainted with the work record and 
personnel file of the defendant Thomas Bernard Wallace? 

A. At that time I handled all personnel for Coastal Progress. Inc. and at the 
time Mr. Wallace made the move from Educational Director to Director of Com- 
munity Organizations I did have possession of his file. 

Q. Now. while Mr. Wallace worked with you, did you have the opportunity 
to make an evaluation of the conduct and work habits of this defendant? 

A. That was part of my job, sir. 

Q. Now, what was that? 

A. Mr. Wallace, since graduating from North Carolina College and working 
for the North Carolina Fund had a very superior work record. 

Mr. Bloom. No questions. 

Anastine Keys, being first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows : 

DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MB. BEGINALD FRAZIEB 

Q. Now, Mrs. Keys, where do you live, Ma'am? 

A. Trenton. 

Q. And on or about the 17th day of June . . . 

The CoxjRT. Where did you say you live? 

A. Trenton, North Carolina. 

Q. That is in Johnston County. Now, on the 17th day of June where were you. 
Ma'am? 

A. I was picking berries at Jason Morris's farm in Bridgeton. 

Q. Now. on the 17th day of June. I ask you, did you know the defendant 
Thomas Bernard Wallace? 

A. No, sir. I did not. 



1179 

Q. Had you met him on any occasion prior to the 17th? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Now, tell his Honor the first time you saw this defendant? 

A. The first time I saw him was walking along the road. And we had to have 
a ride back to New Bern and this car came along with two mens in it and we 
didn't have no money to make a telephone call and so I waved my hand for them 
to stop. And they stopped. And I asked them could we catch them to New 
Bern. And he said "Yes." And we was getting in . . . 

The Court. Who were you talking to? 

A. That gentleman right there. 

The Court. You mean the first one? 

A. No, the second one. And he said, "Yes." And as we were getting into his 
car the police and his deputies pulled over off the road and blocked him in the 
front and a ear wheeled past and blocked him in the back. And when the sheriffs 
stopi)ed us, that man right there, he said . . . 

Mr. Frazier. Let the record show that she pointed to Deputy Wilson Parker. 

A. . . . And he said, "Get out of the car and let me see your driver's license," 
And so he got — the second gentleman — he got out and he was showing him 
his driver's license. 

The Court. Now, which one was that? 

Mr. Frazier. Let the record show that she is pointing to John Bryant, III. 

A. And he was out of the car and he handed him his driver's license. And 
he took them out of the wallet and he was talking so snappy. He said, "I don't 
want to see you in this here area no more, and if I do I am going to arrest 
you." And at that time Mr. Morris come up, this gentleman comes up, and 
the sheriff said, "Who is it that's doing something?" And he pointed to me 
and the other ladies that I was with. And so he said, "Well, everybody out of 
the car." And so we all got out of the car and that gentleman here, as we 
got out of it the sheriff told them to put their hands on the car and my husband 
got on that side — he put his hands on that side too. 

The Court. Your husband? Was he with you? 

A. Yes, sir. And so after he did all that he told this other tall man, 
that man right there, he said lock them all up. And we asked what was we 
arrested for, and sheriff Berry, he said, "I will think of something when I 
get you down town." And when we got down town he didn't never think of 
nothing at all. But that man there was man handling this gentleman here when 
he walked around the car. And I said, "He don't have to manhandle him," 
and I put my arms around him and walked him back to the car. 

The Court. Put your arms around him? 

A. That first man. Mr. Wallace. 

Q. Now, you didn't hear Mr. Wallace use any vulgar and profane language did 
you? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Now, you say that you were a blue berry picker? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And, of course, there was a strike going on? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And the solicitor has referred to this peaceful, constitutional strike as 
a "disturbance." Now, did you know of any disturbance going on the morning 
of the 17th at the Jason Morris farm ? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Do you know of your own knowledge that more than nine hundred people 
had stayed away from Jason Morris's farm because of this strike? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And why were you leaving? 

A. Because he asked — he had me put out of his field. 

Q. When you say "he" to whom are you referring to? 

A. That man right there. He asked me out of the field. We call him Taf t. 

The Court. The defendant Morris? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Taf t Morris? 

A. Uh-Huh. 

Q. Now, why did he ask you to leave his field? 

A. I don't know. 

Q. You weren't afraid of this defendant were you when you saw him? 

A. No, sir. 



1180 

CBOSS EXAMINATION BY MK. ELI BLOOM 

Q. Now, I believe there is a warrant out for you, too, isn't it? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Now, you said there was a strike on and nine hundred people left? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do you know why they left? 

A. Because they wanted more money. 

Q. Did you want more money? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Then why didn't you strike? 

A. I did strike, sir. After he asked me out of his field, I joined the strikers. 

Q. After he asked you out ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Well, why didn't you get out before, if you thought you ought to have more 
money? 

Mr. Frazier. Objection. 

The Court. Overruled. 

Q. Why didn't you get out then if you thought you ought to join the strikers 
and thought you ought to have more money? 

A. Because I didn't know they were striking for more money until after he 
asked me out of his field. 

Q. Didn't you tell him that nine hundred people had stayed away? 

A. That is right. I heard it on television. 

Q. Didn't you miss nine hundred people? 

A. Yes, sir. The place was quiet. 

Q. You knew there was something wrong? 

A. Yes, sir. But that was none of my business. 

Q. I see you have made it a whole lot of your business, haven't you? You 
testified that the sheriff manhandled this man? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. He didn't say so, did he? 

A. Who didn't 

Q. The man who was on the stand. He didn't say he was manhandled? 

A. Sir, I did not say the man that was on the stand was manhandled. I said 
the second gentleman was. Because he grabbed him by his jacket and pushed 
him against the car. 

Q. And you had to put your arms around him ? 

A. No, sir. Not that one. The first one. 

Q. Well, which one did you assist? 

A. I didn't assist him. I was talking to him. 

Q. What were you talking to him about? Did you know him ? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Then what business of yours was it to butt in ? 

A. Because we stopped him to ask him to ride back to New Bern. 

Q. You didn't know who it was. And the sheriff said, "Get out," or do some- 
thing, didn't he? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do you recall the day that you were all brought into this oflSee down in the 
sheriff's office? 
- A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And do you recall seeing me that day? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. When I walked in I asked you if you knew anything. You said, "Not one 
thing in the world." Didn't you tell me that? 

A. Oh, yes. I didn't know nothing about the strike. 

Q. When have you learned about all this stuff — lately? 

A. When I started going to meetings. 

Q. Oh, you have been going to meetings? 

Mr. Frazier. Objection. 

The Court. Overruled. There is very wide latitude permitted in cross examina- 
tion. I would do the same thing to you. 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Don't you know — Mr. Morris was looking for help, wasn't he? Nine hundred 
were gone and the berries were ripe then. He needed help, didn't he? 

A. Yes, sir. 



1181 

Q. And yet you have no idea why he told you to get out of his iield? 

A. No. 

Q. Didn't he tell you to get out because you were one of the people going 
around telling them if they didn't get out there was a bomb going off? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. You were not one of them ? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. And you have no idea why he was telling you to get out? 

A. That is right. 

Q. You know absolutely nothing? 

A. No, sir. 

Defendant rests. 

Mr. Harmon. The defendant renews his motion for nonsuit. 

The Court. Enter a verdict of guilty in both cases. Will you gentlemen accept 
a suspended sentence for your client? 

Mr. Harmon. No, sir. Mine wiU not. 

The Court. Ivct each defendant be sentenced to a term of t^velve months under 
the supervision of the Department of Correction. 

Mr. Harmon. Give notice of appeal on behalf of Mr. Bryant 

The Court. Appeal bond set at two thousand dollars. 

Mr. Frazier. May I approach the bench? 

The Court. In the case of Thomas Bernard Wallace, strike out the judgment 
and let Prayer for Judgment be continued until the 14th of July. Let him give 
bond of five hundred dollars and come back the 14th. 

North Carolina, Craven County 

certification 

I, Jean O. Allen, do hereby certify that said testimony was by me recorded 
by Stenograph and reduced to typewriting, and the foregoing transcript is a true 
record of the testimony given by the .said witnesses ; 

And I do further certify that I am not of counsel, or in the employ of either 
of the parties of this action ; that I am in no way relate<l or connected \Arith 
either of said jiarties or their counsel and that I am in no way interested in 
this action. 

Witness my hand and seal, this the 10th day of July, 1969. 

[seal] 

Jean O. Allen, 

Court Reporter. 

(Whereupon, at 12:15 p.m., the hearing adjourned subject to the 
call of the Chair, ) 

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