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Milton Tabor to Senator Arthur Capper

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Sen. Capper,

Washington, D.C.

Dear Senator:

Enclosed find the Kansas Day editorial by Paul DeWeese, as per your request. I thought it was good and was pleased to know that our good friend C.E. Gresser agreed.

We always are glad to have the K-State students down on Kansas Day.  There were about 30 of them this year.  It gives them valuable experience and also helps the Capital staff cover some dozen or more meetings on that day.

Also am enclosing a clipping from the Capital on the Mexican situation, as per the letter you sent me from Raymond Ortega, president of the Veterans Club here in Topeka.  This is an old story and also a ticklish subject because of Ortega’s insistent demands that his people be accorded absolute equality in all things.

There is no doubt but that the Mexicans and Negroes are discriminated against, often quite shamefully.  Not only in Topeka, but everywhere else.  But there are so many white people who object at being thrown together with them it makes life difficult for theater managers, city park employees, and restaurant and tavern operators.

Many unpleasant incidents have occurred, some of them near-riots, which we have not played up as news because of the danger of a race riot.  As pointed out in the story, once a café owner opens his place to Mexican or colored patronage, they practically take it over.  It is really difficult, but we have avoided too much unpleasantness here.

Some years ago I got the leading colored folks here together in an effort to see if we couldn’t do something to lessen the then rising friction.  We agreed that if they would quiet down their “Eleanor Club” women and take the knives and clubs from colored school kids, we would quit using the word “colored” when their folks were arrested.  Also, we eliminated it in obituaries and elsewhere.  This had an excellent effect and the colored folks have kept their promise.  There is little or no trouble here now.

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Outside of Ortega and a few other young Mexicans, we find very little discontent among our Spanish citizens.  We understand the feelings of these veterans who served their country and then come home to find themselves discriminated against.  On the other hand, theater and cafe men are up against a situation for which they have no solution.

Well, the legislature is going along, doing its work rather slowly, but when it is over they will not have done too much damage, we hope.

Governor Carlson managed to get the resubmission thing out of the road early, so liquor does not hang too heavily over the session.  They are considering a law which would make all owners of federal liquor stamps liable to penalties same as tho they were actually caught serving over the bar.  This will make it tough on a lot of clubs—Elks, Legion, Country Clubs, Shrines, etc—where they have been winking at the Bone Dry Law.  And a good thing, too, as too many of these so-called clubs are little better than open saloons.

The 1948 political campaign in Kansas may become another knock-down-and-drag-out battle over liquor, even more than the last one.  It is our guess that Woodring will be back, hollering louder for repeal and screaming that the Capital and other newspapers are hypocrites for not supporting him.

I have served notice on all my wet friends that the Capital is against repeal, that we are for strict law enforcement, and some of them are just a bit hostile.  It surprises me that there are so many Topeka women who are almost fanatic in favor of repeal, but we know that there are ten to one of the women against repeal.  The drys do not talk nearly so loud as the wets.

If we had the newsprint, the Capital could really go to town on getting out a better newspaper.  But there are times when the news space is very limited.  Everybody, from Henry Blake on down thru the whole business office, is doing a good job.  Our advertising is holding up much better than any of us expected for the early post-holiday season.

Hope you do not let your new chairmanship get you down.  All Kansans are proud that you and Hope and Rees got chairmanships.  The farmers have an abundance of faith in you and Cliff to look out for their best interests.

The ASNE convention is to be held in Washington in April, and if possible I hope to attend.  That will depend on whether the legislature is out of the way, however. With Virg Hill busy over in the state house I have my hands pretty full, what with writing editorials and other things.

Best regards from myself and the Capital staff,

Cordially Yours, Milt Tabor

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