THE SOUTH: Making a Crisis in Arkansas

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An Anemic Case. From then on the controversy swirled off into a storm of legal maneuvers, press conferences and telegrams (the National Guardsmen got so bored doing nothing that they finally turned to threatening Northern newsmen with arrest for "inciting to violence," i.e., reporting the story). Orval Faubus fired off a wild-eyed message to the President of the U.S.: he thought his telephone lines were being tapped: he was sure that Federal authorities were plotting to arrest him; the situation in Little Rock "grows more explosive by the hour." To ward off all invaders, Orval Faubus de ployed his militia around his white-pillared executive mansion, disappeared from public view like a feudal baron under siege.

All the while, hard-bitten little Judge Davies was steering a carefully legal course and refusing to back water by so much as an inch. Clearing the way for possible future Government action against Faubus (see The Law), Davies ordered U.S. enforcement agencies to start collecting the facts behind Faubus' defiance. At a weekend hearing Davies flicked aside a new petition for delay by the Little Rock school authorities. Said he, coldly: "The testimony and arguments this morning were, in my judgment, as anemic as the petition itself ... In an organized society there can be nothing but ultimate confusion and chaos if court decrees are flouted, whatever the pretext." His reaffirmed order to Little Rock: integrate.

The Preservator. Why had Orval Faubus created the crisis? For one thing, Faubus recently began talking about running for a third term in a state that traditionally frowns on three terms for a governor. He needed a dramatic issue, and he needed the red-neck votes of segregationist eastern Arkansas. Beyond that, there were indications that Faubus was being used by segregationist politicians in the South. From Georgia's raucous Governor Marvin Griffin, who spoke at a Little Rock dinner last month, came loud praise for the Arkansas "preservator of the peace."- At almost the very moment that Griffin used that pretentious solecism, Faubus was using exactly the same word to describe himself.

But in Orval Faubus' own state he was far from being acclaimed. For the first time in years, Little Rock's rival newspapers agreed in denouncing Faubus' folly. Arkansas' conservative Senator John McClellan was carefully noncommittal about the wisdom of Faubus' action. Arkansas' liberal Senator William Fulbright, a wholehearted Faubus supporter in the past, refused to answer his phone, packed up his bags and took off for London and a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The officers of adopted Arkansan Winthrop Rockefeller's industry-seeking Arkansas Industrial Development Commission said priva;te-ly that Faubus had seriously hurt their cause. Said Little Rock's Mayor Wood-row Wilson Mann: "The only effect of his action is to create tensions where none existed."

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