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The 1938 San Antonio Pecan Shellers Strike

Document 7

Allred Told Arbitration Stalled

Governor Calls Conference with City Officials; Ease Gas Tactics.

       Governor Allred disclosed Thursday that investigators for the state department of public safety have been in San Antonio two weeks conducting a secret probe of the strike. 

       The governor expressed sympathy for the pecan shellers and promised to do what he could for them . . . .

       Kilday, who expressed himself as fearful the governor might declare martial law here, issued the tear gas order to Sgt. William Christoph, in charge of the 175 policemen and firemen in the strike sector. He said: 

       "No tear gas is to be used unless the strikers are in the center of the street and unless the crowd is actually threatening." 

       The strikers hailed the order as a virtual admission that police have been using tear gas promiscuously. They had previously claimed officers hurled gas against peaceful pickets and that in some instances persons not involved in the strike were gassed . . . .

       "If some of the things charged police are true," the governor said, "they are wrong."  

       "Specifically, if they refuse to let strikers congregate peacefully on lots hired by them for that purpose; if the police grabbed union buttons from the strikers and threw them underfoot; if police sought out and forced people to become strike breakers under threat of deportation . . . I deplore the situation," the governor said later, "I have been deeply concerned for several weeks, since it was first brought to my notice."

-- "Allred Told Arbitration Stalled," San Antonio Light, 4 March 1938

14.  How is Police Chief Kilday changing police tactics?

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15. What is Governor Allred's opinion of the treatment of strikers by San Antonio government and police officials?

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