Free Speech Movement and Farm Workers and Agriculture

Administrative Pressures and Student Political Activity at the University of California

Information about Report
Recent activities re Farm Labor; coordinating past farm labor activities. Irene Bronston, TH16779.
see topic #2, for which there are submissions, but apparently was not include in final report--BTS


David Goines, The Free Speech Movement
Chapter 65, p.604, Fruits and Nuts
16 occurrences of Bracero, including footnote on page 155:

"The bracero program was one which allowed California growers to import Mexican field laborers, grossly exploit them, and deport them when they had no further use for them. UC's position on the bracero program was an extremely sore point. The conviction that UC was working under the thumb of agribusiness was supported by suspicious suppression of reports and stifling of criticism. In the fall of 1964, the Division of Agricultural Sciences published a report that concluded that some form of cheap foreign labor had to be maintained after the bracero program ended on December 31. It was revealed by Thomas L. Pitts, president of the AFL-CIO, that seventeen pages had been removed from the report. These pages would have shown that no bracero program was needed. It was believed that both Governor Pat Brown and Jesse Tapp, chairman of the board of directors of the Bank of America, head of the State Board of Agriculture and a UC Regent, had seen the report in its unaltered state and had ordered the passages removed. In addition, a study, "Harvest of Loneliness," prepared by Henry Anderson, a researcher employed by UC to study health conditions of braceros, was believed to have been confiscated and destroyed by a University committee. In 1958 the American Friends Service Committee had asked Anderson to write a statement on the bracero program, which fell into the hands of the Farm Bureau Federation, which pressured UC to terminate his project. In 1960, Anderson published a hundred draft copies of his report, which were ordered recalled and destroyed. (This information is abstracted from an undated Independent Socialist Club leaflet that was probably printed in the Spring or Summer of 1964.)"

The Regents by Marvin Garson

Abuses of the University, page 14

The case, briefly, is as follows:

Public Law 78, which permitted the importation of Mexican contract labor (braceros) to work in California fields, expired December 31, 1964. The growers had made profitable use of the braceros to break organizing drives and keep wages down among domestic farm workers. Accordingly, they wanted the bracero program to continue.

The growers claimed that braceros were needed because the domestic labor supply could not satisfy agriculture's needs. Labor claimed that supplemental domestic labor could easily be found if the growers would only pay adequate wages....

11 See article in real estate section of Los Angeles Times, November 13, 1960

* The Henry Anderson case deserves much fuller treatment than we have given it. We have avoided every area of dispute, relating only the events on which both parties agree. For Anderson's side of the case, see the introduction to his book A Harvest of Loneliness, published by Citizens for Farm Labor, PO Box 1173, Berkeley. The other side has not responded publicly; inquiries should be addressed to Dr. Edward Rogers (the faculty sponsor) or to Clark Kerr. The Academic Freedom Committee has begun investigating the case by taking a statement from Dr. Rogers. We hope they will take testimony from Anderson and Kerr as well; anything less would be irresponsible.

1964 11-13 Who Will Guard Us From The Guardians by Henry Anderson