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LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Sept. 29--What direction the Arkansas integration crisis would take after five days of Army-enforced calm was the subject of speculation here today. Little Rock was quiet, and tired newsmen took advantage of the morning to sleep, while others attended local churches in hope of finding interesting reactions from the pulpits.
The only new development came in the form of a story in the Arkansas Democrat, a moderate paper veering toward a segregationist position. In a copyrighted story, the Democrat said that Governor Faubus would call a special session of the Arkansas legislature "in a matter of hours" to deal with the use of federal troops in Little Rock.
The Democrat is considered by many to have a pipe-line to the governor and high members of his administration.
The story went on to say that the call might come either late today or early tomorrow, and that the legislature is expected to convene by the middle of the week.
Mothers Visit Faubus
Yesterday, Faubus was visited by a group of 135 mothers who asked him to call such a session, but at that time he said that although a majority of the legislature had indicated they favored the session, he had no plans to issue the call.
Faubus did speculate, however, on what the legislature could do to deal with the presence of federal troops and the integration of Central High School. Among the possibilities mentioned were abolition of the public school system and withholding of state funds from integrated schools.
Most observers feel that although the legislature has the theoretical right to enact these proposals, both would be held unconstitutional because they would violate the intent of the integration decision here.
Later yesterday, Faubus said he would favor the closing of Central High School "if it resulted in the return of the school to lawful state authorities."
Governor Absent From Little Rock
The governor was absent from Little Rock today, having attended a football game yesterday in Fayetteville, Ark. There was no indication when he might return, but there is hope that he will issue a direct statement on the possibility of a special session when he returns.
It is improbable that the legislature, if called, would take drastic action, such as abolishing the public school system. State Senator C. E. Yingling probably summed up the majority opinion when he said, "This would be the worst possible time to call a special session," and added that "this is the time to sit down, cool off, and act like human beings."
But Faubus is at high tide here. And his ability to whip the legislators into line on his policies is well known. He is considered an astute vote-getter and few bills bearing his approval have failed in the legislature.
What Arkansans want most, however, is not drastic action against integration, but the removal of federal troops. Citizens are divided on the question of integration, but very few approve the presence of the 101st Airborne Division.
Appeal to Ike
This attitude was reflected in Representative Brooks Hays' (D-Ark.) appeal to President Eisenhower yesterday to replace the 101st with federalized National Guardsmen. Hays said that while the people of Arkansas would "prefer the old pattern" of segregation, they would obey the law and that the paratroopers were an unnecessary irritation.
Hays is undoubtedly the Arkansan closest to Eisenhower because of his long-standing friendship with Sherman Adams, and his appeal for the removal of the Regular Army may be considered very seriously by Eisenhower.
It is doubtful, however, that all protection will be removed from the school for many weeks, and possibly a token force may remain on duty for the school year.
The other major speculation in Little Rock today is whether the FBI can collect enough evidence to pin conspiracy charges on certain individuals who are thought to be instigators of Monday's violence.
FBI Questions Newsmen
Investigators are busily questioning newsmen and others who were on the scene, and many think it likely that the government can compile enough evidence to make arrests. When this will happen is still a matter of pure guesswork.
It has been widely rumored that Faubus may be connected with the instigation of several acts of violence which occurred Monday. If the governor could be implicated, his current popularity would suffer irreparable damage.
Harry S. Ashmore, executive editor of the pro-integration Arkansas Gazette, expressed the feeling of many today when he said that federal troops must be retained until "the mob cannot form or be re-formed because its leaders are in jail or under bond, or both.
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