Page 3


OBSERVATIONS Mrs. Malone Walks Out When Senator Slams Nixon 20 Long Years and He Hasnt Learned a Thing . By JEAN ROBITSCHER Washington Correspondent The Texas Observer Going to Their Graves To the Editor: I look forward to reading The Texas Observer each week. From this paper one can read news that it not slanted like some news in most all big-business controlled daily papers is. I feel that by reading facts from The Texas Observer, one can make better decisions that are for the public interest and therefore become a better citizen. I especially like your editorials. The editorial in the Dec. 27 issue, “By Silence We Betray,” concerning a national health insurance program: The American Medical Association and its lobby have been very successful in bitterly opposing any form of a national health program, something that is badly needed in America and would save thousands of Americans from going to their graves each year. A few comments on your editorial, “Teachers in a Vise,” Jan. 3, where you state: “There is no room in a school system for bigots who would prevent those who differ with them from being heard.” Due to the majority clique formerly on our school board in Houston, we have the biggest mess we have ever had in the school system. It seems that this clique listened to the Minute Women and others who try to suppress free speech when they have an opposite view. late, for he murdered Nixon tonight!” The party for Speaker Rayburn’s 73rd birthday \(he says he’s 33 and Dale Millers who for the past decade have entertained Mr. Speaker every January 6. Almost all of the Texas Congressmen were present, including the new Republican Rep. Bruce Alger. Possibly because he felt a little defensive around so , many happy Democrats, Rep. Alger declared to one society reporter that he comes to Congress with a “clear conscience and an open heart.” Speaker Rayburn and the Dale Millers have long been personal friends. But we feel obliged to report that on the day before their tremendous party for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Miller had to publicly report his lobbyist activities in the Congressional Record his income, about $24,000 per year, is for shepherding legislation favoring the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the Intracoastal Canal Association of Louisiana and Texas, and the Texas Gulf Sulphur Co., through Congress each year. May I wish you success with The Texas Observer. I hope each reader will make an effort to get another subscriber …. W. L. WILLOBY Houston Commercialized Press To the Editor: …. This is the fight of all of us who are fed up with the commercialized press that plays to the money till and not to public service if it conflicts with the interest of their advertisers. I couldn’t make much complaint for that if it were not for the fact that they profess that they are dedicated to the truth and the public welfare and a lot of truthful reporting and oh how objective, but for what. JOE E. WEBB Madisonville, Tex. Q. E. D.? To the Editor: “The Power of the Press” is proved beyond a shadow of a doubt at least the power of The Texas Observer press. Q. E. D. Within two weeks after the names of eight stores with statewide and nationwide sales outlets were publicized in The Texas Observer, an agreement “mutually satisfactory to employees a n d employers w a s reached. ….” D. L. HALPENNY San Antonio By PAUL HOLCOMB Written for The Texas Observer The regular session of the 54th Legislature met this week with a number of tough problems staring it in the face. However, tough problems have faced every Legislature for many decades, but the great majority of these legislative groups have lacked the courage to face these problems. They have ducked and dodged everything they could and “temporized with patchwork” by dealing with “symptoms,” seldom exhibiting either the ability or the courage to attack the basic causes which were responsible for their problems. This policy of “putting off the evil day” and “doctoring symptoms” instead of removing the causes of governmental troubles, naturally causes State problems to grow bigger from year to year, and it is true that every new Legislature is faced with bigger and bigger troubles. In his address to the present legislature on “The State of the State,” Governor Shivers said: “This Legislature faces more problems of major import than have confronted any other session during the 20th Century.” Who Is Responsible? In making this statement, Governor Allan Shivers is not complimenting himself nor his abilities as Interpretive Page 3 January 17, 1955 THE TEXAS OBSERVER the head of state affairs. It is a fact of history that Allan Shivers has already been Governor of Texas for a longer period of time than any other man. It is also true that he has been a member of the Texas Senate, Lieutenant Governor and Governor continuously for a period of twenty years. It is further true that Allan Shivers has the whole governmental machinery of Texas more completely under his ocntrol, than any other leader in Texas history. Huey Long in his hey-day did not have the power in Louisiana that Allan Shivers now holds in Texas. The present “problems of major import,” which Governor Shivers admits face the present Legislature are largely an accumulation of “small problems” which, under the leadership of Allan Shivers, the Legislature has failed and refused to facein former years. Allan Shivers has followed a policy of putting his own political welfare-above the public welfare; and has allowed these problems to grow and growand grow. Perhaps the “devil’s day” has come. In his “State of the State” address to a joint session of the Legislature, Governor Shivers pointed out most of “the needs” of Texas with considerable clarity. But when it came to pointing out the solution of these “needs,” he went back to the same old “patchwork formula,” which is largely responsible for the present dilemma in which this Legislature finds itself. The greatest problem which faces the present Legislature isas always”We’ve got to raise more money.” Taxation is the ever-present and growing problem of all governing bodiesin recent years and if Governor Shivers has learned any new means of meeting this problem during the past twenty years, his recommendations to the Legislature veal it. Hates ‘General’ Sales Tax Loves Sales Tax Army In all of his numerous political campaigns Allan Shivers has \(with opposition to “A General Sales Tax”. But immediately following his election he starts trying to boost all the other sales taxesunder the rank of “General.” He sadly told the Legislature that it would have to raise a lot of money. But he displayed his great courage by telling them to increase the sales taxes on “gasoline and cigarettes.” Just why the Governor picked on cigarettes instead of beeris rather hard to understand. Cigarettes are already paying a state tax of 4 cents per pack, and the sales of cigarettes are on the toboggan. Taxes on cigarettes have declined greatly during the past year. A bottle of beer and a package of cigarettes cost the consumer about the same price. But while cigarettes pay 4 cents per pack, in taxes, the beer drinker pays just a fraction over ONE HALF CENT PER BOTTLE. It is small wonder that beer sales are booming, while cigarette sales are going down hill. Maybe these cigarette manufacturers have failed to “kick in” on campaign contributions, so this will be a lesson to them. Texas is noted all over the world for its great wealth of natural resources. But the political leaders have failed and refused to put an adequate tax on the natural resources for the “twenty long years” that Allan Shivers has been on the public pay-roll. More than half of Texas taxes are some form of a sales tax. SHIVERS’ MOTTO IS “PUT TAXES ON TEXANSONLY.” JUDICIARY RESULTS SOON AUSTIN, Jan. 17Announcement of the results of the voting by members of the State Bar of Texas on a proposed revision of the Texas Judiciary is expected early this week. The revision would establish a central authority over Texas courts and make other changes. Washington, D.C., long famous for parties as well as politics, had two that almost took the headlines away from the opening of Congressthe Women’s Press Club dinner, where Senator George Malone’s wife \(a staunch Nevada Democratic Senator Dick Neuberger’s maiden speech, and the birthday party for Speaker Sam Rayburn, where everyone was talking about Mrs. M’s exit the night before. It was when Sen. Neuberger called for an end to “character assassination” in political campaigns that Mrs. Malone, apparently wishing to uphold such tactics, gave a defiant boo and left the room. Doris Fleeson, one of Washington’s favorite columnists, was reminded of another occasion when Mrs. Malone let the public know she didn’t approve of a speaker. When Dean Acheson, then Secretary of State, made a major foreign policy speech before the Women’s Press Club, guests rose, according to custom, when the Secretary enteredall the guests except Senator and Mrs. Malone and two other Republican couples. And as Secretary Acheson spoke, the Senators pulled out corncob pipes and puffed away until the close of his speechan attempt to show Acheson that they were for General MacArthur who had just been fired by President Truman. Of course Neuberger’s comment about “character assasination” was aimed at the Vice-President who had stumped Oregon calling NeuRepublicans spent 28 percent berger didn’t mention his name. No Democrats last year in their unsucone missed the pointleast of all cessful fight to win control of Conwho commented after the talk, reports filed by the Republican or”Neuberger should go home and ganizations showed expenditures wash his hands as did Pontius Pi’totaling $3,716,184; Democrats, $2, 822,631. Among the biggest Texas Mrs. Jean Robitscher was forcontributors were Mrs. Elizabeth merly Jean Begeman of the staff Kayser of Houston, Tex., who gave of The New Republic. We feel $5,000 to the Citizens for Eisenfortunate that she will be corhower, and C. H. Murphy, Jr., of responding for us from WashingEl Dorado, Tex., who gave $2,500 to ton when her full schedule althe Republican National Commitlows. tee. Report on Bookstores Strange Kind of Texas Capitalist Holds Out Against Girdle-Selling By GLENN BROOKS Written for The Texas Observer A strange breed of capitalist, the bookseller, is operating in Texas. Bookstores are classified as businesses, and businesses, particularly those in Texas, are supposed to be interested primarily in making money. Nearly every bookseller in the State will agree that the way to make money is to sell girdles or popcorn and avoid the book business, and still they persist in their unprofitable enterprises. Our culturally undernourished State has gained more than it may know from these sincere and literate people who patiently try to improve the reading habits of Texans. Most booksellers in Texas got into the trade because they love books and want to develop that love in other people. Their altruism is severely tested by the struggle to remain solvent, and many well-intentioned booksellers have been forced to reduce their stock of books to a small shelf in the rear of the store to make room for the money-makers: greeting cards, stationery, and games. Over three hundred firms market books in Texas in some fashion. Of these, approximately one hundred feature books as their principal merchandise. There_ are four types of bookstore owners in the State: churches, colleges, private individuals, and out-of-state corporations who lease space in major department stores. The church-owned stores, fiftyfour in number, range in size from the small Lutheran and Catholic stores specializing in books of a particular religious faith to the immense Cokesbury Bookstore in Dallas operated by the Methodists, one of the finest and largest general bookstores in the United States. Bibles and devotional literature are the mainstays of the church-store stocks, and their financial outlook has grown brighter with the mushrooming demand for inspirational religious books. Seventy-four bookstores provide textbooks for the college students of Texas. Usually, such a store is located on the campus and operates as part of the college. It seldom ventured outside the realm of standard textbooks except to display an assortment of Modern Library editions or magazines, and customers are restricted to students and faculty. Notable exceptions to this rule can be found near the campus of the University of Texas, where the University Co-op, sponsored by the University, and several privately-owned stores maintain excetlent stocks of popular and scholarly literature. The privately-owned bookstores in Texas, like the sophisticated bookstores of England and the eastern United States, often reflect the reading tastes of their owners, and the individuality of such stores is their strongest stock in trade. Houston and Dallas lead other cities with shops in this category, while Austin, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi run slightly behind. The Book Mart is a dusty little shop in downtown Houston. In it can be found the current best sellers arranged on display tables. around the walls are shelves reaching to the ceiling, loaded with old volumes of philosophy, history, and literature. For a reasonable price a customer might purchase a twelve volume set of the writings of Brann the Iconoclast or an old English edition of Hegel. The customer solicits the help of a clerk if he needs it; otherwise he is free to browse for hours. Rosengren’s in San Antonio is perhaps the most beautiful bookstore in the Southwest. Modern interior decorating and uncluttered shelves generate an atmosphere of Grecian tranquility, a n d sofas neatly arranged in the store offer the browser a chance to examine his books in unhurried comfort. The variety of books is almost unlimited. A section of Texana is filled with history, lore, and art of the region. Art books, primitive, classical, or modern, are represented in ample quantity. Then, high on a balcony in the rear, are located rare books from centuries gone by. In Dallas, citizens have been in advance mourning over the forthcoming loss of one of their bestknown residents, Elizabeth Ann McMurray. She is leaving for Boston with her husband, Bill Johnson, Bureau Chief of Time-Life. Miss McMurray operates one of the most unusual and popular bookstores in the country. It is called “McMurray’s, The Personal Bookshop,” and the emphasis is on the personal way in which business is conducted. Not content to let passer-by customers make up her clientele, Miss McMurray has developed a huge following of mail-order and telephone buyers in Dallas and the surrounding area. A familiar story is the one about Miss McMurray’s ability to sell a hundred copies of a book over the telephone without opening the store. The future of McMurray’s is indefinite, but Dallasites apparently have given up their plan to kidnap Miss McMurray when she tries to leave for Boston.