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am great rule of composition is to speak the truth. Thoreau avrxas Ohorrurr An Independent Liberal Weekly Newspaper We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. VOL. 6 FEBRUARY 28, 1955 AUSTIN, TEXAS NO, 46 Legal Charges To Continue On Land Deals DeWitt Jury Charges ‘Giant Conspiracy’ Started in Austin By BONNIE SWEM \(Second of a Ward 20 is a small room with three wooden benches and another room with soiled bunk beds placed end to end and side by side. Eighty-five men live in Ward 20it was built to accommodate 50. It is a dark place, Ward 20. It is also the “Devil’s Island” of the Austin State Hospital. I walked into this dark place, and stood among the patients. One man was naked, and he told me he was cold. He was a cripple and was sitting on the floor. I saw him try to get up, and fall on the hard cement. The blood was drying on his shoulders; he had tried before. He repeated again and again, “I’m cold, I’m cold.” Another sat beside him. His eyes were dark with silence, but he watched the bearded men around him. He was 16, and also sat naked on the cold floor. A dark hot smell rises from this floor. The patients cannot control their bodily functions, and the floor is mopped only three times a day. Many of the patients are bathed only twice a week. Many more put on the same clothes day after day. The windows on Ward 20 are steel barred. The doors are grated. The 85 men behind the bars are non-curable, and so they will sit in the filth of Ward 20, until they babble a timeless time away. I watched these men eat. The food they threw on the floor stayed there. An old man was trying to mop some of it up. He explained through a toothless grin that he had been out in the sun yesterday, and “it smelled so good.” He had been in Ward 20 ten years. Even the non-curable can smell, can feel, can see. The naked man on the floor was still repeating, “I’m cold, I’m cold.” The 85 men were crowded together in their filth. The benches were full. Some stood in their silence. Occasional the silence broke as a patient screamed. But Ward 20 usually a quiet room, where men can only brood, and sit stand. Some chew tobacco and spit on the streaked, sticky wall. The walls are seldom cleaned, and the sticky air surrounds the men. The room seems even smaller. Each day is the same in Ward 20. The men are herded from the bed room into the day room each morning. They sit or stand until evening, and then wait for the brooding monotony of another morning. There are only two attendants for this ward. The hospital’s budget provides for only two, and two only watch and herd 85 ; they cannot attend. Ward 20 exists for the sake of state economy. The hospital can afford to do no more than lock these men up and let them sit in their soiled clothes in their soiled ward, and watch four walls sticky with their own saliva. AUSTIN The law is reaching out for those implicated in the veterans’ land scandalbut the source of most of the criminal indictments to date says they have just begun. The DeWitt County grand jury indicted six men on 159 counts last week, said it will prob’ably bring more indictments, a n d named twelve counties where it said violations it had discovered “would have to be tried.” The jury’s report said the indictments brought were only “part of a giant conspiracy, originating in Travis County, to defraud the Texas Veterans’ Land program.” Travis County “appears to be the heart of the conspiracy,” said the jury. Travis County District Attorney Les Procter said shortly. after the DeWitt indictments were returned that he would go to Cuero’ to confer with the DeWitt jury. District Attorney Paul C. Boethel of Hallettsville announced the beginning of an investigation into a 24-veteran group deal on the T. J. McLarty sub-division in Guadalupe County. McLarty is one of the prindipals in the investigation. The DeWitt jury said that it had uncovered “numerous violations” in Dimmitt, Guadalupe, Webb, Lee, Lavaca, Jackson, Victoria, Calhoun, Karnes, Zavala, McCulloch and Travis counties. The g r o up thanked Director Homer Garrison, Texas Department of Public Safety; C. H. Cavness, State Auditor, John Ben Shepperd, Attorney General; and District Attorney Wayne Hartman and County State Charges $82,350 Fraud AUSTIN A former game supervisor of the Texas Game and Fish Commission is charged by the State of Texas with receiving $82,350 of state money to which he was not entitled in a suit by the State of Texas now being prepared for trial, this newspaper has learned. John E. Hearn of Cotulla, in LaSalle County, is charged with “falsification and padding” of claims and records of bounties paid by the State to trappers who hunted in his 12-county area. The charge covers the six-year period, December 1, 1948, through March 1, 1954, during which Hearn was employed by the Commission. He has been released. Howard Dodgen, executive secretary of the Texas Game and Fish Commission, told The Texas Observer that when what apparently were irregularities came to his attention, he at once notified State Auditor C. H. Cavness. It is Dodgen’s impression that only $9,000 or $10,000 is involved and that the State may have difficulty maintaining the $82,350 figure. In a complaint filed in 53rd District Court in Travis County, the Attc, .ney General alleges that Hearn “on numerous occasions” lisrepresented t h e number of ounties which various trappers ere entitled to collect and “did in \(Continued on Ramsey Lambags Selfish Interests’ AUSTIN Lieutenant Governor Ben Ramsey, who ordinarily remains silent on public issues, surprised political observers during the weekend by loosing a withering blast against what he calls “the jackals of the insurance industry.” He said the “jackals” are throwing up such a smokescreen in the Texas Legislature that enactment of sound insurance regulations is endangered. The reason: too many bills when only a few are needed to do the job. “Opponents of remedial legislation …. are attempting to confuse the 54th Legislature with a flood of bills designed to delay, divide, and ultimately block sound laws,” he said. He also charged that the villains of the industry “have consorted to keep open escape hatches for selfish gains.” Ramsey’s statement was surprising to many. He has been silent throughout the current session. “We want you to fire these men,” he said. On the card were written the names of four university professors. Horrified by this intrusion of power politics into the world of higher education, Rainey t o 1 d Strickland and the others that there were such things as rules of tenure, freedom of expression, and a proper way to bring charges. An accused professor has the right of counsel if he wants it; file charges if you wish, Rainey said, and I will present them for a hearing. “No, we won’t do that,” said Strickland. “Then I refuse to fire them,” said Rainey. With that incident began in earnest the events that led to Rainey’s dismissal and his entry into the Governor’s campaign of 1946. He lost, but those four professors are still teaching at the University. The good doctor came back to Texas last week and spoke freely and fully of the historic fight of eight years ago. Now “a private citizen, a free private citizen,” he is living in Columbia, Missouri, and preparing material for three books. We talked a morning away. He lived again through the two impassioned years which have become AUSTIN State Senator Kilmer B. Corbin of Lubbockwho charged two weeks ago that Maurice Acers was conducting private business out of the Governor’s officeis defense attorney for three men involved in last year’s big insurance scandals, The Austin Statesman reported here Friday. Corbin, the newspaper learned, is counsel for Leslie Lowry, Paul Lowry and D. H. O’Fiel, who face felony criminal charges in connection with the insurance scandal. The case is set for district court here Thursday, but Corbin’s participation is virtually certain to delay trial until a month after adjournment of the Legislature, the newspaper reported. The Beaumont men face seven indictments returned by a Travis County grand jury last May while a statewide furore raged over insurance company failings and allegations of irregularities. Records of the district clerk’s office here show Corbin as attorney for all three men. Also a defense attorney for the men is Polk Shelton of Austin, who said Corbin entered the case with him about four months ago. Shelton said he would file a motion for further postponement of trial of the cases, based on Corbin’s current service in the Senate. Each of the defendants face two charges of perjury. Paul Lowry is charged on a single additional count with submitting a false statement. The charges involve affidavits and statements filed with the State Insurance Commission relating to funds in the organization and operation of now bankrupt insurance companies. Two weeks ago Corbin drew the fire of his colleagues in the Senatt when he introduced a resolutioi asking that Acersexecutive assistant to Governor Allan Shivers be relieved of his “present obligations” in the Governor’s office. He charged that Acers is conducting private business deals out of the Governor’s office. The resolution was debated, defeated overwhelmingly, and then expunged from the official record. At the time, Senator George Parkhouse of Dallas asked Corbin if he closed out all his private business dealings when he came to the Senate. “I practically do,” Corbin said. Staff Photo DR. HOMER P. RAINEY, former president of the University of Texas and candidate for Governor in 1946, revisited Austin last week and was interviewed by The Texas Observer. Now living in Missouri, he is preparing material for three books and lecturing at the University of Colorado in the summer. One of the books will be on Texas politics. Rainey Analyzes Politics in Texas AUSTIN The O’Daniel-Stevenson forces had just won control of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas. At the first meeting of the new board, D. F. Strickland, paid lobbyist for the movie interests and one of the Regents, sat down across the conference table from the University President, Dr. Homer Price Rainey. From his inside coat pocket, Strickland drew a three-by-five card. He handed it across the table to Rainey. Corbin Represents Defendants In Insurance Irregularity Case