Page 8


YOUR LOCAL AGENT-6 Chances are you already know the local agent for your own union member-owned ICT Insurance Company. If you do, then you’re already familiar with his personal service to you and your community. Perhaps you know Mm as a neighbor even as a close friend of your family. But in case you don’t know your ICT agent, there is a still greater reason why you should meet him. Not only is your ICT agent a good citizen and your friend, be is your partner as won. As a representative of your, company, your ICT agent shares with you its growth, success and stability. His success as an ICT agent contributis to your ittAcou .as an la owner-customer. It’s just good businucto & business with yourself. N you haven’t met your ICT agent, call Western Union operator 25. It’s time you met your partner* progress. NOM OFFICIle Dallas, Toxas Bnleiek Cog, Prslelat GROUP Owned by Union Members Building a Better America 320 CUM mrommisompow owarsep … age 8, February 28, 1955 THE TEXAS OBSERVER ,ianium Bill ‘Passes House HATCH ACT TESTED BY POSTAL WORKER WASHINGTON The right of a Houston post office employee to write his political It views to a newspaper was de fended by the American Civil Lib erties Union before the U.S. Civil Service Commission here last week. Attorney Edward De Grazia said to deny Curtis C. Wilson this right is a violation of the right of free speech and free press. And if the Hatch “clean politics” Act, under which the CSC made the charge, requires him to be fired for writing such a letter, then it, too, is unconstitutional, De Grazia insisted. Wilson, a train postman, wrote a letter last June 24 to The Houston Post, which it published, saying, the fact that the US Senate was reluctant to pass a similar federal law because of the danger of censorship. Rep. J. Gordon Bristow of Big Spring sided with the bill’s author, Rep. Joe Pool. He said: “Mama told me to vote for it. Mama is against it.” Also passed in the House and sent to the Senate was a bill which would let about ten per cent of Texas women serve on juries. Representative L. DeWitt Hale of Corpus Christi expressed great disappointment at changes made. He said that 35 to 40 per cent of the state’s women will remain eligible for jury service, but only about 10 per cent would actually qualify. Hale said about half the potential number of female jurors was lost by an amendment which would require jurors be freeholders in the State or householders in the county. Cries of anguish came from two legislators. Representative J. 0. Gillham of Brownfield denounced committee changes in his used car dealer bill as “ruining” it and said he hopes the House won’t accept the changes. Gillham’s bill provided for licensing of used car dealers to keep them from offering latest model cars as “new” ones. “The changes ruin the original purpose of the bill by allowing any car dealer to sell new or used cars without a franchise from the manufacturer,” Gillham said. The used car dealers had charged it would outlaw competition in the industry. Representative Marshall 0. Bell’s proposed constitutional amendment to prevent future State or City income taxes was dealt a death blow by House members. His income tax amendment had to have at least 100 votes to pass. It was killed 47-86, after opponents argued that it would “tie the hands” of future legislatures. “Don’t kill the goose now just because we don’t need any golden eggs at this session,” said Representative Edgar Berlin of Port Neches. Representative Barefoot Sanders of Dallas. also argued against the move. The House split sharply on Representative Doug Bergman’s constitutional amendment to knock out car property taxes and raise the registration fees. He said the property tax is inequitable because some cities and counties levy and collect it while others do not. The vote was 51-67 against it. A bill to tighten up drunk driver tests was killed in a Senate committee. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jarrard Secrest of Temple, would have put into law exactly what scientists say makes a drunk. As it is, experts must be called on drunk cases now to give the scientific explanation. Originally, the bill would have permitted owners of former state lands to split with the State 50-50 any bonuses, rentals or royalties from hard minerals. As amended, it will give the Statethree-fourths and the land owner one-fourth. Opponents of the measure feel this is still too much of a “giveaway.” The State is not obligated to share any of the money with landowners. The question is on former public school and state asylum lands on which the State retained the right to hard minerals when the land was sold to individuals. Not all West Texas is involved, but there are more than seven million acres of it in the Trans-Pecos region. Uranium a hard mineralhas been detected on the land, although not, as yet, in commercial quantities. Representative Tony Fenoglio, who led the fight against the bill, said: “When they gave away the oil out there they forgot to give awaythe uranium, and now they’ve come back for that. It’s a giveaway.” Others denounced the measure as “vicious,” “sordid,” and “the greatest giveaway ever before the Legislature of Texas.” ers. Representative Joe Pyle of Fort Worth, who co-authored the bill, said the measure would provide that the owner of the land would also be the State’s agent in leasing of all minerals. He said it would encourage the exploration, development and production of the minerals. and, in a financial way, would be much more advantageous to the State and the Public School Fund. The bill applies to about 7,400,000 acres of land sold by the State between 1895 and 1931. Since 1931, all public school and asylum lands have been sold with a mineral reservation of one-sixteenth royalty, except for a one-eighth royalty which is reserved on sulphur and substances from which sulphur be derived. The State reserved all minerals when it sold the surface of the land. A previous Legislature allocated one-half interest in oil and gas rights to the surface owners for serving as agent in making leases. The mineral rights belong to the Permanent School Fund of the State, an endowment for public schools. Representative J. C. Zbranek of Daisetta was one of the first to propose an amendment. It was beaten by the slender margin of 71 to 70. The final compromise gave the State a minimum bonus of 50 cents per acre, minimum early rental of the same amount, and minimum royalty of three thirty-seconds of production value. The land owner would get one thirty-second royalty. On the 50-50 proposal Zbranek said: “You wouldn’t give a man 50 per cent commission to go out and sell something for you. Twenty-five per cent is a good commission.” among other things”No one respects a renegade. Let’s send Allan Shivers home.” The Civil Service Commit sion said this was a violation of the Hatch Act because Wilson was “participating in a political campaign.” The CSC ordered him fired. Last week’s hearing before Commission Examiner James A. Irwin resulted. De Grazia, who said he was representing Wilson on behalf of the Civil Liberties Union, said the CSC had charged that Wilson “intended” to dissuade voters from supporting Gov. Shivers but offered no proof of this intention. He argued that Wilson was entitled to a full trial, otherwise he would be deprived of propertyhis joband of due process of law. J. H. Falloon, commission attorney, stated Wilson knew the Hatch Act and the rules made under it, and knew he was violating the law when he wrote the letter. He maintained that no “property” was involved, that the hearing concerned merely the question of whether an employer should retain the services of an employe. De Grazia said Wilson “did not actively participate in a political campaign” merely by writing the letter. He argued that what he did do was merely exercise of his constitutional right to free speech. Comic Control Okayed, Beer Tax Hearing Due The Texas House of Representatives passed and sent to the Senate last week bills that would prevent lewd or depraved comic books from reaching the hands of youngsters, put about 10 per cent of women in the state on jury lists, and give some West Texas ranchers a cut of the State’s uranium rights. At the same time the Senate killed proposed legislation which would tighten up drunk driver tests and the House blocked constitutional amendments which would prevent Texas from ever having a state or city income tax and provide for replacing the automobile property tax with a onethird increase in car registration fees. The Senate, busy in committee hearings most of the week, adjourned Thursday. House members, who vowed the week before to work on Fridays, went home the same day. Several important measures are up for consideration by both chambers this week. A proposed constitutional amendment by Representative Harold Parish of Taftpostponed last week is due to reach the House floor for debate. It would create a $200 million fund to finance local-level water conservation projects. It was the second such week’s delay given the bill. A similar bill has been voted out of Senate committee for floor consideration. The House will be looking over a committee-approved bill prohibiting a candidate from being nominated by both political parties. The controversial measure, sponsored by Representative Maury Maverick Jr. of San Antonio, would repeal the cross-filing provision of the Texas election law. The provision was tacked onto a bill in the last days of the 1951 session when some lawmakers foresaw the possibility of Eisenhower running for president. A similar repeal measure was approved by the House last session, but died in the Senate. Maverick says the current provision “corrupts party responsibility and party integrity.” Two important bills are up for committee consideration. One is Representative Jerry Sadler’s proposed beer tax increase. A hearing is scheduled on it March 7. A bill seeking to regulate phones and other utilities on a statewide level was to have come before the House State Affairs Committee Monday night. Its author, Representative Robert Patten of Jasper, said only statewide regulation of telephone companies could protect the people from what he called exhorbitant profits “from services every householder must have.” The bill designed to prevent lewd, corruptive or depraved comic books from reaching the hands of Texas youngsters won House approval by voice vote and advanced to the werick argued against the bill, his colleagues’ attention to A uranium leasing bill pegged by its opponents as “the biggest giveaway since Yates” is on its way to the Senate this week after a battle to a compromise in the of Representatives. The bill could eventually mean millions of dollars to some West Texas ranch might have meant much more except for the compromise. DixonHouse