JUST AN AIRPLANE, you say ? Ah, but snuggled away within this Tennessee Gas Transmission Company plane at Austin Airport are twelve precious members of the Texas House of Representatives. They have just snapped the window curtains closed to avoid being photographed. They scattered like a March wind at the first appearance of the photographer, who did not get a shot of them boarding. Tennessee Gas flew the eminent soions to Kentucky for a weekend at the Keeneland race track, but the dignity of the occasion was somewhat marred when they had to fly right back to fight an effort by spoilsport colleagues to pass the bill in question during their absence. Butler s Views on Party Loyalty AUSTIN A letter which has been received in Beaumont from Democratic National Committee chairman Paul Butler makes it clear that Butler believes members of the party should indicate support of its nominees. Excerpts: it DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE Washington 6, D. C. Mr. Richard N. Mason, President Jefferson County Democratic Club Beaumont, Texas Dear Mr. Mason: …. The door of the Democratic National Committee is open to anyone who indicates his devotion to the principles of the Party and his support of its nominees. It seems to me this is the best we can expect from persons who would be known as Democrats. Any move to return to the fold of our Party will have to be made by those desiring to return and upon the conditions stated. I am sure you will agree that I, as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, should not reject any person who desires to accept membership in the Democratic Party on this basis …. PAUL M. BUTLER 99 Teague Finds GI ‘Land Scandal’ Page 4 April. 25, 1955 THE TEXAS OBSERVER Shivers in a Fix On Party Loyalty Sadler, lobbyist Claud Gilmer, and Jack Woodward, president of TI-PRO. Rep. D. B. Hardeman and several other legislators also showed up for the long wait. The pilot had nothing to say about where he had been or who he had carried, but word got around later in the morning that the plane had set down in either Waco, Dallas or Temple, where the wary legislators got out to dodge their welcoming committee in Austin. They motored into the Capital C:4y from whereever they had disembarked. The pilot admitted the plane was owned by Tennessee Gas. The wayfaring members showed up at 10 a.m. Friday in the House, sleepy eyed and grumpy. They were ragged mercilessly by other members. Once, Rep. Joe Pyle of Fort Worth asked Speaker Jim Lindsey: “Mr. Speaker, do you know when post time is?” “It’s too late to get to the race track,” yelled another member. “Are the horses still at the post, Mistuh Speaker?” cried still another. “All right,” said Lindsey, “let’s have order, members.” The returnees’ strength apparently had been needed, though,, because there were only about a dozen votes to spare when the House decided to recess without taking up the gas bill. When the motion to recess came, Rep. Maury Maverick was standing near the press table. “Let’s recess in honor of Santa Anna!” he suggested. “Oh no!” cried a nearby member. “Not Santa AnnaSanta Anita!” The time was about 1 p.m. The word immediately got around: the boys were bound for the horseraces DAC Lays Plans man of the executive committee, released a statement to the press saying that the State had been divided into regions “for the purpose of organization for the 1956 conventions and arranging money-raising dinners to finance the work of the Democratic Party.” Charles Brannan, former Secretary of Agriculture, will speak at a banquet sponsored by the Texas Democratic Women’s State Committee Thursday,’ April 28, at the Baker Hotel in Dallas, and Senator. Estes Kefauver will speak in San Antonio May 6 and Houston May 7 under the auspices of the, Bexar County and Harris County Democrats, respectively, and the D.A.C. as a whole. againthey were determined to return. As members started clearing their desks for the weekend, occasional calls went up from the House floor: “It’s too late to place your bets, gentlemen.”. “The horses are at the post, they are lining up …” “Place your bets, gentlemen.” “They’re off!” The Tennessee Gas DC-3 was at Austin’s Municipal Airport. Around 2 o’clock a waitress from the airport restaurant started storing meals inside. The pilot and copilot began walking around, checking the ship. Rep. Ben Atwell’s black and white Cadillac pulled up near the ship and several legislators clambered aboard the ship. Rep. Doug Bergman stood outside and chatted with another member. On the next load, Atwell’s car carried Reps. Cotton Kirklin and W. S. \(Bill Heatley. Atwell’s secretary was doing the driving. About that time a photographer pulled up in a car near the plane. The photographer stared at the craft, then reached for the camera. One member stooped down and peered at this reporter from behind the tail assembly. Others scrambled aboard, and blinds in the windows of the plane snapped shut. A few minutes later, the Cadillac returned with another load of passengers. It slowed up as if to stop next to the airplane. A man stuck his head out the window and looked at the plane, the photographer, and the reporter. Then the Cadillac moved on around to the other side of the airport, several hundred yards away near the east runway. The plane’s engines fired and it taxied toward the other side of the airport, near the east runway. The photographer jumped in a car and sped around the airport. He was too late, however, to get a shot of the last load of representatives board Rep. Tim Turman of Gober was amazed. The freshman legislator was at the airport with some friends. After witnessing the photographer’s pursuit of the legislators and the cloak-and-dagger efforts of the holiday-intent lawmakers he said: “I didn’t know things like that went on in this town.” There was a report going around later in the afternoon that backers of the Walling bill had hired a photographer in Lexington to make a picture of the dozen members when they stepped out of the plane there, but the legislators again outwitted their critics. Instead of landing at Lexington, the DC-3 set down at another airport in a nearby town. From there, the lawmakers entered t h e Campbell House, a well-appointed suburban hotel in Lexington, famed among racing enthusiasts. The members were not registered by name at the hotel, however. The register showed instead, according to a report from a Lexington newsman notified of the visit, “Red Wells and Party of 12.” Red Wells is a representative of Tennessee Gas Transmission Company. The Lexington newsman said he talked to Bergman and Kirklin in the lobby of the hotel late Friday evening. He said he asked them about comparing Texas politics to Kentucky politics. The reporter said Bergman and Kirklin told him they didn’t know much about politics in Kentucky. BILL BRA IVLMER WASHINGTON Another Texas GI land scandal but this one merely a part of a nationwide swindle of the governmenthas come to light here. Rep. Tiger Teague of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee in Washington says that buyers of GI’s home loan guarantee rights at prices from a drink up to $400 are being prosecuted in Houston, Abilene, Midland, and El Paso, as well as in other parts of the country. This practice is reminiscent of one of the abuses of the Texas veterans’ land program, in which veterans sold their rights to cheap state credit with which to buy land for anywhere from a set of false teeth to $300. AUSTIN People close to Governor Allan Shivers here are talking about what the national Democrats are going to do not what Shivers is going to do. It seems a foregone conclusion that the Governor is fighting for re-instatement in the party he forsook in 1952 for the Republican presidential nominee. His advisers here frankly admit that he is in trouble. Shivers’s dilemma will be serious if the Republicans again nominate President Eisenhower. He wants to lead the Texas delegation to Chicago. To do this, he must first win the state convention and his chances of doing so have slipped somewhat since the first of the year. But if he does, he still will have to repudiate his allegiance to Eisenhower or be confronted by a convention demanding his ejection as a delegate. A strong group is determined to read Shivers and other 1952 bolters out of the party if they show up at the Chicago convention. Form e r Democratic national chairman Stephen Mitchell, who commands a large party following and will probably be chairman of the 1956 convention’s rules committee, has taken the position that the abandonment of the loyalty oath= announced i n Washington two weeks agodoes not alter “the requirement of party responsibility for delegates.” Mitchell said he will fight the seating of Shivers, South Carolina Governor James Byrnes, or Louisiana Governor Robert Kennon at the convention. He also included Wright Morrow, Texas’ pro-Eisenhower Democratic national committeeman. All four backed Eisenhower in 1952. Paul Butler, the present national chairman of the party, would not Teague also said the Veterans’ Administration has lost $23 million in foreclosures on GI houses, and some veterans have found themselves in debt to the government even though they had sold their homes and were living elsewhere when the government foreclosed. Sale of his home loan guarantee rights by a GI is punishable by a fine up to $5,000 and five years in prison. Veterans are generally said not to have known what they were doing. Teague called the selling of the rights “a vicious, illegal practice that is widespread throughout the United States.” Prosecuti9n is also under way in Georgia, Oklahoma, and California in this same connection, and the committee is looking into the mat comment on Mitchell’s statement but The Texas Observer publishes in this issue excerpts from a letter Butler wrote in which he says the door of the Democratic National Committee is open to those who indicate they will support the nominees of the party. Returning to the fold would be contingent on this indication and “devotion to the principles of the party,” he said. The letter was written April 5 to Richard Mason, president of the Jefferson County Democratic Club. Mitchell told New York Times Correspondent Arthur Krock: ” ‘I am not alone in my determination that the credentials of any or all of these three who were Democratic governors of their states in 1952 shall be challenged. This would be done at the first opportunity, which might be in the national committee or in the committee on credentials. ” `If a majority should vote to seat Byrnes, Kennon, or Shivers assuming they would arrive with delegate credentials there would be a minority report and a contest on the floor. And it is my opinion that at least 70 per cent of the advisory committee of very distinguished Democrats w h o recommended abandonment of the loyalty oath test would vote to keep these gentlemen out of the convention.” Mitchell referred to the loyalty oath decision as a correction of “mistakes of manners and form.” “The validity of the party system would be at stake, and that is why the challenge would have to be made,” he said. The advisory committee decided to require delegates to agree to put the nominees on the ballot and to expect national committeemen to say they will support the party’s nominees. Mitchell drew fire from some Southerners a n d support frorf others. Price Daniel, Eisenhower supporting junior senator from Texas, said: “I doubt that Mr. Mitchell is in a position to speak for the party on this subject.” Sen. John J. Sparkman of Alabama, 1952 vice-presidential nominee with Adlai Stevenson, thinks Mitchell is right. He said the three governors “are not entitled to take part in the 1956 convention unless they announce their return to the party or promise to support the nominees. They are Republicans as of today so far as I am concerned.” Virginia’s Sen. Harry Byrd says Mitchell’s plan “would certainly stir up a great deal of trouble in those states.” He called the plan “outrageous.” Rep. James P. Richards of South Carolina called Mitchell “cockeyed” and said if the plan goes through, the Democrats will lose “more of the South than they did before.” Hubert Humphrey, New Deal senator from Minnesota, said of Shivers, Byrnes, and lennon: “I should think they would have to go a long way to show they have been working in the interest of the Democratic Party.” ter in Alabama. One buyer of GI rights advertised offering to buy them; another solicited them from veterans in a California jail. OLON ROGERS CH. 2879 RENT-A-TOOL CO. MOBILE PUBLIC ADDRESS EQUIPMENT COMMERCIAL PAINT SPRAYS SALES RENTALS 1107 QUITMAN HOUSTON THEY’RE OFF? The Race to the Races
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