The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. Thoreau Mrs. George T% Haggard 2.56 1507 Hardouin Austin, Texas Oixas Ohnrrurr 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. 47 MAY 16, 1955, AUSTIN, TEXAS NO. 5 Staff Photo GOVERNOR SHIVERS and Attorney General Shepperd sat together before they testified last week in the Capitol on the veterans’ land scandal. Agencies Differ Over Quality; The 6,672 Dresses Land Officials Criticize Files Shivers and Shepperd Say Fraud Not Shown AUSTIN Governor A 11 a n Shivers and Attorney General John Ben Shepperd have rested their defense of their performance of duties on the Veterans’ Land Board on the statement that the records of themselves do not reveal any fraud. Shivers told the House committee that at the first few meetings of the Board he attended in 1949, he reviewed the law, inquired about employees, administrative details, and appraisals, and checked forms used. But the chairman, Bascom Giles, had authority “to handle the details,” Shivers said. “We as a Board, of course, had a right to review them \(acts of said. But “the files would not reveal irregularities,” he said. “To discover anything else or if it is wrong, a Board member himself would have to go look at the land, talk to the veterans, and talk to the people selling the land,” he said. “It is of course most regrettable By BILL BRAMMER Associate Editor The Texas Observer AUSTIN One night last summer in San Antonio the bright young pitchmen for Ralph Yarborough’s gubernatorial campaign gathered near Alamo Plaza and proclaimed their collective delight with each other. They toasted Yarborough, his campaign, and themselves for a wonderfully satisfying rally just concluded in front of the Alamo, the cradle of Texas liberty, as politicians like to put it. A grand crowd had showed up; the weather was fine; they had a Mexican band, and there was even a batch of convention-like stick-signs designating the South and Central Texas counties represented. Senator Kilmer Corbin rendered an inspiring speech, and then Yarborough, himself, breathed a bit of fire. Everything came off on schedule, and it was all there for the folks to see on statewide television. Socko, the promotion men concluded. Entertaining, i n s p i r i n g. Good show. By RONNIE DUGGER Rditor, The Texas Observer AUSTIN The Texas Hospital Board has been getting a strange and wondrous runaround in the State’s purchase of 6,672 dresses for its mental patients. Board spokesmen have declared that Karoll, Inc., the Chicago jobber who holds the dress contract, failed to meet the State’s quality specifications and defaulted on the delivery date. An independent testing agency at Texas State College for Women in Denton studied 24 of the Karoll dresses and told the Hospital Board that their characteristics included uneven stitching, exposure of raw cloth edges at the seams, puckering, But about the same time Yarborough people were patting themselves on the back for a profitable evening’s work, their statewide television pitchabout $8,000 worth had been largely 16rgotten by the political pedestrians in the parlor. Immediately following the Yarborough telecast, another 30-minute show had begunthis one paid by “friends of Allan Shivers.” The Governor wasn’t on it, but the home folks watched all the same. The controversial “Port Arthur Story”a high class soap opera documentary of the months-long strike of a handful of CIO workers in that citymade the Yarborough show look like, a musical comedy. It opened with a dim street scene of Port Arthur, deserted, stark and ugly. “This is Port Arthur,” the narrator said. “Children once played on these streets …” It looked like a city under seige. There were other shots of dark and shabby corners, interviews with merchants, and shots of burly pickets. The impression was that this once-happy and prosperous town was the victim of left-wing gangsters. The CIO backed the strike; the CIO backed Ralph Yarborough; viz., This may be the scene in all Texas cities if Yarborough is the next governor. Some time ago this reporter asked a friend, the narrator of the unmatched threads, thread break age in seams, a low thread count per inch, and irregularities in size. Time and again, however, the Board of Control has come to the defense of Karoll’s. Miss Alice Miller, the matriarch of the Board of Control’s platoon of buying agents, told The Texas Observer: “The Board of Control feels the dresses met specifications a n d should have been accepted.” Upon inquiry from the Hospital Board, the Attorney General has ruled that the agency receiving and using merchandise, not the Board of Control, has the authority to reject it as failing to meet the State’s specifications. The Hospital Board decided that it would accept the 2,000 of the 6,672 dresses that were delivered by Jan. 19seven weeks after the delivery date first scheduled if the price was lowered from $2.60 to $2.20 a dress. It decided to return now-famous Port Arthur Story, what time the film shots were made of those dark and deserted Port Arthur streets. “Five a.m.,” he replied quite fi.a:akly. “We had a heck of a time trying to get them. It was barely daylight, and we weren’t sure for a while whether they would even turn out okay.” The narrator, who was then the television director for Syers, Pickle and Winn, an Austin public relations and advertising agency, admitted that he didn’t know much about politics; that he rarely kept up with it, and that he was just doing his job. He inquired in passing as to what kind of man his client at the time was. “What is Shivers, anyway?” he asked. “Is he a conservative?” Political naivete, however, is not what Texas public relations men are most noted for. They are a sharp and sophisticated set, generally, many of them ex-newspaper or radio men, who’ve been through the rough-and-tumble of partisan politics in their younger years and finally found the winning combination. “We’re a respectable organization,” an agency man told me the other day. “Most of our clients are conservative, I’m glad to say, and we don’t go off half-cocked on many of these liberal causes.” Patients in Rags the dresses delivered after Jan. 19 as not meeting specifications. Karoll’s failed to send the Hospital Board shipping instructions when the Board asked for them, and then the Chicago jobber refused to accept the merchandise when it was sent to him by freight mail. Now it is understood that Karoll’s is planning to ask the Legislature for permission to sue the State. Meanwhile, some of the State’s mental patients are in rags, and one reliable report indicates that some women patients at Rusk State Hospital have no dresses at all. The Board of Control is sitting on an emergency dress requisition from the Hospital Board. A few days after the Attorney General ruled that the Hospital Board could reject merchandise, Johnnie B. Rogers, the Senator from Travis, rammed an emergency bill through the Senate giving the Board of Control “sole power” to decide on such rejections “for every State agency” on contracts and purchases “of any kind or character.” A fight is shaping up on the House floor over the bill, although it pased the Senate 28-0 May 9. State Affairs heard it Monday night in the House. Miss Miller showed this reporter the bulky file on tee case 6,672 dresses one day last week and said that, while the Board members wanted it then, the reporter could study it the next day. When he returned to see it, she told him: “Well, a part of it’s downstairs, and the Board members have some of it, and I don’t believe you could make much sense out of what’s here.” Asked when the filewhich is a public recordcould be examined, she said: “I don’t know.” The Texas Observer has obtained a full record of the case from other sources. Asked about the status of the case, Miss Miller said it was in “stature quo.” “Like the Negro preacher told a member of his congregation after his sermon,” Miss Miller said, ” ‘stature quo’ means it’s in a helluva shape.” Of the threatened suit and the clash between the two agencies, Miss Miller said “it’s the first time we haven’t been able to work out things amicably.” Two members of the Board of Control had a hurried conference over the matter Thursday. The dresses in question are made THE POLITICAL HUCKSTERSIII ‘We’re Not Cut Throats’ How Constitutionalists Tried To Close A School By MARIE HALPENNY TV rittea for The Texas Observer SAN ANTONIO It was not long before the viewpoint of the national officials of the Constitution Party began to be reflected in the activities of San Antonio and Houston members. During 1952 and 1953, San Antonio Constitutionalists found many fields in need of their cultivation. together a group of women, including Constitution Party stand-bys, and got to work on her list of “tainted book s.” Helping Mrs. Hance with her project were Mrs. U. E. Marney, Mrs. W. E. Nolan, Mrs. S. J. Perkins, Mrs. Emma Shackelford, Mrs. Bryce E. Durbin, whose husband is assistant national chairman of the Constitution Party; and Mrs. Leo A. Oliver, whose husband ran unsuccessfully on the 1954 Constitution Party ticket for the post of Bexar County Court at Law No. 2. Mrs. Hance also focused her attention on the school library of Thomas Jefferson High School, San Antonio’s largest high school. She pounced upon such books as a copy o f Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and the complete Shakespeare. The texts had been illustrated by Rockwell Kent. Mrs. Hance pointed out, and were both on her list of books to be stamped. T. Guy Rogers, Jefferson high school principal since Jefferson opened i n 1932, refused Mrs. Hance’s requests to brand these and similar books in the school library. In the spring of 1953, Mrs. Amy Freeman Lee, well known artist, critic, and lecturer and a native San Antonian, was scheduled to speak to the International Relations Club of Jefferson High. Mrs. Lee also works in close cooperation and has been responsible for helping bring their American Friends Service Committee discussion meetings to San Antonio each year. Mrs. Lee was contacted by Olcutt Sanders, at that time the Executive Secretary of the Southwest Region of the American Friends. Sanders told Mrs. Lee that the Quakers had a scholarship open for a high school student to join with other students, also under Quaker sponsorship, to visit the United Nations in New York and take part in a study group. Constitutionalist Hance visited Rogers and protested Mrs. Lee being allowed to speak to the students. Her protest took the form of accusations about Mrs. Lee’s political beliefs. Rogers asked Mrs. Hance if she would be willing to sign an affidavit containing these accusations, and at this, Mrs. Hance jumped to her feet, Rogers relates, and shook her finger in his face. She said to him: “We’re tired of being kicked around by you school people and I’m going to report you to Marshall 0. Bell.” \(Bell is the San Antonio representative who has authored various loyalty oath bills and unsuccessfully sought passage of a bill prohibiting public school and college textbooks or literature “which seek to discredit or reflect on the American form of government or way of life, or which are written by persons with Communist or subversive connections or background and are so identified by certain printing and labeling \(a large red Unaware of the accusations made against her, Mrs. Lee made her talk to the International Relations Club and then went on to tell about the American Friends scholarship. Albert Leong, who was a senior honor student and took part in many Jefferson activities, was elected by the student members of the club to take the trip. Leong’s parents gave their approval of the trip, so Albert went to get permission from Rogers. Rogers refused, saying that although he personally knew little about the Quakers, he had heard some questionable things about them, and the school would need authoritative clearance on the group before he could give his permission.
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