Butler To Take the Pulse of Texas Democrats AUSTIN Paul Butler, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is testing first-hand the cauldron of Texas politics this week. His six-day tour of Texas, packed with banquets, speeches, and receptions, will be attended by loyalists and middle-of-the-roaders but probably by few conservatives. His tour starts in Lubbock Tuesday evening with a $10 fund-raising dinner and winds up Sunday with a visit with John Nance Garner in Uvalde and a reception sponsored by San Antonio Democrats. He will be in Big Spring Wednesday noon, Dallas Wednesday evening, Tyler ”I’hursday noon, Waco Thursday evening, McAllen Friday afternoon, Weslaco Friday evening, Corpus Christi Saturday at noon, and Houston Saturday evening for the main address at the state convention of the Youg Democratic Clubs of Texas. His visit was preceded by verbal fireworks between the Shivers and loyalist factions and some tension within t h e sponsoring loyalist group, the Democratic Advisory Council. Mrs. H. H. Weinert, pro-Shivers, pro-Stevenson national committeewoman from Texas, told Capitol newsmen last week she had been “snubbed” in the arrangements. Jim Sewell, chairman of the D.A.C., said earlier that he had been firm in refusing Mrs. Weinert’s suggestion that he meet with George Sandlin, chairman of the conservative State Democratic Executive Committee, on the arrangements. Sewell sent Mrs. Weinert a wire inviting her to “any or all” of the dinners, and Mrs. Weinert said she replied by wire that Sewell’s “rude, ungallant, and discourteous treatment of me” made her “doubt the sincerity” of the invitation. Butler and Speaker Sam Rayburn wanted the Butler event to be “for all Democrats,” she said, but she quoted Sewell as saying he wouldn’t have anything to do with it unless “just our group’ took part. Mrs. Weinert said she suggested to Sewell that she and he withdraw and “each appoint others” to set up the plans. “You can imagine what he said. He hollered it so loud it almost broke my ear drums,” she Sewell said from Corsicana he did not intend his telegram to be rude, “and if it offended her, I at this time tender my humblest appologies and at the same time reextend to her an invitation to participate in the Butler visit “It is my desire that all Democrats work together in harmony for the good of the Democratic Party in Texas and America,” Sewell said. Rayburn said earlier from Washington that neither Mrs. Weinert nor anyone else had any reason to complain about being overlooked. He said he first contacted Mrs. Weinert and asked her to get in touch with Judge Sewell to work out Butler’s schedule. “Why they don’t co-operate with Mrs. Weinert, I don’t know,” Rayburn said. “I can’t make people cooperate and I don’t try.” Mrs. Weinert replied: “If Mr. Rayburn had made himself available those two days I tried to get him by long distance,” she said, “I probably could have explained to him things I had not made clear in telegrams. Dean Johnston, state president of PAUL BUTLER … Arrives Amid Controversy the Young Democratic Clubs, said in Houston: “Some time ago we extended an invitation” to Mrs. Weinert, “and we have not had a reply. Mrs. Weinert is still welcome.” Meanwhile, Howard Bryant, Tyler oil man and a member of the D. A. C., said that the Tyler luncheon Thursday is not under D.A.C. sponsorship. “As far as this luncheon is concerned, there is no split in the Democratic Party,” he said. “This meeting is sponsored by East Texas people and nobody else. The luncheon is for all Democrats.” Bryant said he objected to D.A.C. literature on the meeting. A release from Dallas quoted Grover Sellers, East Texas attorney, who will introduce Butler at Tyler, as saying that now that “the national hero and tidelands” settled,” he believes that “many of those who strayed are now ready to come back into the Democratic Party.” Will Wilson, associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court who will introduce Butler in Dallas, said there is “too much strife in the air.” He favors harmony in the party. Ed Drake, chairman of the Dallas County executive committee, and Hugh Prather, Jr., state executive committeeman, refused to accept invitations to the Butler dinner from Wilson. Butler declined the sponsorship of the State Democratic Executive Committee ‘in favor of a program of presenting Mr. Butler to a few audiences of left-wing rabble-rousers,” Drake said. T. Lawrence Jones, member of the steering committee for the Dallas dinner, replied that the D.A.C. was authorized to represent the national party in 1953. He said “We want to work with all Democrats, conservatives and liberals.” About 10,000 invitations have been sent out. Local managers have invited elected officials, and Sewell h a s invited Rayburn, Senators Johnson and Daniel, and others. Shivers, along with Sandlin, have said they will not come. They have not been invited. Sandlin said last week that “all Democrats” should have a chance to hear Butler. But he said Sewell first left Mrs. Weinert out of the arrangements and then, when she called him, “said he didn’t care to discuss it any further … rudely and crudely with discourtesy.” Sandlin said that the Shivers group had adopted a “hands off” attitude then. The Dallas release from the D.A. C. listed these members of a committee to handle details of Butler’s trip: In West Texas, C. W. Ratliff of Lubbock and Frank Hardesty of Big Spring; in North Texas, T. Lawrence Jones and Wright Matthews of Dallas; in East Texas, Bryant; in Central Texas, Tom Moore; and in South Texas, Judge J. C. Looney, Edinburg; Garland Smith, Weslaco, Mayor E. K. O’Shea of Mercedes, George Prouse of Corpus Christi, and Johnston in Houston. Delegates are expected from all over Texas for the Young Democrats’ convention at the Shamrock Hotel in Houston June 17-19. The statewide group was chartered by the Young Democratic Clubs of America in 1954. Its members, aged 18 to 40, are “resolved to work in the interests of the National Democratic Party.” Neal Smith, president of the Young Democratic Clubs of America, and other national officers will be attending the convention, Johnston said. Jack Matthews is the local convention chairman. Mayor Roy Hofheinz of Houston will make a welcoming address, and he will also welcome Butler. Johnston is standing for re-election as state president. Bill Kugle of Galveston is also a candidate. The agenda is committee meetings Friday, speeches and a business session Saturday morning, a panel discussion in the afternoon, reception and banquet for Butler Saturday evening, and a business session and election of officers on Sunday morning. Broom Corn, Late Cotton, and the Karnes County Drouth \(May and June rains this spring have encouraged some to hope that the five-year Texas drouth may be over. There is no telling at this point, but it will take more than the rains that have come. Our Kenedy correspondent explains what the drouth has meant to a small farming town the one he lives in, of course. By DAN STRAWN Kenedy Correspondent The Texas Observer KENEDY Tlaloc, the rain god of the Aztecs, presided over their vegetation and water supply. He was the god who was master at the time of the third of their four creations. Statues of the rain god found in Mexico and Central America depict him weeping, the tears representing rain. It is Karnes County’s misfortune that thereabouts Tlaloc has led a happy life of late ; he has been dry eyed in Karnes county for several years. The citizenry of said county has discovered during the last five years that crops won’t grow if it doesn’t rain. The omniscient Chamber of Commerce decided that since the citizenry of Kenedy couldn’t agree on where t h e highway should go through town, they would set up a route bypassing the town and munificent prosperity would inundate all. Now and then a cobweb is knocked off a parking meter with an occasional penny as a farmer drives into town for a cup of coffee to swap sob stories with other farmers, and to extend his loan at the bank. I am thoroughly convinced that if the farming citizenry of Karnes County would listen to the sage sayings of Ezra Taft Benson, all of this difficulty would be ended. He in his wisdom and worldliness stated that the situation facing farmers in the drouthy areas of our country is a direct result of the fixed price supports of the former Democratic administration, and that if the farmers had not received high prices for their products they wouldn’t have plowed up the lands in the dust bowl areas. I submit to his infinite wisdom. If everybody would quit farming, we wouldn’t have to worry about the drouth. Some of the citizens hereabouts are being driven to desperate lives. Upon a recent occasion I was at a table with Popcorn and Leo Krochelle Thigpen imbibing liquids when the subject of the drouth was brought up. Popcorn suggested that maybe people in Karnes County weren’t living right. Thigpen said “Well, I think I’ll change and start living right, then. I’m going to start running around with all kinds of women, getting drunk every night, and having a hell of a good time.” A farmer came in the Goff Hotel the other day and was complaining to Henry Stevenson, the manager. “I’d been paying the preacher all along, hoping that it’d rain, and it didn’t do no good, so finally I just quit paying him,” he said. A few rains are sometime _s more deleterious than no rains at all. With no rain, a farmer is less likely to expend money planting a crop if there is no chance of bringing it up. With a few scattered rains, he may plant, but his crop may wither and die, and the net result is the expending of his capital. Also, heavy inundations of water at one time are almost useless. A very heavy rain may create floods and do property damage. However, the county hasn’t been bothered by floods lately, either. Most of the merchants in the community have been suffering. The implement companies are hurt, since few tractors are running when it is dry. The appliance stores are neglected, for the farmers don’t need any time-saving devices when they’ve got plenty of time and no money. Probably the least bothered merchants are the grocery stores stores \(there are laws against going carry credit. I have talked to several merchants who have said they haven’t turned a profit since the first of the year. Most of the restaurant and dry goods business is seasonal. The flax poisoning season brings in the aviators who spray the flax crops with 2-4-D to kill sunflowers and mustard plants. They didn’t show this yearit was too dry to plant much flax. The flax combine men come in toward the first of May. They didn’t showno flax. The next round will be the broom corn buyers and broom corn pullers. The latter are hand labor. The next income, of course, is from cotton. Because of the late freeze in March and the subsequent dry weather up until the latter part of May, no cotton of any significant amount was planted until late in May. Cotton planted that late needs considerable rainfall during the hot summer monthsmuch more than cotton planted in March due to the high rate of evaporation. Of course we haven’t been bothered with high evaporation because we haven’t been bothered with rain. The cotton, if it does make, will be late, and that will necessitate a short picking period due to a federal regulation requiring cotton to be plowed under by October 10 to fa , cilitate pink bollworm control. The drouth even has adverse effects on long standing friendships. Two friends have been having difficulty of late. One of them was telling me his troubles. He was laid off of a job with a tractor agency a while back and only recently has resumed employment with another concern. It seemed that his friend had occasion to borrow $10 from him while he was laid off, and his friend was in even direr straits. “He was begging me to loan him the $10. He said his wife had kicked him out of the house again and he was having to sleep in the car and the moskeeters was eatin’ him up. Well, I took pity on him and loaned him the $10. The next week he said he couldn’t pay me on account of he had to pay his first wife child support. She’d had him put in jail twice already when he wouldn’t pay up. “The last time, he said he was getting enough money to pay everybody but me. I told him maybe he wasn’t going to pay me, but he was going to pay a $14 fine for fighting. He’d be $4 to the good and he could practically buy a case of beer with that. I’m going to do just that, too, if he doesn’t pay me. I’m going to hit him with the butt end of a beer bottle Wednesday if he doesn’t pay me Saturday. I’ll be paid then and have enough money to pay me my fine and he’ll be broke and have to lay out his fine in jail. “He’s bigger than I am, but if size meant anything, a cow could catch a jackrabbit.” County Judge W. S. Pickett’s statement is, “We aren’t going to make any crops.” He estimated that half the farm families would move out of the county if it didn’t start raining pretty soon. He didn’t foresee any sizable income from farming until late in the summer of 1956. The Emergency Assistance Association of South Texas Counties, which is comprised of county judges, met and made some resolutions. There were about eighteen whereases in their resolution. I shudder to think how many lawyers and politicians would be out of work if it were not for the word whereas. This is part of their resolution: “This body is ever mindful of the fact that the present wide-open threat of recurring and disastrous water shortages of our cities and communities will, if such conditions continue to prevail, ultimately mean the depopulation of our communities and the risk of great loss by fire in our cities, and the destruction of progress and prosperity of our manufacturing, agricultural and livestock industries, all of which can only be prevented by definite, decisive, and courageous effort and action by our state and federal governments. “In the problem of beef, the commission determined that the purchase of beef from the packers by the Department of Agriculture has not helped the problem and this organization requested that the government buy directly from the producers.” The Mexicans, more commonly known as Latin Americans, have even a rougher time. They constitute 99.99 percent of the labor in the county, except for those who run the combines. Their tortilla and frijole shortage is acute at present. They have run out of store-bought peppers and now have to content themselves with the wild pungent pepper. This particular little pepper makes jalapenas taste like mild mellorine in comparison. Usually the farmers carry a few tenants on halves or thirds and fourths \(the shares of the crops The thirds-and-fourths farmers usually finance themselves, having their own machinery and equip.: ment and everything, but the Mexicans on halves are usually carried by the landlord. During a rough year, such as this one, the Mexicans usually cannot pay out, and the farm owner must carry them for another year, or a laborer may take off owing the landlord for the beans. Most of them don’t find it any better elsewhere, though, under these conditions.
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