PAUL BUTLER JERRY HOLLEMAN ‘he one great rule -Teak the truth. Thoreau &xan Obrrurr We will serve AO group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. An Independent Liberal Weekly Newspaper VOL. 47 JUNE 20, 1955, AUSTIN,’TEXAS 10c per Copy NO. 10 Butler Assured of Victory in Texas No Loyalty Oath But Convention May Challenge Just Trying To Help State, Treasurer James Explains By BILL BRA.MMER Associate Editor The Texas Observer AUSTIN In 29 years as a public official, State Treasurer Jesse James appears to have been guided by two rules of conduct: avoid personal publicity; shun controversy in any form. “I like to go straight down the middle road,” says James. As a “public necessity,” he says he has never indulged his department in factional politics. He is a life-long Democrat; he has always voted the Democratic ticket. “I didn’t ask to be crossfiled in 1952,” says James. “The Republicans put me on their ballot, and I didn’t argue with them about it. If they want to vote for me, it’s okay. But I’m a Democrat.” The State Treasurer rarely gets any attention even at election time. He has been unopposed for office in all but two of his races. When any publication takes note of James, it’s usually the result of interest in his rather unusual name. Robert Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” has spotlighted him several times, the oddity being that “Texas has a State Treasurer named Jesse James.” It’s his real name, and he is happy with it. “People remember a name like that,” he says. James launched his career in public officialdom in 1933 when he was elected to the Texas Legislature representing Milam County. He was 29 years old at the time. Milam County returned him to the Capitol twice more before he was appointed assistant state treasurer. In 1941, State Treasurer Charley Lockhart resigned. Governor Coke Stevenson appointed James to fill the unexpired term. In 1942, in his quest for a full elective term, he drew five opponents and was forced into a runoff with G; W. Hatcher when he failed to win a majority by 2,500 votes. He won the runoff easily. Since then, James has been opposed only one other time. He has fashioned for himself a safe, secure niche in State Government. The pay, up until this year, had not been particularly generous, however, and this led James to other pursuits. Right at Cost “I had to have a sideline or two to make a living,” he explains. He establiShed a boat agency in Austin. He opened a fishing lodge on Lake Travis. Attention was focused last week on the facts that James has been selling boats to the State; that audit reports of his department indicate mild displeasure with his handling of $200 million of “surplus” state funds; and that although a member of the State Depository and State Banking Boards, he is also connected with the Texas State Bank of Austin. . The State Auditor’s office has indicated in audit reports of the Treasury Department in the past five years\\ that Texas should receive more interest from its large sums of money deposited in various banks over the state. The question of whether it is proper for a state official to transact business with the state has arisen. No law forbids such transactions in this particular case. James, whose Chris Craft agency is now owned by his daughter, said of the 22 boats sold to the State in the past five years for a total of $34,000: “I got those boat contracts because I was low bidder on them. The only reason we bid on them was to help the State. We bid right at cost; we didn’t make much moneymaybe three,four, or five HOUSTON John Sparkman, John White, Ralph Yarborough and Paul Butler sparked the state convention of the Young Democrat Clubs of Texas in Houston last weekend. Butler was winding up his tour of Texas and addressed the convention Saturday night. White, Texas commissioner of agriculture who was the lone state official who campaigned for the Democratic nominees in 1952, gave the keynote address in the opening session. White made the keynote address Saturday morning, asking “What price harmony?” . He said he saw no reason to seek harmony with those who bolted the party in 1952, when “the principle of political integrity was murdered in Texas.” “Statesmanship was sadly lacking in high positions of trust in Texas in 1952,” he said. “They ignored integrity for the sake of political skullduggery. Under such circumstances, men such as these no longer deserve the privilege of public office under the Democratic banner,” he said. White called these leaders “Semicrats” with , “no allegiance to any party.” Deploring “alarming examples of moral disintegration” in Austin, he said corruption is unequaled since the days of the carpetbaggers. “That old red granite Capitol building in Austin stands as a symbol of all that is mighty, but how much rot does it conceal?” he asked. The Legislature did not meet the By RONNIE DUGGER Editor, The Texas Observer HOUSTON Democratic National Chairman Paul Butler left Texas this week, convinced that his six-day visit helped lay the groundwork for a 1956 vie -tory in Texas “for the nominees of the 1956 national con vention.” Suave and relaxed at th end of his tour, Butler at ,swered reporters’ question in his Shamrock Hotel suite. He said that while future oriented loyalty oaths will not apply at next year’s national convention, this will not change the right of the convention to challenge any delegate on the ground that he has not in the past supported the party’s nominees. Butler also spoke at the convention of the Young Democratic Clubs of Texas Saturday night. The Young Democrats reelects. Dean Johnston of Houston as presi. dent. Bill Kugle of Galveston lose out by a vote of 129 to 79. Othe . officers elected were Bernard Li shutz, San Antonio, vice-presiden Helen Riley, C r a n e, treasurt Clyde Johnson, Corsicana, seer tary, and Mimi Steinert, San A tonio, national committeewoman. The group resolved to work har for Democratic Party victory next year. About 230 delegates attended. The convention was unsegregated White Rips `Semicrats,’ Asks Price of Harmony LABOR BOSS LABEL DOESN,T FIT A.F.LS HOLLEMAN AUSTIN Jerry Holleman, the executive secretary of the Texas State Federation of Labor, not only fails to fit into the political stereotype of a “labor boss,” he seems much more like the quiet, serious-minded manager who has become the key man in American corporations. As spokesman for Texas AFL at four sessions of the Legislature, he has been an effective symbol of the interests of the union members who, perhaps because of their traditional craft rather than industrial organization, are considered more conservative than members of the CIO. “In spite of what a lot of people have tried to convince the United States,” he says, “there really is no difference in the economic philosophy of labor and the economic philosophy of business. There is a difference of emphasis. The businessman wants his cash register to ring. Working people want his cash register to ring, alsothey want to ring it. We as labor want to ring that cash register.” Holleman is the continuing executive for the 100,000 or so working people who are affiliated with the federation. There are 300,000 AFL members in Texas, but many of them have not joined the state group. State Federation members work in 65 or 70 craftsteamsters, carpenters, plumbers and pipefitters, electrical workers, operating engineers, iron workers, painters, boilermakers, barbers, mail carriers, firemen, on through a long list down to one Galveston local of shrimp headers and the smallest local in Texas, the one-member Alvin local of the post office clerks. One might surmise that the chief “Our primary problem in public relations is within our own membership,” he said. “If we could get every union member to think of the union as himself, figuratively to wear around his neck a sign, “I am the union,” so that his neighbors and friends, when they think of the union, think of him, then we’d be on the way.” Since Holleman took over, the main emphasis of the federation has been education of working people in what Holleman calls their three fundamental responsibilities to their union and fellow members, to their employers, and to their communities in the broad sense of the word. “So far we have had a lot of success with our offi cers and leaders,” he says, “but we want to get deep down into the membership.” Seminars were held for AFL members every other weekend last winterat Mineral Wells, Tyler, Houston, El Paso, Harlingen, San Antonio, Austin, D a 11 a s, Fort Worth, Beaumont, a n d Corpus Christi. Subjects for study at these labor schools were Texas labor law, workmen’s compensation, unemployment compensation, collective bargaining, public relations, and political education. This summer in Austin, the federation will sponsor the “First Annual Institute for Workers’ Education,” a week-long program July 31-August 5. The subjects will be apprenticeship and training, bargaining and arbitration, economics and taxation, labor law and NLRB procedure, organizing techniques, parliamentary law, political education, public relations, public speaking, unemployment and workmen’s compensation, and workers’ education for local unions. Labor’s Texas Goals What does labor want in Texas? Holleman says that he would like to see a reversal of the “overall approach to labor-management relations,” which he says is “negative, restricting rather than assisting.” He would favor a new comprehensive labor-management law, an adaptation of the Taft-Hartley law to Texas conditions. The State Labor Departmentwhich now supervises prize fights and does little morecould be given authority to certify union majority el and to mediate and arbitrE labor-management disputes such an adaptation. “We feel that the State, if it enter union-management rela . should at least be construct Holleman says. “It should rek. nize that unions are here to stay an essential part of the econom and give them their rightful place. Since World War II, Texas labo law has taken many a turn whi union people regard as anti-work Holleman cites these grievan against the present helter-ske] labor laws of the state: 0 Although the right of an \( ployer to bargain with work\( individually or collectively is gu: anteed in the so-called “rightwork” law, there are ten or twe other provisions of law impleme ing the right of the worker to b gain as an individual, and “none implement his right to bargain lectively.” 0 The “right-to-work” law ou laws, not only closed shops, \(i which no one can get a job unle: he is a union member before he 1 union shop \(in which non-uni\( workers can get jobs, but on co dition they join the union after closed shop is hard to defend, I the union shop is essential to lal welfare. Otherwise, he reasons majority of an employer’s wor will be bargaining and getting efits for all the workers, whi . \(Continued on Pe problem of labor in Texas is explaining its programs and values to “suburban Texas,” the white-collar and professional people. But Holleman’s approach is different at this point.