.By Caldwell for. The Texas Observer MAVERICK FORESEES A ROSY-F1NGERED DAWN Rep. Maury Maverick of San Antonio addressed the convention of the American GI Forum of Texasa group of LatinAmerican veteransJuly 2 in San Antonio. A portion of his talk turned on morality in Austin and the quality of the last legislative session. We reproduce that portion here.Ed. I will not say that the dawn of a new era is with us in Texas, but I will say that the dawn of a new era is within the foreseeable future in Texas, and I would not have said that as much as a year ago. Much has happened in the last year, and even more has come to pass since Jan. 20, 1953, when Governor Shivers said in his inauguration speech: “Ineptness or corruption in the administration of a democratic government can and will be corrected by the people, if they are given the facts and oppor= tunity to act upon them. This is a responsibility we must all share.” Yes, much has happened in recent times, and especially since the time when the words I just quoted were utteredfor we have seen shame and disgrace come to the good name of Texas. We have seen 25 insurance companies go broke with creditors and policy holders suffering untold economic disasters. We have seen our tidelands leased to powerful men and corporations at royalty figures far less than what the Federal Government got for its tidelands, and worst of all we have witnessed the theft of the people’s money from the Veterans’ Land Board. In the latter part of 1953, the Texas School Land Board consisted of Bascom Giles and stand-ins for Governor Shivers and Attorney General John Ben Shepperd, who did not attend that board’s meetings any more regularly than they Texas-at-Large mmy’s Just Travelin’ Senator Jimmy Phillips was in Washington last week and ran into Democratic National Chairman Paul Butler on the street. They had a steak together at the Mayflower. Phillips wouldn’t say, on his return to Texas, what the main topic of conversation was. “What’d you talk about, Jimmy?” a reporter for the Observer asked. “Oh, we just ate a steak.” “What’d you go to Washington for?” “Oh, same thing I went up there two weeks ago for.” “What was that for?” “Oh, jus’ traveling, I been in Graham, San Antonio, Tyler, Dallas, Angleton, Houston, La Grange, Corpus Christijust travelin’.” Phillips said Butler had been reading The Observer. …. Ralph Yarborough is mailing copies of his travel schedule of appearances to friends all over the state. The one from June 24 to July 9 included five conventions \(VFW, State Federation of Labor, State Bar, GI Forum, and Jefferson sonic installation, a family reunion, and four legal work appointments. …. First we had the Minutewomen, then the Sentinels, then Pro-America, and what next? You didn’t guess it”Doctors for Freedom.” The good emdees mail out literature castigating all things cooperative in their chosen field. They are especially active in Houston. …. For the first time in history, San Antonio has two Latin-American city councilmen, Joe Olivares and Henry B. Gonzales. That city also has a Latin-American city attorney, Carlos Cadena, who graduated from his law class at the University of Texas just one student away from the top rung. …. At the American GI Forum convention in San Antonio the other night, Chris Aldrete, the emcee at the banquet. quipped on the difference between life and love: Life is one foolish thing after another, and love is two foolish things after each other. did those of the Veterans’ Land Board. The School Land Board leased about 20 percent of the tidelands on a one-eighth royalty basis with minimum cash bonuses of $5 per acre. The U. S. Got More It is interesting that when Price Daniel was Attorney General, he demanded that any bid of a lease within two miles of a producing well had to contain what is known as a high-royalty bidding feature, which meant that the bidder who offered the highest royalty got the bid. This excellent practice was discontinued when Price Daniel left the office of Attorney General and was only re-activated month before last after the light of publicity turned toward the land office. Now the important thing about all this is that the Federal Governmentunlike the State of Texas demanded and received bids starting on a basis of one-sixth royalty and with a minimum cash bonus of $15.00 per acre. In May of this yearfor the first timethe State of Texas demanded royalties and bonuses on an equal par with Uncle Samand in fairness, a good deal of the credit for this must go to Earl Rudder, the present Land Commissioner. Period to an Epoch . To the Editor: Occasionally, the passing of an individual seems to put a period to an epoch. Such an impression came to me when I heard of the death of Paul Holcomb. In the early years of the present century, there were still many local newspapers in Texas which were conducted not as businesses primarily, but as organs of opinion along with juicy bits of local news and entertaining community chatter. “Though the heavens fall,” that is, though the plant be foreclosedthe editor had his say and the people listened. He felt and the community agreed that he had a mission. He was a figure of importanceindeed, a kind of institution comparable in prestige to the oldtime family physician. Holcomb always reminded me of “the good old days” when editors were like that. His editorials represented his convictions and not those of some advertiser or political pay-master. His newscolumns were not padded with propaganda, either. His was journalism old style and I liked it both because of its intrinsic value to the community and because of its nostalgic charm. I cannot now recall another oldtimer who brings to my mind so vividly the sterling virtues of that generation of country editors who “though the heavens fall,” that is, though advertising dwindle to the danger point and the banker threatensstill voiced their convictions in sensitive areas and refused indignantly to cancel or “doctor” a good news story because it was “good business” to do so. We shall all miss him, I am glad to note that the present Observer, informed with his spirit, is marching on; and \(who of a free-enterprise, individualistic journalism in which the business office may, of course, confer but not dictate. ROY BEDICHEK Austin At Least One To the Editor: …. I am very anxious to see at least one newspaper with a large circulation in Texas that is in no way afraid to publish all facts concerning public questions. T h is means of course that Mr. Shivers or any other Republican can air his views freely, but he must know that any good Democrat may also freely An important point to remember about the School Land Board is that its members were exactly the same members who made up the Veterans Land Board, one of whom was Mr. Bascom Giles. It is my thought and predictionthat a great deal can be found if we really have a thorough investigation of the School Land Board. An effort was made to have such an investigation during the last session of the Legislature. The State Auditor, a man by the name of Cavness, testified before a committee that it would be necessary that he receive an appropriation of some $80,000 to thoroughly and adequately investigate the Land Board. Through the efforts and leadership of Rep. D. B. Har Interpretive THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 3 July 13, 1955 …. If all public questions can be discussed freely, equally, then throughout this nation we need have no fears for our progress and safety. However, if, as now, and for some time past, only those of much wealth can be heard and read, we are in danger. Let us all work and hope for the success of the Observer. M. D. WARREN Neuville Derogatory to Minorities To the Editor: your publication. I have now seen three copies and have in general found them most informative. However, in two of the copies there were articles which I consider to be derogatory to minority groups. The June 27 issue contains an article by Leonard Burress which can only be interpreted as stating that Indians as a group are thieves. This is poor anthropology and poor liberalism. In an earlier issue there was an article concerning a veterinarian who hated dogs. Part of the article concerned a Negro who was portrayed in a most stere deman, such an appropriation was made in the House, but it disappeared when it got to the Senate. These factorsthe veterans’ land scandal, the insurance scandal, and what I think will ultimately be an equally important factorthe leasing of the tidelandsare contributing issues towards what I believe will be a new era in Texas politics, A Fine Session But there are other things which must be considered. It is my opinion that in my six years in the Texas Legislature, the immediate past sessionwith all its limitations and disappointments was the finest session that I ever served in. For example, session before last the bill which would have meant the repeal of cross-filing, under which a man could run as a Republican and a Democrat, was defeated in the Senate after a hard and bloody fight. This last session, as lead author, I introduced the cross-filing repeal bill thinking that again we would have a bloody fight on our hands. To my pleasant surprise, the bill sailed through the House and Senate with complete ease. Legislators who had once fought and defeated the bill otyped manner. Frankly, today even the Houston Post would not use such terms in referring to a Negro. Please don’t take this letter as being destructively critical; it is intended to point out that one should not risk insulting those he needs as allies. Your paper can be a rallying point for those who believe that Texas should join the United States. DARRELL B. CARTER Houston \(Because this newspaper assumeswithout hesitation or hedgingthe equality and’ brotherhood of man, we are not hesitant to publish folklore which does not. Unless one is prepared to look steadily at the people he lives with, he is Kind Words To the Editor: I have enthusiastically watched your publication. It’s a dandy. You print the truth. I am sending you four trial subscribers …. HENRY L. PHILLIPS Austin changed their tune and this time voted for it. That was a good sign. It meant that somehow, someway, the people were making it clear that they wanted intellectual honesty i n party affairst h a t ‘perhaps we should have a two party state, as I think we should, but above all, let us be Democrats or Republicans and openly make our stand for what we think is right. In the last session of the Legislature there was no book-burning legislation like we had session before last, when a bill was introduced to remove all books from public libraries which “degraded Texas history, American history, and so on.” Much of the credit for this can be attributed to Texas newspapers editorializing in a way which made it clear that no longer would they tolerate bush-league McCarthys. Thus, the atmosphere was devoid of fear, suspicion, and censorship, and it was the first time that I had seen it so in over five years’ time. Supreme Court Reaction Probably the most pleasant surprise of the session for me was the calm manner in which the members of the House and the Senate reacted to the recent U. S. Supreme Court decision on education. Frankly, I thought that we would see an onslaught of bills all aimed at causing racial tensions and perhaps even including features which would attempt to do away with public schools, as was done in Mississippi. Yet, only on one occasion was the subject mentionedand that was two days before final adjournment. Not one unfriendly bill of an anti-racial basis was even introduced. Much is taking place in the political thinking of Texas and even more will take place if you belong to this proud and patriotic organizationthe G.I. Forumwill only re-double your efforts. Up and down the Rio Grande, and in connected areas, old dynasties which were the perfection or the so-called patron system are beginning to crumble. Anglo politicians are saying with increasing frequency that you can’t hoodwink the Latin-American vote, you can’t fool or intimidate them into voting for you, and you cannot take advantage any longer of the lack of education which once so grossly existed. Old time Latin-American politicians who befong and contributed to what I call the patron system are well on the road to being men who are no longer with great influence and power. As I said, I am not quite sure just what all these things mean, but I am convinced, completely convinced, that we are now solidly on the way to better days, to a greater harmony, and to the acquisition of more rights for all of mankind in Texas. “. . . However, I’ve Always Favored Decentralization”
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