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1 1 On Daniel To the Editor: . if you have taken the’ position that Price Daniel is such an honorable man. some tangible evidence should be offered the readers of the Observer …. it’s hard to , find anything on the public housing bill and the Bricker Amendment, just to name a few. DONALD A. HORN 3870 Arbor St., Houston On Pinch Bottle Xo the Editor: Just got the Feb. 8 issue. The Commish will no doubt say it is better to pinch bottles than wenches, or “Let them drink scotch.” Well, I know a certain editor Who gave the president of the publishing corporation for which he works a fifth of Kentucky Tavern. But, hell, sanctimony is an unpleasant mood. FRANKLIN JONES Marshall Echoes To the Editor : ; . With sonic notable exceptions, the blueprint for progress given Congress by the President in his State of the .Union message was traced from earlier such messages delivered by the late President Roosevelt and former President Truman. It stressed more federal aid for farmers, schools, roads, and flood victims …. A significant omission was the federallysponsored public power projects. Perhaps this is still creeping socialism ; or maybe he didn’t want to remind the people of Dixon-Yates …. FRANK , GREENWALD 61.5 Sunglo Drive, San Antonio Credit Union To the Editot : I have been reading with a great deal o f interest your recent articles on loan sharks and the Insurance Commission, and especially that portion … applying to . insurance insuring the lender against loans. I am enclosing herewith a schedule of premiums charged by the Cuna Mutual Insurour local federal credit union, which I had the honor of organizing and naming after our distinguished deceased senator, Morris Shepperd You will note that a monthly \(insuris charged. ED B. LEVEE, JR. AUSTIN O. Frank Dobie,, writer and folklorist who was “released” by the University of Texas on a tenure technicality a short while, after he had actively campaigned for:Dr. Homer P. Rainey for governor in 1946, lasts week wrote a letter to The Firing Line, letters to the editor column of The Daily Texan. It was submitted in full text to Barbara Liggett, the faculty-appointed night supervisor in charge of screening materials for publication in the Texan. Under the gun because of the Regents’ statement on Texan editorial polinsisted some of the letter could not be published and the rest should be run as a news , story. It was, on page one, under the heading, “Dobie Blasts Regents.” The Observer has obtained a copy of the original of the letter and publishes it below, italicizing the portions which . the news story approved by Miss Liggett did not include. Miss Liggett was criticized the next day for running even as much of it as she did without consulting the editorial direcEdmund Burke, who represented conservatism as nobly as he advocated liberty, hardly “rejoiced” more at American resistance to British tyranny than I rejoice at the resistance of the editors-of The Daily Texan to the tyranny of censorship. In the first place, I have never heard of a censor who was not a flunkey to some form of power fearful of having daylight let in on its privileges and operations. If ‘Governor Shivers could have kept the lid shut down on facts about his Insurance Commission and on retainer fees to some of the state senators who admire him, he would have kept it shut down. If the Regents appointed by Governor Shivers can .keep the lid shut down on both faculty and students of The University of Texas who have something to say contrary to their own Shiveresque ideas on gas, oil, and government, they will keep it shut down. Too Strong for the Minds Of College Students? Censoring The Daily Texan is only a symptom of the pattern. Over a year ago now Mr. Adlai Stevenson was invited by a student organization to talk on the University of Texas campus. The Regents shut the lid l”The lid was shut,” the news story read.Ed.] though it was pried open wide enough last fall to admit Mr. Stevenson. You may rest assured that if the students, had asked for General Eisenhower while he was running for President or :’ SenatorMcCarthy while he was purging libraries, the Regents would have felt enormously relieved. They don’t want any controversial ideas aired around the University unless those ideas coincide with their own. Yet they are fearful enough of democracy not to order the University newspaper run entirely by their ownflunkies. The next best thing, the safe thing, is to have a vacuum. One of the Regents summed tip the whole regental philosophy by. saying: “We just want to hold Willie dortm to a college yell:” To the Regents, in their words, education, particularly university education, has nothing to do with trained intellect, informed intellect, active intellect, and therefore, questioning, critical, even skeptical, intellect. If 16,000 students and several hundred faculty members zbould confine their interests to football, pa-. rades, Dad’s Day, Dead Week and no blunder bigger than a comma blunder, we’d have a peaceful institution. There seems to be particular concern over the Texan’s publishing editorials on one side of a subject without publishing editorials on the other side. Thus, the ideal editorial writer would be a person who believes in nothing. It is not observablethat the .Board of Regents has been appointed to give a balance between Republicans and Democrats; between liberals and conservatives, or between enlightenment and ignorance. If the Board has any active interest in. enlightened minds, it has kept that interest as dark as it wants The Daily Texan to keep its interest in free minds. The one de pot personal. Regardless of how simon-pure the terms of the gift, in fact it is a psychologically one-way act of friendship between two parties who are charged in their official relationship with a potential formal hostility. You do not take gifts from the man on the other side of the bargaining table. You might exchange gifts, if they are of equal value ; you might not niggle about a cigarette, a drink, or a meal, perhaps. But when it is a gift; when it is other than entirely ordinary, then the official needs ask, am I sure I will be free of bias for him? am I sure he wants me free of bias? am I violating a general part of my duty as the third party ? A newspaperman in Washington once told me this story-. A powerful lobbyist from Texas was giving a grand soiree for various members of the Congress. The newspaperman arrived and was greeted at the door of the hotel suite by the lobbyist. Through the door he saw the happy celebrants and the groaning tables under the high chandeliers. With a sweep of his art4 at all this the lobbyist leaned close to the newspaperman and said : “They drink my whisky, and they’re mine.” Every representative of the government, the third party, would deny his claim, at least in public, and on the record. No one else can gainsay such a protestation. The issue is subtler. A month ago I sat at a table with a businessman and a high state official. sideratum for ,every appointme*t made by Governor Shivers is that the appointee be an active and devoted Shivercrat; and now every member of that Board is a Shivers appointee. Huey Long never reduced Louisiana State University to a lower level. These people or their predecessors of the same kidney draw up an “Official Handbook,” ramrod a puerile concept through the Legislature and thep,in, justification of their conformwith-me rule, piously quote their own inanities. They are as much concerned with free intellectual enterprise as a razorback sow would be with Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” They are actively against development of students into mature-minded students. Yet they need not fear that at present any campus in America is going to “seethe with ideas.” It is popularly known that somebody somewhere has “subversive ideas,” and a vast number of patriotic Americans have been propagandized into believing that it is safer not to have any ideas at all. beyond those embodied in a college yell. Ideas bring up “controversial personalities”Jesus Christ and Thomas Jefferson being high among such. It is safer not to have any of them around either. But if nobody connected with the University can, for fear of effect on legislative appropriations, peep out a disagreement with a Shivercrat conception of art, literature, taxation, life insurance, freedom of speech, “twenty years of treason,” rebel minds, corporation materialism, -birth control, Tom Paine, and a thousand other exponents and components of Democracy that used to differentiate America from totalitarian countries, what is the point of having a university? A series of county kindergartens would be cheaper on the taxpayers. And they would be a lot more comfortable to installed power fearful of public knowledge and of informed public opinion. If the pursuit of truth can’t go beyond a self-seeking politician’s horizon, why pretend ? Nothing is so tiresome, troublesome, and boresome as pretending. J. FRANK DOBIE The businessman had arranged a hunt_ for this:official and a number of others and they talked about it. After the official left the businessman said : “I guess you think that’s fishy, eh ?” I replied it did Seem to be influence-peddling. “Well,” he replied, “I’ll tell you, that man’s as honest as the day is long, and I’ve never asked him for a favor. True, all thingsbeing equal, he’ll give me a fair deal, but ‘don’t.think there’s anything wrong.” Another person, across the round table .from us both, said to the businessman; “Well, lie. ing, but you know what you’re doing.” The businessman did not comment. Perhaps the press won’t either. Per haps some will feel that it is spoilsport to report theSe favors, from whisky to paid vacations. We are in a mess in Texas because of these favorsor, put another way, the favors are but a symptom, a consequence of a _frame of mind in which people working for the state government stop thinking of themselves as the third party, perhaps on marginal questions, perhaps on principal questions. Every ti’me the Legislature passes some bill that soaks ,consumers, every time some state agency slips up on its job, look for the story behind it, and like as not there is a favor passed in the name of friendship. friendship. The people too neCd . friends. THE TEXAS OBSERVER, Page, 3 February 15, ‘1956 fia e and Cry {To the Editor: I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate you on the fine work you are doing in telling the people of Texas about some of the things going on in our government; things many of us never knew were. going on right under our very noses until your paper told us about. it. After such revealing editorials and articles, there should be a fast and loud “hue and cry” for a gene r a 1 housecleaning and The Texas Observer should lead the chase! DA-XTON KELLEY Box 357, Belton \(Rev. Kelley is pastor, the Trinity Mr. Daniel’s voting record is heavily on the side of the vested interests and not on the side of the people …’. Is it a sign of honor for a candidate elected in a Democratic Party primary to campaign against that same Party’s presidential nominee? Why is it that in the midst of our state’s ,worst administration, Price Daniel has remained so silent ? Is it because the political ties between Daniel and Shivers are so . close that they prevent im from speaking out against these outrages ? AUSTIN Is honesty in the public, serz’ice a question of the bottle of whisky you take or don’t take? Texarkana a situation a general element that is Government agencies are supposed -to be third parties, umpires,” impartial. The first party is the public, and the second party is the business, or the labor union, or the individual using the public’s money or labor. The government is supposed to mediate. Its agents are, therefore in a delicate situation. When a government agent takes a favor from the second party the first party has been wronged. The usual r,eply of the government agentthe insurance commissioner, the railroad commissioner, the governor, the attorney generalis that it is a matter of conscience with him. Others might be influenced, but he can take -a. favor and keep his independence of mind.. It is precisely this softness in the public ethic in Texas which has led us, step by step, to our present disgrace in the eyes of the nation. A public servant does not have a free option to take gifts from people or parties he is charged to regulate. It is integrity that is at issue, and if a bottle of whisky symbolizes it, let us discuss it on that plane. Does a man of integrity, charged with regulating a company. take a bottle of whisky from an official of that company? In\egrity is personal, but there is in such DOBIE UNEXPURGATED Public Ethics and a Bottle of Whisky