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THANKS. .,WWNP.11.41140~.0.1 Yarborough, Hart, White Discuss Labor Policies, Other Issues Before 200 in Austin; Closed Door but Reporter Stumbles In AUSTIN Three potential candidates for public office Yarborough, Hart, and Whiteappeared by invitation before about 200 Texas labor leaders Saturday and told them what they think on some specific questions. Ralph Yarborough and James P. Hart expressed some ideas on school integration. Hart became the first major political figure in recent years to advocate specifically an increase in the state tax on the production of oil and gas. John C. White warned that the labor leaders should not i o llow “a false prophet.” All three discussed reforms labor in Texas seeks. The meeting was unusual in several ways. All three candidates had been given a -list of questions about specific issues affecting organized labor. The event was not announced to the press. An Observer reporter who had heard it was to . come off walked into the meeting room at the Austin Hotel and took notes freely, but Bo Byers of the AP collared the candidates outside the room after they spoke, ex , plaining he had been told it was a closed meeting. In his story Sunday morning, Byers said: “Reporters were told they would not be admitted to the speaking session, but Yarborough, White, and Hart each sketched what they had said. \(The editor of The ,Texas Observer, a liberal weekly newspaper, walked into the meeting without being challenged and took notes on the full proceedings while the three men Perhaps it should be remarked, therefore, that no labor spokesman had said anything at all in -adyance about the event to the Observer reporter. He learned of it indirectly and took notes in plain view of various labor leaders. It was a mark of the growing power of organized labor in Texas that the three strongest statewide loyalist figures in prospect for public office this summer responded, to the invitation, which came from Jerry Holleman, executive secretary of the State Federation of Labor. The session may have been the swan song meeting of the Federation’s Labor League for Political Education. In line with the national AFL-CIO merger, LLPE is merging with the CIO’s Political Action Committee Yarborough and Hart both seemed to have decided in their own minds to announce for governor. White did not seem decided in this direction. He has been discussed as a prospect for a Senate vacancy, should it occur. All three were given standing ovations. In many ways the candidates’ remarks were basic statements of their political philosophy, so they will be reviewed carefully. YARBOROLTGH spoke first. On issues involving labor, he favored a Labor Department in Texas “that will take care of the rights of labor,” with a commissioner of labor an industrial safety law, and he said and a secretary of labor. He favored S.B. 45 and 46the Parkhouse bills of the last legislative sessionare “daggers aimed at the heart of labor” intended to “liquidate the building trades.” “Had you had an executive who understoo’d the problems of labor, he wouldn’t ‘ve had to veto that bill, it never would have got to his desk. It wouldn’t have got one-third of the votes without a governor lobbying it through.” He told the labor group: “You want a fair shake, and that’s all :. Let capital and labor build up a giant industrial system together. ” Labor is entitled’ . to “equal rights.” “Only where labor has an adequate wage do their children have an opportunity to seek the stars.” He said that “repressive legislation has been aimed at you every session” for the last 18 years, since James Allred left the Governor’s Mansion. He called the age from 55 to 65 “the forgotten decade” when a man out of work can’t get a job and is not yet entitled to social security. “When you get fully the right to organize and to collective bargaining, it will help your objectives,” he said. Among these objectives might be a union shop, he said. He favored state mediation laws, called the $28 maximum unemployment compensation feature of Texas statutes “a starvation law,” and said that a man and his family “can’t live on” the $25 weekly maximum workmen’S compensation. “It’S got to be raised,” he said. On segregation, Yarborough commended labor’s part in establishing free public schools and then said : “I don’t know what each school district will do, but when I’m Governor of Texas I’ll veto any bill that tries to sell the public school system.” This was applauded. . At the end of his talk he said that some politicians in 1954 “were ready to burn the American flag.” “I’m proud of the Southern tradition …. but I’m proud of the American flag,” he said. “You take a pledge of allegiance to America.” He said state officials who preach otherwise are in one pledge or the other “dishonest.” On other -candidates, Yarborough laughed : “It looks like they’re gonna run both of the Daniel boys, Price and W. 0′, this time. We’ll see more shows than in a generation.” He urged a paid probation and parole system, a strengthened state hospital system, and “other humanitarian programs.” W HITE, the Commissioner of Agriculture, followed Yarborough at the speaker’s stand. \(Only the candidate speaking was allowed, in the room so they could not hear what each “I have a great deal of admiration for you and your representatives,” White told the group. He said there is now “a healthy regard for you and your representatives in the Capitol halls.” “Let’s get it straight,” he said. “I’m fol labor. I’m for organized labor.” He added that while his special interest is agriculture, “we want to sell you somethingfood and clothing,” he said. “Labor travels in a jet plane, and the legal system travels in a bus. I hope you work for a complete recodification of the labor laws of Texas.” He said ‘”a healthy economic atmosphere for the worker” and “the rightful protection of the law \(for workcation . in Texas” are necessary if Texas is to take her place among the industrial states. He favored a Labor Board or Commission, “neutral and impartial,” to regulate or enforce “the free decisions of labor and management.” He said the prevailing wage law is “a mockery” and . favored hearings on what the prevailing wages are. He said the $28 unemployment compensation maximum ,is “hardly a realistic figure” and indicated disapproval of the $25 a week workmen’s comp benefit. Headded : “This will be corrected only when you do something about it.” “You can gain a big place in the scheme of things in this state if you’ll work for them,” he said. “This is your year …. In all of the history of elections in this state, this is the year that a man friendly to labor, knowing their problems and sympathetic and friendly to them, can win.” White’s other comments concerned an unidentified candidate or candidates eabout whose identity the delegates were heard speculating. “You seek the man, let the man not seekyou,” he said. There are three tests, he, said :,”Is he for you ? Can he win for you? If he wins, can he help you ?” “In this political arena, they don’t even give you a ribbon for second place,” said White. “Don’t sell your chance of gaining all you’ve been working for these many years by following a false prophet.'” He closed saying he was proud of labor support in the past. “I hope you will continue to be with me because I’m with you,” he said. H ART then spoke. “If I should become the governor I will seek to have all members of labor unions, capitalists, members of all races and creeds feel the utmost confidence in the fairness and impartiality of the state government,” he said. He referred to a sheet listing some views and problems he said he had been given by Hollentan, with a request for comment. “I think you’re entitled to know what I think,” he said. e He agreed with a statement on the sheet that the state government should be ”neutral” in labor -management disputes, but he preferred to say, “fair andimpartial, because the governor has to make decisions for somebody or against somebody.” “If I’m Governor I’ll do my level best to make decisions best for the state as a whole,” he said. He alluded to a decision he wrote when on the Texas Siipreme Court. He had been an attorney for the State Federation and certain local unions before that, he said, but in the public service he was committed, not to a client’s welfare, but to “justice acsording to law.” In the Stevenson case, he said, he wrote an opinion upholding an injunction against picketing because “the purpose of the picketing was unlawful,” .but he also wrote that picketing should not be resumed unless over a dispute between management and a Majority of the workers, which he said “did not please certain people who thought the decision should be entirely against labor,” and for which they opposed him when he became University of Texas Chancellor. In answer to specific questions., he said he’s in favor of spelling out “the right to organize and bargain .collectively” in “a law that can be enforced”; that he favors relieving the Bureau of Labor Statistics of enforcement of boxing and -wrestling laws ; that he would favor public Labor Department hearings on the prevailing wage scale ; and that an industrial safety law, enforcedby a commission headed by a labor commissioner, would be “proper and wise.” Maximum unemployment and workmen’s compensation benefits “should be adjusted to bear some relation to the actual wage scale,” he said. “That situation should not continue,” he said of present rates. He favored procedures for insuring working men the ,gight to join a union if they wish in an atmosphere free of “coercion and intimidation.” He differed with views on the sheet ‘provided, he said, in regard to a union shop, which he understood to mean a worker could be required to join a union after he had worked at a place a certain time. “I think it would be a mistake to try to repeal the right to work -law and provide a union or closed shop,” he said. “Public sentiment in Texas is against compelling membership in a union, and any effort to pass such a law would create strpng anti-union sentiment.” He added he might not know the full facts and would consider any arguments. He agreed to a mediation and arbitration service under a labor commissioner in Texas, but he opposed compulsory arbitration contracts. He said arbitration contracts should be provided if the parties want them, but if both sides are not willing to arbitrate, he said, it would be better to have the dispute settled by a labor board or the courts. He said there are circum-. stances when labor unions would not want to be forced to arbitrate. but would prefer to rely on collective bargaining. He said in 50 or 60 years “our natural resources will be mostly depleted,” and he proposed: “A tax on the production of oil and gas should be increased to create a Permanent Improvement Fund ; something like the Permanent University Fund, to purchase bonds” from vari, Ous agencies “designed to improve the state’s natural resources, other than oil and gas, such as water.” He repeated his opposition to interposition, for which he said there is “absolutely no legal and constitutional basis …. States have no right to interfere with the laws of the United States of America. “Unless we are willing to give up the Union we love so much, we have got to comply with the court’s decisaid. “We have got to respect the dignity and integrity of all men of all races and all classes and all callings.”
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