LYNDON AND A KEY SENATE POST WASHINGTON Senator Lyndon Johnson has come to Washington with new stature. He is also full of fight, and when Lyndon fights for the U. S. A. rather than just the state of Texas, he is superb. It’s when he forgets that Texas joined the United States and figures that the United States joined Texas that he gets into trouble. Lyndon’s first test over which comes first, the United States or Texas,. faces him immediately, with the appointment of a senator to fill the vacancy of the late Senator Barkley on the potent finance committee. This is the committee which passes on tax laws and which could change the Texas-prize 27 14 percent oil depletion al= lowance which puts the oil and gas men ahead of the rest of the nation when it comes to taxes. The senator with top seniority to take Barkley’s place among those who want the post is Paul Douglas of Illinois ., former economics professor of the University of Chicago and the most skilled economist-expert in the senate. However, Douglas is _dead opposed to the tax favors given the oil-gas industry. And hitherto, Johnson has skillfully kept such opponents off the tax-writing finance committee. At the moment he has been discreetly sounding out other senators to see if he can find some one with more seniority than Douglas who would like the job. -Seniority is a time-honored custom in the senate. It was why race-bating Sen. Eastland of Mississippi became chairman of the judiciary committee Washington Merry-Go-Round when all Democrats knew it would lose them votes. Senate colleagues are watching to see whether seniority or Texas oil men will rank first when it comes to filling the vacancy on the finance committee. Soviets to Texas? ….The Texas oil boys have sheepishly discovered that the Russians are ahead of them in developing oil drills. The -Soviets have designed a turbo drill that works ten times as fast as conventional drills used by American oil companies. At least one company. Dresser Industries of Texas, has swallowed its pride and asked the State Department to grant visas to Soviet Drew Pearson ‘engineers’ to come to Texas and show how to build their new turbo drill. Payment Concealed Now that the venerable and revered Senator George of Georgia has anounced his intention to retire from the Senate and become Eisenhower’s ambassador to NATO, an important, hitherto undisclosed incident involving Senator George and the White House can be revealed. Senator George recently wound up the chairmanship of a especial committee to investigate the $2,500 offered during the natural gas battle on behalf of Howard B. Keck of Superior Oil. During the investigation, the committee .unearthed another check for twice that money from the same H. B. Keck, the one given to the Eisenhower dinner right in the middle of the Senate gas debate. Unlike Senator Case, who, returned the $2,500, the $5,000 from Keck was not returned by the Republican National committee nor by the White House. Considerable pressure was brought on Senator George’s committeee by the WhiteHouse not to make this contribution public. Some committee members felt that since the gift to Case came from exactly the same H. B. Keck. and Superior Oil, _the larger gift to the Eisenhower dinner should be disclosed in order to indicate the general pattern of the gas lobby. There was also some Senate resentment that President Eisenhower in his veto message should impugn the morality of the Senate at the same time his own money-raisers had received twice as much as Senator Case rejected, right in the middle of the gas debate. It was fear that the Senate committee might make public the Keck check that materially influenced the President’s decision to veto the gas bill. In the end however, Senator George did not make the $5,000 contribution to the Eisenhower dinner public. He and the committee decided they should stick close to the question of the $2,500. Keck’s check for $5,000, dated Jan. 10, 1956, was on the City National Bank of Houston. A FOREVIEW Tops To the Editor: I believe you are doing a great service to the people of Texas by making available the high level of journalism that characterizes the Observer. I find it difficult to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the local political scene without it. The Texas Observer is tops in the political and social fields in our great state. .1 file each weekly issue for reference and find this source of great value in providing background for current problems. I enjoy too its sparkling literary style and obvious sincerity. IRVING RAPFOGEL, M.D. 1414 W. Humbolt, Fort Worth The Liberal and Means To the Editor: I would like to make one faint, small-voiced plea for democracy in the Democratic Party of Texas. In recent ….Attorney General Shepperd is most active for a man retiring from public life. He is speechifying steadily and sending out mounds of liter- attire. It. is possible that he is considering a Senate race if the Daniel seat become vacant. ….Mrs. Lyndon Johnson, interviewed by the Washington Evening Star, said she was shaken by the violence of the Texas campaign. She was called a communist on the telephone; one caller theatened death or maiming to Senator Johnson ; one called her at 4 :30 a. m. and said, “Goodbye, Blackbird.”‘ Said Ladybird : “Politics didn’t used to be like that in Texas. We found hard fights. But nobody got nasty and started calling mean, personal names.” She said the tension appeared to be “in exact proportion to the percentage of Negroes in an area” and most of the bitterness was from people in the years the party has manifested a really frightening aura of totalitarianism .. The party minority … has been excluded from any representation whatever on the State Democratic Executive Committee, despite the fact that the minority regularly included 30 to 45 percent of the party members…. I believe that all legally elected delegates, regardless of their political beliefs, should be seated at Democratic Party conventions. I believe that the will of district caucuses should be honored, regardless of Senator Johnson’s or anybody else’s wishes…. Liberalism is not just concerned with ends. It is also deeply concerned with means. GEORGE F. JONES 136 Curtis St., Medford 55, Mass. Overconfidence To the Editor: Loyal Democrats must refrain from overconfidence. The May convention Southern tradition worked up over the race issue. ….Associated Press report out of Austin : “On the Senate side of the Capitol, 15 of the 31 members are holdovers…. four are unopposed; nine seeking reelection have opponents ; three are dead or not seeking reelection.” …. Trial of two young white men who have been accused of the lateat-night murder of one 16-year-old Negro boy and wounding two young Negro girls has been set here for 11th of June, District Attorney Ralph Prince told the Observer. “I’m pretty sure we’ll go to trial then with one of them,” Prince said. He said a special venire will be called. The Negro teen-agers were shot while dancing in a cafe from a car that sped past the cafe about 11 The two men, aged 21 and 22, have admitted they were involved. victory can be destroyed in September. The reactionaries only need to elect a governor in July or August to be .able to regain power in September. Our loyalist fighters from 1944 to 1956who have suffered and sacrificedmust not be absorbed by Lyndon Johnson’s new conservative Johnny-come-lately Democrats. . . . Ralph. Yarborough must not be sacrificed for Price Daniel. Loyalists must not allow Lyndon to be sole power in party affairs…. Each candidate for governor should . be pinned down as to their Democratic faith.. Remember O’Daniel was a Texas Regular in 1944. Price Daniel was a Shivercrat-Ike-crossfiler in 1952, and I never heard him endorse the Truman-Barkley ticket in ’48. Judge Yarborough is the only bona fide, true Democrat H. E. PERRY Rt. 1, Honey Grove On Mrs. then and have been there ever since. Mr. Randolph is vice :president of the Texas National Bank in Houston and does not take part in politics. The Randolphs have two daughters, both. married, and four grand-daughters. Sometimes Mrs. Randolph doubles baby-sitting and politics in the office of the Harris County Democrats. When she makes speeches she faces the point, makes it, and sits down. “Organize !” she tells them. “All this talk is very fine, but it won’t mean anything if you don’t organize your precincts. And that takes work. Nobody likes it, but without it, you’re wasting your breath.” This is the talk of a new, city-oriented politicsthe politics on which the state convention this week was pivoting into the future. It has little time for the harmonies, the compacts among a few leaders, the evasions of the fundamental issues of urban life that characterize the rural state. FRANKLY SPEAKING \(This column was written before the state convention May 22. The reader may judge for himself whether the writer was unduly pesMARSHALL In the lull between victory and deification, one is inclined to set down thoughts on the state convention. One would hope that it will not follow past patterns, but the obServable evidence is dead against this. First there will be the bandwagon, jumpers-on. They are perhaps at the bottom of the scale. They it is who make possible the politician’s cynical disregard of principles and loyalties. In earlier times this specimen found it necessary to sit by the wayside until the wagon began to roll. Some daredevils might have jumped when it was found where the big money was riding ; others awaited the approach to the finish line. In our generation, the species is more callous. With the shrinking of non-conformityand individual thinking among our leaders, it is now the rule to welcome all who will climb aboard, even though they may have guessed wrong in the preliminary bouts. Through some warped applica Franklin Jones tion of the parable of the prodigal son, these worthies usually ride on the driver’s seat. Not .that they should be dragged around the city walls behind Democratic chariots three times as was Hector; a time and a half would be enough. Then there will be those who simper “harmony” regardless of the obvious fact that this means surrender of principles to expediency. Amono -b these will be the erstwhile liberals who have felt the corrosive touch of recognition and honor at the hands of their natural enemies. Those who become most -oppressive, given power and wealth, are those who -have risen from the ranks. The harmonizers will eagerly . throw away a victory they might have won with a little stamina. Prominent among the delegates will be the hero-worshippers. Misty-eyed and brain-numbed, they will give out with little screeches and never question the orders from above. Little past peccadillos will be ignored or minimized, and no stand on any issue will be expected or welcome to them. What could have changed this expected pattern ? A virile steering committee of the Democratic Advisory Councilone with demands of the professionals instead of entreaties, one that would have carried out the resolution of the last meeting of the parent body to send no delegates to Chicago who. supported the Republicans in 1952. If the past is a guide, every liberal move placed before this committee, in whatever degree of pawing potency it may be advanced, will emergeas a steer. Randolph She has no defeatism in her. When she saw Senator Johnson taking over the victory she felt belonged to the liberals of the state, she bolstered up those who work with her. “We’ve made progress. We can’t do anything but go on. There will be other elections.” Sometimes liberals express the strange kind of awe for her that is felt toward a person who is wealthy and also consistently and effectively liberal. But Mrs. Randolph believes in the human being, and she sees no reason why this premise should be affected at all by the fact she has never wanted for anything herself. She shuns personal publicity ; she gives everyone else credit ; she has no axes to grind ; she seeks no honors. She believes in and lives by integrity and values -and upholds it in others. She works for her ideals all the time. There is nothing else you can ask of a person. R.D. THE TEXAS OBSERVER The Listening Post
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