WILSON FOR STRONG EXECUTIVE Tax Study `Supervision’ League’s Research To Be Reviewed \(Continued from “How can local property tax valu ations be brought up to internally consistent standards?” it could come up with another set of an swers. Gas Firms Fight On Ratable Take AUSTIN The Supreme Court of Texas will decide whether the Railroad Commission’s historic holding that a gas pipeline is a public utility and has to service different gas producers in a field impartially will become a part of the state’s oil and gas law. Permian Basin Pipeline Co. was buying gas from Phillips in the Puckett field when Atlantic moved into the field and argued that Permian, as a common purchaser, had to extend to Atlantic’s well and take its gas on a ratable basis. The commission held for Atlantic. A district court held for Permian on the grounds the pipe-1 line was a private facility, not a public utility, but an appeals , court overruled the district court. I In a friend of the court brief, I the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners’ Assn. maintains that the Supreme Court should uphold the order as a “basic safeguard against monopolistic practices o f purchasing pipeline companies.” Reviewing the role of “the traditional, fighting attorney genI eral” in Texas history, Wilson Ispoke appreciatively of Jim Hogg’s tenure in that office in ! which he helped develop the con! cept of the office as a policeman of corporations, especially, in that time, the railroads. Wilson also Iremarked that as governor “Hogg, like most strong executives, began to centralize the government . of Texas.” I I Wilson’s theme was this: “that , if state government is to survive i the continuing onslaught of the federal government, it must . strengthen the office of chief executive.” A principal handicap in resisting federal “encroachment,” he said, is “the split, often weak, and plural executive department.” This was “inherited from the period of Jacksonian democracy” which spawned a distrust of the executive branch. “The non-legal administrative duties imposed upon the attorney general should be concentrated in the governor’s office, either directly or through his appointments,” Wilson said. He will ask the next regular session of the legislature to remove him as a member of the state Banking Board and to replace him with a governor’s appointee. “Over a period of time,” he said, “I shall ask to be relieved from all administrative duties which are statutory in origin. Eventually the attorney general should be relieved from serving on all administrative boards.” \(At various times the attorney general has been a member of 45 general should do the state’s legal workall of itand he should be divorced from non-legal administrative duties.” Daniel commended the State Bar, an official agency of the judiciary department of Texas, and the second largest state organization of lawyers \(California is been dropping out of “community leadership and public affairs” in favor of their profession and their clients, “abandoning” public affairs to businessmen, teachers, farmers and ranchers, bankers, doctors, and labor leaders. “When so many lawyers have abandoned the arena of public affairs,” he said, it is no mere coincidence that our country faces its greatest threat from a materialistic philosophy which exalts the state rather than the individual, extols security in place of liberty, and is guided by expediency rather than principle.” Daniel reviewed achievements of the last legislature in these words: “We have increased the salaries of our judges, school teachers, college professors, and other public servants. We have made every effort to restore honesty and integrity in. the halls of government and to punish those who violate public trust. A new State Board of Insurance and a new Securities Commission have been established. A study for revision of the Constitution has been commenced and we hope that the groundwork has been laid for better law enforcement and a traffic safety program which will reduce the human slaughter on our streets and highways.” Other items from the convention: Leon Jaworski, a Houston lawyer, said provisos in union. contracts that workers be given time off for jury service, with employers paying the difference between juror’s pay and the worker’s wage, must be curbed or proworker jury verdicts will become the rule. Dallas City Attorney Henry Kucera said about 40 Texas cities are interested in slum clearance under the state-federal program approved by the legislature last ‘session. Associate Justice Frank Culver Jr. of the Texas Supreme Court called for fewer jury exemptions. Herbert’ Brucker, editor of the Hartford, Conn., Courant, urged more courtroom privileges for photographers and got into a long distance snarl with David Lawrence of U.S. News and World Report over the Supreme Court’s recent decisions. `Organized Bar’ vision or an existing statute in a new way.” To this resolution rose George Eddy of Houston. Recent decisions of the court, he said, “reaffirm the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as the supreme law of this land.” \(Some of the delegates decisions should not, he said, “induce hysteria.” Those “yapping at the court” ought to sponsor an amendment “repealing the Bill of Rights.” “A wholesale adoption of this and similar resolutions will lead directly down the road to totalitarianism,” he said. Palmer Hutcheson, father of Thad Hutcheson, said it isn’t in the province of the Bar association to tell the courts “that stare decisis becomes a part of the Constitution.” He said “trial and error can and must occur.” He proposed instead a substitute resolution acknowledging the Supreme Court as “the head of the entire federal judicial department” and opposing “contempltuous” campaigns against it. The substitute was not considered trict Judge Temple Shell of Wichita Falls defended the main resolution. “I have been trained in the law to follow stare decisis,” he said. He preferred to follow “the legal experience of the ages.” “I’m proud of my Texas heritage,” said the speaker. “I love state rights. If we’re going to have any states’ rights, we must do something about them. This is just a start.” The resolution was adopted by a show of hands which indicated a vote of about three to one. R.D. The staff will consult with people in. business, labor, and other areas of the economy to get facts of all kinds, Burger says. It will study local taxation carefully. Burger cannot conceive of a study of state taxation which overlooks tax policies of the city ” and the county. No important areas can be excluded; there can be no “roped off areas” the staff is forbidden to enter, he insists. An advisory committee will probably be set up. There were 15 people on the committee for the state hospitals study, 25 on the highway study committee. They will be used “to try out ideas on; to test conclusions.” And Burger adds: “They have quite an influence, because they’re practical men.” Up to now the staff has made up the list of advisors themselves with the appointments confirmed informally by the executive committee or its officers. When the staff gets its conclusions in order, it will review them with the businessmen in positions of authority in the leaguein all probability with the board of directors, and certainly with the executive committee. The league is “not a deliberative body,” as Bedichek says. It does not formally accept or reject the staff’s reports; they are just issued. But the league does hire and fire the research staff; in the last analysis, the staff are subordinate to the board of directors. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that some of our board members differ with our conclusions,” McGrew says. “If one man on our board makes a suggestion or says `that won’t hold up,’ we weclome that sort of thing.” The state Democratic execu McGrew says there’s not “any `iv tive committee, fighting one answer” to the tax question. ” ” “One man’s model is another numbers with numbers, has ap man’s poison.” The league will have to “present alternatives … Some of them will be very specific.” pointed a number of advisers in such policy areas as labor, veterans, law, rural life, women’s work. FORT WORTH Gov. P r i c e Daniel and Atty. Gen. Will Wilson both spoke to the State Bar convention here. The Governor’s message was hardly hot news he urged lawyers to be more active in civic lifebut the Attorney General made a speech of considerable importance for state government. Sen. Ralph Yarborough visited the convention but did not speak. Wilson said Texas must have a stronger executive branch; that the governor must have more powers, and the attorney general fewer. Since Wilson is a likely candidate for governor himself in 1958 or 1960, this means he would aspire to be a “strong” governor. ! 0 A Tarrant County grand jury has begun an investigation I of the collapse of a Negro bank Fort Worth’s Fraternal Bank and Trust Co. Reportedly the bank is shy between $400,000 and $800,000. Review of the Week in Texas OLufkin is completing con struction of two new elementary school buildings for Negro children. Total cost: $132,000. Capacity: 720 youngsters. The buildings will be dedicated Sept. 1. Concrete Company .Union officials charged that a fire department pumper roared through a picket line and firemen spent three hours trying to dislodge some concrete which had set in one of the firm’s mixer trucks. Superv4ion’ Thus, in informal consultation with people from private life, and after review with some of the most conservative economic interests in the state, the Texas Research League staff will issue its report on who should pay what additional taxes. As we reported in the first of these articles, Alvin Burger says, “When the study is done, whatever it says, it’s going to be an honest product on the part of our staff.” He says “we will insist on the facts, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” There is another clause in that 1953 statement of policy, however, which suggests it may not be so easy for the staff to buck the businessmen if it takes a mind to present some unpalatable “very specific” alternatives. Says the statement: “The execwill keep itself and the board \(of the nature and course of the \(resupervision of the projects.” So not only the league staff, but Texas business and industry in general, will soon. be on trial for objectivity and impartiality. The state is pitching to private busi The Golfcrest Country Club of Houston has saved itself $17,054by agreeing to remain, for 20 years, the Golfcrest Country Club. The club’s representatives showed up at a Houston City Council meeting to protest a paving assessment of $14.60 per front foot for about a mile of paving along its property. Council members then offered the club an assessment of $8 per front footthe Houston residential rateif the club would stay a club for 20 years. Total cost, at $14.60 would be $33,302. Total cost at the residential rate: $18,248. 0 Galveston’s Fertitta brothers, Tony and Vic, say they’ll trade Texas and gambling for Louisiana and the contracting business. Proprietors of several now-padlocked Island and Mainland “clubs,” including the Balinese room and plush Cedar Oaks, near Dickinson, they will join a titta, at Leesville, La. The “for sale” sign is up on their Galveston properties, except for the Balinese Room. ness a part of its most controversial responsibility to the people, and before it is over, the business men m a y be wishing they’d pitched it right back. OHouston voters go to the polls July 27 to say whether Houston Power and Lighting Co. should have a 50-year franchise to furnish the city with power. Already okayed in principle by the mayor and city council, the franchise must have popular approval because of its length. OBrown and Root, Inc., has been hired by Houston’s City Council to survey and recommend development of new municipal water sources. Acceptance of this consulting role by B&Rworth about $700,000means it cannot bid on a far bigger damreservoir construction jOb. Mayor Oscar Holcombe says B&R took the smaller job because of its “vital interest in solving our water problem.” 0 Now-broke, now-flush Glenn McCarthy is back in the latter category. A cleaner found $65,000 in endorsed negotiable checks in a McCarthy pants pocket. The cleaner reported McCarthy undisturbed by the temporary loss. 9 A federal grand jury at Pittsburgh, Pa., has indicted H. Houghton Phillips and a Pennsylvanian in the theft of Gulf Oil Corp. exploration maps valued at $24 million. 0 San Antonio Express report er-photographer Ken Kennamer and Bandera JP Simon Triggo tangled when the newsman, in. Triggo’s court to cover trial of a San Antonian on a charge of “intent to consume beer,” took a picture with the court in recess. Triggo confiscated the exposed film. ODiane Fearis, 22, of San An tonio, killed herself at Austin with a .22 caliber rifle a few minutes after her fiance, .University of Texas student Dick Vaughan, Jr., was buried. Vaughan died in the wreck of his sports car on. a mountain road. OAscension Tarelo, secretary of the Mexican Federation of 19 other CTM leaders have had their border-crossing cards cancelled by U. S. Immigration Service agents. Tarelo’s union claims Immigration Service agents pay $10 a head to informers denouncing Juarez and El Paso residents as subversives. 0 Members of the Houston La bor and Trades Council pro tested to city officials that a city fire trucks had been used to try to beat down a strike of workers at the North Side Ready Mix PR FIRM LOSES
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