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7tin. Ike cid3 va lo g li Exclusively in the Texas Observer Bartlett Appears A Gassy Expansion Let those flatter who fear, it is not an American art. JEFFERSON They Don’t Measure Up An oiled Stud y ? In threo successive . issues we have looked. very carefully at the Texas Research! League. This is the outfit to which the state tax, commission is scheduled to turn over the state government’s research on state taxes. It is manifestly clear from the Observer’s articles that the Texas Research League is the official creature of big business in Texas. We do not intend the slightest reflection on the” league’s research staff when we say that for the state to turn over its tax study to this agency will be one of the grossest instances of governmental misconduct we have seen in Texas in the last three years. We do not, so saying, prejudge the work of the league. Its contributions to efficiency in government have been substantial. But it is the business of the state to do its own studies on taxation. It is really inconceivable that the official state government would turn over its taxdata gathering and selection to an agency financed by the very economic interests that may have to be taxed ; yet that is the plan. Imagine, for a moment, what would happen were such a scheme proposed in Washington. A federal agency .for the study of the tax system turns over to the National Association of Manufacturers the job of selecting, collating, and presenting tax information, including “very specific” recommendations on who ought to be taxed next. Why, the electric light bill at the White House would quintuple ! The Western Union offices would be flooded with outraged protests ! The Senate would be held in special session for weeks, investigating the scandal! We have been assured that the final decision has not been made, but that the league is certainto get the tax study. We urge and implore Governor Daniel to give up the plan and see that the study commission he is going to appoint turns over its research work to an official ‘agency of the government if not the Texas Legislative Council, then the Comptroller’s Office, or a special research task force froM several state agencies. If the study goes to the Research League, in spite of the obvious con-. flict of interest in Which this would place the league, we wish to emphasize at this point that Governor Daniel, as well as the league, will have to be held accountable for the strict impartiality of its tax report. Not only this, the Governor will be, from that moment forward, responsible for, and party to, the secrecy in which the league cloaks its contributions. While we do know as of now that oil and gas put up more league money than any other industrY, we do not know how much they .put up, nor how much any of the JULY 26, 1957 Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. Ronnie Dugger Editor and General Manager Lyman Jones, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Dean Johnston, Circulation Advertising Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $4 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 10c each. Quantity orders available. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin. Texas, under the act of March 3, 1879. other interests put up. This is the public’s business. We regret that we have to make these remarks. We are impressed by the good will and good faith of the league’s research staff. But the evidence is too strong that the major economic interests in the state, led by Humble Oil, have been planning precisely this use of the league for at least three years. The wording of the league’s policy is too clear that the big-money men who serve as the league’s officers, including Herman Brown of Brown & Root and the chairman of the board of Humble Oil, maintain “supervision of the projects” of the research staff. The common sense objection is too strong that you cannot ask Joe whether he wants his rent raised and reasonably expect to get an impartial answer. e arrairy An idea, having .o n c e been kneaded into the law, tends to supercede thinking about its subject matter ; and this is especially true if the idea is ceaselessly propagandized by its beneficiaries. We have come to wonder about “barratry.” The legal profession’s ethical code embodies the idea that lawyers do not solicit business, they are solicited. But personal injury damages involve broad social questions that ought to be susceptible of public consideration. Say an ignorant and unlettered man, unprotected by’ a union, is deprived of his legs when manifestly faulty equipment maintained by his employer goes awry. A lawyer hears of this. He knows the man is ignorant, does not know his rights, and will be talked into accepting, for compensation, far less than he is entitled to. The lawyer must keep silent. If he does not, he is called an “ambulance chaser.” He is accused of barratryof soliciting business. He can be disbarred, disgraced. The offense is also called “stirring up litigation.” If a man has a claim, litigation ought to be stirred up on his behalf. We nurture the vile suspicion that the “offense” of barratry was conceived to protect corporations against law suits by individuals. Every corporation of any size has a lawyer and knows when to go to court, and how; very few individuals even know what the law is; much less when they can best secure ther rights by going to court. Why should lawyers be penalized for advising them of their rights and their interests ? 6 We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation ‘of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Editorial and business office: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. Houston office: 1501 Crawford, Mrs. It D. Randolph, Dean Johnston. WASHINGTON If you read carefully what goes on in Wall Street and compare it with what happens in certain Congressional committees in Washington, you get an amazing chain of events. On Monday, July 8, the stock of the Superior Oil Company was listless.Only 200 shares were traded. On Tuesday, July 9, the House Interstate Commerce Committee approved by a narrow margin the natural gas bill, which will increase gas rates to consumers by around $800,000,000 a year. That same day, Superior Oil’s stock galvanized into action. Either there was a leak from the commit Drew Pearson tee or else very fast work after the committee voted. The stock shot up in value $30 a share. A total of 21,000 shares were traded. Thursday, July 11, Superior Oil shot up again. This time 53,000 shares were traded. Other people had got wise. The price shot up another $40 per share. Friday, July 12, showed even greater gains. The price advanced another $90 per share. Fifty thousand shares were traded. Monday, July 15, topped them all. The price of Superior Oil went up $120, 42,000 shares were traded, closing at a record high of $2,000 per share. After that profit-taking set in, the stock leveled off, though Superior Oil is still the , highest priced stock on Wall Street. Now let’s check back and see just who and what Superior Oil is. If you’ll check your memory, Superior Oil is headed by Howard Keck, the man whose lobbyists tried to bribe Sen. Francis Case of South Dakota with $2,500 cash during the natural gas debate last year. For this attempted bribery, Elmer Patman and John Neff were fined $2,500 each but never went to jail. They were given one year suspended sentences by Ike’s newly appointed judge, Joseph McGarra ghy, and they were convicted, not for trying to bribe a senator, but for failing to register under the lobbying act. The corporation was also fined $10,000. .. But Howard Keck, whom these two lobbyists represented, was not tried. His money was involved, but Attorney General Brownell did not prosecute him. Keck had given $5,000 by check January 10 to the Eisenhower Dinner. This was right in the middle of the gas battle. The check was accepted and cashed, Senator McClellan’s investigating committee, which has not hesitated to embarrass various other people, did not want to embarrass Mr. Keck or President Eisenhower. It did not go into the matter oi his $5,000 check, though I personally delivered a photostat of the check to McClellan’s committee. But if you read the stock-market returns, you can now understand why Keck could afford to give $5,000 to the Eisenhower Dinner, plus an attempted $2,500 to Sen. Case, plus more to some other candidates. Congressman John J. Rhodes \(R. rule of the House of Representatives whereby Congressmen refrain from criticising the pork barrel projects of fellow members, especially when they are from different states. Rhodes took the unusual step of writing a circular letter to members of the House. Interior Committee, askinc , them to vote against a $32,220,000 irrigation project in the district of Rep. 0. C. Fisher \(D., Naturally this did not please Rep. Fisher. When word of Rhodes’ letter reached him, he did some quiet checking, then sent out a letter of his own. “An examination reveals,” wrote the Congressman from Texas, “that Mr. Rhodes’ allegations are largely a rehash of testimony given by the sole witness who has ever expressed any opposition to our project a Mr. Calvin McGowan, whose brother is Mr. Rhodes’s secretary. Mir &las Mhatrurr