NOT BLOODY LIKELY’ AUSTIN Since it confirms an earlier publicly-expressed judgment of the man, it twinges not at all to have to report that Gov. Price Daniel continues to purr like a tomcat loose in a creamery when, if only for the sake of hoisting himself into the niche in hishe pants after, he might better be acting like the same cat at bay in a room full of old maids in rocking chairs. By this is meant that a Texas Employment Commission statistician may say, as one remarked privately some weeks back after an Observer story focused attention on the ulcers studding the state’s economic body, \(\(suppose even a million get out of work ; that’s nothing in the whole state economy,” with professional detachment, but that a governor may not ! No, and may not keep silent, either ! At the moment, more than 150,000 Texans are out of work. If half of these are breadwinners, that is 75,000 families \(and at four persons per the especially deadly poisons of poverty and want in the midst of plenty. Even a governor like Daniel, swimming about in a deep pool of oleaginous soup flavored with equal parts of complacency and platitude, might bestir himself to words of sympathy \(and might even, in Daniel’s special case, glancing over a shoulder at the thin margin of his 1956 victory, hope to himself that none of the hungry find the $1.75 for a poll tax before Did they get sympathy from-L–you should excuse the loose use of the expressiontheir governor ? Not, in the words of Churchill to a prediction that Hitler would make it across the Channel in 1940, not bloody likely! What they got, via the Dallas News, was another purr in the creamery:, “I predict a good year for state government and business in Texas … I have an optimistic outlook …” Especially did his optimism bubble up for the oil business : “I believe there will be a need for more oil and that the daily production allowables will be increased during the year.” SINCE IT IS likely that it takes all the Governor’s time and energy, like the Red Queen’s, to run as fast as possible so that he may How to Scare AUSTIN “The Texas Businessman,” a weekly advisory for Texas business produced in Austin by Horace Busby, formerly a speechwriter for Sen. Lyndon Johnson and Gov. Allan Shivers, and Mac Roy Rasor, lately of the Associated Press staff in Austin, this week ought to frighten conservative businessmen to death. It says “labor-liberals” are running away with state politics. Excerpts from the advisory’s report: “This is the year Texas businessmen learn what labor has been doing these past six to eight years with its endless card files, the training hours at precinct schools, the platoons of bright young college graduates. The hard fact of 1958, politically, is that Texas business will be hit in the face with the cold water of unsuspected labor power.” “Labor-liberalsthat hyphen may not stay in place much longerhave the greatest potential gains in reach since WW II. They know it, and business leaders who are informed readily concede it. “Ralph Yarborough is ‘in,’ this camp believes … a 55-65 percent embolden younger men to join hands with labor-liberals, help blot out stigma of past futility. “House seats in the legislature may fall to labor like cordwood…. Chan stay in the same place, one supposes he did not get to read deeper than the headlines in the rash of all’s-wellwith-the-Texas economy stories most of the daily newspapers featured high on their front pages last week. Typical was the head of the Austin Statesman : “State Booms As US Lags.” This was over a wire service story whose lead paragraphs said: “Bank deposits, as one sign of economic levels, indicated Friday that Texas still is booming. “Reports from several of the state’s big cities demonstrated major increases.” Deeper in the story was this paragraph: “Among early reports, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Lubbock showed declines as compared with the year’s end a year ago.” The Dallas News, on an inside page, had a story of its own on bank deposits. The head ran: “Bank Drop Indicates ‘Boom’ Slowing Down.” The story said: “Dallas bank statements Friday for the end of 1957 added weight to fore casts that the boom is slowing down. “The report for statements of con 7 AUSTIN J. Frank Dobie in a recent interReporter : Mr. Dobie, looking back over the year 1957, have you at any time felt outraged by a lack of honesty and common sense decency over the turn of events? Dobie : I feel outraged almost as often as I go through a newspaper. Reporter : Specify. Dobie: No use specifying too much, but I’ll give you an illustration. The other day I read that two or three gipsies had been arrested for telling fortunes without a license, or something like that, in east Austin. East Austin is metaphorically across the railroad tracks from anointed respectability. Now gipsies are to me far more interesting people than most presidents of American Chambers of Commerce. One of my favorite writers, though he has never been a best seller, is George Barrow. He lived with the gipsies in England and was at home with them in Spain. His “Lavengro” and “Romany Rye” are classics. Of course, fortune-telling is Businessmen ces are 50-50, and improving, that these segments may pull enough Senate seats to ‘break’ the tight conservative control. Labor’s DOT`Democrats of Texas’is supremely confident of winning the precincts, capturing the party machinery by fall. There’s a better-than-even chance of knocking off one, two, or, some say, three, of the lesser state offices.” “The public mood has undergone a definite upset since the end of the second special session. There is, so nearly everybody agrees, a ‘turn-therascals out’ attitude, widespread and deep.” “The tortoise is passing the sleeping hareright now.” “Everybody Daniel, Daniel’s friends, Daniel’s critics, has fouled up, gotten themselves maneuvered out of position, hitting each other… . It is clear already that things like this will make money very tight for conservative causes in 1958 … a costly bit of economy for business.” “Business has allowed the groove to wear off its campaign themesong, business candidates playing the same album over and over, nothing fresh. At the top, no new faces. Ke* Austin jobs passed around among old political cronies…. Broad-beamed clubwomen on conservative TV shows, down-the-nose aloof fat cats, ill-atease farmers stammering over written scripts … all acids up to a caricature of conservatism, which labor deftly exploits.” dition on Dec. 31 failed to set a new record high in deposits and resources for the first time since 1946…. “Though not far below the Dec. 31, 1956, bank call totals, Friday’s report did bolster many economic predictions that a period of economic readjustment is underway.” There was also a less-than-optimistic story in the Houston Post. The Post and the bureau of business and economic research of the University of Houston interviewed “100 leading Houston business executives”seekMg their opinion on the economic outlook for 1958. Some of the results: National income will go down, said 45 per cent ; employment will go down, said 65 per cent ; consumer prices will be unchanged from present high levels, said 44 per cent \(and sale prices will go up, said 41 per ecnt \(and will remain unchanged, said 67 per cent \(and will be unchanged, down, said 84 per cent ; interest rates will remain unchanged \(that is, stay will drop, said 52 per ecnt. pretty much bunk, but on Sundays if you fish around on a radio you can hear all sorts of montebank ignoramuses prophesying about the human soul, about God, etc. Nobody ever arrests them. The cloth covers them. Why discriminate against some poor, but picturesque, palm-reading gypsy? Reporter : Mr. Dobie, if you will allow me to say so, you are on a very minor subject. Dobie : I know it. I’m minor myself. If you want somebody to talk as if he were the last elevation in importance, go to. Washington and interview Mr. Dullness. Reporter : We’re here now, and history-laden 1957 is our subject. Dobie: Governor Price Daniel and his special session of the legislature nearly overloaded poor old historyladen 1957, didn’t they? Reporter : Mr. Dobie, since you take so much pride in being outspoken, I hope you won’t mind my remarking that, sneers are also cheap. Here we are hal f way through our interview and we don’t seem to have touched anything essential yet. Dobie : If you are bound to have essentials, it’s hard to beat good meat, good drink, and love. Reporter : You used to teach in the University of Texas. Dobie : I can’t get over the habit of teaching. It is often a form of pontificating. Reporter : Suppose you pontificate on the effect that recent advances in science by Russia may have on education in this country. Dobie : About everything worth sayino -6 on the subject has already been said. For a long generation now the professional educators in America have been holding school without much respect for “cultivated mind.” All the public school superintendents and a great many college presidents hold degrees in Education spelled with a capital E. They are johnny-onthe-spot with Rotary Club optimism, football teamwork, Dedication to America Week, and such as that, but many of them don’t know A from Adam’s off ox when it comes to a real teacher of English, history, geology or any other branch of knowledge. Despite their degrees and positions, they are puerile-minded. Nearly all of them are stuf fed with religioSitywhich is not religion. Reporter : Somebody told me you are against Education spelled with a Capital E. Dobie : If the universities and colleges that are always crying for more money, cut out 85 per cent of their education courses and 98 per cent of their journalism courses, they would save an enormous amount of money and at the same time advance knowledge. Of course howls going up would On the same page, the Post had a story on Houston-area unemployment : “Metropolitan Houston’s unemployment in January will constitute approximately 3.9 per cent of the total labor force … Homer H. Jackson, district director of the Texas Employment Commission, said jobless workers will increase from 17,500 to 18,000 ….” and on the Christmas retail sales : “… Most of the city’s large stores reported that business was down a few percentage points from last year…. Widespread talk of recession, the slight increase in unemployment in the Houston-Galveston area in December, and the higher cost of living were cited as reasons for lower volume by those store executives whose business was off….” BUT BACK to that Dallas News story, the one in which Daniel oozed optimism. It had these additional paragraphs in it: “Daniel arrived at the Hotel Adolphus Sky Suite Tuesday afternoon. … “I’ll be rooting for Rice over Baylor man Daniel …” Ah, well … bread, circuses, “let ’em eat cake.” And one is reminded of the British newspaper headline : “Continent Isolated By Storm.” LYMAN JONES make the mountain tops rock. The superfluous always howl when their milk is cut off. For the academic year of 19571958 the Education Department of the University of Texas lists 351 three hundred and fifty-one courses. They are all to make teachers more banal-minded. God pity our pupils ! Don’t blame them for not being educated. Reporter : It is generally supposed that education and journalism are branches of knowledge. Dobie : They are the chief practictioners in the unctuous elaboration of the obvious. Some high schools now allow pupils to choose between English and journalism. They choose journalism in order to avoid the mental work that all genuine education entails. Imagine being a writer in the English language without knowing basic English. What a journalist needs is intelligence, and educated mind, and mastery of the craft of writing. He can’t get any of these from courses in journalism. What a teacher needs, aside from having sense and character, is basic knowledge in history, science, languages, literature, the fundamentals ! All a would-be teacher gets out of Education is palavernot basic knowledge. It is no wonder that a pupil can’t get a book in a high school library, though he can ride to a circus in a big school bus that costs more than all the books put together in the school library. A lot of the books adopted by the state for school readers can’t be read by people with civilized tastes. They are adopted because their publishers ,know how to get around among the official adopters of texts. Most of these official adopters are no more concerned with cultivated minds, stimulated imaginations and civilized tastes than the average governor’s appointee to some board dealing with education is. Reporter: Mr. Dobie, if you were dictator of Texas for a two-year term, What would you do? Dobie : I’d start in appointing men and women with disciplined and cultivated minds to positions of responsibility so far as education is concerned. I’d do what I could to restore democracyespecially through an enlightened press. Reporter : Of course you know you’ll never be dictator. Dobie : Nor have influence otherwise. Anyhow. we can drink to free mindsand the only minds that are free are those that know. Here’s to life ! J. FRANK DoBIE THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 3 Jan. 10, 1958 A Deferential Interview
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