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Bartlett Appears Exclusively in the Texas Observer THE ERA OF OIL `We Can Expect a Mild Upturn in the Depress We now have Gov. Daniel’s plan for abolishing precinct conventions carried to its logical conclusionby the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in an apparently quite serious editorial. Hear this : “If the precinct conventions are to be abolished … why stop there? Why not eliminate also the county conventions, which themselves often present some pretty unedifying spectacles as a no-holds-barred struggle goes on for political control? If the voters are considered capable of selecting county convention delegates, why should they not be considered equally capable of selecting delegates to the state conventions ?” We are now convinced that the purpose of the Daniel proposal is to open Democratic conventions to Republicans and other non-Democrats by substituting voters, without any requirement they be Democrats, for Democrats attending their party conventions in good faith. Whether carried to the logical conclusion proposed by the oil-lining Star-Telegram or not, the effective abolition of the convention system is the objective of Gov. Daniel’s plan. He would make the Democratic Party even more permeable to bad-faith infiltrators than it is already. We think Daniel’s criticism of precinct conventions is well taken. Too often they are open and shut ood Ste p o The University of Texas is inaugurating a program of more intensive special attention to the top ten percent of its students. They will have unlimited library privileges, contact with the best teachers, chances at study at other universities in the U.S. and abroad. Soon the University will be launching a drive for an undergraduate academic center with an open-shelf library of between 100,000 and 200,000 volumes and attached discussion rooms and studies. We wish to say to University President Logan Wilson and Vice President and Provost Harry Ransom that these steps seem to us to be the very kind which will effectively advance the University toward national status as a university of the first class. Innovations placing first value on real intellectual attainments are needed throughout the public educational system ; we hope other Texas colleges and universities will benefit by the University of Texas example. affairs. It has become standard operating procedure for leaders of the opposing factions to caucus in advance, select leaders and delegates, agree on canned resolutions, and then plan how best to ram them through. The result is too often a farce on democratic meetings : a real disgrace to the ideal of free and open debate which doubtless humiliates and disgusts citizens who turn up hoping for open talk and open issues. The solution is reform of the precinct meetingrestoration of their validity as real town forums for people with a common commitment to a political party. It i seems to us that both the state executive committee and Democrats of Texas ought to undertake this reform state. It may be argued that anybody can say anything at precinct meetings and that a minimum of caucusing and agreement on methods is necessary. This, as far as it goes, is true. Not only must discussion be free, but the issues must be open for resolution or their merits at the convention proper ; the mood of these conventions must be more democratic. To go further, to attack the convention system itself, without first adopting a workable method for excluding from a party’s convention balloting that party’s avowed enemies, is to seek to make worse a system -which has already permitted the state’s Democratic machinery formally to endorse the Republicans. We think that’s what Daniel is trying to do. ,9tein *Why didn’t the daily news papers adequately report Mrs. Roosevelt’s fundamental remarks in Austin about the Russian society and foreign policy *We do not understand how anti foreign aid Texans in Washington can live with themselves, voting as they do against both U.S. and free world security and the welfare of millions of starving and helpless people. *Why does Gov. Daniel go on whining about low oil imports when 109,000 Texans are having to accept federal surplus food relief? Where is his righteous hostility to federal aid nowwhere is his program for state-provided food relief to the state’s unemployed? For state public works? 10 Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $4 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 10c each. Quantity prices available on orders. We will serve no group or party but will hew 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. \(An important column by H. M. Baggarly of the Tulia Herald TULIA Oldtimers remember when the battle for control of state government was between the railroads and the people. The railroads were all-powerful, spent much money in getting their candidates elected to office, and were firmly entrenched in the state capitals. Then the railroads declined in political power, just as they declined in commercial importance. But the battle still wasn’t won for the people. When the railroads .declined in political activity, the oil industry took over. And this industry has been in the saddle in Texas for a number of years. It has spent millions of dollars electing governors, senators and representatives. The oil-appointed governors then packed the many state commissions, college boards, and other governor-controlled offices with men more interested in serving the oil industry than in serving the people. It was the oil industry that must shoulder the blame for putting Texas in the Republican column during the Presidential elections of 1952 and 1956. It financed the endless propaganda that won the elections. It was the oil industry more than any other one thing that broke the long reign of the Democrats in Texas. It was the oil industry that helped sabotage the Democratic party in Texas. It was haughty and arrogant as it had things its own way, as it kept taxes off its back and put them on the masses. Heads rolled when it was challenged because its tentacles extended into many of its subsidiaries newspapers, banks, churches, colleges. It brain-washed the ignorant, the uninformed, the non-thinkers. It deceived many farmers and smalltown folks by planting misinformation. It successfully kept the masses divided by setting group against group. It caused the farmer to ‘hate the laboring man and the laboring man to hate the farmer. Now the industry is in trouble serious trouble. It needs friendsand it can’t find them. It wonders why…. Certainly no Texans, regardless of their residence, are gloating that “the mighty has fallen.” Oil has been a major Texas industry. It has had to pay , some taxes despite its effort to avoid. them. It has given jobs to many people. No one has been an enemy of this important Texas industry. Many have not wanted it to rule Texas, to control Texas education, to control the executive . and legislative branches. of our state governmentbut nevertheless, eVeryone has valued its worth to the, state’s economy. Such a one is Ralph Yarborough, who has been working for a curb on foreign oil imports which have contributed to Texas’s oil problems. He has done this despite the fact , that the oil industry has stabbed him in the back whenever it had the opportunity. … The oil industry was trying to take over Washington as it had Austinand it got caught. It couldn’t pull the wool over the eyes of out-ofstaters as it had Texans. It admits that it used the “tidelands issue” to swing Texas to the GOP in 1952but that it amounted to winning the battle but losing the war. “Oil and Texas won the tidelands fight in 1953, nothing afterwards.” This was its exact way of saying it. And, it confesses, “Texas oil money innocently kept going to Washington, influencing nobody much but headwaiters, doormen, and manicurists. Oilmen had yet to learn they were overmatched with Eastern money, business power.” Even in Texas, the oil induStry is on the decline as the mighty political force it has been. Even Amarillo, ruled locally by the oil fraternity, did not go along with the oil industry candidates in 1956 and 1957. The masses are beginning to understand that it was the oil industry that gave them Allan Shivers, the Republican administration including Benson, Dulles, and Wilson, and Price Daniel. Indirectly, the oil industry had made possible the various state scandals including the Veterans. Land and Texas Tech debaucheries. It appears that the chickens are coming home to roost for Texas oil just as they did for the financial barons of the East who flourished shortly after the turn of the century. Greed for political power and economic domination proved their downfall. H. M. BAGGARLY Let those flatter who fear, it is not an American art.JEFFERSON MaZing Woroe Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. MARCH 7, 1958 Ronnie Dugger Editor and General Manager Lyman Jones, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office ‘Manager Dean Johnston, Circulation-Advertising EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: 1012 Dennis, Mrs. R. D. Randolph, Dean Johnston. Entered as second-class matter, April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Zip &leas Obstrurr