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MYSTERY OF THE SLASHED IKE PORTRAIT AUSTIN The churl who slashed the Eisenhower portrait so recently installed in the Houston Club must have been watching the TV when the school board alined the books it didn’t like. How could he have hoped to do any good that way, any more than the patriots can abolish the UN by banning the UN theme contest ? A thousand dollars is little enough for the members of the Houston Club, and obviously the President has all the time in the world \(which, of course, for another portrait, say, between the 36th hole and bridge-and-brandy with George and Sinny. Who could have done it ? We hardly think one of the porters : with five million out of work, even an employee of the posh. Houston Club would blanch at the prospect of the boot. Conceivably an itinerant seeking a job was passing from. the kitchen to the street, thought swiftly to vent his anger, whipped out his camping kit and scratched the painting with the jagged lid of a can of pork and beans ; but surely he would have been apprehended, they don’t let unsavory characters wander around in the Houston Club unobserved. We think it more likely ’twas a memberyes, a member of the Houston Club. Grave as we know it is to impute to a member a disregard for the finer things, sensible as we are that we have not been on the scene, still, from the signs, the coarser clues of the time, we have so concluded. You will note, Watson, that the news dispatches record that a note “had been placed on the picture frame.” This is too civilized a touch for a tasteless interloper ; the knave LBJ’S PLAN WASHINGTON At the east end of Pennsylvania Avenue Sen. Lyndon Johnson of Texas moved with amazing efficiency to ram a series of public works, housing, highway measures through the Senate. They include : 1.A new housing bill totaling nearly $2 billion to pump new life into the construction industry. It should become law within a matter of days. Another housing bill will follow shortly. 2.Two resolutidns urging speed on civil and military public works. Though it was a Democratic resolution, 18 Republican senators climbed aboard, ten of them candidates for re-election. 3.A new speed-up highway bill, which will concentrate highway construction in 13 years instead of more than 20 years as desired by the administration. 4.A farm bill refusing to take Secretary Benson’s farm price cuts. This will probably have enough votes to overcome a White House veto. 5.A reclamation bill, though still in Senate committee, will be passed soon. Johnson, a past master at parliamentary procedure, is determined that most of the above legislation will speed through the Senate within a week or ten days. It will be the biggest filip to the over-all national economy this year. … The State of Texas, biggest of the union, has only one Republican congressman. He is Bruce Alger and he comes from Dallas where many Texans register Democratic, then vote Republican. Alger is seldom seen or heard in Washington. But back in Texas, his attractive wife is often seen, though not heard. Her picture has been adorning the landscape on huge billboards advertising “Gladiola Cake Mix.” “I love to serve Gladiola cake and cof fee,” says beautiful Mrs. Bruce Alger, on billboards which meet the eye along Texas highways. Some congressmen remark that if Bruce Alger was seen as much around Washington as his wife is on the billboards of Texas, Dallas would have a real congressman. DREW PEARSON had been to art shows. Nor does this detail fail to suggest preparation in advance, which suggests in turn foreknowledge that the portrait was there : this was no sudden slash by some scurvy idler. is a difficulty to this theory. The elevator to the club was self-operated, it could very easily have been an outsider. You will note that a spokesman for the club, naturally concerned by the likelihood of just such speculations as yours, remarked that the note was written in pencil on a plain white envelope. “The envelope with the pencil printing is not a Houston Club envelope,” he said. “That strengthens our belief that the vandal was a person who came in from the outside possibly someone who didn’t even know the portrait was there until he stepped from the elevator and saw it on the wall.” Now really, my dear Watson ! Since when have nondescript characters begun to presume to ascend private club elevators during daytime hours with white envelopes and pencils handy in their pockets ? You mean to say this interloper leaned the envelope on a table or couch and there scribbled down his complaint, in plain view ? Or, to carry the matter a step further, who would really expect a member of the Houston Club to use a club envelope ? The provocations have been severe, severe enough to shatter a political loyaltybut not a loyalty to the Club! Furthermore, the note is a hint of the kind of catharsis the rogue achieved by his despoliation. “We don’t like Ike in Texas,” it said–we don’t after all, though we said we did you see ? He was, possibly, one of the inside trust who dreamt up that ingenious slogan, upon whom its iron Special to the Observer WASHINGTON A new frontier of opportunity for competent and ambitious Americans may be opened before long. It is not a land frontier, but a mobilization of the financial resources of small business to provide greatly needed capital to those who have demonstrated business ability but are not able today to obtain adequate financing from established sources. Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, Democratic leader of the Senate, and Rep. Wright Patman, chairman of the House select committee on small business, have introduced identical bills for the establishment of a small business capital bank system, designed to provide capital financing for the little man. They could go a long way in beating the economic recession some say the word “depression” right out. The bill is not the brain child. of any individual, although its father might well be recognized in Patman, who for years has given study to the problem of finding adequate capital for small business. His House committee has consulted bankers, administration financial authorities, and businessmen, small and large, and has finally come up with a measure it believes meets all objections. Patman, veteran Democratic liberal, told his colleagues how it wouldn’t cost the government one cent. “The Treasury won’t have to borrow any money to set it up, or pay any interest upon the capital provided, yet everyone will benefit,” he said. To begin with, $120 million would be transferred from the surplus of the Federal Reserve banks to a small business capital bank board of 13 members in Washington. This money is not now earning interest. Officials of the Federal Reserve Banks have testified that it could be transferred without difficulty. They don’t want it, anyway. There is a small business division of the Federal Reserve System which makes loans to small business, not available from commercial banks, but it has not operated on a large scale. ies, in the light of recent events, had been gnawing. F IRST there had been the natural gas bill. How Eisenhower could have permitted a $2,500 bribe to influence his judgment on that fine measure must surely have escaped the members. But when he went further and called the attempts of representatives of the free enterprise system to pass the bill “arrogant,” thus not only maligning the upper class but alluding albeit opaquely to the finer sensibilities by which one knows who is what, and how much, well. We Houston Clubbers have always stood together for the tidelands, expending much of our high-paid attention, not to say a goodly stash Of bullion, for the welfare of Texas kiddoes \(one can imagine one of them outrageous oaf now to sue our state for these very lands he promised us, and to blame Price Daniel \(a person tain vagueness in the legislation assuring us our heritage … well, once more. So a certainwe shall not call it hostility, hostility is an emotion too exposed, appropriate for persons in need, say, or unable to find work, but hardly for gentlemenso a certain impatience had been gathering among the members toward the portrait so benignly resting there. A handsome young e x ecutive, still in his early forties, yet already ty -coon-in-chief of one of the state’s strongest oil companies, pauses in his confiderlt pace to light his cigar : his hand hesitates a moment as his eyes fall on the likeness, of a man toward whom he now must feel so equivocal. He knits his brow, imperceptibly This type of business is outside the usual operation of the Federal Reserve System. Commercial banks cannot make high-risk investments because of laws which protect depositors. The various federal agencies set up to aid small business since the beginning of World War II, have been restricted in what aid they can give. Small business going into the capital market for funds generally has to pay through the nose. Under the Johnson-Patman measure, in addition to the Federal Reserve money that would be subscribed, $27.5 millions surplus funds set aside for small business operations of the FRB, but mostly idle, would be turned over for immediate working capital. In addition, the bill authorizes the small business capital bank board to sell bonds up to $1.2 billion. These funds would be used to purchase bonds of twelve regional small business capital banks established in each of the Federal Reserve districts. The money thus received by the capital banks would be used to purchase securities of small business investment associations, corporations wholly owned by local groups of small businessmen, many of whom would be clients of these associations. But these small business financing associations would have to put up half of the initial capital themselves. This would mobilize local investment in local enterprises, with the federal money acting merely as a catalytic agent. In time, all of the federal money would be paid back to the Treasury out of earnings of these local associations. Each association would have a paid-in capital and surplus of at least $500,000 before it could commence business, but the small business capital bank of its region would be authorized to invest tip to $250,000 in its shares. The association could also borrow from the capital bank. The system in many ways would follow the pattern of the federal land banks, now wholly owned by the national farm loan associations, all federal money having been paid back. BARROW LYONS clamps down on his cigar, returns to lighting it … A luncheon group, three young men of fifty or so and a lady leader in the campaign for a_ curriculum purged of all New Deal impurities, amble abreast slowly forward, sharing insights into the pandering opportunisms of the leftists. “Why” one of the men, vice president in charge of advertising slogans for a local boodle outlet, is saying, “Why, the truth is, one third of the people of this country are supporting the other twothirds” but he stops short, and there is an awkWard silence as they pass the portrait. EVEN SO, all might have passed off well enough had it not been for the Porter calamity. They’d all gone to the Martin dinner in good faith ; there had been a special appeal for funds, imprudent, perhaps, but singular for its aristocratic realism. Even a person who rose to social prominence through the military might have been expected to avoid so grievous a mis-step as the President then committed : the repudiation of those who had delivered a state into his camp, a repudiation much the more humiliating since he had already reneged on most of the promises which had made the delivery possible. Too much ! Too much, I say … and so, stealthy, after hours … Ah! Serves the blighter right ! Police said they had no suspects, of course. R.D. ON FERREE AUSTIN Frank Ferree and his work are not simple to respond to or understand. A naive and unlettered man, his conscience, his sense of others’ suffering, wincing at the spectacle of Mexicans abused by the hundreds of thousands with next to no one caring, goes to work by himself to help them. He collects the wastes of the Valley’s economy, without pride collects them and carries them to the poor. Knowing nothing of Spanish at first, and nothing of medicine to the present day, he goes among them with confidence, and they come to believe in him. Over the years, more than a decade now, he has given them food, clothing, some Christmas parties, some relief from pain, and the feeling that someone is paying attention to the fact that they are in need. One may, with Hart Stilwell in last week’s Stump, flame up with hostility toward this chariteer, this seeker after the satisfactions of giving. One may pour contempt over him for being so simple that he enjoys helping his fellow man, and does not seem to have understood along the way of his 63 years what all us smart intellectuals know, that people are good very often because it makes them feel good to be good. One may, also with Stilwell, turn away from the very story of Ferree angrily, insisting that the wrong point is made, that the HEB’s and Valley Canning Companies and ministers and all the rest have been wringing their riches out of the sweats of the helpless. Which of course is true ; which any man of civilized judgment knows ; which HEB and Valley Canning Company and the ministers know. One may choose, too, to think of the Valley’s phenomenal responses to Ferree’s pleas for gifts as a collective catharsis, confession en masse, penitential orgy disguised as community generosity. That would not be an inaccurate response, either. But after thinking about Frank Ferree for three years, since the summertime day we first rattled along the Valley’s main highway a passenger in his used-up bus, we have decided to consent to admit that he is important, not only for these other things, but because he is a reproach to the more skillful men and women who, capable of doing so much, do so little, who, so proud of what they do do, forget what they do not do ; you, and I. R.D. Page 3 March 14, 1958 Banks for Small Business