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OIL IN TROUBLED WATERS AUSTIN If something is wrong with the Texas oil industryand somebody \(is it Ralph Yarborough ? Lyndon ing us something iswhat is it? Some petroleum analysts say that Egypt’s Gamal Nasser is at the bottom of the Texas troubles. They reason that his seizure of the Suez Canal which dried up the flow to Europe of crude from East-of-Suez fields set American and Texas wells to flowing far too fast. The result, say the Nasser-blamers, was that every storage tank in Texas was soon brimming over if not with crude, then with refined petroleum products. The same was true, it is said, of every other American state which the Texas Railroad Commission leads in the setting of production allowables. And, the Nasserphobes say, even as American oil was being drawn from the ground and pumped into storage, foreign oil flowed into the United States at a high ratefrom Latin and South America, Canada and the East-andSouth-of-Port Said wellshi tankers sailing to the American West Coast instead of the usual SuezMediterranean-Atlantic route to the U. E. East and Gulf Coasts. The results of the Texas troubles were in plainer view than the cause or causes thereof. Results include: The commission’s cutback of production to a nine-day allowable for the month of Marchthe lowest allowable ever set by the commission. This meant that the daily average quota for March was approximately 2.5 million barrels, about 1.3 million barrels less than for a March day of 1957. Comptroller Robert S. Calvert said that, if the nine-day allowable pattern is extended through June, the state treasury will come up short, at the end of the current biennium, by $32 million. Even if the commission raises the nine days to twelve, Calvert said, the end-of-the-biennium deficit will not be very much smallerabout $26.8 million. Continued throughout 1959, Calvert said, the nine-day allowable would mean a deficit, as of the end of August, 1959, of $77 million. The incoming legislature must look around for sources from which to draw an additional $50 million-ayear more in taxes, he concluded. Gov. Price Daniel commented : “If the Russians had a plan to destroy us, it couldn’t be any better than what-we now have destroying our economy.” Daniel, Sen. Lyndon Johnson ; and WASHINGTON One of the interesting, hitherto undisclosed developments in the life of Col. Gordon Moore, the President’s brother-in-law, is the prize Irish stallion on the Moores’ week-end farm in the fox-hunting country or Northern Virginia. The stallion is Lesie Boy and is valued at $65,000. Lesie Boy was either given or loaned to Col. Moore by the Clint Murchison racing stable. Murchison is one of the biggest oil and gas men in Texas and one of the leading advocates of a natural gas bill, which the President has publicly supported. While it was known that Murchison has been on friendly terms with the White House, it was not known he was so friendly with the President’s family as to give or loan a prize stallion to Col. Moore. Leslie Boy was foaled in Ireland, sired by Royal Charger out of Badoura by Colorado Kid. He was imported from England by the Murcain stables, arriving in the United States on Oct. 29, 1954. The Murcain stables is the name given to the Murchison-Cain family stables, and Leslie Boy is registered in the name of Ef fie Marie Cain and Virginia Murchison. The latter is the Sen. Ralph Yarborough have asked for drastic and mandatory slashes in the amount of foreign oil now being imported. Yarborough has introduced a bill levying a per-barrel tariff on imported oil. Others, in Texas and in Washington, had these things to say about the oil situation: Dr. Philip E. Coldwell, economist for the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank: “This problem of over-supply will exist for a substantial time to come.” He urged Texas oilmen to take a longrange, world-wide view, saying that while he agreed that some control over imports is necessary, “it is difficult to see why an oil company will pay $3.10 a barrel in Texas when it can bring in oil of the same type from the Middle East at $2.20 a barrel.” Dr. Paul Torrey of Austin, a petroleum engineer : “Excessive imports over a prolonged period could have a critical effect on the future of secondary recovery.” Texas has five billion barrels of crude which can be recovered by water or gas injection techniques, but importing in high volume makes this too costly. \(The mail brought from former Sen. George Nokes, now of Waco, a statement entitled, “George Nokes, former state senator and potential candidate for lieutenant governor, made the following comment on Lt. Gov. Ramsey’s announcement for reelection.” We think this such an excellent criticism of Ramsey and the hornswoggled and corrupted state Senate over which he presides, we recc Undoubtedly, many hearts are gladdened to learn that our Lt. Governor has announced for a fifth term on the platform of putting a brake on taxation. Too bad he didn’t think of this eight years ago when he first took office. … During his long tenure in the lieutenant governor’s office, taxes have skyrocketed especially sales taxes on gasoline, cigarettes, car license tags, and other items used by the average citizen. Now, the lieutenant governor proposes to keep his death grip on this high office by promising no new taxes and at the same time advocating “continued support of essential services,” such as schools, roads, public welfare, and hospitals. Despite the fact that wife of Clint Murchison, while Effie Cain is the wife of Wof fard Cain, head of the Southern Union Gas Company, a Murchison subsidiary. Another partner in the stable is Billy Byars, an oilman of Tyler, Texas. Efforts to reach Col. Moore, Mr. Byars, and members of the Murchison family were not successful. However, a spokesman for the Murchison interests said the horse was a loan. One employee working on the Col. Moore estate, however, described the stallion as a gift. Jack Hall, overseer of Col. Moore’s estate, refused to state how long the horse had been there or who the owner was. Asked if Col. Moore owned it, he replied : “I don’t know. It’s here.” “Was it a gift?” Mr. Hall was asked. “I don’t know. It’s here. That’s all I know.” The stallion has not raced because he got a nail in one foot. If Leslie Boy . is a loan he could be a very profitable loan ; for stud fees on thoroughbred stallions run high. The near-by Middleburg, Va.,. Chronicle, in a great horse center, advertises stallions with stud fees of from $3,000 to $5,000 per service. DREW PEARSON Railroad Commissioner Olin Culberson and Russell B. Brown, general counsel for the Independent Petroleum Assn. of America, see in excessive imports a growing threat to the national security. Culberson, speaking in Houston recently, called excessive imports a “genuine menace” to the nation’s ability to remain self-sufficient in oil production. Brown said : “… in the event of a serious emergency, this nation will find itself years away from attaining the level of petroleum necessary to meet our national security needs.” Was U. S. production falling off? It fell off sharply, the Wall Street Journal reported, in the week ending March 7. “Output of crude averaged 6.3 million barrels daily, a drop of 513,550 barrels from the preceding week. It was 1.4 million daily under the rate of 7.8 daily million for the same week in 1957 \(the time of the Was exploration dropping off in the U. S. ? It ,was, said the Journal : “Oil well drilling, which has been running some ten per cent behind a year ago, fell to the lowest level in eight millions in new taxes have been raised over the past eight years, state now faces a deficit of over ‘$100 million next year. It will indeed be a neat trick if he can pay the $100′ million deficit and expand state services, and at the same time pass no new taxes. Even in this “space era” he speaks of, there is no such pie in the sky. Those unfortunate Texans who have been victimized by loan sharks over the past eight years will be gratified to learn that the lieutenant governor has finally decided to give them some relief. This sort of inaction must be what he means by “calm, unhurried judgment.” He’s been unhurried in straightening out the insurance mess ; unhurried in cleaning up the veteran land board scandals unhurried in solving the state’s water problem ; and really calm about letting the state treasury run dry. His calmness, however, will be of little comfort to the state employees who are now being paid with hot checks because the state is broke. The greatest service any lieutenant governor could perform would he to eliminate the big deals in the back room of the Senate and let the issues he decided in a Democratic method in the Senate chamber itself. Some officeholders take two terms to do the job, some three, but it would seem that Texas now has a lieutenant governor who thinks he needs at least five. Scandals, corruption, and economic collapse inevitably result when the state house is taken over by a professional officeholder. The clean-up can not be completed until this last symbol of this corrupt era has been defeated. I might consider running for lieutenant governor in 1958. A number of reasons have caused me to seriously consider seeking this office. Briefly they are as follows: Majority rule has been denied in the state Senate all during the four terms, totaling eight years, that the present lieutenant governor has held office. This is done by the lieutenant governor’s refusing to allow bills to be considered on the calendar where a majority could make the decision. He has consistently required a twothirds vote to bring up a bill for consideration, and has thus created minority control of the Texas Senate through eleven-man block. This is undemocratic and dictatorial and defeats the basic concept of our form of governmentthat isthe majority has the power to decide on what is best for Texas. State finances are in a deplor What about proved reserve supplies of oil ? Were these smaller ? They were, said the American Petroleum Institutedropping in 1957 for the first time since 1943. API said U. S. Crude reserves as of Dec. 31, 1957 totaled 30,300,000,000 barrels, a drop from the previous year of 134,244,000 barrels. Measured crude reserves in Texas, inclusive of offshore areas, totaled 14,555,000,000 barrels at the end of 1957 for a drop from the previous year of 227,999,000 barrels. Said Railroad Commissioner Ernest Thompson, crude production in Texas is at a lower level than in 1953, and for the United States as a whole, crude production is up only .5.6 per cent. In the same five-year period, Canadian crude production went up 92.8 per cent, Venezuela’s increased 46.8 per cent, and the Middle East increased 52.4 per cent. First major oil company to say in public that imported oil was costing it money was Humble Oil and Refining Co., an affiliate of Standard of New Jersey. Humble said its earnings in 1957 totaled a net $175,900,000 as compared with a 1956 net of $178,961,132. Perhaps all this could be reduced to a single succinct bleat : “We are ruined by cheap Chinese labor” or words to that effect might well do. LYMAN JONES able condition and new taxes may be necessary. Based on his past record, the present lieutenant governor . will undoubtedly favor a general sales tax. It has been a penny on this and a penny on thatsuch as gasolineall during his administration. Next it will be a penny on a loaf of bread and a penny on a quart of milk. The integrity of the state Senate must be restored. For the past few years the Senate has been associated with cover-up, infiuence peddling and mysterious cash fees. Far too many senators have turned up on the payrolls of fly-bynight insurance companies and have received cash fees from special interest groups for meager, if any, services performed. The toleration of this sort of thing has degraded the entire Senategood and evil members alike. High standards of conduct must be demanded to protect the names of honest, fearless members of the Senate and to protect the public interest. Lobbyists’ control of the Senate must be broken, and the control returned to the people. Many of our national publications, such as Reader’s Digest, Harper’s, Look, and Collier’s, have published exposes of the brazen control of the Texas Senate and thus the legislature through the lieutenant governor’s office. This is a shame and disgrace that must be removed. The head-in-the-sand approach to state problems must be abandoned. Problems are not solved by ignoring them. Many Texas needs such as a water program and adequate insurance regulation may ultimately be taken over by the federal government unless effective state action is taken. One man picked by one clique should not be allowed to take permanent control of the second highest elective office in Texas. The lieutenant governor’s office does not belong to Ben Ramsey and his clique, even though he seems to have decided to hold it for life. The presiding officer of the Senate should be chosen by the peoplenot by a group of “big-wigs who control a good supply of campaign contributions in Houston” who, according to the Waco News Tribune of March 13, have already met and decided that Ramsey is to preside over the next session of the Senate. 71 THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 3 March 21, 1958 Colonel’s ‘Leslie Boy’ George Nokes Criticises Ramsey