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ACERS DISTRIBUTES OBSERVER AUSTIN Facsimile copies of a story in the Feb. 28, 1958 Texas Observer have been mailed over the state by Commissioner \(for the Texas Employment Cornmission, accompanied by this note: “The attached article from `The Texas Observer’,a liberal labor paper published in Austinemphasizes Commission action to date. Obviously the Commission policy is based on a split decisiontwo to one ; the commissioner representing labor dissenting in all cases. I, as your representative, and the majority of the Commission are extremely desirous of assurance that we are on a solid rock legal foundation in our position. Help us by letting us have your opinion. Maurice.” Acers maintains an unofficial corps of management-attached attorneys over the state, he told reporters this week, upon whom he calls for legal ‘assistance in his construction of statutes governing TEC functions. The Observer story cited numerous dissents by ComNewman from majority decisions by Acers and CommisPerry Brown holding certain classes of unemployment cornpensation claimants ineligible for that assistance. BOARD PURGES SOCIAL COURSES The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. Thoreau 011r Orxa,6 Ohgrrurr 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. An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper Vol. 49 TEXAS, MARCH 28, 1958 10c per copy No. 52 Blowups at t e TEC HOUSTON Next September Houston school children will be offered a curriculum stripped by political considerations of “social studies” and all but state-required emphass on world history. The revisions started a Ronnie Dugger year ago by the conservative school board majority which is so hostile to the “progressive education” symbol and international cooperation thus will result in a real narrowing of the educational horizons of tens of thousands of Houston children. There will be no civics until the last grade of high school, and the last half of this, which is economics, may be made elective. There will be two and a half years of local and Texas history and no world history except the course required by the state. The Observer has learned that six members of the department of history and civics at Milby senior high became so disturbed by the high school curriculum committee’s plan to drop civics II, “economic and social problems,” from the requirements for high school graduation, they protested to G. C. Scarborough, acting superintendent, last December. “This is the one course in which AUSTIN “I am just a country boy as everyone can see, and it looks like I was taken for a country idiot when I came on this job. I have just about gotten over the surprise and shock of finding out that some. people expected me to be a rubber stamp. I can see where I stand pretty clearly now. My doctor says my health is improving. My boys are about grown, so I am not worried about the future. “I am here to stay for the next five years, and I am not going to be a wart on a leg.” With these remarks, and others, “sincerely really from the heart,” Commissioner Robert Newman, labor representative on the three-member, governorappointed Texas Employment Commission this week levered the long-perceptible philosophical gap between he and his fellow commissioners Maurice Acers, for employers, and S. Perry Brown, for the public, and TEC chairmaninto a deep and yawning chasm. Acers labeled the Newman remarks “propaganda” and accused Newman of “cheap” tactics, of “raving and ranting,” and of “washing dirty linen in public” with the motive publicity. The Newman Side The words were spoken at a special commission meeting, called to consider a 20-point statement of proposed TEC policy. Written by Newman, the statement was proposed for adoption by the commission to clarify TEC administration and functions. The Newman suggestions ranged from the merely procedural: “There should be more frequent meetings so that each commissioner could be fully apprised of what is going on”; “Full minutes Newman Blast Is Blasted of commission meetings, showing all actions taken, should be prepared and signed by all three commissioners”; other commission actions \(when the commission is not sitting as an appeal commission as a body, after notice to all three members and discussion of each subject to be acted on” Through rules for appellate hearings: “The commission should meet as an appeals body more fre Lyman Jones quently in order to avoid delay which results in hardship to claimants”; “Appeal tribunal personnel should not discuss with any commissioner the merits of an appeal which is pending before the commission”; “The supervisor of appeals, who has already made or supervised the making of an appeal tribunal decision should not be present in commission meetings arguing in favor of \(or against, for that matmade. This should be done by an attorney who was not a party to the initial or appeal decision”; “There should be no interference by commission members with personnel in the appeal tribunal and the insurance department who are making decisions on benefit claims” To intra-TEC personnel matters: “Personnel actions, particularly those which are detrimental to commission employees, should be reported to all three members of the commission before any action is taken”; “Any TEC employee will not be reprimanded by his supervisor for talking with the commissioner for the wage earnshall not be requested to do an excessive amount of work . on overall United Fund drives, civic matters, etc., except actual fund raising or civic matters within the TEC. They have their regular duties or responsibilities to perform and this causes a hardship.” Each of the Newman points, which the commission majority “study for a week,” reflected or seemed to reflect an actual TEC situation; each, in effect, constituted a charge, although, Newman said, he did not intend them as such. Acers, it was noted, is currently general chairman of the Austin United Fund drive. The TEC’s chief legal counsel, Newman said, once had two assistants. These were demoted, at a substantial loss in pay, Newman said, by Acers and Brown in an unofficial decision arrived at outside a regular commission meeting and without his knowledge or concurrence. The head of the TEC insurance department, Roy Epperson, was likewise demoted, Newman said. Newman said TEC has no established routine of promotion or demotion of its employees, no spelled-out grievance procedures, is short of help in its legal department, does not distribute its appellate decisions in writing, has no uniform policy on the issuance of press releases, and does not issue its orders in writing. The labor representative told the Observer that the TEC long had been a haven for job-seekers with high-up political friends and that other TEC employees had been subjected to “that old trick” of taking away “a man’s Truman’s Letter vs. Rayburn’s Decision II AUSTIN Fath had been invited to Yale as visiting associate professor in patent law and cartels, but in his thirtieth year he turned instead to politics to a job as executive assistant to the executive director of the Democratic national committee. A story by Elizabeth Carpenter from Washington that March gives the feeling of the time: “Fath’s apartment in the modernistic, glass General Scott Apartments is just five blocks from the White House. His livingroom looks down on one of Washington’s many circles. … A record player is large and expensive with $2,000 worth of records. It is the perfect lair for the lion. … “Fath’s tendencies are liberal, which probably will annoy some of the Texans who come seeking ‘handouts from the Democratic national committee. He will be able to recall who backed the party in 1944 …” That spring he met Adele Hay at a cocktail party in New York City; and they married. A lovely New York City girl, a Murray Hill, New York City girl, Adele came from a fine old Republican family. Her grandfather, John Hay, was Lincoln’s secretary, then Secretary of State under McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. Fath had been on the national committee eight or nine months when he and Adele decided to come back to Texas. He had been absent eight years. The first thing he did was open an office in the Littlefield Building. The second thing he did was write a letter to the editor scorching Lyndon Johnson. The third thing he did was write another letter to the editor blasting the oil companies. The fourth thing he did was announce for Congress. The “Littlefield League” used to be a term, in Texas politics, something like the epithet, “the New Deal crowd,” during the thirties. Creekmore . was there, and John Cofer, and Fagan Dickson; tied in somehow were the Stuart Longs, and the Russell Lees … oh they were schemers, plotters: they were known to correspond with Democrats in the East, and they were Democrats for Truman when almost nobody else was. A crowd to be skittish of, if you took your constitutionals mostly when the sun was shining. That December, Fath noticed in the daily press the announcement from Congressman Lyndon Johnson’s office that Robert Phinney had replaced Ray Lee as Austin’s postmaster. Fath wrote a letter to the Austin American \(“I was “I must admit,” he wrote, “that … doubts crossed my mind as to whether or not it was really up to Congressman Johnson to pick and choose from among his political friends for someone to fill the top Civil Service position in Austin. … The best possible qualified man should be selected under Civil Service procedure …” \(As Fath’s letter appeared it was announced that Phinney’s was only a temporary appointment, and applications would be accepted. On the competitive tests Phinney finished among the top three candidates and his appointRoyalt y Rates A few months later Fath wrote another letter. The question of who owned the tidelands was be ing debated. Fath, who had helped expose U.S. oil company connections with Germany’s I. G. Farben in 1942, wrote in 1947, “What about royalty rates on Texas school lands? How come the oil companies pay our school kids only one-eighth royalty when the same oil companies pay the federal government from a fourth to a thirdtwice as much? What about our royalty system?” When ‘he announced for Congress, seven months after returning to Texas, Fath pledged to REA, farm price supports, new housing legislation, small business loans, stronger federal antimonopoly laws, GI bill benefits for new draftees, making the income tax rates more progressive. He was not a man to appeal to the oil companies, the utilities, the Texas Regulars. He and Adele campaigned dawn to dark in a car with a canoe roped onto the top and painted, “Fath for Congress … He Paddles His Own Canoe.” He ran third, Homer Thornberry winning. Jake Pickle that same summer managed Lyndon Johnson’s Senate campaign in the tenth district, and, Fath says,. “I learned a year later that Jake was telling all over the district that Lyndon did not want me elected to Congress because of my letter on the Austin postmaster.” In July Fath was elected chairman of the county Democratic convention and floor leader to the delegation to the September convention at which the decision was to be made between Johnson and Coke Stevenson for senator. The day before he left for the convention, Fath says, “the telephone rang at 7 o’clock in the morning, at home. I was shaving at the time. It’s Lyndon Johnson. Lyndon talked to me 50 minutes telling me what a close friend I was, how much he loved me, and would I help him out at Fort Worth. So I agreed.” The convention, of course, declared Johnson the 87-vote victor. Fath drafted John Calhoun’s wire authorizing Jimmy Allred to act before the Supreme Court. Tom Miller, mayor of Austin, and Fath were named chairman and secretary of the TrumanBarkley Club of Texas for the 1948 Texas campaign. `””I set up the state campaign, headquarters, 1.1,’zkletravit