Sewell, Herring Ponder AUSTIN The President offered Texas oilmen an olive branch last week and had it rammed down his throat. He approved cuts of 15 percent in imports of foreign crude oil. The administration cut imports for the area east of the Rocky Mountains 58,400 barrels a day, to 713,000. The program continues to be voluntary, but the President invoked the “buy American” act and instructed government agencies, especially the Defense Department, not to buy from firms which do not comply. Under the new program imports will be about 12 percent of domestic production. Reactionsfollowing a hot week of debate, including, as a novelty, arguments from industrialist Will Clayton and union leader R. R. Dawson, for imports and against the restriction of Texas productionwere chilly and disappointed Of the 15 percent cut, these things were said: C4. . a mere pittance … too little … completely unenforceable … a timid, less than halfway measure …”Gov. Price Daniel. “Much too little and too late.”= Jerome O’Brien, president of TIPRO. “I think it is just putting off the day for mandatory controls … it should help some.” C. W. Alcorn, president, Texas Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Assn. A “gesture” that is “wholly inadequate.”H. J. Jack Porter, Texas GOP committeeman. “Disappointing.”Railroad Cmsr. Ernest Thompson; Rep. Omar Burleson, Anson. “A typical too-little, too-late move”; his plan for an 84-cent-a-barrel import tax is needed.Sen. Ralph Yarborough. “I don’t believe the action the President has taken will solve the problem.”Sen. Lyndon Johnson. Mandatory controls are needed. Rep. Frank Ikard, Wichita Falls. IneffectiveRailroad Cmsr. W. J. Murray. The cut was considered in Washington a victory for oil state congressmen and a defeat for the State Department, which has been siding with protests from Canada and Venezuela against further import cuts. At a hearing two weeks ago before the Railroad Commission, Jake Ramon, Dallas independent, said nine days’ production would lead Washington to think nothing more need be done; M. G. Hansbro, Houston independent, called for a 60-day shutdown. Morgan Davis, Humble president, said excessive imports, “the current recession,” and industry over-expansion caused the present surplus in oil stocks. The big cornpany spokesman agreed on a nineday schedule. But a dissent came from R. R. Dawson, president of the Baytown Employees Federation, an independent union of 4,000 oilworkers representing Humble workers. He told the commission: “We have studied the statutes under which this commission operates. We find that the purpose of this commission is to prevent waste, not to control prices. … Are we going to let these major importers, with their nominations, tell us how much oil we can produce?” “The price may fall temporarily … but that is not the concern of the Railroad Commission, and they have so stated on many occasions. If the price faills, the responsibility will be on the shoulders of the importers and the federal government. We are entitled to our fair share of the market. “Could it be that our present crude prices are unrealistic? If the prices were to fall slightly so, that we could compete with foreign crude, and our production increase sharply as our oil found more buyers in the market place, would this be a catastrophe? … Let’s raise our allowables to our fair share of the market.” Railroad Commissioner Olin Culberson said neighboring states “are not playing ball” because they haven’t cut production proportionately as much as Texas has. The commission agreed on eight days’ production. WILL CLAYTON of Houston, former undersecretary of state, assistant secretary of state, and assistant secretary of commerce, as well as retired founder of Anderson, Clayton & Co., released this statement in. Houston: “The high-powered drive to cut oil imports differs little from similar efforts by domestic producers of other products. Underneath all such efforts is an understandable, human impulse to choke off competition and protect prices and profits. Nevertheless, such attempts should be understood for what they are: Promotion of the short-term, special interest ofo certain producers, against the national interest. … “We should never forget that the United States has only about 20 percent of the proven oil reserves of the world, whereas we are consuming over half of the present production of oil in the world. How long will we go on protecting our minorities at the expense of all our citizens? How long will we continue an archaic policy which angers our allies and the free world generally? … Is it any wonder that we are losing the cold war?” Cutting off Venezuela, Canada, and the Middle East, Clayton said, would mean “heading down a road which leads to disunity in the free world and its eventual defeat.” Last week Michel Halbouty, a Houston independent, issued an answer to Clayton. “I contend the best service this nation can. do for itself and its allies in the Free World is to stay strong economically,” he said. “Oil imports are now supplant Judge James Sewell of Corsicana is weighing poll tax returns to see whether tentative optimistic reports from traditionally Democratic districts will hold up. He is also interested to know whether Sen. Yarborough draws a tough opponent, as this would affect the availability of campaign funds for a governor’s race. He is reported unconcerned whether Sen. Charles Herring announces against Gov. Daniel on the theory Herring’s chief effect on a Daniel-Herring-Sewell race would be to pull votes away from Daniel. /Herring went to Houston to V confer with possible financial backers and was to see Mrs. R. D. Randolph in Austin this week. A report from Houston is that he has been told by oil lobbyist Andrew Howsley that a pot can be raised for him. He would also bid for liberal support. /Former Sen. George Nokes of V Waco, chairman of the Junior Bar’s anti-usury committee and, the Observer now can re port, an almost certain opponent to Lt. Gov. Ben Ramsey, told the Legislative Research Council at Houston that loan sharks should be licensed and regulated by the state Banking Board. Nokes said there should be stiff jail sentences and fines for usurers. /Sewell teed off in Fort Worth at daily newspapers, the Governor, and ex-Gov. Allan Shivers. He said Daniel gave up his seat in the U. S. Senate to run for governor because he wished to “cover up the corruption in Texas.” He said many of the state’s “big newspapers were embroiled in the corruption” by failing to print stories about it. And he said Shivers “misled many people in Texas” in 1952 when he “traveled over the state asking people to vote Republican.” Despite his denials, persons close to liberal Dickinson banker Walter Hall say he may announce against Gov. Price Daniel and that he has had substantial offers of financial support. Hall is discussing enthusiastically the possibilities of advocating on the stump a corporate income tax plus a natural gas tax, much of both of which would fall on nonTexans. ing domestic production. They should be reduced to the point where they supplement. … This nation must not become dependent on outside sources for its energy fuels, as it would surely cause it to lose its position as a world power. … “Kill the market, and you kill the incentive to drill wildcat wells. We will become a ‘have not’ nation. … “Gasoline today costs no more in ‘ this country than it did in 1925, not counting taxes,” Halbouty argued. Clayton’s charge that “high prices and big profits” motivate oilmen’s import cut demands is “irresponsible, unfounded, unfair, and misleading,” Halbouty said. Speaker Sam Rayburn, on March 27, ripped “business men” for favoring high tariffs, which he said would be “an unrelieved disaster. … They want a system fenced-in and roped-off with prohibitive tariffs, and inside the corral a nation of captive consumers who must buy at their non-competitive prices.” He did not mention the oil tariff controversy. Yarborough is backing a bill to remove 5,000 small gas producers, 90 percent of the producers although they produce only 10 percent of all gai, from federal regulations on prices. / State Reps. Joe Pool and Barefoot Sanders of Dallas, opponents for the congressional seat now held by Bruce Alger, met face to face at a meeting of the Junior Bar of Dallas, made speeches on some of the issues in their race: federal aid to education, oil imports, labor and Republicans. Sanders’s position was generally liberal, Pool’s the opposite. ISome political leaders in Vic toria are seeking to promote Rep. R. H. Cory into a race against Sen. William S. Fly of Victoria. An element in the situation is a firm report that Fly directly refused to support the Adlai Stevenson campaign in 1956. ./ “Texas Businessman” newsV letter takes Texas labor’s report on legislators, prefaced by remarks that the 1957 legislattue might have been a “turning point,” as “the authentic manifesto of a latter-day Texas revolu Political Intelligence tion.” Labor, says the newsletter, is “winning respectability, and in so doing is pushing business to the side of the all-important Texas ‘middle.’ ” ./ The letter also remarks that V “highway supporters” think highway department chairman Marshall Formby is inviting “po-. litical troubles” for highways and Formby by booming himself for governor in 1960. Formby is telling correspondents openly that he is very much interested in being governor in 1960. /Comptroller Robert Calvert V announced \(using estimates for Dallas, Tarrant, and Travis qualified themselves to vote this year, compared to 2,410,188 in 1956. The 14 big counties have 1,117,361 votes, compared to 1,297,649 in 1956. There are: Harris 311,344; Dallas 223,500; Bexar 110,427; Tarrant 105,600; Jefferson 64,850; Travis 45,000; Nueces 41,104; Galveston 40,901; El Paso 39,433; McLennan 35,593; Lubbock 23,884; Hidalgo 29,042; Wichita 21,930; Cameron 24,793. /Ed Clark of Austin was V among the $100 contributors to the recent Truman dinner reported in last week’s Observer. / Jon Ford in the Express says Lt. Gov. Ben Ramsey’s plan for a two-thirds vote of the legislature before any taxes can be levied is “flapdoodle” and “downright ironic” from ‘the man with one of the heaviest gavels in the lawmaking business.” /v gests that relative prosperity in Texas, plus the Johnson-Rayburn-Robert Anderson Watrous Irons \(president of the Dallas leadership in Washington, is an explanation of “the wait-and-see attitude” in Washington on a tax cut. /Gov. Daniel’s plan for aboliv tion of precinct conventions is “sound” and “democratic,” said the Dallas News in an editorial. Not so, responded an editorial in the Corpus Christi Caller; “even the lack of representative voter expression under the convention system, some observers agree, may be preferable to the possible danger that, without a party registration law, Republicans could be elected precinct delegates and thereby control …” /Archer Fullingim of the V Kountze. News said the Governor’s plan to advance by two months the dates of primaries and conventions “is a loathsome scheme.” As for the precinct convention abolition plan, said Fullingim, “No wonder Daniel wants all simple for a turncoat of his stripe.” / Sam Wood and Raymond V Brooks of the Austin American wrote that “a little bird” informed them that competition for labor news between the two Dallas dailies forced the Texas Employment Commission fuss into the open. The Observer’s first story on the split was published on Feb. 28. JWood and Brooks wrote of the Herring gubernatorial possibility: “A little bird said that . Herring would definitely be a candidate for governor if he could see $200,000 in campaign fund promises.” / The Fort Worth Star-TeleV gram’s Cullum Greene said “reports believed reliable” are that “Rep. Joe Kilgore of McAllen … has received the conservatives’ blessing to oppose Ralph Yarborough for the U. S. Senate.” ./ Bob Hollingsworth of the V Dallas Times-Herald reported Dallas County conservatives believe they’ll control their precinct conventions by a margin of 2,000 votes, admitting, at the same time, that they will have to “fight for about 1,000 or 1,500 votes.” ./ The 12th annual Texas Grid iron Dinner of the Forth Worth Sigma Delta Chi chapter roasted Texas politicos. Gov . Daniel was pictured singing: “I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright/’cause I only have eyes for votes.” Sen. Yarborough, acted as a “Maid Marian,” sang: “I’m just a gal who cain’t say no.” Sen. Lyndon Johnson was played singing: “Overhead the moon is ‘beaming/While the White House summons me.” /Atty. Gen. Will Wilson may V announce for re-election shortly. Conviction is growing J. Ed win Smith of Houston has the inside track on a Supreme Court seat. Ed Clark is advocating his candidacy in street-corner conversation, and loyal Democratic organizations will be backing him. /Smith presents his case in a V booklet, “Some Notes on Justice for the People of Texas,” published by Chapparral Press in Austin, with photographs by Russell Lee. Promising only, with Edward Coke, “When the case shall be, I will do that fit for a judge to do,” Smith, former chairman of the Harris County Democrats, says, “I love the people of Texas for I am of them … Justice involves people as well as law books … Like the law, economics involves people, too. A good judge hears with a knowledge of life echoing in his ears …” /The second annual statewide v meeting of the Democrats
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