Doc DAC AND DOT Is It A Depression? committeeman and committeewoman; cash quotas were set for each county; a goal of 20,000 members by the end of 1953 was agreed on; a statewide meeting was projected with Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman the speakers; an elaborate pamphlet was published, calling for manyfaceted organization work “to return the Democratic Party to the Democrats.” “DOC went over like a house-a-fire. It was tremendous,” Fath says. After a mailing to 20,000 people, 6,000 “responded with contributions,” the best mail result he’s ever heard of. “Overnight Texas became the number one subscribed to the Democratic Digest of DOC,” he says. `Violent’ But in June, Stephen Mitchell, chairman of the national party, arrived in Texas on what Fath says was a trip “to see what the devil was going on, on a scouting trip for Rayburn as well as at our invitation.” The officers of DOC met with him July 2 in Waco, and, says Fath nowfor this is the first time many of these stories have been told “Mitchell was absolutely violent with us, he said they were going to set up the Democratic Advisory Council, under the aegis of the national committee, he had been instructed by Mr. Rayburn to come down and look the situation over and get things organized for the advisory council. DOC’s statewide organization meeting was scheduled to come off by November 1, 1953. DOT \(Democrats of Texas] did not have its statewide meeting until May 18, 1957. They put it back four years. “They had to scuttle the DOC to make the DAC a success,” Fath says. “Both Byron and Lillian talked to Mr. Rayburn and were unwilling to join with me in the call for the meeting November first because of Mr. Rayburn’s violent opposition. So then it became a matter of what was going to happen about DAC. “I went ahead and started to poll the people at Buchanan Dam on calling a meeting for Saturday, December 5, or December 6 on my own hook. When word of this got out, of course, they knew I was going ahead, and this is when the first announcement was put out that an advisory committee was going to be appointed.” In response to his poll, Fath says, “a majority of the folks were waiting to see what the hell was gonna happen. Skelton called a meeting of the DOC executive committee for his ranch at Salado Sunday, December 13, to discuss the going into the DAC.” Thus the Democrats’ revival of 1953 was being siphoned off into an appointed advisory council over which Speaker Rayburn and Senator Johnson were to have an effective veto. That fall Fath wrote Rayburn what he describes as “a very polite letter” inviting him to help put on a Democratic workshop in Austin. Rayburn wrote Fath Nov. 2, 1953: “I will not be there even though you have the meeting, which I am not for having. I, and others, are working with many Democrats in each senatorial district, trying to set up a working organization that will have the confidence of the Democrats in Texas. … I feel it will be my duty to the Democratic Party of Texas, not only to announce that I am not going to attend your meeting but that I did not endorse the meeting or the calling of it. … Sincerely yours, Sam Rayburn.” Maury Maverick and Fath had led the 1952 fight for the Mave rick delegation, which Rayburn had abandoned; Fath shared the Rayburn letter with Maverick. On Nov. 12, Maverick wrote Fath: “Finally all of us will get tired of being kicked around like a bunch of yellow dogs. The only difference between you and me is that I have gotten the yellow dog treatment longer than you. “The worst thing is that we Democrats ill treat each other. Brownell is apparently a vicious * * *. However, he is a Republican and I don’t like the way you are being treated any more than the way I have been treated. “The letter which you wrote is without question a polite one and how anybody could take exception to it I do not know.” At Salado, on December 13, in the old family home of Byron Skelton, a majority of the DOC people adopted a resolution that DOC would dissolve upon the establishment of DAC. Fath voted no, and objections were heard from Harris County, Denton, Beeville. On Jan. 28, 1954, an announcement was made from Washington that 55 persons had been named members at large of the new advisory council. Fath, key man in the 1948 Texas campaign for Truman, for two years vice-chairman of the Texas party for finance, vice-chairman of the Maverick delegation to Chicago in 1952, was not among them. And so, on February 8, Maury Maverick drove up to Austin from San Antonio for lunch and gave Creekmore Fath the ..certificate of the green ink: “I, Maury Maverick, do hereby declare The Honorable Creekmore Fath to be Democrat No. 1.” Fath says Maverick told him: “They won’t give you a certificate from the Advisory Council: I give you my certificate.” Fath says Rayburn. wanted it “strictly understood” Fath would not be elected a D.A.C. member from the Austin district, but, on Feb. 25, he was. The D.A.C. Period In the Yarborough campaign of 1954 Fath became an informal adviser on finances. By now he had been roundly abused, not only by conservative Democrats, an. occupational hazard for liberal Democrats, but also by RayburnJohnson Democrats, throughout the State. Governor Shivers decided he was a fair target: at Woodridge Park, the Austin daily reported, Shivers said Fath in 1948 had supportedHenry Wallace! Fath says he wanted to file suit, he was so angry; he says he called Editor Charles Green on the phone, wrote the paper a letterbut never was favored with a correction. Fath’s remark about Shivers in this connection has to be reserved for private conversation. D.A.C. took no part in the gubernatorial campaign against Eisenhower-backer Shivers. Fath maintains “it had to be continually enlarged to maintain control. It was the only way Mr. Rayburn could maintain control. The people on it wanted to do something, so there would be ten or twelve new members every few months to maintain control for people who would follow Rayburn and Johnson.” D.A.C. dominated Texas loyalist affairs through the Fort Worth state convention of 1956. Fath figures that of the 30 resolutions D.A.C. adopted during this period, 27 of them were introduced in one form or another by one Creekmore Fath. Waco, Nov. 4, 1955, was the beginning of the end for D.A.C. Fath announced in. advance he would introduce resolutions to open the meeting to the public, to leave the position of national committeeman open until the 1956 state convention, to call on D.A.C. to fight Shivers in the 1956 conventions, and to commit the Texas presidential delegation in 1956 to the candidate for whom most Texans expressed preference in precinct conventions. “I believe that candidate to be Adlai Stevenson,” he said. In the context of the times these were chilling challenges to Rayburn and Johnson. Ben Ramsey, the right-wing lieutenant governor, had been agreed upon, in the famous “kitchen conference” between Rayburn and Paul Butler, as the new committeeman. Lyndon Johnson was being discussed for favorite son for president. Fath says only he and Mrs. R. D. Randolph of Houston made public statements prior to the Waco meeting opposing Ramsey’s approval for the committeeman’s job. Rayburn flew into Waco and took a suite of rooms from which he let his wishes be known. The council accepted a compromise resolution written by Bob Eckhardt . and Franklin Jones designed to chastise Ramsey mildly for not speaking out publicly for Stevenson in 1952 without offending Rayburn, who had endorsed Ramsey and let it be known he would regard any mention of the matter as a slap at his leadership. “Other weights which helped cap the cauldron” [reported the Observer Nov. 9, 1955] “were a feeling among the anti-Ramsey group that Rayburn’s approval would be necessary at the national convention. next year; a desire for status with the Democratic national committee which would have been thwarted had D.A.C. rejected Ramsey only to find him seated by the national committee on Nov. 16; and fear that a resolution more hostile to Ramsey would have been rej ected.” Rayburn mustered one-third of the D.A.C. members against even the compromise resolution. Ramsey was approved and later seated. The meeting had been opened to the press; but Fath’s resolution to pledge the delegation to the candidate preferred at the precinct conventions was defeated by a voice vote. Fath also proposed D.A.C. should not take any position in any state election, and this was approved. This presumably was an attempt to avoid any more disagreement: as it was Fath was going around in dark glasses explaining, “I’m in hiding.” ‘Four Years After’ D.A.C. sided with Rayburn and Johnson against liberals at the May, 1956, convention, to let Shivers keep control of the state Democratic executive committee. But, at Fort Worth the ensuing September, Rayburn and Johnson, resenting Mrs. Kathleen Voigt’s insistence on warning delegates of her belief that the loyalists were going to be victims of “a big steal,” did not prevent her purge from the state executive committee. Late the night of that convention, with the loyalist Harris County delegation out in the cowbarn where it had spent the day, the delegates broke the traces and named as national committeewoman Mrs. R. D. Randolph of Houston, whom Johnson and Rayburn opposed. Byron Skelton had his reward from those to whom he had been faithful: he was the JohnsonRayburn designee for national committeeman. Mrs. Randolph and Fath and a thousand others met one day in Austin and formed “Democrats of Texas,” four years after the first statewide meeting of the Democratic Organizing Committee was to have been held. Skelton rose one Other TEC observations: “The immediate outlook repect is that by April the total \(of “The employment total \(as of the down 20,300 from January, but stayed nearly 10,000 above February, 1957.” “The February decrease in employment carries forward the resemblance of 1958 to 1954. In both years lowered employment was first evident as the result of earlier defense retrenchment that sliced jobs in aircraft manufacture and military installations. In 1954, the January employment figure was not passed until in April, just as was the case last year.” TEC said the agricultural outlook was “auspicious”: “A favorable angle for this year is the disappearance of the drought. … In 1954 there was a rainfall deficiency of 65 percent. Now the soil has the best moisture status that it has had in years. Jobs are waiting for the fields to become dry enough to work.” 1EC said it expects an Easter upturn in retail trade prospects and an improvement in construction employment by mid-April. But, TEC said, the “auspicious agricultural outlook” is countered and overbalanced “for the short run” by a “current decline in hardgoods industry jobs.” The weather eye cocked at the economy by the Dallas federal reserve bank saw storm clouds, among them: A ten per cent drop, in. February of this year compared with February of last, in department store sales; a “more than seasonal” decline in sales from January to February; a four per cent drop in inventories below January of both this and last year; new car registrations in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio off from last year; a drop in new car sales; construction contract awards down 17 per cent from December, 1957, to January. The federal bank saw one patch of blue sky: “Livestock and forage conditions remained highly favorable.” The University of Texas bureau of business research said that despite the signs of trouble the state’s “economy is sufficiently diversified to withstand severe shocks in some areas of economic activity without being prostrated.” The bureau reasoned: “At the turn of the century, Texas was a cotton and cattle empire. A generation ago, oil became important enough to be added … to round out an economic triumvirate. During and since World War II, industry has made up a fourth important segment. During this whole period, banking and insurance grew rapidly until today they too constitute an important source of support. Diversification of this kind strengthens the state’s economy not only because of the strong growth factors involved, but because the main sources of wealth … are of kinds that have smaller amplitudes of cyclical variation than do the heavy pro day this winter at a meeting of Governor Daniel’s state executive committee and demanded DOT disband. To which Mrs. Randolph responded, “Why should we, when we’ve got ’em on the run?” The day has been long in Corning for DOT secretary-treasurer Creekmore Fath; but he has been steadfast. R.D. NOTE The Houston school board series will be resumed next week. The sixth article is delayed this week by lack of space. ducer’s goods industries of the North and East. It is Texas’s long-range future in industry which looks rosiest, the UT business bureau said: It . . . Whatever the direction of the national economic movement, Texas is expected to maintain a significantly faster pace of industrial growth.” Here is a breakdown of expectations by major industry groups: Chemical: “Industrial expansion in the chemical industry has been outstanding in recent years; since 1950 capital investment in Texas chemical plant and facilities has tripled. Approximately threefourths of all new investment in the industry last year went for expanded petrochemical production. Since the basic raw materials for petrochemical manufacture are derived primarily from petroleum and natural gas, the state’s plentiful production and reserves of both are the chief reasons for the remarkable growth of Texas petrochemical capacity in the past decadeand for the gei 3ieral prediction that Texas will soon move up from third to first in the nation in chemical production.” Refining: “Apart from substantial additions of new equipment for increased chemical recovery and production, the Texas refining industry greatly improved and expanded normal refinery processes and production during the past year. Major modernization, upgrading, and/or expansion pro
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