Page 7


Lyndon’s Court Play Studied As 85th Ends AUSTIN The 85th Congress recently adjourned accomplished some key liberal objectives, shelved many others, and shuttled aside bills to curb the Supreme Court. The seers are in a riot of confusion about the who, why, and how of the Senate’s killing of the Supreme Court measures. Senators Johnson of Texas and Douglas of Illinois are the main players in the story. A survey of some of the other results of the session. as Texans were involved: As Pres. Eisenhower signs the social security increase bill, 236,000 Texans will begin receiving $5 more a month, about a 7 percent increase, for old age assistance, aid to the permanently and totally disabled, and aid to the blind. Sen. Yarborough sought to move up the increase to 10 percent and was joined by many cosponsoring senators; he lost this effort 53-32, with Johnson and the Senate liberals voting with him. During the debate Sen. Proxmire, D., Wis., said Yarborough “is keeping his promise today right nowby putting the jam where it belongs, right on that lower shelf.” A farm bill was passed which, Yarborough said, would let cotton “more than hold its own” and which has “good provisions” for rice and wool industries. Observer analyst Barrow Lyons reported this bill gave Agriculture Secretary Benson more power than he had asked for. The President signed Sen. Johnson’s bill authorizing a 14-member commission \(nominated by the governor, appointed by the Texas river basins, the Brazos. Colorado, Neches, Nueces, Trinity, Guadalupe-San Antonio, and San Jacinto. Gov . Daniel was not consulted about the bill in advance and let the fact be known. A Daniel aide urged compliance with the bill and said the study ought to take about three years. Speaker Sam Rayburn said the bill by GOP Rep. Bruce Alger to create 45 new federal district judgeships and five for circuit courts was killed by being bottled up in committee. The State Bar and the Young Republicans of Texas condemned Rayburn and Johnson for not pushing the Alger bill. A national education bill appropriating almost $900,000 was passed, but Yarborough regretted losing the scholarship provisions. The main provisions were $295 million for student loans and $300 million to help schools buy scientific equipment. The oil and gas industry regarded the failure to enact a bill reversing federal regulation of natural gas prices at the production level as a major defeat; but the industry obtained endorsement of its 27.5 percent depletion allowance in the Senate. Johnson and Yarborough voted to raise railroad and longshore workers’ retirement benefits. Yarborough voted for, and Johnson against, an amendment to cut $100 million from the military funds in the $3.5 billion foreign aid appropriation bill. Both voted against a bill to prevent the extension of the east front of the Capitol. Both voted to confirm the nomination of a Philadelphia lawyer to be an assistant attorney general in charge of the new civil rights division. House Noes On the House side, the labor reform bill was killed, with Alger, Burleson, Dowdy, Fisher, Kilgore, and Rogers voting against it. Alger, Burleson, Dowdy, and Fisher also voted to kill an omnibus housing bill, which was done. Alger, Burleson, Dowdy, Kilgore, Rogers, and Rutherford voted against the national defense education program bill. With Rep. Jim Wright, Fort Worth, taking a lead in the debate, the House provided for construction in Washington, D.C., of a national cultural center, Alger, Brooks, and Dowdy voting no. Sen. Johnson said congressmen had a feeling of “warm satisfaction in having done a job.” Rayburn said the 85th accomplished more than any Congress in 25 years, especially citing extending reciprocal trade, voting foreign aid, reorganizing the defense department, increasing social security, and raising civil service salaries and disabled veterans’ income. Rep. Wright Patman, summing up, included in the Congress’s achievements Alaskan statehood, social security benefits, sharing atomic secrets with allies, . military and federal pay increases, $1.8 billion emergency housing, added unemployment benefits, and a small business investment companies act. He said the farm bill “lowers minimum price supports and eases acreage restrictions for cotton, corn, and rice.” Who Won? Lyons, in his assessment, pointed out that the Congress failed to act on, or killed, these measures: the Hennings bill to require disclosure of campaign contributions in primaries as well as general elections; an investigation of the banking system; the labor reform bill; expansion of public housing; financial encouragement of co-operative housing; TVA expansion through the sale of bonds; a Hell’s Canyon high dam; an atomic energy program for REA’s and municipal power systems; federal aid to school construction. On the Supreme Court bills, a plan to curb the Supreme Court’s OMarshall Formby, highway commission chairman and a gubernatorial prospect for 1960, charged that the new state law now being tested in the courts which requires the state to pay for moving utility facilities back off highway rights of way will help private utility companies, not cities. He said he did not think the people want highway construction “hindered by utility companies which have benefited by the free use of our rights of way during recent years.” He reported that $34 million of the cost to the state would go to private companies and only $4 million to city-owned utilities. OBucking at a one-cent hike per quart of milk announced by the North Texas Milk Producers Assn., milk processors threatened to buy milk in the Midwest. One said checks are sent now in Houston not to producers but to their association. Jacob Metzger, president of Metzger Dairies, refused to pay a premium price and part of his daily delivery was withheld. “Someone has to look out for the consumers,” he said. OTexas AFL-CIO commended Gov. Daniel as the first governor in many years “to officially recognize the contributions of organized labor to Texas.” Proclaiming Sept. 1-7 “Union Label Week.” Daniel said, “The State of Texas has long recognized the Union Label and since 1895 has by law protected it as the valid symbol that work has been performed by union workmen.” review powers was killed, 49-41; a bill to limit federal pre-emption powers was saved from tabling, 46-39; but then the pre-emption bill was sent to committee, 41-40. Johnson and Yarborough voted with the Supreme Court each time; it was the last vote which stirred the interest in Johnson’s role. Rowland Evans, Jr., a Washington writer, said Johnson had displayed “legislative black magic, a strange and occult art.” David Lawrence wrote that “The betrayal of the South occurred in the Senate” and said the question is “what are Senator Johnson’s real convictions and will he be able to square himself with the South.” Anthony Lewis, in the New York Times, said Johnson showed “mastery” in defeating the court bills and was “largely responsible” for the result. Lewis indicated the interpretation Johnson’s aides also voiced, that Sen. Paul Douglas’s amendment to one of the court-limiting bills to approve the integration decision led to an extended brouhaha resulting in the defeat of the motion to table the bill, 46-39. Johnson then went to work on the floor and in the cloakroom’s, lining up the votes to recommit the bill. Douglas’s amendment never came to a vote. The bill was recommitted 41-40, Johnson and Yarborough voting to recommit. Robert E. Baskin, writing in the Dallas News, puts a different aspect on the situation. The liberals had “perhaps their greatest triumph” with this outcome, he said; Johnson had only “a minor victory,” escaping from his “worst dilemma” of the year. While most Republican senators were prepared to support courtcurbing measures, Baskin said. they also were ready to vote for the Douglas amendment. They would limit the court but affirm its integration decision. “Surveying this dangerous situation,” Baskin said, “Johnson OContinental Bus Lines, struck by 500 Texas union drivers, offered them $7 per ‘hundred miles driven, compared to the $7.75 they had been paid before the strike. The offer was rejected. OIn Beaumont, the wives of ten pipefitters asked carpenters’ officials to call off pickets so their men can get back to work. They said the carpenters on strike had other jobs but the pipefitters did not. OUnemployment, said the TEC, is down in Texas from the year’s high in June of 208,500 to 195,500 in July. Employment figures also dropped, however, from 2,970,400 to 2,967,300. Texas Business Review said the data in July “give a strong indication that the very mild recession of the past twelve months is coming to an end.” OExplosion of an ammonia compressor in a food processing plant at Brownsville injured about 30 workers, 27 of them women. OThe head of the Dallas chapter of the Associated General Contractors, Julian Capers, Jr., commended Dallas building trade unions for their “integrity and able leadership” in light of U. S. union corruption. OTexas AFL-CIO launched its fund drive to save Gonzales Warm Springs Foundation. Union activity was reported on this drive in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Houston, Texas City, Temple, and Midland-Odessa. concluded that there was only one thing to dosend the measure back to committee. Associates say he was convinced that the Douglas amendment would be tacked on to any court legislation that was passed. This would have amounted to a disastrous blow to southern conservatives and moderates.” Lewis said the liberals had not known the Douglas amendment was coming. Baskin said the liberals were prepared to back it solidly and could count on a lot of GOP support. It was always in the background on all the bills, he said. It was “regarded as one of the most successful stratagems to emerge at this session.” Johnson’s minor victory, Baskin said, was staving off a filibuster and avoiding a vote on the Douglas amendment. Lyndon Discussed Miscellaneous remarks on Johnson as Congress ‘shut up for the year: Dick West, over WFAA, Dallas, reported that Johnson called Sen. Bill Knowland, who is in a fight for his political life against Democrat Pat Brown for the California governorship, a man of integrity and one of his best personal friends in a Senate speech. “Johnson is closer to the conservative Knowland than to liberals in his own party,” West said. James Marlow, AP writer, said Sen. Johnson may be “the man to watch” in 1960. “… Johnson might be used as a compromise candidate to pull the party together,” he said. El Paso Times said Johnson as president “could bring the American people solidly together.” Chicago Tribune reported that Johnson worked in the cloakrooms to kill the bill to restrict Supreme Court interpretations of Congressional intent to laws in which intent was specifically stated not mainly because he opposed the bill but because liberals would have filibustered it, mar OSam Burris, D. A. and antiParr leader, announced a vote fraud probe of runoff returns in neighboring Duval County. OVestal Lemmon, general manager of the Ntl. Assn. of Independent Insurers, told a legislative council panel that the uniform rate auto liability law in Texas penalizes safe drivers and adds $25 million a year to the total auto insurance bill in Texas. OA 32-year-old Mexican na tional pleaded guilty to gunrunning and was sent to Brownsville and sentenced to two years. He was running guns for “my friend” Fidel Castro in Cuba. The Week in Texas Testimony was concluded in the Conroe vote frauds inquiry. Cmsr. T. J. Peel denied he had been implicated in any irregularities. Two Negroes said Peel visited them in jail and solicited them to vote for him. Conroe Courier editor Ed Watson said he knew of no irregularities, but in his paper he wrote that Negroes have been used as “pawns” by “the ‘absentee route.’ ” Richard Hill, chairman of the county absentee ballot canvassing committee, suggested abolition of absentee ballots by mail and said his committee threw out 117 of 207 absentee ballots in the last election because they were questionable. A grocer admitted he sold poll taxes on credit, including eight to one Negro family which he did ring the picture of Senate efficiency for which he has been commended. William S. White writes that Sen. Yarborough and Sen. Gore, both “dangerously liberal” on race by Southern standards, have proved by their re-elections that responsibility and tolerance are at work in the upper South. He notes that two others who backed the 1957 civil rights bill, Sens. Johnson and Kefauver, are up for re-election in 1960, and says that the support of the bill from these four was an act of courage and valor, while the northern liberals ran no risk demanding a more liberal bill. Yarborough, at a Washington press conference, in effect shut the door on a 1960 governor’s race, although he said circumstances might cause him to run for governor. “I don’t believe I ever have run one of those stepdown campaigns, from a higher to a lower office,” he said. Did he think the governorship would be a stepdown. from the Senate? “Yes,” he replied. He said he still owes campaign debts of $5,000 from 1952, $8,000. from 1954, and $34,000 from 1958. Two interesting sidebars . the Fowlkes Bros. ranch, Marfa, was loaned $1,046,000 by the FHA to maintain its basic herd during the drouth but used $257,000 of it to enlarge the herd and buy additional equipment; and furthermore is $549,111 delinquent in repaying the loan. Gordon Fredine, principal biologist with the National Parks Service, says of Padre Island: “We feel that Padre Island really ought to be preserved. However, it has so many possibilities that we aren’t sure just what is the best thing to do with it. That’s what we’re doing nowtrying to firm up a definite picture of all the possibilities and problems so Secretary Seaton can make his recommendations.” not remember having been paid for. OA 27-year-old man arrested