The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. THOREAU The Texas Observer 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. 51 TEXAS, NOVEMBER 13, 1959 10c per copy No. 32 1 Public Power Fight Baptists, Catholics Feud Over Religion AUSTIN proaching presidential campaign Catholic reaction has set in “brings to light a trend which is against the Baptist General Conmost un-American and bigoted vention of Texas resolution warnand calls into question the Toying Baptists to be skeptical of votalty of Catholic citizens to our ing for Catholics for public office. country.” The Baptists’ resolution, noted The Catholic assembly, the res in the last issue of the Observer, olution said, “affirms in the teeth flowed from a recommendation of of falsehood and bigotry its clear the Corpus Christi convention’s and unequivocal position supportChristian Life Commission. The ing separation of church and state convention approved this resoluas repeatedly stated by Catholic tion on the subject of Catholics leaders.” Opposing Catholics bein public life: cause they are Catholics violates “No person’s religious affiliathis principle by applying a relition per se should rule out his gious test to public officeholders, candidacy. Theoretically, a Rosaid the resolution. man Catholic has as much right The delegates asked that their to be elected to public office as fellow citizens “permit the 35 milanyone else. Practically, it must lion Catholic citizens in this counbe remembered that the Catholic try to participate in. public af Church rejects as a ‘shibboleth fairs without religious discriminaof doctrinnaire secularism’ the tion.” American doctrine of separation Sen. Henry Gonzalez of San Anof church and state. There is a tonio, a Catholic, asked to cornpractical question as to whether ment on the Baptists’ resolution, a Catholic office holder would be read it and said, “Wow.” able to resist the pressures of No matter how it was worded, clericalism .. . in view of the fact Gonzalez said, ‘the fact remains that the Roman Church is both a that it’s still a prejudicial religreligion and an ambitious political ious statement.” system aspiring to be a state, we He said some of his bitterest op recommend that our people bear ponents have been leading Cathothese facts in mind when they are lie laymen. asked to vote for a Catholic offi “The thinking Catholic is just cial.” as leery of a priest overstepping In Edinburg Sunday, 450 men his bounds as anyone else. It’s an representing 100 Catholic organingrained American tradition that izations in the Diocese of Corpus we breathe as freely as anybody Christi resolved that the apelse,” Gonzalez said. Lyndon Slammed Hard By Liberal ADA Group AUSTIN Americans for Democratic Action are the most liberal influential g r o u p in the United States. On civil rights they are as liberal as the NAACP; on labor unions they are as stout as AFLCIO itself ; on consumers’ interests they . are evidently more liberal than the consumers, themselves. ADA has great influence at Democratic national conventionsa fact which has infuriated Southern politicians and which works its way into the political rhetoric of such Texas political lights as Allan Shivers, the “ADA CIO PAC” nemesis. ADA’s evaluation of Texans in the 1959 Congress therefore, amounts to something; its bitter denunciation of “Messrs. Johnson and Rayburn” foretells an all-out fight between militant liberals and others in the Democratic Party of which the 1960 Los Angeles convention will be the culminating event. ADA down-graded Sen. Johnson to a 58 percent liberal voting record, compared to 77 percent liberal for Sen. Yarborough and 100 percent for the three other senators who are among the Democratic presidential candidates, Kennedy, Symington, and Humphrey. But portending even rougher going for Johnson in his liberal party is ADA’s extended specification of the charge that Johnson and Rayburn were guilty of “surrendering to the President.” phy in conflictat least in some tion adopted by our board anmeasurewith the politics of this swers this question.” organization.” Wiggins: “Did you feel that it In a staement made to the cowas inimical to the best interest ops, Husbands continued, “in the of your membership? . ” absence of any policy on this Husbands: “I am sure that our question, the matter was predirectors took their action on the sented for consideration of our basis of what they believed to be directors at a meeting in Abilene in the best interest of our memon June 30. After a considerable bership.” and thorough discussion, a resolu tion was -submitted and adopted Wiggins: “If the copy is the ob jeetionable part, we would like to with two dissenting votes, as fol know if there arc any revisions lows: ‘Resolved that the West which could be made that would Texas Chamber of Commerce satisfy your editorial policy. In should not accept any advertising short, what must we do to qualify for its monthly magazine, West for space in your magazine for Texas Today, where the content o this account as for others we rep of the advertising is contrary to resent?” the policies of the organization.’ ” Husbands: “The only answer I A spokesman for the co-ops told can make to this question is that the Observer that the two disthe content of advertising would senting votes came from two not be found objectionable if it newspaper editors on the Chamomits any presentation of politiber’s board of directors. cal or economic philosophy con Continued Husbands, “Our politrary to our policies. To be spe cies which would apply generally cific in citing one instance, involving the adver tising this situation’ which relates entirely to REA advertising are those in the sale of a product or a service favor of economy in government, would encounter no objection a reduction in federal spending, from or conflict with our poliand equality of taxation as becies.” After recounting these qucs like ‘business enterprises of a’ like character.” lions and answers, Husbands then took the members of the co-ops to The turndown caused consider task for their published reactions able agitation among West Texas to the ad rejection, printed re co-ops, and through their adver marks which Husbands described tising agency they made further as “a smear of the worst kind, inquiries. Husbands records the and … irresponsible.” He quoted questions raised by Wiggins and from a Texas Electric Coopera his own answers in behalf of the tive Newsletter which said, “We West Texas Chamber: must come to the obvious con Wiggins: “We would like to elusion that the commercial utilknow why this advertising was ity company members of the turned down.” board of directors vetoed these Husbands: “I have cited above ads.” the answer to this question.” Responded Husbands, “A hasty Wiggins: “Did you find the maconclusion of this kind does more terial objectionable?” harm to your cause than you can Husbands: “I think the resolur e p a’i r. To instinctively label those who dissent from your phi losophy as being subservient to AdControversy your competitors is to ignore the facts, is to question the motives and conscience of free thinking, Helped: Cobb independent minded men, and is to blind yourself to opinion which you should respect for its merit AUSTIN whether you disagree or not.” As if to underscore the reason, James R. Cobb, general manager of Texas Electric ing of the board, Husbands passed Co-operatives, Inc., said that along individual opinions of vari”West Texas Today,” the West ous directors concerning co-ops. Texas Chamber of Commerce Among them: “All cooperatives magazine, haS a right to turn are socialistic”; “Their national down or take any advertise organization advocates bigger fed ments but that their rejection eral power expenditures”: “Co of the co-op ads \(discussed in operatives are run by Washington do not pay taxes on the same instead of letting the public basis as their competitors … are decide, they adopted a policy subsidized by taxpayers … and that “It’s not good for our constantly seek to serve non-farm operators”; “Cooperatives s a y people to read this kind of they are not socialistic but they stuff.” Cobb also objected to the support the operation and expansion of the TVA, a completely so reason for the ad rejection cialistic operation”; and, finally, given by Fred Husbands, ex ecutive vice-president of the “The cooperatives are trying to involve us in a controversy.” West Texas Chamber. “They gave reasons that they just Husbands’s parting word to the didn’t believe in co-ops,” Cobb co-ops: “If you find that we dif said. “After all, there’s the fer with you on views in this situUP, and quite a few other ation, please do not ascribe to us that we are victims of the ‘Big co-opsso they are hitting some of their businesses that Lie’ techniques which your national organization is so prone to operate on a co-op basis.” use in opposition to any who But, concluded Cobb, “Frankly, more people read question any part of your opera the aids as a result of the con lions.” troversy than would have This “West Texas incident” is with publication.” recounted here not only because \(Continued on Page \(Last of the Observer’s series on the economics of power in AUSTIN In the folklore of government-in-Austin, electric power companies have influence second only to major oil companies. The very conservative voting record of legislators from the Rio Grande Valley is explained by a lobbyist on the grounds that “those boys aren’t going to buck Central .Power and Light.” A recent expensive campaign for the key position of Speaker of the House was financed in part, according to the folklore, by certain as transmission companies and West Texas Utilities Company. The veteran power company representative, Jack Harris, is pointed to as one of Austin’s more potent lobbyists, finishing behind Ed Clark and Mid-Continent Oil’s Andrew Howsley, but ahead of such worthies as the truckers’ Jim Taylor and TMA’s Ed Burris. Harris, himself, would be the first to deny such honors. “I don’t lobby, I just give ’em the facts,” is the way he defined his legislative activities for an Observer reporter before the 56th legislature convened. The face the electric companies turn to the public is increasingly political in nature rather than economic. Because of the nature of electric power, the utility business is somewhat outside the bounds of normal competitive enterprise; the principal threat to the private utilities is public power rather than rival utility companies. As a result, utilities have increasingly become identified in the public mind with full page ads extolling free enterprise \(particularly “tax-paying” free ernment intervention” in the power business, a development frankly regarded by the power companies as “socialistic.” Perhaps the best example, in microcosm, of this propaganda war of public vs. private power and some of the arguments used was a recent imbroglio involving the West Texas Chamber of Commerce, various electric cooperatives, a San Antonio advertising agency, and the sensitive issue of what a magazine should or should not carry in its advertising columns. On June 3 of this year, Jim Wiggins of the San Antonio advertising agency of Fraser, Wiggins, Collins & Steckly attempted to place a six-month ad schedule in the West Texas Chamber of Commerce magazine, “West Texas Today,” . on behalf of rural electric cooperatives. The ads were rejected. Some co-op members charged that the Chamber’s board is dominated by utility company executives. As explained by the West Texas Chamber’s executive vice-president, Fred Husbands, “upon examination of the content of these ads, it appeared to me that we were confronted with the question as to the propriety of publication in our ‘house organ’ of advertising where the content was of a political or economic philoso Of just as much interest to Texas voters is the fact that ADA rated the 21 voting Texas congressmen as more conservative than liberal by a margin of 107 to 77, in the 1959 Congress. On the House side, ADA found the Texas congressmen voting overwhelmingly “contrary to liberal policies” on admitting Hawaii to the union, the “states’ rights” anti-preemption bill, the Supreme Court Mallory decision, and the key House vote choosing between a union-restricting bill was more acceptable to pro-union people. House members from Texas were overwhelmingly liberal on TVA and establishing a permissive food stamp program for overseas food surplus disposal. Johnson had a 7-5 liberal record for the session on ADA’s scorecard. Yarborough was liberal by ten votes to three. ADA said Johnson and Yarborough both cast two illiberal votes against reforming the Senate’s filibuster rules; both voted illiberally, ADA said, on the Douglas proposal to reduce, on a graduated scale, the oil and gas depletion allowance. Johnsen voted against, and Yarborough for, the Clark amendment to increase urban renewal from $350 million to $450 million a year; Johnson voted against, and Yarborough for, considering a bill to strike the student loyalty oath requirement of the National De \(Continued
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