Aoff’\\e ‘S,9 .dent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper TEXAS, MARCH 25, 1960 10c per copy No. 51 Vol. 51 The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. THOREAU The s 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. DOWDY: COASERVATIVE WASHINGTON The thirteen counties of the seventh congressional district lie in the heart of Deep East Texas. The smell of piney woods and the traditions of the South linger heavily there. Representing the Seventh District in Washington is soft spoken John Dowdy, who, like his district, is Southern. He is such an obvious conservative, his record stands out in a Texas delegation that often glories in conservatism. This year Dowdy puts his conservative record before the voters in a race against a young East Texas Baptist minister, Bill Crook. Dowdy’s opponent is the son-inlaw of the H. E. Butts, wealthy Corpus Christi grocery chain owners. Crook is a political moderate with some liberal ideas. He has been stressing party loyalty and has accused Dowdy of voting like Republican Bruce Alger. Crook, calling his “the forgotten district,” says eleven of its 13 counties lost population in the last decade, and in six of the \(This week the Observer presents an essay by Walter Hall, the Dickinson banker, on behalf of Lyndon Johnson for the presidency. \(The Observer, _while editorially disagreeing with Hall, believes readers will be interested in the case a liberal Texan makes for Johnson. \(Next issue the Observer will publish an article by another liberal Texan, Creekmore Fath of Austin, against Johnson for president. \(These two contending articles will, we trust, set a stage for the Observer’s own presentation of the subject, Lyndon Johnson. LEAGUE CITY, TEXAS For a man to be liberal, first he must be analytical. By analysis he sees the things that need doing if human welfare and individual dignity are to be served. It would be wonderful to have a perfect governor, president, senator, or presidential candidate. But in a complex society we are not going to have any individual meeting such a standard in the eyes of all the people. By analyzing the problems at hand and weighing the abilities of those available for the doing, we arc certain to recognize that we are not apt to get one hundred percent of what even one group wants. The problem obviously is which man will achieve the most of what liberals want. Many of us who rightfully lay full claim to liberalism are not willing to go without any progress until we can have one hundred percent success in one swoop. We prefer to use our energies in accomplishing the possible. The rung we nail to the ladder today will let us step a bit higher tomorrow. counties, social security and relief checks are the largest source of income. One out of seven children receives aid as a dependent child. Crook’s program is to attract small industry to his area and win for it a larger share of government proj ects. Political races are nothing new for the 48-year-old Dowdy. Before coming to Washington in 1952, he had been district attorney for seven years, and he has twice defeated opposition for his congressional seat. John Dowdy of Athens If any one group in this country has its way in full on the major controversial issues, do we not approach dictatorship? Democracy is to a great degree compromises between the groups that make it up. Most liberal gains appear to some only as compromises, but in reality they are real victories won by effective liberals after hard battles. In the light, then, of the contention that gradual but definite and steady attainment of liberal objectives through vigorous and skillful effort is the only course that can succeed, we look at Lyndon Johnson’s record. While the campaign speeches and party platform of a candidate are important, his conduct if elected can best be anticipated on the basis of his record, in particular on the issues on which political life or death do not depend for him. Civil rights in Mississippi and a tax on oleo in Minnesota are not the best or sole measures on which to judge senators from those states. The more I study the record, the more inclined I am to reject the question, “Why Should a Liberal Be for Johnson?” and substitute for it, “How Can a Liberal Not Be for Johnson?” I am aware that this statement will be challenged by many of my liberal friends. I am also aware that it may be misinterpreted by others, who will come to the conclusion that I have joined the “half-a-loaf’ school of thought which holds that the objective of life is to seek and to achieve an eternal series of compromises. And, of course, there will be some who will decide that I am at heart a Texan and that when the chips are down, I cannot resist the lure of a native son who seems to be moving toward the White House. Dowdy has been a consistent foe of all civil rights legislation and apparently hasn’t been too timid in letting his colleagues know his views. In the 1957 battle over civil rights, Dowdy rose to attack the proposals more often than any other Texas congressman, from both legal and philosophical viewpoints. “The object of the pressures being exerted in favor of civil rights legislation . . . is not to benefit minority racial groups, but to . . . weaken our constitution form of government in preparation for the day when the United States can be made into a dictatorship,” he said. He has said various civil rights proposals were inspired by Communists, has called them “silly,” or has compared them to the Gestapo methods of Hitler. Discussing this year’s civil rights proposals with Observer reporters, Dowdy said that any further legislation is “unnecessary.” He called the federal referee plan a “resurrection of the Reconstruction Days” and believes that “it would destroy secret elections in Texas.” He voted against the federal referee plan for the protection of voting rights, which probably will be the core of civil rights legislation this year. My feelings are not governed by such factors. I am not a Texas. chauvinist, even though I am proud of being a Texan just as I am proud of being an American. My feelings about Johnson represent no departure from liberalism whatsoever. In fact, to the contrary, it is precisely because I am a liberaland serious about my beliefs and want something done about themthat I support him. In my judgment, he is the best hope for liberalism on our horizon today. By this statement I do not mean liberalism in any qualified sense of the term. I am not setting forth any esoteric definition, and I am not indulging in any play upon words when I say liberalism. I mean the healthy, robust, aggressive, forward-looking liberalism of a Bob LaFollette, a George Norris, a Fiorello LaGuardia, or a Franklin D. Roosevelt. I mean the kind of liberalism that places human needs above cold theoretical concepts of budgets and frugality and so-called “fiscal stability.” I mean the kind of liberalism that has faith in a growing America of endless and boundless vitality; that believes natural resources are to be conserved; that believes human resources are to be developed. This is Johnson’s liberalism, and he has the best of all liberal credentials: He can point to a record of advancing liberal causes which is equalled by no other political figure on the American scene today. We have many men who have talked liberalism, and their liberalism is deep and sincere. I feel a strong kinship with those men. Many of them are articulate; many are imaginative; many have \(Continued on Page 51 McKINNEY, AUSTIN The mysterious appearance of a “Freedom in Action” promotion on textbook jackets in McKinney and Collin County high schools has led to mystified disclaimers from the sponsoring local advertiser and the McKinney school superintendent and the superintendent’s immediate decision to discontinue use of the jackets. The Observer telephoned J. C. Stewart, president of Central National Bank in McKinney, which sponsored the covers, and Hailds Pearce, the superintendent. Both seemed genuinely surprised that the name of a political organization was being promoted on public ,school textbook jackets. “It’ll come off of there,” Supt. Pearce decided on the spot. Freedom in Action is a rightwing Texas political organization which seeks to control party precinct conventions and promotes conservative political programs. It has offices in many Texas cities. Its executive secretary, Jack Cox, resigned in order to make his current race for governor against the incumbent, Price Daniel. One side of the textbook covers in question bears in large letters the words, “Freedom in Action,” superimposed over the handle of a torch similar to, but not exactly the same as the one F.I.A. uses on its promotional literature. Within the flames of the torch, drawings and mottos picture such ideas of “Bill of Rights,” “Individual Freedom,” and “Balanced Budget.” Beneath the F.I.A. blurb appear the words, “Compliments of Cen AUSTIN Ezra Taft Benson of Idaho, the Republican Secretary of Agriculture, was discussing his farm policies with a small group of Republicans from the University of Texas in the Austin Hotel Tuesday. “Our big pr o b le m, of course,” he told Keith Morrison, member of the law faculty and sponsor of the Young Republicans’ Club, “is the small rural farmer. That takes in 56 percent of our farmers. Of course many of those will have to move out consolidate into larger unitsor get jobs in industry.” In this conversation, noted down by an Observer reporter, Benson completed the exposition of his economic philosophy for agriculture before the Texas and Southwestern Cattleraisers’ Assn., the Young Republicans, and the Austin press, in a half-day visit to Austin. The Secretary applies supplyand-demand economic theory to agriculture. “There isn’t anything as effective as price to guide production and consumption,” he told the Young Rdpublicans. As of now, he said, four-fifths of agriculture “is free of cont:-ols and tral National Bank, ‘A Big Friendly Bank’.” The other side of the jacket is an ad for the bank. Around the edges of the browripaper cover are the traditional instructions to school children on how to place it around their books. Central National Bank President Stewart said, “We’re putting out textbook covers for the high school and three rural high schools in the county. I didn’t know it We’ve been buying them from the same company for years. I don’t know anything about F.I.A.” On the side of the jacket the inscription appears, “A. T. Walraven Book Cover Co., Dallas.” The jacket is patented. Supt. Pearce said of the jackets which were called to the Observer’s attention by a subscriber in McKinney “They were just sent to me that way. I didn’t even notice it was on there. You know how you don’t notice things . . . “Well, it’ll come off of the next ones,” he said. “I don’t know anything about F.I.A., except I definitely do not want to have anything to do with it. I appreciate your calling it to my attention. I remember there is a torch on them. We definitely do not subscribe to anything like that.” Would he be continuing the use of the jackets this year? the Observer asked the superintendent. “Well, I don’t know about that, either,” Pearce said. “Any that we have in stock definitely will not be used. I appreciate your calling. It’ll come off of there.” getting along fairly well.” Corn has been “freed up completely,” cotton supports are “more realistic,” rice is “better,” and tobacco has ben taken off 90 percent rigid supports. In wheat, however, Benson said, the worst problem persists. The government shut down the most efficient wheat producers, but left a 15-acre loophole, so that in the last three years, 152,000 more farmers have gone into wheat, and today $3.5 billion is tied up in wheat in government storage. “I tell you, it’s absolutely fantastic,” Benson said. The Secretary attacked the bill introduced by Rep. W. R. Poage of Waco and others to guarantee farmers’ income as “an economic monstrosity,” “a warmed over Brannan Plan,” but “more dangerous,” as it would put farmers “in bondage.” He said Sens. Kennedy, Symington, and Humphrey apparently have endorsed the bill, but “I don’t think Senator Johnson has done; and I think he’ll probably be too wise to do so.” Clearly, Benson believes the Poage bill is the Democratic line for the 1960 elections in agriculture. He said he has “never been more encouraged” about his program than now. Richard Nixon’s program could not be much different from his, he told reporters. IN McKINNEY SCHOOLS Book Covers Promote F.I.A. Hall’s Case for LBJ BENSON IN TEXAS
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