Page 3


The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. THOREAU The it -A, T9 XG,L 11:21.M GJOW31 9910 SJP1 op, t -3-Est 9T9e IP Nor JOU’ 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. 52 AUGUST 12, 1960 15c per copy No. 19 Labor Convention: What It Did, What It Heard DALLAS Maury Maverick, Jr., of San Antonio, and Congressman Jim Wright of Fort Worth presented their quite different political styles for the inspection of the 700 or so Texas AFL-CIO delegates. The two men who would most likely bid most vigorously for the Texas liberal vote should a race materialize for the U. S. Senate seat Lyndon Johnson now holds, Maverick and Wright were contrasted in appearance, style, and emphasis. Although both made “liberal” speeches, they said very different things. Although both were warmly applauded by the delegates, their receptions were different in significant ways. Although both were given friendly introductions by Texas labor president Jerry Holleman, there were unmistakable differences in warmth. Wright, who was not scheduled on the convention program but appeared and gave a full-length talk the same morning Maverick was to give the principal:speech, evidently had decided he could not leave the labor forum to his chief rival for liberal support for the Senate. After two hours laced with nuance, it was nclear that while Wright was a welcome enough guest, Maverick was an old friend. Just before the noon adjournment AFL-CIO legislative direc DALLAS Preston Weatherred, the principal business lobbyist in Texas, told the labor delegates that the labor movement would destroy itself if it did not approve what it now regards as anti-labor laws. Invited to present “the other side,” Weatherred clearly provoked the delegates. When one delegate booed something he had said, however, he was descended upon by labor staff people, who were determined Weatherred would be received courteously. Generally the convention took his speech stolidly and applauded him politely at the end. The Dallas attorney’s message was substantially the same one he delivered to a labor seminar recently, as reported fully at that time by the Observer. He reviewed historical sources for the idea that the government should not oppress the individual and that monopolies are not to be tolerated. He said that just as business monopolies had been restricted by the government, now the government was restricting labor monopolies. Of union corruption, he said it threatened not only the unions but “our entire structure.” He condemned racketeering and cornmunism which had led to the expulsion of some unions from the national labor movement. He warned that an attempt to repeal the state right-to-work laws federally would result in a great tor Sherman Miles announced that Texas congressmen’s voting records were being distributed at the exits. The slam _ was perfectly clear: labor is not forgetting Wright’s votes for the LandrumGriffin bill and the SouthernRepublican compromise minimum wage of $1.15 an hour. Wright, ad libbing, gesturing emphatically with his head, held forth for New Deal economics and welfare spending and closed in a dead run after those attacking Sen. John Kennedy’s religion. He was ‘applauded frequently and vigorously as he jabbed home point after point. Maverick, on the other hand, read the speech he had prepared earlier. In good voice, but eyes on his text more than on the audience, he argued from history that the state’s heritage is liberal, not conservative. He chose the one liberal issue most likely to be controversial with the labor delegates race and took his stand for integration, even for integration of local unions. Although he was interrupted only once or twice for applause, when he finished he was given a roaring, standing ovation which exceeded in length and volume that received by any other convention speaker, including James Roosevelt the day before. Cool But Friendly Holleman said little in introduc ing Wright. Wright’s election, re public outrage, just as the Landrum-Griffin bill had caused a public clamor for its passage. In a friendlier tone, he said Holleman and Schmidt, the Texas labor leaders, are “respected by everybody in Texas who knows them because they’re respectable, fine men.” Holleman, he said, he knew was an electrician, “I’ve seen some of his wiring,” but he wondered jokingly if Schmidt “ever worked at anything in his life.” \(Before union work Schmidt Making a case, he said, for the general sales tax, although he did not care what it would be called, he advocated an additional tax contribution of $30 or $40 by every Texas family to support the state government. Business, he said, now pays 56 percent of Texas state taxation, but takes less than four percent of the gross receipts dollar, compared to workers’ 74 percent. Holleman disputing slams by Weatherred at corruption among teamsters and operating engineers said that the Texas branches of these unions had been held to be clean and honest. He told Weatherred he must realize he had not made many converts; hoped he and Schmidt would be invited to speak to business meetings more often; and commended Weatherred for his straightforward talk. “It was a courageous thing for you to come and say it,” he said, and the delegates gave Weatherred a hand on that. Speakers Hit Religigus Bias Maverick Greeted Enthusiastically Militant Resolves on All Fronts DALLAS Evidence c o n t i n u e s to mount that Senator Kennedy’s Catholicism is becoming a principal, perhaps the principal issue in Texas for November. Widespread circulation of an alleged Knights of Columbus oatha discredited documentprovoked one labor convention speaker into unrestrained outrage here. Religion recurred in concerned discussions among the labor delegates, who are overwhelmingly ‘proKennedy, and other developments tended to confirm a picture of opponents of Kennedy emphasizing and stirring up religious animosities in different parts of the state. Meeting Tuesday in Calvary Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, a group of 15 ministers mostly Baptists, from Dallas and Tarrant counties mapped a campaign against Kennedy. They elected Dr. George Norris, pastor of Gideon Baptist Church, Fort Worth, chairman, and he said, on behalf of “what we believe is a righteous cause, wherein our liberties in America are endangered,” the Catholic Church is the only religion “where an earthly ‘head ‘claims authority over temporal ‘matters.” Kennedy had pledged, Norris conceded, to act “only by conscience and the U.S. Constitution, but he cannot verbally eliminate the pressure of his church’s hierarchy.” Bill Davenport of Tyler, a delegate to the AFL-CIO convention, told of a friend in Tyler who asked him about the Knights of Columbus “oath.” The instrument had been given him, the friend said, by someone from Post, Texas, with the suggestion he reproduce copies and give them to his friends. Davenport said he read the document and told his friend it was “somehow false.” Several other persons in Tyler also mentioned it to him, he said. The ‘oath” has also turned up in Denton County, according to guests of the convention from there. ‘Slipped Under Doors Congressman Jim Wright, Fort Worth, addressing the convention, said that “in the last few days” in his home county of Parker, this same “oath” allegedly used by the Catholic fraternal order, the K. of C., had been “slipped under the doors of our people” and “handed out surreptitiously at night.” Wright called it a wicked document, a phoney, a fraud, and “the invention of a venomous and an impious mind.” He is himself, he said, a Mason “I’m a Presbyterian, a kind of a drycleaned Baptist,” he joked but believes in men’s rights “regardless of race or color or creed.” Religious tests for office are prohibited for public office in the U.S. Constitution, and “we make it meaningless if we behave otherwise,” he said. \(Continued DALLAS Texas labor this week drafted a course more independent of statewide liberal organization in Texas and the Democratic Party and shored up its militant liberalism on every frontcivil rights, taxa.tion, welfare spending, labor laws, and minimum wages for Texas workers, including farm workers. Reaffirming its policy of caucusing in advance of participation in any other organizations, the Texas AFL-CIO held fast to its basic tactic of acting as a unit on behalf of whatever decision its own members agree upon. Potential Senate candidates, a son of. Franklin Roosevelt, and the chief business lobbyist in the state addressed the four-day convention, but most high officials skipped it. Pulling back from, but not necessarily out of the Democrats of Texas Clubs, labor’s stance on DOT, as described by president Jerry Holleman, amounted to insistance on following its own course without having DOT officials commit labor to a course it does not wish to follow. * DALLAS Commuting workers from Mexicoa costly bus strike that has evidently failedFord Motor Co. violence against unionists 20 years agocourts’ holdings against union workers: these kinds of issues most essentially interested the delegates to the Texas labor con,. vention. Peyton Parking Plant meatcutters in El Paso have been protesting a long-standing system by which Mexican nationals “commute” to take jobs in El Paso although they live in Juarez. The unionists convened in Dallas noted that federal authorities have certified this depresses U.S. working conditions and that federal judge Luther Youngdahl has in effect settled the law against the commuter system. Charles Morris, Dallas labor attorney, told the Observer that the government learned that 13,000 Mexicans were commuting to El Paso on a single day. The government is likely to appeal Youngdahl’s de c i s i o n, which, if made final, would bar the casual entry of aliens to work in the U.S. Indignation with the National Labor Relations Board in Washington found its crystalization here in a recent NLRB decision’ which in effect wiped out bus drivers’ local 1142 in Fort Worth, whose members operated Continental buses between Fort Worth and Dallas. They struck in July, 1958, asking a retirement plan, sick leave, and wage increases. In October that year they alleged unfair labor practices by Continental, including failure to bargain in good faith and the use of an electronic “bug” in the Dallas hotel room of bus union official J. W. Connally, a use the company admitted, and explained as a precaution against possible vio As the convention approached its end Thursday non-labor liberals were confronted, then, with labor’s desire to cooperate with them in coalition, but insistence on their own course. DOT spokesmen indicated they will go on with their . organization with labor people participating as individuals. Reaffirming ideals of human rights for all, the convention with only one or two “no’s” ‘adopted previous national and state labor planks on civil rightsplanks which include fair employment practices, an end to discrimination in local unions, full and fast desegregation. It went further by instructing state officers to report to each convention “the progress of civil rights in the trade union movement in Texas.” District and state officials were also instructed to establish area civil rights committees to carry out the unions’ civil rights program. Recognizing the rights of minority groups are now being denied in the use of public facilities, employment opportunities and “the equal availability of good lence. On Aug. 2 this year, 25 months from the date of the filing of the union complaint with NLRB, the government board dismissed it in a two-paragraph statement which gave no reasons. “You’ve just got 327 families that this has washed up, and nobody even wants to give any excuses,” said Charles Hunter, business agent of the Fort Worth local. There had been 459 workers involved at the first but some drifted off to other work. Continental replaced all the strikers. The delegates’ union spirit was stirred by the circulation among them of a specially printed booklet documenting a Ford Motor Co. fight against unionization in Dallas in 1940, which the federal authorities found at that time had included company goon squads inside and outside the plant and had involved many beatings and even a tarring and feathering of union organizers and workers. In remarks about the case, various delegates rose to remember past and remark on present sacrifices for unions. Nat Wells, Dallas labor lawyer, telling the delegates they should get mad ‘these days about legal decisions discriminating against them, contrasted the sentencing of a Dallas unionist to 25 years for an attempted bombinga sentence later thrown out by an appeals courtWith the suspended sentence given the San, Augustine businessman recently defended by Lt. Gov. Ben Ramsey on a charge of murdering his Negro baby-sitter by running her down with his car. Elro Brown, oilworkers’ district director from Houston, reviewed “the Port Arthur story” of 1954 and introduced unionists who had lived through what he called “the big lie.” Weatherred Presents ‘Other Side’