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* * * ‘Babies Without Milk’ OBSERVER NOTEBOOK “We Don’t Want No Troublemakers From The United States” AUSTIN One fourth of all Texas households have spendable incomes of less than $2,500 a year. These incomes are below the normal subsistence level. Another 22.1 per cent of Texas households have spendable incomes of $2,500 to $4,000. Most of them live at the level of bare subsistence. This means that consumption sales to almost half of the people in Texas cannot be increased. “Most of these families live in austerity and perpetual depression.” \(Source: The report of Governor Daniel’s finance advisory commission, Do you understand the economic facts of life for Texas independent oilmen? Most outsiders do not. It is obvious that if the independents could carve out their own policy positions, they would defeat the Texas railroad commissioners for restricting Texas production to eight or nine days. The Commission does this simply because it is subordinate to the major oil companies, which do not want high Texas production because their production in other states and other nations is more profitable. Why, then, do the independents fail to speak out? Because of “farmouts.” Many of them depend on the major companies for lucrative drilling subcontracts. If they get cut off the majors’ list, they’re like babies without mother’s milk. In this light, the keynote address of R. L. “Bob” Foree, the Dallas independent, at the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Assn. convention in Midland this month has breached the gentleman’s agreement euphemistically called “industry unity.” He threatened the majors but did not lay into them; he was saying, it seems, “Make us mad enough and we’ll call the cops” \(which the indeIf you are interested in some of the real issues of the oil business, follow along Foree’s thinking the next few paragraphs: “It seems to me, more clearly than at any previous time in memory, independents are confronted with that basic question: To what extent do they go their own way? To what extent is it in the interests of the independents to avail themselves of public and governmental sentiment favoring the small businessman ? .. . “Whether . . . we choose to arrive at some reasonable size for the peg should be decided by ourselves and not by the major oil companies. Their ,encouragement to some of our members to have nothing to do with decontrol by size might have been made in their own particular interest. Apologies to Byron AUSTIN Two weeks ago the Observer in a page four editorial published a list of 56 members of the Texas House who voted both for the sales tax and for postponement of the corporate income and dedicated reserves natural gas tax. Of the 56, the names of those representatives who have also voted against the escheats bill, the revised franchise tax, and the loophole bill were printed in bold-face. These were the people, the editorial argued, “who should be allowed to return to Austin only for football games and PTA conventions.” Rep. Byron Tunnell, Tyler Tory, has complained to the Observer that his name should have been printed in bold-face also. A quick check confirmed that he had, indeed, voted for the sales tax and for postponement of the corporate income tax and the natural gas tax, and against the loophole bill, the escheats bill, and the revised franchise tax. We regret the error, and are most pleased to make the correction herewith: Byron Tunnell, Tyler “If you followed the testimony given in Washington this past week by major oil companies, you would find very little similarity in their recommendations. It appeared that each put paramount recommendations that would fit its own particular interest .. . “Further evidence that others are taking short-term views is the case of the originator of the cut in East son to believe that the cut was instituted . . . because it was one of the factors in determining the price that they would pay for Venezuelan crude oil. And even though this company enjoyed a 70.4 per cent increase in its net earnings the first quarter of ’61 . . . it has not restored the price. . . . So maybe it becomes imperative that we speak only for ourselves. . . . “There are really only three states which prorate \(control production homa, and Kansas. There is no hope in getting other states to adopt similar proration laws . . . The real answer lies in more responsible action by top management of leading interstate purchasers. . . . “The monopoly implications of interstate purchasers seeking to keep allowables down in states which have a large number of independents and seeking to produce as much as possiobvious. I attended a \(Texas Railin June of last year where the successful requests were for eight days. A few days later, I was in the great state of Wyoming and toured an oilfield there where wells were being produced with Reda pumpsno water, just 800 barrels of oil per day and this oil was being purchased by one of the Texas eight-day nominators . . . “If the interstate purchasers really want to avoid federal proration’ and attacks by state legislators on market demand proration, they had better review their thinking and change their policies, because the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Justice Department is definitely interested in this purchase system . . . The Antitrust Division would welcome a complaint from independents on this subject . . . “The statements of various major companies brag about their strides toward greater self-sufficiencya way of saying that there is no need for independent producers. The monopoly implications here are apparent also .. . “If we ever decided to go all-out for ourselves, as some majors seem to be doing, we may not benefit longrange, but the large integrated competitors will discover that they have a lot to lose. “There are . quite a few things that we might and could do. We could join an attack on foreign tax creditsWe could join an attack on foreign depletionWe could formally file an antitrust complaint on purchase practices We could ask that the Government subsidize independent domestic producers; it is being done for the domestic refiners. “If we fail to get along, I ask you whether we should not seriously reconsider our policy of going along.” Basic facts file for Texas politicians: The federal census bureau reports that Texas has the second largest Negro population in the Union. New York is first with 1,415,511; Texas second with 1,187,125, an increase of 209,667 from 1950. Total Texas population: 9,579,677. The census bureau said that more than one fifth of Houston’s total population is Negro, 215,037, or 22.9 per cent of the city’s total population of 938,219. Houston ranks 10th among major cities in Negro population ; Dallas is 14th with 129,242, or 19 per cent of its total population ; San Antonio is 17th with 41,605, or 7.1 per cent. Away from the Confederacy? AUSTIN As the newsboys brought in the Tuesday afternoon editiOns bearing their dark streamers about Montgomery, Rep. Lloyd Martin of Normangee strolled over to the front microphone to try to get his antisit-in bill through final passage. Only several days before, Martin got the necessary two-thirds on suspension to pass the measure to third reading. To suspend the rules this time, he again needed two-thirds. In one of the most important actions of this sad and fruitless Fiftyseventh, he was voted down. One liberal member said later, “It looks like we can win on anything when the opposition needs twothirds.” After a brilliant piece of homespun oratory by Charlie Whitfield of Houston, the vote was 87-51, 14 short for suspension. When the vote flashed on the board, there was a still moment in the chamber. Then, sponstaneously, from all corners of the chamber, there were shouts and applause. An East Texas member who had voted with Martin joined in. Some of the reporters sitting around the press table looked at one another and smiled. They knew it could not have happened five years ago. One-third of the Texas House of Representatives went on record against a thinly-disguised discrimination billand perhaps 15 others wanted to vote against it and did not, including one young representative who had left the chamber after the vote last week, crying angrily. ‘ There was talk later about the members from “dangerous” districts who had the courage to vote no : Haring of Goliad ; Harrington of Port Arthur; Korioth of Sherman ; Lack of Kountze; Nugent of Kerrville; and from the large cities, Gladden, Green, Kennard, and Richardson of Fort Worth, and Whitfield, Floyd, and Eckhardt of Houston. Although it may have taken a suspension vote to prove it, in moments like Tuesday’s we may assure ourselves that Texas is moving away from the Confederacy. W.M. ANOTHER AWARD! Texas Observer Ltd., in its announcement last week of 12 Oscarwinners in the 1961 Texas House of Representatives, did not disclose one other important award. It is herewith announced. The D.A.R. Revolutionary of the Year Award goes to Mrs. Myra Banfield of Rosenberg. Mrs. Banfield will receive a copy of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and a pink corsage. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 5 May 27, 1961 There Was Applause