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Galveston Convention: III ‘Greatest Sorrow Is in His Heart and Mine’ local, publicly signing pleas for the union. “The management fired his wife,” Owens said; this only cemented his determination, and the union succeeded. “He has never made a single statement, private or public, that would embarrass the labor movement,” Owens said. “He has always walked away from the decision with dignity.” Now Swan Song Owens concluded, noting Evans was vice president and president of the old Dallas CIO council and president of the UAW citizenship council. Slough nominated Schmidt, whom he called “an intellectually honest man . . . one who will let his personal fortunes stand or rise on a principle on which the free labor movement has been made great.” Schmidt, declining the nomination, gave the delegates then his swan song. His five years with labor in Austin had been, he said, the most Ben Ramsey Wins Commissioner Job Houston attorney who gave Ramsey a good run last year, also wants to run again. El Paso County Judge Woodrow Bean said he would run no matter what happened to Ramsey. Although Ramsey has been in the eyes of all Texans as lieutenmit governor since 1950, he remains something of a mystery man. Few, besides his close associates, know much about the poker-faced East Texan. The 57-year-old native of San Augustine got his first taste of politics when he was elected to the House in 1931. He served two terms, then retired to practice law. In 1941, he won a seat in the Senate, and after two terms again retired to private life. In 1947 he was called by Gov. Beauford Jester to become secretary of state. After Jester died and Allan Shivers moved into the governor’s mansion, Ramsey resigned as secretary of state to run for lieutenant governor. His “Ramsey’s rules of order” have controlled the Texas Senate ever since. During his Senate service he won greatest attention for his sponsorship of labor regulatory laws. One of these outlawed the closed shop, others outlawed secondary strikes and boycotts. Ramsey also served as a Democratic National Committeeman from Texas after Wright Morrow of Houston resigned to support former president Eisenhower. Ramsey supported Adlai Stevenson in both campaigns, and was extremely active during the last election in behalf of President John F. Kennedy. AUSTIN When reporter Winston Bode for the Houston Chronicle wrote a story on a possible clamp-down by the University of Texas Board of Regents on the Daily Texan and the Ranger, the two student publications, Rep. Dan Struve of Campbellton offered a resolution in the second called session urging the Regents to leave hands off. His resolution was defeated, 9318. It said, in part: “The Texas House . . . takes cognizance of every aspect of public education and freedom of the press in any state institution which is dedicated to the preservation of complete and unbiased pro rewarding of his life, and he owed them much for making it possible. Whatever else he may do now, he said, “the years I spent in Austin were certainly the most valuable of my whole life.” In labor, he said, the job gets bigger than the man, “and there we are, moving the union on. I’d like to feel that the time I’ve had in Austin, that we’ve done that.” He stopped, unable to continue. “I feel that we’ve come a long way together.” He stopped again. “Every man makes personal decisions for himself,” he said. “More than anything else we like to feel what we do is being effective. I feel that the job itself has been stripped of what executive responsibility it once had. There are many important jobs . . . I’m looking for a job. . . . “If this convention will have me, I’m available to run for the executive board of Texas State AFL-CIO.” Evans was then elected secretary-treasurer by voice vote. There were some no’s. Schmidt told reporters the industrial conference will be “a growing force within Texas labor . . . a much needed one. I’m going to work very hard” on its programs. He .would not state a position on the AFL-CIO dues increase. Asked if there was a split, he said, “I would hope there’d be no split. I haven’t heard any responsible person urge a split in Texas labor.” How serious was the damage? “I think we have lots of problems. I think we’re gonna have to work hard to resolve them,” he said. Holleman reappeared on the rostrum to express his respect for Brown and Schmidt and plead for unity again. He said the convention reminded him of the time Maury Maverick, Sr., was asked who won the second world war. He replied by asking, Who won the San Francisco earthquake? The last and for practical purposes the key decision still lay ahead of the delegates: whether to give the state organization the four-cent increase \(about $100,per-member-per-month dues. The logic of the situation indicated they would not. ‘Don’t Force Us’ Brown proposed that half the increase go into a special fund to repeal the Texas right to work law. This was criticized on grounds that it crossed the interests of industrial unions, which are more directly affected by 14-B of the Taft-Hartley Law, which, if repealed, would place industrial unions in interstate commerce beyond the state right-to-work law. Roy Bruce, president of the carpenters’ council in Houston, said the right-to-work law was responsible for a decrease in his state carpenters’ brotherhood from 32,000 to 18,000 in ten years. The grams and facilities used in the propagation of the ideals of the expresses to the University of Texas administration and . . . Board of Regents the desire to have the Daily Texan and the Texas Ranger express the total picture of student life through freedom of expression. . . “Resolved, that the House of Representatives . . . presents the University of Texas Administration and Board of Regents with the challenge to offer the students of the greatest University in the United States all the opportunity needed to afford these students the experience of thinking and doing and living democracy.” delegates refused to cancel the special fund, but they accepted an amendment to add to its purpose the repeal of 14-B of TaftHartley. Morris Akin of Dallas, former CIO president, brought into the open the industrial conference position. “We are going into a new phase in this organization. I appeal to you not to make it too difficult to stay in this organization. . . You’ve taken everything else from us, don’t force this on us, too,” he said. Brown himself pleaded for the increase. Union treasuries have been stripped and members imprisoned under the right-to-work law, he said. “This is the one that goes right to the heart of the labor movement. It’s the cancer that’s gonna kill you dead as a doornail.” He condemned “the hodgepodge of 17 restrictions” on Texas labor. He did not believe the minority would decide that they had not elected whom they wanted and so would not give him any tools, he said. They could not dig the Panama ‘Canal with bare hands, and “this is going to be the toughest, roughest, knock-down dragout you’ve ever been in.” While the roll call vote proceeded, Evans took the microphone for his acceptance speech. Evidently refuting convention gossip that he would soon be contending with Brown for the presidency, Evans said, “Brother Brown is the speaker of the combine. I regard him as high as I regard anybody in the labor movement. That goes in comparison with Walter Reuther. I think he is the Abraham Lincoln of the Texas labor movement.” Any thought he had been speak. hag in a derogatory way about oil’ and telephone workers was mistaken, he said. He complimented their contribution to Texas labor. Minorities act as “the conscience of the whole group,” he added. He welcomed Schmidt to the executive board \(to which Schmidt had been elected as a matter of The roll call vote was announced: the four-cent dues increase lost, 98,484 to 64,276. Ed Ball of the steelworkers, reporting for the constitution committee, promptly proposed, instead, a twocent increase. A rumor reached the press table there would be an attempt to avoid a roll call. From the previous vote it was clear even two cents more would have less chance on a roll call than on a standing division of the delegates because the industrial union delegates, while fewer in numbers present, commanded more votes per delegate. There was another debate. Jim Smith, steel, spoke of Eugene Debs’ dream of a united labor movement. Of Brown he said, “By God, we’ve got a leader. Let’s quit carping at him. et’s don’t chop him down before he gets started.” An oilworkers’ speaker said the raise might “encourage the possibility of disaffiliation.” Ward of steel pleaded for compromise and unity. Pandemonium The state AFL-CIO constitution says a roll call shall be granted if 20 percent of the delegates request it. On a stand-tup vote, Brown ruled the necessary 20 percent requested it. F. K. Wilson, Dallas electrical workers, appealed Brown’s ruling. Brown took a standing vote on whether the 20 percent had stood up in request for the roll call. Clearly a majority voted that they had not. “The decision of the chair is overruled. By majority vote, the roll call will not be ordered,” Brown said. For a short time there was a picted it. What damage has been done to personal feelings and alliances can be repaired, but it will take a little time and some give and take, from the majority as well as the minority. “I don’t believe there is a real split. The people of labor . . . fight with each other and then fight the common enemy.” The credentials charges of packing, he said, were made moot by the outcome; the challenged votes would not have made the difference. “I thought he was hanging his hat on a small little nail, trying to find a place to get it hung,” he said. “There was no packing of the convention by anybody except those who were affiliated in good standing.” Does he expect many disaffiliations? “There may be some, but I don’t think there will be any mass exodus. We can expand by securing new affiliates. There are twice as many unaffiliated locals as supported Fred on this issue.” To what extent does he regard the industrial union conference as a challenge? He pointed out the national labor constitution required state trades councils to process all legislation through their state labor bodies. The national I.U.D. cannot endorse candidates on its own, he added. He said the conference “might not be necessarily bad” but in its infancy was a “political vehicle for Fred Schmidt. Once I am persuaded the I.U.D. is other than an opposition group, intending to do something constructive for its membership, I believe my attitude Will change, as long as they work through the structure of the state office of the AFL-CIO,” Brown said. He said some time is needed to soothe feelings and emotions. Then a way may be found to compromise the differences between “the big industrial unions as against the rest that displayed their loyalty to Hank.” The reporter had heard many delegates say they wished Brown and Schmidt could have got together. Brown responded: “I guess the greatest sorrow is in his heart and mine, that we could not reach a compromise of views. No man likes to think anything he has done would weaken labor.” THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 3 August 18, 1961 CLASSIFIED UNION DEMOCRACY IN AC-TION reports rising reform movements in labor. 10 issues $3. Sample free. Box 62 Knickerbocker Sta., NYC 2, NY. Jim Tucker Insurance Agency Auto Home . . . Business 6511 South Park Blvd. Houston, Texas Phone MI 4-1641 MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 parliamentary pandemonium. A painter from Dallas, Dan Hollis, said “It’s a disgrace.” Oilorker I. B. Holler, Port Arthur, said Brown’s only proper course was to count the delegates to ascertain whether 20 percent had asked the roll call; Brown overruled his point. George Cowart, oilworker leader from Port Neches, who had, he explained, theretofore supported as correct every one of Brown’s rulings, objected. “The constitution says that 20 percent of the delegates may call for a roll call,” he said. Brown cited to him the rules book that said the chair, if not sustained, “must abide by the rule of the majority.” A telephone worker, A. C. Tunstall of Houston, objected that Brown’s course, when overruled, should have been to take a recount. Brown overruled him. In the ensuing standing vote, counted carefully by tellers for both sides, the two-cent increase was approved 394-189, five votes more than the required two thirds. Cowart observed that the 189 were well over one-fifth of the delegates. “A bunch of blind people overruled you, and you let ’em do it,” he told Brown. Ben Whiteman of the telephone workers objected to a reporter, “We can never have a roll call vote again, because the majority can overrule us. That might as well not even be in the constitution.” of the state trainmen’s legislative board, told Brown floor leaders they were getting in trouble, and to look ahead to an appeal of the ruling. Brown announced from -the .podium that he understood there was dissatisfaction about his ruling and that if a protest was filed with him, he would forward it to national AFL-CIO for a ruling. Bryant said from a back microphone he would file such a protest. Moon of the autoworkers encouraged Bryant and Paul Gray to do this, for, he said, he doubted “whether we were right.” On this discordant note, the convention ended. Brown’s twocent dues increase hangs fire, pending the ruling from George Meany on the parlimentary situation in which it was approved. Greatest Sorrow Late that evening, the Observer interviewed new Texas AFL-CIO President Hank Brown. He was tired and sad. “I think right now the situation is not real good,” he said. “On the other hand, it’s not nearly as bad as the newspapers have de BOOKSELLERS BOOK FINDERS Special Announcement! COMING OCTOBER 13 Pres. John F. Kennedy’s Why England Slept Originally published in 1940 and written by Kennedy when he was a senior at Harvard,