fl The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper A Window to the South Volume 53 TEXAS, OCTOBER 20, 1961 15c per copy Number 29 AUSTIN If J. Frank Dobiewho has called the state textbook committee’s present censorship programs “one of the worst things that has happened to Texas education in my lifetime”wanted to get a hearing to protest the committee’s action, would he be given . a hearing? “No.” J. B. Golden, director of the Texas Education Agency’s textbook division, was perfectly candid this week when the Observer put a series of questions to him about the rights and limitations of citizens to protest the operation of his division. Bob Sherrill The situation is this: Anybody will be given a hearing to demand that textbooks be edited and rewritten, but nobody will be given a hearing to protest the state agency’s order to rewrite textbooks. This means that J. Evetts Haley and his Texans for America, and the Daughters of the American Revolution, were given every opportunity to persuade the textbook committee to censor the history books to be used in high schools beginning next year. The textbook committee, Golden has said, agreed to part of this censorship demand and ordered the pubBut neither J. Frank Dobie nor any other disturbed Texan has the opportunity now to protest the committee’s cooperation with Haley. The Observer asked these questions of Golden: Q.You make every textbook author take a loyalty oath. But in addition, you said every author’s background and loyalty was checked out by some unidentified “investigative organization that knows more about communism in Texas than anybody in the nation.” Do you subject members of the state textbook committee to the same scrutiny, or do you settle for just an oath from them? A.”We check these people \(the submit their records to an official investigation by that organization, but they have to take a loyalty oath.” Q.You don’t check to see if committee members are communists? A.”No.” Q.Do you check to see if any of them are members of the Texans for America or of the Daughters of the American Revolution or of the John Birch Society? A.”That’s not a matter of record. I’m not sure whether we quiz them on whether they are Baptists or Methodist or AAUW. But we check with people in authority. They come pretty clean. They have a good reputation in their communities and professionally. We could have a member of the DAR or of Texans for America on the textbook committee, I don’t know.” Q.Or of the ‘John Birch Society? A.”I don’t know that member ship in a patriotic organization would. . . . We don’t disqualify people because of their membership in patriotic organizations. Belonging to the DAR wouldn’t disqualify a person from sitting on the textbook committee.” Q.Would being a member of Texans for America? A.”No, that wouldn’t disqualify him either. But it’s never come up.” Q.Do you know anything about the political persuasion of various members of the textbook committee? Do you know whether a majority of the group is conservative or liberal, or if the group is balanced along these lines? A.”We’re certainly not going to put a commie on the committee. Members are going to have to be good old American citizens. Whether they are Democrats or Republicans is not a primary consideration. We don’t go into their politics. They’re selected according to professional training, Maturity, experience.” Q.Since many of the questions that come up ‘are at least obliquely political, do you think it would be wise to try to balance the committee along political lines? A.”These aren’t political appointments.” Q.Which members were on the history and science and music subcommittees this time, and what was their background in these fields? A.”You’ll have to go to the minutes for that. They’ll be available in about 10 days.” Q.\(There are four superintendents and one ex-superintendent on the state textbook commitbe some risk to having so many superintendents on the committee, AUSTIN A group of some 200 liberal Democrats, calling themselves the Democratic Coalition, met in closed session in Austin’s Commodore Perry this week, but the only firm decision made on the state’s forthcoming political wars was the organization of a sweeping poll tax drive. There was a strong undercurrent of talk about candidates and issues during the day-long session. Although a report from a “candidates committee” was straightforward and noncommittal, merely listing possible aspirants for all statewide posts, the Observer learned that some 15 key liberal leaders met secretly with Fort Worth’s Jim Wright in a breakfast session early Saturday morning. Present at the meeting, besides Ramsey’s New Post Sought AUSTIN Keith Wheatley, 28, accused Ben Ramsey this week of seeking election to the railroad commission as a payoff for serving the oil and gas interests faithfully during his decade as lieutenant governor. Wheatley is an opposing candidate for the commission post. Ramsey left the lieutenant governorship a month ago to accept an interim appointment by Gov. Price Daniel to the railroad commission which, among other things, regulates the state oil and gas industry. Wheatley, speaking to a gathering which included many liberals, said Ramsey had used his power in the Senate to protect the interest of Eastern oil companies, doing the job “with all the humility of a reconstruction era carpetbagger serving his Northern bosses.” Wheatley is an independent oil operator, son of State Rep. J. C. Wheatley of Haskell. But he said the days of the independent oil operator are fading because of “strangling” policies set up by the railroad commission to benefit the big eastern companies. Said ‘Wheatley: “Now Ben seeks his reward for his faithful efforts to make all gas pipeline taxes unconstitutional and all sales taxes as broadbased as possible; now for his long years of service as a walking Texas branch office of Eastern major oil companies, he wants as his reward a seat on the railroad commission, whose statutory purpose is to regulate the same Eastern corporations.” He said the major oil companies had good reason to praise the railroad commission because, by holding down allowable pumpage, it was driving the independents out of business. He said that when “ten years from now, the majors own 90 or 95 or 100 percent of Texas production,” then the railroad commission will probably lift the allowables and let the major companies have a field day. As for Ramsey’s support of the sales tax, Wheatley charged that if oil production had been free to Wright and his Fort Worth associate, Rep. Don Kennard, were Hank Brown, Mrs R. D. Randolph, Roy Evans, Albert Pena, Fred Schmidt, Mrs. Jud Collier, Bill Petrie, Bob Eckhardt, and Chris Dixie, among others. Wright, a possible gubernatorial candidate, was queried on a number of key state issues involving taxes, appropriations, and appointments to important agencies. The Observer learned that the people present were “generally pleased” with Wright’s stated position in these areas. Some, however, went away from the early morning caucus with an impression that Wright may not run for governor and that Navy Secretary John Connally would make the race. Chris Dixie of Houston, it was learned, complained about a re AUSTIN W. D. Youngblood told the Observer this week his political philosophy is the same as it was when he worked on the executive staff of ex-Gov. Allan Shivers. Youngblood has publicly resigned from the Democratic Party and shifted into the Republican ranks. Asked if he knew whether Shivers would make the same move, as rumored, Youngblood said he hasn’t talked to Shivers recently. He grinned, explained that he had “heard the same rumors”; if Shivers joined the Republican Party “it would be a big shot in the arm.” He said from what he has heard in talking around, there will be a real headline exodus from the Democratic Party, including some big names, in the next three or four months. Youngblood, 32, was in Gov. Beauford Jester’s business office and stayed on under Shivers as administrative assistant to the late William L. McGill, director of the disaster relief branch of the governor’s office. “I haven’t changed my political philosophy,” he said. “I just feel the Republican Party more closely parallels my philosophy.” The realization of this struck home most forcefully, he said, during the last national Democratic convention when he saw top Texas Democrats disavowing the planks in the party platform but backing the candidates who stood on the planks. “Basically, the conservative voice can no longer be heard in the Democratic Party as such,” he said. “The influence of conservative Democrats in molding party policy is ignored, or at least not recognized, at either the state or the national level.” Fear Drift to Left Youngblood was chosen the Austin Junior Chamber of Commerce’s “Young iMan of the Year” for 1960, and in 1958-59 he was governor of the’ Texas District of Civitan International. In short, he , is a mixer and he mixes widely. cent statement made by the Fart Worth congressman on extremists in Harris County. “When you talk about extreme left-wingers,” Dixie told Wright, “you’re talking about me.” Sen. Ralph Yarborough in a talk to the full meeting Saturday morning said loyal Democrats fared better on patronage this year than ever before, even during the New Deal. He cited the appointments of Judge Sarah Hughes of Dallas, Woodrow Seals of Houston, and Wayne Justice of Athens as examples. Yarborough appealed for liberals’ supporting proven loyal Democrats for important offices rather than moderates chosen as the lesser of two evils. Otto Mullinax of Dallas, in another talk, proposed a statewide He said that wherever he goes, he finds more and more people in Texas feeling as he does, fearful of the Democratic Party’s “drift toward socialism.” Could he give some examples of this drift on the state level? Some examples, say, in the spending for welfare programs? “I’d rather not comment on it at this time,” he answered. “But I think there have been -many instances in state government where it has taken over the prerogatives of city and county governments. I feel that by and large government is best when it is closest to the people.” Would a Republican administration spend more or less on welfare than is presently authorized by the conservative Democratic budget? He didn’t want to say anything to this question except that Republicans realize the “state must be responsive to people who can’t help themselves.” Youngblood also feels that “there have been times in the past when our state government has hurt free enterprise. I won’t quote specific examples, but there have been boards and committees created which on the surface are to protect people but in reality have been created to help one segment of ‘industry and restrain competition.” ‘Hypocritical’ Loyalty He criticized state leadership “in the last few years” for duplicity and hypocrisy: “instead of working for what they profess to believe in, they are more content to go along with the dictates of the national Democratic Party.” He agrees with those who say the dominant influence in the Texas Republican Party is the but locally-organized liberal forurn, a discussion group to do what he called “exploratory thinking.” Such an organization would essentially be non-political, he said, but would discuss crucial national and state issues. Sen. Henry Gonzalez of San Antonio gave a report on the. progress of his congressional race against Republican John Goode. Plans were laid for raising sufficient funds to conduct a vigorous drive for poll taxes. Hank Brown, AFL-CIO president, said a specific effort would be made to register labor wives, who often do not vote, he said. It was disclosed that Negro and Latin-American polltax organizers would travel around the state. The session was closed to the press and an Observer reporter was asked to leave. W.M. ‘Engaged in Teaching’ Only One Side Heard on Books ‘No Philosophy Change’ Shivers Assistant Explains Switch Poll Taxes Sought; Wright Quizzed
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