5wo 21eath Now Free to Speak Last week, two political Texans died, Sam Rayburn and Bob Bray. Everyone has heard of Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House of Representatives longer than anyone in U.S. history and always loyal leader of the Democratic Party. Almost no one has heard of Bob Bray, newspaperman and aide to politicians. The death of every person is a personal tragedy beyond any public comment. Nothing can take from a person, from a person’s close ones, the privacy of death. Nothing can miti-. gate its finality. Nothint can soften its impact. We can, and do, extend condolences to those who loved Sam Rayburn and Bob Bray. We do not expect such condolences to make the loss any less. We join in the national tributes to Speaker Rayburn, the public servant. He served his country and was rewarded by his grateful colleagues and millions of admirers. His position of eminence in the national history is secure. Neither do we lost sight of the fact that some of Mr. Rayburn’s public positions, his skepticism toward labor unions, advanced civil liberties legislation, big-city liberalism, and Howard Stickney ought to get a new trial. A new witness alleges under oath he saw the beach scene leading to the murders for which Stickney was convictedwith Stickney lying on the sand unconscious. Stickney was entitled to a full mental examination before his trial, with the results available to the jury for consideration in assessing punishment. The factsset out this week in the Observer, as best we can gather and understand themleave little room to doubt that a jury, hearing the Stick Atty. Gen. Will Wilson is to be commended without reservation for his report humiliating the House General Investigating Committee for its false, phoney, and demagogic report alleging the NAACP illegally pumped $35,000 into the Marshall sit-in demonstrations. The attorney general may have had 4’political motives of several kinds. The fact remains he has set right a false report -that five Texas state representatives witlessly dignified with their names. What kind of investigating committee does the Texas House of Represen Subterfuge at worst, cockeyed administration at best, has been displayed by officials of the Texas Education Agency’s textbook division in the recent secretive agreements reached between state officials and textbook publishers on what re-editing and re-writing would be done to recently selected history books. By now it should be plain to anyone who has followed the Observer’s account of the TEA’s textbook selecting procedure that any concessions that are made to outside protests will be made to the protesting conservative pressure groups such as those we haven’t right now the stomach to name. So when the secret censuring agreements were reached, they were, it is safe to assume, leaning radically to starboard. Certainly it is difficult to imagine the textbook committee, ever sensitive to conservative pressures, encouraging the publishers to tell a urban precinct politics, belonged to an era which the relentless events of recent times have superceded. We are moved to remember that Bob Bray was a public servant who served his country with as much dedication, and much less reward. He was the anonymous idealistthe researcher behind the scenesthe press release writerthe speech -drafter without whose work Ralph Yarborough could not have proceeded with his own public service as well as he has. Bray was with us on the Observer for a time. He did not quit at five o’clockunless it was five o’clock in the morning, and he was finished or bushed. He looked for the areas where people needed a journalist’s attention and labored there until he had his stories. Most recently he helped elect Henry Gonzalez to the Congress. He had started to set up Gonzalez’ new office in Washington. Bray did not work for the Observer, for Yarborough, for Gonzalez. He worked all the time for his own ideals. He, too, was a good and useful public servant. All hail to Sam Rayburn. All hail to Bob Bray. R.D. ney case today, would receive significantly different ideas of what happened the night of May 24, 1958, than did the jury which sentenced Stickney to death almost three years ago. The Charles Elbert Williams case was one example of the uncertainty of human justice; the Howard Stickney case is another. Every case of capital punishment, when carefully examined in comparison with similar crimes; turns out to be a powerful argument against capital punishment. That issue aside, the appropriate judge should order a new trial for Stickney. tatives have ? It disseminates to millions of Texans a flat statement of sensational facts on the basis of the charge of a part-time student with a criminal record who told investigators he would not testify, would not sign his name to what he said, and might have assumed things that did not happen. The next time the reporters in the statehouse receive a report from the “House General Investigating Committee,” perhaps they will deign to do a little investigating themselvesas the Observer, and only the Observer, did at the time of the report. fuller story about the advantages of public power such as TVA, or of ‘encouraging them to make even plainer that the federal government had existed before 1932. The plain truth is, the public doesn’t know what kind of history books are being chosen for its children, and the TEA is doing its best to see that the public doesn’t learn. Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. Entered as second-class matter, April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. NOVEMBER 24, 1961 Willie Morris Editor and General Manager Bob Sherrill, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Ronnie Dugger, Contributing Editor Syndicated columnist Art Buchwald, the Herald-Tribune man in Paris, told this heart-rending story last week: PARIS “Now the truth can be told as to why I left the United States Marine Corps in 1945, only 16 years before retirement. I resigned because I was admonished and removed from command of a barbershop cleaning detail at Cherry Point, N.C., when I tried to indoctrinate my men in the politics in which I believed and in which I believed my men should believe. “The Defense Department saw fit to criticize me for these actions and wanted to transfer me to command of a salt water shower detail in Hawaii. But rather than work under little men who in the name of the country punish loyal service to it, I decided to leave the Marines and forfeit all the benefits I had built up in my four years as PFC, to do what we found it . impossible to do in uniform. “Early in my career I discovered my first sergeant was a communist, my commanding officer was a communist, the commander of the base a communist, the secretary of the Navy was ‘a communist and the President of the United States as well as all members of Congress were communists. “I felt I had to impart this information to my men as they thought the enemy was the Japanese, when in fact the real enemy was not the people we were fighting but the people at home who had infiltrated all the high places of government. OBSERVER AUSTIN PRESIDENT KENNEDY’S immediate response to Ted Dealey’s now famous outburst at the White House luncheon that America needs “a man on horseback” and that “grassroots sentiment” in Texas feels he is merely “riding Caroline’s tricycle” is only now becoming known. It did not appear in any of the dispatches from the Texas publishers who were there, although some of the reports were detailed and generally well done. In Washington the President’s reply has been widely circulated, and TRB quotes it in the New Republic: ” ‘I have the responsibility for the lives of 180 million Americans which you have not,’ he began calmly. He had observed, continued Kennedy quietly, that men tend to like the idea of war until they have tasted it, but that they quickly get enough of it. `Wars are easier to talk about than they are to fight,’ he told ‘Horseback’ Dealey. ‘I’m just as tough as you are, Mr. Dealey, and I didn’t get elected . . . by arriving at soft judgments.’ ” Consider, if you will, the possibility of a Will Wilson, a Price Daniel, a John Connally, or a Jim Wright in the gubernatorial general primary next November. Then consider, if you will, Gentleman Jack Cox’s announcement for governor recently: “After the Republican primary, in which I will seek nomination, I will hope to lead the forces of constitutional government and individual liberties to a smashing victory over the forces of socialism in the general election next November.” Via the Texas Committee on Migrant Farm Workers, there has come into our hands the statement made by President Kennedy when he sign Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5.10 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 15c each. Quantity prices available on order. EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: Mrs. R. D. Randolph, 2131 Welch, Houston 19, Texas. “I tried to speak out against these people, I tried to tell my men to vote against them in the elections, I tried to show them that a democracy could survive only with a strong military government in command of the situationand for this I was censured and my rights encroached on by the executive branch of the government, who criticized me for speaking the truth in accordance with conviction and conscience. “In defeat it turned out I was in good company. Ten million men in the armed services quit at the same time I did, mostly because they couldn’t stomach being censured and ordered around by little men. “There is no use going into the details of my court martial. All I, said while sweeping up hair in the barber shop was that my first sergeant had a beer bottle for a head and a gas bag for stomach. I didn’t realize he was getting a shave at the time. “In typical communist fashion he took exception to this description and I decided the best thing to do was leave the service and go into civilian life where I could express these opinions without fear of getting 30 days mess duty. “I know how hard it is to say what you want to say in the military, because even in military barber shops there can be subversive elements ready to discourage anyone who wants to communicate his ideas to men tinder his command. “Now I am free to hunt communists to my heart’s content. The first place I alwayslook is under my bed.” NOTEBOOK ed H. R. 2010, permitting an extension of the government recruitment of agricultural workers from the Republic of Mexicoin other words, the bracero program. It is a painful statement to read, because it was so obviously painful for the president to make. Or at least we’ hope it was, because it contains a couple of reasons that, mixed, produce a highly unreasonable mixture. the failure to include in the legislation provisions which I believe necessary to protect domestic farm workers,” Kennedy began. 1 . “Studies of the operation of the Mexican labor program have clearly established that it is adversely affecting the wages, working conditions and employment’ opportunities of our own agricultural workers, large numbers of whom are unemployed or underemployed. The workers most seriously affected are from those underprivileged groups which are already at the bottom of our economic scale ; the conditions under which these people work and live are a matter of grave concern to me . . .” However, ahem, ahem, ahem, with a bow not only to the state department but also to a peculiar set of U.S. farmers, the president continues, “I am aware, however, that some Mexican workers will still be needed next year, in some areas, to supplement our agricultural labor force. I am also aware of the serious impact in Mexico if many thousands of workers employed in this country were summarily deprived of this much needed employment . . .” Kennedy admitted “the adverse effect of the Mexican farm labor program as it has operated in recent years on the wage and employment conditions of domestic workers,” but he signed the bill. Re-ry Stichney end 0/ a _SIatt y Show Under Cover THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7.42Pix-alt
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