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The Call of Reform GILBERT & SULLIVAN ,7he Special SeJo ion Observer Notebook THE THREE CRITICAL pieces of legislation before the special session are banks, juvenile parole, and loan sharks. With the political campaigns only weeks away, the people of Texas are in a superb position to judge the real interests of their representatives. In a special session it becomes more difficult to dodge and deceive. Time and again in recent years a decent escheat bill has been sidetracked. The end result last year was one of the larger travesties of the 1961 season : escheat legislation without banks, a feat roughly equivalent to a horse race without horses. Many local bankers and TBA spokesmen, disguising their own self-interest in righteous rhapsodies on the so-called “banker-depositor relationship,” exerted relentless pressures on the hometown gentlemen in the House. Votes were changed overnight and on the floor, promises were broken. This time the banks won’t have it so easily. Gov . Daniel and the Spears investigating committee have revealed the grim realities behind the facade of the “banker-depositor relationship”that bank profits on dormant accounts are more important than the public interest. Daniel reminded the joint session that at least 200,000 dormant accounts have been converted to bank profits since 1959 through transfers and service charges. Under the present anarchfcal arrangement, not only are rightful heirs not being protected, the state is being deprived of millions of dollars which belong to it under the law. In the next 30 days the banks are going to be under the gun as never before. It’s about time. The absence of a juvenile pa role system in Texas has been one of the state’s most pressing social problems. A mere pittance program, providing for five parole workers for the entire state, was passed last year ; it does not even begin to get the job Ch al /my e It was good to see this editorial, written by Roy Evans, in the latest issue of the AFL-CIO News: Unions in Texas have long been criticized for their lack of interest in the struggle of the Negro to gain dignity and position in our society. Much of this criticism is justified; some is not. Unions in Texas are union members in Texas and, as such, are influenced by southern traditions. Unions in Texas are also part of the American Labor Movementjust as Texas is part of the United States, and as a consequence are subject to national policies. Considering the above, the attitude of the recognized leadership of the Negro community is most commendable. Illustrative of this attitude was the speech to the National AFL-CIO Convention by Dr. Martin Luther King, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. We would like to quote some parts of his speech which we believe have special interest to Texas union people: ‘Negroes are almost entirely a working people, with needs identical with labor’s needs. That is why Negroes support labor’s demands and fight laws which curb labor. That is 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. JANUARY 5, 1962 Willie Morris Editor and General Manager Bob Sherrill, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Ronnie Dugger, Contributing Editor done. The facts speak for themselves: some 98 percent of the juvenile prisoners in the state’s detention homes are officially released each year as having made “satisfactory adjustment,” yet 37 percent of them are soon returned to prison. The 17 additional parole workers sought in legislation introduced this week is actually little more than a stop-gap measure, but it at least marks a step in the right direction. As Rep. Don Kennard, the leading advocate of juvenile parole in the House, has said: “Time and again in asking for an adequate juvenile parole system, county parole workers, youth workers, and others who took an interest in the problem and found that our treatment of juvenile offenders was little short of criminal, literally begged for reforms. They warned that without an effective state parole system these youngsters will continue to go back to the same old gangs, the same tragic homes, the same way of lifewithout help or supervision. What does it take to have our eyes opened?” For seven years now the Ob server has made its case for effective loan shark legislation in a state known nationally as a paradise for greedy and usurious lenders. Texas voters overwhelmingly approved the principle of reform in a constitutional amendment in 1960. Texans, Daniel said, “are being gouged an estimated $100 million per year by those who are charging exorbitant interest rates, to say nothing of the harassment and abuses employed to bring about payments.” The measure that emerged from the Legislative Council last month is written to be killed; a reasonable and adequate substitute should be introduced at the earliest opportunity. Any bill that lets lenders charge $20 for a two-week loan of $100, plus a charge for insurance, is by any standards outrageous. to Zahor why the labor-hater and labor-baiter is virtually always a twin-headed creature spewing anti-Negro epithets from one mouth and anti-labor propaganda from the other mouth. ‘To say that we are friends would be empty platitude if we fail to behave as friends and honestly look to weaknesses in our relationship. `Negroes given the vote will vote liberal and labor because they need the same liberal legislation labor does.’ If the Texas leaders of labor, of the Latin community, of the liberal independents and Democrats, and of the Negroes will all work together in 1962 with the spirit enunciated by Dr. King, we will be successful in getting a more representative state government. u n fiurriping With somewhat unseemly haste, the Austin American Statesman, the Wichita Falls Times and RecordNews, and the Temple Telegram all endorsed John Connally for governor. The field is not yet closed, the liberal Democrats have not yet settled on a candidate, but these newspapers have decided. Perhaps it is not entirely irrelevant that they are newspapers customarily identified with the Lyndon Johnson line. 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 GReen wood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: Mrs. R. D. Randolph, 2131 Welch, Houston 19, Texas, AUSTIN CHANDLER DAVIDSON, Fulbright Scholar at Poitiers and sometimes contributor to the Observer, writes: “Life over here is . . . French. Which is to say, rather happy-golucky. Frenchmen, the large majority of whom bear a remarkable resemblance to the large majority of Americans, just don’t give a damn about anything except three squares a day and good TV reception. I was fairly disappointed when I first got here because I had been expecting to escape for a while the John D’Birch temperament, the rantings and fistpotindings of demagogues, the rumblings of incipient fascism. And, alas, there is no escape. France, traditional bastion of liberty, equality, and fraternity, is in far more serious straits than the United States as concerns the continuation of libertarian democracy. “De Gaulle has proven himself to be, especially in the last three months, a formidable dictator. Newspapers, plays, movies, books are regularly censored by the government ; right-wing terrorism is often tacitly encouraged; and serious inroads are being made into individual rights. Further, police and military brutality are frankly encouraged, as is racism. The left is beginning to react with demonstrations, but their effectiveness is doubtful. Bitterness and tension are increasing between the right and left, and the diatribes in the more tendentious journals lambasting the opposition in slanderous, temperamental outbursts are reminiscent of the days of the Popular Front in 1935-36. There no longer seems to be any common ground, however, between the parties of the left, which renders the rebirth of a leftist coalition highly improbable. . . . There seems to be no unity left, other than that manifested by a common hatred of De Gaulle. Such is the liberals’ fate. “There are other aspects of continental life, however, which are more hopeful. There is, for example, no war hysteria here. Fall-out shelters are a standing joke with the French, Germans, and British. The Europeans, poor souls, have too clear an idea of what war entails to go prancing around shouting Better Dead Than Red.” *_ HMS PINAFORE : Texas Version \(This well-known ditty from Gilbert and Sullivan, only slightly edited, is hereby dedicated to an equally well-known candidate for governor of When I was a lad I served a term As office boy to a congressman’s firm. I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor, And I polished up the handle on the big front door. I polished up the handle so carefullee That I got to be the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee! As office boy I made such a mark That they gave me the post of a junior clerk. I served the rich with a smile so bland, And I copied all their letters with a big round hand I copied all their letters in a hand so free, That I got to be the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee! I grew so rich that a President I almost sent from the Parliament. I always jumped at Lyndon’s call And I never thought of thinking for myself at all. I thought so little, they rewarded me By making me the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee! In serving the Richardsons I made such a name That an articled clerk I soon became. I wore Lyndon’s collar and a brandnew suit And he gave me a horn with which to toot, And tooting that horn did so well for me, That I got to be the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee! Now landsmen all, whatever you may say, If you want to float to the mouth of the . bay If your soul isn’t fettered to an office stool, Be careful to be guided by this golden rule Stick close to the trail of Lyndon B. And you all may be Rulers of the TEXAS navee! WE NOTE that student body presidents from. seven of the Southwest Conference’s eight schools signed a resolution last week in Christian ,Dallas urging that “capable athletes of all races” be allowed to take part in varsity sports. The presidents were from the University of Texas, SMU, Texas A&M, Baylor, Rice, TCU, and Texas Tech. The student president from Arkansas was at the Sugar Bowl, but Daily Texas editor Hoyt Purvis, himself a native of Little Rock, cites recent editorials in the Arkansas paper endorsing athletic integration and the University student referendum on the subject which was approved, 5,200 to 3,200. At other Texas schools, the student senate at SMU favored, with only one dissenting vote, an integration resolution. The Baptist Student Union at Baylor, no doubt remembering the excellent resolutions enacted by the Texas Baptist Convention, unanimously resolved in favor of integrating Baylor. Some 1,400 of Rice’s 2,000 students voted 2-1 last month on the same question. The dean of students at the University of Houston has just told the AP that UH students “don’t feel any different from the students at Rice.” “We hope that messages such as the resolution passed by the Southwest Conference student presidents don’t fall on deaf ears,” the Texan editorialized. Little wonder that the stand-pat chairman of the UT board of regents, minority leader Thornton Hardie, told the Observer in El Paso a couple of weeks ago that he “never grants interviews.” What could Thornton say? DEAN Page Keeton of the University of Texas law school is likewise to be commended for standing up to Board of Regents threats against any law member who supports the dorm integration suit against U.T. And the Regents are to be commended for backing down. The law faculty voted to stay out of the suitbut that was their decision to make, not the Regents’ to make for them. ED IDAR JR., the McAllen lawyer, testified before an informal Labor Department hearing on bracero labor, conducted by Jerry Holleman in Washington recently. Representing the American GI Forum, Idar urged the government to investigate conditions of “hundreds of thousands” of professional migrant workers who are out of work in the McAllen area. Accusing the Texas Employment Commission of preparing inaccurate wage surveys among Texas migrants, he argued that the Commission was a “recruiting agency” for employers rather than a “service agency” for workers. The Rio Grande Valley, he said, has the poorest conditions for workers and the lowest wages of any area in the United States. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7e gale-” F=.