Page 7


WHERE WILL IT END? EVERYTHING IF ANYTHING Very 21io tu rhing Dr. Frank Spoke At last, just when we were beginning to wonder if anything fruitful would come of it, the textbook investigations conducted by dairy farmer W. T: Dungan and his House committee have struck paydirt. It is a typical trick of communists, of course, to place some of their own card-carrying comrades in places of great trust, but to have imagined one on the textbook committee itself ! This discovery, which could only have been made in the Panhandle, is fraught with implications. Suppose, in the committee’s future peregrinations, we are to learn that a majority of the committee are card-carriersa frightening prospect and a dangerous omen for our very textbooks themselves. Where will the Sen. John . Tower, Sen. Barry Goldwater, William Buckley Jr., Cong. Walter Judd, and Fulton Lewis Jr. should rise up right this instant and defend their manhood, or else we are going to be mighty shocked the way their sense of American dignity and individualism has vanished in the dastardly tempo of the times. A vicious attacker, using McCarthylike tactics on amiable Houston sod, has maligned all these gentlemen by implying beyond any shadow of doubt that they and their kind are “scared vermin.” Even worse, he says they are seeking to divide us all. The man who said these things is neither a liberal intellectual ; nor a member of that notorious branch of the Soviet secret police, the CIA ; nor an internationalist ; nor a labor organizer. He is a homegrown Texan ! He is a national board member of the Observer AUSTIN FROM THE WAY things are looking, General Edwin Walker’s campaign for governor may do greater physical damage to us poor ‘beleaguered working reporters and photographers than moral injury to Texas communists. This frankly worries us. After the General’s latest press conference at Austin airport, when a photographer taking shots for the Austin American was treated none too courteously by the candidate himself and a Walker supporter in the delegation jostled him and threatened “a face full of fist,” we are tempted to demand that the State Democratic Executive Committee take out Blue Cross policies for all Texas journalists who take their lives in their hands covering Walker. Or perhaps, to set the issue straight, the SDEC should request Walker henceforth to wear a black uniform and hip-boots when he barnstorms. As a measure of our recognition that political reporting has become a somewhat hazardous business in Texas this season, the Observer will award any of our fellow reporters slain or maimed in the course of duty a Teddy Walker Combat Ribbon with blue clusters. DALLAS’S WFAA-TV came out this week with a public service program entitled “The Shame of Dallas,” which, despite the usual televisionstyle camera work which leaves the viewer feeling like he has just watched the Kentucky Derby through a keyhole full of spun glass, did have some enlightening statistics. For instance : While only four percent of the Dallas County population lives in the worst slum areas, onefourth of all county welfare cases are found there, as are 60 percent of the county’s tuberculosis victims, one-half the county’s criminals, and one-third the juvenile medical admissions. Half of the high school youngsters in the Dallas slums drop out of school before they finish. awful truth strike next? Dungan, a special agent for ,Mao-Tse-Tung? Bass, a secret director of collective farms in the Ukraine? Cowles, a soulmate of Alger Hiss at Harvard? Already we have been warned, in the Amarillo hearing, that Alaniz is a Roman Catholic. It has been almost two months, and the orders may have been sent out from the Pope long ago. These are disturbing thoughts, but we may at least take -solace in the knowledge that the textbook investigations have finally flowered. Where will it all end ? We demand, for the safety of our commonwealth and its citizens, that the textbook committee cease investigating textbooks and start forthwith investigating itself. John Birch Society ! His name is Revilo P. Oliver, and he teaches classics up in Illinois! Professor Oliver said in Houston: “Efforts to divide us and dastardly attacks on Robert Welch are panicstricken efforts of scared vermin.” Only two weeks or so ago, Buckley in his National Review wrote a long and dastardly attack on Mr. Welch. This dastardly attack, moreover, was written into the congressional journal and was dastardly endorsed by Messrs. Tower, Goldwater, Judd, and Lewis Jr. We challenge Professor Revilo P. Oliver to step forward with the courage of his innermost convictions and name names. And for the sake of decency and individualism, we urged those gentlemen who have been so dastardly attacked to defend their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, or forever hold their peace. Notebook In one part of the slum, of the 21 miles of streets, only three miles are paved. The water table is so high, residents of the slums can’t have septic tanks, so they have pit toilets, which freouently wash into the wells with the expected results. There have been some really serious hepatitis outbreaks in the slums, and since many of the slum residents work in cafe kitchens in downtown Dallas, they carry the virus widewhich, in a way, is only communal justice. The churches have mostly given up on the situation. The only stubborn help comes from Brother Bill of Brother Bill’s Helping Hand Mission, who remarked about his colleagues of the cloth, “The rest of ’em just seem to preach the hell out of ’em and leave ’em to go hungry.” 4:SAN ANTONIO City College recently staged a student -faculty production of Archibald MacLeish’s J.B. The role of God was played by the chairman of the school’s mortuary science department. wr, ARE PROUD to endorse a for Justice of the Peace, precinct five, in Oran re Grove, Texas. Since 1935 Albert has been engaged in the egg business there. This was his announcement, reprinted from the Orange Grove Observer : “I have bought lots of eggs from the citizens of Orange Grove and trade territory since I have been in this business. I have bought lots of good eggs and some that were bad. This is life and we take it as we come to it. “With my knowledge of conditions in general in our precinct and with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances in Orange Grove, I am confident that I can discharge the duties of the office of Justice of the Peace and in the spirit of fair play.” HOUSTON Three recent articles in the Observer strike me as variations . on a theme. One, the gradual demise of the University of Texas student newspaper as a free voice, epitomized by the latest decision to make its editorship appointive rather than elected by all the students. Two, the boorishness of Dallas News publisher Ted Dealey at the White House luncheon, and the manner in which certain Texas publishers are quick to cooperate in the death of the Daily Texan while remaining tolerantly uncritical of the Dealeys in their very midst. Three, Ed Yoder’s explanation \(Obs., phistication of the daily press in North Carolina. N DESCRIBING North Carolina’s great journalistic tradition, Mr. Yoder briefly alluded to the wellspring from which that tradition flowsthe University of North Carolina. So much of the civilized and progressive attitudes which characterize that state today are a projection of what its leaders learned at Chapel Hill. That institution has been a social and economic lever. Its influence is felt throughout North Carolina. While many of us are still upset over what has been done to the Daily Texan, there may be some value in recounting an example of how one man’s awareness of the significance of a free press can protect the very future of that freedom. Some University of TexPnresident of the’ future, or some chairman of its board of regents, may find here a key to the simple protection of himself and of the right of students to learn. I was told this story at the time by a Chapel Hill student editor and have never forgotten it. I record the dialogue as I remembered it, knowing it is essentially true. Four irate alumni leaders, a newspaper publisher, a textile mill owner, and two members of the University board of trustees, descended on Dr. Frank Graham, then president of the University of North Carolina, one spring day many years ago. Their mission was to demand of Dr. Frank, a 5 foot 2 inch giant among educators, that “something be done” about the Daily Tarheel, whose student editors and columnists had persisted in outraging certain people in the state from time to time. Their case against the students was the usual story : brash words, “unrealistic idealism,” heavy-handed opinions, and the historic Tarheel knack for needling and deflating very stuffed shirts. We want to support you and the University, the spokesman said after presenting his case, ‘but we’re here to tell you something has to be done and now. Dr. Frank, the story goes, replied slowly and gently. “I’ll be glad to help you with this matter,” he said. “I’d like to call right now and see if I can’t get you an appointment with the editor. He’s responsible to run the Daily Tarheel, you know. I’m hired to run the University.” HE TURNED first to one and then to the other callers, noting that this one had a son in Chapel Hill, the other a daughter, that other fathers they knew from over the state had sons and daughters there. “These students elect an editor every year,” 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. MARCH 2, 1962 Willie Morris Editor and General Manager Bob Sherrill, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Bonnie Bugger, Contributing Editor he said. “You send them here and some of them are mature, some immature when they arrive. They don’t always choose the student I think should be editor. You might think I should get mixed up in campus politics ; that would be one way to influence the campus elections. In fact, that would be a good project for you men, perhaps to see what you can do to influence students to choose an editor who would be more to your liking next -Year.” It would be beneath the dignity of a university president, he thought, to spend so much time in the student dorms, soda fountains, and hallways of classroom buildings campaigning for some editor. “Actually there’d probably be so much resentment over my taking sides,” he said, “they’d probably vote the other way. Then you members of the board and the others would probably fire me if you heard that I had been neglecting all the other academic and financial problems of running this University. “I could, I believe, do a better job of editing the Tarheel than the present editor, but I don’t think any of you would like to explain to the taxpayers how you could justify my present salary. And if instead of writing the news stories and editorials I set myself up as a censorthen we’ve really got troubles. A censor has to assume responsibility for everything if he assumes responsibility for anything at all.” He tried to get the delegation to say how much freedom the student newspaper should have-25, 50, 75 percent? “Do you think you can censor ‘just a little’?” he asked. Then he talked about education itself. “Students in a chemical lab are going to make many errors. They may even spill acid. They’re going to make even more ‘mistakes in putting ideas together. But there’s some value in trial and error learningeven the freedom to make mistakes or to be wrong has a value.” It would be highly embarrassing, he said, to teach students of man’s long quest for freedom of communication, or the significance of the Peter Zenger trial on which this country’s free press was founded, and then to admit that principle is unworkable in practice. “I WONDER,” Dr. Frank said as the delegation departed, “if it isn’t worth some sacrifice on your part and mine, the embarrassment and the heckling we might get, to continue the present policy? You know, we have had some editors of our student publications here who have done rather wellThomas Wolfe, Jonathan Daniels, Paul Green. Instead of fearing what happens when students are free to express themselves, we should feel an exhilaration that we can have a part in making it possible.” GOULD BEECH 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. HOUgtON OFFICE: Mrs. R. D. Randolph, 2131 Welch, Houston 19, Texas. and more yet THE TEXAS OBSERVER 70*.a 14