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The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper A Window to the South Volume 54 TEXAS, APRIL 21, 1962 15c per Copy Number 3 TRIVIAL, PERHAPS .. . A Quiet Decision At Walnut Creek ESTES OF PECOS Pattern Typical In Land Shuffles Council Questions Answered 1 I AUSTIN Walnut Creek is an expanding suburban community just north of Austin, a few hundred yards cff the old Dallas highway. The elementary school there, perched on a slight rise and surrounded by vacant lots, is bright, spotless, and new. One night this week the Walnut Creek Parent-Teachers Association had a meeting. It was a meeting with a purpose, but only once, in a brief moment of sudden ten sion, was that purpose at all apparent. Otherwise, to an outsider it might have been a typical American middle-class gathering. A few days ago the music teacher there, who divides her time between Walnut Creek and Summit, another school nearby, set up a special unit of instruction to acquaint her students with the music of other lands. She chose the national anthems of five important nations: the United States, France, Great Britain, Nationalist China, and Soviet Russia. She had words and music printed a_nd distributed. Unable to find the Soviet anthem, she used “The Internationale.” Mr. and Mrs. Charles Goodnough, who had been elected the new presidents of the Walnut Creek P-TA at its previous meeting, found out about the teacher’s project. The wife protested to the principal, the husband to city school authorities. Immediately “The Internationale” was ordered stricken from the course, and the words and music were taken up. No additional protests had been made to the school administrators. The story got good display under Anita Brewer’s byline in the Austin American, and a number of parents in the district were apparently upset. Those members most actively disapproving of the action taken against the teacher chose, as the best way to register their feelings, to contest the presence of a quorum at. the previous P-TA meeting which had elected the Good’loughs. What followed was an almost classic study in the way parliamentary procedure, cool and contained, can symbolize a deeper issue. It was a trivial episode, perhaps, but a most American ene. Parson in the Chair The auditorium of the school was three-quarters filled. It was a well-dressed group, only a few of the men having foregone coats and ties for sports shirts. A few of the women had sleeping babies in their arms. A television cameraman was there, and when he took shots, his subjects seemed slightly embarrassed and ill-atease. There was tension in the air, as might be expected, but few showed it. Presiding over the meeting, gavel in hand, was the outgoing president, Clay Burns, pastor of the Walnut Creek Baptist Church. His good humor, tact, and courtesy were contagious. “If that fellow was speaker of the House,” one reporter whispered to another, “we wouldn’t have any fights.” It was mainly a Walnut Creek affair, although Jack Sucke, head of the Austin Anti-Communism League, and Jack Peyton, a ranking Bircher, were onlookers, among others. During one lull they went outside and placed copies of Sucke’s publication, “Freedom Views,” on the windshield of every car in the parking lot. At one point Rev. Burns, in his deep Southern drawl, said, “If anyone wants to come up here and take the gavel, I’ll be glad to give it to you. We probably need a lawyer up here.” There were shouts of “No!” Burns got to the minutes of the last meeting, which included the election of officers, and when he called for approval. Mrs. W. L. Richardson, an attractive young woman in a bright spring dress, said she did not believe a quorum was present at the meeting. John, ny Potter, a young man sitting near Mrs. Richardson, proposed that the minutes be accepted as read. A lengthy and subdued ex AROUND TEXAS With slightly more than a fortnight to go before the May 5 primaries, Gov. Price Daniel and John Connally continued to receive most of the campaign criticism, Atty. Gen. Will Wilson renewed his attacks against Daniel, Connally, and added Billie Sol Estes to the roster, Don Yarborough ripped into Connally more vigorously than he has done up to now, and former General Edwin Walker remained sportsmanlike toward his Texas foes while concentrating on Dean Rusk, W. W. Rostow, and General Eisenhower. Connally Criticizing an “inexcusable and disgraceful” state deficit, John Connally said persistent shortcomings in such fields as water conservation, industrial safety, arid education boost his contention that “leadership is basically the issue in this campaign.” The system of auto insurance rates must be revised, he said, adding, “I’m not going to be a demagogue and blame the insurance companiesthis system was adopted by the state insurance board.” As Secretary of the Navy, Connally said, “my budget last year was 15 times that of the state of Texas, so I know how to handle AUSTIN Five candidates for governor have told the Texas Council of Churches they will, if elected, oppose efforts to legalize betting on horse and dog races. Five said they favor state participation in a federal medical aid to the aged program, and two said they favored abolition of capital punishment. The questionnaires were sent to all candidates for statewide office. Three gubernatorial candidates John Connally, Edwin Walker, and Jack Coxdid not return the questionnaires sent to them. Attorney General Will Wilson, Houston liberal Don Yarborough and Panhandle Republican Roy Whittenburg answered that they would support legislation to abolish capital punishment, provided there were adequate safeguards for permanent detention of habitual criminals and restricted powers of clemency for heinous crime. Whittenburg added “Provided I consider the safeguards adequate.” Gov. Price Daniel said: “Not on all crimes. I think it \(capterrent against serious crimes such as blowing up an airplane, murder, and sale of deadly narcotics to children.” All gubernatorial candidates who answered the questions said they favored small-loan legislation with a requirement for precise delineation of all charges for \(Continued a budget and I know how to oper ate a big organization.” His opponents, he complained, have been “saying or whispering” that the President or the VicePresident sent him to Texas to run for governor. “I don’t know why they need a governor. They seem to be doing all right themselves.” Pointing out that some 150,000 handicapped Texans suffer from lack of employment opportunities, he proposed a Texas commission for the handicapped and strengthening of Texas child support laws. At a press conference he declined to comment on Wilson’s ehargts against Daniel’s land holdings on grounds he did not have the staff to conduct a study. Because of the nature of the charges, however, “I feel the governor will want to explain the circumstances surrounding them.” He attacked both Daniel and Wilson without mentioning names. “Two of my opponents have spent most of his financial gymnastics in fertilizer and grain storage, but his maneuverings with federal cotton allotments provide an interesting insight into how he operated. Estes began working on what one investigator in the attorney general’s department described to the Observer as his “hot cotton schemes” in 1961. An investigation was launched by William G. Elliott, the Dallas regional investigator of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, in July, 1961, and lasted for several weeks. Under the heading: “Billie Sol Estes, Pecos, Texas, D35995, Oct. 27, 1961,” the 137-page report on Estes’ operations in cotton allotments was forwarded to Washin^,ton. A high aide in the attorney general’s office requested a copy of the report this week and was turned down by an official spokesman in the Department of Agriculture, on the grounds it had been turned over to the Justice Department for an inquiry into possible violations by agriculture department workers. Estes succeeded during 1961 in having 3,123.1 acres in cotton allotments transferred to land he formerly owned in Pecos and Reeves County. An acre of cotton allotment in that area, if such figures can be broken down, might their lives in government offices. Two of them together have spent 38 years on the public payroll of the state. These people are getting desperate because they see that Texans do want a change.” He warned that Texas revenue from tourism has dropped $100 million a year. for the last five. Declaring himself “gravely concerned” by the rise of juvenile delinquency, he recommended more parole officers, a separate institution for first offenders at Gatesville, and better basic education in English and vocational training. Connally said he did not understand the “big steel” action in raising prices. “Anything that starts up the wage-price spiral is dangerous to us all. The oil industry is already sick with an eight-day allowable and can’t stand increased costs.” Yarborough Don Yarborough praised President Kennedy’s handling of the steel controversy and suggested it is the kind of leadership Texas needs “to curb the power of the out-of-state oil and gas monopolies. “This kind of leadership at the state level could have saved the people of Texas from a general sales tax,” he said. “It would have forced inter-state gas pipelines Under a federal provision of 1958, when a farmer’s land was condemned under eminent domainfor the building of a dam, for instancehe could apply to the special pool into which his cotton allotment for that land had gone and transfer his allotment acreage to another farm he might later acquire. Estes and his associates worked out a complex scheme. This is how it worked, the Observer learned, in the case of one Austin man who owned a farm in Raines County, which had been condemned under eminent domain by the Sabine River Authority project: Two men, Estes’ lawyer John Dennison and a man named Mr. Blake, came to see the landowner in Austin. When they offered to sell him a tract of land owned by Estes, he went out to Reeves County to look it over. He signed a contract of sale with Estes on the land in Reeves County. Estes was to get the land back in one year, and the Austin man was to be paid $50 an acre for the transfer. In the meantime Estes was to lease the land from the Austin man and farm the cotton. This was the pattern of numerous cases. and other out-of-state monopolies to pay their fair share of taxes.” He sent a wire to Kennedy commending “the spirit of the New Frontier.” Connally, Yarborough said, “could not muster this Kennedytype leadership without biting the hands which are feeding his million dollar campaign to buy the governor’s chair.” Predicting he would lead the first primary field, Yarborough said voters are beginning to recognize he is the only “unashamed Democrat” in the race. He described Connally as “an uncomfortable Democrat. In a sense he is trying to remind the people he was ex-secretary of the navy but trying to confuse them as to whose administration he was under.” Addressing a COPE banquet in Houston, Yarborough pledged to help the Kennedy administration achieve its goals. He asserted he is the only Democrat in the race who has not turned his back on Kennedy. Although not mentioning names, he attacked Connally as a candidate sent from Washington “to hold Texas in the arms of monopolists,” and charged that millions of dollars are being spent “buying precinct workers at prices no AUSTIN be worth as much as $200. The Billie Sol Estes performed allotment came from Texas, Oklahoma, and Georgia. \(Not from Alabama as some newspapers YARBOROUGH PRAISES JFK John, Price on Receiving End