WARNING “I believe that 1963-65 is the last biennium in this century during which Texas can make a serious bid for educational leadership. . . . I am talking about the sort of intellectual distinction that has made states as different as Massachusetts and California Illinois and North Carolina real leaders in their regions and in the country generally. “If we don’t want that kind of leadership, then we have only routine problems. If we do want itand three generations of Texas political and business leader ship in the nation have said we dothen we have some knotty problems indeed.” Chancellor Harry Ransom at budget hearings. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 741111110,= SUBTERRANEAN ACTIVITY TOWER BESTS BARRY g y Rica e y e Observer Notebook Testimony from Will Wilson and his assistants on the collusion between Railroad Commission employees and the crooked drillers in East Texas was disturbing enough, but when we learn now that two oil wells operated by E. B. Germany and Sons of Dallas on a lease held by the Christian Women’s Board Of,Missions have been declared illegally deviated, the time has arrived for prayerful consideration. Like the oil that often gives Texas rivers and streams their quaintly blackish hue, even motherhood, the home, and missionary work are no longer safe from pollution. The Railroad Commission, an elective body with enormous power, had not even bothered to conduct an independent check on its own people in the field. Underpaid, undisciplined, and unsung, several of them journeyed quietly yet with determination into the world of high finance. From all reports, crooked drilling became an Po Jing The state Democratic convention is only a week away. Connally, one rather disgruntled liberal predicted a few days ago, “may kill us with sweetness and light.” Stressing party brotherhood and making the liberal side of the Broad Umbrella feel somewhat like long lost and. suddenly cherished brothers may be good in terms of political etiquette and fine human kindness, but if it pre-empts meaningful party action on a whole range of basic state issues it won’t be worth the effort. The Democratic Party in Texas will persist as the traditional loose and generally purposeless fraternity, meaning all things to everybody and hence nothing to anybody, unless it begins to recognize once and for all its tragic failure in making Texas government sensitive to the needs of a modern age. If it fails to recognize this failure and declines to employ reform where reform is so desperately needed, then why not elect the Republicans? The Republicans at least want two-party government, a development which would bring a special set of advantages all its own. If the state convention adopts a party platform with the usual emphasis on Democratic harmony, national defense, abhorrence of “extremists on both sides,” and tangential moderation, why have a platform at all ? If that platform comes out in favor of poll tax abolition and in the same breath espouses the present deadline, annual registration, and re 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. SEPTEMBER 7, 1962 Willie Morris Editor and General Manager Chandler Davidson, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Ronnie Dugger, Contributing Editor essential part of the East Texas psyche along with sex, outdoor recreation, and free private enterprise, the latter having flourished as admirably underground as it still does above it. The Texas law is notoriously weak on conflict-of-interest among state employees, on bribery, on the filing of reports to public agencies, and on even the most straightforward methods of stealing other people’s oil. All these malfeasances, as Wilson indicated, are extremely difficult to prove. What is needed are new and stronger laws, and if it takes a special legislative session to pas them, as House investigating committee chairman Ballman thinks, then let’s have a special session. The extracurricular activities in East Texas have given to the Texas oil industry, hitherto our proudest expression of laissez faire idealism, a big black eye. ueJtion tention of a fee, as Connally himself seemed to be hinting this week, then why even mention the poll tax? What we need in Texas is a state Democratic convention willing to address itself to equal employment opportunities for all our citizens, to a home for neglected and dependent Negro children, to better mental hospitals, to a better deal for our migrant laborers, to significant social welfare services, to a less harsh set of anti-labor laws, to an effective juvenile parole program, to higher education, to academic freedom, to teachers’ salaries, to state parks, to voter participation. If we are going to continue to have two conservative parties in Texas, why shouldn’t liberals encourage the one that at least pledges an end to one-party complacency? Will there be a party loyalty plank at El Paso? If so, will it express support of party nominees in 1962 without mentioning national nominees in 1964? Will the ideological substance of the New Frontier, with which a Democratic Party in any developing state like Texas should find sympathy, be quietly snubbed out of homage to the party’s remaining Dixiecrats and Shivercrats? These are not idle questions. They strike at the very core of political responsibility and party organization in a free society. For these reasons this candidate and this convention deserve the closest measure of surveillance. 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. AUSTIN PRESIDENT KENNEDY and VicePresident Johnson are coming to Houston Tuesday. Question : will John Connally confer with them? Or might he consider that too much of a risk in vote-getting among a certain breed of Texas “Democrats?” We shall see what we shall see. MRS. O. 0. G. TOELKE of Houston has just visited San Antonio. We found that out from the letters column in the San Antonio Express, to which Mrs. Toelke subtly complained: “Every moment of my sojourn in your colorful, interesting city has been extremely enjoyable. But sadly, I find your newspaper most incompatible with the American ideals of freedom and individualism which the heritage of this noble city represents. I was also saddened to read that you will soon have the left-wing writings of the New York Times columnists in your Texas paper.” For that perspicacious observation, one free subscription, Mrs. 0. G. Toelke of 4406 Randwrick Dr., to this modest little journal, a Birch Society kit, a radio that picks up KOKE, even in Houston, and Arthur Schlesinger Jr. A STUDY has just been made by Cong. Tom Sneed of Oklahoma on the amount of franked mail, a pernicious practice involving giant expenditures of federal money which is merely one more step in the direction of unilateral federal control, sent out by members of the House. We were disillusioned to find that Bruce Alger ranks third. Mr. Alger may have a populous district, but he nonetheless must accept the immediate consequencies. He will become apathetic, his hair will begin to fall out, and in time he, like thousands of ruined souls whose first federal handout led to their demise, will become another simple ward of Statism, stripped of initiative, bereft of responsibility. THE INDEPENDENT AMERI-CAN, a ferocious journal published out of New Orleans, ran an interesting item not too long ago about a most curious set of happenings which transpired at a conference sponsored by the magazine Human Events, which has more power than 20 or 30 dailies with its circulation. Goldwater, it seems, has sold out. We excerpt the Independent American : “A pall of gloom had settled over the conference after Goldwater lashed out at those in the audience who would not ‘buy’ his party-loyalty-atany-price philosophy. Rumors spread that a number of individuals and groups of individuals were so disillusioned that they left without waiting to hear the final speaker at the Saturday night banquet, Senator John Tower of Texas. Those who did not hear Senator Tower missed a rare occasion! “Although Senator John Tower of Texas has achieved a splendid conservative voting record, and is thoroughly identified with the conservative cause, there were some in the audience who feared that because of his close relationship with Senator Goldwater, Senator Tower might echo some of Goldwater’s party-loyalty sentiments. Such fears were needless. Senator Tower entered with confidence, a genuine smile, and immediately warmed the audience by his manner and sincerity. “Here was a man who did not preach ‘party loyalty.’ Senator Tower seldom mentioned the word ‘Republican.’ Instead, he referred to conservatives and conservative principles. His speech, which was an inspiration to all present, was geared to victory over communism. As Tower proceeded, interrupted frequently with applause, a tremor of excitement swept through the audience. Stated Senator Tower : ‘We have the strength to defeat the Soviet Union . . . and any other country that wants to get into the act . . . It is folly to negotiate. We know the Soviet Union is weak, but we let a bunch of intellectual snobs tell us what to do.’ “The enthusiasm of those in attendance mounted. What a far cry from Goldwater’s speech which urged compromise of conservative principles! The audience, electrified by Senator Tower, rose to its feet at the conclusion of his speech with tumultuous applause. “And then a strange thing happened. Spontaneously, from various sections of the banquet hall the chant startedWe want Tower! We want Tower !’ ” CONGRESSMAN Henry Gonzalez adapted a Texas story to the space communications giveaway in explaining his repeated nay vote. He said: . . . this proposition on its very face is a perfect illustration of an old Texas story about two neighbors who joined together to share ownership of a cow. To insure a true joint ownership it was agreed that the cow would be tethered across their property line with the understanding that each neighbor would administer to his half of the cow. This arrangement seemed fair enough when proposed but in short enough time the dimwitted one of the neighbors realized that from this bargain he ended up feeding the cow at one end while his sharp-trading friend acquired the right to milk the cow at the other end. “This is what I see in this communication satellite bill. The sovereign government of the United States and its citizens is’ the dim-witted member of the duo that is getting prepared to feed a cow from which it will not even have the right to receive milk.” CONGRESSMAN Jim W r i g h t, having run third in the U.S. Senate contest of 1960, has explicitly laid his claim to a shot at Senator Tower’s seat as the Democratic standard-bearer. We have always enjoyed conversations with Congressman Jim, and many are the stories of his youthful prowess as a liberal crusader. Regrettably, in recent years, the closer he has come to high political attainment, the further he has drifted from his earlier principles. Doubtless we will again be asked, as we have before been asked, to overlook these unfortunate lapses as, say, necessary concessions to the times and the opportunities. Therefore, we would appreciate it, down here in the boondocks, if Jim will explain why, on August 27, he voted with Bruce Alger and 84 other House diehards against submitting to the states a constitutional amendment to abolish the poll tax. A COMPARISON made by the Houston Post of Texas and Tennessee state parks revealed some interesting facts which may account for Texas’ perennial shortage of park visitors. “The joker,” says the Post, “is the fact that Tennessee, with almost as many park visitors as Texas, has only 19 state parksjust about one-third as many as Texas has.” Further, Texas has three times the population of Tennessee. The disparity between Tennessee’s park system and our own_ cannot be chalked off to the former’s greater natural endowments, says the Post. Rather, Tennessee appropriates more money for its 19 parks than we do for our 40 to 50-odd ones. The blame for our flea-bitten vacation spots falls directly on our niggardly legislature.
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