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Dungan The $2 Textbook on Textbooks Austin Rep. W. T. Dungan, the jut-jawed legislator from McKinney, is certainly , the leader of the new right wing crusades as they have found expression in the Texas House of Representatives. He has had the affectionate regard of fundamentalist patriots, and has been regarded as a philistine by college types, since he co-sponsored, in 1959, what has come to be called “the God bill” to require public college teachers to swear they believe in a Supreme Being. The U.S. supreme court having held such legislation unconstitutional in the Torcaso case, in 1961 Dungan accepted the challenge from his fellow East Texan, Speaker James -Turman, to preside over the now nationally notorious Texas textbook hearings.* This session, at the request of the East Texas chamber of commerce and others, Dungan introduced a bill to require all Texas high schools to teach a course in “capitalism versus communism,” stressing the superiority of the former. In the preamble of the bill, it is noted that the public are “woefully ignorant of the principles on which capitalism is founded.” At a hearing this session, Dungan said, “Many people are becoming quite concerned with the lack of knowledge of what our free enterprise system has done for this country. . . . We’ve got a lot of socialism in this country.” A watered-down version of Dungan’s capitalism bill awaited action on the House calendar early this week. But action is most unlikely on another proposal in which Dungan has joined, as co-sponsor, Rep. Herbert Shutt, Houstonto let electors chosen by the state legislature cast this state’s vote for president, without any reference to the people’s vote in the_presidential election. Dungan says frankly he prefers legiSlatures choosing president s to party conventions nominating the candidates on whom the people then vote: Last summer, wracked by arid ‘The Censors and the Schools. a book including two chapters on the Texas textbook fights of 1961-62, was brought out this year by Little, Brown & Co. It was written by Jack Nelson and Gene . Roberts, Jr:, two newspapermen who were on Nieman fellowships at Harvard when they wrote it. wrangling over the implications of statements or omissions in various school books and harried by tireless testimony from many witnesses who ranged far afield from textbooks, the House textbook committee came apart. Two of the members, Ronald Roberts of Hillsboro and John Alaniz of San Antonio, upheld the public schools’ textbooks and the present methods of selecting them; Dungan sided with the right wing against the criticized books; Bob Bass of DeKalb tended to side with Alaniz and Roberts, Nelson Cowles of Hallsville with Dungan. When Dungan made his own arrangements for a committee hearing in Dallas on May 31, 1962inviting the Dallas school superintendent, many business leaders, and ex-Gen. Edwin Walker of “pro-blue” fameDungan’s three critics on the committee refused to attend, saying Dungan had not properly consulted them in advance. When the time came for the hearing, only Dungan was there to hold it; he admitted the meeting might not be official, since there was not a quorum present, but he went forward anyway. The day’s testimony was saturated with hostility to the United Nations, internationalism, and liberalism and charges of communistic propaganda in books. Gen. Walker said, “There are an extensive number of professors, teachers, and textbooks in our educational system that are subversive to America,” victimizing youth -in association with “schools, universities, foundations, mass media, clergy, the national education assn., and U.N.E.S.C.O.” At its next meeting, the textbook committee ruled that Dungan’s Dallas meeting had been illegal and unofficial and denied him state funds to pay for costs associated with it. He said publicly that he would pay the costs himself. Last September, with Turman’s approval. Dungan ordered 500 copies of the day’s testimony in Dallas. along with a concluding statement from Dungan that pornographic, some history and some economics books in public schools should be removed and replaced. For these 500 copies, the state paid, through Dungan’s contingent expense account, as a legislator, $112.25. In February, 1953, with the approval of the new speaker, Byron Tunnell of Tyler, Dungan ordered another . 300 of these reports, paid for by the state with $119 charged to Dungan’s contingent expense. It is not uncommon for state legislators to charge to the state, through their contingent expense funds, the costs of what their political critics might contend’ is actually political, not official, business. But Dungan’s use of the reports on the Dallas hearing was so unusual, a special five-member committee of the House was designated last week to investigate. THE MATTER came into the open circuitously. A person took Roberts a copy of a New Orleans publication called “Independent American.” Published by “The Free Men Speak, Inc.,” this periodical says in its statement of policy that “socialist and communist influences . . . now pervade the thinking and the policies of our federal government and the two major political parties. We believe’ that there is no difference between a New Deal DeinoCrat and a socialist international Republican.” Roberts’ attention was directed to a . column in the paper entitled, “What conservatives are doing,” and there he read: Conservatives .are learning about– The recent Texas tetbook hearings by obtaining copies of the Dallas hearings, now available in booklet form. Citizen testimony taken at this hearing will be of value to those throughout the country who are concerned regarding content of textbooks being used in public schools. Representative W. T. Dungan, chairman of the Texas House of Representatives textbook investigating committee, has had this book printed at his own expense when pressure was brought to bear to prevent inclusion in the state textbook hea l rings of the Dallas testimony \(which included testimony from former General T. Dungan. Post Office Box 369, McKinney. Texas. $2.00. March 21. 196.> 9