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Patronage Openings g # Two pending federal patronage ap pointments have political hives in Texas a-whir. One is for a vacancy on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. This is one of the most conservative federal appeals courts in the United States and the President’s choice for the vacancy may be taken as a harbinger of future things, analogously as Roosevelt’s first Supreme Court appointments in the thirties were. Senator Ralph Yarborough is understood to be favorable first to Judge Ben Connally, son of the late Senator Tom Connally \(a relevant circumunion and civil rights people have not been too friendly toward Judge Connally. L.N.D. known Dallas law firm that specializes in labor matters, and Fagan Dickson, Austin attorney, are also very well thought of by the senator. V The other vacancy is the one caused by the elevation of U.S. District Atty. Barefoot Sanders of Dallas to assistant deputy attorney general of the U.S. The leading “contenders” \(if that word may be applied to those who are being speculated about and who apparently want the ough’s Dallas campaign manager, and Sterling Steves, Fort, Worth attorney and Johnson-Humphrey manager in Fort Worth last year; others who have been mentioned Sanders assistant; Jim Choate, Dallas Democrat; A. D. Jim Bowie, an assistant district attorney for Dallas County. Yarborough was for Daugherty when Sanders got the post before. A White House spokesman told Robert Hilburn of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that full senatorial courtesy will be observed in the matter : namely, that Yarborough will originate the nominee and, subject only to Justice Department approval, that nominee will be nominated by the President. There was a hint in Hilburn’s story that Steves’ credentials are especially acceptable to the White House. The behind-the-scenes pressure on Yarborough is intense, and apparently the senator has decided to play it cool for a while. Texans Move Up, In More Texans have moved higher up or into the Administration: Thomas C. Mann of Laredo is now No. 3 man in the Department of State, undersecretary for economic affairs; Ramsey Clark of Dallas, son of Justice Tom Clark, is deputy attorney general under Nicholas Katzen bach; Sanders is Clark’s assistant. There is a rumor now that Willard Deason of Austin will join the White House company. Mann, not known as an economic liberal, replaces W. Averell Harriman, 73, who becomes ambassador-at-large. Katzenbach is expected to move out perhaps in a year, and Clark to replace him. Sanders can not be counted out of statewide Texas politics. V Drew Pearson, who is now regarded by much of the Washington press corps as too close to the President, says of Marvin Watson, the President’s new assistant from Daingerfield: “Watson is a Texas conservative, and his appointment is viewed with some skepticism by the liberal Yarborough wing of the Democratic Party in Texas. However, he will follow whatever line his boss in the White House dictates.” A long profile of Watson by Felton West of the Houston Post in Washington noticeably did not contain information on the subject of Watson’s years as assistant to E. B. Germany, head of Lone Star Steel Co., during its conflict with the steelworkers union over a wildcat strike. “Basically, I think I’m a moderate Democrat,” Watson told West. . . . Jack Valenti will be given a testimonial dinner in Houston March 12; Cliff Carter will be honored March 1 in Smithville, his home town. Watson may already have replaced Valenti at Johnson’s elbow. V Deason has sold KVET, Austin radio station that holds a permit for a UHF TV station in Austin. The buyer was Austin automobile dealer Roy Butler, a friend of Johnson’s. Austin’s first UHF TV station-, KHFI-TV, started broadcasting Feb. 12. V Booth Mooney, former -Johnson speech writer, now H. L. Hunt’s Washington lobbyist, has been appointed to a special White House committee to beautify the District of Columbia. It’s said Mrs. Johnson urged him to serve. V Clint Murchison, Jr., the Texas tycoon, denied in Washington that he could recall ever getting any business informa tion from Bobby Baker and said he had not known that Baker got a $2,500 referral fee apparently on the basis of a conversa tion with Bedford S. Wynne of Dallas in volving a venture Murchison had a part in. A Vital Matter V Economic magnitudes difficult to com prehend are involved in the pending Federal Power Cmsn. decision on whether to set natural gas prices, and if so at what level, in the Permian Basin area case involving more than 50 West Texas counties and a few in New Mexico. FPC examiner Seymour Wenner has recommended a two-price system to exempt supervision, with ceiling prices ranging from 10 to 17 cents per 1000 cubic feet for the big producers. The average price in Texas last year was about 13 cents. The total value of natural gas production in Texas in 1962 at roughly a 12-13 cents average price was $747,866,000. The FPC decision on this case is expected to set a national pattern, so much more even than Texas production is really involved. Texas Gov. Connally, Atty. Gen. Carr, and Texas Railroad Cmsr. Jim Langdon made unprecedented personal appearances before the FPC on this matter last week. They all asked the FPC not to set a price ceiling; Connally said prices in the Permian Basin now average 22 and 23 cents per and should be left alone; all three said that if the FPC just has to set a price ceiling, it should be not less than 20 cents. Their argument was that anything less would hurt the public school, University of Texas, and state tax revenues that now flow from natural gas production in Texas. The major oil and gas companies and TIPRO have testified to the same effect, their main argument being, however, that without a 20-cent or higher price for new gas contracts, there will not be enough incause the discovery of needed new natural gas reserves. The President has to appoint new FPC commissioners and has the power, by these, to make the FPC either pro-consumer or pro-producer before the FPC rules on this case. The ruling is not expected for several months. The case has been pending four years, but the hearings are over now. V The Interior Department’s long-awaited study on oil policy is generally promajors. It virtually discounts the theory that oil imports should be reduced so that the national security can be enhanced by the development of more oil reserves in the continental U.S., and it describes without alarm a trend toward fewer, larger oil companies because of sales and mergers. Texas independents have struck hard at it, finding hope for a major change in U.S. oil import policy in a statement, that does not promise this made by Secretary of the Interior Udall. One question still unasked in the light of this report: Where does the official discounting of national security as a reason to curtail oil imports leave national security as an argument for retention of the 27.5% oil depletion allowance? Tower Votes No frof U.S. Sen. John Tower, Texas Republi can, voted against the Administration’s poverty bill for Appalachia and said disapprovingly in a Harlingen speech that it included $17 million to develop the cattle industry in that area. Tower also said in Harlingen he will fight against Johnsonian plans to cut soil conservation service funds. Tower reasoned that with all this welfare and foreign aid spending, why cut back aid to those conserving U.S. natural resources? In Corpus Christi Tower opposed state legislative redistricting under the recent court decisions, medicare, and nationalizing the railroads \(as railway union V Congress has in effect won a delay until May 1 in the closing of 12 VA hospitals. Sen. Yarborough has stepped out to fight for his Cold War GI Bill again, this time with 30 senators as co-sponsors, and has endorsed a study of federal disaster insurance. He made an address to the Na February 19, 1965 9 Political Intelligence