Conna4 Sen. Kennedy Governor John Connally of Texas has chosen to criticize Senator Robert Kennedy of New York because of Senator Kennedy’s views on Vietnam. This is the governor’s right. But for him to attack Kennedyto attack him so personally, so harshly, that he implies Kennedy is “recklessly willing to oblige” the communists, this is shocking and acutely unseemly. Kennedy’s sin, the governor says, is believing the Viet Cong should have a role in a coalition government if one can be formed in South Vietnam as part of a peace settlement. Bear in mind that the Viet Cong are major combatants and control more of the land in South Vietnam than Saigon. Bear in mind that in a recent authoritative public opinion poll, announced by Stanford, 88% of the people favor negotiating with the Viet Cong if they will negotiate. Bear in mind that the Gallup Poll recently showed that asked if they would favor a UN settlement of the Vietnam war, whatever that settlement happened to be, 49% of the people said yes, 37% no. Kennedy’s position thus comports with that of the indicated majority opinion of the American people. But rather than taking up his disagreement in measured tones, Connally said: “As strange as it seems, at a time when the communist world looks for every sign of weakness, every hint of discord, every shred of propaganda material, some Americans are recklessly willing to oblige. “Knowing full well the power of his name, Sen. Robert Kennedy volunteered the opinion that we should offer the Viet Cong a share of governmental responsibility in South Vietnam. “In effect, he proposed that we admit communists into the government. These are the people who last year murdered 1400 village chieftains in South Vietnam, people who rule by terror reminiscent of the ,Nazi occupations in Europe, people who have already announced their intention to destroy the Saigon government in its entirety.” In the first place this is demagoguery. The Viet Cong use terror, and damn them for it; they also have substantial support in the population or they could not have persisted in the face of American and South Vietnamese military onslaughts. In the second place Connally’s statement, as Drew Pearson correctly comments, is an insinuation that Sen. Kennedy is unpatriotic and an appeaser. The governor has made this worse, attacking, in Wichita Falls, “several men in high office” who, he said, “question the integrity of their own nation and the. fundamental basis for its worldwide commitment” and engage in “steady preachment of fear, frustration, and failure.” “Literally,” the governor said, “they demonstrate no faith in their government, in their fellowman, or in themselves.” Here he must be talking, not only about Kennedy, but about William Fulbright of our neighboring stateand about who else, who knows? The Vietnam war and the nuclear war that it may eventually entail are too serious for abusive politics. Let the governor differ with Kennedy and Fulbright as he wishes, but let, him do so with respect for them if he expects respect in his turn. Kennedy, with his political future ahead of him, has put his finger on the truth of the war that is most difficult, most risky for an American politician to face: the apparent, although semantically disputed fact that we are trying to tell an Asian nation they cannot have communists in their government, or a communist government, and if they insist we’ll blow them to hell. Fulbright, long a loner, is not a loner now, for a majority of the senators on the Senate foreign relations committee, those most responsible for the “advice and consent” required of the Senate in foreign policy by the Constitution, voted to have public hearings, which have been nationally televised, critical of the President’s course in Vietnam in the very midst of the war. Never before in our history has such a thing occurred. One cannot read those When the new Texas commissioner of higher education, Dr. Jack Kenny Williams, was announced, it was also made known that in addition to his state-provided $22,500 a year, he will get $17,500 from private sources. Five years ago this would have been accepted in silence by the Texas press, but times have somewhat changed. We excerpt from two editorials in the dailies: First, from the Houston Post March 25: “We hope that the board will announce the source of this private money as soon as possible. Dr. Williams is an employee of the taxpayers of the State of Texas, and they have every right to know who else he is working for. “If the money is coming from some textbook publisher, the people should know. They should also. know if the money is being provided by some Texas Tech alumnus, who might want a medical school for his alma mater, or some University of Houston alumnus, who feels his school needs a new building or something. “On the other hand, if the money is from some foundation with no axe to grind in Texas education, the people should know that, too. . . . “Perhaps the legislature should boost the pay scale of top appointees so they draw all their money from the State of Texas and none from other sources. “As the Bible wisely says, `no man can serve two masters,’ and we certainly want all state officials to serve only one master the people of the State of Texas.” THE IMMOVABLE OBJECT AND NE IRRESISTIBLE FoRcE hearings without knowing that those senators looked deep into themselves before going forward as they have done and that they believed that they were right. Theirs is an awful burden, and they are bearing it. Nothing the governor says is going to change this, but he can add rancor to the debate. Let him forebear. LI And this is from the Corpus Christi Caller of the same date: “. . . the salary arrangements for Williams raise questions of ‘ propriety and principle. Private donations to supplement the maximum pay set for the office by the legislature inevitably present the question : Will Williams be asked to serve two masters, the state and private benefactors? No one should be exposed to this question. . . . The question goes to the propriety of mingling state and private funds to pay the salary of a state official.” The Observer asked Ray Fowler, the coordinating board’s staff chief on finance matters, what will be the source of the $17,500 extra Dr. Williams is to be paid. “The board knows. They have not informed the staff as to specific sources at this time,” he said. 8 Zooi Out There are signs in Houston that emotions are running high in the city’s Negro ghettoes. The shooting to death of a Negro accused of chicken-stealing by a white police officer under , bitterly disputed circumstances is precisely the kind of incident that started the Watts riots; except it’s more serious. Let Houston look to its conscience now, not later, and let the Texans in Washington get on with the war on poverty, and fast. April 1, 1966 3 Paying the Salary
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