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hopes of Texas getting some of Louisiana’s water. V But if Long is bitter about Yarbo rough’s support of Kennedy in the close caucus vote, Kennedy is described as most grateful to the Texas senator for his support. At a Washington cocktail party the night the vote was taken, Kennedy was heard expressing his gratitude for Yarborough in no uncertain terms. “He was very, very grateful,” the Observer is told by someone who was at the party. Yarborough’s support “meant a hell of a lot to Kennedy,” not only personally but as a lever to be used on other senators, it is said. About Hickel v Senator Yarborough voted for the confirmation of Walter Hickel as secretary of the interior \(as did Sen. Tower said anything during the rather extensive Senate debate. During debate, Wisconsin Sen. William Proxmire recalled that he had opposed the appointment of John Connally as secretary of the navy on grounds similar to Proxmire’s opposition to Hickel: because of Connally’s connections with oil. As executor of the Richardson estate, Connally was, Proxmire said, tied with “one of the largest single oil holdings in the world.” V Part of the Senate’s price for confirm ing Hickel was his disposal of $1 million worth of stock in a Houstonbased holding company, Alaska Interstate Co., which has gas pipeline holdings in Alaska \(as well as mining, boat senators, liberals mostly, voted against confirmation. V’ Yarborough may have had two rea sons in particular for voting for Hickel, a man whose views on conservation vary widely from the senator’s. First, senators are very reluctant to block cabinet appointments, having traditionally wanted to respect a president’s wishes in such matters. Second, Yarborough may have been mindful of his hopes for a Big Thicket National Park and therefore unwilling to oppose Hickel in what, it was rather apparent, would have been an unsuccessful effort to block his confirmation, anyway. V Yarborough first introduced the Thicket bill in 1966. The National Park Service has taken an interest in the matter, first recommending a 35,000acre national monument \(Obs., Sept. 15, The senator calls both these proposals too limited and urges at least 100,000 acres. President Johnson plugged the Thicket preservation movement two days before leaving office. Yarborough, on the Senate floor, said the Ticket once was about 3 1/2 million acres but now only perhaps 10% of that remains, being lost today, he says, at the rate of 50 acres a day. V Houston Cong. Bob Eckhardt has been awarded a seat on the House 8 The Texas Observer commerce committee, a significant assignment for the sophomore liberal. The appointment came in spite of Eckhardt’s vote for Cong. Morris Udall, D-Ariz., in his foiled attempts to depose House Speaker John McCormack, D-Mass. Cong. Harley Staggers, D-WVa, chairman of the commerce committee, reportedly enlarged the committee to make room for Eckhardt. In moving to commerce, Eckhardt joins another TexanCong. Jake Pickle of Austin. Eckhardt gave up ‘his seat on the space committee for the commerce slot. V Texas was heavily represented at a Washington $100-a-plate dinner a few days ago to help retire the presidential campaign debt of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. Among the better known Texans in attendance were Senator Yarborough, ex-Atty. Gen. Ramsey Clark and Congressman Eckhart. Some 3,800 attended. V Senator Yarborough’s press secre tary, Bill Hamilton, who left the sen ator at the beginning of the year, has joined the staff of New Community Press, ‘Wally Hickel is coming! Wally Hickel is coming!’ an adjunct of the Ford-financed Center for Community Change. Former RFK aide Frank Mankiewicz is chairman of NCP. Another former Yarborough staffer, David Hearne, is director. ’68 Reviewed v The Democrats didn’t win Texas in the presidential election, the Republi cans lost it. So believes an anonymous veteran of liberal campaigns in Texas, as quoted by Washington correspondent Sarah McLendon. The Texas campaign in Richard Nixon’s behalf was plagued by overworking the tidelands issue of the 1950’s \(“a dead issue,” the liberal said, and poor direction \(said to be the fault of Ken Towery, an aide of Senator Tower The Yarborough man, not unexpectedly, credits Yarborough forces and faults the Johnson-Connally people in last year’s Humphrey campaign. “We actually had little help from Governor Connally although Senator Yarborough has graciously given him credit for help in his press conferences. To tell the truth, we had little help from President Johnson’s organization.” The liberal source is described as “a man who has conducted numerous campaigns in Texas in recent years,” as “a number of Sen. Ralph Yarborough’s team” and as the man who evidently is to lead the senator’s 1970 reelection effort. Almost certainly these descriptions refer to Chuck Caldwell. V It has gone almost unnoticed in Tex as and the nation that Will Wilson of Austin has been appointed chief of the criminal division of the US Dept. of Justice in the Nixon administration, but this is an event of considerable moment. Wilson was a justice of the Texas Supreme Court. As the Texas attorney general he crusaded against loan sharks and crime. He ran for the US Senate in 1961 and the governorship in 1962, losing both times. Originally a Texas Democrat, Wilson evolved more and more away from the Texas Establishment, finally breaking completely to become an active Republican. He has a reputation for hard-minded integrity. On economic matters, he is very conservative. On racial matters, he is integrationist. As attorney general, he conducted the state’s original investigations into the Billie Sol Estes scandal. These were cut short by federal investigation. Wilson has been engaged in successful practice of corporation law in Austin for the last several years. His sudden positioning at the operational apex of federal criminal law enforcement is an event of considerable interest. Johnsoniana v According to the. estimate of S a u 1 Friedman of the Detroit Free Press, “Johnson holdings” have increased in value from $14 to about $20 million since 1964. The $14 million was Life magazine’s estimate. The $20 million now covers land, \($4 and other investments, but is disputed by Donald Thomas, Johnson counselor and business adviser, in Friedman’s series on Johnson’s wealth. The $20 million includes holdings not held by any of the Johnson family and disregards “all liabilities and debts,” Thomas told Friedman. Much of the information in Friedman’s series is not new, but Friedman learned that the Southwest Livestock Sales Co., organized by Johnson associate and trustee A. W. Moursund, is the owner of a