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U.S. Dist. Judge William M. Taylor Jr., fined five companies and four individuals a total of $100,000 for fixing the price of reinforcing steel bars used in building construction in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Austin Steel Co. and the Lofland Co., both of Dallas, were penalized $25,000 each. Continental Steel of Garland and Huffhines Steel and Texsteel, both of Dallas, must pay $10,000 each. Four company executives were placed on 18 months probation and ordered to pay $5,000 each. New giant kick around. As John Connally presented UT’s Distinguished Alumnus Award to George R. Brown recently, several hundred demonstrators outside the hall chanted, “Brown builds tiger cages. Brown builds tiger cages.” Two demonstrators who gained entrance to the ceremony handed Brown framed pictures of a tiger cage being used to house political prisoners in SOuth Vietnam and of a photostat of a copy of the contract between Brown & Root and the U.S. Navy. The shindig, appropriately enough, took place at the LBJ Library. After all, it was under the administration of President Lyndon Johnson that George and Herman Brown’s construction company received lucrative contracts in South Vietnam,\(Obs., Former Texas Gov. Allan Shivers, now a UT regent, was shouted down when he tried to reason with the demonstrators. According to The Houston Post, he told them that Brown & Root had contracts in Vietnam because the company is among the largest and best construction firms in the country. On another front, Sen. Adlai E. Stevenson, III, has asked the Justice Department to determine whether Brown and other persons who serve as officers or directors of more than one petroleum company are violating anti-trust laws. The Clayton Act states, “No person at the same time shall be a director of any two or more corporations . . . if such corporations are . . . competitors, so that the elimination of competition by agreement between them would constitute a violation of any . . . of the anti-trust laws.” Brown is chairman of the executive council and a director of Texas Eastern Transmission Corp. and a director of Louisiana Land and Exploration Co., which engages in oil and gas exploration. He’s als6 an independent producer. Overruled The jury arguments by Dallas prosecutors just don’t seem to be passing muster with the Court of Criminal Appeals these days. Last time around \(see Obs., Stauffer getting burned twice for his appeals to jurors. This time, Henry Wade himself introduced the offending material into his argument in the cases of Rene Guzman and Leonardo Lopez, who were convicted of killing three Dallas area deputy sheriffs \(the murders which led to jury in final argument that 11 police officers had been killed around the country that week, arguing that the jury itself was part of the protection of lawmen. Not a valid argument, said the appellate judges, since it was not based on evidence introduced and “patently, such evidence 14 The Texas Observer would not have been admissible if it had been offered.” Less than a week later, the Court overturned another Dallis conviction, one for burglary and attempted murder. This time the arguer was a Wade assistant, Les Eubanks, who told the jury, “I am certainly not going to prosecute a man I don’t feel in my heart is guilty.” The AFL-CIO’s political plans for 1974 do not include beating the bushes for a candidate to oppose GovernorBriscoe. In fact, they don’t even include encouraging Democratic candidates who have their own ideas about running. The official mood is unity-minded don’t use labor’s resources stirring up intra-party fights but one source says Briscoe’s apparent strength has something to do with it, too. “Yeah,” sighed our friend, “he does look unbeatable, doesn’t he?” Parting shot Republican Chairman until about Nov. 19, is using his last few days in office to continue his running feud with former Sen. Henry Grover. Grover has already announced his intention of taking another run at governor next year and, judging by Dr. Willeford’s latest shot at him, would not be getting along with the chairman any better this time around than he did in 1972. “Giover needs the party, but the party doesn’t need Grover,” quoth the chairman in an interview with the Dallas Times Herald’s Dave Montgomery. If he still wants to be governor, Grover is “going to have to make peace with the Republican Party and not on his terms,” according to Dr. Willeford. In almost the same breath, Dr. Willeford assessed a certain leading Democrat’s chances, saying Governor Briscoe will be tough to unseat because “he’s got a record so bland that you can’t really fight him.” Elsewhere on the Republican front, The Houston Post reported that “some Republicans” are calling Jim Granberry a stalking horse for George Bush. Nonsense, says Granberry, a former mayor of Lubbock: “I made an independent judgment to enter this race, and I’m in it to stay.” You’ll be happy to know that not all of us are feeling a pinch around the pocketbook. During the third quarter of 1973, Ford Motor Co. reported earnings of $95 million on record sales of $5 billion. Tenneco, Inc., one of our favorite conglomerates, had a third quarter net income of $53.3 million on sales of $954.4 million. Philip Morris, Inc., which sells cigarettes, beer, razor blades and land, totaled $42.3 million, up 22 percent from the third quarter of 1972. A survey of 555 companies by New York’s First National City Bank showed an aggregate profit of $4.5 billion, up 24 percent from the comparable period of 1972. Citibank noted that the sharp increases “are all the more remarkable for having been achieved in part during the freeze on prices adopted mid-June, and during gathering indications of a business slowdown.” The report said that “a substantial proportion” of the increase is paper profits. Republic National Bank of Dallas has won the Federal Reserve Board’s approval for its plan to become the lead bank in a new bank holding company. The application has been pending for almost a year: difficulties between the bank and the board turned on the question of what to do with the Howard Corporation. All shares of Howard are held in trusteeship for the benefit of bank shareholders. Howard in turn owns shares of 21 banks in addition to holdings in oil and gas properties in eight states, six shopping centers and other real estate development interests. Those bank shares were acquired under the old “24.9” rule, which provided Federal Reserve regulation for bank-owning entities only if they owned at least 25 percent of one or more banks. Howard owns 24.9 percent of several but 25 percent of none. Since passage of the 1970 amendments to the federal Bank Holding Act, though, the Fed has been allowed to use its judgment as to the significance of a corporation’s interest in banks. And the Fed says Republic has to Dr. George Willeford, the state’s