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January 07, 1961 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1961-01-07

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Committee Stymies Liberals

uth Will Prevail
torials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This nus t be noted in all reprints.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the
second in a two-part analysis of
the current liberal efforts to weak-
-en obstructionist tactics in the.
Senate and House of Representa-
Daily Staff Writer
FOR YEARS, the House Rules
Committee has been spectacu-
larly successful in blocking pro-
gressive legislation in the House
of Representatives. No matter how
strong the liberal faction in the
House has been, the six conser-
vatiVes on the all-powerful com-
mittee have been able to defeat
the concept of democratic major-
ity rule.
The Rules Committee decides

which bills will go to the House
floor, in what order they will ap-
pear, the methods of debate al-
lowed on each proposal, and the
limitations of amendment. Due to
the complex context which each
bill usually appears on the floor,
the committee can easily kill any
measure by submitting it with im-
possible rules qualifications or
merely by never reportng the bill
out of committee.
** *
MEMBERSHIP ON the mightly
group is a true political plum,
distributed on the traditional
basis of seniority. Thus, congress-
men from safe, one-party districts,
who are guaranteed-continuous re-

One Cuban's View
Of Revolution

(EDITOR'S NOTE: During Christ-
mas vacation the reporter discov-
ered three Cubans working as wait-
ers in a Spanish restaurant In
Florida. Hampered by no knowl-
edge of Spanish, she was unable to
communicate with two of them.)
Daily Staff Writer
THE FIRST grinned broadly and
said, "Castro no, Batista si,
The second growled, "Castro
The third said, "Castro Com-
munista? That other man isn't
even Cuban," and gave me the fol-
lowing interview.
"The poor people in Cuba never
had it so good," claims Raoul
Boeras, who left his native Cuba
three years ago to become a waiter
in a Florida restaurant.
On a visit to his former home in
Oriente province two months ago,
Boeras noted great changes in
the economic level of mountain
farmers. Most of them, who had
always lived in dirt-floored huts,
now have small sanitary homes
with concrete floors.
"If this keepsupsI may go back
in a year or so," he added.
BOERAS THINKS the farmers
now are in better condition than
city workers. "Castro promised to
help the mountain people first;
they were the most poverty-strick-
en and the most unhappy under
Batista. When he came into power,
Castro immediately set up agrar-
ian reforms for the benefit of the
farmers and improved their con-
He said the Castro government
is now aiding the economic plight
of the small villages by opening
new industries. Boeras' own town
has three new factories, which
will ease unemployment consider-
The threat of unemployment
played a major part in Castro's
nationalization of American in-
dustries, he explained. During Ba-
tista's regime the American com-
panies had contributed to the Cu-
ban treasury in no way other than
by hiring Cubans. They paid no
taxes to Cuba, yet drained the
country's resources for export.
* * *
DESCRIBING THE situation in
a nickel plant in Oriente, Boeras
said that Castro demanded a one
per cent tax from the company.
Thereupon the American concern
threatened to close the factory
rather than pay the one per cent.
This would have created much un-
employment, and turned the job-
less against the Castro govern-
ment. To avoid this situation Cas-

tro took over the plant's opera-
tions and kept it open.,
Boeras' logic followed the line
that Castro was accomplishing the
things he had specifically prom-
ised the people, and could not be
condemned for what he did or did
not do outside this framework.
He justified restriction of free-
dom of speech with. the comment,
"Castro thinks that since he is
doing what he promised no one
has a right to complain.".
The 1,000 refugees per week who
are pouring into Miami "must be
former members of Batista's army,
who would now find it very diffi-
cult to get work, and those people
whom Batista was supporting."
Hundreds of people had received
monthly support from the Batista
government and consequently did
not need to work at all. Many of
these were wealthy already, so
the situation was not like wel-
fare or social security payments,
he said.
OF COURSE, Castro has been
hard on the rich people-those
who were rich because of Batista.
But rich people gave much to the
revolution, too.
"The opposition from the Church
is related to this. It was the rich
people who supported the Church.
o naturally they are now bitter,"
he observed.
Boeras felt that Castro had
turned to the Communists simply
as an economic measure. "They
are asking countries to trade with
them every day. The Russian gov-
ernment has been very coopera-
tive in this respect, while the
Americans have broken off all
" s
BOERAS WAS most impressed
with the opportunities that Cas-
tro has provided for poor people.
In Oriente, he had been employed
as a bus driver for a private
school. Public education was ex-
tremely limited at that time, and
only the rich could provide a good
education for their children. The
professions were accessible only to
the wealthy, also.
"Castro has built schools
througout the country, and his
government will pay for profes-
sional training for anyone who is
qualified," he said.
Boeras left Cuba when Castro
was fighting in the hills. His re-
cent visit provided the opportuni-
ty for a contrast, but did not ne-
cessarily make him an impartial
observer. Probably the most valu-
able factor in evaluating his im-
pressions of Castro's government is
that he expresses an interest in
returning to Cuba to live.

election, dominate the Rules Com-
mittee, just as they rule other
important congressional groups.
And since these safe-districts are
either the conservative areas of
New England or more importantly
the far right-wing region of the
South, liberals have had little
chance of gaining important com-
mittee posts.
The standard break-down of the
rules committee allots eight posi-
tions to Democrats and four mem-
berships to the Republicans. All
the Republicans are conservative;
the Democrats are split with six
liberals and two Southerners. Thus
when a progressive bill, such as a
civil rights measure comes before
the committee, the usual result is
a six-six deadlock which is always
a victory for the conservatives. o
The current congressional furor
was probably touched off at the
Palm Beach rendezvous of Speaker
Sam Rayburn and President-
elect Kennedy. Kennedy knows
that the Rules Committtee will be
the biggest House stumbling block
to his "New Frontier" legislation.
It is more than possible that the
two Democratic leaders at that
time mapped out their strategy for
ending the conservative grip on
Congress. No doubt it took much
Kennedy convincing to convince
the elderly Texan to lead the fight
against the omnipotent seniority
tradition and his fellow southern
joined the liberals and on the
first day of the convening of the
87th Congress, began pressuring
House Rules Committee chairman
Howard Smith of Virginia for an
expansion of the 12 man panel
to 15 members, giving liberals a
definite majority. When Smith
refused, the matter was dropped
and tactic number two was in-
Under the approach now being
used, the Democratic Committee
on committees is being pressured
to purge 70-year-old William M.
Comer of Mississippi from the
Rulesgroup. He would be replaced
by a liberal, thus giving the Ken-
nedy party-liners a 7-5 majority to
back the president-elect's pet pro-
jects. Ostensibly, the basis for the
ouster is Colmer's active opposi-
tion to Kennedy during the cam-
paign and his vociferous support
of his some state's unpledged elec-
The Committee on committees
picks the Democratic Party's slate
of committee positions, and is
very capable of slapping the
seniority tradition in the face
and following the prestigious Ray-
burn's suggestion. Most observers
'new feel that 11 of the Com-
mittee on committee's fifteen
members are in favor of the pro-
posed purge. Miraculously, the
group's chairman, Wilbur D. Mills
of Arkansas is included in the
Rayburn camp.
* * *
mise of Colmer seems to be as-
sured, Rayburn will still have to
gain House support for the purge,
since the House must ultimately
approve all committee slates.
When the issue reaches the House
floor, probably early next week,
an all-out fight is assured.
The biggest danger to the li-
berals on the House floor will be
the so-called "moderates" who
have often criticized the obstruc-
tionist tactics of the Rules Com-
mittee, but who actually need the
committee to prevent embarrass-
ing measures from coming - to a
vote. These men harbor conser-
vative feelings alien to their home
constitutencies and use the Rules
Committee as a handy scape-

'Thne Tal' king Ass'
Spefaks Loudly
WfLLIAMP. KENNEY and X. J. Kennedy as the second and first
half asses, walked away in tandem with Prof. John Heath-Stubbs
biblical farce, "The Talking Ass," last night in Rackham's Assembly
This talking ass is the only one who sees the angel of the Lord;
the only one who sees that "brother Ass must take care of brother
ass"; the only one of the personages that will witness -the manger
scene and see the sword turned into a cross twenty-two years later, so
saith theangel of the Lord.
Balaam, the proud, but weak prophet with a gift for words wrestles
with his pride and attempts to listen to the words of the Lord and bless,
not curse the Israelites who invade Canaan from Egypt. But the
"burden of the vision was too bright for him," he could not tolerate
the thought of giving his "talent" and himself to the Lord, and runs
Offhandedly reverent and beautiful, the main fare of the "Talking
Ass", is tongue-in-cheek satire of age-old political 'situations.
Explanations of the obvious,'particularly the commentary of the
Angel of God, make the play a bit slow, but the delightful subtleness
of the satire draws chuckles throughout these parts. The death cries
of the Geni (summoned by Balaam's pride) were overplayed but the
rest of the characterizations were delightfully hammy.
Prof. Marvin Feldheim was a great old soldier, the twinkle in his eye
never died even in the most serious moment, while Frank Brownlow's
ROTC uniform with rhinestones epaulets only equaled the terrycloth
snout of the first ass.
The best characterizations, however, were of Balaam's wife Kezia.
and the hard bitten Balak, King of Moab, played by Betty Chmaj and
Prof, O. L. Chavarria-Aguilar.
All in all, the John Barton Wolgamoth Society did amateur jus-
tice to the first American production of ".7he Talking Ass" which
Heath-Stubbs wrote "just about ten years ago."
'F acts ofLie
Aren't, Interesting,
CONSIDERING that Bob Hope and Lucille Ball are two altogether
splendid comic performers, the new vehicle in which they are
co-starring "The Facts of Life" emerges as a considerable disappoint-
* * * *
THE PANAMA-FRANK production which is the current tenant
at the Michigan Theatre suffers from an overabundance of slickly
polished sentimentality, and a deficiency of an, adequately comic

"Move One To The Back Burner -One Up To
The Front Burner -"


warmth. "The Facts of Life" too
to the
To the Editor:
ANDREW Hawley's editorial on
the Literary College Steering
Committee's report on cheating
was based on two key premises:
one qf which is simply inaccurate
and the other represents a basic
disagreement between Mr. Hawley
and the Committee.
His editorial stressed, at two
points, that cheating was a func-
tion of size. The Steering Com-
mittee found no evidence for this
assumption-and Mr. Hawley'pro-
vides none. There are large courses'
with virtually no cheating and
there are small courses with a
great deal of cheating. The Steer-
ing Committee's report tried to
spell out what we believe to be
more significantly related factors.
Mr. Hawley "thinks that many
teachers do not consider it their
responsibility to 'play nursemaid'
to students" and asks "can we ask. '
our college professors to destroy
an attitude that is, often 'built in-
to' the student and still pervades
his social environment?"
We feel that this entirely misses
the point. The report pointed out
explicitly that certain types of
procedures by instructors quite un-
necessarily create situations which
put into motion enormous pres-
sures on students to cheat. Al-
though the report explicitly recog-
nized that an individual student
does bear ultimate responsibility
for this conduct, we do not con-
sider the University primarily as a,
testing-ground. of moral fortitude.

frequently gets bogged down in
its perfectly unnecessary, per-
fectly symmetrical structiring.
Not that "The Facts of Life"
isn't endowed with Some very fine
and funny moments. With Mr.
Hope and Miss Ball at the helm
a good deal of charm cannot help
but permeate. Watch Mr. Hope
as he goes out from a Sunset
Strip motel room to fetch a cup
of coffee to revive the delightfully
inebriated Miss Ball only to later
discover that there are so many
motel spots along the strip he has
forgotten .at which motel exactly
he has stranded Miss Ball for
their clandestine meeting. Watch
Miss Ball when she discovers that
while she is carrying on an affair
with Mr. Hope in an out' of the
way drive inn the mutual laundry-
man to their respective abodes is
sitting in the next truck taking in
the whole splendid business.
Despite the fact that the "The
Facts of Life" is never really dull,
it must also be said there are too
few moments when the film is
truly interesting. Too frequently
one feels that there are lead
weights attached to the production-
which hamper the fine styles of
Mr. Hope and Miss Ball.
Certainly "The Facts of Life" is
modestly entertaining throughout,
but merely modest entertainment
from a pair as grand as these
experts is highly disappointing,
-Marc Alan Zagoren


(Continued from Page 2)
1-Radio-Electronics Technician (h

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