Official report to the House of Representatives of the 58th Legislature of Texas Page: 21 of 94
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Nelson Decker, who had been listening to this testimony concerning him,was
then called to the stand. Mr. Decker refused to answer any questions and read into
the record under oath a statement prepared by his attorney, John Glass of Tyler,
I still refuse to answer the question on the grounds that
my truthful answer would tend to incriminate me, and
for the further reason that neither this Committee nor
the legislature of Texas has the power to grant me complete
and absolute. immunity from prosecution as to the
transactions, matters or things to which such question
relates, as my truthful answer would tend to incriminate
me under federal laws as well as the laws of this state,
and I understand that I am being investigated and threatened
with prosecution under both the state and federal laws,
and the state and federal authorities are collaborating
in their investigations to procure evidence against me
for use in both state and federal prosecutions, and by
answering the question I would waive some of my rights
and privileges guaranteed to me by the Bill of Rights of
the Texas Constitution on the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth
Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. In
so refusing to answer, I am relying in good faith upon the
advice of my attorney, given to me after I informed him
of all the facts within my knowledge concerning the scope
of this investigation and my situation relative thereto, believing
that it is my lawful privilege and right to refuse.
Thereafter, he declined to answer questions relating to checks payable to him,
or lease interests assigned to him under the name of R. C. Brin, Trustee; whether
he had ever filed false official reports; why he was paid $2,500 on the Brett Lease;
and whether he had falsified curve-out records.
Don Barkman and Ao J. Logan, both RRC employees at Kilgore, testified
about the Brett Lease. In November, 1957 its production had declined to 400
barrels per month. On December 1, 1957 it was assigned to J. W. Baton (one
of the check writers in the December 5, 1957 $2,500 deposit to Decker. ) In
December, 1957, the same month, the production doubled to 800 barrels. By
1960 it had risen to 1,000 barrels monthly and was finally curved out in 1961 for
12,000 barrels. (A curve-out is a RRC rule permitting transfer of allowables from
wells that make over 100 barrels of salt water a day to another lease in the East
Texas Field. If the well produces so much salt water that it becomes uneconomical
to handle, a test is run by the RRC to determine the total amount of oil still under
the lease but which would be uneconomical to handle because of the salt water produced
along with it. The test establishes such total number of barrels as an allowable
which then may be transferred or sold. The sales price is approximately $2. 50
per barrel. The purpose is to give the operators on the west side of the field whose
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Texas Legislature. House of Representatives. General Investigating Committee. Official report to the House of Representatives of the 58th Legislature of Texas, book, 1963; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5869/m1/21/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .