Official report to the House of Representatives of the 58th Legislature of Texas Page: 75 of 94
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Q. Was it your opinion that the discharge of your official
duties required an investigation into the drilling of slanted
wells and the running of hot oil?
A. It was.
Q. To whom was that opinion made known?
A. Well, it was made known to all of my associates, both my
associate member on the Petroleum Board at that time,
Mr. Nelson Puett, and of course all of the staff of the
board and was likewise made known to any immediate
superiors in Washington...
Q. Do you make an official report or memorandum report to
your superiors concerning the conditions which you have
A. Yes, sir. We made a number of reports.
Q. Before going into the matters individually, can you tell us
what response or what reaction greeted your attempts to
conduct investigations and initiate prosecutions into what
appeared to you to be a violation of the law?
A. Yes, sir, I think it was in July perhaps, of 1953, that the
first absolutely tangible and definite action was taken from
Washington indicating the displeasure of the department
with the board's investigation of drilling practices, there
had been some evidences of hostility toward the undertaking
prior to that time but nothing that I could specifically recall
at this time, but about July of that year the circumstances
that I mentioned as having indicated some hostility on the
part of Washington officials toward the directional drilling
investigations took form in the way of a special investigator
from the Secretary of the Interior's office, Mr. Hupingjams,
who appeared on the scene bearing credentials from the
Secretary's office and he pursued his investigation there in
that area over a period of several weeks. He was not in Kilgore
all of that time, according to my best information. He went
to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and to some other places, but
was in and out of the Kilgore area over a period of, and extending
several weeks, and during that entire time I continued in
my moderate terms to describe the degree of hostility and
animosity that he began to exhibit toward the board's activities
into the directional drilling work. I was a fairly stubborn man,
and of course he didn't make the progress he evidently thought
he would and in persuading me to give up the idea. Well, as
the investigations proceeded, we had many bitter arguments.
Usually these would occur at night after the personnel had gone
home at 4:00 or 5:00 o'clock, as the case might be. He would
require me to meet him in the office for these night sessions.
The gist of it all was that these matters were matters that
confided exclusively to the state and that my participation or
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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/m1/75/: accessed May 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .