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Remarks by Representative Kilgore
Mr. Speaker, CLARENCE CANNON had a considerable capacity for indignation—and considerable skill in expressing it. Since he was opposed, as a matter of principle, to extravagance in the conduct of Government and since he was for 22 years chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, he was frequently given opportunity to become indignant.
The late Congressman from Missouri was widely regarded as a crusty and combative man, and so he was. Yet there was another side of CLARENCE CANNON, quite unlike the dour image he rather consistently projected. The brusque exterior did not truly mirror his nature, for many Members of this House knew him as a straightforward, warmhearted individual who responded instantly to a friendly word or deed.
Not many weeks before Mr. CANNON'S passing, I distributed to my colleagues bags of onions grown in my south Texas district. Back at once came a note from the chairman of the Appropriations Committee expressing his thanks for the onions.
Whenever I asked to appear before his committee, Mr. CANNON invariably sent me a friendly and cordial note setting the time for my appearance. I know that many other Members of the House have had similar experiences. I consider it worthy of note that this man, whose responsibilities were so heavy and whose knowledge of the House was so great, should have taken time to send such messages instead of simply having a secretary make a telephone call.
Those of us who had the privilege of serving with CLARENCE CANNON will never forget him. He was the only one of his kind.
Remarks by Representative Aspinall
Mr. Speaker, I wish to join my colleagues in expressing my deepest sorrow on the passing of our highly respected and beloved friend, CLARENCE CANNON, and pay tribute to his great and good works. His passing takes from our midst a distinguished legislator and a great American whose outstanding service in this body over a span of more than four decades will stand as a monument to his name and a challenge to all of us who aspire to follow in his footsteps.
I believe that the influence of CLARENCE CANNON upon the House of Reuresentatives will endure as long as this body exists. He was, of course, a powerful Member of the Congress. However, it was power based on respect for his ability and judgment. His sound judgment as chairman of the Committee on Appropriations has saved the American people billions of dollars.
Mr. Speaker, I want to make special reference to the fine working relationship and the cooperation that has existed between his Committee on Appropriations and the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of which I have the honor to be chairman. He fully recognized the dual responsibility which our two committees have for the many important programs administered by the Department of the Interior. Chairman CANNON always insisted that the agencies appearing before his committee for funds obtain their authority for the programs through the legislative committees. Sometimes when the authority was questionable, he required agencies to present their programs to the legislative committees for their review and approval. In return, I have always made certain that Chairman CANNON and his committee were kept advised of my committee's position with respect to appropriation needs. On the day before he died, he wrote me expressing his desire to comply with certain wishes of my committee addressed to him by committee resolution.
CLARENCE CANNON will be missed by every Member of this body but he will not be forgotten. He leaves a mark on the House of Representatives which time will not obliterate.
I wish to extend the sympathy of Mrs. Aspinall and myself to Mrs. Cannon and the members of their family.
Remarks by Representative Johnson
Mr. Speaker, a great deal has been—and will continue to be written and said about the many accomplishments during the long and fruitful career of our distinguished colleague, the late Congressman CLARENCE CANNON, of Missouri. However, it is impossible to capture with mere words the scope and magnitude of his 41 years of public service as a Member of the House of Representatives.
Prior to that time, he served the House and the Nation well as House Parliamentarian. His books, "Cannon's Precedents" and “Cannon Procedures," have been and will continue to be the outstanding authoritative works in the area of parliamentary procedure in the House.
During my 11 years in the House of Representatives, I came to know, respect and like Congressman CANNON in his capacity as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, a fantastically complicated job which he handled with knowledgeable care and admirable dispatch. As Time magazine observed, he performed “a considerable public service as an Appropriations Committee chairman who spent the taxpayers' money as charily as if it were his own."
Mr. Speaker, when I first met Chairman CANNON, I was amazed at his thorough knowledge of the multitudinous items that make up a proposed budget for a fiscal year. It seems more than one man could possibly remember. However, as I made my yearly appearance before the Public Works Appropriations Subcommittee in behalf of funds for a flood control project in my district, I soon learned that Chairman CANNON did, indeed, remember the particulars of the Eau Galle River flood control project at Spring Valley, Wis.
At the beginning of the 87th Congress, I was pleased and honored when Chairman CANNON asked me if I would consider becoming a member of the House Appropriations Committee. Because the district I represent in Congress is predominantly rural, I decided I could best serve it by remaining on the House Agriculture Committee. However, I regretted the necessity of passing up the opportunity of serving on a committee with Chairman CANNON.
Among the letters which I will always treasure is the one I received from Chairman CANNON at the time I announced may decision to retire from Congress at the close of this year. He wrote:
You have had years of experience during a particularly critical period of the history of the country—and nothing takes the place of experience and personal, first-hand knowledge.
Mr. Speaker, this statement was certainly true of the man who wrote it-Congressman CLARENCE CANNON.