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Remarks by Representative Finnegan
Mr. Speaker, CLARENCE CANNON died on May 12, at the age of 85, during his 41st year of service as a Member of Congress. For 53 years he devoted his immense energy and his keen mind to public service, working literally until the day he died; and it is right and just that we mark his passing with thoughts and words of praise for his many outstanding contributions to the Nation.
CLARENCE CANNON will most assuredly be remembered for his outstanding and scholarly contributions to the study of the precedents and procedures of the House of Representatives, and he will be remembered for his tremendous record of achievements as a Member of Congress and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
Mr. CANNON came to Washington in his early thirties to work for the then Speaker of the House, Champ Clark, who several years later appointed him Parliamentarian of the House of Representatives. In this capacity he began a lifelong study of House procedures and precedents, a study which admirably equipped him for his service as a Member of the House, while it gained for him national recognition as a foremost authority on the procedures and precedents of the House of Representatives.
In 1922 Mr. CANNON was elected to the 68th Congress from the Ninth District of Missouri. During the years before he assumed the chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee in 1941, Mr. CANNON established himself as an energetic, hard-working Congressman, especially in the area of farm and rural legislation; he supported bills providing for parity payments, farm loans at low rates of interest, reclamation and soil conservation projects, flood control, and scientific agricultural research. He also made substantial contributions during this period to the enactment of legislation for the protection of crops from pests and livestock from disease, and for the rural electrification program.
CLARENCE CANNON became chairman of the House Appropriations Committee during World War II and distinguished himself by the skill with which he funded the war effort and by the zeal with which he struggled to return to the Treasury appropriated but unspent money. It was in the last months of World War II that Mr. CANNON's attitude and philosophy about his role in life emerged and manifested itself. It was to become the overriding motivating principle of his approach to the responsibilities of the Appropriations Committee. In 1944 he solemnly declared:
The House Appropriations Committee is unanimously of the belief that no agency should be allowed to have any funds for which it does not account to Congress annually and which it does not justify in hearings before congressional committees.
Mr. CANNON directed his committee in accordance with this belief, and he vigorously defended the principle of congressional control over the purse.
In his annual end-of-session speech in 1957, Mr. CANNON reiterated his views on what had become perhaps his greatest concern as chairman of the Appropriations Committee. He said:
The executive branch and the Congress in recent years have tended toward lodging more and more budgetary determinations outside the traditional annual appropriation bill procedure. Substantial amounts of the budget are passed upon or set in legislative bills. Various devices to get money out of the Treasury through the side door and the back door rather than the front door have gained in popularity. Action on these matters is often diffused. They all ought to go through one procedure, one system, under one set of rules, so that the Congress and the country can clearly see the whole picture at any given time or point.
As a member of the Appropriations Committee during this 88th Congress, I came in close contact with the dedication which Mr. CANNON brought to bear while chairing the committee. I remember many evenings and Sundays when I would stop by my ofice next to his, and find him working there with a singular devotion to his duties and great responsibilities. The House will surely miss this man who is so much a part of the tradition which makes up this body.
I wish to extend to Mrs. Cannon and the other members of his family an expression of my most sincere sympathy in their loss and bereavement.
Remarks by Representative Shriver
Mr. Speaker, the House and our Nation have lost a wise and dedicated public servant. We shall sorely miss CLARENCE CANNON. His contributions to the parliamentary conduct of the legislative business of the Nation in this body will long be remembered. His great concern and frugality over the use of taxpayers' money in his capacity as chairman of the Appropriations Committee will long be appreciated. His deep interest and support of those projects across the United States which contributed to the preservation of land and water resources and furthered flood control and water development will benefit our Nation for many years to come.
CLARENCE CANNON was most helpful and considerate of new Members of the Congress. A new Member of the House could always look to Chairman CANNON for friendly advice and counsel prior to an appearance or presentation before his committee.
I know that many private citizens and public officials in the Fourth Congressional District of Kansas join me in this expression of deep sympathy and regret upon the loss of a distinguished American, Representative CLARENCE CANNON, of Missouri.
Remarks by Representative Murphy
Of New York
Mr. Speaker, CLARENCE CANNON was an example to every Representative in Congress. To me he was the epitome of a statesman-legislator concerned with the overall progress of the United States. The progress that CLARENCE CANNON wanted was orderly, economically and militarily secure. His life was devoted to that end.
I knew him for the past 2 years and often spoke about him with our mutual friend, Jim Farley, who was a great admirer of him for many decades. I would like to include here the sentiments of the former Postmaster General and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, James A. Farley:
The passing of Congressman CLARENCE CANNON, of Missouri, brings to an end the service of one of the most illustrious Members of the Congress who, for over 40 years, was a Member of the House of Representatives and for 22 years chairman of the important Appropriations Committee. He was a man of courage and character and was a truly great public servant.
I knew him intimately and thoroughly enjoyed the relationship I had with him during the years I served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Postmaster General. He was particularly helpful to me during my tenure as national chairman, and his advice and wise counsel during the conventions of 1936 and 1940 were invaluable. He was one of the most loyal men I have ever known, and I am sure that view is shared by thousands of Americans with whom he came in contact daily. His record in the House of Representatives is well and favorably known not only to its present membership, but to others who are no longer Members of the House but served with him over the years. His associates in the House will mourn his passing and his record of accomplishment will be pointed to by legislative historians in the years to come.
JAMES A. FARLEY.