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Remarks by Representative Jones
Mr. Speaker, we are here today to honor the memory of a great man. Few men in history have had the opportunity of participating for more than a half century in the political life of the Nation's Capital, and still fewer men are permitted the opportunity to serve in this House for more than 40 years.
Mr. Speaker, I am not going to attempt to elaborate upon the statements that have been made by the dean of our Missouri congressional delegation (Mr. Karsten], but it is doubtful if Mr. CANNON'S record, or records I should say, will ever be equaled. To me it is a paradox that the man who as chairman of the Committee on Appropriations was responsible for bringing to this floor appropriation bills totaling more than a trillion dollars, who also in my opinion was responsible for saying the taxpayers of this Nation more billions of dollars than any other individual.
Mr. Speaker, in many other respects he was a paradoxical figure, a man of many facets, maligned on many occasions, but praised more often; a man who could be tough and hard as steel when the occasion demanded, yet as kindly a person as I have ever known. His counsel and advice have been most helpful to me over the years.
Mr. Speaker, I had known Mr. CANNON, by reputation, long before I came to Congress. But it was after I had been here for a few years before I began to enjoy the intimate association that will forever be cherished in my memories. Mr. CANNON, despite the great power and influence which he held as a result of his position, never failed to reflect the humbleness and the devotion which had endeared him to his constituency throughout the more than 40 years he served his people. His interest in and leadership in agricultural legislation will be reflected for many years. No man has been more help in advancement of the REA program than Mr. CANNON.
Mr. Speaker, many of us were worried because of the apparent decline in his physical stamina, but never during any time did I ever hear him complain of an ache or a pain. It was difficult for any of us to realize that he had reached the age of 85, for he was not only agile in body until recently, but young in mind.
I recall very vividly an occasion on the Friday before his death when he attended a breakfast sponsored by the Missouri Automobile Club, at which were present some half dozen young men from his district, each of whom received from him one of the shiny new dollars that he presented with an intimate talk which I know has left a lasting impression on the thousands of young people to whom he had made a similar presentation over the years.
Mr. Speaker, no tribute to our departed friend would be complete without a reference to the family relationship which existed throughout all of the years Mr. CANNON served the people of his community, State, and Nation. One of the greatest pleasures which has come from my service in the Congress has been the privilege I have enjoyed of knowing Mrs. Cannon, “Miss Ida" to the tens of thousands of people of the Ninth District and the many friends they have made in the Washington community. Never in my experience have I observed a more gracious lady, one who is not only interested in the constituency which she and her husband served, but one who gave her talents and her energy, who was not only beloved and held in the highest esteem but who was truly a part of the team that rendered such a dedicated service. No one recognized and appreciated her worth and value more than the dedicated husband, father, and grandfather whose memory we eulogize here today.
One other thing I would like to say is that, contrary to what I think many people might have felt about Mr. CANNON, during the 15 years I have served here as a member of the Missouri delegation, despite his great wisdom, and the fact
that for many years he was the dean of the delegation, he never at any time tried to influence me in my vote on any question. He always felt you are here to represent your people, and he emphasized the fact that one's first duty was to the constituency of the Member.
Remarks by Representative Bolling
Mr. Speaker, few men in American history have exercised for so long such great power as did our colleague, CLARENCE CANNON, of Missouri.
He was a man of strong convictions, and he fought for his convictions effectively, skillfully, and faithfully.
It was my privilege to be associated with him on a number of projects of common interest. No man could be a better ally. If by any chance you found yourself in opposition to the gentleman from Missouri, no man could be more difficult to oppose.
My heart goes out to his wife, one of the most charming and sweetest ladies of all those I have ever known.
Remarks by Representative Curtis
Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me at this time. I too wish to join in these well-deserved tributes and eulogy to a very distinguished American, CLARENCE CANNON.
CLARENCE CANNON's district was located right next to the one which I have the honor to represent. I knew him before I came to the Congress. He was a close friend of my father's. I know his family. These are just a few personal touches. CLARENCE CANNON, as a Democrat, was one of the first persons to give of his time to advise a young Republican Member coming to the Congress about the procedures and rules of the House.
Mr. Speaker, I could not have had a better tutor or mentor. The kindness that he exhibited then, I found throughout my career here in the Congress in working with him.
Mr. Speaker, he was dean of the Missouri delegation. In our sessions—and I know the gentleman in the well, the Honorable Frank Karsten will bear this outras we met, Republicans and Democrats, when there was a question as to what we could do for Missouri, first. It was what was right. But, secondly, it was beyond partisanship. We always took that approach under his distinguished leadership.
Mr. Speaker, perhaps to me the greatest trait of this very distinguished American was that he was what I would regard as a Congressman's Congressman. He was a real student. He did his homework. He had strong views, but he backed them up through the work in which he engaged. So, whether one disagreed or agreed with him, he contributed greatly in moving the debate forward.