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Tribute by Representative Jones
Mr. Speaker, I would like to read an editorial which appears in the Wednesday, May 13, issue of the Daily Dunklin Democrat, of Kenneth, Mo., written by the editor, Mr. Jack Stapleton, Jr., entitled "A Man of Principles" which I believe is indicative of the high esteem in which this great American was held, not only throughout the State of Missouri, but in other parts of this Nation, where his service and dedication have been appreciated throughout the years:
A MAN OF PRINCIPLES
The death of Missourian CLARENCE CANNON leaves a void in this State as well as in the U.S. House of Representatives, where the senior member of the Missouri congressional delegation served so ably.
The 85-year-old Missouri Congressman had a long and distin. guished career, serving not only the citizens of his own district but the citizens of every congressional district in the Nation.
As President Johnson noted yesterday, CLARENCE CANNON had a varied public career. His knowledge of, and his contribution toward, the rules of parliamentary procedure were unique in the annals of the Congress. No man in the history of government has contributed so much toward the establishment of parliamentary procedure in the legislative process.
To many Americans, the absence of CLARENCE CANNON from the parliamentarian's chair in the next Democratic National Convention will make the party gathering something less than official.
Beyond this, however, is a far greater contribution which CLARENCE CANNON made, not only to this State but to the Nation. His chairmanship of the important and budget-sensitive House Appropriations Committee gave him almost singlehanded control over every appropriation made by the Congress.
The job was staggering, and undoubtedly, its responsibilities took their toll on Representative CANNON, despite his amazing efforts to keep himself informed about every bill before the House.
It is safe to say that CLARENCE CANNON, during his distinguished career in the House of Representatives, whittled more needless requests from the Nation's budget than any Congressman in the history of the Federal Government.
It is also safe to say that no American applied himself any more diligently to this responsibility than did CLARENCE CANNON. And for his conscientious efforts to protect the citizens' tax dollars, CLARENCE CANNON earned everlasting respect and appreciation from the American taxpayer.
Missourians and Americans will miss CLARENCE CANNON in the years ahead. His dedication to the principles of this State and this Nation made him such an outstanding public servant that it will be difficult to fill the void in Congress.
Tribute by Representative Jensen
Mr. Speaker, I have joined my colleagues in our sad farewells to the memory of CLARENCE CANNON, a tower of influence in this House which has been only infrequently matched. These remarks are addressed to a subject related closely to the acquisition of that influence. The power of the purse is practically absolute, and the chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations exercises a control which is felt to the outermost corners of our far-flung Government. It was my great privilege to work with Mr. CANNON in saving billions for our taxpayers.
By the time a man such as Mr. CANNON has lasted in this House long enough to become chairman of the Appropriations Committee, or any of the major committees, he has been distilled into an experienced public servant. He has faced the voters many times, and they have responded by returning him to the Congress time and time again.
No fraud, no phony, can manipulate a confidence game through the several terms it takes to become chairman of an important congressional committee. The voters are sure to find him out sooner or later, usually sooner.
The Washington Daily News commented on the congressional seniority system the other day in an editorial which is a relief to read when compared to so many we see in which the Congress is condemned because a writer or an editor thinks popularity should be substituted for long experience.
In the long run, I am sure this country is a lot better off because its most valuable public servants do not make decisions based on whether or not it will improve or hurt their public image.
At this point I would like to include the pertinent parts of the News editorial which relates to CLARENCE CANNON, George Mahon, and the occasional genius of the seniority system.
POWER THROUGH SENIORITY The death of CLARENCE CANNON plus the succession of George H. Mahon offers the country a glimpse into how our Government works. There is nothing secret about it. The glamour of the Presidency simply distracts attention from a handful of powerful men in the House of Representatives whose influence in their chosen fields is second only to that of the man in the White House. Since they stay on and on, while Presidents change, this influence even may be greater.
CLARENCE CANNON, Member of the House for more than 40 years, had been chairman of the House Appropriations Committee for 22 years.
Mr. Mahon, who now becomes chairman, has been a member of the same committee for 24 years.
Appropriation legislation must originate in the House, hence this committee, and particularly its chairman, may be said to hold the Government's purse strings. Chairman CANNON fought the spending trend, working long hours at it. Overall it was a losing fight, but his sharp pencil saved billions. Congressman Mahon seems a man of similar stamp. Son of a Texas tenant farmer, he knows the value of a dollar and is dedicated to the job.
These two men are among the finer products of the muchcriticized seniority system which tends to bring a Congressman to power if he lives long enough and keeps getting reelected. Another is Carl Vinson, soon to retire after half a century in Congress. As chairman for 16 years of Naval Affairs and, for the last 14 years, of the Armed Services Committee, he has contributed perhaps more to the defense of this country than any living man.
Other outstanding and devoted legislators who have risen to power by means of the seniority system could be named.
It is not likely that Congress will abandon its seniority system any time soon, particularly not so long as, even occasionally, it produces men of the caliber of CLARENCE CANNON.
Tribute by Representative Thompson
Mr. Speaker, among the many fine tributes to the late and greatly beloved CLARENCE CANNON, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, is that of his longtime friend and former colleague here, Maurice H. Thatcher, who served for 5 terms—1923–33—as Representative from the Louisville, Ky., district.
The two were elected to the 68th Congress, and began their service in the House at the start of that session on March 4, 1923. Mr. Thatcher was a member of the House Committee on Appropriations throughout his congressional career of 10 years. Mr. CANNON served in Congress, as a Representative from the Mark Twain region of Missouri, from the beginning of the 68th Congress until his death, which occurred on May 12, 1964, after an uninterrupted service of more than 40 years, and in 21 Congresses. He became a member of the indicated committee in 1929, and its chairman in 1941. He continued as such chairman until his death excepting the 80th and 83d Congresses, when the opposing party was in control. Thus he established a record for this chairmanship of something like 19 years, and almost twice that of any other chairman; and this, in itself, constitutes a splendid evidence of his integrity and ability, and the esteem of his colleagues.
The budgetary system of fiscal affairs was instituted during the chairmanship of the committee of Congressman Martin B. Madden, of Illinois, who like CANNON, was an outstanding head of the committee, and to whose integrity and ability Mr. CANNON always gave generous praise. Both were dedicated servants of the people; both were thoroughly informed with respect to the needs involved; and both, while wise and just in their attitudes, were also the abiding friend of the American taxpayer, and always sought to protect his legitimate interests. With all truth it may be said that Madden