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I extend to his devoted wife, our “Miss Ida," and to his daughters my heartfelt sympathy.
May they be comforted by the knowledge of the universal affection and respect in which he was held and that his noble spirit today rests in a place of greater glory.
Remarks by Representative Randall
Mr. Speaker, a real friend of every Member of this House is with us no more. The dean of our Missouri delegation, CLARENCE CANNON, was loved by every one of his colleagues. We knew him as a friend, whose kindness was a constant reminder of his warm heart and lovable character.
He was not only one of the most distinguished Members of this body, but, as chairman of the Appropriations Committee, one of its most influential Members. Yet, with all of the power he possessed, he displayed a gentle, loving kindness. CLARENCE CANNON was not only a great man-he was a good man. In a statement made on the floor at the occasion of his 85th birthday in April, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee remarked that (r. CANNON's name was like a sign at & crossing—it could be read from right to left, or from left to right, or up or down, but any way it was read it spelled goodness. All of us can readily agree everything about CLARENCE CANNON was indeed goodness.
The late Speaker of the House, Mr. Rayburn, once said of Mr. CANNON that his lifelong dedication to the service of his country would be an inspiration to all that followed him because CLARENCE CANNON was truly a great servant of the American people. Mr. CANNON came to Washington in 1911 as clerk to the late Speaker Champ Clark. He planned to stay only 6 weeks, but remained for more than 50 years.
His biography reveals that before coming to Congress he was a teacher of history. In the more than 50 years in Washington, with more than 40 years as a Member of Congress and more than 20 years as chairman of the Appropriations Committee, he has made more history than he ever taught. He was in control of the Appropriations Committee during the 1940's and the 1950's, two decades of our country's heaviest spending. As chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, he knew more about the operation the Government of the United States than any other Member of Congress, with the possible exception of a few Members who were subsequently elevated to the Presidency.
During his years in Congress he was instrumental in saving billions of dollars for the taxpayers of America. A tireless advocate of fiscal responsibility in Federal spending, he carried out this crusade with constant vigilance. Usually in May or June, when appropriation bills were being considered, he would deliver his annual antispending lecture. These sermons on spending never failed to impress his colleagues because they knew he was telling the truth.
Not only was Mr. CANNON famous as the chairman of the great Committee on Appropriations, but he gained national acclaim as Parliamentarian of the House of Representatives, and as author of "Cannon's Procedure in the House of Representatives." This display of scholarship as a parliamentarian established him as the successor to Thomas Jefferson as the foremost authority on the procedures of the Congress of the United States. Because of his great knowledge of parliamentary procedure, he served as the Parliamentarian for every Democratic National Convention from 1920 to 1960. Every one of us will cherish in the years ahead our copies of those manuals on parliamentary law which he has given us.
I hope I will be pardoned for a few personal references that I may mention here only because of the great respect for my fellow Missourian. One of the memories I shall always cherish is the day he escorted me into the well of the House to be sworn in and then took me for a visit with the late Speaker, Mr. Rayburn.
We have lived together in the same apartment building for the last 4 years. It has been my privilege to have enjoyed an almost daily visit either in the elevator or the lobby of the building. Although at one time a practicing lawyer in Missouri he felt he had been away for so long that he was out of touch with the recent decisions of our supreme court and the recent enactment of our legislature. I felt highly complimented that he would ask me for my opinion on matters of law in our home State of Missouri. It was a joy and a pleasure to have those frequent moments of conversation which will be missed in the days ahead.
On the Friday before he went away we attended together an AAA breakfast honoring safety patrol members from our State. To each of the boys coming from his home district he presented a 1923 silver dollar. Today, these young men can quite rightfully cherish this valuable souvenir the rest of their lives.
It is no secret that he had not been feeling well for the past several weeks. He confided to some of his closest friends that he wanted to leave this life in the line of duty; that he wanted to go out with his boots on. He worked harder than many Members half his age, and I know from personal knowledge that the light in his apartment in the same building where I lived burned beyond the hour of midnight every evening. On learning of his passing the spontaneous comment of Mrs. Randall was, "He was a real trooper." This was because of the knowledge by all his neighbors that although he was advised earlier by his physician that he should remain at home for a few days rest, he protested that the schedule of appropriation bills must be observed and he would be present to do his part. Like every actor, he lived up to the rule that regardless of one's personal feelings, “the show must go on.”
He lived a life well regulated according to the principles of personal efficiency. He required from his staff an up-todate daily progress report which was delivered to his apartment house in a brown envelope each morning where it was always placed on one of the benches in the lobby. It was his practice to pick up this envelope each morning on his way to work. From the hospital he had sent word these reports were to be continued. One of the saddest sights of all was the presence of this lonely brown envelope at its usual place in the lobby but which never reached its intended hands on the morning he was called away.
One of Mr. CANNON'S outstanding characteristics was his self-effacing modesty. On the occasion of his 85th birthday several of his colleagues gave expression of their esteem on the floor of the House. When he discovered this was going on, he retired from the Chamber. As everyone rose in standing applause, this modest, unassuming gentleman was not present to receive his praise.
Unselfishness as well as modesty was one of Mr. CANNON'S outstanding personal traits that made up a personality that was filled with all the things we try to teach our children to become. During the delegation meetings of the Missouri Members of Congress, he would simply announce the agenda, always being careful not to make a remark or observation that might influence the decision of any other Member of the delegation on the business at hand. Repeatedly, he would yield to younger Members.
Although 85 years of age, he put into practice his conviction that if a man makes up his mind to carry on, no measure of physical fraility need stand in the way. Until the very weekend that he went away, he propelled his body at a rapid driving pace. His working day was not the ordinary day of 8 hours but double that. Even in the busy life he led, he always maintained an immaculate appearance in a well-pressed suit. For a man who had reached the age of 85, he was truly a remarkable person. He may have lacked the physical strength of a younger man but never lacked the strong spirit to go on with his work.
Our hearts go out in deepest sympathy to Mrs. Cannon, their two lovely daughters, and grandchildren he loved so much. Th have suffered the loss of a lifetime companion and a father. We have suffered the loss of a dear friend. His district, the State of Missouri, and the Nation have suffered the loss of a tireless servant of the people.
Our beloved colleague is no longer in our midst. Today we mourn the loss of a true friend. He was a renowned legislator, a distinguished parliamentarian, an eloquent speaker, a true statesman, and a great American. His half century of unselfish service to his country will stand forever as an enduring monum