« ElőzőTovább »
CANNON never carried his disagreements beyond the committee or the Chamber doors. As I said, some of us have had heated arguments with Mr. CANNON, in committee and on the floor, yet when we met him a minute afterward outside the committee or Chamber doors, he was very apt to put his arm around us and say, “We are still friends; yes, we had arguments but we always remain good friends.”
Mr. Speaker, he called me many times since I became the ranking minority member of the committee and said, “Ben, we have a problem, and I want to talk it over with you.” We ironed out many problems important to the people.
Mr. Speaker, I held Mr. CANNON in the highest esteem. We shall miss him, the country shall miss this great American.
My heart goes out to his dear wife and family. I pray that the same God who took Mr. CANNON to his heavenly home will give strength and comfort to his dear wife and family to bear the great loss they have sustained. God rest his soul.
Remarks by Representative Celler
Of New York
Mr. Speaker, it is with a sense of great personal loss that I join in these eulogies to mark the passing of CLARENCE CANNON. CLARENCE CANNON and I came to Congress together. We were the only ones left from the freshman class of 1923. We served together during those years which saw crisis follow crisis. I felt with his passing, in the words of Tennyson, that “the old order changeth."
In a congressional sense we grew up together. We both, in the language of Disraeli, climbed the greasy pole, he to become chairman of the Committee on Appropriations and I to become chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
CLARENCE was a man of marked determination. At times his determination was as firm as a rock you hold in your hand. CLARENCE had great faith, faith in himself, faith in the Congress, and faith in his country. He did not wear his faith as one would with the fashion of a hat. His was a faith, in the language of Browning, that could move mountains. He, at times, had an enthusiasm that was as fierce as a streak of lightning.
It has been said that character is what you are when no one is looking. CLARENCE was ever a good and righteous man, seen or unseen.
He was a practical statesman. He knew that politics is the art of the possible. He knew also that at times it is better to bend than to break; that if you want a rose, at times you must put up with the thorns.
He also knew extremely well the traditions and the history of our great country. He realized that if you do not know the mistakes of history you have to live those mistakes all over again.
I honor CLARENCE not only as the foremost Parliamentarian of the House, not only as the chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, who met responsibly the challenges of his major post, but also as a man of the greatest integrity. Integrity was ever with him. It stood out like a red thread in the grey linen of life.
He was my friend, and I say this most proudly. He had a way of sending me notes that warmed my heart. I want to read to you the last note he ever sent to me:
DEAR MANNIE: Somewhere in Holy Writ we are admonished to give no heed when men "shall revile you and say all manner of evil against you.”
Perhaps by the same rule we should give as little heed to those who, through friendship, say kindly things about us.
But you and I have come a long way together one of the happiest experiences of my life and I cannot refrain from an expression of appreciation of the generous comments you made on the floor last Friday—just one of the many instances in which you have said a good word—where and at a time it counted most.
(Signed) CLARENCE. I need not dwell on the great services he performed for his constituency, for his State, and for his country. Historians will do justice to that phase of his life. I want only to say that I had a friend who is no more. I am greatly grieved.
To his wife, to the members of his family, to all of his other friends, I extend all of my sympathy.
Remarks by Representative Whitten
Mr. Speaker, it was my privilege to go on the Appropriations Committee in January 1943, after being in Congress only 14 months. At that time Mr. CANNON was chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Brilliant, a man of many and varied interests, he was a quick and tireless worker. We will never have a man more versed in government than he.
I consider my close relationship with Mr. CANNON one of the greatest and finest breaks I have ever had. At the time I went on his committee World War II was in progress and almost everyone was trying to get on the Navy Subcommittee or the Army Subcommittee because that was where most of the activity was. Representing an inland area in my section, I made no such effort, and I ended up being assigned to the Appropriations Subcommittee for Navy. I mention that because Mr. CANNON was always trying to put us where we could look at these matters objectively—and not be tempted to serve selfish interests.
I have seen some of the problems that he had because any man in that position of necessity must face big problems because the requests made of the committee usually amount to fully three times the available money to meet our needs.
Through the years, as a much younger man than Mr. CANNON, I have enjoyed the privilege of going to him on each and every occasion I differed with him, and wanted to try to explain why I differed with him and to explain my side of it and, may I say, try to convince him he was wrong. Never have I asked that he did not receive me. Many times we differed just as strongly when I left as when I went in. But it meant something that a man at that age, at the age of 85, wanted to know the thinking of those on his committee, whatever their age group might be. Perhaps that was the reason for his perpetual youth.
Mr. CANNON dealt with kings and potentates, presidents and Cabinet officers, on an equal basis. He influenced national and international affairs. But, with it all, never did he lose sight of the fact that he came from the soil and that the basis of our prosperity and well-being is in the land.
It was my privilege to succeed him as chairman of the Subcommittee on Agricultural Appropriations. I recall rather vividly on the Friday preceding his death, we had our agricultural appropriation bill before the committee and someone had something a little critical to say about the Rural Electrification Administration. Mr. CANNON made one of his finest speeches. There he was a man of 85 years of age, his mind clear as a bell. He pointed out in the speech at that time what many of us seem to forget, that many of these Government programs, and that program in particular, have brought much happiness and prosperity to millions of Americans in rural areas, making it possible for them to feed and clothe the millions in our cities. Those of us on the committee well remember that no one could have made a better presentation on what we have done in this country that has been good for America. This happened to be only one illustration.
I have seen Mr. CANNON many, many times when I differed with him, when I had him angry with me, and all of us who worked with him had that experience, but always it was on the basis of the issues involved. He always recognized that you had your local problems. I have heard him say often that if man did not reflect the views of his people, he did not stay here.
By the same token, I have seen Mr. CANNON many times yield his own personal feelings in behalf of the national interest. I feel that this man who served longer than any man in history as chairman of the Committee on Appropriations never throughout his career, when the chips were down, did anything without having the national interest at heart. He yielded his own personal inclination to the national interest.
Only a few weeks ago I as asking him about his beloved wife, “Miss Ida.” He said, “Jamie, you know the thing that