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STATEMENT OF HON. WALTER F. GEORGE, A UNITED STATES

SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF GEORGIA

Senator GEORGE. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, and ! distinguished guests:

The State of Georgia takes just pride in the recognition given to one of her distinguished sons who, for more than a quarter of a century, has faithfully served the interests of the State and of the Nation in Washington and who, prior to the time he came to Washington, had learned much in the school of politics, much in the art of government in the legislative bodies of his own State.

Born and reared as he was in the old Tenth Congressional District in which have resided through the whole history of the State some of the most brilliant political leaders of the State and of the South and of the Nation, the distinguished chairman of this committee early learned many things about the art of government, many things about the responsibility of public office that are learned only in the school of experience.

Many hard political contests have been the lot and portion of the distinguished chairman, and in the center of his old Tenth Congressional District lived some of the most brilliant political leaders of the last 50 years in the Southeast, some of the most outstanding political sages that have been produced by the Nation, by and large.

So in this hospitable climate, and amongst people who have developed the characteristic of loyalty in the school of political experience, the chairman of this committee learned the things that have enabled him to serve as a worthy Member of the House of Representatives and as the distinguished chairman of this committee in one of the most momentous periods in all of human history.

The State is proud, and I come simply to express gratitude on the part of the State and to pay this unstudied tribute to the sterling virtues and statesmanship of the chairman of your Naval Affairs Committee.

Not only has le served his country well here, but he has the enviable distinction of having participated notably in the greatest war in human history, a war in which the greatest issues are at stake. So he serves not only America in his capacity as chairman of this committee, which he has guided so well since becoming its official head, but he serves all humanity as well. He is serving all just causes everywhere, because our Navy has been, is now, and always will be found fighting on the side of humanity, as well as for those larger issues that make not merely for a happier United States but a happier and better world.

So on behalf of the State, insofar as I am able to speak for the State --and I know that it would speak with one voice-I wish to say that this great honor to our distinguished son, the dean of the Georgia delegation in the Congress of the United States, is profoundly and deeply appreciated. [Applause.)

Mr. Hess. Thank you, Senator George.

I have the privilege and honor at this time of presenting to you the Commander in Chief of the United States Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Ernest J. King.

IN

STATEMENT OF ADMIRAL ERNEST J. KING, COMMANDER
CHIEF, UNITED STATES FLEET, AND CHIEF OF NAVAL

OPERATIONS

Admiral King. Vr. Chairman and members of the committee, ladies, and gentlemen, to be asked to be present is most pleasant. To be called upon to say what the naval services think of the chairman of the House Naval Affairs Committee is a privilege and an honor. Nothing short of an emergency could have prevented my being here. The view's that I shall express are not only my own, but those of every other Navy and Marine Corps officer who knows the chairman, or who has appeared before this committee.

For nearly 30 years the distinguished chairman of this committee has influenced naval policy by his sound judgment, by his perspective, and by his foresight. He has come to know the naval service better than any other Member of Congress, and for that matter, better than a great many people who are in the naval services themselves.

As a legislator in naval matters, he has established a record that is not likely to be equaled. Besides all this, he has a way with him. We have learned that we can approach him with our problems and that they will be given due consideration. In keeping with his understanding of naval officers and their strong points, and their faults, Mr. Vinson seems to have a sixth sense which tells him when to support the proposals made to him and when to give us a sound spanking and send us back to the Navy Department. I strongly suspect that this sixth sense is common sense.

Any individual who knows his job can command the respect of his fellow men.

When that individual does his job in such a way as to gain not only their respect but their unquestioned loyalty, it is proof of duty well done and of unfaltering devotion to that duty.

In the case of the gentleman in whose honor we meet today, the high regard in which he is held by his colleagues and all who know him is shared in no uncertain manner by the Navy and the Marine Corps. He believes in us and we believe in him. He has earned for himself the confidence and the esteem of the entire membership of the naval services, and I am happy to have the opportunity to say so publicly.

His portrait in this committee room will be a permanent testimonial to his greatness. It will serve as a constant reminder to us all that courtesy, patience, hard work and, above all, a clear perspective, are invaluable in discharging our responsibilities.

May we have the benefit of his wise counsel for many years to come. (Applause.]

Mr. HESS. Thank you, Admiral King.

I will now present to you the ranking majority member of the Naval Affairs Committee, the Honorable Patrick H. Drewry, of Virginia, who will accept the portrait.

STATEMENT OF HON. PATRICK H. DREWRY, A RERESENTATIVE

IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF VIRGINIA

Mr. DREWRY. Mr. Chairman. I am very happy to have the privilege of accepting this portrait of Mr. Vinson, on behalf of the Naval Affairs ('ommittee of the House of Representatives,

able years.

When I was put on the Naval Affairs Committee 20 years ago Mr. l'inson was the ranking minority member of the committee. So I have had the pleasure of serving under his direction for many agree

Mr. Butler, of Pennsylvania, a grand old man, was chairman at that time, and, although a Quaker, he was a fighting advocate of a big Navy, the “strongest Navy on earth.” He consistently held to the opinion, frequently expressed, that there should be no politics and no partisanship on the Naval Affairs Committee. The work of the committee was based on Americanism, not political maneuvering.

In this view he was supported by the entire committee. When Carl Vinson came to the chairmanship he announced and carried out this policy. The result has been that when legislation has been reported by this committee, the debate on the floor of the House has been confined to the merits of the legislation without reference to political advantage; and the committee, under Mr. Vinson's leadership, has acquired a reputation for well-considered study and patriotic purpose that has been of inestimable benefit to the upbuilding of the Navy and the welfare of the country.

The way has not always been easy. The members of the committee were probably in advance of the thought of the Congress and the country in believing that war clouds were gathering and that the Navy of the United States should be strengthened for any eventuality. Only the united action of the committee following the leadership of Mr. Vinson put the Navy in such condition that it was ready, at least partly so, when the dastardly blow at Pearl Harbor was delivered. I shudder to think what might have been if a weaker man than Carl Vinson in those hard days of preparation had been at the head of this committee.

His good-natured persistence with his committee, his steady and studious and well-informed presentation in the House of the action of his committee, his patient but incessant drive for the enactment of proper legislation, are largely responsible for the beneficial legislation that forearmed our Navy in the pre-war days. It would have been much easier to swing with the tide of pacifism that threatened the country, but Carl Vinson saw the danger, and with fighting courage he led the committee steadily on for the improvement and development of our ships and shore stations at times when it seemed his views and ours were most unpopular.

Carl Vinson deserves the thanks of his country for his service. He was in the forefront of the work for preparedness. This committee knows what he did, and they desired to put in lasting colors on canvas the man as he is. And the committee wanted it hung in this room where his life work has centered, that those who come after him will be reminded of the chairman who had the affection and admiration of the members of his committee and who worked so well for the country which he loves and to which he gives his devoted service.

Again, Mr. Chairman, I repeat I am happy to have the privilege of accepting this portrait on behalf of the committee. [Applause.)

Mr. Hess. Thank you, Mr. Drewry.

I now present to you the ranking minority member of the House Naval Affairs Committee, the Honorable Melvin J. Maas, of Minnesota. STATEMENT OF HON. MELVIN J. MAAS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN

CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MINNESOTA

Mr. Maas. Mr. Chairman, I am very happy to join in accepting for the committee this very fine and striking portrait of our respected and beloved chairman, Carl Vinson.

No history of the American Congress would be complete without a graphic paragraph about a great congressional leader, Carl Vinson. So, too, no history of the American Navy, rich in tradition, would be complete without a full chapter about a great naval leader, Carl Vinson.

Under his dynamic leadership our Navy has seen its greatest expansion, until today it is not only the largest and most powerful Navy in the world, but the largest and most powerful that the world has

ever seen.

The American Navy's gieatness, however, is not just its size. It is far more its efficiency and fighting effectiveness. A very great deal of that efficiency and effectiveness is a tribute to the keen, tireless, and effective leadership of the chairman of the Naval Affairs Committee of the House during the last 13 years.

Mr. Vinson's far-reaching knowledge of the Navy and his farsighted vision were translated into legislation that constantly improved our Navy during its expansion.

It is significant that war found our Navy with far and away the largest and most effective naval air arm of any navy in the world at any time. It is perhaps the only military service which along with the marines was actually ready for war the day war came. Chairman Vinson had drummed into the Congress, the Nation, and, yes, into the Navy itself, day in and day out, the need for a larger and yet larger naval air force. It was almost a fetish with him--more airplanes and aircraft carriers, more carriers and more planes.

Far-reaching changes and improvements in personnel legislation were enacted under his leadership, and usually his sponsorship.

To me it has been a great privilege and a liberal education to serve on this committee under Mr. Vinson's forceful and imaginative leadership. It has been a particularly happy experience to have been his ranking minority member.

While the general implication is one of opposition leadership between a chairman and the senior minority member, I can assure you that Mr. Vinson and I have worked in the harmony of a partnership. A military analogy might be that Carl is the commanding officer and Pat Drewry is chief of stafľ, while I am deputy chief and executive. By "executive" I mean I do a lot of Carl's hatchet work.

The best description, however, is that the House Naval Affairs Committee is a team with Carl as captain.

Long, long after Carl Vinson is gone - he will never be forgotten -his constructive influence will be felt and appreciated in the American Navy and in naval policies.

A great committee of Congress accepts with deep appreciation this portrait of a grand chairman and great American. [Applause.)

Mr. HESS. Thank you, Mr. Maas.

It is now my privilege and esteemed honor to present to you the most distinguished chairman of the Naval Affairs Committee and our honored guest today, the Honorable Carl Vinson of Georgia. (Applause.)

STATEMENT OF HON, CARL VINSON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN

CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF GEORGIA

Mr. VINSON. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, Senator George, Mr. Secretary, Admiral King, distinguished guests, there are times in a man's life when deep feelings cause inability to find suitable and appropriate language to clearly express the emotion of the human heart. To me, today is one of those times.

To correctly ascertain the feelings that surge within me you must look beyond my humble words to understand the gratitude that I have to you and my friends who are responsible for this occasion and for the generous things that have been said.

Full cognizance of my limitations and my many, many faults makes this occasion more appreciated.

The achievements that may have marked my 13 years as chairman of this great committee are not due to any outstanding merit of mine. Credit must be given the members of the Committee on Naval Affairs, who have wholeheartedly and unfailingly contributed so much to what has been accomplished.

In this committee there is no majority and no minority. It acts as a unit, as one group, with one impulse, inspired by the lofty ambition to serve its country to its greatest ability.

During my 30 years in Congress I have never known a committee that possessed a higher degree of statesmanship or reflected higher credit on the House than the Committee on Naval Affairs.

Your work and accomplishments, and the vision of this committee and the support accorded to it by the Navy Department and the Congress have guaranteed to the Nation in this hour of its greatest peril the road to victory.

For many years before the storm struck which is now engulfing the whole world, you, my committee members, could see in the distant horizon the gathering of the storm clouds, and you had the wisdom and foresight to inaugurate naval programs so that the Navy, the first line of defense of the country, would be in position to combat the storm and lead the Nation to victory and to a lasting peace.

You have the satisfaction of knowing that by your efforts, with the support of the Congress and the Navy Department, the accumulated weight of American naval power provided and made ready in years of peace will bring Germany and Japan to their knees.

By the Constitution, the duty is placed upon the Congress to provide and maintain a Navy. The makers of the Constitution recognized the Navy as a necessary agent of a sovereign state. The House of Representatives has charged this committee with the responsibility of Seeing that this mandate of the Constitution is carried out. That responsibility is not a power to be exercised recklessly, extravagantly, or vaingloriously, but it is a responsibility and a duty to be accomplished soberly and conscientiously.

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