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© Washington Times Herald.
THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ADDRESSING THE CONGRESS
SPEAKER BANKHEAD'S ADDRESS
cratic form of government, and if it yet maintains the confidence and support of our people and of other great nations of the world, as I believe to be the case, then it is our solemn duty to take every needful step and to assume every required obligation to preserve for our posterity the form and essence of a justly balanced and wisely conceived government for a free people. This obligation does not bear upon us as of selfish national concern for our own people alone, although that should always be our primary interest, but in addition thereto, it carries a profound moral obligation to our neighbors across the seas and in the Western Hemisphere, who have honored the prudence and wisdom of our founders by adopting in substance the theory of government that God has not yet created any one man wise enough or benevolent enough to fix and enforce his individual pattern to govern the hearts and minds and conscience and property and lives of every citizen under his jurisdiction. Democracy asserts the inalienable right of the people themselves, through orderly processes and under due restraints to contrive out of their collective judgment, through their legally chosen representatives, the means and measures by which they are to be prospered and protected in the age-old search for security and happiness.
That doctrine the people themselves long ago engrained and chiseled into the structure of our National Constitution. It is yet the sanctuary of our freedom and the sheet anchor of all our liberties, possessing upon this great anniversary the affection and reverence of our citizens. There are evidences of certain sinister influences and minorities now seeking to sap and mine the pillars of this temple of freedom. We may have been too generous in our hospitality to them. We may have been too tolerant of some of their recent manifestations of subversive treachery. We have sought with rather grim patience to respect the guaranty of freedom of speech; but it may be only fair to admonish all such groups that they take counsel of their prudence lest by going one step too far, it will be too late to escape the wrath and indignation of all real Americans.
After such fragmentary observations of our situation and attitude, the time and occasion draw our attention back to our fundamental law which authorizes this legislative assembly. We are still officially celebrating the sesquicentennial of the ratification of the Constitution. Our reverence and devotion to that document is augmented by the passing of the years. Its wisdom and philosophy have been tested by the whirlwinds of party passions, fratricidal warfare, and grave economic convulsions. The inspiration of its construction and the tenacity of its existence have fully justified the praise bestowed upon it by Mr. Gladstone, which we should never tire of remembering, in these words:
As the British Constitution is the most subtle organism which has proceeded from the womb and long gestation of progressive history, so the American Constitution is, so far as I can see, the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.
This anniversary conjures up in a parade of reverie and retrospection many solemn and yet comforting memories. Including the membership of the First Congress and up to the present session of the Seventy-sixth Congress 9,159 different individuals have served in the House and Senate. Thirteen hundred and sixty-two have served as Senators; 8,106 have served as Representatives; 450 have served in both Houses; 141 have served as Territorial Delegates and Commissioners.
What an intriguing pageant of brain and talent, of individuality and mannerism, of humor and pathos, of provincialism and scholarship! What a thrill of interest and admiration would we of this Congress obtain if we could see and hear many of those stalwarts of the long ago, who so enthralled the admiration of their partisans and captivated the idolatry of the masses! What a stimulation of the intellect to peruse the older records of debate between the master minds of other but unforgotten days.
For 138 years such Representatives and Senators have come into these Chambers, played their parts in the drama of representative government, made their contributions of service to their country's progress and development, and then are seen no more either "beckoned by the pallid messenger with the inverted torch to depart" or returned to the walks of private life from whence they came. They served their day and generation.
To my brethern in both branches of Congress this should be embraced as an occasion of rededication to the best interests of our Republic. Despite the limitations of our judgments and intellectsbecause, forsooth, at no time nor under any administration, have we infallibly measured up to the full needs of the hour-nevertheless, we are the emissaries of our constituencies and the symbols of representative government. May we this day find the grace to renew the prayer of Daniel Webster, deposited in the cornerstone of this wing of the Capitol on July 4, 1851:
If, therefore, it shall be hereafter the will of God that this structure shall fall from its base, that its foundation be upturned, and this deposit brought to the eyes of men, be it then known, that, on this day, the Union of the United States of America stands firm, that their Constitution still exists unimpaired,
PAGEANT OF THE CONGRESS
and with all its original usefulness and glory; growing every day stronger and stronger in the affections of the great body of the American people, and attracting more and more the admiration of the world. And all here assembled, whether belonging to public life or to private life, with hearts devoutly thankful to Almighty God for the preservation of the liberty and happiness of the country, unite in sincere and fervent prayers that this deposit, and the walls and arches, the domes and towers, the columns and entablatures now to be erected over it may endure forever!
God save the United States of America.
The VICE PRESIDENT. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas, Mr. RAYBURN.
Mr. RAYBURN. It is a privilege at this time to present the President Pro Tempore of the Senate of the United States, Mr. KEY PITTMAN.
ADDRESS OF HONORABLE KEY PITTMAN
PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE
Mr. PRESIDENT, Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Gentlemen of the Supreme Court, Members of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate, Gentlemen of the Diplomatic Corps, Ladies and Gentlemen:
This in my opinion is the most remarkable and happiest birthday ever celebrated on behalf of a parliamentary body. This celebration is honored by the President of the United States and by the Chief Justice of the United States as heads of the other two great independent departments of our Government, the commanders in chief of every branch of our military service, and the diplomatic corps of the world.
We have just listened with intense interest and pleasure to the able and comprehensive address by the distinguished Speaker of the House of Representatives with regard to the organization, the composition, and the services of Congress. There is little more to be said upon that subject. I would be pleased were the time permitted me to pay tribute to the unselfish, able, and patriotic services of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate throughout their entire history. The Congress and the people of the country are waiting, however, to hear from our President and the Chief Justice of the United States.
When we realize what has been accomplished in the last 150 years, that period is exceedingly brief. When we consider, however, that this government, established in great adversity, has continued without interruption and without change, except to grow stronger each year, 150 years may be deemed in the history of governments a