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Remarks by Representative Oliver
Mr. OLIVER. Mr. Speaker, among all the States of this great Nation which we, with reason, delight to regard as the greatest and best in all the world, few have such a number of deservedly famous native and adopted sons as the State of Maine.
The roll is a long one and embraces names famous in varied walks of life and known the world over. Such men as Longfellow, Elijah Kellogg, Francis Clark, Melville Fuller, Cardinal O'Connell, Maj. Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain, and many others of equal note.
Among these native sons of Maine is one of our latelamented colleagues, CLYDE H. SMITH, of Maine, who represented the State and constituency formerly represented in this body by Hannibal Hamlin, who was Vice President with the beloved Lincoln; James G. Blaine, 10 years a Member and Speaker of this House, United States Senator, Secretary of State, and creator of our incomparable Pan American Union; Nelson Dingley, Jr.; and William P. Frye, many years President of the United States Senate.
CLYDE H. SMITH was known to all of us as a quiet and friendly soul, whose worth was best known by those who knew him best. Long years of service in public positions of responsibility in his native State endeared him to his own people. His work in Maine was noteworthy and extensive before election to Congress. He served as superintendent of schools, 1903-6 and member of the board of selectmen of his home town of Hartland, 1904-7, and Somerset County
sheriff for 4 years; member of the Maine House of Representatives, 1899-1903, and moved to Skowhegan, Maine, in 1905, and there served as member of its board of selectmen, 1914-27 and 1928-32; again member of the Maine House of Representatives, 1919-23 and the State senate 1923-29; chairman of the State highway commission, 1928-32; member of the Governor's council, 1933-37, and elected to the Seventy-fifth Congress on September 14, 1936; reelected to the Seventy-sixth Congress, September 12, 1938. The faith and confidence which the people of Maine reposed in CLYDE H. SMITH is evidenced by the record of his long public career during which he was never once defeated for election to the public offices which he sought and secured.
His constituents sent him here as their Representative, knowing that he would always conscientiously, energetically, and courageously serve them and the Nation. His public record recalls to memory these words:
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men who have honor, men who will not lie.
But for his untimely death our friend would, without doubt, have been continued a Member of Congress as long as he was willing or able to serve.
With Francis Thompson let us say that
The fairest things in life are death and birth,
It is the falling star that trails the light,
Thus hath He unto death his beauty given;
For there is nothing lives but something dies,
Till time, the hidden root of change, updrives,
For they are twain yet one, and death is birth.
We who remain can only
Dimly guess what time in mists confounds;
Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds
From the hid battlements of eternity.
At this point, Mr. Speaker, I wish to incorporate my remarks as made here in the House of Representatives on Monday, April 8, the day when our friend left us.
It is with the deepest regret that I rise this morning to announce the passing into the Great Beyond of our colleague, CLYDE H. SMITH, of Maine. His passing was gentle and merciful and for that we are and shall be thankful but, because of its suddenness, it is a great shock to all, especially those of us who knew him intimately and well.
Clyde was a fine soldier in the interests of the rank and file of the people. During his many years of public service which have extended over nearly half a century he has constantly and consistently stood firmly for the principles in which he so ardently believed. Always a valiant fighter for those who labor, he sought an appointment to the House Committee on Labor and for the past 4 years has been in the midst and the thick of all the many legislative controversies which have been under the consideration of that congressional group during that period. Having been a pioneer in the principle of old-age pensions, he has made his name more than familiar to the people of our State and the Nation who are particularly interested in this phase of our economic life. He has always shown in his legislative career a fine sense of balance and proportion which has enabled him to do good service for all in the light of the many extreme demands which are often made by those most ardent on both sides of any issue.
Clyde has always been an humble man, unassuming and unpretentious; he has been extremely conscientious and devoted to duty; at his desk almost until the very moment of his untimely passing, he has epitomized his determined consecration to the best welfare of his constituents.
I have learned through personal contact with him during the past several years to lean heavily upon his judgment and I feel that in his passing away I have suffered the loss of a true friend. I know that literally thousands in our State of Maine have suffered a similar loss.
The following few words taken from the pen of a great son of Maine, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, characterizes with peculiar appropriateness the real personality of our deceased colleague in always thinking in terms of the best for others:
A man of such a genial mood
The heart of all things he embraced
And yet of such fastidious taste,
He never found the best too good.
During the several days since the sudden passing of our colleague, many Members of this body, Mr. Speaker, have expressed to me their profound sorrow and deep regret, occasioned by his loss. He had the faculty of making friends easily, and what is far more important, he had the invaluable capacity of keeping the friendships once made. Soft spoken and moderate at all times, his personality was exceptionally pleasing. Devotion to duty and to the responsibility of office was the cardinal principle of his whole life. Conscientious, capable, and with an exceedingly cheerful optimism, he faced each day and in the execution of his daily duty he spread good cheer among all with whom he came in contact. Such a man is missed and will continue to be missed. Maine has lost a faithful servant. Again, I state, I have lost a friend.
But in the words of Cardinal Newman, we must learn to depend upon the Divine Father:
May He support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done; then in His mercy may He give us a safe lodging and a holy rest, and peace at the last.
O death, where is thy sting?
Remarks by Representative Brewster
Mr. BREWSTER. Mr. Speaker, under leave to extend my own remarks in the Record in connection with the memorial exercises for Representative CLYDE H. SMITH, of Maine, I include the following tributes paid to him at the exercises in his memory at Skowhegan, Maine; also an address delivered by Representative SMITH as a young man of 21, when a member of the Maine Legislature, at memorial exercises for Hon. Thomas B. Reed, a former Representative from Maine and a former Speaker of the House.
SERVICES FOR REPRESENTATIVE CLYDE H. SMITH AT SKOWHEGAN, MAINE, APRIL 11, 1940
REMARKS BY REV. THOMAS S. CLEAVER, PASTOR, THE FEDERATED CHURCH, SKOWHEGAN, MAINE
We have gathered in this home this afternoon to pay our respect and tribute to one whose name is known to many from Maine to California. At the service which was held in Washington his associates in the United States Congress and Senate paid tribute to his worth as a statesman.
When we come to this hour which is common to mankind we would want to be remembered by our family, loved ones, and friends. No one wants to be forgotten. We are all eager for immortality, here as well as in the hereafter, and we want to be remembered at our best.
Today I must speak of him as I knew him and met him in this town, where he lived for so many years, where he did so many fine things, and where he was loved by all.
Skowhegan has lost a good citizen. At all times he did his level best for its welfare. He not only gave a full measure of his time, energy, and talents to this town but also to this great State in which he was born and where he served through many years with marked ability.
The name of CLYDE H. SMITH is known from Kittery to Fort Kent. In these more recent years he has represented our district most acceptably at Washington.