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memory of our late colleague by distinguished Members of this great body.
Senator WILLIS SMITH represented the State whence my people came. My mother, father, and six brothers were born in his State. When I became a Member of this body I soon came to enjoy a close and intimate friendship with the senior Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Hoey) and Senator WILLIS SMITH.
When I met WILLIS SMITH, his engaging personality seemed like a light shining out of the darkness. He possessed all the splendid qualifications which have been described here today, which make a man truly great.
I was proud to have been classed as one of his personal friends. Like the distinguished and able senior Senator from Virginia [Mr. Byrd], I think my life is better for having known WILLIS SMITH.
He was a lawyer's lawyer. He was a Senator's Senator. I sat by his side in the Judiciary Committee and in the Subcommittee on Internal Security. As a lawyer I learned to admire his mastery of the art of cross-examination—always eminently fair, always profound, and forever seeking the truth.
A few weeks ago I made the statement over a national television hookup from New York that it was my firm opinion, disregarding party affiliations, that Senator WILLIS SMITH, of North Carolina, was one of the greatest men ever to enter this august body. He represented North Carolina and the Nation with the highest distinction.
He leaves to mourn him one of the most wonderful families I have ever had the honor and privilege of knowing. Mrs. Welker, who is 3,000 miles away, joins me in this statement. Mrs. Smith was brave during the hours we spent in that house of grief on last Sunday. All of us who were present admired that courageous lady, together with the little daughter and three fine young sons.
It can well be said that WILLIS SMITH lived a full and complete life. He achieved almost all the honors any man could receive in this life, and he left the most devoted family a man could possibly leave.
He was a profoundly religious man. I would that those who could not attend the funeral services in Raleigh could have seen the outpouring of people who came to pay their last respects to their friend. Among them were great men and there were poor and humble men. I was very happy that our distinguished Vice President could be present to help us say farewell to WILLIS SMITH, of North Carolina.
Life has its sunshine and its shadows, its pleasures and pains, its happiness and its heartaches. It seems a bit cruel when I reflect that in a little more than two and a half year I have seen four distinguished Americans taken from this body by death.
Mr. President, I like to think of WILLIS SMITH when I recall the words of James Whitcomb Riley in tribute to a friend:
I cannot say, and I will not say
I would that the people of the world had heard the sermon preached by the two members of the clergy in the beautiful Methodist Church at Raleigh. Never have I witnessed a more fitting and appropriate service.
In farewell to this great man, who was my friend and the friend of all of us, I may say that he nobly lived and he nobly died, and that to me is the noblest work of God.
In the West, from which I come, we have a saying when we bid farewell to a good friend. I say it now to WILLIS SMITH, who has left us:
Warm summer sun shine kindly here;
Mr. FREAR. Mr. President, it has been the misfortune of many Members of the Senate, including myself, not to have been permitted the fellowship of WILLIS SMITH over an extended period of time. My acquaintance with him was for 212 years.
As the senior Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Hoey) has said in his eulogy, all men are created equal and are equal in death. I may add that the Divine Creator, in His great wisdom, has endowed individuals with varying degrees of ability. Our departed colleague possessed unusually fine characteristics, talents, and virtues, which made him the great American he was and endeared him to all persons who had the privilege of knowing him.
He was a devoted husband and a sympathetic father. Mrs. Frear cherishes the friendship of Mrs. Willis Smith. Mrs. Smith and their children, I am confident, realize the only source of real comfort during these hours of sadness is to be found in the Holy Scriptures, of which Senator SMITH was a student.
Mr. BUTLER of Maryland. Mr. President, I count as one of the rarest privileges of my life the opportunity to have come into intimate contact with WILLIS SMITH. We both came to the Senate at about the same time. Fate decreed that our office suites should be directly across the hall from each other. Later on, when our fine Vice President was elevated to that high office, I took his suite, next door to WILLIS SMITH. Our relationships were very friendly and most congenial. Indeed, we used to exchange constituents. WILLIS would come in with his friends and sit with me and chat, and I would do the same with him.
I served with him on the Committee on the District of Columbia during the 82d Congress, and I served with him on the Committee on the Judiciary during the 83d Congress. I soon learned to love him. I respected his outstanding ability, his high principles, and his devotion to American constitutional government.
He was not a member of the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments of the Committee on the Judiciary, but, nevertheless, he spent hour after hour sitting with the committee while it was considering the Bricker amendment and giving of his fine mind and spirit to framing an amendment which in his opinion would protect the basic rights and liberties of the people he loved.
He was a great man and a fine friend. God bless him and his family.
Mr. MAYBANK. Mr. President, many words of respect, praise, and esteem will be said, not only today but in days and years to come, in tribute to the memory of WILLIS SMITH. His sudden passing was a shock to this body and to me personally.
Senator SMITH had not been a Member of the Senate for any great length of time as Senate service is measured, but during his brief term his great spirit made its lasting impression. Having completed only a little more than one-third of his first term, it is remarkable to note the many real friendships which were made by him among his colleagues in this body on both sides of the aisle.
There was little of partisanship in WILLIS SMITH. The best interests of his country always were uppermost in his mind and deed. Faithful always to his party, he was a patriot first.
It has been my pleasure and privilege to know WILLIS SMITH for many years. It was my pleasure to know his charming and gracious wife. I know that even though he is irreplaceable in her heart and in her life, there must be great consolation to her in knowing the moral and spiritual contributions he has made during his lifetime to the welfare of our Nation.
Mr. WATKINS. Mr. President, it is difficult to add anything more to the eulogies which have been uttered for our late esteemed colleague, Senator WILLIS SMITH. I feel that
all of them are richly deserved. I served with him for 2 years as a member of the Judiciary Committee and two subcommittees where we had an opportunity to become acquainted. He was not only an able lawyer and a great statesman, but he had in addition a deep understanding of human nature and good will for his fellows. He was passionately devoted to the defense of the Constitution of our country and of our institutions, but even in his tensest moments, when there was every provocation to retaliate to the charges against the Members of Congress by some witnesses who appeared before the committee, Senator SMITH had a sense of restraint and fairness which impressed us all. I learned to admire him as a fine Christian gentleman, a man with deep convictions, but tolerant to others' views. To know him was to have an abiding affection for him.
As a member of the group of Members of Congress who attended his funeral, I became aware of the great affection the people of the State of North Carolira had for this worthy son who had brought great honor to his State. North Carolina and the Nation are in mourning for WILLIS SMITH. His family have the sympathy of the people of this country, of those who knew him personally, and of those who knew only of his good works by reputation. I join with the other Members of this body in expressing sympathy to Mrs. Smith and the sons and daughter of our late colleague.
Mr. HENNINGS. Mr. President, at a time like this we are deeply aware of the inadequacy even of the most eloquent and sincerest of tributes. This morning, as I sat here and listened to the tributes of devotion of Senators who served with WILLIS SMITH and knew him best spoke from their hearts and with such deep sentiment and sincerity, I was more than ever impressed that in knowing WILLIS SMITH and having been privileged to claim him as my friend that I knew a man who was the embodiment of the American ideal and the true Christian character.