« ForrigeFortsæt »
Accordingly (at 5 o'clock and 37 minutes p. m.), under its previous order, the House adjourned until tomorrow, Saturday, June 27, 1953, at 10 o'clock a. m.
THURSDAY, July 30, 1953. Mr. CARLYLE. Mr. Speaker, in the early morning hours of Friday, June 26, in the Nation's Capital at Washington, the able and distinguished junior Senator from North Carolina, Hon. WILLIS SMITH, passed away. Immediately the people of our State and of the Nation realized that the loss was irreparable because he was truly a good and great American. He had been a Member of the Senate but a few years; however, his strong character and love for his country quickly established for him a position of leadership and enabled him to enjoy the absolute confidence of all with whom he came in contact.
Shortly before his passing I talked with him, and there was every reason to believe that he was at the pinnacle of his greatness. He was planning for the future and realized fully that there was much for him to do. In fact, the Death Angel almost caught him at his desk.
At this time we can, to some extent, estimate the width and breadth of the Senator, because we recall that
A prince once said of a king struck down,
It is after death that we measure men. No man within my knowledge possessed greater political courage than did Senator SMITH. He was at no time subservient to any man, set of men, or organization. He did not hesitate to enter the arena against any foe, however influential, and however long entrenched in power. He was a loyal friend and an open foe. He fought none secretly. He battled always in the open. He was a man of strong convictions, and neither fear nor favor, nor dread of punishment, nor hope of gain, prevented the outspoken expression of his views. He was always strong in action, loyal in his purpose, and upright in life. There were blended in him qualities and virtues seldom associated in the same breast. He possessed the strength and courage of a gladiator, the wisdom and vision of a statesman, and with them all the intuition and tenderness of a woman. Senator SMITH fully appreciated the fact that a great man must first learn to rule the empire of himself. He was clean in mind and body and possessed no habits which he could not unfetter with one strong resolve, and, thus armed, he approached the important problems.
With his matchless, undaunted courage and innate honesty, which he possessed in a high degree, he soon stepped across the threshold of greatness and was a captain on the towers which overlooked human endeavor. However, constant, clean, clear, hard thinking, even with a sturdy conscience and swift and accurate mind such as Senator SMITH possessed, will sap and undermine and finally destroy the most vigorous body. With all his superb courage and indomitable energy and honesty of purpose in scaling the ramparts of evil, fraud, hypocrisy, and corruption, the boundary line of human limitations was reached and physical endurance came to an end.
Mr. Speaker, I am indeed honored to have been privileged to serve in Congress from North Carolina with this great and good public servant, because my life has been enriched by the close contact which I enjoyed with my friend, whom I found to possess real character as well as unusual ability. His devotion to his State and country knew no limits. It is extremely painful to know that he will be with us no more, but has passed a little ahead of us into “that city which has foundations whose maker and builder is God.”
The Daily Record, published at Dunn, N. C., and in the congressional district which I am honored to represent, covers a wide area. The publisher and editor, Hoover Adams, is widely known and respected because he holds fast to Americanism in its truest form and is always factual, courageous, and forthright. He was not only close to the Senator, but shared his confidence and loved him. On the day that Senator SMITH passed away, this brilliant editor came forward with the following front-page editorial which should be preserved:
A GREAT MAN HAS GONE The tragic death of United States Senator WILLIS SMITH early this morning brings the forceful realization that a truly great man has gone.
His passing is a great loss not only to the State of North Carolina, but to the Nation and the world. His influence for good knew no boundaries.
WILLIS SMITH was born a poor boy; his father died when he was a very small child, and he came up the hard way to make his mark in the world. He was successful in every field of endeavor in which he entered. His success story exemplified America as a great land of opportunity.
He rose to great heights. His election to the United States Senate was just one of his many accomplishments. He had been honored by two Presidents of the United States, and his fellow lawyers elected him to the highest legal post in the land.
In the field of politics, he was a scrapper. He fought hard and tirelessly not for personal gain but for the American way of life, which he held sacred and loved so dearly.
WILLIS SMITH was more than a great Democrat, more than a great Republican. He was a great statesman and a great American.
He was not a politician. His closest associates frequently admonished him for his forthright, honest stands on issues which they knew would not help him politically.
But WILLIS SMITH never gave his own political welfare a second thought. He would vote his honest convictions in the face of sure defeat itself. He never swerved from the true path of duty.
There is no question but that WILLIS SMITH was headed toward bigger and higher positions in American government. Had he lived, he would have brought still greater recognition and honor to our State.
Above all other things, WILLIS SMITH was a real Christian gentleman, a man devoted to his family and friends, and intensely loyal to all of them.
Unfortunately, his political enemies frequently succeeded in painting a false picture of him to the people.
They called him a big corporation lawyer, yet the last court case in which he ever appeared was in behalf of a widowed mother suing a big corporation.
The worst thing we ever heard him say about his opponent was, "He's my friend." That's the kind of man WILLIS SMITH was.
They accused him of injecting a racial issue into his campaign. Actually, he threatened to withdraw from the campaign if he caught his staff engaging in such.
WILLIS SMITH was a man of remarkable vision, keen insight, vast knowledge, and great personal kindness.
When others got upset, he had the ability to keep calm and think.
When his critics were unfair and unkind he ignored it and marked it up to the heat of the campaign.
The most famous court case in which this great legal expert ever appeared was that of a poor Raleigh Negro who had a just claim against a prominent political figure.
Other lawyers were afraid to take the case, but WILLIS SMITH took it and won it for the poor Negro.
Some of his critics called WILLIS SMITH a Republican because he had the ability to think and act for himself.
Had WILLIS SMITH been a member of the Republican Party it would have found it just as hard to keep him in strict party lines as the Democrats. He wasn't that kind of man.
He was a man who put the welfare of his country ahead of all other considerations; a man who could clearly define the issues and get at the bottom of things.
It was impossible to know WILLIS SMITH without loving and admiring him. Those in his presence always had the feeling and the full realization that they were in the presence of a great man.
The editor of this newspaper will always be happy and proud that he had an opportunity to be associated with WILLIS SMITH, and to know him as a friend. Only history will record his true greatness.
Mr. Speaker, within the circle of his home WILLIS SMITH was ever blessed with the devotion of a noble wife and with the passionate love of his children. He was never so happy as when surrounded by them because they worshipped him and certainly he has left to them a priceless heritage. May his rest be sweet.
There is no death; we fall asleep