The Center for Legislative Archives

Research Interview Notes of Richard F. Fenno, Jr. with Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1959-1965



Interview Notes Index

Access to this interview is subject to the deed of gift of December 14, 1993.


Interview with Rep. Daniel J. Flood (D-PA)
April 1964
With respect to the Committee's unchanging qualities, he said, "It goes on like Tennyson's brook." (This actually is one of Mr. Cannon's sayings. Joelson said, with reference to the Committee, "The more things change the more they are the same.")

Regarding the question of central direction of the Committee, do they ever caucus -- that is, the Democrats? "The Democrats in the House never caucus." He can remember only two (other than the initial organizing one) caucuses of the House Democrats.

Regarding members of the defense subcommittee -- "They are very strong personalities, or they wouldn't be on that committee. So there is no need for central direction -- most unlikely."

The Panama Canal appropriation was taken from the commerce subcommittee, and Mr. Cannon gave it to himself. Flood says he got Mr. Cannon interested in it, but just how is not clear. There was a resolution which Cannon introduced either on the floor or in committee with respect to Panama -- on the floor, I guess. "I had worn myself thin by that time on the issue. Everybody knew my position. It was wolf wolf, pitcher to the well, and all that sort of thing. I thought if the old man introduced it, it might be better. And he did, and he got interested in it."

He shed no light on the Commerce Committee's demise. He said he went off the Commerce Committee when he went on the defense subcommittee because you can't serve on another subcommittee if you serve on defense (which is wrong). He says Andrews didn't know anything about commerce and, that he asked Flood to sit in when he could. Flood called Andrews an old friend of his and said he did that for him. "I sat in when I could to help him out." He has no idea why Cannon did what he did.

"Taber had been in slow decline for several years. The succession was smooth and operational." He says that Jensen's absence in markup makes no difference on defense. He said that Cannon doesn't really exercise any influence in the defense markup anyway.

His associations with the commerce department continue. "Under Secretary of Commerce Martin is going to fly with me to my district tomorrow to help me break ground for the intersection of routes 80 and 81. These are the two major intercontinental highways, and it's no coincidence that they intersect in my district. This is the only place in the country where they do intersect. Martin would not be doing this with me if it weren't for our long association."
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