August 6, 2009


(Rep. John McCormack (D-Mass) - Rep. Hugh Scott (R. Penn.) - lots of love in that room . . .of a kind.)

In case you were wondering if the cantankerous nature of Capitol Hill was some phenomenon of recent years, let me put you at ease by saying no, it's always been that way.

This broadcast, part of the American Forum Of The Air series from July 25, 1954, features Representative John McCormack (D-Mass.) and Representative Hugh Scott (R.Penn.) discussing what the 83rd Congress has accomplished, just as the House and Senate go on their August recess. The subjects range from taxes to the end of the Korean conflict and the bubbling unrest in Southeast Asia - Vietnam in particular.

McCormick: “ There’s a truce made that could’ve been made far better a year, year and a half prior to the time the truce was made. As the result of it, the Chinese Reds were relieved of their commitments in North Korea and they were able to drive down into Indochina and they were able to help the Communist forces in Indochina. Now coming to the Indochina truce . . . .

Scanlon (interviewer): “Do you think the war should have continued Congressman?” –

Moderator: “Hold it . . . .”

McCormick: “None of us . . .we’re not agreed to . . .we’re not satisfied with that. I’m satisfied that England and France have some kind of deals on that are not for our best interest. I’m suspicious of England and France in connection with what’s going on. I think you and I probably would agree pretty much in that respect. I’m very suspicious about this increase in trade which Mr. Stassen has permitted to go on with the Communist bloc as a peace gesture

Hugh Scott: “ Before you change the subject is there any shooting war going on anywhere in the world today, was my statement . . .

McCormick: “Do you think there’s peace in the world today? There’s certainly not peace in the world today. All I know is, that there’s a couple of million more unfortunate people in Vietnam who are now under the Communists, about a million of them happen to be communicants of the Catholic Church of which you and I are also communicants and I can imagine what kind of rough living they’re going to have under the Communists when they consolidate, the liquidation process they’re going to go through, and I hope there’ll be a good pact established down there that will be able to stop the Communists. But I am fearful there will be extreme difficulty in that respect. I’m hopeful and I will join in a bi-partisan way that will bring any efforts to bring about a pact in Southeast Asia that will stop the Communist on-rush.”

Well . . .more prophetic words weren't spoken much that year. But it did signal what would become our endless Vietnam odyssey soon enough.

McCormack and Scott spar and agree on very little, but they hold their ground. In the end it provides an interesting insight as to the historic nature of government and how discourse can work.

At least they were upfront about it.

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