0:00

HAMMACK: This recording is an interview with former Kentucky governor and senator Earle Clements at his office at the Tobacco Institute in Washington, DC on July 29, 1974. Present for the interview are Dr. Forrest C. Pogue and James W. Hammack Jr.

POGUE: This is the beginning of what I assume will be a good number of interviews which, uh, will be conducted in the Murray State University--------(??)----------Clements, and I'd like to start--the way I do interviews is I--------(??)----------people by asking the senator to tell us a little about his early life, how his family came to Union County, Kentucky, about when they did, and something about his parents.

1:00

CLEMENTS: First, I can't tell you a lot about my family. Uh, we were never, uh, too much interested in my family in genealogy. Uh, I learned, uh, early in life that, uh, when, uh, my forebears landed in this country, they landed in the North Baltimore territory and, um, I've, uh, been told by others of our family who are more interested in the, the lifetime of their predecessors that, uh, they ultimately, uh, settled in Saint Mary's County in Maryland. The--and, uh, while I have been in Washington I've had the privilege of, uh, being down to Leonardtown, the county seat of, 2:00uh, Saint Mary's County, and being over on Jefferson Island. And, uh, I found there's a little town by the name of Clements, um, uh, just, uh, I guess, uh, west of Leonardtown and on the way to Jefferson Island. And, uh, not that it, uh, acquired any, uh,--------(??) posture in the life of Maryland. But it's a crossroads town and it bears the name, spelled the same way that, uh, uh, my parents and, uh, my grandparents spell their name. You know, Forrest, there's a lot of different spellings, uh, of Clements. Some have the--

POGUE: ----------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Yes. Some have the t and the s, and 3:00some have the s without the t, and some have the t without the s. They, uh--some have two m's. Some have the o without the--instead of the e. But, uh, I find that there's been many different spellings. And that, uh, runs true of members who have served in the Congress of the United States by the name of Clements.

POGUE: --------(??) Mark Twain--------(??).

CLEMENTS: That is correct. Uh, they're all not named Earle and they're all not named Samuel. (both laugh)

POGUE: --------(??)----------family name with the e on the end of it.

CLEMENTS: No it is not. Uh, I get, uh--uh, Earle was, uh, the name of my mother's dressmaker.

POGUE: Is that right?

CLEMENTS: He was, uh--and my mother were--------(??)----------society in the Christian Church 4:00in Morganfield and he, uh, spent some time, so my mother tells me, with her when, uh, she was pregnant carrying me.

POGUE: I see.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, so she gave me that name of Earle. And you might be interested where the c comes from in the name.

POGUE: Yes.

CLEMENTS: Uh, she tells me that our neighbor, uh, Ms. Roberts, was being courted by a fellow whose name was Chester, and she sat up with my mother when she was--(both laugh)--when she was pregnant. You know, at that time the women didn't get out and advertise their pregnancy. They didn't get out on the streets. And, uh, so she gave me the name of Earle and Chester. I guess they'd run out of names, you know, in the family and--

POGUE: But you didn't------(??) Chester. ----------(??)--------

CLEMENTS: My father always called me Chester.

POGUE: Is that right?

CLEMENTS: Um-hm. My father called me Chester. A few of the friends around town did, but, uh, other than that I've been 5:00Earle all my life.

POGUE: And did your mother also call you Chester?

CLEMENTS: No, she called me Earle. (both laugh)

POGUE: --------(??)----------there is a Saint Clement------(??).

CLEMENTS: Well, uh, at least, uh, some of those been more interested in genealogy than, uh, I have been. Including, uh, a judge in Springfield, Kentucky who wrote, uh, a book on the Clements family. But, uh, only brought it up--brought it up to the generation of my father--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --but, uh, none of his children. And, uh, he and others that, uh, have, uh, done some work in the family say that, uh, the Clements, uh, family originated in the Norman area. That in, uh, France the name was Clemenceau.

POGUE: Then it could--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Well, all I can go by is what Judge Clements 6:00said up in Springfield and, uh, both his children were great friends of mine, they're more my age than, uh, Judge Clements was. And, uh, I knew them better in the year I ran for governor than I have at--

POGUE: --------(??).

CLEMENTS: --at any other time. And, uh, they believed what their father said. And if my father had said that, uh, our original name, our name came from Clemenceau, I guess I would have believed it, too. But I just take the old judge's, uh, version of that and--

POGUE: And of course--------(??)----------long time----------(??).

CLEMENTS: Oh yeah, oh yeah, they--I don't know whether they went out of there when they were after the British, or whether they went over there because somebody was after them.

POGUE: --------(??)----------. Well now, did your father--was he born in Union County?

CLEMENTS: Yes. My father was and my grandfather was.

POGUE: So they go back at least, uh--------(??)----------.

7:00

CLEMENTS: Well, my father was born in 1953, and I judge that, uh--

POGUE: Eighteen, eighteen.

CLEMENTS: Eighteen fifty-three, yes. And, uh, my mother in, uh, 1860. And, uh, I would guess that, uh, my grandfather would have been born in that county, uh, early in the nineteenth century.

POGUE: Was he a farmer?

CLEMENTS: Yes. Yes, he was a farmer. He was born on the same property I have always been told that my father was born.

POGUE: Were you?

CLEMENTS: No. I was, uh, uh, I was conceived in that area, but, uh, my father had, uh, planned to move to Morganfield and, uh, built a home in Morganfield. And I guess I was one of the early events in the household in October of nineteen--1896.

POGUE: Now--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Two and a half miles south of Uniontown.

8:00

POGUE: These are things you can't find out later. You've got to ask the man that knows.

CLEMENTS: And I wasn't there when it happened either.

POGUE: No--------(??)----------I was correct in thinking that I was--------(??)----------I had the impression this is where I was born, but I, I wasn't there. I was there, but I wasn't--------(??).

CLEMENTS: ----------(??)--------.

POGUE: ------------(??)----------. Is his house still standing?

CLEMENTS: His house is still standing. What town we're talkin' about?

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: In, uh, in the country.

HAMMACK: Um-hm. What was the address of that place in town?

CLEMENTS: Uh, no, I don't know whether it had any number on it.

HAMMACK?: I know where it is but--

9:00

CLEMENTS: Yeah. Uh, it's over, uh--it's less than a block from the school that I graduated from.

POGUE: --------(??)----------you say your father was--------(??).

CLEMENTS: Well, my father was, uh--he had a license to practice.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: My father was, uh, he was a farmer at heart all his life. He was, uh, he was a road engineer of our county in the four years before he first became sheriff of our county. And, um, I guess, uh, Forrest, that maybe his, uh, service as a road engineer affected me somewhat. He, uh--I used to ride with him as a youngster when he, uh, when he was in the county judge's office and he, uh, or he served following his, uh, tour of duty as sheriff. And, 10:00uh, I guess he treated me as a little older than I really was because he'd tell me things about, uh, the road weaknesses where, uh, where you ought to, uh, build a bridge, build a culvert instead of a bridge. And, uh, where, uh, drainage ought to be and, uh, the--------(??)----------how you ought to--------(??)----------in the road, how you ought to drain them and all--------(??)----------so there could really be a stable road(??). And, uh, I guess, uh, riding with him and, uh, being in a political family might have, uh, whetted my appetite some to later on to doing politics.

POGUE: --------(??)----------the state hadn't taken over any of that activity--------(??)----------.

11:00

CLEMENTS: Neither then nor now. Except that, uh, the state now builds the state road.

POGUE: Yes.

CLEMENTS: It participates, uh, in the later years(??) with, uh, more money that comes from the Rural Highway Fund.

POGUE: Yes.

CLEMENTS: That, uh, is really a result of, uh, an increase in taxation that, uh, some people thought it was a bad thing to do, but took place while I was governor.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Well, he is, uh, he is the, uh, uh, the, uh, senior member of the fiscal court. They have a commission form of government. It's the commissioners and the judge. You have a fiscal court. It is, uh--the judge is the presiding officer of the several magistrates who constitute the fiscal court in our 12:00little county. We had then and we have now six members of the fiscal court. And it is really the fiscal rather than the county court--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --that, uh, that has the responsibility--the fiscal responsibility of the county funds.

POGUE: --------(??)----------talked about today----------(??)------------eighteen and forty-something, forty-one,----------(??)----------.

13:00

CLEMENTS: That happened in my father's day. Happened in my father's day. But, uh, when I came along, uh, there's, uh, there was no time required of the, of the citizens to give, uh, so many days in a year to the highway.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

HAMMACK: --------(??)----------.

POGUE: Three days in the summer--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Uh, Forrest, uh, some counties, uh, maintained that system long, long after other counties have discarded it.

POGUE: --------(??)----------my grandfather--------(??)----------because he was in politics--------(??)----------even if you don't have to 14:00depend on--------(??), you do lose something in the education of the citizens by not having that.

CLEMENTS: That's a fair assessment.

POGUE: And--but I think that, uh, one of the things that we would like to get out of this interview--------(??)----------things that helped to demonstrate the value of local democracy, and this is one reason I think--------(??)----------very fine national contributions in Congress is this earlier story.

HAMMACK: --------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------philosophy and of course basic things in--------(??)----------.

15:00

CLEMENTS: Well, that, my father had--he had an influence on my life, public life. When I doubt that he little, uh, anticipated that he would have an, uh, some effect on, uh, me for the future, because he had no more idea than I did that I'd ever hold public office--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --at all. And, uh, I rode with him a good many times when he was a candidate for county judge, for county office judge, and I'd--well, I remember one time I was, uh, riding with him. Was, uh, I don't know whether we had one horse with a buggy or whether we had two horses. But depended on what the roads were. If they had a little, uh, moisture in them, why--------(??)----------smaller saddle than he had and, uh, 16:00we'd ride. But I remember him, uh, going up to a man's home(??)--------(??)----------county and, uh, I thought it was great to hear them talk and, uh, see how strong my father was with the Lynn family. And the Lynn was a good family. And, uh, I let him know how pleased I was to know that Mr. Lynn was so strong for him. He was running for sheriff at the time on another--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: ----------(??)----------sheriff twice--------(??)----------and, uh, told me. He said, "Son, Mr. Lynn is not for me." I said, "Not for you? Why, I thought he said he was." "Oh no, son. Mr. Lynn isn't for me. He gave me great encouragement. (Pogue laughs) But he is not for me. He's for my opponent, who, uh, I believe will be second in this race. I think 17:00I will win. I think--------(??)----------." But I said, "I don't understand that. I just thought that certainly when he said he was for you, let you know he was for you." Well, he said, "There's a difference between being for me and voting for me." And I couldn't understand that. And he explained it to me. He said, "Well, before I became a candidate, son, Mr. Lynn had promised his vote to my opponent." He said, "Now there are thirteen or fourteen members in that family. I'm going to get all of them but Mr. Lynn. See, he's for me, but he's not going to vote for me."

POGUE: --------(??)----------fine distinction.

CLEMENTS: Well, uh, that's--------(??)----------some people, uh, want to fall out with a fellow in, uh, public life if he is not going to vote for him. And, uh, really you know that, uh, it's generally--that fellow is generally a person who will only run for office 18:00once, because some of the people who oppose you in this election may be your strongest supporters in the next election. This is what my father taught me.

POGUE: --------(??)----------my grandfather--------(??)------and the ones that aren't ready--------(??)------this is why--------(??)--------did vote sometimes because--------(??)------.

CLEMENTS: Well, your grandfather and myself were great friends. He was in the upper, fall days of his life, and I was 19:00in the spring days of mine. There's a great gap in our age. But, uh, I wasn't for Barkley in 1923 and, uh, I was also--------(??)----------an interesting story--------(??)----------. I was for Ed Bishman. Ed Bishman was a candidate for treasurer. Ed Bishman was my company commander in service. And Ed Bishman, uh, took me out of the ranks and sent me to the officers' training camp in, uh, 1917 after I'd been rejected for age--------(??)----------officers' training camp. Then when I saw in the paper that Ed Bishman had announced for treasurer for the state of Kentucky, I wrote him a note. I said, "I don't know whether you'll get more than one vote in this county, captain, but it'll be mine. You'll get one." And it wasn't a matter of, uh, months, six weeks 20:00after that until my neighbor in Webster County, Garrett Withers, announced for treasurer on the ticket with Barkley. And, uh, so--------(??)----------and then I was in the sheriff's office at that time with my father. And, uh--who encouraged me, of course, to be for them. And I told him quite frankly that, uh, Ed Bishman was my company commander, and he did things for me that no other living human being could have done, because they weren't in a position where they could have done them. And I--------(??)----------had told the, uh, candidate--------(??)----------that I was going to be for him. And I said, "Your word is about all you have in this life and, uh, I'm going to be for him." And, uh--------(??)----------he said, "Well, he won't get many votes." I said, "Well, may not." But------(??) fair to 21:00say that, uh, we did very well for him and, uh, in the county--------(??)----------being for Bishman really led me into the Campbell Cantrill, uh, campaign. And he probably did a lot better than, uh, Campbell Cantrill in that campaign, maybe than he had any right to do, but-- Campbell Cantrill did not carry our county but he, uh, came very close to it. And, uh, but, uh, otherwise I guess I'd have been for Barkley. A lot of people in our county were opposed to Barkley in that campaign because we were a coal county as well as a farm county, and Barkley was advocating a severance tax on coal and, uh, the people that had coal--------(??)----------those who sold------(??). Takes a little while, you know, to get people, 22:00uh, ready for something like that, and it took us in 1923-- Uh, when was the severance tax passed? In 1900 and was it in '72?

POGUE: Last session I think.

CLEMENTS: Is it this session or the session before?

POGUE: I think--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Seventy-two.

HAMMACK: I think the last one passed in '72.

CLEMENTS: Yeah I believe --

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------think about it, you know--------(??)----------from '23 to '72, that's forty some years.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: I really don't know, Forrest. I was, uh, more interested in coal, corn, hogs. There's a lot of other things--------(??)----------ours is not a tobacco county. There's a little tobacco--------(??)----------tobacco doesn't bring 23:00much money. Our county by that time had, uh--it had always been a corn and hog county. But it, uh, went very strong to beef cattle, and it's been strong in the beef cattle--------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------didn't think the sand hills in our county was going to be very good--------(??)----------tobacco on them--------(??)----------bluegrass on them and other grasses. And we had, uh, we had a very large cattle population in our county ever since that time.

POGUE: A lot of these counties--

CLEMENTS: And still getting bigger.

POGUE: Hmm. A lot of these counties have made--------(??)--------.

CLEMENTS: Yes. Uh, it wasn't long after that until, uh, 24:00too long, when the--------(??) Louisville, uh, put a plaque up in our town. It was first--or in our county--it was the first county--------(??)------. It's there on the courthouse, there.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: It was just part of the move toward, uh, toward beef cattle in our county. Of course there was some dairy, but a limited amount of dairy cattle, and--------(??)----------the dairy cattle then because there were such limited numbers.

POGUE: Did your father raise cattle on his farm--------(??)----------?

CLEMENTS: I don't recall if there was ever any tobacco grown on, uh, on my father's farm--------(??)----------and, uh, uh-- Most of the people in our county at that time--------(??)----------hog and the cow.

25:00

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------I never saw that our county had ever experienced a situation to where we imported that type of food.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Of course the protein that has, uh,- gone into cattle for a long time--------(??)----------advantage of soybean--------(??)----------import protein now and ship the soybean out. (Laughs)

POGUE: Yes that has been--------(??)----------I can remember--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: But, uh, they did that more in our county with--------(??)----------but one of the things that makes our county a very strong, uh, food county is the fact that we have nearly forty miles of 26:00riverfront--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --of the Ohio River in our county that starts above Uniontown on, uh, the north side, which is actually across from Mount Vernon, Indiana and, uh, you don't quit that until you get to the, uh--------(??)----------.

POGUE: Um-hm. As a teenager did you spend much time working on the family farm?

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------. (Both laugh)

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Yes, I can remember when, uh--I guess one of the early jobs I had was, uh, father had a--------(??)----------tractor and, uh, that time they didn't have combines, you know. And you, uh, cut and shocked the wheat and you hauled by--------(??)----------wagon, so to speak, with a particular kind of a wagon--------(??)----------haul that wheat into the thresher. 27:00My first job was, uh, on a mule or a horse with a horn on the saddle. And I was a water boy, carrying water to the--those who pitched the wheat, uh, from the shock onto the wagon and then--------(??)----------onto the thresher. Then you had the steam engine--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --pulling the thresher. And then the steam engine would, uh, pull it on those dirt roads from one farm to another.

POGUE: Um-hm. Hmm.

CLEMENTS: That was back at the time when his grandfather knows more about it than Forrest--------(??)----------.

POGUE: I remember--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: But he was one of the affluent farmers.

POGUE: Yes.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------and I take it that was--------(??)--------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

28:00

CLEMENTS: Actually, Forrest, in, uh, our county most of the wheat was raised on ridge land, and the corn was all raised in the bottomland and--------(??)----------when alfalfa came along, or some of those other bottoms, or dry bottoms as I would call them--they were creek bottoms rather than river bottoms--they, uh, they adapted to alfalfa and a lot of alfalfa--------(??)--------a lot of the ridge land today has, uh, some of the finest alfalfa we have in our county.

POGUE: --------(??)----------the fact that you had two--------(??)----------in Union--------(??)----------developing two different--------(??)----------coal mines, a 30:0029:00very important element in the economy there.

CLEMENTS: You want me to comment on?

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Forrest, I think you'll find that, uh, no county in Kentucky where there is as much fertile land, surface land for agricultural purposes, that's totally underlaid with coal--------(??)----------land that, uh, you'll find, uh, anywhere that I know of in our state. I'm not saying that it's the greatest land there is, but it is, uh, it's, uh, it is--------(??)----------farming land--------(??)----------surface area--------(??)----------. That land is all underlaid with coal--------(??)----------mines in that valley at one time. Now, it, it was a--------(??)----------county 31:00before they ever opened a coal mine--------(??)----------. Uh, it may be that, uh, there was some, uh, uh, influence on wages in that county--------(??)----------but in the early days, uh, my early days, the miners--------(??)----------I can remember when you got a dollar a day in the coal mines in our county--------(??)----------fifty, seventy-five cents--------(??)----------working on the farm, I would have thought that fifty or seventy-five cents aboveground was equal to a dollar underground. But, uh, the mention of, uh Crittenden-- I would say as far as agriculture is concerned you, uh, and it being a Republican county and Union being a Democratic county------(??)--this is Earle Clements' belief; 32:00this is not Earle Clements' research--but there were a lot of sizable farms in Union and there were very few sizable farms in--------(??)----------and people, I believe, only had slaves if they had, uh, large farms. If they had large farms, they had something for them to do. If they had little farms, they were too expensive to keep. And, uh, I think that is, uh, the difference between, uh, Henderson and Union County versus Crittenden and, uh maybe some county--I would imagine at some time in your life, uh, in the life of, uh, Livingston County that they had some slaves, because you had some, uh, sizable bottom farms in that county. You, uh, today you've got any number of, uh, uh, very, very sizable farms in Livingston 33:00although it's a small county.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And now when you find somebody that's got a thousand, fifteen hundred acres of land down there--------(??)----------that kind of a farm could have, uh--------(??)----------back at that time.

POGUE: --------(??)----------in Livingston County.

CLEMENTS: What's that?

POGUE: I said--------(??)----------Livingston County.

CLEMENTS: I don't question it, I don't question it. Just like if you had them, um, all through the Jackson Purchase.

POGUE: Um-hm, um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Uh, you take if, uh-- It had a little to do with, uh, whether you were a Democrat or Republican as to what the situation was in 1860--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --because if they were a big farm, they were inclined to be for the South. If they were little farms, they were inclined to be with the North. And of course, when they didn't belong to either one of them, they divided up. And some members of the family would be on one side, and some on the other. Of course that's, uh, that's not one 34:00of those, uh, happy periods you like to refer to in the life of the state. We never did know, uh, government-wise whether we were on the Southern side or on the Northern side. We didn't know whether we were wearing blue or gray except the individuals themselves. And the individuals, they took their own choice. And many of them laid their, their lives down for the South.

POGUE: Now the Union County name is older than the Civil War.

CLEMENTS: Union County older than the Civil War?

POGUE: Union name.

CLEMENTS: Yes, it's, uh, it was, uh-- Our county was, uh, was composed of--------(??)----------from Henderson County. And, uh, our county was named Morgan after General Morgan in the Revolutionary War who had, uh, certain grants that were made to him out of the Revolutionary War. And there was a spring on his farm they called Morgan Spring. And, uh, when the town was created it was formed 35:00around that spring.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And then they didn't give it Morgan Spring, they gave it Morganfield. It was Morgan's field--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --I've been told. I don't know if there's any authentic history on it. But yes, I called it Morganfield. And as far as I know, uh, uh, Jim, Forrest, it was the only Morganfield in the world(??).

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Now Morgantown, you'll find one in, uh, many, many, many states. And it's been some concern to me in public life. I get a--I used to get a lot of letters with, uh, with Morgantown, and, uh, had come over from Butler, you know, and, uh, but, uh, it--there's no other town in the United States--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --that's Morganfield.

POGUE: That's unusual.

CLEMENTS: But, uh, that's one thing that, uh, we can pride 36:00ourselves on. --------(??)----------don't know of any other Morganfield.

POGUE: You grew up with a direct working knowledge of farm activities, of course.

CLEMENTS: I wouldn't want to classify myself as a good farmer. I've, uh, I've loved, uh, uh, rural life. But, uh, I guess if it, uh, wasn't for being employed here and my other members of my family being here, I guess I'd, uh, be spending more time in Kentucky and far less in Washington. But, uh, that is the best you can say about me, that maybe I knew some of the rudiments of, uh--

POGUE: --------(??)----------understanding of some problems of farming.

CLEMENTS: Oh yes--------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------in a long time--------(??)--------.

CLEMENTS: I would, uh, say that's, uh, uh, probably the reason 37:00that, uh, I know the tobacco industry so well. --------(??)----------attacks have been made on the tobacco--------(??)----------bill was introduced in the Congress that really had the ultimate, uh, objective to really get rid of it. Why, it wasn't difficult--------(??)----------giving up the job I had and, uh, if I could get--------(??)----------tobacco industry, and this is the eleventh year that, uh, I have been with them.

POGUE: You worked with the shipping--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Yes, I represented the maritime body on the East Coast--------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: That's a rocking chair--------(??)----------.

38:00

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: I was a member in both the House and the Senate Committee on--------(??)----------yes. Yes, I started in both bodies. Uh, got on the first year in the House. Took me a little while to get on in the Senate. Uh, there wasn't any vacancy. (Both laugh)

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Well, uh, it would just so happen that, uh, when I came to the Senate that, uh, there was no, uh, vacancy and they had, uh, two old-timers on the waiting list--------(??)----------far more service than my early days. And, uh, I guess I was in the third year in the Senate before I went on the--maybe the second year. Second or third year.

39:00

POGUE: --------(??)----------my part of this particular session--------(??)----------I'm a great believer--------(??)----------but I think--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Frankly, I, I appointed Garrett Withers, the same person that I told you earlier that, uh, that I had not supported, uh, when he was a candidate for treasurer of the state of Kentucky. And, uh, opposite his opponent Ed Bishman--------(??)----------uh, I appointed him when, uh, the vacancy came by reason of Barkley becoming vice president. 40:00And, uh, I did not want to run for the Senate. I had, uh, some other things that I wanted to do in Kentucky, and, uh, and actually I'd have been better off------(??). I'm satisfied it wouldn't have been near as interesting a life--------(??)----------but, uh, Garrett would not run. Uh, he said under no conditions would he run. And, uh, the way some people, uh, I was surprised that, uh, as few people that, uh, considered even running. Uh--------(??)----------the House delegation was in the position to run. They, uh-- To run, they have to give up their House seat. And 41:00that's a choice you know that, uh, causes some people not to make waves, when they have to give up one seat and take a gamble on the other.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------at least had, uh, the--------(??)----------nothing like it is today--------(??)----------and, uh, when, uh--------(??)----------names of two, three people who had, uh, already announced their willingness to run, the governor has--the governor of a party is the titular head of his party. Uh, whether he's in favor or disfavor he still, uh, has some responsibility to--------(??), and, uh, sooner or later, why, the--------(??) started in, "Well, now, we elected you governor and, uh, uh, what are you going to do about the Senate race? It looks like you're the fellow to run." And, uh, it 42:00was a--------(??)----------but, uh, my choice would have been to have followed the other course that, uh, I had planned for myself. Uh, but I did run, and of course--------(??) Barkley had, uh, given up the office. The appointment of Withers only carried to Election Day in November. So you ran for two. You ran for the unexpired term and then you ran for the--for a six-year term. And, uh, the, uh--------(??)----------short term or--------(??)----------long term--------(??)----------former federal judge Charley Dawson was the Republican candidate that year--------(??)----------vote for Charley for the short term and me for the long term. That would've been better for me 43:00if he'd won the short term. (Both laugh) If I'd--------(??)----------the long term--------(??)----------the long term.

HAMMACK: Did he--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: He didn't leave the court to run for that, uh, Forrest. He had left the court some years before and went into the practice of law.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: He was practicing law in, uh, Louisville at that time. You know, he'd, uh--he had his, uh, roots down in, uh, southern Kentucky, uh, see.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Yes.

POGUE: --------(??)----------I remember something about it.

CLEMENTS: Yes, that's right. That's how the old timers knew him in the Logan, Warren area down--------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------legislature?

CLEMENTS: I just don't know that, Forrest. He, uh, he 44:00really is from, uh, uh, the Democratic section--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --of southern Kentucky and then he moved up and practiced, uh, law in the Republican part of, uh, southern Kentucky in the area between, uh, uh, Middlesboro and Harlan--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --in that area. And he became a Republican--------(??)----------became a Republican when he went up to Republican territory.

POGUE: I think that--------(??)----------but I remember--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------territory.

POGUE: And of course--------(??)----------but I----------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: I can, I can make no contribution to that. But, uh, after the election was over, uh--and some of, uh, you 45:00know, like any two candidates running they have, uh, some, uh, uh, mutual friends.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: We had some of the same friends even though they can only vote for one at the time you're opposing each other. But, uh, some friends that, uh, I had who were--------(??)----------said that, uh, he was convinced and many were convinced that the--------(??) thing was going to run much deeper into the political picture--------(??)----------. As an example, uh, Charley Dawson you know had, uh, a member of the court, he was recognized as being rather anti-labor.

POGUE: Yes.

CLEMENTS: Uh, after the election was over, in, uh, so many little industrial union towns, uh, we did very poorly and he did 46:00real well--------(??)----------found out that, uh, the wives of the union members without their husbands' knowledge voted against--------(??)----------at that time, why, the raise in, uh, Social Security went into effect first day of October. And, uh, when they went in, uh--this is their story--that when they got their check on the fifteenth day of, uh, October, they took it down to the grocery store, and, uh, they had, uh, less money left--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --than they had when they went down and they bought the groceries on the first day of October. And then on November the first, which was just before the election, they had less money left then than they did on the fifteenth of October.

POGUE: Um-hm.

47:00

CLEMENTS: And, uh, uh, I--------(??)----------on the road, when you win, you win. You don't, uh--------(??)----------about, uh, the victory. But it, uh--

[Break in recording]

POGUE: --------(??)----------that race.

CLEMENTS: Yes, it was a substantial, uh, majority. It, uh, wasn't as big as--------(??)----------the governor's race in, uh, 1947. Nor was the vote as large. Vote was not as large. As I recall it was somewhere--fifty to sixty thousand--------(??)----------and probably about a hundred 48:00in the governor's race--------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: You mean 1950?

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: No, no, no. They-- No, I think they all expected me to run--------(??)----------expected me to run.

POGUE: I'm sure--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: I would think that, uh--------(??)----------his biggest amount of encouraging he did was in 1948--------(??)----------. He, uh-- That was the race that of all the races it meant more to him than any other contest.

POGUE: Yeah, he, he expected the other man to--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Yes, yes.

49:00

POGUE: There were people who said that he always intended to run--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Many--I say many, many, many said that. And, uh, it's too bad that we didn't have a tape from Garrett before he died because, uh, he was, uh--I think Garrett did--he wasn't, uh, just a holdover just to keep his feet warm. He was a very active member of the Senate. He was, uh--

POGUE: Wasn't like--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Oh no, no, he was a very active--he was an activist. I don't recall what the subject was now but, uh, uh, but, uh, he and Bob Taft, uh, had a tangle on the floor. And, uh, it's not too far from, uh, some 50:00of the things that, uh, the present president is, uh, concerned about as to what was the presidential authority.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, what was the congressional authority. But, uh, although Bob Taft was a prominent lawyer--------(??)----------great colleges, Garrett Withers's, uh, legal background was, uh, he was a circuit court clerk, he studied in, uh--as a clerk he studied, and he studied in, uh, some of the offices there. And, uh, he was, uh, licensed by the judge.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, the record shows that--------(??)----------record but the members of the Senate, uh, talk about the, the great job that he did 51:00in, uh, in, uh, winning that legal controversy or the congressional controversy with Taft. And he and Taft became warm friends. Bob Taft was a fellow, uh, Forrest, probably one of the most, uh, misunderstood persons I ever knew. He, uh, had a reputation for being the greatest conservative and the greatest anti-liberal. Bob Taft, uh, and Allen Ellender were the authors of the housing program in this nation. And the first time that a federal aid to education bill ever passed the Senate it was the Taft bill that passed and the House defeated it. And I don't--(laughs)--I never did--after I knew him, and knew those things about him, then I had difficulty in understanding how he was the darling of the--of, uh, of the conservative people in this country. Because--------(??)----------federal aid to education, that wasn't 52:00any--that didn't have the approval of conservatives in this country.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, public housing didn't have the approval. And here he was--------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Oh, well, yes, but then they all went right back to him.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And the liberals--------(??) picked him up.

POGUE: Now the Taft-Hartley Act--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Well--------(??)----------misunderstood about that. The worst pieces in the Taft-Hartley Act--and I didn't vote for it--the worst pieces in the Taft-Hartley Act were, were bludgeoned in there by Hartley. He was a House member from New Jersey.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Fred Hartley had, uh, uh, to get the bill passed, and there was great pressure on, uh, on the conservative element in the Congress to pass it, and, uh, Fred Hartley just, uh--there were some things he would not, uh, ever consent to any bill being passed.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And they were other things that, uh, Bob Taft was, 53:00uh, bitterly opposed to but he--------(??)----------compromise. (Laughs) But, uh, I personally, uh, I didn't come to the Senate with any great warm feeling for Bob Taft. He soon left the Senate in death, uh, with me having, uh, tremendous respect for him--------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------I assume in the lower House when you were here. You probably met--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: No, I was too far away from those. He didn't even know I was here when I was in the House but, uh, I knew him, he didn't know me, let's say that, and we got to know each other when I came to the Senate.

POGUE: But he quite often rose above partisan politics--------(??)----------in a way that Nolan never could--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Well, uh, well, he was a different, uh, there's a 54:00difference between the two men. I really guess I had, uh, more of a working relationship with Nolan than I had, uh, with Bob Taft. Uh, but, uh, uh, Bob Taft was a man of greater stature and, uh-- And, uh, I-- He left this life--------(??)----------as a man and a public servant.

POGUE: I think Eisenhower would have had a lot less trouble with some of his programs if Taft had lived. I think he would have gotten Democratic support on some things that Nolan wasn't able to get(??).

CLEMENTS: Well, uh, to do it, Taft had to, uh, reconcile 55:00some of the feelings on the Democratic side.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Uh, Bob Taft, uh, was a great help to Eisenhower in that election. I guess everywhere except in the state of Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, why, the Taft people were so angry at, uh, Henry Cabot Lodge, uh, being one of the initiators of the Eisenhower campaign, they never forgot it. They elected, uh, Jack Kennedy.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And then--and the Taft people absolutely just, uh butchered, uh, Henry Cabot Lodge.

POGUE: --------(??)----------Boston area where he--------(??)----------.

56:00

CLEMENTS: I can't define it that narrowly but I have an idea that wherever there was Taft people there were Kennedy people. (laughs)

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

HAMMACK: Well, before we leave this. We began with the question of, of, uh, Senator Clements's election to the Senate which began with the appointment of Garrett Withers. One question I wanted to ask about that. I was wondering if you discussed with Withers before you appointed him whether he would run--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------.

HAMMACK: But you didn't know then whether he would run or not until --

CLEMENTS: No, I had no idea whether he would or not.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But, uh, he had no, uh, quid pro quo on anything. Like when I named him as highway commissioner there was 57:00no provisions in there of what he was going to do and so forth except he'd be the highway commissioner. That's all I wanted him to do was be a good senator. And I think he was.

HAMMACK: Yes, well, I thought that I didn't know whether--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: What if I were to tell you, uh, Jim, I never had an understanding of what kind of official a fellow was going to be, uh, that I ever appointed to any job?

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Well, I thought--------(??)----------if I didn't think he was going to be a good official--------(??)----------100 percent--------(??)----------but, uh, most of the people that I appointed I was very pleased with the manner in which they handled their job. And, uh, when I was in the governor's office, uh--and you know the only fellow that got more than five thousand dollars a year under the constitutional provisions was the governor, and he got ten. And, uh, for me to--and I hunted for people 58:00that were financially able to make the contribution. Um, I can, uh, name some of those people now. They all made contributions. Uh, none of them lived, in my judgment, totally on the five thousand dollars. Uh, Clyde Reeves was a good example.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Well, he was making, uh, twenty, twenty-five thousand dollars a year with the city, uh, properties there and, uh--that is, uh, not city property but, uh, uh rolling stock, uh, transportation there. And, uh, he was fortunately willing to make that contribution to the state. Another example is John Manning.

POGUE: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: John Manning was a full professor--------(??) considerable standing in American University in Washington. And, uh, he and his wife and, uh, uh, Mrs. Clements and myself were warm friends and we saw a 59:00lot of each other here. And I sold him on the idea of going back there and taking that job as commissioner of finance for five thousand dollars.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Well, he was making that then--------(??)----------put him in as personnel officer, you know,--------(??)----------personnel------(??) the system------(??), and, uh, I would imagine then, uh, probably--------(??) second man then made, uh, forty-five hundred dollars but we got these second people up to--well, forty-five hundred dollars, we got them up a little over twenty-five or fifty or a hundred dollars, uh, below what the, uh, the boss, uh, receives, you know, and the five-thousand-dollar limitation. But Arthur Lloyd, uh, took an assignment there. And 60:00Arthur Lloyd, uh, was a sizable farmer. He had, uh, considerable property in the family name. And, uh, took the welfare assignment over there. And, uh, --------(??)----------made more money in farming than he made there. And his expenses were far less--------(??) he would be farming--------(??). The same thing was true as you, uh, as you went through the--------(??). Henry Ward took less money when--named him the conservation commissioner than they were paying him down at the --

POGUE: Newspaper.

CLEMENTS: --at the newspaper, yes. And, uh, the, uh-- And if you go back and you look at the record, you'll find out that the things that each of those people did, they announced them. Now they, uh, were kind enough that, uh,--------(??)----------on many 61:00occasions, but, uh, they employed, uh, they root for their own employees. Uh, I'd, uh-- I can remember saying this to all of them. I'd, uh, uh, "I'm going to be too busy to hire you a clerk, be too busy to hire--------(??)----------. I think you're the most interested person in the qualifications of your employees that there is in state government. And if you pick a dud you're the person who suffers."

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: "And, uh, uh, if you, uh, pick poor employees you'll have more employees than you need and your work will suffer. But, uh, you hire your own people. Now, if you want 62:00me to, if you want me to give you a guideline I'll be glad to give you one. If two people are equal in their talents, and one of them voted for somebody else and one voted for me, I hope you'll pick the fellow who voted for me." Now that's, uh--------(??)----------than that and, uh, I think it, uh, worked well. And, uh, when, uh--and, uh, Beauchamp was personnel officer at that time before he became rural highway commissioner. And, uh, Henry Ward thought he'd have a terrible time with Beauchamp you know--------(??)----------whatever person on there solely because they carried a precinct for him. I never saw anything wrong with naming a fellow who carried a precinct. But I've always thought that he ought to have qualifications for the job. If he didn't have for that job, give him one underneath that, uh, that his--------(??)----------qualifications did fit.

63:00

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But, uh, uh, Beauchamp was a little, uh, slow on accepting Henry Ward--(laughs)--much slower than I was, you know. It made it easier for Beauchamp because I'd already named him. (Pogue laughs) And, uh, but he became, uh, Beauchamp became very much interested in the whole conservation program. He was a farmer. Conservation meant something to him as a farmer. And then he got interested in the park system.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, uh, he thought probably we were right that, uh, we ought to have people who understood something about the park system. And you know a few of the people who were top people in the park system were not residents of Kentucky. We went to states that had a park system that was operating and, uh, infiltrated them in, uh, where we could get them--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --for the price that we could pay. But they 64:00took it in, uh, more instances, one, thinking it was a challenge to them, and they'd, uh, get to the top faster, you know.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, but, uh, I was impressed the other day. I saw an article that Frank--------(??) gave me out of the Russellville paper. And it had a, uh, story on one side of, uh, the, the masthead, see, and, um--about Henry Ward. It was written by Al(??) Smith, who's the editor, publisher of the paper. And then the other side was a copy of Ann Burin's(??) article on Beauchamp. And I thought that--I wrote to the editor and publisher of the paper how much it impressed me that--------(??)----------Beauchamp and Ward over here, both on the same--------(??)----------party that they had in, uh, Frankfort, uh, oh I guess, uh, late in June.

65:00

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, the other one on, uh, Beauchamp and--------(??)----------eulogy--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --uh--------(??)----------beautiful story. And to have them both, uh, and where I could reminisce, you know and, uh, on the times they were against each other and then, uh, later on they became, uh, very close friends. All working together to, uh, get a job done for the state. And, uh--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --and, uh, they--Beauchamp left this life a great friend of, uh, Henry Ward. And, uh, which was I thought a real tribute to him. And I told--------(??)----------when I wrote him.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

HAMMACK: --------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------probably first meet Beauchamp--------(??) when you managed Tom Rhea's campaign. 66:00Because Tom Rhea knew Beauchamp.

CLEMENTS: I knew him before that. I knew him when he and I were contemporary county court clerks of our respective counties.

POGUE: --------(??)----------because--------(??) was a political figure.

CLEMENTS: I managed Tom Rhea's campaign.

POGUE: --------(??)----------and Rhea and his brother were two of the great--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Yes.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: I didn't know either one of them--------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Tom Rhea--------(??)----------.

POGUE: No.

CLEMENTS: No.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: If he did, I didn't know it. Uh, before my day, and I'm not much of a historian.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: I never knew his brother.

POGUE: You didn't.

CLEMENTS: No--------(??) boy, he's got, uh, one of his children is--------(??)----------.

67:00

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------he was the highway commissioner--------(??)----------.

POGUE: But I first knew, uh, Beauchamp, uh, in the '32 campaign--------(??)----------Louisville. And he was--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------I knew him before that but I was in the--------(??) caucus in----(??).

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Now the, uh, uh, you--------(??)----------to me, why, uh, I think everybody knows, uh, what I'm talking about. And you just, uh, you just do what Forrest says in just a minute. But, 68:00uh,--------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------French name--------(??)----------also to find out, also to find out how you spell it. I don't know whether his relatives--------(??)----------or not because that was a family name--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: I don't know but, uh, so there's so many places in this country that call it Beauchamp--------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------family came from down there. And there just might be connection--------(??).

CLEMENTS: I don't know that, whether they are or not. And I never heard that question, uh, ever raised.

POGUE: Sometimes--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------.

POGUE: Henry Ward again--------(??)----------Kentucky, uh, in the early days. I knew him--------(??)----------and he was a sportswriter long before he got to be, uh, politically minded--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Well, he got to writing politics after he went to 69:00the legislature. Uh, so he ran for the legislature, if my memory serves me correctly, when, uh, uh, nobody had any idea that he could even get close to victory. He was just a kid, a snotty-nosed kid around town.

HAMMACK: Not only that--------(??)----------for the legislature when he was twenty-three and didn't become twenty-four until after the election--------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------. He was not a person you'd want to invest in the first time you met him.

CLEMENTS: No, he ran, uh, by--as an investigative reporter.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: He ran on--------(??) and when he was, uh--------(??)--is that thing still on?

POGUE: Yeah. You want me to turn it off?

CLEMENTS: No. Well, I need to take it off--------(??)------more important--------(??)--------

POGUE: ------(??)--------.

CLEMENTS: ------(??)--------.

70:00

HAMMACK: End of tape one.

[End of audio file 1]

POGUE: All right. What was your early friendly relationship with Henry Ward?

CLEMENTS: Well, it, uh, it didn't come automatically. (both laugh) Uh, Henry and, uh, I were not on the same side sometimes in, uh, the state legislature where he served in the House and I served in the Senate. Uh, my views and his views on public and private power were not very far apart. I didn't think they were apart at all. He thought they were apart. Uh, I was a consistent believer that, uh, Kentucky was starving for kilowatts. And, uh, I didn't care where they came from. 71:00I didn't care whether they came from TVA, whether they came from private power, or whether they came from public power, or the REA.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: To me, we were, we were a destitute family for power in our state. We lost many a prospective industrial, uh, uh, firm to our state by not having the surplus power there for them to use. One reason you find that so many of these places have gone as close as they could get to the Tennessee line, so they could be--get TVA power. Just like the towns have done. And, uh, I thought that, that, uh, every one of these bodies ought to be encouraged to have surplus power. And, uh, Henry thought I was a tool of--(laughs)--of Kentucky 72:00Utility Company.

POGUE: --------(??)----------I think one of the main customers--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Uh, I doubt that for the simple reason that, uh, the only plant that they had in West Kentucky that produced fuel was in Muhlenberg County, and Muhlenberg County had coal running out of their ears.

POGUE: They didn't need yours..

CLEMENTS: That's right. They didn't need ours. Now a lot --

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: A lot of-- Oh no. Oh no.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Yeah. Well, uh, you know a lot of our--the coal in our county, uh, went to TVA. It, uh, it went out of the--more out of the southern end of our county, 73:00because they could, uh--------(??)----------on the Ohio River and then, uh, they could--the closer they could get it to their plants, the--why, the cheaper it was to TVA.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, none of it ever went to the eastern part of TVA because they got the coal out of, uh--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --out of, uh, eastern Tennessee or eastern Kentucky. But, uh, Henry thought I was just a kind of tool, you know of, uh--------(??) and, you know, when people have those views, why, they-- And, uh, I voted on an occasion once in the Senate, why, on that very subject. And, uh, I got credited with being anti-REA because I was pro anything that would produce kilowatts.

POGUE: Was that on the Moss bill--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Yes, on the Moss bill, yes. And, uh, I don't know whether Moss introduced it or I introduced it. One 74:00of us did it.

POGUE: This is Ray, Ray Moss.

CLEMENTS: Ray Moss, yes.

POGUE: Pineville, I believe.

CLEMENTS: Of Pineville. And, uh, so after the, after the primary, Jim, I--------(??)----------uh, I, uh, I spent a good deal of time, uh, trying to unite the party as much as I could. I thought if I had helped divide it, I ought to try to unite it. And, uh--

POGUE: Now, you're talking about--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Yes. Yes, in the fall of 1947. And, uh, I was gonna be in that end of the state. And, uh, I don't know where I was the night before. Somewhere in that neighborhood. And, uh, I made arrangements with, uh with Paxton, the senior Paxton, the father of the boys that are--------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Yes. And I made an appointment to have breakfast with him at--------(??) hotel and, uh, suggested that he, uh--------(??)----------so the three 75:00of us had breakfast. And, uh, I would imagine it was rather a lengthy breakfast--that is, we were together quite a long time. And, uh, I told him, um, among other things that, uh--------(??)----------and, um, I told him, uh, what I had in mind about, uh, Kentucky Lake and the beginning of a revitalized park system in our state. And, uh, I had talked to people privately and publicly all through the campaign--------(??)----------singled out, uh, Kentucky Lake, but it was easy if a fellow had a dime's worth of judgment you know that, to know that money invested--------(??)----------would pay greater returns and bring greater returns to the state than anyplace that they could prettify in the whole 76:00of the state.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And besides, uh, by the acquiring of all the buildings out there--and I told him then we'd lost some pretty buildings out there that, uh, they had already signed, uh, agreement--------(??)----------governor who was then in office would, uh, not buy. And, uh, I told him that I'd, uh, convinced him that, uh, I was going to be governor, and I thought I convinced him that--------(??)----------buy that property--------(??)----------and, uh, without any contract of what it was going to be. But I knew it wasn't--------(??)----------a hundred thousand dollars--------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Anybody want coffee or anything?

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: I'll take a half and half coffee, please. And, uh, I just gave it to him, uh, like I felt, and, uh, told him the things that had been--------(??)----------Paxton and, uh, told him 77:00the things that, uh, I had done in the short time that we had--------(??)----------and, uh, I said, "I'm not going out here and, uh--------(??)----------everyplace else that, uh, wants money spent on something that they've got--------(??)----------you know." But I said, "That's what I'm going to do." And, uh, so when, uh, he told me when we finished, uh, talking there. He said, "I'm, uh, convinced that that's what you intend to do. And I hope you can do it. And I'll help you and I'll help you in this campaign too." Henry said that, uh, he would. Then, uh, toward the, uh, you'll find that Henry introduce the bill you know to buy the 78:00property.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, that wasn't accidental--------(??)----------what I would do about it. I said--------(??)----------sense, you know--------(??)----------the last night of the session, of the 1948 session of the legislature, they always notify the governor like they do the president that they're getting ready to adjourn--------(??)----------I said to Richard Patrick Moloney of Lexington.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------Clarence Maloney who was from Madisonville and he was a longtime friend. And, uh--------(??)----------and, uh, I asked them that when they came 79:00down, why, include Henry Ward in it, then leave me alone--------(??)----------and, uh, they did. Henry stayed and, uh, we had a few formalities, you know, pleasantries. And, uh, I said, "Henry--------(??)----------I want to talk to you about. I want to name you as commissioner of conservation." I said, "Park system--------(??)----------I don't want you to think you're going to name the park commissioner because you're not. I'm going to name her myself. She don't know much about parks. You don't have to run the parks if you're commissioner of conservation. She'll do as good as anybody else has ever done--------(??)----------." She dropped out of the--------(??)----------race to manage my campaign for the women--------(??)----------her 80:00money. And in addition to that, why, it was a good appointment for me to make. And it was good for her for me to. And, uh, Henry would say to you today that she was a fine commissioner. I mean a park commissioner. But he--------(??)----------I wanted him to be. Well, he asked me a lot of questions about it. I said, "Well--------(??)----------commissioner of conservation--------(??)----------." And as he likes to tell that I said to him, "Now, Henry, if you want me, you let me know. And, uh, if you don't need me, why, don't make a difference whether I hear from you or not." Words to that effect--------(??)----------if I 81:00need you I'll call you--------(??)----------business. But, uh, he said, uh, "Governor, you can't do that--------(??)----------." I said, "Why?" I think you heard this--------(??)----------.

POGUE: I heard part of it.

CLEMENTS: Uh, well, he said, "Because I wasn't for you and you can't appoint anybody that wasn't for you." I said, "Henry--------(??)----------you in this position or whoever else takes it if you don't, I want him to do something with it. I want to do something in the general area of conservation--------(??)----------going to spend some money on these parks, just like I told you and, uh, Mr. Paxton that we're going--------(??)----------." But I said, "--------(??)----------you can see it in the budget, can't you?" He said, "Yes--------(??)----------four million dollars in there." --------(??)----------question 82:00of whether we can spend that much money wisely, because you don't know anything about parks, I don't know--------(??)----------question of whether we can organize--------(??)----------spend this money properly. But--------(??)----------remodeling and so forth--------(??)----------and, uh, finally he, uh, said--------(??)----------Paxton because you know that he'd had a good many years down there, and he had some pension rights and so forth--------(??)----------he called me 83:00and he said, "Well--------(??)----------Paxton." My memory may be slightly hazy. In a general way I would say that's what happened. Now Henry might say it happened a little bit different.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But, uh, he called me and he said, "Well--------(??)----------same mind you were the other day, why--------(??)----------I'm ready." He said, "When do you want me to report?" (both laugh) I said, "I guess you come in the mornings. You come in the morning and, uh--------(??)----------I think you ought to announce it--------(??)----------statement and get it in, uh--------(??)----------one of those afternoon newspaper--------(??)----------get it in the afternoon newspaper." There's so 84:00many, you know, they always want to, uh, get it in the morning newspaper--------(??)----------morning newspaper--------(??)------. was then. I don't know whether it's practical now or not but, uh.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------that's right. And I thought--------(??)----------right down there--------(??)----------place--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --and I saw that--------(??)------down there giving me hell, you know, in the primary--------(??) general election. Henry came up the next day and he wrote his own announcement--------(??) from me but------(??) he wrote it. And, uh, he had, uh, complete authority as far as 85:00employment was concerned. Of course, you can imagine how some of those fellows around in these counties close thereby, they didn't like that.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Well, they thought, uh, they ought to have all those damn jobs around there for themselves and the folks that--

POGUE: Why did you choose Ward rather than someone who supported you?

CLEMENTS: That's very easy. Henry Ward had, uh, shown an aptitude. Uh, but he'd shown, uh, to me that he knew the possibility of that area, uh, on Kentucky Lake better than any other person that I knew.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: The nearest thing to it was a fellow that, uh, banker over at, uh--------(??)--------.

86:00

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Yeah. Banker over there. He, uh--------(??)----------in the field than anybody I knew of industrially. And Henry had more, uh--he had a--------(??)----------to express his views on what he thought, uh, could be done at Kentucky Lake.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------political appointment. And, uh, nobody would see it quicker than Henry that it wasn't--------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Wasn't a political appointment. And, uh, I just thought--and I still think--that, uh--------(??)----------proud of, uh, the fact that he did take it and he did serve and, uh, he-- Once you, once 87:00you did was actually--what came out of Henry's, uh, tour of duty. Uh, I'm not going to say that we've got the best park system in the country. I'm not going to say that. We're Johnny-come-latelies in, uh, some respects. We've made more progress in Kentucky on the park system. And anybody who has served in the National Park Service will say that. One who served, uh, many years in it, uh, when his boy came out of Iowa State University, why, knowing what, uh, was going on in Kentucky, he asked to be employed--------(??)----------year or more as, uh, an engineer--------(??)----------National Park Service. Now if you'll, uh, take those stone entrances to the 88:00Kentucky Dam Park.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: This boy designed them and built them.

HAMMACK: Oh, really?

CLEMENTS: He was the son of--oh, name slips me right now. He served so long. He served--------(??)----------followed him.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: I forget his name.

HAMMACK: Was it usual for you to tell a commissioner that you appointed the same as you told Ward, "If you need me, call me, if you don't--------(??)----------."

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------that's Henry's version. It wasn't far from that. No. I wanted them to select their own employees. I wanted them to feel like that they had a responsibility within their own department. Now don't think for a minute that, uh, that they didn't, uh, look at a fellow's, uh, political affiliation and, uh, if he was the best man for the job, why, and he voted for me--------(??)----------pretty close I imagine--------(??). But in the end, I thought 89:00when they were--that they ought to have people that they were comfortable with and they thought would do a good job for them.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: If you don't, you're doing it by yourself. Turn that thing off, will you?

[Break in recording]

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Clay Wade Bailey, uh, Jim, was, uh--his life was one of the most interesting ones of, uh, anybody I've ever known in Kentucky. Clay Wade was a native to Elliott County in East Kentucky--------(??) the Bailey tribe was not as big as the Lyon and some other family groups--------(??)----------. Clay Wade was raised in--------(??)----------Masonic Widows and Orphans Home.

POGUE: Huh--------(??)----------Louisville.

CLEMENTS: Yes. And, uh--------(??)----------he and Congressman Frank Chelf were in 90:00the Masonic Widows and Orphans Home at the same time.

POGUE: Hmm.

CLEMENTS: Uh Judge Chelf from Elizabethtown had, uh, died and, uh, the older members of his family, uh, the oldest of them were--lived with other members of the family. And Frank and his brother--and one brother who's long since passed this life were raised in that home. And, uh, Clay Wade and Frank maintained a friendship. You can imagine how close it was through all of those--------(??)----------. I 91:00believe he had as much character as anybody I knew. He was always dealing with what he believed to be the truth. He was one newspaper fellow. I don't say that he was the only one I ever knew, but he's a good example of a person that will, uh--------(??)----------to seek the truth or the accuracy of what he would write.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And consequently he missed many of a good story by that. He never wanted to do anybody any harm, except that if he wrote the facts, he didn't figure that he did them any harm. If he wrote the facts, he thought they punished themselves.

POGUE: Um-hm--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Which was a principle that he followed. Uh, if 92:00publishing a fact, uh--------(??)----------. If he was in error, then he would be terribly bothered. He was, uh, a humble person, a quiet--maybe not the greatest scholar like some of the rest of us. But, uh, his duty as he saw it was to be fair and truthful in every article he ever wrote. He had, uh, one of the greatest talents of anybody I ever saw about reading their mail. (both laugh) I remember that, uh, early in, uh, my days as, uh, my tour as governor, having known, uh--------(??)----------who was, 93:00uh, in that assignment, uh, with, uh, Governor Laffoon--

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --between '31 and '35 and, uh, I'd heard him say that, uh Bailey could, uh, read upside down--------(??)----------side of the desk. And there's, uh, some mail on the desk--------(??)----------, you know. I got up out of the chair and I said, "Bailey, come round on this side." (both laugh) Came round on that side, and I said, "You know, those two eyes you've got are the only eyes you're ever going to have in your lifetime, save them. You can read it easier from this side." --------(??)----------.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------?

POGUE: No I didn't. We had made arrangements to--------(??)----------.

94:00

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------?

POGUE: No sir. No. We talked to him--------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------he was down, uh, he was down home on, uh, the day of October 20, 1973 when the folks down home were kind enough to have a day for me.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------you take Allan Trout. Allan Trout had very much, uh, had many of the same qualities that, uh, Bailey had. He was, uh, quite scholarly. And, uh, he never wanted to tell anything that was, uh, nonfactual. Now you take my friend Trevor(??)--and I roomed with him when I was at the university--------(??)----------roommates in 1915, 1916--------(??)----------was his name--------(??)----------he was, uh-- He was from, uh, Ewing in 95:00Fleming County. And, uh, he was, uh, like your grandfather. He was, uh, well acquainted with--------(??),--------(??),--------(??), Mark Calvin(??), Billy(??)------(??), and Mike Brennan. I said Mike Brennan, yeah. And he was--------(??)--------commissioner for some time, and of course he got the nickname Scoop by------(??)------from time to time and he picked up that name Scoop. Now, I think Scoop probably knew more about the political feuds of, uh, Kentucky, and 96:00he was a student of all the feuds including the, uh, Hatfields and the McCoys and also the, the Hargis feud in Breathitt County. And he was very knowledgeable and he was very knowledgeable dealing with the Night Riders and the history of the Night Riders in particular in West Kentucky. He went to the trial that was being held in, uh--------(??)----------and, uh, when Stanley--------(??)----------riding the train down there, you know, and he was being forbidden by some to even come and then, uh--------(??)----------I do not know all of the details. But I used to hear him talk about, uh, uh, when Butler County voted for a Democrat one time--(both laugh)--------(??)----------Night Riders--------(??)----------I was not enough of a historian that I'd, uh, want to go and, uh, check it out. 97:00But, uh, he would have written a little less objectively--------(??)----------Beckham was a good citizen of our state and I think he was, uh--I gather from, uh, some people that, uh, they thought he was a good governor. He was a young person--------(??)----------lieutenant governor and Goebel was too old and he was, uh, succeeded him--------(??)----------nearly four years--------(??)----------that term and then was reelected in his own right to serve. Uh, Goebel--uh, I mean, uh, Beckham was slightly controversial, as you know--------(??)----------Scoop, he would have given much higher marks to Goebel. And he would have given much higher marks to Stanley. He would have given much 98:00higher marks to many other people who served in that capacity. And, uh, he would have given much higher marks in his public service to Barkley.

POGUE: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Uh, he was just not one of those people that was, uh, tied as tightly in his, uh, to Beckham. I never knew what the reason for it was. I thought that Beckham was--------(??)----------good governor. Didn't have as many--------(??)----------then as you had in my day and since my time. But, uh, Scoop was never much of a--------(??)----------, and that went back, that went back to the grandfather of the present editor and publisher of the paper.

POGUE: --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)----------and it was------(??)-- I only mention that to tell you, 99:00uh--that's an example of the fact that he would, uh, write with a little bias if he had a little bias. And, uh, but as far as what he--------(??) about the political history of Kentucky, I don't think there's anybody here today that--------(??)----------remained there all his life.

POGUE: --------(??)----------

HAMMACK: End of session one.

[End of interview.]

100:00
Search This Transcript
SearchClear