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HAMMACK: The following interview is with former governor Earle C. Clements. The interviewer is James W. Hammack Jr. This interview is taking place on November 18, 1976 at Governor Clements's office at the Tobacco Institute, 1776 K Street NW, Washington, DC.

[Break in recording]

HAMMACK: Let me begin, Senator Clements, by asking you what the advantages were for you when you went to the Senate in having 1:00had experience prior to that in the House of Representatives in Congress and at the state level in legislative affairs, too.

CLEMENTS: Well, uh, Jim, if I may start back in the--(clears throat)--in, uh, the early days in, uh, my service as, uh, or the opportunities of service that I had in county government. I think it had a bearing on, uh, my--not only my interest in government but, uh, maybe gave me a little understanding of what government was all about.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Uh, that would apply particularly to the, to the, uh, 2:00years that I served as county judge, years I served as, uh, in the sheriff's office, the years I served in the clerk's office. Uh, it was, uh, really a practical education on government that you didn't get from a, from a university.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: But you got from, uh, working in it. And, uh, I don't know of any one of those assignments that, uh, that didn't, uh, broaden my understanding of what government was all about.

HAMMACK: You said twice that this experience taught you what government was all about. Would you define what you perceive government to 3:00be all about?

CLEMENTS: Yes. Uh, it, uh, has created, uh, one early thought in my mind that, uh, the only satisfaction a person could get out of serving in government was that, uh, when you did serve you would, uh, only get satisfaction out of leaving it better than, uh, you found it at the time that you, uh, served that tour of duty. And there's, uh, I might say in, uh, the sheriff's office--the sheriff's, uh, my work in the sheriff's office was really what prompted me in, uh, when I was governor to make a, a decision to do away with the highway patrol and 4:00establish the state police.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: The highway patrol had, uh, limited authority. Their authority was confined to the state-owned highways or the county-owned highways. And, uh, to me the, uh, the sheriff had more responsibility than that.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I don't know whether in some of our other interviews I have, uh, uh, said this or not. If it is, why, it's just, uh, be a duplicate. You can stop me. Uh, but, uh, at the time that the highway police was, uh, bill was, uh, in my mind, of course I did not discuss it, uh, when I was a candidate for governor.

5:00

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: But, uh, it was in my mind that, uh, I was going to try to establish a, a state police. And it was based upon the experience that I'd had as a--in the sheriff's office. And, uh, the, uh-- And that, uh-- I never did want to have major legislation that, uh, that the people who might be opposed to it, uh, didn't get some, um, information that it was on your mind and your thoughts. And, uh, it wasn't, uh, in the newspaper. But, uh, the labor people were--who I thought would, uh, have some objection to it, and 6:00the businesspeople I thought would have some objection to it.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, they both had, uh, representations because they were--they, uh-- The industrial body was located in Louisville. Mr. Watkins headed it. The labor people, when they found out about it, they sent the closest friend I had in the labor movement--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --uh, Mr. Morgan from Madisonville, up. And, uh, we had, uh, long discussions. Not collective discussions. The labor people were there. Uh, not when the management people were there. 7:00But, uh, I told both of them that, uh, I thought the patrol should have more authority and that they ought to have police authority that was broader than the patrol authority had. And, uh, I-- It's not with any regret. It's just, uh, uh, a frank statement that, uh, both of them were very, very much opposed to it.

HAMMACK: Why were those particular groups much opposed?

CLEMENTS: Well, I can, uh, tell you what I said at the twenty-fifth-year reception of the state police, uh, when, uh, Wendell Ford was governor and invited me to come down and, uh, attend the 8:00twenty-fifth reception. Uh, that, uh, I think it--I spelled it out in, uh, in this way to them when I told them that, uh--there was a great body of police there--that, uh, labor was afraid it was going to be a strike breaking force.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And management was afraid it wouldn't. (Hammack laughs) And, uh, which I think is, uh, in a few short words, is, uh, their feeling.

HAMMACK: Uh-huh.

CLEMENTS: But, uh, I didn't, uh-- It was, uh-- I think you'll find that, uh, when the vote was taken I would imagine it was one of those bills that was introduced on Monday and I signed on Friday.

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HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, there was very little opposition to it from members of the legislature. There were some no votes.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir. Had you been able then to reassure the labor and business interests whom you talked to about--

CLEMENTS: No I had not, uh, been able to reassure either one of them. And, uh, both of them, uh, were somewhat offended by it. But, uh, it was much easier to sell to the legislature.

HAMMACK: I see.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, you would have, uh-- It was, uh, uh-- My experience in the State Legislature had, uh, in the State Senate, had, uh, I think was very helpful to me in, 10:00uh, being governor. You understood the legislature. You understood, uh, that they like to know. They like to know firsthand. They like to know the reasons behind the, the, uh, the governor's views.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, it was not, uh--I wouldn't want to say that, uh, uh, this bill, while it was, uh, I think was passed in, uh, the shortest, uh, time that it takes to pass a bill in, uh, our legislature, five days.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: Uh, the, uh--there wasn't any member of the Senate or the House that didn't understand the reasoning behind it. And, uh, 11:00it wasn't a--of course you--chief executive, uh, in a matter like that, he gets, uh, charged with being dictatorial. But there wasn't anybody in the Senate that, uh, that didn't, uh, have ample notice himself.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Uh, everything that was in the bill, it was heard by two committees. But, uh, those two committees, uh, uh, knew about it before it was in the newspaper.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I must say that, uh, we had a good working relationship between the, the legislative--two legislative branches and the governor I think all time that I was in the governor's office. And, uh, it was one bill that, uh, we didn't, uh, modify 12:00on the floor. (laughs) We didn't modify in committees. It was, uh, as was prepared. Uh, it was accepted by overwhelming majority in both bodies. And which, uh, I think, uh, maybe left a little better taste in the hands of--in the minds of the, the opponents, both in labor and in business--

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: --that it was a sound document. And, uh, I'm, uh, glad to say that as far as I know there's never been, uh, a single effort made by--uh, since that bill was enacted in 1948--to repeal it.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And in fact I think that, uh, Kentucky has, uh--although 13:00I regretted when they put it in another agency. It was created as an independent agency, which it is not today. Uh, but, uh, I think Kentucky has one of the finest, uh, police--state police of any state in this nation. And, uh, one of the reasons for it in my judgment is that the high standards were placed, uh, on new members coming into the state police. Uh, had a great leader in Guthrie Crowe, who was, uh--he made, like, uh, other heads of departments of government, he made a great sacrifice financially to become the first commissioner.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

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CLEMENTS: And, uh, the fact that, uh, he laid a foundation, and a strong foundation. Uh, I knew Bob O'Neal, who was the head of the state police in Indiana. And, uh, Guthrie got to know him. And he provided us great help by placing on loan to us without pay to the state of Kentucky, uh, some of the finest, uh, people who were the trainers of the young people who came into the state police in Indiana. And of course they--the standards, uh, were placed in there that, uh, uh, have been, uh, recognized that they had to be, uh, gradual as to their educational qualifications. But those have, uh, steadily been 15:00raised. Uh, nobody can go in there without, uh, a high school education. They have to go through a course of, uh, training both physical and mental. And, uh, today you have, uh, many people in the state police that have acquired college education before coming in, but you also have the opportunity through the program at, uh, at, uh, Morehead that was establi--I mean at--

HAMMACK: Eastern I believe.

CLEMENTS: --Eastern, uh, by Bob Martin who was, uh--(clears throat)--has the only school--(clears throat)--of, uh, justice. (laughs) It has another name but, uh, it, uh, it has, uh, the one that is, uh--

HAMMACK: There's a department of law enforcement, I believe.

CLEMENTS: Law enforcement. That is correct. And, uh, many 16:00of the young men that are in the police force today take, uh, uh, additional work in law enforcement there. And it has been, uh--and as a matter of fact the head of the police department now came out of, uh, that program.

HAMMACK: Oh, really?

CLEMENTS: At Eastern.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, it's, uh-- It's just, uh-- Getting back to your original, uh, question, uh, had I not served in the--as the sheriff of our county, I don't think this would have ever been a thought to me. I would have just followed the status quo.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, but, uh, experience in any assignment that anybody takes on has some value. And, uh, maybe sometimes the experience 17:00goes in the wrong direction rather than in the right direction. But, uh--(clears throat)--that same thing is--

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

CLEMENTS: --true about, uh, other, uh, legislation--or other, uh, influence on me by experience. There was a time that, uh, if you wanted to build a building at Murray or you wanted to build a building at the University of Kentucky, why, you went through the legislature.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And it was what you would call logrolling.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: Who had the most votes, uh, got the, the, uh, expenditure. Uh, we, uh, passed, uh--I won't say there we, because 18:00I didn't vote on it, but, uh, uh, I thought--I'll admit that it was, uh, my idea that we establish the State Building Commission.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And the State Building Commission, uh, would, uh, review the requests that were made. And, uh, the building commission is, uh, still in effect. It, uh, has a little different makeup than, uh, we had at that time. Uh, it is now in the--I think maybe I've told you this once. I don't know.

HAMMACK: We discussed the building commission in part. I don't know whether what you're going to say right now is--

CLEMENTS: Well, it, uh, it was established as an independent body.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: But the commissioner of finance was on it. And, uh, today it is lodged in--as a part of the, uh, the 19:00Department of Finance.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But the original, uh, body was composed of, uh, the governor, the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, and the commissioner of finance, and the commissioner of revenue. Uh, to me the governor was going to have, uh, responsibility, uh, in it, he ought to be on it. That was, uh, it was new. And, uh, you always, uh, can improve, you know, as time goes on. But, uh, I wanted to see that it, uh, the governor was on it, and the lieutenant governor was on it, and the attorney general was-- It was very important that he be on it. And of course the Department of Revenue, uh, was important to me to be on it, and, uh--as well as the commissioner of 20:00finance, because they were great, uh--they were men of high training. Uh, both graduates of the University of Kentucky. Uh, both I think, uh--not at that time, but I think both received a master's degree at the university. And, uh, commissioner of finance, I believe, uh, has a doctor's degree. I'm not sure of that. That's John Manning.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But, uh, we never had in the five people--and you can, uh--anyone that, uh, all of them are still living, I guess, except the attorney general, the then attorney general, uh, Attorney General Funk. We never had a disagreement on the location or the selection 21:00of any building to construct.

HAMMACK: As it was originally established, uh, the recommendations by the building commission would then have to go through the legislature? Or did they get in the budget itself money to be used?

CLEMENTS: The authority in that, uh, legislation was vested solely in the State Building Commission.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And they don't go through the legislature today, either, even though that, uh-- All of that authority is, uh, vested with the--in the department of, uh, or in the, uh, Department of Finance.

HAMMACK: Was the shift of authority of making decisions on these kind of buildings from legislature to building commission primarily a means of--or was it an attempt to get decisions of this type out of politics?

CLEMENTS: That's correct.

HAMMACK: Let me ask you about--

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CLEMENTS: You're from Murray. You know the--of course, there's been a, a cooperative movement that, uh, has been developed in, uh, since I was governor with the federal government. And, um, you at Murray, as with all other schools in the state, you deal with these matters through the Department of Finance.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But it's on an approval plan that you have with the federal government and, uh, with the school. You don't have to go to 138 members of the legislature to see if you can get enough votes to have a, a building on your campus.

23:00

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And that was the principle behind this whole thing.

HAMMACK: Um-hm. You mentioned a moment ago--excuse me. I'm sorry.

CLEMENTS: May I add, uh, may I add one thing? There was a lawsuit over it.

HAMMACK: Over the building--establishment of the building commission?

CLEMENTS: Yes. The, uh-- One of the members of the House opposed it. And, uh, he took the case to the Court of Appeals.

HAMMACK: On the basis of constitutionality.

CLEMENTS: Well, I don't recall now what, uh, whether it was just, uh, a desire to, to express himself. He was, uh, very unhappy over the fact that he wasn't majority leader of the House. And, uh, he had, uh-- And I think one thing that hurt him more than, uh, caused his activity more than anything else was, uh, he had been in the legislature for some time and, uh, instead of him being the speaker, why, a fine, 24:00uh, citizen, a fine lawyer by the name of John Watts who, uh, later came to Congress and was one of the influential members of the Ways and Means Committee was, uh, became the speaker--I mean, became the majority leader. And he had never been--he was in his first term and only term.

HAMMACK: Huh.

CLEMENTS: I guess it, uh--I've been told. I never did research it. But, uh, but it's the only time that a first--that a freshman in the House was ever majority leader, except the first, at the time the first governor was named--

HAMMACK: Huh.

CLEMENTS: --Isaac Shelby.

HAMMACK: Huh. I'm sure it would have been a unique situation in almost any state.

CLEMENTS: It was a unique situation. But, uh, he had, uh, I thought he had rare talent. And--

25:00

HAMMACK: Did you have something to do then with him becoming majority leader?

CLEMENTS: Well, uh, for me to say that I didn't would be a gross falsehood. (Hammack laughs) Uh, he, uh-- He was a fine majority leader. He was, uh-- He, uh, wondered whether he could be elected or not. But there were very few votes against him. There were--I think maybe Leonard got, uh, six or eight votes out of the hundred.

HAMMACK: Was Leonard the other--

CLEMENTS: Out of, out of the seventy-two Democrats. Leonard Preston.

HAMMACK: Leonard Preston.

CLEMENTS: Leonard Preston from Glasgow.

HAMMACK: Uh-huh. Uh, did you later have something to do with Watts's decision to run for Congress?

CLEMENTS: No. No, the, uh-- Actually, I did not. I was, uh, here. And I never tried to interfere 26:00with, uh, the governor. Followed, uh, me. And, uh, when, uh, the people in, uh, Frankfort had, uh, already decided that, uh-- And, uh, see, John Watts came to Congress when there was a vacancy. And, uh, he was nominated by the committee.

HAMMACK: Oh, I see.

CLEMENTS: The committee was composed of the chairmen from each of the counties in the district. And, uh, and when Virgil Chapman died, uh, Tom Underwood was appointed to the Senate. Tom Underwood was the sitting congressman at that time, and that left a vacancy. And, uh, I'm sure that, uh, the governor and those associated, 27:00uh, with the governor, uh, they went to work to see who was, uh, going to succeed him. And, uh, they had, uh--and the chairmen of the several counties on a unanimous basis selected John Watts to be the Democratic nominee. And, uh, I wouldn't say that I was opposed to him. But, uh, the, uh--

HAMMACK: Well, I--

CLEMENTS: It was not, it was not my business to be butting into their affairs.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I'm glad to say that he did come and he made a fine record as a member of his district. And, uh, he died as a member of Congress.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: Representing that district continuously since that date that he was nominated and elected.

HAMMACK: Well, I asked the question because I knew that you 28:00had taken an interest in another person's governmental career, as you stated publicly on one occasion that you had been instrumental in Carl Perkins's election to Congress.

CLEMENTS: Well, uh, did, did we ever discuss that on tape?

HAMMACK: Uh, only on the occasion of your public statement at the time that the jail building and community center were dedicated at Morganfield. You said there that you called Carl Perkins into your office one day and asked if he would like to go to Congress. And he questioned whether he could get elected or not.

CLEMENTS: Well, uh, I'd, uh-- Uh, if you'll recall, Jim, uh, after Carl had, uh, in dedicating that building, he had, uh, said something about, uh, my being his longtime friend.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, that, uh, he had, uh, merely touched on, uh, his and my association from the time that he was, uh, 29:00attorney for the highway commissioner.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And I, if you recall, I leaned over and I said, "Carl, you want me to tell the whole story?"

HAMMACK: (laughs) No. I didn't catch that. I guess I didn't hear you.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I just turned around to him and, uh, said that. He was sitting next to the, the podium. And, uh, I told that story. And if you want me to tell it on here, I'll be glad to tell it.

HAMMACK: Yes, I'd appreciate it.

CLEMENTS: The, uh-- There were four announced candidates. And, uh, one of the candidates, who was the judge of, uh, Floyd County, who had, uh, been very angered by I think two things--one, 30:00that, uh, he supported my opponent in, uh, when I was a candidate for governor--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --and, uh, the other was, uh, there was a redistricting bill passed to create another judgeship in 1948 in the legislature, and, uh, was, uh, had no serious opposition. Uh, it was, uh, it was in the mountain area. And, uh, there was need, uh, uh, for more judges. And, uh, they created another judgeship. And it did not affect, uh, uh, this judge's, uh, district, uh, seriously to him. But it, uh, did take a county 31:00out of his district.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, when he announced for, uh, for Congress, he didn't announce, uh, uh, against his opponents. His announcement was against the governor.

HAMMACK: Oh? (laughs)

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I'd only been governor a very few months. And I hadn't done anything to him.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I hadn't been the sponsor of the--this bill. This bill took its normal, natural course as it went through. Bills that I sponsored, uh, never was any question, uh, about my sponsoring them. And, uh, I would always, uh, take the position I was for it. And, uh, but, uh, most legislation, 32:00uh, I thought the governor oughtn't to be dictatorial--although I got credit for being. He ought to--the legislature ought to work its will. Uh, if the governor felt like that, uh, it was, uh, not in the best interest of the state, it was his duty to oppose those things as he saw it.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But, uh, when, uh, he announced against me--and Dr. Coldiron and, uh, also announced, uh, his opposition to me because of, uh--and, uh, I can tell you, if you, uh, ask me, after a while, I'll tell you why Coldiron was, uh, who'd been very strong for me when I was a candidate for governor, uh, why he was, uh, antagonistic and was antagonistic during most of the matters in 33:00the, the legislative session, if he thought I was for them.

HAMMACK: --------(??)---------- throughout your term.

CLEMENTS: Oh, yes. That's very true.

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

CLEMENTS: And, uh, uh, the other two that were, uh, candidates, uh, were fine men. Uh, one of them was, uh, Senator Hays, with whom I'd served in the State Senate.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, one of them was Dr. Hall, who's a great physician. Has the hospital at, uh, uh, Paintsville in Johnson County. And he's practicing there today. And he's a, he's a great Kentuckian.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I tried to do--I wasn't a pollster. 34:00And, uh, polling wasn't, uh, then what it is today. But, uh, ask a few intimate friends if they would, uh, go through the district and, uh, find people that, uh, would, uh, support a candidate, would be the fifth candidate. And, uh, they came up with ninety names of strong people in their counties--in their district, I mean. And, uh, uh, politics was, uh, a little different then. There were more people, uh, in counties then that had, uh, uh, I would say, uh, greater influence maybe than they have today. 35:00As, uh, I've expressed to you on other occasions, the media has, uh, uh, made it possible for people to win contests in areas where the leadership was against them.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Uh, but at that day and time, the leadership had a great deal to do with, uh, in the respective counties of, uh, how that county would go. And, uh, I did call Carl Perkins. He was the attorney at the Highway Department. And, uh, I asked him if, uh, he was interested in, uh, in a chance for Congress or going to Congress. And, uh, he expressed, uh, a desire that he'd like to go to Congress but there was no way he could go to Congress. And, uh, I handed him this list of ninety people. And, uh, 36:00I said, uh, "What if, uh, most of those people, uh, told you they would support you? Would you--do you think you could be elected?" He read the list over. Carl knew the district well. He'd been county attorney of Knott County. And he--father had been in the legislature. And there was, uh, politics in his blood.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, he said, "If those ninety people were for anybody he could be elected." (Hammack laughs) And, uh, I said, "Well, I don't know that the ninety would be for you. But I'll tell you what, uh, I would do if I were you. I would, uh, if you want to run, I would, uh, take a leave of absence from the Highway Department. And I would go up and I'd see these ninety people, or as many 37:00of them as you can see in, uh, the limited time you have." Uh, see, they were--four people were all out campaigning.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, he said, uh, "Well, uh, uh, what if they ask me about your position?" I said, uh, "One thing don't do, and that is don't go up there as the governor's candidate. Go up there as a young man from Knott County that wants to go to Congress. And, uh, uh, I think you know your territory. You know the people of that district. You know them well enough that you know every one of these ninety people that's on that list. That's, uh, proof to me that you understand that, uh, your district." And, uh, he, 38:00uh, said, "Well, what if they ask me if, uh, the governor's for you?" I said, "If they do, I would just say to them, 'Well, if he wouldn't be for me, I wouldn't run.'

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But you'll hurt yourself if you go up there as the governor's candidate. Because I don't vote in that district." And, uh, they would be offended. And, uh, he, uh, left there that day. And he's, uh, he's proven since he has been in Congress that he is probably the hardest worker that I've ever seen hold a congressional seat from our state. He, um, 39:00he's back in that district. Uh,I doubt if, uh, two weeks goes by, I doubt if, uh, I imagine there's very few times, uh, since he's been there since 1949, when he was sworn in in '49, that he's not in his district. Never a month goes by that he isn't in it. And, uh, as proof of the fact how he can cover territory, he was back in, uh, about ten days after he set out to see these, uh, list--this list of people. He came back and he had seen all but four or five of them. One was in Florida. One was somewhere else. And he, uh, he came back. And, uh, asked him what kind of reception he got. He said, "Every one of them tells me that they'd be for me that I saw." Well, I said, uh, "Do you want 40:00to run? Are you going to run?" And, uh, he said, "Yes, I want to go up, uh, home and get somebody to sign my papers." I said, "If I were you I would not go up home and get some political figure to sign your papers. Uh, I'd just get me, uh, two, three people. You know, you mountain people down here. You've, uh, got a lot of fine people here in government. Got one here in the office keeps the governor's journal." And, uh, I said, uh, "She's got one of the most influential names I know of in the district. Her name is Pearl Runyon."

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: "And, uh, get you, uh, three or four of these people here and, uh, go on about your race. Uh, Mr. 41:00Withers has given you a leave of absence." And, uh, I never did see him after that until after the primary.

HAMMACK: Well, where did you first come to know Carl Perkins? And how did--why did you choose him as the candidate to run in that district?

CLEMENTS: Well, one of the reasons: I thought he would make a good congressman. The other reason: I thought he could win.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: I thought that, uh, the majority of these people that had been, uh, interviewed, talked to. And, uh, many of those people resented the fact that, uh, they'd all been strong for me when I was a candidate for governor. And, uh, I carried 42:00that district by a quite considerable majority.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And they were offended some that, uh, there are two of the candidates were attacking me in, uh--

HAMMACK: So early in your administration.

CLEMENTS: That's right. That's, uh, correct. And they were very practical people politically. And, uh, it was easy for--I won't say it was easy for Carl to do it. But, uh, he was a salable product.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And he sold himself. And, uh, if my memory serves me correctly he got more votes than the first two behind him, or the last three. Well, he didn't get as many votes as all four of them got.

HAMMACK: Yeah.

CLEMENTS: But he won by a very, very sizable majority.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I think his record in Congress from 1949 to now, and the seventy thousand majority that he got down there 43:00over his opponent--(both laugh)--in this election this fall, is proof of the fact that, uh, the people of his district are highly satisfied with him at a time that, uh, older members or members of long tenure, uh, have much opposition within their districts.

HAMMACK: Had you known him well personally at that time or just--or primarily through his family?

CLEMENTS: I met him, uh, during my campaign.

HAMMACK: Did you?

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I, I was with Jack Howard at Prestonsburg when I met Carl Perkins. And, uh, uh, Jack Howard was a, uh--I knew from football days at the University of Kentucky.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, Jack was originally from Morgan County but he, 44:00uh, opened, uh, hung out his, uh, legal shingle in Prestonsburg. And, uh, sad to say that, uh, Jack passed away a few years ago. But, uh, Jack was very much for me from the standpoint in, uh, in, uh, my campaign for governor. He'd, uh, based, I'm satisfied, on old friendships that, uh, have been created when you were young.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: Like, uh, Tom Underwood, who managed my campaign, uh, that year. That was the same old friendship that, uh, from the university. And, uh, uh, Jack told me that, uh, said, "I want you to meet this fellow that's coming up the street." We were standing there by an iron fence. And, uh, he said, "He's the county attorney of Knott County." He said, "I'm 45:00afraid that he might be on the other side." But said, uh, "I want you to talk to him."

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, said, "We have some business relationship. Legal relationship." And, uh, so we talked for a while and, uh, I asked him if, uh, I couldn't come over to Knott County and see him sometime. And he said yes, and we set a date, and I was there. And, uh, on that occasion he agreed to manage my campaign in his home county.

HAMMACK: I see.

CLEMENTS: And it, uh, brought about a separation between Carl and, uh, the, uh, superintendent of, uh, schools of, uh, of Knott County but--

HAMMACK: A very important official as I understand in those mountain counties. Is that correct?

46:00

CLEMENTS: The what?

HAMMACK: The superintendent of schools particularly in those mountain counties is not--

CLEMENTS: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. And, uh, Beckham Combs was, uh, superintendent, and a very fine person, but he was, uh, committed the other way.

HAMMACK: Yeah.

CLEMENTS: And he thought Carl was committed too, and it, uh, brought about a temporary breach between them.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But, uh, the, uh-- They're friends today.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: You know, you can heal these breaches if, uh, you have compassion and reasonableness. Uh, and Beckham has, uh, been very much for him. Carl has been for Beckham.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But, uh, the--at that moment, you know, the fever was a little high. And, uh, Beckham and myself are good friends.

HAMMACK: Uh, it's after the campaign then Perkins came to Frankfort 47:00as an attorney for the Highway Department, I believe you said.

CLEMENTS: Yes. I asked him, uh, after the, uh, election--after, after the general election, I asked him if he'd be interested in, uh, coming to Frankfort. And, uh, uh, Carl, uh, said that, uh, asked me what was open. And I said, "Well, uh, the highway commissioner is a fine lawyer. You're a lot younger than he is." The highway commissioner was Garrett Withers.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I said, "He's a fine lawyer and you might learn some law from him." (both laugh) And he said he would, uh, resign. And of course, uh, in his, uh--he did resign. And he came to the Highway Department as, uh, counsel 48:00to the Highway Department. And of course, he only remained as, uh, counsel at the Highway Department until, uh, until he started in that campaign. And he was then on a leave of absence until, uh-- I don't know whether Carl, uh, uh, was, uh-- I don't know whether he resigned that assignment immediately after the primary. Could have been after the primary or after the general election. I--

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: Uh, I would, uh, if, uh--I'm taking this on, uh, on judgment rather than on memory.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Uh, I think he re-, resigned after the primary.

49:00

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: But that's, uh--

HAMMACK: Probably.

CLEMENTS: --that's not an important thing. He didn't draw any pay out of the Highway Department anyway.

HAMMACK: Uh-huh.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I've, uh, I've been very proud of, uh, to have had the privilege to be associated with Carl. Carl has, uh-- He's made a, he's made an enviable record in the Congress. He's, uh, he took over that, uh, committee as chairman, chairman on, uh, education and labor. And, uh, he followed, uh, uh, a chairman who was a--disrupted that committee, Adam Clayton Powell. And, uh--(clears throat)--the, uh, fact that, uh, Powell was from New York and Carl--some people, you know, call Kentucky a Southern state, and 50:00some people call it a Northern state, because they took no position officially in the War Between the States, but I always thought it was a border state, and that's what I classify it in today, as a border state. And, uh, they were--state was so divided, according to my understanding of, uh, history of Kentucky, uh, even families were divided.

HAMMACK: Yes.

CLEMENTS: Some members of the family going south, and some of the members of the family going north. And, uh, of course most of the people that went south were not from the mountain section. They were from, uh, where the farms were larger and where there were slaves. And, uh, that was not true in the mountains because there weren't any big farms.

HAMMACK: Right. Well, from the western end of the state, that was more solidly Southern in sentiment than the midsection.

51:00

CLEMENTS: I would say that, uh, there were more slaves in central Kentucky than there were in West Kentucky, because West Kentucky wasn't developed agriculturally to the point that it is today.

HAMMACK: No, far more slaves in central Kentucky but--

CLEMENTS: There were more, there were more--

HAMMACK: But central Kentucky had a stronger tradition of unionism, and a stronger relationship with the northwestern states, than western Kentucky did, uh--

CLEMENTS: Well, uh, you had, uh, there was never any trouble if, uh, what I understand about the history, for John Hunt Morgan to find plenty of places to stay in central Kentucky.

HAMMACK: That's quite true.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, you find, uh-- I remember dedicating a bridge as governor over in Harrison County, and it is the John Hunt Morgan Bridge. (both laugh) And, uh, evidently he had a home 52:00he could go to anytime, to central Kentucky.

HAMMACK: Certainly. And he was from Lexington himself.

CLEMENTS: And I've never--what's that?

HAMMACK: He was from Lexington himself.

CLEMENTS: Yeah he was--he dealt with, uh, his interests in central Kentucky. And it, uh, you had, uh, you had a tremendous number of, uh, Confederate sympathizers in central Kentucky.

HAMMACK: Yes, certainly.

CLEMENTS: And the, that's where the majority of the slaves were.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir. And, uh, there were a few large farms in the Pennyrile District, too, but not nearly as many as in central Kentucky.

CLEMENTS: That's correct.

HAMMACK: You were talking earlier--(clears throat)--to go back to a subject we'd begun with earlier--you were talking about your excellent working relationship with the legislature during your tenure as governor. And my--I'm wondering if you attribute that primarily to your usual practice of informing legislators of 53:00bills that are coming up before they're, they come up. And your, uh, attempt to reconcile some of the opposition for votes being upheld(??).

CLEMENTS: Well, you endeavor to do that. And had I not been in the State Senate, that probably wouldn't have been, uh, uh--without that experience I seriously doubt that that would have been the procedure that I might have followed.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Uh--

HAMMACK: But is my impression correct that this approach to getting legislation passed--that is, trying to inform interested persons, whether pro or con, beforehand, trying to iron out differences and so on--this became the standard approach that you used in Congress as well as as governor? Is that --

CLEMENTS: Oh yes. I--you go back to another controversial question. 54:00 Uh, the increase in the gasoline tax--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --that took place at, uh, in, uh, 1948. Uh, I told you before of my great interest, uh, in roads.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, if I had not served as county judge and just been a merchant in some town I probably wouldn't have had, uh, the same, uh, understanding of, uh, the importance of roads. And I think I told you that I guess I acquired some of that at my father's knee.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: He'd been a road supervisor in our county. And, uh, later county judge. And, uh, I wanted to-- And under WPA [Works Progress Administration] when I was county judge we built approximately 160 miles of roads. And, uh, good roads. Better 55:00alignment than, uh, some of the state roads in our county today.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, the, uh-- I had traveled the state in 1935. And I traveled the state in 1947. And, uh, you just saw so many areas of the state where even the rural roads, uh, the person living three or four miles from town, with the produce they had, they couldn't get into town, uh, in a considerable portion of the year to dispose of it. And, uh, I had acquired the viewpoint that it was as important 56:00to the merchant in the town as it was to the person who wanted to get to his town--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --that you have a, a rural road program. And, uh, in this bill that, uh, was offered, the, uh, the two-cent tax could only be used on rural roads. Uh, they would have to change the law to use any--use a penny of that money for any other purpose except rural roads. And it is still in the law.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, getting back to, uh, what I told you about, uh, the groups that I thought would be--have objections to the, uh, the increase in tax. I thought the people who would squeal the loudest would be the oil companies themselves. And, uh, 57:00I didn't call in a meeting. I, uh, got to one of their representatives, uh, who was a distributor in Frankfort that, uh, distributor for Standard Oil of Kentucky--uh, Martin Smith, whom I'd served with in the State Senate--uh, not, uh, directly but, uh, through a friend, a mutual friend of his and mine that, uh, this governor was, uh, giving some thought about increasing the tax on gasoline. Martin came-- The same day he found, uh, he was told that by a mutual friend, why, he came to the governor's office and a-huffing and a-puffing, and, uh, asked me if there's anything to this. 58:00I said, "Well, there's, uh, thought being given to it, yes." I said, "There have been, uh, three people that have explored, uh, in other states a rural road program."

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And it, uh, I recall two of the states that, uh, were involved. One was Virginia and the other one was, was North Carolina. And, uh, among those people was, uh, Brady Stewart, who was then the county judge of, uh, McCracken County, who was a very able one and who later, as you recall, uh, served many years on the Court of Appeals.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: As, uh--and I believe at one time he was chief justice. Was he not?

HAMMACK: I think that's right.

CLEMENTS: Think so. And, uh, I had a very enjoyable time with him the other night, uh, down at, uh, Frankfort when 59:00the governor so generously gave that, uh, that party for me on my time I became an octogenarian. (Hammack laughs) Uh, and the other one was Carl Perkins, attorney of the Highway Department.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: They were from two extremes of the state. And, uh, they came back with a plan. And, uh, Mr. Withers and myself discussed it. Uh, and, uh, we liked it. And, uh, then one other thing we put in there, that it couldn't be used by the Highway Department for any other purpose except for rural roads.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, they, uh--the rural road program was, uh, actually passed, uh, I guess in 1938. Could have been in '36, 60:00but I think it was passed in 1938. Uh, but, uh, there was very little done with it. It, uh, probably was used a little more in the contest between Chandler and Barkley for the Senate than for any other purpose, because WPA was alive and, uh, WPA was building roads where there was any leadership given to it in the respective counties. And, uh, uh, my discussion with, uh, Martin Smith was a very friendly one. I told him, uh, what had gone on and, uh, what we were thinking about. He asked me if any bill had been drawn and I said, "No it has not." And, uh, he said, "Would you, 61:00uh, would you talk to the, uh, the oil people in the state?" I said, "Yes, there's a number of oil companies represented here in the state. Gulf is in the state. Uh, Ashland is in the state. Standard Oil of Indiana is in the state." Started to naming them, you know. I said, uh, "Certainly." And he said, "Could I make arrangements, uh, for a time?" I said, "Yes, but you'll just, uh--they'll tell me when they want to talk about it. Why, I'll be glad to talk to them." So I don't know. It was a very short time after that. Why, he, uh, he and, uh, the representatives of the oil companies, uh, save and except Ashland--Ashland did not attend--and, uh, they, uh--we had a long lengthy and, uh-- 62:00There wasn't any fire on my side. Uh, but there was a good deal of fire on the other side. And, uh, they went back to the sales tax days and, uh, told me how badly it would, uh, cripple them. And, uh, we were a state that had a tremendous number of states, uh, bordering us.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: We were an interior state. And, uh, uh, they asked me if the bill had been drawn. And I said, "No it has not." Said, "What's your view?" I said, "I'm for better roads." And, uh, but, uh, the president of the Stoll Oil Company probably was, uh, uh, the most forceful speaker in the lot and--

HAMMACK: I'm sorry. What oil company?

CLEMENTS: Stoll, S-t-o-l-l. It was a state, uh, operation.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, he was, uh, probably-- He expressed, uh, 63:00more vehemently his opposition to it than any other. But there wasn't anybody that, uh, was supporting it.

HAMMACK: Who was this? Do you recall who he was?

CLEMENTS: Yeah. Mr. Stoll.

HAMMACK: Oh--(laughs)--he was Stoll.

CLEMENTS: Yeah. And, uh, they, uh, but, uh, they didn't leave there with any great enthusiasm for, uh, my view on the need for--that you couldn't build roads without money and, uh, that, uh, they left there with the firm belief that I was going to be for a two-cent rise on--increase in taxes. And, uh, which, 64:00uh, I thought was--I thought they were entitled to that meeting. And that's, uh--but instead of me calling the meeting, uh, I preferred that, uh, they would ask for the opportunity to it. I wanted them to know. I didn't want them to think for a minute, they were--some of those people that I knew very well. And, uh, I expect some of them were for me when I was a candidate for governor. As was, uh, the, uh, and, uh, but, uh-- The opportunity that, uh, they had to express themselves, I thought they, I thought they ought to have. And, uh, then I wanted the opportunity to talk to them about roads, too.

HAMMACK: I see.

CLEMENTS: And my argument to them was that, uh, if we had a good road in every county today, you'd have a lot more business, because every time we build a road, more people are 65:00going to burn gasoline.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But of course they went on the basis that, uh, going back to the sales tax--that, uh, states that border us that don't have a sales tax, why, our people will go over there and buy items. And the people that have gasoline stations at, uh, particularly in northern Kentucky, and then they'd go to Henderson and Evansville, and they'd, uh, go to the, uh, places, uh, that bordered Tennessee and West Virginia and that, uh, our tax then was five cents. And they told me what their losses would be. And there wasn't any doubt in my mind, uh, that, uh, on the border there would be some loss.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But the border is not the big part of the state.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Uh, but I thought it would be temporary, and so 66:00told them that I thought it would be temporary. And, uh, I think it's temporary today and we have a nine-cent tax. And, uh, the, uh, you know to--a person who--well, I'll take Covington and Cincinnati--a person who works in Cincinnati but lives over on the Kentucky side, I could understand that, uh, he might, uh, buy gasoline over there that he could buy cheaper than Kentucky. Uh, but, uh, it never lasted long.

HAMMACK: Hmm.

CLEMENTS: The record shows that it didn't last long. And, uh, the opposition to it, uh, I would say was, uh, limited, for the simple reason that they knew where that money was going 67:00to be spent. And they knew that where that money was going to be spent there was great need for money to be spent on a rural road. Uh, I think the, I think the public is, uh--they might be a little slow to make that, uh, the judgment of what's in their best interest, but I think the public will always, uh, reach a final determination of, uh--even though they might be opposed to something to start with, some, uh, new type of legislation, uh, they--in the end, if it's well spent, and it, uh, improves communities, I think they'll always be for it.

HAMMACK: In terms of --

CLEMENTS: And there's, and there's never been a, there's never been a bill that's been offered in the legislature since that time to 68:00repeal it.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And there's never been a bill offered in the Senate to decrease the tax that was, uh, put on during the Ford administration when it became absolutely essential that they, that they have, uh, more money to pay for the bonds that are out, uh, that involve the interstate highways and other things that the Highway Department is obligated for.

[break in recording]

HAMMACK: Senator Clements, we were discussing when we stopped the tape for a few moments and took a break your experience as governor and particularly in reference to the methods that you used securing legislation as governor. Did your experiences as governor, uh, benefit you when you went to the House? Uh, did you continue to operate on a similar basis?

69:00

CLEMENTS: Well, Jim, I went to the House before I was governor.

HAMMACK: Oh, I'm sorry. (laughs)

CLEMENTS: Uh, I would, uh, we did get into the, uh, activities that, uh, I had, uh, been through in the, the governor's office with reference to legislative--particular foundation legislation was passed.

HAMMACK: Right.

CLEMENTS: But I came from, uh, the State Senate to the House. And, uh, those, uh--two sessions of the legislature, 1942 and 1944. The first one was when Keen Johnson was governor, and the second one when, uh, the 1944 session was when Governor Willis was governor. I would say that, uh, my experience in, uh, 70:00uh, those two sessions of the State Legislature or the State Senate, uh, was of, uh, considerable value to me when I came to the House. First thing, uh, I knew how important it was for committee assignments--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --because in, uh, 1942 I drew very weak committee assignments. And in 1944, why, uh, we had a Republican governor and a Republican lieutenant governor. And in our state, why, the, the uh-- At that time--and I do not know whether there's been any change in the law since then or not, but--or change in the legislative procedure or not--but in 1942 the, uh, the lieutenant governor 71:00named the committee assignments, and he also referred the bills to committees. And, uh, since, uh, when I was named majority leader in 1944, uh, and I was named majority leader after the--that caucus named me as majority leader, and the previous majority leader as president pro tempore of the Senate, why, uh, I took the position that, uh, since we had a majority of the House--the Democrats had a majority of the House and the Democrats had a majority of the Senate, that, uh, we were going to shoulder the responsibility of, uh, what 72:00took place in the legislature.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And to do that, why, uh, you were going to have to change the rules of the Senate. And, uh, there was some discussion, uh, within the caucus maybe that that would be considered ripper legislation. And, uh, my argument to them was that, uh, the responsibility ought to rest with the majority rather than the minority. And, uh, they finally accepted that. The caucus accepted it. Asked me about the rules. I said, "I already have them here. And they, uh--I'll go over them with you. The, uh, most of you had said that you were going 73:00to name me to the position of majority leader." And, uh, I went to work with, uh, two of the most knowledgeable people in the state on, uh, parliamentary matters who were far more skilled than I was. And, uh--

HAMMACK: Who was that?

CLEMENTS: One of them was a former speaker of the House. The other was a former lieutenant governor. The lieutenant governor was, uh, was Rodes Myers. And the, uh, uh, the other was a lawyer from Louisville, although he was, uh, from Simpson County and was practicing law at that time in Louisville. His name just slips me at the moment.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: Uh, I think his son is practicing law in Louisville today. And, uh, we closeted ourselves for a couple of days 74:00because, uh, when you made one change, it affected a lot of sections through the rules. Through the Robert's.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: We were operating under Robert's Rules of Order, and, of course, then the rules of the Senate that, uh, had been standard.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, it had been done once before in the history of the legislature during my lifetime, and, uh, they, uh, uh, when there was cleavage within the Democratic Party. But, uh, we were in the majority. We had twenty-two members. Uh, we had twenty-three but one of them was in the South Pacific in, uh, the Senate. And, uh, the Republicans had fifteen. And I knew that the lieutenant governor had already been promising committee assignments to several members of the Senate because they had told me so.

75:00

HAMMACK: Right. Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, Harry Lee Waterfield was the speaker of the House. And the majority there was--I don't know whether it was fifty-six/forty-four or fifty-four/forty-six--(clears throat)--ut, uh, to me if you were going to have the--if you were going to shoulder the responsibility you ought to shoulder it all, if you had the majority. And, uh, they finally accepted that. And, uh, there were a few that, uh, questioned the wisdom of it on account of being criticized in the press. And I asked them if they wouldn't at that time let me be the only speaker on the question of the rules.

HAMMACK: Uh-huh.

CLEMENTS: That, uh, it was my idea, and, uh, I ought to take the punishment for it.

HAMMACK: So you answered these objections by, in fact, saying you would draw the criticism upon yourself if it was criticized.

76:00

CLEMENTS: That's right. That is correct. And I was the only speaker. And, uh, I explained the rules. And of course the--at fifteen votes, the Republicans against it. But you got twenty-two votes from the Republicans--Democrats who were there. Uh, favored it. And it became the rules. And the rules really did this: it said the appointments to the committee would be made by a committee. The committee would be composed of the lieutenant governor, the president pro tempore of the Senate, and by the majority leader. Well, of course, uh--

HAMMACK: Hmm.

CLEMENTS: --the lieutenant governor never would attend our meetings.

HAMMACK: Uh-huh.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, it was a shock to him. He was a fraternity brother of mine. That's Governor Tuggle--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --who just lately retired from the Interstate Commerce Commission. 77:00And, uh, although he was, uh, from Barbourville, I think he, uh, is now making his home in Louisville. And, uh, we, uh-- We had a very close-knit organization. As, uh, Howard Henderson wrote an article one time, uh, at the conclusion of that session. He was a political reporter for the Courier-Journal and stationed in Frankfort. He said, uh, there never was a Democratic vote lost in the Senate during that session. And he doubted that, that that ever happened in any other time in the history of Kentucky. He didn't know whether it ever happened in any state where political parties were divided. But, uh, out of that, uh, the 78:00committees were named in consultation with Republican membership. The, uh, the Republican leader at that time was Ray Moss. And his assistant was, uh, Ira See from Louisa. Senator Moss was, uh, from Pineville, where he lives today.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, the, uh-- We kept a lot of, uh, bad legislation from, uh, being debated on the floor because it didn't get out of the committees. We passed legislation that was more favorable to the governor than the governor really wanted. A good example, uh, Jim, was the budget. Uh, if we had passed his budget, there were a lot of schools in our state 79:00would have closed at the end of seven months. Some would have closed--

HAMMACK: For lack of funds? For lack of funds?

CLEMENTS: Yes, yes. We raised the educational fund. We raised--a, uh, a goodly number of, uh, items in the budget that he presented--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --were raised. Uh, actually we wrote the final budget that became the law. And it took a special session of the legislature to do it. Because they beat that budget in the House by--we only got fifty votes on it in the House. And, uh, and, uh, it came back to a special session. And it was, uh, ultimately passed in, uh, in, uh, practically the same form except one item. Superintendent of public instruction, uh, 80:00uh, asked that, uh, he wouldn't be given, um, I believe fifteen thousand dollars of additional money that, uh, most of the, uh, people that were in the Department of Education were Democrats. And, uh, many of them he actually needed, and needed badly.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: Uh, that, uh, he would, uh, he wouldn't have any standing within his own party if he didn't have somebody in positions of leadership in his own party. And we added that fifteen-thousand-dollar item as the only difference between the budget that got fifty votes and the budget that, uh, got nearly a unanimous decision.

81:00

HAMMACK: That was Williams, was it not?

CLEMENTS: John Fred Williams, yes. And John Fred Williams, uh, is a--you want to know my first experience with John Fred?

HAMMACK: Yes.

CLEMENTS: When we came back for the special session, uh, I met John Fred, whom I did not know. And of course I think he probably--uh, it was his contribution that was made to Governor Willis's campaign that probably was the difference between, uh, the governor winning or losing. And, uh--

HAMMACK: He was at Paintsville, is that correct?

CLEMENTS: He's from Paintsville in Johnson County. And his home today is, uh, in Ashland.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: He's personnel director for many years of the Ashland Oil Company.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, he's retired from Ashland now. I hear from him once in a while. Some by letter, and some by messenger. (Hammack laughs) Uh, he has a nephew that's here in 82:00town with Ashland Oil Company here in Washington, with Ashland Oil Company now.

HAMMACK: Hmm.

CLEMENTS: They--on the steps I said, uh, "Mr. Williams, you're the superintendent of public instruction. And you have twelve votes in the Senate--I mean in the House."

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: "And, uh, you--if you retain the same position that you, uh, have retained up to now, uh, on this budget, you're going to have a Keen Johnson budget." The Keen Johnson budget was smaller than the budget that we had offered. And particularly in education and, uh, in some agricultural matters and some other important things 83:00that, uh, our collective group of twenty-two thought--and that, uh, Harry Lee and his close, uh, people he worked with closely, uh, thought. And, uh, I said, "Now if that's what you want, that's what you're going to get."

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, out of that discussion, why, we had a meeting. And we had a meeting that, uh, Senator Moore attended, uh, Mr. Williams attended, and, uh, Ray Moss attended. And, uh, we--in that, uh, discussion, of course Mr. Williams wanted a lot more than, uh, than we were willing to give. Uh, but, uh, he agreed to the fact that if, uh, approximately fifteen thousand dollars 84:00was put in his budget he could, uh, he couldn't pay anybody else fifty, uh, five thousand dollars, but he could pay them close to the five thousand dollars. And he could bring three Republicans into the department.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Which would, uh, maintain his, uh, stature and standing within his party.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, we submitted that, uh, bill, submitted that, uh, budget in the Senate first--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --as they had the other one that had been defeated, uh, by the lack of one vote.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, so it was, uh, passed in the Senate by a--I don't have the records before me. But, uh, any number of the members of the Senate, uh, voted for it, uh, because they had known that the agreement had been reached with the, 85:00uh, superintendent of public instruction.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, the bill was passed by an overwhelming majority in both bodies. And, uh, that was, uh-- There were experiences that, uh, were meaningful to me when I came to the House. It's one thing to read something in a book, and it's another thing to have participated in it. And when I came to the House, uh, being from an agricultural district, why, I wanted to get on the Committee on Agriculture.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, the--it, uh, turned out that, uh, Fred Vinson advised me about going to see the speaker and going to see the majority leader--and of course, uh, having been a majority leader in 86:00a legislative body, why, I knew that they had great influence on who were named to committees. And I did. And, uh, I came back to Fred and, uh, I told him--I said, uh, "I got, uh, a very courteous reception from, uh, Speaker Rayburn. And I got a very courteous reception from Majority Leader John McCormack. And both of whom I've admired at a distance. But, uh, if you ask me if, uh, I got any commitment out of them, I would have to tell you, Fred, no. And I don't think they intend to put me on the Committee on Agriculture."

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And he said, "Well, they probably will." And, uh, so it's when I first met Clint Anderson. Clint Anderson was 87:00in the House on the Ways and Means Committee. Ways and Means Committee made the selection of committee members at that time in the House--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --and have for years until this last session of the Congress. And, uh, Clint Anderson was a person who was, uh, raised in, uh, South Dakota on a farm. He was in the University of Michigan when he applied for membership, uh, to first officers' training camp in the First World War. And, uh, they found that he had, uh, tuberculosis.

HAMMACK: Hmm.

CLEMENTS: So the, uh, theory then was that you need to go to a dry climate.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, some went to Colorado and some went to 88:00other places. But he went to New Mexico.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And New Mexico became his home. And, uh, New Mexico was the place that he, uh, was the place of his abode, uh, while he was in Congress. And he has spent, uh, all of his days, uh, since the time he went out there and, and made New Mexico his home. And, uh, in the course of his and my discussion, I told him what, uh, I wanted. First question he asked me, he said, "Well, uh, you know you'd have to be nominated by the person who--on the Ways and Means Committee that--who has the territory carved out." And he said, "Well, uh, do you know your, your congressman?" I said, "Yes, I know Noble Gregory and have talked to him about 89:00it." He said, "Will he nominate you?" And I said, "Yes he'll nominate me." Well, he said, "You know, uh, I've a fellow that, uh, wants to get on that committee and I think ought to go on." And, uh, he said, uh, "I don't think the leadership is going to be for you or him, neither one." And, uh, that led to a discussion then with another member on that committee, with, uh--by Mr. Anderson. And, uh--

HAMMACK: Was Anderson on the committee himself?

CLEMENTS: No, he was on the Ways and Means Committee.

HAMMACK: Oh, Ways and Means Committee.

CLEMENTS: The selection committee.

HAMMACK: I see.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, he, uh, had a conversation with Congressman Lynch from New York, who was also on the committee.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, they invited me to come to a meeting with them. And, uh, really those two congressmen, uh, really were--along 90:00with, uh, Noble Gregory--were responsible for Noble nominating me and those two doing the organizing. And, uh, when the committee met, they didn't name any of the three members that, uh, had been, uh, submitted by the speaker--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --or by the majority leader. They named, uh, the three that, uh, Clint Anderson and Walter Lynch and others that they got on the committee. And, uh, that's the way I got on the Committee on Agriculture.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And it, uh, started a friendship with, uh, Clint Anderson and myself that, uh, extended not only in the time that I served with him in the House, and the time that I served with him in the Senate, the time that he was the cabinet 91:00officer and, uh, he was the secretary of agriculture later.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, that, uh, friendship, uh, has lasted throughout our time. And, uh, naturally you can understand that I was, uh, felt a closeness and a debt of appreciation. But I never would have gone through all of the things that I went through if I hadn't been in the, in the State Senate of Kentucky to get that committee assignment. It was a committee assignment that meant more to me and the district I was representing than any other committee assignment, as I thought.

HAMMACK: And what you're saying is as a result of having been in the State Senate that you knew how these assignments were made, and therefore who to talk to and this kind of thing.

CLEMENTS: That is right.

HAMMACK: Let me turn this tape over.

[break in recording]

92:00

HAMMACK: Yes, sir. I've got it running again. Were you going to say something or--

CLEMENTS: Well, I was, uh, just going to say that, uh, it gets back to what I told you in, uh, earlier today: that, uh, experience that you have in, uh, one office, uh, a lot of times would be the cause of the position you would take and, uh, the method you would use--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --uh, to endeavor to get what you wanted, uh, with reference to committee assignments, with reference to the legislation that, uh, you would support. And, uh, the, uh, people that, uh, you recognized 93:00as that you could have a good relationship with on a totally proper, honorable relationship, whether social or legislative.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, Clint Anderson, uh, was a good example. Walter Lynch was a good example. He and I were warm friends. Uh, uh, and long as, uh, he and I were in the House together--I guess Walter Lynch would have served, uh, much longer, but, uh, his party insisted that he come back to New York and run for governor when, uh, Tom Dewey beat him.

HAMMACK: Uh-huh. Uh, and your friendship with Lynch also began with your contact with him seeking appointment to the Agriculture Committee?

94:00

CLEMENTS: Yes. Uh, really, uh, uh, it was Clint Anderson, uh, had the relationship with Walter Lynch.

HAMMACK: I see.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, after we had, uh, the three of us sat down together, why, uh, he was an older member on the committee. Been there longer. And, uh, he, uh-- Clint influenced Walter Lynch. But the fact that I was Kentucky--from Kentucky and, uh, Walter Lynch, uh, represented, uh, areas of New York that were interested in one of the great products. It's, uh, one of the products that, uh, is distributed--uh, it's made from corn and, uh--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --and, uh, he was very close to whiskey interests in New York. And, uh, maybe that's one of the reasons that, uh, on account of the tax question that, uh, he was on 95:00the Ways and Means Committee, uh, because they deal with taxation on the Ways and Means Committee.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, we became, uh, warm friends. Uh, but, uh, you, uh, you make those kind of friendships and, uh, or you don't make them.

HAMMACK: Yeah. But you had a special interest in being on the Agriculture Committee. Did you also have a special interest in other committee assignments?

CLEMENTS: No, sir. That was, uh--you couldn't be on but one major committee.

HAMMACK: I see. Uh, and--but you were on other committees, though not, not major committees.

CLEMENTS: I was, uh, in the next session. You see in, uh, that session of the-- In the 1946 election, uh, 96:00the Republicans had a sharp gain.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I was, uh, down close to the bottom of the totem pole. And, uh, the two lower members on the Agriculture Committee, uh, were knocked off by the change in ratio. Then I was on the Post Office Committee. And I served on that, uh, committee for a very short time, because, uh, soon after that I was a candidate for governor.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir. When you went to the Senate then--you were again interested in being on the Agriculture Committee in the Senate, were you not?

CLEMENTS: Yes, I was. I was interested. And, uh, there wasn't any vacancy.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, so I--there's only--there's two committees that I wanted to serve on in the Senate. And, uh, one of them 97:00was, uh, agriculture, and the other was appropriations. I was, uh, interested in the development of the waterways. I was, uh, interested in agriculture more than any other two committees. And, uh, so I'd, uh, I came in, uh, for the short term and the six-year term. And, uh, uh, Dr. Graham that, uh, uh, had been in the Senate--Dr. Graham from North Carolina--and he was there for a short term like Garrett Withers was-- Of course a person who's there for a short term, he ceases to be a member 98:00of the Senate after the election--where he's been, uh, named by appointment.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Uh, he ceases to be a member on the day that the other party, uh, has been elected.

HAMMACK: I see.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, so when, uh--it was a very short session. I think I was sworn in on the twenty-seventh of, uh, November.

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

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I picked up the Record one day and, uh, nobody'd said anything to me about committee assignments. I didn't think there'd be any committee assignments made, you know, for the very short time. And, uh, I was still interested in agriculture.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And I picked up the Record, and I noticed where Willis Smith and myself--he was from North Carolina succeeding Dr. Graham and been elected for the, uh, remainder of the term. And he and I had, uh, been placed on the same two committees that Dr. Graham, who was a lawyer, and Garrett Withers, who was a 99:00lawyer, had served on. And, uh, here we were their successors. And, uh, they'd, uh, looked in the record and saw where I was a judge.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, so they named us to the two committees that, uh, that, uh, Dr. Graham and, uh, Garrett Withers had served on. And that was judiciary--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --and rules.

HAMMACK: Yeah.

CLEMENTS: And of course I knew I wasn't going to serve on the Judiciary Committee. But I knew January would come and assignments would be made at that time. And, uh, so-- Interesting little thing, Jim, if I haven't told you--If I have, you ought to stop me: but, uh, I never told Pat McCarran, 100:00who was chairman of the Judiciary Committee, that, uh, when he assigned to me some private bills--and of course back in the early days of the legislative session, why, you had private bills assigned to committees, and, uh, they, uh, they were not, uh, too controversial. You had a staff member, you know, to discuss them with. And, I don't know, a few private bills--I don't remember what they were but they were minor matters. And, uh, uh, when Pat McCarran, uh, came to me in, uh, January, he said, uh--Pat McCarran was a person--he was my senior in years, and also in service--he said, uh, "I'm awful glad that we're going to save you on the 101:00Judiciary Committee but we're not going to save, uh, Willis Smith." And I said, uh, uh, "Pat." I'm not--he was a person that was easy to call by his first name, although you'd known him for a very short time. You just knew of him when you were in the House.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: I said, "Pat, uh, you're going to save Willis Smith." But I said, "I'm not a lawyer." He said, "You're not a lawyer? (Hammack laughs) You were a judge." And I said, "Well, Pat, you know it--uh, in our state it's one of the states like Missouri that you don't have to be a lawyer to be a judge. You don't have to have any more qualifications than you do to be a member of the Supreme Court 102:00of the United States." (Hammack laughs) And, uh, I guess what prompted me to make that is, uh, there's nothing in the Constitution that says a member of the Supreme Court has to be a lawyer. And that in addition to that I knew that, uh, there was a great feud between some members of the Supreme Court and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. I'd heard him express himself.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, he said, "Well, did you know that can't anybody take you off that committee but yourself? Or the majority of the Senate?" Said, "Maybe it would do--maybe it'd do us good to have a layman on the court." I said, "You mean to tell me that, uh, you think it'd be all right for me to stay on your committee? And to see bumped off of it the immediate past president of the American Bar Association?" (Hammack laughs) And that's what Willis Smith was. And, uh, anyway 103:00the, uh--we had, uh, lost some, uh, membership, and, uh--which changed the ratio of the committees. And, uh, then, uh, there was no vacancy on agriculture. And of course, uh, back at that time, why, nobody got on the Appropriations Committee the first year they were in either body, the House or the Senate. And, uh, it mattered, uh, very little to me which, uh, committee I served on. I switched from one committee to another, uh, to suit the, uh, situation where somebody could, uh, when I was assigned to a committee and somebody else wanted it, I just had two, two committees in mind.

HAMMACK: And as long as you weren't on those, then it didn't make a great deal of difference to you --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: That's right. So I, I finally, I finally got 104:00on the Appropri-, the, or the, uh, Agriculture Committee.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I got on the Appropriations Committee when the--I was the assistant leader of our party.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I want to say that, uh, it was the only time--so I was told, I never did, uh, look it up--but I was told it was the only time that for the first time that a person from Kentucky was on appropriations and agriculture.

HAMMACK: Oh, really?

CLEMENTS: And, uh, and, uh, it's a great thing that today Dee Huddleston is, uh, on appropriations and on agriculture. We joke about it once in a while. I tell him that he got there faster than I did. (both laugh) But there were committees that, uh--well, there are a lot of committees that are important to 105:00our state. But, uh, if I had to single out two committees, the, uh--I would single out those two. The, uh--Senator Ford is on the Committee on Commerce, and commerce is very important to our state. You have more navigable streams--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --in miles than any other state in the union.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: You have of course so many other things now that are in, uh, commerce. And I think it's a very major committee assignment. And it was one he sought. And, uh, the, uh-- But now, you see, both of those, uh-- Huddleston was the majority leader in the State Senate.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And Ford was the presiding officer of the State Senate.

106:00

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And they came here with experience. And without that experience, uh, it'd be some question in my mind whether they'd be on those three committees as early as they were.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, but they knew, they knew what, uh--their experience there, uh, formed their judgment as what was best for Kentucky.

HAMMACK: Um-hm. You've indicated that those committees, those particular committees were important to Kentucky's interest. Did you find any conflict in the role of a senator in terms of whether he--in terms of representing his state on the one hand, and in terms of being in effect the elder statesman representing national interests on the other hand --------(??)----------?

CLEMENTS: Well, of course, uh, of course your country, uh, on a matter that involves your total country, why, country comes first.

107:00

HAMMACK: This seems to me that it might be a little bit more problem in the Senate than the House.

CLEMENTS: --------(??)---------- No, I don't think it, uh, I don't think it was. Your state comes next to your government. You wouldn't--you didn't have, uh-- I've always said this: that, uh, my state was my--the government of the United States was, uh, uh, the first consideration. The second consideration was, uh, your state. And the next consideration was your party. Your party came third in the, the line, as I always saw it.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, there's many a person that's, uh, been in a legislative body that, uh, that's not original with me. And, 108:00uh, that's, uh--I would think the majority of the people who have, uh, have broad experience in the legislative field would put it the same way as I put it to you. You do have some responsibility to your party.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But you have a greater responsibility to your state, and you have a greater responsibility than state to the federal government.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Of course, all the federal government is is a collection of states.

HAMMACK: Um-hm. Well, you've--(clears throat)--you've indicated that when you first came to the Senate you were interested primarily in the Agriculture Committee and the Appropriations Committee because of their importance to Kentucky's interests. Uh, I think obviously therefore this implies that you saw yourself playing a role in the Senate in agriculture and appropriations--or in the House, 109:00as well, in these areas.

CLEMENTS: Well, I thought you could serve your state better.

HAMMACK: Uh-huh. Were there other roles or interests that you saw yourself serving when you first came to the Senate? What kind of role did you envision for yourself in the Senate when you were first elected?

CLEMENTS: I had, uh, knowing the importance of, uh, the committees of the legislative body, my greatest, uh, interest was in someday reaching the committees where I thought I could best serve the state.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: I don't mean by that that, uh, you didn't vote on important legislation when you was on a, on a committee that, uh, I was assigned to. I served on the Post Office Committee, and I served on the Interior Committee.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I served on the Rules Committee.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh--but I was always prepared to get off of 110:00any one of them--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --uh, for somebody else who wanted that committee assignment. And I think that had a little something to do with the fact it was easier then when the vacancy came that I got on the Agriculture Committee. And then, uh, uh, later you were in a little stronger position that you'd get on the committee--on Appropriations Committee.

HAMMACK: Um-hm. Did you get onto the Agriculture Committee in the Senate as a result of seniority making it possible for you to get there or--

CLEMENTS: Well, there was a vacancy and, uh, the Steering Committee is composed of, uh, members that are named to it. Uh, of course it's not the full Senate that names you to a committee; it's the Steering Committee that names the members of the Senate to committees. And, uh, the, uh, I cultivated the--some friendships on, uh--

111:00

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --on the, uh, Steering Committee and was always, uh, ready to be taken off of one committee. That is, you couldn't--they don't take you off. But you just, uh, are willing to leave the committee if somebody else wants it. And, uh, that, uh, led me to the Committee on Agriculture earlier than I would have otherwise gotten on it.

HAMMACK: I see. Did serving that short term give you any seniority advantage over others who were elected to the full term in--

CLEMENTS: And, uh, they only came in, uh, after the first of January?

HAMMACK: Right.

CLEMENTS: Oh yes.

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

CLEMENTS: Yes. And the reason that I was, uh, senior to Willis Smith on the committee was because I had, uh, been in the House of Representatives and I had, uh, been governor of the commonwealth. Either one of those gives you seniority over a person that hasn't served in either of those positions.

112:00

HAMMACK: I see. And then having served a short term in the Senate gave you a little additional seniority, as well, over newly elected members.

CLEMENTS: Well, you--oh yes. Yes. Gave Willis Smith, uh, that.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: Because he was in there for thirty-some days--about forty days before the Congress convened, why, for the new session.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Uh, but, uh, here I was. Uh, I was still senior to him on account of the fact that, uh, I had been in the House.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And I had been governor. Either one of which would have given me seniority over him.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir. Uh, was it advantageous to you when you first came into the Senate to have been in the House of Representatives and had some acquaintance, at least, with other members of Congress, though they might even be in a different house?

CLEMENTS: Well, there were several members of, uh, the, uh, Senate 113:00who had been in the House. Uh, Johnson had been in the House. Uh, I just don't recall, uh, now. There were some others. But the fact that, uh, I'd been governor--uh, there were a number of, uh, governors in the Senate at that time.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, they, uh--at least you had something to talk about.

HAMMACK: Yeah.

CLEMENTS: When you met and visited. And, uh, whether it was on the Republican side or on the Democratic side, you, uh, you know when you go to tallying a vote, uh, you don't tally them as Democrats or Republicans, you, uh, uh-- Much of the legislation that is passed, uh, it's, uh, not, uh, party legislation. 114:00It's, uh--you find it's, uh, rarely true in the Senate where all one party votes for and the other party votes against--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --a certain piece of legislation. And, uh, there were, uh-- I can just recall to mind now two former governors. Uh, one of them I'd served in the House with. I was a contemporary governor. And we came to the Senate at the same election. And it's Frank Carlson from Kansas. And, uh, Frank Carlson was not only a fine Christian gentleman but he was a very knowledgeable person who'd had a broad experience in government. Another one was Ed Martin, who was a general officer 115:00in the Army. And he'd served, uh, Pennsylvania as its governor. And he was, uh, during the first two years of the Eisenhower administration, he was the chairman of an important committee. And, uh, our relationship, uh, was I'm sure a little bit warmer than it would have been had we not both served as governor of our respective states.

HAMMACK: Um-hm. Obviously it was, was helpful to have a core of people there whom you already knew and shared common experience.

CLEMENTS: That's very true, Jim. It's, uh-- You don't, uh-- You have a little bit more, uh-- There's-- When people have had the same experience, uh, you, uh, it's easier 116:00to develop, uh, some standing with them, and they with you. And, uh, there's been many times that, uh, I have, uh, been encouraged by people that I have great confidence in, uh, not only in my own party but, uh, in the opposition party to understand better the legislation that, uh, they had--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --that they were presenting.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And the same thing worked both ways. You know there's never any one-way street.

HAMMACK: Is it, uh, a little bit of extra advantage that the presiding officer was a Kentuckian? That Barkley was vice president --------(??)---------- presided over the Senate?

CLEMENTS: Well, it was great to be in the same body with him. Uh, Barkley was, uh, one of the respected members 117:00of, uh--I expect you go back over the history of our country, he's one of the respected vice presidents that this country has had, and he's one of the respected majority leaders that the Senate had had. And, uh, uh, when Barkley was, uh, vice president, uh, not that he ever forsook his interests of his state, or, uh, after the nation--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --uh, but, uh, other than, uh, to have a good relationship with him, uh, he did not get involved in, uh, what might be called the small things of dealing with, uh, legislation, except 118:00as it involved the national government.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But he was, uh, our friendship had been--existed a long time. And, uh--

HAMMACK: But where did your friendship with Barkley begin? If that's not interrupting the course we're on.

CLEMENTS: Well, uh, of course, uh, I had known him indirectly for a long time. I was a great admirer of his. Uh, but, uh, when, uh-- I would say if I wanted to name the, the first time that I felt closer to Barkley than I, than I had at other times, uh--although I'd been to many speakings and I'd, uh, managed his campaign in our county--(clears 119:00throat)--and, uh, some county official generally did it back at that time. And, uh, in 1938--[sirens outside]--I could have gone to Congress. Uh, this is what I think.

HAMMACK: Excuse me just a minute. Let's let that fire siren go by. Those sirens like that come through so loud on tape sometimes that you can't hear what's being said.

CLEMENTS: Am I getting too far away from this thing?

HAMMACK: No, that's, that's fine. The only problems right now would be all the sirens outside. Recorders have a tendency to --------(??)--

CLEMENTS: Must have a fire. If it's a fire it'll be on for a while. If it's just somebody taking someone to the hospital, ambulance, why, of course then it passes quickly. These windows are getting--these windows are not sealed too tight, but--

120:00

HAMMACK: Well, recorders have a tendency to augment a sound like that. Actually make it louder than it appears to us. Uh, depending upon the nature of the sound. I think it's died out --------(??)---------- did you say 1938 you could have gone to Congress?

CLEMENTS: Nineteen thirty-eight, I felt a great closeness to him. Of course I'd known him, uh, before that. He didn't represent our district in the, uh, in the Congress when he was in the House.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: He served in the House for a goodly number of years. Uh, but, uh--and, uh, I like, uh, practically all Kentuckians supported him in 1926 after he'd lost the governor's--the nomination for governor in 1923. Uh, but, uh--and I'd seen him and visited with 121:00him. But, uh, in 1938 he and, uh, Chandler were candidates for the Senate. And, uh, I was very strong for Barkley. And at that time there was a considerable movement in our district for--I wouldn't say that it was, uh, a draft. But you know sometimes, uh, some fellow who wants to run for an office, it only takes five, six people, you know--(Hammack laughs)--to make him think it's a draft. But I was in this kind of position that, uh, Barkley was going to carry our district by a big majority. And, uh, I was involved with the crowd that was going to be leading his fight in our district.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I was encouraged by people in the south 122:00end of our district, who were really going to be for Chandler, uh, to make the race.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: They were people, uh, like, uh, one of the congressmen who is here today, Bill Natcher. And a sizable group of people from Bowling Green talked to me about running. Uh, they, uh, felt like that it would be kind of an easy contest. And there you had elements out of the Chandler crowd. And you had, uh, elements that were leading Barkley's campaign. But, uh, Roosevelt had, uh, passed the word down to Kentucky that he hoped that Barkley would, uh--that there'd be no, there'd be no congressional contest, because he wanted to do everything he could to be sure 123:00that there was nothing interfered with Barkley's reelection.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And if you had a congressional contest, why, one might lead to another. And, uh, I had the choice of, uh, running or the choice of, uh, of, uh, declining to run and, uh, and, uh, not interfere with that. Uh, and I was a great admirer of Roosevelt's. And, uh, the, uh-- I made up my mind one day going from Morganfield over to Owensboro where Barkley was--had a meeting. And, uh, I went into his room. And just he and I were sitting there talking. 124:00And, uh, I said to him, I said, "Senator Barkley, I can win the congressional seat, and I'm not going to run. Uh, I'm not, uh, I'm not going to start anything that might cause other problems you might have in the state. You're going to carry this, uh, district with a big majority. And of course, I'd be riding your coattail. And, uh, there's some, uh, people who are going to be for Chandler who, uh, in the south end of the district that, uh, want me to run. Not so much that they're so interested in me maybe. But, uh, they are interested in Vincent not going back." But I said, "I made up my mind coming over here that I'm not going to run." And, uh, I can remember quite well what he said to me. He said, "Now Earle, uh, if you want 125:00to run, you run. I think you can win. And I have no objection to you running. Uh, I know you're for me. And, uh, but this is a judgment you're going to have to make for yourself." I said, "I've already made it. I made it coming over from home." And, uh, and I thought I probably would not, uh, ever run for Congress after that. But, uh, in 1944, there's, uh--I had been--after I'd served as majority leader, I toward the end of that session, uh--Harry Lee in the House and me in the Senate had, uh, uh, more nearly operated on a basis of the Democratic Party. And, 126:00uh, and I think it made a good, uh, record of, uh, responsible government. And I thought, well, I'll go home and--I said to myself, "I'll go home and, uh, go to the apartment and, uh, talk to Sara. I believe I will run. I can get her permission, why, I'll, uh, if I get my wife's permission, why, I believe I'll do it." And, uh, so she said, "Well, uh, you know if you want to run," said, "I know that, uh, you really wanted to run in 1938. But if you want to run, this may be the last chance you'll have to run."

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I said, "Well, honey, if, uh, that's the way you feel about it, uh, I'll be a candidate. But 127:00I'm not going to say it publicly for some time." So as, uh, on the weekends, why, I started moving around over the district, you know--and of course the members of the legislature who were there, you had an opportunity to talk to them--and, uh, I guess I was a candidate for about thirty days before I ever announced.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I'd worked very closely with Clifford Smith in, uh, during the legislative session. I was, uh--Clifford was, uh, with the Chandler administration when the Reorganization Act was written. And he had an input into the Reorganization Act. And, uh, that time, uh, Clifford's, uh, wife was quite ill. And she never recovered. She lingered a long time but she never recovered. And 128:00Clifford would stay up with her at night. And, uh, he would, uh--because, uh, until the last pill had been given to her, you know, in the night. And, uh, it was an opportunity that, uh, me, it, uh, sometimes alone and other times with Elijah Moore who was the president pro tempore of the Senate. We would, uh, go up and, uh, discuss, uh, certain things that they were endeavoring to do to the Reorganization Act. And, uh, they, uh--it was--one of the hardest things to me was to tell Clifford Smith that I was going to be a candidate, because, uh, his sister had married Bev Vincent.

HAMMACK: Uh-huh.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, uh, I remember that, uh, discussion that he and I had, and had alone. That, uh, he said, "Well, 129:00uh, Earle, did you know that, uh, no sitting congressman in this state had, had ever--has ever been defeated in a primary? They've been defeated in general election." I said, "Yes, I know that. Uh, I know that, uh, John Robison, uh, announced and, uh, uh, when he came to Congress and the sitting congressman never did announce."

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh--but I said, "As far as being, uh, defeated, the sitting congressman was not defeated. But he would have run again if John Robison hadn't, uh, announced." And he said, "Yes but you can be--rest assured that Bev is going to run." Well, I said, uh, "I don't question that at all." I 130:00said, "I realize that I could have gone easier in 1944--I mean in 1938, uh, than, uh, this year. But, uh, I want you to know that I am going to run. And I don't want you to hear it from anybody else." Well, uh--and, uh, that remained true, uh, even after our, uh, my primary victory because, uh, uh, Congressman Vincent withdrew. Uh, I don't know whether it was, uh, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks before the primary.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But he withdrew after the filing day. He filed and then withdrew. So the first time that was ever broken in our state was when Stubblefield beat Gregory.

HAMMACK: Is that right?

CLEMENTS: Yes.

HAMMACK: I wasn't aware that was the first time.

CLEMENTS: That is the first time. First time one was--the 131:00sitting one was defeated in the primary.

HAMMACK: Did you also talk to Barkley about your plans to run for Congress?

CLEMENTS: To run for Congress?

HAMMACK: Yes, sir. In '44. You had talked to him in '38 but--

CLEMENTS: Uh, no, no. I did not. He was, uh--he had chores of his own. And, uh, he didn't live in our district. And, uh, I don't know that I discussed it with anybody in a substantial way except Clifford Smith--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --uh, that did not live in our district. But of course, his roots were in our district. Clifford was from, uh, from, uh, uh, Brownsville.

HAMMACK: Oh, was he?

CLEMENTS: Oh yes, he was, uh, he was raised there. And his sister married Bev Vincent there. And, uh, Clifford's mother was living with the Vincents. Living with his sister.

132:00

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, that's the reason I felt like that, uh, I ought not to be a candidate without, uh, going up and talking to Clifford, who I had great admiration for, and who had been, uh, so helpful, uh. And the, the thing that we--and actually he talked about legislation. But really the thing that, uh, I talked to him more about, uh, and Elijah Moore talked to him more about was on the Reorganization Act itself.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And it's still, uh, reasonably intact, uh, like it was when it passed in 1936.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir. Um--

CLEMENTS: As you heard me say the other night at the party the governor so generously gave for me on, uh, when I 133:00became, uh, eighty.

HAMMACK: Um-hm. Yes, sir. Uh, well, what--did you have some continuing relationship? Did you--how did your friendship with Barkley develop further then after '38? You had mentioned '38 is the first time that you had kind of felt close to Barkley.

CLEMENTS: Well, uh, it, uh--my feeling for Barkley had always been good.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: He, uh, lost our county in, uh, when he ran for governor. But the reason he lost the county was, uh, the simple reason that, uh, he sponsored the severance tax on coal. And at that time, if my memory is, uh, close to being correct, we had seven operating coal mines in our little county.

134:00

HAMMACK: Uh-huh. Very big interest.

CLEMENTS: It's a very big interest. And of course in the--uh, I do not know but, uh, I would, uh, I would believe that, uh, the coal counties were what, uh, defeated him in that race for governor. And since you were down at the governor's party, uh, I said it took nearly fifty years before another governor--(Hammack laughs)--another candidate, uh--not a candidate for governor, but another governor, uh, a governor had, uh, the intestinal fortitude to advocate and, uh, sell the legislature on passing. That's when Wendell Ford was governor.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: But if he had been, uh, running on that platform, why--

HAMMACK: (Hammack laughs) He might have had a little trouble, too.

CLEMENTS: He would have had very serious trouble.

135:00

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But it's, uh, it was a good, uh, it would have been a good thing in Barkley's day if it had been passed. Uh, but it took nearly fifty years to get it done. And nobody else was ever willing to, to run on, uh, that platform.

HAMMACK: I understand why from Barkley's experience with it.

CLEMENTS: Yeah. Yeah.

HAMMACK: Uh, let's see where we stand right now.

CLEMENTS: You've got it on or off?

[Break in tape]

HAMMACK: Well, Senator Clements, after securing the nomination for the House, did you have a continuing relationship at that point with Barkley?

CLEMENTS: Well, uh, first meeting that, uh, I had with, uh, 136:00Senator Barkley after that was, uh, he came to Kentucky. And he called a meeting at the, uh, uh, in Louisville, which he invited all of the congressmen, the Democratic nominees for Congress, uh-- Well, uh, now I can't say whether he invited all of them or not, but I would imagine that he invited all of them that he thought were going to be, uh, winners, you know.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: Invited the Democratic congressman who was running in the present Fifth District or what used to be the Ninth District. Uh, and I can remember when it was the Eleventh District when we had eleven members. I, uh, I can recall some of the 137:00people from the Congress who attended that meeting. Uh, Frank Chelf and myself were, uh, I recall that we were there. We were two who had been nominated for the first time in our districts. And, uh, Jack May was there.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: I think Emmet O'Neal was there from Louisville. Uh, maybe there was, uh, one or two others. I know there was one absentee: Virgil Chapman was not there.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: He was, uh, not there because he wasn't in the state. But there were others there. Keen Johnson was there. Lyter Donaldson was there. And, uh, I wouldn't want to name him, but one of the great friends he had--but I guess I oughtn't to say it unless I did name him. Uh, 138:00Judge Hamilton was there who was a federal judge at the time. And, uh, there were a few others. And, uh, it was--Barkley, uh, was a candidate for reelection. And, uh, he was, uh, sharply concerned about the Roosevelt fourth term.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I don't know if we've ever talked about that. Have we?

HAMMACK: No, sir.

CLEMENTS: Uh, he was sharply concerned about the fourth term and what the fourth term effect would have in the state. But, uh, while the third term had, uh, uh, had some drop-off in, uh, the, uh, vote that, uh, Roosevelt had and, uh--he discussed finances, 139:00that it was going to be a very difficult campaign to finance--

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: --and that, uh, certainly he was hopeful that we could finance--that Kentucky could finance the campaign within the state.

HAMMACK: The financial problem related to the money going into the war effort at that time?

CLEMENTS: Well, uh, more people, I guess, knew that Roosevelt's physical condition wasn't as good as it once was. And we were at war. And while it was not, uh, what you would term an unpopular war, like the Vietnam War was, or like even the Korean conflict was, uh, it had some damaging effect. There'd been, uh, many young men who'd been lost in the war. 140:00And, uh, as, uh, uh-- And Barkley recognized that.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: But, uh, we knew who was, uh, going to be the Democratic candidate. We knew who was going to be the Republican candidate. And, uh, it got down to a question of, uh, the difficulty of financing the campaign--that, uh, he, uh, asked everybody to express themselves on whether they thought that we could finance the campaign within the state. And, uh, of course Frank Chelf and myself were the, uh, the younger of the lot. Certainly politically we were the younger of the lot, uh, running for the, uh, Congress. And the, uh, meeting went on for some time. 141:00Uh, you had, uh, the former governor of the state. You had the former highway commissioner of the state who'd been a candidate for governor. And, uh, you had, uh, a jurist there who was politically knowledgeable. He'd, uh, he'd, uh, gone to the court on the recommendation of Barkley. And, uh, Seldon Glenn was there. And he served as the, as the, uh, whatever you call the commissioner of internal revenue of Kentucky. And, uh, he was there. And there was some-- There wasn't as much optimism as, uh, maybe I had. I'd just had a contest and, 142:00uh, I guess I'd, uh, uh, had, uh, less reason to feel, uh, pessimistic about the thing, about the contest. And, uh, and I just, uh, I waited for a long time before I said it. A lot of discussion went on. I said, "Well--" And I, being the fellow who had never been in Congress, but just being a seeker of a seat in the Congress, well, that made you hesitate.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: Uh, I finally said to him, I said, "Senator, I hope this don't embarrass any other member of the Congress who's here, sitting members, uh, here, but, uh, I'll tell you what I'll do: uh, I'll raise the money to finance the Second District."

143:00

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: "And I think we can raise money that can come to headquarters."

HAMMACK: So you were indicating your willingness to raise money not only for your own campaign but for the Roosevelt campaign, as well, in this district. Is that right?

CLEMENTS: Well, the--Barkley's campaign and mine would have just been run together anyway.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, if I was raising money for, uh, one Democrat, I was raising it for all Democrats in our district.

HAMMACK: I see.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I'd, uh, gotten, uh, many commitments out of, uh, my, uh--in my primary contest.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Practically every county in the state, in the district, agreed to finance themselves in my campaign.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir. We've already talked about how you managed to arrange that.

144:00

CLEMENTS: And, uh, so the money wasn't spent. I figured it'd be just as easy to raise that money in those counties, uh, in the fall campaign as it would have been, uh, because I was a candidate.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, they had, uh, they had, uh, been willing to do that in the primary and didn't have to do it--weren't required to do it, I mean. They weren't required to follow through on their commitments because there was no necessity for it. And, uh, I felt confident that, uh, we could raise it and raise considerably more than it took to do it. And I thought it was, uh, going to be an easy contest as far as our district was concerned.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, he said, "You mean that you can raise the money in that district?" I said, "Yes for that district. 145:00And, uh, we'll raise money. Some money. How much I don't know. But we'll raise money that would come to headquarters. But I sure want the district to get the first choice you know." (both laugh) And, uh, so one other person spoke up. Uh, Jack May said, uh, to the senator, he said, uh, "We'll raise the money in my district. You will not have to put up any money there. And, uh, we'll also have something in our--raise some money in our district for headquarters."

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, Frank Chelf was not in a position to say that, uh, although he was very strong for Barkley. He was very strong for, uh, for Roosevelt. And, uh, uh, at 146:00the same time, uh, I was in a little better shape financially than Frank was. Uh, and, uh, Frank would have been just as willing to have said it if he had gone through the same experience as I had.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Or if he had, uh, been in the Congress, like Jack May was. And, uh, Jack May knew what it was to raise money in his district. And, and, uh, actually we were the only two that, uh, said that. And, uh, the, uh-- I don't know that that, uh, warmed the meeting much, but it didn't, uh, add to the chill. (Hammack laughs) And, uh, it was, uh-- There were two districts that were going to be financed, and two districts that were going to contribute to the, 147:00uh, uh, headquarters of the state campaign. And, uh, that, uh, later led to what I think I told you on another occasion when you asked me about, uh, Waterfield and myself--and Waterfield, uh, being the chairman of, uh, that campaign. Did we not? Uh, didn't you ask me that at one time?

HAMMACK: Uh, yes we, we talked about that before.

CLEMENTS: Well, I'll, uh, I'll tell you--and you'll know whether--because you're going to transcribe this anyway. Uh, then, uh, Barkley left the financial side and, uh, and, uh, started talking about who should manage the campaign in the state. And, uh, of course it was 148:00a choice that he could make. Uh, maybe not, uh, with any, uh, written rules of the party, but, uh, as the standard-bearer for your party, of the top office, why, of course, uh, his suggestions were important suggestions for considering. And, and he, uh, first selected Ben Williamson from Ashland. And, uh, there was a slight objection made by one member, uh, was raised by Joe Bates who was, uh, was Ben Williamson's congressman. But anyway, Barkley--what's that?

HAMMACK: Uh, Eighth District is where Bates was from?

149:00

CLEMENTS: It was then. It's been redistricted since then. We don't have eight districts.

HAMMACK: No.

CLEMENTS: And, uh-- But he called Ben Williamson. And, uh, Ben Williamson, uh, told him that, uh, he was, uh, had assumed the responsibility for selling war bonds for the year. And, uh, he declined. And then, uh, he said, "Well, I would far prefer that we go in that direction." But he said, "The next person I think about is, uh, Roy Shelbourne." And that was before Roy Shelbourne went on the court. And he called Roy Shelbourne and, uh, he gave Barkley some, uh, very--some, uh, what Barkley thought were legitimate reasons why he was not in position 150:00to manage the campaign. And, uh, then, uh, he named another. And, uh, there was objection raised to that one--and a very legitimate objection, and it was raised by me. And, uh, so then, uh, that was the end of, uh, the discussion of the campaign chairman until, uh--and this I thought I told you at one time, but, uh, I said to, uh, uh, Senator Barkley--I said, "Well, uh, senator, uh, you've been busy in Washington." I said, "We've had a legislative session. And if I hadn't been in this legislative session, I probably would not be a candidate today for the 151:00House." I said, uh, "I'll give you the name of somebody who's very close to you, whose family has been very close to you. And since you considered Roy Shelbourne, uh, I thought you might give consideration to a young man whose, uh, name, I think, is, uh--it would mean something to you." I said, uh, "In this legislative session, uh, Harry Lee has, uh, Harry Lee Waterfield has, uh, occupied the same position of influence in the House that I have in the Senate." And I said, "I know what, uh, this meant for me in, uh, in, uh, my, uh, seeking the, 152:00the nomination in my district. And, uh, I don't think you'd do better than that. Uh, he's, uh, younger than I am. And, uh, we're both younger than you are." And, uh, the--that broke up the discussion. He said, "Well, I'll give some more thought to this thing, this matter, when I go home." So, uh, it was only a short time before the Democratic state convention.

HAMMACK: And all this discussion is going on at that same meeting place?

CLEMENTS: Oh, yes.

HAMMACK: Or over a period of time. It was the same meeting. Okay, I just want to be certain. I thought it might be the same.

CLEMENTS: Oh no. It's all the same meeting. All the same meeting. All the same meeting. And, uh, uh, he called me one day and he said, uh, "I have talked to Harry Lee about this." And, uh, he said, uh, "Harry 153:00Lee is going to join me in, uh, driving up to the convention. Can't we drive by Morganfield and pick you up? And we'll go to Louisville together." I said, "Fine." It was, uh--I was going to be in good company. And, uh, I'd, uh-- We-- They did come by. And, uh, I went to the convention with him. And, uh, while we were driving up--I don't remember--I think maybe Harry Lee drove. And, uh, he told me that Harry Lee had, uh, agreed to serve. And, uh, and, uh, he said, "I told him that, uh, you raised the question of, uh, him managing the campaign." And, uh, said, uh, "I'm, um--" Said very fine things about, uh, 154:00Harry Lee and the family, and, uh, the forebears you know that, uh, of, uh, Barkley's vintage both on, uh, Harry Lee's, uh, side as, uh, well as on Laura's side.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Laura's father had been commissioner of agriculture in our state.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, the, uh, so at the convention there wasn't but one name submitted, you know, to manage that campaign, and that was Harry Lee Waterfield. And, uh, and he did a good job. He did a good job in, uh, handling the campaign. And later became secretary of the party by reason of that, you know.

HAMMACK: I see. That led into the secretaryship.

CLEMENTS: That, uh, led into-- That led into his and 155:00my race for governor. (both laugh) Uh, but he did a good job in the campaign. And, uh, we had no money problems in that campaign, either. I don't know--

HAMMACK: He did succeed in raising the money in the state.

CLEMENTS: Oh, yes.

HAMMACK: For the campaign.

CLEMENTS: Oh, yes. I think Harry Lee would tell you that the money was raised in the state.

HAMMACK: Um-hm. Uh, well, you then came into the Congress in the House. Did you see--did you have occasion to see Barkley from time to time?

CLEMENTS: Oh, sure.

HAMMACK: Up here.

CLEMENTS: Oh, sure.

HAMMACK: Continue your relationship with him.

CLEMENTS: Oh, sure. Sure. The--uh, sure. And I, I was always a great admirer of Barkley's.

156:00

HAMMACK: Yes, sir. Uh, when --

CLEMENTS: I'll tell you one little thing, since this is not going to be--I'll tell you this now, that Barkley was one of the people that I talked to before I, uh, made up my mind to run for governor.

HAMMACK: Oh, he was.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I went over to see him one day and told him what I was, uh, going to do. And, uh, I said, uh, "I know this: that if, uh, you get involved in the governor's race, why, it would be helpful to one person and very harmful to the other. I hope that you're in position to where you can, uh, stay out of the contest."

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And then he started to recount some things that, uh, he was, uh, felt very close to people from his district, because 157:00that, uh, started him in politics: the county attorneyship, the judgeship, the congressional office, and the great support that he had in, uh, 1923 as in all his races after that. And, uh, he said, "I'm not unmindful of the fact that, uh, you could have come to Congress in 1938 yourself."

HAMMACK: He hadn't forgotten that occasion.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, he said, uh, "Nobody knows how I'm going to vote in that election." I said, "Well, frankly, I expect you to vote for Harry Lee." I said, "You can't have all, uh, those, uh, long ties that, uh, you have. Uh, but, uh, if, uh, you maintain that position, why, I will, uh, 158:00be fortunate." He said, uh, "I just want to tell you that, uh, I will cast my own vote in my own --------(??)---------- way." And, uh, you can imagine that, uh, the political comfort that I got out of that.

HAMMACK: I would suspect that that was a major stroke, being able to secure that kind of --------(??).

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I would, uh--if I'd been in Barkley's place, uh, and felt that way, I would have voted for Harry Lee. I don't know who he voted for.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir. But I think-- --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: I'm just telling you what I know.

HAMMACK: I agree. I would have suspected the best you 159:00could anticipate would be getting him to remain neutral in the --------(??)----------.

CLEMENTS: Well, uh, I didn't ask him to remain neutral. I just asked, uh-- It happened just like I told you. And, uh, but, uh, we were, we were good friends. He, uh--oh, he even, uh, alluded to the fact that, uh, you know, "If you hadn't raised Harry Lee's name at that meeting, why, Harry Lee wouldn't have been chairman of the contest in 1944."

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I said, "No, it, uh. I thought he, I thought he was better than any of those people that you had suggested because they were old-timers and neither one of them was in the limelight and Harry Lee had been in the limelight."

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: "Uh, his name and my name were in the paper more times during 1944 up to that time than yours had been." 160:00(both laugh)

HAMMACK: Yeah.

CLEMENTS: That's true. Because the legislature was in session. You had a divided party. And they gave us hell. Me more hell than did Harry Lee, the newspaper did. Until they found out that, uh, we were on the right track. And the governor didn't know much about government. Great lawyer that he was, he sure didn't know much about government. He didn't know much about it by the time he left. But he was a very fine person. And, uh, Willis and myself maintained a warm friendship. He told me on, uh, more than one occasion, he said, uh, "You were my friend, and I didn't recognize it." (laughs)

HAMMACK: So he came to, came to realize that afterwards.

CLEMENTS: Oh, yes. Yes. And when, uh, I named the Constitution Review Commission, uh, to study the constitution, I named Willis as a member.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, Ms. Clements and Ms. Willis. Ms. Willis 161:00wasn't as popular among the Republicans as she might have been because they thought she was trying to run his business. And, uh, the, uh, strongest Republican in the state at that time was John Robison Sr. And, uh, she wouldn't, uh, leave the room so John Robison could talk to him. (laughs) So John Robison left the room. (both laugh)

HAMMACK: Yeah. Uh, she made the papers quite often herself while Willis was governor.

CLEMENTS: Yes. Yes. And, uh, she was not popular. I think she was really more popular among some Democrats than she, in Frankfort than she was among Republicans in Frankfort.

HAMMACK: Is that right?

CLEMENTS: They, uh-- She was a strong-willed person. She has a, a great daughter who is, uh, married to the circuit 162:00judge in, uh, in Frankfort, Henry Meigs.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Sally is a great lady. And, uh, and I thought Ms. Willis was a great lady. My wife was, uh, thought Ms. Willis was a great help to her, and, uh, the--when, uh, we succeeded, uh, the governor.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: She was as courteous in, uh, the governor's, uh, house, the governor's mansion, whichever one you want to call it. I always call it the governor's house. Uh, it was spick-and-span and, uh, she spent a day or two with her. And, uh, and even to this good hour, I hear from Ms. Willis once 163:00in a while.

HAMMACK: Really? I'm sure it takes a good bit of assistance to make the changeover, simply in terms of housekeeping and moving in and out of the mansion and this.

CLEMENTS: Oh, sure. Sure. Well, uh, they can either make it easy or make it difficult.

HAMMACK: Uh-huh. Ms. Willis, I gather, made it much easier.

CLEMENTS: Much easier.

HAMMACK: For you all to move in.

CLEMENTS: Much easier. Much easier. And of course, that's the only time, the only experience I ever had.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: But, uh, she, she made it easy enough for Sara that, uh, Sara maintained a very warm relationship with her. And, uh, she always felt at ease to come to the, the governor's house, uh, even after the--she once in a while would if she'd be in Frankfort. Why, she'd come by and see Sara.

HAMMACK: Things you've said thus far indicate that Barkley played a 164:00substantial role in state affairs while he was in the Senate, at least where elections were concerned.

CLEMENTS: I would say very limited. Uh, probably got credit for more than he, uh, uh, uh, the times that he came out for a candidate. But, uh, he never tried to rule the Democratic Party in Kentucky, in my judgment.

HAMMACK: Um-hm. Uh, did--I don't know whether organization is the right term to use or not. But did he maintain any semblance of, uh, organization that related to state politics as opposed to his own senatorial campaign? What was --------(??)----------?

CLEMENTS: I would not, uh, I would not, uh, say that he did.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: No. Uh, uh, when, uh, Barkley was in the Senate, and when he was vice president, uh, as far as, uh, 165:00the organized, uh, efforts in somebody else's campaign, I don't recall that he was ever involved in it at all. He had, uh, great personal strength, uh, that applied to Barkley.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, he maintained that strength, as shown by his race with, uh, John Cooper.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: In, uh, 1954. Uh, but, uh, uh, Barkley was, uh, not the same kind of organizer, uh, in other people's contests. He was just not involved in other people's contests to the extent that, uh, many people are.

HAMMACK: I see. Well, it's good that we included that 166:00because some of the things that have been said about the campaign--the '44 campaign might have led to a different conclusion. I mean, you were governor at the time that Barkley, uh, was nominated for and elected vice president. What was your role in the nomination and then campaign for him?

CLEMENTS: Well, I would, uh, I would-- I was the titular head of the party at the time. And I'd, uh, been governor for less than a year.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, was in a right good position, you know, to exert some modest influence with, uh, reference to the campaign. And, uh, I would say that that campaign, uh, for Truman and 167:00Barkley was really, uh--the organizational work was all done by state government. When I say state government, uh, I don't mean it moved the state government over to Louisville.

HAMMACK: Yeah.

CLEMENTS: But, uh, every dollar that was raised in that campaign was, uh, raised by the Democratic organization within Kentucky.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, the, uh-- And, uh, you knew to start with that you were going to win Kentucky.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: Uh, question in our minds was not Kentucky. The question in our minds was what's going to happen in the rest of the country.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: The, uh-- Never forget the, the train ride that, 168:00uh, Truman made through our state. I met the train at, uh, Henderson when it crossed the river at Evansville.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, he was in there late. And, uh, you were picking up in the afternoon an Evansville paper of how big the crowds were at, uh, that came to Illinois. And, uh, but they were running behind time. And of course, uh, every now and then somebody at the, at the railroad station at Henderson would announce that--going to be a little late, but, uh, they're on their way. And sometimes they exaggerate just a little. "It's, uh, not going to be as late as we thought it was." And, uh, instead of that crowd diminishing, every ten minutes 169:00that, uh --------(??) crowd increased. (Hammack laughs) And, uh, not that you question the fact that, uh, there was, uh, going to be, uh--that Kentucky was going to--wasn't going to be in the Truman-Barkley column. But, uh, the bigger that crowd got, why, the more enthusiasm that, uh, came from the individuals, built up in me, built up in other people who were there. And, uh, the next stop we made was at Owensboro and of course the same thing happened there. The--and we went on into Louisville. But, uh, there were some people that, uh, we went through some dairy areas you know 170:00as you went through, uh, uh, uh, the counties on up above there--Breckinridge County and --

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: --into Meade County and on, why, there were people there to-- After dark. They hadn't gone--they hadn't, uh, they'd known it was going to be that late, they'd have probably milked before they came, you know. (both laugh) But the crowd just got fantastically large. And of course, uh, Truman made a fine speech. This was, uh, not too many weeks after he had made that, uh, first "give 'em hell" speech in the West after he'd had that, uh, little less than, uh, total crowd in the coliseum--in the stadium at, uh, Omaha.

HAMMACK: Yeah.

CLEMENTS: And it was after that that he made what they termed the "give 'em hell" speech.

171:00

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, he didn't, uh--it wasn't any give 'em hell stuff, uh, that he was, uh, wasn't, uh, brimstone or anything like that. But he had a, he had a very intelligent expression to the audience everyplace we stopped. He made himself a part of the crowd.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: You've seen Barkley do that, or you've heard of Barkley doing that.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, he wasn't as eloquent as Barkley was. But, uh, he was a plain speaker. And he became a part of every crowd all the way into Louisville. I remember on one occasion the plain--Ms. Clements and our daughter were on that, uh, on that train. We got on it there.

172:00

HAMMACK: Henderson.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, they--this was in, uh, 1948. And I guess my daughter was fourteen years old at that time. Train gave one lurch and she fell right back in his lap. (both laugh) And she'd remember it to this day. And, uh, he laughed about it you know. And he said, "Honey, I--you're an only daughter. I have just one daughter, too. And I like when she sits on my lap." But, uh, when, uh--he spoke in Louisville that night, and it was a little late, that speaking. But he had a great crowd. And, uh, the next morning, uh, we gave him his, uh, biggest crowd at Frankfort.

173:00

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: I went on, uh--Ms. Clements and Bess and I went on back to Frankfort, that speaking that night. And, of course, arrangements for the Frankfort meeting had, uh, been made, uh, beforehand.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And it was an open meeting on the street. See, the railroad goes right through the town.

HAMMACK: Yes, sir.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, I don't know how many people we had. I guess the paper would, uh, person would go back and get what they claimed the crowd to be. But it was immense. I know he said to me after we pulled out of there and started from there toward Ashland. We had the same--we weren't as late going into Ashland as the--we didn't delay him as much as, uh, he was delayed. But he was some late when he got into Ashland. But I'll tell you those crowds were just fantastic.

174:00

HAMMACK: Hmm.

CLEMENTS: Now Barkley's name being on the ticket had something to do with it.

HAMMACK: Um-hm. That's the next thing I wanted to ask was how much it had to do with it.

CLEMENTS: Had something, had something to do with it. But it was easy to organize that campaign in Kentucky.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: It was easy. And Truman was no liability.

HAMMACK: He was popular.

CLEMENTS: He was no liability. Oh, you'd, uh, talk about, uh, Truman's forebears coming from Kentucky.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: See, Truman's, uh, father was raised in our state. And, uh, went to Missouri. And Truman never hesitated to say, "Oh well, uh, you know I'm a kind of a transplanted Kentuckian." (laughs) And, uh, and, uh, and he felt it. And, uh, I don't know whether Truman won, uh, uh, uh, deserved to win. 175:00Uh, I don't know whether they could have, uh, beaten Dewey if Dewey had been a good candidate--uh, that is if he had waged a campaign. But he was too--kept talking about him you know being, uh, Charlie Chaplin with his little mustache you know.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And, uh, but, uh--

HAMMACK: --------(??)---------- lose what strength he thought he had.

CLEMENTS: But, uh, Barkley, Barkley was a great running mate for Truman. Barkley--I doubt if there was ever a time in his life that, uh, he wielded more, uh, more support to a ticket than he did then. He was in, uh--until you got into the closing days of that campaign, uh, I would imagine the last 176:00two weeks of that campaign, Barkley was drawing great crowds on his own.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And he couldn't begin to fill all of the requests that were made to him where there would be great, uh, crowds. But Barkley was a great speaker. And if there's anybody that could really touch your heart that had any feel for the Roosevelt New Deal, Barkley was through it. He went through it. He was a part of it. And, uh, sometimes he got charged with talking too long about it, you know. But, uh, he wasn't what you would call a twenty-minute speaker--(Hammack laughs)--or a thirty-minute speaker. And, uh, I thought he had as, uh, much talent on the stump, political, uh, push and know-how and, uh, and 177:00effect on a crowd as anybody that, uh, in my day from our state. And I don't know of any other state that I thought had--person had, uh, more political muscle by the words he spoke.

HAMMACK: And, of course, that was much more important in that time than it is now, as you pointed out.

CLEMENTS: That's right. That's right.

HAMMACK: --------(??)---------- difference in the media --------(??).

CLEMENTS: That's correct.

HAMMACK: Truman, I would assume, would have been appreciative of the crowds that he drew in Kentucky.

HAMMACK: Kentucky. Oh, he was.

HAMMACK: Because his campaign needed a little bucking up at that point.

CLEMENTS: It, uh, was. He--yes he, uh, had some enthusiasm for what took place on that, uh, that train ride which went from Henderson to Ashland by way of Louisville and Frankfort.

HAMMACK: Um-hm.

CLEMENTS: And it was, uh, it's a very memorable one to me. And it was easy to organize. There were, uh-- 178:00Barkley always was easy to organize for. Uh, he, uh, he added greatly to the ticket, uh, in, uh, Roosevelt's fourth term in our state, too.

HAMMACK: Um-hm. Well, as vice president--[telephone rings]--under Truman he was probably the only vice president I can recall who made himself popular as vice president.

[End of interview.]

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