Richard B. Russell, Jr. Oral History Project
Senator Allen Ellender interviewed by Hugh Cates
April 30, 1971
CATES: It is April 30, 1971. This is Hugh Cates, and I'm in the office of UnitedStates Senator Allen J. Ellender from Louisiana. Senator Ellender is a Democrat. Senator Ellender is the President pro tempore of the Senate having succeeded the late Senator Richard Brevard Russell. He is also Chairman of the Appropriations Committee having succeeded the late Senator Russell.
I'm here for the purpose of talking to Senator Ellender about his personalrecollections and association over the years with Senator Russell. Senator Ellender, would you mind just recalling anything that comes to mind to begin with about your association with Senator Russell?
ELLENDER: Well, I wish to say that Dick Russell was here when I took my oath ofoffice on January 3, 1937. As a matter of fact, he preceded me to the Senate by 00:01:00about four years. Our relationship was very close from there until his death. We served on the Appropriations Committee for quite some time, although that committee is very unglamorous, and we don't have we didn't have too many meetings of the committee. I had quite a close contact with Dick Russell in our fight to retain constitutional rights in the South. The late Senator (Thomas Terry) Connally from Texas was the chairman of our delegation -that is, the Southern caucus, I may say when I came here, and after his death the caucus 00:02:00elected Senator Russell by unanimous consent. Senator Russell was a great leader; he was a he had no peer when it came to parliamentary law, he knew it well; he was a great historian and a man with a good memory. I remember many instances in which we fought the civil rights battles together, and I remember an incident several years ago when he prevented me from attaining the longest speech on filibuster record. See, I held the (Senate) floor; I had the floor for 00:03:00about fourteen hours without stopping; and Dick, our general, came to me and said to me, said, "Allen," he said, "we have concluded an agreement with the leadership on the pending question." And he said, "I would suggest that you stop talking." And I didn't like the command of our general, but after talking another fifteen minutes, he returned to me, and like a good soldier, I obeyed the command of my general. But in any event, I held the floor for over fourteen hours and he was very much elated at that. My chief contacts with Dick Russell, 00:04:00of course, were in respect to civil rights, and we studied the problem together; we studied methods of how best to cope with the situation, and he was always on top of the subject. Now, during my tenure here, I discussed various phases of our civil rights program, particularly the historical phase of it, and we compared notes; and at times I was successful in producing some evidence on the subject that he didn't have, and because of that, I believe, we became very 00:05:00close in the matter and consulted each other frequently. I must say that Senator Russell was a gentleman in every respect, that he was, I presume, in fact I know, one of the most highly thought of senators who ever sat in the Senate. Whenever he talked everybody listened; he didn't talk very long or very frequently, but whenever he spoke, he spoke on the subject and he stuck to the subject something that's very rare at times in the Senate particularly during a filibuster. Now, I was proud of the fact that when Senator Russell was sworn in 00:06:00as President pro tempore of the Senate and then became chairman of the committee of Appropriations because of his illness he was unable to attend to all of his duties, and I thought it a privilege to sit in his stead at many hearings that were conducted on the Appropriations Committee. Now, as I recall, Senator Russell created history on the Appropriations Committee in that he came as one of the youngest senators. It is my recollection that he was a member of that 00:07:00committee from the time he came to Washington, which is very unusual, and no man in the Senate ever sat longer on the Appropriations Committee than Senator Russell. That, of course, is the shall we say proper committee of the Senate, one of the most powerful, one that entails more work on any senator, and Senator Russell, of course, was a very able member of the committee not only as its chairman, but as chairman of the subcommittee on defense as well as the chairman of the subcommittee on agriculture. Senator Russell was deeply interested in 00:08:00agriculture, and in that connection, I when I first came here, I was indeed proud and glad and privileged to join him to cosponsor the school lunch bill which is now the law. That bill was enacted back in 1946, as I recall, and Senator Russell was, of course, a member of the agriculture committee for some time, but not at the time that we enacted the school lunch bill. He took an active part in providing the necessary funds for the development of agriculture. 00:09:00He was a great conservationist; and he believed, as I did, that the two most important resources that any country has is land and water, and he and I worked as handmaidens in seeing to it that sufficient funds were provided by the Congress for the development of our land and water resources. Now, I could be more specific, but if you have any particular areas in which you would like to discuss, I should be glad to answer such questions as you may propound.
CATES: Senator Ellender that was a very good opening statement on your part. Iwould like to get back to the area of the filibuster; you gave a very good 00:10:00example there when the General came to you twice and suggested that you might quit your particular speech which was nearing a record. Do you have any other such stories that you could relate about the many filibusters which you were joined together in that would maybe give a little clearer insight into the man Richard Russell?
ELLENDER: Well, I participated in all of the filibusters that took place fromthe time I came in the Senate. My first defense was in the early part of 1938; I can well remember at the time that Senator Connally from Texas was our leader. 00:11:00Now, Connally was a very good man, but I think that Russell made us a much better leader in that he took interest in it. He was knowledgeable, and he assigned to us certain chores which, of course, we followed. Now, Senator Russell was very much interested in the subject, as I was, and I'll never forget my first try at filibustering. Tom Connally was, as I said, the chairman, when I first came here, of our Southern caucus or delegation; and when we had our first 00:12:00meeting, Connally went around and asked John Bankhead, "How long can you talk?" John said, "Oh, I guess I can talk two hours." "How about you Kenneth McKellar?" "Oh," he said, "I could talk maybe an hour and a half to two and a half hours." Then Dick Russell, "As long as I can." Then he went to Senator (Walter F.) George, and Senator George gave his limit to which he could go on talking, and then the late Theodore Bilbo from Mississippi; and when he came to me and asked me how long I could talk, I told him, I said, "I don't know." But I said, "You 00:13:00let the big guns shoot off and let the popgun call come behind and call me last, and I can assure you that I'll talk as long as I can." Well, to make a long story short: In January and February of 1938, when I took the floor, with the able assistance of Senator Russell giving me all sorts of information that he had on the subject, we were talking about poll tax. It was his view as well as mine, as well as all Southerners that the matter of poll tax was a state issue, that the states had the right under the Constitution to define the rights of voters, give their qualifications, and that it was a matter close to us it was close to the colonies, close to all the states, because at that time it was 00:14:00never intended that the Congress should have any right in establishing the qualifications of voters and that is (was) a burning issue at the time. When I assumed the floor I don't know that I could say that I'm proud of it, but I spoke for six successive days from four and a half to ten hours a day; in all I spoke about sixty two hours on the same subject, by the way and again at the end of the sixth day, I was asked by Senator Connally who was then our general, if I would give way to Theodore Bilbo. He couldn't hold down Bilbo; Bilbo wanted 00:15:00to talk; he had a lot of his constituents from Mississippi in the gallery, and I'd held the floor for these six successive days, and Connally said he thought I had talked enough and I should give way to somebody else. Well, I told him, I said, "Tom," I said, "I told you that I didn't know how long I could talk, but I talked for six days so far" of course, there were interruptions between. We talked I was able to obtain the floor from day to day by unanimous consent. Alben Barkley was then the floor leader in the Senate, and I was willing to go on all night if necessary, but Alben decided that it might be best for us to recess at a reasonable time, after anywheres from ten to twelve hours of session in the Senate. I was encouraged by Dick and others to keep on talking, and 00:16:00that's one record that I established, and nobody has ever exceeded up till now. Except for the fact that I got encouragement from a man like Dick Russell and others, chances are that I would not have established that record, but I was proud to do it; and Dick, of course, assisted in this, in my efforts, and I was very proud of the fact that I was able, as a neophyte, which is the second year in which I was in the Congress, to hold the Senate floor so long.
CATES: That was quite an accomplishment, Senator. Senator, I understand thatwhen Senator Russell was the leader of the filibuster he divided the senators up 00:17:00into teams and he instructed them to call roll call votes at the most inopportune time. Do you recall any stories along this line?
ELLENDER: Oh, yes. Well, well, I happened to be captain of one of those teams,and we, of course, discussed strategy behind closed doors with Senator Russell as our leader. As a matter of fact, although each team was supposed to retain the floor during twenty four hours, I think that the team, the members of the team got more rest than the members of the Senate, because we made it possible 00:18:00to have the Senate to meet, let's say, at noon, and someone would get up and talk for as many as six or seven or eight hours and then call a roll call. Then we had someone sit for another, talk for another three hours; and when we got in the wee hours of the morning, we were able to get much rest because many of our colleagues went home expecting no roll calls, no quorum calls, and sometimes it required as many as three hours to get a sufficient number of senators to come to answer to the roll call. The strategy was to call, have these roll calls when 00:19:00our colleagues who were in opposition to us were very anxious to sleep. By conducting the filibuster in that manner, it wasn't long that the leadership decided not to have night sessions, and of course, that in a way injured to our benefit. All of these tactics were worked out by a general who was Russell and his captains; we were four teams: Lister Hill was captain of one; (John Cornelius) Stennis was another; I was one; and off and on, (John Little) McClellan was; and others. We had two -we had four very potent teams there that 00:20:00had a membership on each team of the captain and four or five senators, and of course, we helped each other, and it was a very effective way of carrying on the filibuster so much so that we were able to wear out our opponents even though they didn't have to talk. They became very weary and, of course, succumbed to our request that it was bad for their health for them to have to get up in the wee hours of the morning to come to listen to us. We had it so arranged that, for instance, with my team, nobody knew where any member of our team was except 00:21:00the captain, and when a quorum call was asked by one of the opponents, we saw to it that none of our members were there to make up the quorum call, and sometimes it lengthened the quorum. At one time, I think, we had to actually not one time, but many times had to adjourn without being able to complete the quorum, and that meant quite a lot of time in our favor. We had a magnificent opportunity to rest, whereas our oppressors were busy trying to find out who, 00:22:00where the opponents were so as to come in and make up a quorum. But the strategy that we employed was very effective and we soon got on top of the question, and I feel confident that we could have kept this pace up except for the fact that in 1954 the Supreme Court, instead of passing on the merits of an existing law, actually made law, and it took the problem away from us. From 1954 and on, we had great opportunities to keep on filibustering, but it was not as effective as 00:23:00it was in the early days when the Southerners were able to conduct these filibusters and prevent action, which in our mind, or it was our feeling, was directly against the Constitution. Now, when I first came to Washington we had from forty to as many as forty six senators that we could depend on, that would stick with us in not voting for cloture, but later on our ranks began to grow thin, particularly after the Supreme Court decision. Out of a membership of ninety six we could hardly muster more than twenty five to twenty six, sometimes 00:24:00twenty eight; and then after the Congress increased its membership, or the membership of the Congress increased to a hundred, we were not able to obtain the sufficient one third plus one in order to prevent cloture, and of course, it was a sad day in our history when that happened.
CATES: Senator Ellender, these opposing senators were only human; do you know ofany animosity that was built up towards the Southern senators and more particular to the leader, Senator Russell, because of these tactics?
ELLENDER: No, indeed, I think on the contrary; most of them admired us for ourability to sustain ourselves during all these long hours and for our ability to 00:25:00be able to present to the country most, very historic facts about, on the question. We had some mighty good students in the Senate at the time, and of course, one of the main ones was Senator Russell. I personally did a lot of research that was used on the Senate floor, and Senator Russell was mighty quick in acknowledging the discovery of new matters; and on several occasions, I had a mighty good administrative assistant here who was a good student, and he found 00:26:00many points of interest that other senators had not thought of, and we went back in history and the record is replete with fine instances of where we were able to show a lot of hypocrisy among those who opposed us. In any event, all of these various conflicts we had between us in the feuding, South and the North, I don't know of any man who really and truly hated us for it; on the contrary, they thought we were right, but they didn't have the courage to vote their 00:27:00convictions, and it is my belief that all of the, all of our colleagues from the North admired all of us, particularly Senator Russell for his able and capable leadership.
CATES: Thirty eight years is a long time for anyone to remain in the Senate asSenator Russell did; did you ever see him or hear about him ever losing his temper or his cool, so to speak, in any Senate debate, not just the filibuster, but anything that especially might have been an emotionally charged issue?
ELLENDER: Well, I can't say that he didn't lose his temper on two or threeoccasions, particularly when in debate when people crossed swords with him and 00:28:00taunted him and just argued that he didn't know too much what he was talking about, but I never saw Senator Russell really mad at anybody. He got ruffled up sometimes at the ignorance shown by some of our Northern friends, but he was just as cool as a cucumber at all times, and he kept his head, and that's what made him so effective in debate with our opponents. On parliamentary issues he was always right; nobody dared to say, Well, Dick, you're wrong. He knew what he 00:29:00was talking about at all times, but of course, that in itself caused many of our colleagues to have faith in him and he had quite a following, not only among the Democrats, but many of the Republicans loved him because of his tenacity and his ability. As a matter of fact, one of the senators there, Senator (Milton Ruben) Young from North Dakota made many statements on the floor that he thought Dick Russell should be President of the United States and that insofar as he was concerned, whether they defeated him or not in North Dakota, he would support him if he'd ever run for president, or was nominated. But Dick, of course, was a 00:30:00great man, and I think he would have made an excellent president, but we from the South knew all the way that a Southerner had little chance of getting the nomination from the Democratic party because, I believe, of our attitude against the blacks. Now, I'm glad that Dick Russell lived to see that the South was right in its advocacy of states rights. Today our country's in an awful shape; I can well see the difference that now exists between the whites and the blacks; it's- they seem to that is, the Negroes seem to hate the South, the whites, but 00:31:00when all is well and done, they always come to us the Southerners as their best friends. (Begin Cassette #203, Side 2) I'm truly sorry and I know that Senator Russell was very sorry about learning that the tragedy that followed after the Supreme Court decision. He knew that the best friends that the blacks had were the Southerners, there was no question about that, and he felt as I did, that if this question had been left to the states where it belonged that the blacks 00:32:00would have doubtless fared better. Today, in many areas the blacks are hated, particularly in the North; and we in the South still love them, and we work with them. Among other things, that's one thing that Senator Russell hated to see, and that is, this division among the between the Negroes and the blacks (whites), and all of this was caused more or less through politics. The North, the Northern politician was trying to get the Negro on his side by pretending to 00:33:00help him, but instead, the tragedy of all of this was that the Negroes are the victims of all of this. I feel confident that had this gone on as we intended that the Negro would have gotten his voting rights the same as everybody else I know we did it in Louisiana; Dick was conscious of that. But to destroy the Constitution, that is, do things that were contrary to that sacred document was what he tried to preserve, and in order to give liberty to some, there was no doubt in his mind and my mind that it would take it away from others, and it's a 00:34:00great pity it happened, and I feel confident that the relationship between the North and the South, as well as the blacks and the whites, would have been more highly respected had we followed the views of Southerners. I'm sure that Dick Russell tried to preserve our Constitution more than any man in the Senate. He had no animosity against colored people; on the contrary, he tried to help them all that he could. He fought valiantly for what he thought was right, and I'm proud of the fact that I was one of his backers.
CATES: Senator Ellender, you mentioned specifically Senator Young; I haveinterviewed Senator Young, and he was telling me that he was almost read out of 00:35:00the party because of his actions there. My question now is this, not so much in connection with anyone supporting him as president, but did Senator Russell actively try to promote this coalition between the southern Democrats and the midwestern and western Republicans? What part did he play in that; did he play an active part?
ELLENDER: Well, of course, he felt that our only hope was this coalition ofmidwesterners, that we could get enough support in that area with the South to cope with the situation, but it soon became apparent that that wasn't in the works, and he lost interest in it as I did when we saw some of the 00:36:00midwesterners just as liberal as the northeasterners. We had good friends at the beginning of our fight, but gradually we lost out as I have previously stated.
CATES: Senator, I know that your activities have taken you around the worldseven times by air and you've visited all the countries except Albania; was this in connection with your Appropriations Committee activities?
CATES: Did Senator Russell discuss with you, or you with him, these various trips?
ELLENDER: Well, when he was chairman of the committee and on the committee, ofcourse, I had to obtain permission from the leadership to travel around, as I did, and Dick Russell was very much interested in what I did; and he urged me to 00:37:00keep on this work, because I felt that any information that I could gather on these world tours were very beneficial to the Appropriations Committee of which he was a ranking member then, and he took a great deal of interest in the work that I did. As you stated, I've made seven complete circles of the world, and my objective was to visit every area in order to determine how our moneys were being spent, particularly in this foreign aid program. Fortunately, Senator Russell and I saw eye to eye in this foreign aid program, and we consistently 00:38:00voted against it after the European recovery. It will be recalled that so called Marshall Plan it was originated back in 1947, when General (George Catlett) Marshall made that famous talk at Harvard. I felt then, as I felt until 1951, that it was a good idea for us to assist countries that agreed to help themselves, but it wasn't long that we found out that what many of our erstwhile friends wanted was assistance without a return of help for themselves.
All of these trips that I made were easily studied, that is my reports, by00:39:00Senator Russell,
and we had a lot of discussion about them; and in the archives of the Capitolhere as well as in the, every federally owned or operated library in the country all of them have copies of my fourteen reports that I made on my visits, particularly the one to Africa wherein I pointed up to the fact that I thought that we shouldn't interfere with the Africans until they were capable of conducting themselves properly that is, get proper leadership so as to conduct themselves in their various countries to the point where they could create and 00:40:00establish good government. I don't know of a report that I made that caused more worldwide attention than my report on Africa when I pointed out the situation, and the very predictions that I made in this report- which were agreed to by the late Senator Russell, and he coordinated his efforts with me on it where we pointed up, pointed out to the fact that there was such, there was hardly any leadership in Africa and for them to be left alone without proper leadership would lead to chaos, and that's what happened. Everything that I predicted in this particular report came to pass. For instance, this in Nigeria, I couldn't 00:41:00see the creation there of a situation where all of the inhabitants of Nigeria would consider themselves Nigerians. I said that there were many powerful tribes there the Ebos, the Fulanis, and others that they would try to lead the way and that just the British had tried to, many years, to try and get them together, try to make themselves think as Nigerians, had never succeeded, and we couldn't do that. I don't know of a report I made in which Senator Russell took more interest in, because it proved all that they had been talking about in these filibusters about the capability of the blacks. Of course, in my book, I think that blacks under proper guidance can make good citizens, they can make 00:42:00advancements in government, in science, in agriculture, in every phase of our way of life, but there must be a beginning in it; and what we were trying to establish was just that, given the opportunity, as much as I was criticized as well as Senator Russell for taking issue on the black question, yet we felt that all people, whether they are black, white, or yellow, should be given the same opportunities to exhibit their talents, to proceed and make a good living if they had the capability to carry on. I know that that was his views as well as mine; it's still my views; we never tried to stop or prevent the blacks from 00:43:00engaging in any endeavor in any phase of our economy provided they had the capabilities. We did all we could in order to create an atmosphere wherein they could learn, wherein they could become leaders. If our advice had been followed, I repeat, I'm sure that the relationship between the blacks and the Negro, and the whites would be much, much better than it is now.
CATES: Senator Ellender, you talking about Africa and the capabilities of theblacks reminds me of something and I know we have a very limited time and it's really interesting talking with you, sir and this is Senator Russell's proposal 00:44:00to subsidize sending the blacks to Africa if they wanted to. I'm not sure of the date was that in the late forties or the early fifties? Did he ever comment to you about this?
ELLENDER: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. He made that statement more or less to induce, asyou said, those who desired to go. He didn't want to force them to go--but if you don't like America as it is, go back to Africa, and we'll pay your way there and develop your country but there were no takers. The blacks in America made wonderful progress compared to their ancestors and that's what made my report on Africa so interesting to Russell and others, because what I found there was the very thing we were talking about. Here was a huge continent that contained at 00:45:00the time as I recall over two hundred and fifty million inhabitants and there was little progress made in Africa except in the northern part where the Carthaginians and the Spaniards and the Romans and the Greeks came, and southern Africa where the Germans came and the Dutch came and developed the country. But insofar as central Africa was concerned, that is the entire torrid zone and parts of the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, where the main body of the blacks lived, it's incredible what I saw there as late as 1962 when I made my trip there. There was no leadership of any kind. They lived then as they lived five 00:46:00hundred years ago, and it is my belief as well as Senator Russell's that those people should be helped so long as the help given was aimed at having them help themselves, but somehow it never took root. It preferred to remain as it was. There was little way, there was little effort made by them to become progressive, become leaders. Whenever, as I pointed out in my report, some of the leaders made good but they were chopped off and killed and murdered by others who I don't know whether they were envious of them or not, but they didn't seem to like to see some of their comrades go forth and go ahead and try 00:47:00to develop the country. It is only where the leaders in Europe who came to develop Africa was where you saw quite a bit of progress, but personally, as I said in my report, I never saw any in any part of tropical Africa where the bulk of the Negroes lived, where it could be shown that a community was constructed by these people by the use of brick and mortar, nor did I find any area where they developed an economy of their own. And all that was true. Wherever you saw progress, you could trace it back to Europeans coming there to assist in leading the way, but insofar as actual progress was made by the Africans on their own, 00:48:00there was little of that done; and what we wanted to do was to try to develop that so that they could make better people of themselves, and wherever they showed leadership, of course, the opportunity was afforded to them to go forward.
CATES: Senator, Senator Russell was much misunderstood and much criticizedbecause of this suggestion, was he not?
ELLENDER: All of us were.
ELLENDER: All of us were, because they were blinded; they were biased; theydidn't give it thought; they were you know, I, since then I've been doing legislative work now for many, many years twelve years in the Louisiana legislature, and now thirty five here, and I hope to run again in 1972; and if I do run in 1972, I will have been a member of the Senate longer than any man in history, and I'm shooting for that goal now.
CATES: I wish you luck.
ELLENDER: Thank you, sir. We were criticized by a lot of people who didn't knowwhat they were talking about. What we were trying to do was to create a better 00:49:00atmosphere between the whites and the blacks; we were willing and we were working hard to give the Negro an opportunity to go forward in keeping with his capabilities, and we were willing to train him. We were willing to there was no effort made in my state, I know, nor in Georgia, to prevent the Negroes from going to colleges. It was open to them. Now, of course, you might have had a few hardheads that prevented it, but as a general rule, they were taken in colleges and given an opportunity to better themselves. And of course, that's what we were after, and that was our idea. But to make it possible for them to become leaders without the capabilities was where we drew the line.
CATES: Senator, I don't know if you saw this on television this week, but00:50:00Senator George Aiken was on television during the committee hearing, and I believe it was in connection with the peace demonstrations. And he lost his cool, so to speak, and used one word of profanity and told the witness, "If you don't like it in America, get out of America; nobody's trying to keep you here."
CATES: That might be a small analogy between the two of them no one is requiredto stay in this country, and if they can leave, they ought to leave if they want to leave.
ELLENDER: That's exactly right and that's why Senator Russell decided to createthat haven for them in Liberia, or any part of Africa. But the trouble was that no people would listen to that. You know, whenever you permit politics to guide your mind or your ways or your to guide you when you're in a legislative body, you seem to lose your sense of reason. You try to do things to please various 00:51:00people, and whenever any man in Congress or in any legislative body loses his sense of reason because of being pressed to do this, that, and the other, he's bound to make bad judgments and he's bound to act contrary to what he should. We've got a lot of pressure groups here in America, and as far as I'm concerned, I try to use my own judgment, and any time that I can't do that, I don't want to be in the Senate. I've tried, as well as Senator Russell, to do the best I could to represent our people and I'm sure that that was foremost in Senator Russell's mind; it was not that he was against the blacks. I'm not against the black people at all, and I want to give them all opportunity to show them, to 00:52:00become capable and not deny them the right to do any kind of work if they show capability.
CATES: Senator, I know there are many questions I could ask you. You have ameeting in about two minutes; you said at ten o'clock. I would like to ask you this one final question: What do you consider Senator Russell's most outstanding personality trait?
ELLENDER: Well, he had a lot of patience; he was a great leader, and he preparedhimself for that leadership; he was a good student. Of course, in the last few years of his time on earth, he was very ill; but still, sick as he was, he 00:53:00retained that coolness and that type of leadership that made of him one of the leading senators in our country.
CATES: Do you think that he-- (phone rings, taping stopped and started again)
Senator, no one should know better than yourself the duties of the President protem(pore) of the Senate since you are presently President pro tem(pore). Do you think Senator Russell's health prevented him in filling the job as it should have been filled?
CATES: You do?
ELLENDER: I do. Well, of course, he did what he could, you see, but he was soill that he couldn't do justice to it, particularly in the last year, I would say last six months of his existence. But he did the best he could, and under trying circumstances. He was unable to attend to his duties on the 00:54:00Appropriations Committee because that's very strenuous, and I was proud to be able to substitute for him.
CATES: That's the reason I asked you the question, because I knew that you hadto substitute maybe the last six months.
ELLENDER: Well, not only that, in fact, the whole year, and I handled theAppropriations bill. He held practically all the hearings, and I was there, and in the 1960 two years ago was the first time when I got the notice only a half hour before the bill came up for consideration. He got me on the line and said, "Allen'" he said, "I can't make it; won't you take over?" And I did. And that's when I realized how sick Dick Russell was. And that was in 1969--
ELLENDER: From there on, of course, he got me to take charge. He was a very sickman, but with all of that illness, knowing that he was going to die because of 00:55:00this emphysema he had, he was still much interested in his work and did the best he could in--through proper guidance. And I got a lot of I talked to him quite often, and of course, I was eager to follow his instructions as to what was best to do, particularly on the Appropriations Committee.
CATES: Senator Ellender, I want to thank you on behalf of the University ofGeorgia and the Richard Russell Foundation for a very excellent interview on your part.
ELLENDER: Well, thank you. I wish I could give you more time because I have manymore instances that come to my mind to relate to you.
CATES: Thank you, sir.
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