Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Frank StantonFrank Stanton
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 755

that committee, and explained exactly what had happened; that I didn't know anything about the Autry/Rayburn relationship. Oren was perfectly understanding. I said, “The Speaker wants to see you and me at 2:00 this afternoon. I think I was the one to deliver the message to the chairman that the Speaker wanted to see him, which was a little bit of a pill for Oren Harris to swallow.

But, we went over to the Speaker's office. There were four people there -- the Speaker, his administrative assistant in this particular area, Mr. Harris, and Stanton -- and Mr. Sam very nicely said, “Our mutual friend, Gene Autry, says you've got something you want to talk with me about, and it's important. If it's important to Gene --” That kind of thing. So, I very quickly told him what it was. He didn't drop a beat. I told him what I wanted, which was to get unanimous consent, so we could get this legislation through before the convention. He understood it. Without dropping a beat, he turned to Oren Harris and said, “Oren, have you got the votes?” Oren turned to me and said, “Frank, have we got the votes?” I said yes, Sam said, “It will be on next Monday.” That's as long as the meeting took. We got out of there, I thought Oren Harris looked like he had seen a ghost. We walked from the Speaker's office, or, from the House of Representatives over to the office building in which Oren Harris had his office, and walking across the campus, so to speak, he turned to me and said, “Now, God damn it, have you got those votes?” I said, “No, Oren, but we can get them.” And he said, in words I don't want to even put on the tape, “He'll kill me,” in effect, “if we don't have these votes.” Because he had to have the vote for a unanimous consent. He can't order it, he can only put it on the agenda, and if you don't have the votes for it, it would be terrible.

I came back to WTOP that night, our television affiliate in Washington -- or, that afternoon

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help