Public Men in and out of Office

By J. T. Salter | Go to book overview

14
SOL BLOOM "Supersalesman of Patriotism"

BY HUGH A. BONE

THE SCENE WAS THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE OF REPREsentatives, February 4, 1941; the occasion was a debate on the lend-lease bill; the speaker was Sol Bloom, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The bill is short, direct and to the point. The people of the United States with their fundamental horse sense know that. In light of our clear cut national policy to aid Britain, the bill is the most efficient and forthright way to execute our policy in a manner consistent with our long history of the democratic way of doing things.

Three days later near the close of the day, a deadlock developed over the question of placing limitations on the lend-lease bill, a deadlock which seriously threatened passage. At the eleventh hour Bloom stepped in to offer an amendment to limit lend lease to one-tenth of the total appropriations for defense in the fiscal year of 1941. This compromise "clicked" and the day was saved when both Republicans and Democrats passed it with a big vote.

Following through, Bloom went over to the other side of the Capitol as a daily visitor to observe the progress of debate on the measure in the Senate. With his gift for colorful expression and flair for quoting statistics, he said: "The Senate has used in [this] debate three times the words employed in all of the inaugural addresses and those great addresses of Washington and Lincoln, plus the famous liberty documents of all time." He can tell you the number of words in these addresses as well as those in the Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights.

-225-

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