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United States Senate

Proceedings in the Senate

TUESDAY, November 13, 1945.


Mr. President, the purple curtains of eternity have once again parted to receive the soul of a veteran Member of this distinguished body.

Since last we met here my colleague, Senator JOHN THOMAS, has been called back to the bosom of the Creator.

We have all known for some time that Senator THOMAS was putting up a courageous battle against the odds of advancing years and failing health, yet the news of his death came as a shock. He fought the good fight to the end. He was a man of strong will and fighting spirit. His is a typically American story.

He was born in humble circumstances in the great State of Kansas. His life was one of struggle to achieve success in the business world and later in the field of politics. He has served the people of Idaho in some public capacity almost since the day Providence directed his path to our State in 1909. Idaho has bestowed honors on JOHN THOMAS over a long period of years.

During the past few months Senator THOMAS was unable personally to carry on the affairs of his office. Nevertheless, all routine business has been efficiently taken care of by his daughter, Mrs. Mary Peavey. She is a splendid example of American womanhood, a credit to her illustrious father and the State of Idaho. I am sure that my departed colleague would wish that I should take this opportunity to call attention to her faithful devotion and the service she has rendered.

When I learned of Senator THOMAS' death I called his residence, and his 11-year-old grandson answered the telephone. There was an unmistakable sob in the lad's voice. I believe the fine family relationship that existed between our departed

friend and those who were closest to him is a testimonial to his character and fundamental human qualities that makes any words of praise seem utterly inadequate.

Tomorrow we will return the earthly remains of JOHN THOMAS to his home in Gooding, Idaho, where he will find his final resting place in a beautiful green valley that was but recently part of a vast expanse of purple sage. The winds of approaching winter will carry pure driven snow down from the lofty peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains to blanket him softly in his last sleep. Spring rains will bring a carpet of green bedecked with mountain flowers to conceal so well the freshness of the newly turned earth that visitors will see no difference between one plot of ground and all the others. But neither the covering snows of winter, the constant washing of showers, nor the fading caused by bright summer suns will erase the name of Senator JOHN THOMAS from a secure and exalted place in the history of our pioneer State and the Nation.

Mr. President, at this time I offer the resolution (S. Res. 190) which I send to the desk:

Resolved, That the Senate has heard with profound sorrow and deep regret the announcement of the death of Hon. JOHN THOMAS, late a Senator from the State of Idaho.

Resolved, That a committee of 10 Senators be appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate to take order for superintending the funeral of the deceased Senator.

Resolved, That the Secretary communicate these resolutions to the House of Representatives and transmit a copy thereof to the family of the deceased.


Mr. President, in just a word, for

the time being, I wish to express the deep sorrow which is felt by all the colleagues of the late Senator THOMAS on this side of the aisle in the loss of a very dear friend and a very cherished colleague.

Senator THOMAS represented Christian character in about as fine a fashion as I have ever seen it in this life. He lived

with a shining integrity which was the hallmark of his private life and his public service. He was quiet, modest, and unassuming as he moved among us, yet he constantly left his influence upon the labors of the Congress.

He had our confidence, he had our affection. He represented in his lifetime the great American saga of self-made opportunity in building himself from the lowest levels of opportunity to the highest levels of service.

Mr. President, Senator THOMAS was a great citizen, a great Senator, a great American, a great friend. We shall miss him deeply.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The question is on agreeing to the resolution submitted by the Senator from Idaho. The resolution was unanimously agreed to.

Under the second resolving clause the President pro tempore appointed the Senator from Idaho [Mr. Taylor], the Senator from Montana [Mr. Wheeler], the Senator from Colorado [Mr. Johnson], the Senator from Ohio [Mr. Taft], the Senator from Illinois [Mr. Brooks], the Senator from Nebraska [Mr. Butler], the Senator from North Dakota [Mr. Langer], the Senator from Utah [Mr. Murdock], the Senator from Colorado [Mr. Millikin], and the Senator from Wyoming [Mr. Robertson] the committee on the part of the Senate to attend the funeral of the deceased Senator.

Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. President, as a further mark of respect to the memory of the deceased Senator, I move that the Senate do now take a recess until tomorrow at 12 o'clock meridian.

The motion was unanimously agreed to; and (at 12 o'clock and 17 minutes p. m.) the Senate took a recess until tomorrow, Wednesday, November 14, 1945, at 12 o'clock meridian.

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