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State banking
of banks.

Small loan com-

A special com-
mittee ap-
pointed by
the Governor.


of the Indiana Legislative Advisory Committee. Special study commission. Michigan house committee.




Committee on
Public Ad-

and Taxation.
Recess com-


Interim house

study committee on banking laws. House committee.

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1955 sought injunction against 3 small loan com- No...... panies in Montgomery County. December 1957 filed suit against all small loan companies in Anniston.

A resolution introduced in Alabama Legislature (?). charged that some small loan operations licensed under the 1959 State small loan law are making loans in excess of $300 in violation of this act. Resolution would request State attorney general to investigate violations. Preliminary investigation of "2d mortgage broker" a system of lending.

Superintendent of Banks Robert M. Checker announced the start of a statewide investigation of widespread illegal lending practices. Hearings to begin Dec. 30, 1965.

Yes (November (?) 1963). (?).

Commission created to investigate small loan Yes (1955).
practices following defeat in 1953 of several
small loan bills in general assembly.

Committee to investigate need for additional Yes...
consumer credit legislation. The committee
recommended enactment of legislation to pro-
tect consumers against exorbitant interest

Subcommittee to investigate the use of credit (?).
insurance in connection with small loans; in-
vestigation due to allegations of abuse in press.

Commission to study effectiveness of present (?). laws relating to loans and credit, illegal lending operations, and feasibility of a usury law. Committee to investigate the small loan business. The committee was originally created to study the automobile sales finance business. However, the committee found "a definite connection" between motor vehicle sales financing and the small loan financing and therefore the scope of investigation was enlarged to include the latter.

Committee issued a study entitled, "A Factual Study of Usury in Mississippi." Study emphasized system of "brokering" of small loans.

Yes (January 1965).

Recess committee to study loan and finance (?). business and make report to 1958 legislature.

Committee to study banking laws. During in- (?)... vestigation elementary abuses in small loan field were uncovered.

Committee to investigate complaints that many small loan companies lend money to low-income persons for unwise purposes and fail to make proper check of borrower's earnings, family obligation, and other debts. Questioned whether law should permit both a wage order and a wage assignment to be deducted simultaneously from a worker's pay.

Committee to investigate loan shark practice. Yes...

Commission to investigate small loan companies (?). and to consider new small loan regulatory legislation.

Committee held hearings on small loan regulatory legislation.

Committee to study the Oklahoma laws relating | (?). to consumer finance, usury, sales finance, and allied laws and also model and uniform laws and the laws of other States on said subject. The committee was to file its findings and legislative recommendations with the Legislative Council by October 1, 1960. Committee to study the State's "commercial (?) finance laws." The committee held public hearings on Oct. 23, 1963, to determine the legislative needs "in 6 areas" including small loan and insurance premium financing. The committee was directed to draft a new code of commercial finance laws and submit recommendations by Nov. 1, 1964.

Committee to investigate a $3,700,000 loan (?). swindle at St. Mary's and to submit recommendations to prevent swindles, finance manipulations, to cover operations of all types of firms-small loan, discount loan, auto finance, and pawnbrokers.

Held hearings to investigate St. Mary's loan swindle.

The Alabama lobby seeking not to incur public disfavor and to prevent stringent punitive legislation introduced bills in 1955 and 1957. These bills would have legalized "unbelievable" interest charges.

SLC small loan bill was passed by the general assembly and signed into law on Mar. 4, 1955.

As result of committee report S.B. 808 to amend the Usury Act was passed by the legislature.

2 small loan bills were introduced in the 1956 session. S.B. 1520 sought to regulate brokering, S.B. 1569 was an enabling act which provided for licensing of small lenders.

Committee submitted proposal to 1958 legislature designed to regulate brokerage system. This proposal with several amendments adopted by legislature and signed by Governor, becoming effective July 1, 1958. This series of statutes recognized brokerage system and provided for licensing and regulation including limitation on interest and charges.

Representative Laurence M. Pickett who chaired committee introduced bill aimed at curbing small loan interest rates.

Law passed prohibiting the charging of interest in excess of 25 percent annually. Loan shark ing made a felony; a violation subject to maximum penalty of 5 years in jail, of $5,000 fine, or both.

Legislature passed law (1961) aimed at curbing abuse of small loan firms.

State insurance commissioner called publi hearings (July 1961) to set up a standard acci dent and health insurance contract for use in sale of insurance in connection with smal loan law.

See footnote at end of table.


TABLE 3.-State investigations of loan shark and small loan company operations, 1955-65—Continued


South Carolina.......... 1960-61


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State attorney

House judiciary
and labor,

and industry

committee. Special committee.

Attorney Gen-
eral Wilson.

Small loan
study com-

A 5-member

committee of Texas Legislative Council appointed by Governor. Legislative council.

Made probe of practices of unlicensed lenders
and called for legislature to plug loopholes in
State laws.

Held hearings on unlicensed lenders..

Committee to make 2 year investigation of small (?).
loan activities for purpose of presenting to the
1957 legislature a workable small loan act.
Attorney General Will Wilson focused attention No....
on deplorable loan shark conditions existing
in the small loan field by vigorous prosecution
of hundreds of injunction suits to enjoin usu-
rious lending. The various complaints charged
that the defendants employed 1 or more usu-
rious subterfuges, including illegal brokerage
and insurance charges.

Committee made an exhaustive study of the
small loan business in Texas. Public hear-
ings were held in major cities of the State. A
comprehensive report was published which
recommended (1) amendment of the State
constitution to allow interest in excess of 10
percent per annum and (2) enactment of a
small loan regulation statute along line of
⚫ uniform small loan law of the Model Consumer
Finance Act.

Committee to update 1958 recommendations... (?)

To study the powers of the various lending | (?).
institutions and the admissibility of bringing
them under a single regulatory act with a
uniform method of computing loan charges.

1 Unless otherwise stated no direct cause-effect relationship is implied between an investigation and any law cited in the column labeled "results of investigation." All that is intended is to indicate that there is reason to conclude that an investigation influenced a particular outcome although it may not have been its sole cause.

Some States have controlled this practice. Others have done nothing. Georgia, for instance, has no restrictions on credit insurance. An actuary reporting on this point to the General Assembly of Georgia stated:

The law specifically allows for all types of credit insurance to be written with certain benefits at certain specified rates and the customary direct commission on this business is the equivalent of another 55 percent effective annual interest.

Recalling that the maximum cost on a $40 loan amounted to 60 percent, credit insurance commissions could conceivably increase the lender's return under those circumstances to 115 percent of loan.

During hearings earlier this year before the Domestic Finance Subcommittee on Banking and Currency, we learned of a large finance company specializing in loans to servicemen that issues a marine insurance policy at a rate of $30, supposedly to cover damage to automobiles shipped from abroad to this country. The coverage was extended by a wholly owned subsidiary. In many cases, the serviceman did not even know of this charge until long after the loan was made.

There are other facets of consumer finance that bear that bear close study. close study. For

State constitutional amendment similar to one recommended by the committee was adopted in 1960.

Sources: "Consumer Finance." Law Bulletin, 1965-55. Jones-Bethune. From the State capitals, 1965-61. Personal Finance Law Quarterly, 1965-55.

instance, most companies impose a late
charge when payments do not reach the
lender by the due date. This is simply
another form of interest, increasing the
30 or 40 percent already reserved even
30 or 40 percent already reserved even

In the automobile financing field, there
have been scandals involving kickbacks
to dealers, who reserve, by negotiable
contract, high interest rates, then sell
off the paper to banks or other institu-
tions for collection. Some dealers make
more from rebates than from the sale of

In Texas, a Federal grand jury indicted over 60 defendants for conspiring to fix interest rates in 23 Southern and Southwestern States. Their scheme included division of territory, rate fixing, and other practices designed to extract the last cent from the borrower. Sixty-one defendants pleaded nolo contendere, and the court imposed fines of over a quarter million dollars.

"Add on" and "discount" practices, having the effect of doubling the stated rate, are common throughout the field, leading the borrower to believe that his rate is substantially lower than it is.

Another device is the finder's fee, or brokerage charge. Here, in addition to interest, insurance, and other charges,

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In face of compelling evidence that something should be done, the question comes, what has been done?

The answer-very little. Thus far, the Federal Government has undertaken to exert no jurisdiction over the field of consumer finance. The States themselves, who should bear primary responsibility, have not shown undue eagerness to become involved. I attach a third table showing the extent of recent State action in the field. According to this report, investigations have been conducted by only 18 States in the past 8 years. Of these, only five States have enacted legislation pertaining to small loans. New Mexico completed a study in 1955, with revealing results. Of 103 small loan companies examined, only 8 were conducting their business completely in accord with applicable laws.

Fifty-six were engaging in sharp lending practices and illegally high interest rates, even though the maximum rate was 42 percent.

Mr. Speaker, the growth of consumer debt, its prevalence among lower income families, the rise in bankruptcies, the increase in borrowing for consolidation of debts, the growth of interstate lending, the widespread existence of questionable practices in this area-all of these demand a thorough and exhaustive study by a responsible instrumentality of Government. The States should long ago have done this. Yet, they have not. And even where investigations have been made, the results, insofar as protecting the borrower, are not impressive.

Therefore, I believe there is a responsibility upon the Congress. The distinguished chairman of our Committee on Banking and Currency, Mr. PATMAN, of Texas, has seen this need, and constituted a special subcommittee to study the incidence of loan shark operations and usury within the United States. As chairman of that subcommittee, I suggest that the following areas are worthy of detailed study:

First. The Federal Usury Statute (12 U.S.C. 85): This law provides that national banks may charge as much interest as State banks. The statute was passed to protect national banks by placing them on a par with competing State banks. The interest of the borrower is absent. For instance, the only penalty for usury is forfeiture of interest, or, if the loan has been paid, recovery of double the amount of interest received.

Congress should consider the broad implications of this statute. While national banks have been remarkably free from sharp practices, add-on and discount practices should be examined. Further, some banks have developed a new credit device whereby a checking account depositor can overdraw his account by paying a stated charge on the amount of his overdraft, similar to revolving charge account plans used by many retail stores. When that charge is 12 percent per month, the borrowerdepositor is actually paying 18 percent simple annual interest. Here is another Here is another area that deserves inquiry. Finally, banks provide consumer finance companies with about one-half of the funds which they lend to the public. In some cases, there are compensating balances of deposits, which enable banks to receive a substantial benefit in addition to interest paid. To some extent, therefore, banks contribute to some of the excesses committed by unscrupulous lenders. This subject, as a possible point for the application of remedies, bears further thought.

Second. Armed services personnel: The hearings already held by the Committee on Banking and Currency pertaining to Federal Services Company establishes the need for special consideration for servicemen. They seem to They seem to be a fertile ground for predatory lending practices. Their careers can be scuttled by unscrupulous creditors. Yet, paradoxically, the Defense Establishment often finds itself in the position of a col

lection agency for money lenders. Certainly, by legislation or executive order, appropriate measures must be taken to protect servicemen, who are often inexperienced and unsophisticated in the ways of finance. The Department of Defense can certainly adopt some conditions, including maximum effective interest rates, under which it will either grant or withhold its cooperation in collection matters.

Servicemen have a definite need of credit. Consideration should be given to developing new devices, beyond the reach of sharp operators, such as military credit unions, or company credit funds, or military guarantees to lenders who offer reasonable terms.

Third. Use of the mails: Practically every day, newspapers advise the public of "low cost, easy credit", either in installment purchases or loans. There rarely appears any indication of the cost of that credit translated into simple interest rates.

There can be no question of Federal jurisdiction over the content of matter transmitted through the mails, including newspaper advertising. Abuses existing in this field can be corrected and controlled by appropriate Federal legislation.

Fourth. Interstate commerce: There are many consumer credit companies which operate in more than one State. Some have branches in every State of the Union except one which has no small loan law. The constitutional power of the Congress to regulate interstate commerce applies no less to consumer credit than to any other industry. Congress should, therefore, consider what measures might be needful in regulating the practices of companies operating across State lines.

For instance, one company requires all contracts to be forwarded to its home office for execution because of the favorable laws of that State. Because the law of the contract is the law of the place of execution, other State laws are evaded and totally ineffective. Federal action could remedy this situation, assuring the borrower at least the protection afforded by the law of his own State.

Mr. Speaker, I have listed but a few possible areas for inquiry. There are doubtless many more. As the study of our subcommittee progresses, I am certain that other proposals will be considered.

Thus far, I have left without comment a second area of vital importancethe loan shark racket. Criminal elements, acting totally beyond the law, have sunk their hooks into thousands of citizens, exacting from them interest, or "vigorish," as they call it, of up to 5 percent per week. Ruin, dishonor, and even death have followed in their wake. Money from the rackets finds here a fertile field. Businesses, and even some banks, have been corrupted by underworld lending activities. There is at least one instance of bank employees steering customers to loan sharks, receiving kickbacks in return.

I shall not undertake at this time to explore this subject. That, too, will be part of the duty of our subcommittee, and I hope to report in detail at an early date.

Mr. Speaker, this is a matter of importance to every Member of Congress, and to every congressional district. I solicit the cooperation of all citizens in making this investigation of lasting benefit to the people.

Mr. STRATTON. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield to me?

Mr. WELTNER. I am glad to yield to the gentleman.

Mr. STRATTON. I am very interested in the remarks of the gentleman. I think he is bringing to the attention of the House a situation that perhaps ought to be looked into more fully by the Committee on Armed Services. At the same time, however, I think it should be pointed out that because of the financial conditions of the very kind that the gentleman refers to, our committee recommended a very substantial increase in pay for members of the armed services which was passed unanimously by this body and by the other body and which has now been signed into law. I am hopeful, as a result of that legislation, which was authored by the distinguished chairman of our committee, the gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. RIVERS], situations of the kind the gentleman refers to will be less frequent in the future than they have been in the past.

Mr. WELTNER. I thank the gentleman for his contribution. Certainly I, along with the other Members of the House, was happy to support that product of the Committee on Armed Services. Our Committee on Banking and Currency held very revealing hearings about some of the problems of servicemen, particularly insofar as the problems of repayment of debt are concerned.



The SPEAKER pro tempore HECHLER). Under previous order of the House, the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. FEIGHAN] is recognized for 10 minutes.

Mr. FEIGHAN. Mr. Speaker, on August 27, 1965, Mr. Jack Valenti, special assistant to the President, delivered a forthright and highly informative address at the summer commencement of the University of Houston.

Mr. Valenti expressed his views on the A valued alumnus of that university, importance of education to the future of our Nation. He was speaking with the voice of experience, as one who came by his higher education the hard way.

This commencement address provides some firsthand insights on the basic political philosophy of the Johnson administration, the processes of decisionmaking at the White House, the root meaning of the changes our society is now undergoing, and the opportunities all Americans have to shape our own future and to lead those in other lands

who look to us for strength and faith in a better world for future generations. Under leave granted, I include Mr. Valenti's address:


As I was saying when I was interrupted some weeks ago, I sleep more confidently because Lyndon Johnson is my President.

I also take heart when I return to my university where longer than I like to admit I studied and worked, sometimes bewildered, sometimes hopeful, many times broke. This university was an infant then. It had been a full-fledged university only 4 years when I became a night school student working downtown in the day, taking three classes a night, five nights a week, 6:30 to 9:30 every evening. Eight years and one war later, I received a degree without ever taking a class in daylight.

I have often considered what kind of life I would have led had there been no University of Houston. It is unlikely that I would have gone to college. My world would have been constricted unattended by challenge, and possibly unappreciative of excellence.

But, thank God-and Hugh Roy Cullenthere is a University of Houston. Mr. Cullen extracted a good many millions of dollars from the earth and wanted to pour it back into educated young minds. He is gone from the scene, but he has left an everlasting


Education works in many and strange ways its wonders to perform. Once, also a long time ago, there lived a beautiful woman who, Freud would say was, to put it mildly and properly, uninhibited. But with all her abandon she was gay and charming and witty and she attracted the attention of a powerful king. As she grew older she opened a famous salon where the loftiest minds of that century gathered to debate. While gentle society demeaned her, she did gather some of the world's material goods as well as the affection of the intellectually eminent. She died and in her will left a large sum of money to the son of her lawyer, an amiable but stolid fellow. "Buy your son books with this money and have him read," she wrote. And so this woman whose name was Ninon de Lenclos, and whose royal benefactor was Louis XIV, left most of her estate to a young boy who grew up to become Voltaire.

Any relationship between that study and my experience at the University of Houston is purely coincidental.

But the point history makes is clear. Whether at the University of Houston or through the unusual legacy of a worldly woman, education is the generator of progress, the launching pad of hope, and the litmus by which a society tests its greatness. No one believes that more strongly than an ex-Houston schoolteacher-Lyndon B. JohnI remember that day a year ago, at


is a narrow channel to a larger life. If the is a narrow channel to a larger life. If the channel is clogged, if its banks are silted channel is clogged, if its banks are silted over by neglect and odium, then no matter how dazzling the land and the sea beyond the channel, those who are trapped within are strangers to the world. Not just the world over the rim of our own shores but the world of beauty and promise and hope, the world of beauty and promise and hope, the world most of us see and enjoy but which many of us never and don't.

History measures the growth of national power and shared abundance by the birth and enlargement of a middle class. So long as there is just the rich and the poor, then there will be always fear and oppression, hate and injustice. hate and injustice. History squirms with the too often told tale of a small group rich and inaccessible imposing their will on the larger group, poor and imprisoned.

We are trying to help other nations fashion their own kind of social justice where the humblest and the strongest share the common bounty of both the land and its laws.

For when there is a chance for those on the bottom to rise, then there is a reason for the hopeless to have hope. Hope is the indispensable asset without which a nation slowly shrivels, and a neighborhood tion slowly shrivels, and a neighborhood surely dies.

In our own land, the dark ghetto, written about so factually by Dr. Kenneth Clark, and spoken of so movingly by President Johnson, spoken of so movingly by President Johnson, is not merely a description of the sorry lot of is not merely a description of the sorry lot of Negroes chained to a wall of mindless monotony.

It is the proper label to give any group of Americans who by ill fate and the force of circumstances is stripped of the meaning of quality. The one distinguishing feature of the ghetto into whose squalor there live both white and black is the loss and lack of edu


Thirty-five million Americans live on incomes of less than $3,000 a year. To these people there is no rich earth, no springtime, only the endless drip of the sameness of each day and night. Theirs is a circle of boredom, unrelieved by nothing, unsought by none, and unseen by all.

It is to these Americans, too many millions of them, whose sons never finish high school, whose daughters marry those sons, and whose children grow up and soundlessly take their place on the dreary treadmill-it is to these people the President aims his compassion and his program. For he has said that the taxeater becomes a taxpayer when he becomes literate enough to want to learn and learns enough to hold a job.

So let us exchange language. Let us substitute the word hope for education. When

one learns, one extends his boundaries and he has hope in tomorrow. He is no longer 'a slag heap where none are inspired and few faceless, nameless, a piece of empty flesh on

are retrieved.

Now for the first time in our history, we have constructed a program which assaults

the University of Michigan, when he spoke all those aging citadels too long defended,

to 91,000 people and through them to generations unborn. Here he said we couldand would-inaugurate a national community where "the meaning of man's life would match the marvels of man's labor."

Since the hour he spun that dream, the President has made it his obsession.

Though the life of this Nation is being tested in Vietnam, and though there have been off-stage voices crying the time-worn slogans of those who ache for the "good old days," this administration has kept its sight on the distant objective of a new quality in the life of every American.

The objective of the Great Society is to freshen and inspire the generative genius of the American people. At the heart of this daring enterprise is the spread of education. No one should be consigned forever to a life of tedium in a time of abundance. The gateless poverty of millions of our citizens

and opens the gates to new educational horizons too long denied. In elementary, secondary, vocational, and higher education the President has said to the Nation: "Every child is going to get all the education he or she can take." For the first time the noisy struggle of religious views has been muted, and an ancient conflict eased. For the first time, State, local, and Federal governments as well as local school boards begin a partnership of progress in which the disadvantaged child is the beneficiary, and the Nation is the better for it.

This 89th Congress may well bear in history the name of the education Congress, and no description is more apt.

All the plans for a Great Society came into being, not in a conclusion, but out of the searching inquiry of the finest brains of this generation. We organized 15 tasks forces, with more than 150 scholars, Government of

ficials, economists, lawyers, teachers, doctors, scientists, each with an expertise and an experience.

The President personally involved himself in the shaping and the forming of each proposal. Through many evenings I sat with him and others of his staff as he poured through planning papers, asking questions, demanding answers, illuminating a weak point, casting aside that which was not on


His invariable questions: Does it benefit this Nation? Can we afford it? Can we afford not to do it? Is it right and just? There was a no-nonsense edge to his words.

The same kind of painful analysis attended each hour of the discussions that preceded the President's statement outlining his Vietnam decisions on July 28, 1965. I sat in on every hour of those discussions and every American would have been comforted to know that the problems of his Nation were so thoughtfully and so searchingly examined.

From Wednesday, July 21 until July 28, the President was personally involved in over 50 hours of meetings. Most of them took place in the Cabinet Room around the huge octagon-shaped table-a gift from Jesse Jones to President Roosevelt in 1941.

These meetings were in focus every minute, homing in on the question of what we should do in Vietnam. The meeting would begin instantly, with either Secretary Rusk or McGeorge Bundy setting forth the item under discussion, and then the President would go around the room asking each man present to state his views. Not one meeting ended without every man in the room having an opportunity to set forth what he believed and why he believed it.

The President would absorb their comments, his eyes on the speaker, listening quietly.

Once the President turned to a high official and said: "We have had only one view of this problem. Why don't you take the other side and refute the argument being made." The high official smiled, and in language both pungent and logical took up the opposite view-incidentally, the view that finally prevailed. The President's intent, carried forward at each meeting, was to lift every cover, explore every crevice, examine every corner.

Out of these long and somber gatherings, every possible option, every probable alternative, and every hopeful sign was under scrutiny. When the meetings were finally done there was no disquieting note of thoughts unsaid or views unspoken. It has all been laid out. The President often says: "A man's judgment is no better than his information." When he made his decision, there was a comforting feeling that the information had been made available.

Why do I speak to you so soberly tonight? You are all young and fresh, and conceiving what Edmund Burke called the extravagant hopes of the future.

If your conscience can discipline itself to be still and quiet, then you ought not to give heed to my words. But if you have fastenend your courage to the sticking place, hear me out.

Two hundred and eighty years ago, the English people had their last revolution. They called it the glorious revolution. Macaulay declared it was the most significant of all British revolutions because it settled for all time the shape and form of the parliamentary system of that island realm.

This time can be America's glorious revolution. There has been set into motion a mighty tide that like the long swell of heavy waves rolls in progression toward the shore. It is the American commitment to the future and it cannot be halted or diluted or diverted.

We are the leader of the world. It is not by choice, for we do not choose to captain

the cause of mankind. But there is no one else with the strength, the abundance, and the faith to do it.

Let us begin the captaincy and the commitment with a national pledge that demands here at home the highest form of excellence in our education, in housing, in conservation, in transportation, in medical care and facilities, in the abolition of poverty, and the construction of beauty and the firm resolve to help preserve freedom and strengthen justice wherever it is beseiged in the world.

But pledges and programs, though they be enunciated by Presidents, have no rostrum unless the people build it.

This is a young people's land. Within 10 years, 125 million people-55 percent of our total population-will be under 30 years of age. So I depart from the usual commencement text to campaign among this group of lively searchers for excellence.

I urge you tonight to join in our commitment to the future where "the meaning of man's life will match the marvels of man's labor."



The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under previous order of the House, the gentleman from Missouri [Mr. RANDALL] is recognized for 15 minutes.

Mr. RANDALL. Mr. Speaker, on Monday evening, July 19, west central and northwest Missouri were subjected to sudden flash floods resulting from almost unprecedented rainfall. In one place the fall amounted to 13 inches in a matter of hours, so heavy that it could not be recorded on a 10-inch rain gage. In our congressional district, situated in west central Missouri, the area hardest hit was in the western portion of Johnson County, Mo., where approximately 8 inches of rain fell suddenly between about 10:30 p.m. and midnight, July 19, 1965, thus providing the setting for enactment of one of the worst tragedies that has visited Johnson County in several decades.

The events that transpired on that long night produced two heroes who gave their lives for others and displayed repeatedly the bravery and courage of the many volunteers who fearlessly and without thought of their own safety battled the flood waters in an effort to save five persons in peril.

Today it is my purpose to try to describe the events of that evening in sequence and to provide a summary of these two supreme acts of heroism that may be preserved as a part of the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD.

Because it is necessary to keep so many near-simultaneous events in mind when describing an evening of this kind, strict sequence or chronological order cannot be maintained at all times. My information has been assembled from eight or nine different sources in the form of correspondence forwarded to my office. I have tried faithfully to reconstruct what happened this night, based on such sources. I ask for forgiveness if I am in error, for I was not an eye witness to what happened.

Early on this ill-fated evening, Mrs. James T. Henley who lives northwest of Holden, Mo., had taken a group of young people in her car to a 4-H skating party

at Warrensburg, Mo. In this group were included her two sons, Mike, age 10, and Frank, age 8, along with David Dodson, age 11, and Steven Zvacek, age 10. The rain had been very heavy On while they were in Warrensburg. the way home when she saw that the flood waters had covered Highway 131, Mrs. Henley attempted to take a country road to their home. Although this road was partially covered with water, an effort was made to get across.

This attempt to drive through some water over a country road set into motion a chain of events which unfolded in grim sequence during the long night ahead. Shortly after entering the water, the Henley car stalled. It was only a matter of minutes until water engulfed the automobile. At first, the children were so panic-stricken they would hardly move, but as the car began to sink into the water, Mrs. Henley managed to get the four youngsters and herself on top of the

Fortunately, Mrs. Henley maintained presence of mind to honk the horn of the car in an effort to call for help. She left the car lights on, hoping someone would see the light. Together, in unison, she and the young people called for help. Mrs. Henley, careful not to suggest it to her sons or their friends, soon realized that their screams for help might not be heard because of the roar of the water and the added noise produced by the heavy downpour of rain.

For the next hour and a half, from 10:30 p.m. until midnight, the honking of the horn and the screams for help continued almost without interruption but with precious little encouragement that they would ultimately be heard.

The first persons to find the stranded automobile were the grandparents of young David Dodson, Mr. and Mrs. Billingsley. At about 12:15 a.m. on the morning of July 20 they became so worried because their grandson had not returned from the skating party that they went out to check if the car could have experienced some trouble. Going to the south side of Blackwater Creek they heard the cries of Mrs. Henley and the children. The Billingsleys lost no time going to the Deweyville store where they called the Holden Fire Department. Just a little later Dewey Lahue, owner of the principal place of business in the village of Deweyville, worked his way close enough to the Henley car to yell that help was on the way.

At almost the same time the Billingsly call was made to Holden, help was coming from another direction.

Over on the north side of Blackwater Creek is the farm home of the William Callaway family. Mrs. Callaway had arisen about midnight to get some medication for her husband, Bill. He had visited a physician that evening suffering from an abdominal infection causing pain. While she was in the kitchen to get a glass, she noticed water coming in the back door from the heavy rain. In opening the inner door to check the storm door, she thought she heard faint cries for help. As she put it, "I called Bill and we listened together for quite some time. Just as we started to close the door we heard the cries again. Af

ter that, Bill dressed immediately and together we got into the car and drove toward Blackwater Creek."

South of Deweyville, the Callaways were met by Lester Long who told them a woman and four children were standing on top of a car enveloped by the water of Blackwater Creek and needed a boat to be rescued. Bill Callaway turned his car around forthwith and went back to his home to get his boat. He hurried back to Blackwater Creek and found the Holden Fire Department had arrived at the point of high water.

With the help of three or four men who had arrived at the scene, Bill Callaway managed to put his 14-foot aluminum fishing boat into the water. Charles Edwards, one of the firemen present, volunteered to make the trip with Bill to the stranded car. Callaway and Edwards successfully reached the car upstream. There they found that the rampaging waters had risen to within 3 or 4 inches of the top of the car. Standing on top of the car were Mrs. Henley, her two sons, David Dodson and Steven Zvacek. It was a happy moment. The brave rescuers had successfully reached the car and all were found safe.

But the feeling of happiness was very short-lived. Shortly after all five were put in Callaway's boat, it was hit in the front by some floating object. The rear end of the boat was swung around with such terrific force that its motor was put out of operation when the propeller struck the car.

Those some distance away from this heart-rending scene could only hear the rush of water and screaming of children, punctured with occasional exclamations of "Oh, my God!" After the boat had capsized, Bill Callaway managed to hold onto Mrs. Henley and three of the boys-David Dodson, Steven Zvacek, and Mike Henley. Clinging together and holding to Bill Callaway, they were thrown by the swift current against a small tree which had been bent over by the heavy current.

Charles Edwards and Frankie Henley became separated and drifted away from the others. After clinging to branches of a tree, Charles and Frankie climbed another tree to safety where they spent the rest of the long night. They were picked up by boat the next morning at about 5 a.m.

Callaway held the other people up in the water up to a tree for approximately 3 hours against a current so rapid that it took all the strength he could muster to keep from being swept away. Just one second's relaxation meant death for those depending on him and for himself.

Although they were also holding on to a submerged log sticking out of the water and the top of a bent-over tree, the current was frequently so swift as to force their heads backward their heads backward and partially under water. On each such occasion, Bill Callaway found the strength to pull the mother and children back against the current to a place near the bent-over tree where they could keep their heads above water.

Finally, about 3 a.m., members of the Holden Fire Department coupled to

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