Parliament/American Congress Anecdotes (Post No.3618)

Compiled by London swaminathan


Date: 8 FEBRUARY 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 18-59


Post No. 3618



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.






The late Senator Henry Cabot Lodge was talking about the ineffectiveness of the most Congressional (Parliament) Investigating committees.

Some of them, he observed, remind me of Si Hoskins. Si got a job at shooting muskrats, for muskrats overran a mill owner’s dam .There in the lovely Spring weather, Si sat on the grassy bank, his gun on his knee. Finding him one morning, I said,

“What are you doing, Sir?”

“I am paid to shoot the muskrats, sir. They are undermining the dam.”

“There goes one now, said I, shoot man! Why don’t you shoot?”

Si puffed a tranquil cloud from his pipe and said,

“Do you think I want to lose my job?”



Once the House was making an effort to secure a quorum, and, as is usually done in such cases, telegrams were sent to members who were absent. One man, who was delayed by a flood on the railroad, telegraphed Thomas B Reed, Speaker of the House saying,

“Washout on line, can’t come”.

Reed telegraphed back, “Buy another shirt and come on next train”.



Strange Parliament!


Congress is so strange, commented Boris Marshalov, a Russian actor and dramatic coach, after a visit to the spectators gallery of the House of Representatives,

“A man gets up to speak and says nothing. Nobody listens — and then everybody disagrees.”



Uni Cameral and Bi Cameral Systems

Laboulaye said, in one of his lectures, that Jefferson, who had become so completely imbued with French ideas as even to admire the unicameral system of legislation, one day visited Washington at Mount Vernon , and in course of the conversation that ensued, the comparative excellence came up for consideration. After much had been said on both sides, finally, at the tea-table , of the two systems

Washington turning sharply to Jefferson, said,

“You, sir, have just demonstrated the superior excellence of the bicameral system, by your own hand”.

“I! How is that?”, said Jefferson

“You have poured your tea from your cup out into the saucer to cool. We want the bicameral system to cool things. A measure originates in one house, and in heat is passed. The other house will serve as a wonderful cooler; and by the time it is debated and modified by various amendments there, it is much more likely to become an equitable law! No, we can’t get along without the saucer in our system”.



Tension Headaches!

The nervous condition resulting from high tension in our national capital in war time is indicated by the case of the weary Congress man who paused in the drug store of his hotel and asked for a box of aspirin tablets.

“Sorry, sir, said the clerk. We are all out of everything for headaches”.



Ward Lamon told this story of President Lincoln, whom he found one day in a particularly gloomy frame of mind. Lamon said,

The president remarked, as I came in, “I fear I have made senator Wade of Ohio my enemy for life”.

“How?”,I asked.

“Well, continued the President, Wade was here just now urging me to dismiss Grant and in response to something he said, I remarked: Senator that reminds me of a story

“What did Wade say? Inquired Lamon of the President.

“He said in a petulant way, the President responded: “It is with you, sir, all story, story! You are the father of every military blunder that has been made during the war. You are on your road to HELL, sir, with this government, by your obstinacy, and you are not a mile off this minute”.

“What did you say then?

I good naturedly said to him, the President responded,

“Senator, that is just about from here to the CAPITOL (Building of American Congress), is it not?”

He was very angry, grabbed up his hat and cane and went away.





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