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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, March 04, 1958, Image 7

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1958-03-04/ed-1/seq-7/

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Capitol Leaders Indorse
Agreement on Disability
Continued From First Pages
ways for Mr. Nixon to become
“acting President."
One of these would be for the
President himself to inform the
Vice President of his “inability.”
In case the President was un
able even to communicate with
Mr. Nixon, the Vice President
would take over as “acting Pre
sident" on his own lniative
“after such consultation as
seems to him appropriate un
der the circumstances."
In either event, their under
standing prvoides that the
President, himself, would de
termine when his “inability had
ended” and then would re
sume presidential duties.
A statement announcing this
agreement stressed that Mr.
Eisenhower and Mr. Nixon be
lieve this procedure is con
sistent with the Constitution
and carries out “its clear In
tent.”
Written Up Yesterday
Mr. Hagerty said the docu
ment made public was written
in the President’s office yester
day by Mr. Eisenhower and
Mr. Nixon, in consultation with
Attorney General Rogers.
Through the Justice Depart
ment, it was communicated to
Republican congressional lead
ers before being made public.
The public statement. Mr.
Hagerty said, is “more or less
a copy of an understanding the
President and Vice President
have.”
He told questioners this un
derstanding “crystalized” in its
present form within the last
month. He added that Mr.
Eisenhower and Mr. Nixon have
talked over many times since
the President's 1955 heart at
tack what should be done in
case of a future presidential
disability.
Mr. Hagerty said he did not
know whether the procedures
outlined would have been put
into effect to make Mr. Nixon
acting President at the time of
the heart attack if the agree
ment had existed then.
Cites Ileitis Operation
Mr. Hagerty said he thought
it more logical that the ‘acting
President" agreement would
have been put'into effect when
the President was operated on
for ileitis early on the morning
of June 9. 1956. He recalled
that Mr. Eisenhower was un
conscious under the effects of
anesthetic for about six hours
at that time.
The Constitution does not
spell out' exactly what should
be done in the event of such a
temporary disability when a
President would be unable to
perform any duties that an
emergency might require.
The constitutional provision
at present is that in case of
inability of the President to
discharge the powers and duties
of his office “the same shall
devolve on the Vice President.”
It leaves unanswered such
questions as who shall deter
mine presidential disability, and
whether a recovered President
could take back his powers,
once they had been turned over
to a Vice President.
White House Statement
The text of the White House
statement answering these
questions so far as they apply
to %• Eisenhower and Mr 1
Nixon follows:
“The President and the Vice
President have agreed that the
following procedures are in ac
cord with the purposes and pro
visions of Article 2, Section 1.
of the Constitution, dealing
with presidential inability. They
believe that these procedures,
which are intended to apply
to themselves only, are in no
sense outside or contrary to
the Constitution but are con
sistent with its present pro
visions and implement its clear
intent.
“1. In the event of inability
the President would—if possible
—so Inform the Vice President,
and the Vice President would
serve as acting President, ex
ercising the powers and duties
of the office until the inability
had ended.
“2. In the event of an in
ability which would prevent the
President from so communicat
ing with the Vice President,
the Vice President, after such
consultation as seems to him
appropriate under the circum
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itances, would decide upon the
devolution of the powers and
duties of the office and would
serve as acting President until
the Inability had ended.
“3. The President, in either
event, would determine when
the inability had ended and at
that time would resume the full
exercise of the powers and
duties of the office.”
Kefauver Applauds Disclosure
Senator Kefauver. Democrat
of Tennessee, one of the authors
of a proposed constitutional
amendment on the question,
said the arrangements for Mr.
Nixon to take over were “sensi
ble” and he applauded oublic
disclosure of the agreement.
“But I have very grave doubts
that the President can get his
powers back, once Nixon has
become acting President, un
der the present constitutional
provisions,” Senator Kefauver
said. “I think this emphasizes
the need for a constitutional
amendment.”
House Speaker Rayburn
raised the same question, say
ing of the Vice President, “I
don’t see how he can exercise
the powers and duties of the
President without taking the
oath as President. Once he
takes that oath, he is the Presi
dent.”
Senator Aiken. Republican of
Vermont, said he fears that
legal questions might be raised
if Mr. Nixon attempted to sign
documents as Chief Executive
while he was only acting as
President.
Not a Bad Stopgap
Senator Ervin. Democrat of
North Carolina, a member of
the Judiciary Committee study
ing the disability issue, said he
regards the Eisenhower-Nixon
agreement as “not a bad stop
gap solution.”
He said he agrees the Vice
President’s powers might be
questioned in the courts. But
he said he believes Congress
could meet this situation by
passing a resolutidn empower
ing Mr. Nixon to sign docu
ments as Acting President.
Senator Cooper, Republican
of Kentucky, commented that
“in the absence of a constitu
tional amendment the country
must continue to function and
I think the President has done
a straightforward thing and
should be applauded for it.”
Senator Humphrey, Democrat
of Minnesota, said he wasn’t
criticizing the arrangement but
believes Congress should act
because any decision on the
presidential disability issue
tends to establish an histor
ical precedent.
Covers Whole Procedure
Mr. Hagerty refused to say
whether there was any further
agreement between the Pres
ident' and Vice President
in writing. He did say that the
public statement covers the
entire procedure agreed upon.
Asked whether the Vice Presi
dential consultation provided
for in point 2 of the agreement
would include consultation
with the cabinet and with the
President’s dootors. Mr. Hag
er ysaid it would depend upon
the circumstances.
The proposed amendment
would require the Vice Presi
dent to get the approval in
writing of the majority of the
cabinet before taking over as
acting President in any case
where he thought the Presi
dent was unable to carry out
out his duties and the Presi
dent did not so inform him.
Mr. Eisenhower’s willingness
to leave any consultation up to
Mr. Nixon in his own case ob
viously is the result of what
he referred to in his news con
ference last Wednesday as a
“unique" confidence and respect
existing between him and Mr.
Nixon.
Anti-Litter Drive
Poster Award Set
The Michigan Park Citizens
Association last night voted to
award (5 to the child from the
Michigan Park area drawing
the best poster during the Fed
eration of Citizens Association’s
anti-litter campaign.
The meeting was held in the
Bunker Hill School, Fourteenth
street and Michigan avenue
N.W.
Police Threatened
By Spanish Letter
NEW YORK. Mar. 4 <JP).—
An anonymous letter in Span
ish yesterday threatened exter
mination of the police force if
three young murder defend
ants die in the electric chair.
The three are among seven
being tried for first degree mur
der in the slaying last summer
of Michael Farmer, 15, a vic
tim of polio, in a park in up
town Manhattan. The defend
ants all were members of an
integrated gang called the
“Egyptian Dragons.”
As the prosecution prepared
to put into evidence confes
sions allegedly made by the
seven youths, admitting they
took part in the stabbing and
beating of young Farmer, a new
letter to a Spanish-language
newspaper was disclosed.
The letter, one of a series
sent to the newspaper El Diarlo,
warned that Brooklyn gangs
were consolidating to avenge
“our seven friends from the
Egyptian Dragons.”
“They were beaten by the
cops who got rough on them,”
the letter said. “We’re mad.
We had a meeting. Though we
were once enemies we’re now
friends. We don’t know the
cops who beat them, but we’re
going to take revenge against
the cops generally.”
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Texas G. 0. P. Defends
Porter; Will Keep Funds
: AUSTIN, Tex. Mar. 4 VP).—
' Texas Republican leaders de
cided yesterday their national
committeeman. Jack Porter, did
1 no wrong when he raised
’ SIOO,OOO by throwing a testi
• monial dinner for Represents
’ tive Joseph Martin of Massa
■ chusetts.
Mr. Porter solicited financial
1 support for the affair by sug
- Resting it was a good way to
! Citizen Federation
; Will Hear Bible
1 Senator Bible, Democrat of
[ Nevada, will be the principal
speaker Saturday night at the
s 48th anniversary banquet of the
, Federation of Citizens Associa
j tions. He is chairman of the
; Senate District Committee.
More than 500 persons are
. expected to attend the event,
’ which starts at 6 p.m. with a
• reception In the Mayflower Ho
| tel. At the banquet Mrs. Frank
. lin G. Sartwell will receive The
• Evening Star Trophy for dls
t tinguished service to the resi
dents of Southwest Washington.
- show appreciation of Mr.
- Martin’s friendly attitude to-
I ward the controversial natural
I gas bill pending in Congress.
1 When this came out, the
' Republican National Commit
tee announced it would have
• no part of the SIOO,OOO. The
White House concurred.
1 The Texas Republican Exe
' utive Committee discussed the
' furor at a two-hour secret
meeting yesterday and pub-
I lished a resolution which said
the National Committee had
been hasty and ill-advised. It
also decided to keep the
’ SIOO,OOO in Texas.
I The resolution . said Mr.
, Porter always has been moral
, find ethical. It said the dinner
for Mr. Martin was a legiti
mate and well-established
; fund-raising approach for
which no apology is needed It
, said any thought the SIOO,OO
was Intended to influence o.
- buy support of any legislation
, is fantastic, riduculous and
utterly untrue.
After the closed session, the
Executive Committee held a
1 public meeting and heard from
I. Lee Potter, who said he had
been sent from the party’s na
. tional headquarters In Wash-
ington by Meade Alcorn, Re
publican national chairman.
“One Incident should not
hurt the relations between the
i Republican Party and Texas,”
| Mr. Potter declared.
Texas business and political
• leaders are strong for the nat
ural gas bill, which would can-
I cel most of the controls the
Government now has over pro
; ducers of natural gas.
. Representative Martin has
; been for the bill all along and
» still is. He said it was not
until after the dinner that he
. learned of Mr. Potter’s gas bill
, pitch.
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A-7

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