Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 6, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
'All that is wanting in the great struggle in which we are engaged is to develop the popular heart of the nation. It is like a latent fire.' Impeachment and the people A historical perspective of the effect of public opinion WE'VE MOVED QUALITY DENTURE CLINIC EDDY DIETRICH DtnUI Mechanic 301-Metcalfe Building 328-7684 By Don Newspaper Enterprise Association For the first time in the unfolding story of a majority of Americans 52 per cent believes that President Richard M. Nixon should be impeached and removed from office. The same recently released Harris Survey found that an even greater majority 73 per cent is now convinced that the President knew about- the Watergate coverup while it was going and that 64 per cent of those polled favor his removal if Congress proves him guilty of involve- ment in it. Thus to the extent that public opinion plays a role in this drama and it is a huge- ly important role the odds increase that sometime in for the second time in its the nation will witness the impeachment and trial of a chief executive. Was the same true of that other impeachment drama 106 years ago' Did a majority of Americans in 1868 favor the trial and punishment for crimes and of Andrew Johnson of 17th president of the United Unfortunately tor the United States of the last century was not blessed with the science of poll-taking. Opinion samplers did not hold a constant finger to the pulse of popular feeling about the issues of the registering and reporting every nuance and percentage- point change. Little help Nor are the newspapers of the violently partisan as they of much help. The New York for ex- referring to Lincoln as greeted his and Johnson's nomination in 1864 as that of railsplitting buffoon and a boorish both from the both growing up in uncouth ig- Andrew Johnson was never able to live down the alleged disgrace of his want of formal nor the real dis- grace of his having appeared drunk at his inauguration as vice president. a temperate man in an intemperate he had un- wisely taken two glasses of brandy before the ceremony to calm his In when he succeeded the slain Abraham Andrew Johnson enjoyed more than SCARLET COATS SINGING WIRES ONE OF A SERIES THE ALBERTA IDEA THAT HELPS HANDICAPPED CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA The pioneer Mounties who helped bring phone service to Alberta would be proud of Alberta's Telephone Pioneers. They use phones to help children overcome speech handicaps. Who are the Telephone Telephone company people with long service including retired telephone personnel. Small Fry telephone systems in children's hospitals are among the many ways in which the Telephone Pioneers help people. The little girl in the picture is one of those who first learned to talk on Small Fry systems donated and installed by the Telephone Pioneers. the Small Fry phone idea has spread to many hospitals in Canada and U.S.A. A real tribute to the ingenuity of Alberta's public spirited Telephone Alberta's history comes alive in Tony Cashman. Over 200 vivid illustrations. from Box Edmonton T5J 2S4. Kttpt you In touch wHh four frfemfe the usual political honeymoon accorded every new president. He was admired as the only southern senator who had remained loyal to the Union in 1861. There was gratitude and relief that four terrible years of war were ended. In the South as well as the North was the heartfelt desire to bind up the nation's as Lincoln had said. Even those who were to bitterly oppose the Radical Republicans in at first enthusiastically supported him. The Radicals were soon dis- enchanted. Throughout most of while Congress was in Johnson succeeded in implementing Lincoln's policy of 'conciliation toward the South. Alarmed Alarmed at Johnson's wholesale pardoning of at seeing men who had rebelled against the Union once again in political at the South's ''Black which consigned the former slaves to a new kind of bondage in convinced that the victory purchased at such great cost was being un- dermined before their eyes the Radicals set about es- tablishing their own form of Reconstruction. Early in the battle between the legislative and executive branches was joined. By two the Senate failed to override John- son's veto of a bill enlarging the powers of the Freedmen's Bureau. By one it overrode his veto of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. To John- both measures represented an unwarranted concentration of power in the federal government. For both the Radicals and the the off-year congressional elections loom- ed as crucial. For it was essential that the support of the people be enlisted. As Johnson expressed that is wanting in the great struggle in which we are engaged is to develop the pop- ular heart of the nation It is like a latent To light that Johnson on August 1866. launched the first barnstorming tour by an American a 19- 10-state around the circle of the It was not enough. In the elections for the 40th the Radicals achieved a giving unchallenged control of both houses. the presi- dent futilely vetoed bill after bill which threw out the post- war governments in the Southern states and returned them to the status of con- occupied provinces. Unsatisfied Even this did not satisfy the Radicals. To men like Penn- sylvania's Thaddeus leader of the Radicals in the not just the President but the presidency itselt must be humbled and the legislative branch made supreme for all time. What was contemplated Was nothing less than a revolution in America's system of something never envisioned by many of those who had voted for the Radicals. A first attempt to impeach the President on trumped-up charges failed in 1867 Then Johnson gave his enemies the pretext they needed by firing Secretary of War Edwin a Radical sympathizer. This was in violation of the Radical pass- ed Tenure of Office Act for- bidding the President to dis- miss any federal officer without the consent of the Senate. On Feb. the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to impeach Andrew and on March 5 his trial began in the Senate. Again Johnson set a precedent To carry his case to the he granted a series of White House inter- views with reporters in what- was the forerunner of the presidential press conference. Not that this could have sav- ed him. Though messages of support flowed in to the White pressure from the hustings on the Senate to con- vict was tremendous. The impeachment trial of the 17th president remains one of the momentous events in American history. By the margin of one he was ac- quitted and the constitutional balance of powers preserved. Had the Radicals been will- ing to permit a court test of the Tenure of Office Act as Johnson desired years later the Supreme Court did declare it there need never have been an impeachment at all. It is also possible that had the press been as mature and responsible as it is or had there been such a thing as television which modern presidents have at their com- Andrew Johnson could in time have convinced the public of the Tightness of his position could have ignited that and that eventually the public would have exerted its will on the ex- tremists in Congress. N-capabilities spreading at a frightening pace By JOHN W. FINNEY New York Times Service WASHINGTON With the accelerating spread of nuclear perhaps two dozen nations could acquire atomic weapons over the next decade unless the technical and political barriers are in the opinion of United States arms control of- ficials. Such a prospect has long been foreseen but generally ignored by political leaders until India exploded an atomic device in May and President Nixon offered atomic power plants to Egypt and Israel in June. There are said to be thousands of persons around the world with the scientific and engineering knowledge to put together at least a rudimentary atomic device The principal obstacle is obtaining the fissionable material to make an atomic device But that in the form of will be a byproduct of a growing number of atomic power plants around the world. By 1982 the world's nuclear power plants will be producing about kilograms a year of plutonium enough to fabricate tens of thousands of nuclear ex- plosives. 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The nations would have to be induced to renounce the development of atomic weapons and to accept international controls over their nuclear activities None of these nations has signed agreements not to develop atomic weapons. Another disturbing new fac- tor as atomic technology spreads is the possibility that terrorist groups might seize a cache of plutonium to use for a possibility regarded as remote by the United States Atomic Energy Commission But last fall the commission did issue strict requirements for the protection of atomic plants and materials. The hope of arms control officials is that this example will be followed by other countries and by the International Atomic Energy an intergovernmental related to the United designed to promote the peaceful uses of atomic energy Five years a majority of nations entered into a trea- ty to prevent the spread of atomic weapons. Eighty three nations have ratified the treaty. P.O. 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