One was shaving, another recuperating from an attack of indigestion when, within an hour. Death by heart disease last week smote down two Democratic
Congressmen from the South. The first was Samuel Rutherford, 61, of Forsyth, Ga. He had been a Representative since 1925, was chairman of the Election Committee framing legislation to eliminate "lame duck" sessions of Congress.
The second was Percy Edwards Quin, 59, of McComb City, Miss. A rustic wit, he was famed for voting more or less as he pleased on minor issues, for tearing off his collar and salting his throat while engaged in debate and for smoking a pipe on the House floor, against strict rules. A Congressman for almost 19 years, he had chairmanned the Military Affairs Committee since the Democrats organized the 72nd Congress.
In announcing the death of his colleague, Georgia's Congressman Crisp observed with some alarm: "It is my honest belief that he was a victim of the strain under which we have been trying to work these last several weeks. . . . Let us reflect and relax some and not kill ourselves."
Speaker Garner, pointing out that Dr. George Wehnes Calver, the House physician, had said overwork hastened both Representatives' end, advised: "Ease up." Already noticeable was the "easing up" process in the House which of late has been marking time on unimportant legislation.
The deaths left a Democratic majority of 218 to the G. O. P.'s 213. Before the session began, it was agreed that the party organizing the House should continue its control regardless of shifts in actual voting strength.