Thomas P. O’Connor’s June 15 letter [“The Senate floor is for English”] about Sen. Timothy M. Kaine’s (D-Va.) Spanish remarks on the Senate floor, and subsequent responses thereto, reminded me of a colloquy on the Senate floor in the mid-1960s, when I was legislative assistant to Sen. Hugh Scott (R-Pa.). Sen. Wayne Morse (D-Ore.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Latin America, rose to welcome a delegation of Argentine parliamentarians that was seated in the gallery. When Sen. Morse completed his remarks, Sen. Scott rose and delivered brief welcoming remarks in Spanish.
The stenographer who was seated in front of the senator dropped his pad and pencil in astonishment. When Sen. Scott finished, the stenographer asked him to compose his remarks in Spanish for the record. The senator turned to me and said, “Dick, I know that you studied Spanish; please compose my remarks for the stenographer.” Ever the loyal aide, I did so, and the senator’s remarks — in Spanish — appeared in the Congressional Record for that day.
Richard W. Murphy, Silver Spring