(Mr. DINGELL asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I have the sad duty to make an announcement to the House jointly with my dear friend and colleague, the gentleman from California (Mr. Brown). It is our sad duty to announce the death of our former colleague and dear friend, the Honorable John Moss from California.
Mr. Speaker, I now yield to my dear friend, the gentleman from California (Mr. Brown); and then we will have further comments at a time later.
Mr. BROWN of California. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding; and I, too, wish to participate in this notification to the House of the death of John Moss.
John was a dear friend, a man who reflected the best in California and whom I felt some rather deep bonds with because of certain similarities in our careers. I think we both came to Congress with the reputation of being somewhat of a maverick, and we felt the consequences of that for a while.
John was a man of deep commitment to his principles and deep loyalty to the concerns of his constituents in his State. He came here 10 years before I did, but after I arrived we found we had a similarity of interests.
I remember in particular that when he decided to give up his place on the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy he insisted that the leadership appoint me in his place, and he was sufficiently adamant that he refused to resign from the committee until he had received the assurances that that would take place.
Of course, the committee was abolished shortly after that, so the results were not all that earth shaking. But I remember John's commitment which he had made to me that he would make sure that I did replace him, and he kept that commitment.
He was a great man, and I thank the distinguished gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Dingell) for allowing me to participate in recognizing that.
Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, I thank my good friend, the gentleman from California (Mr. Brown), the dean from the California Democratic Delegation; and I want to express my personal sorrow and grief at this event and also to extend the commiserations and condolences of myself and my wife, Deborah, to John's wonderful widow Jean and to his daughters, Jennifer and Alison, and to his four grandchildren.
As mentioned by the gentleman from California (Mr. Brown), John Moss was a man of enormous vigor, great courage, enormous energy, who maintained a real sense of responsibility to the people he served and also a sense of outrage about wrongdoing. He served in the House from 1953 to 1978; and I had, with the exception of 2 of those years, the privilege of sitting next to him on the Committee on Commerce, where he was a chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and where he was also the chairman of other subcommittees with important responsibilities.
He has left us a great heritage, protection of consumers, not the least of which by the Consumer Product Safety Act. He also was one who believed in open government; and he was the author of the Freedom of Information Act, which he led the fight to see enacted. He also was the author of the Federal Trade Commission Improvements Act and scores of other pieces of legislation of importance to the people of this country.
His action with regard to the Freedom of Information Act was something which led to open government in which people could have reason to trust not only their government but that their interests were fully and properly considered and cared for.
His wife Jean and he had a great romance, and they greatly loved each other and had a long and happy life together.
John, as I mentioned, served from 1953 to 1978. He died on December 5, 1997. He was a great American, a real patriot, a distinguished Member of this body, a great public servant, and a man whom we will all miss. He was also a man whose contributions to the well-being of this country and to the dignity and to the effectiveness of this institution were great indeed.
We will miss him, we will pray for his soul, and we extend our condolences and sorrow to his dear wife Jean and to his daughters Jennifer and Allison.