Interview with Paul A. Porter, March 19, 1975

Project: Fred M. Vinson Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Paul Porter first met Fred Vinson while managing Al Smith's presidential campaign in Clark County, Kentucky. When talking about the spillover defeat of Vinson, he recalls Vinson's view on party loyalty. He mentions Vinson's knowledge of tax law while in Congress. He relates how and when Vinson became director of the Office of Economic Stabilization (OES) and that Vinson wanted Porter to be part of his staff. Porter remembers the dispute over the control of petroleum prices while Vinson headed the OES. Vinson's relationship with Sam Rayburn is discussed in this context. Porter talks about the office monitoring labor's demands for wage increases during this time. He then relates a story told by Senator Alben Barkley at a Vinson dinner in regards to the number of federal jobs Vinson had held. Porter talks about his position in the Agriculture Adjustment Administration and how he worked with Vinson during that time. This discussion leads to Vinson's support of the Burley Tobacco Allotment Program and New Deal legislation in general. Porter discusses Vinson's political philosophy and how he considered Vinson pragmatic. He mentions Vinson's "remarkable" memory and interest in baseball. Vinson's opinion of A. B. "Happy" Chandler is briefly mentioned as is Senator Marvel Logan's interests in Washington. His relationship with James Byrnes is also touched on. Porter talks about the qualities Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted for control and stabilization job appointees, which leads into discussions of Vinson's relationships with Roosevelt and Harry Truman, respectively. Porter goes on to relate how Vinson managed the OES. Porter talks about the process of decontrol after the war and what he feels Vinson's role in the rebuilding of Europe was. He gives his impression of Vinson's appointment to the Supreme Court and Truman's possible influence on Vinson's decisions there. Vinson's view of the role of the Court in society is briefly discussed. This leads into a final discussion on what Porter feels was Vinson's view of civil liberty cases and civil rights cases (McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents).

Interview Accession

1975oh014_vin012

Interviewee Name

Paul A. Porter

Interviewer Name

Terry L. Birdwhistell

Interview Date

1975-03-19

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Porter, Paul A. Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 19 Mar. 1975. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Porter, P.A. (1975, March 19). Interview by T. L. Birdwhistell. Fred M. Vinson Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Porter, Paul A., interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. March 19, 1975, Fred M. Vinson Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7sj38kh38n