Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Frank Welch, January 14th, 1976

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - First impressions of Earle Clements

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Partial Transcript: Dr. Welch, in, uh, uh, uh, talking about your relationship with Senator Clements here at the Tobacco Institute, I think it would be good to find out when you met Senator Clements, and the circumstances, and, uh, what your first impressions were of him.

Segment Synopsis: Welch describes his first meeting with Clements. He describes Clements' knowledge of agriculture, calling him a good farmer that was always doing his research. Welch explains he did not have a close working relationship with Clements.

Keywords: Data; Minority Leaders; Projects; Relationships; Research; Senators; Tobacco

Subjects: Agriculture; Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Farmers

00:04:09 - Lobbying for the Tobacco Institute

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Partial Transcript: Uh, well, what were Senator Clements' responsibilities when he first came to the Tobacco Institute?

Segment Synopsis: Welch describes Clements' duties as a lobbyist and president of the Tobacco Institute board of directors. He then goes on to praise his skills in administration.

Keywords: Administration; Congress; Governors; Legislature; Motivations; Responsibilities

Subjects: Agricultural laws and legislation; Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Lobbyists; Tobacco Institute (Washington, D.C.); Tobacco industry

00:08:13 - "A dynamic administrator"

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Partial Transcript: When he came here, uh, did he make any changes, or, uh, any particular changes, or do anything different in terms of what the Institute was doing at that time?

Segment Synopsis: Welch remembers some of the significant changes Clements made to the Tobacco Institute as an administrator, including establishing a public relations department. He also describes Clements as a "dynamic influence," noting that his connections on Capital Hill were a great asset to the industry.

Keywords: Changes; Congress; Connections; Influence; Leadership; Lyndon Johnson; Politics; Public relations; Special interests

Subjects: Administration; Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Tobacco Institute (Washington, D.C.); Tobacco industry

00:11:44 - Farmer involvement with the Tobacco Institute

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Partial Transcript: Of course, the Tobacco Institute, as you said, is, uh, uh, part of the tobacco industry in terms of the large tobacco companies, and cigarette producers in the country.

Segment Synopsis: Welch continues to describe various changes that were brought about when Clements took the position of president of the board of directors for the Tobacco Institute, including his frequent meetings with tobacco producers and making them more involved with the institute. He also names some of the companies Clements most commonly worked with.

Keywords: Agriculture; Farmers; Involvement; Public relations; Representation

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Tobacco Institute (Washington, D.C.); Tobacco industry

00:14:43 - Foreign tobacco

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Partial Transcript: Of course, uh, in tobacco and in the Unites States, uh, there's always the inf--uh, the influx of foreign tobaccos coming into this country. Was there ever any problem in that? Did he ever have to deal with that situation?

Segment Synopsis: Welch describes some of the complications involved with tobacco trade, and the challenges presented by international trade and foreign tobaccos on the market.

Keywords: Committees; Conflict; Imports; Propaganda; Testimony

Subjects: International trade; Tobacco Institute (Washington, D.C.); Tobacco industry

00:17:54 - Tobacco legislation committee

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Partial Transcript: I, I think it's interesting, in a conversation, uh, a year ago with Senator Clements, he talked about some of the hearings on the tobacco legislation and, uh, one of the committees that he worked closely with was the committee that was, uh, uh--that Senator Morton sat on.

Segment Synopsis: Welch describes the working relationship between Clements and Thruston Morton during this time, and the members of Congress that presented opposition to Clements.

Keywords: Adversaries; Legislation; Opposition; Representation; Senators; Thruston Morton

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Tobacco Institute (Washington, D.C.); Tobacco industry; United States. Congress--Committees

00:20:05 - Clements' legacy

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Partial Transcript: We talked at, at another interview we had about the role of the University of Kentucky in tobacco and tobacco research.

Segment Synopsis: Welch briefly describes the University of Kentucky's involvement with tobacco research. He then closes the interview by reflecting upon Clements' legacy and contribution to public awareness surrounding tobacco, smoking, and health, and to the economy of both the state and the country.

Keywords: Economics; Legacy; Lobbyists; Public awareness; Research; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Clements, Earle C. (Earle Chester), 1896-1985; Tobacco Institute (Washington, D.C.); Tobacco industry