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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Joseph Gurney Cannon (1836–1926)
QUOTATION: In legislation we all do a lot of “swapping tobacco across the lines.”
ATTRIBUTION: Representative JOSEPH G. CANNON, maxim referring to a practice during the Civil War, quoted in a tribute to Cannon on his retirement.

“Mr. Cannon has told how he put through an appropriation for the entertainment of Prince Henry of Prussia when that foreign visitor came over years ago. He prearranged with Oscar W. Underwood, then in the House, that he would propose the appropriation late in the afternoon, when the House attendance was slim. Mr. Underwood, representing objecting Democrats, was to kick strenuously for a time about the cost of entertaining the prince; then Underwood was reluctantly to withdraw his opposition, the chances being no other Democrat would take it up. The ‘Swapping of tobacco’ across the aisles worked and the appropriation went through.”—The Sun, Baltimore, Maryland, March 4, 1923; Congressional Record, March 4, 1923, vol. 64, p. 5714. “Uncle Joe Cannon,” who was Speaker of the House 1903–1911, served in the House for 46 years.
SUBJECTS: Congress