Chet Holifield

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Person.png Chet Holifield  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(businessman, politician)
Chet Holifield.jpg
BornDecember 3, 1903
DiedFebruary 6, 1995 (Age 91)
NationalityUS
Double Bilderberger US politician. Strong proponent of all matters nuclear

Chester Earl "Chet" Holifield was a United States Representative from California who strongly advocated for all things nuclear.

Early Life and Career

He was born in Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky. He moved with his family to Springdale, Arkansas in 1912. He attended the public schools and moved to Montebello, California in 1920 where he engaged in the manufacture and selling of men's apparel from 1920 to 1943. He was chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Central committee of the 51st District from 1934 to 1938. He was chair of the California State Central committee of the 12th congressional district from 1938 to 1940. He was also a delegate to each Democratic National Convention from 1940 to 1964.

Holifield was elected as a Democrat to the 78th and to the fifteen succeeding Congresses and served from January 3, 1943 until his resignation on December 31, 1974.

Holifield resumed the manufacture and selling of men's apparel after leaving Congress. In 1966, he was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws (L.L. D.) from Whittier College.[1] He died on February 6, 1995.

Nuclear Proponent

Holifield was a powerful figure in atomic energy matters, and was dubbed 'Mr. Atomic Energy' by Congressional colleagues and friends because of his 28 years as a member and 10 years as House leader of the House-Senate Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (JCAE). He played a significant role in the development and course of U.S. atomic energy programs and policies. An early champion of atomic energy, Holifield's efforts contributed to the establishment of the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 and earned him a place on the JCAE. His 1949 recommendation on the H-bomb led to the development of this new weapon.[2]

While in Congress, he was chair of the U.S. House Committee on Government Operations (91st through 93rd Congresses) and the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (87th, 89th, and 91st Congresses). He was member of the President's Special Evaluation Commission on Atomic Bomb Tests at Bikini Atoll, 1946. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, as a member of the House Military Operations Subcommittee, he was a strong advocate of fallout shelters and said that the United States should "build a nationwide system of underground shelters".[3] Holifield was also a congressional adviser to international conferences on uses of atomic energy, nuclear weapons testing, water desalinization, and disarmament.

During the Nixon administration, in response to environmentalists opposition to further atomic power development, the Congressman took the unpopular position that trade-offs between safety concerns and the public's need for increased amounts of electrical power were necessary. He also sponsored legislation that divided the AEC into the Research and Development Administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a move that affected the course of atomic energy development well beyond his retirement. [4]Alvin M. Weinberg, who advocated inherent safety in reactor design, recounted an incident from 1972, where Holifield stated:

if you are concerned about the safety of reactors, then I think it may be time for you to leave nuclear energy.[5]


 

Events Participated in

EventStartEndLocation(s)Description
Bilderberg/196420 March 196422 March 1964US
Virginia
Williamsburg
A year after this meeting, the post of GATT/Director-General was set up, and given Eric Wyndham White, who attended the '64 meeting. Several subsequent holders have been Bilderberg insiders, only 2 are not known to have attended the group.
Bilderberg/196625 March 196627 March 1966Germany
Wiesbaden
Hotel Nassauer Hof
Top of the agenda of the 15th Bilderberg was the restructuring of NATO. Since this discussion was held, all permanent holders of the position of NATO Secretary General have attended at least one Bilderberg conference prior to their appointment.


References