Rep. Birmingham and Rep. John P. Lyons of Brockton nearly came to blows in the House of Representative lobby after a June 29 debate over a bill to increase the size of the state detective force, the Lowell Sun reported (June 29, 1934, p. 18, via Newspaper Archive).
The Ways and Means Committee had recommended against a bill proposed by Birmingham that would have increased the state detective force by 10 men. Lyons, a member of the committee, had led the fight against the bill.
However, Birmingham was able to convince the full House to reject the committee’s recommendation by a vote of 68 in favor of the recommendation to 124 opposed, the newspaper reported.
After the vote, the House recessed. The two men met in the lobby and continued their argument over the bill. They separated, but then they began shouting at each other. Lyons charged Birmingham ready to hit the minority floor leader. However, spectators and other House members intervened and separated the two men until their tempers cooled.