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Mr. WHATLEY. Yes, sir; and for the presidential electors.
Mr. HARRIS. And they would participate in Federal elections in that way?
Mr. WHATLEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HARRIS. What would be done with the Members of Congress that would be elected from the District of Columbia?
Mr. WHATLEY. The new Members, they would be given to the State of Maryland, and as a result would add two or three Members to the State delegation.
Mr. HARRIS. Then that would mean for all practical effect that the District of Columbia would be taken into the State of Maryland,
Mr. WHATLEY. Just for that purpose.
Mr. HARRIS. And for apportionment of the Members of Congress it would be treated as part of Maryland, as any other city a part of the State?
Mr. WHATLEY. Just the same as the city of Baltimore at the present time, and it would not involve an amendment to the Constitution, in view of the fact that the Constitution is completely silent on this point; and in perusing the debates in the Constitutional Convention I find no reference whatsoever to the fact that it was the intention of the constitutional founders to deprive the people here of the right to vote; and it may have been, Mr. Chairman, that in the first few years after the District of Columbia was established, in 1800, that the people did continue to vote for Members of Congress. Of course, they did not have the right then to vote for Members of the Senate or for presidential electors, which came later.
Mr. HARRIS. Of course, in those days Members of Congress were usually elected by convention; were they not?
Mr. WHATLEY. They were elected by a very select few, and suffrage at that time was limited to landowners entirely in the State of Maryland, as it was in the State of Virginia, so there were only a few thousand people who were deprived of suffrage by the deprivation of their vote.
Mr. HARRIS. Thank you very much. We appreciate having your thoughts. The committee will be adjourned, until a date to be announced later.
(Thereupon the committee adjourned, to meet at the call of the chairman.)
HOME RULE AND REORGANIZATION IN THE DISTRICT
THURSDAY, JULY 14, 1949
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
JUDICIARY SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
Washington, D. C. The Judiciary Subcommittee of the Committee on the District of Columbia met in the committee room, 445 Old House Office Building, at 10 a. m., Hon. Oren Harris, subcommittee chairman, presiding.
Other subcommittee members present were: Hon. James C. Auchincloss and Hon. John J. Allen, Jr., of California. Hon. John L. McMillan, chairman of the full committee, was also present.
Also present were: Vernon E. West, Esq., Corporation Counsel, District of Columbia; E. F. Colladay, president, Washington Board of Trade; Harry S. Wender, Esq., chairman, District of Columbia Recreation Board; Mrs. Milton Dunn, League of Women Voters; Culver Chamberlain, Esq., District Central Suffrage Conference; Dr. Hobart M. Corning, Superintendent of Schools, District of Columbia; Mrs. Gertrude Evans, Progressive Party; Gerhard Van Arkel, Esq., Americans for Democratic Action; Harry N. Peterson, Board of Trustees, Public Library; Bernard C. Chapman, Federation of Civil Associations; Mrs. Samuel B. Brown, Washington secretary, National Council of Jewish Women, and Joseph A. Beavers, Cooks, Pastry Cooks and Kitchen Employees, Local 209 AFL.
Mr. HARRIS. The committee will come to order. In resuming hearings on the proposed home-rule bill for the District of Columbia we have first on the list of witnesses to be heard this morning Mr. E. F. Colladay, general counsel of the Washington Board of Trade.
Mr. Colladay, we are very glad to have you present to testify at this time on behalf of this fine organization here in the District of Columbia. You can be seated or stand as you please. We want you to be comfortable.
Mr. COLLADAY. I will be seated. Thank you.
First I have a prepared statement to read and then I will be glad to answer any questions.
Mr. HARRIS. You may proceed.
STATEMENT OF E. F. COLLADAY, ESQ., GENERAL COUNSEL,
WASHINGTON BOARD OF TRADE
Mr. COLLADAY. This memorandum will be addressed directly to the bill, S. 1527, which passed the Senate on May 31, 1949, and is now pending in the Committee on the District of Columbia of the House of Representatives, which we understand will be at least the central point of discussion on the whole subject of home rule for the District of Columbia. Doubtless, also, reference will be made to the other bills which have been introduced but upon which no vote has been taken in either House or Senate.
The Washington Board of Trade has taken and held a consistent position throughout its history, which was expressed to the Senate committee on February 17, 1949, by the Board's representative in the following language:
We have concluded, after study over a period of many years, that local suffrage in the District cannot be effective unless the people of the District also have full representation in the Congress of the United States.
No bill to grant local suffrage for the District of Columbia will be complete unless it is accompanied by provision to amend the Constitution of the United States in such a manner as to permit local residents to send representatives to the Congress and to vote for President and Vice President of the United States.
Referring to that last point, I realize, as the chairman pointed out in his opening statement, that it involves the proposal of a constitutional amendment. I also realize that while in the Senate everything that has been embraced in my statement comes within the jurisdiction of this committee, the Senate Committee on the District of Columbia.
In the House of Representatives there is a divided jurisdiction between the Committee on the District of Columbia and the Judiciary Committee, but I do not regard that division of jurisdiction as presenting an insurmountable difficulty.
That is the position of the Washington Board of Trade today. The two great political parties expressed themselves on this question in their national platforms adopted by their conventions in 1948, as follows:
The present majority party:
We favor the extension of the right of suffrage to the people of the District of Columbia.
The present minority party:
For many years such expressions by the two great parties have been solicited by the citizens of the District of Columbia and the adoption of those planks in 1948 was the source of great satisfaction.
They were interpreted by us as declarations that the citizens of this District should have representatives in the Senate and House of Representatives, presidential electors in the electoral college, and if that participation in our Government was granted, then that our citizenry should assume the rights and responsibilities of the franchise in the election of a local government, but not otherwise.
The bill, S. 1527, contemplates the abolishment of the commission form of government and the substitution in its place of a partly elected, partly appointed District Council, a District Manager appointed by that Council, and 12 departments, each headed by a director appointed by the District Manager, and various boards and commissions, some appointed by the District Council and some by the District Manager. These 12 departments are to be created by abolishing, in most instances, substantially similar departments, and immediately setting up new departments under new directors selected by the District Manager.
This complete change is to be made almost overnight and, so far as is known, may involve the removal of the competent, tried, and true heads of those departments now functioning in a government which has frequently been called the best municipal government in the United States of America.
We challenge anyone to find any substantial group in the established business and professional fields in the Nation's capital who will say that this change is not a pure gamble; and who will not say that it is likely to produce a less desirable municipal government than the one which Washington has had from 1878 until the present day.
THE DISTRICT COUNCIL
The provision creating the District Council is as follows:
Sec. 301. (a) There is hereby created a Council of the District of Columbia consisting of eleven members, nine of whom shall be elected as provided in title XII, and two of whom shall be appointed, without regard to political affiliation, by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The functions of the Council are stated as follows:
Sec. 321. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, all functions granted to or imposed upon the Board of Commissioners of the District are hereby transferred to the District Council.
By subsequent provisions, the District Council is empowered to pass ordinances and to make to Congress legislative proposals. legislative proposal passed by the Council shall take effect as law only if after it is reported to Congress, as provided in title IV of the bill, it is not rejected by joint resolution of the two Houses of Congress within 45 days, and is not disapproved by the President within 10 days thereafter.
These provisions will not grant "self-government for the residents of the Nation's capital," nor the "right of suffrage” in any real and full sense.
Here we have a city council made up of a majority of members elected by the voting residents of the District of Columbia, but with two appointees of the President, confirmed by the Senate, in their midst who are not beholden in any manner to those voting residents.
It would be a strange thing indeed if, in an act of a State legislature granting a charter to a city in which would be included the setting up of a city council, there should be retained the power in the governor to appoint approximately one-fifth of the members of the city council, by and with the advice and consent of the State senate. Any attempt to do this would be rejected by the voting citizens of the area to be chartered as a city as being an absurdity and an attempt to deprive them of their right of autonomy. The present provision for the appointment by the President of 2 out of 11 members of the District Council, by and with the advice and consent of the United States Senate stands on a par with such an action in a State. If this provision should be enacted into law, the President and the Senate would retain a string to be pulled at any time which might affect every action of the District Council. It would tend to deprive the members of the Council of their freedom of thought and action.
The qualifications for membership on the District Council are stated in the bill as follows:
SEC. 302. No person shall hold the office of member of the District Council unless he (1) is a qualified elector, (2) resides and is domiciled in the District, (3) holds no other elective public office, and (4) holds no appointive office for which compensation is provided out of District funds.