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should be served here? It is respectfully submitted that we are quite capable of handling these and similar matters on a local level, thus releasing you Members of Congress to devote your full attention to national policy and legislation.

And, should we neglect to discharge our responsibility in any affairs of consequence, Congress would still retain full power to correct, review, and alter at will any sins of commission or omission.

Of course, the act as submitted is doubtless not perfect. But it is sound and workable, and, most important, provides for changes by normal legislative procedure as and when the need for revision becomes evident.

Mr. Chairman, let me assure you that we advocates of suffrage are not dupes of communism or any form of totalitarian regimes. On the contrary, we are merely advocates of practical democracy after the fashion of Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, and Truman. Mr. Truman is for this measure, you know. We merely believe in the practical application of "government of the people, by the people, for the people," here and now in Washington, in the city named for the Father of our Country, who believed, fought for, and established these principles.

Gentlemen, may I remind you that this is a nonpartian issue, that provisions for self-government for the District of Columbia were made in the platforms of both Republican and Democratic Parties last year. This is a great social and moral as well as political issue.

Do we want home rule in the District? We only ask you to permit all of us to give you our answer by referendum next November 15, as provided in Senator Kefauver's bill.

The Central Suffrage Conference endorses the District of Columbia Charter Act (S. 1527) in its present form, designed as it is not only to enfranchise the citizens of the District of Columbia, but providing machinery for altering and improving local administration by a normal legislative process responsive to the will of the people. It is sound in principle and designed to restore to the citizens of the District of Columbia the right—the American right, the democratic right-of self-government under the present provisions of the Constitution.

Gentlemen, we urge your committee's prompt approval and submission to the House of Representatives, not next year, not in the next session, not next month. Now! I thank you.

Mr. HARRIS. Thank you, Mr. Chamberlain.
Do you reside in the District of Columbia now?
Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. I do, sir.
Mr. HARRIS. What is your business?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. I am an attorney at present, in private law practice.

Mr. HARRIS. How long have you lived here, Mr. Chamberlain?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. I came to Washington in 1920, but I was in the Foreign Service for some 15 years and only took up my present residence in Washington in 1935. I was absent 3 years in the Army during the war.

Mr. HARRIS. In the Army? You were in the First World War? Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. No, no. I am just a GI.

Mr. HARRIS. That is a high compliment, and I want to pay you a tribute.

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Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Maybe I am not as old as I look.
Mr. HARRIS. Where is your native State.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. I was born in Indiana; however, I largely grew up and regard and my parents as Missourians.

Mr. HARRIS. In Missouri?
Mr. HARRIS. How long did you live in Missouri?
Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Oh, until I was a boy in the early teens.

Mr. HARRIS. In other words you have lived all of your adult life other than the time you were in the Service here in the District of Columbia ?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Well, no; I was in the Foreign Service in the State Department.

Mr. HARRIS. I said Foreign Service and in the Army.
Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Yes; that is correct. So I never had a vote.

Mr. HARRIS. There would be no reason you could not establish your former residence, with your background, either in the State of Indiana or in Missouri.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. I am not informed on that definitely, and I rather doubt it. Why should I? My residence, my property, my business, my interests, are here in the District of Columbia.

Mr. HARRIS. So are thousands of other people who also maintain their voting privilege back in the State from which they came.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. But, sir; there are hundreds of thousands of others who are not in such a position, among whom I may include myself. But, as I said, I have never had an opportunity to cast a vote in any such election. Now, do you think that a person who is deprived of any active participation in government can sensibly or realistically call himself a member of any party, when he is deprived of a right to participate in any political function?

Mr. HARRIS. Of course, that might be a reflection on some of the people of the District of Columbia who fail to exercise their rights.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. That is right, but they are not provided with any voice in public affairs.

Mr. Harris. I seem to recall you in attendance at the Democratic National Convention.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. That is true, and we also had delegates to the Republican Convention.

I will tell you, sir: When we are granted suffrage here, I shall not hesitate to affiliate myself with a political party which I feel will serve the interest in my views the best.

Mr. HARRIS. You don't deny this is a Federal city?
Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Certainly not.

Mr. HARRIS. And because it is a Federal city, is there any difference in this city, as far as local interests are concerned, than any other city in the Nation?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Fundamentally, I don't believe so; not so far as rights to participate in local self-government affecting local citizens.

Mr. HARRIS. Do you indicate there has been no progress in the District of Columbia over many years?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Why? In what term of years? Since its establishment?

Mr. HARRIS. In its history.


Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. You merely state the question. That is the Mr. HARRIS. You indicated that in your statement.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. When the District of Columbia was set up, it was a virtual swamp and marsh; that is when L'Enfant came down and laid it out. There were then only a very few houses in the area.

Mr. HARRIS. Has there been any progress in the last 70 years?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Obviously; and there will be more if, when, and as we the people here are given full opportunity to express their views and to work for municipal advancement.

Mr. HARRIS. I think there is much sympathy in the minds of almost everyone as to the inherent right of suffrage, to participate in political institutions.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. I am glad you feel that way, sir.

Mr. HARRIS. And I think there is much sympathy for the people for local self-government, whereby the best interests of the people. can be served.

Mr. HARRIs. Now, then; the question is as to its application.

Mr. HARRIS. You placed your finger, I think, upon the very point when you said Congress could at any time reject or revise any act, regardless of what the people of the District of Columbia think.


Mr. HARRIS. Now, could that possibly have been independent action, so far as legislative and local affairs are concerned?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. I believe it would in much the same measure, like local communities in the States.

Mr. HARRIS. Wouldn't you have actually greater suffrage rights and participation in local affairs if there was some way of providing for the people of the District of Columbia someone to be in the actual legislative body that has legislative authority over the District of Columbia?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. You mean national representation?

Mr. HARRIS. I mean some group in the body politic that determines generally, has the authority to determine what should be or should not be for the District of Columbia-elected by the people to have a voice in that representation.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Sir, for myself I say most emphatically, and I say it for all of my colleagues, and everyone who advocates local self-government, we also believe in national representation. However-and I am not entirely certain of this point-I think it is doubtful myself, but apparently the general view is that national representation which puts us in the Congress will require a constitutional amendment, and we need not tell you gentlemen of the time that it will take to do that and bring that about. Our thought is that, if we cannot have the whole loaf, let us have a half a loaf; and my view, even if we had representation in the Congress, three or four or whatever number it might be in the House of Representatives and one or two Senators in the Senate, that would still not be a substitute for local self-government.

Mr. HARRIS. Then you would have to reverse your statement of an moment ago that this is not a Federal City.

• Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Oh, I don't think so. That is merely a matter of fact, that it is a Federal City; but that is no excuse, in my opinion, for depriving us of a vote and local self-government.

Mr. HARRIS. If you have entirely local self-government, then it is not the Federal city.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. We are not having an entirely, exclusively local self-government, inasmuch as--at Mr. Taft's suggestion, I believeSenator Kefauver's bill provides for several members on the District Council appointed by the President. That recognizes the Federal interests here, and could well provide for the Federal consideration.

Mr. HARRIS. Are there any further questions? Thank you very much. We are very glad to have your statement. Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Inasmuch as you requested of us to have only one spokesman for the whole body, which as you know is an amalgamation of various organizations, I would like to put in the record and I will provide additional copies of a copy of our historian's statement on local home rule that appeared in a recent issue of the Star. I have a copy with me here.

Mr. HARRIS. Who is your historian?
Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Dr. George W. Hodgkins.
Mr. HARRIS. How lengthy a statement is it?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. It is about a column in the Star, on the editorial page.

Mr. HARRIS. I believe we all have opportunity to read the Star. It can be filed for the information of the committee and we can determine whether it should be included in the record.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Thank you, and if you like I will get additional copies.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Harris asked you almost all the questions I intended to ask. How old were you when you came to Washington to live? Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Fourteen. The CHAIRMAN. You realized at that time you could not vote? Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Oh, yes. The CHAIRMAN. And you lived in the Federal City. Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Certainly.

The CHAIRMAN. You know this is 10 miles square and it was set aside for the use of the Federal Government.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Yes; but at the same time I don't think that just precludes my coming here and seeking my rights that I would have enjoyed had I been a resident of any other State.

The CHAIRMAN. The main objection you have to this form of government is that you can't vote? Is that right?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. That is hardly the full answer, Mr. Chairman. My objection to it is that it is not responsive to the popular will of the populace.

The CHAIRMAN. Would you agree to having this ceded to the State of Maryland and be under the State of Maryland?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. I think that probably would be impracticable, and I think it would run into very definite objections from various other States. I concede it is an interesting possibility, but I think it is doing something the hard way. I think the main objection is it comes back to the core of Mr. Harris's proposition that this is a Federal city, Federal jurisdiction.

The CHAIRMAN. I could not see why the State should object in that this was formerly owned by Maryland.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Oh, yes; obviously,
Mr. HARRIS. I did want to ask you a further question.

Under the Constitution Congress has the duty to make decisions in reference to the type of government in the District of Columbia and they must determine what is best for all the people of the United States.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. That is right. I agree with that.

Mr. HARRIS. And in doing so, what kind of government should we have for the District of Columbia. The Congress has to determine that, hasn't it?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Obviously.

Mr. HARRIS. And in making that determination it must consider the rights of the people of all the United States which have an interest in this Nation's Capital.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. That is right.

Mr. HARRIS. And also the rights, so far as possible, of the people of the District of Columbia, granting them a voice in local self-government; and in the third place, equal opportunity in the high privilege of participating in the democratic form of government.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Yes, sir; I quite agree with that.
Mr. HARRIS. Thank you very much.
Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. HARRIS. We have Dr. Corning, Superintendent of Schools.

Dr. Corning, we are glad to have you back and we are glad to have your statements on this very important issue.



Dr. CORNING. Thank you. I appreciate your opinion very much and I shall be brief.

Perhaps I should anticipate one of your questions by stating I have lived in Washington a total of something over 20 years, also I am at present in this present assignment, I have been here a little over 3 years, about 3 years. I spent my entire boyhood in Washington and am now back home, so I am not appearing as a total stranger to the affairs of the District of Columbia.

Mr. Harris. Where were you, Doctor, in the interim, in your absence from the District of Columbia ?

Dr. CORNING. In Pennsylvania, Colorado 23 years, in Nebraska, and then back here.

Mr. HARRIS. You have had opportunity to participate in elections?
Dr. CORNING. Yes, sir.
Mr. HARRIS. You may proceed.

Dr. CORNING. I am testifying for the Board of Education, and am using as a basis of my testimony an official statement which was adopted by the Board of Education.

The Board of Education is not testifying through me on the general proposition of home rule for the District of Columbia. I am limiting my testimony to those segments of the proposed bill which concern the operation of the schools, and in which I would like to point out to you certain very important weaknesses, in my judgment, in those

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