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It may be of some interest to note that the population of the eight States in question constitute less than 10 percent of the country's population (1940 census). Assuming that the Federal employees in the District come from these States in the same proportion as the population of their States bear to the total population of the country, it is evident that 90 percent of the Federal employees in the District would benefit from the dual voting arrangements, while only 10 percent might have the problem of whether to forbear from voting in one place or the other until their home State election laws were amended.
We believe that the above arguments demonstrate conclusively the need for and practicality of the dual voting provisions of the bill. If after consideration of these arguments, however, the subcommittee for any reason considers the provisions to be undesirable, we would urge it to eliminate them from the bill. The main goal is to enact a realistic bill for local self-government. The dual voting provisions, if determined to be unworkable, should not stand in the way of enactment of the bill as a whole. Perhaps after a period of practical operation under the bill, the out-of-state voting matter will appear to be less troublesome, and can be handled by a simple curative amendment to the charter. Argument that Washingtonians don't want local suffrage
There is only one way to determine whether a majority of Washingtonians favor the Kefauver bill. That is to have the referendum which the bill itself provides. Straw votes within small special interest groups are notoriously inaccurate indications of the will of the majority of citizens. In the largest straw vote held to date, and the only one which was open to all citizens of the District without regard to group, the vote was 3 to 1 in favor of local suffrage. Outstanding men of business and civic leaders during the past 2 years have indicated to the House District Committee their support of home rule. These include such leaders as Frank Jelleff, John Lord O'Brien, Chauncy G. Parker, William J. Flather, Jr., Mrs. J. Borden Harriman, and E. R. Finkenstaedt. Citizens' associations, church groups and labor groups have added their endorsement. The number of organizations and individuals who have requested time to testify in support of the homerule bill and the number and variety of people who have written to the committee to endorse it are too many to disregard. It is clear that a large number of people in all walks of life in Washington want this bill; whether a majority want it can be determined only by the referendum which the bill provides. We are bold to believe, however, that the city would decide in favor of the new charter.
It must always be borne in mind that this bill does not in and of itself provide local suffrage—it merely makes it possible for the people here to decide authoritatively for themselves whether they want it. The segregation issue
One of the most widely spread reasons for opposition to the bill, both expressed and unexpressėd, is the large Negro population of Washington. There is fear that under home rule segregation might be abolished, there is fear that the Negro vote might be the deciding factor in elections, and there is fear that unscrupulous political groups might gain control of the Negro vote for their own purposes. In reply to these fears, the Washington Home Rule Committee calls attention to other cities with large Negro populations. Baltimore and Richmond, whose Negro populations are approximately proportional to that of Washington, have local suffrage without being subject to the calamities which have been predicted should Washington be given similar local rights. Richmond has substantially the same city council system.
Our committee was formed to urge home rule, not to solve the problem of segregation. The segregation issue has nothing to do with home rule. We do not see any reason why segregation should be handled any differently in the District than elsewhere in the Nation. If it is regarded as a national problem for the Congress, the District should be treated the same way as the whole country, by comprehensive national legislation, not by withholding home rule. If it is regarded as a local problem, the District should have the same right as any other community to decide the issue in its own polls and in its own way. The Kefauver bill is a good bill and should be enacted in substantially its present form
The Kefauver bill is the product of much careful work by many people over a long period of time. Our committee endorses it only after long and careful study. Perhaps it is not a perfect bill. No bill of such a comprehensive nature can please everyone, but the bill as a whole is a good one. Any defects in detail can be changed by subsequent amendment if practical working operation under it
shows that to be necessary. The fact that it may at some future time have to be amended here and there is no reason to hold up its enactment now.
We all must recognize that the success of the local suffrage government which the Kefauver bill will provide will depend upon constant and intelligent teamwork—teamwork by the citizens of the District with the members of your committee. We are confident that this teamwork will be developed and maintained effectively under the Kefauver bill.
As we see it, the basic task of this committee is to provide a workable selfgovernment for the District of Columbia. Everyone agrees that the self-governing process at the local level is the basis of our American way of life. In the consideration of the comprehensive provisions of the Kefauver bill we must not allow differences over minor details to obscure that basic and uncontrovertible fact.
We are under no delusion that the bill will make Washington into a utopia or solve all its problems in the years ahead. We believe firmly, however, that the bill in general provides a workable structure of local government within constitutional limitations, that its enactment will be of real assistance to the Congress and to this committee, and that under it the government of the city will be effective, efficient, and responsive to the will of the electorate. Most important of all, perhaps, it will provide the citizens of Washington, who are proud of their city, with a real opportunity to participate actively, effectively, and democraticcally in making the government of this community a credit to the Nation. Respectfully yours,
WASHINGTON HOME RULE COMMITTEE. By LLOYD N. CUTLER.
MEMBERS OF WASHINGTON HOME RULE COMMITTEE
Aley Allan, 3418 Q Street NW.
, 301242 R Street NW.
Nineteenth Street NW.
Benjamin Rathbun, 2126 Connecticut Avenue NW.
STATEMENT OF LLOYD N. CUTLER AND STURGIS WARNER
WASHINGTON HOME RULE COMMITTEE
Mr. CUTLER. Mr. Chairman, I believe Mr. McLeod has copies of the prepared statement which should be before you. Mr. Warner and I are both practicing private attorneys here in Washington and we are both members of the Washington Home Rule Committee.
Our committee is not a business or social group aimed at promoting any of the special interests of its members. We formed because we are interested in home rule. That is the only reason why our committee exists. We include members of the Board of Trade, members of the District Bar Association, housewives, lawyers, businessmen, and newspapermen. The names of members of our committee are attached to the statement which you have before you.
We presented our views in detail to this committee last year and the Senate District Committee this year. We believe that we have been helpful to those committees in their work and we would like to be helpful to this committee if we can.
As we see it, the issue today in the history of home rules seems to be this: First, that according to the only true, city-wide polls which have every been conducted here in recent years, over 70 percent of the people here voted for home rule in any event, or a home rule bill providing for a referendum to settle this question once and for all.
Second, according to the Gallup poll and even allowing for a substantial margin of error in the Gallup poll, 77 percent of the people in the rest of the country think that we should have home rule.
Mr. HARRIS. You would want us to take the Gallup poll?
Mr. CUTLER. Yes; but I would like you to allow for a substantial margin of error.
Mr. HARRIS. The Gallup poll made another decision at one time.
Mr. CUTLER. Yes, sir; but I think a margin of 77 percent leaves ample allowance for the error which you have in mind.
Third, the Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of home rule.
Fourth, last year there were two record votes in the House in favor of home rule. However, some of you gentlemen on this committee have sincere doubts about whether we should have home rule; and, of course, that is your privilege.
Members of this committee have indicated certain doubts about the merits of home rule in general, and the Kefauver bill in particular.
We think we can satisfy those doubts by discussing the basic issues frankly and openly with you. At least, we would like to try. For that purpose we have prepared the statement which you now have before you. It lists the specific questions which some of you on this committee have raised on home rule and it tries to answer those questions.
I might say, I think Mr. Hays mentioned most of them much better than we were able to do in our statement. We won't take the time of the committee to read the statement now, but if you will glance through it, you will see the replies we have made to the objections which have been advanced so far. We take up each of the problems which you have raised, whether this is real home rule, as Mr. Abernethy questions; whether it is important that Washington be the Federal city, as Mr. Harris has asked; the issues of constitutionality raised by Mr. Abernethy; whether the burden of Congress will be lessened, raised, I believe, by both Mr. Abernethy and Mr. O'Hara; the question of dual voting-whether the issue of segregation has any real bearing here, and whether the people who live here really want home rule.
If you have any questions about the replies to those suggestions as they appear in the statement, I would be glad to try to answer them.
Mr. TEAGUE. I have one question: Would your committee support the proposition of turning the District back to Maryland?
Mr. CUTLER. We would support any proposition, Mr. Teague, that would give us an opportunity to run our own municipal government ourselves. Whether that is the best solution I do not know. My personal feeling is that the Kefauver bill is a better solution, but we would support any solution of that problem which would really give us a chance at municipal self-government.
The CHAIRMAN. As I understand your statement, you have said that members of your committee assisted both the Auchincloss Committee in preparing its bill and Senator Kefauver in preparing that bill.
Mr. CUTLER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Did school officials and library officials take part in those conferences with you?
Mr. CUTLER. We did not work on those aspects of the bill. Our assistance was not asked to any great extent on those points. In regard to the views that have been expressed on issues concerning the schools and on the Public Library, any solution which this committee can work out to handle those problems we believe would be satisfactory to us as well as those incorporated in the bill that do give us a chance at municipal self-government.
Mr. AUCHINCLOSS. I want to testify that Mr. Cutler's committee was very helpful to our subcommittee last year in research and in making suggestions, the same as various other committees in Washington were helpful to the committee. Now I would like to ask this question:
: I believe it was said about Washington, that is the District of Columbia, being a Federal city, being owned by the people of the United States. Do you subscribe to that?
Mr. CUTLER. Yes, sir.
Mr. AUCHINCLOSs. Then why doesn't the Federal Government pay all of the expenses of the Federal city?
Mr. CUTLER. I think that question would follow largely from some of the arguments made with respect to home rule on the ground that this is the Federal city. I think the real answer, along the lines of the discussion of Mr. Abernethy and Mr. Hays, is that Little Rock is the State city in the same sense, and yet no one would suggest that the people who own homes and pay taxes and reside in Little Rock shall bear all of the burden of maintaining that city and foregoing the privilege of voting, and that they should be denied the opportunity to vote for local officials.
Mr. TEAGUE. Will the gentleman yield there?
Mr. TEAGUE. If you are going to compare Washington with Little Rock, why was the District created in the first place?
Mr. CUTLER. I believe the District was created in the first place because the Federal Government, as distinguished from the States, had no particular city of its own which it could select as its capital; whereas the State of Arkansas did have Little Rock.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you tell the committee why the Federal Government moved the capital out of Philadelphia?
Mr. CUTLER. I am not sure I know all of the reasons, but I gather it was to have a proper area independent of the control of any State, and I believe it is pretty clear that what the Constitution had in mind when it speaks of “exclusive legislative power over the District” residing in the Congress, that it was, as Senator Kefauver said, that the power should be exclusive of the power of the States; and at the same time it was understood by Madison and others, as Mr. Hays has pointed out, that the people who live here would be allowed at least to decide who was going to run their schools, the police department, and pick their own dog catcher.
The CHAIRMAN. What do you think of the Board of Trade poll? Do you think that was conclusive on this question?
Mr. CUTLER. I think as we understand it the votes in the Board of Trade poll consisted of about nineteen one-hundredth of 1 percent of the estimated people in the District of Columbia who should have the power to vote or would have the power to vote under this kind of a bill. The only two city-wide polls that have ever been held have been overwhelmingly in favor of home rule.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you say those polls were conclusive?
Mr. CUTLER. If you will forgive me for saying so, I believe the number of those participating in the first poll was approximately 13 of those estimated to be qualified to vote. Mr. Colladay yesterday said the number who voted in his Board of Trade poll were about 30 percent of the members of that organization and he considered that a very fair sample. I would also like to add that when you, Mr. McMillan, were elected this last time, when Mr. Teague was elected also, I am sure your election represented the views of the people in your entire district, something like 10 percent or less of the people in your district voting.