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The CHAIRMAN. Twenty-three percent. I begged the people to come out and vote.
Mr. CUTLER. More than 23 percent made the decision here in the District. I think you are entitled to say you were elected by all the people who live in your district, and I think that a poll here in Washington which covered 30 percent of the people who would be able to vote is far more representative than nineteen one-hundredths of 1 percent, which is the Board of Trade figure, representing a special economic group, admirable as it may be.
Mr. ALLEN of California. Mr. Cutler, are you familiar with the provisions of the Kefauver bill? Tell me how a provision in the charter which was found to be unsatisfactory could be changed by an expression of the will of the people through an ordinance.
Mr. CUTLER. Mr. Warner, perhaps you can correct me on this; but I believe, as you know, Mr. Allen, at any time Congress could amend the charter. I presume at any time the Council could go before the Congress, or before the committee, and recommend a change in the charter. Perhaps there is something else you would like to add.
Mr. WARNER. Mr. Allen, under the bill the local Council would not be authorized to submit one of these so-called legislative proposals in an amendment to the bill; that is, an amendment to the home-rule charter. That would have to be handled as this legislation now is being handled, by representation by interested groups in the city. In other words, the power in the
council is restricted to legislating for all matters pertaining to the District, other than matters which would cbange the four corners of the Kefauver bill. That is true in regard to all comprehensive legislation. The charter will need occasional trimmings here and there. Slight changes can be expected. Congress is doing it on all our substantive legislation.
In passing this bill as it now stands, it, of course, does have individual differences or individual aspects which are not satisfactory to everybody. It would be impossible to satisfy everybody, but there is ample opportunity to amend the bill after practical working operation under the bill as it now stands, if amendments are necessary.
Mr. ALLEN of California. My point was that if the original bill received the affirmative approval of the people who would be governed under it, then from that time forth any changes would not be subject to ratification.
Mr. CUTLER. You could make any change, subject to ratification. There will be an election in the District every 2 years under this bill.
Mr. WARNER. That is right.
Mr. CUTLER. If Congress wanted to propose any basic change in the charter, it could do so, just as in the original charter, subject to approval of the voters of the District in the next general election, or a special election.
Mr. ALLEN of California. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. With the Federal pay-roll what it is, do you think we could continue to make donations to the District?
Mr. CUTLER. Yes, sir; I think that the Federal Government should continue to make contributions to the cost of governing the District in some proportion to the number of Government buildings that are here, in that the Federal Government has the benefit of the streets
and the services and its tax-free property is depriving the District of revenue.
The CHAIRMAN. Don't you think we should pass a law giving the same treatment to all of the States? For instance, in my State the Federal Government owns thousands of acres of land and does not pay any taxes whatever; and they don't have the pay roll that you have here.
Mr. CUTLER. No, that is true; but the Federal Government here owns a very sizable proportion of the improved property on which the District derives no revenue through taxes. It is true that we have the pay roll here. We recognize that; but we do think the Federal Government should well pay part of the cost of managing the District.
The CHAIRMAN. I just wanted to get your opinion on it.
Mr. CUTLER. I would like, if I could, Mr. McMillan, to make a supplement to Mr. Hays' answer to Mr. Abernethy on the question as to whether a constitutional amendment is needed and whether we are getting real home rule.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
Mr. CUTLER. I would just like to draw attention to the situation in the Territories. The position of this Congress, as far as the Territories is concerned, is that Hawaii or Alaska, or Puerto Rico would first be given the opportunity to govern itself in the municipal or State legislature; and when it had proved that it could govern itself well in that legislature, it would then be admitted as a State and allowed to send a Representative to the Congress.
The CHAIRMAN. I don't see how you can compare Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico with this city which is set apart as a Federal city.
Mr. CUTLER. Except Madison and the Supreme Court have said Congress would have the power to provide a legislature for local purposes here, exactly the same as the legislatures allowed the Territories. My point, if I can finish it, Mr. McMillan, was, you say to the Territories, “First show that you can govern yourselves, and then we will let you come into the Congress,” but the Board of Trade is saying and Mr. Abernethy is saying to us, "We won't let you govern yourselves until you get into the Congress,” and-well the Board of Trade and Mr. Colladay, they are old fellows and we are young fellows and we would like to vote before we die.
Insofar as the views of the people of the city go, I grant you any policy is subject to error. This bill provides for a referendum to decide the question and the only city-wide polls have been overwhelmingly in favor of home rule, whereas the poll of the Board of Trade was only nineteen one-hundredths of 1 percent of the voting population of the city.
The CHAIRMAN. One man told me that he voted 18 times last year.
Mr. CUTLER. Then let us knock off 10 percent of the total for people who did that, and you still have a very impresssive figure.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. The next witness will be Mr. Thomas S. Settle, secretary and legal adviser of the National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
STATEMENT OF THOMAS S. SETTLE, ESQ., SECRETARY AND
LEGAL ADVISER, NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION
Mr. SETTLE. Mr. Chairman, the National Capital Park and Planning Commission takes no attitude either for or against the home rule bill. That is beyond the duties of a planning commission. We do express the request, however, that in giving consideration to these bills, and particularly the Kefauver bill, because it passed the Senate, that certain amendments be made as that bill affects the National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
We consider this a successor bill of the Auchincloss bill which was considered very carefully by the committee last year, and in which were incorporated several amendments that we recommended. However, since the Kefauver bill was introduced, another bill has come to Congress, which after years of very careful study on the part of the Bureau of the Budget and with the approval and the advice of President Roosevelt and which now has the hearty approval of President Truman
The CHAIRMAN. That is the one before the committee at the present time.
Mr. SETTLE. That was the bill sent forward to the Speaker and introduced by Chairman McMillan and immediately referred to the committee, and I am referring now to H. R. 4848.
The CHAIRMAN. We are not considering that bill at the present time.
Mr. SETTLE. I may say that bill was also considered by the Senate committee and an identical bill introduced by Senator McGrath which was favorably reported and placed on the Senate Calendar, and I presume it will be over here very shortly. So I think I can save the time of this
committee by reading a letter from our vice chairman, Mr. A. E. Demaray, addressed to the chairman of this committee (reading]:
July 14, 1949. Subject: Proposed amendments to S. 1527 to provide for home rule and reorgani
zation in the District of Columbia. Hon. John L. McMILLAN, Chairman, House Committee on the District of Columbia,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. McMILLAN: You introduced on May 24, 1949, H. R. 4848, a bill to amend the act of June 6, 1924, as amended, relating to the National Capital Park and Planning Commission. This bill was carefully prepared by the Bureau of the Budget as a result of a study by the Bureau of the Budget directed by President Roosevelt, and more recently by direction of President Truman, and has his personal approval. An identical bill, S. 1931, has already been carefully considered by the Senate District Committee and placed on the Senate Calendar.
In several respects there is a conflict between $. 1527 and H. R. 4848. The National Capital Park and Planning Commission has voted to request you and your committee to amend the District of Columbia home rule bill wherever it is in conflict with H. R. 4848. You are respectfully requested, therefore, to amend S. 1527 as follows:
Acquisition of park, parkway, and playgrounds in the District:
Acts of Congress approved June 6, 1924, and May 29, 1930, empower the National Capital Park and Planning Commission to acquire a comprehensive and coordinated park, parkway, and playground system for the District of Columbia and environs, and authorize certain appropriations, etc. In the case of the District of Columbia, $16,000,000 was authorized to be appropriated direct from the Federal Treasury and to be repaid without interest at the rate of $1,000,000 a year. The Commission has acquired and is acquiring about three-fourths of the lands necessary to round out such a system for the District of Columbia. It coordinates closely these acquisitions with the location of public schools and other public District and Federal projects. The Bureau of the Budget and the President in drafting H. R. 4848 decided it would be in the best interest of the National Capital for this acquisition power and duty to remain in the National Capital Park and Planning Commission. S. 1527, section 908 (c), transfers that function to the proposed Department of Public Works. It is respectfully recommended, therefore, that section 908 (c) be stricken in its entirety from S. 1527.
In support of that, Mr. Chairman, I should like to submit a somewhat detailed and lengthy statement from the Bureau of the Budget on that subject.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection it may be inserted in the record.
Mr. SETTLE. This is a report prepared by the Bureau of the Budget to the President on A Study of the Organization for Planning of the National Capital.
This is from page 35 of the report, entitled “Land Acquisition Activities":
It is proposed that the Planning Commission continue the comprehensive park, parkway, and playground land purchase begun in 1924. If there were any doubt regarding the desirability of retention of this operation, it would be dispelled by the fact that the program in the District of Columbia is more than two-thirds completed and that, in the future, buying will be for relatively small items. It is recognized that this proposed function in effect means that the Planning Commission, in addition to its planning responsibilities, will be charged with the administrative duty of purchasing lands within the District of Columbia and of cooperating with the authorized Maryland and Virginia governmental agencies in the acquisition of lands for the extension of the District park system into Maryland and for the projected extension of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The effect of this added role is discussed below.
Because of the advanced state of the land acquisition program and the proposed significant additions to the planning responsibilities of the National Capital Planning Commission which have been enumerated above, the land purchasing function should prove to be of much less relative importance in the operations of the Commission than it has been in the operations of the National Capital Park and Planning Commission. As a result of the strengthening of its planning functions, the reconstituted Commission will not have to rely so extensively on land acquisition as an indirect method of participating in planning the development of the national capital area. Although it will continue to be necessary for the Commission as a body to give approval to proposed land purchases in order to satisfy legal requirements, this approval can be given on the basis of previously agreed upon standards and plans established by Commission action, and with the assurance that the planning and land purchasing divisions are in agreement on details. Such an approach to the land-purchasing function should secure the desired subordination without disturbing the essential features of the strict procedures which have commendably marked the land-buying program of the National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
With this revised procedure the land acquisition function will, without impairing the planning activities, continue to be a satisfactory arrangement, and assist in implementing the general planning responsibilities of the Commission. The original decision to create the National Capital Park Commission in 1924 came as a result of the efforts to relieve Congress of the burden of authorizing individual land purchases through the regular legislative process and to obtain a continuous and planned local buying program in place of individual purchases by special commissions as had been the case theretofore. Congressional satisfaction with the decision of 1924 is indicated by the absence of criticism and especially by the passage of the Capper-Cramton Act of 1930 and subsequent appropriations for land purchasing. Considering the general acceptance of this role in the National Capital planning agency and the fact that the program is nearing completion, it is believed that the land-acquisition function should not be transferred to another agency.
Being responsible for the comprehensive planning of the National Capital, the Planning Commission is in an especially advantageous position to view the publiclands needs of the area and to direct its effort toward the acquisition of those areas which are threatened by private encroachment and are required for public use. Such a viewpoint is important in the National Capital because of the large amount of public land which is required. Because of its responsibility for guiding future development, and especially for keeping foremost the land requirements for park, parkway, and playground purposes in the National Capital, the Planning Commission can foresee these requirements much quicker than can an administrative agency busy with day-to-day administration. For example, the National Capital Park and Planning Commission has been able to acquire land for future use, as in the case of the Fort Drive and the George Washington Memorial Parkway, the purchase of which, if left to operating agencies, might well have been delayed so long as to have been impractical of accomplishment. In addition, the conferring of this responsibility on an agency charged with the planning of the whole area, rather than on a Federal or District agency which eventually is to use the land, permits the park and playground land needs of the District to be anticipated on the basis of plans for future development which take into account the population needs of the District as a whole. As a result of this over-all view, the planning function within the District is implemented through the attention given to the land requirements of the whole area and not alone of particular sections.
It is also essential that the Planning Commission continue to cooperate with Maryland and Virginia agencies in the program of land purchase to extend the Federal park system outside the District. Such participation has assisted the Commission to fulfill its responsibilities within those areas and to relate the developmental plans for park and parkway purposes to corresponding programs within the District. Recognition of the direct interest of the Federal Government in the adjacent areas of Maryland and Virginia is shown by the financial assistance given for the purchase of park lands in Maryland and land for the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Maryland and Virginia. Not only is there assurance that this financial assistance will be employed to obtain the desired extension of the park and parkway system of the District; in addition the Planning Commission is brought into direct relationship with local administrative and planning agencies and is in a position, as an agent of the Federal Government, to secure representation of the Federal interest in this area. When combined with the planning functions proposed above for the Commission in the metropolitan area outside the District, the land acquisition duty should strengthen and make more effective. the planning responsibilities of the Planning Commission in the adjacent territory.
Mr. SETTLE. As to the membership of the Commission:
H. R. 4848, section 1 (c) provides the number of members of the commission, how chosen, order of termination of terms, etc. Section 1405 (a) of S. 1527 alsó sets forth the membership of the Commission. It differs in some respects from that in H. R. 4848. We advise, therefore, that section 1405 (a) be stricken from the home rule bill and leave this matter to be taken care of through the passage of H. R. 4848. If your committee should not be favorable to that recommendation, then we recommend that section 1 (c) of H. R. 4848 be substituted for section 1405 (a) of S. 152.
I would like to add there is not a great deal of difference between the McMillan bill and S. 1527.
The third question is that of zoning: S. 1527, the home rule bill, provides in section 1405 (c) that the Commission shall be the Planning Commission “on behalf of the District as well as the Federal Government." However, in providing procedure for zoning ordinances, section 336 (a) of the bill provides that the National Capital Park and Planning Commission shall make a report within 30 days to the District Council on any proposed zoning ordinance as to "whether the interest of the Federal Government would be best served by passing the ordinance in its introduced form We recommend, therefore, that this language be changed to read: “whether the planning and orderly development of the National Capital would best be served by passing the ordinance in its introduced form
Such language change should also be made in section 336 (b), page 17, line 2, after the word “affect,' to read: “the planning and orderly development of the National Capital, the Commission shall within
Mr. Chairman, we appreciate the privilege of appearing before you and do not believe those proposed amendments do harm in any way to the home rule bill and do a lot of good.