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Labor Executives Association. We have a membership of over 430,000 members, made up from the local unions in most of the States.
We have more than 8,000 members in the District of Columbia, and this membership within the District of Columbia has repeatedly called the attention of our international union at our conventions to the fact that they in the District of Columbia do not have home rule and the right to vote.
Our conventions for more than 20 years have listened to our membership in the District, and at their request have repeatedly by resolution gone on record to the effect that our international union should testify at any hearings held on the subject and record our international union wholeheartedly as in favor of home rule for the citizens of the District of Columbia.
I thank the committee for their attention.
Is there anyone else here who would like to make a statement for the record or a statement today?
A LADY. I would like to make a statement. May I have 10 minutes? Mr. HARRIS. I am very sorry.
We would be glad to have you file a statement but we have to go.
We will hold another hearing Wednesday morning and we would be glad to have you come back then. If you care to file a statement, we will receive it now.
The committee will stand adjourned until Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock.
(Thereupon, at 12:20 p. m., the committee adjourned, to meet on Wednesday, July 27, 1949, at 10 a. m.)
HOME RULE AND REORGANIZATION IN THE DISTRICT OF
WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 1949
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, DC The Judiciary Subcommittee of the Committee on the District o 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. Olin E. Teague, Hon. Joseph P. O'Hara, Hon. James C. Auchincloss, and Hon. John J. Allen, Jr., of California.
Also present: Hon. Charles B. Deane, Member of Congress from North Carolina; William A. Roberts, Esq.; William F. Fadler, Jr., Esq., Young Democratic Club of the District of Columbia; Miss Sylvia Altman, District Central Suffrage Conference; George W. Hodgkins, Esq., Kalorama Citizens Association; Mrs. Sarah Newman, Potomac Cooperative Federation; Mrs. Charlotte Sillers, Women's Auxiliary, United Public Workers, CIO; Mrs. Hugh Beshers, Women's Alliance of All Soul's Church (Unitarian); Charles S. Hill, local joint executive board of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union, A. F. of L.; Harry Leet, Government Workers Union No. 1013, CIO; Ben Cummins, a citizen; and J. R. Conner, of R. Mars, Inc.; and others.
Mr. HARRIS. The committee will come to order and we will continue the hearings this morning on the pending proposed home-rule bill.
We are glad to have our colleague, Mr. Deane, with us. Mr. Deane was a member of this committee in the last Congress and also he was a member of the special subcommittee which considered home rule. He has made a study over a long period of time and he had a large part in writing the legislation which was finally presented to the committee in the House during the Eightieth Congress.
I would like to say to my colleague that we are indebted to him for his study and for the work that he has done on this question. We appreciate the fact that he has a thorough knowledge of the history and the background of the government of the District of Columbia and we are delighted to have him come before us this morning in order further to express his views on this question.
I might say that due to the fact that you and others, including Members of the House who were witnesses and who were interested in this matter, have expressed a desire to be heard, with which the committee has complied, this committee has come under some rather severe criticism for its purported delay in completing the hearings; but, notwithstanding that, we do think that you and others are entitled to be heard on your request. So we are glad to have you this morning and the committee is glad also to have you present your views this morning and receive your suggestions, you coming before this committee as a witness and as a proponent of this legislation.
Mr. DEANE. Mr. Chairman and my friends of the committee and colleagues, I am very grateful to you, Mr. Chairman, for your kind words. I do not come this morning posing as an expert, but I do come sincerely interested in joining with you, I trust, in developing now
and in the future, I hope, some sound approach to home rule for the District of Columbia.
Mr. HARRIS. We are glad to have a statement by you.
STATEMENT OF HON. CHARLES B. DEANE, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
Mr. DEANE. At the outset, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I desire to express my appreciation for this opportunity to appear before your committee.
I do not come contending that I know all the answers to this exceedingly important subject of home rule, but I do come with the belief that I am conversant with the subject of home rule for the District.
During the Eightieth Congress it was my pleasure to serve on the House District Committee. I gave up my assignment on this committee with a great deal of reluctance, and did so only in order to accommodate the leadership of the House incident to the Democratic majority in this Eighty-first Congress.
If the opportunity should come, I would again welcome an opportunity to serve tbe people of Washington, representing as they do a great cross section of this Nation of ours.
You gentlemen of the committee recall that I was a member of the Home Rule Subcommittee during the Eightieth Congress that reported out H. R. 6227, introduced by the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Auchincloss. I hesitate to burden the committee with the details about those bearings. I hope that I will not appear presumptious in pointing out that there were 28 days of hearings on H. R. 6227 introduced by Mr. Auchincloss. I was present on 21 of those days. Our subcommittee heard 178 witnesses, received 51 statements and resolutions, and developed 1,178 pages of testimony. In making reference to those lengthy hearings and recalling the outstanding service rendered to the committee by an expert and sincere staff, it is my opinion that no other committee gave a more complete, full, and thorough study of the problem of local self-government for the District of Columbia than did this subcommittee of the Eightieth Congress.
My participation in those days and days of hearings convinced me beyond any reasonable doubt that the citizens of the District of Columbia should have restored to them the right to participate in their own local government. I repeat, the citizens of the District of Columbia should have restored to them the right to participate in their own local government. I can be rightly stated that the proposed legislation is an effort to promulgate to some degree, at least, what the founding fathers contemplated for the Nation's Capital. Surely Madison had this in mind wben he stated that a "municipal legislature for local purposes derived from their own suffrage” would be extended to the residents of the District of Columbia.
Local self-government was promised the people of Washington by James Madison, chief architect of the Constitution. This District Committee, therefore, will not be setting up any precedent in adopting the principle of home rule because when the Federal Government moved into Washington, the people of this city enjoyed selfgovernment from 1802 until 1874, à practical construction of the Constitution.
Far be it from me to pose as any constitutional authority, but I am constrained to point out, in view of statements that have been made before this committee, that the home-rule bill of the Eightieth Congress and the bill now pending before you have been upheld by the Attorney General of the United States, by House and Senate legislative counsel, and by several eminent constitutional lawyers with whom this distinguished committee is most familiar. For my part, these eminent authorities immediately dispel the constitutional doubts that may be expressed by others.
A study of S. 1527, frequently referred to as the Kefauver bill, will show that in many respects it is largely patterned after H. R. 6227 that I have mentioned before. I shall not take up the time of the committee to compare the two bills or argue their special merits so far as construction is concerned.
To me both bills represent an intelligent and sincere effort to make democracy real and make it work in the Nation's Capital. A denial of the right of some form of self-government to the disfranchised citizens of this great city violates every principle of democracy.
My colleagues of the committee, I have often wondered what the many thousands of young people reaching voting age here in the Nation's Capital, who have had the advantage of the very best educational opportunities, think of members of committees who stand on the floor of the House and demand that free elections be granted to certain downtrodden people of Europe and Asia, and then deny any form of local self-government to the people of this great city, the only capital in the world where the voices of the citizens are completely silent. I regret, gentlemen, that I had to make that statement, because this is the best fuel that Moscow needs to show that democracy and freedom are denied in the very Capital of the Nation that champions the four freedoms.
The urgent plea I make, gentlemen, in behalf of a teenie-weenie voice in local government for this great city, I make not so much in behalf of the adults of our Capital City, but for the many thousands of choice young people now present in the District of Columbia, and who will be joined by countless thousands in the immediate years ahead.
Frequently since I became a Member of Congress, in contemplating the plight of voteless Washingtonians, I have pictured myself as a disfranchised father in Washington, the father of a son of voting age. This son has fought through the battles of Africa, Normandy, and the isles of the Pacific. He did so in order to preserve and make free the ballot and to have a voice in his Government. This son wants to know why he is denied some participation in the operation of his Government. He recalls the sacrifices he made to preserve democracy and the right to vote. I am forced to admit that he is entitled to this: participation as an American citizen; yet an intelligent Congress continues to deny him one of the most cherished rights given to an American citizen.
Gentlemen of the committee, that illustration is multiplied many, many times in this Capital City. In my opinion our continued failure to extend some form of home rule to the District of Columbia is going to warp and stint scores of youthful minds in this great city. I am convinced that the continued denial of some voice in their government is going to lead them into organizations that will not be healthy. On the other hand, it is my candid belief that if we extend home rule and thereby invite the two great major political parties to come in and compete for the loyalties of the people, young and old, of this District, you are going to set up a healthy city government that the Congress and the Nation will be proud to recognize.
The recent passage of a sales tax is going to greatly emphasize among the people of the District that they are denied the right to have a part in their government, and they are not going to feel good about it. Yet, on the other hand, if they are given some form of self-government, they are not going to voice much objection to this sales tax. And furthermore, I am convinced that the intelligent people of this District will seek out and elect the outstanding citizens of this community to run the affairs of this beautiful metropolis.
Time will not permit me to go into the type of opposition made against home rule. It generally falls into two categories. One group contends that it will be dangerous to grant home rule. As indicated previously, I contend it is going to be dangerous if Congress does not grant home rule. The others who oppose home rule are not sincere when they say, "We don't want home rule as contained in the bill because it represents only half a loaf." These "half a loaf" individuals who contend that they are opposed to home rule because it does not give the District representation in Congress are shadowboxing. It indicates a lack of courage to oppose outright home rule. You distinguished lawyers on this committee know that these "half a loaf" individuals who talk so much about national representation for the District know full well that we will never have national representation until there is some type of home rule. National representation will come only through a constitutional amendment passed by two-thirds of the House and Senate and approved by threefourths of the States. Such a resolution likewise must emanate from the Judiciary Committees and not from the Committees on the District.
The second division of my statement, that I appreciate the opportunity of expressing to the committee, concerns the cumbersome city government.
The Congress is highly commendable in its praise of the work of the Hoover Commission. The Congress saw fit to appropriate a large sum of money for the careful study of the many bureaus and commissions of the Federal Government in an effort to streamline and make more efficient and more economical the operations of the Government agencies. It may be interesting to the members of the committee to know that early in the deliberations of the Hoover Commission, Prof. James K. Pollock of the University of Michigan, a member of the