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Hoover Commission, conferred with Dr. George B. Galloway, staff director of the Subcommittee on Home Rule and Reorganization of the House District Committee in the Eightieth Congress, and raised the question of whether or not the Commission should make a study of the organization of the government of the District of Columbia. Dr. Galloway advised Professor Pollack of the extensive investigations of the District government during the Eightieth Congress by the House District Committee. The lengthy hearings, including the extensive investigations carried on by the members of the staff of the District Committee during the Eightieth Congress, and the House District Subcommittee recommendations were made available to the Hoover Commission. The upshot of the matter was that the Hoover Commission decided not to make a study of the District government. I am led to believe, therefore, that the Hoover Commission recognized as being worthy of consideration the findings and recommendations of the House District Committee in the Eightieth Congress concerning the complex structure and interrelationships of the District government.
I do not wish to burden the committee with too many details, but I have heard members of the present House District Committee who oppose home rule say without reservation that there is urgent need for the complete reorganization of the District government.
Our subcommittee in the Eightieth Congress made an exhaustive study of Washington's government. We found that it was incredibly complicated and cumbersome. From a mere handful of agencies in 1878, it has grown haphazardly until today there are about 125 major units of government rendering services in the District of Columbia, of which 48 are Federal and 77 are District agencies. And there are as many more subunits.
Washington's government baffles description. It is unique among American cities. Federal, State, county, and municipal functions are scattered among a host of governmental agencies without any apparent rhyme or reason. Authority over District affairs is divided among many independent boards and commissions. A dozen agencies share the ordinance-making power and executive authority is likewise splintered. At the top of this set-up is a Board of three Commissioners who exercise split supervision of local affairs. None of the local officials is elected. Members of the Board and other key posts in the District government are appointed by the President. Vacancies in local posts are often left unfilled for long periods by a busy President preoccupied with larger affairs and outsiders are frequently selected for these places, to the neglect and disappointment of local talent.
At the present time, five governmental agencies in the city of Washington are charged with police protection, three with recreation, two with water supply, two with road building, and two with the care of trees. Nor is there any unified personnel system for the employees of the local government.
Intertwined with this tangled network of local agencies are more than twoscore Federal agencies which operate in the District of Columbia and render services to it, such as the National Capital Housing Authority and the United States Employment Service. At the hearings held by the subcommittee last July, it took Federal officials 4 days and 120 printed pages to explain the intricate relationships of their agencies and services to the government and people of the District.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, a challenging opportunity equal to the commendable work of the Hoover Commission rests on this committee's doorstep in coming to grips with the cumbersome government of this city.
Washington is today a great city with almost 1,000,000 inhabitants, yet it is still trying to function through bureaus, boards, and agencies that are not only boary with age but antiquated to the nth degree. In outward appearance it is the fitting Capital of a Nation now at the pinnacle of its power and prestige; yet, it is still governed by a charter adopted almost three-quarters of a century in the past.
Mr. Chairman, I am very grateful for this opportunity to express these views.
Mr. HARRIS. Thank you very much.
May I say to my colleague that we are very glad to have your statement and the forthright way in which you have presented your views.
Mr. Auchincloss, have you any questions?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSS. I have no questions to ask, but I just want to express my gratitude to Mr. Deane for his coming before us today, and to say that he was a valuable member of the Home Rule Committee of the Eightieth Congress and rendered a big service to the committee and the community.
Mr. DEANE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen.
Mr. ALLEN of California. Mr. Chairman, one of the great pleasures I have had and which I will remember with appreciation is my recollection of the experience during the Eightieth Congress in having worked with Mr. Deane on the Auchincloss subcommittee of the District Committee. It seemed to be the understanding that the people should have some appropriate voice in their own affairs. A very fine contribution was made by Mr. Deane.
My attention was called this morning to an editorial in the TimesHerald that this proposal would not give home rule. As I remember our discussions during the meetings of the Auchincloss committee, we endeavored to set up a system within the Constitution as it now exists, a system which would entirely preserve the rights of the people of the Nation to have a Federal City, and within those limitations still give the vote to the people of the District and permit them to have an active participation in their own affairs and permit them an opportunity to express their views.
Now with that thought in mind, would you express your views a little more fully, if you care to, as to the approach which we made in the writing of this bill, particularly as to whether or not it was an attempt to set up home rule with the consent of the governed, and as to whether we disregarded the rights of the people to have a Federal City?
Mr. DEANE. I haven't seen the editorial to which you refer, but in our study that we carried on during those many days of hearings, as you recall, we communicated with many States-and, in fact, I think there were some 40 or more States replied to questionnaires submitted by the committee and its staff in an effort to give to the people of the District some form of home rule and at the same time not to take away from Congress its rights under the Constitution.
As I recall, my own State of North Carolina-I know that there are many particular powers that are certainly reserved to the State which some may feel should be reserved to the local communities. I know in the recent legislature in my State it was rather unusual that groups were setting themselves up, asking for more home rule in local communities, as well as having the benefit of more funds for the operation of the government within the particular cities which the State now reserves to itself. I am sorry to say that I haven't seen the editorial to which you refer; but, frankly, I do not see any particular provision in either the bills before the committee or the one before ours in the Eightieth Congress that would attempt to carry out the thought that you mention.
Mr. HARRIS. Mr. O'Hara.
Mr. O'HARA. Mr. Deane, following out the theory of dual voting in the District of Columbia: Would you say that the State of North Carolina, if I moved down to North Carolina, and wanted to make my residence in Minnesota, would they permit me to vote in North Carolina?
Mr. DEANE. Mr. O'Hara, I appreciate the opportunity to respond as best I can to that good question, and I know that particular factor troubled the committee a great deal before we arrived at the conclusion to recognize dual voting. If you will refer to page 468 of the hearings, Joint Hearing on Home Rule and Reorganization, in the Eightieth Congress you will find that 41 States replied to this questionnaire which we sent out on whether or not an inclusion of the so-called dual voting would be contrary to the election laws within those particular States. So far as my own State of North Carolina is concerned, you will find on this particular page that they replied favorably. Of those 41 States that were queried on this subject, 31 replied favorably that they saw nothnig in the particular bill that would disfranchise their own residents in the city of Washington. There were eight unfavorable and two noncommittal.
Mr. O'HARA. And, of course, it is true in the matter of voting the court decisions of the various States are determinative as to the right to vote, and that hinges on domicile; so that the question of voting might be very, very important. Isn't that true?
Mr. DEANE. That is true and I would not quarrel with your views in the least, but I would take this position, that on this particular subject as well as the method of electing members to the Council, I would not want to close my mind to the urgent need of bringing to the citizens of the District of Columbia some voice in their affairs. I think it would be one of the most healthy recommendations that we could give to this great area of our Nation.
Mr. O'HARA. Well, of course, then the next step would be perhaps a step much similar to the action taken by the House yesterday to compel all States to recognize a person temporarily domiciled in the other States, other than that of their declared residence, so that they might have a voice in the affairs of that community in any State in which they reside temporarily. Are you going to draw the line?
Mr. DEANE. It is perhaps a debatable subject, but I am not convinced it would not work. I would again refer to pages 468 to 495 of the hearings mentioned before. You will find opinions from the best State authorities on this subject of dual voting where they have
these various communications. I stated in the beginning, I do not pose as a constitutional authority in the least. I would defer to the opinion of the distinguished lawyers on this committee and the authorities I have mentioned.
Mr. HARRIS. Interrupting at that point, I make no claim to be a great constitutional lawyer. Of course, I realize that there are a lot of so-called experts on constitutional law. Sometimes I wonder if their judgment is better than mine. Of course, everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but I do say that the general approach, that many of these States say that they see no objection to the election clause, that does not go quite to the extent of the problem which is involved, if when we pass a home-rule bill it permits dual voting. That is my own viewpoint.
Mr. DEANE. I want to give you my opinion, and I certainly am not classed among those who have voiced any criticism of this committee in its deliberations on this legislation. My final thought is this, that I cannot help but feel it would have overwhelming support on the House floor. The leadership of both parties went on record during the last session, and that leadership is still favoring home rule for the District of Columbia. I want to thank the committee for the painstaking efforts they have made to try to arrive at the right decision; and I hope it will be favorable.
Mr. HARRIS. Mr. Deane, thank you very much for your statement which we recognize as being sincere and after long deliberation and study.
You just made a statement quite interesting to me. appear here on the pretense of representing the leadership of the House?
Mr. DEANE. I do not.
Mr. HARRIS. You just made the statement that the leadership was favorable to it.
Mr. DEANE, If I may direct the gentleman's attention–because, of course, the leadership can change its views from year to year, but as I recalí
Mr. HARRIS. I am not questioning the statement, but just wish to clarify it.
Mr. DEANE. Continuing Mr. Chairman, we conducted a series of exploratory hearings without any particular bill before us. You will find in those particular hearings on reorganization and home rule for the District statements from Hon. Joseph W. Martin, Jr., Hon. Sam Rayburn, Hon. Charles A. Halleck, Hon. Wright Patman, Hon. Francis Case, Hon. Estes Kefauver, Hon. Clarence J. Brown, Hon. J. Vaughan Gary, and Hon. John Taber.
Those individuals submitted statements that appear in the record, in which they went on record favoring some type of home rule for the District of Columbia.
I do not know whether the committee has itself approached the leaders on both sides of the aisle on the subject, but I can't see how individuals who went on record such a short time ago would change their basic philosophy on home rule for the District, and that was the basis of my statement a moment ago.
Mr. HARRIS. I appreciate it, but I do think the record should be clear on that point.
Mr. AUCHINCLOSs. May I suggest that you omitted Mr. McCormack's name?
Mr. DEANE. Yes, I have. I am looking at the mimeographed statement that I had prepared and I certainly would not eliminate my majority leader, whose opinion I value most highly.
Mr. O'HARA. Would the gentleman state that last year when the home-rule bill was presented to the floor-it was quite obvious then that it would not pass. Isn't that true?
Mr. DEANE. I recall the action that took place and am not critical of the Congress. I realize that legislation comes only after many, many months of careful study. There are many bills introduced. Legislation to me is a series of compromises. It comes only after, as I stated a moment ago, months and perhaps years of study. Referring to the studies and work of our subcommittee in the Eightieth Congress, I come back to my statement of a moment ago, that I believe that our subcommittee did sincerely come to grips with the subject, with the hopes that we might, in a limited way at least, offer some food for thought that would be helpful to someone else who might come forward and build on our findings.
Mr. HARRIS. Well, the point I was wanting to make to clarify the statement regarding the apparent position of the leadership, I want to know if the gentleman was representing them here. I do recall what happened before the House in the last Congress. As far as I know, the leadership took very little interest at any time, although I may be wrong on that.
Mr. DEANE. Well, of course, the task of piloting_this legislation through the Congress was a very difficult one, and I say it will all deference to my very dear friend and chairman of the committee; but we members of the subcommittee interested in this were facing very difficult opposition.
Mr. O’ĦARA. Are you referring to last year or this year?
Mr. DEANE. During the Eightieth Congress. I appreciated the leadership and recognized their
sincerity. I do that today, and even today I recognize that you have certain questions about the angles of approach. However, as I stated a moment ago, legislation is a series of compromises. I am not asking you to adopt the Kefauver bill primarily. It is largely based on our findings. We had a very lengthy bill, as you remember, but we tried to spell out more in detail
, whereas the Kefauver bill does not. I do not know which is the preferable method.
Mr. HARRIS. I might say to my colleague, talking about this matter being before the House last year, in regard to the little part that I might have had in opposing the legislation at that time, you have mentioned how cumbersome the bill was a moment ago. It was a cumbersome bill, with many, many far-reaching provisions in it, all in one act; and perhaps that was the greatest question on my mind.
Mr. DEANE. I am glad to have the gentleman express himself. As I stated, perhaps we went too far in spelling it out, but it was something new.
Mr. HARRIS. I might say to my colleague, recognizing his sincerity, that the bill probably was thought out in such far-reaching proportions that it would have resulted in political organizations coming in and taking over the Nation's Capital. Now the gentleman has talked