Imágenes de páginas

about the local government being cumbersome at the present time. He talks about the inefficiency in its relations here. Now I haven't heard a witness yet who came before this committee express the thought heretofore or give his opinion that we did not have as efficient a government in the municipality here as you can find in any other municipality in the United States.

Mr. DEANE. Well, Mr. Chairman, I refer to my statement and the findings of the Hoover Commission concerning Federal agencies. I made reference a moment ago that the Hoover Commission contemplated a study of the District government as evidenced by the contacts made by Prof. James K. Pollock of the University of Michigan with Dr. George B. Galloway, a member of our staff. I will not repeat it. It seems to me that with the split decision on the part of three Commissioners; the fact that the chain of command is so weak; the many departmentalized activities of the District is such that no careful student of government would find it sound, efficient, or economical.

To illustrate, I had occasion a few days ago to visit one of the District institutions-Blue Plains, with which the chairman of this committee is conversant, and I never saw any so-called poorhouses or county homes which offered as many hazards. During our hearings in the Eightieth Congress I found at that time that not a single one of the Commissioners had been present in that particular institution, with the exception of perhaps one, during their service as Commissioners.

Now I am not saying that critically, but I contend these men are trying to administer the affairs of the District, which is larger than many of our States, and it just isn't possible for them to administer it efficiently. If an expert, impartial investigation was made of the District government, I feel sure they would advocate the elimination of many of the boards or agencies and the merging of many more.

Mr. HARRIS. Well, I favored the reorganization of the departments. I feel that the various organizations of the Government should be streamlined and reorganized and an effort made to bring more efficiency in the Government. Now would the gentleman feel that he would have more efficiency in government with the council form of government than with the commission form of government as we have had it and as it has been practiced here?

Mr. DEANE. I am led to say unqualifiedly that if a city manager form of government, which a year or two ago was set up in the city of Richmond—and I happen to know something about that—and in several cities in my own State, that it would be not only practical, but it would be more efficient and likewise more economical.

Mr. HARRIS. Do you contend that the city of Richmond and some of the cities in your State are more efficiently operated than the District of Columbia ?

Mr. DEANE. I do not appear as critical of any cities, I refer to the scores having chosen a city manager form of government and it is highly successful. Mr. HARRIS. You can take any other States you like. Mr. DEANE. I do feel they are more efficiently operated.

Mr. HARRIS. It is rather strange that people who have made such a thorough study of this subject in this city who came before the committee contend that we do have the best-managed city government in a municipality; and some others said equal to any other city through

out the United States. No one has said before this that we have had less efficiency or a worse-managed city than any other city in the United States.

Mr. DEANE. My statement and remarks do not include as broad a statement as that. I said that these multiplicities of bureaus—and if the gentleman will recall, as I know he does, the enormous chart which hung on the walls of this committee room is an evidence that that is not sound government, and I don't believe that any up-todate city in the United States would follow such a plan.

Mr. HARRIS. Do you contend that a District Council would improve that situation?

Mr. DEANE. I believe it would.

Mr. HARRIS. Now on this same point, this question hasn't been asked before that I know of and I do not know that it was considered in any of the hearings. The objective, of course, on different proposals here, as I understand it, is to give the people of the District of Columbia a voice in local affairs. Is that true? That is the main objective. And then you have the reorganization of the different departments of the government of the District of Columbia. Then the rest of the bill, of course, is supplemental to those two primary objectives.

Would the election of the Commissioners in the District of Columbia instead of their appointment by the President with confirmation by the Senate, bring about that objective, as far as extending to the people a voice in their local affairs?

Mr. DEANE. I, frankly, think it would. I have a very high regard for the Commissioners of the District, and in making reference to those instances, I recognize that they are being asked to do an insurmountable job.

Mr. HARRIS. So are you and I and everyone else who serves the public during these times.

Mr. DEANE. It would be interesting to see what the vote would be if they voted for Commissioners.

Mr. HARRIS. It would be interesting to see what?

Mr. DEANE. I say, it would be interesting to see the reaction of the people of the District if they had the right to vote for their Commissioners; that is, as I understand your question, if the Commissioners were voted on by the people, whether or not that would give them a better feeling insofar as a voice in their government.

Mr. HARRIS. Of course, that is part of it; but I would go further in the interpretation in my question. I am talking about an objective, in giving the people a voice in local affairs by voting on someone to run the District government, and the point I was trying to make: Would it be, insofar as the objective is concerned, desirable and accomplish the same thing, as far as the privilege is concerned, to have elected Commissioners as it would be to have an elected District Council ?

Mr. DEANE. I think it would be a step in the right direction in recognizing some type of home rule for the District.

Mr. HARRIS. Yes.

Now you made another statement I was pretty much interested in. You stated under the present set-up here in the District of Columbia there was no better fuel for Moscow. I am sure you meant propaganda.

Mr. DEANE. That is right.

Mr. HARRIS. And that is a criticism of our own American democracy. Now do you know of any particular incident or any information that you have received that Moscow has used the District of Columbia set-up for its propaganda in their own country against the United States?

Mr. DEANE. I denounce the propaganda of Russia and all it stands for, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. HARRIS. That is true. I did not ask you about that.

Do you know whether they have taken advantage of it in their criticism of the type of government we have here in the District?

Mr. DEANE. I think they would use every means at their command to try to find sources for their propaganda.

Mr. HARRIS. I ask, Do you know of any instance where they have done it?

Mr. DEANE. I do not know of any instance, but I say that this is the only capital in the world where the voices of the citizens are completely silent. We know that Moscow is eager to pick up such instances.

Mr. HARRIS. I am in thorough accord with you on that, but when we are dealing with a very practical problem like here, we feel we will accomplish more by discussing actual facts, and in dealing with the problem I do not disagree with the gentleman. I feel the same as he does about it, but nevertheless that has a pretty small part and bearing on the particular problem.

Now this final question: Madison has been quoted so often throughout the hearings. He made an outstanding contribution to our form of government, our constitutional form of government, and I am sure we all recognize Madison was quite an authority. He has been quoted by many witnesses, outstanding people.

Now do you know, and I am sure you do, you having made a thorough study of the problem: Was that statement of Madison's made prior to the adoption of the Constitution, or was it made in consideration of trying to determine a location for the Nation's Capital, or was it made during discussion and debate in the course of the consideration of the constitutional provision just referred to?

Mr. DEANE. I think his interest was wrapped up in each of the incidents to which you have referred.

Mr. HARRIS. There is no question about it, but I think it has a timely bearing on when it was said and under what circumstances the statement was made. In other words, was it made before the provision of the Constitution was adopted by the Continental Congress, and did the Continental Congress adopt that viewpoint, or was it made in connection with interpreting the exact language that we find was put in the Constitution?

Mr. DEANE. Well, I have no argument with the chairman.

Mr. HARRIS. I am not arguing. I am asking the gentleman for information merely.

Mr. DEANE. Well, I indicated during my discussion that I did not come posing as any constitutional authority and I do not know what Mr. Madison would say today if he were here today, or Mr. Jefferson, or any of the other architects of the Constitution; but I am satisfied in my own opinion as I reason out my views on the ballot and participation in Government, that I cannot conceive of the fact that these men would permanently deny some voice to the people of the District of Columbia.

Mr. HARRIS. Then, may I ask my colleague this question: Why was it that in the Constitution it provided for the people of the United States and did not say the people who live in the Nation's capitalthe District of Columbia-had the same right of suffrage to vote for the President and Vice President of the United States, if that was the interpretation that you placed on it. I would like to have somebody explain it to me.

Mr. DEANE. I would be very glad, Mr. Chairman, as these questions demand quite an extensive study, and if the chairman would wish me to present a full and complete statement bearing on that subject, I will be glad to do so for the record.

I stated a moment ago I did not pose as a constitutional authority, and I defer to the chairman and others more versed on that subject.

Mr. HARRIS. Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saving this with reference to any dilatory questions or for the purpose of trying to embarrass you in any way, but I do feel that those fundamental questions have a large bearing. They are constitutional questions. Those statements have been relied upon so forcibly by proponents of this legislation. I naturally am open-minded on this problem and wish to find a solution to the question. Quite frankly, I would like to have an answer to those two questions for my own information.

Did the Continental Congress adopt the language which Madison referred to, or did the Continental Congress use that language of Madison in the Constitution that was finally adopted, that the Congress shall have the exclusive legislative authority in the affairs of the District of Columbia”? Second, if that was the interpretation placed on the debates and action of the Continental Congress, why did not that Continental Congress in the Constitution provide the highest privilege of suffrage that can be extended to the people, citizens of this country, in permitting those who would live in the District to participate in their national elections?

The gentleman may revise his remarks and we would be glad to have answers to those questions.

Mr. DEANE. I will be glad to do so.

Mr. HARRIS. I am not endeavoring to delay the matter, but I am merely letting the gentleman know that I would like to have answers to those questions for my own personal information.

Mr. DEANE. Thank you very much.



During my testimony on July 27 on the subject of home rule and reorganization in the District of Columbia before the Judiciary Subcommittee of the House Committee on the District of Columbia, Mr. Harris asked me these questions:

1. At what time and under what circumstances did James Madison make the statement often attributed to him during these hearings?

2. Did the Continental Congress adopt the language used by Madison in the Federalist with reference to local self-government at the seat of the Government of the United States; or did the Continental Congress use the language that was finally adopted as article I, section 8, clause 17 of the Constitution?

3. If Madison's interpretation of this clause was the correct one, why did not the framers of the Constitution provide that the inhabitants of the Federal District could participate in national elections?

My revised and expanded answers to these questions follow:

1. The convention that framed the Constitution of the United States met in Philadelphia from May to September, 1787. Between October 1787, and August 1788, a series of essays were written and published in serial form in the New York press with a view to influencing votes in favor of the ratification of the proposed new Constitution. The Federalist is the name given to these essays which were written by three authors: Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, of New York, and James Madison, of Virginia.

Because of the fact that Madison himself had been more responsible than any one else for the content of the Constitution, the Federalist was naturally regarded as the most authoritative of commentaries upon it. Thomas Jefferson described the Federalist in 1825 as “an authority to which appeal is habitually made by all, and rarely declined or denied by any as evidence of the general opinion of those who framed and of those who accepted the Constitution of the United States, on questions as to its genuine meaning.”.

Of the 85 essays in the Federalist, No. 43 which was written by Madison dealt with miscellaneous powers which the Constitution proposed to grant to Congress. One of these miscellaneous powers was the power over the seat of the Government which is found in article I, section 8, clause 17 of the Constitution. It was in interpreting and seeking to justify “the indispensable necessity of complete authority at the seat of government” that James Madison made the famous statement concerning elections and local government in the Federal District.

2. The language used by Madison in No. 43 of the Federalist with reference to local self-government in the Federal District was not adopted by the Continental Congress i (which, of course, had nothing to do with the drafting of the Constitution) nor by the Constitutional Convention itself. The language in question was an explanatory commentary upon that section of the proposed Constitution which gave the new Congress of the United States complete authority over the seat of the new government.

The authors of the Federalist were seeking to anticipate every possible objection that might conceivably be raised against ratification of the Constitution. Madison anticipated that one objection that might be raised against the proposed grant to Congress of complete authority at the seat of the new Government would be the objection that the inhabitants of the Federal District would have no voice in the conduct of their local government. To “obviate” this “imaginable objection,”. Madison undertook in No. 43 of the Federalist to assure the prospective inhabitants of the Federal city that "they will have had their voice in the election of the Government which is to exercise authority over them” and that “a municipal legislature for local purposes, derived from their own suffrages, will of course be allowed them

As a leading member of the Constitutional Convention and as chief architect of the Constitution itself, it must be assumed that Madison was familiar with the intention of the framers with respect to suffrage in the Federal city.

3. As regards the right of citizens inhabiting the Federal District to vote in national elections, Madison apparently expected that they would have the right to vote for Members of Congress. For he assured the inhabitants that they would “have their voice in the election of the Government which is to exercise authority over them

The Government to which he referred in this clause must have been the Congress of the United States, for the section of the proposed constitution which he was then explaining was that which gave Congress exclusive authority at the seat of the National Government.

Thus the father of the Constitution evidently understood its pertinent provisions to mean that the citizens of the Federal District would enjoy both local and national suffrage. These suffrage rights were not spelled out in the Constitution itself. They were left to Congress to grant in the exercise of its exclusive legislative authority (exclusive of any State) over the seat of the Government.

Congress evidently took the same view of the matter, so far as local suffrage is concerned, for in a series of acts from 1802 to 1874 it fulfilled the expectations of the founding fathers by granting the right to the citizens of the District of Columbia to elect their mayors and town councils in annual elections. And in 1871 it authorized the people of Washington to participate in national elections by electing a Delegate to the House of Representatives.

Whenever Congress in its wisdom is willing to restore local suffrage to the people of Washington, and to grant them the right to vote for Members of Congress, I believe that it can do so under the Constitution as expounded by James Madison, its co-author and most authoritative interpreter.

1 Because of the organization of the new government under the Constitution, the Continental Congress for 1788-89 never transacted any business. (Journals of the Continental Congress, vol. 34, p. 604, note 1.)




[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »