페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

We also feel that there should be provisions that the Federal contribution to the government should be increased, that it should be equal to the amount of taxes that the Federal Government would pay if not exempt, and that there should be provision for floating bond issues for capital outlays.

Our support, of course, is to the reorganization of the government of the District of Columbia. We feel that is very important. As has been pointed out before, it means reorganization and streamlining, but we feel that any bill, any charter, for the District of Columbia, as a home-rule bill would be, should have provisions in this bill whereby the existing pattern of segregation and discrimination would be abolished. There should be no discrimination in the operation of the services furnished by the Government or contracted by them. This would include the abolition of the dual school system and the discriminatory practices of the Recreation Department.

We agree with the others that the people of the District do want home rule, the great majority of the people; that has been clearly shown in several plebiscites that were held in the District.

I just want to say that we feel that the people of the District, the majority of the people, do want the vote. They do not want to be classed as second-rate citizens, and that has been clearly shown in several plebiscites which were held, and, as someone else pointed out, the number of organizations and persons who have appeared before the committees of both the Senate and the House so indicate, and it appears to be the interests of the Board of Trade and so on, who are blocking this movement of the right of people to have their vote; and we also feel that the House of Representatives, of course, has been remiss in that the bill was passed by the Senate, but, of course, it died in the House, and hope that we will have more success in this session of Congress.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
(Discussion off the record.)
The CHAIRMAN. We are glad to see you, Mr. Smith.

STATEMENT OF ARTHUR CLARENDON SMITH, AMERICAN

BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

Mr. SMITH. I come down to represent the American Business Association, and as an individual I belong to 105 clubs in the city of Washington.

The CHAIRMAN. Is this business association affiliated with the Board of Trade?

Mr. SMITH. No, sir; it is affiliated with the Federation of Businessmen's Association, although I do belong to the Board of Trade. · The CHAIRMAN. You are not going to join the Board of Trade, Mr. Smith, when they come down to oppose the bill ? Mr. SMITH. Well, I am president of the Democratic Club.

The CHAIRMAN. That answers the question so far as I am concerned. As a Democrat, you would be for self-government, for good self-government. .

Mr. SMITH. Well, I am the third generation. My father was born in Virginia, but he moved to Washington right after the War Between the States, as we call it down in the South. He has never had a vote; I have never had a vote. My son, Maj. Arthur Clarendon Smith, Jr., has never had a vote, and I hope that when the fourth generation comes along, with your help, and the help of the Senate, we hope he will have a yote.

It is an inspiration to listen to you, because I know that I am older than any man in this room.

The CHAIRMAN: You are mistaken for once in your life. Mr. SMITH. We have been fighting for local suffrage, national representation, as long as I can remember, and I remember when Wilbur Finch and I, we went upstairs on the second floor and helped to start one of the first suffrage movements.

I do hope and pray that with the enthusiasm that your committee and you, as chairman of the committee, are giving us, you are giving us the inspiration in the city of Washington to get our vote..

I believe we will get it. I cannot see why-I cannot see any reason for not having it, and I am doing everything I possibly can within the organization I belong to, to pass all the resolutions we can, and come up here.

I happen to belong to the Central Suffrage Association, and the time is going to come when we will have a vote. The time came when we got in a Democratic administration, and I am glad to see Mrs. Margaret Smith there across the way before it. The only thing is that I am sorry, Senator, I do not have the pleasure of meeting that great lady. She is a credit to her party and a credit to our Government and to your committee.

As a layman, I just want to make these few remarks, and come down and pay my respects to you, and see if I can come again and again, and I will come to try to vote for local representation and national representation.

The CHAIRMAN. We hope that you will come often, Mr. Smith, and we appreciate your support.

Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much for the privilege of speaking to you. [Applause.]

The CHAIRMAN. Senator Lehman, we would like to have your comments, sir. This is Senator Lehman of the Empire State.

STATEMENT OF HON. HERBERT H. LEHMAN, UNITED STATES

SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK

Senator LEHMAN. Mr. Chairman, I am very grateful for this opportunity of appearing before your committee to express my personal opinion.

I have no prepared statement. In fact, the invitation to appear here came only a short time ago, but there are certain observations that I really deem it a privilege to be permitted to make.

Here we have got a city of a million inhabitants. I do not know the exact order of its size in the constellation of cities in the country, but it certainly is among the first 10 or 12.

It is larger than any city in New York State, with the exception of New York City.

To me, I have never understood why there should be any question with regard to giving the city of Washington self-government.

I have been impressed down here with the fact that Congress is supposed to be responsible for, in the final analysis, the government of the city of Washington.

Under your leadership, Mr. Chairman, representing the Senate of the United States and the Congress, Washington has received a great degree of attention, study, and consideration. But so far as the Congress, as a whole, is concerned, there are only a handful of men who know anything at all either about what the needs of Washington are or what is happening in connection with its administration.

The CHAIRMAN. Senator, if I may interrupt you, do you not think it is almost impossible for Senators and Members of the House to thoroughly familiarize themselves with these local problems?

Senator LEHMAN. Quite impossible.

The CHAIRMAN. It is almost impossible because the demands in this great crisis are such that no Senator can do all the things that his own constituents demand of him. When the additional burden of passing on such questions as the right to destroy weeds is imposed, it is almost impossible to expect any satisfactory government for the District of Columbia, until the people are permitted to vote.

Senator LEHMAN. That is my observation; and I plead guilty to being a very good example of the lack of knowledge of the average Member of Congress, the lack of knowledge that he has with regard to the affairs of the city of Washington.

The CHAIRMAN. Senator, you have a broader knowledge of this question than most Members of Congress. You have been Governor of the State of New York. As Governor you acquired a knowledge of these problems which no person without that kind of background could have. ..

Senator LEHMAN. Thank you very much.

As I understand your bill, the bill that is now before you, it provides for the election by the people of Washington of members of a council.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes.

Senator LEHMAN. And the creation of the Office of City Manager, and this Council would then, with the sanction of the people, be responsible for the government.

I understand, too, that this form of government could be put into effect only after a referendum of the people of Washington.

The CHAIRMAN. That is right.

Senator LEHMAN. So that there would be no question of foisting anything on the people against their will...

I can say to you, without any hesitation, Mr. Chairman, that it is impossible for any governing body, such as the Congress of the United States, or the District of Columbia Committee, to have anywhere near the knowledge of the needs and problems of the city, as an elected Council would have, a Council that would be responsible to the people, not men who were put in there by the President of the United States by appointment.

These people would be responsible to the people, just as the mayor of the city of New York is, and as you and I and all the other Members of Congress are.

81450–51- 8

I want to go one step further: You were good enough to refer to my knowledge of government, and I can say to you that, in my opinion, the more direct the government is, the nearer to the people that it is, the less they depend on and require the sanction and authority of a higher body, the better government you are likely to have, because the people are interested in it, and they watch what is going on.

Now, in New York State over the years we have built up what is substantially a system of free cities. I have always been very much opposed during the 14 years I was in Albany, to the government by the State—the State government interfering any more than was necessary in the government in the city of New York or Buffalo or Syracuse or Rochester or any other municipality, because I believe that the governing bodies of the cities, elected by the people, responsible to the people, close to the situation through daily and hourly and continuous contacts, are much better equipped to govern than any higher authority, and certainly much better equipped than any authority that is thereby appointed.

Thank you very much. The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, indeed. [Applause.] Mr. Reissig, representing the Federation of Churches. It is good to see you again. STATEMENT OF FREDERICK REISSIG, REPRESENTING THE

FEDERATION OF CHURCHES

Mr. REISSIG. I was glad to see my former Governor give that testimony, where I did have the privilege of voting.

The CHAIRMAN. A most estimable man. Mr. REISSIG. Mr. Senator, much has been said I just want to make two or three observations. First of all, I would like to refer to a remark that Senator Lehman made regarding foisting anything on the District.

I believe that even though the District people did not want suffrage, they ought to assume that responsibility, and I cannot see why we make any point of that, because it is their responsibility, and they ought not to—I mean they ought to receive it, whether they really like it or not.

In the family life we ask children to assume a certain responsibility and take part in family life, and I believe the people of the District of Columbia have that same responsibility in the life of our Nation.

Now, I would like to say and to make this observation: That the people on Capitol Hill who must decide whether or not we will have suffrage are the people who are there because of suffrage back in their local communities, and it would seem to me that the fact that they are here and are no doubt happy to be here, or they probably would not be here, that they ought to accord us that privilege which their people have and which resulted in their being put there—the people put them in the present position they are in.

Then, I would like to say that I do not think for one moment that home rule is a panacea, and yet, when it comes to the problems we have in our community life, that is, the glaring problems such as

housing and slums, our racial, our segregation pattern, our crime record, our delinquency record, our terrific liquor consumption record, when it comes to those, I am not absolutely sure whether home rule will help too much. But, nevertheless, then it will be the people's responsibility, and I think that when they do have that responsibility, perhaps then something could be done.

We are sort of a frustrated people, and a frustrated people are really not good citizens.

Then, I believe very firmly—and this is one of my strong reasons for home rule, and I might say, Mr. Chairman, that I am not speaking for myself now when I speak on home rule, because the Federation of Churches, through its board of directors, has taken action on it, unanimous action, endorsing home rule.

Bishop Angus Dun, the bishop of the Episcopal diocese, was president of the federation when this action was taken, and there has been no objection on the part of our church people to that action that we have taken, as we have a representative body and a board of directors of about. 110 outstanding laymen, men and women of various walks of life, and clergymen, and they have taken that action. I wanted that to go into the record.

But the one main reason why I am for home rule, along with some of the others that have, of course, been mentioned, is that we have in Washington something that will draw us together into a community, so that we can have a community spirit.

We have been terrifically embarrassed in the last few years with the failure, for instance, of the United Community Services, the Community Chest, while other cities across the country have made their budget, and we have failed, and I think it is a part of this total picture, that the people of the community do not have the community spirit.

I believe that if we had home rule, if we had something to say about our government, that the government was responsible to our people, I believe that we could develop something of an esprit de corps, even though this is somewhat of a transient city, we could develop a community spirit and tackle some of these major problems.

I believe that is all, Mr. Chairman, that I want to say. I certainly endorse many things that have been said, and I do hope that we will accomplish home rule, and I want to express my own personal appreciation again to you for Job's patience in sitting here day by day in these hearings, listening to these remarks from so many people, and we, in the District, will want you to know that we appreciate all the time that you are giving to us in trying to accomplish what we are after, and even if we did not think we wanted it we should have it.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, Dr. Reissig, you have been a great inspiration to me. [Applause.]

I know of no person in the District who has shown more enthusiasm for reform than you. It is deeply appreciated.

We have the very great privilege to have present one of the great statesmen of the Nation, Mr. Monroney, a newly elected Senator. Mr. Monroney is an old friend and colleague of mine, for I had

« 이전계속 »