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the pleasure of serving in the House of Representatives with him. Mr. Monroney and Senator La Follette were chiefly responsible for the Congressional Reorganization Act.
STATEMENT OF HON. A. S. (MIKE) MONRONEY, UNITED STATES
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA Senator MONRONEY. Mr. Chairman, it is an honor to appear before this committee. I am interested in home rule for the District from two standpoints: The first standpoint is as a result of our study on the reorganization of Congress.
As you know, that was one of our recommendations in our first report that Congress extend to the District the right of home rule.
We extended that as a result of our studies to try to find a way to dispense with some of the extraneous workload that is placed upon the National Congress. We have limited manpower. Our problems have grown a thousandfold over the years since the turn of the century when Congress used to, perhaps, be able to adequately give attention to its own national business and the problems of the District of Columbia, and those nice horse-and-buggy days of 1900 today with world problems and matters of tremendous national and international importance, it seems difficult to block out the valuable time of the National Congress and vote the House and the Senate for the consideration of purely local bills.
One of the examples that, I think, point this up most clearly was 2 or 3 years ago, when we had the question of the British loan. It was some billions of dollars involved therein, and involved high international policy.
We had to quit in the middle of that loan so that we could spend a whole afternoon discussing whether rockfish of 10 or 12 inches long could be sold in the District of Columbia, and we spent the whole afternoon on the question of rockfish. That is a rather extreme example of the waste of the National Congress' time in the extraneous duty of running the District of Columbia.
We tied down some of our most valuable members in serving very patriotically and without any chance of any recognition in their home district being given, to serving the District of Columbia.
The CHAIRMAN. It is not popular back home.
Senator MONRONEY. I have known men to be defeated back home because their opponents have taken the record of how many hundreds of bills Congressman X introduced for the District of Columbia and how few he introduced for the citizens of his own State, which is a matter that would cause some concern.
The Members that serve on it do it at a great sacrifice to their national obligations and to their own State obligations, and I know from personal experience there is no man in the Senate or the House who has that much extra time that he can easily allocate to the difficult job of trying to serve what I say is the city council for the District of Columbia.
I believe that the Congress would be doing itself a great favor in expediting its national problem that the Constitution cut out for it to do if it turned over to the people of the District of Columbia the
right of home rule, and, therefore, from that standpoint I certainly urge that this committee favorably consider legislation to that end.
The No. 2 point that I would like to make observation upon is that we believe in democracy everywhere; we are now trying as hard as we can around the world to demonstrate our belief, trust, and faith in the rights of people to self-government.
Communities in Oklahoma of 250 or 500 people are granted municipal rights to run their own business. I cannot see why the National Capital out of all the cities or towns in the United States should not be trusted to be able to run their affairs as a municipal government.
I believe the Constitution and the Federal laws would require some surveillance of this by the Congress and by the President. But I believe it could be on the basis, as I think is proposed in some of the drafts of the bills before you, that those proper safeguards which will properly take care of the Federal interest in the Nation's Capital can easily be provided and safely be provided, and that given the opportunity to have home rule affect their own municipal organization, to handle their own municipal affairs, that this community would not be any different from the tens of thousands of other communities that are seeming to get along all right under home rule.
I feel, as other witnesses have testified, that the community needs that feeling of political responsibility, and if given that opportunity would certainly live up to that standard and, therefore, I can see no reason other than perhaps a difference on the means of approach, of how you accomplish home rule which, of course, would be subject to committee consideration and final action in the Senate and the House.
I certainly think that this committee is to be congratulated on its efforts to bring that about, to pass legislation that will be acceptable to the Senate and to the House, to the end that we can extend democracy to the Nation's Capital.
I appreciate the opportunity of being here, and I want to again congratulate the distinguished chairman on the work which he has so energetically performed and is so energetically performing.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you for coming, and for your support of this bill. We believe, while you did not say it specifically, that it has your support, subject to correction of any imperfections.
Senator MONRONEY. As I understand the bill, it generally is in the direction that I think we must go with the proper election of your city council and representation in the National Government and appointive members in the city council, and the proper veto by the Congress within 45 days and the veto by the President, in addition to that, within 10 days, which would give the protection which I think the Constitution requires of congressional control over the District. But that does not mean that we have to allocate every nickel or every dime for everything through the National Congress in appropriations committees and to consider all of the tax legislation for the District of Columbia, and city ordinances and things of that kind in the National Congress, rather than in the city council, where it rightfully belongs.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, thank you ever so much, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. The next witness is Mrs. Charlotte Sillers, representing the Women's Auxiliary, United Public Workers of America.
STATEMENT OF CHARLOTTE SILLERS, WOMEN'S AUXILIARY,
UNITED PUBLIC WORKERS OF AMERICA Mrs. SILLERS. I am Mrs. Charlotte Sillers, representing the Women's Auxiliary, United Public Workers of America.
Again I am glad of the opportunity of appearing before Senator Neely to give our support to any measure of home rule for the District of Columbia.
I also am glad to have seen Senator Lehman here. As I testified the last time, we who vote in the States feel as though we are paying a poll tax to vote. I have not given up my right to vote in the State because I have become a resident of the District of Columbia. I think it is a wonderful thing that other Senators have come to testify for home rule, and I hope that it will have its influence not only on the passage this year of this bill in the Senate but also in the House, where it failed of passage.
The CHAIRMAN. Is it not a favorable circumstance that the senatorial endorsement of the legislation here this afternoon was bipartisan, two Republicans and two Democrats? Mrs. SILLERS. Yes, I do. I think it is a very good sign.
You have referred, both in this hearing and in the legislative clinic last week, to newspaper articles, one in Bangkok, I think, and some other foreign country, but closer to home
The CHAIRMAN. The other was a broadcast from Moscow. Mrs. SILLERS. Closer to home in the Post last week was a letter from a Canadian living in the capital city of Canada who very much surprised at the fact that Washingtonians do not vote.
He pointed out that there there is cooperation between the Federal and city government as to planning and the general beautification of the city, but that the city itself is governed by local franchise.
That is a part of the British Commonwealth of Nations, and we are no longer a part of that. I think that we again ought to raise the Revolutionary slogan and see to it that this time we defeat the same forces that tried to put it over in the eighteenth century.
On the particular bill in question about the same sort of testimony I gave before I would like to give again, but very briefly because it is late.
We approve of the election of the City Council Manager; we approve the particular form of government that is being suggested.
We do think that it ought to be on a ward basis or a precinct basis, instead of city-wide, and in view of the fact that today we are asking young men to fight for us at the age of 18, I think they could be given the privilege of voting at that age. · The financial structure of the city, I think, also could be taken care of in a little fairer manner than it is now, and a provision should be in this bill to allow the Federal Government to contribute its portion of the revenue commensurate with the taxes from which it is exempt.
I think the sales tax should be abolished. Of course, that might not be part of the bill.
The CHAIRMAN. I was one of the few who voted against the sales tax, but I think inclusion of the provision you suggest would be a great handicap to the passage of the bill.
Mrs. SILLERS. I just mention that in passing.
The CHAIRMAN. It would be a handicap if that were incorporated in this bill.
Mrs. SILLERS. The other main item, I think, that should be included is the civil-rights provision in the Kefauver-Taft bill, so that the pattern that exists today in the District of segregation and discrimination will be abolished and will be taken care of at the same time that we are being given our full voting privileges.
The CHAIRMAN. You say you think that ought to be included in this bill?
Mrs. SILLERS. I do.
The CHAIRMAN. You would not want to have a death warrant decreed for the bill? Mrs. SILLERS. Definitely not.
The CHAIRMAN. If you put the civil-rights provision in this bill you could not get a vote on the bill in the Senate.
Mrs. SILLERS. Well, that is what we were told 2 or 3 years ago when the House practically filibustered it without that provision. We have been told that right along
The CHAIRMAN. I am certain that you could not even get a vote on the bill if the provision you suggest is included. .
Mrs. SILLERS. Then I would say this: Let us have a vote and we will take care of that as far as the schools, the restaurants, and all the other facilities of the District government are concerned.
The CHAIRMAN. I am going to do everything I can to get this bill passed through the Senate. You cannot put the civil-rights provision in without killing the bill. I have been a consistent supporter of civilrights legislation but I cannot be a party to putting something in the home-rule bill that is going to kill it.
Mrs. SILLERS. Of course, you will remember that when it was debated in the House--I think it was the Auchincloss bill on which this bill was patterned—the debate was tantamount to a filibuster, and this provision was not in it and, as I say, while we would like to see it at this point included because it would give full citizenship rights, nevertheless if that is what you feel is going to kill it, let us have the vote and we will take care of legislation that will make us it democratic
The CHAIRMAN. I am not in favor of prejudicing the opportunity that exists to make considerable progress on this home-rule bill at this session of Congress. I am hopeful it will be enacted.
Mrs. SILLERS. Well, I think that I am hoping that all of the prestige engendered by the Senators who have appeared here today will make itself felt in the House, that these extensive hearings will not have been in vain here.
I know you have held numerous hearings, both at this session and other sessions of Congress, and I think it is about time we did something.
Again, my feeling is that apathy does not exist in the District as much as it does in the Congress; if not apathy, then active antagonism.
The CHAIRMAN. I think there has been considerable improvement in the last 12 months.
Mrs. SILLERS. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. I think there is more interest in self-government than at any time since I came to the Congress.
Mrs. SILLERS. Well, the District citizens and the Congress working in the same direction cannot help but succeed. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. The next on the list is Mr. Stanley Gewirtz, representing Americans for Democratic Action.
STATEMENT OF STANLEY GEWIRTZ, PRESIDENT, WASHINGTON
CHAPTER, AMERICANS FOR DEMOCRATIC ACTION
Mr. GEWIRTZ. I am speaking again today, as I did last week, as president of the Washington chapter of Americans for Democratic Action and I appreciate this opportunity in this friendly climate to warm up for your brethren on the other side of the Capitol..
I think, Senator, that you indicated to us in Washington who were so sincerely interested, as you were, in self-government, of your complete cooperation, and the fact that you are making this forum available for us to tell you what we think, so that the people in the city can get a pretty good idea of the fairly unanimous opinion that exists with respect to self-government, and home rule in particular.
The CHAIRMAN. We are grateful to you because you have helped to improve the prospects for success. After you get through Senator Humphrey is going to testify. I am sure he is going to approve everything you say in behalf of the ADA.
Mr. GEWIRTZ. Well, I know we.in ADA have not got a better salesman than Senator Humphrey on the Hill.
I do not want to repeat too much of what has been said here yesterday and today, but there are certain portions of it that I think need underscoring.
I was a little shocked when I read the newspaper this morning and saw the statement that had been made here yesterday by the Corporation Counsel, Mr. West.
The CHAIRMAN. What do you suppose was the effect on me? Mr. GEWIRTZ. Well, sitting here opposite Mr. West, it is hard to imagine or to define precisely the extent of your shock. Mine was via the newspapers and yours was via the ear and eye. I think, as a matter of fact, that that sort of statement on the part of a representative of the officials of the District who, presumably, is speaking on behalf of the District-since I think his statement was made on behalf of the president of the Commissioners—is, in a sense, something that requires an apology on the part of the District Commissioners.
I would like, on behalf of my organization, to applaud Commissioner-designate Donohue's absolutely straightforward approach and, at the same time, to absolutely deplore the weasel-worded statement offered yesterday by the Corporation Counsel, which did nothing except to draw a red herring of constitutionality across the path of the proposed traditional self-government for the citizens of the District.
This statement of the Corporation Counsel is a self-serving statement without any affirmative recommendation. It is the polite nod in the direction of home rule rather than the aggressive push that this type of legislation needs, and the kind of statement in here that