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tion, that affects our welfare, is the type of men and women that are sent to Congress. So we are going to have to rely on them.
I was looking over some notes the other day on the percentage of the voting from way back. I tried to pick them up this morning, but I had mislaid them. But they were most interesting, from way back where there were about 82 out of each 100 that voted, and on down into 1948 and 1950, where the percentage went down to 42 out of 100.
Women, since they have been voting, have rather consistently held up their numbers, but we have reason to believe that the next election will be a different story. All of the Members of Congress are going to hear a very different story because we believe that since the women are the ones who are filling the uniforms today for the war, we are going to look at it very seriously, and every woman is going to want to have her say in voting, and who our representatives are in the Congress.
It may very well be that the reason these figures are low in the voting, getting lower every voting year-it may very well be since this is the seat of government, and the people in the States see that the people here do not have the privilege of voting, that they think : Well, that it isn't too necessary; that if the Congress doesn't think it is necessary for us to vote here, it might not be too necessary out there. And it might have very serious repercussions. . There are so many lights we can throw on it.
And certainly in the District of Columbia we in the federation are not those who feel we are senseless and have not sense enough to vote. We do not feel that we are overriden with crime and all that sort of thing. We have our share, but we do feel that we should have the right to vote, have a voice in our Government, and take a part, which gives every citizen a dignified feeling that he does have a great part in this Government.
And since now we are trying to impress the world so very hard at this time, why, the best thing that we could do, we feel, that the Congress could do is to give the people of the District of Columbia, who are citizens, who give a larger quota of soldiers than a great many States put together, and certainly in the payment of taxes more than many States put together—we feel that the Congress should immediately give the citizens of the District of Columbia the right to vote.
We, of course, appreciate the great stand you have taken, and your leadership in it, and we hope it will not be very long until we will have it.
Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF JEROME B. McKEE, PRESIDENT, FEDERATION OF
BUSINESSMEN'S ASSOCIATION Mr. McKEE. Senator, I am Jerome B. McKee, president of the Federation of Businessmen's Association. That organization is composed of 24 representative business groups, having a membership of about 5,400 members of small-business men in the city of Washington.
At our meeting last night, which was our regular monthly meeting, I was first authorized—and at that meeting I would like to preface by saying the reporter of the Times-Herald was present, as well as the Evening Star, so that any question of not having the facts in writing of that meeting last night can be substantiated.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not need that. Your word is sufficient. Mr. McKEE. First, I was authorized to inform you that any speakers that appeared before you last week before another hearing that you held had no authority whatsoever from the Federation of Businessmen to either speak for them or to infer in any way that they were speaking for the federation. We deplore the publicity that ensued therefrom, for which we are sending a letter to the Board of Trade regretting statements made by one of the witnesses which would give any indication that the Federation of Businessmen's Association were a part of the remarks of that one gentleman.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that is family trouble betweeen the Board of Trade and the Businessmen's Association, which they will have to settle.
Mr. McKEE. I appreciate that, but I wanted to, and I am glad to state that publicly, sir.
I was also authorized, sir, to restate exactly what we restated last year and the prior years thereto.
I would like to call your attention that this statement of last year was dated February 23, before the present war we are now engaged in under the UN. Therefore, I would like you to take note of how that language was stated on February 23, before Hon. John L. McMillan [reading]:
I again would like to reiterate the Federation of Businessmen's Association opposition to home rule for the District of Columbia as contained in the bill now before your committee. The record is clear as to our reasons of opposing this bill as was outlined before your committee. However, events move rapidly, and those that favor this legislation are pestering all the Members of Congress to sign a petition to bring this out on the floor. The possibility of conflict by our Nation · The CHAIRMAN. You are not opposed to the constitutional right of the people to petition governmental officials, are you?
Mr. McKEE. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. You refer to people who were asking Congress to do things as being “pests."
Mr. McKEE. I recognize, Senator, you are referring to one paragraph in the letter. I say that sometimes one paragraph is put in there, but the paragraphs together tell the story.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not object to the people of the District of Columbia exercising the right of petition guaranteed them by the Constitution? · Mr. McKEE. No, sir; but I think when you have public hearings, sir.
But to carry on, to do what I would constitute lobbying, and in many instances maybe they were not registered lobbyists, that is what is referred to in that paragraph.
The CHAIRMAN. I am sure no business organization or corporation is opposed to lobbying. They have spent a few million dollars a month.
Mr. McKEE. That may be about big business, I know. I am speaking for small business, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. But you are pursuing the same policy that the Board of Trade and big business in the District has advocated.
Mr. McKEE. May I then call your attention to this, to make a break here, sir, and I would like for it to be put in the record, if it meets with your approval-
The CHAIRMAN. You may have the document put in. Mr. MCKEE. To call your attention to a copy of the February 5, 1948, report of the American Legion of the District of Columbia, of which there are nine pages, of which I happen to be chairman that year, of the legislative committee..
Now, would you say the American Legion, sir, is made up of big business—30,000 ?
The CHAIRMAN. I have read some articles in magazines within the last year in which it was alleged that big business has a substantial influence in the American Legion. [Applause.] Mr. McKEE. You are speaking on a national basis? The CHAIRMAN. I am speaking on a national basis, yes. Mr. McKEE. I may say, if you would check the names of the people who compiled this report, such as E. W. Luther, of the Kenneth H. Nash Post, recently deceased; Charles Pittman, and Gibb L. Baker, of Gardner Post; Edward B. Williams of the Thad Dulin Post; Abner C. Lakenan, of Labor Post, and others, you will find they are small people, sir, making a small economic living.
The CHAIRMAN. Whether they are small or large, they have a right to come here and be heard. Mr. McKEE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. We want to hear what you have to say. While I anticipate that I am not going to agree with much that you are going to say, I insist on your right to say it, and to be treated with the greatest courtesy. I hope you will not mind my challenging things with which I cannot agree, and telling you why. You have the right to challenge anything I say, too.
Mr. McKEE. That is correct; and I think I have taken that opportunity, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. We will continue to extend it, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Before you proceed, what is your specific objection to self-government for the people of the District of Columbia ?
Mr. McKEE. We will take the bill, and on the basis as written, we will just forget the text, sir.
As your bill is now constituted, you say it is self-government.
The CHAIRMAN. I am not asking you about this bill, Mr. McKee. I am asking you about the principle.
Mr. MCKEE. The principle of the bill is the only thing before the Congress, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you mind passing from the bill, and leaving that out of consideration for a minute? Mr. McKEE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Instead of raising technical objections to that, would you mind answering the question: Are you for or against home rule for the people of the District of Columbia ?
Mr. McKEE. Not in its present written form in any bill before the Congress. We are for the voting privileges in the District of Columbia, together with representation in the Senate and the House, in comparison to your State and the other 48 States in the Union.
I heard the latter part of Mrs. Howard's statement, and I did not bring it, because it is a matter of record as to our budget affairs. But I can tell you, sir, that our population, as you well know, exceeds more than 20 States' population. Our income paid in the way of taxes to the Federal Government exceeds that of 27 States. We are in every sense of the word worse than the minority in a lot of other States under our population. But you are not giving us anything here that is desired by the people.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. McKee, I am not asking you about the bill. I want you to forget about that. I want to find out where you stand in principle. I will let you register every objection to the bill that you want to make, and we will come back and have another session if it is necessary to hear you. But I want to know whether you are unconditionally for self-government for the people of the District of Columbia. Mr. McKEE. For self-government; yes, sir. We do not object to it. The CHAIRMAN. Do not object. Are you for it? Mr. McKEE. Yes, sir, for self-government, but it has to be selfgovernment.
Now, the Teague bill we are in favor of, sir. We have no opposition whatsoever to that, which is parallel to your question, sir. We go along with that 100 percent.
I asked Senator Kefauver in the past if we could have discussions to see if these bills could be brought about in a manner that would be acceptable to our federation. As yet I have no invitation to do that.
But as the bill is written, as I have been led to believe by other committee hearings, sir, of which you were not the chairman, they always wanted me to stick to the bill, and that is why I was following that procedure. So you will accept my apologies for trying to follow out what other committees have demanded of witnesses.
The CHAIRMAN. We want you to have more liberty than that. We want everybody to feel free to talk.
Mr. MCKEE. You want to hear some of our reasons, or objections to the present type of proposed bill.
Elected Council sounds very good, but what authority are you giving them of divesting the Members of Congress of the work they are now charged with and have to do under the Constitution in behalf of the District? The members of the Council are not going to help you any more than any other hired help in the District Building.
Along with that there are three members to be appointed by the President of the United States to safeguard the interest of Federal property, Federal jurisdiction; yet you gentlemen of the Senate and the House are constantly protecting the Federal jurisdiction here as it is set out in the Constitution. They cannot initiate, that is, put into law any legislation. They can initiate it, sir. And it has to come to both the Senate and the House, sir, in the same manner and principle that present legislation has done.
We will not have a voting Member in the Senate or the House, sir. He will be over here as no more than a secretary in behalf of the Senate. I cannot see where we are getting anything in exchange for the cost that is going to be thrust upon us.
The CHAIRMAN. What additional costs do you think are going to be thrust upon you?
Mr. McKEE. Well, the cost of paying those 12 gentlemen, plus the three by the President; 15 times five thousand, plus the services of the committee's secretaries, and other clerical help that has to go along with it, sir. That is an expense in my book, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think that is too much to pay for the right of enjoying American citizenship, the right to voteMr. McKEE. You are not giving American citizenship.
The CHAIRMAN (continuing). The liberty to help make your own rules and regulations and laws? Mr. McKEE. They are not making their own laws. The CHAIRMAN. Of course they are. Mr. McKEE. If you can sell me that, sir, I would be glad to have you sell it to me.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not think the Council provided for in this bill would have any right to pass ordinances ?
Mr. McKEE. Ordinances, yes, sir, but not laws. There is a difference between the two.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the difference between an ordinance and a law in a municipality? I have been a mayor of a city, and have helped pass ordinances, and helped enforce them all my life, I have thought a city ordinance a law and nothing but a law.
Mr. McKEE. It is, but at the same time Congress has passed that authority in regard to ordinances onto the heads of a city government. They cloak them with limited authority which they are exercising.
The CHAIRMAN. Turn to the bill now and turn to the specific thing you are objecting to here, will you? Mr. McKEE. I do not have a copy of the current bill. The CHAIRMAN. Here it is [handing document to witness). Mr. McKEE. I have my other bills all marked. That is why I was saying that.
We will start with each page and see where the objections are raised, if any.
The CHAIRMAN. No, let's stick to the one we are talking about now. You can go to any others you wish after that. Mr. McKEE. All right.
Your function of the Board of Commissioners is going to be changed over. We know that.
The CHAIRMAN. Identify the language to which you are objecting and name the page and paragraph.
Mr. McKEE. All right, sir.
First, we would like to question the reservation of congressional authority in section 401—the insertion of section 404, I meant to say.
The CHAIRMAN. Just a minute.