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Mr. ATHERHOLT. This is March. That would be the beginning of June.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you another question. You have made a very vigorous statement here this morning. You have told whom you represent. Are you serving simply for the purpose of promoting the welfare of the District or are you being paid as an attorney for appearing here this morning?
Mr. ATHERHOLT. Sir, I am a hired attorney with a single client. The corporation had no interest whatsoever in this matter, the officials of the corporation have no knowledge that I am active in matters of this sort. The matter has never been, nor has there ever been any occasion to discuss it in any way whatsoever with my clients, and I can't possibly conceive of their having any interest in the matter. I am coming here as a representative of citizens, and I have seen time and again citizens work in this District, people who come in not to represent themselves but to represent somebody else, but I have not ever and I hope that no one will ever accuse me of it, I have never done such a thing, and I have so many, many times put my own personal interests behind the civic interest to do things for the group which I have served. I want to say to you that for 4 years—
The CHAIRMAN. Let me make this plain. I don't think there would be any impropriety in your receiving a fee, but just as in the case of a witness in court, here, too, a witness' financial interest is always worthy of consideration. I simply asked you whether you are receiving any compensation for your testimony here this morning.
Mr. ATHERHOLT. Not one penny, direct or indirect, in this or any matter that I have ever handled of a civic nature..
The CHAIRMAN. That is all.
I call the attention of those who are interested in the matter to the fact that so far the longest statement made by the opponents of the bill consumes 57 pages of the typewritten record. The next longest one in opposition consumes 43 pages. Mr. Newell's statement in opposition consumes 18.
No witness has been heard in favor of home rule for more than 19 minutes. Mr. Colladay's testimony covered 57 pages of the record, and lasted for approximately an hour and 45 minutes.
I am stating these facts in rebuttal to an observation that might be construed to mean that I am unfair to the opponents and discriminate in favor of the proponents. I haven't discriminated. If I have discriminated at all, it has been the other way. I always lean backward and give more than an even chance to those who oppose a measure in which I am interested.
Mr. ATHERHOLT. I would have considered it discrimination had you stopped me at that time, but as it is, I do not consider it that.
The CHAIRMAN. I am glad of that. You have been heard for 53 minutes. But from now on, when a witness' 10 minutes are up, we will have to interrupt. We can't continue this hearing for 5 or 6 weeks, as we would have to do if we continue to permit witnesses to testify without limiting their time.
The next witness on the list is Mr. Marshall L. Shepherd.
STATEMENT OF MARSHALL L. SHEPHERD, REPRESENTING THE
RECORDER OF DEEDS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Mr. SHEPHERD. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I am not a lawyer, thank God, and I won't need the 10 minutes.
As Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, I am opposed to this section of the bill that abolishes the Office of Recorder of Deeds.
The CHAIRMAN. I think I share your view on that section. I have not been able to convince myself that that is a desirable provision.
Mr. SHEPHERD. We have made a survey, and it clearly shows that in every political subdivision the Recorder of Deeds is either elected by the people or is responsible to the people, and in no instance in our survey does it show that the Recorder of Deeds Office is made subordinate to any other department of the municipal government, as is done in this bill, S. 656.
I state that the majority of the colored citizens' associations share this view. They are colored citizens' associations not because they bar white people. White people are permitted to enter these associations, and in many cases they have done it. It shows that the colored citizens seem to have more respect for the spirit and letter of the Constitution than a good many of the white associations.
The CHÀIRMAN. Won't you also promise me you will extend that same Christian spirit and protect these 70 or about 70 percent of the white people, if this bill should become law, against the 30 percent of colored when it comes to voting at the polls?
I don't like to emphasize that fact, but I have had more than å dozen persons tell me in private and not in confidence that they are opposed to this bill because of their fear that it would give the Negro domination over the District of Columbia.
My answer to that is if 70 percent of the people, the white people, are so utterly destitute of interest in their own welfare and are sufficiently destitute of patriotism and energy to go to the polls and cast their votes, cast as many votes as the 30 percent of colored people cast, that no matter what kind of government they might have thereafter, they would be getting more than they deserve as a reward for their laziness and indolence and lack of interest in their own welfare. [Applause.]
I want to make it clear that I do not for the purpose of what I am saying concur in what might be a strained deduction to the effect that if the colored people had an opportunity to give us a poor government—I do not mean that. I mean no matter what kind of govern- .. ment-good, bad, or indifferent—it would be better than the 70 percent would deserve if they were so negligent in discharging their patriotic duties as American citizens that 30 percent would control the decision.
You will kindly look after that a little, won't you, and see that these poor white people are not oppressed by the 30 percent of the colored people?
Mr. SHEPHERD. We will see to it that the white people are given every opportunity to join our associations and participate as they are doing it.
The CHAIRMAN. I think there is as much danger of your oppressing them as there is of the two Councilmen, running away with the nine members elected by the people of the District of Columbia; but I want to protect the majority against the tyrannical minority, whether colored or white.
Mr. SHEPHERD. We are not afraid of any system of government that is democratically run. · The CHAIRMAN. Neither am I.
Mr. SHEPHERD. We suffer largely from the miscarriage of democratic principles rather than their practice. That is all I have to say.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. Next on the list is Mr. Robert Hershman, representing the Palisades Citizens' Association. STATEMENT OF GORDON M. ATHERHOLT, REPRESENTING
PALISADES CITIZENS' ASSOCIATION
Mr. ATHERHOLT. May I say a word ? As a member of the Palisades Citizens' Association, I would like it in the record that the association considered this bill at great length last year
The CHAIRMAN. Are you speaking now for the Palisades Citizens' Association?
Mr. ATHERHOLT. Yes, sir; of which I was for 4 years president before the 4 years I have been president of the Northwest Council.
I would like to say that last year we had one night Dr. Galloway and Mr. Nee of the Board of Trade speaking, we understood, against, though I can't see that he ever talked against, but rather talked for something else.
The following month we had a full discussion of the matter among our own members, with one presenting a very good position for the bill, and then I presented the position against the bill, and with 100 people at our meeting room, the vote was 2 to 1 against the Kefauver bill.
Thank you, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Next is Karl K. Gower, representing the Brightwood Citizens' Association.
STATEMENT OF KARL K. GOWER, REPRESENTING THE
BRIGHTWOOD CITIZENS' ASSOCIATION Mr. GOWER. Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, I am Karl K. Gower. My position is as a representative of the Brightwood Citizens' Association. I appear today without a prepared statement.
There is litle I can add to what has already been said in opposition to the Kefauver bill. However, the Brightwood people are in favor of home rule. There is a link, we feel, between the Federal Government and this form of government in the Kefauver bill. We certainly don't like that. Neither do we like the principle of dual voting.
I wish to express my thanks and appreciation for your hearing here this morning, and I assure you it won't be more than one page in your record.
The CHAIRMAN. We are glad to have heard you. You followed the old maxim in Harvey's grammar in speaking to the point and stopping when you reached it.
The next witness is Mr. J.H. Connaughton.
STATEMENT OF J. H. CONNAUGHTON Mr. CONNAUGHTON. My name is John H. Connaughton. I am a practicing attorney with offices in the District National Building at 1406 G Street NW., and reside at 718 Decatur Street NW., in the Petworth area of Washington. I belong to the Petworth Citizens' Association which has a fluctuating membership of about 1,500, and I have represented this association in the Federation of Citizens' Associations of the District of Columbia for 10 years. I have served on the executive board of the federation for eight consecutive years, and am a member of the executive board now. I am a past president of the Federation of Citizens Associations, and have been active in civic work for more than 10 years. I am now president of the North Washington Council of Citizens Associations which is composed of 12 citizens' associations in north Washington.
There are four of these councils which are joined together for the consideration of area problems.
In my activity in civic affairs, I have visited many citizens' associations, and have conversed with their leadership and members, and I agree with the distinguished chairman of this committee that about 70 percent of the people of this city do not want the Kefauver bill. Their opinions vary from outright opposition to home rule, to a desire for real home rule, which many of them feel cannot be delegated to us under the Federal Constitution. They feel that to get anything of value to us, it would be necessary to amend the Federal Constitution.
Most of our citizenship, in my opinion, are opposed to dual voting in the District. This is due to the peculiar nature of the population of the District of Columbia. Many of those who live here, are only sojourners. They are strangers here and looking for a "city to come,” when they will be retired from labors here, and return from whence they came. They have no abiding interest here, which is reflected in our tax problem. There are thousands of residents of the District who have lived here more than a quarter of a century and never paid a nickel of tax except the sales tax. They have no interest in keeping taxes in reason, but on the contrary favor improvements of every character, whether we can afford them or not. We, residents who own property and pay taxes, are opposed to being ruled by absent treatment. This phase of the Kefauver bill alone should defeat it.
Another thing: This area is already a cesspool of political intrigue, just as the founding fathers feared it would be, and this was the reason that they had for providing that the control of District affairs would be exclusively in Congress. It was an effort to prevent political pressure groups from controlling the District, and thus in a measure embarrassing the whole governmental picture. The result of pressure groups activity is one of the ever-present experiences that Congress has to meet, and it would increase under the Kefauver bill.
There is another phase of this question which deserves attention, and that is the additional cost involved in the Kefauver bill government. The initial expense of the Council as compared with the present Commissioners would be doubled. This elected Council is empowered to provide advisory boards and commissions as it may deem advisable and fix their compensation (sec. 327). It is given power to borrow money in large amounts, and submit bond issues to the voters composed of persons who live here but are not residents, and who pay no taxes here, and this nonresident population may vote indebtedness upon the real and personal property owners that could confiscate their property. It would not hurt them as their properties are located in the various States.
Experience is the best teacher, and it would be enlightening if this committee would investigate what it was caused the abandonment of popular government in the District of Columbia in 1874. There was a reason, and we are informed that the reason stunk to high heaven. The fiscal affairs of the District of Columbia were in a deplorable condition. That occurred at a time when the proportion of nonresidents to residents was much less. There seemed to be a tendency to look forward to the Federal Government liquidating the mistakes of the local government. This is the Federal city and it can be expected that Congress would be interested in its affairs, both fiscal and social.
If the final responsibility is on Congress as to the condition of the Federal city, then it should not relinquish control to others not responsible to anyone; that is, nonresidents.
It is far more important that the people of this District have the right to vote for President and Vice President; and that they have a Delegate in the House to officially represent the District in legislation in which they are interested. I think that local self-government could be much extended, but it should be substantial self-government of resident voters, and under a proper amendment to the Federal Constitution. This question should not be handled haphazard as it has been done in the past, but a thorough careful study should be made of this question with the view of delegating to the city of Washington municipal powers enjoyed by other American cities and not a semblance of congressional guardianship. This could be done in such a manner as to protect taxpayers and sojourners alike, but not until there is a constitutional amendment. · The trouble with what the Kefauver bill tries to do, is that it seeks within the structure of the constitutional provisions now existing to delegate powers which the Constitution places in Congress exclusively.
There is another matter to consider in connection with this subject. The present city government under which we are operating is doing a good job. Of course, there are complaints, but that is true of every city government in the United States. Our Commissioners have been and are representative men of ability. Regardless of the difference of opinion as to what it takes to make a good Commissioner, it is gen