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Mr. FADLER. I am in the military service myself, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Donald Beatty, representing the District of Columbia League of Women Voters.
STATEMENT OF MRS. DONALD BEATTY, REPRESENTING THE
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS .. Mrs. BEATTY. I am Mrs. Donald Beatty, 4105 Bailey Street, NW., president of the District League of Women Voters, and I would like to begin this statement by saying there is no president of any other membership organization who speaks with more authority than I do this morning, because our members have studied the contents of the bill last year, and we know from the expressions from our members that they want this statement given this morning.
I want to say first of all—and this comes from our board yesterday-that we are grateful for the prompt hearings that have been called, because we think this will speed it to the House quickly, and we want speed this year.
Our stand on this bill is well known. We do not bring anything original this morning at all. We are for this bill, but we have developed over the years a missionary zeal, and in fact last year reached the place where we thought we had even found a text that we could use, and this is it: “I am a man of Tarsus, a citizen of no mean city, and demand to be heard.”
We are going to use that text this year. No time by the league is needed for the preparation of home-rule testimony. It is hardly necessary before this subcommittee or for the record that the League of Women Voters of the District present its conviction as to the essential rightness of the bill presently under consideration. In the past we have spelled out the arguments in favor of the bill, and it would be repetitious and time-consuming for the committee to hear all these again, although we could provide a special new bound copy of those arguments.
We have for the 30 years of our existence, and we do now support fully the principle that the people of Washington should be given the opportunities and the responsibilities of voting citizens. Very simply, we believe in democracy. The central concept of democracy is participation.
We believe in self-rule through duly elected representatives of the people. We have a record of the deep concern not only for the principle but for the practice of democracy. We are an organization whose sole purpose is to promote citizen responsibility. Lacking a vote, this has been no mean task in the District League.
We have done the best we could in the abstract as it were, and in addition, womanlike, we have kept at the daily housekeeping chores of working for better schools, greater welfare programs and decent housing, but as we testified last Friday when Mrs. Tobias was here, most of the problems we see facing the District revolve around the one big problem of home rule, and while it may have looked at times that we were spending too much time on housekeeping chores and neglecting this one cause of home rule, we do know that working at those causes and finding what the problems were, in finding answers. for them has taught us that only through home rule can these be solved.
Now there is just one new emphasis regarding the league's convictions that we want to add to our past record, and with this I close. During the past 6 years, in fact in about 1945, the league became more and more aware of the fact that a community education job was. needed as far as home rule was concerned, and we have had very good practice and good results in the last 6 years.
Last year alone we had 60 meetings in 15 neighborhoods in the District on the subject of District government. We feel we have a much better informed membership. Last year we raised funds over and above a budget that we thought could not be raised, to assist in the financing of a home-rule campaign.
We sold home-rule buttons, bought them for people if they would not buy them, even enrolled citizens for home rule, sent citizens well trained to clubs, churches, schools, and citizens' meetings, we published and distributed home-rule material, and together with our national office carried on a national campaign with other leagues who joined us in the fight, and now we know we have made converts. Many of them have been here in the room this morning.
We are saying for the record that we are better prepared than we have ever been to enlarge our efforts at once. We place the matter of home rule for the District first on our list of concerns for the year. It will be the first until we get it, and if we have to drop everything else to do it.
We were born 30 years ago out of the women's suffrage struggle and the determination of those women to use the vote wisely. Now while it was a minority of women who were vocal and campaigned, just as it appears now that it is a minority who are vocal and articulate in the District who ask for the vote, lack of experience in citizenship responsibility we believe may have been the reason in both cases, but to have withheld the vote for that reason, to have withheld the vote until the majority loudly demanded it would have been we think a tragic failure of democracy.
We do not withdraw the voting privilege for all in any community with a certain percentage who do not use the privilege. We urge speedy passage of S. 656 so we can get on with the major job. Unlike Mr. Donohue, we do not want to get out of a job. We are ready to do the major job of the league, which is getting District citizens to use their vote.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mrs. Beatty. [Applause.] If I am ever sued, I hope I can induce you to defend me.
Senator SMITH. Mr. Chairman, I have got another appointment and I just want to say that since there is no opposition to this bill, it seems to me like most of these folks come out of admiration for the chairman of this committee. [Applause.]
The CHAIRMAN. I think, ladies and gentlemen, the explanation is that you have found out that a younger and handsomer man, Senator Smith of North Carolina, was going to sit with the chairman this morning.
Senator SMITH. You know one of my kinsmen was in that first group of suffragists that marched up and down with those banners about 30 years ago. I am sorry I have got to leave.
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Harriman, will you please come forward ?
STATEMENT OF MRS. J. BORDEN HARRIMAN, DEMOCRATIC COM
* MITTEEWOMAN FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Mrs. HARRIMAN. All I have to say is that of course I am for home rule for the District, and that I think it is horribly embarrassing that our Capital City is so uncivilized that so many of us have not got the vote. I just agree with what everybody has said undoubtedly on this side.
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Harriman, we are glad to have heard you, and thank you for what you have said.
Mrs. HARRIMAN. I would like to have been prepared to say something, but more than that I do not think I could say.
The CHAIRMAN. I assume that you are speaking both as an individual and as the Democratic National Committeewoman for the District of Columbia.
Mr. Woolsey Hall, representing the Central Northwest Citizens' Association, will please proceed.
STATEMENT OF WOOLSEY HALL, REPRESENTING THE CENTRAL
NORTHWEST CITIZENS' ASSOCIATION
Mr. HALL. My name is Woolsey Hall. I am representing the Central Northwest Citizens' Association. We are in favor of the passage by the Senate and the House of Senate bill 656.
The Central Northwest Citizens' Association is profoundly grateful to United States Senator Matthew M. Neely for the great service he is rendering the community by his constant and continuing efforts to bring home to the heart and hearth of every resident of the District of Columbia the blessing of good government and full and unabridged citizenship of the most approved United States pattern. The association is grateful, likewise, to United States Senator Estes Kefauver and his senatorial cosponsors for the reintroduction in this Eightysecond Congress of the home rule bill which was passed by the Senate in the Eighty-first Congress.
The Central Northwest Citizens Association urges favorable action by the Senate Committee on the District of Columbia on Senate bill 656. A hurried study of the bill reveals that some improvements could be made, and the association regards them as pertinent to this committee's gracious consideration.
1. A mere change of wording is suggested on page 28 where reference is made to “the Bureau of Federal Supply, in the Department of the Treasury.” That Bureau was taken from the Treasury July 1, 1949.
2. On page 55, Office of the Recorder of Deeds. Our association feels that this office should be left independent and should not be made a subsidiary of the proposed Department of Law. Such independent status, it is believed, is the pattern to be found in most comparablecommunities in the United States. The office of land records very seldom is found to be a subsidiary of the city or county attorney's office as is here proposed. Also, it should be borne in mind that there is a quasi-Federal pattern here in our community, where 51 percent of the land is in Federal ownership.
3. S. 656 clothes the proposed District Manager with greater independent power in some instances than is enjoyed by the President of the United States. He can create and he can destroy, without let or hindrance, and inasmuch as he is almost sure to be a nonresident the very essence of home rule is in grave danger there. On page 28 he is clothed with the power to reorganize or abolish or create agencies or offices. On page 50 the bill creates 12 executive departments with each such department headed by a director appointed by and to serve at the pleasure of the District Manager. Then these departmental directors can create and can destroy with the approval of the District Manager. We submit that these major appointments and changes should be subject to the approval of the District Council, the elected representatives of the people of the community.
4. We have always felt it desirable to have our choices of our representatives indicated not by voting at large, but by area constituent selection by precincts or wards.
5. Finally, we urge a longer term of residence for candidates for election to the District Council-certainly 3 years of continuous bodily residence, with some limitation on the eligibility of occupants of higher appointive positions under the Federal Government.
Thank you very much, Senator, and I would be glad to answer any questions if you have any. We have made a very careful study.
The CHAIRMAN. We are very much obliged to you for your testimony, Mr. Hall.
Mr. Leon A. Thompson, representing the Federation of Civic Associations.
STATEMENT OF LEON A. THOMPSON, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERA
TION OF CIVIC ASSOCIATIONS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, INC.
Mr. THOMPSON. Mr. Chairman, my name is Leon A. Thompson, president of the Federation of Civic Associations of the District of Columbia, Inc. I live at 3403 Fifteenth Street SE., Washington, D. C., and am also a bona fide voter in the State of New York at 580 St. Nicholas Avenue.
Mr. Chairman, I wish to thank this committee for its prompt and speedy action in calling for these hearings on the home rule for the District of Columbia. I think I would be safe in saying that the people of the District of Columbia thank you too, because the search for the opportunity to govern themselves has been a long and arduous travail.
Whereas we are cognizant that the proposed bill No. S. 656 is by no means a perfect one, and would not meet the approval of some, we do think however it is a step in the right direction. The proposed bill has many features of which we ourselves disapprove, but for the sake of speeding its commitment for action by the Congress, we shall approve it on its appearance and in principle. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, sir. Mr. Kenneth Adams, representing the Young Republicans Club of the District of Columbia will please proceed.
STATEMENT OF KENNETH ADAMS, PRESIDENT OF THE YOUNG
REPUBLICANS CLUB OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Mr. ADAMS. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, before I read this statement I would like to give you a little background on how controversial this issue has been with our club. We considered it off and on in smaller groups for over 2 years. The original Auchincloss plan and recent Kefauver-Taft bill was considered, and last night at our regular meeting when I announced that I was coming here this morning to make this statement, it stirred up quite a bit of difficulty, so eventually we had to take a vote on whether I would be allowed to come down here and make this statement, which some of them felt included some of my personal feelings, and finally the vote won out and I am allowed to make the statement.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you care to tell us by what majority ?
Our membership includes over 400 young people, who subscribe to the principles of the Republican Party, and who are vitally interested in the affairs of the city in which they live and earn their livelihood.
Last year our group passed a resolution in favor of the KefauverTaft home-rule bill.
It was a close vote; so close that it appeared on the surface that opinion was closely divided between those for and against home rule for the District. This, however, was not the case.
The topic had been under long consideration by various members of our organization before it was presented for an official vote at a regular meeting. Some of us held an informal seminar, conducted by a staff member of the House District Committee, Dr. George Galloway. Dr. Galloway, together with Representative Auchincloss and other Congressmen on the committee, wrote the original version of a bill that has since evolved into S. 656, which is being considered today. He explained in great detail the various provisions of the bill and the reasons behind including these provisions in the final legislation. We all learned a great deal that evening, and after further study, the Civic Affairs Committee of our club took upon itself the project of explaining the pros and cons of the proposed legislation to the interested citizens of Washington. The members of our committee divided up into teams of three; one for the bill, one against, and the third acting as moderator. These teams then appeared before the various citizens'