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· Davis, Edward S. Corwin, and Arthur T. Vanderbilt.
The CHAIRMAN. Have we not heard that Mr. West, the corporation counsel, and the Commissioners, the day before yesterday decided, in
effect, that this bill was not constitutional? • Mr. GALLOWAY. I noticed that some question had been raised by the Corporation Counsel. But, in reply, I would invite your attention to an opinion on the issue expressed by that eminent constitutional authority, Prof. Edward S. Corwin, of Princeton University who, in his recent book, Understanding the Constitution, has this to say on that very point:
The Constitution does not permit Congress to grant the citizens of the District of Columbia the right to vote in Federal elections, but there is no constitutional reason why they should not be allowed to elect their own local officials. At the present time, Congress, which has complete governmental powers over the District, spends a day every fortnight it is in session, passing city ordinances and serving as city council. From the viewpoint of both legislative efficiency and justice for the citizens of the District, concludes Professor Corwin, such a system is indefensible and the demands for a larger measure of home rule are becoming ever more insistent.
Advocates of home rule further contend that all other American cities enjoy local self-government, and they point out that all the other capital cities of countries outside the iron curtain, except Canberra, Australia, where the situation is unique, also have home rule.
It is further argued by the advocates of this bill that lack of local self-government in the Capital City of the world's greatest democracy, embarrasses the conduct of our foreign relations, and I think that has been brought to your attention already.
I have had the experience myself in recent years, since the late war, of addressing visiting delegations of Japanese and German officials. from countries which we are engaged in attempting to democratize, and these officials have expressed amazement when they have learned that here in Washington the residents are not even permitted to vote for their own dog catcher.
Under the present form of local government, it is further asserted, the people of Washington have no control over the acts of their city officials. If school facilities are inadequate, if the crime rate is high, if municipal services are unsatisfactory in any respect, the local people can neither discipline nor dismiss the responsible officials.
Moreover, it is pointed out, as has already been observed, that the lack of home rule tends to dull the edge of democracy; that it weakens the citizen’ssense of civic responsibility; that their political faculties tend to atrophy through sheer lack of expression.
On this point, I would like to digress a moment, Mr. Chairman, and express a personal opinion. You yourself repeatedly referred during the clinic last week to the alleged apathy of the Washington community on this issue.
With all due deference to you, sir, I beg to submit that a review of the home-rule movement here in the last 4 years reveals widespread and sustained interest and effort in this cause. There are scores of civic and social groups in this community which have discussed
and debated this question, passed resolutions on it, and sent their spokesmen to testify at congressional hearings. During the Eightieth Congress, for example, 178 witnesses appeared before the District Committees of the two Houses, and 94 percent of them approved of the home-rule legislation in principle. They represented almost every organization in the city. I submit that the record shows that the people of Washington, far from being apathetic, have worked vigorously and energetically for local self-government.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that is true. I cannot be unmindful of the fact that recently we have read accounts of a few American troops withstanding more than 10 times as many Chinese Communist soldiers.
You have one or two powerful organizations here that are not so numerous, but have great influence. The Board of Trade, with the great wealth that is represented in that body, man for man or woman for woman, has a great deal more power than the ordinary citizen. I hope you do not underestimate their strength.
Mr. GALLOWAY. Oh, no, Mr. Chairman, I am well aware of the opposition to this legislation, which stems in large part from the Washington Board of Trade. The Washington Board of Trade is a coalition of the business and financial interests in this community which has controlled the town for many decades; they are naturally reluctant to see a redistribution of political power in this community which this bill would effect, which would transfer the control of the public affairs of the community from a benevolent oligarchy in the top directorate of the Washington Board of Trade, to the duly elected representatives of the people in the District Council. [Applause.]
The Board of Trade has employed all the techniques of a social lobby to defeat this legislation. They have given fancy dinner parties in Washington hotels, and clambakes in season down on Chesapeake Bay, and other parties, all well lubricated with Mr. Kronheim's fine liquors. [Laughter.]
I suggest to you, sir, that the influence peddlers at the RFC could pick up a few pointers from the tradesmen at the Washington Board of Trade.
Returning, however, to my impartial analysis of the arguments, the advocates of home rule further argue that if Washington had home rule, the administrative structure of its local government would long ago have been modernized. As a matter of fact, however, it has just “growed” like Topsy since 1878. New agencies have been created from time to time, in piecemeal responses to local needs, until today the administrative structure of the District government is an tangled jungle of uncoordinated, duplicating, and overlapping agencies.
I have here a chart which illustrates the present organization of the District government. This chart was made part of your records 2 years ago. Your committee possesses a very large edition of this chart, which has been mounted, and which was displayed on the Senate floor during the debate on the bill on the 31st of May 1949.
It shows what a tangled jungle, as I say, the District government as at present organized is, and how many overlapping lines of control there are.
The opponents of home rule for Washington also allege that under such a system, the Federal interests in the National Capital City would not be adequately safeguarded
On the other hand, the advocates assert that under this bill the Federal interests would be fully safeguarded in four ways: First, through the constant oversight of District affairs that would be maintained by the District Committees of the two Houses; second, through the power of Congress to disapprove District legislation; third, through the constitutional power of the President to veto District bills. Finally, through the undoubted power of the Congress to amend or annul the home-rule charter at any time. .
It is also pointed out that this legislation provides that it would become effective only after it had been approved by a majority of the qualified voters in a popular referendum.
This provision is regarded as advantageous by the advocates of home rule as a means of giving the people a voice in the adoption of this change, and as a means of proving that, if they did adopt it, it could never thereafter be asserted that an unpopular form of government had been foisted upon the people of this community against their will.
Another provision of the bill which I ought to mention, which commends itself to the advocates, is that which provides that the voting rights of District residents who maintain legal domiciles in their native States would not be jeopardized by their participation in local District elections. This is a rather unique provision of the bill. It was inspired by a similar provision in the election laws of the neighboring State of Maryland. The main purpose of this provision is to maximize the size and improve the quality of the District electorate. It is estimated that, perhaps, 100,000 persons, residents of the District of Columbia, who would be qualified to vote in local elections, maintain legal domiciles in the States whence they came..
These people, if disfranchised in local District elections, would look to the Congress of the United States rather than to the District Council for the protection of their interests. .
If these persons, of whom I am speaking, resident here but domiciled elsewhere, were disqualified from voting in local District elections, there would be created a dual class of citizenship. There would be the first-class citizens, who reside here, and who will be qualified to vote for District councilmen and for the Board of Education, and there would be the so-called second-class citizens who, unable to vote here, would look to the Congress of the United States for the protection of their interests. This would give rise to the potential possibility of conflict between the Council and the Congress, and might embarrass the conduct of public affairs in the District.
Another provision of the bill which commends itself to its advocates is the proposed qualifications for voting. These are the same qualifications for voting which obtain throughout the United States: American citizenship, at least a year's residence in the District, and the requirement of being 21 years of age or over. * Finally, the bill is advocated by its partisans on the ground that it provides for nonpartisan elections. The purpose of this provision is
to prevent the control of local public affairs by either of the great, national political organizations and, I might add, that nonpartisan elections are the method of elections that obtains in three-fourths of all the city-manager cities of the United States.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I think it pertinent to point out, if I may depart finally from my neutral role as a member of the staff of the Legislative Reference Service, that the Filipinos have gained their independence, Puerto Rico is practically self-governing, Alaska and Hawaii are on the verge of statehood, but the people of Washington are still governed like a British crown colony of the eighteenth century.
Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to insert in the record of your hearings at the conclusion of my remarks an editorial entitled “A Plea to Congress," which appeared in the Washington Post for November 30 of last year.
The CHAIRMAN. That will be received.
A PLEA TO CONGRESS For a full decade, the Americans who live in the District of Columbia have petitioned Congress, in the patient, orderly, democratic manner prescribed by the Constitution, to grant them the elementary human right of self-government. A careful study of the home rule problem was made in the Seventy-ninth Congress. A carefully drawn bill embodying the fruits of that study was introduced in the Eightieth Congress but died there without ever being brought to a vote. A similar measure was introduced in the Eighty-first Congress and passed by the Senate; but the House of Representatives has never had a chance to vote upon it. With all the earnestness at our command, we urge the leadership and the Members of the House to seize this chance and to decide the issue now, before the Eighty-first Congress passes into history.
Let us restate very briefly the arguments for home rule. They are grounded at once in considerations of expediency and in considerations of principle. First, the management of District affairs by the Congress of the United States is wasteful and inefficient. It is as imprudent and inappropriate for the Congress to function as a municipal council for this community as it would be for it to attempt to frame local legislation for Baltimore, Md., or Seattle, Wash. Its members, no matter how conscientious, cannot be genuinely responsive to the wishes and needs of this community because they are not responsible to the community. They can devote time to the problems of their wards in Washington only as they take time from the problems of their constituents at home. Congress was created to serve as a legislature for the Nation; the basic idea of a Federal Union is violated by its management of purely local affairs. From the point of view of the Members of Congress, the management of the District of Columbia is an embarrassment which ordinary common sense should impel them to shed.
Second, so long as the people of the District of Columbia are tied to the apron strings of Congress, they will not-indeed, they cannot-deal adequately with their own problems. Apathy and neglect are the inevitable offspring of irresponsibility. The normal corrective to maladministration-repudiation at the pollsis not available to Washingtonians. As a result, the deficiencies in the city's school system, in its police protection, in its recreation facilities, in its housing go uncorrected. Dependency is as corrupting to a community as to an individual. It is a lamentable truth that the people of Washington now lack even the spirit to rise in rebellion against a colonial status which ought to seem intolerable to all Americans.
Third, the denial of self-government to the District does injury to the good name of the United States and to the whole structure of American society. The men who planned a model Capital City on the banks of the Potomac had no
thought that it would be an enclave ruled like Berlin by the representatives of remote occupying States. They took for granted that a republican form of government would be guaranteed here as elsewhere within the Federal Union. The country as a whole, no less than the District of Columbia itself, must suffer corruption from a continued disregard of its own basic values. The one argument in favor of home rule that should, in the minds of Americans, override all others is that continued denial of the right of government by the consent of the governed is deeply and debasingly un-American
The opportunity to liberate the District of Columbia is readily at hand. The home rule bill can be brought to the floor of the House by a discharge petition which already has nearly the requisite number of signatures—if only a handful of Representatives will sign it at once. It can be brought to the floor if the District Committee which has kept it pigeonholed for so long will only submit it to a democratic test. To let this legislation lapse now would be a tragic waste. It would also be, we think, an act of despotic arrogance. We ask only that the people of Washington be given the fundamental rights of American citizenship.
Mr. GALLOWAY. I also ask unanimous consent to insert a statement prepared by Senator Kefauver, being a rebuttal of the arguments of the Board of Trade against home rule for the District of Columbia.
The CHAIRMAN. That will be received. (The statement referred to follows:)
[From the Congressional Record] REBUTTAL OF BOARD OF TRADE ARGUMENTS AGAINST HOME RULE
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
EXTENSION OF REMARKS OF HON. ESTES KEFAUVER, OF TENNESSEE, IN THE SENATE
OF THE UNITED STATES, THURSDAY, JUNE 1, (LEGISLATIVE DAY OF WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29), 1950
Mr. KEFAUVER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record answers to some arguments prepared by the Board of Trade against the so-called home rule bill for the District of Columbia. My reason for asking that these answers be printed in the Record is that some time ago the distinguished gentleman from Texas, Representative Teague, placed in the Record the arguments of the Board of Trade of the District of Columbia, which for some strange reason is opposed to home rule for the very people whom the Board of Trade is supposed to be representing. So these answers have been prepared to the arguments of the Board of Trade.
There being no objection, the matter was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
REBUTTAL OF THE BOARD OF TRADE ARGUMENTS AGAINST HOME RULE FOR
On March 24 the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Teague] inserted in the Appendix of the Record a leaflet prepared by the Washington Board of Trade entitled "Does the Kefauver Bill Really Provide for Home Rule?” This leaflet is full of misstatements and misconceptions calculated to confuse and deceive the ordinary citizen. In order to keep the record straight on this important issue, Mr. President, I have prepared a rebuttal of the arguments against home rule for Washington which are currently being made by spokesmen for the Board of Trade.
REBUTTAL Argument: The Kefauver bill (S. 1527) would bring carpet-bag rule to Washington-meaning local government by outsiders.
Rebuttal : Section 302 of the bill provides that members of the District Council, which would be the governing body of the city, must reside and be domiciled in the District. The bill contains no provision which would prevent the appointment of local men to the positions of District Manager and department head. There is plenty of local talent in Washigton for these top executive jobs and local