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the District. The District Council is not given authority to leyy new taxes or to increase the rates of any taxes now authorized other than ad valorem taxes. Thus the real estate and tangible personal property in the District are primarily charged with the payment of the bonds. Over 60 percent of the land in the District is exempt from tax. Thus there would be hanging over every real-estate owner in the District the threat of a substantial increase in his property taxes which might substantially affect property values.
Under the provisions of section 831 (pp. 45, 47) the District is required to pay 60 percent of the estimated expenditures of the "District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia" (the title of which has now been changed to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia); 30 percent of the estimated expenditures of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia" (the title of which been changed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit) and 60 percent of the estimated expenditures of the office of the United States district attorney for the District of Columbia and the office of the United States marshal for the District of Columbia. At the present time, the District receives the same percentage of the fees and fines collected by these courts and officers by section 832 (p. 49) provides that after June 30, 1951, the District shall receive no portion of such fees and fines.
Under section 903 (a) (p. 52) the functions of the Board of Public Welfare are transferred to the Director of the Department of Welfare. This Board under existing 'law is an independent agency, not under the Commissioners except for budgetary control. The Board is not abolished by the bill. If all of its functions are transferred to the Director it would continue to exist with no duties to perform.
Section 904 (a) (p. 53) transfers all of the functions of the Recreation Board to the Director of the Department of Recreation but does not abolish the Board. This Board now exists as an independent agency, With its functions transferred to the Director it also would have no duties to perform. The act, however, contemplates its continuance since it abolishes the office of the member of the Board representing the Board of Commissioners and in his place is substituted a member of the National Capital Park and Planning Commission who resides in the District. The effect of this change is to give the District government no representative upon the Board, and, on the other hand, increases the representation of Federal agencies.
Section 907 (a) (p. 55) transfers the office of the Recorder of Deeds of the District to the Director of the Department of Law. The offices of the Corporation Counsel and Assistant Corporation Counsel are abolished, but the office of Recorder of Deeds is not. The Recorder of Deeds under existing law is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, whereas the Director of the Department of law will be appointed by the District Manager. This will create an anamalous situation in having an officer appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate under the direction of one appointed by lesser authority, the District Manager. Furthermore, we can see no reason for placing the office of the Recorder of Deeds in the Department of Law. Such an office is purely an administrative office. Its duties are such as are usually performed in the States by the clerks of the county courts. The Recorder of Deeds is not a law officer. The duties of the Director of the Department of Law of a legal nature will be sufficiently burdensome to require his full time and attention without further placing upon him the responsibility of supervising an administrative office which now consists of about 60 employees. The placing of the officer of the Recorder of Deeds in the Department of Law can hardly result in efficiency.
In section 909 (p. 57) the functions of the Board of Library Trustees are transferred to the Department of Librarian, but it is still left in existence with no duties to perform.
Section 910 (a) (p. 58) reads as follows: "The functions
"(1) Of the Minimum Wage and Industrial Safety Board and the District Unemployment Compensation Board; and
"(2) Transferred to the Board of Education by section 1102 (a), with respect to the enforcement and administration of laws regulating child labor; are hereby transferred to the Director of the Department of Labor."
This subsection is not clear. Inasmuch as none of the functions of the Minimum Wage and Industrial Safety Board or the District Unemployment Compensation Board are transferred to the Board of Education, we assume that what is intended is that the functions of the Minimum Wage and Industrial Safety Board and the District Unemployment Compensation Board and the functions transferred to the Board of Education by section 1102 (a) with respect
to the enforcement and administration of laws regulating child labor are transferred to the Director of the Department of Labor.
Section 911 (c) (p. 59) provides that the office of the member of the District Boxing Commission who is also a member of the Metropolitan Police force is abolished. The Boxing Commission strongly recommends that the police member of the Commission be retained, for the reason that it has found that undesirable characters unfortunately identified with various branches of sport make it a point not to apply for licenses in the District of Columbia, and the Commission feels that this is largely due to a member of the police force being on the Commission.
In section 1002 (f) the salary of each member of the Public Utilities Commission is fixed at the rate of $7,500 per annum. This salary, the Commissioners believe, is far too low to attract the caliber of men required to sit upon this Commission. The work is important and takes full time. The present salaries are $9,706.50 per annum each.
Section 1206 (b) (p. 81) fixes the qualifications of voters and requires with respect to residence either domicile or a place of abode in the District for 1 year. Whether the right to vote should extend to persons though they may be residents here who are not domiciled here and who retain a right to vote in another jurisdiction, is a highly controversial subject. However, it may be pointed out that temporary residents in the District will have a tendency to vote for the members of the District Council who promise most in the way of immediate public improvements to be financed by bond issues. Such temporary residents will not be concerned with the tax burden imposed upon the permanent residents and upon those who come into the District later, but will be concerned primarily with securing public improvements which they may enjoy at the present time. The Commissioners are opposed to extending the privilege of voting to those who are not domiciled in the District or who retain voting privileges elsewhere.
Section 1207 (a) (p. 82) provides that no person shall be registered as a voter unless, among other things, he executes a registration affidavit completed in his own handwriting, unless prevented by physical disability. This is apparently intended to limit voting to those who have received sufficient education at least to be able to write, and yet under the bill a totally uneducated person with a physical disability is entitled to vote.
Subsections (d), (e) and (f) of section 1211 (p. 85) set up the procedures to be followed where a vote is challenged. They, however, do not set up procedures whereby a certain ballot may be identified as the ballot of the person challenged and yet preserve the secrecy of the vote.
Section 1404 (p. 98) contains provisions relating to the Register of Wills and provides that the fees and emoluments from such office shall be paid to the Office of the Director of the Department of Finance. There is a bill now pending in Congress, H. R. 4706, to transfer the Office of the Register of Wills from the government of the District of Columbia to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts for budgetary and administrative purposes, which bill passed the House on June 22, 1949, and has been favorably reported by the Senate District Committee.
Section 1405 (p. 99) contains provisions relative to the National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Attention is invited to the fact that a bill, S. 1931, has been favorably reported by the Senate committee changing the personnel and powers of this Commission.
In subsection (c) of section 1405 of the home-rule bill it is provided that the function of preparing, developing, and maintaining a comprehensive, consistent, and coordinated plan for the National Capital and its environs shall be exercised by the Commission on behalf of the District government as well as the Federal Government, and no officer or agency of the District may exercise any function in conflict with such function of the Commission. This subsection also provides that the term “comprehensive plan” as used in section 2 of the District of Columbia Zoning Act of 1938 shall mean the plan prepared, developed, and maintained by the Commission. Section 322 (a) of this bisl (page 10) transfers the functions of the Zoning Commission to the District Council. The Zoning Commission, under existing law, is authorized to make regulations in accordance with a comprehensive plan but no such regulations may be adopted without a public hearing. The effect of subsection (c) of section 1404 of this bill is to require the Zoning Committee of the District Council to make its regulations pursuant to the plan adopted by the National Capital Park and Planning Commission, but no public hearing is required before that Commission; hence the property owners of the District
will be deprived of the protection which the present Zoning Act affords them of being heard on questions affecting the establishment and maintenance of a comprehensive plan. It would indeed be a strange situation if a law purporting to give our citizens greater control over their local government should place a large measure of that control in the hands of a Federal agency which is appointed by the President; which consists principally of nonresidents; and which has not the slightest administrative responsibility for the effect of its decisions upon the rights of property owners.
In section 1903 (d) it is again provided, with respect to those who may vote in the referendum to determine whether the charter shall be
adopted, that a person shall not be registered unless he executes a registration affidavit completed in his own handwriting unless prevented by physical disability. Here again, under this: provision one lacking all education may vote if physically disabled.
Time has not permitted the ascertainment of advice from the Bureau of the Budget as to the relationship of this report to the program of the President. Respectfully,
JOHN RUSSELL YOUNG, President, Board of Commissioners, District of Columbid. Mr. O'Hara. May I ask my colleague a couple of questions which have been bothering me for a long time?
Of course this so-called Kefauver bill is not the same as the Auchincloss bill of the Eightieth Congress. The gentleman will agree that is correct?
Mr. DEANE. Yes.
Mr. O'HARA. And in the Kefauver bill it provides for the election of nine Council members and the appointment by the President of two Council members.
Mr. DEANE. Yes.
Mr. O'HARA. Does the gentleman see any reason for the appointment by the President of two Council members, if we are to have the voice of the people in home rule in the District of Columbia ?
Mr. DEANE. Well, that came up for quite a lengthy discussion during our many days of hearings and we had many meetings that were not official meetings when we would go into a lot of these policy determinations; and the fact that we did not come to that conclusion is evidence that we felt that perhaps that was not in keeping with our views, at least at that time.
Mr. O'HARA. Under the Kefauver bill the election commissioners, as they are called, are to be appointed by the President. Do you think that should be, as a matter of principle or policy, or that they should be elected? In other words, why shouldn't they be elected by the people, the same as the members of the Council?
Mr. DEANE. It would certainly extend home rule quite definitely to elect the election officials. However, I do not know what was in the minds of members of the Kefauver committee. It may be they had the feeling, as I stated a moment ago, that we went too far in our considerations; that they felt that instead of going to the extent that we did, that they would reserve certain rights to the President that we did not.
Mr. HARRIS. Thank you very much.
Mr. O'HARA. Mr. Chairman, I noticed an editorial in the TimesHerald this morning entitled, “Somebody's Been Kidding,” and I ask unanimous consent that it be printed in the record at this point.
Mr. HARRIS. Without objection so ordered.
(From the Washington Times-Herald)
HARRY'S BEING USED BY SELFISH INTERESTS President Truman again, and as usual, for purely selfish purposes. This time he has been thimblerigged into socking over the head an already balky and sullen Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, with a demand for passage of the so-called home-rule bill for the District.
This bill, which passed the Senate on May 31, has since been hung up in the House Committee on District of Columbia affairs and will stay there indefinitely unless Speaker Sam Rayburn uses his extraordinary powers to jerk it out, as per Mr. Truman's order of the day.
The people who drafted that order for Mr. Truman's signature caused him to refer to the bill in question (S. 1527) as "a bill to give home rule to the people of the District of Columbia.”
S. 1527, if it becomes law, undoubtedly would provide a lot of comedy, paid for by the taxpayers. But it could not deliver to us any real home rule or even any improvement in executive administration.
"HOME RULE" IS A FALSE LABEL
By any common sense definition, "home rule” means government by consent of the governed, laws enacted by the representatives of the people subject to the laws, taxation with representation.
None of these is or can be delivered to the District of Columbia this side of an amendment to article I, section 8, clause 17 of the Constitution, which provides that Congress shall have power:
"To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such district (not 'exceeding 10 miles square) as may, by cession of the particular States and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of government of the United States and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings."
Words cannot possibly be plainer in their meaning. Until the Constitution is changed, Congress must remain our town council, State legislature, and legal master.
Many times Congress has tried to delegate and evade the responsibility for its powers. But there still remain judges who will point out the law.
Case after decided case in the 150 years of this city's history stand in evidence that no town council or other agency can substitute for Congress in making the laws and fixing the taxes for the District of Columbia until the Constitution is amended to such an end.
Aside from the false branding of S. 1527(as a home-rule bill, the letter of support for it that somebody got Mr. Truman to sign, makes numerous other busts obvious to anybody familiar with the facts of life in the District.
Item: He is caused to say, "I am sure there is nothing partisan about this proposal.”
Item: "I am sure that the great majority of the people of Washington want home rule."
COMEDY AT HIGH PRICES As for the first item, all anybody needs to do is look at the characters who have been making the most noise for $. 1527.
They are a fantastic collection of boobies from within the Democratic Party's central committee for the District of Columbia, who see a chance at long last to crack open another public treasury and run off with other people's money.
Until now, they have had to serve in hope of hand-outs from the Federal patronage. But if S. 1527 becomes law, they will have a chance to whack up a real live salary-tapping set of jobs, all their own by right of political conquest.
Washington is a town of long experience with hogs in the trough pretending to be philosophers, so we all know now that the scrambles for dough, growing out of S. 1527, would be fascinating to watch, though costly
But the suggestion that any improvement over the present commission system of administration could possibly be extracted from such a nonsense is even funnier than the prospect of watching the "City Council" provided in S. 1527.
Mr. Truman is on record to the effect that the people here want this "home rule.” Who told him that? Public sentiment on suffrage was tested by referendum in 1938 and again in 1946.
Public indifference was the outstanding characteristic, both times.
WE SHOULD ALL VOTE
Not that we think people ought to be indifferent about self-government. Ninetenths of the ruin and disaster that have been saddled on this Republic in the past 20 years have their origin in public indifference to the way politicians use public power.
The people in the District of Columbia fight wars, pay taxes, obey laws, just as much as any other people in the United States and should therefore have full equality of citizenship.
But they can hope for this only when the Constitution grants it, and that the Constitution cannot until amended.
Mr. Harris. I believe an editorial of the Washington Post was placed in the record a day or two ago.
Mr. O'HARA. Yes; and this will counterbalance.
Mr. HARRIS. The next witness will be Mr. William A. Roberts. I will ask him to come around. Is Mr. Roberts here?
Mr. HARRIS. Then we will hear from Mr. William F. Fadler, Jr., representing the Young Democratic Club of the District of Columbia. Is Mr. Fadler present? Mr. FADLER. Yes, Mr. Chairman. Mr. HARRIS. You may proceed.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM F. FADLER, JR., ESQ., YOUNG DEMO
CRATIC CLUB OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Mr. FADLER. Mr. Chairman, my name is William F. Fadler, Jr. I am a practicing attorney in the District of Columbia, with offices in the Union Trust Building.
I am happy to have the opportunity to appear on behalf of the Young Democratic Club of the District of Columbia, as a member of its legislative committee.
The Young Democratic Club of the District of Columbia is an organization composed of approximately 500 young men and women (nearly all of the men being veterans) in the District of Columbia, who are actively interested in governmental affairs and have organized to foster and perpetuate the ideals and principles of the Democratic Party.
Although our organization is located in the District of Columbia, over 80 percent of the members maintain a voting residence in various States throughout the country.
At a regular meeting of the club on June 27, 1949, a resolution was unanimously passed to urge the House of Representatives to take prompt action and pass the Kefauver home-rule bill, S. 1527, for the District of Columbia.
Mr. HARRIS. Thank you very much, Mr. Fadler.
I might say to you and the other witnesses that are to come that we would certainly ask you a great many questions that might arise during the course of your testimony, some of which would be repetitious, and in an effort to close our hearings we will defer asking such questions if it would be satisfactory.