페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

that I got exactly 7 votes on 3 of the measures, and that only 1 of them was passed.

Mr. President, if I were assured that after this appeal had been decided my colleagues on the other side would make a sincere effort to carry out the wishes of President Truman. I would not take the few minutes I am taking. I have a definite idea as to their intentions. I wish to make perfectly clear the reason why I shall vote to overrule the decision of the Vice President yesterday afternoon.

In the first place, North Dakota holds a rather peculiar distinction. At the time rule XXII was adopted, that grand and popular Viking, the late Senater Gronna, of North Dakota, was 1 of 3 Senators to vote against it. Also at that time there was in the Senate a man who was beloved all over the country and particularly by the people of North Dakota. I refer to the late Senator Robert La Follette, Sr., one of the fighting champions and one of the greatest-in be half of the common people. Mr. La Follette was elected to the Senate in 1905. Because he had a lieutenant governor who disagreed with him politically he waited until 1906 before he came to the Senate. In 1917, 11 long years after Mr. La Follette first became a Member of this body, the question of cloture came up.

Mr. President, I believe that no other question which has arisen in the Senate during the 8 years I have been a Member has resulted in my receiving more telegrams and more telephone calls than I have received in this case, after announcing a few days ago that I would vote not to sustain the anticipated ruling of the Vice President.

In order that my position may be very clear, I wish to say that I fully agree with the late Robert La Follette, Sr. On March 8, 1917, in speaking of rule XXII, just before the vote took place, Mr. La Follette said:

"With a rule such as is here proposed in force at that time, with an iron hand laid upon this body from outside, with a Congress that in 3 years has reduced itself to little more than a rubber stamp, let me ask you, Mr. President, if you do not think a rule of this sort would be bound to be pretty effective cloture? Especially is that true as some of the proposed legislation was of a character that appealed to certain Senators upon this side of the Chamber who, coming from States where the manufacture of munitions is a mighty important industry, are impressed with legislation that benefits the interests they represent?"

Mr. La Follette continued-and I invite this to the attention of every man who pretends to be a progressive. Everyone who has studied history knows that Rome, after 450 fine years, fell when Julius Caesar made himself a dictator and when he subjugated the Roman Senate to his will. The English Parliament was strong for many hundred years, until Gladstone succeeded in abolishing the right of free discussion, at the time when the matter of freedom for Ireland came up for debate in Parliament.

I read at this time what Senator La Follete said when a proposal for cloture was before the Senate 32 years ago :

"Mr. President, believing that I stand for democracy, for the liberties of the people of this country, for the perpetuation of our free institutions, I shall stand while I am a Member of this body against any cloture that denies free and unlimited debate. Sir, the moment that the majority iinposes the restriction contained in the pending rule upon this body, that moment you will have dealt a blow to liberty, you will have broken down one of the greatest weapons against wrong and oppression that the Members of this body possess. This Senate is the only place in our system where, no matter what may be the organized power behind any measure to rush its consideration and to compel its adoption, there is a chance to be heard, where there is opportunity to speak at length, and where, if need be, under the Constitution of our country and the rules as they stand today, the constitutional right is reposed in a Member of this body to halt a Congress or a session on a piece of legislation which may undermine the liberties of the people and be in violation of the Constitution which Senators have sworn to support. When you take that power away from the Members of this body, you let loose in a democracy forces that in the end will be heard elsewhere, if not here."

I have not time to quote all of Mr. La Follette's speech. He gave one or two quotations. Here is one from a former Senator from Indiana, Senator Turpie, who, some 50 years previously, had made a statement in regard to limitation of debate. This is what Senator Turpie said:

"I heard this body characterized the other day as a voting body. I disclaim that epithet very distinctly. I have heard it described elsewhere as a debating body. I disclaim that with equal disfavor. This body is best determined by its principal characteristics. The universal law and genius of language have given a name to this body derived from its principal attribute. It is a deliberative body-the greatest deliberative body in the world."

That was the first time, so far as I have been able to ascertain, that that description of the United States Senate was given. He continued :

"Now, voting is an incident to deliberation, and debate is an incident to deliberation; but when a body is chiefly characterized as deliberative there is much deliberation apart from discussion and debate, and wholly apart from what is called the business of voting.

“The essence and the spirit of a body like ours, now over a century old, may be best gathered from its rules of action, the body of law governing it always very small, now very brief. Of the 21 rules properly affecting parliamentary procedure in this body 11 relate to the subject of deliberation. More than one-half relate exclusively to that subject and have nothing to do with debate or voting. I suppose that the form of law under which the will of the majority must control this body embraces at least the rules which govern us. Here is rule XXII, one which touches us every day. I think it is the most frequently operative of any rule in the Senate."

Mr. President, after referring to the pledges made by the Republican Party, which they did not keep, I now call attention to the Democratic Party-whose members now say that they stand for civil rights. Mr. Truman was a member of this body for 5 years. What does the cold record show as to what he did for civil rights? Did he lead any fight for them in this body, Mr. President? I was here during those 5 years. He did not lead one fight for them. Where is he today? He is not in Washington. Mr. President, he is out fishing, in Florida. That shows his great interest in this matter.

Oh Mr. President, these Negro votes are very fine on election day. Apparently the Democrats think they have to make a showing for civil rights this year and perhaps next year and perhaps the year after that--but not a serious effort to get these civil-rights measures enacted; and the effort here these past 10 days has not been serious.

Mr. PEPPER. Mr. President, will the Senator yield for a question ? Mr. LANGER. I refuse to yield at this time; I thank the Senator. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota declines to yield. Mr. LANGER. Mr. President, the effort has not been serious. I imagine the Senator from Florida might give us some of Mr. Truman's votes on various measures. I think that he voted right when it came time to vote; but at no time did he lead a fight for civil rights.

Mr. President, what a difference. When 2 or 3 times at the last session I tried to prevent the passage of a bill which, under selective service, would draft the last remaining son of a family whose two other sons had been killed in the service, the Members of the Senate stayed here and had 2 sessions all night long--2 long, long night sessions. But I have not seen any so far this session, Mr. President. So far in this session we have worked no later than 8 or 9 or 10 o'clock at night, and then we have quit until the next day at noon, not 11 o'clock. I, for one, want to make it very plain that at any time that the Democrats really want to pass these civil-rights measures, I am prepared to stay here all night or stay here a week or a month in order to enact the civil-rights program that Harry Truman has advocated since he has become President.

Not long ago the distinguished Senator from New York (Mr. Ives) said he thought he was perhaps as good a friend of civil rights as was any other Senator upon this floor. I think he is correct. I wish to say that during the 8 years I have been here, I have voted for every bill, without exception, calling for the establishment of civil rights in this country. So today I wish to make it very plain that when I vote to override the decision of the Vice President I am still a firm, fighting friend of civil rights-just as strong a friend of civil rights as I ever was; and if the Democrats will begin tomorrow or Monday with a really serious, honest effort to carry out Mr. Truman's civil-rights program, I assure my friend the distinguished majority leader (Mr. Lucas) that he will find me voting with him every single time. I hope the Democratic Party will do that. I hope they begin on it right away, and never quit until they secure the enactment of that civil-rights program. I think they will receive a great deal of support from Senators on this side of the aisle.

Mr. President, apropos of the telegrams and telephone calls on this matter which have been received by Senators-and two of those communications are rather threatening, especially one from New York-I wish to say that it seems to me that the people who sent those messages do not really understand the problem we face here, which was so clearly set forth today by the distinguished senior Senator from Michigan [Mr. Vandenberg].

Mr. President, in closing let me say that when I came to the Senate I had no better friend than Senator Charles McNary, of Oregon, who at that time occupied the desk next to the one I now have in this Chamber. He was then the minority leader. I shall never forget when he said to me that, in his judgment, one of the greatest safeguards of democracy was the fact that the right of unlimited debate exists in this Chamber, and I remember very well that when a distinguished Senator came to me and asked me to sign a cloture petition I talked with the senior Senator from Texas [Mr. Connally], and I also secured the advice of Senator McNary, of Oregon, and I did not sign it. Certainly when a Member of the Senate like Senator La Follette, who was here 11 years, or a Member of the Senate like Senator McNary, gave me such advice, I did not sign it. I took the advice of the distinguished Senator Charles McNary, of Oregon.

Mr. CONNALLY. Mr. President, will the Senator yield for a question ?
Mr. LANGER. I yield.

Mr. CONNALLY. I wish the Senator to be correct in his statement. I am sure he did not mean to say that I asked him to sign the cloture petition, for I was against signing it.

Mr. LANGER. That is correct; the Senator from Texas was against signing it. When such a petition was brought to me and I was asked to sign it, the distinguished Senator McNary, of Oregon, joined the Senator from Texas in saying that the right of free and unlimited debate in the Senate was one of the finest things about this body.

Mr. President, again I wish to assure my friend the Senator from Illinois [Mr. Lucas], the majority leader, that if he will bring up this question of civil rights he will find no better backer than myself, and I shall be one of those who will hold up his right arm in carrying on that fight.

Mr. LUCAS. Mr. President, will the Senator yield?
Mr. LANGER. I yield.

Mr. LUCAS. Do I correctly understand that the Senator from North Dakota is in favor of the Wherry-Hayden resolution ?

Mr. LANGER. I am not certain; that is a question we shall take up after this one. So far as the question of invoking cloture by a two-thirds vote is concerned, I am not quite sure whether I favor it or am opposed to it. I may even be opposed to it. I know that I do not favor cloture by majority vote, under any consideration.

Mr. Lucas. In any event, the Senator from North Dakota is in favor of free and unlimited debate, and he has been in favor of it all the time, I understand.

Mr. LANGER. That is correct.

Mr. LUCAs. If the Senator does not favor the Wherry-Hayden resolution, why would he wish to keep us here for a month?

Mr. LANGER. I may be in favor of that resolution; I have not stated that I am opposed to it. I wish to study it and go over it. I do not wish to commit myself regarding it until I look it over and study it and hear the debate on it. I mayeven wish to offer an amendment to it.

Mr. Lucas. Mr. President, will the Senator yield further?
Mr. LANGER. I yield.

Mr. LUCAS. The Senator has been talking about breaking this filibuster, but he is in favor of free and unlimited debate. I do not quite follow his reasoning, if he is in favor of having the Senate stay here for a month and if he is in favor of free and unlimited debate.

Mr. LANGER. It is very simple. If the Senator needs help, I shall be glad to give it.

Mr. LUCAS. I shall need a great deal of help.

Mr. LANGER. All the Senator from Illinois has to do is keep the Senate in continuous session. If that is done, it will not be very long, as the Senator from Michigan said today, before we shall arrive at some understanding or agreement which will be mutually satisfactory.

Mr. Lucas. Mr. President, will the Senator yield further ? Mr. LANGER. I yield. Mr. Lucas. What the Senator says may be correct; but I am not sure that I shall be able to depend on the Senator from North Dakota, when we finally attempt to break the filibuster, to help us to break it, because he may not be in favor of the Hayden-Wherry resolution. I hope I can depend on the Senator from North Dakota' when the time comes for him to go along with us.

Mr. LANGER. I assure the Senator from Illinois that I shall go along in helping secure the enactment of the Truman civil-rights program.

Mr. LUCAS. But the Senator from North Dakota makes some qualifications in that respect.

Mr. LANGER. No; I make no qualifications. When the Senator from Illinois asks me whether I favor a resolution which I have not yet had ample opportunity to study, I say that I am not sure whether I shall favor it without the crossing a “t” or the dotting of an “i."

Mr. MAYBANK. Mr. President, will the Senator yield? Mr. LANGER. I yield. Mr. MAYBANK. The Senator from North Dakota has mentioned the name of the great Senator Bob La Follette. I wish to ask the Senator a question, because we were here together with another great Senator from the West, Senator Wheeler. I am sure the Senator from North Dakota well remembers the debates on the floor of the Senate with that distinguished Senator from Montana. I wish to remind the Senator that many a time Senator Wheeler • Mr. LANGER. Senator Wheeler stood first, last, and all the time for free and unlimited debate upon this floor.

Mr. MAYBANK. Also, as I remember, he was a candidate, along with the distinguished Senator Bob La Follette, of the liberal movement in America.

Mr. LANGER. That is right.
Mr. KNOWLAND. Mr. President, will the Senator yield for a question?
Mr. LANGER. I yield.

Mr. KNOWLAND. I wish to inquire of the able Senator from North Dakota, in view of his statement and in view of the parliamentary situation with which the Senate is faced on the question of filibustering on a motion to take up a matter, how he anticipates he will ever get a chance to vote on any civil-rights leg. islation if we cannot even get it before the Senate for a vote.

Mr. LANGER. It would be delightfully simple. Just as the Senator from Michigan said today in his magnificent address, it will be possible to enact civil-rights legislation just as soon as either party makes up its mind it is going to do itany time Republicans will make the sacrifices necessary to do it. The Senator will remember last year I brought up these Republican platform pledges. The junior Senator from Oregon rose on the floor and said he would bring up his cot every day, he would stay here a week, or a month. Just as soon as either the Republicans or the Democrats make up their minds to get the civil-rights program through it can be done. Instead of that, we adjourned for 3 days at a time until toward the end of the session. Then, in the last 2 or 3 weeks, some of us who were opposed to the drafting of our boys under selective service were kept here 2 nights before the Republican convention at Philadelphia, all tired out. We were kept in session because Senators wanted to adjourn and go to the convention. Although many days had been wasted during the month or 2 or 3 months before that, there was an adjournment 3 days ahead of time. So I close by telling the people of this country that I am unqualifiedly for the civil-rights program and will help to enact it—if only the Democratic majority will bring it up.

STATEMENT OF HON. THOMAS H. KUCHEL, A UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM THE

STATE OF CALIFORNIA [From the Congressional Record of January 4, 1957, p. 122] Mr. KUCHEL. Mr. President, the simple, fundamental issue in this debate, to my mind, is whether the Senate of the United States approves filibusters. Shorn of all legalistic argument, that is what is being decided here today.

Yesterday a number of us, from both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans, coauthored a motion, which reads:

"In accordance with article I, section 5, of the Constitution, which declares that ‘each House may determine the rules of its proceedings,' I now move that this body take up for immediate consideration the adoption of rules for the Senate of the 85th Congress."

Mr. President, that proposed motion rests upon the American Constitution, which provides that each House of the Congress may adopt its rules. The House of Representatives has seen fit, over the years, to exercise the right given to it by the Constitution. The Senate of the United States, by acquiescence, by inaction, has continued in effect, tacitly, the rules of prior years.

Mr. President, the old rules of the United States Senate have permitted filibustering, to which some of us earnestly and vigorously object. What is a filibuster? My definition would be that it is irrelevant speechmaking in the Senate, designed solely and simply to consume time, and thus to prevent a vote from being taken on pending legislation. To my mind a filibuster is an affront to the democratic processes and to the intelligence of the people of the United States.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to stop a filibuster in all instances ; and, under the old rules, absolutely impossible to stop filibusters in some instances. I refer, Mr. President, to rule XXII of the rules of the Senate. That rule provides that a constitutional two-thirds of the Members of the Senate, or 64 Senators, are required to vote in favor of so-called cloture, after which, in accordance with the rule, if 64 Senators so vote, each Senator has an additional hour of debate.

That is a higher standard than is required of the United States Senate in sitting as a court of impeachment to find a constitutional officer guilty, and to eliminate him from his official responsibilities. The Constitution of the United States provides that, sitting as a court of impeachment, the Senate of the United States shall find a man guilty merely by two-thirds of those present. That is not 64 votes. That is not a constitutional two-thirds. That, by the Constitution itself, is two-thirds of those Senators present and voting.

I also observe, for the benefit of my colleagues, that a declaration of war, requires but a majority of those present and voting in each House of the Congress of the United States. Why should we have more stringent rules to bring issues to finality?

Mr. President, there is a joker in rule XXII. It has been alluded to in this debate. The fact is that in section 3 of rule XXII, it is specifically provided that any motion to change the rules of the Senate is not subject to cloture at all; and that means, of course, it is possible to filibuster to death, ad infinitum, any motion which might be made to change the rules.

Let me again recall the sturdy words of a distinguished American citizen, a great Republican of his day, the late Vice President, Charles G. Dawes, who said years ago :

"I will state the principal objections to the Senate rules as they stand:

"1. Under these rules individuals or minorities can at times block the majority in its constitutional duty and right of legislation. They are therefore enabled to demand from the majority modifications in legislation as the price which the majority must pay in order to proceed to the fulfillment of its constitutional duty. The right of filibuster does not affect simply legislation defeated but, in much greater degree, legislation passed, continually weaving into our laws, which should be framed in the public interest alone, modifications dictated by personal and sectional interest as distinguished from the public interest.

"2. The Senate is not and cannot be a properly deliberative body, giving due consideration to the passage of all laws, unless it allots its time for work according to the relative importance of its duties, as do all other great parliamentary bodies. It has, however, through the right of unlimited debate surrendered to the whim and personal purposes of individuals and minorities its right to allot its own time. Only the establishment of majority cloture will enable the Senate to make itself a properly deliberative body. This is impossible when it must sit idly by and see time needed for deliberation frittered away in frivolous and irrelevant talk, indulged in by individuals and minorities for ulterior purposes.

“3. The rules subject the people of the United States to a governmental power in the hands of individuals and minorities never intended by the Constitution and subversive of majority rule under constitutional limitation. In the words of Senator Pepper, of Pennsylvania :

“ The Senate, by sanctioning unlimited debate and by requiring a two-thirds vote to limit it, has in effect so amended the Constitution as to make it possible for a 33-percent minority to block legislation.'

"4. The present rules put into the hands of individuals and minorities at times a power greater than the veto power given by the Constitution to the President of the United States, and enabled them to compel the President to call an extra session of Congress in order to keep the machinery of Government itself in functioning activity. The reserved power of the States in the Constitution does not include the power of one of the States to elect a Senator who shall at times control a majority or even all the other States.

"5. Multiplicity of laws is one of the admitted evils from which this country is suffering today. The present rules create multiplicity of laws.

« 이전계속 »