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Senator TALMADGE. Let me be sure that I understand your position. You say if a majority of the Senate says we have no rules, it can in fact, abolish them and write new ones.
Mr. REUTHER. I say that under the whole concept of a democratic society-and the Senate is an essential part of our democratic society, they must, of necessity, provide that the majority have the right to write the rules that will govern their relationship one to another.
Senator TALMADGE. The Senate or the Supreme Court decision, not withstanding?
Mr. REUTHER. Well, there are no Supreme Court decisions that set aside the Constitution.
Senator TALMADGE. There is a Supreme Court decision holding that the Senate is a continuing body. Of course, I disagree with the Supreme Court on many of its decisions.
Mr. REUTHER. I have noted that.
Senator Javits. Mr. Chairman, before we leave the Supreme Court decision I would like to insert into the record the opinion in McGrain v. Dougherty (273 U. S. 135), constantly referred to here which involved a completely different question, and all the Court held in that case was that the Senate had the power to revive a committee started in one Congress by action taken by the Senate in the next Congress. I don't believe that the opinion holds any such thing that the Senate is a continuing body in regard to its rules, and instead of arguing about it, I submit pertinent selections from the opinion for the record.
Senator TALMADGE. The Senate has voted on several occasions that the Senate is a continuing body. I have no objection to the insertion.
(The pertinent portion of the Supreme Court decision in McGrain v. Dougherty (273 U. S. 135, pp. 180–182) is as follows:)
* * * We conclude that the investigation was ordered for a legitimate object; that the witness wrongfully refused to appear and testify before the committee and was lawfully attached; that the Senate is entitled to have him give testimony pertinent to the inquiry, either at its bar or before the committee; and that the district court erred in discharging him from custody under the attachment.
Another question has arisen which should be noticed. It is whether the case has become moot. The investigation was ordered and the committee appointed during the Sixty-eighth Congress. That Congress expired March 4, 1925. The resolution ordering the investigation in terms limited the committee's authority to the period of the Sixty-eighth Congress; but this apparently was changed by a later and amendatory resolution authorizing the committee to sit at such times and places as it might deem advisable or necessary. It is said in Jefferson's Manual: "Neither House can continue any portion of itself in any parliamentary function beyond the end of the session without the consent of the other two branches. When done, it is by a bill constituting them commissioners for the particular purpose.” But the context shows that the reference is to the two houses of Parliament when adjourned by prorogation or dissolution by the King. The rule may be the same with the House of Representatives, whose members are all elected for the period of a single Congress; but it cannot well be the same with the Senate, which is a continuing body whose members are elected for a term of six years and so divided into classes that the seats of onethird only become vacant at the end of each Congress, two-thirds always continuing into the next Congress, save as vacancies may occur through death or resignation.
Mr. Hinds in his collection of precedents says: “The Senate, as a continuing body, may continue its committees through the recess following the expiration of a Congress”; 23 and, after quoting the above statement from Jefferson's Manual, he
21 Congressional Record, 68th Congress, 1st session, p. 4126. 22 Senate Rules and Manual, 1925, p. 303. 23 Vol. 4, sec. 4544.
says: "The Senate, however, being a continuing body, gives authority to its committees during the recess after the expiration of a Congress.' So far as we are advised the select committee having this investigation in charge has neither made a final report nor been discharged; nor has it been continued by an affirmative order. Apparently its activities have been suspended pending the decision of this case. But, be this as it may, it is certain that the committee may be continued or revived now by motion to that effect, and, if continued or revived, will have all its original powers. This being so, the Senate being a continuing body, the case cannot be said to have become moot in the ordinary sense * * *.
Senator TALMADGE. Now, one other point, Mr. Reuther. It requires two-thirds of the Senate to propose an amendment to the Constitution, does it not?
Mr. REUTHER. That is correct. That is 1 of those 5 specific exceptions that the Founding Fathers wrote into the Constitution.
Senator TALMADGE. If the Senate saw fit by sheer force of numbers, it could submit a constitutional amendment by a simple majority, could it not?
Mr. REUTHER. Well, the Senate can't amend—they could initiate a constitutional amendment but it would have to follow the due process as outlined in the Constitution.
Senator TALMADGE. And the courts have held that one cannot go behind the rollcall. So, if the Senate were completely devoid of character, it could submit a constitutional amendment by 49 votes. That is the same as the suggestion you make on Senate rules. I am not advocating it, but that is what you are suggesting for Senate rules.
Mr. REUTHER. I maintain when a majority of the people in any deliberative body makes a set of rules by majority action, that is not being irresponsible. That is not being arbitrary. That is merely exercising the responsibility of the democratic majority. It is when the minority blocks the will of the majority that you are dealing with irresponsibility.
And this is precisely what rule XXII—why are you opposed to majority rule in the United States Senate, Senator Talmadge?
Senator TALM. DGE. It would take me about 2 hours to tell you. Mr. REUTHER. I already know. You don't have to state it.
Senator TALMADGE. I will have plenty of time to state my views but today we want to hear your views.
Mr. REUTHER. I am very happy to give them. I am glad to have the opportunity.
Senator Javits. Would you yield at this point? We are delighted to hear your views and they are very enlightening. In deference to our colleague, Senator Clark from Pennsylvania, who is now here, how much longer do you think you will take?
Mr. REUTHER. About 2 minutes. I would like to point out while supporting Senate Resolution 17, we oppose Senate Resolution 30 because we do not believe that it comes to grips with the basic problem. Senate Resolution 30 would substitute in place of the 64 votes required for cloture a two-thirds vote of those present and voting.
Now, that may sound like it is some relief but when you look at a practical situation, if you take the situation on January 4, 1957, at which time Senator Anderson's motion on the abolition of rule XXII was on the floor of the Senate, there were 93 Senators present and voting. Thirty-eight voted one way, 55 voted the other way, which means that two-thirds of 93 present and voting is 62. So you get a reduction from 64 to 62; this really is of no real importance and that is why we think that that resolution 30 is not the answer.
24 Vol. 4, sec. 4545. 25 Hinds' Precedents, Vol. 4, secs. 4396, 4400, 4404, 4405.
Senate Resolution 30 also tends to nail down this concept that the Senate of one Congress can bind into eternity future Senates, which we think is unconstitutional.
We believe that the establishment of majority rule is a top priority matter in terms of the Senate rules of procedure. In 1953 there were 21 votes against rule XXII. In 1957 there were 41. So we made great progress in that period. We lacked 7 votes. The people of America Iacked 7 Senators willing to vote for majority rule.
I, personally, believe that with the work of this committee, with the work of other groups in America, between now and 1959, when the new Senate is organized, we ought to be able to find the other seven Senators who are willing to commit themselves to majority rule and the abolition of rule 22. We urge your committee to make such recommendations to the Senate because we believe that the abolition of rule 22 will establish majority rule of the United States Senate and make the Senate a more responsive, more responsible body in terms of basic civil-rights legislation and other important legislation. It will better equip the American Government to deal with the many complex and challenging problems that we must face and find answers to in this period when freedom and tyranny are engaged in a life and death struggle.
Senator TALMADGE. I want to congratulate you on your presentation, Mr. Reuther.
There is one thing you brought up about which I would like to ask you 1 or 2 very brief
questions. You told how in your travels you found considerable opinion to the effect that our failure to do certain things in the field of civilrights legislation was being used against us in the world struggle.
Now, was it the contention of the persons with whom you spokeor is it your contention—that there is more freedom in Russia and the other Communist countries than there is in America?
Mr. REUTHER. Senator Talmadge, my understanding of what tyranny is like is not an academic matter. I haven't read it in a book. I have lived under Hitler. I have worked in trying to help build the German underground, the fight against fascism and Nazi tyranny. I have lived in the Soviet Union and worked there as a technician. When the Ford Motor contracted to build the model A plant, because I had done tooling in the Ford Rouge plant, I went over there as a technician. I lived under Hitler and I lived under Stalin's tyranny, and I say, while the Russian people may have made progress economically, they may have more bread than they had under the czar because they have industrialized their country, they do not have more freedom.
I told the people of India that this is the essential difference between what we are trying to do and what the Russians are trying to do: We want to get food into the people's stomachs without putting their soul in chains. We want more economic betterment. We want better living standards. But we want more human freedom, more spiritual freedom, and the Communists don't give you any of this.
Senator TALMADGE. Then you do not think we have to apologize to Russia or any other Communist state about our freedom?
Mr. REUTHER. I do not think we ought to apologize to the Russians or the Communists anywhere about America, but I do think we have
got some homework to do to square America's promises and to abolish its ugly practices. I say it is wrong.
I happened to be born in the world with one color of skin. I don't think that God thinks I am a special person in his eyes. I think that I am no better nor worse than anybody else and I say when the laws of man block the operation of the laws of God in man's relationship to man, that is wrong and that is what is happening in America, and that is the thing you can't explain to people all over the world.
I just happened to think that freemen can win out over tyranny, but I think we have got to work at some of our unfinished jobs in America, and civil rights, I think, is one of our most important and serious problems. We have got to find a way to get over it. I personally believe, Senator Talmadge, that the people in the South want to work this out, too. I don't think the people in the South are bad people. I know thousands of them. I have great respect for them. I, personally, think that, if given a chance, the people of the South want to work this problem out just as much as I do.
Senator TALMADGE. I agree with you and they are working it out. I happen to know the members of your union down there and they are very fine folks.
Mr. REUTHER. They sure are.
Senator JAVITs. You have a provocative and perfectly magnificent statement, very well prepared, and very illuminating, even to people who have been through this, they thought, from stem to stern.
I have just two questions. Senator Clark is waiting. We wish to hear from him very promptly.
One is this. Is it a fact, in response to Senator Talmadge's question, about tyranny in the Soviet Union, that to people in areas where there isn't a tremendous amount of sophistication in world affairs, it is easy to say a plague on both your houses because of the breakdown of civil rights and the presence of discrimination because of color in certain areas of the United States, not alone in the South but very heavily in the South, and that is really the essence of your argument, not that anybody would equate the tyranny in the Soviet Union with the freedom in our country.
Mr. REUTHER. That is right. You see, if you can sit down and list all the virtues of America and the lack of virtues in the Soviet Union, you could have a checklist and go over these things, there is no question about where we will come out. But here we are dealing with this emotional thing. The Communists keep throwing it at us. They don't have to give any answers, they just keep accusing us. The problem we have, we do have, we do have a problem in America that gives them a tremendous emotional and psychological weapon with which to beat us over the head.
Senator TALMADGE. They also complain about our capitalistic system, among other things.
Mr. REUTHER. That isn't giving us any trouble because you know I know something about capitalism and I know something about their kind of system. Frankly, I would rather bargain with General Motors than with Uncle Sam. “I said many times at least they don't have an Army.
Senator TALMADGE. I agree.
Senator Javits. You know, Mr. Reuther, it is hard for many people to understand when liberals are very passionately devoted to private enterprise. You are giving the answer.
Just one question further, and then I have nothing further to ask you.
From your great experience here, what do you think of the chances for civil-rights legislation in this session of Congress if we don't do something about rule XXII?
Mr. REUTHER. Senator Javits, I have given this matter a great deal of serious thought because I am concerned about this matter. After all, this is my country and my children are growing up here and I happen to think that America is the last best hope of freemen everywhere. If we don't do these jobs here, the world is in trouble. I, personally, think that the United States Senate has before it now a billthey will postpone actual debate now for a couple of weeks but very shortly you will be debating the bill that was passed in the House and it relates to civil rights. I believe that when that bill comes out, the Senate of the United States ought to resolve and ought to so advise the American people that you are going to have full debate and that if a minority attempts by the technique of filibuster to block the will of the majority, the majority ought to serve notice upon the minority that if it takes all summer, you are going to sweat out the filibuster.
I think you ought to have a couple of weeks of normal sessions and then step it up on a 2-shift basis, about 16 hours a day, and then get it on a swing-shift basis around the clock and wear out the filibusterers, and outlast the filibuster and permit the majority to vote.
I think that the majority has the moral right of staying with this and sweating out the filibuster. And I think that if the majority lets it be known that that is what is going to happen, you will take some of the incentive and initiative out of the filibusterers. I think that if that is done, this Congress can go home with a civil-rights bill on the statute books.
President Eisenhower is committed to sign it and America will have delivered a powerful blow against immorality at home and a powerful blow against Communist propaganda in the world.
Senator Javits. You have got some Senators with you.
Senator Clark has been waiting for some time. We are very happy to have you with us, Senator. STATEMENT OF HON. JOSEPH S. CLARK, A UNITED STATES
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA Senator Clark. Senator Talmadge and Senator Javits, I appreciate very much the opportunity to appear before you this morning, and also the opportunity of listening. I am frankly happy that I had to wait awhile because it gave me an opportunity to listen to that splendid presentation by Mr. Reuther whose views I find strikingly similar to my own, and since they are, I shall be very brief with you gentlemen this morning.
In my opinion, an early revision of rule XXII would be a great service to the Senate, to the American people and to the democratic