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When this became evident, opponents of the appropriation called again “ That the question formerly [i. e., previously) proposed by Mr. Hampden should be put', which seemed to meet with a concurrence. Mr. Hyde then stood up, and desired 'that question might not be put.'" There was no satisfaction in it, he said, for those who would support a smaller appropriation. So Hyde proposed "that the question might be put only upon giving the King a supply; which, being carried in the affirmative, another question might be upon the proportion and the manner."
At the suggestion of the Speaker, Mr. Hyde formally "moved that the question might be put.'” There followed, says Clarendon, “a confused clamor and call, 'Mr. Hampden's question,' 'Mr. Hyde's question,' the call appearing much stronger for the last than the former; and it was generally believed that the question had been put and carried in the affirmative * * * if Sir H. Vane, the Secretary, had not stood up and said * * * that the putting and carrying that question could be of no use.” The King, Sir Henry (his recognized spokesman) asserted, would accept nothing that deviated from the amount and manner laid down in his message.
That remark may possibly have sent Charles I to his death, for the House at once adjourned; the adjournment without voting funds caused the King to dissolve Parliament next day, and its successor—the Long Parliament-contained his executioners. The pertinent fact is that the House of Commons had before it two competing motions for the previous question, both of them designed to force an immediate vote on the main question. One was designed to force a vote on the main question and kill it; the other to force a vote on one-half of it and carry it. Not only were these purposes set forth plainly by Lord Clarendon, but he repeated the affirmative intent in lamenting the dissolution of Parliament next day. Sir Henry Vane, he wrote, “had been the only cause that a supply was not voted the day before, by his hindering such a question to be put" (Clarendon, History of the Rebellion, 1888 edition, edited by Macrae, I, pp. 103n, 180–182).
Prior to 1640 the previous question had been moved only twice, resulting in cloture both times. In the next 60 years it was moved more than 700 times, resulting in cloture nearly 500 times. The evidence now presented, of affirmative intent behind the affirmative results, depends, of course on the accuracy with which the Earl of Clarendon recorded the purposes and utterances of Mr. Edward Hyde. Nobody was in a better position to know them, since Lord Clarendon and Mr. Hyde were one and the same person. Yours sincerely,
IRVING BRANT. Senator TALMADGE. The next witness is Mr. George S. Montgomery, Jr., of New York City.
STATEMENT OF GEORGE S. MONTGOMERY, JR., FOR AMERICA,
NEW YORK, N. Y.
Senator JAVITS. May I say, Mr. Montgomery, we are sorry to have detained you so long. We hope it hasn't inconvenienced you.
Mr. MONTGOMERY. Thank you. I appreciate the privilege of being here. I regard it not only as a privilege but as a duty because I think that the issues involved here cut very deep as to the future of the United States Senate and the American nation.
I am an attorney in the city of New York. I am associated with certain organizations, 2 or 3 of which I think are vitally interested in the subject of your hearings.
One is a closely knit organization called For America. It is a nonpartisan organization for political action. It has perhaps less than 40,000 voluble supporters. I think there are many more throughout the country who are entirely in sympathy with our objectives. The officers of this organization are the national director, former Governor
of Utah, J. Bracken Lee; cochairmen, Dean Clarence Manion, and Dan Smoot of Dallas, Tex.
The executive director is Gen. Bonner Fellers here in Washington. We have a national policy committee of about 100.
There has been no resolution taken by the supporters of the organization. There was a press release made in March at a meeting of the national committee stating the wishes of For America that the Eisenhower civil rights program be defeated.
I am a member of the national policy committee and of the finance committee.
I am also a member of the interim committee for independent political action, which is a continuation or an outgrowth of the committee that backed the campaign of T. Coleman Andrews and Thomas Werdel last fall. In spite of the fact that the campaign got underway at the 23d hour, and the ticket was on merely a handful of States, we believe that the actual count of votes during that panic-stricken time reached nearly a million. I do not pretend to speak either for For America or for the independent political action committee. My views will be my own.
I place on the record my associations for what they are worth. I will make my views very clear as to the acceptance of any of the proposals here for the tightening of the rules of cloture by saying that if I had my way, the Senate would return to the traditions of 111 years, from 1806 to 1917, when the principle of unlimited freedom of debate existed.
With that reactionary point of view you may well understand what I think of the initial impairment of that principle in 1917. I think it was unnecessary. I think it was abortive. I think it was unfortunate.
By some miracle in 1949 the defenders of freedom actually won a victory. While the rules of cloture were extended to cover matters other than passing on a measure, the principle of unlimited debate with respect to amendment of rules was preserved and the two-thirds of those present and voting requirement was raised to two-thirds of the constitutional membership.
I have heard a great deal this morning by witnesses who preceded me as to the undemocratic principles under which the United States Senate was operating. I want to say, Mr. Chairman, that I do not, I hope I do not live in the sort of democracy that has been described here this morning.
In the Nation in which I live, that of a limited Republic, the principle of rule by majority has very limited application. There are rights of States and rights of individuals which cannot be impaired by any majority, even 99 percent, and when the Senate of the United States chooses to have absolute freedom of speech and debate, I think that is a tradition to which we should return.
I believe that freedom of debate and speech in the Senate is of far greater importance than those five instances in the Constitution which require a two-thirds vote.
I might introduce a little reverse English here when I say that the restrictions on impeachment have for 25 years become more and more irksome to me individually, reaching an emotional peak in this month of June 1957. However, going back to the strange victory in 1949 of the defenders of freedom, we find that those who would curtail
debate in the Senate soon discovered the mistake that had been made, and so in 1951 you will find the forces at work to correct that defeat.
The hearings in October 1951, before your Rules Committee, Mr. Chairman, make very interesting reading. I would say that there has perhaps been no evidence anywhere else, any record in the Senate and House, where the genuflection to pressure groups is more apparent.
I could take 6 months, if I were filibustering in the Senate, to discuss the material in the report of the hearings of October 1951. I will only make two comments.
In the first place, and I am putting this on the record, one of the pressure groups that appeared in 1951—and I assume will appear again this year—was the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. I want the record to show that the backing of that organization contains among its officers and directors, a majority of individuals with Communist-front affiliations of from 1 to 72. I am not making that as a casual smear because it will fit in later to what I am going to say.
The second part of that record, Mr. Chairman, which I wish to supplement, arose from the testimony of a union official who came before this committee and proposed that this committee study a method whereby the character of the Senate could be changed by a parliamentary trick from a continuing body into a body which wrote its rules by majority vote at the beginning of each session.
Now, this union official has every right to present his views before a committee, but I must say when the temporary chairman of that committee, the then Senator from Connecticut, joined in the pursuit of this solution, the result was not very edifying.
I want further to supplement the record in 1951, and by coincidence the record of this morning, because in both cases this union official stated that he was qualified to talk about what went on in Stalin's mind because he had been in Soviet Russia.
I want the record to show that the union official went to Russia, as evidenced by letters that have come back and are now in public domain, as an avid supporter of Communist principles, and in these letters to his relatives and friends, he expressed himself as hardly able to wait until he could get back to this country to build Communist principles here.
I want the record to show that. The union official was a witness here this morning, Walter Reuther.
Now, the proponents of limitation of debate in 1951 failed of success, and so in 1957 here they are again. I suppose that it will come to something like the 7-year itch. I hope it is no more permanent.
Before you now you have six resolutions. They are all roughly the same caliber that were considered in 1951, with one possible exception, and that is that strange resolution which declares a Senate rule which has been effective since 1806 to be unconstitutional.
Now, Mr. Walter Reuther this morning expressed his belief that that rule is unconstitutional, and you may believe me, sir, that I paid great attention to his words because in this day and age I believe that Walter Reuther is a greater expert in predicting what the Supreme Court is going to do than the most thoroughgoing constitutional lawyer in the country.
The proposals, sir, may be divided into three parts. They all lead to the same thing.
The first is a forthright suggestion that we place the shotgun to terminate debate in the hands of the majority. That is crazy but it is forthright. There is an artistic variation of that proposal which goes through certain preliminary machinery but arrives at the same result.
There is a second proposal that the constitutional two-thirds requirement be reduced to a constitutional majority—that is from 64 to 49.
Then you have the third type, a proposal that the two-thirds constitutional membership be changed to two-thirds of those present and voting.
Now, I wish particularly to recommend that you have nothing to do with that latter resolution. That latter resolution is sponsored, I believe, by the Senator from California.
I have been living in hope against hope and against evidence, for many years that the Senator from California would prove to be the great California conservative. My hopes have been dashed in recent weeks irreparably. In my mind the Senator from California is more properly described as the great California compromiser, and I regard that resolution as a compromise which will lead to nothing but ultimate defeat.
We have had too much of this compromise, retreat, defeat, and I would urge the stout Senators, whose names are appended to that resolution, to reconsider and withdraw their support. I would urge it particularly of the Senator from Indiana, who I know believes that there is no real distinction between the two-thirds of a constitutional membership and two-thirds of those voting. I would like to point out to him that during this period of 1917 to date, it would appear that little difference, if any, would arise from either rule.
But it has not been many years that, in my opinion both parties in Congress, the leadership of both parties, has been under common control. That was not the case during the greater part of the period from 1917. And, therefore, I would expect that an elimination of the two-thirds constitutional membership requirement might well result in unexpected differences, distasteful to the Senator from Indiana and half a dozen other Senators of his like thinking.
Another reason why I would urge the Senator from Indiana and those other Senators to have nothing to do with this compromise resolution, is because we have seen that the first compromise means ultimately, merely after a lapse of time, ultimate victory for the enemy. We have seen that, sir, in the Bricker amendment fight in 1954. After years of building up a watertight Bricker amendment that would protect the American Constitution against improper legislation, when it became apparent that the top Chief Executive elected on a Republican platform was going to betray one of the major planks of that platform by scuttling the Bricker amendment, those stout Senators in that fight determined to compromise, and what happened?
In the first place they, of course, were defeated on the watereddown resolution, and worse than that, they lost a vantage ground that had been a rallying point for millions of Americans fervently dr siring the Bricker amendment. A complete state of demoralization followed. They had to start all over again. This is the result of compromise. And if there is compromise in the acceptance of this rule, the same thing will happen. You will have a shotgun majority, after a short period, while the enemy retreats only to return.
Mr. Chairman, you are going to have a voluminous record and I do not propose to make a lengthy statement. I do not wish to duplicate other excellent statements that you will have. I merely want to focus and emphasize one question.
I want to ask this question : From whence comes this powerful drive for the curtailment of freedom of speech in the Senate? I think that the forces behind this movement are concentrated and sinister and I want to express my opinion briefly.
In the first place, let me say that I was born in the State of North Dakota. I spent the greater part of my boyhood in northern Alberta, northern Canada. I graduated from college in northern New England and from a New England law school. I have been practicing law the last 30 years in a northeastern city, the city of New York.
The only appreciable period that I have spent any substantial time south of the Mason-Dixon line was in the year 1917 when I passed several months at the United States naval airbase at Pensacola, Fla., learning to fly. We had the temerity to call it flying in those days. I shudder to think how the young jet pilot of today would describe our antics.
However, I made up quickly for that brief sojourn in southern climes by going to Europe where a good deal of time was spent in flying over the North Sea and along the coast of northern Ireland.
I delve into this presumptuous and seemingly irrelevant geographic biography to point out that the greater period of my life has been spent in areas closer to the North Pole than to the delta of the Mississippi River.
I see abroad today a poisonous propaganda that is endeavoring to make the citizens south of the Mason-Dixon line appear to be monstrous creatures not worthy to bear the name "American."
There is a best-seller novel which is touted from coast to coast, which is being touted in the films and which will be touted on television, dealing with the people of Texas and painting them, the dominant race, as modern Simon Legrees. One of our better patriotic novelists, that gentlelady, Taylor Caldwell, happened to pass through Texas after reading this novel and remarked that from the gulf coast to Oklahoma she could find no trace of any characters such as those described. And of course, she couldn't because they weren't in Texas and they are not in any State below the Mason-Dixon Line.
This effort to paint the southern citizen as a man with his heel on the prostrate Negro is one of the most criminal efforts of our life, to divide race against race, to foment a reign of terror. I believe, sir, that the group that is responsible for fomenting this reign of terror has no right whatsoever to speak for our fellow citizens, the colored race. To me the colored race has tremendous potentialities, physical, and spiritual, and I believe that they will develop them, in lines parallel and distinct, to a great future. But I do not believe that these colored citizens of ours care to follow the leadership of what I regard as a godless group of men.
You will have noticed, sir, that it is only the godless men who will play the part of God. The godless man has utter contempt for his fellow humans, and complete confidence in the infallibility of his own judgment and in the complete propriety of imposing his will on his neighbors. I do not believe that the efforts made by this little group