페이지 이미지

when I realize that many fine men in the Senate are willing to nibble away the strong arm of the Senate.

The adoption of rule XXII was a compromise and now again the opponents of rule XXII want to compromise the compromise. Where will this stop, what will be left for freemen to defend ?

Is there any question in anyone's mind that the Senate was selected as the body where the smallest State shall have the same rights and powers of the largest; where any group of small States could protect and defend themselves against political domination by combinations of sister States.

Have we forgotten that Senators are the ambassadors of sovereign States to a creation of these sovereign States? We must stop this nibbling of senatorial power and dignity.

Many years ago Stalin told publisher Roy Howard:

The people of the Soviet Union will not use force to alter the governments of the surrounding states; the people of the surrounding states will do that themselves. Are forces working to make that monster's prophecy come true in our land? This is the question both the Senate and the Supreme Court should now be asking themselves.

I am confident that there are no Communists in the United States Senate or Supreme Court. I am just as certain that there are Members of both bodies who refuse to recognize the horrible fate that certainly awaits us, at the end of these primrose paths of compromise and departure from the basic truths and principles of this Republic.

To those who would help destroy the deliberative power of our Senate, I respectfully urge that they mark well and remember the words of Palme Dutt, the British Marxist historian and doctor of political science, uttered earlier in this century:

If the sequence of events unfolds as the Communists plan and anticipate, and if these plans are carried into successful execution, the world or most of the world will indeed attain political unity before the close of the present century.

Is this the unity we seek?

Is it the unity that was sought after on the bloody streets of Budapest, Poznan, or East Berlin?

Can the enemies of either rule XXII, or the enemies of unlimited free senatorial debate, point out a single remaining free nation that would not willingly trade their lot for ours, take what we have, what we have achieved under our form of government in exchange for what they have to offer?

That we ourselves fail to understand the perils of these changes and compromises is sad to contemplate. We have softened. We have compromised, but at least it can be hoped that it is not too late and we can still turn the tide of political expediency and compromise back to what we were meant to be.

We cannot be of much help to a world half slave and half free, if we enslave ourselves by defaulting on our constitutional obligations to keep a strong legislative branch of government to curb the excesses of an ambitious or compromising executive, or judiciary.

Can the Congress, in truth, declare that “Marry in haste and repent at leisure” has become a shopworn admonition? For a Senator to court or marry this weakening of the Senate by a change in rule XXII will condemn the American people to untold years of agonizing


repentence. Where this evil would stop, nobody knows or could dare to predict.

"Stop, look and listen” has saved countless lives. To destroy the right of a Senate minority to have their opportunity to make the Senate refrain from haste and to “Stop, look and listen” can save the life of our Republic, when that occasion arises.

In 1937, when the Franklin Roosevelt court-packing plan started real senatorial spine stiffening, the words “spineless puppets” were often heard. First, to describe the judges Roosevelt was going to pack the court with, and then later the Members of the Senate Roosevelt was going to back if his purge revenge plan had succeeded. I now implore you to look long and hard at the prospect of allowing yourselves to degenerate into legislative, spineless puppets by voluntary surrender of your independence insurance as it is provided by Senate rule XXII.

Has our preoccupation with material success made us blind to the values of patient and honest cultivation of mind and character? We who have the remarkable record of leading the world in economic prosperity, also have the unenviable record of leading the world in reckless tampering with our freedom.

If our Republic fails to fulfill the high hopes of the men who founded it and sustained it in its days of weakness and trial, then the fault will be with us of the generation that has seemingly lost the inspiration of their ideals.

Chip and nibble away the powers of the Congress and then we go through the meaningless forms of democratic government in vain, if we have lost the sense and meaning of individual and collective responsibility, the cement that prevents freedom from crumbling into license.

That is why I have spoken in defense of rule XXII; it does help preserve your, and my sense of individual responsibility for the good of all the Nation.

Senator TALMADGE. Any questions, Senator?

Senator JAVITS. I just hope the witness will state for the record what is the Federation for Constitutional Government. Is it a membership organization ?

Mr. BARR. It is not a membership organization. It is a group that has formed together by voluntary expression.

Senator JavitS. Isit local in New Orleans? Mr. Barr. No, sir. It has substantial support from every State in the Nation with the exception of two.

Senator Javits. Does it have dues-paying members? It has members?

Mr. Barr. It is not a membership organization. Senator Javits. Thank you. Mr. BARR. But it has expression of interests, not solicited but merely from our literature that we send out.

Senator TALMADGE. Thank you very much for appearing and making your statement.

That is the aye and nay call for the Senate. I understand we are to vote on the Austrian treaty. If it is satisfactory with you, we will recess for 20 minutes. Thank you for appearing.


Senator TALMADGE. The subcommittee will come to order.

Senator Javits. I have a statement from a constituent in New York to go into the record. Howard Norman Mantel.

Senator TALMADGE. I have several insertions for the record at this point. A petition from St. Louis, Mo. Another petition from Miami, Fla. And several statements from organizations—3 from councils of the Sons and Daughters of Liberty; 1 from Pride of the Park Council, No. 15, of Farmington, N. J.; 1 from the Lafayette Council, No. 27 of Riverside, R. I.; and 1 from the State Council of Ohio, the American Education Association; the Anti-Communist League of America, Inc.; and a petition from Tallahassee, Fla. They will all be inserted in the record.

(The communications referred to above may be found in the appendix: Statements from organizations in exhibit 2, and petitions in exhibit 4.)

Senator TALMADGE. The next witness is Mr. John J. Gunther, legislative representative for Americans for Democratic Action.

You may proceed at will.



Mr. GUNTHER. I have a very short statement. I realize the Senate is in session, and I have no desire to detain you longer than to simply put our position into the record.

I am John J. Gunther, legislative representative of Americans for Democratic Action. I appear here today on behalf of ADA to urge that the practice of majority rule be restored in the United States Senate.

ADA has a long record of support for majority rule. Each convention of the organization since 1949 has adopted resolutions urging the Senate to amend its rule XXII to provide for majority cloture. We have on several previous occasions presented testimony before the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, urging amendment of rule XXII to provide for majority cloture. We have appeared before the platform committees of the Democratic and Republican Parties in support of this proposition.

I might add there, Mr. Chairman, we have had some good fortune in appearing before the platform committees. Not only did we think we did some work in educating the public and the press and delegates, but, actually, the Democratic platform of 1952 and 1956 took notice of the fact that witnesses had appeared and urged that the rules be changed.

The filibuster stands as a constant threat to democratic procedure in America. Combine the filibuster with section 3 of rule XXII (which bars any debate limit on rules change) and the concept of the Senate as a continuing body with continuing rules, and you establish minority rule in the Senate. The protection of minority rights is no justification for such a grant of minority tyranny.

ADA supports Senate Resolution 17, a proposal introduced by Senators Douglas, Ives, and others to provide for a workable cloture rule. Under this proposal, two-thirds of those Senators present and voting could limit debate within 2 or 3 days, while a majority of those Senators “duly chosen and sworn” could limit debate after 15 days.

And section 3 of rule XXII would be repealed by the Douglas-Ives measure.

We want to make one thing clear: There is a difference between extended debate and the filibuster Extended debate has as its purpose education and delay so as to permit the Senate and the country to become fully aware of what is before the Senate. The filibuster has only one purpose to prevent a vote. We say "prevent a vote” rather than "delay à vote" because that is the fact. The Senate has been prevented from voting on civil-rights legislation by the filibuster. The Senate has never voted on a civil-rights bill on its merits since the filibuster became an institution just prior to American entrance into World War I.

We would like to see a rule which would permit cloture by a majority of those present and voting in the Senate.

I would say, members of the committee, that while ADA has supported majority rule, we do not urge a rule which would permit cloture by majority vote after 1 or 2 days. When we support cloture by majority vote, we don't care whether the vote is 1 month or 2 months after the debate starts. What we want is a vote somewhere down along the line at some point. We think it would be unrealistic to permit a couple of years of debate before a vote, because the Senate wouldn't be able to do any other work. Our plea is : Let the Senate vote.

If there are the votes in your subcommittee and committee for cloture by majority vote, we hope such will be reported to the Senate. However, we believe that the Douglas-Ives proposal, which permits a majority of the entire membership of the Senate to limit debate, is a reasonable step in the right direction.

Senator JayiTS. Let me understand you. When you say 60, 90, and so forth, you are talking about a majority of those present and voting? Mr. GUNTHER. That is right.

Senator Javits. But you are testifying in precise support of Senate Resolution 17, the Douglas-Ives resolution,

Mr. GUNTHER. That is correct, Senator. That would permit 2 weeks' debate after the cloture was introduced and an hour for each Senator, and we would have no objection to the proposal made by Senator Case to permit Senators to yield that time.

Senator JAVITS. That is right.

Mr. GUNTHER. Our real purpose is to suggest at some point voting, not a limitation on debate, but at some point voting.

We oppose Senate Resolution 30, the Johnson-Knowland proposal, for three reasons. One, the change in the cloture rule from twothirds of the entire membership to two-thirds of those present and voting would not be a significant step forward. Second, because it would attempt to negate the effect of Vice-President Nixon's opinion of last January and impose upon all future Senates the noxious concept that a majority in the Senate cannot exercise the explicit constitutional right to make the rules for that body. And, third, because it would retain section 3 of rule XXII.

Great progress has been made toward gaining majority rule in the Senate. The vote this past January in support of Senator Anderson's motion to proceed to the consideration of Senate rules was most encouraging. There seems to be little doubt but that in January of 1959 or in January of 1961 the Senate will exercise its constitutional right to adopt rules by majority vote. We don't know at that point, Senator, whether they will adopt the rule we want, but we think they will at least exercise the right that we believe they have to adopt some rules.

The Johnson-Knowland proposal appears to us to be an attempt to head off the Senate exercise of majority rule by making a paper compromise on cloture and binding all present Members of the Senate at least morally from exercising their rights under the Constitution at the opening of each new Senate.

As we have pointed out, ADA has been urging amendment of rule XXII since 1949. We still support its amendment. However, we respectfully urge that the Senate, in an attempt to curb the filibuster, not fall into the trap which we see in the Johnson-Knowland proposal to perpetuate minority rule.

We would hope, Mr. Chairman, that while we would like to see action as soon as possible on a change in the rules, we would hope that this change in the rules would not be considered simultaneously on the floor with the civil-rights bill. We would think that this would only confuse the issue. We would rather see the civil-rights bill debated using all the rules of the Senate that are there to try to get it through. We think that the rules matter can be considered separately and we hope that the two don't become so intermixed that the people of the country won't know what is going on in the United States Senate.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Senator TALMADGE. Any questions?
Senator JAVITS. No questions.

Senator TALMADGE. Thank you very much, Mr. Gunther. We appreciate your appearing. We will go into executive session at this point.

(Whereupon, at 12:15 p. m., the committee went into executive session.)

« 이전계속 »