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Letter from Mrs. Gerald 0. Inman, director of national defense, Iowa Chapter, National Society of Huguenots.
Letter from Mrs. Gerald 0. Inman, American Constitution Party of Iowa.
Letter from Mrs. Gerald 0. Inman, director general, National Society of New England Woman.
Letter from Mrs. Gerald 0. Inman, national historian of the National Society of Children of the American Colonists.
Letter from Mrs. Gerald 0. Inman, Iowa State president of the National Society United States Daughters of 1812.
Letter from Mrs. Mary D. Cain, national chairman, of Individuals for Freedom.
Letter from Verne P. Kaub, president of American Council of Christian Laymen.
Letter from Mrs. J. J. McLaughlin, chairman of the Defenders of American Education.
Letter from Mrs. Helen P. Lasell, national chairman of the United States Flag Committee.
Letter from William D. McCain, of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Letter from Mrs. Gwen M. Schofield, of the Committee for America.
Letter from Ross K. Cook, commander general of the Military Order of the Crusades.
Letter from Percy Hamilton Goodsell, Jr., president-general of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Letter from Mrs. Leigh F. Birkeland, acting chairman, California chapter of the Minute Women of the United States of America, Inc.
Letter from F. A. Lydy, president of United Neighbors, Inc.
Letter from Julius F. Prufer, associate professor of political science and alumni director of Roanoke College.
Letter from Mrs. John W. Daniel, of Houston, Tex.
Statement from P. C. King, Jr., president, Georgia State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Letter and resolution of the Small Property Owners' Association. Resolution from Florida States Rights, Inc., of Miami, Fla. Resolution from United Mothers of America, Inc.
Resolution from the executive committee of the Western Tax Council, Inc.
Resolution from the Alabama Council of the National Society of Patriotic Women of America, Inc.
Resolution from the National Society of New England Women.
Senator Javits. May I suggest the Chair insert in the record preceding the letters submitted from citizens and organizations the text of the letter which was sent to these citizens and organizations?
Senator TALMADGE. No objection at all on my part.
Senator JAVITS. That should go in because they say "In answer to your letter of so-and-so," practically all of them.
Senator TALMADGE. You just want the text?
Senator TALMADGE. We can insert Mr. Garner's letter first and his reply and then the following letters received.
Mr. HARRISON. I suggested the use of the Garner letter because he sent the letter back with the handwriting at the bottom.
(The letter received from former Vice President Garner may be found in the appendix as part of exhibit 3, p. 360.)
Senator TALMADGE. And I have also a petition signed by a number of citizens of the State of Florida.
Senator JAVITS. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the petition be printed together with the first name.
Is that the normal practice, Mr. West?
Senator TALMADGE. No objection if you state a name and the number of other signatures affixed.
(The petition referred to may be found in the appendix as part of exhibit 4, p. 363.)
Senator TALMADGE. We have just been notified that Mr. Harold L. Putnam will be here at 11 a. m. While I do not know of any authority that has been granted to this committee to sit at that time, I have no objections.
Senator JAVITS. I have none, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Javits. Mr. Chairman, about this 11 o'clock we have to get consent. I am happy to seek it.
Senator TalMADGE. There is no objection at all on my part.
Mr. West, will you call the Majority Leader's office and tell him that Senator Javits and I would like permission to sit at 11 o'clock to hear one witness?
Senator TALMADGE. Mr. Putnam, will you have a seat, please? Sit anywhere that you are most comfortable.
This is Senator Javits from New York. I am Senator Talmadge of Georgia. This is the subcommittee which is taking testimony relating to amending Senate rule XXII. We will be happy to hear from you at this time if you are ready, sir.
Whom do you represent?
STATEMENT OF HAROLD L. PUTNAM, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY,
NATIONAL SOCIETY OF THE SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Mr. PUTNAM. My name is Harold L. Putnam, executive secretary of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Senator TALMADGE. Proceed. Mr. PUTNAM. Our interest in this particular matter is based on our overall policy, being very sure that we do everything possible to safeguard the constitutional rights of every individual.
Our interpretation of any proposal which would limit the debate in the Senate is we believe in a broad sense a certain infringement on the rights of free speech as set forth in the first amendment.
I have just returned from the 67th Annual Congress of our society, which was held in Salt Lake City, and on the 29th day of May we adopted a resolution of which I have 1 or 2 copies here which I will be glad to turn over to the committee.
This resolution was adopted by the 67th annual congress, National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, on May 29, 1957, and the resolution is entitled “To Maintain Free Debate in the Senate.”
Senator TALMADGE. Without objection, the resolution will be inserted at this point in the record.
(The resolution referred to is as follows:) Whereas maintenance of freedom of debate in the United States Senate performs the same essential function as freedom of the press, under the first amendment, in keeping the people fully informed in respect to matters which may vitally affect their freedom and the security of constitutional rights.
In recent years various attempts have been made to bring about the enactment of restricted rules in the Senate of the United States which may endanger freedom of discussion in that House of Congress.
We recognize the possibility of abuse of the right of free debate in the Senate, just as we know that freedom of the press is, at times, abused.
The alternative, which is control of debate, and may lead to a condition equivalent to censorship, is too dangerous to be seriously considered: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That we express our unalterable opposition to the enactment of any rule in the Senate which will substantially alter the right to freedom of discussion secured by Senate rule XXII.
We call upon the Rules Committee of the Senate to protect this essential right when acting on pending proposals relating to the change of that Senate rule.
Foregoing resolution adopted by 67th annual congress, National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, May 29, 1957.
Mr. PUTNAM. That was adopted unanimously.
Senator TALMADGE. For the record, what is the Sons of the American Revolution?
Mr. PUTNAM. The Sons of the American Revolution is an organization of men, descendants of those who served in the establishment of our country.
Senator TALMADGE. In other words those men who fought under George Washington?
Mr. PUTNAM. That is right.
Mr. PUTNAM. At the present time we have 19,000 members organized in 48 States, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Alaska, and a society in France.
Senator TALMADGE. Do you have an affiliated women's group, too?
Mr. PUTNAM. We do not. The Daughters of the American Revolution are entirely a separate organization. There happens to be a very close friendly relationship and cooperation, but we are not actually affiliates in any real sense.
Senator TALMADGE. No further questions.
Senator JAVITS. Mr. Putnam, are you aware of the fact that there is a limitation of debate in the Senate now?
Mr. PUTNAM. We are aware of the fact that there is some limitation.
I confess I am not thoroughly familiar with all of the rules under which you are operating at the present time, sir.
Senator Javits. Before your members adopted this resolution, was any speech made for and against this proposition developing the facts?
Mr. PUTNAM. There were some speeches made in favor but there were none against.
Senator Javits. None against?
Senator JAVITs. If you don't know, Mr. Putnam, do you think your members know whether there is any limitation of debate in the Senate?
Mr. PUTNAM. Yes, because our chancellor general in bringing this matter before the congress made some mention of that.
I do not have the exact record of what he said, but I recall that there was some mention made of it—that there was some limit of debate at the present time.
Senator Javits. Mr. Putnam, do you believe that there is free speech in the House of Representatives?
Mr. PUTNAM. I don't know that I could say that I conscientiously believe that. I believe there have been some attempts in recent years to limit some of our free speech up and down the line at various places; yes, sir.
Senator Javits. Do you believe as a fact that there is or is not free speech in the House of Representatives?
Mr. PUTNAM. I don't know that I would be able to say that I believe that there is. I am not sure that I would be prepared to say that I believe there is unlimited free speech in a complete sense.
Senator Javits. Do you consider the only kind of speech that is free to be unlimited?
Mr. PUTNAM. As we stated in our resolution, Mr. Javits, we recognize that there is going to be some abuse of that privilege the same as there is abuse of the privilege of freedom of the press and freedom of speech in our everyday life. There is bound to be some abuse, but on the other hand we feel that any curtailment of the privilege would result in greater harm than the abuses which are being practiced.
Senator JAVITS. Do you believe that your organization desires a situation by which debate can stop a measure from being voted on at all?
Mr. PUTNAM. We don't subscribe to an idea that any measure perhaps might not be voted on at all. That comes under the exact thing that we said we recognize there is likely to be some abuse of.
Senator JAVITS. Do you believe, therefore, that it would be consistent with your resolution for the Senate of the United States to consider what limitations are needed in order to enable it to vote? Mr. PUTNAM. Isn't it true, sir, they have some limitations today?
Senator JAVITS. I say they do but I am asking you the question: Do you feel your organization would feel that therefore the Senate of the United States has a right to determine what limitation it ought to impose so that it could vote when it thought it ought to?
You would not consider that an abridgment of the right of free speech, would you?
Mr. PUTNAM. That would be a question that would be decided by— how that limitation was determined, I think.
I would not want to answer that as a blanket question, no.
Senator Javits. Have you studied the bills which are before this committee?
Mr. PUTNAM. Personally?
Senator Javits. I am just speaking to you as a representative of your organization, sir.
Mr. Putnam. I have not personally studied the bills particularly. I have only just casually read them.
Our chancellor general, who is an attorney and practices before the Supreme Court, has made quite a study of it, sir.
Senator Javits. Do you interpret that resolution as being against all the bills which are before us?
Mr. Putnam. That might not necessarily apply, no. We stated our belief in the general principle. When you try to pin it down to some specific bill, I think that will be a little difficult for us to pin it down because, not being familiar with all of the bills as you stated, sir, I would not be in a position to make that statement clearly.
Senator Javits. One other thing, Mr. Putnam.
I don't want to detain you any longer. We are trying to get all the information we can.
I understand your position, and I respect it, though I don't agree with it.
Has your organization taken any position against any of the socalled civil rights bills, that is the antilynching, antipoll tax, FEPC bills, or the President's civil rights program?
Mr. Putnam. No, sir; we have not. May I state on that question-you have raised a question which I think I am entitled to make our position very clear on
Senator Javits. Please.
Mr. PUTNAM. We very carefully refrain from things that we believe are highly political controversial matters. We believe when there is strictly a matter of constitutional right involved, then we have a right to make our opinions known without being accused of entering into politics.
Senator Javits. Now, Mr. Putnam, do you believe that your organization adopted this resolution which you have read to us under the belief that it was not highly controversial and highly political?
Mr. PUTNAM. We do not believe it is highly controversial and political because we believe there is a fundamental constitutional law involved there and we believe we have a right to be heard on that.
Senator Javits. And do you not believe there is an equal question of fundamental constitutional law involved in the so-called civil rights bills that I have described to you?
Mr. Putnam. That is something that we do not participate in.
We do not believe it is our prerogative to express our opinions on that one.
Senator Javits. I don't want to press you, sir, but I would like to get an answer to the question because it enables us to evaluate what your people did.
Does your organization or do you, it is probably much fairer to ask—do you believe that there is a constitutional question involved in the civil rights bills, at least equivalent to the constitutional question involved in the resolution you have just read?
Mr. PUTNAM. No, I do not.
Senator TALMADGE. Mr. Putnam, each State in the Union has two Senators, doesn't it?
Mr. PUTNAM. Yes, sir.
Senator TALMADGE. Senator Javits' State of New York has approximately 14 million population.
Senator Javits. Seventeen million, Mr. Chairman. We have grown.