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And section 3 of rule XXII would be repealed by the Douglas-Ives measure.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. 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.)
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO RULE XXII OF THE
STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE
TUESDAY, JULY 9, 1957
UNITED STATES SENATE,
SPECIAL SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, at 10 a. m., in room 155, Senate Office Building, Senator Herman E. Talmadge, chairman of the subcommittee, presiding.
Present: Senators Talmadge and Javits.
Also present: Langdon West, special counsel to the subcommittee; Darrell St. Claire, professional staff member; Robert S. McCain, professional staff member; and Sidney Kelley, Jr., administrative assistant to Senator Javits.
Senator TALMADGE. The subcommittee will come to order.
There are two or more Senators coming to testify this morning and the distinguished Senator from Mississippi, Mr. Stennis, is here to present one of the witnesses.
If you are ready, Senator Stennis, we will proceed and let Mr. Campbell be the first witness.
Senator STENNIS. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen of the committee, I came to hear and I am honored to introduce to this committee, Boyd Campbell, of Jackson, Miss.
Mr. Campbell is a man of very broad experience and, as I just told Senator Javits, is a man filled with unselfish patriotism. He has a great deal of humanity and continual interest in government, has given unsparingly of his time in civic affairs. He has long been active with the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, has had challenging officeholding responsibilities there, with two of those present representing in that group the small-business men.
I am not here to praise him but to hear him, but I am delighted that he could come and would come. The fact that he is here is just evidence of his general interest in all phases of government. I am very happy to present him to you.
Senator TALMADGE. Thank you very much, Senator Stennis. Mr. Campbell, we are very happy to have you with us, and you may proceed at will. STATEMENT OF BOYD CAMPBELL, JACKSON, MISS. (INTRODUCED
BY HON. JOHN STENNIS, A UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI)
Mr. CAMPBELL. Gentlemen, my name is Boyd Campbell. I am a small-business man from Jackson, Miss. I appear before you as an
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN LIBRARIES
individual and not as the representative of any organized group. This is a new experience for me and your willingness to listen to my personal views concerning the issue that is before you enhances my appreciation of my American citizenship.
Since I am neither a parliamentarian nor a political scientist, my comments will necessarily be brief. I am just an average citizen who reads the newspapers, watches television, and listens to the radio and then tries to think things through.
What I have been reading and hearing recently has given me grave concern about trends in government. Without meaning to be presumptuous, I am inclined to believe that there are thousands, probably millions, of other inarticulate and unorganized Americans who feel as I do. They look to Washington with apprehenusion as they witness the obliteration of ancient landmarks and threats to the citadels of freedom which our fathers built.
The delicate balance between the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of government is peculiar to the American system. We have been taught to believe, and we do believe, that it comprises some of our greatest safeguards to liberty under law. Now we are witnessing an imbalance between these functions of government which have served us so well, and we worry about it.
These are times when we are hearing discussions about the conflict between liberty and authority, and we wonder what it all means. We are witnessing a centralization of power in our National Government at the expense of States rights and this, to us, means the erosion of our freedom.
The nationwide revolt against the present level of Federal spending is nothing more or less than the voices of taxpayers who are saying to their Government, “We want to be free to spend a larger share of our earnings as we choose.” Gentlemen, these things trouble us, and that is why I am here.
In a dynamic society like our own, change is inevitable, but changethe kind of change that endures because all men accept it and live with it-does not come suddenly. It is a maturing and a ripening. It cannot be accelerated by statute, edict, or judicial decision. It cannot be accelerated—with deference to the honorable Members of your body who think otherwise—by the modification of Senate rule XXII.
But some things do not change. The eternal verities are constant. The bedrock principles upon which our system has been built do not lend themselves to change without weakening the entire edifice. We should never confuse the foundation with the superstructure.
The dignity of man cannot be protected by penalizing one minority to befriend another. This only creates a chasm of bitterness that no one can cross. It sets neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend, and brother against brother.
Senator TALMADGE. Mr. Campbell, will you excuse me, please. The nomination of Mr. Erle Cocke, Sr., president of the American Bankers Association, is being considered this morning by the Banking and Currency Committee, and as he is one of my constituents, I want to go up and speak a word in his behalf. I do not know how long before I will be back, but I hope to see you again before you get away. Thank you.
Senator Javits. Please proceed.