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has observed the workings of the Congress could describe the filibuster as an exercise of legitimate rights under free debate.
Even the proponents of the filibuster are ashamed to admit, in Washington, that they advocate using the ugly and disgraceful 'weapon of endless and irrelevant talk as a means of killing a bill. Up here, where the television cameras are grinding and the flower of American journalism watches from the Press Gallery, advocates of the filibuster use parlor language such as "extended debate” and "lengthy consideration” to describe what they intend to do.
Here is what they say when they are talking directly to the folks back home--and I now quote:
The national association for the advancement of the colored race is allied with the CIO, the Americans for Democratic Action, and other groups that call themselves liberal groups. They came up to Congress a few years ago with a program. They wanted FEPC, antipoll tax, antilynching bill, antisegregation statutes of all kinds. Those bills passed the House but, when they got to the Senate, they were met head on with a filibuster. For several years they were filibustered, and after 1950 they were all blocked in the Civil Rights Committee. Do you know how? Why, fate gave me the opportunity to play a crucial role in that controversy.
Late in 1949, Howard McGrath, Senator from Rhode Island, was appointed Attorney General of the United States, and, because of seniority, I was ma-, neuvered into chairmanship of the Civil Rights Subcommittee. Yes, Eastland, of Mississippi, became the boss of the committee that had all the civil-rights bills, and ever since then the CIO and these organizations have been yapping and yapping that I was arrogant and high-hatted with them, and so I was, and they said that I broke the law, and so I did.
You know the law says the committee has got to meet once a week, and there I was, chairman of a committee, and there were northerners up there, Yankees, that didn't know anything about the question, who were lined up against us. You know what happened? Why, for the 3 years I was chairman, that committee didn't hold a meeting. I didn't permit them to meet. My friends, they said I broke the law when I did it, but I had to protect the interest of the people of Mississippi.
We have a rule in the Senate that when you report a bill out of a committee, you have got to have the original bill, got to have the original thing there before you. I was afraid that they'd call a special session of that committee and vote the bills out behind my back. You know what happened? I had special pockets put in my pants and for 3 years I carried those bills around in my pockets everywhere I went, and every one of them were defeated and the CIO and those liberal racial groups yapped and yapped and yapped. But their yapping didn't get them anywhere. My friends, when they failed to get their program through Congress, they turned to the United States Supreme Court with their schemes.
The foregoing is an excerpt from a speech delivered by Senator James O. Eastland when he was a candidate for reelection in Mississippi. Senator Eastland, of course, would not make that kind of speech in New York or Pennsylvania during an election. He would know that such talk would be likely to defeat Democrats who seek election in those States. Now that the election is over and the votes of Pennsylvania and other Northern States have helped to make him chairman of the powerful Judiciary Committee, he has extended the filibuster technique from the Senate floor to the committee room, just as he said he would. The success he has had to date suggests that when a workable cloture provision is established for use on the Senate floor, the Senate should take a look at ways of correcting dilatory tactics in committees.
Those of us who seek the passage of civil rights legislation expect to win this year. But the victory will be in spite of the present.
cumbersome rule XXII. A civil rights bill will pass because of the strong and dedicated leadership now being given by Senator William Knowland, Senator Paul Douglas, and others who have long and
faithfully worked for greater freedom for all Americans. • In closing, I offer this bit of advice for the promising young men of the South who are now Members of the Senate.
By following the filibuster trail, those who wish to kill legislation that they do not like inevitably become overimpressed with their own strength and importance. Filibusters cannot succeed unless there is acquiescence and weakening on the part of the majority. When the majority is determined to accomplish its will, it can permit those who filibuster to talk at length until they wear themselves out. It is important to remember this because there are some proponents of the Filibuster who say that it is a bulwark of defense for small States and minorities. Actually, of course, there is no way for small States and minorities to defend their rights by use of the filibuster if the majority of the Senate is determined to bring the issue to a vote.
In 1948, Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina was then leader of a move to debate the Chaplain's prayer for the purpose of killing a proposed fair employment practice bill. This debate consumed 2 weeks and at the time there were some who were amused and tolerant of the action of Senator Hoey and his colleagues. But this is a different day and even in the South there are many citizens who do not want their Senators to be famed chiefly for unfair practices of obstruction.
The day of achieving national prestige by use of the filibuster is past. It is no longer possible to be a national hero merely because one has strong lungs and the determination to speak indefinitely. Also, as the right to vote is strengthened in the South and the restrictions against colored citizens are eliminated by court action, executive policies, and legislation, the possibility of having a President or Vice President from the South will increase.
Inevitably, the country will want to know whether the candidate is concerned with the welfare of all of the people or whether he has achieved prominence by catering to a small group of those who are interested in destroying the rights of persons because they happen to be colored or members of some other minority group.
Senator Kefauver's strong showing in the Northern States when he was campaigning for the Presidency shows that voters are increasingly interested in what a man stands for, rather than where he comes from.
The Senators who are tempted to join the present filibuster may well ask themselves the question, "What profiteth it a man to win a talkathon in 1957 if it costs him a chance to go to the White House in 1960 or 1964 ?”
Senator TALMADGE. Have you any questions, Senator Javits?
Senator JAVITS. Mr. Mitchell, I am much interested in what you have said at the end of your statement about a change of view in the South, and a change of view in the country as respects Senators and other distinguished officials from the South. .
I might say to you that this is a development which, regardless of party-I am a Republican, and probably we won't be too strong down there for some time, though we are trying-I welcome, and it is my hope that what is going on now will give us a little better idea throughout the country of the real, fundamental southern attitudes and whether they have been affected by modern conditions. So I am very much interested by that.
I assume you make the statement based upon some background knowledge, by virtue of all your connections and contacts down there.
Mr. MITCHELL. Yes, Senator Javits, I have had the good fortune of living in the South, and also of having married into a family that has its origin in Mississippi. I get down there with great frequency. Therefore, I think I know something about the currents that are coming to the fore.
I have never believed that there are people in the South who are unalterably opposed to any changes that would represent granting full citizenship rights to colored people. I believe if the people were free to choose I think this has always been true-they would be willing to give consideration to members of the Negro group as equal citizens.
Unfortunately, the political situation in the South is such that because the Negroes are not allowed to vote, it does not pay, in many States, to make any particular appeal to them or to make any special effort to get them to come out to the polls. On the contrary, the opposite is much better for political success.
However, I believe that, as the industrialization of the South continues and as the population shifts take place, it will no longer be possible to define the South as a region which has different customs and mores from the other regions. I think there will be such similarity that we will at least be one great people in this country, interested in protecting ourselves against the common enemy who may be beyond our shores, and dedicated to the principle that we are going to make this the greatest democracy in the world.
Senator JAVIS. Now, do you believe that the change in the so-called filibuster rule, rule XXII, will make any real contribution to that objective?
Mr. MITCHELL. I am certain it will. In my opinion, the one reason why some of the Senators from the South must engage in the filibuster is because it represents the political lifeline, so to speak. If a filibuster begins and they don't participate in it, they are earmarked for political elimination.
I think anyone who would talk with Senator Kefauver would know, because I have talked with him and he has said this, that when he was a candidate for reelection last time he was running for the Senate, he was opposed by a person who injected the race question, filibuster question, all these things, into the campaign. Fortunately, he won, but there might be other States in which it would not be possible for a candidate to win.
I think if we can change this rule, it definitely will have a very healthy effect.
Senator JAVITS. Now, what is the Negro population of the 9 socalled Deep Southern States ?
Mr. MITCHELL. I think it is somewhere between 6 and 9 million.
Senator JAVITS. Would you submit for the record a list of the white and Negro populations in the 9 so-called Deep Southern States ?
Mr. MITCHELL. Yes, I certainly, will.
(The information referred to, subsequently supplied by Mr. Mitchell, is as follows:)
Senator TALMADGE. Thank you for appearing before us, Mr. Mitchell
Although it is nearing the hour for the Senate bell, Dr: Garman says his statement will be very short and I think we will get through in time. We can also insert at that time any other statements that we have. I have a number of them.
Dr. Garman represents the Associated Gospel Churches, Wilkinsburg, Pa., of which he is president.
You may proceed, Dr. Garman. STATEMENT OF DR. W. 0. H. GARMAN, PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATED
GOSPEL CHURCHES; MEMBER, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, AMERICAN COUNCIL OF CHRISTIAN CHURCHES, WILKINSBURG, PA.
Dr. GARMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. There is one correction I shall make to that statement as I read this very, very brief statement, and I hope it will be a little relaxing for you after the long ones you have heard. Coming from a preacher, it may be a surprise.
The following statement is presented in behalf of the American Council of Christian Churches and one of its constituent bodies, the Associated Gospel Churches, both of which were invited to express their views before the Senate special subcommittee considering proposed amendments to rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate.
The undersigned is a member of the executive committee of the American Council of Christian Churches and president of the Associated Gospel Churches. He was especially requested to represent both bodies. The American Council of Christian Churches represents a combined total membership of 1,539,000.
While we deplore some of the abuses of free debate such as reading no end of printed material not germane to matters under discussion, we do not approve of any curtailment of the right to free and full debate, especially of those representing the minority opinion or the opposition party.
We fear that limitations of free debate might result in unbridled majority rule, gag rule, censorship, or in the loss of our cherished freedoms and the further entrenchment of power in the hands of the President and Supreme Court, both of which we believe need to be curbed.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN LIBRARIES
We therefore are opposed to any amendments to rule XXII which would limit or jeopardize free, full, and proper debate.
Senator TALMADGE. Have you any questions, Senator!
Senator Javits. Would you be good enough, for the record, Dr.
Dr. GARMAN. Through their executive committees.
Senator TALMADGE. Dr. Garman, we appreciate you being with us and appreciate your patience in waiting so long to testify.
(Additional information subsequently received from Mr. Garman is as follows:)
ASSOCIATED GOSPEL CHURCHES,
July 11, 1957.
Washington, D. C.
My statement represented the studied convictions of the rank and file of our constituents. Repeatedly in national conventions we have drafted resolutions and taken action which supported what was contained therein. I had hoped that this would be elicited in the questions which would have been asked me by members of your committee.
Due to the fact that you men were called to the floor of the Senate I was not questioned at length and these facts were not brought out. Senator Javits did ask one question which might leave the impression that the statement I submitted merely represented the opinion and convictions of the officers of the two bodies I represented. This is not true. They represent the preponderance of opinion of all our constituent bodies as expressed repeatedly in national convention.
Since this is the case, will you kindly append this letter to my statement so that it shall be made part of the record and let me know that this has been done. Thank you. May the Lord bless, empower and guide you in this great emergency. Yours most sincerely,
W.O. H. GARMAN, President. Senator TALMADGE. At this time we will insert all the statements in the record. I have a number here.
Senator Javits. I will just hand you this one, too. This is from a former witness who supplements his testimony.
Senator TALMADGE. There is a statement from Dr. Edward A. Rumely; one from the Defenders of the American Constitution, Inc.; a statement from Bernard Weitzer, national legislative director, Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America; a petition from St. Louis, Mo.; a letter from Fidelity Council, No. 22, Sons and Daughters of Liberty; and letters from Mr. Robert Bent Taft, Chicago, Ill.; and Mr. Irving Brant.
(Mr. Brant's letter may be found following his testimony, on p. 181. The other communications referred to may be found in the appendix, in the appropriate exhibit.)
Senator TALMADGE. If there is nothing further, the subcommittee is adjourned.
(Whereupon, at 12 noon, the hearing was adjourned.)