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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, AMERI. CAN 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.)
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO RULE XXII OF THE
STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE
TUESDAY, JULY 16, 1957
UNITED STATES SENATE,
SPECIAL SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, at 9:35 a. m., in room 104-B, Senate Office Building, Senator Herman E. Talmadge (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Senators Talmadge (presiding) and Javits.
Also present: Langdon West, special counsel to the subcommittee; Darrell St. Claire, professional staff member; Robert S. McCain, professional staff member.
Senator TALMADGE. The subcommiteee will come to order.
The Chair desires to announce that in a very few minutes he must leave for other committee meetings, and at that time Senator Javits has agreed to continue the hearings.
At the conclusion of the testimony, I would like to insert in the record further statements that I have received, and two other statements that have been received by the subcommittee counsel. They will be inserted in the record at the appropriate place.
Do you have any insertions at this time, Senator Javits?
Senator JAVITS. I will have an insert that was sent to me. Clarence Mitchell, of the NAACP, sent me a table of populations and the Negro elements in populations in Southern States, and I will put that in the record.
(The table referred to may be found in Mr. Mitchell's testimony, on p. 255.)
Senator TALMADGE. The first witness is the distinguished Senator from Alabama, Mr. Hill. Senator Hill, we are pleased to have you with us this morning. You may proceed with your statement.
STATEMENT OF HON. LISTER HILL, A UNITED STATES SENATOR
FROM THE STATE OF ALABAMA
Senator HILL. Thank you very much.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I want to express to the committee my appreciation of this opportunity to be heard on proposals to change the rules of the Senate.
I recognize that the history of free and unlimited debate has been well threshed out before this committee in these hearings. I have noted the testimony, in brief, of the different witnesses, and I realize your record is pretty well complete with all the historical facts and, I imagine, most of the arguments in the matter.
We think of the Senate as a check, and we recall that Benjamin Franklin—and there was no wiser man than Franklin-spoke of the Senate as the saucer into which the hot coffee was to be poured to give it time and opportunity to cool. The House of Representatives, if at any time it took any hot action, if it acted with too much speed and did not thoroughly consider and thresh out the full significance and effect of that action, had always this saucer waiting for the measure to cool.
We recall, also, that Mr. Gladstone, in speaking of the Senate, said:
That remarkable body, the most remarkable of all the inventions of modern politics.
Now, Senators, what is it that makes the Senate remarkable? Nothing more nor less than the free and unlimited debate in the Senate. If you take from the Senate this right of free and unlimited debate, if you invoke cloture in the Senate, then your Senate will be no more than the House of Representatives or any other legislative body that we might consider. It is remarkable, as Mr. Gladstone said, only because of this free aud unlimited debate.
The thing that I wish to emphasize to this committee with all the emphasis that I can bring to bear is that if you deny free and unlimited debate in the Senate of the United States you have changed the character of the Senate of the United States. You cannot change the character of the Senate of the United States without changing the Government of the United States.
So, you gentlemen in considering these resolutions here today are not considering some simple matter of procedure in the Senate, some simple change of its rule. You are considering a proposed change in the Senate that would mean a fundamental and basic change in the Government of the United States as we have known that Government from the beginning down to the present.
That is the question before this committee. Are you going to change our Government—this constitutional Republic that we have had all these years and under which we have grown to be the mightiest nation that the sun ever shown upon, and under which our people have enjoyed the greatest freedom ever known to mankind ?
Mr. Chairman, the right of a Senator to get on the floor, to present all the facts in connection with an issue, to turn the light of truth and justice and fairness on that issue goes to the very heart of the freedoms of the people of the United States and to the protection not only of the freedom of the people and of the individual citizens but to the protection of the rights of the several States, but to the protection of the rights of minorities of all kinds.
Yet it is suggested here that this freedom of debate be cut off, be denied by less than a two-thirds vote of the full Senate.
Senators, as you recall, the Founding Fathers-men like James Madison, Gouverneur Morris, and George Washington-had a great fear when they brought this Government into being. That fear was the danger of what they termed party spirit--as George Washington expressed it in his Farewell Address, "the baneful effects of party spirit.”
Let me call to your attention an excerpt from his words. Now, weigh this well
, because, in my opinion, the thing that has averted this danger, the thing that has averted the baneful effects of party spirit that Washington feared, has been this very free and unlimited debate in the Senate of the United States. George Washington in his Farewell Address said to us:
I have already intimated to you, that is us, gentlemen; he is talking to us the danger of parties in the State with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discrimination. Let me now take a more comprehensive view and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed, but in those of the popular forum it is seen in its greatest rankness and is truly their worst enemy. Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight, the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
As one who served in the House of Representatives for a good many years, I have seen this party government of which Washington spoke. We know that regardless of which party is in control, the Speaker and the party leader, the chairman of the Rules Committee, and perhaps 1 or 2 others get together in the Speaker's office, they determine what shall be done, and it generally is done the way they planned. There is no free and unlimited debate in the House of Representatives. Physically, there cannot be any, for the membership is too large.
However, we can observe in the House of Representatives the very thing that Washington warned about, and the thing that has saved us has been this free and unlimited debate in the Senate of the United States.
We have had a good deal of discussion of late about action by a two-thirds majority or some other majority. Let me remind you gentlemen of the time when the majority party, which happened to be the Democratic Party, had 76 out of the 96 votes. The Republican Party had only 16 votes. The other four votes were among other parties such as the Progressive Party and the Farmer-Labor Party.
Perhaps next time it will be the Republican Party that will have the 76 votes. We do not know. That is not what is important. What is important is that parties do control this body so far as numbers are concerned, and we must have the restraint to keep party spirit from running wild, that we may not suffer from the baneful effects of that party spirit.
Let us remember that we never know what is going to happen. The gentlemen of the minority certainly did not think the other party would be in the majority today. Nobody knows what will be the story 2 years from now, and I say this to you: That some of those who now press hardest, some of those who insist most determinedly for changes in the Senate rules and denial of this free and unlimited debate, may be the very ones who tomorrow will find that this free and unlimited debate is needed for the protection of their rights.
Let us never forget that under the free and unlimited debate of the Senate we went through all the terrible War Between the States. We fought that war with free and unlimited debate. We fought World