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Such limiting of debate violates our freedom of speech; and violates article I of the first 10 amendments which have been in effect since December 15, 1791, to our United States Constitution.
One of the many things our ancestors came to this country for was freedom of speech and we must always keep and guard our freedom. Yours very truly,
BERNICE L. STEBBINS,
SAN DIEGO, CALIF., May 29, 1957. Senator HERMAN E. TALMADGE,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR: The San Diego Constitutional Foundation, in care of which you addressed your letter to me of May 11, 1957, is no longer an active organization, although it is still legally in existence, and I am still the executive vice president.
However, I know what the attitude of the membership of the foundation would be in regard to changing Senate rule XXII relating to the limitation of debate. They would wholeheartedly agree with you that free and unlimited debate in the Senate of the United States is vital to the maintenance of free constitutional government in this country. Although there may be times when individual or small groups of Senators may abuse this rule, this is an evil which must be accepted to preserve the great good which depends upon the impossibility of gagging the United States Senators.
It is my sincere hope that you will succeed in your efforts to prevent any substantial change in the Senate rules relating to freedom of debate in that body. Most sincerely yours,
LESLIE E. GEHRES.
SMALL PROPERTY OWNERS' ASSOCIATION,
Omaha, Nebr., June 13, 1957. Senator HERMAN E. TalMADGE,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR TALMADGE: Your letter of May 13 pertaining to any proposed changes in Senate rule XXII relating to limitation of debate in the United States Senate arrived on schedule, but I delayed replying because I wanted to bring the matter before a meeting of our entire membership for action. This was done last evening and I am very happy to report that the following resolution was passed unanimously and with enthusiasm.
The resolution follows in quotation marks and we want to thank you for having given us the opportunity of expressing an opinion on this important matter.
“Whereas it has come to the attention of the Small Property Owners' Association of Omaha, Nebr., that several proposals have been introduced in the Senate of the United States, the purpose of which is to change Senate rule XXII relating to limitation of debate in that body; and
“Whereas the Senate of the United States justly deserves the reputation of the world's greatest deliberative body by reason of the existence to its rules permitting the widest possible latitude in debate; and
“Whereas the Senate of the United States has always been an effective check upon the House of Representatives in the matter of hasty, ill-advised and inadequately considered legislation; and
“Whereas existing rules of the Senate provide the last remaining opportunity for minorities to express their views on legislation; and
“Whereas a change in such rules would render the right to the expression of minority views subject to the will, whim, or caprice of the majority and constitute a genuine threat to our representative form of government by denying to those in the minority the last remaining forum to fully express themselves; and
"Whereas the membership of this organization has by reason of its ownership of rental property been cast in the role of a minority group in the matter of legislation relating to Federal rent control, and has had occasion in the past to be grateful for the unlimited opportunity to have its views expressed in the Senate of the United States: Now, therefore, be it
“Resolved by the Small Property Owners' Association in regular meeting assembled at the Rome Hotel, at Omaha, Nebr., on this 12th day of June, 1957, That this organization go on record as being opposed to any amendment of Senate rule XXII which would result in any limitation of debate in the Senate of the United States, and that it express its vigorous opposition to any such change in the interest of preserving inviolate the Senate as the greatest deliberative body in the world where the views of the minority may be fully and completely expressed; be it further
“Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the Senators from Nebraska, the Honorable Carl Curtis and the Honorable Roman Hruska; be it further
Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the chairman of the special committee of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.' Very respectfully yours,
ARTHUR JENNINGS Hanson, President.
Jackson, Miss., May 31, 1957. Hon. HERMAN E. TALMADGE,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR TALMADGE: Your recent letter concerning the views of this organization on proposals to change Senate rule XXII relating to the limitation of debate has been received.
The attitude of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is simply that there should be no limitation of debate in the Senate of the United States. We know that any further limitation on debate in that body would be the end of the only really free forum left in the world. Any further limitation on debate would merely mean that we had made the decision to surrender the Government of the United States to minority groups. Yours sincerely,
WILLIAM D. McCain.
Los ANGELES, CALIF., June 5, 1957. Hon. MICHAEL J. MANSFIELD, Chairman, Special Subcommittee, Committee on Rules and Administration,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR MANSFIELD: This communication concerns the various pending proposals to change rule 22 relating to limitation on debate, now before your subcommittee for consideration.
Free and unlimited Senate debate has not only been recognized as a fundamental constitutional right and privilege, but a necessary instrumentality and safeguard through which the American people may be protected against enactment of dangerous legislation by a tyrannical Senate majority.
One of the proposals to change rule 22 is Senate Resolution 30, introduced by Senator William F. Knowland and endorsed by Senator Lyndon B. Johnson. We are unalterably opposed to this and all other proposals to change this vital rule, and so informed both Senators Knowland and Johnson in our letters of January 8 and February 8, 1957, respectively, copies of which are attached.
In this correspondence we stated it as our opinion that the principal purpose in destroying the protective provisions of rule 22 is to make possible enactment of the Eisenhower administration's civil rights bill, giving additional special consideration and privilege to Negroes.
In this connection, attention was directed to the gross discriminatory special treatment accorded the Negro, through enactment of special rights laws and rendition of Federal court decisions of questionable constitutionality, which is in such sharp contrast with the indifferent treatment accorded the American Indian, who, since being deprived of his lands and hunting grounds by the Federal Government, has been forced to eke out an uncertain existence on barren and unproductive segregated reservations.
It is inconceivable that Members of the Senate, upon whom the American people so greatly depend for protection and maintenance of constitutional government, would give favorable consideration to legislation designed to destroy the protective provisions of rule 22, and we, therefore, respectfully urge your subcommittee to return unfavorable reports on all such proposals now before your honorable body. Very truly yours,
F. A. LYDY, President, United Neighbors, Inc.
Los ANGELES, CALIF, January 8, 1957. Hon. William F. KNOWLAND, Republican Minority Leader,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR KNOWLAND: A Washington, D. C., news dispatch datelined January 7, 1957, reports that you are to introduce a bill, which would allow imposition of a gag rule to stop debate on any measure at any time on the vote of twothirds of the Senators present.
This would mean that less than a majority of total Senate membership could stop debate upon any measure, no matter how important to the welfare of this Nation. In our judgment, such provision would constitute a threat to the best interests of the American people, as dangerous as any of the crackpot gag measures so far proposed in the 85th Congress.
We regret, and are greatly concerned, that you, whom so many Americans have come to regard as one of our most stalwart champions of constitutional government, would become the instrumentality through which legislation so inimical to the best interests of this Nation would be proposed.
We are unalterably opposed to such dangerous legislation, and it will be our purpose to utilize every means to prevent this proposal from being enacted into law.
The question is continually being asked, and we would appreciate enlightenment, as to why such large numbers of congressional legislators and top Federal officials are expending so much valuable time and energy, that should be otherwise employed, in endeavoring to force enactment of discriminatory and undesirable legislation, much of which is of questionable constitutionality, in order to accord Negroes special rights and privileges, when their legitimate rights are now more than fully protected under our Federal Constitution and numerous biased and discriminatory class decisions of our Federal courts.
We shall greatly appreciate hearing from you on these important matters, at your earliest convenience. Very truly yours,
F. A. LYDY, President, United Neighbors, Inc.
Los ANGELES, CALIF., February 8, 1957. Hon. LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Senate Majority Leader,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR Johnson: We have your letter of January 16, 1957, in reply to ours of January 11, with respect to Senator Knowland's resolution, Senate Resolution 30, to amend Senate rule 22.
You state that you and Senator Knowland are trying to act affirmatively to write the two-thirds rule into the permanent rules of the Senate. However, this resolution destroys the protection of the present two-thirds rule and substitutes therefor a rule under which it would be possible for less than a Senate majority to impose a gag to end free debate.
You refer to Vice President Nixon's statement of January 4, 1957, and state that, in view of his opinion, there are no protective provisions of rule 22. However, Mr. Nixon's statement was merely an expression of his personal opinion and not a ruling, and he so stated. Also, there is a question as to whether his views may not conflict with provisions of article I of the Constitution, in which case they could have neither force nor effect.
Is it not true that, by destroying the present protective provisions of rule 22, the Eisenhower civil-rights program, giving Negroes additional special consideration and privilege, would be assured of passage?
In this connection, we have endeavored to determine why so many in high places are so overzealous in their efforts to force enactment of special rights legislation for the sole benefit of the Negro, which, as stated in our letter of February 5 to Attorney General Brownell, copy attached, is in such sharp contrast with the indifferent and neglectful treatment accorded the American Indian, who for years has been forced to eke out a bare existence on barren and unproductive reservations, where he was herded after being stripped of his lands and hunting grounds.
Why has not the Federal Government called in business groups and others to consider the plight of the Indian and to adopt measures to advance his economic status, as is so frequently done by Vice President Nixon in connection with the Negro? Why is there such discrimination practiced in the treatment of these two groups? Could this be because the Indian is not allowed to vote?
We are opposed to amendment of rule 22, and respectfully ask that you, in the interest of the American people, withdraw your support of Senator Knowland's resolution. Very truly yours,
F. A. LYDY, President, United Neighbors, Inc.
RESOLUTION UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTED BY THE ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED MOTHERS
OF AMERICA, INC., AT AN EXECUTIVE SESSION HELD WEDNESDAY, May 15, 1957, AT CLEVELAND, Ohio
Whereas a proposal is before the United States Senate to abolish the timehonored Senate rule 22, which grants Members of the United States Senate the right to unlimited debate, subject to cloture action by a two-thirds majority of the Senate membership; and
Whereas history and experience with many dangerous measures considered by the Senate in the past confirm the wisdom and necessity of permitting Senators ample opportunity to debate and consider issues vital to our Nation's survival and security; and
Whereas filibustering, criticized by opponents thereof, is not only justifiable but vital to the defense and preservation of American institutions and liberties, especially when too many Senators yield to subversive pressures on dangerous measures without understanding the consequence of their vote; and
Whereas the two-thirds vote requirement in Senate rule 22 to close off debate is in harmony with the prerogative of the Senate for ratification of treaties by a two-thirds vote majority; and
Whereas, in this age of worldwide political treachery and diplomatic conquest of nations, it is of even greater importance to retain and exercise the restraining safeguards available to the Senate; and
Whereas it is common knowledge to patriots that the voiding of Senate rule 22 is principally sought by leftwing and international subversives who seek the destruction of the United States so as to further their scheme for establishing a socialistic world government: Therefore be it
Resolved, That we petition the United States Senate to retain Senate rule 22 as vital to our Republic's survival, and that an investigation of our Republic's subverters be undertaken forthwith.
UNITED MOTHERS OF AMERICA, Inc.,
THE UNITED STATES FLAG COMMITTEE,
Jackson Heights, N. Y., June 22, 1957. Hon. HERMAN TALMADGE, Subcommittee of Rules Committee,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR TALMADGE: We wish to have this statement read and placed on record in the printed copy of the hearings you are conducting relative to changing the Senate rules.
This committee is definitely opposed to the proposed scheme (and we believe it to be just that) for changing the rules to limit debate. We believe there should be far more debate on important issues, rather than less. American citizens should have ample opportunity for expressing their views on important matters pertaining to our National Government and sovereignty. We think this has already been limited and not altoge' her true.
Hearings have frequently been held on vitally important matters, with few, except those who desired to put something over, actually knowing anything about them. This should not be in a government for and of and by the people, which, unfortunately, seems to be rapidly disappearing. If individuals cannot be present at these hearings, they must depend upon their elected Representatives in Congress to represent them in such debate. Certainly, unless we are already a totalitarian government, our Congressmen should not be limited.
To limit debate is a dictatorial, totalitarian, socialistic idea, whereby a few decide and rule, and the people lose their rights and their freedom granted them by our Bill of Rights. We stand firm for our constitutional form of government and our National Republic-free from limitations and dictatorship. The excuse that there is not time to discuss all matters is no excuse. No more issues should be taken up in one session of Congress than can be given sufficient time and proper consideration. To decide anything without proper time and debate would be national suicide.
Therefore, this idea of changing the Senate rules to limit free expression of the people, we believe to be contrary to our form of constitutional government which our wise and illustrious forefathers established here, and which we desire to have continued. Respectfully submitted.
HELEN P. LASELL.
VIGILANT WOMEN FOR THE BRICKER AMENDMENT IN Iowa,
Davenport, Iowa, May 14, 1957. Re Senate rule XXII. Senator HERMAN E. TALMADGE, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR TALMADGE: Free debate in the Senate is an essential of our constitutional government. If free debate were to be limited, in direct proportion would our freedom be limited.
We oppose any change in Senate rule XXII which would result in limitation of debate. Very sincerely yours,
GWEN PATTON INMAN,
At a meeting of the executive committee of the Western Tax Council, Inc., held in the offices of the council, room 617, 38 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Ill., on Friday, May 24, 1957, Frank E. Packard, executive vice president, offered the following resolution on the proposed change in Senate rule XXII:
If history teaches anything, it is that human freedom goes hand in hand with the freedom of speech under proper parliamentarian restrictions. Freedom of speech does not mean that mobs may assemble and, amidst confusion, attempt to transact business. Whenever a single individual is prevented from expressing his convictions, liberty is in danger.
The committee members unanimously approved that Senate rule XXII should not be changed so as to impair the right of a member of the Senate to freely and completely express himself at any and all times. However, Mr. George Taft, chairman, called attention to the fact that the council was an incorporated nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonpolitical, one-purpose educational organization and suggested that Mr. Frank E. Packard and/or Mrs. Fern Martin, whose names are well known to our organization and membership, communicate with them all as individuals fully outlining the situation and suggesting they write both their Senators and Congressmen and the Committee on Rules and Administration; and, it was further suggested that Mr. Frank E. Packard attend any and all hearings before the committee after considerable discussion and upon advice of the council. The committee unanimously approved Mr. George Taft's suggestions.
FERN MARTIN, Acting Secretary.
Whereas United States Senate rule XXII now provides for the imposition of cloture through a vote of two-thirds of the Senate membership; and
Whereas proposed amendments aim to eliminate the precious requirement of two-thirds of the entire roll of the elected Senators to close debate; and
Whereas the right to continue debate is most valuable to free citizens and their representatives in Congress assembled ; and
Whereas it is undemocratic and un-American to cut off or to severely limit debate on vital American issues; it is now