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world, by virtue of general supremacy. Without it not only the public authority might be insulted and a proceedings be interrupted with impunity but the public archives might be in danger of violation and destruction and a dependence of the members of the National Government on the State authorities for protection in the discharge of their functions be created, which would bring on national councils the imputation of being subjected to undue awe and influence and might in times of high excitement expose their lives to jeopardy. It never would be safe to leave in possession of any State the exclusive power to decide whether the functionaries of the National Government shall have the moral and physical power to perform their duties. It might subject the favored State to the most unrelenting jealousy of the other States and introduce earnest controversies from time to time respecting the removal of the seat of the Government.
Mr. McLAUGHLIN. With all deference, Mr. Chairman, I did not hear Justice Story say that the Congress could not make this delegation of legislative power.
Mr. Loser. No. He talked about relinquishing its power to a State or any form of government. It might jeopardize the very life of the Nation.
Mr. McLAUGHLIN. I would be very much against Congress relinquishing any power.
May I put in one more paragraph from Madison's Federalist Paper No. 43, discussing this general subject? He said, and of course, the Federalist Papers were the public-relations campaign that was made by certain framers of the Constitution and get it ratified by enough States to make it effective:
The extent of this Federal District is sufficiently circumscribed to satisfy every jealousy of an opposite nature and as it is to be appropriated to this use with the consent of the State conceding it, as the State will no doubt provide in the compact for the rights and the consent of the citizens inhabiting it, as the inhabitants will find sufficient inducements of interest to become willing parties to the cession, as they will have had their voice in the election of the Government which is to exercise authority over them, as a municipal legislature for local purposes, derived from their own suffrages, will of course be allowed them and as the authority of the legislature of the State and of the inhabitants of the ceded part of it to concur in the cession will be derived from the whole people of the State in their adoption of the Constitution every imaginable objection seems to be obviated.
In other words, they sold the Constitution to the States that ratified it, with the representation that there would be a local, municipal legislature in the District of Columbia for taking care of local purposes.
Mr. LOSER. Thank you very much.
This is on the lighter side, Mr. McLaughlin. I would like to point out another example of possible conflict of interest between the Federal Government and any local governing body here. This is a quotation from the Congressional Record during the Territorial government debate, 1870 and 1871. It appears on page 687 of the Congressional Record and a quotation by Senator Edmunds:
* there are a great many reforms in the administration of this city government, relating to nuisances and the convenience of the people who are obligated to live here more or less time during the year, that no body of representatives who are elected by the people are likely to produce. Take, for instance, the infinite, abominable nuisance of cows, and horses, and sheep, and goats running through all the streets of this city, and whenever we appropriate money to get up a shade tree there comes along a cow or a horse or a goat, and tears it down the next day, and then we appropriate again.
The other day, I understand * * * the Board of Health undertook to abolish that kind of nuisance by declaring that animals of that kind running at large,
spoiling the streets and trees, should be kept out: and the next night the Board of Aldermen and the Common Council abolished the Board of Health for having interfered.
Mr. McLAUGHLIN. Federal interests are very extensive here. I will admit that, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, I wish very deply to express my sincere appreciation of the kind things that you have said. I know that you and the members of the committee realize the honesty of the District government in preparing this bill and bringing it up here based on our experience, in the feeling that this will provide a better form of government than we have for the District of Columbia at the present time.
Mr. LOSER. Thank you so much. I am wondering if any witnesses here this morning would like to file their statements.
The chairman of the subcommittee advised me that the meeting would be adjourned until next Wednesday at 10 o'clock. I see a very distinguished man back here, Mr. Goldman, a businessman in this community, a native of the District of Columbia. He has been on this list a number of times. I know he is neglecting his business in coming over here from week to week.
If Mr. Goldman wants to testify next Wednesday, I will ask the chairman to put him up toward the top so he can get back to his business if he cares to. If not, we are always glad to see him.
That is true with reference to other witnesses.
(Whereupon, at 12:03 p.m., the committee adjourned to reconvene at 10 a.m. Wednesday, August 26, 1959.)
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOME RULE BILLS
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26, 1959
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE No. 3 OF THE
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10 a.m., pursuant to recess, in room 445, House Office Building, Hon. James C. Davis (subcommittee chairman) presiding.
Present: Representatives Davis (subcommittee chairman), Matthews, Harmon, Smith of Kansas, Broyhill, and Multer.
Also present: William N. McLeod, Jr., clerk of the Committee on the District of Columbia, Hayden S. Garber, counsel; Ann L. Puryear, assistant clerk; Leonard O. Hilder, investigator; and Donald Tubridy, minority clerk.
Mr. Davis. The subcommittee will come to order, please.
This is a continuation of the hearings on all of the bills dealing with home rule for the District of Columbia.
The first witness this morning is Mr. Aaron Goldman. Is Mr. Goldman here? Have a seat, Mr. Goldman. We will be glad to have your statement.
STATEMENT OF AARON GOLDMAN, WASHINGTON, D.C. Mr. GOLDMAN. Thank you.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, my name is Aaron Goldman, a voteless citizen of Washington.
hank you, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity to appear before you in order to present my views in favor of H.R. 4630, and the other so-called territorial bills.
Although very mindful of my limitations, I am pleased that fortune's wheel has somehow spun my name toward the top of your list of citizen witnesses. Perhaps there is some poetic justice in this, because, as I have sat through the five previous hearings, I have had to pinch myself as I have listened to the description of that ubiquitous resident of Washington with a voting residence "back home."
From some of the observations which have been made, one might have thought that there was no such creature as the native-born Washingtonian who grew up and went to school in Washington and has remained here to run a business and raise a family.
Well, gentlemen, here sits such a person. This is indeed a small Federal site, but somehow the stork found it. A different compass heading might have landed me in Mr. Broyhill's district or Mr. Foley's
district. But since I am here, I hope you will accord me the same genuine affection for my home town as you have for your own.
There are tens of thousands of others whose situation is the same as my own. Therefore the suggestion that we ought to move somewhere else if we want to exercise the right to elect our own municipal representatives is, I think, a harsh and unfair response to a real problem. You don't solve it by telling Washington residents to move
I am the president of a firm which has been here since 1926. I am a member of the Washington Board of Trade, but I do not at all agree with its stand against home rule. As a matter of fact, I do not remember any poll which it has taken in recent years in order to determine the actual views of its members who live in the District of Columbia.
The president and executive vice president of the Washington Board of Trade and many of its directors are excellent friends of mine—at least, until this morning—but I am tempted to repeat Congressman Schwengel's observation at a previous hearing: "Shame on you for not having more confidence in representative government."
None of us can fail to recognize the overriding Federal interest in this city. Washington belongs to every citizen of this Nation, just as your State capitals, gentlemen, belong to every citizen of your State. I am not a lawyer, certainly not a constitutional lawyer, but I think I understand Congress' overriding responsibility for the seat of government.
Yet I submit, gentlemen, that the present bill in no way divests Congress of that responsibility; it merely delegates it, insofar as municipal matters are concerned. Under the present bill, Congress retains full authority to repeal or amend any municipal act, or to act on its own initiative.
In addition, the President may veto any act which affects the Federal interest.
Certainly these are broad and sufficient safeguards to protect the Federal interest. I think it is a careless misreading of the present bills to suggest that they in any way abrogate the power of the Congress. History shows that what Congress can delegate it can also revoke. Our own city government is a case in point.
It is within the power of this Congress to redress a wrong-to restore back to the people of Washington the right to govern themselves.
Who are these people of Washington ? People like myself; people who paid more taxes into the Federal Treasury than six States combined; people who fought in their country's wars. I don't want to appear sentimental, but I can tell you in all honesty that the shabbiest hour that I ever spent in the Navy was when the other men of my squadron were filling out their absentee ballots-and I had none.
Gentlemen, it is not a good thing to be governed by others, no matter how benevolent they may be. I do not say this in any manner of personal criticism. The present Commissioners of the District are able and devoted men, but we have had poor Commissioners. The members of the congressional District Committees are honorable and able men, but they can never be as responsive to our needs as officials whom we elect. I hope that these do not sound like political platitudes, because I feel them very deeply.
Over the years, I have given a great deal of my time and energy to
I community affairs. I want you to believe me that there are many civic and social problems in Washington which cannot be solved until the residents of Washington become citizens of Washington and exercise their franchise. I agree with a previous witness who, acknowledging that there are Washington people who do not want home rule, can only look upon such disinterest as a serious atrophy of the duties of citizenship. I ask you gentlemen of the committee if any of your constituents would be content to have you appointed rather than elected, or if they would long countenance a city council of people from faraway places.
One final point: If the citizens of Washington do not want home rule, it cannot be forced upon them. It may indeed be a vain thing for me and for others to be testifying that the citizens of Washington do or do not want home rule. The present bill provides for a referendum on the bill itself; it can only take effect after approval by a majority of those voting in an election.
In mentioning referendum it should be noted that two such referendums have been held in the city of Washington on this question of home rule—in April 1938 and in November 1946. In this connection I quote from a book "Our National Capital and Its Un-Americanized Americans," by Theodore W. Noyes, who was from 1908 to 1946 the editor in chief of the Washington Star:
A highlight in the history of the District people's long quest for voting representation in the Government of their country was the unofficial suffrage referendum of April 30, 1938. This pleviscite, carefully planned by citizen groups and surrounded by every safeguard possible, in the absence of any law for the purpose, was an impressive affair. There were 63 polling places where voters were registered and identified before casting their secret ballots.
Opportunity was afforded to vote on two simple question's—for or against suffrage for local officers and for or against national representation. On local suffrage, the total vote cast was 93,728, of which 82,971 were for and 10,757 against, being 7 to 1 for the election of local officers. On the question of national representation, the total vote cast was 93,840, being 87,092 for and 6,748 against, or 13 to 1 in favor of voting for President and electing Members of Congress.
A similar referendum in November 1946 showed the following: On local suffrage, the total vote cast was 167,093, of which 117,393 were for and 49,700 against being 70 percent in favor of the election of local officers. On the question of national representation, the total vote cast was 166,811, being 140,101 for and 26,710 against or 85 percent in favor of voting for President and electing Members of Congress.
I think that these polls constitute very weighty evidence, gentlemen of the committee, on how Washington residents feel about home rule, and ought to cause some opponents to consider whether it is intellectually honest to continue to refer to home rule advocates as a small or unrepresentative group.
Other witnesses have placed great emphasis on the Federal contribution of $25 million to Washington, indicating that it is their belief that if home rule is obtained, this contribution will cease. We do not share this fear, because history shows quite the contrary. During the 75 years in which Washington enjoyed home rule, not only did the Congress and the President show a continuing solicitude for this Federal City, but congressional contributions to the maintenance of Washington ranged from 30 to 50 percent of the municipal budget—which is a great deal more generous than the present Congress whose contribution is about 12 percent.