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We believe in the provisions of the bill now under consideration, and we believe that there is no more imperative duty that confronts us at the present time than to work for the passage of this bill, and this we are going to do until the provisions of the bill are enacted into law.
Mr. TUCKER. May I ask you just one question, Mrs. Sherman? I did not exactly get the title of your club. It had some relation to applied education?
Mrs. SHERMAN. The work of the General Federation of Women's Clubs is carried on through seven departments. The department of applied education is one of those departments. In the department of applied education, there are six divisions of work. We have one division of education, and I, as chairman of the department, am supporting that bill and presenting our support this morning.
Mr. TUCKER. I did not exactly understand what was meant by the term “applied education."
Mrs. SHERMAN. I think, perhaps, it is a confusing title, but it covers the work of the organization. In that department, we have a general education division, one on rural education, one on illiteracy, one on home economics, one on home extension service, and one on the conservation of natural resources.
Miss WILLIAMS. I should like to file a statement here from Mrs. Thomas G. Winter, who is president of that great Federation of Women's Clubs.
(The statement referred to is as follows:) At its last three national conventions, the General Federation has reaffirmed its belief in the necessity of establishing a Department of Education.
We need just such a broad outlook upon educational affairs and just such a stimulus and Federal assistance, as our Government now offers in matters pertaining to agriculture, to commerce, and to the stimulation of the affairs of the interior.
Since the very existence of our democratic form of government depends upon the intelligence of our citizens, it would seem self-evident that education is a major consideration of the entire Nation. Such a department need in no way overstep or dominate State authority, which is one of our precious possessions, but it should help us to correlate our affairs, East and West and North and South, to meet our difficulties, to bring our rural education up to the level of our city schools, to give our incoming foreigners adequate training for citizenship, and to lift the whole question of education to the level where it truly belongs, not as one of the minor issues, but as, after all, the major interest of the whole Nation.
Mrs. Thomas G. WINTER,
President General Federation of Women's Clubs. Miss WILLIAMS (continuing). There is another organization that numbers its membership in the hundreds of thousands, very closely connected with the public schools, of this country-the National Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associations. Mrs. Arthur C. Watkins, executive secretary of this organization, will speak to you now.
STATEMENT OF MRS. ARTHUR C. WATKINS, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF MOTHERS AND PARENT-TEACHER ASSOCIATIONS
Mrs. WATKINS. My full name is Mrs. Arthur C. Watkins. I am executive secretary of the National Congress of Mothers and ParentTeacher Associations, in charge of their headquarters in the building
of the National Education Association Headquarters Building, 1201 Sixteenth Street NW., Washington, D. C.
The question has been asked how the various organizations indorsed measures. Our organization has indorsed what was the TownerSterling bill for four years, and has now indorsed the Sterling-Reed bill. We indorse it in this way: Our national legislative chairman examines very carefully, together with the legislative chairmen of the various State branches, measures that are either before Congress or are coming before Congress and then, in our annual convention, which is held in the spring of each year, she delivers to the various committees the bills which she thinks should be indorsed.
A study is made of those bills, usually in the local associations and in the various State branches. The State branches indorse certain bills which they approve, and the national organization indorses certain bills which they approve. We have only six measures which are really very important, and at the present time we are asking for but three of these six measures, the education bill being one of them.
The CHAIRMAN. May I ask what the other two are ?
Mrs. WATKINS. Yes. One is the world court, and the other is that bill on which I think I have spoken several times
Mr. WELSH. Child labor ? Mrs. WATKINS. Yes; I think I have spoken twice on that of child labor. Mr. BLACK. May I ask how you take your action?
action? Do you take it in the convention, or do you refer it back from the convention to the local organizations ?
Mrs. WATKINS. We ordinarily take our action at the convention on measures which have been before the association for a long time, as these three measures have been. We have stood behind the various child labor laws which have been asked; we have also stood behind the education bill. When new things come up, we refer them back to the local organizations.
Last year we had over 300 representatives at our convention, from every State of the Union. I have a statement of Mrs. William Tilton, the national legislative chairman, which Mrs. Tilton has asked me to read to you. I believe the chairman will be interested in this:
The National Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associations, representing a constituency of 500,000 members stands squarely behind the educational bill. Recognizing that the country districts, where on-half of the population lives, are not keeping pace with the city districts, we believe that the only remedy for this situation lies in some Federal aid and stimulus, either temporary or permanent. Therefore, we favor some method by which the center can reach out and bring forward the backward spots.
We also stand for a department of education. That is the ideal thing, and a great Nation should not be content with less. We do not stand for a department of education and allied divisions. Such a cluttered arrangement would not bring us any nearer the ideal. Therefore, we have decided to keep on working for the real thing, a department of education.
It is with very real pleasure that I learn that my own Representative, Congressman Dallinger, is House chairman of your committee. (Laughter and applause.] Knowing his characteristics, I feel sure that we can count on him to see one point very clearly, that it is only fair play to allow this bill to come out on the floor for a vote. My organization wants à vote on this bill. We want it now.
The CHAIRMAN. Has your organization given any attention at all to how much it would cost the Federal Government to equalize the educational opportunities throughout the United States?
Mrs. WATKINS. Yes; I think we have given consideration to that. The CHAIRMAN. What do you think it would cost?
Mrs. WATKINS. To equalize educational opportunities throughout the United States ?
The CHAIRMAN. Throughout the United States-what would it cost to equalize the educational opportunities?
Mrs. WATKINS. Please don't ask me that.
Mrs. WATKINS. I think the people who have made a very careful study of the bill have felt the appropriation asked was not exorbitant
The CHAIRMAN. That was not what I had in mind. My question was whether the amount asked for in this bill would not be a very small part of what it would take eventually to do what you have in mind.
Mrs. Watkins. I think probably we would appreciate very much having a very, very large sum for education. We are not asking for it. We should be very contented with a small sum at the present time.
Mr. TUCKER. To start with?
Mrs. WATKINS. Yes. You might find, you know, that sum was ample for all time.
Mr. TUCKER. Again we might not.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not really think it would equalize educational opportunities in a single State, do you?
Mrs. WATKINS. I do not know; but I think it would be well worth' trying.
Miss WILLIAMS. Mr. Chairman, I would like to incorporate into the record a brief statement by Mrs. Margaretta Willis Reeve, national president National Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associations.
(The statement above referred to is as follows:)
It is only necessary to read the five educational problems which the TownerSterling bill proposes to solve, to understand why the National Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associations is actively interested in securing its passage.
Every parent and teacher in our membership values the ability to read and write; therefore they are anxious to bring about
1. The removal of illiteracy.
The presence in our communities of great numbers of immigrants, and the menace to the welfare of our children which lies in their ignorance of American laws and methods cause us to desire to work for
2. The Americanization of the foreign born, particularly the parents of school children.
The fact that the disgraceful health record of our young men at the time of the war draft reflected directly upon the health training in our homes and schools has aroused our organization to renew its efforts for
3. The promotion of physical education.
The contact which the parent-teacher association has established between the home and the school having proved to its members that the best curriculum is worthless without the right kind of instructor to vitalize it, we are endeavoring to awaken the taxpayers to the necessity of providing means for
4. The training of teachers.
Being impressed, through our large rural membership, with the uneven distribution of school facilities both as to instruction and equipment and believing that the country child shares equally with the city child the right to the best
education obtainable, adapted to his needs, we consider it a part of our program for child welfare to assure
5. The equalization of educational opportunity.
Having these convictions, our organization is striving to give to its 600,000 members a clear understanding of the Towner-Sterling bill, of the careful provisions made to safeguard State control of State school systems, and of the necessity of expressing their convictions in action, through resolutions and letters of indorsement sent to their Senators and Representatives in Congress.
MARGARETTA WILLIS REEVE,
and Parent-Teacher Associations. Miss WILLIAMS (continuing). We have a very prominent men's organization represented here, the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite of Free Masonry for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, represented by Mr. Witcover.
STATEMENT OF MR. H. W. WITCOVER, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE THIRTY-THIRD DEGREE OF THE ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE OF FREEMASONRY
Mr. WITCOVER. The Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States represents a membership of 260,000 loyal, earnest, and patriotic citizens. Its jurisdic·tion covers the 33 States which lie south and west of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and also the insular and territorial possessions of the United States.
Masonry and particularly Masonry of the Scottish Rite has always been interested in education, as it has always inculcated patriotism. It believes that the safeguarding of liberty, free government, and liberal institutions lies in the enlightenment and education of the people.
For such and other reasons it favors the establishment of a Federal department of education whose head shall be a member of the President's Cabinet. In 1920 and at every subsequent session, it earnestly indorsed that proposition. Practically its entire membership favors it and urges as a means of carrying out such a purpose the passage of the Sterling-Reed bill before Congress, the bill known as H. R. 3923.
It should be emphasized that the Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction is not alone, for in addition to the 260,000 conservative and patriotic men comprising its membership, the official transactions and records of many other Masonic organizations show them to have indorsed such a department of the Government, among which are the Masonic grand lodges of the several States with very large memberships, the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons with a membership of more than 800,000, the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar with a membership of about half a million, the Imperial Council of the Mystic Shrine with over 600,000 members, the Order of the Eastern Star with about a million members, in addition to other fraternities including the Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, and Junior Order of American Mechanics.
The Scottish Rite and other Masonic organizations are deeply interested in liberating mankind from the bondage of ignorance, but they realize that ideals and aspirations must never be dissociated
from practical things, and the material things are necessaries of life; yet they believe that ethical and spiritual values through education are conducive to real health and happiness, and that a Government which builds roads and highways as a contribution to the material welfare of the people, should similarly contribute to their ethical and spiritual advancement through enlightenment and education; that the minds and character of the 25,000,000 children, the future citizens of the country upon whom depend the continuity of our form of Government, and as well the 10,000,000 illiterates and near illiterates over 10 years of age, and the vast alien population, should receive such attention and development as to erect them into the full stature of responsible citizenship. Such a contribution to the advancement and progress of the people justifies and requires a separate department of the Government.
It is to make known to you such a spirit and the favoring of such a purpose by the Masonic fraternity in general and by the Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction in particular that I have appeared before you, without any attempt to present or submit any of the arguments favoring the proposition, but merely as indicative of the earnest desire of Scottish Rite Masons of the Southern Jurisdiction to see the education bill carried into effect.
In that connection, I might mention that the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States publishes an official organ, known as the New Age Magazine. I have here copies of the January, February, and March issues of this year, in each of which are a large number of articles devoted to education. For instance, in the January number, is an article called “the education bill”; next,
What is the education bill?” And next, “The cost of education.' And in each issue are a number of articles relating to and giving reasons for supporting this bill.
Mr. FENN. Did the southern jurisdiction have this bill before them when they passed these resolutions?
Mr. WITCOVER. The original Towner-Sterling bill—the original Smith bill.
Mr. Fenn. Does it advocate the passage of this bill?
Mr. FENN. Let me ask you a question here: I notice on one of the pages, section 7, page 6, this provision, "in order to encourage the States to remove illiteracy, $7,500,000.' Does the southern jurisdiction stand back of that?
Mr. WITCOVER. Well, we have not examined such details.
Mr. WITCOVER. They are very important details, but the supreme council has not considered itself competent to pass upon such matters
Mr. Fenn. Now, let me ask you this: This bill has seven millions and a half for illiteracy. Then I turn over to page 9 and find similar phraseology, “that in order to encourage the States in the promotion of physical education, $20,000,000.” Do you think that the Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction considers that physical education is three times as important as to remove illiteracy?
Mr. WITCOVER. The supreme council, in reply to that, has not considered such details as that, however important they may be.