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Mr. FENN. Yet you say they have tied themselves up to this bill?
Mr. FENN. So, according to what you state here, the Scottish Rite Masons support it?
Mr. WITCOVER. It realizes this bill, with all its defects, will be very much better than no bill at all.
Mr. FENN. In other words, they have not gone extensively into the features of the bill ?
Mr. WITCOVER. Yes, sir; yet they realize no human effort or undertaking is without defect. Everything must have an initial effort; and experience, to my mind, must determine such questions.
Mr. Fenn. You have come before us, as we have to go before Congress, prepared to answer such questions as are put to you?
Mr. WITCOVER. Yes.
Mr. BLACK. Has there been any formal action taken by the national control of the Scottish Rite
Mr. WITCOVER. Our Scott sh Rite in the United States of America is divided into two jurisdictions. There are two jurisdictions of the Scottish Rite of the United States, but there is only one jurisdiction in every other country of the world. In the United States of America there is the northern jurisdiction and the southern jurisdiction. The northern jurisdiction comprises the 15 States north and east of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
Mr. BLACK. That is a complete unit in itself?
Mr. WITCOVER. That is a complete unit in itself. The limits of that, territorial and jurisdiction, are both fixed.
Mr. BLACK. Is there any general control of the organization, international control?
Mr. WITCOVER. There is no international control. Every five years there is an international conference of the supreme councils of the world.
Mr. BLACK. And the various units send their delegates to the convention?
Mr. WITCOVER. The various units send their delegates to that convention.
Mr. BLACK. But your southern jurisdiction acts independently of the northern jurisdiction?
Mr. WITCOVER. Oh, absolutely. Each is sovereign and distinct in its own territory.
Mr. Welsh. What is your profession?
Mr. WITCOVER. That is the official journal of the supreme council. You will see it stated further down there that the New Age is the official organ of the supreme council.
Mr. WELSH. You are secretary of the supreme council?
Mr. WITCOVER. Yes, sir. However, I have given my entire time to the affairs of the supreme council; that is, I have abandoned my profession and am giving my entire time to this work.
Mr. WELSH. When this matter was presented, was it done in the convention?
Mr. WITCOVER. Yes; at the regular session.
Mr. WELSH. Was the matter argued and discussed in all its ramifications, so that the council would know just exactly how disturbing of some of the age-old customs of the country this might be, and the precedent?
Mr. WITCOVER. No.
Mr. WELSH. Was that all gone into, or was it just put forward to them as an ideal (and I think it is undoubtedly a wonderful ideal), and they just naturally did, as they usually do at conventions of that kind, that is, it sounds good and they vote for it?
Mr. WITCOVER. The difference between the supreme council and that general convention, which yoụ mention, lies here, that the supreme council is limited in its membership. Each State has a member, and the discussions are, therefore, more intimate than in the general organization.
Mr. Fenn. They adopted the principle of education in general as a good thing?
Mr. WITCOVER. They adopted the principle of education as good thing
Mr. FENN. But did not observe the details of this bill?
Mr. FENN. It is very important to us to know how you arrived at your conclusion without going into the details of the bill?
Mr. BLACK. Would this bill be proper for discussion before the international convention?
Mr. WITCOVER. No; only the general matter of education.
Mr. BLACK. Has it been considered before the international convention?
Mr. WITCOVER. No, it has not been. The last international convention was held at Lucerne, Switzerland.
Mr. BLACK. When was that?
Mr. WITCOVER. That was last year; but this is a matter relating essentially to the United States of America, and is of no particular concern to this international conference which considers only such general matters as relate to questions at large.
Mr. BLACK. Of a general nature or order?
Mr. TUCKER. Of course, your great order (and it is a great order although I unfortunately do not belong to it), is in favor of education?
Mr. WITCOVER. Absolutely.
Mr. TUCKER. Have you found anybody in your ramifications around the country, who is not in favor of it?
Mr. WITCOVER. I suppose I should say "No."
Mr. TUCKER. We are sitting here, you know, as Members of Congress. We have taken oaths. We do not swear generally, but we have sworn once. But we take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States. We can not vote for this bill unless we believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it is provided for under the Constitution of the United States. Has your order considered that question?
Mr. WITCOVER. No, sir; but our order realizes that the gentleman who introduced this bill was governed by the same obligations and duties as the members of this committee.
Mr. TUCKER. That is right.
Mr. WITCOVER. And he is just as loyal to his duties and to his country.
Mr. TUCKER. That is true; we admit that.
Mr. TUCKER. Now, at last it is not a question of whether education is a good thing; we all believe in that. I spent two years of my life, giving up everything else, to canvass my State of Virginia to see that every
child, white and black, in the State had at least a commonschool education, and with the idea, also, there should be at least one high school in every administrational district in the State. I have lived to realize that. But the Constitution leaves this whole question of education to the States. Now, if this bill tends to take that obligation away from the States and bring it here to Washington, do you think that is a desirable thing?
Mr. WITCOVER. Well, how about the public roads? Was that desirable? Was there any more than encouragement?
Mr. WELSH. The Constitution makes its own provision for that.
Mr. TUCKER. There is no trouble about that on the constitutional question; none in the world.
Mr. WITCOVER. Yes.
Mr. TUCKER. And where the Constitution permits a thing, we are in favor of giving it a free course and letting it be glorified.
Mr. WITCOVER. Yes.
Mr. WITCOVER. It would seem I might answer that by saying there is a statement that wherever there is a will there is a way. [Laughter.]
Mr. TUCKER. Yes; and that has put some people in the penitentiary.
Mr. WITCOVER. Oh, yes.
Mr. WITCOVER. Oh, yes. [Laughter.] Some through design; some through lack of design.
Mr. TUCKER. It might put some out of Congress, and we do not want it to do that.
Mr. WITCOVER. This bill, as I understand, does not make any appropriation; it makes permissive an appropriation; it determines certain conditions upon which the States may acquire this financial assistance. The details of the operation and of the fund that is made permissible as an appropriation, are, after all, details. The life of the bill, I do not understand, hinges upon whether or not seven and a half millions or double that amount are appropriated for the new department of education; but, after all, that is a mere detail to the general purpose of the bill, which is for the establishment of a department of education. All else you take up is an incident to that.
Mr. Black. What investigation, if any, did your organization make as to the need of this bill?
Mr. WITCOVER. Its general knowledge of illiteracy as disclosed during the war, for instance, and other general and common knowledge known to everyone.
Mr. BLACK. Did 'it enter into the consideration of whether the States could take care of the situation?
conservative estimate. The exact roster is available. We have a paid membership, so that we know exactly how many women are enrolled. That is about the last report I have.
At our last convention, in Portland, Oreg., in July, 1923, the delegate body unanimously indorsed this bill. I beg pardon; I will correct that. The delegate body unanimously indorsed the general principles of this bill, not the specific bill, but it did indorse the bill that preceded it.
I wish to submit, later, if I may, the statement of the exact facts. The resolution, which I have not at hand, indorsed the principle of a department of education, with a Secretary in the President's Cabinet, Federal aid, and the other general provisions of this bill. We pass resolutions in this manner: The legislative committee first discusses them and decides whether there is sufficient interest in the measure to bring it before the convention. Many of these, of course, have been discussed in the local clubs and State federations before coming to the convention. Then these measures are discussed in what is called a round-table convention. Delegates come to this round-table meeting and sometimes several other committees join with the legislative committee and, particularly if it is a matter such as this was, it brings the whole delegate body to the discussion. It is a very lively discussion on both sides of the question.
This matter, I may say, came up at other conventions before the legislative committee, but was not then brought forth. There was opposition, which has recently been withdrawn. Then the legislative committee makes a report to the resolutions committee, which is given to the convention and the delegate body votes on the resolution.
That is the method by which this was passed.
The interest we have in this bill, as business and professional women, is primarily to enlarge the opportunities for training women in the world of work and to raise the standards of that training. I think there is no need of discussion, as one of your members said today, about the desirability of education. Practically, as a people, we are committed to it, to a degree perhaps, that no nation was ever committed to public education at public expense. We all feel that the welfare of the country is protected as we promote sound education in many directions. We feel that certain opportunities are very inadequate and that certain standards are absent, and that national direction will stimulate those. A noted example is the tremendous growth in the opportunities for vocational education, through the work of the Federal Board for Vocational Education. That is a very good answer as to what Federal stimulation will do for local effort. This is not the time to discuss the modern trend in education, but that is a very important phase of the whole education problem.
One of the gentlemen stated a moment ago that $20,000,000, or about three times as much, was proposed in this bill for physical education as for the removal of illiteracy, and asked the gentleman speaking if he thought it was three times as important. It might be a matter of personal opinion, but I should say, as a matter of national health, it is as far as that is concerned; that it is much more important that we have as citizens those who, first of all, know how to keep themselves fit physically. That is one of the most important things. I cite that only to make this thought, that better oppor
Mr. WELSH. We never can keep up with the demand for education, but we are going to do our best.
Mr. WITCOVER. That is all that can be done; that is all that can be asked. That is our hope.
Mr. TUCKER. Do you see any reason why we should levy taxes down in Georgia, large income taxes and others, bring them up Washington and then send them back to Georgia, for education or any other purpose? If I am permitted to make such a suggestion or analogy-of course it is impossible, but suppose you had 10 barrels of whisky down in Georgia
Mr. WITCOVER. Confiscation would develop at once. [Laughter.]
Mr. TUCKER (continuing). And you sent it up here to the Treasury, to stay for six months, and then sent it back; you know it would leak. "[Laughter.]
Mr. WITCOVER. Well, according to the reports, if it were properly contained, it would improve. [Laughter.]
Mr. TUCKER. There would be less of it.
Mr. TUCKER. Is it not technically just the same thing? We go and levy these heavy Federal taxes on the States, gather the money and bring it up here, with all of the expense of levying those taxes in the States, bringing them up here and then sending them back? .
Mr. WITCOVER. Yes.
Mr. TUCKER. For purposes which the Federal Government has no power to administer, why not keep them at home?
Mr. WITCOVER. I am not competent to discuss the question of the power
of the Federal Government, of course. Mr. TUCKER. That is at the bottom of this, my friend.
Mr. WITCOVER. Georgia has long been a prohibition State, and is not qualified to pass judgment on such hypothetical questions as you have suggested. [Laughter.] So we likewise disclaim ability to discuss some of these other matters.
Mr. TUCKER. There are a great many men from Georgia here who
Mr. LOWREY. I make a point of order, that these people are getting away from the point now, about those 10 barrels of whisky being sent from Georgia here to Washington.
Mr. WITCOVER. Gentlemen, 10 barrels of whisky in Georgia would perhaps never reach Washington. [Laughter.]
Miss WILLIAMS. At this time, I would like to call on the representative of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, which is represented here by Miss Mary Stewart.
STATEMENT OF MISS MARY STEWART, NATIONAL CHAIRMAN,
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL WOMENS CLUBS, NEW YORK
Miss STEWART. I am the national legislative chairman of the National Federation of Business and Professsional Women's Clubs, with headquarters in New York. I live in Washington.
The National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs is one of the newer women's organizations. It is now in its
It represents approximately 33,000 business and professional women in every State in the United States. That is a