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Mr. REED. If that is true, would not the ideal situation then be to abolish the Department of Agriculture, for instance, and a lot of other departments of the Government, and go back to the original condition of the States?
Mrs. WHITELEY. I am not going to make such a sweeping statement because I have not studied all of these bureaus; but I incline very strongly to doing away with Federal aid.
Mr. REED. You would be inclined, from what you know of them, to abolish them all?
Mrs. WHITELEY. I am inclined to think that the States do not need Federal aid, because, after all, any Federal aid that is givenanything that is gotten up here, any bureau-is only a group of men, and a group of men that are equally clever and are equally wise can exist in any of the States.
Which one of the States is so low down that it can not provide for the education of its children? What State is it? I really don't know. Everywhere I go I find intelligent people, all over the country. The main thing, the greatest force of education, is attending to your own business. There is nothing like it for developing the faculties. There is always this difficulty between technical education and real education. What is education? It does not consist in methods altogether. Education is drawing out of a person what is best in him and not pouring something into him by some approved method. What is more developing than to make a man work his own way up; what is more developing than getting out and working?
I can not quote exactly the annals of our country in the early days, but when they got together and they wanted to educate their children, they had no money, and one man would say “I will give a cow; the teacher can have a cow”; and another man would say “I will give this land," and they would give what they could toward establishing a school, with a teacher. They would say, "On this land we will put up a little shack, and we will get a man who will come here and teach our children.
They were doing their best. What I maintain is, that those citizens learned as much in doing that as the children did. It is really education for the whole community. You must look at education not simply from the technical point of view.
Mr. REED. Would you favor going back to that system again? Mrs. WHITELEY. Certainly not. Mr. REED. Would you be in favor of abolishing the Department of Agriculture?
Mrs. WHITELEY. Certainly not; but what I am in favor of is the people standing on their own feet and working.
Mr. REED. Would you be in favor of the Government taking no interest at all in reforestation and in the encouraging of the building of good roads throughout the United States?
Mrs. WHITELEY. No.
Mr. REED. Do you not think we ought to mind our own business and let the States handle the questions of forestation and road building?
Mrs. WHITELEY. We are talking about education more than reforestation. I invoke the principle of State rights for education, and I say again that when you strike a blow at State rights you strike a blow at real education. There are a great many things
that the Federal Government has taken to itself in the course of time, things that have been forced upon it in one way or the other, and I am not asking that the Federal Government should relinquish its power and hold over those things. I have not gone into many of those things particularly; but in this matter of education I really feel that too much is made over methods and technical ideas instead of the development of the natural ability.
Recently I have read the lives of two or three men who came to this country when they were young and who are largely self-educated. One of the books was The Iron Puddler. That man was James Davis. There is a man that came to this country without any education, and yet he succeeded in obtaining one and in accomplishing a great deal.
Another is Michael Pupin, one of the greatest scientists of this country. He was a poor boy who worked his way up, and now he is one of the great scientists in the country.
Mr. Robsion. You are preaching the philosophy of Emerson, the philosophy of self-reliance?
Mrs. WHITELEY. It is the greatest thing there is, self-reliance. But what I say is that it is the American doctrine. That is the way we started, and sometimes we get too far from it.
And then the human side of the question-leave it to mothers and fathers to have something to say. You know how you plan for the children, and that they are going to have something better than you had. What can they do if education is turned over to the Federal Government? That will take it out of the hands of fathers and mothers entirely.
Mr. WELSH. So we will get a proper definition of education as you understand it--of course, all Government activities are in a sense educational--but when you refer in your objection to the Department of Education, do you mean education in the general scholastic meaning of the word, or in the great general sense?
Mrs. WHITELEY. Well, I suppose in this bill, scholastic education is what is referred to. Real education and real culture is the important thing and the trouble is that if you make scholastic education too technical and too highly centralized it oppresses and discourages that other kind of education. I think right there there is a difference.
Mr. ROBSION. Along the lines suggested by the author of this bill, Mr. Reed, the Federal Government has taken a considerable hand in looking after the proper treatment and care of hogs and horses and cattle and sheep and poultry,
Mrs. WHITELEY. I know what the argument is
Mr. Robsion. And aiding in the construction of improved highways throughout the country, and it looks like most people are in favor of those things. Now, I just want to know what your view is and why the Federal Government should not take a hand in looking after the bigger thing, that is looking after the children of America?
Mrs. WHITELEY. They begin in a little way and they grow bigger; that is just the tendency. They take hold of the little thing, the people don't care much about, and then it grows into a bigger thing.
Mr. ROBSION. Well, do you think that the Department of Agriculture is a bad thing to function as it does in looking after the cattle
and horses and hogs, and in its road department in helping to foster and stimulate road construction; do you think that is a bad thing?
Mrs. WHITELEY. Well, I tell you I am here to speak about education.
Mr. ROBSION. But if that is a good thing why is not this other
Mrs. WHITELEY. That reason is not good. A man made that argument in Baltimore the other day. He wound up by saying “if the Government can look after your pigs, I don't see why the Government can not look after your children.' Well, I do. I might neglect my duties and be perfectly willing to have the Government come in and look into my pigsty, but I don't want the Government to look after my children. (Applause.] The human side comes in there.
Mr. ROBSION. But the country puts it on a higher plane than you put it. They do suggest certain things about cattle and hogs and pigs for the good of the country. It is not a question of wanting to nose into somebody's business. Of course it is citizenship, and development of citizenship is of course transcendently higher than the development of horses and cattle. Now, what I am trying to get at is, and what we all want to get at, is the best way to develop that citizenship, by local effort or by the Federal Government taking some hand to help, make suggestions, and cooperate with the States in bringing about the best possible system of education.
Mrs. WHITELEY. I can not see how it does not develop citizens better in the States than if they did it from Washington. The greatest thing to make good citizens is self-reliance. Do you think that if the Government keeps on doing things for the people in the States that they will have the patriotism and self-reliance that they ought to have in every little town?
Mr. Robson. You might carry thạt to its logical conclusion and you will find yourself to be faced with the condition of the difference between China and Japan. China is a little community country, with no national viewpoint, and yet with 400,000,000 people, and Japan is a powerful progressive national country.
Mrs. WHITELEY. No; I think you are using a wrong illustration there. I think it is just to prevent those great masses of people thinking the same thing and doing the same thing. I think the illustration would work against you. I don't know enough of Japan to use it, but I have a strong idea that your illustration would turn against you if somebody could take hold of it properly. Nothing really makes for citizenship as well as cultivating the principle of self-reliance, and the queer thing is that this principle of self-reliance is recognized everywhere in education. You all know that.
Mr. ROBSION. Self-reliance ought to work all the way through. If it is a good thing in education and is the thing to reply upon solely and simply, then it is a good thing in agriculture and in the matter of the improvement of roads.
Mrs. WHITELEY. No; we are not talking about agriculture, we are talking about education. Of course I invoke State rights in education, and we are not talking about agriculture. But speaking of self-reliance in all schools, they
have what they call school governments. They put it up to a committee of the children to keep order. Sometimes they do not keep very good order, but the results in the long run are better, because it puts the responsibility on the children.
That is a principle that is well recognized in education. Expect something from people and you will get it; but pour into them all the time and you get nothing, they become passive.
But one of the worst things in a department of education is this thing of making everything alike all over the country-similarity, There are a great many people in the country that hold very different opinions from the opinions I hold. Maryland is a conservative State. There may be some Western States that rather lean toward socialism. I think they have a right to educate those children in those doctrines, even though they are not doctrines that I believe in.
Mr. ROBSION. But does not the national welfare transcend any individual right or any State right in this country?
Mrs. WHITELEY. Yes, and it is that that all the States are working for, and I believe there never was a system of government that made for national welfare like the American system, and for the reason that it develops a hardy, independent, self-reliant set of men and women in each of the States.
Mr. Robson. So, according to your idea about it, if some State wanted to start up and teach Bolshevism and things that are antagonistic and ruinous to this country, that because they want to do it you think we ought to let them do it?
Mrs. WHITELEY. That is not our business; and if you let people talk the thing out, if it is a dangerous doctrine, it will come to an end. Leave the States to work such things out and the best will come out in the end.
All political thought comes under two heads—those that believe in humanity and those who do not. The democratic doctrine is we believe in the people, and if you leave them to themselves it will be for the best interests of all. It is hard to do that sometimes; you get up against somebody that you don't like or something, you don't like, but you must stick to your principle of live and let live.
Mr. ROBsion. You can not overlook the power and value of kindly and friendly suggestion and guidance to some extent, and you must have that in your schools and have it everywhere; you can not turn things loose; you can not turn the children loose.
Mrs. WHITELEY. I do not want to speak too long.
Mr. TUCKER. I would like to call attention to one fact that has been brought out by argument. You have been asked whether you approved of the Federal Bureau of Agriculture or the Department of Agriculture. You are from Maryland, I believe.
Mrs. WHITELEY. Yes.
Mr. TUCKER. Have you an agricultural department in the State of Maryland?
Mrs. WHITELEY. Yes; and we have a State college, too.
Mrs. WHITELEY. I suppose it does something; I don't know. Not being a farmer's wife I can not tell you much they do; but there is one there, a department of agriculture, and probably it is a very good
Mr. TUCKER. Have you not a health department in the State of Maryland ?
Mrs. WHITELEY. Yes.
Mr. TUCKER. Have you not a forestry bureau?
Mrs. WHITELEY. Yes, I think so; I really can not answer for all of the departments, but I think we have what most of the States have.
Mr. TUCKER. I was thinking of Virginia, my own State. All those departments we have in the Federal Government. Do you know of any good business man who believes in carrying on his business with two distinct overhead charges, two distinct establishments to do the same thing?
Mrs. WHITELEY. That means a multiplication of taxes.
Mr. TUCKER. It belongs, in other words, either to the States or to the Federal Government. Is it not an enormous expense to duplicate the same thing?
Mrs. WHITELEY. Yes.
Mrs. WHITELEY. Yes. I think that where we make a distinction is this: I believe that originally the founders of the Constitution intended the Federal Government to have charge of things that affected all the States, and the States retain to themselves the right to mind their own business on those matters which referred particularly and solely to themselves. I think that is the distinction. is right hard to make that distinction sometimes, but if we hold to that principle and use that as something to guide us I think we can make the distinction, even though it is a little difficult.
Of course I know many bureaus have been established here in Washington that are probably unnecessary, but we are not attacking those bureaus. This thing of attacking State rights is going rather far, but particularly in this matter of education they are not going back on what has been done.
Mr. REED. They have this little Department of Education down here now.
As you have studied that department, would you be in favor of abolishing it altogether?
Mrs. WHITELEY. I do not think it does any particular good, but I am not asking that it be abolished. I came here to speak on this bill.
Mr. REED. If that is not good for the country, perhaps this would not be. You are opposed to this, and I wondered whether you were opposed to that.
Mrs. WHITELEY. I do not know how that is run. They may send out some things that are useful. From what Mrs. Robinson read I was poorly impressed.
Mr. REED. Have you read the bulletins that they have sent out! Mrs. WHITELEY. Not all of them.
Mr. REED. Have you given any detailed study to what the Educational Bureau has been doing? Mrs. WHITELEY. Not very much study to it.
I know in a vague way, because I am interested in all matters of education. I think usually in most of the States the Bureau of Education is rather negligible. I do not think they value it very highly. The Bureau of Education may do good elsewhere, but I do not think it has done very much or could do very much in Maryland. I know the conditions in different States differ; but when it comes to starting something new, starting a department with a Cabinet officer at the head of it, it is a little alarming.