« ForrigeFortsett »
Mr. REED. Do you have a State department of education in Maryland ?
Mrs. WHITELEY. Yes; we do.
Mr. REED. Do they have anything to say in any way, shape, or form in regard to the way schools are conducted in the local communities?
Mrs. WHITELEY. I don't know. I have heard Doctor Cook, who is the commissioner, speak of the subject several times. I don't know how far their interference goes. I heard him speak and he was, the last time I heard him, making a plea for more money to raise the salaries of the suburban teachers, and stating some of the conditions that may be improved in the State.
Of course, we have to have some of these bureaus, but my point is that in the States the people themselves can take an interest in it and can have some direction over it. When you take it out of the State it passes out of the hands of all the people, not only in my State but in all the States.
Mr. TUCKER. I believe that has been quite an acute question in your State, Mr. Welsh-the contest between the Federal authorities at Harrisburg and the local authorities in the county?
Mr. WELSH. Yes; very acute; and it has caused a great deal of friction,
Mr. REED. Would you be in favor of leaving it entirely to the local communities and abolishing the State authorities entirely?
Mrs. WHITELEY. No; I think not; because so many of the communities in the States are so very small, and, besides that, it is the wish of the State to have that. The mountain communities and so on have hardly any settlements of any size, any towns at all.
The CHAIRMAN. Your idea is that the State can equalize educational opportunities within their own borders ?
Mrs. WHITELEY. I think they can; yes.
Mr. REED. Have they done that in your State-equalized educational opportunities?
Mrs. WHITELEY. As far as the public schools are concerned, I think we have the same system, and we have a normal school that provides teachers. There is trouble in getting teachers for the mountain districts, and it is difficult to equalize opportunities there. You can send a teacher to the mountain schools, but the children do not have the opportunity they have in Baltimore, because they can not go to museums and lectures.
Mr. WELSH. We have the same variation in the big cities, too. For instance, at universities and colleges you can not get uniform opportunities.
Mrs. WHITELEY. And mothers go over their lessons with a great many children, which gives those children a better opportunity where the parents are not able to do that.
Mr. REED. Have you visited the different schools in Maryland ?
Mrs. WHITELEY. A good many of them. I think I understand the system, and I believe we have a good system.
Mr. REED. Do you have a county bureau of education?
Mrs. WHITELEY. The county bureau-I know we have a commissioner for the State.
Mr. REED. And a board of education?
Mr. REED. Does that work with the State?
Mrs. WHITELEY. Leave it to the States and you will have it so that the mothers and fathers can have some oversight.
The CHAIRMAN. If there are no other questions, Mr. Page, of the United States Chamber of Commerce would like to address us now, as he tells me he has to leave shortly.
STATEMENT OF MR. FRANK C. PAGE, REPRESENTING THE
NATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Mr. PAGE. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I am manager of the resolutions and referendum department of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States. I have a short statement to make in regard to this bill.
On December 26, 1922, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States sent out a referendum on the report of the chamber's committee on education. This referendum was sent to the organization membership and is known as referendum No. 40. Three definite questions were put to a vote of the members of the chamber, and the results of the referendum, which closed February 9, 1923, are as follows:
Question No. 1. Do you favor the creation of a Federal department of education with a Secretary in the President's Cabinet?
There were 4614 votes in favor and 1,3194 opposed.
Under the by-laws of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States the above vote commits the chamber. Therefore, representing the National Chamber of Commerce, I desire to place it on record before this committee as opposed to the creation of a Federal department of education with a secretary in the President's Cabinet.
Question No. 2: Do you favor enlarging the present Federal Bureau of Education?
There were 623 votes in favor and 1,074 votes opposed.
Under the by-laws of the chamber, there was not a sufficient majority either for or against the proposal and therefore the chamber is not committed either in favor or against enlarging the Federal Bureau of Education. This I understand does not come under the bill, but I am giving you the vote.
The CHAIRMAN. I might state that there is a bill proposing and providing for an enlargement. Please tell me what the by-law is?
Mr. PAGE. The by-law is that two-thirds of the votes cast commit the chamber, and in this case there was a majority opposed. It was not a two-thirds majority and the chamber has no position officially on that particular problem.
Question No. 3: Do you favor the principle of Federal aid to education in the States on the basis of the States appropriating sums equal to those given by the Federal Government?
There were 527 in favor and 1,200 opposed. Under the by-laws this commits the chamber. Therefore I desire to place the chamber of commerce on record before this committee as opposed to the principle of Federal aid to education in the States on the basis of States appropriating sums equal to those given by the Government.
I am submitting on behalf of the chamber a majority report of the special committee on education, and a copy of the minority report of the committee on education, and a copy of referendum No. 40, which includes a digest of both the majority and minority reports and also a memorandum of R. Goodwin Rhett, a member of the committee.
These reports give the full argument in favor of and against the questions submitted in the referendum.
I am also submitting a special bulletin showing the result of the referendum by States and by organizations in detail.
Mr. REED. Right there, I would like to ask you a question. Does your printed matter there, or your reports, indicate who the members are?
Mr. PAGE. Yes, sir; the members of the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. You want him to explain what his organization consists of ?
Mr. WELSH. Yes; who your members are.
Mr. PAGE. The chamber of commerce consisted at the time it was taken of 1,289 commercial organizations and trade associations scattered throughout the United States.
The CHAIRMAN. You have members in all 48 States?
Mr. PAGE. Yes; representing an underlying membership of 750,000 individuals, firms, and corporations.
The CHAIRMAN. Seven hundred and fifty thousand firms or corporations?
Mr. PAGE. No; individuals; that is, mostly individuals. The chambers of commerce throughout the country are organization members of the national chamber. Each organization member has from 1 to 10 votes, both at annual meetings and on referendum. The smallest organization member would be an organization member of 25. We do not allow a membership less than that.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, boards of trade or chambers of commerce must have 25 members at least to belong to your organization?
Mr. PAGE. Yes; and an organization with a membership of 25 has 1 vote; of from 25 to 225, 2 votes; and the organization is entitled to 1 additional vote with each 200 until there are 10 votes. No organization has more than 10 votes.
The CHAIRMAN. What I was trying to arrive at was this: You said you had 750,000 members.
Mr. PAGE. Those are the members of the 1,300 organizations. The CHAIRMAN. Is that 750,000 firms and corporations or individual men ?
Mr. PAGE. Over 90 per cent are individual men. Mr. REED. That is, you are counting in the membership that is affiliated
Mr. PAGE. No; they are member organizations. We are nothing in the world but representatives of 1,300 chambers of commerce and trade associations in the country.
Mr. WELSH, It is a congress of chambers of commerce?
Mr. PAGE. That is what it is. We are the representatives of these chambers of commerce.
Mr. REED. Then you have 1,300 chambers of commerce members.
Mr. PAGE. Yes.
Mr. WELSH. And this referendum went to the organization and not to the individual?
Mr. PAGE. The referendum went to the organizations, and they in turn get their position on any subject from their members.
Mr. WELSH. Then this was handled the same way as you handled the adjusted compensation referendum?
Mr. PAGE. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you recall what the organization of chambers of commerce that belongs to your United States Chamber of Commerce is that has the largest membership?
Mr. PAGE. I don't know whether it is the Merchants' Association of New York, or one of the organizations in Chicago.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know approximately how many members the largest organization in your national organization has?
Mr. PAGE. I do not; I am sorry to say.
The CHAIRMAN. You can not give us any idea whether it is 5,000 to 10,000?
Mr. PAGE. I can not give you an idea; no.
Mr. TUCKER. I noticed in examining this referendum some months ago that you speak of that in several States you had returns from only one organization. I was wondering whether you had had subsequent returns.
Mr. PAGE. No, sir; we had no subsequent returns because they are given 45 days from the day the referendum is sent out to send in their returns and their vote is not counted if it comes late. There is at the back of the tabulation of votes a statement of ballots received too late, which are not counted in the vote, but if they are received before the tabulation goes to press, they are put in.
Mr. TUCKER. In examining the vote of the different States, you see quite a variation in the vote, I suppose, and that is a matter of interest.
Mr. PAGE. It depends entirely on what the subject is. The amount of this interest taken in certain States—if I may digress, would like to say that I was much interested in our referendum on forestry which was the last one we took. Originally, the State of Oklahoma had next to the most timber of any State in this country, virgin timber.
Mr. TUCKER. It did?
Mr. PAGE. Yes; that surprised me, too; but that State took less interest in the forestry policy than almost any other State in the United States.
Mr. REED. I would like to ask you one more question there. Referring to these 1,300 organizations which are members of the
chamber of commerce, they all contribute to the United States Chamber of Commerce, do they not?
Mr. Page. That is the way they are supported; yes.
Mr. REED. And any organization that does not contribute is not a member?
Mr. Page. If they do not pay their dues they are dropped.
Mr. REED. In other words, they really join your organization and they pay according to the number of their membership; is that the idea?
Mr. PAGE. Yes, sir; and they establish all our policies by vote.
Mr. REED. Do you know how many organizations there are in the United States which are not members of the United States Chamber of Commerce?
Mr. PAGE. I do not. We have got almost all of the large ones. say large ones. There are a number of smaller chambers of commerce throughout the country which do not measure up to the standard set that are not members, and then there are a number of organizations, but very few of them that do not want to join.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you with you a synopsis of your membership showing the names of the organizations in the different States from which they come?
Mr. Page. I have here a synopsis of the votes on this particular referendum, which is not, of course, all the chambers of commerce.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean some of them did not vote at all? Mr. PAGE. Yes, sir.
Mr. REED. Could you give us the proportion of the 1,300-how many voted on this proposition?
Mr. PAGE. I think I can give you that. Out of the 1,300 there were approximately 60 per cent that voted.
Mr. REED. Now, when you sent out your referendum, did they work through a committee or do they in turn send out another referendum ?
Mr. PAGE. We do not control the method by which the local chambers shall take their vote. There are three methods of taking a vote or deciding on any question usually used by the members. The first is to send out a subreferendum. We supply them with as many copies of the vote as they want. The second method is to appoint a special committee to study it and refer it back to the board of directors or to a special meeting. The third method is for the board of directors to make the study and then vote.
Mr. REED. You do not know what percentage adopted any one of these methods?
Mr. PAGE. No; not on this particular subject. I have here a copy of the referendum as sent out as well as the full report of the committee both in favor and opposed to the questions.
The CHAIRMAN. If you can, you might put that in the record.
Mr. PAGE. I would like to leave them for the record, I think it would be a little long. I would certainly like to have the vote of the chamber put in.
Mr. TÚCKER. Does not that vote of the chamber on all of these three propositions, with the negatives and the affirmative votes, run up to twelve or thirteen hundred?
Mr. PAGE. Yes. That is because of the fact that the organizations have votes from 1 to 10. Some of them have as many as 10 yotes.