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The Mining and Metallurgical Society of America explained that the provisions of its constitution and by-laws, requiring the submission of all questions to the membership, made impossible any action on matters within the limitation of time provided by the referendum system of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States.
The National Jewelers Board of Trade stated through its governing board that it did not feel competent to express an opinion on the questions involved in the referendum and that the board did not have the proper machinery for reference of questions of this sort to the entire membership.
The Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, affirming the position taken on April 5, 1922, declined to express an opinion on the Sterling-Towner bill pending the publication of the report of the Departmental Reorganization Commission, although not concurring in a Federal subsidy of State education.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anybody here who comes from out of town who desires to be heard ?
STATEMENT OF MRS. RUFUS M. GIBBS, OF BALTIMORE
Mrs. GIBBS. I represent the Federation of Democratic Women of Baltimore, and perhaps the political aspect in our State will interest you gentlemen. I am going to touch on the political aspect because it is the political aspect in Maryland that means we are going to resist all Federal encroachments of power. My particular organization is with the Democratic Party, because we are standing with our governor in denouncing any further establishment of Federal bureaus, and we also went on record in the resolution suggesting that some already in existence here could be abolished.
I am sure I do not have to tell you gentlemen we are rather a pivotal State. We had a big Republican majority at the last presidential election, but in this last election of our governor we had the biggest Democratic victory we have ever had, and for the first time in the history of Maryland we reelected a governor, and he went in on the States rights principles--no more Federal aid, no more Federal encroachments—and we are going to maintain our rights as a sovereign State.
There is no bill that our governor has attacked more strongly on every possible occasion than this particular educational bill, and it is the most popular thing he says, every time he condemns it.
So I feel I am justified in pointing this out to you.
I also want to speak as a woman, because I can throw a little light on some of these indorsements that you have received here in favor of this pending bill. There is a great deal of organized indorsing here.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean indorsements in favor of the bill?
Mrs. GIBBS. Yes, in favor of the bill. I was going to say that there are large groups that claim they speak for millions of women, and I heard one woman who, before the woman's suffrage amendment was adopted, said she spoke for eleven million voiceless women; but before she got through I thought she was saying something for each one of the women, and I want to say that that kind of an indorsement wants to be investigated very carefully,
The Y. W. C. A. has come here and told you that their members throughout the United States are for the bill. Now, our Baltimore board of the Y. W. C. A. did not know anything about this. I have subscribed for many years to the Baltimore Y. W. C. A., but when I found out that they had indorsed this bill without any authority from the membership so far as I knew I withdrew my subscription. They wanted to know why I withdrew, and I told them that I was not going to subscribe to anything that I thought was detrimental to the interests of our State and our country. Of course they wanted to have me continue my subscription. Some women came to me then and said “We didn't know that this had been indorsed.” As a matter of fact they have a little group of the legislative committee that love to put things over in star chamber proceedings, and some of them think that by putting a lot of laws on the statute books of the Federal Government we are going to cure all the evils that exist or have existed from the beginning of time. I think perhaps their sentiment gets the better of them and their hearts are a little sounder than their heads.
The CHAIRMAN. Do I correctly understand you to state that the Y. W. C. A. in Baltimore knew nothing about this indorsement of this bill?
Mrs. GIBBS. They knew nothing about it, no; it was put through by this little group that I referred to. There was Miss Mary Wooley, of Mount Holyoke, who was for it, and this little group, supposed to know so much more than anybody else, who indorsed it for the entire Y. W. C. A.
The CHAIRMAN. Do I understand you to say that this indorsement was simply the opinion of the legislative committee here in Washington?
Mrs. Gibbs. I suppose they were in Washington. Miss Wooley lives in Mount Holyoke; but a member of the board and an ex-president of the association told me that they had never heard of any action being taken by the association as a result of the question being put to the association.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think that was true of other States, whether any of the other branches of the Y. M. C. A. of the country knew anything about this thing that the legislative committee was doing?
Mrs. GIBBS. I have not followed it further. I hope my board will follow it further, because they seem to want my $100 a year, and perhaps they will inquire
The CHAIRMAN. Of course this is interesting to the committee because it was represented to us that the entire Y. W. C. A. of the entire country was in favor of this bill.
Mrs. GIBBS. Well, I am only telling you about our particular board. They seemed to have such great confidence in this legislative committee that does so much for them, and the fact that all the great educators, with few exceptions, are opposed to this bill, seems to make little impression on them. When we are having our teeth fixed we go to a dentist and not to a blacksmith, and so, when it comes to matters of education of our children I think we ought to go to our educators.
Mr. ROBSION. Did I understand you to say that all the great educators in the country are opposed to the bill ?
Mrs. GIBBS. I think when we can take President Lowell, of Harvard, and President Eliot, of Harvard, and Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, of Columbia, and Dr. Goodnoe, of Johns Hopkins, and Dr. Hadley, of Yale, it seems to me we have a pretty good deal of authority. Dr. Lowell has spoken in no uncertain terms.
It seems to me it is something that the States can do fully as well as the Federal Government. It is a mistake in my opinion to think that there is any body of supermen here in Washington that can arrange affairs so that they will work out better than the States can work them out. The American people have not that confidence in the men in Washington that some few individuals have. The American people don't say that they have been taken such wonderful care of by Congress, they don't see that Congress has taken such wonderful care of the Indians, or that it has taken such wonderful care of the World War veterans. We do not think that these bureaus can be put here and put over all kinds of things. We are beginning to take notice, and in Maryland we hape been close enough to know. We can come over here, and some of our business men have come over here and have been waiting at the door of some of these bureaus for a long time. I had a broker tell about an experience that he had with some equipment bonds of a railroad. He came over here for three months trying to get something; He wanted to get the individual shares of stock that he was entitled to for different people. He succeeded in getting a single stock certificate for a million dollars, but he could not get the individual shares, and he wanted that stock to use.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not want us to have another investigation, do you?
Mrs. GIBBS. Well, if you will only fix it so we can take care of our own affairs, we will not ask for anything more. But I really feel and I do think that it is a parting of the ways and when we get this enormous amount of money we can talk all we want about the hundred commissioners that are going to adjust everything the way we want it, but when there is any money it is a question of money speaking and it will speak in no uncertain terms when somebody off in some other State thinks that they are going to put
over something different, when it means that the entire power of the Federal Government will be withdrawn from that State and money no longer given them.
We are getting far away from Jefferson, who said the function of government was to prevent men from injuring each other, and leave them otherwise free.
The CHAIRMAN. You spoke about a number of educators being opposed to this bill. The proponents put in telegrams and letters from the presidents of a great many of the State universities and secretaries of state, boards of education, and a great many publicschool teachers in favor of this measure. What have you to say to that?
Mrs. Gibbs. Well, I would say that perhaps they had been somewhat led astray, from the fact that in getting money from the State enervates the individuals, perhaps, therefore they were willing to put themselves under the Federal yoke more than an absolutely independent university. I have been reading the life of Daniel C. Gilman, founder of Johns Hopkins University. We are very proud of the university. It has been the model for the great universities of this country. I do not think we take undue pride in it. I think all the United States will grant that it is a most stimulating organization of men who had the highest ideals, and in his life Doctor Gilman was president of the State univeristy in California first. At least it became the State university. And all through that fight out there he felt that he was being shackled, and they would not keep him very long. So he cut off his connection there and founded our university. To my mind we are going further with the individualism and the unimpaired efforts everywhere where we do not have any kind of political control.
And may I say one word--because I feel it is germane to this subject--on the question of bringing up the pigs and the hogs? Of course we know we have no sentimental interest in pigs and hogs, and we are not trying to make life pleasanter for them and give them an education and that sort of thing; but in our Constitution we speak about furthering agriculture, and the Federal Government has certain interstate obligations. We know those hogs and cows bring disease from one State to another. I was in Switzerland the summer before last and at that time there was a prohibition upon the taking of cattle from Switzerland to any other country or bringing cattle into Switzerland, on account of the hoof-and-mouth disease. There are many things of that kind which the local situation can not take care of. But it is not so with education. There is nothing more local than that.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words as to those things the constitutionality can be defended on the ground of interstate commerce, but what have you to say to the argument that children, particularly the children of the foreigners, go from one State to another, and therefore the United States is interested in their education.
Mrs. GIBBS. I can not feel that there are such large numbers of those people emigrating from one State to another that the State itself could not take care of them. I realize the foreign population is quite a problem, and I know in Baltimore we have the Polish parochial schools that are maintained by the Polish people, and I know very often some of us get rather out of patience because the children speak Polish longer than we think they ought to. But we have to deal with that problem with a great deal of tact; we can not make our Federal Government something that is going to be hated by the people. If we went in there and ruthlessly interfered with those people, you know we would be simply creating a discord that would be serious, and it is something that you have to gradually deal with.
The CHAIRMAN. Is it your idea that each State where these children go is competent to take care of this problem?
Mrs. GIBBS. I think so, absolutely.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not think the operation of the Federal Government is necessary? Mrs. GIBBS. Not at all. I feel that when children
from one State to another there is inquiry made about where they go to school; the State sees that children must go to school; and we have truant officers; and where parents are not interested in their children's education, which is in only a small number of cases, public opinion forces them to send their children to school.
The CHAIRMAN. It is represented that everyone in favor of public schools ought to be in favor of this legislation. What have you to say to that?
Mrs. GIBBS. I feel it would be a most disastrous thing. Right in our own State, in regard to public schools, just in a little matter of a history book that they started to use, let me cite this fact: In that book they spoke of the men who had fought on the side of the Confederacy
as being traitors to their country and fighting for an ignoble cause. I am not a southerner; I am from the North; but there was a hue and cry at once about that history book, and of course it was an outrage that that sort of thing should be done. They went to the school board and at once those books were taken out. But what would happen under a Federal control of schools? The people could come here to Washington and appeal until doomsday and such a book might not get taken out.
Mr. ALLEN. Do you believe that the Federal bureau would approve all things of that kind?
Mrs. Gibbs. I don't want such a thing made possible. Supposé an autocrat gets in power here that thinks you ought not to have segregated schools. There are 19 States that have white and colored schools-only 19. It is a majority against them to begin with. Suppose they say “We are going to have them all in together”; how do you think the people will feel in those 19 States? You would have riot and bloodshed if you put white and colored children in schools