Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Mr. ROBSION. I understand that. You are citing those as examples. Of course conditions have changed. I just wanted to know whether you would like to go back to the education provided in those days.

Doctor O'DONOVAN. Those were the days that produced this Nation; the men of those days wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of these United States. Those achievements still speak for themselves. The decisions of John Marshall fixed the Constitution of the United States. The constitutional history of the United States grew out of his definitions, enabling us to possess and enjoy the liberty for which we are now fighting, and I fear if we depart from the sterling qualities of his work we will lose the fruits of our forefathers' sacrifices.

Coming to a later date, Webster, Clay, Calhoun, and Benton and the men of their day, were not educated in that way; they were not standardized, they had opportunities to develop themselves, and did so in the hard school of personal application.

More recently, take Lincoln and Cleveland and Roosevelt. The standards of education were not pushed then as they are now. These men would certainly be the last in the world to have attempted any such thing as the proposition put forth in this bill.

The difference in time requires a different education, it is true; difference in localities requires different education. It is impossible, in an enormous continent like this, to educate children in the North and South, the East and the West along the same lines, as this bill proposes, with the same good results.

What has been said by a member of your committee is true, that the education required to enable a child to develop into a good citizen in New York City might very easily not be the same that should be required in the State of California or elsewhere.

Mr. Black. That is not my thought exactly; you are putting words in my mouth.

Doctor O'DONOVAN. It is a good thought.

Mr. BLACK. No; that is not my thought. My thought was strictly on that Americanization section, that one State may take an entirely different view of what Americanization is, or American history is, or should be, or what American civic notions should be, than another State; and yet in spite of that all the States are supposed to be contributing to a general fund for a secretary who may eventually be able to impose his views on Alabama and California and every other State, contrary to the viewpoints of those States.

Doctor O'DONOVAN. I agree with you entirely, sir.

Mr. ALLEN. Do not the American medical profession very often take up and follow new discoveries of Germany and other countries, follow advances that science has made over there?

Doctor O'DONOVAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. ALLEN. Is there anything wrong about that?
Doctor O'DONOVAN. No.

Mr. ALLEN. If we should happen to follow some principles that were good, even though they came from Russia or Italy or Africa or anywhere else, they would not be objectionable on account of the source of their origin?

.

Doctor O'DONOVAN. No, sir; but that is my chief contention, that this is not a good principle, that it is a very bad principle.

Mr. BLACK. Do you believe that it is possible that the secretary of education, at some time in the future, his being a stanch Republican or a stanch Democrat, may insist that the idea of free trade or the idea of protection is the only idea of Americanization that should prevail and that that might be forced upon the people ?

Doctor O'DONOVAN. That is quite possible.

Mr. BLACK. Of course that is a little exaggerated, but it is a concrete example of what might come about.

Doctor O'DONOVAN. Yes. Let me call your attention to the fact that I adverted to in the beginning, of the possibility of increase in this money. The Bureau of Agriculture grew from an expenditure of $85,000 in 1862 to $85,000,000 in 1923.

The Bureau of Public Roads grew from an expenditure of $4,850,000 in 1917

to $73,000,000 in 1923. Mr. Robsion. The increase in the Department of Agriculture includes the money for good roads, does it not?

Doctor O'Donovan. I am only speaking about the actual figures. The Children's Bureau in the Department of Labor grew from $25,000 in 1912 to $1,240,000 in 1923.

Mr. Robsion. Well, if it is a proper activity, this country is growing by leaps and bounds and why should it not grow also? If it is a good thing it ought to grow, and if it is not a good thing it ought not to be started.

Doctor O'DONOVAN. I think this bill is a bad thing. If allowed, it could grow until it would swallow the departments of education in the different States, becoming a fat, top-heavy national department, helpless because of its size.

Mr. BLACK. You would rather see tax reduction.
Doctor O'DONOVAN. I certainly would.

Mr. ROBSION. Well, is not that your principal objection to this proposed legislation ?

Doctor O'DONOVAN. What?
Mr. ROBSION. That it increases taxes.

Doctor O'DONOVAN. No. Why should the Federal Government do this work? My contention is that the States should do it themselves. Why should it be administered in Washington?

Mr. RobsION. Are you opposed to the Federal aid policy in reference to good roads.

Doctor O'DONOVAN. The Constitution of the United States deals with that question. It has authority for building post roads.

Mr. Robsion. We are talking about policies now and not the Constitution.

Doctor O'DONOVAN. Well, this is an argument on the constitutional question; that is the argument I am trying to make. All States are doing this work now.

I have here a copy, that I wish to file with the committee, of the public-school laws of Maryland. My State has vocational training: It has school terms of 180 days for white and 160 days for colored children. That is the minimum requirement. It has compulsory education, very full laws on compulsory education. It makes the English language the basis of its educational system. Those are the requirements that are put into this bill, to enable a State to receive

its dole, to "qualify.” It has physical education, it has normal schools. May I file this with the committee?

The CHAIRMAN. Yes.

Doctor O'DONOVAN. The State of Maryland believes that it is competent and should attend to its own business. It has said so in the bill of rights under which we live. The bill of rights, which we have, has come down to us from the very year, a few months after the Declaration of Independence. Within three months after the Declaration of Independence the State of Maryland wrote its bill of rights. We have changed it a little when the constitution was adopted, but the second article of the original, now the fourth article, says:

The people of this State have the sole and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police thereof as a free, sovereign, and independent State.

Article I says:

That no power of suspending laws or the execution of laws, unless by or derived from the legislature, ought to be exercised or allowed.

The bill of rights of the State of Maryland clearly declares its position on the educational question. That is to be found in our article 43 of the original bill of rights adopted in 1776. This is the language [reading]:

That the legislature ought to encourage the diffusion of knowledge and virtue, the extension of a judicious system of general education.

And so forth.

I offer the education laws of the State of Maryland as evidence that we have provided for the education of our people fully and satisfactorily, and we resent any interference from a secretary of education telling us how we shall educate our own children, and I have no doubt that each of the 48 States in the Union has laws on education equally satisfactory to its citizens.

The States do the best they can, and I think they ought to be allowed to carry out their own systems of education. We believe in these things, and we think the bill of rights of the State and the constitution of the State of Maryland provide most amply for what is necessary in the way of laws on education.

I would like to quote from a speech the governor delivered on the 17th of March, of this year, at à banquet of the Hibernian Society of Baltimore. Among other things he said:

I have been watching the work of Congress and there has come to me the wish to be a Member of that body for one day, the day I could cast a vote against Federal interference or suggestion as to how the children of Maryland should be educated.

I am reading this from the Baltimore Sun of March 18, 1924. I sat next to the governor when he made that speech, and I joined in the tumultuous applause which followed it. I agree with him.

Mr. ALLEN. You hold that if the State of Maryland should decide to adopt the German language as the language to be taught in the public schools that it would be your privilege to do so, or that if the State of New York should adopt some other language than the English language, to be taught as the language in the public schools, that that would be their privilege? Do you carry out your idea to

that extent, that you should be left alone to attend to your own affairs?

Doctor O'DONOVAN. I respect Mr. Allen in his position as a Member of Congress, but I do not think that is a fair question; I think that is an insult. I did not come here to be insulted.

Mr. ALLEN. I do not mean to insult you.

Doctor O'DONOVAN. I have been approached on the same line from the other side of the table, but you know perfectly well that such a question refers to an impossibility. You might as wellwell, that is not a fair question. I am perfectly ready to say in reply that I should say no; certainly not.

Mr. ALLEN. I should think you would say no. Of course I thought you would feel that way. I did not mean to insult

I did not mean to insult you in any, shape, or form, but from the trend of your argument, in which you said you desired to be left alone, that the State of Maryland desired to be left alone, I think that was a proper question. We are a Union of 48 States, and we can not be left alone. If we undertake to stand alone our Union will fall.

Doctor O'DONOVAN. The laws of Maryland as they are, the Maryland public school law, says that the teaching shall be in the English language; that is our State law. There is no possibility of the State of Maryland and no possibility of any other State, I take it, adopting any such law as you suggest.

The CHAIRMAN. I understand your point is that the State of Maryland is able to educate its own children.

Doctor O'DONOVAN. And does it.

The CHAIRMAN. You do not think the children would be any better educated if they were educated under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government?

Doctor O'DONOVAN. I think they would be worse educated.

The CHAIRMAN. What have you to say about the other States; do you think that the other States are able to educate their children properly?

Doctor O'DONOVAN. I prefer to let the other States speak for themselves. I know about Maryland, but do not pretend to know about the other States.

Mr. BLACK. It is not a matter of law; it is a matter of finance. Some States may not be able to properly educate their children. They are either unable or unwilling to do so

Doctor O'DONOVAN. Ah?

Mr. BLACK. But the indications are that they are unable to do so, I think.

Doctor O'DONOVAN. I do not think a State should be coerced into doing something it does not want to do.

Mr. BLACK. Would you be in favor of the Federal Government creating a fund to be used in loans to States that have not the necessary funds to educate their children, without any obligation on the part of the State, except the obligation that would exist on account of the loan, that money to be returned ?

Doctor O'DONOVAN. I do not feel competent to answer that question. Mr. BLACK. That is really the purpose of this bill. Doctor O'DONOVAN. I must hurry on to the end.

There is another point that I wish to state, because it comes close home to me, and that is the point of view of the parent. I still believe, and I think all the people that I have talked to believe, that the

parent and not the State is the normal guide for the child. Mr. Rossion. In that you are in conflict with your own State law, are you not?

Doctor O'DONOVAN. I do not see that. I say the normal guide for the child ought to be the parent. Will you allow me to venture this thought? Neglectful parents must be made to give the educational opportunities to the child and the State must provide the physical means.

Mr. Robsion. But the law of Maryland, and I think practically every other State in the Union, provides that the State look first to the interest of the child ?

Mr. BLACK. Before the parent?
Mr. ROBSION. Without regard to the parent.

Mr. BLACK. You do not mean to say that the State is more interested in the child than the parent?

Mr. ROBSION. That is the law of New York and Maryland, too, because the State steps in and says that if the parent is not a proper guardian then the State shall select one.

Doctor O'DONOVAN. We still believe that “Government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed," and that the home is the unit of life in democracy, and that the power and right to govern flows upward from the home to the State, not downward from the State to the family. I think that is good, solid American doctrine.

We may be old fashioned in Maryland, but we believe that our representatives here are not our rulers, but that they are our servants, and that we send them here to do certain specific good things for us and for our homes and we do not like to see usurpation of power in Congress such as this bill proposes.

Mr. Robsion. You permit your representative to have some independent thought like yourself, do you not?

Doctor O'DONOVAN. Oh, yes; but we do not want him to get away from us too far. After all he is here by our suffrage.

Mr. ROBSION. You do not want him to conflict with your own thoughts.

Doctor O'DONOVAN. A bureaucracy in Washington can be a tyrant the same as in Berlin or Moscow and one need only to read history to know the rapid degeneration of bureaucracy into tyranny, and from that into chaos.

I have taken a lot of time but I feel very strongly on this matter and I should feel that I had been recalcitrant in my duty if I had not appeared here to protest against this bill, for the reasons that you have been kind enough to let me develop. I hope I have made some little impression on some of the members of the committee, and that some of those who have considered this bill favorably will reconsider their ideas. Mr. Chairman, and gentlemen, I thank you.

The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions? If not, we will be glad to hear anybody else.

« ForrigeFortsett »