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Mr. REED. Exactly, but that brings me back to the point again. How does that affect the private schools?
Mr. LANKENAU. That affects the private schools as American institutions, just as it affects me as an American citizen.
Mr. REED. I get the point of demarkation all right, but how about the private school, does it affect the private school as an institution?
Mr. TUCKER. I do not understand that he is arguing that question
Mr. REED. I understand, but I was asking him that question.
Mr. WENCHELL. In this way: I think it will affect the private schools in that wherever we have private schools we must conform at least to some extent to the public schools and so it will affect our schools in that way, that the United States Government will not only change the policy of the public schools but will also affect our own schools indirectly.
Another thing, that there is nothing in this bill that is aimed at parochial schools, is true; but we should remember that one party urging this bill is an opponent of the private schools and has been agitating against private schools and making an endeavor to suppress them by State laws. So the presumption is not far-fetched that they are pushing this bill out of animosity to private schools. I mean that they are on that side of the question, judging from the animosity they have shown in their opposition to the parochial schools.
We are here not only in the interest of the parochial schools but we are here in the interest of the schools of the country, both private and public; we do have a special interest in our private schools.
Mr. REED. What organizations do you have in mind that are fighting the parochial schools ?
Mr. WENCHEL. For instance, the Scottish Rite Masons have been fighting them in the Oregon law; they have been advocating this particular bill. I get a good deal of literature in which they are favoring this particular bili.
Mr. REED. That is a matter that ought to go into the record. I had not realized that they were fighting the parochial school. Now, what other organizations are fighting them?
Mr. WENCHEL. I do not want to take Doctor Lankenau's time. Perhaps Professor Baur could answer that.
Mr. BAUR. I might add that besides the Scottish Rite Masonsand I should qualify that statement to read some Scottish Rite Masons of the southern jurisdiction—" that besides the Scottish Rite Masons there are opposing private and church schools—the Ku Klux Klan, for instance. They are the two organizations that have been most actively engaged in the effort to establish a State monopoly in education, locally in the several States. Of course, there are many kinds of smaller organizations; up in Michigan we have had to contend with the so-called Public School Defense League, and in other States with numerous other smaller organizations, almost too numerous to mention; but the two that were specifically mentioned here are the principal organizations that have taken an active part in the battle for Prussianizing education.
Mr. REED. Do I correctly understand that all of the Scottish Rite Masons of the southern jurisdiction are fighting this proposition!
Mr. Baur. Possibly you did not notice that I said "some.” I could even say many.
Mr. REED. I noticed that you said some, and I was wondering what there was to that. I asked for information.
Mr. BAUR. We had the very gratifying experience in Oregon, for instance, that some of the most prominent and best Masons opposed what others were proposing; but in Oregon, for instance, the inspector general for the State of Oregon, Mr. Malcolm, was officially in the fight and we could easily furnish proof that these people were officially in the fight to establish that injurious so-called Oregon law, because they ran advertisements in the papers, and of course the Oregon law required them to state at the bottom of the advertisement who was publishing it, and invariably they were inscribed “The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, the regular form. Some were signed by Mr. Malcolm in person. So there is no doubt about that.
We also have proof that these people have had connections with the proponents of an amendment to outlaw all church schools in the State of Michigan. Mr. James Hamilton has at times had access to the official organ of the Scottiish Rite Masons of the southern jurisdiction, which I think is called the New Age, published here in Washington, and so we have other very direct evidence that would show we are stating facts when we refer to these things.
Mr. REED. Now, you may proceed, Doctor.
Mr. LANKENAC. The passage of this bill, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, we also fear would throw education into the danger of being the plaything and weapon of politics. One thing we fear is that our schools should become Democratic or Republican or Socialistic schools. We would deplore the fact, if the educational system of our country or our State should in any way be dependent upon the outcome of a presidential election. We would hate to see the public-school systems of our country become nationalized and in that way perhaps become the nucleus of a new political machine.
I am sure I am speaking the truth when I say not one of you honorable legislators gathered here this morning would like to be called on at any time to assist somebody in receiving an appointment in the educational system of your respective States just because of some political service that he may have rendered, just because he may have been of particular service to his party in some way or other during a campaign.
I hope that the day may never dawn upon us when the teacher in the little schoolhouse on the hill should have to look to a bureaucratic machine for orders and directions. I would hate to see the publicschool system of our country become nationalized in any way because I believe that there is nothing that is more detrimental to freedom of development and freedom of thought than just such a standardization, as Reverend Baur called it, a Prussianized school system. I would hate to see our public-school system centralized, in the hands of the secretary of education, who would only be human if he made use of every opportunity given him to increase his influence and enlarge his sphere of action.
History shows us, and it was proved to the full satisfaction of our colonial fathers, that as long as the colonial churches received their salaries from London just so long did they look to London for their orders; and so it is but natural that communities and States drawing bonuses from the Federal Government will look to the Federal Government for orders and follow these orders sooner or later.
And so I fear that were this bill to be enacted into law it would mean that in a comparatively short time a national secretary of education would dominate the teaching in the schools throughout our whole country.
And then, gentlemen, there is another thing. It seems to me we have in this bill an indication of that increasing conviction to be found among our people that every evil can be removed by means of legislation. It seems to me that that is growing more and more upon us and that is causing us to lose sight of the fact that while we are endeavoring to remove evil by means of legislation we are endangering the principles and ideals of our democratic government. Friends, we are inclined, I believe, in these days of ours to make our Federal Government the guardian of our wealth and our honor and of our schools and our children. There is no doubt whatever in my mind that there have been parents in the past, and parents to-day, that look upon their children as their chattels; but this gives us no reason to go to the other extreme, which in my estimation is the more unnatural and more intolerable, that we should make our children the property of the State.
The time has not yet arrived, as far as I am concerned, when I am willing to put my children and my school and my home into the arms of a paternal government, while I am burning incense upon the altar of patriotism. I do not wish to stand back from anybody when it comes to American patriotism. Friends, on my maternal side I had several ancestors that were among that old Pennsylvania German bodyguard of President Washington and accompanied him until he arrived safely at Mount Vernon, immediately after the close of the Revolution. My father bled for his country, and I have a son that was blinded in the service of his country on the battlefields of France, and another son who was so exposed during those terrific battles over there, where he fought for democracy, that he will go down to his grave unable to speak in his natural voice, unable to speak much more than just above a whisper.
I am incidentally referring to these personal matters because I am so intensely American, because I am so intensely for upholding and preserving those democratic ideals and principles for which our fathers and sons fought, and for which they bled and for which some of them died, that I want us to be careful not to be lured by the prospects of a paternal government that will take care of the weak and feed the hungry, that will clothe the naked and lift up the fallen, and so on; because it is not in that way that a self-reliant and selfrespecting, and self-governing people is reared and made.
Let me tell you, gentlemen, the history of Rome very plainly shows to what danger the Nation may come if it looks to the Government for those things which by all rights should really be furnished by the individual himself. Rome, when it once learned to stand at the full crib of the government an eat from its fullness, Rome then began to go the downward way to degeneration and destruction. When once the Roman people looked to the government for amusement and for bread, then began the loss of one liberty after another until finally they were in the thralls of slavery of the despotic Cæsarism of their day.
Friends, therefore I would say the fact that here and there we have communities that are backward in educating the children that
I thank you.
are being born into those communities surely does not call upon the Federal Government now to take a hand in the education of those children in those communities.
It is contended by some now that because there are people who desecrate the Sabbath, the Federal Government has a right to step in and make laws in relation to Sunday observance something like the old blue laws of the colonial days, which would compel us to go to church or to sit quietly all day, with a long face.
These are some of the reasons, gentlemen, that I would present to you as an American citizen why the passage of this bill would be harmful to our country, to our people and harmful to our public schools, harmful to our public schools because they would be centralized, they would become standardized, and all good, healthy competition would be stifled. It would be a detriment to our people because that would lead them more and more from self-government to centralization and to the evils of bureaucracy and paternalism.
Mr. Chairman, would it be too niuch for me to ask the privilege of submitting some supplementary notes which I have written out substantiating some of the facts that have been given.
Mr. REED. We will be glad to receive them unless there is objection on the part of any of the members of the committee. There seems to be no objection.
Mr. WENCHEL. Also I would like to insert a statement of the resolution passed by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and other States. This was passed at its last meeting and consists of only one page.
Mr. REED. If there is no objection that may be included.
Mr. WENCHEL. Also a statement from the president of the Capital University, Columbus, Ohio. This is signed by the president, Mr. Otto Mees and the secretary, Mr. Carl Ackermann.
I would also like to have inserted, with the permission of the committee, a short statement by the Rev. F. J. Lankenau entitled “Should Congress enact a Federal education law?”
Mr. REED. If it is not too long that may be inserted.
Mr. WENCHEL. And in conclusion I wish to say that I have been here in Washington 15 years and I know the political pressure, and I believe that this bill if enacted into law would bring the public school system of our country more and more under political influence.
I also know one of the men high in rank in the Navy Department, and he tells me every time a new commanding officer is put in charge of the navy yard that everything is changed, everything overturned. So we would find the same thing in the case of a new Secretary of Education. When a new secretary came in we would have a complete change and probably have chaos, everything being changed according to the personal likes or dislikes of the new secretary.
I would like also to say that the illiteracy problem is really solving itself. Why step in at this hour when the States themselves are realizing the importance of dealing with that problem and are taking it up more and more, why should the Federal Government, when such an improvement is already being made in the States as to illiteracy, step in and interfere with the work of the States in that respect?
I thank you.
It seems to me we have had so many warnings from our great men, and their warnings and public utterances are often so much at variance with the documents or the bills that they sign; that is, they have not heeded their own warnings, due most likely to political pressure. We have all been warned against the increase in centralization here in Washington. Let us stand firm, because it is indeed the greatest menace. This department, as outlined in the bill, iş only the beginning. Where will it end? It is almost impossible to say, and it will put into the political field the most vital thing, as we have heard, to this country-its education.
Mr. ZORN. Mr. Chairman, it has been remarked here very often that we are here as representatives of the private schools. I want to say that I have children in the public schools and children in the private schools, and my interest in the public schools is just as large or larger than it is in the private schools. That is my personal attitude in the matter.
Mr. Mann. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Dallinger asked me if I would supply some witnesses for next Wednesday morning, and I would like to state that Professor Judd, the director of the school of education in the University of Chicago, will be one of the speakers. He is editor of the school journal in touch with the situation in the Middle West and I am glad to say that he is pleased to be here.
Also Chancellor Capen, who was for years a specialist in the Bureau of Education and knows the school system of this country as well as anybody else, from personal investigation is coming next Wednesday, and I have also asked President Pearson, of the Iowa State College of Agriculture, who is the president of the Land Grant College Association, which has been receiving these Federal grants under the Morrill Act, and subsequent acts, all these years, to be here and tell you his experience and express the opinion of that association with reference to this legislation.
(Thereupon, at 11.45 o'clock, the committee adjourned.)
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION,
Wednesday, April 30, 1924. The committee met at 10 o'clock a. m., Hon. Frederick W. Dallinger (chairman) presiding:
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
Mr. TUCKER. Mr. Chairman, I have two papers here that I ask to be inserted in the record. One is from a gentleman whom I do not know, but the letter is a very strong one.
It is from Mr. W. E. Chancellor, of Columbus, Ohio. I think it is quite an illuminating statement.
The CHAIRMAN. If there is no objection, it will be inserted in the record.