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State where he may have his investment. It is a pure business proposition, and that is a fact. There is not anything else about that. If we have our money invested down in Mexico, and that is a foreign country, these hundreds of millions of dollars have been lost to business men in America because Mexico did not have an intelligent electorate. I think not. What has made the condition of exico is the absolute illiteracy, almost 100 per cent and the fact the people can not read or write is not the complete answer.
There is a great deal of ignorance beyond mere illiteracy. For instance, about the use of the ballot, beyond the fact that he as an individual can read or write. We have got to go beyond that to protect ourselves as United States citizens wherever we live.
Just listen to this little fact: Millions of our boys and girls in the public schools are taught by unqualified teachers. One million are being taught by teachers whose education have been limited to seven or eight years in the elementary schools. Seven million are being taught by teachers who are scarcely more than boys and girls themselves, and whose appreciation of their responsibilities must, in consequence of their youth and inexperience, be extremely slight.
Ten million are being taught by teachers who have had no special preparation for their work and whose general education is quite inadequate.
Mr. REED. I would like to ask a question: Is it not a fact that a large number of the schools are closed to the children of most the year because they can not get teachers ?
Mr. FILENE. That is what the educators tell me. I am not positive. I do not want to take more time than I can from you, gentlemen.
The CHAIRMAN. May I ask a question ?
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know whether the Boston Chamber of Commerce took any action on this bill?
Mr. FILENE. I should not expect that they would, no.
Mr. FILENE. I do not. Wait a minute. I am mistaken. I think I have it here. I think they voted against it, as should have been expected.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know how they voted ?
It is divided into a number like the Dorchester, and the dental trade, by the chamber of commerce, says in question submitted against three and four—I do not know what that means—the Boston Chamber of Commerce, like some other chambers of commerce, have different methods of getting at their constituency. Some chambers actually take a referendum among their membership.
Mr. REED. Does not the Boston Chamber of Commerce?
Mr. FILENE. This question was not submitted, as I remember. I will verify it. I think it was not submitted to its membership.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you a member of the United States Chamber of Commerce?
Mr. FILENE. I am a director.
Mr. FILENE. Yes, sir.
Mr. FILENE. Yes; I have it here somewhere on the question, “Do you favor the creation of a Federal department of education," and the vote was 461 in favor, and 13 opposed. “Do you favor enlarging the Federal Bureau of Education?” Six hundred and twenty-five were in favor and 1,074 were opposed. “Do you favor the principle of Federal aid in the State on the basis of the State's appropriating sums equal to those given by the Government?” Five hundred and twenty-seven in favor and 1,200 opposed.
As I explained, that represents in a sense the feeling of the business men, but it does not represent again the voice in a great many of the chambers of the membership. It represents the directors. Now the Chamber of Commerce of the United States has never presented an opinion up here except by referendum, but there is one thing it can not do, dictate to the State or city chamber how it shall take its referendum. Some of them send out to the membership and some to the board of directors, and some send out a voice through a special committee, but it gets the membership of a constituency of about 750,000 throughout the country-it gets the best voice from the business it can get.
Mr. BLACK. Do you know of any representative body of business men that support the bill?
Mr. FILENE. Yes; a great many chambers-hundreds and hundreds of them. As I read to you a moment ago, there were some 500 business bodies. I could not answer if they voted our constituency or the directorate. There are different methods used, but I think it is perfectly fair to show about the business men of the country that the attitude that is being taken at this particular time is that we do not want anything new up at Washington. We do not want any more Federal aid, and that, I think, is the idea of a good many business men. There was a reaction that came after war time; but in a business, if I might say so, Mr. Chairman, in a business that very business man who votes on that principle would never apply that to his own business. We may have gotten in my business to a point where our expense is too large; but if we knew we had a fire hazard which, unless it was corrected, would cost us $50,000 if our building burned down to-morrow, we would spend the $50,000, and we would go to work and find out where we were spending the money too fast, and would find those spots.
Mr. REED. Many of the business men are willing to take Federal aid in the form of a tariff.
Mr. FILENE. Yes; good roads, and the automobile association will take it in good roads,and in many other ways, and they are, as a matter of fact, if you would like me to take a minute and read out some of the things the Government gave Federal aid to. For the investigation and control of hog cholera
$510, 000 For payment of indemnities to owners of animals slaughtered in connection with eradication of tuberculosis in animals
600, 000 For location and destruction of barberry bushes
350, 000 For purchase and distribution of valuable seeds.
360, 000 For prevention of manufacture and sale of adulterated foods.
671, 401 For preventing spread of moths
600, 000 For investigating food habits of North American birds and other animals.
502, 240 For enforcement of United States Grain Standard Act..
For printing and binding, Department of Agriculture
$800, 000 For suppressing spread of pink boll weevil.-
547, 840 For field investigations for promotion of commerce
379, 100 For investigation relating to production, distribution, and marketing- 450, 000 For securing information for semimonthly reports on cotton production and quarterly reports on tobacco production..
895, 000 Testing structural material
175, 000 Lighthouse Service
4, 200, 000 For protecting seal and salmon fisheries in Alaska.
165, 000 For protection and survey of public lands and timber.
1, 175, 000 For investigating mine accidents..
378, 000 For collection of statistics by Bureau of Labor Statistics.
241, 960 For promotion of welfare and hygiene of maternity and infancy. 1, 190, 000 To promote and develop the welfare of wage earners
225, 000 For salaries and educational investigations of United States Bureau of Education ---
161, 990 That is a commentary on how the United States or how our Congressmen look on the value of education in this country. It seems to me that as a business man and as a man looking at the value of the growth of our country, that we would see this idea of putting education on a level with other functions of the Government is absolutely imperative. Now, I do not know how many years we need to have to answer the question as to whether we are going to have Federal control. It is a bugaboo. We have had 10 years of the Federal Board for Vocational Education, and they have not used their limit yet. There have been 10 years of it. I do not know how many years because these gentlemen will tell you, we have been giving the State collections all over the country to the agricultural colleges; we have been giving this money from the Federal Government. Has anybody ever heard any complaint against that? Has anybody ever said there was going to be Federal control of the agricultural colleges because they got that money? Gentlemen, it is something that is imaginable. It is imagination of what is going to happen, these questions that are brought up. We are not going to have Federal control. There is not a single soul of the millions of people represented in those 25 organizations; there is not a soul I have ever met; and I have met them all over this country, that would not abhor Federal control of education; not one of them have I ever met that would dream of having Federal control. It is against their own interests. Why read into the bill what does not exist? Why imagine we are going to have troubles we are never going to have? We have had years and years and years of this Federal aid toward educational ventures, and we have not yet gotten Federal control, and we have not yet had an instance in which anybody brought up a single incident of using or taking money from the Federal Government for any of the purposes for which the Federal Government gave to education, with an unfair motive. There has never been a time in which that is on record. Why imagine it is going to happen?
I wish I had more time. I would like to have Mr. Black ask me some questions.
Mr. BLACK. I like you too much to embarrass you.
Mr. LOWREY. From what President Coolidge says, he is opposed to Federal education; from the address that he made recently.
Mr. FILENE. I have heard allusions about what our President said, but if you will read that with an unbiased mind there is nothing in it that says President Coolidge is opposed to Federal education.
Mr. LOWREY. From what he said in his speech it looks like he is opposed to it.
Mr. FILENE. I can not see that he is opposed to it. I think he is opposed to any general attack on the Federal Treasury, but there might be something that he would give further aid to. There is nothing in his message to indicate that.
Mr. REED. Right at that point, when the civilian rehabilitation bill was up to the Representatives on the Budget Committte, did he not ask the Committee on Education to pass that measure?
Mr. FILENE. I could not answer that.
Mr. Black. He came out strongly against Federal aid in his message.
Mr. FILENE. That is what you can not read into it.
Mr. FILENE. I am talking about the President's attitude. He said he would not favor making appropriations from the National Treasury to be expended directly on local education, but I do consider it a fundamental requirement of a national activity which, accompanied by allied subjects of welfare, iş worthy of a separate department and a place in the Cabinet. The humanitarian side of the Government should not be repressed, but should be cultivated. Mere intelligence, however, is not enough. Enlightenment must be accompanied by that moral power which is a product of the home and of religion. Real education and true welfare of the people rests inevitably on this foundation, which the Government can approve and command, but which the people themselves must create,
He does not say he does not believe; the only way you can get it in there is to read it in.
Mr. BLACK. It has been construed that way.
Mr. FILENE. There is nothing that calls for paying directly to local education.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you not consider it a local appropriation to pay local teachers' salaries?
Mr. FILENE. It will be controlled by the State.
Mr. BLACK. You believe the President in his message might be in favor of this bill?
Mr. FILENE. I am not talking for the President.
Mr. FILENE. My interpretation is in knowing Mr. Coolidge for years—it does not make me believe that he is setting down a principle that under all and any circumstance he would not favor some Federal aid, or something of the kind for some purpose. I do not think he ever intended to say in his message that he did not believe in any kind of Federal aid, because it is very evident, or he would have said we ought to do away with a lot of these things. Do you think the President would stand for taking money away from the Federal Bureau of Education or State colleges ?
Mr. BLACK. Then he is not the plain, blunt man we think he is.
Mr. FILENE. It is because he is so plain and blunt that it gives you and others and myself, if we desire
Mr. TUCKER. If you will read the President's address to the Budget Committee you will find his position is plainly and frankly stated on this subject.
Mr. FILENE. I shall be very glad to. I have worked for a great many years in Massachusetts with Governor Coolidge, and the principle of the State giving to the towns is no different from the Government giving to the State, and he stood for that the many years that I have known him.
Mr. TUCKER. President Coolidge does not dissemble or clog his words. He speaks out straight.
Mr. FILENE. He does. That is a most hopeful thing.
Miss WILLIAMS. We want to express our appreciation of the patience of the committee. We have one more speaker and because the hour is late she will not have a fair chance. In introducing this speaker I would like to recommend to the committee the Good Housekeeping Magazine; I can recommend that to a congressional committee; this magazine carries in the March number an article written by Mrs. Cora Wilson Stewart, who will speak to you now on illiteracy.
Mrs. Stewart is a native of Kentucky and the organizer of the famous moonlight schools of that State. An interesting article telling something of these schools is in the February number of the Ladies' Home Journal. The article is written by Mrs. Thomas G. Winter, president General Federation of Women's Clubs.
Mrs. Stewart is chairman of the illiteracy committee of the General Federation of Women's Clubs and chairman of the illiteracy commission of the National Education Association and it was largely through her efforts that these two organizations together with the American Legion and the Bureau of Education held the first national illiteracy conference recently in Washington for the purpose of eliminating illiteracy among the laborers of America.
STATEMENT OF MRS. CORA WILSON STEWART, CHAIRMAN ILLITERACY COMMISSION OF THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
Mrs. STEWART. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I can realize the feeling of a committee of men seeing a woman rise at this hour of the night, but the Members of Congress are known as a body of long-suffering men, and I will try not to make them wait very long. I have asked Miss Williams to watch the hands of the clock, to raise her hand when I have spoken for 10 minutes.
I want to corroborate what Mr. Engleman has said about the sentiment for the passage of this measure. To one almost constantly traveling over the country, as I am doing, it is extremely gratifying to see the growth of interest in the education bill. It is discussed to-day intelligently in the homes, in the trains, by groups of business men and women, in women's clubs, and in conventions of various kinds.
During the past two weeks I have been on a tour of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kentucky, and I heard little else discussed than the Reed bill, the education bill, as the people will call it, our education bill, and especially did I hear the illiteracy provision discussed. It is a problem that could be very well understood, probably more than any other measure that has ever been presented to Congress. It takes into account the welfare of the whole people, the people of every section, of every condition, and every class.