Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

Mrs. Fries. I think so, and I think their friends ought to tell them to stay where they are. This is not the only Republic.

Mr. RUTHERFORD (presiding). Thank you.
Mr. Lloyd. I would like to call on Major Bettelheim.

STATEMENT OF MAJ. EDWIN BETTELHEIM, MILITARY ORDER OF

THE WORLD WAR

Thank you.

Major BETTELHEIM. I am not going to burden you with any argument. You have had enough argument for the past two years on the pros and cons of this bill. I imagine that what you are mostly interested in is as to the attitude of the citizen. You know the arguments yourselves. You have had an opportunity yesterday to note the character of those who proposed the bill, and the organizations they represent, and to-day you are having an opportunity to hear from the patriot organizations who for centuries have defended this Government. I take the liberty of presenting the views of the Military. Order of the World War, an organization with chapters all over the United States, even in France, and in our possessions, and I submit the resolution adopted at our National Convention held on October 9, 1931, which very adequately expresses our views. I think that is what you are interested in.

(The resolution of the Military Order of the World War follows:) This is to certify that the following is an extract from Resolution No. 7, adopted by the national convention of the Military Order of the World War, on October 9, 1931, under the title of "Americanism."

Be it further resolved, That the Military Order of the World War, in convention assembled, October, 1931, lend our full and undivided efforts toward "America and Americans in all of its phases. To this end we urge

1. Early naturalization of those who intend to make the United States their domicile for any appreciable length of time, and that those applying for naturalization be required to subscribe to the customary oath of allegiance and service to this country now in use and without reservation, verbal or mental.

2. The reservation of all aliens.

3. Deportation of all aliens, illegally in this country, and those who have been found guilty of seditious propaganda, or otherwise undesirable activities.

EDWIN S. BETTELHEIM, Jr.,

Adjutant General. Mr. JENKINS. How much of a membership do you represent, Major

Major BETTELHEIM. Four thousand. Our membership is limited to those officers who served during the World War. Mr. RUTHERFORD presiding). Go right ahead, Mr. Lloyd.

. Mr. LLOYD. I will now call Mrs. Ethel Nock, of the American War Mothers.

STATEMENT OF MRS. ETHEL S. NOCK, AMERICAN WAR MOTHERS

Mrs. Nock. My name is Ethel S. Nock. I represent the National Organization of American War Mothers, the only organization of mothers of men who served in the World War. We have a charter granted by Congress. I myself am the daughter of a man who was a Quaker. For seven generations preceding him in this country and England, they were also members of the Society of Friends. I am a Baptist. My pastor, John C. Ball, is the only man who has ever

opened Congress under five different Speakers. He claims to be a pacifist, but he pronounces it Paci-Fist, because he says that God has given him a fist for defense.

I speak from the standpoint of a woman whose only child lies under a white cross in France.

I want to tell just one incident concerning other women who have sons who fought and died for their country. There were 139 of these women in the group that went with me to France. We had 14 nationalities represented in that group. Only three of these women who were born in foreign countries had to travel with travel documents. All the others were citizens, and had citizens' passports. Among the 14 nationalities there were Hungarians.

I need tell you but one little incident concerning a Polish woman. She had given birth to three sons in this country. Not one of these three boys waited until the draft took them. All three volunteered. Two of them lie overseas in two different cemeteries. The third one is insane from a shrapnel wound. She said of this third one,

My baby, my Joe, knows nutting, but my country is good to him. They still give him doctors. Maybe some day he know me.

That woman had in her possession letters from those three boys written from the trenches. The tenor of those letters, I am sorry I am unable to give you their words, but the tenor of those letters was,

Mother, do not grieve if I do not come back. I am doing the right thing. If I go, my country will take care of you.

This little Polish woman, who is now an American, said:
Our country is taking care of me, and is taking care of this wounded boy.

There was not in this group of women, who have proven their patriotism, one single one, who would not gladly have borne arms for her country. Do you not think it would have been easier for any of us to have taken a gun and shot the enemy ourselves, than to have seen that son of ours shot?

It has been said here that there are letters from some members of these patriotic organizations who might approve of this Griffin bill. I would be willing to swear that there is not an American War Mother, these women who have had the experience of having a son in active service, not one American War Mother, who would favor this bill.

Our national organization, having met in California, in September, has opposed any law passed by Congress which would in any degree weaken the present immigration and naturalization laws.

I can not make it too strong that the women who have proven their patriotism are absolutely opposed to this Griffin bill.

Thank you.

(Applause.)

Mr. LLOYD. I would like to ask our friends here not to make a demonstration. I am sure the committee does not like it, and I do not think it is at all necessary.

I would like to call Mrs. N. N. Potts, of the National Patriotic Council.

Mr. RUTHERFORD (presiding). Please give your name and address to the reporter.

STATEMENT OF MRS. N. N. POTTS, NATIONAL PATRIOTIC COUNCIL

Mrs. Potrs. I have no speech. I did not expect to be called. My organization is included in the coalition. I was present at the October meeting. We have had no referendum for the reason that our organization stands for these things, coordinated patriotic effort, advocacy of adequate national defense, and opposition to communism and ultra pacifism. It is a condition precedent to membership that applicants should subscribe to these foundations, upon which our organization is builded.

We have not a large organization for the reason that nearly every member represents a group. When we say “coordinated patriotic effort,” we are in the nature of a clearing house, just as you gentlemen who have exhibited such patience, generosity, and, I hope, wisdom, in these hearings. I feel sorry for you.

If we have a member, who, we will say, say the last speaker, a member of the American War Mothers, she is one unit in our organization, but with cooperation we can reach her whole organization. Usually, I think the most of our national board, are the presidents of the different patriotic organizations. As I say, these fundamental principles are conditions precedent to membership. Therefore, any referendum is unnecessary.

I am not sure whether I am a citizen of this country or not. I have never had a foreign-born ancestor for about seven generations, but I have never had the right of franchise, and therefore, if I am a citizen, I do not know it. That is not germane to the subject.

Mr. Diss. I would like to suggest to the witness, if you live in the District, you are a citizen. That is distinguished from suffrage, the right to vote.

Mrs. Potts. I know what I am, and what I believe, and when I have to pay taxes, I feel

Mr. FREE. (interposing). Please do not get off on another subject.

Mrs. Potts. Do you not want to know whether I am a foreigner, or not?

Mr. JENKINS. We will agree that you are a citizen.

Mr. FREE. I think you did not give for the record your name, and your organization. I think that ought to be given for the record.

Mrs. Potts. My name is Cornelia R. Potts. I am the president of the National Patriotic Council, organized at the Army and Navy Club eight years ago.

I will say one thing, when the question is, “ would you bear arnis in the defense of this country,” I should construe it to mean more than using a gun. I should construe it to mean to give aid to our country in whatever way your strength and ability would be able to encompass. I doubt whether, if I bore arms, I could hit anybody with the right end of the gun, but I would do the best I could with the other end.

I want to tell you another thing. Let me say one word in defense of the Quakers. My name has always been Potts. My father was named Potts, and my husband also, because I have taken no risk in a strange family. My ancestors were imprisoned in England because of their Quaker leaning, and because they were Quakers, and they were the early settlers of Pennsylvania. I know this thing, that I had a Quaker ancestor who was, of course, an ardent Quaker, &

[ocr errors]

preacher in the Quaker Church, and in the time of the American Revolution, when the British were in Philadelphia, I know that my ancestor, walking along as a devout Quaker should, and thinking upon the precepts of peace, saw an American in combat, hand to hand, and fist to fist with a British officer, or soldier, and he stood there and looked at it, and then took off his coat, and threw it on the road, and said, “Lie there Quaker,” and jumped in and settled the fight. Mr. RUTHERFORD (presiding). Thank you. Call the next witness.

Mr. LLOYD. I will call Mrs. J. J. Lightfoot of the Dames of the Loyal Legion.

STATEMENT OF MRS. J. J. LIGHTFOOT, DAMES OF THE LOYAL

LEGION

Mrs. LIGHTFOOT. My name is Mary D. Lightfoot, representing the National Society of the Dames of the Loyal Legion. I appear before this committee as the duly authorized representative of the incorporated national society, the Dames of the Loyal Legion. It hardly seems necessary to explain my right to speak. The eligibility for membership in the Dames of the Loyal Legion is that each applicant must be a direct descendant of a commissioned officer who fought in the Civil War.

We have our traditions to maintain, when we speak in opposition to this amendment, and inasmuch as I heard several speakers yesterday inject statements relative to their religious affiliations, I wish to say that I also am a Unitarian, and I deplore the attempt of these speakers to besmirch my faith by attaching to it a political appendage.

The American Unitarian has played its full part in bearing arms in defense of America, and I believe that they are so considered to have done, notwithstanding the belief of some few in the national association.

This organization, the Dames of the Loyal Legion, and others to which I belong, are striving to maintain the standards of the United States of America, and sincerely believe that we are the best judge of what qualifications are necessary to the admission of aliens to full privileges.

I was born in New York City, N. Y. I am a voter in New York City. Across our beautiful river, the Hudson River, is a bridge, the largest suspension span in the world. This bridge was built and is dedicated to George Washington, who was a soldier who bore arms, who is Father of His Country. We follow in his footsteps, and my organization has gone on record opposing any change in our naturalization laws.

These, are my credentials.

Mr. Dies. May I ask a question? Did you say your organization has gone on record as opposing any change? You mean changes to liberalize it. You do not mean any change to make it more strict.

Mrs. LIGHTFOOT. Any change, such as the question we are fighting now.

Mr. RUTHERFORD (presiding). Thank you. Call your next witness.

Mr. LLOYD. I will now call Mr. Frank Steele, of the Sons of the American Revolution.

STATEMENT OF FRANK STEELE, SONS OF THE AMERICAN

REVOLUTION

Mr. STEELE. I am secretary general of the Sons of the American Revolution, and a member of the American Coalition Advisory Board, living at 1227 Sixteenth Street, Washington.

I have just a word. It would seem to me when I saw the moisture in the eyes of everyone when Mrs. Nock spoke, that we do not need any more witnesses. I think we could stop right there. When a mother who has lost her own son on the field of France stated that she was against this bill, that should be sufficient.

I represent the society here to-day. We have 22,000 members. We have not had a meeting of our society. I am authorized to be here by the president general.

I would say this, in our next congress in May, if the matter came up, a resolution opposing this bill would be passed emphatically, and with a shout.

I also want to say, particularly to Mrs. Lightfoot, that I am a Unitarian. My wife always says I tell that, and we Unitarians, I do not believe, feel the way some others do.

My views are expressed in this, and I wish to put it in the record, an editorial in the Post of the day before yesterday, and I am only going to read a part of it. It recites the bill and says a few words on the question of philosophical opinions, and reads as follows: (The editorial from the Post referred to follows:)

WASHINGTON Post, Jan. 2.7, 1932.

PRIVILEGES FOR ALIENS

In three different cases in recent years the Supreme Court has denied citizen ship to aliens who do not believe in defending this country, if that becomes necessary. The decisions aroused widespread resentment among Communists, pacificists and the so-called liberals. This element is now sponsoring a bill to amend the naturalization laws so that any coward or slacker may obtain citizenship. Hearings on the measure are scheduled for Tuesday morning, January 26, before the House immigration committee.

An organization calling itself the Griffin bill committee has undertaken the task of befuddling the public mind in preparation for the measure. It petitions Congress to enact this bill so that “intelligent aliens opposed to war may become citizens. This puts the duplicity of the committee's propaganda in its balilest form. In reality the bill is intended to allow aliens who will not promise to defend the Constitution to become citizens. But these propogandists are trying to camoflage the measure as an innocent provision, welcoming to the land of liberty the friends of peace.

It is questionable whether the bill as introduced by Representative Griffin would accomplish what is intended. It provides :

That no person mentally, morally, and otherwise qualified shall be debarred from citizenship by reason of his or her religious views or philosophical opinions with respect to the lawfulness of war as a means of settling international disputes, but every alien admitted to citizenship shall be subject to the same obligations as the native-born citizen.

It is not a question of philosophical opinions as to the justification for war, it is a question of willingness to take up arms in defense of the country if called upon to do so. Millions of citizens believe that war is wrong, and yet are ready to fight to save their country. Should anything less be asked of aliens who come seeking the protection of this Government?

It would be an insult to American citizens to offer citizenship to aliens who wish to partake of its privileges and shirk its responsibilities. In the present state of the world the stability of the United States depends upon the strength of its arms. The duty of defending the Nation against foreign attack is one which all citizens share. Any movement to bring into the fold

« ÎnapoiContinuați »