« ÎnapoiContinuați »
of complications. This legislation is wanted by international pacificists. They claim that under conscientious scruples and, as conscientious objectors, they should be relieved of the obligation of military service. It has been brought out that they are quite in error on that question. The Government, under the Constitution, has a right to command defense and support. The naturalization law carries the same idea merely a step further in the language wherein it stipulates support and defense against enemies within and without.
The Naturalization Bureau, merely applying that same principle, those same ideas, quite naturally asks the applicant for citizenship whether he will bear arms if necessary.
This question has twice been before the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court has, in the two cases with which you are all familiar upheld the law as it stood.
I think that the proponents of this bill, in the argument that they have presented here, are poor sports; they swear allegiance to our ideals and institutions, they believe in a democratic government, they are supposed to believe in majority rule, yet, what do they do? They come here, and for long periods, quote the minority opinions in those Supreme Court decisions as if they were the law. What is the use of having a vote, if the majority is not to rule? This question is established by the Constitution, by legislation and by the Supreme Court.
The revolutionary radicals, as I have shown, also want this legislation. I want to recall the testimony of General Frees. I am sorry we did not have more of it. I have asked him to submit a brief and elaborate the information given, as far as it is possible. I am sure it will be very valuable to the committee and to the Congress.
Now, why do the patriotic societies object to this legislation? The patriotic societies object because they know—and with reason—that if this bill goes through, the cause of national defense will be weakened. Pacifist agitators and conscientious objectors, who, in the last war were a great problem, and will be a much more serious one in the next if this bill goes through.
This question of philosophical opinions would cover a multitude of reasons. One could get out of service on almost any plea whatsoever, under the head of philosophical opinions. The proponents lay great emphasis on the fact that this bill would keep out sincere pacifists. Now, if the overwhelming majority of the people of this country are correct, that this type of nonresistant, noncooperative pacifist in the country, while fighting for its life and death, is wrong, then I want to say that, the more sincere, the more respectable, the more highbrow your pacifists are, the worse they are. One of those people can do more harm than a thousand street agitators; they move in the high places; they are very courteous; they influence education; they influence hundreds of young people; and that is why it is very important that this bill should not be passed. It will strengthen the revolutionary radical movement, because, as those of us who study it know, they believe the next thing is to get the country disarmed; they want to demobilize the Army, they want to dismantle the Navy, they want to disarm the police forces, and not have any military force whatsoever to keep order.
The weaker a state is, the weaker it is as an agency for law and order, the better is their chance; and as one of the speakers brought out, if there should be an outbreak, a great many of these people, these conscientious objectors, who will not fight a foreign enemy would join the ranks of those fighting against the government and make it all the more difficult to restore order. The pacifists we have now, and the conscientious objectors, according to Congress, have rights. They, as has been ably pointed out by a great many of the witnesses, created a problem for the country in the time of war. The alien and native agitators of radicalism who are here likewise have rights. But why should we add to these problems? Congress, according to the Supreme Couprt, can draft the conscientious objector, and we may need to do so. Therefore, I earnestly submit that
I it is a very precarious thing to add aliens to this class at this time.
The country has to take a chance on the incoming immigrants; why can not the incoming immigrants and applicants for citizenship take a chance on the country? No; he does not want to do that. But nevertheless, the Constitution provides that the Government shall have the benefit of the doubt, and that the burden of proof is on the applicant.
Gentlemen, we submit that the question asked by the Bureau of Naturalization is quite necessary and is in accord with the established law of the land and the spirit of the Constitition, and it should not be changed. In closing, I just want to quote the words of that question 24, and they are very significant words. “If necessary, are you willing to take up arms in defense of this country?" "If necessary what does that mean? It means that if the country is in peril, if its citizens-men, women, and children—are in peril, and if force to protect them is decreed by the Government, then will you help? The proponents of this bill want to have in the country a lot more of the people who, in a case like that, would sit back and say:
No; my philosophical opinions do not sanction this effort either to repel a foreign invader or suppress one of these cutthroat, communist resolutions, and I am just going to let somebody else do the job.
Gentlemen, we urge upon you to leave that question 24 alone. We urge upon you to report unfavorably on this bill. I thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Congressman Griffin would like to be heard in rebuttal?
STATEMENT BY REPRESENTATIVE ANTHONY J. GRIFFIN IN
Mr. GRIFFIN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I never realized until to-day how really wicked I am. I heard my;
: self classified with Communists and Bolshevists and pacifists and all sorts of " ists." I assure you I am absolutely innocent of any such connection. I always considered myself a pretty good sort of an American-not that I boast about it. I could not boast any more about loving my country than I could about loving my mother. I think there are certain tender sympathies and chords of the human heart that are so sanctified, that it really vulgarizes them to emphasize them. I come from pretty good stock, I think-Revolutionary stock on my mother's side, with ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War, and in every war since, and I revere the traditions and Constitution of my country, so that it is rather mortifying to find oneself classified with Bolshevists and Communists and other cranks of various kinds; and to-day there was even brought in the sexualists. Someone quoted something rather broad on the relations of the sexes, which was chargeable to some organization, I believe, that supported this bill. Surely, gentlemen, I am not responsible for all the views of all the people that support this bill.
I offered this bill on my own responsibility. I drew it up at a moment's notice, the day after the decision was handed down in the case of Madame Schwimmer. I read the opinion of that venerable jurist, Justice Holmes, who himself is no mean patriot. He bears on his body the wounds of three battlefields of the Civil War. I admire him for the breadth, the tolerance, and the nobility of his character.
I thought it was a mighty harmless bill, because I have been brought up on the doctrine that toleration is one of the foundation stones of free government. The Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States contains the guaranties of religious libertyfreedom of worship, as well as freedom of speech. I felt that the majority opinion was in direct conflict with the people of this country's inalienable right to free speech, free thought, and religious liberty—that it was a blow at those rights. My attitude was that of a student of history, because I have observed that every nation, in every age, that tried to submerge, persecute, or destroy opinions that
, were in the minority, suffered in the long run. The minorities of yesterday are in the majority of to-morrow.
I felt the proper attitude of Americans should be one of tolerance. I think it was Voltaire who said:
I can not agree with your sentiments, but I will give up my life that you may have the liberty to express them.
That is my attitude-simply one of toleration and fair play.
Now, this bill, it has been charged, is intended to enable aliens to take the oath of allegiance with reservations-so it has been represented. It does nothing of the kind. There is not a word, a paragraph, not a single idea in the entire bill, that will convey the implication that they are to be given any rights other than those of citizens.
You will notice that I put this bill in two forms. First, I used the language in the old bill (H. R. 3547) which I introduced in 1929, now it is H. R. 298. Then I introduced it in another form by request. I added at the end of it the new language that you will notice in H. R. 297:
But every alien admitted to citizenship shall be subject to the same obligations as the native-born citizen.
Permit me to emphasize that I did not introduce that language because I had any doubt that phraseology of the other bill needed any qualification or any explanation. I yielded my own judgment simply because a great many people said: "you must make it clear to the committee that there is no intention to convey any exemption to or any exceptions in favor of naturalized citizens.” Well, it seems to me, it stands to reason that, if an alien is admitted to citizenship, he is a citizen, and that is all there is about it. As to what he will do, or not do, in case of war, depends not upon him, not upon his will; he is given no discretion, but must do as the Congress directs.
Therefore it ought to be plain that my bill aims really to preserve the rights and the powers of Congress. I do not want to see Congress abdicate its right to control the conduct of citizens, whatever their status may be, whether by birth or by naturalization. If this bill became a law, what would happen?
Let us say, an alien is admitted to-day, and say 10 years from now a war takes place—which God forbid. Congress then enacts a lawanother selective draft law, with the usual exemptions. If this citizen is taken up, and if he is healthy and qualified or not entitled to exemption, he will be compelled to do as he is told or take the penalty. This bill does not grant any indulgence for naturalized citizens.
My proposal is simply in line with the views of those able jurists of the Supreme Court of the United States who have condemned this Question 24 as an offensive, hypothetical question, dangerous in its implications and consequences.
If you permit the Bureau of Naturalization to interrogate a man or woman as to their attitude on war, or what they might do in the future, it may, upon the same ground, namely, as a test of his good citizenship, ask them what their attitude is on the eighteenth amendment, on the fifteenth amendment or any domestic policy of the Government. Once you open the door to inquiries of that kind, you open a Pandora's box of dangerous possibilities.
In short, my sole purpose was, and is, to keep the halo around citizenship, to put it in an exalted niche, where it belongs, and to allow no snooping into a man's religious views or inner convictions. That is all there is to it.
There was a great deal said about pacifism yesterday. It seems to be fashionable to look with contempt on pacifists. I have always maintained that the term “ pacifist " was the wrong term. I think myself, that they ought to adopt a name something like this: “ Association opposed to war." That would get them along a great deal further than the term “pacifism,” which somehow conveys the idea of weakness, cowardice. No one should be ashamed of loving peace or hating war. Some of the very noblest men in our history ħated it and furthermore had some very curious ideas on arbitration. It may surprise you, and I bring this up now as having some pertinency in view of the fact that young Colonel Grant, the grandson of General Grant, was humbugged into coming into this hall here to-day to protest against this bill, under an absolute misapprehension of its purposes. It is not generally realized that General Grant hated war and was the man who was really responsible for the idea of arbitration. He brought about the arbitration with Great Britian at Geneva, and his biographer, Louis A. Coolidgeno relative of President Coolidge—says:
Thus Grant must have the credit for establishing the principle of arbitration in international disputes; for this was brought about by reason of the firmness with which he held to the validity of American demands. If anywhere along the line his conduct had been marked by vacillation, the result could not have been achieved. To him must also go the credit of being among the earliest to encourage the principle of a world's congress, as afterwards embodied in The Hague tribunal, when to the arbitration union in Birmingham he said: Nothing would afford me greater happiness than to know that, as I believe will be the case, at some future day, the nations of the earth will agree upon some sort of congress, which will take cognizance of international questions of difficulty, and whose decisions will be as binding as the
decisions of our Supreme Court are upon us. It is a dream of mine that some such solution may be."
That quotation is from page 311 of the Coolidge Biography of Grant.
In his message on the San Domingo treaty in 1871 he said: Rather do I believe that our great Maker is preparing the world in His own good time to become one nation, speaking one language, and when armies and navies will be no longer required.
Now, that is General Grant, a simple, unostentatious, able soldiernever pretending to be a militarist, and never holding himself out to be a militarist. He did not want to go to West Point. His father sent him there against his will. He went through and came out near the foot of his class. He resigned from the army and two years before the Civil War, was found in St. Louis peddling wood, yet by some marvelous freak of fortune, inside of five years, he was Commander in Chief of the Union Armies. When the war was over, he said to Lee, “Let us have peace.” He told his late enemies to take their horses and their sidearms and to go home and plow the ground. So you will find that throughout all history the bravest are always the tenderest.
One of the speakers to-day roused himself up into considerable indignation over my advocacy of this bill; but without intimating that I came within the pacifist category, expressed surprise that I had grit even to sponsor a bill of this kind. Well, in answer to that, the only thing that I can say is this: I find myself in good company, as there are five Justices of the Supreme Court who have already expressed views in concurrence with the terms and purposes of this bill. The bill is to prevent the asking of provoking, foolish questions of men, women and children. They said it was ridiculous. That is all my
bill aims at. Those judges were Holmes, now retired; poor Justice Sanford, who is dead and Justices Brandeis, Hughes and Stone. Now, the real issue is how this matter will be considered by the American people and by posterity-how it will affect American patriotism American toleration and the grandeur of American ideals. To grasp the import of my bill we must keep in mind the propo
on involved in this question 24 on the application blank, because that is all there is before you. Three justices of the Circuit Court of the Seventh Circuit reversed the decision of the lower court and agreed with Justice Holmes that the question is irrelevant and unnecessary. They were Justices Altschuler, Anderson, and Babson. Now, in the Macintosh and Bland cases, three justices of the Circuit Court of Appeals of the Second Circuit in New York City also agreed with the ultimate determination of Justices Hughes, Holmes, Brandeis, and Stone. Those three justices of the court of appeals were Martin, Hand, and Swan; all able, competent, patriotic men. Therefore, please do not put me in the category of being unpatriotic, or wanting to undermine the Constitution of our country.
TITLE FOR HEARINGS
In closing—I am going to close that right now—when you get together the hearings on this bill and think about a title, I hope you will give it a title that will convey what the bill does, and not permit language to be put at the head of the hearings to be circulated all over the country, which will deceive the casual reader and cause one