Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

The only question raised by the proposed legislation is in regard to question 24. I am willing to sit here as long as you want to, and if you want another day to discuss the question you can have it. But my suggestion is that you keep close to the main point in the case. Question 24 is the important question which we are dealing with.

Mr. JENKINS. Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Jenkins, I do not know what the other members of the committee desire.

Mr. JENKINS. This is the way I look at this thing: I do not think that anything that will be said here by these people, on one side or the other, is going to change very much any member's mind on it. I think the members have their minds pretty well made up, but it strikes me that this record, which is going to be made up, is going to be a very valuable record, and is going to be used in this country in the coming years. This is an important question, and there is no question about that. It strikes me also that there is a good deal of feeling about it because people appreciate that it is a very important matter, and it is one that we have got to decide.

It is going to be decided, at least it must be decided to some extent, outside of this committee; and I think that the persons appearing here ought to be allowed full time for their discussion.

The CHAIRMAN. I am simply saying that I thought it would be better if they could stay close to the main issue. I am merely trying to explain the issue that is before them-so that the argument, so far as possible, will be limited to section 24.

Mr. JENKINS. Just allow me to finish.

Yesterday we heard the statement from this Doctor Davis from Yale University. That statement indicated the gentleman had given considerable thought to it. He had prepared himself extensively, and no doubt he was the spokesman for a great sentiment of thought in this country. Evidently he represents that school of thought, and he was speaking for it. The people of the country have a right to know what those ideas are, and what reasoning they are based upon, and I am of the opinion that we should give those on this side ample opportunity to be heard.

The CHAIRMAN. It is perfectly agreeable to me. Except that I do not agree with you quite that the committee has already ma up its mind, Mr. Jenkins.

Mr. Dres. The trouble is that yesterday there was unlimited discussion, apparently.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, I am not trying to deprive anybody from making a complete statement; I simply wanted them to speak on the question, and I am merely trying to help the gentleman in getting to that point.

Mr. JENKINS. In discussing section 24.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; that is the thought I had in mind.
Mr. JENKINS. That is what we want.
The CHAIRMAN. All right; let us go ahead.

Mr. LLOYD. Mr. Chairman, I am glad to have the suggestion, and the only reason I brought this matter up was because on yesterday there probably was allowed a rather wide range in the arguments, and I am in favor of letting them have full discussion. I am sure that all our people would feel the same. The proponents talked about a great many collateral matters and also they claimed that

they were entirely disassociated from communistic doctrines, or the alien element, and it was merely for that purpose that I brought out the point I mentioned a while ago. They made the point against section 24, saying that if it was allowed to stand that we would be in the same class as bolshevik Russia, or kaiserist Germany.

Now, as I see the case, these two types of radicals do not actually line up together, but there is a working arrangement, and you will find, if you take time to follow it through, that they both will be behind this movement; that is the radical organizations will be behind this movement. That is a point which they discussed, and which I wanted to bring out.

Now, then, in regard to the language contained in question 24: If these people have read the case decided by the Supreme Court; if they have read the naturalization law, if they have read the questions contained in the application for naturalization, I do not see how they have any excuse for standing before this committee and putting on the show they put on yesterday. But, I am not a lawyer, and I am going to leave to somebody else, who is a lawyer, to call that to your attention.

And furthermore, there is no rule ever made that does not require some exception. There is no principle that can not be carried to some point where it will not break; that is, it will break if it does not bend. In an address delivered by former Chief Justice Taft, before the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, in Washington, on May 8, 1920, he made a statement bearing out that same thought. He was not talking about bending the principles of selfgovernment, but the principles applicable, generally, and said that unless you make exceptions in the application of those principles, you will find that in many cases absurd results will be the outcome.

Now, emphasis was laid on our traditions. This bill deals with question 24 in the application, a matter pertaining to the immigration and naturalization laws. I am happy to say, and I am proud

. to say that our Congress and this country has always shown a very practical and realistic attitude towards these issues.

The enactment of the restriction immigration system is, to my mind, one of the most interesting and inspiring examples of response to the urge for national self-preservation, to follow the teachings and the traditions of our country. We have talked about the melting pot, and the home of the oppressed, for a long while, but when the World War came along, it woke us up. We found that melting pot did not work. We found then the necessity of taking steps to limit the influx. In spite of our traditions we established an immigration restriction law.

The same reasons that brought about that restriction apply to the present problem. The tradition about this matter of bearing arms goes back to the very foundation of our country. We had the same question in regard to universal service that we have in this case.

It has been brought out that Congress has the right to stipulate what sort of people we take into our country. Congress can say that we are going to have a better class taken into our country or a worse class. The whole matter is up to Congress. It is not necessary to lengthen, or to extend this kind of argument. You know what the thought' of Congress is, and of the country. The only

111460 32

-7

point I want to make about this question is this: With all the trouble that is now in the world, with our Nation not in a strong position to-day with all of these different groups that have been coming in, it is no time for us to become lax in our restrictions.

I am not going to take any more of your time, because I know that Congress will see the correct position in this matter, and I have no anxiety about the outcome whatever.

Now, I shall not take up more of your time, but simply introduce the next speaker.

[ocr errors]

STATEMENT OF H. RALPH BURTON, OF THE NATIONAL PATRIOTIC

LEAGUE, OF WASHINGTON, D. C.

Mr. LLOYD. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I want to call as our next witness Mr. H. Ralph Burton, of the National Patriotic League.

Mr. BURTON. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, it is of decided importance to determine and remember throughout the course of these proceedings what the issue is before us, and it is very easy to go off on tangents where a question of this kind is under discussion. Mr. Griffin has very distinctly stated that he is trying to amend a statute, that statute which has to do with nationalization of aliens; that he is trying to furnish the Bureau of Naturalization a guide so that it will not take unwarranted liberties when drawing up

the forms issued in connection with naturalization, and what seems to disturb him most is question 24 in the application for certificate of arrival and preliminary form for citizenship, known as form A-2214, which particular question reads:

If necessary, are you willing to take up arms in defense of this country? I was not here when Mr. Griffin spoke yesterday, at least not all of the time, but at the hearing on this same resolution about a year ago Mr. Griffin said with reference to this same question that it was a

gratuitous, unwarranted, and unauthorized interpretation.” “It is not,” he said, “ an opinion as to what a person will not do, but what he thinks he will do in some future time in the country.”

Mr. Griffin was asked, “Do you agree that such a question should be put to a man of military age?" And he answered, “ Yes; for a young man, but not for a woman, because we are not going to call women into combatant service.”

Therefore, at the very outset, Mr. Griffin admitted that the question is a proper one if put to the proper person; that is, one of certain sex and age; but Mr. Griffin evidently fails to recognize that the question is one involving a basic principle applicable not only to men of military age but to men and women alike of all ages. It is not a question which goes to the applicant's qualifications for military service and the defense of this country so much as it goes to the question of their willingness and belief that it should be defended with arms.

It would be utterly impossible to have one kind of question for one person and another kind for another person, and unless there is a desire to enjoy the benefits of this country without the liabilities that go with them, no one can have an honest objection to promising to defend this country with arms, if need be. Any question as to

[ocr errors]

qualifications or the like would be determined in the regular course of procedure when the proper time arrived.

I have two sons of military age, and most certainly, in the event of war, they could not and would not avoid the duties that would be before them, and I find it impossible to reconcile myself to permitting aliens to enter this country as citizens with the privilege of selecting noncombatant service in time of war while my sons and those of other American-born citizens do their fighting for them.

To those who are aliens and seek the country's benefits it is a privilege and not a right to be admitted to citizenship; but it is not for them to dictate the terms upon which they shall be admitted to the rights which natural-born citizens enjoy, and I only regret that those who advocate such admission to citizenship upon such a basis can not be required to go to other parts of the world and enjoy the society of those who contend that they are entitled to the benefits of our country with none of the liabilities.

Mr. Griffin says he wants to amend the statute so that it will not be possible for our officials to ask question 24. Why? Just what is the purpose which Mr. Griffin has in mind or those who so ardently back this resolution? I am unable to determine but apparently it is because they claim to owe allegiance to God above their country. I am at a loss to understand upon what theory and what basis this statement is made, for I have found no evidence so far that God is opposed to the citizens of the country who are willing to defend it with arms, or without. I am unwilling to admit that these gentlemen who have spoken before this committee have been chosen of God or are properly interpreting the principles advocated by God; I am not willing to admit that those who refuse to do so are more holy than I, and entitled to place themselves upon the right hand of God. Modern Pharisees, say I, and no less.

Again we hear from advocates of this resolution that it is their conscience which must be considered before their country which, in some way, they seem to interchange with allegiance to God, whichever happens to suit the moment; but whatever it is, allegiance to God, or allegiance to conscience, comes before the State and the

defense of the country. In other words, aliens from everywhere must be permitted to come into the country upon the condition precedent, if you please, that if war is declared by Congress they must be excused because their conscience does not permit them to take up arms in the defense of this country whose benefits they desire.

I listened to Mr. Davis yesterday in silence exhorting the principles which I have mentioned, speaking as God's direct representative on the question of war and on the question of bearing arms, but if his authority for that is no greater than his authority is for speaking for the Catholic University, then it is nil. When asked by what authority he spoke for Catholic University he hesitated and then said he did not recall, but it was some one he met on the campus, or in one of the departments, but he could not remember their name. Nevertheless, subsequently he said he had called up this person on the telephone to verify what he said and I now ask how he could call up such a person when he did not know their name. No such libel upon the patriotism of the Catholic Church should be permitted, for there were no more loyal citizens or as ardent advocates for this country's defense during the war than the leaders of the Catholic Church; and I defy Mr. Davis or anyone associated with him to bring officials of the Catholic Church before this committee who will say that aliens should be admitted to citizenship when they refuse to bear arms in defense of their country.

Mr. Davis told us of his ancestors; they were ancestors of whom he might readily be proud. But, I am wondering what would have become of the boat that George Washington used in crossing the Delaware if his ancestor general in charge of it felt the same way that Mr. Davis apparently does.

I listened carefully to his descriptions of the activities of his ancestors, so far as patriotic efforts were concerned, and also to the exposition of his views as to the duties of a citizen, and I was reminded of some remarks made by our beloved Nicholas Longworth, who, at a dinner when describing a similar situation, said:

Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow;
It followed her to Pittsburgh one day, and now look at the damn thing.

I wonder just what Mr. Davis's ancestors would think if they could have heard what he said here yesterday,

Now, I think it well to consider, if this resolution is passed, just what sort of citizens would be admitted to the country. I am going to take as an example Madame Rosika Schwimmer, whom I doubt not is here to-day. Madame Schwimmer at a recent meeting of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom at Geneva, advocated the women's slacker oath. Last year when I made this statement Madame Schwimmer at the time said that I was in error, because she said she was not present when the vote was taken and wished I would correct the statement. I asked her what the reason was and she said that she was not there. I then asked her what she would have done if she had been there, and she said she would have voted for it. It seems that Madame Schwimmer was in Budapest at that time, when the oath was taken, where the Bela Kun communist revolution was in progress.

Now on the question of this Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, I want to refer to some testimony that I gave here last year and at the same time I suggest that you make it as a part of these proceedings.

The CHAIRMAN. What page is that?

Mr. BURTON. That is on page 159. Well, my statement begins on page 152, and I filed certain correspondence that had been carried on relative to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

Now, the claim throughout, in urging the passage of this law, is that people who object to bearing arms in defense of the country should be admitted and they should be admitted because they owe allegiance to their conscience and to God, above country. It is principally, I would say, to their conscience, for whatever that conscience may represent. But I now want to call your attention to one of their platforms, or one of the programs, of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. First, is the program urging the passage of this bill which will admit aliens to citizenship in such a way that they would not have to answer question 24, and will let in people who will not fight for the country?

[ocr errors]
« ÎnapoiContinuați »