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If we do not do the honorable, and shall I say, the decent thing, if we do not place East Indians on a parity with the Chinese and our other allies, the Nazis and Japs will continue to rub it in on India and incessantly repeat that Americans are long on words of sympathy but short on deeds of actual help.
Unless we amend out of our statutes the bar sinster against East Indians, Hirohito will call us hypocrites and will screech "Don't be fools, you good people of India. These tartuffes of America and Britain prate of brotherly love, but they only pretend good will. They give you poius platitudes about dignity of the individual, about equality of all men, about the four freedoms, but it is all poppycock. You can't even emigrate to their land. They blacklist you. Join up with us, and help drive the white humbugs out of all the Orient, and keep them out." That is the gist of the Jap propaganda I have seen in numerous publications.
Such messages pour into India from all sides. They reach the lowliest peasant in his dunghill hut. They seep and spread through human grapevine communications.
We must at once erase from the statute books the malignant inferiority with which we brand the East Indians, our allies. Our action would be as refreshing to them as a cool breeze in the heat of summer. It would be an effective antidote to poisoned propaganda. It would hearten and encourage the Indians to fight with and for us.
Our troops are in India, which is our base against Japan. Unless the people of India cooperate wholeheartedly, the war will be prolonged. India, therefore, is America's business, China's business, England's business—the earnest concern of all our allies.
How can we exclude as immigrants a friend and ally? Our airmen in Calcutta, when asked: "Why do you proscribe us? We do not exclude you, friend," have no answer, because they realize the wall of injustice and humiliation we erect between comrades in arms.
It is well to note that only yesterday the Associated Press announced that they were going to establish a news and radio service in India, and in their announcement they indicated the great potentialities that India offers for American trade.
India is a huge untapped reservoir for American goods, capital goods and consumer goods. And we must take advantage of that reservoir. We must tap it. But naturally, when Indians are confronted with the fact that we do not want even as many as 100 Indians to enter our portals, they are naturally not going to view with any degree of kindliness our attempts to sell goods to India.
So that here is an opportunity, gentlemen, whereby you can establish a wondrous bridgehead of mutual esteem and respect. You can dispel much of the suspicion and distrust that exists, and create good will.
Do you know that with proper infiltration of western ideas in India, you could set up tremendous demands for western goods. If Indians, for example, could be persuaded to wear hats—just hats—there would not be enough machines in this country to supply the demand. And if they would wear dresses and shoes, and it is possible that they would if we do the right thing with India and lend them a helping hand, and express our sympathy and willingness to help them, there would not be enough machines on the whole planet to supply the Indian demand for such goods.
The CHAIRMAN. May I interrupt you at this point?
The CHAIRMAN. Is it your contention that the Indians feel that: there is a discriminatory statute against their people, as a people and that by granting them a quota—as we have granted other nationals we would remove that stigma or that discrimination so far as India is concerned? Am I correct? Is that your argument?
Mr. CELLER. That is correct.
The CHAIRMAN. According to the 1943 census, there are only 4,049 East Indians in this country, 910 of whom are native-born.
Mr. CELLER. You mean native-born in this country?
The CHAIRMAN. Native-born in this country. So there are approximately 3,139 aliens of East Indian descent.
Mr. CELLER. Well, you would not call those native-born people aliens,
The CHAIRMAN. No; I am not calling them aliens. I am merely giving you the figures. We only have about 12 aliens and 538 United States citizens of East Indian descent in our possessions, like Hawaii, for example. Now in granting this minimum quota of 100, because that is all we could give them, they would still come under the provisions of the immigration laws having to be morally, mentally, and financially responsible people.
Mr. CELLER. There is no doubt about it.
The CHAIRMAN. And they would be subject to all of the requirements, under our immigration and naturalization laws, like every other alien, of Great Britain or any other country.
Mr. CELLER. They would have to satisfy all the immigration requirements with reference to mentality, moral character, economic stability, and so forth.
The CHAIRMAN. Does your bill have the same provisions as the Luce bill?
Mr. CELLER. It is similar to it.
Mr. CELLER. The Dirksen bill is practically the same as the Celler and Luce bills.
The CHAIRMAN. There are some other bills on the calendar for tomorrow-I do not know if we can reach them—that deal with the naturalization of East Indians in this country, which I assume would refer to the 3,139 now here. Can you give us something on that?
Mr. CELLER. I will briefly comment on that bill.
The CHAIRMAN. I am only suggesting that. You do not have to go into it.
Mr. Mason. That is also in your bill?
Mr. CELLER. For example, that bill, offered, I think, by the gentleman from New York, our distinguished colleague, Mr. Lynch, provides that when it comes to application for naturalization, the applicants need not satisfy compliance with the very restrictions you speak of. They need not submit a certificate of arrival. And in other ways it lifts some of the restrictions which apply to all applicants for citizenship. And I do not believe you want to create a preference like that.
No; I do not, for the Indians, want to create a preference like that. To lift them out of the realm of all naturalization applicants and say they do not have to satisfy those very requirements that you very succinctly outlined, would be unfair. That would put the stamp of approval upon a discrimination for the benefit of a few favored Indians. That would or bose who are here, many or some of whom have jumped ship, for example. That would put imprimitur of approval upon illegality. I do not believe you want to do that.
The CHAIRMAN. So you are not supporting the Lynch bill?
Mr. Mason. Mr. Celler, may I ask you to explain what section 303 in your bill would accomplish, if it does not accomplish the naturalization of all Indians who are now residents of this country, permanent residents? It certainly gives them the right to become naturalized citizens, does it not?
Mr. CELLER. Gives them the right to become citizens, but they must then satisfy all of the provisions of the immigration statutes.
Mr. Mason. It gives them the right?
Mr. Mason. And that, as I understand it, is what the Lynch bill does.
Mr. CELLER. The Lynch bill provides for exemption from the very important provisions of the naturalization statute.
Mr. Mason. I have not the Lynch bill before me, but certainly we would not want to remove or eliminate any of those provisions, any of those requirements for naturalization.
Mr. CELLER. You would not, for example, wish to eliminate the necessity for furnishing a declaration-of-intention certificate of arrival.
Mr. Mason. Not at all.
Mr. CELLER. With all due respect to the gentleman from New York, his bill would, as far as Indians in this country, prior to 1924, set up a favored class-a sort of Brahman group of Indians—who would be preferred to all others from all over the world-preferred over all classes and all races in that a declaration of intention and a certificate of arrival would be waived.
Mr. Mason. I had understood that this committee had already practically approved of the matter of permitting the Indians now resident here to become naturalized citizens, but we had not gone as far as to permit or approve a quota for other Indians who may wish to come here. And those are the only two things I thought were in
Mr. CELLER. That is right. It provides first for permission to those Indians who come here legally to beocme naturalized citizens.
Mr. Mason. That are already here?
Mr. CELLAR. That are already here and who may hereafter come here. And it also provides for a quota of 100 with 75 of that 100 going to Indians born and resident in India or its dependencies.
The CHAIRMAN. It would be 100 if we grant this legislation.
Mr. Celler. Yes. Of course, if you approve the Lynch bill, then you would be setting up discrimination which I think
Mr. Mason. I certainly would not be willing to approve the Lynch bill if it waives any of those naturalization qualifications.
Mr. CELLER. Let us assume that you strike out the provisions of the so-called Lynch bill that waive those requirements of certificate of arrival, and so forth, and then permit the Indians who are here to become naturalized if they satisfy the naturalization statutes. That would be in the nature of creating a discrimination which would benefit a favored few Indians. It would not touch Indians now in the United States. It would not reach the purpose of my bill, namely, create good will between India and the United States, primarily for enlargement of our foreign trade.
Mr. Mason. Well, they are a favored class, if they are already here, permanently located and established here. We would say they are in a favored class, would we not?
Mr. CELLER. There is no doubt about that. But it would be creating a few Brahmans, if I may use an Indian term, and leave all the other vast number of Indians as sort of untouchables, which I think would be wrong.
The CHAIRMAN. That is a matter which will have to be determined.
Mr. CELLER. Still, men like Nehru, Tagore, or Gandhi, many distinguished men and women, women like Mrs. Pundit, who is here now, a very charming, wise and sagacious lady, would be barred.
But the very purpose underlying my bill is to create a feeling of good will, that we will so need after the war. We must increase our exports--remember that.
The CHAIRMAN. No one is arguing that point, Mr. Celler.
Mr. Allen. In other words, your position is that to grant citizenship to those already here would not create any good will in India at all?
Mr. Celler. No; it would not.
Mr. CELLER. It would be discrimination, would be creating a few Brahmans, which is the thing the Indians in India want to do away with. They want to eliminate the barriers existing between family and family, and relation and relation, in India.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, then, there are two major points to the whole argument, Mr. Celler, in all the bills: First, a minimum quota must be established, and secondly, the right to become naturalized must be given to those who are in this country and have become established, as Mr. Mason has pointed out? Those are the only two points involved?
Mr. Celler. Yes, sir.
Mr. KEARNEY. Mr. Celler, it is true, is it not, that there is an organization composed of Indians in this country, who is interested solely in securing the right to naturalization for those Indians who are in this country now?
Mr. CELLER. I think there is such an organization, and it is rather a selfish organization. They seek to feather their own nest, and I think they do a woeful injury to their own people, and in my humble estimate they should bow in shame.
Mr. KEARNEY. But they are Indians?
Mr. CELLER. That is right. But they are a pitifully microscopic few in comparison with the others who want the larger bill. The State Department is wholeheartedly in favor of this bill. In communication with officials of the State Department, they say they cannot too strongly endorse the bill.
Mr. MASON. Should we not have a State Department official here to testify?
Mr. CELLER. Yes, we have, and also the Department of Justice. strongly favor the bill. Our President favors my bill. Mrs. Luce asked me to read her statement. It is not too long. May I have the privilege of reading it?
The CHAIRMAN. She is absent. We had some other bill introduced by her, and we have called her several times. She never comes here.
Mr. Mason. Mr. Chairman, if she wants to shed her brilliance, and charm and beauty upon others, and not this committee The CHAIRMAN. I will accept your apology.
Mr. CELLER. Regardless of that, the lady, a distinguished and able Representative, is wholeheartedly in favor of this bill, and I think it would not be amiss for me to read her statement. She speaks out of a wealth of knowledge.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. Read it. Without objection, it will be incorporated in the record.
STATEMENT BY HON. CLARE BOOTHE LUCE, REPRESENTATIVE,
STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Mrs. LUCE. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, establishment of a quota for admission of natives of India to the United States is an act of justice which we should not withhold. The practical fact is that the total immigration of native British Indians into the United States on a regular quota basis will not exceed 75 per year. However, the psychological effect may well be out of all proportion to this infinitesimal gain in our population.
As it now stands, Eastern Hemisphere Indians are legally classified by us as undesirable residents, along with our enemies, the Japanese.
Yet India has been, and is today, of immense value toward our joint victory over our enemies. The Indian Army is not only the largest single volunteer army in the world, it is the largest single volunteer army in all history. There are now more than 2,000,000 native Indian troops-all volunteers-fighting in the Allied ranks, and more than 500,000 of these are on duty outside of India.
The Indian Air Force, and the Indian Navy have been estimated to total about one-third of a million men. Also, there are 59,000 Indians in the British merchant marine, enough to man a quarter of Britain's merchant fleet.
That is the numerical contribution of India. The valor of Indian soldiers is unexcelled, man for man, by any other fighters in the world. Indian troops were the backbone of Field Marshal Montgomery's invincible Eighth Army in north Africa. In that campaign the Fourth Indian Division suffered 100 percent casualties, and captured 10 times its own number in enemy prisoners. In this World War, as in the First, India has contributed more soldiers than all the other parts of the British Empire, exclusive of the British Isles.
Nor are manpower and valor India's only contribution to our victory. In the 5 years of the war, industrialization of India has advanced more than in all the 6,000 recorded years of previous Indian history. For example, now India produces 80 percent of its own war equipment,