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Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, 1924 Chestnut Street, World Council of Churches, 297 Fourth Avenue, New York City.
Below are resolutions passed by some of the above mentioned organizations: American Asiatic Association.
“Resolved, That the executive committee of the American Asiatic Association recommends to the Congress of the United States that the United States immigration laws be so amended that the people of India may be admitted to the United States on a quota basis similar to that for citizens of other countries. The association has studied this problem for many years and has the feeling that this is an act of justice long due to the Indian people.” Council for Community Action.
"Be it resolved, That the Council for Community Action go on record as being in favor of the amendment to section 303 of the Nationality Act of 1940. This would remove the stigma from the people of India, a people of ancient civilization, as undesirable and inadmissible. It would enable them to send 75 of their nationals here yearly under the quota and they would be eligible for citizenship. Indian troops are serving gallantly in many sectors. They are fighting side by side with our boys. Removal of discrimination against them may well boost their morale. The Council for Community Action respectfully urges that this bill be favorably reported out of committee." National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
“The board of directors pledge support of bills in Congress authorizing immigration and naturalization of nationals of India.” The National Board of the Young Women's Christian Associations of the United
States of America. "At its meeting on April 19, the public affairs committee, upon recommendation of its subcommittee on race relations, voted to endorse this bill providing for the naturalization of Eastern Hemisphere Indians.” Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
“The Women's International League, meeting in annual convention in Washington, D. C., on April 27–30, 1944, records its support of the Luce and Celler bills in the House of Representatives, calling for the abrogation of the Exclusion Act as it affects citizens of India. The league is gratified that the act has already been lifted for the Chinese, but protests the whole exclusion policy of our Government as being undemocratic in principle and contrary to the best American tradition. The league again reaffirms its conviction that United States immigration policy should be based on the qualification of applicants and not on their ethnic origins.”
SUPPORT OF UNITED STATES CITIZENS IN INDIA We are happy to inform you that American citizens resident in India are actively supporting the pending legislation.
Already more than 400 Americans have signed the following statement and submitted it to the United States Congress:
“We, the undersigned American citizens resident in India and engaged in missionary and other work, strongly support legislation permitting the immigration of Indians under a quota and making them eligible for United States citizenship, and urge that immediate enactment by Congress of appropriate legislation which will remove the discrimination against the nationals of India under present immigration and naturalization laws, and which will grant to Indians the same status as has been granted recently by Congress to nationals of China.”
This statement is being circulated for signatures throughout India and it is expected that nearly all American citizens resident in India will sign it. SUPPORT OF BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF THE COUNTY OF Los ANGELES,
CALIFORNIA The following resolution was passed by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles, State of California, on Tuesday, May 23, 1944:
"Whereas there are now pending in the Congress of the United States bills looking toward the placing of immigration from India on a quota basis; and
"Whereas the adoption of such legislation would not mean a flood of Indian migration here since the quota would admit but 75 Indian natives a year; and
"Whereas failure to place immigration from India on a quota basis is a discrimination against the people of India which is unjustified and discourteous to them: Now, therefore, be it
"Resolved, That the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles, State of California, does hereby recommend to the Congress of the United States of America that the proposed legislation placing immigration into the United States. from India on a quota basis be properly enacted into law.”
SUPPORT OF BRITISH GOVERNMENT OF INDIA Following are excerpts from speeches made in Council of State, New Delhi, in March 1944: P. N. Sapru, Member Council of State.
"The people of India have made heavy sacrifices in the fight for freedom and liberty and therefore if we are fighting the common fight it is necessary that we should be regarded on an equal status with other peoples and other races and nations. It is not, therefore, because we want to solve our population problem that we wish this ban on emigration removed. It is because we, as representing a great Asiatic racema race which has a tradition and culture which it may well be proud of—desire the principle of racial equality to be established. Surely what has been conceded to China cannot with justice be denied by the people of the United States to the people of India.
“We welcome with open arms the people of the United States in this country. There are no restrictions on their entry into this country. There are no restrictions on their following any profession or trade or business they like in this country. They can acquire the rights of a British Indian subject without any difficulty.
“If they comply with certain naturalization laws, they can become Indian subjects. What we ask is that the principle we apply to them should also be applied to us. In other words, we are asking for reciprocal treatment." Hirdaynath Kunzru, Member Council of State.
“Mr. Roosevelt is the spokesman today of the highest aspirations of the world. His messages are meant not only for the people confined within the artificial boundaries of the United States of America, but for the human race as a whole. Apart from this, there is, we understand, a new sympathy with, and a new understanding of, India in America. We hope, therefore, that the bill which has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives will become law.
“During the Great War, the Americans fought the Germans but after the war the Germans were allowed to emigrate to America and get naturalized. How can India, then, whose countrymen fought on the side of the Allies during the Great War and are now fighting with all their might and resources inside the United Nations, be treated on a lower level than the citizens of enemy countries?
“We who are seeking to raise the standard of living of our own masses will not change to be a party to a poilcy which would bring the people of other countries down economically. No one need suppose that we would follow so selfish a policy as to allow the economic standards of other countries to be lowered. We only wish we should cease to be treated as prohibited emigrants--we want that our self-respect should be satisfied. If that is done the question of numbers will cause no trouble.' Sir Olaf Caroe, Foreign Secretary, Government of India.
“The position of Indians generally in America ought to be that they should have a recognized quota and that they should also have a hope of becoming naturalized American citizens. That in fact is the position which has now been accorded to the Chinese.
“I take it that if parity of treatment on these lines could be obtained for Indians, that is what opinion in this country would welcome and I may say it is certainly the position which Government would like to see set up.
“Now, at this point of the story it will perhaps be useful if I refer, with your permission, sir, to two bills which have already been put into the two separate Houses of the American Legislature. About 2 months ago, if my memory does not fail me, a Senator Member of the Upper House, Senator Langer, put in a bill in the Upper House, the effect of which, if enacted, would be to give Indians who have been in the United States prior to 1924, that is to say, prior to the second Immigration Act, American citizenship. I think it will be clear to the House that although this legislation, if enacted, would have the effect of making Indians. who had entered America before 1924 American citizens, the number of those. Indians is of course dwindling from year to year and it would have no effect whatever on any Indians who had entered the United States after 1924. Nor would it have any effect on any Indians who may wish to enter the United States in future. In fact, it would only be very restricted and would help a certain number of persons who had already been in the country for many years. I think I should probably be interpreting the feeling in this country correctly if I say that this is not what we here should like or wish. What Indian opinion—and I may say supported entirely by Government-would hope for is the enactment of a measure giving exactly the same treatment to Indians as had already been accorded to China, that is to say, entry under a quota and the right to attain citizenship. The other bill—we have just recently received notice of it—the other bill has just been put in a few days ago in the Lower House, the House of Representatives, by Representative Emanuel Celler, and the effect of that bill would be to secure to Indians exactly the position which I have endeavoured before the House to outline."
Mr. CELLER. Just one more witness, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Hines, representing the American Federation of Labor.
STATEMENT OF LEWIS G. HINES, LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATIVE,
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR, WASHINGTON, D. C. Mr. HINES. Mr. Chairman, I am going to be very brief. My name is Lewis G. Hines, legislative representative for the American Federation of Labor.
I would like to read into the record a resolution adopted at our last convention in New Orleans last November, It reads as follows:
Whereas the question of immigration after the war definitely involves the internal national problem of unemployment; Therefore, be it
Resolved, That this convention of the American Federation of Labor declare its considered opinion to be that while the people of the United States must do all in their power to assist the unemployed and the destitute in other countries through loans, food, clothing, supplies, and the implements of peacetime production, we are nevertheless unalterably and actively opposed to the lowering of our immigration standards which would permit an influx of the impoverished people to our country. Our most pressing problem when peace comes will be to find full employment for our citizens, and when this has been established we can then, but not until then, give consideration to the lowering of our immigration barriers.
Your committee recommends that approval be given the final resolve of Resolution No. 43 and that approval be given to the resolve of Resolution No. 136.
The report and recommendation of the committee was unanimoulsy adopted.
This resolution was the following portion of the executive committee's report, dealing with the question of lowering the bars for people of Asiatic countries, orientals.
The executive council's report recommends that all phases of the traditional immigration policy of the American Federation of Labor should be maintained.
That is a portion of the executive councils' report that was adopted, as I say, unanimously by the convention.
Mr. Mason. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask the witness a question or two. The first resolution that he read was a general, over-all resolution against the lowering of the bars for immigrants to come in, on account of the industrial situation, and stressing the fact that nothing should be done until after the war is over. Now, then, if this Congress in its wisdom should change the quota, the German quota, cut it down from 27,000 to 27, and give the East Indians a quota of 100, wouldn't you say that this Congress has conformed entirely with that general resolution that you read to us?
Mr. Hines. I would like to answer that, Congressman, by reiterating the position that I took when I appeared here with regard to the Chinese exclusion bill, and I think I stated the position of the federation very adequately when I said we desire to wait until the war is over in dealing with all phases of immigration. There is quite a possibility that we may want to eliminate all quotas from Germany and Japan and other enemy countries.
The CHAIRMAN. Japan has no quota.
Mr. HINES. Well, we may want to eliminate all quotas from Germany and provide that there be no immigration at all from Japan. Now, we don't think that this is the time of course, I don't want to get into a discussion of this, Mr. Chairman. I merely want to present the views of the 7,000,000 members of the American Federation of Labor, and their attitude as set forth in the convention of the American Federation of Labor.
Mr. Mason. Then the two resolutions that you read, both of which were general, and one particularly general to cover the whole question of immigration—those resolutions present the views of your organization, and then we in turn must interpret those views and decide ourselves as to the best way of abiding by those views, and if the net result is that we cut all quotas in half after this war, on account of the industrial situation, we will then have complied entirely with those resolutions that have been read to us?
Mr. REES. As I understand it, you feel that this whole problem could be much better considered and better handled after the present crisis is over, when we might give this problem, as well as others, a little more careful study?
Mr. HINES. That is my position, and I think I reflect, I am sure I reflect, the sentiments of the American Federation of Labor when I
Mr. McGowEN. Then do I understand that your organization would be against the enactment of this bill at this time?
Mr. HINES. Yes. We were against the enactment of the bill pertaining to the Chinese. We are against the enactment of this bill at this time, in view of our policies, as referred to in our resolution.
The CHAIRMAN. What was the date of that resolution that you referred to?
Mr. Hines. That was November of 1944.
The CHAIRMAN. I have a wire here that has been handed to me, addressed to J. J. Singh, president of the India League of America, 40 East Forty-ninth Street, New York, reading:
Because Luce-Celler bill referred to in your telegram deals with immigration, I would be compelled to give said bill careful thought and study before making any comment regarding our attitude toward the legislation.
That is signed by Mr. Green, president of the American Federation of Labor. Isn't that inconsistent with your statement here?
Mr. HINES. Not at all.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, if you last year set down your policy in your convention and have definitely carried out, or are seeking to carry it out, in your testimony, then why should Mr Green in the following year of 1945 state that “we have not decided anything, and we have no opinion on that question?"
Mr. HINES. I don't think he has not decided.
Mr. Mason. It seems to me that that telegram from Mr. Green is. a telegram on this specific bill which says they have not gone on record either for or against.
The CHAIRMAN. That is right.
Mr. Mason. The resolution that was drawn up is not 'on this specific bill or having anything to do with this bill, but upon immigration in general.
Mr. HINES. It establishes the policy of the American Federation of Labor, as I stated before. That portion of the executive council's report dealt with that. Mr. CELLER. We have a C.I. O. representative here, Mr. Chairman, The CHAIRMAN. Let the witness conclude. Mr. HINES. What has hé got to do with the American Federation of Labor?
Mr. CELLER. He wants to testify.
Mr. Hines. Let him testify, if you are through with me. (Laughter.] What is the idea of tying him in with me?
Mr. CELLER. Tying him in with labor.
The CHAIRMAN. You can continue, Mr. Hines. No one will interrupt you.
Mr. Hines. I am here to answer questions, Mr. Chairman. I am not looking for argument.
The CHAIRMAN. Neither am I. I don't think any of us want an argument.
Mr. Hines. I am just setting forth the position of the American Federation of Labor: That is all I have to say.
The CHAIRMAN. You have made your statement, Mr. Hines, and we thank you very much.
Mr. CELLER. Mr. Kermit Eby, director of education, C. I. O., has a very short statement.
STATEMENT OF KERMIT EBY, DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION AND
RESEARCH, CONGRESS OF INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONS, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. EBY. My name is Kermit Eby, director of education and research, C. I. 0. I was here on the Chinese Exclusion Act, and I am not going to reiterate the arguments I made then. You have listened to them, and so have I, for the last 2 or 3 days. I have come up here three times simply to say that our position on the Celler-Luce bill is exactly the same as it was on the Chinese Exclusion Act. We think it is fair. We think that the benefits would be extraordinary, and we think that inasmuch as only a few people in number would be affected, we certainly should take the action which these bills designate.
May I conclude by submitting this testimony for the record and telling you one human-interest story which intrigued me a lot? After our testimony came out for the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act, we were waited on by some representatives of the Chinese Government, who took the testimony and had it translated into Chinese, and the reaction in China was so favorable that we were getting as. good payment in good will as the C. I. O. ever had, I think, on any other single thing which it has done. We feel that this will also contribute to the good will more than all of the economic arguments that