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CAFETERIA EMPLOYEES UNION, LOCAL 302,
New York, N. Y., April 25, 1944. Congressman Samuel DICKSTEIN, Chairman, House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization,
Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN: In the name of 5,000 members of Cafeteria Employees Union, Local 302, I wish to record our support for the bills, H. R. 4415 and H. R. 4479, sponsored, respectively, by Congressman Celler, of New York, and Congresswoman Luce, of Connecticut, and bill S. 1595, sponsored by Senator Langer, of North Dakota, now pending in Congress, to permit the naturalization in the United States of the nationals of India. Respectfully yours,
JOSEPH Fox, Secretary-Treasurer.
BROTHERHOOD OF SLEEPING CAR PORTERS,
New York, N. Y., May 15, 1944. Mr. A. CHOUDRY, Secretary, India Association for American Citizenship, Inc.,
New York, N. Y. MY DEAR MR. CHOUDRY: Thanks for your letter inviting my cooperation for the passage of bills H, R. 4415 and H. R. 4479. Please be advised that I wholeheartedly endorse your program and pledge support in every way possible to assist in the passage of this important piece of legislation. I feel very deeply about the future of the peoples of India, whether living in India or America.
I shall write to the Congressmen you suggest and forward you a copy of my letter. Sincerely yours,
B. F. McLAURIN, International Field Organizer.
STATEMENT OF MUBAREK ALI KHAN, NATIONAL PRESIDENT,
INDIA WELFARE LEAGUE, INC., NEW YORK CITY Mr. Khan. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen
Mr. Lynch. Mr. Chairman, I understand Senator Langer just came in.
The CHAIRMAN. We will suspend, then, and hear him at this time. Senator LANGER. I will wait, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Khan. I will take a very short time and I hope this is the last time I will have to come to Washington on this matter because, due to the ration cards, I could not afford to buy any more shoes. I have been running around now for 6 weeks from Senate Office Building to House Office Building, and we hope the Congress will consider us at least as human and give us human justice.
I do not like to repeat many of the details of the testimony, as I have been here ever since last week and listened carefully to the testimony of other witnesses. I do not think it is necessary for me to make a long statement. I would request, as the Congressman has suggested, that we be given a half loaf if we cannot get a whole loaf.
I have a written statement here that I would like to file.
STATEMENT OF MUBAREK ALI KHAN, NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF THE INDIA WEL
FARE LEAGUE, INC., AND Editor of New INDIA GENTLEMEN: I thank you for the opportunity you have been kind enough to give us of India to state our position to the Congress of the United States of America.
In 1939 Dr. Muzumdar, Mr. Bajpai, and I came to Washington as part of a delegation to wait upon Congressmen and Senators with a view of seeking relief for some 3,000 of our countrymen who have been in this country for over 20 years and, yet, denied the right to become citizens of this great land we all love.
We have gone through a great deal of labor in our attempt to secure redress for the grievances of our countrymen. As a result of the efforts of the India Welfare League, Congressman Lesinski introduced H. R. 7110, with a view to bring relief to our countrymen in America. In the last session of Congress, Senator Langer introduced a bill in the Senate for the same purpose. And now the United States Congress has before it two bills, aiming to do justice to India and her children resident in this country.
The India Welware League is grateful to you, gentlemen, for your interest in our country.
The American people want to do justice to India and to put India on a basis of equality with China and with the countries of Europe.
Congressman Lynch's bill aims to bring relief to our countrymen who entered this country prior to July 1, 1924.
The India Welfare League requests you gentlemen to bring relief to our countrymen and to treat India as an equal among our allies.
We have given you gentlemen a great deal of trouble, and we thank you for your patience and for your kindness. We rest our case in your hands.
I request that the names of governors and mayors who are endorsing our effort be put in the record. The Senate committee has on file the signatures of 58,000 American citizens in favor of our appeal.
We had pleaded only to bring relief to our countrymen already in this country because we felt that half a loaf is better than none. But since the Attorney General and the President of this country and the Secretary of State have been kind enough to do full justice to India at this time, we are pleading for the full measure of justice to our people.
We thank you, gentlemen, and the India Welfare League is happy to let its case remain in your hands. As far as we are concerned, the hearings are over. We hope justice will be done.
A LIST OF SUPPOFTERS OF INDIAN NATURALIZATION BILL PENDING BEFORE
CONGRESS NOW, NAMELY, GOVERNORS, MAYORS, RELIGIOUS LEADERS, AND
Father John M. Cooper, dean of Catholic University and president of Anthropological Society of America.
Dr. Harry L Shapiro, associate curator of American Museum of Natural History of New York.
Gov. A. Harry Moore, State of New Jersey.
The following newspapers: Washington Post; East Side News, New York City; New York Times; World Herald, Omaha, Nebr.; Arizona Gazette and Republic; Sacramento Bee; Fresno Bee; Sacramento Únion; Jersey Journal; Jersey Union; Jersey Evening News; Journal American; New York HeraldTribune; Imperial Valley Evening News; Bombay Chronicle, Bombay, India.
Wholehearted support of Dr. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, president of the All India Muslim League and leader of 90,000,000 Muslims in India.
Favorable support by the Government of India, 20 Agbar Road, New Delhi, India.
Support of Hon. Malik Sir Firoz Khan Noon, India Defense Member at War Cabinte, London, England. Sir Firoz Khan Noon visited the United States in 1941 as India's High Commissioner; also endorsed the pending legislation for Indian citizenship rights.
Sir Girja Shankha Bajpai, Minister Plenipotentiary and Agent General for India to the Union of South Africa.
Including support of 58,000 Americans.
Mr. Khan. I do not like to take more of your time. Senator Langer is here and will tell you of the tour he has made through the country and the sentiments that have been expressed to him by the mayors of the cities and States visited.
I have here a list of supporters of the bill, containing the names of governors, mayors, and prominent people in the United States, especially governors of New York, New Jersey, and California, also the Government of India, in a letter to the India Welfare League, of which I am national president; also a letter from Sir Firoz Khan Noon, India Defense Member at War Cabinet, London, England; Dr. Mohamet Ali Jinnah, president of the All-India Muslim League, and leader of 90,000,000 Moslems in India.
My organization is in favor of both the quota bill by Mr. Celler and Mrs. Luce, and the Lynch and Powell bills. But, gentlemen, as I have said before in my letter, and I say again, we need immediate relief for these people who have lived in the United States for 21 years, since July 1, 1924. I hope that Congress will give consideration to these people who are in the country now. Their sons and their daughters are fighting side by side with the Allies, maybe born in California, killed in Germany; maybe born in New York or New Jersey, killed in Italy or Austria. They are in the American Army now.
Also we have those who may have just jumped ship and remained in this country in technical violation of the immigration laws, but they are in the armed forces now; 215 we have in the armed forces, newcomers, seamen from India.
Gentlemen, I want to thank you in behalf of the India Welfare League, and in behalf of India. I know the justice that you gentlemen do for India, India will never forget.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Khan.
STATEMENT OF HON. WILLIAM LANGER, A UNITED STATES
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA Senator LANGER. Mr. Chairman, some time ago the gentleman who just testified came in to see me about this matter, and I introduced a bill for him. That is the original bill providing for the opportunity for three or four thousand Indians to become naturalized. I didn't know much about the matter at that time, but about a month after that I received an invitation from the Democratic committee of Maricopa County, Ariz., to make a speech at a nonpartisan gathering of Republicans and Democrats. I went down to Phoenix, Ariz., and there I stayed for a couple of days, and while I was out there I was interviewed by some of these residents from East India, and I was amazed, frankly amazed, by what I saw. I found a man by the name of D. J. Khan, for example, who owned over 3,000 acres of land that had been absolutely worthless, that he had bought for 25 cents an acre, and in a short period of time he had gotten water on it, and Governor Osborn of Arizona, who is very much in favor of both these bills and who is still Governor of Arizona, and also two of his predecessors whom I interviewed, told me that they were very fine people, had made an outstanding record out there, that they were peaceful, honest, law-abiding, and that in their judgment that not only should this bill pass but also they should have a regular quota.
I became so much interested in the matter that Mr. Khan, the gentleman that had the land, gave me an automobile and a driver, and I drove over to California by way of Yuma. We drove to Colusa, and at Colusa I found an enormous cooperative, rice cooperative, doing a business of about $2,000,000 a year. I have forgotten the name of the president of the cooperative, but he is a young American there about 33 or 34 years of age. He gave me half a day and he told me that way back in 1908 or 1909, around Willows, Calif., they had thousands of acres of land that were, as some of the gentlemen here from California know much better than I do, land that was worthless, marshy, filled with alkali, and that those Indians came in and took the land that was worthless and the first crop they seeded they knew they would not have any crop at all, because it seems they had to scatter that seed in order to get the rice to grow; that the second year they had a small crop, and that after 4 or 5 or 6 years that crop became very, very valuable and the land became very valuable; that more Indians came in around Willow and Colusa, and then in cooperation with the Agricultural Department of the State of California that land has become valuable and a good many more Indians had become interested in it. From Colusa I went to see Governor Warren at Sacramento, and the Governor told me they had, as I remember it now, 2,100 of these East Indians living in the vicinity of Sacramento, some of them working in war plants, and he said that uniformly they were splendid citizens, and that he was very strongly in favor of having both these bills passed, particularly the one involving three or four thousand Indians.
Shortly after my return, the head of the American Legion, who lived at Stockton, Calif., Ray Atherton, came to see me here in Washington and wholeheartedly endorsed both bills. He said that over at Stockton he had been acquainted with some of these East Indian people for some 25 years in some instances; that they were outstanding citizens.
I went to some other towns in California, and in addition to that I interviewed a great many district attorneys and judges, and they said that aside from one murder case in which these Indians were not to blame at all, but which was a case where the Indians had considerable property that they transferred and carried along in the name of a white man, which finally resulted in the man being murdered when he tried to cheat the Indians, and two people were killed-aside from that case they were uniformly law-abiding, splendid men and women. And in that murder case, although there was a conviction, there was a pardon granted within 9 or 10 years. They had a petition for pardon signed by the members of the jury and by the citizens living in that particular locality, an overwhelming number.
At the hearing we had in the Senate on this bill there was introduced a statement by the head of the Red Cross in one of these counties, showing that these Indians in that particular county had headed the amount of contributions in a larger amount than any of the Americans living in that county.
In addition to that I ascertained over in Arizona that—as a matter of fact, I took photographs that were introduced in evidence in the prior hearing, showing the ranch of one man in Nevada who had 20,000 sheep, who came in there without a dollar and made a very great success, and was uniformly liked by his neighbors. There was not one word spoken in opposition to him. And over near Phoenix I got hold of a wedding party, a picture on the piano, and the young man who was married had on the uniform of an Army officer, the best man had on a uniform of a young naval officer, and the other two young men had on tuxedos, conventional black tie. The bride, of course, was dressed in white and the three attendants she had were dressed in white-just the kind of picture you would ordinarily find in any case where there are young persons of prominence getting married.
I went to New York, and over in Jersey City I met with some 50 to 60 of those folks in town when I was up there, and I found them to be universally hard-working, honest, substantial people who, in my judgment, if they are permitted to become citizens by passing the examinations provided for in our naturalization laws, will be a credit to the United States of America.
I speak in behalf of both bills. I favor a quota.
The CHAIRMAN. I want to call your attention to the fact, Senator Langer, that the President has sent a message to the committee asking for both quota and naturalization privileges for East Indians.
Senator LANGER. I am glad to hear that. I did not know that. I want to wholeheartedly endorse both bills.
The CHAIRMAN. And the State Department has endorsed the principles of both bills, the Celler-Luce bill and the Lynch bill.
Senator LANGER. I am glad to hear that. That will obviate the necessity of my going any further, I take it. I might say that I am very grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to say what I have to say about the matter.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, Mr. Lynch, do you have someone else?
Mr. LYNCH. That ends the testimony so far as my bill is concerned. I want to thank you gentlemen for the courtesy extended, and I want to offer this statement of Mr. Tenner, counsel for the India Association for American Citizenship.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection it will go into the record.
The CHAIRMAN. Some members of the committee have asked me to put the executive session down for Tuesday morning instead of Monday morning, if possible. I don't see any objection to that. We were going to take 2 days for it, and I think we can dispose of the whole matter on Tuesday.