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gesture on the part of the United States Government toward acceptance of Indians on the basis that applies to other countries would constitute an important step toward a fuller realization of the unity of nations.
Mr. Chairman, that is our testimony.
Mr. ALLEN. Miss Weddell, I want to get to the question of race; and if I may, I want to restate it a little bit. Many years ago, before any of us came here, I suppose, we adopted as a country two basic principles on immigration. One was, we said we would exclude Asiatics, and another one was that we would have a quota system.
Now you are asking us to scrap the basic principle of the exclusion of Asiatics.
Miss WEDDELL. Yes; the first one of those you state.
Mr. ALLEN. Well, when you scrap it, you scrap it, you know. In other words, we have been trying to hold the line-some of us have. And with all due regard to the gentle lady, she is asking us to scrap that. Now then, it would logically follow that when and if that is scrapped, and if a claim in the form of a bill is brought in here to the effect that we also ought to scrap our quota system, and out of the bigness of our Christian hearts let all nationalities throughout the world come in according to their population, you would favor that, would you not?
Miss WEDDELL. No; I do not believe I would, Mr. Congressman. I cannot say whether I would favor it or not. I do not believe you have found that the churches have out of the bigness of their hearts brought that sort of thing to you, ever.
Mr. ALLEN. Net yet. No, no, not yet.
Miss WEDDELL. May I say that I do not consider the quota plan a moral principle.
Mr. ALLEN. But, my dear lady, could it not, and would it not perhaps, be clothed with all the sanctity of a moral principle when and if it is brought here?
Miss WEDDELL. I do not believe sọ. I think it is an entirely different matter as to whether we should open the doors of America to everyone to come in. That is a matter that requires a great deal of consideration, and many, many points enter in. That is not, to my mind, a moral question.
Mr. ALLEN. Well, are you willing to say individually that you would be opposed to scrapping our quota system?
Miss WEDDELL. I hesitate only because I have not thought that through. I believe in the quota system, if that is what you are asking.
Mr. ALLEN. Now?
Mr. ALLEN. Now may I ask if you have had experience in India yourself? You have been over there?
Miss WEDDELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. ALLEN. I want to pursue the question on the progress we have made, and I assume we have made some progress toward evangelizing our Hindu friends, or Indian friends. I believe you stated we have had missionaries from the various churches extending over a period of about a hundred years?
Miss WEDDELL. That is right. More than a hundred years.
Mr. ALLEN. Briefly, how much progress have we made? I am asking purely for information.
Miss WEDDELL. Well, if statistics mean anything at all, there are 7,000,000 Christians—that is, members of Protestant' Christian bodies in India today. They are largely among the depressed classes—what we call the depressed classes-but not entirely so. There are certain outstanding leaders who are members of the Christian church. And it is an Indian church, you understand. It is the Church of India. It is not split up denominationally as much as in this country.
Mr. ALLIN. You do not have denominational churches?
Miss WEDDELL: We have some. But we are gradually becoming in India, as the church is in China, a national Christian church.
Mr. ALLEN. There are about 7,000,000
Mr. ALLEN. Do you have some good-sized churches in the larger communities?
Miss WEDDELL. Yes; there are some good-sized churches in the larger communities. But the Christian work is largely in the villages, which is one of the most important things, becuase it is the work in the villages that counts heavily for the good of the people.
Mr. ALLEN. Has there been any effort on the part of the local Indian authorities to suppress the propagation of the Christian religion?
Miss WEDDELL. None at all. In fact, they welcome the missionaries of the churches of this country, of Great Britain, and other European countries.
Mr. ALLEN. In other words, Christain missionaries from all countries have an open door?
Miss WEDDELL. We have an understanding with the Government of India. A missionary pledge (memorandum A) is signed by the Foreign Missions Conference on behalf of boards who send missionaries into India, pledging that all due obedience and repsect will be given by their agents to the lawfully constituted government.
Mr. ALLEN. You predicated the first part of your argument on the proposition that it was a war measure. You did not state that, but you stated that India was helping us, and we in effect ought to do this for India, because of what she was contributing. Is it not a fact that India is really fighting for her own front door?
Miss WEDDELL. Partly so.
Mr. Allen. In other words, you are not contending that we owe this to India, assuming we do owe it, because of the fact that India is defending herself, are you?
Miss WEDDELL. India is more than defendng herself, I believe. And I think if you will look through this list, you will see how India is a true ally. She is giving not only to defend herself, but in making north India a base for the operations of the United Nations.
Mr. ALLEN. Well, in that connection, do we not have a good portion of the Indian people that are really not cooperating?
Miss WEDDELL. This Indian Army is a volunteer army, and they are coming into strength every month.
Mr. ALLEN. Well, I will put it this way, then: The followers of Gandhi are not cooperating at all?
Miss WEDDELL. You mean the Congress Party? They are in prison.
Mr. ALLEN. All of them?
Miss WEDDELL. That is the situation between Great Britain and India, Mr. Congressman, that I do not feel equipped to discuss.
I think Mr. Singh and others here can speak far better than I on that.
Mr. ARNOLD. That does not militate against India. We have the same situation in England. We have it in Canada.
Miss WEDDELL. Yes. I believe that is beside the point.
Mr. ARNOLD. Let me ask you, do you think the Government in the handling of the war effort is encouraging your belief, or your attitude?
Mr. WEDDELL. I do not quite understand.
Mr. ARNOLD. Is our Government working with you? Are they encouraging you in your belief and your work along this line?
Miss WEDDELL. We work very closely with the United States Government, many of its branches. We have very cordial relations with the State Department.
Mr. ARNOLD. They are encouraging you in your attitude?
Miss WEDDELL. They are certainly cooperating to a very great extent in the work we are doing in India. We have conferences here when it is necessary. We have very fine cooperation.
Mr. ARNOLD. You say, then, the Government encourages you in your belief and attitude and conduct?
Miss WEDDELL. In support of the bill? Mr. ARNOLD. Yes. Miss WEDDELL. I cannot say that. I thought you were asking whether the Government here cooperates with the Foreign Missions Conference.
Mr. ARNOLD. Well, that is the main idea I had in mind.
Miss WEDDELL. I will say “Yes” to that. But they know nothing about this blue paper. I do not know what their attitude would be toward bringing this paper here. But I do know they are cordial in their help and cooperation in whatever we are seeking to do.
Mr. ARNOLD. And that is the Government's attitude toward all nations?
Miss WEDDELL. This Government's attitude toward the work that the Foreign Missions Conference is doing in India, in China, and other countries is very cooperative, if that is what you are asking.
Mr. ARNOLD. That is the idea I had in mind.
Mr. ALLEN. Now, Miss Weddell, what about the Communists? Are there any Communists to speak of in India?
Miss WEDDELL. I am not qualified, Mr. Congressman, I am sorry, to answer that question. It is not a question of great importance. I do not mean the fact is not important. I mean the Communist element in Indian life has not come out to any extent.
Mr. ALLEN. I hope you do not take the position that it is not a matter of importance.
Miss WEDDELL. Please do not misunderstand me. I say the Communist situation in India does not loom largely in the picture of the work in India. I am certainly not saying the Communist question is not of importance. I am saying that in India the relation of the Communists to the life of India does not loom largely at the present time.
Mr. ALLEN. How about the attitude of the British Government, if you care to say, toward the work of the missionaries over there? Have you had the cooperation of the British Government?
Miss WEDDELL. The British have missionaries in India, you see, the same as we have, and they work together, in the same areas.
And there is in India a conference of British Missionary Societies, which is the same as our organization in North America. We work closely together. We send missionaries to the same areas in India. There is cordial cooperation between the India office in Great Britain and the conference of Missionary Societies in Great Britain in their work, the same as here.
Mr. ALLEN. Just one further question, Mr. Chairman. I would like to know the attitude of this witness, and I want to say that I regard her as a very intelligent witness.
Miss WEDDELL. Thank you, sir. Mr. ALLEN. And one who has had some experience over there. What is your attitude toward the Koreans? This committee has had presented to it in the past a problem with reference to the Koreans, and they have said they have always stood against Japan, and probably they have, and they have brought a very strong petition to this committee some years ago, for redress. What is your attitude toward the Korean problem?
Miss WEDDELL. I am sorry I cannot answer that, because Korea is not in my field, and I am not informed or equipped to answer that. Another secretary of our conference carries the Korean portfolio.
Mr. ALLEN. One more question as to the Hindu people. I am not saying this to reflect on them or anybody else. They are not responsible for the pigment in their skin. No one is responsible for that. The good Lord and nature made us just what we are. But are all of the Hindu people rather dark complected, or are some of them light as we Americans are--and so forth? I am asking purely for information.
Miss WEDDELL. I think perhaps you should ask someone who knows more than I do. But my observation is that you have all different colors, from the light to the dark. You have a very great spread of color in India.
Mr. AllEn. Most of the people of India, as I have seen, are of rather dark pigment, and I was just wondering if that was the general rule over there.
Miss WEDDELL. You get the whole spread of color, perhaps not quite as black and white as we have it here, but you get quite a spread of color.
Mr. ALLEN. Have you made a study of the origin of the Indian people?
Miss WEDDELL. Only incidentally. I am not an anthropologist.
Mr. ALLEN. If you are posted on that, I would like to get further information from you.
Miss WEDDELL. I am sorry, I am not.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you a question, Miss Weddell. You have made a statement which I think ought to be repeated. You said something about what the people in India are doing in cooperation with the Allied Nations of the world insofar as winning this war is concerned.
Miss WEDDELL. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. What are they doing particularly, so far as you know, insofar as helping in the war effort is concerned, or helping the American soldiers? If you know. If you do not know, you do not have to answer.
Miss WEDDELL. I think you will find that in this document, Mr. Chairman, that has been filed with the committee. There is a great deal of help being given the American soldiers by Indians. I do know, from the correspondence that comes across my desk, that the Christian agencies in India have opened up hostels and hospitality centers, to help take care of the needs of our American service people, both men and women.
There is a very serious situation in Bengal at the present moment because of the lack of food, because of disease rampant. Lack of food has produced epidemics, and the health situtaion in Bengal, which is exactly the location where our American service people are, is very, very serious at the present movement.
Now the Indian people, and I have this from a letter that came over only last week, are doing their very best to make our people comfortable and safe over there in north India, at the very moment when they are facing the worst situation in 50 years or more, of famine for their own people.
The CHAIRMAN. So that the price we are going to pay is very light compared with what they have been doing and are doing in winning this war?
Miss WEDDELL. That is my feeling, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. And I fully agree with you. Thank you very much, Miss Weddell.
Miss WEDDELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
STATEMENT OF HON. FRANCIS BIDDLE, ATTORNEY GENERAL
OF THE UNITED STATES
Attorney General BIDDLE. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, it is very pleasant to be back here again. I think the last time I testified before the Immigration and Naturelization Committee was on the problem of Japanese on the west coast. And with your permission, when I conclude my testimony here, and perhaps off the record, I would like to tell you what we are doing, because it is a very interesting subject.
But addressing myself now particularly to the bills that are before you, and more particularly to H. R. 173, which is the bill that on the