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If you wish me to do so, I shall be glad to appear before your committee and testify in favor of this bill.
I have been advised by the Director of the Bureau of the Budget that there is no objection to the submission of this letter. Sincerely yours,
Attorney General. Congressman Celler is recognized.
STATEMENT OF EMANUEL CELLER, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Mr. CELLER. Mr. Chairman, I listened with attention to some of the questions propounded by the members of the committee, and if I may be permitted I should like to make some observations with reference thereto.
There seems to be a fear in the mind of some of the members of the committee that there will be repeated applications for modifications of the quota laws to permit other Asiatics to come into the country. There is an old Hindu adage which I think is appropriate to express now, to wit: “You never take off your shoes until you come to the river.” Until those applications are made I dont' think we need to be concerned about them. But let us assume that those applications are made by the people of Korea, Malay, or Russian-Asiatics, because under the quota law there are some people of Russia that are precluded. I think we must consider each case on its own bottom. When we consider India now and the motivating forces that actuated the President, for example, to make his statement favorable to my bill, and actuated the Department of State to approve the bill, and the Department of Justice, there should be no hesitancy in your favorable action on my resolution. The motivating forces are primarily the wondrous efforts of India in the war, the efforts of India, our ally. But to my mind, over and beyond that, the far-reaching motivation should be the probability and likelihood of opening up a vast amount of trade with India. It means dollars and cents in our pockets. A greatly expanded trade with India will help solve that problem of 60,000,000 jobs after the war.
Our real profit in our economy is our exports and our imports. That is, in common parlance, the “gravy” and unless we can expand our exports upward to $10,000,000,000 we are going to be, to use a marine phrase, “in the doldrums." Our export trade now is about 2 billions. That amount would be perilous if it should continue after the war, but the mere passage of this bill that I have offered would create so much good will—and eloquent testimony has been given with reference thereto and in support thereof-that there would be opened up to us a great gateway through which our goods could pass into India. Remember that for the first time in history we have sent a Minister to India. Never before had we done so. We sent Mr. Phillips as our Minister. Our President in his wisdom thought it advisable to send him over there to establish good will between the good people of this country and the good people of India, and he has testified on more than one occasion to the vast possibilities of trade with India; but how can we expect the Indians to trade with us when we have a Chinese or an Indian wall that bars them out personally? Now, as to the labor difficulties, that, to my mind, is just balderdash. A hundred coming in could not interfere with our economy, as far as labor is concerned. It would take a hundred years to bring in 10,000.
Quota laws have been changed a number of times. I am in favor of quota laws, but that does not mean that the quota laws should not be changed. There is nothing sacrosanct about them. It all depends upon conditions that may require change. I certainly hope, gentlemen, that in your wisdom you are not going, for example, to hold the German quota at 25,000—is that the figure? I think it is 25,000.
Mr. ALLEN. More than that, isn't it?
Mr. CELLER. Yes, including Austria. It would be, to my mind, horrible to contemplate that we should reward Germany by permitting entrance into our borders of that vast number of its nationals. So that I hope that you are going to break down the quota laws with reference to Germany.
Mr. ALLEN. My good friend, would you like us to break down the laws and lower the quotas as to all other countries?
Mr. CELLER. I didn't say that, sir.
Mr. ALLEN. I would like to do that. That is exactly what I would like to do.
Mr. CELLER. I respect your opinion, I will say, but I don't agree with you on your immigration point of view in general. By all means, I would say, with reference to Germany, strike at her, strike her as hard as you can, but I only instance that to show that there is nothing sacrosanct about the quota laws. And, incidentally, we are not changing the Indian quota. There is already a quota for Indians at 100. That has been fixed under the provisions of the Johnson Act of 1924. We simply don't allow them to come in and take advantage of the quota because they are not eligible for citizenship. No one ineligible for citizenship may enter. And only because of a flukeand I use the word "Auke” advisedly-in an opinion written by a naturalized citizen, incidentally, the late Judge Sutherland of the Supreme Court, are Indians precluded from citizenship. The Naturalization Act speaks of “free white persons” being eligible, and a very noted anthropologist, professor of anthropology at Catholic University, recently testified before a Senate committee on the subject of East Indians and whether they were or were not of the white race, and, therefore, eligible for citizenship, said this:
Race is ordinarily used to define a large body of people with common physical characteristics that are hereditary. The human races, as such, are divided into three main races with some minor races. We commonly classify these three races as the Caucasoid, the Mongoloid, and the Negroid. We belong to the Caucasoid in the United States. The overwhelming mass of people in India belong definitely to the Caucasoid by characteristics that are peculiar to that race. In some of the far-away parts of India, the mountains, and so forth, you may get certain mixtures, as you get in other countries, in the far north and along the eastern section of the peninsula, but the overwhelming majority, possibly one may say 95 percent or more, are definitely of the Caucasian race.
Then Senator Burton interrupted and said:
I understand you are testifying to the effect that these Indians of the East Indies race who are here and who are involved in the particular bill under discussion would, under your classification, be Caucasians.
The answer by the anthropologist, Dr. Cooper, was, “Caucasian. That's right."
Now, Judge Sutherland, in his interpretation of the words "free white" said Indians were not "free white," although he admitted they were of the Caucasian race. He said it was not imperative for the Supreme Court to interpret the words "free white" except in the generally accepted sense. He implied that when you look at an Indian he doesn't look white, and, therefore, in the generally accepted sense he cannot be deemed white, although in the technical anthropological sense he is of the Caucasian race. So, only because of that decision, we barred the Indians because they could not become naturalized.
Mr. ALLEN. Has there been any effort made to get the Supreme Court to reconsider its position? Has that question been raised before the Court in any other case?
Mr. CELLER. The case is comparatively recent. As far as I know it would be rather hard to make the Supreme Court change its decision. It is up to us now as Members of Congress to change the law.
Mr. ALLEN. The Court has changed a lot since that decision was rendered.
Mr. CELLER. Well, it is not easy to get a court to change its opinion, as you know. There is a very vital matter between the Supreme Court and the precedents. They don't like to change precedents.
Mr. ALLEN. I am not saying that the Court should change its position. I am just asking you if any effort has been made to get it to change.
Mr. ČELLER. I want to say I think if you, with your perspicacity and wisdom, had that decision to make, you would have indicated that if people were of the Caucasian race they were white. We always use the terms interchangeably.
Mr. ALLEN. I am wondering, Mr. Celler, what information the Supreme Court had before it at that time. In other words, did the Supreme Court have the benefit of the testimony of anthropologists, and so forth?
Mr. CELLER. I did not examine the record in that case, sir. Had I known that you would ask that question, I would have come prepared in that regard. But I presume the record must have contained testimony of experts.
Mr. Singh is here, Mr. Chairman, one of the witnesses, and I think we would like to put him on, right away.
Mr. CELLER. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF SIRDAR J. J. SINGH, PRESIDENT, INDIA LEAGUE
OF AMERICA, NEW YORK, N. Y. Mr. Singh. Mr. Chairman, I am most grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to appear before the committee. I have a prepared statement from which I would like to read just a few extracts, but I request that the statement be incorporated in the record.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well. That will be done. You may proceed.
Mr. Singh. Before reading from my statement I would like to make one or two observations. The other day when Mr. V. A. Dodge was testifying here he said that during his travels in India as a businessman he had received all facilities and courtesies extended to him, whereupon, I think it was the Honorable Mr. Allen asked Mr. Dodge whether those courtesies were not extended by the British, and Mr. Dodge said “Yes.” And Mr. Allen, I think, said, “Well, that has nothing to do with the Indians, then."
I would like to mention, sir, that unfortunately, at the present moment India is under the subjugation and rule of the British and therefore all of her foreign relations and dealings with foreigners are controlled by them.' We hardly have anything to say or do with it. But I can assure you, sir. that when India becomes free we will be able to accord you even a heartier welcome and greater courtesies. The reason is very simple. Perhaps you are already aware that people in India have great feeling toward the people of America. Your past history, your great men like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and your struggles for your liberty are a great inspiration to us in our country. You will be surprised to know that some of our young men and women in their fight for freedom for India today use your slogans, such slogans as “Give me liberty or give me death." So there is already a lot of feeling that exists in India for the people of America, and I can assure you that when the people of India are in power they will extend you greater and bigger courtesies.
The second point I would like to make is that I think that during the testimony of one of the witnesses, I do not recall who was giving the testimony, but I think Mr. Allen mentioned that the followers of Mahatma Ghandi are not cooperating in the war effort. I must confess, sir, that that impression does exist in this country. That impression has been created by very well organized, well sustained, well financed British propaganda in this country, but the facts are quite different. It is not the people of India who are not cooperating in the war effort or who do not desire to cooperate even more fully in the war effort, but it is the British imperialists who stand in the way of the Indians taking even greater interest in the war effort than has been done in the past.
Mr. McCowen. May I interrupt there? Who are the British imperialists?
Mr. Singh. I am glad you asked me that question, because I would like to make a distinction between the British people and the British imperialists. In other words, I have nothing against the people of Great Britain. I love the people of Great Britain, just as I love the people of any other country, but anyone who has the ideas of imperialism and believes in the theory of imperialism in the exploitation and subjugation of other people, I am against them. And there is a clique in India, as we all know, who believe in imperialism, believe in the status quo, and who would like to revert back after this war to the good old imperialistic days. I am referring to them and not to the British people.
Mr. McCowEN. May I inquire, is there any considerable number of native Indians whom you would classify as imperialists?
Mr. Singh. No, sir. I was referring to the British imperialists, not to the Indians-not as yet. I hope we will never have an imperialist class in India.
Mr. ALLEN. May I interrupt also right there? Is your statement there to the effect that the British imperialists, shall we say, frowned
on the Indians taking part in the war? Is that the substance of your statement?
Mr. Singh. Not only frowned, but they have definitely discouraged it by various methods. For instance, so much has been said about the 2,000,000 Indians in the Army. Personally, I am not at all impressed with that figure. There are 400,000,000 Indians, and we should have at least 10,000,000 in the armed forces today.
Mr. McCowen. In other words, 2,000 out of 400,000,000 is just a drop in the bucket, isn't it?
Mr. SINGH. It is, absolutely. But what I am trying to suggest is that it does not suit the British to have more Indians in the armed forces. They are afraid that these Indians who might go into the armed forces and might learn the art of killing, may not be quite such nice kind of people to deal with, you see, later on, especially when Ghandi's influence of nonviolence disappears.
Mr. ALLEN. Mr. Chairman, the witness is making a very interesting statement, and I would like to pursue it just a little further.
What outward acts do the imperialists do to prevent Indians from taking part in this war to the extent that the people of India, as you indicate, would like to take part?
Mr. Singh. The people of India wanted this war to become popular in India, as a people's war, so that the man in the street would feel that he was fighting for something. The people of India were asked to fight for the freedom of Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Luxembourg, and so on and so forth, but when the people of India asked, “How about our freedom?” they were locked up in jail, beaten up or shot at. Therefore, the man in the street just couldn't make sense out of this
He couldn't understand what he was asked to fight for. Now, if the British had really wanted the people of India to be back of this war they would not put a man like Nehru, the anti-Fascist, anti-Axis, great disciple of democracy, in jail. They would have given him a job recruiting men for the armed services, the job of creating propaganda in favor of the Allied cause. But what did they do? They take a man like Nehru on the 9th of August 1942, and throw him in jail, and today, at this moment, a great man who should be sitting in the conferences at Yalta and San Francisco, is rotting in jail in India.
Mr. ALLEN. In other words, if Nehru had had the proper backing and encouragement on the part of the British imperialists, he probably could have organized with ease an army of ten or fifteen million men?
Mr. Singh. Yes, sir. In other words, what I am trying to suggest is this: that if you are finding any fault with our lack of war effort, then the blame lies at the door of the British imperialists and not on the Indians.
Mr. DOLLIVER. Mr. Chairman, might I interject a question at this point? In your testimony you have rather intimated, Mr. Singh, that there is a great deal of resentment, which is understandable, in India against the people of Great Britain, or the British imperialists. Now,
, suppose this legislation is passed and an uprising does take place in India, is it your judgment that the resentment toward the British imperialists will carry over toward the whole white race, so-called, toward the people of the United States? I would just like to have your opinion on that.
Mr. Singh. Well, sir, peculiarly enough, the people of India-at least, those who can draw the line of demarcation-have begun to