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Since the declaration was drawn up Senator Cutting, of New Mexico, has prepared an amendment to the naturalization law something like this:
"No alien otherwise qualified under this act shall be denied citizenship by reason of his refusal on conscientious grounds to promise to bear arms or otherwise participate in war; but every alien admitted to citizenship shall be subject to the same obligation in all respects as a native-born citizen." Let us all get behind this amendment.
The Hon. SAMUEL DICKSTEIN,
Chairman, and Committee on Immigration and Naturalization.
GENTLEMEN: I deeply regret my inability to appear in person before this committee and speak in favor of Mr. Griffin's bill. I desire, however, to submit the following statement:
This statement is presented on behalf of the young people of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Through the department of Epworth League and Young People's Work of the Board of Education of the Methodist Episcopal Church I am charged with responsibility for a program of education and activity in Christian citizenship for young people. This includes approximately one and a half million young people in our church schools and Epworth Leagues.
There is a deep and genuine interest of these young people in all the matters related to this bill. For several months the situations and incidents back of this proposed bill have been the subject of their study and discussion. The convictions and desires which I seek to convey to your committee from these young people therefore represent the serious thinking of earnest young people. Young people are convinced that the most secure basis for a lasting citizenship is a moral conviction. There can be no higher requirement for citizenship than loyalty to conscience. The present practice bars from citizenship those actuated by some of life's highest values.
Young people are willing to take seriously their obligations of citizenship. They believe, however, that this country needs more rather than less men and women who are actuated by high moral ideals and broad humanitarian principles.
Such actions as the present practice in the matter of citizenship thus violates the deepest principles of conscience and religious liberty. It also is contrary to those principles of liberty of thought which young people believe are the heritage of America.
On behalf of young people who now are trying to find their way through the confusion and turmoil of the aftermath of the Great War and who are genuinely committed to a world of goodwill and friendly understanding, I respectfully urge this committee to report this bill favorably. Young people's groups from every part of the United States and from every sort of church, representing rural communities, city churches, working groups, college students, join me in this plea.
I submit herewith a sample of some of those groups in whose behalf this request is made:
Epworth Leagues of Kansas City, Mo., in district meeting; Epworth Leagues of Ann Arbor, Mich., district; 20 Epworth Leagues of Grand Rapids, Mich., district; 12 Epworth Leagues of Newark, Ohio, district; Olean District Epworth Leagues, Olean, N. Y.; 200 young people representing Epworth Leagues of Western Idaho; Epworth League of Lake Crystal, Minn.; College Epworth League of Lewisburg, Pa.; Epworth League of Berrien Springs, Mich.; Epworth League of Kalamazoo, Mich.; Purdue University Epworth League of West Lafayette, Ind.; Echo Park Epworth_League of Los Angeles, Calif.; Epworth League of Portland, Oreg.; Epworth League of Saugerties, N. Y.; Williamston League of Williamston, Mich.; Asbury Methodist Epworth League of Los Angeles, Calif.; Epworth League of Duluth, Minn.; Epworth League of Akron Ohio; Epworth League of Plover, Iowa; Epworth League of Beaver Falls, Pa.; Epworth League of Ringgold, Pa.; Epworth League of Cornwallville, N. Y.; Epworth League of Proctor, Minn.; Epworth League of Brainerd, Minn. These, with many others, join me in unqualified indorsement of the proposed bill and respectfully urge your favorable action.
ROY E. BURT,
Director of Citizenship and Social Service Activities.
WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM, January 25, 1932. The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom urges and supports any adequate legislation which will amend the naturalization law so as to admit to citizenship those who otherwise qualified are now debarred because of their refusal to bear arms or support war.
The Women's International League holds that such legislation is necessary and urgent in order to bring our naturalization into harmony with the Kellogg Briand Treaty. We believe that barring persons from citizenship because they have renounced war for themselves in the same spirit that the United States Government has renounced war for this country as a method of national policy, is both inconsistent and out of harmony with the highest law of our land. We do not feel that the question of willingness to defend the United States by force of arms is pertinent. War is a method of State action and as such has been definitely renounced by our Government.
Moreover, it is our conviction that war is an inadequate method of defense in this modern and interdependent world and that with the present international machinery now in existence pacific methods for dealing with international disputes can be employed.
We therefore favor such legislation which will not debar cititzens because of their refusal to promise to take part in a method already outlawed by the United States Government.
DEAR MR. LIEF: I regret that the necessity of officiating at a funeral prevents my attendance, but I want to record the unanimous indorsement of the Central Conference of American Rabbis of the Griffin bill.
EDWARD L. ISRAEL.
CHAIRMAN HOUSE IMMIGRATION COMMITTEE,
PHILADELPHIA, January 29, 1932. Washington, D. C.
DEAR SIR: I heartily approve the editorial which is herewith attached, and sincerely hope your committee will indefinitely pigeonhole “sievelike" method of citizenship.
ZED H. COPP.
[The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, Friday, January 29, 1932]
THE MEASURE OF NATIONAL DUTY
The House Immigration Committee is conducting hearings on a measure seeking to permit the naturalization of persons refusing to bear arms in defense of this country. In the Schwimmer, MacIntosh, and Bland cases the Supreme Court upheld the refusal of naturalization to persons unwilling to reply affirmatively to this question, which appears on every petition for naturalization:
"If necessary, are you willing to take up arms in defense of this country?" This question, the Supreme Court held, properly carries out the purpose of the naturalization act requiring loyalty to this country and support of its Constitution from aliens seeking naturalization and is, therefore, legally put.
The bill under consideration amends the naturalization act by providing that persons otherwise qualified for citizenship shall not be debarred by reason of religious or philosophical opinion regarding the lawlessness of war as a means of settling international disputes. The amendment is framed on the assumption that it would invalidate the test question as to bearing arms now put to applicants for citizenship.
The United States holds it generally to be the duty of all its citizens, whether native born or naturalized, to take up arms in its defense if summoned. But the selective-service act of 1917, requiring universal military service in the war with Germany, contained this provision:
"Nothing in this act contained shall be construed to require or compel any person to serve in any of the forces herein provided for who is found to be a member of any well-recognized religious sect or organization at present organized and existing and whose existing creed or principles forbid its members to participate in war in any form and whose religious convictions are against war or participation therein in accordance with the creed or principles of said religious organizations, but no person so exempted shall be exempted from service in any capacity that the President shall declare to be noncombatant."
This law gave no privilege of exemption to an individual conscientious objector not affiliated with a religious denomination whose creed bars war, nor to any so-called "philosophical" objector; nor did it exempt any person from war service. Individualist or philosophical objectors, and those who refused to do noncombatant war service, were punished.
The measure under consideration attempts to give to aliens seeking naturalization a general exemption from military service on the mere plea of objection to war that no law or policy of this country has ever extended to its own citizens. That alone brands the measure as inequitable and against national policy.
DETROIT, MICH., January 26, 1932.
Chairman Committee on Immigration and Naturalization,
House of Representatives.
May we record our earnest protests at the hearing to-day before your committee against the Griffin bill, H. R. 297, by which it is proposed to grant citizenship to aliens who refuse to bear arms in time of war in defense of our country. This form of a slacker's oath of allegiance has been propagandized by the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, the American Civil Liberties Union, the League for Industrial Democracy, the Detroit Council of Churches, and other cooperating organizations of similar tendencies. As members of the Presbyterian Church, we resent the falsely claimed authority of the Federal Council of Churches to represent the views of church members of such and all other secular political questions.
Mr. and Mrs. HENRY B. JOY.
UPPER DARBY, PA., January 26, 1932.
CHAIRMAN COMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: An item in a Philadelphia paper this morning states that a Philadelphia attorney will represent the Pennsylvania committee for total disarmament at a hearing to-morrow on the Griffin bill, which would permit the naturalization of pacifist aliens. The item further states: Leading peace organizations of the country will be represented."
I do not know the attorney referred to (Mr. Vincent D. Nicholson), but I do know much about the Pennsylvania committee for total disarmament, and your committee should be informed of the character of that organization which is doing all in its power against the safety and best interests of the country.
The leading spirit of that committee is Dr. William I. Hull, of Swarthmore College, a man who is obsessed with the fallacy that the way to world peace is to make the United States defenseless. Ignoring the history and experience of our country with disarmament for 150 years, in which no one has followed our example and during which period we have had several major wars, brought upon us largely by our supposed inability to meet them in time to be effective; Doctor Hull is a persistent lobbyist before Congress in efforts to cut down our national defense. His committee was active in propaganda to secure our adherence to the London treaty of 1930 in regard to naval limitation; then, having urged that measure, they have ever since done everything in their power to misrepresent the facts and to prevent our making provision to observe the terms of our solemn agreement by building a treaty navy.
The letterhead of the committee on total disarmement shows that some dozen or more of its leaders are also active leaders in the American Civil Liberties
Union, a seditious organization which flies to the defense of such offenders as Mooney, of California, and Sacco and Vanzetti, taking up the cudgels to prevent the punishment of serious offenders provided they are "red" enough. It was largely through the propaganda of the latter organization that the SaccoVanzetti case has been industriously misrepresented, not only in this country but abroad, leading to the bombarding of American consulates in foreign countries and to a general misconception of the merits of that case; the same organization is working assiduously to befog the issue in the Mooney case. Another so-called peace organization closely allied with the two foregoing is the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, one of whose objectives is "the abolition of the private-property privilege" (communism), and if they run true to form they will be conspicuously represented in support of the admission to this country as citizens aliens who say in advance that they will not meet the full constitutional and legal requirements of American citizenship by defending this country in case of war.
This league has long been interested in the case of Madam Rosika Schwimmer, one of its founders, who has denied American citizenship because she would not take the required oath to support and defend the United States against all its enemies, on the ground that she could not conscientiously bear arms. Of course, no one expected a woman to bear arms, but we naturally expect any applicant for naturalization to take the same oath of allegiance and obligations which apply to native-born citizens. Madam Schwimmer could not take the oath of loyalty to this country in any case, for she is a pronounced internationalist, and with her views could not be loyal to any one country; she was rightly denied naturalization.
It is the aim of these pacifist organizations to have the bars let down on naturalization so that they can flood the country with pacifistic persons from all over the world; persons who are quite willing to accept citizenship and all its privileges, but with their own reservations as to meeting the essential obligations of citizenship as to the defense of the country and its Constitution. Such people are the enemies of our institutions and are doing all in their power to undermine its most solid foundations.
Is it too much to hope that your committee will absolutely and unmistakably refuse to countenance any measure designed to create in this country a class of naturalized aliens who would have all the privileges of enjoying our fair land but occupying a plane of immunity from obligation superior to that enjoyed by our native-born citizens?
Regretting the length of this paper, and with good wishes, I am
Very truly yours,
LEWIS S. SORLEY.
NATIONAL AMERICANIZATION COMMITTEE, VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS, ENCAMPCAMPMENT OF NEW YORK
BUFFALO, N. Y., January 22, 1932.
THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: An item in the Buffalo Evening News of January 20 informed me that the Rev. Herman J. Hahn, of Buffalo, has accepted an invitation to address you in behalf of the Griffen bill, which would allow pacifists and nonresistants to become citizens.
A clipping bureau report from local newspapers on Mr. Hahn's activities in Buffalo and vicinity for a period of a year would make interesting reading for your committee. About a year ago the writer attended a meeting held in a hall on Genessee Street, Buffalo, under the auspices of the young Communist Party. Mr. Hahn was billed as one of the speakers but for some reason or other failed to appear. A certain young local man, who is a disgrace to a learned profession, filled in very acceptably it seemed, judging from the applause of the wild-eyed radicals comprising the audience.
According to local newspapers, Mr. Hahn was recently barred from broadcasting over station WGR in Buffalo. The officials of this station are to be commended for rendering a distinct patriotic and public service.
Having listened to several of Mr. Hahn's so-called sermons, which were obviously intended to create discontent in the minds of a people already bowed down with sorrow and want, it was apparent to me that Mr. Hahn has been using religion as a smoke screen to disguise his real purpose and that
he is in reality, for want of a better name—a camouflaged communist. Any evidence that Mr. Hahn should offer in support of a measure to grant citizenship to those unwilling to assume the full obligations of an American citizen should be discounted. Thousands sleeping the long sleep in France and else where did Mr. Hahn's and other pacifists' fighting as well as their own.
A famous French philosopher and mathematician named Condorcet once said regarding human rights, "Either no individual members of the human family has any real rights or else all have the same."
My buddies over there" did not exercise the privilege of staying at home and letting "George do it," claimed by the pacifists. No pacifist, be he preacher, politician, or what have you, has any right to shift the obligation of his citizenship to the shoulders of another.
As a totally disabled veteran of the World War and as a citizen, I appeal to you, gentlemen, to deny citizenship in the best country on earth to those unwilling to assume its obligations.
Very respectfully yours,
J. FRANCIS CLAVEN.
Regional patriotic instructor, department of New York, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
PROVISIONS OF LAW AFFECTED BY THE BILL
The fourth subdivision of section 4, of the act of June 29, 1906 (34 Stat. 598), reads as follows:
"Fourth. It shall be made to appear to the satisfaction of the court admitting any alien to citizenship that immediately preceding the date of his application he has resided continuously within the United States five years at least, and within the State or Territory where such court is at the time held one year at least, and that during that time he has behaved as a man of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the same. In addition to the oath of the applicant, the testimony of at least two witnesses, citizens of the United States, as to the facts of residence, moral character, and attachment to the principles of the Constitution shall be required, and the name, place of residence, and occupation of each witness shall be set forth in the record." (See U. S. C., title 8, sec. 382, p. 160.)
The above is amended by the first paragraph of subsection (b) of section 6 of the act of March 2, 1929 (45 Stat. 1513), so as to read as follows: "(b) The fourth subdivision of section 4 of such act of June 29, 1906, as amended, is amended to read as follows:
"Fourth. No alien shall be admitted to citizenship unless (1) immediately preceding the date of his petition the alien has resided continuously within the United States for at least five years and within the county where the petitioner resided at the time of filing his petition for at least six months, (2) he has resided continuously within the United States from the date of his petition up to the time of his admission to citizenship, and (3) during all the periods referred to in this subdivision he has behaved as a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States, At the hearing of the petition, residence in the county where the petitioner resides at the time of filing his petition, and the other qualifications required by this subdivision during such residence, shall be proved by the oral testimony of at least two credible witnesses, citizens of the United States, in addition to the affidavits required by this act to be included in the petition. If the petitioner has resided in two or more places in such county and for this reason two witnesses can not be procured to testify as to all such residence, it may be proved by the oral testimony of two such witnesses for each such place of residence, in addition to the affidavits required by this act to be included in the petition. At the hearing, residence within the United States but outside the county, and the other qualifications required by this subdivision during such residence shall be proved either by depositions made before a naturalization examiner or by the oral testimony of at least two such witnesses for each place of residence.*
"If an individual returns to the country of his allegiance and remains therein for a continuous period of more than six months and less than one year during the period immediately preceding the date of filing the petition