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the construction of the Constitution as announced by Alexander Hamilton, as opposed to the rule of strict construction announced by Thomas Jefferson.
I take it for that reason, and for the taking of this declaration of the Republican platform right up to the verge of the Civil War. This is what that party declared at that time, 1860:
Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State, to order and control its own domestic institutions, according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depends.
That was unchallenged for more than a century and a quarter; so manifested, so accepted, so uncontested, that the party which was elected in the midst of the agitation which brought this country to civil war announced it in those unmistakable terms.
Is there any occasion to argue, is it necessary to argue to any man who believes in American institutions that that principle is one which is entitled to the jealous care of all men, in seeing that it is maintained?
Now, gentlemen, I have stated the essence of my argument. I want to apply it, if you will permit me for a moment.
Why has this principle been accepted by all men, universally by all men for more than a century and a quarter? Is it because there is some superstition about it, some hallucination? It has been accepted and remains unchallenged because the American people knew that it was only by the maintenance of that principle that the manly and noble form of government so necessary could be preserved. It is the only way by which you can bring that essential element of responsibility into government. Without it your government is an irresponsible government. We fought the Revolution on the principle that the Government should be responsible to the people under the Government or to the people which created the Government. What responsibility has the man in a great agricultural territory for his action with respect to legislation in fixing the hours of labor in factories? He has got no factories. His people are not interested. There is nothing there to call forth the judgment of his constituency upon that act, and he may vote as he pleases upon a measure of that sort and escape any responsibility for that action.
You may find interests in various States, possibly in a small number of States, which are not in other States. You may vote for any reason you please, if you don't come from that particular State, for that measure, and bear absolutely no responsibility to anybody for your act. The people are not interested. They know nothing about it. They can not pass judgment on it. They have no incentive to follow your action. The legislation is there and therefore you are responsible, and the Constitution intended that in these localities that the legislators who enact their laws should be responsible directly to the people over whom the laws were to operate. That is the theory. That is responsibility in government, but beyond that, gentlemen, let us look at the responsibility in the administration of any public office in Maryland.
If any public officer in Maryland commits an unlawful act, exercises his power arbitrarily, there is a remedy, not only in the courts, but otherwise. There is a responsibility there directly to public opinion.
The man who lives in the States has his reputation at stake. Public opinion is operating upon him, restraining him from any unlawful act. Bring a man from California to enforce the law in Maryland, and what responsibility has he to the people of Maryland for the way in which he exercises his power?
Adopt an amendment of this sort and you have an inspector at the doorway of every house in the United States. What responsibility will that man have to the people of the locality in which he enforces this law? Is there any responsibility such as prevails in an officer of the State where his superiors are at hand? Is there any such responsibility as prevails where public opinion keeps men within bounds and prevents the exercise of arbitrary power?
Gentlemen, I have only cited that as an illustration of the wisdom of the fathers, the wisdom of this central scheme of the Constitution, leaving those local matters to the government of the States. It is only by that method that you can have responsibility in govern
Now, gentlemen, I pass to another phase of this question. I am sure that every thoughtful man in the United States is appalled at the accumulation of these stupendous agencies of government, the growth of these bureaus. You can not trust your rights and your liberty from home. Most of all you can not trust it to a colossal Government machine. You can not get a hearing before a body like that. It has got to transact business second hand. It simply can not fulfill the function for which it was instituted; it can not fulfill that function with justice. It has not the time to do it. I think that the most appalling thing in our Government to-day is this constant growth of these numerous bureaus here in Washington which, on account of their very size, apart from the other matters to which I have adverted, make it absolutely impossible for them to administer the functions justly.
Not only that, gentlemen, but it grows on what it feeds on. You have got them here clamoring for power, more power, every day. You have got agencies here advocating measures, imploring you to give them more power. Who is going to fight them? They are organized; they are militant; they are powerful. They set up a clamor here in the capital that is concerted. We have got no organization in the United States to combat it. They are clamoring in your ears for legislation, for amendments. The Government is supporting these people to advocate further grants of power. They are maintained by the Government.
But where is there anybody to maintain an organization to fight the battles of the unheard millions? They drown out any expression of opinion coming from the people just as the crack of the nearby rifle drowns out the sound of the distant ordnance. You never
That is one of the objections to this kind of legislation. It means thousands upon thousands of more employees of the Federal Government, more people interested in extending their powers, more people with minds concentrated upon this accumulation of power here in Washington.
Mr. MONTAGUE. The statement was made by Miss Abbott, the head of the Children's Bureau, that it would only take about 50 or 60 em
ployees of the Government, and perhaps a maximum expenditure of $150,000 to enforce this law. What is your opinion of that?
Mr. RAWLES. Well, sir, I must confess I haven't given any thought to the administration details. I should think, however, that if Congress, in pursuance of this amendment, enacts a law enforcing it that $150,000 would never pay the probably 50,000 or more inspectors that would be necessary.
Mr. PERLMAN. Don't you think the State and local authorities will help enforce this law?
Mr. RAWLES. Well, sir, I will answer that in this way: I think that anyone who believes that would never be in favor of giving this power to the Federal Government. I think that is one of the strongest arguments that can be made.
Mr. FOSTER. In fairness to Miss Abbott, I think her statement was that in her estimates she figured on the cooperation the Federal Government did have from the State authorities during the two periods when we had legislation on this subject.
Mr. RAWLES. I think what I have just stated is also an answer to that question. As I said yesterday, I am so impressed with the enormity of this challenge on our form of government that I have not permitted my mind to even contemplate the idea of its adoption. I stated yesterday-I don't know whether all the members of the committee were present that I wanted to confine my argument to the constitutional aspects of it. That is, to the phase that this is an assault not only, upon the existing Constitution but upon the fundamental and basic idea of our freedom of government. That is the phase I want to discuss.
Now, let me travel on
The CHAIRMAN. I believe you will have to bring your remarks to a close, because the House meets at 11 o'clock this morning
Mr. RAWLES. I understand. There is only one thing further I want to impress-that is, that when you act upon this resolution you will act, of course, under the provision of the Constitution, Article V, that provides that when you propose an amendment, when it is proposed to submit an amendment, that both Houses of Congress may do so if they deem it necessary. That is to say, as to each man who votes in favor of this resolution, to submit an amendment of this sort he must deem it necessary. You can not vote for it and then leave it to the people to decide whether or not it should be adopted. That was one of the safeguards put into the Constitution against illconsidered amendments of this kind, that each Member should express his opinion that it was necessary. You can not pass it on to the people to say whether they want it or not, because the Constitution enjoins the Members of the legislative body, the two Houses of Congress, that they shall deem it necessary.
Mr. FOSTER. If you were a member of this committee and this question was before you, in determining whether you would deem it necessary, would you give any weight to the fact that after two Federal laws of the kind were declared unconstitutional, both politi cal parties in their platforms deem it necessary? Would you give any weight to that?
Mr. RAWLES. Would I give weight to it?
Mr. RAWLES. I would give weight to an expression of opinion by anyone, but I would not give any further weight to that opinion than it was in sound reason entitled to.
Gentlemen, I thank the committee deeply for the hearing that I have had.
STATEMENT OF MR. THOMAS F. CADWALADER, ATTORNEY, BALTIMORE, MD.
Mr. CADWALADER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, there is just one point of view here which I want to discuss this matter from. It is, as was that of the gentleman who has preceded me, a constitutional point of view, but from a slightly different angle.
There have been a great many amendments to the Constitution of the United States. Most of them were contemporaneous with that great instrument, and were adopted to express more fully the ideas of the founders of this Government, which included the first 10, the Bill of Rights.
Then there were two correcting errors of detail, the eleventh and twelfth, which produced very little controversy. The Civil War was responsible for the next three. They were practically put in there, in a broad view of the matter, by military force, and since there have been four others.
Now, of the four last, three have been put in there, whatever their merits and I am not here to discuss the merits or get into an argument about the merits of any of the amendments to the Constitution, but the mere fact of the way they were ratified, what produced their ratification at the time and under the conditions they were ratified, irrespective or whether they might have been ratified later under different conditions.
Under the conditions which those amendments were actually ratified, you will find that it was at the energetic push and behest of active, organized lobbies, backed by almost unlimited resources. don't say that either the income-tax amendment, or the prohibition amendment, or the women's suffrage amendment would not have been put into the Constitution by the people. What I do say is they were put into the Constitution by propaganda-the first one by the organized propaganda of the Federal Treasury, the Federal Government seeking to extend its power; the second by organized propaganda, backed by, as is well known and admitted, large sums contributed by certain agencies anxious to establish beyond possibility of repeal a certain reform that they ardently believed in; and the third, by the same methods.
Now, the methods of propaganda improve in rapidity and technique with practice, like everything else. When the last of these amendments, the nineteenth, was proposed, with the accumulated practice of years it was not thought necessary even to give the people of the United States a qualified opportunity to express their opinion. It takes 36 States to ratify a constitutional amendment. The last amendment adopted, the nineteenth, was adopted in the year of a presidential election. Thirty States ratifying that amendment did so at special sessions of their legislature called under political pressure from both parties when they had been elected long before the
matter was in issue, had passed their regular session and had adjourned and become scattered in civil life. They were called back again for the express purpose of obeying the voice and command of of the propagandists who swarmed upon those State capitals for the sole purpose of having that amendment ratified and going home. That was the case with 30 out of 36. That is a plain, unanswerable fact.
Now I say, whatever the merits of the measure, when the Constitution provides that the great grant of power, great division of power between the central and local bodies, that was made by the founders of this Government is to be altered in an essential or important particular, the people concerned with the exercise of the powers of government have a right to be heard.
I say that it is an outrage on the 110,000,000 citizens of the United States to tell them it is none of their business whether the governmental powers of the Congress are to be increased by an enormous percentage, or whether the power of the States, which the people founded just as much as they founded the Federal Government and which are closer to them-that the powers of these States are to be decreased by an enormous percentage.
I say that to tell the people of the States the agents they elected a year or two before on entirely different issues, and local issues, are to have the power, and are expected to obey the voice of propagandists from other parts of the country in voting away the powers that the people reserved to themselves, is to my mind the most undemocratic and the most un-American proposition that could possibly be put forward.
The framers of the Constitution were not unmindful of that when they came to submit the Constitution itself. Did they submit it to legislatures elected when the matter was not in issue, or to any legislatures at all? No. They submitted it to the people, calling upon the legislatures to summon the people to elect representatives to a convention to pass on the matter, and in adopting the Constitution and providing for its amendment, they inserted the same provision there, that in amending the Constitution Congress could call upon the people to meet in convention and pass upon the matter.
Congress has once in the one hundred and thirty-odd years of the Government's existence adopted that plan, and that was at the outbreak of the Civil War, when the matter was not carried through, because in war time the laws are silent, and so the matter fell through. The people have never had a chance since the Constitution was adopted to elect their convention to pass upon the changes.
Now, then, why is it that Congress never does that? Possibly in some cases there is justification. The framers of the Constitution made no distinction in terms between any classes of amendments that should be referred to the people, and those that should be referred to the legislatures, and I think that was wise, because it was impossible or difficult in the extreme, to define amendments in such a way that it would be possible in all cases to tell which were mere changes of form and could be submitted properly to the legislatures, and which went to the root of governmental power and called for the voice of the sovereign people, and so they left it to the wisdom of Congress to decide in the individual instances when they arose.