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Why, sirs, the tendency already established has come to this, as we can plainly see:
That the new-born child, if the tendency goes forward, will be subjected to the control of maternity regulations that apply to him and to his mother. That every step of his education, and every circumstance of his labor is to be subjected again to the control of the Congress of the United States; and that, as he undertakes to enter into the state of manhood and to enter into his matrimonial relations, under the proposed amendment for uniform marriage and divorce laws whether they will compromise upon the principle of South Carolina, where they recognize no ground of divorce, or upon that of Nevada, where they recognize 32, I know not; but the marital relation is to be subjected to Federal control; and then a blank check is to be issued, under the taxing power of Congress, which now claims the right to take his income, substantially without limit; and, finally, when he dies and his estate is passed upon, the tax is divided between the State and Federal Governments, and it may amount to one-half of his property.
Mr. SUMNERS. Does not this, in your view, represent a conflict between the two ideas of government?
Mr. EMERY. It does.
Mr. SUMNERS. One is that you should have government come up from the people; and the other is that the Federal Government, with an elected personnel of less than 600 and between five and six hundred thousand appointed officials should substitute its will and government for the will and government of the people of the States or citizens of the States?
Mr. EMERY. You have expressed very well what I have been desiring to impress upon the committee.
Mr. SUMNERS. And that is a fundamental difference of viewpoint?
Mr. EMERY. Yes, sir. And by the approval or disapproval which this committee gives to this amendment, you will be going further than any Congress has gone up to this time in determining whether this tremendous centralization of control over local authority by the United States is to receive further impetus; and it is to that that I address this argument; and I hope you will believe that when I come here representing manufacturers' associations, I am speaking for them only as citizens of the United States, who are undertaking to make a study of these great subjects as part of the duty which they have by reason of their national and local citizenship; and they ask you to test any argument or representation which they make to you by the acid test of the national interest; and if their argument does not meet with the national interest, it is not worthy of your attention; but if it does meet with the national interest, it is worthy of your attention; and they have no other consideration to offer than that great, fundamental principle of government that they believe is an issue in this great controversy presented here to-day. Mr. HERSEY. May I interrupt you there?
Mr. EMERY. Yes.
Mr. HERSEY. Suppose this committee, or a majority of this committee, believes that this is a fact: That in this Nation of ours
there are over 30 States that have child labor laws, and that this committee believes that those child labor laws are not up to the standard of what they ought to be in this Nation in the employment of child labor; and that there are States that have no child labor laws whatever; and if we find in a great many of the States there are inhumane child labor laws, or no laws at all, do you not think that the Federal power ought to intervene by making a standard for the Nation in its child life, so that no State could do what it ought not to do, while another State does enact very fair child labor laws? Should there not be a standard to which the people can be brought by the Federal Government when the State refuses to do its duty? Will you discuss that?
Mr. EMERY. If any such condition as you describe were demonstrated, it would go far beyond anything which the facts in our possession to-day justify. There is a conflict of opinion over what are the standards, and I say that each community must work that out. Now, the Congress of the United States has the power to give publicity to any condition that it finds
Mr. MONTAGUE (interposing). What is your opinion as to the relative ability and conscientiousness and integrity and courage of Members of the Congress of the United States as compared with the legislators of many of the States of the Union?
Mr. EMERY. Well, comparisons are
Mr. MONTAGUE (interposing). Of course, you would not like to say in our presence, but, in my judgment, many of the men of the State legislatures are just as competent as we are.
Mr. EMERY. Many of them are good men. I hesitate to join in any declaration that would inflict an inexcusable and indefensible criticism upon any community in the United States.
Mr. MONTAGUE. I withdraw the question. But I am just a little impatient sometimes at the satisfactory exclusiveness of some of our people here in Washington.
Mr. EMERY. Yes, sir; there is great complaisance with respect to that
Mr. MONTAGUE (interposing). And when you come to the bureaucratic dogmatism that you sometimes find, it seems contrary to patriotism.
Mr. EMERY. Yes, sir; and there is no more important relation than the marital relation; and yet I hesitate to believe that any member of this committee coming from any one of the States would be willing to permit any other State or group of States to regulate the laws relating to that relation in his State.
Mr. HERSEY. Why should we discuss the marital law in talking about the child labor law?
Mr. EMERY. Because the principle is the same; if it is important to protect the child life, it is certainly important to protect the relation under which the child life is produced, since the parental condition is the fundamental condition. And we can go too far by legislation; we can build up on weakness as well as on strength; we can make our citizens glorified, independent citizens having intelligence and initiative, or we can make our States dependent provinces, to be governed by proconsuls sent from Washington, who will undertake to carry out the national will, determined at Washington, and depriv
ing the community of the power to prescribe the conditions under which we shall live. I do not believe that the people are willing to accept that principle; and I am free to say that I do not think the circumstances justify this tremendous departure from local self-government, or that any necessity has arisen which justifies this committee in presenting to the Congress of the United States a recommendation that such a constitutional amendment as this shall be enacted. I thank you, gentlemen.
The CHAIRMAN. The next witness is Mr. Coolidge. Please state your name and whom you represent.
STATEMENT OF MR. LOUIS A.
COOLIDGE, BOSTON, MASS.,
CHAIRMAN OF THE SENTINELS OF THE REPUBLIC
Mr. COOLIDGE. Louis A. Coolidge, Massachusetts; I am chairman of the Sentinels of the Republic. I shall take but a few minutes of your time.
Our organization, which extends all over the United States with sentinels enrolled in every State of the Union, and which is engaged primarily in preserving the fundamental principles of the Constitution, has asked me to come here to oppose this amendment—not because it relates to labor, or child labor, or anything of that sort; but because, to our mind, it is the attempted continuation of a tendency which has been getting stronger and stronger for the last 20 years, to subordinate to Federal control all local activities, the police powers of the States, and the private rights of the individual citizen in order to concentrate everything here in Washington, in bureaus, in Congress and, gentlemen, in your hands.
The Federal Government is taking on more complicated responsibilities than it can properly handle.
We have one very good example of what Washington, through national agencies, can do. We have it right here in the District of Columbia. The Nation here has absolute control; the people of the District of Columbia have nothing to say about their own affairs; and the District of Columbia is the most lawless spot in the United States; they are shooting down Senators of the United States under the shadow of the Capitol, in a futile attempt to enforce a nonenforceable law.
But that is not what I started to say. I think--we think-that no further amendments to the Constitution affecting the individual rights of citizens, or the reserved rights of States, should be proposed or ratified until after the ratification of the so-called WadsworthGarrett amendment, which would give the people in their capacity as citizens of the United States, an opportunity either to vote directly on a proposed amendment, or to vote through conventions in the States chosen to consider that particular amendment to the Constitution, and not through legislatures selected for other purposes and subject to pressure from all sorts of organized and passionate minorities.
There is just one point I would like to dwell on; I do not know whether it has been brought out here or not: The amendment now under consideration gives the Congress "power to prohibit the labor of persons under the age of 18 years and to prescribe the conditions of such labor."
That sounds fairly harmless. Congress can do it, or not do it, just as it likes. Some of you may say "probably Congress will not do it; probably they will be very gentle about it."
But there has never been a provision of the Constitution yet, whether in the original Constitution or in the amendments to the Constitution, where Congress is given the power to enforce the provision, that Congress has not gone to the utmost limits in enforcement legislation.
Take the interstate commerce clause. Did anybody imagine, when the interstate commerce clause in the Constitution was adopted, that it would ever be followed by the Mann Act? And yet that act which reaches far beyond the comprehension of those who framed and ratified the Constitution became a law with hardly any comment. Take bills of credit; the national banking system; the Federal reserve act-very beneficient acts. All right; take the income tax, under the taxation clause
Mr. HERSEY (interposing). Were you in favor of the constitutional amendment for an income tax?
Mr. COOLIDGE. No, sir; I was against it, absolutely against it. I believe there has been no provision in the Constitution, and no enactment of Congress, that has gone so far to destroy the rights of the individual States and of the individual citizen as the Federal income tax. It deprives the States of one of the main sources of revenue. It accumulates in Washington a gigantic fund to be expended in multiplying Federal activities.
Mr. HERSEY. How many of the amendments to the Constitution are you in favor of?
Mr. COOLIDGE. The first 10 absolutely; because they emphasize the reservation of certain inalienable rights of the individual citizen. The Constitution could not have been ratified without them, and they are our only salvation; the eleventh and twelfth, because they relate to Federal features in the Constitution-and after that, would not have been in favor of one, except perhaps the thirteenth amendment which simply recognized an existing condition. Mr. HERSEY. Were you in favor of that?
Mr. COOLIDGE. Why, of course; of course, but it was not necessary. Mr. HERSEY. Would you stop on the fourteenth?
Mr. COOLIDGE (continuing). And it is not enforced in certain States of the South, strange to say.
Mr. SUMNERS. How do you know?
Mr. COOLIDGE. How do I know? We had certain peonage cases in Florida.
Mr. SUMNERS. Do you mean that because the law is violated it is not enforced? Is that true of the law as to murder, that because it is violated sometimes it is not enforced?
Mr. COOLIDGE. Heavens, no. But I mean to say that involuntary servitude still prevails in the South-and in some other States, I have no doubt.
Mr. SUMNERS. I challenge that statement as not being true.
Mr. COOLIDGE. As to the fourteenth amendment, that is all right. But the fifteenth amendment was violative of the rights of the States. And I am a Republican. Neither of these amendments has ever been enforced. They were imposed upon reluctant States.
Mr. DYER. Mr. Coolidge, I do not want to interfere with your statement; but you know the question that is before this committee is whether or not the Government of the United States should favor a general law with reference to the employment of children. Massachusetts has one, has it not?
Mr. COOLIDGE. Yes.
Mr. DYER. Are you in favor of the Congress doing it, or leaving it to the States entirely
Mr. COOLIDGE. Leaving it to the States.
Mr. DYER (continuing). Provided the States, some of them, refuse and neglect to adopt such laws as Massachusetts has?
Mr. COOLIDGE. I am not asking to have the laws of Massachusetts nationalized.
Mr. DYER. In other words, the people of Massachusetts do not care anything about the children in other States; is that what you mean by that?
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think that is a fair inference from anything that the gentleman has said.
Mr. COOLIDGE. No.
Mr. DYER. Well, he says he does not want the laws of Massachusetts applied to other States?
Mr. COOLIDGE. I do not know. Certainly not unless the other States want them. That is a selfish proposition. Massachusetts has its child labor laws; it is said by some that they hamper our textile industry.
Mr. DYER. Are you in favor of the Massachusetts child labor laws? Mr. COOLIDGE. I am heartily in favor of any humanitarian, intelligent, and effective State law which will prevent the exploitation of the labor of children.
Mr. DYER. Are you in favor of some of them and opposed to some of them?
Mr. COOLIDGE. I do not know them all; we get along very well. I am treasurer of the United Shoe Machinery Corporation. We are not affected by child labor one way or the other; it does not come under our purview. The textile mills are interested in it; and the textile mills of Massachusetts come in competition with those of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Mr. DYER. Did you support the Massachusetts child labor law, ΟΙ were you opposed to it?
Mr. COOLIDGE. Of course, I was not opposed to it. I had nothing to do with it.
Mr. DYER. Well, you were a citizen, were you not?
Mr. COOLIDGE. I was not a resident of Massachusetts at the time I was living in Washington.
The CHAIRMAN. Your objection to the amendment is on the ground that it is subversive of the basis upon which our Government was established and the dual relationships of State and Federal Govern ments inter se?
Mr. COOLIDGE. Absolutely, Mr. Chairman; but I had not quite completed what I had in mind on this particular proposed amendment. When Congress comes to enforce it, it provides that Congress may prescribe the conditions of such labor. If they follow the example set in the Volstead Act with regard to the eighteenth amendment,