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Mississippi Valley, and tlie Nation as a whole that such investigation should be made in an effort to work out and finally adopt a project that will bring about an effective solution of the flood-control problem.
The law further provides that—
Such surreys shall be made between Baton Rouge, La., and Cape Girardeau, Mo., as the board may deem necessary to enable It to ascertain and determine the best method of securing flood relief in addition to leveps before any flood-control works other than levees and revetments are undertaken on that portion of the river.
This is an Important provision of the act and had the urgent support of all sections of the Mississippi Valley. The board created by this act will undoubtedly give this section most serious consideration, because it involves all the States directly affected in the execution of this project. This affords an opportunity for further investigation of the effect of reservoirs on the White and Arkansas Rivers and in other localities where substantial results might be obtained. The feeling Is general that this phase of the flood-control problem has not been given the consideration it deserves.
The act further states:
Provided, That all diversion works and outlets constructed under the provisions of this act shall be built in a manner and of a character which will fully and amply protect the adjacent lands.
This provision is important, because it implies directly that diversion works shall be constructed so as to control and confine the volume of water taken from the main channel of the river.
There is a further provision:
That pending completion of any flood way, spillway, or diversion channel, the areas within the same shall be given the same degree of protection as is afforded by levees on the west side of the river contiguous to the levee at the head of said flood way.
The purpose of this Is that pending all the surveys and the completion of the works in any flood way, spillway, or diversion channel, including the acquisition of all rights or easements necessary and rights of way for levees and the construction thereof in a manner -to afford ample protection to the areas within such proposed flood ways or diversion channels, these areas shall have the same degree of protection as other portions of the Mississippi Valley included within the project. These provisions are specific and direct instructions as to what shall be done in carrying out this law. It might safely be assumed that the Federal Government or the agencies carrying out its purposes would take every precaution to afford equal protection to all and not to bring unnecessary damage to any\ section, but the interests are so great, and the failure to conduct the work with proper care and caution would be so disastrous, that it is eminently proper that these views of the Congress be expressed affirmatively.
Section 2 simply recognizes that on account of contributions made by the States and local interests in the past that no further local contributions in execution of this project are required.
Section 3 limits the contributions by States and local interests to supplying levees on the main stem of the Mississippi River and to maintaining the levees on the main river after construction, but limits that obligation to supervision and minor repairs. With the authorized appropriation of $325.000,000 to carry the work to completion, the people of the lower Mississippi Valley are relieved from the burden of levee taxation under which they have labored in the past without satisfactory results.
During all the hearings and the efforts to secure the passage of flood-control legislation the greatest degree of controversy centered about the question of local contributions on the one hand and, on the other, the obligation of the Federal Government in respect to payment for lands or rights of way over lands in diversion channels or flood ways, as well as the complete cost for the construction and us§ of such works as part of the flood-control program.
The contention of the lower valley against the injustice of further local contributions has been sustained in this act, with the exception above stated, and the obligation of the Government is definitely fixed by the language in section 4, as follows:
The Dnlted States shall provide flowagc rights for additional destructive flood waters that will pass by reason of diversions from the main channel of the Mississippi River: Provided, That in all cases where the execution of the flood-control plnn herein adopted results In benefits to property such benefits shall be taken into consideration by way of reducing the amount of compensation to be paid.
Considerable misrepresentation has unfortunately been broadcast over the country and impressions formed that have not been justified about this phuse of the legislation. It was
not the intention of the Senate or the House in the passage of the bill which was finally signed to subject the Government to any expenditures that were not fair or necessary in the execution of the project when finally adopted, and especially that phase of It dealing with diversions, spillways, and flood ways. The conclusion was reached that such diversions when planned, made, and executed by the Government should be entirely at national expense and national responsibility. It was realized that when the Government undertook the control of the flood waters of the Mississippi River as a national function, nnder the Constitution, that it could and had the authority to construct and plan the works necessary to effect that purpose. The object and intention of section 4 is that the Government shall provide the rights of way and construct the protective works where flood waters are to he diverted and shall provide flowage rights for additional destructive flood waters that will pass, not normally, but by reason of diversions from the main channel of the river. It is true that the word "additional" negatives the idea that the Government would be called upon to pay for flowage rights over natural channels or over lands flooded in normal years.
The contention has been made that certain sections of the valley are natural flood ways and therefore should be used for the protection of other portions of the valley. This is not true. Natural channels are the only portions of the valley that could be termed natural flood ways as distinguished from other portions. Before levees were constructed the entire valley could have been termed a natural flood way and in the flood of 1927, 18,000 square miles of the 30,000 square miles in the alluvial valley operated as a flood way. Under either plan, or any plan that may be adopted adjusting differences between the plans presented, the entire valley is to be protected without the use of flood ways against destructive flood waters except in a flood of the proportions of that of 1927 or greater, which is estimated to happen about every 15 or 20 years. In other words, the waters are to be kept within the natural channels by levees and hank revetments. Destructive flood waters is that volume which passes out of the natural channel; additional destructive flood waters is that volume which is deliberately diverted on the plans of the Government over a section of the valley not overflowed in normal years. So it naturally follows as a matter of justice, clearly expressed by Congress, that whatever rights of way and flowage rights are found necessary to carry out the purposes of the act shall be provided by the Government.
The second clause of section 4 simply provides the method by which the Government shall proceed to acquire lands, rights of way, and flowage rights.
The remainder of the act provides a $5,000,000 emergency fund for flood-control work on tributaries and authorizes an additional $5,000,000 for a complete survey of those tributaries that contribute to the floods of the alluvial valley of the Mississippi, for the purposes of flood control thereon, with reports to be made to the Mississippi River Commission and by it through the Secretary ot War transmitted to Congress.
All who have had experience with legislation and work for control of flood waters on the Mississippi realize that we are now just at the beginning of the final solution of the problem; that there will be additional surveys; that there will be changes In plans as the work proceeds; and that it will take the best skill of the Engineer Corps of the Army and those from civilian life, as well as complete cooperation among all the authorities engaged in the work, including the States and local interests involved, to effectively bring about the solution contemplated by this legislation.
This final result has been attained by diligent work in Congress and by the assistance and support of the entire Nation. It demonstrates that the Congress and the executive branch, of the Government are responsive to the needs of the country when those needs are made known and the merits of the problem presented in such a way as to place behind the legislation the support of public opinion.
As the work proceeds, the Congress will be advised each year as to the progress made and as to the amount of money required for the continuation of the work. The Government agencies in charge will no doubt keep in close touch with each community and each State immediately affected and show a spirit of consideration and cooperation necessary and required to secure the results Intended. On the other hand, the communities and the States will meet such cooperation in the same splendid spirit that has been manifested in the past.
The vast expenditure involved will be an investment on the part of the Government because it will secure the ultimate development of that section of the Nation with the greatest possibilities for expansion in agriculture and industry. The returns to the Government will be many times the amount of the expenditure and its safety and security will be enhanced in every way. So I repeat that this, the flood control act of May 15, 1928, is, for the valley, the most important legislative achievement of the present or any other Congress.
RAISING THE QUESTION OF CONSIDERATION
Mr. CRISP. Mr. Speaker, I desire to address a parliamentary inquiry to the Sneaker. This is Calendar Wednesday. Under the rules of the House, the question of consideration is always in order. Under the Calendar Wednesday rule, when a bill (in the Union Calendar is called up the House automatically resolves itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union to consider the bill. If a question of consideration is to be raised to the bill which has been called up, should that question be raised in the House or should it be raised in the committee after the House has resolved itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union? I am aware, of course, of the decision by Mr. Speaker Clark in which he ruled that the question should be raised in the committee. I know the Speaker has considered the matter. I do not know whether he has reached a determination as to what is the proper parliamentary procedure in such a case. Hence the inquiry. If the Speaker is prepared to and cares to answer that parliamentary inquiry I would be very glad to have him state whether the question must be raised in the House or in Committee of the Whole.
The SPEAKER. Before answering the question, the Chair would be very glad indeed to have the benefit of the views of the gentleman from Georgia upon that subject, if he would care to express them.
Mr. CRISP. Mr. Speaker, it seems to me unquestionably that the question of consideration should be raised in the House. If the House does not desire to consider the bill it is foolish for the House to resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union to consider the bill, and in that way waste time. Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, if the House resolves itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union with directions to that committee to consider ii bill, the committee being the agent or the creature of the House, the House being the principal, I do not think that the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union has any right to pass upon the question of consideration. The House itself, it seems to me, has determined that when it resolves itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union with instructions to consider (he bill. It seems to me that all of the logic iu the mutter is that the House should determine the question of consideration if that question is raised.
Mr. TILSON. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. CRISP. Yes.
Mr. TILSON. Does not the gentleman think we have an analogy to his proposition every time a bill on the Union Calendar is called up on Calendar Wednesday and unanimous consent is a.sked by the chairman of the committee to consider the bill in the House as in Committee of the Whole? Many times on Calendar Wednesday a bill on the Union Calendar is culled up and this request is made. The rule is that the House shall automatically resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the stale of the Union to consider the bill when such a bill is called up; but oftentimes the chairman of the committee, immediately before this is done, asks unanimous consent that the bill be considered in the House as in Committee of the Whole. Does not this practice of the House lend strength to the gentleman's argument that the House before going into committee should decide the question of consideration?
Mr. CRISP. I agree with the gentleman. Furthermore, suppose the House resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union to consider a bill, and the committee raises the question of consideration and decides it will not consider it. The committee goes back to the House and reports that fact to the House. Suppose, then, the House sends them back again to consider the matter. The House is the principal, and therefore it seems to me the question should he decided by the principal, the House, as to whether the agent shall consider the bill or not.
Mr. CHINDBLOM. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. CRISP. Yes.
Mr. CHINDBLOM. I nm very glad that the gentleman from Georgia has raised this question. The purpose of every rule of the House is to expedite business. There is no question that business will be expedited in the manner suggested by the gentleman from Georgia. In addition to that, it seems to me that the automatic going into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union by the House does not have the exact effect that sometimes has been given to it. The truth is that the chairman of the committee which has the Calendar Wednesday business in charge calls up a bill for consideration,
and thereupon the bill is reported by the Clerk. After the bill has been reported by the Clerk the Chair announce* that the House does automatically resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union to consider the bill, and it seems to me that at that point, before that action is taken, there Is a place in the proceedings providing a parliamentary opportunity to raise the question of consideration.
Mr. CRISP. Undoubtedly the Calendar Wednesday rule does not repeal all the other rules. The practice is on Calendar Wednesday, if the chairman of a committee calls up a bill which is to be considered in Committee of the Whole House ou the state of the Union, simply for the pun>ose of saving time, to make unnecessary a motion to go into the Committee of the Whole, the House automatically resolves itself into Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union. But that does not repeal the other rule. That matter could be determined, pending the automatic going into Committee of the Whole, by raising the question of consideration; and if that question is raised and sustained the House does not go into Committee of the Whole. If the question is voted down, then the House goes automatically into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union.
Mr. CHINDBLOM. Notwithstanding the precedents, I think the House would be very glad to have the views of the SiK-aicer on the matter as of a matter de novo.
Mr. L1NTH1CUM. Mr. Speaker, I think the proceedings of the day are Important enough to have a quorum present. I call the attention of the Chair to the absence of a quorum.
The SPEAKER. Will the gentleman withhold that until the Chair rules?
Mr. LINTHICUM. Yes.
Mr. GARHETT of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, may I say a word 1
The SPEAKER. The Chair will hear the gentleman.
Mr. GARRETT of Tennessee. I concur in the reasoning of the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Crisp!. But there is ^ust one suggestion I would like to offer, and that is. if the question be determined in the House, of course, it is determined by a quorum, theoretically, at least, whereas if it be remitted to the Committee of the Whole for determination the question may be settled by only a hundred Members. Of course, the precedents are the other way. But it seems to me the reasoning would justify an overruling of the precedents.
Mr. MAPKS. Mr. Speaker, will tie gentleman yield?
Mr. GARRETT of Tennessee. Yes.
Mr. MAPES. According to the procedure followed here a short tiuie ago under the leadership of the gentleman from Tennessee, does he think it. is quite accurate to say that the question of consideration is ultimately determined by the committee? The gentleman will recall the fact that the committee automatically rose and came back into the House to have the House pass upon the vote of the committee.
Mr. GARRETT of Tennessee. The gentleman is quite correct, and that was the proper practice, for the committee to rise, for the very reason that that did enable the whole House to pass ui>ou the question of consideration. But it would be expedient to do it iu the first instance instead of in that way.
Mr. CANNON. Mr. Speaker, I suppose the precedents on this point have been called to the Speaker's attention. As the S]>eaker is doubtless aware, this question was passed on by both Speaker Clark and Speaker Glllett on various occasions in the Sixty-fifth, Sixty-sixth, Sixty-seventh, and Sixty-eighth Congresses.
The SPEAKER. The Chair is glad to answer the question of the gentleman from Georgia TMr. Crisp]. While not of extreme importance, the question raised is of considerable importance. The last time the question was raised in the House was on March 20 of this year, when the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Garrett] raised the question of consideration in the House. The present occupant of the chair, following the precedents, held that the proper place to raise the question of consideration was in the committee. It was raised in the committee, and then the question came up as to whether the committee must at once report back to the House its decision on the question of consideration. The occupant of the chair at the time, the gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Hoopek], held that it did. Therefore the question was ultimately determined by the House, which voted to consider the bill.
Now, it does seem perfectly apparent that on that occasion the House went through two practically useless motions; first, in going into Committee of the Whole; and then, second, raising the question of consideration and reporting back to the House what it hud decided on the question of consideration, the House having ultimately to determine.
Now, the Chair, of course, is rather loath, under the rules, to overturn by his decision loug and well-established precedents; but numerous Shakers—at least one Speaker—expressed grave doubt some years ago as to whether we ought not to overrule tills precedent, In response to a similar Inquiry by the gentleman from Georgia [Mr. Crisp] as to whether the question of consideration should be raised in the House or in the committee; and Mr. Speaker Gillett said:
The Chair is not disposed to express his opinion offhand without careful study of the question as to which would be the better practice; but, us the gentleman from Georgia suggests, tbe ruling has been—and it was a very carefully considered ruling by the last Speaker of the House when this question caine up—that the question of consideration should be raised in the committee, and not In the House; and although to raise the question of consideration in the committee is an anomaly, the Chair would not feel disposed to overrule that without a very thorough study and consideration of the question.
The Chiiir has made careful investigation of that question, and has prepared a decision of some length, making quotations from the precedents, which, with the permission of the House, he will insert in the Rkjoud without reading. But the Chair is decidedly of the opinion that the former decision should be overruled. In every other case and at every other time in the case of n Union Calendar bill the question is always raised in the House, and the reason announced by Mr. Speaker Clark, when he ruled that it ought to be raised in the committee, was on account of the phraseology of the Calendar Wednesday rule, whil'li provides that on Calendar Wednesday "bills called up from the Union Calendar shall be considered in the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union," without the. necessity of a motion being made, but it has frequently happened that In the case of a Union Calendar bill the gentleman in charge may ask unanimous consent that it be considered in the House as in Committee of the Whole, which is, after all, an intervening motion.
So that the word "automatically " as used in the Cannon decision does not apply to that Speaker Clark held that the words "bills called up from the Union Calendar shall be considered in the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union" meant that no intervening motion could be made; that the House must at once resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union. The Chair is inclined to think, though, that the logic of the situation is where fhe provision is that the House automatically resolves itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union Uiat that phraseology was put in merely to make it unnecessary to move that the House go into the Committee of tbe Whole. That Is certainly in the direction of speeding up legislation, because on a motion, of course, the question could be put and a roll call had. But the present occupant of the chair does not think that would preclude the raising of the question of consideration in the House at the beginning. It must be raised in the House finally. Therefore why should we go through the useless motion of going into the Committee of the Whole, have the question of consideration raised In the committee, and then reported back to the House for its ultimate action? The Chair thinks the logic of the situation is all in favor of overruling the previous precedents, and as the Chair has said, while he is not disposed as a general thing to overrule well-established precedents he thinks that the necessity of the case justifies him in doing so now. So the present occupant of the chair will say that when the question is raised the next time he will hold that the question of consideration should be raised in the House and not in the committee.
On December 15, 1909, Mr. Mann, of Illinois, by direction of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, called up a bill on the Union Calendar. This day being Calendar Wednesday, the Speaker, Mr. Cannon, of Illinois, caused the Clerk to read clause 4 of Rule XXIV, and said:
This bill is called up by direction of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce by the chairman of that committee. The part of the rule that governs the action of the House at this time Is as follows:
On a call of committees under this rule bills may be called up from either the House or the Union Calendar, excepting bills which are privileged under the rules; but bills called up from the Union Calendar shall be considered In Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union.
So far as the Chair has recollection, whenever special orders which are rules of the House for special occasions have provided that the House should Immediately resolve Itself Into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of a bill, the Invariable practice of the House has been that the Speaker should at once declare the House hi committee without a vote of the House on the question. It seems to the Chair that the Intent of the rule now in operation, as shown by Its purpuse and language, Is that the House
shall without vote be resolved Into the Committee of the Whole for the consideration of the bill specified by the committee having the right at this time to call a bill up for consideration. If such were not the case, we would have a motion to resolve the House into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill specified, with the possibility of a roll call, thus consuming time. And under the precedents for the prompt transaction of business, the Chair, In construing this rule, will declare the House in Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill.
At this time the Chair ruled that the House automatically resolved itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of tbe Union, he evidently did not contemplate the possibility of a Member raising the question of consideration.
In tbe above ruling there is no mention of it, although he does say that it does not require a motion to go into the committee. Ordinarily the motion to resolve into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union is equivalent to raising the question of consideration. In this connection, Sneaker Cannon's attention was not directed to Rule XVI, providing for the raising of the question of consideration. In the decision it will be seen that the question of consideration is not raised directly. The Chair merely decided that the House automatically went into the Committee of the Whqle.
On April 15, 1914, Mr. Mann, of Illinois, propounded this inquiry to the Chair:
Mr. Speaker, this bill is on the Union Calendar. Under the rules of the House, it being called up by tile committee, the Houso automatically resolves Itself into Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union. The parliamentary Inquiry Is, When is it in order to raise the question of consideration on the bill? I will say to the Chair that Mr. Speaker Cannon ruled under this same rule that It was in order In Committee of the Whole to raise the question of consideration. It must be In order some time, and I make the parliamentary inquiry as to whether It is in order now in the House or whether it would be In order In Committee of the Whole.
Speaker pro tempore Alexander in reply said:
The rule, paragraph 4, Rule XXIV, provides:
"After the unfinished business has been disposed of the Speaker shall call each standing committee in regular order, and then select committees, and each committee when named may call up for consideration any bill reported by it on a previous day and on the House Calendar, and if the Speaker shall not complete the call of the committees before the House passes to other business he shall resume the next call where he left off, giving preference to the last bill under consideration."
Paragraph 7, Rule XXIV, with reference to Calendar Wednesday, provides:
"7. On Wednesday of each week no business shall be In order except as provided by paragraph 4 of this rule, unless the House by a. twothirds vote on motion to dispense therewith shall otherwise determine. On such a motion there may be debate not to exceed five minutes for and against.
"On a call of committees under this rule bills may be colled up from either the House or the Union Calendar, excepting bills which are privileged under the rules; but bills called up from the Union Calendar shall be considered in Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union."
The unfinished business having been disposed of and the Committee on Revision of Laws having the right to call up bills reported from that committee for consideration, and that committee having called up a bill on the Union Calendar for consideration, it is the opinion of the Chair that it is the duty of the Speaker under the rules, paragraphs 4 and 7 of Rule XXIV, to declare that the House automatically resolves itself Into Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill and to call some one to preside in committee.
Whether or not the question of consideration may be raised in committee, the Chair does not feel called upon to decide. He is inclined to the opinion, however, taking the spirit of the rule and the purpose it was intended to accomplish into consideration, that it is very doubtful if such a motion would be In order.
The gentleman from Louisiana, Mr. Watkins. calls up the bill (H. R. 15378) to codify, revise, and amend the laws relating to the Judiciary. The House automatically resolves itself into the Committee of tbe Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill.
In this case Speaker pro tempore Alexander evidently had in mind the ruling of Sneaker Cannon of the preceding year. It may be well to note that in this connection the Chair expressed doubt as to whether the question of consideration was in order in the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union.
When the House automatically went into the Committee to consider the bill, Mr. Mann attempted to raise the question of consideration, but the committee rose before opportunity was given to pass on the question.
On April 22, 1914—Calenclur Wednesday—the bill was again called ii]) and the House automatically went into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union. Mr. Mann demanded the question of consideration. Mr. Hay made the point of order against the demand for the question, of consideration in the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union.
Chairman Kussell ruled as follows:
The Chair would like to state. In the first place, that he believes that there ought to lx> some opportunity at some time for either the House or the committee to determine the question of consideration of any bill, and by a majority vote. The Chair has great respect for the opinion of the gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Suunders, but he can not agree with him tb.it this rule la intended to enable the House to dispense with a part of Calendar Wednesday. As the Chair reads the rule and construes It, he Is persuaded to believe that It means to dispense with the entire business of the day, or none. There arc several reasons; among them there arc several decisions of the Speakers of the House that there shall be no preference between House bills and Union Calendar bills upon the calendar on Wednesday. White it 'la admitted and has frequently been ruled that a majority vote on a House Calendar bill will prevent its consideration, and the argument is made which, If correct, would require a two-thirds vote to dispense with one that was on the Union Calendar, so there would be a distinction. Now. If this were an original proposition, the Chair Is disposed to believe that he would have held that under Rule 111 that the consideration could have been raised before the House resolved itself into the Committee of the Whole House. The Chair knows that question may be raised where a motion is made to go into the Committee of the Whole House to consider a bill. The rule reads this way:
"When any motion or proposition Is made, the question, Will the House now consider it? will not be put, unless demanded by a Member."
It says "any motion or proposition." The Chair is inclined to believe that this was Intended to cover cases of this sort. When a bill is called It is a proposition, it would seem to the Chair, to go into the Committee of the Whole to consider the bill, not ft motion, because you automatically go into the Committee of the Whole House to consider a bill on the calendar, If on the Union Calendar, as this bill was. If it were an original proposition, he would feel disposed to hold that at that time the question of consideration might have been raised in tbe House. But the Chair is impressed with the belief that there ought to he some time when a majority of the House or the Committee of the Whole House can determine whether or not It will consider a bill. In view of the ruling of Speaker Cannon and Speaker pro tempore Mr. Alexander, who. In this very case, decided when tbe motion was made raising the question of consideration that it could not be raised at that time. I think the opportunity to raise the question should now be permitted. Speaker Cannon decided that after you go into the Committee of the Whole House in a matter exactly like this—
"The question being taken on the demand for the question of consideration, tbe committee decided not to consider the bill."
In the House, a point: of order being made against the report of the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, Speaker Clark ruled as follows:
The Chair is ready to rule. There are several questions involved in this matter, and the Chair will try to straighten them all out.
Until the Calendar Wednesday rule was made It was the privilege of any Member of the House to raise the question of consideration on any bill, resolution, or proposition. Speaker Heed once said that the purpose of all rules was to expedite business and not retard it. That is the correct light in which to examine them all.
The House has the right to do as It pleases about any bill, and should have a chance to express its opinion. If It does not want to consider it, it has a perfect right to say thnt it will not consider it. That is no abridgment of anybody's privilege. It is to maintain the integrity of the House. The gentleman from Kentucky, Mr. Sberley, has a very terse and luminous way of stating things, and on the 14th day of December, 1010, he delivered these remarks:
"Mr. Speaker, If the Chair will permit me, it seems to me that the surest way to determine every debatable proposition is by answering the question. What ruling gives the House the greatest freedom? Now. the purpose of Calendar Wednesday was not to guarantee that certain committees should have, certain bills considered but that they should have an opportunity to present bills that they had reported, and then the House should have the right to say whether it would consider them or not "—
And so forth. Now. until the Calendar Wednesday rule, as I said, was adopted, you could raise the question of consideration on any legislative proposition. Most of tbe men who have participated In this long deliate here to-day—and the Siieaker remained In the Chamber and henrd every word—wore here when this Calendar Wednesday rule was adopted, and we know precisely why it was adopted. In those same remarks the gentleman from Kentucky, Mr. Sherley, stated this:
"The abuse that Calendar Wednesday was meant to cure was the constant feeding into the House of matters that bad privilege; and
prevented the calling of the calendar; but It wa« not meant, by making a call of the calendar peremptory on certain days, to compel the House necessarily to consider matters on the calendar but simply to give the House op|K>rlunlty to consider them."
That Is the exact truth about this, and the complaints that led to the adoption of Calendar Wednesday were precisely what the gentleman from Kentucky says they were--that committees went to work and reported bills and never got any chance to call them up. The call of the committees has l>een a part of the House proceedings, I suppose, from the beginning: anyhow, antedating any of us. But they fell into the habit of crowding privileged matters in here, sometimes on purpose nnd sometimes In the ordinary course of business, so that Members could not get their bills up at all, and therefore we established Calendar Wednesday. Nobody has any disposition to overthrow it. I know that the Chair hns none.
The reading of that Calendar Wednesday rule is peculiar. It provides:
"On a call of committees under this rule bills may bo called np from either the House or the Union Calendar, excepting bills which are privileged under the rules."
That last clause was put in there to prevent any of the big committees having Jurisdiction of appropriations, revenue bills, etc., from crowding in on Calendar Wednesday. They have to stand aside on Wednesday and let somebody else have the right of way. The rule provides further:
"But bills called up from the Union Calendar shall be considered in Committee of the Whole House on the state of tbe Union."
Now, I differ with these gentlemen, and I agree with Speaker Cannon and the temporary Speaker, Mr. Alexander. I do not believe that any other reasonable construction can be put upon that clause except that it meant an automatic going into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union; and the reason why that was done was to prevent filibustering on going into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union. I know that is so, because I was here, and while I was not on the Committee on Hub's I participated In the establishment of that rule.
There must be some place, somewhere—there ought to be. at least— to raise the question of consideration; and failing to be able to raise the question of consideration in the House in the first instance on bills on the Union Calendar on Wednesday It ought to be permitted to be raised in committee. As to the suggestion that Homebody made— that 51 members In Committee of the Whole could upset the procivdings—the Chair Is Inclined to believe with the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Maun], that wlien a report like this la brought in it ought to be ratified by the House.
The Chair does not believe that the committee Is acting ultra vires when it reports to the House that It will not consider this bill any more on this occasion. The Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union had Its origin In England, and its history, which need not lie stated lure, is a very interesting one. It is simply a committee of the House, that is all it Is, Just like the Committee on Ways and Means, the Committee on Appropriations, etc., except that 100 Members make a quorum, and fil are a majority of a quorum. The Committee of tbe Whole House on the state of the Union has the right to make its recommendations to the House. Of course, as the gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Kartlett, suggested. It might make some recommendation which was beyond Its power. Now, if anyone does not like this Calendar Wednesday rule, the right thing to do is to offer an amendment to it. That is easy enough to do.
In the first place, the Chair sustains the ruling of Speaker Cannon and of Temporary Speaker Alexander, mid he sustains the contention that you may raise the question of consideration on Calendar Wednesday—on no other day—In the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union. On every other day you have the opportunity to raise it in the first instance in the House. The motion to go into the committee raises the question on every other day.
Secondly, the Chair thinks that in this case the motion ought to be put to the House, which is the greater body, and tbe controlling liody, as it takes Iil7 to make a quorum in the House, just as the House votes on the recommendation of the Commitee of the Whole House on the state of the Union when the committee reports back a bill with the recommendation that it lie on the t:'Me or with the recommendation that the bill do not pass or with the recommendation that the enacting clause be stricken out or that everything after the enacting clause be stricken out. The committee has the right to report any one of those recommendations.
Therefore the question is on agreeing to the rerommendntlon of the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union.
On October 1, 1919, Mr. Cbibp, of Georgia, rising to a parliamentary inquiry, said:
Mr. S|ieaker, I would like to nsk the opinion of the Chair as to this question: I know tlial it hatf been ruled in the House that on Calendar Wednesday, when a bill is on the Union Calendar and is called np the House automatically goes Into Committee of the Whole to consider it, and that tbe question of consideration bl.-oiild be raised in the Commlttee of the Whole House on the staib of the Union. I know that has been ruled several times, but I want to iisk the opinion of the Chair if the Chair does not think It would be better practice for the question of consideration to lie raised In the House before we go into the Committee of the Whole, for thin reason:
The Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union Is an agent or creature of the House, and If the House goes into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, directing the committee to consider a bill, may the question of consideration then he raised in the committee an to whether the committee will consider it when the House has gone Into Committee of the Whole directing that committee to consider it? I just want to present that proposition to the Speaker. I will say to the Speaker very frankly thnt the rulings have been that the question of consideration is not raised until we get Into the Committee of the Whole, when we go automatically into the Committee of the Whole; but it seems to me thnt the logic of It Is that the better practice would be to determine In those cases whether we would consider it before taking up the time of the House to go Into the Committee of the Whole.
Speaker Gillett replied:
The Chair Is not disposed to express his opinion offhand without careful study of the question ns to which would be the better practice; but, as the gentleman from Geovgla suggests, the ruling has been—anil It was a very carefully considered ruling by the last Speaker of the House when this question came up—that the question of consideration should be raised In the committee and not in the House; and although to raise the question of consideration in the committee is an anomaly, the Chair would not feel disposed to overrule that without a very thorough study and consideration of the question.
On December 17, 1924, it being Calendar Wednesday, Mr. Laguardia, of New York, by direction of the Committee on the Post Office and Post Heads, called up a bill establishing an air mail service, which was on the Union Calendar. Mr. Thomas L. Blanton, of Texas, raised the question of consideration against the bill. The question being taken, the Speaker [gillett] announced:
The House automatically resolves itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union.
On April 28, 1926, when the Committee on Foreign Affairs was reached on Calendar Wednesday cull of committees, Mr. Fish, of New York, in behalf of that committee, called up a bill to erect an American military monument in France. Mr. ConNally of Texas offered as privileged the motion to dispense with proceedings in order on Calendar Wednesday under the Calendar Wednesday rule. Speaker pro tempore Snell ruled the motion out as not being privileged over the right of Mr. Fish to call up the bill. Thereupon Mr. Connally raised the question of consideration against the bill. The question being put, it was decided in the affirmative.
CALL OF THE HOUSE
Mr. LINTHICUM. Mr. Speaker, I renew my point of order of no quorum.
The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Maryland makes the point of order that there is no quorum present. The Chair will count. [After counting.] One hundred and ninety-five Members are present, not a quorum.
Mr. TILSON. Mr. Speaker, I move a call of the House.
A call of the House was ordered.
The Clerk called the roll, and the following Members failed to answer to their names:
[Roll No. 741
The SPEAKER. Illinois rise? Mr. DENISON.
For what purpose does the gentleman from
To submit a parliamentary inquiry.
The SPEAKER. The gentleman will state it.
Mr. DENISON. The Speaker has just answered, in response to a parliamentary inquiry, that the proper place to raise the question of consideration is in the House rather than in the Committee of the Whole. Is it a proper deduction from the ruling of the Speaker that it will be improper hereafter to raise the question of consideration in the Committee of the Whole?
The SPEAKER. That would follow.
The SPEAKER. This is Calendar Wednesday. The Clerk will call the committees. •
The Clerk called the committees. When the Committee on Military Affairs was reached—
Mr. MORIN. Mr. Speaker, I am goin£ to call up Senate Joint Resolution 40. Before doing so, I would like to prefer a unanimous-consent request. I ask unanimous consent that if we do not finish the Muscle Shoals bill to-day that the committee have its second day to-morrow, Thursday.
Mr. TILSON. That would mean that to-morrow would be substituted for next Wednesday. That would be understood?
Mr. MORIN. Yes.
The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Pennsylvania asks unanimous consent that if the consideration of the Muscle Shoals bill is not finished to-day that the Committee on Military Affairs have its second day to-morrow, Thursday. Is there objection?
Mr. LINTHICUM. Mr. Speaker, I object.
Mr. BYRNS. Mr. Speaker, reserving the right to object, I want to ask the gentleman this question: Under the Calendar Wednesday rule only two hours are allowed for debate——
Mr. LINTHICUM. Mr. Speaker, I have objected.
Mr. BYRNS. I will ask the gentleman to withhold his objection for a moment. One hour in favor and one hour in opposition is all that is allowed under the rule. This is, I think, the most important or certainly among the most important bills that have been considered by Congress at this session.
The State of Tennessee, as well as every other State of the Union, is vitally interested in some of the provisions of this bill. If only two hmirs are allowed, I understand the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Hull], who wishes to present the matter from the viewpoint of the Tennessee delegation, will only have 10 minutes. I submit to the gentleman (his is by no means sufficient time for him to present the matter, and it does seern to me that In a matter of this very great importance there ought to be an agreement to extend the time for general debate for a reasonable time in order that the views of those both for and against the hill may be fully presented. I am not asking this for myself, although I would like to have some time on the bill. 1 hope the gentleman will ask unanimous consent that the time may be extended for a reasonable length of time.
Mr. MOIUN. Mr. Speaker, in response to the statement of the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Byens], we are, of course, desirous of giving everybody who wishes to debate the bill all the time we can. This is Calendar Wednesday and we have only two days, but I ask unanimous consent that the time be extended one hour, one hour and a half to be used by the opponents and one hour and a half by the proponents of the bill.
The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Pennsylvania asks unanimous consent that the time for general debate be fixed at three hours, one-half to be controlled by those in favor of the bill and one-half by those opposed.
Mr. CRAMTON. Mr. Speaker, reserving the right to object, which I do not intend to do, I would like to ask the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Morin] whether his committee has any assurance of being able to hold evening sessions during these two days, or in the event consideration of the bill is not completed on the second Wednesday, or in the event that by reason of fixing the date of adjournment, next Wednesday ceases to be a Calendar Wednesday, that time will be given for completion of the bill through a rule?
Mr. MORIX. We have not.
Mr. CRAMTON. Then the gentleman realizes that in any extension of time that is granted for debate, with the evidences that were indicated here this morning of some desire to consume time, his bill is in danger?
Mr. LAGUARDIA. In extreme danger.
Mr. BYRNS. I want to say to the gentleman that my request was not proposed with any such idea. I have no disposition to delay the consideration of the bill for a longer time than is necessary to fairly consider it