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dhall reapportion the Representatives in this body once in every 10 years.
Beginning with 1790, the Congress of the United States has observed carefully this constitutional provision down to and including the year 1910: and after each decennial census there lias been a reapportionment within two years after the taking of the census until 1020. The matter of reapportionment has been before Congress constantly since 1920.
In the Sixty-sixth Congress, as well as in the Sixty-seventh Congress, Congress by a majority vote decided not to reapportion. The technical reason given by the Members at that time was that the census w;is not fair; that we were just following up a great war; that the people throughout the country were not settled: that they were not at home, if you please, when the census was taken; and many have thought that that census was inaccurate, and that disadvantage would be given to certain communities, and they based their opposition to a census bill or reappoi tionmcnt bill, us evidenced by the debate here, upon such bottom.
But, Mr. Speaker, the real motive that I think is generally understood by the House to have operated in defeating the renpportlonment legislation is the fact that certain States will lose, provided the number of Representatives is kept at 435. In my judgment there has not been a time since 1920 when this Congress would not by a majority vote have ^apportioned, provided that every State retain the number of Members now sitting in this body, and that increases be provided in other States.
One proposition was to increase the number to 483. Another proposition was to increase it to 460. To increase the number to 483 under the 1920 census would permit each State to retain its present number of sitting Members. But there must come a time, Mr. Speaker, when we must discontinue this increasing. In the years gone by we have continually increased the number of Members of the House until to-day this body has reached a size where it is unwieldy. If the size is increased, the Hall must he enlarged. No good results, in my judgment, can come from an increase in the size of the membership of this House; there are too many now.
Now, I shall not undertake to explain this bill in detail. It will be explained fully by members of the Committee on the Census. But it does deal with matters in a way whereby those Members whose States will now lose will not be embarrassed by voting for that kind of a bill.
This is anticipatory legislation. It seems to meet an emergency situation which might develop after the census of 1930. We have faced this emergency so far as reapportionment i.s concerned since the census of 1920, and I think I am speaking the truth when I say that there are enough States losing under the 1920 census that any reapportionment in this Congress is impossible unless, of course, the number of Representatives be increased, and I am satisfied that the sentiment of the countryis opposed to a greater number in this body at this time. There i.s every reason to believe that some States will lose under the 1930 census, and the Census Bureau estimates that in order to prevent any State losing the number of Representatives it now has that the number of Representatives must be increased to approximately 550 Members. If I am right in my conclusion as to why Congress has been unable to function in the matter of reapportionment since 1920, then there is much more reason to believe that it will be increasingly difficult to do the same constitutional task after the census of 1930.
Some objections have been raised to the provision in the bill permitting the Secretary of Commerce to perform certain ministerial acts. As to the constitutionality of this provision I have no doubt. The Supreme Court has recognized delegated power in the Tariff Commission, in the Treasury Department, and in the Interstate Commerce Commission far exceeding any power here delegated. In 1850 the Thirtieth Congress provided that the future reapportionment made on the basis of the 1850 census should be made by the Secretary of the Interior, and it was so made and approved.
Much discussion has been had in reference to the method mentioned in the bill, and known as the "method of major fractions." A full explanation of this procedure is contained in the- committee report, copies of which are in the hands of the members. If this method is not acceptable to the House, then the method of "equal proportions" may be substituted when the bill is under consideration. We are told by the mathematicians that each method is mathematically correct. Every Member in this body holds his seat to-day by virtue of the reapportionment of 1910, at which time the method of "major fractions" was used, and I have yet to hear any criticism of that system as adopted in 1910, and it strikes me that the objections hero raised in this particular are resorted to by
Oklahoma . Texas
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The Congress must eventually meet the issue as to whether or not the size of the House is to be increased every 10 years, and I doubt if there are thof=e present who would advocate a continuous increase. Therefore It seems the part of wisdom and statesmanship to meet the issue squarely at this time. For niy own part I am convinced that this body would be more efficient with 300 Members than with its present 435, and I will vote to reduce the number accordingly. This is not a matter of partisan politics. It is not a sectional question. It Is a constitutional question and requires unbiased consideration and unselfish action.
I do not believe there will be any opposition to the rule which we are now considering making consideration of this bill in order at this time.
Mr. Speaker, I now yield five minutes to the gentleman from Iowa fMr. Ramseyer].
The SPBLVKER. The gentleman from Iowa is recognized for five minutes.
Mr. RAMSEYER. Mr. Speaker and Members of the House, I agree with almost everything that the gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Michener] has said. But there are some things on which I do not agree with him. The first thing on which I agree with him is that this bill should be considered. I am opposed to the bill, but I am in favor of the rule. The bill comes from one of the great committees of the House; a committee which has given a perplexing proposition careful consideration and has tried to meet a practical situation and solve a difficult problem. I think they are entitled to have their bill considered, and I hope there is no one here who i.s opposed to the principles of the bill who will vote not to give it consideration.
Now, I agree in some other respects with the gentleman from Michigan. I believe that this House is large enough. In former years when confronted with reapportionment of the House membership after each decennial census the Congress lias done the easy thing and Increased the membership, so that no State would lose in its membership. I understand if this practice is followed, in 1930 the membership of this House would be 100 more than it is now. If you keep up this practice, it will net
lie many years until we have a House here of 700 or 800 Members. The House now is large enough.
If the House membership is kept at the present number of 435. my State will lose one or two or maybe three Members; no one knows exactly. In the winter of 1920-21 the short session, a bill to reapportlon the House membership passed this House, holding the number down to 435, and under the estimate then mnde Iowa would have lost a Member, and every Member on the Iowa delegation agreed that I individually bad the poorest location strategically in the State as it would have been impossible to redistrlct the State without pushing me into the district of one of my colleagues and thereby eliminating me from this service. Notwithstanding that, and notwithstanding that Iowa would lose, I was so firmly convinced that the membership of the House was large enough that I with one other Iowa Member of the House who was going out, voted for the 435 and against the increase. •
I believe in facing my responsibilities and my duties manfully and with my eyes open. We are going to take a census in 1930. This Congress will in the short session of the next Congress have the reapportloning to do. If I am here then I am willing to face that proposition, and I am going on record now in saying that I will oppose un increase in the membership of this House. But I want to face that situation with my eyes wide open.
Some of .you fellows who were raised on a farm have probably had the experience of trying to lead a horse into a place where he did not want to go or was afraid to go. You blindfolded him. petted him a little, got him less nervous, and then led him into the place where he should have gone with his eyes open. Now. the proposal here is based on the assumption that you are too cowardly to face the situation when the time comes. That you are afraid of the consequences and that you have not the intelligence and patriotism to do that which is wisest for the country in 1931. Therefore, confessing to yourselves that you lack the intelligence, the patriotism, and the courage to face an embarrassing situation manfully when it shall come before you during the second session of the next Congress, you are going to blindfold yourselves by passing this bill and let somebody else lead you into doing that which you now say to yourselves should be done in the future, three years hence. That is the whole proposition in a nutshell. I am for reapportionmetit immediately following the 1930 census. On principle I am opposed to telling some one else to do what is the duty of this Congress to do. To reapportion and to hold down the membership of the House is a duty imposed by the Constitution on Congress. I am not going to announce to the world by voting for this bill that the next Congress will not have the intelligence, courage, and patriotism to make a wise reapportionment of the Members of this House. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER. The time of the gentleman from Iowa has expired.
Mr. MICHENER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 10 minutes to the gentleman from Alabama [Mr. Bankhead].
Mr. BANKHEAD. Mr. Speaker and gentlemen of the House, I am opposed to the principles and provisions of this bill, and I trust it will be defeated on the final vote in the House. For that reason I opposed the rule in the Committee on Rules, and I shall vote against the adoption of the resolution provided for in the rule, although I do not insist that anybody else should do so. I think it is probably fair, in view of the importance of this proposition, and in view of the criticism that has been indulged in upon the part of the press and other sources, that this matter should at least have consideration.
Gentlemen, I am opposed to this bill primarily for the reason so well stated by the distinguished gentleman from Iowa [Mr. Ramseyeb]. If the Congress of the United States is legitimately subject to any criticism or odium for failing to perform a so-called constitutional mandate to pass a reapportionment bill, certainly we can well afford to wait two more years in order to get the real facts of the new census to guide the Congress in making its decision on this Question of reapportionment. In other words, if we have neglected our constitutional duty, we have neglected it now for some eight years, and certainly neither our reputations nor the safety of the country could suffer much by a continuance of the proposition for two years more.
This is merely a gesture in effect. Whatever this Congress does with reference to reapportionment under the census of 1930 would in no wise, either constitutionally or morally, be binding upon the Congress which will come into effect two years from now. For that reason it seems to me It is the part of wisdom, as well as of courage and of intelligence, that the Congress whose duty it will be to reiipportion the country under Hie census of 1930 should be trusted with the performance of that duty.
It has been asserted that the census of 1920 does not now afford a fair basis for any attempt to make a reapportionment. It. will be pointed out to you by those who will speak ou the bill that that was a time of instability of population; that the country had not had time to readjust itself from the migrations incident to the World War; and, in fact, gentlemen, when this next census is taken there may be some rather startling revelations with reference to an equitable and just reapportionmeut of the country based upon the population of 1930.
There is another proposal here which I do not like. Congress from time to time has been justly charged with abdicating a great many of its constitutional duties and functions, and here is a proposal that the Congress of the United States, which is charged with this responsibility under their oaths, shall abdicate it and turn it over in advance, upon a mathematical thesis, if I may call it that, to the executive branch of the Government, in effect, to reapportion the Congress of the United States, and I am opposed to that principle. [Applause.] If Congress of the United States itself, when it convenes after the census has been taken, has not the wisdom, the courage, and the prudence to take into consideration all of the practical factors and equations in the case then certainly our forefathers should not have lodged that duty in us. I think, as the part of wisdom, as a matter of practical politics—and I speak that in its highest and best sense—and as a matter of carrying out our duties under the Constitution we ought to postpone this reapportioument until the next census is taken, because it might he the best judgment of this House, in order that no State might lose its representation in Congress, that the membership of this body should be increased. We do not know what is going to be the judgment or the will of the Congress after the census of 1930.
In view of those propositions it seems to me, gentlemen, this bill ought not to pass, but that we ought to defer action until we have all the facts before us, and then perform courageously our constitutional duty.
Mr. CKLLER and Mr. LINTHICUM rose.
Mr. CELLEH. Will the gentleman yield for a brief question?
Mr. BANKHEAD. Yes; if I have the time.
Mr. CELLEH. I would like to get the gentleman's view as to the constitutionality of this delegation of authority. Is it not a delegation of legislative authority?
Mr. BANKHEAD. I assume, although I have not given that question any serious consideration, that it is a delegation of authority that might well be carried out under the terms of this bill. I have not investigated that and I am not prepared from the standiKunt of a lawyer really to answer the gentleman's question.
Mr. UANKIN. The gentleman realizes that under this bill the Department of Commerce would have the right and the duty of taking the census, and if this bill should pass in its present form we would be delegating to that same department that takes the census and passes on it also the power to reajvportion Congress.
Mr. BANKHEAD. Yes; that is true; and there is another feature of this bill, gentlemen, I want to call to your attention. According to the language of the bill this is not a temporary expedient that we are framing up here in order to meet some criticism that has been hurled at the Congress of the United States because of its failure to perform its constitutional duty. Under this bill you are preparing a perpetual system by which every 10 years, if for any reason the Congress of the United States should fail to make the apportionment, the Secretary of Commerce for all time to come will have that right vested in him.
Mr. COLE of Iowa. Will the gentleman yield for a question?
Mr. BANKHEAD. I yield first to the gentleman from Maryland [Mr. LiNTiiicuM].
Mr. LINTHICUM. The gentleman from New York [Mr. Celler] asked the question I hud in mind.
Mr. COLE of Iowa. Is there anything in this bill, if enacted, that would prevent the first Congress meeting after the census from reapportioning the country regardless of what we do here now?
Mr. BANKHEAD. Why, absolutely nothing. As I argued a few moments ago. if we should pass this bill and set up this formula of reapportionment based upon the contingencies expressed in the bill, the Congress which it would affect would have the constitutional right to come in and absolutely repeal, modify, or change it In any particular. So I say it is merely a legislative gesture in its present form.
Mr. COLE of Iowa. But in case the Congress at that time should not make the reapportionrneut, then Ibis bill, if enacted, would apply.
Mr. BANKHBAD. I think it would, If held to be constitutional.
Mr. LOZIER and Mr. JACOBSTEIN rose.
Mr. BANKHEAD. I yield first to the gentleman from Missouri.
Mr. LOZIE'K. This proposed legislation does not purport to attempt to do anything now?
Mr. BANKHEAD. No.
Mr. LOZIER. It is obviously anticipatory legislation; and, reduced to its lowest terms is not all this bill does to declare a national policy and attempt to commit subsequent Congresses to an adherence to that policy?
Mr. BANKHEAD. I think that is a good analysis of this bill.
Mr. MOORE of Virginia. Will the gentleman yield for a question?
Mr. BANKHEAD. Yes; I yield to the gentleman from Virginia.
Mr. MOORE of Virginia. Does the gentleman find that Congress has ever undertaken to make an apportionment prior to the census being actually taken?
Mr. BANKHEAD. Not that I know of.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. Will the gentleman yield there for a correction?
Mr. BANKHEAD. Yes.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. I think the gentleman will find that in 1850 the Congress did do exactly what is being done under this bill, and the reapportionnient was actually made by anticipation.
Mr. MOORE of Virginia. How far in anticipation?
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. Just like is proposed under this billone Congress in advance.
Mr. RANK1N. The gentleman does not mean to say that Congress delegated the power to make the apportionment?
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. That is exactly what I mean to say. The Congress delegated to the Secretary of the Interior the right to apportion, and the apportionment was made and accepted by the Congress and its constitutionality was never questioned.
Mr. RANKIN. It took the gentleman from New York a long time to find that out, because the gentleman has been on the committee two years and has been engaged in the hearings and this is the first time the gentleman has ever mentioned it.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. I have stated the facts.
Mr. MICHENER. I might state that that fact is included in the committee report
Mr. RANKIN. It is not in the committee hearing.
Mr. MICHENER. It is in the report.
Mr. Chairman, I yield five minutes to the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Williams]. [Applause.]
Mr. WILLIAMS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker and gentlemen of the House, personally I am opposed to this legislation, and if I am able to get a little time under the general debate on the bill I will try to explain the reasons for my opposition to the legislation. The matter we have before us at this time, however, is the rule reported out by the Rules Committee making in order the consideration of the bill reported by the Committee on the Census.
I think it is the duty of the House to give consideration to this bill and to the report of the Committee on the Census. As has been said, the Committee on the Census is one of the groat committees of the House. In this matter it is dealing with a great constitutional question. It has given a great deal of attention to this subject, a great deal of thought and investigation, and has presented here a measure representing the best thought and the best effort of this great committee.
This is a matter of such supreme importance to the whole country and to the Congress that it seems to me there should be no opposition on the part of anyone, whether they favor the legislation or oppose it, to giving it an opportunity to be heard and determined on the floor of the House.
I am opposed to the legislation for the reasons so well stated by the gentleman from Iowa [Mr. Ramseyer] and the gentleman from Alabama [Mr. Bankhead]. It seems to me that at most this is but an idle legislative gesture. If Congress feels it should take action at this time aud that we should have an apportionment, which we should have had seven years ago, the courageous and the right tiling to do would be to consider an apportionment bill, but this is not an apportionment bill.
This is simply anticipatory legislation seeking to bind the Congress that is to succeed us, that lias jurisdiction over the matter and will have the right to determine the policy of the House at that time.
Mr. JOHNSON of Texas. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. WILLIAMS of Illinois. Yes.
Mr. JOHNSON of Texas. Would not this bill have this merit: That if the Congress did not see fit to do its duty at the next session, after the census was taken this would be a kind of penalty hanging over it to make it take action?
Mr. WILLIAMS of Illinois. I do not know whether you would call it a virtue or a vice.
Mr. KINCHELOE. In other words, if Congress does not do its duty, we let the Secretary of Commerce do it?
Air. WILLIAMS of Illinois. Congress surrenders its power given it under the Constitution. If the Congress fails to act at the next session, after the census is taken we have abrogated our power to control the matter.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. The gentleman does not mean to say that the .Secretary of Commerce has any discretion?
Mr. WILLIAMS of Illinois. No; it is merely a ministerial act He acts in a ministerial capacity. But by this bill this Congress is doing work under the Constitution which is the duty of a subsequent Congress to perform. I am not willing to say here and now that the Congress that will sit here in 1931 will either be lucking in ability or in integrity to do its duty under the Constitution of the United States. [Applause.] However, I think we should all vote for the rule, give the matter full and fair discussion, and then vote down the bill. [Applause.]
Mr. MICHENER. Mr. Speaker, I yield five minutes to the gentleman from Indiana [Mr. Greenwood].
Mr. GREENWOOD. Mr. Speaker, it has been said that this legislation is anticipatory, that this Congress is attempting to bind a future Congress, and upon which a future Congress may act. I am against the rule because I think the Congress should act after the census has been taken. Because the Sixty-sixth Congress failed to do its duty is no reason why we at this period should anticipate the action of a future Congress. Regardless of what the population will be in 1030, we are arbitrarily fixing the number of Members of the House of Representatives at 435 and placing it in legislation. If a future Congress thinks the House should be composed of 460 Members and the President should disagree and veto such legislation, we would be required to pass such a bill by a two-thirds majority, to override a presidential veto, or accept this bill as the basis of the size of the House.
Something has been said about delegating authority to the Secretary of Commerce. There is a delegation of legislative power to the President that goes to the sanctity of the House itself. Therefore I do not believe that we should engineer the House into that position, but should leave it to Congress to act after the constitutional provisions for the census have been taken, when they can act with intelligence at that time.
It is true that there are certain States that will lose representation; that perhaps will be true under any apportionment or adjustment, but it ought not to be left to the Secretary of Commerce, it ought not to be left to the power of the President to veto the bill that may fix the new apportionment and require us to override a veto, but should be left to that Congress to deal with when the time arrives based upon the future census.
So I for one will vote against the rule and vote against the bill, and will not vote for any reapportionment that does not state in the body of the bill how many Representatives the State of Indiana is entitled to have and the number every other State will have. I think that fulfills my constitutional duty aud thereby not leaving it to the Secretary of Commerce or any other power to decide. [Applause.]
Mr. MICHENER. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman hit the nail when he said that this provides a formula. It merely provides the procedure whereby we guarantee fulfillment of the constitutional provision in reference to reapportionment in case, perchance, another Congress should be as derelict of duty regarding reapportionment as the present Congress has been.
No future Congress will be bound in any way unless that Congress desires to be so bound. We are simply providing that the Congress in the future after the next census shall be taken shall be composed of 435 Meiul>ers. We are laying down a formula or plan, so to speak, to be worked by the Secretary of Commerce. We are not delegating any discussion. If the Congress to which this gentleman refers does not agree with what we have done, that Congress may change; but in case it fails to act, then as long as this statute stands upon the books we are assuring a representative Government to the people. [Applause.]
We arc drifting along and getting back into the old English borough system. There is no man here who will deny that it was the intention of the framers of the Constitution that the census should be taken every 10 years, and that immediately after the taking of that census that there should be a reapportionment in order that we might have representative- Government. I ask the gentleman from Missouri [Mr. Ijozieu] now whether he would vote for u 435 memlxn'ship under the 1920 census! V
Mr. LOZIER. Will the gentleman yield to me for a question?
Mr. M1CHKNER. No; of course, the gentleman would not so vote, !uit these gentlemen here representing States where they lose Representatives are objecting, and why? They are objecting because they fear that their Slate will lose. I sympathize with them, hut still to me the question of whether or not \ve shall abide by the Constitution is a greater question than whether or not perchance a particular individual shall lose his sent in Congress. I admire the statement made by the gentleman from Iowa [Sir. Ramsi'.yer], who said that he appreciated the constitutional direction, and that even though it might cost him his seat in Congress he felt constrained to vote for that which he believed to be his constitutional duty. To me it is just a question of whether or not we want to comply with the terms of the Constitution.
Mr. COLE of Iowa. In other words, the gentleman proposes to enact a law by this vicious Congress to make the next Congress more virtuous than this one? [Laughter.]
Mr. MICHENER. No; I do not want to cast any aspersions on this Congress, but I do say that this Congress has shown a dreadful l;ick of courage. . Mr. LOZIER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. MICHENER. Yes.
Mr. LOZIER. In 1921 when the hill was being considered in this House providing for a representation of 4(H) Members in the House of Representatives the gentleman from Michigan voted to recommit that bill to the committee without instruction, thereby defeating the legislation in that Congress.
Mr. M1CIIENEIJ. Yes. I voted to recommit.
Mr. LOZIER. Does the gentleman think that he was derelict in liis duty in voting to recommit that bill in 1921 which deprived his own Stale of three or four additional Representatives in Congress?
Mr. MICHENER. The gentleman from Michigan felt that 435 was a large enough number, and the gentleman from Michigan did not want to increase the nunilier. There was no reason on earth why 460 .should be adopted arbitrarily unless it was to take cure of some .State* like the gentleman's State.
Mr. LOZIER. Does the gentleman think he was derelict in his duty and that he violated his onrh to the Constitution wh^n he voted to recommit this bill in 1921. thereby destroying the possibility of any reapportionment at that time?
Mr. MICIIEIS'KR. The gentleman certainly has no such notion, but the gentleman from Missouri would not vote for any bill anywhere, anyhow, which deprived his State of its present representation. I decline to yield further.
Mr. .TACOBSTEIN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman vield?
Mr. MICHENER. Yes.
Mi1. .TACOBSTEIN. The very question raised by the gentleman from Missouri [Mr. Lozikk] calls attention to" the dangerous situation unless we pass this bill. Gentlemen who want reapportionment are lined up with those who do not want reapportionment, to defeat a roapportionuient bill. You get a combination of men who really desire reapportionment and who do not wunt the House to be greater than 435 Members lined up with those who do not want reapportionment. a situation which we have had for 10 years, so that while the gentleman performed his duty in 1921, yet in doing it he actually joined forces with those who did not want any reapportioiimcnt.
Mr. BANKHEAD. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Sir. MICHENER. Yes.
Mr. BANKHEAD. I think it might be fairly stated that the crux of the gentleman's argument is that we should insist on the limitation of 435 Members of Congress. Does not the gentleman think that the Congress succeeding this one has the absolute right to an untrammeled expression of its own views on that question?
Mr. MICHENER. Yes: and it will have. There is no question about that. If this bill is taken up for consideration under tliis rule, it will be subject to amendment, and if there are sufficient Members who want to amend the bill and increase the number, that will be their privilege.
Mr. BANKHEAD. In other words, we are doing a thing now witli our eyes open, which we recognize is within the power of the succeeding Congress to change.
Mr. MICHENER. We are doing that now which the gentleman from Alabama has objected to doing since 1920.
Mr. WILLIAMS of Illinois. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. MICHENER. Yes.
Mr. WILLIAMS of Illinois. I do not se« any difference, so far as the Constitution is concerned, between the position of the gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Miciienkk] and the gentleman from Missouri [Mr. Lozleu]. The gentleman from Michigan refuses to vote for a bill that provides more than 435 Members in the House, and the gentleman from Missouri will not vote for a bill that does not have more than that number. So far ns the Constitution is concerned, one is just as guilty as the other. (Laughter. 1
Mr. BARROUR. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. MICHENER. Yes.
Mr. HARBOUR. Mr. Speaker, like the gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Mtchener] I was one of those who voted to recommit the bill which provided for a membership of 4GO Members in this House, and every man who voted that way did so because he felt thnt 435 was a large enough membership.
Mr. IHMVELL. And the gentleman is willing to kill the bill for that reason?
Mr. BARBOUR. I have not yielded to the gentleman from Iowa. If the gentleman from Missouri and his colleagues on the Census Committee had done their duty and not blocked action by that committee the committee would have reported out a bill providing for 435 Members, as the House indicated by its vote it should do. The committee has been delinquent in its duty in not reporting out such a bill.
Mr. LOZIER. Why, I was not even a Member of Congress at that time. [Laughter.]
Mr. MICHENER. Mr. Chairman, I move the previous question on the resolution.
The previous question was ordered.
The SPEAKER. The question is on agreeing to the resolution.
The resolution was agreed to.
Mr. FENN. Mr. Speaker, I move that the House resolve Itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill H. II. 11725. Pending that motion, I ask unanimous consent that the time be controlled equally by the gentleman from Mississippi [Mr. Ramun] and myself.
The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Connecticut moves that the House resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill H. R. 11725. and asks unanimous consent that the time he equally controlled on one side by himself and on the other by the gentleman from Mississippi [Mr. Rankin]. Is there objection to his request?
There was no objection.
The SPEAKER. The question is on agreeing to the motion of the gentleman from Connecticut.
The motion was agreed to.
Tse SPEAKER. The gentleman from Illinois [Mr. ChindDlomj will kindly take the chair.
Accordingly the House resolved itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the stare of the Union for the cons:deration of the bill H. R. 11725, with Mr. Chindblom in the chair.
The CHAIRMAN. The House is in Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill H. R. 11725, which the Clerk will report by title.
The Clerk rend as follows:
A bill (H. It. 11725) for the ^apportionment of Representative! in Congress.
Mr. FENN. Mr. Chairman. I ask unanimous consent that the first reading of the bill be dispensed with.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Connecticut?
Tlu-re was no objection.
Mr. FENN. Mr. Chairman. I yield 10 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Burton].
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized for 10 minutes.
Mr. BURTON. Mr. Chairman and ladles and gentlemen of the committee, this b:ll accomplishes two things; one with some degree of permanence, and the other only tentatively. First is the provision that the Secretary of Commerce, after a census is reported, shall prepare a statement under which Members of Congress are apportioned to the respective States. The second fixes the number of Members and is in a measure tentative. Indeed there had to be some number given in order that the Secretary of Commerce might act. That number is 435, the present membership of the House.
I am strongly in favor of this bill, for two reasons. In the first place, we have very naturally subjected ourselves to some reproach because we have not complied with the constitutional provision for a reapportionmeut under the census) of 1920. The point I wish to impress upon you Is that the same situation will probably—I might almost say inevitably— arise under the census o£ 1930.
I have been here when apportionments were made under the acts of 1800, 1000, and 1010. The sentiment of the House in tach of these three cases was decidedly against an increase of membership. In fact, tho.se who advocated or submitted to au incieuse of membership said, "Never again; that is the lust time that there shall be au increase. The House is too large already." But the insistence of Members from States which lost Members In each case prevailed, so that the number was increased from 325 to 350, 385 approximately, and under the census of 1910, to 435.
Now it has b.'en said here that we are saying to the next Congress what it shall do. That is not correct. This is but tentative. If the Congress elected in 1928 has courage and wisdom and can agree upon a bill, then it will take one up and puss it, and this one, giving authority to the Secretary of Commerce to make a statement, will be wiped off the statute books.
It is no reflection on the courage of the Congress elected in 1928 if there is recognition of the fact that the same situation which accrued after Ihe census of 1920 is very likely to occur again in 1930. Indeed, I think the probabilities are very strong that it will occur again in 1030, or after the census of 1930, because of that irrepressible conflict between those who do not wish to increase the size of the House and those who do not wish to allow their respective States to have a decrease In membership.
I might say here by way of explanation that it should not bo regarded as such a calamity that a State should lose part of its membership. On page 189 of the Congressional Directory a statement: is given showing the representation under each census, beginning in 1790. There is none of the older States but has sometime lost some of its membership, Virginia perhaps most of all, frequently; next, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland. Every one of those States lost some of its Members.
The question is one which we should look at from the broad standpoint of the general good of the country and the efficiency of this House of Representatives. An argument is occasionally made in regard to the size of the Chamber of Deputies in France and the House of Commons in England. The House of Commons in England has more than 600 members. I wish to call attention to the very great difference. The very great majority of members of both of those bodies never express themselves on the floor. They are not regular in their attendance. There is a certain honor attached to a manufacturer or u business man or a man in some other vocation to be a member of the House of Commons, but he takes no active part in the deliberations. If you will consult Hansard you will find a very small proportion, comparatively, of the members of the House of Commons who ever take part in the proceedings.
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield'.'
Mr. BURTON. I would rather not. I prefer nut to be diverted from the line of statement I am pursuing. I am frank to say I am very strongly in favor of limiting the size of the House of Representatives to 435. I say here frankly and bluntly that I would rather fail to comply with the constitutional provision than to see the size of this House increased.
There has been a good deal that has happened within the last few days which, I think, shows how disorderly we are liable to become, how the cry of "Vote" may drown out legitimate debate, and the larger we become the less efficiently we will function. I can not describe to you too strongly the difference between the transaction of business in this House when I first became a Member of it. when there were only 325 Members, as now compared with 435. The average ability is no less to-day, but the distinction of membership is less; the opportunity of the individual Member is, less and the tendency is toward disorder and inefficiency in the transaction of business, and that is sure to increase. So I say, let us meet the constitutional requirement by providing a way. It is ministerial oidy. The Secretary of Commerce will not be usurping anything; he is not to take away any right of the Congress.
Ministerial duties are assigned to members of the Cabinet much more far-reaching than this. So I say, gentlemen, we should vote for this bill and pass it. It will provide for the future. We can, in the next Congress—and I speak as though we were all going to be here, and most of us will, I expect— change it and pass any bill we please. We could pass a bill increasing the size of the House, although I should much deplore that; we could make a change in the major fractions, though that was advocated by Thomas Jefferson and has been followed since.
Mr. LOZIER. Does the gentleman say the major-fraction theory was advocated by Jefferson?
Mr. BURTON. I believe so.
Mr. LOZIEIl. Is it not true that Jefferson advocated the rejection of all fractions?
Mr. BURTON. That statement is made in a book of some authority as being so, and I think It is correct. I just want to read a few words from Jamas Madison in regard to a larger body:
The people can never err more than in supposing that by multiplying their Representatives beyond n certain limit they strengthen the barrier against the government of a few. Experience will forever admonish them that, on the contrary, after securing a sufficient number for the purposes of safety, of local information, and n diffusive sympathy with the whole society, they will counteract their own views by every addition to their Representatives. The countenance of the Government may become more democratic, but the soul that animates it will be more oligarchic. The machine will be enlarged, but the fewer, and often the more secret, will be the springs by which its motions are directed.
The delusion of believing that an increase in the size of the House makes it more democratic was never more clearly pointed out than by James Buchanan, who was then in his prime, in the debates following the census of IfrlO. Again in the Federalist, Mr. Madison said:
Though every member of the Athenian assembly be a Socrates, the aggregate body would be n mob.
Going to show that the more you increase the size of a legislative body, the more the domination of that body falls under the influence of a few, and the more the individual member becomes merged in. shall I call it, that mob, which extinguishes his individuality and gives a bent to the direction of affairs in which the individual has less and less to say. Mr. Charman. I sincerely hope this bill will pass. [Applause.]
The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Ohio has expired.
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Chairman, I am one of those men who have been charged with responsibility for not reapportioning under the census of 1920. I plead guilty to that charge.
I said on this floor in 1921 that I was opposed to the reapportioning of the House under the census of 1920 for several reasons. In the first place, the census of 1920 was taken, you might say, while America was still in the World War; when our soldiers had not returned to their homes; when thousands and thousands of them were away from home and were not counted where they should have been counted. I was opposed to it also because of the fact that the census was taken at a time when, owing to war activities, the population of a good many States had been drawn away from home and concentrated in the large industrial centers of the country.
I was opposed to it because the Bureau of the Census, for the first time in the history of this country, undertook to take the census In the wintertime, when the roads were muddy, when the weather was bad, and when it was almost impossible to go into the agricultural sections and make a correct tabulation of the population. I was opposed to it because it was taken at the time of the very peak of high prices. It was shown before the committee, in the former hearings on this bill, that they found it impossible to get men at the prices paid to go out and do this work.
As a result they brought in a census which showed an abnormal gain, an unreasonable gain, if you please, in the large congested industrial centers and at the same time an unreasonable falling off in the agricultural sections.
I say this was brought about largely as a result of the World War, and as the result of the World War we smashed almost every precedent of which you can think. We drafted our manhood in the Array; we sent them overseas to fight our battles; we put on wheat less days, meatless meals, and lightless nights; we limited the amount of sugar a man could put in his coffee and changed the time of day, but when it came to holding up reapportionment because of the fact that we did not have a proper census we heard a great protest on the part of those gentlemen representing States which would have gained as the result of that census.
In 1921, when this bill was brought before the House, I announced my attitude clearly. I was not in favor of increasing the membership of the House, and I think the record of the hearings will show I s-o stated, but in order to get this measure off our hands, I joined a majority of the committee and reported to this House a bill providing for a membership of 4(50, which would have taken care of all the smaller Slates, although it would have added a little more to the already inflated number which some States would have received. It would have taken care of all the small States with the exceptions of Maine,