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What could be unfair about an operation of this kind? Nobody could claim that any State is not receiving its equal proportion of representation, because the apportionment will be just as accurate as mathematics can make it. All that this bill does is to place back of us the assurance that in case Congress shall fail to do its duty, as it failed eight years ago and has done ever since that time, fails to reapportion, I say then this bill, on the basis of the census, with absolute fairness to all, shall go into effect, and the reapportionment will be made on that basUj. Could anything be more fair? Can anyone claim that injustice is done or that any power or right is taken from Congress?
The duty of reapportioument will be put right up to us or to our successors in the short session of the Seventy-first Congress. If that Congress does not like the bill, if we pass it, then is the time for them to meet the situation and do their duty. In case they fuil, as other Congresses have failed, and as I gravely fear they may fail, then there will be the assurance, if this bill is the law, that the spirit of the Constitution is to be no longer violated. A reapportionment made on the basis of the new census and in accordance with the terms of this bill will be fair. No State will have more or less representation than it is entitled to under the census.
Mr. BANKHEAD. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. TILSON. Yes.
Mr. BANKHEAD. Suppose that in its wisdom and judgment the Seventy-first Congress decides to increase the representation?
Mr. TILSON. There is no obstacle whatsoever in the way of doing that very thing. I hoi>e that the Seventy-first Congress will be wise enough not to increase the membership of this House by a single Member, but there is nothing in this bill that would in any way prevent such action. It is one of the excellent features of this bill that it specifically provides for action by a subsequent Congress, but the best thing of all is that, if enacted into" law, it will stand as a guaranty that no longer s'hall the constitutional mandate be indefinitely disregarded by the failure of Congress to do its duty.
Mr. BANKHEAD. Then, if it should not decide to do that, these figures will be of no value?
Mr. TILSON. Only in case Congress fails to do its duty will this bill become effective; but in ca^'e of such failure we should then have the consolation of knowing that a reapportionment fair and just to all the States of the Union would automatically go into effect. [Applause.]
Mr. CHAPMAN. Mr. Chairman, ladies, and gentlemen, I find myself in disagreement with the distinguished majority leader, the gentleman from Connecticut, Colonel Tilson, to whom we have just listened. I can not by any means accord with his apparent belief that the failure of this Congress to enact this bill into law to be used as "a club" over a succeeding Congress will produce any great calamity.
This is a measure both of abdication and usurpation. It is proposed that the Congress supinely surrender to the executive branch of the Government a legislative prerogative and at the same time usurp a power and assume a responsibility which under the Constitution belong to a Congress not yet elected by the American people. [Applause.]
I am in favor of a fair and proper reapportionnip.nt, not by the executive branch of the Government, not by any Federal bureau or commission, but by the Congress following the next , decennial census. I believe in compliance with that provision as with every other provision of the Constitution, in letter and in spirit. But two wrongs never made a right. If Congress was recreant of its duty following the last census, as has been charged, that wrong would not be righted now in the complacent surrender by Congress of its rights and powers and the shameless abandonment of the duties and obligations vested in Congress by the Constitution. [Applause.]
The fathers of the Constitution determined upon the complete separation of the three branches of the Government as essential to the perpetuity of constitutional government and vital to the security of the liberties of the people. All legislative powers were vested in Congress, and the powers of the executive branch were hedged about by definite constitutional limitations.
Ever since 1SG5, when the gray legions of the South were overwhelmed and overpowered by the illimitable numbers and inexhaustible resources of the North, there has been a continuous and radical change in the relations between those two branches of tho Government, as ordained by the Constitution. Not only has there been a constantly increasing tendency to coiuvntratepower in the Federal Government at the expense of the local governments, but the executive department has continued to encroach upon numerous prerogatives of the legislative department. Even worse than the arrogation of power by the execu
tive department is the abdication by Congress of its rights and the abandonment of its obligations.
I will mention only a few of the many examples of that dangerous tendency that menaces our form of government. We have a flexible tariff law under which a Chief Executive on favoritism bent is able to confer a bounty upon a privilegehunting, favor-seeking industry by increasing the tariff on pig iron 50 per cent with one stroke of a pen. [Applause.] "We have a public buildings law, passed in the last Congress, under which we surrendered to- two Cabinet officers our legislative prerogative in the construction and location of public buildings. [Applause.]
The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Kentucky has expired.
Mr. CHAPMAN. Mr. Chairman, I a.sk for five minutes more.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection?
There was no objection.
Mr. CHAPMAN. Then we have the Bureau of the Budget, in which Executive usurpation and bureaucratic dictatorship wear the mask of "economy" and lurk under the cloak of a "financial program." A congressional committee scarcely dares to consider a bill without the approval of some part of the Executive department, and worth-while legislation is strangled because, forsooth, some autocratic bureaucrat, not elected by the people, not responsible to the people, has decreed that it is "in conflict with the financial program of the President." [Applause.] We witness the shameful, pitiful spectacle of the Congress of the United States, clothed by the Constitution with all legislative power, invested with all legislative responsibility, year after year, in session after session, bowing more and'more obsequiously to the dictates of a bureaucratic clerk. [Applause.]
Some of these innovations may not be, strictly speaking, unconstitutional, but they are unquestionably auticoustitutioual. If they do not violate the letter, they certainly violate the spirit of our Constitution.
Now cornea this proposal to enact a permanent law that would constitute the surrender of another legislative function. We ought to refuse further to dishonor ourselves by this base surrender of legislative power to au executive bureau. [Applause.] Every time we break down a constitutional barrier, every time we permit an invasion by one branch of the Government of the rights of another branch, every time we violate the spirit of the Constitution, every time we sacrifice the fundamentals of constitutional government on the altar of partisan advantage or political expediency, we find it more difficult than before ever to retrace our steps. [Applause.]
Mr. KINCHELOE. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. CHAPMAN. Yes.
Mr. KINCHELOE. The majority leader said a while ago in his speech that a subsequent Congress would not be embarrassed in any way if we pass this bill; that if they want to increase the membership beyond 435 or make any other amendment they could do it freely. Is it not a fact that if this bill becomes a law and a subsequent Congress undertakes either to repeal it or to amend it and such a bill goes to the Executive of the Nation, whoever he may be, and he should veto the bill, it would take a two-thirds vote to override it?
Mr. CHAPMAN. That is absolutely correct, and it has been admitted during the course of this debate that the sole intention Is to make this bill "a club" over a subsequent Congress.
Mr. LOWREY. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. CHAPMAN. Yes.
Mr. LOWREY. It has been eight years since the census of 1920 was taken, and is it not clear that since we have failed to reapportion we are the people who ought to wield that club and make the next Congress do it?
Mr. CHAPMAN. I think we are not responsible for what another Congress failed to do or for what a future Congress ought to do. As I said in the beginning, two wrongs never made a i ight. That responsibility must be faced by the Congress that meets next after the taking of the 1030 census.
Mr. GHEEN. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. CHAPMAN. Yes.
Mr. GKEEN. I was interested in the gentleman's statement about the bureaucrats May I add right there that only this week I appeared before the mighty Appropriations Committee of the House and the chairman of the Appropriations Committee told me they were Ixmml by the Undersecretary of the Treasury and the Underpost muster General, and could not even grant me $25.1X10 with which to start a public building.
Mr. CHAPMAN. Unless we stop drifting as we have been drifting, and are drifting now, representative government will be uudi'rmiiied and destroyed, and on its ruins will rise an autocratie, arrogant, paternalistic, centralized bureaucracy. Then constitutional government will be dead. Let us get back to the principles of the fathers, maintain this Government as an "indissoluble Uuiou of indestructible States," as a "government of laws and not of men," preserve the separation of powers under a dual form of government, and restore the equipoise which, as the result of executive usurpation and legislative abdication, has been destroyed. [Applause.]
The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Kentucky has again expired.
Without objection, the pro forma amendment will be withdrawn.
There was no objection.
Mr. BEEDY. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
The CIIAIUMAN. The gentleman from Maine offers nn amendment, which the Clerk will report.
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment offered by Mr. Bkedy: Page 1, line 4, strike out "major fractions" and Insert "equal proportions."
Mr. BEEDY. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, the Members of the House will recollect that when the constitutional convention was in session the smaller States were hesitant about adopting that Constitution, and the delegates to that convention from the larger States manifested a very generous and kindly spirit toward the smaller States, as a result of which the Constitution was finally adopted. I refer to this instance because I would ask this committee, in the same spirit which characterized the proceedings of the original constitutional convention, to vote for the amendment which I have offered. It is not of major consequence, you will say, but it results in saving, my friend from New York [Mr. JacobStein] tells me, and he has made a very careful study of it, three Representatives among some of the smaller States, which would otherwise be lost.
I trust the committee will adopt the amendment. I understand the committee having the bill in charge does not oppose it and that there is no real ground for opposition.
Mr. JOHNSON of Texas. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. BEEDY. Yes.
Mr. JOHNSON of Texas. Has that method been used heretofore in any census that has been taken?
Mr. BEEDY. This method has never been adopted because Congress, unwisely I fear, in the original legislation governing apportionment, prescribed no method for computation, and the department adopted the method of major fractions which favors the larger States. I think, perhaps, it would be fallnow to revert to the other method, which is conceded to be equally accurate. It does give a small advantage to some of the smaller States, not necessarily my own.
Mr. REED of New York. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. BEEDY. Yes.
Mr. REED of New York. Is it not a fact that this is more or less a war between various groups of college professors, one group wanting to continue the plan we have followed during all of the years and another group wanting to try an exiieriment on the country?
Mr. BEEDY. I have not served on the committee for the last six years, but I will say that during the two years I was on the committee I did not think of characterizing the difference of opinion as a war between professors. It is true, however, that a professor from one college favors one method while a professor from another college favors the other method. It was generally conceded that the one was as accurate as the other, but that the larger States were slightly favored by major fractions, while equal proportions give a slight advantage to the smaller States.
Mr. REED of New York. I want to say to the gentleman that it is a controversy between college professors.
Mr. JOHNSON of Washington. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. BEEDY. Yes.
Mr. JOHNSON of Washington. I would like to suggest to the gentleman that at the time the districts were apportioned in the beginning of our constitutional Government the population per district was very small, so that the matter of major fractious or any other method made very little difference, but now that the districts have become very large in population it is quite probable that the method of equal proportions would be quite all right, the principal objection being that it is not so well understood in the country as major fractions.
Mr. BEEDY. It will save three Representatives, to be distributed among the smaller States under the census of 1930.
The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Maine has expired.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I rise to explain my interpretation of the amend
ment and to give the committee such information as I happen to possess.
It is true, as the gentleman from Maine [Mr. Beedt] said, that if you adopt his amendment, known as the method of equal proportions, yon do favor the small States, the States with small populations. Everybody admits it; there Is no argument about it; it is conceded by everybody.
Mr. BUSBY. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. First let me make a brief statement.
If you adopt the amendment, everybody that lives in a large State should vote with his eyes open. By this proposed amendment you are favoring the small States, just as in the early days of our legislative history, from the very beginning, the method of reapportionnient favored the large States.
The method of major fractions seems to be a sort of compromise that stands in between both. The early method of "rejected fractions" favored the large States, and the method of "equal proportions" now recommended by the gentleman from Maine [Mr. Beedy] favors the small States.
It is true that the small States are likely to salvage from three to five seats in the House on the estimated population of 11)30 under this reapiwrtionment bill if the amendment is adopted. 1 want to call your attention to this fact, however: The small States are taken care of and were taken care of by giving every State an equal representation in the Senate. Every State has two Senators regardless of population, and that was the basis of compromise between the small and the largo . States.
Mr. GREEN. Will not the amendment of the gentleman from Maine come nearer giving representation according to population?
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. No. So far as representation according to population is concerned both methods are equally accurate and equally fair". The difference between the two methods is tliis: In equal proportions you give to each individual in the State a weight according to the ratio between himself and >he population of his State, whereas in the other method you give him a weight according not to the ratio between himself and the population of his State but the weight of his State as against the population of another State. Therefore, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bkedy in Maine has greater weight than Mr. JacobStein in New York, because I am only one of 11,000,000, and my ratio is smaller. Mr. Beedy is one of 800,000, and you would have a greater weight under equal proportions than I. Equal proportions is simply a percentage proposition—it is a ratio based upon the relative proportion of the individual to the population within the State, and therefore it docs favor the small States.
Mr. MOORE of Virginia and Mr. BUSBY rose.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. I yield first to the gentleman from Virginia.
Mr. MOORE of Virginia. The gentleman correctly stated yesterday that there has only been one act that was intended to be permanent in reference to this subject, and that was the act of 1850.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. That is right.
Mr. MOORE of Virginia. Will the gentleman tell us what, was the basis, so far as the matter we are now talking about is concerned, that was incorporated in that act?
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. I stated yesterday on the floor that we have a precedent in the matter of anticipatory legislation, because in 1850 Congress passed an act which authorized and directed the Secretary of the Interior to make u reapportioninent, and this was done. The population census was taken by United States marshals under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior. The method was prescribed and the size of the House was prescribed. Two hundred and thirty-two was tinsize of the House, and it was divided among all the States of the Union by dividing the total population of the United States by 232.
Each State's quota was the quotient after dividing the imputation of the Slate by that divisor. Taking the total population of Virginia, Judge Moojkb, dividing it by that divisor gives you the number Virginia would have. The same method was applied to New York and Pennsylvania and all other States. Then wherever there was a remainder left under 232, the State having the highest fraction got the additional Member, and they stopped at 232.
Mr. BUSBY. Will the gentleman yield at that point?
The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from New York has expired.
Mr. BUSBY. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the gentleman may have two additional minutes. I want to ask the gentleman a question.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Mississippi?
There was no objection.
Mr. BUSBY. If the gentleman prefer* to yield to the gentk'Huin from Maine, go ahead.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. The gentleman from Mississippi rose first and I yield to him.
Mr. BUSBY. The gentleman has just discovered me. I want you to yield to the gentleman from Muiue, if you have any preference.
Mr. JACOBSTKIN. I did not intend to indicate any preference.
Mr. BUSBY. I note from the hearings that Doctor Hill says that there ure three methods: The minimum range, which would give the small States the advantage, the major-fraction method, which would give the large States the advantage, and the equal-proportions method, which would give neither the small nor the large States an advantage; and this is the one which the gentleman has described us giving the small States the advantage. What has the gentleman to say about that comment?
Mr. JACOP.STEIN. I have talked this matter over with Doctor Hill, who is the Assistant Director of the Census, many times, and with Professor Willcox, who is the author of the major-fractions method and who helped apply the method in 1910. and I have talked with Professor Huntington. I think if you adopt the amendment by the gentleman from Maine [Mr. Bkedy] and substitute it in place of the method of major fraction*:, there is not any question but what the small States will get at least three and possibly five more seats in the House than under Hie method of major fraction.
Mr. BUSHY. Oh. yes: but not get them unfairly.
Mr. JACOBSTKIN. Both methods are fair.
Mr. BUSKY. What does the gentleman 'mean by small States—with what size representation?
Mr. JACOBSTKIN. Of course, there is no absolute figure. The smaller the State the more advantage it gets from the method of equal proportions. For instance, there are some States in the Union that have less population to-day than they had in 1910. and naturally those States are going to gain more by the method of equal proportions than by the method of major fractions.
Mr. BUSBY. What is the fairer and more equitable method?
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. There is no such thing as which is the fairer. It depends on what you want to do.
The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from New York has again expired.
Mr. BEEDY. Mr. I Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the gentleman may have one minute more to answer the question which he has been trying to answer.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Maine?
There was no objection.
Mr. BEEDY. I want to ask the gentleman if his position Is the same this morning as it was yesterday, that it makes no great difference in the passage of the bill, ami whether he would be willing to vote for my amendment?
Mr. JACOBSTKIN. That is true. The fundamental proposition of the bill is not affected in view of the fact that the rural population is declining and that in the city is increasing. It m;iy be that it is wise to give a slight advantage to the small rural States, and I am willing to make that concession, and expressly so in order to get the bill through the House.
Mr. BRIGHAM. Did not the gentleman introduce a reapportionment bill in the House?
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. Ye«.
Mr. BRIGHAM. What method did the gentleman provide in that bill?
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. I asked that the method of equal proportion be used.
Mr. LO/IER. Mr. Chairman. I move to strike out the last word. This amendment offered by the gentleman from Maine [Mr. Kekdy] and this debate thereon illustrates mid emphasizes the folly of this proposed legislation. The statisticians, the men who have made a life study of the various formulas for apportioning representation according to population, have not been able to agree on which is the more equitable ami just. The statisticians of the country are divided into four or five groups. We have the formula of "rejected fractions" advocated by Thomas Jefferson in 1703 in one of the most cogent and persuasive briefs and arguments that ever fell from his trenchant l>en. in which he claimed that under the plain conHtruction of the Constitution Congress had no right to consider fractions in making an apportionment.
Then we have the formula of "major fractions" nsrd in 1842 in reapportioning representation among the several States and which was perfected by Doctor Wilcox, of Cornell University, which was the biisis used by the statisticians of the Census Bureau and Congress in 1911 in making a renpportionmeut under the Census of 1910.
Then we have the "Vinton method," and the formula of "equal proportions." and then the "minimum-range" formula. In the contest between the major-fractions formula and the equal-proportions formula, Doctor Wilcox stands practically alone in advocating the system of major fractions. The American Statistical Association, composed of expert statisticians from the great colleges and universities who have made a life study of the subject, bus rejected the formula of major fractions and advocated almost unanimously the formula of equal proportions. This system was first formulated by Doctor Hill, of the Census Bureau, and later perfected by other eminent statisticians.
The formula of equal proportions will make a difference in the Representatives allocated to 22 States—In other words the formula of equal proportions will either increase or reduce the representation in 22 States from what the representation would be under the major-fractions formula.
There is a bitter contest between the statisticians of this country since this bill was reported out. Under the leadership of Doctor Huntington, of Harvard, practically nine-tenths—yes, nineteen-twentieth^—of the statisticians of the United States from the great colleges and universities have condemned in unmeasured terms the doctrine of major fractions and are aggressively advocating the equal-proportions method.
In other words the statistical world and the college professors aro not agreed as to the method that should be used and since the bill was reported by the committee we have received numerous protests against the adoption of the major-fractions formula, and if you substitute the formula of equal proportions there will be another group of expert statisticians who will oppose that system.
The 1911 reapportionment Is supposed to have been made upon the major-fractious formula, but it did violence to that system, because that formula was not faithfully followed in making the apportionment based on the 1910 census. In live or six instances, in allocating Representatives under the 191O census, the major fractions were disregarded or manipulated. I call the attention of our distinguished Speaker and other Representatives from Ohio to the fact that they had a fraction of 22.05. and yet the 1911 apportionment act did not allocate an extra Congressman to Ohio, but this major fraction was disregarded. An additional Representative was given to Missouri that only had a major fraction of 0.84, while the Ohio major fraction was 0.65.
The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Missouri has expired.
Mr. LOZ1ER. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent for five minutes more.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Missouri asks unanimous consent to proceed for five minutes. Is there objection?
There was no objection.
Mr. JOHNSON of Washington. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. LOZIER. Yes.
Mr. JOHNSON of Washington. Does the gentleman think that the adoption by the House of the plan of equal proportions will gain advocates for this necessary apportionment bill?
Mr. LO/IER. I think it will both lose and gain support- It is simply a question of how these different formulas effect the several (States. Under the major-fraction formula some States would have more Representatives than they would get under the equal-proportion formula, wliile other States would get more Representatives under the equal-proportions formula.
Mr. JOHNSON of Washington. That is to say, the majorfractions idea suits some people and the method of equal proportions can not be anything else than camouflage. One Is as good as the other.
Mr. LOKIER. Either would make a difference in 22 States: some States would gain and some lose under either system. It simply illustrates that when you attempt three or four years in advance to select a formula and to commit the Congress and the American people to that formula, you are legislating In the dark, and the pending bill attempts to prescribe n formula that must be followed in 1930 or 1931.
I want now to call the attention of the House to the language, not of a Democrat but of an outstanding Republican, who in debuting the question in 11121 as to the size of the House spoke as follows:
I haw ohniiK«M my opinion ns to tho prnotlcal thing to do on till* subject, and whilo noun- may criticize un* fur no doing. I bare the consolation of knowing that the old saying, crystallizing the philosophy of the ages, prefers those who sometimes change their minds above those who do not.
There is no question of principle involved here. It is a question of opinion, and while it wan my opinion in former times, and I am still somewhat inclined to the opinion, that a comparatively small House is preferable to a large one, it is merely a matter of opinion, and I hnve no rule by which I can determine whether that opinion is sound or not. This I do know, and I say it without fear of successful contradiction, that this House, larger to-day by 70 Members than when I first came here, is a more powerful Influence in legislation and the nffnirs of the Government than It has been at any time in the lust 2S years, f Applause.] That may not be due to the increase. Gentlemen may believe that it is in spite of the increase, hut this Congress, this session of Congress, has and will Impress Its view, will, and opinion on the legislation of this Congress more than any House has in many years. [Applause.]
They say there were giants in other days, and giants there were; and yet this House, man for man, never was finer or stronger than it is to-day. Statesmen are men who have departed this life. I expect that in the days when the gentlemen now here have passed to the great beyond men will point to many of them as we point now to the men of the past as master mimV) and men who were statesmen in the truest sense.
Gentlemen, whatever your opinion may be as to the size which this body ousht ultimately to have, from the fouudation of the Government at each decennial period save one, this House has been increased, and after having given much study to the subject In the last few mouths I have arrived at the conclusion that the House will continue to increase as the population grows until and unless there shall be a constitutional prohibition against such increase.
And there are many arguments for It. Some gentlemen say there is not enough time as it Is for oratory, and if the number is increased gentlemen will not have as considerable an opportunity to speak as they now have. I do not think the country will necessarily suffer from that. Gentlemen all know that in every legislative body in the world legislation is largely framed in committee; that the changes on the floor are few and generally not important. \Ve all of us know that with the increase of the number and Importance of questions which Congress may be called upon to consider, we are brought face to face more and more with the necessity of having a wide geographical distribution of the representation on the committees of the House.
That is one of the problems we have constantly to meet. It can not be met If you reduce the House or hold it at its present number. There Is much in the argument that increased population brings increased business, sufficient to warrant increased membership, and this in certain, that if the committees of this House dealing with the great problems that come before them are to fairly represent the various sections and interests of the country, there must be large enough representation upon the committees to give every variety of opinion an opportunity to be heard in committee. That can not be done with a small House. That can best be done by a House even of larger size than we have now. Who is he that shall say to the Representatives of 12 States of the Union, threatened here by what I hope is a minority with a reduction of their representation, that the number 435 is sacred and shall stand always as the size of this House?
That is not the language, of a Democrat. That is the language of the former Representative from Wyoming, Mr. Mondell, the Republican leader of the House for many years. [Applause.] There is no reason why the membership of the House should be confined to 435 Members. That Is not a sacred number. The Government is constantly enlarging its activities by the creation of bureaus and departments and commissions, and as a result the demands upon the time of a Representative have been increasing. The Member of Congress must spond much of his time in looking after departmental matters for his constituents. No Member of Congress can efficiently represent more than 200,000 or 250,000 people. I am not objecting to the amendment offered by the gentleman from Maine, but I say that it is folly for this Congress to attempt to commit future Congresses to any kind of a formula. [Applause.]
Mr. LiGUARDIA. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the pro fonna amendment. I can not follow the argument of the gentleman from Missouri based on his objection to the mathematical arrangement in the bill, and the difference of opinion existing on the formula. According to his views we are to make no change, we are to take no action, but to continue the present inequitable and disproportionate representation in the House because there is a difference of opinion as to the formula to be used. I can not see how any Member who is but slightly fiimiliiir with the genesis of that provision of the Constitution providing for apportionment can object to the bill now before tlie House. As a matter of fact, (he Constitutional Convention had this question up for four or several days during the latter part of the month of June and early July.
After disposing of the question of whether representation should be based upon the question of wealth, and whether or not colored people should be counted, the question that the convention struggled with was that of lixing the apportionment at stated periods in order to carry out the idea of proportionate representation. When they adopted the present provision of the Constitution calling for a census every 10 years, and basing the apportionment according to that census, it was the belief of the Constitutional Convention—and you can not escape that conclusion if you read the debate—that it was mandatory. Pinckuey, Randolph, Morris, all took part in the debate. It was left witli the belief that there would be no time after a census, taken every 10 years, when the House would not be reapportioned. In fact, the 10-year amendment was one of the last to be adopted.
The question of apportionment had occupied the Constitutional Convention for several days in the consideration of the formation of Congress. All through the debate as to the formation of the two Houses, the Senate and the House, and the voting power of each State in the Congress the matter of proportionate representation Whs constantly referred to and discussed. The question came squarely before the convention on Thursday, July 5, 1787. Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts, delivered the report of a special committee which had been appointed a few days previously to study and make recommendations on the matter of apportionment. Omitting tiie matters not directly pertinent to the question of apportionment, the resolution reads:
The committee to whom was referred the eighth resolution of the report from the Committee of the Whole House, and Bo much of the seventh as has not been decided on, submit the following report: That the subsequent propositions be recommended to the convention on condition that both shall be generally adopted. That in the first branch of the legislature each of the States now in the Union shall be allowitl one Member for every -40,000 inhabitants of the description reported in the seventh resolution of the Committee of the Whole House: that each State not containing that number shall be allowed one Member.
This brought the matter before the convention and was the subject of debate. An idea of the wide range of opinion, diversity of viewpoint, and bitterness of the debate may be gleaned from an extract taken from the remarks of Gouverneur Morris, of Pennsylvania. Reading from Madison's Debates:
Mr. Gouverneur Morris thought the form as well as the matter of the report objectionable. It seemed in the first place to render amendments impracticable. In the next place, It seemed to involve a pledge to agree to the second part if the first should be agreed to. lie conceived the whole aspect of it to be wrong. He came here as a Representative of America; he flattered himself he came here in some degree as a Itcprescntative of the whole human race; for the whole human race will be affected by the proceedings of this convention. lie wished gentlemen to extend their views beyond the present moment of time, beyond the narrow limits of place from which they derive their political origin. If he were to believe some things which he had heard, he should suppose that we were assembled to truck and bargain for our particular States. He can not descend to think that any gentlemen are really actuated by these views. We must look forward to the effects of what we do. These alone ought to guide us. Much has been said of the sentiments of the people. They were unknown. They could not be known. All that we can infer is that If the plan we recommend be reasonable and right, all who have reasonable minds and sound Intentions will embrace it, notwithstanding what had been said by some gentlemen. Let us suppose that the larger States shall agree; and that the smaller refuse; and let us race the consequences.
The opponents of the system in the smaller States will no doubt make a party and a noise for a time, but the ties of interest, of kindred, of common habits which connect them with the other States will be too strong to be easily broken. In New Jersey particularly he was sure a great many would follow the sentiments of Pennsylvania and Xew York. This country must be united. If persuasion does not unite it, the sword will. He begged that this consideration might have its due weight. The scenes of horror attending civil commotion can not be described, and the conclusion of them will be worse than the term of their continuance. The stronger party will then make traitors of the weaker and the gallows and halter will finish the work of the sword. How far foreign powers would be ready to take part In the confusions he would not say. Threats that they will be Invited have, it seems, been thrown out. He drew the melancholy picture of foreign Intrusions as exhibited in the history of Germany, and urged it as a standing lesson to other nations. He trusted that the gentlemen who may have hazarded such expressions did not entertain them till they reached their own lips. But, returning to the report, he could not think it in any respect calculated for the public good. As the second branch is now constituted, there will be constant disputes and appeals to the States, which will undermine the General Government and control and annihilate the Drst branch. Suppose that the Delegates from Massachusetts and Rhode Iwlund in the Upper House disagree and that the former arc outvoted. What results? They will immediately declare that their State will not abide by the decision and make sneh representations as will produce tlmt effect. The same may happen as to Virginia and other States. Of whnt Avail, then, will be what in on paper? State attachments and State Importance have been the linue of (Ills country. We can not annihilate, but we may perhaps take out the teeth of the serpents. He wished our ideas to be enlarged to the true Interest of man Instead of being circumscribed within the narrow compass of a particular spot. And, after all, how little can he the motive yielded by selfishness for such a policy? Who can say whether he himself, much less whether his children, will the next year be an inhabitant of this or that State?
Later on Mr. Morris continued. He objected to that stale of apportionment, to wit, one for every 40.000 inhabitants:
He thought property ought to be taken into the estimate as well as the number of inhabitants.
John Rufledge, of South Carolina, concurred. The gentleman last up (Mr. Morris) had spoken some of his sentiments precisely. Property was certainly the principal object of society.
This gives an idea of the wide range of <li(Terence that existeil iu tlie convention at the time. While many were fighting hard to bring about as democratic form of government Ms was possible, they were confronted by determined, stern opposition.
On July 6 Gouverneur Morris .sought to recommit the report of the committee. All seemed to favor that motion. Riifus King, of Massachusetts, in support of the motion, remarked that—
He thought also that the ratio of representation proposed could not be safely fixed, since In a century and a half our computed increase of population would carry the number of Representatives to an enormous excess.
This view, indeed, was prophetic. Almost a hundred and fifty years have passed and we are confronted with that very situation. The population is increasing, and if we continue the same ratio adopted in 1910 the House will become so large as to be unwieldly and unworkable. Of course, I do not agree with other reasons urged by Mr. King at the time as to the necessity of considering wealth and property together with population. There may be some of my colleagues on the floor lo-day who agree with that, but the times have so changed that if they do they surely do not dare to express such views.
Charles Pinckney agreed as to the matter of population. He was firm and decided in his opposition to any other factor being taken into consideration. Mr. Pinckney stated:
The value of land had been found on full investigation to be an Impracticable rule. The contributions of revenue, including Imports and exports, must be too changeable In their amount, too difficult to be adjusted, and ton Injurious to the noncommercial States. The number of inhabitants appeared to him the only just and practicable rule. He thought I he blacks ought to stand on an equality with whites.
Mr. Piuckuey came from South Carolina, and I want to pause to cull the attention of my colleagues on the Democratic side of the House to the last sentence of his remarks that I have just quoted.
On July 9—
Gouverneur Morris delivered a report from the committee of five members to whom was committed the clause In the report of tbe ratio of Representatives in the first branch to be as 1 to every 40.000 inhabitants, as follows, viz:
"The committee, to whom was referred the first clause of the first proposition reported from the grand committee, ling leave to report —
"I. That in the first meeting of the legislature the first branch thereof consist of 56 members, of which number New Hampshire shall have 2; Massachusetts. 7; Rhode Island, 1 ; Connecticut, 4; New York, 5: New Jersey. 3; Pennsylvania, 8; Delaware, 1; Maryland, 4; Virginia. 9; North Carolina. 5; South Carolina, 5; GJeorgia, 2.
"II. But as the present situation of the States may probably alter as well in point of wealth as In the number of their inhabitants, that the legislature he authorized from time to time to augment the number of Representatives. And in case any of the States shall hereafter be divided, * * * or any two or more States united, the legislature shall possess authority to regulate the number of Representatives In any of the foregoing cases upon (he principles of their wealth and number of inhabitants."
Roger Sherman, of Connecticut, immediately inquired— on what principles or calculations the report was founded. It did not appear to correspond with any rule of numbers or of any requisition hitherto adopted by Congress.
Nathaniel Graham, of Massachusetts, supported the committee report, and replied to the two reasons urged against it Mr. Gorham stated:
Two objections prevailed against the rate of 1 Member for every 40,iiOO Inhabitants. The lirst was that the representation would soon
be too numerous; the second that the West States, who may have a different interest, might if admitted on that principle by degrees out vote the Atiuutic. Bolh these objections are removed. The number will be small In the first instance and may be continued so, and the Atlantic States, having the Government in their own hands, may take care of their own interest by dealing out the right of representation in safe proportions to the Western States. These were the views of the committee.
Edmund Randolph, of Virginia, expressed apprehension, which the attitude of the House to-day, almost 150 years later, seems to justify.
Mr. Randolf disliked the report of the committee but Imd been unwilling to object to it. He was apprehensive that as the number was not to be changed (III the National Legislature should please, a pretext would never be wanting to postpone alterations and keop the power In the hands of those possessed of it. He wa-s in favor of the commitment to a Member from each State.
William Patterson, of New Jersey, was against it unless the future apportionments would be provided for.
Randolph, Patterson, Madison, and others then started the drive for the fixing of future apportionments. James Madisou, jr., of Virginia, pointed out that the States—
ought to vote in the same proportion iu which their citizens would do if the people of all the States were collectively met.
A committee was then formed consisting of one member from each State. On Tuesday. July 10. Mr. King reported that the committee had decided to recommend that the first General Legislature should be represented by Co Members in the following proportion, to wit: New Hampshire, by 3; Massachusetts, 8; Rhode Island. 1; Connecticut, 5; New York, G; New Jersey, 4; Pennsylvania, 8; Delaware, 1; Maryland, 6; Virginia, 10; North Carolina, 5: South Carolina, 5; Georgia, 3. A lengthy discussion followed with many amendments offered to slightly vary this apportionment. The following extract from the remarks of Gouvemeur Morris is indeed apropos of what is taking place on the floor of this House to-dny:
Again reading from the proceedings as recorded by Madison: Gonverneur Morris regretted the turn of the debate. The States he found had many Representatives on the floor. Few he fears were to be deemed the Representatives of America. He thought the Southern States have by the report more than their share of representation. Property ought to have Its weight, but not all the weight. If the Southern States are to supply money. The Northern States are to spill their blood. Besides, the probable revenue to be expected from the Southern States has been greatly overrrated. He was against reducing New Hampshire.
Then Mr. Randolph moved as an amendment to the report of the committee of five—
that In order to ascertain the alterations In the population and wealth of thn several States the legislature should be required to cause a census, and estimate to be taken within one year after its first meeting; and every — years thereafter—ami that the legislature arrange the representation accordingly.
Mr. Randolph was quick to point out the weaknesses of future legislatures. He pointed out that if the "mode" was not fixed for taking the census, future legislatures may use such a "mode" as will defeat the object and perpetuate the Inequality. He stated further—
If the legislatures are left at liberty, they will never readjust the representation.
The next day the debate continued. Hugh Williamson, of North Carolina, stated that the convention should make—
It the duty of the legislature to do what was right and not leaving it at liberty to do or not to do It.
He then suggested that the time for each census should be fixed and that— the representation be regulated accordingly.
All through the debate that, followed it can be seen that it was the intention and the understanding of the convention that nothing was left to the discretion of future Congresses. It was definitely stated and so written into the Constitution that a census should he taken and that reapportlonment immediately thereafter was binding and mandatory upon future Congresses. Mr. Randolph was quick to agree with Mr. Williamson's proposition and expressed his willingness that it be substitute for his own. He statedIt a fair representation of the people be not secured, the injustice of the Government will sbiike it to its foundations.