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that less than 8 per cent of the number of the women entitled to vote in the city of Chicago really did enroll their opinions.
In the last election in San Francisco less than 16 per cent of the women entitled to vote did vote. That brings to my mind a recent article published in a current magazine in which reference is made to the recall of a certain mayor in the State of Washington, in which it was said that of the 22,000 women who voted-and, by the way. that was less than 30 per cent of the women in the city-the 22,000 women who voted at the time of the recall were 22,000 votes against that mayor and against the vicious policies which he represented. It was rather curious that the week following the issuance of that magazine the same gentleman was elected in Seattle, and one wonders what became of the 22,000 votes that were against him.
Mr. McCoy. Are you speaking of Mayor Gill, of Seattle?
Mr. McCoy. Was he reelected?
Miss BRONSON. So I am informed. I challenge any of our opponents to show wherein a single reform has been brought about in suffrage States which can not be met in male suffrage States of similar development and of identical condition. The laws for the protection of children and women are constantly quoted to show what women have done where they vote. But in their quotations all the good legislation is accredited to women and comparison with other States skillfully avoided. There has been great advance in all States in the last 20 years in the laws for the protection of women and children and for other betterment work, but the suffrage States are not in advance of other States of like conditions socially and geographically where women do not exercise the elective franchise.
You will hear that an 8-hour law for working women exists only in woman-suffrage States. With the exception of the new 8-hour law in the District of Columbia, where neither men nor women vote, this is true, but an equally important provision for the protection of working women, namely, night prohibition of labor, exists only in male-suffrage States.
Let me make a short comparison. Colorado has an 8-hour law for women, but that law does not limit the hours per week, nor does it prohibit night work for women, so that a woman in Colorado may be employed 8 hours in every 24 for 7 days a week, and her hours may be at night labor, while Nebraska, Colorado's nearest neighbor on the east, gives a 9-hour day to women but limits the number of hours per week to 54 and absolutely prohibits night labor. Certainly a better law by far than that of Colorado. It would seem, if woman suffrage were alone responsible for the remedial legislation in Colorado, that woman suffrage must have had a disastrous effect upon the men of that State.
The laws for the protection of property-owning women have also rapidly advanced in the past 80 years. In 1841, eight years before the woman-suffrage movement was inaugurated, Rhode Island passed a law giving to married women the control of their own property. In 1844 this law was further amended to protect the earnings of a married woman, and from that day to this the good work has steadily advanced. Each year has seen better and more far-reaching laws placed upon our statute books by men, who are being constantly denounced as unjustly discriminating against our sex; and I for one
feel that it will be a bad thing if the time should ever come when those laws which now discriminate in our favor-for we have laws that do are taken off the statute books of our States and women are compelled to stand on exactly the selfsame footing as men legally and individually, and women must give and take as men do, although we are not their equals physically.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mrs. DODGE. The next speaker whom I desire to introduce to the committee is Mr. John Mathews, of Newark, N. J.
Membership in the various States composing the National Association Opposed
STATEMENT OF MR. JOHN MATTHEWS, OF NEWARK, N. J.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I am a Democrat, a New Jersey Democrat of the Wilson stripe, and though it be difficult in these gladsome days of Democratic usefulness to put aside my partisanship even for a moment I will do so in order the better to address my arguments to your entire committee. Were I speak to as a Democrat I could not better sum up my position on the matter before your committee for consideration than to use the words of your honorable and able colleague and leader of the majority, Mr. Underwood:
If there is one fundamental principle that my party stands for it is local self-government. If the Democratic Party stands for one thing above all others it is that the right of franchise should be governed by the States of the Union and not by the National Government.
But, as I have said, I shall put aside my partisanship and with the fullest respect ask you gentlemen by what rule of right, reason, or expediency shall the Federal Congress do violence to the rights of the several States of our Union to govern the franchise within their several limits. Is it right, gentlemen, that Congress shall say to the State of New York enfranchise your women and in so doing add to your tax budget a sum sufficient to endow a college like Vassar every five years? Is it reasonable that Congress shall say to Ohio enfranchise your women and disregard the will of the 88,000 majority of your citizens who vetoed the proposition a year or so ago? Is it expedient that Congress should say to any State in the Union enfranchise your women, when American womanhood and motherhood, the American family, and the home tremble at the infringement of the duties and masculinity of citizenship on the duties of the home and the womanliness of its conservers. Is it right, reasonable, or expedient, gentlemen, that your honorable body should thrust upon any or all of the States of this Union movement vio
lative of the rights of the majority of the women of our country. For, gentlemen, if you hearken to the cry of the suffragist agitator for similar rights, shall you be deaf to her sisters of the opposition who ask that their equal rights be safeguarded.
I believe in equal rights for women, but I have never believed nor shall I ever believe that equal rights means similar rights. And in the adjustment of governmental processes, in the conserving of women's equal rights, how is the will of the majority, which, after all, is the essence of our Republican form of government, how is it to be expressed, I ask, if Congress is to usurp the function of the States' electorates? You may argue that were the resolution of amendment to be passed by the Federal Congress that the subsequent adoption by the individual States would be an expression of electorates' majority. But, gentlemen, with the minority populated suffrage States of the West, 10 in number, backed by the indorsement of Congress and aided and abetted by a propaganda of 1,000,000 Socialists, financed by streams of wealth erstwhile poured into philanthrophic enterprise, what chance would we of the popular majority have to stem the tide of the three-fourths States' minority? If ours is a Government of the people, for the people, and by the people, then here is a question not for minority States to decide but for popular majority in all the States to pass upon.
You will be told, no doubt you have been told, that the Federal Congress has hitherto acted on matters affecting States, and you may have had cited to you the establishment of the Federal Children's Bureau, over which the able Miss Lathrop presides. Thank God for the establishment of that bureau, and Godspeed to its work and its workers, for the child is the citizen in the making; its physical, mental, and moral conservation the same duty on the prairies of the West as in the factories of the East, and in these days of big business, in which the corporation of one State employs the citizens of many, if guilt is to be personal and laws are not to be evaded on the technicality of jurisdiction, the Federal Children's Bureau and National Child Labor legislation was the Federal Congress's very duty. That was not a matter of majority, but of humanity. Such legislation is not experimental; it is moral and remedial. And such legislation, gentlemen, without women's votes nullifies the only claim of reason which the suffragist agitator will propound to you, the claim of the expediency of woman suffrage for the economic, social, and moral uplift of women and children.
Yes, gentlemen of the committee, you may, as conditions demand, and with fulsome jurisdiction, legislate for the economic, social, and moral uplift of us all, but you may not, and with the fullest respect I venture, you must not, even under the established false minority plea of uplift, a plea disproven by the very lips of suffragist women in suffrage States, you must not, I respectfully repeat, do violence to the rights of State and shake at its very foundation the cornerstone of all State government, the family, and the home.
It is not my province, gentlemen, in the time so generously allotted to me to discuss the very vital and all convincing arguments against the enfranchisement of women. Others have done or will do that. Mine is rather a plea to the jurisdiction of the court. Not that I would deny your jurisdiction, but rather that I would protest its exercise from the standpoint of right, reason, and expediency, an
exercise violating the very theory of our governmental essence, majority rule, an exercise destructive of the cardinal principle of democracy, local self-government.
Mr. NELSON. May I ask you a question right there?
Mr. NELSON. Suppose the great majority, two-thirds of the States of the Union, after Congress had acted, were to deem it expedient to give universal suffrage, would that be a sufficient reason?
Mr. MATTHEWS. It will be necessary that three-fourths of the States do it; and I know you have followed the arguments in which they have shown you that even three-fourths can be numerically less than the remaining one-fourth, and it will then be a question not of majority but of the minority States, and that is not democratic, and it is not the rule of all the people.
Mr. NELSON. Then you say that we should not plan for anything that is for the public welfare, even if a majority of the people are for it?
Mr. MATTHEWS. You are begging the question, if you will permit me to answer you that way. You are begging the question, sir, when you say that it is for the public welfare, and even admitting
Mr. NELSON (interposing). I am supposing it is for the public welfare, and as I understand it, you are arguing that it is not expedient or right or reasonable that the majority should do that which they think wise?
Mr. MATTHEWS. I am not arguing that way.
Mr. NELSON. Then what is your point, please?
Mr. MATTHEWs. I am arguing that it is neither expedient nor wise that a minority of States should force their demand upon a majority of the people.
Mr. NELSON. That could not be done.
Mr. MATTHEWS. There might be a minority population in a majority of the States.
Mr. NELSON. Let me pursue the point a little further. What is proposed is a constitutional amendment and a reference. of that amendment to the States? Now, if I understand your argument, it is that if there should be a sufficient number of States to approve of the amendment, that that would be forcing something upon the people which they did not approve, and that that would be neither expedient nor right. Is that the point of your argument?
Mr. MATTHEWS. No, sir. I say that if the majority party in Congress should pass this amendment and it should be ratified by the States by three-fourths of the States-that those States might not contain a majority of the people of the United States, and therefore I say that the people of the individual States in their own individual way should decide for themselves their problems of government in this matter of the franchise for women.
Mr. NELSON. Does that argument not reduce itself to an absurdity in that it would prevent all amendments to the Constitution?
Mr. MATTHEWS. No, sir; because if this were an amendment of a remedial character, I doubt if any man would stand here and talk against it.
But the inexpediency of it is not only demonstrated from the fact that it would force a minority will upon a majority of the population, but if you followed the argument of the ladies here to-day,
when you ponder upon it I am sure you will see that this is neither moral nor remedial, but that it is experimental legislation.
Unless you can demonstrate to me, sir, that this proposed resolution or amendment is absolutely for the moral, social, and economic uplift of this country you have no right to foist it upon the States; and the burden of demonstrating that, sir, is upon these women who are advocating that doctrine.
Mr. TAGGART. You are taking it for granted that a majority of the States would not ratify this amendment?
Mr. MATTHEWs. No, sir; I don't at all.
Mr. TAGGART. Then, it is possible that it may be done?
Mr. MATTHEWs. Oh, I admit that Illinois could ratify it very well; but if the experience of Chicago is carried into all the other States it will not be.
Mr. TAGGART. But they do have suffrage in Illinois, do they not? Mr. MATTHEWS. They have a partial suffrage.
Mr. TAGGART. Well, if three-fourths of some of the States have granted it
Mr. MATTHEWS. The people of Illinois have not granted suffrage in that State; they have not voted on it; the legislature granted it to them.
Mr. TAGGART. If the majority of the people of Illinois have granted it
Mr. MATTHEWS. No, no; the individual voters of the State of Illinois haven't had anything to do with it; the people of Illinois have not voted on it.
Mr. TAGGART. You take it for granted that 36 of the smaller or minority populated States would immediately ratify this amendment?
Mr. MATTHEWS. No, sir; no, sir; we don't take that for granted at all. We are showing you the possibility of a minority of the population in that number of States being able to say whether or not this reform shall occur, and we are saying that since that possibility exists you have no right to cause that possibility to become an actuality.
Mr. TAGGART. Do you contend that we have no right to do anything that a State can do?
Mr. MATTHEWS. Oh, no, sir; that is not the question at all.
But I want to get back to this side of the committee, Mr. Chairman, with your permission, to reply to the gentleman who says it is ridiculous-the ridiculousness of my contention, as I seemed to overhear it. I say it is neither right, reasonable, nor expedient that you men should force the States to accept the suffrage amendment. I knew I would stir up some argument on this proposition, and I argue, with your kind permission, Mr. Chairman-and there is no member of the committee with whom I do not wish to exchange views-that this is a new and serious question, and we men must be interested in it. Even though we are sometimes strongly opposed to a proposition, we have to be interested in it. This is not a question whether one party or the other is going to ride into power on it, but whether it is a good thing or a bad thing for the country, and particularly the mothers and daughters of the country.
Mr. CHANDLER. I am interested in this proposition, and I would like to understand your contention. I understand your position to be this: That if three-fourths of the smaller States should ratify this amendment they would impose a political condition on a majority of