Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

he is getting new pupils into his school every day, because the larger housing project is in that area.

This junior high school at Twenty-fourth and Bennings Road has been recommended by the Commissioners to the Appropriations Committee in the House for deficiency appropriations to take care of this defense housing. And there we are asking for a junior high school, for three elementary schools, and only one of those is in this bill, and that is the one at Forty-ninth and Hayes Streets.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Woodson, may I say here that these requests for particular schools in the District of Columbia are of course problems which do not face this committee, thank goodness. Our problems are quite big enough without going into the problems of a given city, in regard to the District of Columbia appropriations by Congress for schoolhouses. I am wondering if it would not be better for you to generalize and merely say, since this need is so acute here, right where the Federal Government has been responsible for the schools, that likely the need would be greater in other parts where the Federal Government has not had its hands on it. Mr. WOODSON. That is very true. I want to

say

I am also representing the National Builders Association and National Technical Association, and we are especially interested in vocational education, and the vocational education for our group throughout the country is very deficient. It is partially due to the condition that Negroes should only be educated for those trades from which they can secure employment. The cost of vocational education is far greater than that of academic education, and we know that our schools are ill kept with machinery and other facilities for vocational education, and we hope that that will be properly taken care of. I thank you.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. Robnett.

STATEMENT OF GEORGE W. ROBNETT, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY,

THE CHURCH LEAGUE OF AMERICA

The CHAIRMAN. Will you state, in addition to your name, whom you represent, Mr. Robnett?

Mr. ROBNETT. My name is George W. Robnett. I represent the Church League of America. I am here representing the Church League of America.

The CHAIRMAN. Just what is the Church League of America ?

Mr. ROBNETT. I am going to explain that, if I may, in my statement. I am from Chicago, I live in Evanston.

I appear before this committee to testify in opposition to S. 1313 as an individual citizen and taxpayer and also as the executive secretary of the Church League of America. This is a voluntary organization, organized over 4 years ago, which has committeeship rather thanmembership. In other words, we have three 'committees—a committee of clergy which consists of about 300 clergymen distributed in all parts of the country, a committee of church laymen consisting of individuals who are prominent and active in church work, and an executive committee consisting of the chairmen and vice chairmen of the other committees, as well as an executive secretary and a general chairman who happens to be Mr. Frank J. Loesch, eulogized editorially last year by both Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Daily News as Chicago's "First Citizen.” The occasion was his selection by the Rotary Club to receive its annual award as an outstanding American citizen. He is a widely known constitutional lawyer, now 89 years young

and still as vigorous as the average man of 60. Our work is to carry on an educational program with the clergy of the Nation, whose voices and opinions reach millions each week. I appear here with the approval of the executive committee---and as a private citizen and taxpayer who is very much concerned and alarmed over the rapid trend toward centralized government in this country. That is why I am here.

Before I discuss this bill S. 1313, called the Educational Finance Act of 1941, and venture some views in connection with it, I should like to refer briefly to the pathway that bas led up to the introduction of this particular bill.

In 1932 there came into power in this country a leadership which used every means at its command to accomplish legislative changes that would greatly increase the power of the executive branch of our Federal Government. Along with this increased power and the attempt to prime the pump of a national economy by opening the sluice gates of the Federal Treasury there came into existence naturally a vast bureaucracy. The spirit and purpose of our bureaucratic leadership coupled with the tempo of the times created a general search for ways in which to spend Federal money

The CHAIRMAN (interposing). You mean Federal aid to education had its beginning in 1932?

Mr. ROBNETT. The next sentence will come to that. This is a prelude to that. I think it is necessary, in order to establish the fact in the next statement I am going to make. The spirit and purpose of our bureaucratic leadership coupled with the tempo of the times created a general search for ways in which to spend Federal moneyparticularly in experimental purposes leading toward social reforms that accorded with the new ideological tidal wave. I want to get that statment in there before I make this one, because it seems to be built upon it.

The CHAIRMAN. Surely you do not want to imply that Federal aid to education was in any way related to any of the pump-priming projects?

Mr. ROBNETT. Yes, I do.
The CHAIRMAN. How can you do that and be historically correct?

Mr. ROBNETT. If the Senator will permit me, I think I can make that clear in my statement.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you assume the things which Mr. Hoover did were done after 1932? Do you assume that the other Federal-aid-toeducation bills have all been done after 1932?

Mr. ROBNETT. Ale there any other educational bills that compare with this one, Senator?

The CHAIRMAN. This has been spoken of as an evolution, since 1861 or 1862.

Mr. Robnett. Those bills you refer to as grants, and that sort of thing. Do you mean Federal land grants?

The CHAIRMAN. And Federal-aid-to-education bills have been before Congress for many years before 1932.

Mr. ROBNETT. They have been before Congress. Were they passed?
The CHAIRMAN. They have been before Congress.
Mr. ROBNETT. That is what I mean.

The CHAIRMAN. Now, then, do not say, because you are just as dead-wrong as you can be, and you do not want to be wrong in your testimony here, that the idea of Federal aid to education had its origin since 1932.

Mr. ROBNETT. I am leading up to the present educational bill, not to other bills. I have no reference to other bills, and I am not interested in the other Federal-aid-to-education bills. I am referring now to the first steps that created this bill, to which we are giving our attention, and I will follow that with this statement:

In 1936 President Roosevelt appointed an Advisory Committee on Education with Dr. Floyd W. Reeves as Chairman, to study and report on the matter of Federal aid for vocational and general information?

The CHAIRMAN. What was the reason that caused him to do that?

Mr. ROBNETT. I think it is exactly the thing that I just mentioned to you. I will repeat it if you wish. I said the spirit and purpose of our bureaucratic leadership coupled with the tempo of the times created a general search for ways in which to spend Federal moneyparticularly in experimental purposes leading toward social reforms that accorded with the new ideological tidal wave.

That is my statement.

The CHAIRMAN. Of course, we would not admit anything like that, as the sponsors of the bill.

Mr. ROBNETT. Naturally you would not. I am merely giving you my opinion.

The CHAIRMAN. It is not your opinion, because it is just dead wrong. All you have got to do is to go back over the history of Federal aid, to the stimulus that was behind President Roosevelt, that had nothing to do with anything, excepting the ordinary situation again which had been before Congress. This was never a spending bill, it never was thought of as a spending bill, it had nothing to do with the philosophy which had to do with the attempt of priming the pump, as you have said. It has its origin in other things. Now if you want to say that Senator Harrison and Senator Thomas, who introduced these billsthe idea of connecting Senator Harrison with any pump priming just sounds so ridiculous that even a man like myself cannot stand here and listen to it.

Mr. ROBNETT. You may resent it, but I give it to you as my opinion that this educational bill of Dr. Floyd W. Reeves came into this picture purely as a part of the new movement.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you know anything about the social studies carried on during Mr. Hoover's administration?

Mr. ROBNETT. I do not think they pertain to this in any way.
The CHAIRMAN. You are from Chicago, are you not?
Mr. ROBNETT. Yes; I am from Chicago.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you know anything about the members of the faculty of the University of Chicago?

Mr. ROBNETT. A great deal; yes.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you know anything about the Ogburn Study of the Hoover Administration, the child welfare studies and things of that kind?

Mr. ROBNETT. I know every previous administration has carried on such things. The CHAIRMAN. The thing you said is not true.

317387—41-16

[ocr errors]

Mr. ROBNETT. I am not going to dispute you, Senator, but I claim that it is.

The CHAIRMAN. This book of the Hoover study is a book that big [indicating) in social trends.

Mr. ROBNETT. Did it result in the appointment of a committee, such as the one that President Roosevelt made?

The CHAIRMAN. The stimulus for President Roosevelt's appointment, the greatest stimulus would be Ogburn's greatest studies.

Mr. ROBNETT. I am somewhat familiar with his studies. The CHAIRMAN. You go and tell Ogburn that his ideas had to do with any pump priming proposition and Ogburn might be a little bit angry at you.

Mr. ROBNETT. That is possible, but the fact remains, Senator, that this Federal-aid-to-education bill came along with the other bills at a time when the pump-priming process was going on. That is my point. That is the only point I want to make.

The CHAIRMAN. You mean that during the year that pump-priming bill was introduced the Federal-aid-to-education bill happened to be introduced ? Mr. ROBNETT. I mean during 8 years, not 1 year, 8 years of pump

. priming, that the Federal aid to education, as we know it now, came into existence. Of course, there have been three of them, I believe. But I mean that the thing developed gradually, year after year. In 1939 we had S. 1305, and now we have got S. 1313, which is slightly different.

The CHAIRMAN. Is there a single word in the report of a single committee on the last three bills for Federal aid to education that even mentions pump priming?

Mr. ROBNETT. What point would that have in the point I am making? Are you trying to connect something there?

The CHAIRMAN. The New Deal advocates have not been backward in proclaiming that their spending program would bring about prosperity.

Mr. ROBNETT. Senator, would you like to have me withdraw? If it pleases your committee I will do so. I do not want to be put in the position

The CHAIRMAN (interposing). I do not want to withdraw anything, but I hate to see you, Mr. Robnett, or any witness come in front of a congressional committee and make a statement which immediately condemns that witness as not knowing what he is talking about, that is all.

Mr. ROBNETT. If you do not like my opinion I cannot help it. You mean I am condemned before you?

The CHAIRMAN. That is not an opinion, that is a matter of history, a matter of information.

Mr. ROBNETT. I still contend I shall differ with you on that. My belief is that this bill had its inception, this particular bill had its inception in the pump-priming program.

The CHAIRMAN. Now I am the author of two of those bills. Do you mean that somebody has fooled me?

Mr. ROBNETT. I do not know, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. What kind of a man do you think I am?
Mr. ROBNETT. I am not at all going to measure you.

[ocr errors]

The CHAIRMAN. Well, if you are going to measure me in that way, I do not want to even admit that you are manworthy to come in front of this committee.

Mr. ROBNETT. Do you wish me to withdraw from this committee?

The CHAIRMAN. I surely do not want you to. I want you to know that if you are implying improper motives on the part of Senator Harrison and myself, that you are just as dead wrong as a man can be.

Mr. ROBNETT. I did not make that statement with any inference that it was an improper motive--I simply hooked it up with the tempo of the times. There is nothing improper, perhaps. I imagine the people who went out and found ways to spend money, none of them thought the way in which they selected to do it was an improper way to spend the money. Still, you do not deny, do you, Senator, that every effort was made to pour a lot of money into various communities of this country under the New Deal? You do not deny that, do you?

The CHAIRMAN. There was never anything done like in these bills, and you know it.

Mr. ROBNETT. I am giving you my testimony, and my opinion in this matter. If you are not going to permit me to give my opinion and my testimony as I see it, I cannot help it. I am opposing the bill, I came in here to oppose the bill exactly as I see it. I believe it had its inception at a time when there was a search for ways to spend money. You say it is not true. I do not believe you wrote the original bill, Senator. You may have done so, I do not know. Whether or not you did, you fathered it. At the same time, there was no intention to reflect upon you.

The CHAIRMAN. I was not born when the first aid to education bill was suggested.

Mr. ROBNETT. I am talking about S. 1305.

The CHAIRMAN. The National Education Association has sponsored Federal-aid-to-education bills very much longer than since 1932, and you know it.

Mr. ROBNETT. What ones passed, Senator?
The CHAIRMAN. Have you heard of the Smith-Hughes Act?
Mr. ROBNETT. Yes; I have heard of the Smith-Hughes Act.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you ever heard of the Land-Grant College Act?

Mr. ROBNETT. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you ever heard of the R. O. T. C. Acts?
Mr. ROBNETT. Yes, I have heard of the R. O. T. C. acts.
The CHAIRMAN. You heard of them, did you?

Mr. ROBNETT. Yes; I did. It would be a long subject. We are getting entirely away from the point here. The purpose of my visit here was to discuss this bill. If we undertake to discuss those other matters, it will take a long time. I should like, at some time, to have the opportunity to argue the point that those are not Federal-aidto-education bills in the sense that this is a Federal-aid-to-education bill. You made the statement, I believe, that those were Federalaid-to-education bills.

The Chairman. Of course, they were aid-to-education bills. What else could they be?

Mr. ROBNETT. That is a long story.
The CHAIRMAN. Do not they aid education in the United States?

cation
Mr. ROBNETT. I suppose they bring with it aids to education.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »