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Senator DIETERICH. I really think that would be highly improper. Reverend GILLARD. Yes, sir.
Senator DIETERICH. It is trying to coerce a Senator or a Representative in the discharge of his duty.
Reverend GILLARD. That would be the last thing I would try to do, Your Honor.
Senator DIETERICH. Do you understand that this bill transfers from the State courts to the Federal courts the right to prosecute offenders under this proposed act?
Reverend GILLARD. Where the State has neglected to do it, I understand.
Senator DIETERICH. Do you understand the bill leaves in the hands of the State the duty to prosecute in the State courts those who have committed this offense, or that that is transferred wholly to the Federal court?
Reverend GILLARD. I understand it is only where the State has neglected to do its duty.
Senator DIETERICH. Do you understand that this bill is only intended to reach those officers who are dilatory or negligent in enforcing the law?
Reverend GILLARD. Yes, Your Honor.
Senator DIETERICH. And who fails to give every citizen equal rights under the Constitution? Reverend GILLARD. Yes, Your Honor.
Senator DIETERICH. And that it has nothing to do with prosecuting the members of the mob under this bill, but it is only directed to the officers ?
Reverend GILLARD. That is the way I understand it.
Senator DIETERICH. Do you not think, as a matter of justice, that officers who are not negligent should not suffer a penalty, as they might suffer a penalty under this law?
Reverend GILLARD. I listened to your argument this morning, Senator. I must state that I agree with you in that distinction you are making, that if the county or municipality has done its duty it should no be required to pay that penalty. I quite agree with your distinction about the penalty. That is a very difficult proposition. That is why I put in my statement the words “ or amended form."
Senator DIETERICH. Yes. I noticed that. That was very thoughtful, because there might be some provisions in this bill that someone absolutely in harmony with the spirit of it would not feel like supporting.
Reverend GILLARD. Yes. I had some difficulty myself.
Senator DIETERICH. I think I express the general sentiment of the Members of Congress when I say they want to stamp out this practice, but they do not want to enact into law a measure that will inflict a penalty upon those who are wholly innocent.
Reverend GILLARD. Yes, Your Honor. Do you not think "the amended form "covers the last point sufficiently?
Senator DIETERICH. Anyone who is guilty of a negligence act should be punished, of course, but I think it is just as unjust to punish one who is not guilty of negligence as the action of the mob in taking the prisoner away fromthe court.
Reverend GILLARD. In sociology, Senator, if we take a passive state, which we find to be the case with a great many respectable citizens, we find we do not make sufficient progress. The mere passivity of members of a community means that we must take active means in making that community high-minded, social-minded.
Senator DIETERICH. I am talking of officers charged with the enforcement of the law.
Reverend GILLARD. I referred to the private citizens.
Senator DIETERICH. This does not reach the private citizen. It only reaches the officers charged with enforcement. Of course, that would be all right if the officers are negligent in the discharge of their duty to enforce the law, but as the bill is written I think the infliction of the penalty in any kind of case is unjust to the community. This bill seeks to penalize the officers of the law who are negligent in the discharge of their duty.
Reverend GILLARD. Yes, Your Honor.
Senator DIETERICH. The portion of the resolution to which I took exception was the fact that you are pledging your people not to support some one who might be in entire sympathy with the intent and spirit of the bill, but who might object to some particular provision of it.
Reverend GILLARD. Do you not think " in its present or amended form ” would considerably cover that!
Senator DIETERICH. It depends upon what the amendments may be. There might be some amendments that would make this bill more objectionable than it is at present.
Reverend GILLARD. That is the reason why we incorporated that phrase in the resolution.
Senator VAN NUYS. The resolution has been read into the record. It may be filed with the committee, together with the signed petitions, which are too voluminous to incorporate in the record.
(The resolution referred to, together with a large number of signed petitions, was filed with the committee.)
STATEMENT OF KARL N. LLEWELLYN, PROFESSOR OF LAW AT
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL
Senator Van Nuys. We shall now hear from Prof. Karl N. Llewellyn, professor of law at Columbia University Law School and formerly instructor at Yale Law School.
Mr. LLEWELLYN. Gentlemen of the committee, my remarks will be very brief. I take a slightly different position in supporting the bill from that which has been advanced from time to time in the arguments thus far. I argue that lynching must stop, upon which we are all agreed; I argue that it can be stopped, upon which we are all agreed; I argue that it is not being stopped, again upon which we are all agreed; but I argue further that it is the business of the State to stop it, and that the State will stop it if we pass this bill. I say that the vital thing that is wrong with the States stopping it now is that each State is divided against itself.
Reference has been repeatedly made to the baser portion of the community that indulges in lynching; reference has been made to the political influences which from time to time bother the prosecution of members of a mob; reference has been made repeatedly to the support given in newpaper editorials and by the better portion of the community to any type of movement against lynching; but you will observe that the States, as shown by the record laid before you by Mr. Spingarn remain divided against themselves, and nothing happens because of that division in each house.
I urge upon you that this particular bill provides the frame within which those States can be weliled together into movements or activities that will stop the lynching before it starts. I am concerned in having restored that glorious record that went on down to within a few years, when lynching had almost ceased.
That is one reason why I would suggest to Senator Dieterich that, should there be injustice done by the imposition of a fine-which I do not concede. you understand, sir-but I say, even should it be done, the imposition of a fine or two will bring it back to that downward trend where in the course of 5 years there will be no more opportunity or need to impose fines. Indeed, the very heart of this bill is the fine.
We have seen that lynching can be stopped. It often costs money to stop it. It costs money at times to call out the troops. That is an expense that deters the calling out of troops. As Mr. Hays brought out, it costs money for a protracted trial. Money can be saved by not having a trial. That comes back to the proposition that if you make the cost more not to have a trial and not to call out the troops when they are needeti, in my judgment, you will have solved that part of the problem.
Much has been said in relation to the Workmen's Compensation Act, which has its value. Nothing so far has been said as to the principle of international law that, when a national of one State is mobbed in another State, the State which fails to protect, although it could not help it, although it had no knowledge of what was going to happen, pays damages to the State to which he belonged for the benefit of those whom he had left behind. That has been international law for 70 years.
We refuse that protection on a similar basis to citizens of our own country, where the citizen is entitled to the protection of the officers of the law. And finally I say, sir; and leave that with you, we have the doctrine of respondeat superior in our law, under which we are responsible for the acts of our agents whom we elect to carry on our Government.
Senator DIETERICH. Do you see any distinction between this bill where it deals with officers who have had a prisoner in custody who is charged with a crime of a rather inflammatory nature, who permits that prisoner to be taken from his custody by a mob, and where three citizens conspire to kill a neighbor, which would be lynching under this bill, because he has committeed some offense that enraged those three particular citizens, and the officers knew nothing of the intention of those citizens to commit that crime?
Mr. LLEWELLYN. If I get the point of your question, it is that, as I read the bill, the conspiracy you speak of is a mob or riotous assemblage.
Senator DIETERICH. Of three or more persons.
Mr. LLEWELLYX. However, I am not aware of anything in the bill which would impose a penalty for that.
Senator DIETERICH. The bill would impose a penalty if three or more citizens would take another citizen out and kill him. That would fall within the provisions of this bill, where the county would be penalized to the extent of $10,000.
Nr. LLEWELLYN. The argument being that under section 5 the person put to death is not required to be a person who is in the hands of the officers of justice?
Senator DIETERICH. Yes; I am not talking about argument. I do not want to get away from the question I asked you, whether you saw any distinction between enacting a law to deal with a mob that took a prisoner from out of the custody of the law, and where those in charge of him neglected to protect themselves to the extent of preventing the mob from taking that prisoner from their custody, and where three persons in one of the Northern States concluded that John Jones had done something to injure their families and conspired and went out and shot John Jones?
Mr. LLEWELLYN. Let me see if I get the point of your question, sir. I understand that you are asking whether I see any distinction in principle between the taking of a man from the hands of the officers of justice
Senator DIETERICH (interposing). By a mob.
Mr. LLEWELLYN (continuing). By a mob; and, on the other hand, the mere formation of a small mob to deal with a particular person individually?
Senator DIETERICH. Yes.
Mr. LLEWELLYN. I do see a distinction in principle for the purposes of this bill. That distinction in principle does not exist in international law. I think, for the purpose of handling a worthwhile bill, it is worth very serious consideration whether section 5, which is the section imposing the penalty, might not properly be amended so as to limit the person killed to either a person charged with crime or a person in the hands of the officers of justice.
Senator DIETERICH. That is just the point I was making. Do you not think it would be an improvement on this bill and would make it a more just measure?
Mr. LLEWELLYN. I am not saying, sir, that it could not be improved. I am saying I should want to consider seriously whether there could not be some improvement.
Senator DIETERICH. If you were a Member of the Congress, you would think that that would be a proper thing to engage your attention, would you not?
Mr. LLEWELLYN. Yes, sir. I thank you, gentlemen. STATEMENT OF MRS. HANNAH CLOTHIER HULL, NATIONAL
PRESIDENT OF WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM
Senator Van Nuys. May I now call upon Mrs. Hannah Clothier Hull, representing the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, as national president?
Mrs. HULL. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, with a mem
bership of 12,000 in United States, representing every State in the Union, is an international organization of which Jane Addams is honorary president, with sections in 26 countries and corresponding centers in 14 others, with international headquarters at Geneva. Our organization, therefore, is automatically international and interracial, We have members in the lands of both white and colored people: China, Japan, India, Haiti, and so forth.
Among the early activities of our international congresses the Women's International League undertook the task of working for the emancipation of minority peoples who were victims of domestic violence, as well as against international war. An international report of our congress at Zurich, in 1919, for example, states that the organization went on record as follows:
We recommend that members of this congress should do everything in their power to abrogate customs and laws which lead to discrimination against human beings on account of race or color.
Last month the national board of the Women's International League endorsed the Costigan-Wagner bill. Hence the United States section of the Women's International League, by action of its national as well as its international organization, is committed to work for antilynching legislation. We worked for the Dyer bill when it was before Congress.
Those who have given any time either to the war question or that of domestic violence surely come to recognize that the solution of these problems of mankind lies primarily in the way that the great power nations of the present time deal with their minority people, whether within their own borders or in colonies. In spite of the injustices against minority peoples in other countries (such as the white terror in Poland against the Ukranian minority or the treatment of the Druses by the French in Syria or the natives of Irak by Great Britain or the present attacks of the Hitlerites against the Jews in Germany, and so forth), none of these are so difficult of explanation as the lack of adequate protection by the Federal Government of the United States of a minority race which has been for so long a victim of the crime of lynching. To the people of Liberia, of which we are the guardians, the failure of our Government to prevent lynchings is simply incomprehensible; it is a sad example to set a people whom we are attempting to lead toward enlightened civilization.
It is not necessary to speak in this presence of the enormity of the crime of lynching. This may be taken for granted. It is the manner of dealing with it which concerns us today. When such a crime persists in our country, as it has persisted, and the States are not able and fail to cope with it, it becomes not a State affair alone but a Federal affair.
It is not the State alone which is blamed throughout the world but our whole Nation; because the outside world knows only the United States of America. All American citizens therefore stand condemned when the Federal Government stands idly by and permits lynchings to continue.
There are in some States good laws and it is proper that these laws should be allowed time to function when a lynching occurs. This is provided for in the bill before us. But when State officials do not