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for the younger children of our Nation. I feel that reading, writing, and arithmetic are the real essentials. From the kindergarten through the grades first. I have interviewed hundreds of young men and women who today possess a high-school and college education and who tell me they can't get a job. Great educators have not yet solved the real problem. What have they done toward solving the problem of getting something for these young men and women to apply this high education which we have given them? I do not mean by that statement that I begrudge these boys and girls a high-school education. I mean that I am first for the three R's for every boy and girl in America.
I wish these experts also to know that I am serious when I say to them that they, too, should give us some suggestions as to how we should proceed in raising these vast amounts of money called for in these various bills. This statement is in no way meant for criticism. But these experts wrote this bill. Or they attended the conference during which it was written. They know what is needed for education. They, too, must give consideration to the fact that this committee must give thought to expenditures of taxpayers' money. We must realize that this Government is spending $2 for each dollar it receives. We must realize that our national debt is close to the forty-billion-dollar mark and statements are made frequently to the effect that the debt will soon near the fifty-billiondollar mark. Daily, Members on both sides of the House are talking economy. I wish I had the power to cut some of the useless expenditures which have gone into other governmental activities and use some of that money for more profitable activities such as education. But that power is not given to me. I only make these few remarks to urge these experts in education to give some serious thought to the question of finances. Their suggestions would perhaps help the membership of this committee.
(The letters and telegrams referred to are as follows:)
Hon. KARL STEFAN,
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Washington, D. C., April 3, 1937.
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.
DEAR KARL: I am enclosing a letter from Fred D. Cram, a well-known educator in my district.
If you think his suggestion merits consideration, it might be well to bring it to the attention of the committee.
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. GWYNNE: Lest you forget, I am writing this note in identical form to all members of the Iowa delegation in Congress. As director of the National Education Association for Iowa, let me assure you in all sincerity that so far as I am able to discover Iowa is solidly for Federal aid to education. In certain quarters there is some question as to whether or not the HarrisonBlack-Fletcher bill provides just what we desire in that there is not a specific allocation of funds to rural schools. However, I believe if you can give us
Federal money, we shall see that a proper proportion goes to rural education in this State.
Iowa needs this Federal money for education. I trust you can give the bill your support.
FRED D. CRAM,
Member, Board of Directors, National Education Association.
OMAHA SCHOOL FORUM, Omaha, Nebr., April 3, 1937.
Congressman KARL STEFAN,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. STEFAN: Nebraska needs the financial aid the Harrison-BlackFletcher bill proposes in order to build up its public education throughout the State.
Rural education would be distinctly helped by this legislation. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Quincy Adams in their days believed that the National Government had a responsibility toward public education.
Last Thursday the Omaha League of Women Voters passed a resolution approving this bill. This resolution came after an extended study of Federal aid for education.
May we hope that you will approve reporting the bill out of the committee so that all representatives may express their judgment on this proposed legislation.
House Office Building, Washington, D. C.:
Letter of April 3 at hand. Harrison-Black-Fletcher bill will materially aid education equalization in Nebraska. Urge your continued support of the
CHARLES A. BOWERS,
Executive Secretary, Nebraska State Teachers Association.
Hon. KARL STEFAN,
APRIL 2, 1937.
House Office Building, Washington, D. C.: General economic conditions in Nebraska make it imperative that some type of Federal aid be supplied public education in tax-supported schools. Majority opinion in Nebraska favors methods proposed in Harrison-Black-Fletcher bill now before committee. Urge serious consideration and favorable reaction by your committee. Above measure forwarded Chairman Fletcher. Repeat for your information and guidance. Urge your support of measure.
CHARLES A. BOWERS,
Executive Secretary, Nebraska State Teachers Association.
STATEMENT OF HON. JED JOHNSON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM OKLAHOMA
Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity of appearing before the Committee on Education and making a brief statement in support of the Harrison-Black-Fletcher educational bill, H. R. 2288 (H. R. 5962). This measure, as members of this committee know, proposes for the Federal Government to assume a small share of the obligation of educating the boys and girls of the land, irrespective of where they may reside. It is proposed in this bill that a Federal contribution of $2.50 per each child be appropriated
by the Federal Government for the first year, this appropriation to continue on an increase for 5 years until the allocation shall become $7.50 for each child of scholastic age in the United States.
This, may I say, is similar to a bill I introduced in Congress some years ago proposing Federal aid for the public schools of the United States. The bill I introduced was prepared in collaboration with the Schoolmasters Clubs of Oklahoma, and in my judgment was not only a more liberal bill but more practical than the one under consideration.
It is charged by those opposing this measure that this is a farreaching measure; that it is a new departure of policy on the part of the Federal Government; and finally that it will bankrupt the Treasury. It is true that this is a new departure of policy, but, in my judgment, it is one that Congress should have adopted long ago. It cannot be said that the Government has no general interest in the education of the children of the land and that this is strictly an obligation of the State, the county, the local municipality, or school district. The Government as a whole is interested in promulgating a more enlightened citizenship. This bill merely proposes to spend a fractional part of the Federal funds that the Government is expending annually to combat crime in America, and I submit for your consideration, gentlemen of the committee, that it would be more economical to spend a reasonable amount of money to educate our future citizens, and thus in a marked way prevent crime, than to spend many times the sum in running down and prosecuting criminals and establishing reformatories, jails, and penitentiaries, and enlarging the army of G-men as the Government is now doing. Within a few days we will be considering the annual appropriation bill for the Regular Army of the United States. As I understand, it will be the largest peacetime Army appropriation in the history of this Republic; that it will propose an increase in expenditures of more than $25,000,000 per year. We will not hear any demands on the part of the administration leaders to cut the Army appropriation bill in the name of economy, but I say to you that we could well afford to take that $25,000,000 proposed increase for the Army, along with the two $60,000,000 battleships in the Navy bill, passed the other day by this Congress, and apply it to the cause of education. Those $60,000,000 battleships will be out of date and practically useless in a few years, but the funds expended for education will live on and on with undiminished power. I submit, gentlemen of the committee, that it would be more economical, more practical, and more statesmanlike to enact legislation of this kind that would be not only a monument to this Congress, but an ever-living monument to and for the youth of this land, than to waste fabulous sums for the avowed purpose of destroying humanity.
Permit me to add that Oklahoma is specially interested in the enactment of legislation to provide Federal aid to the schools of the country. Although ours is considered a rich State and it is undoubtedly rich in mineral, oil, and agricultural resources, it is nevertheless true that Oklahoma has more than 2,800,000 acres of untaxed Indian lands situated in almost all of its 77 counties, which makes the problem of financing our schools, especially in rural communities, extremely serious.
STATEMENT OF CHARLES S. LONGACRE
Mr. LONGACRE. I am general secretary of the Religious Liberty Association of America, also pastor of a church here in Takoma Park that conducts a church school for teachers. I represent the Seventh-day Adventists denomination and the Religious Liberty Association.
Mr. FLETCHER. How many members in all these associations?
Mr. LONGACRE. There is an International Religious Liberty Association of which I am general secretary with a membership of over 500,000.
Mr. FLETCHER. Within the United States?
Mr. LONGACRE. No, internationally. Within the United States it is about 200,000.
Our Religious Liberty Association is opposed to any measures being enacted by the Congress that have a tendency for uniting church and state. We stand for the total separation of church and state and for the freedom of conscience in religious matters. We have in our primary and secondary schools over 90,000 pupils in the United States. We support those schools with our own funds and I will give the reason why we as a denomination are opposed to church organizations receiving any financial aid for church schools.
I wish to go on record here as far as my attitude toward the other denominations that may want such aid is concerned, that they cannot afford to ask for aid. It has been stated before this committee by some representatives of the other denominations that this bill ought to be amended to this effect, as they pointed out, that they might receive Government support for their own parochial schools. I wish to state that I am not an anti-Catholic, far from it. When the parochial school issue was up in the State of Oregon I campaigned the whole State where they had a referendum on it favoring closing the parochial schools, compelling the children to go to the public schools and when we had lost out on the referendum we joined with our Catholic brethren in carrying the case up to every court to the Supreme Court of the United States, finally.
Mr. DONDERO. May I interrupt you to say that the Supreme Court of the United States held that you could not do that in this country. Mr. LONGACRE. Yes; that is true, that is what they held. That was the ruling and we had a brief filed the same as our Catholic brethren did with the Supreme Court and helped to pay our proportionate part of the expense. When this issue was up in the State of Michigan on a referendum I campaigned the whole State in opposition to it with my Catholic brethren, talked with them from the same platform against such a measure. I believe that the Catholic Church should have a right and every church should a have a right to conduct their own schools without any State interference so long as they meet the educational standards set up in the laws.
Mr. DONDERO. You are speaking of the Hamilton campaign? Mr. LONGACRE. Yes. We defeated them in Michigan. The same proposition was put up in the State of Washington and I campaigned that State in oposition with my Catholic brethren, talked with the priests from the same platform in opposition to it. I wish to state that we have worked hand in hand together and I believe that every church should have a right to have their own schools
without any State interference in the conduct of their schools so long as they meet State standards. I am making the plea to my Catholic brethren who are asking Federal aid not to do it. They cannot afford to ask for it and receive it.
Mr. KITCHENS. In other words, to state concisely, a thing like that would be detrimental in the long run if it be done.
Mr. LONGACRE. It certainly will be. I will give you the reasons why. I have written a history. I am a writer and editor, editor of the Liberty Magazine published in Washington, which is the official organ of the Religious Liberty Association. I have written a number of books and written a history of religious legislation, comprising religious legislation in the Christian dispensation from the time of the first Christian emperor of Rome when he enacted the first religious law in behalf of the propagation of Christianity. I traced all the way through the results of this kind of legislation and I agree with James Madison that we should take alarm at the first invasion of expernments upon our liberties and not allow a precedent to be established along that line. The churches need to take alarm at it. For instance, in the countries where the experiment has been carried out in the past like Russia and Mexico, what has happened to the churches? Their property has been confiscated. Their altars have been dismantled; the churches have been closed. Their images and crucifixes of gold and silver have been melted and turned back into the state treasury. Schools have been closed. Why? Because the state government declared that it had been paying during the centuries for the support of the church and for the church schools, for the mantling of the church altars, for the salaries of the priests and religious teachers, that they owned those schools because they had paid for them many times over and therefore they belonged to them. They not only confiscated the church property in those countries, but what are they doing in Germany? They are regulating in Germany today the educational systems of all denominations. Why? Because those churches in the past accepted Government patronage and because they did it the Government felt free, because they supported them in their financing, to control those schools and dictate to them what kind of curricula they should teach, what kind of teachers they should have, and they are controlling them today.
That is the lesson all history teaches. No church can afford it because Government patronage means Government domination, Government control ultimately, and if it does not in the beginning it will ultimately.
Mr. FLETCHER. Is it your fear that inasmuch as the majority of people do not belong to any church, that if these amendments are put in the bill, I mean if the Government should finance the schools other than tax-supported schools, the Government might eventually tax church property which is now untaxed and also dictate something as to what they shall teach in the schools in the nontax-supported schools? Is that your fear?
Mr. LONGACRE. I do not know whether it would reach to taxing of church property. I think it would lead to giving them aid, and finally to Government control of religious schools.
Mr. O'NEILL. On the same basis of a Federal contribution in the State?