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Mr. CHADWICK. It is not hard to avoid keeping the promise. The difficulty is to keep them and because I believe in that, I find some difficulty in this present situation.
It is not important, but all of the arguments that have been made against the amendment I have suggested to the many fine women who have talked to me; have always in my own mind, and I have said if I voted to submit this bill, I would thereby not prejudice my right to oppose it at the State level where I think under the present circumstances it is very probable that the opposition belongs.
Mrs. KATHRYN STONE. Of course, at the time those party platforms were written, the status-of-women bill had not been introduced.
Mr. CHADWICK. It is not a constitutional amendment.
Mrs. KATHRYN STONE. It is not a constitutional amendment but it is a way of getting at the same problem and solving it in my estimation more practically and more immediately.
Mr. CHELF. I might say this, Judge, that at the time no doubt both major parties adopted this into their respective platforms in all probability there had not been very much attention given to the subject. I do not know whether it would have been adopted.
Mr. CHADWICK. It is my opinion that we ought not to be faced with an undertaking of that sort from our respective party organizations without more consideration than that, because I believe people have a right to rely on these representations seriously if they take platforms seriously, as I do. But my thought is if the amendment were passed, it is still contemplated that the Federal Government will be required to take action, if not to implement it, at least to further it; is that right? Mrs. KATHRYN STONE. If the amendment were passed.
Mr. CHADWICK. If the amendment were passed or adopted a 3-year period is provided for.
Mrs. KATHRYN STONE. Yes.
Mr. CHADWICK. Before it takes effect; and apparently that contemplates that the instrumentalities of government will act during that period to adjust themselves to the amendment.
Now, if that is so, then it would occur to me if the urgency is as great as it appears to be with respect to certain things, for example discrimination in governmental departments, that law can start now. There is nothing to stop it even though the constitutional amendment should be settled in this way.
Mrs. KATHRYN STONE. You are right also in your assumption that you could have both things. You could start out with the status-ofwomen bill and could conceivably have an amendment too.
Mr. CHADWICK. Put it the other way; could we start out here in our legislative capacity to deal with the problem nationally and at the same time submit the amendment for the consideration of the people?
Mr. REED. Are there any further questions?
Mrs. MARGARET STONE. Mr. Chairman, I wonder if the ones who were not here today will be able to submit statements for the record.
Mr. REED. I think they have already submitted a statement for Miss Neff.
However, we do not have a statement for the other lady.
STATEMENT OF SYLVIA WUBNIG, REPRESENTING NATIONAL
LEAGUE OF WOMEN SHOPPERS
Mrs. WUBNIG. The National League of Women Shoppers, whose members are housewives and professional women concerned with protecting and raising the standard of living, has vigorously opposed the so-called equal rights amendment and in its last convention, May 1947, wholeheartedly endorsed the women's status bill, H. R. 2007.
As women we are aware of the many discriminations against women in industry and professional life based on outmoded social ideas and ingrained prejudices. As women we know, too, that there are protections that we need if the obligations of women are to be honored, and if the weaker bargaining power of women in industry is to be compensated for. The so-called equal-rights amendment does not touch the first and destroys the others. The women's status bill directly encourages the study and elimination of these discriminations which are unfair and retains those protections of the family and of women workers that are necessary to a sound functioning of our social system.
In the extensive hearings that the equal-rights amendment has had in previous years the legal and social dangers of this amendment have been thoroughly explored. The question of rights as against privileges as a legal determination; the annulment of protective labor laws that have been such hard-won gains over the years; the confusion of family responsibilities by equating the obligation of the husband and the wife; the confusion that would result in the Social Security and Workmen's Compensation Acts; and the marriage and divorce laws all these have been pointed out over and over again. Yet in spite of the clear evidence that such an amendment would work havoc with the most valued of women's real rights and in spite of the fact that States continue to wipe out the most flagrant of women's legal disabilities, the proponents still clamor for an equality that nature itself obdurately refuses to recognize.
As women we do want equality-equality of pay for equal work; equality of opportunity to use our skills and training in all activities, except as reasonably justified by differences in physical structure, or biological or social function. We support the objectives of H. R. 4408, which provides for equal pay for equal work. We do not yearn for the right to dig coal or to be longshoremen. The arguments of the proponents of the amendment state that the discriminatory labor protective laws tend to exclude women from wage-earning jobs is directly refuted by the information presented to the House Committee on Education and Labor in support of H. R. 4408 by Miss Frieda Miller, of the Women's Bureau, on February 10, which states that women now constitute 25 percent of the labor force, as against 18 percent in 1900, and that the number of working men since 1900 has barely doubled while that of the number of working women has more than tripled. Certainly then it cannot be argued that protection given to women in maximum hours, minimum wages, rest periods, prohibitions in special heavy industrial work has tended to cut down the labor force of women.
We feel, however, that there is need for action to eliminate those discriminations that do not have any sound basis in physical structure or biological or social function. H. R. 2007 sets a policy for the United States based on a recognition that unfair discrimination exists and should be corrected, and that differences also exist between men and women and that society take a common sense approach to those differences. It establishes a commission to study, investigate, and evaluate the economic, civil, social, and political status of women. By such study and evaluation those laws and practices that have no validity in our social system can be eliminated and those which have genuine justification as protection of the family and the family relationship and against exploitation will be preserved.
We heartily recommend the foresight and common sense of the sponsors of the women's status bill, and urge that H. R. 2007 be favorably reported by this committee, and that Congress enact it into law. We support H. R. 2007 because it approaches with practical clarity the problems of the so-called equal-rights amendment seeks to solve with impassioned but blind zeal.
Mr. REED. Would you give us the organization of which you are a representative and with which you are afliliated? Mrs. WUBNIG. National League of Women Shoppers. Mr. REED. And could you tell where their principal office is?
Mrs. WUBNIG. The principal office is in New York City. We have branches in nine States?
Mr. CHADWICK. Where in New York City ?
Mr. REED. If we have run out of witnesses on the proponents of the bill now before us, I have a request from Miss Mary Donlon who wishes to say a few words in behalf of the equal-rights amendment.
STATEMENT OF MISS MARY DONLON, REPRESENTING REPUBLICAN
WOMEN OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Miss Donlon. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I come here in behalf of the organized Republican women of the only State in the Union, Mr. Chairman, which is larger than your own, the Federation of Women's Republican Clubs of New York State. In behalf of Miss Jane H. Todd who is deputy commissioner of commerce of the State of New York, vice chairman of the State Republican Club and president of the Federation of Women's Republican Clubs of New York State, I would like, if I may, to have this printed in the record. I will not burden you with reading it, if I may have that leave. Mr. REED. It may be filed. (The resolution is as follows:) FEDERATION OF WOMEN'S REPUBLICAN CLUBS,
OF NEW YOR' STATE, INC..
Neuc York, N. Y., March 11, 1948. Hon. CHAUNCEY W. REED,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR Mr. REED: In behalf of the Federation of Women's Republican Clubs of New York State, Inc., I have the honor to file with your committee, conducting hearings as a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, on House Joint Resolution 62, the enclosed copy of resolution unanimously adopted by the
Federation of Women's Republican Clubs of New York State, Inc., at a meeting in Albany, N. Y., on March 10, 1947.
I regret that I am unable to present this to you in person as president of the Federation. I have asked Miss Mary Donlon, a member of the council of the federation, to present it and request leave to have it published in the proceedings of your committee. With cordial good wishes. Sincerely yours,
JANE H, TODD.
COPY OF RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY UNANIMOUS VOTE BY THE FEDERATION OF WOMEN'S
REPUBLICAN CLUBS OF NEW YORK STATE, INC., AT ALBANY, N. Y., ON MARCH 10, 1947
Representing 55,000 Republican women, members of 272 Republican Women's Clubs in 60 of the 62 counties of New York State, meeting in Albany for our annual legislative conference, we, the Federation of Women's Republican Clubs of New York State, Inc., record our unalterable objection to H, R. 2007.
We object to the bill for reasons which we shall state. We also apprehend its unfortunate consequences for our party, both because it is unsound and because it is politically inexpedient. It represents a philosophy with regard to economic, civil, social, and political discriminations against women that, in the past, has proved a political liability to those who have held that philosophy.
We object to the disregard, implicit in this bill, of pledges our party has made to support a constitutional amendment to outlaw statutory discrimiation against women. We call on the new Republican majority of the Eightieth Congress to give to the States the opportunity of voting for or against a constitutional amendment to give women equal rights under law with men. By actions taken at the Republican National Conventions of 1940 and 1944, our party has promised to support such an amendment. We believe that the women of our party have the right to expect that this promise will be fulfilled by their party repre sentatives.
We criticize H. R. 2007 for the futility of its purposes. It can serve no useful purpose, save only to delay women in their achieving that equal status under law which all citizens of a free country should, in right and justice, possess. Specifically, we object to the assumption that the economic, civic, social, and political status of women requires, at this late date, investigation and study and research by a presidential commission.
Social status cannot wisely be legislated. Our country has made some notably unsuccessful experiments in that field. The social recognition of individuals for their individual worth, without regard to race, religion, color, or sex, is a matter of education.
The political status of women, under the nineteenth amendment of the Constitution of the United States, is or should be equal with that of men. It should not now be debatable.
The economic and civil status of women has already been the subject of comprehensive investigation and study and report by the Women's Bureau of the United States Department of Labor, the National Federation of Business and Professional Women, and other organizations, and these studies are presently available to the Members of the Congress for their enlightenment on the subject proposed for commission study.
We object to the underlying philosophy of H. R. 2007, which seems to assume that there are legal discriminations against women that can be justified by a commission to be appointed by the President. This is offensive to women who have won, after long and difficult years of education and struggle, equal political rights with men. There is no sound basis for such discriminations.
We earnestly urge that House Joint Resolution 62 be reported out and that our Republican Representatives vote favorably upon it.
Miss Donlon. I just want to add one or two brief comments, Mr. Chairman, to what is contained in the resolution of the Federation of Women's Republican Clubs of New York State in support of the constitutional amendment and in opposition to the commission bill.
Like Mr. Chadwick, being politically minded and believing in the party system, we think that the Representatives who have been elected on both political plaforms embracing the pledge to present this amendment to the States for their vote, yes or no, should carry out that pledge.
I do not know whether in your party, Mr. Chelf, there was the consideration of this amendment that you mentioned. I do know that in my party there was very careful consideration of it. I was there. I had the honor to serve as the vice chairman of the resolutions committee of the Republican National Convention in 1944.
Now, beyond these remarks from a party position, I think, perhaps, Mr. Chairman, that I should explain my position a little further.
Like Mr. Harrison, I have never been left a widow with five children, but like Mr. Harrison, I have had widows as clients. I cannot recall now one with five children, but I can recall one with four and that was quite a few, and I join you gentlemen who spoke in tribute to the woman who is left with children to bring up. It is a difficult position for either a man or a woman and I think it has very little to do with what we are talking about. I think we are talking about something that is broader and more fundamental than that.
You will recall, as I do, and I am sure that many who have stood here before you have mentioned the fact that this is the one hundredth anniversary of the first organization of American women to claim any political, economic, or social rights as women.
I am reminded that time, in a sense, curiously stands still so far as attitudes go, although we have made great progress in this movement. It took us 72 long, hard years to win the vote; but we have it, thanks to those fine men in Congress who voted to submit to the people what became the nineteenth amendment.
If they had not done that for us, we would not yet have the vote and we ask of you whether you believe personally in this amendment or whether you do not that you give the people of the United States pursuant to the party pledges that have been made, the opportunity to have their say in the free fashion which still obtains in our country. In New York State, where this meeting was held 100 years ago,
it happened that the first objective of the women was to obtain what are called married women's property rights; the right to control their own earnings, because even in those days married women sometimes found themselves in an economic situation where it was necessary for them to go out and work for wages.
When they went down to Albany and appeared before a legislative committee of the assembly of the State of New York, shortly after that 1848 meeting at Seneca Falls, the issue was stated and I am sure it was stated with eloquence, as to why they wished this opportunity. There were some timid women who feared that women could not assume the responsibility of taking care of their own property and of spending their own earnings. There were some men who, for whatever reason I do not know, thought that women needed protection.
A member of the assembly from one of our rural, up-State counties in New York arose and his speech in the record might almost have been made by some of the people who spoke today. He stated that here was woman who had biological differences that made it impossible for her to know how to handle property and that he, for one, would never vote to relieve her of that protection which was her due.