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"The pay of women employees, for the same class of work, shall be the same as that of men, and their working conditions must be healthful and fitted to their needs. The laws enacted for the government of their employment must be observed.”

This is an instance where wages and working conditions have been bettered by agreement which is far preferable to law, but as there are many other phases of this problem of the status of women, it is imperative that some evaluation of this question be made in order that full knowledge might be had of all circumstances and conditions having a bearing on this problem. Such is the purpose and intent of H. R. 2007, namely:

That the legislative policy of the United States shall be to make no distinctions on the basis of sex except such as are usually justified by physical structure, biological, or social function and further, to provide for the appointment of a Commission on the Legal Status of Women to be appointed by the President to study and review the economic, civil, political, and social status of women and the extent of discriminations based on sex, and to recommend legislation necessary to bring the laws and Government practices of the United States in conformity with the declared policy, and further to require all Federal agencies to review their regulations and practices and to the extent permitted by legislation immediately to conform them to the declared policy and to report to the Commission.

The suggested recommendation to the States to declare a similar policy and to bring their laws and practices into conformity with those of the Federal Government is sound and is designed to bring about as much uniformity as possible between the Federal Government and the States.

This brotherhood can subscribe to all these objectives, as we consider them reasonable, just, and desirable in eliminating injustices foisted upon women for no other reason than by an act of God they are women. This measure is a gradual approach to the solution of a socially mooted problem and is evolutionary in its concept. Its intent is to explore, study, and review necessary and desirable changes in law and governmental practice adversely affecting our sisters in their age-old struggle to get a square deal in a man-made world.

The full purpose and goal of the organized labor movement is not merely one of wages and working conditions, but also to obtain equal opportunity for all and certainly as a primary step in that direction must be the eradication of injustices based on sex, not supported by any difference in physical structure, biological or social function.

This brotherhood which has been in the labor field for nearly half a century and for the last 20 years under the leadership of Grand President George M. Harrison, has realized that action, such as embodied in H. R. 2007, should be taken for the protection of women everywhere in our country, and this brotherhood in convention assembled adopted the following resolution at its convention held in May 1947 :


"Whereas the economic, civil, social, and political progress of women has been burdened and impeded by discriminations arising in part from assumptions embedded in the common law; and

"Whereas notwithstanding notable legislative achievements in modern times, there remain in effect statutes, regulations, rules, and governmental practices which discriminate unfairly on the basis of sex; and

“Whereas it should be the purpose of the United States and the several States and their political subdivisions, to bring their laws and the administration thereof into line with the present trend whereby women in recent times have made notable progress in many fields only limited by differences in physical structure, biological, or social function; and

"Whereas it has been and continues to be the policy of this brotherhood to accord in all contracts equal pay for equal work applicable to both men and women and the enforcement of all laws protecting the employment of women ; and

"Whereas legislation has been introduced in the Congress to establish a commission for the study of the legal status of women in the United States and to declare a policy as to distinctions, based on sex, in law and administration: Therefore be it

Resolved this convention endorses Senate Joint Resolution 67 introduced by Senator Taft, and H. R. 2007 by Congressman Wadsworth to effectuate these purposes; and be it further

"Resolved the grand president is urged to continue his efforts to secure enactment of this legislation."

It is the considered opinion of this brotherhood that once the facts are known corrective steps will inevitably follow. The history of social progress exemplifies this to a marked degree. The time has now come to lay the ground work for the further advancement of the cause of our women. This bill, H. R. 2007, is the tocsin calling all persons of good will to support this worthy cause. Now, the hour has struck and we hope and pray that in justice to the women of our country that you and your committee will recommend the passage of this bill. Respectfully submitted.

HARTMAN BARBER, General Representative.



Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, back in 1938 there was a hearing on the socalled equal rights amendment before the Senate Judiciary Committee at which I represented the National Women's Trade Union League. Today I am representing the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. But except for that difference, I believe that I could put into the record exactly what I said in 1938. I said then that this so-called equal rights amendment is bad law, I still believe it is bad law. Its wording has been changed somewhat since 1938 but basically it is the same old sell-out, and dressing it up in some new clothes doesn't make it any better. What it will do, is to confuse the situation, and create a lot of legal fog. This amendment would threaten many labor laws set up to protect the rights of women workers. For instance, the minimum-wage laws in most of our States provide for setting minimum rates for women. If this amendment should be adopted, somebody might claim that these minimumwage laws are unconstitutional. The courts would then review them, and however might come out, it would cost us months and years of time and a great deal of money—which we don't have-to fight that through. That is why I am against the equal rights amendment and my union is against it. We are against it because we know what it means to work and to have to work, and we don't want any confusion about our rights as women workers. Organized labor as a whole, both the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organization, are on record in opposition to this so-called equal rights amendment, and have testified before you regularly.

I worked in a factory myself. I have been working with women in different industries for many years and have served on the New York State Minimum Wage Board, which gave me a great deal more knowledge of the subject that I had before as to the need for legislation that will put a bottom to wages and ceiling to hours,

Once in while someone has suggested that we revise this proposed amendment to make it into something we could support. Mr. Chairman, there is no way to revise this amendment because an amendment is the wrong way to go about this job. What's more, we have never fooled ourselves into thinking that it would be easy to get 36 States to ratify an amendment, particularly when the facts go the other way. As I see it, the proposed amendment would be the best possible way to put women into a pigeon-hole and keep them there.

That doesn't mean that I am satisfied with just what we have today. Not at all. There are discriminations against women in our laws, and I want to see them cleared up. I am therefore directed to tell you today that our union is for the women's status bill. This seems to us a sound and reasonable way to get at this old problem. It establishes a policy which provides for reasonable distinctions and a commission to study the discriminations against women in the United States and make recommendations to fix up the laws which should be changed. That makes sense. It means that we can talk about specific laws that are needed, and know just what we are doing. People who have to work for a living don't want to borrow trouble. We want to know just what is meant by legislative proposals, and who is going to be helped by them, and who may be hurt by them. For instance, we want to be sure that a married woman will have the same right to her own earnings, and what she saves by her own effort, as her husband does. Up in New York State we've had a few cases where a woman was taking in boarders or running a little store in her home, but her husband could claim all she earned. That was because the New York law still

says that if the property belongs to him, the money earned there belongs to him, and that holds no matter whether he does his share toward supporting his family or not. There are some States where women don't have the rights as men to act as guardians for their children. Now things like that ought to be changed. The status bill strikes us as a good way to get them changed right.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, I want to speak very bluntly and frankly about the proponents of this so-called equal-rights amendment. I said much the same thing back in 1938, and it's still true. I charge the proponents of this amendment as being numerically insignificant, industrially inexperienced, ecomically unsound-especially as to wage-earning women, and intellectually confused. They have never been large enough to make a decent bloc, and it has recently splintered into a heap of chips. It is time this proposal was buried and forgotten, and we get on to something worth doing.


FEDERATION OF LABOR I wish to thank the members of this committee for permitting me to file a supplemental statement, in answer to the attack on my testimony, made after I had left the Capitol.

Counsel for the National Women's Party asserted that I was not qualified to testify for my fellow trade unionists, because I am not an industrial worker.

It is true that I am a member of the American Federation of Labor because I am a member of the teachers' union. This fact bears out the point which I have made in my original statement: That we in the trade-union movement are sincerely concerned with the welfare of all women; that our trade-union movement seeks to serve the common good. As a member of the teachers' union, I have served as a member of the Central Labor Union of Washington, working closely with my fellow trade-unionists, most of whom are industrial workers, for the common welfare of the community. So, too, I have worked with my fellow trade-unionists at State conventions and at the conventions of the American Federation of Labor. I am indeed proud of the fact that my fellow workers have often selected me to speak for them. In this instance, I was designated to represent the American Federation of Labor by the president of the American Federation of Labor, Mr. William Green. Surely President Green, far better than counsel for the National Women's Party, is able to say who may, with authority, speak for our trade-union women.

Furthermore, counsel for the National Women's Party, in attacking my qualifications to speak for my own organization, the American Federation of Labor, quoted the support of the National Education Association for the attack which is here being on laws which protect women in industry and in the home. Such reference by opposing counsel is not surprising; for that organization which she quotes in refutation to my statements is strongly opposed to the organization of all workers into a bona fide trade-union affiliated with the A. F. of L. and hence could not possibly share our position which is to protect the interests of all women rather than to promote the career of a few.

Finally, I would call attention to the fact that in attacking my qualifications to speak for the A. F. of L., after the president of the A. F. of L. had so desig. nated me, counsel for the National Women's Party refers to the statement of a witness called in support of the measure being considered by this committee. This witness, Miss Murray, quoted the late Samuel Gompers in support of legislation which would destroy special legislation enacted to protect the interest of women industrial workers. The members of this committee will, however, recall, that Miss Murray at this hearing held in March 1948, quoted a statement allegedly made to her in close confidence by President Gompers. President Gonipers, you will recall, died in 1924. I know of no one who actually knew President Gompers who has any knowledge of such a confidential statement. We, trade-unionists, however, who are much the richer because President Sam Gompers so ably and so devotedly protected and promoted our well-being would respectfully refer the members of this committee to the statements of Sam Gompers which are a matter of formal open record in the proceedings of the American Federation of Labor in opposition to the so-called equal-rights amendment and in support of the position formally presented here today by the representative of the American Federation of Labor.


Washington 6, D. C., March 16, 1948. Hon. CHAUNCEY W. REED, Chairman, Subcommittee No.1 of the House Committee on the Judiciary,

House of Representatives, Washington 25, D. C. DEAR MR. REED: I am enclosing herewith an excerpt from an address by Justice Wiley Rutledge, given at Bryn Mawr College, March 11, 1948, on the subject, Women's Rights-Barometer of Democracy.

It seems to us that Justice Rutledge's comments are particularly pertinent to the issue recently presented to your subcommittee in connection with the equal-rights amendment and the status of women bill. We, therefore, respectfully request that this excerpt be made a part of the hearings. Sincerely,

MURIEL FERRIS, Congressional Secretary.


For now,

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women are full-grown citizens entitled, yes, obligated, to share not only in the suffrage but in the statesmanship of their time, Business life is open. No professional doors are closed. Educational advantages are widely equal to those afforded men. In short, woman is by way of achieving full equality with man both politically and economically. She is taking her rightful place as a person with full-fledged personality in our society.

“In spite of all this progress I would be among the last to say that the emancipation is yet complete. If it has become so legally, it has not become so in fact. There still remain large areas in which unjustifiable discrimination is practiced on a widespread scale. One of these is in the learned professions, where a woman still must give more in ability and energy than a man to secure equal opportunity and reward. Beyond as well as within the professions, it remains true that women cannot rely upon equal pay for equal work. Moreover, after a quarter of a century of nationally secured suffrage, the occupancy of public office continues too largely male to be considered representative, even when full account is taken of the differences between the sexes not only for the functions of homemaking and reproduction but also for preference toward political life and activity.

"I am not one who believes that all of the remaining inequalities can be, or should be, eradicated by law. Some no doubt can and should be thus eliminated. But law has its limits of accomplishment, some absolute, some relative to time and place. Lord Coke is reputed to have said that Parliament can do anything save alter sex. But we may be sure that great libertarian of his day did not mean that Parliament should undertake everything except the physically impossible, even toward the eradication of injustice. Law on paper is either but dead letter or tyranny, unless its precept gains ascendancy in the allegiance and behavior of the people. In the final analysis, apart from tradition and precedent against which all change must be made, these can come only through reflective and educational processes.

“It is always important, therefore, that after the basic legal victory has been won those processes be continued, in order to buttress the victory in the social conscience and to apply it in concrete situations as that conscience progressively expanding may require. There is danger in seeking an absolute legal identity in disregard of basic physical differences. But there is equal danger in permitting specific social and economic discriminations, unjustified by such relevant differences and at war with the fundamental conception of equality in the status of freedom, to go unchallenged and unrectified

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Brooklyn 2, N. Y., March 19, 1948. Hon. EMANUEL CELLER,

House Office Building, Washington 25, D. C. HONORABLE SIR: The Brooklyn Diocesan Council of Catholic Women is a federation of Catholic women's organizations of all parts of Long Island, N. Y. The federation represents about 250,000 Catholic women.

Our executive board wishes to express its approval of the bill H. R. 2007, status of women. The board feels that such a bill would eliminate unfair legal discrimination against women and at the same time maintain her dignity. The bill also recognizes the natural differences between the sexes.

The board desires that you, as a member of Subcommittee No. 1, enter in the record of the hearings the board's approval of the bill. Sincerely yours,




Brooklyn 2, N. Y., March 19, 1948. Hon. EMANUEL CELLER,

House Office Building, Washington 25, D. C. HONORABLE SIR: The Brooklyn Diocesan Council of Catholic Women is a federation of Catholic women's organizations of all parts of Long Island, N. Y. The federation represents about 250,000 Catholic women.

Our executive board has again reviewed the question of the so-called equalrights amendment, H. R. 49, and again wishes to register opposition to this bill. The board feels that since men and women differ in their physical structure and in their biological and social functions, that the so-called equal-rights amendment, H. R. 49, would not correct any discrimination between the sexes which may exist in Federal and State laws.

The board feels that the legislation which has been enacted for the protection of women workers would be jeopardized. We also feel that such a law would undermine the very foundations of family life and affect the true Christian family relationship.

We request that our protest be entered in the record with the opposition to the bill at the hearing of Subcommittee No. 1 of the so-called equal-rights amendment, H. R. 49. Sincerely yours,




Omaha, Nebr., March 19, 19.48.
Acting Chairman, Subcommittee on the Judiciary,

House of Representatives, Washington 25, D. O. DEAR CONGRESSMAN REED: The Omaha Archiocesan Council of Catholic Women, a federation of Catholic women's organizations in the State of Nebraska, totaling 10,000, wish to go on record favoring adoption of H. R. 2007, status of women.

We will appreciate any favorable consideration you and your committee can give this matter at this time. Respectfully,

Mrs. MARIE D. FOLDA, President.


Omaha, Nebr., March 19, 1948.
Acting Chairman, Subcommittee on the Judiciary,

House of Representatives, Washington 25, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN REED: The Omaha Archdiocese Council of Catholic Women, a federation of Catholic women's organizations in the State of Nebraska, totaling 10,000, oppose the adoption of H. R. 49 as an amendment to the Constitution, of what is known as the equal-rights amendment. We will appreciate any consideration given our wishes. Respectfully,

Mrs. MARIE D. FOLDA, President.

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