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STATEMENT OF LUCIA HANNA HADLEY, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF
WOMEN OF THE UNITED STATES
Mrs. HADLEY. I come to you today as a representative of the National Council of Women of the United States, an organization with an affiliated membership of 5,000,000 women, whose executive council has voted to endorse the equal-rights amendment to the Constitution in its present form.
The National Council of the United States stands for the practical application of the Golden Rule, the promotion of international friendships, and better human relations.
The council believes that the denial of equal rights to women is an abrogation of the United Nations Charter, which they firmly support. This Charter declares for the “dignity and worth the human person,
the equal rights of men and women.” In addition to the above endorsement, the biennial convention of the National Council of Women of the United States, in May 1946, recommended that its member organizations request the Congress of the United States to follow democratic procedure by submitting the important question of the equal status of women, as embodied in the equal-rights amendment, to the States for action. [Applause.] Mrs. MILLER. Thank you, Mrs. Hadley.
It will interest you gentlemen to know that Mrs. Hadley's father was a Member of Congress from the State of Indiana, that her brother is Judge Horace Hanna, of the State of Indiana, who perhaps several of you may know.
Mr. REED. You may proceed, Mrs. Miller.
Mrs. MILLER. Many years ago when the women were struggling for the right to vote, as we look back on it, it seems longer ago than a generation because they were really persecuted for their beliefs and life was made very hard for them, because they had the temerity to carry banners in front of the White House. Labor should always be very grateful to those women. They made picketing popular and later legal.
Among those women, or young girls as they were then, was our next speaker who from that day to this has never ceased to advance the cause of women. I have great honor to present the national chairman of the National Woman's Party, Miss Anita Pollitzer, of New York.
STATEMENT OF ANITA POLLITZER, NATIONAL CHAIRMAN,
NATIONAL WOMAN'S PARTY, NEW YORK Miss POLLITZER. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, to save your time, I want to ask your permission to present to you a few excerpts from a brief prepared by the Honorable George Gordon Battle, one of America's most distinguished jurists. Mr. Battle gave this to me when he had finished using it for a speech which he made in behalf of the equal-rights amendment. These views were also before the Democratic National Convention of 1944, at which time his very great friend, the Honorable Josephus Daniels, was on the platform committee of the Democratic Party and that party put the equal-rights amendment into its platform.
I received the following telegram today from Mr. Battle, and he has said that he would be glad if I would read it into the record. Mr. Battle wires me:
I regret I cannot come down in person to present my views to House Judiciary Committee in favor of adoption of equal-rights amendment for which I have long worked. I have studied the amendment in this form for many years and approve it wholeheartedly. The age-old concept of discrimination against women which is ever present in the law should be supplanted, in my judgment, by this declaration in the Constitution of the United States. In fairness and justice to all our citizens I urge adoption of amendment without delay. Please present my views to committee. Regards,
GEORGE GORDON BATTLE. Now, in these excerpts from Mr. Battle's longer briefs, he goes into the facts that the proposition is a fundamental principle of republican government. He goes into the fact that the fourteenth amendment and the nineteenth amendment did not afford relief to women from discrimination; that it was hoped that the Supreme Court, following the liberal tendencies which it had shown, would give such relief but that it did not; and he therefore urges the passage of the equal-rights amendment.
Mr. REED. I wonder, Miss Pollitzer, if that is the same brief that he submitted to the Seventy-ninth Congress?
Miss POLLITZER. A shorter version; these are excerpts.
Now there are just a few points that I want to say to you gentlemen. I know you are weary of hearings and we are more weary of them. I think it is wasteful and I really think it is sad to think that I have spent 25 years working for equal rights under the law for our sex—the last 2 years of the suffrage campaigns and since 1923 for this amendment; because you know when it is passed, everyone will feel that it should always have been, just like the suffrage amendment.
Now, Mr. Wadsworth, who has introduced the biological bill, as some people call it, was the leading antisuffragist in the United States Senate. ile was a very distinguished husband of a very distinguished woman who happened to be the president of the National Association of Woman Suffrage. I just feel that you are sort of born with thisyou either believe in the emancipation of people or you do not, and I do not believe that speeches do much good. But as long as you have asked for this hearing, we have to give you a hearing.
There is only one thing we want and that is that this Congress has a chance to act on the equal-rights amendment.
Now, gentlemen, unless you speed your report; unless it is favorable and unless you speed it, we will have the same tragedy that has befallen us year after year after year. We have never had a hearing where there has been a hostile report. The amendment has always had friends on the committee, but suflicient time has never been left for complete, legislative action. Therefore, I beseech you, do not fail women now.
The next thing I would like to say very much is that you look around today on every side; to make a decision on equality, you do not need the bulletins of the Women's Bureau; you do not need to hear us. On every side, husbands and wives have entered into active business as partners. Women are actually contributing cash support. They have to. I think the fine, high note of the session this morning, as Representative Chadwick has said, is Mrs. Markajani's testimony. When I asked her if she was coming to speak at this hearing, she said, “Yes, fortunately I stop work at 10 o'clock and I can catch the late train from New York”-she lives somewhere up there-outside of the city—“and I might have to come in my apron, but I will come.”
Now, it is a real factor, this business of women working : 16,900,000 women were working in this country in civilian jobs in 1945, according to the Bureau of the Census and that is in addition to those in agriculture; and in addition to the women in the home who are not called “working women," but if they were to pass away, and their husbands had to bring in seamstresses and nurses and cooks and cleaning women, I dare say the support problem would be rather hard for
Now, a revolution has taken place since the days when you were born, gentlemen, and when I was born. Nothing about life is the same. We face a civilization that is precarious; women are being asked on every side to take responsibility along with you and to help hold the fort in this country, and to help prevent world chaos, and we want to do it. I think if our energies were released to consider world problems with you, it would be better for us and it would be better for America and for all.
I think that we must make our concepts and our preachments of justice and equality come true. I think we are a target for any enemy of justice as long as we withhold equal justice under the law from over half of our citizens.
That is what we say on the portico of the Supreme Court, “Equal justice under the law.”
Now, gentlemen, it is just shocking to me to hear this talk about "piecemeal legislation" and the “point-by-point method.” In 1921, I went down to Louisiana and with Mrs. Jolin Dallas Wilkinson of Shreveport, was at the legislative session which passed 13 bills in 11 weeks removing specific ills by specific bills, which is what our opposition still talks about. But State-by-State action is not sufficient, we feel. Equality of rights is a great national principle and it is our heritage as Americans to have it in our own Constitution. My husband and my brother have their freedom complete and unadulterated by every decision of the Supreme Court. I think this heritage is mine, too.
Think about your platform pledges to submit the amendment, and think about the work that went on since 1923 to bring the parties into a position where they would feel it was safe to say to the voters of the country, we stand for the submission of a constitutional amendment.
Now, I want to pay a word of tribute to the women of the parties. I think that the great factor in winning those planks was that the national committeewomen of the country said to their parties, we will wait no longer. That was in 1914.
I know that among the many national committeewomen advocating passage of the amendment are the Republican national committeewoman of Pennsylvania, Mrs. Worthington Scranton, who is also on the advisory committee of the National Women's Party; Mrs. Dudley Hay, Republican national committeewoman of Michigan; Mrs. Horace Sayre. Republican national committeewoman of Oklahoma; Mrs. Charles W. Weis, Jr., Republican national committeewoman of New York: Mrs. Lulu Powell, Republican national committeewoman of Maryland; and others whom we might mention and here is a witness of the fact that the Democratic National Committee is strongly for it, Mrs. Tillett and Senator McGrath have sent their messages via Mrs. Emma Guffey Miller, who is Democratic national committeewoman from Pennsylvania.
I feel that when you saw Mrs. St. George here this morning and heard her stirring appeal for the amendment, you must have felt a little badly that there are not more women in high office. Before every little boy and every little girl in America, now growing up, stands the concept of inequality. The rafters are only so high for the little girl; but for the little boy, maybe he can be President.
Now I think this amendment really, if we search our souls, does more than a measure does. This amendment says to all Americans, we want the greatest gifts you have to bring-regardless of sex. We will not hamper you. We will not stifle you. If your greatest desire on earth is to sit in a hammock all day long, that is your right as a free American. If you want to go forth and make a career for yourself in industry, to quote your illustrious member, you can do it, and if you want to come to Congress, you can do it.
Now, we cannot do it with this piecemeal nonsense. What we are combating through the equal-rights amendment is discrimination. There are more than a thousand discriminations still left in the country, and nobody knows where the rafters will hit; nobody knows what restrictive laws will be enacted should a depression again come and take away from all married women the right to earn. This amendment is the strongest safeguard we can have.
In closing I want to say one word about the former chairman of this subcommittee. I knew Mr. Robsion well. We knew him from 1916 on. He went then as a delegate to the Republican National Committee. That was when the suffrage pickets marched in the rain asking support for the Federal suffrage amendment. Mr. Robsion came out and said to them: "I am supporting the plank for woman suffrage.” He was so strongly for this equal-rights amendment that no matter how good the rest of you are, it is a very great loss not to have him.
I want to tell you two brief things about Mr. Robsion's remarks in the Congressional Record for the equal-rights amendment. He was our chief sponsor. Mr. Robsion used to draw illustrations from Kentucky law. One day, when he was emphasizing that mothers should have equal rights with fathers, as a plea for this amendment, he said:
Why in my district, there was a woman who had 12 children and a cow. That cow was the family mainstay. Her husband came along and traded the cow for an old Ford,
Mr. Robsion then said:
His point was that every one of these laws that some find so indirect and difficult has behind it some homely illustration out of the soil which point to the need of the amendment. And in the Congressional Record of January 29, 1945, I found this remark in a speech of Mr. Robsion's:
The home, the church, and the school could survive without a man but not without a woman.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, we ask you to speed the amendment and give it a favorable report in time for the Congress to submit it to the States. I thank you." [Applause.]
Mrs. MILLER. Our next speaker is Mrs. Robert Walker, international relations chairman, National Women's Party. Mrs. Walker must take a train, so she will speak to us briefly. [Applause.] STATEMENT OF MRS. ROBERT WALKER, INTERNATIONAL RELA
TIONS CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL WOMAN'S PARTY Mrs. WALKER. Gentlemen of the Judiciary Committee, when the many nations which were framing the Charter of the United Nations in San Francisco 3 years ago granted the appeal of their women to include the principle of complete equality under law to all men and women, and to all nations, large and small, we women of the United States realized that the dawn of a new epoch had arisen for us.
We realized that the history makers were determined to build their new organization on a foundation of justice, in order to give hope to all peoples of the world of both sexes.
It was with confidence that we women of the World Woman's Party approached the members of the first assembly in London to ask that à commission on the status of women be set up, in order to implement the Charter. Our confidence was justified. With the help of the great men who had framed the Charter, such as Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar, the first president of the Social and Economic Council, and Sir Peter Fraser, Prime Minister of New Zealand, and later on our own John Winant, a subcommission of nine member nations met in New York City the following May 1946.
The women chosen to sit on the subcommittee submitted a report which was confirmed by the full committee meeting again in 1947.
Because the language is lofty and the sentiments profound, I wish to quote them here:
In the course of the discussions the members of the subcommission expressed their belief that democracy is now the only social order in which women can enjoy full rights as human beings, and that women, a great number of whom have made so many sacrifices in the cause of democracy and liberty and who have proved in action that they are able to face all duties and tasks, affirm their resolution to work in the service of world peace with all their heart, mind and will.
In order to achieve this goal, the purpose of the subcommission is to raise the status of women to equality with men in all fields of human enterprise.
Gentlemen, you, too, are makers of history. We realize that no man of you would submit to any injustice within our Constitution because he is a man. We feel that our cause, the equal-rights amendment, is safe in your hands because, as history makers, you will go on record as upholders of the principles enumerated in the charter of the United Nations of equality of rights for men and women and for nations, large and small. (Applause.]
Mrs. MILLER. Thank you for your statement, Mrs. Walker.
Our next speaker has been an industrial worker all her life. She is a member of the industrial organization of the National Woman's Party, Mrs. Mary Murray.
STATEMENT OF MARY A. MURRAY, CHAIRMAN, INDUSTRIAL
COUNCIL, NATIONAL WOMAN'S PARTY Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, as a working woman, I do not want you to be deceived into thinking that