Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

organizations and representatives opposed to the equal-rights amendment have the interests and welfare of the poor woman and the working woman at heart. I have been a wage-earner woman for 39 years, was left a young widow with 5 children, 3 boys and 2 boys, the oldest 7 years old. What I am going to say, Mr. Chairman, is from bitter practical experience.

For 39 years I have been in contact with women in industry, in the factory, the shop, store, and office; also with business and professional women; and working as a ticket agent on a railroad I daily came in contact with hundreds of women. All those women without exception, even women in the home, are in favor of and want the equal rights amendment because they have daughters. I met, as I came here from New York, a group of working women; they were coming from a luncheon. Some of those women were members of the CIO; others of the A. F. of L., and when I told them where I was coming, they said, tell Miss Paul we are shouting for her and we are waiting to hear the joyousness of the passage of the equal-rights amendments.

Gentlemen of the committee, you have it in your power to give them that right and that joy. There will be joy among them. Why? Because all discriminations against them under the law will be eliminated, and they will have freedom from fear; they will be able to choose their own work, their own hours of work, and if working in an industry requiring a few hours overtime they will be able to work those few hours and earn the extra money, which they sorely need.

And it is in your power, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, to give them that right and they know that if there is a mother working in the day and she cannot give supervision to her children, she often hears her boys and girls are playing truant from school, and is beset with the fear that they will become criminals. When the equal rights amendment becomes a part of our basic law, she thus becomes a happy, contented woman. She will go to night work knowing her children are in bed, leaving a responsible person with them. Coming home in the morning she will be happy, knowing her children will realize she is at home to take care of them and see that they are in school.

It is in your power to give this right to equality to us working women. We need it. We want it. We do not want any special privileges. We are asking for nothing, only freedom. And we want to have these freedoms that are so much talked about. We want freedom from fear; we want to be permitted to live our own lives and not have those wouldbe self-appointed uplifters to protect us, bothering us in our lives, coming through and interfering with us. We want to tell them to stay on their own side of the fence, stay with their own class, and they will find plenty to protect there and clean up if they set their mind to it.

We working women can protect ourselves.

At the last hearing I was not here, but I read the statement of the counsel of these groups-well, to read his speech, you would think tears were running down his cheeks, he was so sympathetic about widows. Mr. Harrison, the counsel for the groups opposed to the equal-rights amendment is very worried about widows. Well, back in 1919 the groups he represented were directly responsible for throwing out of employment many thousands of wage-earning women, among them hundreds of widows with dependents in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and the other boroughs.

Now, among those thousands there were hundreds of widows with dependents and there were many of our widows who had to break up their homes and put the children in institutions because of not receiving a weekly wage check.

There were women, poor women there, who took care of and helped to support an invalid husband, son, or daughter. There were women who were the so e support of aged parents, thrown out of work to protect their health and morals. They always, to their everlasting shame, made an issue of our morals: Mothers, widows, and young girls. Everything they ever said was about the morals.

Now, where was Mr. Harrison in those days? Why did he not come to the assistance of those poor widows? You know without saying, Mr. Chairman, it does make a difference whose ox is gored; and it was his clients who brought this outrage into women's lives. It was to be expected, naturally, that he would come to the victims' aid.

Now, Mr. Chairman, all we ask you to do is to give us the right of that freedom from fear, give us the right to work and live our own lives, to take care of our children. No one knows better than the mother what she should do and how much she should do it. And by the way, Mr. Chairman, I met and knew and talked with one of the greatest labor leaders in the United States, one we will never have the like of again, Samuel Gompers. And he told me in Albany he was against those laws. He said I asked him; he was up there to talk to both houses and the president of the State Federation of Labor was trying to keep him covered so that no one would interfere—but I sneaked around the speaker's desk and got hold of him. I said, “Mr. Gompers, don't you believe with us working women that we should have the same rights as men and

be permitted to work the same hours?" "Sure, sure, sure,” he said. I have given to Mrs. Miller a copy of a statement he made; and you gentlemen may have it. He was opposed to those laws and went behind the door to say so. He could give our labor leaders cards and spades that would beat them at their own game as far as labor ethics are concerned. We will never have the like of him again.

Please, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, as a representative of wage-earning women who has found out the bitterness of those so-called protective laws for women alone; they do not protect; they discriminate. We cannot do this and we cannot do that, and our self-appointed protectors, women, will tell us that: go to Albany with the restrictive laws that we know nothing about until they are passed, and sob and cry over us. Let them sob and cry over their own daughters.

I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr. CHADWICK. Mrs. Miller, will you permit me to make a statement as part of the record ?

Mrs. MILLER. Delighted, Mr. Chadwick.

Mr. CHADWICK. A matter of very great urgency requires me to leave this meeting. I have followed the testimony that I have heard with the greatest of interest. I understand that there will be more testimony which I regret I will be unable to hear, but may I assure all of you present that I will conscientiously and carefully read the entire record again so that I may miss nothing of the effective presentation that you have made today.

It is with deep regret that I have to withdraw from the meeting.

[ocr errors]

Mrs. MILLER. Thank you very much.

I have considerably more data here which I will submit all at once which you may find very interesting.

There is an article here from Miss Harriet MacDonald, a member of the AMVETS and a working woman from Worcester, Mass.; there is a list of governors, those who were former governors, who are endorsing or have endorsed the amendment; and an article from an educational magazine; and I think there were two or three other things which I will add to this.

(The material referred to is as follows:)

From Post 18, AMVETS, WORCESTER, Mass.

(Submitted by Miss Harriet MacDonald) Elected representatives of the people of the United States of America and all guests here gathered, the AMVETS, American Veterans of World War II, Post 18, of Worcester, Mass., are fully cognizant of the determined, self-sacrificing women who paved the way and were instruinental in bringing the minds of the men of this Nation to the pass where they finally saw the feasibility of permitting woman (whom they believe was made from one of their spare ribs) to have equai suffrage at the polls.

Since that day in 1920 we have endeavored to be worthy, to show you that we inherited with your one spare rib some of your deep knowledge and courage.

We have borne your offspring just as we did before we were permitted to vote.

When World War II came we assisted in every way we thought you needed us. On the battlefields, on the production line, in the chemical plants, in the offices, and even on the pulpit-for she who gives consolation to the dying is a pastor. "She also serves who only stands and waits" for her loved ones to come home for supper.

We are not going to stop being homemakers, nor are we going to neglect our children, if you provide us with a legal document which states, “You are our equals. You may stand next to us.”

By common law that which by custom is permitted and practiced is construed to be legal, even though there be no written statute to confirm it.

By common law then we are your equals and throughout this land we would like to have a formal written code (an amendment to the suffrage law) which would allow us to serve on a jury anywhere in this Nation or its possessions.

Since we have joined your labor unions and have helped to establish such industrial relations schools as that at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., we have suggested in the face of opposition that the union members themselves must police these unions, so they operate on the lines of fair play and justice. The methods we advocated are slowly bearing fruit which is beneficial to the economic and moral fiber of the national life pattern.

You ask why we have done this? Well, we own 65 percent of all the savings accounts, and we know when we borrow moneys we pay 6 percent and when we loan it to the bank we only get 2 percent interest. Why? We know we own 40 percent of the country's real estate and taxes on it are so high and its income so low we can't balance our ledgers. Why? Perhaps if we studied that question alone, in our homes as we did the dishes, we might find a way to equalize costs and income. To unfreeze frozen assets of such nations as, say, Czechoslovakia, before we make loans without security, which when the article (in this case a nation) becomes the property of another, still does not carry a clear title with the bill of sale.

We have balanced lov omes for centuries in your homes, and as a race you males are fairly fat and well nourished on our economics.

We are beneficiaries of 80 percent of the more than $60,000,000 insurance policies. So you trust your lives to us. Why not equal rights in a specific nineteenth amendment?

If we served on the jury in all of the States we would try to be fair to all who, in haste or anger, committed a felony.

Now that the public schools are no longer to teach the Holy Bible, we will most assuredly teach it to our children, to the best of our abilities and in accordance with the dictates of conscience.

We need you, our paid Representatives, to give us the equal rights for both sexes in writing, as a referendum by which all the world may read and see it. Equal

rights for our mothers, sisters, wives, and sweethearts-American womanhood, because they, by their shining light, tossed to them by the Anthonys, the Catts, the Motts, the Stantons, and the Edith Rogers brigades, have proved their worth, and we males acknowledge it and trust America's life in their hands for future generations. No one may beat or cheat or hurt our women unnecessarily, lest one of them sit with us in judgment upon the offender. This is what we ask of you, our Representatives, and these are the reasons. Thank you.

SEMPER FIDELIS.

GOVERNORS ENDORSE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT

23 PRESENT GOVERNORS WHO ENDORSE ERA

25 FORMER GOVERNORS

Arizona : Sidney P. Osborn,
Arkansas: Ben Laney.
California : Earl Warren.
Delaware: Walter W. Bacon.
Florida : Millard F. Caldwell.
Idaho: C. A. Robins.
Illinois : Dwight H. Green.
Indiana : Ralph F. Gates.
Iowa : Robert D. Blue.
Louisiana: Jimmie H. Davis.
Minnesota : Luther W. Youngdahl.
Montana : Sam C. Ford.
North Dakota : Fred C. Aandahl.
Ohio: Thomas J. Herbert.
Oklahoma : Roy J. Turner.
South Carolina: J. Strom Thurmond.
South Dakota : George T. Mickelson.
Utah: Herbert B. Maw.
Vermont : Ernest W. G'bson.
Washington : Mon C. Wallgren.
West Virginia : Clarence W. Meadows.
Wisconsin : Oscar Rennebohm.
Wyoming: Lester ( Hunt.

[blocks in formation]

MORE GOVERNORS ENDORSE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT

Idaho (letter):

Boise, March 1, 1948.* I can find no fault with this step, since it gives greater substance to the equality we profess.

C. A. ROBINS, Governor. Minnesota (telegram):

St. Paul, February 25, 1948. I am very glad to give my endorsement to the proposed equal rights amendment of our National Constitution.

LUTHER W. YOUNGDAHL, Governor. Ohio (letter) :

COLUMBUS, February 18, 1948. I am glad to advise that I am in favor of the passage, by Congress, of the socalled equal rights amendment to eliminate any discrimination in our laws on account of sex. I am sure that Ohio will do her part in ratifying such a proposal.

THvis J. LIERBERT, Gorernor. Oklahoma (letter) :

OKLAHOMA CITY, March 1, 1948. The proposed constitutional amendment, providing equal rights for men and women, has my endorsement. The people of Oklahoma expressed themselves on this subject in 1942 by voting an amendment to our State constitution, which gives women equal rights with men, in holding any office within the State.

Roy J. TURNER, Governor.

South Dakota (letter):

PIERRE, March 2, 1948. I am happy to add my endorsement to the proposed equal rights amendment to that previously expressed by my predecessor, the Honorable M. Q. Sharpe, and will wholeheartedly work for its ratification by our State legislature, if adopted by the National Congress.

GEORGE T. MICKELSON, Governor.

PRESENT GOVERNORS WHO ENDORSE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT

[ocr errors]

Arizona (letter) :

PHOENIX, August 3, 1944. I give my endorsement to the proposed equal rights amendment to the Federal Constitution, and I am pleased to do so, sincerely and wholeheartedly.

SIDNEY P. OSBORN, Governor. Arkansas (letter):

LITTLE ROCK, June 11, 1945. I am in favor of equal rights for women. I know of nothing that can be said to amplify this simple yet straightforward statement of policy.

BEN LANEY, Governor, California (statement):

SACRAMENTO, August 1, 1944. The national platform of the Republican Party favors a constitutional amendment providing for equal rights for our men and women throughout the land. In California we shall labor to make that plank effective.

EARL WARREN, Governor. Delaware (telegram):

DOVER, July 18, 1944. I personally endorse the equal rights amendment and on tomorrow, July 19, the Republican Party (of Delaware) assembled in convention will adopt an equal rights plank in its platform.

WALTER W. Bacon, Governor. Florida:

Governor Millard F. Caldwell has endorsed the equal rights amendment. Illinois (letter):

SPRINGFIELD, November 11, 1944. Passage by Congress and ratification by the States of a constitutional amendment providing equal rights for men and women as recommended in the Republican national platform would serve the just and very valuable purpose of ending discrimination against women that may now exist in certain States. As a State in which citizens of both sexes enjoy equal privileges and as a State whose general assembly enacted a law which provides equal pay for equal work for women, Illinois doubtless would ratify such a constitutional amendment.

DWIGHT H. GREEN, Governor. Indiana (letter) :

INDIANAPOLIS, June 5, 1945. I assure you I endorse the equal rights amendment. This should not be a party matter as it has already been endorsed by both national conventions.

RALPH F. GATES, Governor. Iowa (letter):

DES MOINES, June 26, 1945. The equal rights amendment has been in Republican platforms of the past three State conventions to my knowledge. I am positive it would receive favorable action in our State.

ROBERT D. BLUE, Governor. Louisiana (letter):

BATON ROUGE, June 11, 1945. I have your letter of June 7, 1945, relative to the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States granting equality of rights to women. Personally, I se no objection to the amendment.

JIMMIE H. DAVIS, Governor.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »