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Mr. ROBNETT. I don't know. Human nature has changed very much during the last few years, and I have my opinions in connection with human nature. I have seen it in operation, and you have, too, Senator Fulbright.
Senator Taft. The answer that someone might want to make is that when you tax the people high in order to supply them with money for education, they would say, "If we are going to be taxed, we want our share of it."
Mr. ROBNETT. You answered it better than I did.
Senator FULBRIGHT. Would you be more specific about the people from Arkansas that you mentioned who are opposing this?
Mr. ROBNETT. Well, I would say George Benson, for one.
Mr. ROBNETT. I might cite several others. They are in Little Rock. I talked before a group of men there, and I am going back there, by the way, to speak before one of your organizations in Little Rock next month. I do not think it is necessary to give you the names of these men. I gave you one, George Benson.
Senator FULBRIGHT. President of a private college, isn't he?
Mr. ROBNETT. I don't know. You ought to know. You are from Arkansas.
Senator FULBRIGHT. I am not the witness.
(Whereupon, at 12:20 p. m., the committee recessed until 2:30 p. m. of the same day.)
Mr. Rogers, will you give your name in full for the record, and your principal occupation ?
STATEMENT OF ELMER E. ROGERS, ASSISTANT TO COL. JOHN H.
COWLES, AND STATEMENT OF COL. JOHN H. COWLES, SOVEREIGN GRAND COMMANDER OF THE SUPREME COUNCIL, THIRTYTHIRD DEGREE, ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE OF FREEMASONRY, SOUTHERN JURISDICTION, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
(Both statements presented by Mr. Rogers.)
Mr. ROGERS. My name is Elmer E. Rogers. I am the assistant to Col. John H. Cowles, sovereign grand commander of the Supreme Council, Thirty-third Degree, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, U. S. A. As such, my appearance here is to read his statement on the pending bill, S. 181, and my own on the same measure. I will first present the statement of Colonel Cowles:
STATEMENT OF COL, JOHN H, COWLES
Our Nation includes 50 or more nationalities and races, and some 250 religious sects and cults. The only common melting pot, the only means of making all of these elements homogeneous and our people culturally united is the tax-supported free public schools. They have been well named the bulwark of our free institutions. As such, our tax-supported free public schools should ever be superior to any and all other schools throughout the country. They should be highly efficient in at least two respects:
1. They should impress upon the minds of the pupils the ideals and traditions of our country.
2. They should prepare our children in the basic subjects of learning so that they may be able not only to earn their livings, but to have an appreciation of the moral, political, economic, and other social questions in relation to themselves, their community and the Nation in its relation to other nations.
While I am thus impressed with the great importance of adequate support of our tax-supported free public schools, it is my opinion that they should be maintained at the sole expense of the several States. I favor such maintenance for three reasons:
First. There is no State in the Union which at this time is not better able, financially, to support its schools than the Federal Government is to contribute to that support. This is at once perceived when it is considered (1) that there are a few States that are free from debt, and (2) that the total bonded debt of other States is less than $2,500,000,000; whereas, the bonded obligations of the National Government are skyrocketing toward $300,000,000,000 and will probably reach much more than 100 times the total indebtedness of the States before the war is over.
Second. The incomes of nearly all the States for 1943 exceeded their expenditures.
Third. Federal aid tends to place the control of the public schools under the Federal Government.
However, if it be the sense of the committee that S. 181 be reported favorably, I suggest that it be so amended as to make the appropriations available only to tax-supported free public schools. The present wording of the bill does not give that assurance, although the descriptive term "public school" is used in the bill. I urge this for the reason that all private schools, even those that are sectarian, are regarded as public schools by their owners, largely for a money consideration. Therefore, if, as emphasized' in S. 181, the proposed financial aid is left to the authorities of the several States and Territories to use as they choose, certain private and sectarian school interests will demand what they are now asking in many areas as their "just proportion" of school tax funds based on pupil population. They will argue that since the bill left the funds appropriated thereunder to the States to allocate as they please, the Congress intended that their schools were to share in the funds.
Senator ELLENDER. Would you mind a question?
Senator ELLENDER. You know, of course, under the bill it is up to the States to pass laws as to how the fund can be distributed ?
Mr. ROGERS. Yes. Senator ELLENDER. There is nothing in this bill that would in any wise, as I understand it, give the States the right to hand over money to these sectarian schools that you refer to.
Mr. ROGERS. Senator, I should hope so, but we entertain that fear, that this term "public school" itself is not sufficient.
Senator ELLENDER. Well, I believe the purpose of the language as written in the bill is simply to afford the States the same right as they now have, for instance, to permit the use of free schoolbooks to all children if they desire, as well as transportation; but so far as contributing to the schools themselves, I don't believe that that is in the minds of the authors of this bill.
Mr. ROGERS. Well, I would hope not, and while I am familiar with the legislation in Louisiana, and the mode by which the taxes are distributed there, there is a persistent movement throughout the other States to obtain public funds for sectarian schools. Now, I hope, Senator, that your interpretation of this bill will obtain, and it may be cited in the various States wherever there is a tendency in that direction.
Senator ELLENDER. Of course, it would be left to the State legislatures.
Mr. ROGERS. Yes.
They will argue that since the bill left the funds appropriated thereunder to the States to allocate as they please, the Congress intended that their schools were to share in the funds. I am glad, however, to hear you state, Senator, that that can not be done under your interpretation of the measure. In proportion as the State authorities or legislatures would yield to such arguments, the private and sectarian schools would grow in power and influence to the detriment and final destruction of the present tax-supported free public schools.
To aid such schools would encourage the movement in this country to reestablish the union of church and state, a legal status which is prohibited to the Federal Government in the first clause of the first amendment of its Constitution. Lest some members of this committee take refuge in the conviction that State constitutions adequately prohibit the use of public funds to aid private or sectarian schools, they should be disillusioned by the findings of the Institute of Educational Research of the Fordham University, a Jesuit school, in its Bulletin No. 1 of 1936. The late Walter R. Reed, secretary general of our Supreme Council, stated at a hearing before the House Committee on Education of 1937, that the Fordham University Institute was of the opinion from its findings that direct appropriations of public money to the Roman Catholic schools would be legal in more than half the States, and a similar result might be obtained in most of the others "by a simple subterfuge."
Whether or not these findings are sound, it is my judgment that this bill should, in the spirit of the first amendment, specifically provide that the funds appropriated therein shall be allocated only for the use of tax-supported free public schools. To so earmark the appropriations in this bill would not be a departure from the practice of Congress when making appropirations to the States for education. All of such grants, so far as I recall, have been definitely limited and restricted in purpose. Although this bill would seem to limit its appropriations to tax-supported free public schools, their teachers and other tax-supported free public school employees, by the use of the term “public schools," may I suggest that having consistently followed the policy of definitely restricting appropriations, this is no time to establish a new and dangerous precedent. I propose, therefore, the following amendments to be designated (f) under "Definitions," section 13, of the bill:
The term "public school" or "public education" shall mean "tax-supported free public school" and "tax-supported free public education.”
I also propose that line 24 in (D) section 5, be amended to read "public control for tax supported free public schools."
For Congress to leave any uncertainty as to its purpose in this bill is quite likely to precipitate contention and wrangling from a religious angle, in many States. Moreover, the uncertainty is likely to lead to costly litigation initiated by those who would invoke the constitutional provisions of the States against aid to sectarian schools.
I close with the statement I have previously made before this committee and the House Committee on Education:
If the proposed appropriations are limited strictly to the tax-supported free public schools, it will encourage those devoted men and women who are giving so much of their time, labor, and sacrifice in the interest of the children who will control the future of this country. On the contrary, if Congress makes it possible for any part of these appropriations to be used by the States for purposes other than the tax-supported free public schools, it will contribute to the destruction of such schools and discourage those who are devoting their lives to them. If we would preserve our liberties under the first amendment as well as under the whole bill of rights, we must preserve the tax-supported free public schools system against all peril.
This concludes the statement of Colonel Cowles. Mine supplements his with certain detail upon the need for the Congress to be vigilant in the preservation of the bill of rights through the protection of the tax-supported free public schools against the efforts of certain sectarian schools to obtain support from the public treasuries.
STATEMENT OF ELMER E. ROGERS
If the committee questions any need for apprehension in the premises, other than the above reference to the findings of the Fordham University, I would respectfully refer it to just a few other authenticated and well-documented statements emanating from Roman Catholic sources, which are the principal seekers for public funds for their schools.
I shall quote from the famous encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, entitled "Human Genus," issued April 20, 1884; from the work of Msgr. John A. Ryan, D. D., and Morhouse F. X. Miller, S. J., entitled “The Church and the State," and from a former Roman Catholic bishop.
In criticizing our political institutions and the political thinking of such founders of them as Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Richard Henry Lee, Patrick Henry, and others, who held that just governments derive from the consent of the governed, Pope Leo said, in part:
Naturalists teach that men have all the same rights, and are perfectly equal in condition; that every man is naturally independent; that no one has a right to command others; that it is tyranny to keep men subject to
any other authority than that which emanates from themselves. Hence, the people are sovereign; those who rule have no authority but by the commission and concession of the people; so that they can be deposed, willingly or unwillingly, according to the wishes of the people. The origin of all rights and civil duties is in the people or in the state, which is ruled according to the new principles of liberty. The state must be godless; no reason why one religion ought to be preferred to another; all to be held in the same esteem.
All these principles which are the basis of the bill of rights are opposed by the Roman Catholic Church and, by some Popes, anathematized.
I now quote comments on Pope Leo's criticism of our institutions from page 149 of the Converted Catholic Magazine for June 1944. This periodical is edited by former Roman Catholic priests, one of whom, Dr. L. E. Lehmann, was a bishop. Their offices are at 229 West Forty-eighth Street, New York 19, Ñ. Y.
I now quote from former Bishop Lehmann:
In his encyclicals, particularly Humanum Genus, Leo XIII declared war on the basic principles of democracy. He condemned the doctrines that are the foundation of our American Government: Sovereignty of the people; the right to overthrow unworthy rulers; separation of church and state; confinement of the church to its spiritual functions; freedom of religion; freedom of speech and the press; right of the state to regulate marriage.
Continuing, the former bishop states:
The following quotation from Humanum Genus illustrates the way in which the sovereignty of the people is denied as well as their right to overthrow a tyrant or dictator :
"Whence it is understood that he who has power to rule, whoever he may be, is God's minister.
And it is absolutely false to say that the people have the right to withdraw obedience whenever they see fit.”
Continuing further the former bishop states:
"It is absolutely unlawful to demand, to defend, or to grant unconditional free dom of thought, of speech, of writing, of worship."
The former bishop concludes as follows:
"It is necessary to destroy the error of those who might believe, perhaps, that the situation of the church in America is a desirable one, and also the error of those who might believe that in imitation of that sort of thing the separation of church and state is legal and even convenient."
The work of Dr. Ryan, one of the so-called great Roman Catholic liberals, is a textbook in Roman Catholic universities but was reedited for the department of social action of the National Catholic Welfare Conference. It bears the imprimatur of the late Cardinal Hayes and his board of censors. The following paragraph which I quote offers much hope to "the faithful" who may have less regard for the Bill of Rights than for opinions of their churchman:
But constitutions can be changed, and non-Catholic sects may decline to such a point that political proscription of them may become feasible and expediullt. What protection would they then have against a Catholic state? The latter could logically tolerate only such religious activities as were confined to the members of the dissenting group. It could not permit them to carry on general propaganda nor accord their organization certain privileges that had formerly been extended to all religious corporations.
Let me add that this is the status that obtains in Spain and in all Roman Catholic countries,