The Roosevelt Coup D´etat of 1933-40
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THE HISTORY OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL EXPERIMENT EVER MADE BY MAN TO GOVERN HIMSELF WITHOUT A MASTER
By STERLING E. EDMUNDS
Of the St. Louis Bar
Originally printed in 1940
The Beginnings of the Program for National Social Legislation
The determination of the Childrens Bureau not to remain a mere statistical agency was reflected in its first efforts to regulate the employment of young persons in the States, and in its success in inducing Congress to enact what was known as the Keating-Owen law in September, 1916. This act prohibited shipment in interstate commerce of any article the product of a mine or quarry in which persons under 16 years of age were employed, or any article of any other establishment in which young persons under 14 years of age were employed or in which any young persons between 14 and 16 were employed more than 8 hours a day and 48 hours a week. The administration of the law was confided to the Childrens Bureau.
An article, written by Mrs. Kelley and printed in The Survey on August 26, 1916, said:
"The factory children and mine children, having at length caught the attention of Uncle Sam, so long blind and deaf to their need, the enormously larger numbers engaged in agriculture cannot forever be ignored; the inevitable logical sequel of this law is federal aid to education."
In June, 1918, the Keating-Owen act was declared unconstitutional on the ground that it was not, in fact, intended as a regulation of interstate commerce, but was actually an attempt to regulate manufacturing in the States; that the power over this subject was reserved to the States, and that Congress could not do indirectly what it had no constitutional power to do directly. Speaking for the Court, Mr. Justice Day further said:
"The maintenance of the authority of the States over matters purely local is as essential to the preservation of our institutions as is the conservation of the supremacy of the federal power in all matters entrusted to the nation by the federal Constitution. In interpreting the Constitution it must never be forgotten that the nation is made up of States to which are entrusted the powers of local government. And to them and to the people the powers not expressly delegated to the national government are reserved. The power of the States to regulate their purely internal affairs by such laws as seem wise to the local authority, is inherent and has never been surrendered to the general government."
The women of the Childrens Bureau, with the aid of Mrs. Kelleys various organizations, returned to Congress and induced it to enact a like measure, ostensibly for raising revenue, by levying a 10 percent additional tax on the net earnings of any establishment employing young persons below the standards set up in the previous law. As this was a supposed revenue measure, its administration was not confided to the Childrens Bureau but to the Treasury Department. On May 15, 1922, the Supreme Court held this act unconstitutional, on practically the same ground set out in the previous decision; that, under the guise of a tax, the federal government was seeking to regulate manufacturing in the States, which it had no power to do.
By 1919, the appropriations for the Childrens Bureau had grown to $393,261, and "inquisitorial proceedings," which Senator Heyburn had feared, had, in fact, become the common practice of agents of the bureau in many homes of the poor in the course of gathering statistics on "infant health and economic welfare." In an article which Miss Lathrop herself prepared for the American Journal of Public Health, for April, 1919, entitled "Income and Infant Mortality," reprinted and widely circulated by the bureau, she said:
"None of the studies made by the bureau attempt to approach infant mortality as a medical question. They are concerned with the economic, social, civic and family conditions surrounding young babies . The surroundings of each child are traced through the first year of life. by women agents of the bureau who call upon each mother. While it is plainly necessary to accept the mothers statement with reference to matters directly pertaining to the daily life of the baby, it was thought that she might not always know about her husbands earnings and that other sources of information might be more important. Payrolls were consulted and employers and fathers themselves were interviewed.
"The logic of the evidence adduced seemed to indicate that a very large ratio of the families of the United States obtain incomes too small to make possible the rearing of children in the manner which scientific and humane considerations, as well as the prosperity of the nation, demand . The cost of living must come down or there must be a nationalization of financial responsibility which will relieve the individual family of a portion of the cost which they must now bear or wages must rise to cover the cost of living."
As early as 1917, the investigations of the bureau had brought the conviction of the necessity for "nationalization of financial responsibility" for motherhood, as appears in the annual report dated October 8th of that year, in which, under the heading, "Public Protection of Maternity and Infancy," Miss Lathrop stated:
"There is a question, however, now pressing for attention, which affects not only the lowest income groups, but the greater share of American mothers; it is how to make promptly and uniformly available to all mothers and children irrespective of income, in town and country alike, the services of nurses, doctors, conference centers and hospitals."
It may be significant that the year before, in 1916, Madame Alexandra Kollontai, a Communist associate of Lenin and Trotsky, was in the United States on a pacifist lecture tour and that she released and caused to be widely circulated, with the assistance of fellow Communists, a volume of her own entitled "Society and Motherhood State insurance of Motherhood." In October, 1917, she was back in Petrograd during the revolution in Russia, and became Lenins first Commissar of Social Welfare, charged with the segregation of children from their parents, the care of mothers, and the destruction of the institution of the family. Her first announcement as Commissar was that of the appointment of herself and four others as charged with "the immediate organization of the Department of Protection of Mothers and Children," according to U.S. Senate Document, "Bolshevik Propaganda," issued by the Overman Committee in March, 1919. Madame Kollontai was successively Soviet Commissar of Social Welfare, Commissar of Propaganda, Minister to Mexico, Minister to Norway, and is now Minister to Sweden. She is almost the only Communist prominent in the Revolution who has survived in the confidence of Stalin.
It is an interesting fact that in President Roosevelts program for our Social Democracy a great Department of Social Welfare is contemplated. A bill for the creation of such department was proposed to Congress by the President on January 12, 1937, but thus far there has been no action upon it.
As to how completely Madame Kollontai did her job of colonizing Russias children as Commissar of Social Welfare, we have the testimony of Lieut. A. W. Klieforth, assistant military attaché under Ambassador Francis, when Lenin came to power. He said, as one of the State Departments witnesses at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the recognition of Russia, in February, 1920:
"If you want to visit your children that is to say, those who were once your children who have been removed to communal schools, you will get a permit, because the children are not really yours at all, but have become wards of the State. All the children have been reported from their homes to those schools. The younger generation in Petrograd is systematically herded into freight cars and sent away from 800 to 1000 miles to completely isolated institutions, where they are trained in principles of Communism . Parents have a habit of loving their children. and by whatever influence or bribes they are able to bring to bear, seek to discover and rejoin them. Therefore, the Soviet carefully destroys all records of birth and relationship, leaving nothing undone to completely isolate every child in Russia from all human ties, except those relations advocated by bolshevism."
In the annual report of the Childrens Bureau for 1917, there is a reference to the need for "the protection of maternity and infancy," with five recommendations, among them:
"Public-health nurses who shall be available for instruction and service as are public school teachers and other public officers."
In 1919, the federal Childrens Bureau issued its publication No. 57, a 200-page volume, entitled "Maternity Benefit Systems in Certain Foreign Countries." On Page 175 of this work there is an endorsement of Madame Kollontais book, "Society and Motherhood," as "the most comprehensive study of maternity benefits and insurance which has yet appeared in any language." The bureau the same year called an international conference on child welfare standards, with representatives attending from Great Britain, Belgium and Japan. As the result of that conference the bureau issued its publication No. 60, a 460-page volume entitled "Standards of Child Welfare," containing various recommendations, among them one for the appointment of one public-health nurse for each 2000 of our population; that is to say, 52,000, all presumably to be under the Childrens Bureau.
In the volume is also printed, it must be assumed with approval, the statement of Dr. J. Whitridge Williams, a physician delegate to the conference, in the following words:
"I take it that the first step in such a campaign of education for the improvement of obstetrical conditions must consist in the compulsory registration of pregnancy, through the local health officer. In this event, it will be possible for every pregnant woman throughout the entire country to be supplied gratis with certain of the publications of the Childrens Bureau."
In the annual report of the bureau for 1919, Miss Lathrop expressed the hope that the international conference would prove an influence in realizing two measures which "are implicit in the standards," namely:
1. Federal aid to the States for universal elementary education for the prompt and immediate abolition of illiteracy and child labor.
2. Federal aid to the States for the universal protection of maternity and infancy.
A campaign was then inaugurated to obtain legislation which would give the Childrens Bureau authority to deal with the subject of maternity in the States, and Mrs. Kelley became Chairman of a sub-committee on maternity of the Womens Joint Congressional Committee, to bring it about.
Senator Sheppard and Representative Towner of the House, agreed to sponsor what became known as the Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Act, "an act for the promotion of welfare and hygiene of maternity and infancy," with an appropriation of $4,000,000 for the first year, to be allocated to the States on a matching basis, in the discretion of the Chief of the Childrens Bureau as to the adequacy and conduct of the cooperating State units. The progress of the legislation was slow and the women became impatient. At the Senate Committee hearing in May, 1920, Mrs. Kelley said:
"The question that is arising amazingly in peoples minds now is, why does Congress wish to have mothers and babies die? If Congress adjourns without taking effective action no mere committee report will answer; we want a committee report, but we want a committee report as a basis for action . If this bill is not passed it will be one of the most interesting questions that will go on and on in the press, because our organization will see that it does go on, if no other organization does. Why does Congress continue to wish to have mothers and babies die?"
And, again, at the House Committee hearings, December 20 to 29, 1920, Mrs. Kelley said:
"This is the week of the child, who was born and laid in a manger, and this is the time when peoples minds turn especially to children; and those people who will go to church in Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day will be reminded, not only of the child who was born that day but of the circumstances under which that child was born. And the story of Herod will be in everybodys mind.
"We do not know how many children were slaughtered by Herod; history does not record that. But the deaths of those children have remained in the minds of the human race for nearly 2000 years; and the Congress now, after its long delay and its failure to interest itself in those daily deaths of 680 children or 20,000 children a month has to choose where it will be recorded in history."
As the maternity bill had been formulated in the Childrens Bureau it contained, in Section 8, a provision for "medical and nursing care for mothers and infants at home or at a hospital when necessary, especially in remote areas;" but after the bill was introduced this section was stricken out with the bureaus approval. Although Mrs. Kelley had indicated Congress as "Herods," and being responsible for the deaths of 240,000 children annually by its delay in enacting the measure, it developed during the hearings that the entire proposed $8,000,000 ($4,000,000 from matching States) was to be used "solely for service" in the "social and economic" fields, according to Miss Lathrops testimony before the House Committee in December, 1920. Dr. Anna A. Rude, bureau director of the division of hygiene, had also testified that "its real purpose is for educational extension work . And is broader than a simple health measure."
With $8,000,000 to be disbursed annually to social and economic investigators and for printed matter, there would open up a greatly expanded field for professional social workers on the public payroll, which led Speaker Champ Clark of the House to remark on October 11, 1919:
"The milk in this cocoanut is to create a lot of new fat jobs."
Social work was then becoming a new and respectable career for women, and for men also. Those entering it considered it a little above the professions of nursing and teaching, and it offered quicker and greater financial rewards from the charitable rich. In an article entitled "Social Work as a Profession for College Men and Women," written by Miss Kate Haliday Claghorn, member of the faculty of the New York School of Philanthropy in 1915, she stated that a young man going into social work might command a salary of $2500 to $3000 within a few years. Some positions, she said, pay from $5000 to $10,000, adding:
"And certainly the names of Miss Addams in the settlement field, of Miss Richmond in organized charity, of Mrs. Kelley in the field of social legislation, and of Miss Lathrop at the head of the federal Childrens Bureau, come at once to mind as representative leaders, indicating that the higher reaches are not altogether barred to women."
That men social workers may surpass Miss Claghorns calculations, was exemplified by the appointment of Harry L. Hopkins, now Secretary of Commerce at $15,000 a year, as federal Relief Administrator in 1933, at $12,000 a year. Hopkins placed many thousand fellow social workers on the federal payroll, with salaries not far below his own, including Aubrey W. Williams as his assistant, now head of the National Youth Administration, and of the Federal Security Agency.
The provision originally inserted in the maternity bill concerning "medical and nursing care," had misled Congress to consider it a health measure, and prompted Representative Winslow to ask Miss Lathrop during a House Committee hearing in December, 1920:
"Would it cause any hindrance to the progress of your work if it were to be transferred to the United States Public Health Service?"
"I should regard it as a fatal error to transfer a bureau whose business is to investigate and report upon all matters relating to the welfare of the children and child life to the sole supervision of physicians," replied Miss Lathrop.
In the Senate on December 18, 1920, Senator Hoke Smith, addressing Senator Sheppard, asked:
"Does the Senator think it would take $8,000,000 annually simply to carry information on that subject?"
"That was the co __________ looked into the matter very carefully," replied Senator Sheppard.
Senator Brandegee asked by whom the matter was looked into very carefully.
"By the Childrens Bureau," said Senator Sheppard.
Senator Moses thereupon introduced an amendment to provide for $5,000 for each county in every State that would put up a like amount to build a hospital to be approved by the county and state health officials, with actual training of women in maternal nursing, with the advisory assistance of the United States Public Health Service.
"If the real desire of the proponents of this measure is to give real help to expectant mothers, they should realize that provision should be made for doctors, not documents, for medical men instead of meddlesome Matties," said the Senator.
Of Senator Moses proposal for a maternity hospital in every county needing one, supervised by county and State health boards and advised by the United States Surgeon General, with training for women in maternal nursing, Mrs. Kelley said before a Senate Committee, on April 25, 1921:
"We have made a study of the Moses amendment and it seems to us to be intended to destroy this bill . It would be a terrible retrogression in regard to the standard of the care of mothers and children in this country and we cannot afford to retrogress . Our hope is that this bill will be passed to give them this instruction and not provide bricks and mortar."
In the following July, 1921, before the House Committee, Dr. Charles E. Humiston of Chicago, then President of the Illinois Medical Association, expressed the ground upon which many State medical associations and the American Medical Association opposed the bill. He said:
"This is a medical question and it is supervising the practice of medicine in the different States, through the Childrens Bureau in the Department of Labor, that this bill provides. That is why we object to it . We object to placing the practice of medicine under the supervision of a lay board."
By this time the parallel campaign, carried on by practically the same women for woman suffrage, had been successful, the Nineteenth Amendment having been ratified on August 18, 1920; and Mrs. Kelley and her Womens joint Congressional Committee felt a great augmentation of power. She had boasted at a House Committee hearing on another subject on May 2, 1921:
"We have the votes and we are now organized with a thousand ramifications. We have more interlocking directorates than business has."
She definitely claimed "12,000,000 women votes" and the members of Congress appeared to be duly impressed. Nothing more was heard of the Moses Amendment, and the Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Act was passed on November 23, 1921. But the duration of the act was limited to 5 years and the proposed appropriation of $4,000,000 was scaled down to $1,480,000, to be apportioned to the States as they matched the sums allocated and as they created spending agencies meeting the approval of the Chief of the Childrens Bureau. Five States Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maine and Massachusetts rejected the offers to share in the money and to submit these activities to federal control.
Miss Julia Lathrop resigned as Chief of the federal Childrens Bureau in 1921, and another former social worker of Hull House, Miss Grace Abbott, who had joined the staff of the bureau in 1917, was named as her successor. With the approach of the period, June 30, 1927, when the maternity act would lapse, the women of the Childrens Bureau and their co-working groups inspired a bill for its continuation for two years, which became known as the Phipps-Parker bill, and they arranged hearings which were opened before the House Committee on January 14, 1927.
The bureau had stressed the need for the act upon what it alleged was the backwardness of this country in maternal and infant care, and had adopted as a part of the original campaign for the measure, the slogan, "It is safer to be a mother in 17 foreign countries than in the United States." Dr. John Howland, pediatrician in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, had testified on July 12, 1921, saying:
"I am quite sure from considerable experience with statistics that there is no basis for the statement that the United States stands seventeenth in maternal-death rate. Even civilized countries have not sufficiently accurate statistics to enable anyone to make a definite statement."
In the bureaus endless stream of studies and reports there was much terrifying literature on the hazards of child-birth, with the use of statistics that were not always in agreement with the findings of the non-political Census Bureau. The literature was calculated to alarm mothers, not only on their own account, but on account of their children as well. Thus an undated release entitled "The Childs Right to Be Well Born," contains this statement:
"Perhaps you are so fortunate to have a baby in your household. If so, do you realize that if that baby had chosen its home in any of five other countries it would have had a better chance at life than in the United States? For in the birth registration area of this country, out of every 1000 babies born live, 76 die, while in New Zealand, only 42 babies out of every 1000 die; and four other countries have an infant death rate lower than ours . Studies by the Childrens Bureau and other agencies have shown clearly what causes our high death rates among mothers and young babies. These causes are all susceptible to human control; we can eliminate them if we want to hard enough. What are they? Briefly, poverty and ignorance."
The significant fact was brought out at these hearings to extend the maternity act that the infant mortality per 1000 births in the 5 States which refused to work under the bureau, were lower than in the 43 States that has accepted the bureaus direction, being 69.9 in the former and 74 in the latter.
At the first House Committee hearing for continuing the maternity act, Miss Grace Abbott, the new bureau chief, used the old theme, saying:
"The maternal mortality rate is the one that is so seriously high as compared with other countries . We have not had the same period during which this has been considered as a national problem that other countries have had. We have been slower in coming to it than some other countries have."
Then she was asked whether the two-year additional period they had requested was sufficient. She would not commit herself further than to say, in reply to the suggestion of five years, that the need would certainly continue that long. During these years President Coolidge sounded a number of forthright warnings against the constant intrusion of the federal government into the States, accomplished through the expedient of "federal aid." In his Budget Message of December 2, 1924, he said:
"I am convinced that the broadening field of this activity is detrimental to both the federal and State governments . I am opposed to any expansion of these subsidies. My conviction is that they may be curtailed with benefit both to the federal and State governments."
Yet in his Budget Message in December, 1926, President Coolidge yielded to the pressure of the women of the Childrens Bureau and recommended a continuation of the appropriation under the Maternity and Infancy Act for two years.
In the course of the debate in the House on March 3, 1926, supporters of the act sought to justify it as proper legislation under "the general welfare" clause of the Constitution. This prompted Henry St. George Tucker of Virginia, to relate the history of the clause from its first mention in the Constitutional Convention of 1787, to its final inclusion in the Morris revision, and the demonstrate that it was never considered a substantive power, but was always held to be qualified by the seventeen powers delegated to Congress immediately following it. It was a great surprise to his colleague, Mr. Oliver of Alabama, who asked:
"Do I understand the gentleman to take the position that the power vested in Congress to tax is limited to certain declared purposes or powers set out in the Constitution, and these same declared powers or purposes likewise define and fix the limits on the power of Congress to appropriate money?
"Mr. Tucker: I certainly do hold, as every judge on the Supreme Court discussing this subject was held, that taxes can be levied only for public purposes, and those purposes are limited by the power of the government.
"Mr. Tydings: What would be the use of the other seventeen powers if the general welfare clause gave power to Congress to do anything, anyway?"
Nearly every session of Congress since the first which met in 1789, of which James Madison, the Father of the Constitution and its clearest interpreter, was a member, has heard repeated the constitutional limitations upon its powers of legislation in appropriating money. For Madison himself took occasion to expound them in opposing a bill introduced in that first session by a New England member to pay a bounty to cod fishermen, that is to say, to subsidize a private class of persons.
It was contended by the supporters of the measure that Congress had the power to grant bounties under "the general welfare" clause of Article I, Section 8, which declares:
"The Congress shall have "power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; ."
In a lengthy discussion, Madison said:
"I, sir, have always conceived I believe those who proposed the Constitution conceived it is still more fully known and more material to observe, that those who ratified the Constitution conceived that this is not an indefinite government, deriving its powers from the general terms prefixed to the specified powers but a limited government, tied down to the specified powers, which explain and define the general terms.
"It is to be recollected that the terms common defense and general welfare as here used, are not novel terms, first introduced into this Constitution . They are repeatedly found in the old Articles of Confederation, where . It was never supposed or pretended that they conveyed any such power as is now assigned to them . I ask gentlemen themselves, whether it was ever supposed or suspected that the old Congress could give away the money of the States to bounties to encourage agriculture or for any other purpose is pleased .
"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision for the poor; in short, everything from the highest object of State legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress; for every object I have mentioned would admit of the application of money, and might be called, if Congress pleased, provisions for the general welfare . I venture to declare it is my opinion that, were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America."
In the case of Gibbons vs. Ogden, decided in 1824, Chief Justice Marshall construed the "general welfare" clause in these words:
"Congress is authorized to lay and collect taxes, etc., to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. This does not interfere with the power of the States to tax for the support of their own governments; nor is the exercise of that power by the States an exercise of any portion of the power that is granted to the United States. In imposing taxes for State purposes they are not doing what Congress is empowered to do. Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States."
The progressive usurpation of the reserved powers of the States by Congress concerning health, education, maternal and child welfare and other local matters, now reaching an engulfing climax, have this same un-historical and unconstitutional background. Matters of education, health, mothers pensions, childrens pensions, old age pensions and all other federal relief to private classes, are in the same unlawful category. These subjects, or such of them as pertain to public, as distinguished from private or class interest, fall under what is known as the "police power," which, in the words of the Supreme Court, is "in its fullest and broadest sense reserved to the States." It includes such legislation as is appropriate or needful to protect the public morals, the public health, or the public safety, and to promote the good order and domestic peace of the community. The federal government has no such general police power, but through a species of bribery, with the use of federal moneys, the field is now being dominated.
Andrew Jackson himself pointed out the unconstitutionality of these practices in a vigorous message to Congress in 1833, vetoing a bill allotting certain public lands to seven Western States, to be applied to the "objects of internal improvements or education." President Jackson said:
"It appears to me a more direct road to consolidation cannot be devised. Money is power, and in that government which pays all the public officers of the States will all the political power be substantially concentrated. The State governments, if governments they might be called, would lose all their independence and dignity; the economy which now distinguishes them would be converted into profusion, limited only by the extent of the supply. Being dependents on the general government, and looking to its Treasury as the source of all their emoluments, the State officers, under whatever names they might pass and by whatever forms their duties might be prescribed, would, in effect, be the mere stipendiaries and instruments of the central power."
In the Senate there was also much opposition to continuing the maternity act, voiced by Senator Bayard of Delaware, Senator Bruce of Maryland, Senator King of Utah, Senator Reed of Missouri, and others. On January 13, 1927, Senator King carried his opposition to the point of demanding the abolition of the bureau. He opposed uniformity, standardization, and regimentation, he said, and hoped there would be a diversity and an earnest rivalry among the States. Our government is founded upon the theory of the competency of the people to govern themselves, he said; upon the right of the States and the people within them to determine their own destinies in their internal and domestic affairs. But, he said, Congress declares to the people, "You do not know enough to govern yourselves. We must therefore have a federal department of education. You do not know enough about hygiene and sanitation, therefore we must have federal doctors and inspectors and maternity homes and maternity bills, and all these measures which find their most eloquent expositors in Bolshevik Russia today." And he added:
"We are not without knowledge of the limitations imposed upon us with respect to the setting up of a Congressional regime of power over the children of the country, over their labor, over their play, over their nutrition, and over their education, health, wakefulness and sleep; over their comings and goings; over their religious tuition; and over their duties to their mothers and fathers within the authority of the family relationship.
"These matters are none of our business. They are even less the business of the Childrens Bureau and of the propagandists and publicists who invoke and provoke us to pass legislation of this character. What is to become of the fundamental principle of the liberty and responsibility of the people, personally and collectively, in a free government, if Congress is to persist in the project to set up State domination of children in this country? If the government is to take care of the people, who, I ask, is to take care of the government? The whole theory of State control of children is a thing that is repugnant to the principles of this Republic .
"Social investigations are no more in the province of Congress than are investigations into religion or partisan politics, and it is because the primary objective of the work of the Childrens Bureau is sociological, that the pending bill ought not to be passed, and the functions of the Childrens Bureau ought as a whole to be discontinued . We made a blunder when the Childrens Bureau was created. We ought to retrieve that blunder by repealing the act which created the Childrens Bureau."
On February 25, 1927, Senator King did introduce a bill to repeal the act of 1912 creating the bureau, and in the House like bills were introduced by Representative Platt Andrews of Massachusetts on March 1, and by Representative Gordon Browning of Tennessee on March 3. But Mrs. Kelley and her "12,000,000 women voters" were a formidable deterrent to the main body of Congress. Not only did nothing come of the repeal bills, but the bill extending the maternity act was reported out and passed. The prediction of Representative Merritt, of Connecticut, who signed a minority report against it, that "this sort of federal aid will not end in two years but become perpetual," proved erroneous as to this particular measure, which again lapsed on June 30, 1929, but this and various other types of federal aid for mothers and children is again being administered by the Childrens Bureau on a much vaster scale.
The appropriations for the Childrens Bureau had risen from $393,261 in 1919 to $1,521,571.86, expended in 1929, by reason of the added functions of the Maternity Act, which finally expired that year. In spite of the discontinuance of the bureaus activities under the maternity act, the maternal-mortality and infant-mortality rates appear to have constantly lowered in the United States. As to maternal-mortality, the official figures show the number of deaths of mothers per 10,000 live births to have been 62 in 1930; 62 in 1931, 59 in 1932; 58 in 1933; 55 in 1934; 54 in 1935; 51 in 1936; and 44 in 1937. As to infant-mortality under 1 year, per 1000 live births, the rates of deaths of infants are 62 in 1930; 60 in 1931; 56 in 1932; 54 in 1933; 56 in 1934; 52 in 1935; 53 in 1936; and 50 in 1937.
The State of Massachusetts not only refused to accept the small bribe offered to place her "child welfare" services under the direction of the federal Childrens Bureau, but true to a distinguished history of alert patriotism, her attorney-general brought suit against the Secretary of the Treasury to enjoin this unconstitutional disbursement of public moneys, in the case of Massachusetts vs. Mellon in 1923. The whole question of the use of "federal aid" as a means of federal intrusion into and usurpation of the reserved powers of the States thus came before the Supreme Court, but the Court held that it had no power to decide it, since the question was of a political character. It was a matter of policy, said the Court, which the States were free to accept or reject.
Attorney General William D. Mitchell, discussing the case later, said that other questions relating to the constitutional powers of the federal government affect the rights of citizens in such a way as to permit appeal to the courts but "no one has yet been able to devise a method" by which the constitutionality of "federal aid" in the field of the reserved powers can be tested.
While Congress refused to extend the Maternity Act beyond 1929 and the Childrens Bureau was left with relatively small appropriations and little to administer for several years, a new and wider field was opened in 1935 in connection with the "Social Security" Act. In title V of the act, three categories of "service" were detached from the general authority of the Social Security Board and confided to the bureau, namely: (1) for promoting "the health of mothers and children, especially in rural areas and in areas suffering severe economic distress." "$3,800,000; (2) for services to crippled children, $2,850,000; and (3) for child welfare services, $1,500,000, to become available June 30, 1936.
As to the first two "services," the sums allotted to the States, subject to the approval of the Chief of the bureau as to the adequacy of the State cooperating agencies, must be matched by State funds, as in the old maternity act. As to the child welfare services, the bureau has the $1,500,000 to spend as it pleases, and no matching with State funds is required.
Incidentally, in title IV of the Social Security Act, the Communist demand for State support for all youths under 18 years of age was partly adopted in a provision for the support of "needy dependent children" under 16 years of age, with an initial appropriation of $24,750,000, to be matched on the basis of one-third for the federal government and two-thirds for the States. The administration of this provision, however, rests for the present with the Social Security Board. This fund is distributed as childrens pensions of $18 a month for the first child and $12 for each additional child. More than 700,000 children are now receiving these pensions, we are told in Childrens Bureau literature.
“As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”
Judge Learned Hand said: "Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; if it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it."
FEDERAL. Of or pertaining to, or founded upon and organized by a compact or act of union between separate sovereign states, aa (1) by a league for common interest and defense as regards external relations, the internal sovereignty of each member remaining unimpaired, as the Hanseatic League or the German Confederation; or (2) by a permanent act of union founded on the consent of the people duly expressed, constituting a government supreme within the sphere of the powers granted to it by that act of union, as the United States of America. – The constitution of the United States of America is of a very different nature than that of the German Confederation. It is not merely a league of sovereign States for their common defence against external and internal violence, but a supreme federal government or compositive State, acting not only upon the sovereign members of the Union, but directly upon all its citizens in their individual and corporate capacities. Wheaton Elements International Law § 52, p. 78[L. B. & CO. ‘66] – From 1776 to 1789 the United States were a confederation; after 1789 it was a federal nation. A Standard Dictionary of the English Language, Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1903.
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