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 Progress toward Standardization of Education under National Direction
As a measure complementary to the "Child Labor" Amendment, Mrs. Kelley and her womens lobby were promoting nationalization of education, and particularly the Smith-Towner bill, introduced in 1919, entitled:
"A Bill to create a Department of Education, to authorize appropriations for the conduct of said Department, to authorize he appropriation of money to encourage the States in the promotion and support of education, and for other purposes."
Under the Constitution, as has been said, no power has been delegated to Congress to regulate or control education in the States, directly or indirectly. In setting up "standards in the Smith-Towner bill, to which States receiving grants must conform, there was plainly contemplated an indirect control or regulation. It would, in time, lead to a demand for more effective power for full centralized supervision, with a million teachers transferred from the States to the federal payroll as a political bloc in national politics.
In his final report to the President, Franklin K. Lane, retiring Secretary of the Interior, said on February 28, 1920, that "federal control of schools would be a curse because the inevitable effect of federal control is to standardize." And to nationalize the great school systems of the States and their cities would only further reduce them to impotence in the political system.
In the Childrens Bureaus Publication No. 64, entitled "Every Child in School," were the two approving statements:
"The Towner (education) bill, introduced in Congress in May, 1919, seeks to find an alternative for child labor; and Secure in your community higher salaries for teachers."
The Smith-Towner bill contemplated that a large part of the $100,000,000, the initial appropriation, should go for better pay for teachers. The organized and unionized teachers were actively promoting its passage, as they ever since have demanded it, along with federal aid for "education." The latest instance was at the meeting of the American Association of School Administrators in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 26, 1940, when a resolution for "federal aid" was adopted. On February 27, Dr. George O. Strayer of Columbia University was quoted in the press as announcing that a bill had been drawn for introduction in Congress for the payment of a $25 per month pension to each pupil in a public school with an enrollment of 160, as a means of keeping in school young persons 17 years of age and older.
In 1920, Mrs. Kelley committed the League of Women Voters to an aggressive campaign in behalf of the Smith-Towner bill, in which all State chairmen were urged to "send personal letters addressed to their Senators and Representatives," according to a campaign bulletin of May in that year. Nothing resulted but such a bill has reappeared at almost every session of Congress, the latest being the Thomas bill of 1939.
The drift away from the spirit, principles and traditions of our American institutions during the last two or three decades is nowhere more clearly revealed than in the profession of teaching; and the influence of the teachers has been a powerful factor in accelerating the retrogressive movement. The relation of teacher to child is only a little less intimate and personal than that of mother to child, with comparable responsibility. Yet teaching has become the mere materialistic pursuit of a livelihood in a class with other labor; and the chief concern of those engaged in it seems to be to obtain the highest pay, the shortest hours and be assured of the earliest and largest pension through political action.
And in our higher public and privately-endowed institutions of learning there is the same widespread loss of fidelity to the deep responsibility which the professor owes to the solicitous guidance of youth in its formative years. As long ago as 1916, the late Elihu Root noted and deplored this change, in what he termed the growing disparagement of our institutions even in our law schools, and sounded a warning in an address to the New York State Bar Association. He said:
"Somebody has got to make the spirit of those institutions vocal. Somebody has got to exhibit belief in them, trust in them, devotion to them, loyalty to them . The change may be seen in our colleges and law schools, where there are many professors who think they know better what law ought to be, and what the principles of jurisprudence ought to be, than the people of England and America, working out their laws through centuries of life. And these men, who think they know it all, these half-baked and conceited theorists, are teaching the boys in our law schools to despise American institutions."
The most potent force that has been operating to corrupt education in the United States, and the principal means by which there has been and is being instilled into the minds of the youth of the country a disrespect for our free institutions, is the Intercollegiate Socialist League, which Mrs. Kelley assisted in organizing in 1905, and, of which, she was a director until her death in 1932. Its unpopular activities in opposing our part in the war in 1917 and 1918, prompted its directors, in 1921, to change its name and disguise its socialistic purposes under the title, League for Industrial Democracy. This organization has established chapters of its "Intercollegiate Student Council" in 140 of our principal colleges, and in our high schools as well. And it has the zealous cooperation of hundreds of teachers and professors in proselytizing among their students. To the young mind is painted the socialist Utopia, which they can assist in creating, where the hardness of competitive life, the necessity for toil and sacrifice for those who would succeed and the greed of the "capitalist," will all be displaced by brotherly cooperation and the equal distribution of all the products of labor to the workers, under the direction of a benign workers government.
The national president of the League for Industrial Democracy is Professor Robert Morss Lovett of the University of Chicago, the fourth most richly privately-endowed college in the United States with $71,000,000, most of it given by John D. Rockefeller, Dr. Professor Lovett, who lives at Hull House, is now on leave as Government Secretary of the Virgin Islands, by appointment of President Roosevelt in 1939. The Virgin Islands constitute a new socialistic colony of the United States, owning and operating the principal local industry, the making of rum, as a government monopoly.
It was from such colleges as the League for Industrial Democracy had permeated that were recruited the scores of professors and graduates as advisers and administrators, who aided in overturning our free system of government during the last seven years, and who are busily engaged in Washington and elsewhere today to perfect the centralized coercive one that has taken its place.
There are now in the States more than a million organized school teachers, including the American Federation of Teachers, affiliated with the American Federation of Labor. Today they are broken up into 48 blocs, in lobbying before the State legislatures for increased pay, pensions and privileges. As the subject, the "Child," the most appealing thing in nature, lends itself so readily to emotional publicity, they have been most successful in capturing for themselves and for their school buildings about one-third of the total revenues of the States. Under a federal Department of Education, they could count on greater effectiveness in lobbying before a single legislature, Congress, for what they wanted. School children are their stock in trade; therefore, the more pupils and the longer they are compelled to remain in school, the more teachers, the more money, the more powerful numerically the organization.
In 1933, when there was being practiced some necessary and prudent economy among the States as to their huge outlays for school teachers, new pressure was exerted upon Congress for "federal aid." Miss Selma M. Borchardt, Vice President of the American Federation of Teachers, wrote an article on the breakdown of the impoverished schools for the Y.W.C.A. organ, The Womans Press, which was put into the Congressional Record on June 13. And Congress appropriated many millions to take care of unemployed teachers. It was done through the Works Progress Administration, created by the Presidents executive order in 1939, which instituted a new "emergency" educational system in the States, with 1,324,144 adults enrolled in 87,912 classes, under 34,440 teachers, and 46.661 children in 1466 nursery schools with 4982 teachers.
The protoplasm of the proposed federal Department of Education exists in the Office of Education, headed by a United States Commissioner, which was planted in the Interior Department in 1869 to administer subventions to the so-called "land-grant" colleges in the States, under the Morrill Act of 1862. President Buchanan had vetoed a previous act of 1859, granting 6,600,000 acres of public lands to the States for the establishment of agricultural colleges, on the ground that the federal government had no power over the subject of education and could not compel the execution of the trust.
Under later acts money has been annually appropriated to the land grant colleges, and the United States Commissioner of Education has acquired power to prescribe standards and to withhold money to compel compliance. In 1920, the Commissioner entered the field of vocational education in the States and has under his direction 1,810,000 students.
In the approach toward elevating the Office of Education into a great department with a Secretary of Education in the Cabinet, President Roosevelt, under his powers to reorganize the government departments, has taken this agency from under the control of the Interior Department and dignified it with the position of an "independent establishment," responsible to him. Its administrative expenses in 1940 were $5,457,680, and it had at its disposal a total of $28,727,380 of public money.
Meantime, since 1887, the Department of Agriculture has been engaged in directing the teaching of agriculture in the States at Experiment Stations, in connection with State agricultural colleges, and, in 1940, applied $13,000,000 to this purpose.
Then there is the National Youth Administration, with 1965 new job-holders, nine drawing salaries above $5000 a year, not authorized by an act of Congress, but created by the Presidents executive order in 1935. It is now a part of the "Social Security" program, and partly fulfills the Communists demands for government support of youths in school up to 18 years of age, though the Youth Administration has raised the age to 24. In 1939 there were 374,000 of its enrolled young men and women who received "student aid." More than 262,000 were in high schools, 109,000 in undergraduate colleges, and 2700 were doing graduate work. The high school students received a minimum of $3 a month, the college students $12, and the graduate students $18.
In addition, the National Youth Administration pays an average of $18 per month to about 322,000 youths between the ages of 18 and 24, engaged in what it calls "out-of-school" work. They are paid from 18 cents to 41 cents an hour and work for seven days or about 52 hours a month. The work is usually manual labor in improving grounds around public buildings, sewing, and other "made" jobs, in an attempt to inculcate "work habits."
At a round-table discussion of a section of the American Association of School Administrators, held in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 28, 1940, Aubrey Williams, National Youth Administrator, suggested that the present minimum of $3 for high school children was mere "pin-money" and should be raised to $10 monthly.
Constant increase in consumption of taxes is one of the characteristics of all public offices, and the National Youth Administration is no exception. Its allotments have been $35,000,000 for the year 1935-36; $65,000,000 for 1936-37; $51,200,000 for 1937-38; $75,000,000 for 1938-39 and $100,000,000 for 1939-40. In 1939 the administration was permanently incorporated into the federal structure under President Roosevelts power to reorganize the departments, and made a part of the Federal Security Agency, in charge of all kinds of "social security" under Chief Administrator Paul McNutt.
As to the public money to be allocated for "security" for 1940-41, a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee held hearings during February and March, 1940. Among those who appeared was Professor George F. Zook, formerly in the U.S. Office of Education, who, on March 5, submitted the report of a conference called in December, 1939, by Security Administrator McNutt to consider the problem of youth. Attending the Conference were Zook, Youth Administrator Williams, and many other federal officials. They computed that 3,700,000 young persons between 16 and 24 were out of school and unemployed and needed money. "For even a reasonably complete program" the report said, the National Youth Administration should have $1,000,000,000 in 1940-41. But, said the report, such rapid expansion of the administration might result in inefficiency and waste. Hence the report recommended only $200,000,000 for 1940-41.
Joseph Cadden, Executive Secretary of the American Youth Congress, recommended $500,000,000. He readily admitted the American Youth Congress represented the Young Communist League and the Young Peoples Socialist League, among other organizations.
Mrs. Mary Jeanne McKay, president of the National Student Federation, admitting the federations membership in the American Youth Congress, asked for an appropriation that would meet more adequately the needs of young students.
The Communists demand for government support for all youth has been hearkened to in Senate bill No. 3170, introduced on January 23, 1940, by Senator James E. Murray of Montana, and by Representative Vito Marcantonio of New York, in the House. The bill originated with the American Youth Congress, according to Executive Secretary Caddens admission before the subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee on March 4, 1940. It proposes an appropriation of $500,000,000 for the first year, "to provide for increased educational opportunities for high-school, college and post-graduate students, and for other purposes," for persons between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five. Then there is this Declaration of Policy:
"The traditional American ideal of opportunity for young people must be preserved. In the past, new fields were opened by the federal government to provide an outlet for the initiative of generations of American youth, through such legislation as the Homestead act of 1862. With the closing of the physical frontier, this was ended. Through circumstances beyond their control, many young people of the United States are being deprived of the chance to work. Through similar circumstances many others are now being deprived of the chance for education and vocational training to which they are rightfully entitled, and which the future welfare of our Nation requires that they have. It is hereby declared to be the policy of Congress, in order to promote the general welfare, to make it possible for the youth of the United States to obtain these opportunities once more."
The bill then provides for the establishment of a National Youth Administration, by law instead of by Executive order, with a National Board of Directors of twelve to be appointed by the President from among names submitted to him by youth organizations, labor organizations, educational, civic, and social service organizations, for terms of two years, without salary. But no labor organization will be recognized as such if it is subject to the domination or interference of an employer. The President, with the consent of the Board, shall appoint a National Youth Administrator. The Board shall establish "Academic Works Projects," such as the C.C.C. youths are engaged in. It shall request the heads of all colleges to submit lists of names of students. The students shall be paid the prevailing hourly rate for similar work under "collective bargaining," but in no case less than 50 cents an hour. The Board shall also establish Federal Scholarships, and obtain from principals of all high schools lists of eligible young persons, to be financed through college, in courses such as law, medicine, dentistry, engineering, with a minimum of $5 a week spending money.
No Young person shall be denied the benefits of this system "because of sex, race, color, religious or political opinion or affiliation, past or present," or for participation in strikes or refusal to work for less than the rate provided for adults engaged in similar work, or "because of past criminal record."
“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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