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I am just chairman the last year. But we have made one of our major objectives, and you might be interested to know, gentlemen, on my visit to Hawaii last winter I went to Mauie to talk to our principal women's club on the islands and the last word they said to me was, Mrs. Wright, if statehood comes to Hawaii, we want equal rights for the women of the islands because they do not have them now.
The only message I want to leave you from the General Federation of Women's Clubs is that our women, our voters in all the States and we are a great organization-are women who represent every walk of life. I think the wives of some of you gentlemen are in the federation because I met them in various clubs; and I do hope you will see your way clear to passing this amendment. It is something that is really necessary.
I would like in closing to present the statement of Mrs. Laura M. Berrien, one of the finest lawyers, I think, we have in the country. She unfortunately could not get here this morning. She is speaking for the Iota Tau Tau Sorority.
She says in the beginning that the Iota Tau Tau Sorority, which at its national convention in 1946 endorsed the equal-rights amendment, urges its passage by this Congress.
She also says: Şince the entrance of women into paid employment, laws of a new type have been enacted. They regulate the hours of work for women, the conditions under which women may work, minimum pay for the work for women, etc. Unfortunately these laws do not apply alike to men and women. Handicapped by such laws women find it difficult, even impossible, to compete with men in industry. And she says she hopes you will pass the equal rights amendment for which they fought for 30 years.
I appeared with the Women's Bureau the other day in support of the equal pay bill. Well, it seems to me very, very inconsistent that the Women's Bureau is fighting the equal rights amendment when they want equal pay and I do not see how on earth you can get equal pay unless women do equal work and if they are going to have privileged work legislation they are not going to do equal work. I think they are inconsistent.
I think there is a great consistency which warrants the study of the status of women. If the status of women has to be studied there, a study will certainly prove there are inequalities, and gentlemen, you being thinking people certainly would not want inequality and you are certainly not going to waste more Federal money having a report come out from the Bureau 1 year and 2 or 3 years later say it is old and out of date and spend more money. So I think you gentlemen can decide without help from the Women's Bureau or any others and if you feel there are inequalities you will pass the equal rights amendment, and I would like to say that I think our 3,000,000 clubwomen will start to watch Congress because after all they all vote, except in the District of Columbia.
Mr. GOSSETT. Thank you. (Applause.)
(The statement referred to is as follows:)
STATEMENT OF LAURA M. BERRIEN FOR THE IOTA Tau Tau SÓRORITY The Iota Tau Tau Sorority, which at its national convention in 1946 endorsed the equal rights amendment, urges its passage by this Congress.
Though the Constitution in explicit terms guarantees equal protection of the law, the courts-Federal and State-have upheld laws which do not apply alike to men and women. Under the old English common law, which prevailed when the Constitution was adopted, men and women did not have equal political rights, property rights, inheritance rights, etc. Some of the inequalities which from the first existed have been corrected by statutory enactment and some by changes in court decisions. The opponents of the equal rights amendments almost unanimously agree these old laws should have been changed.
Since the entrance of women into paid employment, laws of a new type have been enacted. They regulate the hours of work for women, the conditions under which women may work, minimum pay for the work of women, etc. Unfortunately these laws do not apply alike to men and women. Handicapped by such laws women find it difficult-even impossible--to compete with men in industry.
Women, like men, are individuals, subject, like men, to differing handicaps, physical, mental, and temperamental. Women, like men, are gifted with differing strength, talents, and ambitions.
Give us an amendment which will compel States and Nation to enact and uphold only such laws as apply to men and women alike.
Mr. GOSSETT. Is there anyone else who would like to speak?
STATEMENT OF GERTRUDE L. CROCKER, NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE
CHAIRMAN, THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF SOROPTOMIST CLUBS
Mrs. CROCKER. I am national legislative chairman of the American Federation of Soroptomist Clubs, the largest service club for women, women selected from all major business and professional occupations. We have 308 clubs in the American Federation, comprising some 6,000 members.
We have endorsed the equal rights amendment at every biennial convention since 1936. We favor that amendment as the quickest and best way to get rid of the many discriminations in regard to women, not only those against but also the laws which unduly favor the women.
We want equality for both sexes. There are some thousand laws in the 48 States which make it difficult for a woman to get equal justice under the law. To wipe these out, law by law, and State by State, would be a never-ending job as any succeeding legislature in any State could put back the offending law any time the reactionaries came into power.
The study authorized in H. R. 2007 on laws affecting women is unnecessary as that has already been done many times. Surveys have been made by the General Federation of Women's Clubs, the National Woman's Party, the Inter-American Commission of Women, the League of Women Voters, the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs and the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor. And the staff of the Library of Congress are ready to bring these studies up to date on request.
H. R. 2007 might fail to wipe out many of the present unfair laws to women by claiming "differences in physical structure, biological, or social function.' We would be worse off than we are now. The equal rights bill, House Joint Resolution 62, is the best and easiest way to wipe out all inequities.
Mr. GOSSETT. Thank you, Mrs. Crocker.
That is all that we have on our list of witnesses. Are there any other witnesses that we do not have listed? You may extend your remarks in the record, if you wish.
As I understand from the chairman, this committee is to reconvene at 10 o'clock on Friday to hear the opponents of this legislation and the proponents of H. R. 2007 and similar bills.
If there is nothing further, the committee is adjourned until 10 o'clock Friday morning.
Mr. Reed. I wish to announce the receipt of telegrams from the following persons in support of the equal-rights amendment: Elizabeth M. Hine, Albany, N. Y., county chairman, National Woman's Party. Ruth M, Miner, member New York State Republican Committee. Alice Morgan Wright, Albany, N. Y. Jessica Weis, Republican National Committeewoman, New York State. Regina D. Hay, Republican National Committeewoman from Michigan, Grace K. Long, Albany, N. Y. Alice Paul Council, Livonia Township, Plymouth, Mich. Iris M. Davis, Spokane, Wash. Elizabeth Robertson, Spokane, Wash. Gladys Hallman, Spokane, Wash. Erna Davies. Spokane, Wash. Margaret I. Price, Spokane, Wash. Bismarck Business and Professional Women's Club, Bismarck, N. Dak. M. E. Owens, acting State chairman, Emma Zuger, legislative chairman, Mabel
Aune, chuirman local branch, Republican Party, Bismarck, N. Dak. Nancy T. Lindemann, legislation chairman, Soroptomist Club, of Flagstaff, Ariz. Mrs. R. G. Barney, president, Flagstaff, Ariz., Women's Club. Estelle Bjerg, State chairman, National Woman's Party, Arizona. New York Chapter American Society of Women Accountants. Agnes E. Wells, legislative chairman, Saginaw, Mich., Business and Professional
Women. Mary Elizabeth Nye, chairman, Washington State branch, National Woman's
Party. Mrs. William E. Chilton, Sr., Charleston, W. Va. Helen C. Skinner, Lynn, Mass. Hazel M. Reed, president, Business and Professional Women's Club, Albany, N. Y.
(Statements filed were as follows:)
STATEMENT OF HON. OREN HARRIS A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE
Mr. C. MURRAY BERNHARDT,
Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: This will acknowledge your letter, advising the subcommittee has set hearings on the equal-rights amendment for women for March 10, 1948, at which time House Joint Resolution 110, introduced by me, will be considered along with several similar resolutions.
I would like for the record to show of my interest in this proposal. If my committee would permit me to come before the subcommittee at that time, I shall be glad to appear just for the record of filing a statement. Sincerely yours,
OREN HARRIS, M. C.
STATEMENT OF HON. WILLIAM A. DAWSON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE
STATE OF UTAH, PERTAINING TO EQUAL RIGHTS OF WOMEN In supporting House Joint Resolution 86, I do it with sincere respect and great admiration for the American women and men who have championed the cause of equal rights for women for a century of our country's history. At the same time I am especially aware of the splendid efforts of the women of Utah and other Western States in the struggle for equal rights.
The earliest convention, as I understand, for the equal rights of women in the United States was held at Senaca Falls, N. Y., July 18 and 19, 1818. From this conference, led by Elizabeth Cody Stanton and Lucretia Mott, came the demands for equal rights in franchise, professions, public offices, education, marriage, guardianship of children, control of property, making contracts, personal freedom and other public privileges, spiritually, temporally, and morally which were enjoyed by men.
Since that memorable meeting 100 years ago, remarkable progress has been made in the equalization of women's legal rights with men. However, there are yet some remaining impediments which should be removed. These are principally in the area of ownership and control of property acquired by the joint efforts of the husband and wife after marriage and in guardianship of children.
It is true some States have gone forward by commendably amending their constitutions to eradicate inequalities in this field, but not all of them have acted favorably on such legislation. Therefore, an amendment to the Constitution is necessary in order to unify and nationalize the laws pertaining to the rights of women in the United States.
I am informed that there are more than 1,000 old discriminatory laws against women that linger on in the constitutions and statutes of the several States. I'll admit that some of them are harmless and meaningless. Nevertheless, at the same time there are others which are vicious and unfair.
There are actually some State laws which restrict and even refuse women their right to serve on juries; give the father the first right in custody, services, and earnings of minor children; restrict women in making contracts; prohibit women from engaging in independent business and keep her earnings without her husband's consent; property acquired through joint effort of husband and wife is controlled by the husband in the absence of legally drawn up agreement between the two; husbands can secure divorce on claim of unchastity by wife when the wife is not given the same advantage; and many other unfair, unjust legal restrictions.
In 1944, as you know, both the Republican and Democrat National Party platforms favored legislation assuring equality of opportunities without discrimination of sex. Thus the members of both parties are obligated to support such an amendment.
STATEMENT OF HON. HOMER D. ANGELL, M. C., A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM
THE STATE OF OREGON
THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENTS
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I appreciate the opportunity to make a brief statement in support of the equal rights amendment. For years I have supported this worth while proposal and I trust that your committee will approve it and bring it on to the floor for consideration at an early date so that it may be voted on before the Eightieth Congress adjourns.
The text of the amendment is brief and in the following words:
"Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress and the several States shall have power, within their respective jurisdictions, to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. This amendment shall take effect three years after the date of its ratification."
The following groups of outstanding women's organizations have endorsed this amendment, which, of itself, should be suficient proof of its merits:
Among the national groups of women which endorse the equal rights amendment to the United States Constitution are:
Joint Legislative Committee for Equal Rights, representing organizations number
ing 5,000,000 members.
with an affiliated membership of 5,000,000 women.
Mr. Chairman, as you know, both the Republican and Democratic Parties in their platforms of 1944 endorsed this amendment. The Republicans said, "We favor submission by Congress to the States of an amendment to the Constitution providing for equal rights for men and women. We favor job opportunities in the postwar world open to men and women alike without discrimination in rate of pay because of sex.”
The Democratic platform had this language: "We favor legislation assuring equal pay for equal work regardless of sex. We recommend to Congress the submission of a constitutional amendment on equal rights for women.”
Mr. Chairman, as I have said, I am heartily in accord with the provisions of this amendment and urge its early enactment.
STATEMENT OF HON. GEORGIA L. LUSK, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE
STATE OF NEW MEXICO
Mr. Chairman, I wish to speak in behalf of the women of my State of New Mexico to urge that your committee report favorably to the House of Representatives upon the equal-rights amendment to the Constitution.
The long history in Congress of this constitutional amendment since it was first introduced in 1923, and in every Congress since then, reveals that the real need for this addition to our Constitution has won ever-increasing support. There has never been an adverse congressional report to this proposed amendment. In the last Congress the distinguished senior Senator from my State of New Mexico, Carl A. Hatch, presented to the Senate the favorable report of the Senate Judiciary Committee recommending that the resolution proposing the amendment be passed. In that report it was pointed out, and I quote: "that the proposed amendment is in harmony with the platform of both major parties" and "that the proposed amendment is in harmony with the principles to which our Nation has subscribed in ratifying the Charter of the United Nations."