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regulations, rules, practices, procedures, and files of all departments, independent agencies and establishments, and all other agencies of the United States in the executive branch of the Government as is necessary for the performance of its functions.
(c) Prior to March 1, 1948, the Commission shall submit to the President its final report which shall include recommendations for such legislation as may be necessary to cause the laws of the United States and their administration to conform with the policy set forth in section 1 of this Act.
(d) The Commission is authorized without regard to the civil-service laws and the Classification Act of 1923, as amended, to employ and fix the compensation of such officers and employees as it deems necessary for the performance of its functions and to use voluntary and uncompensated personnel. The Commission may make such expenditures as may be necessary for the performance of its functions. The Commission may, with the consent of the department, independent establishment or agency, or authority concerned (Federal or State), utilize their facilities, services, and personnel. The Commission may, in cooperation with private agencies, utilize their facilities, services, and information with or without compensation therefor.
Sec. 3. Within thirty days after its receipt, the President shall transmit the report and recommendations of the Commission to the Congress, together with his own recommendations, as to any further action by Congress which may be necessary to cause the laws of the United States and their administration to conform with the policy set forth in section 1 of this Act, and, when such report of the President is so transmitted, the Commission and all authority, powers, and duties conferred upon it in this Act, shall terminate.
SEC. 4. (a) Insofar as may be authorized by existing law, every department, independent agency or establishment, and all other agencies of the United States in the executive branch of the Government
(1) shall cause all regulations and rules issued or practices engaged in by them to conform to the policy set forth in section 1 of this Act; and
(2) shall modify, amend, repeal, or eliminate such regulations, rules, or practices not in conformity with the policy set forth in section 1 of this
Act. (b) After complying with the provisions of subsection (a) every such department, independent agency and establishment, and such other agencies shall inform the Commission prior to November 1, 1947, of the extent to which its regulations, rules, and practices continue to embody distinctions on the basis of sex and the statutory or other justification therefor.
SEC. 5. The legislative bodies of the several States and their political subdivi. sions are urged to declare, by resolution or other appropriate form of procedure, the adoption of a legislative policy in conformity with the policy of the United States as expressed in section 1 of this Act, to review legislation, regulations, ordinances, and governmental practices, and to take such further action, including, but without limitation, passage of legislation, as will insure that law and its administration within their respective jurisdictions will be in conformity with such policy. The President is directed to transmit a copy of this Act and the report of the Commission to the executive heads of several States, Territories, and possessions.
Sec. 6. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, such sums as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.
Mr. Wadsworth, if you have a list of those you wish to call, we would be very glad to hear from you at this time.
Mr. WaDSWORTH. Mr. Chairman, may I make an opening statement at this time?
Mr. REED. If you please.
STATEMENT OF HON JAMES W. WADSWORTH, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Mr. WADSWORTH. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I appreciate this opportunity to appear before you in behalf of H. R. 2007 and the other bills, the numbers of which the chairman has just read.
May I call the attention of the committee to the fact that other bills which are identical with 2007 were introduced respectively by Mr. Celler of New York, Mrs. Douglas of California, Mr. Kefauver of Tennessee, Mr. Lewis of Ohio, Mrs. Norton of New Jersey, and Mrs. Rogers of Massachusetts.
The bill is entitled, “To establish a commission on the legal status of women in the United States, to declare a policy as to distinctions based on sex, in law and administration, and for other purposes.
I shall not read the "whereas” paragraphs but rather let me inform you first of the nature of the support which this bill is receiving. I will present for your record a list of the organizations which have endorsed this measure. It will be noted that a large percentage of them are labor-union organizations, including labor unions composed of women workers as well as many other organizations such as the National Council of Catholic Women, the Council of Jewish Women, the Council of Negro Women, the American Federation of Labor, the CIO with its women's auxiliary, the National Board of the Young Women's Christian Association. I am merely reading a few of them to indicate the widespread support which this measure has received from organized bodies who are deeply interested in this question of discrimination against women.
May I present the list, Mr. Chairman, for inclusion in your record ? Mr. REED. That will be filed. (The list referred to is as follows:) We are for the Women's Status bill H. R. 2007: Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. American Civil Liberties Union. American Federation of Labor. American Federation of Teachers. American Federation of Labor Women's Auxiliary. Americans for Democratic Action. Brotherhood of Railway Clerks. Communications Association of America. Congress of Industrial Organizations. Congress of Industrial Organizations, Women's Auxiliary. Food, Tobacco, Agriculture and Allied Workers. Girls' Friendly Society of the United States. Glass Bottle Blowers Association. International Women's Auxiliary UAW. International Ladies Garment Workers' Union. League of Women Voters of the United States. National Consumers League. National Council of Catholic Women. National Council of Jewish Women. National Council of Negro Women. National Farmers Union. National Federation of Post Office Clerks. National Federation of Settlements, Inc. National Maritime Union, Women's Auxiliary. National Women's Trade Union League. National Board of YWCA, United Auto, Aircraft, Agriculture Implement Workers of America. United Electrie, Radio and Machine Workers. United Public Workers of America. United Hatter's Cap and Millinery Workers International Union. United Office and Professional Workers. United Packinghouse Workers. United Rubber Workers of America. Women's National Homeopathic Medical Fraternity and others.
Mr. WADSWORTH. Now, Mr. Chairman, this bill and its duplicates were introduced and we insist that the assumption is correct that there exists in the United States today a degree of discrimination against women which should be corrected. Those discriminations are numerous and vary greatly in character. It is the hope of the supporters of this bill that the Congress of the United States in adopting it will declare a policy to the effect that those discriminations should and shall be eliminated from our laws, Federal and State.
Our concern is that these eliminations shall be done in an orderly fashion with due consideration given to certain rights or protections, we will say, that women now enjoy under several State laws, and which we fear might be greatly endangered and perhaps sacrificed entirely with the equal-rights amendment to become a part of the Constitution of the United States.
That particular phase of the question will be discussed by some witnesses to follow me. The thing I want to emphasize is that we have more faith in the ultimate correction of these evils based upon a study which should be made not only of the practices and laws of the Federal Government but also of the laws and practices and regulations of the several States.
In other words, as I said a moment ago, the objective should be achieved in orderly fashion without taking the risks which are plainly evident in a proceeding involving an amendment to the Constitution. This bill establishes a commission to be appointed by the President to consist of nine members; not more than three of those may be representatives of the Federal Government or officers of the Federal Government. That commission will be charged with examining into statutes and regulations of the Federal Government and the statutes and regulations of the several States with great thoroughness.
It is perfectly true that certain records are now in existence which list a number of statutes of the States which discriminate in the judgment of many of us, unfairly against women.
The suggestion or the argument has been made that there is no use for a commission to list them again. The trouble is, Mr. Chairman, that those statutes and regulations have never been evaluated. Their ultimate effect upon the women involved or affected has never been measured or estimated and we think it is high time that an over-all study be made of that whole question, not only in a statistical way but also to demonstrate to the Congress and the public and to the legislatures of the several States the social and economic results which come from some of those statutes.
The commission, on making this investigation, is to report to the President and to the Congress. This bill, Mr. Chairman, incidentally, was introduced 13 months ago and in it as originally introduced is an upset date of March 1, 1948, which was inserted. Obviously, if it is to receive consideration and if it is to be acted upon, that date must be changed and put forward very considerably.
At the same time as the commission is established, the bill goes on to state, on page 4, line 20, section 4:
Insofar as may be authorized by existing law, every department, independent agency, or establishment, and all other agencies of the United States in the executive branch of the Government (1) shall cause all regulations and rules issued or practices engaged in by them to conform to the policy set forth in section 1 of this act.
The members of the committee can turn back and note the declaration of policy.
Also, those Federal agencies, shall modify, amend, repeal, or eliminate such regulations, rules, or practices not in conformity with the policy set forth in section 1 of this act.
And the policy found on page 2 is this:
It is the declared policy of the United States that in law and its administration no distinctions on the basis of sex shall be made except such as are reasonably justified by differences in physical structure, biological, or social function.
Mr. Chairman, that is a description of the bill. I could go on at some length but there are same witnesses here who are exceedingly well informed on this subject and who have come from some distance, and in my judgment are entitled to be heard in preference to myself.
One witness, may I say, Mr. Chairman, is here on what might be termed a "hurry call” and must leave Washington very shortly. I therefore ask that he be permitted to testify in advance of some of the other witnesses whose names doubtless you have upon your list.
The gentleman I refer to is Mr. Paul Sifton, of the Congress of Industrial Organizations.
Mr. GOSSETT. Mr. Chairman, just at this point in the record, and following the statement of Representative Wadsworth, let it be shown that Representative Earl Lewis appeared here in support of his bill, H. R. 2323 and samilar bills.
Mr. WADSWORTH. Mr. Siftón.
STATEMENT OF PAUL SIFTON, NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE
REPRESENTATIVE, UAW-CIO Mr. SIFTON. Mr. Chairman, my name is Paul Sifton; I am the national legislative representative of the UAW-CIO, here to present a statement for the Congress of Industrial Organizations in support of women's status bill and opposing the equal-rights amendment.
Mr. Chairman, the CIO, with a membership of 6,000,000_large numbers of whom are women-has striven constantly and effectively to improve the economic conditions, the working conditions and the health and welfare conditions of both the men and women who are employed in American industry. Our experience in this field has been tremendous—more perhaps than that of any other organization in the country. And so, when we speak out against the enactment of the so-called equal-rights amendment, we do so on the basis of a sober appraisal of conditions, of law, and of actual experience.
Our conclusions, after studying the proposed amendment, are these : House Joint Resolution 49 would seriously jeopardize the welfare of millions of working women. It would introduce wholesale confusion into the laws affecting family status and property rights.
It constitutes a cumbersome and lengthy method of gaining for women the equal status under law to which they are entitled. It is neither necessary nor appropriate to the achievement by women of equal status under law.
The CIO supports, in lieu of the equal rights amendment the enactment of H. R. 2007, the women's status bill.
H. R. 2007 would prohibit sex discrimination in Federal law and its administration, would urge the States likewise to adopt the prin
ciple of no sex discrimination in their law and practice, and would provide for a commission tomake a full and complete study, investigation and review of the economic, civil, social, and political status of women, and the nature and extent of discriminations based on sex throughout the United States, its Territories and possessions.
This bill recognizes the needs and safeguards the welfare of working women. It proposes legislation to advance the status of women to a level of equality in economic, civil, social, and political fields, based on prior study of facts—I would like to emphasis the point of prior study of facts-and unintended results and confusion would be avoided.
The bill provides a method whereby the Federal and State Governments, through their legislative and executive branches, would be able to approach on a sound step-by-step basis the goal of equal opportunity for women as well as men in all fields of significant individual and social activity.
Finally, H. R. 2007 is necessary and appropriate legislation for enactment at this time in view of existing still widespread discrimination against women in statutes, regulations, governmental practice, and the common law and the commitment of the United States as a signatory of the Charter of the United Nations and as a member of the United Nations to promote, quoting from the Charter: Universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to
The objections to House Joint Resolution 49 to which summary reference has already been made are demonstrated forcefully when fuller comparison is made with the useful and salutary provisions of H. R. 2007, the women's status bill: House Joint Resolution 49 proposes a change in the Federal Constitution to state that “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 State legislatures would be directed to take steps necessary to carry this principle into effect.
At first glance, this proposal appears to have a wholly desirable objective. It appears to state a principle of equality of men and women before the law with which there can be no quarrel. With the principle of equal status insofar as economic opportunity and participation in Government is concerned, organized labor, in fact, has no quarrel. But the equal-rights amendment would have effects that would extend far beyond the realization of any such principle.
The equal-rights amendment would confer on women exactly the same rights as on men before the law. It would, however, give them no greater rights than are enjoyed by men. In fact, it would forbid either men or women as a group from receiving benefits or special treatment. In this respect, the effects of House Joint Resolution 49 are almost incalculable at this time. It is clear, however, that by the enactment of this legislative proposal, a great mass of laws, in the main those now on the statute books of the several States, which reflect the inequality of treatment as between the sexes would be thrown under the pall of probable or possible unconstitutionality.
Many of the laws on the statute books of the States as often as not give women more extensive privileges and protections, particularly in the field of labor and social welfare, than are accorded to men. Among