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Mr. Sullivan of Massachusetts - Precisely. Now, Mr. Speaker, five hours' argument will not make the proposition plainer that in the hands of these five trustees are to be placed the moneys of the teachers of the United States and the control in a large measure of the progress of education itself in the United States. How may it affect education, some Member may ask? Let me tell you the powers of the national council under this charter. The national council shall have for its object the consideration and discussion of educational questions of public and professional interest. Now, what does that power mean, gentlemen ? It means that the discussion of the leading educational questions before the country will be confined practically to the channel which the national council of education prescribes. Now take the next power. It shall also decide suitable subjects for investigation and research and a recommendation of the amount of appropriations that should be made for such purposes. Not only will they determine the scope of the discussion of questions relating to education, but if research must be made they have the power to give or withhold appropriations in the execution of that design. What else ? The appointment and general supervision of such special committees of investigation as may be provided for and authorized by the board of trustees of the association, and furthermore the power of disposition of all reports by such special committees of research and the annual preparation and presentation to the association at its annual convention of the report on educational progress during the past year.
What does that mean? The report of a national educational association submitted every year is a guide to the teachers all over these United States for their reading, their discussion, their study in the ensuing year, and this board has absolute power to determine what shall go into that report and what shall not go into that report ; what may be discussed at its meetings and what may not be discussed at its meetings; what subjects may be investigated and what subjects shall be excluded from investigation. Now, those are the powers, and the board of trustees, as I have stated, have almost complete power over the disposal of the funds of this association. If any members of that association at its annual meeting would like to have some money, their own money, expended in a particular way, I say to you Members of this House they are powerless to do so under the charter which you propose to thrust upon the teachers of the United States. Oh, I know the teachers are voiceless; they have no heads of colleges to speak for them; they have no presidents of universities to lend the prestige of their great names to influence the judgment and action of Members of this House. They are voiceless because they live on salaries; they are dependent upon the good will of the superintendents of education over this land, of the supervisors, who are controlled by the leading educators, and while a great many of them protest against this charter they do it silently. They dare not do it publicly for fear of incurring the displeasure of the men who sit in power and judgment over them, the supervisors and superintendents of education in the several cities and towns of the land.
Mr. Webb---Will the gentleman permit an interruption in that connection? Mr. Sullivan of Massachusetts-Not just now; later I will. Mr. Speaker, may I ask how much time I have remaining? I want to leave some time to answer queries.
The Speaker-The gentleman has eight minutes remaining.
Mr. Sullivan of Massachusetts—Mr. Speaker, I will ask that I be kindly informed when I have four minutes left, as I desire to reserve that time for inquiries.
Now, how is this board of trustees chosen ? Why, gentlemen, when you think of the tremendous powers that are to be exercised by such a boardpractically absolute powers-you would conclude at once that they were selected in some manner which would make them truly representative of the main body. You would suppose that they were fairly representative of the members of the association, and that they were selected by democratic methods; but precisely the opposite is the fact in this case. I will find here in a few moments how these trustees are chosen. The board of trustees
Now, mark this, gentlemen, because it is an extremely important matter, and I fear that some gentlemen may be influenced in their judgment by the magic of the great names which have been paraded before the House ; so that it becomes important to have a statement of facts to know the character of the bill that we are passing upon.
The board of trustees shall consist of four members, elected by the board of directors for the term of four years, and the president of the association
Not elected by the association, but by the board of directors, for the term of four years, and the president of the association, by virtue of his office, shall make the fifth member.
That is, the board of trustees, not selected in any democratic way, not by any fair rule of selecting representative agents, but by the action of the board of directors alone. Can you devise, can ingenuity devise, a better means of perpetuating control of the funds of the teachers of the United States or the business which will come before them for discussion and action ?
Now, Mr. Speaker, the board of directors is a well-intrenched body, too. You would expect that the board of directors, which has the selection of the governing agents of the association, namely, the board of trustees, would at least be controlled by the association; but it is not under this charter. Why? Because it is loaded up with the deadwood of the past ; because there are provisions in this bill which make directors for life of certain gentlemen who are named in the bill.
The Speaker--The gentleman's four minutes have arrived.
Mr. Sullivan of Massachusetts-Under this bill the board of directors shall consist of a president, the first vice-president, the secretary, the treasurer, the chairman of the board of trustees (who, by the way, as a member of the board of directors helps elect himself a trustee), and of all life direct-ors of the National Educational Association.
Then, the United States Commissioner of Education is made a member, “and all former presidents of the association " now living are made members “and all future presidents of the association.” So that there will always be a body of old directors, sufficient in number to control the action of the board of directors. Remember that; and that the board of directors, which is not truly representative, selects four of the five trustees, who are also not representative, but who control the expenditure of every dollar of the funds and practically the exercise of every function of the association. Now, I will yield to the gentleman from North Carolina.
Mr. Webb-Is the copy of the bill the gentleman is reading from the present bill?
Mr. Sullivan of Massachusetts-It is.
Mr. Webb-Does he not know that it is an exact copy of the charter of the association, under which they have been operating for twenty years ? We refer to it because the board of directors are given power to select the board of trustees.
Mr. Sullivan of Massachusetts—The board of trustees are given new powers under this charter, and the gentleman from North Carolina knows it. He knows that the board of trustees is given power that it has never before had, which gives them control of the permanent funds of the asso. ciation.
Mr. Fitzgerald—What is the permanent fund of the association ?
Mr. Sullivan of Massachusetts—It is made up of all donations, together with accretions from time to time, and all savings from current funds. The current funds are made up principally from the general membership fees and dues of teachers of the United States.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Does the gentleman know what it amounts to at the present time?
Mr. Ryan and Mr. Webb rose.
Mr. Sullivan of Massachusetts—I yield to the gentleman from New York [Mr. Ryan).
Mr. Ryan- I have received information that there is some $150,000 at present in the fund. Under this bill, if it is enacted into law and this incorporation granted, will this new board of trustees have control over the expenditure of that money?
Mr. Sullivan of Massachusetts-Yes. They will have more power than they now have. Now, Mr. Speaker, I will go on a little further.
Mr. Webb--I should like to interrupt the gentleman right on this point. The Speaker--Does the gentleman yield?
Mr. Sullivan of Massachusetts—In a moment. One of the reasons for objecting to this charter is this: That to-day any book agent or the agent of any publisher may be a voting member of this association. This association has the power to discuss courses of study. Their suggestions are frequently followed in the United States, so that indirectly they have the power to direct what books shall be used in the public schools; and a few years ago the Boston agent of the American Book Company was the president of the National Council of Education. There is a power-one which gentlemen may pay some attention to-that is significant in the extreme.
Mr. Tawney-Will the gentleman permit an interruption ?
Mr. Tawney-You stated a moment ago in reply to the gentleman from New York that the board of trustees had complete control over the expenditure of this fund. Now, I will ask the gentleman if this is not the fact, that they do not have any control over the expenditure of the permanent fund, but only over the expenditure of the income?
Mr. Sullivan of Massachusetts—Will the gentleman find it for me in the bill, if he is so sure ?
Mr. Webb-I will find it.
Mr. Tawney—The member of the committee in the rear of the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Webb] can point to the particular paragraph.
Mr. Webb—It requires two-thirds of the active members to vote for it before one penny of it shall be expended.
Mr. Sullivan of Massachusetts—I did not say anything different from that. Mr. Webb-Oh, yes.
Mr. Tawney-You said that the permanent fund would be expended by the trustees.
Mr. Sullivan of Massachusetts-Mr. Speaker, I insist that I was right. I say that the association has no power to decide what expenditures shall be made. When the directors recommend to the trustees the expenditure of part of the principal of the permanent fund it is then that the members have the power, by a two-thirds vote of those present, to sanction that precise expenditure, but neither two-thirds nor four-fifths nor nine-tenths nor alt the members of the association except these chosen few have the power to originate any scheme for the expenditure of a single dollar of the fund.
I insert as a part of my remarks section 7 of the bill, which proves that the members have no power whatever to direct how their money shall be spent, but only the power to accept or reject the particular plan proposed by the trustees. It shows also that the members have not even the power of ratification or rejection of expenditures of income.
Sec. 7. That the invested fund now known as the "Permanent fund of the National Educational Association,” when transferred to the corporation hereby created, shall be held by such corporation as a permanent fund and shall be in charge of the board of trustees, who shall provide for the safe-keeping and investment of such fund, and of all other funds which the corporation may receive by donation, bequest, or devise. No part of the principal of such permanent fund or its accretions shall be expended, except by a two-thirds vote of the active members of the association, present at any an. nual meeting, upon the recommendation of the board of Trustees, after such recommen. dation has been approved by vote of the board of directors, and after printed notice of the proposed expenditure has been mailed to all active members of the association. The income of the permanent fund shall be used only to meet the cost of maintaining the organization of
the association and of publishing its annual volume of proceedings, unless the terms of the donation, bequest, or devise shall otherwise specify, or the board of directors shall otherwise order. It shall also be the duty of the board of trustees to issue orders on the treasurer for the payment of all bills approved by the board of directors, or by the president and secretary of the association acting under the authority of the board of directors. When practicable, the board of trustees shall invest, as part of the
permanent fund, all surplus funds exceeding $500 that shall remain in the hands
of the treasurer after paying the expenses of the association for the previous year, and providing for the fixed expenses and for all appropriations made
The board of trustees shall elect the secretary of the association, who shall also be secretary
of the executive committee, and shall fix the compensation and the term of his office for a period not to exceed four years.
The Speaker – The gentleman from New York has seven minutes remaining.
Mr. Southwick-Mr. Speaker, I yield four minutes to the gentleman from Arkansas (Mr. Floyd).
Mr. Floyd-Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Massachusetts has made a vigorous assault on this bill. In the limited time that I have I desire to explain the bill as I understand it and to answer some of the questions that have been asked by Members of this House.
In the first place, this is not a general Federal corporation, but is a corporation of the District of Columbia. This will be found in lines 15, 16, and 17, which read as follows:
And such other persons as now are or may hereafter be associated with them as officers or members of said association are hereby incorporated and declared to be a body corporate of the District of Columbia.
Mr. Padgett-Will the gentleman yield for a question ?
Mr. Padgett-Are they limited to the transaction of business in the District of Columbia ?
Mr. Floyd-As far as their corporate existence is concerned they are limited just like any other District of Columbia corporation.
Mr. Padgett-Limited in their name?
Mr. Floyd-No, in their functions; just the same as any other District of Columbia corporation incorporated under the general laws of the District of Columbia. They have just that much power, and no more.
Mr. Padgett-Yes; exactly so. They have the power to go anywhere.
Mr. Floyd-Now, in regard to another objection made by the distinguished gentleman from Massachusetts, he insists that the board of trustees. have power over this permanent fund. I desire to submit that the funds. are safeguarded better under this incorporation than they are under the original charter obtained under the general incorporation law of the District of Columbia, for in section 6, beginning with line 24, it is provided
No part of the principal of such permanent fund or its accretions shall be expended except by a two-thirds vote of the active members of the association present at any annual meeting, upon the recommendation of the board of trustees, after such recommendation has been approved by vote of the board of directors, and after printed notice of the proposed expenditure has been mailed to all active members of the association.
Mr. Williams-Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the gentleman why it was that this charter was not procured in the regular way under the general law for incorporation in the District of Columbia, if there is nothing in it except a District of Columbia charter?
Mr. Floyd-In answer to that question I will say that I know nothing as to the motives except at the last annual meeting of the National Educational Association, at Chicago, they brought up the proposition before that meeting, where there were over 400 delegates, to submit this charter to Congress and ask Congress to pass it. That was voted ripon and carried by a large majority. Then the friends of the movement came before our committee and submitted this bill. We modified and changed the bill very much in form. Originally it was a general Federal corporation, and we