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"Bulletin Of The American Liberty League", Vol. 1 No. 2, September, 1935. American Liberty League. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images Digital Library Services, University of Kentucky Libraries Lexington, Kentucky kukm59m61_b_0002 These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. "Bulletin Of The American Liberty League", Vol. 1 No. 2, September, 1935. American Liberty League. American Liberty League. Washington, D.C. 1935. This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. ï»¿:: bulletin c, OF THE' AMERICAN LIBERTY LEAGUE NATIONAL PRESS BUILDING WASHINGTON, D. C. VOL. 1 SEPTEMBER, 1935 No. 2 MESSAGE TO MEMBERS Letters that have come from members of the League in every state of the union indicate appreciation of the first issue of the Bulletin published a month ago. It is the hope of our national headquarters that this number may be equally worthy of your generous interest. We are gratified to report steady progress in membership and influence. Each of you can do a part of.real value by assisting in your Individual community in securing as many members as possible and in uniting those members into a local unit or chapter. The larger and the more widespread the membership of the League, the greater becomes its opportunity for useful public service. We deeply appreciate what you have done and anticipate a continuance of your enthusiastic and valuable work. JOUETT SHOUSE President LAWYERS COMMITTEE HOLDS LABOR RELATIONS ACT INVALID The first report of the League's National Lawyers Committee was released on September 19. It was a declaration that this Committee of 58 of the most prominent members of the American Bar holds the National Labor Relations Act to be unconstitutional because that Act interferes with the individual freedom of employees, as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment and because it represents an attempted invasion by the Federal government of a field of legislation not delegated to it by the Constitution. Announcement of the report atxa press conference by R. E. Desvernine, Chairman of the National Lawyers Committee; Earl F. Reed, Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Industrial Relations and Labor Legislation; and President Shouse attracted nation-wide attention. EXCERPTS FROM THE REPORT: "The Act expressly declares that representatives selected by a major!ty of employees in a particular bargaining unit shall be the exclusive representatives of all the employees in that unit, to bargain with the employer on matters involving wages, hours of work and other conditions of employment;.......... It is our belief- that this provision of the statute constitutes an illegal interference with the individual freedom of employees, as guaranteed to them by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which provides in substance that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. The freedom sanctioned by the Constitution includes the right of each man to follow any occupation and to sell his own labor on his own terms............ "The Federal government is one of defined and limited powers, without jurisdiction to intervene in matters of Internal policy. It Is not a complete sovereign- ï»¿ty in the same sense as the Individual States. Its powers with respect to Interstate Commerce are limited to regulations which have some direct bearing upon the movement of persons or commodities in commerce among or between the several States. It has no authority to use this power as a pretext to interfere with matters which are subject to the jurisdiction of the several States. It is our opinion that the National Labor Relations Act, although it is called a regulation of commerce, is in substance a regulation of a matter which has no direct connection with commerce, that is, the relation between an employer and his employee. We have, therefore, reached the conclusion that the National Labor Relations Act, even if it were valid from the standpoint of due process, can have no application to industrial relations on a general scale. "Considering the Act in the light of our history, the established form of government, and the decisions of our highest court, we have no hesitancy in concluding that it is unconstitutional and that it constitutes a complete departure from our constitutional and traditional theories of government." Mr. Desvernine announced that similar reports are to be issued covering such New Deal laws as the Public Utilities Holding Company Act, the Social Security Act, the Bituminous Coal Conservation Act, the TVA and government competition with business, the AAA and processing taxes, the Communications Act, the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Outlining National Committee policy, Mr. Desvernine said: "Each Report will be an earnest effort to discuss in the light of existing decisions the constitutionality of the legislation considered and will point out wherein, if at all, it marks a departure from the fundamental principles of our existing Constitutional system. These Reports will not deal with the economic, social, or political aspects of such legislation, for these present problems which appeal to the layman no less than to the lawyer'for their solution. A reasoned judgment requires, however, amongst other considerations, a clear understanding of the Constitutional issues presented. That these Reports hope to give and nothing more." Speaking for his Sub-Committee, Mr. Reed said: "The Sub-Committee reached its conclusion that this Act is plainly unconstitutional and we feel that in making our opinion known publicly we are doing a patriotic duty in answering the inquiries of many persons and perhaps hastening a determination of this question by the judicial branch of the government." Members of the Sub-Committee on Industrial Relations and Labor Legislation are: Earl F. Reed, Chairman, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Harold Beacom, Chicago, 111.; Harold J. Gallagher, New York City; D. J. Kenefick, Buffalo, N. Y.J Harrison B. McGraw, Cleveland, Ohio; Gurney E. Newlln, Los Angeles, Calif.; Hal H. Smith, Detroit, Mich.; E. Randolph Williams, Richmond, Va. "BREATHING SPELLS" Speaking over a nation-wide hookup of the Columbia Broadcasting System on the evening of September 16, Mr. Shouse analyzed the recent Administration publicity stunt which took the form of an interchange of letters between President Roosevelt and Roy W. Howard. EXCERPTS FROM MR. SHOUSE'S SPEECH: "Mr. Roosevelt has done all he can to bedevil business. His so-called 'must' program of legislation forced through Congress this year has embraced one measure after another that was unnecessary, unwise and probably unconstitutional, the effect of which has been to regulate, to regulate and to further regulate. A 'breathing spell1 prior to this astounding program would have been welcome indeed. But at that time it was not even suggested. Now that the damage is done, Mr. Roosevelt graciously waves the wand for a temporary suspension of his war of extermination............ ï»¿"In Mr. Roosevelt's letter to Mr. Howard there are two very extraordinary sentences which I quote: He said, 'This Administration came into power pledged to a very considerable legislative program,' and later he said, 'Our actions were in conformity with the basic economic purposes set forth three years ago.' "The only 'legislative program' to which the Roosevelt Administration was pledged was embodied in the Democratic.platform of 1932. He emphasized before the Convention that nominated him and In subsequent speeches his absolute adherence to every plank in that platform. He has not merely ignored these pledgesâ€” he has contemptuously flouted them. His actions have not been 'in conformity with the basic economic purposes set forth three years ago.' "The legislative program which he has choked down the throat of Congress had no relation to the Democratic platform pledges or his campaign speeches. On the other hand, as so ably pointed out by James P. Warburg in his current book, that program has fulfilled to the letter the promises of the platform and candidates of the Socialist party. And mind you, in the election of 1932, the Socialist platform was endorsed by only 900,000 voters, while the Democratic platform was endorsed by twenty-three millions............ "THE TIME IS COMING SOON WHEN THE PEOPLE WILL BE CALLED UPON TO VOTE AGAIN AND IF I AM ANY JUDGE OF PUBLIC SENTIMENT I THINK THAT THIS TIME THERE WILL BE AN INSISTENCE THAT, AS STATED IN THE DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM OF 19 32, 'A PARTY PLATFORM IS A COVENANT WITH THE PEOPLE TO BE FAITHFULLY KEPT BY THE PARTY WHEN ENTRUSTED WITH POWER, AND THAT THE PEOPLE ARE ENTITLED TO KNOW, IN PLAIN WORDS, THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT TO WHICH THEY ARE ASKED TO SUBSCRIBE.'" Copies of Mr. Shouse'_s_speech (Document No. 65) will be sent upon request. IN THE COLLEGES Authorization has been given for the formation of a National Intercollegiate Committee of the American Liberty League, designed to coordinate and stimulate the activities of League chapters in educational institutions. Initial membership of the Intercollegiate Committee will consist of representatives from Princeton, Barnard, Virginia, North Carolina, Harvard, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Maryland, Yale, Bethany, Iowa State, Pomona and Colgate. As new chapters are organized there will be additions to the Intercollegiate Committee. Chapters are now in process of organization at the' Universities of Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, Chicago, Michigan, Pittsburgh, and Nebraska; at Ohio State, Western Reserve and Vanderbilt Universities; at Dartmouth, Sioux Falls, Bowdoin, Union, Occidental, and Springfield Colleges; and at the Bradley and Alabama Polytechnic Institutes, and the Carnegie Institute of Technology. The National Intercollegiate Committee in turn plans to organize a nation-wide Intercollegiate Recruiting Committee, designed to enlist undergraduate members. League members who wish to suggest the names of properly qualified undergraduates should write to the secretary, National Intercollegiate Committee, American Liberty League, 1066 National Press Building, Washington, D. C. NATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL The League's National Advisory Council now numbers 172, additions since the prior announcement of membership being as follows: Joseph C. Belden, Chicago, 111.; W. G. Bram-ham, Durham, N. C; J. R. Burrow, Topeka, Kans.J W. Glenn Cowell, Coldwater, Mich.; William A. Dyche, Evanston, 111.; Harry F. Evans, Davenport, la.; Dan W. Hill, Asheville, N. C.J Dr. Jacob H. Hollander, Baltimore, Md.; W. J. Hunsaker, Saginaw, Mich.; Albert T. Johnston, Forest Hills, N. Y.; Theodore A. Johnson, Youngstown, Ohio.; Millard F. Jones, Rocky Mount, N. C.; Demarest Lloyd, Washington, D. Câ€¢5 David W. MacMorran, Port Huron, Mich.; H. W. Prentis, Jr., Lancaster, Pa.; Dr. William A. Scott, Winter Park, Fla.; Ethan A. H. Shepley, St. Louis, Mo.; Mrs. Sidney W. Smith, Omaha, Nebr.; S. Wells Utley, Detroit, Mich.; Mrs. Chase Going Woodhouse, New London, Conn. ï»¿- 4 - POTATO CONTROL The Potato Control Amendment to the Agricultural Adjustment Act, fairest flower In the New Deal garden of economic absurdities and bureaucratic Impertinences, is analyzed in a recent pamphlet prepared by the League's Research Department. It is pointed out that this proposal, a natural outgrowth of previous AAA endeavors to suspend the laws of nature and economics, will increase the living costs of the entire population for the benefit of about 30,000 large commercial growers of potatoes while subjecting the remainder of some 3,000,000 producers, as well as all of the consumers, to the mercies of a new army of bureaucratic snoopers. The pamphlet aeClares'. "The AAA has become enmeshed in a network of its own making. The original Agricultural Adjustment Act provided for seven basic agricultural commodities. Now there are fifteen. It will be impossible to stop at this point. The Congress and enforcement officials must go on and on until every product of agriculture is brought under control. The process cannot even stop there but must extend to competitive industrial products, some of which, as in the case of paper towels and jute bags, are already under AAA regulations. The system may break down of its own weight or be wiped out by the courts. Otherwise, it is leading inevitably to methods of restriction of the private lives and business activities of our people wholly foreign to American institutions. Potato control is another step toward Socialism." Following publication of the pamphlet and apparently bowing to a storm of popular indignation, AAA officials gave evidence of a marked inclination to back away from this latest New Deal experiment. Copies of the Potato Control pamphlet (Document No. 64) will be sent upon request. TYPICAL COMMENT THE HARTFORD COURANT, September 7, 19 35 "The American Liberty League has already performed a useful and patriotic service in disclosing the true import of some of the legislation which the President has insisted on and which an obedient Congress has enacted. It has had in this work the assistance of many of the country's most competent constitutional lawyers, and the numerous pamphlets it has Issued have been factual and free from partisan bias. Whether or not President Roosevelt decides to make constitutional Issues paramount In his campaign, the Liberty League is destined to play an important part in the great debate over the acts of his administration. When one remembers that this League numbers among Its members as many Democrats as Republicans, there is assurance that its criticisms will be addressed.to fundamental questions which transcend mere political considerations." NEW YORK JOURNAL, September 9, 19 35 "AMEN TO THIS!" "â€¢EVERY REAL AMERICAN WILL SAY IT" "The sole object of the non-partisan Liberty League, formed one year ago by prominent Democratic and Republican leaders, is plainly explained by Jouett Shouse, its president. "On its first birthday he said: "'We oppose no one man. We support no one man. Our only purpose is to prevent destruction of the Constitution by executive decree or legislation obviously unconstitutional. "'There seems to be a general belief that we oppose ANY change in the Constitution. That is not true. All we ask is that if the Constitution is to be amended it be amended by the method provided by the Constitution itself.' "'That, certainly, Is plain enough."