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 - Marl-time that new Marine Poll Tax Movement A...
Marl-time that new Marine Poll Tax Movement A Political Measure To Court Negro Vote 1. a pneu- hb by the to in hie and the no the and his By H. E. C. Bryant Washington, Oct. 4. That "the pall tax bill, passed by the House last May, "making unlawful the requirement for the payment ot such a tax aa a- prerequisite to voting in a primary or other election tor national orttcera," is to be aggressively opposed in the Senate no one conversant with the attitude of Southern members ot that body doubts. It is not a question of race or color but of principle, and the clear intent of the Federal Constitution. The movement started by Rep. Mar-cantonlo, American Labor . Party memfor of New York, is purely political, the purpose of It being to court Negro voters of the North, East and West. Rep. Hatton W. Summers of Texas, chairman of the House judiciary committee, summed up the atti tude of Southern members and others when he protested against the passage of the anti-poll tax measure on his aide of the Capitol. He said: "I feel mighty deeply about this. I do not want to see the House ot Representatives, with all the power that is being taken away from the States and concentrated In Wash-ingon. declare its judgment as a matter of public policy that the Fcneral government should lay its hands on this Strv power despite the clear-cut decisions of the Su preme Court. It is not a good thing Sep- ,0 manifest a disposition here to E. the the violate the reserved rights of the States ano to disregard the limitations imposed by the Contsltutlon." Despite that argument the House stood more than two to one for the I. Ill Twa kim.a.l onA r fl I'M ..(- " o"J-"" . members voted for Its passage and of 11ft aeB,nfif H A mnt.,in trt wnm with others but later, when winter-I mU u a." a..-i 1 am-nrim.nt ur-r- nn.4rdwi th- 'iill. U? JI1CU3U1C W UIC J UUiVlttlY . " ,..-a ..t " ! I . . . . ... "Going over this country trying to arouse in the hearts of patriotic colored people of nation that they; are being abused,' being 'mistreated, because tahey are required before voting to do exactly what their white neighbors are required before voting to do." driving the lines of racial cleavage when every interest of the country requires that we stand in solidarity, to a bad thing." Mr. sumnera said: "There la an other thing that makes this an im portant matter. X wonder If every- bodv in this country is not con scious of the danger resulting in the nation from a concentration of power in Federal organizations? This is a remarkable legislation at this time when we know that it la an open question In this struggle between democracy and bureaucracy as to which is to survive." The amendment voted by the people of North Carolina to their constitution in 1900 provided: "Every person presenting himself for registration shall be able to read and write any section of tha Constitution in the English language, and before he shall be entitled to vote he shall have paid on or before the first day of March of the year in which he proposes to vote Ms poll tax as pre- scitbed by law for the previous year." . . ,, Republicans, resisting the adoption of that amendment, presented the views of Ex-Senator George P. Edmunds, ot Vermont, recognized to be one of greatest Constitutional lawyers in the United States, -who said the 'grandfather clause" was unconstitutional but the section relating to the poll tax "could stand." That section waa adopted along new I committee was defeated by 167 to 99 votes. It is predicted that If the House bill, with changes, if any, reaches a votse In the Senate the proportion ot support there will be about the same it was In the House, two to one or greater. Mr. Sumners. who did much to of a Pos-sehl old-time , Internatlon- jdeleat tne plan of New Dealers to con- ; Pack tne .Supreme Court, and who n respect of the country as ! 'e aa of the Congress, considers 'the controversy over poll taxes most j Important and most unfortunate at ! lms tune- a "Especially is that true when we : consider the circumstances under In J which 11 comes up." said he. "The husband..con-icoun(ry l,al war, tWe,haye, had poll In or tax requirements for many years. That requirement is rapidly disappearing by Slate repeal. "I will say that for a nation lighting for its life, which needs the strength that unity gives, this preachment on the part of the people behind this bill that an able-bodied citizen is being abused and disfranchised because each voter by the action of the legislature ot his. State, or a provision in its cons tutlon, is required to pay a dollar or two toward the expenses of his government before participating in the election of those who ire to be Its public officials, is abad thing. prerequisite for voting was stricken out. it had been found that politi cians were paying the taxes to get votes. The poll tax remains but not the requirement for the ballot box. - However, In the present- situation here Senator Bailey, it , agreaslvely oppose a io congress interfering with the power of the States. Seven of the eleven North Carolina mem bers of the House voted in the neg ative on the 'measure when it came. up for a decision. The other fc are listed as not voting but were paired against it. All of the South Carollr bers. Reps. Rivers, Fulmer, Hare. Bryson. Richards and McMillan voted in the negative Mr. Hare spoke against it, saying "This la not a race questfcttTbuC one far more, important and tar reaching in Ha objective. It to question that goes to the very heart and core of our constitutional and representatrw system ofGovernment provided for by the eeople of the 13 original 8tateswhen they ratified the Con stitution establishing our dual ays- government." 1 The thrusting of the anU-poU tax measure into the Senate at this time may result in the failure of much more important legislation! The opposition in that body to Just as determined as it was in the House and there is no cloture there to atop debate. ,

Clipped from
  1. The Index-Journal,
  2. 05 Oct 1943, Tue,
  3. Page 4

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