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COMMITTEE ON THE PUBLIC LANDS.
Printed for the use of the Committee on the Public Lands
WASHINGTON : 1945
COMMITTEE ON THE PUBLIC LANDS
J. HARDIN PETERSON, Florida, Chairman J. W. ROBINSON, Utah
WILLIAM A. BARRETT, Pennsylvania COMPTON I. WHITE, Idaho
KARL M. LECOMPTE, Iowa HUGH PETERSON, Georgia
J. EDGAR CHENOWETH, Colorado JOHN R. MURDOCK, Arizona
WILLIAM LEMKE, North Dakota ALFRED J. ELLIOTT, California
FRANK A. BARRETT, Wyoming ANTONIO M. FERNANDEZ, New Mexico HAL HOLMES, Washington CLAIR ENGLE, California
HARRIS ELLSWORTH, Oregon MIKE MANSFIELD, Montana
ROBERT F. ROCKWELL, Colorado CHARLES R. SAVAGE, Washington
LOWELL STOCKMAN, Oregon BERKELEY L. BUNKER, Nevada
E. L. BARTLETT, Alaska
CLAUDE E. RAGAN, Clerk
'Is ? 次 X
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 1945
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Philadelphia, Pa. Hearings before the subcommittee of the Public Lands Committee of the Congress of the United States, held in Congress Hall, southeast corner of Sixth and Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia, Pa., on Wednesday, April 11, 1945, at 3 p. m., to consider bill H. R. 2851, introduced April 5, 1945, by the Honorable Michael J. Bradley, of Philadelphia, Pa., calling for the creation of a commission to study the establishment of Independence Hall National Park.
The following subcommittee members were present: Hon. J. Hardin Peterson, chairman, Florida; Hon. William A. Barrett, Pennsylvania; Hon. Charles R. Savage, Washington; Hon. Karl LeCompte, Iowa; Hon. Harris Ellsworth, Oregon.
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, you will come to order, please.
At this time I want to take the liberty of introducing my committee, although I think most of you have already met the committee. But this is Congressman Ellsworth, of the State of Oregon; Congressman Savage, of the State of Washington; Congressman Barrett, of Pennsylvania ; Congressman LeCompte, of Iowa; and I am J. Hardin Peterson, of the State of Florida.
For a long time we had hoped to get the opportunity to come here and go into this particular proposition. But speaking personally, and I do not wish to bind my committee at the present time—I wish to say that it has somewhat fascinated me, the idea of securing these buildings, and having them under the jurisdiction of.the Federal Government, because in that way I felt that we could better preserve for the future those things that are sacred in the history of the United States. I think it is one of the finest things that could be done, to keep alive that spirit which built America, and it has been the perpetuation of these great old traditions among our people which has made possible this great Republic. The telling and retelling of these stories will do that which is greatest of all, it will obliterate those influences that would destroy our Government.
We have a very distinguished array of witnesses and I will not take further time other than to say that it is a great pleasure to be here. I have tried to bring members of the committee from various parts of the country, and I have succeeded in getting from the Pacific coast and the interior and from the East, men who will give this proposition their very kindly, interested attention. We will then make our report back to the full committee. While we are meeting
PHILADELPHIA NATIONAL PARK COMMISSION
in this old historic atmosphere, it might be well to call to your attention something that is not generally known. The Committee on Public Lands is one of the oldest in the House of Representatives. It was created upon the suggestion of Thomas Jefferson, and after the Louisiana Purchase it was suggested that the committee be set up to administer the public lands, and in the handling of public land matters, one of our duties is to scrutinize legislation concerned with historic sites, national parks, and national monuments.
At this time it is my great pleasure to recognize the author of this bill, H. R. 2851, a very distinguished citizen of Philadelphia and a personal friend of each one of the committee—the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania, the Honorable Michael J. Bradley.
STATEMENT OF HON. MICHAEL J. BRADLEY
Mr. BRADLEY. Mr. Chairman, and my other colleagues on the committee, I wish first of all to express my very sincere appreciation to the chairman and to the rest of the Committee on Public Lands for their prompt action on this bill. I introduced the bill last Thursday, and in response to my request, the very next day, on Friday, the chairman of the committee made arrangements to come to Philadelphia to hold hearings on this bill, so that that, perhaps, is a record in Congress for a bill of this character, in view of the many, many bills of national character which have to do with such programs—but as I say, the committee has acted with such promptitude that I am very, very grateful to the chairman and my colleagues on the committee.
I think it might be well for me to preface my few remarks, and I will not talk at great length, by saying that it is of great significance to us who are privileged to serve in the Congress of today, to meet in this hall where we are now, where the history of the United States was made, and I think perhaps it is historically accurate to say that this probably is the first official congressional business undertaken in this hall since the first Congress of the United States met here and terminated its proceedings in this historic building. This Congress Hall, adjacent as it is to Independence Hall and the other buildings, the old City Hall of Philadelphia, Carpenters' Hall farther to the east, constitute a collection of American shrines which are not to be seen in any city in the country. While we in Philadelphia feel that to a great extent we will benefit by the creation of the Independence National Park, nevertheless the Nation itself will probably benefit more than any of us in Philadelphia, because these buildings are not ours alone. They may be ours in the sense that we exercise stewardship over them, but they belong to every citizen of the United States, and because of that, any action that the Congress sees fit to take will not be done so much for the city of Philadelphia or for the citizens of Philadelphia, as it is done for all of the United States and for every American citizen. If we do not provide the necessary atmosphere, if we do not have a proper concern for the protection of these historic shrines, in years to come, who can tell, they may disappear from the scene, as before has often happened in other nations which have been careless with respect to the upkeep and maintenance of those shrines which mean so much in their traditions.
Philadelphia will make a contribution, and a great contribution, should the committee report favorably on this bill and should the Commission which will be created by the bill, decide favorably for the establishment of a national park. Our city will give up hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxable real estate, from which we have derived a revenue every year, and we are willing to make that contribution. But we feel that the Federal Government should evince a proper interest in the establishment and maintenance of this proposed park and these old historic buildings, which mean not only so much to us but so much to the entire world.
I will not speak at any greater length. There are representatives here from various historic societies of Pennsylvania. I think that they can impress you perhaps far better than I can, because of their complete knowledge of the history which surrounds these buildings, but I only want to say this: That if the committee favorably reports this bill, they will assume no obligation for the establishment of this park. This may be premature, but I think it might be appropriate for me to say that if the committee favorably reports the bill and the bill passes the Congress, it merely establishes a Commission to survey and study the possibilities and feasibilities of establishing such a park. However, I feel that the committee, with the interest it has already shown, can well report this bill favorably, and that the Congress can well pass it and leave to the Commission which will be set up, the possibility for determining, after thorough study of all the possible facts, what course the Government should take with respect to the establishment of this park.
I want to thank you gentlemen again and to express my sincere appreciation for what you have so far done for us here in Philadelphia.
The CHAIRMAN. I wish to thank our colleague, and we will be pleased to have him sit up here with us. As chairman of this subcommittee, I will now call upon a distinguished jurist of this city to explain this matter to you. He is the president of the society which is fostering this proposition, and a few days ago he was down in Washington and discussed the matter with me. I looked forward with pleasure to seeing him here again today. So at this time the Chair will recognize Judge Edwin 0. Lewis, to give him the opportunity to make such remarks as he may care, and to present for your attention such witnesses as he may desire to call. Judge Lewis.
STATEMENT OF HON. EDWIN 0. LEWIS
Judge LEWIS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Peterson and gentlemen, I have a very distinguished privilège, not only to address you gentlemen but to speak for a very old and a very distinguished community. Philadelphia is the home of mv adoption.' I was brought up down in the atmosphere of the old Capitol and Chief Justice Marshall's old home, in Richmond, Va. I was born about two blocks away from where Chief Justice Marshall lived in Richmond. I went to school in the old Capitol Building of the Southern Confederacy, the home of Jefferson Davis during part of the Civil War. I spent a great many very pleasant occasions in the executive mansion of the