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2.

EXTENDING THE BENEFITS OF THE MORRILL ACTS TO THE

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

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U.S. COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, 947
Conqueso. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

Washington, D. C., December 10, 1909.
The committee met at 10 o'clock a. m.
The chairman, Hon. Charles F. Scott, in the chair.

The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, the committee has been called together this morning to consider H. R. 12343, a bill to amend an act entitled "An act donating public lands to the several States and Territories which may provide colleges for the benefit of agricultural and mechanic arts, approved July 2, 1862, and acts supplementary thereto, so as to extend the benefits thereof to the District of Columbia."

Representative Boutell, of Illinois, the author of the bill, is present this morning, together with Mr. Justice Harlan and Doctor Harlan, Commissioner Macfarland, and Doctor Needham, and other gentlemen representing the District of Columbia and George Washington University, who have asked for a hearing on the bill, and I am sure the committee will be glad to listen to anything they have to say. I will ask Mr. Boutell, the author of the bill, to make whatever statement he desires, and to present the other gentlemen in the order in which he would like to have them heard.

STATEMENT OF HON. HENRY S. BOUTELL, OF ILLINOIS.

Mr. BOUTELL. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, the provisions of this bill are familiar to all of you, so I need not even take time now to read it. In brief, the object of the bill is to place the District of Columbia on an equal footing with the States and Territories of the United States in reference to the benefits contemplated by the Morrill Act.

I would like to say, in the first place, that this bill which I have introduced here, giving these benefits to the District of Columbia, and the original Morrill Act itself, are following out simply the well-planned ideas of our forefathers in reference to giving federal encouragement to education. It manifested itself in the very earliest days of the Republic. It shows itself in the ordinances of 1787 and down through our entire legislative history. There has been shown a clear disposition to give reasonable aid and encouragement to education throughout the country. The Morrill Act, as you know, provided that the proceeds from the sales of public lands should be divided among the colleges of the different states that would give instruction in agriculture and the mechanic arts. This division of these proceeds continued until the act was amended, making a MADC 31735-10- -1

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straight appropriation, giving a fixed amount of money. So the first thing to which I want to call attention is this:

Where the benefits came from a division of the proceeds of a sale of lands, every additional beneficiary, of course, would reduce to a certain extent the pro rata amount; in other words, if there was a total amount to be divided as it now would be by 49, each part would be less if it was to be divided by 50. That, however, has been entirely done away with by providing for a fixed amount of money under the Nelson amendment. That amount of money is now $10,000, will be $45,000 next year, and thereafter will be $50,000.

There are three classes of persons or three special interests in this bill: First, the District of Columbia as a political entity; second, the George Washington University, which is made a beneficiary specifically under this act; and, third, is a class which has not yet been heard in the discussions of this bill, the class for which I particularly appear, and their interests are of the nature which impelled me to introduce this bill.

Officials of the George Washington University are here to speak for themselves. Of the universities doing work among the colored people in the District the George Washington University is the only one that could administer this fund. There are officials of the District here who are able to speak for themselves. I want now to speak for those whom we all represent and who have the largest interest in this bill and the work that will follow after it, and so far as I know who have not yet been heard in these discussions, either in the Senate or in the House. These are the people “ back home ” in our States.

In my own State of Illinois we have the Illinois State University. They get benefits under this provision of the law as it now stands. But from Illinois we have, I think, our full quota of heads of families residing here in the District of Columbia, engaged in the work of the National Government, beginning with the United States Senators and on downward. These people come here at small compensation from their home State, where their children could have had the benefit of the provisions of this act in their own university, and make their homes here.

I suppose we have now in the District of Columbia 30,000 heads of families from the different States in the Union where they are getting the provisions of the Morrill Act in their different institutions. These heads of families are receiving small salaries and are unable to send their children back home, but they are entitled here to the benefits of the best kind of an education contemplated in the legislation of the United States. To show my special interest in the matter, I would like to give a case in point. I have a boy myself, 19 years old, who has taken up engineering as the work he wants to follow. For two years—that is, his freshman and sophomore years he attended our own state university, the University of Illinois, when, for reasons of health and other domestic reasons, we preferred to have him at home with us this winter, and he is attending George Washington University in the course of engineering. That same situation applies to hundreds and thousands of other families, and from every other State in the Union.

The State of Kansas, Mr. Chairman, has a benefit under this law, as it now stands, but how about the thousands of heads of families from Kansas who are here in the District of Columbia ? Why should

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they be excluded! The provisions of the law now go not only to all the States, but to Porto Rico and Hawaii. That is the proposition, gentlemen, in a nutshell. So far as I know, all the arguments are in favor of the passage of this bill—the policy of the National Govern

ment pursued from the earliest times, the fact that there is a univerrsity here fully equipped and ready to carry out the provisions of this

hill, the fact that the District of Columbia will soon have a population exceeding half a million, and last and most important of all, that there is now and always will be 30,000 or more heads of families gathered from the different States in the Union who are entitledand I use that word advisedly—while here performing the duties of government officials and employees, to the benefits of such appropriations and provisions as the National Government may make for educational purposes..

That, in brief, Mr. Chairman, is all I care to say at the present time. I know of no objection to this bill. There can be no objection based on the amount of money involved, because if the arguments that I have mentioned are valid arguments, then so long as there are 49 States and Territories getting the benefits of this act it would be simply unjust discrimination to bar out the District of Columbia. So I say I know of no objection whatever to the passage of this bill. Any objections which might be urged by other institutions, it seems to me, simply deserve that passing irritated attention that we would give to the proverbial dog in the manger. There are no valid objections to the favorable consideration of this measure, but all the reasons in history and the present condition of things lead us to consider it favorably.

Mr. Chairman, with your permission, I would like to suggest that Commissioner Macfarland, who is here representing the District as a political party, be now heard.

STATEMENT OF HON. H. B. F. MACFARLAND, COMMISSIONER OF

THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

Commissioner MACFARLAND. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, as I am due at this very hour at the House Committee on Appropriations, which is considering the District of Columbia appropriation bill, I shall be very brief and shall ask leave to then withdraw from the room.

I appear officially as president of the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia and also as chairman of a committee of citizens, representative in character, advocating the passage of this bill. To us it seems a simple act of justice. We can imagine no reason why the District of Columbia, with 340,000 American citizens. should be excluded from the benefits of this legislation. We here make our full contribution through the tariff and the internalrevenue taxes to the Treasury, and besides having maintained the national capital until 1878 alone, so far as its municipal affairs are concerned, and since 1878 having paid one-half the cost of its maintenance, we see no reason why Porto Rico and Hawaii, to say nothing of all the States and Territories of the Union, should have these benefits while the District of Columbia does not enjoy them. Our press, our civic organizations, our taxpavers, our citizens in generalin fact, the whole community--are in favor of this legislation. If

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