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Thus in our slums, on account of seasonal occupations, poor housing, lack of law enforcements, etc., certain excrescences arise. And yet if you had gone with me last Sunday night to the Academy of Music in Philadelphia and watched the procession between the hours of 6 and 8 of those clamoring for admission to hear the wonderful orchestra led by Stokowski, you would have found that 80 per cent of these in line were young Italians, Poles, and Jews; if you were to go to Carnegie Hall to hear Heifetz or Mischa Elman, or any of the great virtuosos, you would find in long lines thousands of immigrants waiting patiently for an opportunity to gain admission. Why? Because they are clamoring for that which is fine and beautiful and artistic in life. Oh, it is by these and not by artificial standards that we want you
them. It is unfortunate that there has arisen a great deal of hysteria, much of it caused by fugitive articles written by journalists who, after a stay of one or two weeks in Poland, Rumania, or Galicia, have attempted to interpret the soul and make-up of a people upon the most inadequate data, upon the most insecure and unscientific observations.
I venture to say that if Montesquieu or Lord Bryce were to come back to earth and their perspicacity was unequaled, and if they had the literary powers of a Hardy, Galsworthy, or a Bernard Shaw, they could not, to save their lives, after a visit in this country of only four or five weeks, or even months, give a satisfactory analysis of the American type.
I have lived in San Francisco, in Missouri, and in the East, and I find that there are so many divergences that a person coming from abroad can not appraise as on the basis of a few months' study of our manners, customs, laws, etc. And yet, on the strength of hastily written articles by immature students, we predicate our convictions as to the character of the immigrant as he is found in his native home. For that matter, the data gathered in behalf of the so-called Nordice race theory are assailed by eminent scientists.
It seems to us, then, that pending our attempt to gain further knowledge-economic, anthropological, and sociological—we ought to follow the judgment of Mr. Louis Marshall, the great constitutional lawyer, and who probably understands the immigration problem as well as any living person that there should be appointed a commission to make a thorough and scientific appraisal of the situation and bring a report to Congress two years hence. In the meantime there should be no further limitations on the present quota, because the existing emergency quota under which we are operating, and with a few human features introduced into it—to obviate some of the tragedies such as we have experienced—will take care of the situation and fully protect our American interests. By "humaniz. ing features” I mean that, in addition to the present 3 per cent
I quota, immediate relatives of citizens or declarants be allowed to enter the country without coming within the quota.
The CHAIRMAN. Don't you think the fact of the patriotism shown by the alien races during the war is a practical fact? Mr. BILLIKOPF. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Going to show how liberty and opportunity here are assimilated even in support of the political union in America ?
You are saying that these writers have not a sufficient knowledge of the facts; that their observations are based on insufficient data. Isn't that the fundamental fact?
Mr. BILLIKOPF. That they haven't that knowledge?
The CHAIRMAN. Isn't it a fundamental fact that, with 40 foreign groups here when the war broke out, we exhibited, with these groups taking part, a higher degree of national unity than any nationality on the face of the globe!
Mr. BILLIKOPF. I would say unqualifiedly so.
Senator COPELAND. I would like to add this to what the witness has said. A friend of mine, a member of the library board for a long time, told me that the branch libraries which are located in the Jewish section have the largest percentage of demand for books of high type, not trash, but books of high quality, which is a notable distinction to branches in sections where so-called Americans live, where the demand is for a very inferior class of literature.
The CHAIRMAN. I am impressed with this witness's testimony as to the average man who comes over here. I am very much impressed with what you have said with regard to the ordinary man, the ordinary members of your group. You know you have dwelt on that.
Mr. BILLIKOPF. Yes, sir. I will just conclude by saying this. At a dinner given to Senator Reed and Senator Pepper by some 500 ardent admirers in Philadelphia a few weeks ago, and at which I had the privilege of speaking on immigration, I made some reference to General Atterbury, one of the greatest industrialists in our country. At the conclusion of the dinner he said to me:
I am impressed with what you have said. You have given me a new angle on the situation, but I want to say to you in all fairness that the reason I am opposed to the immigrant is on account of the prevailing radical tendencies among them.
And he proceeded to mention the fact that a certain paper published in Yiddish, with a circulation of 120,000, was, according to his best information, of Bolshevist tendencies.
I was able to refute that statement. That particular paper, called the Vorwaerts, has for two or three years been fighting as strenuously as it could the policies of the Lenins and Tchitcherins. For one week I read the paper in the original to determine to what extent it was communistic, and I sent General Atterbury only day before yesterday a letter in which I gave him an epitome of the articles which appeared on two successive days. If you will bear with me for a moment, I shall give you a synopsis of the contents of that supposedly .66 vile Bolshevik paper.
On the first page of the Vorwaerts, as of March 10, there was news of the day. On the second page news of the day and advertisements. On the third page, a lengthy article devoted to “ unemployment insurance in the cloak and suit industry," an article “On the latest developments in the oil scandal”; “A story of a Belgian princess who sacrificed everything for the sake of a love affair," was another feature story.
On the fourth page two columns and a half were devoted to a synopsis of Secretary Hughes's eulogy of President Harding. An editorial entitled “MacDonald's friendly letter to Poincare and the
latter's most sympathetic reply,” and “ A tribute to the late Dr. P. Rosenthal a noted economist.'
-a " A three-column article devoted to music and the legitimate drama, an article headed “ Warning to parents-Don't allow your children to gamble with slot machines in
— candy stores, because they are a menace to the morals of children,” was not impressively written.
On the fifth page " A letter from Hungary dealing with the social and economic conditions in that country.” Another one, “A visit to the library and museum connected with the New York police department." There was a continuation of a serial love story, the theme being the adjustment of the immigrant to our American life and American environment. A criticism of Mussolini's administration, with special reference to the coming elections in the Italian Parliament; an article on how to acquire citizenship papers, a column and a half in length, and, by the way, during the past year, this paper had seventy-five citizenship articles which were gotten out in book form, both Yiddish and English; letters to the editor—all dealing with household matters, such as legal advice, etc. Pages 6 and 7 advertisements, all respectable, and of a high quality.
Page 8, half of it devoted to a pictorial section, such as we find in the Evening Ledger and the Evening Bulletin in Philadelphia, and the balance to purely local news.
This, supposedly, radical paper! Almost all the other Yiddish papers are conservative. Seventy-five per cent of their articles are devoted to distinctly American news and 25 per cent to a recital of things that are happening in Europe, so that the immigrant who has home connections need not suffer from ennui and nostalgia. A great paper like the Jewish World, published in Philadelphia, is 100 per cent uncompromisingly American.
I have dwelt on these facts in detail because even so far-visioned a man as General Atterbury bases his conclusions on imperfect information.
Senator COPELAND. Mr. Marshall told us of his experience in the war, and he spoke of the tremendous amount of enthusiasm and patriotism displayed by the editors of those papers with reference to these problems.
Mr. BILLIKOPF. I thank you more than I can possibly say, considering the fact that you have had so many people before you, for listening to us on this subject.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any other representatives here! Senator REED. Yes; we would like to hear from the judge now.
STATEMENT OF HON. WILLIAM LEWIS, JUDGE MUNICIPAL COURT,
Mr. LEWIS. Gentlemen, I merely want to say this: If any impression is to be made upon you at all by us as witnesses, I would much prefer that the impression that I know must have been made by Mr. Billikopf's talk remain with the committee rather than anything I can add to disturb it.
Perhaps, to be fashionable, I should introduce myself. By the accident of birth I am one of those who was on the other side when he first opened his eyes. I landed in Philadelphia February 1, 1887. I have often looked back upon that day as my birthday--the day that I landed in Philadelphia. The day after, I went to school.
Senator REED. The second day after you landed ?
Mr. LEWIS. The second day afterwards I was taken to an American school, the like of which I had never seen in my 13 years of life on this earth. From that day on, for several years, night and day, attending both night and day school, I went through the courses in that wonderful American institution-the public school.
I studied law in the law library of the city of Philadelphia, Senator, because I did not have the funds with which to attend the university law school.
Senator COPELAND. How long were you in the public schools?
Mr. LEWIS. I left toward the end of the junior year. Upon the very day, gentlemen, when by law I was entitled to apply for it, I was admitted to citizenship in these United States of America.
Perhaps you will think it worth while, in connection with the subject under discussion, when I state, apropos of what has already been said here, that with regard to the desire of the foreigners to learn the English language, American history, and American government, during my student years I earned my living-my parents both having died before my arrival in this country-by giving English lessons to other and later arrivals in this country. Workers in the factories and shops eagerly sat up late into the night studying elementary English and paying me for teaching them. I was admitted to the bar in Philadelphia and practiced law, I hope in a creditable and honorable manner, and in February, 1922, I was honored by an appointment and last November, in a city, wide election, was elected as one of the judges of the municipal court of our city, a court having both civil and criminal jurisdiction, including exclusive jurdiction in all juvenile cases and domestic relations cases.
Senator COPELAND. I am sorry we haven't you over in New York in the Democratic Party. [Laughter.]
Senator REED. You can't have him, Senator. We are going to keep him.
Mr. Lewis. Please pardon these personal references. They are not exceptional. Thousands of foreign-born Americans can make, and I am sure have made, a better showing. It so happened during the period of the war that I was counsel for an association of manufacturers of women's and men's garments in Philadelphia, and having been on one of the committees in our city charged with obtaining subscriptions for the various Liberty loans I devoted considerable time for that purpose among foreign-born Americans. I went from factory to factory and from shop to shop and there, with very little difficulty, obtained a 100 per cent subscription; the enthusiasm displayed and the patriotism evinced were inspirational. By far the great majority of the workers, men and women alike, were foreign born, but they knew and showed by their subscriptions that they appreciated and understood what it meant to live in America and be Americans.
I do not want to take up any more of the time of this committee. I felt I owed it to my country to come here and to say to you, just as I said this morning to our own distinguished Senator from Pennsylvania, that, having been given the opportunity after landing as a greenhorn at the wharf in Philadelphia, of drinking at the fountain of American ideals, American Government, American institutions, to the point of being intrusted with judicial honor and responsibility, that I add a word in the nature of a plea for a continuation of that opportunity for others alike deserving.
I agree whole-heartedly with Mr. Billikopf-I am not arguing in favor of unrestricted immigration. I am opposed to anyone coming here who can not and will not be assimilated with us, or who will not undertake to understand our point of view and the spirit and ideals of America. But, speaking for this delegation and those whom they represent, whose meetings I have addressed time after time, always upon an American subject, I say to you that America has not been the loser by their being here, and others like them will be a desirable acquisition to our people and our country. Let the present law remain until such time as we can have a report of a commission appointed to investigate the subject of immigration in a scientific manner, and let us then enact a permanent measure which will forever declare not an emergency but an American policy of immigration to our shores.
May I not thank you, Senator, and gentlemen of the committee, for the few moments that you were kind enough to give me?
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will stand adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10.30.
(Whereupon, at 3 o'clock p. m., the committee adjourned until 10.30 o'clock a. m., Friday, March 14, 1924.)