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Senator WILLIS. Was it the same sort of labor? The same sort of employment?
Mr. DEVER. Agricultural employment; yes, sir.
Mr. DEVER. They are good workers, but not as intelligent, if you will permit me, as German agricultural labor.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. Now, we might call one other witness.
STATEMENT OF MR. JAMES F. GULNACK, BANGOR, ME., REPRE
SENTING MAINE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND AGRICULTURE.
Mr. GULNACK. Mr. Chairman, I might say that this organization that I represent has for the past two years been making, as far as we
I could there in Maine, a more or less intensive study of immigration, because it seemed to some of us that it meant a lot to our State.
I do not want to take any more of your time than I possibly can, and so, coming down on the train, I just jotted down some notes. If you will excuse me, I will read what I have to say, in order that I may take as little of your time as possible.
The State of Maine, the oldest permanently settled portion of the American Continent, can justly claim that her residents are as nearly 100 per cent American as any other State in the Union. The 1920 census shows that her native born form 86 per cent of her population. Of the 14 per cent foreign born, 69.5 are Canadian born, which increases the total of American born in Maine to 95.4 per cent. Of the foreign born, 55 per cent are living in urban districts and 45 per cent in the rural districts.
The number of farms under cultivation in Maine has decreased since 1870 and down to 1920 by 16,082, and the number of acres of improved land by 1,507,579.
Senator COPELAND. That is the decrease?
Mr. GULNACK. That is the decrease. This is a loss of 25 per cent in farms and 43 per cent in acres of improved land.
Senator King. Forty-three per cent in the State?
Mr. GULNACK. Forty-three per cent of the farms, of the total number of farms at our maximum peak, which was in 1870. Twentyfive per cent of those are now not under cultivation or not being used.
Senator COPELAND. Is not one reason for that this, that the farmer who had large acreage is now cultivating intensively a few acres, raising potatoes and things of that kind?
Mr. GULNACK. Why, no, Senator, not to any extent. As a matter of fact, as far as our potato-growing section is concerned the land is being cultivated to-day more than ever. Our loss is in the other sections. In Aroostook County, for instance, there is no difficulty, because there is a real agricultural industry there, and I will try to bring out the reason why I think it has been a success.
Senator King. How do your crops compare quantitatively now with what they were when you had the high peak of arable land, or cultivated land!
Mr. GULNACK. I have not the figures as to the total crops produced by Maine as far back as 1870. I will say this, though, that to a small extent what Senator Copeland suggested is true, that there are some sections where they are cultivating the land more intensively. It is the same way in New York. I was born up in New York State. Senator Colt knows what it is all through New England. There has been a loss of 7,500,000 acres under cultivation in all New England, as compared with what there was in 1870. There has been an exodus from the country to the cities and to other States. It is a question of immigration, and as far as Maine is concerned that is the only way to make up for that loss.
Senator Willis. You say there is no difficulty in the great potatogrowing sections, such as Aroostook County!
Mr. GULNACK. Not as far as deserted farms are concerned; no, sir,
Senator COPELAND. My father was born up around Dexter, Mich. Up around there they are all raising potatoes now, and they can get out of a few acres what they used to get out of a good many.
Senator King. I rode from Utica down to Cooperstown last summer, and it seemed to me that every third or fourth farm in that beautiful section was deserted.
Senator COPELAND. One farm in 16 in Pennsylvania was deserted
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. And what is the economic reason for it? We can not now row upstream.
Mr. GULNACK. During this same half century Maine has given liberally of her boys and girls, which in great part account for her abandoned farms. More than 50 years ago Governor Chamberlain in addressing the Maine Legislature characterized the State as a “ nursery for the missionaries of civilization," and urged the bringing here of Scandanavians, saying, “If we can not keep our sons at home, let us bring in our cousins." His advice was followed, and a number of Swedish families were brought over for settlement in the northern part of the State-- Aroostook County, now famous for its fine potatoes.
This settlement, known as New Sweden, was a success in every way. Many of the decendants of these settlers still reside there; others are living elsewhere in the State, occupying prominent positions in the business world and professional life of their communities; and most of the public schools in this part of the State are now being taught by Swedish girls. They not only have assimilated with us; they have improved us. This county alone has had a healthy and consistent growth in population, although other counties have superior advantages.
In connection with a different type of immigrants that has come in to some extent, I will refer you to Senator Fernald, who knows the situation even more intimately than I do.
A few Finns who came to Maine, having been brought here to work in the woods, went to one of the banks to see if they could borrow some money to buy a farm there. Quite a number of them bought right in the locality where Governor Fernald lives: He told our Maine farmers two years ago :
As far as the Finns are concerned, I want to say this: In our kind of business we have decided that whatever a Finn asks for in the way of an advance we will give it to him without any question, because our experience has been
that, in the first place, they never ask for more than they want, and in the second place, they have paid back every cent that has been advanced to them, a thing we can not say for our natives.
Senator Fernald made that remark himself.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. We settled the Finnish debt this week in the Senate. That bears out what you say. That is the only country in continental Erope that is in that situation.
Mr. GULNACK. The people of Maine are desirous of advertising to the people of Europe the farming possibilities of their State, in the hope that their unused farms can again become productive. That there is room in Maine for more people can be seen from the fact that the State could take, in addition to the increase averaged over the last 50 years, the gross number admissible under our present 3 per cent quota for 371 years, and then would not be any more densely populated than is Massachusetts.
We do not think it should any longer continue to be a criminal act to tell a Swede or any other desirable foreigner that he can have work in Maine if he will come there. In fact, we think that it is criminal toward the State to legislate against her advertising the possibilities of her farms, of work in the summer time at her resorts, and in the winter time in her woods. With the number of immigrants limited, with the publicity given to high wages paid in cities, what chance is there of getting desirable people to go on the farms unless we advertise their advantages to a class of people desirous of farming and willing to live the kind of life necessary.
To make this possible, we suggest for your consideration an amendment to your bill, as follows:
The Secretary of Labor, upon the verified petition of a citizen of the United States, when it shall satisfactorily appear to him after full hearings and investigation that the facts stated in such petition are true and that the immigrant for whom petition is made is a farmer or a farm laborer coming to the United States for the purpose of carrying on agricultural pursuits in the rural districts of the United States, shall authorize and require a consular officer to issue a special visé certificate to such immigrant, his wife, and unmarried child under 18 years of age accompanying him, regardless of quota or contract labor restrictions.
Senator Willis. Will you permit an interruption just there? Would it satisfy you just as well if we increased the quota and the farmers were given a preference in the issuance of visé certificates?
Mr. GULNACK. It would not satisfy me; no. I am of the opinion that our whole future legislation, if it is to handle the problem right, must be along the line of selection and not repression. When you consider that Maine could take your gross 3 per cent for 371 years and then be no more densely populated than is Massachusetts, I do not think that we need have any fear as to numbers if they are the right kind.
Senator Willis. You see, the difficulty of the committee is this: Suppose we fix a quota at any given per cent. Tentatively it is fixed it 3 per cent. Suppose it were 10 per cent. Why fix a quota and then go to work and enumerate a number of classes that shall come in outside of the quota? The committee thought it more logical to fix a quota and then provide that these various classes should have preferrence in the issue of the visé certificates. But we think they should come within the quota.
Mr. GULNACK. That would, of course, be better than this, but I am just expressing my own opinion. If we can get the type of people that we have had there in Maine and that we have reason to believe we can still get, I do not believe that the question of numbers should worry us. It seems to me they will make desirable citizens of the kind we want here in any reasonable number.
Senator WILLIS. Then am I to understand that you say there ought not to be any quota ?
Mr. GULNACK. Oh, absolutely no.
Senator WILLIS. You want a quota, but have it fixed so that as many as may be needed can come outside of that?
Mr. GULNACK. I would like to have it provided by law that nobody who is not a desirable person could come in, and then that all the desirable ones who wanted to come could come in.
Senator WILLIS. Well, you have stated a great desideratum, if you can frame a law like that. Senator REED of Pennsylvania. May I interject a remark about your mathematics? The present quota is 357,000 persons a year. The quota for 377 years would therefore be about 14,000,000 persons. The population of Massachusetts is less than 5,000,000.
Mr. GULNACK. Yes, sir; but the State of Maine is as large as all the rest of New England put together. We could take Massachusetts and Senator Colt's State of Rhode Island and put them up in Aroostock County and not be able to find them.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. Do you not get any relief from Canada, from the French Canadians ?
Mr. GULNACK. About the only immigration we have is that of the French Canadians.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. The quota law does not apply to Canada, you know.
Mr. GULNACK. No; it does not. Your present bill, however, does apply to any except native Canadians.
The CHAIRMAN. We have had quite a session to-day, and I for one think we have had about all we can digest. Would it be any
trouble for you to continue your testimony Monday morning?
Mr. GULNACK. No, sir; not if you prefer it that way.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will stand adjourned until 10.30 Monday morning.
Whereupon at 5 o'clock p. m., the committee adjourned to meet. at 10.30 o'clock a. m. Monday, March 10, 1924.)
SELECTIVE IMMIGRATION LEGISLATION.
MONDAY, MARCH 10, 1924
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to adjournment, in the Immigration Committee room, the Capitol, at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Senator Le Baron B. Colt, presiding,
Present: Senators Colt (chairman), Keyes, Willis, Reed of Pennsylvania, Harris, Harrison, and Copeland.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. I have here a telegram from Robert De C. Ward, of Harvard University, which, without objection, will be inserted in the record. (The telegram is as follows:)
CAMBRIDGE, MASS., March 8, 1924. Senator LEBARON B. COLT,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C.: As close student of immigration for 30 years, am satisfied that per cent limitation should be based on 1890 census. Proportion of immigrants of various nationalities would be about same as proportion of those nationalities in present population ; 1890 census per cent would reduce feeble-minded inflow one half at least. Immigration of unskilled labor would be greatly reduced to allow unlimited inflow of cheap labor. Would perpetuate permanent coolie class here. This impossible situation in democracy depending on homogeneous and intelligent citizens. No other single method could accomplish so much. Census of 1890 properly discriminates in favor of people now forming majority of our population. If 1910 census retained, per cent should be reduced and only near blood relatives of citizens at time of enactment should be admitted, and these within quotas most rigid. Consular certificates consistent with treaties should form part of law. Senitment of country apart from certain thoroughly alien groups never more strongly for rigid limitation and careful selection. We need permanent legislation, not temporary extension of present law.
ROBERT DE C. WARD, Harvard University. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Rosenberg, I understand you were good enough to come here this morning, although you have an engagement in court, and you desire to take about 15 minutes?
, Mr. ROSENBERG. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. As the testimony is to be taken down and printed, it will be available to the other members of the committee, and therefore you may proceed.
STATEMENT OF MR. MAURICE D. ROSENBERG, ATTORNEY AT
LAW, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. ROSENBERG. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I have the honor of representing the Independent Order of B'Nai Brith, an organization with a membership of some 80,000 in this