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Mr. Secretary, if you would state, in a general way, both with regard to certificate selection at the source and also, having fixed some what of a nonelastic quota basis, whatever that basis may be, how far the law, in your opinion, should be made flexible in order to meet the question of relatives, in order to meet the question of skilled and unskilled labor, and in order to meet the question of seasonable labor, the committee would be glad to hear you.

Secretary Davis. Mr. Chairman, my point on the immigration certificate probably is not so different from the others as set forth in the Watson bill. My thought about it is that our immigration certificates should be issued by the consul himself. That is, if a man desires to come to this country, and we follow the present plan, he proceeds to his government for a passport to leave for the United States. My plan would be that he would go first to the American consul and secure his certificate. After he has secured his certificate he would then proceed, if it is necessary, to his government to get a passport to permit him to go to the United States. I reverse the order. I put the granting of the certificate in the consul's hands first, rather than give it to that particular government. Then you find out whether he is eligible to come to the United States. As it is, a man desiring to come to the United States presents himself to his government and if he is a good, big, strong, healthy man, and would be a real addition to the country they have the right to refuse him a passport.

Senator King. They would have that right, however, if you reverse it.

Secretary Davis. They would have that right then, too, but if we should find that they were really refusing good, strong, healthy men to come to this country, we have the right under this particular bill to shut off immigration from that particular country. That is the penalty they suffer in refusing to let their strong men and women come to this country. For instance, if a country has a quota, we give preference to the husband and wife and the children of the parties here. In some of these countries they refuse to give passports to the women and children to come, because a charge is made against their quota. They give them to workmen to come to this country to work in order that they may remit money to support their families in that particular country.

For instance, a high officer of one of the countries in Europe said that his Government was interested in immigration to give us only the old men and the rubbish. Another was interested in getting rid of some four hundred thousand refugees from Russia; they were not interested at all in giving us their own men; and that is where I got the idea of reversing the order of the certificate, because I found in those working districts of the several countries that I visited thousands of men who were desirous of coming to this country. The order of business ought to be changed; a man ought to have the right to go to the American consul, and then, if his government refuses him a passport to come to the country, we would know it and we could shut off immigration to stop this dumping of the undesirables of Europe into America. That is the difference between the certificate that I suggest and the certificate that is offered in these other bills.

Senator RBED. Would you require a visé to be made in addition to your certificate ?

Secretary Davis. I would charge a ten dollar fee. That is sufficient for him after he secures his passport. I understand that there is some objection on the part of some of the countries that they travel through that the passport is not viséed, but nearly all of these countries have a port to which the emigrants can go direct without leaving their own country. I would not charge anything for the visé.

Senator REED. You might as well combine the visé function with the certificate function.

Secretary Davis. That is my opinion. His certificate is viséed. He uses the passport to get out of his own country.

Senator KING. If your plan prevails you would have the applicant, after he has obtained his passport from his own government, report back to the consular officer who has given him the certificate?

Secretary Davis. If he wants to do so, he can; but it is not necessary. He has his certificate and that serves as the visé.

Senator King. It seems to me that if the government rejected the applicant the American consular officer from whom he had obtained the certificate ought to be advised of that fact.

Secretary Davis. Oh, yes.

Senator King. It was for that reason that I made the inquiry. If your plan did not contemplate information it may be conveyed by the applicant whether accepted or rejected by his own government.

Secretary Davis. These regulations are made, under the bill, by the Commissioner General of Immigration with the approval of the Secretary and the Department of State, and he could exact of him if he were refused a passport that he come back and notify the officer.

Senator HARRISON. It would be necessary to keep some tabulation upon it for you or some limitation upon the quota, but it would not be necessary if you did not have a quota limitation. For instance, your consul in that particular country would not know when you

had reached the limit unless he had reported back that this fellow was going across.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you suppose that the foreign governments would cooperate with us in issuing passports?

Secretary Davis. They do not know what to do with their population, Senator. Take it in Great Britain alone, and this illustration applies to all other countries. I make it Great Britain because I was born there myself and I can not offend anybody. Take the population in Great Britain now. They lost 900,000 men during the war. They have increased that population since the war by more than a million and they are adding to their population every year more than a quarter of a million. They have to have an outlet for their population. If you shut off immigration from those countries you will have a revolution in some of them.

The CHAIRMAN. Will you explain in a word again just the advantage of applying to the consul first for the certificate before the applicant gets his passport?

Secretary DAVIS. Let me make this illustration by using myself as Exhibit A. I am a European. I desire to come to America. As it is now I must proceed to my government for a passport. I would make it that I would go to the American consular officer. That is the natural place for me to go. I have America in my mind.






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I go to the American consular officer and tell him that I want to go to America. He presents me this certificate which has to be filled out. The American consular officer can say, “I want a medical certificate. I want to know what the health conditions of your family are. I want to know something about you. I want to know all about you.” He has these many questions that he propounds to me. I satisfy the American consular officer that I am fit and that my family that I expect to take with me, or that will come later after I have earned money in this country to send for them, is also fit. Now, the consular officer is perfectly satisfied that there is a wholesome family and he grants the certificate. Then I proceed with that certificate to my own government and ask the officer for a passport to go to America. In some of the countries they might refuse and we would find that they were refusing me a passport. Then we would have the power under this particular bill to shut off immigration from that county.

The CHAIRMAN. In the Johnson bill the emigrant must prepare a petition which sets forth in great detail certain facts, and upon that petition the consul issues the certificate which sets forth in less detail certain facts. Would you have those facts which the emigrant must state in the form of a petition? Or would you have those regulations laid down by the Department of Labor? Or would you have them in the form of the Johnson bill, which states specifically the facts which must be set out and sworn to by the emigrant! Your bill provides that it should be under regulations, does it not?

Secretary Davis. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Your bill does not set out any details?
Secretary Davis. I think it sets out part of it.
The CHAIRMAN. I thought it left it general.

Secretary Davis. But to let general rules and regulations be made by the Commissioner General of Immigration with the approval of the Secretary of Labor.

The CHAIRMAN. To follow out your illustration, if you are in Italy and you want to come to America and you go to the consul and want to get a certificate, is the consul going to trust to your word, etc.?

Secretary DAVIS. Well, the consul has all of the machinery. There are truly some honest men in that particular country where he can get this information.

The CHAIRMAN. What must the emigrant do to get his certificate under your proposal?

Secretary Davis. He must comply with the rules and regulations set forth.

The CHAIRMAN. Those rules and regulations would not be statutory but would be the rules and regulations as set forth by the department?

Secretary Davis. Yes.

Senator KING. They could be statutory and you have authority to supplement them, but the authority to supplement would not give you the right to contravene the statutory provision.

Secretary Davis. That is right.

Senator HARRISON. You really think, then, that it is better to leave it with the Department of Labor with respect to rules and regulations than to statutory requirements?

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Secretary Davis. I should think so. Senator HARRISON. That looks all right while you are Secretary of Labor, Mr. Davis, but somebody else might get in there and have different views.

Secretary Davis. I have that question put to me practically every day. As I see it now with the many organizations, with the interests that we have in immigration at this time, a man that did other than right in that office would be practically—well, he would be ostracized, because I really believe right now that if the matter were put to a referendum vote of the people of this country, rather than have it go on as it is, they would vote for total exclusion. Senator HARRISON. I think you are right on that point.

Senator King. You would not object, Mr. Secretary, to a bill containing statutory requirements?

Secretary Davis. No; I have no objection to that.

Senator KING. Indeed, would it not be wise that certain statements should be made or certain qualifications should be set forth which must be met by the applicant and then give to the department authority, perhaps, to supplement but not repeal or modify the congressional requirements or qualifications?

Secretary Davis. I would have no objection to that. I have reached this position-I just want to answer you about the percentage--with all this opposition that we have from foreign countries and all this talk about discrimination and this great army of people that are trying to prevent any legislation, I have really reached this conclusion in immigration: That I would adopt something similar to the Canadian law and I would just have this special immigration certificate. I would have the joining together of families under that special immigration certificate; I would furnish such labor as is needed in the country, both skilled and common, and I believe I have reached the point when I would make it a real business proposition.

Take the overdevelopment in industry. Senator Reed is more familiar with it than I, although I have worked in it since a boy 8 years


age. I have seen this army come and go. I have seen towns go from English-speaking to a foreign language in a night, so to speak. With the production you have in the steel business now you can produce all the steel we need in seven or eight months. We have got machinery here for the manufacture of shoes. We can make 735,000,000 pairs of shoes a year and we can use up about 350,000,000. There is but six months' work in the window-glass industry; but six months' work yearly in the textile industry, and I might continue down to our retail business. For every manufacturing concern we have two or three wholesale houses. For


wholesale house we have just so many retail concerns, and we have so many of these now that one concern serves about 350 people. The whole country is overdeveloped. Now, I am just expressing myself as I feel about it. I have reached the point where I believe I would go along with a special immigration certificate and give to the country just exactly what it needed.

This bill of Senator Watson provides that the percentage limitation should be extended to Canada and Mexico. That is right. It is the most absurd, it is the most asinine, policy I know of, gentlemen, to lock this front door over here in Europe and open the back door to Mexico. Sixty-three thousand Mexicans came in last year that we know of. God knows how many came illegally over the border. There is no way to find out.

Senator KING. Do not most of them return to Mexico?

Secretary Davis. It does not look as though they are returning when the largest item of expense of the New Mexico Legislature is for interpreters and translators. It does not look like it to-day when you have trial by jury there, and need interpreters in a large number of cases to interpret the evidence to the jurors. It does not look like it to-day when they are bringing them by trainloads and assigning them all over this country.

Is it not better to get down to a sensible program, as we argued out with the representatives of organized labor in my office for five hours? Is it not better to furnish the skilled mechanics needed in this country and furnish people easy for us to assimilate? Because, how are we going to keep the mechanics at work if we do not have common labor? Now, to satisfy all of these European governments who say we discriminate against them, why not just adopt a policy of total exclusion for everybody and have an immigration policy that would give just what we need ? Furnish farm hands, furnish domestics, furnish skilled labor, and furnish common labor. That is the point I am coming to, Senator.

Senator King. That would mean, then, Federal supervision and a Federal mobilizing office or a Federal reporting office to whom everybody would report that needed the labor, skilled or unskilled ?

Secretary DAVIS. I would say go to the office of the Secretary of Labor. It is to the interest of the skilled and the organized worker to have common labor in this country.

Senator KING. Does the Watson bill, so called, which I understand has been drawn by your office, comprehend the scheme which you have spoken of?

Secretary Davis. It has a special immigration certificate, because under the Watson bill here he has 12 installments; that is, onetwelfth of the quota comes each month, and it provides, first, for women and children.

Senator King. But does that bill comprehend your plan?

Secretary Davis. Yes; it has part of it. It has the special immigration certificate.

Senator REED. It does more than that; it gives you power to shut off immigration entirely or to increase the admissions.

Secretary Davis. Yes; with the special immigration certificate, Senator. It also provides that when you have five or six million men out of work, such as we had here in 1921, the President of the United States has the power to shut off all immigration or such immigration as he feels is right; that is, upon the certificate of the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Labor that such conditions exist.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, your fundamental proposition rather agrees with the policy of the Canadian Government, that immigration should be in the hands of a commission or board, whether you, or you in combination with others.

Secretary Davis. I do not know whether there should be created a special commission or not. I do not think I agree with that.

The CHAIRMAN. We must deal with the environment and present conditions. Do you think Congress at the present time would be

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