A determined drive to stop immigration into the United States has come to the surface in the House of Representatives. This move is being headed by Representative Thomas L. Blanton of Texas, and has the support of a number of House members who are following the Texan’s flag-waving campaign.
For a number of years Representative Blanton has been an advocate of a closed door policy. Each session of Congress saw the introduction of a Blanton bill designed to restrict immigration. His proposals always died in the hands of the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization.
During the last week Representative Blanton came out into the open with his demands for a halt in immigration. He blamed Representative Samuel Dickstein of New York, chairman of the House immigration committee, for the death blows dealt to his immigration restriction measures.
The other day Representative Blanton filed a petition with the Clerk of the House to discharge the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization from the further consideration of a bill which he introduced early this session to stop all immigration to this country for ten years.
In announcing that he had filed the petition, Representative Blanton said, “Rumors have reached me that at a meeting of the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization the chairman of the committee, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Dickstein) attempted to take action which he thought would prevent me from filing this petition to discharge his committee from further consideration of my bill to stop immigration but when he looks up the rules he will find that said action was futile, and in no way stopped me from filing this petition to discharge; and my discharge petition is filed, and it is now on the Clerk’s desk.”
Appealing to the membership of the House for support of his drive, Representative Blanton said, “Those who are in favor of stopping immigration and taking back from aliens 12,000,000 jobs that are held by foreigners and giving them to unemployed Americans so that every American will have an American job, I hope will sign this petition to discharge the committee. If enough sign the petition I guarantee that I will get this bill out of Chairman Dickstein’s “death house,” as he called it, and bring it to a vote in this House. It requires 218 signatures. Now is the time to come to the aid of Americans and help them get back their jobs,” Representative Blanton concluded.
Those who have followed Representative Dickstein’s immigration legislative efforts are aware of his keen interest in humanizing immigration laws. Representative Dickstein points out that in the last five years no immigrants have come into the United States except those who came to close family ties, like children of American citizens and wives of American citizens. There is very little new seed immigration coming in. Those who do come in have established the fact that they have enough money to take care of themselves for a period of years.
Referring to Representative Blanton as a “professional restrictionist,” Representative Dickstein said, “There should have been a quota law during the time that Columbus came to this country, or at the time he discovered this country. Had there been, I think we would be all right and in good shape. The gentleman would not be here himself.”
Representative Florence P. Kahn of California, is coming to the fore as one of the leaders in the movement for a strong national defense system. The other day in a House debate on the War Department appropriation bill, she said that this country’s army “is almost like a toy army.”
Advocating a standing army in fair proportion to the population of the country, Mrs. Kahn said, “It seems to me a standing army of 165,000 to 168,000 men is not too large to provide for; and this should be done by Congress without delegating its powers to some other authority. It seems to me it is our duty to exercise this power ourselves rather than to make another delegation of power.”
Federal income tax returns are due March 15 and with each return there must be filed a pink slip containing certain income information which will be made public. In case of failure to file this pink slip, a penalty of $5 will be collected. This is a new wrinkle in federal income tax returns which was inserted in the Revenue Act of 1934 and was designed to give publicity to returns. It was passed during a period of Congressional frenzy over tax evasion by a few big boys. But, as time draws near to making returns, Congressmen are beginning to see the injustice of making public what has commonly been considered private information.
Representative Herman P. Kopplemann of Connecticut, is one of the leaders in a drive against the publicity section of the Revenue Act of 1934. He has introduced a bill to postpone for one year the effective date of the publicity section. In addition, he introduced a resolution authorizing the House Committee on Ways and Means to report to the House within 10 days after adoption of the resolution, as to their findings upon investigation whether this section should be repealed.
“If a taxpayer is going to evade paying his taxes, he is not going to be coerced into becoming an honest man simply by the publication of his income tax statement,” Representative Kopplemann said. “What seems to have been entirely overlooked are the millions of honest, patriotic, loyal citizens who make every effort to cooperate for the effective operation of the law but who rightfully consider their income and all information pertaining to it strictly private property. They are willing to submit this information to the Government. There is no reason under the sun why they should submit it to the public.”
Representative Henry Ellenbogen of Pennsylvania is sick and tired of seeing American flags being sold with a label attached saying, “Made in Japan.” And he is doing something about it. He has introduced a bill prohibiting the importation of the United States flag or emblem from foreign countries.
And by the way, it is Representative Ellenbogen who has so many irons in the fire on Capitol Hill. He is a strong advocate of social security legislation and is interested in several measures for old age pensions and unemployment insurance. The other day he was gratified with the passage of a pension bill for blind people in the District of Columbia. In addition to his legislative activities, Representative Ellenbogen is on a rampage for a house cleaning of the Home Owners Loan Corporation branch in Pennsylvania. He sure is beginning to raise a lot of smoke. And this is his second term in the House.