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Mr. RATHBONE. There is a communication under date of February 22, 1926 [reading]:
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. O., February 22, 1926.
House District Committee. MY DEAR COLLEAGUE: The committee on public order of the Washington Board of Trade has sent in on Senate bill 1750, similar to H. R. 7848, now under consideration by your subcommittee, the following:
“ Senate bill No. 1750, known as the Woman's Police Bureau Bill: They unanimously recommend that the bill should not be made into a law, and that the woman's bureau should be under the direct supervision and control of the major and superintendent of police." Very sincerely yours,
F. N. ZIHLMAN. Mr. REID. Mr. Chairman, is that to Mr. Zihlman? I thought it
you. Mr. RATHBONE. It is by the chairman to me, sending in the report of the Senate committee on this bill.
Mr. Gibson. It is the report you are reading as forwarded to you by Chairman Zihlman? Mr. RATHBONE. I have read the letter just as sent to me.
Mr. Gibson. That does not purport to state the position taken by the chairman of this committee?
Mr. RATHBONE. Not in the least.
Mr. BLANTON. And if it did, it would not be fatal to the bill, because we do pass measures against which the chairman takes a stand.
Mr. Reid. I am glad the chairman stands so high in the subcommittee.
Mr. BLANTON. If my colleague from Illinois will pardon the interruption--I mean the fact that one man happens to be chairman and might be against the bill does not always stop a bill in a committee; and I have seen the time when another chairman, Mr. Ben Focht, who sat at the head of this table, had every single member of the committee favorable on a bill and he refused to call it up in the House, and the committee called it up and passed it. That was when Mr. Focht was chairman. So that doesn't always control.
Mr. RATHBONE, I think that the gentleman is under misapprehension. I thought that the committee would like to have the benefit of these communications both for and against. I am expressing no individual opinion at the present time.
Mr. REID. This is new subject matter to me. I am not familiar with the subject matter at all.
Mr. RATHBONE. Here is a communication from the Zonta Club of Rome, N. Y. [reading] :
ZONTA CLUB OF ROME, N. Y.,
February 9, 1926. Hon. FREDERICK N. ZIHLMAN, Chairman of the District Committee of the House,
Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: The Zonta Club of Rome, N. Y., wishes to express its interest in and the indorsement of Senate bill 1750, “ to establish a woman's bureau in the Metropolitan police department of the District of Columbia, and for other purposes."
The club therefore requests your favorable vote upon the above-mentioned bill. Very truly yours, E. HAZEL GOLLEY, Secretary Rome Zonta Club.
Mr. RATHBONE. This communication is addressed to the chairman of the committee, under date of February 8, 1926 [reading] :
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CongBESS OF PARENT-TEACHER Associations, February 8, 1926. Hon. FREDERICK N. ZIHLMAN, Chairman Committee on the District of Columbia, House of Representatives.
DEAR SIR: As chairman of the juvenile court committee of the District of Columbia Congress of Parents and Teachers, I desire to call your attention to the action taken by our association last year and am inclosing a copy of resolutions adopted at our meeting on February 17, 1925. My committee and the association we represent are strongly opposed to any branch of the police department usurping powers which rightfully belong to the judiciary department of our city, particularly as such functions affect our children. In view of this we respectfully urge that your committee will not report the “bill to establish a woman's bureau in the Metropolitan police department of the District of Columbia, and for other purposes” (S. 1750), without granting a hearing so that opponents of the bill may state their objections in detail.
Very respectfully yours,
Whereas the Congress of Parent-Teacher Associations believes that the best interests of the children of Washington will be served by having all preliminary investigations of such children, before court action, made by the juvenile court or the Board of Children's Guardians; and
Whereas Senate bill No. 4308 gives such investigating power to the woman's bureau, a branch of the police department, which we fear is a dangerous encroachment upon the rights of the children of the District of Columbia: Therefore be it
Resolved by the District Congress of Parent-Teacher Associations, in regular meeting assembled February 17, 1925, That we urge the Commissioners of the District to give careful and earnest consideration to this bill and await the report from the public welfare code commission before recommending its passage; and also be it
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be sent to the Board of Commissioners, the public welfare code commission, the chairman of the District Committee of the Senate, and the chairman of the District''Committee of the House of Representatives.
Mr. RATHBONE. Is anyone present here on behalf of the ParentTeacher Associations? . Mrs. BYLER. Yes. Mr. RATHBONE. You would like to be heard? Mrs. BYLER. Yes. Mr. REID. Who is that from, Mr. Chairman? - Mr. RATHBONE. From the District of Columbia Congress of Parent-Teacher Associations. - There is one more communication, from the District Commis-, sioners, in opposition to the bill, which is several pages in length, and which, unless desired, I will not read. Mr. REID. What is their main objection to it? Mr. RATHBONE. I can read it if you care to have me do so.
Mr. REID. No; just tell me. I would like to know in a general way. Mr. RATHBONE. Well, it says [reading] :
The Commissioners of the District of Columbia have the honor to submit the following on H. R. No. 7848, Sixty-ninth Congress, first session, entitled “A bill to establish a woman's bureau in the Metropolitan police department of the District of Columbia, and for other purposes,” which you referred to them for report as to the merits of the bill and the propriety of its enactment.
The object of this bill seems to be to give legislative sanction to a woman's bureau in the Metropolitan police department. Such bureau is now in existence and has been for many years. The duties of the bureau are set out in the police manual and the bureau is functioning satisfactorily as a part of the police department. No reason is apparent why any particular branch of the police department should be covered by express legislative sanction. It may safely be assumed that all branches of the bureaus of the police department are conducted because of the necessities incident to the general scope of police duties.
Do you want me to read all of this? The main statement is that there is something of the kind already in existence and it is functioning.
Mr. REID. Does it say what it is?
Mr. RATHBONE. Beg pardon.
Mr. REID. Does it say what it is?
Mr. RATHBONE. I will pass the letter over to you.
(Thereupon, Mr. Rathbone handed the communication from the commissioners to Mr. Reid, the remainder of which is as follows:)
The object of this bill seems to be to give legislative sanction to a woman's bureau in the Metropolitan police department. Such bureau is now in existence and has been for many years. The duties of the bureau are set out in the police manual and the bureau is functioning satisfactorily as a part of the police department. No reason is apparent why any particular branch of the police department should be covered by express legislative sanction. It may safely be assumed that all branches and bureaus of the police department are conducted because of the necessities incident to the general scope of police duties. If no such necessity should exist, manifestly it would be unfair to the District government, to the police department, and to the taxpayers to continue such an unnecessary bureau because it had been organized under express legislative enactment. It should be understood, however, and remembered, that the woman's bureau is functioning satisfactorily and is regarded by the commissioner at present in charge of the police department and by the present major and 'superintendent of police as a valuable adjunct to the department, and there is no thought of discontinuing such bureau so long as it is possible to secure competent persons to perform service therein. The proposed bill undertakes to specify the number and grade of the officers and privates attached to the woman's bureau. This, in the opinion of the commissioners, is unwise and should be left to the commissioners, who, in acting in such a matter, will of necessity be guided by such recommendations as may be made from time to time by the major and superintendent of police. At présent the officer in charge of the woman's bureau has the rank of lieutenant; the nature and extent of the work performed by the woman's bureau would not warrant, in the opinion of the commissioners, that it be placed in charge of an officer of the rank of assistant superintendent as contemplated in the bill. Section 2 (a) of the bill provides a method of appointment and promotion. This is already covered by existing law with respect to all officers of the Metropolitan police department. Section 2 (b) of the bill specifies the qualifications for the director of the bureau. In the opinion of the commissioners such qualifications need not be set out in an act of Congress, and the commissioners, acting with the major and superintendent of police may reasonably be trusted in making such future appointments as may be necessary. It may be added that the present satisfactory director was selected in the latter manner and not because she was measured by any hard and fast rule of legislative enactment.
As to all other provisions of the proposed bill, the commissioners are of opinion that the woman's bureau as at present constituted and as it is at present functioning, and the laws governing the Metropolitan police department and the police manual, are sufficient, and that further legislation along any of the lines as proposed is unnecessary. Very respectfully,
J. F. BELL,
of the District of Columbia. Mr. GIBSON. Is there a communication from the citizens' advisory council?
Mr. RATHBONE. I have no communication in the files from them. I don't think any such communication has reached me.
Mr. GIBSON. I think that also ought to be a part of the record.
Mr. RATHBONE. What is the pleasure of the committee? Who would like to be heard here to-day?
Mr. REID. May we find out about the citizens' advisory council? I would like to know if they have been asked for an opinion.
Mr. RATHBONE. I am not aware of the fact that they have been, but I have received no communication from them.
Mr. BLANTON. I will state to the Chair that it is the policy of the committee to have the secretary to submit every bill to the advisory council. We could find out from the secretary of the committee as to whether or not they have been asked for an opinion on this bill.
Mr. REID. That is what I was asking. May we have that information ?
Mr. RATHBONE. Who shall we hear from? Mrs. Van Winkle, do you wish to say something?
STATEMENT OF MRS. MINA C. VAN WINKLE, LIEUTENANT,
WOMAN'S BUREAU, METROPOLITAN POLICE, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Mrs. VAN WINKLE. One of the gentlemen of the committee asked whether it is the same bill that was before Congress last year. The present bill has two very important changes: We are asking for more women than we asked for last year and we are asking for higher rank for the women in the bureau than we asked for last year. We thought we might just as well be on equal footing with the men as to go on as we are going without equality.
The International Association of Policewomen got up the explanation of the bill in printed form, and this explanation also carries with it a great many indorsements of both local and private organizations. I ask that the gentleman have it incorporated in the minutes, and for the benefit of the new member perhaps you would
Mr. REID. Yes; I will be glad to look at it. (The document referred to is as follows:)
EXPLANATION AND INDORSEMENT OF THE WOMAN'S BUREAU BILL METROPOLITAN
POLICE DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Maj. Edwin B. Hesse, the present chief of police, and Maj. Daniel Sullivan, his predecessor, during the past four years repeatedly urged the necessity of the legislation now being advanced in Senate bill 1750. While the present commissioner of police and Major Hesse are in sympathy with the woman's
bureau, there have been and there may again be officials in charge of the Metropolitan police department inimical to policewomen's service. In this country and in England the service of policewomen has been hampered and even destroyed because of prejudice and political pressure brought to bear by forces of evil. This bill is contemplated to prevent the woman's bureau of the Metropolitan police department suffering a similar fate at the hands of future administrators. For more than seven years the woman's bureau has done preventive-protective work on behalf of women and children for the Metropolitan police department in the Capital of the United States. Senate bill 1750, introduced by Senator Capper, of Kansas, will establish by law this bureau, which has been in existence in fact since September, 1918, when it was created by the Commissioners of the District of Columbia—without outside pressure or demand— to perform functions which could be handled only by educated, trained women. Organized to fill a definite need, the woman's bureau since its inception has never been adequately staffed to meet all the demands made upon it by the public, the other branches of the police department, and other private and public social agencies which continually seek its assistance. The bill was written and reviewed by men well known in the legal profession of the District of Columbia. The qualifications indicated in the bill are those that are required as a minimum by the United States civil service for these positions. The duties and functions as indicated in the bill do not give power not already inherent in the police power. They are prescribed in the police manual or are those required of all police officers by law and are fixed in this bill in order to avoid controversy within the department and the difficulties to which departments are frequently subjected by uninformed, unsympathetic administrations. This bill emphasizes the power and privilege of the commissioners and the major and superintendent of police to prescribe other functions not inconsistent with the purpose and functions of the woman's bureau; namely, preventiveprotective work for women and children, as well as the power of general administration of the department. It states that the director of the bureau, rated as an assistant superintendent, “shall be directly responsible to the major and superintendent of police.” The major and superintendent should be held responsible for his acts concerning this service—evasion through subordinates has caused and can cause complications and injustice. It proposes putting the members of the woman's bureau on the same footing “according to the period of service and classification ” as other members of the Metropolitan police department. They are already subject to the same rules, regulations, and discipline. Other bureau heads have higher rank and detective sergeants receive higher pay for special work than do policewomen for special work for which they have professional training. It raises the rank and compensation of the directing officers to correspond with the rank and compensation of commanding officers in other bureaus of the Metropolitan police department; increases the compensation of special workers and makes the compensation of other members of the woman's bureau the same as other officers and privates of the Metropolitan police force of the same grade. It provides for the increase in the number of policewomen up to the number of 100 and also for the necessary office force which is so urgently needed. It must be taken into consideration that the woman's bureau maintains a 24-hour service of three shifts seven days a week. In addition, provision must be made for sick and annual leave for the entire staff of policewomen and civilian workers. At night two women must work together because of the dangers and the need of two witnesses in dealing with the type of offenses that are handled while on patrol. Emergency service of various kinds must be rendered by the staff, including undercover workers. The new regulation of the District of Columbia allowing to civilian workers one day's leave in seven means the withdrawal of policewomen from regular duties to serve as substitutes. This situation means that we never have our full force of policewomen at our disposal continuously or at any one time and that the women now serving must frequently put in 10 and 12 hours of duty, even working through two shifts. It also necessitates loss of their day off when they are obliged to continue important investigations or appear in court.