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Joint Resolution 16 which would authorize the Architect of the Capitol to make the necessary arrangements for broadcasting the proceedings of Congress with private broadcasting stations. After careful study of the problem, I concluded, in view of the technical development in the field of radio and television, that a revision of this resolution would be desirable. Accordingly, I have prepared a bill which would amend the Reorganization Act by adding a new title VIL Broadcasting and Televising of Proceedings of Congress. By the way, Mr. Chairman, I introduced that bill (S. 2213). in the Senate yesterday, and I am advised that it was referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration. I intended and thought that it should properly be referred to this committee, since I offer it as an amendment to the Reorganization Act, and I would like very much to join with the chairman of this committee in requesting the Senate to refer the bill to this committee as the appropriate committee to consider it, as it is suggested as an amendment of the Reorganization Act, rather than to the Committee on Rules and Administration.
The CHAIRMAN. You had no information on its reference?
Senator PEPPER. I didn't have any information. It was probably my fault that I made no suggestion whatever to the clerk-I mean to the Parliamentarian. I just assumed that it would be referred to this committee and it was introduced with that idea in mind, because it was introduced as an amendment to the Reorganization Act which this committee is considering. I suppose there would be no objection to the transfer of reference?
The CHAIRMAN. If the Senator will find out about it
Under section 701 of this bill, radio and television stations would be authorized to broadcast congressional and committee proceedings unless either body of the Congress or the individual committee should otherwise order.
Under section 702 of the bill, the Architect of the Capitol would be authorized and directed to make the necessary arrangements for much broadcasting and televising, including the making of permanent rocords of such proceedings and making copies of such records available at cost to radio and television stations.
Under section 703 of the bill, the Architect of the Capitol would boauthorized and directed to establish, maintain, and operate two radio Mtations to broadcast by short wave the proceedings of Congress and its committees, one to be located at a place east of the Mississippi River and one west of that river, so located as to be capable of being hoard by the maximum number of radio listeners in our country. Mr. Chairman, I ask permission to insert a copy of this bill, S. 2213, at this point in the printed record of the hearings.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, that will be done. (The bill referred to above is as follows:)
[S. 2213, 80th Cong., 2d sess.) A BILL To amend the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, as amended, to provide for the broadcasting
and televising of the proceedings of the Senate and the House of Representatives Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, as amended, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new title:
“TITLE VII-BROADCASTING AND TELEVISING OF PROCEEDINGS OF CONGRESS "BROADCASTING AND TELEVISING OF CONGRESSIONAL PROCEEDINGS AUTHORIZED
“SEC. 701. Radio broadcasting or television stations and radio broadcasting or television networks are hereby authorized to broadcast or televise any proceedings on the floor of the Senate or of the House of Representatives or before any committee of the Senate or House of Representatives, unless the Senate or House of Representatives or the committee affected shall otherwise order: Provided, however, That no station or network shall be required to broadcast or televise any proceeding. “PROVISION OF FACILITIES FOR BROADCASTING AND TELEVISING CONGRESSIONAL
PROCEEDINGS “Sec. 702. The Architect of the Capitol is authorized and directed
“(1) to make such arrangements as may be necessary to make available the proceedings of the Senate and the House of Representatives or before any committee of the Senate or House of Representatives for broadcasting and televising by stations and networks;
“(2) to acquire and to install such recording, transcribing, or other equipment as may be necessary to make a complete and continuous recording of the proceedings; and
“(3) to make available at cost copies of such recordings to broadcasting or television stations and networks desiring to broadcast or televise them.
“ESTARLISHMENT OF TWO CONGRESSIONALLY OPERATED SHORT-WAVE BROADCASTING
“Sec. 703. (a) The Architect of the Capitol is authorized and directed to establish, maintain, and operate two radio broadcasting stations for the broadcast by short-wave of the proceedings of the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States or before any committee of the Senate or House of Representatives. One of such stations shall be located east of, and the other west of, the Mississippi River at such locations as the Architect may select for the purpose of assuring that the broadcasts by such stations shall be capable of being received by the maximum number of radio listeners in the United States.
“(b) For the purpose of enabling him to carry out the provisions of subsection (a), the Architect of the Capitol is authorized to acquire by lease, purchase, donation, condemnation, or otherwise any real property or interests therein; to purchase, construct, install, or improve necessary facilities for radio transmission; to provide for the operation of such facilities either by persons employed by him or by other persons under contracts with him.
“APPROPRIATIONS AUTHORIZED “Sec. 704. There are hereby authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this title.”
Senator PEPPER. Now let me make it clear that this proposal is based upon the knowledge that we obtained through the Reorganization Committee from technical experts in this field.
You will notice that it provides for short-wave stations, because that would not interfere with the regular commercial broadcasts. It is contemplated that there would be continuous broadcasting of the proceedings of each body, the Senate and the House, on the different short-wave lengths, so that any person having a short-wave receiving set would be able to turn in on either body at his or her pleasure. That was thought the more feasible approach to the subject, although at the present time probably 30 percent of the people have receiving sets which will receive short-wave broadcasts. However, we didn't think that it was feasible to contemplate broadcasting all the proceedings of the Senate and the House when they are in session or of their committees when they are having hearings that are deemed in the public interest, because that would take too much time, of course,
from the regular normal standard broadcast, but there are still many wavelengths available on short waves, and by setting up a station, the technical experts told us, on the east coast and one on the west coast, you could cover the country with the short-wave broadcast. If you were to try to broadcast just a particular period of the debate in either House or Senate, why, obviously there would be problems that would arise. Everybody would probably want to speak on that particular time, and you would have difficulty. But if you broadcast the whole proceedings of both of the bodies, then it would be exactly a normal session, and the public out in the country simply would enjoy the same privilege that people who are fortunate enough to come to the gallery enjoy:
My theory is that we ought not to limit the privilege of hearing the debate in the House or Senate just to those few fortunate people who are able to come and sit in the gallery and to see and hear what is maid there,
Mr. Chairman, I find that the problem of informing the citizens of our country with full information about the Congress is not a new 0n0. In fact, it troubled our Congressmen during the early days of its history. I have here in my hand a document entitled “The Souther States and the Reporting of Senate Debates-1789-1802" by Elizabeth G. McPherson, reprinted from the Journal of Southern Ilintory, volume XII, No. 2, May 1946. On page 224, I read:
on the organization of the United States Government under the Constituthon, it beonmo the highest and most powerful authority of the country. Article i mootion 5, of the Constitution provides that each House shall keep a journal of to proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, except such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy. Under this provision each House has kept u journal, but since the Constitution made no provision for reporting the debates hougrons, cach House was left free to act independently. Instead of following The policy adopted by the House, and admitting the public to its sessions, the Monto chiliborated in secret, even excluding Members of the House of RepreHondutivon,
It has been suggested that one reason for the exclusion of visitors from Senate Mon was the inadequate size of the room in which that body sat in New Toh, which was only about 40 feet square, with a ceiling 15 feet high. Obviously it would have been impossible to have admitted even a few nonmembers to Senate Minions, but the idea of exclusion prevailed to such an extent that no seats were provided for the accommodation of the public in the new quarters of the Senate When congress moved from New York to Philadelphia.
terhaps the most powerful motive influencing the members of the Senate who opport the opening of its doors was a strong desire to maintain their positions 4 power.
There is one other reference which I would like to read on page 227:
An examination of the journals of the State legislatures and those of the Senate reveals that the South assumed the leadership in the attempt to force the Senate to prou its doors to the public. Almost immediately after Congress met in its
mornion the southern members began to demand that the doors of the Senate be opened to the public. The sectional difference in attitude on the matter is not
mili waplicable, but a partial answer may perhaps be found in the cleavage beceintlio North and the South over the question of State rights typified in the
schools of political philosophy—Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian. With the aid in the Mederalist Party, with its stronghold in the North, Alexander Hamilton allereded in putting most of his financial policies into effect, and incidentally, Welled the mercantile interests of the country to the Federalist Party. With the Historist Party firmly entrenched in national power, the North had little to fear Dawa congressional legislation and could see little danger in the closed sessions of the Weste. In the agrarian South, where liberal democratic ideals flourished way the leadership of Thomas Jefferson, the assumption of State debts, the Part of so-called high taxes, and other legislation obnoxious to the South brought
home to its people the importance of knowing what was said in the Senate. In the South it was realized that once the doors of the Senate were opened, it would not be long before the popular pressure could be brought to bear upon the Senate, and that legislation more favorable to southern political ideals and economic interests might then be enacted. The controversy over the opening of the Senate was, therefore, highly partisan in nature, anti-Federalists uniformly supporting anticloture legislation,
It shows that the democratic element in the Senate, the liberal element, wanted to open the Senate doors to the American people and the conservative element was against such action. It seems that a struggle was taking place during the early days of this body to keep the public from knowing anything about its work. State after State adopted resolutions requesting the Senate to open its doors to the people. But despite this, the Senate defeated all efforts to do so during the first few years of its history. On February 11, 1794, the Senate voted to open its doors during the debate on the question of admitting Albert Gallatin to his seat, and finally by a vote of 19– in this case I mention that there were 10 southern Senators and 9 northern Senators-to 8, they approved the proposition on a permanent basis.
This is a document which I think would be of interest. It is not everywhere available. I ask that it be incorporated in your hearings as giving a rather illuminating knowledge on this subject.
The CHAIRMAN. That is not a very long document, is it?
THE SOUTHERN STATES AND THE REPORTING OF SENATE DEBATES, 1789-1802
(By Elizabeth G. McPherson) When the Federal Government was established in 1789, with its Capital in New York, the question of admitting the public and the reporting of the debates of Congress had not been settled. In the Chamber of the House of Representatives two galleries had been erected for the accommodation of spectators. On April 8, 1789, its doors were opened to the public and reporters were also permitted to make unofficial reports of the debates of that body. The reports of its early debates were published in the newspapers and in short-lived publications, such as Thomas Lloyd's Congressional Register, Thomas Carpenter's American Senator, James T. Callender's Political Register, and his American Register for the Year 1796. From these and other sources, Joseph Gales, senior and junior, and William W. Seaton compiled the debates of Congress, from March 4, 1789, to May 27, 1824, in the Annals of Congress (1834–56), in 42 volumes. In these familiar volumes one turns almost in vain to find reports of the debates of the Senate from 1789 to January 8, 1802. Perhaps it is worth while to ascertain, if possible, the reason for the absence of any record of Senate debates for this period in this much-used source. Accordingly, it is necessary to ascertain why the Senate sat behind closed doors for more than 6 years, and refused for a much longer time to admit reporters on the floor for the purpose of recording debates.
In order to understand the attitude of the Senate toward the admission of the public and reporters to its sessions, some study of the underlying cause is necessary. One of the chief factors seems to have been the lack of a precedent in either England or America. It is true that the Journals of the House of Lords begin with 1509 and those of the House of Commons with 1547, but from the earliest time Members of both Houses were so strictly enjoined to secrecy that they were not permitted to
1 Pennsylvania Packett (Philadelphia), March 12, 1789.
2 New York Daily Gazette, April 9, 1789; Number 1 of the Debates of the House of Representatives taken by Thomas Lloyd commencing April 8 and ending May 15 Anoquen Domini 1799, Library of Congress. It is to be noted that Lloyd's stenographic notes begin on April 8, but his Register of Debates includes journal entries from March 4, 1789. For a brief account, see Elizabeth G. McPherson, Reports of the Debates of the House of Representatives during the First Congress, 1789 to 1791, in Quarterly Journal of Speech (Detroit
), XXX (1914), 64-71.
discuss the proceedings with anyone except Members of the same House. further safeguard against improper disclosure of the proceedings, non-Members were rigidly excluded from both Houses.3 Notwithstanding the precautionary measures taken to exclude strangers, however, the vigilance of the doorkeepers was inadvertently or intentionally eluded, and the public intruded on Parliament. Following the example of the British Parliament, the colonial assemblies kept only journals of their proceedings and usually sat behind closed doors. Prior to 1766 no legislative body in America had admitted the public to its sessions.: When the First and Second Continental Congresses attempted to legislate for the Thirteen Colonies, Members were sworn to secrecy and sessions generally were closed to the public. These precautionary measures against the disclosure of debates were taken in an effort to keep congressional discussions from the knowledge of the British authorities. Consequently, the American Congresses kept only a journal. The secretive policy adopted by the Continental Congresses and followed by that of the Confederation was continued by the Constitutional Convention.
Upon the organization of the United States Government under the Constitution, it became the highest and most powerful authority of the country. Article I, section 5, of the Constitution provides that "each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, except such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy.” Under this provision each House has kept a Journal, but since the Constitution made no provision for reporting the debates of Congress each House was left free to act independently. Instead of following the policy adopted by the House, and admitting the public to its sessions, the Senate deliberated in secret, even excluding Members of the House of Representatives." 6
It has been suggested that one reason for the exclusion of visitors from Senate sessions was the inadequate size of the room in which that body sat in New York, which was only about 40 feet square, with a ceiling 15 feet high. Obviously it would have been impossible to have admitted even a few non-Members to Senate sessions, but the idea of exclusion prevailed to such an extent that no seats were provided for the accommodation of the public in the new quarters of the Senate when Congress moved from New York to Philadelphia.8
Perhaps the most powerful motive influencing the Members of the Senate who opposed the opening of its doors was a strong desire to maintain their positions
With the exception of James Gunn, of Georgia, and Tristram Dalton, of Massachusetts, all Members of the first Senate of the United States had been Delegates to the Continental Congress, or to the Congress of the Confederation, or to the Constitutional Convention. Accustomed to sitting behind closed doors, they disliked a change. But there were even stronger motives for clinging to the ancient system of deliberating in secret. Not only would the Senate sacrifice a portion of its dignity and reputation if its deliberations were exposed, but its Members might be subjected to public criticism as were members of the House. Under the accepted principles of the responsibilities of authority, the contemporary theories of the nature of and limits on popular liberty, and the theory of the political role of the Senate then prevalent, it was felt that the people were not entitled to information on the deliberations and actions of that body.
It has also been stated that originally the Senate "seemed to be regarded chiefly as an executive council.” 10 For example, when President Washington appeared in the Senate for the first time on August 22, 1789, accompanied by the Secretary of War, who was prepared to explain the terms of a proposed treaty with the southern Indians, he was rebuffed. Instead of advising the President, the Senate referred the matter to a committee; whereupon, according to William Maclay, a Senator from Pennsylvania, Washington rose in a "fret” and exclaimed that "This defeats every purpose of my coming here." He agreed, however, to visit the Senate on the 24th for further discussion. Upon his return he is said to have "manifested a spirit of accommodation,” but swore that he would never return for advice on making a treaty; 11 and this policy was followed by his successors until July 10, 1919.12
3 Michael MacDonagh, The Reporters' Gallery (London, 1913), 81, 85–89. 4 Leo F. Stock (ed.), Proceedings and Debates of the British Parliament Respecting North America, 5 vols. (Washington, 1924-41), IV, xxi-xxv.
o Dorman B. Eaton, Secret Sessions of the Senate (New York, 1886), 12. 6 Journal of the Senate of the United States, First and Second Congress (Reprint, Washington, 1820), 135, 281, 415, 429. Hereinafter cited as Senate Journal.
7 Pennsylvania Packett, March 12, 1789. 8 Senate Journal, 1st Cong., 2d sess., 467–68. | Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774–1927 (Washington, 1927), 876, 1041. 10 Senate Journal, 35th Cong., 2d sess., 96. 11 Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States (Washington, 1828- ), I, 19–24; The Journal of William Maclay, Senator From Pennsylvania, 1789-91 (New York, 1927), 125–29; Charles Francis Adams (ed.), Memoirs of John Quincy Adams, 12 volumes (Philadelphia, 1874–77), VI, 427. 12 Andrew C. McLaughlin, A Constitutional History of the United States (New York, 1935), 250n.