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Senator WHERRY. It was our understanding that we were going to continue these hearings until next week; isn't that right, Mr. Seidel ?
Mr. SEIDEL. Yes, sir.
Senator WHERRY. So if you care to be excused, you may be, and then there will be an announcement carried as to when we will next meet. This is Tuesday. How about a week from today for the opponents to the measure, will that give you time?
Mr. SEIDEL. Yes, sir.
Senator WHERRY. Let's put it down tentatively for a week from today when we will hear the opponents.
Senator KNOWLAND. I would respectfully suggest that we proceed with this if possible without any undue delay.
Senator WHERRY. Yes. But Senator George and a few others have already spoken to me about testifying, and they should be given an opportunity. Senator KNOWLAND. Yes; I appreciate that.
Senator HAYDEN. I asked Senator Holland to come to this hearing, Mr. Chairman, and I hope you will extend to him the courtesy of permitting him to ask any questions he may desire.
Senator WHERRY. I certainly will.
If you have any questions to ask Senator Knowland, this is your opportunity Senator Îves, have you any questions? Senator Ives. I have no questions. I am with Senator Knowland.
Senator WHERRY. I believe that is all, then, unless you want to make some further statement.
I was going to suggest to you before you left that as I recall it, the average vote runs about 87 in the Senate, that is about the topflight vote we got. A two-thirds vote there would be 59. One-third would be 29, and twice 29 would be 58, and one would be 59. So that when you set up your rule of 49, there is just a leeway there of 10 members, so you are going a pretty long way up the ladder to give the 49 majority the
Senator KNOWLAND. But I did it on the basis that I wanted ample safeguards to this right of debate and discussion.
Senator WHERRY. Your safeguard means that if we take an average vote in the Senate, there is a difference between a majority and 10 additional members to carry.
Senator HOLLAND. I would like to ask a couple of questions, Mr. Chairman.
Senator WHERRY. Senator Holland.
Senator HOLLAND. The first question: Your choice of the number 16 to sign the petition, was that simply a carrying forward of the old number? Senator KNOWLAND. That is simply carrying forward rule XX.
Senator HOLLAND. Did you know of any good reason for that? Is that just an arbitrary number?
Senator KNOWLAND. It is an arbitrary number which they had, and I wanted to make the changes so that it would not upset the existing rule XXII which is pretty well understood, any more than was necessary. And that having been the existing rule XXII, which
seems to me to be a reasonable number of what are, in effect, seconds to the motion, that that number would be satisfactory.
Senator HOLLAND. The second question: I noticed in your presentation you mentioned the fact that the desire to put across a local or a regional appropriation had sometimes caused the use of this filibuster in such a way as to almost amount to blackmail in the Senate. Do
you have illustrations of that which you can put in the record ? Senator KNOWLAND. I haven't right here with me, but there are any number of them in the course of the Senate's history where an appropriation - bill was held up until a particular Senator got his particular appropriation into the bill, and he threatened to talk until the March 4 deadline or the adjournment date came around; and, as a result, the Senate had to bow to the will of the one Senator. I remember several cases, both in appropriation bills and several cases on rivers and harbors legislation, where they completely bludgeoned the Senate into accepting a particular specific piece of “pork,” so to speak.
Senator HOLLAND. I should think it would be well to have that developed in the form of specific information and placed in the record, if it is not too burdensome.
Senator WHERRY. Do you want to bring that in, Senator ?
Senator WHERRY. Let me ask you a question. In going through the precedents and tradition, can you point to an instance where the filibuster was broken by compelling attendance continuously? Has a filibuster ever been broken by attendance, I mean, continued attend
Senator KNOWLAND. I can't specifically cite an example where that was the reason for it being broken.
Senator WHERRY. Do you think it can be broken by attendance?
Senator KNOWLAND. I think that any filibuster can be broken by the leadership in the Senate, provided they are willing to keep the Senate in continuous day and night session until the other people talk themselves out. I think that that is rather severe punishment on the whole Senate that that is the only way that it can be effectively broken.
Senator WHERRY. This filibuster that ran the 41 or 42 days that you mentioned
Senator KNOWLAND. The reason that that was able to run that length of time is that for some reason or other the leadership would permit an adjournment at a reasonable time in the evening, and then they would meet again the next day.
Senator WHERRY. In those long filibusters, did they adjourn reasonably early to the next day, or does the history show that there were attempts made to go straight through the night?
Senator KNOWLAND. There are a few cases where the Senate met, say, the 8th of January, all day the 8th; all day the 9th; and until 6 o'clock the evening of the 10th, in order to break a filibuster. But that is the only specific one that I recall a 3-day session continuously.
Senator HOLLAND. How burdensome would it be, Senator, to reduce that to a fixed, specific bit of information to show how long actually in elapsed legislative hours these filibusters have taken, the ones that have consumed the longest time? I think that would be valuable to have in the record.
Senator KNOWLAND. Well, I will endeavor to get that. However, it may take some time, and I wouldn't want the action of the committee to be delayed until I could run through and get all that information. I shall endeavor to have it most certainly by the time the Senate acts on the resolution.
Senator HOLLAND. If that could be produced by the Legislative Reference Bureau or someone, I think it would be very helpful to have it in the record.
Senator WHERRY. We appreciate the suggestion, and if you can do it, Senator, we would like to have you do it; and if you can't, we will get our own secretary to look it up.
Senator HOLLAND. Speaking not at all for myself, because I am not on this committee and haven't had a chance to give it any attention, but I have heard several of the Senators advance this thought, that there is good reason and there is good legislative precedent existing in many of the legislatures for having a different rule, amounting to a cloture, apply on closing days or where, in the event of a special session here, which would be just a few days from the time when the particular session was about to come to an end, January 3, there could be an effective parliamentary means of ending debate, but at the same time not bringing about that result at other times when there was ample time for full consideration. Had you given any thought to that alternative, Senator?
Senator KNOWLAND. No, but I think there is some point that can be made to it. The necessity for a rule increases greatly as you come to a fixed adjournment date, because if you are within 12 hours of adjournment, we have had many cases of filibuster in the Senate where one Senator has held the floor for more than 12 hours, and it means that you are giving to that man the complete power over the other 95 to completely block and stifle legislation, and the closer you come to adjournment the more power it gives to the person willfully bent on filibustering.
Senator WHERRY. Thank you, Senator Knowland, and for your information it is our present intention to hold a hearing next Tuesday afternoon at this same hour, at which time opportunity will be given for the opponents to present their views.
Senator HOLLAND. Before Senator Knowland gets away, may I ask him—and this question is also addressed to the other proponents does any of them have anyone in the Legislative Reference Bureau working on this particular problem so it wouldn't be too burdensome to develop some additional information!
Senator KNOWLAND. Most of the material I have developed myself.
Senator HOLLAND. If any of the Senators who have a measure do have a team or group in the Legislative Reference Bureau working on it, it seems to me that it might be added to their request, if they care to do so, to produce these precedents from State legislatures where, on a time basis, there is a strong rule of cloture made applicable in the closing days or closing weeks of the session where there is a dead
line, without having such a rule operate for the whole session. I believe that could be quickly discovered.
Senator KNOWLAND. I think that is a point that would certainly be useful to both proponents and opponents.
Senator WHERRY. Senator Saltonstall.
Senator SALTONSTALL. May I say, in answer to Senator Holland's question, or rather make a statement based on his question, that under our new law, passed last year, we have a new deadline in each Congress of July 31, I think it is.
Senator WHERRY. That is right.
Senator SALTONSTALL. So there is a time limit now in the new Congress, which there wasn't in the last Congress under the so-called Norris amendment.
I would also say to you that rather than going to the Legislative Bureau, the gentleman best informed on the whole subject is the Parliamentarian of the Senate, Mr. Watkins, and I would suggest, if the Senator is interested in that subject, that he would be the gentleman who would be able to give him the most up-to-date and accurate information. Senator HOLLAND. Thank you, sir.
, Senator SALTONSTALL. Also it is true that cloture has only been invoked four times successfully since 1918, I think.
Senator WHERRY. Will you proceed, Senator, with a discussion of your resolution, Senate Resolution 25?
STATEMENT OF HON. LEVERETT SALTONSTALL, UNITED STATES
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS
Senator SALTONSTALL. Mr. Chairman, I wish to speak briefly on Senate Resolution 25, which is a resolve intended to make the rules of the Senate on closing debate more effective. This is along similar lines to a resolution which I filed on the same subject last year. The Rules Committee last year gave me a hearing but took no action on the resolve.
We all agree that the Senate is the greatest deliberative body in the world. Certainly no change in the rules should be encouraged that can in any way prevent the utmost freedom of debate on any subject under discussion. But the length of free or open debate in different cases may vary utterly. A debate on some subjects may be finished quickly. The debate on other subjects may last for several weeks. I have in mind the debate on the United Nations which properly carried the Senate through several weeks of discussion. I have in mind the debate on a private bill for damages which may properly last only a few minutes. But the Senate cannot fulfill its duty to the people of the country if it is prevented by technicalities from reaching a decision upon the conclusion of the full debate.
Senator WHERRY. That is the question: When have you had a “full debate”?
Senator SALTONSTALL. I would respectfully answer that question by saying that a full debate is not concluded as long as the debater is carrying on a sane and practical discussion of the subject.
Senator WHERRY. I see.
Senator SALTONSTALL. The rules should be so framed that this is made possible at all times. In other words, when a subject has been fully discussed, no so-called filibuster should be allowed if a majority of the Senate so decide.
Senator WHERRY. Majority present !
Senator WHERRY. Your resolution differs, then, from Senator Knowland's in that you require only a safeguard of a majority present and voting?
Senator SALTONSTALL. If a quorum is present.
Senator WHERRY. How about that? That isn't provided in the resolution, is it!
Senator SALTONSTALL. Well, I assume that the Senate cannot do business, if anyone requests the presence of a quorum, without a quorum.
Senator WHERRY. That is true, but at times quorum calls are not necessary. For example, unanimous consent is not required except on the final passage of a bill or joint resolution. Of course you go through all the procedure the same as in the present rule, about filing your cloture petition and having it lay on the table, and so forth.
Senator SALTONSTALL. Exactly. And I would most respectfully say-well, I will wait until I get through.
Senator WHERRY. I am sorry for interrupting you.
Senator SALTONSTALL. In most parliamentary bodies there is a procedure for closing a debate.
Commencing at the fourth paragraph of Rule XXII, printed on the twenty-eighth page of the Standing Rules of the Senate, there is a method of closing debate. However, there are perfectly proper parliamentary ways and means to avoid that rule from being put into operation. Now I think the stress of this discussion should be put on that subject rather than on the other point. In other words, if we have a cloture rule—and I would say this to the junior Senator from Florida-if we have a cloture rule, and if cloture is requested by 16 Senators, and the rules are carried out and all the safeguards must be fulfilled, then I submit that they ought to be allowed. In other words, I think as long as the cloture rule is on the books there should not be gaps in it to prevent it from being brought to fruition. That is what I have tried to discuss here.
Senator WHERRY. Yes. You think there are plenty of safeguards around the rule already?
Senator SALTONSTALL. “Safeguards” is the word I was looking for; yes.
Senator WHERRY. If we carry out those steps so that when they are concluded a majority of those present and voting should determine that issue?
Senator SALTONSTALL. Exactly. However, as I stated, there are perfectly proper parliamentary ways and means to avoid the cloture rule from being put into operation. It can only be put into operation: first, if the debate “is upon any pending measure"; second, if a motion is signed by 16 Senators to close the debate upon any pending