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Representative BLANTON. I would like to have the first six months before the Saulsbury Act was passed. I would like to know under normal conditions how many notices of evictions were issued.
The CHAIRMAN. Have we not had practically normal conditions during the last six months when there was no rent law functioning?
Representative BLANTON. Up to the time of the Supreme Court decision they could not evict.
Representative HAMMER. Oh, yes, they could; just like they do Representative BLANTON. But they did not resort to it.
Senator COPELAND. Mr. Chairman, the marshal just made a very interesting statement to me on the side which I think ought to go in the record. Will you repeat the statement, Mr. Callahan?
Mr. CALLAHAN. I stated that in my experience, so far as housing conditions here in Washington are concerned, that if the Government employees were given a living wage they could pay a decent rental, but there are none of them getting it. I know some of the finest people in Washington living practically in the basement of houses and the balance of the house rented out so as to keep the roof over their heads. Representative LAMPERT. What proportion of a man's wages
do you think ought to be paid for rent?
Mr. CALLAHAN. When I was getting $83 a month as a deputy marshal I was paying $30 a month for å large house. I had a large
a family. I went from $83 a month up to the salary I am getting
Representative BLANton. Which is how much?
Senator Jones of Washington. Do you not think if your salary was doubled that your rent would be likely to double?
Mr. CALLAHAN. Without doubt, but it would give a man a chance to live somewhere or other. I know people living on Capitol Hill who used to pay $12 and who are now paying $40 to-day. I represented my employees before the Rent Commission in some of these matters.
Senator Jones of Washington. They have more than doubled the rent on them?
Mr. CALLAHAN. Yes. I represented the employees of the United States marshal's office before the Rent Commission.
Senator Jones of Washington. So you do not get any substantial benefit out of your increased salaries?
Mr. CALLAHAN. It gives a man a chance to live a little better.
Representative STALKER. What is your experience in the northeast and southwest sections of Washington? Do you find many evictions there?
Mr. CALLAHAN. Not as many as we have in the northwest section.
Representative STALKER. What would you assume to be the percentage?
Mr. CALLAHAN. When I was in charge of that branch of the marshal's office, it was not 1 per cent upon Capitol Hill to what they were in the northwest.
Representative STALKER. Would you say to-day that 75 per cent of the trouble is in the northwest!
Mr. CALLAHAN. That is what I would say; yes, sir.
Mr. CALLAHAN. No; I would not want to say higher. I would have to study that thing out a little more carefully
to say that. In the southwest we have more trouble for nonpayment of rent. We serve more notices in the southwest than in the other three districts of Washington. We have our office laid out in districts and each man has a district. I know one deputy who will go out with 75 to 100 notices; I have known of the time when he would take out 150 landlord and tenant summons for nonpayment of rent in the southwest, when in the northwest he would not get more than maybe five or six.
Representative STALKER. Do you think there is a tendency here among the employees who have salaries that correspond with living conditions in the northeast or southwest to want to move to the northwest? Mr. CALLAHAN. Oh, yes. I had that same bug in my hat once
, myself, but I saw I could not stand it so I stayed where I was. I had the same bee myself once.
Representative BLANTON. When a man's salary is raised say from $3,000 a year to $6,000 a year, is there not a tendency among employees to move to better quarters! They want to move to Wardman Park then, don't they?
Mr. CALLAHAN. Yes, indeed. I had that same bee myself. Representative BLANTON. You spoke of Government salaries. Is it not a fact that the Government of the United States pays better salaries to its employees than the same class of labor gets anywhere else in private employment?
Mr. CALLAHAN. No, sir; I do not think so. I am against you on that, Congressman.
Representative BLANTON. I happen to know of bank cashiers in small country banks who are not getting over $150 a month and assistant bank cashiers getting only $100 or $125 a month.
Mr. CALLAHAN. But you know that the conditions in a country bank and in a bank in the District of Columbia are entirely different. A little country town and the District of Columbia are two different places.
Representative BLANTON. But I am talking about the salaries
Mr. CALLAHAN. But, of course, you understand the surroundings and everything are different. Living conditions are different. All sorts of conditions are different. We find that same argument about the reclassification of salaries involving deputy marshals. A deputy United States marshal is paid, say, $100 a month whether he is living in a country town or in a large city. A deputy marshal getting $100
$ a month in a little country town can live twice as good as the man getting that same salary in a city like Washington, for instance.
Representative BLANTON. You are not complaining of the Government?
Mr. CALLAHAN. I am fighting for my men. I have done that before. I have been a labor organizer myself in my early days, and I was standing up for a living wage for my men so they could live like human beings.
Representative LAMPERT. I take for granted you know the average rate of wages paid Government employees in the District ?
Mr. CALLAHAN. I do.
Mr. CALLAHAN. Lots of them get a great deal less than that.
Representative LAMPERT. You would not say that a Government employee who had to pay $45 or $50 or even a greater percentage of that income for a place to live was getting a reasonable treatment, would you?
Mr. CALLAHAN. He can not do it. He can not do it under the circumstances to-day. He can only exist. He can't even clothe himself decently.
Representative LAMPERT. You are familiar with conditions in Washington, are you not?
Mr. CALLAHAN. I try to keep familiar with them.
Representative LAMPERT. Do you think that the present rate of rents compared to the salaries received by Government employees is excessive?
Mr. CALLAHAN, I do, indeed.
Representative HAMMER. As I understand, there is not in the District of Columbia any kind of court except United States courts?
Mr. CALLAHAN. They are all under the direction of the United States Government.
Representative HAMMER. There are no police courts?
Representative HAMMER. But the Federal marshal serves all processes ?
Mr. CALLAHAN. No. The District of Columbia branch of the police court serve their own processes. The only papers we handle are Federal papers for the United States branch of the police court and the other Federal courts in the District. Anything from the District of Columbia branch of the police court is handled by themselves, although by law we handle juvenile court papers. We do that because we have been notified by the courts that they should come through our office, so we handle them.
Representative HAMMER. There are about 80 judicial districts in the country. Are there any marshals paid as little as $3,000 except in the District of Columbia ?
Mr. CALLAHAN. The deputy marshals here only get
Representative HAMMER. I am talking about the marshal himself and not his deputies.
Mr. CALLAHAN. The marshal's salary is higher than that. I am just the chief deputy.
Representative HAMMER. What is the marshal's salary?
Mr. CALLAHAN. The United States marshal's salary is $6,500 a year.
Representative HAMMER. They pay him all right.
The CHAIRMAN. The marshal's salary has only been recently increased, has it not?
Mr. CALLAHAN. Yes.
Representative BLANTON. If the Government salaries are so much lower, as you would indicate, than outside salaries for private employees, why is it that we Members of Congress get so many applications from our constituents begging us to get them jobs here? I have 250 applications in my office, at least that many now, from men and women in my district urging me to bring them to Washington. Mr. CALLAHAN. I think I have about 500 in my office. When any such applicants are employed and get here and are told what the salary is and what work they are expected to do, they have often said, “I did not come down here to get that sort of treatment. I came down here to do nothing but draw my salary.” In those cases I have said, “Beat it."
Representative BLANTON. I have written them about conditions here, and yet they want to come.
Mr. CALLAHAN. I will be frank with you. When they come down here and find out what it is I do not see how they get along. We have students, lots of young men and young women students here. This is the greatest place in the world for young men students and young lady students. Uncle Sam educates them and employs them at the same time; and what is the result? They do not have the interests of the Government at heart. All they are here for is what they can get from Uncle Sam in the way of a salary and education, and when their time is up in school and
they pass the examination then they are gone. It is costing the Government thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars to break in new employees in the District every few months. The result is we are eternally having a large turnover. I have lived here 40 years and I have seen Washington grow. I helped to take up the last wooden block that we used for street paving here and helped to burn them up on East Capitol Street.
Mr. BRANDENBURG. Mr. Chairman, three-quarters of an hour is already gone and we have not put a witness on the stand yet. Can we not restrict this hearing to the particular issue before the committee?
Senator JONES of Washington. The committee controls that matter.
Mr. BRANDENBURG. I was merely inquiring. If you are only giving us two hours, we certainly hope to have some extension in a case of this kind.
Mr. CALLAHAN. The employees come and go. There are only a few people who stick. The man who sticks is the man who wins.
Representative BLANTON. I have no further questions. The CHAIRMAN. We are very much obliged to you, Mr. Callahan. (Witness excused.)
The CHAIRMAN. I raised the point yesterday morning that the questions propounded ought all to be pertinent to the matter before us so that we would not take up too much time with irrelevant matters, but Mr. Blanton and some of the other members of the committee objected and said they had a right to question witnesses as long as they saw fit to do so.
Mr. BRANDENBURG. I am not objecting, Mr. Chairman. I am very glad indeed all this information was brought out. The only thing I had in mind was that we would like very much to have our full allotment of time.
The CHAIRMAN. We would like to get all the evidence we can on both sides of the question, but to get it in concrete form and not have all of this outside talk which has been going into the record.
Mr. BRADENBURG. There is here the deputy marshal who served the writ of restitution in the case about which Mr. Callahan has just testified. I would like to ask him two or three questions.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
TESTIMONY OF G. C. TOUHEY
(The witness was duly sworn by the chairman.)
Mr. BRANDENBURG. You heard Mr. Callahan just testify as to the service of the writ of restitution in the case of Íschipke?
Mr. TOUHEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. TOUHEY. It is customary, when a writ of restitution comes, to take it to the deputy that has that particular district in town. The De Sota apartment house, 1300 Massachusetts Avenue, is in my territory.
Representative BLANTON. We presume all that is so. Just tell us what you did.
Mr. TOUHEY. On Friday, the 9th I received orders from the chief deputy of the municipal court to execute a restitution at apartment No. 4, 1300 Massachusetts Avenue. I went up there and was met at the door by a couple of photographers and some newspaper men. I told them I did not have anything to say, that they could talk to the lady. I rang the bell and waited about two minutes, and then Mrs. Tschipke came to the door. She looked as though she had just gotten up or had slept late that morning. She, of course, was a little bit nervous.
I read the writ of restitution to her and told her I would have to execute it. I had four men there to carry out the actual work. She said something about not feeling well. I told her I was very sorry, but she had expected us to come up to execute the writ, as notice had been mailed to her and the landlord had spoken to her and all that sort of thing, and that I would have to go ahead.
A good many things in the apartment were all packed up. Evidently she expected the marshal up during the last day or so to put things out, because nearly all of the small articles were all packed up and ready to go. She stated that she would have to call an ambulance to go to the hospital. Of course, I did not know anything about that side of it. She went back in her bedroom, and I started the
. men moving out some of the furniture in the front part of the apartment, and she immediately came out there and started to tell them what not to take out right away and what to take out and took some pretty good-sized bundles out of their hands. If she was ill I do not imagine she should have lifted as much as she did or rushed around the way she did.
I went on, as our instructions are to execute the writ in a quiet way and with the least amount of embarrassment I could to the lady: Her husband arrived shortly before the furniture was all out, and I had them both look over the apartment to see that everything was out, and he gave me his key and she gave me hers, and the reporters were there getting a story from them, and I immediately left.
Mr. BRANDENBURG. What papers were represented there, do you recall, or how many?
Mr. Touhey. I know that the News and, I think, the Times.