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Mr. WHALEY. I wanted you to ask me that question. Last year the commission went before Congress, before your committee and your subcommittee on which you sat, and recommended to you that this act should be made permanent-I did, at any rate. I told you why I thought it should be made permanent. I told you why we could not make the survey was because we had no money to do it.

Representative BLANTON. I made a survey and I have not had any money.

Mr. WHALEY. Wait a minute. We urged upon you-there was not one member of the commission who did not urge upon you the extension of the act for two years. Congress in its discretion and your committee in its discretion decided you did not want to do so for more than one year. Assuming that the present Congress is composed of the same men and the same committees and would be of the same opinion, this rent commission has not raised its hand for the extension of the act or for anything in reference to the act, but assumed that Congress had authorized it to go out of existence on May 22, 1925, and that it was going out of existence. That is the reason why we did not make a survey and that is the reason why we have not made any effort to ask Congress to extend the act. If it was a new Congress maybe we would have done so, but being the same Congress with the same committees we assumed you would be of the same mind.

Senator COPELAND. May I ask a question if Congressman Blanton will permit me!

Representative BLANTON. Certainly.

Senator COPELAND. I would be terribly disappointed if for any reason I could not support this bill, because I doubt if anybody in this room has more knowledge of the need of it in the city than I have because of my experience in New York. For instance, in the matter of heat, I turned the heat on in 130,000 houses in New York in one year, showing the necessity of it. But I confess that I am disturbed when I look at the foundation of this bill. I would like to ask the chairman of our committee if there is any doubt in his mind about the right of Congress to enact such a law in the absence of an emergency, but simply on the general principle of the police powers?

The CHAIRMAN. I am not prepared at this time to answer that question. I am convinced an emergency might exist with ample houses to take care of the population of the city.

Senator COPELAND. From what I know of Washington I am personally convinced that there is an emergency, but what I think about it would not mean anything to lay a foundation for the passage of this law.

The CHAIRMAN. An emergency is not in the shortage of houses, but an emergency is in the rentals charged being beyond the capacity of the employees of the Government to pay. I consider Washington is a city for the employees of the Government.

Senator COPELAND. How do you know that is the condition? That is the point. You and I think alike on this matter, I am sure, but no matter what our opinion is that might not bolster up the law.

The CHAIRMAN. The Senate ordered the District Committee to make a survey of conditions in Washington last year. We made that survey. We got information definitely of the number of vacant

apartments in the city. We got the rentals charged in the city. We got the average income of all the Government employees in the District and comparing the Government salaries with the rentals for a moderate sized apartment my own personal opinion was that it was not within the reach of Government employees to pay the rentals demanded.

Then came the question as to why the rentals were higher in Washington than in adjoining cities. The committee sent its agents over to Baltimore and made a careful survey of rentals in Baltimore. While the high-priced apartments in Baltimore were about the same as in Washington as to rent, there were no moderate priced apartments in Washington that were vacant. There are some such apartments, but there are never any vacancies in them; at least the vacancies are very, very few. The vacancies we found were in the apartments which had pyramided generally their trusts, making the overhead of those apartments much greater than the actual overhead would have been had they been built and conducted on a strictly proper

business financial basis. That condition in my judgment constituted an emergency. There were ample apartments and houses for employees of the Government, but it was only in those apartments where there were frequent vacancies, those apartments where they had pyramided the trusts until the rentals were beyond the reach of any Government employee.

İf Representative Blanton will go to the trouble to make a careful investigation himself he will find that my statement is absolutely correct. There are many apartments rented for a reasonable rental and the service is the finest you can get, but in those apartment houses you find no vacancies. The people living in them retain their apartments. There has been no raising of rent in them to any material extent. The rents are reasonable for the service rendered, but the people coming here employed by the Government must go to the apartments where there are vacancies, and there are not many vacancies except where the rents are unreasonable, and they are unreasonable because the overhead is too great.

Representative BLANTON. In view of the fact that I am about the only member of the committee who has thus far expressed himself as unalterably opposed fundamentally to this kind of a law, I am sure the committee will excuse me for wanting to ask some questions to bring out a certain line of thought.

thought. If they will permit me I would like to continue.

Senator COPELAND. Would you mind waiting just a moment? Of course, so far as I am concerned, Congressman Blanton, I am unalterably opposed to your position. You know that very well.

Representative BLANTON. Yes; we are fundamentally opposed to each other on this proposition.

Senator COPELAND. I do want to say that it seems to me, before we can think of passing this law, that we have got to verify by evidence the fact that the committee may be convinced and convey that conviction to Congress and prove that there are rental conditions in the District of Columbia which create a situation dangerous to public health, comfort, morals, peace, and welfare. Of course, my conviction is that there is such a conviction, but have we laid the foundation? Are we ready to undertake it? I do not want Brother Blanton to get away with this if I can help it.


The CHAIRMAN. The committee determined to have hearings upon the bill. If those favoring the bill fail to make a case before the committee, I think no bill will be passed. That is what the hearings are for; that is the purpose of the hearings.

Senator COPELAND. I wish you would satisfy my conscience now. I confess that my conviction is that we would not be permitted to pass this law just on general principles.

Representative STALKER. May I submit that in my humble opinion we could not pass a permanent act on the present emergency, that we could not make the law permanent on the ground that to-day there is an emergency.

Senator COPELAND. I think I agree with the Congressman on that matter. We can only exercise the police power, as I understand it, in the face of the necessity, human necessity. The question is, therefore, is there such a necessity? I have serious doubt myself about being able to pass a permanent act.

Representative STALKER. In other words, if we are to make the act'permanent we must go on the preamble in the bill. If we are going to make it on the basis of the present emergency, then we must go according to the bill of last year. That was a temporary measure.

Senator Jones of Washington. If we have power to pass the bill and it is not within the police power of Congress, would the court go back to see whether we were justified in exercising that power? I do not think so.

The CHAIRMAN. That is a good suggestion.

Representative HAMMER. I think Senator Copeland and all of us were relying upon the facts which we secured last spring. We had very exhaustive hearings and we heard both the landlords and the tenants. When we decided not to have full hearings or when we rather were of the opinion the other day that was then expressed, I thought we were basing our proceeding upon and were going to use the facts we gathered then. I do not know whether we could call that a survery or not, but we had hundreds of witnesses before us and while there may not have been hundreds who testified, yet the labor organization had one man to represent them and the various civic associations were represented, and then we had a general meeting at the last and took them one by one, each one that wanted to say anything. At the time I placed in the record a brief which I prepared in part myself and partly by the aid of others on the question of the legality and power of Congress to enact legislation under the police power which the Senator from New York might probably find of some interest. I made three short speeches on the matter about that same time. I do not think there is any doubt about the police powers.

Mr. Whaley has made an effort to be frank, and I did not gather the impression from him in his testimony that he did not investigate the matter. When he said he had not made a survey, I understood him to mean that he had not made a complete survey. Mr. Whaley did investigate and did give us a great deal of information through his testimony. I knew that he had made a personal survey at least.

Mr. WHALEY. May I make a remark right there? In answer to Mr. Blanton I stated distinctly that testimony of last year held good as to this year and I would not change a word or line of it. I have

just read it over and I want to incorporate it as a part of my testimony to-day. I have not made a survey, but the testimony then was taken from cases heard before me and also from the inspection of the premises by myself. That testimony is the testimony on which I am relying to-day and on which I have drawn this bill. If the committee will allow me

The CHAIRMAN. Just before you go into any further question, Senator Copeland has raised the point of powers to be granted on the basis of our police power. I understand you have a number of decisions along that line. I think it very important that those decisions be put in the record. I will ask you to furnish those to the committee for our record.

Mr. WHALEY. I shall do so.

(The decisions referred to were later furnished and are printed at the close of to-day's proceedings.)

Representative HAMMER. We have a legislative expert for the Senate and for the House and it would be well to submit the bill to them, for their approval.

Senator COPELAND. I would like to ask if you believe that we would be justified in passing a permanent bill of this sort in the absence of an emergency and under the police powers?

Representative HAMMER. I do not think emergency has anything to do with it or why we should pass it.

Senator COPELAND. I judge so, but I raise the question. In my State after taking testimony the legislature declared there was an emergency, and on the strength of that the emergency act passed.

Representative HAMMER. And the courts held that that was conclusive, but the Supreme Court in their obiter dicta did not pay any attention to it.

Senator COPELAND. I take it the court felt. that the foundation had not been laid, that it was not presented to the court in a way to prove that there was an emergency.

Representative HAMMER. There may be something in that, but the trouble is that the courts have held time and again that an emergency when so declared by the legislature is an emergency and that the courts have no right to go behind that declaration. I think it was obiter dicta in that particular case.

Senator COPELAND. I believe here that the test of this committee is to take testimony and develop the fact that there is an emergency which demands the application of police powers, and I do not think the court could go back of that. I think we would have the support of the court in that event.

Representative BLANTON. I would like to finish my interrogation of the witness, if I may. Mr. Whaley, it would not take money, in view of the fact that all five members of the Rent Commission are drawing salaries from the Government, for them personally to make a survey of conditions here, would it? I have made a pretty good survey of the city. I have jumped in my car and gone about and gone into various apartments and found out what they are furnished and what they are charging and how they have been operating. I have found out those things for myself. I have been to this distinguished gentleman here, Mr. Richards, who is one of the best-posted real estate men in the United States, and found out that he was against the Rent Commission-found out that he had sent a

letter to the Commissioners of the District against it-and I am going to read a copy of his letter, if I may. Could not your rent commissioners have done the same thing?

Mr. WHALEY. We could not have done anything, sir, to give you any accurate information. The minute we go in they know us, and they are not going to give us anything if they can help it.

Representative BLANTON. Won't they show you like they showed me?

Mr. WHALEY. They certainly will not. You do not know how the real estate men look upon the rent commissioners. They may look upon Mr. Blanton with kindly eyes, but they do not look upon the Rent Commission in that way.

Representative BLANTON. They never have shown any kindness to me.

Mr. WHALEY. We do not get anything in the way of kindly treatment from the real estate men here as a rule.

Representative BLANTON. With regard to charging a person and holding him responsible to the penal laws because they increase rents after you have once fixed them, without coming back to you, may I ask this question. Suppose you fix a certain rental on an apartment and that apartment is vacated voluntarily by the tenant. The landlord either fixes it up or he does not; but suppose I am perfectly willing to pay him more than you have fixed and I go to him concerning that vacant apartment and I say to him, “Mr. Landlord, that is worth $20 a month more than the Řent Commission las fixed. I will give you $20 a month more for it.” I enter into a contract with him to pay $20 a month more than you have fixed and it is agreeable to me and it is agreeable to my landlord. Do you mean to say you think he ought to be fined ?

Mr. WHALEY. I do. I think both of you are violating the law and both of you ought to be fined.

Representative BLANTON. Then you are to take away from this new bill a power to contract with respect to property that has been given to the people of the United States for many, many years.

Mr. WHALEY. No, it has never been given to them to use in that way.

Mr. HAMMER. Do we not do that when we fix the rate of interest? You could indict a man who charged usury.

Mr. WHALEY. I always believe in punishing the violator of law, the knowing violator of law. When a man obtains money which he knows he is not entitled to, he ought to be punished. That is my way of looking at it. I may be wrong, but that is the way I have been educated and raised.

Representative BLANTON. I want to go along with Senator Copeland and help him to do more good work and break up this pyramiding and this shark business that is going on; but suppose you pass this bill and every syllable you have in it, there is no way in which your bill stops pyramiding.

Mr. WHALEY. Oh, yes there is. The only way you will ever stop it

Representative BLANTON. There is nothing that stops the selling of these sixth, seventh, and eighth trusts on the New York market.

Mr. WHALEY. Nothing in the world, but if you bear in mind we do this: We take the value of the land on which the apartment

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