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Senator Jones of Washington. Just how large is the apartment!

Mrs. WEBB. One room, kitchen, and bath. So I declined to pay that. I paid my old rent as usual on the 1st of January, $32.50, and he acknowledged it by saying he would hold it in trust for me but he did not waive his right to institute eviction proceedings.

Then I heard that Mr. Petty was helping tenants to find places at a reasonable rental, so I went to him and told him what I wanted. I told him I wanted one room, kitchenette, and bath for $35, and he said that he had not his cards classified at that time, but if I should call at 4:30 o'clock or in the morning I could look through them. At the same time he said he thought that I could not find anything in the city for $35 such as I wanted.

I went back later and here is the list:

There were about six places, one at 1320 D Street N. E. That was over a store and the locality is not favorable in any respect. It is bad.

Then the next place listed was 1916 Lawrence Street. That is between Eighteenth and Nineteenth Streets NE., and that was not desirable.

The next place was 5314 Hawthorn Street. That is 2 or 3 miles west of Georgetown on the Cabin John Bridge car.

Then the next place was 3331 N Street NW. That is dirty and absolutely impossible.

Then, at the Cumberland, there were three apartments—and I called during daylight. There are two on the first floor, two very small rooms and bath and no kitchen. The first one was very

dark and I could not see my hands in front of my face, but the other was lighter, but not much. You would have to light the light to read. The one on the seventh floor, of the same size, was renting for $50. Most of these were $35, with the exception of that one at 3331 N Street and the one I have just mentioned.

This next one is located at 1226 Fifteenth Street. . That is a flat on the fourth floor and you have to climb three flights of stairs. The halls were very dirty. It has one room and a small kitchen, but this says two rooms. On the outside it was agreeable, but the house was just impossible; that is all.

I think that ends the evidence.

Representative BLANTON. Have you appealed to the Rent Com mission in the last five years?

Mrs. WEBB. Yes; I recognized the Rent Commission as a legal body.

Representative BLANToN. Did they help you?
Mrs. WEBB. They did. They told me just what to do.

Representative Blanton. Did they give you cheaper rent at the Lonsdale?

Mrs. WEBB. Yes, sir.
Representative BLANTON. What cheaper rent?
Mrs. WEBB. They got me $2.50.

Representative BLANTON. I was just wondering—I had a report submitted to me by Mr. Richards, the tax assessor, this afternoon, showing that in some cases the Rent Commission increased the rent 200 per cent over pre-war prices, in some it did not increase it, and in some others it increased it about 20 per cent. I was just wondering if there was any rule.

Mrs. WEBB. I could not answer that question, of course.
Representative BLANTON. You got a $2.50 decrease, though?
Mrs. WEBB. Yes.
Representative BLANTON. And you were satisfied with that?
Mrs. WEBB. Certainly.

Representative BLANTon. How much time did you lose going to the Rent Commission on that?

Mrs. WEBB. Of course, I had to take time from office.
Representative BLANTON. It took a lot of your time?
Mrs. WEBB. Yes.

Representative BLANTON. Would you have gone to all that trouble just for $2.50 ?

Mrs. WEBB. Certainly I would. It is the principle, not the money. It does not make any difference whether I get $1,000 or $1,000,000. It is what the apartment is worth.

Representative BLANTON. That is the point. The mere fact that they reduced your rent as much as $2.50 relieved your mind and stopped your worry.

Mrs. WEBB. I could not have paid $15.
Representative BLANTON. You did not worry about it any more?
Mrs. WEBB. No.
Representative BLANTON. That is all.

Mrs. WEBB. I did not worry about it because I knew the Rent Commission was a legal body and I could go to them for advice. That was the reason.


(The witness was sworn by the chairman.) Nr. FINK. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, my case is pending now in the court of appeals. We have been living there for nearly nine years now, and we had always been on friendly terms with Thomas Fisher & Co. and we were going along fine. Here two years ago the house was sold, but this other party, Mrs. Peck and husband, on the pretext-before that Thomas Fisher raised our rent $2.50, but we did not mind that and later they raised at $2.50. Mrs. Peck bought that place and a lawyer gave me 30 days in which to get out. There was nothing else to do. That was nothing but a pretext to pay more rent. About a week or 10 days later Mr. Ottenberg said to me that I could have that if I paid $10 increase.

The CHAIRMAN. That was a $10 increase over the $2.50 and $2.50 ?
Mr. FINK. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, a $15 increase?

Mr. FINK. Yes. There was nothing else to do and I had to stay there. It was a nice flat for us, and we stayed there and it went on that way for a while. When she gave us that increase, she fixed the hall and the back bedroom, and the windows were crackedthere were three or four of them cracked right along, ever since we were living there, but the panes were not out, so we let it go.

It seemed about September, in 1923, one of the panes fell out in the kitchen where Mrs. Fink had her wash, and I asked Mr. Peck to fix that and he would not do it at all. Well, there was nothing else to do; I had to let it go by.

The gas heater was in an awfully bad condition and always had been. On a winter day when you lit that it would blow, and that is the only thing we had to get hot water in the summer time. I found it was no use to report it to them, so I reported it to the plumbing inspector. He sent his man to examine it, and they notified Mrs. Peck that the thing was à fire menace. It needed fixing. One Saturday morning when I was down at work I thought it would be fixed up some way, and the plumber came up there and she stopped him right away. He said he was going to put in a new water heater in there, but he disconnected it and that is all he did because when I came home at noontime I had seen what they had done and what they were up to. They never came back to fix that at all, so I got excited and Sunday morning I connected it myself and I went down and complained to the plumbing inspector and he would not give me any relief at all, so I went back. I saw I probably made an error, so I disconnected it.

Mind you, in the summer months from May to September—and there are five youngsters in the family besides the two of us—we had to boil water on our own cooking stove that we furnished ourselves. We had to boil that water and carry it from the kitchen into the dining room, then past the bedroom into the hall and about the middle of the apartment there is a bathroom there, throwing that water in that tub to get a bath.

Now, I would not have complained to the Rent Commission and never did before that, but when they did that I went down and complained to the Rent Commission and the Rent Commission set a price on the rentals there. That was last May.

The case has been pending since, I think, 1924 or 1923. It was November when I made a complaint, and the following May they made a $2.50 allowance on the rent. Now, the following month I offered this money to them and they refused to accept it and they came back to the courts--they brought it into the courts. I would have kept on paying this regular money as they wanted, but they wanted us to get out so they could rent it to somebody else.

All the time we lived there under Thomas Fisher & Co. and there are a lot of good men in the city-we never had any

trouble. The CHAIRMAX. They did not ask you for any raise after that?

Mr. FINK. A lady was living downstairs. They put her out, gave her 30 days' notice to get out, then they came to us, because on our upper floor leading over the hall there is a little alcove that made one room more than downstairs. They came to us and asked us to move downstairs, that they wanted to take it for themselves. They did not. I thought at the time they did, and I even went as far as to tell Mrs. Fink we would take that, but she could not see it and we refused to do it, but they wanted us to go downstairs so they could raise that upper floor to $47.50. They could not do that; so, instead of taking that place for themselves, they rented it to somebody else or $5 more than they charged the previous woman.

The CHAIRMAN. $5 more than the evicted person paid?
Mr. FINK. Yes.

Representative BLANTON. Mr. Fink, you realize that the Government here has provided courts for parties to litigate their controversies in, don't you?


Mr. FINK. Yes.

Representative BLANTON. And if you have a controversy with your neighbor, you have to go to court to settle it-you realize that?

Mr. Fink. I do.

Representative BLANTON. Well, now, Mrs. Peck took you to court, didn't she, to settle the controversy between you and her?

Mr. FINK. No; to get me out.

Representative BLANTON. There was a controversy between you and her? Mr. FINK. Yes.

Representative BLANTON. And she went to the only place that the law provides to the court to settle it?

Mr. FINK. Yes.

Representative BLANTON. And you were tried before a municipal judge?


Representative BLANTON. And the municipal judge held under the law here that Mrs. Peck had a right to put you out?

Mr. FINK. He did not do anything of the kind.
Representative BLANTON. Didn't he put you out?

Mr. FINK. No, sir. I will have to give Judge Mattingly credit; he did not.

Representative BLANTON. Didn't he hold that the law was unconstitutional?

Mr. FINK. I don't think he did anything to us.

Representative BLANTON. Well, I am little in error; I am just remembering the result in the court of appeals. The court of appeals held that?

Mr. FINK. Yes.

Representative BLAnton. Now, Judge Mattingly's decision went up to a higher court?

Mr. Fink. Yes, sir. Representative BLANTON. And that decision went up to the court of appeals?

Mr. FINK. Yes, sir.

Representative BLANTON. And the court of appeals, which was a regular court of law, held that that law was unconstitutional, did it not?

Mr. FINK. They took it up.
Representative BLANTON. Did you get out?
Mr. FINK. No; but we appealed the case.
Representative BLANTON. Is it still on appeal?
Mr. Fink. Yes, sir.
Representative BLANTON. And you are still in there?
Mr. FINK. I am.

Representative BLANTON. Now, not withstanding the fact that the court of appeals has held that the law is unconstitutional and that the Rent Commission was inoperative and that the Rent Commission did not have any right to fix the rents there, you are still staying in that woman's property—that is the fact, is it not?

Mr. FINK. I am.
Representative BLANTON. That is all.

The CHAIRMAN. Is not this question of the unconstitutionality of the law appealed to the Supreme Court?

Mr. FINK. It is being now.
The CHAIRMAN. The decision you had was not final?

Mr. FINK. No; the decision of the Supreme Court has not been handed down.

The CHAIRMAN. The Supreme Court is still to pass on it?
Mr. FINK. Yes.

Representative BLANTON. You knew, Mr. Fink, did you not, that in the Chastleton case the Supreme Court of the United States has expressed the opinion

Mr. Fink (interposing). They were not asked that.

Representative BLAnton. They don't have to be asked. That is one body that can express their opinion without being asked. You realize that they did express their opinion that this law was unconstitutional

Mr. FINK. I understand that.

Representative BLANTON. And still you are holding on to the property?

Mr. FINK. I am living up to the law. I am not doing anything out of the way. I realize this, that if I had some good honest real estate person-and there are plenty here in town—that I would not have had this trouble in the first place.

The CHAIRMAN. Any other questions?
Representative BLANTON. That is all.

Mr. Fink. I want to thank the Tenents' League in general. If it was not for them, I would not have been able to pull this thing through.

Representative BLANTON. They are furnishing the money for you—the Tenents' League?

(At this point Mrs. Brown rose.)

Representative BLANTON. Just be seated. I will let him answer it. He is a man and can take care of himself. They are furnishing the money to fight this case!

Mr. Fixk. I have got a loan of that money from a party. Representative BLANTON. And you are going to pay them back? Mr. FINK. I will pay the party I loaned it from.

The CHAIRMAN. It makes no difference where a man gets the money.

Representative BLAxton. It was just for my own information.

The CHAIRMAN. While a very important member of this committee. he has no right to take advantage of witnesses.

Representative HAMMER. It is competent in two respects, I take it; first, to impeach the witness, and the other as bearing upon the question. I do not believe it has bearing on the question.

Representative BLANTON. I will let the gentleman from North Carolina and the Senator from Delaware put their own construction on it. I have sat on the bench the same as the gentlemen have.

The CHAIRMAN. I have never sat on the bench.

Representative BLANTON. I know what is relevant and what is irrelevant.

The CHAIRMAN. I have attended hearings, and hearings here are not conducted along the line of evidence in courts. A hearing here is to get evidence so that we may decide as to whether it is proper to pass certain legislation. If you are going to have only evidence such as is required in a court passed on, then nothing but lawyers

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