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The Chair will cause to be read what occurred in reference to the matter.
The Clerk read as follows: Mr. REAGAN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that Senate bill No. 1532, to regulate interstate commerce, now on the Calendar of the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, having been reported back from the Committee on Commerce, be considered also under the special order when the House bill to regulate interstate commerce shall be called up.
Mr. SPRINGER. The request of the gentleman is that the Senate bill be also in. cluded in that order?
Mr. REAGAN. Yes, sir.
The SPEAKER. No; because the Senate bill proposes a commission, and is on the Calendar of the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union; but the fact that they are on different Calendars makes no difference.
Mr. DUNHAM. We have not both of those bills here, as I understand it.
Mr. REAGAN. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Illinois supposed the Senate bill was not on the Calendar. I have explained to him the situation, and that the object was to consider it with the House bill, to which I understand he is willing to withdraw his objection.
Mr. DUNHAM. I shall withdraw the objection.
The SPEAKER. Without further objection, the order requested by the gentleman from Texas will be made. There was no objection, and it was so ordered.
The SPEAKER. And the Journal of the same day shows that the Senate bill was to be considered under the special order of the House of March 16 ultimo, which was an order providing that it should be considered in the House as in Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union.
Mr. REAGAN. Mr. Speaker, the House comprehends from the statements in the RECORD and the Journal the position in which the question pow stands. The House committee reported a bill; subsequently the Senate passed a bill, which was referred to the House Committee on Commerce, and that committee, acting upon the Senate bill, reported it back with an amendment striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting the provisions of the House bill. What I wish to attempt now, Mr. Speaker
Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. Will the gentleman permit me to interrupt him a moment? There are several gentlemen absent from the House and from the city to-day who have heretofore expressed a desire to speak upon this bill. I propose, therefore, that leave be given both for gentlemen who are not present, and for any others who desire it, to print remarks upon this subject in the RECORD.
Mr. REAGAN. Mr. Speaker, I promised certain gentlemen to ask unanimous consent that they might have leave to print remarks on this bill.
Mr. DUNHAM. Mr. Speaker, I rise to a point of order.
Mr. DUNHAM. There is nothing before the House. I demand the reading of the bill.
The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Illinois demands the reading of the bill, which he has a right to do.
Mr. REAGAN. If the gentleman does not understand the bill, let it be read.
Mr. DUNHAM. I demand the reading of both bills.
Senate bill with the amendment, in the form of a substitute, proposed by the Committee on Commerce.
The Clerk proceeded to read the bill and the proposed substitute.
Mr. REAGAN (before the reading was concluded) said: I ask the gentleman from Illinois whether he will not consent to have the reading of the bill dispensed with ?
Mr. DUNHAM. I would like to accommodate the gentleman from Texas, but I do no see how the House can properly understand the bill, and be prepared to vote upon it, without having it read.
Mr. REAGAN. The gentleman is aware that nobody is listening to the reading, and we are simply consuming time uselessly.
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. DOCKERY). The gentleman from Illinois [Mr. DUNHAM] insists on his objection to dispensing with the reading.
Mr. DUNHAM. I thing the gentleman from Texas onght not to charge that members of the House are not paying attention to their duties.
The Clerk resumed and concluded the reading of the bill and the proposed substitute.
Mr. REAGAN. I desire to ask consent of the House to fix a time for the closing of general debate. In order to ascertain the views of the House, I suggest that by general consent the session of to-day be extended until 6 o'clock and that general debate on this bill be closed at that time.
Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. I hope the gentleman from Texas will postpone any effort to fix now a time for closing debate. There are many absentees to-day
Mr. REAGAN. I think it my duty under the circumstances to have a time fixed, if possible, for the closing of general debate. If I can get unanimous consent I shall be glad; if I can not,
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Texas submits, as the Chair understands, two propositions. One is to extend the session of the House till 6 o'clock this evening; the other is to close general debate on the pending bill at that time.
Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. I hope the gentleman from Texas will with hold the proposition to close debate until a later hour to-day.
Mr. REAGAN. If the proposition I have already suggested be not acceptable, I would suggest as an alternative proposition that the House take a recess from 5 o'clock this evening until 8 o'clock, the evening session to terminate at 11 o'clock, and general debate to be closed at that time. My object is that we close general debate to-day.
Several MEMBERS. That is right.
Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. The objection to that proposition is that it is utterly impossible to get a large number of members here at night to listen to a debate; and this is too practical a subject to be discussed to empty seats. I do not wish to delay the final action of the House upon this bill; but I do protest that this is not a proper time to fix a limit to the debate; and I hope the House will not compel us to come here at a night session to speak upon so important and practical a a subject to vacant seats.
Mr. STRUBLE. The seats are practically vacant now.
Mr. BROWNE, of Indiana. Mr. Speaker, we have been discussing this interstate commerce question for the last ten years.
Several MEMBERS. That is trne. Mr. BROWNE, of Indiana. It seems to me gentlemen here generally are in a condition to vote on this question; and we can expedite the consideration of this measure very much by having no general debate at all.
Many MEMBERS. That is right.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Texas asks unanimous consent that the House take a recess at 5 o'clock this afternoon until 8 o'clock, the evening session to continue until 11 o'clock, and to be for general debate only. [Cries of “ Vote!” “ Vote!”'] Is there objection?
Mr. TOWNSHEND. I object to having the whole day and evening devoted to general debate on this bill. Everybody understands it, and we ought to have action on it promptly.
Mr. BROWNE, of Indiana. The gentleman from Texas can not get unanimous consent for anything in connection with this bill. Whatever rights he has in this matter, I hope he will assert them, without asking unanimous consent.
Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. I want to assert the rights of the Committee on Commerce. There are fifteen members of that committee; and it was the understanding in the committee that most of the members should be heard on this bill.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Texas ?
Mr. DUNHAM. I object until I know what it is.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Texas (Mr. REAGAN] has the floor.
Mr. DUNHAM. What is his proposition ?
The SPEAKER pro tempore, The gentleman from Texas (Mr. REAGAN] proposes that at 5 o'clock the House shall take a recess until 8 o'clock, and continue in session from 8 until 11 o'clock for general de. bate only.
Mr. DUNHAM. I object.
Mr. TOWNSHEND. I hope the gentleman from Texas will close debate altogether and let us vote on the bill. [Cries of “Vote!'']
Mr. REAGAN. Is there any objection to the proposition ?
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Objection having been made, the gentleman from Texas is recognized and will proceed.
Mr. REAGAN. Mr. Speaker, it was not my wish to close this discussion without permitting gentlemen to be heard on both sides. There are two bills before the House, and perhaps there should be some explanation as to the character of those measures. [Cries of “Vote!''] But if it be the wish of the House to vote now on these two propositions, of course I will not stand in the way of that being done.(Cries of “Vote!”]
Mr. WEAVER, of Iowa. Let us vote now; it will not take ten minutes to settle the question.
Mr. REAGAN. I will act in obedience to what seems to be the general request of members. Before doing so, however, I will ask by unanimous consent that members generally may have leave to print remarks on this question.
There was no objection, and it was so ordered.
Mr. REAGAN. I will take the sense of the House to close debate and vote on the bill.
Mr. TOWNSHEND. That is what we want.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. There is so much confusion in the Hall that the Chair is unable to hear the gentleman from Texas. The public business will be suspended until we have order on the floor.
Several MEMBERS. Call for the previous question.
Mr. REAGAN. I demand the previous question on the adoption of the House substitute for the Senate bill.
Mr. DUNHAM rose.
Mr. REED, of Maine. This bill has to be read under the five-minute rule.
Mr. TOWNSHEND. We are in the House and not in the committee.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The bill is being considered in the House as in the Committee of the Whole under an order of the Honse.
Mr. REED, of Maine. Even in that case it has to be read for amendment under the five-minute rule. We can not have business of this kind stampeded simply because those having it in charge have not attended to it during the eight months of the session. Let us undertake to act in some sensible way. If everybody does as the gentleman from California seems to understand there is no necessity for him indulging in language.
Mr. ROWELL. There are two vital questions before us. Mr. REED, of Maine. It is too serious business to be stampeded in Mr. ROWELL. They differ as vitally as two questions can. Mr. REAGAN. If gentlemen will consent to extend the session until 6 o'clock so that debate may run on until then I will withdraw my demand.
Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. If the chairman of the committee will permit me to say a word in behalf of the minority of the Committee on Commerce, I will state to the House there was an understanding acquiesced in by the chairman of the committee himself that opportunity should be given to debate this bill whenever it came up. The gentleman knows it, and I do not think it fair for him now to come into the House and ask that we shall proceed to vote without any debate whatever. I grant we may be near the end of the session, hut this is an important matter of legislation, and from my standpoint as well as from his I desire faith shall be kept, and we may be permitted to be heard on one side and the other on the vital and important questions involved in this matter.
Mr. ANDERSON, of Kansas. The House has some rights, too.
Mr. REAGAN. I offered the proposition to extend the session until 6 o'clock, or to take a recess from 5 until 8 and continue until 11 for general debate only.
Mr. O'Neill, of Pennsylvania, rose.
Mr. REAGAŃ. The gentleman from Pennsylvania will not hear me. I ask unanimous consent to extend the session nntil 6 o'clock this evening, or, if that is not acceptable, to extend the debate until 5 o'clock, and then to take a recess until 8 o'clock this evening to continue the general debate until 11 o'clock. If gentlemen will accept either proposition I will renew it.
Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennyslvania. Why, I will say to the gentleman from Texas that there are various members absent
Mr. DOCKERY. Well, they should be here.
Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. Who are absent on important busipess and by consent of the House, and who desire to be heard on this bill One of them I will name, the gentleman from Georgia, Mr. HAMMOND.
Mr. RYAN. Well, the House does not propose to wait for anybody who is absent. If gentlemen are not here it is not the fault of the House.
The SPEAKER (having resumed the chair). What is the proposition of the gentleman from Texas?
Mr. REAGAN. I have made an alternative proposition to extend the session of the House this evening until 6 o'clock and close general debate at that time. The other, if this was not accepted, was to take a recess at 5 o'clock, to meet again at 8 o'clock to-night, the general debate to close on this bill at 11 o'clock this evening.
Mr. BRUMM. And no vote to be taken to-day?
Mr. REAGAN. I will submit the latter proposition again to the House-that the general debate be extended to 5 o'clock, at which hour we take a recess, to meet again at 8 o'clock, with the understanding that the general debate is to close at 11 o'clock to-night.
Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. I am just informed by the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. BLOUNT] that Mr. HAMMOND does not expect to return to the House this session. I did not know that fact when I made the statement a moment ago, because before he went away he expressed to me his desire to discuss this bill in favor of its passage.
The SPEAKER. The Chair will submit the request of the gentleman from Texas. The first is that unanimous consent be given to extend the session of the House to-day until 6 o'clock and that general debate be closed at that hour. Is there objection ?
Mr. HENLEY. I object.
The gentleman from Texas now asks unanimous consent that the House take a recess at 5 o'clock to-day until 8 o'clock, the evening session to be devoted exclusively to debate on this bill, which shall close at 11 o'clock to-night.
Mr. DUNHAM. I object to that.
Mr. HENLEY. I will object unless it assumes this modification: that all debate, not only the general debate but debate under the five minute-rule as well, be closed at that time.
Mr. DUNHAM. I object in either event.
Mr. HENLEY. I call the attention of the gentleman from Texas now to this fact, that unless he gets his bill through to-day the probabilities are that he will not get it through at all, for to-morrow, under the order of the House made to-day, the naval construction bill comes up. The fate of his bill depends, in my judgment, on action to-day.
The SPEAKER. There is nothing before the House.
Mr. REAGAN. I move that all general debate be closed on this bill at 5 o'clock.
Mr. TOWNSHEND. I move to amend that by making it 4 o'clock.