HOUSE ALLIES RAKE |
McGroarty Helps Republican
Attack on 'Inadequate' Ad-
DEFENDS TOWNSEND PLAN.
Decrying 'Wise-Cracks' at This,
He Predicts 'Townsend Con-
gress' if It
special to THE NEW YORK TIMES
WASHINGTON, April 16.Townsend plan advocates and Republicans
allied themselves again today to attack the administration Social Security
Bill which the House has been debating for several days. Representative
McGroarty of California, who introduced the
Townsend plan in bill form, both originally and in its revised edition,
moved his seat to the Republican side so that he could confer more
conveniently on strategy.
The common ground of the Townsendites and Republicans is their belief that
the old-age assistance provisions of the pending bill are inadequate. Most of the
Republicans are unwilling to go as far as the $200 a month which is the Townsend
goal, but they have apparently decided that the $15 maximum Federal contribution
provided in the administration bill is a vulnerable point.
Mr. McGroarty, who conceded the defeat of his
bill a few
days ago, took the floor today to attack the administration measure.
He described the bill as the work of college professors, not of President
"A high official in this government," he said, referring to Harry Hopkins,
Administrator of Federal Emergency Relief, "has declared that the Townsend
old-age pension plan is cock-eyed. Another high official has declared it to be
silly and grotesque.
"Blithering statisticians and half-baked economists have seized upon the
Townsend plan as an outlet for their own uninculcated theories. The wise-crackers
of the newspapers have taken their filing at it and have held up Dr. Townsend,
God forgive them, to ridicule and contempt."
But he told the House: |
"I make it not as a threat but as a prophecy that if we fail to enact an
old-age pension law as embodied in the Townsend plan, the next Congress will be
neither a Democratic nor a Republican Congress but a Townsend Congress."
Criticisms by Representatives Gearhart of California and Monaghan of
Montana started a many-sided quarrel in which Representatives Cooper of
Tennessee, McCormack of Massachusetts, and Vinson of Kentucky took up the cudgels
for the administration.
Mr. Cooper said that never had he seen "so much gross ignorance" displayed
in debating any bill before the House, indicating that many members had not taken
the trouble to read the bill, the report of the Ways and Means Committee or any
of the 2,921 pages of printed testimony before the senate and House committee.
This gave Representative Jenkins of Ohio, a Republican member of the Ways
and Means Committee, an opening to interject that the House would not display
such "gross ignorance" if the measure had been submitted in a series of different
bills, each dealing with its own subject, so that members could understand it.
Townsend Plan Assailed
Representative Buck of California, the only legislator from that State who
has opposed the Townsend plan on the floor, said that he was sorry Mr.
McGroarty had described his measure as a scientific
"It is so full of holes you could drive a six-horse wagon and automobile
truck through it," he said. "It places a greater burden on the working man than
does the administration bill. It taxes the working man 2 per cent on all his
transactions forever, not just until he is 60.
"We must not use our aged as a shield for purported economic reform."
Representative Cavicchia of New Jersey endorsed Title I of the bill,
which deals with old-age assistance, as excellent, but said that the addition of
Title II, covering compulsory old-age annuities, would make the whole act
Mr. Cooper answered that the Department of Justice had furnished the
committee an opinion upholding the validity of the bill as drawn, and that there
was every reason to believe a court would follow the same reasoning.