Reports the New York Times. The subject of controversy for two decades, Congress has finally settled the exact nature of the literacy test to be required. The conference committee has acceded to the House version “which requires that immigrants shall only be able to read, whereas the Senate bill provided that they must both read and write.”
The Times hastened to add that there’s not anything necessary wrong with illiteracy per se, in Congress’s view. Rather, the literacy test is simply being used as the means to a desired end:
While it is not contended that a man who cannot read is less desirable, for moral reasons, than one from the same country who can, it has been found that the least desirable class comes from the most illiterate countries. It is believed that the effect of the prospective law will be to keep out many of the undesirable classes . . . .