WASHINGTON (Aug. 18)
The transfer of the Committee on Fair Employment Practice to the War Manpower Commission was intended “to strengthen, and not to submerge it,” President Roosevelt said in a statement today.
Protests had been received from various groups that the Committee’s new status would hinder its fight to assure employment to Jews, aliens and Negroes on an equal basis with the rest of the country.
“The Committee will gain strength by operating directly within the WMC to which essential powers for the mobilization and use of all available men and women in the war effort have been given,” the President stated. He emphasized the advantage to the Committee in having all WMC branches at its disposal.
Stephen Early, the President’s press secretary, said in giving out the statement that there “has apparently been a good deal of misrepresentation and consequent misunderstanding” about the shift. It has been charged that anti-Negro and anti-Semitic Congressmen sought to kill the Committee by denying it money. Until the transfer, it had been financed through the President’s Emergency Fund.
According to President Roosevelt’s statement, the Committee will retain its privilege of direct appeal to him, even though it is under the supervision of Chairman Paul V. McNutt of the War Manpower Commission.