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Rabbi Wise Asks Grand Jury Investigation of Discrimination by Utility Companies

An immediate Grand Jury investigation of the charges by State Senator Louis Friedman that the Consolidated Edison Company, the New York Telephone Company and the Brooklyn Union Gas Company refuse to employ Jewish stenographers or clerks, was urged today by Dr. Stephen S. Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress, in a letter to Miles F. McDonald, Kings County District Attorney. Discrimination by a public utility company is a misdemeanor under Section 42 of the New York State Civil Rights Law, Dr. Wise pointed out.

As further evidence of discrimination in employment, Dr. Wise cited a statement by Joseph Fisher, president of the Brotherhood of Consolidated Edison Employees, who said that only one-half of one percent of the 25,000 Edison employees were Jews and only one percent were Negroes. “Such token employment in a city in which Jews constitute twenty-eight percent and Negroes six percent of the population is a clear cut indication of a deep-rooted discriminatory policy,” Dr. Wise asserted.