LAKE SUCCESS (Jan. 17)
U.N. Secretary-General Trygve Lie today struck out forcefully against an incident involving the practice of racial discrimination and anti-Semitism by several members of the U.N. executive staff.
In a statement released today, Mr. Lie announced that he had ordered a comprehensive program of compensation and reinshement to those who were the victims of the incident. It is the first of its kind in the five-year-old history of the United Nations, and evidently caused great embarrassment to the Secretariat.
Under Mr. Lie’s program those who have lost their jobs through discrimination will be restored to their duties with all seniority rights. They will receive compensation for loss of earnings resulting from their dismissal, and those who have found other jobs elsewhere may reapply under a preference application.
Mr. Lie explained that he appointed an impartial board, of inquiry in March, 1949, to consider charges of anti-Semitism against five subordinates in a 20-member department. The board’s inquiry was completed Dec. 30, with the writing of a confidential report to the Secretary-General, which Mr. Lie says he will continue to keep confidential. He also said that he would not release the names of any of the parties involved for fear of damaging reputations.
On the basis of the report submitted to him by the inquiry board, Mr. Lie said: “I have found no evidence establishing an overt act of anti-Semitism, nor has it been proved that any action relating to the case was motivated by anti-Semitism. There were, however, administrative actions of an irregular character which had the appearance of unfair discrimination against the complainants and certainly caused the complainants to suffer unjustly.”
Mr. Lie added he felt most strongly that officials of the U.N. are under special duty always to be above suspicion of even appearance of bias and said he would review the positions of the accused executive in the light of this principle.