NEW YORK (Jul. 21)
The American Jewish Congress, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish War Veterans Organization, the central Jewish religious bodies and 31 of the local Jewish Community Councils–which together comprise the National Community Relations Advisory Council–today addressed identical letters to the Majority and Leaders in the House and Senate urging prompt enactment in this session of Congress of "an adequate housing measure" and a bill to provide Federal funds to aid medical schools.
At the same time, the Jewish organizations urged the inclusion of a provision which would bar such Federal aid to housing projects or medical schools which practice segregation or other forms of discrimination. "Such a provision by way of amendment can in no sense be regarded as extraneous," the Jewish groups pointed out. "Absence of such a guarantee in a housing bill would directly foster and finance racial discrimination. This would be unthinkable in light of the basic protection against such inequality to which the American people are entitled."
Bernard H. Trager of Bridgeport, chairman of the NCRAC, writing in behalf of the organizations, urged the members of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare "to vote approval of these bills in committee and that they be amended to insure that admission to the facilities to be aided will not be limited because of race, religion or national origin." He drew attention to the fact that "the necessity for including such an anti-discrimination provision is highlighted by the overwhelming evidence that many of the nation’s medical schools do discriminate.
Commenting on the action of the NCRAC agencies which subscribed to the letter on the housing bill, Lewis H. Weinstein of Boston, chairman of the NCRAC Committee on Discrimination in Housing, underscored the statement contained in the letter that such an anti-discrimination amendment to the housing bill is necessary because all efforts to enact civil rights legislation have thus far been effectively thwarted by the rules of the Senate which permit unlimited debate and filibustering. He stated "if the amended housing bill should be defeated, the blame would rest with those who vote against the measure and not with those who favor the inclusion of an anti-segregation provision in keeping with American democratic professions."
Milton I. Goldstein, chairman of the NCRAC Committee on Discrimination in Educational Institutions, in his comment, said that it is most regrettable that quota system practice in many of the privately owned medical schools in the country make necessary the inclusion of an anti-discrimination provision in Federal legislation to provide much needed governmental financial assistance to these institutions. "It would be unthinkable," he said, "for the United States Congress to make such funds available to medical schools without at the same time making sure that such Federal funds will not be used to promote racial, religious or nationality discrimination."