NEW YORK (May. 27)
Charges that United States Government contractors and official government agencies are violating standing Presidential orders prohibiting religious discrimination in connection with U. S. Government contracts and civil service employment were made in complaints submitted by the American Jewish Congress to Vice President Richard M. Nixon, chairman of the President’s Committee on Government Contracts and to Maxwell Abbell, chairman of the President’s Committee on Government Employment Policy, it was revealed today at a session of the ACJ’s national executive committee.
The complaints pointed out that as a result of Arab exclusion of American Jews, American corporation’s hiring employees for work on government contracts to be performed in Arab countries refrain from employing Jews. Vice President Nixon was urged by the American Jewish Congress to inform all contracting agencies “that discrimination in violation of the non-discrimination clause in government contracts is not permitted and cannot be condoned on the ground that it is required by the demands of foreign powers.”
In his letter to Mr. Nixon, Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the AJC, declared: “When a conflict arises in work done under U. S. Government authority and the policy of a foreign country that makes invidious distinctions among American citizens on the basis of religion, the latter policy is accepted by our officials.” The Executive Order governing the Government Contracts Committee, Dr. Goldstein said, “empowers the group to insure compliance with the non-discrimination provisions of government contracts.”
In his letter to Mr. Abbell, the head of the American Jewish Congress pointed out that the Executive Order establishing the Government Employment Policy Committee prohibits religious discrimination by all government agencies “in all civilian personnel matters.” The practice of screening out Jews when employing personnel for an air base on foreign soil is “a gross violation” of this principle, Dr. Goldstein held. He suggested that Mr. Abbell’s committee inform the State Department that any new agreement regarding the lease at Dharan “must contain appropriate safeguards against continued discrimination.”
The AJC national executive committee at its session last night adopted a resolution calling upon the U. S. Government to see to it that the lease for the American Air Base at Dharan now under negotiation with the Government of Saudi Arabia, contain “iron-clad safeguards” against the exclusion of American military and civilian personnel of Jewish faith at Dharan.