NEW YORK (Jul. 9)
The New York City Commission on Intergroup Relations opened an effort today to induce the West Side Tennis Club in suburban Forest Hills to end its membership bars against Jews and Negroes. The club is the site of National Championships and Davis Cup competitions.
The Commission said it would act after Dr. Ralph Bunche, United Nations Undersecretary, disclosed that he had been notified that neither he nor his son, who had applied for admission, could be members. Dr. Bunche said he had been told frankly by club president Wilfred Burglund that the club barred Jews and Negroes as a private organization.
A spokesman for the City Commission said that “We are most surprised and shocked that the West Side Tennis Club operates under these policies in this day and age. “He indicated the Commission strategy would be to determine whether New York City gives any kind of support to the club or was involved in any way in its operation. He explained that in such cases, the municipality “would be legally concerned.”
He added that, in any case, the Commission intended to meet with club officials “to express the city’s feelings that such racial and religious restrictions are in conflict with the policies”, of New York City. He said the Commission would try to persuade the club to change its bigoted policies.
The American Jewish Congress and the Jewish Labor Committee sent telegrams to the U.S. Davis Cup Committee and the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association, urging cancellation of Davis Cup play scheduled for August at the club.