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N. Y. City Announces Probe into Private Sport Clubs Suspected of Bias

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A broad investigation of private sports clubs in New York City suspected of barring Jews, Negroes and others from membership on the basis of race or religion was announced this week-end by Dr. Alfred J. Marrow, chairman of the city Commission on Intergroup Relations.

Dr. Marrow, who indicated this probe after the commission heard testimony from Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, Nobel Prize winner and United Nations Undersecretary, also said the commission might ask legislation to prevent such bias in membership policies. Dr. Bunche opened the issue by revealing that he had been told that neither he nor his son, Ralph Bunche, Jr., 16, could become members of the West Side Tennis Club of Forest Hills, Queens, because they were Negroes. The club’s board subsequently repudiated the statement from president Wilfred Burglund, accepted his resignation, and invited the Bunches to join.

Dr. Marrow said that while he recognized the right of private clubs to bar any group on racial or religious grounds: he also felt there was "a moral and psychological aspect" to such discrimination. Psychologically, there is a harmful effect on any group that is banned."

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