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U.S. Peace Corps Will Not Operate in Lands Practicing Religious Bias

October 4, 1961
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Director Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr., of the Peace Corps, made known today that despite elimination of anti-bias provisions from the Peace Corps Act, the Corps will refuse to operate in nations that discriminate against American personnel on a basis of race or religion.

In a letter to Rep. Leonard Farbstein, New York Democrat, Mr. Shriver clarified the Peace Corps’ policy toward discrimination. Mr. Shriver said “The House-Senate conference committee did delete an anti-discrimination clause from the Peace Corps legislation.” But he stressed that “this act will not change the Peace Corps policy of selecting volunteers without regard to race or creed. Neither does it change the Peace Corps policy of not going into any country which might discriminate against Peace Corps Volunteers because or race or creed.”

Rep. Farbstein, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, raised the question with Mr. Shriver out of hope that the Peace Corps would reject bias regardless of elimination of the clause. Mr. Shriver had testified before the Foreign Affairs Committee that the Corps would shun any nation that tried to impose religious or racial restrictions in selection of personnel.

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