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EDITORS' NOTE: During the debate in the House, Congressman Willis introduced an amendment that would have applied Title VII to employers of 150 employees during the first year after the effective date of the Act, 100 employees during the second year, and 50 employees during the third year and thereafter. After discussion, however, Willis accepted a suggestion that the amendment be modified to provide a four-step coverage schedule based on 100, 75, 50, and 25 employees. As so modified, the amendment was adopted.
AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. WILLIS
Mr. WILLIS. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment offered by Mr. WILLIS: On page 65, line 2, strike out "100" and insert "150" and on page 65, line 5, strike out "50" and insert "100" and on page 65, line 6, after the word "employers" insert a comma and the following language: "and during the second year after such date persons having fewer than 50 employees and their agents shall not be considered employers."
Mr. WILLIS. Mr. Chairman, under this bill the ultimate coverage will reach establishments having 25 or more employees. Under the bill, for the first year persons having fewer than 100 employees would not be covered. For the second year persons having fewer than 50 employees would not be covered. Then beginning with the third year and permanently thereafter persons having more than 25 employees would be covered.
My proposal would mean that for the first year an establishment having 150 or more employees would be covered. For the second year, establishments having 100 employees or more would be covered. For the third year, establishments having 50 or more employees would be covered and for the fourth year and permanently thereafter the bill would cover establishments having 25 or more employees.
Mr. Chairman, I have talked to quite a number of Members about this. As a matter of fact, what I was striving to do was to get something better. I would have hoped that ultimately the coverage would not exceed 50 employees. I have tested the sentiments of Members and hoped this amendment could be agreed to.
Mr. RODINO. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. WILLIS. I yield.
Mr. RODINO. Does the gentleman mean that after the third year any establishment having less than 50 employees would not be covered?
Mr. WILLIS. No. For the first year it would be 150; the second, 100; the third, 50; the fourth year, 25, and thereafter permanently 25.
Mr. RODINO. It would extend to establishments with 25 or more employees only at the end of the third year and the beginning of the fourth year?
Mr. WILLIS. Yes, exactly.
Mr. CELLER. Mr. Chairman, I am inclined to accept the gentleman's amendment, but I want to understand what it is.
Do I understand for the first year the title is not affected? It only operates for 1 year?
Mr. WILLIS. Yes; that is correct. Mr. CELLER. After the first year, then your amendment would operate against the labor unions or an employer with 150 employees or more?
Mr. WILLIS. That is correct.
Mr. CELLER. Then the following year, the third year, it would operate against labor unions or employers with 100 employees or members?
Mr. WILLIS. That is correct.
Mr. CELLER. And the fourth year it would operate against 50 employees, or members?
Mr. WILLIS. That is correct.
Mr. O'HARA of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. WILLIS. I yield to the gentleman from Michigan.
Mr. O'HARA of Michigan. I agree that the gentleman's amendment does just what he said with respect to employers. However, in response to the questions of the chairman, he indicated that it would have a similar effect and application to labor organizations. I would like to point out to the gentleman it will not unless a similar amendment is offered to page 66, subsection (e), beginning with line 4 and running down through line 12.
Mr. WILLIS. That is correct. I was going to conform this amendment to that passage later on.
Mr. LINDSAY. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. WILLIS. I yield to the gentleman from New York.
Mr. LINDSAY. Would the gentleman accept an amendment here which would provide on line 5, instead of "fifty" it would read "seventy-five": in the third year the figure would be "fifty"; in other words, one hundred, seventy-five, fifty, and then twenty-five. Would not that be acceptable to the gentleman?
Does the gentleman follow that, or shall I restate it?
Mr. WILLIS. I would hope that would be unnecessary. It is pretty hard to have to offer an amendment when what you originally sought was something beyond this. I would like to test the accuracy of the chairman and the ranking minority member before going into that.
Mr. CELLER. I think the suggestion made by the gentleman from New York is appropriate. If it is agreed to, I will agree to the amendment.
Mr. McCULLOCH. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. WILLIS. I yield to the gentleman from Ohio.
Mr. McCULLOCH. I am of the opinion it would serve a useful purpose if the suggestion of the gentlemen from New York [Mr. CELLER and Mr. LINDSAY] were followed.
Mr. WILLIS. I accept the suggestion. Mr. CELLER. The gentleman will accept the amendment, so that labor unions will be treated exactly like employers?
The CHAIRMAN. Does the gentleman make that request?
Mr. WILLIS. I do.
The CHAIRMAN. Will the gentleman state the request for the modification of his amendment?
AMENDMENTS OFFERED BY MR. WILLIS
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment offered by Mr. WILLIS: Page 65, line 5, strike out "fifty" and insert "seventy-five", and page 65, line 6, after the word "employers" insert a comma and the following language: "and, during the third year after such date, persons having fewer than fifty employees [and their agents] shall not be considered employers." And on page 66, line 11, strike out "fifty" and insert "seventy-five", and on page 66, line 11, after the word "date", insert the following: "or fifty and more during the third year".
Mr. WHITENER. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike out the last word and to revise and extend my remarks.
Mr. Chairman, on Sunday, February 9. 1964, the Charlotte Observer, the largest newspaper in the State of North Carolina, which is owned by the Knight newspaper people with headquarters in Akron, Ohio, had an excellent editorial entitled "Rights Bill Would Endanger the Rights of Majority."
This is not racist talk. We have no patience with those who have done everything in their power to deny basic American freedoms to a minority and now weep copiously over the bler of reason. This is simply an appeal for rational consideration of every State or personal right that the framers of this bill ask us to minimize or give up.
It is an appeal, too, that Members of the Senate seek to envision the exercise of these new powers by those whose faces we cannot see now. Given an understanding of the atmosphere in which this legislation was produced, agents of the Federal Government logically will exercise their new powers on the present generation with reason and restraint. But experience has taught us it is far wiser to circumscribe the powers of gov ernment than to put our faith in good intentions, for the passage of time has a way of turning bright castles into ashes.
Constructive changes already have been made in the bill despite the limitations on hearing and debate. Much more needs to be done in the Senate to make sure that Individual Americans, not just Negroes, will be secure in their persons and effects against unreasonable government power.
The search for justice is going on, as it should, within our highest deliberative body. But the U.S. Senate must remember that this is not a sociological treatise but law that it is writing, law that it will place in the hands of what George Washington called "a dangerous servant and a fearful master." Mr. FULTON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment. A right postponed is a right denied.
I realize the Judiciary Committees on both sides through statements by the senior Members, have accepted this amendment. I look at the amendment in a different way. I like the bill just as It is written as to this provision. I feel strongly the Members in favor of this civil rights bill are yielding and giving up on a substantial provision of the bill that pertains to the time of taking effect and the extent of the coverage. This yielding might have a weakening effect when the House comes to the conference committee on the disagreeing votes between the two Houses.
I therefore oppose the amendment. I do not believe it should be accepted. I feel that the bill should retain, in respect to this provision, the language as it was written originally.