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Discrimination Forbidden: Quota Hiring
EDITORS' NOTE: Senator Allott (R., Colo.) introduced an amendment making clear that Congress, in enacting Title VII, did not intend to impose a quota system on employers and unions to force them to overcome racial imbalance. The sense of his amendment was incorporated in the Dirksen-Mansfield compromise and appears in section 703(j) of the Act.
AMENDMENT NO. 568
Mr. ALLOTT. Mr. President, I have heard over and over again in the last few weeks the charge that title VII, the equal employment opportunity section, would impose a quota system on employers and labor unions. There are two variations of the argument. One is that because title IV specifically says that "desegregation" shall not mean assignment of students to public schools in order to overcome racial imbalance, and title VII contains no such disclaimer in relation to employment practices, then it follows that title VII is intended to require hiring to overcome racial imbalance in the work force. The other variation is that an employer will hire members of minority groups, regardless of their qualifications, to avoid having any problems with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The result, either way, so the argument goes, is that a quota system will be imposed, with employers hiring and unions accepting members, on the basis of the percentage of population represented by ach specific minority group.
I do not agree with the argument. The junior Senator from Florida [Mr. SMATHERS] and I discussed this for the RECORD one evening here on the Senate floor, and I believe I made it clear at that time that I do not believe title VII would result in imposition of a quota system. Further, I believe that a quota system of hiring would be a terrible mistake, not only from the viewpoint of the employer, but from
the viewpoint of the employee-from the viewpoint of the minority as well as the majority. Basically, I believe that the color of a man's skin, or the faith to which he adheres, should be completely extraneous considerations when an employer hires or a labor union admits to membership—just as it should be extraneous in granting the right to vote or in assigning him to a school.
But the argument has been made, and I know that employers are also concerned with the argument. I have, therefore, prepared an amendment which I believe makes it clear that no quota system will be imposed if title VII becomes law. Very briefly, it provides that no finding of unlawful employment practice may be made solely on the basis of racial imbalance.
Mr. President, I ask that the amendment be received, printed, and ordered to lie on the table. I also ask unanimous consent that the amendment be printed at this point in the RECORD.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment will be received, printed, and lie on the table; and, without qbjection, the amendment will be printed in the RECORD.
The amendment (No. 568) is as follows:
On page 42, between lines 16 and 17 insert the following:
"(f) The court shall not find, in any civil action brought under this title, that the respondent has engaged in or is engaging in an unlawful employment practice charged in the complaint solely on the basis of evidence that an imbalance exists with respect to the total number of percentage of persons of any race, color, religion, sex, or national orgin employed by any employer, referred or classified for employment by any employment agency, admitted to membership, or
EDITORS' NOTE: During the Senate debate, Senator Williams (D., N.J.) replied to charges that the measure would require quota hiring on a racial basis. He stated that quota hiring would be just as unlawful as other forms of discrimination.
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
Mr. President, it is also charged that employers, including farmers, will have to hire employees according to race to establish racial balance in every job classification; and it is said that quotas will be imposed, forcing businessmen to hire incompetent and unqualified personnel.
Now I turn to the fact: For some reason, the fact that there is nothing whatever in the bill which provides for racial balance or quotas in employment has not been understood by those opposed to civil rights legislation. They persist in opposing a provision which is not only not contained in the bill, but is specifically excluded from it. Those opposed to H.R. 7152 should realize that to hire a Negro solely because he is a Negro is racial discrimination, just as much as a "white only" employment policy. Both forms of discrimination are prohibited by title VII of this bill. The language of that title simply states that race is not a qualification for employment. Every man must be judged according to his ability. In that respect, all men are to have an equal opportunity to be considered for a particular job. Some people charge that H.R. 7152 favors the Negro, at the expense of the white majority. But how can the language of equality favor one race or one religion over another? Equality can have only one meaning, and that meaning is self-evident to reasonable men. Those who say that equality means favoritism do violence to commonsense.
Let me quote some arguments, which I am sure Senators will find familiar, being used against H.R. 7152. These quotations are not taken from the pamphlet distributed by the Coordinating Committee, although they might very well have been. Rather, they are excerpts from a legal brief submitted by counsel for Jones & Laughlin Co., in the N.L.R.B. against Jones & Laughlin case, decided by the Supreme Court in 1937. The brief reads, in part:
The petitioner's order constituted an unlawful interference with the right of the respondent to manage its own business ・・・ the question of retaining or discharging an employee involves delicate consideration of discretion which the law is loathe to attempt to weigh. The facts of the present case show the dangers of bureaucratic interference. This is clearly an interference with the normal right of the respondent to manage its own business, because it is a dictatorial usurpation of the respondent's discretion to determine the capabilities of its employees.
As everyone is aware, that fallacious argument was rejected by the Supreme Court; but today it is being repeated virtually word for word against the civil rights bill. Yet, in the more than 25 years since that Supreme Court decision, there has been no effort to repeal the National Labor Relations Act because it threatens the individual's right to manage his own business. Today, no one would say that the National Labor Rclations Board has taken over the management of businesses. Neither has it sought to determine the capabilitics of employees. Rather, it has accomplished its initial goal, the facilitating of orderly collective bargaining. Likewise, title VII of the bill has only one purpose-the elimination of racial and religious. discrimination in employment.
Finally, let me attempt to put to rest the wholly spurious argument that H.R. 7152 would establish compulsory employment quotas, by pointing out certain relevant facts which should demonstrate the baseless nature of this objection to the bill. The Supreme Court has ruled, in numerous cases, that racial discrimination in the selection of juries is unconstitutional. In case after case, where it has been demonstrated that Negroes have been systematically excluded from serving on juries, the Supreme Court has declared such practice a violation of constitutional procedure. No individual may be prevented from serving on a jury on account of his race. But this does not mean that every jury must contain a Negro. The Court's decision does not establish quotas for juries. Neither does the Court demand that prospective Negro jurors be given preferential treatment over prospective white jurors when a
panel is chosen. In fact, the Supreme Court has flatly rejected the notion that there must be racial quotas for juries. In Akins v. Texas, 325 U.S. 398 (1945), the Court ruled that there need not be any direct correlation between the number of Negroes on a particular jury and the number of Negroes in the community.
What is true in the case of juries is also true in the area of employment. H.R. 7152 does not require that every employer with more than 25 employces hire a Negro or a certain percentage of Negroes. It is possible that although a particular jury or a particular business will contain no Negroes, no charge of discrimination will be made. But businesses, like juries, may not systematically exclude Negroes, when the only ground for exclusion is the color of a man's skin.
So I think the experience with juries is on all fours with what will be the situation in the case of employment. practice, I know this is true in New Jersey, which I am so proud to represent. No quotas are applied there.
There is an absolute absence of discrimination for anyone; and there is an absolute prohibition against discrimination against anyone.
Charge: The bill vests almost unlimited authority in the President and his appointees and is a vicious interference with private and State rights.
Fact: Authority granted to Federal officers is carefully limited in every section of the bill and thorough judicial review is provided for. The bill specifically provides for the use of State remedies where possible-title II, section 204 (c). It emphasizes the use of consultation and mediation-sections 204 (d), 602, 707(a), 1002-and the dissemination of information-sections 403-405, 504. It seeks not to subvert, but rather to uphold the liberties of all American citizens.
And, if State laws, commissions, and means of enforcement are already operating effectively within the State, the Federal authorities will defer to them. Personally I would prefer to see each State take the necessary actions to protect the freedom and dignity of its citizens; however, the constitutional rights of citizens cannot be indefinitely suspended because a State refuses to act.
Charge: The bill is unconstitutional and contrary to the spirit of the Bill of Rights.
Fact: On the contrary, the civil rights bill is designed to guarantee and protect constitutional rights. For too long the rights of Negroes have been denied and abridged. The testimony and findings in hundreds of court cases demonstrate beyond the shadow of a doubt that Negroes are being deprived of their right of free access to Government facilities in violation of the 14th amendment; their right to freedom of speech and petition in violation of the 1st amendment; their right to the equal protection of the laws, to due process of law, and even to the security of their persons and that of their families.
H.R. 7152 would provide a remedy against these abuses; it would rectify some of these injustices; it would restore the balance in favor of observance of the Constitution where observance is now sadly lacking. And it would accomplish these goals without infringing upon the constitutional rights of any citizen.
The supporters of this bill have contributed to the debate so that the American people will have a clearer understanding of what this legislation means and why it must be adopted. In undertaking to provide a free exchange of views, the Senate has admirably fulfilled its responsibility to inform and educate the citizenry concerning the great problems facing the Nation. However, the Senate has not fulfilled its primary responsibility as a legislative body; namely, to take action so that those problems may be resolved. The civil rights bill must be brought to a vote. Only then can the issue which now divides us be decided.
But now the Senate stands immobile, unable to fulfill its responsibility. Meanwhile, there is growing restlessness in the country. Some of it is welldirected and inspiring, like the prayer vigil now going on here in Washington. Some of it is ill-advised and embarrassing and dangerous, like the stall-in at the World's Fair.
We must give our Negro citizens the privileges which have been so long denied them. We must grant them full and equal citizenship. We must enact this bill, not because we are forced to do so, not because of sectional concern, but because, in the words of our late President, John F. Kennedy, "It is right."
Discrimination Forbidden: Racial Discrimination
EDITORS' NOTE: After the House adopted an amendment making it lauful to advertise for persons of a specific national origin or a specific religion when such factors are bona fide qualifications for employment, Congressman Williams (D., Miss.) proposed adding race and color to the list of factors. His amendment was rejected by a voice vote.
AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. WILLIAMS
Mr. WILLIAMS. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment offered by Mr. WILLIAMS 88 8 substitute for the amendment offered by Mr. CELLER: On page 71. line 7, after the word "religion" and before the word "when" insert "race, color, or national origin" and after the word "when" insert "race, color, or national origin."
Mr. WILLIAMS. Mr. Chairman, I offer this amendment in all seriousness. The amendment which has been offered by the gentleman from New York is a good amendment, in my opinion, except that it would discriminate very seriously against our Negro business enterprises in the South.
It might come as a surprise to some of you who live in some of the other parts of the country to learn that in the South there are multimillion-dollar businesses operated exclusively by Negro citizens. There are multimillion-dollar businesses which cater exclusively to a Negro clientele. If the amendment I have offered is not accepted as a part of the bill many of those businesses will be destroyed.
Mr. Chairman, why should there be discrimination against a Negro savings and loan association, with a provision that it would be compelled to hire white people whether it wished to or not? Why should there be discrimination against a Negro burial association, by telling it that it must hire white sales
men? Why should there be discrimination against a Negro insurance company, by telling it that it must hire white insurance salesmen, when they and all of us here know this would destroy the business completely because it would destroy its identity as a Negro business, the very quality responsible for its success?
Mr. Chairman, I offer this amendment in all honesty and in good faith.
Mr. CELLER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield
Mr. WILLIAMS. Surely. I am delighted to yield to the gentleman from New York.
Mr. CELLER. We did not include the word "race" because we felt that race or color would not be a bona fide qualification, as would be "national origin." That was left out. It should be left out.
Mr. WILLIAMS. The gentleman has the Harlem Globetrotters in his area. What will be done about them? Would the gentleman require that the Harlem Globetrotters hire a white man, and thus destroy their identity?
What is the gentleman suggesting be done about the Birmingham Black Barons, a professional Negro baseball team? They make their living out of being identified as members of the Negro race.
Mr. ABERNETHY. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. WILLIAMS. I am delighted to yield to the gentleman from Mississippi.
Mr. ABERNETHY. There are several radio stations located in the District of Columbia which cater exclusively to the Negro population. I understand the personnel of those stations are Negro. Unless the gentleman's amendment is adopted, of course those stations would