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Attorney General KATZENBACH. He will have the rank of Assistant Attorney General. I think maybe it is a mistake to call him Assistant: Attorney General. I think the title Director, Community Relations Service, is a preferable
title. Senator RIBICOFF. Thank you, Mr. Attorney General. Our next witness is Mr. Frederick B. Routh.
Mr. Routh, your entire statement will be placed in the record, but we would appreciate your going immediately to the objections of your organization to this plan because we would like to have as much of that before we have to suspend.
Mr. ROUTH. Yes, sir; I would be glad to do so.
STATEMENT OF FREDERICK B. ROUTH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INTERGROUP RELATIONS OFFICIALS
Mr. Routh. Mr. Chairman, our objections are based on a long record in the field of intergroup relations that has indicated to us the wisdom of keeping separate the functions of community relations, conciliation, and persuasion and the function of law enforcement in the more strict sense of the word.
After the proposal was made to transfer the Community Relations Service to the Justice Department, NAIRO met in annual conference in Chicago last October, and at that time our association adopted a resolution.
The main part of that resolution deals with the problems that will be created, in our estimation and professional opinion, in this transfer.
It was the feeling of the group there, in the resolution they adopted, that this proposed transfer may seriously damage the effectiveness of the Community Relations Service. And while we recognize the role of the Justice Department as appropriately that of the law enforcement agency of Government, we felt that the difference between the two roles of conciliation and the role of law enforcement was such that it would damage the image of the Community Relations Service, and lessen its effectiveness for affirmative action.
I think the discussion that took place prior to the adoption of that resolution spelled out our concept of why this would lead to a confusion of role, and since that is in the written statement, and I believe all members of the committee have that, you probably have looked at it, I will not repeat that here.
I think, too, it would lead to a confusion of image in the minds of the people with whom the Community Relations Service must deal. And I think this is perhaps even more important than the confusion of role.
It seems to us that the Justice Department's image in the communities of the Nation is a sort of combination of the FBI, of the Justice Department attorneys going to court, and of the Federal district attorneys. This is not exactly the type of agency that people who are seeking conciliatory and persuasive assistance would turn to.
In addition to this, it seems to us that, based on experience in a number of the States and in a number of the cities, this would be an unwise transfer.
In Michigan, for instance, as I pointed out in the written statement, we kept separate in the State FEPC, of which I was executive director for 3 years, the two functions.
Now, it is true that that organization had both functions, but we were not regarded as the law enforcement agency of the State, and the attorney general's office was.
We divided these two functions in the various communities of that State.
Some of our field representatives who formally were investigators in the law enforcement division or activities of our commission did not pursue those activities in the communities where they served in a secretariat capacity with the employment advisory committees that we had established in the various communities of this State.
In one instance we violated our own rule. At that time we had an extremely heavy caseload, we were running badly behind, we had a backlog of cases, and we deemed it necessary to assign one of the field representatives to a series of cases in the community in which he had served in a secretariat capacity to the local employment advisory committee. And that damaged his relationship with the group.
In closing the written statement, Mr. Chairman, I pointed out that this was not a new concern of the National Association of Intergroup Relations officials. That back in 1961 we had submitted to the President of the United States a series of recommendations entitled "Executive Responsibility in Intergroup Relations."
Among those recommendations was one concerning a community consultative service, a suggestion that eventually became the Community Relations Service.
We advised at that time that this service be in the executive branch of Government, that it be at a high level, and it was our understanding, though it is not specifically said in that statement, that this would be related directly to the White House.
In the resolution recently passed in Chicago, our association suggested that the Community Relations Service be maintained in the Department of Commerce until such time as it could be transferred to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Our feeling was that HUD at that time had not been staffed, that the Executive order transferring HHFA and the other constituent agencies to it had not been issued, and until these things did take place, it would be unwise to move it there. Since CRS was functioning rather well where it was, that it was best to leave it there at this time.
Finally in the statement, Mr. Chairman, I pointed out that there are 32 State agencies dealing with intergroup relations problems in the country today. Only one, New Jersey, has its commission located in the attorney general's office. It was moved there a few years ago from the department of education. It, at that time, was the only State that had its commission located in the department of education. Most of the commissions in the various States are independent commissions, independent bodies, and in a few of the States, such as Pennsylvania, California, and Oregon, they are located in the department of labor; that is because their function has been primarily the function of a fair employment practice commission rather than a commission dealing with the broader questions of community relations and the problems with which the Community Relations Service deals.
In those States that have multiple jurisdiction, that cover not only employment, but cover as well education, housing, public accommodations, and community tensions, the practice has been that their agencies are independent bodies, commissions in their own right, that report directly to the Governor and to the legislature.
We have at the present time something like 170 of these commissions among the cities of this Nation. In not one case is the commission of a city located in the city attorney's office or the local prosecutor, whatever his title may be. And it is our conclusion that what is valid for the States of the Union, what is valid for the cities of the Nation, is also valid for the Federal Government. And we stand opposed to the transfer, Mr. Chairman.
(Prepared statement of Mr. Routh follows:)
STATEMENT BY FREDERICK B. ROUTH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
OF INTERGROUP RELATIONS OFFICIALS (NAIRO) BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON EXECUTIVE REORGANIZATION OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
My name is Frederick B. Routh. I appear before you as the executive director of NAIRO, the National Association of Intergroup Relations Officials, a post I have held since May of 1962. Prior to coming with NAIRO, I was from 1959 to 1962 the executive director of the Michigan State Fair Employment Practices Commission. Before, that I was field director of the Southern Regional Council from 1954 to 1959_with headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. Before that, I was an assistant professor of human relations at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., from 1951 to 1954. I review my professional experience, Mr. Chairman, not as an applicant for a staff position with your committee, but only to indicate that I am not without experience in both the governmental and private agency activities in the field of intergroup relations and in the South as well as in the North.
Let me say a few words about NAIRO, the National Association of Intergroup Relations Officials. It is the professional association of those individuals who work in professional capacities for, and those who serve on the boards and commissions of governmental or private agencies, organizations, or institutions, in the fields of civil rights, civil liberties, human relations, and community relations. It is to these persons what the American Association of University Professors is to college teachers. NAIRO will hold its 20th annual conference this November. It has grown in membership and reputation over the years; it has today something over 1,400 members. Its staff is headquartered in Washington, D.C. There are 17 local chapters of NAIRO located in major urban centers. NAIRO seeks to further its purposes through a fourfold program.
(a) The exchange of experience and knowledge among professional workers and others concerned with racial, religious, and ethnic relationships.
(6) The study, analysis, and research of problems and developments affecting intergroup relations.
(c) The collection, compilation, and dissemination of information and ideas regarding programs, methods, and techniques.
(d) The professional training of persons seeking to enter the field of intergroup relations as a career. On October 21, 1965, the membership assembled in Chicago at the 19th annual conference adopted the following resolution :
"The National Association of Intergroup Relations Officials, in conference assembled, expresses its concern that the proposed transfer of the Community Relations Service from the Department of Commerce to the Department of Justice may seriously damage its effectiveness as a conciliatory body and lessen its capacity for affirmative action. We recognize the effectiveness of the Justice Department as a law enforcement agency but we are concerned that that very factor may well change the nature and image of the Community Relations Service to its detriment.
“We therefore strongly urge careful consideration of retaining the Community Relations Service as a part of the Department of Commerce until such time as the new Department of Housing and Urban Development is sufficiently organized, staffed, and viable to permit transfer of the Service to it. We instruct the executive director to make this resolution known to the President of the United States, the Vice President, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Attorney General; we further instruct that it be published in the NAIRO newsletter."
The discussion which took place before the final adoption of this resolution unfolded the rationale behind the concern expressed in it. It was felt that the assignment of the Community Relations Service to the Justice Department would create unnecessary problems; it was the professional opinion of those who spoke that among the problems such a move would create are:
(a) A confusion of role.—The Community Relations Service has assumed the role not only of assisting in the desegregation of public accommodations and public facilities, but also the even more crucial role of assisting communities, through persuasion and conciliation to provide equality of opportunity and treatment for all their citizens. Their representatives have also been useful in crisis situations and, on the basis of their efforts of last summer, in preventing crisis situations. The important phrase in what I have just said, is “through persuasion and conciliation."
The Justice Department is the legal branch, the enforcement agency, the prose cutor. These are undertakings that it performs well, but they are undertakings different from persuasion and conciliation. Certainly, in the past, members of the Justice Department have been effective at conciliatory and persuasive efforts. We are indebted to Burke Marshall, former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, to John Doar, currently the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and to others who have performed this role, but these have been occasional affairs and have not constituted the main activities of the Justice Department.
(b) A confusion of image.—What people believe is often as important and often more important than what is. If, as I have indicated, they would be role confusion by assigning the Community Relations Service to the Justice Department, it was the professional opinion of those at the conference who discussed this resolution that there would be even more serious confusion regarding the image of the Community Relations Service as a part of the Justice Department. Out in the communities of the Nation, the Justice Department is thought of as a combination of the FBI, the Federal district attorney and Justice Department attorneys enforcing the laws; the image of the Community Relations Service is of an agency offering to assist through professional services, communities in difficult situations or facing hard decisions. The image of the Community Relations Service attached to the Justice Department might best be described by a combination of the thinking of the Prophet Micah and Teddy Roosevelt: "What is asked of the Community Relations Service but that it love mercy, do justly, walk humbly with its God, and carry a big stick."
It was the experience of the Michigan State FEPC, during the years that I was its director, that it was unwise to confuse the roles of a community relations approach and an enforcement approach to intergroup relations problems. The Fair Employment Practices Act of Michigan provided enforcement powers to the commission and we were thankful for them, for we believed in the old adage, "a dog with good teeth will have his bark heard." The act also provided for an educational program to bring about voluntary compliance with the act—both its letter and its spirit. We established in a number of Michigan communities employment advisory committees; they were comprised of leading businessmen, labor leaders, religious leaders, civic leaders and educators; each of them was served in a secretariat capacity by one of our field representatives. We had a standing rule that the field representative serving the employment advisory committee in Kalamazoo, or the ones serving similarly in Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Muskegon would not investigate formal complaints in the cities in which they served. We sought to make a distinction in both role and image between the investigative-enforcement functions and the service-secretariat functions in any one community. The field representative serving in the secretariat function in Grand Rapids could investigate claims in Kalamazoo; the reverse was also true. This preserved, in our opinion, the professional virtue of two distinct roles and images. On one occasion, due to the shortage of staff and unusually severe caseload, we violated our own standing rule and assigned one of our field representatives to investigate several cases in the community in which he had served in a secretariat function to the employment advisory committee. This new role, the new light in which he was seen by those with whom he had worked, damaged his relationship and lessened his effectiveness with the leadership of the employment advisory committee. It was our conclusion in Michigan, as it is the conclusion expressed in the NAIRO resolution that combining these two functions would lead to confusion of role and image, that it would damage the image and lessen the effectiveness of the Community Relations Service.
Finally, let me say that this is not just a recent concern of the National Association of Intergroup Relations Officials. On August 21, 1961, we submitted to President Kennedy a series of recommendations for Executive action in intergroup relations. They had been developed by a task force of experienced professionals assembled by the NAIRO board of directors. On August 23, 1961, a NAIRO delegation met with the President to discuss these recommendations. President Kennedy later said of the report entitled, “Executive Responsibility in Intergroup Relations” the following: "an example of the vital service that NAIRO can render on an increasing scale is the valuable study on Executive responsibilities in intergroup relations presented to me by the officers of NAIRO. Your helpful suggestions are now being considered by the appropriate departments and agencies."
Mr. Chairman, the recommendations made back in 1961 are still valid. One deals with the question your committee and this Government now face. In the recommendations to the President, we wrote:
“D. COMMUNITY CONSULTATIVE SERVICES IN INTERGROUP RELATIONS "Local communities faced with major intergroun relations problems, especially those that lack their own governmental intergroup relations agencies, have acute need for consultative services not presently available from any other
“Throughout the United States, there are countless communities totally devoid of intergroup relations resources and financially unable to secure them. Some of these communities now face or will soon face monumental intergroup relations problems resulting from such developments as school desegregation, heavy immigration of minority group families, or extensive urban renewal. Other cities and towns only slightly more fortunate have intergroup relations resources that are inadequate to cope with local problems. They need a variety of services going beyond the reference clearinghouse noted later: they need the counsel and guidance of competent consultants, matching grants-in-aid to help support local intergroup relations efforts and, in some instances, demonstration projects or action research programs.
"This administration has asserted a Federal obligation to heln communities deal with the physical and human problems of urbanization : it has given evidence of its firm resolve to develop dynamic approaches to pressing social problems. It is possible to render significant assistance to beleagured communities by creating, within the framework of existing departments or agencies, the consultative services that they need in the area of intergroup relations.
“We recommend the establishment of an Intergroup Relations Service, appropriately situated within the executive branch, which would offer general intergroup relations counsel and technical assistance to local communities and to their intergroup relations agencies and which would include the use of demonstration projects and the provision of matching grants-in-aid to communities presently unable to support local intergroup relations efforts.
“We further recommend the establishment of a Community Education Service, appropriately situated within the executive branch, which would offer consultative services and, where warranted, financial aid to those school boards engaged in earnest efforts to desegregate public schools, and which would aid in establishing equal opportunity in vocational education and in training related to formal apprenticeship programs.”
One last word, Mr. Chairman: there are today in 32 of our States governmental intergroup relations agencies; only 1 is located in the attorney general's office; there are today in some 170 of our cities governmental intergroup relations agencies; not one is located in the office of the city attorney. Experience would seem to suggest that what has been organizationally valid for the States and the cities is also valid for the Federal Government. Mr. Chairman, the National Association of Intergroup Relations Officials stands opposent to the transfer of the Community Relations Service to the Department of Justice.
Senator RIBICOFF. Mr. Routh, do you still feel (RS ought to go to HUD, or do you still feel that it should stay in Commerce, or would you follow the suggestion of Senator Javits that it might be combined with the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and go to the Executive Office? How do you and your organization feel about the location of the conciliation service if you are opposed to it going to the Office of the Attorney General ?