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a grassroots homeowner division which is giving organization and representation to the homeowner of his views for the first time. This program is growing, and one reason is obvious. It is growing because of the opposition of the homeowner from all walks of life to subjection of his cherished right of free association to a law of force under the police power of the Government.
These are the people we represent. To dismiss us as representing only a self-centered vested interest is not only unfair, but not true. If it were true, it would be easier to take the view as some have before this Congress that we could sell more houses if everybody were covered by the law. This is a weak argument and should be dismissed as being unworthy and certainly not aimed at the charitable objective of true equality without force for all men.
Thus, while we recognize the legitimate function of government in the field of housing, we are concerned with the use of legal force toward the accomplishment of open occupancy housing. We are concerned that the mention in title IV of "access to or participation in” multiple listing systems in this country might conceivably open up the question of the right of free association within a trade union.
The people of this land are beginning to recognize that the enactment of such laws as title IV divests them of a right that they had assumed until this day was inviolable. They begin to wonder if a new title IV in the future will restrict their mobility and ability to move from place to place. These things used to seem remote but now the homeowner wonders what expedient might, under pressures from minority groups, be used under force of law against him tomorrow.
“Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle,” said Thomas Jefferson, and we subscribe to that theory in registering our opposition to title IV. We are interested in the search for methods to better afford to minorities means of overcoming prejudices that effectively prevent their realizing citizenship rights. While other minorities have faced similar discrimination, the Negro presents a more difficult problem of such long standing that he has the right to seek solutions aggressively. If he does not obtain sympathetic help, he can make mistakes in this field of housing that may seriously damage the Nation. Not only do we not want to damage the Nation, but we also do not want to damage the right of an individual.
If title IV passes, although it would be generally ineffective, there is no doubt but that individuals will be damaged. We are God-fearing and law-abiding citizens. Even if such a drastic measure as title IV became law we would obey the law. This is true even in such times as now when men are encouraged to break the law if they disagree with it. We must, however, take whatever legal steps are necessary to change any law that we are convinced is against the public interests. This we will do in Rhode Island and this we are sure the people will do in the Nation.
We are not basing our argument on whether this bill is unconstitutional or not, although we are convinced that it is, because a bill can still be bad and against the public interests while being found constitutional. This applies fully to title IV which quite bluntly hits us as being un-American by destroying basic tenets that gave us all motivation and initiative and a resulting pride in our country.
A problem exists. Let us not refuse to take it in hand. The problem calls for more attention than we and others have been willing to give it. Let us foreclose further daydreaming. The stage was set for us some 12 generations ago for this Nation to be racially heterogeneous. The pressures for recognition, politically applied, will not go away. Although political pressure is not reason enough for a law like title IV, political pressures do result in such laws, and they can be dangerous as well as beneficial to individual welfare and freedom. When churchmen and others ask you to pass title IV, ask yourselves whom they represent truly, and ask yourselves if they are not abrogating their duty and asking you to do it for them.
"Forced housing” laws first applied only to brokers—licensees of the State-then to Government assisted housing. Next they expanded to private multiple rental units to the landlord-and now to the individual homeowner, and from there God knows where. Each step has been successively unsuccessful in serving the objective because they will all ultimately fail until people are educated to accept one another.
The alternative to laws like title IV, and they are legitimate and meaningful alternatives, are such as we have previously suggested. It is no longer sufficient to be only either for or against legislation. Community effort and cooperation must be exerted to this end.
Upholding the principle that any citizen has the right to buy, use, and dispose of property without interference by others we strongly urge you to eliminate and defeat title IV entirely from this bill.
If we are ever to truly have a Great Society let's find it where it really is under the guidance of church, school, home, and men of good will. If we are willing to fight for freedom on foreign soils—let's not give it away at home. Let's finally and forever learn to live together and do something concrete for people who have a dire need for homes not a useless law.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator HRUSKA. Thank you, Mr. Lynch. You have tetsified that Rhode Island has a law in this general field. Counsel and staff will insert at some suitable place following the testimony which you have given a text of that law.
(The document follows:)
(Citation: R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. $$ 11-24–1 to 4; 28–5–8 to -36 (1956), as amended, R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 28–5–11 (Supp. 1963).)
11-24-1. All persons entitled to full and equal accommodations.-All persons within the jurisdiction of this state shall be entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.
11-24-2. Discriminatory practices prohibited.—No person, being the owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent or employee of any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement shall directly or indirectly refuse withhold from or deny to any person on account of race or color, religion or country of ancestral origin any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges thereof, and no person shall directly or indirectly publish, circulate, issue, display, post or mail any written, printed or painted communication notice or advertisement, to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any such place shall be refused, withheld from or denied to any person on account of race or color, religion or country of ancestral origin, or that the patronage or custom thereat of any person belonging to or purporting to be of any particular race or color, religion or country of ancestral origin is unwelcome, objectionable or not acceptable, desired or solicited. The production of any such written, printed or painted communication, notice or advertisement, purporting to relate to any such place and to be made by any person being the owner, lessee, proprietor, superintendent or manager thereof, shall be presumptive evidence in any action that the same was authorized by such person.
11-24–3. Places of public accommodation defined.-A place of public accommodation, resort or amusement within the meaning of $$ 11-24-1 to 11–243, inclusive, shall be deemed to include, but not be limited to . . . public housing projects. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to include any place of accommodation, resort or amusement which is in its nature distinctly private.
11-24-4. Enforcement of anti-discrimination provisions.—The Rhode Island commission against discrimination is empowered and directed, as hereinafter provided, to prevent any person from violating any of the provisions of $$ 11-24-1 to 11-24-3, inclusive, proivding that before instituting a formal hearing it shall attempt by informal methods of conference, persuasion, and conciliation, to induce compliance with the said sections. Upon the commission's own initiative or whenever an aggrieved individual or an organization chartered for the purpose of combating discrimination or racism or of safeguarding civil liberties, such individual or organization being hereinafter referred to as the complainant, makes a charge to the said commission that any person, agency, bureau, corporation or association, hereinafter referred to as the respondent, has violated or is violating any of the provisions of $$ 11-24-1 to 11-24-3, inclusive, the said commission may proceed in the same manner and with the same powers as provided in $$ 28–5–16 to 28-5-27, inclusive, and the provisions of $8 28-5-13 and 28–5–16 to 28–5–36, inclusive, as to the powers, duties and rights of the commission, its members, hearing examiners, the complainant, respondent, interviewer and the court shall apply in any proceedings under this section.
28–5–8. Commission against discrimination-Composition.—There is hereby created a Rhode Island Commission against discrimination, to consist of five (5) members to be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, one of whom shall be designated by the governor as chairman.
28–5–9. Terms of commission members.—The members of the commission shall be appointed for terms of five (5) years each, except that any member chosen to fill a vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of term shall be appointed only for the unexpired term of the member whom he shall succeed.
28–5–10. Quorum of commission.—Three (3) members of said commission shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting the business thereof. A vacancy in said commission shall not impair the right of the remaining members to exercise all the powers of the commission.
28–5–11. Compensation of commission members—Reappointment.—Members of the commission shall receive compensation not exceeding twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for each day, or part thereof, necessarily spent in the discharge of their official duties with a maximum of one thousand dollars ($1,000) in one (1) year. In addition, they shall be entitled to expenses actually and necessarily incurred by them in the performance of their duties. All members of the commission shall be eligible for reappointment.
28-5-12. Removal of commission members.---Any member of the commission may be removed by the governor for inefficiency, neglect of duty, misconduct or malfeasance in office, after being given a written statement of the charges and an opportunity to be heard publicly theeron.
28-5-13. Powers and duties of commission. The commission shall have the following powers and duties :
(A) To establish and maintain a principal office in the city of Providence, Rhode Island, and such other offices within the state as it may deem necessary.
(B) To meet and function at any place within the state.
(C) To appoint a full-time executive secretary to the commission and determine his remuneration. The executive secretary shall be selected on the basis of being exceptionally well qualified by education, training, and experience im
partially to enforce the provisions of this chapter so as to reduce and eliminate unlawful employment practices. The commission is also empowered to appoint such personnel as it shall deem necessary to effectuate the purposes of the chapter. Provided, however, that the provisions of chapter 4 of title 35 shall not apply to the chapter.
(D) To adopt, promulgate, amend, and rescind rules and regulations to effectuate the provisions of this chapter, and the policies and practices of the commission in connection therewith.
(E) To formulate policies to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.
(F) To receive, investigate, and pass upon charges of unlawful employment practices.
(G) To hold hearings, subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, administer oaths, take the testimony of any person under oath, and, in connection therewith, to require the production for examination of any books and papers relating to any matter under investigation or in question before the commission. The commission may make rules as to the issuance of subpoenas by individual commissioners. Contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena issued pursuant to this section shall constitute a contempt punishable, upon the application of the commission, by the superior court in the county in which the hearing is held or in which the witness resides or transacts business.
(H) To utilize voluntary and uncompensated services of private individuals and organizations as may from time to time be offered and needed.
(I) To create such advisory agencies and counciliation councils, local or statewide, as will aid in effectuating the purposes of this chapter. The commission may itself, or it may empower these agencies and councils to (1) study the probleins of discrimination in all or specific fields of human relationships when based on race or color, religion, or country of ancestral origin, and (2) foster through community effort or otherwise good will among the groups and elements of the population of the state. Such agencies and councils may make recommendations to the commission for the development of policies and procedure in general. Advisory agencies and conciliation councils created by the commission shall be composed of representative citizens serving without pay, but with reimbursement for actual and necessary traveling expenses.
(J) To issue such publications and such results of investigations and research as in its judgment will tend to promote good will and minimize or eliminate discrimination based on race or color, religion, or country of ancestral origin.
(K) From time to time but not less than once a year, to report to the legislature and the governor, describing the investigations, proceedings, and hearings the commission has conducted and their outcome, the decisions it has rendered, and the other work performed by it, and make recommendations for such further legislation, concerning abuses and discrimination based on race or color, religion, or country of ancestral origin, as may be desirable.
28-5-16. Power to prevent unlawful practices—Preference for informal methods. The commission is empowered and directed, as hereinafter provided, to prevent any person from engaging in unlawful employment practices, provided that before instituting the formal hearing authorized by $$ 28-5-18 to 28–5–27, inclusive, it shall attempt, by informal methods of conference, persuasion, and conciliation, to induce compliance with this chapter.
28–5–17. Conciliation of charges of unlawful practices.—Upon the commission's own initiative or whenever an aggrieved individual or an organization chartered for the purpose of combating discrimination or racism, or of safeguarding civil liberties, or of promoting full, free, or equal employment opportunities, such individual or organization being hereinafter referred to as the complainant, makes a charge to the commission that any ... person, hereinafter referred to as the respondent, has engaged or is engaging in unlawful employment practices, the commission may initiate a preliminary investigation and if it shall determine after such investigation that it is probable that unlawful employment practices have been or are being engaged in, it shall endeavor to eliminate such unlawful employment practices by informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion. Nothing said or done during such endeavors may be used as evidence in any subsequent proceeding. If, after such investigation and conference, the commission is satisfied that any unlawful employment practice of the respondent will be eliminated, it may, with the consent of the complainant, treat the complaint as conciliated, and entry of such disposition shall be made on the records of the commission.
28–5–18. Complaint and notice of hearing. If the commission fails to effect the elimination of such unlawful employment practices and to obtain voluntary compliance with this chapter, or, if the circumstances warrant, in advance of any such preliminary investigation or endeavors, the commission shall have the power to issue and cause to be served upon any person or respondent a complaint stating the charges in that respect and containing a notice of hearing before the commission, a member thereof, or a hearing examiner at a place therein fixed to be held not less than ten (10) days after the service of such complaint. Any complaint issued pursuant to this section must be so issued within one (1) year after the alleged unfair employment practices were committed.
28–5–19. Amendment of complaint and answer-Participation by commissioner assigned to preliminary hearing.--The commission, member thereof, or hearing examiner conducting the hearing shall have the power reasonably and fairly to amend any written complaint at any time prior to the issuance of an order based thereon. The respondent shall have like power to amend its answer to the original or amended complaint at any time prior to the issuance of such order. The commissioner assigned to the preliminary hearing of any complaint shall take no part in the final hearing except as a witness upon competent matters and will have no part in the determination or decision of the case after hearing.
28–5–20. Answer to complaint-Respondent's rights at hearing.–The respondent shall have the right to file an answer to such complaint, and shall appear at such hearing in person, or otherwise, with or without counsel to present evidence and to examine and cross-examine witnesses.
28–5–21. Rules of evidence.-In any such proceeding the commission, its member, or its agent shall not be bound by the rules of evidence prevailing in the courts of law or equity.
28–5–22. Evidence of predetermined pattern.—The commission shall in ascertaining the practices followed by the respondent, take into account all evidence. statistical or otherwise, which may tend to prove the existence of a predetermined pattern of .. membership; provided that nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize or require ... membership in the proportion which their race or color, religion, or country of ancestral origin bears to the total population or in accordance with any criterion other than the individual qualifications of the applicant.
28-5-23. Testimony at hearing.—The testimony taken at the hearing shall be under oath and shall be reduced to writing and filed with the commission. Thereafter, in its discretion, the commission upon notice may take further testimony or hear argument.
28-5-24. Orders to cease and desist and for further action-Compliance. If upon all the testimony taken the commission shall determine that the respondent has engaged in or is engaging in unlawful employment practices, the commission shall state its findings of fact and shall issue and cause to be served on such respondent an order requiring such respondent to cease and desist from such unlawful employment practices, and to take such further affirmative or other action as will effectuate the purposes of this chapter. ... Upon the submission of such reports of compliance the commission, if satisfied therewith, may issue its finding that the respondent has ceased to engage in unlawful employment practices.
28–5–25. Order dismissing complaint.-If the commission shall find that no probable cause exists for crediting the charges, or, if upon all the evidence, it shall find that a respondent has not engaged in unfair employment practices, the commission shall state its findings of fact and shall issue and cause to be served on the complainant an order dismissing the said complaint as to such respondent. A copy of the order shall be delivered in all cases to the attorney general and such other public officers as the commission deems proper.
28–5–26. Modification of findings or orders.—Until a transcript of the record in a case shall be filed in a court as hereinafter provided, the commission may at any time, upon reasonable notice, and in such manner as it shall deem proper, modify or set aside, in whole or in part, any of its finding or orders.
28–5–27. Publicity as to proceedings or unlawful practices.—Until the commission shall determine that a cease and desist order shall be issued, no publicity shall be given to any proceedings before the commission, either by the commission or any employee thereof, the complainant, or the respondent, provided that the commission inay publish the facts in the case of any complaint which has heen dismissed.