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DISCRIMINATION CASES DOCKETED CALENDAR YEAR 1944
Mr. TABER. Now, Mr. Ross, a year ago you gave us a table indicating a break-down of your activities as between different groups. Do you have such a table with you at this time? Mr. Ross. The percentage of the groups involved in all cases, and the number of cases involved in different groups, appears on page 32, Mr. Taber. Mr. TABER. Is that in the record? Mr. Ross. I shall ask the chairman. Is page 32 in the record? Mr. CANNON. No; I inserted in the record pages 28 to 30. Do you think you would like to have page 32 in the record? Mr. TABER. I think it should be inserted. Mr. CANNoN. Without objection, we will insert at this point the table on page 32 of the justifications. (The table referred to is as follows:)
Mr.TABER. Now, your set-up indicates a separation of governmental cases and business cases, and the number of governmental cases is about a third? Mr. Ross. About 21 percent. Mr. TABER. Of the over-all total? Mr. Ross. Yes. Mr. TABER. On the other hand, there seem to be maybe 5, 6, or 7 percent that are union cases. Is that somewhere near right? Mr. Ross. It is 6.3 percent. Mr. TABER. Now, your race cases. How many of those race cases are in the business picture, or one group, and how many are in another? Can you give us any breakdown on that? Mr. Ross. The available figures show nonwhite—they are classified as nonwhite—about 96 or 97 percent. Nonwhite virtually means Negro. The other might be Chinese or other races. That percentage, that characterization of race, means nonwhite in our data. Mr. TABER. 97 percent of those would be Negroes? Mr. Ross. Yes. Mr. TABER. Now, your creed group. What are they mostly? Mr. Ross. Mostly Jews, with a scattering of other groups, such as Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses. Mr. TABER. National origin, what does that mean? Mr. Ross. Mostly Mexican-Americans, with a scattering of Canadians, British, Polish, and Czech. Mr. TABER. Alienage—what does that mean? Mr. Ross. You will recall that the question of alienage was brought up at our first meeting, and we said we would not process alienage cases until further agreement might be made. Those cases are the old cases that have not been processed but which remain on our docket. That is for the calendar year. There were probably 38 cases pending at the time we met with you last year, and we decided not to process them. There have been eight docketed since, but not processed. Mr. TABER. Have there been any more cases of German aliens? Mr. Ross. We have processed none. I believe that none have come in, either. Mr. TABER. You have gone out of that business entirely? Mr. Ross. We have suspended processing them, sir. If the committee has any new views on the subject we would welcome them. We have no recommendations to make on the subject as to action. Mr. TABER. I supposed you had gone out of that business. Mr. Ross. We have, sir. The 46 cases that I have referred to are on our docket. I do not know of any way of disposing of them, from our records. When new cases come in they are docketed, but no processing of them is done on them, under our agreement with your committee. Mr. TABER. I do not know how others feel, but I would express the hope that at least as far as that group is concerned, there be no more processing. I can see where you would get into a lot of trouble.
You spoke about the situation in the Northwest and in California, where wages are presently so much higher than they are in other parts of the country, and that in those places it is natural that folks who have landed there would like to stay and draw those higher wages. But they cannot expect, when things settle down, that those wages will continue to be higher than they are in other parts of the country. The situation with those people is that if they are going to o: for wages that are higher than they are at other places, they have got to take their chance on getting jobs. You have got to take that chance and figure on the people who give employment taking people back who went into the service. You have got to expect that. The ones who stayed home cannot expect to hang on to those high-priced jobs any more than they would the lower-priced jobs in some other communities, I can see where any attempt of any group that has lived outside of that area to hang onto special privileges is going to result disastrously to the group that came in last. You cannot expect anything else.
How far are your people going in connection with this operation? Is an attempt being made to set up the Negro and these racial groups upon a special privilege basis?
Mr. Ross. Not at all, Mr. Taber. I tried to make clear that we see difficulties ahead from just the elements that you are discussing. Our part would be the o, processing of cases where we could, and no more.
EMPLOYMENT ON THE BASIS OF PRODUCTION
Mr. TABER. I am receiving reports with reference to conditions in the District, and that it is creating a very bad situation. I am expressing the hope that these people will get back to where they used to be in my community, where anybody would hire them on the basis of what they could produce. People are afraid to hire them now, because these groups are expecting special privileges and to be treated better than other groups. I would express the hope that that attitude not prevail. It would be disastrous. Mr. Ross. It certainly has never been our attitude, Mr. Taber. If a Negro is able to do a certain job and the employer needs him, just for the reason alone that he is a Negro it would be unfair to bar him. That would not be according an equal opportunity. It does not have even any aura of special privilege about it. This is mainly an industrial problem, a large-scale economic problem. I thought I made it clear that insofar as cut-backs in war industries are concerned, where Negroes have gone in, it is no concern of ours or of any other Government agency how those people are released. Their employer either releases them because he wants to keep the people with the most ability, or he is bound by some seniority clause in his union contract. How those people are i. free is no concern of ours. We do feel that the trouble ahead can be very largely relieved by making it clear that a qualified Negro, in expanding opportunities either in new war industries or in a shifting of production for the Japanese war, should not be barred; that his privileges are the same as those of any other worker who has the ability to deliver the goods. Mr. TABER. He would have to be bound by the same rules that the other fellow is as to willingness to work and as to capacity to produce? Mr. Ross. Certainly. Mr. TABER. He must be able to do his work. He cannot expect to work on a bench beside another man and produce half as much as the other man produces, and receive the same pay, nor can he expect to indulge in practices that are in violation of the ordinary rules of the
set-up. Mr. Ross. I would say that we have never taken any action that
could be construed as offering special privilege to any minority group.
INCREASE IN NUMBER of EMPLOYEEs REQUESTED
Mr. TABER. You are asking for a very large percentage increase in the number of employees. Why are you asking for practically a 25-percent increase in the number of employees?
Mr. Ross. Our case load is going up and our ability to handle cases, as shown in the data, is decreasing.
ACTIVITY LIMITED TO WAR EFFORT
Mr. TABER. As I understand it, your activity is limited to the war effort. It would be a very sad situation, if you were approaching the problem properly, if the number of cases continued to increase after 3 or 4 years of operation. What do you think about that? It would seem as if you were at the point where your work load should be down instead of up.
Mr. Ross. The complaints that come to us are the index of our activity. I do not think the numbers of complaints that come in are any index of the amount of discrimination that is happening in war plants. It is a national situation, Mr. Taber, which nothing but circumstances and the war need have created. I think the addition of those Negroes to the war effort that I have talked about necessarily touches on the business of racial competition for jobs. That is everywhere in this country, wherever minority groups are in contact with majority groups. That is borne out by our experience in opening up new offices in New Orleans and Pittsburgh. e have sent men there because there were situations that needed handling; and perfectly spontaneously cases have been brought in there. It is a sad commentary that so much discrimination, with its potentialities, exists; but it is there.
PRESENT NUMBER OF POSITIONS
Mr. TABER. You have set up here 141 positions. . The Budget has set up 140 man-years and a little fraction over. It is 140.8. That is shown on page 6. Ordinarily the man-years, as the result of lapses and all that sort of thing, will run anywhere from 10 to 15 percent below the number of positions. I do not understand why your set-up is not based upon about the maximum amount that other governmental agencies would have. M. Ross. Mr. Taber, I think Mr. Jones has the best information On that. * Mr. Jon Es. Mr. Taber, the number of positions in this agency is very small. Our percentage of employment in those positions has been very high. At the moment we are employed up to our ceiling. Mr. TABER. What is your ceiling? Mr. Jon Es. It is 117 positions. We have 117 persons employed as of this monent on our staff. Mr. TABER. Will you give us a break-down of where they are? Mr. Jon Es. That is shown on page 41.