Box 17, Folder 14, Document 59

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1 CO |
Closeablai Wi 7/2,

Abou Mrs. Murphy’s Boarding House

Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy faces two prob-
lems in promoting a law against racial dis-
crimination in public accommodations. One is
to define the businesess to which the law would
apply. The other is to get the bill passed in any

The attorney general has made it clear that
he does not want the law to apply to small
places such as “Mrs. Murphy’s boarding
house.” Yet he objects to a dollar cut-off for
affected businesses because it would not be
right, and might not be constitutional, to tell
large businesses they could not discriminate
while small businesses could,

Perhaps the best solution is to leave Mrs.
Murphy and the small business distinction out
of it, and hinge the application of the law on

tae peantially’ engaged in interstate
what the administration orig-
ae ‘if the formula seems

‘one with which the courts

vague, at least it

applying from everything from os to

In view of some of the Republican as well as
Southern criticism of the proposal, this is the
most controversial part of the administration
program. To Negroes it is one of the most im-
portant; Roy Wilkins, executive secretary of the
National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People, says, ‘“The publi¢ accommoda-
tions problem is the one that irritates Negroes
from morning to night.”

Yet the Chicago convention of the NAACP,
though commending the Kennedy program, alls
it “inadequate” and seeks, in addition, a na-
tional fair employment law and power for the
attorney general to sue in oh of a
rights. Desirable as these) ¢
NAACP might be better adv
trate its efforts on saving U
dations plan. To seeky
gress could result in 7a ip
program into Mrs. Murphy's

have been able to deal in federal regulations


proposal is a novel or far-reach-
ing use of the Constitution's
commerce clause.

Find No Legal Novelty

This feeling has been ex-
pressed particularly by Republi-
cans. Legal experts say there is
nothing to it as a matter of
constitutional law — Congress,
in its exercise of the commerce
power, has often gone as far as
the Kennedy bill goes, Neverthe-
less, the ae remains.

Those thinking about the
Trade Commission Act as a
basis for the new legislation
say that it would be difficult to
denounce as a legal novelty an
approach first used by Congress

ne eo derlying poli

{ course, under ey
objections on the part fod a some
jnon-Southern Senators would
doubtless remain, But at least
they would not be confused by
legalistic arguments that the
Southern opponents of the bill
would ee proponents of this

approach sa,

It will be “Gtetieult to get sup-
port for the ban on segregation
in public accommodations from
a number of conservative North-
-erners, ially Middle West-
ea Republicans. Their position

oa on political and philo-
een te not legal argu-

¢ supporter of
d today that some
mm Republicans
obably oppose it
£ the so-called

terference with ‘private prop-

Druggists But No Negroes

he said, “These Senators have
druggists in their states but no

The Commerce Committee wil
go into its third week of hear-
ings this week on the public
accommodations section of the
|Administration’s omnibus civil
rights bill. Among the MARES og
will be more Southern Gove

nors, a.

The House Judiciary Co t
tee will continue its pa

legislation. A third set of Hare
ings will begin before the Sen-
ate Judiciary Committee, on all
but the public accommodations
section of the bill.

The Senate Judiciary proceed-
ings should be interesting be-
cause of Southern dominance on
that committee, The chairman is!
Senator James 0. Eastland,
Democrat of Mississippi. He has
never let a civil rights bill out
of his committee, and no one
expects him to start now. }

Tax Talks Will Resume

Nevertheless, Administration
witnesses will ye to goa
through their paces again be-!
fore the full Sen Judiciary
membership, The first wit-
ness will be Attorney General
Robert F. Kennedy.

The other
al activity of

gists and other small merchants.|the floor b
“That’s at least as much in-|been

the product and then is told come. A

how much he must sell it for’’|May pass, although committee

mid-summer have


erty’ as restriction against|;,
racial discrimination,” this 2 Cl Ppratibe
Democrat said. ‘A retailer buys|st vidend in-

Pesnipronmice version

are unanimously
and strongly-in favor of retain-

“The difference is politics,’|ing the e xisting credit.

Aims IS Meeting

GTON, July 14 —
Mee of the Senate Com-
merce Committee are consider-
ing a new approach to meet
legal and political objections to
the Administration’s civil rights

The idea is to tie the measure
to the language of long-existing
statutes regulating
practices, This would indicate
that. Congress was following a
well-established path in using

cial establishments,

have in |

Conme os, AS ee aes heen

Special to *he New York Times


its power over commerce to end|};
racial discrimination in commer-|,,_

One statute that erent lata,
staff members and Senators|—.
wid is the Federal! The 1

sion Act of 1914.

Trade Con am

Legal Objections —

commerce, are hereby declared
unlawful.” f

The approach being digctissea
would start with cae
Then Congress would cif
ly define as one “unfair
tice” the refusal of any enti
prise in interstate |
sell its products

This would be
tirely familiar to
courts have
public items show