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New York State War Council Committee on Discrimination in Employment Minutes and Investigations Files

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
In March 1941, the Committee on Discrimination in Employment was formed for the purpose of encouraging complete utilization in defense work of all individuals without consideration of race, color, creed, or national origin. This series contains minutes, correspondence, reports, memoranda, newspaper clippings, press releases, pamphlets, and a procedures manual for field workers (Labor Discrimination Representatives), all of which document the committee's efforts to investigate and discourage discrimination and promote fair employment practices.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
7.5 cubic feet
Inclusive Dates:
1941-1945
Series Number:
A4278

Arrangement

Organized into 3 subseries: Subseries 1, Minutes and Organization File, 1941-1944, 1.5 cubic feet; Subseries 2, Complaint Investigation File, 1941-1945, 4.75 cubic feet; Subseries 3, Investigation Leads File, 1942-1944, 1.25 cubic feet.

Subseries 1, Minutes and Organization File: Minutes are in chronological order, followed by the organization files which have no apparent order.

Subseries 2 and Subseries 3: Both are arranged alphabetically.

Administrative History

Governor Herbert H. Lehman appointed a Committee on Discrimination in Employment in March 1941 as part of the New York State Council of Defense for the purpose of encouraging complete utilization in defense work of all individuals without consideration of race, color, creed, or national origin.

The committee, chaired by the Industrial Commissioner, consisted of twenty-seven members, appointed by the governor, representing industrial, labor, civic, and racial organizations. Freida S. Miller was the first chairperson of the committee; later Alvin Johnson held that position.

The committee conducted investigations in 1942 of public and private defense training schools, employment agencies, and labor unions to determine whether they pursued discriminatory labor policies and to take appropriate action to eliminate undesirable practices. The committee appointed Labor Discrimination Representatives who were trained to approach war employers, workers, and community agencies if state labor policies were not followed. Governor Thomas E. Dewey reorganized the committee in 1943 to undertake more intensive and continuous work in the elimination of economic and social discrimination and to develop greater unity in the war effort. The committee obtained data on the number of members of minority groups employed in the plants visited, and obtained statistical information on the mental, manual, and physical exams given to employees before or after hiring.

The committee proposed legislation in 1944 to establish a permanent commission to enforce the right of employment, regardless of race, creed, color, national origin or ancestry, and to investigate the various problems of discrimination, but initially their proposal was turned down. Under the influence of Governor Thomas E. Dewey, a State Commission against Discrimination was established by law in 1945 (Chapter 118) consisting of five members appointed by the governor, empowered to take proper action against discrimination in employment. It replaced the War Council's Committee.

For more information on the Committee, see Karl D. Hartzell's The Empire State at War, pages 67-69.

Scope and Content Note

The series contains minutes, correspondence, reports, memoranda, newspaper clippings, press releases, pamphlets, and a procedures manual for field workers (Labor Discrimination Representatives), all of which reveal the committee's efforts to discourage discrimination and promote fair employment practices.

Subseries 1, Minutes and Organization Files, documents the organizational structure and operations of the committee. The earliest minutes discuss the committee's organization, its procedures, and the types of discrimination it wished to address. Also found are agendas, resolutions, and sometimes discussion of specific complaints. Quarterly reports recite the number of investigations, their results, court decisions which aided the committee's work, and details of some cases. Information on committee members and special meetings is found, in addition to letters solicited from businessmen, government officials, and civic organizations on the ill-effects of discrimination.

Subseries 2, Complaint Investigation File, contains reports of the committee's work, including final disposition reports of complaints and their rectification, and reports of defense industry investigations conducted in various cities. These were compiled as part of the committee's work in investigating discrimination. Work force composition, production levels, and geographic areas in which a company recruited its labor were all examined by the committee. In addition, reports of statistical surveys reveal the number of Jewish and black persons living in New York City's various municipalities. Information from other states and non-New York State cities on their anti-discrimination activities are within these files, as well as information on Japanese-American internment camps and the federal government's Committee on Fair Employment Practice.

Daily report sheets found in Subseries 2 detail complaints of discrimination made against various businesses and individuals. These report forms were used as the basis for the committee's investigations and list the name of the complainant, the alleged discrimination and the establishment where it occurred. A more detailed complaint form lists this information in addition to: address and phone number of complainant; age; place of birth; number of years as a citizen of the United States, if at all; draft classification; years residency in New York; training and experience in defense jobs; the accused establishment's address; its general manager or personnel director; items manufactured at the plant; type of discrimination charged; and an opinion by the committee on the complaint's validity and seriousness.

Most complaints were made by black, Jewish, or foreign-born persons.

Subseries 3, Investigation Leads File, contains correspondence and other materials from various minority organizations such as the Anti-defamation League and the Urban League which provided the committee with information on discriminatory incidents within the defense industry. These were compiled to assist the committee's work in investigating discrimination.

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Detailed Description

Dates Contents Box Folder

Accretion: A4278-78
1941 March-1943 August State Commission Minutes of Meetings 1 1
1941 March-1943 August State Commission Minutes of Meetings 1 2
1941 February-1943 February Committee Meeting Minutes 1 3
1943 February-1945 February State Commission Minutes of Meetings 1 4
1943 February-1945 February State Commission Minutes of Meetings 1 5
1941 March-1944 July Committee on Discrimination in Employment Report 1 6
1941 March State Committee Establishment 1 7
1941 June 25 Committee Meeting 1 8
1941 September 17 Committee Meeting 1 9
1941 October 8 Committee Meeting 1 10
1941 October 22 Committee Meeting 1 11
1941 November 25 Committee Meeting 1 12
1942 January 9 Special Material-Defense Council 1 13
1942 January 13 Committee Meeting 1 14
1942 February 27 Committee Meeting 1 15
1942 April 2 Committee Meeting 1 16
1942 May 7 Committee Meeting 1 17
1942 June 29 Committee Meeting 1 18
1942 May 7, 1942 June 29, 1943 January 4, 1943 March 29 Minutes of Committee Meetings 1 19
1943 December 10 Population of State of New York 1 20
Annual Report - year ending December 31, 1944 1 21
Committee Members-Addresses 1 22
Committee Members-Addresses 1 23
Committee Notices and Replies for meetings 1 24
Executive Committee of the Committee on Discrimination in Employment 1 25
Laws Prohibiting Discrimination in Employment on account of Race, Creed, Religion, Color or National Origin 1 26
1944 July 4 Material for Report to Committee Members 1 27
Metropolitan Council on Fair Employment 1 28
News Releases-State Committee on Discrimination 1 29
New York Employment Service Advisory Board 1 30
New York Employment Service Advisory Board 1 31
New York State Employment Service 1 32
Pending Projects 1 33
President's Committee on Fair Employment Practice, Releases 1 34
Personnel 1 35
1943 Proposed Program, State Committee 1 36
1944 July-September Report 1 37
Public Opinion Survey of Government Officials, Businesses and Organizations 1 38
Public Opinion Survey of Government Officials, Businesses and Organizations 1 39
Public Opinion Survey of Government Officials, Businesses and Organizations 1 40
Public Opinion Survey of Government Officials, Businesses and Organizations 1 41
Public Opinion Survey of Government Officials, Businesses and Organizations 1 42
Public Opinion Survey of Government Officials, Businesses and Organizations 1 43
Public Opinion Survey of Government Officials, Businesses and Organizations 1 44

Accretion: A4278
Buffalo Committee Community Activities Public Relations 2 85

Accretion: A4278-78
Public Opinion Survey of Government Officials, Businesses and Organizations 2 45
Public Opinion Survey of Government Officials, Businesses and Organizations 2 46
State Committee, Correspondence with Committee Members 2 47
State Committee, Correspondence with Committee Members 2 48
State Committee Members 2 49
State Committee, Office Procedures 2 50
Committee Policy on 7th Day Adventists, Religion on Application, etc. 2 51
State Committee Statements, Suggestions for improved procedures and forms 2 52
State War Council 2 53
State Council of National Defense 2 54
State War Council, Budget State Account Auditor 2 55
State Committee, Complaints Outside of Jurisdiction 2 56
State Committee, Correspondence, Dr. Alvin Johnson 2 57
State Council of Defense from January 1942 2 58
Committee members A-Go 2 59
Committee members Gr-M 2 60
Agency Subpoenas 2 62
History of Committee Attorney General Statement Re Aliens 2 63
Alien Brief 2 64
1942 July-1943 June President's statement re: Aliens; Joint statement by Army Navy, Attorney General Re Aliens 2 65
Albany 2 66
Albany Conference - Local Defensive Council 2 67
Albany County 2 68
Aliens Washington Conference 2 69
Christine Allen 2 70
Miscellaneous A 2 71
Lawrence D. Bell 2 72
Charles C. Berkley - Chevrolet River Road Plant; Re: Analysis 12/6/43 Buffalo, NY 2 73
Edward L. Bernays 2 74
Bills 2 75
Binghamton Survey 2 76
Brockway 2 77
Brooklyn Conference 2 78
Broome County 2 79
Brooklyn & Queens 2 80
Earl Brown 2 81
Buffalo 2 82
Buffalo Committee 2 83
Buffalo Committee Aliens 2 84
Buffalo Committee Complaints 2 86
Buffalo Committee Correspondence, Duplicate Letters 2 87
Buffalo Committee Correspondence, Duplicate Letters 2 88
Buffalo-Victor Eirach 2 89
Buffalo Committee Housing 2 90
Buffalo Committee Investigations 2 91
Buffalo Committee Jamaicans 2 92
Buffalo Committee Japanese Integration 2 93
Buffalo Local Committee 2 94

Accretion: A4278-7878
Committee members P-V 2 61

Accretion: A4278-78
Buffalo Committee Meetings, Members Surveys 3 95
Buffalo Committee Office Supplies 3 96
Buffalo Committee Office Supplies 3 97
Buffalo Committee Office Supplies & Equipment Personnel 3 98
Buffalo Report Edward L. Carter 3 99
Report of Survey - Buffalo 3 100
1943 April-1944 March Buffalo Report 3 101
Buffalo statistics 3 102
Miscellaneous B 3 103
Chemung 3 104
State War Council - Citizen Morale 3 105
Civil Rights Law 3 106
1942 May 6 Classified Advertising Manager's Meeting 3 107
Cleveland Commission on Discrimination 3 108
Coast Guard Passes Army Clearance 3 109
Commission Against Discrimination 3 110
Committee General 3 111
Committee Members A to M 3 112
Committee Members N to Z 3 113
Complaints Miscellaneous 3 114
Complaints Miscellaneous 3 115
Complaints Miscellaneous 3 116
Complaints Miscellaneous 3 117
Recent Active Complaints 3 118
Recent Active Complaints 3 119
Connecticut Committee on Discrimination 3 120
Mr. Conole 3 121
Miscellaneous - C 3 122
Defense and War Training Program 3 123
Defense Employers Replies to letter of 1/28/42 3 124
Defense Housing Press Releases June-July 3 125
Democracy and Racial Minorities by Biddle 3 126
Detroit Committee on Discrimination 3 127
Mrs. Bertha Diggs 3 128
Doyle, Andrew C 3 129
Drafts 3 130
Miscellaneous - D 3 131
Extra Reports Economy Commission 3 132
1944 March Economy Commission Report 3 133
Report of Survey - Elmira 3 134
Elmira Survey 3 135
Elmira 3 136
Executive Committee Meeting - July 9th 3 137
Miscellaneous - E 3 138
Committee on Fair Employment Practice 3 139
Committee on Fair Employment Practice 3 140
1944 FEPC correspondence 3 141
1944 FEPC correspondence 3 142
1945 FEPC Correspondence 4 143
FBI 4 144
Form letters 4 145
4 146
Miscellaneous - F 4 147
Bernard Gittelson 4 148
Givens 4 149
Miscellaneous - G 4 150
Leland R. Hamilton 4 151
Housing Complaint 4 152
Rev. Murray Shipley Howland 4 153
Dr. Howland 4 154
Hudson River Survey (Analysis) J.R. 4 155
Miscellaneous - H 4 156
Interoffice Commissioner Corsi 4 157
Interoffice Governor Dewey 4 158
Economy Commission Interoffice 4 159
Interoffice-Michael T. Foley 4 160
Interoffice-Abraham Goodman 4 161
Interoffice-Herbert H. Lehman 4 162
Interoffice Correspondence from Mrs. Matinnaaire, War Dispensation 4 163
Interoffice-Frieda S. Miller 4 164
Interoffice-Michael J. Murphy 4 165
Interoffice-Thomas Owens 4 166
Interoffice Correspondence to and from Personnel 4 167
Interoffice Correspondence to and from Charles Poletti 4 168
Interoffice Correspondence to and from Godfrey P. Schmidt 4 169
Interoffice Correspondence to and from Howard Silberstein 4 170
Interoffice Correspondence to and from Robert W. Stewart 4 171
Interoffice Correspondence to and from George Tobler 4 172
Interoffice Correspondence to and from William Wittemore 4 173
Ithaca Survey 4 174
Miscellaneous - J 4 175
Rt. Rev. Robert F. Keegan 4 176
Miscellaneous-K 4 177
Department of Labor-New York Analysis and Control Unit 4 178
Labor Subcommittee 4 179
Labor Supply Committee 4 180
Labor Unions 4 181
Labor Welfare Council 4 182
Richard Lawrence 4 183
Major LaGuardia 4 184
1941-1942 Legislation 4 185
1941-1942 Legislation 4 186
1941-1942 Legislation 4 187
1941-1942 Legislation 4 188
Commissioner Longstreet 4 189
Miscellaneous-L 4 190
Mahoney Act 4 191
Mahoney Bill 4 192
Massachusetts Committee on Discrimination 4 193
How Management Can Integrate Negroes Pamphlet Manuscript Letters, Correspondence, etc. 4 194
How Management Can Integrate Negroes Pamphlet Manuscript Letters, Correspondence, etc. 4 195
How Management Can Integrate Negroes Pamphlet Manuscript Letters, Correspondence, etc. 4 196
Miller, Frieda S. (correspondence with state officials) 4 197
Miller, Frieda S. (correspondence with state officials) 4 198
Miller, Frieda S. (Miscellaneous Correspondence) 4 199
Miscellaneous-M 4 200
National Youth Administration (Correspondence on Permitting Aliens to take NYA Courses) 4 201
Negro Organizations 4 202
New York State Federation of Labor 4 203
New Jersey Commission on Discrimination 4 204
Regarding Aliens 4 205
Buffalo office 4 206
1942 NYS Committee on Discrimination 4 207
1943 NYS Committee on Discrimination in War Industries 4 209
1941 Committee on Discrimination 4 210
Discriminatory Advertisement 4 211

Accretion: A4278-7v
1942 NYS Committee on Discrimination 4 208

Accretion: A4278-78
Miscellaneous 5 212
Editorials 5 213
Legislation 5 214
Relative to Negroes 5 215
Organizations Charged with Discrimination 5 216
Organizations Other than the NYSCOD 5 217
Statements Against Discrimination 5 218
General 5 219
1941 General 5 220
1945 General 5 221
Newspaper Releases from Labor Department 5 222
Newspaper Releases from Labor Department 5 223
Niagara Falls Survey 5 224
Niagara 5 225
Miscellaneous - N 5 226
Office Memos 5 227
Office of Price Administration, Empire State Building (NYC) 5 228
Office of Production Management 5 229
1941 June-July OPM Press Releases 5 230
1941 June-July OPM Press Releases 5 231
1941 August OPM Press Releases 5 232
1941 August OPM Press Releases 5 233
1941 September OPM Press Releases 5 234
1941 October-December OPM Press Releases 5 235
1941 October-November OPM Press Releases 5 236
OPM Press Releases 5 237
Office Personnel 5 238
Oneida County 5 239
Onondaga County 5 240
Orange County 5 241
Oswego County 5 242
Other counties 5 243
Other states 5 244
Miscellaneous-O 5 245
Payroll-State Defense Council 5 246
Correspondence Re: Personnel 5 247
Personnel Tobler office, O'Brien, Weiss 5 248
Plant Protection Division 5 249
Poughkeepsie 5 250
1944 January 10 Press Release Extract from NYS at War 5 251
Informal Service Press Releases 5 252
1945 April-July Tentative Proposal of Work Committee on Discrimination 5 253
Publicity 5 254
Publicity 5 255
Publicity 5 256
Publicity 5 257
Business-Purchasing Power of Negroes, Executive Order 8802, Order of May 1943, Fair Employment Practice Committee, Employment Agency Survey Letter 6 258
Fair Employment Practice Committee-Railroad Hearings 6 259
Referrals, Miss Miller to U.S. Employment Service 6 260
Rensselaer County 6 261
1944 Annual Report 6 262
1944 Digest of Annual Report 6 263
1943 National Urban League-Annual Report 6 264
1942 March-December Committee Reports 6 265
1943 July-August Report 6 266
1941 March-1944 July Report 6 267
1941 March-1944 July Report 6 268
Population of the State of New York 6 269
Department of Labor-Reports 6 270
Confidential Labor Market Reports 6 271
Confidential Labor Market Reports 6 272
Confidential Labor Market Reports 6 273
Confidential Labor Market Reports 6 274
State Defense Council-Monthly Reports 6 275
State Defense Council-Monthly Reports 6 276
State Defense Council-Monthly Reports 6 277
1941 March-1942 December Monthly Reports 6 278
1941 March-1942 December Monthly Reports 6 279
1943 January-May Monthly Reports 6 280
1943 January-May Monthly Reports 6 281
1943 June-December Monthly Reports 6 282
1944 January-March Reports 6 283
1944 July-August Monthly Report 6 284
1944 July-September Reports 6 285
Monthly Reports-New York State Employment Service 6 286
Monthly Reports-New York State Employment Service 6 287
Report on Survey-Rochester 6 288
Report on Survey-Sidney 6 289
Report to the State War Coordinator 6 290
Report to the State War Coordinator 6 291
Statistical Analysis on Employment Service 270 Reports 6 292
Report of Survey-Syracuse 6 293
Report of Survey-Troy, N.Y. 6 294
Report of Survey-Watertown 6 295
Report of Survey-Utica 6 296
Research and statistics from Division of Placement and Unemployment Insurance 7 297
Division of Research, Statistics and Publications 7 298
Richmond County 7 299
Rochester Survey 7 300
Rochester 7 301
Dedication of Sara Delano Roosevelt, House Address by Henry Monsky 7 302
Saratoga County 7 303
Schenectady USES 7 304
Schenectady County 7 305
Selective Service 7 306
Selective Service Status of Personnel 7 307
Social Security Board 7 308
Social Security Board 7 309
State Council of Defense 7 310
Staff and Committee Members 7 311
Suffolk County 7 312
Syracuse 7 313
Tompkins County 7 314
United States Employment Service 7 315
United States Employment Service, Upstate Survey (Watertown, etc.) 7 316
War Committee of the Bar of the City of New York (New York City Bar Association) 7 317
The Act Establishing the War Council 7 318
War Manpower Commission 7 319
War Manpower Commission 7 320
War Production Board 7 321
Releases-War Production Board 7 322
Westchester County 7 323
Works Progress Administration 7 324
Miscellaneous 7 325
List of Organizations interested in Committee's work 7 326
New York City Ordinance Act 7 327
Mailing Lists 7 328
OPM Members 7 329
Employment Agencies Association 7 330
American-Jewish Congress 7 331
Legislative Bulletins, American Jewish Congress 7 332
American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born 7 333
Newsletter American Friends of Independent Austria 7 334
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee 7 335
American Jewish Committee 7 336
Anti-Defamation League 7 336a
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce 7 337
Brooklyn Urban League 7 338
Brooklyn Interracial Assembly 7 339
Brooklyn Urban League 7 340
Brownsville Negro Women's Council 7 341
Brownsville Civic League 7 342
Bureau for Intercultural Education 7 343
Catholic Interracial Council 7 344
City-Wide Citizens Committee on Harlem 7 345
Urban League-California 7 346
Chicago Civil Liberties Committee 7 347
Church of All Nations-Chinese 7 348
Citizen's Committee for Promotion of Interracial Understanding 7 349
Chicago Mayor's Committee on Race Relations 7 350
Claremont House 7 351
Colored Civic League 7 353
Colored Orphan Asylum and Association for the Benefit of Colored Children in New York City 7 354
Committee for Mental Hygiene for Negroes 7 355
Common Council for American Unity 7 356
The "Committee of 100" 7 358
Committee of Resettlement of Japanese Americans 7 359
Common Council for American Unity 7 360
Conference of National Christians and Jews 7 361
Conference on Racial Discrimination 7 362
Council for Democracy 7 363
1942 May 6 Classified Advertising Managers Meeting 7 364
Council Against Intolerance in America 7 365
Dunbar Association Syracuse 7 366
Emergency Anti-Discrimination Committee of New York State 7 367
Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America 7 368
General Pulaski Memorial Committee 7 369
General Jewish Council 7 370
Greater New York Conference on Employment of Negroes in New York City 7 371
Intercultural Education Service Bureau 7 372
Independent Order Brith Abraham 7 373
Interracial Review 7 374
Illinois Interracial Commission 7 375
International Institutes 7 376
International Labor Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 7 377
Interracial Association of Binghamton 7 378
Interracial Council 7 379
Italian Social Workers Association 7 380
Italian Bronx Community House, Inc. 7 381
Italian Welfare League Inc. 7 382
Ithaca Community Center 7 383
Jamaica Interracial GTC 7 384
Japanese American Citizen's League 7 385
Jewish Community Council 7 386
Jewish Social Service Association, Inc. 7 387
Jewish Survey, The 7 388
Jehovah's Witnesses 7 390
Labor Committee for Immigrants from Central Europe 7 391
Labor Welfare Council 7 392
Loyal Americans of German Descent 7 393
March on Washington Movement 7 394
Metropolitan Detroit Council on Fair Employment Practice 7 395
Metropolitan Council on Fair Employment Practice 7 396
Metropolitan Interfaith and Interracial Coordinating Council, Inc. 7 397
Metropolitan Junior Achievement, Inc., Harlem Branch 7 398
National Opinion Research Center, University of Denver "Do Negroes Have Equal Opportunities?" 7 399
National CIO Committee 7 400
National Labor Relations Board 7 401
National Negro Congress 7 402
National Urban League 7 403
National Urban League 7 404
National Negro Congress 8 405
National Refugee Service, Inc. 8 406
National Association for Federated Negro Charities 8 407
List of Negro Associations 8 408
Negro Organizations interested in training and placements 8 409
National Women's Trade Union League of America 8 410
Negro Victory Labor Committee 8 411
Nepperhan Community Centre 8 412
Nesbitt, C. T. Nesbitt Committee of One Thousand Negro 8 413
North Harlem Community Council 8 414
New York State Business and Professional Woman 8 415
New York Conference for Mobilization of Foreign Born 8 416
Negro Welfare Commission on the condition of the Urban Colored Population-New Jersey 8 417
New York State Council of Administrators and the Industrial Service Bureau of New York State Department of Education 8 418
New York Mayor's Committee on Racial Unity 8 419
New York Urban League Inc. 8 420
National Youth Administration-Negro Affairs 8 421
Press Relations Committee on Harlem 8 422
Phelps-Stokes Fund 8 423
Requests for Participation in Discrimination 8 424
St. Lucia United Association, Inc., Negro 8 425
Universal Order of Coloured Races of the World 8 426
Welfare Council of New York City 8 427
White Plains Urban League 8 428
Workers Defense League 8 429
Workers Education Bureau of America 8 430
Youthbuilders 8 431
Y.M.C.A-Y.W.C.A. 8 432
U.S. Information Service, Office of War Information 8 433
Division of Placement and Unemployment Insurance 8 434
Ives Committee 8 435
United States Employment Service-Discriminatory Regulations and Reports 8 436
United States Employment Service-Discriminatory Regulations and Reports 8 437