The Papers of Clarence
and of the NAACP
Washington Bureau 1942 - 1978
Tables of Contents
Prof. Denton L.
COFEP Complaint against The International Telephone and Radio
Corporation and the Federal
East Newark, New Jersey
To: Dr. Robert C. Weaver
January 23, 1942
From: Clarence M. Mitchell
COFEP Complaint against the International Telephone
and Radio Manufacturing Corporation and the
Federal Telegraph Company, East Newark, N. J.
This complaint was made through Mr. Milton P. Webster of COFEP.
The persons complaining are: Messrs. Donald James, Robert Gitten,
Raymond Bright and Wallace Wiggins. All of them signed a joint
statement that they had seen an advertisement published for the
company in the Daily Mirror asking for wiremen and assemblers.
My conference was with Mr. J. A. Nelson, Personnel Manager. He
represents both companies and stated that, although the men
mentioned International Telephone in their complaint, they really
had responded to a request for men to be assigned to Federal
Telegraph. He insisted that the four men were not qualified and
showed me their application cards. I made no comment. He was unable
to explain why the individuals were told: “We are not hiring any
colored as yet.” I asked this question specifically. Mr. Nelson also
said that he did not see how these men could afford to commute from
New York to New Jersey. He did not adequately explain why the
company advertises in New York papers for workers if it does not
expect to take people from there. He said that some people are
gotten from New York or persons living outside of New York “read the
papers.” It is interesting to note that from Mr. Nelson’s own
statement, the order for wiremen and assemblers has been in his
hands since September 10, 1941, and he has not yet completed it. The
request is for twenty-five workers and he has only been able to get
Negroes are not employed by either concern. Each of the plants
has about 1100 persons, according to Mr. Nelson. Although he
professed to be interested in the hiring of colored people, he did
not appear to have any plans for doing anything about his stated
convictions. I would like to suggest that this case be handed back
to COFEP for its New York hearings. If you do not agree, our office
can continue contact with Mr. H. C. Reamer, Executive
Vice-President. The firm has recently signed an agreement with Local
447 of the U.R.E.M.W. of the C.I.O.[2}
HqR77, Office Files of Eugene Davidson, Assistant Director,
Oct. 1941-April 1946, International Telephone.
From 4/11/41 to
1/42, Weaver was chief of the Negro Employment and Training
Branch within the Labor Division of the Office of Production
Management. Next, the NETB functioned in the War Production
Board until 7/30/42, when Roosevelt abruptly transferred the
FEPC, the NETB and its equal, the Minority Groups Branch, to
the War Manpower Commission. From then until 4/24/43, Weaver
was chief of the Negro Manpower Service of the WMC (RG 179,
01.469, DNA). Weaver then served as liaison officer between
the WMC and the FEPC, with special assignment of developing
a program for the fuller utilization of minority groups,
until 1/16/44, when WMC announced his resignation. He left
to become director of the Mayor’s Committee on Race
Relations of Chicago. WMC News Release, 1/16/44, in HqR86,
Miscellaneous Releases. Reed, Seedtime, 86-87.
hired Mitchell on 5/1/41 as his field assistant responsible
for the New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania region. He
subsequently promoted Mitchell to assistant director of the
NETB. For the background of their relationship, see Watson,
Lion in the Lobby, 122, 133-4. For more details, see
“Official Steps Taken on Discrimination in Defense,” in
Minorities in Defense, providing additional dates in its
outline of the President’s Committee on Fair Employment
Practice, the Negro Employment and Training Branch, Labor
Division, OPM, and the Minority Groups Branch, Labor
Division, OPM, RG 179, Records of the War Production Board,
WPB 015.737, President’s Committee on Fair Employment
Practice, Organization, DNA; and Current Programs of NETB,
RG 179, Records of WPB, WPB 016.467, NETB Organization, DNA.
Initially, the FEPC was known as the Committee on Fair
Employment Practice, or COFEP. For background, see Reed,
12/13/42 letter to the COFEP, the complainants said they had
been trained at the Harlem Evening Trade School and each had
approximately 10 years of experience in “radio installation,
repairing, rebuilding and building.” Each had government
operators’ license proving them “qualified to operate a
station, to operate a ship to shore telephone, to operate
police equipment, to operate a broadcasting station, and to
construct.” Indeed, they were overqualified; the job they
had applied for was mass production work that did not
require their range of knowledge. HqR77, Office Files of
Eugene Davidson. International Telephone and Radio
United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America,
CIO. See Weaver, Negro Labor, 16-27, 201-2.
Memorandum on COFEP Request
from Mr. Eugene Davidson
To: Dr. Robert C. Weaver
Clarence M. Mitchell
Subject: Regional Matters of Immediate Importance
Discussed with Mr. [Reginald A.] Johnson
COFEP REQUEST FROM MR. EUGENE DAVIDSON
Mr. [Reginald A.] Johnson
discussed with me certain cases (6) which we will supply
to Mr. Davidson in response to requests from him.
Two of these proposed cases are illustrations of
employers who have changed their hiring practices or at
least hire nearly in conformity with the
requirements of the President’s Executive Order No.
8802. These are the Western Electric Company of Kearny,
N. J., and the Federal Shipbuilding Company, also of
Kearny. In both cases, Mr. Davidson’s plans for
making the “good” better will give these companies a
chance to expand their Negro personnel and
correct certain departmental difficulties we have been
Four of the firms in need of disciplinary action and
which we propose to submit to Mr. Davidson are:
The International Telephone Company and the Federal
Telegraph Company, both of Newark, N.J.; the
Walker-Turner Plant at Plainfield, N.J., and the Wright
Aeronautical Company of Patterson, N.J., or the Breeze
Aircraft Company in Newark, N.J. The Wright Company will
possibly be used because it is likely that the training
phase of the program is in need of some investigation in
order to increase the admission of Negroes. The Breeze
Company will be used if the most recent requests for
action submitted from our office (Via Mitchell) are
ignored or answered in an unsatisfactory manner. In all
of these instances the final draft of material to be
submitted to Mr. Davidson will be given first to you for
approval. Mr. Johnson, however, will immediately notify
Mr. Davidson that you have authorized the release of
COMPANY, ESSINGTON, PA.
In view of the alleged trouble with white
employees of the Westinghouse Company over the employment of
a colored machine operator,
Mr. Johnson and I discussed the following phases of the
Harry Block, assistant to Mr. James P. Casey, labor representative on the Regional Labor Supply Committee, is to
report to Mr. Johnson the results of his (Block’s) effort to
secure the needed co-operation from the Union at the plant.
b. Mr. L. B. F. Raycroft, management representative on
the Regional Labor Supply
Committee, will report to Mr. Johnson on the results of
contacts on the matter with plant representatives.
William W. Bardsley, chairman of the Regional Labor Supply
Committee, will report to Mr. Johnson on the results of a
Naval Investigation of what actually happened when the
colored trainee was employed. I requested Mr. Bardsley to
ask for this investigation through Commander Francis
Robinson, Naval representative on the committee, since the
plant has a Naval contract.
THE BENDIX AVIATION
COMPANY, PHILADELPHIA, PA.
two trainees out of the group of nine called for interviews
start to work today (Monday, February 2). I have also
submitted to the management the names of twenty women who
are enrolled in a light manufacturing course under the
V.E.N.D. program. In addition I have submitted the name of
Mrs. Leona Highsmith, who complained that she had not been
employed when she made an application previously. The
management has been informed that Mr. Johnson is replacing
me in the area. He will take the necessary follow-up steps.
FRANKFORD ARSENAL, THE NAVY YARD, THE ARMY SIGNAL CORPS, AND
THE ORDNANCE DEPARTMENT-ALL OF THE PHILADELPHIA AREA
Discussion of contacts we have had with these government
agencies was held. We especially discussed plans for
informing Negro women of the examination for female learners
being vien [given] for these agencies. Under the
examination, women without previous experience are being
trained for manufacturing operations. While in training
these individuals will be paid by the government.
BREWSTER COMPANY, HATBORO, PA.
In order to
clarify our progress with the Brewster plant at Hatboro,
Pa., I arranged a meeting with Mr. J. Griffith Boardman,
whom I understood to be the Vice-President of the company.
Mr. Boardman stated he was “only a member of the board of
directors” and referred me to Mr. Philip Stevenson,
executive vice president. Mr. Johnson will make the
necessary follow-up in this situation since we were unable
to see Mr. Stevenson before I left.
BALDWIN LOCOMOTIVE COMPANY, PHILADELPHIA, PA.
Being unable to contact Mr.
Charles E. Acker, secretary-treasurer, on January 29 and
thereafter, Mr. Johnson and I have agreed that a follow-up
will be made today (Monday, Feb. 2). We are moving somewhat
slowly in this, however, until such time as we have a better
understanding of the situation at Westinghouse which is in
the Baldwin neighborhood.
GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY, PHILADELPHIA, PA.
Further contact is to be
withheld pending the outcome of the Westinghouse situation.
THE NEW YORK SHIPBUILDING COMPANY, CAMDEN , N.J.
THE REGIONAL LABOR SUPPLY COMMITTEE
discussed the technique of action followed with the Regional
Labor Supply Committee.
Eugene Davidson, FEPC senior field representative,
was preparing for the Committee’s hearings in New
York, scheduled for 2/16, 2/17/42, which would also
consider cases from northern New Jersey, a part of
Mitchell’s jurisdiction. Ruchames, Race, Jobs and
Politics, 27, 31, 36, 38, 41; Reed, Seedtime,
39-41. Reginald Johnson worked at the OPM with
Mitchell and succeeded him in the Philadelphia
office in 1942.
Disciplinary action available to the Committee
involved submitting the case to Paul V. McNutt,
chairman of the WMC, with the expectation he would
use the influence of his office to obtain
compliance. If that did not work, the Committee
would submit the case to the president for action.
See Mitchell to Johnson, memorandum, 1/18/43; J.E.
Cain, executive vice president of P.R. Mallory &
Co., Inc., to Weaver, 7/8/42, indicating compliance,
HqR2, Cooperative Employers folder; Weaver, Negro
On the struggle to upgrade African-American male and
female workers throughout industry, see Weaver,
Negro Labor, 220-23, for. Weaver’s: “When
management took steps to upgrade Negroes, and white
workers refused to work with them, it became clear
that the responsibility for initiating corrective
action lay with the union” (222).
Memorandum on Suspension of
War Training for Negroes in
Mr. George M.
Johnson November 28, 1942
Clarence M. Mitchell
Suspension of War Training for Negroes
In keeping with complaints
received from the Southern Negro Youth Congress of
Birmingham, Alabama, the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People and the National Urban League,
a conference was held with Dr. W. W. Charters, Chief of
training for the War Manpower Commission.
The complaints charged that war training for Negroes had
been stopped. The Southern Negro Youth Congress’s complaint
stated specifically that twelve courses for Negroes had been
halted. It also alleged that although numerous white persons
were being trained for aircraft work to meet the needs of
the Bechtel-McCone-Parsons Company, no training was being
offered for Negroes in this type of work.
After a preliminary
discussion of the problem, Dr. Charters called in the
following persons for a meeting on the matter: Dr. Philip
Van Wyck, assistant to Dr. Charters, Mr. Edward Ludtke,
southern regional director for the United States Office of
Education, Dr. L. S. Hawkins, director of war training for
the War Manpower Commission and Dr. H. J. McCormick, W. P.
A. regional representative whose territory includes Alabama.
Mr. McCormick stated that “ regional representative” had
been abolished as his title but that it was still most
descriptive of his duties.
In brief, the conference
might be summed up by saying that Dr. Charters promised a
complete investigation of the matter and it is my
understanding that General Frank J. McSherry’s office has
already begun action by sending Mr. Ernest Marbury of the
operations staff into the area. Mr. Marbury, I am told, is
to have Dr. Bowman F. Ashe, regional director of the War
Manpower Commission, see that training in aircraft work is
given to Negroes in the Birmingham area. For his own part
Dr. Charters stated that he will have Mr. Ludtke and Mr.
Edgar Westmorland, who is a Negro representative in the
Office of Education, make a thorough investigation of the
Alabama situation. This study is to be used as a basis for
correcting whatever the shortcomings are. Because there is a
special conference which Mr. Ludtke and Mr. Westmorland must
attend. Dr. Charters stated that they could not begin work
on the problem until a “Week from Monday, November 30.”
During the conference the
following matters came up for discussion and appear to be
indicative of the peculiar circumstances which tend to
hamper the training programs for Negroes in southern areas.
Mr. McCormick stated that he was the first to raise the
precipitated the current difficulty. He
said that during one of his visits to the area he found
forty Negro W. P. A. trainees who had been on the payroll
longer than they should have been. There did not seem to be
an opportunity for placing them, according to Mr. McCormick.
After making some effort to find jobs for these persons, Mr.
McCormick said the W. P. A. decided to drop them from its
rolls. Apparently, the local council of administrators took
this as a cue for deciding that the course in chipping and
riveting, which was what the W. P. A. people were being
given, was no longer needed and so recommended suspension of
this training. At the same time there were approximately
forty non-W. P. A. persons on the training rolls for the
same type of instruction. There is nothing so far to show
that their needs were taken into consideration.
2. I have checked with
the B. E. S. [Bureau of Employment Security] and find that
both Ingalls Iron in Birmingham and the Alabama Shipbuilding
and Drydock Company at Mobile have been increasing their
Negro personnel. Unfortunately, the B. E. S. records do not
show whether these company employed any riveters or
chippers, but it is my understanding that Ingalls Iron has
employed Negroes for this type of work. It is also true the
North Carolina Shipbuilding Company at Wilmington, North
Carolina has trained and hired a great many Negroes for
riveting jobs. It is entirely possible that in an extreme
emergency this last mentioned company could have been used
for the placement of those trained. However, since industry
generally makes use of Negroes as chippers and riveters it
is entirely possible that some factor other than race caused
the breakdown of the Alabama training. I venture the
suggestion that such training should never have been given
in the first place. The figures from the B. E. S. show the
following on Ingalls Iron and Alabama Drydock:
I was unable
to obtain a breakdown on skills for Alabama Drydock, but its
increases were substantially in laboring jobs and none above
the semi-skilled level.
Dr. Hawkins stated that Mr. Jed B. Yingling of the United
States Office of
Education informed him that war
training had not been stopped, but rather it had been agreed
that the training would not be expanded and no new trainees
would be added. I requested Dr. Hawkins to define the
difference between this and ordering the training stopped.
He did not seem to be able to define the difference. At this
point Mr. Ludtke stated that the representatives of the
Office of Education have been working on the Alabama
situation and that they have made some progress. He showed a
list, which is attached to this report, outlining types and
location of training for Negroes in Alabama. According to
Mr. Ludtke, the recommendation for halting training in
Birmingham affected only the riveting and chipping courses.
Mr. McCormick and Dr. Hawkins seemed to make a considerable
point out of
the fact that the local council of
administrators in Birmingham had asked that the training be
halted. They also pointed out that management and labor
representatives “run the council.” They admitted, however,
that responsibility for making such decisions rests with the
U. S. E. S., local education representatives and the N. Y.
A., who form the voting membership of the council.
In defending the efforts of the United States Office of
Education in behalf of
Negroes, Mr. Ludtke responded to a
previous a statement made by me in connection with welding
equipment. I had pointed out that Alabama authorities were
supposed to be trying to buy 18 new welding machines for
Negroes, although the W. P. B. has issued a ruling to the
effect that such equipment cannot be purchased by schools.
It was my suggestion that equipment available for whites at
present should be divided with Negroes. Mr. Ludtke stated
that he did not believe there was enough equipment for
whites which would permit such a division. He also said that
he feels that if enough “pressure” is put behind the W. P.
B. the new equipment can be purchased. I must admit that I
do not share his views concerning the W. P. B., but if
pressure can get these machines, it seems that the United
States Office of Education has the responsibility for
applying it since, if welding equipment had been purchased
for Negroes when it was purchased for whites, we would not
now be facing the problem.
In my opinion Dr.
Charters will take corrective action in the Alabama matter.
However, there still is considerable need for a planned
approach to the whole southern problem of training for
Negroes. Since Dr. Charters’ office will have training
responsibilities, I would like to suggest that we draw up a
training program which we believe will offer substantial
remedy. I recommend that we then have meetings with Dr.
Charters and appropriate members of General McSherry’s staff
for the purpose of putting this program into effect.
MS: copy, HqR48,
Central Files. General Reports, N-Z.
See “Findings and Directives” in the case of
“National Defense Training Program in Alabama,
Tennessee and Georgia” as mentioned in Cramer
memorandum, 11/10//42, to Fenton, Brophy and
Ethridge. A copy of the findings and directives was
submitted to McNutt because of his special relations
with the Office of Education. HqR38, Central Files,
Meetings. (entry 25) Meetings. See also “Defense
Training for Negroes in Birmingham, Alabama,” and
“The Participation of Negroes in the National
Defense Training Program in Alabama,” in HqR66,
Aliens in Defense, Specific Groups, Mexicans
Another manifestation of Jim Crow-type training in
the South were the dismal quality of whatever
programs existed. “In the South, we expect the
general poor equipment and poor facilities,”
explained Herman Branson in The Journal of Negro
Education. Branson’s quote from an article by
John Beecher in Science and Society that was
based on his observations in the spring of 1942 was
The same thing [as the situation in Alabama]
prevailed in Georgia, and Tennessee and Arkansas and
South Carolina and Texas. Hardly any defense
training was open to Negroes anywhere in the South,
and much of what was labeled defense training was
close to being outright fraudulent. I might mention
one course of 150 shipfitter helpers where the sole
shop equipment consisted of some shipyard pictures
clipped from Life magazine and a bathtub
navy, purchased out of the instructor’s pocket at
the five-and-ten. This particular course accounted
for two-thirds of the Negro trainees in the state of
Georgia. Somewhere else they were pretending to
train Negro marine electricians in a shop where
positively the only item of marine equipment was an
eight-inch length of electrical cable. I recall also
a class in motor mechanics where the students were
forbidden to go into the motors – it was actually a
class in alemiting, tire-inflating and windshield
wiping for filling station attendants. And I
shouldn’t forget the Negro defense shop so far out
into the piney woods that it was next to impossible
to get to, yet I heard such praises of and such
accounts of the completeness of its equipment that I
arranged to visit it. There I found a
splendidly-equipped sheet metal shop with
unfortunately no sheet metal to fabricate but only
tin cans salvaged from the garbage pile. There I
found also a gleaming row of electric welding
machines but somebody had neglected to connect them
Beecher, “Problems of Discrimination,” 36-44, quoted
in Branson, “The Training of Negroes for War
Industries in World War II,” 378. See also Doxey
Wilkerson, “Vocational Guidance and Education of
Negroes,” in which the author provides further
critical analysis of the widespread concerns about
the implications of the defense program on the
American economy, particularly regarding the status
of African Americans; Weaver, “Defense Program and
the Negro,” 324-27; and Weaver, Negro Labor,
Investigation on California Shipbuilding
Corporation, Western Pipe & Steel Company’s
Shipbuilding Division, and Consolidated Steel
Corporation’s Shipbuilding Division
Mr. George M. Johnson
Clarence M. Mitchell
Associate Director of Field Operations
California Shipbuilding Corporation, Western Pipe & Steel
Company’s Shipbuilding Division, and Consolidated Steel
Corporation’s Shipbuilding Division.
Investigation by: Clarence M. Mitchell
I. Brief Summary of
President’s Committee on Fair Employment Practice, during
the summer of
received over four hundred complaints from persons employed
in the shipbuilding industry of Los Angeles and vicinity.
These complaints came, for the most part, from the Shipyard
Committee for Equal Participation. It was charged that
Negroes employed in shipbuilding trades coming under the
jurisdiction of Boiler Makers’ Local 92 were being forced to
join an auxiliary, A-35. Those refusing to join the
auxiliary were dismissed from employment by the shipbuilding
companies, according to the complaints.
The yards involved were the California Shipbuilding Company
at Wilmington, the Consolidated Steel Corporation’s
Shipbuilding Division at Wilmington, and the Western Pipe &
Steel Corporation’s Shipbuilding Division at San Pedro.
II. Description of
The California Shipbuilding Company employed 40,
421 persons as of October 8, 1943, according to Mr. Russell
A. Bergemann, Manager of Industrial Relations. It builds
cargo vessels and tankers.
The Western Pipe & Steel Company employed a
total of 12,285 persons as of October 9, 1943, according to
Mr. W. H. Lewis, Administrative Manager. This yard is
building coast guard and naval vessels.
The Consolidated Steel Corporation’s
Shipbuilding Division employs a total of 18,000 persons,
according to the latest information from Mr. Clarence R.
Johnson, Minorities Consultant of the War Manpower
Commission in Region XII. Mr. Johnson stated that the
Consolidated Company was not very cooperative and had not
supplied information similar to that given by Western Pipe &
Steel and the California Shipbuilding Companies.
The employment figures in these yards as of
October 1943, were as follows:
Western Pipe & Steel Company
San Pedro, California
Consolidated Steel Corporation
supplied by Clarence R. Johnson,
Manpower Commission, Region XII.
Local 92 of the International Brotherhood of Boiler Makers,
Iron Ship Builders and Helpers of America has jurisdiction
over the following counties in the area: In California -
the counties of Santa Barbara, Kern, Inyo, San Bernadino,
Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, and
Imperial. In Nevada - the counties of Esmeralda, Nye,
Lincoln, and Clark. It is estimated that this local has
approximately 40,000 members. Mr. H. G. Coryell is President
of the Union and Mr. E. V. Blackwell is the Secretary and
Business Agent. This union has set up an auxiliary known as
A-35, which has an office in the City of Los Angeles at 4150
South Main Street. At the time I was in the City, Mr. Garner
Grayson was serving as acting secretary of the union and Mr.
U. S. Griggs was acting assistant secretary. Messrs. Grayson
and Griggs estimated that they have approximately 4,000
persons in the auxiliary.
California Shipbuilding Corporation, the Western Pipe &
Steel Company’s Shipbuilding Division, and the Consolidated
Steel Corporation’s Shipbuilding Division have closed shop
contracts with the Metal Trades Council of the A. F. of L.,
in accordance with the provisions of the Master Agreement
affecting the shipbuilding industries on the West Coast. The
principal union in the Metal Trades Council, from the
standpoint of membership and prestige, is the International
Brotherhood of Boiler Makers, Iron Ship Builders and Helpers
of America. The provisions of the contract require that the
unions of the Metal Trades Council supply workers to the
companies from their membership and, when they are unable to
do so, the companies are free to recruit non-union workers.
However, all persons recruited must become members of the
union and pay dues or their employment must be terminated by
III. Prior or Related Cases Involving Parties Charged
From time to time, the Committee has received
complaints from various individuals who charged that they
were not given employment at one of these three yards. There
are others who charged that they have not been upgraded in
accordance with their skills and abilities. These
individuals allege that they were being discriminated
against solely because of race.
Mr. George Toll,
Local Manager of the U.S.E.S. in Long Beach, California,
informed me that he opened the office of the Employment
Service at Wilmington, California, on August 1, 1941. This
office has been receiving orders from the California
Shipbuilding Company, Western Pipe & Steel, and Consolidated
Steel from that period up until present. Mr. Toll left
Wilmington only recently. It was the function of his office
to place the California clearance orders from the three
companies. This included approximately eighteen (18) offices
in Southern California, with the exception of San Diego. Mr.
Toll stated it had been his experience that Consolidated and
Western Pipe & Steel were reluctant to hire Negroes as
machinists helpers and shipfitters helpers. Recently, they
have begun taking Negroes in these occupations, but only
because of the manpower shortage, according to Mr. Toll.
IV.Efforts of the War
Manpower Commission to Obtain Compliance
Beginning in 1941, Mr. Clarence R. Johnson,
Minorities Consultant for the War Manpower Commission in
Region XII, has been at work on the problems of these three
yards. Mr. Johnson began his efforts when he was with the
Minorities Division of the Office of Production Management
and the Negro Employment and Training Branch of the War
Production Board. Later, the Negro Employment and Training
Branch of WPB was transferred to the War Manpower
Commission, and Mr. Johnson continued his work under WMC. On
February 24, 1942, Mr. Blackwell wrote the following letter
to Mr. Johnson:
“In confirmation of our telephone conversation of February
23, I have instructed our Wilmington office to clear colored
applicants when properly referred to that office.”
Local 92 cleared some Negroes for employment and
a few actually became members of this union because their
racial identity was not known. On July 7, 1948, the union
established Auxiliary A-35 and insisted that all Negroes
become members of it or have their employment terminated.
Efforts to Obtain Compliances
When the auxiliary was established in July of
1943, many Negroes employed at the three yards refused to
pay their dues. According to Mr. Grayson of the Auxiliary,
approximately 500 Negroes were terminated by the companies
for this reason.
addition to your visit to the West Coast for the purpose of
holding conferences with the Boiler Makers’ and the
shipbuilding interests on this problem, Judge James Wolfe,
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Utah, and
Mr. Daniel R. Donovan, of the Committee’s staff, went to Los
Angeles in an attempt to adjust these problems in a manner
which would be in harmony with the requirements of Executive
Order 9346. On those occasions, the union representatives
did not offer any solution which would adjust the complaints
before the Committee.
In its meeting of August 28, 1943, the Committee
voted to have a hearing in the City of Los Angeles on the
complaints. I arrived in Los Angeles on Friday, October 22,
1943, and remained until the morning of Thursday, October
28. During that time, I interviewed complainants and the
Harnish, Area Director of the War Manpower Commission, and
members of his staff.
members of the Boiler Makers’ Local 92.
of Auxiliary A-35.
I did not
talk with management or Local 92 representatives because you
had already discussed the problem with them in your meeting
at San Francisco on August 20, 1943.
The results of these interviews are set forth in
the following memoranda:
Employment Reports re California Shipbuilding Corporation,
Western Pipe & Steel Company’s Shipbuilding Division, and
Consolidated Steel Corporation’s Shipbuilding Division,
dated 10-8-43, 10-9-43, and 11-8-43, respectively.
Conference with Officials of Auxiliary A-35, 10-26-43.
with white members of Boiler Makers’ Local 92, 10-26-43.
Thomas Madison Doram, 717½ E. Vernon Avenue, Los Angeles,
California, Telephone: Adams 13649, 10-27-43.
Conference with Mr. George Toll, Local Manager, USES, Long
Beach, California, 10-27-43.
California Shipbuilding Company Complainants, 11-1-43.
Pipe & Steel Company Complainants, 11-1-43.
Signed by Persons Protesting Against A-35.
summarizing, I believe I should say that there were some
persons who charged the companies with discrimination, but
the bulk of the charges was against Local 92 for setting up
A-35. A number of Negroes who signed pledges that they would
not pay dues were dismissed. It appears that some of these
found employment in other places. Many of the complainants
began paying dues into the auxiliary, but signed statements
indicating that they did so under protest.
In view of the
evidence submitted by complainants and other information set
forth in my memoranda, it is my recommendation that the
Committee proceed with the hearing.
MS: copy, HqR48, Central Files, Reports 1-2.
See head notes for
cross references to the other 14 memoranda in this
series and for background on the Shipbuilding
Industry and Boilermakers Union.
The reports of 10/8, 10/9, and 11/2/7/43 were not
The report of
10/26/43 is published herein.
This report is published under the date of 11/27/43.
The two reports of 10/27 and the two of 11/1/43 are
This report was not found.
Memorandum on Experiences
With the War Manpower
as Reported by FEPC
February 10, 1944
To: Mr. Will Maslow
From: Clarence M. Mitchell
Subject: Experiences with WMC, as
Reported by FEPC Regional Directors
The following is a brief
digest of the working relationships between the War Manpower
Commission and the Regional Directors of FEPC as reported in
our conference on Thursday, February 10, 1944. Regional
Directors were requested to report on the following items.1
1. Do you have access to ES 270 Reports?
Do you receive ES 510 Reports?
Has the WMC appointed a Liaison Officer?
4. Has WMC sent out a special Regional Instruction
on the national Operating Agreement between FEPC and WMC?
there general cooperation from WMC?
For the sake
of clarity, I include the information that ES 270 Reports
are statistical and narrative reports on projected labor
requirements of specific plants, as well as information on
current numbers of persons employed. The ES 510 is a form
which the USES uses to indicate that it has received a
discriminatory order from an employer. It is a docketable
complaint under FEPC field instructions.
Lawson, Acting Regional Director of Region I (the New
England states) and Director of Region II (New York State),
reported complete cooperation from the War Manpower
Commission on all counts. He has full access to ES 270
Reports, receives ES 510 Reports regularly, and there are
two WMC Liaison Officers. In addition, Mrs. Anna Rosenberg,
Regional Director in II for WMC has sent out a model
operating instruction, and Mr. Joseph Smith, WMC Region I
Director, has sent out a slightly less effective one.
Mr. G. James
Fleming, Director of Region III (Pennsylvania, New Jersey,
and Delaware), reported that he has access to the ES 270
Reports. So far, he has received ES 510 Reports from
Philadelphia only, as WMC officials in Delaware and New
Jersey are reluctant to submit ES 510’s. A good relationship
exists between Mr. Fleming and the Regional WMC Director. A
special operating instruction has been sent out and a
liaison representative has been appointed.
Mr. Frank E.
Hook, Director of Region IV (The District of Columbia,
Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina) is
denied access to ES 270 Reports by Mr. Henry Triede,
Regional Director of WMC. The WMC has not sent any ES 510
Reports to FEPC. The National WMC instruction on the
operating agreement has not been sent to the local WMC
offices in Region IV, nor has any special instruction been
sent out on the National FEPC-WMC Agreement. There is a
Liaison Officer between FEPC and WMC who cooperates so far
as he can within the limitations prescribed by Mr. Triede.
Mr. Hook reported that some WMC offices cooperate at the
Mr. William T.
McKnight, Director of Region V (Michigan, Ohio, and
Kentucky) reported that he has access to ES 270 Reports and
that, in the last four months, he has received 160 ES 510’s
from the WMC. The WMC has appointed liaison representatives
in his region and special operating instructions have been
sent out by the Regional Director of WMC.
Mr. Elmer W.
Henderson, Director of Region VI (Illinois, Indiana, and
Wisconsin) reported good cooperation from WMC. He stated
that a special instruction has been sent out to state
directors by Mr. William H. Spencer, Director of WMC.
Liaison duties are handled by the Director of Manpower
Utilization in Region VI. In Wisconsin, the Deputy State
Director of WMC serves as Liaison Officer. Mr. Henderson
stated that he does not receive many 510 Reports in his
region. In his capacity of Acting Director of Region VIII,
Mr. Henderson reported he has very few cases in this region
(comprising the states of Minnesota, Iowa, the Dakotas, and
Nebraska) but his relationships with WMC are good there.
Mr. A. Bruce
Hunt, Director of Region VII (South Carolina, Georgia,
Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee) reported that
the majority of local USES offices in the region appear to
be unaware of the FEPC. He stated that he has access to ES
270 information, but has not received any ES 510’s as yet.
However, he believes they will be forthcoming later. The
national operating instruction of WMC has been sent out with
other special directions. A Liaison Officer has been
appointed. Mr. Hunt said that he has a good working
relationship with the Deputy Regional Director of WMC.
Mr. Roy A.
Hoglund, Director of Region IX (Missouri, Oklahoma,
Arkansas, and Kansas), reported that he gets ES 270
information at the Regional level. In St. Louis, he stated,
he can obtain the information he requests on them although
he is not permitted to see the actual report. A Liaison
Officer has been appointed, but no ES 510 Reports come in.
Mr. Hoglund made no report on Region XI (Montana, Idaho,
Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado) where he is Acting Regional
Mr. Leonard M.
Brin, Director of Region X (Louisiana, Texas, and New
Mexico), reported that WMC has sent out a weak operating
instruction. WMC has appointed a Liaison Officer, but he
(Mr. Brin) has received only three ES 510’s. The WMC has
sent in one Form 42, reporting discriminatory training
Mr. Harry L
Kingman, Director of Region XII (California, Arizona,
Nevada, Washington, and Oregon) reports an increasingly good
working relationship with the WMC. Several Liaison Officers
have been appointed and special operating instructions sent
out. The San Francisco area is getting a good number of
510’s, and conferences to be held in other parts of the
region are likely to result in an increasing flow of 510’s.
Access to ES 270’s is satisfactory. WMC sanctions will
occasionally be forthcoming on FEPC request.