Richard Nixon photo

Statement Urging Senate and House Conferees To Permit Continued Implementation of the Philadelphia Plan.

December 19, 1969

THE civil rights policy to which this administration is committed is one of demonstrable deeds--focused where they count. One of the things that counts most is earning power. Nothing is more unfair than that the same Americans who pay taxes should by any pattern of discriminatory practices be deprived of an equal opportunity to work on Federal construction contracts.

The Philadelphia Plan does not set quotas; it points to goals. It does not presume automatic violation of law if the goals are not met; it does require affirmative action if a review of the totality of a contractor's employment practices shows that he is not affording equal employment opportunity.

The Attorney General has assured the Secretary of Labor that the Philadelphia Plan is not in conflict with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I, of course, respect the right and duty of the Comptroller General to render his honest and candid views to the Congress. If in effect we have here a disagreement in legal interpretation between the Attorney General and the Comptroller General the place for the resolution of this issue is in the courts.

However, the rider adopted by the Senate last night, would not only prevent the Federal departments from implementing the Philadelphia Plan, it could even bar a judicial determination of the issue.

Therefore, I urge the conferees to permit the continued implementation of the Philadelphia Plan while the courts resolve this difference between congressional and executive legal opinions.

Note: The rider to which the President referred was section 904 of H.R. 15209, a supplemental appropriations bill for fiscal year 1970. A statement on the rider, dated December 20, 1969, by Secretary of Labor Shultz is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 5, P. 1769).

Texts of news briefings on the Philadelphia Plan on December 18 and 20 by Secretary Shultz and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Wage and Labor Standards Arthur A. Fletcher were also released by the White House Press Office.

Richard Nixon, Statement Urging Senate and House Conferees To Permit Continued Implementation of the Philadelphia Plan. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under


Simple Search of Our Archives