Lawrence Tribune, 1966: “Dirksen Won’t Compromise on Rights’ Housing Selection”

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Dirksen Won’t Compromise On Rights’ Housing Section

WASHINGTON (UPI) – Senate Republican leader Everett M. Dirksen told Atty. Gen. Nicholas Deb. Katzenbach Wednessday that the Senate will not accept the administration proposal to end discrimination in the sale or rental of housing.

Dirksen said there cannot be a compromise on the controversial section of President Johnson’s civil rights package unless somebody discovers a “miraculous formula.”

The GOP leader said he informed Katzenbach during a one and one-half hour meeting that “in my considered and humble judgement you cannot sell Title IV (The housing provision) to the U.S. Senate.”

But Dirksen indicated that the four other provisions in the package would provide no great problems.  They include provisions to end discriminatiioin in federal and state juries; a proposal to allow the attorney general to file suit to desegregate schools and public facilities; and make attacks on civil rights workers a federal crime.

Katzenbach met with Dirksen, Senators Roman Hruska, R-Neb., and Rep. William M. McCullock, ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.

McCulloch is also ranking GOP member of the House subcommittee which Thursday expects to take up the housing section before approving a civil rights bill.

Dirksen said that McCulloch’s views on the housing “[substantially] not unlike mine.”  He said the House leader indicated that the housing provision would have “real difficulty” clearing the House.

The GOP leader said that other Republicans – at a party meeting earlier in the day – expressed similar views.

Dirksen said that Katzenbach offered some suggestions leading to a compromise and was asked to reduce them to written specifics so they can be looked at during a GOP policy meeting next week.

But he said “nothing has been suggested yet that altered my feeling that it cannot be sold to the Senate.

“I have not been sold on it,” he added. “As of now I see no compromise that could stand up that would be constructive, practical, equitable.”


“Dirksen Won’t Compromise on Rights – Housing Section” (June 16, 1966), Lawrence Eagle Tribune. Courtesy of Salem State University Archives.