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August 29, 1963, Vol. VIII, No. 45
NAACP Demands Integration In Local Banks
Pressure by the Greenwich Village-Chelsea branch of the NAACP to promote integrated hiring practices among Village banks is meeting with mixed results. Negotiations with Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust resulted in an announcement by its personnel vice president, John B. Henneman, that within a week a Negro teller would begin work in each of the bank’s two Village branches (at Sixth Avenue and at University Place). But, according to James Yates, president of the local NAACP, the West Side Savings Bank refused to modify its current hiring practices as far as Negroes were concerned.
Edgar Hussey, president of the bank, was away on vacation this week and could not be reached for comment.
Officials of the West Side Savings Bank met with him on August 16, Yates said, and “denied their organization has practiced hiring discrimination, although they have never had a Negro employee other than a maintenance man.”
After an emergency meeting with the Special Action Committee of the Village-Chelsea NAACP, Yates made the following statement:
“In view of the efforts of other Village banks to solve rather than deny the existence of the problems of discrimination, we find the hiring practices of the West Side Savings Bank totally unacceptable to the community’s needs. Mr. Hussey states he will not hire a Negro ‘because he is a Negro.’ We say he should consider hiring a Negro before a similarly qualified white person since no integration exists in his three local banks. The recent opening of their third branch necessitated a 50 per cent increase in employees, and yet not one was a Negro. In view of the bank’s refusal to state their readiness to hire a qualified Negro teller, we find no other course but to take direct action to bring about a change in their attitude and hiring practices.”
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