Emanuel Celler

Email a Friend
Emanuel Celler, three-quarter length portrait, seated, facing front in 1951.

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Congressman Celler answers questions from high school students.

Moderated by Marvin Sleeper.

Panelists: Linda McGhee, Anne Langenheim, David Fleming, and John Tannehill


The US has inflicted punishment on Israel by terminating loans and technical aid; it is proper to do the same to Egypt until the megalomaniac, Nasser, lives up to the assumptions that Israel had to rely on before removing troops. Sanctions should be used against Egypt as they were against Israel. Egypt doesn't allow passage through the Suez Canal and violates armistice. We've given kindness to the oil industry, but they up the price of oil. Problems in the Middle East will not affect the US supply of oil. Israel's oil pipeline. The Eisenhower Doctrine was a warning to the red nations that we'll not stand for aggression in the Middle East areas.

Supreme Court decision that organized football is big business, and therefore within the anti-trust laws. Went on to say baseball is a sacred cow. Restrictions on organized football are illegal but the same in baseball are not illegal.

Small business, anti-trust law enforcement.

Immigration laws are too stringent. We should treat all races alike. Change immigration quota system so there is an overall total (250,000/year), standards set up to determine the needs of the country and reunite families. Should bring in skilled workers to satisfy the needs of the nation. We should recognize our needs first. In New York, we dreadfully need tailors. We should open our hearts to other types of refugees, like Jews ousted from Egypt. The President has made no effort to open our doors to them.

Integration in the South: you can't ramrod certain change like this down the throats of people in the South. This is revolutionary. It will take a good deal of patience and wisdom in the enforcement. The mere passing of a bill doesn't bring about the change. Example of prohibition. The South has to be educated. Living habits have become engrained in the people. Rabble rousers and demigods.

His bill sets up a Civil Rights Commission composed of 6 members, appointed by the President, to make a study of this question. Sets up a Civil Rights section in the Department of Justice. Strengthens the old Civil Rights laws passed after the Civil War. Strengthens the power of the Attorney General. Prevent voting rights being taken away. It will undoubtedly pass the House and Senate and on its way to the President within 90 days.

As near as possible, Ireland is free of religious prejudice. NYC is fairly exemplary of the doctrine of freedom of racial prejudice. Example of himself.

Mayor Wagner's snub of King Saad (?) was invited to the country by the President; hopefully some good has come out of the visit. The snub wasn't improper.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 72298
Municipal archives id: LT7568