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Hart Slams A-lab Site On Civil Rights Grounds

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WASHINGTON - Illinois should be denied the national atomic accelerator laboratory because the region "so clearly has failed to meet a basic requirement - guaranteed fair housing for the laboratory's employees," Sen. Philip A. Hart, D-Mich., told the Senate today. Hart, one of the Senate's leading civil rights spokesmen, joined the effort to block the Weston, Ill., project in a speech prepared for delivery this afternoon during consideration of the $2.5 billion Atomic Energy Commission authorization bill. The bill passed the House June 29 by a vote of 104 to 7, after Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, failed in an effort to delete the $7.3 million planning authorization for the Weston project because Illinois has no open housing law. "When Weston was picked as the site," Hart said today, "the AEC fully expected immediate and effective cooperation by the state and local governments. “But nothing has happened," he said. "True, the community of Weston itself has enacted a fair housing ordinance, but there is little protection in the surrounding area. "So this is the question that bothers me: Should massive amounts of taxpayers' money be spent to create a new ghetto at a time when it is national policy to eliminate ghettos?" Hart asked. The Michigan senator acknowledged that Ann Arbor has been a leading contender for the accelerator and that "my words may be dismissed as those of a politician battling for a parochial interest. "But the facts are nevertheless clear," he said. "Fair housing guarantees were one of the basic criteria which the AEC demanded of the chosen region. And those guarantees have not been forthcoming." Other senators leading the fight against the Weston project authorization include Sen. John O. Pastore, D-R.L, chairman of the Joint Atomic Energy Committee, and Sen. Jacob K. Javits, R-N.Y. Pastore said last week he would introduce an amendment to strike the Weston authorization amount from the AEC bill. But Pastore's office said the amount of voting strength for passage of the amendment was uncertain. Senate Minority leader Everett M. Dirksen, R-Ill., has said he will move to block $372 million in federal works projects for states without open housing laws if the atom smasher is not built in his home state.