Interview with Herbert Brownell, Jr.
QUESTION 3
INTERVIEWER:

UM, DO YOU THINK THAT THE SAME THING WAS TRUE OF THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT, WHICH HAPPENS JUST A LITTLE LATER THEN. AGAIN, NO, THERE WAS NO ROLE THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT COULD TAKE.

Herbert Brownell, Jr.:

Well, I think there again, we had a watch on the situation but the local authorities never asked for any help and in the absence of a request uh, indicating that there was a real civil disturbance in the area there was no legal mechanism for us to get into the matter. And while there was a certain amount of publicity, so that it came to our attention through the media, not nearly as much as you might have expected. It was considered a pure, purely local demonstration to be handled by local authorities. And there was no statute although we later tried to get such a statute, but at that time there was no federal statute that would allow direct intervention unless the local authorities uh, appealed to Washington for help on the ground that they themselves could not handle the situation.