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Regan, Brock To Try To Settle Affirmative Action Dispute

January 26, 1986

WASHINGTON (AP) _ White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan said Sunday he will meet this week with Attorney General Edward Meese III and Secretary of Labor William Brock in an effort to settle a dispute within the administration over federal affirmative action rules.

″I personally have been the one that’s been delaying it,″ Regan said during an interview on the ABC News television program, ″This Week with David Brinkley.″

Without elaborating, Regan said the delay had been ″for personal reasons, involving other things that shouldn’t matter at this particular moment, and it’s been unfortunate but we will get to it this week.″

Asked whether he thought the meeting would settle the dispute, he said, ″Hopefully, yes.″

Meese favors revising an executive order signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965 that authorized the government to set numerical hiring goals and timetables for firms holding government contracts. Brock favors leaving the order as it is.

President Reagan has not said how he will decide if the matter is presented to him, but reiterated in a recent radio address his opposition to the use of racial quotas.

The National Urban League and other civil rights groups have charged that revising the order as proposed by Meese would destroy civil rights gains made over the past two decades.

Meese and Brock were to have met with Regan on the issue on Jan. 17, but the meeting was called off without explanation.

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