Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Co. agreed to government demands that it make public a series of secret cash contributions the company made to politicians in the four states in which it operates.
The contributions were made between 1963 and 1973. The disclosure, which will be made to its stockholders in a routine filing, settles a prolonged non-judicial action against the company by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to the disclosure, Southern Bell maintained a slush fund for cash payments to candidates for local, state and federal offices in Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina. The company statement does not name the politicians.
The fund was supported by employes who "made voluntary periodic payments," the company said.
But the company also said that employes who received merit raises were advised "that additional amounts of money had been included for political contributions in their salary and they were requested to increase their level of contributions to $50, $75 and ultimately $100 per month."
The company disclosures makes clear that the higher on employe was promoted, the more the employe was expected to contribute.
The report shows that as of September, 1973, "approximately 70 company employees in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina were making political contributions in the aggregate annual amount of approximately $40,000."
The distribution of funds was handled by employees in the public affairs department.