This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Advances against the "Japs" and Nazis. The taking of Paris brought joy to all around the world. Romania coming over to the Allies side. Young king able to rid his country of Nazis. Cuts off Nazi supply of oil. Thanks to auxiliary firemen to continue services till war is over. Ability of city to handle the war ballots at the Board of Elections. Emergency maternity and care service for wives of servicemen. Beef update. Supply of poultry is up and price should be down. Complaints about kosher poultry at Washington Heights market. Price of eggs. Black market in grapes. Price of string beans too high. Milk prices. Letter from listeners regarding betting on horses with tin horn bookies. Infantile paralysis continues according to season. 597 this season. Half of cases have no paralysis of any kind. Disease this year will not approach epidemic years. It is not contagious. But this is not true of TB. Talks about treatment of TB and TB wards in hospitals. In need of nurses. Child labor. Children under 16 cannot work. Bowling alley employment of children. Children cannot work at night. Conduct of children on subway, trolleys and buses. Proper behavior. Mind your manners and give up your seat to the elderly. ICC case.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUNDAY, AUGUST 27, 1944
CITY OF NEW YORK OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
TEXT OF MAYOR F. H. LA GUARDIA'S SUNDAY BROADCAST TO THE PEOPLE OF NEW YORK FROM HIS OFFICE AT CITY HALL, AUGUST 27, 1944, BROADCAST OVER WNYC AT 1:00 P. M. FOLLOWS:
Patience and Fortitude.
This was a greet week for us but a pretty tough one for the Nazis and the Japs. Paris and Romania, two great events - taking of Paris, of course, brought joy to the hearts of people all over the world, for when Paris is happy, Europe is happy. But the action of Romania in leaving the Nazis and coming over to the Allies, we hope, is of great military importance. The fact that the young King was able to rid his country of the Nazis was a great contribution to the cause of the United Nations. At least it will cut off the supply of oil and that is very important. Strategically, I would say that the action of Romania is the greatest event in this war that has happened for several weeks.
RESOLUTION OF AUXILIARY FIREMEN
I want to express my thanks to the Auxiliary Firemen, attached to Hook & Ladder Co. #27 of the 18th Battalion for their resolution to continue their services until the war is really all over. To Auxiliary Lieutenant J. Van Realte and Mr. I. Kohn and to the Auxiliary Firemen, congratulations on your splendid record during the month of July.
There should be no need for worry that New York City will not be able to handle all of the war ballots that come in. The Director of the Budget has just authorized an additional 3,750 man days in clerks to the Board of Elections for the purpose of caring for the war ballots. Let us all hope that the boys will avail themselves of the opportunity and privilege of voting. In the meantime, write to your service men and remind him that the ballots will be forthcoming.
EMERGENCY MATERNITY AND INFANT CARE
I know that a great many people are very much interested in the Emergency Maternity and Infant Care of the United States Government, for the wives and children of servicemen. This service, as you know, is administered in New York City by the New York City Health Department. Cases are now running from 2000 to 2500 every month. There is a great deal of military activity, isn't there.
Oh, I suppose you want to know something about meat. Well beef continues just about the same. We received about 300,000 pounds more this week than we did last week and about 100,000 more than we did the corresponding week a year ago. How do you like the mutton? It is going pretty good. That has helped quite a lot.
I have some good news for you. The WFA has informed me that the supply of poultry is considerably greater than the processing plants can handle, and that means that the poultry must move and this must continue for three or four weeks. Dressed poultry should sell below ceiling prices all of next week and for perhaps two or three weeks to follow. As you know, broilers and fryers are now 46 cents a pound. They ought to sell from 3 to 4 cents lower during the coming week and two or three weeks to follow. I have this assurance from the Marketmen's Association of the Port of New York and I have had it verified in a communication yesterday to Mr. Chester A. Hainan, the War Food Administrator for New York City. They have checked with the retailers and your dressed poultry should be from three to four cents below the retail ceiling prices. Of course, do not forget the good old fricasee chicken to be used in soup with a few soup bones in it. It is so fine for the children. Dressed poultry is not kosher poultry but the same lowering of price should reflect in kosher poultry. I still continue to receive complaints, especially from the Washington Heights section, on kosher poultry. I am going to get the inspectors working on that. It has to stop.
Well, you know, very often we talk about the various grades of eggs. That is important because eggs mean a great deal to the average family. The Department of Markets of the City has certainly worked out something that I think is going to be very helpful. Just follow me on this. You remember, oh a year or a year and a half ago, I kept talking about selling eggs and oranges by weight and not by the dozen, not by the count. Well, some of the wise guys laughed at me at the time and said it was ridiculous and the stores said it could not be done, it was impossible. Well, we are doing that now and the careful shopper in buying eggs will insist upon their being weighed. Just follow me on this and I will show you how you can save some money on eggs. A dozen of large grade A eggs selling at 62 cents a dozen must weigh 24 ounces. Now put that down. Right? Good! Then instead of buying a dozen grade A eggs, buy 24 ounces of peewee eggs. You will get 17 peewee eggs and they will cost only 38 cents and you will have the same quantity of eggs and will have saved 24 cents. Isn't that good. I tell you I want to hand it to the Department of Markets. That is real clever.
That is so important that I want to repeat it for you. A dozen Grade A eggs weighs 24 ounces and costs 62 cents. Now you ask for 24 ounces of peewee eggs and you will get about 17 eggs and they will cost you 38 cents. You save 24 cents and you get the same quantity of eggs. Now take again the dozen grade A eggs weighing 24 ounces and if you want to buy pullet eggs, buy 24 ounces of pullet eggs and you will get 15 eggs and they will cost you 50 cents and you will save 12 cents. You get the same quantity, just as fresh, mark you, and just as good eggs. You save in one instance 24 cents and in another instance 12 cents.
Some of the retailers and some of the chain stores have been insisting upon making consumers buy the cartons. I have been pretty nice about this, Mr. Storekeeper and I have urged consumers not to buy the cartons and I have not said anything about what you are doing, but I am going to now. The carton costs less than one cent and you are reselling it for 2 cents, and there is a shortage of paper. By the way, the chain store I referred to last week which would not make good the rotten egg, did make good, and made good in a handsome way, too. It gave a dozen for the two bad ones. Now look here, Mr. Chain Store, you have got to stop this wise cracking about the cartons. If you think it is smart to say "Well, go tell the Mayor", I want you to know that they do come and tell me and I am going to enforce the law. A consumer has the right to take the eggs out of the carton. However, Mr. Consumer, you cannot ask the dealer to take your old carton and you take the new one., No, you can do that with a milk bottle but not with a carton. But you can insist upon taking the eggs out of the carton and putting them into your own carton or in any receptacle that you may have.
Look here, Mr. Gristede Brothers, do not get so smart either. Mr. Bernard Gristede, President of Gristede Brothers, when questioned by a representative of the Department of Markets stated that they would not make any allowance of two cents for the cartons. Well, you will. Commissioner Brundage you will cover every Gristede store tomorrow and see that they do. If necessary leave an inspector there and take each case and serve a summons for each case where they refuse to sell eggs without a carton. Have I made myself clear, Gristede Brothers? Other chain stores listen in, take note, but do not copy.
The prettiest black market we have had in a long time, I think, is going GRAPES to happen in grapes. I do not know whether the WFA in Washington stays awake nights thinking of ways to create black markets but here is a hot one. I am informed that the WFA does not permit seedless grapes to be shipped East and that all seedless grapes must go into processing and must be shipped as raisins. That is all right, that makes sense. I also am informed that there will be a large supply over and above the requirements of the armed forces and lend lease. That is all right. But, after all the necessary seedless grapes have been processed into raisins there are some left over. These should be permitted to be shipped east for food. But no, I have been informed by reliable shippers out in California that by order of WFA, which I hope is not true, they are not permitted to ship the grapes but must sell them locally to the wineries. That is strange, isn't it, because seedless grapes are not very good for that purpose and there is quite a crop of grapes that are good for wine and alcohol. Besides, that is not treating the consumer in the East fairly. Well, what it will do is to create a black market in grapes. In fact, that is happening right now. Most of the grapes are usually sold by August, so that we know the price of the grapes and we can fix the retail price. We also know the purchases of the wholesalers and what they pay. I want to warn all retailers that we are on to this black market and therefore ask them to cooperate with us. The retail ceiling price is 15 cents and we will insist upon grapes being sold for 15 cents. We advise buying through the regular channels of trade. I know there will be a black market, it is already started with tie-in sales, and all of the monkey business that goes into getting over-ceiling prices. Now, Mr. Retailer, you have been warned - the ceiling retail price is 15 cents a pound and we are going to check on it. So buy through the regular channels, avoid trouble for yourselves and help your consumer.
During the last two or three weeks, the price of string beams has been too high. The crop was very plentiful and I just can not understand why they are selling at 12 cents. They should have been selling at seven cents.
CEILING PRICE ENFORCEMENT
We issued 296 Magistrates summonses last week for violation ceiling prices.
SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM
You will all be glad to hear that the Federal Government informed me that we may renew our milk contract for the schools. We will have milk subsidized by the Federal Government in our high and junior high and grade schools.
You will also be glad to hear that I have been informed by the Federal Government that we will get subsidized lunches in all of our schools but not in the high schools. The Federal Government did not like the system of lunches in the high schools and also the State objected that it does not comply with the purpose of free lunches. I am inclined to agree with the Federal Government and the State. So until we adjust the matter we will have the free lunches in the grade schools and junior schools.
RECIPES CIVILIAN ISSUE BEEF
A great many people are doing good work in preparing recipes for utility beef or what I call Civilian Issue. I have some here before me. I want to say to these good people, some of your recipes are excellent but they are very involved. You must remember that we want recipes for the average housewife who has three or four kids to look after and also has to do the washing, mending and everything also. So do not make them so involved, please, and they will be very helpful.
I got this inquiry today:
'Would you please give me the details regarding your broadcast about horse race bets which the handbook refuses to pay when he loses. Can the bettor expect exoneration from any charges and what chance is there to collect?'
Well, number 1 - the bettor can make charges against the tinhorn bookmaker and he is not subject to prosecution. I think that is what you mean. Number two - As to collecting the bet that you won, I am very sorry to say that you cannot and it is proper that you should not. That has been decided by our Court of Appeals. In 1942, the Court of Appeals had occasion to comment on the right of a bettor to recover his winnings from a bookmaker who welched. In that case a suit was brought to recover $200,000 that had been lost to that bum known as Erickson - just a chiseling tinhorn who welches some times, but he is just a tinhorn. Incidentally, in that case, the bum Erickson left no doubt as to his trade. He frankly admitted that he was a professional gambler engaged in bookmaking. In upholding the right of a bettor to recover his losses but not his winnings from a bookie, the learned Judge Lehman said:
'The provisions of the Penal Law are intended to discourage and repress gambling in all its forms * * *. This court has pointed out that in order to discourage betting the Penal Law which prohibits betting, makes 'recovery by a winner impossible upon default by the loser (Penal Law, Sections 991 and 992),' and the same statute compels the 'return to the loser of voluntary payments made by him (Penal Law, Sections 994, 995).' If recovery of gain from the illicit transaction is sought, those 'in pari delicto' are denied access to the court', but under the statute the court is open to a loser who seeks to compel the return of the winner's ill gotten gains * * *.'
That is by Judge Lehman, the Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeals. So my friend I am writing you that what you can do is to give the information concerning this tinhorn and we will prosecute him. You can then add up what you have lost and sue to recover it. If we land him in jail, you see, it will be easy for you to serve him with the papers while he is there.
INFANTILE PARALYSIS AND TUBERCULOSIS
I want to talk about something that I know is of great concern and of anxiety to so many of us. Infantile paralysis continued to increase this past week in accordance with the usual seasonal occurence of the disease. So far, up to date, there has been a total of 597 cases reported -that is for the entire season. But you will be glad to hear that in about half of these cases there has been no paralysis of any kind. Now to allay fears, I want to point out that in the epidemic year of 1916 during the same period we had 7000 cases as compared with 597. In 1951 we had 3000 cases as compared with 597 and in 1935 we had 900 cases. There is no indication that the extent of the disease this year will approach that of the epidemic years that I have just referred to. Next week and the week after will be about the end of the bad season and we are all hopeful that it will be held down to the figures that I have given you.
I think it was last week when I spoke about the disease that I pointed out that a person afflicted with infantile paralysis does not necessarily spread the disease. No greater danger is involved for children and others to continue their usual daily customs and habits of work, play, school, travel or amusements. I want to make clear that that is not true of tuberculosis. Persons afflicted with active tuberculosis are a constant danger to everyone with whom they come in close proximity in the home, at work, in play, in subways, in theatres and even on the streets. Therefore, it is necessary to protect such persons as well as the general public by isolating the patient. Proper treatment makes it possible to arrest the disease and to condition the patient so as to prevent the spread or communication of the disease. Cases, when released from the hospital, are usually able to resume their normal activities with no danger of infecting others. Active cases require either perfect home conditions under constant medical supervision for the full protection of members of the family, or must be hospitalized. Sometimes individuals refuse to remain hospitalized. In these cases it is necessary for the Health Commissioner to invoke the power given to him by law and to commit such patients to a hospital for treatment. These patients are compelled to remain hospitalized until they pass the stage of spreading the disease. As you know, we are very short of personnel in the hospitals and I have stated that so many times. Arrested cases of tuberculosis who may be unemployed should apply to the Commissioner of Hospitals, Dr. Edward Bernecker, as we have some positions as guards in the wards of cases committed for treatment. The work is not heavy and it might be found useful in the transition period between discharge from the hospital and the finding of permanent employment. And of course we are badly in need of nurses.
EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN
Again I want to talk to you about children who have been working. The situation is alarming. In 1940 during the vacation period there were 6,918 permits issued; in 1944, there were 77,000. In 1940 there were 24,000 permanent working certificates issued to children between 14 and 18; in 1944 there were 85,000. I do not like that. A great many employers are taking advantage of the situation under the guise of shortage of manpower. These people would employ children at any time, just to exploit them. The State Department of Labor has been doing a fine job in checking on children working without papers. I want to congratulate Commissioner Edward Corsi. Of course you understand that what we are trying to do is quite different. The State Commissioner of Labor is charged with the responsibility of enforcing the child labor law and by preventing children from working without papers. What I am trying to do is to persuade parents not to permit their children to work or to get working papers and work. Personally, I do not see much difference in a child who should not be working doing so, even though he has working papers. Of course we have to enforce that because the children who do not have working papers are usually found in employment not permitted by law. That is why the state activity is so useful and so necessary. But I want to appeal to all parents who have children working during vacation, please give the kids a little time off before school opens, and please send those children back to school.
The high wages for children who are being exploited is going to end soon. This war is going to be over and we are going to have peace for a long time. You are depriving your children of something if you do not send them back to school, that no one will ever be able to give them. There is nothing more important than that and I am going to talk more about it from now until school opens.
Among the undesirable employment is that of the bowling alleys. I talked about that and I thought I had it cleaned out. But there is a group of bowling alley operators who have informed Commissioner Moss that they have retained a high school teacher to be their advisor on the employment of children. Well, you operators, if you think you are going to get away with that, then I do not believe you know the law or the wishes of the decent, reputable people of this City. Getting a teacher in a high school to be your advisor or liaison in the employment of children and thinking that will cover up the employment of boys in bowling alleys up to 11 or 12 o'clock at night or 1 and 2 o'clock in the morning will not cover up your activity. I do not think much of a teacher who would do a thing like that. I suppose some people will do almost anything for money. However the law does not permit children under 16 years of age in bowling alleys; it does not permit children to work at night. I have informed Commissioner Valentine of this attempt to cover up, to gloss over the exploitation of children and I want to tell all of these bowling alleys who think that the employment of this teacher is going to cover up, that they are sorely mistaken. We will just watch that from now on. Again, all of you parents who have children, prepare to send them back to school.
MOVIE PRICES FOR CHILDREN
Now children, I talked to you last week about the movies. I hope you are getting in at children's rate. I had a checkup made of children's prices in the afternoon. They vary from 12 to about 25 cents. So go easy on your mother, won't you please, because with three or four children in the family 25 cents is quite an item, don't you see. So cooperate with your parents. I want to express my thanks again to the moving picture theatres of this City. You have cooperated in this instance as you always do. I know you have your troubles and you understand my troubles, but in complying with this request of admitting children in the day time, who must go into the children's section at children's prices, has been very helpful.
CHILDREN'S CONDUCT IN SUBWAYS & BUSSES
This week's mail has brought me some letters concerning the conduct of children in subways, trolleys and busses. Again I hope that our schools will give more attention to character and character building, which includes of course, good manners. Now children of New York, when you go into a bus or into a trolley or into a subway, I think you should behave. Do not forget that people who are travelling are tired and if you rough around and push and jostle, it is very annoying. And children, when you see a lady standing, or an elderly gentleman, you should give up your seats. You know you are being watched by people from all over the country who come here, and would it not be fine if they left our City and went home and said, "Oh, the children of New York City are really well mannered, they are so polite, they always give up their seats to a lady in the subway, or to an elderly gentleman." That applies to you girls, too. You girls of school age, and high school age, should give your seat to a lady and you should give it to an elderly gentleman. It is the proper thing to do, the nice thing to do and I wish you would think it over.
POST WAR PROGRAM
I have received several comments concerning the post-war program talk I made two weeks ago and also requests for details and additional information. I will amplify from time to time as the occasion occurs.
NEED FOR GOVERNMENT ARBITRATION AGENCY
Concerning my remarks on the magnitude of business in our present industrial system and the right of legitimate business desiring to comply with the law to first check it is well illustrated by the recent action of the United States Government against forty-seven railroads, banks and individuals. Here is a case where had there existed - and a great many contend that there does - an agency where the arrangements between the railroads might have been presented for approval or disapproval the present litigation, which will be very costly, would have been avoided. In the first place, the railroads and individuals are not charged with the commission of any crime. It is not contended that anyone has committed a crime for no one is indicted. It is a civil action to compel the railroads to desist from certain acts, or to compel the performance of other acts. It seems to me that all of this could have been presented to the Interstate Commerce Commission. No doubt the Interstate Commerce Commission had approved or surely knew of the existing rates. Why then, the litigation. It will cost the government and the railroads together at least a million dollars, but the sad part of it is that the public will pay for it all. The plan which I suggested would provide the opportunity of submitting agreements, trade practices and intra-industrial arrangements to an agency of government for approval, thus enabling reputable men who want to comply with the law to do so without danger, and save the ultimate consumer a great deal of expense. I believe that this particular case will be very helpful in emphasizing the need of just such a governmental agency, which as I stated, I believe belongs in the Department of Commerce.
I must not go over my time, Mr. Novik says, so
Patience and Fortitude.