This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
VVL Call No.: DB4233. Alternate VVL Number: 01-0937-041
1. Atlantic Charter
2. Food Shortages
Fiorello La Guardia talks to the people. He speaks about FDR's annual address to Congress; meat availability; chowder party at City Fish Market; forced tie-in sales on vegetables; newspaper and magazine recipes; inspection of food facilities by Dept. of Markets; lauds landlords for not trying to raise rent ceilings; fires caused by Christmas trees; attacks operation of Vitamin Corp. of America; Western Union agreement not to transmit betting orders; questions integrity of race tracks; attacks betting as denying food to children; reads letter from irate listener attacking his stand on betting; attacks "purveyors of sin"; warns of lethal liquor in New York City; gives recipe for lethal liquor.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 54751
Municipal archives id: LT4079
The original text of the WNYC radio broadcasts are the property of the New York City Department of Records/Municipal Archives. This digital edition is made available for research purposes only. The text may not be duplicated or reproduced without the written permission of the New York City Department of Records/Municipal Archives 31 Chambers Street New York, NY 10007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUNDAY, JANUARY 7, 1945
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, JANUARY 7, 1945, BROADCAST OVER WNYC AT 1:00 P.M. FOLLOWS:
Patience and Fortitude.
The President of the United States has just presented his annual message to the American Congress, and the Commander in Chief of a people at war has presented a message to the people of America - a message to you and to me and to everybody a forthright, clear message which must impress every American and give hope to all the people of the world.
Today I had planned to talk on the Atlantic Charter. I receive a great many letters concerning the Atlantic Charter requesting that I talk about it. I do not think that is necessary. The President was very clear. Yes, the Atlantic Charter lives - it is part of our national policy. The President of the United States in speaking for 130,000,000 liberty loving people, again announced to the world that it means what it says and that it says what it means, and that the mighty United States of American stands back of it. The President said:
"In our disillusionment after the last war we preferred international anarchy to international cooperation with nations, which did not see and think exactly as we did. We gave up the hope of gradually achieving a better peace because we had not the courage to fulfill our responsibilities in an admittedly imperfect world.
We must not let that happen again or we shall follow the same tragic road again - the road to a third world war.
We can fulfill our responsibilities for maintaining the security of our own country only by exercizing our power and our influence to achieve the principles in which we believe and for which we have fought.
In August, 1941, Prime Minister Churchill and I agreed to the principles of the Atlantic Charter. [Let no one now say that the Atlantic Charter was not a form of proclamation of the chiefs of two nations] these being late, incorporated into the declaration by United Nations of January 1, 1942. At the time certain isolationists protested vigorously against our right to proclaim the principles - and against the very principles themselves. Today many of the same people are protesting against the possibility of violation of the same principles.
It is true that the statement of principles in the Atlantic Charter does not provide rules of easy application to each and every one of this war-torn world's tangled situations but it is a good and a useful thing - - it is an essential thing - - to have principles toward which we can aim.
We shall not hesitate to use our influence - - and to use it now - - to secure so far as is humanely possible the fulfillment of the principles of the Atlantic Charter. *** I should not be frank if I did not admit concern about many situations - - the Greek and Polish, for example. But those situations are not as easy or as simple to deal with as some spokesman, whose sincerity I do not question, would have us believe.
We have obligations, not necessarily legal, to the exiled governments, to the underground leaders and to our major allies, who came much nearer the shadows than we did"
I believe that that reassurance, that reiteration of the principles of the Atlantic Charter will bring comfort all over the world. And as just one of the 130,000,000 people of our country, may I suggest that the Atlantic Charter should be tacked on the walls of the City of Athens; that copies be dropped by plane for the few remaining defenders of Warsaw; a supply should be shipped to the people of Yugoslavia; copies should be distributed to the liberated people of Belgium; a large shipment rushed to China and to the Far East and if there is just one copy left, perhaps we could mail it to Carlo Sforza.
MEAT INCREASED SET-ASIDE
Well, many of you are wanting to hear about meat. I have asked the War Food Administration for a resume of the meat situation of SET-ASIDE the last week. The meat report for the week of January 6, 1945, given to me by the War Food Administration, from its office in New York City states:
"Total meat supplies available to civilians dropped again this week, due to the storms in the west which delayed arrival of many carloads of meat, and also due to the larger set-aside of locally slaughtered meat for the armed forces.
Local slaughter of meat animals was as large or larger than last week, in spite of delayed arrivals of livestock from the West. But because many packers were delinquent in past weeks in the set-aside of meat for government agencies, including the armed forces, the set-aside now has been increased. [so we got no benefit from it.] Steer beef producing increased, but little was available to the consumer after set-asides.
Pork receipts from the West were particularly light, but receipts of all western meat were low due to storm conditions. Packers were unable to handle more than their regular customers, so some butchers lacked meat this week. [Now remember butchers, I think I warned you last week or the week before, that you might be at a disadvantage if you keep your stores closed so I would not do it if I were you.] The cumulative demand from consumers has continued larger than supplies. Cow beef and mutton
supplies were about normal, but unequal to demand."
NEW WFA MEAT ORDER
In addition to the demanding, the making up of all set-aside slaughtered meat, the WFA issued a new order on January 4th. I will read it. It comes from Washington:
"In order to meet full requirements of United States Armed forces for beef, as now provided for under 60% set-aside, announced that, effective January 7, packers operating under Federal inspection will be required to hold temporarily their total production of choice, good and commercial grades. It was pointed out, however, that not more than 60% may be selected for government purchase ***."
In other words, what the government is doing, is instead of leaving it to the packers or slaughterers to set-aside the 60% for government purposes, it says, hold all your meat, we are coming there, we are going to weigh it, we are going to count it, we will take 60% and then you can release the rest. Of course, there has been so much, well let me say, failure to compute the 60% accurately, let us put it that way, that with the actual control by the government, our supply will be reduced.
I just said a moment ago, that our President and Commander-in-Chief, talked very frankly to us. There is no doubt that meat is going to be tight. You know when an army advances and retreats, there is bound to be a great deal of loss of supplies, and the Army comes first. I know I speak for the City of New York when again I say that there will be no grousing, no griping, no complaining, if we should be short of meat because of the need of the armed forces.
I have been in constant touch with Washington. In fact I spoke with Mr. Fred Vinson over the long distance telephone yesterday afternoon. I know that Mr. Vinson is working on this problem at this very moment. The testimony, all of the reports and all of the recommendations which make up quite a voluminous record are before him and he is working hard at it. I believe that there will be an announcement of the plan, either tomorrow or the next day.
MEETING WITH CATTLEMEN
I had a very interesting conference here, Friday, with a representative of cattlemen from Texas. Today I received a telegram from my colleague, Dan B. Butler, Mayor of Omaha, Nebraska. He says:
"Cattlefeeders in this area would welcome an opportunity to meet with you and others from your City in a conference to be held in Omaha to discuss how your city and other cities in the nation could obtain more meat."
Of course, I keep in constant communication, as you know, with feeders as well an cattlemen. The gentleman of whom I spoke before represented the livestock men - - they raise the cattle. Mayor Butler is talking about feeders - - men who buy cattle, feed them and prepare them for the market. We will see what Mr. Vinson's order is and then I will be in a better position to know if conferences will serve any useful purpose.
We had a chowder party the other day down at the fish market and it was rather interesting. We had present educators, food editors from magazines and papers, teachers of economics, as well as consumers' representatives. I told you last week, and I want to again remind you, that there is an abundant supply of fish in our market - - all the fish we need. Let me say again, frozen fish is just as good as the fish caught out of the water yesterday.
FISH CHOWDER RECIPE
You know there are several brands of frozen vegetables and meats. In fact, they are luxuries and the prices are rather high. But in the case of frozen fish, the price is cheaper. Therefore, I advise all mothers and housewives to take advantage of the very favorable fish supply and favorable prices. The chowder we had was most nutritious and tasty. It was Chef Julius' recipe. Here is the recipe for a family of about eight reduce it in half for a family of about four or five. Chef Julius recommends one cod fish, about five pounds; six potatoes, diced small, that is cut in cubes; five onions cut fine; two stalks of celery, cut fine; two quarts of milk; two tablespoons of salt, one teaspoonful of curry powder; one teaspoonful of celery salt; half a teaspoonful of white pepper; half a pound of butter and one cup of flour. That is very good. It is very good for restaurants, but you know, I am afraid I will have to revise it a little bit for folks like you and me. I gave you Chef Julius' recipe. Now, let me give you the City Hall recipe: One cod fish, O.K. five pounds; six potatoes, diced, O.K.; five onions cut fine, O.K.; We must eliminate two stalks of celery, you know they are 19 cents a stalk, and that is 38 cents, which puts quite a crimp in that dinner budget. So we will omit the two stalks of celery and I would recommend buying 5 cents worth of soup greens and chop them fine, and they will give you the same vitamin value and also flavoring; as to the two quarts of milk, that is O.K. and so is the salt. Eliminate the curry powder, because curry is too expensive and the changes are that you do not have it in your cupboard, in which case it would cost too much if you had to buy it and besides, it is scarce. If you have paprika at home, just put in a pinch of paprika instead. If you have the celery salt, that is all right, especially when we have eliminated the celery. The chances are you will not even get the outside of the celery at this time with your 5 cents worth of soup greens, so if you have the celery salt, use it, but if you use it in a greater quantity, compensate by using less salt, or you are apt to get it too salty. As to one-half pound of butter, who can afford that. My goodness, that would be a luxury. So instead you just put in one-half pound of oleomargarine, and I will guarantee that you will not know the difference. It will be just as tasty and you will have all of the food value.
Do not throw away the bones of the fish, boil them because they make the stock for your chowder. The directions for cooking are rather lenghty, so if you will write to the Department of Markets and ask for Chef Julius' recipe, as amended by City Hall, they will send you the cooking directions. Or if you will write here, we will be glad to send it to you. By the way, you do not have to use cod fish, you can use haddock, both can be bought for 23 cents a pound.
FRUIT DEALERS RESOLUTION RE: TIE-IN SALES
The Allboro Retail Fruit Association, Inc., sent in a resolution part of which I quote: "Be it further resolved, that the Independent Retail Fruit and Vegetable Dealers of the Greater City of New York, through their trade association, the Allboro Retail Fruit Association, Inc., solicit the aid and assistance of the Mayor's Office, Department of Markets, the Sheriff's office, and the Office of Price Administration to carry through successfully the purpose or purposes stated herein;
That the Independent Retail Fruit and Vegetable Dealers of the Great City of New York, shall cease to purchase scarce fruit and vcgetables if unwanted products are also forced upon them beginning with January 15th, 1945."
That is a tie-in sale. Yes, I can assure you, you will have my personal cooperation and the full and complete cooperation of the Department of Markets and of the Sheriff's office. Here is a chance for us to do something real together. If you will let me know just what fruits and vegetables are scarce and are being sold on the forced tie-in, I will announce them on Sundays. Then if you will pass the information on to the Department of Markets, we will investigate, and if it is a violation on the part of wholesalers, we will turn it over to the Sheriff's office. I think yours is a very good suggestion.
PRACTICAL RECIPES FROM WOMAN'S DAY
Talking about recipes, my attention is called to recipes within the means of the family budget. Very often my wife and I will read recipes in the newspapers and magazines and they sound as if they are very fine and tasty, but the ingredients are so expensive that they have no practical value. I have appealed to newspapers and magazines to give consideration to the price element in presenting recipes.
There is a suggestion for a one dollar dinner for four on page two of the December issue of Woman's Day and on pages 2 and 37 of their January issue you will find ways to use low-cost hamburger. On page 33 of the same issue you find suggestions as to how to bake without eggs, sugar, milk, or shortening. On this last recipe, I cannot advise you, because - don't tell anybody - I do not know a thing about baking, so you will have to try it yourself. Woman's Day is valuable for only 2 cents at all A & P stores. Now, someone will say you are plugging A & P in this instance. Yes, I will plug A & P because this is a very useful magazine for 2 cents, and because it is useful, I do not hesitate to announce it. I will be vary happy to announce any store that will give me bargains, or tell me where we can get a good buy, or where we can get some useful information.
1944 DEPT. OF MARKETS ENFORCEMENT REPORT
I have here the 1944 report of the Department of Markets. It shows that last year we made 161,499 inspections, that is actual inspections or investigations. Of this number, 18,857 were brought to court. Certainly that is no indication of persecution, but of course, people violate the law complain of enforcement, don't they? So do the tinhorns, the chiselers. They do not like that, but we are doing our duty. Of the 18,857 that were brought to court, there were 17,958 convictions, or 98%; a total in fines of $291,977 and a total of 899 days of jail actually served. This shows that it does not pay to chisel in the City of New York.
I want to say a good word - now do not fall over, because I mean it - I want to say a good word to the landlords of New York City. I have learned this morning from Walter Hart, the Area Rent Director of OPA, that the total applications filed to date, under the hardship amendment involve less than 1/10th of 1% of tine 2,000,000 registered housing units in the city of New York. That is fine cooperation. Landlords you deserve the thanks of the Mayor and of the people of the City of New York.
ASSESSED VALUATIONS, SALES AND REDUCTIONS
Incidentally, talking about real estate and values, I am always sure of my figures when I tell you anything. I check and doublecheck and you have the information.
Mr. Mills the able President of the Tax Department was in yesterday for his weekly conference, and he told me that 243 Manhattan parcels assessed in the aggregrate for $45,247,000 sold for $50,458,458, an excess of $5,191,458 or 11.47% above the assessed valuation. That speaks for itself.
Now get this, of 241 writs of certiorari on 162 parcels that had been reduced from $72,078,000 to $62,468,240 have been settled at an aggregate of $7,937,460 above Court decisions or settlements. Those owners are not settling above court decisions, unless they are sure of the value of their property.
We have had a bad week with fires and the loss of life has been high. Commissioner Walsh, who was in yesterday, really with tears in his eyes - - you know he goes to those fires - - said that almost all of the lives lost in fires this last week was the result of carelessness with Xmas trees. I do not believe there are anymore trees left in apartments now, but if there are, please get rid of them right away. It is quite true, we do not use candles anymore, but people get careless when they use electric lights and think there is no danger. All of the fires that we had resulted either from carelessness, smoking or short circuit of the lights. It is pretty discouraging, you know, to work as hard as we do to protect life and property and then to have a week of that kind.
VITAMIN CORPORATION OF AMERICA
Well, I hope that some week I am go through a program without talking about chiselers and fakers and fraudulent sales. I want to call your attention to the Vitamin Corporation of America. Now watch the name carefully. It is Vitamin Corporation of America. Don't confuse it with any other company with a similar name. I have the records of the officers and of the owners of this corporation before me and I have some photographs. I did not get the records from Dun and Bradstreet and I did not get the photographs from Underwood & Underwood. Now, be on your guard. This Vitamin Corporation of America of Newark, N.J. had four of its products embargoed yesterday by the Health Department of the City of New York and all of its advertisements were embargoed as misleading. Two of the products were embargoed because they were found deficient in Thiamin and therefore misrepresented. Rybutol was 22% deficient in Thiamin and 14% deficient in Riboflavin.
Sebex was 26% deficient in Thiamin - that is what you pay for - Rybutol and Sebex. The Thi-Fer-Lex and Vitamals were embargoed because they were found to be filthy in that they contained rat hair and were in violation of section 133, paragraph 3 of the Sanitary Code. Of the samples, one was deficient in vitamin content, and the other sample, Sebex, was found to be deficient in Thiamin, but free from rodent hair, that is rat hair. Rybutol, Sebex, Thi-Fer-Lex and Vitamals put up by the Vitamin Corporation of America of Newark, N. J. have been embargoed by the Department of Health as being deficient in quality or filthy in contents.
We have embargoed nearly all of their advertisements. For instance, the advertisement of Bevrons, manufactured by the Vitamin Corporation of America of Newark, N. J., is misleading and therefore has been embargoed. The label is not misleading but the contents will not do what the advertisement says it will do. The Vitazon advertisement likewise has been embargoed. The label does not contain any misrepresentation but the contents will not do what the advertisement says it will do. Kalpentum, which is supposed to be new vitamins for gray hair, well the advertisement has been embargoed, because it will not change your gray hair one way or the other. There are about 15 other ads that have been embargoed by the Department of Health.
WESTERN UNION ORDER NOT TO TRANSMIT RACING MESSAGES
Well, I do not know, I guess the chiselers are having a pretty hard time, in the bookmaking racket and I guess many of the members of Chiselers, Gonovim and Imbroglioni, Unincorporated, will be out of business. I had a very interesting conference the other day with representatives of the Western Union which I talked about last week. Well, I expect to do more talking to them as time goes on. They did come in to assure me of their cooperation. We discussed the law of the State of New York and the first thing they did was to issue an order to all their offices, which I will read to you:
"Because of the existence of a certain New York State statute, you are directed hereafter to decline to accept for transmission any money order destined within or without the State of New York which contains a supplementary message, or a money order and a separate message, obviously indicating that the amount transmitted is for the purpose of placing a wager of any sort. The customer shall be informed of our reason for declining to accept his money order.
If a money order containing a supplementary message indicating the money is intended for a wager is received by any office in the State of New York, it shall immediately be cancelled account, 'telegraphic wager not permitted in New York State - - refund charges.'"
Well, thank you Western Union. That is very good. We will help you check those money orders - - you know we come and see you from time to time. During our talk I took up the matter of the transmission of bets with the Western Union. Here are some typical messages: Super Balloter Seventh Charlestown; Primarily Seventh Charlestown. Here is a good one - - Sugarration Arrives Gulf Stream Today. Another Package Goes Wednesday - - that is code I guess. Here are some more: Deer Sixth Hollywood in Excellent Spot; Today's Best My Empire Bolwyn Blue Devil Second Best Stimsun Strat Stack Led Astray; F B Eye Fifth Roscoe K Sixth; Golden Mowleo Eighth Gulfstream Wednesday; Waited For Todays Two Spots Legation Sixth Shot One Eighth Gulfstream; Florida Parlay Ankylos Fourth Sophocles Fifth. There is a question as to whether these messages are aiding in the betting. We say that they do. The Western Union was in doubt, but they said of course, if the Federal Government would say that they should not be accepted, as is the case with congratulatory messages, they would comply at once. Well lo and behold, you did not have long to wait, did you Western Union?
WAR COMMUNICATIONS BOARD ORDER RE: RISE OF TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH FACILITIES
On January 4th, the Board of War Communications ORDER asserting "there is no justification for the continued operation of domestic communication facilities" for disseminating racing information, requesting the telephone and telegraph industries to take immediate steps to restrain facilities and manpower used for such purposes. They gave them two weeks to report and I hope that in two weeks, the situation will be cleared up. That means, of course, that we will check any place having ticker service - exclusively racing ticker service. The Police Department will communicate with the Western Union when they yank out these instruments and will take care of them and return them to the Western Union, or they will give permission to the Western Union to yank them out, and if it does not, the Police will.
Now, let me tell you suckers of the races something. If you read about horses at any of the Cuban or Mexican tracks, they are not the horses you think they are, because ODT has issued an order that they cannot be shipped. Sometimes you know, some tracks - and some tracks are crooked, or let me say that some tracks are honest, let us put it that way - anyhow if you read of one of your favorite plugs being down here, by that time, he may be in sausage meat, I do not know, but he surely is not down at that track. If he gets into sausage meat, you may be sure he will not get into New York.
DAN PARKER ARTICLE RE: HORSE BETS
Now, in case someone should think that I am a little over worried about these bets, I want to call attention to the December issue of the American Mercury. There is an article there by Dan Parker who knows plugs and crooks at the race track better than anybody I know. He has an article there entitled "Crazy Over Horses." Well, I will give you some figures from that article. Dan Parker took one season in New York and he found that $17,710,400 was bet at the $100 windows of at the mutuels; $61,174,850 was bet at the $50 windows; and at the $10 windows $76,204,690, at the $5 windows, $45,947,825, and $70,904,202 was bet at the $2 windows. That does not include the money that the tinhorns collect unlawfully outside of the track. But here is $70,000,000 - milk taken from babies, bread taken from children, shoes from the family, rent, food -in addition to what has been bet on the streets of New York. Then people say that we are overdoing it in trying to enforce the law. I do not see why sympathy is given to these thieves.
LETTER OF DECEMBER 1944 CRITICIZING HORSERACING STAND
But talking about the other side of the question, here is a letter dated December 24, 1944 in which it is said: "I have just heard over WNYC a phrase which insults my intelligence in view of your attitude on horse racing. Not liking races for some reason (you must hive lost one day on a horse and having no sense of sportsmanship decided that you would get your revenge on mankind). You cannot perhaps understand that with the shutting down of racing millions of fighting men will feel something for which they felt they were fighting for has been taken from them. [God save us if that is what we're fighting for.] I know lots who feel that way. And there are millions of us war workers who lose some of our efficiency, not having our favorite sport to relax with. [Say, there is no doubt in my mind that this fellow's hands are just as soft as a baby's hand. War Worker - -needs horse-racing to relax. I tell you what I think he is, I think he is on the other side of the betting. That is what I think, but listen to this] All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. [Yes and makes a tinhorn hungry too.] And how about the $26,000,000 lost in taxes and the $5,000,000 given in needed charities for the war effort. [Now got this.] Mayor LaGuardia your end will be that of all Dictators. The people get tired of them and one day they are thrown out. And specially here in America, we do not like those who tread on everything that is American and have no respect for the pleasure of others. Next election, your goose will be cooked. Very truly yours,"
Well, now, look here my friend, you lost a very good opportunity. The next time you write to the Mayor do say that you do not agree with the Mayor in his attitude in enforcing the laws of the State of New York, then take objection to the Constitution of the State of New York and take objection to the laws of the State of New York. But do not say that men are fighting to protect the purveyors of sin, thieving tinhorns, chiseling gamblers, white slavers. No, we are not fighting for that. But when you say that decisons of that kind are settled in the American Way in a general election, there you are on sure ground, Let us try it.
POISON LIQUOR WARNING
I want to warn you that there is spurious liquor around, containing poison. Dr. Gonzales, the Chief Medical Officer, informs me that there were some 16 cases of deaths since September. Last Christmas week we had three, all coming from one source. They concocted unusual Christmas cocktails. Let me give you the recipe, but do not use this recipe - it is freezone, turpentine, lemon extract and molasses. Can you beat that? Three of them died. Well, I guess our time is up now. Don't try that cocktail recipe I gave you, but do try the clam chowder recipe.
Patience and Fortitude.