This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Implications of Bastille Day; salute to France; compares New York and Paris; Potsdam Conference; political tyranny; Yugoslavia and Tito will solve Balkan situation; accepts Italy as UN country; reviews US success in Pacific War; New York newspaper strike; meat shortage; slaughterhouse control; poultry situation; how poultry shortage developed; butter shortage; abolition of ceiling prices; advises against buying green beans; threatens retail poultry stores in Queens; anticipation of construction following war; milk fund scholarships; catching of bookmaker; police department must stay alert; warns
juke box owners to keep volume down at night; OPA trial cases; appointment of City magistrates; reads comic strip "Little Orphan Annie" and compares it with his judicial appointments.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 8340
Municipal archives id: LT2543
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, JULY 15, 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 IN CITY HALL, SUNDAY, JULY 15, 1945, BROADCAST OVER WNYC AT 1:00 P.M. FOLLOWS:
Patience and Fortitude.
Yesterday was Bastille Day. It is the French 4th of July, but you know it is really a day for liberty-loving people all over the world. July 14th, Bastille Day, is a constant reminder that government must spring from the people. It cannot be superimposed from the top. It is also a reminder to all governments that when they become tyrannical, the people will revolt. The French are a great people. There was no doubt in the minds of people who knew the French that they would come through all right.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of broadcasting a message to the people of Paris. Paris and New York are so much alike and I will tell you why. It is because both cities are cities of homes, of happy families. The night life of Paris that you hear about, or the night life of New York that Paris hears about, is not typical of the New York family nor typical of the Parisian family. The French will come through all right. I am quite sure of that.
BIG THREE CONFERENCE
Incidentally, our President landed at Antwerp yesterday. He is on his way to Potsdam, for the meeting of the Big Three. If the President should visit any other country during or after the conference at Potsdam, I hope he visits France and Mr. Truman, if you do go to France, go as President of the United States, not in a personal capacity, nor as a private citizen. You know the French are sensibly sensitive. You should visit France by all means, it would be most encouraging to the good people of France.
The Big Three have certain big problems to solve. There will never be peace in the world until the Balkan situation is properly straightened out, and there will never be peace in the world until the problems of the Mediterranean are properly, equitably and justly settled. The old Hapsburg system of dividing and ruling, that kept the Balkans at each other's throats for centuries, must be ended. The Yugoslav problem is not a difficult one. I think Marshall Tito not only has courage and vision but good common sense.
There should be no conflict at all between Jugoslavia and Italy, whose frictions and irritations were kept alive by the politicians of the Balkans and Europe for so many years. It is time to put an end to that.
You know, the people of Italy really have not had a square deal, since they got rid of Mussolini. I do not believe that the assurances given the people of Italy, if they would get rid of Mussolini, have been fully kept. Surely the hopes extended and held out to them have not materialized. You see, we asked Italy to do certain things while the Mussolini government was in power and at war against us. We asked them to get rid of Mussolini and they did. We asked them to end the war against the United Nations and they did. We asked them to join with us in fighting the Nazis and they did. I do not know just what the terms of their armistice are. In fact I do not know anyone who does. Outside of a few in the Government, it is quite a secret. But I do know that certain assurances were held out to the people of Italy to get rid of Mussolini and they did, didn't they? And they gave proof to the world that the "Bum" was no longer there. So Italy is entitled to be taken into the United Nations and all promises made to her kept. And I say this, if the people of Italy do not want a monarchy, it is not for any of the countries of the Big Three or others to say that she must have a monarchy. Surely 40,000 partisans did not die to maintain the Savoy dynasty.
PACIFIC WAR NEWS
It was too bad that we could not all keep abreast during the last few days, of what is happening in the Pacific. Oh what a panning they are getting, being bombarded by surface ships. The old battlewagons are really in action now, off the shores and islands, bombarding industrial center after industrial center. There has been no letup in the air bombardment. Let us see what is going to happen. It looks very hopeful at this time.
Talking about news, I do not know whether you all received a newspaper today. I guess you have not, since the strike is still on. Well, men, I do not know if you are listening to me and I do not know whether you will heed me. I can only repeat what I said a week ago. A week ago today at just about this time I recommended that you comply with the decision of the War Labor Board. If you had done that, the events of this terrible week would not have happened. You would have been back to work and well on your way to settlement through direct negotiations or through arbitration. Yes, I suppose what I say now will be misinterpreted, but the time will come men, when you will realize that what I am advising is for your best interests. You know, you have lost the last two or three innings and you can not go back and play them over again.
There is a great deal of talk about face saving. As I see it, you must first save your jobs if you are going to save face. So what I advise is to go back tomorrow, in a body, all of you so that you all return to your jobs. That will bring you back with full recognition with the War Labor Board. You can then attempt direct negotiations or you can ask the War Labor Board for arbitration. Now, men, there is just one more thing I want to remind you of. You have reached the point now which not only affects your own organization but has a great bearing on the labor movement in this country. Just bear that in mind.
The meat situation is a little better because of the reduction in that amount set aside for the Armed Forces. You remember they started with 60% and for a few weeks it was 30% and for the last few days, they have been taking only about 25% and that should help.
I see that Secretary Anderson has already put into effect the provisions of the Patman amendment. That ought to help. However care must be taken so that only legitimately operated slaughter houses are given permission to ship meat. I am asking the Secretary if we can cooperate by sending our City inspectors right to the plants so that we will be sure that the meat will come to New York City through legitimate channels and at ceiling prices.
As I told you last week, the poultry situation is better. Shipments of live poultry have been a little slow; dressed poultry is coming in. That is because the Armed Forces have practically completed their reserve from our area. A gentleman from Corona writes and sends me an ad from a paper in Kansas advertising chickens. Well, that is quite true, that is the ceiling price there. The reason we were short while chickens were available in the Midwest is, as I have stated many times, because the Armed Forces and the government were buying In the area which supplies New York City. The reason they were buying here was because of the excellent dressing facilities in this area.
BUTTER & OLEO
The points in butter have finally come down and again I want to ask a reduction in point value for oleomargarine.
Here is a funny thing. We hear so much these days about abolishing ceiling prices. Look what happened with snap beans during this last week. The OPA thought that the supply was good and lifted the ceiling on snap beans. The information got out before the order was issued and immediately the beans jumped from $3.55 per 28-pound bushel to $7, wholesale. In the meantime the retailers were held at ceiling price. Then finally when the order did come out the wholesale high price was maintained and the retail ceiling price was continued and was slow in being rescinded. You can see that a jump from $3.25 to $7, shows what happens when ceiling prices are removed. The thing to do is to be sensible about it. The price of snap beans, a very good vegetable, nutritious and tasty, is simply too high. My advice is that you do not buy snap beans this week. The next crop is coming in and it should be a good one. So don't buy and the price will come down. My advice is do not buy snap beans next week and you will see the price coming down the following week.
THREATENED STORE CLOSINGS
Commissioner Brundage reports that there is a threatened closing of some retail produce stores in Brooklyn and Queens. Well, if they close, that will create a glut on the market and may bring prices down. If it should reach a point where there is no distribution for the consumers, the city will establish distribution points. If necessary, we will go into very Borough of the City. In the meantime, I think the dealers are making a mistake. However, if they want to close their shops, they have a perfect right to do so.
Incidentally, I want to say that the dealers did not avail themselves of the plan for collective buying. Only one or two complaints of wholesale overcharges came in. Any time the dealers want to be sensible and buy as a group, they can count on the full and complete cooperation of the City government.
U. S. STEEL POSTWAR SURVEY
A survey and study was made by the Post-War Planning Committee of the United States Steel Corporation at the request of the City Government and the City Planning Commission. It gives the materials and man-hours of the entire New York City Post-War Program. It is a very interesting report and one which will show the impact that a Public Works Program will have on employment following the war. It gives the man hours of our entire program and is a most interesting report. Just think, 2,386 projects at an estimated cost of $1,250,600,000 providing 396,500,000 man-hours of work. Then it goes into detail and gives the cost of construction, timber piles, steel piling, cement, sand, stone, reinforcing steel, structural steel, lumber, cut stone, bricks, stone masonry, topsoil, seeds, piping and everything else and shows what our program will do.
I want to express my thanks to the United States Steel Corporation and to the City Planning Commission and to the various departments of the City for their very useful Survey and report. It is available to the public today and all who are interested should write for it.
CLADAKIS AGRICULTURAL SCHOLARSHIPS
Last week, I told you about the Milk Fund scholarships. Well we decided to call those scholarships the Cladakis Scholarships in memory of Nick Cladakis, who helped in the settlement and who, as I told you last week, was killed in this war. I have appointed a Committee to serve with me consisting of Dr. W. I. Myers, Dean of the School of Agriculture, Cornell University; Dr. C. J. Blanford, Mr. Cladakis' successor as Milk Market Administrator; Dr. Harry J. Carman, of the Board of Higher Education; Daniel Paul Higgins of the Board of Education; Dr. Frederic Ernst, who is in charge of our High Schools; William Reid, the City Collector and Miss Truda Well of my office. High School graduates who are interested in these scholarships may write to this office. We are ready to provide the scholarships for the school year beginning October.
Mrs. B, J, we have made the arrest. We found that that tin horn operates around the street that you told us and lives in Brooklyn. I know what you said in your first letter. Look, Mrs. B. J., if you will call at my office and ask for Mrs. O'Gorman, you may identify yourself by mentioning the amount of money that you referred to in your letter of July the 8th and also the street and the hotel. I think we can get that money back for you, we will certainly try to help you. So come to the office and at the gate, just say that you want to talk with Mrs. O'Gorman.
Didn't I always tell you that the tin horns, the bookies, in our City were crooks and thieves? Here is an article in the Daily Mirror entitled "Report Bookie Runs out on $58,170 Payoff." Didn't I tell you? They always collect the losses but when it comes to paying off, sometimes they cheat. Very often they cheat when the odds are large. If this had been $58 at the same odds, they would have offered the winner about $10 or $15, and if he had refused, they would have given him a beating. Yes, even his family. They are brutes, they are cowards, they are yellow, they are no good. Well, this one got caught in a parlay with odds and should have paid $58,170. Oh, no, no sports writer turned this up. No sir.
Mr. McCabe of the Mirror, I think he is one of the editors, got wind of it and he put a regular straight news reporter on it, a regular $40-$50 a week boy and he got it and there it is. Look here, I want to ask you something, Commissioner. How is it that if the Mirror could get this information the great Police Department of the City of New York didn't get it? Better get it.
In this hot weather, when windows are open, I want to remind all taverns and other places that they have to soft pedal on the juke boxes. That is a direct order. I want the police to go right in and make an arrest in any place that causes annoyance by noise, boisterous singing and juke boxes. People are entitled to sleep and should not be annoyed by these juke boxes.
Chief City Magistrate Bromberger reports that next week he will be ready with the Special Terms on OPA cases. We will have at least 14 court days each week and the Chief Magistrate has so arranged it that we can utilize more time of the inspectors. We have separated the return days, the pleading days and the trial days, thereby knowing just how many trials we will have at a time. Extra parts will be provided so that we may have from 14 to 16 to 18 or 20 court days in a week. I think that this will work out all right and of course, adjournments for dilatory purposes will not be tolerated. So I must now provide more Judges for our Magistrates Court.
Let's look around and see if we can pick a couple out here.
Come here, Maurice, sit down. What is your name, Colonel?
A. Maurice Simmons.
Q. And you are in the Police Department?
A. Yes, for the past seven and a half years.
Q. What were you doing before that?
A. practicing law and serving on one type of committee or another for the Mayor and in all kinds of civic work.
Q. You were kept quite busy for awhile.
A. Quite some.
Q. Tell me, isn't that job of Property Clerk in the Police Department pretty interesting?
A. Yes, it is a greater job than people know.
Q. There is a lot of human interest in it?
A. Yes, sir, continuously.
Q. Tell me, Colonel, how did you happen to hit on that Costello money? A. Well, it seemed hot and I always sense anything hot. It seemed pretty suspicious that no claimant showed up for that large sum of money. It was hot money all right.
Q. I guess you have to have a pretty good sense of smell, and touch in that job.
A. Yes, you have to smell, listen and feel things. You have to know human nature pretty thoroughly. You have to know your New York from the ground up.
Q. Do you have many claims for property from people who really do not own It.
A. Very frequently.
Q. This is property that is gathered from all over the City, isn't it? A. It is, sir.
Q. Found or otherwise obtained?
A. The property comes in mainly as a result of police activity, arrests, etc. We get lost property and we also get the property of persons who die unattended and also of Incompetents who cannot take care of themselves. We carry on the duty of the sovereign state by protecting property of its citizens.
Q. Suppose you make a mistake and give this property to the wrong person or lose the property, is the City responsible?
A. No, I am personally responsible.
Q. So you do have to be careful.
A. Mighty careful.
Q. Have you ever been stuck?
A. No sir.
Q. Knock on wood. That is a good record. Now let us see, you served in the Spanish-American War, didn't you?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Maurice you must be over a hundred years old.
A. Oh, I am only a few years older than your Honor.
Q. I guess we had better not pursue that subject. You know why you are here today?
A. Well, I have hopeful anticipations.
Q. Alright, stand up and raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear that you will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New York and that you will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of City Magistrate of the City of New
York according to the best of your ability.
A. I do.
Q. And you can tell a tin horn when you see him?
A. I sure can.
Q. All right, you are good for the job. Next! Come here, Henri.
What is your name.
A. Henri Schwab
Q. How long have you been with my administration?
A. Since 1934.
Q. And what are you doing now?
A. Secretary of the Department of Hospitals.
Q. What other departments did you serve in?
A, Tax Department, Sanitation Department, and Correction Department.
Q. I tried you out as Judge for a time, didn't I?
A. In 1937.
Q. A 30-day appointment?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. I tried out several of you fellows and most of you made good. Now, of course, you know that we have an Appelate Division, don't you?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And a Court of Appeals?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And a United States Supreme Court?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. You trust them, don't you?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. So do I. Therefore, I believe we can leave it to them to decide real constitutional questions, don't you?
A. I do.
Q. All right, so just keep your head. You know government. I have had you in many departments. Are you ready to be sworn in as a Judge?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Stand up and raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear that you will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New York, and that you will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of City Magistrate of the City of New York according to the best of your ability?
A. I do.
Q. Good luck. Come here, Mrs. Thompson. What is your name?
A. Doris Thompson. Q. And where do you live?
A. 89-91 Palo Alto Avenue, Hollis.
Q. Are those your two little boys?
A. They are.
Q. They are rather restless, aren't they!
6. That is a good indication that they are healthy. Tell me where is your husband?
A. He is in the forward area of the Pacific.
6. Is he in the Navy?
Q. Has he been in the City Government?
A. Yes he has.
Q. For how long?
A. He has been in the City Government for 9 years.
Q. What department?
A. In the Fire Department Q. Is he a Fireman?
Q. And what was his last assignment before he went into the Navy?
A. He was head of the Legal Division of the Fire Department. Q. For how long?
A. Since 1938.
Q. Wait a minute, give mommy a chance. That is her little boy giving his mommy some candys Tell me Mrs. Thompson, do you remember when he was assigned to the Law Department?
A. I certainly do.
Q. Do you remember what I told him then?
A. Yes I do.
Q. Now then, let me ask you this. How did you meet your husband?
A. We were at Law School together.
Q. And you studied law too?
A. Yes, that is right.
Q. And you are admitted to the bar?
Q. Tell me, should I appoint your husband a Magistrate or should I appoint you a Magistrate?
A. My husband, definitely.
Q. All right. Will you tell Ed that the papers are being sent to him and that he can take the oath of office before a Commissioned Officer, and when he comes back, he will be a full-fledged Magistrate and just assume his duty?
If I am not here, just tell him that nobody can take the appointment away from him. He knows my feeling about clubhouse politicians, doesn't he?
A. Yes, he does.
Q. I think he does. Look, Mrs. Thompson, this may sound strange, but do not try to live up to the Joneses.
A. I won' t.
Q. You own a little home in Queens, don't you?
Q. Just live that way, with your two little boys and do not put on airs. You know the happiness of an official depends a lot on his home life. If he is happy at home, he does his work well. He must know what a happy home is to be a good Magistrate. One who isn't a good father or a good husband would not make a good Magistrate. I think you will be kept pretty busy with those two little boys, don't you?
A. I am, and will be happy when Ed returns.
Q. Send my love to Ed when you write him.
A. I certainly will. I will be very happy to do it. Thank you.
Q. Thank you very much.
Well, we have been talking about Judges and I wonder whether we will have time to read Little Orphan Annie. Now you know, poor little Annie, the orphan, is on trial for murder and what a trial it is. All of the nice society people, that know so much about juvenile delinquency, are out to get poor little Annie. Here we have the scene of the lawyer who has been assigned to defend Annie. He is just a dope and the son of a socially prominent woman - and his own uncle is the District Attorney. So they are sitting in the room and he says: "But, Uncle Spig, she's innocent until proved guilty". Then the District Attorney says "Oh sure Tom and I proved she's guilty". The counsel says "We were not allowed to tell the whole story. Guess I didn't handle her case very well". You remember, he was not allowed to tell that old Bleating Heart was chasing Annie with a blackjack and that she fell in the trap that she had made herself. Neither was she allowed to tell about the coat that proved that she pushed another Judge over the cliff and he was not allowed to tell about the night that her husband came in and she poisoned him.
You remember she was so influential socially and politically that she had her poor husband committed to an insane asylum and then he says "Nonsense! You did a fine job. As for giving the kid a chance to spill all she knows about Mrs. B.H. of course, I had to block that." And he is sworn to uphold the law. "But Uncle Spig - - as the prosecutor - - Well, what about justice?" What about justice? "Ha ha", says this smug District Attorney who is selected by politicians and elected by politicians, "law, justice, they are what public opinion says they are, but you're young yet. Everyone who counts in this town is against the kid. She's a nobody, the majority want to see her get the works. So, why should I be stupid and flout public opinion. I'll be the popular hero of this town. "Fearless Spig Spout." "Quick-Justice Spout." And he pats himself on the shoulder and he says "What better buildup - when I run for Mayor - - yes, or even for Congress?" He is putting up a big front, but if you will look closer at the picture, you will see lines under his eyes. You will see that haunted look on him. You know why? Because public officials who do not do their duty cannot sleep at night, they are haunted, they pretend to be happy, they may think that they are happy, but they are not. The scene shifts and here is little Annie talking to this dope lawyer who was assigned to her. "Oh brother, that Jury is against me twelve to nothing. It will be a shut out! I'm sunk and I know it." "Well, I wouldn't say that, Uncle Spig said that my handling of your defense was very good." "Yeah, good for your Uncle Spig. Oh, you did your best. You're the way you are through no fault of your own. You were born that way, I suppose." "Oh yes, my mother thought I did a marvelous job considering." And Annie says "Sure considering that Mrs. B.H. was her pal and she's sure I'm guilty as Sin! Well, I'm a dead duck now" And then the next picture is that of the Warden of the jail, you remember, he is a kindly gentlemen and has a nice wife. They live there and he says, "The jury is balloting now. But I'm afraid its not good for Annie." "What" says his good wife, "how can they figure she's guilty, after what happened?" "You man when Miss Polyp fell into that cistern." "Sure that proved that Mrs. B. H. must have fallen into that cistern by accident." Well, it wasn't an accident, she built that cistern to throw poor little Orphan Annie in and she fell in herself. And here they are at their kitchen table, and he says "Yeah, and it made Miss Polyp and the rest of her kind look like fools. That only makes that sort more bullheaded and vindictive". Then she says "They've got to take out their dirty vengeance on some victim!" Annie is helpless. She's just their meat!"
What is the moral, children! The moral is that sometimes prejudice and hatred get into the hearts of men who have sworn to Almighty God to uphold the law and to give fair and just trials to all people alike. It goes to show that some men get into office who have prejudices and who disregard their duty for the sake of popularity, who will even prosecute a little child because the community is against her. It goes to show that there must be some kind of men like this or the artist would never have though of it. That is what he is telling you children, don't you see? That is why these Judges that I have picked today come from homes like yours and mine, they come with experience, they entertain no prejudices, they are just folks, decent, honest, clean. You may not find their names in the Social Register. You will not find them associating with the Clubhouse loafers and, as far as I am concerned they do not have to have 10,000 reasons before they maybe considered for appointment as a Magistrate. Get what I mean? That is why one must have
Patience and Fortitude.