This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
La Guardia reads a war ballot proclamation and explains how family members should get ballots to men and women in the armed forces. Response to recent execution of airmen by Japanese soldiers. American treatment of Japanese. Food. Water conservation. Tribute to city patrol members.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 71152
Municipal archives id: LT4054
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SUNDAY, JULY 16, 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, JULY 16, 1944, BROADCAST OVER WNYC AT 1:00 P.M. AS FOLLOWS:
Patience and fortitude.
I want to read a proclamation:
WAR BALLOT PROCLAMATION
WHEREAS, in keeping with the provisions of the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New York, citizens of our city will on the 7th day of November, 1944, register their vote for President of the United States, United States Senator, Members of the House of Representatives, and local officials; and
WHEREAS, our country is at war and more than 700,000 of our fellow citizens, residents of the City of New York, the majority of whom are entitled to vote, are now in the armed forces of our country, most all of them absent from their homes; and
WHEREAS, provisions have been made to permit absent citizens who are serving in the aimed forces to vote at such election; and
WHEREAS, the provisions of State Law at best are unwieldy, cumbersome and complicated and will require full and complete cooperation of all citizens at home to permit absent war serving citizens to avail themselves of this privilege; and
WHEREAS, among other provisions of said law each citizen so serving must personally apply for a ballot; and
WHEREAS, the Council of the City of New York, by resolution adopted June 9, 1944, has requested the Mayor to proclaim a War Ballot Day,
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Fiorello H. La Guardia, Mayor of the City of New York, do hereby proclaim Saturday, July 22, 1944, and Sunday, July 23, 1944, as WAR BALLOT DAYS, and do call upon all residents of the City of New York, organizations, associations, clubs, committees, churches, city departments, as well as individuals, to participate actively on Saturday, July 22nd, in the distribution of applications for war ballots to families, relatives and friends of men and women now serving in the armed forces of our country, and on Sunday, July 25, 1944 do call upon all families, relatives and friends of men end women serving in the armed forces of our country to mail such application for a ballot to such members of their families, relative, or friend, and to make this the first order of business on said Sunday, July 22, 1944.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of New York to be affixed this 13th day of July, 1944.
(signed) F. H. La Guardia
By: (signed) Goodhue Livingston, Jr.
Executive Secretary to the Mayor
As I said In my proclamation we will have to give full and complete cooperation to get even a percentage of the ballots to the men and women in the armed forces. Therefore, on Saturday, before you go home, make it your business to see to it that an application is given to a friend or relative of someone in the armed forces, and you who have relatives and friends in the armed forces, make it your business on Sunday before you leave your home, to mail this application to the soldier or sailor.
I do not know why, and there is no use talking about it now, but the law is very much involved. First, the soldier must ask for the ballot, then the ballot is mailed to the soldier, then the soldier mails the ballot to a central place in the State, then the State sends it to a County, then the County sends it to the Assembly District and then the Assembly District sends it to the Election District. It could have been simplified, but we will have to work hard in order to get even a 10% return of the ballots here in time to be counted on election day
I am sure not only all Americans, but the entire world, was shocked on reading of the execution of airmen of the United States Forces who landed in Japan. The consensus of opinion of all papers that I have read interpret the AP dispatch as indicating that these men were really executed. A situation of this kind is just too horrible to describe, and we must not forget it. We must remember it, and we must hold everyone in Japan responsible, from that miserable Mikado down. I do not know why I should soft-pedal in depicting the Mikado as just another Jap monkey, that is all he is, that is all they are - vicious brutes. I hope the American people will just keep the treatment of our men in mind when the time comes.
AMERICAN TREATMENT OF JAPS
In contrast to that I want to call attention to the reproduction of a photograph on Page 5 of today's Journal American. Quite a contrast. Here you see a picture of an American Marine trying to soothe a little Japanese girl by offering her candy. There you have a complete description of what is American civilization and Japanese civilization.
I am going to talk hurriedly today because if I have time I want to talk about our children. First let me tell you about the meat situation. Last week we got about 2,000,000 pounds less beef than we did the previous week but 3,000,000 pounds more than the corresponding week a year ago. The average is just about the same, so market cautiously and do not waste any.
I am going to talk about eggs again today and I am recommending strongly that all housewives buy grade B eggs. Do not buy any grade A eggs until we see what they do with the prices. I will tell you why. The government has an enormous amount of Grade A eggs in storage and they are keeping them. They bought these eggs to support the price. I am quite sure that they did not buy them from the farmer. Therefore, I insist, and you must be so tired of hearing me say this, that the consumers ought to get the benefit of the abundant supply. I wired Mr. Lee Marshall about this and he sent this reply:
'All of our eggs now in storage (and they are the grade A eggs) are being inspected and some will be sold as soon as inspection is completed. We will advise you when eggs are offered for sale in New York City. You no doubt know that we are required by law to support the price of eggs which support price is based on yearly average price to producer so that although we are interested in the consumer receiving eggs as cheap as possible we can take no action which is aimed to depress the egg market, Lee Marshall.'
I agree with you Mr. Marshall, but still, you missed the point. There is no opposition or no objection to supporting the price to the producer, the farmer, but once the price is supported and the government has the eggs, then I submit that the consumers are entitled to the lower price made possible by the abundant supply. I am going to repeat that even in October, if it is necessary, because the plan is unscientific and unsound, in addition to being unfair to the consumers. So right here in New York, I advise buying grade B eggs - the large ones are 47 cents a dozen without the carton. You cannot eat the carton and there is a shortage of paper, so do not buy the carton at all. Grade B eggs are good eggs at 47 cents a dozen. Remember in a grade A dozen, you get two or three grade B eggs and you cannot tell the difference. Since you cannot tell the difference in the allowance on a grade A dozen, you cannot tell the difference if they are all grade B eggs. So pay 47 cents a dozen without the carton and then we will see what happens on grade A eggs. I will keep you informed.
RESUMPTION OF PEACE TIME PRODUCTION
I have a bit of good news, if we use our heads, here in New York City, in relation to the recent order of wpb permitting some consumers goods to go back into production. Of course, I have kept in close touch with the situation, because you know how concerned I am in getting back to peacetime production as soon as it is possible here in our City. I have been in touch with the WPB and with Maury Maverick, the Chairman and General Manager of the Smaller War Plants Corporation. He sent me the following wire in response to my call:
"The Nelson program, unlike the Twin-City Trial Operation, will go into effect simultaneously on a nationwide basis. It will not be put into effect in any particular area before it is adopted in all areas." (That gives us a break.) "It will, of course, be more difficult for applicants in No. 1 and No. 2 labor areas to obtain the manpower clearance required under the plan than those in No. 3 and No. 4 areas. This should mean that, proportionate to its number of applicants, New York will receive its proportionate number of approvals under the plan!"
We are in No. 3 and No. 4 areas and therefore, we ought to get back into whatever peacetime production is permitted with available material.
This brings me back to the chiseling, dishonest system of part-time employment. I am constantly met with that in Washington when I go there to appeal for contracts and for work for our industries here. They say, "Well, you do not have available labor because it is necessary to employ people part-time." I tell them that only chiseling, dishonest employers do that, and I think I am convincing them of this. Don't you see how this will be so disadvantageous in presenting our case to get the approvals of peacetime production under the new order? I am happy to say that Commissioner Carey reports that of over 470 men of the Sanitation Department all but 7 have given up their outside employment. The Fire Department is progressing very satisfactorily and so is the Board of Transportation. We will continue our policy and insist that this dual employment of city employees stop.
Commissioner Quilty of the Department of Water Supply, Gas and Electricity, calls my attention to the increased use of
water during the hot days. We had gone from 960 million gallons a day to 1 billion, 66 million gallons a day, and from July 5th to July 12th we reached 1 billion, one hundred million gallons a day. This is felt in many parts of the city where it reflects on the pressure, and therefore, I ask the people of the City of New York not to sprinkle their lawns or gardens from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 5 p.m, to 8 p.m. Please cooperate. Remember that sprinkling your lawn means that someone in the easterly part of Queens or in the Rockaways is being caused hardship. By the way, the population in the Rockaways has gone up so much, that it has increased its use of water and we feel it there. By you disregarding or refusing to cooperate it causes hardship elsewhere. This is a request, and I know you will cooperate, because if you do not, we will have to shut off the water for the lawns. I know you will do it.
Commissioner Walsh of the Fire Department informs me that there has been a 10 percent increase in false alarms during the first six months of this year. This increase means a difference in gasoline, from 195,212 to 213,811 gallons during the first six months of this year - that is just on these false alarms. Everybody please cooperate. If you happen to be around when an alarm is sent in, just stand by, note the individual who sent it in, and when the apparatus arrives, if it is a false alarm, you can identify him. I was very much ashamed yesterday when I read that a clerk in the Comptroller's office was arrested for sending in a false alarm. Well, that is pretty bad. A city employee should at least set a good example. All I have to say is that he is lucky he is not in one of my departments because he would be on "ex" by this time.
TRIBUTE TO CITY PATROL MEMBERS
I want to pay tribute to two members of the City Patrol Corps, Lieutenant George Sattler and Sergeant Isadore Leff. Good work, boys, I am proud of you. On July 13th, the owner of 105 Court Street, [AVAILABLE AUDIO ENDS HERE] Brooklyn, saw a man looting a cash register. He called for help and those men gave chase and ordered the burglar to stop. He refused to stop, they got him, they were commended, and he is in the hospital now - a prisoner. Good work, boys.
By the way, here is another good one. Sergeant John Matthews, while on duty with the City Patrol, made an arrest of a pocket-book snatcher in Central Park. Good work, Matthews, good work, Sattler, good work, Leff. We are proud of the City Patrol.
I want to make an appeal right now - we need more men for the City Patrol. You know, this war is going to be over, it will be over sometime. How about you fellows, you night club patrons and you race track patrons, you fellows who are having a good time, you are not in the Army, you are not in the Navy, you are not in the Volunteer Fire Auxiliary, you are not in the Air Warden Service, you are not in the Emergency Repair Service, just what are you doing. What will you have to show when the war is over. Think it over, won't you. It is your war just as much as ours.
Talking about police, brings us back to gambling. You remember a few weeks ago that the boys in the press room were very much impressed with a very pathetic case of gambling I had talked about. I will not identify it any more, but we nabbed that tinhorn. He is just a no-good, chiseling, thieving tinhorn and his name is Herbert Jacobs, and he lives at 135 West 79th Street. He was arrested after the complaint came in. Incidentally, Mr. Police of that Precinct, why didn't you know about him. I do not see why it was necessary for this family to write to the Mayor. Well, I will say that you did get him pretty quick after I called your attention to it, didn't you. Glad you did. Good thing that you did, too. Well, this fellow was roaming around in an automobile and I reported this tinhorn to the OP A and they have informed me that he had a "B" ration book. Just think, a "B" ration. Why this contemptible tinhorn had a "B" ration which expired in January. Of course he did not take the trouble to renew it. Being a big shot, he did not have to have a ration card like the rest of us. He admitted he bought 100 gallons of gasoline at 50 cents a gallon, which he was using in his tinhorn activities and he ratted on the gas stations which were suspended for 15 days each. You know a tinhorn is a rat in all kinds of activities if he thinks it will do him any good, except that he never rats on pimps because they are his associates, most of them are connected with that line of business, too. Now this man cannot use his car and cannot buy gasoline. If you see a car with a license 3Y8582 N.Y., 3Y8582 N.Y., it belongs to the tinhorn Herbert Jacobs and he is not permitted to buy gas. So just call the police.
GAMBLING IN APARTMENTS
There is something I have to say to the people who write to me about gambling in apartments. I do not mean a friendly game or a family game; I mean professional tinhorn gambling in apartment houses. Without exception, full and complete information is generally given. These complaints come from decent reputable, law abiding families in the same apartment house. I am sure many of you have noticed that the politicians and even some of our newspapers grasp at those cases to heap abuse on the police, with headlines, "Constitutional Rights Infringed;" "Interfering with the Home;" "Breaking into a Home;" "A home is a man's castle;" and all that sort of thing. Why you know, there is no constitutional right to commit a crime in a home any more than there is to commit a crime any other place, and the newspapers know that just as well as you and I. Of course, those charges are not true, because no arrest is made unless the facts warrant an arrest and unless the arrest is lawfully made. However, I am appealing to the good people of the city to cooperate to a greater extent. Just writing the Mayor a letter will not be enough. Here is the procedure: On receipt of the complaint the Police will get in touch with the respectable tenants of the apartment house. The respectable tenants must be willing and ready to cooperate, even to the extent of going into court and testifying as to the nuisance. In this way we will stop the practice, which is growing, of operating organized racketeer gambling in apartment houses. Don't you see, the racketeers are quick to take the cue from the politicians and from the abuse heaped on the police by the newspapers, it is a help to them. They see the opposition to and the misrepresentation of the police, in suppressing gambling in apartment houses, take the hint, and use apartment houses for their illegal activities. Therefore, respectable, decent tenants must cooperate if you want your apartment house cleaned of these racketeers. Gambling is only the beginning and your children and your little girls will not be safe in an apartment house where professional gambling is going on. I am interested in these children. I am interested in the decent people living in the apartment house, not in the thieving tinhorn gamblers.
UNNECESSARY PRIVATE PROTECTIVE AGENCIES
I have noticed recently the many complaints of broken plate glass in stores. Of course, you should report this to the police at once. But if you are visited the next day or after the glass is broken by a so-called protective agency, just keep the agent in conversation and call the police. I do not like this combination. First a plate glass is broken, and then solicitation for protection. Too close together. You know what I mean, don't you. Just call the police.
Incidentally, the weather is hot and if you like the radio and I do, perhaps your neighbor does not like the same kind of music or programs, so tone down, will you, so you will not disturb your neighbor.
ENGLISH TRIBUTE TO CONDUCT OF OUR MEN
I want to read a letter to you. I think it is very touching. It comes from England and is dated the 12th of June, 1944. It is addressed to the Mayor of New York and reads as follows: 'Until this weekend this small, quiet county town (I think I had better not name the places) was filled with American troops from all over the United States of America. I would like to place on record the reactions of the people to this 'invasion' in case it should prove of interest.
'At first, both sides trod very warily and were just a little afraid to mingle too freely, but this state of affairs did not last very long -your boys saw to that. Gradually, but surely, we realized that they wanted to meet everybody - young and old alike and very soon in the pubs (bars) over a glass of beer and at the dances, we got to know them. Before we knew it, we were chewing gum, smoking Camels and Chesterfields and jitterbugging to our hearts content. They invited girls to their dances at the local army camps and gave us the time of our lives: We saw more food in a single evening than we had seen in a week of strict rations. Then, to our delight, we were driven home in trucks at a neck-breaking speed and safely deposited at our own various homes.
'We watched them play baseball and though we could not understand the first thing about it, we cheered ourselves hoarse, not even knowing which side we were cheering.
'We took your G.I.'s into our homes and found them eager to talk of their parents, wives, sweethearts, children and of their home town. We learned more of America and its people in one night than dozen visits to the cinema could teach us.
'They broke down the cold English type of reserve that we had cherished and guarded with jealousy for centuries. We both laughed at our funny sayings - we mimicked them with their 'Waal, what do you know?' and they came back with our 'Cheerio,' and 'I say, old boy'. We even let them call us 'Limeys' and likewise they stood for 'Yanks'. They were here about eight weeks but in that short time they made a very deep and lasting impression: they did more to cement Anglo-American friendship than the highest paid diplomat. In fact, I do not remember anyone (except perhaps the Highland Division who arrived straight from defeating Rommel in the desert)-being made so welcome.
'The only thing we regretted was that we could not do more; because of very tight food rationing and the fact that many of us were not living in our own homes we could not do all we would have liked, but I think your men understood this. We did, however, give them our unstinted friendship.
'From all this you will see just what we thought of the officers and men of the United States Army and I want to impress on you and anyone who might read this that through all this time they behaved perfectly and I know of no incident which would cause embarrassment to any of their relations back home.'
'Now we are all hoping and praying for the day when they will return home, knowing they have done a wonderful job in helping to free the world from a tyranny never before known in the history of mankind.
'Be proud of your boys Mr. Mayor, because they are keeping the Stars and Stripes flying high all over the world and to all of them we say "God Bless You" and may we soon meet again. Sincerely yours, Julia Proops.'
Thank you, Julia, and I am sure that your words bring comfort to very many homes in our City today.
TRIBUTE TO GENERAL ROOSEVELT
Getting back to war, I want to close this broadcast as a tribute to a distinguished son of our City - a great American - the son of a great American. General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. gave his life for his country. He volunteered for service when there were indications that we might get into the war. He served in the last war with distinction. He was a real soldier, a worthy son of Theodore Roosevelt. We got to know him pretty well after the Iast war here in New York. He was jovial, he was active and he had a splendid sense of humor. Even when he was running for office he enjoyed every minute of it. I recall distinctly that once in a while a candidate is handed some misinformation, which he spills and then it is caught. He always took it in such good humor and had a good laugh on himself. The General went overseas with a brigade, and fought in Africa and was wounded there. He had the rare distinction of being decorated at the same time and on the same day with his son, Captain Quentin Roosevelt. I but that made him very happy. He was sent to England for hospitalization and got out of there, I suppose, sooner than he should have, and was in active service in Normandy when he died of sheer exhaustion. We who knew Theodore, Jr. know that he died just the way he wanted to. He would have been very unhappy to have been here at home, with a war going on, and not being able to fight for his country.
Your City pays tribute to you, Theodore. May you rest in peace.
Patience and fortitude.