This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Civil Defense Equipment Demonstrations; Fuel Oil Situation in N.Y. Food Prices; Collecting Metal Scrap.
The theme song of this episode performed by the New York City Police Department Orchestra, present for the Police Department Graduating exercises. The graduation proceedings can be found: Catalog #8527
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 8526
Municipal archives id: LT3983
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, September 20, 1942
CITY OF NEW YORK OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
TEXT OF MAYOR F. H. LA GUARDIA'S SUNDAY BROADCAST TO THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK FROM HIS OFFICE IN CITY HALL, SEPTEMBER 20, 1942, BROADCAST OVER WNYC AT 1:00 P.M., FOLLOWS:
PATIENCE AND FORTITUDE.
The theme song you've just heard was played by the New York City Police Department orchestra. It is here today for the graduating exercises, and it was a pleasant surprise to hear it. Graduating exercises will take place at 1:30 P.M. on the steps of City Hall. All the exercises will be recorded and be transmitted to you some time this afternoon. We did not want to interfere with the regular concert at the Brooklyn Museum.
Last night I attended a most interesting demonstration given by the Chemical Warfare Service of the United States Army under the command of Colonel Sears. The purpose of the demonstration was to give a visual showing of our protective forces of the city. The protective forces were divided so that as many as possible could attend this demonstration on each of its three nights. It covered a great deal of the detail which our Air Wardens, Auxiliary Firemen, and Emergency Repair and Medical Rescue had already received, but it is so realistic and so interesting, informative and instructive that I wish that everyone in New York City could see it.
To that end we have changed our plans. In fact we made a mistake in the first instance to limit the demonstration to just the protective services, but there is time enough now to correct that mistake and the demonstration this evening at the Polo Grounds will be open to the public. It will start about 8 o'clock, but I advise all who care to get seats to be there just a little earlier.
All of the protective services, Air Warden, Auxiliary Firemen, Medical Rescue and Welfare and Emergency Repair will take seats immediately back of the plate, in order that you may be altogether to take the oath of office. All seats will be open to the public. I'm sure that all who will have the opportunity of seeing "Action Overhead" and its realistic presentation will, perhaps, better understand my anxiety for the protection of the people of this City. The Chemical Warfare Service shows bombs, their actual size, explains in detail their destructive powers and gives a demonstration of how to attack incendiary bombs. A great deal of this is for the benefit of the home owner himself as well as the protective forces, so let me repeat that tonight at 8 o'clock there will be this demonstration of the Chemical Warfare Service at the Polo Grounds and all are invited. The demonstration will be repeated tomorrow night at the Polo Grounds and again the general public is invited. It is worth your while to come. You will be better able to protect yourself and your families as well as your city if you will attend this demonstration.
FIRE PROTECTION EQUIPMENT
That brings up the point about getting the necessary equipment as provided by the local law for all buildings whether dwellings, lofts or plants. Commissioner Walsh of the Fire Department has been very lenient in giving home owners and operators of large buildings and apartment houses time to acquire the necessary equipment. It is proceeding satisfactorily because the Commissioner understands the difficulty in getting all of the equipment required by the local law, but I want to urge the operators of all buildings, apartment houses, tenement houses, multiple dwelling houses, one and two family homes loft, factory and office buildings to proceed diligently in acquiring this equipment and in having it approved by the Fire Department in accordance with provisions of the law. We find that sometimes it is difficult to get the small stirrup pump. They are scarce and sometimes expensive. We want to keep the expense down and as long as they are expensive you are not required to get them. If they are available at proper prices, then you must get them and the Commissioner will insist that you do.
HOME MADE EQUIPMENT
I have here in my office several home made pumps which are just as efficient as the factory made kind. We call them bucket pumps, because no foot pedal projects outside the pail of water. Anyone who is the least bit mechanically inclined can put one of these pumps together in a couple of hours, using odds and ends of pipe, fitting, washers, wood, yes, even old curtain rods. Practically everything can be second hand, but even if you want to make a deluxe model with all of the parts bought new the cost will be less than three dollars. Commissioner Walsh of the Fire Department will make arrangements for you to take your pump after you've completed it to the nearest fire house and have it tested. If you've done a good job in assembling it in accordance with specifications, it will throw a stream of water more than 30 feet and will produce either a jet or a spray and if you attend the demonstration today or tomorrow night, you will see how useful this is. If your pump meets the test it will be o.k.'d for use.
Now, how can you get the specifications? Well, I'm going to give a copy of the drawing specifications to the newspapers this afternoon and perhaps the papers will reproduce them tomorrow in detail. If not, you adjust send me your name and address and I will see that you get a copy. If we send the specifications, those who make this type of hand pump can do so only for their own use. They cannot be made for sale or for profit. The reason for this is that the drawings were sent to me anonymously, from a resident of Shaker Heights, Ohio. He sent the drawings for the use of the people of this City, but stipulated that there could be no manufacture for profit. Now, that indeed is a patriotic contribution and I want to express the thanks of the people of this City to this patriotic anonymous donor of Shaker Heights, Ohio. Thank you very much.
FUEL AND OIL
The fuel oil situation for us in the East has taken a turn for the better. We are definitely making progress in our efforts to secure more fuel oil. Two events have occurred within the past 10 days which materially affect the condition and if properly and expeditiously taken care of, will provide favorable results in our campaign to supply the Atlantic Seaboard with fuel oil and gasoline for our minimum needs. They are the Baruch report and the announcement by War Production Chief Nelson that fuel oil will be rationed in the 17 Atlantic Coast states and 13 states in the Midwest. The Baruch report recommended rubber control and national wide gasoline rationing. There is only one way to save rubber and that is by saving mileage and there is only one way to save mileage and that is by rationing gasoline. I've urged that the recommendation submitted by the Baruch report that rationing of gas be put into effect immediately. Of course, it will take some time. At the present time, the Office of Price Administration is working out the particulars with respect to fuel oil rationing. Boards are being set up and preparations are being made to take care of applications for rationing books for all those dwellings and places where fuel oil is used for heating and power. I also conferred with Mr. Henderson about the rationing of gasoline. I understand that all of the rationing will be placed in the hands of the Price Administrator.
Under date of September 17, Leon Henderson, the Price Administrator writes me, "This Office deeply appreciates your favorable reaction to the President's recommendation for the nationwide rationing of gasoline. We are in full sympathy with the necessity for scaling down gasoline consumption to the absolute minimum, in order that transport facilities may be diverted for the purpose of bringing fuel oil to the distressed Eastern Seaboard. Members of our staff are now engaged in formulating plans for the enforcement of the President's order at the earliest date possible."
That is from Mr. Leon Henderson and it is very encouraging. Of course if requires a great deal of detailed preparation and I would say that in five or six weeks it should be enforced and working in full effect.
I am happy to report that the 'Mayor's Engineering Advisory Committee for Fuel Oil Conservation for one and two Family Houses' is operating very satisfactorily. Since my announcement last Sunday the Committee has received 156 applications. Forty-six applications or 30% of these were susceptible to being answered by the printed pamphlet and therefore the information was sent to the home owner without any cost. The others required additional information and a questionnaire was sent.
Now remember, one and two family home owners, if you have any problem, if you are in doubt, write to the Mayor's Engineering Advisory Committee, Post Office Box 72, Madison Square Station, New York City, and submit your problem. If it can be answered with the material available, you will receive a pamphlet and no charge. If it requires additional information a questionnaire will be sent to you and a small fee of two dollars charged. I've also received an offer of cooperation from the Oil Burner Council of Greater New York which is made up of six associations of oil burner contractors who offered their assistance in the Committee's work and their offer has been accepted.
Here is something else that comes up in connection with the fuel problem. I received this letter:
"In spite of your continued warning to the landlords about the coal situation our landlord has not put in the usual supply, let alone any extra. He no doubt intends to use the war for an excuse to have us without heat. You think that's fair. We don't get heat, then should we pay full rent? Please speak about this one Sunday and give it your consideration."
Well I'm ahead of you. I've been thinking about that and we have the answer ready. Let me say to the writer of this letter and others who have the same question on their mind that I will watch the situation very carefully. We have laws to take care of such situations and no landlord will be permitted to use the fuel oil shortage as a pretext to deny tenants heat within the limits of the possibility of getting fuel. We have departments of our city government which will watch these conditions and will decide whether or not there is any justification for denying or cutting down required heat. No such practices will be permitted. Not alone are such practices unpatriotic at such a time, but unjustified, mean, inhuman and I will not stand for it.
Food continues to be a problem. Prices are going up, but there is a ray of hope, for Congress is considering the anti-inflation legislation which the President requested. As soon as that is passed, I believe that the President will act very energetically and very expeditiously in taking the necessary measures to stop the jump in prices.
Eggs are an example. You've seen in today's papers that the price of eggs has gone up and yet there is a surplus. Why? Because eggs are not, yet included in the price control and once the legislation is passed and the President puts into effect his plan controlling prices all the way down from the producer or in this instance from the hen, to your breakfast table, we will not be able to stop unnecessary or unreasonable increase in prices. The fish situation is a little better around Boston way and that is receiving attention.
Salvage was one of the main topics of consideration and activity in our city this week and will continue to be for several weeks. I want to ask all the school children to get all of the information which will be given to them by their teachers and to tell their parents all about it. That will be the part allotted to the school children. Get the information and bring it home to your parents.
I want to appeal to the churches, the priests, ministers and rabbis to call the attention of their congregations and communicants to the necessity for all citizens to cooperate in this salvage drive. Borough Salvage Days have been announced for the collection in the various boroughs of scrap metal. May I suggest to citizens who dispose of salvage material or scrap metal before the day of the general collection by giving it to a recognized charitable or Philanthropic organization or to sell such scrap, and you are permitted to do it, to a junk dealer to be sure to get a receipt for whatever you give or sell. Just get a receipt so that when the official day of collection comes in you may turn in this receipt and in that way the city will be able to know the amount that has been collected and the Federal Government will know where it is and how to get it.
The Department of Sanitation will cooperate and will coordinate all means of public collections and you will hear about this from time to time.
The Press Committee which was appointed by Mr. Nelson is very active and has been most helpful. They have had some very original ideas and I welcome their cooperation and look forward for great assistance from this source.
Well we're continuing our efforts to get more war contracts in New York City and next week will be shirt week. Shirts, shirts and more shirts are wanted by the U.S. Army and there is now an order out for eight million shirts, which is a great many shirts. In order to insure that this city will get its full share of the shirt order a meeting is being held at 10 o'clock Wednesday, September 23rd, at room 725 in the Chanin Building, 122 E. 42nd Street. Every New York City Manufacturer, capable of handling an order of 25,000 shirts or more should attend this meeting. Now please, I appeal to the manufacturers, come in, put in your bids and lets make these eight million shirts right here in New York City
In this connection I am glad to announce I've just received a report from our Department of Commerce, Commissioner Sloan informs me that the Army has moved the induction center from Governor's Island to the Grand Central TIN CANS Palace. They have taken over the building containing approximately 150 thousand square feet and I want to extend my thanks to the Mayor's Committee on Property Improvement in aiding the government in obtaining this space.
Last week you already heard our tin can collection increased very substantially, 468 1/2 tons or 957,000 pounds were collected. Now let me repeat, we need these tin cans. Remember almost 100% of the salvage in tin cans is steel scrap and is very valuable, and then we get from 20-30 pounds of valuable tin out of every gross ton, If you can process these cans do so. If not, give us the cans anyhow. My attention was called this morning to the fact that in many apartment houses that have incinerators, the cans go into the incinerators as usual. Now please don't do that. Whatever you do, do not send these cans down to the incinerators and I appeal to the superintendents and janitors of these apartment houses having incinerators to separate the cans and provide a separate receptacle for them in accordance with the provisions of the sanitary code. It is sinful to send these tin cans down to be destroyed when we need them so badly.
Fingerprinting is progressing. We now have a total of 852,272 cards of identification issued. That is not enough. We must increase this program and more stations will be established and information will be given to you through the Office of the CDVO and other agencies helping the city in obtaining the necessary identification so that every citizen, man, woman and child in the country will have his card.
This has been a most trying week with all sorts of problems. Next week, I think I may devote most of my time to a discussion of proposed amendments to existing penal laws which will make our drive against gambling more effective. There are a great many loopholes in the law which I am sure can be tightened and the gaps filled in order to prevent some of the evasions of the law. I have one very interesting proposal with which I'm sure all the decent citizens and all agencies having the responsibility of caring for distressed families will very cheerfully and heartily cooperate.
With food and fuel and an increased number of men needed in the army and the many problems of the city I was very, very tired last night, but this morning I received a letter from Mr. David A. Wallach.
"It occurred to me, writes Mr. Wallach, that you might be interested in the enclosed poem by the late Edwin Markham. Some years ago, long before the war, he wrote this to my sister who was dangerously ill. It was sent to her with the request that it not be published during his lifetime. Last year I did present the original to the Daughters of the American Revolution in Staten Island. It is so beautiful and touching and so apropos at the present time, that I'm taking the liberty of intruding on your valuable time and sending it to you."
This Edwin Markham's poem:
"BE PATIENT WITH GOD
Keep heart, O comrade; God may be delayed by evil,
But He suffers no defeat; even a chance rock
In an upland brook may change a river's course,
But no rock, nay, nor the baffling mountains of the World
Can hold it from its destiny, the sea.
God is not mocked; the drift of the world Will
is stronger than all wrong. Earth and her years
Down Joy's bright way or Sorrow's darker road
Are moving toward the purpose of the skies."
PATIENCE AND FORTITUDE