This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Description from the Municipal Archives card catalog:
Visits from Marshal Zhukov, admiral Nimitz, Pres., of Chile (dedication of Avenue of the Americas), Pres. Truman.-World Peace Day-Navy Day ceremonies.-CPA price violators.-Settlement of elevator strike.-High School students on strike because athletic coaches are not paid overtime.-Girls' camp on Welfare Island.- Inadequate Queens bus service.-Idlewild airport begins limited operations; plans for other airfields.-Promotions for patrolwomen.- "Traveler's Tours" overcharge & misadvise.-New appointments of city officials.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 70827
Municipal archives id: LT2558
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
FOB IMMEDIATE RELEASE SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 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, SEPTEMBER 30, 1945, BROADCAST OVER WNYC AT 1:00 P.M. FOLLOWS:
Intelligence And Courage!
That is what government in a democracy requires. We are going to have a very busy month in October - a pleasant month when we will have many distinguished visitors. I have been informed by Chief of Staff, General of the Army G. C. Marshall, that Marshal of the Soviety Armies Zhukov has accepted an invitation from the President of the United States to visit this country. The War Department has been designated to coordinate arrangements for his trip. Tentative plans are for Marshal Zhukov to arrive in New York City at eleven a.m. on the fifth of October (I think that is right) and to remain in our City until the sixth of October. General Marshall says that "the War Department will greatly appreciate it if you will meet him and extend every courtesy. General Omar M. Bradley will also be present at La Guardia Field to meet Marshal Zhukov." I will be very happy to do that and I know that the people of the City of New York will take this opportunity to extend to Marshal Zhukov, and through him to the victorious armies of Russia, their appreciation for their courageous stand in holding the lines. The arrangements are to meet the Marshal at the Municipal Airport and to follow the same route taken by General de Gaulle and General Wainwright, bring him up Broadway and Fifth Avenue, a reception at City Hall as usual, and then a luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria. The address of welcome at the luncheon will be made by the Honorable Thomas D. Thacher, Associate Judge of the State Court of Appeals.
On October 9 the City will receive and do honor to Admiral Chester D. Nimitz. I will have more details of the arrangements which will be given to you before that date.
Dedication of the Avenue of the Americas will take place on October 20, at which time the President of the Republic of Chile, Juan Antonio Rios, will be the guest of honor.
On October 27, Navy Day, the City will welcome President Harry Truman. The President will commission the carrier Franklin D. RooseveIt. He will them inspect the fleet and at 1:30 a meeting will be held (a sort of merger of the WorId Peace Day that we had planned and Navy Day) at Central Park. We will be able to accomodate several hundred thousand residents of our City and you are all invited.
I want to ask all who want to come to the reception of Marshal Zhukov to be in their seats at 11:30.
EVICTION OF OPA VIOLATOR FROM CITY MARKET
Commissioner Brundage informs me that another tenant of City Markets, Germoro Capiello, who operated stands 87 to 93 at the Arthur Avenue Enclosed Market has been evicted because of violation of ceiling prices during the period when meat was "tight". I have been warning you, tenants of City markets, to be careful during that time. I was not fooling then and I am not fooling now.
CITY CENTER PROGRAM
If any of you want to turn off now and go to the City Center to hear "Traviata", you can do it. If you are interested in this broadcast, just send me the stub of your ticket and I will send you a transcript. But do not miss that performance. It is very good. And this evening "Carmen" will be given with a very excellent cast.
Everybody rejoices that the elevator strike has been terminated, at least temporarily. Nothing short of permanent machinery for the settlement of labor disputes in this industry will save the city from future costly disturbances. While the serious condition justified any expedient being applied, the fact remains that the fundamental question of agreeing to a settlement and pursuing every remedy under the jurisdiction accepted, cannot be ignored. If employers and employees agree on arbitration or submission to any agency, either private or an agency of government, both must accept the decision. A dissatisfied party, either one, should not be permitted to reject the decision and shop around for another agency, While in this instance, the dissatisfied party happened to be labor, in another instance, it may well be the employers. The dissatisfied party kicking over and rejecting the decision made by arrangements previous accepted, is the one thing that will always profit. In this instance, in all likelihood, it is a foregone conclusion that a better award would be obtained by the employees. We should stop to consider though if this is really rendering a service to organized labor, for when conditions change, as well may happen, it may be the employers who will reject decisions and shop around for another agency on the precedent established in this case. I had received assurance in Washington Friday that the decision would be reviewed by the National War Labor Board. That is the procedure that I believe might have been followed for the best permanent interests of employers and particularly for organized labor.
At any rate, for the moment great belief has been brought to the City of New York and I am grateful for it. I must not permit this opportunity to pass, though, without saying that any attempt to increase rents will be strongly resisted by the City Government.
HlGH SCHOOL DISTURBANCES
This is a great city that we are living in. Yes sir, it is great. There are so many, many things that we New Yorkers may well be proud of and then, once in a while, something happens that just makes us bow our heads in shame. I felt that way the other day. I do not suppose that there is any New Yorker who is not ashamed of what has been happening in some of our High Schools the last two or three days. Children on Strike! Children demonstrating! Children protesting and challenging school authorities!- I don't blame the children. I am sure that the parents feel most unhappy about it, but I do say SHAME, SHAME to those on the City payroll who provoked these children. What is to happen to democracy if children in High Schools feel that government can be defied? We were taught when we were little children that the people select their government, and once having selected, then we must abide by the rulings, and that when the government is unsatisfactory, the people still have control and can change the men in the government.
You have all read or have heard of these high school children going on strike because their interscholastic athletic coaches were not paid? That is not so. Now let me give you the facts. Football is an athletic sport. It is part of the physical education program. The coaching is part of the duties of the teacher of Health Education. Thus, the athletic instructors coaching football, or any team in athletics, instead of working from nine to three works from eleven to five. Let me give you the figures: We have eighty high schools, 54 academic, 26 vocational. Fifteen of the high schools are engaged in interscholastic football; 37 in baseball, 53 in basketball, 24 in swimming, and forty-three in track.
The impression has been given out that these instructors are not paid. That is not so. Let me tell you what you citizens of New York pay these men who claim this and who have threatened to stop coaching pupils in football and the other sports unless they get extra money. Here are the figures. There are 531 male teachers of health education in day and vocational high schools. The lowest paid are the juniors who are in the service only a few years. There are only three of them out of 331 who get $3,290 for the school year. This allows them two months vacation in the summer, Christmas and Easter vacations, with retirement rights and a generous pension. Get the rest of these figures. Twenty-one receive $3,974. Twenty-three receive $4,154 a year. Now jump a few grades. Eleven receive $4754 a year and the majority of them 191, receive $4850 a year, and thirty of them $6,038 a year, in addition to having full and complete Security and tenure and, as I have said, pension rights. In all fairness it must be said that not all of the 331 instructors joined in the threatened refusal to coach teams. I talk last night with one of the leading coaches of this country and we were comparing salaries, and these salaries compare most favorably with those paid by big colleges, and in the college the coach is retained for one year and, if he does not make good, he is fired. These fellows get a job and hold it until they are 70 years of age. There is nothing that we can do about it. Now contrast this attitude with that of thousands of other teachers in the school system who give many hours, and even days, of their own time coaching dramatic clubs, bands and orchestras, glee clubs, science, art, mathematics, history, and many other clubs organized for research work by children. These teachers are not indifferent to their responsibilities and to the welfare of our children. The total cost in the school budget for teachers of health education in high schools is $1,555,418.
While we are discussing the subject, it must be said that the school system is not entirely blameless. Team athletics have been permitted to grow rather loosely, dependent upon the views of the Principal and left entirely to the pleasure of the health education teacher. As a matter of fact, athletics is a part of the regular curriculum of any well organized educational system. It is that way in many school systems throughout the country and in many, many colleges. The pay that I have just quoted indicates that it was intended to give the student not only health education which includes athletics and gymnastics, but to coach them properly in organized team athletics. There is a double educational reason for this: One, it is part of health education, an integral part of health education, which cannot be separated, and, two, for the discipline and good sportsmanship that interscholastic athletics create. I hope that it will not be necessary to talk very much more about it but with the false statements and the prepared publicity sent out and the misinformation given to the children, the whole country is under the impression that New York City does not provide athletic instructors or does it pay for athletic instructors.
Shame to these people responsible for such lack of civic pride and indifference to their own duties. As long as I am Mayor, I will not submit to such intimidation. I will expose such misconduct in office and I will not approve any demand under such duress.
In addition to all that, just think of the sportsmanship. Why, the kid starts off with no respect for the high standards of the American amateur athlete. If the City submits to this intimidation, the next thing, I suppose, the boys will be coached to ask for money to play football and maybe get some lessons in a kickback.
The City will open a Children's Camp on Welfare Island for Girls maintained by the Children's Court tomorrow, Monday. Under the temporary arrangements made, the Department of Welfare will administer this camp pending the reorganization of the Youth Center Committee and a permanent organization composed of representatives of the three religious faiths for the administration of City children requiring shelter care.
It is my plan to have one large center, with the Children's Court in the same building for Court children and another Center for needy and neglected children. The temporary administration of the Children's Camp is necessary because of the attitude of the Borough Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Constant demand for greater allowance by those private organizations, followed by threats to discontinue, made this stop absolutely necessary, I may be old-fashioned, but again I say that I firmly believe in a democracy whore no individual or group of individuals or organization may be permitted to defy government or to threaten government, when no individual group should be permitted to tell the government "or else." That is exactly what has happened. There is too much of that now. If a particular administration is unsatisfactory, the proper, democratic way is to change the administration. That gives all the people the opportunity to decide, but any executive at any level of government who permits himself to be threatened or frightened or blackmailed, not only fails to live up to the required responsibility he has assumed, but aids in the breakdown of government and fails to do his duty and is unworthy to continue the responsibility entrusted to him.
I have repeatedly stated that when a private organization requires the city to pay 100% of the cost, then the City must necessarily take over that operation. I am sure that in the long run the children will got better care, better food, and eventually it will cost less. The Youth Center Committee has operated most satisfactorily and is a great improvement over the old system.
The temporary Shelter for Needy and Neglected Children administered by another interfaith committee at the S.P.C.C. building in Manhattan, is also a great improvement over former conditions.
QUEENS BUSES "I-AM-TELLING-YOU" RECORD
Now Morris, put on your record. I have something I want permanently recorded. I have something here that I think may be necessary to have around October 1946. Are you ready? Here goes:
The residents of Queens Borough are entitled to better service transportation than they are getting now. When I assumed office in 1934 the Queens Transportation service was entirely demoralized and the people the victims of fly-by-night companies. Wild cat buses were operating freely on the streets, protected by a decision of the State Supreme Court that I never could understand, and which I still believe was entirely fallacious and morally wrong. I found that the City could not establish temporary permits to replace wild cat operators who were giving poor service and who paid the City no fees or taxes. It, therefore, required several months to establish regular bus lines. We had to advertise the routes, hold hearings, then prepare bids and advertise the bids, hold hearings and prepare the contracts, advertise the contracts and finally award the franchises.
Because of the magnitude of the service required, the Borough was divided into four zones and four franchises were awarded. The service was, of course, a thousand times better than the irresponsible, tax-free operation that the people had before that time. While, as I say, it was much better, there was still room for improvement, and in the beginning it looked as if the four franchise companies would eventually give the right kind of service. They did not.
I protected the Borough against unsatisfactory service by providing comparatively short-term franchises - ten year franchises. As far back as 1940, after close observation for three, four or five years, I decided to move on the companies and to seek a forfeiture of the franchises -or to have the City take over the lines. But then war conditions commenced to be felt in this country and we were actually in war in 1941 and nothing could be done. The service has become increasingly worse. It is now inadequate and most unsatisfactory. I am saying all this because the four franchise companies, as their service grows less satisfactory, their political connections and resources as well as resourcefulness seem to increase.
When their franchise had still three or four years to run (now listen to this) when their franchise had still three or four years to run, an application was made to extend the franchises for an additional fifteen years following the termination of their franchise in 1946. Fortunately, the Charter provides for the separate approval of the Mayor, and I informed the Board of Estimate frankly that I would not approve a fifteen year extension of these franchises. The service was unsatisfactory then. Exaggeratedly large contingent fees were at stake. In fact, I lost one of the best friends I ever had because of my refusal to extend these franchises. I am saying all of this now because these franchises are worth a great deal. They are big moneymakers and I repeat that with the connections established, huge sums of money are available to renew or extend these franchises of the companies now giving unsatisfactory services.
The renewal of the present four franchises for fifteen or twenty years is worth from $500,000 to $750,000 in fees, or otherwise. The people of Queens must not permit this to happen. Had these franchises expired in my time, I would have prepared to provide Borough-wide service by City operation. The Board of Estimate should take action at least several months before the franchises expire and authorize the Board of Transportation to acquire buses and establish the kind of service that the people of the City are entitled to have. I warn now that there will be a great deal of agitation by these companies. Big fees and much money will be available. They are resourceful, they know whom to retain and what to do. They will bo appealing to the people of Queens, bringing crowds of them down to City Hall by the bus load. All I ask is that the people of Queens remember the rotten service that they are getting, and to remember what I am telling you now, to ask to have this record heard when the time comes and to be on guard. Experience has indicated that the Borough of Queens cannot possibly exist without a comprehensive, safe and reliable bus service. The present four-zone system with four franchises to private companies originally served the purpose. The plan did bring order out of chaos. It brought revenue to the City. It fixed responsibility on these companies in the place of wild-cat operations. The companies have had their opportunities. They have failed. Since the need of providing City operation and with equipment which will soon be available, the right kind of satisfactory service can be provided.
AIRPORTS FOR PRIVATE FLYING
Very soon I believe we will be able to start initial and limited operations at the new airport at Idlewild. Aviation is growing so rapidly now that it is difficult even to estimate to what great extent it will grow. One thing we know is that there will be a great deal of private flying. I have been studying that in New York City and surveying the layout for two additional flying fields to accommodate private flying as well as sport flyers. It is not easy to do.
It is not the space on the ground. It is the space in the air. This survey has been going on for quite some time and the City Planning Commission is now ready to consider and to hold hearings on two additional smaller airports within the City limits. The first is in the Bronx and its tentative place is south of New England Thruway east of Boston Road and north of Gunhill Road. We are already preparing to take over some of the land. It will need grading, of course, and for this and the other airport I shall tell you about, I hope I can start the applications for funds as soon as the National Airport Bill is passed by Congress and approved by the President. The other is on Staten Island and that would be west of Arthur Kill Road and it is east of Victory Boulevard. That is a fill job and will require some time. Both of these locations, of course, are subject to the approval of the CAA.
I have asked the City Council to amend the administrative Code to permit the promotion of policewomen. I think it is manifestly unfair that policewomen cannot take promotional examinations the same as patrolmen. The Charter and the Administrative Code specifically prohibit the promotion of policewomen. We have had experience in the Army and the Navy with the Spars and the Waves and the Wacs and they were all entitled to promotion and in fact have held rank up to and including that of Colonel. I hope that the City Council will amend the Administrative Code and if it does so, I will ask the Civil Service Commission to hold the first examination as soon as possible for the rank of sergeant. After that I hope to see the time when the policewomen who are rendering very fine service will be able to take promotional examinations all the way up.
Now here is something I don't like. I don't like it at all. You might be a fine, big company to your incorporators, but it looks pretty cheap to me. Listen to this. "Leaving our comfortable and attractive office and Lounge located at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 54th Street, and accompanied by a Professional Lecturer and Guide, we enjoy an hour's bus ride. During the ride, we see in passing, Times Square, R.H. Macy's, the largest Department Store in the world, Gimbles Brothers, Saks," (I am not plugging, I am reading their advertisements) "Flatiron Building, Woolworth Building, Union Square, City Hall, St. Paul's, the oldest Church in New York, *****. We see the noted Diamond Center, Singer Building, as well as many other interesting points *****. We leave the bus for a visit to the historically famous Trinity Church and Churchyard. We see the 'Grand Canyon' of Wall Street and the financial district. Enroute, we see the beautiful Customs House, Bowling Green and Battery Park. * * * Along the Waterfront, many other historic features, * * * * . We are now ready for our boat cruise down the Bay, where we experience that never-to-be-forgotten thrill of a closeup view of our Symbol of Liberty, majestically holding aloft her Torch of Freedom, the Statue of Liberty," etc. etc. $2.20. Now the bus ride is on one of our five-cent buses. Can you beat that? And this beautiful boat ride is on one of our Staten Island ferry boats, a five-cent ride. They they take them back on a five-cent ride on the elevated, give them a five-cent ride on the subway, for which they charge $2.20. Now, lest anybody think I am hinting about something, this is conducted by "Travelers Tours of 840 Seventh Avenue at 54th Street. Now listen, Travelers Tours, I got a complaint about this. Here is a party of twenty-five, each paying $2.20, equalling 25 times $2.20 or $55. The Company had about $6. disbursements in carfares. They pay the guide about $1. an hour making a total expense to the company of about $8. You gave the money back, to that group. Any other group that writes me and wants their money back, I shall see that you get it. And I am personally going to file a complaint with Paul Moss, myself, my own self, yes, I am going to file a complaint to suspend the license of this Company until they correct their advertisement. They will be perfectly free to advertise and to have these tours but they must say, "We take you on an ordinary carrier bus, five cents, where the aisles will be so packed with standees that you cannot see out of the windows and we will take you on this ferryboat which is operated by the City for a nickel and will give you a most uncomfortable ride in the elevated cars for five cents and then they can charge $1. or $2, an hour for the guide, but no more. So, Paul, get busy; Paul, get busy.
APPOINTMENT OF JOSEPH PLATZKER TO SUCCEED WILLIAM WILSON
I have a few announcements to make of appointments. Commissioner William Wilson, Commissioner of the Housing and Buildings is taking over a very responsible office in which I am greatly interested, that of Consultant Architect and Engineer for the Savings Bank Company in their operation and construction of semi-public housing units. That is very useful at this time and Mr. Wilson will take to that office his great experience and ability and it will be very helpful.
I am going to appoint to Mr. Wilson's place, Mr. Joseph Platzker, who is Assistant Commissioner and who has rendered such great services to the people of our City in housing and who rendered such great service in rehabilitation as far as fire hazards and violations of the fire law in old law tenement houses are concerned. After the first rehabilitation Bill was declared unconstitutional by the Court of Appeals and I never knew why, but anyhow, Platzker moved in and interested the savings banks and worked out a plan that made possible the fire retarding of every Old Law tenement house in this City.
GOODHUE LIVINGSTON, Jr. TO PLANNING COMMISSION
I am going to appoint Mr. Goodhue Livingston, who has been my Executive Secretary, to the Planning Commission. There is a vacancy there now, and inasmuch as there will be much post war work, I feel that it is necessary to fill that place at this time.
LT. DAVID MEIKLEJOHN TO BE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
I am going to appoint Lieutenant David Meiklejohn, Executive Secretary to the Mayor. He was Director of the Department of Commerce of the. City, and who was discharged from the Navy only yesterday after a long tour in the South Pacific. So that is about all on appointments today. Anyone have any bright ideas? Please, I have to say something now. I want to apologize to the thousands and thousands of writers of letters who applied for appointments to the Magistrates' Bench. There are so many, I Just cannot answer them all. I am awfully sorry. I am limited in the number that I can appoint and there are just not enough magistracies to go around. I am very sorry.
CITY PATROL CORPS
I have here, I believe, a large contingent of the ranking officers of the City Patrol Corps who have just closed their activities. I want to take this opportunity of again publicly thanking General Danford, the Colonels, officers and men of the City Patrol who have rendered such splendid service.
Patience and fortitude.