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YOUR WIN A FREE
FIGHTING ’P TO EUROPE NEWSWEEKIY EE PAGE 7 \ -> VOL. 1, NO. 15 PWeekivd "«*6i8 CHICAGO, DECEMBER 18, 1948 5 CENTS I Rent Chief Shogren says:— FI,-, .. ALT! NO BAR TO RE PICKET for traffic lights at Drexel-Oakland corner. Mrs. Phyllis Pildes, 850 E. 40th st.( and Mrs. Bernadine Masser, 852 E. 40th st., of the Oakland Child Study Group get thg signature of Mrs. Katherine Fowles (r), 4?65 Drexel on petition addressed to Chi cago Park Board and 2nd and 4th Ward aldermen. Chicago’s rent director admitted this week that his office would grant rent increases even to landlords whose tenements harbor fire and health hazards. When a Standard reporter asked Norman B. Shogren, chief of the Chicago area rent office, if he considers it the job of his office to check on a landlord’s compliance with the city’s health and fire codes, Shogren answered flatly: “No. We can’t go into that.” As innumerable landlords i o f substandard tenements were handed a rent-boost bon anza, landlords were promised three weeks service on in crease requests and they were advised by Shogren on the surest methods of clinching rent boosts. The Standard presented Sho gren with a list of ^ub-standard tenements on the Near North Side where rents have swelled after landlords carted in dilapi dated assortments of furniture. After checking into the list, Shogren reported back that the increases were “in order and to my satisfaction.” (Photos of some of these apartments are on page 8.) He made one exception of a flagrant rent raise which he said an examiner would re-inves tigate. “Service” Assures Boost Shogren, an alumnus of his father’s large real estate firm, brushed aside the decrepit state Chicagoans say Rights Bill OK—'Make it work' By Bob Lucas In Paris last Friday a historic document was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, but on 47th and South Parkway there are a few doubts about the Declara tion on Human Rights. A survey this week by The Standard revealed a feeling of hope mixed with sceptic ism among Southsiders. Most of those interviewed thought it was “a fine thing, but-” Of the half dozen persons polled by The Standard few were familiar with the declara tion and its 30 articles. One or two had heard about the human rights bill and the role of Eleanor Roosevelt in formulat ing it. Perhaps the most articulate seas Joe Johnson, author of an unpublished manuscript on lynching. Said Johnson, “The fact that this U.N. Bill of Hu man Rights is based on the bill submitted by the American delegation to the UN places a heavy moral responsibility of the United States government to see to it that the disparity be tween the declaration provisions and the anti-democratic prac tices in our country—segrega tion, discrimination, lynching and the propagation of racial prejudice—should be eliminated forthwith." Article 16 and 25, which un derline the rights of women throughout the world, most im pressed Jean Govann of 362 E. Max Steinberg to appear here for report on Israel Max Steinberg, secretary treasurer of the American Jew ish Labor Council, just back from a tour of the Middle East and Europe, will offer a “Report from the Israeli Battlefront’’ in Chicago, Wednesday, Dec. 22, at 8:00 p.m. Steinberg will appear at the Jewish People’s Institute, 3500 W. Douglas Blvd., under spon sorship of the American Jewish Labor Committee, whose Chi cago division chairman, Abe FeinglasS, will act as master of ceremonies for the meeting. Among entertainers will be Cantor Benjamin Landsman and Concert Pianist Ruth Kaufman. 53rd St. The Declaration itself “is very nice,” she said. “I only wish they were true, especially those two articles.” They Sound Good Anna Redmon, 3426 Michigan Ave., commented: “All the articles sound good, but I’m afraid most people will merely glance at it nd put it down.” The “right to work” article Number 23, which includes equal pay for equal work re gardless of color or sex, caught her eye. “It’s not like that over here, even at the plant where I work.” She is employed by a large printing firm. “Actually, I don’t think there is one of of these articles the United States really practices,” Miss Redmon added. Businessman Amos White, 517 E. 63rd St., was more optimistic. He felt the adoption of the dec laration would “make it better for all nations and all mankind, not only in the United States.” “Some of it is OK and it sounds reasonable,” stated Joe Smith, 6200 Rhodes St. “But so many people don’t have these rights. I think things would be much better if they were put into effect.” A veteran, who Is attending Continued oh page 7 of these flats, stating: “If a land lord adds a scrvicsuch as ad dition of furniture, we must al low increases. We don’t penalize a landlord because he has a sub standard house to begin with.” When James F. Driscoll, depu ty building commissioner for Chicago, was asked if he knew of any case where building in spectors were consulted on com pliance with city code standards before the federal rent office granted increases, Driscoll re plied he knew of no such case. Many Hikes Granted Meantime, figures released by Shogren’s office for the first 11 months of 1948 revealed that : any landlord who walks into the rent office has three chances out of four of walking out with a rent increase in his fist. Of 21,015 petitions for boosts, 15, 823 were granted. The office had no figures handy to compare tenants’ petitions against de creases o r refunds arranged. Whether such figures are even tabulated could not be learned. Shogren reported to apartment operators this week that over 167,000 rent hikes were granted by his office up to Nov. 1. This was by way of encouranging them to use his office rather than whacking tenants with il legal boosts. City to pay lor probe of phone profit juggle Chicago’s City Council this week appropriated $35,000 for investigation of the Illinois Bell Telephone Company's books but phone users were still uncertain that a $34,000,000 a year increase had been averted. Alderman Clarence P. Wagner (14th) announced the City Council action as the Illi nois Commerce Commission moved back to Chicago to re sume hearings on the rate case. Corporation Counsel Benjamin Adamowski was to ask the Com mission to defer any ruling un til the study of the Company’s books and rate structure had been completed. Wagner said it would take at least a month to finish the inquiry. Whether the lame-duck ICC— appointed by ex-Governor Dwight Green — would comply with Adamowski’s request was doubtful. The Commission had not even replied to an earlier motion by spokesmen for 31 Illi nois communities asking that its own funds be used for the same kind of inquiry into the phone company books. Still Uneasy However, even if the delay was granted, phone users could still feel uneasy over the possi bility that their Bell bills would go up an average of $12 a year after the inquiry has been com pleted. There were two reasons for this uneasiness: Alderman Wagner apparently has been designated by the City Council to oversee the inquiry as chairman of the utilities com mittee. He’s the same Alderman Wagner who handled the same kind of inquiry into the Com monwealth Edison Company last year when that firm asked a re newal of its franchise — and Commonwealth got virtually everything it wanted, at the ex pense of the tax-payer and con sumer. The persistent refusal of Gov - elect Adlai Stevenson to com ment or intervene in the Tele phone Company rate case left the impression that Stevenson may favor an increase. Steven son will shortly appoint the members of the new Illinois Commerce Commission which goes into office in January. Meantime, the Illinois Bell Telephone Co. was moving ahead in its attempt to obtain rate in creases ranging from 33 to 60 percent in Lake and Porter counties, Indiana. The Lake County Citizens Welfare League protested the request, pointing out that Illinois Bell put $15, 000,000“Into a depreciation fund last year when that fund had already pyramided to $169,000 - 000. Power companies show profit hike WASHINGTON (FP)—Pri vately owned electric utilities companies had a net income of nearly $48 million in October, 1948, a boost of 5.3 percent over the net income figure of Oc tober 1947, the Federal Power Commission said this week.