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The Illinois standard. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1948-1949, December 18, 1948, Image 1

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VOL. 1, NO. 15 PWeekivd "«*6i8 CHICAGO, DECEMBER 18, 1948 5 CENTS
Rent Chief Shogren says:—
FI,-, .. ALT!
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
“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unpublished manuscript on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
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
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 -
Power companies
show profit hike
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.

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