WNYC News; 1951-06-11--excerpt, New York's Narcotics Hearings; New York's Narcotics Hearings; Part 1
Your city station brings you the complete proceedings of the state inquiry into a narcotics addiction. Our microphones are set up in the hearing room number one of the state office building at 80 Center Street, where in just a short time the proceedings directed by the New York State Attorney General Nathaniel Goldston, will begin. This inquiry is expected to last three days. During that time, New York's municipal broadcasting station will carry the morning sessions, which begin at approximately ten, run into one, as well as the afternoon sessions, which will begin at approximately two 230 and continue until they finish. As yet, the attorney general has not shown up, but he is expected in a very short time. We might describe the room where in its approximately 150 feet by 30 feet, we are seated at the head of that room. There's a large table about 10 feet long directly in front of us. We are to the left of that table behind that table. We understand that Mr. Goldstein and his assistants will sit directly
in front of the table is a short stand before that a table with a microphone before it. There is where the witnesses will sit. Most of this room has been taken up by the facilities of press and radio, as well as the newsreel photographers. In fact, half of the 150 seats in this first floor hearing room have been allotted to the press and radio representatives. As we said before, your city station will broadcast this inquiry to its completion. Expected as one of the witnesses, according to The New York Times. At any rate, Anderson was the superintendent of schools for the city of New York. He is not here as yet. And the noises you hear in the background are from the press photographers on the newsreel, men shouting for various people to look their way so that the pictures may be taken. And sadly, some three weeks ago, two weeks ago, another disagreement
between the Board of Education and the circumstance superintendent of schools William Jensen flared into the open over the extent of addiction among the city's schoolchildren. Dr Jensen said that the number of known addicts among the 300000 junior and senior high school students was at 154. However, Mr Cohosting said this figure was, quote, ridiculously low. A member of his staff said 5000 is the absolute minimum, and other estimates of the number of school child victims of narcotics have gone as high as 15000. Governor Thomas Dewey said an important new factor would enter the picture on July 1st, the effective date of three new laws relating to a sale or possession of narcotics. Hey, hey, at the present time as to save Wilson, who is the press relations representative of the attorney general, is
briefing the press on exactly what the proceedings will be. However, we will keep you informed as to when the proceedings actually start. As we were saying, the governor of the state of New York, Thomas Dewey, said an important factor. Enter the picture on July 1st, which is the effective date of three new laws relating to sale or possession of narcotics. One increases the penalty for illegal sale. Now zero to 10 years to two to 15 years and raises it five to 15 years or sales to minors. Another makes possession with intent to sell, punishable by two to 15 years instead of the present zero to 10 years. The third law makes illegal possession of one ounce or more of narcotics, a felony punishable by two to 10 years ago. Incidentally, the assistant attorney general, Sidney Tartikoff, will be in charge of the questioning, is also in charge of the department's
enforcement bureau and has been for the past eight years. Mr. Goldstein said the hearings would concern themselves only with conditions in this city. Now we see the gentleman are filing behind us to the table, which is directly in front of us, and the hearings will get underway very shortly. There is the attorney general, Daniel Bildstien, with his assistant, Mr. Sidney Tartikoff. The business of books and paper is being placed in front of the various gentlemen is presently going on and on a very few moments the hearings will get underway. Oh, yeah. Crowd is exceptionally quiet, except for the press photographers. But I suppose that is to be expected. Yeah. The well-known hush of expectancy seems to fall over the audience by.
Now, proceedings are just about ready to get underway. There are four gentlemen sitting on this proscenium before us. And at the present time, they are posing for pictures for the press, television cameras, incidentally, have been barred from these hearings, but the proceedings will be broadcast in full. You know, these photographers work very rapidly, which is something to behold, especially for us amateurs who don't work nearly as rapidly and have to keep posing a personal reposing or two, three, four or five minutes. Flashbulbs are being set off in the background. And perhaps you can hear them pop right in the newsreel cameras around the left hand side of the room. As we look down and just a few moments, we understand that the bright lights will
be placed on this table for us for better to take those newsreel pictures with. Most of the space of the room has been allotted to the press, as we said before. And these hearings were supposed to start at 10, 15, although we took the air at 10. And possibly they will. Time right now is approximately 10, eight feet at the front of this room and at the rear, a huge American flag just to our right as the flag of the state of New York and to the left to the Stars and Stripes, although no smoking signs seem to be displayed. I see that there is smoking going on for the most part. Almost all the gentlemen and ladies assembled here and the gavel is about to be wrapped up by. According to the attorney general stands out with the gavel in his hand
for yet another picture from the press representatives. This room is on the first floor of the state office building at Center Street. And here come the lights now for the newsreel cameras. And they're starting to grind. Possibly you can hear their war in the background. We remind our listeners that these proceedings will be broadcast in their entirety by WNYC, the voice of New York City. And now I think I just think we are ready to begin possibly. You heard that admonition from one of the gentlemen, I believe it was. Mr. Savolson that smoking would be prohibited. And I see the cigarets are rapidly going out. The attorney general is taking out several papers from his briefcase. Now, the gentlemen are moving various microphones.
And in just a few moments, we shall start. You're right, the lights are very bright, and at times they seem to glare in the eyes of the gentleman seated at the table before us. Directly in front of the table are stenographers working on their intricate little machines, which seem to do wonders and possibly beat those who are working in shorthand by hand. This room is not a very large one. I should say it's about 15 feet high and about 150 feet long, about 30 feet wide, but it certainly has been packed by people, many, many people around. And now the attorney general seems to be ready.
This investigation is being conducted more so in a Chapter five to eight, the laws of nineteen fifty one, which was passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Dewey on April 4th, 1951, briefly. The act provides that the attorney general make a comprehensive study of existing provisions of law relative to the control of narcotics and their use to evaluate present law enforcement, both penal and rehabilitative, and to make such recommendations as may be necessary to ensure adequate control of narcotics and their use and to improve law enforcement. So this and my investigating staff under Assistant Attorney General Sidney Tartikoff has been engaged for the past two months
and compiling statistics and gathering other information pertinent to this inquiry. Unfortunately, too many have been laboring too long in a vacuum for hire, found that the figures issued thus far have been rather confusing and fail to portray the true picture. It is my purpose in these hearings to outline the condition and pose a problem for this problem, not only a penal one, but to a greater extent, a social one. And this is emphasized the more when we deal with youth, the oft repeated statement by men and high authority that crime leads to narcotics doesn't really tell the true story for just rather that narcotics lead to crime. This is basically so in the case of our teenage users.
Well, they turn to crime to satisfy their drug habit. The information which these hearings will unfold shows a pattern and a picture of the congestion and problem as we see it today in the city of New York. There must be a full realization that we are dealing with a tough fall when we deal with our narcotics problem. This disease must be stopped before it becomes embedded in our body politic. All this requires a public awareness and the full cooperation of all of us, the federal, state and city governments all working as a great team. Mr. Tartikoff, Mr. Attorney General, at the outset of our hearing, I should like to have marked as an exhibit in these proceedings the enactment under which you were authorized and empowered to conduct this investigation. I should like to have a copy of this enactment, namely Chapter
five. Twenty eight of the laws of nineteen fifty one received as an exhibit in these hearings shall be exhibit one. I should rather like to present as an exhibit in these proceedings a list which I have made of the agencies which we have contacted during the past two months, although there have been 59 separate agencies, both federal, state and local, with whom we have made contact and from whom we have obtained statistics and other information included in the agencies and apart from those which take their powers from the government of this country, state and local. But the United Nations Commission on Narcotics, there were 10 federal agencies, including the four United States assistant attorneys for the eastern, northern, southern
and western districts, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime Investigation Commission, United States Treasury Department, Bureau of Narcotics, States Public Health Service, both the branch office at Lexington and Fort Worth, Texas, as well as the main office at Washington, D.C., contact 39 New York state agencies, including the New York State Department of Corrections, New York State Department of Health, the New York State District attorneys for the counties of Albany, Bronx, Erie Kings. Monroe, New York. Oneida, Onondaga. Queens, Richmond, Westchester. We also made contact with state information from the New York State Department of Education, New York State University, New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotic Control, New York State Department of Mental Hygiene. New York State Division of Parole. The Police Departments of the City of Albany. Buffalo, Rochester. Schenectady, Syracuse. Utica, Yonkers. New York State Department of Social Welfare, the New York State Youth Commission and the Boards of Education of the Cities of Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Mt..
Vernon, New Rochelle, Niagara Falls, Rochester, Schenectady, Syracuse, Troy, Utica and Yonkers within the city of New York. We have made contact and received information, both statistical and otherwise, from the New York City Department of Correction and New York City Department of Education, the New York City Department of Health, the New York City Department of Hospitals and New York City Police Department. The New York City Court of Special Sessions. The New York City Magistrates Court in New York City Youth Board. Over and above these public agencies, we have made contact and received information from the Welfare Council of the City of New York. I should like to have this list of these nine agencies, Exhibit two in these proceedings I receive seven to. Mr. Attorney General, at the outset, I would like to emphasize that our study is intended to demonstrate from various sources the scope and extent of narcotic use and addiction.
- WNYC News
- New York's Narcotics Hearings
- Part 1
- Producing Organization
- WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
- Contributing Organization
- The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- Most of the first side of this disc consists of the WNYC describing the scene before the hearing actually begins. After the hearing opens, we hear from New York State Attorney General Nathaniel Goldstein and Assistant Attorney General Sidney Tartikoff. A young woman is heard by transcription disc describing her descent into drug addiction.
- Series Description
- "The New York State Attorney General's Narcotics Hearings, consisting of the first phase of investigation, were broadcast in full on WNYC. The Hearings covered the problems of drug addiction among teen-agers, and were broadcast with a view to acquainting the public with a serious community problem."--1951 Peabody Awards entry form.
- Broadcast Date
- Asset type
- Media type
Producing Organization: WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Speaker: Goldstein, Nathaniel
Speaker: Tartikoff, Sidney
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the
University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-94c4717e120 (Filename)
Format: Grooved analog disc
Generation: Transcription disc
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- Chicago: “WNYC News; 1951-06-11--excerpt, New York's Narcotics Hearings; New York's Narcotics Hearings; Part 1,” 1952-01-12, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-ms3jw87t05.
- MLA: “WNYC News; 1951-06-11--excerpt, New York's Narcotics Hearings; New York's Narcotics Hearings; Part 1.” 1952-01-12. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-ms3jw87t05>.
- APA: WNYC News; 1951-06-11--excerpt, New York's Narcotics Hearings; New York's Narcotics Hearings; Part 1. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-ms3jw87t05