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MANCHESTER EYEWITNESS
ISSUE NUMBER 9 SATURDAY, MAY 3RD, 1947


Dr Metcalfe Brown - Manchester's Medical Officer of Health, said today that about half of the dwelling houses in Manchester were unfit for human habitation. Many of the conditions in Manhester's schools, factories and industries was also unsatisfactory.

He had some good news to report as well: Thanks to the National Health service Act there has been a vast fall in infant mortality. Only 10 children a year are dying becuse of diphtheria, compared with one a week a few years ago. This was due to the diphtheria immunisation campaign.

The Halle orchestra season came to an end with the Beethoven Emperor concerto and Eroica, conducted by John Barbirolli. The concert took place at the King's Hall, Belle Vue

The 44 hours a week gas strike which began in Manchester last Saturday spread to Stockport on Tuesday. Maintenance engineers walked out at 9am to try and hurry negotiations for a 5 day week.

A Stockport Corporation official said there could be no action to grant a 44 our week until negotiations had been concluded.

Manchester and other cities have been flooded with leaflets from Irish butchers offering meat for sale, including fresh Irish beef and fresh lamb at 6s 6d for two pounds, and pickled tongue at15s for four lb.

Members of the public should however be aware that it is illegal to send money out of this country for rationed goods. A number of meat merchants in Ireland are sending out these notices, but unless it is a bona fide gift, it is illegal to buy meat from abroad.

Prominent citizens will attend a dinner for the Manchester and Salford famine Relef committee. The menu will consist of soup, bread and ersatz coffee. The organisers hope that the event will make people here aware of the scarcities being endured in Europe today. The menu represents half a days rations in Germany or Austria, and the coffee ewas specially sent over for the occasion.

Manchester University is finding it increasingly difficult to find lodgings for its students. Since the recent release from the forces of married people applying to the university, there has been a problem finding married accommodation.

A large number of the University's 4800 students live with their families in a 50 mile radius. Some live in University hostels, others have lodgings in Oxford Road's theatrical "digs".

For some reason Manchester seems to attract tramps. 10 per cent of the casuals of the country are to be found within a radius of 20 miles of Manchester. In one week last month, Tame-street had over 100.

But the North-west Casual Poor Assistance Authority will consider how best to divert the "casuals" into useful work. They will be interviewed nad encouraged to take up suitable employment. The official view is that it is not right for able-bodied men to be allowed to tramp the country at the expense of the community, especially during the current power shortage.

Manchester has offered to replace the lifeboat lost at Mumbles in South Wales last week. In a letter to the South Wales Evening Post, Captain Jack Williams of Mumbles writes "it was very gratifying to read that Manchester is proviidng a new lifeboat for Mumbles".

There is some puzzlement about the circumstances of the shop front collapse which took place last Saturday on Rochdale Road. The police have been unable to find the answers to certain questions: What firm did they work for, who was the general foreman and who were the owners of the shops they were working on? The investigations continue.

The nephew of the man who wrote the words of the Irish national anthem, 24 year old Brendan Behan, has been sent to prison for four months at Manchester today. He pleaded guilty to violating a Home Office order forbidding him to enter the country. Behan was sent to Borstal in 1942 for possession of firearms.

A howling gale 70 mph in places flattened a fair in Macclesfield, blew down a football stand, and caused houses to collapse. As a consequence, Mr Shinwell has suspended the ban on home heating.

It was the coldest May Day for six years. Snow fell at Edenfield near Rawtenstall and in the Pennines there were hail and thunder storms. Trees were uprooted, and roads blocked - The temperature was 39 degrees in Manchester - 7 above freezing.

The Air ministry forecast lighter winds and rise in temperature in the North


And here are some of the national headlines this week


A conference is taking place on the revival of gangsterism in London. Detectives believe there are three gangs active. It seems that gangsters from europe and America have homed in on London, which is turning into a new Chicago. Police in London are mobilised to try and find the three men who shot dead Mr Alec de Antiquitis during a jewel robbery.

After coming out in sympathy with strikers in Glasgow, the London dockers decided at a mass meeting to return to work. But at a meeting two hours eariler, the Glasgow dockers refused the Labour Minister's three point settlement offer, and agreed by 155 votes to stay out.

Mr Hugh Law, chairman of the Glasgow union, urged the men to accept the terms. The 204 pre 1939 men will be reinstated, and a further 296 will be taken back pending an enquiry. Mr Law urged the strikers to return.

There is resentment at the strike, and a feeling that the dockers are putting Britain at risk by their action.

The retail price of biscuits will go up tomorrow. Chocolate biscuits go (wholly covered) will go up by 5d per lb, partly covered by 4d. Oatcakes are dearer by 3d per lb and other classified biscuits by 2d.

Film censors hve banned a film starring Lucille Ball and Franchot Tone. Thy are together as husband and wife, and push their twin beds together in a comic scene from their new picture "My Awful Wife". But the censor declared" "It violates our rules Twin beds must be at least a foot apart"

The scene was reshot at great expense 7500 pounds, 625 for each inch moved. There have also been complaints by the Morality Council, whose chairman is Rev A Jeans Courtney, about cinema posters which exploit nudity, though the films themselves are rarely offensive.

Text and photos by Aidan O'Rourke

(Based on reports in the Manchester Evening News, the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror)

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