Byron D. Miller, president of F. W. Woolworth Co., sailed early yesterday aboard the Bremen, North German Lloyd liner, for Europe. He left without clearing up two questions on the status of the Woolworth concern regarding the Hitler government.
When accosted by the Bulletin reporter shortly before sailing time, Miller was profuse in thanking this newspaper for its courtesy, but remained adamant in refusing to answer questions.
“Is it not true, Mr. Miller,” he was asked, “that the F. W. Woolworth Company recently announced that it was buying no more goods from Nazi Germany?”
“Thank you for your courtesy,” responded the head of the concern, “I am answering no questions.”
“Is it not true that your branch stores in Germany have widely advertised themselves as being owned and operated by Christians, and is it not equally true that a fair percentage of your stockholders in this country is Jewish?” he was queried.
“Thank you for your courtesy,” he replied.
Nor would Miller state whether the trip, which includes Mrs. Miller and their son, Byron S., was for business or vacation reasons.
The F. W. Woolworth Company in Germany is one of the most thriving of the larger department store chains. It frequently has been attacked as being the property of Jews.
Woolworth interests have suffered badly from the Nazi-anti-Nazi crossfire, having been up for boycott in Germany because of its alleged Jewish ownership, and having been picketed in New York by both Nazi and anti-Nazi factions. The firm has been accused by the former of having boycotted German goods and by the latter as having failed to cooperate with anti-Nazi boycotters.
Of late the company has maintained an absolute Silence on its attitude toward Nazi Germany. The silence fell after a number of Woolworth officials had issued conflicting reports, which later resulted in embarrassment to the concern.