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Herbert Hoover: Statement on the Emergency Adjusted Compensation Act, 1931.
Herbert Hoover
80 - Statement on the Emergency Adjusted Compensation Act, 1931.
February 27, 1931
Public Papers of the Presidents
Herbert Hoover<br>1931
Herbert Hoover
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"Although I have been greatly opposed to the passage of the bonus legislation in its provisions for loans from the Treasury to people not in need, now that it is a law we propose to facilitate the working of it in every way possible.

"Inasmuch as the physical task of making loans to 3,500,000 veterans, or even half that number, who might apply, will require many months, even with the most intensive organization, I have requested General Hines to give complete priority to applications from veterans who are in need, and have asked him to set up some machinery for the certification of these cases, especially giving regard to the certification of the veterans' service organizations and the various relief organizations dealing with unemployment. The recent survey of the larger cities shows, in the opinion of the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs, that about 6 percent of the total number of veterans in industrial centers, are now receiving support from the local unemployment and other relief committees. This bill will relieve some of the burden now being carried by these committees, but as the amount possible for many veterans to borrow under the bill is so small, it is urgently necessary that the local committees shall continue their service to many veterans.

"I wish to compliment the veterans' service organizations for their cooperation in undertaking a campaign amongst all veterans, urging them not to take advantage of the loan provisions except in cases of absolute necessity. I understand they are placing it on the ground of assistance to the Federal Government in minimizing the amount of money we shall be called upon to borrow and upon the fact that loans upon the bonus certificates exhaust the protection to veterans' families under the endowment insurance features of the certificates.

"Taking General Hines' survey of the number of veterans being assisted by local committees as a basis, it would appear that if all loans were confined to need, the drain on the Treasury may be limited to 10 percent of the potential liability created by the law."

Note: On the same day, the White House issued the text of a letter, dated February 26, 1931, from Frank T. Hines, Administrator of Veterans' Affairs. The letter with inclosed reports follows:
My dear Mr. President:

I am inclosing herewith as complete information as it has been possible to secure as to the number of veterans and veterans' families who are receiving relief through organized charity.

These returns represent the reports from eighteen cities whose veteran population is estimated as approximating 898,469. While, in my opinion, the figures on relief extended are indexes only including, as they doubtless do, some duplication, and on the other hand in some instances probably not including all cases to whom relief is being extended, it is interesting to note that from these figures the percent of veteran population represented who is actually in receipt of relief approximates 8, as some 72,310 cases are represented by the attached reports. If we apply this percent to the 3,400,000 holders of bonus certificates there would result a figure of approximately 272,000, which is at least indicative of the number of veterans at this time so in need as to seek relief from organized charity.

I might add it is my personal opinion, however, that these figures on the average are higher than probably the actual facts warrant when we take into account possible duplications and also minor forms of relief which may be comprehended. I would say that a better average figure might be 6%. Further, I have checked back on certain reports originally received, and modified figures have been used.
Very sincerely yours,


[ Honorable Herbert Hoover, The President of the United States ]



Number of
veterans, or
families to
Estimated whom relief
Total military reported
City Population Population afforded Note


Boston 781,188 45,000 2,936 Includes relief rendered by Red Cross to
disabled veterans only and excludes relief
rendered by Family Welfare Society, Catholic
Charitable Bureau, St. Vincent de Paul Society
and Industrial Aid Society, data for which
organizations do not distinguish between
veterans and others.

Buffalo 573, 076 1 20, 058 6, 004 Value of relief $150,908 include relief extended
by Red Cross, American Legion, Disabled
American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars,
City Public Welfare Department, extent of
duplication and period covered not shown

Philadelphia 1,950, 961 101,932 4, 803 Includes 3,953 families of veterans, average
number in family, five. Does not include relief
extended by individual posts of veterans'

New York 6, 930, 446 258, 733 1 20, 000 Some 1,200 charitable organizations in New York
City, most of which do not differentiate between
veterans and others. While it is estimated 20,000
are actually in receipt of relief at this time, it is
further estimated that an additional 20,000 have
requested relief. American Legion has estimated
50,000 have applied for relief in New York City.

Cincinnati 451,160 22,820 735 Does not include returns from associated
charities to be submitted later.

Birmingham 259,678 29,089 1,025 Does not include relief afforded by churches
Salvation Army, community kitchen as veterans
not distinguished from others.


See footnotes at end of table.


Number of
veterans, or
families to
Estimated whom relief
Total military reported
City Population Population afforded Note

New Orleans 458, 762 17, 500 493 Excludes relief afforded by church and small
welfare organizations.

Chicago 3, 376, 438 3 130, 000 2 10,900 Relief afforded does not include that
furnished by relief agencies suburban
villages in Cook County. General estimate is
that 10 percent of veteran population being
furnished relief. Does not include aid
extended by individual legion posts.

Indianapolis 364, 161 1 12, 746 1,061 Includes estimates from 21 Red Cross and
6 associated charity agencies.

Detroit 1,568, 662 60, 000 1,500 Report based upon Director, Service Men's
Bureau and does not include those of
veterans reported receiving clothes as well
as meals and lodging from Mayor's Welfare
Milwaukee 578, 249 1 20,239 4,150 Cash allowances $77,000 in addition to other
St. Louis 821, 960 55,000 1,721 Does not include number veterans seeking
employment and for whom employment
obtained, former being 3,500; later 1,027
San Antonio 231,542 7,000 1,085 Includes applications for relief to Red Cross
and associated charities and applies to
residents and transients.
Kansas City
(Missouri) 399,746 30,000 2,600
Minneapolis 464, 356 23, 000 6,492 Cost of relief $60,093
Denver 287,861 13,552 672 Relief afforded by Red Cross and Community
Chest agencies.
Seattle 365, 583 16, 000 1,813
Los Angeles 1, 238, 048 56, 000 4,320



2 City of Chicago alone.
3 Cook county.

Citation: Herbert Hoover: "Statement on the Emergency Adjusted Compensation Act, 1931.," February 27, 1931. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=23000.
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