Franklin D. Roosevelt

Excerpts from the Press Conference

May 11, 1934

Q. Mr. President, is there any plan to help the drought sufferers out West?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we talked all about it in Cabinet. This is something you cannot use yet; it has to be off the record. We have been working on it for a whole year and I think I have talked informally here about the general theory of it. This has to be off the record, because I am a month away from a definite story on it. With crop control in those crops in which there is a surplus of production over consumption and in which we are trying to bring production within the general field of consumption in order to prevent abnormally low-price levels, you always have to recognize the element of chance that you may have a year of bumper crops and that at another time you may have a year of serious crop shortage.

Over a year ago we began discussing the principle of establishing what might be called a reserve granary which would contain a large carryover, a larger carryover than we have been carrying in normal years. That reserve emergency granary could be used to store surpluses in the bounteous years; and then we could draw on that granary in years of drought in order to prevent any starvation or anything like abnormally high prices. In that way, it would work both ways. In other words, in years of plenty it would help prevent abnormally low prices, and in years of drought it would help prevent abnormally high prices.

The thing has been, more or less, in a very tentative study stage for the past year; and we are working on it at the present time. We hope to have something along that line worked out during the course of the next few weeks, not as a message to be presented to this Congress, but as something to be studied as an essential component part of the general agricultural program.

Q. Do you care to tell us what feature of the drought was discussed in the Cabinet meeting?

THE PRESIDENT: Just the localities, the different localities which came out in the report.

Q. Was there any discussion of making funds available for some of the farmers who complain that their crops are going to be ruined?

THE PRESIDENT: No. Of course that would be handled out of the general relief funds if it came to the point of necessity. . . .

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Excerpts from the Press Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives