Memorandum to Federal Departments and Agencies on Reduction of Federal Expenditures.
[Released September 11, 1932. Dated September 10, 1932]
THE BUDGETS of the different departments and independent agencies for the year beginning July 1, 1933, are now under discussion with the Bureau of the Budget.
A study of the preliminary estimates shows that all parts of the Government are making great effort toward economies. I desire, however, that the responsible heads shall give renewed study looking to the elimination of every expenditure not absolutely essential to these times.
I have asked the Director of the Budget to make every effort to secure a reduction of at least $500,000,000 in the estimates of appropriations for the next year below the appropriations made for the current year, and the cooperation of the responsible administrative officers is necessary to achieve this end. A part of this can be accomplished in reduction of construction activities which have been so greatly speeded up during the past few years as an aid to employment. I believe we can reasonably predicate our budget in the confidence that such expenditures will be less necessary for employment purposes after June of next year. Moreover, these works by virtue of the enormous outlay since 1930 as a means of employment will be in many particulars in advance of the country's immediate need. Other activities can well be further curtailed during the period of recovery. Obviously nothing will more contribute to that recovery than a relief from taxation.
While the executives can budget various activities upon the lowest possible basis, still a large part of the Government activities are fixed by law and they must be budgeted for expenditure. In some of these cases the whole or part of the activities can only with the approval of Congress be suspended. I desire that such possibilities be fully developed with the Director of the Budget with view to preparing a detailed recommendation to the Congress for authority to take such action. You will recollect that during the last session of the Congress the Departments proposed to various economy committees of the Congress reductions in expenditures of this type, which failed of authorization. Such amounts would be in addition to the $500,000,000 mentioned above and they should now be again exhaustively considered.
Herbert Hoover, Memorandum to Federal Departments and Agencies on Reduction of Federal Expenditures. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/207489