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Message to Governor Gifford Pinchot of Pennsylvania on the Reconstruction Finance Corporation

September 20, 1932

YOUR TELEGRAM has been received. I feel that if you will study the law creating the Reconstruction Finance Corporation you will realize that it was set up as an independent agency by the Congress with specific directions in the law for its conduct by its Board of Directors, giving to them sole authority in determination of loans. I have no authority or right therefore to direct the Board to make specific loans or advances you request.

The Board is a non-partisan body of eminent, patriotic and sympathetic men. They are engaged in unceasing investigation of every application. They are giving earnest and full consideration to information supplied to them and endeavoring to extend every aid to distress and proved need within their authority. I am sure you will find they will act fully in this spirit.


[Hon. Gifford Pinchot, Governor of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania]

Note: The President's message was in response to a telegram from Governor Pinchot, also dated September 20, which follows:

After two months of constant effort to get help for Pennsylvania's one million two hundred fifty thousand totally unemployed and their wives and children the Reconstruction Finance Corporation still persists in its cruel needless and unexplained refusal to advance what Pennsylvania has every right to ask and to get. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation shows either complete inability or complete unwillingness to realize the situation in Pennsylvania and the pitiful need for help. Tens of thousands of families are living on two dollars a week or less and the need for relief grows greater day by day. The test which the Reconstruction Finance Corporation is attempting to enforce is not whether Pennsylvania needs help which is beyond all dispute nor whether the commonwealth has done its full share which is equally beyond dispute but whether certain statistics can be furnished because records have been kept in certain ways. Last Friday Pennsylvania complied in full with the latest demand of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation for useless statistics. If Washington does not act before September 22nd, may I have an appointment with you on Friday next to end this senseless embargo on feeding the starving in this state.

[The President, The White House]

Herbert Hoover, Message to Governor Gifford Pinchot of Pennsylvania on the Reconstruction Finance Corporation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/207630

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