Franklin D. Roosevelt photo

Press Conference

January 22, 1937

MR. GODWIN: (Referring to Inauguration Day Address delivered in the open during a very heavy rainstorm) Did you have any ill effects? Did you get a cold?

THE PRESIDENT: Not a sign of one. Charlie [Michelson] got one.

Q. Steve [Early] said that you wore out two silk hats.

Q. That was about the all-time high of bad weather.

THE PRESIDENT: I think it was.

MR. DONALDSON: All in.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, judging by the looks of people, I should say you could take it, too. (Laughter)

Q. Nothing but a little rain.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. I don't think there is any particular news this morning. I am sending up a message early next week on natural resources. . . .

Q. Isn't it that conservation plan?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Otherwise, I don't think there is anything at all.

Q. Have you anything to say about this automobile strike situation as it developed overnight?

THE PRESIDENT: I have no further news than what you already have. Of course I think that, in the interests of peace, there come moments when statements, conversations and headlines are not in order. (Laughter) Therefore, having no news I don't think I will say anything further.

Q. Do you plan to intervene in the automobile strike?

THE PRESIDENT: I think I have already answered the question.

Q. Did you read Mr. John L. Lewis's statement?

THE PRESIDENT: I have already answered the question.

MR. EARLY: May that one sentence be directly quoted?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

[The President's answer, "Of course I think that, in the interests of peace, there come moments when statements, conversations and headlines are not in order," was read to the Press by the stenographer.]

Q. That sentence may be quoted?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

Q. Will you see the British member of the Board of Trade tomorrow or today?

THE PRESIDENT: No, Mr. Runciman is coming tomorrow. I think he is coming just after lunch and staying until Monday.

Q. Mr. President, can you tell us anything about the possibility of building a Government auditorium here for such a day as last January twentieth?

THE PRESIDENT: Quite aside from this last January twentieth there have been quite a number of occasions which have shown the need of a larger auditorium in Washington. Do you remember the party that had to have overflow meetings in Constitution Hall because there wasn't any place big enough to take care of all of them? We have talked about it for a long time. It is a very desirable thing for the Government to have one very large auditorium in Washington.

On the other hand, it is a question of what comes first in the present condition of things. Take, for example, the Army. Today the Army is, I think, in twenty-two different buildings, most of them rented. Probably it is more important to house some of our people, Government workers, than it is to build an auditorium. If we had enough money to build both, I would be delighted to build both.

I am working at the present time on a plan, which is all a part of the general planning idea, that lists the needs of the Government in the way of buildings in the District of Columbia. It is a more or less informal report that would be sent to the Appropriations Committee of both Houses, the thought being that it would plan to spend a certain amount of money each year for perhaps ten years. I think there have been plans of that kind before. It was on the basis of such a plan that the Triangle buildings were built. Now we have come to a point where we need new plans.

Q. Would the expenditure of that money come out of the five million dollars for general public works?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

Q. Is there anything in the TVA situation about which you care to comment?

THE PRESIDENT: There isn't any news on that at all at the present time. That very informal committee is working on it and I will probably see them over the weekend or early next week.

Q. There have been a good many rumors that Dr. Morgan [Dr. Arthur E. Morgan] is going to resign.

THE PRESIDENT: I haven't heard anything except what I have read.

Q. Wasn't there another committee appointed for the same thing?

THE PRESIDENT: That went out of existence.

Q. Did they ever report?

THE PRESIDENT: Only informally. We were not ready at that time because it got through—it passed one House and not the other.

Q. Can you tell us whether you will join or support any legislation seeking a change of practice of the Supreme Court with respect to legislation?

THE PRESIDENT: That is a sort of "iffy" question.

Q. I presume what you said about your program for public buildings supersedes everything that Secretary Ickes has said about it, the fact that it has been proposed as a Jefferson Memorial?

THE PRESIDENT: It does and it doesn't. Of course the Jefferson Memorial is in a different category because there is a Joint Committee on that subject. I cannot very well do more than refer to the fact that that Joint Committee is still in session.

Q. Mr. President, will you make public the correspondence between the Treasury and the I.C.C. on taxes, that passed through the White House?

THE PRESIDENT: I cannot tell you yet. There is only one letter so far, so it cannot be called "correspondence."

Q. The other is on its way? (Laughter)

Q. Have you selected any date or personnel yet for that conference about the courts that Senator Minton talked about?

THE PRESIDENT: There isn't any conference. Senator Minton is coming down to confer with me. The Attorney General will come down but I suppose he will come down with a lot of other Senators.

MR. YOUNG: Thank you, Mr. President.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Press Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/209156

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