Herbert Hoover photo

Radio Remarks to the Annual Convention of the National Association of Broadcasters

October 26, 1931

It gives me great pleasure to greet the ninth annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters meeting this week in Detroit. As Secretary of Commerce I had the pleasure of wide acquaintance with the purposes of your association in the Annual National Radio Conferences which were called at that time for the development of the national policies in relation to radio.

The decisions reached at that early date have been of unending importance. The determination that radio channels were public property and should be controlled by the Government; the determination that we should not have governmental broadcasting supported by a tax upon the listener, but that we should give license to use of these channels under private enterprise where there would be no restraint upon programs, has secured for us far greater variety of programs and excellence of service without cost to the listener. This decision has avoided the pitfalls of political and social conflicts in the use of speech over the radio which would have been involved in Government broadcasting. It has preserved free speech to the country.

These principles are now strongly imbedded in our law and in our entire public system. The industry has constantly faced new and complex problems in developing policies and practices abreast of development and need. Your association has contributed greatly to their solution. I am confident that you recognize the responsibility which rests upon you in public interest. It is needless to mention the many-sided importance of radio in modern life. Its dissemination of entertainment, of knowledge, and of public opinion and topics of the public welfare, has become an essential element in the intellectual development of our country. It has brought most of the supposed values which were formerly available exclusively to life in the cities to every home throughout the land, for the treasures of music, of entertainment, and of information have been brought to the loneliest farm and the most remote hamlet. It is an incalculable extension of happiness and contentment.

I extend to you my most cordial greetings and good wishes for your meeting, with the confidence that you will develop still further policies of sound management and public service.

Note: The President spoke at 12 noon from the Cabinet Room in the White House to the convention in Convention Hail in Detroit, Mich. The National Broadcasting Company carried the President's remarks.

A reading copy of this item with holograph changes by the President is available for examination at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.

Herbert Hoover, Radio Remarks to the Annual Convention of the National Association of Broadcasters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/208045

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