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Statement on the Reorganization of the Republican Party in the South.

March 26, 1929

IN REPLY to queries from the press upon organization questions in the South, the President stated:

"It has been the aspiration of Republican Presidents over many years to build up sound Republican organization in the Southern States of such character as would commend itself to the citizens of those States.

"This aspiration has arisen out of no narrow sense of partisanship but from the conviction shared in equally by the leaders of all parties that the basis of sound government must rest upon strong two-party representation and organization; that the voice of all States in the councils of the Government can be assured by no other means; that the welfare of [p.45] the Nation at large requires the breaking down of sectionalism in politics; that the public service can be assured only by responsible organization. Furthermore, it has been the belief of these leaders, whose views I share, that the building up of such organizations must in every conception of our foundations of local self-government evolve from those States themselves.

"Republican leadership in the border States and in Virginia and North Carolina has long since built up vigorous party organization which assures Republican representation in the Congress from those States.

"In other States including Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida, the Republican leadership has in recent times shown increasing strength and is now rendering able and conscientious service in maintaining wholesome organization under whose advice the appointments to public office have steadily improved and commended themselves to the citizens of those States with increased confidence in the party. I highly approve and welcome the movement of the leaders of Texas, Alabama, Florida, and other States to broaden the basis of party organization by the establishment of advisory committees of the highest type of citizenship to deal with administrative questions and who will also cooperate with independent Democrats. This movement, springing as it does from within the States themselves, insures its strength, permanence, and constant improvement in public service.

"Recent exposures of abuse in recommendations for Federal office, particularly in some parts of the States of South Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi under which some of the Federal departments, mainly the Post Office, were misled in appointments, obviously render it impossible for the old organizations in those States to command the confidence of the administration, although many members of these organizations are not subject to criticism. But such conditions are intolerable to public service, are repugnant to the ideals and purposes of the Republican Party, are unjust to the people of the South and must be ended. The duty of reorganization so as to correct these conditions rests with the people of those States, and all efforts to that end will receive the hearty cooperation of the administration. If these three States are unable to [p.46] initiate such organization through the leadership of men who will command confidence and protect the public service, the different Federal departments will be compelled to adopt other methods to secure advice as to the selection of Federal employees."

Herbert Hoover, Statement on the Reorganization of the Republican Party in the South. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/211022

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