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The President's News Conference

August 23, 1929


THE PRESIDENT. Somebody wants to know if there is a change contemplated in the chairmanship of the Shipping Board. There is not.

Likewise I think four Cabinet officers have been rumored to have resigned in the last 8 days, and I want to tell you that that is a hot weather phenomenon, also. Nobody contemplates resigning that I have ever heard of.


The Department of Justice and the War Department have found a legal basis for the transfer of the disciplinary barracks at Leavenworth to the service of the Department of Justice as a purely temporary measure, pending the time when we can get the matter before Congress, and the transfer ought to be complete within the next month and perhaps less.


There is a matter which I would like to explain to you--background, which is for your own information. It deals with foreign affairs, and I do not want any quotation. I am just telling you something to keep yourselves right in your own discussions.

The statement appeared in some of the press this morning that an agreement had been reached in Great Britain on the naval question. That is entirely premature. Any agreement on naval disarmament must be the result of conference with the other powers, and the location and date of that conference has not been concluded--in fact, has not been more than tentatively discussed. As we have already said on various occasions, at the suggestion of the other naval powers concerned in the Naval Preparatory Conference, preparatory to disarmament, general discussions have been carried on between ourselves and the British looking forward to the establishment of certain principles that would [p.261] guide negotiations in matters which solely concern, or principally concern, ourselves and the British, prior to establishing the whole question of a general conference.

Now, we have made a good deal of progress on the establishment of those principles, but they are not yet completed--they have not yet been concluded--so that it is premature to state that anything in the nature of an agreement or an accord has been reached. These discussions are devoted to the consideration of principles that should guide the discussions in a conference, so as to prepare the conference in the lines along which the work is to be carried on. Therefore, any conclusion as to details is entirely out of place, because we are not engaged in the discussion of details. We are engaged in the discussion of general and broad principles. I am hopeful of the result. It looks encouraging, but it has not yet been concluded, and when our discussions with the British are brought to an acceptable stage we will then meet to consult the other powers, and after that the question of a general conference will arise.

All I want to make clear is that this is a problem that requires many stages of development. It is a slow process and in a general way we are making encouraging progress. Further than that, I have no inquiries today. So I can tell you no more.

Note: President Hoover's forty-fifth news conference was held in the White House at 3 p.m. on Friday, August 23, 1929.

Herbert Hoover, The President's News Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/211523

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