Herbert Hoover photo

The President's News Conference

June 05, 1931


THE PRESIDENT. I have this morning the occasional return that I secure from the departments as to the number of employees in the Government service and the number of people employed on construction work and furnishing the supplies for such work. I thought perhaps it might interest you. The Government employees include, of course, the military services. They have not varied at the different periods more than 1,000. The construction employees, since January 1930, however--that is a year and 5 months ago-have increased from 235,000 to 655,000 at the present moment, and based on the contracts which have been made and the calculation as to the number of people employed under them, they will increase to 805,000 by the first of September. However, we will give you that table.


I have had some questions on the silver situation, and I am able to talk to you about it simply as background. As was stated the other day, the informal discussions amongst a good many governments developed the fact that they would feel opposed to the holding of such a conference at the present time. I notice that Senator Smoot has suggested that under the agency of the International Chamber of Commerce, which was one of the international bodies that passed strong resolutions recommending such a conference, that there might be held an informal conference of experts and people interested. It is my own impression that that might be of some advantage--that they might be able to develop a program which at least would be worth consideration by the governments. The problem in silver is the fact that whereas production has not materially increased, the demonetization of silver in certain localities and the exigencies of certain other governments have led to the sale of considerable amounts of silver on the top of production. And there are three or four phases that have been suggested by the different people interested in the problem that no doubt such a conference would develop further and might exhaust their possibilities--such things as a coordination in production and cessation of government sales and the increase of minor coinage, increase of consumption in the arts, and other things which might very rightly be developed. And it certainly would do no harm if there was an informal conference, much as there was over wheat or many other conferences that are constantly going on over the world. It tends to educate the public mind and may develop something of practical importance.


Other than the appointment of Collector of Customs at Los Angeles, California, I have no other news today.


Q. Mr. President, can you tell us if Mr. Adams is to fly down to the camp in an autogiro. That rumor has been going around.

THE PRESIDENT. I hadn't heard the rumor at all. I doubt whether he could alight at the camp.

Note: President Hoover's one hundred and ninety-sixth news conference was held in the White House at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 5, 1931.

Howard W. Seager was appointed Collector of Customs at Los Angeles, Calif., on June 4, 1931.

The press question referred to Secretary of the Navy Charles F. Adams and the President's camp on the Rapidan River, where Secretary Adams and other naval officials attended the Navy Department economy conference. The Secretary did fly to the camp in an autogiro, landing in a nearby field.

Following the news conference, the White House released a table providing Government employment statistics, which follows:


January October June September
1930 1930 1931 1931

Regular employees except construction
workers 902, 000 899, 000 901, 000 901,000
Persons employed upon construction work
and furnishing supplies therefor 235, 000 420, 000 655, 000 805, 000

Total 1,137, 000 1,319, 000 1,556, 000 1,706, 000


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/211054

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