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The President's News Conference

December 09, 1930

FEDERAL EXPENDITURES FOR EMPLOYMENT AND RELIEF

THE PRESIDENT. I observe that measures have been already introduced into Congress and are having advocacy, which, if passed, would impose an increased expenditure beyond the sums which I have recommended for the present and next fiscal year by a total of about $4,500 million, mostly under the guise of giving relief of some kind or another. The gross sums that I have recommended to carry on the essential functions of the Government include the extreme sums which can be applied by the Federal Government in actual emergency employment or relief, and are the maximum that can be financed without an increase in taxes.

No matter how devised, an increase in taxes in the end falls on workers and farmers, or alternatively deprives industry of just that much ability to give employment and defeats the very purpose of these schemes. For the Government to finance by bond issues deprives industry and agriculture of just that much capital for its own use and for employment. Prosperity cannot be restored by raids upon the Public Treasury.

The leaders of both parties are cooperating to prevent any such an event. Some of these schemes are ill-considered, some represent enthusiasts, and some represent the desire of individuals to show that they are more generous than the administration, or even that they are more generous than even the leaders of their own parties. They are playing politics at the expense of human misery.

Many of these measures are being promoted by organizations and agencies outside of Congress and are being pushed on Members of Congress. Some of them are mistaken as to the results they will accomplish. All of them are mistaken as to the ability of the Federal Government to undertake such burdens. Some of these outside agencies are also engaged in promoting political purposes. The American people will not be misled by such tactics.

RELATIONS WITH EUROPE

There are one or two other things that are purely for your own information, so as to settle your own mind and relieve you of speculation. They are not for quotation--purely for your own information.

No scheme for application of the receipts from foreign debt payments to otherwise than reduction in taxes to the American people--alleviation of taxes--has ever been considered by this Government, and it is not likely it would. There is not the remotest ground for any suggestion that we have joined with France or anybody else to set up a financial bloc on any country in the world. There is not a scintilla of truth in the suggestion that we are engaged in any negotiations to set up any commitment as to conference on peace or war or upon the freedom of the seas. No such negotiations are going on anywhere in the Government, and no suggestion of the kind has ever been made.

In other words, our friends in Europe develop, frequently, ideas that they would like to try out on the American people, and it keeps us a little busy trying to deny them. So I thought I would take the whole bunch that have arrived during the past 2 weeks.

Note: President Hoover's one hundred and fifty-ninth news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, December 9, 1930.

The President referred to press speculation touched off by the movements of George L. Harrison, Governor of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, in Europe and the visit of Gates W. McGarrah, President of the Bank for International Settlements, to the United States. Rumors were circulating that payments on the war debts might be reloaned to European debtors, that credits to Great Britain might be used to correct the undue concentration of gold in France and the United States, and that financial readjustment might be tied to a conference furthering the American position on freedom of the seas.

On the same day, the White House also issued a text of the President's statement on proposed increases in Federal expenditures for employment and relief (see Item 403).

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/210956

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