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The President's News Conference

February 28, 1930

THE PRESIDENT. It is a great pity to have you walk all around the town and come here and then I have nothing.

We are issuing a report that we have received from the committee that was formed to expedite construction work in public utilities, but you will get that outside, and I don't need to read it to you. Otherwise than that there is nothing doing.

Note: President Hoover's ninety-third news conference was held in the State, War, and Navy Building at 4 p.m. on Friday, February 28, 1930.

On the same day, the White House issued the following report from Matthew S. Sloan, Chairman of the Special Committee on Expedition of Public Utility Construction To Assist Employment:
Dear Mr. President:

In response to your request, I have secured information on the progress in carrying out the construction program of the electric light and power, manufactured and natural gas, and electric railway utilities.

On November 27th, I advised you that the total estimated expenditures by these utilities during 1930 for new construction and expansion of facilities was placed at $1,400,000,000. A recent re-canvass of the companies shows that there have been no major modifications in plans and that this construction program in aggregate will probably be somewhat exceeded.

Information completed yesterday indicates that the total expenditures for new construction already made this year or to be made by March 31st by electric, gas, and street railway companies, will aggregate $365,000,000.

This amount is 12% higher than corresponding expenditures during the first quarter of 1929. Since the total estimated expenditures for new construction during the entire year 1930 are 8 1/2% higher than for 1929, this indicates that the construction program now under way has been accelerated.

The electric light and power utility companies advise that of the total $865,000,000 to be expended by them for new construction, $465,000,000 will be in orders with manufacturers and producers of equipment and construction materials, with corresponding acceleration of factory employment.

Furthermore, a very large proportion of the remaining $400,000,000 will be expended for local labor. It is especially significant that these expenditures are not concentrated in a few localities but, on the contrary, are spread quite evenly throughout the nation. It is safe to say that every city and town in the country will be directly affected by this program.

The volume of new orders for equipment and materials already placed or to be placed by March 31st will be $180,000,000 or 38% of the year's total. This likewise indicates positive and accelerated progress in the new construction program.

Output of electric power is among the valuable indices of general industrial activity. It is, therefore, of interest to note that during January and February electric output for succeeding weeks has at no time been below the high levels of 1929. On the contrary, some weeks showed increases varying from 2% to 4 1/2% over last year's figures. The early part of 1929 was marked by exceptionally high industrial production and consequently large consumption of electric energy. During these weeks last year, electric energy output was running from 10% to 12% above 1928. This established extremely high levels.

In view of this, we interpret present electrical energy output, as indicative that industrial production, considering the country as a whole, is maintaining itself on approximately the same levels as the unusually high ones of last year, which were considerably above those of any since the post-war collapse.


Increase of 1930 over

Week Ending: Corresponding Week 1929

January 4 Plus 3.8%
11 3.4%
18 3.7%
25 4.5%
February 1 2.9%
8 2.1%
15 0.5%
22 0.0%

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/211531

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