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The President's News Conference

January 13, 1931


THE PRESIDENT. I am issuing this morning a proclamation on behalf of the Red Cross stating that there must be a very material increase in the resources of the American Red Cross to enable it to bear the burden which it has undertaken in the drought area and smaller communities over 21 States during this winter. Within the last 10 days the Red Cross has had to increase the rate of expenditures to an amount greater than during the entire preceding 4 months.

The American Red Cross is the Nation's sole agency for relief in such a crisis. It is meeting the demand, and must continue to do so during the remainder of the winter. The disaster reserve of the Red Cross which was pledged to this emergency last August is not sufficient to meet the increased demands. It is imperative in the view of the experienced directors of the Red Cross that a minimum of at least $10 million be contributed to carry the relief program to completion.

The familiarity of this situation, due to months of press reports of its progress, should not blind us to the fact that it is a real emergency, nor dull our active sympathies toward our fellow countrymen who are in actual want and in many cases will lack the bare necessities of life unless they are provided for.

As President of the United States and as President of the American Red Cross, I, therefore, appeal to our people to contribute promptly and most generously in order that the suffering of thousands of our fellow countrymen may be prevented. I am doing so with supreme confidence that in the face of this great humanitarian need your response will be immediate.

Just one word beyond the proclamation. The problem in the broad way and in certain rural areas is also a problem of the general depression, but it is not alone the farmers but its reactive effect upon villages and especially villages with small industries, from the depression and the drought which calls upon the Red Cross for services entirely beyond any form of agricultural relief. We have now organized the Red Cross in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture so that there will be a complete interlocking of their committee setup throughout the entire region, and thus there can be no failure at care for everybody who is in need. The amount indicated is necessary. It has been placed at a minimum of $10 million, which with the disaster relief appears at the present moment to be sufficient to adequately care for the problem, but it certainly does require this minimum amount. And I am in hopes that out of common interest you will spread our proclamation.

Thank you very much.

Note: President Hoover's one hundred and sixty-seventh news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, January 13, 1931.

On the same day, the White House issued a text of the President's message to the Nation urging support for the drought relief campaign of the American National Red Cross (see Item 17).

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/212405

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