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The President's News Conference

December 23, 1930

GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURES ON UNEMPLOYMENT

THE PRESIDENT. The last time we had some further questions about the expenditure of the Government in various directions in aid to increasing employment, and we have had the various departments dissect the expenditure and try to arrive at the estimated amount for the calendar year. I have had it mimeographed for you, so that you will have the details. But in order to arrive at it we have had to take the fiscal years under different categories in 1931 and 1932, and then divide them into two and add them together to the calendar year and then add the accelerated programs. So that we finally come out at $724 million of expenditure on construction work in all directions for the calendar year. This compares with $275 million, I mentioned before, for the fiscal year 1928. And then we also show here the amounts appropriated for agricultural relief, but in any event I think that straightens it out.

There was a request that we dissect it as to States, but we found that was quite impracticable--to get out the figures with any degree of accuracy at the present time.

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS AND THE PREVAILING WAGE

There has been a question under discussion about wages on Government contracts. A year ago at the outset of the depression, and as the result of business conferences, we brought about an understanding that leading employers would maintain the wage scales. That action has been one of the most constructive during the period of the depression. Obviously, the policy of the Federal Government has to be to follow the recommendations that they made to the commercial world, and it has been followed by the Federal Government in every direction. We have had a few instances of difficulties that have arisen with minor contractors, but they have been adjusted whenever they have arisen, and it is the policy of the Government both as to existing contracts and those to be let that contractors shall keep up wages and pay not less than the prevailing wages in various districts.

And that is all that I have got today, except to wish you all a merry Christmas.

Note: President Hoover's one hundred and sixty-third news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, December 23, 1930.

On the same day, the White House issued the text of a statement on public works and unemployment relief (see Item 423).

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/211129

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