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The President's News Conference

August 19, 1930

ORGANIZATION OF DROUGHT RELIEF

THE PRESIDENT. The only inquiries I have from you this morning are about the drought. In accordance with the conclusions of the Governors' Conference the other day, I appointed Secretary Hyde as the Chairman of our Federal committee to coordinate the various Federal activities, and the members are Chairman [Alexander H.] Legge, Chairman [Horace Paul] Bestor, Governor [Roy A.] Young, Chairman [John Barton] Payne of the Red Cross, Chairman [Richard H.] Aishton of the American Railway Association, Under Secretary of the Treasury [Ogden L.] Mills, and Henry M. Robinson, Chairman of the First National Bank of Los Angeles. The members of these different national organizations will no doubt appoint alternates to take care of special problems that may arise in that committee, and Mr. Robinson has been appointed to coordinate the work of the Federal credit agencies with the bankers and other agencies in the States.

The Governors of the various States are moving rapidly in the creation of their organizations. The Governors of Illinois and Virginia have reported their entire committees, and they are composed of men of very strong leadership in those States. I will give you the names of those. These committees are already actively creating their county organizations and making progress.

The continuing reports show the severity of the drought in the acutely affected area. The rains of the last few days have stemmed the spread of the drought and greatly improved matters in the nonacute areas, but the ground crops are pretty far gone in the worst affected States. It now amounts to something over 300 counties out of the total.

Q. That is the acutely affected, Mr. President ?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, somewhere in that neighborhood. Of course, the real burden of this difficulty will show itself more vividly next winter rather than during the next month or so

I have received a very marked high appreciation from all over the drought area at the action of the railways. It is really a notable act of courageous cooperation in public interest, and one that emphasizes the public interest in maintaining the strength of the railways in order that they may be able to cooperate in times of distress.

In order that there shall be no immediate distress I want to emphasize the fact that the Red Cross has instructed their agencies in every drought county to take care of the situation pending the completion of organization everywhere.

So that the whole relief system is in organization and in action so far as any distress is concerned.

And that is all I have had inquiry about and all that I have on my own mind.

Note: President Hoover's one hundred and thirty-fifth news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, August 18, 1930.

On the same day, the White House also issued a text of the President's statement on the organization of drought relief (see Item 272 ).

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/211458

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