Herbert Hoover photo

The President's News Conference

November 25, 1930

THE PRESIDENT. I have several questions today.


The report that I am proposing to Congress any extension of the Federal criminal laws to cover racketeering is not true. Every single State has ample laws covering such criminality. What is needed is enforcement of the laws, not more laws. Any suggestion of increasing the Federal criminal laws is a reflection upon the sovereignty and stamina of State government.

The Federal Government is assisting local authorities to overcome the hideous gangster and corrupt control of some local governments. But I get no satisfaction from the reflection that the only way this can be done is for the Federal Government to convict men for failing to pay income taxes upon the financial product of crime against State laws. What we need is an awakening to the failure of local government to protect its citizens from murder, racketeering, corruption, and a host of other crimes, and a rallying to the support of those men in each locality who are making a courageous battle to clean up these localities.

Q. Will we get a mimeograph of that statement ?



Another question--the recent regulations of the Treasury in relation to convict labor produced goods for imports are not directed against Russia. They are general and in the ordinary course of making the enforcement of the law against such imports more effective.

We have not entered into, nor do we intend to enter into, any trade conflicts with Russia but, on the contrary, to carry on trade exchanges in the usual way with all other nations.


I have a third question in respect to immigration. I am in entire agreement with Senator [David A.] Reed as to the need for revision of the immigration laws, to give them more selectivity and more flexibility. The program which we installed some 12 months ago in respect to North American immigration, and some 3 months ago in respect to the quota countries, by which visas were limited in such a fashion as to exclude persons who might become public charges due to unemployment, has now become fairly effective.

The total immigration for the last year prior to the installation of those methods was about 24,000 a month, and for the month of October a little less than 6,000 visas were issued. It takes a little time for the effect of these visas to reflect in the arrivals, but it means a reduction in immigration from about 24,000 a month from all quarters to under the present restricted visas about 6,000 a month. That in itself indicates the great desirability of more flexibility in the immigration laws.

It is a little difficult to make such restriction truly departmental. It needs to be based on actual statutory provisions.

And that is all the questions I have today.

Note: President Hoover's one hundred and fifty-sixth news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, November 25, 1930.

On the same day, the White House issued a text of the President's statement on State law enforcement (see Item 381).

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/212495

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