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The President's News Conference

August 15, 1930

COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

THE PRESIDENT. On Mr. Mellon's recommendation I have appointed David Burner, who is Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue, as Collector of Internal Revenue in succession of Mr. [Robert H.] Lucas.

THE DROUGHT

I have nothing for quotation today about the agricultural situation. I can give you some items of background that will be of help to you.

The first step in matters of this kind is organization. We must have men and women organized for actual work. They must be organized down to the point where they can [make] contact with the individuals who are in difficulties. It is utterly impossible to do otherwise than talk until you have an organization of devoted and working people actually on the job.

The Governors have gone home to appoint their State committees and the organization of the county committees, which should be completed within the next week or 10 days.

The three great farm organizations will cooperate with the Governors and with the county committees, both in the formation of committees and in the actual work to go on.

As soon as the Governors have appointed the banking representatives on their State committees, we will ask them to come to Washington to take up questions of finance organization.

The Red Cross has already given direction to their chapters in every one of the distressed counties to take care of any distress that is developing or which has developed pending more effective organization.

The Secretary of Agriculture is advancing allotments for Federal aid to those States. He is advancing the date of allotment to the States that are in difficulty for the expansion of road programs for the drought areas, with view to increasing employment.

The Secretary of War has directed that the flow of the Illinois River through the sanitary canal shall be increased for a length of time to sluice out that drainage canal. There is complaint that the volume of water has become so low as to endanger public health, and it has been substantiated by the representatives of the War Department, and they are increasing the flow in the canal to take care of it.

The Secretary of War has also placed the proposal before the Governor of Virginia for the use of the artillery ranges in Virginia for purposes of cattle pasturage. The War Department has several thousand acres, which happen to be in the region of fine pasturage, which the Governor believes to be of great help. It has been placed at his disposal this morning.

Montana presents the most difficult and urgent of all of the situations in the fact that central Montana has on the estimation of the government a half a million cattle, and probably 2 or 3 million sheep more than it can support over the winter. The Secretary of Agriculture has taken up the problem with the Governors of the surrounding States, where there is a surplus of feed, as to some mutual arrangement between the States for moving those animals so as to relieve that pressure at once.

I have a question here with relation to the State of Maryland. I am not speaking for quotation but for your own information. I had no communication from the Governor of Maryland with regard to drought in the State of Maryland. I had been in communication with the other Governors, and I naturally invited the Governors who had represented their situation. If Maryland has difficulties of that kind--and I am informed that there are not two or three but some counties that are in difficulties--I will be glad indeed to cooperate with the Governor of Maryland in every possible respect. And we will be very glad indeed to have him come into the general plan of relief. It is not exclusively of the States that were represented by the Governors here. There are one or two others that need to come in, and we will be glad to have Maryland come in with all the rest.

Otherwise, I have nothing that I know of today.

Note: President Hoover's one hundred and thirty-fourth news conference was held in the White House at 4 p.m. on Friday, August 15, 1930.

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/211359

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