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The President's News Conference

March 26, 1929

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I have no questions lodged in advance which give me time for cooperation with you and a little mature thought.

There are one or two questions that I have to think over before I want to make any reply.

FEDERAL RADIO COMMISSION

There are some questions relating to the Radio Board again. I regret to say that we haven't as yet determined the man from the first zone. We hope to in the course of the next few days.

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN THE SOUTH

There are a number of questions that I have had from time to time in respect to the organization in the Southern States, and on that I have now worked out a reply.

It has been the aspiration of Republican Presidents over many years-and I might say that the shorthand note which you will get in half an hour will expand this note that I have got here, that will be the accurate statement.

It has been the aspiration of Republican Presidents over a great many years to build up a sound Republican organization in the Southern States of a character that would commend itself to the citizens of those States.

This aspiration has arisen out of no narrow sense of partisanship, but it comes from the conviction, which is shared equally by leaders of all parties, that the basis of sound government must be a strong two-party organization; that the voice of all the States in the councils of government can only be secured by this means; that the welfare of the Nation at large requires the breaking down of sectionalism in politics; and that [p.43] the public service can be assured only by responsible organization. And furthermore, it is the belief of these leaders, which I share, that the building up of such organization must in all of our States of self-government be rounded upon the action of those States themselves. Under Republican leadership [in] the border States and in Virginia and North Carolina they have long since built up a vigorous party organization which assures the Republican representation in Congress from those States. In the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida, particularly, the Republican leadership has in recent times increased in strength and is now rendering able and conscientious service in maintaining the wholesome organization under whose advice the appointments to public office have steadily improved, and they do commend themselves to the citizens of those States.

Laterally, there has been a movement in the last few weeks, of which I highly approve, by which the leaders in Texas, Alabama, Florida, and some of the other States are broadening the basis of party organization by the establishment of advisory committees of the highest type of their citizenship to deal with administrative questions and to cooperate with the independent Democrats. This movement springing as it does from those States themselves gives further assurance of strengthening of the public service, and it is the public service that I must view.

Now, the recent exposures of abuses in recommendations to Federal offices, particularly in some parts of the States of South Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi, under which some of the Federal departments, mainly the Post Office, were misled as to appointments, obviously renders it impossible for the old organization in those States to command the confidence of the administration, although there are many members of those organizations that are not subject to criticism. But such conditions are intolerable to public service. They are repugnant to the ideals and the purposes of the Republican Party. They are unjust to the people of the South, and they must and will be ended.

Now, the duty of reorganization to correct these conditions rests on the people of those States, and all the effort to that end will receive the hearty cooperation of this administration. And if these three States are [p.44] unable to initiate such organization through the leadership of men who will command public confidence in those States and thus protect the public service, then the Federal departments will be compelled to adopt other methods of securing advice for the selection of Federal employees.

You may quote that statement from me, if you wish. I will give you the full quote in a short time.

NEWS CONFERENCE QUESTIONS

If you could manage to lodge your questions a little further in advance it would be helpful, especially on Tuesday, as Cabinet lasts right up to your meeting and it gives me very little opportunity to think about them. So if we have that arrangement carried out I can be of more help to you.

Note: President Hoover's seventh news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, March 26, 1929. The White House also issued a text of the President's statement on reorganization of the Republican Party in the South (see Item 16).

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/211875

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