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The President's News Conference

October 31, 1930

THE PRESIDENT. I have no public statement to make today.

UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF

There are some things in the background of Government relations to unemployment that might interest you, just for your own information in making up for Colonel [Arthur] Woods' Committee--help to piece out.

The public works contracts outstanding on the first of October in the Federal Government amounted to $938,416,000, of which $370,660,000 is incomplete. In other words, these contracts are about two-thirds completed.

Q. Mr. President, does that mean contracts let ?

THE PRESIDENT. Actually let, yes.

This is not quite a full statement of the public works of the Government because there is quite an amount of works being carried on departmentally, but it is impossible to estimate it in terms of contracts. It includes public works contracted, and also includes the ships being built under loans from the Shipping Board, and includes the Navy construction-the war vessel construction. It does not, unfortunately, include the aircraft contracts, which we have not been able to get in time. Roughly, the work current would amount, if it were translated into contracts, of all items, roughly about a billion dollars. That will be considerably increased before the first of January. It takes time to prepare for contract work or for construction. It is necessary, of course, in the public buildings to agree on a site, which is not always easy, and to acquire the sites before even designs can be made for Government buildings. It requires from 6 to 8 months to get the designs and specifications completed before contracts can be let. A vast amount of preparation has been going on in the last 6 or 8 months so that contracts will be considerably enlarged between now and the first of January.

I have also looked up the number of Government employees. If we take all Government employees, such as the Civil Service, enlisted men in the Army and Navy, the people who are working on contract public works, but not including people manufacturing supplies purchased by the Government, it amounted, on January 1, to 990,000, and on October 1 to 1,033,000. This does not, as I have said, include people working upon supplies. With the additional contracts that will be let that will be somewhat increased by the first of January.

Q. What was that last date Mr. President ?

THE PRESIDENT. October 1. It shows an increase of about 43,000 during the period from January 1 to October 1.

Note: President Hoover's one hundred and fifty-first news conference was held in the White House at 4 p.m. on Friday, October 31, 1930.

On October 30, 1930, the President, in cooperation with Colonel Woods, established the President's Emergency Committee for Employment (PECE) to coordinate Federal, local, and private relief and recovery programs. The Committee was composed of 27 members with Colonel Woods as its Chairman.

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/212169

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