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The President's News Conference

May 27, 1930


THE PRESIDENT. I have a question about the holiday on Saturday for the Federal employees. 1 Inasmuch as it comes between the national holiday on Friday and the following Sunday, the Cabinet this morning concluded that it would be desirable to give a holiday on Saturday, but that it was very undesirable to establish a precedent as we might have a series of days falling between national holidays and Sundays, and that, therefore, the half holiday on Saturday which starts the following week for the summer would be suspended for one week to enable them to catch up with the routine work which they would lose by this arrangement. We think the employees would be better satisfied to do it that way and work that Saturday to catch up with the routine work of the Government.

1 See Executive Order 5353, Proclamations and Executive Orders, Herbert Hoover, 1929-1933, volume I.


I have signed the various bills relating to prison reform. There are seven of those acts that have been passed.

The first establishes the two new prisons--the reformatory prison west of the Mississippi and a general prison in the Northeastern States-and calls for an expenditure of about $7 million.

The next establishing the Parole Board of three members, who will be appointed very quickly by the Attorney General.

The act providing for the establishment of training and schooling in the prisons for trades and other adaptable work.

The act providing for the establishment of a hospital for defective delinquents.

The act providing for the parole of prisoners on a more extensive scale.

The act authorizing the Public Health to take over the medical work in the prisons.

And finally, the one providing for Federal probation officers--this had to be sent back to Congress because of faulty drafting--that is on a technical question.

But those acts provide not only a physical refitting of the whole Federal prison system but a very comprehensive series of prison reforms, so that under those authorities we ought to be able to work out the Federal prison question in a fashion such as has never been undertaken hitherto, taking account both of the physical necessities of delinquents and also putting into action very important moral forces that should be helpful.


I have also signed the act [Public, No. 273, 46 Stat. 427] providing for the transfer of the Prohibition Bureau from the Treasury to the Department of Justice. That goes into effect on the 1st of July.

Other than that I haven't anything this morning.


Q. May I ask you a question, Mr. President ? Does that give the holiday on Saturday ?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, but work the whole of the following Saturday to catch up.

Q. May I ask, Mr. President, if you have any particular plans for the transfer of Prohibition--any particular appointments--Mr. Lowman and Dr. Doran, will they be transferred from the Treasury ?

THE PRESIDENT. The Attorney General is now engaged in working out a definite plan for the administration of the Bureau, and has not come to any conclusions yet.

Note: President Hoover's one hundred and fourteenth news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, May 27, 1930.

Seymour Lowman was Assistant Secretary in Charge of Customs, Coast Guard, Industrial Alcohol, and Narcotics, Department of the Treasury. James M. Doran was Commissioner of Industrial Alcohol, Bureau of Industrial Alcohol, Department of the Treasury.

The prison reform measures referred to are:

Public, No. 201 (46 Stat. 270), signed May 13, 1930, an act establishing a hospital for defective delinquents.

Public, No. 202 (46 Stat. 272), signed May 13, 1930, an act providing for the parole of U.S. prisoners and creating the Parole Board.

Public, No. 203 (46 Stat. 273), signed May 13, 1930, an act authorizing the Public Health Service to provide medical service in Federal prisons.

Public, No. 218 (46 Stat. 325), signed May 14, 1930, an act reorganizing the administration of Federal prisons, authorizing the Attorney General to contract for care of U.S. prisoners, establishing Federal jails, and other purposes.

Public, No. 270 (46 Stat. 388), signed May 27, 1930, an act establishing two institutions for the confinement of U.S. prisoners.

Public, No. 271 (46 Stat. 390), signed May 27, 1930, an act providing for the diversification of employment of Federal prisoners, for their training and schooling in trades and occupations, and for other purposes.

Public, No. 310 (46 Stat. 503), an act reorganizing and reforming the probation system, was not signed until June 6, 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/210032

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