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The President's News Conference

June 25, 1929


THE PRESIDENT. I have one question asking if I am going to take a summer home in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and the answer is that I am not.


I signed this morning the Colorado River proclamation, making effective the compact between six of the seven States in the Colorado River Basin. I have a particular interest in that consummation because I was the chairman of the Colorado River Commission that formulated the compact. The compact itself relates entirely to the distribution of water rights between the seven States in the basin. It has nothing per se to do with the Boulder Canyon development, but the compact has some points of very considerable interest.

In the first place, it is the final settlement of quarrels that have extended over 25 years and which have estopped the development of the river. The disputes and difficulties over the respective fights of the different States have served to prevent any advance in that quarter during the whole of this time. And it has an interest, also, in that it is the most extensive action ever taken by a group of States under the provisions of the Constitution permitting compacts between States. The only instances hitherto were rather minor compacts between two States on boundary questions and one case of the New York Port Authority, which was of importance, but a compact between two States. This is, however, a compact now between seven States, and represents the most important action ever taken in that particular, and opens the avenue for some hope in the settlement of regional questions as between the States rather than the imposition of these problems on the Federal Government. So that it has an additional interest in that particular.

The compact was originally signed by the seven States subject to [p.198] ratification by their legislatures now 5 years ago, and it has a similarity to matters in international negotiation in the difficulties that it has to pursue in the path of ultimate consummation, but for the first time in history a compact involving so many interests has been made effective.

It expedites the Boulder Canyon development because it clarifies the difficulties which have held up all development, and there is only one point still left open, and that is the relation of Arizona to the compact. I am in hopes that Arizona and California may get together to solve their mutual problems which have hitherto prevented Arizona from joining in the compact. With Arizona in the whole basin will have settled its major dispute for all time.


As a matter of some background in connection with the budget for next year, the discussions of which have been going on, the circular sent out did not amplify the situation from the public point of view-purely an interdepartmental circular.

The expenditures for the present fiscal year are estimated to be $3,926 million, and in addition to this expenditure at that rate, as most of the expenditure during the present fiscal year is more or less continuing, would bring the total up to a very considerable sum. In the appropriations that were passed for the next fiscal year beginning July 1, there was no provision for the new naval program, farm relief, or District of Columbia improvements, nor the Florida fruit fly, and a great number of other items, which in themselves total somewhere over 250 million-nearly 300 million. So that if we are to hold the expenditure down to $3,900 million, or thereabouts, the equivalent of this present fiscal year, it will be necessary to make serious reductions in some other directions, and still enable us to comply with the additional burden imposed by congressional action. What those directions will be we do not as yet know, and the Budget and the departments are carefully examining the situation to see where we can make some cuts in order to enable us to accommodate the expenditure burden so far as we can without increasing the gross expenditure.

There was one word misused in that statement, a typographical error coming out of this office, that has caused some speculation--the word "restore"--the original word was "reaffirm," but it amounts to nothing.

That is all I am able to deal with today.

Note: President Hoover's thirty-third news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, June 25, 1929. The White House also issued a text of the president's statement on the signing of the Colorado River Compact proclamation (see Item 133).

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/209868

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