Herbert Hoover photo

The President's News Conference

April 25, 1930

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't anything for publication at the moment.


I have a question about the rivers and harbors bill that I would like to speak to you about--for your own information, though. There has been no river and harbor bill for 3 or 4 years. There are a number of very important projects that need to be taken care of. A considerable portion of the bill relates to urgent matters of importance, and in all rivers and harbors bills things fall into about three groups: First are the very urgent and necessary things; second are things that are necessary but are not so urgent; and the third are groups of projects that unquestionably will come into necessity in time. The effort usually made in river and harbor legislation is to keep the third group--the long distance ones--out, but there are some of those in this bill. One of them is the Erie Canal.

There will be a great deal of opposition in the Senate to taking over the Erie Canal, for many reasons. There is some objection to it from New York State. Many of the Senators from the Midwest think that it is likely to be used for opposition to the development of the St. Lawrence waterway, et cetera. But there is this general phase of the whole question. We have placed in the budget a certain estimate for expenditures on rivers and harbors next year--I think it is either 55 or 60 millions, I have forgotten which--and we would not propose in the next fiscal year to increase those appropriations, no matter what bills may be passed by Congress. It might be necessary to slacken down on some current work at some point in order to take up some of the more urgent projects, but in any event passage of the river and harbor bill will not increase the expenditure during the next fiscal year. The committee, in fact, is in entire agreement that there should be no increase in appropriations; that, these amounts already authorized, they do not amount to a compulsion as to construction.

I am not prepared to say what proportion of the 110 millions will be applied in this bill to the first group, although I am having an investigation made on the subject.

In any event, the rivers and harbors bill, as I have said, amounts to an authorization for projects of variable urgency, and in the present method of handling those projects there is very seldom anything in them of futile character, because no project can go in the bills unless they have been recommended by the Army Engineers. So that all the projects included will be projects which have been favorably reported upon by the Engineers as being an ultimately necessary public improvement. So that this bill cannot be regarded as a "pork" bill of the type that we used to have 20 or 30 years ago before the Engineers were interposed in the determination of projects.

You will notice, as I have said, on the other hand there are items in which there is no great urgency, and how long they can be deferred I haven't any idea at the present time.

The main point I wish to make is that it does not mean any increase in appropriations or expenditures in the next fiscal year.

Q. That is in the fiscal year 1931, Mr. President ?

THE PRESIDENT. 1931; and it is agreed by the committee that there will be no appropriations urged by the committee for the next fiscal year in respect to any of the projects, although we may--by slowing down some other projects--we may be able to take on some of the urgent questions.

That is all.

Note: President Hoover's one hundred and sixth news conference was held in the White House at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 25, 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/210436

Filed Under



Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives