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The President's News Conference

June 21, 1929


THE PRESIDENT. I have one question, and that is whether or not prohibition was discussed at the Cabinet this morning, and I can say that it was not.


I have one or two matters of interest but of no very vital importance. However, one is of more than usual importance. I persuaded Colonel James C. Roop to become Director of the Budget. Roop was the Assistant Director of the Budget in the first year of the Budget under General [Charles G.] Dawes. He was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and latterly comes from Nebraska. He served as a lieutenant colonel in the Engineers, and in the latter part of the war was Chief of the Purchasing Staff of the A. E. F. He left Government service after the first year of the war and went into private business, where he made a very considerable success. When General Dawes1 left Santo Domingo he asked Mr. Roop to come down and finish the budget work for the Dominican Republic, where he will be for another month, and then be here to take over the Budget Bureau. Mr. Roop makes a very considerable personal sacrifice to come into government service.

1 Former Vice President Charles G. Dawes headed an advisory group of American financial experts who were invited by the President of the Dominican Republic to examine the country's finances and budget.


I had expected to be able to issue the Colorado River proclamation today, but that will not be possible, as the Attorney General has not completed checking up on the details required so that will go over to Monday.


One point of interest developed in the selection of the Farm Board. Under Secretary Hyde a telegram of inquiry was sent to all of the State farm organizations and the national organizations, and the editors of agricultural papers, and to the heads of agricultural colleges, asking what their opinion was on the selection of an important businessman or an important banker for membership on the Board, and I do not know how many replies are here, apparently a hundred or two, which I will give to you--practically unanimous from every part of the country. If you are interested in the reaction of the farm organizations and the farmers themselves to the Board containing at least one important outstanding businessman as distinguished from men that come up from the agricultural world, you will find that the farmers strongly confirm it. As you know, Secretary Hyde has sent out to all of the farm organizations, 250 organizations and colleges, to ask for their suggestions as to membership of the Board. We will have all of that in hand this week.2

2 See Item 140.


Some papers went over my desk this morning indicating that there might be a story that some feature writers would be interested in if you would look up the amount of currency that has been issued by the United States for which the Treasury still holds itself accountable in the light that it is practically recalled under the issuance of the new size currency, 3 and that the situation so far as I can recollect of one issue there never has been a best before as to how much currency is lost and how much come in for redemption. The total amount of currency issued is $5,065 million. My recollection is that the fractional currency of the Civil War was called in, amounting to about $50 million, and $13 million of it was never redeemed. And it might interest some of you to inquire of the Treasury what they think the effect of recalling this currency might be on improving the assets of the Government.

3 In July 1929, the Treasury Department began the issuance of smaller-sized paper currency, progressively retiring old-size currency unfit for circulation.

Q. Might waste money on that. Mr. President, how often may you change the paper currency? Do you know whether the law permits . . .

THE PRESIDENT. I have never looked into that phase of it. Some of the establishment of issuance goes back to the Civil War in the categories of national bank notes, United States notes, so some of the currency is probably pretty old. I would not assure you that the Government would be getting such a ratio as 50 to 13.

That is all I have.

Note: President Hoover's thirty-second news conference was held in the White House at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 21, 1929.

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/210525

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