The President's News Conference
THE PRESIDENT. I had an encouraging telegram that I thought you might be interested in--not about the campaign--from the Federal Reserve authorities of the First District. It happens to be a statistical statement, and I will give it to you in a minute. That is the New England District.
I haven't had any discussion for quotation at all. I haven't been able to have talks with the people on the train such as I would have liked to have. You will realize that trying to write speeches between stops is something of a job. I had to write the whole of the St. Paul speech after 9 o'clock yesterday morning and take in all the stops as well.
I don't want to make any statement. I thought perhaps you might like to talk to me on such subjects as would be of interest to you.
ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN THE NORTHEAST
This telegram says: "A sharp advance in industrial activity in New England is reported to have taken place since the summer months. Statisticians of First National Bank of Boston compute the indexes for the representative industries of this region after making necessary allowances for seasonal changes. The index for September shows a gain of 9 percent over August in excess of the seasonal increases, the gains cover the entire field although mainly manifested in textiles and leather products and their related lines. Fully as significant is advance in payrolls of New England manufacturing industries 27 percent for September over July."
I think that indicates, plus the indications from many other places, that we are on the road to economic recovery.
THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN AND THE NATIONAL ECONOMY
(Upon inquiry as to his appearance, that he didn't look very tired, the President said as to his physical condition he had no complaint, and as to his voice, "that is a little weak. I was glad that the Lord intervened with Sunday.")
This trip is giving some new phases of American life, the principle of which is that the American people are now getting to the stage in this campaign where they are thinking. They are now moved by emotions or prejudice, and when they begin to think I have no doubt of their conclusions.
The whole foundation of the Democratic campaign has been to carry a misimpression of the causes of this depression in order that they might blame the Republican Party for it. And in a thinking population that has been educated, they recollect that a depression followed the Napoleonic campaign, and a depression probably more severe than this one. And they recollect the depression that followed the Civil War about the same distance, and the depression after the Napoleonic wars was about the same distance after the war ended; that this was the case in the Civil War as it is in the case of this war. And it is impossible to persuade people that have education, knowledge, and thought that this depression was the result of actions of the Republican Party in the face of manifest evidence of history on one hand and the very pertinent facts of what happened in this actual depression. And that education of the country and the grasp of the country on that fact has taken the bottom right out from under the whole basis of the Democratic campaign to blame the depression on the Republican Party and make politics out of human misery. That is the thing that is making the shift right straight through the country.
What is more, I have a belief that the public has begun to recognize the validity of the measures which we put over to first defend ourselves from the effect of the European crash and then the actual motive power of those measures in recovery. And that is beginning to show in the recovery in every quarter of the country. You cannot get a false recovery of a country when it takes on a million men. It is taking them on at the rate of half a million a month. Whole sections of the country are showing improvement.
When cities like St. Louis, that had secured from the Reconstruction Corporation a loan to take care of distress over the winter, cancelled the loan and found they could manage with their own funds, those things must mean something. And people are beginning to grasp that program, and I have acknowledged fully and given credit to the Democratic Senators and Congressmen that helped to put it through. It is a constructive program, and it is in action producing results. What is more, our Democratic friends have failed to put up any problem in substitution; after starting on a false premise in their campaign they have not been able to set up a constructive program. They had to minimize the Republican program in order to make good on their blame of the Republican Party. They have got themselves in such a position that they cannot now acknowledge that this program is effective. The consequence of all that has been the enormous turn in the tide. That tide is evident in the entire change in the polls being taken throughout the whole of this Midwest territory, and it is in evidence by the fact that greater crowds have come out for my reception than came out for Mr. Roosevelt. I think those of you who were in the 1928 campaign will realize that we didn't have more enthusiastic crowds in that campaign than we have in this.
But I don't engage in forecasts. That is part of the job of the political leaders. I have never indulged in that, and I don't propose to enter into that kind of politics now.
Q. Mr. President, will you say at this time what your plans are after voting in Palo Alto--go right back or take a little rest ?
THE PRESIDENT. I would like to have a short rest. I haven't had one for more than 2 years. It all depends upon whether any crisis develops that I have to go back to take care of. If not I would like to have just a week at my own home. I would like to catch a few hours sleep if it were possible.
Q. Mr. President, what is your impression of the crowds as you travel through the Middle West?
THE PRESIDENT. I have never seen more enthusiastic crowds, and I have seen greatly accumulating enthusiasm since I first went to Des Moines.
Q. Mr. President, did any of them look like they have been forgotten?
THE PRESIDENT. No, and I noticed many of them are able to come in automobiles.
Nobody doubts, however, that there is a great deal of suffering in this country. But I have not been able to find a single locality, and I have been closely in contact with it by constant reports from every city and every State, and I do not know of a single place where people are being deprived of food or shelter. There is no excuse for it because we have measures to take care of it. People in every district are showing the most complete devotion to handling that job. Furthermore, the reports from great numbers of districts show that the job is lessening; that instead of having the blackest winter we have had yet, we are going to have a lighter one apparently from present appearances than we had last winter.
On the public reactions of this campaign, I have never seen such response on the matters of fundamentals of government as I have seen this time. I took part in the campaign with President Harding and again with President Coolidge. I had the campaign of 1928, but the people are beginning to think now, about the fundamentals of government. That is all that I ask for--that they keep thinking.
(On inquiry as to his speech at Elko, the President said :)
I don't expect to deal with any partisan questions at all at Elko.
Q. That will be more on the fundamentals of government rather than strictly politics?
THE PRESIDENT. Yes.
Q. Will you vote at Stanford University this year as you did in 1928?
THE PRESIDENT. Yes, it is the only place I can vote.
Q. At the Stanford Union ?
THE PRESIDENT. The administration building--in the Hub. I don't know whether it is there this year or somewhere else. In any event, in that precinct.
Q. Is that on the university grounds somewhere?
THE PRESIDENT. The university itself is a precinct.
Note: President Hoover's two hundred sixtieth news conference was held on Sunday, November 6, 1932, on board the President's campaign train while traveling through southwestern Nebraska.
A revised copy of the news conference, which was later released, is available for examination at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.
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/207508