Herbert Hoover photo

The President's News Conference

January 20, 1933


THE PRESIDENT. The estimate which I gave to Congress in the message a few days ago as to the size of the deficit obviously depends upon the amount of economies which the Congress brings about. You will recollect that the budget proposed $850 million of reductions in appropriations, which would have amounted to about $530 million of actual reduction in expenditure in the next fiscal year, the difference being due to continuing appropriations and the obligations outstanding in respect to them.

I stated the other day that the five appropriation bills that have been dealt with by the House committee show an increase of about $35 million in expenditure, and I have had some inquiry as to the details of that. I have, therefore, had a statement prepared by the Budget which will be given to you, showing the whole of the changes made in the appropriations, both up and down.

I regret, of course, that the Democratic majority did not see fit to assist us in the consolidation of the 58 bureaus and commissions into a few divisions. I regret especially that there was not an inquiry as to the merit of those proposals. While I have the conviction that any examination of the merits would have resulted in the whole of them being adopted, certainly some of them would have been accepted upon examination. It is worth recollecting that the Joint Commission on Reorganization of the Government in 1920 was a bipartisan commission of the House and Senate, together with the Executive. If any of you wish to amuse yourselves sometime by looking up those records, you will find a large number of those Executive orders followed not only that commission but in Taft's administration and in Wilson's. So some consolidations at least are so manifest that they have been accepted by every administration for 25 years. No doubt they would have brought about considerable economies. No one is prepared to estimate the number of officials to be diminished, or the number of offices to be consolidated, or the saving in purchase of supplies and better accounting, et cetera. But in any event it would have been something for the taxpayer in the next fiscal year.


Now, I have had some questions on the conference with Governor Roosevelt this morning. I have nothing to add, of course, to the statement that was issued. Purely for background, there are one or two things I could reply to that seem to me to be consequential on the statement. One of them is obviously that the administration will cooperate with information and preparation. The other is that negotiations will take place entirely within the next administration, as it states in the release made this morning that the representatives, if it is accepted by the British Government, are expected to arrive here early in March. And early in March I think you will agree that this administration will not be here. It would seem to me to be a logical conclusion that the negotiations would be carried on by the next administration.

Q. Mr. President, what you had to say at first, is that prepared?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I will give you that.

Note: President Hoover's two hundred and sixty-fifth news conference was held in the White House at 4 p.m. on Friday, January 20, 1933.

On the same day the White House issued a text of the President's statement on budgetary deficits and reorganization of the executive branch (see Item 453).

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/208029

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