Herbert Hoover photo

The President's News Conference

November 13, 1932

REPORTER. You gave us a great treat last night, Mr. President.

Q. And a good news story this morning.

THE PRESIDENT. I'm glad you like them. I haven't anything for publication today. I thought there might be something you'd like to know that I can help you with.

Q. Have you received any reply from Governor Roosevelt?


1 President-elect Roosevelt's reply, dated November 14, 1932, is printed in the note to Item 395.

Q. Does your note establish a precedent--asking for a conference with your successor?

THE PRESIDENT. I'm sure I have no idea. But I am glad to cooperate in any matter that concerns national solidarity.

Q. Have there been any further communications from the Secretary of State?

THE PRESIDENT. No, nothing at all. I only know of the notes he has received. I understand the foreign governments are publishing their notes tomorrow morning.

I don't know whether you realized it last night but that point lookout, where we turned round in a circle, is the end of the dam. When it is completed it will come out at that point, and the road will go from there across the river on top of the dam. You can get some appreciation of how high it is.

Q. It is a great tribute to our engineers.

THE PRESIDENT. Yes. It is a fine engineering job. A Department of the Interior man named Young designed it, and there is a very able corps of contractors. The four tunnels, through one of which we drove, will carry the whole of the waters of the Colorado River at its highest point without being completely full, that is carrying as much water as the normal flow of Niagara. They are turning the water into one of them tomorrow morning. You saw the method by which they were creeping up on the river by pushing it back and gradually narrowing down the river ?

Q. Won't those tunnels be used later for the power end of the project?

THE PRESIDENT. Two of them will I think, but they will have a separate steel pipe for power purposes in the tunnel.

Q. How far will the water drop to the power plant?

THE PRESIDENT. Not at all, or but very few feet. It comes under pressure. The steel tubes will be about 2 1/2 inches thick. It is the greatest piece of construction ever undertaken.

Q. Will it take 3 or 4 years yet to complete it?

THE PRESIDENT. I imagine about 3 years because they are 7 months ahead of low water in the river, and that will enable them to get the foundations in far enough so that they can go ahead even in high water. Then it is just a straightforward job of mixing cement and pouring it in.

Q. Have you anything more on the war debts?


Q. You mentioned the latter part of next week. Does that mean the present week?

THE PRESIDENT. The telegram was sent last night. That means this week.

Q. Will this region about here benefit from the Boulder construction?

THE PRESIDENT. No, not at all unless the value of irrigated land goes way up. There is a very small territory in Arizona that can be economically added by that water. Probably a million acres could be added if they would spend $200 or $300 an acre, but it may be 100 years before that time arrives. There is a large area surrounding the Salton Sea which will be brought under gradually. But there will be no addition of irrigated land there for a long time because it will be 3 years before the dam is completed, and it will take 5 or 6 years after that to complete the canal from the river to the Imperial Valley as the present canal runs through Mexican territory. That has been one of our legal difficulties-the Mexican controlled canal to the Imperial Valley. But they should get domestic water to Los Angeles long before there is any extension of agricultural land, and power will be available when the dam is complete.

Q. Will you start right away on your message to Congress?

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't given it much thought yet. I'm not just sure when Congress meets. Anyway the budget message is the first to be settled.

Q. You are not planning any special program from here on in?

THE PRESIDENT. No, a straight away run. One reason I wanted to stop at Boulder was to get all the contractors together with our own people. That thing is moving at a rate which affects the budget. We do not want to spend any more than we have to, but the Government does not begin to draw interest on that until it begins to deliver power, and we have a cumulative interest problem to consider.

Q. For our own guidance, do you think Governor Roosevelt's visit might come as early as Wednesday?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't know. I was advised that he was going south the latter part of the week.

And in this connection I want you to know that there is absolutely no truth in those stories that the American Government has not a free hand. I want that very clear.

Q. We have had that definitely from Secretary Stimson all along.

THE PRESIDENT. I am giving you this as background, not for publication.

Q. Do you think the moratorium will have to go on for another year?

THE PRESIDENT. That is not a question for discussion with me. Anyway the moratorium is up already.

Q. It looks as though if they can't pay us we'll have to give them more time.

THE PRESIDENT. I am not sure of that either.

Q. Do you plan to stop at the livestock show at St. Louis?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I must get back and complete my message to present to Congress and complete a scheme for reorganization of the Federal Government.

Q. Have you authority to do that now?

THE PRESIDENT. The law provides that the President has authority to issue Executive orders setting up a new arrangement. Those Executive orders have to lay before Congress for 60-sitting days. Normally that would take until the end of February taking out the holidays. I will get them in early enough. If not acted upon in 60 days, they become effective.

Q. Anything more on your plans after March 47 You will not be President of the university or anything?

THE PRESIDENT. No. Which university?

Q. Leland Stanford.

THE PRESIDENT. It already has a president and a very good one. There is little for you to find in this country by way of news. I haven't been through here for some years, and I wanted to take the southern route.

Q. Are you getting rested?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, and I think that is all. You all better get some rest and sleep.

Note: President Hoover's two hundred and sixty-second news conference was held on the Presidential train while traveling through Arizona on Sunday, November 13, 1932.

In his remarks, the President referred to Walker R. Young, the construction engineer in charge of the Hoover Dam.

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/207558

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