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The President's News Conference

September 24, 1929

FLEXIBLE TARIFF

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't any questions today that I know of, but later on this afternoon I will be giving you a statement about the flexible clause in the tariff, and I wanted to talk to you a little about the background in that matter--just for your own information. The statement will cover the facts as I see them.

In the message which I sent up to the special session in respect to the tariff, I stated what I thought were the general principles upon which we ought to proceed, and I haven't thought that the President was ever in a position to discuss schedules, that that must be the result of long hearings and debate and determination of hundreds of thousands of facts in respect to thousands of commodities that are entirely beyond the capacity of the Executive; and that the business of the Executive was to limit himself to the consideration of principles which he thought were of public interest. The flexible tariff is a matter of principle of widespread character. It is not an administrative method of tariff making. And so I am taking that subject up this afternoon at some little length, which I will give to you.

I wanted to make it clear to you that that is not a breach of what I conceive to be the relationship between the Executive and Congress in [p.301] legislation of this type, but it is simply the amplification of a principle, and one which I consider of great vitality. So we will have to wait until I can get time to prepare that statement before I can give it to you. That is all I have got on my mind.

Q. Do you wish this information held confidential until this afternoon?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I merely wanted you to know.

Q. Do you want anything printed at this time ?

THE PRESIDENT. Not until I can say it in black and white and take full responsibility for it.

Q. Is it all right to say there will be a statement this afternoon ?

THE PRESIDENT. I hope to have it ready by 2 o'clock. I don't think it is worthwhile to say that. I would just a little rather that you didn't say anything about it, because it puts me in the difficult position of a partial statement. I would appreciate it if you will hold the whole thing up until I can get it out.

Note: President Hoover's fifty-second news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, September 24, 1929. The White House also issued a text of the President's statement on the flexible tariff (see Item 216).

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/206891

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