Herbert Hoover photo

The President's News Conference

February 02, 1932


THE PRESIDENT. In the matter of domestic questions, I am issuing a proclamation [Proc. 1986] today in connection with the bicentennial of the birth of George Washington. And I have stated that the happy opportunity has come to our generation to demonstrate our gratitude and our obligation to George Washington by fitting celebration of the 200th anniversary of his birth. To contemplate his unselfish devotion to duty, his courage, his patience, his genius, his statesmanship, and his accomplishments for his country and the world refreshes the spirit, the wisdom, and the patriotism of our people.

Therefore, I, the President of the United States of America, acting in accord with the purposes of the Congress, do invite all our people to organize themselves through every community and every association to do honor to the memory of George Washington during the period from February 22 to Thanksgiving Day.

I am rather in hopes that the press will give some importance to it.


I have one matter of background here, in connection with which you will get your major information from the Secretary of State, but my attention has been called to it by some of the press dispatches which have come over my desk in the last few minutes. And this is entirely background.

I hope you will disassociate in your mind two things that we are doing in the Far East. First, we are engaged solely in the protection of the lives of American citizens in China. The first and fundamental obligation of a government is towards its own nationals. Such military operations as we are undertaking are devoted solely and absolutely and singly to that question, and has no relation to any other question whatever.

Second, and entirely separate, at the request--the definite request-of both the Chinese and the Japanese Governments, directed to the other great governments of the world, we are rendering our good offices to secure, if possible, a settlement of the outstanding questions, and have made certain proposals to the Japanese and Chinese Governments for that purpose. That is a proposal of peace.

I notice in the dispatches the statement that America, France, Great Britain, and Italy announce at the extraordinary meeting of the League of Nations Council today that the Sino-Japanese fighting must come to an end, and they have decided to make further diplomatic efforts to stop it. That dispatch must be wholly untrue, because the United States was not represented--had nobody, not even an observer--at that meeting, and, therefore, no such a statement could have been made on behalf of the United States Government. And that does not imply at all what we are engaged upon, which is solely an act of friendly conciliation at the request of the two governments.

So that I am in hopes that you will keep clear to the country what our actions are. One of them is solely protection of the life of American citizens, and the other is using our friendly offices to bring a controversy between two nations to an end--and doing so at the specific request of those two nations.

And that is all I have got today.

Note: President Hoover's two hundred and thirty-second news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, February 2, 1932.

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/207952

Filed Under



Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives