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The President's News Conference

January 05, 1932

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't found any specific news this morning. I have two subjects that are purely background.


I have been very much gratified at the reception that the message I sent yesterday had both in the press and in the Congress, and the congressional committees are deeply engrossed in those measures, and I am anticipating expeditious action. The whole disposition of Congress is to devote itself to the emergency. We must remember that all of those emergency measures are extremely complicated, and there is a great deal of detail to be worked out, and necessarily it cannot be done in 48 hours. The committees have got to possess themselves of a great deal of information and work out conflicting opinion, but there is every reason for expectation of very prompt action on the emergency program.


I am having the arms delegation in this afternoon, and there are some matters in connection with armament that might be of interest to you. The Conference, as you know, is more concerned with land armaments than it is with naval armament, and from the point of view of land armament the United States is per capita the least armed of any of the great nations. The American Army, together with all of the reserves--National Guard and other forms of reserve--on the basis of valuation which was established by the technical committees dealing with this problem, does not work out at more than one full-time soldier to about 900 population. You will remember that in the Treaty of Versailles in establishing an army for Germany that would be sufficient to maintain internal order, it was established on the basis of 100,000 men for a population of 65 million, that is 1 to 650. So that on that basis the American Army is about the size required or the size enunciated at least in Europe as the necessity for maintenance of internal order. So that I merely mention that basis of evaluation just to show you that we haven't a domestic problem in land armament, and the work of the American delegation is largely contributory towards the problems which concern Europe. There is nothing in respect to the American Army of any consequence. We are not proposing any program of leadership but to assist in trying to bring about working results in the European situation, so far as we can do so with propriety.

I don't know as I have anything else this morning of any consequence.

Note: President Hoover's two hundred and twenty-seventh news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, January 5, 1932.

On the same day, the President held a luncheon meeting with Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson, Assistant Secretary of State James G. Rogers, and members of the General Disarmament Conference delegation, including Ambassador to Great Britain Charles G. Dawes, Senator Claude A. Swanson, Norman H. Davis, Mary Emma Woolley, and J. Theodore Marriner.

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/207575

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