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The President's News Conference

November 10, 1931


THE PRESIDENT. I have a question with respect to the action of the Federal Government on the recommendations of Mr. [Walter S.] Gifford's committee under Mr. Wheeler 1 as to staggering employment amongst civil servants. I asked Governor [Thomas E.] Campbell, Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, to get in contact with the various departments of the Government and to consider the nature of the contribution which Federal employees could make towards the unemployment situation. And it quickly developed that no plan of staggering could be worked out under the civil service law, aside from the fact of the difficulties in other directions that arose over the plan. On the other hand, the committee has endeavored to work out a method by which the Civil Service can make a proper contribution to the unemployment situation throughout the country, and that will be ready for submission in a day or two. I find that the employees throughout the departments are anxious to have some definite form of organization by which they can contribute to the unemployment situation.

1 On October 28, 1931, the Committee on Employment Plans and Suggestions of the President's Organization on Unemployment Relief recommended a number of relief and recovery measures. One of the recommendations was a proposal that public employees share governmental work with some of those on relief. Harry A. Wheeler headed the Committee.

Q. Mr. President, does that plan contemplate a shorter working week ?

THE PRESIDENT. No, something in the nature of direct contribution-some sort of regular contribution of all Government employees, both here in Washington and in each locality. Nothing compulsory about it, purely voluntary.


I haven't anything else of any great news value. For the next 2 or 3 weeks--and for the last week--we will be mostly engaged in getting ready to present to Congress the necessary appointments for vacancies. Those have not yet been determined. We have two vacancies on the Tariff Commission, one on the Farm Board, and some 10 or 15 vacancies in the Judiciary, and I hope to have those ready to present immediately after Congress assembles.


Also, I am necessarily engaged in consulting with different departments and agencies of the Government with regard to the recommendations to be made in the annual message. This year the budget message will be of as great importance as the general message. This requires a good deal more thought than usual because there are a number of emergency actions which will need to be presented to Congress to take care of the situation. So that is largely our occupation, rather than to produce sensations.

Note: President Hoover's two hundred and twentieth news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, November 10, 1931.

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/206856

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