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The President's News Conference

February 27, 1931


THE PRESIDENT. Although I have been a good deal opposed to the passage of the bonus legislation in its provisions for loans from the Treasury to people who do not need the money, now that the law is passed we propose to facilitate this work in every possible way.

The physical task of making loans to 3 ½ million people, or any percentage of them, is enormous. It will require a very intensive organization, and would require a good deal of time--probably months to get through with all of the cases--so that I have this afternoon requested General Hines to give complete priority to applications from veterans who are in need. And I have asked him to set up some machinery for the certification of these cases from the veterans' organizations and the local unemployment relief committees over the country that are dealing with the veterans at the present time. The survey which General Hines made of the larger industrial cities shows that, in his opinion, there are about 6 percent of the total number of veterans in the industrial areas that are being taken care of by the local unemployment and other relief organizations. This bill will relieve some of the burden now carried by those committees, but as the amount possible for a great many veterans to draw is so very small, it is very urgent that those committees continue their work.

I also want to compliment the veterans' service organizations for their cooperation in undertaking a campaign amongst all the veterans urging them not to take advantage of the loan provisions except in absolute necessity. I understand from General Hines that they are going to put on that campaign at once and vigorously. I understand they are placing it on the ground of assistance to the Federal Government in minimizing the amount of money which the Treasury will need to borrow and on the basis that loans made on the bonus certificates exhaust the protection to veterans' families under the endowment insurance features of the plan.

Taking General Hines' survey of the number of veterans being assisted by the local committees as a basis, it would appear that if all the loans were confined to need, the drain on the Treasury might be limited to 10 percent of the potential liability created by the law. And further than that I have nothing to say today.


I might for your own information be able to give you something on Muscle Shoals tomorrow or Monday.

Note: President Hoover's one hundred and seventy-seventh news conference was held in the White House at 4 p.m. on Friday, February 27, 1931.

On the same day, the White House issued a text of the President's statement on the Emergency Adjusted Compensation Act, 1931 (see Item 80).Frank T. Hines was Administrator of Veterans' Affairs.

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/207375

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