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The President's News Conference

April 12, 1932


THE PRESIDENT. The joint conferences of the administration officials and the Economy Committee of the House on Saturday resulted in very encouraging progress. Any program of legislation of such fundamental changes in laws for the reduction of Government activities and expenditures involves a very large amount of detailed research and detailed consideration, all of which is very greatly expedited by direct conference. And I have felt that we would make the most distinct progress by continuing these conferences, and, therefore, I have asked the Economy Committee to meet with us here again tomorrow.

The businesslike and effective way to handle the whole question of reduction of Government expenditures where it requires legislative action, as distinguished from that of the Appropriations Committee, is to work out a very definite national economy bill that can be presented to the Congress and to the country as a completed whole. Obviously, it requires a good deal of effort, but I do not believe it requires a great deal of time.

The development of a program of that character requires very close cooperation between the executive and the legislative side, and it can be accomplished much more expeditiously by exchanging verbal views than it can by long series of reports and examinations into things that prove blind alleys. And so, it is most desirable that a program of that kind should be developed in a conference of that character on an entirely nonpartisan basis, in which all of us take our share of the responsibility.

Q. What time will it be, Mr. President ? In the morning ?

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't set the hour as yet--it is more a question of convenience of the committee.


There are some matters I would like to talk to you about for background, in answer to a number of questions I have had. I have had a number of questions as to whether we are going to hold a series of economic conferences of some kind. I might say that economic conferences are in progress in the Government every day of the week and every hour of the day, and they will continue to the end of this depression. We may, however, say, that the Federal Government--the Treasury, Commerce, and Agriculture, the Reconstruction Board, the Federal Reserve Board, are in touch with every part of the country and every group in the country every moment of the day. And all of these groups are acting in thorough coordination and cooperation. It is not necessary to set up a dramatic conference in order to have these same gentlemen come in and dramatize things when they are in communication with each other every minute and with this office on the telephone.


The Reserve Board is holding very important meetings the first part of this week with representatives of the Reserve banks. There has been more or less or a shiver of alarm over the country as a result of legislative changes in the last 3 weeks, but one of those alarms is pretty definitely cured by the declaration yesterday of the Democratic leaders lining up with the Republican leaders on the matter of the bonus. It means cooperative and definite action on both sides. So that certainly that piece of legislation which has given a great deal of alarm is no longer a menace to the situation in the country. And there is further evidence of real cooperation on the part of leaders in committees and out of committees over the tax bill to plane out its rough spots and to get it into action at the earliest possible moment. It is a very sincere and genuine desire to expedite these matters in such a fashion as to give economic strength and reassurance to the country on all sides, and I have no doubt that the alarms in these things are entirely overexaggerated and that we are going to have both cooperative and expeditious action on them. As I said the other night to some of you, we are going to have debate always in a democracy, and it is a good thing to have it. The thing democracy needs is cooperation and leadership, and that we have and will continue to have.

That is only by way of background in answer to the questions that have come in. I am not making a public statement on that.

The first statement we will give you.

Note: President Hoover's two hundred and forty-third news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, April 12, 1932.

On the same day, the White House issued a text of the President's statement on meetings with the House Select Committee on Economy (see Item 124).

On April 11, the House Ways and Means Committee opened hearings on the Patman bonus bill (H.R. 7726), providing for full payment of the World War adjusted compensation certificates. In conjunction with the hearings, Democratic congressional leaders Joseph T. Robinson and Henry T. Rainey issued statements opposing the bill.

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/207654

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