Herbert Hoover photo

The President's News Conference

February 10, 1931


THE PRESIDENT. I have just signed the Wagner bill for advance planning of construction and Federal works with a good deal of pleasure. Senator Wagner and Congressman Graham have worked out a very admirable measure, in which they adopted the constructive suggestions of the various Government departments. The act sets up, in tangible form, the organization which we have in fact carried on for the last 14 months in planning Federal or public works. It is not a cure for depression, but it is a better organization of relief for future depressions.

I feel that I should take this occasion to make known two men who have had a very large part in the development of these ideas, Edward Hunt of the Department of Commerce, and Otto Mallery, of Harrisburg, who first proposed this sort of setup for advance planning of public works against depression in the unemployment conference in 1921. And they were members of two subsequent committees that were appointed to investigate it, and as a result it was placed before Congress at various times, but it takes a depression in order to bring home the utility of such proposals. They are not welcome in times of prosperity.

But in any event, it has accomplished a very useful piece of organization, and I place the organization of the act in the Department of Commerce. The bill provides that the President is to assign its administration to some department.

And that is all that I have today.

Note: President Hoover's one hundred and seventy-third news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, February 10, 1931.

On the same day, the White House issued a text of the President's statement on the Employment Stabilization Act of 1931 (see Item 55).

The Employment Stabilization Act of 1931 (Public, No. 616, 46 Stat. 1084) established the Federal Employment Stabilization Board.

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/207235

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