Herbert Hoover photo

The President's News Conference

February 17, 1931


THE PRESIDENT. I have some questions here which I do not propose to reply to at the moment. But I have signed the 44-hour bill for the Post Office employees. I shall, some time before the end of the session, be sending a suggestion to Congress that they should appoint some sort of a body or authorize the committees of Congress to make an investigation into methods by which the postal revenues can be increased.

The Post Office deficit outside of the services being given to merchant marine and aviation and the free franking privileges now shows close to $100 million, and that deficit is largely due to the necessities to increase the pay of postal employees and the reduction of hours of service, et cetera. And it seemed to me to be only just to the country that there should be some increase in postal revenues to meet these increased expenses imposed upon the Post Office.

Other than that I haven't anything.

Q. Mr. President, will you make any suggestions in that communication?

THE PRESIDENT. No, it is essentially a matter for Congress to find a revenue to meet these difficulties.

Q. Mr. President, can you say just what part of this deficit this increased revenue will cover?

THE PRESIDENT. I can't say. It is just cumulative .... Otherwise than that I haven't anything this morning.

Note: President Hoover's one hundred and seventy-fourth news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, February 17, 1931.

The President referred to H.R. 6603, a bill to lower the workweek for Post Office employees from 48 to 44 hours. As enacted, H.R. 6603 is Public, No. 672 (46 Stat. 1164). The projected message on postal revenue increases was never sent to the Congress.

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/207282

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