Public Papers of Herbert Hoover, 1930

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Author: Herbert Hoover  | Date: June 30, 1930

215
Address to the Governors’ Conference.
June 30, 1930

IT GIVES ME great pleasure to greet this 22d annual Conference of Governors. I especially welcome the opportunity at this time to express my appreciation for the cooperation that the Governors and their associates in county and municipal affairs have given to me in organizing the expansion of public works to alleviate the unemployment which has resulted from the stock market crash of last November.

The request for such cooperation which I issued to the Governors and mayors at the end of November last met not only with immediate heartyassurances from almost all State officials, but has been followed by action productive of most important results. I feel that some report of the resuits of that cooperative effort is not only of interest but is due to your body.

To definitely organize so as to prevent the activity in public works from receding like other activities in depression, and to speed them up in anticipation of future needs so as to alleviate unemployment in such a time is a new experiment in our economic life of the first importance, and the success which has attended this effort, the enlarged understanding of its vital importance, the new paths of organization which it has opened, represent an advance in economic thought in government and in service to our people.

We have hitherto regarded great business depressions with their inevitable train of unemployment and hardships as an inevitable fever which must run it course, and in former times if public works were undertaken in alleviation of unemployment it has been in the sense of semi-charity. This time the Nation has realized that as a sound economic policy, the prudent expedition of construction could be to an important degree used as a balance wheel to maintain security of employment, to maintain consumption of goods, to thus contribute to economic stability and above all to relieve hardship.

We have since the first of January a full 6 months of organized effort from which we can begin to appraise results. In all previous depressions, the volume of public works has diminished because the State and municipal governments, feeling the effects of such depression in taxes, in problems of finance, and in the general psychology of retrenchment, have themselves followed the general trend. In the great depressions of 1908 and 1921 we witnessed such a decrease in public works. Had matters followed their previous course, we should during the past 6 months have undoubtedly seen a diminution in volume of employment in public works over normal times. But on this occasion we witness a large increase.

The Department of Commerce informs me that the totals expended or contracted for in new public works and betterments by National, Stateand local governments, in these last 6 months have not been less than $1,700 million and that this exceeds even the boom year of 1929 by over $200 million, and the organized effort to which you have contributed so much in creation will, I am confident, go still further in its accomplishments. It takes time to plan public works, to legislate, to finance them, to assemble materials, to enter contracts so that the second half of the year promises even greater results—particularly is this true for our Federal appropriations and our plans for roads, buildings, ships. And other Federal improvements are much enlarged in our fiscal year beginning today.

Nor should I omit reference to the effort of our utilities and our leading business concerns to cooperate with us in the increase of construction. They have shown courageous faith in the future, and their expansion of employment, which they have provided in construction and betterment works, exceeds even the $200 million of increase over 1929 accomplished by the public authorities.

I am happy to say that this cooperation of efforts of all branches of the government—State, local, and Federal—are still continuing.

We have every need for continued serious effort. We are pioneering a new path for the future which shall add to the orderly progress of the Nation. Every dollar of work we provide now adds to the security of the home in this time of stress. It adds courage and hope in time of adversity. Renewed resolutions for even further effort in every State and every community, and in the Federal Government, will add faith in early recovery. The splendid endowment of our country of fortitude, courage, boundless energy and resources together with unity of effort is the guarantee of recuperation. To that unity of action your members have made notable contribution.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:40 p.m. from his study in the White House to the Governors’ Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. The address was broadcast by the National Broadcasting Company and Columbia Broadcasting System radio networks.

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Chicago: Herbert Hoover, "215 Address to the Governors’ Conference.," Public Papers of Herbert Hoover, 1930 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Herbert Hoover, 1930 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.589 271–272. Original Sources, accessed August 7, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=I7SKBHA1Y6863WE.

MLA: Hoover, Herbert. "215 Address to the Governors’ Conference." Public Papers of Herbert Hoover, 1930, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Herbert Hoover, 1930 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.589, pp. 271–272. Original Sources. 7 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=I7SKBHA1Y6863WE.

Harvard: Hoover, H, '215 Address to the Governors’ Conference.' in Public Papers of Herbert Hoover, 1930. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Herbert Hoover, 1930 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.589, pp.271–272. Original Sources, retrieved 7 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=I7SKBHA1Y6863WE.