The Emergency Relief and Construction Act of 1932
President Herbert Hoover’s Statement About Signing the Emergency Relief and Construction Act of 1932.
July 17th, 1932
THE PRESIDENT stated:
“I expect to sign the relief bill on Tuesday. I do wish to express the appreciation which I have and I know that the country has to those leaders of both political parties who have cooperated to put the bill into effective shape and to eliminate the destructive proposals which were from time to time injected into it._”Its three major features are–
“First–through provision of $300 million of temporary loans by the Reconstruction Corporation to such States as are absolutely unable to finance the relief of distress, we have a solid backlog of assurance that there need be no hunger and cold in the United States. These loans are to be based upon absolute need and evidence of financial exhaustion. I do not expect any State to resort to it except as a last extremity.
“Second–through the provision for $1,500 million of loans by the Reconstruction Corporation for reproductive construction work of public character on terms which will be repaid, we should ultimately be able to find employment for hundreds of thousands of people without drain on the taxpayer.
“Third–through the broadening of the powers of the Corporation in the character of loans it can make to assist agriculture, we should materially improve the position of the farmer.
“The obnoxious features which had been injected into the legislation from time to time by Members of the House of Representatives and had so long delayed action, have been eliminated. The $100 million charity feature has been abandoned. The pork-barrel infection that the loans to the States for relief of distress should be based upon population instead of need has been eliminated and also the sum of $1,300 million nonproductive public works, ultimately payable by the taxpayer, has been reduced to $322 million of which about $120 million are advances to the States for highways and most of the balance is not to be expanded if the necessities of. the Federal Treasury prevent it.
“The provisions for the establishment of a gigantic centralized banking business have been removed.
“The possible destructive effect upon credit institutions by the so-called publicity clause has been neutralized by the declaration of the Senate leaders of all parties that this provision is not to be retroactive and that the required monthly reports of future transactions are of confidential nature and must be so held by the Clerks of the Senate and House of Representatives unless otherwise ordered by the Congress when in session.
“While there are some secondary features of the measure to which I have objection, they are not so great as to warrant refusal to approve the measure in the face of the great service that the major provisions will be to the Nation. It is a strong step toward recovery.”
Citation: John Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project. Santa Barbara, CA: University of California (hosted), Gerhard Peters (database). https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/statement-about-signing-the-emergency-relief-and-construction-act-1932