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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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mentioned at the first, the question of relief was discussed with considerable intensity. Already proposals for public works had been made at the first one. They were made again at the second. It was my duty to say that public works were certainly a fundamental technique for the relief of unemployment, but that really large scale public works took so long to get into operation that they didn't give immediate relief. You couldn't go out and build a school building, or a post office building, tomorrow. You had first to have the plans drawn. You had to acquire the site. You had to get the money appropriated.

The Hoover administration had done none of this. The only project they had started was Boulder Dam, but that wasn't started as a public works project.

Regardless of that, although you might get an appropriation from Congress of five million dollars, you couldn't get it into spending money where it was reaching people for six to eight months, or almost a year, depending on the importance of the project. The smaller the project, the quicker people could get to work at it. Also, of course, the number of people employed on the site of a public works project were the smallest part of the people whom you expected to get work as a result of it. It was the people on the supply lines, the people manufacturing bricks,

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