Calvin Coolidge Says, August 28, 1930

Date: August 28, 1930

Location: Northampton, MA

Summary: Coolidge defends agreements limiting the international naval arms race.

(Original document available here)

The allegations in the recent criticisms of one of the English naval reactionaries that the limitation treaty leaves their navy in distinctly second place, after being compared with the similar statements by some of our own reactionaries regarding the resulting inferiority of our navy, may well be eliminated from further consideration.

The chief motive for the treaty was to prevent competition in building. The secondary considerations were the saving of expense and the extension of the policy of parity to all ships. Because the needs of the British were felt to differ from the needs of the United States as to types of ships and caliber of guns, parity could only be approximate. Experts differ about it. But the main object of preventing present competition was fully secured.

Further discussion of parity is not only vain but is almost an exhibition of an unfriendly attitude. Representatives of three great and peaceful naval powers have reached a temporary agreement mutually advantageous. It will be best for all concerned to adopt it and abide by it. No good purpose will be served by constant discussion of the relative strength of the different navies involved.

Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)

The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of John Sullivan III who prepared this document for digital publication.

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