Date: December 2, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
(Original document available here)
The report that the railroads are to assume a more aggressive attitude in the assertion of their rights and the protection of their property is an encouraging development.
A generation ago the railroads were found to be interfering too much in governmental action which in no way concerned them. They were charged with being in politics when they should have been only in transportation. In reforming themselves they went so far in the opposite direction that their business and, therefore, the public welfare have suffered.
Railroad representation at Washington has been able and wise, but under the present policy not always assertive. The important legislation of ten years ago came from the initiative of a voluntary association of savings banks and insurance companies holding railroad securities. If the railroads can now speak for themselves, it indicates a return of sane public confidence in transportation management which will benefit the country. Holding one-twentieth of the national wealth, the railroads can do more for the welfare of the wage-earner, agriculture and industry than any other single agency. We do not want any return of railroad political activity, but we do need such action as will protect their interests in legislation and regulation.
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 Geoffrey Zhang who prepared this document for digital publication.