Calvin Coolidge Says, January 21, 1931

Date: January 21, 1931

Location: Northampton, MA

(Original document available here)

The situation between France and Italy again illustrates how extremely difficult it is for nations to get away from the age-old policy of trying to rely mostly on force for Security. Those nations were unable to agree on naval armaments at the London conference. They did arrange a truce in naval building which is reported now ending, with Italy proposing to build gun for gun with France.

About the only progress made is a tacit admission all around that such action is not a good solution of the problems involved. National pride is the main difficulty. Both countries declare their desire for peace, but to each security means more arms in their own hands or the promise of more arms to be furnished by other people.

The Washington and London treaties show these differences can be adjusted. Therein lies the hope. The pressure of high taxes will work on the side of reason. With the protection of the League Covenant, the Locarno agreement and the world peace treaty, the European nations are in a position to make concessions in armaments. They know the attitude of our public opinion on peace and our disinclination to finance war.

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 David Diao who prepared this document for digital publication.

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