Calvin Coolidge Says, March 24, 1931

Date: March 24, 1931

Location: Northampton, MA

Summary: Calvin Coolidge discusses foreign relations with Austria and Germany.

(Original document available here)

The direct practical interest of the United States in the customs union of Austria and Germany cannot be large. Our exports to Austria are small and her products cannot interfere in an important way with our exports to Germany. Probably our legal interest is about the same as that of the Allied powers, for our treaty of peace provided we should have the same rights and privileges as if we had ratified the Versailles Treaty.

It is not so easy to assess our indirect interest. Whatever disturbs the political tranquility of Europe is injurious on this side of the Atlantic. It is not lightly to be assumed that Germany and Austria are putting a chip on their shoulders. They are entitled to the presumption of good faith. They are justified in taking any legal action to protect their joint economic interests. It is generally agreed by experts that European tariff barriers have reached the destructive point. But action in relation to them should be taken in a way not to alarm the sensibilities of others. Perhaps, before the final consummation of the union, suitable declarations will be made and guaranties given which will allay the fear that more is intended than the agreement discloses.

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 Wang who prepared this document for digital publication.

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