Calvin Coolidge Says, May 11, 1931

Date: May 11, 1931

Location: Northampton, MA

(Original document available here)

Efforts of more than usual intensity are being made in Washington to reduce the expenditures of different departments. Such reduction is absolutely necessary unless there is to be an increase in taxes or debts.

The first study is being directed to our military establishment. This is not a productive governmental activity, but as it is a guarantee of order and peace, it supports all productive efforts. As a source of employment the Army and Navy are not large, providing for about two hundred thousand enlisted men. It is not thought there can be any saving in enlistments.

Some years ago careful investigations were made by General Lord, Director of the Budget, in an attempt to stabilize military expenses at about half a billion dollars. So much opposition arose in the Congress that little progress was made. The Army and Navy now cost about seven hundred and twenty-five millions. Instead of a reduction there has been a rather steady increase in appropriations. The interests involved have become firmly intrenched in Washington. If any saving is to be made it will require vigorous support from the country. The Congress will move in that direction only under compulsion.

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 Greg Harkenrider who prepared this document for digital publication.

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