Date: April 27, 1926
Location: Washington, D.C.
I have the usual inquiries about various bills that are pending before the House and Senate. Now, of course, as the end of the session approaches I shall have to rely very largely on the advice and opinion of the leaders of the House and Senate as to what measures they can take up and dispose of, and as to what measures they can’t take up. They are on the ground and know what the sentiment is about different proposals. That is, it would do very little good to take up a measure that I might be very much in favor of, if the situation was such that it would only result in a long drawn-out debate with doubt as to the possibility of getting a vote. So I should judge that the House and Senate will take up those measures that they think can be speedily passed, which are the most pressing, and put them on for consideration.
I have not heard of any contemplated move by Morgan and Co. to buy the United States Shipping Lines. I have seen by the papers that there was to be a sale of some of the trans-Atlantic Lines. I don’t understand that that has anything to do with the United States Shipping Lines. I doubt very much if there is any foundation for the report that the United States Lines might be sold. But, as I say, I have absolutely no information about it.
The budget is in this situation – the finances of the country. We shall come out at the end of this year with, nobody knows just how much, but there will be a comfortable margin. The figures for next year indicate a deficit at this time of $21,000,000, and any legislation that is passed that contemplates an expenditure of money in the next year’s budget will have to take that into consideration. We can finance the requirements of this year all right. Continuing appropriations would be difficult to finance from the present outlook, on account of that situation. Of course if we should have a recession in business, so that our revenues should decrease, why the deficit would be increased.
I haven’t made any decision about the appointment of a new member to the Shipping Board. There is some difference of opinion among the Senators from the Northwest as to what State ought to have it or what appointment ought to be made. I had expected that if we could get some legislation that it would leave me in a position to make an appointment for that locality that might better serve the general situation. If it becomes apparent that we can’t get any legislation, then I shall do the best I can about filling the vacancy that now exists.
I haven’t made any definite decision about where I shall go for the Summer. I am still having a great many offers of houses and so on that are exceedingly attractive. No final decision has been made.
It is stated here that there are two radio bills pending, one that would establish a separate Commission in connection with the Department of Commerce, and that is pending in the House and has been passed, and the Interstate Commerce Committee of the Senate has reported a bill to establish a new bureau to have entire jurisdiction over the radio regulations. I haven’t in mind the various provisions of either of these bills. I think it would be a wise policy to keep the supervision over radio or any other regulatory legislation under some of the present established departments. Otherwise, the setting up of an independent commission gives them entire jurisdiction without any control on the part of the Executive or any where else. That is the very essence, of course, of bureaucracy, an independent commission that is responsible to nobody and has powers to regulate and control the affairs of the people of the country. I think we ought to keep as far away from that as we can, wherever it is possible. Of course that isn’t possible in relation to courts. It wouldn’t be possible in relation to some of the regulation of interstate commerce, the supervision of railroads, and so on, which is of a highly technical and also judicial character. But I should very much prefer that any future regulatory legislation be put under some of the present departments. If it is commerce, why under the Commerce Department; if it has to do with labor, under the Department of Labor. So that, I should think that the House bill was more nearly in accord with that theory and would be more acceptable to the public. It certainly would be to me, for that reason.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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