Press Conference, August 10, 1926

Date: August 10, 1926

Location: White Pine Camp – Paul Smiths, New York

(Original document available here)

Of course I haven’t had any direct communication with President Calles. Notes have been sent from time to time to Mexico by the State Department on the land question. I don’t know whether one has been sent in the immediate past or not. I have given directions for a general policy in relation to the land question with Mexico which is in accordance with the agreements that were made between this Government and Mexico, and as questions arise notes are sent in accordance with that policy.

I haven’t any direct or definite information about Ambassador Sheffield’s coming up here this summer. I had assumed that he would come here some time during the summer – I mean back to the United States – but I have no direct or definite information when he is coming and I do not assume that he is coming for the purpose of making any direct report that has not already been made or would not be made in the ordinary discharge of his official duties.

I am going to go over the budget with General Lord. The reports from the different Departments making their recommendations for appropriations for the coming year are in. Of course when they come in General Lord’s department takes them up and analyzes them, and then I go over them with the General to determine what action we shall take in relation to them. There are always quite a number of items that the General and I need to discuss together, in order to determine what recommendation I want to make. Sometimes I make suggestions back to the Departments as to something that can be left out or something that can be done in another way from which which has been proposed in their reports.

Press: As I understand it, the General is coming here with requests for appropriations from the Departments and not the completed figures. He has not finished going over the figures?

President: Oh no, that is not finished until a week before the convening of Congress. I wanted Secretary Hoover to come up and report on the general business situation of the country, to see if there are any things that can be done to help in any weak places that possibly may be developing. I suppose it is a matter of general knowledge that on the whole the business of the country is in an exceedingly prosperous condition It is necessary to keep watch constantly to see if there are any weaknesses developing anywhere and to see if any possible remedy can be provided. And he has some appointments in his Department that I want to consider with him.

I hope you all enjoyed your stay over in Vermont. I find it is helpful to me to go back once in a while to see that I am not forgetting how people earn their living, how they are required to live, and what happens when those who have harness breaks or one of their shoes need some repairing, sit down and mend it. You can go out and do some work on fences, do such odd jobs as are necessary to keep the house in repair, and in general do such things as are necessary for the ordinary American citizen to do. There is always a little danger that those who are entrusted with the great responsibilities of business and Government may come to forget about those things and disregard them and lose the point of view of the great bulk of citizens of the country who have to earn their living and are mainly responsible for keeping their houses, farms and shops in repair and maintaining them as a going concern. I find it very helpful to go back and revive my information about those things, lest I should be forgetful about it and get out of sympathy with those who have to carry on the work of the nation.

Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents 

The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of James George who prepared this document for digital publication.

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