Press Conference, August 17, 1928

Date: August 17, 1928

Location: Superior, WI

(Original document available here)

I have no additional information as to the Anglo-French agreement about limitation of naval armaments. I understand it is more in the nature of a proposal than an agreement. I am not contemplating at present taking any further steps about the limitation of armaments. There is a preliminary conference going on that has been going on for some years, which we have been attending. There isn’t anything outside of that that I know of which is contemplated at the present time with a view to securing further limitations.

There is nothing new in the Department of the Navy. The work of the Department is proceeding very satisfactorily. I don’t know whether any definition of the Monroe Doctrine is within the scope of the League of Nations. We would have to examine the covenant of the League to find out whether it is. As we are not a party to it, any definition that might be arrived at would not be binding on us.

I am having some flowers sent to Admiral and Mrs. Eberle, former Chief of Naval Operations, who is retiring today under the age limit.

I think some requests have come in, as they always do from private sources, relative to the threatened strike of trainmen and conductors on western roads, but looking after that matter is in the hands of our Board of Mediation and I am leaving them to keep in touch with the situation and keep me informed if they consider any action on my part to be necessary.

I don’t know about the extent of the flood in Georgia and the Carolinas. So far as I know, they are not anything but what can be taken care of by the local governments and such assistance as the Red Cross always extends in cases of that kind.

I haven’t given much thought to recommendations to be made to the next Congress. My position in relation to Muscle Shoals and Boulder Dam has been set out in various messages. The new element that might come in in relation to Boulder Dam would be the report of the Commission that Congress has established. I should of course take into consideration any report and recommendations that they might make. Whether I should adopt it or not, I don’t know. I should certainly give it very careful consideration.

The same would be quite true about the public utilities, and especially the power concerns. There is an investigation of their activities being made by the Federal Trade Commission under the direction of the Senate, and I shouldn’t want to come to any conclusion about that until I find out what the conclusions and the recommendations of the Federal Trade Commission may be. Of course, those concerns are, so far as I know, entirely state concerns. The only place that the Federal Government touches them is in the granting of permits for building dams on navigable streams. I imagine that most problems that arise in relation to these utilities are problems that would be solved by state legislation, rather than Federal legislation, because they do a very small interstate business. So that would not be considered as interstate commerce.

I am appointing Reuben Clark of Utah the Undersecretary of State. He is a man that has been in the service of the United States off and on and he is taking the place of Mr. Olds who retired a few weeks ago. Mr. Clark is one of the leading international lawyers of the country.

Question: Has the commission been signed?

President: No, but I think his commission is on the way up here. I have determined to appoint him, so I thought I would give it out.

I have seen very little of the press, so that I haven’t any better idea than the members of the conference concerning the reception of the speech I made at Wausau. So far as I have seen, it has been favorable. The members of the press have the same access to information of that kind that I have. I prefer to have them make up their own opinion about it.

I have received a letter from Governor Dillon, of New Mexico, brought up by Master Boyd Jones, who made the entire trip on horseback from New Mexico up here, inviting me to be present at the intertribal Indian ceremonies at Gallup, New Mexico, August 29th to 31st. I don’t expect to be able to attend.

I have received here a letter of greeting from the Postmasters Convention of the State of Wisconsin. You may like to look at that.

Question: Does Admiral Hughes leave today?

President: Yes, he is returning on the afternoon train.

Question: Going back to Washington?

President: Yes, he is going back to Washington.

I have received from Cottenham, England, a specially bound copy of the Bible and a photostatic copy of some of the records of the baptisms of that church. It sets out that in 1604 John Coolidge, the son of William Coolidge, was baptized.

Question: That is one of your direct ancestors?

President : Yes. Some day in September. I can’t read that date. He was the original ancestor of all the Coolidges in this country that I have come in contact with.

Question: What is the origin of the presentation? Was it a society or something?

President : No, the rector. I imagine it is the Church of England. They are having a restoration thanksgiving service on the 16th of September, which is the 324th anniversary of the baptism of my ancestor. So he was baptized on the 16th of September. I think he was born in 1603. He came to Watertown, Mass., in 1630.

Question: Is that the one whose place we went to see at the cemetery, Captain Coolidge?

President: Well, I don’t know that he was a Captain. It says that the Bishop of Ely has promised to preach on that occasion, so I Judge it must be the Church of England.

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

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

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