Date: August 19, 1927
Location: Rapid City, SD
I expect to go to Yellowstone Park. In accordance with custom, I would rather you didn’t publish the date of my going. You can get from Mr. Sanders the time. You will have plenty of time to get ready to go, those of you that want to go. And I understand that the telephone people are making arrangements for the accommodation of the press out there. I don’t know where I shall be located. I expect, most of the time, on the hoof.
Mr. Morrow is on his way out west from here, I think some place in Idaho, isn’t it Mr. Sanders?
Mr. Sanders: I have forgotten.
President: He has a ranch out there to which he is going. I haven’t any particular matter to discuss with him. He is going through and stopped off to see me.
I don’t know just when I shall return to Washington. I should think we ought to be back there by the 12th. I am expecting to stop at Brookings on the way out. That is the State College. I expect to dedicate the Lincoln Library at the State Agricultural College. It is the only stop I shall make.
I haven’t made any definite conclusion about authorizing any naval building. I think all of my messages have suggested the need of additional cruisers and additional submarines. Since I have been President we have authorized and started building eight cruisers, and as you will recall after the conference with some of the members of the House Naval Affairs Committee a bill was put in for ten additional cruisers. I referred to that at the last conference. I didn’t suggest at that time that I had it in view to build ten for the coming session, because I haven’t had it in mind. I don’t know what it will seem desirable to suggest. There will be some building of additional cruisers, but I haven’t any particular number in view. I think I was suggesting that we would have been a little further along in our naval program if I could have put into the present budget an appropriation to start building these cruisers instead of simply continuing work on three cruisers. We would have been seven cruisers ahead of what we are now. That is not a matter of great consequence as it is a matter of years to build them.
Question: Couldn’t an authorization for those additional cruisers be made and a supplemental estimate put through?
President: I hardly think the naval program ought to be carried not in supplemental estimates. It is a matter of emergency. It ought to be taken up and carried on in the annual estimates.
I have stated my position relative to our merchant marine several times in my messages to the Congress. I haven’t changed my views on it. I am not in favor of the U. S. Government embarking on another program of building ships. We have just had an experience in building $3,500,000,000 worth of ships on which we lost over $3,000,000,000. We have a large number of ships on hand that are not in use. Nearly all the ships we are operating are operating at a loss, I think I might with a great deal of safety say that no ship the United States Government is operating is now operated at a profit if you take into account the capital outlay. What I desire especially to do is to get our merchant fleet into private operation, with sufficient guaranties to have it kept in operation.
Question: May we return to the naval construction program for just a moment?
Question: I was wondering if it would be possible to increase that appropriation, which I think you called an insignificant appropriation, in the next session?
President: We are increasing it. Question: For this next year?
President: Of course. We made a small appropriation to start those three cruisers and I am recommending to the coming Congress such an appropriation as is necessary to carry on that work at a reasonable rate, I think I shall go up to Newell soon after I return. Is it the first or second, Mr. Sanders?
Mr. Sanders: 1st of September, Mr. President.
President: That will be on the 1st of September. It isn’t necessary to publish the exact date. I don’t know now of any Cabinet officers that are likely to be out here. Some of them are in the West and it is possible they may come. Secretary Jardine I think is out here somewhere. Mr. Hoover and Judge Wilbur are both of them on the Coast.
I have had advice from the War Department that Clarence Chamberlin doesn’t qualify under the law for any award, he not having made this flight while he was a member of our military organization, so that it would have to be done by a special act of Congress. I should think that something of that kind might be appropriate, though I wouldn’t want to commit myself definitely on t without advising with the War Department to see just what the established policy is, if there is one, about special Congressional acts.
There won’t be another newspaper conference before we start for the Yellowstone, so I hope to see you on the train.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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