Date: August 2 1927
Location: Rapid City, SD
There is no foundation for the reports that it is stated here have been published, if they have been published, so far as I know, that the Geneva Conference will suspend until Fall. My advices are that they will make every effort to reach some agreement and if no agreement is reached that the Conference will adjourn.
It is rather difficult for me to pick out one thing above another to designate what is called here chief accomplishments of the four years of my administration. The country has been at peace during that time. It hasn’t had any marked commercial or financial depression. Some parts of it naturally have been better off than other parts, some people better off than other people, but on the whole it has been a time of a fair degree of prosperity. Wages have been slightly increasing. There has been no time that there has been any marked lack of employment. There have been certain industries like the textile industry and the boot and shoe industry in certain localities like New England, which have not been running on full time. But generally speaking there has been employment for every one who wished employment. There has been a very marked time of peace in the industrial world. There have been some strikes. When I first came into office there was a strike in the hard coal fields and another strike I think in the same line a couple or three years later, but those differences have been adjusted without any great conflict or any great suffering on the part of the industries or the public, so that there has been rather a time of marked peace in industry as between employer and employee. There has been considerable legislation which you know about, and which I do not need to recount. There have been great accomplishments in the finances of the National Government, a large reduction in the national debt, considerable reductions in taxes.
Mr. Michael: Do you know the amount of the reduction in the national debt? About $4,000,000,000?
President: Well, it is close to that. It runs about $1,000,000,000 a year, some years less, between three or four.
I have a reference here to Walter Johnson. Today is said to be the 20th anniversary of his entry into the major league. I think he stands up as a fine character, especially in the athletic world I would place that above everything else in athletics or any other avenue of activity that persons might enter into. Of course, in addition to that he is recognized as one of the foremost ball pitchers of his time. I don’t suppose all the youth of the country would care to undertake to be league ball players, but I think they might all copy from a study of the character of Walter Johnson in an attempt to emulate him.
I have already referred to the Geneva Conference. I understand that they are getting ready to have a full session, or a plenary session as it is cabled, on Thursday and that meanwhile some negotiations are going on between the delegates. All that I could say about the conference now is that our representatives will make every effort they can to secure an agreement.
I knew that there were some negotiations going on for the purpose of securing conservation of the oil resources of the country. Conservation is desirable. Of course, it can not be accomplished by making or entering into any agreements that might run counter to the Sherman anti-trust law. If it were possible, I think all those that are interested in the welfare of the country would like to see an orderly production of oil that would provide a permanent and stable supply at a reasonable price. That would be the goal toward which we would all wish to go. But like pretty much everything in human affairs, it isn’t exactly possible to secure that kind of a result and we have to go along the best we can. Sometimes oil is too plentiful and is apparently being wasted, and then sometimes again it is too scarce and the price is too high. But any reasonable program that can be devised to secure the results that I have just mentioned I feel would be for the public welfare.
I haven’t any plan to visit the Yellowstone National Park, nor to go to Vermont, and I am not certain when I shall leave the Black Hills. I suppose sometime the first part of September. Just what time, I am not yet able to say.
If the conference will return at 12:00 I may have a further statement to make.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of John Sullivan III who prepared this document for digital publication.