Press Conference, August 4, 1925

Date: August 4, 1925

Location: Washington, D.C.

(Original document available here)

No one has yet been chosen to succeed Mrs. Gardener on the Civil Service Commission.

I haven’t any definite plan about another visit to Plymouth. I thought some time toward the middle of the month perhaps I could get away.

I haven’t any idea when any other Cabinet officer may come here.

Question: Mr. President, you might get away, you mean, to go to Plymouth or Washington?

Answer: No, I meant to Plymouth. I don’t think I have any information about either the economic or the political situation in the middle and northwestern states that isn’t known of all men. I have very little information about the political situation in that region. So far as I am informed about the economic situation, it seems to be improving. Prices of all farm products, wheat, corn and hogs especially, are very good now $14 for hogs, which is an increase of between $2 and $3.

Question: Since when, Mr. President?

Since a year ago. The only unfavorable economic condition there is certain areas where crops haven’t been very good. Now that is more an impression on my part than it is definite information.

I don’t know of any time that Secretary Hoover and Secretary Mellon are coming. I hope they will both be up here before I go away. I don’t know that Mr. Hoover has returned to Washington, though I expected he was coming back the first part of August.

I haven’t any figures that will give me any indication about the economic conditions of France, Belgium and Italy, and while negotiations are going on with the Debt Funding Commission I should hesitate very much to make any public comment, even if I had any information, and it happens that I haven’t any. So I couldn’t be of any definite opinion as to the ability of those three countries to meet their payments.

As I have already said, I don’t know when I am going to Plymouth, Vt. and haven’t any plan about going to Plymouth, Mass.

I don’t know anything about the action taken in regard to Commissioner Haynes, other than what I saw reported in last night’ s paper. It had been my understanding that he would continue in his office the same as he had been doing and that Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Andrews would be in the position of an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in charge of looking after the enforcement of prohibition. That is, instead of the Secretary of the Treasury himself undertaking to look after the details, which of course he could not do, he turned that part over to an Assistant Secretary. I don’t suppose it had much of anything to do with the work that Major Haynes was doing. He worked more directly under the Secretary of the Treasury than he was working under the Asst. Secretary of the Treasury.

I haven’t any one in mind for Ambassador to Japan. I want to make an appointment there very soon. Quite naturally I should want to talk with the Secretary of State about it.

I didn’t get any new information from Ambassador Sheffield about Mexico. Of course you recall that since I was at Washingtonhe had to go to the hospital to undergo an operation. He seems to he making a good recovery, you know of course it takes some time to recover from a serious operation, and on account of his illness he didn’t keep in the closest of touch with the Embassy at Mexico, although he was in communication with them. So that I don’t know of any new developments in Mexico. I think our relations may be generally stated to be more satisfactory at the present time than they were a short while ago.

I didn’t have a chance to discuss with Senator Pepper at any length the public questions. He came in in the evening and it happened that we had a picture to look at that evening and the next day was Sunday. He went away right after lunch. We went to church in the morning. I know in a general way that he is working on the problem of securing the advice and consent of the Senate to the adhesion by this country to the Permanent Court of International Justice. That is a question especially for the Senate to work out. The Executive Office has submitted it to the Senate and it of course is entirely in their hands. I have left it pretty much to the Senate. They have provided, as you know, for taking the question up on the 17th of December. I understood that Senator Pepper would confer with different Senators that were interested on both sides of the Chamber to see what might he the best form of a resolution of adhesion.

I haven’t given any thought to any list of what might he called achievements of the two years that I have been President. I presume the press could form a better list of those things than I could. I am so constantly giving my attention to what is going to come that I don’t have a great opportunity to think of what has gone by. I think since I have been in office we have finished the negotiations on the Lausanne treaty and have come back into full relationship with Mexico. We have done a good deal to make our relations better with the South American republics. I think we have settled some of our debts with some of the countries, I can’t name them; of course Great Britain was taken care of before I became President, but some of the others have been settled since that time. There developed during the last campaign some discussion as to whether the administration was entitled to any credit for the Dawes Plan. You are at liberty to express whichever view you think is correct about that. It is sufficient for my purposes and the purposes of the United States that such a plan has been adopted. I am not particularly interested in the fact as to whether we are entitled to credit for it or not. I think it is a great accomplishment. And of course there has been the effort to keep the expenses of the Government down, and there has been a law passed reducing taxation. Now there are a lot of other laws that have been passed that are important, but this question has just come in. I don’t know as I could give any particular list of them at the present time.

I haven’t any information about conditions in the Alien Property Custodian’s office, especially in relation to the American Metals Co., other than what has been published in the press. I haven’t any idea whether there is any condition there that would seem to make it desirable to institute an inquiry or not. It is always a good plan to assume that things have been done correctly until the contrary is proven. I think that would be the attitude that I have in mind in relation to that situation.

I haven’t any plans about making any addresses in the West before Congress meets.

I haven’t any new information about what is going on in relation to China. I saw Mr. Castle for a short time when he was here Saturday. I understood from him that he thought the Department was making as good progress as could be expected in arriving at some practically uniform conclusions on the part of the Nine Powers that are interested which would be in substantial agreement with the policy already announced by the State Department.

I have already spoken of the World Court.

The Conference on Agriculture I suppose will reconvene, the President’s Conference or whatever it is called, and finish their studies of the Agricultural situation, and I should rely very largely on them for suggestions in relation to legislation.

It would be possible to pass some laws that would be of benefit to transportation, but the main thing that it seems to me is needed in transportation is consolidations. There is one of those pending before the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Van Sweringens, and I imagine that some of the other transportation units are waiting to see how that comes out in order that they may get necessary information with which to proceed with consolidations. If we could get consolidations through, it would solve the problem to quite an extent of rates. We would then have sufficiently large units so that it would be possible to make a rate that would substantially take care of each unit and not give one railroad a very large income while another railroad under the same rate wouldn’t get enough income to pay for its existence.

Question: Do you have in mind that consolidation might he helped by additional legislation?

Answer: Well it is possible that it might. I haven’t had the details of that enough in mind to give an opinion, but what I meant was that the railroads ought to go ahead and make them in order to remove to quite an extent the necessity for legislation. They ought to proceed voluntarily. I think Senator Cummins is of the opinion that the situation could be materially advanced by legislation. He is one of the authorities on legislative problems in the Senate and has been on that Committee for a long time, and is well acquainted with what ought to be done.

Question: Is he coming to see you?

Answer: I haven’t any plan for him to come up here. He is in Iowa. I suppose he is there – was there the last I heard from him. I don’t know of any particular reason for taking up that question with him or Senators in general before I should return to Washington.

I don’t think there is anything I can say about the possibility of a coal strike. It had been my expectation that there would be some agreement reached so that there wouldn’t be any strike.

I haven’t made any plans to spend the week-end in Plymouth. I rather think that there is a misunderstanding in what was reported in one of the morning papers, because Mr. Adams told me that he wanted to go down to Plymouth and that he was thinking of taking a tour through the White Mountains. I think some possible misunderstanding arose about that. He was going down to Plymouth, Mass. and also was thinking of taking a tour through the White Mountains. I haven’t any thought of going to the White Mountains.

I don’t think there is anything I can say about the Citizens Military Training Camp that hasn’t already been better said than I could say it.

That seems to cover the inquiries of the morning.

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

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

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