Press Conference, August 5, 1927

Date: August 5, 1927

Location: Rapid City, SD

It hadn’t occurred to me that I needed to think yet what I would be doing after I retired from the Presidency. My work has usually come fast enough so that I haven’t had to go out looking for it. I have no doubt that will be the case in the future. I don’t know of any amplification I could make to the statement that I gave out Tuesday. Mr. Sanders and Mr. Geisser knew that I was going to make a statement. Quite naturally I thought I would like to confide it to the newspaper men first, though it is necessary for Mr. Sanders and Mr. Geisser to know about it in order to have it prepared.

I don’t know of any foundation for the rumor that I might call another disarmament conference in 1929. I suppose that means in the winter. I will go out of office on the 4th of March, and there wouldn’t be very much time between the 1st of January and the 4th of March, 1929, for a disarmament conference and the submission of their findings, or treaty, if they made an agreement, for ratification by the Senate.

Question: Do you plan to call one before then?

President: I haven’t any plan to call any conference. That is all I could say now. I wouldn’t want to say I wouldn’t call one, because I might. Perhaps I am a little over scrupulous about making statements of that kind. I wouldn’t want to go on record now with a statement that would foreclose my calling one if circumstances should develop that seemed that it might bring about some good result.

It is too early to tell just what will be the effect of the conference we held. Careful statements were made by Mr. Gibson and a statement was made, and given out by Secretary Kellogg that cover the position of our Government, to which I do not see that I could add anything.

I am not familiar enough with the law so that I know whether Mr. Chamberlin is eligible for a D.F.C. I shall have that subject presented to the War Department and have them make an investigation and a recommendation.

I don’t know of any new developments in China that would change the views that I expressed in an address I made in New York on, I think, the 27th. of April relative to our policy there. I do not know just how many Americans we have in China. We have been getting them out and having them go home in a great many instances, and in others bringing them down to the coast where we could give them protection. I judge from the question that is before me that there has been some suggestion that because there are only 14,038 American citizens there that we are not justified in keeping 13,200 American soldiers and sailors and marines in that locality. Of course, we have to keep a sufficient force there to protect our people as best we can, and I haven’t had a sufficiently detailed report of conditions in China for some days, so that I know just what is developing. I had understood that the situation at Shanghai had quieted down so that it has been possible to remove the barbed wire and other obstructions that fenced off the foreign quarter from the rest of the city, but I suppose that everyone knows that it was the presence of the forces of the various interested countries at Shanghai that prevented the taking and looting of the city, which was a service not only to the foreigners that happened to he there but a great service also to the Chinese people that were in the locality.

Secretary Kellogg of course will take the message of the administration to Buffalo on the opening of the Peace Bridge there on Sunday. Aside from the message expressed by him, I am not expecting to send any special message of my own. It is hardly an occasion that could be dealt with in a short message and Secretary Kellogg will speak at some length and voice the sentiments of the Government. I think that will cover the situation.

I do not expect that the failure to reach an agreement at Geneva will have any serious effect upon the peace of the world. I use the words that are in the question here. It leaves us, as I said the other day, where we are now with the utmost of friendly feeling and cordial understanding between the three governments that were represented there and just because they were not able to agree on a naval building program doesn’t interfere at all with the peaceful relations that exist between the three countries. When you write that out you had better say “among the three countries”. It is better English.

I have the reports relative to the crop prospects in this mid-Western section that have come through the press and also from people that have visited me and have traveled over the country. Some of the officials of the C.&N.W.R.R. were in this morning and said they had never known better crop prospects in this section than at the present time. That related to Nebraska and the Dakotas. The only weak place in the crop prospects is in the outlook for corn. That is still undetermined. The season was late, quite late in some localities, but there is still plenty of time to grow and harvest a very plentiful crop of corn. Other crops are more than satisfactory.

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.

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