Press Conference, February 17, 1928

Date: February 17, 1928

Location: Washington, D.C.

(Original document available here)

Here is a suggestion that says that W. C. Lusk, President of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce has issued a statement urging encouragement of the consumption of American farm products as a means of absorbing part of the surplus. I haven’t any advice as to the specific possibilities in that direction, so far as it might relate to any particular products, but that is a subject that in a general way of course the country and the Government, as represented by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce, are working at all the time – finding new uses for different products of the farm and different products of the factories and the mines. That is a very sensible suggestion and one in which I believe there are growing possibilities. I am sorry I didn’t have time to take that up with Agriculture and Commerce to see just exactly what they are doing. If any of you care to follow it up by making inquiries of those Departments, I am sure you would get some interesting information.

I have not modified my position relative to local contribution by the places that are to be benefitted by flood relief. I have indicated to some of the interested parties that if it isn’t possible for the Congress to make a finding as to what contributions should be made, if some localities are better able to make contributions than others, that one way to solve the question would be to authorize some body of business men to make a survey to see what different localities could contribute and make a report to the Congress on which Congress might act. Meantime, of course, the preliminary work and such work as could be done during the first year of operations would go on.

I haven’t any information about the resignation of Walter Jones, the Collector of Internal Revenue, at Hawaii. I think this morning I signed an order suspending him from the 20th of February, because of some information that came to the Treasury Department relative to him. The Department said he ought to be suspended until certain information that had come to them relative to him was cleared up.

I do not know of any particularly new developments on the proposal for a four-day line of ships to Europe. I have understood that Mr. Wilder was working with the House Committee to draft some legislation.

I can’t claim any great familiarity with the plan that Mr. Yoakum is now presenting for farm relief. I talked with him a short time. He submitted to me some proposals which I sent to the Dept. of Agriculture. Some of them they thought might be helpful and some they thought would not be.

I haven’t seen the plan that the Senate Agricultural Committee is proposing to report, so I couldn’t comment on it in detail. I am afraid that in its essentials it isn’t materially different from the bill that was sent to me last year by the Congress, and which I was not able to approve. But I hope that they will be able to work out a plan that will be acceptable.

Mr. Morris, George K. Morris, of New York, State Chairman, was in town and dropped in to see me. Our talk was mostly incidental, speaking of the work that he has been doing. I was glad to see that he was very much improved in health. The last time he came through here he was on his way South to try to restore his health after quite a prolonged sickness. He says he is feeling very much better.

I can’t recall whether Rep. Snell referred to any possible “pork barrel” features that might creep into a Mississippi River Flood Control bill. I use that phrase because it is a phrase here in the question. I think he and I did discuss the possibility of the bill being too ambitious an undertaking to commit the Government to building levees without any local contributions on all the rivers between the Appalachian boundary on the East and the Rocky Mountains in the West. I think the legislation should be confined to that area that suffered from the disaster of last spring.

Senator Johnson came in at my request so that I might talk with him about the appointment of a judge in California.

There is always danger that the Congress will be too liberal in the matter of appropriations. It doubled the appropriation that I proposed for the Shipping Board and I think added $6,000,000 or $8,000,000 to the Army bill, and it is true that if it goes on at that rate there won’t be any surplus with which to meet tax reduction. Of course, according to my best judgment, there should be added to the sums I have already mentioned $65,000,000 that has been put into the tax bill, which is in excess of what I believe tax reduction ought to include.

Mrs. Coolidge is very much better. She says she feels entirely well. Two or three days ago she had some pain, but has not had any for a few days and doesn’t expect to have any more.

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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