Press Conference, February 24, 1925

Date: February 24, 1925

Location: Washington, D.C.

(Original document available here)

I think my inaugural address will be ready the latter part of this week.

Representative Burton came in this morning to renew an invitation to me to go to Cleveland to make a speech.

I haven’t any information about any action by the Department of Justice.

I am working on the Tacna-Arica boundary question with Secretary Hughes. I don’t know just when we can get around to make that final decision. The record is very long, somewhat more intricate than we thought at first when we came to examine it. Whether it will be in such condition that I can get any decision on it by the 4th of March I am not sure. I hoped that I could, but there is so much more involved than I had expected to find, that it is somewhat doubtful.

Nothing but some small departmental matters were considered at the Cabinet session. I talked with the Postmaster General of the present condition of the postal pay bill, but nothing developed there beyond what is already known. I am especially solicitous that he should keep in touch with that situation, in order that I might have information at hand as to the amount of revenue that will probably be raised by the bill that may finally come to me. I see it is proposed to put that bill into effect the first of January. That means that the increase of revenue begins the 15th of April. That means 31/2 months that the expense is to run without any income. That will mean something like $22,000,000 out of the taxpayers before those who use the service begin to make any contribution towards the increase in cost of maintenance.

Mr. President, have any Cabinet members ever reported progress in eliminating surplus employees?

I don’t know that any have especially. We sometimes – some Cabinet member may say that “Now in my department the situation is such that we are going to be able to discontinue the work of some employees” and I wish that other departments would keep that in mind, in order to provide employment for them when they go out of service. There is a constant change of employees, some leaving one department and going to another. I suppose that the work being done on the bonus legislation will begin to diminish so that quite a number of those employees will not need to be employed longer, and other departments have been requested to see what they can do to furnish employment for them.

There isn’t anything that I can say about our European debts. As I have suggested before, I don’t like constantly to talk about that. It gives the impression abroad that we are trying to coerce them, or something of that kind. It isn’t helpful in our foreign relations, nor is it helpful in securing a state of mind that will result in making payments to us.

I don’t know what I can do in addition to that which has already been done relative to rent legislation. I have suggested to members of the House and Senate that they make every possible effort to get some rent legislation. I understand that the prospect is not very good on account of the threat of a filibuster. by certain of the opposition. The people won’t have any rent legislation. That is a method that can be adopted at this point in the session to avoid a determination of the question on its merits.

I haven’t any information about whether Ambassador Moore will wish to stay at Madrid or how much longer he may wish to stay.

I haven’t made any indication about my decision as to how to deal with the bill increasing the salary of members of Congress. That will come to me in its regular course after it goes to the departments interested and those on whose advice I rely in financial matters of this kind.

Mr. John T. Adams is not under consideration for Ambassador to Germany.

I don’t know of any action that I could take relative to the charge for rents here in the District, if there isn’t any legislation. I shall take any action that it may be possible to take, if there is no legislation. I don’t know of any authority under the law for any action. What I mean is that I shall use every power that I have to remedy any abuse that may arise.

I haven’t any plan about taking a vacation trip after the 4th of March. The Senate will be in session and I shall have some appointments to work out which undoubtedly will keep me in Washington for some time.

There isn’t anything further that I can say about the salary of members of Congress.

I don’t think the President could take any action about appointing a commission relative to some work that is being done at Stone Mountain, Georgia.

I am not certain about an invitation that has come to me from Princeton University. I was invited to go up there last year. I think I have been invited to go this year. But I am doubtful if I should be able to accept an invitation of that kind. If I went to any university, I had it in mind to go to the University of Michigan. Dr. Burton is gone. Whether that will make any difference in my desire to go there I haven’t thought yet. Then, of course, these commencements come at the time when they are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill. If I am ever go give that any attention, I have to give it this year. There will be other opportunities to be a guest of various universities.

The China Trade Act hasn’t come to me yet, I am told. I made inquiries of Mr. Forster, who said the bill had not yet come here.

I was unaware of any announcement that I had any thought of sending a commission to China. If any such announcement was made it was made without any authority from me or any knowledge of it on my part. I don’t recall that I had ever had any such action under consideration. Maybe someone has come in and suggested it, but I don’t recall any such discussion and I don’t know of any slightest reason for sending any commission there.

I haven’t any information about concessions in Sangahlin for the Sinclair oil interests. No report about that has come to me about that. It is said here that such concessions have been cancelled. No report has come to me and it is very unlikely that it would come here. If it were a matter in which any American concerns were interested, it would be taken up in the State Department.

That seems to cover the inquiries.

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

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

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