Press Conference, February 9, 1926

Date: February 9, 1926

Location: Washington, D.C.

(Original document available here)

I haven’t seen the statement of Representative Davey, of Ohio. If he did say that 100,000 civilian employees of the Government could be dismissed and $500,000,000 annually saved without reducing the efficiency of the Government service, I don’t think I should agree with him. We are making such effort as we can to have an efficient service. I think it is fairly efficient. We save something in efficiency constantly, but the statement that $600,000,000 could be saved by any re-arrangement of the government business, I should think was too strong.

Congressman Vare came in yesterday to speak with me about the Sesquicentennial celebration. I told him that I thought over $4,000, 000 was a little more than the Government ought to expend up there. He is going to investigate it carefully and keep the expenditure down as low as he can.

No decision has been made yet about the case of Lieut. Thompson. I am examining the record. It is quite long and I haven’t quite finished it.

I knew about the Copeland resolution. Do you know whether i t was adopted by roll call?

Press: 51 to 24.

President: Was it a roll call?

Press: Yes.

President: I expected that the Senate was going to adopt it in order to save time debating that and take their time debating the tax bill. Of course I shall give it such consideration as it ought to have. It is an opinion on the part of the Senate. Their opinions are entitled to consideration. Of course it wouldn’t be binding on the President. I don’t think it is expected to be binding. I don’t see offhand how it changes the situation. Everyone, I suppose, would like to have the coal strike settled. If I knew of anything I could do to settle it, I should have done it long ago. It seemed to me that for the Government to meddle in it would probably have made matters worse, so I refrained from undertaking to give advice about it.

I approved this morning the report of the Board of Hospitalization for a new Veterans Hospital to be located at West Bedford, if a site can be secured there. Otherwise, at Bedford.

Press: Would you permit a question about the coal strike? Are we correct in understanding that Mr. Lewis is at liberty if he wishes to make public your answer to him last autumn?

President: Well, I would rather you ask Mr. Lewis that. I would rather you ask Mr. Lewis that. I don’t expect to spend the summer at Swampscott. Perhaps that report came out through some conversation I had with someone hoping the Congress would get its work done at an early date. I don’t recall that I said anything about going away for the summer. I expect to be out of Washington some during the summer, but I don’t expect to go to Swampscott. I haven’t made any definite plans.

I did not direct Secretary Davis to order an investigation int o the Aviation Service. That is a departmental matter that will be taken care of by the Department.

I haven’t any expectation of making a visit to Plymouth in the near future.

Press: May I ask how your father is getting along?

President: My father is not suffering any pain. Mr. Stearns went up to see him at my request. He was up there Wednesday and again Thursday. He said father was cheerful and contented and not suffering any pain, but of course is confined to his bed. I speak to him over the telephone nearly every day.

I haven’t received the Peruvian and Chilean appeal in the Tacna-Arica matter. I think I saw a press report that an appeal had been made. I don’t think it has been received at the State Department; otherwise I would have had notice of it.

I knew of the proposal that Secretary Mellon was making to establish a Bureau of Prohibition. He conferred with me about it and it had my approval.

I think it is quite desirable that we should have legislation during this session to provide for the development of commercial aviation. The Bingham bill has passed the Senate and I think that refers especially to commercial aviation and is now pending in the House. In relation to the general matter of aviation, I recommended in my message the adoption of the proposals that were made by the Aviation Board in their report. I don’t know of any compromise that can be made in relation to them. If reference is made to whether there should be an independent Air Service, it has either to be independent or else under the Army and Navy. It is my opinion, insofar as I ought to have an opinion, that it should remain under the Array and Navy, and that I understand is the opinion of the responsible elements in those two services. I mean the General Board of the Army and of the Navy.

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

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

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