Press Conference, July 21, 1925

Date: July 21, 1925

Location: Washington, D.C.

(Original document available here)

There is little, if anything, that I can say about legislation that is likely to come before the next Congress. I haven’t given that any special thought. Of course it is before me in a general way all the time.

I don’t know of anything that makes it probable that there will be a special session of the Congress. I don’t see any prospect of one.

I haven’t any plans for any extended trip this week, and I don’t know now when any Cabinet members may come here. I know that it is quite hot, as the recent arrivals inform me, in Washington, and I told members of the Cabinet that I should be glad if any of them would come up any time and stay over the week-end. I expect that they will avail themselves of that opportunity, so that their coming up here will not have any special significance. It is merely a matter of visiting me and escaping from some of the hot weather in Washington.

I rather hope that at this time we can let the country rest from thoughts about Washington activities, politics and legislation, and give the people an opportunity to devote their thought and attention to building up the industry, business and commerce of the nation.

I haven’t any reports relative to the negotiations that are going on for an adjustment of wages in the coal industry. My information about that is practically all from the newspaper reports.

I haven’t any further information about the situation in China, other than what has already been given out. That is being looked after of course by the State Department, and I expect that such information as they may receive that they can disclose, they will do.

Mr. President, have you heard from Secretary Kellogg as to when he is going back to St. Paul ?

No. He said he is going back to Washington to stay indefinitely.

Question: Mr. President, would you elaborate upon your policy of returning the Boxer indemnity, which was reported in the paper this morning.

Answer: That was provided for by the legislature in the last session and all I did was to issue an executive order carrying out the terms of the legislation.

Question: Don’t you think it is going to be helpful at this juncture, if it comes about?

Answer: Well, yes, I think so. It is an exhibition, I don’t want to boast about our own country too much, but I think it is an exhibition of good faith on the part of this country. Perhaps it would be more appropriate for some one else to say that, other than myself.

The Secretary of War has not resigned. I don’t expect he is going to resign, and I hope that for the sake of his peace of mind that his resignation will not be reported in the future oftener than once in two weeks. I don’t want to unduly restrict the reporting, but I think that would be often enough.

I went up to call on Secretary Weeks the other day. I started out to take a little ride and got over to Salem and thought I would run over to Gloucester and I found him looking surprising well. I had heard very good reports of him, but his appearance outruns the reports that I had heard. He seems to he gaining in strength every day. He has made such a large improvement since I saw him in Washington. You will recall the day that he started up here.

Senator Hale talked with me yesterday about the Navy and I have asked him to make an intensive study of the Navy to see if we are maintaining any useless activities in it, so that there might be a possibility of saving money to the taxpayers by discontinuing them. You will recall that last year we made an authorization for some new cruisers, submarines and so on to the extent of a great many million dollars. That work will have to begin in the near future. I would like to find a place in the Navy where we can make sufficient savings to go some way towards taking up this new work. I should be very glad to consult General Mitchell about any subject that he is familiar with on which he can be helpful. I have consulted him a number of times in the past and expect to in the future.

Question: Mr. President, do you recall about how much that outlay was? Answer: I can’t give the figures. I think there was an authorization for a number of new cruisers and they cost – I think a new cruiser costs fully as much as $11,000,000.

I don’t believe I ought to say anything about the Belgium debt. That is in process of negotiation and it is in the hands of the Debt Commission. There will be of course a good deal of publicity given out by the Belgium sources and it will be for the Debt Commission to determine what part, if any, they desire to answer at present. But as I am not taking direct part in the negotiations, I hesitate to make any comment about it. I doubt if we can make any progress by making newspaper comment at this time.

My conversation with Senator Curtis has been almost entirely general. I saw him in Washington before I came here. He said he was coming up to Newport I think it is –

Narragansett Pier, Mr. President –

Yes Narraganset Pier, to visit his daughter. I told him to come up and spend a few days with me, which he is now doing.

I didn’t discuss at great length with Secretary Davis the matter of the production of anthracite coal, but from such discussion as he and I had I gained the impression that there was no particular danger of a strike.

Question: Can you elaborate on the particulars of that picture, Mr. President? Answer: I can’t elaborate on something that doesn’t exist.

Question: You have reason for believing that there wont be a strike and you must have reasons for so believing. It might be of interest to the public if you think there wont be a strike.

Answer: I didn’t have an elaborate conversation with Mr. Davis about it. He didn’t go into details. That was the impression I gained, as I said, from my conversation with him.

Question: Are you going to Pemberton tomorrow?

Answer: That is possible, but I haven’t decided.

Question: Would you go on the Mayflower or by machine?

I don’t know – can go either way.

Question: You formerly had a summer cottage there, didn’t you?

Answer: Yes, we lived on Hull Hill back of Pemberton one summer, I think 1917.

Question: Would it be too much to ask if you decide this afternoon to let us know tonight?

Answer: I will let you know as soon as I decide. If it should be stormy I wouldn’t go any way. If it is a nice fair day I might go.

Question: Is Ambassador Phillips coming to see you?

I had seen a report in the press that he was. He is a resident of Boston and is a Boston man. The family lives here and if he is in this country of course he would visit here. If he comes here I expect he will come up here to call on me the same as Peter Jay did the other day.

Question: Is it at all likely that a conference on the Chinese situation would include a discussion of the traffic in dope and so called drugs?

Answer: Well, if any conference is called I suppose it would be limited to those provisions that were arranged for at the Washington Conference. I don’t recall any of the provisions as having relation to habit forming drugs. If we can get these other things out of the way at this time we are working on that constantly through conferences in Geneva, so I don’t know of any thought anywhere of taking that up particularly and specially at a conference that might be called in relation to the things that are provided for in the Wash. Conference.

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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