Press Conference, July 26, 1927

Date: July 26, 1927

Location: Rapid City, SD

I don’t know whether Secretary Wilbur is coming here. I am not exactly sure that he will come. I have expected him to, but undoubtedly he feels that it is necessary to stay in Washington at the present time on account of the Naval Limitation of Arms Conference that is going on. I am advised that Secretary Work is somewhere in the West. Just when he is coming here I don’t know. Have you heard anything definite from him, Mr. Sanders?

Mr. Sanders: No sir. We have no definite engagement for him.

President: I had some intimation that Mrs. Wilbur may go through here the latter part of the week, though there is no final decision about that.

I don’t know of any choice having been made of a location for the next Republican National Convention. That, as you know, is a matter that the National Committee decides usually when they have their December meeting. A number of people have spoken to me about different cities and I have suggested to each of them that the thing for them to do was to put in their application to the Committee and when the time came the Committee would give careful consideration to all invitations and make the best choice it could. Of course, it is usual I think for the Committee to confer with the President about a matter of that kind and I shall be very glad to confer with the Committee about it if they wish to confer with me, but of course the choice lies with the Committee.

I should be very glad to have the Distinguished Flying Cross conferred upon Mr. Chamberlin, if it can be done within the law. It is my understanding that he is a reserve officer, though I have forgotten now whether in the Army or the Navy. Unless he is a reserve officer, I do not think that the Cross could be conferred. But I shall be very glad to have that done if there is any way it can be done. I make this statement, of course, in answer to this question here. It would be very improbable that I should overrule any recommendation given by the War Department or the Navy Department about the conferring of a cross or other honor, so that what I have said is of course subject to such advice as I might get from the Army or the Navy. I have given my personal opinion about first having the advantage of their advice about it.

I don’t know enough about what is involved in the location of a municipal airport so that I could say anything that would be helpful relative to the suggestions that have been made for locating one in the City of Washington. All that I have said and indicated heretofore was that I should be glad to cooperate in any way I could to help have a municipal airport for the City of Washington. It is of course highly desirable that the capital city should be furnished with such an airport. It was my first thought that the Army field or the Navy field would serve for such a purpose, but I am advised that that wouldn’t be altogether convenient, so that I am very glad to cooperate in securing any other suitable location. Whether this location which is opposite Haines Point — it seems to be — well that is something I don’t know.

Question: Is it your idea that all the large cities should have airports?

President: Yes, that has been the policy of the Government, to encourage the cities and towns to have their own airports. The Federal Government is not adopting the policy of establishing airports itself, but of letting the localities establish their own and then the Federal Government puts its energy into the encouragement of aviation.

Question: Because of Washington’s peculiar relationship, do you think the Federal Government would pay part of the expense?

President: Of course, all the expenses of the City of Washington are shared in by the Government. Whether there is any occasion for anything different here, as is the case in other municipalities, I don’t know.

I am glad to see that there is a report of the final arrangements being perfected for the dedication of the International Bridge at Buffalo between Canada and the United States, which has been designated as the Peace Bridge, and said to have cost $4,500,000. It is reported that Vice President Dawes is to be there. I requested Secretary Kellogg to go there, the head of the State Department in charge of our foreign relations, to represent the United States Government especially, as Premier Baldwin and the Prince of Wales are also expected there.

Question: Is there any chance of Premier Baldwin coming here?

President: Well, I think not. You see it is about two days journey from there out here. He will see Secretary Kellogg there. If I were in Washington he was planning to visit me.

I have a delegation representing four or five states visiting me at the Lodge at 1:30, the Atlantic Yellowstone Pacific Highway Association, a matter of 200 of them. I don’t know as it is anything that the press in general may care to attend. I presume some of the photographers would wish to be out there.

Mrs. Coolidge is attending the wedding of the daughter of Frank Mondell this afternoon. That is over on the edge of Wyoming.

Question: What time do you leave tomorrow, Mr. President, for Custer?

President: Arrive in Custer at 10:00. I don’t know what time we leave.

Question: Do you plan to come back within a reasonable time? Have you any plans for your return from Custer?

President: Why, no. We return when the pageant is over.

The President stated in relation to the dedication of the International Bridge at Buffalo that he had requested Secretary Kellogg to go there to represent the U. S. Government, especially as Premier Baldwin and the Prince of Wales were expected. He added that he did not think Premier Baldwin was coming to the Black Hills as it was a journey of two days and the Premier would see Secretary Kellogg at the celebration. He added also that the Premier had intended to visit the White House if the President had been in Washington.

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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