Press Conference, July 6, 1926

Date: July 6, 1926

Location: Washington, DC

(Original document available here)

Here is a question about the Shipping Board putting on more ships to transport wheat from the gulf ports. There is a large crop of wheat this year in that area that naturally sends its crop abroad through the gulf ports – Oklahoma and Kansas. That crop is now coming in. They are thrashing it. I took up with the Shipping Board the matter of putting on more ships and they had arranged to do so. I was told by Secretary Hoover and Secretary Jardine that they got the impression that they didn’t intend to put on more ships down there, so I told Secretary Hoover and Jardine to go down to the Shipping Board and see if they had been correctly informed. They found out when they got down there that their information had come from some subordinate and that the Shipping Board itself was well aware of the necessity of more ships and that they are preparing to put them on. I think they are preparing to put on as many as 50, should it be necessary. One of the reasons why we need to put on more there is because the ordinary tramp ship that is oftentimes available for that kind of cargo is busy just now in the coal trade, on account of the cessation of the production of coal in England due to the strike. So we shall have plenty of ships there to take care of any situation that may develop.

There is no foundation for any suggestion that Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Andrews is going to resign. I have noticed some comment about that in the press, but I was just speaking with Sec. Mellon about it. He says that Secretary Andrews will stay in his position.

I am leaving this afternoon at 5:00 o’clock for the Adirondacks.

I don’t know of anything that will be done in the immediate future about the 3 judicial appointments in Alaska. I think I may be able to take some action about the Middle District of Georgia very soon. I have got to make some inquiries of different people about that before I can make a final determination.

I don’t know whether any communication has come here from a Frederick Peabody about the cancellation of the British debt. I think I saw some reference to that in the press. I don’t recall having seen any communication come here. I took it to be the device that is oftentimes adopted of some one that wants to get a communication published so as to get their ideas before the public – they write a letter to the President.

Judge Van Fleet came in this morning to bid me goodby and also to say that he would like to retire from the Federal Trade Commission to go back to the practice of the law. I am urging him to stay. He is not going to retire just at present anyway.

There hasn’t been any further report about Commissioner Fenning, but I expect that he will retire and some one will be appointed to take his place.

I would like to take this occasion to express my very deep appreciation of the splendid reception that the people of Philadelphia accorded to me on my visit there yesterday and the great interest they showed in coming out on such a threatening day to listen to my address, especially the great throngs that lined the streets on either side where it was known that we would pass. I don’t think that I have had such a marked reception on any visits that I have made to different parts of the country.

I would like to say also that I am very much gratified with the work that the Congress did. There was a very large amount of constructive legislation. The principal thing that will affect the country is the reduction of taxation. I wasn’t able to do a great lot with the reduction of expenditures, but we did keep expenditures down fairly well. There was no bill of general importance that passed that I did not approve. There were three or four small things. I sent up a couple of veto messages of personal and local significance and there were three or four bills that I decided not to sign. One of them I hadn’t been able to make up my mind about it. That is the bill relative to taxation of lands in Oregon and Washington. That didn’t come in until just as I was about to leave the office to go to lunch and from lunch to the Capitol, so I didn’t have a chance to investigate it. I am investigating it now to see whether I ought to approve it or leave it disapproved. The tax measure I would say was the most important piece of legislation. The approval of the World Court and the manifest desire to place that on a basis where its independence would be made more secure than it is now, leaving the other nations to approve that policy, is a matter of importance in international relations. I think that there wasn’t much of anything in the way of treaties. The Lausanne treaty and the treaty relative to the sale of arms and the use of gas didn’t come up for final consideration. The Railroad Labor bill will we hope develop into a very important policy, because of the significance of it of leaving the management of the railroads and the employees to agree among themselves with the very manifest disposition of a new desire on their part to harmonize difficulties that may arise and adjust them without the interference of the Government. And of course there is the building law which really represented a new policy of making a lump sum appropriation and leaving the administration of it and the disposition of it to the Secretary of the Treas. I also believe the Postmaster Gen. comes in on things that are of interest to the Post Office Dept. Then the aviation bill was very important, which also is the adoption of a new policy of administration. With the great amount of discussion that had been going on through the summer months in relation to the aviation situation, the present bill is in a very wonderful way, I think, almost in entire harmony with the recommendations made by the Navy Air Board, a considerable step in advance. There are some things that remain to be done. We passed a bill that had been agreed upon in the fall as a result of conferences between the Sec. of Agriculture and the Cooperative Farm Associations that is of considerable importance for the betterment of the cooperative farm movement in the country. There are some things that have been left undone. Muscle Shoals hasn’t been finally determined. I spoke of the two treaties. Coal legislation hasn’t been finally passed upon. And legislation for the consolidation of railroads. Another matter of importance which awaits future action is legislation relative to the licensing of radio plants. I think those are the principal features of this Congress. But the fact remains that no legislation of general import was passed that didn’t have my approval and in all the main features that I desired to have the Congress act upon I secured favorable action. I don’t want to make the personal pronoun there too large. I happened to express it in that way. I think some of the success of the present Congress was due to the fact that they assumed very largely their own responsibility and undertook to function as an independent legislative body without too much interference on the part of the Executive or too much subservience to the wishes of the Executive. That is I mean, trying to determine questions on their merits. As a result of that policy there was very little of partisanship that was shown in the decision of any large questions. There is another item that I left out, which of course is of tremendous importance, and that is the settlement of our foreign debts. I would place that as one of the major accomplishments of the last Congress. I didn’t make any memo, and I presume that after you are away several others will occur to me of important achievements. You have my consent to put those in, if any of you think of them.

I don’t know how many of you are thinking of going with me up to the Adirondacks, as many as can I hope. Those who go I shall see up there. Those who stay in Washington I shall not of course see, and I wish to take this opportunity to express my amazement at the constant correctness of my views as you report them to the country. It is very seldom that any error creeps in. I don’t know how that could be done. I wouldn’t be able to report as correctly the views of any one of you. I don’t know how you get before the country so clearly and so well my views as you do. And I also want to thank you for the consideration with which you have always treated the Presidential office during the time that I have been President. It has been very helpful to me in the transaction of the public business and I think very helpful to the country in coming to a comprehension of what the Government is trying to do, how it is trying to function, what efforts it is making to benefit the condition of the people. I hope those of you that stay here or go to some other part of the country will have the opportunity to have as pleasant a summer as I expect to have and as those who go with me I know will have.

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

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

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