Date: July 8, 1927
Location: Rapid City, SD
I shall of course accept the resignation of Ambassador Sheffield. When he was at White Pine Camp last summer he indicated to me that he didn’t wish to remain in Mexico more than three or four months, but he has been willing to stay on until this summer vacation. He is now on leave of absence. I don’t know just when his resignation will take effect. I haven’t any information about any developments in Mexico since I have been up here. If there is any development there, it would be in the information of the State Department, but until I have advices from them there wouldn’t be anything that I could say about it.
Question: Are you going to name a successor to Ambassador Sheffield in the near future?
President: Well, I don’t know how soon. As I say, he is on leave of absence and his resignation is not taking effect at once. It will take effect some time in the future. I don’t imagine that a successor will be appointed and qualified for some time.
Question: Some months?
President: I didn’t say some months. It will be some time, perhaps.
I haven’t any plan about visiting either Colorado or Wyoming. I am rather embarrassed by the large number of invitations that are coming to me to visit various localities within the State of South Dakota and in neighboring states. I didn’t plan when I came out here to make any tour of the country. I expected to remain here very much as I remained at White Pine Camp last summer. Of course, I have the work of the office to perform here the same as I would have it in Washington, but I don’t transact quite so much, business mornings with people that are in the Government service. I see about the same number of people that I would if I were at the White House and there is really about the same difficulty about getting away that there would be if I were in Washington. Technically, the President doesn’t take much notice of state lines. I have come out here because I wanted to come to the West. But of course the President has the fact that there are state lines brought to his attention quite forcibly by the members of the House and the Senate and I should like very much to spend the summer traveling about seeing the country and the people. It would be very interesting. But I don’t see how I can do that. I am accepting invitations that are to places that I can go to from here during the day and return the same day, like going to Belle Fourche and Deadwood, Ardmore, where I am going to a Farmers’ Picnic, and especially to inspect the United States Government Experiment Station that is located there for the purpose of making experiments to promote dry farming. But aside from that I have made no engagements.
Question: Did the Pine Ridge Reservation engagement escape your mind, or is that off?
President: It has not been definitely made. I want to go down and visit one of the Indian Reservations while I am here.
Question: How about Custer?
President: I think we shall go over there. I am not sure about that. It is a short distance, less than an hour’s drive from the Lodge.
Question: You didn’t say you were going to be initiated into a tribe at Deadwood?
President: Just because I belong to one tribe is no reason why I shouldn’t belong to another.
Question: You will join the tribe then, will you?
President: I suppose so.
Question: You haven’t found out your name yet, have you, Mr. President?
President: Well it is something about water; I don’t know whether it is still water or what.
I haven’t any information about Ambassador Herrick that is definite. I had a letter from him saying that he was in this country, but was desirous of returning in time to be in France when the American Legion Convention takes place there, that he was going to go to Washington to confer with Secretary Kellogg, and would come out here if I wished. I told him that I am always pleased to see him, but no doubt that he could transact all the official business he had with Secretary Kellogg and I hesitated to urge him to take the long journey that would be necessary to come out here. I doubt if he will come here. But I left it to his discretion, because he will know what business he might have, rather than my knowing in advance.
I haven’t any report about the landing of more Marines in China.
President stated he had left to Ambassador Herrick the decision as to whether he would come to the Lodge or whether he could transact all necessary business with the Secretary of State.
President’s statement regarding Sheffield was along lines of letter transmitted to Secretary. It stated if any new developments in Mexico they would be made public through Department. No decision reached regarding successor. None probable for some time. Matters in hands of Charge. Expressed doubt whether received a final report from the Tacna-Arica Commission.
We had some that were sent over to the Philippines to be there, nearer to China than they are here, in case of any need. I presume this report that is referred to means that some of those have been sent up and landed around Teintsin. Or it may be that some have been transferred from Shanghai to Teintsin. I don’t know of any developments in China that would call for the sending of any greater force there than we have at the present time.
Question: Are there any developments which would cause the transfer of the Legation or Embassy?
President: Not that I know of. My last information when I left Washington was that the situation around Peking was apparently such that it didn’t appear necessary to transfer the Embassy, but instructions have been given to Mr. MacMurray to be ready to transfer the Embassy at any time and instructions were given to Admiral Williams to advise us whenever he thought the military necessary was such that the protection of the Embassy at Peking would be hazardous.
So far as reports have reached me, I should regard the Naval Conference going on at Geneva as making commendable progress.
I think quite a good many names have been suggested to me from time to time for appointment to the post in Mexico. No decision has been reached yet about it. Of course, it goes without saying, to return to Mexico, that our interests there will be in the hands of the Charge de Affairs while we have no Ambassador on the ground. What is the name of that Charge?
Mr. Sanders: I was trying to recall.
President: It isn’t Sutherland?
Sanders: No, it is a very different name.
President: Schoenfeld isn’t it. Yes. He is a very experienced man who has been in Mexico for a very long time.
Question: Before the appointment of the Ambassador we conducted all our negotiations with Mexico through the Charge de Affairs. Is it the intention to continue that in the future?
President: I have forgotten whether Schoenfeld was in Mexico at that time.
Question: There isn’t any idea of not sending an Ambassador there for a very long time?
President: No. I should expect that we would not be without an Ambassador to Mexico any longer than we would be if Mr. Sheffield was to return after a period of leave.
I am not sure whether the Tacna-Arica Commission has given me any final report. I don’t think they have made a final report. They of course made reports from time to time, but I do not think any final report has been made.
The matter of the award of Distinguished Service Medals comes up through the War Dept. rather than going down through the President. I don’t know whether they have in mind to award any on account of flights to Europe and the Hawaiian Islands or not. I imagine that they will award some, but I haven’t any information about it.
Question: Secretary Wilbur was quoted the other day as saying he was going to recommend one for Byrd?
President: Yes, of course I should have added the Navy Dept. Commander Byrd is a naval officer and the men who flew to Hawaii are Army officers.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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