Press Conference, July 9, 1926

Date: July 9, 1926

Location: White Pine Camp – Paul Smiths, New York

(Original document available here)

It has been suggested that I state to those that haven’t been in the habit of attending White House conferences that the President is never quoted. These conferences are held in order that members of the press may get a correct idea of what the policy of the Government is as represented by the President, and they have a right to use the information that is given to the conference as though It were their own information, but not ever to make a direct quotation of the president.

My work goes on here very much as it does in Washington. I don’t see quite so many people; that i s about the only difference; about the same amount of things come to my desk. And I haven’t any plan for rest or diversions here other than what might occur to any of you. I have come up here mostly to get a change, as I said in Washington, if the White House were up here I might want to go to Washington for the summer, but being down there I thought it would be a help to come up here.

I don’t know anything about the election of General Dalton as President of the Emergency Fleet Corporation, other than what I have seen in the press and a wire that came to me I think from Chairman O’Connor, containing the “bare statement that General Dalton had been elected. I knew that he was under consideration with several others, and I think Chairman O’Connor asked me if I had any preference about it , and I told him that all the names he had under consideration were men hat appeared to qualify and it would be entirely agreeable to me to have the Board use their own judgment about which of them they wanted to choose.

I haven’t any special plans for tomorrow. I expect to attend church Sunday, but just where I shall go I am not certain. I don’t know what churches there are about here.

I doubt very much if I shall have time while I am here to visit the Saratoga battlefield. How far away is that?

Press: About 100 miles.

President: Well, that is probably farther away, if it is 100 miles, then I should care to go. It makes too long a trip for one day and a good many inconveniences for the President, as you know, to try to remain away overnight.

There wouldn’t be anything I could add to the statement about the plan of the Shipping Board to sell more of the United States Ships. I have stated my policy about that in my several messages to the Congress. Whenever there is an opportunity to make a reasonable disposition of our ships, I am glad to have it done. I want them of course to go into the hands of responsible parties with some assurance that they are going to be operated and the knowledge that they will be available for the defense of the United States in case of necessity and secondly, to serve the commerce of the United States. And I prefer to have all the lines we can in the hands of private owners and operators. The Shipping Board made a very good showing last year on reduction in expenses. I think the reports would show that they carried more freight and cost a great deal less money out of the Treasury than it has in the past.

I haven’t any plan about automobile trips away from the Camp. I expect to go over to Vermont some time in the near future, possibly next week. I am not quite certain about that yet and no doubt I shall know long enough ahead so that I can get ready, and I am sure the press can get ready as quickly as I can.

Have you any idea how long you will stay there, Mr. President?

No, just a few days. As I stated, I expect to go to church Sunday, but I don’t know where.

I have no information about a demonstration that is to take place in France, so I don’t care to make any comment about it.

There i s nothing further developed in relation to Commissioner Fenning, but I expect that he is going to retire.

I doubt if my fishing up here is a matter of very great or national importance, and I have always understood that it was very bad manners to question any stories about fishing.

I haven’t any information at all about Commissioner Budolph. I had heard that his health was not good for nearly a year, but I haven’t seen him for some time so I couldn’t add anything to that other than that it is virtually a mere rumor that came to me. I didn’t pay any particular attention to it.

I think I will reiterate that I was especially pleased with the work that the Congress did and because I didn’t want to take all the glory of it I hope that won’t be misunderstood. I thought it was especially to the credit of the Congress that they had functioned as a legislative body in accordance with recommendations that I had made in my without being constantly forced into some position by action on my part. I think Senator Curtis is entitled to great credit for his management in the Senate. It is a difficult position that he had. He possesses great tact and great experience, and has a wide knowledge of parliamentary law, I depended upon him when I was President of the Senate to advise with me about intricate questions, of parliamentary law and found him very scholarly in that regard. And in the House the Speaker, Mr. Longworth, was equally successful – and Floor Leader Colonel Tilson. I saw more of Colonel Tilson than I did of the Speaker. That was because Colonel Tilson was directly I in charge of things on the floor, though he always acted with the advice and concurrence of the Speaker, but it happened that I conferred with him oftener than I did with the Speaker on account of that arrangement that they had. I don’t see how either body could have been conducted during the session better than they were, and it is very difficult to see how they could have produced more constructive legislation and spent less time in useless debate than was spent in the last session. I don’t recall a time when there was greater harmony between the Executive Branch of the Government and the Legislative Branch than there has been since I have been President. I have had the support of Congress in all major things that I have been interested in and some things that are not decided yet, but those that have been decided have almost all been decided in accordance with my recommendations.

I have here a statement that I am giving out for the press relative to those sailors whose bodies were recovered in the S-51.

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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