Press Conference, June 16, 1925

Date: June 16, 1925

Location: Washington, DC

(Original document available here)

I have an inquiry here about the Colorado River. I think I made a public statement about that last fall some time. I don’t know of anything that I could add to it. I haven’t got that statement before me, but if any one is interested in knowing my position they will find it by looking that up. I should say it was made about September or October. Now it may be that there have been some developments that would modify the position I then took. I am not in favor as a general proposition of putting the United States Government into the generation of power business. I am in favor of using public funds where it is necessary for flood control, but oftentimes that results in an incidental development of power. The way that I would like to see those things developed is for the head of the Government to take care of flood control, as we do in the Mississippi River, and private enterprise carry on the business of the generation and the distribution of power. Of course I haven’t the time to discuss that in a general newspaper conference. I should need to give very careful consideration to any statement that would represent entirely my position and what might do for one place perhaps might not be applicable to another. I had hoped very much that the plan that had been worked out for the Colorado River water and power development by means of treaties between the different states up there would go into effect. I don’t know whether that is becoming hopeless or not. Arizona has held it up. California has made some changes I think in their ratification, so that I don’t know what plan can be adopted that may be for the best interests of the project.

I haven’t any plan at the present time about a conference of Federal and State officials to negotiate an arrangement for separate tax fields so that the Federal Government would have the income taxes and the State Governments the inheritance taxes. While theoretically that may be sound, as I said at the last conference I can see difficulties in getting it into operation – illustrated by the great difficulty we had in four or five states on the water power proposition. It would probably require legislative action by a large number of states and that of course is difficult to secure. Oftentimes they have made a commitment to get a certain amount of revenue from income taxes and it might be exceedingly difficult for them to find a method by which they could get an equivalent amount of income entirely from inheritance taxes, though it might be worked out gradually. I haven’t talked with Senator Smoot about his plan. As I said the other day, he doesn’t put out plans unless he has considered them carefully and usually he has the facts and figures to warrant a sound conclusion. He may have some method by which an adjustment of that kind could be made.

Question: Mr. President do you think you will be able to attend the Governors’ Conference?

Answer: I think it is very doubtful, but I haven’t fully decided yet.

I haven’t had any report from the Tariff Commission about the duty on butter. I think I have seen some suggestion that some one made to repeal the flexible tariff provisions of the present tariff law. I doubt if there is any sentiment there of an appreciable amount.

I haven’t any information about the affairs in China, other than what has already been given to the press.

I haven’t had any protests about the executive order regarding discharges from Government departments. I don’t think it is such as will seriously interfere in any way with the usual carrying on of the business of the departments and perhaps it will give some assurance to those who are employed that they will receive that kind of treatment which the law seems to contemplate, giving preference to certain individuals that come under certain conditions to stay in the Department, above other individuals that are under other conditions.

I don’t know of any developments regarding the bathing beach. Some provision of the law has been brought to my attention that I didn’t have particularly in mind at the last conference that seems to raise a question as to the authority of any one doing anything with the bathing beaches. Congress enacted a law abolishing the bathing beach that was contemplated for colored people and abolished also the bathing beach that was in existence for the white people. I should think under that statute it would be somewhat difficult to take any action.

I don’t know of any development in the Mexican situation that I could comment on. I expect to have the address that I shall deliver at Cambridge on July 3rd ready for the press perhaps before I leave for Swampscott or soon thereafter. And I expect to go about the 23rd of June. I haven’t fully decided yet, but I think it will be possible for me to get away on that day. I don’t know just what time I can get away, perhaps go during the day or perhaps take a night train. I don’t know. I think that – this is not for publication – the railroads do not like to have the hour given out in advance of the time that the President will travel.

I am going to appoint Mr. Olds, who is now serving us – I can’t recall his first name – on the Commission that is assessing some European claims, to be an Assistant Secretary of State. He takes the place that is made vacant by Mr. MacMurray, who has been made Minister to China. I haven’t done anything about a Minister for Siam or a vacancy on the Tariff Commission. I haven’t had any report from the Tariff Commission on butter, or straw hats, or gold leaf. I have a report on cotton gloves.

I have noticed once or twice that I would comment on a question at the top of the page and then afterwards I would remember that there were some more questions down the page that I had neglected to comment on. Of course there are some times questions that I don’t think it wise to make any comment on; very seldom, once in a while I have neglected to speak of something that I intended to speak about because I thought I talked about the first question and forgot there were others and went over to another paper.

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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