Press Conference, June 2, 1925

Date: June 2, 1925

Location: Washington, D.C.

(Original document available here)

My request of the War Dept. was for a survey of their whole Department, to see under what plans they could carry on the Department on an appropriation of a certain sum of money. It doesn’t relate to one phase of their activity any more than another.

I haven’t given to the question of where negotiations ought to be carried on for the purpose of trying to fund our foreign debts any special attention. I had assumed all the while that they would be carried on here in Washington, though it is a matter over which I have only indirect jurisdiction because it is in the hands of the Debt Funding Commission. I should be very much inclined to take their advice about it. It is a good thing to have various suggestions. Oftentimes those are helpful, whether they come from private conference or whether they come from newspaper articles. But the matter is in the hands of the Debt Commission and they will be the ones that I think really ought to determine it. I understand that they think, so far as they have made any expression, that it would probably be better to negotiate here in Washington, though I don’t understand that they have considered the subject so as to make any final determination about it or cut off the possibility of doing anything else, and that is their present plan as I understand it.

The matter of action on the World Court is in the hands of the United States Senate. I think they have set the 17th of December as the time when they will begin discussion on it. I assume that they expect to have some definite action on it at an early date. But I haven’t any specific information as to the Senate. As you know it is rather dangerous to predict when the Senate will act on any particular question, unless they have set a definite time for a vote.

I haven’t determined on the appointment of any officers, save those that have already been announced.

I think that there has been a request made of the Attorney General that he consider the question whether there is any authority in the President’s office to transfer the Bureau of Mines from the Interior Department to the Department of Commerce, but I haven’t received any reply to that inquiry. I think one may be forthcoming in the near future.

I haven’t taken up with the Department of the Interior of the Department of Commerce any final determination of whether such transfer should be made or not. It is merely a matter of studying the situation to see what could be done and a consideration of the public welfare to see what ought to be done.

I want to get the appointments that I have before me made as soon as possible. The members of the Tariff Commission to take the place of Dr. Culbertson and Mr. Burgess are two, and I hope an early appointment–

I have several inquiries here about a motion picture. That brings up a somewhat interesting question. Now it has always been my policy to try to help any legitimate enterprise in the United States in any way I can. The only restriction that I feel about that is that I ought not to use the Presidential office for advertising purposes, and so oftentimes when I am asked for a word of commendation about certain commercial activities I feel that I can’t properly give it. Now I suppose I am in the moving picture business to a greater extent than almost anybody else in the United States that isn’t professionally engaged in it. The boys take motion pictures of me in the yard here and on every public occasion. I am very glad to have that done in these instances, because it is of general public interest, and then they dispose of them and charge admission to the public that want to go to motion picture houses and look at them. Now I understand that there was some arrangement made for a motion picture relative to the Naval Academy similar to that made relative to the Military Academy. I have seen that military academy picture. We had it on the boat one time and it was a very interesting picture. I am very glad to assist in any way that I can to bring to the public attention the life and activities of the Naval Academy. Now I don’t know whether the newspaper comment that has been started in relation to this is for the purpose of advertising the film when it comes out. You will be the best judges of that and take such action in relation to it as you wish. But I haven’t any objection to a picture being taken of me at the Naval Academy that would be used on the screen any more than I could object to a motion picture taken here in the back yard or a picture taken of me delivering an address. I don’t see any difference in the principle of it. The only possible difference I can see is that this might be used exclusively by one motion picture concern. Now as I understand what is proposed, it is that all the motion picture concerns that wish to be represented at the Annapolis Academy tomorrow will have an equal opportunity to take a motion picture of me and exhibit it. This line, as I understand it, of the graduating class will move before me and I am to hand them their diplomas. I don’t understand that I am to hand diplomas to any one except those that are actual graduates of the Academy. Now if some one wants to take a picture of the line and other scenes to present the life of the Academy, I am perfectly willing to have that done. The only embarrassment about it, as I say, is that perhaps one moving picture concern would have that and another wouldn’t, but every motion picture concern is going to have the privilege of taking the picture of me and to make use of it in any legitimate way they wish in the ordinary carrying on of their business. As I said at the outset, I want always to help every legitimate concern in the United States. My only embarrassment is that there are so many competing concerns that those who didn’t get the picture would say this is a kind of apple sauce (laughter broke out which continued during the next two or three sentences of the President and prevented accurate reporting of what he said.) As near as could be heard the President stated that other concerns would then wish to make apple sauce, and that he would probably be deluged with requests to sample their apple sauce and he should have to say that the conduct of the public business wouldn’t enable him to partake of it.

I think we can have copies of the Minnesota speech tomorrow. I am undertaking to do that.

I hope to be able to name a District Commissioner within a very few days. There are quite a number of inquiries about that.

I have already covered I think the moving picture story.

That seems to cover the questions.

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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