Press Conference, June 21, 1927

Date: June 21, 1927

Location: Rapid City, SD

(Original document available here)

I am not certain whether General Wood will come here, but I expect him to. I imagine it will depend somewhat on the state of the General’s health when he reaches this country. I conferred with the Secretary of War relative to having the General visit me here and he will be notified on his arrival in this country that I would be pleased to receive him here at any time he wishes to come.

I have had a message from Ambassador Sheffield that he would be pleased to come out here any time after the 30th of June. I have advised him that I would be pleased to have him come whenever it suited his convenience and that I would like to have him bring Mrs. Sheffield with him if their engagements are such that it will be convenient for her to come.

I don’t know that I have any immediate trips in mind. I am going over this morning after this conference, as you probably already know, to visit the National Guard that is in camp just outside the city. I suppose the members of the press will attend with me. I would be very much pleased to have them go over.

I have only had the report from the Naval Conference that came through the A.P. since it convened. It wouldn’t be possible to judge anything of the progress until each of the countries have presented their views and there has been some opportunity for discussion. I understood the plan was to have the conference come to order yesterday. I wasn’t technically correct, by the way, that I had not received any report from the Naval Conference. I did get a direct report from the Secretary of State that has probably been given out to the morning papers.

Press: That is the text of the American plan?

President: No, what came was some message of good will from the Conference to me for having called the conference.

Question: May we have that today?

President: Yes, it is here now. Just a short message. But to go back to what I was saying, the Conference would be opened and our Ambassador would make the opening address, as the Conference was called by the United States, and either at that time or soon after probably present whatever plans we have to present, the other countries would present their plans, and then the conference would be opened for discussion and committee work.

I don’t know enough about the necessity or desirability of a municipal airport in the District of Columbia to say anything about it that would be very helpful. I don’t see offhand why, when we have a field there both for the Army and the Navy, that those two fields could not be used for airport purposes. But there may be some reason why that isn’t advisable. The matter of airports, generally speaking, is one for localities, not one for the United States Government. I think we have refrained in all instances from undertaking to establish United States airports, the ports being provided wherever we have flying by the local municipalities, and I assume it is on that theory that it is proposed to have a municipal airport for the District of Columbia, which would be a City of Washington airport as distinguished from a United States Government airport. The distinction is somewhat fine in this case, of course, but there is a difference between what is done by the City of Washington and the Commissioners and so on, and what is done by the United States Government.

Question: I imagine the Commissioners in starting this now want to get the item in the budget.
President: Of course, all the appropriations for the City of Washington are made by the Congress, but still they are municipal appropriations and supported not only out of the United States treasury but out of some local taxation. I should be, so far as I can see, willing to take the opinion of the Commissioners in Washington, if they think it would be necessary and desirable and convenient to have a municipal airport for the District of Columbia, I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be willing to make such a recommendation to the Congress for an appropriation, though I imagine it would be necessary for us to get a bill through the Congress providing for an airport, and afterward I could make a recommendation for an appropriation. I didn’t know where they expected to place it. I suppose the matter has been canvassed of using the Army or Navy field.

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

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

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