Date: June 22, 1926
Location: Washington, D.C.
Here is a suggestion that there ought to be a traffic policeman stationed permanently at the White House Treasury corner, as conditions there are very bad. I would be very glad to take that up with the proper authorities that have the disposition of traffic policemen to see what can be done. Perhaps if I can get the support of the local press we can bring something to pass. That is between the White House and the Treasury. There is a policeman there in the evening when the traffic is most dense. I have noticed him there often when I go out to walk. I usually start out that way. But he doesn’t stay there but a short time. Of course there are those convergent streets. There is New York Avenue that comes in right there, and of course Pennsylvania Avenue winds up there, and all the traffic that comes past the Treasury and the White House and up and down 15th and 16th streets. I will make that suggestion to see what can be done.
There isn’t anything further I can say about taxation, other than what I said in my address last night at the Business Meeting of the Government.
Here is a question about a discussion between Senior Alberto Salomon and me. I recognize this now. 1 thought that referred to a state Senator that was in a day or two ago. I suppose this refers to the gentleman that was in here from Peru. I think he used to be the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Peru and the Ambassador brought him in to pay his respects to me. He talks English very fluently and as sometimes happens in those cases he and I talked some about the development in this country of a better knowledge of the Spanish language. That came to my attention because when my son went to college I told him it would be very much to his advantage if he would study Spanish, but he found out unfortunately that that came later in the course and curriculum at Amherst, so he hasn’t taken it up yet. I hope very much he will be able to. Of course that came very vividly to my attention in my intercourse with all the South American republics and the Central American republics and Mexico. Almost everybody in that country speaks Spanish. Our commercial and business interests with them are close and communication is very much better now. I think it would be a very good plan if our young people had knowledge of that condition and were encouraged to study the Spanish language. I talked with him about the industrial development of his country. He says they have some very large copper mines there and there is a good deal of development in oil. He was desirous that American business men might be interested in the industrial development of the natural resources of Peru, which are very great. He said that the eastern portion of it consisted of a great plateau which is very fertile and that also is mineralized, but it is adaptable to agricultural purposes, the raising of corn and cotton. On account of its elevation the climate there is not what it would be expected to be in a country that is so close to the tropics.
I didn’t have any plan about the adjournment of Congress. I had told the members that had conferred with me that they knew what the situation was up there and to use their own judgment about it, that I felt that the decision as to when an adjournment should he had was a decision that very properly belongs rather to the Congress than to me. Anything that they wanted to do in relation to it would be satisfactory to me. So that as fa r as I know, if they wanted to adjourn on the 30th that wouldn’t interfere with my program, or if they want to stay here for a longer time that won’t interfere with my program. The only program I have is to go up to Philadelphia on the 5th. That of course I could do, unless Congress happened to be adjourning on that day. Of course there are a great many bills that are passed just at the time of adjournment, and it has usually been understood that they have to be signed while the Congress is in session – otherwise they become of no effect – so it is necessary for the President as you know to go up to the room that is set apart for the President by the Senate Chamber and sign a great many bills. They keep coming in clear up to the last minute of adjournment. In fact it is usually the custom that a committee waits on the President and he sends in word through the committee that he has disposed of the business of the Congress that they wished to lay before him, and with that announcement the House and Senate adjourn. My only other program is to go away somewhere – to White Pine Camp in the Adirondacks. There is no haste about that. As long as Congress is in session, of course I should stay here. I wouldn’t think of going away. Fortunately the temperature of Washington has been very agreeable up to the present time and one can get along very well here in the summer time. I don’t go away from Washington for the purpose of avoiding the Washington climate so much as I do for the purpose of getting a change. If the White House were located in the Adirondacks, why I should go away just the same and undoubtedly should pick a time for the vacation period when the Government business is not quite so urgent and Congress is not in session.
I haven’t made a final determination about the 5th member of the Board of Mediation. I have had several men under consideration, but have not yet been able to make the appointment. I may make it now at any hour.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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