Date: June 26, 1925
Location: Washington, D.C.
Mr. Thomas White, Supervisor of Administration, is he now Colonel Hennessy –
I think so Mr. President –
just dropped in. I have not had a chance to do anything except to receive him. Of course he came to pay his respects. I am going to see if I can get him to stay to dinner. I noticed the suggestion of Sir Joshua Stamp that the United States must necessarily do something in order that Germany might pay its reparations and that the European Governments that are indebted to the United States might pay us. I didn’t examine that with great care. Most of my information I think comes from editorial articles that I have read in relation to it. I took it that it is another one of the efforts that have been constantly made since the war to provide some method by which the United States would pay the reparations. There have been all kinds of left handed efforts to provide some method by which the reparations could be collected out of the people of the United States. If that is the intention of it, I don’t believe the people of the United States will take kindly to it.
Now, the very large importations that we are having seem to me to be a sufficient answer to the suggestion that our tariffs should be lowered. Our foreign trade at the present time is greater than it ever was, 50% greater than it was before the war, while the other European countries are showing a less foreign trade. Now I don’t want that to be misinterpreted. Of course the world is in a condition in which it is in. Our people have got to bear their share of the burden and they will suffer the loss. you might call it that, of the inconvenience that is going to arise from this world condition and will be obliged, whether they want to or not, to share it with the other people of the world. But I don’t believe that they would want to undertake a plan or be a party to one that would result in undertaking to make this country pay the reparations or cancel its debt.
I think it is very doubtful if I shall attend the Governors’ Conference and I do want to go up to make a short visit to my father as soon as I can after I have made my address at Cambridge, which is on the third. I thought it would be very pleasant for me if I could get home on my birthday, which is on the 4th. I don’t know whether that can be arranged or not. I just had a communication from Vice President Dawes’ Secretary that he has gone up to Newburyport and is going to stop on his way back.
I shall not receive direct advices from Washington about pending things there in any different way than I would if I was in Washington – perhaps not quite so frequently but whenever there is anything that any of the departments desire to consult me about they will get me on the telephone or write to me, or in case of necessity run up. They can leave there at about 7:00 in the evening and be here about 7:00 in the morning.
Here is a question I don’t quite understand, “Is Mr. Stetson to be retained in the diplomatic service?”
Question: Mr. President, we were informed this morning that a Mr. Pearson had been named Minister to Finland.
The President: I haven’t made that appointment and I doubt if that is correct. It may be possible, but I don’t think so.
Mr. Sanders handed the President a paper.
The President: Well I don’t know about that. It may be that there is some plan on foot to put Mr. Stetson in Mr. Pearson’s place and Mr. Pearson go to Finland. Now that my recollection is afreshed about that I think Secretary Kellogg spoke to me about that before I came away, and I told him to make inquiries to see whether that would be agreeable to Mr. Stetson and Dr. Pearson. Very likely he has done so.
Question: Has Mr. Pearson a post now?
President: No. He is not in the diplomatic service. He has been appointed and the last I knew he was coming to Washington, as men do, in order to acquaint himself with such routine as is necessary and the questions between this country and the post to which he is assigned. And that is what Mr. Stetson is doing. Mr. Kellogg spoke to me about him and said the men in the Dept. were very well pleased with him. I don’t want this published, but I presume the expenses of the post that Mr. Stetson had were rather high and he desired to get a post where the expenses wouldn’t be so much. Dr. Pearson is a Scandinavian.
I am enjoying my stay here very much and I hope you gentlemen are enjoying it also, and the ladies that you brought with you.
I think I shall take a little automobile ride tomorrow morning. I presume you would like to go along. What time would you like to start?
At your convenience, Mr. President. How far are we going?
The President: We will take a ride over toward Cambridge and come back in time for lunch.
What time do you plan to be in Cambridge, Mr. President?
I don’t know. What I was trying to find out was what time you would like to start. I think leaving here about 9:00 o’clock would be all right. Will that be all right for you?
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.