Date: June 5, 1925
Location: Washington, D.C.
(Original document available here)
I think that some of the marines are at Shanghai for the purpose of protecting American lives and property, and they will be used to whatever extent it is necessary that they should be used for that purpose. That is the only purpose that America ever lands any marines on foreign soil and they would have no other purpose in the present situation. You can get more detailed information I think from the Secretary of State’s office, or from the Secretary of the Navy, than I have. I know that we have some war vessels in the harbor at Shanghai, and I think one or two others on the way there. Though we know – I know of nothing serious that has happened to any American citizens or any American property, but on account of the disorder there it is considered that they are in jeopardy and marines have been landed in order that they may have proper and emple protection. That is all the action that I know of that is contemplated in relation to China or Chinese territory.
The matter of giving any decoration to General Bundy hadn’t been brought to my attention until this question came to me. I am pleased to have the question and will take the matter up with the War Department. It states here that he is the only Major General that has not been given an award or decoration. Some of our laws that provided for American decorations have gone out of existence on account of the lapse of time, but I assume that there are laws that would provide for giving a decoration to one who has earned it by reason of service.
I doubt very much if Representative Burton is correctly reported as having announced that this Government had called an International Conference for Limitation of Chemical Warfare. Before I can comment on that I should want to see just what he had said. I think that if he made any reference to that it is probably a very limited reference, one that is accompanied by quite a good many conditions. Of course if we have a conference on limitation of armaments I know of no reason why it wouldn’t be possible to take that question up at that time. I should doubt very much if the foreign governments would care to come to this country merely for the purpose of a conference on the limitation of chemical warfare.
I haven’t any information at all about what Soviet Russia may be planning to do in China. I don’t have in mind at the present time the transfer of any other Government agencies to the Department of Commerce. An investigation may reveal that there are other departments that could be transferred to the Department of Commerce, or other transfers, but I haven’t any others in mind now. Of course we are constantly surveying the ground in order to find out whether there are transfers that could be made that would result in better administration of Government agencies and doing the same amount of work, securing better if possible, but certainly as good results, with the expenditure of less money.
That seems to cover the inquiries of this afternoon.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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