Press Conference, March 1, 1927

Date: March 1, 1927

Location: Washington, D.C.

(Original document available here)

Of course, I don’t know what the action of the Senate may be on the nominations which I have made for membership on the District Public Utility Commission. The principle of the bill I thought was a good principle, but the administrative features are difficult, and it is no wonder that the Senate finds that it is difficult for them to function under it. I don’t know what action I shall take in case the Senate fails to act on these appointments. I suppose it would be my duty to do the best I could to carry out the provisions of the law. Those nominations have been up there now for months. I have no doubt that the Senate will take action on them.

I haven’t been able to confer with the State Department since all the replies to my suggestion for instructions to the delegates that are to assemble at Geneva from the powers that signed the Washington treaty, giving them authority to negotiate for further arms limitation, were received, so that I am not in a position to state any more definitely than what has already been stated in the public press what the implications may be from the replies and what the opportunity of hope may be for securing action under them. But so far as I can see, there is an opportunity remaining open for negotiation and I think for some favorable action upon further limitation. I would like to emphasize the point that this is for limitation and not for reduction.

I haven’t any information about the attitude of the British Government relative to the construction of the Washington treaty on the proposal to elevate our guns, other than what has already been made public. Some inquiries have been made to see just what the details of their attitude may be.

I haven’t had any report from the Department of Justice on the appointment of an additional Federal Judge in Maryland, so far as I recall. If an additional judge has been authorized for that State there will be, or it is being taken up, by the Department of Justice to see what recommendation shall be made to cover the authorization.

There isn’t anything new in the situation in China. I have been over that so many times I am sure the conference is quite familiar with all the information that I have and the position of this Government. It is simply to be prepared to protect the rights and property of our citizens there in case of any kind of an outbreak against them.

To recur for a moment to the matter of limitation of arms. I don’t know whether it would be feasible to secure any agreement with Japan and Great Britain. It might be that some progress could be made by a three-power agreement. But I should think that would be doubtful. The position of Great Britain, as I recall it, at the Washington conference was that unless some arrangement could be made with France for limitation on sub-marines and so on, that of course they couldn’t make any limitation on those vessels that are used as a defense against submarine attacks.

I am not sure that any final proposal has been made by France relative to making any payments on the debts that they owe us. Of course, they are making payments on the interest of the debt of about $400,000,000 which was contracted by France for the purchase of some war supplies that we had there, and there has been some suggestion that payments might be made on the other debts. Whether that will be done or not, I don’t know. I think our attitude will probably be of course to receive any payment that might wish to be made on account.

I haven’t any information other than what is already public in general relative to the reaction in the country in relation to the veto of the McNary Haugen bill.

There are some indications of negotiations going on between the revolutionists and the Government in Nicaragua that appear to be hopeful of some agreement being reached which will settle the difficulties in that country, restore peace and good order. There hasn’t been any armed conflict there for some little time, since the Government recaptured a town there that had been captured by the revolutionary forces. At that time there were several hundred casualties. Since then there hasn’t been any armed conflict that has resulted in loss of life or any serious casualties, and as the country appears to be settling down I think there is hope that that condition may be made permanent.

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

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

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