Press Conference, March 1, 1929

Date: March 1, 1929

Location: Washington, D.C.

(Original document available here)

Mr. Sanders advises me that the Encyclopedia Americana is one of the concerns that has suggested they might furnish me with some employment. I understand it is a very reputable organization. I am trying to assist the press in furnishing information. I am always very glad to give any possible assistance to a legitimate business enterprise. I hope the press will give them a hand.

I do not contemplate anything in the nature of a farewell address. That was done quite well by the first President of the United States, and although it is possible that we know some things that General Washington didn’t know, yet his Farewell Address is so good, it discharges the requirements of a farewell address so well, that I don’t feel there is any necessity for preparing another one.

Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business. I have a puppy in Kentucky that is being brought up, and I have sent King Cole to Kentucky to visit that dog. The white collie is already disposed of. The smaller dog, I think it is a Scotch Sheltie, will be taken by the man that cares for our dogs here at the White House. And Mrs. Coolidge insists on keeping the chow herself.

I don’t know that there are any details relative to my trip to Northampton. I am going up on the Montreal Express. I expect the car that I am on will be set off there and we shall not leave the car until 8:30 or so Tuesday morning. Dr. Coupal will go with us.

I don’t think the Jones bill providing more heavy penalties for violating the Volstead act has reached me. I thought from some of the reports I had seen that perhaps the object of it was being a little misunderstood. I think the man that introduced the bill in the House came in to see me one time and told me that a great many of the violators of the law were foreigners; that, as the law then stood it wasn’t possible to deport for violations of the Volstead law and therefore he wanted to increase the maximum penalties. That doesn’t increase the penalties though and I understand doesn’t make it necessary for the court to inflict any greater penalties than might be inflicted now for violation of the law, but it would give the immigration authorities the power to deport any violators of the law, because under the new provisions the violation of the law becomes a felony instead of a misdemeanor as it is at the present time. I think that is all there is to it. I may be mistaken in my comprehension of it. The main object is to make the violators liable for such a penalty as makes it a felony, so that they can be deported.

I think the record of the 70th Congress has been very good. There are some parliamentary difficulties at the end of the session that always arise at the end of the short session. I think all of those problems of importance will be straightened out between now and noon on Monday.

I am going to take the bill which increases amount of the retirement pay of those in the Civil Service, look it over when it comes to me, and while I don’t think it is in harmony with the recommendations of my message I recognize that Congress had the message before it and if they wish to do something different than what the message recommended why of course they have that power. Their judgment on matters of that kind would of course have considerable influence with me in determining what I ought to do. But I shall have to look it over and see whether their reasons appear to be sound.

Nothing special took place at the Cabinet this morning. I took occasion to thank the members for the service they had rendered to the country and to me, expressed my regret at severing my relations with them, which have been so pleasant and agreeable, and I think a paraphrase of that kind would be about all I could say to the members of the conference. You have been, I think, quite successful in interpreting the administration to the country. I have known that I wasn’t much of a success in undertaking newspaper work, so I have left the work of reporting the affairs of my administration to the experts of the press. Perhaps that is the reason that the reports have been more successful than they would have been if I had undertaken myself to direct them. It has been a pleasure to have you come in twice a week and give me an opportunity to answer such queries as you wished to propound. I want to thank you again for your constant kindness and consideration. I hope you will find the years to come as pleasant to you as I have the years that are gone by pleasant to me.

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

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

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