Press Conference, May 17, 1927

Date: May 17, 1927

Location: Washington, DC

(Original document available here)

I have here a telegram from Mr. Hoover. It is quite long and I don’t need to read it all. Some of the pertinent parts of it are. Accumulating experience and the success of our appeal to the public makes reasonably safe to say now that the funds in hand and prospective will enable the Red Cross to do its work on efficient basis. The Governors of each of the states have appointed commissions under able chairmanship to represent the state in reconstruction measures. They have divided the work into two stages. One is the measures during the flood stage and the second is reconstruction. The reconstruction is subdivided into emergency action and the longer view of measures to be adopted under the responsibility of state commissions. Of course the flood measures are the rescue of families and life stock, equipment of relief camps, the provision for food, clothing and medical supplies, feed for livestock, transportation of sufferers and animals back home. Then the second period of reconstruction is the seed, temporary supply of food, feed for the livestock, farm implements, additional livestock and poultry, buildings and repairs, furniture, medical service and sanitation, financial credit. You undoubtedly saw the statement given out by the Farm Loan Board yesterday that they were in cooperation with a million dollar corporation that has been formed so that through the Farm Loan Associations $4,000,000 would be added, making $5,000,000 for relief. Then comes business reconstruction, public schools, roads and bridges, municipal property, public utilities and levees. The Red Cross gives its assistance to needs that arise directly from the flood. The central office is at Memphis, but they have staff representatives and agents at concentration points who work through local chapters and committees. The national organization is coordinating its work with the activities of state commissions and state agents. County Committees have been decided upon for the rehabilitation work. The chairmen of these county and parish committees will be appointed jointly by representatives of the Red Cross and the Chairman of the State Commission. The Red Cross will keep a representative with each State Commission to coordinate all the activities. The question of mass purchasing is being considered, but in general the local committees will make their own purchases. Emergency credit corporations, one of which I just mentioned, are being formed and State health authorities and Red Cross nursing and medical and sanitary assistance are being coordinated. This other telegram relates to the Agricultural Credit Corporation that I spoke about a moment ago. That is especially for the State of Arkansas. Transportation of people from concentration camps has already started. That is dated on the 13th. I have a number of questions about flood relief, which I think I have covered in what I have already said.

I haven’t any information about the conferences that are taking place between our officials and the Canadian representatives relative to recent immigration regulations that have not already been made public. I had understood from what the Secretary of State told me and the Secretary of Labor said to me that they felt confident that some method would be worked out that would be fairly satisfactory to both people in this country and people in Canada.

Here is an inquiry relative to the use that might be made of questions that are submitted to me and which I do not discuss. I had supposed that the rule about that was that questions that were submitted and not discussed would not be discussed in the press. I don’t mean by that that it isn’t perfectly proper of course to discuss the substance of the questions, but I did understand that it was the rule that if a question were submitted to me and was not discussed by me that no report was to be made, one way or the other, about the fact of the submission of the question.

It is too early to come to any settled conclusion about tax reduction next year, the next financial year, or the next session of the Congress. As I have already indicated, it will be necessary to see what our surplus amounts to, what the source of that surplus is, what the conditions are, when Congress gets together, and what the probabilities are as to the continuation of a surplus if no change is made in the law which would justify tax reduction.

With the work that is going on for flood relief and the arrangements that are being made to take care of the situation, I do not think it would be necessary to call a special session of the Congress.

I expect to be at the meeting of the American Medical Association this evening. I haven’t made any final determination about where I shall spend the summer. I expect Colonel Starling will be back very shortly now. He was in Colorado a day or two ago and I think that was the last place he was expecting to visit.

Nothing further has been done about judges.

Press: Would it be permissible to give that telegram out from Mr. Hoover?

President: Yes, you can have that if you want it.

Press: Is the Secretary coming back shortly?

President: He hasn’t indicated when he would return.

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

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

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