Press Conference, May 24, 1924

Date: May 24, 1924

Location: Washington, D.C.

(Original document available here)

Good Afternoon:

I expect to pass on the Immigration Bill very soon. It has not yet come back from the Secretary of State and while I don’t know what I shall do with it, it goes without saying that I shall sign it if I can. There are a good many things in this Bill. There are many things which are favorable to us and some things which I would have preferred not to have in it. But that is the case with almost every bill of any particular importance.

Secretary Mellon has not communicated his views to me about the pending revenue bill, and won’t until the bill is passed and goes to the Treasury, when I shall then be able to find out just what it does and what affect it will have on the revenues. It is necessary to take in enough money to pay running expenses of the Government, if we can,- one of the necessary things to consider in every good system of administration. Whether there are such undesirable features in it as to make it on the whole a bill that ought not to be approved; or whether it has desirable features so that it is really better than the present tax law is a question for decision. If I can find that it is a general improvement on the tax law, then I shall sign it. If I find it is not, why then it would not be wise to sign it.

I have not decided who will nominate me in Cleveland at the Convention.

I do not know enough about the circumstances relating to the Boulder-Kenyon Dam on the Colorado River to give any particular information about it. There is a bill pending before Congress, and there is a report on it before the Power Commission. My recollection is that I thought some of the suggestions which were made by the Power Commission. I am not certain about that. Generally speaking, I believe in private ownership, but I think this is a project for flood control somewhat different than the power project. While that is an element, there is some reason for the action of the Government keeping the flood control under the action of the Government rather than submitting it to be turned over to private enterprise. I believe that something along those line — I should think ought to be done.

I don’t know what is being done in detail to assure Germany’s annual payment under the Dawes’ scheme; but whatever is necessary to protect the United States is being done through the State Department and our representative. I know that something is being done, because I have had it up with the Secretary of State.

I doubt if there is much hope of getting an agreement among the Republicans on the Foreign Relations Committee on the subject of the World Court at this session. They would not need all to be in agreement, I think if they were to get action. There are two, four, six, eight, ten Republicans and one Farmer Labor, and two, four, six, seven Democrats. It won’t be necessary for the Republicans all to agree. I have stated my decision on the matter, as you know, in my message to Congress, in several conferences and in one or two addresses I have elaborated my ideas. Secretary Hughes has made elaborate speeches on it. So it has not seemed necessary to make an address on the World Court. My position is favorable to the plan presented by President Harding.

I know the Foreign Relations Committee are working on it. I had a conference the other night with several of them in which they told me of several different plans that were before the Committee, and I told them that I had taken my position and virtually gone to the country on it,- people had chosen delegates to support me on that assumption, and for no other reason than that of good faith I would not care to change my position from that which I took in my Message.

I don’t think the State Department is taking any action in relation to the Immigration Bill with Japan. Nor would it be fair to suppose that Mr. Hughes has made anything like a personal issue of the immigration question. Of course the Secretary and myself are exactly in the same position about that. With my approval and with his approval, both he and I undertook to see if we could secure a satisfactory arrangement when the bill was being passed. We were not able to do this. We worked together on it and will work together on whatever there may be to do further about it. There is no reason for any suggestion that Mr. Hughes would resign, nor is there any reason for the suggestion that Mr. Mellon would resign, if either of them did not get exactly what they wanted from Congress; and I am not going to resign because I don’t get what I want.

I can’t tell, of course, whether the Revenue Bill is a practical revenue measure until I get a report from the Treasury Department showing what they expect to raise upon it, and what the expenses of the United States will be when it goes into effect.

I don’t think there has been any exchange of correspondence with the Japanese Government on the Immigration Bill other than that which is already known.

The Cabinet meeting today only lasted about fifteen minutes and consisted of my asking the different members if they had anything to lay before the Cabinet, to which they replied they had not.

I have an inquiry about the chlorine gas treatment which I took. According to what they told me down there it affects different individuals in different ways. You sit down in the room where it is. You get a slight affect from it. It affects the eyes of some people. It did not affect mine that way. The first two treatments I felt immediate relief. The third treatment, which I took yesterday, they put in a considerably stronger dose for that treatment. I did not like the immediate results. It made my throat smart. I thought I felt an irritation; but this morning, when I got up I found myself quite free of the cold, and the treatment was practically a complete success. I was not suffering so much from my cold as I was from being tired out. I am working rather hard and get tired out, so I thought I had better go home and rest up, which I advise all of you to do.

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

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

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