Date: May 26, 1925
Location: Washington, D.C.
I haven’t made any choice of a Solicitor General or a member of the Tariff Commission yet.
I couldn’t give any opinion that would be worth very much about sending the Shenandoah or Los Angeles to the relief of the Amundsen expedition without conferring with the Navy Dept. I think you are likely to get much more authoritative information from them. Of course it goes without saying that I would be in favor of taking any action that our Government could take for the relief of that expedition. I don’t know whether developments have been such as to warrant the assumption that the expedition is in such difficulty that it is necessary to send relief.
There hasn’t been any action taken about the tariff on linseed oil, and of course the matter of the protection of the chemical industry I think will be duly considered by our representatives who are at Geneva undertaking to see if anything can be done to restrict the sale of war munitions and arms.
I have already spoken about the Amundsen Polar expedition.
The matter of a Circuit Judge in Hawaii hadn’t been brought to my attention until this question came in. I don’t know of any reason why Judge Thompson shouldn’t be reappointed. That would be my expected action, unless some reason develops that would lead me to suppose that a change would be helpful to the service. I believe in reappointing people in the service so far as I can, so long as their discharge of the functions of the office are reasonably good. I don’t expect they will be perfect. I doubt if I could find any one that would undertake their place that could be considered perfect. If they are men of good character, good ability, good intentions, I want to have them reappointed.
There isn’t any particular comment I can make about the appointment of a District Commissioner, other than that which I have already made. I don’t expect to find any one that hasn’t had some contact with the business of the District that would be qualified to serve. I don’t think it would be necessary to try to find some one that was entirely outside the business interests of the District. I should feel very certain that any one who was appointed Commissioner would not come under improper influence or control of any business, whether they were banking, real estate or other local business interests. I want to make the appointment right away. I am very much restricted in finding some one that is a resident of the District in accordance with the law. There are a number of men that live here and are residents to all intents and purposes, but that perhaps vote outside the District. If that is the case, I understand they are not eligible. I rather think that a change in that provision of the law would be helpful. I could think of three or four men that I know would make admirable commissioners, who live here and perhaps transact some business here, but they also have a home, a house and voting residence outside the District, and for that reason I can’t appoint them. I don’t know just how the law is framed, but there ought to be some change in it in order to give me an opportunity to make an appointment of that kind.
I didn’t see the proposal of Julius Barnes relative to the development of new fields of commerce for German industry, so that their production wouldn’t come on to the American market. That is more a business problem, I think, than it is a Government problem. The Government, though, would be pleased to cooperate, I am sure, in any reasonable proposal of that kind. If we expect to trade with Germany, why of course we are going to take some of her output and sell her some of ours. I think we should be reasonably protected here by reasonable tariff duties from any invasion of our market by manufacturers abroad.
I haven’t any direct information about the suggestion that the United States be a participant in the proposal of the proposed Western European Security Pact. My first reaction about that would be that it is entirely a European question which should be settled by them. I don’t exactly see how our Government could participate in it. I say that always with a desire to do anything that we can that is helpful without involving ourselves in the political questions of Europe.
I secured a letter I think from Secretary Work relative to the question of the right of way for the Meeker-Sylvester Resevoir cite in Colorado, of which I am sending a copy to Senator Sheppard. I thought that the letter covered the suggestions that he made and showed what Secretary Work was trying to do. I don’t know whether the letter was given out for publication. It probably was not.
I don’t know of any further action that will be taken in relation to discharge of certain veterans by the Public Printer, other than that which I have already taken, which as you know was to investigate and if any had been discharged contrary to the provisions of law to try to see if they shouldn’t be reinstated. I think that has been thoroughly covered, though if there are any further complaints they will be investigated as carefully as they can be.
I haven’t received any recommendation – what is meant here I suppose is a report from the Tariff Commission relative to the tariff on butter.
That seems to cover the questions for the day.
Just a minute – about the trip on the Mayflower. I wish you would let Sec. Sanders know about how many will go. I thought we would leave about 2:00 o’clock and return sometime between 6:00 and 7:00, and if there are not so many of those belonging to the White House Press Association that makes it impossible, I am going to include an invitation to the White House photographers staff. My understanding is that there wont be more than 60 or 70 of the Press Association, and not more than 15 or 20 of the photographer’s staff. If that is the case we can accommodate all. I would like to have some of the members of the Association at the rail so as to see that those who go on have the proper credentials. I am not going to issue any tickets or anything of that kind. If some of the officers or members of the staff will stand at the rail or the gang plank so as to be certain that those who go are those who have been invited, I will be able to provide I think for all that want to go.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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