Date: May 29, 1925
Location: Washington, D.C.
I have had Frederick C. Delano under consideration for appointment to the vacancy on the District Commission. I don’t know whether he is eligible or not. I thought at first that he was and then I understood he wasn’t; then I understood again that he was eligible. There are several others that I also have under consideration, but their eligibility would be looked into by the Attorney General’s office for the purpose of advising me about that. My understanding isn’t clear yet whether he is eligible or not.
I have one or two inquiries here about the studies that I asked the War Department to make, and the questions here that are asked are really the questions that I have asked of the War Department. I can’t very well answer them until I get the answers there. I think you will understand what the object is. It is to have the War Dept. study its needs and requirements in order to report to me what it could do if it had so much money this year, so much next, so much the year after and so on. Now it may be that it won’t be possible for them to make any reduction. It may be that they can make more of a reduction than I had thought might be possible. But my inquiries are for the purpose of finding out what it is possible to do and at the same time of course maintain a reasonable military department. The inquiry there is very much the same as we constantly make of other departments to study their departments and see what reductions, if any, can be made.
Question: Mr. President can you say whether that was made only to the War Dept. or to other Departments also?
Answer: I think we are making the same inquiry of some other Depts. I don’t know whether I have sent an inquiry to other Departments just lately, but other Departments have been inquired of in the same nature. So I can’t tell whether a reduction of the War Dept. expenditures would make necessary a reduction in personnel or the size of the Regular Army. That is the purpose of the study – to see whether a reasonable service can be maintained at a somewhat less expenditure of money.
I am not familiar enough with the details of the requirements to know whether it would be desirable or helpful to send the Coast Guard Cutter Bear, which is now on duty in Alaskan waters, to make a search to determine whether Amundsen landed somewhere in Alaska. That is a question in geography that I can’t answer without looking at the map. As I indicated last week, I should want the Government to take any action it can that might be necessary for relief. Of course the mystery has considerable news value. As long as Amundsen isn’t found why there will be considerable newspaper comment about it, and it was revealed I noticed today for the first time, that he had given instructions not to send after him until after two weeks had elapsed. I don’t know whether that is significant at all, but as long as he has given instructions of that kind he very likely had in mind that he might stay up there for some time.
I will have prepared so that I can give it out to you somewhat later a schedule of my Minnesota trip in order that you will get all the information that I have in relation to that, and I will put it on paper so that you may want to use it for your own convenience and guidance as a time table and so on.
I don’t know just when I shall leave for Swampscott – soon after the budget meeting which I think is on the 22nd. I am not certain whether I can attend the Governors’ Conference which is to be held in Maine.
I don’t think I am to make any more speeches except the one I am to make tomorrow, the one at Annapolis and the one in Minnesota, though it seems there was something along in June that is tentative which I had thought I might respond to. But I don’t know just what it is, I think something here in the District.
I have had mimeographed and given to the members of the press what I think is an accurate and detailed statement about some of the progress that we are making in aviation. I would like to have you use it as your own material. I think it is important and will be helpful to you in getting a clear idea of what the Government is doing, what progress it is making. I noticed some comparisons of what we have done here and what other Governments have done. I will be glad to furnish things of that kind from time to time if occasion may arise, if they seem to be something you might want to use. If it doesn’t develop that your publishers want to use anything of that kind I wont undertake to bother you with it.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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