Date: November 11, 1924
Location: Washington, D.C.
(Original document available here)
I haven’t given any thought to the having of an inaugural ball and parade on March 4th. I think I have heard of one or two things that wanted to go into the parade, but I didn’t give the matter any thought at all. I am not at all inclined to have an inaugural ball. I suppose if there was one I should have to go. I don’t mind the parade so much.
Can we quote you on that Mr. President?
Well in the way that you always do.
I haven’t given any thought to the appointment of a Police Court judge. I suppose that means in the District of Columbia.
Nor have I given any further thought about a Race Commission. That means an interracial commission. I think there is a resolution pending about that in the Congress, and if there is a rumor that William C. Malthius is to become the Register of the Treasury I don’t think that the rumor had come to my attention. I think I have hard Mr. Malthius as being a very estimable man, but I don’t think that anybody suggested to me, as I now recall, that he be appointed, though perhaps it may be on file.
The present increase in business activity I judge is what naturally might be expected after an election. Elections are always uncertain and people are inclined to wait and see how an election comes out before they commit themselves. I heard of one man before the election that said he had on his desk an order for $50,000,000 worth of merchandise, but that he wouldn’t be able to place the order until he knew the result of the election. I think other orders have been given to be filled pending – or in accordance with the election result. Of course those orders now coming on the market are but the natural result of a business activity greater than that preceding the election. There were some suggestions, I think you will recall, prior to the election and during the summer that somebody that was interested in my election was putting up the price of wheat. I didn’t know that anyone was doing that. I noticed that yesterday the price of wheat was $1.60 a bu., and that it has gone up considerably since the election, which would probably indicate that either the rise in wheat was not due to the influence of the election, or else the people do not know yet that the election has been held. I judge that the result of the election, the decisive result , indicating an attachment of the people to their Constitution and the present method of translating their business, a desire that enterprise and business activities be left in the hands of private individuals rather than a transfer of ownership to the control of the Government, has undoubtedly had an effect in stimulating private enterprise. It has given an evidence of stability on which people are willing to make investments, make commitments, plans for development, and plans for the buying and selling of merchandise, which results in an increase in production.
I haven’t chosen anyone to succeed Secretary Wallace or Colonel Roosevelt.yet. I haven’t reached any decision on the sugar tariff. I am still waiting for some information from the Tariff Commission. I know they are preparing it as fast as they can.
I am going to try to go to the Army and Navy football game at Baltimore on the 29th of November. I understood that the Revised Statutes provided that the Acting head of an executive department couldn’t be appointed for more than a period of thirty days. That would make it desirable to fill the office of Secretary of Agriculture within 30 days of the decease of Secretary Wallace, though of course if it wasn’t possible at that time to find a permanent head of the Department I could appoint the present Acting head, Mr. Gore, to be the Secretary of Agriculture, and that he could hold until I found someone to take his place.
I want to get my judicial appointments out of the way as fast as I can. I don’t think I shall make any of them until the Congress convenes, so that they can I be submitted directly to the Senate. I know that the Attorney General is making such investigations as the Department usually makes on vacancies and proposals for appointments, but he hasn’t submitted any list of recommendations to me or reports of information.
I don’t know whether Dr. George Butte of Texas is a candidate for the vacancy down there or not. I assume that this means the vacancy on the Federal bench. It is I rather unusual that a Dr., if this means a physician, would also be a lawyer, though it sometimes happens. I suppose it goes without saying that I wouldn’t think of appointing anyone to the bench except a member of the bar. I don’t know whether Dr. Butte is a member of the bar or not. That is not in derogation of him or anyone else. It would be almost absolutely necessary that a person put on the Federal bench have a legal education.
I haven’t given any thought to what might happen in the Cabinet if somebody resigned or retired. I don’t know of any retirements that are in contemplation with the possible exception of Secretary of Labor Davis, who has told me during the past year that he wanted to serve until the 4th of March, when he wanted to retire. I am rather hoping that he wont insist on that, but that is the only authoritative statement that there is relative to any consideration of retirement by anyone, so far as I know. Now the rest are speculations. You are entitled to speculate about it as much as you wish, but there isn’t anything outside of that for speculation. I haven’t indulged in that very much myself, so I haven’t given thought about whom I would appoint. Now there aren’t any retirements in contemplation, with the exception of Secretary Davis, as I said several times. He wanted to serve out a four year term and then retire. I rather hope that he will reconsider that and not feel that it is necessary for him to carry that out.
There is considerable speculation as to whether I am likely to change or not. I don’t anticipate to change very much. I have tried in the conduct of my office to be natural and I don’t want to change that attitude. There are two or three other people that have served with me in the conduct of the affairs of the United States that I should be pleased if they changed a little, – that I have to change from saying “no” to saying “yes”.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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