Press Conference, November 20, 1925

Date: November 20, 1925

Location: Washington, D.C.

(Original document available here)

I don’t recall that anything has come to me relative to the transfer of jurisdiction over the Virgin Islands from the Navy to Porto Rico. Porto Rico of course is under the Insular Bureau of the War Department. I assume that is what this question would mean. There may be something in contemplation in the Navy Department about that. If so, I haven’t had any information about that.

I don’t recall having received any protest from Mr. Frame, of Alaska against the conduct of two Federal judges there. It may be that some protest of that kind has been sent to this office. If it was sent here it would be referred in due course of business to the Department of Justice for investigation and report to me. That leads me to remark about Alaska, that I think protests that originate up there against those who are holding office perhaps would need considerable investigation in order to determine just how much merit they have. It is my information that one person in every 11 of the white people that live in Alaska are on the Federal payroll. Business is not brisk up there. There are some fisheries there and some raining, but we are spending $11,000,000 a year so that I think the best line of endeavor that there is in Alaska is to get on to the Federal payroll. Now I presume it is unconscious, but a condition of that kind would stimulate an activity on the part of those that aren’t on the payroll to a criticism of those that are, in order that a change might be made to their advantage, so that whenever there are protests against Federal officers up there they have to be viewed with that in mind.

I haven’t had any word from Major Coupal, who went to Plymouth to see if father would like to come down here. He wouldn’t arrive at Ludlow until about 2:00 o’clock. It would he nearly an hour after that before he would reach Plymouth. There isn’t any very good telephone there and I don’t believe he would try to telephone. So it is hardly time for him to report yet. I have had an invitation to go to New York to attend the annual gathering of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. I told the gentlemen that invited me that I couldn’t give them very much encouragement at this time, and that if they would communicate with me later I would give them a final decision. I would like very much to go, but I have just been up to New York. I don’t want the other parts of the country to be jealous of my attention to that city. I have been there three times since I have been President.

I don’t have in mind any specific action in relation to giving pardons on Thanksgiving. It was my recollection that pardons were given at Christmas rather than Thanksgiving. I may be wrong about my recollection, but I think it has been usual to ask the wardens of the federal prisons to recommend some especially meritorious cases for special consideration at Christmastime. I think that refers entirely to Christmas rather than to Thanksgiving.
It is the policy of the Federal Government, so far as any information has ever come to me, to prosecute all violations of the prohibition laws or any other laws as fast as we can with the instrumentalities that we have at hand. It would be my opinion that it would be the better policy to put the greater emphasis on the sources of supply, in order that if those were remedied there wouldn’t be any opportunity for further small violations. But you can make it as plain as you want to, that so far as I know it is the policy of the National Government to prosecute all violations.

I haven’t seen the bill that it is said here that Colonel Sherrill is considering for the erection of a stadium at Washington, and in which he is proposing to legalize the investment of national banks in a million dollars of bonds that are to be issued to build that stadium. I couldn’t give an offhand opinion as to whether an investment of that kind would be sound banking. I should want to get the opinion of the Federal Reserve Board about it before I approved it. My offhand thought would be that if it is going to require legislation, that very likely it hasn’t been considered as the kind of an investment that national banks ought to make.

I don’t know of any class of Federal employees here in the District that it is now proposed to reduce. There are changes all the time going on, temporary work in one Department or another, but when those changes occur we always tr y to do the best we can to take care of those who are discharged from temporary employment in some other Department, either permanently or on temporary work. Of course there was a great deal of work going on in relation to the bonus bill , which I think is now very much decreased, and that undoubtedly has been the reason for a discharge of some employees there, but as I have indicated several times at the Conference, we always try to take care of those people so far as we can.

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

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

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