Date: November 6, 1928
Location: En route to Washington From Northampton
No final determination has been made about the Ambassador to England. While the probabilities seem to indicate that Ambassador Houghton will be chosen Senator, I suppose every prudent man knows that every election is uncertain. It may be that he won’t be elected. It isn’ t my practice to run ahead of events. So I haven’t made any final decision about his successor. There is always work enough for the President to do, if he does it after the event calls for it.
I expect to retire tonight about the usual time, between 10 and 11, unless it is a very close election. By that time we ought to know pretty well what the outcome will be, and if it is close we wouldn’t know until tomorrow anyway.
Question : Massachusetts comes in early doesn’t it?
President : Well, we ought to know by 10 o’clock, unless it is very close. I don’t expect to make any statement. Election day is a day when the people of the country speak. It will be particularly becoming for the President on that day to keep silent and let the people do the speaking.
Of course, I don’t know whether I shall return to Northampton to live. That is my place of residence and likely to continue to be. I moved some of my bricabrac and things that have accumulated that we don’t use up to Northampton today, because I suppose after the 4th of March I couldn’t very well keep it in the White House. It has to be kept somewhere.
I understood that my son John voted by mail.
The press has noted somewhat the very important events that have taken place in Nicaragua, but they have been buried up so in our election here and probably will continue to be for several days, so that I do not know that comment of mine on it would be likely to get very much space. But the outcome down there has been particularly successful and particularly agreeable to the United States Government. I think it demonstrates clearly that we were pursuing the right course. I suppose everyone knows and recalls that the marines had been in there for a number of years. I was anxious to withdraw from a contact of that kind and took the marines out. They hadn’t been out only about 30 days when revolution started and even then we withheld any action in relation to it as long as we could. Finally our citizens and their property were in so much jeopardy that at the earnest solicitation of the Government of Nicaragua we sent marines there to protect our interests. There was a very terrible warfare going on between the people of the country, the loss of life was very great, and in order to compose that I sent Colonel Stimson down, who made the plan which we have been carrying out and which was successfully consummated last Sunday. They held a peaceable and orderly election which apparently is an expression of the will of that country. Our policy there, of course, has been very similar to our policy in Mexico and China, of trying peaceably to compose our differences. We are succeeding admirably i n Mexico, and the situation in China which was very ominous in the winter and spring of 1926 has also been composed, so much so that we now have under consideration the question of raising our legation there to an embassy. We were besought to take very strong military action against China, which I all the time refused to do, thinking that it was much more likely that they would be able to adjust their own differences if we refrained from interfering or doing any more than was necessary to protect the lives and interests of our people there.
We are very hopeful also of getting a final settlement of the Tacna-Arica controversy. It is
quite apparent that there is a new spirit in Chile and Peru. They have resumed diplomatic relations, as neighbors have large mutual commercial interests, and there is a manifest determination to make an adjustment of this question which has been troublesome for them for more than 40 years. Our policy in all those difficulties has been one of peace, conciliation, good will, patience and cooperation. While our interests necessarily have suffered some from the uncertainty and confusion, the result seems to demonstrate that the best course has been taken for their protection and the maintenance of friendly relations with all of those different countries.
We called on Mother Goodhue this morning. She has apparently lost considerable since I saw her the last time. There is a more marked change in her since we were there in September than there had been at any other time that I visited her. It is gratifying to know that she suffers very little pain and is as comfortable as could be expected.
Question: Then the foreign questions are pretty well cleaned up?
President: Well, they never get closed up, but those immediate difficulties apparently are working out successfully and being closed up. We are bringing home considerable of our forces from China and will now be in a position to withdraw considerable of our forces from Nicaragua.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of David DeCleene who prepared this document for digital publication.