Press Conference, October 23 1925

Date: October 23 1925

Location: Washington, D.C.

(Original document available here)

Mr. Welliver, Judson C. Welliver, who is as you know a former newspaper man of a good many years standing has received so much better offer for his services than we can pay here that he is going to take up – I was going to say another occupation, but it is somewhat similar as I understand it. I think he is going with a Petroleum Association. I am not just sure what the legal or correct title of the Association is. He has been here ever since I have been here of course, and I think came here when President Harding did, coming in from the Press Gallery. He is a man of very wide experience in public affairs and of very broad information. We found him especially valuable here, and of course I am exceedingly sorry that he is not going to stay. He shares with me that personal feeling, although the offer he has received is so much better that I couldn’t conscientiously ask him to stay here for so much less remuneration than he is to receive. We have about 2,000 letters coming into the office every day making inquiries about all sorts of conditions and things, and the wide information he has has been especially helpful, because he has had the answering of a very large amount of that mail. I found him especially helpful in getting information from the different departments on any question that I have under consideration. As I say, I am exceedingly sorry that he is going, though I think perhaps that the work he is going to undertake is quite important and has a public angle to it.

Press: Would you mind our asking if there is a successor in sight to Mr. Welliver ?

I don’t know yet. I haven’t finally determined on any one.

I haven’t any information about the Karolyi case other than what has already been put in the press. I assume that the State Department is merely attempting to administer the law and take such action as it thinks is necessary to protect American interests.

I have here an interesting suggestion about the Unknown Soldier’s tomb at Arlington. I suppose that the present monument which is there, although it is very beautiful in its simplicity, is not considered to be complete. I recall going over there at one time to look at a proposed addition to it, but that didn’t prove to be a satisfactory design, though I think it had the approbation of the Fine Arts Commission. It was an addition to the present monument there that is not quite so high as this room, but nearly as high, and after careful consideration I know that Secretary Weeks didn’t think it was appropriate and didn’t approve that design. I don’t know whether there is any appropriation that is available for any additions or not. I have often thought about it and talked about it with various people, but the real reason that nothing further has been done is because no design has ever presented itself that appeared to be appropriate. How, the suggestion in this question is that there is a lack of military guard. There is a military guard at Arlington all the time during the day, a superintendent and some guards. The gates are closed and Arlington is closed I think at 6:00 in the evening. After that, I suppose there isn’t any guard. That too has occurred to me, but as I thought it over I said to myself, what reason would there be for placing a guard there other than that would be such as to require placing a guard at the burial place of the distinguished soldiers and sailors that lie in Arlington? There are many Admirals and Generals there. While this unknown soldier is representative, I suppose the other burials that have been made there are also representative. I don’t know that there is any danger of any interference with this monument or interment any more than there is with any other. I suppose the reason that there hasn’t been a general guard is that the guard that is there has seemed to be sufficient, so that nothing has been done in that respect. It would make a very good appearance if a soldier and sailor and perhaps a marine were located there all the time, but aside from the appearance I don’t see that it would be of any other value. The gates close at 6:00 o’clock. There are three guards there during the day, stationed at the Olympic Theatre, a superintendent and an assistant superintendent. I don’t recall that there is anything that I wanted to volunteer to the conference.

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

The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of John Sullivan III who prepared this document for digital publication.

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