Date: October 28, 1924
Location: Washington, D.C.
I haven’t decided yet about voting by mail. As I indicated at the last conference, I rather think that I shall probably do that.
I haven’t any plan at present about attending the Plymouth Congregational Church.
I don’t know as I can say anything about the achievement of the Shenandoah, other than that which would occur to every one. It is an achievement on land, of course, somewhat comparable with that of the achievement of the other ship that came across the Atlantic. Perhaps it will give us some information on which we can base a decision about sending one of those airships up to the North to try and go across the pole. It was suggested last year, but as we only had one ship at that time I hesitated about exposing it to that hazard.
I haven’t taken up the matter of a successor to the Secretary of Agriculture. He has not yet been laid to rest, and the people with whom I would naturally confer on that subject are almost all out of the city. I don’t know just how soon I can act on it. The Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Gore, has dropped his active campaign in West Virginia and gone to Iowa with Mrs. Wallace at my request, and immediately on his return will go to the office as Acting Secretary of Agriculture and carry on the duties there until I may be able to appoint a successor.
I haven’t any comment on the action of France in recognizing Russia.
No new speaking engagements that I can think of now. Once or twice when I said that I hadn’t any new engagements, I have thought afterwards of something that I had agreed to say, but I don’t think there are any at the present time.
My attitude on all the public questions that I know about has been set out in my various speeches and addresses, and I don’t know of anything on which I have changed my mind. I have suggested to you once or twice before that when you are in doubt about anything, if you will take the chance on saying that I haven’t changed my mind since I made a statement saying so and so, you will almost always be right. I don’t mean by that that I am not going to change my mind. When the news comes in about all subjects, it quite naturally changes your attitude, but I don’t think of anything on which I have changed my attitude regarding the issues of the present campaign. I have touched on almost every one of which I can think, so that any time you want to know what my attitude is on anything, why if you will just turn to my message to the Congress, my speech of acceptance, and my address the other night, you will find what I intended to be an accurate statement of my position.
I haven’t made any plans about receiving election returns. Very likely I shall receive them in the White House. Of course, they ordinarily come in here through the telegraph office. We have a radio set in the White House also. I presume the returns will be received that way. I haven’t thought anything about that. The only comment I can make regarding the election and my possible action in relation to it is that every indication seems to point to the fact that I shall be elected, and I am making all my plans on that basis. I don’t think of any information that would lead me to have any other expectation. Now, there are a great many charges being made by one person and another in relation to what I am doing and what other Departments of the Government are doing. I don’t believe I can make any specific reply to any of those. I haven’t received any report from U. S. Attorney Gordon that I know of. I am sure none has come to my desk. I know he is making an investigation to see what he can do on any evidence that might help in keeping rents down here and in easing up the housing situation, and in that effort of course he has my sympathy and support.
I haven’t conferred with the Attorney General specifically about the U. S. District Attorneys. I knew that some had resigned and that there had been suggestions that some others might retire. I don’t mean that they are retiring under pressure, but some are going to retire.
I haven’t had any communication from Mayor Kendrick. I am willing to answer that question as often as I ought to, but I don’t want to answer it so often that it might embarrass the Mayor / my position down here by making it appear that I was constantly making some comment and undertaking to criticize his actions and issue some directions about how he ought to perform the duties of his office. I want especially to avoid that. I am sure that if he wants to make any communication to me, why he will know when to make it and what the nature of the communication ought to be. He is the Mayor of that great city and responsible for the administration of affairs there, and I am not. I have no authority that I can exercise up there over the Mayor’s office, and it would be rather ungracious for me to undertake to comment on it, or say anything through the press that could be interpreted as making any criticism or comment.
No decision has been made by the Attorney General, so far as I know, about the publication of income tax returns. There is a question of law involved there, and I am sure that the Attorney General will take the attitude that the Government officials must observe the law, and if it is against other people the law ought to be enforced. That is the general and broad policy. I don’t want to have Government officials exempt from having the law enforced against them. That is the Government policy of preserving the law and enforcing the law. Of course, that will have to be carried out. I don’t mean by that there ought to be persecution or anything of that nature. If some error has been made, why that is always taken into consideration in determining what ought to be done. It will be here. But no decision has been made as to whether there has been any violation of the law, and until that is made of course everybody is presumed to be innocent under our institutions. Until they are proved guilty, everybody is presumed to have observed the law.
The only thing I can say about the Veteran’s Bureau, and I keep in constant touch with General Hines, is that I have had a number of veterans voluntarily come in to tell me about the Bureau. Someone came in, I don’t recall who it was, whether it was the head of the Disabled Veterans, came in and said he thought the Veterans Bureau was being conducted in first-rate shape and wanted to commend it. Senator Oddie came in one time last spring and I had him talk with Senator Reed. Senator Reed was on the Committee on which Senator Oddie served and had access to the same information, and Senator Reed gave me his assurance that he thought that whatever evils may have existed in the Veterans Bureau heretofore had been cleared up and that the Bureau was functioning satisfactorily. That is the only information I can give about it.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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