Press Conference, October 31, 1924

Date: October 31, 1924

Location: Washington, D.C.

(Original document available here)

I want to get a decision on the sugar schedules just as soon as I can. I am waiting for some further information from some members of the Tariff Board. I am hampered a little by their not being able to agree better. All of them are perfectly sincere and mean well, as the saying is, but on account of some differences in that Board I am hampered somewhat in getting the information that I desire. I do not think that I said four weeks ago that I would be able to act on the sugar report before election. I don’t find in the notes that I made a statement at that time. But I want to act just as quickly as I can get the information. It is a matter of considerable importance to the Government and is the source of a good deal of revenue, and as a matter of a good deal of importance I imagine that is one of the reasons I am trying to find out more, particularly through the growers of the sugar beet. I would like to find out just what their cost is as compared to the costs abroad. But that is the cause of the delay, the difficulty in ascertaining the cost per pound of raising the sugar beets. That is the foundation of the industry in this country, and unless it is a condition under which the farmer can afford to raise sugar beet, of course the sugar industry is gone. No matter what the conditions might be in relation to the manufacturer or the refiner, if he can’t get the beets there will be no making of beet sugar in this country.

I don’t know anything more about the expenses of the Republican National Committee than that which has appeared in the papers. I announced in my speech of acceptance that I thought it would be a good idea to have a budget system or a budget plan. I have appreciated the difficulties of working on that line because there isn’t much of any precedent and it is difficult to tell before hand what the specific needs may be. Still one was worked out that, as I understood, contemplated the raising and expenditure for National Committee purposes, and I think that includes the House Committee and Senatorial Committee, of about $3,000,000. From the latest reports in the newspapers that I have seen that is being adhered to. The last report that I saw was that there had been, and the only information I have about this is the newspaper reports, some $3,700,000 collected, of which $700,000 had been sent back to the states, leaving $3,000,000 to be carried out. I didn’t understand that the Committee would run in debt at any time or proposed to spend anything in excess of what was expected to be raised. I think they have maintained that policy consistently. I have necessarily given you more or less my impression. The information that has come to me from newspaper reports, rather than anything I have received personally. I have no first hand information about it.

I don’t know as I can give any interpretation of the statement that was given out yesterday relative to my asking the counsel of different farm organizations as to a proper person to appoint to be Secretary of Agriculture. I should doubt very much if the different organizations would agree, or a majority of them agree, but they are so much better acquainted with them than I am, that I thought out of their suggestions I would be pretty certain to find someone that probably at my suggestion they would all feel fairly able to agree upon. It was for the purpose of getting their counsel and their information that I requested that they send in suggestions. Nothing has come in yet, so far as I know, from them, other than one or two acknowledgments of my telegram and the statement that they would confer with their state organizations right away and let me know the first part of the week what they had to suggest.

I haven’t met President-elect Calles yet. I am to meet him at 4:30 at the White House.

I haven’t any plans for receiving the news of the election. I imagine I would receive it the same as I have received reports of primary contests. It comes in here, and as it is received here anything that is thought of interest to me is sent over to the White House.

I don’t know as I can give you any further comment regarding the relations of Mexico and America, other than what you already have in mind. You will recall that we sent to Mexico something over a year ago a Commission consisting of Judge Payne and Charles Warren of Michigan. They reached an agreement with the Mexican Government as to a method of settling our claims and brought back a treaty which was ratified, and as a result of that I appointed an Ambassador to Mexico. Mr. Warren was willing to go back and serve for a time and later I appointed Mr. Sheffield of New York. Two commissions I think have been appointed for the consideration and disposition of mutual claims that exist between the Mexican Government and the American Government, and the Mexican people and the American people. The result of these activities has brought the relations between the United States and Mexico into the most friendly and best condition, I think, that has existed for a number of years, since away back, early in 1916 I think. We virtually severed relations with Mexico and since that time our relations with that country have been unsettled and unsatisfactory. At the present time they are of the most friendly nature and satisfactory. Of course I have had many comments from people who have business interests there and residence in Mexico and residence in the United States as to the great satisfaction that they feel at the good understanding that exists between our country and Mexico. I think it is a condition that America may well look at with a great deal of satisfaction.

I think that covers the inquiries for today.

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

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

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