Date: October 5, 1926
Location: Washington, D.C.
The President: So far as I know nothing has developed in relation to the proposal that some one has made to purchase land south of Pennsylvania Avenue. I remarked about that the other day. The building program is in the hands of certain officials, and I assume that they are carrying it out in accordance with the law. What I meant to emphasize the other day is that what we need in Washington are buildings in order to provide for the better transaction of the Government business. While we may need some more land some time, the present need is for the erection of buildings rather than for the purchase of real estate.
I haven’t any information about any investigation of the mine disaster at Ironwood by the Federal government. The supposition would be that mining is entirely a state matter, controlled by the laws of the state, and totally outside of the jurisdiction of the Federal government. I know that it has been brought to my attention that the Federal government has no authority under the Constitution to make laws relative to the conduct of mining in the different states, and, therefore, the Federal government would not be in a position to make an investigation of mine disasters. But I do not know what may be contemplated by the Bureau of Mines or any of its related bodies.
I haven’t reached any decision about going to Kansas City.
Nothing has developed in the Russian situation. I do not like to keep discussing that situation. It is not understood by the people generally perhaps that I respond to questions submitted, and it would seem to indicate that the President is constantly saying something about Russia. I have no disposition to say anything about it, and until something develops I think in the future you may expect that I will not make any comment about it. Of course, I am very glad to give at any time any information that may come, but I do not want to keep making comments unless there is information developed about which comment can helpfully be made.
I haven’t seen the book of Lindsay Rogers. It may possibly have been sent to me. I judge from this question that it is a discussion of the constitutional limits of the activities of the United States Senate. I think there was a British reviewer of books – supposed to be a great authority – who said he never read a book before he reviewed it because it might prejudice him. So perhaps my not having seen the book would be a compelling reason for not making any comments about it. I do not know as I can comment about his book or say much of anything about the subject that he has undertaken to discuss, which appears to be the relationship between the Executive and the House and Senate, and the Senate’s relationship to the House and the Executive. That depends more on personalities than it does on a change of the rules. Sometimes there is a very strong group in the Senate which has a very dominating influence. Sometimes there is a strong group in the House. Sometimes there is an exceptionally strong Executive, who seems to go a very long ways in dominating the Congress. My own off-hand opinion is that the rules of checks and balances that have been adopted for the relationship between the different branches of the Government are about as good as could be adopted. Sometimes there will occasions arise where things are not done as we could wish for, but, as I have indicated, it is more the accident of personalities than anything that might be due to, or could be foreseen by, or controlled by a change in the Constitution, or a general change of the executive and legislative procedure. If you gentlemen will read the works of John Adams and want to make a further study of it you will find a great deal of information that would be very instructive, I am sure, and I have no doubt would provide a foundation for very interesting newspaper articles. No doubt Mr. Rogers in his book has had access to that and probably has been benefitted by his perusal of it.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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