Date: September 14, 1928
Location: Washington, D.C.
I am very glad to have a chance to welcome the members of the White House Press Association again. I hope you all had as pleasant a summer as we had in Northern Wisconsin. I haven’t made any definite decision yet about a trip to Vermont. I have received since I came back a wire from Governor Weeks of Vermont renewing his invitation and I think it is very likely that I shall go up there. I do not intend to make any addresses while on that trip. It is more for the purpose of visiting the State.
Query: Did Governor Weeks invite you to any particular occasion?
The President: No; it is just to make an inspection trip around the State.
I have been in conference with the Red Cross concerning the situation in Porto Rico and they are getting up an expedition of four or five men to go to Charleston and thence by Navy boat to Porto Rico. They have no direct report on the damage in Porto Rico although the Chancellor of the University of Porto Rico has reported to the press association that it is serious. If in the meantime it should develop that it is not very serious they would abandon their expedition there.
I talked with Mr. Hoover some yesterday about the course of his campaign and talked with Mr. Mellon about the business and economic condition of the country and the state of the Treasury. I do not know whether the members of the press conference recall that the figures I gave at the business meeting of the Government on June 11th, just before I started for Superior, were figures that indicated a deficit this year of $94,000,000. That came out in the press some time in the immediate past. There was nothing new about that. It was merely a repetition of the figures that I gave at that time. I have taken up with the various departments at the Cabinet meeting this morning the question of what they could do to make enough savings in the expenditures between now and the 30th of next June so as to take every pre – caution against a deficit. That is being worked on by the various departments, and I do not expect that there will be any deficit.
The next in command in the Panama Canal Zone will be appointed Governor. I have forgotten what his name is.
Correspondent: Governor Burgess?
The President: I think so — the next in command to Governor Walker.
I suppose there will be reports from now until the end of my term concerning what I may or may not do after I cease to be President. I do not know anything about reports of that kind and haven’t give n the matter any particular consideration and do not expect to. As I have indicated to the conference a great many times – if you want to make a scoop you will be pretty likely to make one if you say that the report that the President is going to do so and so is untrue.
One of the correspondents inquired if the President had reference to any speeches that he had in mind, to which the President replied:
I made that general observation. You can apply it any way you want to.
I have here the first suggestion that has come to me relative to the possibility that commissions may be appointed — the news coming from Geneva – to consider the questions of evacuation and questions of the debt and reparations of Germany. This is the first information I have of anything of that kind, so I could not make any definite comment about it. I don’t know what is really involved in it. We should not consider in advance any answer to an invitation that might be sent to us before the invitation is received. I would say in general that the question of evacuation and the question of reparations, each is pretty much a European question with which our policy would be not to interfere. But I don’t want to undertake to say what would be done in advance of definite proposals made to us.
I haven’t any new information about the Anglo-French naval agreement or its implications – nothing to add to that which I have already said. If the French and the English have been able to make an agreement about their problems of disarmament, we are very glad that they have been able to agree. Of course, that does not mean that their agreement affects any one but themselves. Our policy concerning the agreement on the limitation of armaments is well known. If two great European countries, like the French and England, have been able to make an agreement for their own limitations, we are very much pleased to know that that has been done.
It is not probable that I shall take up the matter of appointing judges before the Senate convenes. That would be my genera l policy. Oftentimes I might want to appoint some one already holding an office. If I should undertake to make the appointment in vacation time that person would have to resign his office and take a chance on confirmation, which is always problematical, whereas if I appoint such a person after the Senate convenes why then that person goes on holding his office until he is confirmed or rejected, and if he is rejected it doesn’t make any difference; it would not have any bearing on his present position. There may be some special reasons for some special appointments between now and the first of December but I don’t think that will be the case.
I think the idea that I might go hunting in Kentucky arose from the fact that the bird dog that was given me in Superior I had Colonel Starling send down to a friend of his in Kentucky, who is a very fine trainer of dogs. I presume that all the hunting I will do in Kentucky will be done by proxy through this dog. I haven’t thought of going down there myself. I should think i t would be a pleasant journey, and one I would like to make, but I do not suppose there is any chance for it, although there might be after the fourth of March.
Correspondent: You said you did not think there would be a deficit, will you give the reasons?
The President: Well, I think we could make enough savings in the departments. There are always some shifts both ways. Of course, that $94,000,000 has been added to by the decision of the Interstate Commerce Commission increasing the pay of the railroads. On the other hand, there have been some plans for appropriations that probably will not require any expenditures during the current year. So that I think we can reduce our expenses enough so there will not be a deficit. If you gentlemen will encourage business as much as you can that will increase our revenues.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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