Date: September 15, 1925
Location: Washington, D.C.
(Original document available here)
The Department of Justice hasn’t laid before me any application for the pardon of former Governor McCray, of Indiana. I of course can’t prejudge the case. I will try to determine it when it comes before me on the evidence, from such knowledge as I have, general knowledge. I should think it would take pretty strong evidence to show that executive clemency ought to be exercised at this time.
I haven’t received acceptances from all the men that I asked to siton the Board to investigate the Air Service, but every communication that has come up to the present time has been an acceptance. I have no doubt they will all serve. I haven’t any opinion or advice to give as to how they should conduct their investigation, or as to what witnesses they ought to call. That is for them to determine and act on their own judgment in relation to it.
I haven’t had any reports from the Navy Department as to the cause of the Shenandoah disaster. I think I saw in the morning paper that the Department has just appointed a Naval board to make an investigation. When that board has made its investigation, its report undoubtedly will be given to me by them.
I am having scheduled up the different suggestions that have come in relation to the appointment of an Ambassador to Japan. I expect to take that up very soon with the State Department.
I haven’t taken any final action on several of the reports that I have from the Tariff Commission
I expect to take up with the Department of Justice right away the appointment of several District Attorneys, Judges, Marshals, and so on. Very likely some of them may be made before Congress assembles, though those are cases always where the incumbent holds over and if it is expected to reappoint the present incumbent why there isn’t much of any reason of doing it until I can send the appointment to the Senate. In the case of a vacancy where itis necessary for some one to go in and I can appoint them, of course appointment will be made, I shall make some others probably, but itis a matter of no particular importance whether they are made now or when the Senate comes in.
No final decision has been made about the appointment of a Civil Service Commissioner. Again I am having all the papers assembled. I want to confer with one of the members sitting to see what action ought to be taken after such conference.
It will not be possible for me to attend the University of North Carolina exercises on the 12th of October.
I don’t expect to take any action on the request of Admiral Robison that he be permitted to resign. I don’t know whether all the hearings of the Air inquiry board will be. public or not. Perhaps I have already answered that question by saying that I think they ought to be given the fullest lattitude of deciding themselves. I should suppose that there might be some military matters affecting both the Army and Navy which could be given to them but would necessarily be held in confidence. The general conduct of their hearings I suppose would be public. But there again I am merely giving an offhand thought. The Board ought to determine themselves what they want to do about that.
I haven’t received any representations showing dissatisfaction with the administration of reclamation matters by Secretary Work. I think you will recall that there was a Fact Finding Commission set up by the Secretary last year, which had a very excellent personnel and made what I thought was a very commendable report. One of the things that it had in mind especially was relief for some of those who were on reclamation projects who weren’t able to meet their payments on account of low prices of agricultural products or failure for some other reason. There was a bill introduced in Congress that I was desirous of seeing passed, and some of the Senators from the reclamation states were also desirous of its passage, but it failed of passage. It was my understanding that had it passed it would have afforded a relief that the Secretary and myself thought was warranted. The matter of reclamation of course is fixed by the statute law of the United States, and I don’t know of any desire on the part of Secretary Work to make any changes in it other than those that were embodied in the bill. I suppose that all he is trying to do is to administer the law as he finds it. The work of reclamation will I assume go on under the present law. I think it is a well thought out law. I don’t keep all the details of a thing of that kind in mind. I know I have conferred several times with ex-Secretary Garfield, who is especially interested in conservation and reclamation. He thought that the law was on a satisfactory basis with the changes that were proposed to be made for the purpose of relief of certain reclamation projects. I understand that the Secretary doesn’t want to hurry about putting in new reclamation work before he has proper assurances that it can be put on a paying basis and that settlers can be secured to take up the land that would be brought into production by further reclamation. I think I have made that clear. In the first instance, the policy is already established by the law of the United States. Nobody is desirous of changing that as a general policy, except in certain localities where a proposed statute would have afforded some relief for some of those that haven’t been able to make their payments. Further work of reclamation will go on as is needed, and as settlers can be secured to take up the land when it is brought under production by reclamation projects. Of course during the last few years with the low prices of agricultural products there hasn’t been the press or the pressure for an opportunity to take up any land that there had been in the past. It doesn’t seem desirous to bring in new land until the land that is already under cultivation is assured as well as it can be of profitable production. I don’t mean that reclamation is going to stop in any way, but it hasn’t been speeded up as it otherwise might have been unless it afforded an opportunity for profitable production*
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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