Date: September 7, 1926
Location: White Pine Camp, N.Y.
I don’t know that I can say that there is any special question that I expect to take up with Mr. Drummond of Kansas City when he visits me tomorrow. He is the head of the Farm Congress, isn’t that his designation Mr. Clark?
Mr. Clark: Yes, sir.
President: And in that capacity comes into quite intimate touch with agriculture and its problems. He is a well-informed man and a student. My usual plan will be to talk with him about matters that relate to agriculture and kindred subjects.
I haven’t had a chance to talk with Ambassador Sheffield this morning. He was just coming into the Camp as I started to come in here. I think Mrs. Sheffield and their son are with him. They will of course be here for two or three days. My own offhand thought is that it will probably be more profitable for both you and him if he has a conference with you, if he has anything that he wants to give out, than it would be for me to undertake to relate our conference.
Press: Did you have in mind any time for us to see him – this afternoon or tomorrow?
President: Well, you have my conference today. You don’t want to get everything in the paper in one day. There is always going to be another publication the next day. I presume you want to see him today, but I should think tomorrow would be all right.
I don’t know of any comment that I can make on the preliminary report, and that is what I understand it is , a preliminary report of the Oil Conservation Board. It speaks for itself. The object of it is to be on our guard and keep the country supplied with the necessary oil products, that is oil, kerosene, and gasoline, and it is what its name implies – a Conservation Board. In its general purpose, it was to make a survey of the needs of the country with special reference to what might be needed in national defense for the Army and Navy, and in addition to that what might be needed for the commerce of the country. I don’t understand that its purpose is to try and shut off from use any of the resources of the country that are needed at the present time, but on the other hand one of its purposes naturally is to devise methods for the prevention of waste and to prevent improper use of our natural resources. It will not attempt to get all the oil that we may have in the country on the ground in one year and throw it on the market when there wouldn’t be any market and there wouldn’t be any use for it and consequently the oil would be wasted.
Not much change is being made in the personnel of the Government. In the Post Office, where the service is necessarily growing all the time, I suppose we have to employ more and more people. I think outside of that the last reports I had from General Lord showed that since June, 1923, there had been a reduction in personnel of 15,000 or 20,000 people. There isn’t much that can be done in the matter of reducing the personnel, but I have to stress that question some all the time, otherwise there is a tendency to load up the service with unnecessary personnel I was recently talking with a business man that I came in contact with when I was Governor, who went into the management of a certain concern, and found at their headquarters between 250 and 260 people, as I recall it, which with their final methods of operation they were able to reduce to between 40 and 50. You can’t do anything of that kind in the personnel of the Government there are very few reductions that can be made. There may be some Departments that can make slight reductions, but I am not looking for much of anything in the reduction of personnel. I am hoping to hold it about where it is. Perhaps we can make a little reduction here and there I don’t see much prospect of that.
I have some doubts as to whether the Congress will be able to take up at the next session a reorganization of the Departments. It is very difficult to get any action by Congress on a subject which has been pending for some time and while it has been pending the Executive Department has effected a considerable reorganization which has been done by Executive Order transferring different activities and bureaus from one Department to another. Something could be done by Congress.
I am sorry to have to announce that Major Brooks died between two and three this morning. I indicated at the conference the other day the very high opinion I have of his character. It will be a great loss to the White House. To show you his faithfulness and thoughtfulness – Thursday when he knew he was exceedingly ill and was only conscious part of the time he sent down to the White House and had some one come up so he might furnish them with the combination to the White House vault where the White House plate and silver is kept.
Mr. Charlton is visiting me. Mr. Clark said perhaps you would like to see him. He will be glad to come down and give you any assistance that he can. I don’t think of anything else that I can helpfully comment on this morning.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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