Date: September 8, 1925
Location: Swampscott, MA
My attitude is the same as it has been relative to public buildings bill for the District of Columbia. Whether anything can be done about it at the next session, I don’t know, and I am going to talk with some members of the House and Senate about it. It may he that that bill would go along with some other plan for public buildings. The difficulty in getting that bill through has been the thought in the heart of each Congressman that he didn’t propose to have any buildings erected in the District of Columbia unless two or three were put in his district. That is constitutional with the members of the Congress. It isn’t anything that I criticize in any way, but that has been the difficulty in getting some action for the hill.
Press: You said there probably would be some other plan. Would that be a general public buildings bill?
There hasn’t been any general public buildings bill since before 1914, and I think I referred the other day to the fact that the Government is paying a good deal in rentals, and perhaps with the public buildings bill we might he able to make an investment that would really be profitable. There was a public buildings bill that went through the House last year that I should have been willing to approve, but it failed of passage in the Senate.
Press: About how much did it authorize?
President: I think it authorized about $1,000,000,00.
I don’t know of any communication that has been received from the National Federation of Federal Employees making any suggestion about calling on me. Do you know of any Mr. Sanders?
Mr. Sanders: No, 1 don’t think there has.
President: So as far as I know they are now holding their annual convention in Boston, and so far as I know I am not expecting to see any of them up here.
I have got two or three questions here about my son John. I have already suggested to the press that I didn’t regard his actions as necessarily to be reported in the press, but of course if the press wants to report them there is nothing I can do about it. I don’t object to it especially, but I don’t think it is particularly a good thing for the boy. I don’t think it is a particularly good thing for the other boys of the country. There isn’t the slightest foundation for the report that appeared the other day that he is going to West Point.
Press: Annapolis, Mr. President.
President: No, No. There was a report that made a categorical statement that he was going to West Point. That was followed in the course of two or three days by another that he was going to the Naval Academy. Either one of those could have been verified by simple inquiry at the office, if there was a desire to find out the truth. There was no foundation that 1 know of for either suggestion. He is going to Amherst College. I don’t think that that is a matter of enough public importance to justify any newspaper notice. He is doing the same as some hundreds of thousands of other young men that are going to take up their studies again when their school opens.
I think I spoke the other day about the pleasant change that Mrs. Coolidge and I had in being here during the summer. My only regret has been that I haven’t been able to call in many of the large host of friends that we both have here in Massachusetts, but it was necessary, if we were to have any real rest from the usual routine of Washington, that I do such work as comes to my desk and leave out the large amount o f social activity that my wife has down there and much of which comes to me. So that, as I say, we regret that we haven’t been able to see more of our friends up here. There was no other way of getting any rest ourselves, and I am especially grateful to the people of Lynn for the hospitality they have extended and the Lynn Chamber of Commerce. I have tried to divide up my relation to Lynn and Swampscott and Salem and Marblehead, I have lived in Swampscott, had my office in Lynn, kept the Mayflower at Marblehead and went to church in Salem, so as to be as impartial as I could in each of the four communities.
I am always in the process of getting information, either with a set purpose or incidentally, in connection with any message I want to send to Congress. My message would he based on my information relative to the state of the Union and such needs as I thought required Congressional action. Some of that of course comes to me incidentally, though the most of it comes as a result of my sending for people and inquiring of them what there is in their departments or in their bureaus that needs Congressional action. I don’t expect to start in especially on that on my return to Washington, though as I say it is a part of my constant activities.
I don’t know as there is anything more to say about the World Court. I judge that the suggestion that the United States should adhere to it has been gaining strength. I expect that after due consideration the Senate will pass a resolution of adherence.
I don’t know enough about the suggestion that the Premier of France has made that the League of Nations call a Disarmament Conference. I can’ t make any comment about it. I should have to be careful about making comment on a latter of that kind, because of course our country doesn’t want to put anything in the way of any action that the Europeans might take which they thought would minister to their general security.
I have forgotten whether I said anything the other day about the proposal that I have made to have the conference in Washington. I had that in mind for some time, hoping that events would shape themselves by the settlement of the reparations question over there and perhaps by a security pact in Europe, so that we could have another conference with a practical hope of success in Washington. Of course the main thing is not where the conference is held, but the main thing is to have a conference that holds promise of securing practical results. I think there is now a proposal before the League, or some of the nations of Europe, for holding some Disarmament or Arbitration Conference in Geneva, and while that was pending was another reason why I thought it might not be quite proper for me to undertake to hold a conference here.
I understood that the Agricultural Conference would come together again this fall and finish up their studies and make such recommendations as they thought were appropriate. I have expected that I might see the Secretary of Agriculture after his return from the West, but as you know he went into Walter Reed Hospital, more to rest himself up then any particular treatment for ill health. I don’t know that he has come out yet, though he was expecting to be out very soon and all my reports from him indicate that he is making all the progress that he expected and receiving all the benefits he anticipated when he went in there. He was having a little trouble with indigestion, as I understand it. When he gets one of those attacks it is necessary for him to take a very complete rest. So I don’t know what his studies and investigations have resulted in. Until after I have a talk with him I don’t know what the conference will do. I had a letter the other day from the Chairman of the Conference, Governor Carey, in which he made practically the same suggestions that he made this morning and suggested that he confer direct with the Secretary of Agriculture to see when they thought they could finish up their studies and make their report. My hope was that they could get their report in by Thanksgiving, so that the members of Congress would have some chance to examine it and get such reaction as they might desire from their constituents before Congress came into session, in order to expedite the work.
I am as you know expecting to return to get back to Washington Thursday or Friday morning. The railroads as I have said before don’t like to have the itinerary of the President published in advance, or the exact time of departure. Those of you that need it for your private convenience I think will be able to get information at least tomorrow morning as to just when you can return to Washington. There will be accommodations on my train for the members of the press.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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