Calvin Coolidge photo

Excerpts of the President's News Conference

November 13, 1925

The results of the agreement between the Italian Debt Commission and the American Debt Commission have already been fairly well commented on in the news columns and editorial articles. There isn't very much that I can add. Of course, in making these settlements the general result which is always arrived at is the fact that we do not get as much as we would like—to have the other countries pay more than they want to pay. I think I commented on the very fine spirit that seemed to be manifested by the Italian Debt Commission before, and hazarded the prophecy that where a spirit of that kind prevailed it was almost certain that the parties would reach an agreement. That has been done. And that, as I already said, is the most satisfactory thing, the fact that an agreement has been reached which closes up that question for discussion between the Italian nation and our nation. We have recognized, the Commission has recognized the difficulty that the Italian Government and people are under, the meagerness of their resources in comparison with their obligations. I think the debt that Italy owes to the United States and to Great Britain is almost equal in amount to the debt that the British owe to the United States. When you consider the difference in resources between the British Empire or the British Isles and the resources of Italy, it is quite apparent that the small country of Italy can not meet any such payments as could be met by Great Britain. That occurred to me as perhaps the most sig-nificant comparison that could be made.

Source: "The Talkative President: The Off-the-Record Press Conferences of Calvin Coolidge". eds. Howard H. Quint & Robert H. Ferrell. The University Massachusetts Press. 1964.

Calvin Coolidge, Excerpts of the President's News Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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