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Excerpts of the President's News Conference

January 12, 1926

Here is an inquiry about the purchase of commodities on the installment plan. I don't know as I can very well discuss that in a newspaper conference in a way that might not be misunderstood on one side or the other. The basis of installment buying is, I think, entirely sound. It is a provision of credit for those that otherwise wouldn't be able to secure credit. So far as the installment buying goes, I think it is a little better than the old way that was customary around my neighborhood when I was young—of going to the store, getting a bill and having no plan or purpose as to when it was to be paid. When a commodity is bought on installments, it means that there is then laid out a plan on which it is to be paid, and installment buying is really a plan of financing and extending credit to people who otherwise wouldn't be able to secure credit for the purposes to which it is extended. I recognize that it might be overdone like any kind of credit, but I think it is a step in advance of the old kind of credit that was given without any plan of repayment. So far as I can ascertain, it has not been overdone at the present time. If we should run into an era of depression where employment was not so abundant as it is now, some difficulties might arise. But the financial corporations that have been organized, and the whole credit system that has been organized for the purpose of extending credit on the installment plan, have those things in mind and are pretty well fortified to take care of any situation that might arise. So I really come back to the conclusion that while this might be extended too far, like any other credit, it doesn't seem that it has been done at the present, and I think on the whole it is a step in advance and a very helpful step to people that otherwise wouldn't get credit or wouldn't make a plan at the same time it is extended for its repayment.

* * * * * * *

Everything that has developed in relation to Mexico has already been given to the press. We have to have a great deal of patience with that country. The government there has its difficulties and the people in this country ought to realize that Mexico is a different country from ours. The people have a different outlook on things. They haven't had the advantages that we have up here, and there ought to be a general public expectation that we would in every way that we can be helpful to that country, and instead of trying to oppress them in any way or anything of that kind, that such actions as we take are taken with a view to being helpful. We do wish that they should keep their agreements when they make a treaty with us and that the terms of the treaty should be observed, and as I stated at another conference, I am sure the government of Mexico recognizes that as a sound policy and expects to abide by the terms of its treaties. We have to recognize that they have a perfect right to pass laws affecting their internal af-fairs, their domestic affairs, whether it is in relation to property or in relation to persons. The question comes up of course when they attempt to pass a law that is retroactive and affects rights that have already been granted to Americans. It is under those conditions that we have interests that we have to protect and I haven't any doubt that the government of Mexico wishes to protect them and cooperate with us in their adequate protection.

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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