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Excerpts of the President's News Conference

October 23, 1923

I have another most interesting inquiry. It has quite a long preamble, but there is one very significant thing in it, "The United States has never interfered in the internal affairs of other nations, except by precept and example"; and inquires whether it is the hope of the United States that people will eventually be at peace everywhere under democratic forms of government. I have partly answered that question in what I have already said—that we demanded the right at one time to have such a form of government as we want for our people, and we have to concede that same right to others. I don't know of any case where the United States has interfered directly with any other government, because they had a form of government too democratic, or not democratic enough, in accordance with our views. I think the inquiry is very well answered when it sets out the sentence that I have just read, which says that we have never interfered in the internal affairs of other nations, except by precept and example. That, of course, is the notable exception, and I might go on with a discussion of this inquiry, the monarch threat, so on and so forth, and you all will see the implication and the application of it, that our country expects to maintain its present form of government. We wouldn't want any country to interfere with our form of government, and we don't want to take any action that would interfere with the rights of other countries. While the United States Government has no opinion, I have no doubt that thoughtful people in our country have hope that governments, similar to our own, will ultimately, and could ultimately, be established. No doubt, they have been gratified to see republics springing up, and there has been an absence of gratification when anything like a reaction occurred, tending to bring people back under any form of government that wasn't an expression of their own will and their own wish. Anything like a dictatorship, or any manner of government of that kind, of course, is not a condition that is gratifying to the American people.

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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