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Excerpts of the President's News Conference

March 30, 1926

There is no intention, so far as I know, to make any appeal for gifts of Colonial furniture for the White House. Congress passed some law in relation to that a year or two ago. The details of that law I haven't clearly in mind. If you want to get any information as to just what it is proposed to do, you will get it if you read that law and then assume that it is intended to carry out its provisions. I think it provided for the appointment of a committee or commission to pass on articles of furniture that might be offered to the White House. I don't think there is any intention of attempting to refurnish the White House with Colonial furniture. Some of the rooms on the second floor would lend themselves to that, but for the rooms on the first floor such furniture would probably not be altogether desirable. Of course, that all depends on what the particular piece of furniture is and that is why the Commission has been appointed to pass on it.

PRESS: Have any pieces of furniture been sent in so far?

PRESIDENT: I don't think so. I recall there was quite a good deal of newspaper discussion about it last summer. The source of it we didn't know and I don't know now what the source of it was. It was put out without any knowledge on the part of myself or Mrs. Coolidge. In fact, I don't think Mrs. Coolidge has anything to do with furnishing the White House anyway, except entirely unofficially, and except as a friend of the White House and in that respect.

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I had a short conference with Colonel Tilson this morning in relation to legislation. I have already expressed several times to the conference my appreciation of the very fine work that the present Congress is doing. That work is apparently continuing. What I am especially solicitous about is the financial and economic condition of the Government. I indicated at the time of the consideration of the tax bill that the matter of what taxes should be raised was especially a matter that the Congress had under its jurisdiction and also indicated, and I want to stress that now, that after the Congress had passed a bill raising a certain amount of money, why of course it is obligatory on Congress not to encourage expenditures in excess of the money it has provided for raising by taxation. I think that is a very important consideration. I am not undertaking to shift the responsibility about that. Of course I am responsible for that as well as Congress, but I am attempting to emphasize it on all proper occasions. It is true that the Congress made a larger cut in taxes than I wanted to have made, because I knew that there would be great pressure for incurring some additional expenditures. I thought they ought to think carefully about it when they were passing the tax bill. I have no doubt they did. And having made the larger cut in taxation, I suppose they are prepared to resist the applications for increasing expenditures, especially in consideration of expenditures that call for permanent appropriations. We can make a capital expenditure for the erection of a building or something of that kind, and when that expenditure is made it is over with. But expenditures that call for increases that go on indefinitely, that is from year to year and which are increases of the annual expenditures of the Government, come in for different consideration and different treatment. It is in that direction especially that I want to avoid increases, so far as we can. Of course we have to take care of those people that are employed by the Government and those expenditures already provided for by law, but I want to avoid increases that are permanent so far as we can and it was in that direction especially that I was conferring with Colonel Tilson.

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The reports in relation to business conditions in the country seem to be substantially as they have been for the past months. Employment apparently is plentiful. There are some strikes. That is always the case, but so far as the Department of Labor has information those who want to work at the prevailing rate of wages are enabled to secure employment. I think there have been some increases of wages, especially in the building trades, which are an indication that there is no lack of employment in that great industry, which is a very basic industry because it affects so many other things. A great many products go into building, and when that industry is flourishing it creates a demand for all kinds of supplies and has a beneficial influence on all kinds of production. There are some places where they are not working full time. I think that is the condition in some of the textile industries and has been so for quite a good many months.

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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