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Excerpts of the President's News Conference

May 18, 1926

I didn't discuss with Senator [Albert B.] Cummins [Rep.] any question of the adjournment of the Congress. He came in to talk with me about some of the Alaska appointments. There are two factions in Alaska, so that if an appointment is made out to one faction the other faction always opposes the confirmation. I am quite confident that the appointments I have made up there are as good as can be made, if I am to appoint people that live in Alaska. These are judicial appointments, two judges I think and one District Attorney and one Marshal.

Now, it is never possible to get perfect men to hold office, because there aren't any such. Sometimes they are better and sometimes they are worse. But so far as I can learn by diligent inquiry the appointments that have been made are as good as can be made, if I am to use people that live in Alaska. The other appointments have been reported on favorably by the Committee on Judiciary. Now, if these appointments can not be confirmed, the only other recourse that I shall have would be to go outside of Alaska and appoint some people that would go up there from the states. That might be a temporary relief, but I should expect that after they had been up there for three months they would be subject to the same attack that is being made at the present time on appointments. We spend quite a good deal of money in Alaska and one of the chief sources of income to those who live up there is to be in the Government employ. I think one in eleven white people that live there are employed by the Government and of course that makes a considerable motive on the part of the other ten to try and show that the person who is in ought to be displaced, so that one of the other ten could have the place and the revenue that is now accruing to the person that holds the office. Those are some of the difficulties that I have in the administration of affairs in Alaska, though I think affairs are going on up there in fairly good shape. But there are the two factions and this contention between them.

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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