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Excerpts of the President's News Conference

August 31, 1926

I didn't see Mr. Brush's article or interview or whatever it may have been relative to foreign debts. It is sometimes easier for a person that is in private life and no longer charged with the responsibilities of the administration of public affairs to make a larger expenditure of the taxpayers' money than it is for those who have to be responsible for the collection of the money or the payment of it out of the pockets of the taxpayer. I have a good deal of respect for Mr. Baker's judgment and a high regard for his patriotism, but the matter of settlement or cancellation of our debts has been discussed a great many times. Our Government has taken an attitude on that which I do not think will be changed. All of the great powers, with one exception, have made a final adjustment and I think it is apparent that there is every expectation that France will adjust its debt settlement in accordance with the negotiations that have been made by its duly accredited Ambassador. So, as far as I am informed, I know of no reason for making any change in our policy. It has been pointed out time and time again that this money has to be paid by our taxpayers unless it is paid by the taxpayers of the country or the countries which borrowed the money. Mr. Baker I know is a perfectly sincere man and I don't want too much made of my suggestion that it is easier to make up your mind when you are not charged with public responsibility than it is when you are responsible for making the decision that settles the question.

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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