Calvin Coolidge photo

Excerpts of the President's News Conference

September 03, 1926

I don't know that there is anything I can say that hasn't already been said about the World Court. I feel quite certain that when the other nations come to examine the reservations they will see that the purport of them is merely to put this country on a parity with other countries that are members of the League and have a seat in the Council. I understand that they have already agreed to four reservations and the one that is under consideration is the 5th. As I understand the rights of members of the League who may be members of the Council, in order to have an advisory opinion it has to be by the unanimous action of the Council. That means that one nation in the Council can object to having an advisory opinion and the advisory opinion is then not called for. So I understand the 5th reservation is merely for the purpose of putting the United States in the same position as other countries, which I think when it is understood and studied by the other countries in interest will be regarded as entirely fair. If other countries have the right individually to prevent the asking of an advisory opinion, why I see no reason why the United States shouldn't have the same right which it would have under the 5th reservation. The speedy action that has been taken on the first four reservations I should think would indicate that there would be little, if any, difficulty in the 5 th reservation.

* * * * * * *

The only reports I have ever had in relation to Ambassador Sheffield are those that praised his conduct. I have never had any criticism. So that if you see any reports of that kind, why I think you can set them down as the natural result of a man representing this Government who has had to insist that the rights of our citizens be respected when there were some people that thought it would be to their advantage not to respect those rights.

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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