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Excerpts of the President's News Conference

September 08, 1926

PRESS: Would you care to say whether or not our lives and property have been generally respected or have suffered in Mexico?

PRESIDENT: Well, you can't generalize about that. There isn't any information about that that hasn't already been made public. Mexico has been in a condition of uncertainty and there have been quite a number of years of burglary and revolution, but for the past three or four years that has been getting less and less, so that I don't think there is much complaint now about a condition of disorder that has characterized Mexico in some years past. The present government keeps a very fair condition of order. Of course we are not able in this country to prevent considerable lawlessness. We have constant outbreaks of burglary, highway robbery, and things of that kind. I don't suppose anyone would say it is because the Government is lacking in authority. We make every effort to apprehend anything of that kind and punish it. But I think generally speaking over practically the whole of Mexico there is a very good condition of order. Our citizens down there have been murdered in the past since 1913, a good many of them. But there is practically no complaint about that now. The com-plaint is rather about prospective, rather than present, interference, with the rights of our citizens. There has been a good deal of recession on the part of the Mexican Government in the claims that it has made of the privilege of interfering with the rights of our citizens. We still have some unsolved questions touching the rights of our citizens to hold property and conduct business there, but the general statement that I would make in relation to that is that the Mexican Government has receded very materially in the claims that it had put out as to its right to interfere with the business of our citizens in Mexico. On the domestic difficulty that they are having there, over the religious question, which is a religious question touching all denominations alike as I understand it, though it is referred to more particularly as a Catholic question, because I suppose 95 per cent of the Mexican people are Catholic, 95 per cent of those that have any church affiliation are affiliated with the Catholic Church, there is no difference whatever and we deal with that as we would deal with any other question that might affect the rights of property of our citizens. When those are affected beyond the practice of the Government relating to religion or the carrying on of business or anything else, we try to protect the rights of our 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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