Calvin Coolidge photo

Excerpts of the President's News Conference

December 14, 1926

Silas H. Strawn is not now in the employ of the Government, so far as I know. He went to China for us at a very large personal sacrifice and remained there much longer than he expected to remain. On account of the unsettled conditions in China he and his associates were not able to come to any final conclusion, as I understand it. They stayed until all of the representatives of the Chinese Government had been withdrawn or left the conference. That was no fault of theirs. It was due to the unsettled state of affairs there. As nothing could be done without them, Mr. Strawn and the other representatives of the foreign powers of course were forced to discontinue their efforts. I do not know what Mr. Strawn is saying in his speeches. He is a very well informed man and would be very discreet, I am certain, in his utterances, so I do not wish to say that they are approved or disapproved. And of course they are not an expression of any official position of the United States Government. I am merely stating a fact about that. I shouldn't want any unwarranted inference drawn from it that the President had disavowed Mr. Strawn's statements. I am not doing anything of the kind. So perhaps I had better repeat again that I am neither undertaking to approve them or to disapprove them, merely stating what I understand to be the fact, that they are not the expression of the American Government. And, as I do not know what they are, I couldn't tell whether they represent the official position of the Government or not. I want to repeat again that he is informed and discreet. I do not know that any approach has been made to this Government by the British relative to the recognition of any new government in China. If you want to get more accurate information about that, of course apply to the State Department. They might have made inquiry there which wouldn't be reported to me unless the situation had developed far enough so it was proposed to take some action.

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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