Calvin Coolidge photo

Excerpts of the President's News Conference

August 05, 1927

I don't know of any amplification I could make to the statement that I gave out Tuesday. Mr. Sanders and Mr. Geisser knew that I was going to make a statement. Quite naturally I thought I would like to confide it to the newspapermen first, though it is necessary for Mr. Sanders and Mr. Geisser to know about it in order to have it prepared.

* * * * * * *

It is too early to tell just what will be the effect of the conference we held. Careful statements were made by Mr. Gibson and a statement was made and given out by Secretary Kellogg that cover the position of our Government, to which I do not see that I could add anything.

I do not expect that the failure to reach an agreement at Geneva will have any serious effect upon the peace of the world. I use the words that are in the question here. It leaves us, as I said the other day, where we are now with the utmost of friendly feeling and cordial understanding between the three governments that were represented there and just because they were not able to agree on a naval building program doesn't interfere at all with the peaceful relations that exist between the three countries. When you write that out you had better say "among the three countries." It is better English.

* * * * * * *

I don't know of any new developments in China that would change the views that I expressed in an address I made in New York on, I think, the 27th of April relative to our policy there. I do not know just how many Americans we have in China. We have been getting them out and having them go home in a great many instances, and in others bringing them down to the coast where we could give them protection. I judge from the question that is before me that there has been some suggestion that because there are only 14,058 American citizens there that we are not justified in keeping 13,200 American soldiers and sailors and Marines in that locality. Of course, we have to keep a sufficient force there to protect our people as best we can, and I haven't had a sufficiently detailed report of conditions in China for some days, so that I know just what is developing. I had understood that the situation at Shanghai had quieted down so that it has been possible to remove the barbed wire and other obstructions that fenced off the foreign quarter from the rest of the city. But I suppose that everyone knows that it was the presence of the forces of the various interested countries at Shanghai that prevented the taking and looting of the city, which was a service not only to the foreigners that happened to be there but a great service also to the Chinese people that were in the locality.

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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