Calvin Coolidge photo

Excerpts of the President's News Conference

February 28, 1928

Business conditions seem to keep along about the same. There has been some increase in some lines. I think the different steel companies report increases in their business. There was a report published by the Federal Reserve Board a day or two ago that reported increases in certain lines of merchandise, some increase in movements of freight. I think the department store business was reported as not quite so good.

* * * * * * *

Several representatives of church organizations came in yesterday to present to me some views that they brought in their representative capacity relative to the building program of the Navy. I assume that they gave to the press the statements that they made. I told them, of course, that they would be taken into consideration. I judge, though, that the views that they presented to me were in relation to the program that had been proposed by the Navy and not in relation to the bill that has been reported by the House Naval Affairs Committee. Whether that would make any difference in their position, I am not able to state. I think perhaps it might modify it some. I did suggest to them that the bill as now reported by the Committee was for the purpose of a building program that was not in excess of the minimum that we had suggested at the Geneva Conference. Our suggestion there was 300,000 tons. If this program were carried out, it would leave us with a little under 300,000 tons, and on that I suggested to them that instead of alarming any other country as to its size it would probably be regarded by other countries as very moderate, because when we presented to the Geneva Conference the suggestion that the limit be 300,000 tons it was suggested to us that that was altogether too small. I think the British at that time stated that their requirements were for 595,000 tons. So that if we were engaged in a moderate building program of this nature that I did not see that it could possibly alarm any other country.

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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