Calvin Coolidge photo

Excerpts of the President's News Conference

November 20, 1923

I notice some of the representatives of the press take advantage of the opportunity to sit down. Any of you that wants can have my chair.

PRESS: Mr. President, does that go for anybody but newspapermen?


Another inquiry about trips in the near future. The members of the press here seem determined to get me out of town, if not to New York some other place. I haven't any present intention of leaving Washington. Very likely when Congress gets here I shall be even more busy than I am now, and perhaps in the course of a month or two I might like to get away for a little while. But I haven't the slightest plan now. You know I remarked to you once before that I saw a great many rumors that President Harding was going to go to a great many places, usually accompanied in the same issue of the newspaper with the statement that he cancelled it. I don't want to prevent you from having all the news you can, but I would rather it would be of a little different nature from that. It is rather ineffectual to start on a trip and have to cancel it.

* * * * * * *

An inquiry about a pardon for a German spy. That has never come to my attention. If it did, I should try to deal justly with it, as I should with any other request for a pardon. I wouldn't feel quite so sympathetic about it. But if there was a good reason for executive clemency, of course it would be extended. I should doubt very much the suggestion here, that the War Department has made a recommendation. I doubt very much if that would be made unless it was a case of disease or something of that kind, or the finding of new evidence, but it is perhaps not profitable to speculate on something of which you have no very great knowledge. I notice the name is Lowderwicz. It doesn't look so German as some other names I have seen.

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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