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Excerpts of the President's News Conference

March 16, 1928

I am quite anxious to get some railroad consolidation legislation. I have referred to that several times in my messages, but I think it would be especially helpful at the present time, because there are a number of roads that if they could make their consolidation arrangements are ready to put in additions and improvements in the way of building and construction that would furnish quite a large market for materials and quite an opportunity for increased employment. The railroads have been waiting for several years for legislation of that kind and meantime their plans have been held up and their improvements and their extensions haven't gone forward, and with the increase in business that has come to the railroads they are feeling more and more the necessity of expansions of that kind. I am advised that there is a very good prospect of securing favorable action from the House and the Senate at the present session. It would be exceedingly helpful to the situation if that could be secured.

* * * * * * *

We haven't matured any plan about what can be done in Nicaragua. We had expected to secure some legislation by the Nicaraguan Congress that would enable us to carry out the terms of that agreement that was made with both the contending parties down there by the President of the United States. We thought that would be the most feasible method of procedure. I don't know that it is absolutely necessary, but we felt it was very desirable. The [Nicaraguan] Senate, I think, passed a bill that was satisfactory—it did not pass the House— so that we shall have to consider the situation and see what other plan can be adopted. When we went in there we were advised by the Nicaraguan Government that they were not able to protect life and property, which meant that their constitutional guarantees were practically in abeyance. We have at least been able to restore order under which the inhabitants of that country in almost every instance have been able to return to their usual vocations. We have stopped the warfare. We have collected the arms that both parties had. Some 13,000 rifles were turned over to us. So Nicaragua has a year of peace anyway to its advantage and what is necessary now is to provide some method by which the inhabitants can express their desires for the filling of the offices that are necessary to fill in the coming election and start out again under the terms of their constitution. We are trying to help out in that direction and I rather think we can.

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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