Calvin Coolidge photo

Excerpts of the President's News Conference

November 27, 1923

An inquiry as to whether I have any plans for Thanksgiving Day. Why, of course I have. I thought I made that very plain in considerable detail in a proclamation I made some time ago. You will be perfectly safe in following the terms of the proclamation for information about what I am going to do. I think I advised the people to assemble in their usual places of worship and in their homes for a suitable observance of Thanksgiving Day, and that is the way that I hope to observe the day.

PRESS: Mr. President, will your sons be here?

PRESIDENT: NO. They only have one day in the school where they attend, so that they will not be able to come down.

* * * * * * *

An inquiry about Philippine independence. I haven't any clear and definite information about that. There is a bill known as the Jones Bill that it is my impression, I think I am right, promises independence to the Philippines some time in the future. I suppose my own position is the well-known position that has been reiterated from time to time by the Government of the United States, of a desire to see the Philippines under self-government as soon as we felt warranted in withdrawing. I think it is generally recognized that our presence there is not so much an advantage to us as a very large bill of expense, but that it was an obligation which we had undertaken when we received the Philippine Islands from the Spanish Government and that we couldn't cast them adrift. We are anxious, by maintaining educational institutions, to show them the way toward good government, and by the example that we are able to set there of providing a sound government for the Philippine Islands, one that will be able to maintain the freedom and independence of the people there. As soon as that can be done, we will then feel at liberty to withdraw.

PRESS: Mr. President, are there any signs that that time has arrived or will arrive in the near future?

PRESIDENT: I think they are making very good progress. I haven't detailed information. I have never been to the Philippines, nor am I a particular student of them, but I get the general impression that they are making very good progress there—very encouraging progress.

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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