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Excerpts of the President's News Conference

December 07, 1928

I do not know whether or not the Committee meeting of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate this morning was public. However, I think the attitude of the Committee was favorable to the treaty. The thing that bothered the Committee most was whether the provisions of the treaty required a specific act of the United States if the treaty were violated, and of course the Secretary's answer to that was that it did not. I think I have already stated that if the treaty were violated it would leave the United States in the same position that it would be without the treaty, and Congress would determine as usual what action would be taken. A positive violation would occur if a nation attacked the United States and a negative violation would occur if a nation attacked another nation, not the United States. I am getting a great many letters favorable to the treaty, about 200 today, and am sending them over to the State Department. Mr. Kellogg told me that they had a special staff and certain stenographers for taking care of these letters. I think Mr. Kellogg told me he is receiving about 600 letters a day. . . .

PRESS: Are the letters coming in uniformly favorable?

PRESIDENT: I haven't seen one that is in opposition. Of course some of them are in the nature of propaganda, evidently having been made by people that were asked to write, but a great many of them are voluntary expressions of their own desire to see a treaty of that kind. I hope I haven't violated any of the niceties of Senate procedure by revealing the Secretary's statements before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, but if that is the case I have suffered so much in the same respect that perhaps they will reconcile themselves to it.

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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