Calvin Coolidge photo

Excerpts of the President's News Conference

December 21, 1923

I don't know as I have any very definite plans for Christmas. I think Christmas Eve that some of the church choirs, or one church choir, is to sing carols at the White House—outside the White House—in which they will be joined by some of the citizens of Washington. I believe also the plan is to have a church service, a union service, which I think is to be held in the church that I attend, on Christmas morning, where I expect to go. And I think I am to press some buttons to light a Christmas tree down on the Ellipse. I think, also, I am to start some kind of a celebration in California. You men that represent the California press perhaps can tell us what that is. I think something is to be opened. What is that? Any California men know?

PRESS: Is it Pasadena?

PRESIDENT: There is something out there. It seems to me it is a water works or a town, or something of that kind.

* * * * * * *

There is no action to be taken, so far as I know, with the Japanese Government on the immigration question. Whenever the question comes up of laws relative to immigration, it is quite natural that the different governments should be solicitous for the protection of the rights of their citizens, and it is not infrequent that they apply to the State Department to know about the conditions of the proposed legislation. There is nothing unusual in that.

PRESS: Would you permit a question about that subject, Mr. President? Have you or the Cabinet ever given any thought to translating the Gentlemen's Agreement into law?

PRESIDENT: NO, I don't think so.

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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