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Excerpts of the President's News Conference

January 08, 1924

An inquiry about the Cabinet meeting. We took up the question that has been under consideration and been talked about in Government circles; that is the inability of the Government to keep good men and high class individuals in their employment. That is rather the natural thing, as you would know from your own experience. People go through the various grades and so on, both in private employment and public employment. Some of the young men that are here today will be the editors and proprietors of newspapers in the future. So that probably some of the newspapers are complaining that they can't keep high class newspapermen in their employ, that are hired out to other occupations. Of course, that is the experience of every institution that has in its employ people of high class ability and character. They are sought for by others, and they graduate out. As I said to the Secretary of War [John W. Weeks], his Lieutenants become Captains, his Captains Majors, and so on up, and that is what happens in Government. But there is, I think, a real need to consider a better scale of remuneration for experts, because you can't carry on experiments and scientific investigation if your labor turnover in that department, or the employment turnover runs up to a very high percentage. I think there is a very great need of paying experts in the Government, on account of the higher scale that is prevalent outside of Government employment perhaps, larger remuneration.

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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