Calvin Coolidge photo

Excerpts of the President's News Conference

September 11, 1923

PRESS: Was there a Cabinet meeting today?

PRESIDENT: Yes, but there was practically no business transacted at the Cabinet meeting. It only lasted about 15 minutes, after which the world will soon know we had our picture taken.

* * * * * * *

The Minister of Panama [R. J. Alfaro] called this morning to discuss generally the policy of Government business operations within the Zone. Our country has, under the Treaty, all the powers of a sovereign within the Panama Zone. We don't always care to exercise every right that we have there, but we are always careful to state that we claim these rights and shall use them if they are necessary, coupled also with the statement that we do not want to do anything there for the purpose of securing a slight income to the United States Treasury that would be thought to be detrimental to the people of Panama or contrary to the wishes of the government of that country. That was the message that I gave to the Minister. He expressed very great satisfaction in having that message and said he would transmit it to his government, and that it cleared up every possible question that he had in mind.

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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