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Excerpts of the President's News Conference

April 11, 1924

The Cabinet didn't discuss the Government's rights under the disarmament treaty to convert its coal burning ships to oil burning. The matter was merely mentioned there by Secretary [of the Navy] Wilbur as one that was under consideration between him and the Secretary of State. But there was no discussion of it, and no conclusions. Of course we have in mind a general policy of not wanting to do anything that would cause an increase in the outlay of naval armaments of the United States or any other country. That is somewhat regardless of the treaty. Very likely our country in this particular wouldn't be especially solicitous to put in oil burning apparatus and convert ships from coal burning to oil, if that of itself would make other nations who are parties to the treaty think that they must go to a corresponding outlay. One of the very basic foundations of the disarmament treaty was to get away from competitive armaments, so that as a practical question our country wouldn't want to embark on the rebuilding or reconditioning of its ships if we know it would cause a large outlay on the part of other countries.

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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