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Excerpts of the President's News Conference

September 19, 1924

Here is an inquiry asking for my opinion whether there will be any diplomatic intervention in China to prevent further spreading of the civil war. Of course, the Government has been taking such action as we thought necessary to protect American lives and property. We have an Ambassador or a Minister in China?

PRESS: A Minister.

PRESIDENT: Minister Schurman was in the other day, Dr. Schurman, and he didn't seem to think that there was imminent danger of further spreading of the war in China at this time. He seemed to be of the opinion that the battles that had already been fought were about as decisive as those Chinese battles are. I inquired of him as to the loss of life and the destruction of property, which he said were both exceedingly meager, almost no loss of life in battle and no destruction of property as they had no heavy artillery. So that so far as I know at the present time American rights are being protected. It seems apparent that a decision in China of affairs of this kind can hardly ever be regarded as final, but as final as those things usually are. That isn't a very definite statement, but those things are quite indefinite in China. So as far as I know there isn't any occasion at the present time for any action, other than what we have already taken.

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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