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Excerpts of the President's News Conference

January 13, 1925

PRESS: Can you give us a "slant" on the Secretary of Agriculture? PRESIDENT: NO, I can't. I wish you would give me one. Of course the present Secretary will retire to become Governor of West Virginia on the 4th of March, and I shall have to get someone to take his place. The trouble with agriculture at the present time is in the marketing end. The Secretaries in the past have perhaps been roughly divided into two classes. There has been the practical farmer and the man from some agricultural institution, perhaps an economist or something of that kind. Those are the classes that have served as Secretaries in the past. What I would like to find is a man that can organize the business of agriculture. We are able to get along very well with our production. The agricultural college, of course, is putting its emphasis on production. That has been the teaching. It has not put so much emphasis on marketing. It is the marketing end that has to be organized at the present time and carried along and made effective, in order that the farmer may secure the results of his industry, and not have so much of it dissipated between the farmer and the consumer. That is a great economic problem. It is the great economic problem, to my mind, of the present time—how to secure for our farming population the rewards that they ought to have as a result of their industry.

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I am expecting that the American guard of about 100 marines will be speedily withdrawn from Nicaragua. Of course the Government there at present, and certainly in the past, has been rather solicitous to have them remain, thinking that although they are a small force on account of what they represent they give a stability and security to the government. But quite naturally Nicaragua might come to a time when it is able to provide its own security and not rely on us for that purpose and a time when we feel that American interest will be secure under the protection of the Nicaraguan Government without any military protection from our own Government. We think that time is ap-proaching and are planning to withdraw the guard. I don't know just how soon, but I know that that has been determined to be our course.

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There is nothing that I can say about the Russian situation that is materially different from that which I have said in the past. If you will recall my message of 1923, in which I spoke of this, and some other comments that I have made on it in different addresses, I have been hopeful that a situation would develop there so that that great country could take up the burdens of civilization with the rest of us. I laid down some rules which were amplified in a note that Mr. Hughes sent in relation to Russia, somewhat less than a year ago. I think that the Russian people have made some progress since then. But their progress is slow, and it hasn't been so rapid as I hoped it might be.

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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