Excerpts of the President's News Conference in Rapid City, South Dakota
I hope you are all enjoying this climate and the surroundings here as much as I am. There are a great many things to write about here in the Black Hills, and I am going to make this suggestion to you for what it may be worth. We shall be here for some weeks, and I think you will find that at the end of your stay here that your work will be more satisfactory if you take up some particular thing and write a very good story about it, and at a later time pass on to something else, rather than try to include almost everything in one story.
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PRESS: Is it fair to assume that they [the Geneva Conference delegates] might get new instructions that they didn't have before they left as regards Japan, or perhaps Great Britain?
PRESIDENT: I don't know about that. I don't want to make any comment about that. Anything that the delegates, our delegates, ask instructions about, instructions will be given.
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I don't know of any change in the policy that has been recently pursued toward the Philippine Islands as a result of the visit of General Wood. The General met with an uncomfortable and somewhat painful accident on his way over, an injury to his ribs, but not anything serious. I was very glad to see that his general health was so good and very much encouraged with the report that he gave me in relation to conditions in the Islands. The general result is I think that there has been an acceptance on the part of the Filipinos of the present policy toward the Islands, and I think that change has resulted in the feeling of stability. I have all the time advised the Philippine people to show their capacity for self-government by a careful administration of the fundamental law of the Islands, which is the Jones Law, the Organic Law we call it, and apparently they are wholeheartedly undertaking to pursue that policy. I think General Wood pointed out to you that some 99 per cent of the administration of the Islands is in the hands of the Filipinos. They hold almost all of the offices and carry on almost all the government. They are in that happy condition of having virtually self-government without the responsibility for protection and national defense and so on that usually has to be shouldered by people who have self-government. . . . General Wood and I discussed very briefly the establishment of some central bureau that would have charge of all our insular possessions. That is not exactly a new thought. It was included in the reorganization bill which the Congress never got around to act on. There they were placed under the Secretary of State. I recall that Secretary Hughes said he wasn't anxious to undertake the administration of insular possessions, but of course if it seemed best to put it in his department he would undertake that serv-ice. I have never given the matter a great deal of study. As far as I had thought of it at all, it had seemed to me that the Department of the Interior, which is the department that has always had charge of our territorial and disconnected possessions like Alaska might be the logical place to put the administration of our insular possessions, the only difference being there that those territories that have been in the Department of Interior have been a part of the United States in a little more intimate and a different way than our insular possessions are, because it is always understood that those territories that were under the Department of Interior would very soon come into statehood, which they all have now, with the exception of Alaska.
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 in Rapid City, South Dakota Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/349195