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Excerpts of the President's News Conference at White Pine Camp in Paul Smiths, New York

July 27, 1926

The business conditions in the country are more than meeting expectations. It had been thought at the opening of the year that there might be something of a slowing down in business. That hasn't seemed to materialize. The first six months of the current year showed good business conditions and since the first of July there has been something of an advance in general business conditions. I think that is attributable partly to the reduction of taxation. It takes some time to get the full effect of that, but it stimulates business by releasing money that otherwise would go into the public treasury which can go into enterprise. A very good example of that commented on in the press, which took place in the middle of June, was when the Secretary of the Treasury was able to meet out of the current funds all of the current expenditures. It had been expected in banking quarters that he would have to call on the country for a loan of some $300,000,000 and banks had accumulated funds for the purpose of making that loan to the Government. When the Government didn't call on them for that money it was at once available to go into business enterprise. As far as I can see myself and as far as I am advised by the members of my Cabinet, Mr. Hoover, who keeps very closely in touch with the business situation, and Mr. Mellon, who is in touch with the banking situation and the business situation, too, both advised me just before I left Washington that the business outlook for the coming period, immediate period, was good, and so far as there have been developments since I talked with them their expectations have been fully confirmed.

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There are no understandings in any of the debt settlements other than what are included in the terms which were signed by the parties and ratified by our Congress with foreign governments. This country hasn't any method of making any understandings except through the duly authorized channels of treaties, and all those treaties of course go to the Senate for ratification, and in almost all cases, I think practically every case, the Senate adopts a motion removing the injunction of secrecy, so that our treaties are public and of course the debt settlements were all public. They were public when they were referred to Congress, somewhat different in nature than a treaty because they partook of the expenditure of public money and for that reason were ratified by both the Senate and House. There is no way we could make any private understanding. No one has any authority to make it. The only method that a private understanding could be entered into with this country, would be by a treaty ratified by the Senate from which the injunction of secrecy was not removed. Then it would be private in the sense that it wasn't published. I doubt if we have any treaties of that kind. I have never heard of one. It is customary oftentimes to discuss treaties in executive session, but it was the uniform practice when I presided over the Senate that if a treaty had been ratified that the injunction of secrecy so far as the treaty was concerned was removed and the treaty became public.

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There has been quite a good deal of discussion in the press about the attitude of foreign countries toward us. I doubt if we need to pay too much attention to that. I have seen reports, I don't know how trustworthy they are, of alleged difficulties that some of our tourists have had abroad. Two kinds of tourists go abroad. One kind are of a somewhat bumptious nature. If that kind of tourist gets some education abroad and finds out that there are other people in the world that are entitled to some consideration and respect as well as Americans, I don't think that will do any great harm. There is another kind of people that go abroad that have an appreciation of the amenities that are usually practiced, and if they do not find things to their liking abroad of course their remedy is to come home and stay here and spend their money here. But the main point that I wanted to emphasize is this: That as one holding the office that is responsible for our foreign relations and one who wants to maintain friendly relations with all other nations, I always regret that some of our people make assertions that are not always warranted by the facts, the main effect of which is to stir up animosities in foreign countries against us. When anything of that kind occurs I always hope that the people abroad will realize that it is a somewhat irresponsible utterance and doesn't really represent the feeling of this Government and probably doesn't represent the public opinion of this country. Now, it is a poor rule that doesn't work both ways, and when some irresponsible person abroad makes some statement that is likely to irritate us, why I have to apply the rule here that I hope others will apply to us and realize that it is not an expression on the part of foreign governments, probably doesn't represent their convictions, probably isn't an accurate representation of the public opinion abroad.

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 at White Pine Camp in Paul Smiths, New York Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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