Date: November 17, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
At the recent British Imperial Conference the dominions tried to eat their cake and have it, too. They asked for equality with Britain and more local self government, which they got. They wanted preferential tariffs within the empire, which they did not get. They sought greater political freedom for themselves and less economic freedom for Britain. They wished to share the British markets but not the British responsibilities.
Economic unity and political unity usually go together. For that reason the Briand proposal for a federated Europe is a rational plan for closer economic relations. Our own Union was founded on the necessity for an economic unity. Business advantages came from a common law and common governmental responsibilities. If local spirit and diverse interests keep Britain and her dominions from having a real federal government, the same forces will prevent closer economic ties.
At a time when the tendency in the United States is for more centralization in our government, the British Empire is dispersing its authority. The result will be that the different dominions of the empire will form their own outside business connections, while our states will be drawn into closer commercial harmony.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Robert Manchester who prepared this document for digital publication.