Date: Tuesday, May 15, 1928
Location: Washington, D.C.
I expect that some program for farther cruiser construction will be presented to the incoming Congress. We have only provided for the construction of 8 cruisers since I have been President and a good many of our cruisers I think are of old construction and it will be necessary soon to be making replacements.
I didn’t notice whether the soviet proposal for the abandonment of all armaments was to apply to all the world or whether it was a European proposal. We do not maintain much of anything in the way of an Army in active service. It is reduced to the proportions of a police force. I am speaking now of what we would call the Regular Army. Of course, when it is supplemented by the National Guard and other forces that could be called out it is a considerable force. So I suppose that if that proposal was to apply to all the world, so far as it would affect us would be the Navy. I do not imagine it would be for the welfare of the world entirely to abandon navies.
Nothing of particular importance was discussed between Rep. Tilson and myself. He came to town a day or two ago. I wanted to see him. My engagement list was full for the morning, so I asked him to come to lunch. And about the same would apply to the breakfast that we had at the White House this morning. Senator Robinson, of Arkansas, sat beside me and he was telling me at my inquiry of some of the recommendations he had made to the Committee relative to flood control. There was other discussion around the table among other people that I didn’t hear.
I have just had brought in to me a document (this is more personal than of general interest I suppose) the application and the insurance policy that was issued to my grandfather, Calvin G. Coolidge, in ’68 – not for a large sum, $1500.00 – and the various documents that passed at the time my grandfather died in ’78. It is more or less of interest to me because of the answers to the questions relative to my grandfather’s life and his family, and the names of the old inhabitants of Plymouth, with whom I was acquainted in my boyhood.
There was nothing of particular importance developed at the Cabinet meeting this morning. A very short session, which, as I have indicated before means that each head of the Department found he had no very serious problems under consideration.
Colonel Judah was in to call on me this morning. He is starting for Cuba, I think next week, returning to Chicago this afternoon to finish up some private matters there. He is going to Cuba at once to make such preparation as our representative there may find necessary as a preliminary to the Pan American Conference, which is to be held about the middle of January.
Question: Will you permit a question as to whether or not you will go to Havana.
President: I am expecting to go. There is never anything terribly certain about the President’s movements. I have indicated several times it was my expectation to go. My plan is to go down to Key West and cross over on one of the Navy boats. The Secretary of State will go with me, and if I am going on the Navy boat possibly the Secretary of the Navy. Some of the members of the Commission, or representatives at the Pan American Conference, will probably also go at the same time. Some of them may perhaps precede us to do whatever is necessary in the way of preliminary work. I don’t know that any of them will find that necessary. Mr. Morrow, who is one of the delegates, is in Mexico City, so he would not join us here, but would join us at Havana.
Question: Have you any idea how long you would stay?
President: Oh, I would make a very short stay. Perhaps arrive in the afternoon and address the conference the next day, and start back that afternoon or the day following. That is necessary because of my official duties here and in order that I may keep the social schedule that has been laid out for the winter at the White House.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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