Date: January 14, 1927
Location: Washington, D.C.
Chairman O’Connor of the shipping board came in this morning to talk to me about the possibility of transferring to the Shipping Board some of the transports that are used by the Army and Navy. I understood his idea to be that if the Fleet Corporation were to carry on the work of Army and Navy transport which he said now costs about $10,000,000 A year, it probably might be done in connection with commercial activities of the same boats at a considerable savings to the Government. I couldn’t give him any opinion about that without taking it up with the War and Navy Departments. I imagine that they would be quite solicitous to maintain the entire control over the Army and Navy transportation and wouldn’t wash their boats to be in the hands of the Board of the Fleet Corporation. So I doubt if anything could be done in that direction. But it is an interesting suggestion and well worthy of consideration.
I called in Representatives White and Lehlbach to confer with Secretary Hoover and myself about radio legislation. I wanted to see what question is at present before the conference committee that has been appointed to confer upon the differences in the bills that passed the Senate and the House and see what could be done, if anything, to expedite a decision. I judged from what they said that the committees were not very far apart and that there was a possibility of reaching an agreement.
Press: Would you say what was their chief disagreement?
President: I don’t think I would say that. No, I don’t think so. I of course want to avoid if possible the setting up of a new independent commission, so that I have been desirous if possible to have this board that is to be established function in conjunction with the Department of Commission. But my views about radio legislation are quite carefully set out in my message. If you desire to comment on my personal views you will find what I had to say about it there. I wouldn’t to say that I look for the ultimate success of the essential features of either the Senate Bill or the House bill. Naturally, when there is a difference of opinion, they have a conference and it usually results in a compromise. I don’t see any reason why they can’t reach a compromise in this question. It seemed to me that some compromise might be reached as to what action should be taken in case of a contest. Where the small affairs only are concerned and it is merely a ministerial duty, no objection on the part of any one to the issuing of a license, the question of issuing it is not of great consequence, it can be done very well in the Department of Commerce. Where there is a contest over it, of course it is quite apparent that a contest of that kind had better be decided by an impartial and somewhat detached board having judicial functions and it is for that purpose that I think the board ought to be established.
Press: By that you mean this judicial board to be established in the Department of Commerce?
President: Well that would depend upon what you mean by independent. I should say not exactly independent. Their findings, of course, would be entirely independent, but it would be in the nature of an appeal board.
Press: Within the Department?
President: Well, not exactly within the Department. A board that functions when there are disputes. When there is no dispute, why the Department of Commerce can very well issue the license or order. When there is a dispute let it go to the Board for its decision. It is in the nature of an arbitration, or anything of that kind, that our different Departments have power to establish.
There are no new developments, so far as I know, in the situation in Nicaragua that haven’t been reported in the press, and no new developments in relation to the Mexican land and mineral laws that haven’t been reported in the press.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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