Ladies and gentlemen:
I have a great deal of pleasure this morning in receiving the task force that was appointed to promote increased foreign investment in United States corporate securities and increased foreign financing for United States corporations abroad. President Kennedy appointed and charged this task force with examining ways and means of promoting increased foreign investment and securities of private companies and increased foreign financing for U.S. business operating abroad.
We have a number of recommendations from this group of very able men headed by Mr. Henry Fowler, the chairman, Mr. Robert McKinney, the executive officer, made up of Mr. Charles Coombs, Mr. Fredrick Eaton, Mr. G. Keith Funston, Mr. George F. James, Mr. George J. Leness, Mr. Andre Meyer, Mr. Dorsey Richardson, Mr. Arthur Watson, Mr. Walter Wriston, Mr. John Young, and Mr. Ralph Young.
To give you an illustration of the content of the report, I will just read Recommendation 25 out of a list of 28 specific recommendations that they made that require immediate implementing. Recommendation 25 says, "U.S.-based international corporations should instruct their senior officers and policy groups to keep foreign financial operations under constant review, examining as standard procedure all proposals for new financing from the standpoint of the effect of their actions on the U.S. balance of payments."
We have been very concerned with our balance-of-payment situation. We have had the best minds in this Nation working on it, public and private. While no one can judge the other quarters of the year by the first quarter, and the others generally are not nearly so good, we do have encouraging words about the first quarter, as nearly as we can estimate it at this time. That doesn't mean that we are not going to be deeply concerned about what happens from the first quarter on, but it does stimulate us to be concerned.
There are a good many people in private life that have been working with the best minds we had in public life on this balance-of-payments problem. I doubt that anything we will do will be more helpful to us than what these men have done. They have left their homes and sacrificed their business interests and spent their leisure time and some of their company's time trying to make sound and solid recommendations to us for our country's welfare.
As I have said in the Cabinet frequently, we have eight or nine spenders and just one or two auditors or savers. And in this country we have a lot of people that know how to get rid of money and to get it away from our shores, but not many that really know how to get it back. What these men have been working on is trying to improve that balance-of-payments situation, than which there is no higher responsibility, nor no more important measure.
We are concerned with our money problems. We hear every day about the dangers of inflation. We have no truck with the soft dollar. We want to maintain the value of our dollar. We look back and see what it cost us to build a house a few years ago and what it costs us to build one now and we see the effect it has not only on the man who is building the house in private enterprise, but the man who is buying it who may be a day laborer.
So, as goes the money problem, so goes the Nation in a great many respects. And these men have made an outstanding contribution, very unselfishly, men representing both 'parties. I started to call them fellow Democrats, bu ...
[Display the complete paper]