I AM pleased to announce the appointment of Miss Betty Furness as Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs. She will also serve as Chairman of the Committee on Consumer Interests and as Executive Secretary of the Consumer Advisory Council.
This appointment will assure that the American consumer will continue to be represented personally in the highest councils of the Federal Government.
Miss Furness has long been active, as a private citizen, in national affairs. She has assisted the Office of Economic Opportunity and has appeared in cities throughout the Nation to aid the Head Start program for our disadvantaged children. She has recruited countless volunteers for VISTA.
She brings to this new position an advantage that few other Americans possess.
Because of her background, her dedication, and her great abilities, I am convinced that Miss Furness will provide effective representation for the millions of American consumers.
Miss Furness will replace Mrs. Esther Peterson whom I appointed 3 years ago as Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs. Mrs. Peterson will devote full time to her post as Assistant Secretary of Labor. She returns with our deep appreciation for the public service she has rendered.
During the past 3 years, we have given new meaning to consumer rights:
--the right to safety;
--the right to be informed;
--the right to choose;
--the right to be heard.
The past 3 years have been years of tremendous achievement for the American consumer. During the last year alone, the 89th Congress enacted a series of measures designed to protect the consumer in the supermarket, on the highways, and in our banks and savings institutions:
--The Truth-in-Packaging Act launched a system to tell the buyer just what he is purchasing, how much it weighs, and who made it.
--The Traffic and Highway Safety Acts have begun the first comprehensive national attack on the mounting toll of death and destruction on the highways.
--The Child Protection Act is safeguarding our youngsters against needless tragedy from hazardous toys.
--Additional insurance protection has been afforded to the millions of Americans who place their savings on deposit.
I have asked the 90th Congress to carry forward this important effort and to build on the record of progress of the 89th Congress. I have urged the Congress to:
--Provide consumers with accurate and clear information on the cost of credit.
--Give our investors better protection in their purchases of undeveloped land, their interests in private pension and welfare plans, and their holdings of mutual funds.
--Insure that medical devices and laboratories designed to aid health do not instead intensify illness.
--Close the gaps in our system of meat inspection.
--Reshape our laws dealing with hazardous household products.
--Improve our shameful record of losses of life and property through fires.
--Minimize the likelihood of massive electric power failures.
--Insure the safety of natural gas pipelines.
Miss Furness will lead the consumers in America in protecting the American citizen against unsafe products, against misleading information, and against the deceitful practices of a few that can undermine confidence in the vast majority of diligent and reputable firms.