I have your letter of December 17, and it is with deep gratitude for your dedicated service to our Nation that I accept your resignation as Secretary of Transportation, effective February 1, 1975, as you requested.
In doing so, I want you to know of my personal appreciation for the many improvements in the Nation's transportation system that have occurred in your tenure as Secretary. The Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973 and the National Mass Transportation Act of 1974 are but two of many legislative achievements of truly historical significance. Under your capable leadership, we have for the first time since the creation of the Department articulated a National Transportation Policy, and I particularly want to commend you for this important achievement.
As you now return to the private sector, I am confident you will continue your interest in government. It is only through the willingness of people such as you to serve that our system can receive its needed breadth of views and talents.
Betty joins me in extending to you and to your family our warmest good wishes for continued success and happiness in the years ahead.
JERRY FORDNote: Secretary Brinegar's letter of resignation, dated December 17, 1974, and released with the President's letter, read as follows:
[The Honorable Claude S. Brinegar, Secretary of Transportation, Washington, D.C. 20590]
My dear Mr. President:
I would appreciate it if you would accept my resignation as Secretary of Transportation, effective February 1, 1975. In the interest of a smooth transition, I would be willing to serve for a brief time longer if my successor is not confirmed by that date. My two years as the third Secretary of Transportation have been exciting, educational, and, at times, hectic. I believe that, on balance, I have made progress in a number of ways toward improving the Nation's transportation system, although I well recognize that it's a job that will never be finished. But now it is necessary for me to return to the private sector.
I would like to add that I have especially enjoyed serving under you. Please accept my very best wishes for good health and continued success.
CLAUDE S. BRINEGAR
[The President, The White House, Washington, D.C. 20500]