Ambassador at Large Exchange of Letters on the Resignation of Gerard C. Smith.
To Gerry Smith
I reluctantly accept your resignation as my Ambassador at Large, United States Special Representative for Non-Proliferation Matters and Special Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
As you know, one of my major objectives as President has been to exert the influence of the United States to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. You have rendered an enormous service to this worthy cause.
This is the latest—and I hope not the last—of your many contributions to the public interest as one of the nation's true citizen-statesmen. As our Ambassador for the successful SALT I negotiations, as the Director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff and, in your younger days, at the Atomic Energy Commission, you had already made your place in our modern history. As the first Chairman of the Trilateral Commission, where you were one of my early mentors in foreign policy, you forged one of the most valuable private links we have to bring the leaders of the free world together.
I regret your departure from public service. I am consoled that we will remain friends and colleagues.
[The Honorable Gerard G. Smith, Ambassador at Large, Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520]
Gerry, you have my greatest admiration and appreciation. It is personally gratifying to me that you & I
share common goals in arms control—
October 20, 1980
Dear Mr. President:
When I earlier advised you of my wish to return to private life, you asked me to remain in your Administration for a further period. I would now like to offer my resignation to be effective November 4. It has been a privilege and a great experience to wrestle with the grave problems of non-proliferation under your inspiring leadership. Historians will, I think, find you made a large contribution to world security in forcing attention on the central danger of the cancerous spread of nuclear explosives. I regret not having been able to do more to help reduce this danger.
If I can be of any use to you as a private citizen, I hope you will call on me.
With respect and admiration and best wishes for the years to come.
[The President, The White House, Washington, D.C.]
Note: The texts of the letters were released on November 13.
Jimmy Carter, Ambassador at Large Exchange of Letters on the Resignation of Gerard C. Smith. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/250861