Department of Agriculture Exchange of Letters on the Resignation of Robert H. Meyer as Assistant Secretary.
To: Robert H. Meyer
I received your letter of October 20 and accept with regret your resignation as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture.
However, I fully understand your feelings as expressed in this letter.
I also wish to express my sincere gratitude to you for all of the assistance which you have rendered to me and to the country over such a long period of time and I look forward to seeing you frequently in the future.
[Mr. Robert H. Meyer, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 25250]
October 20, 1977
Dear Mr. President:
The issue of individual water rights raised by the Interior Department bears heavily on questions of national water, and food and agriculture policies, which I know firsthand to be of a high priority to you and your Administration. As the Interior position applies to the Imperial Valley of California, I feel strongly that it goes beyond reliability of water and food supplies. At the heart of the matter is the commitment of our government to its people. For over 75 years, generations of family farmers have invested their lives and resources in the Imperial Valley. For slightly more than 40 years, they have been farming and relying on the word of their government that the 1902 Reclamation Act did NOT apply to them. Going back over three generations, these family farmers originally developed this Valley in 1901 and delivered water to themselves and their ground without any government help. The fact that the courts, so far, have ruled against them does not remove the moral obligation that our government has to these people.
I never anticipated any higher honor than that you have given me nor higher privilege than the opportunities of service entrusted to me.
Because I feel so deeply that I must be free to voice my personal convictions, I regretfully offer my resignation as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture.
I will continue to do all that I can to serve my country and you as a private citizen. You have my abiding gratitude and loyalty.
ROBERT H. MEYER
[The President, The White House, Washington, D.C. 20500]
Note: The texts of the letters were made available by the White House Press Office on October 26. They were not issued in the form of a White House press release.
Jimmy Carter, Department of Agriculture Exchange of Letters on the Resignation of Robert H. Meyer as Assistant Secretary. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/242338