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Letter Accepting Resignation of Clark M. Clifford as Special Counsel to the President.

January 27, 1950

Dear Clark:

I have now to take a step which from the bottom of my heart I wish could be indefinitely deferred. In acquiescing in your wishes I am moved by circumstances with which I have long been familiar. Reluctantly, therefore, and with deep regret I accept, effective at the close of business on next Tuesday, January thirty-first, the resignation which you tender in your letter of January twenty-sixth.

It would be difficult to overstate the value of the services which you have rendered your country. Before you undertook your arduous tasks at the White House four years ago you had met your war obligation by over two years of service in the Navy. Through six years of public service--and those potentially among the most fruitful of your professional life--you have devoted your talents and superb abilities exclusively to your country's welfare. That is a long time for you to be away from the practice of the law. The urgency of your need to return is readily understood.

For all that you have given we owe you a debt impossible to pay. You had much to contribute as Special Counsel to the President because you brought to your work such great resources of legal learning and experience as a practicing lawyer. Besides this you had foresight and courage. Your reports on the various problems on which I asked for your advice were models of lucidity and logic. In the marshaling and presentation of facts your method reflected your days before the jury. Quick in the detection of spurious evidence and alert always in detecting the fallacious in the arguments of our opponents, your final opinions were always models of brevity and accuracy, as well as clarity and strength.

I shall miss you--we shall all miss you. My regret at your departure is tempered by the knowledge that you are to remain in Washington and the assurance that I can call upon you as occasion requires. In going you carry with you every assurance of my personal gratitude and appreciation. You have also earned the thanks of the Nation which you have served so selflessly.



Note: Mr. Clifford served as Special Counsel to the President from July 1, 1946, through January 31, 1950. His letter of resignation, dated January was released with the President's reply.

Harry S Truman, Letter Accepting Resignation of Clark M. Clifford as Special Counsel to the President. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230229

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