Letter Accepting Resignation of George McGovern as Director of the food for Peace Program.
I accept with deep regret your resignation as Director of the food for Peace Program.
Yours was an exacting assignment, requiring vigor, intelligence, understanding of farm problems and a sympathy for the under-privileged of the world.
You were the first food for Peace Director. It was a new office with new horizons. The objectives of the program and the urgency were clear; but there were problems of organization, expansion of existing facilities, encouragement of new techniques and development of new ideas. To implement the legislation which led to the creation of the office it was necessary to have a broad knowledge of government and an ability to weld together diverse efforts. You met each of the challenges and resolved each of the problems in such a way that the food for Peace Program has become a vital force in the world.
It has channeled our agriculture abundance toward relief of hunger and misery, improvement of living conditions, improved educational opportunity and strengthening of the economies of our friends. The program you headed constituted a powerful barrier to the spread of Communism and utilized the technology of American agriculture in a very effective manner. Under your guidance, sales of food for foreign currencies were almost doubled; six times as many countries are using the food-for-wages formula to employ workers to construct hospitals, schools, roads and wells in developing nations; and the first World food Bank was created.
We will miss your advice and counsel. However, I am glad you have decided to seek continuance of your distinguished career of public service. Your experience, courage, dedication, training and understanding will be especially valuable in the halls of Congress. In the Senate your voice and vote can, I know, make an immense contribution to the economic progress of South Dakota and the Nation.
I am looking forward to working closely with you in the future as I have in the past.
JOHN F. KENNEDY
Note: Mr. McGovern served as Special Assistant to the President and Director, food for Peace, from January 21, 1961, through July 18, 1962. His letter of resignation was released with the President's reply.
John F. Kennedy, Letter Accepting Resignation of George McGovern as Director of the food for Peace Program. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/236279