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Letter Accepting Resignation of James F. Byrnes as Secretary of State.

January 07, 1947

My dear Jim:

I have weighed carefully the considerations set forth in your letter of December 19, 1946, and in your letter of April 16, 1946, each emphasizing your desire to retire from the office of Secretary of State. Because I know how vital these considerations are, I must accede to your desire.

I accept, therefore, with great reluctance and heartfelt regret, your resignation effective at the close of business on January 10, 1947, or upon the qualification of your successor.

I realize full well how arduous and complex have been the problems which have fallen to you since you took office in July, 1945. Big events were then impending and the months that have ensued have presented problems of the utmost moment, with all of which you have dealt with rare tact and judgment and--when necessary--firmness and tenacity of purpose.

Yours has been a steadying hand as you have met the difficult problems which have arisen with such unvarying succession.

For all that you did during the war, and in the making of the peace, you have earned the thanks of the Nation. So I say: well done, in the hope that we can continue to call upon you for the counsel which you can give out of so rich and varied an experience.

With every good wish,

Very sincerely yours,


Note: Mr. Byrnes served as Secretary of State from July 3, 1945, to January 21, 1947. His letters of resignation dated April 16, 1946, and December 19, 1946, were released with the President's reply.

Harry S Truman, Letter Accepting Resignation of James F. Byrnes as Secretary of State. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232669

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