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Letter Accepting the Resignation of Arthur K. Watson as United States Ambassador to France.

August 29, 1972

Dear Dick:

Your gracious letter has just come to my attention, and I was saddened to learn your doctor has recommended that you leave your post. I will, of course, abide by your wish and accept your resignation as Ambassador to France effective upon a date to be determined.

In doing so, I want you to know how greatly I have valued your distinguished service in Paris. You have been a superb representative to our oldest ally and friend, bringing to your position an uncommon understanding and profound appreciation for the importance of ties between our two countries. On a broad range of issues vital to our national interest--from drug abuse to a new relationship with the People's Republic of China--you have played a key role. The prospects for a more stable era of peace have been significantly strengthened by your outstanding efforts.

As Nancy and you prepare to leave the Embassy you both served so well, you may be certain you take with you not only the admiration of your American colleagues and many French friends, but also my lasting gratitude and thanks. Pat joins me in hoping that the period of rest you now begin will help bring back the full measure of good health you so richly deserve.

With warm personal regards,



Note: Ambassador Watson's letter, dated August 16, 1972, and released with the President's letter at San Clemente, Calif., read as follows:
Dear Mr. President:

For the last 6 months I have been very troubled by asthma. Having had a physical checkup, my doctor advises me that I must resign from my post in France.

This has been the most difficult decision I have ever made. You are doing such a superb job as our President, and I have been honored to serve under you. Yet the climate in Paris has aggravated my condition and I am told I must take 6 months off.

My plans, if you agree, Sir, would be to return to Paris after Labor Day to say our farewells. Then we shall return to private life-always in your corner.

Again, I repeat, what a great privilege it has been to have worked for you.

All our best wishes and warmest regards and appreciation.


Richard Nixon, Letter Accepting the Resignation of Arthur K. Watson as United States Ambassador to France. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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