Letter to Ambassador Laurence H. Silberman on United States Participation in the International Labor Organization.
[Dated January 21, 1976. Released January 22, 1976]
Dear Mr. Ambassador:
I want to express my appreciation for your willingness to undertake a special mission to European capitals as my personal representative to review our relations with the International Labor Organization. Your background in labor affairs and your diplomatic experience will be particularly valuable in carrying out this important task.
When the United States notified the ILO on November 6, 1975, of its intent to withdraw unless significant change took place, there were several key issues which were, and still are, of grave concern to us: the erosion of the tripartite principle on which the ILO was founded; the denial of due process to some member states; the application in some instances of a "double standard" when the ILO considers alleged violations of human rights; and an increasing trend towards politicization of the ILO. We have long supported the ILO and its objectives, and our notice of intent to withdraw does not mean that the United States has decided irrevocably to take that step. It is our hope that the problems we see in the ILO can be resolved and that U.S. membership in the Organization will continue. Success in achieving our goal will depend in large measure on obtaining the cooperation of other members.
In the course of your special mission, you should convey to the governments with which you consult the importance and urgency that I attach to these issues. I hope that when the depth of our concern is understood, other ILO members will join with us in bringing the Organization back to its original goals and purposes.
I am confident that your efforts will have positive results, and I ask that you keep me informed on the progress of your mission.
GERALD R. FORD
[The Honorable Laurence H. Silberman, United States Ambassador to Yugoslavia, c/o Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520]
Gerald R. Ford, Letter to Ambassador Laurence H. Silberman on United States Participation in the International Labor Organization. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/258031