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Letter of Commendation to John J. McCloy, Adviser to the President on Disarmament.

October 06, 1961

Dear Mr. McCloy:

I would like to extend my hearty thanks to you for the work you have done as my Adviser on disarmament and arms control. You have made a notable contribution to the country and to the world in this most important area.

Through your service the Government has been able to table at Geneva a workable, effective and understandable draft treaty for the banning of nuclear weapons tests.

In the field of general disarmament, your discussions with Mr. Zorin concerning the principles which should guide future disarmament negotiations have cleared away many of the misunderstandings and misconceptions which have clouded this difficult subject.

At the same time, your development of the United States Program for General and Complete Disarmament in a Peaceful World has set forth clearly the proposals of the United States for an effective disarmament agreement with the Soviet Union and other countries.

You have also performed a valuable service in connection with the establishment of a permanent agency of the Government to deal with the problems of disarmament and arms control. After giving this matter the most thorough consideration, you arrived at a recommendation with respect to the organization of the Government in the field of arms control and disarmament which I transmitted to the Congress. The substantial majority by which the Congress has recently enacted the Arms Control and Disarmament Act is a tribute to the soundness of your recommendations and the diligence and persuasiveness with which you presented them to the Congress.

In all of these steps you have assisted in clarifying the position of the United States as a country which is seeking realistic, mutually balanced and beneficial steps to reduce the dangers of war and to obtain the kind of disarmed world we all prefer. These tasks have been carried out at a time when the intransigence of others, especially on the issue of control over nuclear testing, has brought disappointment to the world. But we must not be discouraged, and I am confident that in the longer view what you have done will be recorded as a major contribution to the great task of achieving disarmament.

In expressing my thanks, I know I am expressing the thanks of our country also. I am very glad that we shall continue to have the benefit of your advice in this most important field.



Note: The President wrote in response to a letter from Mr. McCloy, dated October 6, reporting on his special mission and transmitting a series of papers relating to U.S. activities in the field of disarmament. Mr. McCloy's letter and the related papers were released with the President's reply. They are published in the Department of State Bulletin (vol. 45, PP. 763 et seq., 589 et seq., 650).

John F. Kennedy, Letter of Commendation to John J. McCloy, Adviser to the President on Disarmament. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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