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Letter to the President of the Senate on the Foreign Service.

April 13, 1965

Dear Mr. Vice President:

I have forwarded to the Senate (1) a list of 655 Foreign Service Officers who have been recommended for promotion by the Secretary of State, based upon the findings of the 18th Selection Boards, and (2) a list of 760 Career Reserve Officers of the United States Information Agency who have been recommended by the Secretary of State for appointment to the Foreign Service of the United States under Section 517 of the Foreign Service Act of 1946.

Those of us who bear the burden of foreign affairs decision-making in an uneasy world are grateful for the knowledge and advice of the men and women of the Foreign Service of the United States. The submission of these promotion and appointment lists enables me to reiterate anew my confidence in the professional ability and dedication of those who serve in this noted government institution. I am eager to do so. For nothing is more important, in my judgment, than that all officers of the United States Government should be proud of their responsibilities and certain of the backing of their superior officers.

It is well known to all that I yield to no one in the concern for military strength and fully effective defenses. This has been constant and unchanging for more than 30 years. I consider the Foreign Service to be a necessary part of the effective defense of our country, and my interest in sustaining, improving, and strengthening our diplomatic corps is unswerving.

Fortunately, we have been able to rely upon the Foreign Service for wise and informed counsel over the years. It has my assurance that it can rely on my desires for a diplomatic corps second to none. I am confident that the Congress shares this desire.

The diplomatic corps has served us well in the peaceful pursuits we prefer and in the dangerous missions that are forced upon us. In South Vietnam, the dangers to which our military men are exposed are well known. Recent events there have again emphasized that the Foreign Service likewise faces grave hazards in the front lines in our quest for peace and freedom.

We can be proud as Americans of the manner in which the Foreign Service has discharged its responsibilities under the leadership of a great Secretary of State.

The promotion list which has been forwarded this day to the Senate is representative of the changes that are taking place in the Foreign Service. All sections of our country and all segments of our society are represented in this list. The list is based solely on the merit of the individuals involved. The list reflects an upward movement of more youthful officers into senior positions. I urge early and favorable action on these nominations.

The second list submitted today represents another significant milestone in the development of our Foreign Service. By bringing into the Foreign Service a group of career officers of proven ability and experience in the conduct of our foreign information programs, we take a step forward toward that unity of outlook and purpose which is so important to the efficient conduct of our relationships with the other nations of the world.

The officers on this list were all carefully selected under the same procedures that apply for Foreign Service Officers. Their duties, objectives, and tasks are closely interwoven with those of our career Foreign Service Officers. By bringing this group into the Foreign Service, we point the way toward a unified and flexible career Foreign Service of the United States which will meet the requirements of other agencies of the government with responsibilities in the field of foreign affairs. I ask that these nominations be favorably considered at this time.



[Honorable Hubert H. Humphrey, President of the Senate, Washington, D.C.]

Note: The list of names of the Foreign Service officers recommended for promotion is published in the Congressional Record of April 13, 1965 (P. 7642).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to the President of the Senate on the Foreign Service. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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