Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Remarks at the American Bankers Association Convention.

September 22, 1953

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen:

My brief appearance before this great convention is for me a very happy opportunity. It is my pleasurable duty to invite you, on behalf of my associates in Government and of myself, to this city, and to wish for you a very successful and a very enjoyable convention.

But being here gives me opportunity to express to you something more than the ritualistic words of welcome, no matter how sincere they may be--which they are. It gives me an opportunity, for example, to thank you for your splendid work in helping sell and distribute the Government's savings bonds to all our people. With more than 40 million of them owning more than $50 billion worth of the Government's obligations, we know that there is still in our country the incentive and the determination to save--an incentive and a determination that have been responsible for so many of the good things this Nation enjoys.

Beyond this, your coming here brings to the Government a very great opportunity for cooperative work in this whole field of finances, the soundness of money, its circulation and its use.

I realize that our Secretary of the Treasury, and other members of the administration will appear before you to give you their latest thinking on certain of the important subjects that interest you. But I want to assure you, first of all, that this is not an administration that thinks it has all the answers. It is not an administration that sits up in an ivory tower of lonely isolation and gives words of wisdom that all of you must obey or be wrong. We are here not only to do our duty in government, but to learn. And through such meetings as this, we learn a lot.

You people, with your fingers on the pulse-beat of the American economy, come here, and by your presence and by your exchange of thoughts among yourselves, and with our people, will leave us, we hope, wiser than when you came. And so for this kind of thing I come before you to thank you for your help, for your patriotic interest in the whole American scene, and what we are doing, and where we are going.

These are the things that interest America today. And they are going to be solved only as all segments of our economy and our political life meet with each other, consult with each other, and therefore reach answers that are truly American--all American, not representative of any particular class or group alone, but for all of us.

And so, for all these reasons, so haltingly expressed, I assure you that this administration and I are delighted that you are here. We consider it a great honor and a privilege to meet you, to extend greetings, and to exchange ideas.

And now my very sincere and best wishes, again, for a most enjoyable convention, and hoping that you will come back again.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 10:02 a.m. in Constitution Hall. His opening words "Mr. Chairman" referred to W. Harold Brenton, President of the American Bankers Association.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Remarks at the American Bankers Association Convention. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232019

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