Richard Nixon photo

Remarks on the Selection of Congressman Bush as United States Representative to the United Nations

December 11, 1970

Ladies and gentlemen:

I would like at this time to express the appreciation of this Nation for the distinguished service that has been rendered for so many years in so many posts, and particularly over the past 2 years in the post of Ambassador to the United Nations, of Ambassador Charles Yost.

He has had the complete confidence of the Secretary of State and myself in that position. And he has handled the problems, many difficult problems in the United Nations with great distinction; and we are most grateful in this Government, and the Nation, I am sure, is most grateful that we have been represented by a man of such competence and such ability.

Early in the summer Ambassador Yost spoke to the Secretary of State and to me about his desire to complete his service at the United Nations at the end of the present General Assembly session, which I understand will be his ninth General Assembly session.

At that time the Secretary of State and I began explorations and conversations with regard to a possible successor, conversations that we thought were off the record.

However, as you do know, there has been a great deal of speculation about who the successor would be. The reason that several names have come up is that we have found it difficult to find a man that we thought could fill the shoes of Ambassador Yost and who would represent this country in the vigorous, effective way that he has represented it.

We now believe we have found that man. He has the Secretary's full support. He has my support. He has also Ambassador Yost's approval. And that is Congressman George Bush. His distinguished service in the House, his years of experience before that in activities in private enterprise, which took him abroad to many countries, and, most important, his enormous interest in the United Nations, his support of the United Nations and its objectives, not only its peacekeeping objectives, but also its objectives in the field of the environment and all of the others that will be so exciting in the next decade--these are the qualities that led us to the conclusion that he was the best man who could now go to this very important post.

In taking this post, he, like Ambassador Yost, will be a member of the President's Cabinet, will meet with the Cabinet whenever his duties will allow.

A word about the timing: Ambassador Yost will continue in this assignment through this Assembly session and should a Security Council session develop in January, he of course will continue in the assignment then.

I will submit Congressman Bush's name to the new Senate on January 20th for confirmation. In the meantime, we have a period of transition here which is vitally important and to the extent that his duties in the House will allow, Congressman Bush will go to New York and spend time with Ambassador Yost and others in our U.N. Mission in developing the information and the background that he will need in taking over these responsibilities when we eventually work out the date when Ambassador Yost will finally leave and the new Ambassador will take his place.

One final thing: I have discussed this morning with Ambassador Yost and the Secretary of State my desire to have Ambassador Yost remain in Government service in another diplomatic post or other diplomatic posts. At least he has indicated that he will take that under consideration, but no decisions have been made.

But we feel at this time that we have been very fortunate to have had the services of one of America's most distinguished career ambassadors--the highest rank that an ambassador can have--as Ambassador to the U.N., and I can only say to his successor, Congressman Bush, that he has big shoes to fill, but that I am sure that he will meet that challenge.

Ambassador Yost, would you like to say a word here?

[Following Ambassador Yost's remarks, the President resumed speaking.]

And now I will ask Congressman Bush to say a word.

Ladies and gentlemen, there will be no questions at this particular occasion because, as you know our custom, we know the Senate is quite jealous of its right to ask the first questions of anybody who is to be confirmed by the Senate.

So Congressman, you can speak now and answer questions when you get to the Senate.

He will be going to the Senate in a different capacity than he thought. [Laughter]

Note: The President spoke at 11:58 a.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House. The remarks of Ambassador Yost and Representative Bush are printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 6, p. 1658).

On the same day, the White House released biographical information on Representative Bush.

Richard Nixon, Remarks on the Selection of Congressman Bush as United States Representative to the United Nations Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under




Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives