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Remarks at the Swearing In of David M. Kennedy as Ambassador at Large for Foreign Economic Policy Development.

February 11, 1971

Ladies and gentlemen:

We are here today for the swearing in of Secretary Kennedy as Ambassador at Large. We look forward to this ceremony, and after that I will have a brief statement with regard to his immediate assignment, and the Secretary of State, also.

[At this point, Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the Supreme Court administered the oath of office. The President then resumed speaking.]

I want to say that the new Ambassador at Large will have an assignment immediately. He will be going to Mexico within the next few days for meetings there. And, Mrs. Kennedy, we ask you to prepare yourself to take a brief vacation there.

Then immediately after that the Ambassador will make his first major trip in behalf of the State Department and, of course, the President, to Asia. He will be visiting Indonesia, and then will have an extended visit to Vietnam.

The next primary problem in South Vietnam which everyone there agrees to in their government is the development of the economy. We think of no one in our Government who is better qualified to go to South Vietnam and consult with their officials with regard to the economic development of South Vietnam, the stability of their system, than Secretary Kennedy.

He met with Ambassador Bunker while he was here just a few days ago, and he has made arrangements for the trip to South Vietnam. He will report when he returns to, of course, the Secretary of State and to me on the recommendations that he may have.

The fact that you are leaving the Treasury does not mean you are going to have a long vacation. Just 1 week.

Secretary Rogers, would you like to say a word?

SECRETARY ROASTS. Mr. President, Secretary Kennedy, Mrs. Kennedy:

I would merely like to express the pleasure of all of us in the State Department that you are going to be Ambassador at Large. As you know, that is one of the most prestigious positions that we have in the diplomatic field. You follow a long line of very able and distinguished men. I don't know of anyone that we would prefer to have in that post than you.

As the President said, you will not only have some immediate assignments, but, as I was telling you a moment ago, we have worked out some other plans for you, very important assignments that we think you can do with great distinction for your country. When you return we will talk about them.

I am sure that even though you would like to do a little fishing, you are going to find out that you will not be able to do much fishing.

THE PRESIDENT. We would like to point out that as a member of the Cabinet we would want you to report to the Cabinet, too, on your trips abroad.

With our new office we have set up in the field of international economic policy, it will be very important to have that consultation.

Note: The President spoke at 11:20 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House.

Richard Nixon, Remarks at the Swearing In of David M. Kennedy as Ambassador at Large for Foreign Economic Policy Development. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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