Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks at the Swearing In of Elliot L. Richardson as Secretary of Commerce.

February 02, 1976

Mr. Chief Justice, Secretary-designate Richardson, members of the Cabinet, Members of the Congress, distinguished guests:

It is a great honor and privilege for me to have the opportunity of saying a few words and then introducing to you the new Secretary of Commerce.

Elliot Richardson is a favorite son of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He, of course, served with distinction as attorney general and lieutenant governor. He has served successfully and successively as Under Secretary of State, as Secretary of HEW, as Secretary of Defense, as Attorney General, and then, of course, as our Ambassador to Great Britain. And now he is about to embark on his sixth major Federal appointment.

In that capacity, he will have a great responsibility in carrying out the administration's programs and policies in the economic field. He will, of course, work with me in trying to implement the programs we set forth in the State of the Union Message, the budget message, and the economic recommendations.

We all know that in the last year we went through the deepest recession since the end of World War II, but we are now on the upswing, and I think we are moving ahead very well and very solidly and very constructively.

The fact that we had this recession was something that we didn't like, but we showed strength as a country and as people, and the net result is we are moving ahead and moving ahead properly.

The programs that I have tried to set forth are realistic. They are common sense. They don't raise false promises or false hopes. They are aimed at generating the kind of constructive action that our system of government and our economic system will need in bringing real jobs, permanent jobs to the workers of this country. They will be permanent, and they will have a future.

I believe that Elliot Richardson is the person who can move in and carry out these policies with dedication, with intelligence, and with a background of experience that he has had in the Federal Government.

It will be a great addition to the Cabinet. He will be a great deal of help to me. And I know that he will have the full confidence of the American people, based on his outstanding record and all of the other accomplishments and achievements that will be evident to everyone.

And it is now a privilege and a pleasure for me to ask the Chief Justice to swear Elliot in, I understand for the fourth time, as a member of a President's Cabinet.

Mr. Chief Justice and Secretary of Commerce-designate Elliot Richardson.

Note: The President spoke at 2:10 p.m. in the East Room at the White House. Warren E. Burger, Chief Justice of the United States, administered the oath of office.

Secretary Richardson's response to the President's remarks is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 12, p. 120).

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks at the Swearing In of Elliot L. Richardson as Secretary of Commerce. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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