Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks at the Swearing In of George Ball as U.S. Representative to the United Nations.

June 24, 1968

Mr. Vice President, Chief Justice Warren, Ambassador and Mrs. Goldberg, Ambassador and Mrs. Ball, members of the Cabinet, ladies and gentlemen:

Ambassador George Ball is one of those "gifted amateurs" who has given his country brilliant professional service in roles of very great public responsibility.

He has held important official positions, including that of Under Secretary of State, and he has served the President unofficially in many other ways. His counsel has been unfailingly judicious; his grasp of world affairs is broad and deep; his powers as an advocate are justly famous. Beyond all of these qualifications is that of loyalty--to the United States of America, to democratic values, and to the President for whom he works.

Now once again this afternoon, he puts his talents to the service of international diplomacy. He assumes America's embassy to the world in the United Nations.

Extraordinary men have preceded Ambassador Ball in that post during this administration--Adlai Stevenson, who was George Ball's closest friend, and Arthur Goldberg.

It has been 3 years since Arthur Goldberg left the Supreme Court, and reentered the heat of the negotiating kitchen. For 3 eventful years of crisis and achievement, Ambassador Goldberg has served his country and has served all mankind.

The treaty on outer space; the nonproliferation agreement; the United Nations action during the India-Pakistan, Middle East, and Cyprus fighting; all of these bear the mark of Arthur Goldberg's outstanding skill as a mediator for peace.

So this afternoon, I thank Ambassador Goldberg--on behalf of the Presidents and the Nation that he has served so well.

The central task of the United Nations demands men such as these. Put simply, the task is to reflect the diversity, the growing independence of nations, and at the same time to convert that independence into constructive action for peace and development in the world.

No other institution can perform that task. That is why--despite the disappointments that have sometimes accompanied its real achievements--millions of people in this country and abroad look to the United Nations with hope and with continuing expectation.

They believe--as I believe--that what the United Nations has achieved is only prologue. It will without question play a major role in economic and social development during the next decade. It can help the world move from adversary relations to reconciliation, from violence as a habit of history to its rejection as a means of change.

I am very proud that George Ball will be our Representative to the United Nations during part of its historic period of development. And this afternoon on behalf of the American people, whom he has brilliantly served in the past, I welcome him once again into America's official family.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 5:40 p.m. in the East Room at the White House. In his opening words he referred to Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren, who administered the oath of office, Arthur J. Goldberg, outgoing U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Mrs. Goldberg, George W. Ball, former Under Secretary of State, and Mrs. Ball. During his remarks the President referred to Adlai E. Stevenson, U.S. Representative to the United Nations 1961--1965.

Following the administration of the oath of office, Mr. Ball spoke briefly. The text of his remarks is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 4, p. 1009).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks at the Swearing In of George Ball as U.S. Representative to the United Nations. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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