Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks at the Swearing In of George H. Hearn as a Member of the Federal Maritime Commission.

July 22, 1964

Mr. Hearn, ladies and gentlemen:

There are two methods for entering public office--by appointment or by election. I was just reflecting here, Commissioner, that the method you have followed has a great deal to commend it. Whether elected or appointed, the individual entering public service assumes a very great trust, a very sacred trust.

I know that Commissioner Hearn and all those who serve in positions such as this are acutely aware of that responsibility-their responsibility to all the people and certainly in this instance to all the free world.

This position on the Maritime Commission is one of far greater responsibility than many public positions. As long as there has been a United States of America, our maritime capabilities have been a vital part of our Nation's success and our prosperity and our Nation's influence throughout the world.

Today the maritime world is a highly competitive world. I want to say that I am looking to Commissioner Hearn and to his colleagues to offer us real leadership in that competitive world. I very much want us all to do all we can to strengthen the thrust of this Nation's competitiveness, its competitiveness on the sea-lanes of the world's oceans.

I think we are making some progress in increasing our trade. We are encouraged by the gains last year that we made, and this year, but those of us who give some thought to these fields know that we must do a great deal more and we are going to. One place where more can be done is to improve the efficiency of the Maritime Commission, to cut through delays that impede the competitiveness of our shippers, to make decisions fairly, justly, and most importantly, promptly.

You have a big job to do, Mr. Commissioner. Needless to say, you would not have been selected for this office of trust if your outstanding record in private and public life had not convinced me that you were the man to do the job.

Congratulations, and we will now administer the oath.

Note: The ceremony was held at 11:15 a.m. in the Fish Room at the White House.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks at the Swearing In of George H. Hearn as a Member of the Federal Maritime Commission. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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