Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks at the Swearing In of John T. Dunlop as Secretary of Labor.

March 18, 1975

John, Mr. Vice President, Members of the Congress, members of the Administration, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

Perhaps this is telling tales out of school, but I understand that a few months ago, when John Dunlop tried to attend the dedication of the new Department of Labor headquarters, he could not get in because he did not have a 'ticket. Today, John, it gives me a great deal of pleasure to present you with that ticket. [Laughter]

I am very, very pleased to welcome the new Secretary of Labor, who is so uniquely skilled in obtaining practical solutions to the most complex of problems.

The issue of jobs for Americans is the number one problem on our agenda. I will rely on John for sound, practical programs that will bring jobs and assistance the very quickest to those who need the help the most.

His career, as many of you know, is distinguished by the ability to innovate and generate cooperation, to solve disputes, and to break through the most difficult of situations.

John, we need you in the Department of Labor. We need the genius that made you the head of the economics department at Harvard University. We need you to obtain voluntary restraint without guidelines.

John brings, as many of you know, to Washington a career of experience in achieving practical solutions to problems that have frustrated many others. I can think of no one better able to meet today's broad challenges than John Dunlop.

I knew this before he told the United States Senate that what we need most is a tax cut. The Labor-Management Committee he chairs told us that even before I asked for a tax cut in my State of the Union Message in January.

John has worked at the top level in labor-management negotiations in every administration since the days of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He has helped--with deep, human sympathy and understanding--to bring people together and to solve the most critical disputes.

His efforts have assisted the wages, the working conditions, and the collective bargaining relationships of countless of Americans, especially in the critical construction industry.

John is not only a man of academic wisdom but a man of action. I am told that he has told colleagues that "When I want to discuss theories, I stay at Harvard. When I want to do things, I go to Washington."

I am told John has come to Washington, he estimates, 1,600 times since 1938. Welcome to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, on your 1,601st visit to the National Capital. There are plenty of things to do here, John.

Judge Fahy, will you now administer the oath to the Secretary, please.

Note: The President spoke at 2:12 p.m. in the East Room at the White House. Judge Charles Fahy of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit administered the oath of office.

Secretary Dunlop's response to the President's remarks is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 11, p. 282).

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

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