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Remarks at the Swearing In of Members of the Commission on Government Procurement.

April 22, 1970

THIS IS the first time that we have used the new press facility for the purpose of swearing in a commission or, for that matter, any individual.

I think that it is significant to make three general remarks about this Commission on Government Procurement.

First, it was time that this Commission, which will report in 2 years, be appointed. This is the first time since the Hoover Commission 20 years ago that this kind of an extensive study of Government procurement has been made.

Second, the amount is significant. It involves between $55 and $60 billion worth of Government expenditures, everything from pencils to nuclear submarines, including perhaps the facilities for the new press room.

Consequently, the procedures for procurement, the costs that might be avoided or saved, as well as the efficiency, are among the matters that will be taken up by this group in this very extensive study.

Most important, however, in a broader sense, is how this came about. This is truly a bipartisan effort. My old friend and neighbor--I say friend and neighbor because he represented the district right next to mine when I was in the Congress; he was from Montebello; I was from Whittier--Congressman Chet Holifield was the man who conceived the idea of the Commission, who pushed the legislation through with, of course, some Republican support, and I am delighted that he is the Vice Chairman of the Commission, and that Perkins McGuire, one of the outside members, is the Chairman.

Now, Judge, if you will swear them in, we will see in 2 years whether it was worth doing. [Laughter]

[At this point, Judge W. Byron Sorrell of the District of Columbia Court of General Sessions administered the oath of office. The President then resumed speaking.]

Now, Mr. Bull,1 incidentally, will give you your compensation. This is, of course, a non-paid commission, and I would not want to compensate you out of anything that I received in my official capacity, but I have a friend who sells me presidential signing pens at a very good rate. I wish he would sell them to the Government at the same rate. Each of you will get one and that is your compensation for the next 2 years.

Thank you.

1 Stephen B. Bull, a White House Staff Assistant.

Note: The President spoke at 10: 22 a.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.

Members of the Commission appointed by the President are: Robert L. Kunzig, Administrator of General Services; Frank Sanders, Assistant Secretary of the Navy; Paul W. Beamer of Massachusetts; Peter Dierks Joers of Arkansas; and E. Perkins McGuire of the District of Columbia. Members appointed by the President of the Senate are Senator Edward J. Gurhey of Florida, Senator Henry M. Jackson of Washington, and Richard E. Horner of California. Members appointed by the Speaker of the House are Representative Chet Holifield of California, Representative Frank Horton of New York, and Joseph W. Barr of Maryland. The Comptroller General of the United States, Elmer B. Staats, is a member by law.

Senator Jackson and Mr. Barr were unable to be present at the ceremony.

Richard Nixon, Remarks at the Swearing In of Members of the Commission on Government Procurement. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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