Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks at the Swearing In of the Membership of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

April 01, 1976

LET ME first welcome the new members of my Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and all of the other guests who are here, including Justice Powell.

The new members, of course, are joining a very distinguished institution established by President Eisenhower some 20 years ago. It has served every President since that time in providing advice essential to our national security.

I recently announced, as all of you know, the first major change in our foreign intelligence community since the end of World War II. My actions were designed specifically to strengthen our foreign intelligence agencies to be certain that America has the information it requires both in peacetime as well as in war.

I also announced very specific reforms that ensure individual rights of American citizens to make certain that they are fully protected. My decision to enlarge this Advisory Board demonstrates our full intention and determination to achieve the best possible foreign intelligence.

This panel of very distinguished American citizens acts as a bridge between a basic strength of America, the genius and innovation found in our private sector, and the Government's responsibility to maintain effective foreign intelligence. Such capacities are absolutely vital to our national security and to our foreign policy.

The strength of America has never been found in government alone; it is the support of American citizens who contribute to the government as a whole. I look to all of you, and it is a very distinguished group under the leadership of Leo Cherne, to provide me with very candid, very frank, and very wise advice as to the quality of our foreign intelligence effort. Your diverse backgrounds and individual records over a long period of time will make this Board an exceptional asset in efforts to strengthen our foreign intelligence.

I am confident that you, individually as well as collectively, will serve America with great distinction. And I will meet with the Board immediately after the swearing in by Justice Powell. And I ask you, if you would please, Mr. Justice, to swear in this distinguished group.

[At this point, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, administered the oath of office.]

THE PRESIDENT. Thank you very, very much, Mr. Justice. I appreciate it.

JUSTICE POWELL. It is my privilege. I am very interested in the work of this

Board. I think it is a very distinguished Board, quite obviously.

THE PRESIDENT. Thank you very much.

Leo, do you want to say anything, or do you just want to come in and---

MR. CHERNE. Let me just add very briefly, what an extraordinary privilege it is for me to serve as Chairman of this Board. But the particular privilege includes not only the opportunity to serve the President but to have a group associated with this effort as distinguished, as varied in its extraordinary capabilities as are represented on this Board.

Mr. President, we will, with every resource available to our minds, give you the very best of judgment we are capable of.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 11:07 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House.
For the announcement of the membership to the Board and the designation of Leo Cherne as Chairman, see the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 12, p. 376).

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks at the Swearing In of the Membership of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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