Remarks at the Swearing In of the Secretary of Labor, and the Director, Deputy Director, and Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget. -
Ladies and gentlemen:
Before the swearing-in ceremonies this morning, I thought that particularly for the benefit of our Californians, as well as those from the East who are here with the press corps, you would be interested to know that our staff finds that this is the first time in history that a Cabinet officer has ever been sworn in in California, and the second time in history that a Cabinet officer has been sworn in outside of Washington, D.C. The only other occasion was when Larry O'Brien was sworn in as Postmaster General in Texas.1
1 Lawrence F. O'Brien was Postmaster General from 1965 to 1968.
We are very proud, those of us who are Californians, to have this swearing-in ceremony occur here.
I should also point out that while we are losing a member of the Cabinet in Bob Finch, who is from California, as he moves to the White House, still in the Cabinet but not as a head of a Cabinet department, we are gaining a Californian in the Cabinet as Secretary of Labor.
In referring to James Hodgson, I think perhaps the best thing I can point out is that his experience has been in labor relations on the management side. When he was named Under Secretary and again when I named him as Secretary of Labor, we had, of course, the usual comments.
It was interesting to note that from both labor and management, with very few exceptions, he got very high marks. I think that I can say the reason for that is that he is a fair man, a man who, whether he happened to be negotiating on management side or on the other side, could always be counted upon to be fair.
That is the tradition that George Shultz has established in the Department of Labor. It is a great tradition that we want continued in this administration.
I am very proud, speaking as a Californian, that a Californian takes this enormously important position, because after all, we have the greatest number of employed workers in the Nation in the State of California, and the Secretary of Labor, I think, for that reason, has every good reason to come from this State. So we will now have his swearing in.
Speaking also on a personal note, the man who will swear in all of our four people today is Judge Thurmond Clarke. Judge Thurmond Clarke is the judge on the Federal bench that I have known longer than any judge on the Federal bench.
Twenty-five years ago, Judge and Mrs. Clarke, who lived then in my district, were very close friends of a congressional candidate who did not have a chance. I was deeply appreciative of that and I am very proud that he is here today to conduct the swearing-in ceremonies.
[Following the oath of office, administered by Judge Thurmond Clarke, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, central district of California, Secretary Hodgson spoke. The President then resumed speaking.]
The second man to be sworn in today, of course, is no stranger to the White House press corps or, I am sure, to those of you who have followed him in his stewardship of the Department of Labor.
I have said a great deal about him on previous occasions when we announced his appointment. I was just thinking of the conversation I had with him in California, as a matter of fact, when I asked him to take the position of Secretary of Labor, and in that very deliberate way of his, with that poker face--and incidentally, I don't know whether he plays poker, but if he does, I don't want to play against him---but in any event, I recall that he thought a long time and he raised one point, and that was he wasn't sure he could afford it.
He said, "I am not a wealthy man, but I am doing rather well where I am." I found in checking that when he came to the position that he held as Secretary of Labor, he took a cut in salary, virtually one half, not only salary but income generally.
Now as he moves from Secretary of Labor to the Director of the new Office of Management and Budget, he takes another cut in salary. Now that must tell us something about him. I think it is a recommendation in a way.
One of the three commentators who interviewed me last night was Eric Sevareid. I remembered an article he wrote the 1960 elections, and he said what rates the men from the boys in public is this: that the boys want an office cause they want to be somebody, and men want an office because they want to do something.
Now the Secretary of Labor, Secretary Shultz, was there because he wanted to do something. He would like to have stayed there to continue to do it, but he has a successor who will continue to do those things so well that he was doing.
Now there is this new office. It needs a man who can do something, do something entirely new in the history of government. I think we have the man here who can do something in reorganizing the executive department, the Office of Management and Budget, in George Shultz.
I hope that satisfies you with regard to the money.
MR. SHULTZ. Well, I can only say, Mr. President, how would you like to play poker with the fellow that talked you into these deals?
[The oath of office was administered by Judge Clarke to Director Shultz. The President then resumed speaking.]
We now come to another Californian. I noted in the papers the last 2 or 3 days that California is having its usual problems with its budget. We, of course, have some problems with the Federal budget.
As all of you know, Caspar Weinberger was the Director of Finance for the State of California under Governor Reagan and earned a very great reputation as a budget manager at that time. He now moves into the position of Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, but with the special responsibility for the Federal budget.
The problems are somewhat different. The size of the budget, however, is somewhat larger. We think, however, that Cap Weinberger, as he is known to all of his many friends who are here in this State, has demonstrated, not only in the State government but has demonstrated in his excellent handling of the Federal Trade Commission Chairmanship, the capacity to, in this new office, find the ways to handle the Federal budget.
I am not going to suggest that he is going to find the method to balance it. That will, of course, be for all of us to work on. But we have a real expert, a devoted public servant in Caspar Weinberger for this new position.
[The oath of office was administered by Judge Clarke to Deputy Director Weinberger. The President then resumed speaking.]
The fourth individual that we have for the assumption of his office today is Arnold Weber. Arnold Weber is not a Californian.
Incidentally, we claim George Shultz because we found him in California, so this has been sort of a California day today.
But Arnold Weber is a man who comes from the scholastic world. He was at M.I.T. with a very distinguished record there in the teaching profession, and also at the University of Chicago. He did, according to George Shultz, who talked me into his appointment--he did a superb job as an Assistant Secretary of Labor.
Because he had done that very effective job, we thought that he was the obvious man to move up to Under Secretary of Labor. He is one of the youngest Under Secretaries of Labor we have ever had and we are glad to have him here in California and we make him a Californian for the balance of this day at least.
I just was corrected. I said, "move up to Under Secretary of Labor." He is moving with George Shultz--still with George Shultz--as the Associate Director of the new Office of Budget and Management.
Let's put it this way: He will be the liaison man with the Department of Labor. [Following the oath of office, administered by Judge Clarke to Associate Director Weber, the President resumed speaking.]
Now we will have the new Director of the Office of Management and Budget, George Shultz, respond for all three of the members of his department, and after that he will begin to do something. [Laughter]
Note: The President spoke at 10: 12 a.m. on the grounds at the Western White House, San Clemente, Calif.
The remarks of Secretary of Labor James D. Hodgson and Director of the Office of Management and Budget George P. Shultz are printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 6, pp. 886 and 888, respectively).
On July 1, 1970, the President signed Executive Order 11541, prescribing the duties of the Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Council in the Executive Office of the President. On July 3, the White House released the transcript of a news conference on the Domestic Council and the Office of Management and Budget by John D. Ehrlich. man, Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs, and George P. Shultz, Director, Office of Management and Budget.
Richard Nixon, Remarks at the Swearing In of the Secretary of Labor, and the Director, Deputy Director, and Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget. - Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/239970