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Remarks at the Swearing In of Virginia H. Knauer as Special Assistant to the President for Consumer Affairs.

April 19, 1969

Ladies and gentlemen:

You have already met Mrs. Knauer when she had her press conference on the occasion of her being named as the Assistant to the President for Consumer Affairs.

My remarks, therefore, today, will be very brief, since she has already covered the responsibilities that she will have.

I think the point I particularly wish to emphasize is that her appointment is based solely on merit and qualification for the job. It happens that she is a woman, and a very attractive woman.

It also happens, however, that of all the people in the United States who are expert in the field of consumer affairs, she had the experience, the background, and the dedication in this subject that we thought qualified her for the top position in the Federal Government on consumer affairs.

As head of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Consumer Protection, she set a record that won her acclaim throughout America at the State level.

Senator [Hugh] Scott and others from the State of Pennsylvania will back me up when I make that statement.

Consequently, we think, having proved herself at the State level and with all her experience in many other areas as well, that she now can assume the major responsibility at the Federal level.

I note that one of the first questions that she was required to answer at her news conference was with regard to her age. She didn't dodge that question, as do some of us, and, as is said, do most women.

I would only say that any woman who would very honestly give her age certainly will be able to get manufacturers in this country to tell the truth about their products.

Holding the Bible for her swearing in will be her granddaughter, Nancy Knauer. Judge Kelly of the District Court of Appeals will administer the oath.

Note: The President spoke at 11:20 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. The oath of office was administered by Associate Judge Catherine B. Kelly of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

For the announcement of Mrs. Knauer's appointment on April 9, see the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 5, P. 535). Released at the same time was the transcript of a news conference she held following the announcement.

Richard Nixon, Remarks at the Swearing In of Virginia H. Knauer as Special Assistant to the President for Consumer Affairs. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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