Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks Upon Signing the Savings and Loan Holding Company Amendments of 1967

February 14, 1968

Members of Congress and distinguished guests:

The bill I will sign here today will strengthen and protect a cornerstone of American life--the savings and loan association.

We think of these institutions as a part of hometown America. They are in every State; they are always close to where our .people live. More than 40 million Americans put their savings there. These associations provide most of the mortgages that allow families to build or allow families to buy their homes.

One of the most encouraging aspects of today's America is that nearly two-thirds of all the homes--37 million homes--are owned by the families who live in them.

It is good to know that two-thirds of my countrymen do not have a landlord to worry about. I have a nice house here, but I am always conscious that I am only a tenant.

My landlord is the people of the United States. Every morning--except Sunday and Monday--the landlord sends hundreds of delegates who tour through the downstairs part of the house--just to see if Mrs. Johnson and I are here and if we are keeping up the property well.

I could go on, but I don't want to get into that business about renewing the lease! I will have something to say about that at a later date.

This legislation that I am approving today gives additional protection to the tens of millions of people who invest in, and who borrow from, the savings and loan associations. For the first time it enables the Federal Home Loan Bank Board to regulate and supervise holding companies which own or control insured associations.

It is a well-devised safeguard against possible abuses. It is designed to enhance the soundness of the entire industry. It should encourage even greater public saving in these associations.

Public policy cannot be indifferent to the well-being of our savings and loan associations:

--They are much too important to their millions of shareholders.

--They are too necessary to a healthy mortgage market.

--They are too vital to America's growing economy.

The associations owned by holding companies are few. But if abuses in their operation should cause even one--even one--to become insolvent, public confidence in other savings and loan associations would be weakened. Thus, the problem of these associations under the control of holding companies is, I think, an important national problem.

It is a problem that this legislation seeks and is designed, we hope, to correct and to prevent.

I want to especially thank Senator Sparkman and Congressman Patman and all the members of their respective committees, Chairman Horne, and all the others who have worked so diligently to bring this day about.

I must frankly admit that I have been waiting for it some time. And I have been concerned every day during that waiting period lest something happen that this legislation is designed to prevent.

So it is with a great sense of satisfaction and some sense of accomplishment that we meet here in this room today where I will put my signature on a measure that I think is very much desired and needed.

Note: The President spoke at 1:41 p.m. in the Fish Room at the White House. During his remarks he referred to Senator John Sparkman of Alabama, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency, Representative Wright Patman of Texas, Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, and John E. Horne, Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board.

As enacted, the bill (S. 1542) is Public Law 90255 (82 Stat. 5).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks Upon Signing the Savings and Loan Holding Company Amendments of 1967 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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