Statement Announcing the Nomination of Dr. Arthur F. Burns as a Member of the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System
A PRESIDENT makes many important appointments during his term in office, but few are as important as the nomination I am announcing today. For the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has an exceptionally significant influence upon the economic policies of the Government and the economic health of the Nation.
The term of the present Chairman, William McChesney Martin, Jr., will expire on January 31, 1970; the law stipulates that a member cannot be reappointed to the Board after serving the standard 14-year term. It is my judgment that the vacancy which will therefore occur on the Board at the end of next January should be filled by Dr. Arthur F. Burns. I will submit Dr. Burns' name to the Senate in the near future. When he is confirmed as a member of the Board, I will then designate him as Chairman--a designation which the President must make every 4 years.
Chairman Martin has headed the Federal Reserve Board with great distinction for more than 18 years, since April of 1951. During that time the Nation has had five Presidents, seven Secretaries of the Treasury, and seven Chairmen of the Council of Economic Advisers. It is difficult to think of any economic policymaker in this country, since the time of Alexander Hamilton, whose influence has been as considerable as Chairman Martin's over such an extended period of time.
As Chairman Martin's term of office comes to an end, a grateful Nation salutes him for the energy, the dedication, and the skill with which he has performed his important work. His tenure has coincided with an era of unsurpassed prosperity and economic growth.
The Nation is fortunate that a man of Dr. Burns' ability and experience stands ready to take on the Chairmanship of the Federal Reserve Board. One of the Nation's outstanding economic scholars, Dr. Burns has been a frequent adviser to the Federal Government on a broad range of economic and social questions. He performed distinguished service as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Eisenhower administration and headed the National Bureau of Economic Research for many years. I have found him to be an invaluable adviser in his position as Counsellor to the President since last January.
Although Chairman Martin's term will extend for more than 3 additional months, I am announcing Dr. Burns' nomination at this time for two reasons. First, it will make possible a smooth and orderly transition as the responsibilities of the Chairmanship change hands for the first time in 18 years. Secondly, I believe that it will be helpful if the identity of the new Chairman is not a subject of widespread speculation during the intervening months.
Dr. Burns has been known for many years as a strong and effective leader in the fight against both inflation and recession. I know that under his leadership, the Federal Reserve Board will continue to work effectively for a stable and prosperous economy.
Note: Dr. Burns' nomination was confirmed by the Senate on December 18, 1969.
A release announcing the nomination of Dr. Burns and giving biographical information is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 5, P. 1425).
Richard Nixon, Statement Announcing the Nomination of Dr. Arthur F. Burns as a Member of the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/239822