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Statement by the President on the Closing of the Studebaker Plants in South Bend, Indiana.

December 24, 1963

ON December 9th, I directed that an interdepartmental committee be established to do everything possible to help South Bend meet the emergency created by the closing of the Studebaker facilities and idling of some 8,000 workers. That committee, under the chairmanship of the Secretaries of Labor and Commerce, has met regularly with Senators Bayh and Hartke and Congressman Brademus, the Studebaker Company, the United Automobile Workers Union, and officials of the local community.

In addition to what has been done in the past 2 weeks, I am today directing that:

1. The Secretary of Labor, utilizing the new amendments to the Manpower Development and Training Act, which I signed into law on December 19, establish the maximum number of training projects consistent with the needs and demands of the area.

2. The Secretary of Commerce have the Area Redevelopment Administrator work with the local South Bend community in their efforts to attract new industry to the area.

3. The Secretary of Agriculture do whatever is necessary to expedite the distribution of surplus food to the large number of displaced, unemployed workers.

4. The Secretary of Defense, to the extent consistent with sound procurement policies, see that the $87 million Studebaker military truck contract is completed in South Bend.

5. The Interdepartmental Coordinating Committee send to South Bend a full-time official who will remain on the spot to coordinate all Federal activities with the officials of the State and local government.

Note: The statement was released at Austin, Tex.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President on the Closing of the Studebaker Plants in South Bend, Indiana. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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