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Statement by the President Upon Establishing the President's Committee on Consumer Interests.

January 03, 1964

I AM TODAY taking action to assure that the voice of the consumer will be "loud, clear, uncompromising, and effective" in the highest councils of the Federal Government. First, I am appointing Mrs. Esther Peterson as my Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs. Second, I am establishing the President's Committee on Consumer Interests, with Mrs. Peterson as its Chairman.

For the first time in history, the American consumer's interest--so closely identified with the public interest--will be directly represented in the White House. I shall look to Mrs. Peterson and the Committee to give new meaning to consumer rights:

--the right to safety

--the right to be informed

--the right to choose

--the right to be heard.

The American marketplace--where free men and women sell, buy, and produce-has proved itself as the generator of the world's highest standard of living. But, to reach new heights, its best practices must become common practice. An unrelenting fight must be waged against the selfish minority who deceive or defraud the consumer, who exact unfair prices or levy unfair charges. My Special Assistant and the new Committee will lead the campaign of America's homemakers against such sharp practices and unwarranted price increases.

I have asked Mrs. Peterson to retain her post as Assistant Secretary of Labor while she serves as Special Assistant to the President and as Chairman of the President's Committee on Consumer Interests. She is a member of this administration who has already displayed superb qualities of leadership in relating people's individual needs to the broad programs of government. Her selection for her new post was unanimously recommended to me by the existing Consumer Advisory Council and the Council of Economic Advisers, to which it now reports.

The President's Committee on Consumer Interests will consist of (1) representatives of the Government agencies most directly concerned with consumer affairs and (2) private citizens especially qualified to represent consumer interests.

The private group will themselves form a Consumer Advisory Council. It will be the successor to the existing Council, which has done such excellent work since mid-1962 in laying the foundation for the new chapter in consumer representation that is now to begin.

The consumer today enjoys an unprecedented share of material plenty. Yet the value of our society can be measured truly not in the mass but in the condition of each individual. It is my hope that this Committee and the Council, under Mrs. Peterson's dynamic leadership, will heighten the values of those who have, and increase the welfare and opportunity of those who have not.

Note: On the same day the President issued Executive Order 11136 establishing the President's Committee on Consumer Interests and the Consumer Advisory Council (29 F.R. 129; 3 CFR, 1964 Supp.).

The statement was released at Austin, Tex.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Establishing the President's Committee on Consumer Interests. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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