The President's News Conference
UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE TO THE
THE PRESIDENT. [1.] I have today accepted with regret the resignation of Arthur Goldberg as U.S. Representative to the United Nations. Ambassador Goldberg has expressed to me his desire to leave this position for personal reasons. He will continue at the United Nations, probably until around the early part of June, while certain matters that he now has underway are being handled and disposed of.
Ambassador Goldberg has, in conversations over the last several months, assured me that he would be available to the Government to consult and help out with any problems that we might feel he was equipped to help us handle.
To replace Ambassador Goldberg, I am appointing the Honorable George Ball. He is a distinguished public servant who has held many important positions--including Under Secretary of State--and who serves me unofficially in many advisory capacities at the present time.
Mr. Ball will be available to take over when Mr. Goldberg leaves. We anticipate a smooth transition.
I will answer questions if you have any.
COMMUNICATION WITH HANOI
[2.] Q. What do you hear from Hanoi?
THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment. I have nothing new really to add to what you have been told in the official briefing.
AMBASSADOR GOLDBERG'S PLANS
[3.] Q. Mr. President, has Ambassador Goldberg informed you as to what his future plans are? Is he going into private law practice?
THE PRESIDENT. Ambassador Goldberg will have a statement, I think, later in the day. That is a matter for him to handle.
[4.] Q. Are prospects for a tax increase improving?1 How do you see that, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT. I am unable to evaluate them. If I remember, you had a tip or two from up there before. You may get that information there better than we can.
1The Revenue and Expenditure Control Act of 1968 was approved by the President on June 28, 1968 (see Item 343).
Our position is the same; there has been no change in it. We would like very much to see the Congress act upon the recommendation we have made. The tax proposal is still in the committee.
I would say the members of the committee are better able to tell you about what action they might take or whether they will take any than I am.
THE PRESIDENT'S PLANS
[5.] Q. Mr. President, the reports on the Hill are that you told them at lunch today what you are going to do next year. Can you tell us?
THE PRESIDENT. The meeting today was off the record. I told Tom2 to check with them and if they have no objection, I don't have any objection to releasing portions of that statement that might be of interest to you. I didn't tell them anything that you haven't already known for a long, long time--so don't feel sorry for yourselves.
2 Wyatt Thomas Johnson, Jr., Assistant Press Secretary to the President.
Q. Did you tell them you were going back to Texas to teach at the university?
THE PRESIDENT. I will give you the transcript.3
3 See Item 212.
[6.] Q. What are your plans for Arthur Krim? 4
THE PRESIDENT. I will make that announcement in due time.
4 Arthur B. Krim, former treasurer of the Democratic National Committee.
MILITARY SITUATION IN VIETNAM
[7.] Q. Sir, can you give us any new advice on the military situation in Vietnam? There have been conflicting reports out of the Embassy in Saigon about what is happening. Can you give us something more authoritative?
THE PRESIDENT. I don't think so. You have reporters out there. The information I have available to me is not much different from what you have. I don't know what conflicts you are talking about.
Q. Stories about an impending attack and then reports to the contrary.
THE PRESIDENT. We do have reports like that.
SECRETARY OF STATE RUSK
[8.] Q. You have seen the Secretary of State more often than you usually do in the past 36 or 48 hours. Would you tell us what has been the subject of these conversations?
THE PRESIDENT. First, I would deny that that is true. Secondly, we had our regular Tuesday meeting and we talked then, as we do at most of our meetings, about world conditions and matters that relate to his Department and to my duties here.
We had a Security Council meeting yesterday. I see and talk to the Secretary of State practically every day, so I would not agree with your premise.
Q. I was thinking especially about the 5:30 meeting yesterday. That was not unusual?
THE PRESIDENT. No, not at all, nor is 4:30 in the evening or 8:30. There is nothing different about that; I often see him several times a day.
Q. Was Ambassador Goldberg in that meeting yesterday afternoon with the Secretary?
THE PRESIDENT. I don't ever discuss off-the-record meetings. I have a long-standing rule that I keep a man's confidence. If a meeting is set up as off the record, I keep it that way. I cannot be responsible for what other people may say. You won't find me discussing any off-the-record appointments I have.
ACTION IN CIVIL DISORDERS
[9.] Q. In view of the efforts your administration has made during the winter to avoid personal injury and death in civil disorders that might occur in the cities, could you give us your view on whether or not city police ought to shoot at looters?
THE PRESIDENT. I have made a statement that expresses my view. It is in writing and has been distributed to you. I suggest that you read it.5
Richard McGowan, New York Daily News: Thank you.
5 See Item 209.
Note: President Johnson's one hundred and twentyfourth news conference was held in his office at the White House at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, 1968. As printed above, this item follows the text of the Official White House Transcript.
Lyndon B. Johnson, The President's News Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/237724