United States Ambassador to Mexico Exchange of Letters on the Resignation of Patrick J. Lucey.
With deep regret I accept your resignation as Ambassador to Mexico as of November 1, 1979.
During your years in Mexico you brought political skills and personal stature to one of America's most important and difficult diplomatic assignments. These years were but the latest example of your dedication and commitment to public service.
Your leadership has contributed significantly to a new frankness and balance in our cooperation with Mexico. The recently concluded visit of President Lopez Portillo was a reminder of how much we have accomplished. Formal agreements on natural gas sales, prisoner exchanges, civil aviation, and improvements in the mechanisms through which we manage major United States-Mexican issues have advanced the vision of our relationship with Mexico that you and I have shared since the outset of my Administration.
Since the time that we began our service as Governors together, I have valued the courage, effectiveness, and good judgment that you bring to public policy. The Secretary of State joins me in thanking you and in wishing you all success as you return to Wisconsin.
Rosalynn and I especially appreciate the advocacy of efficient and humane government that we know we can count on from Pat and Jean Lucey.
[The Honorable Patrick J. Lucey, American Ambassador, Mexico City]
October 8, 1979
Dear Mr. President:
For almost two and a half years now, I have served as this country's ambassador to Mexico. It has been a stimulating experience for me, and I hope it has been constructive for the policies and the peoples of both countries. I have enjoyed my work here and my working relationship with you and Secretary of State Vance. However, I now have decided to resign from this position, effective November 1, 1979, and to return to Wisconsin.
I leave not with regret but with a sense of satisfaction because it is clear that Mexico and the United States have accomplished a great deal together since your Administration took office. The strength and the importance of the relationship between the two countries has perhaps never been more apparent than over the last month. As the successful meetings between you and President Lopez Portillo just a few days ago demonstrated, it is a relationship based on mutual respect and appreciation. In addition, the new intergovernmental agreement on the guidelines for a natural gas contract has been well received in both countries. That agreement has more than symbolic importance—it offers real potential for helping us solve our energy problems. But these are only the most recent achievements.
In 1977, Mexico and the United States entered into the Prisoner Transfer Treaty that, since its ratification, has permitted more than 400 young Americans to complete prison sentences in their own country. While Vice-President Mondale was in Mexico last year, he signed the most comprehensive commercial aviation agreement ever negotiated between any two countries, and the impact of this agreement on tourism in the United States as well as in Mexico has been dramatic. Moreover, the joint decision to expand and strengthen the Consultative Mechanism, announced on your trip to Mexico City earlier this year, has generated negotiations that promise major bilateral agreements in many other areas.
There have been significant, if less obvious, improvements in this country's perception of Mexico and in this government's ability to help shape a relationship that is productive for both countries. Through the presidential policy review process, the efforts of the Department of State, and our emphasis on working with the Congress, there is a greater public and governmental awareness of our relationship with Mexico and the impact that seemingly unrelated domestic and foreign policies can have here. Bob Krueger in the new position of Ambassador-at-Large will provide a great service to both countries as he continues to expand the interdepartmental coordination and cooperation that already have begun.
In Mexico City, the U.S. Embassy itself, the nation's largest diplomatic mission, has played an increasing role in the formation and conduct of our policies. For example, the Embassy was directly involved in the formation and early deliberations of the Askew Committee. While massive undocumented immigration will confront our two countries for many years, that committee will provide constructive new proposals in this difficult area. With the State Department's encouragement and cooperation and the creative application of zero based budgeting, we now have a lean, more efficient and highly professional staff at the Embassy and its constituent posts. I will miss working with the people here, but my successor will find his or her job less difficult because of their presence and their dedication.
There is a common theme in much of what has happened over the last few years, Mr. President. It is the gradual recognition that Mexico seeks no favors from us, no "special" relationship, but that, instead, Mexico seeks our friendship as the mature, responsible, independent, and rapidly-developing nation that it has become. That friendship will continue to reward both countries in the years ahead. And it is that friendship that will enable Mexico and the United States to resolve the difficult, persistent and shared problems that remain.
I submit my resignation to you only after a great deal of deliberation. I do believe, however, that after two and a half years in Mexico City, it is time to return to Wisconsin where I began my public, service more than 30 years ago, and I believe that this is a logical and appropriate time to do so. Jean and I very much appreciate the personal kindness that you and Rosalynn have shown us and the public trust that you have placed in us.
With warm regards,
PATRICK J. LUCEY
Patrick J. Lucey
United States Ambassador
[Hon. Jimmy Carter, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.]
Jimmy Carter, United States Ambassador to Mexico Exchange of Letters on the Resignation of Patrick J. Lucey. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/248810