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Act creating the Civil Service Commission and the Civil Service Merit System. In 1939 Congress passed the Hatch Political Activities Act, which is now the principal statute limiting the political activity of Government employees.
The 27 years which have passed since the enactment of this law have been years of unparalleled progress and growth. There have been changes in governmental problems and relationships. There are many who believe that these changes may well have affected or altered the purposes and requirements for limiting partisan political activity of Government employees. The Commission established by this bill will help us to find out whether these advocates of change are right.
The Commission will consist of 12 members. The Speaker and the President of the Senate will appoint four each, and I will appoint the remaining four; not more than half of the members will be from one political party. The bipartisan composition of
500 Remarks at the Unveiling America" Postage Stamp.
the Commission and the joint executivelegislative appointments provide the basis for an objective study.
I stated in my letter to Congress transmitting the proposed Election Reform Act of 1966 that "Public confidence in the elective process is the foundation of public confidence in Government." That bill, which could change our present method of financing political campaigns, would be one step in building such confidence. This administration is also undertaking a thorough review of regulations regarding solicitation of political contributions from Federal employees by other Federal employees. The Commission established by this bill will afford us yet another means by which the democratic process and the confidence of the people in that process can be strengthened for the benefit of the entire Nation.
Lady Bird, Larry O'Brien, my friends:
I want to thank each of you for coming here this morning and all of you for letting me participate in the unveiling of this new stamp.
I really have no extended formal speech to make to you, but I overheard this morning that Lady Bird and Larry O'Brien were over here in the East Room playing "Post Office" and I thought I'd better get over here and play with them.
I want the Postmaster General to know that I really have no objection to his depart
Senator Brewster, the sponsor of S. 1474, deserves great credit for his interest in and dedication to this subject.
NOTE: As enacted, S. 1474, approved on October 3, 1966, is Public Law 89-617 (80 Stat. 868).
of the "Plant for a More Beautiful October 5, 1966
ing from custom, as he observed this morning, by giving the first album of this beautiful stamp to the President's wife instead of the President.
That is exactly what I would have done, if he had presented this album to me. And by doing that, Larry just eliminated the middleman.
This is a very proud moment for all of us-and particularly for me. The word “beautification" has, I think, become popular only recently. But Lady Bird and I have been working together on what is now
called "beautification" for more than 30 years.
We really began it back when we were with NYA in Texas and we originated the idea of the little highway parks to dot our roadsides. Before the year 1935 was out, we had more than 400 of them from one end of that State to the other.
Mrs. Johnson had as much influence with me then as she does now. I think that you can see the results of that influence every time you ride through Texas and every time you see the National Capital.
I don't think that any spring in my memory has been as beautiful to me as the one that we have just had. You could hardly turn a corner or ride through a pasture in our State, or past a park, or down a thoroughfare or an avenue in this city, without seeing some new flowers, or some new shrubbery, or some new trees that were put in by the dedicated members of the Beautification Committee that Lady Bird worked with here in Washington.
And to Mary Lasker, Laurance Rockefeller, and the others who have contributed so much to this effort in the Nation's Capital and in every hamlet in this land, I express to you this morning the gratitude of an appreciative people for your leadership, for your dedication, and for your generosity.
I hope, as I believe all of us hope, that as Washington becomes ever more beautiful, that it is going to be a model and an inspiration to every other community in this land.
We have many problems in our country that are going to tax our resources--problems that will take many years for their solution.
We cannot wipe out overnight slums that took us 100 years to deteriorate.
But I think anyone can plant a tree.
Everyone can put a flower box in his window.
I hope that this beautiful stamp will serve as a constant reminder for all of us to do just that.
Beauty is not a very easy thing to measure. It does not show up in our profit and loss statements. But it is one of the most precious possessions that Americans have.
Ugly surroundings breed warped and shrunken spirits.
I think there should be some time in every day of every life to watch the sunset, or to smell the flowers, or to listen to the birds while they sing.
And that is really what the beautification program is all about. You ought not have to go to Wyoming to do it either, Senator McGee.
I am pleased that efforts are being made in areas where we have populations, where we can all enjoy some of these things with our children.
I am pleased that the design of this stamp, as Larry pointed out, also commemorates Thomas Jefferson, for no one understood it better than he did.
To each of you who have contributed to this maximum beauty for a great Nation, for a great people, I am very thankful and I am especially pleased to have the chance to work with Mrs. Johnson.
NOTE: The President spoke at 11:20 a.m. in the East Room at the White House. In his opening words he referred to Mrs. Lyndon B. (Lady Bird) Johnson and to Postmaster General Lawrence F. O'Brien. Later he referred to Mrs. Albert D. (Mary) Lasker, general trustee, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Laurance S. Rockefeller, Chairman of the White House Conference on Natural Beauty, and Senator Gale W. McGee of Wyoming.
The "Plant for a More Beautiful America" postage stamp pictures the Jefferson Memorial framed by a bough of Japanese cherry blossoms.
501 The President's News Conference of
October 6, 1966
THE PRESIDENT. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
PERSONNEL CHANGES IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
[1.] I intend to nominate Mr. Llewellyn Thompson to be the United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union. Because of the importance of our relations with the Soviet Union at this time, I am asking Mr. Thompson to return to a post that he has held already, and that he served for a longer period of time than any American Ambassador in this Nation's history.
To succeed him as Ambassador at Large, I will appoint one of our most distinguished and experienced diplomats, Mr. Ellsworth Bunker, who served us with such great distinction in the Dominican Republic and who is presently Ambassador to the Organization of American States.
To serve as my representative to the Organization of American States with the rank of Ambassador, I intend to nominate Mr. Sol M. Linowitz, the chairman of the board and the chief executive officer of Xerox International, Inc.
Mr. Linowitz is a noted American with a long interest in foreign policy. He will also serve as United States Representative on the Inter-American Committee on the Alliance for Progress, replacing Mr. Rostow.'
He will work closely with Secretary Rusk and Secretary Gordon, and with me in the formulation of our Latin American policies.
1 Walt W. Rostow, Special Assistant to the President.
'Dean Rusk, Secretary of State, and Lincoln Gordon, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs and U.S. Coordinator, Alliance for Progress.
I have accepted today with great regret the resignation of Eugene P. Foley as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. Mr. Foley is returning to private life and will be succeeded by Mr. Ross D. Davis. Mr. Davis is presently the Administrator of the Economic Development Administration.
[2.] As you know, the United States has agreed to attend the conference in Manila on October 24th and 25th. This will bring together the countries that are most directly helping the South Vietnamese to resist aggression and to build a free nation.
The Philippines, Korea, and Thailand extended the invitation which has been accepted now by South Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
The details of the meeting-including the agenda-are now being worked out in consultation among all the participants. President Marcos of the Philippines has already indicated the scope of the conference, and we expect:
-to review the military progress being made in the field;
-to hear the South Vietnamese plans for further evolution toward representative government, accelerated security of the countryside, and a strengthened economy while curbing inflation; -to examine how the other nations present can best support all these efforts; and
-to explore the prospects for peaceful settlement of the Vietnamese conflict, in the light of all the proposals. Much of this effort is consistent with the
called "beautification" for m
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hese two and where you stand on that rgument?
THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I think the Federal Government must be a leader in this field and I have-the 3 years I have been President-tried, by word and action, to do everything I could to bring about equality among the races in this country and to see that the Brown decision affecting the integration of our schools was carried forward expeditiously and in accordance with the law-to see that the civil rights acts passed in the late fifties and sixties and more recently in my administration were carried out in accordance with the intent of Congress; that the law was fully adhered to and fully enforced at all times.
I realize that in some instances there has been some harassment, some mistakes perhaps have been made, some people have been enthusiastic, and differences have developed.
But where those mistakes have been made, I think Mr. Gardner and the Commissioner of Education have been willing to always listen to any protests that might come, and to carry out the law as Congress intended it should be.
That will be the policy of our administration: to continue to promote and to expedite the observance of the law of the land, and to see that all citizens of this country are treated equally without discrimination.
[14.] Q. Former President Eisenhower has said that we should use whatever is necessary, not excluding nuclear weapons, to end the fighting in Vietnam.
John W. Gardner, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, and Harold Howe II, Commissioner of Education, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.