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The exact amounts I do not know. This year's budget was increased some because of increased needs in Vietnam.
In 18 months we have sent several hundred thousand men there. Our budget this year will be somewhere between $125 and $130 billion.
We cannot predict what our budget will be next year. But as has been stated by reliable authorities, and as has been written on good authority, the general figure has been between $135 and $140 billion. Some said between $137 and $140 billion-it is highly speculative, allowing some $2 or $3 billion one way or the other.
A great many of those decisions have not yet been made. There are several appeals pending from the military. There are several important decisions that have not yet been made in the field of health, education, and poverty.
I expect to return to Washington early next week to conclude the meetings in that regard, and to have my recommendations ready for the Congress at as early a date as possible.
In short, I think we can, I think we must, I think we will continue to do what is necessary at home and send our men abroad what they need to do their job.
CRITICISM OF THE ADMINISTRATION
[10.] Q. Mr. President, there has been a great deal of talk lately about your image. Some writers discuss what they call a credibility gap. The Harris and Gallup polls have indicated performance ratings at the lowest point since you became President. And there has been some unrest in the Democratic Party among the Governors.
Do you feel you have been doing things wrong? What do you attribute all of this to?
THE PRESIDENT. Well, I would not want to make an indictment or review all of your contributions to this matter, or all the reasons and motivations of the various people who feel that mistakes have been made.
In my own judgment, we have done the best we could. We have worked at our job. We have made the decisions that we thought ought to be made.
We realize that we have made some mistakes, although I know of no major decision that I have made that I would strike from the statute books tomorrow or would rewrite.
I think that some of the decisions have not been popular.
I think that there has been criticism of the administration.
And I regret all of that. I would hope that the Nation would see things pretty much alike in the days to come.
All I can say is I am going to do the best I can to make the proper decisions, those that are in the best interests of the country.
And then I think if you do what is best for the country, the country will do what is best for us.
POSSIBLE TAX INCREASE
[11.] Q. Mr. President, can you tell us what the chief factors are that you are now weighing in making your tax decision, and when such a decision might come.
THE PRESIDENT. We are trying to decide how much money we will spend next year in the military and civilian fields.
We are trying to study developments in the
We are trying to determine the extent of our deficit.
We are trying to anticipate, as far ahead as we can, economic indicators.
We will bring all of these people together, the Treasury, the economic advisers, the Sec
retary of Labor, the Secretary of Commerce, the congressional leadership, and then attempt to make the recommendation that we think is justified.
We are working very hard on it but we haven't made a decision. We are not ready to announce one, or make a recommendation today.
THE SUPERSONIC TRANSPORT
[12.] Q. Mr. President, when do you expect to announce a decision on the supersonic transport?
THE PRESIDENT. We don't have any definite date. The advisory committee that I have appointed has given great consideration to this. General McKee * will have an announcement in connection with it shortly. Just when the decision to move ahead will come on the part of the executive, and the legislative, I am unable to predict at this
It is still a matter that is receiving top consideration in the administration. And of course, after we make our study and our recommendations, I am sure the Congress will give it very prompt consideration and high level consideration.
But until we make ours and they conclude, we won't know definitely what will happen.
also stopping the bombing in the North sort of as a forerunner to peace negotiations?
THE PRESIDENT. We will be very glad to do more than our part in meeting Hanoi halfway in any possible cease-fire, or truce, or peace conference negotiations.
I would be very interested in what their response is and what they would be agreeable to before irrevocably committing this country.
If you can look at all the decisions they make and their reactions, I think we would better be able to determine our own.
I have said on a number of occasions that we are ready to talk, any time and anywhere, that the Vietcong will have no difficulty in making their views known to us.
But all the questions turn on when are we willing to do it, and are we willing to do it. The answer to those questions is a strong "yes." But up to this moment we have heard nothing from the other side. You just can't have a one-sided peace conference, or a one-sided cessation of hostilities, or ask our own boys not to defend themselves, or to tie their hands behind them, unless the other side is willing to reciprocate. Now, I assure you that we are willing to meet them more than halfway, if there is any indication of movement on their part.
655 Statement by the President on the Death of Christian A. Herter.
December 31, 1966
IT IS with great personal sorrow that I learned that Christian Herter-a great American-died last night.
His life and career spanned a period which saw this Nation emerge from a century of isolation to take a place of leadership on the world scene. From the day in 1916 when he took up a post as attaché in the American Embassy in Berlin, to the leadership of the Kennedy Round negotiations to expand and liberalize world trade-which he was exercising to the day of his deathhe participated in the events of our time and shaped them.
He was with President Wilson at the Versailles Peace Conference in 1918-1919.
He was at the side of Herbert Hoover in his work in European relief in 1920-1921.
He then turned to journalism and teaching and to public service in Massachusetts. He lectured on international relations at
Harvard. He rose to be speaker in the Massachusetts Legislature; and then for 10 years was a Member of Congress.
As a Member of Congress, he led the famous Herter Committee, whose report helped bring to life the Marshall plan. For 4 years, he was Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and then Under Secretary of State and Secretary of State.
Throughout his life he stood for an America that would assume its full responsibilities on the world scene in conformity with the highest values of our national tradition.
Christian Herter was a wise, gentle, and wholly dedicated patriot. He will be missed greatly by all of us; but his life and work will always be remembered as an important part of the half century which has transformed this Nation's place in the world. community.
NOTE: The statement was released at Austin, Texas.
656 Statement by the President in Response to Report of the President's Commission on Crime in the District of Columbia. December 31, 1966
THE President's Commission on Crime in the District of Columbia was charged with a task of major importance-the task of studying the malignant growth of crime in this city, and of devising a comprehensive program to bring it under control. The Commission, assisted by a highly qualified staff and a number of expert consultants, and with the full cooperation of the Federal and District Governments, has worked for almost a year and a half. Its report, which I am releasing today, is both comprehensive in scope, and specific in recommendations. Although there are controversial areas-on
some of which the Commission is itself divided-in large measure the question is no longer what we should do. Now it is how soon and how well we can do what is needed.
The report makes it clear that no piecemeal approach to a solution will serve. The actions taken to implement the earlier recommendations on the Police Department are only a beginning. Unless they are matched by actions on other fronts, the improvements being made in that area will fail to realize their full potential. Where the recommendations of the Commission require further
study to work out matters of detail, the affected agencies must begin that work without delay. In this work, as well as in any other aspect of the Commission's recommendations, the Federal Government is prepared to extend full cooperation and assistance.
Many of the Commission's recommendations require legislative action or additional appropriations. These will be presented to the Congress as soon as possible, and I am confident that they will receive prompt consideration. I am also hopeful that all of the agencies which have a responsibility in the enforcement and administration of our criminal law will give immediate attention to the recommendations for improvements in their practices and procedures. I will expect periodic reports on progress.
I commend the report, too, to the citizens of Washington. Crime cannot be conquered, in this or any other city, unless citizens are willing to help. An understanding of the nature of the problems and the directions of effective citizen action will permit a mobilization of action by citizens and the private groups and agencies which they direct, to work together to meet the chal
lenge, and the opportunity, which the report presents.
The Commission concludes that many of its recommendations, if implemented promptly, should produce visible short-term results. These must have priority attention. But no one should believe that the scourge of criminal activity will vanish quickly or easily. The report makes it clear that there are no panaceas, no cheap or easy shortcuts. The roots of crime, as the Commission emphasizes, cannot be separated from inadequate education and housing, unemployment, and all the other social and economic ills which the District must also continue to fight.
I wish to express my gratitude to the members of the Commission, who have generously contributed their time and talents for many months. They have my thanks, and the thanks of this community.
NOTE: The "Report of the President's Commission on Crime in the District of Columbia" (Government Printing Office, 1041 pp.; appendix 777 pp.) was transmitted to the President on December 15.
For the President's statement in response to the Commission's interim report on the Metropolitan Police Department, see Item 354.
The Commission was established by Executive Order 11234 of July 16, 1965 (see 1965 volume, this series, Book II, Items 366 and 381).
Appendix A-White House Releases
NOTE: Includes releases covering matters with which the President was closely concerned, except announcements of personnel appointments and lists of public and private laws.
Releases relating to Proclamations and Executive orders have not been included. These documents are separately listed in Appendix B.
For list of Press Conferences, see subject index under "News conferences."
In many instances the White House issued advance releases of addresses or remarks which differ from the text as delivered. These have been noted in brackets, thus: [2 releases].