Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967

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Author: Lyndon B. Johnson  | Date: March 8, 1967

97
Remarks at the Swearing In of James J. Reynolds as Under Secretary and Thomas R. Donahue as Assistant Secretary of Labor.
March 8, 1967

Mr. Reynolds and family, Mr. Donahue and family, Secretary Wirtz and family, Members of the Cabinet, Members of the Congress, ladies and gentlemen:

It was 54 years ago that our Government first established the Department of Labor in the United States. It was a confirmation of America’s concern for the heart of American society—that is, the workingman and his family.

Today, more Americans are working in the United States than have ever worked before. Since 1963 alone, we have added more than 6 million people to the ranks of productive labor. They are earning more, they are working under better conditions, with a greater personal dignity than ever before in all of American history.

No one man or no single administration can claim credit for this. But if he is faithful to the people’s trust, every President must give perpetual priority to strengthening this very vital Department, for it touches the lives of every citizen in this country.

I know that every employee of the Department of Labor shares my very great satisfaction in the success of our recent efforts on behalf of the American workers.
Over the past 3 years:

—We have included more than 8 million new workers under the minimum wage act.

—We have opened up close to 1 million job opportunities for needy young people under the Neighborhood Youth Corps.

—We have helped thousands of communities all across America attack poverty. In these and in other efforts, the Department of Labor, under the brilliant leadership of Willard Wirtz, plays a major and a strategic role. And there is more that can be done and there is more that will be done:

We must press on to reduce unemployment. We must raise family incomes in the slums.

—We must wipe out discrimination because of age in employment.

—We must give greater self-help assistance to American Indians and migratory farmworkers whose plight continues to trouble the conscience of America.

—We must strengthen the system of unemployment compensation and insurance to help the jobless and their families live until they can find work.

In this Department, as in all concernedwith the well-being of America, there is no end to challenge and no limit to the qualifications of the people who are asked to lead it.

We have come here to the East Room this afternoon to recognize two such leaders. One is the new Under Secretary of Labor, James J. Reynolds. The other is Thomas R. Donahue, who succeeds him as Assistant Secretary for Labor-Management Relations.

Both of these men have most distinguished careers behind them. They both have spent their lives in preparation for the tasks that they undertake.

They have demonstrated their capacity to exercise the greatest trust that is known to human affairs—and that is the public trust.

America now offers them a new challenge, grateful for their willingness to accept it and confident in their ability to execute it.

So to all of their friends, associates, and colleagues we say: This is a very happy occasion for us, for you, and for them.

For my entire administration, I have been rather closely associated with Mr. Reynolds. He is the kind of man who makes you glad that you are President and that he is in your Cabinet, because he is kind and understanding, and he is able and dedicated.

I know that we will find the same is true of Mr. Donahue.

So, welcome aboard. I don’t know when you will get some sleep, but the Good Lord be with you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 5:45 p.m. in the East Room at the White House. In his opening words he also referred to Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz, who administered the oath of office.

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Chicago: Lyndon B. Johnson, "97 Remarks at the Swearing in of James J. Reynolds as Under Secretary and Thomas R. Donahue as Assistant Secretary of Labor.," Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1196 293. Original Sources, accessed February 4, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=95FPI1XTXZJYE4T.

MLA: Johnson, Lyndon B. "97 Remarks at the Swearing in of James J. Reynolds as Under Secretary and Thomas R. Donahue as Assistant Secretary of Labor." Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1196, page 293. Original Sources. 4 Feb. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=95FPI1XTXZJYE4T.

Harvard: Johnson, LB, '97 Remarks at the Swearing in of James J. Reynolds as Under Secretary and Thomas R. Donahue as Assistant Secretary of Labor.' in Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1196, pp.293. Original Sources, retrieved 4 February 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=95FPI1XTXZJYE4T.