April 4, 1968
America is shocked and saddened by the brutal slaying tonight of Dr. Martin Luther King. I ask every citizen to reject the blind violence that has struck Dr. King, who lived by nonviolence. I pray that his family can find comfort in the memory of all he tried to do for the land he loved so well. I have just conveyed the sympathy of Mrs. Johnson and myself to his widow, Mrs. King. I know that every American of good will joins me in mourning the death of this outstanding leader and in praying for peace and understanding throughout this land. We can achieve nothing by lawlessness and divisiveness among the American people. It is only by joining together and only by working together that we can continue to move toward equality and fulfillment for all of our people. I hope that all Americans tonight will search their hearts as they ponder this most tragic incident. I have canceled my plans for the evening. I am postponing my trip to Hawaii until tomorrow. Thank you.
November 8, 1965
Dr. McCrocklin; member of the faculty and the student body; Congressman Pickle; Mr. Kellam, the chairman of the Board of Regents; Dr. Crook; my old friend and conspirator and collaborator and former coworker and cosecretary to Dr. Evans–Tom Nichols; my former superintendent, Dr. Donaho; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen:
In a very few moments, I will put my signature on the Higher Education Act of 1965. The President’s signature upon this legislation passed by this Congress will swing open a new door for the young people of America. For them, and for this entire land of ours, it is the most important door that will ever open–the door to education. And this legislation is the key which unlocks it.
To thousands of young men and women, this act means the path of knowledge is open to all that have the determination to walk it.
It means a way to deeper personal fulfillment, greater personal productivity, and increased personal reward. This bill, which I will make law, is an incentive to stay in school.
It means that a high school senior anywhere in this great land of ours can apply to any college or any university in any of the 50 States and not be turned away because his family is poor.
This bill is only one of more than two dozen education measures enacted by the first session of the 89th Congress. And history will forever record that this session-the first session of the 89th Congress–did more for the wonderful cause of education in America than all the previous 176 regular sessions of Congress did, put together. I doubt that any future Congress will ever erect a prouder monument for future generations.
Last May, 2,700,000 boys and girls graduated from all the high schools in America-2,700,000. One million, four hundred thousand–about half of them–went on to college. But almost as many–1,300,000-dropped out and never started college.
This bill, which we will shortly make into law, will provide scholarships and loans and work opportunities to 1 million of that 1.3 million that did not get to go on to college. And when you, the first year, with the first bill, take care of 1 million of that 1.3 million through this legislation, we are hopeful that the State and the local governments, and the local employers and the local loan funds, can somehow take care of the other 300,000.
So to thousands of young people education will be available. And it is a truism that education is no longer a luxury. Education in this day and age is a necessity. Where a family cannot afford that necessity:
* We can now make available scholarships up to $1,000 a year, awarded on the basis of need alone to an individual.
* We can award part-time jobs so one student can earn as much as $400 a year.
* We can provide loans, free of interest and free of any payment schedule until after you graduate, to worthy, deserving, capable students.
And in my judgment, this Nation can never make a wiser or a more profitable investment anywhere.
In the next school year alone, 140,000 young men and women will be enrolled in college who, but for the provisions of this bill, would have never gone past high school. We will reap the rewards of their wiser citizenship and their greater productivity for decades to come.
This bill that I am signing will help our colleges and our universities add grasp to their reach for new knowledge and enlightenment.
From this act will also come a new partnership between campus and community, turning the ivory towers of learning into the allies of a better life in our cities. It ensures that college and university libraries will no longer be the anemic stepchildren of Federal assistance.
And this act makes major new thrusts in a good many other directions:
* in assisting smaller, undernourished colleges obtain better teachers;
* in adding first-class equipment in order to have first-class classrooms;
* in establishing a new National Teacher Corps to help our local communities receive extra help in the training of our neglected children, whom our teachers have been unable to reach.
When Congress convenes again in January, I intend immediately to ask again for the money to take the Teacher Corps off the drawing boards and put it in the classrooms. I consider the Higher Education Act-with its companion, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which we signed back in the spring of this year–to be the keystones of the great, fabulous 89th Congress.
This Congress did more to uplift education, more to attack disease in this country and around the world, and more to conquer poverty than any other session in all American history, and what more worthy achievements could any person want to have?
For it was the Congress that was more true than any other Congress to Thomas Jefferson’s belief that: “The care of human life and happiness is the first and only legitimate objective of good Government.”
Too many people, for too many years, argued that education and health and human welfare were not the Government’s concern.
And while they spoke, our schools fell behind, our sick people went unattended, and our poor fell deeper into despair.
But now, at last, in this year of our Lord, 1965, we have quit talking and started acting. The roots of change and reform are spreading, not just throughout Washington, but throughout every community in every State of this great Nation.
On my way here this morning, I visited the Job Corps Center, and I looked into the faces of boys who all their lives had been denied opportunity because they came from large families and poor families, but who today are now receiving that opportunity.
They are learning how to be mechanics and welders and operators of heavy machinery, and they will have jobs that are some more enduring and more profitable than some of you that go out to lead in our classrooms.
One fellow told me that he had been offered–when he completed his course in underwater welding–more per day than Dr. Donaho paid me per month in 1928. I have seen other signs of progress and new determination.
I have seen it throughout the States of this Nation. I saw it this past week, I am proud to say, in our own great Lone Star State of Texas.
The people of Texas went to the polls and they approved constitutional amendments which leave no doubt that the people of this State want decent treatment for their aged. They want decent treatment for the handicapped and the unfortunate children. They want an education system that fits the needs of the 20th century. And they expect the Federal and the State governments–both of whom are the servants of all the people-to join shoulder to shoulder and work together to get this job done.
I want to make it dear once and for all, here and now, so that all that can see can witness and all who can hear can hear, that the Federal Government–as long as I am President–intends to be a partner and not a boss in meeting our responsibilities to all the people. The Federal Government has neither the wish nor the power to dictate education.
We can point the way.
We can offer help.
We can contribute to providing the necessary and needed tools.
But the final decision, the last responsibility, the ultimate control, must, and will, always rest with the local communities.
Today, then, we embark on a new adventure in learning. And it has a very special meaning to me.
This is a proud moment in my life. I am proud to have a part in the beginning that this bill provides, because here a great deal began for me some 38 years ago on this campus.
It was here in these surroundings that I first understood the deeper meaning of the Bible’s promise that: “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Here the seeds were planted from which grew my firm conviction that for the individual, education is the path to achievement and fulfillment; for the Nation, it is a path to a society that is not only free but civilized; and for the world, it is the path to peace–for it is education that places reason over force.
As a student, I lived in a tiny room above Dr. Evans’ garage. I lived there 3 years before the business manager knew I occupied those quarters and submitted me a bill. I shaved and I showered in a gymnasium that was down the road. I worked at a dozen different jobs, from sweeping the floors to selling real silk socks. Sometimes I wondered what the next day would bring that could exceed the hardship of the day before.
But with all of that, I was one of the lucky ones–and I knew it even then. I left this campus to become a teacher under one of the great teachers that I have known. I want him to stand because he did much in my life. Dr. Donaho, please stand. He came here and looked over my credentials and somehow or other offered me a job at $125 a month to teach a Mexican school at Cotulla when I was a sophomore, and it was necessary that I leave that year to teach.
I shall never forget the faces of the boys and the girls in that little Welhausen Mexican School, and I remember even yet the pain of realizing and knowing then that college was closed to practically every one of those children because they were too poor. And I think it was then that I made up my mind that this Nation could never rest while the door to knowledge remained closed to any American.
So here, today, back on the campus of my youth, that door is swinging open far wider than it ever did before. The rest is up to you.
The rest is up to the teachers and the citizens and the educational leaders of tomorrow. I want to say this to each of you, finally. You are witnessing a historic moment. You should carry the memory and the meaning of this moment with you throughout your life.
And when you look into the faces of your students and your children and your grandchildren, tell them that you were there when it began. Tell them that a promise has been made to them. Tell them that the leadership of your country believes it is the obligation of your Nation to provide and permit and assist every child born in these borders to receive all the education that he can take.
I looked over some editorials that I wrote when I was editor of the college paper here last night. Some I wasn’t too proud of. But in one I urged our people to know no North or no South, or no East or West, to strive to be no sectionalist, but only an American.
And I pointed out to the 1,357 students then enrolled here at this college what I thought vision required of each of us. Some of that vision has been supplied to this student body that has gone from 1,300 to 5,500.
So, when we leave here this morning, I want you to go back and say to your children and to your grandchildren, and those who come after you and follow you–tell them that we have made a promise to them. Tell them that the truth is here for them to seek. And tell them that we have opened the road and we have pulled the gates down and the way is open, and we expect them to travel it. And when we meet back here again a few years from now, there will be many more than the 1,300 and the 5,500 that will be here seeking and receiving the knowledge that is an absolute necessity if we are to maintain our freedom in a highly competitive world.
All you have to do is look at the morning paper this morning to see the rockets that were paraded down the avenues in the Soviet Union yesterday or the day before, and realize that until we banish ignorance, until we drive disease from our midst, until (Pg. 1106) we win the war on poverty, we cannot expect to continue to be the leaders not only of a great people but the leaders of all civilization.
Thank you very much.
NOTE: The President spoke at 12:30 p.m. in the Strahan Gymnasium at Southwest Texas State College, San Marcos, Tex. In his opening words he referred to James H. McCrocklin, President of Southwest Texas State College, J. J. Pickle, Representative from Texas, Jesse C. Kellam, Chairman of the State Board of Regents of Texas State Colleges, Dr. W. H. Crook, Regional Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, Dr. C. E. Evans, President of Southwest Texas State College when President Johnson was a student there, Tom W. Nichols, professor of business administration at the college and formerly President Johnson’s college journalism instructor, and William T. Donaho, superintendent of Cotulla, Tex., public schools when the President was a teacher there. As enacted, the Higher Education Act of 1965 is Public Law 89-329 (79 Stat. 1219). A summary of the major provisions of the act is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. I, p. 482).
Margaret A. Vaverek
Reference/Faculty Outreach Librarian
Texas State University-San Marcos
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666-4604
August 6, 1965
Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of Congress, members of the Cabinet, distinguished guests, my fellow Americans:
Today is a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on any battlefield. Yet to seize the meaning of this day, we must recall darker times.
Three and a half centuries ago the first Negroes arrived at Jamestown. They did not arrive in brave ships in search of a home for freedom. They did not mingle fear and joy, in expectation that in this New World anything would be possible to a man strong enough to reach for it.
They came in darkness and they came in chains.
And today we strike away the last major shackle of those fierce and ancient bonds. Today the Negro story and the American story fuse and blend.
And let us remember that it was not always so. The stories of our Nation and of the American Negro are like two great rivers. Welling up from that tiny Jamestown spring they flow through the centuries along divided channels.
When pioneers subdued a continent to the need of man, they did not tame it for the Negro. When the Liberty Bell rang out in Philadelphia, it did not toll for the Negro. When Andrew Jackson threw open the doors of democracy, they did not open for the Negro.
It was only at Appomattox, a century ago, that an American victory was also a Negro victory. And the two rivers–one shining with promise, the other dark-stained with oppression–began to move toward one another.
THE PROMISE KEPT
Yet, for almost a century the promise of that day was not fulfilled. Today is a towering and certain mark that, in this generation, that promise will be kept. In our time the two currents will finally mingle and rush as one great stream across the uncertain and the marvelous years of the America that is yet to come.
This act flows from a clear and simple wrong. Its only purpose is to right that wrong. Millions of Americans are denied the right to vote because of their color. This law will ensure them the right to vote. The wrong is one which no American, in his heart, can justify. The right is one which no American, true to our principles, can deny.
In 1957, as the leader of the majority in the United States Senate, speaking in support of legislation to guarantee the right of all men to vote, I said, “This right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, people as individuals, control over their own destinies.”
Last year I said, “Until every qualified person regardless of . . . the color of his skin has the right, unquestioned and unrestrained, to go in and cast his ballot in every precinct in this great land of ours, I am not going to be satisfied.”
Immediately after the election I directed the Attorney General to explore, as rapidly as possible, the ways to ensure the right to vote.
And then last March, with the outrage of Selma still fresh, I came down to this Capitol one evening and asked the Congress and the people for swift and for sweeping action to guarantee to every man and woman the right to vote. In less than 48 hours I sent the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the Congress. In little more than 4 months the Congress, with overwhelming majorities, enacted one of the most monumental laws in the entire history of American freedom.
THE WAITING IS GONE
The Members of the Congress, and the many private citizens, who worked to shape and pass this bill will share a place of honor in our history for this one act alone.
There were those who said this is an old injustice, and there is no need to hurry. But 95 years have passed since the 15th amendment gave all Negroes the right to vote.
And the time for waiting is gone.
There were those who said smaller and more gradual measures should be tried. But they had been tried. For years and years they had been tried, and tried, and tried, and they had failed, and failed, and failed.
And the time for failure is gone.
There were those who said that this is a many-sided and very complex problem. But however viewed, the denial of the right to vote is still a deadly wrong.
And the time for injustice has gone.
This law covers many pages. But the heart of the act is plain. Wherever, by clear and objective standards, States and counties are using regulations, or laws, or tests to deny the right to vote, then they will be struck down. If it is dear that State officials still intend to discriminate, then Federal examiners will be sent in to register all eligible voters. When the prospect of discrimination is gone, the examiners will be immediately withdrawn.
And, under this act, if any county anywhere in this Nation does not want Federal intervention it need only open its polling places to all of its people.
THE GOVERNMENT ACTS
This good Congress, the 89th Congress, acted swiftly in passing this act. I intend to act with equal dispatch in enforcing this act.
And tomorrow at 1 p.m., the Attorney General has been directed to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the poll tax in the State of Mississippi. This will begin the legal process which, I confidently believe, will very soon prohibit any State from requiring the payment of money in order to exercise the right to vote.
And also by tomorrow the Justice Department, through publication in the Federal Register, will have officially certified the States where discrimination exists.
I have, in addition, requested the Department of Justice to work all through this weekend so that on Monday morning next, they can designate many counties where past experience clearly shows that Federal action is necessary and required. And by Tuesday morning, trained Federal examiners will be at work registering eligible men and women in 10 to 15 counties.
And on that same day, next Tuesday, additional poll tax suits will be filed in the States of Texas, Alabama, and Virginia.
And I pledge you that we will not delay, or we will not hesitate, or we will not turn aside until Americans of every race and color and origin in this country have the same right as all others to share in the process of democracy.
So, through this act, and its enforcement, an important instrument of freedom passes into the hands of millions of our citizens. But that instrument must be used.
Presidents and Congresses, laws and lawsuits can open the doors to the polling places and open the doors to the wondrous rewards which await the wise use of the ballot.
THE VOTE BECOMES JUSTICE
But only the individual Negro, and all others who have been denied the right to vote, can really walk through those doors, and can use that right, and can transform the vote into an instrument of justice and fulfillment.
So, let me now say to every Negro in this country: You must register. You must vote. You must learn, so your choice advances your interest and the interest of our beloved Nation. Your future, and your children’s future, depend upon it, and I don’t believe that you are going to let them down.
This act is not only a victory for Negro leadership. This act is a great challenge to that leadership. It is a challenge which cannot be met simply by protests and demonstrations. It means that dedicated leaders must work around the clock to teach people their rights and their responsibilities and to lead them to exercise those rights and to fulfill those responsibilities and those duties to their country.
If you do this, then you will find, as others have found before you, that the vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.
THE LAST OF THE BARRIERS TUMBLE
Today what is perhaps the last of the legal barriers is tumbling. There will be many actions and many difficulties before the rights woven into law are also woven into the fabric of our Nation. But the struggle for equality must now move toward a different battlefield.
It is nothing less than granting every American Negro his freedom to enter the mainstream of American life: not the conformity that blurs enriching differences of culture and tradition, but rather the opportunity that gives each a chance to choose.
For centuries of oppression and hatred have already taken their painful toll. It can be seen throughout our land in men without skills, in children without fathers, in families that are imprisoned in slums and in poverty.
RIGHTS ARE NOT ENOUGH
For it is not enough just to give men rights. They must be able to use those rights in their personal pursuit of happiness. The wounds and the weaknesses, the outward walls and the inward scars which diminish achievement are the work of American society. We must all now help to end them–help to end them through expanding programs already devised and through new ones to search out and forever end the special handicaps of those who are black in a Nation that happens to be mostly white.
So, it is for this purpose–to fulfill the rights that we now secure–that I have already called a White House conference to meet here in the Nation’s Capital this fall.
So, we will move step by step–often painfully but, I think, with clear vision–along the path toward American freedom.
It is difficult to fight for freedom. But I also know how difficult it can be to bend long years of habit and custom to grant it. There is no room for injustice anywhere in the American mansion. But there is always room for understanding toward those who see the old ways crumbling. And to them today I say simply this: It must come. It is right that it should come. And when it has, you will find that a burden has been lifted from your shoulders, too.
It is not just a question of guilt, although there is that. It is that men cannot live with a lie and not be stained by it.
DIGNITY IS NOT JUST A WORD
The central fact of American civilization–one so hard for others to understand–is that freedom and justice and the dignity of man are not just words to us. We believe in them. Under all the growth and the tumult and abundance, we believe. And so, as long as some among us are oppressed–and we are part of that oppression–it must blunt our faith and sap the strength of our high purpose.
Thus, this is a victory for the freedom of the American Negro. But it is also a victory for the freedom of the American Nation. And every family across this great, entire, searching land will live stronger in liberty, will live more splendid in expectation, and will be prouder to be American because of the act that you have passed that I will sign today.
NOTE: The President spoke at 12:05 p.m. in the Rotunda at the Capitol, prior to signing the bill. In his opening words he referred to Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, President of the Senate, and Representative John W. McCormack of Massachusetts, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
As enacted, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is Public Law 89-110 (79 Stat. 437).
Reports to the President on the implementation of the act, prepared by the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, were made public by the White House on August 5, August 14, and August 21. They are printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 1, pp. 51, 92, 125).
The determinations of the Attorney General are printed in the Federal Register of August 7 and August 10, 1965 (30 F.R. 9897, 9970).
Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965. Volume II, entry 394, pp. 811-815. Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1966.
April 11, 1965
Ladies and gentlemen:
I want to welcome to this little school of my childhood many of my former school mates and many who went to school to me at Cotulla and Houston and San Marcos, as well as some of my dear friends from the educational institutions of this area.
My Attorney General tells me that it is legal and constitutional to sign this act on Sunday, even on Palm Sunday. My minister assured me that the Lord’s day will not be violated by making into law a measure which will bring mental and moral benefits to millions of our young people.
So I have chosen this time and this place for two reasons.
First, I do not wish to delay by a single day the program to strengthen this Nation’s elementary and secondary schools. I devoutly hope that my sense of urgency will be communicated to Secretary Celebrezze, Commissioner Keppel, and the other educational officers throughout the country who will be responsible for carrying out this program.
Second, I felt a very strong desire to go back to the beginnings of my own education–to be reminded and to remind others of that magic time when the world of learning began to open before our eyes.
In this one-room schoolhouse Miss Katie Deadrich taught eight grades at one and the same time. Come over here, Miss Katie, and sit by me, will you? Let them see you. I started school when I was 4 years old, and they tell me, Miss Kate, that I recited my first lessons while sitting on your lap.
From our very beginnings as a nation, we have felt a fierce commitment to the ideal of education for everyone. It fixed itself into our democratic creed.
Over a century and a quarter ago, the President of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau B. Lamar, proclaimed education as “the guardian genius of democracy . . . the only dictator that free men acknowledge and the only security that free men desire.”
But President Lamar made the mistaken prophecy that education would be an issue “in which no jarring interests are involved and no acrimonious political feelings excited.” For too long, political acrimony held up our progress. For too long, children suffered while jarring interests caused stalemate in the efforts to improve our schools. Since 1946 Congress tried repeatedly, and failed repeatedly, to enact measures for elementary and secondary education.
Now, within the past 3 weeks, the House of Representatives, by a vote of 263 to 153, and the Senate, by a vote of 73 to 18, have passed the most sweeping educational bill ever to come before Congress. It represents a major new commitment of the Federal Government to quality and equality in the schooling that we offer our young people. I predict that all of those of both parties of Congress who supported the enactment of this legislation will be remembered in history as men and women who began a new day of greatness in American society.
We are delighted that Senator McCarthy could be speaking at the University of Texas yesterday, and he came up and had lunch with me today, and is returning to Washington with me at 7:30 in the morning. Senator McCarthy is an old friend of mine from Minnesota. Stand up, Senator, and let them see you. He has been working for this educational bill ever since the first day he came to the House of Representatives, and ever since he has been in the Senate.
I am delighted to have another good friend of mine who spent the weekend in his home district–McAlester, Oklahoma–and who came down here to spend the evening with me, and is returning in the morning, the distinguished majority leader of the House, without whose efforts we would never have passed this bill–Carl Albert of Oklahoma.
By passing this bill, we bridge the gap between helplessness and hope for more than 5 million educationally deprived children.
We put into the hands of our youth more than 30 million new books, and into many of our schools their first libraries.
We reduce the terrible time lag in bringing new teaching techniques into the Nation’s classrooms.
We strengthen State and local agencies which bear the burden and the challenge of better education.
And we rekindle the revolution–the revolution of the spirit against the tyranny of ignorance.
As a son of a tenant farmer, I know that education is the only valid passport from poverty.
As a former teacher–and, I hope, a future one–I have great expectations of what this law will mean for all of our young people.
As President of the United States, I believe deeply no law I have signed or will ever sign means more to the future of America.
To each and everyone who contributed to this day, the Nation is indebted.
On Tuesday afternoon we will ask the Members of the House and Senate who were instrumental in guiding this legislation through the Congress to meet with us at a reception in the White House.
So it is not the culmination but only the commencement of this journey. Let me urge, as Thomas Jefferson urged his fellow countrymen one time to, and I quote, “Preach, my dear sir, a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people …. ”
We have established the law. Let us not delay in putting it to work.
NOTE: The President spoke at 4:20 p.m. on the front lawn of the former Junction Elementary School, Johnson City, Tex. Early in his remarks he referred to Attorney General Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Anthony J. Celebrezze, and Commissioner of Education Francis Keppel. Later he referred to Mrs. Kate Deadrich Loney, his first schoolteacher. He also referred to Senator Eugene J. McCarthy of Minnesota and Representative Carl Albert of Oklahoma. The reception at the White House for the Members of the Congress was held on April 13. As enacted, the bill (H.R. 2362) is entitled “Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965” (Public Law 89-10, 79 Stat. 27).
Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965. Volume I, entry 181, pp. 412-414. Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1966.
November 19, 1964
1. Building the Great Society will require a major effort on the part of every Federal agency in two directions:
– First, formulating imaginative new ideas and programs; and
– Second, carrying out hard-hitting, tough-minded reforms in existing programs.
2. All of you, I am sure, are convinced of the need of new ideas. I have been impressed with the imagination and vision you have shown in this area. But I want to impress on you the equally essential need to be bold in reforming existing programs.
3. The Great Society will require a substantial investment. This means:
– That as a Nation we cannot afford to waste a single dollar of our resources on outmoded programs, which once may have been essential, but which time and events have overtaken.
– That as a Government we must get the most out of every dollar of scarce budget resources, reforming old programs and using the savings for the new programs of the Great Society. The Congress and the American people will provide the budgetary means to build the Great Society only if we take positive steps to show that we are spending only where we legitimately need to spend. Only if we are imaginative in reform will we be allowed to be imaginative in new programs.
4. Reform comes in two packages:
First, we simply cannot afford to keep on doing the same thing year after year merely because that’s the way we did it in the past. In particular, we cannot afford to spend scarce budget dollars
– to meet needs that no longer exist;
– to alleviate hardships that have long since been overcome; or
– to subsidize services that can be provided adequately at full cost.
Second, in what we do undertake, we must get the maximum value per dollar spent. I will continue to insist, as I have in the past, on increased productivity and greater efficiency.
5. Each of you must take a cold, hard look at your existing programs. I expect each of you to be as bold and as imaginative in reforming ongoing programs as in proposing new ones.
6. I think there are many cases where boldness in reform will pay off.
To be sure, every program needing reform has a pressure group which will fight reform. But I want to make the decisions as to those fights which it will be worthwhile to take on and those which it won’t. I want you to give me plenty of such decisions to make.
If we are going to make an impact — and history will find no excuse for us if we don’t — there will be no better time than this coming session of Congress.
7. I need your help in this. I depend upon your sharpness of vision, and your knowledge of the programs in your department to identify the reforms needed.
The speed with which we can move ahead to the Great Society will depend upon how well you do this job
– in this budget, and
– in this legislative program.
I think it is also very important that each of you get to know personally the new Members of Congress, Republicans as well as Democrats. We are planning a reception here from 6 to 8 p.m. on December 9, for the new Democratic Members of the House and Senate, and I want each of you to attend. This will not suffice, of course, for personal efforts on your part to get to know these men and women. In the long and short runs, I believe this personal relationship between senior members of the administration and new Members of Congress will return handsome dividends.