Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

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Harry S. Truman

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Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.
  59. Letter to Edwin W. Pauley Consenting to the Withdrawal of His Nomination  
March 13, 1946

Dear Ed:

I appreciate the motives which prompt your request for the withdrawal of my nomination of you as Under Secretary of the Navy. When that nomination, unsought by you, was challenged, you met the challenge with facts and you answered prejudice with a complete and forthright resume of your career and with an amazing patience under continued misrepresentation.

The disclosure of all the evidence has vindicated my confidence in you. Your own feeling that there is no immediate antidote to the tactics which have been employed against you is the only reason I would accept for the action you now ask me to take. On that basis alone I consent to the withdrawal of your nomination. Your defense of your good name has been valiant and conclusive.

My faith in your integrity and ability has been strengthened. Both the fight that you have waged, and your request for withdrawal now, have been made in good grace and with true American sportsmanship. The Nation will know, in more temperate times, the full worth of your devoted and patriotic services.

With this pledge of full confidence in you I shall reluctantly withdraw your nomination. But I shall do so not without ironical reflections. Your honor, integrity, fidelity to duty and capacity for public service have been completely established.

All of these considerations and circumstances fully justify the confidence which I reposed in you and which prompted me to call you to the service of the Department of the Navy. So, you stand before your countrymen after vicious and unwarranted attacks with integrity unscathed, with ability unquestioned, with honor unsullied.

I could not take the action which you request without reiterating these convictions with all of the emphasis at my command.
Very sincerely yours,

[Honorable Edwin W. Pauley, Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C.]

NOTE: Mr. Pauley's letter, dated March 13, 1946, was released with the President's reply.
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.