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Johnson Accepts Abba Schwartz’s Resignation Without Comment

March 9, 1966
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Acceptance of the resignation of Assistant Secretary of State Abba P. Schwartz, administrator of the Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs, and the Administration’s architect of the 1965 act that liberalized the basic immigration law, eliminating the national origins quota system, was announced by the White House today.

Mr. Schwartz tendered his resignation last weekend when, upon returning from a confidential Government mission abroad, he discovered that plans for eliminating his State Department bureau had been in the works for months. He submitted his resignation to President Johnson. Today, the White House confirmed that, instead of dealing with the resignation on the topmost level, President Johnson has merely referred the resignation to the State Department for the Department’s “action.”

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, of Massachusetts, who had engineered the passage of the new Immigration Act in the Senate, last year, said he was considering a hearing on the Schwartz resignation by a Senate subcommittee concerned with refugees. Mr. Kennedy praised Mr. Schwartz as “a direct-action, liberal public servant.” Neither the White House nor the State Department would comment on the reasons why the action to unseat Mr. Schwartz from his post had been taken without his knowledge.

Mr. Schwartz was offered a post vaguely described as that of special assistant to Mr. Rusk on refugee affairs, but no effort was being made to present this as an equivalent to his old post.

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