Seven years ago this Committee confirmed my nomination to what was then the newest post designed to assist and cooperate with our friends abroad: Director of the Peace Corps. I am grateful to you for the confidence and support which you always gave me in the direction of the Peace Corps, and I am glad to say that over the years I have always had deep respect for the members of this Committee.
Today you will consider my nomination to our oldest diplomatic post: Ambassador to France.
Current differences between France and the United States on this or that aspect of policy are well known, and certainly well documented in the press. I think it is important to be realistic about these differences -- to remember that this is not the first time in the long history of our relations with France that we have not seen things in the same way. But over the years -- and I have no doubt in the years ahead -- those bonds which join us together will far outweigh those differences which tend to separate us. And this is important to remember. France, with its history, its culture, its economic capacity, and its unrivaled perception of the dignity of man, has always been a valued friend and will always play a crucial role in world affairs.
For these reasons and for many others I am honored to have been nominated by the President to represent our country in France, and, if confirmed by the Senate, I hope to contribute to an ever deepening friendship and understanding between our two countries, and thereby to peace among nations.