Letter Accepting the Resignation of Edwin L. Harper as Assistant to the President for Policy Development

July 13, 1983

Dear Ed:

I was personally and professionally saddened to receive your resignation from my staff as my Assistant for Policy Development.

You have consistently over the years provided policy and strategic options and alternatives to the Cabinet and to me which were sound in theory, firmly grounded in experience and have at all times been politically and technically feasible.

I will sorely miss your wise counsel and sharp judgment in the difficult and complex times ahead.

Although you have already stayed the course with me far beyond your original intention (and, I'm afraid, at considerable sacrifice to your own private business career), I want you to know how grateful I am for all your help, advice and innovative assistance.

Therefore, please take warning that I fully intend to call on you frequently in the future whenever the need for your incomparable help arises.

Your long and illustrious career of service to your country should be a source of great pride to you.

Nancy joins me in extending to Lucy, and to you and your family, our very best wishes for all that the future may bring.

Sincerely,

Ronald Reagan

[The Honorable Edwin L. Harper, Assistant to the President for Policy Development, The White House, Washington, D.C. 20500]

B

July 12, 1983

Dear Mr. President:

In 1980 I joined the majority of Americans feeling that this country was going in the wrong direction. You brought the nation hope that we did not have to be a victim of economic forces but that by trying some new ideas we could master the problems we faced.

Through your leadership our hopes have been realized. The turnaround has been tougher than we had originally hoped, but it has not been the calamity that was inevitable had you not taken the helm. You have made a real difference.

The opportunity you gave me to help you make that difference is indeed a precious gift. I hope my work has justified your giving me that gift.

Your gift of opportunity caused me to abandon the commitment I made at the beginning of the 1980 transition to myself and my family to stay with my private sector career. The opportunities to initiate and lead your program against fraud and waste in government, to help put together your first two budgets, to help develop your mid-term strategic policy plan and to work with the many outstanding people you have attracted to government have been the most exciting and personally satisfying way one could have to serve one's country. Whatever my accomplishments have been they would not have been possible without the excellent career staff and your outstanding appointees at the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Policy Development and the Inspectors General corps.

As you and I have discussed, it is now time for me to return to the private sector; therefore, with this letter I tender my resignation effective July 31, 1983. As I leave I am asking you for one more opportunity -- the opportunity to help you be re-elected for a second term. Lucy joins me in leaving you and Nancy with our every good wish.

Sincerely,

Ed

Edwin L. Harper

Assistant to the President for Policy Development

[The President, The White House, Washington, D.C. 20500]