March 6, 1958
Dear Mr. Secretary:
It is always possible that the United States might need suddenly to mobilize resources for a maximum national effort. Although it is my devout hope that this will never happen, the national interest requires that against that possibility we achieve and maintain a high state of readiness.
I am delighted to know of your willingness to serve as Administrator of the Emergency Food Agency in the event that a national emergency would compel its formation, and, accordingly, I hereby appoint you such Administrator effective upon activation of the agency. As Administrator, you will, in the performance of your duties, be subject to the direction, control and coordination of the Director of the Office of Emergency Resources, and you will receive such compensation as the President may hereafter specify. Your tenure as Administrator-designate or as Administrator shall be at the pleasure of the President.
In the event of an emergency, as soon as you have assured yourself, by any means at your disposal, that an Emergency Food Agency has been activated, you shall immediately assume active direction of that agency and its function. This letter will constitute your authority.
I have requested the Director of the Office of Defense Mobilization to communicate with you regarding any planning activities in connection with the creation of and activation of an Emergency Food Agency.
Until such time as an Emergency Food Agency may be created, I am certain that you will treat your designation as Administrator as classified information and that you will impress upon any staff you select to assist you that their designations are to be treated similarly as classified information.
You have my deep appreciation of your acceptance of this vitally important assignment.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
The Honorable Ezra Taft Benson
The Secretary of Agriculture
Washington 25, D. C.
EZRA TAFT BENSON: Secretary of Agriculture in the Eisenhower Administration, Mormon, scholar, farmer, statesman, Mormon.