2. Memorandum From President Nixon to Secretary of Labor Shultz1

I have decided to form a task force within the Executive Branch to accomplish a comprehensive review of the question of the oil import controls.2

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The group will consist of the Secretaries of State, Defense, Interior, Treasury and Commerce and the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness.

I have decided to designate you the Chairman of the task force because of your experience and background, and because Labor has no direct involvement in the issues to be weighed.

I suggest you include as observers representatives of the Department of Justice, the Federal Power Commission, the Office of Science and Technology, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of the Special Trade Representative, and the Bureau of the Budget. You may form an independent central staff by detail from existing Departments and agencies. It has been suggested that the Energy Policy Staff in OST could serve as its nucleus.

Robert Ellsworth, Assistant to the President, has done considerable work in this area recently, and you will undoubtedly want to talk with him and Dr. Arthur Burns about the many issues involved.3

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, PET 17–2 US. No classification marking. Sent as a Presidential Directive. A copy was sent to Robert Ellsworth and Arthur Burns.
  2. According to President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger, White House responsibility for the Task Force was delegated to Peter Flanigan with the NSC exercising a “watching brief” in the “unlikely” event that national security issues emerged. (Years of Upheaval, pp. 855–856)
  3. David Taylor of the Task Force met with Ellsworth March 29; see Document 3. No record of a meeting with Burns was found.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears the President’s typed initials with an indication that he signed the original.