On his last day as US Defence Secretary, Neil McElroy, held a news conference in his Washington office, Dec. 1.
On his last day as US Defence Secretary, Neil McElroy, held a news conference in his Washington office, Dec. 1. The following day, his deputy, Thomas S.Gates, was sworn in as Defence Secretary by President Eisenhower, at a White House ceremony.
McElroy, who resigned his post for "personal reasons of an urgent nature", told reporters that America had sufficient striking power in her missile carrying B-52 bombers to protect the nation until she caught up with Russia in the missile race. But he said, the United States would lag behind Russia for the next three years.
McElroy is thought to have resigned in favour of returning to the soap- manufacturing firm he headed before coming to Washington in 1957.
After accepting McElroy's resignation, President Eisenhower presented him with the Medal of Freedom "in recognition of his outstanding service to his country and his dedication to his task."
53-year-old Mr. Gates is an investment banker by profession. Before becoming deputy defence secretary seven months ago, he was Navy secretary for two years. During the war he served with the Navy and has since had long experience in the Defence Department.