Your Majesties and my friends:
It is indeed an honor for us to gather this evening to welcome to this Capital and to this house the King and Queen of Nepal. We are especially honored because it is the first time that a ruling monarch of Nepal has set foot on this land.
The times are gone when we feel that geography means much to the relations between countries. We have become neighbors through the miracle of modern inventions, communications, and transportation, and we have come to know more of each other. Up until now we have known about such countries as Nepal only by reports from a few adventurous travelers--a few of whom, Your Majesty, are here present this evening--but they have told us about a people that is sturdy, proud of its independence and its liberty, and determined to sustain it. Those are the qualities that Americans admire and respect, and try themselves to show.
It is certain, therefore, that as you go about this country, you will be greeted with the utmost friendliness, respect, and admiration, and indeed our great hope of knowing--through the members of your party and yourself and your gracious Queen--your people. I think that your visit here cannot fail to stimulate greater travel between our two peoples. This is all to the good, because this means a greater understanding among the peoples--and international understanding is the only foundation up?n which true peace can be built.
And so, sir, as you come here as the representative and the ruler of your people, as through you we try to send to them greetings and our best wishes for their success and their continued progress, I know that this company will want to join me in raising our glasses to your health and happiness. Ladies and gentlemen, the King!Note: The President proposed the toast at a state dinner at the White House. King Mahendra responded (through an interpreter) as follows:
Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen:
With your permission, I would like to offer on behalf of the Queen, ourselves, and all those who have accompanied us, heartfelt thanks to the President for his most generous expression of goodwill to us and our people.
During this brief period of history of diplomatic and friendly association between our two countries, it is for the first time that a personal meeting between the two heads of state has taken place. In the long history of our nation, it is also the first time that an occupant of the Throne of Nepal has set foot on American soil. We welcome this opportunity of having a free and frank exchange of views on subjects of mutual interest, and especially on the means and possibility of further strengthening the friendly relations between our two countries, both of which share a common belief in the democratic way of life.
Mr. President, my government and people have always welcomed and appreciated the initiative and efforts on your part for the furtherance of the cause of peace in the world. We would like to take this opportunity to offer our best wishes for the success of the summit conference due to be held next month, and venture to express the hope that the whole world will benefit by its outcome.
We are happy to receive this opportunity to meet the American people and their leaders in various spheres of their national life and activity.
Ladies and gentlemen, may we now request you all to join us in toasting the health and happiness of the President and Mrs. Eisenhower.