WE ARE honored tonight by the visit of Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands, and His Royal Highness the Prince of the Netherlands.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate the fact that we have with us what I like to refer to as the fairy Queen. We had the fairy Princess with us the time before, before she became the Queen of England.
We appreciate the fact that our friendship with the Netherlands has been long and lasting.
The largest bay on the North American Continent is named for a Dutchman, and his name was Hudson. One of the most beautiful rivers in the country--I say one of the most beautiful, not the most beautiful, necessarily--is named for this same Hendrik Hudson.
The Dutch made a great contribution to the settlement of this great Nation of ours, and the Dutch also made a great contribution after we became a great nation, because they were willing to invest their money in this country of ours--and did--for its development.
They put on a point 4 program long before I was old enough to know what it meant. They built railroads, ranches, buildings--one of the greatest apartments in this area of Washington was built by Dutch capital.
We are grateful for that. We want to show our gratefulness, and we have been trying to show that by the fact that we were--and are--willing to help free Europe recover and meet the world menace east of Poland.
We have succeeded, to some extent in getting that done. We have stopped them at every perimeter in which they have made the attempt to make slaves out of their neighbors.
We have a different situation here on this western continent. The United States is credited with being at this time one of the strongest nations in the history of the world. It has neighbors on the south. It has neighbors on the north. Those neighbors are not afraid of us. They don't think we are going to try to take them over, or make them colonies, or make them a part of our own territory. They are cooperative neighbors.
We hope to see the whole world set up on that basis someday--and I think we will.
And one of the great assets in our efforts to get that done is the great country that these lovely people represent.
I am glad they are here. I hope they will enjoy themselves. I hope they will take back a good opinion of this Nation of ours, and that when they go home they will feel more friendly to us than when they came--if that is possible.
It is a very great pleasure to have you here, Your Majesty, and Your Royal Highness. I hope you will enjoy yourselves. You are very welcome.Note: The President proposed the toast at 9:40 p.m. at a state dinner given in honor of Queen Juliana and her husband, Prince Bernhard, at the Carlton Hotel in Washington. The Queen responded as follows:
"I thank you very much for your very cordial and warmhearted words of welcome.
"Some of the things you referred to, you spoke directly to my heart. I am going to speak about them tomorrow in Congress, but I want you to know how ranch response there is for what you say.
"And then I want to say--well, we wanted to come and you wanted us to come. The wish was there on both sides. And you even wanted us to come to the White House in its new state. I cannot think of a greater kindness for our country; it is symbolic of the sign of friendship between the two nations.
"One could write a most interesting story about that friendship, with possibly minor ups and downs. But it is always basically there, and that will remain so, I am absolutely sure. It can be of great service to the better understanding of each other, both in the Atlantic and in the world community.
"I know, Mr. President, that you are a great friend of humanity. Your recent proposals to Congress to alleviate the suffering of the refugees and the problem of overpopulation in Europe are a new proof of it.
"You head a great country of very human and kindhearted people, who have given us invaluable support during and after the war. They even liberated a part of our country. The graves of your soldiers there are shrines for us. Your Government and your people have put us on the arduous path to prosperity again. We are full of gratitude to the American people. And you are the representative of all this.
"May I raise my glass in your honor, Mr. President, and in Mrs. Truman's, our kind host and hostess in America, and to the everlasting friendship of our two countries."
[At this point the toast was drunk. The President then resumed speaking.]
May I return that toast. To Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands, and to His Royal Highness the Prince of the Netherlands.