MR. BLACK has been with me a few minutes. We are having a final meeting preparatory to his returning to Asia, visiting a dozen or so countries, in connection with the Asian Development Bank.
Just as a little background for those of you who may not be familiar with it. In April 1965, in the Baltimore speech, we suggested this type of financial development.
I asked Mr. Black shortly thereafter, as the former distinguished head of the World Bank, and whom I consider one of our greatest living Americans--he gets along with Bill Fulbright and everybody else, even the bankers, the borrowers, and the lenders; he knows how to handle us all--to undertake this problem.
I guess there are more countries subscribing to this Asian Development Bank than there are to any regional bank existing. There will be a meeting of the countries who are interested in the bank in Tokyo in November. They will elect the officers of the bank and will be in operation very shortly.
They have ruled they don't make any loans to newspapermen or photographers, and no loans to Americans. So that takes care of any interest you might have in it, I assume.
If you want to go into it further, Mr. Black will report to you about it. He has reported to me some of the developments that have taken place. Personally, I credit his work in connection with the formation of this bank and the formulation of its policies, and the fact that it is organizing now and has its headquarters in Manila, as stimulating and doing more to make that whole general area take on a new look, a new Asia, and a new voice in Asia, than any particular single thing.
There is a new pride afloat in that continent. It is largely due to this man who retired and went down to Florida to play golf and keep his health. I got him back here for nothing. Now he has to go to all of these places and eat these strange foods. But that is the background.
Here is a little statement that George Christian can give you if you want it. I know you have had no news today and I apologize for that. It tells about his state visit, who is going with him, the former president of the Ford Foundation and the executive director of the Port of New York. This was written as if it would be issued early in the day, but I just got to it.
You might want to change that last sentence: "Mr. Black will confer with me later in the day." That is literally true because he will be here with me after you have gone. I am going out and have a little recreation tonight and all of you are invited to be with me.Note: The President spoke at 6:20 p.m. in his office at the White House. During his remarks he referred to Senator J. W. Fulbright of Arkansas, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and George Christian, an assistant press secretary.
For the President's address in Baltimore on April 7, 1965, see 1965 volume, this series, Book I, Item 172.
The statement referred to by the President was also made public on October 13. It announced that Eugene R. Black, special adviser to the President on regional economic development, would leave on October 26 for a visit to 10 Asian nations during which he would attend the inaugural meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Tokyo. The statement noted that Mr. Black would be accompanied by Henry T. Heald, former president of the Ford Foundation, Austin J. Tobin, executive director, Port of New York Authority, and by experts on Asian regional economic development from various Federal agencies (2 Weekly Comp. Pres. Docs., p. 1481).
As printed above, this item follows the text released by the White House Press Office.