Mr. President and Mrs. Diaz Ordaz, Mr. Secretary and Mrs. Carrillo Flores, Secretary and Mrs. Rusk, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:
Today we welcome two close neighbors and good friends--President and Senora Diaz Ordaz of Mexico.
We hope to repay, in some small part, the hospitality which Mrs. Johnson and I en joyed last year in Mexico City. We remember, Mr. President, the warmth and the kindness of the people of Mexico on that occasion. We hope that there may be conveyed to you during your visit to our country the equal warmth and good feeling of the people of the United States toward Mexico.
Mr. President, I should like to quote a few words which you once spoke about your own country. You said:
"Mexico follows an unchanging policy in the field of foreign relations. Mexico desires for all the peoples of the world that which she desires for herself. She meets cooperation with cooperation, solidarity with solidarity, and responds to a good neighbor as a good neighbor, and to friendship with friendship."
If ever proof was needed that this was indeed Mexico's policy toward her neighbors, we received it less than a month ago in the floods along the Rio Grande. In that disaster, the border between our countries literally ceased to exist for days. Men and women of both nations did whatever was necessary to save lives and to relieve suffering-without regard to nationality.
Another kind of proof lies in the great public works that we are building together along our common frontier--works like the Amistad Dam, which you and I visited together only last December.
We will see it again on Saturday, when we will visit the Chamizal to celebrate the settlement of a dispute that took us a hundred years to solve--but which has been solved in a spirit of reason and friendship.
Scarcely half a century has passed, Mr. President, since the Mexican people fought and won a major social revolution. In this short time, Mexico has achieved political stability and personal freedom. She has made spectacular gains in industry and commerce. She has brought ever-growing opportunity and prosperity to her people.
The Mexico of today is also a nation of growing influence in the world.
You have taken leadership in the great work of keeping Latin America free from the threat of nuclear weapons.
You have made your resources and your skills freely available to less fortunate nations in the world. At a time when the growing shortage of food has become a grim problem for much of the world, Mexican agriculture has produced a new strain of wheat which will help to revolutionize agriculture in all the developing countries.
Our success as friends and neighbors rests on respect for each other's rights. We regard diversity as a healthy condition within nations, and among neighbors. We approach whatever differences arise in a spirit of compromise and good will. Because the United States and Mexico practice these precepts, our relations today are closer than they have ever been in the history of our two republics.
So I welcome you to Washington, Mr. President, as my own friend--and as a friend of all of the American people. I want you to feel at home in my house, as I do in yours. Esta en su casa.Note: The President spoke at 12:25 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White House where President Diaz Ordaz was given a formal welcome with full military honors. In his opening words he referred to President and Mrs. Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations and Mrs. Antonio Carrillo Flores, and Secretary of State and Mrs. Dean Rusk. President Diaz Ordaz responded as follows:
Mr. President, Mrs. Johnson, Mr. Secretary of State, Mrs. Rusk:
In the first place, I must express my gratitude for the cordial reception--especially to President and Mrs. Johnson, who have given us the opportunity to visit this beautiful Capital of the United States.
The visit of President and Mrs. Johnson to Mexico in April of last year left a fond memory with us. It gave an opportunity to President and Mrs. Johnson to see and to take notice of the warm reception of the Mexican people.
I express my great satisfaction in stepping on the soil of this great Nation--the first one on this continent to obtain its liberty. And I bring with me the expression of friendship of our people for the United States.
I bring to that great number of people of Mexican descent or of Mexican citizenship who reside in the United States my salutation and hope that they retain in their memory the country of their or their ancestors' origin.
Though far away in distance, we are close to them in affection. We are with them in their joys and their sufferings. We bring to them as a message a reminder of respect due to the laws of the country in which they reside.
Mr. President, you have just reminded us of the suffering of many of our fellow citizens due to the adverse climatic conditions on our border recently. But we must remember that in the midst of their suffering, they always saw the light of solidarity and what this could achieve.
Thank you, Mr. President, for the cooperation that you showed us in this case--I bring you this thanks in the names of the people and the Government of Mexico--cooperation which went as far as sending five helicopters all the way to the State of Guerrero, one of the many States to suffer during the hurricane.
The solution of new and old problems, the construction of public works in common, the response of solidarity in the case of danger have once more shown the state of the relations between our two countries.
I hope that our two countries will continue the mutual action that is so beneficial to both. I hope and wish the best to President and Mrs. Johnson, and to the American Nation.
I am certain that this visit will be very pleasant-as its beginnings have been. I am sure that as a result of this trip, we will have even more firm solidarity between our two countries.