Mr. Roboff, Dr. Seaborg, distinguished guests:
It gives me great pleasure to receive this award today, as it gave me great pleasure yesterday to appear at the United Nations and make the statement that it was possible to make.
It had been almost 5 years since the nonproliferation treaty was little more than a dream, when I first asked our people to try to begin work that finally resulted on the action that the General Assembly of the United Nations took.
In my judgment, a century from now those who write of today will conclude that this is one of the most, if not the most important agreement and understanding that the nations reached with each other during this period of our history.
I am very grateful for the time, thought, and purpose that went into your effort here today.
I shall treasure this award and try to keep it on display with some of the other mementos that I have collected in the Presidency, so that future generations may be inspired by the good cause which it serves.
I am convinced that all of the 3 1/2 billion people of the world want peace more than they want anything else. I believe that while it still appears to us to be quite elusive, each day we are making progress in that direction.
Thanks to all of you who contribute so much of your talent and dedication to that end.Note: The President spoke at 1:20 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House upon receiving the "Swords into Plowshares" Award. In his opening words he referred to Stanley B. Roboff, President and Chairman of Nuclear Week in New York, Inc., and Glenn T. Seaborg, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.
Mr. Roboff presented the award in recognition of the President's leadership in sponsoring the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty which was signed on July 1, 1968, by representatives of 56 nations (see Item 349).
According to a White House press release issued on June 13, the award consisted of a 22-inch statue of the Biblical prophet Isaiah, holding aloft a broken sword (4 Weekly Comp. Pres. Docs., p. 958).