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John F. Kennedy: Joint Statement following Discussions With Prime Minister <B><font color='#cc3300'>Menzies</font></B> of Australia.
John F. Kennedy
251 - Joint Statement following Discussions With Prime Minister Menzies of Australia.
June 20, 1962
Public Papers of the Presidents
John F. Kennedy<br>1962
John F. Kennedy
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THE WHITE HOUSE today made public the following Joint Communique after meetings between the President and the Right Honorable Robert Gordon Menzies, Prime Minister of Australia.

The President and the Prime Minister expressed gratification at the opportunity presented by the Prime Minister's visit for furthering their personal as well as official friendship symbolizing the cordiality of relations between the American and Australian people.

The President and the Prime Minister discussed the question of peace in Southeast Asia. The President noted with satisfaction Australia's active interest in supporting the struggle of the Government of Vietnam against subversion and aggression organized and directed from abroad. Both leaders looked forward to the effective realization of the Geneva Accords assuring the independence and neutrality of Laos.

The President and the Prime Minister agreed that a peaceful solution of the West New Guinea dispute would be in the best interests of all concerned, and they recognized that the efforts of the Acting Secretary General of the United Nations, U Thant, and his representative, Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker, had provided the atmosphere for the achievement of a significant contribution to the cause of peaceful settlement of international disputes.

Both the President and the Prime Minister agreed on the desirability of maintaining the excellent record of Australian-American security consultation and coordination through the ANZUS and SEATO Treaties.

President Kennedy expressed his strong belief in the importance of the Commonwealth as a source of stability and strength for the free World. At the same time both leaders recognized that European unity could contribute substantially to the strength of the free World.

They reviewed therefore the implications for the trade of their two nations of the possible accession of the United Kingdom to the European Economic Community.

It was agreed that in this event the United States and Australia would, as great suppliers to Britain and Europe, face problems in endeavoring to maintain and expand access for their goods.

The Prime Minister offered the view that it would be a grave misfortune if, after the negotiations, it turned out that the conditions laid down for Britain's entry were unacceptable to Commonwealth countries on the ground that they damaged Commonwealth trade and expansion.

The President and the Prime Minister took note of the fact that with respect to certain articles and commodities Australia's historic terms of access are different from those of the United States. They recognized, however, that Australia competed with the United States in the United Kingdom market with respect to only a relatively small number of these items--though the items themselves are by no means of small importance. They agreed that with respect to these items technical discussions would be held between the two Governments in an effort to reconcile the trading interests of both nations.

With respect to the great bulk of articles and commodities they noted that, as nonmembers of the European Economic Community, their countries faced essentially the same problems, and they joined in hoping that the Community would pursue liberal trading policies. President Kennedy pointed out that under the Trade Expansion legislation now pending before the Congress the United States Government might be able, through reciprocal agreements, to bring about a general reduction of trade barriers for the benefit of all. Moreover, both leaders agreed that, with respect to a number of key primary products, the problems raised by the expansion of the Common Market might best be solved through international arrangements.

During the course of their interviews the president expressed his warm interest in Australia and his understanding of Australian needs in terms of development and growth, recognizing the problems of particular regions as well as industries. Both he and the Prime Minister were agreed that the problems arising out of Britain's proposed entry should be approached not on any basis of theory or the use of particular words but upon a practical basis examining commodities one by one, having in mind the protection of the interests of both countries.

As a result of their discussions the President and the Prime Minister were encouraged to believe that satisfactory solutions will be found to these problems faced by their two countries.

Citation: John F. Kennedy: "Joint Statement following Discussions With Prime Minister Menzies of Australia.," June 20, 1962. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=8727.
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