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Exchange of Messages With Prime Minister Adams of the West Indies on the Occasion of the Signing of a Mutual Defense Agreement

February 16, 1961

[ Released February 16, 1961. Dated February 9, 1961 ]

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

I wish to thank you and your cabinet colleagues for your thoughtful message of congratulation upon my inauguration in office. It gives me particular pleasure upon the occasion of the signing of a new agreement providing for our mutual defense to reciprocate your confidence in the endurance and strength of the present friendly relations between our two countries. The United States looks forward to the time when The West Indies will become an independent member of the British Commonwealth of Nations and to the opportunity of welcoming her into the hemispheric community.



[His Excellency, Sir Grantley Adams, C.M.G., Q.C., Prime Minister of The West Indies, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad]

Note: Prime Minister Adams' letter, dated February 14, 1961, follows:

The President of the United States White House
Dear Mr. President:

I offer my sincere thanks for the great kindness of your letter sent to me on the occasion of the signing of the Defence Areas Agreement in Port of Spain. The reading of your letter added a note of the highest significance to the Signing Ceremony.

My Government and I warmly reciprocate your expressions of good will which serve to increase our satisfaction in the close and enduring friendship between our two countries, upon which this Agreement and our cooperation in defence and other spheres, are founded.

We are particularly grateful to you, Mr. President for having made it possible for The Honourable John Hay Whitney to be your special representative at the culminating stage of an understanding, to the success of which Mr. Whitney's broad vision and sincerity have made so unique a contribution.

All has gone well and to good purpose. The presence of Mr. Weaver and Dr. Garcia at this time and their wide knowledge and sympathetic approach to human problems in their respective fields, have enabled us to have with them discussions which proved of the highest value to us.

I would also pay tribute to the magnificent efforts, over many months, of United States Officials and Services who produced work of the highest distinction, enabling this Agreement which gives such mutual satisfaction, to be perfected so expeditiously.

Yours sincerely,


On February 15 the White House released a statement by Ambassador John Hay Whitney, chairman of the U.S. delegation in the negotiations with the Federation 'of the West Indies. The text of Ambassador Whitney's statement is published in the Department of State Bulletin (vol. 44, P. 350) Other members of the delegation included George Weaver, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Labor, and Dr. Hector Garcia.

The agreement between the United States and the Federation of the West Indies concerning U.S. defense areas in the Federation entered into force February 10, 1961, the date of signing. It is printed together with related documents in Treaties and Other International Acts Series 4734 (Government Printing Office).

John F. Kennedy, Exchange of Messages With Prime Minister Adams of the West Indies on the Occasion of the Signing of a Mutual Defense Agreement Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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