Exchange With Reporters in Helsinki Following a Meeting With General Secretary L. I. Brezhnev of the Soviet Union.
REPORTER. Mr. Secretary, what were your talks about?
THE GENERAL SECRETARY. Our relations with America. You know, we have different kinds of relations--commercial, political. We centered our attention on the questions of strategic disarmament. We had very little time, so we had not enough time to finish the talks. On the whole, our talks took place in a businesslike, friendly atmosphere.
Q. Mr. President, what were you talking with the General Secretary?
THE PRESIDENT. I felt the bilateral discussions, the discussions concerning strategic arms limitation, the total atmosphere, was very constructive. It was businesslike, very friendly, and I am sure that when we meet again on Saturday, further .progress will materialize.
Q. Mr. General Secretary, you seem to be in an unusually good mood. Are
you pleased to see the Security Conference beginning today?
THE GENERAL SECRETARY. What do you think?
Q. What do you think this Conference will accomplish for the world.?
THE GENERAL SECRETARY. What would you like it to accomplish, madam?
Q. I asked you the question. It is not fair to turn the question around.
THE GENERAL SECRETARY. I want peace and tranquillity to reign in Europe. I want all the nations of Europe to live at peace with each other, not to interfere in each other's domestic affairs where the sovereignty of each nation of Europe is assured. Is that a little achievement?
Q. You think there will be no interference with borders after this?
THE GENERAL SECRETARY. I think so, yes.
Q. Mr. President, what are you wanting from this Helsinki Conference?
THE PRESIDENT. I believe that the peace in Europe will be enhanced. I believe that the overall peace of the world will be encouraged and broadened, and it is my judgment that progress will be the net result.
REPORTER. Thank you, Mr. President.
Note: The exchange began at 11:40 a.m. at the U.S. Embassy Residence. General Secretary Brezhnev spoke in Russian, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.
Earlier, the President had held a breakfast meeting with Prime Minister Harold Wilson of the United Kingdom.
During the course of the day, the President attended the morning and afternoon sessions of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, held a luncheon meeting with Prime Minister Constantine Caramanlis of Greece, and attended a dinner hosted by President Kekkonen for heads of delegation attending the Conference.
Gerald R. Ford, Exchange With Reporters in Helsinki Following a Meeting With General Secretary L. I. Brezhnev of the Soviet Union. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/256520