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Joint Statement Following Discussion With Prime Minister Holyoake of New Zealand.

March 03, 1961

PRESIDENT KENNEDY and Prime Minister Holyoake met today in Washington to review matters of mutual interest. The Secretary of State, Dean Rusk; the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, J. Graham Parsons; the Secretary of the Department of External Affairs of the Government of New Zealand, Mr. A.D. McIntosh; and the Charge d'Affaires of the New Zealand Embassy in Washington, Mr. O. D. L. White, participated in the discussions.

In welcoming this opportunity to establish a personal association at an early stage of their administrations, the President and Prime Minister declared their desire to make even stronger the friendship and confidence which have always characterized relations between their two countries.

The President and the Prime Minister reviewed the progress so far achieved, and the continuing contribution of the United States and New Zealand, in the struggle to raise living standards in the developing areas of the world. They noted with concern the present inadequacy of food distribution throughout the world and the urgent need for action to alleviate mass hunger and malnutrition which now afflict much of mankind. They recognized the importance of insuring that programs of aid in agricultural commodities should not endanger normal trade.

In exchanging views on defense questions, the Prime Minister and the President were in full agreement on the importance and value of SEATO and ANZUS. Both leaders reaffirmed their adherence to the principles of collective security which these treaties make effective. Both stated their determination to cooperate closely in maintaining security in the Pacific. Prime Minister Holyoake informed the President of the review of defense policy, which New Zealand is presently conducting with the aim of insuring that it will be able to meet its commitments promptly and effectively.

President Kennedy and Prime Minister Holyoake noted with deep concern the hostile and aggressive attitude of the Chinese communist regime and the particular menace it poses to the peace of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

The Prime Minister and the President examined the crisis in Laos. Mr. Holyoake drew upon the first-hand experience he had been able to gain during his fact-finding tour of Laos last year. Both men welcomed the recent statement of King Savang Vatthana and expressed the hope that ways could be found in the near future to bring to this Asian nation peace, security and neutrality.

The President and the Prime Minister agreed that disarmament confronted the world with one of its most difficult problems. President Kennedy outlined the steps the United States is taking to coordinate and expand its efforts in this field. Both leaders expressed the hope that future deliberations on this subject would have a successful conclusion. They recognized that effective controls must be a central feature of any agreement.

The President of the United States took this occasion to thank the New Zealand Government and people for the excellent support and hospitality they have extended to the United States in its scientific endeavors' in Antarctica.

John F. Kennedy, Joint Statement Following Discussion With Prime Minister Holyoake of New Zealand. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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