Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Joint Statement Following Discussions With Chancellor Erhard.

December 21, 1965

PRESIDENT JOHNSON and Chancellor Erhard have completed 2 days of intensive, cordial, and candid conversations in Washington. They were accompanied by Secretaries Rusk, Fowler, and McNamara; Ministers Schroeder and von Hassel and other advisers. They discussed all major matters of joint concern to the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany and of general import for the free world.

The future of the Atlantic Alliance was a central topic in the conversation. The President and the Chancellor agreed that close political and military cooperation among the nations of NATO was necessary. They affirmed the determination of both Governments to maintain and to strengthen the alliance and its political and military institutions.

The President and the Chancellor gave dose attention to the nuclear problems confronting the alliance. They agreed that the Federal Republic of Germany and other interested partners in the alliance should have an appropriate part in nuclear defense.

In this connection the Chancellor emphasized that the Federal Republic of Germany neither intended nor desired to acquire national control over nuclear weapons, that it had in 1954 given an undertaking to its allies not to produce such weapons in Germany, and that, finally, it is the only State in the world to have subjected itself to international supervision of such an obligation.

The President and the Chancellor noted with satisfaction that the Defense Ministers of a number of NATO countries have started discussions on the possibility of improving present nuclear arrangements within the alliance.

The President, after noting that the deterrent power of the alliance had proved completely effective and was being constantly modernized, stated the views of the United States that arrangements could be worked out to assure members of the alliance not having nuclear weapons an appropriate share in nuclear defense. The President and the Chancellor agreed that discussion of such arrangements be continued between the two countries and with other interested allies.

The President and the Chancellor were in agreement in upholding the principle of nonproliferation of nuclear weapons into the national control of states. They were of the view that alliance nuclear arrangements would not constitute proliferation of nuclear weapons and in fact should contribute to the goal of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. They stressed the importance of continuing efforts to reduce the threat of war and bring about effective arms control.

The President and the Chancellor voiced mutual satisfaction at the arrangements worked out, and already successfully underway, between the United States Space Agency and the Germany Ministry of Scientific Research for a joint project to launch a German-built satellite to probe the inner radiation belt. The President suggested several other possible cooperative projects, including a probe to the Sun and a probe to Jupiter. He also indicated his intention to send a commission to Europe early in 1966 to consult with the German Government and other European governments which wish to join in the cooperative exploration of space.

The President and the Chancellor had an intensive exchange of views on the question of Germany's reunification. They reaffirm their strong determination to pursue all opportunities for attaining as soon as possible the common objective of the peaceful reunification of Germany on the basis of self-determination. The President and the Chancellor reject malicious allegations designed to cast doubt on the peaceful intentions of the Federal Republic of Germany. The exchange of views between the two Governments on the German problem and related questions will be continued.

The President and the Chancellor emphasized that pressures on Berlin would continue, as in the past, to be met with firmness and determination. They underlined that a lasting solution of the problems of Berlin can only be found in a peaceful solution of the German problem on the basis of self-determination.

The President and the Chancellor reaffirmed the view that a lasting relaxation of tension in Europe and in West-East relationships will require progress toward the peaceful reunification of Germany in freedom. Both leaders restated their intention to continue to seek improvement in relations with the nations of Eastern Europe. The Chancellor reaffirmed Germany's fundamental commitment to European unity and his confidence in the ability of the effective institutions already created to contribute to its achievement. The President assured the Chancellor that the United States remained convinced that a united Europe is important to the achievement of an effective Atlantic partnership.

The President and the Chancellor agreed that the successful conclusion of the Kennedy Round trade negotiations is of major importance to the progress of the free world, for developed and developing countries alike. They also agreed that, to attain their full promise, these historic negotiations must move forward as rapidly as possible with the active participation of the EEC.

Recent developments in other parts of the world, particularly in the Far East, were also examined. The President described the situation in Viet-Nam and the efforts of the Governments of South Viet-Nam and the United States, together with their allies, to bring about a peaceful and just settlement. He expressed his appreciation for the support of the Federal Republic of Germany in the struggle to deter Communist aggression against South Viet-Nam. The Chancellor stated the determination of his Government to continue to assist in this effort for the cause of freedom.

The President and the Chancellor reviewed the aid programs of their Governments and emphasized the great importance of effective aid to developing countries. In this connection, they noted that over 90 percent of all external resources flowing to these countries is provided by the free world. They agreed that there was need for increased effort on the part of developed countries to provide funds to assure that adequate levels of aid are maintained. At the same time, they emphasized the need for greater self-help by the developing countries. The President was pleased to hear the Chancellor's description of the progress of the German Development Aid Service (German Peace Corps).

The President and the Chancellor welcomed the establishment of the Asian Development Bank, to which their Governments would make substantial contributions. They reemphasized the value of economic and social development in southeast Asia as a way of promoting peace in that region.

They also discussed the arrangements between the two Governments whereby United States military expenditures in Germany entering the balance of payments are offset by the Federal Republic through its purchase of United States military equipment and services. It was agreed that these arrangements were of great value to both Governments and should be fully executed and continued.

The President and the Chancellor discussed social developments in the United States and in Germany. They expressed the view that their concepts of the Great Society and the Formierte Gesellschaft have much in common and that a joint discussion of experiences should take place as soon as possible.

The President and the Chancellor agreed that the tradition and practice of effective consultation between their Governments-reflecting the friendship and trust which has grown up between the people of the United States and Germany--would lead to even closer and more fruitful relations in the future between the United States, the Federal Republic of Germany, and their partners.

Note: See also Item 659.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Joint Statement Following Discussions With Chancellor Erhard. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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