Joint Statement Following Discussions With Chancellor Erhard of Germany.
PRESIDENT Johnson and Chancellor Erhard met on June 12 in Washington. They were accompanied by Secretary Rusk, Foreign Minister Schroder and other advisers.
The President expressed his pleasure that the Chancellor had come to Washington following his official visit to Canada and receipt of an honorary degree at Harvard, thus providing an opportunity to review the international situation and to discuss areas of mutual interest and concern to the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Chancellor and the President discussed the need for finding a just and peaceful solution to the problem of Germany and Berlin and agreed that efforts to find such a solution must continue. They agreed that a solution must be based upon the right of self-determination and take into consideration the security of Europe as a whole. Every suitable opportunity should be used to bring nearer the reunification of Germany through self-determination. So long as Germany remains divided, Europe will not achieve stability.
The President and the Chancellor noted the Soviet Government's announcement that it signed today a Treaty of Friendship, Mutual Assistance and Cooperation with the so-called German Democratic Republic. They agreed that no unilateral move by the Soviet Union could in any way affect the rights of the Three Western Powers or modify the obligations and responsibilities of the Soviet Union with respect to Germany and Berlin. They stressed that the Soviet Government would be solely responsible for the consequences of any attempt at interference with Allied rights that might result from implementation of the new treaty. They also reaffirmed that until Germany is unified, only the freely elected and legitimately constituted government of the Federal Republic of Germany and no one else can speak for the German people.
The President restated the determination of the United States to carry out fully its commitments with respect to Berlin, including the maintenance of the right of free access to West Berlin and the continued freedom and viability of the city.
The President and Chancellor stressed the importance of improving relations with the nations of Eastern Europe. The President said that the United States fully supports the actions of the Federal Republic directed toward this goal. They also expressed the conviction that measures designed to reduce the threat of war and to bring about arms control serve to promote the goal of German reunification.
The President and the Chancellor expressed satisfaction at the progress achieved by the nations of the Atlantic Community in developing political stability as well as economic and military strength. They reaffirmed the continuing importance of NATO to the defense and cohesion of the West. They were agreed that the proposed multilateral force would make a significant addition to this military and political strength and that efforts should be continued to ready an agreement for signature by the end of the year. The Chancellor stressed his interest in the promotion of greater political cooperation between the nations of Western Europe.
In their review of the international scene, the President described the serious situation faced by the United States and the free world in Southeast Asia. He and the Chancellor agreed that the Communist regime in Hanoi must cease its aggression in South Viet-Nam and Laos. The two governments also agreed that the Government of the Republic of Viet-Nam must be fully supported in its resistance against the Viet Cong. The Chancellor stated that his government would increase assistance to South Viet-Nam in the political and economic fields.
They reviewed the Kennedy Round negotiations underway at Geneva and were agreed that expanded trade in all commodities and substantial tariff reductions would be in the interest of all the nations of the free world.
They were agreed on the vital importance of sustaining the flow of economic aid to the developing countries in order 'to support the efforts of these countries to maintain their independence and to modernize and expand their economies to the point where further growth could be sustained without extraordinary foreign assistance. They were of the view that strengthening the private sector of the developing economies can play a key role in the process and they recognized the need for official aid as well as for foreign private investment to promote this objective. The President stressed his intention to sustain the level of United States aid commitments and expenditures. The Chancellor in turn noted the substantial increase in total aid commitments of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1963 and stated that every effort will be made to increase the level of these commitments this year and next.
The President and the Chancellor reviewed also the constructive steps taken so far by Germany to help reduce its large balance of payments surplus. The President told the Chancellor of his appreciation of German support in helping the United States meet its balance of payments problems.
The President and the Chancellor were both happy to have had this opportunity to consult on common problems, as part of the continuing process of full consultation so indispensable to the maintenance of close relations between the two countries. They were gratified to reaffirm that their governments have established a solid basis of cooperation and mutual understanding in their common quest for peace.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Joint Statement Following Discussions With Chancellor Erhard of Germany. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/239392