Lyndon B. Johnson photo

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

October 10, 1968

AT THE INVITATION of President Lyndon B. Johnson of the United States, the Right Honorable Keith Holyoake, Prime Minister of New Zealand, paid an official visit to Washington on October 9 and 10. This visit afforded the President and the Prime Minister an opportunity to exchange views on matters of mutual interest, including the situation in Southeast Asia and economic relations between their two countries.


The President and the Prime Minister reviewed the situation in South Vietnam, where New Zealand and American forces are assisting the Republic of Vietnam to resist aggression and to uphold the right of the South Vietnamese people to determine their own destiny free of outside interference. They noted that the situation has improved in several respects in recent months, but that North Vietnam still shows no disposition to scale down the fighting. They agreed that the establishment of a just and viable peace calls for both a strong military posture and intensive diplomatic efforts.

The Prime Minister expressed his gratification that the President's initiative of 31 March had led to conversations between representatives of the United States and of North Vietnam. The President reviewed the progress of the talks to date. He reaffirmed that the United States Government would continue to consult fully with the Governments of New Zealand and other allies as the talks proceed.

The President and the Prime Minister recognized that there is a continuing need for the kinds of assistance which New Zealand and the United States have been giving to the Republic of Vietnam. They also agreed that the nations which have been helping to defend it should participate in any settlement of the conflict.

Pacific Regional Cooperation

The President and the Prime Minister reviewed the trend towards close cooperation among countries in the Pacific area. They noted with satisfaction the efforts that are being made by these countries, both individually and in concert, to promote economic and social progress. They reaffirmed their belief that the impressive growth of regional groupings in the area would continue.

The President and the Prime Minister noted with regret that the threat of Communist aggression and subversion in Southeast Asia remains. They recognized that the decision of the United Kingdom to withdraw its military forces increases the need for cooperation among the countries of the area.

New Zealand/United States Relations

The President and the Prime Minister noted with deep satisfaction that the relations between the United States and New Zealand, founded as they are on common traditions and a common outlook, have continued to grow in the spirit of friendship and cooperation which has always characterized them. They reaffirmed the importance of the ANZUS Treaty as an expression of the two countries' interest in the security and progress of the Pacific area and of their willingness to contribute towards it. They agreed that their Governments, in consultation with that of Australia, would study means of achieving still closer cooperation among the ANZUS partners.

The President and the Prime Minister reviewed United States/New Zealand economic relations with special attention to cooperation on trade matters. The Prime Minister reiterated his understanding of the need to reduce the United States balance of payments deficit and of the President's program to give effect to this policy. The Prime Minister, in referring to the balance of payments problems New Zealand has also been encountering, emphasized the importance he and his Government attach to improved access for its primary exports in the developed markets of the world.

The President noted with satisfaction that the New Zealand Government's vigorous efforts to rectify the imbalance in New Zealand's international accounts are meeting with success and assured the Prime Minister that the United States would strive to avoid undesirable effects on New Zealand in implementing its own balance of payments program. The President also assured the Prime Minister of the United States Government's readiness to cooperate with New Zealand in expanding trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. In this context it was agreed that the particular problems relating to New Zealand/United States trade would continue to be examined jointly and that inter alia additional measures would be taken to ensure that New Zealand producers and manufacturers have every reasonable opportunity to participate in United States Government overseas procurement activities.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Joint Statement Following Discussions With Prime Minister Holyoake of New Zealand. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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