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Joint statement Following Discussions With Prime Minister Macmillan at His Home in Birch Grove, Sussex.

June 30, 1963

DURING the past two days President Kennedy and Prime Minister Macmillan have held their seventh meeting to discuss current problems. Their talks have taken place at Prime Minister Macmillan's home in Sussex and followed on President Kennedy's visit to Germany and Eire.

The United States Secretary of State, Mr. Rusk, Lord Home, British Foreign Secretary, Mr. Duncan Sandys, Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Hailsham, Lord President of the Council, Mr. Thorneycroft, Minister of Defence, and Mr. Heath, Lord Privy Seal, took part in the talks at various times.

During some twelve hours of discussion the President and the Prime Minister began by hearing reports from Lord Home and Mr. Rusk about conversations which the two Ministers had held in London during the previous two days. The topics covered included Laos and the Far Eastern situation, the position in the Middle East, the problems of NATO and the Western Alliance and the effort for a test ban treaty. President Kennedy and the Prime Minister took note in particular of the situation in Laos and expressed their concern at the frequent breaches of the Geneva Agreement of 1962 and at the failure of certain parties to the Agreement to carry out their obligations under it. They agreed to continue to work closely together for the preservation of peace in Laos and the independence and neutrality of that country. They also agreed to continue close general cooperation in the Far East, particularly in regard to the problems of Viet Nam. As regards the Middle East, the President and the Prime Minister agreed on the importance of the efforts made by the United Nations in working towards conciliation in the Yemen and pledged their support to the Secretary-General.

" The President and the Prime Minister were agreed on their policy of continuing to help India by providing further military aid to strengthen her defenses against the threat of renewed Chinese Communist attack. They were impressed by the importance to the economic progress and Defence of both India and Pakistan of whose anxieties they were fully aware, of an honourable and equitable settlement of the outstanding differences between the two countries; they stood ready to help in any way which might be desired by both countries.

President Kennedy and the Prime Minister then reviewed the problems of the Western Alliance, especially in regard to NATO. They noted with satisfaction the decisions reached at the recent NATO meeting in Ottawa which implemented the concept which they had themselves set out at their meeting at Nassau in December 1962, by which a number of powers assigned some or all of their present and future forces to NATO Command.

With regard to the future they took note of the studies now under way in NATO for review of the strategic and tactical concepts which should underlie NATO's military plans.

The President reported on his discussions with Dr. Adenauer in which they reaffirmed their agreement to use their best efforts to bring into being a multilateral sea-borne M. R. B. M. force and to pursue with other interested governments the principal questions involved in the establishment of such a force.

The President and the Prime Minister agreed that a basic problem facing the NATO Alliance was the closer association of its members with the nuclear deterrent of the Alliance. They also agreed that various possible ways of meeting this problem should be further discussed with their allies. Such discussions would include the proposals for a multilateral sea-borne force, without prejudice to the question of British participation in such a force.

The President and the Prime Minister also reviewed the state of East-West relations and considered in particular the possibility of concluding in the near future a treaty to ban nuclear tests. They agreed that the achievement of such a treaty would be a major advance in East-West relations and might lead on to progress in other directions. They agreed the general line which their representatives, Mr. Averell Harriman and Lord Hailsham, should take during their visit to Moscow in July. The President and the Prime Minister reaffirmed their belief that the conclusion of a test ban treaty at this time is most urgent and pledged themselves to do all they could to bring this about.

John F. Kennedy, Joint statement Following Discussions With Prime Minister Macmillan at His Home in Birch Grove, Sussex. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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