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Joint Statement following Discussions With the President of Mexico at Palm Springs, California.

February 22, 1964

PRESIDENT Adolfo Lopez Mateos and President Lyndon B. Johnson had a number of talks at Palm Springs on February 21 and 22, which gave them an opportunity to renew their personal friendship and to examine, in a spirit of cordiality and good neighborliness, matters of common interest to the two countries.

The two Presidents noted with satisfaction the high level of understanding and cooperation established in recent years in the relations between Mexico and the United States and announced their decision to continue working toward the attainment of the goals set forth in the joint communiqué of June 30, 1962, issued following the conversations President Adolfo Lopez Mateos and President John F. Kennedy had in Mexico City.1 In that connection, the two Chiefs of State expressed their profound sorrow at the premature, tragic death of President Kennedy.

1 See "Public Papers of the President, John F. Kennedy 1962," Item 273.

The two Presidents reaffirmed their adherence to the principle enunciated by the Mexican patriot Benito Juarez more than a hundred years ago: "Respect for the rights of others is peace." The two Presidents are determined to abide scrupulously by this principle in the conduct of their relations with each other and with other nations and to make energetic efforts to see that it also serves as a principle for all members of the international community, both large and small.

The two Presidents also reaffirmed their support of the principle of self-determination of all peoples and of its corollary, non-intervention. They agreed that they would endeavor at every suitable opportunity to promote the acceptance of such principles, not only with words but with deeds, in the Americas and throughout the world. They expressed their faith in representative democracy, and in that connection they pointed out with special satisfaction that their peoples will have the opportunity within a few months freely to elect those who are to govern them.

The two Presidents reiterated the devotion of their peoples to the ideals of human liberty and the dignity of the individual and their decision to work for the protection and strengthening of those ideals by every adequate means, and in particular by supporting the efforts that are being made through the Alliance for Progress. They recognized, in fact, that it will not be possible to realize those ideals completely in the Americas if, in the cities, workers do not have an opportunity for productive employment; if, in the rural areas, farmers and farm laborers do not have land and the resources to make it productive; if families cannot find decent housing; if education is not within the reach of all; or if sickness and hunger undermine the vitality of people.

The two Chiefs of State examined the trade relations between Mexico and the United States and noted with satisfaction the higher levels they have reached. Geographic proximity, ease of communications, and the development of their economies make the two countries natural markets for each other's products. They agreed that as a general rule it is in the interest of both countries to try to maintain their access to each other's markets and to expand it whenever possible.

The two Presidents emphasized the essential role of exports in the economy of the developing nations and the great contributions that the developed nations can make to the attainment of the Alliance for Progress goals by providing stable, expanding markets for the products of the developing nations. In examining this topic, the Presidents took into account the talks that have taken place between officials of the two countries with respect to sugar, lead and zinc, cattle, meats, and textiles.

The two Chiefs of State expressed satisfaction that the international coffee agreement, which is so important to the Latin American economy, has entered into force. As for cotton, they agreed that the system of consultation that has existed between the authorities of the two countries in the past five years should be continued, since the United States and Mexico are the largest exporters of this fiber.

The two Presidents pointed out again, in a more general way, the need for intensifying the efforts that their governments have been making in the various international organizations to reach higher trade levels and, in particular, to eliminate discriminatory and restrictive practices regarding the exports of their respective countries throughout the world. They emphasized in this connection the special importance to the Latin American countries, and to Mexico in particular, of the elimination of such practices with respect to their basic commodities, in order to create a broader, more stable market for these products that will lead to an increase in their income from exports. On this point, President Lopez Mateos expressed his interest in seeing that industrial workers and farm laborers obtain a fair share of such income, in order to enable them to improve their standard of living.

President Lopez Mateos reaffirmed his purpose of continuing the policy of promoting economic development at rates greater than the population growth rate within a framework of monetary stability, which is so important for protecting the income of the greatest number of people. President Johnson, for his part, expressed his satisfaction at the cooperation which his Government was able to give Mexico through the recent renewal of the agreements in force between the financial authorities of the two countries.

The two Chiefs of State greed on the need to strengthen the Organization of American States still further and to give it greater authority as an instrument of the American Republics for the maintenance of peace in the Hemisphere and the promotion of their common interests. With regard to the United Nations, they reiterated their desire to strengthen it by working together, and with its other members who are animated by the same desire, toward a realization of the principles and aims of the San Francisco Charter.

Both Presidents noted with satisfaction that on January 14 last their governments exchanged the instruments of ratification of the convention which provides for the full settlement of the Chamizal problem. After the legislation necessary for implementing the convention has been enacted, they agreed to hold a fitting ceremony in Chamizal to mark symbolically the new course of the Rio Grande between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso. They agreed that the two governments must continue to work through the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, with a view to making the Rio Grande once again the boundary between the two countries. To that end they will instruct their respective Commissioners to submit studies as soon as possible of cases relating to any portions of land that may have become separated from the country to which they belong through changes in the Rio Grande and to recommend the action that ought to be taken.

The two Presidents noted the progress that has been made with regard to the construction of the second large Rio Grande dam--the Amistad Dam at Ciudad Acuna and Del Rio--which promises great benefits for both countries in the use of the water, flood control, and the generation of electric power. President Lopez Mateos recalled that President Johnson, when still in the Senate, played an outstanding role in obtaining approval in the United States Congress of the legislation needed for the construction of that dam. Both Presidents voiced their satisfaction at the progress made in the initial construction phase and the fact that the building of the dam itself will soon be under way.

President Lopez Mateos recalled his talks in June 1962 with President Kennedy on the problem of the salinity of the waters of the Colorado River. On that occasion the Presidents expressed "their determination, with the scientific studies as a basis, to reach a permanent and effective solution at the earliest possible time with the aim of preventing the recurrence of this problem after October 1963." President Lopez Mateos observed that the Government of Mexico and Mexican public opinion consider that this problem is the only serious one between the two countries and emphasized the importance of finding a permanent solution as soon as possible. After presenting the United States' point of view, President Johnson described the experimental construction which is now being actively carried out in order to find an adequate permanent solution which he would recommend to the Congress. On the basis of this exchange, the Presidents confirmed that the mutual and friendly understanding contained in the Joint Communiqué of June 1962 is still in effect and that adequate provisional measures will be taken pending a final solution.

The two Presidents expressed their satisfaction at the measures recently taken by the two Governments to improve control over the illegal traffic in drugs and were in agreement on permanently strengthening cooperation between the two countries in order to put a stop to this criminal activity.

The Presidents concluded their talks in complete agreement that they will devote their best efforts to maintaining the close, friendly relations that happily exist between their two countries and to settling any problems that may exist between them, now or in the future, in the same spirit that animated the mutually beneficial solution of the Chamizal case. They reaffirmed the determination of their countries to work jointly in order to promote international understanding and peaceful relations among all nations.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Joint Statement following Discussions With the President of Mexico at Palm Springs, California. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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