Joint Statement following Discussions With the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
ON February 12th and 13th, the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom met to discuss matters affecting the interests of their two countries and the welfare and security of free people everywhere. The United States Secretary of State, the Honorable Dean Rusk, and the foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, the Right Honorable R. A. Butler, also took part in the talks.
President Johnson and Sir Alec Douglas-Home welcomed this opportunity of holding their first working meeting since they assumed the leadership of their respective governments. Underlying their talks was the determination that the pursuit of peace should be unfalteringly maintained.
They consider this pursuit of peace with security, in cooperation with their allies, their primary task and responsibility. The conclusion of the partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963 marked an advance on the road to the peaceful resolution of the problems which divide East and West. The President and the Prime Minister think it essential to go forward from there and continue with their friends the search for other ways of reducing tension, with its risks of war and its crushing burden of armaments. They hope that the Soviet Union will examine with the greatest seriousness the proposals put forward at the Geneva Conference and elsewhere by the United States and the United Kingdom, aimed at bringing about effective and controlled disarmament. In particular, the Prime Minister welcomed the proposals made to the 18-nation
Disarmament Conference by the United States in President Johnson's message on January 21st.
Both Governments will continue to give their full support to the United Nations and will work in close step to enable it by statesmanship and institutional improvement to fulfill its responsibility and satisfy the hopes of mankind.
But each Government recognizes that no progress can be made without a strong and united Western alliance 'prepared to defend its interests against threat and intimidation. The defense commitments which both countries share with their allies in NATO will be maintained. It is within the Atlantic framework that the United States and the United Kingdom are conducting their examination of mutual defense problems, including force goals, and are also considering the proposal for a multi-lateral nuclear force. Similarly, the widest possible political and economic cooperation in Europe within a broad Atlantic partnership remains a common aim of United States and British policy.
The President and the Prime Minister reviewed the events of recent months during which sudden tensions in many parts of the world have made unforeseen calls on the resources of the United States and the United Kingdom. The two Governments are responding to these calls whilst at the same time taking all political action that is open to them to diminish the causes of tension. Each Government recognizes the value of the contribution that the other is making to the common task.
The Prime Minister and the President gave special consideration to Southeast Asian matters and to the problem of assisting free states of the area to maintain their independence. Both governments stressed the value of the defense agreements which they have concluded there and of the establishments which they maintain in the area. The Prime Minister re-emphasized the United Kingdom support for United States policy in South Vietnam. The President reaffirmed the support of the United States for the peaceful national independence of Malaysia. Both expressed their sincere hope that the leaders of the independent countries in the region would by mutual friendship and cooperation establish an area of prosperity and stability.
The President stressed his concern at the present situation in the Caribbean area and the subversive and disruptive influence of the present Cuban regime. The Prime Minister fully recognized the importance of the development of Latin America in conditions of freedom and political and economic stability. Both expressed their belief that a valuable contribution can be made by Europe to this end.
Both Governments reaffirm that in all these fields their aim remains solely to achieve and safeguard the integrity and stability of the countries of the free world on the basis of full independence. The President and the Prime Minister agreed that the task is, however, not only that of establishing and preserving the peace, but of expanding international trade and promoting economic growth for all. To this end, both pledged their Governments to act affirmatively and decisively to promote the success of the forthcoming Kennedy Round of trade and tariff negotiations.
In view of the importance that both the President and the Prime Minister attach to such meetings, they have determined to continue to maintain close and continuous personal contact.
Note: for the President's message of January 21 to the 18-nation Disarmament Conference see Item 129.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Joint Statement following Discussions With the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/239862