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Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House on the Status of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands

August 21, 1967

Dear Mr. President: (Dear Mr. Speaker:)

The principle of government by consent of the governed is the foundation of democracy.

Today, I urge the Congress to join me in taking a further step toward self-determination for the 93,000 Micronesian people who live in the Mariana, Caroline and Marshall Islands that comprise the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

The United States administers this trust territory through a 1947 agreement with the United Nations. Under that responsibility we have encouraged the Micronesians to participate fully in determining their own future and shaping their own free institutions.

I am sure the Congress shares my deep interest in the status and well-being of Micronesia. Congress approved the original trusteeship agreement. It has supported an intensive program to promote the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the islands.

In 1966, the people of the territory, acting through their popularly elected legislature, called upon the President of the United States to create a Commission to consider their future status.

I am happy to honor their request. The Joint Resolution I am submitting would provide for such a Commission.

The Commission will study and assess all of the factors bearing on the future of the trust territory. It will consult with the people of Micronesia. And it will make its recommendations to the President and to the Congress within eight months after its work begins.

I ask the Congress to join with the Executive Branch in this vital undertaking by authorizing the appointment of eight members of the Congress to serve on the Commission, along with eight members and a chairman selected by the President.

Through this Commission, we once again have an opportunity to reaffirm our national commitment to the ideals of democracy and self-determination.

I am attaching a detailed statement of the Secretary of the Interior who, together with the Secretaries of State and Defense, join with me in urging prompt approval of this important resolution.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Hubert H. Humphrey, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable John W. McCormack, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The joint resolution and the statement of the Secretary of the Interior are printed in House Document 159 (90th Cong., 1st sess.). The joint resolution is also printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 3, P. 1191). Action on the resolution was not completed during the first session of the 90th Congress.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House on the Status of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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