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London, England - Exchange With Reporters Following a Dinner Hosted by Prime Minister James Callaghan

May 06, 1977

REPORTER. Mr. President, can you tell us something about your evening?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, the evening was delightful. I enjoyed having a chance to know the other heads of state. I believe we've laid the groundwork for a very successful conference tomorrow.

Q. Why?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, there seemed to be very few differences among us. We are determined to address some extremely controversial issues like nonproliferation, the control of the sale of conventional weapons, and how to deal with the lessdeveloped countries, and to discuss a common viewpoint on international monetary and financial questions.

But I could see a great confidence among the leaders about the future of the democratic society, but a very common assessment of need to cooperate with one another and to make sure that this conference is not just to produce a Communiqué but to follow up substantively after the conference is concluded to carry out the agreements that were reached. But it was very good.

Q. Mr. President, is there anything specific that you're going to ask your fellow leaders to do, or consider?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes.

Q. What?

THE PRESIDENT. I'll tell you later. [Laughter]

Q. Do you think the European Community and all the industrialized nations are really looking for an international leader now? Is the United States in the position with you as a new President?

THE PRESIDENT. No. I don't think so. I think the essence of this meeting is that no one assumes a dominant position, but that we share a common approach to questions that concern us all. Different ones have subjects for emphasis.

I've discussed with the British, for instance, the problem of unemployment, particularly among young people. And the Japanese are quite eager to have the nonproliferation question resolved without discrimination against nations who are dependent upon supplies from us.

The Germans are quite eager to participate, along with the other developed nations, in providing some sort of stabilizing fund for the less-developed countries on their basic commodities.

So, each country brings to the discussion a special interest. But I think it would be inaccurate to insinuate that any one leader would be the dominant person.

Q. What's your specialty?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, we're quite concerned about human rights, nonproliferation questions, and the control of the sale or reduction of the sale of conventional-nuclear weapons, and we want to join with our friends from Japan and the European Community in working out a reasonable approach to stabilizing the world economy.

We're very eager to join with the British on the unemployment question. But I think that this is a means by which we can spend 2 full days both getting acquainted with one another and, I hope, addressing questions in a courageous and substantive fashion. But I was impressed with the extremely great experience that the other leaders have in economics, which I don't have.

The Prime Minister of Great Britain has been a finance minister. The Prime Minister of Japan has been a finance minister. The President of France has been a finance minister. And of course, the Chancellor of Germany has been a finance minister.

Q. You're not going to get an inferiority complex?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I do on economics. I'm here to learn a lot about it. But our country is so strong economically that I think that this does give my voice an adequate weight, even though I don't understand the questions as well as some of the others.

We'll see you tomorrow. I think I'd better go.

Q. Will you have a confrontation with Schmidt tomorrow?

THE PRESIDENT. No. We're going to have breakfast in the morning at 7:30.

Q. It's a lot different than the first summit, isn't it?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes.

Note: The President spoke at 10:33 p.m. on his return to Winfield House, following the dinner at the Prime Minister's residence, 10 Downing Street, for heads of state and ministers who were in London to attend the international economic summit meeting.

Jimmy Carter, London, England - Exchange With Reporters Following a Dinner Hosted by Prime Minister James Callaghan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244078

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