Jimmy Carter photo

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England - Remarks at the Newcastle Civic Centre

May 06, 1977


I'm very grateful to be a Geordie2 now, and I'm deeply grateful at the tremendous welcome that you've extended to me and to the other visitors who have come here from the United States.

1 A cheer for the Newcastle soccer team.

2 The citizens of Newcastle call themselves Geordies.

The last time, I believe, that an American was honored in this way was Dr. Stanley in 1890, and I am very glad to see your beautiful open spaces and the wonderful progress that Newcastle has made. I understand that when this city was founded, we still had 400 years to wait before the Pilgrims came to our country. And the merging of the old and the new is something that's exciting to me.

I have come here to be with your own Prime Minister and the leaders of five other great nations to deal with the problems that face our free world in the future. We are very eager to see those who are unemployed go back to work. We have a special interest in young people who have no jobs. And all the nations that will be represented in the discussion this week-from Japan, from Canada, from the Federal Republic of Germany, from Italy, from France, from Great Britain, and from the United States--will be deeply concerned about how the economy of our countries might be strengthened.

We have a special program in our own nation that we are initiating this year for young people. We'll have 1.1 million jobs provided during the summer months for young people. And we have 65,000 other jobs in our open parklands and in the cities, plus training jobs--130,000 of those--and one of the most intense commitments that Prime Minister Callaghan has discussed with me is the employment of young people.

We also face a time of challenge for the nations of the free world. We are very deeply dedicated to strengthening the ties of military strength which bind us together in NATO. And we are very proud of the increasing common purpose that's being expressed between Great Britain and the other members of the European Community.

We're determined in the United States to use our great economic and social and political and military strength so that we can never be successfully challenged by any competing philosophy, and we are very eager to combine with our allies and friends to make sure that this resolve is clearly understood by all.

We have an eagerness to compete in an ideological way around the world because we know that our own commitment to human freedoms, to human rights, to democratic principles and to the compassion that we feel toward those less fortunate than we, will prevail.

This is a commitment that we share with you, and I also want to say that there is a sense of special friendship and a commonality of purpose, and historical, and ties of kinship that exist between the United States and Great Britain.

Last year we celebrated our 200th birthday as a nation. And Her Majesty the Queen came to pay her own tribute to us. It was a gesture of friendship and sensitivity that everyone in the United States deeply appreciated.

And I'm very proud to return to visit this year on the 25th anniversary of her own leadership of your great country. My family will be represented here later on next month as the birthday time approaches.

And we were very honored last month to have Prime Minister Callaghan come to submit his ties with me of friendship and to share a common commitment of our two great nations.

In closing, let me say that I am particularly glad that the first visit that I have made as President was to Great Britain and particularly to this area around Newcastle.

As your mayor has said, I made a brief stop last night to rest on the way in one of the smallest cities of England, and you have to have these intermediate stops before you come to the important places.

But I want you to know that I'm also aware that my own ancestors, more than 300 years ago, came from England. And later on today I'll be visiting Washington, where our first President's ancestors resided.

I think it's important for us to realize that sometimes we face difficult times in war, sometimes we face difficult times in the change of government structures, sometimes we face difficult challenges in economic progress. But there's a sense of commitment, there is a sense of inner strength, there is a sense of common purpose that never changes.

And I've always felt in times of challenge for our own great country a sense of support and confidence because of the unshakable friendship between the people of the United Kingdom and the people of the United States of America.

I'm determined, as President, that these ties of common purpose will be even stronger in years to come. Our system of government, our system of law, our commitment to the individuality of human beings, our promise of constant freedom has all been derived from the social and political structure of England. And we are proud of this heritage which we share with you.

And I believe that we ought always to remind ourselves, when there are temporary problems that we face, that the ultimate meeting of those challenges, the ultimate answering of difficult questions lies not in the identity of political leaders, but in the hearts and souls of the citizens of .our nations, who never change in our basic commitments and who believe that strength that comes from human freedom cannot be denied.

Thank you for your wonderful welcome to me. I'm proud to be presented the freedom of your community. I feel as though I'm one of you. And I will never forget the wonderful welcome that you have extended to me.

Good luck to you. We share a great future together.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 10:30 a.m. Prior to his remarks, he was presented with the honorary freedom of the city by Councillor Hugh White, Lord Mayor of Newcastle.

Jimmy Carter, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England - Remarks at the Newcastle Civic Centre Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244060

Filed Under



United Kingdom

Simple Search of Our Archives