Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks in Anchorage Upon Signing the Fish Protein Concentrate Act

November 02, 1966

I AM TODAY signing a bill which marks another advance in this Nation's commitment to eliminate poverty and famine and disease throughout the world. This measure will make it possible to apply the results of research from the laboratory to the economic large-scale production of a wholesome, nutritious protein concentrate.

Protein deficiency is a problem even in our own country here in America. But even more important, it is the greatest cause of childhood disease and illness throughout the world--and particularly in the less developed countries.

The fish protein concentrate that will be developed in this program will be used to fortify foods of many kinds without changing their taste or their texture. It is easy to transport, because 85 percent of the world's population, almost 3 billion people, live less than 500 miles from the sea. It can be made available without the need for special storage or refrigeration and its use throughout the world will not require any change in food custom or habits.

The boundless fishery resources of the seas are as extensive as the seas themselves. Marine biologists tell us that the oceans could support an annual catch of 400 to 500 million pounds of fish and that is a very important source of animal protein.

Nevertheless, despite the world's increased fishery efforts, 85 percent of this great potential supply goes unused every year. This fish protein concentrate program offers us an opportunity to utilize our fishery resources, to provide the world with a protein source of great value at a very low cost, to help our commercial fishing industry to prosper. This is a challenge and it is an important beginning.

Thanks to the efforts of Senator Bartlett, Senator Gruening, and Congressman Rivers, it is now possible to take this important step in meeting one of the pressing problems of mankind.

I think I ought to tell you that Senator Bartlett, Senator Gruening, Ralph Rivers, and I don't always see everything alike. Sometimes we have differences of opinion. And that is what is wonderful about this country--these big States allow it.

That is one reason why we like to live in a big State so we have plenty of working room. And we don't always see everything alike--even though we do see this protein bill alike--because if we did see everything alike we would all want the same wife.

But generally speaking, when you look at what the 89th Congress has done--and this bill is just another one--there is more plus than minus, there is more good than bad, and that is the way you have to judge us.

You can't judge us on one strikeout or one foul ball. You've got to look at the hits, the runs, and the errors.

This year we asked the Congress to act on about 200 bills. As I recall it, we passed 181 and we lost 19. Our batting average was .905.

So this morning I ask all Americans--in business and industry, our working people and our farmers, our colleges and universities, from our laboratories, from our State and local governments--I ask all of you to try to help us unite this country.

Let us always remember before we start talking about the woes and the problems and what is wrong with our neighbor, and what is wrong with our other States, and what is wrong with our leaders--let us all try to remember that when we are greatly divided there is danger. But in unity there is strength.

Your country is just like your family. If you spend all of your time talking about your wife and your boy and your girl and what they have done wrong and the mistakes that they have made (and you can find plenty that we have all made--none of us are perfect)--why, if you spend all of your time talking about your family that way, it will add to your problems; it won't solve them.

So rather than be a martyr and start feeling too sorry for yourself, just think about how wonderful it is to be an American; how far we have come; how much we have done; how much better off we are than most of the people of the world.

And let us acknowledge our obligations to the Good Lord for having made all of this possible.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 7:59 a.m. in the Ballroom at the Anchorage Westward Hotel.

As enacted, the bill (S. 2720) is Public Law 89701 (80 Stat. 1089).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks in Anchorage Upon Signing the Fish Protein Concentrate Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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