Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks in Bonn to Reporters Following Discussions With Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of the Federal Republic of Germany

July 27, 1975

THE CHANCELLOR. Ladies and gentlemen:

I would like to repeat here how extremely thankful the German Federal Government is--and I believe that one can say the same for all our citizens-that the American President and the American Secretary of State are visiting us here on their way to Helsinki and to other European capitals. The visit is not yet over, and for that reason I can only report at the moment on our talks up to this point.

The two chiefs of government and the two foreign ministers spoke this morning about political problems of a general nature, which will also be discussed in Helsinki. Then in a somewhat larger group, in which, on the German side, the Federal Minister for Economics took part, we turned to problems of the world economy. We are convinced of the necessity of cooperation in the areas of economic policy, credit policy, and currency policy, since we are aware that the entire Western World's economy has come into severe difficulties as a result of the current recession.

The American President is somewhat more optimistic regarding the development of the American political economy than he was when we last had the opportunity to speak with each other. But I assume that he will tell you that himself.

THE PRESIDENT. Mr. Chancellor, ladies and gentlemen:

Let me express on behalf of Mrs. Ford and myself our great gratitude for the warm reception that we have received from you and Mrs. Schmidt and from the German people.

It is a great privilege and pleasure for Mrs. Ford and myself, as well as my colleagues, to be in Germany, and I have appreciated very greatly the opportunity to meet with you this morning and to discuss with you and your associates the problems that you mentioned--the general political situation and the economic circumstances, both in Europe as well as in the United States.

Let me say with great emphasis that all of us in the United States are deeply grateful for the wonderful contribution that people from your country have made in the history books of my country. And I should say that all of us, as we approach our Bicentennial in the United States, are most appreciative of the very generous gift given to the United States when President Scheel was in my country a few weeks ago.1

The importance of discussions on the economic field, of course, are very, very vital. We in the United States are making a turn toward a healthier economy. We have bottomed out, as they say in the United States, and are slowly beginning an upturn in our economy.

But we fully recognize that the economy of the United States is an integral part of the economy throughout the world and particularly that of Western Europe. It is my intention, on behalf of the United States, to work very, very closely with you in Germany and the other European countries to make sure that the progress we are making is also progress that can come in Europe as well as the rest of the world.

We, of course, are on our way to the meeting in Helsinki, where 35 nations will get together on the CSCE arrangements or agreements.

I believe that the Helsinki meeting can and will be a further step in achieving what we all want--the betterment of relations between East and West.

I am optimistic that the results achieved in Helsinki will be for the better. I look forward to my participation as a result of the long negotiations that have taken place.

Let me conclude my observations by saying that in the field of energy, in the economic field, in the political field, in the defense field, the policies of the United States will be closely aligned with those of your government, Mr. Chancellor, and I look forward to the further discussions that I will have with you here, as well as in Helsinki, so that your country and mine and the rest of the world will be the beneficiaries.

Thank you very, very much.

REPORTER. Mr. President, what made the first meeting run 30 minutes past the scheduled time?

THE PRESIDENT. The question was, what made the first meeting run 30 minutes past the scheduled time.

I guess the best answer is that we got so intrigued with the discussions on the various important matters that we forgot to look at the clock.

THE CHANCELLOR. Or the coffee was that good. [Laughter]

Q. Did you discuss the Turkish situation, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I did bring the Chancellor up to date on the very unfortunate development in the House of Representatives last week. I indicated to the Chancellor that we were deeply disappointed and that we were working with some of the leaders in the House of Representatives trying to see whether or not it would be possible in this coming week for the House of Representatives to reconsider the action that it took last week.

We have not come to any conclusion in that regard but we, of course--the Secretary of State and myself--are not only disappointed with the action, but I believe the American people will now see the net result of that action with the closing of the American bases in Turkey and with the Cyprus negotiations probably set back.

I am deeply disturbed, and we will maximize our effort, as I told the Chancellor, to try and get a change in the House of Representatives.

Q. What is the possibility of a vote being taken in the House of Representatives?

THE PRESIDENT. We have not come to any conclusion on that because we haven't firmed up any course of action with the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives, and of course, they are crucial in this situation.

Q. Did the Chancellor make any specific recommendations in the economic field to you?

THE PRESIDENT. The question is, did the Chancellor make any recommendations in the economic field.

The Chancellor and I agreed that it was vitally important that the economic policies of Germany and the European Community be integrated with our .own economic policies. We will further discuss in the meetings that are coming up more of the specifics, but we did exchange information as to the circumstances not only in the United States but in Germany. And later today, we will probably talk about what we might do for the further improvement of reciprocal efforts in this area.

THE CHANCELLOR. Mr. President, might I add a footnote to that one, please? The President and I, as well as President Giscard and Prime Minister Wilson, will have the opportunity in Helsinki to hold a special meeting with foreign ministers of these four countries. And the discussions of the last few days, especially this morning's discussion, have been particularly useful, serving among other things to prepare for that meeting. And at every opportunity, cooperation in overcoming the world economic recession will play a central role.

We European nations and the governments of these European nations know that the world economic recession can only be overcome if it is overcome on an international basis in the same manner by all participants--above all, when it is tackled in the same way by the industrial countries of the world. And that means that the economy of the United States of America--by far the largest, the most efficient and, as far as world trade is concerned, one of the most important economies and, as far as the finance and currency system of the world is concerned, by far the most important--that overcoming this worldwide recession is only possible if this most important economy of the Western World leads the way.

The overview which the American President has personally given us in regard to the latest developments in the American economy is one of the brightest aspects of the future development. But we don't by any means want to exaggerate our hope and our optimism; rather, we are both conscious of the fact that we--together with our other partners--will still have considerable difficulties to overcome.

Q. Mr. President, are you discussing offsets during these talks?

THE PRESIDENT. The question is, are we discussing offset. I am sure that we will, but we haven't come to that point as yet.

Q. Mr. President, you have expressed your satisfaction with the results of the CSCE talks in Helsinki. Will you push forward now to get results at last in Vienna in the MBFR talks?

THE PRESIDENT. The MBFR talks in Vienna have been stalled for the last few months. I think once the CSCE meeting has been held in Helsinki, we can now concentrate on the MBFR talks, and of course, in my discussions with Chancellor Schmidt, we will see how we can coordinate our efforts in this very important area.

Thank you very much.

1 See Item 331.

Note: The remarks began at approximately 12:05 p.m. at the Palais Schaumburg. The Chancellor spoke in German. His remarks were translated by the United States Information Service.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks in Bonn to Reporters Following Discussions With Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of the Federal Republic of Germany Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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