Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks following the Signing of a Joint Declaration With Panama.

April 03, 1964

Your Excellencies, Members of the Congress:

Today's agreement is both a beginning and a renewal. It provides that we will reestablish diplomatic relations, we will immediately appoint special ambassadors with sufficient powers to seek the prompt elimination of the causes of conflict between the two countries without limitations or preconditions of any kind.

I have already talked to the distinguished President of Panama and informed him that the United States has selected the former distinguished Secretary of the Treasury, a great law professor, Mr. Robert B. Anderson, to be our Ambassador to carry on these discussions.

We will also send the regular Ambassador to Panama's name to the Senate as soon as we have received approval from the Panamanian Government.

We are thus embarking upon the solution of our problems without preconditions or limitations of any kind, believing that a lasting agreement depends upon the utmost freedom and the utmost flexibility of approach. We will now immediately renew relations, appoint special ambassadors, and begin a process which aims at a final resolution of our difficulties.

Arrival of this agreement in the presence of understandable but intense emotions and convictions is a tribute to our essential unity of interest. We share much history. We, share a commitment to the liberty that we have achieved in the past and to the progress that we intend for the future. We can now proceed not only to solve today's difficulties but toward the increased welfare of all the people of the Americas under the Alliance for Progress.

So, gentlemen, let us approach our search for a solution with the openness and the generosity of those who seek only the strengthening of friendship. Let us meet as sovereign nations, as allies, and as equal partners in the inter-American system.

Panama can be confident, as we are confident, that we each desire an agreement which protects the interests and recognizes the needs of both our nations.

I would also like on this occasion to especially and particularly thank the OAS for its very important role. This is further proof of the unmatched effectiveness of the inter-American system. for decades disputes between the American nations have been settled at the conference table. This achievement in this hemisphere offers a hopeful model for all those who pursue peace in every continent. This is truly a great day for America, for Panama, for all the people of the Western Hemisphere, and for all freedom-loving people everywhere.

We welcome you to the White House. We thank you for having come. We greet especially the Ambassadors who are here and the members of the National Security Council who only a few moments ago approved this agreement.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke in the Cabinet Room at the White House following a meeting of the National Security Council.

Later on April 6 the White House announced that the President had that day nominated Jack Hood Vaughn as United States Ambassador to Panama. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on April 7

The joint declaration is printed in the Department of State Bulletin (vol. 50, p. 656).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks following the Signing of a Joint Declaration With Panama. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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