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Remarks on the Departure of Prime Minister Gorton of Australia

May 07, 1969

Mr. Prime Minister:

As you leave the White House--and you are not leaving the country yet, because we hope you will stay here for a few more days--I want you to know how grateful I am for your returning to the United States after having been here at the time of President Eisenhower's funeral, and for giving us the opportunity to have a very full discussion of the major issues that are not really between us so much as they involve our common interests for peace and security in the Pacific area.

This talk has been most helpful, as far as I am concerned, and as far as the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense are concerned. We have opened a line of communication which will be used very extensively in the months and years ahead in pursuing our mutual purposes and goals in the world.

I want to say, finally, that as one who has been to your country on two occasions, I hope to visit there again. And, like all Americans, I have a very deep personal feeling of respect for your country, for your people, and for the leadership that you have provided for your people.

We are very proud to have been your allies and friends in great struggles in the past and to be your allies and friends as we deal with the problems of the future.

Note: The President spoke at 12:45 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House.

Prime Minister Gorton responded as follows: Thank you very much, Mr. President.

I feel that the written statement which you have made, and which was agreed to between us, gives a clear indication of those matters of common concern which we were able to discuss in such depth.

I think that we have reached an arrangement for close and constant consultation between our two selves on matters which may arise in the future and that this will be of great advantage to both our countries.

I can only express gratitude to you for the hospitality that you have extended, for the complete openness of your talks with me, and a belief that not only the talks but the underlining of the importance of the ANZUS Treaty to both our countries which has evolved from the talks are of considerable significance to Australia and to Australia's future and I believe that that, in turn, is of some significance to the United States and to the nations of the free world as a whole.

Thank you.

Richard Nixon, Remarks on the Departure of Prime Minister Gorton of Australia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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