Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks Upon Arrival at Bangkok, Thailand

October 28, 1966

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highness, Highnesses, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen:

I spent yesterday as the guest of your Prime Minister at his summer residence in Bang Saen. It was for me a very welcome day of rest after the Manila Conference, and after our visit to South Vietnam. It gave me a chance to reflect quietly upon the meaning of the days that have passed since I left my own country.

I realized that the same waves that wash Bang Saen--and Bangkok--also touch Malaysia, South Vietnam, the Philippines, and as the waves move out they wash against South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand-and many thousands of miles away the same Pacific waves touch my own Nation at Hawaii, Alaska, California, Oregon, and Washington.

These waves speak of the deepest meaning of my journey. For we have learned again that we are Pacific neighbors, with common interests, with a common destiny.

You have shown here in Thailand that prosperity and progress in Asia are attainable goals. You have shown by your leadership that regional efforts can gather momentum throughout Asia. Most important, you have shown that freedom and independence are the best environment for progress.

I believe that the Conference of seven nations succeeded at Manila; but that is a judgment that will best be made by history. For the Pacific waters also touch Hanoi and mainland China. One day, I believe, they will join the Pacific neighborhood--in peace, and without the suspicions and hostilities that make cooperation difficult today.

One day they will be good neighbors. We look forward to that day. For our passion is peace. We seek no eternal hostility. We seek no dominance. We are committed to the proposition that no nation shall dominate another nation in the Pacific.

I cannot tell you how happy I am this afternoon to be able to return again to Thailand. When I was here in 1961, I fell under the charm and the beauty of your land. More importantly, I came away with respect and admiration for the people of Thailand who gave us such a warm welcome when we were here.

Mrs. Johnson and I left with the most pleasant memories of the people of Thailand. We have looked forward so eagerly to returning and spending these next few days in your land again.

We already feel, in the night that we have spent here, that we are at home. And it is no wonder, because after all, the one thing that this trip symbolizes and establishes is that we are Pacific neighbors.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 2:05 p.m. at Municipal Pavilion in Bangkok. In his opening words he referred to King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit of Thailand and Cham Nan Yuvabul, Lord Mayor of Bangkok, who presented the President keys to the city. The President also referred early in his remarks to Prime Minister Thanom Kittikachorn of Thailand.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks Upon Arrival at Bangkok, Thailand Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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