Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks Upon Arrival at the Airport, Brisbane, Australia

October 22, 1966

My good friends, Prime Minister and Mrs. Holt, Your Excellencies, Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, ladies and gentlemen:

First of all, Mrs. Johnson and I want to express our deep appreciation for the opportunity to come here and to meet with you, and our deep regret that you have been delayed by our tardiness.

We have been meeting so many wonderful people in Australia whom we hadn't anticipated we would see that our schedule has had to be stretched a little from time to time.

Tonight we come to you near the close of the most wonderful visit that I have ever made to any land.

This has been a sentimental journey for me.

My bond with Australia goes back 24 long and eventful years. It goes back to 1942, when General MacArthur established his headquarters in Australia and planned the mighty campaign that would free the Pacific of aggression.

It goes back to those dark days when it was hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel-and the Japanese were on the other side of the Owen-Stanley Range coming in your direction, in our direction--until at last, through bravery, through determination, and through sacrifice of Australians, Americans, and others, some light appeared.

I am told that it was something like a million Americans who passed through Brisbane during World War II. So a great part of the enthusiasm my people feel for your wonderful land of Australia must have started with that original million right here. I hope and I trust, and I want to believe-and I do believe--that that feeling is mutual.

Comradeship in war unites men as few experiences can unite them. But that union is always purchased at a terrible price. Free men just must learn to find comradeship in peace as well as find it in war. They must learn to find it in trade, in scholarship, in fighting disease, relieving hunger, and in exploring the earth and the heavens.

Americans and Australians are finding that peaceful comradeship today.

I have enjoyed my 2 days in Australia. I have appeared in cities and areas that contain considerably more than half the population of this entire country. Although I have appeared in 30 of the 50 States in America this year, I still haven't reached 50 percent of the population. So I have some homework to do when I get back from Manila.

Only this afternoon at Cooby Creek--not far from where I stand--a new space tracking station was dedicated. It is a joint effort of our space scientists, who are already working together at Carnarvon, Woomera, and Canberra.

These stations are very vital to the success of our lunar program--and vital to all that we are seeking to understand about the universe around us.

We .could never have come so far, so fast, in this great adventure without the dedication and competence of Australian scientists and Australian technicians, and without the cooperation of the modern 20th century statesmen who guide the destinies of this land.

But we are not depending only on the cooperation of mature professionals to build a peaceful comradeship in science. Yesterday, an announcement of very keen significance to me was made at the University of Sydney. It was revealed that 10 young students from my country will be invited to study, during January, at the Nuclear Research Foundation--along with your own brightest boys and girls here in Australia. That they will be called the Lyndon B. Johnson Scholars is a great tribute to Australian generosity--but it is a source of deep gratitude to me.

Our two young nations are blessed with tremendous natural and human resources. We have so much to offer to those who need the skills and the technology that we already possess in abundance.

In agriculture, in satellite communications, in the control of rivers, in public health, in population planning, we already have a range of understanding and experience that can make the vital difference for millions of our fellow men.

We cannot--we must not--hold on selfishly to these skills and these technologies. We must not fear to share them with those who long for a better life. We shall find-as wise men have always known--that the lives of those who give of themselves are enriched far beyond the treasure and the talent that they share with others.

I know that yours is a giving nation. You gave tens of thousands of your best young men to the cause of freedom--your freedom and the world's freedom--in the Second World War. Thousands more stood shoulder to shoulder with us in Korea--and tonight they stand shoulder to shoulder in the rice paddies in Vietnam. You have given millions of dollars to aid your neighbors in the Pacific and in Asia.

I just cannot end without saying that you have given me--the representative of a people who admire you, and who cherish the affection of all the citizenry of Australia--3 days that have filled my heart and strengthened my body and my spirit.

So in the morning I will go to Manila. I will go there with your most distinguished Prime Minister. I will go refreshed by the encouragement that you have given me, and with my faith renewed in our common task.

We will do the best we can to give the maximum protection to the men whom we must guide.

We long and look for the day when all men on this earth will enjoy prosperity--and war will be no more.

We ask for your hopes, your confidence, and your prayers.

And we will give you all that is within us. Thank you so much for coming out here and doing us this great honor. We shall never forget it.

Note: The President spoke at 9:36 p.m. at Eagle Farm Airport, Brisbane, Australia, following an introduction by George F. R. Nicklin, Premier and Minister for State Development, Queensland. In his opening words the President referred to Harold E. Holt, Prime Minister of Australia, and his wife.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks Upon Arrival at the Airport, Brisbane, Australia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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