Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks of Welcome at the White House to Prime Minister Pearson of Canada

January 21, 1964

Mr. Prime Minister and Mrs. Pearson, and distinguished and honored members of your party:

It is a great privilege to welcome you to this house and to this city.

We have the very unusual pleasure of enjoying the longest unguarded border that exists between two countries any place in the world. On that border we have no soldiers. We have no weapons. We have only long and enduring friends.

Mr. Prime Minister, we welcome you to this Capital. We look forward to fruitful and worthwhile discussions with you here in Washington. We hope you will enjoy your stay and we are delighted that you came.

Note: The President spoke at 4 p.m. at the North Portico of the White House where Prime Minister Lester Pearson was given a formal welcome. The Prime Minister responded as follows:

"Mr. President, I am sure you would be the first to understand if I say that my first thought on arriving here is to recall my last visit to the United States officially last May, and that I am very conscious as I stand here today of the grievous loss of a great young leader.

"Mr. President, on behalf of my wife and my colleagues of the Canadian party and myself, I want to thank you for your very warm welcome to Washington. My wife and I do not feel that in coming here we are coming to any strange capital, because we have spent many happy years in Washington during the years of war when the cooperation and contact between our two governments was so close and so constructive, the kind of contact and cooperation which was continued in perhaps somewhat more difficult circumstances of peace, and which will be continued, Mr. President, in the future.

"Our friendship is deep and our understanding is great; but we have many problems, of course, because our contacts are so close and so important to each other. We will solve those problems, I know, because of the depth of our friendship and the basic nature of our understanding.

"I am looking forward, Mr. President, to our talks, and I am sure that those talks will underline the friendship between our two peoples and add to our understanding.

"Thank you very much."

For the Prime Minister's visit to the United States in May 1963, see "Public Papers of the Presidents, John F. Kennedy 1963," Items 178-180.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks of Welcome at the White House to Prime Minister Pearson of Canada Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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