Remarks of Welcome at the White House to Prime Minister Rahman of Malaysia
Mr. Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen:
It is my great personal pleasure and my privilege on behalf of the people of America to welcome you this morning to the United States.
We remember happily your visit to our country 4 years ago. We are very proud to welcome you back again today, this time as the leader of the new nation of Malaysia.
Our two countries are far removed from one another, but we here in the United States are very much aware of the outstanding leadership that you have offered during these midcentury decades. We have greatly admired the courage with which you led your native land to a decisive victory over Communist terrorism. We have no less admired and applauded the vision with which you have worked to secure the blessings of liberty for all of your people.
In times of trial and in times of hope, you have manifested the highest order of responsibility and foresight toward the best interests of your people. The impressive mandate of your recent elections is a great tribute from your 'people to you.
For myself, I welcome this opportunity to add through personal conversation to the understanding already achieved by our personal correspondence.
Mr. Prime Minister, we in America share with you and your people the same hopes for the future and the same devotion to peace and the same desire to see the lot of mankind made better throughout the world. I am hopeful and I am confident that our discussions together will be to the profit of the great cause in which both of our countries earnestly labor together.
Note: The President spoke just before noon on the South Lawn at the White House where Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman was given a formal welcome with full military honors. The Prime Minister responded as follows:
Thank you very much, indeed, for your warm and cordial welcome. I have looked forward to this moment for some time, because I am very happy to have the chance at last to meet you personally. It is always a privilege to meet the President of the greatest democracy in the world, particularly when you have heard so much of his work in the cause of freedom and peace.
In the past we have had contacts through the normal diplomatic channels, but as you have rightly said, there is a world of difference between the correspondence and the pleasure of having personal conversations.
Remembering with heartfelt pleasure my last visit to the United States, I have always cherished the hope of returning some day, so when your invitation reached me I was very happy, indeed, to accept.
I know that you are rather preoccupied with national affairs at present, but in spite of that you were good enough to ask me to come at this time. It was a considerate move on your part and I appreciate it most sincerely.
I most heartily endorse the sentiments you have expressed of our mutual hopes of peace and happiness in the world. I come from an area of the world that is beset with all kinds of troubles. To the north there is trouble, to the east there is trouble, and now there is trouble coming from the south of my country. These troubles threaten to encircle the two countries in southeast Asia that have so far remained free.
To us small nations, America forever stands out as a pillar of hope, a guarantor of our rights as free nations. Therefore, Mr. President, I believe there should be no embargoes on friendship and good will between men and nations.
I wish to thank both you and the American people, and at the same time to convey the very warm good wishes of the nations and people of Malaysia to our American friends.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks of Welcome at the White House to Prime Minister Rahman of Malaysia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/238923