Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks With Prime Minister Pearson to the Press at Camp David.

April 03, 1965

THE PRESIDENT. The Prime Minister was in Pennsylvania and I was going to be here and I asked him to come over and have lunch with me. He is returning shortly. We have no news for you but George indicated yesterday evening that we would see you today and so I told him to bring whatever group he felt was necessary up here.

The Prime Minister and I have talked about various problems that affect our respective countries. We talked about the problems in the Great Lakes, and aviation agreement, and our relations with other countries, and problems in Viet-Nam, Europe. We had a general discussion, a friendly one. He is returning.

I may have two or three announcements for you a little later regarding my schedule next week and regarding some appointments perhaps, but I'll still be working on them and by the time you get back to town I may finish them. If so, George will give them to you. If not, I'll give them to you on Monday.

That is all I have to say. If the Prime Minister has got anything to say I'll be glad.

PRIME MINISTER PEARSON. I haven't much to say except it has been a very pleasant couple of hours and I am grateful to the President for giving me the chance to come to Camp David while I was in Philadelphia and having an exchange of views with him.

There were one or two things on the Canadian-American front we were concerned with. One was to try to remove the remaining difficulties in the way of an air agreement between our two countries, which we have been working on for some time and which is a difficult and complicated matter. A good many interests are affected. We hope to have that cleared up before long. I think I said that when I was down here about a year ago. I still hope.

Then we discussed the possibility of working out an agreement between our two Governments on Great Lakes problems--pollution, water levels. This can't be done by one side alone, and this requires also on our side provincial cooperation and we are going into that and see if we can work out an agreement to see if it will help.

Then, as the President said, we talked about the state of the world, which isn't as happy in some places as it should be.

I think that is about all that I have to say.

THE PRESIDENT. The Prime Minister will be leaving very shortly and I expect to stay here until Monday--unless Mrs. Johnson changes my mind.

Q. Mr. President, a couple of us will be over in the motel if you need us.

Q. Mr. Prime Minister, did you take up the question of Viet-Nam about which you talked in Philadelphia last night?

PRIME MINISTER PEARSON. We talked about Viet-Nam and a view that I expressed last night. I don't want to say anything about that except to reiterate in our government we have tried to understand the position of the United States in Viet-Nam as I underlined last night and support that position. I have said before, and I don't mind repeating, it is the responsibility of the international community--not only of the United States which is bearing the responsibility at the moment. We wish to continue that support.

Q. Do you see any obstacle to continuing that, Mr. Prime Minister?

PRIME MINISTER PEARSON. No, I would just want to say we would want to continue supporting the United States' effort to bring peace to the people of Viet-Nam which is the only thing that concerns the United States in this matter. As I said last night, the intervention of the United States in Viet-Nam was at the request of the Government of the country. It was an honorable intervention, we should remember this, not inspired by any mean or nationalistic motive or imperialistic motive. That was the spirit of the intervention and that is the kind of intervention we think ourselves and other countries should support. It is designed to bring peace and freedom to the country, and we support that.

Q. Is that satisfactory to you, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. It is not a matter for me to pass judgment on what other governments do. It is his expression and he has expressed it very well.

Q. Mr. President, since the subject has been raised here about the Prime Minister's speech last night, is what he said figured in your talks today ?

PRIME MINISTER PEARSON. We were talking about the situation generally. I only made this speech last night. The President has other things to do than read my speech. Believe me, I would have been very glad to come down here and have a talk with the President about the state of the world.

THE PRESIDENT. His visit has nothing to do with Viet-Nam. That wasn't the purpose of it or anything else or anything you could blow up and make look big or dramatic.

He has told you about all he knows and I have too and we are glad to have seen you. Reporter: Thank you, sir.

Note: The President and Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson of Canada spoke to the press on the patio of Aspen Lodge at Camp David, the Presidential retreat in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland.

During his remarks the President referred to George E. Reedy, Press Secretary to the President.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks With Prime Minister Pearson to the Press at Camp David. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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