Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks With Prime Minister Pearson at the Signing of the Columbia River Agreement With Canada.

January 22, 1964

WE WELCOME you to the Treaty Room today. For a good many people here--Secretary Udall and our Northwest Senators as well as our Canadian visitors--Mr. Prime Minister, these agreements are a major step in an effort that began back in the forties. Hard work and understanding on both sides are engrained in this agreement. This project means harnessing more power, improving flood control in the Columbia Basin. It will mean more industry, it will mean more jobs.

There are few projects that we can create that have better benefits. This is a genuine and beneficial contribution to the continued prosperity and progress of our Northwest States and of British Columbia. This, Mr. Prime Minister, is the kind of an hour that we can always spend together. We have done something and I am convinced it will bear fruit for both of our nations and for the future.

We will be glad to have you make a statement, if you would like.

Prime Minister Pearson: Mr. President, all I would like to say is that we are very happy, indeed, to be here to take part in the signing of this treaty. It represents the culmination of about 20 years hard preparatory work between representatives of our two governments and between representatives of state and provincial governments. It is the kind of treaty that means most, because it is a treaty which will be helpful to both countries. We all get advantages from this and we, in Canada, feel that we are inaugurating some very important developments which this treaty will make possible which will help us and which will help you.

We are, also, very happy, because apart from the benefits to both countries which the treaty will make possible, it represents that kind of cooperation between our two governments and our two peoples which we like to think is characteristic of the relations between the United States and Canada. Perhaps I can say that I consider it a great privilege to be here with you when this treaty is being signed.

THE PRESIDENT. I would like for the Senators to know that we have had a very fruitful discussion this morning, we think quite productive. And while this is only an agreement on power, if the Prime Minister and President can agree on power, we hope that down through the ages we may be able to agree on taxes, and tariffs, and lumber and all the other problems.

Prime Minister Pearson: And a measure for evening the balance of trade between our two countries!

THE PRESIDENT. And in any event the Prime Minister and I have had a very fine morning and we are going to leave all these other details to be worked out by the Foreign Minister and the Secretary of State and the Northwestern Senators.

Note: The signing ceremony was held in the Treaty Room at the White House at 12:30 p.m. The text of the agreement is printed in the Department of State Bulletin (vol. 50, p. 202).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks With Prime Minister Pearson at the Signing of the Columbia River Agreement With Canada. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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