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Statement by the President on the Agreement With the Soviet Union for the Exchange of Weather Information.

October 25, 1964

I AM HAPPY to be able to announce that we have reached an agreement with the Soviet Union for the exchange of weather information between Washington and Moscow.

This is a good step forward in building the World Weather System to which I repledged American cooperation last June at Holy Cross College.

This cooperative effort has grown out of the beginning made by President Kennedy in his speech to the United Nations on September 25, 1961 He said then that our country "... would propose cooperative efforts between all nations in weather predictions and eventually in weather control .... "

In 1961 and 1962, the United Nations called upon the World Meteorological Organization to develop a program of cooperation that would strengthen weather service and research. The Organization responded with a concept of a world weather system and has designated Moscow and Washington as two world weather centers.

The United States and the Soviet Union have been working out an agreement to exchange weather information over a direct communications link between the two capitals. The agreement we have now reached provides for the exchange on a reciprocal basis of weather information gathered by satellites. For a short initial period conventional data will be exchanged. We hope that other member nations of the World Meteorological Organization may eventually participate in the exchange of data over this weather link.

We expect that the formal terms of this new agreement will be released next week at a meeting in New York of the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

In addition, I expect to be able in the near future to announce the opening of the world weather center in Washington. We have already been exchanging test transmissions on an experimental basis. We know that the new link, when in operation, will be a substantial step forward in speeding the transmission of valuable weather data in both directions. The American weatherman and the American public will immediately benefit from these improvements.

I take this opportunity to release a letter that I have sent to Secretary Hodges. This letter emphasizes my continuing support for international cooperation in weather matters, and my desire to ensure that all departments and agencies of the United States Government do their full part in support of international weather activities.

October 23, 1964

Dear Mr. Secretary:

As you are fully aware, we have over the past few years witnessed a substantial increase in international cooperation in weather matters. The nations of the world are exchanging meteorological data and pooling their activities to a greater extent than ever before to provide early warnings of severe storms and other calamities of nature, to further the safety and efficiency of air and sea travel, and to promote industry, commerce, and agriculture within their own borders. The most recent significant event in international weather cooperation has been the agreement among the member nations of the World Meteorological Organization to accelerate the development of a World Weather System. When the System is brought into full operation, it will bring substantial benefits both to our own country and to the less developed nations of the world. I have pledged the cooperation of the United States in the development of the System because of its importance to us and to the world at large.

A number of Federal departments and agencies are presently involved in international activities in meteorology and have a concern with one aspect or another of United States international meteorological policies. With the growth of international cooperation in weather matters, and particularly with the quickening of international efforts to develop a World Weather System, there must be even more continuing consultation among them and effective coordination of their activities than has been necessary up to now.

I therefore direct that you take such action as you may deem necessary to bring the interested Federal departments and agencies into closer consultation and coordination with regard to international activities in meteorology and the formulation of United States international meteorological policies and programs to ensure that the United States will continue to make a significant contribution to international meteorological activities.



[The Honorable Luther H. Hodges, Secretary of Commerce, Washington, D.C.]

Note: The text of the Memorandum of Understanding and the accompanying Protocol is published in the Department of State Bulletin (vol. 51, p. 792).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President on the Agreement With the Soviet Union for the Exchange of Weather Information. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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