Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Providing for Cooperation With Central American Republics in the Control of Rinderpest.
WE ARE here today to strengthen the bond of friendship between the United States and the Republics of Central America.
On the grazing lands and praderas of six sister nations to the south we ally ourselves against an ancient enemy and a new danger.
Foot-and-mouth disease is the dread killer of cattle. Once it strikes it can devastate a herd and ruin a rancher.
I have seen the terrible price this disease exacts:
--livestock that must be destroyed,
--food that is denied to the table,
--income that is stolen from the farmer's pocket.
As every man of the land knows, foot-and-mouth disease is about the worst trouble a rancher can have.
Because our governments in the past have taken proper action, our nations are free of this scourge. Now we are menaced again-and again we must act together in the interest of all.
The bill I have signed responds to the request of our Central American neighbors. It will empower our Secretary of Agriculture to work with your governments--side by side--in a regional program to safeguard our stock. It will give us the means to take every necessary measure to spare our people from the economic blight and despair of foot-and-mouth disease.
Again we join hands in the cause of humanity. Again we demonstrate the spirit of partnership and peace that is the heart of our Alliance for Progress, and the hope of men everywhere.
Note: As enacted, the bill (H.R. 16451) is Public Law 90-388 (82 Stat. 294).
The President's statement was made public as part of a White House release announcing that the Secretary of Agriculture, as authorized by the bill, would establish a Commission for the Prevention of Foot-and-Mouth Disease similar to one already existing between the United States and Mexico. The full text of the release is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 4, p. 1073).
The statement was released at San Salvador, El Salvador.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Providing for Cooperation With Central American Republics in the Control of Rinderpest. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/236815