John F. Kennedy photo

Telephone Conversation With the Prime Minister of Canada on the Opening of a New Mutual Defense Communication System.

July 22, 1961

THE PRESIDENT. Hello-Prime Minister Diefenbaker?

THE PRIME MINISTER. Hello, how are you, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. Prime Minister, I am delighted to talk to you again.

THE PRIME MINISTER. I am very pleased at this opportunity to welcome you again on behalf of the people of Canada. This is a very great occasion. I wish you could have been here. Here we have representatives of the United States, the Consul General representing the Ambassadors; Colonel White, the Commander of the Alaska Force connected with this project, and I only wish that you, instead of being at the Atlantic post, were here in Northern Canada with us, to meet riot only with the Canadians but generally with Americans who are present here.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, thank you, Prime Minister. I am delighted to speak to you all the way across from the coast of New England to the western part of Canada and reaching into Alaska. I want to congratulate you and the people of Canada upon adding a great new link to the communications system that binds this continent together, and I know that the Governor of Alaska and all of the people in our 49th State welcome this great addition to their contact with Canada and the rest of the United States.

THE PRIME MINISTER. Yes, Mr. President. This is a fine illustration--what I have just spoken of--the practical cooperation of the Canadian-American partnership. As I conclude, may I say this, Mr. President: If you give us leadership in the world contest for the hearts of men, we wish you all good fortune, we wish you that vision which will bring about peace for all mankind.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, Prime Minister, I want to express my congratulations to you again. This great new effort I think can show us what can be done once again by the people of Canada and the United States. I want to congratulate you personally and also to express our very best wishes to you and the vigorous people of western Canada.

THE PRIME MINISTER. Thank you very much, Mr. President. The best to you.

THE PRESIDENT. Thank you, Prime Minister.

Note: The President spoke from his residence in Hyannis Port, Mass., to Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. The ceremony marked the opening of a broadband microwave system through Canada linking the missile detection and alarm systems of the North American Continent.

John F. Kennedy, Telephone Conversation With the Prime Minister of Canada on the Opening of a New Mutual Defense Communication System. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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