Lyndon B. Johnson photo

The President's News Conference at the LBJ Ranch

November 28, 1964

THE PRESIDENT. [1.] The present discussion of the Atlantic Alliance that we see in the press and by the commentators, on television and radio, is, I think, partially the result of a neglect of first principles that are worth some new attention this morning.

The ultimate essentials of the defense of the Atlantic community are the firmness and the mutual trust of the United States and Europe. The United States position I should make abundantly clear. The safety of the United States depends upon the freedom of Europe, and the freedom of Europe depends upon the strength and the will of the United States. That strength and that will have never been clearer, have never been more necessary than today.

The United States is committed to the increasing strength and the cooperation of the Atlantic community in every field of action--economic, commercial, and monetary. There are no problems which we cannot solve together, and there are very few which any of us can settle by himself.

The United States sees no safe future for ourselves and none for any other Atlantic nation in a policy of narrow national self-interest. One of the great aspirations within the Atlantic community is the aspiration toward growing unity among the free peoples of Europe. No nation on either side of the Atlantic has done more to support this purpose than the United States. This support will continue.

Since 1945 the United States has borne a special responsibility for the nuclear defense of the free world. The costs and the complexities of modern nuclear weapons make it inevitable that this American responsibility will continue far into the future. While we cannot divest ourselves of this awesome obligation, we can and we will work earnestly with all of our friends to find new and better ways by which all interested members of the alliance can increase their own sense of safety by sharing responsibility in the unified defense of the alliance as a whole. This is the meaning of our present interest in the multilateral forces. This is the meaning of our continued readiness to discuss these problems with every interested ally.

I believe that the Atlantic Alliance is only at the beginning of its time of greatest achievement. Its success has been proved in 15 years of Atlantic peace. Its differences are differences among peoples who have learned in the torment of war that the freedom of each requires the freedom of all. I look forward with confidence to the resolution of present differences and the reassertion of the unity which is so deeply in the common interest of us all.

[2.] Let me add here this statement voluntarily before I submit for questions, a word about the Congo and about Africa, which has engaged our very special attention, as you know, this week. This terrible experience, this reign of terror and disorder, these innocent lives sacrificed in political reprisals, constitute a tragedy for Africa and for the Congo as well as for the rest of the world.

What has happened in Stanleyville has happened far too often to Congolese and foreigners alike on both sides in various conflicts in the Congo in recent years. The Congo has suffered through more than 4 years of violence and bloodshed and disunity. It has been an arena of power struggles and ideological wars. I hope now that it can have at last a chance for peace and order, and economic recovery, so that the ordinary people of the Congo can hope for improvement in their lot and for protection against the daily threat of violent death.

I have wired the relatives of our citizens who lost their lives there my feelings and expressed my great sympathy for them in this hour. We lost three Americans.1 Undoubtedly we would have lost dozens more had we not acted promptly and decisively in cooperation with the Belgian paratroopers. As you know, more than 4,000 Congolese themselves, most of whom were people with education, more than 4,000 Congolese in recent months have lost their lives because of these disorders.

1 Dr. Paul Carlson of California, Phyllis Rine of Mount Vernon, Ohio, and Joseph Tucker of Lamar, Ark., all missionaries.

I would like to stress to those of you here at the ranch this morning that the United States has no political goals to impose upon the Congo. We have no narrow interest. We have no economic gain to be served in the Congo. We seek to impose no political solution, neither our own nor that of some other outsider.

We have tried only to meet our obligations to the legitimate government, and to its efforts to achieve unity and stability and reconciliation in the Congo.

So we hope now that everyone who has had a part in this 4-year agony of the Congo will bury past differences and try to work together in a spirit of compassion, to help reach these goals of unity and stability and reconciliation. If this could happen, perhaps the hundreds of innocent lives, Congolese and foreign, that have been sacrificed will not have been sacrificed in vain.

We were necessarily a party to the decisions, and I assume full responsibility for those made for our planes to carry the paratroopers in there, in this humanitarian venture. We had to act and act promptly in order to keep hundreds and even thousands of people from being massacred. And we did act in time.

The paratroop force that we moved in there will be moved out tonight, and it will be moved out of the Congo to Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean.

[3.] Another matter which we have spent some time on in the last few days is the monetary situation.

This week we witnessed a rather remarkable demonstration of the strength of international monetary cooperation. Eleven nations, including the United States, and the Bank of International Settlement, arranged with the United Kingdom to provide credit facilities totaling about $3 billion to defend the pound sterling against speculative pressure.

We are gratified that these arrangements were worked out so speedily and with such widespread international participation. This action should give the United Kingdom the breathing space needed to carry out an effective program for improving its balance-of-payments position.

Of course, none of us was pleased that the Federal Reserve was obligated to raise our discount rate as a precautionary move in response to international developments. However, as Chairman Martin has clearly stated, this move is not, repeat not, intended to restrict the availability of credit to the domestic economy and does not lead us to expect any significant increase in the cost of domestic long-term credit, either from the banks or in the capital market.

We can count on monetary policies that continue to meet the credit needs of a noninflationary expansion. This expansion, as you know, is about to enter its 46th consecutive month, an unprecedented record of peacetime prosperity.

Although strikes in the automobile industry dampened our economic performance in October and early November, there is encouraging evidence that the underlying economic forces remain strong. I presume it has almost become traditional for me to discuss economics, and I will certainly do so as long as you will follow me and it is desirable, at least.

But I would like to point out that our housing starts showed a welcomed 9 percent rise in October. Our new orders received by manufacturers continued to exceed shipments, which would indicate further strength in manufacturing production in the coming months.

Outside of durable goods manufacturing, which showed the effects of the strike, nonfarm payroll employment scored a good gain, 180,000 persons in October. Excluding sales by auto dealers, retail sales were 6.5 percent above last year for the 4 weeks that ended November 21st.

Now that the auto strikes are behind us, this underlying strength should again become fully apparent. The coming holiday season will find our economy setting new records for production, employment, income, and sales.

I think I should add that I have been kept in close touch with the auto people. I communicated with Mr. Reuther when he was abroad, and he came back and I have talked to him since we have been here. I am very happy that the employment situation in the auto industry as a result of the agreements between the management and labor has been worked out, and we can look forward to full production and more complete employment.

[4.] As you know, I will complete today a rather thorough review with each Cabinet officer of items that we will 'put in the budget for fiscal year 1966. Mr. Katzenbach 2 and some of his associates will arrive shortly and will spend part of the day with me. Later in the day I will have the Chairman, the distinguished Chairman, of the Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives, Mr. Mahon, flying in to give him an up-to-date review of what the agencies are asking, and to invite the suggestions of the Congress and certainly his committee on any suggestions they might have.

2 Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, Acting Attorney General.

I must tell you that in candor and frankness no one can tell what this budget figure will be. What we have done is, we have had each department present to the Budget and to the President what they feel are their minimum demands for this year.

The Budget Director has not scrutinized each of those demands nor has the President. We will do that during the next 30 days.

This is the first preliminary presentation and there will no doubt be some increases to what they have asked at this time, depending on developments abroad and here, and there must be a good many reductions.

The figure that they are asking is in the neighborhood of $108 billion, between 108 and 109. As I say, there will be some additions to that and there will be some reductions. But that process is now underway.

I have a perspective on the budget expenditure and the employment trends in relation to other trends in our great and growing economy.

It has been a rather interesting study that must continue until early January. I asked the Budget Director when he was here the other day to present two charts which would show how the Federal budget expenditure and Federal employment have behaved over the past decade. All of our people are interested in this, but they have to support other divisions of Government, and I wanted to see how our expenditures compared with our gross national product and how our employment compared with our population.

We all realize that we have new people, 3 or 4 million, coming into our population each year. There will be additional needs for them, and so forth. The Federal expenditures shown on this chart show what they would have been had they kept their '55 relationship to State-local government spending and to the gross national product.

You will see we started out at $64.4 billion in our 1955 expenditure, and if we had gone and spent the same amount as the State-local governments did, we would have a budget this year of $143 billion. If we had spent only the same percentage to our gross national product as we did in 1955, we would be spending $109.8 billion.

I think that that is what the managers of our departments feel would be a felt last year and feel this year--would be the desirable and almost necessary level.

You will recall the 37 days and nights that we worked. We anticipate this year an expenditure of somewhere in the neighborhood of $97.2, about $700 million under what I had estimated at the beginning of the year. That may come up some the next few months, depending on any needs that we have. But if we had spent like the States and local people spent, it would be $143 billion. If we had spent in accordance with the increase in our productivity, our gross national product, it would be $109 billion. It actually is between 97 and 98. They are asking for 108 next year. These charts show our general relation to the gross national product and State and local government expenditures.

We have here an employment chart that tells somewhat the similar story. We had 2,371,000 in '55. If we had added the same number of employees that the State and local governments have added according to their relationship, we would have 3,886,000. If we added only in accordance with our population needs, it would be 2,783,000. As you can see, during this period, it held about the same, or actually it has declined a few thousand since we went in.

That will necessarily increase some because we have an increasing population, we have a steadily growing economy, we have expenditures in employment in Federal programs that are new, that are just coming up. At the same time, I think it is imperative that we do our best to increase efficiency and productivity in Government programs and reform existing programs to meet the needs of today and tomorrow.

These charts show that both Federal spending and Federal employment are under tight and effective controls and I plan to keep it that way. So we are putting together a budget which will continue these favorable trends but we are trying to find substantial places where we can eliminate programs and where we can make reforms that will give us some leeway to institute new measures.

[5.] The United Steel Workers officials are meeting Wednesday to draw up their wage demands. I know you must have observed that, and I think that every person in this country has a very vital interest in the outcome of these negotiations.

I am very pleased with the current prosperity of the steel industry. Production this year will reach an all-time peak. Steel profits are up 26 percent over last year. Employment is up 80,000 since last December. Steel prices have been essentially stable since October 1963, and I hope and I expect that they can remain that way.

As the period of bargaining approaches, I am anxious to preserve stability in this great industry. I know I can count on both sides to do their utmost to resolve the important local and national issues before them, again avoiding the dislocations of a strike.

I also look forward to a responsible settlement which preserves stable labor cost per unit and thus contributes to continued stability in steel prices. I am sure that the parties have the wisdom to reach a new agreement without a strike and without labor cost or price increase. We can then look forward to continued balanced expansion with our record of cost-price stability remaining intact.

Now, if you would like, I will take questions. I know that you don't want to be kept too long. But you can extend your period of questioning a little bit if you want to because we have some people from our State that may want to add to your usual time. It may be that you will want to eliminate some of these volunteers that don't interest you. I just wanted to review with you what we have done here in the last week.

We will be returning tomorrow afternoon, sometime between 1 and 3. I have spent the morning talking to Secretary Dillon, Secretary Rusk, Secretary McNamara, Mr. Bundy, and the Budget Director 3 in the usual routine conferences we have by telephone instead of in person, when we are here. Now, if you care, you can take the next 20 minutes so you don't get deprived of any of your opportunity to ask questions.

3 McGeorge Bundy, Special Assistant to the President, and Kermit Gordon, Director, Bureau of the Budget.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, is expansion of the Viet-Nam war into Laos or North Viet-Nam a live possibility at this point?

THE PRESIDENT. I think Mr. Kilduff 4 reviewed with you yesterday the feeling of this administration. I don't want to give you any particular guideposts as to your conduct in the matter. But when you crawl out on a limb, you always have to find another one to crawl back on.

4 Malcolm M. Kilduff, Assistant Press Secretary.

I have just been sitting here in this serene atmosphere of the Pedernales for the last few days reading about the wars that you have involved us in and the additional undertakings that I have made decisions on or that General Taylor5 has recommended or that Mr. McNamara plans or Secretary Rusk envisages. I would say, generally speaking, that some people are speculating and taking positions that I would think are somewhat premature.

5 Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, U.S. Ambassador to Viet-Nam.

We have had many conferences in the last year in connection with the South Viet-Nam situation. It has been a serious problem for many years. Secretary McNamara has made several trips out there. Secretary Rusk has made two trips out there since I became President. The first meetings I had as President were with Ambassador Lodge 6 who was called in. I have had other meetings with General Taylor and other conferences. We have scheduled them in Honolulu.

6 Henry Cabot Lodge, former U.S. Ambassador to Viet-Nam.

In retrospect, as you look back over your writings during all of that period, they are somewhat similar to what they are today. I don't know whether you have a black sheet that you take out every time we have a meeting on it and rewrite it, but in Honolulu we had these dire predictions and we served notice on the world that we were about to launch a big new effort.

I would say the situation is always serious. It is quite a problem. Periodically we will have meetings with our top people. Every few weeks we will have General Taylor or Mr. Johnson or General Westmoreland 7 or some other people from out there in here. We will evaluate the situation. We will do everything we can to make it more effective and more efficient. The only thing we need to do to end our real problem in that area is for some folks out there to leave their neighbors alone. We hope in due tithe that that can be brought about.

7 U. Alexis Johnson, Deputy U.S. Ambassador to Viet-Nam and Gen. William Westmoreland, Commander, U.S. Forces in Viet-Nam.

At the moment, General Taylor will report to us on developments. We will carefully consider those reports. He is meeting with Secretary McNamara and Secretary Rusk, Mr. Bundy and Mr. Harriman, I believe, today and tomorrow. I will meet with him in the early part of the week.8 I anticipate that there will be no dramatic announcement to come out of these meetings except in the form of your speculation.

8 On December 1 the White House announced that the President had reviewed the situation in South Viet-Nam with Ambassador Taylor, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, Central Intelligence Agency Director John A. McCone, and Gen. Earle G. Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The release stated that Ambassador Taylor reported that the political situation in Saigon was still difficult, but that the new government under Prime Minister Tran Van Huong was making a determined effort to strengthen national unity, to maintain law and order, and to press forward with the security program. Over the past few months, he said, security problems had increased in the northern provinces of South Viet-Nam, with uneven progress elsewhere; however the strength of the government's armed forces was being increased by improved recruiting and conscription, and by an increase of nearly Ion percent in the combat strength of the Vietnamese Air Force. Ambassador Taylor also reported that increased interdiction of communication routes by the Viet Cong was interfering to some extent with commerce within the country.

The meeting, the release noted, also reviewed the accumulating evidence of continuing and increased North Vietnamese support of the Viet Cong and of North Vietnamese forces in, and passing through, the territory of Laos in violation of the Geneva Accords of 1962.

The release concluded by stating that the President had "reaffirmed the basic U.S. policy of providing all possible and useful assistance to the South Vietnamese people and government in their struggle to defeat the externally supported insurgency and aggression being conducted against them."

[7.] Q. Mr. President, have you given any thought to a meeting with the new leaders of the Soviet, and do you think such a meeting could serve a useful purpose in the next few months?

THE PRESIDENT. We have no plans for such a meeting.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, in connection with your statement on Western Europe, there have been questions about your own personal commitment to the multilateral force. Do you strongly believe in it as the main essential in your program for Western Europe at this time?

THE PRESIDENT. I touched on that in the statement a moment ago. We are now preparing ourselves for a conference with the Prime Minister of Great Britain who will be here in a few days.9 We have just concluded meetings between Mr. Rusk and Mr. Schroder. 10 I think the general feeling of the President and this Government is outlined in the statement I just gave you. We do realize that for many years to come we will have great responsibility in this general area.

9 See Items 795-797.

10 Gerhard Schroder, German Foreign Minister, who was in Washington November 22-26.

We want to work out with all of the nations, the free nations, the best solution possible. We are not going to be adamant in our attitudes. We are going to try to be cooperative and helpful, and we hope that we can obtain a meeting of the minds of all of our allies.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, do you foresee the meeting with Wilson as the beginning of a round of bilateral talks with allied leaders, and including one with De Gaulle?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I wouldn't say it is a beginning. I would say it is natural and normal for the allies to confer and exchange viewpoints. We are very happy that the Prime Minister is coming, and we look forward to a very productive visit. We will be very glad from time to time to meet with the other leaders. As you know, Secretary Ball 11 and Secretary Rusk both have trips to Europe planned this year, and there will be other exchanges. I wouldn't say that the meeting with Wilson is necessarily the beginning. I would say it is a normal routine, and we will carry on with them and explore every possible matter of mutual interest.

11 George W. Ball, Under Secretary of State.

Q. Do you foresee one soon with De Gaulle?

THE PRESIDENT. We don't have any scheduled at the present time.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, sir, do you plan any sort of reprisals against the rebels in the Congo to hold them responsible for killing the Americans?

THE PRESIDENT. I think that the Secretary has stated our position, that we feel outraged by the actions that were taken, not only against some of our people but against the Congolese themselves, that resulted in thousands losing their lives, and we certainly hope that the perpetrators of these outrages are brought to justice.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, do you feel that J. Edgar Hoover's usefulness has been impaired because of the controversial statements he has made about Martin Luther King, the Warren Commission, and the Supreme Court?

THE PRESIDENT. We have individuals from time to time that give their views in various situations. Both persons that you mentioned have exercised their freedom of speech on occasions. My problem is to try to prevent the strong divisions that could come to pass from time to time, instead of provoke them. We are very anxious that each person receive the protections of the law in this country and be adequately protected in their constitutional rights.

Mr. Hoover has been called upon by the President and by others on many occasions to do work in the examination and in the study and investigation in this field, particularly the field of civil rights. He has been diligent and rather effective, and I would hope that in the months ahead we would have further evidence of the outstanding capacity of his people, and that this would not degenerate into a battle of personalities.

As you know, in the campaign I did all I could to keep that from happening, and I will continue to.

[12.] Q. Mr. President, is it the estimate of our Government today that an increase or an expansion of the war in Viet-Nam would probably lead to Chinese Communist retaliation?

THE PRESIDENT. I think that we will evaluate the entire situation out there with General Taylor in the coming week and take whatever action we think is in the national interest.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, do you intend to name--

THE PRESIDENT. I am not hearing you, and I am having a little static over here.

Q. Do you intend to name a new Attorney General anytime soon, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. I have named Mr. Katzenbach to direct the activities of the Justice Department. When and if I have any changes in that situation, I will be glad to promptly announce them.

Q. Mr. President, do you anticipate any other Cabinet changes?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I think from time to time there will be changes in the departments. A good many men who came there expecting to stay 2 or 3 or 4 years--their time has already run out. I have one that I can announce to you this morning.

The Under Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Roosa, had agreed to stay on 3 years when he came to Washington, and because of the situation in our Government following the loss of President Kennedy, we asked him to stay on. He agreed to help us through this year. He is resigning to go into private business, and he has written me a letter of resignation. I have responded.

If Mr. Reedy will have those letters mimeographed, they will be available to you and you can release them in the morning.

But there will be changes in the administration from time to time because of the long period that some men have served, because of financial demands, because of family problems. I don't anticipate that I will have the degree of changes that you would have in a change of administration. I hope that we will have reasonable continuity, and I think we have had. It is rather unusual. I am deeply indebted to the men and women who have made sacrifices to continue in public service.

[14.] Q. Mr. President, to get back to J. Edgar Hoover for 1 minute, have you given him assurances that he can remain as Director of the FBI as long as you are President?

THE PRESIDENT. We had a public ceremony regarding Mr. Hoover, and I will ask Mr. Reedy to give you a full transcript so you can have exactly what happened and what was said. 12

12 See Item 333.

[15.] Q. Mr. President, do you have an agreement with Vice President-elect Humphrey as to what would happen if you suffered some disability as other Presidents have had?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I don't.

Q. Do you plan something like that?

THE PRESIDENT. I do--when he is Vice President.

[16.] Q. Mr. President, a number of African nationalists have charged that our intervention in Stanleyville was an act of imperialism. What answer do you have for those?

THE PRESIDENT. I think I have told you what actuated us and what motivated us. We went in solely for humanitarian reasons. We were asked by the Belgian Government to assist with transportation in order to prevent massacre of our citizens and of other citizens of the world, including citizens of the Congo.

We gave great consideration to that and we saw there was no responsible government that had been able to give us any assurances that the lives of our people would not be taken and the lives of other nationals would not be taken. And we had seen that thousands of Congolese had lost their lives.

So we felt that our concern for humanity, our own national interest, dictated that we comply with the request to furnish transportation. We made that decision. We acted. We carried out our part of the bargain and we think we saved hundreds and thousands of lives, not only of Americans but others. And I thought we had no alternatives.

[17.] Q. Mr. President, are you going to give Mr. Marvin Watson a post in your administration?

THE PRESIDENT. I would like to, but I have no plans whatever to. He has other problems, other duties now, and there is not anything in the offing. I see a good deal in the press about it. But if they had taken the same caution you do, they wouldn't have misled their readers.

[18.] Q. Mr. President, have you made any decision on the vacancy on the Federal Power Commission?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I haven't. When I have any appointments to make, we won't keep those secret. We will make a public announcement of them. In cases of all commissions, we will submit their names to the Congress for confirmation where they will be carefully considered and perhaps debated.

[19.] Q. Mr. President, could you tell us anything about your personal contact with General de Gaulle?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, we have had contacts from time to time when I was Vice President, and since I have become President, personal, official, orally, and in writing. No doubt we will have others from time to time.

[20.] Q. Mr. President, there have been reports, including one in a speech by Senator Humphrey, that you plan to submit a very extensive Federal aid program for elementary and high schools. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

THE PRESIDENT. No. We have reached no agreement about that.

[21.] Q. Mr. President, do you still hope to keep your budget below $100 billion?

THE PRESIDENT. I would always hope to keep it as low as possible. I have told you about what I know, and I think that it would be pure speculation to say--well, I have said many times that I like to keep the budget as low as possible. I hope it could be $100 billion. But I have given you the facts as I see them, and maybe your speculation on that is as good as mine. It is very difficult to know now whether you can reduce these requests to that area or not. I would rather doubt it at the moment.

[22.] Q. Mr. President, before the convention, we understood that you expected to expand the duties of the Vice President. Have you talked to Senator Humphrey about this and could you give us something more specific about the tasks you expect him to do?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I have talked to him about it, and I will be talking to him about it from time to time, and will be asking him to assume additional responsibilities as the need for them arises. I expect to engage his counsel and his years of experience in connection with the budget before it goes to Congress so he will be generally familiar with the operations of each department.

I would hope that because of his long association in the Senate and his familiarity with the legislative program that he would not only as presiding officer of that body under the Constitution but as a former Member of it he would be of great service to the country, acting with the Legislative and the Executive in trying to help formulate our program for the year.

I know he has demonstrated an intense interest in our space activities, and under the Space Act he will be the new Chairman of the Space Council, which is composed of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, and the Space Administrator. Because of his activity and his interest in the constitutional rights field, I know that he will give us his counsel and leadership in connection with equal employment and preventing discrimination against any of our citizens because of race or religion or region.

From time to time there will be particular assignments that I will want him to undertake because, as I told you before, I have an extremely high regard for his capacity, and he has a rich background. I want to call upon him every place I think he can make a contribution.

He has already been here, as you know. He was the first to come. We talked at some length about what he would do. Some of that was on the record, such as I have just repeated to you. Unfortunately, the horse got in the way and took the headlines. But he will be very busily engaged.

[23.] Q. Mr. President, you may remember that during the campaign you had to cancel a dinner engagement in Dallas. Do you expect to be able to keep that engagement before the end of the year?

THE PRESIDENT. No. I never had an engagement in Dallas, and I did not cancel any engagements. There was some tentative planning that included a number of visits in Texas. We did not confirm those and we were unable to continue with our planning in that regard because of developments regarding the Chinese nuclear situation and the change of government in Russia.

I welcome every opportunity to come to Texas, and I will no doubt be visiting you perhaps more frequently than you would like because I know it is a long way out here on a slow bus, and part of your responsibility is to look after, look over, and look out for the President, and keep in touch with his activities. But I will be back, in and out from time to time, and I would like very much to visit other parts of the State.

[24.] Q. Mr. President, can you give us any sort of a preview of the program you will place before the new Congress, at least the items to which you will give top priority?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes. I don't think the Cabinet and the President, and my staff people, have closed it up yet, but we have been working day and night since the election in thinking, researching, studying, and inviting the counsel of business people, medical leaders, educational leaders, and Government experts, and we are trying to assemble these ideas and suggestions for my consideration and for the Cabinet's study, and for the Budget Director's attention.

We feel very strongly that the parts of the program that were not enacted in the last session should be acted upon at an early date. Those include medical care, Appalachia, ARA, the immigration bill. All of those are a part of what the Johnson administration feels is of immediate interest and need to the American people.

In addition we are now evaluating very carefully the requirements of the three educational bills that I signed into law, the hospital and library bills that I have signed into law, the poverty program which we have inaugurated, which they received their money for in October. They are very carefully trying to wisely apportion that over the country. We want to see what expansions we can make in that field.

We will have a very heavy emphasis, as I indicated in the campaign, on natural beauty, on conservation, on education, on health, on economy, and we will continue with our scientific studies and try to advance and accelerate improvements in the Defense Department, our weapons systems, and our space effort. All of those will be submitted to the Congress from time to time.

We will have some general observations to make early in the year, but I have already reviewed with the leadership what I would like for them to act on in the way of medical care, excise taxes, unemployment compensation modernization, and the detailed provisions on health, education, conservation, agriculture, natural beauty, will come along from time to time.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: President Johnson's thirty-fourth news conference was held on the front lawn at the LBJ Ranch, Johnson City, Tex., at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, November 28, 1964.

Lyndon B. Johnson, The President's News Conference at the LBJ Ranch Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/241534

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