The President's Toast at a Luncheon for Prime Minister Holyoake of New Zealand.
Mr. Prime Minister, distinguished guests:
It is a great pleasure to welcome to this house of the American people one of their very good friends--and also one of the free world's most stalwart citizens and leaders.
Many miles of ocean separate our two lands.
But many bonds of common purpose have made our two peoples one in devotion and dedication to freedom.
I am sure that no one will misread the meaning of the unity expressed by New Zealand, Australia, and the United States in the ANZUS Council meeting which brought our friend, the Prime Minister, to our country.
On all matters of concern, we stand together as one.
I need not reaffirm what is not in doubt or in question. But I would repeat, Mr. Prime Minister. that the United States will keep its commitments in the Southwest Pacific. We will keep our commitments around the world. We will stand firm until freedom is secure and until peace is assured.
I congratulate you, Mr. Prime Minister, and all the participants in the ANZUS meeting on the achievements of this vital and rigorous alliance.
We are especially grateful that the occasion of that meeting brings you back to Washington after an interval of nearly 2 years. I know that you must be reluctant to leave your beautiful land--and your farm on which so much of your life has been spent.
Having just returned from my own farm after 2 days there, I assure you that I understand your feelings. Much as I should like to talk to you today about agriculture, there are other subjects on which I think I might learn from you just now.
The Prime Minister like myself--spent some 25 or 26 years in his country's Parliament before coming to his present post in 1960. What is of particular interest to me--in an academic sense, of course--is his record last year. When he stood for a second elective term, he was returned to office with a Parliamentary majority only one vote less than in the first term.
Mr. Prime Minister, we are very proud to welcome you today as a friend, as the great leader of a staunch and valued ally for freedom, and as an untiring coworker in the quest for peace on this earth.
So I ask my friends who have gathered here with me today to join me in a toast--to our eminent friend, the Right Honorable Keith Holyoake, the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Note: The President proposed the toast at a luncheon in the State Dining Room at the White House. The text of Prime Minister Holyoake's response was not released.
Lyndon B. Johnson, The President's Toast at a Luncheon for Prime Minister Holyoake of New Zealand. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/238965