Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Toast by the President at a Dinner Given in Honor of President Thomaz at Queluz Palace

May 19, 1960

Today was a marvelous day. After the deceptions that brought about the failure of our efforts to achieve a top level conference, the welcome which I received during my visit to Portugal was an antidote. I am absolutely certain that other countries, too, will not feel discouraged at the result and the failure of our efforts. On the contrary it will constitute an incentive to continue our attempts to achieve peace with justice.

In the past, all generations have had to face problems which appeared to them to be insoluble. Our generation is no exception. It also has problems to face all over the world. There is the problem of the threat of communism, which by means of economic, financial, political, and subversive penetrations imperil what we are trying to defend. But communism isn't the only problem that we have to face. There are others equally difficult, such as sickness, misery, illiteracy, human suffering, and so many others. And we all know that if we leave them unsolved, we shall not be able to achieve our objectives of peace and justice. These problems know no geographical frontiers. And in order to solve all the difficulties which we shall have to face in all parts of the world, it will be essential for us to join our forces.

But if at times we feel disheartened and discouraged by the magnitude of the obstacles with which we are faced, all we need to do is to look back upon the Age of the Great Discoveries of Portugal, to encounter there the inspiration which is indispensable to us today.

The great Infante Don Henrique didn't lose heart in the face of the problems which he proposed to solve. He didn't lose courage in the course of his efforts and didn't turn back from the unknown, that unknown which terrified the peoples of the past, the unknown in which to adventure was the same as being lost. And there is also another great figure: Vasco da Gama. Both had the courage to put their shoulders to great undertakings. Neither of them hesitated in the face of mystery. Perhaps those two figures of your history may have contributed more to enrich the life of humanity than has the scientific knowledge of the two last decades.

But leaders of this stature exist also in the world of to. day. We have them with us. Observe your country and note the progress and the improvements brought about here during the nine years since my last visit under the leadership of your Prime Minister, Dr. Salazar.

That vision, courage, and tenacity of the Portuguese navigators we still find today to resolve great questions not so much for ourselves but for the benefit of others. What I see here did not occur by chance: it was necessary to make plans and the plans had to be carried out.

For this reason I am absolutely certain that the apparently insoluble problems of today can be solved by means of a close union between our peoples and our Governments. I am profoundly convinced that if we join our capacities, our energies--and intelligence, and the will of Portugal and of the United States, we shall be able to show the way to other countries--and then, together we shah achieve victory at the end of each daily road.

I toast this Nation--the happiness of the Portuguese people--symbolized by President Americo Thomaz who also represents courage, willpower, vision, the past and the future of the great Portuguese people.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Toast by the President at a Dinner Given in Honor of President Thomaz at Queluz Palace Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234495

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