Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967

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Author: Lyndon B. Johnson  | Date: October 28, 1967

453
Remarks at the Chamizal Ceremony, Juarez, Mexico.
October 28, 1967

Mr. President, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

For almost a century the word "Chamizal" stood for dispute and disagreement between the United States and Mexico.

Even 13 years ago when I introduced a resolution in the United States Senate calling for a commission that could help us settle the question of the Chamizal, there seemed no way to bring the best efforts of both countries to bear in resolving it. My resolution got no further than the committee to which it was referred. The Chamizal remained in dispute.

Yet in the last 4 years, it has become—for both our peoples—an inspiring symbol of friendship and mutual respect. An old argument has ended. More importantly, a lastingbond has been forged between our two countries. This is a very proud achievement.

Let this monument, and this place, stand as testimony to the world of what two nations, working together, can accomplish.

Too many times the world has seen disputed boundaries changed through force. El Chamizal stands as a shining example of how such matters should be settled.

For the last half century, each President of the United States has faced the moral issue of America’s commitment to the Chamizal Convention of 1910. In that treaty, we agreed that the decision of the arbitral commission "shall be final and conclusive upon both governments, and without appeal."

I do not propose to review all the legal history that has transpired since then. But I do want to say that I am very proud that the plain language of the Convention of 1910 has become a reality today.

On other occasions I have said that it is important to the peace of the world that both our friends and our enemies believe that we in the United States mean what we say. Here in El Chamizal we have honored our pledged word. And we will continue to honor all of our commitments.

The great Mexican patriot, Benito Juarez, said: "Respect for the rights of others is peace." That principle is the foundation stone of our hemispheric relations.

A generation ago, fascism threatened that principle. Today it is another doctrine. We see it at work in the subversion and the concealed aggression in Bolivia, Venezuela, and other countries. The challenge has confronted the American States with hard choices. And we know that the American States must stand together if we are to assure that the weak are protected, that might does not make right, that our peoples are to have the privilege of democratic choice.

Our concern and our commitments are not always easy to uphold. But we cannot abandon them simply because the price is high or the going is rough.

If Abraham Lincoln had done so, the United States, as we knew it today, would not exist.

If Benito Juarez had done so, Mexico would not be Mexico.

But we have been true to our principles. Though we have followed our separate stars, we meet here today as two neighbors strong and prosperous, at peace with one another.

This is the final act of a long drama. It is a fulfillment possible only to those who respect the rights of others, and so insure their own.
That is the real message of El Chamizal. It has been our great privilege, and has brought us great happiness, in these last few days, to receive the very able President of Mexico and his gracious First Lady in our country.

All the people they have seen they have made friends of.

President Diaz Ordaz is not only a leader of Mexico—a leader of this hemisphere-but he is a leader of the world, and the works that he has done are being known throughout all of the countries of the world.

More people will eat more food because of the enlightened policies of the Government of Mexico under the leadership of the President of Mexico.

On your farms, in your laboratories, you are producing a wheat that is being copied in many nations of the world.

It is a great privilege and an occasion of great happiness to me and Mrs. Johnson to be able to come here today and take part in this ceremony on behalf of the United States. We think we have no better friendsin the world than the Mexican people, and we know that we are their friends.

Long live the friendship of Mexico and the United States.

NOTE: The President spoke at 1:10 p.m. at the Chamizal Monument at Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. Following his remarks, President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz responded, and the two Presidents then signed the declaration of transfer (see Item 454).

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Chicago: Lyndon B. Johnson, "453 Remarks at the Chamizal Ceremony, Juarez, Mexico.," Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1196 960–961. Original Sources, accessed May 29, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4YKWNHYQICFYQVW.

MLA: Johnson, Lyndon B. "453 Remarks at the Chamizal Ceremony, Juarez, Mexico." Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1196, pp. 960–961. Original Sources. 29 May. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4YKWNHYQICFYQVW.

Harvard: Johnson, LB, '453 Remarks at the Chamizal Ceremony, Juarez, Mexico.' in Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1196, pp.960–961. Original Sources, retrieved 29 May 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4YKWNHYQICFYQVW.