72. Memorandum of Conversation1
- Vice President Humphrey’s Recent Visit;
- Meeting between the Two Chiefs of State
- President De Gaulle
- Minister Burin des Rosiers
- Mr. Andronikoff
- President Johnson
- E.S. Glenn
The conversation began before lunch. After replying to the President’s greetings, President De Gaulle remarked that the late Chancellor Adenauer was a great man who had served his country faithfully and well. The President agreed and complimented President De Gaulle on the latter’s fine appearance.
The conversation continued after lunch following a request from President De Gaulle carried by Minister Burin des Rosiers to the President.
Vice President Humphrey
The President expressed satisfaction with the reception extended for Vice President Humphrey.2 He also said that he remembered with pleasure his own conversation with General De Gaulle at the time when he was Vice President of the United States.3[Page 141]
General De Gaulle said that the French Government was very happy to welcome the Vice President in Paris. It is regrettable, said he, that the two Presidents have had so few opportunities to exchange views personally in the last few years.
The President said that he shared this opinion.
Exchange of Visits
President De Gaulle said that there is a house near the Palace of Versailles, which was built by the kings of France and which is named the Trianon. The French Government would be delighted to place this house at President Johnson’s disposal any time the President would find it convenient to use it.
The President said that this is an election year and that he does not think that he will do much travelling henceforth. However, President De Gaulle is coming to Canada and might perhaps find his presence in the Western Hemisphere a good opportunity to return the visit paid in Paris by President Kennedy.4
President De Gaulle said that his invitation stood also for after the elections. He added that he thinks often about President Johnson not only in connection with the business two chiefs of state may have together but also as one man about another. He is fully conscious of the heavy burden constituted by responsibility and full of respect for the manner in which the President carries this burden.
The President said that people in the United States are conscious of the manner in which President De Gaulle faced his own responsibilities. This has changed the face of France and greatly contributed to changing the face of the world.
President De Gaulle said that the United States has done much for the world.
The President said that the United States did what it could and what it considered to be its duty. It intends to continue to do its duty.
President De Gaulle said that he was happy to have been able to exchange these few words with the President and hoped for another opportunity.
The President said that he also was happy with having been able to exchange these few words and that he also would like to have further conversations with President De Gaulle. It is his understanding [Page 142] that President De Gaulle would be leaving Bonn almost immediately after the ceremonies.
President De Gaulle affirmed that such was the case.
- Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Germany, Adenauer Funeral. Secret; Exdis. No drafting information appears on the memorandum, which was approved in the White House on June 28. The meeting was held at the Villa Hammerschmidt.↩
- Humphrey visited Paris April 7 to address the OECD meeting.↩
- Johnson visited Paris twice: April 6-7, 1961, at the end of a trip to Senegal, and on September 30, 1961. No record of a meeting with De Gaulle during either trip has been found.↩
- For documentation on President Kennedy’s May 31-June 2, 1961, visit to Paris, see Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, vol. XIII, Documents 11, 107, and 230.↩