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President Johnson and West German Chancellor Erhard Hold Cordial Meeting in Texas

Dec. 28, 1963 - President Johnson and Chancellor Ludwig Erhard of West Germany, meeting today at Bergstrom Air Force Base near Austin, exchanged pledges to continue working for “self-determination for all Germans.” Dr. Erhard was met on the runway by the President, Mrs. Johnson, Governor and Mrs. John Connally of Texas, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, and other officials. Governor Connally, who was shot in Dallas while riding in the same car with President Kennedy on Nov. 22, had his right arm in a sling. He looked thin and pale but cheerful. He shook Dr. Erhard’s right hand with his own left. After a welcoming ceremony of great cordiality, the two leaders and their official parties flew “back to the hills” — in Mr. Johnson’s phrase — to begin their two-day working visit at the President’s LBJ Ranch. It was the first major international conference for each man as chief of government. Both came into office this autumn. Upon arrival at the ranch, Mr. Johnson and Dr. Erhard went immediately into private talks in the ranch house living room. Only interpreters were with them. White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger later said the discussions were of wide range, including East-West relations, means of strengthening the Atlantic alliance, mutual defense problems, and economic questions. In another room, Secretary Rusk, Foreign Minister Gerhard Schröder of West Germany, and other officials settled down to a parallel discussion. Tomorrow the Chancellor and the President will attend church and go to a Texas barbecue together. Mr. Erhard will return to Germany Sunday night.


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