Remarks to Members of
the Empire and Canadian Clubs in
you all very much, and, Brian, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Tony
van Strawbenzee, Gordon Riel, and ladies and
gentlemen, it's a pleasure to be here today. I should tell you that, for me,
this is a season for antiquity. Two weeks ago I spoke in one of the most
venerable chambers in the democratic world,
I tell you, I have to interrupt my remarks here with Brian's farewell and the
fact of what's going to happen to me. I don't know why it should have reminded
me of a little something. But Nancy and I were in
Brian has told me about
qualities, together with our similar heritages and common values, have made the
relationship between the
our relations are better than ever. Over the last 4 years, the Canadian-U.S.
partnership has grown and strengthened. That's all for the good. In a world
that's changing before our eyes, we need each other's friendship as never
before. And in many ways, that is what, for Brian and me, the last 3 days here
you know, we've just finished meeting with the leaders of the five other major
industrial democracies. These annual economic summits have played an important
role in the revival of growth in the industrial world. Each year, of course, a
different country serves as host. Over the past 8 years, I've noticed that the
leader of the host nation sets the tone and, to a large extent, determines the
success of the meetings. Well, this year's summit was informal yet highly
focused. It was a get-down-to-basics,
open-for-business summit. And the progress achieved may not become fully
evident for months, but it was essential -- I should say, substantial. Much of
the credit for this success belongs to one of the democratic world's strongest
and best leaders and someone whose friendship I cherish. It is rare that a
personal friendship between two leaders can change the course of history, rarer
still that it changes for the better. But I believe that's the case here. I
believe that future generations will regard our work together as one of the
great legacies of
You know, as I said, economic summits are not intended to produce blockbuster announcements. They are regular business meetings. They give those of us around the table a feel for what the others are thinking. They're a forum for us to raise issues or to advance the many ways in which our governments work together.
economics at this summit, we advanced the process of coordinating policy. From
now on, our seven governments will examine structural reform issues in their
talks and will include a commodity price indicator in coordinating policy. We
also reviewed our commitment to achieving progress in the
from economics, in East-West relations we reaffirmed a common position on human
rights, on the need to reduce the massive conventional forces imbalance in favor
see a great deal about our discussions in tomorrow's headlines. But sometimes,
maybe most of the time, history is not made in headlines, and we don't
recognize great turning points until they're long past. This was an economic
summit, and in economics I believe that today history is made at summits, yes, but
in broader and more profound ways as well. This summit was held against the
backdrop of a transformation as dramatic as the one you find at the place on
the prairie where the
know that I don't need to tell you this because, as it was in the summit,
But another, and I believe truer, answer is that you have reaffirmed an old faith -- faith in the abiding, universal truth that economic growth does not spring from the numbers and graphs in government bureaus but from the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people. You have said, in effect, that the key to the future is in a simple human face. It's not the face of someone famous, someone whose name is likely to appear in the history books, but of someone, a man or a woman, who carries in his or her heart a dream, an excitement, a drive. And despite others calling that person impractical, he or she goes out and builds a dream into a business. Sometimes the dream is technologically sophisticated. Sometimes it's as simple as the store on the corner. Either way, this person, this dreamer, this entrepreneur, whether on his or her own or as a determined leader within a firm, is the driving force behind all growth. And because he or she can come from any part of society with ideas that will often seem eccentric, at least until they are tested, we in government cannot help this individual. We can't effectively target money or other assistance. We can only keep out of his or her way. We can, as you have, reduce taxes and regulations and open markets. We can give freedom.
you, we in the
as I looked around that summit table these last 3 days, it seemed to me we've
come to a moment in which, as it must have when John Cabot landed on the shores
of Newfoundland nearly 500 years ago, humanity stands on the shores of a new
world and for a moment holds its breath in awe and wonder. Each of the summit
nations has turned away from statism and toward the
market. This movement toward freer enterprise is worldwide, stretching from
on this continent that light has ignited a bonfire of entrepreneurship and
technological innovation unlike anything mankind has ever seen. As one
physicist noted not long ago: ``The entire Industrial
Revolution enhanced productivity by a factor of one hundred. The
microelectronic revolution has already enhanced productivity in
information-based technology by a factor of more than a million.'' And he
added, ``the end isn't in sight yet.'' Today a phone call, a television report,
or a currency transaction bounces from
heart of the technological revolution that produced them, that has, at the same
time, put desktop computers in homes across our continent while making North
American industry vastly more productive -- the heart of this revolution is a
tiny silicon chip that you can hold on the tip of your finger and still see
most of the finger. Today a single chip has the incredible power of a million
transistors, that is, of the biggest computer of the 1960's. Yet one of
this new technology is transforming our offices and factories, creating many
jobs, eliminating others. And for that reason, some people fear it. I
understand that. I remember returning to
seemed that with wartime excess-profits tax, everyone started to think of
production costs as mostly government money, so why not share the wealth. They
started leaving early and loosening standards. Pretty soon, though,
This story of challenge and growth is not just the story of movies and television but of all humanity in its long climb from the swamp to the stars. Do we dare stop climbing? Would we want to stop, especially we North Americans, we who, as Winston Churchill said when he addressed your Parliament during the bleakest days of the Second World War, have not journeyed all this way across the mountains, across the prairies, across the centuries because we're made of sugar candy? Nothing could turn us back faster from the new technological horizon and the morning of its promise than to do what some would have us do and hide from the growing global marketplace.
Your Prime Minister and I want to keep the world on
the path of hope. And that's why we've joined together in pressing for a new
round of international trade talks, in working for reform of the agricultural
policies of the summit nations, and of course in negotiating a Canada-U.S. free
trade agreement. That historic agreement, once approved by your Parliament and
our Congress, will throw open the doors to the world's largest free trade area.
It will benefit not only our two countries but all nations now wrestling
against the siren temptation of protection. Already
with the European Community scheduled to remove internal barriers by 1992, we
can hope that the two great continents of
Some say that open trade and easier access will lead to an erosion of cultural distinctions. But I believe that to find North America's true future under this agreement we need to look no farther than Canada itself, where distinct cultures have lived, worked, and traded together while respecting each other's differences for generations.
With protectionist storms brewing everywhere, the choice in both our nations and among all the summit countries is between moving forward toward freer trade or backward toward the protection and isolation that are relics of another age. We cannot, for example, expect the limited free trade of today to remain secure if trade in other products becomes more and more restricted. We cannot stand still, but then we North Americans never have. We've always risen to meet a challenge. Our hearts quicken to the call; our eyes brighten; our pace picks up.
Let's remind those who call for sweeping separation that we have long worked in common for common goals -- to protect our common security and peace, for example. Of course, some have criticized this security partnership, often saying that if we build weapons we're bound to use them, which makes me wonder where they've been for the last 40 years.
In my country's Air Force museum there is an entire B - 36 bomber, one of the first planes used for mutual security in an early part of NATO's nuclear umbrella. It has wings two-thirds the length of a football field, six rear-mounted propeller engines, four jet booster engines, and lots of vacuum tubes. At one time it could carry a 10,000 pound bomb load and fly 10,000 miles. Three hundred and eighty-five were built. Most have been junked. None was ever flown in combat.
These last 40 years, whole generations of missiles and nuclear weapons have been built and dismantled. Their only job was to keep the peace. It was kept. And now, because of NATO's strength and steadfastness, the Soviets have agreed for the first time to join us and eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons. Is there any better answer to those who, in the name of peace, oppose a strong defense partnership?
I said at Guildhall, I found Mr. Gorbachev to be a serious man seeking serious
reform. And he and I talked about those reforms, as well as about regional
conflicts, human rights, and arms reduction. Our discussions focused on freedom
of choice and other individual freedoms and on the fact that recognition of
these basic rights must never be taken for granted. I know I speak for all of
us in saying our prayers go with the Soviet peoples. But as I also said at
Guildhall of the security partnership between
the last 3 days, the summit partners here in
So, yes, in ensuring the security not only of our nations but our ideals, in fighting the drug scourge, in leading the world economy to a future of opportunity and growth, the partnership between our countries is at the center. It is the example to our allies and the world. It is the hope of peoples and nations.
And so, today, mankind -- standing on the shore of a new continent, a new age of invention, adventure, and growth -- holds its breath and for one lingering moment wonders: Go forward or go back? And what we North Americans decide together will, to a large measure, answer that question for the entire world. Let us choose life. And let us choose hope. And let us turn to the horizon and greet the morning and continue the adventure that our forefathers started so many years ago when, with faith and freedom, they landed on this great, strange continent and began to build a new world.
Before I leave completely, with regard to what I have said about drugs and all the things that is going forward, I couldn't help but think very proudly today at the table -- with all of that being accomplished between our seven nations -- I couldn't help but think that one tiny young lady a few years ago, moving to Washington, set out on her own on a crusade against drugs. And today she's got a lot of company.
now, I thank you. And since this is my last official visit to
Note: The President spoke at in the Canadian Room at the Royal York Hotel. In his opening remarks, he referred to Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. He also referred to Tony van Strawbenzee and Gordon Riel, presidents of the Empire and Canadian Clubs, respectively.