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In his first visit to Canada since before his election, President Eisenhower went to Ottawa and addressed the joint houses of Parliament. Not only was it a long-standing tradition, it was a critical sign of support and acknowledgement of the sacrifices Canadians have made over the years for their neighbors to the South.
President Eisenhower: “Mr. Prime Minister, for the very great generosity of the personal sentiments expressed towards me, I am humbly grateful. For the reception Mrs. Eisenhower and I experienced here throughout this city, we should like to extend to all your citizens–all your people–our very deep appreciation, especially for the honor of being received before this Body. I assure you you have given us distinction that we shall never forget.
Since World War II, I have now been privileged, three times, to visit this great country and this beautiful city.
On my first visit, more than seven years ago, I came to express to the Canadian people a field commander’s appreciation of their memorable contribution in the liberation of the Mediterranean and the European lands. On my second, I came to discuss with your governmental leaders your country’s role in the building of Atlantic security. Both visits, in the warmth and spirit of a great people’s welcome, were days that I shall remember all my life.
This day, I again salute the men and women of Canada.
As I stand before you, my thoughts go back to the days of global war. In that conflict, and then through the more recent savage and grievous Korean battles, the Canadian people have been valorous champions of freedom for mankind. Within the framework of NATO, in the construction of new patterns for international security, in the lengthy and often toilsome exploration of a regional alliance, they have been patient and wise devisers of a stout defense for the Western world. Canada, rich in natural gifts, far richer in human character and genius, has earned the gratitude and the affectionate respect of all who cherish freedom and seek peace.
I am highly honored by the invitation of the Parliament that I address it. For your invitation is rooted in the friendship–the sense of partnership–that for generations has been the hallmark of the relations between Canada and the United States. Your country, my country–each is a better and stronger and more influential nation because each can rely upon every resource of the other in days of crisis. Beyond this, each can work and grow and prosper with the other through years of quiet peace.
We, of our country, have long respected and admired Canada as a bulwark of the British Commonwealth and a leader among nations. As no Soviet wile or lure can divide the Commonwealth, nothing will corrupt the Canadian-American partnership.
We have a dramatic symbol of that partnership in the favored topic of every speaker addressing an audience made up of both our peoples our unfortified frontier. But though this subject has become shopworn and well nigh exhausted as a feature of after dinner oratory, it is still a fact that our common frontier grows stronger every year, defended only by friendship. Its strength wells from indestructible and enduring sources”identical ideals of family and school and church, and traditions which come to us from the common past.”
Here is a delayed-broadcast and edited-for-time-constraints recording of that address, as it was given on November 14, 1953.