June 3, 1988

Well, now I'm a little embarrassed to come up here after all those wonderful things were said about me, because I happen to think that we have a very wonderful Ambassador and his wife here representing the United States in this nation. And I also happen to have had the chance to observe and know what a wonderful staff there is in this Embassy, also. But the reason it makes it a little difficult is because I know how much we upset the routine when we drop in. [Laughter]

Nancy and I want to thank Ambassador Price, his lovely lady, and all the members of the Embassy staff for your extraordinary efforts to assure the success of this visit, as you have done so before. This, as you've been told, is my third visit to London and probably my last as President, and I know how much time and hard work must be devoted to a Presidential visit. I also know that a visit like this is an exceptional one, one that takes you away from your day-to-day business.

And let me express my deep appreciation for the work you do to represent United States interests in the United Kingdom. I know you spend long hours working to secure our foreign policy objectives, to strengthen our economy, to enhance our national security, and to protect United States citizens overseas. And I know the many times when you have been called upon for some individual citizen to overcome something that is upsetting them at the time when they're far away from home and here in this land. Your work here in London has proven invaluable in ensuring that the special relationship we enjoy with Great Britain continues to bear fruit.

Nancy and I wish to thank you, all the men and women of the Embassy, not just the American employees, but also the Foreign Service nationals without whose hard work and support this visit and the execution of our foreign policy would not be possible. And, Charlie, I just -- there are no words to express the appreciation that we have. You have a great staff, and now it's coming time for me to say so long.

I have to tell you, though, I want to tell you one little incident that occurred recently in my meeting with the General Secretary over there. And knowing, of course, that officially their nation is atheist, and we know that ours is based on the Judeo-Christian religion, and I couldn't resist one day -- I told him that I was looking forward to having prepared the greatest gourmet dinner that anyone could ever think of, the most wonderful and delicious foods, and having him to that dinner. And then when the dinner was over, I was going to ask him if he believed there was a cook. [Laughter]

Well, God bless all of you. And on behalf of Nancy and myself now, we've got to take the walk down to the helicopter, and we'll be on our way home. But we'll be on our way home with the warmest of memories and feeling of gratitude to all of you. Thank you. God bless you all.

Note: The President spoke at 1:45 p.m. from the terrace at Winfield House. Charles H. Price II was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.