Statement Following the Conclusion of the Versailles Economic Summit Conference
June 6, 1982 Since World War II our peoples in Europe, Canada, Japan, and the United States have worked together to lay the foundation for global prosperity. Together, we built the international institutions which have seen us through the greatest economic expansion in the history of the world. This weekend at Versailles, that spirit of partnership was very much alive.
In the formal sessions and informal exchanges, the leaders of the major industrial democracies worked on strengthening and solidifying Western cooperation.
We did not ignore the serious difficulties facing our economies. These problems will not go away overnight, but they will be overcome. Beating inflation, convincingly and enduringly, is the key to a strong recovery of growth and employment. This was agreed. And I was pleased to report to my colleagues that in the U.S. we are conquering inflation and are convincing our people that we will not return to the inflationary policies of the past.
In times of economic stress, it is always tempting to seek simple solutions at the expense of others. At Versailles, we resisted this temptation. Instead, we concentrated on ways and means to strengthen our economic performance individually and collectively. We have agreed to reinforce the international institutions which assure cooperation and coordination. In doing so, we are looking to a future with low inflation, greater employment opportunities, rising standards of living through advancing technology, and smoothly functioning international economic relations.
Just to name a few specific areas:
-- We will work in association with the IMF to achieve meaningful coordination of medium-term economic policies, aimed at fiscal and monetary discipline and greater reliance on market forces.
-- We have dedicated our efforts to a productive ministerial meeting of the GATT, which will address the trade problems of the 1980's.
-- We have reaffirmed our commitment, made last year at Ottawa, to ensure that our economic relations with the Soviet Union are fully consistent with our political and security objectives. Specifically, we have agreed to exercise prudence in financial relations with the Soviet Union, including limiting export credits.
-- We also agreed to work together to develop the considerable energy potential in the West, as another step in assuring a strong, sustained economic recovery, less vulnerable to energy disruptions.
In our informal political discussions, we addressed the major critical issues before the West. We know that the economic growth we seek would be hollow without the collective capacity to defend our democratic principles and our freedom.
We addressed our shared concerns in East-West relations. The continuing buildup of Soviet military power is a major challenge, heightened by Soviet actions in Poland, Afghanistan, and Southeast Asia -- issues I look forward to discussing in greater depth at the Bonn summit. At the same time, we agreed that the serious economic problems and impending succession in the Soviet Union provide us with major opportunities to work out a more constructive East-West dialog.
We must maintain dialog with the Soviet Union, based on reciprocity and restraint. In that spirit, my colleagues have endorsed U.S. initiatives for arms control, particularly the negotiations on reducing strategic arms which will begin on June 29.
The tragedy in the Falkland Islands has been a serious concern to us all. Throughout the crisis, we have all been impressed by the British resolve, and in various ways, we have demonstrated our support for the United Kingdom. The United States continues to believe that we must end the fighting in the South Atlantic and achieve a political settlement.
On other matters, we urged restraint on all parties in Lebanon. Increasing bloodshed in that region is something we all abhor. We have also called for a political settlement in the Iran-Iraq conflict which would preserve the territorial integrity of both nations. And we agreed to improve our coordinated fight against international terrorism.
Finally, I believe that we should reach out to new generations. The summit nations can invest in the future with expanded exchanges among young people from North America, Japan, and Europe.
A year ago in Ottawa, we ended the first series of economics summits that began in France. With this summit at Versailles, we have begun a new cycle. We thus reaffirm our strong commitment to economic and political cooperation. In the spirit of partnership with our fellow democracies, I want to say that I very much look forward to welcoming these nations to the United States next year.
Note: The statement was issued following a gathering of the heads of delegation to the conference, at which time French President Francois Mitterrand delivered a declaration on the outcome of the conference on their behalf. The session took place in the Salle du Congress at the Palace of Versailles.
The 3-day economic summit conference, which began on Friday evening, June 4, with a reception and dinner for heads of delegation at the Grand Trianon, consisted of morning and afternoon plenary sessions, June 5 and 6, held in the Salle du Sacre at the Palace of Versailles. Attending the sessions were President Reagan, French President Mitterrand, German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Italian Prime Minister Giovanni Spadolini, Japanese Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki, Belgian Prime Minister Wilfried Martens, in his capacity as President of the European Economic Community Council of Ministers, and Gaston Thorn, President of the Commission of the European Communities, and their foreign and finance ministers. The morning sessions concluded with a luncheon for the heads of delegation in the Salon de la Paix at the Palace.
The President prepared for each day's sessions by meeting first in his suite at the Grand Trianon with members of the White House staff and then with Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury Donald T. Regan, and members of the White House staff.
On Saturday evening, the President attended a reception for heads of delegation in the Salon de Famille, a dinner in the Salon de Jardin, and entertainment in the Salle a Manger, all at the Grand Trianon.
On Sunday evening, following the presentation of the declaration, the President attended a dinner for the delegations in the Galerie des Glaces at the Palace of Versailles. The dinner was followed by an opera in the Palace's Opera House and fireworks in the Palace Gardens. The President then returned to the Grand Trianon, where he spent the night before flying to Rome, Italy, the following day.