Remarks in a Telephone Conversation With William M. Ellinghaus, President of A.T. & T., on World Communications Year

June 23, 1983

Mr. Ellinghaus. Good morning, Mr. President.

The President. Bill Ellinghaus, is this you?

Mr. Ellinghaus. This is I.

The President. Listen, I'm very pleased to have been invited by you to be a part of the U.S. Council meeting for World Communications Year, since I know that this gathering is the focal point for a number of important announcements.

The American communications industry has repeatedly demonstrated our nation's technological and entrepreneurial leadership. And I'm very pleased to note that the spirit of private enterprise that's made our world leadership possible has, at the same time, demonstrated our national concern that world communications innovations should represent a force for economic prosperity and good will.

In fact, something of that technology is apparent in this very call, because I know you're utilizing a satellite, but, also, I'm calling you from Air Force One, someplace out here between Washington and Chicago.

I understand that the announcements of U.S. investments in World Communications Year projects range from large to the small and from the technical complexity of IBM's Caribbean Inter-Island Disaster Warning System to the simplicity of international educational exchange.

And while we don't want to lose sight of the importance of the educational exchange and technical assistance investments, I'm pleased to see the extraordinary possibilities of the new technologies represented in the New York Teleport. The Teleport project represents the best kind of public-private partnership with the Port Authority of New York, the city of New York, the States of New York and New Jersey, Merrill Lynch, and Western Union -- have all joined in creating a facility that will establish a communications gateway and permit vast, new communications possibilities.

And I'm pleased to see that with the efforts of Roger Birk, the chairman of Merrill Lynch, Mayor Koch, the Port Authority of New York -- all of you are to be commended for what you're doing. At this Council meeting of the World Communications Year, we should all be pleased that you've managed to combine your concern for world communications needs and for the nations and peoples who've historically been less fortunate, with this introduction of another great American achievement.

So, God bless you all, and thank you for letting me participate by this long-distance method.

Mr. Ellinghaus. Mr. President, on behalf of the World Communications Year '83 Council, I want to thank you for your very, very encouraging words and certainly for demonstrating in a most effective way how communications do, in fact, bring us very close together. It's a great send-off for our meeting here at the White House.

So, we thank you again, Mr. President.

The President. Have a good meeting.

Mr. Ellinghaus. Thank you, sir.

The President. You bet. Goodby.

Mr. Ellinghaus. Goodby, sir.

Note: The telephone conversation began at 10 a.m. while the President was traveling on Air Force One from Washington, D.C., to Chicago, Ill.

Mr. Ellinghaus, president of A.T. & T., was chairman of the U.S. Council for World Communications in 1983, a private sector group of representatives from industry, labor, academia, the media, and professional and trade associations, formed to implement goals for the United States during World Communications Year.

On December 16, 1982, the President met with Mr. Ellinghaus and other communications industry leaders in the East Room at the White House, where the President signed Proclamation 5006, proclaiming 1983 as World Communications Year 1983: Development of Communications Infrastructures.

As printed above, this item follows the text of the White House press release.