[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[May 15, 1998]
[Page 764]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks Prior to a Working Luncheon With President Jacques 
Chirac of France in Birmingham, United 
May 15, 1998

    I was playing on a basketball team in Oxford, and I can remember 
playing the University of Birmingham. But it's changed very much. I 
learned today Birmingham has more meters of canals than Venice. I didn't 
know that, either. And I went walking--it's amazing--you should take a 
little time to go for a walk on the canal. It's utterly amazing; it's 
beautiful--it's beautiful. Mostly it's new development, mostly in the 
last 10 years, new pubs, new stores. But they have a lot of the old 
hooks lifting things off the barges--[inaudible]--factories, heavy 
    But it's very, very beautiful. It's amazing what they've done. I now 
see why Tony wanted us to come. I mean it's a 
real symbol of--[inaudible]--in a new direction. Even if you just have a 
few minutes, I think, to walk along the canal and have some local person 
explain how it works, as I did, it's fascinating.
    So we have to go to work, everyone. [Laughter]
    They have to work, too. They work hard. When we go on these walks, 
they have to carry all this heavy equipment. I feel so badly for them. 
You didn't even get a beer, did you, when we were done? [Laughter]

Note: The President spoke at 2 p.m. at the Swallow Hotel. In his 
remarks, he referred to Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom.