[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 Kingdom 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 industry. 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.