I dette lydklip giver udenrigsminister Jens Otto Krag (1914-1978) et interview til canadiske medier under sit besøg i Ottowa i 1959. Han fortæller kort om årsagen til sit besøg i Canada og reklamerer for Danmark i form af information om, hvad man kan opleve i det danske sommerland. Derudover gør han rede for sit syn på europæiske forhold, herunder spørgsmålet om Tysklands eventuelle genforening.
Transkription af interviewet med Jens Otto Krag
- Mr. Krag, it is a very great honour to have you on the other end of the telephone this morning. I wonder if you would mind telling us just why you are in Ottawa?
Well, I’m in Ottawa because the Canadian government extended an invitation to all the foreign ministers taking part in the NATO Council meeting in Washington a week ago. And I accepted this invitation because I am very interested in seeing Canada, and because I feel that, in many ways, Canadian and Danish thinking go in the same direction. In other words that there is a natural basis for mutual understanding and cooperation between our two countries.
- Well, that is very, very fine indeed, and I think it’s so true. Do you find that many Canadians visit Denmark, Mr. Krag?
Yes, a growing number of Canadians visit Denmark, and they are very welcome. I can only add we would like to see many more Canadians in Denmark.
- Well, we are doing our best to send two lucky people to Denmark this summer. I wonder if you could tell us some of the things that our two winners on our anniversary contest would see in Denmark this July?
Well, July is about the best time you could visit Copenhagen, and I think everybody will find something for his taste: Museums, exhibitions, sightseeing along the harbour side and also the historical castles and churches around the city. Furthermore, the Danish Travel Association has organised a special ‘Meet the Danes’ programme. If you, for instance, are a dentist, you can, through this programme, find a dentist colleague in Copenhagen.
- Oh, that’s a good idea.
And let me mention Tivoli. I think you have heard about the famous, old amusement park in the heart of Copenhagen?
- I know, it sounds like a very exciting summer in Denmark, and many things going on.
- I was wondering if you could, being a woman myself, you know, when I go to another country, one of the first things I like to look at is the stores and the shops. What sort of things should shoppers be looking for when they are in Denmark?
Well, eh… what should the shoppers ask for in Denmark to bring with them back? Well, we have quite a lot of things you could buy, especially in the art and crafts fields. You have heard about Danish silver, Danish china, and modern Danish furniture. Incidentally, you do not have to buy cheese in Denmark, you can get it right here.
- I have seen it and eaten it lots and lots of times. That brings us up to the subject of Danish food. You know they say that Danish food is about the best in Europe. I was wondering if you could give me some inside information. Is it true that you actually can be presented with a menu that is several feet long and contains hundreds of types of sandwiches?
Well, I wouldn’t call it a menu, but it is a long list of different kinds of sandwiches and dishes. The main reason for Denmark being known for its food is the fact that we are living in the middle of a large kitchen. The Danes for many years exported food all over the world. The backbone of the Danish economy, as a matter of fact, has for many years been agricultural production.
- So, this sort of explains why the food is so good.
That explains that, yes.
- Did the Danish people themselves eat any of their famous open-faced sandwiches?
Oh yes, too many! This is why the girls are so big …
- Would you tell us: What is it called in Danish?
That is right. You can almost speak Danish, I can hear.
- At least I will be able to eat when I get there, anyway. I wonder if I can take you back to foreign affairs for a moment. I know the Scandinavian countries have played a tremendously important role in the United Nations and in NATO since the Second World War. As the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Krag, how do you feel about the present situation in Europe, and about this possible reunification of Germany and Adenauer’s decision to step out of office and become President of West Germany?
Well, I think we are in the middle of a rather serious situation for Europe and for all the NATO countries. As far as the reunification of Germany is concerned, I think this is a problem which we cannot expect to be solved during the negotiations with the Soviets this summer. But, I believe it is important that the negotiations are carried out on the background of strength and unity among the NATO countries, and I think it is also very important that the western countries have constructive ideas about how those negotiations could end. And in this way, I think that the idea the Canadian government presented at the NATO meeting that United Nations troops in one way or another could be used, for example that they could be placed in Berlin, I think that ideas of this kind are a constructive contribution to finding a peaceful solution on all those serious matters.
- Well, I do thank you very much, Mr. Krag, for talking to us. It has been a pleasure to talk to you and I will look forward to meeting you some day, I hope, in Denmark.
Thank you very much. It was a pleasure to answer your questions, and I hope very much to see you in Copenhagen some day.
- So do I. Thank you very much, sir.
Jens Otto Krag. Fra Dansk