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The Public Papers of JFK (in order)


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#1 Greg Burnham

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 09:51 AM

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1961

 

1.

 

The Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy, 

Thirty Fifth President of the United States at the Capitol, 
Washington, D.C., January 20, 1961.


 

                 Vice President Johnson, Mr Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, 
             Reverand Clergy, fellow citizens:

    We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom - symbolizing an end as well as a beginning - signifying renewal as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago. 
     The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe - the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God. 
     We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans - born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage - and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world. 
     Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. 
     This much we pledge - and more. 
     To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do - for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder. 
     To those new states whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom - and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside. 
     To those peoples in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required - not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. 
     To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge-to convert our good words into good deeds - in a new alliance for progress - to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house. 
     To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support - to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective - to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak - and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run. 
     Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction. 
     We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed. 
     But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course - both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind's final war. 
     So let us begin anew - remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. 
     Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us. 
     Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms - and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations. 
     Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths and encourage the arts and commerce. 
     Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah - to "undo the heavy burdens . . . [and] let the oppressed go free." 
     And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungles of suspicion, let both sides join in a new endeavor - not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved. 
     All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet.  But let us begin. 
     In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe. 
     Now the trumpet summons us again - not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need - not as a call to battle, though embattled we are - but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation" - a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself. 
     Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, north and south, east and west, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort? 
     In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility - I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light 
our country and all who serve it - and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. 
     And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. 
     My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. 
     Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.

 


Note: The President spoke at 12.52 p.m. from a platform erected at the east front of the Capitol.  Immediately before the address the oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Warren. 
    The President's opening words "Reverend Clergy" referred to His Eminence Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston; His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos, head of the Greek Archdiocese of North and South America; the Reverend Dr. John Barclay, pastor of the Central Christian Church, Austin, Tex.; and Rabbi Dr. Nelson Glueck, President of the Hebrew Union College, Cincinatti, Ohio. 
(Source: Public Papers of The Presidents, John F. Kennedy, 1961. pp. 1-3)

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Greg Burnham
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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#2 Greg Burnham

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 09:56 AM

--

 

2.

 

Exchange of Greetings With Leaders of the Soviet Union 

January 21, 1961

 

Nikita Khrushchev, 
  Chairman, Council of Ministers, U.S.S.R. 


Leonid Brezhnev, 
  Chairman, Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, U.S.S.R.

 

     Please accept this expression of my appreciation for your kind message of congratulations on the occasion of my inauguration as President of the United States of America. I welcome your expression of hope for a fundamental improvement in relations between our two countries and in the world situation as a whole; it is a hope which we share. We are ready and anxious to cooperate with all who are prepared to join in genuine dedication to the assurance of a peaceful and a more fruitful life for all mankind. Speaking on behalf of the Government and people of the United States of America, as well as on my own behalf, I can assure you that the efforts of the United States Government will be directed toward this imperative goal. 


         Sincerely,

 JOHN F. KENNEDY


 NOTE: The message from Mr. Khrushchev and Mr. Brezhnev, dated January 20 and delivered to the White House at 4 p.m. on the same day, follows:

 

Dear Mr. President:

 

     We congratulate you on the occasion of your inauguration. Availing ourselves of this opportunity we wish to express the hope that by our own joint efforts we shall succeed in achieving a fundamental improvement in relations between our countries and a normalization of the whole international situation. We are convinced that, step by step, it will be possible to remove existing suspicion and distrust and cultivate seeds of friendship and practical cooperation between our peoples. On its side, the Soviet Government is always ready to support any good undertakings in this direction and do everything in its power in order that durable peace may be established in the world, so that all nations may live in friendship and without enmity.

N. KHRUSHCHEV 
L. BREZHNEV

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Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#3 Greg Burnham

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 09:57 AM

--

 

3.

 

Remarks at a Meeting of the Democratic National Committee. 

January 21, 1961

 

     I want to express my appreciation to all of you for your kind welcome, and also to take this occasion to express my great appreciation - and I think the appreciation of us all - to Senator Jackson who assumed the chairmanship of the Democratic Party at the Convention, who was greatly responsible for our success in November and has been an invaluable aid during the transition. Whatever has been done that is useful in the party in the last 5 or 6 months he has played a great part in it. And I feel that the party has served a most useful national purpose - and while Senator Jackson is obligated to serve the people of Washington in the Senate, I know that we can continue to count on him in the days to come for counsel and advice and support. So I hope we will all stand and give a good cheer to Scoop Jackson. 


      Scoop automatically loses his share of the $4-million debt - we are not going to let him in on it. John Bailey has become the proprietor, along with Mac, of this enterprise. I think we are particularly fortunate to have John Bailey. I heard Governor Lawrence in his seconding speech say the trouble with everything is that they don't know enough of what is going on here in Washington; they ought to get out in the field. I agree with him completely. We have got a man from the field who knows what's wrong here in Washington, and I am delighted that John Bailey is going to take over this job. He is more popular today than he will be any time again in his life. I will feel that he is doing a good job when you all say, "Well, Kennedy is all right, but Bailey is the one who is really making the mistakes." That's the way it was in Connecticut. Ribicoff was never wrong, it was always Bailey's fault. So that is what he is going to do down here. 


      But I am delighted that he is going to do it. It is a sacrifice for him. But I think we are getting the services of someone who works in the party year in and year out, understands what the party can do, understands what the role of the Chairman is - and I must say that I am delighted to see him assuming the position vacated by Senator Jackson. 


     Lastly, I want to thank all of you for being with us at the inaugural. The party is not an end in itself - it is a means to an end. And you are the people who, in victory and defeat, have maintained the Democratic Party, maintained its traditions and will continue to do so in the future. I hope the relationship between all of us can continue to be as cordial as possible. I believe in strong political organizations in our country. The Republican Party is strong and vigorous today after the election of 1960. I think we are, also. And when we do that, I think we serve great national purposes. 


     The party is the means by which programs can be put into action - the means by which people of talent can come to the service of the country. And in this great free society of ours, both of our parties - the Republican and the Democratic Parties serve the interests of the people. And I am hopeful that the Democratic Party will continue to do so in the days to come. It will be in the interest of us all, and I can assure you that I will cooperate in every way possible to make sure that we do serve the public interest. 


     You have done so well in the past. We couldn't possibly have won without your help. I look forward to working with you in the future, and I want you to know that here in Washington, we may not know always what is going on as well as you do, but at least we are trying. 


     Thank you.

 

NOTE: The President spoke at 1.19 p.m. in the East Room at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. During his remarks he referred to Henry M. Jackson, U.S. Senator from the State of Washington and retiring chairman of the Democratic National Committee; John M. Bailey, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Democratic State Chairman for Massachusetts; Matthew McCloskey, Treasurer of the Democratic National Committee; Governor David L. Lawrence of Pennsylvania; and Abraham A. Ribicoff, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, and former Governor of Connecticut.


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Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

Website:

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#4 Greg Burnham

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 06:08 PM

--

 

4.

 

Remarks at the Swearing-In Ceremonies for the Members of the Cabinet. 

January 21, 1961

 

     I Want to thank the Chief Justice for his help today and for his good work, and I also want to congratulate and express my appreciation to the members of the Cabinet who have been sworn today. 


     Quite obviously, whatever success we may achieve will depend in great part upon their dedication and their effort, and the success which they achieve will depend in good part upon the dedication and effort of the hundreds of thousands of men and women of this country who serve our National Government. 


     As a citizen, I think we are fortunate to have them all. As President of the United States, I find it heartening, and therefore it is a great pleasure for me to welcome them as part of the official family. They are all patriotic men who are devoted to the welfare of this country - and I am confident that they will meet their responsibilities with high distinction.

 

NOTE: The ceremonies were held in the East Room at the White House. 
 


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Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

Website:

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#5 Greg Burnham

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 06:09 PM

--

 

5.

 

Statement by the President Concerning the Appointment of Frank B. Ellis as Director, 

Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization. 
January 23, 1961

 

     OCDM as presently constituted is charged with the staff function of mobilization planning and, at the same time, with the operating functions of civilian defense. Both these tasks are of vital importance to our national security. I consider it imperative that they be organized and performed with maximum effectiveness. Accordingly, I am asking Mr. Ellis, as his first order of business, to join with the Director of the Budget in a thoroughgoing review of our nonmilitary defense and mobilization programs. I am asking Mr. Bell to arrange for close consultation on the matter with the Secretary of Defense and other appropriate officials. I await the results of this survey with interest and concern.

 

NOTE: See also Item 295 and note.


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Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

Website:

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#6 Greg Burnham

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 06:11 PM

--

 

6.

 

Memorandum to Federal Agencies on the Duties of the Director of the Food-for-Peace Program. 

January 24, 1961

 

     Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies:


     I have today issued an Executive Order relating to the duties of the Director of the Food-for-Peace Program. This Order amends Executive Orders 10893 and 10900, providing for the administration of the mutual security and related functions and of the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, as amended, respectively. It provides that the Director of the Food-for-Peace Program shall be responsible for the continuous supervision and coordination of the functions under section 402 of the Mutual Security Act of 1954 as amended, as well as those functions under the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 which are delegated by Executive Order 10900. These provisions of law deal with the use of American agricultural commodities in furtherance of the foreign policy of the United States. 


     The purpose of this memorandum is to describe further the role of the Director of the Food-for-Peace Program, who will be located in the Executive Office of the President. 


     American agricultural abundance offers a great opportunity for the United States to promote the interests of peace in a significant way and to play an important role in helping to provide a more adequate diet for peoples all around the world. We must make the most vigorous and constructive use possible of this opportunity. We must narrow the gap between abundance here at home and near starvation abroad. Humanity and prudence, alike, counsel a major effort on our part. 


     Many Government functions and activities relate to the overseas movement of agricultural commodities and products of the United States. It is important that responsibility for coordination of all these efforts be centralized so that they can become more meaningful - a more useful instrument of our foreign policy, and more efficient. 


     Accordingly, I expect to look to the Food-for-Peace Director, working under my direction and with the Secretaries of State and Agriculture in particular, to exercise affirmative leadership and continuous supervision over the various activities in this field, so that they may be brought into harmonious relationship. 


     The most immediate task which I have asked the Director to undertake is that of conducting an intensive review of all these activities and considering possible improvements in them. He will communicate to me the results of this review and his recommendations for improvement, including recommendations for such legislative changes as may be necessary. I have asked the Food-for-Peace Director to consider very carefully the intimate relationships between our foreign agricultural activities and other aspects of our foreign assistance program and to develop the necessary programs and policies in coordination with the Mutual Security Coordinator. 


     I know that in all of his endeavors the Director will have your full support and cooperation. 


     This memorandum shall be published in the Federal Register.

JOHN F. KENNEDY


 NOTE: A White House release of the same date announced that a Food-for-Peace Committee, appointed during the campaign and headed by Murray D. Lincoln, had submitted a report to the President in response to his instructions to prepare recommendations for implementing his 6-point Food-for-Peace Program, made public on October 31, 1960. The report is summarized in the release which also lists the names of the Committee members.


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Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

Website:

AssassinationOfJFK.net Main Page

 

Forum:

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#7 Greg Burnham

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 10:36 AM

--

 

7.

 

Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House 

Urging Enactment of a Distressed Area Redevelopment Bill. 
January 25, 1961.

 

Dear Mr.---------------: 
     On December 4, 1960, I appointed a task force on area redevelopment, under the chairmanship of Senator Paul H. Douglas of Illinois, to make recommendations for legislative action to relieve the hardship resulting from chronic unemployment and to propose a program for the development of those areas. The report of that task force unanimously recommended prompt legislative action to provide technical assistance, loans for private projects, loans and grants for public facilities, and training and retraining programs to provide new industry, new jobs and new growth. 


     I am heartily in accord with these recommendations and I recommend the enactment of legislation containing provisions along these lines. The number of areas of substantial and persistent unemployment is now nearly 100. In addition, there are many places where chronic under-employment is predominant. This condition is not confined to our urban metropolitan centers but is spread across rural communities and represents a serious handicap to our national economic health. 


     The problems have long been the subject of both private studies and Congressional consideration. Private initiative alone is clearly insufficient to accomplish permanent improvement. Nor is it any longer possible for state and local governments to carry the full burden. I believe there must be a cooperative effort in which the Federal Government joins with private industry and local and state governments in a maximum effort to strengthen and improve the economic climate of the communities affected. 

 

     The proposed legislation will involve more than one existing department of Government. All must be drawn into the effort. In my judgment, the department best equipped to supervise and coordinate the program is the Department of Commerce. However, if the Congress should decide that a new agency would be more appropriate I believe such an agency could also carry out the objectives I have outlined. 


     In view of the high rate of unemployment and the long periods of idleness already sustained by so many persons in the communities the legislation will help, I urge prompt consideration and enactment of an area redevelopment bill. 


    With every good wish, 


     Sincerely,

JOHN F. KENNEDY

NOTE: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House of Representatives.


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Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

Website:

AssassinationOfJFK.net Main Page

 

Forum:

AssassinationOfJFK.net Research Forum

 
YouTube Channel:
 
GooglePlus:
 
Twitter:
 
Facebook:
 

#8 Greg Burnham

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 10:43 AM

--

 

8.

 

The President's News Conference of January 25, 1961

 

THE PRESIDENT. I have several announcements to make first. 


     [ 1.]  I have a statement about the Geneva negotiations for an atomic test ban. These negotiations, as you know, are scheduled to begin early in February. They are of great importance and we will need more time to prepare a clear American position. So we are consulting with other governments and are asking to have it put off until late March. As you know, Mr. John McCloy is my principal adviser in this field, and he has organized a distinguished panel of experts, headed by Dr. James Fisk of the Bell Laboratories - and Mr. Salinger will have a list of the names at the end of the conference - who are going to study previous positions that we've taken in this field, and also recommend to Mr. McCloy, for my guidance, what our position will be in late March when we hope the tests will resume. 


     [ 2.]  Secondly, the United States Government has decided to increase substantially its contribution towards relieving the famine in the Congo. This will be done by increasing the supply of cornmeal and dry milk, by adding contributions of rice, and by airlifting a thousand tons of food supplies, seeds, and hospital supplies from a number of African nations to the Congo. 


     It is the intention of the United States Government to meet fully the emergency requirements of the Congo for rice, corn, dry milk and other foodstuffs in our surplus stocks. Assurances have been received from the United Nations that with the help of this program the flow of supplies will be adequate to relieve the distress. The United States Government will cooperate fully to help the United Nations prevent famine in the Congo.1


     [ 3.]  Third, I am happy to be able to announce that Capt. Freeman B. Olmstead and Capt. John R. McKone, members of the crew of the United States Air Force RB-47 aircraft who have been detained by Soviet authorities since July 1, 1960, have been released by the Soviet Government and are now en route to the United States. 


     The United States Government is gratified by this decision of the Soviet Union and considers that this action of the Soviet Government removes a serious obstacle to improvement of Soviet-American relations. 


     Our deepest sympathy and understanding go to the families of the men of the RB47 who gave their lives in the service of their country. At the same time, I am sure that all Americans join me in rejoicing with the Olmstead and McKone families. The families, as well as the men, comported themselves in these trying times in a way which is truly in the best traditions of the military services of the United States. Restraint in these conditions is obviously not easy. But they can be assured that they have contributed in large measure to the final achievement of the objective which we all soughtrelease of the men. 


     [ 4.]  Q. Mr. President, this RB-47 case was regarded by the Russians as an overflight although we took a different position. In the light of this announcement, what will be your general policy on overflights and on such things as the U-2 case, or the U-2 flights? Do you conceive of circumstances which might warrant resumption of such things as the U-2 flight? 


     THE PRESIDENT. The Soviet Government is fully aware of United States Government views with respect to the distinction between the question of the United States Air Force RB-47 and the incident which occurred over Soviet territory on May 1, 1960, involving an American U-2 type aircraft. Flights of American aircraft penetrating the air space of the Soviet Union have been suspended since May 1960. I have ordered that they not be resumed. 


     [ 5.]  Q. Mr. President there have been reports that Mr. Khrushchev might come to the United Nations General Assembly for the resumption of the disarmament debates sometime in March. If this were to happen, would you welcome a visit by him to Washington for a get-acquainted meeting? 


     THE PRESIDENT. I've not heard officially of any proposal by Mr. Khrushchev to come to the United States. I've merely seen newspaper reports and I feel that it would be more appropriate to wait until we had some indication of whether Mr. Khrushchev was planning to come to the United Nations. 


     [ 6.]  Q. Mr. President, can you tell us something about what your role was, if you had one, in the release of these fliers? Did this come about as a consequence of some action you took? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, this matter has been under discussion by the American Ambassador and Mr. Khrushchev on one occasion and representatives of the Soviet foreign ministry since this weekend. The fliers were released as of 2 a.m. yesterday morning, but in the plane taking off there was a tire that was blown and therefore the plane did not take off. Our last information is that it took off at 5 o'clock our time this afternoon. It will fly to Amsterdam and then we expect the fliers to be brought to the United States tomorrow afternoon. 


     [ 7.]  Q. Mr. President, one of your task forces recommended that you resist any early move toward general disarmament negotiations until a firm and fixed U.S. policy could be worked out. What is your reaction to that report and how much time do you think it might take to get a firm fixed U.S. position? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, Mr. McCloy has responsibility over the area of disarmament as well as nuclear testing. He has, as I've said, set up this committee - advisory committee on nuclear testing. We expect to also get the American position clearer on general disarmament. There is not the same deadline that we've been facing on the nuclear testing where we were supposed to resume in early February, but I can state that this was a matter which was discussed early this week by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State and Mr. McCloy and we are preparing clarification of American positions on disarmament. 


     [ 8.]  Q. Mr. President, what more can you tell us about the long conversation that Ambassador Thompson had with Mr. Khrushchev, including whether the tone of that conversation was anywhere near as friendly as that of the messages that Khrushchev has sent you? 
     THE PRESIDENT. I would say the tone was friendly. And as a result of the conversations, as I've said, the decision was made to release the fliers. But the conversations were conducted in an atmosphere of civility. 


     Q. Could you give us any indication at all as to what other subjects were taken up in addition to the release of the RB-47 fliers? 


     THE PRESIDENT. No. I think that I have to stand on my previous statement. 


     [ 9.]  Q. Does your administration plan to take any steps to solve the problem at Fayette County, Tenn., where tenant farmers have been evicted from their homes because they voted last November and must now live in tents? 


     THE PRESIDENT. We are - the Congress, of course, enacted legislation which placed very clear responsibility on the executive branch to protect the right of voting. I supported that legislation. I am extremely interested in making sure that every American is given the right to cast his vote without prejudice to his rights as a citizen. And therefore I can state that this administration will pursue the problem of providing that protection with all vigor. 


     [ 10.]  Q. Sir, would you please tell us how it was possible for you to do by Executive order what Mr. Benson always told us was impossible for him to do without more legislation? I refer to the order expanding the distribution of food to the unemployed and giving them more variety in the diet. 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, I would not attempt to comment on Mr. Benson. I don't think there's any question of our rights to issue the Executive order under the authority given to us by the Constitution and by legislative action. I think we're within our rights. It is a judgment as to what is the best use to make of the funds that are available - the funds are quite limited. The diet which is being provided for the people who are unemployed as still inadequate. But nevertheless we have used the funds that are available to the maximum. And I don't think there's any question that we were within our rights. 


     [ 11.]  Q. Mr. President, could you tell us how and when you learned that these fliers were going to be released? 


     THE PRESIDENT. I learned as a result of the conversations which Ambassador Thompson had with the Soviet officials and therefore we were informed as to the date that they would be released - the time - yesterday. 


     [ 12.]  Q. Mr. President, there has been some apprehension about the instantaneous broadcast of Presidential press conferences such as this one, the contention being that an inadvertent statement no longer correctible, as in the old days, could possibly cause some grave consequences. Do you feel there is any risk or could you give us some thought on that subject? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, it was my understanding that the statements made by the, by President Eisenhower, were on the record. There may have been a clarification that could have been issued afterwards but it still would have demonstrated, it still would have been on the record as a clarification, so that I don't think that the interests of our country are - it seems to me they're as well protected under this system as they were under the system followed by President Eisenhower. And this system has the advantage of providing more direct communication. 


     [ 13.]  Q. On the question at issue would you consider reopening diplomatic relations with Cuba and are you considering such a step now? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, at the - take the last part first - we are not considering such a step at the present time. I may say that the United States is interested, and I think that this administration is extremely interested in movements in Latin America and Central America, or the Caribbean which provide a better life for the people. And if American interests may be damaged by those movements - or revolutions, or whatever term you want to use - we feel that this should be a matter that should be negotiated. What we are of course concerned about is when these movements are seized by external forces and directed not to improving the welfare of the people involved but towards imposing an ideology which is alien to this hemisphere. That is a matter of concern particularly when that intervention takes the form of military support which threatens the security and the peace of the Western Hemisphere. 


     Now, I'm hopeful that governments will be established throughout all of Latin America and governments which are established will, and I think nearly all of them do, share the same view that we have to provide in this hemisphere a better life for the people involved, that we are interested in that, that we are concerned about it, that American policy will be directed towards that end. But we are also concerned that in the name of that peaceful revolution, when it's seized by aliens for their purposes, it's very difficult for the United States to carry on happy relations with those countries. 


     So in answer to your question we have no plan at present to resume diplomatic relations with Cuba, because of the factors which are involved in that island. 


     [ 14.]  Q. You said in the past, sir, that the President should be in the thick of the political battle, and I wondered, sir, if you could tell us what part you're playing in the effort to expand the Rules Committee and whether you feel your domestic program - whether the success of your domestic program in part depends on expanding the Rules Committee? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, the Constitution states that each house shall be the judge of its own rules, and therefore the Speaker of the House, Mr. Rayburn, has been extremely anxious that the House be permitted to settle this matter in its own way. 
     But it's no secret that - I would strongly believe that the Members of the House should have an opportunity to vote themselves on the programs which we will present. That, I think, is the reason the people selected them to go to the House of Representatives and to the Senate and selected me as President, so that we could present programs and consider programs and vote on programs which are put forward for the benefit of the country. 


     Now I feel that it would be - I'm hopeful that whatever judgment is made by the Members of the House, that it will permit the Members to vote on these bills. This is a very difficult time in the life of our country. Many controversial measures will be presented which will be in controversy and will be debated. But at the end the majority of the Members of the House, the majority of the Members of the Senate, I hope, will have a chance to exercise their will, and that a small group of men will not attempt to prevent the Members from finally letting their judgments be known. 


     For example, we have the housing bill which is going to come before the Congress this year. We have an aid-to-education bill. We have legislation which will affect the income of farmers. Shouldn't the Members of the House themselves and not merely the members of the Rules Committee have a chance to vote on those measures? But the responsibility rests with the Members of the House, and I would not attempt in any way to infringe upon that responsibility. I merely give my view as an interested citizen. [Laughter] 


     [ 15.]  Q. Are any plans being made to implement the recommendations in the Voorhees report on the Cuban refugee problem? Secondly, do you plan to appoint somebody to continue Mr. Voorhees' work? 


     THE PRESIDENT. We are considering the recommendations of Mr. Voorhees and the whole problem of the Cuban refugees, but I don't have any statement to make on it at this time. 


     [ 16.]  Q. Mr. President, what is the official Government position in regard to the Portuguese-seized ship? Can the Navy board it if and when it makes contact? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, I believe that the location of the ship has been determined, and - [aside to Mr. Salinger] - perhaps we could give the location of it - at the present time the instructions are for the Navy to continue its accompaniment of the ship. The Santa Maria has been located by Navy P2V aircraft, and the position is approximately 600 miles north of the mouth of the Amazon River. It is headed on a course of 117, a speed of 15 knots, and the exact position at 10 minutes after 4 was 10-35 north, 45-42 west. It will be trailed by aircraft and picked up by the destroyers of our African task force. 


     Now, there are Americans involved; and their lives are involved. But we have not given any instructions to the Navy to carry out any boarding operations. Though, of course, we are concerned about the lives of the Americans involved. And also we are concerned because the ship belongs to a country with which the United States has friendly relations. 


     [ 17.] Q. Mr. President, in consequence of Mr. Khrushchev's apparent indication last weekend of willingness to release the American fliers, have you sent any communication to him through Ambassador Thompson or otherwise? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well - have I sent a message since the release of the fliers? 


     Q.  Since his communication to us through Ambassador--- 


     THE PRESIDENT. We have had several exchanges with the Soviet authorities. I do not believe that one has taken place since the release of the prisoners but that's partially because there has been this delay about their  leaving Moscow. 


      [ 18.]  Q. Mr. President, there is meeting here now a nationwide group of labor, agriculture, and industry which wants to abolish all restraints of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act. They say that it robs us of gold, robs American workers of jobs. What is your position on such a proposal? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, I think that their meeting here is well within their rights as citizens of the United States and I think that we should listen to their views. This is a matter of great concern. I do think  we should be conscious of the fact, of course, that the balance of trade has been substantially in our favor in the last year. But we are continually concerned about those imports which adversely affect an entire industry, or adversely affect the employment of a substantial number of our citizens. The present laws - peril-point and escape clause - of course, all take those matters into consideration. But I'm glad to have them here; I'm glad to have them express their views. I think the Congress should consider their views carefully, and I hope that in their consideration they will consider the whole problem of trade, and I do think we should realize that the balance of trade has been in our favor and the gold flow would have been substantially worse if we had not had this favorable balance of trade. 


     [ 19.]  Q. Mr. President, in relation to the gold problem, the outgoing administration has ordered a cutback in the number of American military and civilian dependents stationed abroad in the so-called hard currency nations. The day before your inaugural the outgoing Defense Secretary advised your incoming Defense Secretary in a manner urging that relief should be sought as soon as possible because of what the outgoing Defense Secretary termed the "adverse affect of the order on the morale of the military." Have you had a chance to make up your mind on that position, sir? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Mr. McNamara and Mr. Dillon have discussed the effect of this order on military morale, military strength, the rate of reenlistment. It's really a question of determining what alternative steps can be secured which would be less harmful but which would protect the flow of gold. I do expect to make some reference to this matter of gold outflow in the State of the Union Address. I will send within a 2-week period after the State of the Union Address a message to the Congress dealing with the gold outflow and our recommendations for meeting it and we will at that time come to some judgment as to whether a more satisfactory method of protecting our gold could be secured than providing for the return of the families of Americans serving abroad in the military. 


     I will say that our study so far has convinced us that the dollar must be protected, that the dollar can be protected at its present value, that exchange controls are not essential, but it is a most serious problem and it will be the subject of a message to the Congress. 


     [ 20.]  Q. Mr. President, the State of New York gave you one of your handsomest majorities in the 1960 election campaign, but now the Democrats of New York are rather bitterly divided over leadership. As the leader of the Democratic Party nationally, are you going to take some steps to try and heal the splits in New York? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well the people in New York, the Democratic organizations in New York, who are interested in the success of the Democratic Party, they have to make their judgments as to what kind of a party they want to build there. I have asked Mr. Bailey, the new chairman of the Democratic Party, to lend a helping hand in attempting to alleviate some of the distress. [Laughter


     [ 21.] Q. Sir, do you have any plans for quick Federal aid for the unemployed? 


     THE PRESIDENT. We are going to send a message to the Congress right after the State of the Union Address on what steps we think the Government could profitably take to provide protection for the unemployed and also to stimulate the economy. On the immediate question, I will discuss that in the State of the Union Address on Monday. 


     [ 22.]  Q. Mr. President, now that the Soviets have released the RB-47 fliers, will you estimate for us the chances of you meeting with Premier Khrushchev? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Yes. There is no relationship, nor has there been, in the discussion between the two matters. And therefore I have no - there has been no change in my previous statement that there are no plans at the present time for meeting with Mr. Khrushchev. 


     [ 23.]  Q. Mr. President, will you tolerate the continued abuse of Executive privilege to suppress information which is needed by Congress? For instance, now that you are President, will you direct the USIA to give the Senate Foreign Relations Committee those prestige polls which you urged the previous administration to make available during the campaign? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, let me say that I would have no objection at all to the polls, or at least the results of the polls, being made available. And I'd be delighted to check in and see what we can do about making it available to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or the House Foreign Relations Committee, if they would like them. 


     Q. Mr. President, about the abuses regarding the privilege to suppress all sorts of information. What is your position on that? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, that's a statement, really, not completely a question, in--- 


     Q. Sir, but you yourself agreed---. 


     THE PRESIDENT. That's why I stated that I thought that it would be well to release these polls and that's why I said I'd be glad to release these polls. Now if other matters come up, we'll have to make a judgment whether it is an abuse or whether it is within the constitutional protections given to the Executive, and I would hope that we can within the limits of national security make available information to the press and to the people, and I do think that it would be helpful to release the polls which we discussed last fall. 
     Q. Mr. President, Press Secretary Salinger said today, indicated today, there might be a need for a tightening of information on national security. Doesn't the policy of deterrence require that the enemy have knowledge of our strength and the ability to carry them out and wouldn't there be a risk of possible miscalculation by tightening up information? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, I think that the enemy is informed of our strength. I think Mr. Salinger in his statement today at lunch indicated his judgment based on his experience so far, that there had been very ample information given so that the enemy can make a determination as to our strength. I am anxious that we have a maximum flow of information but there quite obviously are some matters which involve the security of the United States, and it's a matter on which the press and the Executive should attempt to reach a responsible decision. 


     I could not make a prediction about what those matters will be, but I think that all of us here are aware that there are some matters which it would not be well to discuss at particular times so that we just have to wait and try to work together and see if we can provide as much information as we can within the limits of national security. I do not believe that the stamp "National Security" should be put on mistakes of the administration which do not involve the national security, and this administration would welcome any time that any member of the press feels that we are artificially invoking that cover. But I must say that I do not hold the view that all matters and all information which is available to the Executive should be made available at all times, and I don't think any member of the press does. So it's a question of trying to work out a solution to a sensitive matter. 


     [ 24.]  Q. Mr. President, in the past few days the Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, has issued statements - one with your name on it - to the effect that this country wants a return to quiet private diplomacy. Could you give us some idea of the meaning behind this, Mr. President? Are you trying to suggest to Khrushchev that you'd like to resort to this for the time being without offending him or making him go off the cordial path he's on at the present time? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Would you - the last part of that --- 


     Q. Are you trying to suggest to Mr. Khrushchev by the tone of these - by what you're saying in these statements - that you don't want a summit meeting now and you'd like to go through private channels, and trying to do this without offending him or getting him off the cordial path he's on now? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, I would just say - without accepting the question completely as a premise - I would say that the Secretary of State is anxious to explore with interested countries what chance we have of lessening world tension which is - in some areas of the world - is quite high tonight. 


     And therefore there are occasions when traditional exchanges between diplomats and the countries involved are in the national interest. And that, I think, is what Mr. Rusk is directing his attention to. And I'm hopeful that from those more traditional exchanges we can perhaps find greater common ground. 


     [ 25.]  Q. Sir, do you favor Senator Humphrey's suggestion that we send surplus food to Red China through the U.N. or CARE, or some similar organization? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, I'd say two things: firstly, Red China - the Chinese Communists - are exporting food at the present time, some of it to Africa, some of it going, I think, to Cuba, and therefore that is a factor in their needs for food from abroad. 
     Secondly, we've had no indication from the Chinese Communists that they would welcome any offer of food. I'm not anxious to offer food if it's regarded merely as a propaganda effort by the United States. If there is a desire for food and a need for food, then the United States would be glad to consider that need, regardless of the source. If people's lives are involved - if there is a desire for food - the United States will consider it carefully. I do say that in this case, however, there are these examples of food being exported during this present time or recent history and, secondly, there has been a rather belligerent attitude expressed towards us in recent days by the Chinese Communists and there is no indication, direct or indirect, private or public, that they would respond favorably to any acts by the United States. 


    [ 26.]  Q. Mr. President, the task force report on space has been criticized as partisan opinion. There also has been criticism that the report was made without any contact with NASA officials, without any attempt at liaison during the transition period.  And there is concern that no one has so far been named to head the agency. Could you comment on these charges, Sir? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, I don't - the task force was free to make the kind of report that in their best judgment the events called for. The task force was made up of men of broad experience in this field. I think it was really a blue-ribbon panel. They presented their views. I don't think anyone is suggesting that their views are necessarily in every case the right views. I am hopeful - we have appointed an acting director - and I'm hopeful that before the week is out we will have a director of NASA. 


     [ 27.]  Q. Mr. President, you have directed your departmental heads to take a new look at the Eisenhower budget. I wonder - with indications that you may have some partial revisions with this budget - can you now say whether you hope or expect to live within the $80,900 million spending figure which your predecessor laid down? 


     THE PRESIDENT. I would - that study of the budget is now going on and I couldn't give you an answer yet. We haven't finished our study. 


     [ 28.]  Q. Mr. President, your Inaugural Address was unusual in that you dealt only with America's position in the world. Why, Mr. President, did you limit yourself to this global theme? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, because the issue of war and peace is involved, and the survival of perhaps the planet, possibly our system. And, therefore, this is a matter of primary concern to the people of the United States and the people of the world. Secondly, I represent a new administration. I think the views of this administration are quite well known to the American people, and will become better known in the next month. I think that we are new, however, on the world scene, and therefore I felt there would be some use in informing countries around the world of our general view on the questions which face the world and divide the world. 


     [ 29.]  Q. Mr. President, you have spoken of the situation where there are crises in the world now. One of these crises is Laos. Do you have any hope that a political settlement can be negotiated there? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, as you know, the British Government has presented to the Soviet Union - and to the best of my information an answer has not been received by the British - a proposal to reestablish the International Control Commission. We ought to know shortly whether there's any hope that that commission can be reestablished. As to the general view on Laos, this matter is of great concern to us. The United States is anxious that there be established in Laos a peaceful country - an independent country not dominated by either side but concerned with the life of the people within the country. 


     We are anxious that that situation come forward. And the United States is using its influence to see if that independent country, peaceful country, uncommitted country, can be established under the present very difficult circumstances. 


     [ 30.]  Q. Mr. President, in discussing with the Soviet Union the release of the RB-47 fliers, did we also take up with Mr. Khrushchev the fate of Francis Gary Powers, a U-2 pilot, and the 11 fliers who are missing from the C-130 which was shot down inside Armenia in 1958? 


     THE PRESIDENT. The matter of the 11 fliers was discussed and Mr. Khrushchev - the Russians, rather - have stated that their previous public statements on these fliers represent their view on the matter: that the newspaper-magazine story which was written by an Eastern German does not represent the facts. So that that would - on the matter of Mr. Powers, we have not discussed him at this time because he is in a different category than the fliers that were released. One was an overflight and the other was a flight of a different nature. 


     Q. Did the Russians ask any quid pro quo or did we make any concessions to them in exchange for the release of these fliers? If not, how do you account for this remarkable turnabout in their relations with us? 


     THE PRESIDENT. They did not. The statement which I have made is the statement which the United States Government put forward on this matter, which I read to you earlier in regard to overflights. I would not attempt to make a judgment as to why the Soviet Union chose to release them at this time. I did say in my statement that this had removed a serious obstacle in the way of peaceful relations between the Soviet Union and the United States and I would judge that they desired to remove that serious obstacle. 


     Q. Mr. President, did they accept a reassurance of no more overflights as an exchange? 


     THE PRESIDENT. It is a fact that I have ordered that the flights not be resumed, which is a continuation of the order given by President Eisenhower in May of this year.2


     [ 31.]  Q. Mr. President, your own election has stimulated renewed proposals for electoral reform. Do you have any objection to changing the present method of electing Presidents or do you favor any of the proposals? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, I do have some thoughts on it. One, that in the first place, having been through the experience in '56, I think it was, of an attempt to substantially change the electoral college, it's my judgment that no such change can secure the necessary support in the House, the Senate, and in the States of the Union. The area where I do think we perhaps could get some improvement would be in providing that the electors would be bound by the results. of the State elections. I think that that is a - would be a useful step forward. 


     The electors - after all, when the people vote they assume that the votes are going to be cast in a way which reflects the judgment of a majority of the people of the State and therefore I think it would be useful to have that automatic and not set up this independent group who could vote for the candidate who carried the State or not, depending on their own personal views. That would be the first thing. 


     Secondly, I'm hopeful that the Congress would consider the suggestions made, I think, first by President Theodore Roosevelt and later by Senator Richard Neuberger, of having the National Government participate in the financing of national campaigns, because the present system is not satisfactory.  Perhaps it would be useful to go into that in more detail later because I do think it's a most important subject. But I would say for the present that this matter of the electors would be an area where I think we could usefully move. 


     [ 32.] Q. Mr. President, on a related subject, without being morbid, have you given any consideration to the problem which President Eisenhower resolved with his Vice President - that is, the problem of the succession in case of injury, illness, or some incapacitation-some agreement with the Vice President such as your predecessor had? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Yes. Well, I haven't developed that at this present time, though I do think that President Eisenhower's decision was a good one, and I think it would be a good precedent. Nothing's been done on it as yet, but I think it would be a good matter on which we could proceed. 


     Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

 


NOTE: President Kennedy's first news conference, broadcast over radio and television, was held in the State Department Auditorium at 6 o'clock on Wednesday evening, January 25, 1961.

 1. A White House release, dated January 25, describes more fully the Emergency Food Program for the Congo. The release is printed in the Department of State Bulletin (vol. 44, p. 218). 
 2. See 1960-61 volume, this series, pp. 440-441. 
 


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Greg Burnham
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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#9 Greg Burnham

Greg Burnham

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 10:45 AM

--

 

9.

 

Letter to Secretary Ribicoff Requesting Him To Undertake Direction 

of Cuban Refugee Activities. 
January 27, 1961

 

     Dear Mr. Secretary: 


     I want you to undertake responsibility, effective February 1, for directing the Cuban refugee activities now being conducted by the Executive branch of the Federal government, and to make an on-the-scene investigation of the problem within the next week as my personal representative. 


     I want you to make concrete my concern and sympathy for those who have been forced from their homes in Cuba, and to assure them that we shall seek to expedite their voluntary return as soon as conditions there facilitate that. I believe that the present program can best be strengthened by directly bringing to bear your personal leadership and the vast welfare, health, and other skills of your Department. I am anxious that you make use of private services available for the refugees to the greatest extent possible. 


     Both here at home and abroad, I want to re-emphasize most strongly the tradition of the United States as a humanitarian sanctuary, and the many times it has extended its hand and material help to those who are "exiles for conscience's sake." In the presently troubled world, we cannot be a peacemaker if we are not also the protector of those individuals as well as nations who cast with us their personal liberty and hopes for the future. 


     Immediate action should be taken to assure no interruption in present services for the refugees. I also want your consideration of the use of surplus U.S. foods if needed for them, and possible utilization of the many qualified physicians and other professionally or technically qualified refugees. 


     In undertaking the task given here, you should coordinate activities in this field with the Secretaries of State, Defense, Labor, and Agriculture, and with the heads of other relevant agencies. Under previous arrangements, funds have already been made available to meet such immediate expenditure as will be requested by you of the Department of State, Department of Defense, or other appropriate agency whose participation in this program of emergency assistance to Cuban refugees you may find essential. 


        Sincerely,

 JOHN F. KENNEDY

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Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#10 Greg Burnham

Greg Burnham

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 10:55 AM

--

 

10.

 

Remarks at a Swearing-In Ceremony and Reception for Presidential Appointees. 

January 29, 1961

 

Gentlemen, Mr. Justice, Mr. Vice President: 


     I want to welcome all of you here to this reception. The purpose was to complete the swearing-in of those members of the administration who had not had the oath administered to them, and also, and equally important, was our desire to have a chance to see these names we have been reading about in the paper. 


     One of the unsatisfactory features of a most satisfactory and interesting job has been the fact that we have had a chance to see-and perhaps that will also be true in the future-comparatively few members of this administration. 
     All of the positions which are held by the men who are being sworn today, and by those of you in the audience who have been sworn before, are all extremely important; and the kind of work that you do is vital to the success of this administration, and vital to the success of our country. 


     And therefore we want - and the Vice President and I hold this view very strongly - the closest possible working relationship between all members of the administration and the White House; so that I hope that this is the first of many visits you pay here, and I hope that you will also, all of you, feel not only free but also a responsibility to maintain the closest contact with each other and with the Vice President and myself. 


     Now, if the busiest man in Washington would administer the oath of office.

 

NOTE: The ceremonies were held in the East Room at the White House.  In the last paragraph the President referred to Chief Justice Warren.


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Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#11 Greg Burnham

Greg Burnham

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 01:25 PM

--

11.

 

Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union. 

January 30, 1961

[ As delivered in person ]

 

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of the Congress:


     It is a pleasure to return from whence I came. You are among my oldest friends in Washington - and this House is my oldest home. It was here, more than 14 years ago, that I first took the oath of Federal office. It was here, for 14 years, that I gained both knowledge and inspiration from members of both parties in both Houses - from your wise and generous leaders - and from the pronouncements which I can vividly recall, sitting where you now sit - including the programs of two great Presidents, the undimmed eloquence of Churchill, the soaring idealism of Nehru, the steadfast words of General de Gaulle. To speak from this same historic rostrum is a sobering experience. To be back among so many friends is a happy one. 


     I am confident that that friendship will continue. Our Constitution wisely assigns both joint and separate roles to each branch of the government; and a President and a Congress who hold each other in mutual respect will neither permit nor attempt any trespass. For my part, I shall withhold from neither the Congress nor the people any fact or report, past, present, or future, which is necessary for an informed judgment of our conduct and hazards. I shall neither shift the burden of executive decisions to the Congress, nor avoid responsibility for the outcome of those decisions.

 

     I speak today in an hour of national peril and national opportunity. Before my term has ended, we shall have to test anew whether a nation organized and governed such as ours can endure. The outcome is by no means certain. The answers are by no means clear. All of us together - this Administration, this Congress, this nation - must forge those answers. 


     But today, were I to offer - after little more than a week in office - detailed legislation to remedy every national ill, the Congress would rightly  wonder whether the desire for speed had replaced the duty of responsibility. 


     My remarks, therefore, will be limited. But they will also be candid. To state the facts frankly is not to despair the future nor indict the past. The prudent heir takes careful inventory of his legacies, and gives a faithful accounting to those whom he owes an obligation of trust. And, while the occasion does not call for another recital of our blessings and assets, we do have no greater asset than the willingness of a free and determined people, through its elected officials, to face all problems frankly and meet all dangers free from panic or fear.

I.

     The present state of our economy is disturbing. We take office in the wake of seven months of recession, three and one-half years of slack, seven years of diminished economic growth, and nine years of falling farm income. 


     Business bankruptcies have reached their highest level since the Great Depression. Since 1951 farm income has been squeezed down by 25 percent. Save for a brief period in 1958, insured unemployment is at the highest peak in our history. Of some five and one-half million Americans who are without jobs, more than one million have been searching for work for more than four months. And during each month some 150,000 workers are exhausting their already meager jobless benefit rights. 


     Nearly one-eighth of those who are without jobs live almost without hope in nearly one hundred especially depressed and troubled areas. The rest include new school graduates unable to use their talents, farmers forced to give up their part-time jobs which helped balance their family budgets, skilled and unskilled workers laid off in such important industries as metals, machinery, automobiles and apparel. 


     Our recovery from the 1958 recession, moreover, was anemic and incomplete. Our Gross National Product never regained its full potential. Unemployment never returned to normal levels. Maximum use of our national industrial capacity was never restored. 


     In short, the American economy is in trouble. The most resourceful industrialized country on earth ranks among the last in the rate of economic growth. Since last spring our economic growth rate has actually receded. Business investment is in a decline. Profits have fallen below predicted levels. Construction is off. A million unsold automobiles are in inventory. Fewer people are working - and the average work week has shrunk well below 40 hours. Yet prices have continued to rise - so that now too many Americans have less to spend   for items that cost more to buy. 


     Economic prophecy is at best an uncertain art - as demonstrated by the prediction one year ago from this same podium that 1960 would be, and I quote, "the most prosperous year in our history." Nevertheless, forecasts of continued slack and only slightly reduced unemployment through 1961 and 1962 have been made with alarming unanimity - and this Administration does not intend to stand helplessly by. 


     We cannot afford to waste idle hours and empty plants while awaiting the end of the recession. We must show the world what a free economy can do - to reduce unemployment, to put unused capacity to work, to spur new productivity, and to foster higher economic growth within a range of sound fiscal policies and relative price stability. 


     I will propose to the Congress within the next 14 days measures to improve unemployment compensation through temporary increases in duration on a self-supporting basis - to provide more food for the families of the unemployed, and to aid their needy children - to redevelop our areas of chronic labor surplus - to expand the services of the U.S. Employment Offices - to stimulate housing and construction - to secure more purchasing power for our lowest paid workers by raising and expanding the minimum wage - to offer tax incentives for sound plant investment - to increase the development of our natural resources - to encourage price stability - and to take other steps aimed at insuring a prompt recovery and paving the way for increased long-range growth. This is not a partisan program concentrating on our weaknesses - it is, I hope, a national program to realize our national strength.

 

II.

     Efficient expansion at home, stimulating the new plant and technology that can make our goods more competitive, is also the key to the international balance of payments problem. Laying aside all alarmist talk and panicky solutions, let us put that knotty problem in its proper perspective. 


     It is true that, since 1958, the gap between the dollars we spend or invest abroad and the dollars returned to us has substantially widened. This overall deficit in our balance of payments increased by nearly $11 billion in the 3 years - and holders of dollars abroad converted them to gold in such a quantity as to cause a total outflow of nearly $5 billion of gold from our reserve. The 1959 deficit was caused in large part by the failure of our exports to penetrate foreign marketsthe result both of restrictions on our goods and our own uncompetitive prices. The 1960 deficit, on the other hand, was more the result of an increase in private capital outflow seeking new opportunity, higher return or speculative advantage abroad. 


     Meanwhile this country has continued to bear more than its share of the West's military and foreign aid obligations. Under existing policies, another deficit of $2 billion is predicted for 1961 - and individuals in those countries whose dollar position once depended on these deficits for improvement now wonder aloud whether our gold reserves will remain sufficient to meet our own obligations. 


     All this is cause for concern - but it is not cause for panic. For our monetary and financial position remains exceedingly strong. Including our drawing rights in the International Monetary Fund and the gold reserve held as backing for our currency and Federal Reserve deposits, we have some $22 billion in total gold stocks and other international monetary reserves available - and I now pledge that their full strength stands behind the value of the dollar for use if needed. 


     Moreover, we hold large assets abroad - the total owed this nation far exceeds the claims upon our reserves - and our exports once again substantially exceed our imports. 


     In short, we need not - and we shall not-take any action to increase the dollar price of gold from $35 an ounce - to impose exchange controls - to reduce our anti-recession efforts - to fall back on restrictive trade policies - or to weaken our commitments around the world. 
     This Administration will not distort the value of the dollar in any fashion. And this is a commitment. 


     Prudence and good sense do require, however, that new steps be taken to ease the payments deficit and prevent any gold crisis. Our success in world affairs has long depended in part upon foreign confidence in our ability to pay. A series of executive orders, legislative remedies and cooperative efforts with our allies will get underway immediately - aimed at attracting foreign investment and travel to this country - promoting American exports, at stable prices and with more liberal government guarantees and financing - curbing tax and customs loopholes that encourage undue spending of private dollars abroad - and (through OECD, NATO and otherwise) sharing with our allies all efforts to provide for the common defense of the free world and the hopes for growth of the less developed lands. While the current deficit lasts, ways will be found to ease our dollar outlays abroad without placing the full burden on the families of men whom we have asked to serve our Flag overseas. 


     In short, whatever is required will be done to back up all our efforts abroad, and to make certain that, in the future as in the past, the dollar is as "sound as a dollar."

 

III.

     But more than our exchange of international payments is out of balance. The current Federal budget for fiscal 1961 is almost certain to show a net deficit. The budget already submitted for fiscal 1962 will remain in balance only if the Congress enacts all the revenue measures requested -and only if an earlier and sharper up-turn in the economy than my economic advisers now think likely produces the tax revenues estimated. Nevertheless, a new Administration must of necessity build on the spending and revenue estimates already submitted. Within that framework, barring the development of urgent national defense needs or a worsening of the economy, it is my current intention to advocate a program of expenditures which, including revenues from a stimulation of the economy, will not of and by themselves unbalance the earlier Budget. 


     However, we will do what must be done. For our national household is cluttered with unfinished and neglected tasks. Our cities are being engulfed in squalor. Twelve long years after Congress declared our goal to be "a decent home and a suitable environment for every American family," we still have 25 million Americans living in substandard homes. A new housing program under a new Housing and Urban Affairs Department will be needed this year. 


     Our classrooms contain 2 million more children than they can properly have room for, taught by 90,000 teachers not properly qualified to teach. One third of our most promising high school graduates are financially unable to continue the development of their talents. The war babies of the 1940's, who overcrowded our schools in the 1950's, are now descending in 1960 upon our colleges - with two college students for every one, ten years from now - and our colleges are ill prepared. We lack the scientists, the engineers and the teachers our world obligations require. We have neglected oceanography, saline water conversion, and the basic research that lies at the root of all progress. Federal grants for both higher and public school education can no longer be delayed. 


     Medical research has achieved new wonders - but these wonders are too often beyond the reach of too many people, owing to a lack of income (particularly among the aged), a lack of hospital beds, a lack of nursing homes and a lack of doctors and dentists. Measures to provide health care for the aged under Social Security, and to increase the supply of both facilities and personnel, must be undertaken this year. 


     Our supply of clean water is dwindling. Organized and juvenile crimes cost the taxpayers millions of dollars each year, making it essential that we have improved enforcement and new legislative safeguards. The denial of constitutional rights to some of our fellow Americans on account of race - at the ballot box and elsewhere - disturbs the national conscience, and subjects us to the charge of world opinion that our democracy is not equal to the high promise of our heritage. Morality in private business has not been sufficiently spurred by morality in public business. A host of problems and projects in all 50 States, though not possible to include in this Message, deserves - and will receive - the attention of both the Congress and the Executive Branch. On most of these matters, Messages will be sent to the Congress within the next two weeks.

 

IV.

     But all these problems pale when placed beside those which confront us around the world. No man entering upon this office, regardless of his party, regardless of his previous service in Washington, could fail to be staggered upon learning - even in this brief 10 day period - the harsh enormity of the trials through which we must pass in the next four years. Each day the crises multiply. Each day their solution grows more difficult. Each day we draw nearer the hour of maximum danger, as weapons spread and hostile forces grow stronger. I feel I must inform the Congress that our analyses over the last ten days make it clear that - in each of the principal areas of crisis - the tide of events has been running out and time has not been our friend. 


     In Asia, the relentless pressures of the Chinese Communists menace the security of the entire area - from the borders of India and South Viet Nam to the jungles of Laos, struggling to protect its newly-won independence. We seek in Laos what we seek in all Asia, and, indeed, in all of the world - freedom for the people and independence for the government. And this Nation shall persevere in our pursuit of these objectives. 


     In Africa, the Congo has been brutally torn by civil strife, political unrest and public disorder. We shall continue to support the heroic efforts of the United Nations to restore peace and order - efforts which are now endangered by mounting tensions, unsolved problems, and decreasing support from many member states. 


     In Latin America, Communist agents seeking to exploit that region's peaceful revolution of hope have established a base on Cuba, only go miles from our shores. Our objection with Cuba is not over the people's drive for a better life. Our objection is to their domination by foreign and domestic tyrannies. Cuban social and economic reform should be encouraged. Questions of economic and trade policy can always be negotiated. But Communist domination in this Hemisphere can never be negotiated. 


     We are pledged to work with our sister republics to free the Americas of all such foreign domination and all tyranny, working toward the goal of a free hemisphere of free governments, extending from Cape Horn to the Arctic Circle. 


     In Europe our alliances are unfulfilled and in some disarray. The unity of NATO has been weakened by economic rivalry and partially eroded by national interest. It has not yet fully mobilized its resources nor fully achieved a common outlook. Yet no Atlantic power can meet on its own the mutual problems now facing us in defense, foreign aid, monetary reserves, and a host of other areas; and our close ties with those whose hopes and interests we share are among this Nation's most powerful assets. 


     Our greatest challenge is still the world that lies beyond the Cold War - but the first great obstacle is still our relations with the Soviet Union and Communist China. We must never be lulled into believing that either power has yielded its ambitions for world domination - ambitions which they forcefully restated only a short time ago. On the contrary, our task is to convince them that aggression and subversion will not be profitable routes to pursue these ends. Open and peaceful competition - for prestige, for markets, for scientific achievement, even for men's minds - is something else again. For if Freedom and Communism were to compete for man's allegiance in a world at peace, I would look to the future with ever increasing confidence. 


     To meet this array of challenges - to fulfill the role we cannot avoid on the world scene - we must reexamine and revise our whole arsenal of tools: military, economic and political. 


     One must not overshadow the other. On the Presidential Coat of Arms, the American eagle holds in his right talon the olive branch, while in his left he holds a bundle of arrows. We intend to give equal attention to both. 


     First, we must strengthen our military tools. We are moving into a period of uncertain risk and great commitment in which both the military and diplomatic possibilities require a Free World force so powerful as to make any aggression clearly futile. Yet in the past, lack of a consistent, coherent military strategy, the absence of basic assumptions about our national requirements and the faulty estimates and duplication arising from inter-service rivalries have all made it difficult to assess accurately how adequate - or inadequate - our defenses really are. 


     I have, therefore, instructed the Secretary of Defense to reappraise our entire defense strategy - our ability to fulfill our commitments - the effectiveness, vulnerability, and dispersal of our strategic bases, forces and warning systems - the efficiency and economy of our operation and organizationthe elimination of obsolete bases and installations - and the adequacy, modernization and mobility of our present conventional and nuclear forces and weapons systems in the light of present and future dangers. I have asked for preliminary conclusions by the end of February - and I then shall recommend whatever legislative, budgetary or executive action is needed in the light of these conclusions. 


     In the meantime, I have asked the Defense Secretary to initiate immediately three new steps most clearly needed now: 


     First, I have directed prompt attention to increase our air-lift capacity. Obtaining additional air transport mobility - and obtaining it now - will better assure the ability of our conventional forces to respond, with discrimination and speed, to any problem at any spot on the globe at any moment's notice. In particular it will enable us to meet any deliberate effort to avoid or divert our forces by starting limited wars in widely scattered parts of the globe. 


     ( b ) I have directed prompt action to step up our Polaris submarine program. Using unobligated ship-building funds now (to let contracts originally scheduled for the next fiscal year) will build and place on station -at least nine months earlier than planned - substantially more units of a crucial deterrent - a fleet that will never attack first, but possess sufficient powers of retaliation, concealed beneath the seas, to discourage any aggressor from launching an attack upon our security. 


     ( c ) I have directed prompt action to accelerate our entire missile program. Until the Secretary of Defense's reappraisal is completed, the emphasis here will be largely on improved organization and decision-making - on cutting down the wasteful duplications and the time-lag that have handicapped our whole family of missiles. If we are to keep the peace, we need an invulnerable missile force powerful enough to deter any aggressor from even threatening an attack that he would know could not destroy enough of our force to prevent his own destruction. For as I said upon taking the oath of office: "Only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed." 


     Secondly, we must improve our economic tools. Our role is essential and unavoidable in the construction of a sound and expanding economy for the entire non-communist world, helping other nations build the strength to meet their own problems, to satisfy their own aspirations - to surmount their own dangers. The problems in achieving this goal are towering and unprecedented - the response must be towering and unprecedented as well, much as Lend-Lease and the Marshall Plan were in earlier years, which brought such fruitful results. 


     ( a ) I intend to ask the Congress for authority to establish a new and more effective program for assisting the economic, educational and social development of other countries and continents. That program must stimulate and take' more effectively into account the contributions of our allies, and provide central policy direction for all our own programs that now so often overlap, conflict or diffuse our energies and resources. Such a program, compared to past programs, will require 


     - more flexibility for short run emergencies 
     - more commitment to long term development 
     - new attention to education at all levels 
     - greater emphasis on the recipient nation's role, their effort, their purpose, with greater social justice for their people, broader distribution and participation by their people and more efficient public administration and more efficient tax systems of their own 
     - and orderly planning for national and regional development instead of a piecemeal approach. 


     I hope the Senate will take early action approving the Convention establishing the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. This will be an important instrument in sharing with our allies this development effort - working toward the time when each nation will contribute in proportion to its ability to pay. For, while we are prepared to assume our full share of these huge burdens, we cannot and must not be expected to bear them alone. 


     To our sister republics to the south, we have pledged a new alliance for progress - alianza para progreso. Our goal is a free and prosperous Latin America, realizing for all its states and all its citizens a degree of economic and social progress that matches their historic contributions of culture, intellect and liberty. To start this nation's role at this time in that alliance of neighbors, I am recommending the following: 


     - That the Congress appropriate in full the $500 million fund pledged by the Act of Bogota, to be used not as an instrument of the Cold War, but as a first step in the sound development of the Americas. 
     - That a new Inter-Departmental Task Force be established under the leadership of the Department of State, to coordinate at the highest level all policies and programs of concern to the Americas. 
     - That our delegates to the OAS, working with those of other members, strengthen that body as an instrument to preserve the peace and to prevent foreign domination anywhere in the Hemisphere. 
     - That, in cooperation with other nations, we launch a new hemispheric attack on illiteracy and inadequate educational opportunities to all levels; and, finally, 
     - That a Food-for-Peace mission be sent immediately to Latin America to explore ways in which our vast food abundance can be used to help end hunger and malnutrition in certain areas of suffering in our own hemisphere. 


     This Administration is expanding its Food-for-Peace Program in every possible way. The product of our abundance must be used more effectively to relieve hunger and help economic growth in all corners of the globe. And I have asked the Director of this Program to recommend additional ways in which these surpluses can advance the interests of world peace - including the establishment of world food reserves. 


     An even more valuable national asset is our reservoir of dedicated men and women - not only on our college campuses but in every age group - who have indicated their desire to contribute their skills, their efforts, and a part of their lives to the fight for world order. We can mobilize this talent through the formation of a National Peace Corps, enlisting the services of all those with the desire and capacity to help foreign lands meet their urgent needs for trained personnel. 


     Finally, while our attention is centered on the development of the noncommunist world, we must never forget our hopes for the ultimate freedom and welfare of the Eastern European peoples. In order to be prepared to help re-establish historic ties of friendship, I am asking the Congress for increased discretion to use economic tools in this area whenever this is found to be clearly in the national interest. This will require amendment of the Mutual Defense Assistance Control Act along the lines I proposed as a member of the Senate, and upon which the Senate voted last summer. Meanwhile, I hope to explore with the Polish government the possibility of using our frozen Polish funds on projects of peace that will demonstrate our abiding friendship for and interest in the people of Poland. 


     Third, we must sharpen our political and diplomatic tools - the means of cooperation and agreement on which an enforceable world order must ultimately rest. 


     I have already taken steps to coordinate and expand our disarmament effort - to increase our programs of research and studyand to make arms control a central goal of our national policy under my direction. The deadly arms race, and the huge resources it absorbs, have too long overshadowed all else we must do. We must prevent that arms race from spreading to new nations, to new nuclear powers and to the reaches of outer space. We must make certain that our negotiators are better informed and better prepared - to formulate workable proposals of our own and to make sound judgments about the proposals of others. 


     I have asked the other governments concerned to agree to a reasonable delay in the talks on a nuclear test ban - and it is our intention to resume negotiations prepared to reach a final agreement with any nation that is equally willing to agree to an effective and enforceable treaty. 


     We must increase our support of the United Nations as an instrument to end the Cold War instead of an arena in which to fight it. In recognition of its increasing importance and the doubling of its membership 
     - we are enlarging and strengthening our own mission to the U.N. 
     - we shall help insure that it is properly financed. 
     - we shall work to see that the integrity of the office of the Secretary-General is maintained.

     - And I would address a special plea to the smaller nations of the world - to join with us in strengthening this organization, which is far more essential to their security than it is to ours - the only body in the world where no nation need be powerful to be secure, where every nation has an equal voice, and where any nation can exert influence not according to the strength of its armies but according to the strength of its ideas. It deserves the support of all. 


     Finally, this Administration intends to explore promptly all possible areas of cooperation with the Soviet Union and other nations "to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors." Specifically, I now invite all nations - including the Soviet Union - to join with us in developing a weather prediction program, in a new communications satellite program and in preparation for probing the distant planets of Mars and Venus, probes which may someday unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. 


     Today this country is ahead in the science and technology of space, while the Soviet Union is ahead in the capacity to lift large vehicles into orbit. Both nations would help themselves as well as other nations by removing these endeavors from the bitter and wasteful competition of the Cold War. The United States would be willing to join with the Soviet Union and the scientists of all nations in a greater effort to make the fruits of this new knowledge available to all - and, beyond that, in an effort to extend farm technology to hungry nations - to wipe out disease - to increase the exchanges of scientists and, their knowledge - and to make our own laboratories available to technicians of other lands who lack the facilities to pursue their own work. Where nature makes natural allies of us all, we can demonstrate that beneficial relations are possible even with those with whom we most deeply disagreeand this must someday be the basis of world peace and world law.

 

V.

     I have commented on the state of the domestic economy, our balance of payments, our Federal and social budget and the state of the world. I would like to conclude with a few remarks about the state of the Executive branch. We have found it full of honest and useful public servants - but their capacity to act decisively at the exact time action is needed has too often been muffled in the morass of committees, timidities and fictitious theories which have created a growing gap between decision and execution, between planning and reality. In a time of rapidly deteriorating situations at home and abroad, this is bad for the public service and particularly bad for the country; and we mean to make a change. 


     I have pledged myself and my colleagues in the cabinet to a continuous encouragement of initiative, responsibility and energy in serving the public interest. Let every public servant know, whether his post is high or low, that a man's rank and reputation in this Administration will be determined by the size of the job he does, and not by the size of his staff, his office or his budget. Let it be clear that this Administration recognizes the value of dissent and daring - that we greet healthy controversy as the hallmark of healthy change. Let the public service be a proud and lively career. And let every man and woman who works in any area of our national government, in any branch, at any level, be able to say with pride and with honor in future years: "I served the United States government in that hour of our nation's need." 


     For only with complete dedication by us all to the national interest can we bring our country through the troubled years that lie ahead. Our problems are critical. The tide is unfavorable. The news will be worse before it is better. And while hoping and working for the best, we should prepare ourselves now for the worst. 


     We cannot escape our dangers - neither must we let them drive us into panic or narrow isolation. In many areas of the world where the balance of power already rests with our adversaries, the forces of freedom are sharply divided. It is one of the ironies of our time that the techniques of a harsh and repressive system should be, able to instill discipline and ardor in its servants - while the blessings of liberty have too often stood for privilege, materialism and a life of ease. 


     But I have a different view of liberty. 


     Life in 1961 will not be easy. Wishing it, predicting it, even asking for it, will not make it so. There will be further setbacks before the tide is turned. But turn it we must. The hopes of all mankind rest upon us - not simply upon those of us in this chamber, but upon the peasant in Laos, the fisherman in Nigeria, the exile from Cuba, the spirit that moves every man and Nation who shares our hopes for freedom and the future. And in the final analysis, they rest most of all upon the pride and perseverance of our fellow citizens of the great Republic. 


    In the words of a great President, whose birthday we honor today, closing this final of the Union Message sixteen yers ago, "We pray that we may be worthy of the unlimited opportunities that God has given us." 
 


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Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#12 Greg Burnham

Greg Burnham

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 01:30 PM

--

 

 

12.

 

Message Greeting President Quadros of Brazil on the Occasion of 

 His Inauguration. January 31, 1961 
  [ Released January 31, 1961. Dated January 27, 1961 ]


 

Dear Mr. President: 


     On the occasion of Your Excellency's inauguration as Chief Executive of our friendly neighbor and wartime ally, the United States of Brazil, I extend to you my warmest personal congratulations and the most sincere good wishes of the people of the United States of America. 


     Once in twenty years presidential inaugurations in your country and mine occur within days of each other. This year of 1961 is signalized by that happy coincidence. At this time, each of us assumes challenging duties for which he has been freely chosen by his fellow citizens. To each of us is entrusted the heavy responsibility of guiding the affairs of a democratic nation founded on Christian ideals and aspiring to common goals of peace and human betterment. 


     It is my earnest wish, Mr. President, to fortify the spirit of cooperation and mutual esteem which has always marked relations between our countries. In that spirit, let us work together to reinvigorate the alliance of American Republics, recognizing the magnitude of the tasks we face, and confident in the strength of the heritage we share.

   Sincerely, 
     JOHN F. KENNEDY

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Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#13 Greg Burnham

Greg Burnham

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 01:31 PM

--

13.

 

Message to President Kubitschek of Brazil. January 31, 1961 

[Released January 31, 1961. Dated January 29, 1961]

 

Dear Mr. President:


     I welcome the thoughtful message which you sent to me on the occasion of my inauguration, not only because of the constructive and friendly spirit which motivates your comments, but also because I share Your Excellency's deep concern for the social, political, and economic well-being of the peoples of our hemisphere. One of the cardinal objectives of my administration will be the association of the United States with the peoples of Latin America in a common effort to improve the lives of our peoples under the reign of liberty. 


     May I take this opportunity, Mr. President, to extend to you, as you leave the high office in which you have so faithfully served your country, my personal best wishes and those of the people and government of the United States of America, for your continued health and prosperity. 


            Sincerely,

JOHN F. KENNEDY


_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 
Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#14 Greg Burnham

Greg Burnham

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 01:35 PM

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14.

 

Interview With Dave Garroway Recorded for the 150th Anniversary 

of the Founding of Massachusetts General Hospital. January 31, 1961


 

    THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, Dave.

 
     Mr. Garroway: Good morning, Mr. President. I suppose those scenes of Mass. General look pretty familiar to you? You have been on the board of overseers since 1947,  I believe? 


     THE PRESIDENT.:Yes, that's right. I must say that I think the work that Massachusetts General does and other similar hospitals around the country, they perform a great public function. And to think that this hospital is celebrating its 150th anniversary. It was begun the year before the war of 1812, and yet there are two other American hospitals that are even older. When we think of the tremendous progress that has been made in medicine, yet even way back then, fellow citizens were concerned about caring for their neighbors - and the Massachusetts General does more than care for the people of that area. There are over a thousand students studying in various parts of the hospital from all over the world, and the influence of Massachusetts General stretches really around the globe through the work of these graduates. 


     Mr. Garroway: They have put out, I think, $4 million a year, in this one hospital, into research. Is this enough, I wonder? Are we doing enough generally for research in this country? 


     THE PRESIDENT: I think we can always do better. My family has been particularly interested in one kind of research, and we now have at the hospital a center for research into the causes of mental retardation of children. This center is going to begin building as soon as the snow is off the ground. 


     I think this is one area where there has been inadequate research. We are fortunate in this case to have a close connection with Harvard University. Dr. Adams from Harvard University is heading the research center. But I do believe that nearly every American family either has some member of its family or some friend who goes through the very harrowing experience of having a child in the family who suffers from mental retardation - the difficulties that the child has and the difficulty that it causes in the family. 


     I think that rather than caring for these children, which we are attempting to do, though not always adequately, I think it is most important that we try to examine why they are retarded and what could be done about it - whether through surgery or other treatment we could begin to cure them, not merely care for them. 


     Mr. Garroway: Will eventually we cure everybody, do you think? Will the health of the Nation approach perfection some day, by care and research? 


     THE PRESIDENT: No, I suppose we are all - we may stretch out our period on this earth but sooner or later we will all begin to - but at least what I think we are all concerned about is that children have a happy childhood, and a fruitful one; and that adults be permitted to work and that older people find their later years to be easier, free from pain and discomfort; and then I think everybody will await their end, but I think there's an awful lot we can do. And the cooperation between medicine, between private individuals who supported Massachusetts General, and between the National Government in providing funds for research, it is a happy relationship, though one that can always be improved. 


     Mr. Garroway: Do we recognize the importance - I read your article recently, on the subject of physical fitness in this country - for the young and middle aged too? 


     THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think it is a serious problem. Our society is quite sophisticated and we are in a very dangerous period in our world history. We have unrelenting foes who are determined to destroy us. 


     Physical fitness goes with mental fitness. It goes with energy - and I am concerned that recent tests have shown a steady decline in the standards of American fitness as compared with European and people around the world. In reading a recent article on guerrilla warfare, I noticed the great emphasis put on physical fitness. 


     We are in a dangerous period, and I think that we have to be fit. Now it's harder, because our life is easier - we have cars, buses, and all the rest. I think we ought to concern ourselves with making sure that our children are fit, that they are concerned with being energetic - that they use their young years not merely as spectators but as participants in life. 


     Mr. Garroway: Will you help us to wake up? 


     THE PRESIDENT: Well, we are trying. I think that this is a great country, and I think it deserves the best of all of us. I think that physical fitness is a part of our survival, and I am hopeful that we can, - through the White House - but really it's a private decision - but at least from this area we are going to try to do our best to emphasize this. 


     It's really up to every parent. Do your children go every week and watch a basketball game, or do they do something to make themselves fit? I think we are inclined to think that if we watch a football game or a baseball game, that we have taken part in it. That's not what we want. 


     Mr. Garroway: Well, you don't usually get into this posture of sitting down very much, I understand. You are more than busy--- 


     THE PRESIDENT: I must say that this hospital is a--- I am delighted to have this rather long-distance connection with this hospital. It emphasizes not only what this hospital does, but all the hospitals in your community. They all deserve our support. 


         And I am delighted to have this chance, through Dave Garroway, to emphasize our great national interest in developing our hospitals, developing research, training doctors, training nurses - and spreading the benefits of modern medicine through this country and around the world. 


     Mr. Garroway: Thank you, Mr. President. 


     THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Dave.

 

NOTE: The interview was video-taped in the broadcast room at the White House on January 28 for use on the television program "Today" on January 31. During his remarks the President referred to Dr. Raymond Adams, Professor of Neuropathology at the School of Medicine, Harvard University. 
 


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Greg Burnham
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#15 Greg Burnham

Greg Burnham

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 03:08 PM

--

 

15.

 

The President's News Conference of February 1, 1961

 

     THE PRESIDENT: I have several announcements to make. 


     [ 1.] First is one made at the request of Mrs. Kennedy. Since the election, the birth of our son, and the inauguration, Mrs. Kennedy and I have received over 100,000 letters and telegrams of congratulations and good wishes. They are now building up in available rooms at the White House. Unfortunately, it's not going to be possible for us to acknowledge and answer as we would like to answer each and every message, and therefore I wish to take this opportunity on behalf of Mrs. Kennedy and myself to thank everyone who has been so kind and generous. 


    [ 2.] Secondly, I'm happy to be able to announce that the restrictions recently imposed on travel abroad of dependents of service personnel will be lifted as soon as the necessary detailed arrangements can be made in the Defense Department. Secretary McNamara has been able to work out arrangements for equivalent savings in personnel costs abroad, so that this change does not imply any weakening of our determination to protect the value of the dollar. 


     This is a matter of great importance. The Chiefs of Staff have been most concerned about the effect of this order on morale and on the rate of enlistment, and therefore we have had to make a balanced judgment as to which actions in which areas would be in the national interest, and after giving this matter careful consideration, it is the judgment of the Defense Department that other savings can be made which will be more satisfactory to us and to the position of the Armed Forces.1 

 

     [ 3.] Third, I'm announcing that there are going to be set up five pilot projects for foodstamp distribution, and that these will be in areas of maximum chronic unemployment. All the areas have not yet been determined, but one will be in West Virginia, one in Pennsylvania, one in southern Illinois, and the other in eastern Kentucky, with a fifth yet to be determined. 


     [ 4.] Next, the Veterans Administration has been instructed to speed up the payment of the National Insurance dividends. This is a sum of over $250 million, which would be paid out throughout this year. We're going to try to pay it out this winter in order to assist the economy at a critical time. 


     This, of course - the Veterans Administration fund has very ample reserves, very generous reserves. And I feel that this will be of some benefit. 


     [ 5.] Lastly, in order to lower the cost of housing credit and stimulate that sector of the economy, I've directed the Federal Housing Administration to reduce the maximum permissible interest on FHA-insured loans from 5¾  to 5½ percent. Complementary action will be taken by the Federal National Mortgage Association. 


     In addition, I've asked the Community Facilities Administration to reduce interest rates on new loans to local public bodies for the construction of public facilities, and to broaden their eligibility requirements. 


     And I've instructed the Housing and Home Finance Agency to hasten those approved projects where a speedup can be effected without waste. 


     Thank you. 


     [ 6.] Q. Mr. President, as you know, Adlai Stevenson said the other day it was his guess that you would be happy to meet with Khrushchev if he should come to this country for the U.N. session. I wonder, was he correct in his guess that you would be happy to meet with Khrushchev? 


     THE PRESIDENT. As Governor Stevenson - Ambassador Stevenson said, I have not discussed the matter with him. I have no idea whether Mr. Khrushchev is coming to the United States or not. There's been no indication, either publicly or privately, that he is planning a visit to the United States, and therefore I think it would be appropriate to wait in regard to what plans we might have as far as seeing him - it would be more appropriate to wait until we have some idea whether he's going to come or not. 


     [ 7.] Mr. President, could you tell us something of the reasoning and the background of the apparent restrictions on the RB-47 fliers in publicly discussing their experiences in Russia? We get the impression from the Pentagon that this blackout on any public interviews or discussions of the two fliers is to be more or less an indefinite thing. Now we are told at the Pentagon that this is in the national interest. First of all, I wonder if you could tell us why it's in the national interest, and second, what personal feelings you have in the matter on the reasoning behind this decision to keep these men quiet. 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well I'll say that when they've finished their short leave and when they have been debriefed by the Air Force, and the Air Force has had an opportunity to have conversation with them, as far as I'm concerned I'd be glad to have them talk to the press. And therefore I would assume they would be available to the press as soon as that leave is over. 


     [ 8.] Q. This may be a corollary question, but your administration has indicated that it expects officers of the military on active duty to support, in their public statements, or at least not to be hostile to the foreign policy of your administration. Does this project itself into other areas? What about the Atomic Energy Commission? What about economists working for the executive branch who may have differences about economic policy? 


     THE PRESIDENT. I think that the procedure which we have established is a traditional one. I think that the Eisenhower administration made, according to the accounts that I have seen, over 65 known efforts to make sure that speeches by members of the military were in accordance with the general objectives of American foreign policy. 


     I think - we're going to continue to do that. If a well-known, high-ranking military figure makes a speech which affects foreign policy or possible military policy, I think that the people and the countries abroad have a right to expect that that speech represents the opinion of the National Government. 


     Now the speech of Admiral Burke which raised this question - when the speech was drafted Admiral Burke may not have known, nor did any of us, whether these fliers would be released, for example. Therefore, there is some value in coordinating statements made by high-ranking responsible officials of our national - involving national security - coordinating them, and making sure that the State Department, the White House, and Defense are informed about the speeches and that they represent national policy. 


     That has been the policy followed by President Eisenhower; it is the policy which must be followed by this administration. 


     Now in the question Mr. Morgan asked, it's not intended that this will serve as a restraint on the ability of people in this administration to speak out, particularly when those speeches do not involve national security. I think the important point here is when they involve national security. 


     [ 9.] Q. Do you consider the current  business slump serious enough to justify a tax cut? 


     THE PRESIDENT. I do not at this time. I've stated that we're going to make another judgement on the state of the economy in 2 to 3 months and will then decide what action could be usefully taken. But I have not proposed a tax cut at this time nor do I intend to. 


     [ 10.] Q. Mr. President, some critics stated that proposals of added Federal expenditures in your State of the Union Message may force us to "kick the bottom out of the money barrel." Could you give us an idea, sir, of how your proposed increased programs would be furnished and in connection with the previous question could it possibly mean an increase in income taxes? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, I think that we can spell out our proposed proposals in the series of messages that we're going to send in the next 14 days. And as I have said, the proposals that we will make will not of themselves unbalance the budget. 


     [ 11.] Q. Mr. President, your State of the Union Message was both praised and criticized. Some of the critics said that you painted the picture in dark colors so that should there be any improvement you would get the credit. Would you want to comment on that, sir? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, I would - I painted the picture as I saw it. I also stated that in my judgment, in some areas involving the national interest the news would be worse before it gets better. And I think that the American people might just as well realize that. So that my statement stands as my view of the problems facing the United States at home and abroad at this time. To the best of my ability, it is an accurate presentation. I'm not a candidate for office for at least 4 years, so that there will be many ups and downs I suppose during that period, so that anybody who thinks that if things get better in the spring that we'll be able to say that they're the result of the administration policy and that's the reason that I painted them unnecessarily dark, misunderstands completely. They are painted accurately as I understand them to be, and anyone who makes the judgment that it was laid on thick for political reasons, I think is making a serious mistake and I hope would give us the benefit of the doubt of an honest view. 


     Now, other people may look at the same facts and come to a different conclusion. Obviously they have - before my speech and since my speech. But that represents my view as President. 


     [ 12.] Q. Mr. President, in the spirit of your Los Angeles campaign speech, are you prepared to move soon by Executive action in the field of civil rights, and if so, in what fields would you make your first step? 


     THE PRESIDENT. We have been considering what steps could be taken in the field of expanding civil rights by Executive action, and I'm hopeful that we will shortly conclude that analysis and have some statement to make on it. It's not completed as yet. 


     [ 13.] Q. In connection with a couple of a previous questions, you have stated several times since your election that the country was in for some substantial sacrifices, or that the year 1961 might be a difficult year to live in, and yet some of the measures you have announced seem to be intended to improve the lot of, let's say, more unfortunate sections of the population. Could you be more explicit on what you mean by sacrifices and the difficulties of living in 1961 ? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, I would hope that a country as powerful as ours - I said it was the most resourceful industrialized country in the world - would not oppose efforts which we would take to make the life of people who live in these chronic depressed areas - to make it easier. I do not feel that all the burdens of hardship should be placed on them. In addition, I do believe that we are heavily involved in critical areas of the world and I cannot today predict what the results will be of events in those areas of the world. I merely state that the tide has not been running with us, that we are heavily involved - heavily committed - by public statements of the former administration as well as by this administration, and therefore I felt that we should inform the people that there are hazards which lurk around us and which may place heavy burdens on us. 


     I will whenever I think that sacrifices of a particular nature are required, I will go to the people. At the present time, I merely suggest that the times are difficult. 


     Now, when we talk about five and a half million people unemployed there are still over 60 million people employed. And I think that may be one of the reasons why there is some feeling that I overstressed the dark instead of the bright in my State of the Union Address. But it is the function, it seems to me, of the President to concern himself with that five and a half million unemployed particularly when so many have been unemployed for such a long period of time. 


     [ 14.] Q. Mr. President, some people have interpreted your address to the Congress as indicating that you found conditions very much worse upon taking office than you had anticipated. Is this interpretation correct? And, if so, can you give us some specifics? 


     THE PRESIDENT. I think the situation is less satisfactory than it was last fall. And I don't - and I'm not convinced as yet that the tide in some of the critical areas in which the United States is involved has turned in our favor. 


     I think that anyone who reads the daily papers knows of the critical events in Laos, the Communist intervention in that area. I think they're aware of the fact that the situation in the Congo has deteriorated sharply recently, with a steady withdrawal of troops taking place by United Nations countries. 


     They're also aware of the steps which have been taken in recent months to increase the iron control of Mr. Castro on Cuba; the shipments of thousands of tons of arms to that country; the expansion of the militia. Those are all factors which affect the security of the United States. 


     [ 15.] Q. Mr. President, what proposals might the United States make in regard to the Congo now that you mentioned the situation there is deteriorating because of the pullout of troops? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Mr. Timberlake is here for consultation in Washington now, Ambassador Brown from Laos is here, General Norstad, who's our NATO commander, is here in Washington, and Ambassador Thompson will be coming back next week, so that we are considering carefully what policies we should follow in all those areas of crisis. Particularly we are considering the matter of the Congo carefully and what useful steps might be taken which would prevent a further deterioration. I do not have anything further to say just at this time. 


     [ 16.] Q. Mr. President, do you plan any recommendations on the labor-management relations field in your future messages to Congress since you have not covered this subject in your addresses to date? 


     THE PRESIDENT. I'd have to wait on that. We have no - it's not within the next 14 days. 


     [ 17.] Q. Sir, would you clarify your intentions in the field of unemployment compensation? Do you plan now to propose to Congress the establishment of Federal standards, wider coverage, higher benefits, and for their greater duration? 


      THE PRESIDENT. Well, the first matter which we will address to the Congress will be the question of emergency payments to those unemployed who've exhausted their benefits. 


     Later in March, we will send to the Congress - or in April - proposals dealing with a more permanent improvement in unemployment compensation standards, duration, and benefits, because there isn't any doubt that, based on our experience in '58, in our experience this year, the unemployment compensation system has not met the needs of the country satisfactorily. 


     So we will be sending a second message dealing with the subjects which you discussed in your question. 


    [ 18.] Q. In connection, Mr. President, with your statement on the military dependents, is this to be a complete repeal of the existing directive? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Yes. 

 

    [ 19.] Q. Do you agree with the general assessment that the narrowness of the House vote yesterday on enlarging the Rules Committee means rough going ahead for your legislative program? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, the Speaker was successful yesterday and that does mean that the House will have an opportunity to vote on all these bills. 


     I do think that the House is closely divided on a good many matters which involve legislative proposals, and perhaps the country may be divided, too, but at least we will have a chance to have a vote. And I consider that the most important thing. If the House then doesn't want to support our proposals then at least I feel that the country has indicated its judgment and not the judgment of only a small number of Representatives. 


     But I would say that we're going to have a close debate in both the House and the Senate on a good many matters and which has always been true if the matters do anything; if they provide for any action, there is bound to be controversy about them. The only way we can get general agreement is when you confine yourself to general statements. 


     [ 20.] Q. Mr. President, will you ask for the same new revenues that Mr. Eisenhower asked for in his Budget Message? 


     THE PRESIDENT. I will. It is a fact, as I suggested in the State of the Union Address, that some of those proposals are generously estimated. For example, I believe that the President's budget calls for a - was it - $900 million deficit in the Post Office; I think the President's budget called for revenue action by the Congress of $843 million. In view of the fact that the Congress has been reluctant in the past I think we have to consider carefully whether we could expect the Congress to ever vote $843 million new revenue on mail and postage. 


     But nevertheless, we are going to go ahead in general with perhaps - there may be one or two changes but they'll be relatively minor - we are going ahead with the revenue requests of the previous administration. 


     Q. Have you thought of any new sources of revenue? 


     THE PRESIDENT. We will be discussing the sources of revenue for any additional programs we suggest, because we will with every program we send suggest a source of revenue for it. 


     [ 21.] Q. Mr. President, your predecessor in office called himself a political moderate - said he believed in a middle-of-the-road approach. What do you call yourself politically and how do you define your political philosophy? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well I don't call myself anything except a Democrat who's been elected President of the United States and I hope I am a responsible President. That's my intention. 


     [ 22.] Q. Mr. President, are there plans afoot now for Prime Minister Macmillan or President de Gaulle or any of the others to meet with you personally in the next few months? 


     THE PRESIDENT. I would not be able to answer that because any announcement on proposed visits should be timed with the countries that are involved and we have - we're not able to make that timing at this time. 


     [ 23.] Q. Mr. President, in connection with your references to a sound dollar, will you give us your ideas as to whether there is any danger of inflation? 


     THE PRESIDENT. There has been a steady inflationary rise in - throughout the history of the United States. I'm not able to make any judgment as to what would happen to the cost of living in the next 12 months. 


     We do have the problem - which is before us - of whether the only way we can prevent any increase in the cost of living is to have five and a half million people unemployed, and have only a limited - and have a substantial percentage of our capacity unused. 


     The question is whether we can maintain a reasonable balance between increase in purchasing power and the cost of doing business with full employment. That is the basic problem. I'm not satisfied to have the cost of living remain constant only by having the economy restrained. 


     What I was referring to is that we have no intention - two things: first, we have no intention of devaluing the dollar; secondly, we are concerned with price stability. And in all of the programs that we will put forward we will pay due care to the problem of preventing any stimulation of the economy resulting in an excessive increase in the cost of living. 


     [ 24.] Q. Mr. President, your budget - your State of the Union Message to Congress was taken by some to mean a rather sharp criticism of President Eisenhower's military policy and judgment. Would you care to comment on that? 


     THE PRESIDENT. We are making an assessment of whether the plans we now have for the defense of the United States are matched by the military strength to implement those plans. That preliminary judgment will be finished by the end of February. It may result in some different budget requests and some different command decisions. But until the Secretary of Defense completes that analysis I would not attempt to make any criticisms or suggest that we are going to have to change the plans made by President Eisenhower. 


     But I do think that the situation grows more serious. The Chinese Communist strength increases. The intervention by the Communists in these critical areas which I mentioned has grown greater and therefore we have to consider whether in the light of this additional threat the strength we now have, not only our nuclear deterrent but also our capacity for limited war, is sufficient. It's not intended as a criticism of any previous action by any previous administration. It merely is an attempt to meet our own responsibilities at this time. 


     [ 25.] Q. Mr. President, when you say that your spending proposals by themselves do not unbalance the budget, can you tell us whether you plan to spend more than Mr. Eisenhower proposed spending in fiscal 1962, and if so, how much more? 


     THE PRESIDENT. I will send to the Congress when the Budget Bureau has completed its analysis our proposals, but they have not been completed as yet. 


     [ 26.] Q. Mr. President, Senator Pastore during hearings held yesterday and today on amending section 315 of the Communications Act, raised the question of whether an incoming presidential candidate would agree to debate a so-called outsider on television. And the present Attorney General in postelection remarks expressed some doubt that one who is already President would agree to debate with one who wants to be President. Could you help us clear the air on this, sir, and tell us whether if you're a candidate in 1964 you would agree to debate? 


    THE PRESIDENT. I would, yes. 


    [ 27.] Q. Mr. President, you described the agricultural problem as one of the most serious in our economy. And yet you didn't speak of it at any length in the State of the Union Message. Could you tell us what your present plans are for a new farm program? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, we are going to send to the Congress within the next 7 days, I believe, legislation on feed grains and we're going to send to the Congress within the month of February legislation on wheat. And we are also - we had, of course, the meeting in New York; we had the meeting organized by the Secretary of Agriculture of various farm groups and we had our task force report yesterday on cotton, feed grains, and wheat and I must say that the Secretary of Agriculture is working overtime. 


     These two matters - feed grains and wheat - we are going to move ahead right away. The situation in cotton is different. 


     [ 28.] Q. Mr. President, will you increase price supports? 


     THE PRESIDENT. I think we - I'd better wait until the Secretary of Agriculture sends the bill and we will then at that time announce what our decision will be on controls and also on what the dollar value will be of the price supports.

 
     [ 29.] Q. Mr. President, can you explain what our policy and purpose is in connection with the Portuguese liner Santa Maria and whether it goes beyond the safety of the passengers and whether you've had any notes from the Portuguese Government in connection with this? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, the Portuguese Government and the Ambassador, of course, have expressed their great interest in securing the control of the ship again. We've been concerned about the lives of the American passengers aboard. There are also other passengers aboard. We're concerned about their lives. We're also well aware of the interests of the Portuguese Government in securing control again of the ship and I'm hopeful that all these interests can be protected. 


     Now we have no information that the Portuguese Government has protested or threatened us with a withdrawal of our air rights in the Azores. I believe the Portuguese Government also has denied that, but they are most concerned about it and they've made their concern known to us. 


     [ 30.] Q. Mr. President, have you encountered any one particular problem in being the President that you had not anticipated ? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, yes, I've - I think the problem of course is the difficulty in securing the clear response between decisions that we might make here which affect the security of the United States and having them effectively instrumented in the field under varying circumstances. It's easier to sit with a map and talk about what ought to be done than to see it done. But that's perhaps inevitable. 


     [ 31.] Q. The Germans are reported to be somewhat unhappy because in your State of the Union Message, in speaking of critical areas, you did not mention Berlin or Germany, and this afternoon when you were talking of critical areas you did not mention Berlin and Germany. Is there any significance to your omission? In other words, last fall you anticipated the possibility of some new crisis in Berlin and Germany in the spring. I'm wondering if there has been some change in the situation that has altered your assessment of it? 


     THE PRESIDENT. No, my view, and I think the United States Government's view, which is the same as the view expressed by the previous administration, remains constant. And it is very difficult to name every area. There is no change in our view on Berlin. 


     [ 32.] Q.  Mr. President, there are six Americans who have been convicted to 30 years' imprisonment in Cuba, and there are five Americans who have been jailed for more than 6 years in China. Could you say what efforts the United States might possibly make on behalf - what new efforts the United States might make on behalf of the six in Cuba and the five in Communist China? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, we have asked - the Swiss Minister is representing our interest in regard to this trial. We've asked for complete information and we are going to attempt to, within the limits imposed by the nature of the regime in Cuba, to protect the interest of American citizens who are there. 


     Now, the previous administration on many occasions brought before the Chinese representative - in fact, there were many conversations in Geneva as well as in Warsaw, on the problem of the Americans who have been detained, some of them way back since 1951. This is a matter of continuing concern. And as long as those men are held, it will be extremely difficult to have any kind of normal relations with the Chinese Communists. 


     There are other matters which affect those relations too. But this is certainly a point of the greatest possible concern. 


     Now, we have asked for a delay in the meetings which take place in Warsaw, between the United States representative and that of the Chinese Communists, from February to March, because they have become merely a matter of form and nothing of substance happened. 
     But I'm going to make it very clear that we are concerned about those men in China. The Americans who have been detained in Cuba, and all the circumstances around their arrest, that is a matter which the Swiss Minister is continuing to keep us informed. 


     [ 33.] Q. Mr. President, does your statement about the Warsaw talks mean that you propose to have some matters of substance taken up there in March when the talks are resumed, and can you tell us in general what sort of matters you would deal with? 


     THE PRESIDENT. No, it just meant that we had no business to discuss in the February meeting that made the talk at this time worthwhile. 


     [ 34.] Q. Mr. President, what sort of reaction have you had from the Latin American countries to the five-point program that you proposed, that you outlined in your State of the Union Message to help the Latin American countries, and could you be a little bit more specific about when you expect your food-for-peace mission to sort of go into action in Latin America? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well, the food-for-peace mission will be leaving very - in the next few days. We have announced the appointment of Mr. Berle who's had long experience as head of that interdepartmental task force as an assistant to the Secretary. Mr. Berle headed the task force of ours during - between the election and January 20, and I'm very hopeful that under his leadership, of course with the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary, Mr. Mann, that we will be able to implement our commitments to Latin America.2 


     [ 35.] Q. You said in your State of the Union Message, sir, that you planned to accelerate the missile program. I wonder within that framework if you could say whether that includes the possibility of providing funds in fiscal 1962 to start production on the Nike-Zeus antimissile missile? 


     THE PRESIDENT. Well the Nike Zeus - there are, of course, funds which have been spent in research on the general area of antimissile missile - that is a matter which is now being considered by the Department of Defense and also by the President's Science Advisory Committee - as to whether the amount of money which we are devoting, which is considerable. Unfortunately, in all of these weapons systems the amounts of money that become involved get into the hundreds of millions and then billions, so very careful judgments have to be made. And the - as a matter of fact, I discussed that particular matter with Mr. Wiesner yesterday, so I can't give you a more precise answer than to say that we are considering it. 


     [ 36.] Q. Mr. President, in your State of the Union Message, you spoke of juvenile delinquency. There is growing concern expressed by parents, clergy, and J. Edgar Hoover about the effect on young people of crime and violence in movies and on the air, and the Senate committee is investigating this. Is there anything you can do about it, or may you ask for legislation? 


     THE PRESIDENT. I will have to wait, Mrs. Craig. We - as I said at the time in the State of the Union that we are considering what legislation could be enacted. Now when you get into movies, it's very limited - the amount of influence which the Federal Government can exert is quite limited, as you know - quite properly limited. But at least we are concerned with the general problem. 


     All the steps we take in urban renewal and housing also affect, of course, the kind of atmosphere, the kind of schools we have, the kind of housing we have, the kind of health conditions we have - all affect the atmosphere in which younger people grow up. 
     We are very much concerned with that area and we also have - are informed about what the Congress is doing. But this is a matter which goes to the responsibility of the private citizen. The Federal Government cannot protect the standards of young boys or girls - the parents have to do it, in the first place. 


     We can only play a very supplemental role and a marginal role. So that we can't put that problem on the - Mr. Hoover or on the White House or on the Congress. It rests with the families involved - with the parents involved. But we can do something about the living conditions and the atmosphere in which these children grow up, and we are going to do something about it. 


     [ 37.] Q. Mr. President, in your State of the Union Address you said, "I shall withhold from neither the Congress nor the people any fact or report past, present, or future which is necessary for a free and informed judgment of our conduct and hazards." Does this apply, sir, to the Gaither report and will you make that available amongst other studies of a critical nature? 


     THE PRESIDENT. I've been reading the Gaither report. I think there are two matters involved. First, some of its provisions are quite dated and rest on assumptions which are no longer valid. Secondly, some portions of it do involve security information. So that we will make a judgment, I hope, shortly, whether overall it would be possible to release those parts of it which would not adversely affect the security of the United States and which would assist us at our present time. 


     That is really the question. Does the release of this and the material in it, of a report 3 years old, benefit our security position today and help the people make a judgment on it? And I would have to finish the study of the Gaither report before we give you an answer on that. 
     [ 38.] Q. Mr. President, how soon do you expect to submit to Congress your slate of new ambassadors? I'm thinking of posts like London or Paris. 


     THE PRESIDENT. We are - have of course informed the countries involved and asked for their agreement, which is customary, and as soon as those agreements come back to us we will send the names to the Senate. 


     Q. Do you plan to do that singly or in a bloc? 


     THE PRESIDENT. As quickly as possible and if we can get the agreements back en bloc we'll send them en bloc. 


     Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

 

1.  A White House statement of March 8 summarized proposed means for reduction of overseas expenditures by individual members of the Armed Forces, Department of Defense civilian employees, and their dependents in order to effect savings which would have resulted had the number of dependents in foreign countries been reduced as originally directed.

2.  A White House release of February 8 announced the departure of George McGovern, Director, Food for Peace, accompanied by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., for Argentina and Brazil on February 13. The release also stated that another mission headed by James Symington, Deputy Director, Food for Peace, and Stephen Raushenbush, a staff member, would leave at the same time for discussions in most of the Latin American countries.

NOTE: President Kennedy's second news conference, broadcast over radio and television, was held in the State Department Auditorium at 4 o'clock on Wednesday afternoon, February 1, 1961. 
  

  
 


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Greg Burnham
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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#16 Greg Burnham

Greg Burnham

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 03:11 PM

--

16.

 

Letter to the Secretary of the Navy and Statement by the President 

on the Launching of the U.S.S. Sam Houston. February 2, 1961

[Released February 2, 1961. Dated February 1, 1961]


 

Dear Secretary Connally
     I deeply regret that I am unable to be present for the launching of the Sam Houston, particularly since it honors a man whose courage I have always admired. 


     Would you please read for me the enclosed statement at the launching ceremony and deliver the plaque which I am sending to your office. 
     Sincerely,

 JOHN F. KENNEDY
 

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

 

     This historic occasion has double meaning. It signals our determination to strengthen our military tools - to demonstrate to the world that our seapower, as are all elements of our national power, is a power for peace - a deterrent to any who would violate this eternal objective of God and man. It also allows us to do honor to a great American. 


     No Polaris submarine will be more appropriately named, for Sam Houston combined the moral courage to defend principle and the physical courage to defy danger. He was fiercely ambitious yet at the end he sacrificed for principle all that he had ever won or wanted. He was a Southerner, and yet he steadfastly maintained his loyalty to the Union. He was a slaveholder who defended the right of Northern ministers to petition Congress against slavery; he was a heavy drinker who took the vow of temperance; he was an adopted son of the Cherokee Indians who won his first military honors fighting the Creeks; he was a Governor of Tennessee but a Senator from Texas. He was in turn magnanimous yet vindictive, affectionate yet cruel, eccentric yet selfconscious, faithful yet opportunistic. But Sam Houston's contradictions actually confirm his one basic, consistent quality: indomitable individualism, sometimes spectacular, sometimes crude, sometimes mysterious but always courageous. 


     The contradictions of Sam Houston are repeated in the paradox of the Polaris submarine. It is at once a devastating instrument of incredible destructive power, but at the same time it is conceived with but one purpose - to preserve the peace. 


     When Sam Houston left the United States Senate, he said, "I wish no prouder epitaph to mark the board or slab that may lie on my tomb than this: 'He loved his country, he was a patriot; he was devoted to the Union.' " 


     It is my feeling that it would be far more fitting that these words should be inscribed on board this living memorial than on any slab or tomb. Here they will serve not only as a fitting eulogy to a great American, but as an inspiration to the men who serve in this mighty ship. 


     I have, therefore, delivered to the Secretary of the Navy a plaque bearing this inscription which I request he have mounted in a suitable place on board. 
 


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Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#17 Greg Burnham

Greg Burnham

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 08:46 AM

--

 

17.

 

Special Message to the Congress: Program for Economic Recovery and Growth. 

February 2, 1961







 

To the Congress of the United States:

1. OUR GOALS AND PROBLEMS

     America has the human and material resources to meet the demands of national security and the obligations of world leadership while at the same time advancing well - being at home. But our nation has been falling further and further short of its economic capabilities. In the past seven years, our rate of growth has slowed down disturbingly. In the past 3½ years, the gap between what we can produce and what we do produce has threatened to become chronic. And in the past year, our economic problem has been aggravated by recession and by loss of gold. I shall shortly send to the Congress a separate message dealing with our international balance of payments and gold position. 
     The nation cannot - and will not - be satisfied with economic decline and slack. The United States cannot afford, in this time of national need and world crisis, to dissipate its opportunities for economic growth. We cannot expect to make good in a day or even a year the accumulated deficiencies of several years. But realistic aims for 1961 are to reverse the downtrend in our economy, to narrow the gap of unused potential, to abate the waste and misery of unemployment, and at the same time to maintain reasonable stability of the price level. For 1962 and 1963 our programs must aim at expanding American productive capacity at a rate that shows the world the vigor and vitality of a free economy. These are not merely fond hopes, they are realistic goals. We pledge and ask maximum effort for their attainment. 
     I am proposing today measures both to alleviate the distress arising from unsatisfactory performance of the economy and to stimulate economic recovery and growth. If economic developments in the first quarter of this year indicate that additional measures are needed, I will promptly propose such measures.

The Present Situation and Outlook.

     The potential of the American economy is constantly expanding. The labor force is rising by 1.5 percent per year. Output per man rises annually by 2 percent as a result of new and better plant and equipment, modern technology, and improved human skills. These increases in manpower and productivity provide the base for a potential annual growth of 3.5 percent in the nation's total output. This is not high enough. Our potential growth rate can and should be increased. To do so, we propose to expand the nation's investments in physical and human resources, and in science and technology. 
     But in recent years the economy has not realized even its present possible growth. From the peak of the business cycle in the second quarter of 1953 to the top of the anemic recovery seven years later, gross national product grew only at an annual rate of 2.5 percent. The failure to use our full capacity is the urgent economic problem of the day. 
     In 1960, the American economy produced $503 billion of output when it was capable of producing at least $535 billion. In the fourth quarter of 1960, actual output could have been 8 percent higher than it was. More than a million and a half unemployed - over one-third of all unemployed - could have had jobs. Twenty billion, dollars more personal income could have been earned in 1960. Corporate profits could have been $5 billion higher. All this could have been accomplished with readily available manpower, materials and machines - without straining productive capacity and without igniting inflation. 
     The performance of the economy in 1960 was not only well below its full capacity; it also fell short of the modest levels expected by the previous Administration. 
     Adjusting all figures to the same statistical basis, the Budget projections last January were based on a 1960 national output of $513 billion. In October, output for the year was still expected to exceed $508 billion, implying a rate of at least $521 billion in the fourth quarter. The actual figure turned out to be $503 billion both for the year as a whole and for the last quarter. 
     Even when the recession ends and economic activity begins to expand again, the problem of unused potential will remain. Even if we were to achieve the $515 billion output projected for 1961 in connection with last month's Budget Message, the gap between potential and actual output would continue to grow and unemployment would hover between 6 and 7 percent of the labor force throughout the year. Under these circumstances, the expectation of minor improvements in business conditions during the next year provides no basis for complacency, no excuse for inaction. And - speaking out of realism, not pessimism - we cannot rule out the possibility of further deterioration if we fail to act. 
     An unbalanced economy does not produce a balanced budget. The Treasury's pocketbook suffers when the economy performs poorly. Lower incomes earned by households and corporations are reflected in lower Federal tax receipts. Assistance to unemployed workers and the costs of other measures for alleviation of economic distress are certain to rise as business declines. That is why recession - as our $12.4 billion deficit in the fiscal year 1959 recently reminded us - forces the budget into imbalance. That is why the prospect of surpluses in the Federal budgets for fiscal 1961 and fiscal 1962 is fading away.

General Fiscal Policy and the Budget.

     The Federal Budget can and should be made an instrument of prosperity and stability, not a deterrent to recovery. This Administration is pledged to a Federal revenue system that balances the budget over the years of the economic cycle - yielding surpluses for debt retirement in times of high employment that more than offset the deficits which accompany - and indeed help overcome - low levels of economic activity in poor years. 
     If this economy were operating at full potential, the existing Federal revenue system would yield more than $90 billion in fiscal year 1962, instead of the $82.3 billion now estimated, producing a large budget surplus, and permitting retirement of national debt as well as the further development of Federal programs to meet urgent national needs. Debt retirement at high employment contributes to economic growth by releasing savings for productive investment by private enterprise and State and local governments. 
     The programs I am now proposing will not by themselves unbalance the budget which was earlier submitted, but are designed to fulfill our responsibility to alleviate distress and speed recovery - both through benefits directly available to needy persons and through desirable fiscal effects on the economy. They will sustain consumer spending and increase aggregate demand now when the economy is slack. Many of these expenditures will automatically cease when high employment and production are restored. 
     Other measures contained in this message propose necessary uses of national economic capacity and tax revenue for our long-range growth, and are essential even in the absence of a recession. They are proposed because the country needs them, can afford them, and would indeed be poorer without them.

Agriculture.

     Recession in agriculture has been chronic since the early Fifties. Falling farm income has been a drag on the industrial economy, while economic slack has restricted the job openings which might have eased the adjustment process in agriculture. The marginal or displaced farmer is most painfully aware of the interdependence of agriculture and industry. Restoration of the economy as a whole to satisfactory and rising levels of performance is an important prerequisite to restoring farm prices and income to their rightful levels. The American farmer should receive for his managerial skills, his labor, and his capital investment returns that are similar to those received for comparable human talents and resources in other types of enterprise. To this end the Administration will recommend further specific measures in a separate message on agriculture to be submitted to the Congress at an early date.

II. MEASURES FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY

1. Monetary Policy and Debt Management.

     Both full recovery and economic growth require expansion of expenditures for business plant and equipment, for State and local governmental facilities, and for residential construction. To increase the flow of credit for these purposes, long-term interest rates should decline. However, further declines in short-term interest rates, under present conditions, would lead to a further outflow of funds abroad, adding to the deficit in our balance of payments. That would be particularly unfortunate at the present time, just as falling rates abroad have been narrowing the gap between our rates and those of other leading countries. 
     In these circumstances, monetary policy and debt management must serve two apparently contradictory objectives: checking declines in the short-term rates that directly affect the balance of payments, and increasing the flow of credit into the capital markets at declining long-term rates of interest to promote domestic recovery. These two objectives can be achieved concurrently, but only with close cooperation among all governmental agencies concerned. As a result of measures already under way, there will be an increasing flow of funds at declining long-term rates to finance productive investment. Measures to strengthen this country's ability to hold and to attract internationally mobile liquid funds will be outlined in my subsequent message on the balance of payments. 
     The Treasury and the Federal Reserve System already are working together to further the complementary effectiveness of debt management and monetary policy. These tools will be strengthened not only for their present tasks but also for restricting inflationary demands on the economy whenever they recur.

2. Housing and Community Development.

     During the 1960's, we must have the energy and vision to lay sound foundations for meeting the problems which will result from the steady growth of our urban areas through the balance of this century. This task calls for new initiative and imagination in a great diversity of fields: in housing construction, in the maintenance and improvement of our vast existing stock of housing, in urban renewal, in the provision of essential community facilities, and many others. It calls for the revitalization of administrative machinery at the Federal, State and local levels. It calls for more comprehensive and more practical planning for urban and metropolitan areas. I shall shortly make specific recommendations to the Congress for action in this whole vital area. 
     Meanwhile, to make sure that general expansion of long-term credit is effective in stimulating residential construction, we have surveyed the range of administrative actions which can be taken promptly to help lower the cost of housing credit. 
     A reduction of mortgage interest rates is already overdue. Despite the easing of the general money market in the past year, the cost of mortgage credit still hangs just below its postwar peak. I have been assured that officers of many leading lending institutions share my view that present mortgage yields are unrealistic, and are prepared to cooperate in an effort to make mortgage money available at lower rates. 
     Consistent with this appraisal of the present situation, I have directed the Federal Housing Administration to reduce the maximum permissible interest rate on FHA-insured loans from 5¾ to 5½ percent. The resources of the Federal National Mortgage Association in the secondary mortgage market will help to give effect to this change in the rate. The FNMA stock subscription requirement applicable to sales of mortgages in the FNMA secondary market will be temporarily cut in half. I shall request the Federal Home Loan Bank Board to cooperate in advancing this effort to reach a more realistic level of mortgage lending rates. 
     What is good policy here for the private housing sector is also good policy for public construction activity. Under the program by which loans are made to local public bodies for the construction of public facilities, the Community Facilities Administration at my direction is reducing interest rates on new loans. This program will also be broadened to make eligible for loans many communities and certain types of public facility projects which are now excluded. 
     I have instructed the Housing and Home Finance Agency to hasten the initiation or completion of those approved projects in which a speed-up can be effected without waste. In examining new applications for assistance, HHFA will give priority of attention to projects which are fully planned and ready for construction, and to projects located in areas of chronic unemployment. Under the college housing program, available funds will be committed more rapidly than hitherto planned, and efforts will be made to move forward the starting date for previously approved projects. 
     The Federal Government will do everything in its ability at all administrative levels to quicken the pace of urban renewal work. Given this assurance, mayors and other local officials can by energetic leadership accelerate projects under way or about to begin. I have today telegraphed the mayors of 297 cities to urge that they review their urban renewal projects to find ways of hastening the completion of these vital civic improvements.

3. Temporary Unemployment Insurance Extension.

     The number of persons out of work and seeking employment has been rising since the early summer of 1960 and has reached serious proportions in these rigorous winter months. In January 5.4 million persons were unemployed, more than 1.3 million have been continuously out of work for fifteen weeks or longer, 600,000 for six months or more. In addition, workers involuntarily confined to part-time work numbered 1.7 million, a rise of 200,000 over December. 
     We have long since decided as a nation that we will not turn our backs upon workers and their families undergoing the hardships of unemployment. Furthermore, we know all too well that the loss of income of the unemployed inevitably depresses consumer spending, threatening to deepen the recession and delay recovery. The flow of wage and salary payments, measured at an annual rate, has fallen by $4 billion from August to December. 
     Our unemployment insurance system serves to mitigate, in some degree, the hardships of displaced employees and helps to strengthen the economy against the forces of contraction. The total number of persons drawing benefits under that system has risen sharply since the middle of 1960, and in mid-January stood at 3.4 million, 1 million higher than a year ago. Although average benefits amount to only $34 per week, total payments are estimated to have been $430 million in January, compared to $264 million in January a year ago. The number of persons exhausting unemployment benefits has also increased. About 500,000 persons who have exhausted their benefits are still unemployed. During the first six months of 1961, nearly 1½ million more persons will use up their unemployment benefits before finding jobs. 
     In these urgent circumstances, I shall ask the Congress to enact a temporary program for extending the duration of benefits. Under agreements voluntarily entered into between the states and the Federal Government, additional weeks of benefits would be authorized from Federal funds, during the twelve months following enactment, to persons who have exhausted regular benefits since October 31, 1960, and are still unemployed. These extended benefits would equal one-half-up to a maximum of 13 weeks - of the duration provided by the State. The duration of the benefits would be subject to an over-all maximum, State and Federal, of 39 weeks. Where the State law already provides benefits for longer than 26 weeks, the Federal Government would pay, for the period of the emergency, for all weeks of benefits beyond 26, up to a maximum of 39, thus freeing state funds for much-needed increases in benefit amounts. The amount thus going into increased income and purchasing power will be advanced from general revenues and later repaid in full from increased insurance contributions obtained by raising the taxable payroll maximum per employee from $3,000 to $4,800 annually. This increase will maintain the self-supporting basis of the system and enhance its capacity to meet future emergencies. 
     Our permanent Federal-State unemployment insurance system, which has become an institution essential to the efficient functioning of our labor markets as well as a strong defense against economic contraction, is in need of permanent reform. As I said in 1958, I believe it would be a tragic mistake to embark on a Federal supplementation program geared to the present emergency without also strengthening the underlying system. A mere stop-gap approach ignores the role our permanent unemployment insurance system was intended to play, and establishes instead a precedent for falling back on temporary remedies whenever the system is really needed. The standards of the system have proven inadequate to deal with the recession problem. 
     This time, we must establish a permanent unemployment compensation system which can do the job it was intended to do. A program of federal legislation designed to revise and strengthen the benefit and financing provisions of the system will therefore be recommended to the Congress by the end of March.

4. Expansion of United States Employment Service.

     I am directing the Secretary of Labor to take necessary steps to provide better service for unemployment insurance claimants and other job applicants registered with the United States Employment Service. This will require expanded counseling and placement services for workers or job-seekers (a) in depressed areas; ( b ) in rural areas of chronic underemployment; ( c ) displaced by automation and technological change in factories and on farms; (d) in upper age brackets; and (e) recent graduates from college and high school.

5. Aid to Dependent Children o f the Unemployed.

     Under the Aid to Dependent Children program, needy children are eligible for assistance if their fathers are deceased, disabled, or family deserters. In logic and humanity, a child should also be eligible for assistance if his father is a needy unemployed worker - for example, a person who has exhausted unemployment benefits and is not receiving adequate local assistance. Too many fathers, unable to support their families, have resorted to real or pretended desertion to qualify their children for help. Many other fathers are prevented by conscience and love of family from taking this route, thereby disqualifying their children under present law. 
     I recommend that the Congress enact an interim amendment to the Aid to Dependent Children program to include the children of the needy unemployed. Temporary action is recommended pending completion of a study of a permanent program to aid needy children and certain other groups now excluded from the Federal-State public assistance programs.

6. Distressed Area Redevelopment Program.

     The Congress is considering legislation designed to reinforce the efforts of areas of heavy chronic unemployment to improve their economic climate. Although State and local governments, as well as private agencies, have been helpful in many instances, the distressed areas constitute a national problem that is properly the concern of the Federal Government. 
     The subject has been studied by standing and special committees of the Congress, by individual states, by groups of states, and by private study groups. There is general agreement that we should enact legislation providing the means for loans for private projects, technical assistance, loans and grants for public facilities, and programs for training and retraining workers. I urge that any area development program be flexible enough to benefit urban and rural areas alike and to apply to regions of economic distress which include parts of two or more states. 
     The immediate subsistence needs of the people of these economically depressed areas must be met, but it is equally important that these areas be enabled to acquire the basic facilities, physical plant, and trained labor force necessary to secure their share of the nation's economic expansion. 
     I have already advised the Congress of my interest in such legislation by letters sent to the Vice President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives last week. I urge that area redevelopment legislation be enacted without delay.

7. Distribution of Surplus Food.

     We are committed to expanding the variety and quantity of surplus foods distributed to persons who, in a nation of unparalleled agricultural bounty, lack adequate diets. 
     ( a ) The first Executive Order issued in this Administration directed the Secretary of Agriculture to "take immediate steps to expand and improve the government program of distributing surplus food to needy families." 
     ( b ) Further, I have instructed the Secretary of Agriculture, consistent with the bill enacted by the Congress last year authorizing establishment of pilot Food-Stamp programs, to proceed as rapidly as possible to establish pilot programs for needy families in localities in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Eastern Kentucky, Northern Minnesota, Southern Illinois and the Detroit area. It is my hope that this pilot program, while providing additional nutrition to those now in need, will pave the way for substantial improvement in our present method of distributing surplus food. 
     ( c ) I have also asked the Secretary of Agriculture to make recommendations to improve and strengthen our school lunch program, to make the best possible nutrition available to every school-child, regardless of the economic condition of his family or local school district.

8. Improvements in the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program.

     The current softness of the economy underscores the inadequacy of social security benefits in relation to the needs of many present beneficiaries. The average retired worker's benefit is only $74 a month. A majority of these beneficiaries have no other significant income. The basic principle of our social insurance system is undermined when a substantial number of retired individuals must seek public assistance or else subsist below minimum standards of health and comfort. We must not permit the benefits of retired workers and their families to lag behind rises in living costs; we cannot decently exclude our older population from the general advances in standards of living enjoyed by employed workers. 
     I recommend that Congress enact five improvements in benefits, to become effective April 1. All are clearly justified in equity and decency. They will increase benefit payments for between four and five million people in the next twelve months. Besides meeting pressing social needs, the additional flow of purchasing power will be a desirable economic stimulus at the present time. Early enactment will serve this end. 
     The Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program is financed on a sound actuarial basis, with insurance contributions adjusted to scheduled benefit payments. The benefit improvements I am proposing can be covered by additions of ¼ of 1 percent each to the employer's and employee's contributions, beginning at the next scheduled increase in contributions on January 1, 1963. 
     The five proposals are: 
     (1) Raise the minimum monthly benefit for the retired worker from $33 per month to $43 per month, increasing benefits for more than 2,200,000 people in the first 12 months. We wish it could be raised higher - but surely we cannot continue benefits at such an inconscionably low minimum. 
     (2) Improve retirement protection by paying actuarially reduced benefits to men beginning at age 62.  Present law does not permit a man to become eligible for optional retirement benefits before age 65 although such benefits are available to women at age 62 on an actuarially reduced basis. Provision for paying reduced benefits to men beginning at age 62 would make benefits available to older unemployed workers at comparatively little additional program cost. The plight of the older unemployed man is particularly serious in areas of chronic unemployment. However, the difficulties older workers find in reentering the labor market after losing their jobs or after periods of illness exist in all parts of the country. Frequently, as persons approach age 65 they find it difficult to compete in their accustomed occupations because of physical incapacity which may not however have progressed to the point of total disability. Provision for actuarially reduced benefits at age 62 to men as well as women will provide income for 600,000 people, some of whom would otherwise have to turn to public assistance for support. 
     (3) Provide Benefits for 170,000 Additional People by Liberalizing the Insured-Status Requirement. At present a person can receive benefits only if before retirement he was employed in jobs covered by the social security program for one out of every three quarters after 1950. The proposal is to reduce the required coverage to one quarter out of every four. This is only fair to our present generation of older people, as it brings their eligibility requirement into line with the one that present law contemplates for future generations, i.e., ten years of coverage out of a working life of about forty years. 
     (4) Increase the Aged Widow's Benefit from 75% to 85% of her Husband's Benefit Amount, raising benefits for 1,550,000 widows. There is no justification either in equity or in the facts of family consumption for this size gap in the level of widows' benefits. 
     (5) Broaden disability insurance protection. The social security program should provide disability insurance benefits for insured workers and their families after the workers have been totally disabled for 6 months. Under present law, disability benefits are available only if the disabled worker's condition is expected to result in death or to last for a long and indefinite period. The proposed change provides benefits in the first 12 months for 85,000 people (totally disabled workers and their dependents) many of whom otherwise have to resort to public assistance. Since it would no longer be necessary to determine that the disabled person is unlikely to recover, the change removes an important barrier to rehabilitation. It also speeds up determinations of disability. While the change has these desirable effects, it would in no sense be an innovation. Similar provisions are contained in many private insurance contracts and other disability programs.

9. Early Payment of Veterans Life Insurance Dividends.

     I have asked the Veterans Administration to advance the payment of the 1961 dividend of $258 million on National Service Life Insurance and U.S. Government Life Insurance policies. This payment would normally be distributed throughout the year. Substantial amounts should begin to reach veterans of World War I and II within the next thirty to sixty days - the period of slump - when they are most needed and will do the most good. If sound insurance practices justify it, as I hope further study will show, an additional dividend will be paid this year from the substantial funds that have been accumulated.

10. Minimum Wage Increase and Expanded Coverage.

     I urge the Congress to raise the minimum wage immediately to $1.15 and to $1.25 within two years. This will improve the incomes, level of living, morale, and efficiency of many of our lowest-paid workers, and provide incentives for their more productive utilization. This can actually increase productivity and hold down unit costs, with no adverse affects on our competition in world markets and our balance of payments. More than four-fifths of those commodities affected by either export or import trends are produced by industries which would not be significantly affected by a moderate increase in the minimum wage. The proposed new coverage is basically in retail trade and services, which are not affected by shifts in international trade. Moreover, experience with previous minimum wage increases indicates little effect on prices. In the four years following the 1956 increase in the minimum wage, the index of all wholesale prices increased 6.6 percent, whereas the prices charged for commodities produced in low-wage industries showed negligible change. 
     Coverage should be extended to several million workers not now covered. This will extend the wage standard throughout significant low-wage sectors of the labor market. It will require the payment of a minimum starting at $1.00 for the workers newly included, and a gradual increase to the general $1.25 minimum. 
     Together, these two principal changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act will go far to protect our lowest paid workers. The proposed minimum rates have been carefully set at levels which will benefit substantial numbers of underpaid workers, but not so high as to prevent ready adjustment to the new standards.

11. Accelerating Procurement and Construction.

     (a) I have directed the heads of the Departments and agencies to carry out an immediate review of their procurement and construction plans through the end of the current fiscal year with a view to expediting such procurement and construction wherever possible, giving priority to actions which will have an early effect on unemployment. The steps they are taking will be reported to me by March 1. 
     ( b ) I have directed the Cabinet and agency heads to submit by February 17 inventories of (1) going public works projects which can be speeded up quickly, but for which additional appropriations might be seeded, (2) needed natural resource conservation and development, light construc:ion, maintenance, repair, and other work which likewise can be speeded up or started juickly, and (3) any additional construction or other projects which could be initiated at in early date. 
     I have instructed the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, in consultation with the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, to work with the agencies in carrying out these directives. They will assemble and appraise the project inventories with a view to determining which projects may be suitable for early initiation or acceleration is part of the recovery program. 
    Excellent possibilities include programs to improve the roads, recreational facilities, and forests in the Project Work Inventories of the Forest Service, the National Park Servce, and the Bureau of Land Management. A particularly high priority will be assigned to projects located in areas of labor surplus. 
     ( c ) I have today instructed the Secretary of Commerce to make available to the States immediately the entire balance of Federal-aid highway funds scheduled for this fiscal year. This acceleration of the availability of $724 million is a first step in speeding up the highway program and getting more projects under construction and more men at work this year. 
     The Secretary will urge the States to place under contract as soon as possible all those projects which are currently in the final stages of planning. 
     In addition, I have asked the Secretary of Commerce to recommend to me, as part of the inventory of approved construction projects, called for earlier in this message, means of increasing the flow of Federal highway funds into actual new construction if economic conditions require such action.

12. Government Procurement in Labor Surplus Areas.

     A principal purpose of the proposed Area Redevelopment Act is to create new jobs in chronic labor surplus areas by bringing in new private industries. It would be anomalous for the Government to urge these locations on private industry while ignoring these areas in the location of its own activities. Agencies of the Federal Government, in locating new facilities or deciding upon the use of existing facilities, are directed to give every reasonable preference to labor surplus areas. 
     And I have today sent a directive to the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Labor, and the General Services Administration requesting prompt steps to improve the machinery by which Federal contracts can be channeled to firms located in labor surplus areas.

III. PROMOTION OF ECONOMIC GROWTH AND PRICE STABILITY

     I have emphasized that the solution to our economic problem requires a program that goes well beyond anti-recession measures, important as these are to the relief of distress and the reversal of economic decline. Equally important are measures for the longer pull to restore our economy to its full potential and to accelerate economic growth. Fortunately, the measures to overcome recession, to take up the slack, and to speed growth all reinforce each other. 
     Today, most industries have the facilities to produce well above current levels. They lack only customers. As a nation, we lose not only $30 to $40 billion of production per year. We also lose the vital incentives which capacity operation gives for expansion and modernization of plant and equipment. The measures I have proposed to reduce unemployment and stimulate markets will help to restore these incentives for economic growth.

1. Special Tax Incentives to Investment.

     Expansion and modernization of the nation's productive plant is essential to accelerate economic growth and to improve the international competitive position of American industry. Embodying modern research and technology in new facilities will advance productivity, reduce costs, and market new products. Moreover, an early stimulus to business investment will promote recovery and increase employment. 
     Among the reforms of the Federal tax system which I expect to propose at a later date is a modification of the income tax laws to provide additional incentives for investment in plant and equipment. To avoid a net revenue loss, I will also recommend measures to remove several unwarranted special tax benefits, and to improve tax compliance and administration. It should be possible to reform the tax system to stimulate economic growth, without reducing revenues and without violating the basic principles of fairness in taxation.

2. Investment in Human Resources.

     Another fundamental ingredient of a program to accelerate long-run economic growth is vigorous improvement in the quality of the Nation's human resources. Modern machines and advanced technology are not enough, unless they are used by a labor force that is educated, skilled and in good health. This is one important reason why, in the legislative programs that I will submit in the days to come, I will emphasize so strongly programs to raise the productivity of our growing population, by strengthening education, health, research and training activities.

3. Investment in Natural Resources.

     The economic growth of the United States has been favored by an abundant supply of natural resources of almost every sort. But resource needs and supplies are not static. As our needs mount, as past reserves are depleted, and as technological requirements change, we must constantly develop new supplies if growth is not to be inhibited. 
     Exhaustion of low-cost domestic mineral deposits is a growing problem which calls for technological advance and new national long-range minerals policy. 
     Our water resources programs, including flood control, irrigation, navigation, watershed development, water pollution control - and above all, water desalinization - require priority attention. In addition, we need to develop sound and uniform standards for sharing costs between Federal, State, and local governments. 
     Improvement of our forest resources will require expanded Government credit sources for the development of woodland properties, more research on forest management, additional funds for cooperative forest programs, acceleration of the national forest program, and improvement of grazing resources. 
     Also essential to economic growth are long-range energy resource development and accelerated programs for economical production of energy from nuclear sources, including nuclear fusion. We must begin now also to plan for regional cooperative pooling of electrical power. Both efficiency and growth goals will be served if we interconnect our hydroelectric and thermal power resource plants.

4. Productivity and Price Stability.

     Rapid technological change is resulting in serious employment dislocations, which deny us the full stimulus to growth which advancing technology makes possible. Labor and industry have demonstrated cooperative initiative in working out solutions in specific plants and industries. Government action is also necessary, not only to maintain an environment favorable to economic growth, but also to deal with special problems in communities and industries suffering from economic dislocations and to help those who through unemployment are bearing an unfair share of the burden of technological change. 
     I have dealt with some of these problems elsewhere in this message, in connection with unemployment insurance, aid to depressed areas, and efforts to broaden the services of the United States Employment Service. 
     Government can help further by encouraging labor and management to find ways to smooth the adjustment to technological change and thus to maintain and re-enforce the favorable attitude toward economic progress that characterizes American business and labor alike. Accordingly, I shall issue an executive order establishing the President's Advisory Committee on Labor-Management Policy, with members drawn from labor, management, and the public. The Committee is directed to advise the President with respect to actions that may be taken by labor, management, and the public which will promote free and responsible collective bargaining, industrial peace, sound wage policies, sound price policies and stability, a higher standard of living, increased productivity, and America's competitive position in world markets. It will consider national manpower needs and the special benefits and problems created by automation and other technological advances. I look to the Committee to make an important contribution to labor-management relations and an understanding of their importance to the stability of prices and the health of the economy. 
     The course of the American price level depends in substantial measure on wage and price decisions of labor and management. This dependence grows in importance as the economy moves toward full employment. All of us must now be conscious of the need for policies that enable American goods to compete successfully with foreign goods. We cannot afford unsound wage and price movements which push up costs, weaken our international competitive position, restrict job opportunities, and jeopardize the health of our domestic economy. 
     Price stability will also be aided by the adoption of a tax incentive plan mentioned earlier, which will encourage a higher rate of business investment in improved plants and equipment. 
     Price increases for many products and services have occurred because these industries have lagged behind in the march of productivity and technological advance. Indeed, in the present economic situation, a stepping-up of productivity improvement throughout the economy would contribute to the achievement of price stability. 
     We must not as a nation come to accept the proposition that reasonable price stability can be achieved only by tolerating a slack economy, chronic unemployment, and a creeping rate of growth. 
     Neither will we seek to buy short-run economic gains by paying the price of excessive increases in the cost of living. Always a cruel tax upon the weak, inflation is now the certain road to a balance of payments crisis and the disruption of the international economy of the Western World. 
     Inflation has no single cause. There have been times in the postwar period when prices rose sharply in response to a rate of total spending in excess of our capacity to produce. The government will not contribute to this process, and we shall use the powerful tools of fiscal and monetary policy to arrest any such movement if it should threaten in the year ahead. Some price increases, particularly among the consumer services, have been caused by the failure of productive resources to move promptly in response to basic shifts in the pattern of demand. We shall seek means to encourage the movement of manpower and capital into sectors of expanding demand.

CONCLUSION

     I have sought in this message to propose a program to restore momentum to the American economy. I have recommended measures designed to set us firmly on the road to full recovery and sustained growth. But if these measures prove to be inadequate to the task, I shall submit further proposals to the Congress within the next 75 days. We will do what needs to be done to fulfill the high promise of the American economy.

JOHN F. KENNEDY





 


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Greg Burnham
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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#18 Greg Burnham

Greg Burnham

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 11:55 AM

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18.

 

Remarks on Greeting Representatives of the Baptist World Alliance at the White House. 

February 2, 1961


 

     I WANT TO EXPRESS my great appreciation for you coming here today and I am most impressed in hearing the litany of places - Japan, Korea, the Congo. 


     It is a wonderful thing, what you are doing. Some of you will be away for 5 years. You have a great tradition in your denomination of freedom and you can't have religious freedom without political freedom. The people of this country are strongly behind you and any help that we can give should be made known. 


     As I said in the State of the Union Message - one of the great ironies is that the Communists have been able to secure great devotion to their program and too often our people are identified with a devotion to material things. You are helping to change this. 
 


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Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#19 Greg Burnham

Greg Burnham

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 11:56 AM

--

 

19.

 

Statement by the President Following a Conference With Secretary Ribicoff on Cuban Refugee Problems. 

February 3, 1961

 

     I HAVE CONFERRED with Secretary Abraham Ribicoff concerning the Secretary's on-the-spot investigation made at my direction on the problems of Cuban refugees in southern Florida. 
     Secretary Ribicoff paid tribute to the refugees as a proud and resourceful people, whose courage and fortitude in the face of tragic disruption of their lives is magnificent. 
     At the same time he reported that many of the refugees are now in serious need. They are living in extremely crowded quarters. Their resources have been exhausted or greatly depleted. Health and educational facilities are badly overtaxed. 
     Secretary Ribicoff praised the exceptional efforts of voluntary welfare agencies, and State and local officials, to cope with the problems which have been created by the influx of refugees from oppression in their homeland. But he emphasized that the increasing number of refugees, and the personal circumstances of many of them, had become more onerous than private and local agencies could any longer bear alone. 
     The Secretary said that immigration authorities estimated there are already 66,000 Cubans in this country, with at least 32,000 in the Miami area. To meet their minimal needs, the personal resources of many of the refugees have been exhausted and the available resources of voluntary and local authorities badly overstrained. 
     As a result of the conference this afternoon, I have directed Secretary Ribicoff to take the following actions on behalf of the United States Government: 
     1. Provide all possible assistance to voluntary relief agencies in providing daily necessities for many of the refugees, for resettling as many of them as possible, and for securing jobs for them. 
     2. Obtain the assistance of both private and governmental agencies to provide useful employment opportunities for displaced Cubans, consistent with the overall employment situation prevailing in Florida. 
     3. Provide supplemental funds for the resettlement of refugees in other areas, including transportation and adjustment costs to the new communities and for their eventual return to Miami for repatriation to their homeland as soon as that is again possible. 
     4. Furnish financial assistance to meet basic maintenance requirements of needy Cuban refugee families in the Miami area as required in communities of resettlement, administered through Federal, State and local channels and based on standards used in the community involved. 
     5. Provide for essential health services through the financial assistance program supplemented by child health, public health services, and other arrangements as needed. 
     6. Furnish Federal assistance for local public school operating costs related to the unforeseen impact of Cuban refugee children on local teaching facilities. 
     7. Initiate needed measures to augment training and educational opportunities for Cuban refugees, including physicians, teachers, and those with other professional backgrounds. 
     8. Provide financial aid for the care and protection of unaccompanied children - the most defenseless and troubled group among the refugee population. 
     9. Undertake a surplus food distribution program to be administered by the county welfare department, with surplus foods distributed by public and voluntary agencies to needy refugees. 
     I hope that these measures will be understood as an immediate expression of the firm desire of the people of the United States to be of tangible assistance to the refugees until such time as better circumstances enable them to return to their permanent homes in health, in confidence, and with unimpaired pride. 
     I am particularly interested in Secretary Ribicoff's proposal to make effective use of the faculty of the University of Havana, three-fourths of which are reported to be in south Florida at the present time. I have asked Secretary Ribicoff to examine how this community of scholars could be most effectively used to keep alive the cultural and liberal traditions for which this faculty has been justly noted. It represents a great inter-American asset, for their own people, for this country and for the entire hemisphere. I have asked the Secretary to report by March 1st on how these great intellectual abilities can be most effectively employed. 
     I also want to commend Secretary Ribicoff for the constructive, humanitarian and immediate program proposed to assist the Cuban refugees. He said that he hoped that it would be considered first and foremost an essential humanitarian act by this country. But he also wanted it to indicate the resolve of this nation to help those in need who stand with the United States for personal freedom and against Communist penetration of the Western Hemisphere. 
     I have consulted with Budget Director David E. Bell on means for financing these interim measures, which are expected to cost about 4 million dollars through the remainder of this fiscal year.

 

NOTE: Secretary Ribicoff's report on effective use of the faculty of the University of Havana, in the form of a letter to the President dated March 14, was released by the White House on March 17. See the President's letter of that date, Item 86. 
 


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Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

Website:

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#20 Greg Burnham

Greg Burnham

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 11:58 AM

--

 

20.

 

Telegram to the Mayors of U.S. Cities Urging Increased Urban Renewal Activity. 

February 3, 1961

[Released February 3, 1961. Dated February 3, 1961]

 

     OUR EFFORTS to improve the employment situation can be helped considerably by increased urban renewal activity. Just as in the case of your city, there are many projects now underway or whose final plans have been approved in many cities that can be speeded up creating additional jobs immediately. I have directed the Housing and Home Finance Agency officials in Washington and in regional offices to eliminate all delay and to cooperate with local authorities in beginning construction of these projects at the earliest possible time and in maintaining steady efforts to complete them. Your city's rebuilding program can be accelerated and at the same time jobs can be provided to help meet our nation's unemployment problem. I urge you to do everything within your ability to eliminate delay and I promise you the full cooperation of the Federal Government to this end.

JOHN F. KENNEDY

NOTE: The White House release of the text of this telegram also lists the names of the 297 mayors to whom it was sent. 
  
 


_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 
Greg Burnham
Admin

 

 

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

Website:

AssassinationOfJFK.net Main Page

 

Forum:

AssassinationOfJFK.net Research Forum

 
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