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Highlights from President Kennedy's News Conference

Apr. 18, 1962 - Following are the major points in President Kennedy’s news conference today:

Steel — He declared that “nothing is to be gained from further public recriminations” now that the steel industry had canceled its $6-a-ton price increase. He said that the Administration recognized steel’s need for profits and said that his policies had been aimed at improving “both profits and incentives to invest.”

Disarmament — He announced that the U.S. had submitted a three-stage blueprint for “complete and general disarmament” at the conference in Geneva this morning. He stressed that the U.S. was making a major effort to gain a “breakthrough” in the arms control talks.

Reserves — He disclosed that he had asked the Army to cancel the court-martial of one protesting Reservist and to end the confinement of another.

Nuclear Test Ban — He said that Soviet responses to Western proposals for a nuclear test-ban agreement had been “very negative.” If no agreement is reached, he said, “we shall proceed” with resumption of atmospheric testing in May.

The Economy — He declared that the last six months would show the highest profits in history, the highest productivity and the most Americans working.

Berlin — He said that the East-West dispute over Berlin remained a “very dangerous area, involving vital interests.” Even though “the temperature has been lowered,” he said, the situation “could blow up at any time.”

Church and State — He declined to comment on the excommunication of three Roman Catholics by the Archbishop of New Orleans for hindering school integration in local parochial schools. Such comment, in light of the constitutionally prescribed separation between church and state, he said, would be “inappropriate.”


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