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JFK: Adlai Stevenson Doing “Excellent” Job at U.N.

Dec. 12, 1962 - President Kennedy told his press conference today that Adlai Stevenson (right) has done an “excellent” job at the U.N. and that no one on the National Security Council characterized Mr. Stevenson’s role in the Cuban crisis as that of an appeaser. The President asserted he did not know who made the critical comments about Mr. Stevenson to Stewart Alsop and Charles Bartlett for their article in the Saturday Evening Post published in the December 8 issue. The article charged that Mr. Stevenson, alone among the President’s advisors, dissented from the firm-action consensus on Cuba and that only Mr. Stevenson was willing to trade American bases abroad for the removal of Soviet missiles from Cuba. It quoted an anonymous source as saying that Mr. Stevenson “wanted a Munich,” in a reference to the 1938 Agreement whereby Nazi Germany was permitted to annex a portion of Czechoslovakia. Today, Mr. Kennedy warmly praised Mr. Stevenson and said the question of who said what during the Cuban crisis should be left to historians. It was the first press conference Mr. Kennedy has had since the article appeared. One of the authors, Charles Bartlett, correspondent of the Chattanooga Times and a close friend of the President, was in the audience.


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