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JFK Reportedly Insulted Canadian Prime Minister

Apr. 6, 1963 - Canadian newspapers reported today that President Kennedy insulted Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker (right) in a secret paper mislaid by a White House adviser in Ottawa two years ago. The Toronto Globe and Mail confirmed that the paper exists “and that it contains at least one unflattering reference to Mr. Diefenbaker.” According to Canadian reports, the working paper has a marginal scribbled note by Kennedy referring to Diefenbaker and saying, “What do we do about the S.O.B. on this point?” The reports say the paper was lost in Ottawa in May 1961, by White House special assistant Walt W. Rostow during a Kennedy visit to Canada. The paper was reportedly prepared by Rostow for the President’s guidance and dealt with Canada’s eventual role in the Organization of American States. President Kennedy today was reportedly highly incensed by the news story. Presidential Press Secretary Pierre Salinger said the White House would continue its policy of “no comment” on this or any other news report before the Canadian national elections Monday.


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