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Robert and Ethel Kennedy Return from World Tour

Feb. 28, 1962 - Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (pictured at Idlewild Airport) returned from his month’s tour around the world today and said he was “encouraged” by the prospects for freedom. Mr. Kennedy, who was accompanied on the trip by his wife, Ethel, said he found much misunderstanding of what was happening in the United States. He said that too many people do not understand the social reforms that have occurred here — Social Security, for example. They have a Communist picture of life under capitalism. “The Communists have dominated the scene among intellectuals and students” in some areas, he said, mentioning Indonesia especially. He then went on: “The Communists have something to sell. They know what they stand for. We have to show what we stand for. We don’t have to say everything is right about the United States — we can admit our mistakes, as the Communists never can. We permit diversity and do not demand that everyone have a government just like ours. We can tell the truth. It’s my judgment that the wave of the future is our democratic system.” Asked whether he had any thoughts of moving from the Justice Department to the foreign field after this trip, he said he would stay at Justice.

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