569. Letter from the President to Stevenson, December 51

Dear Adlai:

This is just a note to tell you again how deeply I regret the unfortunate fuss which has arisen over the statements contained in the Saturday Evening Post article. I think you know how greatly we have all admired your performance at the United Nations in general and during the Security Council debate and private negotiations connected with the [Typeset Page 1519] Cuban crisis in particular. Both of us are accustomed to receiving the slings and arrows of those in the press or elsewhere who delight in stirring needless controversy—and I know you share my confidence that this furor will pass as have all the others.

The fact that Charley Bartlett was a co-author of this piece has made this particularly difficult for me—perhaps you have had the same problem with personal friends in the newspaper profession. In this particular case, I did not discuss the Cuban crisis or any of the events surrounding it with any newspapermen—and I am certain that the quotations in the Saturday Evening Post article with respect to your role did not come from the White House, as is clear from its obvious inaccuracies alone. While I realized when Bartlett started this piece that everything controversial in his article would be laid at my door, whether I talked to him or not, I did not feel I could tell him or any other friend in the press what subject to write or not write about.

However, both of us have much more important matters to concern us and the continued success and significance of your role at the UN will soon wash out any doubts others may be trying to plant.


John Kennedy
  1. Expresses regret over statements in the press by Alsop and Bartlett and support for Stevenson. No classification marking. 1 p. Princeton University, Adlai E. Stevenson Papers, John F. Kennedy.