Columbus Dispatch June 12, 1963

Timing of Kennedy's European Trip Poor
by Alice Widener

Many pro-American diplomats in Rome believe the timing of President Kennedy's trip to Europe is not very advantageous for him.

...underneath the show of good manners... there will be much skepticism about the astuteness of his political and military policies... often-heard description of him goes like this: "He is a likeable young man with immature judgment who talks well but hasn't the will to follow through on the vital decision."

...A high-ranking NATO officer told me in London, "Understandably, President Kennedy would like to turn back the clock of warfare and stop development of nuclear weapons on earth and in space. But this cannot be done."

...he probably will be forced to bring home an account showing big travel expenses but no sales.

New York Times June 15, 1963

President Draws Criticism for Shifts in Programs at Home and Abroad
by Arthur Krock

The tendency of President Kennedy to evade coming to grips with problems until they reach the crisis stage was again emphasized by recent events in both the foreign and domestic policy areas.

...the President's political temporizing with the racial controversy in this country until confronted, as inevitably he would be, by Negro demands for political action that grew with every pressurized concession he made, fits precisely the same pattern of his personal disposition and official policy. So does the ill-timed trip Mr. Kennedy is about to make to Italy, West Germany, and the United Kingdom...

New Yok Times June 21, 1963

p. 2

Special to the New York Times
by Arthur J. Olsen

BONN, June 20--...In his speech at American University on June 10, the President set as his goal an easing of rivalries with the Soviet Union. That conciliatory gesture on East-West relations is regarded here as ruling out any possibility of a strong declaration of the United States and West German mutual interests during Mr. Kennedy's visit.

New York Times June 23, 1963


Is This Trip Necessary?

In the face of much adverse comment and good reasons not to go, President Kennedy is proceeding with his trip to Europe at a most inauspicious time. He will arrive in a Europe in transition, when governments are changing, when the new Pope's coronation will pre-empt popular attention, when the Atlantic community is in considerable disorder...

New York Times June 24, 1963

Dim Prospects for a Salesman
by C. L. Sulzberger

About the only concrete achievement President Kennedy might expect from his European trip is to get some motion into our stalemated plan for a multilateral nuclear force in NATO. But even this prospect is dim.

...his English stopover will appear even more foolish than the rest of the trip.

Ed. note: Hmmm... well at least newspaper writers are much better simply reporting the facts as they occur than they are at prediction.

To wit...

New York Times June 30, 1963

President's Trip to Europe as Seen From Abroad

He Has Strengthened European Confidence in American Leadership
by Drew Middleton


Nationalism of De Gaulle Faces New Challenge

PARIS, June 29--...For the first time, President de Gaulle had been confronted by a Western leader whose ideas on that future [of the Atlantic Community] are as firm as his own, whose confidence in the ultimate triumph of his ideas is as great and who, finally, speaks for the most powerful nation in the community.

The challenge, moreover, was made in Germany, the country to which General de Gaulle looks for maximum support in building the sort of Europe he wants. But Mr. Kennedy's speeches were also read and heard by millions in France and the other states of the new Europe where, for the last six months, Gaullist policies have dominated the discussion.

Effective step

By reasserting the depth of United States commitment to Europe and by refuting every major premise upon which General de Gaulle's policies rest, President Kennedy has raised a standard around which the forces opposed to the French concept of Atlantic cooperation can and will rally. The President's visit has been a bold and, thus far, effective American intervention in the West's most significant debate...

Nothing President Kennedy has said is likely to shake General de Gaulle's conviction that the nation-state is the best base for European cooperation and eventually European union. Nor is there the slightest indication that the general has new cause to doubt his belief that ultimately the United States will withdraw its protection of Europe.

But if Mr. Kennedy has not altered General de Gaulle's own ideas, the President has drastically changed the European situation within which General de Gaulle must work...

By arming General de Gaulle's opponents and discounting his arguments, President Kennedy has strengthened the existing opposition in France and Europe. General de Gaulle's press conference of Jan. 14 barring Britain from the E.E.C. [European Economic Community] threw the debate over Europe's future out of balance. That balance has now been restored.


Bonn-Washington Ties Are Seen Stronger
by Arthur J. Olsen

BERLIN, June 29--Two uninvited guests played major roles in President Kennedy's triumphal tour of West Germany and Berlin this week. Their names were Charles de Gaulle and Nikita Khrushchev...

President Kennedy came to the Federal Republic to deliver to the German people a call to greatness, an invitation to join with the United States and like-minded nations in building "a world of freedom."

His adversaries in that bid for an Atlantic partnership are France, obsessed with national goals, and the Soviet Union, the enemy of Western unity and, above all, German-American unity.

General de Gaulle recently concluded a treaty of cooperation with the Bonn republic that implied a special French-German understanding directed against what General de Gaulle calls the Anglo-Saxon powers. Premier Khrushchev persistently seeks to drive a wedge between Bonn and Washington by inviting deals with either at the expense of the other...

President Kennedy set for himself as a major endeavor the restoring of a sense of intimacy with the Bonn government and the winning of its commitment to the large goals he has set for the Atlantic community. In this he appears to have been successful...

Since the death more than three years ago of Chancellor Adenauer's close friend, John Foster Dulles, relations between Bonn and Washington have been formally good but actually wry and mistrustful. After the 1960 election Dr. Adenauer lacked confidence in the young American President and an anti-German bias, unacknowledged but obvious, colored the thinking of the men of the New Frontier, most of whom grew up in the 1930's when Nazism and Fascism oppressed the political thought of liberals. A large measure of the reserve that separated Bonn and Washington appears now to have been swept away...

The extraordinary personal acclaim accorded Mr. Kennedy by the people of Cologne, Bonn, Frankfurt and West Berlin certainly contributed greatly to the new atmosphere of intimacy...

As the Presidential plane rose from Tegel Airport Wednesday evening, Dr. Adenauer was heard to murmur, "The response of the German people--I was amazed."...

The de Gaulle "vision" has fascinated some West Germans. But, as one politician observed, now there is a larger "Kennedy vision."...

Mr. Kennedy, perhaps, paid one price in coming to Germany and linking the fate of the Bonn Republic and West Berlin so intimately with that of the United States and the rest of the free world. This was to arouse the Communist world to examine again his speech at American University June 10, calling for a beginning of the end of the cold war.

At the Berlin City Hall Wednesday, when Mr. Kennedy sharply challenged the possibility of working with Communists, some listeners wondered whether he was jettisoning his "strategy of peace." A few hours later he returned to the conciliatory spirit he showed before coming to Germany.

Mr. Khrushchev arrived in Berlin yesterday determined, at least for propaganda purposes, to maintain that the United States President displayed his true hand at City Hall.

However that may be, Mr. Kennedy's visit to West Germany and Berlin was, in Dr. Adenauer's words, "a political act" of major significance in international affairs.

New York Times June 30, 1963

Cheers and Issues

The President on Tour

For John F. Kennedy the man it was a week of extraordinary personal achievement. For John F. Kennedy the President it was a week of testing, the outcome of which remains to be seen.

...The President's trip is one that many critics said he should not make. He should stay home, they said, to deal with the race crisis. His trip could accomplish nothing, they said...

The trip got off to a deceptively chilly start... but then came a 35-mile drive to Cologne... More than a million Rhinelanders lined the route, chanting "Ken-ned-DEE" and wildly applauding. In Cologne itself he drew a crowd of 350,000... Mr. Kennedy got a roar when he ended a speech with "Kolle Alaaf!" meaning "Hooray for Cologne!" In Bonn he got another cheer when he said Chicago has more ethnic Germans than the West German capital. All this about 20,000,000 West Germans watched on TV.

...Tuesday came another motorcade, another million cheering Germans and another show of "Willkommen" signs... In a speech that was translated for broadcast on TV in 12 countries, Mr. Kennedy struck the keynote of interdependence between the United States and a "fully cohesive Europe."

...The emotional climax came Wednesday when the President flew to Berlin. Still another million, at least, screamed "Ken-ned-DEE" in the streets. One placard held up for him to read said: "John. You our best friend."

The TV cameras were on Mr. Kennedy for most of the eight hours he was in the city, and especially at the dramatic moments which he gazed in silence over The Wall at the Brandenburg Gate, where the Communists had hung great banners between the pillars to block his view; and at Checkpoint Charlie...

In a speech at City Hall he got a tremendous ovation when he flashed another bit of German, saying:

"All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words 'Ich bin ein Berliner.'"