John F. Kennedy photo

Telegram from Senator John F. Kennedy

September 05, 1960

Following is the text of a telegram Senator John F. Kennedy transmitted to the Honorable Christian Herter, Secretary of State, September 5, 1960:

As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I am concerned about reports that the NATO base in Athens has been fueling Russian planes en route to the Congo which have been used for purposes hostile to the efforts of the United Nations.

I would appreciate information as to the following:

1. Is this report true?

2. If true, how long has this fueling been going on and how many planes have been serviced?

3. For what purposes were these planes used in the Congo?

4. If true, is the fueling continuing?

5. What effort is the United States making to have this practice ceased?

6. Is the base under the control of NATO or the Greek authorities?

7. Who has financed the construction of the base?

I am extremely concerned as I know you are about expanding Communist influence in the Congo. I regard the Congo as a Russian test for the United Nations and I feel the U.N. should be given every possible means of support and that Russian intervention should be discouraged.

I would appreciate your forwarding a response to me tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Olympic Hotel in Seattle, Wash.



John F. Kennedy, Telegram from Senator John F. Kennedy Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives