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12/29
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Subject

Thompson sworn in as Ambas-
sador to the USSR (bio-
graphic details).

Goldberg: "International Law in
the United Nations."

U.S.-Japan fishery discussions.

Rusk: death of former Secre-
tary Christian A. Herter.



* Not printed.

t Held for a later issue of the Bulletin.



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THE OFFICIAL WEEKLY RECORD OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY



THE

DEPARTMENT

OF

STATE

BULLETIN



Vol. LVI, No. USB




January 23, 1967



ECRETARY RUSK DISCUSSES PROSPECTS FOR 1967 ON "FACE THE NATION"

Transcript of Interview 126

INTERNATIONAL LAW IN THE UNITED NATIONS
by Ambassador Arthur J. Goldberg HO

EUROPE AND AMERICA— PARTNERS IN TECHNOLOGY
by Ambassador George C. McGhee H8



1



For index see inside hack cover



Secretary Rusk Discusses Prospects for 1967
on "Face the Nation''



Following is the transcript of an interview
with Secretary Rusk on the Columbia Broad-
casting System's television and radio pro-
gram "Face the Nation" on January 1.
Interviewing the Secretary were Martin
Agronsky and Marvin Kalb of CBS News
and Jesse L. Cook of Time magazine.

Mr. Agronsky: First, Mr. Secretary, may
I wish you a happy new year.

Secretary Rusk: Thank you very much.

Mr. Agronsky: Mr. Secretary, the Commu-
nist Viet Cong today proposed a week-long-
truce from February 8 to 15 in Viet-Nam.
Will we accept it?

Secretary Rusk: Well, that will be a mat-
ter of consultation among all of the govern-
ments that have troops in South Viet-Nam,
particularly with the South Vietnamese Gov-
ernment, but with the others. It would not be
for me to say at this particular moment what
their attitude will be, because that requires
consultation.

As you know, they took the initiative in
suggesting a 4-day truce at Tet.

[Announcement.]

Mr. Agronsky: Mr. Secretary, in a letter to
our U.N. Ambassador, Mr. Goldberg, the
U.N. Secretary-General, U Thant, yesterday
again called on the United States to make an
unconditional hold of bombing in Viet-Nam
as a first step toward a lasting peace.'

Now, Mr. Goldberg immediately answered
that he could not make — we could not accept
a unilateral cessation of bombing unless there
was some sign from Hanoi that they were
prepared to meet with us for truce negotia-
tions.

Is that now the American position? Could



' See p. 137.



we not under any circumstances end the*
bombing unilaterally, and will we not?

Secretary Rusk: Well, the Secretary-
General's first point was that we ourselves
stop the bombing. He has in his briefcase,
publicly as well as privately, a commitment
by us that we are prepared to stop the bomb-
ing as a step toward peace.

His second point was a mutual deescala-
tion of the violence by both sides. So far as
we know, he has nothing in his briefcase or
that subject from the other side.

Now, the present position is that on his
three points, Hanoi has rejected points 2 anc
3. On the matter of negotiations with al
those taking part in the fighting, Hanoi ha.'
said that the Viet Cong must be accepted a;
the sole representative of the South Vietnam
ese people.

Now, we hope the Secretary-General, witl
very wide authority as far as we are con
cerned, will be able to probe the other sid
to find out what the effect would be if w
stopped the bombing.

You see, Mr. Agronsky, we went througl
5 years without any bombing of North Viet
Nam, during which we went to the Laotiai
conference and signed an agreement whicl
was not performed in any respect by th
other side — 5 years during which we hai
hundreds of contacts with other government
trying to bring the entire Southeast Asia)
problem to a peaceful settlement.

Then we had a brief 5-day pause, and oi
the third day we had the message from al
interested Communist governments that the;
had no interest in this.

Then over the turn of the year we had '<
37-day pause, much longer than had beei
suggested by some of those on the other sid



126



DEPARTMENT OF STATE BULLETIl



&



as a pause to explore the possibilities of
peaceful settlement.

Now, we are prepared, as President John-
son has made it clear over and over again,
i:o take the first steps and to go more than
halfway to bring this matter to a peaceful
conclusion. But what we feel that we are
entitled to know is what would happen if we
iid; and no one, literally no one, has been
ible to give us the slightest suggestion as to
ivhat would happen if we stopped the bomb-
ng, other than that men and arms would
30ur in from the North against the South.

Now, if anyone can tell us that that would
lot be the case, we would be very glad to
lear about it.

tombing of North Viet-Nam

Mr. Cook: There are important psycho-
ogical costs, though, that the bombing is
ausing us, Mr. Secretary. Does the air war
ave a logic of its own ? Do we not stop now
ecause it would lead the other side simply
) think that we are too weak to continue?

Secretary Rusk: Well, Mr. Cook, let us take

look at what would happen if we stopped
le bombing and then nothing else whatever
ould happen.

North Viet-Nam would be safe and secure
nd comfortable, and meanwhile they would
e sending their regiments and their divi-
ons into South Viet-Nam to try to take over
outh Viet-Nam by force.

Now, the bombing of North Viet-Nam is
rectly related to what they are doing in the
3uth. The key point in this is that this could
op literally this afternoon at sundown if
le other side would let us know that they
•e holding their hand from the effort to seize
)uth Viet-Nam by force.

Now, we have had a long and tortuous road
nee 1945 in trying to build some peace in

e world. And we have not come to where

,'ie are by giving away Iran to Mr. Stalin's

. :j'rces, or the eastern provinces of Turkey,

'jI- welcoming the guerrillas into Greece, or

ving away Berlin, or giving away South

orea. This has been a tough struggle, to

•ganize a peace in the world. And that is

1 we are interested in.



Now, the problem there is: Can the stop-
ping of the bombing lead toward peace?

If someone — you or the Secretary-General
or anyone from the other side — can give us
any suggestions, any indication, any infor-
mation, we will look at it very quickly. The
President has emphasized over and over
again that we will go more than halfway.
But you cannot stop this war just by stop-
ping a half of it, if the other side is going
to pursue it.

Need for Serious Response From Hanoi

Mr. Kalb: Mr. Secretary, in this very spirit,
sir, within the last couple of weeks the North
Vietnamese have allowed and have indicated
that they will allow a handful of American
journalists into Hanoi to cover the war.
There are about four American women there
now who are interested in trying to get
peace. The VC radio announces today that
they will go Prime Minister [Nguyen Cao]
Ky 3 days more on a Tet period — he asked
for 4, and they are ready to go 7.

Is it possible that all of this together might
be regarded as the indication that we are all
seeking ?

Secretary Rusk: Well, the indication that
is important is the indication that can be
specific and can be private and can be serious.

I must say — and I regret this — that we do
not yet see an indication from the other side,
by the channels that are readily available,
that they are prepared to move this matter
toward peace.

Now, we have ourselves approved pass-
ports for a considerable number of gentlemen
in your profession, and only a very few of
them have been able to get into Hanoi. We
would be glad to have others go and to ask
some of the searching questions about the
question of peace.

That is: What about their more than 20
regiments in South Viet-Nam? What about
their refusal to come to a Geneva conference
on Viet-Nam or on Laos or Cambodia ? What
about their refusal to demilitarize the demili-
tarized zone along the 17th parallel? What
about their opposition to efforts by the ICC
[International Control Commission] to as-



IIlNUARY 23, 1967



127



sure Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia that his
country can remain neutral and uninvolved
in this situation, or the steady refusals of
negotiations proposed by 17 nonalined na-
tions, by President Johnson, by His Holiness
the Pope, by the Secretary-General, by all
sorts of — by the Prime Ministers of the
Commonwealth ?

These are the questions that ought to be
asked. And thus far we have had answers^ —
we know what they are. But they ought to
be probed further.

Mr. Kalb: If I understand you, then, sir,
what you are saying is that it is a specific
and, as you put it, serious kind of indication
that you want from the other side, rather
than any kind of cosmetics —

Secretary Rusk: Well, this is a serious mat-
ter, this is a serious matter.

Mr. Kalb: We are trying to get at a defi-
nition —

Secretary Rusk: We are entitled to be seri-
ous about it. After all, we know that during
these two truces we just had — the Christmas
and New Year's truce — that the other side
is undertaking — has undertaken — substantial
resupply operations. We know that in certain
instances they have maneuvered their forces
like Olympic dash men at the starting gate to
take off just as soon as the truce is over.

These are serious matters. And we cannot
approach them in terms of vagueness or sen-
timentality or just hopes.

There are plenty of ways open in which
we can be — we are in touch with the other
side seriously and serious responses can be
exchanged.

Prospects for Peace in Viet-Nam

Mr. Agronsky: Mr. Secretary, pessimism
permeates everything you have said about
the prospects for peace in Viet-Nam in 1967.
You don't think, then, do you, that there is a
possibility of ending the war under the pres-
ent circumstances ?

Secretary Rusk: No, I think there is a pos-
sibility. The task of diplomacy is to proceed
on the basis of optimism. And I never close
the door to the possibility that this situation
will change.



128



I do believe that one basis for optimism is i
that the other side must surely now under-
stand that they are not going to succeed in
seizing South Viet-Nam by force. Now,
maybe that will bring about a significant
change in their political approach to this
question.

But if I am pessimistic, it is simply because
we have not yet seen any indication from the
other side that they are prepared to give up i
their idea of seizing South Viet-Nam by I
force.

You see, they opposed the free elections in i
South Viet-Nam for a constituent assembly; ;
they won't let the question of reunification
be decided by the free choice of the peoples
concerned. They refuse conferences and ne-
gotiations and all those devices by which
crises of this sort have been solved in years j
past.

We haven't had one iota of response or
compliance by them with the Laotian agree-
ment of 1962, for example, which they signed, j,,.
along with the rest of us. ■pi

So there does need to be a change of pur-
pose and a change of ambition in Hanoi, be-
cause otherwise at the end of the day, Mr.
Agronsky, someone has to make a very
simple decision: Here come two more regi-
ments of North Vietnamese down the road
across the 17th parallel; now, do you oppose
them or do you get out of their way? Now,
so long as that occurs, somebody has to make
that decision. And our decision is that undei
our treaty commitments we must meet them,
along with our allies, and not get out of their
way.

Mr. Agronsky: Our commander in Viet-
Nam, General [William C] Westmoreland
has indicated that it may be a matter of years,
as he puts it, rather than months — this wai
will go on for a matter of years rather than
months, and everything you say seems tc
reflect the same estimate. Is that correct?

Secretary Rusk: Well, I think that we oughl
to be prepared, here at home and over there
to do what is required to be done for what
ever time it is required. That does not mean
however, that there may not be some possi-
bility that this crisis, along with other crises



DEPARTMENT OF STATE BULLETIN



may be resolved before anyone really expects
it. In other words, we are trying to resolve
this problem literally tomorrow.

This is why we said to Foreign Secretary
'Brown — George Brown, of Britain: If you
can get the others to come to a meeting of
North and South Viet-Nam and the United
States, we will be there, we will be there.
That is why we have given the Secretary-
General of the United Nations carte blanche
to see what he can work out in his contacts
with the other side to bring this matter to a
peaceful settlement. That is why we have
said "negotiations without preconditions" to
;he 17 neutral countries, or why President
Johnson talked about unconditional discus-
sions.

We will take a look at all of it with
;he other side — or even a part of it.

There is no reason on earth, for example,
vhy the nations involved here on both sides
!Ould not agree with Prince Sihanouk's re-
luest for assistance in maintaining the neu-
rality and the territorial integrity of
Cambodia. And if there is seriousness on the
ther side, there is no reason why we cannot
tisure the demilitarization of the demili-
arized zone between North and South Viet-
nam. If we cannot solve the whole problem,
^e are prepared to try to solve a part of it.
But you gentlemen know that there has
een no response from the other side.
Mr. Cook: Mr. Secretary, what about
ttempts in 1967 to resolve — to push the
latter a little farther by heavier military
ction of our own? As you know, you are
acing a more hawkish Congress than you
id in the last session. There have been sug-
estions that the administration will use the
ist year before the next presidential election
ear to try and achieve some kind of settle-
lent. And if diplomatic channels are as
ogged as you suggest, perhaps a more pow-
rful military action is the only course.
Secretary Rusk: Well, first let me say that
16 diplomatic channels are not clogged. The
oint is that, with diplomatic channels, we
not find a basis for peace here.
But in any event, on the matter of military
irces, Secretary [of Defense Robert S.]



».:



NUARY 23, 1967



McNamara has pointed out that there will be
additional forces in South Viet-Nam during
1967, although the rate of increase will not
be as high as it was during 1966 unless there
is some unforeseen circumstance that we are
not now at the moment taking into account.
I myself believe that there must come a
time when the authorities in Hanoi will
recognize that what they are trying to do is
not on, and therefore either de facto, by
action on the ground, or in some sort of nego-
tiation or conference, their effort must be
brought to a halt. And we are prepared to
take that up in either way, either by recipro-
cal action taken on the ground or by some
sort of discussion or negotiation.

The Pacification Effort

Mr. Cook: On that score, Mr. Secretary, it
has been suggested in Washington that they
won't reach that decision until progress is
made on the pacification task, until the infra-
structure of the Viet Cong is destroyed or
seriously damaged. And yet only a few weeks
ago Ambassador [Henry Cabot] Lodge was
here in Washington and conceded, despite all
the efforts of the year — the Honolulu Con-
ference, the Manila Conference — as he put it,
that isn't rolling as yet. Are there any pros-
pects for improvement in the next year?

Secretary Rusk: Well, I think it is recog-
nized this is a very important point in terms
of not only what happens in South Viet-
Nam but in the attitude of the other side.

When it becomes clear that that infrastruc-
ture of subversion and the guerrilla structure
in the countryside is not able to maintain
itself, I think this will be the signal to the
other side that what they are trying to do
is not on.

As you know, the South Vietnamese forces
are now being turned more and more to this
pacification effort, which is basically a seize-
and-hold protection for the villagers so that
they can get on with their work without
harassment by the Viet Cong. It has taken
some time to move into that stage, because
there were other very urgent issues, such as
the operations of the main force regiments
and battalions of the Viet Cong. But that is



129



moving, and we hope to make some signifi-
cant headway on that during 1967.

Organizing a Durable Peace

Mr. Kalb: Mr. Secretary, a couple of days
ago you spent about an hour and 45 minutes
talking with religious leaders. There have
been letters sent to the President almost
warning that young people may not choose
to serve, even if they have to go to jail to
stay with that conviction. And there is at
least the appearance of a ground swell of
public opinion riding against the administra-
tion's policy in Viet-Nam.

Two questions on this, sir: One, do you
regard this as a serious diplomatic problem
in terms of how Hanoi sees this all? And,
secondly, do you regard it as a ground swell,
and if so, how do you ride against it? I am
trying to gage your own estimate of this.

Secretary Rusk: Well, I think that in the
first place there is a diplomatic problem for
which we cannot offer much of a remedy,
because it is quite clear that Hanoi would like
to lean on evidences of disagreement here at
home to encourage their own hopes. But
nevertheless, we are a free society and we
must have a vigorous public discussion
of these issues here at home.

The other question: We are at the present
time in a situation where about half the
American people can no longer remember
World War H and the events that led up to
it. And the overriding issue for us and the
new generation is: How do you organize a
durable peace in the world?

Now, when I was a student they said:
Don't worry about this place out here; it is
too far away; or, this is not our business; or,
give them another bite and perhaps the ag-
gressor will be satisfied. And that led an
entire generation into World War H, with
frightful catastrophe for the entire world.

We came out of that, and we tried to set
down what was necessary to organize a peace
— and we should all read article 1 of the
United Nations Charter on that, because
those are the lessons of World War H. And
let me say in parentheses that we better hold
on to those lessons, because we are not going



130



to have any chance to draw the lessons from
world war HI.

So the overriding issue is how to organize
a durable peace. And at the heart of that is
the right of all nations, large and small, to
live at peace without being molested by their
neighbors. It is just as simple as that, al- ||
though some people are inclined to call that
kind of language trite. The notion that we
leave the aggressor free to follow his appetite
is a notion that leads us straight into war.
This is where the warmongering is these days
— those who refuse to face the necessity of
organizing a durable peace. That is our cen-
tral question.

Mr. Cook: Those who accept this strategy
of the administration still have some ques-
tions about tactics. Do you think in retrospect
it was wise to bomb so close to Hanoi during
the Christmas season, with all its overtones,
or to continue to land troops —

Secretary Rusk: President Johnson spoke
yesterday at his press conference about our
bombing policy. We are bombing military
targets. Our Armed Forces are under almost
unprecedented instructions with respect tc
avoiding civilian casualties. And we know
that they go to great lengths to carry oul
those instructions in the spirit in which th«
instructions were given.

Quite frankly, Mr. Cook, what I could d(
with is more compassion and more sympathj
with those tens of thousands of civilians ii
South Viet-Nam who have been killed an(
kidnaped by the Viet Cong and North Viet
namese forces as a matter of deliberate policj
and the far larger tens of thousands of Soutl
Vietnamese military who have been kille(
and wounded simply because North Viet-Nan
is trying to seize South Viet-Nam by force

Now, the President has indicated what oui
policy is on this, and we will continue to pur i
sue that policy.

But one of the things that is missing hen
in some discussion is any notion of reci
procity. |

You mentioned one of the groups that cami
to see me. I try to see different groups fron
time to time who want to express differen
views. But I say to them privately ver;



DEPARTMENT OF STATE BULLETIJ



M



often: What do you want Hanoi to do as a
contribution toward peace in this situation?
And they say: Well, we want them to take
their troops home; or, we want them to stop
their infiltration. And I say: But why don't
you say that? Why don't you say that when
you write me an open letter? Because if that
is your position, you ought to make your posi-
tion known.

The problem is that some groups, I think,
would feel embarrassed because they know
that Hanoi would tell them — would reject
what they have to suggest.

Mr. Agronsky: Mr. Secretary, would you
regard the dispatches of Harrison Salisbury
from Hanoi to the New York Times as dis-
torting the perspective in which we should
be seeing the war, as being unfair to our
position and to our policies?

Secretary Rusk: No, I don't want to get
into the particular personal argument with
a particular reporter. He presumably will be
3ut of North Viet-Nam one of these days,
md you gentlemen can put to him all the
questions you want to — and that is your job;
t is not mine. I do observe that from his dis-
patches you can draw the conclusion that we
ire not going after the civilian population
>f North Viet-Nam. Hanoi is there. Hanoi is
here. And you have to look pretty hard to
ind some damage inside Hanoi — and a good
leal of speculation about whether it was
aused by SAM's or by antiaircraft or what
night have actually caused it. But you will
lave your chance presumably to go over
hese matters with him when he comes out
f North Viet-Nam.

.ey to Negotiations Lies in Hanoi

Mr. Cook: Mr. Secretary, do you see any
opes for peace or at least negotiations in the
cheduled emergence late this year of a
ivilian government in Viet-Nam ?

Secretary Rusk: Well, the constituent as-
embly has been making very good progress
1 drafting its constitution. We would hope
erhaps by March or April that that con-
titution would be proclaimed, following
'hich there would be national elections for
civilian government.



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 56, Jan- Mar 1967) → online text (page 28 of 90)