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p. 69.

' For an address by President Johnson at Johns
Hopkins University on Apr. 7, 1965, see ibid., Apr.
26, 1965, p. 606.

It was encouraging in that a wide range
of people that I talked to, all of the way
from graduate students at the University of
Saigon to the President of the Tenant Farm-
ers Union and everything in between, as-
sume a future for their country that is much
deeper than I had any idea would be true.

This assumption was felt through so much
of the Vietnamese society. I suppose I saw
15 provinces and 250 Vietnamese. The great
consensus — if I can borrow a fairly familiar
expression — among them was that the long-
term future of the country is in their hands,
and they are not being Americanized, and
that the military problems are ones that will
be overcome.

They, themselves, by their own conduct,
by the way they invest in their farms and
the way they are electing village leaders, the
way the trade union organizations are mov-
ing, the way the industrialists are spending
money, indicate that they think that they
know how this is all going to come out.

Whether they are right or not is some-
thing that I am not competent to say, but
without that kind of assumption any long-
term economic development would be quite
impossible. With that, it will be.

The second thing that I have spoken to the
President about was also something that I
wasn't prepared for. That is that these are
very hard-working people. In underdevel-
oped countries that I am familiar with this
is not by any means invariably the case.
These are devilishly hard-working individ-
uals, and competent.

I talked to the heads of these big civilian
construction outfits. Ordinarily, a construc-
tion guy always runs down his local labor
— that they are just no good. The contrary
was the case in talking to these big construc-
tion outfits. These fellows come right out of
a rice farm, a paddy, and learn machinery

I saw a 75-year-oId farmer who a week be-
fore had bought a tractor and had learned
to run it in 3 days. I have never heard of
anything of this kind. He had spare parts.

These are extraordinary people. To have

MARCH 20, 1967


been through 20 years of war and still have
this amount of "zip" almost insures their
long-term economic development. Without it
you could have plans a mile high, and beauti-
ful plans, and nothing would have happened.

Well, these are some of the things which I
think are essential.

I am head of a company which I founded
some 12 years ago, engaged in the develop-
ment of various parts of the world, called
Development and Resources Corporation.
This is not going to be a personal enterprise
of mine but a corporate enterprise; so I am
going to draw on quite a team of people. An-
other group will be going out about the 15th
of March. We will have a great deal of coop-
eration from people within the Government,
but it will be a nongovernmental effort.

This is not a part of the Government of
the United States. This is one of the condi-
tions under which I was willing to under-
take this commitment, which is a very heavy
commitment, a moral commitment and phys-
ical commitment: that it should not be a part
of the operations of the Government.

On the other side, Prime Minister
[Nguyen Cao] Ky has appointed Professor
[Nguyen Dang] Thuc, a very remarkable
man who was brought up in Hanoi, a North
Vietnamese originally, who is also going to
head a nongovernmental group.

The reason for its being nongovernmen-
tal, Ky explained to me, was that he believed
that the long-term development of his coun-
try would not be possible unless this group
of planners and developers were not to be
interrupted from time to time by possible
changes in the government.

This is a pretty sophisticated point of view
— and you will not find it anywhere in Latin
America, I might say — to realize that you
have to separate out economic development
from the necessarily changing tides of elec-

Bob Komer has a lot more specific things
to say, but I do come back to surprise at
my own ignorance, which is based upon what
I had been able to read and see here at home,
and I am greatly encouraged.

Q. Mr. Lilienthal, what was the name of ■
your company which will be involved?

Mr. Lilienthal: It is Development and Re-
sources Corporation. Its main headquarters
are in New York City. I am chairman of it. '
This will be built out of the people of this
company and other people we will bring in,
who will conduct what will look like a study,
but it is a study that is intended to produce
some results as early as we can. It is an
attempt to picture the long-term future of
the country.

Q. Sir, do you have an idea or timetable
on this survey?

Mr. Lilienthal: Well, I can bracket it in
this way: The contract between the Gov-
ernment of the United States and Develop-
ment and Resources Corporation is for a
3-year period. This means it is not a
"quickie." It is not something where you go
out in a week and come back and be a Viet-
namese expert. I am not an expert, and if
I were there 10 years instead of 10 days,
I wouldn't be.

But the people on the Vietnamese side are,
and they are considering this in terms of a
minimum of 3 years. I think the effort itself
will probably run through a decade. It in-
volves the whole future of that country. I
think the Vietnamese are prepared for a
10-year effort.

We are only committed to a 3-year period.
I think our first recommendations, specific
ones, will be something like 8 or 9 months
from now.

Q. Those recommendations, sir, will be
made to the Vietnamese counterpart or the
U.S. Government?

Mr. Lilienthal: To both. It will be made on
the Vietnamese side to a special council
which, while I was there, Prime Minister
Ky created to receive these reports. Here it
will be made, of course, to the President and
to Mr. Komer and others working in this
Government, and to the AID group.

It will be the Vietnamese group and our-
selves. His people have reached such a com-
plete accord about how to go at this thing;



they are very practical, hard-headed people.
They are really remarkable in being con-
crete. This is a very unusual thing in this

So we decided we would just live together,
and have offices in the same building. In fact,
we are going to have one big office, in which
both of us will function. This may sound like
a housekeeping business, but it is not. The
temper of this whole enterprise is a joint
one, and this encourages me a great deal.

Q. What are you going to tackle first, sir?

Mr. Lilienthal: It is hard to say. There
are so many things, but there are some that
are obvious. In the long run, and that is
what we are trying to think of first — the
long-term future — there are some fantasti-
cally productive resources of that country
that could change the whole complexion.

One of them is the Delta, so-called, the
Delta of the Mekong River. That may well
be the first, to look at the long-term future
of that area which is producing enormous
amounts of rice, but at one time produced
even more and is now producing vegetables
— the most beautiful vegetables I ever saw.

This river has water resources that are
almost unmanageable. I thought I knew
rivers, but I have never seen a river with
such fertile land stretching out as far as the
eye can see. This is like Texas with a lot
of water and no oil. And there may be oil,
too, for all we know. This would be one of
the first things.

Q. Is there any way to say hotv much this
project is going to cost? What is your con-
tract ?

Mr. Lilienthal: Our contract is a relatively
small sum. In the 3-year period initially it is
something like $1,500,000 for the costs of
people. This may be upped or it may be
down. But the substantial costs, you can't

I don't see any grandiose projects involved
in this, at this juncture, for the next few
years. But I would like to examine that. It
may be a very good investment to recom-
mend a fair amount of money in such a

potentially enormously productive area as
this vast plain, the Mekong Delta, or some of
the highlands.

President Johnson: Some of this thinking
is reflected in the Baltimore speech of April
of 1965. That will be brought up to date. We
have worked some with some of the United
Nations people and some of our own eco-
nomic people since that time. Of course, we
talked to Mr. [Eugene] Black about the
agreed deal with the Asian Development
Bank and the economic development of that
whole part of the world.

Q. Mr. Komer, would you tell us something
about your report?

Mr. Komer: Yes, I won't give you my rec-
ommendations to the President, but he has
said that I could give you the seven main
conclusions that I just gave him from my

It is based on 11 days in the country with
Dave Lilienthal. I visited all four of the
Corps' areas, and I visited 10 provinces. My
report is the most encouraging one that I
have been able to give so far.

Of particular benefit to us in the "other
war," it was impressive to see the solid re-
sults in opening roads. This isn't dramatic,
but the roads are the economic lifeline of
Viet-Nam. Some 77 percent of the main
roads are now largely open.

As one result, we are not forced to rely
on airlift to get AID supplies around. In the
last 6 months, for example, we have 39 per-
cent more truck traffic for AID distribution.
Twelve percent more went by coaster. Ten
percent more is even going on the railroad.

Second, the political process is gaining mo-
mentum. It is there for all to see. The con-
stitution should be finished, I was told in
Saigon, by late March or early April at the
latest. Elections might come as soon as 3
months thereafter, and I wouldn't neglect
the village and hamlet elections, which are
now scheduled to start in April. Democracy
is coming from the bottom as well as at the

Third, the economic outlook is much bet-
ter at the beginning of 1967 than I found

MARCH 20, 1967


it in early 1966. We have stopped runaway
inflation. Although prices are still rising
gradually, there is plenty of financing avail-
able for imports from both Vietnamese and
American sources.

Tax collections were up 50 percent in 1966,
and adequate rice appears available to sta-
bilize the Vietnamese diet, mostly from P.L.
480 imports; so we don't anticipate any
critical rice shortage in 1967.

President Johnson: We have one in this
country, I might say, on rice acreage allow-

Mr. Komer: The Saigon port congestion is
easing. It is still a mess, but there has been
a big increase in port through-put in Janu-
ary and the first 2 weeks of February.

In fact, 465,000 tons came through Saigon
port in January alone, which is about dou-
ble what it was, say, in November of 1965,
when we had the big port crisis. These are
short tons in January of 1967, the last full
month on which I had a report.

Most encouraging to me, personally, I
think, is that the solid pacification program
is finally beginning to roll. It still lags be-
hind the big war and it is much too early
to see many concrete results on the ground.

But I would just make three points about
pacification: We now have a reorganized U.S.
civilian organization in the field. OCO, the
OflSce of Civil Operations, is now a going
concern. Its morale is high. I visited fre-
quently in the field, and all of the U.S. civil-
ian agencies are now pulling together.

The GVN [Government of Viet-Nam] is
serious about putting the bulk of the ARVN
[Army of the Republic of Viet-Nam] into
pacification, which is what is necessary to
provide the indispensable local security for
the pacification effort. Around 60 battalions
of the ARVN, I believe, out of a total of 120,
have been assigned, under the corps and
province plans for 1967, to pacification roles.

We have 400 RD [revolutionary develop-
ment] cadre teams now in the field, and it
will go up to 675 during 1967. We are also
trying out with the Vietnamese, in partic-
ular, field expedients to put together teams

on a local basis where Vung Tau cadre teams
are not available.

On the revamping of the ARVN, some 14
mobile training teams have already trained
21 battalions, in 2-week training cycles, and s
they are now beginning to train, in late Feb-
ruary, 14 more.

A retraining cycle for the regional and
popular forces is underway — a joint general
staff operation.

I personally come back believing that the
VC [Viet Cong] in the South are going to
have real trouble in maintaining their
strength during 1967. I base this not just on
intelligence reports but on what to me are
two prime indicators: first, the Chieu Hoi
returnee rate is still way up for the first 2
months of 1967 — I should say the first 6

We got about 3,450 returnees in the first 6
weeks of 1967, which is roughly double what
we got in the same period in 1966. Of course,
the 1966 Chieu Hoi rate was double what we
got in 1965; that is, roughly speaking.

Second, the refugee flow from insecure
areas to secure areas is still high. About 684,-
000 refugees came into the more secure areas
in 1966. This just helps to deprive the Viet
Cong of their recruiting base, and so, too,
does it increase the movement of people
from the countryside into the cities.

There were some 758,000 in 1966, many of
whom were refugees and others of whom
were people just coming into the cities where
real incomes are up and the economy is be-
ginning to boom. All of this is going to cut
down the strength of the VC in 1967, in
my view.

Last, but not least, I must say that I sensed,
just like David Lilienthal — and we talked to
largely different people — an increasing mood
of confidence among Vietnamese officials, high
and low. Everywhere I traveled in the coun-
try there was a feeling that the outcome of
this conflict was no longer in doubt. Now, I
think that this is an intangible but nonethe-
less very important one. I don't want to
overstate it and I don't want to indulge in
speculation, but there is a growing mood of
confidence in South Viet-Nam.



So, to end as I began, I really returned
quite encouraged. We may still face a long,
hard fight. Pacification is still lagging, and
I think will continue to lag behind our mili-
tary eff"ort in 1967. There are plenty of diffi-
culties ahead, but I think we are indisput-
ably gaining real momentum in the South.

Q. Mr. Komer, did your trip come after
the Tet cease-fire?

Mr. Komer: Yes. I arrived toward the end.

Q. Do you associate the timing of your
talks there with the mood of confidence that
you found?

Mr. Komer: No, I wouldn't. Nobody specif-
ically linked the resumption of the bomb-
ing to this mood of confidence, because I
was there talking about quite different mat-
ters than the bombing of the North.

Q. Mr. Komer, someone who returned re-
cently in the last feiv months said that the
VC don't control the night any more. Could
you tell us about that, and how big are their
operations ?

Mr. Komer: I wish I could be that optimis-
tic, but in many areas of the countryside,
Charley still controls the night. Even where
the roads are open and you can travel un-
restrictedly during the day, it is still quite
unsafe at night, which is one good indicator.
Now, as a part of this AKVN retraining pro-
gram, much greater emphasis is being placed
on the night operations and things like that,
but I would be the last one to say that
Charley no longer controls the night.

Q. Mr. Komer, 77 percent of the main
roads are now open, compares with what and
when ?

Mr. Komer: These figures keep changing,
and I can't give you, unfortunately, a stand-
ard of comparison. I can give you one later
if you like. I will have to look it up. But
there is, I believe, a higher percentage of
roads open than at any time in the last 18

Q. Mr. Komer, what percentage of the
population now is in securely held areas?

Mr. Komer: The figures I was given in
Saigon, and I believe the figures which Am-
bassador Lodge has most recently reported,
are about 58 percent. That is in reasonably
secure areas. You know security is a rela-
tive thing in Viet-Nam.

Q. How about the land?

Mr. Komer: The land I just don't know
off-hand. It is less, because large areas of
land that are thinly populated are the areas
which are still under VC control and it is
not that important to take over land in the
central highlands which is relatively unpopu-

Q. Last year you had a goal of H percent
of the population to bring into securely held
areas. Is there any goal this year for the per-
cent of population?

Mr. Komer: We are getting more realistic
about goals, and I am not aware of that.
There may be one, but I am not aware that
we have a goal for bringing a specific per-
centage of population into secure areas in

Q. Doesn't the 58 at this point reflect 8
percent, about, over the beginning of 1966,
and, if so, is that a shortfall under your goal
for last year?

Mr. Komer: I think you are broadly cor-
rect and that there was a shortfall from
some very ambitious goals set last year. This
is why we are recalculating and trying to
build more solidly in 1967 and stay away
from statistical goals that are either reached
statistically and not accurately, or which re-
sult in shortfalls of that sort.

Q. Was this 58 percent translated into mil-
lions of people?

Mr. Komer: You can figure Viet-Nam's
population at between 15 million and 16 mil-
lion. They haven't had a census in a long
time; so all population statistics are suspect.

I notice, by the way, we get different fig-
ures from different agencies, and the GVN
itself has three different figures. It is like the
number of villages in India, which I was
never able to tack down in 5 years.

MARCH 20, 1967



Foreign Ministers of the American Republics IVIeet at Buenos Aires

The Third Special Inter-American Con-
ference and the Eleventh Meeting of Con-
sultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of
the American Republics were held at Buenos
Aires, Argentina, February 15-27 and Feb-
ruary 16-26, respectively. Following are
texts of a statement made at the closing
session of the Meeting of Foreign Ministers
on February 26 by Ambassador at Large
Ellsworth Bunker, ^ a resolution adopted by
the Meeting of Foreign Ministers recom-
mending that the American Chiefs of State
meet at Punta del Este April 12-H, and the
introductory section and Resolution I of the
Final Act of the Third Special Inter-Ameri-
can Conference, together with a Department
announcement of the members of the U.S.
delegations to the two meetings.


As we close this historic phase of the
Eleventh Meeting of Consultation of the
Ministers of Foreign Aifairs, I wish to ex-
press on behalf of my delegation the great
pleasure and satisfaction we feel at what has
been accomplished here.

Our labors represent the most intensive
phase of preparations for an event of
extraordinary importance in inter-American
affairs. We are preparing for the meeting of
American Presidents to serve two closely
related purposes:

' Ambassador Bunker replaced Secretary Rusk on
Feb. 21 as head of the U.S. delegations to the meet-

First, to give new impulse to that great
cooperative effort launched 6 years ago to
accelerate social and economic progress in
the hemisphere — the Alliance for Progress;

Second, to give specific meaning to com-
mitments regarding that effort through the
amendments which we in Buenos Aires this
week have been writing into the basic
charter of our inter-American system.

We have taken truly significant strides in
preparing the way for our Presidents to
make their final decisions. Our meeting here
has been exceedingly fruitful in areas of
great importance to the hemisphere. This is
especially true in what we have done to lay
the groundwork for our Presidents to take a
major step toward economic integration,
which may well prove to be the most im-
portant development in the hemisphere since
the American nations achieved independence.

In other fields as well — in agriculture, in
education, in science and technology — we
have taken initiatives which in the years
ahead will, I am confident, bear fruit of
great importance to all our people.

In a most positive atmosphere, foreign
ministers and delegates have dedicated them-
selves unceasingly to conscientious and
detailed consideration of problems of great
complexity. Differences have been few; that
there has been an undercurrent of basic
agreement has become evident in the sub-
stantial consensus with which we are pre-
pared to move ahead with specific recom-
mendations toward a meeting at the highest
level in Punta del Este.



Both the atmosphere which has prevailed
here and the promising results of this meet-
ing represent, I believe, a new spirit that is
alive today in the Americas, a spirit eager to
face up to the great challenges and tasks
before us and to get on with the job. As
President Johnson has said, "Time is not
our ally." ^ Solutions to the urgent problems
of our hemisphere cannot be delayed. We are
at a crossroads of history, and if we vigor-
ously pursue our way along the route pro-
jected this week by the men in this room,
we shall live to see our vast effort — ^the
great adventure on which we are embarked
together — to seek a better life for all the
inhabitants of the hemisphere become a

The effectiveness of this meeting has been
due in large part to our hosts, to the splen-
did arrangements made for our convenience
and comfort, but especially to the very able
and skillful leadership of the distinguished
Foreign Minister of Argentina [Nicanor
Costa Mendez] . Under his guidance our work
has proceeded apace. On behalf of my dele-
gation I wish to express to him and to his
Government our deep appreciation.

Senores, vamos adelante.


February 26, 1967

Whereas :

During its first period of sessions it was decided
that the reaching of a decision on the date and site
of the Meeting of Chiefs of State would be trans-
ferred to this second period; on the same occasion it
was decided that the date and site would be set once
the corresponding agenda was approved; and that
undertaking has been accomplished at this second
period of sessions;

The Eleventh Meeting of Consultation of Ministers
of Foreign Affairs,

Resolves :

1. To recommend that the Meeting of Chiefs of
State of American co^lntries be held at Punta del

Este, Uruguay, from April 12 to 14 of this year.

2. To approve the following agenda for the Meet-

Intensification of inter-American cooperation in
order to accelerate the economic and social develop-
ment of Latin America and reaffirmation of the
Charter of Punta del Este

I. Latin American economic integration and indus-
trial development.

IL Multinational action for infrastructure proj-

III. Measures to improve international trade con-
ditions in Latin America.

IV. Modernization of rural life and increase of
agricultural productivity, principally of food.

V. Educational, technological, and scientific devel-
opment and intensification of health programs.

VI. Elimination of unnecessary military expendi-

3. To approve document No. 33 ' of this Meeting
of Consultation which contains the annotated agenda
for the Meeting of Chiefs of State of the American

4. To form a Special Committee which will have
as terms of reference for the carrying out of its
functions the guidelines contained in the document
mentioned in the previous paragraph and to rec-
ommend that each of the Chiefs of State appoint a
personal representative plus the number of advisers
deemed suitable.

5. The Special Committee will begin its work on
March 13 next in Montevideo, Uruguay, to prepare
drafts of documents for the Meeting of Chiefs of
State of American countries on the basis of the
guidelines agreed upon during this meeting. The
Committee must present those drafts by March 27,
1967, at the latest.

6. To hold, in the Republic of Uruguay, a third
period of sessions of the Eleventh Meeting of Con-
sultation of Ministers of Foreign AflFairs to con-
sider the draft documents presented by the Special
Committee. The date for the beginning of this period

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