s 3376 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD - SENATE
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, will
the Senator yield?
Mr. AIKEN. I vield.
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, I
commend the distinguished Senator from
Vermont for the temperate statement he
has made today, which fits in with his
call for bipartisanship several days ago.
I note that on page 6 of his speech the
Tlle cea,e-ftre Is only the bare beginnings
of peace In Indochina.
How true. And just how tenuous that
cease-fire is, of course, is mariifest in the
fact that in South Vietnam, in Cambodia,
and in Laos the fig-hting is still going on.
So I commend the di'itinguished Senator
for his remarks, because what he
docs is to raise a ftag of caution. What
he is primarily interested in, as I amand
I am sure the entire Senate and
the total American population-is three
things: One, a cease-fire in fact as well
as in being; two, the continued withdrawal
of all U.S. milit'l.ry personnel from
Vietnam, a process which is in operation
at the present time--and it is my undersLanding
that the number remaining at
the moment is somewhere between 11,000
and 12,000-and, three, the return of
our POW's and the recoverable missing
Those are the three most important
factors. 'When we reach those objectives,
then I think we can begin talking about
assistance, if any such proposal is made,
under article XXI of the agreement. But
I think that in the meantime we ought
to give the man downtown-the President--
a chance to work these things
through, following this tentative f'ettlement--
and that is all it is at the moment.
We must try to make certain that there
will not be a return to warfare in which
we will become engaged and that there is
an opportunity to establish a basis for
a peace in that part of the world not only
for the indigenous peoples concerned but
for this Nation as well.
The distinguished Senator says on page
7 of his speech:
There wm be plenty of room for debate
and discussion over the form thnt the reconstruction
presence In Indochina should
Again, the Senator is correct. There will
be a right time for a proposal to be made,
based on the circumstances which exist
at that time. Those circumstances, to
get back to what originally was said,
depend on a cease-fire in fact, depend on
the total withdrawal of all U.S. military
personnel and the release of all prisoners
of war and recoverable missing in action.
As the distinguished Senator says in
But the purpose will be to discourage more
war and to encourage more peace.
February 27, 197.3
Februar?J 27, 1973 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD- SENATE
The Senator is right. I hope that his
speech has been listened to and will be
read bv those who are intC'rC'sted in that
part of the world and our role in it and
that tht>Y will be aware of the fact that
the war is not over; that there is only a
tenuous truce: that we still have POW's
and rcco\"erable MIA's in North and
South Vietnam, in Cambodia, and in
Laos: that we still have between 11,000
and 12,000 military personnel to be withdrawn.
and that the truce at the moment
is at best delicate: it is far from being
a cease-fire, in fact.
I would hope we would follow the advice
of the distinguished Senator from
Vermont: that we would withhold our
own fire for the moment, at least, and
give the President a chance, based on
the facts as they exist and in accord with
what I have stated this afternoon, to
present to the Congress a proposal, a
proposal which I am sure Congress will
disect and go into thoroughly, and a proposal
on which Congress itself will have
to make a judgment, as well as the
I th ank the Senator for yielding.
Mr. AIKEN. :tVIr. President. I take this
time to thank the majority leader for
the remarks he has made and to state
that I do not regard the Paris conference
as ev·en being a 11P"r a,)proach to Utopia.
Thct-e v:j" hr pr.obl .1s and violations
of the ar,nf-'ler.t which has be-en
reached. but V'P t,e"v.e made one step and
I want to makl ~lain l:hat we cannot
consider senou.:.t_,· :1.ny expenditures for
reconstruction. anc so forth. until all of
our prisoners of \,•t.r have been released.
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, I am
in accord with the views just expressrd
by the distingui~hed Senator. As he
knows, for years I ha\"e had three objectives,
which .I !•ave mentioned and which
I cannot rrit(•rate too often. I have
sought for yc:~rs to brmg about a cease:
fire, not only in Vietnam, but in all of
Indochina. I have sought for years to
bring about the extrication of our forces
from Vtetnam and Indochina. I have
sought for years to bring about the release
of the prisoners of war and the
missing in actbn.
These objectives seem-and I emphasize
the word "scem"-to be on the way
to a final srlnhon, which may well be
contingent ou the "investment in peace"
in all of Tndochina. What the President
said abo•Jt. an "investment in peace" may
well be part of the price of ending this
ghast !y war, an objective so much desired
by all of us and paid for over such
a ;ong period of time by over 303,000
.1\ mericans wounded in combat. by almost
46,000 Americans killed in combat, by
10,300 Americans dead as the result of
nonhostile act on. by an overall total of
almost 360,000 American casualties in
Concurrent with that human cost is
the monetary cost of between $130 billion
and $140 billion to date a cost which
will eventually amount to between $350
billion and $450 billion, and which will
saddle the people of this Nation well into
t he next century.
It is good, indeed, that at long last this
longest, most tragic and second most
costly war in all our history may be com-ing
to an end. In the words of Dr. Kissinger,
in his superb exposition a t his
press conference in mid -January, it is
time that "Together with healing the
wounds of Indochina we can begin to
heal the wounds of America."
Subject to various criteria which I am
working on at the present time, I think
we ought to give the President's proposals,
when and if they come up, every
reasonable consideration, Lecause our
chief objective, as I am sure it is his, is
to bring about, finally, peace and stability
in Indochina. It would be our hope
and desire to cooperRte with the President
of the United States in h is efforts
to embark on t he. "decade of peace"
which he has stressed so often during
this a dministration.
I thank the distinguished Senator/
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