February 71 1972
STATEMENT OF SENATOR MIKE MANSFIELD (D. 1 MONTANA)
I am not interested in what North Viet Nam may agree to/ Yhat
South Viet Nam may want. The Senate resolution on Viet Nam was not based
on either consideration. It was dervied1 introduced and passed on the basis
of a. careful legislative judgment of what serves the vi tal interests of the
people of the United States. The resolution states that those interests will
be served by defining United States policy in terms of the withdrawal of all
U.s. forces at a. date certain conditioned solely on the release of the ,prisoners
of war and the recoverable missing in action. That is all. Period. That is
not yet the policy of this government. It is the policy set forth by the Senate.
To a. degree, it is the policy set forth by the House. It is included among many
other ~onsidera.tions in the statement of policy set forth by the Administration.
But the resolution is not yet the policy of the United States. ~et there be
no mistake on that scor.a, In the end, only the President can state that policy.
Peace is not yet being pursued on the basis of the position of the Senate. If
and when, it is, the Senate resolution will cease to be pressed. So long as
it is not, it will be pressed. Indeed, the resolution must be pressed because
what is at stake is more than words, more t han a. political campaign, more than
who wins or who loses. What is at stake 1 in the end, is the vital--the vital--
interests of this nation. The word means what it says; the survival of this
nation in freedom.
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Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 48, Folder 6, Mansfield Libary, University of Montana
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